iPhone 4 Tops Flickr Camera Stats

The iPhone 4 shoots to the top of Flickr's camera ratings

Data from Flickr confirms what we’ve been saying for a long time: The camera people are most likely to use is the one they’re most likely to have with them. No surprise then that the number one camera on Flickr is the Apple iPhone 4.

Coming along in second place is the entry level Nikon D90. Priced at around $1,200 with the 18-105mm kit lens, Nikon seems to have found the sweet spot between price and performance.

The next three in the top 5 all belong to Canon. It’s no surprise to find the EOS 5D MK II in the list, although the Rebel T2i in the fourth spot is kind of a surprise. Perhaps it shouldn’t be such a surprise for the T2i to be on the list when I consider that among my friends who are professional wedding photographers, one uses the T2i as his main camera and two use it as their backup body.

Anyone who owns a Canon EOS 7D would not be surprised to find it in the top 5. It is one of the most reliable pieces of photographic equipment I’ve ever used.

One should take statistics on Flickr with a grain of salt. While they are reflective of the relative popularity of certain cameras, not all cameras record the camera type in the meta data, which is particularly true of smartphones, and those tend to be under-represented in the data.

Another factor to consider is that statistics on Flickr evolve slowly and are backward facing. So many of the hot new camera models may not be reflected in the statistics for some time to come.

In the point-and-shoot category, Canon owns all of the top five slots. The wildly successful S95 leads the parade, with the G12 coming in second.

Another factor to consider is that Flickr represents a sub-section of photographers actively sharing their photos. Not all photographers are equally active in social media sharing and many of the old timers are skeptical of using photo sharing services.

It is good to check on the statistics from time to time, just to watch the parade of technology. Judging by the stats, for many of you your new camera is also the device you use to make phone calls.

Fujifilm’s Hot New Retro Styled X-Pro1

Fujifilms hot new X-Pro1 features a new image sensor combined with sexy retro styling

Fujifilms retro-style XPro-1 with interchangeable lenses looks to be one camera that’s going to live up to the hype which has been swirling since 2010. In a stylistic coup, Fujifilm managed to beat Leica at their own rangefinder game.

Inside the XPro-1 starts with a 16-megapixel APS-CX-Trans CMOS sensor, a brand new sensor type Fujifilm claims will offer better resolution than a Canon 5D MK II. While that remains to be seen, what it does do is eliminate the old Bayer pattern of color filters over the pixel layer and replaces them by 6×6 arrays of RGB filters in a quasi-random pattern that is supposed to mimic film grain. The non-regular pattern eliminates moire and the need for a low pass filter to manage it.

Coupled to the new sensor is the EXR Pro Image Processor behind a hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder. Keeping with the rangefinder styling, Fujifilm put the emphasis on knobs and dials for controls over soft menus and touch screens.

The series will launch with three XF prime lenses: The XF 18mm f/2, a 35mm f/1.4 and the XF 60mm f/2.4. The lenses feature traditional aperture rings and a long manual focus ring.

The only plain feature on the XPro-1 is the shutter, which clicks in at a max 1/4000th of a second and relatively slow flash sync.

On the back the Fujifilm XPro-1 has a 3 inch 1.23 million dot LCD, featuring the on-screen Q control panel.

Definitely reflected in the build and styling is Fujifilm’s commitment to listening to users and reviewers alike and sports a somewhat larger body style, pushing the boundaries of the word “compact”.

Still, you have to dig deep to find a negative with the Fujifilm XPro-1 and you can expect sales to be brisk with appeal to the admirers of the old Leica M9’s. The only thing that could limit sales is the $1,700 price tag, which seems a little steep compared with other cameras in the same class.

Compare to:

Fujifilm X-Pro1 vs Finepix X10

Fujifilm X-Pro1 vs Leica M9

Fujifilm X-Pro1 vs Sony NEX-7

Nikon Flexes Video Muscle With New D4

d4 photo
The Nikon D4 boasts improved video specs and a high capacity battery

It looks like Nikon is finally fully on board with video with the introduction of the new powerhouse Nikon D4. For many video shooters it was a mystery why Nikon ceded the video market to Canon for so long, but they have been steadily improving their video offerings and finally brought it all together in the new D4.  The D4 replaces the Nikon D3s and Nikon D3, see our comparison of the Nikon D4 vs D3s.

Built around a 16-megapixel full frame sensor Nikon really pushed the low light performance with an extended ISO range out to a nearly unbelievable ISO 204,800. The D4 delivers 1080 video at 24 or 30p, and 720 HD at 60p, with 20-level audio meters. Though the D4 delivers uncompressed video via HDMI, the output is limited to 720p.  there is some question whether it’s full 1080p or limited to 720p.

Nikon also included a low pass video filter which should help prevent moire and aliasing, a constant problem for DSLR video shooters. How they did it without impacting the quality of still images remains a mystery, details that I’m sure will emerge when the D4 hits the streets.

Other than the video features the differences between the D4 and D3 are incremental rather than generational. The D4 can pop through 10 frames a second with AF and AE and 11 fps with focus and exposure locked.

Nikon managed to squeeze in a 91,000 pixel sensor for metering white balance, flash exposure, and face detection, which also functions through the viewfinder.

d4 sensor image
The 16-megapixel full frame sensor. Thankfully they didn't choose the Sony sensor for this model

The ergonomics of the Nikon D4 have also been improved for portrait orientation, a feature Canon included on the 1DX. Nikon added an additional rubberized lump and an additional function button next to the vertical shutter release.

With the new high cap battery Nikon is claiming you can get up to 2,600 images on a single charge, so no worries about your battery dying in the middle of a shoot.

The Nikon D4 includes a new carbon fiber shutter that’s rated for an eye-popping 400,000 snaps, so you can look forward to getting a lot of years out of your D4, which will help ease the sting of the $6,000 price tag. The D4 is already sold out on Amazon, but I am sure more will be available soon.

Check out some of these Comparisons:

Cameras For a Rough World

olympus tough
The Olympus Tough TG-810 is waterproof to 30 feet, shockproof from six feet and has built-in GPS support - by Olympus

It’s not easy being a small electronic device sometimes, the world can be a rough place. Some of you might be looking for a camera for the kids that can stand up to the rigors of the playground, the park and the back yard water slide. Others may need a camera that can get bounced around in the glove compartment and may be called upon to work in any weather conditions. Or perhaps a camera that can survive a bruising climb up a mountain trail in a backpack or road trip in bicycle panniers.

For those situations, you need a tough camera. No sissy electronics will do, you need something that can take it and still deliver decent photos.

Luckily there are cameras engineered for a rough world.

Olympus Tough TG-810

Capable of being dropped from a height of 6 feet, can survive underwater to a depth of 30 feet, and can even take being stashed in a snowbank.

The 13.8-megapixel CCD chip does yield great results underwater or in low light, but overall the camera will survive the rigors of being dragged around in the field. The Tough TG-810 has built-in GPS so you’ll know where the pictures were taken.

Video specs are okay, but not great. You’ll get 720p at 30 fps.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3

This rugged compact not only sports built-in GPS, but also a compass, barometer, and altimeter. It’s dust proof, waterproof down to 40 feet, and shock resistant to falls up to 6 feet. And, oh yeah, it takes pictures.

Again this camera has a 12.1-megapixel CCD type sensor, which means you’re giving up a little in low light performance, but you gain full 1080 HD video at 60 fps.

Nikon Coolpix AW100

With the Nikon Coolpix AW100 you step up to a 15.9-megapixel CMOS sensor in a camera that still has an integrated GPS transceiver, but this time coupled with internal mapping software. Video is 1080p at 30 fps.

The Coolpix AW100 is shockproof to a height of 5 feet, waterproof to a depth of 33 feet and, like the Olympus, can survive an extended period in a snowbank. Which begs the question of how much time people are spending in snowbanks? Because that seems to be a big selling point for camera manufacturers.

Life is hard, but with one of these tough customers, you’ll at least be able to get good photos while buried in snowbanks.


Olympus Tough TG-810 to Nikon Coolpix AW100

Nikon Coolpix AW100 to Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3

Olympus Tough TG-810 to Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3

Keep your camera gear close at hand with Think Tank Photo’s new Modular Rotation System

As an event photographer you need to be able to have quick access to your camera gear. Think Tank Photo newly redesigned Modular Rotation System takes all your camera equipment and puts it on your belt.

We had the opportunity to try out the system this week and were quite impressed, the system was easy to use and figure out. You attach the bags to a belt and can either fix them in position or allow them to move around the belt and out of the way, when not in use. The Lens Changer bags have a wide mouth that allows quick lens changes without removing the lens hood. Some of the larger bags like the Lens Changer 75 have a pop down compartment which allows you to expand the bag with a simple zipper. You should be able to fit a 100-400 f/4 lens in the Lens Changer 75. The Lens Changers also have the added bonus of having a rain cover hidden behind a zippered pocket on the bottom. A drawstring keeps your lens from falling out, and you should be able to operate it with one hand. The material and padding in the bags should protect your lens from scratches and the occasional bump.

The package also came with some gear pouches, one for your flash and a multi-use pouch than is just the right size for your gear, whether it is more lenses, batteries, flash triggers or any number of small gadgets.
We didn’t have much issue with the belt falling down (we didn’t load it up too much), but all your equipment can start to get heavy. The new Keep It Up shoulder strap not only helps keep the belt from falling down, it also includes a memory card holder within easy reach.

Think Tank Photo has also redesigned their skin line, which offers most of the same features but is a more compact and lightweight system than the modular rotation system.

Think Tank Photo has done a great job redesigning this system, it was truly designed for photographers. The Modular Component Set v2.0 and Modular Skin Set V2.0 will ship in early December.

Full disclosure: Think Tank Photo sent us the Modular Component Set to review.

Photos courtesy of @PhilADavis