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It looks like Sony could have one of the best smartphone cameras in recent history with the news of the commercialization of its new Exmor RS IMX230 stacked CMOS image sensor, an image sensor that will be baked into the company's upcoming smartphones.
Why is this a better sensor? Well, according to Sony, the sensor will capture 21-megapixel still photos, and is the first CMOS image sensor for smartphones that features an on-board image plane phase detection AF single processing function, something that can use up to 192 auto-focus points. This means it will allow super-quick focus for fast-moving objects, and much more.
The new sensor is also capable of capturing HDR still images, and video, and can gather data from two different exposure conditions. From there, it will create a single image output that attempts to correct the bright and dark areas of the photo. When it comes to video capabilities, the new sensor is capable of capturing 720p video at 120FPS, 1080p video at 60FPS and 4K video at 30FPS. We should see this new sensor baked into Sony smartphones sometime in the second half of 2015.
Something out of left field, is Samsung announcing its new Project Beyond product. Project Beyond consists of 16 individual HD-quality cameras, positioned in a circular pattern, which capture continuous 360-degree images. Project Beyond takes in a gigapixel of data every second, stitching it all together as if it were a 360-degree video, streaming it directly to Samsung's Gear VR headset.
Limiting its use to someone shooting a video while you sit in your house with your Gear VR sounds weird, until you think of the fact that Samsung could - at first - use Project Beyond at events, streaming you the VR imagery back to your Gear VR headset. Things like sporting events, concerts, and much more can be opened up into the world of VR with this camera.
We thought GoPro would wait a week or so to unveil its new Hero4 cameras, but nope, we were wrong: here they are! GoPro has officially unveiled the new Hero4 cameras, once again arriving in two editions: Black, and Silver.
The GoPro Hero4 Black is the star of the show, capable of shooting 4K video at 30FPS, and is touted by GoPro as "the most advanced GoPro ever". It can shoot 4K at 30FPS, 2.7K at 50FPS, 1440p at 80FPS, and 1080p, 960p, and 720p all at 120FPS. Previously, the Hero3 Black could shoot at 4K at 15FPS, but could shoot at 240FPS at 720p, something the newer GoPro can't do. For still images, you can snap 12-megapixel photos with the new GoPro Hero 4.
GoPro has improved the audio capture on the new Hero4, which captures twice the dynamic range. The front of the new GoPro features its expected ultra-wide angle glass lens, with three different field of view settings available: Ultra-Wide, Medium and Narrow. New manual settings make the cut, with color, ISO limit, exposure and much more to tinker with. It's waterproof at up to 131 feet, or 40m, has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, exposure settings for nighttime shooting, a "HiLight Tag" feature for marking key moments in footage, a QuikCapture feature which powers up and starts recording with a single press, and auto low-light features.
We are getting closer to the rumored reveal of GoPro's next-gen Hero camera, with two versions to reportedly be unveiled soon: Hero4 Black, and Hero4 Silver Edition. The two cameras will have differences between them, with upgrades on their predecessor, and some downgrades, too.
Starting with the Hero4 Silver Edition, which will sport a touch LCD on the back, which was previously an accessory you had to purchase separately. The sensor inside of the Hero4 Silver Edition is capable of shooting 4K video, or 3840x2160 at 15FPS, 2.7K at 30fps, 1440p at 48fps, 1080p at 60fps, 960p at 100fps, and 720p at 120fps. It will also take 12-megapixel still shots, and is waterproof at up to 40m (or 131 feet).
The Hero4 Black Edition is pretty much the same, but it ditches the touch LCD on the back for upping its 4K shooting capabilities to 30FPS, up from 15FPS. With the rumored unveiling date of the new Hero4 cameras being October 8... the same date that HTC is said to be unveiling its new action camera.
Old-school camera company Polaroid has fought for relevance over the years, and has invested in research and development of modern technologies. The company hopes its Cube, a 1080p action sports video recording device with a $99 price tag available next month, will help spur interest in its porftfolio.
"GoPro has done an incredible job building a new category in the digital imaging space," said Scott Hardy, Polaroid CEO, in a statement. "But when we look at that market, we think it can be much bigger by not just targeting the professional and amateur and aspirational thrill-seekers but going after more of the lifestyle."
For action sports participants, having something like a Polaroid Cube instead of a GoPro might not be the worst idea - and could help force GoPro to continue to innovate. The low price, half the price of the entry-level Hero3 device currently priced at $199.99 MSRP, should prove to be helpful.
In a market that GoPro has pretty tightly wound up, HTC is teasing its new action camera, something that the company will debut on October 8.
HTC will unveil its new action camera at its "Double Exposure" media event, where we should be greeted with the NVIDIA Tegra K1-powered Nexus 9 tablet. As for the action camera, we should expect it to arrive with a 16-megapixel sensor and wireless networking, but not much else is known about it at this point. From some leaked pictures, we can expect it to look like a periscope, if that's what you're into.
Camera manufacturer Fujifilm has developed the "Swing Cam," a prototype camera that can track a user and effectively take "selfie" type photographs. Instead of a stationary picture, this camera can help create photos from non-fixed locations. Fujifilm said the camera is still in its development prototype phase, and will enter production only if testers are impressed by its ability.
"We aimed to make a personal photographer," a Fujifilm camera developer noted. "I wanted to make a camera that takes videos and pictures of me actively moving as if they were taken by a person."
The power of the selfie has led new smartphones to have front-facing cameras, giving owners the ability to more effectively take photos of themselves.
Sony has rolled out a new digital camera that is very compact and promises the same high quality images that you would get from a larger full size digital camera. The new Sony offering is called the Alpha 5100 and it has a sensor inside with 24.3MP resolution.
Sony says that the Alpha 5100 is the world's smallest interchangeable lens camera with an APS-C size image sensor and integrated flash. Sony also fits the 5100 with a Fast Hybrid AF system that can auto focus in 0.07 seconds. The Alpha 5100 also has a 3-inch touchscreen on the rear and a touch on the screen selects the focus point for the image and activates the shutter to snap a picture.
The 5100 has no electronic viewfinder; the touchscreen is used for aligning shots. That LCD does flip up so users can take selfies using the camera. In addition to taking high quality still shots, the camera can also record full HD video. In the UK, the Alpha 5100 will launch in mid-September for £420 for the body only and £550 with a 16-50mm kit lens. There is no word on launch or pricing in other countries at this time.
Flir is a company that has been making thermal imaging cameras for commercial and military use for a number of years. The company has been under pressure to branch out into the broader consumer market and has an interesting new product to help. The new product is called the Flir One and it is an accessory for the iPhone 5 or 5S smartphones.
The accessory camera will sell for $349 making it much cheaper than the $1000 price the next cheapest thermal camera sells for. A version of the Flir one for Android users will roll out next year.
Flir thinks that consumers will see the benefit in a thermal imaging camera that sells for $350. Using the camera people can do things like check for cold or hot air leaking into or out of a home allowing them to better insulate and save money on heating and cooling. Developers are working with Flir now on making apps to take advantage of the camera.
One of the most used action cameras on the market is the GoPro camera. Those cams are used to recoded everything from biking to motorsports and just about anything in between. A new accessory for GoPro camera s has hit Kickstarter in the form of a flying camera base called the Hexo+.
The flying platform for the GoPro has six rotors and can fly autonomously. The drone camera works in conjunction with an app that allows the user to frame themselves or another person in the shot. Users then choose a starting position for the drone.