Thursday, 20 October 2011

Lytro News: 'game changing' new camera

Startup Lytro have just launched what they hope will be a new disruptive technology into the world of digital imaging.

With a conventional camera, the frame is focused before the shot is taken, but with a Lytro, you can actually focus the image after the event.  Another selling point is without the need to autofocus, there is no shutter lag.  This may be very attractive when compared to compact cameras, but may not make a huge difference for a competent SLR user who will benefit from an advanced autofocus engine and high frame per second (fps).  (That said, we've all got the focus wrong on shots before!)

As a first generation product, it's inevitably going to cause some interest - and only real-world testing will show how its constant f/2 aperture 8x optical zoom lens performs.  It's also surprisingly keenly priced, at $399/$499 for 8Gb/16Gb versions.  

Without being shackled by the design considerations of a traditional camera,  they've produced a clean, simple design.  It will be interesting to see if they can maintain this simplicity in future generations - flash hot shoe, tripod mount,image stabilisation, etc...

In summary, well done to the team at Lytro - and please can I have one?!

More details at

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Canon News: EOS-1D X released

Canon has revealed the EOS-1D X – an 18.1 Megapixel, full-frame DSLR that features a high-precision 61-point AF system, an ISO range that’s expandable up to ISO 204,800, and a top continuous shooting speed of 14 frames per second (fps). 

The EOS-1D X sees the amalgamation of the two Canon EOS-1 series lines, and becomes the new flagship model in the Canon EOS DSLR range. Amongst the camera’s standout specifications are a high ISO sensitivity that’s the highest ISO yet available in any camera, Dual “DIGIC 5+” processors that offer two stops of noise processing benefit in comparison to the DIGIC 4 processors used in the EOS-1D Mark IV, better low light AF performance to EV -2, and a DIGIC 4 processor dedicated to the camera’s AE system. 

The EOS-1D X’s impressive specifications include:
  • An 18.1 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor.
  • A newly developed high-precision AF system with 61 user selectable AF points, 41 of which are cross-type points, and five dual cross-type points for extra precision.
  • A standard ISO range of 100 to 51,200 with three expansion settings – for ISO 50, 102,400 and 204,800.
  • Dual “DIGIC 5+” processors for fast image processing to deliver 18.1 Megapixel images at up to 12fps as standard and up to 14fps with super High Speed continuous.
  • Zone, Spot and AF Expansion focusing modes, plus subject type AF presets.
  • A 100,000-pixel RGB AE sensor with 252-zone metering powered by a dedicated DIGIC 4 processor.
  • +/-5 stops of exposure compensation.
  • A high-magnification transparent LCD viewfinder with 100% coverage with intelligent viewfinder display.
  • Super short 36ms shutter lag option.
  • 30-1/8000sec shutter speed range.
  • An 8.11cm (3.2”), 1.04 million pixel Clear View II LCD screen.
  • Full HD EOS Movie shooting with Inter frame or Intra frame compression.
  • Auto creation of new movie file once 4GB file limit reached.
  • Timecode setting for HD movie shooting.
  • Manual audio level control with live level meters and adjustment during recording.
  • An improved EOS Integrated Cleaning System (EICS).
  • Dual CF card slots.
  • Touch-pad control area for silent setting adjustment during movie recording.
 More details and images to follow...