The photos from most smartphones have gotten so good nowadays, they have basically killed the market for point-and-shoot cameras. That said sometimes you need a zoom. For people wanting to push image quality a little higher, there's still value in a small, compact camera with a (relatively) big sensor and a long reach.
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Here's my camera wishlist: I want it to be easy to use, not overly complicated, take great images that don't need a lot of post-processing in a range of environments, be portable (as in small enough to pop in my bag comfortably, rather than needing a bag of its own) and not -- possibly most importantly -- die immediately if I accidentally drop it.
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II promises to deliver on this wishlist of mine -- not only is it sturdy (read on to find out just how sturdy) and compact, it boasts Canon's new DIGIC 7 processor, coupled with a 1-inch 20.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and 4.2x optical zoom lens -- which makes for a photographic package that all but eliminates the need for anything but the most basic editing.
There are already countless vehicles that use multiple tiny cameras to give the driver an overhead view of what objects or obstacles are around their car while parking. But SPTek has developed a system that's able to show a driver what's around their vehicle while on the road, completely eliminating the blindspot that's responsible for so many accidents.
For most people, cameras are about taking photos. That's what they've been about since the Kodak box Brownies and Leica Is of the start of the 20th century. But at this point in time, this mark in our 21st century, cameras are about sharing photos. It sounds twee, but that's the reason that Flickr's most popular camera is an iPhone.
Bridging the world of taking good photos and sharing your experiences is a difficult task, and within the last few years we've seen some interesting, noble but ultimately imperfect experiments like the Polaroid Socialmatic and Samsung's own Galaxy K Zoom. But I think someone has finally got it right. Samsung's NX1 is the mirrorless camera that brings forth the strongest challenge yet to its professional full-frame competitors from Canon, Nikon and Sony.
The DSC-RX100 was instrumental in forging the high-end point and shoot category of digital cameras when it debuted in 2012. Last year's Mark II version was a minor spec bump, but the new RX100 Mark III has some startling features you'd never expect from a camera so small.
Today, Leica jumps into the future with the Leica T, a brand new camera and lens system from the storied maker of luxury cameras you can't afford. The new unibody shooter has a huge 3.7-inch touchscreen and a brand new interface that looks unlike anything we've ever seen on a camera before. It's gorgeous, it will take lovely photos, and of course, it's pricey -- a camera and lens will set you back nearly $5000 in Australia.
We were cautiously optimistic when the concept for the real-life Instagram camera, the Socialmatic, popped up online last year. Now, despite a few concerns, Polaroid is officially making the design a reality. The company is partnering with Socialmatic, and when the camera is available this fall, it will allow photographers to either instantly share their shots on "major social media networks" or just run off a hard copy using the device's built-in instant ZINK printer.
This time of year, when new digital cameras are being released left and right, is a great opportunity to look back on those pioneering shooters that led the charge from photochemical to digital supremacy. PopPhoto has a great rundown of the 30 most important digital cameras of all time. Here are our 10 favourites.
When it comes to high-speed photography -- and we're talking about freezing explosions and other occurrences that are over in just thousandths of a second -- something known as film-based streak photography has always been the go-to technology. But as film continues its slow death, a company called MetroLaser has come up with a digital alternative that can freeze objects moving at almost 12,000km/h, which is roughly 10 times the speed of sound.
It hasn't exactly been a runaway hit with consumers, but the Lytro camera introduced brilliant innovation to the world of digital photography. Its revolutionary optics capture an almost infinite depth of field, letting you adjust focus to whatever's in the frame when you're post-processing. But as researchers from Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany, have demonstrated with a new camera accessory, the Lytro is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Wall Street Journal pointed out today that while sales of point-and-shoot cameras have declined steadily over the past few years, DSLRs and other interchangeable-lens cameras have been doing great. That's right. People don't want to just take more photos than ever, they want to take better photos, with big-kid cameras. And that's not in spite of the smartphone revolution. It's because of it.