The Kindle Fire For Photographers

As a professional photographer who likes to travel light, I am keeping a close eye on the Amazon Kindle Fire. Here’s what we know about it so far:

The Amazon Kindle Fire has a 1024 x 600 pixel screen resolution at 169 ppi, showing 16 million colors. Therefore, it can be  the perfect portable device for storing and sharing photos and web pages. A photographer can use the Kindle Fire to keep a portfolio of work with them at all times. I imagined some possible uses of the Kindle Fire as a photographer’s tool on my last post. As a web designer it allows me to show people what I do without having to open a laptop. That makes it a handy business tool.

As a magazine reader, the Fire can be a great way to keep up with the steady flow of trade magazines for my profession, and my favorite photography magazines (including the always stunning Arizona Highways) without the bulk of print-based subscriptions.

Amazon’s cloud storage and cloud processing adds major appeal to the Kindle Fire experience. Amazon will back up any digital media you purchase (e-books, apps, music) and serve it back down to you at your convenience. Being able to have instant access to your archived media content also makes up somewhat for the limited storage on the device (just 8GB). In addition to archiving your purchased content, Amazon’s included Cloud Drive service offers to store another 5GB of any additional content you want to access (photos, music, documents, and so on). That Cloud Drive service can be a great way to back images online when you are out shooting all day and want to keep things light.

Adobe will soon release Photoshop Touch for Android. Since the Kindle Fire is an Android based tablet, Photoshop Touch will allow us to do some basic touch-screen based image editing. That is a big plus in my book, especially when you consider low $9.99 cost of Photoshop Touch.

Speedy web browsing is also promised. A unique Web browser called Silk is included on the Kindle Fire; it splits the work of loading Web pages between the device and Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) system, part ot Amazon’s cloud storage. The result, in theory, will be faster page loads, as well as some predictive loading of content and sites you access often. No other tablet on the market has a feature like this–not even Apple.

I’m liking the idea of a Kindle Fire more and more. With a bit of ingenuity, this may become the digital equivalent of a Swiss Army knife!


Nikon D7000: Review

Brought To You by Kai W.

Here’s a in-depth review of the Nikon’s newest the D700.

Nikon D800 – The best goes to those who wait?

by Raphael Chieza

It has been over 3 years since Nikon released its D700, a nice full frame camera that we use almost every day in the DR office. There have been dozens of rumours about a slightly improved 700S but we have pointed out that Nikon will skip 700S and release D800 with the D3S capability, better movie mode and increased sensor resolution. While we weren’t sure why a Nikon D4 won’t come out with these specs first, we were convinced in mid-2010 that a 16MP D800 was imminent. However Nikon decided to release D7000 instead, and we guess the D800 went back to the drawing board because it was not considered competitive enough to take on the 5DII market.

Now the D800 is going to be with us soon and we are super excited about it, at least spec wise. Perhaps we have been secretly hoping for so many years that Nikon would release something amazing to disrupt the DSLR video world currently occupied by Canon, we are very eager to find out exactly how video performs on the FX 18mps sensor and how AF works during video mode.

There are circulating rumours about a 36mp FX sensor being used in D800, which we don’t believe to be true. The following spec sheet is based on the best information we could get from our sources, and we believe Nikon has been focusing on – above all – boosting the video performance of the camera.

Nikon D800 Specifications

Sensor size 36.0 x 23.9mm Full Frame FX format
Sensor type CMOS sensor
Sensor resolution 18 megapixels
ISO Sensitivity ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (Extendable to 102400)
Continuous Burst Speed 6fps (8fps in DX mode)
Focus System Multi-CAM 3500FX 51-point AF
Video Mode Full HD 1920x1080p (24, 25, 30fps) and 720p (up to 60fps) with Stereo sound & AF
LCD 3-inch (921k dots) VGA LCD

Sony Alpha A77 vs. Canon EOS 7D


Before I start this comparison, I have to confess that I have been a Canon EOS 7D user from pretty much the time it hit the market. It’s been a great buddy in pretty much all my shoots and has become almost an extension of my hand. With the said, you can’t blame me for initially turning my nose up in disgust when I was told I was required to review a Sony camera and not even a “proper” DSLR at that but one of the SLT. However, reviewing the specs before getting my hands on theSony Alpha A77 really got me thinking whether Sony have finally got something serious going beyond the consumer crowd.

Sony Alpha A77 vs Canon EOS 7D – Reviewing the Specs


Canon EOS 7D

Sony Alpha SLT-A77

Sensor Type

APS-C CMOS sensor

APS-C CMOS sensor

Sensor Size

22.3 x 14.9mm

23.5 x 15.6mm

Effective Pixels

18.0 megapixels

24.3 megapixels


3-inch (920k dots) Clear View II LCD

3-inch (921k dots) Xtra Fine TruBlack LCD

Tilt LCD



Live View



Viewfinder Type



Viewfinder Resolution


2359k dots

Viewfinder Coverage

Approx. 100%


Viewfinder Magnification

Approx. 1.0x


Focusing Screen

Fixed (Transmissive LCD screen)


HD Movie

1920×1080 (30, 25, 24fps), 1280×720 (60, 50fps)

1920×1080 (60,50, 25, 24fps, AVCHD), 1440×1080 (30,25fps, MP4)

AF During Movie Recording



Max. Continuous Burst Speed

8fps (126JPEG / 15RAW)

12fps (17JPEG / 13 RAW)

Metering System

TTL full aperture metering with 63 zone Dual Layer SPC

TTL full aperture metering with 1200-zone evaluative metering

AF System

19-point cross type AF System

19-point (11p-point cross type) AF System

Built-in Image Stabilisation



Image Sensitivity (ISO)

AUTO(100-3200), 100-6400 (Expandable to 12800)


Shutter Speed Range

30-1/8000 sec, Bulb

30-1/8000 sec, Bulb

Built-in Flash



Memory Card Slot(s)

1x CF Card (Microdrive/UDMA compatible)


Body Material

Magnesium Alloy body covers

Magnesium Alloy and high-grade plastic exterior

Weight (Body Only)

Approx. 820g

Approx. 653g

Dimensions (W x H x D)

148.2 x 110.7 x 73.5mm

142.6 x 104.0 x 80.9




First thing you’ll pick up on from the spec sheet would be the sensor resolution of course. With a hard hitting 24.3 megapixels sensor in the Sony A77, it does make the otherwise very decent 18 megapixels sensor of the 7D feel a little low in comparison. Of course, with a resolution that is higher than that of the Canon 1Ds Mark III, you would expect it to be a bit slow and sluggish and not suitable to sports like the 7D is. Here again, Sony throws us a curve ball and completely overwhelms us with a 12fps continuous burst mode. Combining high resolution with high speed, the A77 does look mouth wateringly good. However, if you like to keep your finger on the shutter for more than a second or two, the larger number of JPEGs the Canon 7D can keep shooting still keeps it well in contention.

Another point of note is that, at least on paper, the Sony A77 seems to outgun the Canon 7D. While the focusing system on the Canon 7D appears better and the LCD size and resolution also look the same, the A77 shines with tiltable LCD, higher maximum ISO sensitivity and a much lighter weight for the body. The A77 also uses SD-family type cards as compared to CF cards of the 7D. However, this hardly seems worth commenting on anymore since better SDXC cards delivers excellent speed and reliability. Throw in built-in GPS and in-video full-time phase detection AF for the Sony A77 and you start considering the future possibility of a 7D Mark II.


How you eye your composition – Sony Alpha A77 vs Canon EOS 7D

Make no mistake, I still love the Canon 7D and of course the optical viewfinder is still very much that… optical. Perhaps the main reason for the long time gap from the Sony A55’s release to the “replacement” of the A700 is that a viable electronic viewfinder (EVF) needed to be in place. Hopefully without sounding too old school, I would say that if you are serious about your photography, composing with the viewfinder is pretty much a necessity in most cases where physical constraints don’t play a part. Using a consumer grade EVF for serious photography is like putting Fred Flintstone in place of the engine of your Bugatti Veyron. The 2.4M dots OLED EVF is definitely a vast improvement over the previous EVF offerings anywhere and makes using the A77 very comfortable. Is it as good as the optical viewfinder of the Canon 7D? Nah… I don’t think so. Still, given all the other goodies in the A77, I can accept the difference.


Is DSLT finally getting the best of DSLR?

Shooting with the A77 felt really responsive with the AF being very intelligent when I give it free rein. Built-in image stabilization also works better with an EVF because I can see how whether it’s doing enough to compensate as oppose to guess work for other DSLRs with built-in stabilization. The importance of image stabilization in lenses will diminish so that should allow you to save your money and use lighter non-IS lenses.

This of course draws the line of whether the Sony Alpha A77 is getting better of the DSLRs and of the Canon EOS 7D in particular. Well, I have to confess that it’s there. Sure, I won’t trade my 7D for the A77 or future SLT models anytime soon due to my personal preference but I will certainly be keeping an eye on what they come up with. If I was using a Canon 600D and did not have many lenses though, I would be looking long and hard on the A77, that’s for sure. The Sony A77 has proven that SLT and EVF technology are good enough to go beyond consumer expectations into the enthusiast / semi-pro segment. Whether it will make it higher will really depend on how the technology evolves.


Sony Alpha A77 vs Canon EOS 7D – My Conclusion

If you are still in the entry level DSLR range or simply don’t have many lenses so changing system won’t be an issue, get theSony A77. You are getting “more” features in the A77 as it is with the way of things when new “tech” products are released. However, if you are already experienced and use it mainly for stills, I am still tempted to say stick with the Canon 7D simply because it feels more pure. Mind you, that thought didn’t last long with me when I finally moved away from film shooting and embraced digital…




Well, I suppose it had to happen. I’ve got to do a Who Shoots Canon List, so here’s a Top 5 list of celebrities/well-known figures who use Canon DSLRs.

5. Elisha Cuthbert

To borrow a commonly used expression by her on-screen Dad in tv-series 24 – “Dammit” she’s a Canon user! She’s been papped here holding a Canon 450D on the beach.

4. Miley Cyrus

The star of Hannah Montana and daughter of Achy Breaky Heart singer Billy Ray Cyrus uses a Canon 5D Mark II. She uses a Leica too, so she does have good taste.

3. Seal

Another famous Leica user, who came out with some superb, classic songs and is married to supermodel Heidi Klum. That’s a Canon 1D Mk III in his hands. No, really.

2. “King of Siam” (Thailand)

If it’s good enough for Royalty, then it’s good enough for…errr, Canon users. Yeah.

1. President Obama

Quite amazingly, President Obama is a Canon user. Here he is captured by White House photographer Pete Souza using a 5D Mark II.

Quirky Looking DSLR’s

Most DSLRs these days looks pretty much the same, despite there being a good handful of manufacturers the looks are generally quite samey. But there have been a number of DSLRs* that haven’t conformed to the norm:

1. Sony A900

Overall, it shares a similar silhouette to many DSLRs, but the crazy action is happening up top. Look at the bump on the top and you’ll notice a kind of retro-looking pentaprism, very point shape. But it’s also the bizarre little details like the non-rectangular top LCD screen, which makes it look quite freakish.

2. Epson R-D1/R-D1S/R-D1X

*Now you’ll probably notice that this is not actually a DSLR, so we cheated here, but even though it differs from a DSLR in terms of not having a mirror that lets you view through the lens, it does share the same quirky charm that the other cameras here do. This is a digital camera, so you’re probably wondering why there’s a film advance lever on top. Interestingly, the world’s first digital rangefinder used a lever to manually re-cock the shutter after every shot, which is just as well as the battery life was pretty poor on this camera!

3. Olympus E-1

Olympus’ first flagship DSLR – the E-1 – looked quite revolutionary, which was couple with their new concept of the Four-Thirds format. A major part of the body was the grip on the right-hand-side of the camera, with nothing on the left-hand-side of the body to grip onto, it looked very futuristic and forward-looking, and their new format idea sounded very intriguing too. Just a shame that neither were really adopted by the masses.

4. Panasonic DMC-L1

Some might say it’s Leica-inspired, and I would totally agree. There is something about the shape that is just so rangefinder-like, and that is probably the fact that it doesn’t have the hump you usually get from a penta-mirror or penta-prism. This is a DSLR, not like the Epson R-D1, it does let you look through the lens via a porro prism. As nice as it looked, this camera never really took off because it was a Four-Thirds camera and the porro prism meant that the viewfinder was a most tiny, dark think.

5. Olympus E-300

Now, this actually has something in common with the Panasonic camera above in that it has a porro prism to give it a hump-less body. That means that it suffers from a tiny, dark viewfinder also. Olympus like their quirky cameras, but the trouble with this one is that whereas the Panasonic DMC-L1 at least looked good, this E-300 is somewhat uglier.

Canon 1D X announced!

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., October 18, 2011 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, is proud to introduce a completely revolutionized EOS-1D series camera, the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera.* As the new leader in Canon’s arsenal of professional DSLRs, the EOS-1D X will be a high-speed multimedia juggernaut replacing both the EOS-1Ds Mark III and EOS-1D Mark IV models in Canon’s lineup. Enhancing the revolutionary image quality of the EOS-1Ds and speed capabilities of the EOS-1D series, the EOS-1D X DSLR features an 18-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS sensor, Dual DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processors, 14-bit A/D data conversion and capable of shooting an incredible 12 frames-per-second (fps). Canon’s EOS DSLR cameras and accessories have a long-standing legacy of providing high-quality results to professionals in a wide range of markets, including sports, nature, cinematography, wedding and commercial studios. The addition of this new model will help take this tradition to a whole new level.

The EOS-1D X announcement comes on the heels of Canon’s recent manufacturing milestone with the production of the Company’s 50-millionth EOS-series SLR camera in September of 2011. Furthermore, Canon will achieve yet another milestone at the end of this month producing the 70-millionth EF lens.

“The EOS-1D X represents the re-invention of the EOS-1Ds and EOS-1D series, combining new proprietary Canon technologies with the culmination of customer feedback and requests from the field. We are proud to introduce this camera to the worldwide community of professional photographers and cinematographers with the features and capabilities they need to capture the great moments that display their talent,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.

The Camera With Three Brains

The EOS-1D X features three DIGIC processors, including Dual DIGIC 5+ image processors capable of delivering approximately 17 times more processing speed than DIGIC 4, and a dedicated DIGIC 4 for metering and AF control. In conjunction with the newly developed high-performance 18-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS image sensor, the Dual DIGIC 5+ processors provide high-speed continuous shooting, lower noise, and a significant increase in data processing speed than previous EOS-1D models. This new level of data processing speed allows the EOS-1D X to perform many functions including chromatic aberration correction for various Canon EF lenses in-camera instead of through post-production software. The DIGIC 4 processor utilizes a new 100,000-pixel RGB Metering Sensor for enhanced exposure accuracy with color and face detection, and works together with the camera’s new EOS iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) AF.

The EOS-1D X employs a completely new imaging sensor, producing the lowest noise of any EOS digital camera to date for stunning portraiture and studio work. The new 18-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor utilizes large pixels – 1.25 microns larger than those in the EOS-1D Mark IV sensor and .55 microns larger than those in the EOS 5D Mark II sensor – together with gapless microlenses to achieve enhanced light gathering efficiency, higher sensitivity and less noise at the pixel level. The new sensor has improved on the already very high signal-to-noise ratio of sensor output of earlier EOS models for outstanding image quality, even in extremely low light. When combined with the Dual DIGIC 5+ imaging processors the results are stunning. The images produced with the EOS-1D X camera’s new sensor are so clean that files can easily be up-sized if necessary for even the most demanding high-resolution commercial applications. The EOS-1D X will also feature new Ultrasonic Wave Motion Cleaning (UWMC), Canon’s second generation self-cleaning sensor unit, which utilizes carrier wave technology to remove smaller dust particles from the sensor and it includes a new fluorine coating on the infrared absorption glass to help repel dust.

The low-light capability of the EOS-1D X is evident in its incredible ISO range and ability to photograph in extremely low-light conditions. Adjustable from ISO 100 to 51,200 within its standard range, the new model offers a low ISO 50 setting for studio and landscape photography and two high settings of 102,400 at H1 and 204,800 at H2, ideal for law enforcement, government or forensic field applications.

New 61-Point High Density Reticular AF

The EOS-1D X includes a brand new 61-Point High Density Reticular AF, the most sophisticated DSLR AF system Canon has ever released. The 21 focusing points in the central area are standard precision cross-type and effective with maximum apertures as small as f/5.6, depending on the lens in use. The center five points are also high-precision diagonal cross-type points for maximum apertures as small as f/2.8. All 61 points are sensitive to horizontal contrast with maximum apertures as small as f/5.6 and 20 of the outer focusing points function as cross-type points with maximum apertures as small as f/4.0. Other innovations of the new 61-point High Density Reticular AF include expanded AF coverage area, superior focusing precision and low light sensitivity, and greater low-contrast subject detection capability compared to earlier EOS AF systems. (See image below for AF point configuration)

All AF functions now have their own menu tab for quick and easy access (formerly AF custom functions in previous EOS models). A new AF Configuration Tool allows for customized setting of tracking sensitivity, the acceleration and deceleration of tracking subjects, and AF point auto switching, all of which are easily accessed and adjusted via the new AF menu tab. A built-in Feature Guide advises photographers on which settings to use according to subject matter.

Similar to the AF point selection options offered in the EOS 7D Digital SLR camera, the EOS-1D X offers six AF point selection modes: Spot, Single Point, Single Point with surrounding four points, Single Point with surrounding eight points, Zone selection and Automatic AF point selection. (See image below AF point selection options.)








EOS iTR AF: Intelligent Tracking and Recognition Enhances AF Performance


The Canon EOS-1D X features incredible new EOS iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) AF options ideal for wedding and event photography as well as sports and photojournalism. The default AF mode for the EOS-1D X uses phase detection AF information, while a new second option uses Face Detection technology to track recognized faces in addition to color information, ideal when shooting events such as tennis or dancing where facial recognition of the original subject will help keep that person in focus throughout the scene.


Exposure Control


For the first time in a Canon DSLR camera, a DIGIC processor is used exclusively with the metering sensor for fast, accurate exposure control. The Canon DIGIC 4 processor takes advantage of the EOS-1D X’s 100,000-pixel RGB Metering Sensor and utilizes 252 zones for general metering or 35 zones for low-light metering to help ensure accurate evaluative ambient or flash exposure. The new subject recognition capabilities enhance nearly all of the camera’s automatic functions, helping to adjust exposure, autofocus, Auto Lighting Optimizer and Automatic Picture Style to the scene being captured for enhanced image quality.


Multiple Exposure Modes


The EOS-1D X is the first EOS Digital SLR to feature Multiple Exposure capability. The camera can combine up to nine individual images into a single composite image, with no need for post-processing in a computer. Four different compositing methods are provided for maximum creative control, including Additive, Average, Bright and Dark. Compositing results can be viewed in real time on the camera’s LCD monitor, and there is a one-step Undo command that allows photographers to delete an image and try again if desired. The EOS-1D X’s Multiple Exposure mode even allows photographers to specify a previously captured RAW image as the starting point for a new Multiple Exposure composite image.


Super High Speed Mode


The Canon EOS-1D X camera breaks new ground in the world of digital SLRs, offering a Super High Speed Mode which increases shooting speeds up to 14 fps at full 18-megapixel resolution in JPEG modei. The new camera is also capable of shooting RAW, JPEG, or RAW+JPEG at speeds up to 12 fps in One Shot AF or AI Servo AF for enhanced performance in sports photography and other applications requiring high-speed digital capture. This new level of performance is made possible by the combination of the EOS-1D X’s 16-channel readout CMOS sensor, Dual DIGIC 5+ image processors, and a completely new reflex mirror mechanism that has been engineered by Canon to combine high-performance with exceptional precision and reliability.


Enhanced EOS HD Video – New Compressions, Longer Recording


Centered around an all-new full-frame CMOS sensor with larger pixels than those found on the EOS 5D Mark II image sensor, the EOS-1D X utilizes new HD video formats to simplify and speed up post-production work. The two new compression formats offered on the EOS-1D X include intraframe (ALL-i ) compression for an editing-friendly format and interframe (IPB) compression for superior data compression, giving professionals the options they need for their ideal workflow. Answering the requests of cinematographers and filmmakers, the EOS-1D X includes two methods of SMPTE-compliant timecode embedding, Rec Run and Free Run, allowing multiple cameras or separate sound recording to be synced together in post production.


Canon’s all new full-frame CMOS sensor ensures that video footage captured on the EOS-1D X will exhibit less moiré than any previous Canon model, resulting in a significant improvement in HD video quality. A desired feature for many documentary filmmakers using Canon DSLRs was to enable recording beyond the four gigabyte (GB) file capacity and the EOS-1D X is the answer. The new camera features automatic splitting of movie files when a single file exceeds 4GB. The new file splitting function allows for continuous video recording up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds across multiple 4GB files; no frames are dropped and the multiple files can be seamlessly connected in post production, providing filmmakers the recording time they want in the same convenient DSLR form factor. The camera records Full HD at 1920 x 1080 in selectable frame rates of 24p (23.976), 25p, or 30p (29.97); and 720p HD or SD video recording at either 50p or 60p (59.94). SD video can be recorded in either NTSC or PAL standards.


The Canon EOS-1D X also includes manual audio level control, adjustable both before and during movie recording, an automatic setting, or it can be turned off entirely. A wind filter is also included. Sound can be recorded either through the internal monaural microphone or via an optional external microphone through the stereo mic input.


Enhanced Ergonomics & Optimized Design


Photographers familiar with Canon’s EOS 1D-series of cameras will notice the control configuration of the EOS-1D X takes a different approach to button placement. The re-designed exterior and ergonomic button configuration feels comfortable in your right hand, allowing seamless navigation through menu options.The Live View Button has been conveniently placed near the user’s thumb for one-touch switching between Live View and Viewfinder shooting. The Quick Control Button and menu navigation controls will allow users to change camera settings using only their right hand, for fast, simple one-handed control using their thumb on the scroll wheel. The new multi-controller is positioned by the right hand thumb when the camera is held for vertical shooting and enables the same level of control to camera operators when shooting vertically as they have when shooting horizontally. On the front of the camera are four user assignable function buttons, two for vertical shooting and two for horizontal shooting, allowing customizable button control when shooting in either position. The camera also features a level of weather resistance equivalent to earlier professional models such as the EOS-1D Mark IV.


Canon has answered the request of many professional EOS photographers and incorporated Dual Card Slots into the new EOS-1D X DSLR camera. The dual CF card slots will allow photographers to carry only one memory card format and still achieve instant image back-ups and enhanced storage capacity.


This camera also features a new shutter design with even greater durability and precision. Rated to 400,000 cycles, the new carbon fiber shutter blades are more lightweight and durable, allowing the EOS-1D X to achieve over 100,000 cycles more than the shutter of the EOS-1D Mark IV. A new shutter motion and new motor help further reduce vibration in the camera. The EOS-1D X also features an electronic first curtain, new to the EOS-1D series DSLRs, for minimal in-camera vibration during image capture.




For professional photographers who prefer a wired workflow and transfer system, Canon has included a built-in LAN connection in the EOS-1D X DSLR. The built-in LAN connection features a gigabit Ethernet Jack capable of 1000BASE-T transmission speeds, offering photographers a stable wired connection for ultra-fast data transmission. If the network were to go down, the camera will attempt to resend images until the files are sent. The EOS-1D X also features a direct image transfer function whereby images can be selected for transfer, and only sent once a LAN or USB connection is established.




Designed exclusively for the EOS-1D X, the new Canon WFT-E6A Wireless File Transmitter*features wireless LAN support for 802.11n network transfer rates providing users with increased communication speed when compared to previous models. With this new dust and weather resistant model, professionals can synchronize clocks on multiple cameras and use the unit to support linked shooting when utilizing multiple cameras. In addition, Bluetooth-compatible equipment can be easily linked to the device as well.


The EOS-1D X also offers an optional Canon GP-E1 GPS Receiver*, which can be easily integrated into the camera’s body. Powered by the camera, this GPS receiver provides the same weatherproof resistance as the EOS-1D X, even at the connector. With an electronic compass on-board, the GP-E1 will log movement – latitude, longitude, elevation, and the Universal Time Code – and allow viewing of camera movement on a PC after shooting. The receiver will also record camera direction when shooting, even when shooting vertically.

Lytro’s camera – no ordinary camera

It’s not often that you see a camera that completely breaks the mould of a digital camera, but having seen what the Lytro camera on the internets, I can say that this is no ordinary camera. We all knew that when the Silicon Valley startup – Lytro – first announced to the world that they were making a camera that didn’t require the user to choose a point of focus because the focusing could be done after you’ve taken the shot. Of course, it divided opinion and people, myself included, questioned the whole point of this.

This week, Lytro showed their Light Field camera to the press, and the world got to see what their first product looks like. Conventional certainly isn’t the word: it looks like a lipstick case. But at least now we get a sense of what their target market is. It’s not meant for those hardcore photography enthusiasts who want control of everything. The fact that there aren’t any obvious buttons and that there’s no tripod mount or flash option make it quite obviously a lifestyle camera. Would probably suit cigar smokers as it looks like that’s how youg grip the camera.

They’ve really shied away from doing too much of the geeky spec stuff, such as mentioning what size the sensor is (interestingly, it shoots a square format). Although they do note that the lens has a fixed f/2 aperture throughout the 8x zoom range. Of course, they talk about it main feature, that you shoot first, shoot later. It does feature a multi-touch screen, which seems a bit like an iPhone in use. In fact, their website is incredibly Apple-esque, with the look and also the lingo: “It’s here” and “Make it magic”, plus relating the internal memory to how many pictures it can hold (a la iPod with songs).

You can get the 8gb version for $400US or the 16gb for $500US. Not sure how successful this one will be…let’s see if I can get my hands-on one to test.

Lytro Camera info

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