Ikea’s Camera approach

30 April 2012

Ikea keeps entering the consumer devices world and some non-chinese manufacturers are starting to worry… if earlier last month it was their upcoming Smart TV “Uppleva”, a few weeks ago during the Italian Salone del Mobile the Swedish DIY furniture brand unveiled their new PS 2012 collection (their 7th already) including a cardboard camera: the Knäppa (they should review their naming marketing strategy because they already have a pendant lamp with a very similar name btw…).

how to hold the Knäppa Camera right...
how to hold the Knäppa Camera right...

The soon to be released idea was designed in collaboration with Stockholm’s Teenage Engineering and will be labeled as “the world’s cheapest digital camera” and we’re still unsure if this is a future iconic product for Ikea like Billy or simply part of the marketing campaign to promote their latest PS collection as from tomorrow customers will be asked to take pictures of their Ikea PS pieces and share them on a dedicated website.

KNÄPPA is made out of a single piece of folded cardboard, a single circuit board, a camera sensor, and an integrated USB connector…. and just before you buy it… maybe you should learn how to assemble it… the instructions are already available on Ikea’s website.

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Digital Bolex

15 March 2012

Another week, another Kickstarter project that gets many $$$$$$!! There’s nothing you can’t do (and nothing that can’t be funded) with the KS platform really. Need a thousand dollars? KS Ten grand? KS maybe a million? KS too!

And in the context of all-indie-things-on-earth SXSW festival, where groups and start-ups compete for mass media attention, Joe Rubinstein & Elle Schneider just got to present a prototype of their upcoming Digital Bolex D16…. a video camera aimed at those who like to shoot in RAW.

Digital Bolex D16 prototype
Digital Bolex D16 prototype

Pretty much every DSLR & digital mirrorless camera nowadays already shoots images & videos in RAW quality… so why on earth would you buy a “Digital Bolex”? Because it has a retro feel! And because it was funded via KS! And because it’s cool ok!?

 So with their new project, Joe & Elle will attempt to relaunch the 16mm & Bolex trend and market an “affordable digital cinema camera that will allow filmmakers to shoot high-quality footage on any budget”. We’ll have to see the final retail price to judge what they mean by “affordable” because if we follow the KS page … $2500 is a good starting price-point for the DBolex.

future Bolex ad
future Bolex ad

All things considered (specs included, even if everything for now are drawings, rumors, prototypes and more drawings…), and because no-one except maybe Peter Jackson can afford a RED, there surely is a niche market for the project. Hey, 91 people who’ve already pre-ordered the D16 without even knowing what it will look like exactly and nearly $300K to fund the project are a good sign right?

You can also contribute if your body feels like it, although to get a camera next August you’ll have to jump to the $3500  level. More info this way.

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Fuji XPro-1

6 January 2012

Still one month to go before Fuji’s new compact mirrorless and interchangeable lens camera system is officially announced. And now that only Canon from all big Japanese camera manufacturers is left (if ever) to release their own system, and the m4/3 association seems outdated, Fuji will be trying luck with their new system after the success of their Finepix X100/10 series.

X-Pro1 - one of the first images leaked by French mag Reponses Photo (via mirrorless)
X-Pro1 - one of the first images leaked by French mag Reponses Photo (via mirrorlessrumors)

A retro design approach that should include (if we are to believe the information leaks) a camera with a custom-developed 16-megapixel APS-CMOS sensor, a 2nd gen. hybrid viewfinder, a new propietary X-mount and 3 lenses to be released with the body next March: 18mm (27mm equivalent) f/2.0, 35mm (53mm equivalent) f/1.4 and 60mm (90mm equivalent) f/2.4.

It seems like the Camera+35mm lens kit will cost 1.300 Euro and the other 2 should be around 600€ each… pretty expensive for a compact mirrorless system (considering how other companies are marketing theirs), at the same time we have to consider this camera will not be playing in the same league as Panasonic, Olympus, Nikon and certainly not Pentax.


A much more ambitious system that could easily challenge the well-received NEX-7. More newz this next Monday (and more leaks of leather case + flash this way).

(photos via photorumors)

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GX1 evolution…

9 November 2011

In the never ending race of megapixels, Autofocus speeds & shrinking bodies Panasonic had until very recently the lead when it comes to mirrorless hot & performing cameras. Nikon attempted not very long ago with the introduction of their very own mirrorless system, and for the prosumers the big winner is the upcoming (after floods & all) NEX-7. So Panny had to play catch up….

And even if a true GF1 successor has been awaited for… years it hasn’t been until now that micro 4/3 enthusiasts can claim having a decent option. No E-viewfinder, no detachable screen but…. such compact X-model lenses….

Of course we’re comparing two different things here, GX1 is primarily (and as described by one of Panasonic’s American product managers) a GF1 replacement for GF1 owners… (bad move here?), what changes? Basically the sensor (16-megapixel Live MOS existing in the G3), new image-processing engine, better autofocus….and some nice-to-haves of course: programmable buttons, touchscreen with new interface, an in-camera level gauge, new grip…etc etc.

A model that maybe arriving too late (with too little enhancements?), but that will hopefully see many more sucessors in the new GX series. Should be available early next year apparently (not in time for Christmas) for just above £760 … and while you wait we suggest you visit popco’s website with better pics & videos.

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25 August 2011

This, is not an ad ok? And it’s not a toy camera neither (ha, wish it were for the price). It’s the ultra-expensive new model from Sony’s NEX mirrorless line which has been generating a LOT of buzz for the past few weeks.

Maybe because it’s been expected for years like a prodigal son. Pretty much since Panasonic introduced the GF1 there hasn’t been a decent successor oriented to a more enthusiast consumer (not necessarily PRO) with a pocket big enough to spend 1200$ but too small to carry a huge DSLR.

And here it is, the NEX-7 packs all those features you typically find on a DSLR but in a tiny body… an Exmor CMOS sensor (24.3 MP…probably too much), an OLED Electronic View Fider, decent manual controls, and all the miniaturing obsession benefits started by the M4/3 association.

The problem obviously comes with the price… 1200$ for the body only & $1350 for the pack with an 18-55mm lens (yesterday they refused to say the final UK price but we discovered today Jessops will be offering it  at£1000 and £1150 with such black lens). Too much indeed, but that’s what you nearly pay today for Fuji’s FinePix X100….

The beast will be released next November… and only if Sony could make lenses as compact as Panasonic’s upcoming X series… this would be an amazing combination don’t you think?

Now it’s time for me to shut myself away for the next 5 years… I’ll probably have saved some money by then.

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22 June 2011

While we’re still waiting for Panasonic to release their GF5 or however their future “Pro” micro 4/3 camera is called next fall we suddenly feel challenged by the introduction of this new “light field” technology into the mass market….

The light field fully defines how a scene appears. It is the amount of light traveling in every direction through every point in space – it’s all the light rays in a scene. Conventional cameras cannot record the light field.

A massive buzz Ren Ng has generated across the whole tech blog community & industry promising to release pocketable devices “sometime this year” under his company “Lytro”. From his blog…

“People often refer to taking a picture as capturing the moment, but conventional photography does not really capture the moment. It captures one angle, one set of light, and one focus of the moment. If you are a professional photographer, you might capture the best parts of the moment. If you are someone like me, you most certainly will not. With Ren’s light field camera, you actually capture the moment or at least all of the light that visually represents the moment.

Once you have captured the moment, you can go back at any time and get the picture that you want.

Essentially, you can take the picture you wish you would have taken after the fact. If you are used to the old paradigm, it’s like travelling backwards through time.”

The light field sensor captures the color, intensity and vector direction of the rays of light. This directional information is completely lost with traditional camera sensors, which simply add up all the light rays and record them as a single amount of light.

The idea & techno behind has been developed over the past 3 years at Stanford University labs, and after raising $50 million from several angel investors (NEA, K9 Ventures, Greylock Partners and Andreessen Horowitz) Lytro will not only propose “always focused” images but some amazing 3D effects (see video below).

Mindblowing? Mmmmmm, you can find more info and reserve your camera on their website. Ore a few demonstrations on their official blog. Shoot now, focus later … their marketing moto…

The question now is… will it shoot videos?

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