Just a few short years ago, we wouldn't even discussing smartphones versus digital cameras in the photography field. And in terms of professional photography, we still aren't. But for any Johnny-come-lately looking to snap a photo and upload it to Facebook, most modern smartphones suffice. It's because of this that smartphones have started to close the gap with digital cameras as the top device for taking pictures, but how far is the divide?
You'll have to excuse your Coolpix toting neighbor if he has a serious case of zoom envy when you proudly whip out your P500 digital camera. That's because Nikon outfitted the P500 with a 36x zoom, the longest zoom ever integrated into a Coolpix camera. Combined with the Nikkor ED glass lens, Nikon promises you'll be able to hone in on your subject with exceptional clarity, even in low-light conditions.
Sigma has gone and launched a high-end compact digital camera featuring a 14-megapixel FOVEON X3 direct image sensor, the DP2x. The new camera is the latest in the DP2 series and boasts an Analog Front End (AFE) and a faster autofocus, Sigma says. AFE is used in other Sigma cameras, like the DP1x compact and SD15 DSLR, in order to convert full color data.
Renowned lens maker Carl Zeiss has pledged support for the increasingly popular Micro Four Thirds System standard. It's a big win for the standard, which despite its growing popularity was still largely represented by just two major players: Olympus and Panasonic. Not anymore.
All is again well for Mirco Wilhelm, who earlier this week lost 4,000 images uploaded to Flickr over the course of five years when a Flickr employee inadvertently deleted his account, the LA Times reports. During an email exchange, Wilhelm was told that the staff member "mixed up the accounts and accidentally deleted" his. The staffer offered to restore his account, but said his photos were unrecoverable.
Three hours later, a followup email let Wilhelm know Flickr's IT team was working to bring his photos back from the digital grave, but Wilhelm's bigger concern was losing "5 years of community membership, contact, comments, internal and external links to my photos," all of which are hard to backup locally.
In the end, the Yahoo-owned photo sharing site managed to fully restore Wilhelm's account as it was before the accidental deletion and promised to "soon roll out functionality that will allow [Flickr] to restore deleted accounts more easily in the future."
Full HD recording is quickly becoming a standard feature in new point-n-shoot digital cameras, and this, along with several other features, are packed into Panasonic's new Lumix FX78 ultra-compact.
Despite its diminutive size, Panasonic equipped the FX78 with a 12.1 megapixel high-speed CCD sensor. It also boasts a new Smart Touch operation on its sizable 3.5-inch 16:9 LCD screen. One of the cooler bullet points is the ability to auto focus on a subject just by tapping it on the screen. Once touched, the FX78 tracks the subject, even if it/he/she moves about.
Other features include a Scene Selector mode, 24mm ultra-wide angle lens, 5x optical zoom, F2.5 aperture, image stabilization, face tracking, and more.
Panasonic will offer the Lumix F78 in gold and white models starting in March for an as-yet undetermined price.
More and more companies are mixing old school aesthetics with new school functionality, one of those being Fujifilm with the introduction of its FinePix X100 point-n-shoot digital camera.
Adorama has the pricey camera up for preorder at $1,200, though there's no word on when it will ship. That seems awfully high for a non-DSLR, but if you talk to Fujifilm, they'll tell you it's worth every penny.
"Inspired by the beauty and form of classic cameras from the past, the FinePix X100 combines all the latest technical digital innovations in a beautiful, traditional chassis which oozes class and prestige," Fujifilm explains.
Top-level dials made of metal offer up fine grain control over exposure when snapping 12.3MP photos. There's a programmed auto mode, aperture priority mode, shutter priority mode, and full manual mode, as well as a 2.8-inch LCD and high-speed contrast AF.
In case the SH100's 3-inch LCD screen isn't large enough, Samsung says its latest Wi-Fi enabled point-n-shoot can connect to your Android powered Galaxy S smartphone (which we presume to mean any Android phone) so you can preview shots in real time.
Perhaps that's a little gimmicky, but Samsung says you can also share your photos over the Internet and social networks, so long as you have Wi-Fi access. It can also automatically back up pics to your PC by pushing just two buttons, or by using DLNA to wirelessly connect to your HDTV and see your shots and videos right away, Samsung says.
Other features include a 14.2MP sensor, 720p movie mode, digital image stabilization, and a host of proprietary technologies. The SH100 will go on sale in March for $200.
Samsung's latest WB700 point-n-shoot digital camera lets you get up close and personal -- real close and personal -- with a 24X zoom lens. Skeptical? You should be -- it's actually a still-impressive 18X optical zoom supplemented by a 1.3X "Smart Zoom," Samsung says.
The camera sports a 24mm ultra-wide Schneider KREUZNACH lens and a 16MP CCD sensor. Full manual control is part of the spec sheet, and so is the ability to record full 1080p high definition videos (H.264 format).
Other notable features include RAW file format support, built-in software, an advanced noise reduction algorithm Samsung says "actively cancels out the zoom noise," andd digital image stabilization.
The makers of the Beta Shell lens case claim that their patent pending container will keep your camera lens safe from the elements, like snow and water, extreme thermals, jarring impacts, and even bombs.
Yes folks, the Beta Shell is supposedly "bombproof," and if that's a feature you need, perhaps you should look into another field of photography.
"Our water-tight rigid polymer shells are lined with vibration damping visco-elastic foam," the company explains. "This means total protection from moisture, impact, and extreme ambient temperatures."
Depending on your camera lens, the shells run anywhere from $54 to $84. Life insurance not included.