Snapshot Voyager is about my own personal photography journey. I am always looking to try something new, inquisitive as to how it works, and to the end results I might achieve.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Future Camera Trends

Recently I was reading Motor Trend who asked key automotive industry executives what would appeal to the younger generations as they buy a first car.  Jack Hollis, Vice President of Scion in the US (perhaps the only automotive brand that is solely youth focussed) said something very insightful :

"There's no question that kids do care (about cars). However, when I was their age, when I was 16, 17, 18, my priority was car first, then everything else second. Today, not so much. Today it's a lot more focused on whether I have my Android or iPhone, my iPad, my digital device, because they can have an entire social life and community of friends without having to drive to see them. So is there still a desire? Yes. Is there still a want? Yes. Is there still a focus in our company to pursue them? Absolutely. But as priorities go, it's just not as high or as stressed of a priority in their life, but I still think so many of them who want to get into a car, Scion's positioning to go get them."

If auto makers have a tough time focusing today’s youth on purchasing their products, that leaves almost everything but a smart phone as a tough sell.  This got me thinking.  Today, most phones have a camera, but what if a camera had a phone?  You may think I am saying the same thing, but for me the emphasis is on camera first, then phone.

Imagine a  small camera with an APS-C or four thirds sensor with a retractable lens that was the size of a Sony NEX body (or smaller); and on the screen it had full smart phone capabilities.  It would be pocketable enough to take anywhere, yet the lens/sensor combination would make for outstanding photos.  You could then instantly upload your shots to your favourite social media sites, like Facebook or Twitter, as well as saving the photos to a flash card.  

People take their phones everywhere, so you would never miss a shot, and you could share it as you live your life.

A trend for the future?  I hope so.

Sony NEX 3 with Voigtlander 21mm f4 Color Skopar

Monday, 30 January 2012

Heathrow Dixons

While I was waiting in Heathrow airport for my flight, I decided to wander through the camera shop Dixons.  I got to try out a couple cameras that I hadn’t really had the chance to play with, a Pentax Q and a Fuji X100.
I was surprised how small the Pentax Q was, and the images surprisingly good, even just in the camera store.  The 50mm equiv. F1.9 lens has the ability to render backgrounds in a nice out of focus bokeh, despite the tiny sensor.  Nice camera, but can’t justify the ridiculous price.

The Fuji X100 stood out for its amazing hybrid optical electronic viewfinder.  I can see why people like it.  Especially cool was the in viewfinder histogram.  Has the feel and character of a Leica, and you wonder why Leica hasn't made a camera like this themselves.

Lewisham, London - Sony NEX3 with Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 Nokton

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Leica Product Planning

Having worked in Automotive Product Planning for many years, my brain sometimes wonders what Photographic Product Planning would look like.  Take Leica; a company with storied history, but I think they have lost their way in the digital age.  If I was head of their Product Planning and Development Department, this is how I would envisage a Leica lineup in 2014.

Digital Cameras
Leica M10 – 20MP Full Frame M mount Camera with hybrid optical and electronic viewfinder.  CMOS sensor would feature no AA sensor, but with technology borrowed from Fujifilm to prevent colour aliasing.  Sensor would also feature very low noise at high ISO, with ISO 25,000 being almost free of noise.  Screen would be updated to a 3.2”, 1.3 million pixel display.  Traditional Leica styling with standard vulcanite.  Price = $7,000

Leica X1s- A mirrorless camera with an APS-C sized 16 MP sensor for Leica M mount.  Camera would feature a low cost hybrid optical electronic viewfinder and a 3” screen with 1 million pixels.  Styling would feature some traditional Leica styling cues, but with a modern flavour and size would be a little larger than a Sony NEX-7.  Camera only price = $2,500; with Leica 35mm f2.5 Summarit M = $4,000

Leica D-Lux 6 – A mirrorless micro four thirds camera based on a Panasonic GX1, but with Leica styling.  Body only price would be $900.  A kit combined with the Leica 25mm f1.4 Summilux would be $1600.

Film Cameras
Leica M7 – As per current but sold in very limited quantities as special editions only.  Price - $5000 - $10,000 depending on Special Edition

Leica M7-P – Taking a leaf out of Leica’s early 1980’s play book, offer a cost down M7 with a cheaper rangefinder and lower cost materials.  Price would be around $1700, or just above the price of a nice used M6 now.

Sony NEX 3 with Leica 50mm f3.5 Elmar

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Gritty London Garages

There’s no doubt there are parts of London that are pretty tough places, and in Lewisham, just south of Greenwich, there are parts that certainly match that description.  I wanted to shoot a few frames that brought out the gritty feel in the neighbourhood I was wandering through.  I used the NEX with the Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 Nokton on Black and White mode, and focussed on garage doors to keep a theme going.

 Generally when I shoot B&W on the NEX I increase the contrast to +3 and sharpness to +2, and this gives me the feel I like the most.

Friday, 27 January 2012

My Time in Greenwich

London is never a place that lacks photographic opportunities, and staying near Greenwich allowed a for few good shots of the surrounding heritage.  I took the NEX-3 with the Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 lens as it is so compact to travel with and the fast lens is usable in almost any lighting conditions.