With the launch of the Nikon Coolpix A we marvelled at how, in the space of a year, the idea of a large sensor compact with a fixed, prime lens, has gone from being an obscure niche (as it was when Sigma launched the original DP1) to a burgeoning and competitive area of the market. Now, with the Ricoh GR, Pentax Ricoh has added to this trend by introducing an APS-C compact with a fixed 28mm equivalent F2.8 lens.
The Nikon is an obvious reference point for this camera, since they share the same field-of-view, the same maximum aperture and, quite plausibly, the same sensor. But it’s important to give credit to Ricoh as the only manufacturer to have a continued history of building compact cameras with prime lenses. The GR is not just the immediate successor to a line of enthusiast compacts with bright, fixed-focal-length lenses, it’s the continuation of a range that dates back into the film era.
Ricoh GR key specifications
- 16.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor with no low-pass filter
- 18.5mm (28mm equivalent) F2.8 lens
- ISO 100-25,600
- 3.0″ 1.2m dot LCD
- Up to 4fps continuous shooting
- 1080p movies at 24, 25 or 30fps
- 12-bit Raw in DNG format
- 10MP 35mm equivalent crop mode
- Built-in 2-stop ND filter
However, while much of the Ricoh’s core specification looks similar to the Coolpix A, there is at least one significant difference – the price. Whereas Nikon decided it could ask $1,100 for the Coolpix A, Pentax Ricoh has been much more aggressive – asking just $800 for the GR.
Interestingly for a camera with such deep Ricoh roots – the GR is the first camera to show signs of the company’s purchase of Pentax. The camera gains the Pentax TAv (Time and Aperture priority) mode, allowing the photographer to specify both shutter speed and aperture, with the camera selecting the appropriate ISO. Having this option as a dedicated mode, rather than letting AutoISO operate in Manual exposure mode as some recent cameras have, has the benefit that it’s been properly thought out, so you still have access to exposure compensation. It also avoids the logical inconsistency of having the camera make decisions for you in a supposedly manual mode.
Beyond this, the GR uses an interface that’s consistent with previous Ricoh models – and that’s something we’re delighted to see. We’ve often referred to the Ricoh interface (as used in the GRD and GXR models) as arguably the best enthusiast-focused interface on a compact camera, so we’re delighted to see it retained.
Existing Ricoh users will be pleased to hear that the GR is still capable of interval shooting and has retained the much-loved Snap Focus and Full Press Snap focus modes that push focus to a pre-determined distance to make it easy to get grab shots.
The GR also perpetuates something of a history shared by Ricoh and Pentax – the ability to shoot Raw files conforming to Adobe’s DNG open standard.
28mm equivalent GR lens
The Ricoh uses a 28mm equivalent F2.8 lens – an apparent step down from the F1.9 lens offered on the GRD IV but, as a result of the much larger sensor, actually effectively two stops more capable in terms of depth-of-field control and light-gathering capability.
The design features seven elements (two of which are aspheric) in five groups and there’s a 9-blade diaphragm nestling inside. As with many cameras with a shutter in the lens, the maximum shutter speed is limited by the selected aperture.
The Ricoh GR can capture 1080p movies at 24, 25 or 30 frames per second and save them in the MOV format with H.264 compression. It doesn’t include a socket for an external mic, limiting audio quality by having to rely on built-in stereo microphones.
There’s no exposure control when shooting movies (not even exposure compensation), so videographers shouldn’t get too excited by the idea of the GR. You can apply many of the camera’s film-related ‘Effects’ processing modes to the footage, but that’s about it, in terms of control.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Review
Since the introduction of the Lumix DMC-GH1 back in 2009, the GH-series’ place in Panasonic’s Lumix lineup has been clear; a flagship stills and video model designed for enthusiasts who demand a well-handling, responsive and customizable camera with all the latest technology the company has to offer. The goal was to show that a camera did not need to be the size of a DSLR to perform like one. The enthusiastic and largely unanticipated response to the GH2′s movie capabilities by working videographers (Google ‘GH2 video hack’ to get an idea for how keenly its capabilities are being exploited) has meant that Panasonic must now also consider that its camera is being integrated into professional video rigs.
With the announcement of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3, it’s clear that Panasonic believes accessible manual camera controls, durable build and video capability can sell a camera, without depending on the Micro Four Thirds advantage of smaller body sizes. If that sounds like a description of a mid-range DSLR then it probably should – this is the most DSLR-like Micro Four Thirds model yet, with dimensions that essentially match those of the APS-C Sony SLT-A65.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 key features
- 16MP Live MOS sensor with three-core Venus 7 FHD engine
- Magnesium alloy body with weather sealing (dust and splash proof)
- ISO 200-12800 (extended range of ISO 125-25600)
- 6 fps continuous shooting
- AF speed of 0.07 seconds
- 1.7 million dot equiv. 16:9 ratio OLED viewfinder (873 x 500 pixels)
- 614k dot 3″ OLED rear screen (640 x 480 pixels)
- Full HD 60p/50p video with 30p/25p option
- MOV (h.264), MP4 and AVCHD formats
- Video bit rates of 50Mbps in IPB and 72Mbps in All-I compression modes
- Timecode support in MOV(H.264) and AVCHD formats
- 3.5mm mic socket and headphone socket
- Four channel wireless control for the optional DMW-FL360L external flash
- PC socket
- iOS and Android app control via Wi-Fi
Samsung’s NX1100 SMART Camera Blends Professional Image Quality, with Instant Photo Sharing and Editing
Samsung Electronics America, Inc., today announced that the new NX1100, compact system camera (CSC) with built-in Wi-Fi and AutoShare,
“Never before has Samsung offered a SMART Camera with this level of image quality and AutoShare at this price point,” said Ron Gazzola, vice president, marketing for digital imaging, Samsung Electronics America. “Bundled with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, the NX1100 is a great introduction for photographers in the CSC category and ideal for consumer photographers looking to upgrade their photo taking, editing and sharing experience.”
Portable, powerful fashion forward camera
Boasting a 20.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and fast shutter speeds of up to 1/4000 seconds, the sleek NX1100 captures premium photos and videos that are the standard of Samsung’s NX Series. The Samsung NX1100 offers a large, bright 3.0-inch LCD screen for composing images, 1080p HD video capture, and technologies like Smart Auto 2.0, which allows even a novice photographer to take pictures like an expert.
Sharing made easier
The sleek NX1100 makes it easy to capture and share memories using Samsung SMART Camera 2.0 features. With the touch of a button, consumers can connect via Wi-Fi thanks to a dedicated Smart Link Hot Key on the top of the camera that shares photos instantly and securely between the camera and a mobile device or directly to social media sites like Facebook and YouTube.
The Samsung SMART Camera App, available for both Android and iOS, creates a secure connection with the camera. The NX1100 is able to detect and auto-connect to a mobile device wirelessly whenever any of the SMART Camera features are activated. These include AutoShare, which automatically sends full resolution images and video to your mobile device; Mobile Link, which allows users to select and transfer images or albums from the camera directly to your smartphone at their leisure; and Remote Viewfinder, which provides users the ability to control the camera from a smartphone or tablet.
Edit like a pro with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Adding more value to the NX1100, the camera comes bundled with Lightroom 4, the essential digital photography workflow solution, helping amateur and professional photographers quickly import, manage, enhance and showcase all their images within one application. Lightroom 4 is a $149 value and easily upgradeable once future versions are released.
Creativity is a Snap
Expression through photography is made a reality for photographers at any level with the NX1100. With the Smart Auto setting, the camera analyzes, identifies and automatically selects the most appropriate scene mode for the best results. Scene detection technology identifies the conditions and automatically adjusts settings to help achieve dynamic images—whether photos are taken at a low-light fashion event or while capturing dazzling fireworks at a summer gathering. For users seeking more control, the Smart Panel feature allows them to explore their own photography skills with Full Manual Control settings for aperture, shutter speed, flash intensity and more – all from a single, intuitive menu screen.
The NX1100 touts ten exclusive Smart Filters and a new Selective Color function, which allows users to isolate a single color in an image for a dramatic effect. Capturing an expansive scene is also a breeze, thanks to the innovative 3D Panorama feature that creates immersive shots of landscapes and scenery.
BlackBerry users have something to look forward to in the new year. RIM (Research in Motion) has announced it will be holding an event on January 30, 2013 to release the latest BlackBerry developments.
BlackBerry 10 was in the news last week when it passed its U.S. security clearance. The super secure operating system promises to be a user experience “that is unlike any smartphone on the market today.”
BlackBerry 10 promises to improve on its typing interface as well as introduce systems to keep your work data separated from your personal files. It is also going to introduce BlackBerry Hub—a tool similar to Android and iOS’s Notification Centers. RIM’s press release made no mention of BlackBerry 10’s photographic capabilities but it did promise a large catalog of applications across all categories.
BlackBerry 10 Launch Event to be Held on January 30th 2013
November 12, 2012
Waterloo, ON – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) announced today that it will hold its BlackBerry® 10 launch event on January 30th, 2013. The event will happen simultaneously in multiple countries around the world. This day will mark the official launch of its new platform – BlackBerry 10, as well as the unveiling of the first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Details on the smartphones and their availability will be announced at the event.
“In building BlackBerry 10, we set out to create a truly unique mobile computing experience that constantly adapts to your needs. Our team has been working tirelessly to bring our customers innovative features combined with a best in class browser, a rich application ecosystem, and cutting-edge multimedia capabilities. All of this will be integrated into a user experience – the BlackBerry Flow – that is unlike any smartphone on the market today,” said Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of Research In Motion. “Thanks to our strong partnerships with global carriers and a growing ecosystem of developers, we believe our customers will have the best experience possible with BlackBerry 10. We are looking forward to getting BlackBerry 10 in the hands of our customers around the world.”
BlackBerry 10 will offer a large catalog of the leading applications from across the globe and across all categories, including Games, Productivity, Social, Lifestyle and Leisure, Multimedia and Published Content, as well as applications designed for business and enterprise use.
The BlackBerry® 10 platform has recently achieved FIPS 140-2 certification, which means that government agencies will be able to deploy BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 as soon as it is available. This marks the first time BlackBerry products have been certified ahead of their launch. In addition, RIM recently announced that BlackBerry 10 smartphones have now entered more than 50 carrier labs with many more entries expected in the coming weeks.
Some key features of the new BlackBerry 10 devices already unveiled recently include:
BlackBerry Flow and BlackBerry Hub
BlackBerry® Flow is a new user experience that allows seamless navigation across open applications and the BlackBerry® Hub. All messages, notifications, feeds, and calendar events come into the BlackBerry Hub and no matter what the user is doing with the device, with a simple gesture, they can peek into the Hub at any time.
The BlackBerry Keyboard learns how you write and adapts to how you type so you can write faster and more accurately, giving you the kind of legendary typing experience that only BlackBerry can deliver.
BlackBerry® Balance™ offers the most elegant way to satisfy both customer and corporate needs without compromising on either. With BlackBerry Balance, personal apps and information are kept separate from work data, and the customer can switch from their personal to work profile with a simple gesture. The work profile is fully encrypted and secure, enabling organizations to protect their content and applications, while at the same time letting customers get the most out of their smartphone for their personal use.
Olloclip’s line of fitted iPhone lenses turn the 33mm camera into a wide-angle, fisheye or macro lens. Two months after the launch of the iPhone 5, the new Olloclip is ready just in time for the holidays.
While the product is essentially the same as before, Olloclip mentions the benefits of combining the accessory with the new panorama feature on iOS 6. When using the Olloclip’s fisheye or wide angle lens with iOS 6’s new panorama feature, iPhone photographers can capture a taller and wider composition.
This photo, featured on Olloclip’s Flickr page, shows a panorama taken with Olloclip’s wide angle lens.
We reviewed the Olloclip for iPhone 4/4S lenses in October and found them versatile, easy to use and well-made. We were also pleasantly surprised by the optical quality from the wide angle lens.