What are the limits of a pocket-able camera?
/forum/topic/1169450/0



trale
Registered: Dec 01, 2008
Total Posts: 61
Country: N/A

I am an enthusiastic owner of the Sony RX100. There is little dispute that this is currently the overall best you can get in a jeans-pocketable form factor. Other compacts like the LX7 might have brighter lenses, but it does not adequately compensate for their tiny sensor - not to mention being bulkier.

I'm wondering what more can camera makers do within the confines of this form-factor. I'm guessing that they still might be able shave off 1-2mm from the LCD using the latest (or near future) ultra-thin display tech, so they can use this space for a slightly better speced lens, but I'm thinking that the only potential improvement might be a overall brighter lens at the cost of lower zoom range.

For example a 28-75mm F/1.8-2.8 lens with the RX100's sensor and size? Would this be realistic?



curious80
Registered: Jun 18, 2010
Total Posts: 1395
Country: United States

trale wrote:
...
Other compacts like the LX7 might have brighter lenses, but it does not adequately compensate for their tiny sensor - not to mention being bulkier.
....


While I am an RX100 owner, I won't say that LX7 has a tiny sensor.

Normalizing for the sensor size difference, LX7 lens is equivalent to around f2.3-f3.8 compared to the f1.8-f4.9 for the RX100. So it more than compensate for the smaller sensor on the long end. However it is indeed bulkier.



curious80
Registered: Jun 18, 2010
Total Posts: 1395
Country: United States

trale wrote:
...
For example a 28-75mm F/1.8-2.8 lens with the RX100's sensor and size? Would this be realistic?


The current RX100 lens is f4 at 75mm. It might be possible to give up a bit of the range and do a bit more engineering to do better than that. Then there is always the tradeoff about how much quality you are willing to give up. These extreme designs are typically made possible by relying on software correction for lens aberrations (which is not necessarily bad if the end result gives you the quality you expect)



freaklikeme
Registered: Apr 08, 2005
Total Posts: 5791
Country: United States

Give it a year or less. Someone will figure out a way to blow your mind again.



Bifurcator
Registered: Oct 22, 2008
Total Posts: 9299
Country: Japan

freaklikeme wrote:
Give it a year or less. Someone will figure out a way to blow your mind again.



Yeah, I'm waiting for Casio to hit again. Maybe 1,000 fps on a nearly 4/3 sized sensor plus all the other crap these little cameras pack in.



millsart
Registered: Apr 29, 2009
Total Posts: 4858
Country: N/A

Limit is how much people are willing to pay for such cameras. I'm sure if price was no object it would be possible to make something like a RX10 with a 35mm f1.4 fix lens, semi build into the body, take all the care possible to minimize distortion etc, tweak the sensor etc.

Be a really cool camera and I'm sure people on this forum would buy it, but would consumers as a whole ?

$1799 for a 1" sensor fixed lens "P&S" style camera ? Probably wouldn't sell enough to make it profitable and that is what its really about

Its not pushing technology or making the best camera, its what is going to promote the brand, increase profits etc.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 10680
Country: United States

how about an awesome performing collapsible prime that is fast and can really use all the pixels on a 20mp+ 1" sensor. maybe an even bigger sensor too?



rattymouse
Registered: Feb 04, 2006
Total Posts: 4813
Country: China

Bifurcator wrote:
freaklikeme wrote:
Give it a year or less. Someone will figure out a way to blow your mind again.



Yeah, I'm waiting for Casio to hit again. Maybe 1,000 fps on a nearly 4/3 sized sensor plus all the other crap these little cameras pack in.



Casio? Are they still in business? I thought they collapsed into a heap years ago.



Bifurcator
Registered: Oct 22, 2008
Total Posts: 9299
Country: Japan

Not that i know of.
http://www.casio.com/products/digital_cameras/

I think the current EXILIM high speed camera is still the Jan/2011 version tho with;
FHD: 1920 x 1080(30fps), STD:640 x 480(30fps)
HS : 224 x 64(1000fps) / 224 x 160(480fps) / 432 x 320(240fps) / 432 x 320(30-240fps)
movies and
40fps, 30fps, 15fps, 10fps, 5fps, 3fps
still frame continuous tho.

I'd like to see a 4 or 6 megapixel 1,000fps mode.


They release every January or so and released 4 compacts this year (that I know of). I dunno what's up for 2013 tho.



LightShow
Registered: Aug 03, 2009
Total Posts: 5067
Country: Canada

I'd like to see a 4 or 6 megapixel 1,000fps mode.
+1
1920x1080P @1000fps would be fun.



Spyro P.
Registered: Mar 24, 2008
Total Posts: 2866
Country: Australia

trale wrote:
I'm wondering what more can camera makers do within the confines of this form-factor.

oh you can have a full frame camera with an optical viewfinder, a rangefinder and a nice 35mm/2.8 lens
It's been available for the last 30 years, will set you back about $40






Spyro P.
Registered: Mar 24, 2008
Total Posts: 2866
Country: Australia

anyway I wasnt just trolling with the XA, I posted the photo to show that the main problem is the inability of larger digital sensors to deal with lenses that sit very close to them. Solve that problem relatively cheaply, and you get a massive improvement what can be achieved in terms of sensor, lens and camera size, as that little XA shows.

IMO digital technology gave us ease of use, image quality and consistency, but in every other aspect of camera design it took us many decades back. With film, the OP's problem was already solved in the 70's