LG Xnote Mini: New netbook from Korea
We don’t have any information regarding the price or release date.
LG Xnote Mini: New netbook from Korea
Casio Exilim EX-FH20Casio's EX-F1 was a stunning camera for those who desire super-fast and stunning video shots. Now it seems the EX-F1 wasn't cool enough for Casio, they decided this morning to release the EX-FH20.
The EX-F1 is a 60fps 7.1Mpix camera, giving great slow-mo video and shots, but its little bother (if we can call it that) provides 40fps on a 9.1mpix camera in a stunning 3072x2304 resolution. As for video, the FH20 can shoot 720p video at 30fps or even a stunning 1920x1080 at 60fps! Want more speed? No problem, our camera can shoot at 1000fps in 224x56 if desired!.
Available in Japan at the end of this week, the EX-FH20 is 27% smaller than the EX-F1 with a 20x optical zoom... A nifty toy for anyone who desires pushing the limits of photography.
When you consider the incredible flexibility offered by digital capture (unencumbered by the physical need to put the film behind the lens and to advance it frame by frame) it's perhaps surprising that the digital interchangeable lens camera has remained so firmly rooted in a basic design that hasn't changed since the 1950's. The single lens reflex does its job very well, but building a camera around a mirror box seriously ties the designer's hands - not only in the physical size and shape of the body, but in the lenses too (the distance to the sensor means retrofocus designs are needed to overcome the distance from the sensor to the flange).
The reasons for this seemingly dogmatic attachment to the single lens reflex are fairly obvious; the main players in the market have a vested interest in maintaining compatibility with legacy lenses and offering as seamless a transition from film to digital as possible for their millions of existing users. Besides, it's a lot easier to design a body that works in the same way SLRs always did than to launch an entirely new lens system.
There have also been some technological barriers to deal with; the lack of digital displays good enough to produce an electronic viewfinder that can even get close to a good mirror and prism, and the fact that current phase-detect autofocus systems won't work without a mirror being the two most commonly cited.
It is perhaps unsurprising then, that the first company to challenge the SLR hegemony is Panasonic, a manufacturer with no legacy film SLR system to support and a share of the digital SLR market so small that it's relatively easy to simply drop it and move on. We strongly suspect that the L10 will be the end of Panasonic's brief foray into the standard Four Thirds System and that - for all the joint development statements - it was Panasonic, not Olympus that was the driving force behind the introduction of Micro Four Thirds.
And so we have a new system with a new lens mount and this, the G1; the world's first electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens camera. From the outside it looks for all the world like a conventional SLR (albeit a very small one) - we're told that the design (complete with faux prism 'hump') is deliberately conservative; Panasonic's research has shown that its target market (particularly in Japan) still prefers a camera that looks like a camera is supposed to, and wasn't going to risk falling at the first hurdle by producing something too radical.
On the inside of course it is indeed radically different to every SLR on the market; the mirror and pentaprism/pentamirror viewfinder is gone, replaced by a live view-only system using either the newly-developed high resolution electronic viewfinder or the large articulated rear screen (which, interestingly, has a 3:2 aspect ratio - not the 4:3 ratio of the sensor).
Panasonic's stated reasons for introducing Micro Four Thirds are simple; to produce smaller cameras that act more like compact DSCs whilst offering the quality and versatility of a DLSR - and in doing so to convert some of the millions of compact camera buyers who - according to research - are put off digital SLRs by the bulk, complexity and lack of user-friendliness. And our initial tests would suggest that they have solved at least one of the technological problems mentioned earlier (the contrast-detect autofocus is easily as fast as any other entry-level DSLR). The viewfinder on the sample we've been playing with is also very impressive, and we're told that the final version will be even better (even at this early stage it compares very favorably with a standard Four Thirds optical finder).
The Micro Four Thirds standard - and the Panasonic G1 - represents the first complete break with legacy SLR technology going back well over half a century, and as such represents an important moment in digital photography's short history. It would be fair to describe it as the first truly 'all digital' interchangeable lens camera, and I think it would also be fair to say it finally delivers on the promise made for the Four Thirds system when it was first introduced back in 2002 (to quote from the original press release 'The major benefit of Four Thirds System is that it will allow the design of dedicated, high-performance digital camera lens systems that are more compact than their 35 mm film SLR camera lens counterparts').
It's worth remembering that this 'mini SLR' thing has been tried before; in the mid to late 1990's Canon, Nikon and Minolta all launched compact SLR systems based around the new APS film format, and all failed to make any impact at all. Of course a lot of that was down to timing (digital was already starting to reshape the entire landscape of the photo industry), but crucially these systems also offered little beyond a size reduction (and a far more limited choice of films) to differentiate them from their 35mm counterparts.
Where the G1 - and Micro Four Thirds - has the edge is that there has never been a wider gap between the image quality offered by compact cameras and SLRs. By offering a camera that works and handles like a compact (Panasonic FZ users will feel right at home) but produces output a lot more like an SLR, Micro Four Thirds has carved out a potentially lucrative niche for itself in a market crying out for innovation. It may seem like a relatively low-key product to herald a minor revolution in the digital SLR market, but have no doubt, the G1 is one of the most exciting products we've had under this roof for quite some years.
All-New Honda Insight Concept