I trust no one missed my main point in the previous post: 2012 was a very good year for cameras. Interesting ones, useful ones, good ones. It was a year of just the sort of creativity in the cameramaking universe that five years ago I was bemoaning the absence of. And that despite setbacks economic, environmental, and corporate. So: bravo to the cameramakers!
I've always thought that the inevitable evolution of digital has to be a layered sensor like the Foveon, and I still feel that one day, the Bayer array will be as antiquated as a top hat. (Or, more on point, as Lumière Autochromes. Or even more on point, as tricolor cameras.) When that happens, all of this year's cameras will be lost in the mists of history, along with Exaktas, Mirandas, and Niccas.
But then, that's what I was saying eight years ago, and I've been wrong about it so far.
For the moment—for our times—2012 was a very good year for cameras.
Original contents copyright 2012 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
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Featured Comments from:
Manuel: "Cameras are indeed much more interesting now, and both Panasonic and Olympus deserve the credits for having started the ball rolling when they introduced Micro 4/3. Crucially, Olympus sent the message that it was OK to make beautiful cameras again when they launched the E-P1. If it weren't for this brilliant little machine, mirrorless cameras would all probably look like DSLRs (like the Panasonic G1/GH1) or point-and-shoots on steroids like the insipid Canon EOS M.
"This is, in my humble opinion, the reason cameras have become so much more interesting than what we had five or so years ago. The new designs brought back pride in ownership, something that got lost in the way when all camera makers started making ergonomically oriented bodies. (I wouldn't go so far as to call them 'melted soapbars,' as some do.) Now we can have cameras that are a delight to behold, the Fujis being currently the best example of the kind.
"Re the Foveon sensor, I believe it nods to the future. I may be wrong, but it is so clever and effective (at least from what I see on the 'net) that most sensor makers will adopt this technology sooner or later. It's all up to Sony...."
Andre: "Well, the interwebs claim Sony has filed a patent for a layered sensor and Michael Reichmann claims that a major manufacturer will introduce a sensor that bypasses the Foveon patents within 18 months. Assuming this comes to pass, and the manufacturer provides enough information that the major RAW software makers can support it, the Bayer array sensor might be consigned to being a transitional stage in sensor development."
Mike replies: Really? I hate to admit ignorance (never let 'em see you sweat, etc.), but I did not know that. In any event, I've been predicting this since 2002, so my prediction is ongoing...and not based on any actual information. [g]
Huw Morgan: "I went back in time via the Interwebby and found your landmark article in Luminous-Landscape on the DMD (Decisive Moment Digital) camera. At that point in time, a DMD seemed like a distant vision of the future, but we are now suddenly surrounded by 'em. Take your pick: Olympus OM-D, Sony Nex-7 and Nex-6, Fuji X-e1, Canon M, Nikon 1, etc. etc. All fulfil the purpose of a DMD quite handily. All focus quickly, have access to fast primes and have sensors that range from perfectly adequate to verging on humongous. You can find one that fits every hand, from the smallest to the largest. Plus, we've made excellent headway with electronic viewfinders that make it possible to pre-chimp our photos. I like pre-chimping! Aren't we all so lucky to have our fine Japanese and Korean friends making our wishes come true?"
XK50: "Don't you love that Autochrome palette? One for DxO Optics' Filmpack!"