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Archive for the Cameras Category

RED Scarlet Camera

Posted by Scott




RED is finally bringing a prosumer class camera to bear and it looks like the release is imminent. While certainly not cheap at nearly $5,000 for the “lens and brain kit”, it certainly makes for a compelling alternative to the Canon 5D MK2. The aesthetics on the RED cameras (founded by Oakley’s Jim Jannard) are a little to reminiscent of those MP3 goggles Dog The Bounty Hunter wears but there’s no denying the quality of the output.

All the of RED stuff might as well be vaporware to me, I know it must exist somewhere but I’ve never seen it in person or even heard of anyone owning or using one of their cameras. Here’s a video of someone actually holding (apparently not using though) a Scarlet. I really like the screen configuration. Does anyone around here own or use a RED? Does it live up to the hype? Do you get free MP3 goggles with it?

Via Engadget

The First Digital Leica

Posted by Scott








This is the S1, Leica’s first digital camera. Introduced in 1996, it was a digital scanning back that could work with various lenses. Each exposure took 185 seconds to complete so had to be shot using continuous light. You might think that such an old digicam would produce inferior results, but apparently it was quite the opposite:

“Though slow, the S1 yielded 76Mb @ 24-bit (151Mb @ 48-bit), 5140 x 5140, 12-bit RGB image files that contained little if any of the artifacting, blooming, and fringing that continue to plague us to this very day” – B&H

And it operated at ISO 50! (the film speed) Pretty good for ’96, and it would only set you back $21,500… I’m loving the look of this thing which stands in stark contrast to the subsequent and far more familiar looking Leica S2 model. The second to last (with the rackmount processor) apparently depicts the “Highspeed Kit” which dramatically reduced the scanning time per image.

Here are some pages from the original brochure featuring some example output from the S1: Page 1 . Page 3 . Page 5 . Page 7 . Page 8

Image sources eBay Auction, B&H, Leica Forum via Gizmodo

Polaroid: The Rebirth of Cool?

Posted by Scott


Polaroid hinted at a potential rebirth for instant photography today with this teaser sent to Engadget. Looks intriguing; the slot at the front is just enough to get me lusting after this. Will be really interesting to see if they can recapture some of their former glory with a new instant camera. But in this day and age of 8MP camera phones I wonder if the thrill of the instant physical copy might be lost on most. How ever would you Facebook it!!?

I’m personally hoping for some nice balance of tempered throw-back aesthetics with a healthy dose of new features. From the vague image they’ve provided, it’s looking pretty clean. But knowing how they roll now, I’d be surprised if they really pull it off.

Of course, you can always just use Impossible Project film with your SX-70…

Via Engadget

Love for Leica






All of this recent hype about the FujiFilm X100 has really forwarded my attention towards Leica and some of their compact cameras. Namely the M8 and M9. Sure they may be expensive but it’s definitely on my “to own” list.

If you’ve used one of these or better yet own a Leica then I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Images via Ffffound

FUJIFILM FinePix X100







FujiFilm has just released a gorgeous, large-sensor compact camera that was inspired by traditional analog film cameras. The camera, called the FinePix X100, has a 12.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor (approx. 1.6x crop factor). The X100 also has this new feature called the ‘hybrid’ viewfinder that allows the user to switch between optical and electronic viewfinders and project shooting information into the optical viewfinder. If all that was too much for you, check out this video.

More importantly than that though, I find the subtle design of the lip over the LCD, the viewfinder flip switch and the shutter and aperture controls to really sell me on the design. Listed below are also more of the features that are sending me head over heals. Oh wait a second, news just coming in: the camera ships March 2011 for $1000!

I’m very tempted to pre-order, but what are your thoughts on the camera?

Specs to consider:
• 12.3MP Sensor
• 1280 x 720 HD Video w/ sound
• F2-F16 Lens
• ISO 100-12800
• 5 FPS Shooting
• 2.8″ LCD
• 127(W) × 75(H) × 54(D) mm in size
• More info here

NASA Hasselblad Auction

Posted by Scott





This “brand new”, supposedly made for NASA, Hasselblad MKWE can be yours for around $34K if you win this auction. It apparently comes as new in the original packaging. I love the concept of new-old stock; something about the idea of a product sitting undisturbed for decades in the original packaging is pretty cool. I have seen some classic synthesizers still sealed in the original box come up here and there on ebay, I even once saw a Rhodes piano, in the box, still unassembled. But none of those really compares to this beauty. The hardest part about getting this would be deciding whether to even use it or to preserve it in some sort of airtight viewing cube.

Auction via Sam Valenti

Nikon P7000

Posted by Scott




If you’re looking for a high end compact camera, the newly announced Nikon P7000 may just fit the bill. I’ve found myself leaving the full size SLR behind more and more lately so I’ve been thinking of filling the gap with something a bit more portable without sacrificing much in picture quality.

You can pick one up later this month for around $500. Plenty more info and specs over here.

Source Engadget

1975: The First Digital Camera

Posted by Scott




I’ve had these images laying around for ages and stumbled across them again tonight. This is a prototype digital camera Kodak produced way back in 1975. The “toaster-sized” system relied on a cassette tape for recording data. The digitized images took 23 seconds to record to tape which then had to be played back using a specialized system (shown in the second photo — note the name of the Motorola computer, “EXORciser”). This is one of those times where I’m tempted to say “look how far we’ve come in such a short time!”. But damn, 1975? I wasn’t even born. I never would have guessed they had this sort of tech back then.

I’m really not sure I’d be doing the things I do now if I was coming up back in those days. Either computers have made me lazy, or I’m just inherently lazy, but I honestly can’t imagine dealing with 23-second-per-image write times and cassette tapes.

Check out this piece about the process of creating the prototype by one of the original team members, Steve Sasson: Plugged In – We Had No Idea