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Japanese camera makers that dominated the industry for much of the late-1980s and most of the 1990s are now struggling to keep up in an increasingly competitive market. Shoppers choosing connectivity over picture quality is helping not only cannibalize the entry-level camera market, but the mirrorless cameras that fit before digital SLR cameras also have struggled as of late.
Smartphones are seeing increasing saturation in developed markets and in developing nations, so camera manufacturers will have a continued battle on their hands. Unless they want to follow the same path as Kodak, which was driven into obscurity, then they will have to continue to pack in social media-optimized features while also increasing the megapixels. It's hard to imagine there is speculation that Nikon, Canon and Sony will be the only Japanese companies able to withstand the current industry trends, as each company makes higher-end, specialized cameras and recording devices.
If there is one thing that bothers me with almost every amateur photo taken of a landscape, product, or person, its the lack of a level horizon in the background. It is not that hard to level a shot when shooting off a tripod, but when you attached the camera to the three legged device, a lot of adjustments must be made to ensure a perfectly level photograph.
While it is quite easy to fix these crooked images in image editing programs, you lose some of the image due to cropping. Additionally, when shooting large panoramic sets, having a level imaging plane makes a lot of difference in the end result. A new Kickstarter campaign is looking to change the way we level our cameras for imaging everything. Called the OhSoh ELi -Electronic Leveling Intelligence Camera Support, this new device attaches to your camera and tripod and automatically levels every shot.
The OhSoh ELi uses sensors to automatically level your camera on both the X and Y axis and ensures that the horizon is always straight, even if your tripod is perched on an extreme angle. "ELi was designed to speed up workflow allowing you to concentrate on your photography. When you set your tripod down you only need to roughly place it and let ELi take over - with the press of a button you will be setup," reads the Kickstarter page.
With decent tripods costing hundreds of dollars and high-grade ball-head mounts costing even more, the OhSoh Eli saves users both time and money, and it appears that just $230 NZD or about $190 USD will land you one of the auto leveling devices. Note that shipping outside of New Zealand will cost extra. This is one of the first big-ticket Kickstarter campaigns that we have seen launched in New Zealand since Kickstarter made its way down under a few months back. Head over to the source link below to read more on how the device works and how you can back the project.
News surfaced today that says that Apple has been awarded a patent on technology for a digital camera that includes a refocusing imaging adapter. The technology works similar to how a Lytro-style camera works, but switches things up a bit by also allowing the picture quality and image resolution to be modified after capture as well.
This functionality is also similar to what Microsoft and Nokia use in the camera apps for the Lumia PureView series of smartphones, but their technology is software based where as Apple's appears to be optical and mechanical with supporting software. This could be Apple's chance to catch up with Android and Windows Phone in the camera department, something it has not been able to do for a few years now.
Panono is spherical camera that you toss up into the air and which takes 360-degree panoramic photos. It consists of 36 cameras that simultaneously take a fully spherical photo at 72 megapixels. When you toss it up in the air the accelerometer will calculate the highest point and snap the photo. Other than throwing it in the air you can also press a button on it or even put it on pole and hold it up to snap a photo. The Panono will send a preview to your smartphone or tablet from there you can share it. It also contains its own memory and will store about 400 panoramas when used without your smartphone or tablet. Panono connects through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and is rechargeable with a USB port.
A few years ago Jonas Pfeil decided to change travel photography by creating a device that can take panoramic photos for you without having to stitch the photos together yourself. A couple years ago Jonas Pfeil made a prototype and got a lot of people's attention. Today they have started a campaign on Indiegogo to reach $900,000 to make production. A $549 pledge will reserve you a Panono.
Today Nikon introduced a new DSLR that is sure to make many aging photographers feel nostalgic. The new retro-inspired Nikon Df is actually a state of the art DSLR that features a 16.2-megapixel full frame imaging sensor, the same one featured in the D4. The body of the new Df is constructed of magnesium and weighs in at just 710-grams.
The new Nikon Df features an ISO range of 100-12,800 and can be expanded to 50-204,800 which will ensure that even the darkest lit environments will photograph nice and bright. An Expeed Image Processor is on board to facilitate the quick writing of images to the camera's storage card. Shutter life is said to be a whopping 150,000 cycles, and the shutter can snap open at 1/1,400th of a second.
The camera is compatible with all vintage Nikon non-AI lenses as well as the company's current Nikkor line of premium autofocus lenses. Unlike many analyst speculated, the Df does in fact feature a traditional mirror design as all proper professional DSLRs should. Rounding things out is a 3.2-inch LCD screen that has a pixel density of 921 dots. The new Nikon Df will arrive on November 28th at a pricing point of $4,414 with a 50mm kit lens.
Today Panasonic launched its latest addition to the famous Lumix line of digital cameras. The Lumix GM1 is a retro-styled compact mirrorless four thirds camera that features a 16-megapixel Digital Live MOS imaging sensor. The GM1 features a maximum ISO of 25,600 and can handle shutter speeds from 1/16,000th all the way up to 60 seconds.
Not only is the Lumix GM1 a formidable still camera, the shooter is also capable of some impressive video capture as well. Video capabilities include full HD 1920x1080 at 60i and 50i that is encoded in AVCHD and MP4. A mechanical shutter means that the camera is also capable of high burst mode shots up to five frames per second, while the electronic shutter is good for up to 40 frames per second.
A 3-inch touchscreen LCD is located on the back to aid in ensuring that you get the perfect shot every time. MSRP is set at $750 for the Lumix GM1 with a 12-32mm kit lens. Having been a DSLR guy for many years now, micro four thirds cameras are starting to appeal to me more every day. While I will never give up my DSLR, I would like to own one of these little cameras for every day snapping.
In addition to this mornings launch of the D5300, Nikon also introduced the world to a brand new lens. The Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 prime is designed for shooting portraits, landscapes and street photography, and features a nine-blade diaphragm for exceptional bokeh.
Nikon says that the lens is equivalent to a 35mm lens on a full framed camera or 87mm on a crop body. The lens elements feature Nikon's Nano Crystal coating which prevents ghosting and aids in blocking out flairs. Focusing is handled via Nikon's Silent Wave motor which provides silent operation, something that is required when shooting video. The Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 will retail for $1700 later this month.
Today, Nikon announced the launch of the latest addition to its line of DSLR cameras. The New Nikon D5300 is a 24-megapixel, DX Format camera with built-in Wi-Fi. This is the first DSLR offering from the camera giant to feature on-board Wi-Fi connectivity,a feature that is sure to please many photographers around the world.
Nikon managed to pack one heck of a punch into the new D5300 including a 24-megapixel CMOS sensor, EXPEED 4 image processor, and the ability to shoot HD Video. An ISO range of 100-12800 is present and can be expanded to 25,600 for super low-light situations. Nikon has also removed the low pass filter from the imaging sensor which results in an even sharper and cleaner image.
"With the Nikon D5300, we are continuing our commitment to delivering unparalleled performance and image quality while addressing the importance of staying connected and sharing images with ease," said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. "By answering the need to share high quality photos, the Nikon D5300 allows photographers to capture their memories in astounding clarity and share them with family and friends moments after they happen."Advanced Performance for When it Matters Most"
Earlier today two photos surfaced on the internet of two of Sony's upcoming A series mirrorless cameras. The A7 and A7R are set to be the flagship middle ground cameras between Sony's NEX line and its Alpha line of DSLRs. The A7 and A7R both feature full frame sensors and boast a mirrorless design.
If recent rumors are true, the A7 will feature 24-megapixel sensor while the A7R will boast a whopping 36-megapixel sensor and the camera's internal anti-aliasing filter will be removed to aid in producing the sharpest image possible. Rumors suggest that both cameras will feature a UI similar to that used on the company's RX camera line and will include a "live view" of sorts. The cameras are "water-sealed" along with their line of lenses.
Dropcam has upgraded its Wi-Fi video monitoring camera and today announced its launch. The Dropcam Pro features quite the list of improvements including an all-new six-element glass lens that provides 130 degrees of view. The improved optics are placed in front of a larger imaging sensor that is said to be twice as sharp as its predecessor.
Dropcam has also implemented a new digital zoom function that is said to retail the HD image quality while featuring no mechanical parts to wear out. Users will now be able to pinch-to-zoom on the Dropcam mobile app. A new microphone has also been utilized which is said to bring higher quality audio, and the Wi-Fi radio has been upgraded to a dual channel model.