RIP focus ring – this Canon lens replaces it with a touch panel

Focus rings on camera lenses could be a thing of the past, as Canon has designed a new lens that eschews it in favor of a touch-sensitive control panel.

However, it feels that using such a touch panel for focusing is just the tip of the iceberg; a lens with its own touch input could theoretically be used for anything from controlling autofocus points to navigating menus.

In specific, though, this new lens design seems to relate strictly to controlling focus, and to replacing the traditional manual focus ring that has been a staple of lens design for decades. 

Where a focus ring is usually turned clockwise or counterclockwise with your thumb and forefinger to rack focus, Canon’s design proposes to achieve the same function with a small circular touch panel – and this will likewise recognize clockwise or counterclockwise movement by simply moving your left thumb, without having to move your entire hand. 

In addition to direction of movement, this panel will also recognize speed of movement as well as single taps of constant drags, enabling all manner of functionality and command input. 

It’s a fascinating idea, and one that could certainly have potential. In a world where autofocus is now so good that micro-adjustments with a manual focus ring are becoming rarer and rarer (with the exception of fields like macro and landscape), most people never even touch the focus ring. 

In which case, having a simple and ergonomically well-positioned touch panel for occasional use would seem to make a lot of sense. Of course, as we all know from using touchscreens in cold or even humid conditions, they aren’t foolproof – and you simply can’t beat the granularity of a physical ring for precision control. 

Still, it’s a thought-provoking concept – even if, like so many of Canon’s patents, it only exists as food for thought and never makes it to market.

1.6 million ISO! Here's a guided tour of the upcoming Pentax K-3 Mark III

The Pentax K-3 Mark III has finally been announced by Ricoh, after a year of teasing. The new camera will possess a staggering top sensitivity of ISO1,600,000

The new camera will feature a brand new image sensor – along with a new imaging engine and accelerator unit – with a resolution of 25.73MP, a slight increase from the usual 24MP resolution that’s familiar to Pentax’ APS-C line.

In addition to the headline ISO100 to 1.6 million performance, the Pentax K-3 Mark III specs also include the improved Shake Reduction II (SRII) seen in cameras like the full-frame Pentax K-1 Mark II, the five-axis system that’s CIPA-rated for five stops of movement correction.

It features a top shooting speed of 12fps and can record 4K video up to 30p and FullHD video up to 60p, supported by an external microphone port and dual SD card slots (only one of which is UHS-II). It also possesses a phase detect autofocus system, with 101 AF points (25 of which are cross-type), capable of focusing down to -4EV.

As the manufacturer has been keen to stress, the pentaprism is the heart and soul of its cameras – and the viewfinder here offers a huge 1.05x magnification, a notable increase from the 0.95x magnification seen in the preceding K-3 Mark II. 

As previously confirmed, the rear LCD will not feature tilting, articulation or even Pentax’ signature ‘scissor-action’ – instead it will be a fixed 3.2 type screen, and possibly not a touch affair, with 1.62 million dots. It also has the much loved Night Vision red screen for low light shooting.

Both 2.4 GHz WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 are supported, and the camera’s official dimensions are 134.5 x 103.5 x 73.5mm (excluding protrusions) with a body only weight of 735g (820g including battery and SD card.

All the above information is courtesy of Digital Camera World

Opinion from the editor:

It seems like there has been so much publicity coming from Canon Sony and Nikon, the world may have forgotten a couple of other serious players in the world. And the first one I would like to mention is the Pentax Camera K3III, just announced. There is some delay still happening in it’s official release, as no date has been set yet, but, Pentax is a company that is part of Ricoh Imaging, and they have some money behind them. And they want the world to know that the DSLR is not dead. They are not planning on releasing anytime soon, the Compact Digital Cameras with interchangeable lenses. And why not? Because now, photographers are complaining that the new C-Digital SLR’s are too small, hard to control the knobs and dials and buttons. There may be some day, when everyone wishes the standard DSLR will reign as king again. And Pentax is banking on it. There new flagship camera is not as huge as people were expecting, so it is attracting the serious photographer. And it has changed the world with it’s new ISO capability of 1,600,000 ! Really, I think these new cameras will actually gather light rather than just “shoot in low light”. This is an amazing stat. Canon and Nikon do not have anything close to that.

So the battle goes on with the camera manufactures, to see who can come up with the most unique camera on the market. As soon as one comes out in the front of the lineups between brands, then the next manufacture will come out with something better. It is certainly hard for the photographer to keep up with the technology changes happening with the cameras available.

Can’t forget about Olympus:

Olympus cameras just sold the company to a new company that wants to make their camera worth considering as well. What can we expect from them? They are going to be a major player in this camera war as well.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 MarkV

One of the most versatile professional cameras ever made

Think Olympus can’t compete on the professional stage? Think again. There are many dedicated cameras that can do individual things better than the E-M1 Mark III; however, there are none that can do everything it can do. If you’re a general practice professional who shoots a lot of different genres, it’s an amazingly good choice. Industry leading 7.5-stop image stabilization, 60fps burst shooting, 80MP high-resolution imaging, handheld astrophotography, 4K video with great phase detect autofocus that doesn’t overheat… and all in a package that’s smaller, lighter, and cheaper than other DSLRs or mirrorless systems. Pro tip: this camera is a beast.

The high end Olympus camera boasts of features that other cameras do not:

  • 60 FPS continuous auto shooting
  • 7.0 EV Stops of Stabilization performance. This is the best of all brands of cameras. This has shown that you can hand hold their 600mm lens and the image stabilization will allow you to shoot without the worry of blurry photos.
  • 80 MP high resolution sensor for the sharpest yet.

So, l don’t think we need to feel that Olympus is out of the market yet either. This will be fun to see what happens in the next few years, as the battle of the camera manufactures goes at it.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.