The Hybrid Camera Age?

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00267 pma 2007 olympus The Hybrid Camera Age?

At this year’s PMA a new breed of cameras were introduced.  The micro four-thirds standard or hybrid camera, is the catch phrase being thrown around, to describe a camera which has an interchangeable lens supporting point-and-shoot cameras.  It lacks a mirror box, which defines an SLR.  So it directly images on the sensor. What remains a mystery, would be if these new, but odd technical showpieces will find a market.  Panasonic, Olympus and Samsung have all decided to throw their hats into uncharted waters.

DMC G1K A 1WebA1001001A08H28A40028F46710 The Hybrid Camera Age?

Panasonic's G1K

Panasonic announced their hybrid camera, the DMC-G1K [or the G1 for short].  It lacks the ability to shoot video. Which made their next, more expensive camera, a slightly bigger deal.  The GH1 can shoot video. Why is this a big deal? When you have interchangeable lenses you can get better quality glass which results in a shallower depth of field.  This is interesting, because this puts consumer video at a disadvantage.  Usually, consumer video is very sharp and equally weighted making everything appear flat.  Unfortunately, Panasonic has not released pricing on the GH1 and are very tight lipped [believe me...I've e-mailed them] and the pricing makes all the difference.

olympus micro four thirds prototype The Hybrid Camera Age?

Summer 2009?

Olympus’ prototype hybrid camera is one of the more interesting, but nebulous out of all the cameras mentioned at the PMA’s.  It was only unveiled under glass and not much is known about the little gadget other than a note on the side of it that said “Summer 2009″.  The Olympus looks like an old fashioned range finder camera, but makes it stand out when compared to its competition.

samsung nx series The Hybrid Camera Age?

Samsung NX Series

Even less is known about Samsung’s NX series of camera. It was under glass, but as you can tell it looks very similar to the Panasonic GH1.

Other Cool Cameras announced:

sony cyber shot dsc hx1 digital camera 11 1 The Hybrid Camera Age?

Sony's Cyber-Shot DSC-HX1

Sony announced their Cyber-shot DSC-HX1.  I guess ‘Sony’s hybrid camera’ name was taken.  One of the most noticible features is its 20x zoom.  Which is cool considering a lot of point-and-shoot monstrosities are emphasizing infinite, super, mega zooms!  It has a CMOS instead of CCD sensor.

canon sx10is back The Hybrid Camera Age?

Canon PowerShot SX1IS

Canon, never to be outshined announced their PowerShot SX1IS.  However, what sets the Sony Cyper-shot apart from this camera would be its Dynamic Wide Panorma mode.  In this mode you basically press the shutter and pan across the scene and by some form of technological witchcraft the image is stitched together creating a panoramic image.  Essentially, the technological witchcraft is the ultra-fast shooting mode being initiated once the shutter is pressed.

horseman 3d The Hybrid Camera Age?

FinePix Real3D Digital Camera

Fuji’s FinePix Real3D Digital Camera, should definitely win the award for most ‘out there’ concept.  No glasses or weird stereoscopic viewing system, the camera supposedly takes actual 3-dimensional photos.  You know, the kind that moves when you move your head from one angle to the next?  Well Fuji has cracked the code and is introducing something knew to the photo world.  If anything, the camera looks odd and will only be a niche product, but there has to be some ambitious artist out there that had a ton of ideas pop in their head at the mere mention of this camera’s capabilities.

With all these new and strange cameras being announced and pushed as the go-between for those looking to get something a little more advanced than a point and shoot, but something not as serious as a D-SLR.  Will there be a market for this?  The Fuji 3d camera and the Olympus prototype definitely look like novelty gadgets, but could there be a place for this technology in the ever evolving world of photography?

ad ss slim The Hybrid Camera Age?

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  • http://www.prophotoshow.net Gavin Seim

    Nice work Isaiah. I have not brought these up on the show yet and did not know alot about them all. You gave us a good thorough look at what going on. Frankly to me most of the baby SLR’s don’t do much for me. Small sensor tends to mean lower image quality from past experience. I first thought is, either get a real SLR or get a good point n shoot.

    I could be wrong though. I guess time will tell. I do like the looks of the Olympus’ prototype. Will be interesting to see where that goes. I saw the 3D stuff when I wan on the PMA floor as well. Not sure how useful it will be in reality but it seems cool.

    I curious what other reader think about this new market manufactures are trying to build.

    Gavin

  • Hanna

    I really enjoyed reading this intriguing article.
    Good work Isaiah!

    I look forward to read more from you.

  • http://www.itbrog.com Isaiah

    Glad you guys enjoyed it…there is definitely more on the way.

  • http://www.vividphotography.blogspot.com Neil Gaudet

    Being an Olympus dslr user I was actually a little skeptical of these new EVIL (electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens) cameras, but they are growing on me, especially with the new very Leica like Olympus coming out. The Oly will not be orange, but silver/black is the latest rumor, and will be tiny tiny tiny, hopefully with a series of pancake lenses. Like all 4/3rds sensor cameras it will not replace a full from for ISO 3200 + shots but for street photography, small convenience/portability, and anything ISO 1600 or lower it is really great. While the 4/3rds sensor is smaller than even APSC sensors, it is much much larger than any point and shoot sensor and reaps that benefit over any fixed lens point and click. Oh, and the video I’ve seen from the Panasonic GH1 is amazing 1080p and frankly much more user friendly than the 5D or D90.

    I could see myself carrying one of these in my bag just for video and small discreet event shooting once the big camera is put away. I don’t think it will be long before Canon has a version.

    • http://www.itbrog.com Isaiah

      Yeah…i don’t know think anyone is expecting this batch of 4/3rds to replace lower end dslr’s or even the point and shoot community. It’ll be interesting where they fall in the middle.

      I still have to see more video from the Panasonic GH1…i’ve been scouring the vimeo files, but they are far and few who have even touched the camera; let alone have done something cool with it.

  • http://www.camera-slr-digital.com Aaron Brad

    Good information here, I turned out to be very useful. Where can I get more information like this please?