« Wonks can win over Douthat | Main | Retrevo laptop deals by Retrevo, a gigaom gig (cofunded-wise) »

Coat pockets vs shirt pockets as benchmarks

CAMERAS TACKLE LOW LIGHT From the beginning of digital-camera time, the rule was: if you want to take no-flash photos in low light, you'd better buy yourself one of those big, black, heavy S.L.R. cameras. Too often, the pocket cameras that make up 90 percent of camera sales produce blurry or grainy shots in low light.

This year, the camera companies finally abandoned their decade-long obsession with megapixels. Instead, several of them began working on things that really count -- like bigger sensors for better pictures.

Panasonic and Olympus teamed up to create the Micro Four Thirds format: coat-pocketable cameras that take near-S.L.R.-quality photos. Fujifilm and Sony released new shirt-pocket models whose redesigned sensors do exceptionally well in low light. And Canon's PowerShot S90 combines an unusually large sensor (for a little camera) and a remarkable lens to produce amazing low-light shots.

Still, even these cameras may someday seem laughably crude; already, high-end cameras like the Canon EOS 5D MKII actually "see" better in low light than you do. Trickle-down theory, do your thing.

State of the Art
Novel Now, but Not for Long
Published: November 26, 2009
This year has produced many gadgets -- high-tech and low -- that point toward the future.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)