Samsung adds NX11 MILC, WB700 compact digital cameras; an intriguing Nikon lens patent is revealed; Sony increases sensor production; snowfall time-lapse vid goes viral; and Kodachrome bids farewell.
Welcome to the last Weekend Wrap of 2010, and the final day of the first decade of the 21st century. As you read this week's news, think about what was state of the art ten years ago. Were you conflicted about shooting Kodachrome or Velvia? Were you waiting for that 2MP DSLR to drop below $5,000 before going digital? How times have changed...
Samsung unveils NX11
Samsung took advantage of the slow last-week-in-December to announce the NX11, the company's second APS sensor-based EVF MILC and the second camera to feature i.-Function lens compatibility. i-Function lenses, you may recall, lets you control the camera's main settings via the lens. The NX11 will be sold with an 18-55mm kit lens. Samsung is also introducing a 20mm pancake and a 20-50mm i-Function lens.
The NX11's key features:
- i-Function lenses
- 14MP APS-C sensor
- 3-inch LCD monitor
- 720p HD video
- Face Detection max. 10 faces
- Smart Flash
- Raw image capture
Samsung also unveiled the WB700, a slim, retro-looking pocketable camera with a 16MP CCD sensor and 18x optical zoom lens that starts at 24mm (35mm equivalent), although they're factoring in 1.3x digital image enlargement and claiming a 24x zoom in the specs. Features include 720p HD video and “Smart” artistic filters that impose various image effects. Samsung claims an advanced audio noise reduction that cancels out “zoom noise” while shooting videos.
Nikon Lens Patent: Lens with Manual and electronic
Sharp-eyed patent watchers at Engadget caught Nikon's application for an interchangeable lens that zooms electronically, perhaps in preparation for an anticipated mirrorless interchangeable-lens compact camera. This would be great news for videographers, who now have to juggle both zoom and focus rings while trying to keep the camera steady when shooting video with a DSLR.
Time-Lapse Video of Snowfall Goes Viral
When the December 26/27 blizzard that dumped more than two feet of snow was just hours away, Belmar, New Jersey photographer Mike Black set up a Canon DSLR on a tripod and used a remote timer to take a photos every five minutes and document the snow accumulation. He had to keep digging out the clock, which indicated the passage of time, as the snow piled up beyond expectations, so it could be seen. The resulting video, which compresses 20 hours of snowfall into 30 dramatic seconds. The video first appeared on Vimeo but has been picked up by several news outlets, most notably CNN, and has been shared all over Facebook. Here it is:
Sony to Double Production of Imaging Sensors
Sony has always been a major imaging sensor supplier for the photographic industry, but now, thanks to the success of their latest APS CMOS sensor which has a maximum ISO of 52,000, they're ramping up production. Their 16MP sensor, which can be found on the Sony SLT-55, has also made its way into other companys' DSLRs, which have zoomed to the top of the latest image quality ratings at high ISOs and are in high demand as a result. Sony will be spending 100 billion Yen to buy a Toshiba plant near Nagasaki in order to accommodate the additional production demands.
And finally...Rest In Peace, Kodachrome
Farewell to those nice, bright colors, those greens of summer, the film that made you think all the world's a sunny day. After 75 vibrant, colorful years, the last roll of Kodachrome film was processed this week. Dwayne's, the last Kodachrome lab, is shutting down its Kodachrome line. Photojournalist Steve McCurry was given the final roll of Kodachrome when Kodak ended production last year, and this week he shot the final three frames of that roll in Parsons, Kansas, where Dwayne's is located, and brought it in for processing. Fittingly, frame 36—which will probably last well into the 22nd century without fading—was shot in a cemetery. You can see that shot, as well as get a look inside the lab, in this post in the New York Times Lens blog.
Thank you, Mannes and Godowsky, for inventing such a wonderful film.
Goodbye, old friend...