Cy Cheze: Insects may not have focal vision or perceive bokeh, but the perception of location and motion must be extremely acute.
Could the same approach be applied to laser guidance or sub-optical frequencies, such as infra-red or radar? Might result in one heckuva agile mechanical dragonfly to use for surveillance or as a drone. But the data or imaging would not resemble anything people are accustomed to "see." The "pictures" might differentiate objects and distances, but not resolve text or facial features. Just my ant-brained guess, mind you.
check out the dragonfly ocelli; it's a combination of artificial horizon and motion/acceleration detection (plus more) and replaces gyroscope systems as used in aircraft; gyroscopes are not an option at the small scale of insects. The median ocellus consists of about 1500 photoreceptors and a dozen nerve cells; it is tiny and very fast compared to our equivalent technology.
Dragonfly doesn't have the equivalent of GPS or Wifi though ;-)
kevin_r: So here we have a team of highly intelligent engineers work together, using the latest equipment and techniques in technology to create a very complex piece of equipment - which just so happens falls far short of the capabilities of the eye of the dragonfly.
The eye in the dragonfly is connected to an unbelievable control system which allows it to keep track of parallel flying insects and keep itself perfectly synchronized in order to fool the prey that it is not pursuing it.
So how does the dragonfly get to get it's eyes and control system together, all by the mindless, random machinations of biological mutations?
Me thinks it's a bridge too far. But then, your mileage may vary.
About the tech itself- great stuff! The possibilities for applications are almost endless.
Some of the control functions described by kevin_r are not handled by the dragonfly eye, but by its nervous system and the ocelli which are a different (tiny) organ that looks a bit like an eye. DARPA already made a crude copy of the ocelli system for use in very small drones. Next step: an artificial dragonfly that can keep airborne for hours instead of minutes like the current ones. Still a long way to go, and nature figured this out more than 100 million years ago ;-)
technic: good product differentiation IMHO, and unlike what Canon has been doing lately (me-too) they are first with this.
But very disappointing that they didn't use this same thinking for the 6D ... after all, on FF there is much more to save in size/weight while still keeping good ergonomics for the average user. And the 6D really needs a swivel screen for those special macro/nature/travel perspectives...
in the seventies small SLRs got popular, I used Olympus OM2 for many years. Maybe we can get a revival of that trend ;-)
The 40mm pancake is nice and good quality, but it's a very boring focal length. They need a good quality 15-24mm (nominal focal length) pancake for this camera - but maybe that isn't possible with a DSLR design ...
good product differentiation IMHO, and unlike what Canon has been doing lately (me-too) they are first with this.
forpetessake: Let's see, Sony RX100 cost 1/2 of this one, and has very similar lens on short end F/4.9 vs F/4.2 in FF equivalent. I would expect images at 28mm to be very close in all respects, but Sony has many other advantages. So if Nikon wants to compete in this segment, they should lower the price to under $500, otherwise it will be yet another fiasco.
I don't expect images at 28mm to be very close at all, unless stopped down to f/8 or so (and even then the Nikon will probably look better thanks to the bigger sensor). RX100 has a compromised lens, I think this Nikon will have much better IQ in the borders / corners near wide open.If it is worth double the RX100 price, that's another question. Definitely not for the average hobby photographer who wants longer focal lengths - but Coolpix A is a niche product for specific types of use.
sjgcit: I'm at a loss to know why anyone would get this thing, especially at £1000 each. It look quite lame compared to an RX100 ( which has a faster lens at 28mm and even zooms ).
A fixed lens camera needed to be at least f1.8 or f1.4 to attract enthusiasts at £1000.
The viewfinder price is practically an instruction not to buy the camera. You could hardly insult the buying public more.
So too expensive to attract consumers, but too inadequate to attract enthusiasts.
I bet the Coolpix A destroys the RX100 for corner sharpness near wide open, and for general IQ. If it doesn't than it is DOA.
And even though the lens is 'just' f/2.8, the equivalent aperture is about the same as for RX100 at 28mm effective.
sailorboy414: I have P300 and I am super happy with it. I didn't think P310 was an upgrade so I was waiting and waiting for this camera... but the lens kind of disappoints. Here is here dilemma.. this or the new Oly XZ-10. Oly has a smaller sensor, but a much better lens, focus/function ring and a touch screen. Same price. Which to get? Any opinions?
just wait for the reviews ... the XZ-10 sensor might be close in performance to the one from S110 and P330. If the XZ-10 lens is as good optically as the one on XZ-1/2 it could be a winner. But with the larger zoom range and lower price level, that remains to be seen.
I ditched the S110 because it needs too much in-camera processing to compensate for the very compact lens (just like RX100). Probably the P330 is a bit better optically, and I guess the XZ-10 needs even less internal processing - which usually means more even images across the frame.
'no source material' in 4K?? Nonsense, 4K is only 8 Megapixels, most digital cameras from the last ten years have this resolution for stills. Especially for DSLRs you need such resolution to see the pictures in optimal quality, the Nikon D800 mentioned has 4x the resolution of 4K for stills!!
And for video, many cheap cameras and some smarphones already offer 4K video capture, although often with some limitations. Can't be long before it is common technology.
I don't think 4K video on small screens makes sense, but for stills (professional image editing) it does.
DaveKaiPiper: I really do this is the way forward. 3d is pretty bad in an fairness and just is not an option for a home or house.
Also.. I wonder what this would be like to edit photography on ? Are there any graphics cards that could handle it ??
suitable graphics cards will be difficult to find for quite some time but you don't need them to use 4K images. The graphics can be built-in, a 4K TV set could display media content from USB or internal cardreader, and other devices have been shown that will allow hires photo editing, e.g. the Panasonic 20" 4K tablet.
Hinder: Is the human eye even capable of discerning between 1080 and 4X?
definitely, and also at much smaller sizes like 20" (for still images).
Debankur Mukherjee: The big question is - Do we really need 4k and 8k resolution at home ??
people fail to make a difference between viewing movies and still images - the eye scans and that makes a big difference for what can be seen in still images compared to video. Maybe for movies 4K is overkill for most viewers (not for me, but I agree that the content is more important), but for still images it definitely is not. And most photographers have plenty of 4K images to justify such a high quality screen when the price comes down to realistic levels (it need not be much more expensive than current displays, just wait a few years).
We don't make 4x6 inch prints with 72 dpi resolution, do we? But maybe some of the people who are negative about 4K don't need more than 72 dpi for their prints either...
GeorgeZ: Given that most PCs are still overwhelmed when they need to edit Full HD and that no TV and very few computer screens can display more than Full HD one has to wonder if 4K is what the industry should be pushing right now. Considering how long it took for TV stations to go HD (it's expensive!) I guess it'll take at least another 10 years before any major station goes 4K.
4K TV (8 Megapixels) is very nice for display of digital images. No need to have a 4K-capable PC, just use the embedded computer for a high quality viewer/slideshow program that displays content from USB port or cardreader slot.
But at the current $20-40K price it is still a niche market obviously ...
logbi77: Interesting to see how the XZ-2/P7700/EX2F compares to the old XZ-1/P7100/EX1.
good to hear that XZ-2 looks promising. I have my doubts about the size increase, but if it is that much better than the already good XZ-1 ...
technic: Will be interesting to know if any of the new quality compacts use this sensor. Doesn't seem likely given the time it takes to develop/produce a new camera, and looking at the specs of these cameras. LX-8, XZ-3, P7800 maybe?
"Sony stresses how well the sensor can receive light from oblique angles, thanks to its large pixel size" This comment is a bit weird though, some of the older 1/1.7"sensors must have even bigger pixel size ...
to Francis: jam-packed with pixels, what are you talking about? Even tiny 1/2.3" sensors already offer 16 MP on some current models ...
I would love Sony to put a lot more pixels on such a sensor, and add functionality like in the Nokia 808, for even better lens corrections and other PP.
Cy Cheze: Sony makes no 1/1.7" sensor cameras of its own. True or false?
SFAIK, no one but JVC is selling affordable 4k videocams, and the available 80' 4k display screens cost (gulp) $20k or more. 4k on any smaller screen loses its punch, except perhaps for gamers who sit close to screens or people who like to read tiny print.
With the 1920x1080 display market now saturated, the industry needs a new standard to drive sales, so 4k is bound to come. The chicken or egg question is how to promote sales of screens unless there is more real 4k content. Commercial content may not grow for years, or be too expensive, so an alternative is to offer cameras that shoot 4k video so that everyone can play with the same toys as Ron Howard or Scorcese. Will the results be the same? Of course not, but the fantasy is irresistable. And (ahah!) the buyers will have to get the proper 4k screens and hyped post-i7 computers necessary to view or edit the stuff: all engines of sales growth!
I bet there will be several affordable 4K videocams by next year, you can already buy (semi-)pro 4K gear for a few thousand $.
And regarding the displays: I would love a 4K TV just for showing my digital images to visitors, assuming it has a high quality image viewer/slideshow function from USB/card slot built in.
Will be interesting to know if any of the new quality compacts use this sensor. Doesn't seem likely given the time it takes to develop/produce a new camera, and looking at the specs of these cameras. LX-8, XZ-3, P7800 maybe?
I have used many wide converters, and this sure seems one of the best; wel done Fuji! Some of the images are better than dedicated APS-C SWA lenses! The distortion is not a problem, it can be cured with simple PP (at a small loss in corner resolution, almost every 'compact' and most m43 WA lenses rely on this).
Nice gallery too, some really inspired shots. Would have liked to see a few with the full sun or bright lights in the frame, because that is often a problem with WA converters (but the few with weak sun or backlighting look good!).
qwertyasdf: That lens mechanism...is slow operation a signature of Fuji?
maybe it's just part of the retro design ;)slow photography :)
technic: interesting to have so much choices for a quality compact. Seems to me that Sony stretched the limits of optics a bit too much with their RX100 (frequent decentering issues, soft corners, low closeup image quality). The XF1 retro design isn't my taste, but 25mm WA is a nice extra compared to the 28mm of RX100 (and XZ-1/XZ-2). Will be interesting to see how the lens performs, compared to RX100, XZ1 (with its great lens but smaller sensor) and S100 (even smaller but also a bit compromised lens).
yes, the lens needs to perform well wide open to compare favourably to RX100 (which needs 2-3 stops down for good corners). Better close up images could also be an advantage compared to RX100. Will have to wait for the reviews and real life experience regarding decentering issues ...
MortonH: Why all the focus on sensor sizes? Isn't pixel pitch more important? The RX100 has a larger sensor but nearly twice as many pixels. Or did I miss a square law somewhere?
no, sensor size is far more important to image quality than pixel pitch. It's all about the amount of light that is used to capture an image.Plus a larger sensor can have other advantages like more DOF control (although some users would consider that a disadvantage compared to their cameraphones ...).