As technology improves, features that were once limited to expensive professional models often become available to the masses, but will this ever be true for full-frame sensors? Nikon’s Senior VP David Lee was recently asked this question in an interview with TWICE, and here’s what he said:
I think that there are definitely two different approaches here. What we’re seeing is that sensor performance continues to improve, but obviously there’s really a need for bulk because with a full-size sensor there’s a real low-light performance benefit, high speed performance, framing rates, and so on and so forth. So, I think you’ll definitely continue to see the higher-end pro consumer continue to have that large format. It’s definitely needed in the D3 and D700. You’ll see that technology continue to improve and grow, but the DX sensor form factor is also important. The compactness of the D3100 and D5100 is very popular. I don’t think one approach will ever overtake the other because of the overall image capabilities and the light performance capabilities.
Seems like he either misunderstood the question, or decided to beat around the bush. It’s an interesting question though — will any of the big manufacturers shake up the industry by being the first to put a full-frame sensor in a consumer-level camera? The sensors have already jumped from pro-level cameras to prosumer-level ones starting in 2005 with the Canon 5D, so it seems like the next logical step will be the consumer level. A sub-$1000 full-frame camera. Now that’s a thought.
Sony is serious about this whole “catching up to Canon and Nikon” thing — the company has announced four new large sensor cameras, and each one is a doozy. The cameras, which hit store shelves in a couple of months, include the NEX-7 and NEX-5N mirrorless cameras and the A77 and A65 SLT (AKA translucent mirror) cameras. Read more…
Nikon did launch a new Coolpix camera today — eight of them, in fact — but the rumored “Coolpix Pro” mirrorless camera was nowhere to be found. The bevy of compact cameras hits store shelves next month, and includes the P7100 — a more polished successor to the P7000 announced around this time last year, and Nikon’s answer to Canon’s G-series line of prosumer compact cameras. The 10.1MP camera features a tilting 3-inch LCD screen on the back, manual controls, 720p video, and RAW capabilities. It’ll be priced at $500. Read more…
Fujifilm’s retro-tastic X100 has been selling like hotcakes since hitting shelves earlier this year, and the company is reportedly primed for another big announcement: the X50. According to rumors swirling around the web, the X50 will be a smaller and cheaper relative of the X100 that uses the same sleek design.
While both cameras shoot 12 megapixel photos, the X50 will use a 2/3-inch sensor (smaller than Micro Four Thirds cameras) instead of the APS-C one found in the X100. The camera is also rumored to have an optical viewfinder, raw capabilities, and 1080p video recording. What’s most attractive is the price: instead of the $1200 price tag found on the X100, the X50 will cost just $600. Expect to see an announcement within the next few weeks.
The Appcam is a new concept design for camera controls — and supposedly a patent — that aims to make handling DSLR and compact cameras more user friendly. Instead of having your camera settings hiding in different menus and changed using different controls (e.g. buttons, scroll wheels, dials), the Appcam turns them all into “apps” that sit conveniently on the LCD touchscreen. The apps/settings can be swapped in and out and reordered, and are adjusted using the physical scroll wheel next to it.
While this may definitely be a more user friendly interface for people who just got their first digital camera, it doesn’t seem like a good idea at all for seasoned DSLR users who already have all their controls where they need them.
Remember the strange boxy cameras that were spotted on Samsung’s website a couple months ago? Turns out they were in fact digital medium format cameras, but were developed for “internal purposes” only. In an interview with Megapixel, a Samsung Regional product manager states,
We have the technology to develop a medium format cameras but we are not going to do that because this is not our market. Samsung is a manufacturer that focuses on a broad market – we are not a niche manufacturer like Hasselbald or Lieca [sic]. What you see in the image was developed for internal purposes in order to look into future technologies. At this point we have no plans to release it to the public. We have done similar things with lenses – for example we developed a 1000mm lens for astronomical use – but again just for internal purposes.
Hopefully they change their mind — an affordable medium-format camera geared towards enthusiasts would be awesome.
Lv Sisi created this music video, titled “Digital Analogue”, using only sounds recorded from a collection of antique cameras and 6,000 individual photographs carefully shot and edited together into an artistic stop-motion video.
CNBC ran this short segment a couple days ago in which they invited CNET’s Dan Ackerman to explain the changing landscape in the digital camera industry. He thinks point-and-shoot cameras may soon become extinct due to the rise of camera-equipped phones, but also that DSLRs are the cameras here to stay. A recent study found that phones have replaced digital cameras completely for 44% of consumers, and that number seems bound to rise as the cameras on phones continue to improve.
My guess is that in five years, we’ll see digital camera users divided into three camps: mobile phone, interchangeable lens compact, and DSLR. What’s your prediction?