A cavalcade of cameras, a huge cameraphone, Windows and a wristband
18th Oct 2013 | 10:00
Life through a lens
It's been a brilliant week for photography fans: not only do we have a whole bunch of handy hints for smartphone snappers, but for serious shooters there's a veritable cornucopia of new cameras to choose from.
Has Sony just released the ultimate bridge camera? The RX10 certainly looks the part: it's a premium camera with the RX100 II one-inch sensor and a constant f/2.8 aperture lens.
It's got a new Bionz sensor too, and Amy Davies is impressed. It won't be cheap, but "this camera is exactly what's needed to shake up the bridge camera market."
That's not all Sony had to show us this week. The new A7 and A7R come with full-frame sensors, and Davies has the deets: the Sony A7 has a 24.3 million pixel sensor and the Sony A7R has 36.4 million pixels and no anti-aliasing filter.
Are they any cop? The A7 "is ahead of the curve of the other cameras which are on the market" and the A7R is better still. "What we have here is an extremely exciting development, especially for the compact system camera market," Davies explains. "Traditional DSLR manufacturers may be starting to get worried."
If Nikon's bricking it, it isn't showing: the venerable camera firm has yet another new SLR for your excitement and delightment in the shape of the Nikon D5300. Angela Nicholson put it through its paces and found a lot to like: 24 million pixels "is more than enough for most photographers" and the integrated Wi-Fi is great news.
However, the beginner-friendly controls aren't as quick to use as direct controls: "We'd like to see a few more on the D5300 to make it faster for enthusiasts to use," she says, but the D5300 "is an attractive proposition for someone looking to take their photography more seriously."
Not to be outdone, Fuji busted out a couple of cameras to round the week off: the compact Fuji XQ1 which comes packing a fixed zoom lens with an equivalent focal length of 25-100m, and the Fujifilm XE2 that can handle interchangeable lenses.
High-end cameras tend to be fairly hefty beasts, but that's not the case with the Panasonic Lumix GM1: it's a Micro Four Thirds camera that's absolutely tiny - but it packs a 16 million pixel Live MOS Four Thirds sensor. It's one of the smallest compact system cameras on the market.
While Panasonic goes small, HTC has gone big: the latest entrant to the increasingly crowded "stupidly large handset" market is the HTC One Max, which comes with a whopping 5.9-inch screen. It's big, but is it too big?
Phone and Tablets Editor Gareth says "it's hard to recommend," and News Editor Kate reckons it is "too big. Way too big... if I wanted to use a tablet as a phone, I'd buy a tablet and use it as a phone." If you'd like to try it for yourself, just grab an HTC One and hold it really close to your eyes.
You'll need to hold the new Nike Fuelband SE close to your eyes too, or at least you will if you want to see what's new: as Hugh Langley reports, most of the changes "are quite subtle." It can now track cycling and rowing as well as running, it's harder to cheat and it can now connect via Bluetooth 4.0.
Last but not least, happy Windows day! Windows 8.1 is out, and Gary Marshall reckons it makes Windows RT look rather like a red-shirted security goon in Star Trek: "The 'One Microsoft' currently has three Windows for two platforms: there's big-Windows on Intel, and there's phone-Windows and weird-Windows on ARM."
No prizes for guessing which of those is Windows RT. "Windows RT was a gamble, and it didn't pay off."