This camera amazes me, if only because the 60fps capture rate is so far beyond the capabilities of my cheap Nikon. But simply taking a lot of photos isn’t that impressive; it’s the timing that counts.
That’s why the “continuous” feature is so impressive for this consumer-level camera, despite the Exilim’s nearly $1k price tag. Holding down the shutter release half-way causes the camera to begin capturing at the full rate, constantly discarding older images from the buffer to make room for the new ones; you’re guaranteed a ready-and-willing sensor–a promise that my Nikon explicitly forbids. See the following item, which is from the New York Times article of April 3, 2008, which is linked above (David Pogue, writer):
The F1’s second trick is that business about photographing a moment after the fact. In pre-record mode, you half-press the shutter button when you’re awaiting an event that’s unpredictable: a breaching whale, a geyser’s eruption or a 5-year-old batter connecting with the ball. The camera silently, repeatedly records 60 shots a second, immediately discarding the old to make room for the new.
I’m serious; waiting for the autofocus and aperture and all of the other electronically controlled metering functions to say hi to each other, politely shake hands or bow or whatever, and then to finally agree to disagree before the shutter will fire virtually guarantees that I will fail to capture the image I was hoping for; nevermind that this is frequently a moot point as the sensor’s sensitivity (or gain or whatever…) is so low that it’s useless without a tripod for anything except full midday sun or flash fill photography. Unfortunately, it sounds as if this is a disorder that also plagues the Exilim EX-1. Again, from NYT (David Pogue):
First, even though it’s nearly as big and bulky as a digital S.L.R. like a Canon Rebel or Nikon D80, the F1 is, at its heart, an amateur camera. It contains a tiny light sensor (about half an inch diagonal, versus 1.1 inches in a beginner S.L.R.). As a result, its light sensitivity is poor. Except in bright sunlight or studio lighting, those burst-mode shots are often disappointingly dim or disappointingly blurry.
A few more unrelated notes:
- Being nice to your customers is a good thing, no?
- I’m currently working on a space planning project for a major medical center, so this next item rings true:
- Murakami at the Brooklyn Museum (via NYT):
- “Night-Shining White” by Han Gan, among other works from the Met’s recent show of Chinese painting:
- Martin Klimas’s high-speed photography (way too cool…birds taking flight, shattering glass and figurines…) (via CreativeSpark)