August 2011 news and reviews
We need video compression to handle the massive data we get from a 1080p video stream but on the flip side, video compression reduces the possible image quality we can get. This article helps you better understand how we deal with the implications of compressed data.
Just Posted: Studio comparison shots from the Sony DSC-HX100V. We've just got hold of Sony's latest superzoom, the 16.2MP HX100 and shot our standard test scene with it. It's built around the latest 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55mm) back illuminated CMOS sensor and offers a vast 27-810mm equivalent 30x zoom. Being Sony's top-of-the-range superzoom, it features a manual control ring that can be switched between controlling zoom and or manual focus. We also have one of its main rivals - the Panasonic DMC-FZ150 in the studio and will add that to the comparison tool as soon as we can.
Technology company ICVT has developed an method to optimize JPEG compression. The company's JPEGMini system analyses each image to assess the maximum compression that can be applied to an image without loss of perceptible quality. The company says you can expect a 50-80% reduction in filesize over a JPEG that hasn't been intelligently optimized. At present the system can only be used via the company's online service. Meanwhile, the news has prompted blog PetaPixel to reiterate the little-known quirk of Photoshop's JPEG quality slider that means your images may be better saved at quality 6 than 7. (via PetaPixel)
Accessory grip maker Richard Franiec has announced he is developing a grip for the Olympus PEN Lite (E-PL3). The grip closely mimics the designs he already makes for the Canon S90/S95, Olympus XZ-1, Leica D-Lux 4 and 5, and the Sigma DP series. The anodized aluminium grip attaches to the front of the camera using industrial-grade adhesive tape and provides a hand hold very similar to the one offered by the Panasonic GF2 and GF3. The first batch of grips will be available from mid-September at a cost of $34.95 plus shipping.
Lytro's announcement that it will be launching a plenoptic 'light field' camera that allows images to be re-focused after they've been taken, was met with equal amounts of interest and skepticism. Interested to find out more, we spoke to the company's founder and CEO, Ren Ng, to hear just what he has planned and how far towards a product the company has got.
Just Posted: Our group test of waterproof, rugged compact cameras. It's been two years since we last published a review of this class of cameras and a lot has happened in the meantime. Today's crop of rugged compacts are better specified and more competitively-priced than ever and, while most still look distinctly utilitarian, some are positively stylish. We've subjected six current models to our usual studio and real-world testing, on both dry land, and underwater. Click the link below to find our what we thought, and which cameras prevailed.