Saturday, February 11, 2012
Sony makes stunning progress in digital cameras in 13 years, next the Social Camera
My first digital camera was the Sony DCS-505, a stunning 2.1MP camera I bought as it was launched in Japan in 1999. Now 13 years and many digital cameras, lately the Ricoh GX-200 I return to a Sony camera. The NEX5 with a 24mm Zeiss 1.8 lens. The lens & camera was a birthday present of my dear friends and family (Thank you!). I have deliberately skipped DSLRs due to their size. I have shot a lot of pictures using cameraphones. What I need is great low light photography. I shoot, food and people, everyday things. Mostly to remember. With the NEX-5N I think I will do a bit of classic protography as art, lets see. I completely dig the NEX5N in low light, it is like a dinky black hole sucking all light around it.
We have come a long way in 13 years, yet I find it very interesting to notice how similar the DCS505 is to the NEX-5N is general bulk. Yet in performance one is a T-Ford and the other is a Beeltle, both destined to be classics.
It is interesting to see the raise of the Micro FourThirds, as the camera community prefers to call the category of cameras. The NEX is the emerging leaders of, if we judge it from Amazon best seller list. DPreview has the perfect review, I have nothing to add, except, the user interface of the camera is nothing less of a train wreck. It is full of features, but lack a clever UI style, one that enables creation of a mental map of how the camera works. I have now used it a couple of weeks, and I am still unsure where things are. It has lots of image control, but if we then think that much of the post image processing, and all of the social imaging features are missing. This cannot be added without a disruption and starting over.
Imagine taking the iPhone type body and sticking on a Zeiss lens. Imagine a camera manufacturer turning the camera into an a social app platform for imaging. I have no doubt that this will emerge, as the app platforms of Android is segmenting into smaller ecosystems like Kindle Fire. The question who is going to do this. The lenses on the one-hand and the SW apps, and services are providing both lock-in and service business models. The Recent Polaroid Android is heading in the right direction.
This is in my mind the future of digital cameras, a social camera. A type of 21st century extension of the Brownie box. Designing this total image service experience would be a blast.