August 21, 2010

Sweep Panorama, a talk of SONY

Before and during my trip in Nepal I did not own a SONY camera. I did before.  And if you count Minolta a SONY as well, then a longer history. My first Minolta is an Alpha 9000 (the earliest AF professional camera availabe bought it in 1986), then later with a stainless steel chasis (first in SLR history) Dynax 9, I eventually passed them to my relative and that is the last Minolta I have. All along I was more a Contax user, although I have long history with Nikon and Leica as well. And later with Canon. My first digital camera was in fact a SONY Mavica, where the image file wrote to a 3.5" floppy disc - sounds very ancient indeed. And last one was a Cybershot DSC-F828, but my graphic designerd lost it, what a shame, and my relationship with SONY ended, period. Why? Because in recent years SONY is to me not a leading company in innovation, or design, so to speak, in my own point of view. SONY is lagged is offering true innovative thinking, design, concept, and in quality, but still, it is a big company.
Then it came along taking over Minolta, hurried out a line of digital single lens reflex cameras, one particular note the Alpha 900, like its predecessors, it is a good camera, but not offering what Canon or Nikon couldn't, except aggressive pricing.  But for younger users who has less knowledge of this history, SONY's long time partner gave its Alpha line some nice lenses does make SONY more professional smell.  Its line of compact is mixed of good and bad, more on the niche side, sometimes with a few good performer.  But started with its built in HDR function, sweep panoramic picture, party-shot automatic photography station, and then the EVIL - NEX-3 and NEX-5 which I have it now, SONY looks a lot more alive in its digital imaging division.  
So how useful is the sweep panoramic function from SONY?  Quite big actually, and soon might be picked up by many other camera makers.  Just like my preference over landscape pictures, a superwide angle lens eventually not wide enough, and with digital stitching capability, one can compose the picture with the most essential scene and make a large panoramic image - but now - this can be done in-camera, simply just sweep the camera acorss the landscape, and in the case of NEX-5, one even get the 3D panoramic image - true, it might be a feature too early to be available because effectively there is not much proactical device useful for display, but hey, it came free with a firmware update, why not!
When and how effective all these technology will be further developed for future releases of Alpha line of DSLR - or shall we say HDVDSLR is worth looking for, but surely we will see the NEX-7 or even a NEX-9 not far from the horizon with even more refine features, SONY might as well see their investment in taking over Monilta paid off.  
I have in varies posts in this blog to give Panasonic GF-1 a high praise, now I feel that may be GF-1 is having a serious competitor, and should I have both GF-1 and NEX-5 before the trip to Nepal - which one will I take?  As of today, I would say NEX-5. That's how good it is.  But, GF-1 is as good as a picture making tool as the NEX-5 and perhaps even edge it out in straight forward operation, but speaking of snap video, NEX-5 just turn everything around.  I would then return from Nepal much more panoramic images, videos..........

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