Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Digital Photography - it just gets better!

I'm a fan of photography. I don't take good pictures (hopeless!!), but sure do appreciate great photos and the cool gear that helps capture those photos.

And being a photography enthusiast means this is the best time of the year... yeah, Photokina! That's like the E3 of gaming... the Detroit motor show of cars.... the... well, you get the picture.

However, in the recent years, the stuff that get dished out at Photokina is nothing to really go ga-ga over. The manufacturers keep on cramming more megapixels into the sensors, they try to out-do each other with evolutionery and me-too features... BORING!

But this year, things got really exciting!

If you read my previous blogs on digital cameras, you'd hear me bemoan (here, here and here!) the tiny and noisy chips in Panasonic Lumix cameras. I had been wishing out loud that Panny woudl stop the silly megapixel race and focus on making their wonderfully small and featurefull cameras with larger and better chips.

Lo and behold, 2 surprises came...

1) Panasonic introduces its first micro four-thirds digital SLR prototype, the G1. The whaaa? Picture this:
  • Its like an SLR, with interchangeable lenses, but the body, lenses - everything - is much much smaller
  • They do away with the flip mirror and the prism, and in the process gives true live-view
  • The heart - sensor - of the camera is still a proper SLR-sized four thirds CCD.. so there is no compromise there
Here's a side by side comparison of how the conventional DSLR looks like vs the new micro four thirds.... lots of exciting days ahead, when we see how the market responds to this. Already, Olympus is hot on the heels and have also pre-announced their version of the micro four thirds as well!

The traditional four-thirds DSLR: note the mirror and pentaprism

The micro four-thirds DSLR : everything smaller except the sensor!

Then, things got even more exciting!

2) Canon announces its mother of all compact super zoom... the Powershot SX1 and SX10
  • It finally has a really great camera that starts of with 28mm
  • It has an optical image stabilized 20x zoom, with super fast and silent mechanism that beats the stuffings out of the competition
  • Ths SX1 has Canon's excellent CMOS CCD.... with a bonus that it can shoot at a lightning speed of 4 frames per second!
  • It does away with even top-end consumer video cameras by being able to shoot videos at FULL HD
  • On paper... the features are really top notch.... can't wait to test it out when it's finally available here!
  • The only thing is the price.... no idea how much is it going to cost in Malaysia .. but it does look like its going to encroach quite deeply into DLSR country ... and may (hopefully not) end up with a very niche market..?

Read more about this amazing camera here, here and here.

Sorry, Panny, but I may have a new favourite hottie now.... !!

8 commented:

sting said...

oh they are? I mean Canon coming out with such a cool camera? but am sure it's gonna be so expensive.. sigh...

Fishman said...

Hi! Lately I have this interest in photography and DSLR as well, but I feel like I just can't afford them, even the entry level ones. All this make me feel even more underachieved. After all these years of working, I would expect myself to not worry so much about spending; but again I can't afford to not care. :-(

sylee said...

u r not bad in capturing shots... (i have seen those photos from the China trip)

Center Parted said...

Hi Sting, yeah, some websites have the SX1 priced at about 520 pounds... thats like over RM3k here!

Well, I guess hi-tech coolness comes with a price eh?

Center Parted said...

Hey Fishman,

You are NOT ALONE!! My favourite phrase when discussing gadgets with friends is this... we have a very limited means chasing limitless wants!! Its a sure recipe for dissatisfaction!

Here's a tip...
If you want a lot of zoom but don't want to spend a lot of cash... there's Panny's FZ28 or the TZ15... each easily costing less than RM 1.4k.

Or check out Canon's baby DSLR, the EOS 1000D. Here's a tip... you can find lenses from 2nd markets for very good prices. I know of friends who start from building their collection with very modest budgets that way.

At the other end... you can find loads of very decent point and shoot cameras for below RM 1000.

Happy hunting dude!

Center Parted said...

Thanks Lee... that's very kind of you! BTW, I hear you're having loads of fun with your D60 (or was it the 450D?).

Either ones would be good choice man!! :)

sylee said...

u can check out my photos at

Anonymous said...

Interesting, but I'm a Nikon fan.
And to answer your question, I use a Nikon D80.