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The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
1 Ten one-of-a-kind cameras from the 21st century
In the early years of digital cameras, manufacturers were experimenting in a number of areas. Some cameras used PC Cards to store images, while others tried floppies and CDs. On other cameras, an LCD - something we all take for granted now - was an optional feature. Form definitely followed function, as you can see when you look at the designs of early cameras.
In the early 21st century, digital camera technology grew at an incredible pace. Whether it was resolution, zoom power, or LCD size, it was up, up, and away. Camera designs started to become a bit more conventional, as manufacturers learned to stuff everything into a more traditionally styled body.
That doesn't mean that there weren't some out-of-the-ordinary cameras over the last thirteen years. Camera makers tried different features and designs, and some stuck, while others didn't last long.
In this article I'll be taking a look at ten of the most unusual cameras from the year 2000 to the present.
Olympus and Polaroid announced the Camedia C-211 Zoom in July 2000. This pairing led to exactly what one would expect: a digital camera that could produce prints on Polaroid film.
|The Olympus C-211Z was a large, vertically oriented camera that printed onto Polaroid film|
The C-211 Zoom was a giant camera, which isn't surprising when you consider that it also had to make those prints. At 178mm (7 in.) tall and weighing 680 g (1.5 lbs), the C-211Z wasn't something you'd carry around in your pocket.
On the camera side, the C-211Z was standard issue. It had a 2.1 megapixel CCD, 3X optical zoom lens (35-105mm equiv.), and used SmartMedia cards. Its 1.5-inch LCD used a new technology at the time, known as Hybrid Collector Backlight, which used ambient light to illuminate the screen outdoors. To turn this on, you'd just flip a switch on the back of the camera.
|The most interesting thing to point out here - besides the dedicated print button - is that slot above the LCD. When you were outside. you'd flip a switch, which let you use ambient light to brighten the LCD.|
By now you probably want to hear about the C-211Z's printing capabilities. It used Polaroid 500 instant film cartridges, each of which held 10 prints. It took around 10-15 seconds to produce each 73 x 57mm (2.9 x 2.3 in.) print. Your print would come to life in 30-90 seconds, just like regular Polaroids.
The C-211Z was the only printing camera that Olympus ever made. Polaroid, on the other hand, is still at it.
I should disclose up front that I owned the Olympus E-10 - and loved it. The E-10 was a DSLR, but with a non-removable lens. It had a 4 megapixel, 2/3" CCD, fast F2.0-2.4 35-140mm lens, manual zoom and focus rings, a hot shoe and flash sync port, and support for a wired remote control.
|A cutaway of the lens and viewfinder design on the E-10 from Phil Askey's original review.|
But wait, there's more! The E-10 had a large TTL optical viewfinder that could be used alongside the live view on its 1.5-inch articulating LCD, courtesy of the 'beam splitter' shown above. Unfortunately, the quality of the live view was choppy and low resolution. The E-10 used an infrared focusing system, though its performance was nothing to write home about.
|The E-10 had more buttons and dials than you could shake a stick at.||The E-10 had a large TTL optical viewfinder and an articulating 1.8-inch LCD.|
Other features on the E-10 included support for shooting both Raw and TIFF images, twin-dial operation, dual memory card slots (for SmartMedia and CompactFlash), and an optional battery grip. And then there's this:
|The E-10 with the TCON-300S telephoto lens adapter. [Photo credit: David Weikel]|
The TCON-300S was a 3X teleconverter that boosted the top end of the E-10's zoom range to 420mm. Attaching this monster essentially doubled the weight of the camera, and it was unwieldy, to the say the least.
All was not perfect in E-10 land. The camera was very expensive at the time ($2000), and it had a problem with 'stuck pixels' and chromatic aberrations. Even so, the E-10 was the camera of choice for people who didn't need to change lenses, and had many fans (myself included).
On most digital camera designs, the lens usually places second fiddle to the body. On the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-707 - along with the F505 and F505V that came before it - it looked like the body was bolted onto its giant lens.
|The F707 had a hinge that allowed the body to rotate, while the lens was held steady.|
The F707's design was daring, and unfortunately, didn't last as long as some would've liked. A hinge located at the back of the lens allowed the photographer to tilt the body upward by 77 degrees, or down by 36 degrees. This gave you the much same advantages as the fully articulating LCDs found on other cameras, with that large lens serving as a sturdy grip.
|The body can tilt up 77 degrees...||... or down 36 degrees.|
The lens on the F707 was pretty spectacular, as well. Despite the misleading labeling on the side (which included digital zoom in the calculation), this is a 5X zoom, with an equivalent focal length of 38-190mm. This lens was also a fast one, with a maximum aperture of F2.0-2.4. The lens had a manual focus ring, though it was 'fly-by-wire' rather than mechanical.
Photos were composed on a 1.8" LCD with 123,000 dots, or via an electronic viewfinder with 180,000 dots, which was pretty good for those days.
|The laser pattern from the Hologram AF system.||Composing a photo in complete darkness using the NightFraming feature.
[Photo credit: Digital Camera Resource Page]
The DSC-F707 had a number of 'party tricks', as Phil Askey said in his review of the camera. The first one was actually very useful, and it was called Hologram AF. The camera had a Class 1 laser on the left side of the lens that shot a cross-hatch pattern on your subject, which the camera then used as a focusing aid. This feature was truly amazing, allowing for focusing in complete darkness (up to a certain distance, of course). It's a shame that Hologram AF only lasted for a few more models before Sony got rid of it.
The other neat feature, which, again, didn't last as long as some would've liked, is Nightshot. When turned on, the F707 moved its IR filter (a common feature on digital cameras) out of the light path. It then turned on a pair of IR emitters located above the lens. You were then able to compose and shoot photos in complete darkness, with a greenish tint similar to that of night-vision goggles.
A feature that took advantage of both Hologram AF and Nightshot was NightFraming. At the press of the shutter release button, the camera would switch into Nightshot mode, use Hologram AF to focus, and then switch back to 'normal' mode to take a flash photo. It worked very well.
Some clever photographers learned how to take advantage of the F707's Nightshot feature. By permanently locking the IR filter out of the light path (which was not an easy task), the F707 became a true infrared camera.
Jumping five years ahead we find another interesting Sony camera: the Cyber-shot DSC-R1. Unlike some of the cameras in this article and my previous one, the R1 wasn't particularly weird. Rather, it was groundbreaking.
|The DSC-R1 had a design not unlike that of the Cyber-shot DSC-D700 from 1999.|
The R1 was the first fixed-lens camera to utilize an APS-C-size sensor (of the 10-megapixel variety) - something that has only been repeated a handful of times. It was also the first camera of its type to use a CMOS sensor, which is what you'll find in most compact cameras these days. The DSC-R1 also did something that even DSLRs couldn't pull off in that era: full-time live view.
The R1's large sensor was paired with an F2.8-4.8 Carl Zeiss T* lens, with a focal length equivalent to 24-120mm. The lens had a mechanical zoom and electronic (fly-by-wire) focus rings.
You might expect a camera with these specs to cost a ton, but Sony priced it at just $999.
|The R1's articulating LCD flipped up, rather than down or to the side. Phil Askey was not impressed.||The hot shoe was awkwardly placed on the hand grip.|
Okay, it turns out I wasn't entirely honest about the DSC-R1's relative weirdness. Its 2-inch, 134k-dot LCD flipped up from the top of the camera, and could rotate 270 degrees. Because of the placement of the LCD, the camera's hot shoe ended up on the top of the right-hand grip. DPReview founder Phil Askey didn't care for the placement of the LCD, and found himself using the electronic viewfinder nearly all the time.
The R1 had a ton of manual controls, and was the first compact camera to support AdobeRGB in addition to sRGB. It could record Raw images, though Mr. Askey noted their large file size and slow write times. Despite a lengthy list of cons, the R1 was still impressive enough to earn DPReview's coveted 'Highly Recommended' award.
The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
When the Fujifilm X-T2 arrived, it was more than just a modest upgrade to the already impressive X-T1. While the new X-T3 hasn't changed the overall design of the camera, this model is way more than an upgrade; rather, it's a quantum leap.
The Movie Maker is a compact, motorized slider designed for phones, action cams and small mirrorless cameras. We think it's a fun little kit and a good value proposition for the cost, provided you can work around a few of its weak points.
Nikon's Z7 is the first camera to use the all-new Z-mount, the company's first new full-frame mount since 1959. We've put together our first impressions based on quality shooting time with a pre-production camera - check out what we've found.
What's the best camera for a parent? The best cameras for shooting kids and family must have fast autofocus, good low-light image quality and great video. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for parents, and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting landscapes? High resolution, weather-sealed bodies and wide dynamic range are all important. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting landscapes, and recommended the best.
What’s the best camera costing over $2000? The best high-end camera costing more than $2000 should have plenty of resolution, exceptional build quality, good 4K video capture and top-notch autofocus for advanced and professional users. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2000 and recommended the best.
|Abstract bokeh by Minas_Eye|
from Your City - Bokeh in the City (Rerun)
|Green Tree Frog by BruceRH|
|Custom Red Roadster by Mitchmeister|
from Car Shows 2018
At Sony's press conference at Photokina the company announced that 12 more E-mount lenses will be arriving over the next two years. In addition, the company is working to utilize artificial intelligence in its technologies, with one application being Eye AF trained to detect animal eyes.
Sigma has said it will create a full-frame Foveon camera and will adopt the Leica L mount for its system. It will be able to adapt or convert SA mount lenses to the L mount, for existing users.
Hasselblad is expanding their X System with their announcement of three new lenses: the XCD 80mm F1.9, XCD 65mm F2.8 and XCD 135mm F2.8, along with a teleconverter. The 80mm F1.9 is the fastest in the system. Get all the details and check out Hasselblad's official sample images here.
Sigma has announced the 56mm F1.4 DC DN lens for Micro Four Thirds and Sony E mounts. The compact 56mm lens becomes the sixth DN lens for mirrorless cameras and will make a handy portrait lens on both systems.
Sigma has announced the 28mm F1.4 Art, 40mm F1.4 Art, 70-200mm F2.8 Sport and 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 Sport lenses for several full frame lens mounts, including Canon, Nikon and, in the first two instances, Sony E.
ON1 has announced the impending launch of ON1 Photo RAW 2019. The new version, due out in November, brings a handful of new tools and features in a revamped interface.
Fujifilm has said it is developing a 100MP GFX medium format camera that will include both phase detection autofocus and in-body image stabilization. The 4K-capable camera will sell for around $10,000.
Leica has announced the S3 medium-format camera – an S2 successor with a 64MP sensor capable of 4K video.
The GFX 50R is a 50MP rangefinder-style mirrorless camera. It borrows heavily from the existing 50S model but in a smaller body and at a lower price. How does it differ?
Fujifilm has announced its GFX 50R, a rangefinder-styled version of the company's GFX 50S medium-format camera. The 'guts' of the two cameras are the same, with the difference being the design, weight and Bluetooth, all at a considerably lower price.
In this episode of DPReview TV, we get our hands on Fujifilm's GFX 50R which hides a medium-format sensor in a new, more compact body. Watch to get Chris and Jordan's first impressions on image quality, video and more.
Fujifilm is adding a trio of new medium-format lenses to its G-mount roadmap. GFX owners will soon be able to get their hands on 100-200mm F5.6, 45-100mm F4 and compact 50mm F3.5 lenses. Pricing and availability have not been announced.
Micro Four Thirds users will soon get a super fast, constant aperture wide angle zoom.
Panasonic has announced it is developing two full frame mirrorless cameras: the 47MP S1R and the 24MP S1. We've been shown fairly advanced-looking but non-functional prototype cameras, and have been able to squeeze a few details from Panasonic.
Panasonic is developing a pair of full-frame mirrorless cameras that use Leica's L-mount. The S1R will feature a 47MP sensor, while the S1 will be 24MP. Both cameras will support Dual IS shake reduction 4K/60p video capture and will have XQD and SD card slots.
Leica, Panasonic and Sigma are teaming up. Expect L-mount cameras from Panasonic as well as L-mount glass from Sigma.
Ricoh has announced the development of the GR III enthusiast compact, due to ship in early 2019. The camera gains sensor-shift image stabilization and an updated 24MP sensor with phase-detection. The 28mm equivalent F2.8 lens has also been redesigned and a touchscreen added.
The 'I'm Back' is now available for a range of old film-SLRs, such as Nikon's F-Series, the Olympus OM10 or the Canon AE-1.
IRIX has announced its latest lens, the 150mm F2.8 Macro 1:1. IRIX claims the lens features 'close to zero' distortion and stands out with its 150mm telephoto focal length.
The RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM is one of four lenses to launch with Canon's new full-frame mirrorless system, and it boasts the longest reach of the range. Take a look at some of the samples we've gathered thus far as our EOS R testing continues.
Nikon's Sendai factory in the Tōhoku region North of Japan has been churning out cameras and lenses since 1971. We had the opportunity recently to visit Sendai during events to mark the launch of Nikon's new Z mount.
There's no mistaking the Nikon Coolpix P1000 – with a 24-3000mm equivalent zoom, it really is in a class of its own. It's a conspicuous-looking superzoom with one main job: getting you really close to far away subjects. We've put together a gallery showing the kind of results you can expect from it.
A new report from The Verge claims Instagram is currently testing a feature that allows users to re-share posts to their own account feeds.
GoPro has announced its HERO7 camera lineup. The updated action cameras feature new HyperSmooth and TimeWarp modes, as well as improved video and photo specs.
The latest Samsung midrange smartphone offers a super-wide-angle lens in its triple-camera setup.
The Sony 24mm F1.4 is the latest lens to join the company's premium G Master lineup. We've been shooting with one for a couple of days - here's what you need to know.
Apple released iOS 12 a few days ago and some iPhone X users are less than happy with how the new operating system has made their phones look.
Camera bag manufacturer Lowepro has introduced mark II backpacks for its ProTactic AW range with models that are said to feature an improved handling experience as well as a collection of accessories that can be attached to the outside.
Canon has announced its latest superzoom camera, the PowerShot SX70 HS. Compared to the SX60 that came before it, the SX70 has the same lens but offers a higher resolution EVF, 4K video capture and support for Canon's new CR3 Raw format.
Cosina has announced its eighth lens designed specifically for Sony's E-mount system. The Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 lens is due out October 2018.