Sigma shook up the camera world back in April by announcing its new 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM lens — the world’s first zoom lens with a fixed maximum aperture of f/1.8. It turns out the revolutionary lens will have a revolutionary price tag as well: the company announced today that the lens will cost just $799.
Lenses and sensors weren’t the only camera components miniaturized and dumbed down when digital photography jumped over into the world of smartphones: flashes did too. In order to fit everything into a tiny package, smartphone makers have largely opted for LED flashes in their phones rather than the bigger and bulkier xenon flashtubes found in proper digital cameras (a notable exception is the Nokia PureView 808). That may soon change.
Scientists in Singapore have developed a new capacitor that may lead to more powerful xenon flash units replacing the LED flashes found in consumer smartphones.
Sony is taking full frame sensors very seriously. A few months ago the company launched the RX1, bringing full frame sensors to fixed-lens compact cameras. Around the same time, a rumor emerged that Sony is working on bringing the same sensor size to its NEX mirrorless cameras. It now looks like a full frame NEX is indeed on the way, to be announced in roughly one year.
Sony shook up the digital camera world today by announcing the RX1, a game-changing camera that was somehow kept under wraps until news about it leaked a few days ago. Regardless of whether or not ordinary consumers will readily adopt it, it’s a bold camera that sets the bar for what the world can expect in a point-and-shoot. Why is it so revolutionary? It’s the first time a full frame sensor has been put inside a compact camera body.
Mirrorless cameras are designed to offer DSLR-esque sensors inside smaller form-factor bodies, but so far the only company offering full frame mirrorless cameras has been Leica with its M line of rangefinders. That may soon change. sonyalpharumors is reporting with certainty that Sony is working on putting a full frame sensor in a NEX mirrorless camera.
Olympus has something big up its sleeve. In an interview with Impressjapan, manager Mr. Ogawa revealed that the company is working on a new mirrorless camera that features an “epoch-making” viewfinder — presumably one that’s even more advanced than the hybrid viewfinder found on the Fujifilm X100. The upcoming viewfinder sounds like it’ll also be some kind of fusion between electronic and optical. There’s not much that’s know about the technology at the moment, but we should be hearing more about it very soon.
(via 43 Rumors via TechRadar)
Image credit: Viewfinder by Nils Geylen
Lytro has finally announced its revolutionary consumer light field camera. It’s a tiny camera with built-in storage, an 8x f/2 lens, and a design that looks more like a futuristic flashlight than a point-and-shoot camera. The camera captures “living pictures” that can be refocused by the photographer and the viewer, which means focusing is completely eliminated from the process of taking a picture. An 8GB that stores 350 pictures will be priced at $400, while a 16GB with a 750 image capacity will cost $500. The camera will start shipping in early 2012, but you can order one now over on the Lytro website.
InVisage, a California-based start up company, has announced a new image sensor technology that it claims is up to four times more sensitive than traditional sensor technologies.
Their product, QuantumFilm, is a layer of semiconductor material added on top of the traditional silicon that uses quantum dots to gather light.
According to InVisage CEO Jess Lee, quantum dots have a 90% efficiency in gathering light, compared to the 50% of traditional silicon.
What this means is that we can expect cell phone cameras to improve at a much faster pace than what we’ve been seeing, since improving the performance of traditional silicon has proved difficult. Lee predicts that in two years, mobile phones will contain cameras that are superior than current digital cameras in both megapixels and light sensitivity.
If this turns out to be true, we will likely see a dramatic decrease in the number of point-and-shoot cameras sold, as more and more consumers rely solely on their camera phones.
In other news, Wired is reporting that this technology will lead to wedding photography from phone cameras. Really?
Image credit: Photograph by InVisage