Posts Tagged Camera

iPhone 5S rumours surface

According to Jeffries analyst Peter Misek, Apple may be releasing a new iPhone in the next six months. Misek, who spoke to Business Insider, stated that the phone would be known as the iPhone 5S. Like Intel, Apple commonly operates on a Tick-Tock strategy with one major revision (iPhone 4, iPhone 5) and one minor upgrade (iPhone 4S), so the iPhone 5S would make sense as being the next revision.

These minor upgrade cycles often include hardware changes, and that is reportedly true here as well. Misek claims that we’ll see an improved camera and NFC. An improved camera is definitely likely; it’s rare that Apple does not upgrade the camera in some way in a new iPhone. The iPhone 5S might be the first iPhone to come with a 12 or 13 megapixel sensor, but other smaller changes are also possible. NFC has always been a contentious point for Apple, but with the rise of many NFC iPhone 5 accessories they may have finally decided to include the functionality in the phone itself.

The analyst also suggested that for the first time, we’d see the iPhone come in colours other than black and white. With the rise of blue and white versions of the Galaxy S3 and the bold colours of Windows Phone 8X and Lumia 920 handsets, Apple may finally expand their chromatic range. They already produce iPod Touch models in a wide range of colours, so it’s definitely possible for them to do so.

According to Misek, there are also a number of iPhone 6 prototypes floating around, including a model with an Android-matching 4.8″ Retina+ IGZO display, an A7 quad-core processor and a new form factor with no home button. Of course, we’ve been hearing similarly outlandish rumours for some time now; without proof it seems a bit too much to believe – even for a phone that may be released more than a year from now.

What do you think – has this analyst got it right? I’m still wary, but on the whole the upgrades mentioned – camera, NFC, colours – are fairly safe bets and could well pan out. With Misek pinning the launch in June 2013, we won’t have too long to find out for sure.

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Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera: The next generation of digital cameras

The Lowdown

Traditionally, the quality of digital photograph was always directly proportional to the physical size of the camera. But the new breed of Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera (MILC) are defying this stereotype.

The first generation of mirrorless cameras used the Micro Four Thirds system, created by Olympus and Panasonic. These cameras were smaller, lighter and had large sensors (though not as large as what a traditional DSLR offered).

Sony started the second round of innovation in this segment with the NEX series of cameras. The NEX also has a smaller body than a DSLR, but Sony managed to fit in APS-C size sensor – the same kind of image sensor that most DSLRs have.

The large sensor not only enabled much higher image quality but also high-quality HD video recording with autofocus. This was followed by Nikon with their 1 Series, Fujifilm with their X-Pro1 and now Canon, a late entrant into the segment, has announced the EOS M system.

There are some downsides to mirrorless cameras too. For starters, not many lenses are available, and the ones that are available, are expensive. Now that almost all major manufacturers have entered the segment, we should see lower costs and more innovation.

How They Differ

Sensor

DSLRs have a much larger image sensor, mirror-box, a complex optical viewfinder system and lots of physical buttons – these aspects contribute to their much larger size as compared to compact cameras.

In the new crop of Micro Four Thirds cameras and interchangeable lens cameras that use DSLR-size APS-C sensors, the mirror and viewfinder is done away with, effectively reducing the overall size and weight. They also usually have touchscreens. Since one of the most important aspects, a large and high-quality sensor, is retained, you will end up with results that are very close to what a DSLR offers.

Lens

Mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras use larger lenses as compared to compact cameras. The lenses allow the sensor to capture more light and make for an overall sharper image from edge to edge. These lenses are not directly compatible with other DSLR lenses because each manufacturer uses a proprietary mount.

However, you still have a choice, ranging from 14mm ‘pancake’ lenses to 30-110mm zooms. Sometimes, you can also use a lens mount adapter to attach a DSLR lens, but a possible drawback is that the autofocus system in the lens may not work.

PROS

The larger image sensor in these cameras captures light more easily, giving you better images in low light and lower noise.

Manual controls for exposure (aperture, shutter speed), ISO (light sensitivity) and various creative modes/filters are always included in these kinds of cameras.

A higher quality interchangeable lens means that this kind of camera will deliver results close to what a DSLR will. Plus, the system is capable of expanding to meet future needs.

CONS

They tend to be larger and heavier than the usual point-and-shoot camera – definitely not ‘pocketable’.

An optical viewfinder is a rarity in a Micro Four Thirds or interchangeable lens camera – you only have the LCD.

They are expensive compared to entry-level DSLRs. In many cases, you can buy a DSLR with similar performance for the same amount or less.

Limited and more expensive accessories – since the market is limited, add-on lenses and accessories tend to be more expensive than DSLRs.

Compact body

The absence of a mirror and in certain models, the lack of an optical viewfinder is the main reason for the compact size of mirrorless cameras. Usually, they are half the weight of a DSLR.

Video

Most mirrorless cameras can record full HD video and that too with continuous autofocus – a feature that most DSLRs lack.

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