RAW is coming to mobile phones

It seems that the next “big thing” most photographers missed in Smartphone cameras is finally coming – RAW file format support. Up until now, we have seen many camera-phone combinations; with optical zoom (Samsung S4) or insane resolution (Nokia Pureview), but none of these allowed shooting in RAW file format. I am a big advocate of RAW since it is the only format that allows reaching maximum image quality any given camera or sensor can produce. I wrote on this topic already on my blog, so please click here to learn more on RAW file format.

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Sony DSC-RX10 preview

Sony is on rampage. Right next to A7 and A7R, the company released another beautiful and capable digital camera – the DSC-RX10. It’s a camera that really has no direct competitor. With the big 8x zoom lens it could hardly be called as ultra zoom, but it looks like one. The main feature that sets it apart from other ultra-zooms is the sensor. It is the same unit used in RX100 II camera; smaller than APS-C sensors in mirrorless cameras, but still significantly bigger from those found in other ultra-zooms. The result is exceptional image quality. Besides that, RX10 can record in RAW format, has a high level of customization and it could actually be the only camera an advanced amateur could need. No fuss with exchanging lenses and all of the manual controls at the fingertips.

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Sony A7 full frame mirrorless camera preview

Finally, I had the opportunity to play with some new Sony gear. Yes, it’s the new A7 I’m talking about. :) Mirrorless and full frame at the same time, A7 is the camera many photographers dreamed about for a long time. Full frame cameras are around for years, but not until recently all of them were either big and heavy DSLR models or insanely expensive Leica. Just around last Christmas, Sony released RX1, a full-frame compact with fixed 35mm F/2 lens. Nothing like this was produced before and it became apparent it is only a matter of time Sony would release full frame mirrorless cameras. So now we have A7 and A7R which are very similar models. A7 has 24 megapixels, 117 phase detect AF points on the main image sensor and can shoot 5fps. A7R has 36 megapixel sensor with AA filter removed, 25 contrast detect AF points, shoots at a bit slower 4fps and has more magnesium parts (dials, back plate…). Both cameras are weather sealed, have tilt LCD, 2.5 million electronic viewfinders, 1/8000 shutter speed and records videos up to 1920 x 1080 @ 60p. Impressive.

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World’s largest camera collection

I may have a blog called Camera Hoarders, but I’m far from a frantic camera collector. An India-based photographer photojournalist Dilish Parekh recently hit headlines with his world-breaking camera collection of staggering 4425 cameras. The cameras in his collection are mostly old and vintage models like Leica, Rolliflex, Canon, Nikon, Kodak, Zeiss and Linof.

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Timelapse: Aurora and noctilucent clouds together

I found a great time-lapse video I’d like to share with you. It shows both aurora and noctilucent clouds at the same time, something I’m not sure that was shot before. The photographer who captured it is Maciej Winiarczyk from the Caithness Astronomy Group.

I guess all of you are familiar with aurora and how it is created, but noctilucent clouds are still somewhat unknown phenomena. These are the clouds in a very high part of Earth’s atmosphere at altitudes of around 76 to 85 kilometers (47-53 miles). They are normally too faint to be seen but become visible when illuminated by sunlight below horizon. You can read more about them on Wikipedia.

Anyway, here’s the video, enjoy:

 

New Canon Powershots have arrived with minor updates

Canon has announced plenty of new gear most of which is actually old gear. Confused? Don’t be, it quite normal these days for any consumer electronics company to release new product that is essentially the same as old one with just some minor upgrades. Canon PowerShot G16 and S120 are Canon’s latest premium compact cameras, with G16 having now WiFi connection and S120 got slightly faster lens.

Popular PowerShot SX500 got a better sensor and is now called SX510 HS and SX160 IS got a Li-Ion battery and is now called SX170 IS. There is also a new lens – Canon EF-S 55-250 F/4-5.6 IS STM which is essentially the same as the old 55-250 but now has a silent step motor auto focus (STM).

Read more after the break:

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Sigma 18-35 F/1.8 only $799!!!

No, this is not a typo, nor mine nor did Sigma drop a digit… The extraordinary 18-35 APS-C zoom with constant F/1.8 aperture is going to sale for only $799! Some first previews reported stellar performance, and since this is the world’s first F/1.8 zoom lens we all expected it to cost upward from $1500, but Sigma has its own ideas. I still wouldn’t call this a game changer… full frame is still full frame and no crop sensor can actually match its performance, but this lens might be a very strong reason for many photographers to stay on APS-C cameras. Considering the quality and features of the Nikon D7100 (my review of D7100 is coming within days), and the fact Canon will probably soon announce 70D and 7D MkII, this lens will give you a really good image quality for a small price.

I wrote about this lens when it was announced – click here to read more about it.

Amazon deals on Sony SLT cameras (up to $600 discount)

Amazon has several excellent deals on Sony SLT cameras A58, A65 and A77 I’d like to bring your attention to.

For a limited time, save $600 on select Sony A77 digital SLR camera and VG-C77AM vertical grip bundles from Amazon.com. Simply add one of the qualifying Sony Alpha Digital SLR cameras and the VG-C77AM vertical grip from the list below to your Shopping Cart with the promotional code provided. The vertical grip discount will be applied at checkout after the promotional code is added. Click here to see all the deals. Promotional code you need to enter is: TGDVIF3N Or click here to see all the deals (A58 and A65 also)