Thursday, August 23, 2012
Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:00 AM
Quite a few cameras were announced in the past 24 hours. Let's start with the more interesting cameras: Nikon has announced a trio of Coolpixes, the first of which is probably the only Coolpix I might recommend - the Coolpix P7700. While the P7000 series started off as a Canon G-series clone, the P7700 is starting to become its own camera. The first deviation is in ditching the fairly useless optical viewfinder to accommodate a much brighter lens: An optically stabilised 7.1x 28-300mm equivalent f/2.0-4.0 lens. Pretty impressive in all. The sensor is now a 12 megapixel BSI CMOS 1/1.7" sensor, which looks pretty capable. Other features include a now-articulated 3" VGA LCD, 1080p videos at 30 FPS, lots of controls (including three dials) and RAW shooting support. My real complaint? Nikon should have used this template for the V1. Ships in September for US$500. More cameras and links after the break!
Up next, is something entirely different. The Coolpix S800c is the world's first dedicated camera with the Android OS. Camera-wise, it's a fairly ho-hum travelzoom, with an optically stabilised 10x 25-250mm equivalent f/3.2-5.8 zoom lens paired with a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor, capable of producing 1080p videos at 30 FPS, as well as a 854x480 Pentile AMOLED touchscreen. What makes it unique is the Android OS, which is unfortunately on 2.3 (Gingerbread). Finally, you can add all kinds of effects and share them instantly from the camera provided there is a Wi-fi connection. The camera boots Android separately so you can use the camera on its own; the Android part takes about 30 seconds to boot. While I think it is a great concept, I am not certain it works best on a camera that offers marginally better quality images than a phone's camera. The zoom lens is good, but this would work so much better on something like a Nikon 1... or even a DSLR. Ships in September for US$350.
Finally, the Coolpix S01 is also from the "Let's make our cameras more like phones" department, except instead of adding a mobile phone OS, the camera instead sports a sensor from a phone's camera. Again, I am not sure if that is a great idea. While it makes for a small camera, I am certain the advantages a phone has makes up for the lack of optical zoom in many cases. Will anyone buy 10 megapixel sensor, a slow 3x zoom lens (29-87mm equivalent f/3.3-5.9), a QVGA touchscreen-only camera? Ships in September for US$180.