Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tablet cameras needed (updated)

This is Why I Want a 5MP Camera on my Tablets, article.

I agree, a 5-7 inch tablet optimized for photography, meaning just a really good camera with a decent-sized sensor and good software for it (software is half the game now), would be a kewl thing. Even on a best 3-inch sensors, you can only get a rough idea of how well the picture turned out. Working with a hand-sized camera-tablet would be like working with a old-timey large-format camera with their huge glass screens, only much more handy. (It has to have one of the new bright screens so you don't need their old black cloth over your head.) (One of the newest screens has one in four pixels which is white! Lets out a ton more light with less battery use.)

Only issue is that if you like a zoom lens, and I know I do, then thickness is an issue. Thin tablets is a fetish right now, not the least due to Steve Jobs' fetishes. But look at for example a Canon S100. With the lens withdrawn, it's actually only one inch thick. If you built that into a 7-inch tablet, it would really not be bulky at all. Still fit into a largish pocket. And it would be easier to hold than those slick thin tablets we have currently.

And of course it would make it pretty easy to edit, crop etc your pictures, and send them to Instablahblah or your friends right there.

Another way to say this is: we want a much bigger camera phone, with a really large screen for editing and a really good camera, preferably with a zoom lens, and full Android capabilities. (Doesn't have to be Android, but I dare not hope for an iOS one.)

Samsung has a good start on this. I just don't think we need more than 4x zoom, and I'l like the screen size to reach a bit into tablet territory. But of course, why have just one type? I'm sure many people still want the camera to be smallish. So let's have a range.
But key is: a good camera. The 5MP camera in the iPad 3 is not bad (the one in the iPad 2 is bad), but it really is very limited by the tiny space allowed for its size, and it's not good in low light. (Compared to a "real camera" that is. Like I said, it's not a bad camera. And in the iPad Mini it's attractive, especially for web-quality pictures.)

Marcelo pointed to this article.
iPhone camera + small device has been a treat for ALL photographers, but the new iPad mini seems to run double for journalists because it’s handheld with a great camera and actually a surface you can compose a story on…  but it really seems to fill that void for the journalist – shoot photos and compose. Just a thought.

I have had similar thought even before we got the iPad Mini. Having a decent camera in a device you also can write and email or blog-post on, really saves a lot of steps and time if you need to be both reporter and photographer, like many do. The Mini's 5MP camera is good enough for most purposes, and you  can easily write on it. If you don't like a "glass keyboard" (I don't), then a compact USB keyboard will do it.
Ooops: and of course you can even record interviews on it, either audio or good quality video! (I think it even has built-in stabilization.) Heck, it's a complete "jounalism station".    :-)


Bruce said...

I agree, and I think we are starting to see some convergence here between the tablet manufacturers and the camera manufacturers.

1. Nikon has an Android camera now, the Coolpix S800c, somewhat smaller and definitely lighter than the Samsung.

2. I believe the new iPad mini has the same camera as the iPad 3. The new iPod touch has a similar camera as well.

scott said...

what do you think about this for a first camera

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Scott: Hurry and get it at $200!
At a glance I'd say it's probably excellent, especially with this special offer.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Good point, Bruce. If nothing else, convergence and general progress is moving in this direction.

Bruce. said...

Fascinating addition to the post, about videography and filing stories with the iPad mini. I never would have thought of that.

... and yes, the Olympus XZ-1 is a great deal at that price. There is an XZ-2 out now, but for triple the price! I think the XZ-1 is still one of the best cameras of it's size for low light photography, and should be excellent in normal or bright light.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I haven't researched it, but it has 4.5 stars over many reviews, and Olympus is usually a good bet.