Cambo Wide RS Anniversary Edition

Cambo Wide RS
Cambo Wide RS Anniversary Edition for extreme architectural photography - by Cambo

Architecture is one of those specialty areas of photography where the cost of the really high end equipment can be absolutely eye-popping. It doesn’t stop there, either. Imagine having all the problems associated with background, lighting and angles when your subject is two stories tall.

Architectural cameras, like the Cambo Wide RS Anniversary Edition, start with price tags in the tens of thousands and up and that’s just the body. You get to spend almost that much more again on a lens and digital back. Expect the whole kit to be near $30,000.

At least you won’t have any trouble remembering your serial number for warranty service. For cameras like the Cambo Wide RS Anniversary Edition, they’re only making 65 of them. It won’t be that difficult to keep track of your warranty as the cameras come personally engraved with the owner’s information.

What you get for that princely sum is a precision camera with an aluminum body and stainless steel gearing in a “pancake” style camera made to use with medium format digital backs and extreme wide angle lenses. All that precision is necessary to get such a wide angle lens that close to the sensor.

The camera body is built with a variety of wide tilt and swing panels that provide up +/- 5 degrees of tilt along two planes with precision geometry gearing.

All the gearing is designed to move the back, not the lens, so it’s possible to get interesting effects like precision panorama shots just by moving the back.

Definitely not for everyone, but if you’re one of those people who dream about doing architectural photography, this is one of the cameras you dream about owning some day.

It’s a Phone, It’s a Camera, It’s Panasonic’s Lumix Phone 101P

An Android phone with wifi and a 13.2-megapixel camera - by Panasonic

Most of us are comfortable with the concept of cameras in our phones. Some of those phone cameras have gotten pretty decent over the years. Maybe not anything you’d want to take to any kind of significant event, but in many situations better than not having any camera.

Panasonic has decided to take the camera/phone integration to the next level with the Lumix Phone 101P, available in Japan where they seem to get all the good toys first.

The Lumix phone packs a 13.2-megapixel CMOS Lumix sensor coupled with an Android phone running 2.3 (Gingerbread) on a dual core 1 GHz TI cpu. There are many of the usual camera software tools available, like Intelligent Auto.

On the back it sports a 4-inch QHD LCD screen with 960×540 resolution.

Besides both W-CDMA and GSM the Japanese models also include Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR, wifi support, and a digital TV tuner.

The body is advertised as waterproof, but just how waterproof that is remains to be seen.

Either way, I want one. This isn’t going to replace my Canon 7D anytime soon, but it sure might replace my point-and-shoot and it will definitely replace my regular phone.

What’s more interesting is what this phone/camera may signal for the future of electronic news gathering. With a phone like this and wireless keyboard it would be possible to grab some pictures and movies and duck into a nearby coffee shop to file your stories, where you can also pay for your coffee with the integrated e-wallet. No laptop required. While that may not be this device, it may be something very similar.

Stay tuned for pricing and availability in the U.S. when announced.

Lytro Is Not Going To Put You Out of Business

Old still camera
Lytro technology is not going to put photographers out of business - photo by Arne Nordmann

If you’re in the photography field, you’ve probably already heard of Lytro field technology.  It has some unique imaging capabilities, including the ability to select DoF and a focus point after you take the shot.

Lately there has been speculation on some of the photography discussion boards that Lytro’s technology is going to revolutionize the field of photography overnight, making most of us obsolete in our own industry.  Personally, I’m not worried.

Photography has been around in one form or another for almost 200 years now.  During the entire course of the industry, there have been people getting paid to take pictures.  Photographic technology continued to advance the entire time.  In the 30’s Kodak brought photography to the masses with the Brownie camera and pre-packaged rolls of film.  There was some speculation on those days that cameras in the hands of common people would put photographers out of business.

Yet photographers survived the Brownie, 35mm film, photo labs at the corner drug store, Photoshop, and digital cameras.  There have been more than a dozen times in my lifetime alone that photographers were going to become obsolete, yet here we all are.

It’s too soon to say what impact Lytro’s field technology will have on photography.  Right now it appears to be a generational improvement that has the potential to bring a lot of positive change to the industry, but it will not replace professional photographers.

We went through this in the video industry as well.  Cheap digital video cameras were going to revolutionize filmmaking.  While they certainly revolutionized the porn industry, the rest of filmmaking stayed pretty much intact.

If we can survive digital cameras with big sensors, quality glass and price points under $1,000, we’ll survive this.  Put the world’s most advanced imaging technology available in the hands of an amateur and you’ll still get amateur photography.

Nikon shows off some new concept cameras

Earlier this year a video circulated around, showing off a new camera from the Consumer Electronics Show. The camera was called the WVIL camera, it turned out to be fake, but sometimes fiction is closer to reality.

This week Nikon is showing off a few concept cameras at the Hello Tomorrow exhibition in Paris, France, and one of them looks remarkably similar to the WVIL concept.

The Nikon Modular Camera appears to have a LCD screen that wirelessly connects an interchangeable lens and grip.

Some photos taken by montie_j:

The Nikon Multi-Ball appears to be a 360-degree panoramic camera, perhaps something similar to the Lytro Camera that we talked about last week.

Lastly is the Nikon i-Ball, we are not really sure what these are for, but it reminds me of the GoPro HS helmet cameras that have become very popular as of late.
What do you think, are these just fun prototypes or the future of photography?