Sony’s new Cybershot — specs and pictures of which were leaked just a couple of days ago — was just made official this morning, accompanied by quite a few nods of approval from tech and photo nerds everywhere. PC World are even calling it the “Best Pocket Camera of All Time,” and they may not be far off. That’s because the new Cybershot DSC-RX100 is a fixed lens point-and-shoot compact that packs a wallop. Read more…
Fresh off the rumor mill: Sony will be announcing a new large sensor compact camera in the following weeks. The interesting thing about this camera is that it breaks the mirrorless trend — taking a step back towards high-end compacts. Hopefully that step will correspond with a drop in price without much loss in quality.
According to Japanese website Digicame-info, the new Sony CyberShot DSC RX-100 will feature a 1″ CMOS sensor (same size as the Nikon 1 mirrorless) with 20.2 effective megapixels, a 3″ 1,229,000 dot LCD display, 30-108mm f/1.8-4.9 built-in lens, ISO range of 125-6400 (expandable to 25600), 1/2000 max shutter in manual and 1080p AVHD video.
Photographer and developer Ben Syverson has created an iPhone camera app called Mattebox that mimics the Konica Hexar, a luxury point-and-shoot from 1993 that was powerful enough for professionals but simple and intuitive enough for beginners. It’s one of the most beautifully designed camera apps we’ve seen yet, and comes with a number of fancy features baked into it (e.g. dual stage shutter release, highlight recovery, advanced B&W conversion). The app costs $4 over in the iTunes App Store.
Pentax released a new compact camera today called the Optio VS20, which offers a feature we haven’t seen before on a point-and-shoot: a second shutter release, zoom lever, and tripod mount for shooting vertically. The 16-megapixel camera is also smart about the orientation, as it packs an accelerometer that helps it intelligently display images the correct way. Other features include a 3-inch LCD screen and 720p video recording. It’ll start shipping next month for $250.
Perhaps inspired by the vintage camera nightlights we shared last year, photographer Laura Merz decided to upcycle her old Kodak digital camera by turning it into a nightlight for her house. She writes,
I took out all the tiny screws and gutted the camera very carefully as to not crack the exterior case. Be careful — some of the parts are pretty sharp. Removing the lens is the last step, and allows you to insert a small round night light through the opening. I had to crack off the exterior casing on the night light, but with a little force, it snapped right off.
It’s a creative way to breathe new life into an outdated or broken digital camera.
Smartphones are taking huge bites out of the compact camera market. A recent study by market research company NPD found that the percent of photographs taken with a smartphone has increased from 17% to 27% over the past year, while the share of photos taken with a dedicated camera has dropped from 52% to 44%. Senior imaging analyst Liz Cutting says,
There is no doubt that the smartphone is becoming ‘good enough’ much of the time; but thanks to mobile phones, more pictures are being taken than ever before. Consumers who use their mobile phones to take pictures and video were more likely to do so instead of their camera when capturing spontaneous moments, but for important events, single purpose cameras or camcorders are still largely the device of choice.
The point-and-shoot camera market is taking the brunt of the damage: during the first 11 months of 2011, the market lost 17% in units sold and 18% in revenue.
Today Canon unveiled its new high-end PowerShot S100 compact camera, successor to the popular S95. The S100 uses Canon’s new DIGIC 5 image processor and packs a CMOS sensor (1/1.7″) instead a CCD one. It shoots 12 megapixel images with a 24-120mm (35mm equivalent) f/2.0 lens, can capture RAW files, has a max ISO of 6400, includes GPS functionality, and has a 3-inch LCD screen. The camera is very similar to Canon’s high-end G series (the sensor size is the same), except the S series has a smaller body and leaves out an optical viewfinder. It’ll hit store shelves in early November at a price of $430.
Samsung’s DualView feature adds a small LCD screen to the front of compact cameras for self-portraits, but why use a small screen when you can use the screen on the back? Announced today, the company’s new MultiView MV800 camera has a large 3-inch touchscreen on the back that can flip up 180-degrees, letting narcissists users view it from the front (or above, or below). No word on when it will be released, but the 16MP camera will be priced at $280 when it is. 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…
Most cameras designed for young children have kid-friendly designs, but eye-numbingly bad image quality. On the other hand, a cheaper point-and-shoot camera shoots better photos but probably won’t last very long in the hands of a child. A way to make a cheap digital camera more kid-friendly and durable is to use Sugru, a special kind of silicone that resembles modeling clay. Strategically cover the camera with pieces of it, and you’ll have a camera that even the most reckless child will have a hard time breaking.