New Camera Technology
It used to be that you picked a digital camera based on a few basic features- How many megapixels? How big is the screen? What kind of zoom does it have? But as cameras have rapidly improved, many of these features don’t mean much anymore. Almost all the cameras on the market today can make great images – and that makes shopping a lot more interesting. Since the basics are pretty well covered, the fun stuff today comes from new features and new technologies that weren’t available anywhere just a few years ago.
This year, lots of cameras are featuring Wi-Fi wireless networking, letting you send photos from your camera right to your phone or tablet. This is a great feature for couples where one enjoys taking pictures and the other wants to quickly share them online. Some cameras even let you use an app on your phone as a remote control for the camera, seeing what your camera sees on the screen, focusing, and taking the picture all from your Apple or Android device! The app can be installed on their phone or tablet and when the camera is powered on, they’ll be able to access those photos. Ask us for a quick demo the next time you’re at Dan’s!
New features for DSLRs
It’s common now for DSLR cameras to capture video at full 1080p HD resolution, at 60 frames per second. That high frame rate is great for capturing fast action without motion blur. Autofocus for video has come a long way from what it was just a year or two ago, and microphone & headphone jacks are now standard, giving you access to professional grade audio quality.
This year we’re seeing much more affordable full-frame camera systems too. For example, the Nikon D610 is only $1599.99 after Instant Savings, and the Canon 6D is $1699.99 after $200.00 mail-in rebate. These cameras feature a larger sensor than the size found in most DSLRs, and would have cost thousands of dollars more not too long ago. If you’ve been thinking about a full-frame camera system, there’s never been a better time to get started.
relative camera sensor sizes
Compact System Cameras
(or “mirrorless” interchangeable lens cameras)
These little cameras have been around for a while, but recently we’ve seen them go from an interesting alternative to a fully capable category all to themselves. They cut down on size and weight by eliminating the traditional mirror and prism viewfinder, for a camera that’s much smaller than a DSLR but with much better performance than “point & shoot” cameras. With simple operation if you want it but full creative control available, these small cameras pack a big punch of photographic power.
While the DSLRs have pretty much settled into a standard features, these relative newcomers are showing off lots of innovation. Higher end models like the Olympus OM-D family and the Fujifilm X series rival the performance of professional-level SLRs, and many pros are finding a place for new systems in their bag.
GoPro HERO4 action cameras
These tiny waterproof & shockproof video cameras, favored by everyone from bungee jumpers to dogs on skateboards, have two new models and featuring a lot of great features. The new HERO4 Silver Edition ($399.99) is similar to the previous top-of-the-line camera, but with a new built-in touchscreen display – a first for GoPro. And the new HERO4 Black Edition ($499.99) is the most advanced GoPro ever, featuring super high-resolution 4K video at 30 frames/sec. and 1080p HD video at 120 frames/sec., letting you create amazing slow-motion effects. It’s waterproof all the way down to 131 feet, and captures 12 megapixel photos at a blistering 30 frames per second!
If that wasn’t enough, Night Photo and Night Lapse modes let you capture the night sky in a whole new way, with exposure settings for both single photos and time-lapse video. And as always, GoPro accessories can help you use these amazing little cameras in just about any situation you can imagine.
Image Capture Re-Invented: The Lytro Illum Light Field Camera
At the cutting edge of photo technology, a company called Lytro has recently introduced the first high-end light field camera – capturing the direction, color, and brightness of the rays of light within the frame and giving you the ability to explore your pictures from different perspectives, focal points and dimensions after the picture is taken.
Click anywhere inside this picture to refocus the image
ILLIUM features a 30-250mm f/2 lens, and captures what they call a 40 Megaray image. That translates into a roughly 4 megapixel file in terms of output resolution, but that’s with layers of added image information impossible to capture with a standard camera in one shot. You’ll want to see this one in person to really understand exactly what it does. It’s going to be interesting to watch this company and see how they develop the ideas in this entirely new type of camera. Stop by and check it out!