Focus on cameras and photography gear
Most people nowadays snap pictures with a smartphone, but a stand-alone camera is still a vital tool with a big presence at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Here’s the coolest camera gear from the show.
Kodak Super 8
Kodak, a once-bankrupt vestige of the bygone film era has come roaring back with the new Kodak Super 8, a newfangled film video camera with digital benefits.
Now showing as an early prototype with an estimated ship date this fall, the new camera mixes old and new tech into a handsome package. Features include a 6mm Ricoh lens, built-in light meter, cartridge detection, exposure control, and a manual speed/iris setting. You send the film to Kodak for processing—just like old times—and you get the developed film back as both a filmstrip and an electronic file.
While the price has been set, the unit is expected to retail for between $400 and $700 with film processing running $50 to $75.
The Super 8 cam is just the beginning: Kodak is planning an ecosystem of additional cameras, film development services, and post production tools—part of its Super 8 Revival Initiative—to fan the flames of genuine filmmaking for a new generation. The original Super 8 debuted at the New York World’s Fair in 1965.
Nikon is not fooling around. Its upcoming new flagship Nikon D5 DSLR is a mighty full-frame professional camera with a 20.8 megapixel CMOS sensor, a native ISO range of 100 to 102,400, and extended ISO settings of 50 to an astonishing 3,280,000.
It’s marketed as a pro shooter’s dream featuring 153 auto focus points and 99 cross-sensors with continuous shooting at 12 frames per second, a 3.2-inch, 2.36 million-dot touchscreen LCD, dual memory card slots, and a USB 3.0 connection. This also marks the first Nikon DSLR to include 4K video recording.
The D5 will be sold body-only with either two XQD or two CF card slots. It’s available for pre-order now for a mid-March ship date for $6,500.
Photo enthusiasts have been waiting for years and now this: the new Nikon D500 is officially replacing the aged D300S. Among its new treats will be a 20.9 megapixel APS-C sensor with continuous shooting speeds of 10 frames per second, a native ISO range of 100-51,200, expandable to 50-1,640,000, and a 2.4 million dot flip 3.2-inch touchscreen LCD.
The camera is especially useful for action photographers. Despite its cropped sensor, it features the same 153-point AF system and 180k-pixel RGB metering sensor of the pro-level D5 and can also capture 4K video. Updated SnapBridge connectivity helps maintain a constant link to your smartphone using Bluetooth.
It retails for $2,000 (body only) and is available for preorder now for a mid-March ship date.
Panasonic Lumix ZS100
The Panasonic Lumix ZS100 is a 20 megapixel pocketable zoom compact travel cam featuring a large one-inch sensor and 4K video, paired with an f/2.8 25-250mm zoom lens. For expanded photographic flexibility, a post-focus feature lets you select the focal point of your image after you shoot.
Alongside the larger sensor, the camera offers a maximum ISO of 12800, with an extended 25600 setting. The camera also provides an array of manual controls, rings, and dials for settings such as zoom, aperture, shutter speed, and manual focus. You can connect the camera to a smartphone or tablet using its Wi-Fi or QR codes.
The ZS100 is available for preorder now for $700 with an estimated ship date of mid-march.
The new, chic-looking second-generation Polaroid Snap+ instant print camera integrates a wide range of updated features designed to be fun for users. Updates include a 3.5-inch touchscreen LCD, an enhanced 13 megapixel sensor, microSD support and 1080p full HD video recording. New remote connectivity through Bluetooth to the Polaroid print app allows the camera to connect to and print 2x3-inch borderless prints from smartphones and tablets.
The free app for iOS and Android lets you edit and enhance prints with an assortment of filters, stickers, and effects.
Anxious to get your mitts on one of these cool shooters? You’ll have to hold your horses. Scheduled release is not until the fourth quarter of 2016 at a price to be determined.
With a compact dimension of 2x2 inches square, paired with an 8X optical zoom, the new 18 megapixel Polaroid iZone Camera promises to boost the utility and image quality of iOS or Android cameras.
You can use the device independently to shoot images and HD video, using an app to transfer them via Wi-Fi or NFC to your phone. Or you can affix the camera to your device and use its larger screen to visualize your shot. The camera comes with a micro-USB charging cord, which facilitates syncing and viewing photos on USB devices.
The Polaroid iZone camera will be available this spring for $180.
Olloclip, famous for its detachable iPhone lens accessories, has debuted the new Studio mobile photography system slated for an early February ship date. Created to work with Olloclip’s line of iPhone lenses, Studio combines an iPhone 6/6s or 6/6s Plus case with a rail-mounting system and assorted accessories for shooting photos and video or broadcasting via Periscope, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.
The Studio Case can either be used with Studio accessories or as a standalone protective cover. On the back, a rail mount lets you attach the included accessory pieces: two cold-shoe adapters, two clips to attach a tripod, grip or handles, a finger grip and a kickstand.
Olloclip’s Studio for the iPhone will retail for $90.
ExoLens and Zeiss
If you like to enhance your iPhotography with accessory lenses, the new ExoLens now features high-quality Zeiss lenses for the iPhone 6/6s and 6 Plus and 6s Plus. An aluminum bracket lined with soft protective foam holds everything in place. Three lenses—a 3X telephoto, a 165-degree wide-angle, and a macro lens expand the iPhone’s viewing frame by up to 35 percent, and otherwise let you shoot scenes with a more realistic view.
The telephoto lens has an optical zoom for better landscapes and portraits. Designed as a modular platform, its standard mount (1/4-20) at the bottom lets you attach tripods and stabilizers. You can also add flash equipment and directional mics.
The companies say that the new products should be available by mid-2016, and prices have not yet been announced.
Nikon KeyMission 360
GoPro may be the first word that crosses your mind when you think about action video cams, but it doesn’t have to be the last. Now, imaging giant Nikon is poised to take up space in that arena with its new KeyMission 360, the company’s first wearable action cam. Targeted to consumers and photo enthusiasts, the device records 360-degree video in 4K.
Featuring an image sensor and lens combo on two opposite sides of the device, images from each are combined to create a single still or 4K UHD video. Unsurprisingly built for action, the camera is waterproof to 30 meters (100 feet) without a separate housing, shockproof to 2 meters (6.6 feet), and promises to stand up to dust and low temperatures. App-based electronic vibration reduction during playback will reduce the effects of camera shake.
The new camera will be released in the spring, but the price has yet to be announced.
Look out for an update to the spherical, immersive 360fly that will soon deliver 4K resolution for your action cam pleasure. The new camera, literally a round ball-like device with 32GB of onboard memory, will shoot video at four times the resolution (2880×2880, 360-degree video at 30 fps) of the original model.
A time-lapse mode offers intervals of 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60-seconds. The 360fly uses a single f/2.5 fixed aperture lens and the scenes it captures require no stitching. It pairs with iOS and Android mobile devices, or desktop apps, for viewing and sharing. It will retail for $499.
Clip-a-phone is kind of a goofy low-priced smartphone accessory that attaches your phone to the brim of a hat (like a baseball cap) so you can shoot hands-free video. It secures your iPhone by clamping it into the mount and clip mechanism. The device’s Bluetooth remote controls the shutter on your phone’s camera. Press the button on the remote to start and stop video recording.
You don’t get to aim and shoot, though, so you don’t see what you’re recording in real time, only after playback. Free companion apps for iOS and Android complete this odd but potentially useful package.
The kit, which is currently shipping with the clip, the Bluetooth remote and lanyard, comes in black, red, or white for $25.
Parrot Disco Drone
Parrot has a brand new drone called Disco entering the increasingly crowded and competitive space of camera drones. Disco is a lightweight model that is shaped like a traditional winged airplane and can fly at 50 mph for 45 minutes. It holds a 14 megapixel camera in its snoot for arial shooting of photos and HD videos.
Designed to be easy for anyone to operate, you just mount the wings to the body and throw it into the air. You will be able to operate this drone from Parrot’s Free Flight iOS app, which works on the iPhone or iPad. Still in prototype, the drone will be available sometime this year. The price has not been announced.