Barney, thanks for the great article! I absolutely consider the iPhone to be a serious camera for this use case. I have been taking hand-held panoramas for literally decades, and I have always sought out small and light cameras so that I will actually have the camera with me when the panoramic opportunity reveals itself. My first panos were shot on a Yashica Samurai half-frame film camera circa late '80s, where I hand-cut a series of prints with an X-acto knife and taped them together to get the pano. I extended this habit into earlier digital cameras using stitching software. When I bought my Sony Nex-5N, I was thrilled with its panoramic mode... until I started to use my iPhone 5. The ability to capture a spacious scene with the camera in your pocket greatly increases the chance that a panoramic image will be born. I've also found that in good light my iPhone is as good or better than the Sony for my needs. The increase in quality in the 5S is impressive and noteworthy.
Paul Janders: Only in the art world can you bastardize someone else's work and be rewarded for it.
uh right - that's a large part of how art functions - by re-interpreting what has gone before.
Basalite: Originally I was impressed by the images but the more I looked at them the more critical I have become. I think the worst one is "Migrant Mother" followed by Lincoln. It was a rainy day in Southern California and I'm not understanding the blotchy golden tone the Swedish "artist" decided to use. I had to redo the image and I think it looks much more natural.
I like your version. Why the antipathy to the other artist. She is an artist whether you like her work, or not. As are you. And what's with the "Swedish" epithet? What's your problem?
Paul B Jones: Not opposed on principle to this skill-requiring project but except for Anne Frank I don't see the colourized versions as adding anything of value to the world over the original black and whites. In fact, they look a bit like over-cooked HDR efforts.
@babalu - that is the first substantive criticism I have read in this thread, and now you call it out, I agree it's a mistake.
Zvonimir Tosic: A parody. In fact, this reminds me of the scene from the "2001: A Space Odyssey" film (yes, it was film-ed): An ape recognises a new tool. Ape grabs it and smashes everything around with it. Feels powerful, uses that tool to play, to kill prey, to kill other apes.
There is a fine line between "arghhh, I can do it", and "ought I do it?", which ape cannot recognise yet. People of 70, 100 or 150 years ago, didn't have tools we have today but they had vivid imagination to compensate and that is why those old images worked so well. Today, it seems the opposite is true.
So compared to the original "2001: A Space Odyssey", this is colour parody is same as "2001: A Space Travesty".
What, exactly, was destroyed by this creative act?
Marla2008: I beg to differ. I actually find it not only amazingly well achieved from a technical point of view, but also a very interesting alternative perception of an all important collective heritage. Replacing the originals would have been a crime, but both versions can coexist and complement each other in a very useful way. say bravo.
rfsIII: Just to be clear, for all her hard work, what this woman has done is created something called kitsch. For those of you who did not grow up in the last century, "kitsch" is a term that was first used by the Germans and it means artwork that's superficially appealing but not enlightening.
"Is a style of mass-produced art or design using cultural icons. The term is generally reserved for unsubstantial or gaudy works, or works that are calculated to have popular appeal. Kitsch mimics its immediate predecessor with no regard to ethics—it aims to copy the beautiful, not the good."
I respectfully disagree. They are well done and bring a new, imaginative, perspective to topics which in many cases could not be captured in color at the time.
Mike_Hessey: Sorry, most of these you have picked are certainly history for me. First digital camera was Nikon 900 (was it a Coolpix in those days?). Still have it somewhere. A set of best AA batteries would last, if I was very lucky, for 10 pictures, and it was S O S L O W - anything that moved at all was impossible to shoot. Later 990 was a vast improvement (compared with the 900!). Perhaps after that experience, I regard regard current 16M cameras as having achieved the 'sweet spot' in terms of IQ etc. 24M cameras (I have two) are fine as cameras, but the effect of the file size on both my 2012 Macbook Pro and 2013 PC is painful, and for my purposes (web postings, and prints up to A3+, or once 6ft by 8ft) this res is adequate.
I too wanted to put in a bad word for the Nikon Coolpix 900. Terrible battery life, horrible lack of speed, generally incredibly disappointing. I haven't forgiven Nikon, yet.
It looked like this: https://www.google.com/search?q=nikon+coolpix+900&client=firefox-a&hs=7Yf&sa=X&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=fflb&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ei=FS4UUsPHGOblyQHo9IHwAQ&ved=0CDUQsAQ&biw=1440&bih=787
simon65: Would be nice to see a picture of the G1-X up against a XXXD Canon DSLR for size comparison.
Thanks for that URL! Reveals just how chunky this new Canon is compared with the Panasonic and Sony MILCs.
jorepuusa: Lots of cameras, lots of comments about those cameras.But the main thing is missing. The visual quality of pictures taken by dpreview staffers is bad! Pictures are sadly amateurish, composition is nonexistence and there is no story in the pics.World leading site should have pleasing pictures of people holding cameras but it does not.But neither do other sites. It is a saddening truth that sites writing about cameras use pictures that are of very low visual standard.Now what does this mean?It means that people who write these laughable comments about how wrong tests or roundups are, do not understand about pictures at all cause never are the pictures estimated in these sites. So the only thing that matters are the knobs and pixels and those have nothing to do with pictures.Photography is really dying. This article and its comments are one proof about it.
DPR does some really great - I'd go so far as to say extraordinary - technical reviews which aren't available elsewhere. You can easily find vast troves of sample images on sites like Flickr if you need to evaluate image quality.
keepreal: I do not believe any mirrorless camera is ideal for serious photography not even as a second camera. My ideal would at worst be no bigger than or heavier than a Leica M3 with a good range of compact, light weight lenses including a 12-24mm equivalent that is not severely distorted when you use RAW. Electronic viewfinders appear to suffer from problems in certain conditions, so I insist upon an optical one approaching Leica quality. In spite of my reservations about EVF the NEX-7 might have been of some interest but for the hugely inflated price.
The idea of holding a camera away from your body to peer at a LCD screen on the back obliterated by bright sunlight, compose the image properly, hold the camera steady with your arm or arms away from your body is a joke.
Micro-miniaturisation of electronic circuits has not led to compact DSLRs like it could, just large heavy models with many useless features unnecessary complexity and bloated prices. The only winners are the manufacturers.
keepreal - with good practice (elbows tucked in) and the benefits of image stabilization etc., it's really not the problem you think it is.
ivey3721: Did Panasonic claim that GX1 compete against NEX5N, not NEX7?If GX1 is posintioned this way, would NEX-5n/GX1/E-P3 group makes more sense than a NEX-7/EP3/GX1?
I like those four groups - closer to my thought process, anyway. I put myself in group 3 (small enthusiast) - the camera, not me, that is.
Esa Tuunanen: Current mirrorless system cameras can't really be categorized well in any way.Instead of established groups like inside compacts and DLSRs they're more like compacts and DSLRs smashed together with feature sets and everything all over the place.Even prices don't follow feature sets and controls/ergonomy so well.
Also advertised features shouldn't be taken as equal: Settings in menus are far less usefull than direct controls.In the end none of the mirrorless cameras has controls equal to higher end DSLRs and either lack enough dials or bullet-point engineer settings in a way which isn't consistent and clear unlike direct button+turn of dial combination.
And despite of human hand setting limit for ergonomic size of body, grip and controls there's this manic obsessive size shrinking.While mirrorless concept enables small bodies it shouldn't mean small only-policy but diverse choises from compacts to real DSLR challenging high end bodies inside the system.
Failure to focus on moving targets is clearly a limitation of current mirrorless cameras because of contrast-detect AF. I have also read the phase-detect AF on DLSRs works better in lower light, and I sometimes find with my NEX-5N (which I use heavily in low light) I have to switch to manual focus with focus peaking to get those shots. Which works fine, when I have the time to get it done, but perhaps a DSLR would get more of those shots, too.
bgbs: I still view Mirrorless as more of a walk about camera. I can see NEX7 being used as a landscape camera as well, but that is about it. For every other kind of shooting you need a DSLR because with DSLR you invest into a whole system. You cannot use Mirrorless for serious flash photography for example. Limited lens selections are also a problem. Not much third-party accessories are available to improve photography.
I'm looking to buy V1 for casual walk about shooting when the price gets down, just because its fast and accurate AF makes it a worthy contender. The IQ out of that thing is more than enough for me. For serious work, I will still be using my DSLR.
Not everyone is willing to lug DSLRs about everywhere. Mirrorless cameras make serious photography more accessible and convenient, and for me that's the right balance. If you're happy with your DSLR and don't mind the size and weight of your system, you probably don't need a mirrorless camera. (By the way, how are they *not* system cameras? Micro 4/3 and Sony E-Mount are both public specs with third parties participating.)
Mannypr: I must admit mirrorless cameras are starting to produce photos of pretty good quality but after having seen samples carefully from all of these camera they still have a long way to go to compete with DSLR cameras . The problems that mirrorless camera confront is that when the mirrorless camera technology takes a step forward , DSLR do the same and get better , always keeping in front of the image quality produce by the latest mirrorless camera has to offer.
Another reason you might be seeing better images from DSLRs is the higher-end lenses being used with those cameras. Over time that gap will close. If you don't mind manual focus, you can already use almost any lens on micro 4/3 and Sony E-mount.
jagge: Interesting comment Mannypr.... Like many others you just dont get it at all, and one has to wonder if you at all did read the article.
This is the take home message : Mirroless cams like the nex5n is every bit as good in IQ as any midrange DSLR, going up to prosumer DSLR. Nex 7 goes beoynd them in IQ. You are plain wrong if you asume that DSLR is always a step in front, now they are actually a step behind.
That is the facts, and the interesting part is that for a long time Nikon and Canon didnt get it either so you are excused. It seems Canon are slowly getting the message, Nikon not so much I think they will miss the train completely it seems they simply are not inovative enough as a company.
The video quality is also very impressive, and the mirrorless design (continuous live view etc.) makes video very natural to use.
random78: While NEX-5N is great, it still suffers from the big-lens issue as NEX-C3 in the beginner section. Just like NEX-C3 was demoted in beginner section due to this issue, NEX-5N will also potentially loose out to NX200 for the same reasons and also because NX systems has a better lens lineup overall. So I think dpreview should re-assess this category once the review for NX200 is complete.
I opted for the NEX-5N because of its fabulous low-light capability. The kit lens is reasonably compact, and the overall system is compact in the sense you can very comfortably carry camera + 3 lenses in a small bag... but there are clear trade-offs. The Micro 4/3 system is significantly more compact overall; DSLRs are still the only way to get fast AF for fast action scenes, the Sony system sits somewhere in the middle with great low-light, medium size/weight, and lousy fast-action capability.
RLPhotoAndImaging: OK, so if they use the same APS-C sensors that are in their DSLRs, why can't they also use the same lenses? If Canon released a mirrorless body that used my EF lenses, I'd probably buy one. Until then, I'm enjoying my S100 and plan to buy the G13. My EOS system remains as my pro-gear.
The mirrorless cameras mostly use contrast-detect auto-focus, so while you can mechanically adapt your DSLR lenses to them, you have to focus them manually. With Sony's focus peaking technology, manual focus isn't bad, but it isn't the same as AF.