Sony: Smartphone Camera Tech Will Make DSLRs Obsolete

A top Sony executive predicts smartphones will make DSLR cameras obsolete by 2024. Speaking at a business briefing, Sony Semiconductor Solutions president and CEO Terushi Shimizu said the company expects smartphone cameras “will exceed the image quality of single-lens reflex cameras within the next few years,” Nikkei Asia reports. According to the Sony presentation, “still images are expected to exceed interchangeable lens camera (ILC) image quality” within three years. In addition to the older DSLR tech that has fallen by the wayside, the ILC category also includes more modern mirrorless cameras. Continue reading Sony: Smartphone Camera Tech Will Make DSLRs Obsolete

Sony Mirrorless Camera Lays Down Gauntlet for Canon, Nikon

Sony’s Alpha a7R III camera features a mirrorless design that allows photographers to take beautifully focused images of fast-moving objects. That’s a big contrast from the mirror-and-prism systems that have dominated cameras such as DSLRs (digital single-lens reflex). Mirrorless systems grab light much faster and use software to keep the images in focus. Professional photographers such as Kenneth Jarecke, who shot images during the Gulf War, are quickly becoming early adopters of the new camera. Continue reading Sony Mirrorless Camera Lays Down Gauntlet for Canon, Nikon

Sony Products Focus on Artist Intent and Customer Experience

Sony Corporation president and CEO Kaz Hirai began his solo CES media briefing with the Alpha 9, a mirrorless and completely silent camera ideally suited to shoot at the top of a golf swing or on a quiet soundstage, and continued to celebrate accomplishments across every division, including Sony Pictures, Sony Music, and PlayStation. “If you see the name Sony on any product, content, or service, it symbolizes our promise to move you emotionally,” he said. “Our products are designed to have a personal and individualized place in all of your lives.” Continue reading Sony Products Focus on Artist Intent and Customer Experience

Nikon Introduces 360-Degree Action Camera, New 4K DSLR

Nikon made two interesting announcements during CES in Las Vegas. First, the company unveiled the D5, its new flagship 4K DSLR, first teased back in November. The $6,500 camera, available in March, includes a new 153-point autofocus system and maximum ISO of 3,280,000. Perhaps a bigger surprise is Nikon’s first action camera, the KeyMission 360, which shoots 360-degree video in 4K. Slightly larger and less of a cube than market leader GoPro Hero, the KeyMission 360 features lenses on front and back, is shockproof to 6.6 feet, waterproof to 100 feet, and touts electronic vibration reduction. Continue reading Nikon Introduces 360-Degree Action Camera, New 4K DSLR

Panasonic Intros Hands-Free Wearable 4K Camera and More

In an interesting addition to the wearables category at CES this year, Panasonic has introduced a 4K video camera that you strap to the side of your face. The waterproof point-of-view camera, set to launch later this year, has a wire connection to a device that you wear on your arm. The prototype is similar to the $244 HX-A100 HD camcorder that Panasonic debuted at the 2013 CES, but is reportedly more powerful inside and includes 4K recording, a fisheye lens and mini-HDMI port. Continue reading Panasonic Intros Hands-Free Wearable 4K Camera and More

SD Association Announces Next-Gen Ultra High-Speed Spec

To address the anticipated needs of professional and consumer 4K recording, the SD Association recently announced a new specification and branding designed for memory cards capable of handling 4K video. According to the group, “a new Ultra High Speed (UHS) Speed Class 3 (U3) symbol will indicate products capable of recording 4K2K video and will operate exclusively on SDXC UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards and devices and SDHC UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards and devices.” Continue reading SD Association Announces Next-Gen Ultra High-Speed Spec

Forecast: More Cameras with Wi-Fi, Mirrorless Tech and Android

Christopher Chute, research director with IDC, offers his take on emerging digital camera trends and what we should expect to see play out in 2013. Chute expects that full-frame DSLRs and mirrorless cameras will continue to come down in price, while models with Android and Wi-Fi will become more prevalent. He also suggests that entry-level point-and-shoot cameras will eventually be abandoned. Continue reading Forecast: More Cameras with Wi-Fi, Mirrorless Tech and Android

Hands-On Reviews: Striking New Sony DSLRs and Mirrorless Digicams

  • Digital Trends takes four of Sony’s new digicams for a test drive — a pair of 24-megapixel DSLRs (the SLT-A77 and SLT-A65) and two compact mirrorless cameras (the NEX-5N and NEX-7).
  • The 3-day test period was conducted by recording more than 1,200 stills and dozens of short videos in rugged Southern California exteriors.
  • The review speaks highly of the DSLRs: “Sony really leaped ahead with this new pair by upping still resolution, the frame rate, video quality and incorporating a high-quality OLED viewfinder. Resolution is now 24.3 megapixels, the most of any consumer camera. Even with all the pixels, the A77 cranks off 12 frames per second at full resolution; the less expensive A65 does 10. Both also capture AVCHD Progressive movies, which are a beautiful 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second, rather than 1080i.”
  • In terms of cost: “The A77 costs $1,399 for the body only and is sold with an extremely sharp constant-aperture f/2.8 16-50mm lens for around $2,000. The A65 costs $999 with a more traditional 18-55mm lens. As a comparison, the 3.7 fps 18-megapixel Canon EOS Rebel T3i is $899 with an 18-55mm lens.”
  • Regarding the mirrorless cameras, Digital Trends comments: “Although the NEX-7 still requires a final production sample test, the early taste was quite fine. This could easily be the camera of the year given our hands-on experience. The buzz among the reviewers was pretty intense. As for the NEX-5N, although it’s a nice camera, it really paled in comparison to its big brothers and sisters.”
  • Pricing for the mirrorless models: “The NEX-7 has the high-quality finder built-in on the rear top left; the view is very good. We used the camera with an f/2.0 24mm prime lens, which added a cool $1,200 to the basic $1,149 price for the body. The NEX-7 will be sold with a cosmetically-matching black 18-55mm lens for $1,349. This outfit has a very Leica-like vibe and takes some pretty spectacular images… The NEX-5N has a 16-megapixel APS-C sensor (up from 14) and costs $699 with an 18-55mm kit lens.”