AbrasiveReducer: I hope Roger will do a dictionary of cliches as well, starting with "built like a tank". Is there any photo equipment that isn't built like a tank? Didn't think so.
It should be: "Built like an Armored Fighting Vehicle with heavy armor protection and big main gun, i.e. tank" And no, I don't think there are such cameras, unless you count the thermal cameras and image intensifiers on the actual "tanks" (see above) of modern variety...
TitusXIII: 13MP crammed unto a smart phone size sensor is nothing but a disaster.Expect nothing but unacceptable amounts of noise on all the photos.
It probably has the same Sony sensor as the XPeria Z and Samsung Galaxy S4. So nothing new there; the Xperia Z was launched more than 6 months ago.
pulsar123: Even though obviously a gimmick (I can't image what one would want to shoot at 1200mm equivalent FL; this is the domain for telescopes, with their massive stable tripods and star tracking motors), the lens's FL range is quite impressive from a lens designer's point of view. In addition, the maximum aperture is 36mm (at the long end), which is also impressive for a P&S camera.
Wildlife is a wide concept. I agree that 1200 mm zoom is useful for birds, but you usually do not need that long lens for large mammals. Small mammals are mostly nocturnal, so a slow lens with a small sensor is very suboptimal, and you can't spot them from very far in any case. Small reptiles and amphibians are in general also difficult to spot from far away, although I admit such a lens could sometimes be useful in shooting them.
ShutterbugDougG: Re: 20-1200mm zoom, I'm waiting for this crazy lens technology to make it into the SLR space - that is, hoping for small and lightweight Bigma alternatives.
Even with a small sensor the lens would not be very small, because ILCs do not use motorized collapsible zooms like compact cameras. Pentax has not jumped to the opportunity to provide a superzoom lens for the Q system and the reason is clear: the Q system is all about small size and a 20x zoom would not be that small even if it would be technically quite possible.
ZAnton: Same camera & specs with 1/1.7" sensor please.
Fujifilm has made several superzooms with 2/3" or 1/1.6" sensors over the years. The X-S1 is the latest one. They always end up huge, heavy and quite expensive. 1/1.7" isn't that much smaller than 2/3", so I doubt any company could make one profitably at less than $500 even with "just" a 20x zoom. Perhaps if they made the lens something like f/3.5 to f/6.3, but what would be the point of that?
onlooker: Interesting that this mirror lens is so much more expensive than Samyang 500 mm mirror (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/859194-REG/Samyang_SY500MF6_3_500mm_f_6_3_Mirror_Lens.html).
I haven't tried it, but there's according to some reviews the old Samyang or Centon 500 mm mirror lens is a really bad and nearly useless in practice.
JackM: What a bizarre week of slow lenses.
Not that fast... Tamron made a 350 mm f/5.6 back in the day and there has also been some 500 mm f/5.6 lenses. Typically 500 mm mirror lenses were f/8, so this new Samyang lens is pretty much average.
What I really love about Leica is that the leather never-ready case has a cutout where the Leica badge is, so everyone can see the brand of your camera easily ;-)
BobORama: Who has voluntarily used a GIF in the last decade anyway?
As far as hard vs soft "G" he's wrong, its hard G. Any other pronunciation makes you look like a moron. Perhaps we can start calling JPG's Gee-Pegs.
Yeah, it's still used where space is tight, although for most purposes (=more than 256 color is needed) either JPG or PNG is much superior.
3.28 ft = 10 meters...
Mahmoud Mousef: Soak in the bargains while the getting's good.
Soon most manufacturers will be thinning their compact camera line-ups out and those that are around will resemble thin phones :)
I already see some action in this area. Manufacturers now think that by making their cameras look and act like phones, they can rescue lowered sales performance.
The ultracompacts are not a new phenomenon. For example the main selling point of folded optics cameras has been the thinness for some time now. Unfortunately you still can't get to modern smartphone kind of slimness even with folded optics.
Nathebeach: Smart move. As cell phone camera quaity approaches and surpasses some compacts, camera makers have to boost quality to give people a reason to spend hard earned money on a "second camera" (the cell being the first).
I am not talking about the pro-sumers and enthusiasts. I am talking about the target audience of people buying their first camera. Camera makers need to capitalize on that market. If they don't, they may end up like Kodak.
I suppose it would have been the Powershot N, which has WiFi, uploading to social media and a companion smartphone app. It's also pretty small but still has an 8x zoom. It's an interesting idea that might work. At least it makes more sense to me than the Samsung Galaxy Camera, which is basically a travel zoom with Android and excessive price tag.
Marty4650: The low end Olympus P&S cameras should have been axed years ago.
Even if their sales numbers weren't declining, they weren't offering anything better (or more often, not as good as) Canon and Panasonic does in this category. So declining sales are the final straw, and they had to go.
Right now, Olympus needs to retrench and trim their imaging division down to only three lines.... those things they do best:
- M4/3 cameras and lenses- XZ enthusiast cameras- Tough weather proof cameras
Everything else should go. Not just the cheap P&S cameras, but the travel zooms and superzooms too. If they can't excel at a category, then they should just avoid it, and let someone else who can do it better have what's left of the declining niche.
Super/travelzooms probably have higher profit margins than cheap P&S. They share mostly the same electronics and small 1/2.33" sensors (=dirt cheap today), but have more expensive optics. However, they are still priced a good deal higher also, so my estimation is that the profit margins are higher for them. The relatively small glass (even for superzooms) that the small sensors need is not that much more costly to make.
To be fair, cell phone camera quality in general still does not surpass even the cheap compacts. Quite the contrary in fact; my four year old cheap Canon A1000 IS still beats my Sony Xperia acro S at ISO 100-200. At higher ISOs they are about equal. There are some marginally better camera phones than the acro S, but still from pure image quality criteria even cheap compacts are still superior to most high end camera phones (the only notable exceptions are the Nokia N8 and 808 with their much larger sensors).
However, image quality is not the important thing here. For many of the casual photographers camera phones are "good enough" and they have much superior convenience for sharing, whether it's social networks, plain old email or even MMS (which is popular in some countries).
DLBlack: It is sad news that Olympus is dumping their p&s cameras. Still for most people the smartphone/table photos are good enough and their is no need to carry multiple devices if one is good enough.
I keep hearing that P&S cameras was where the big profits were. So with P&S cameras gone then the price of high-end cameras are going to have to go up some.
The day is near that cameras and phone/tables are going to work together. It has started with wifi connectivity in cameras. The Canon N, which is extremely small has wifi might be useful if one wants a little better than a smartphone/tablet but not interchangeable lens camera. A ruggedize sprt camera with WIFI coul be userful to. Panasonic has a ruggedize sport camer with wifi. So there is a place for a P&S camera but it is not your regular p&s camera. It has been replace by the smartphone/tablet.
I don't think you can make such a long zoom easily with folding optics. They seem to have something like 5x zooms at the most, and of course folding optics are a big compromise quality-wise.
historianx: What Oly should do is develop and release a bridge s/z similar to the Pannie FZ200 but with a 1" or 4/3 sensor and some sorta sweet 25-600 or higher constant 2.8 Zuiko Digital lens. Take that, Panny AND Leica.
On the other hand, look how HUGE the Fujifilm X-S1 is. It has a longer zoom (24-634mm) than you are suggesting, but on the other hand it has "only" a 2/3" sensor and f/2.8-f/5.6. This suggest to me that the only way you could do a manageable superzoom with a 1" sensor and fast lens would be to go for something like a 16x zoom, MAX, and still it would not be small.
Not since sub-$200 P&S became commonplace. The competition in that segment was intense even before smartphones became a major competitor, which inevitable meant smaller profit margins. Everybody and their cat & dog is in that market; not just the major brands, but also regional "recycled" brands like Praktika and Rollei in Germany, which sell mostly rebranded OEM-designs.
justmeMN: Can Olympus' high-end cameras generate enough profit to make their camera division viable? I doubt it, but time will tell.
They are not (yet) deleting the mid-range P&S cameras and superzooms, namely the S-series or the T-series ruggedized cameras. They even just extended the "enthusiast" ZX-series to the mid-range with the smaller sensor ZX-10.
Like I have said before, I don't think low end P&S will be totally replaced by smartphones as long as the latter don't have optical zooms. While the effect of smartphones on low end P&S sales is undeniable, the P&S market is also well saturated by this point. In other words, most people who can afford one already have a P&S with at least 10 MP sensor and they see very little reason to upgrade. In addition, a large part of the traditional camera market, namely Europe, is still suffering from varying degrees of economic hardship. This is the another reason for slower P&S sales that is often ignored by people who predict that smartphones will totally take over casual photography.
The problem with Photoshop and the rest of the CS is that they are expensive, which encourages pirating. However, they are specialized niche software, so Adobe really can't sell them at very affordable prices. So I kind of understand this move, although I think they won't succeed in getting enough subscriptions and will have to reverse their policy. Personally I have been using PSP and GIMP for a long time now, and they are "good enough", while they still lack some of the more advanced functionality of PS.