CES 2012

But first, a note

I'm going to charitably assume that I don't need to actually black out my site and that all of my readers are well aware of the SOPA/PIPA bills going through congress at the moment.

If you don't...

Your average congressperson knows very little beyond what lobbyists have paid to tell them. So if somebody were to tell them that the things they expect internet siteowners to do is so technologically impossible that the entire US Internet industry would be forced to shut down, you get little more than a blank stare.

Meanwhile, the large industrial concerns pushing SOPA and PIPA don't actually care what the repercussions of these sorts of bills are and it's doubtful that they've even vaguely thought this through.

The part that's just about as dangerous is sliding in new invasive Internet regulations that favor these large and staid industrial concerns being slipped in as a 'compromise' without causing a SOPA/PIPA-style blackout.

Thankfully, my employer, who I do not presume to speak for under any circumstances, has been active in campaigning against these stupid laws.

Micro 4/3rds

The really cool Micro 4/3rds stuff from the still-caught-in-white-collar-crime-hell Olympus apparently isn't due till next month. Allegedly. Some good rumors about a classic OM-styled camera.

The real problem is exactly what Olympus's road forward will be. There are a number of companies circling and you do need to remember that Olympus's real bread-and-butter business is medical instruments, not cameras.

On the other hand, Panasonic was showing two lenses -- a 12-35mm f/2.8 and a 35-100mm f/2.8. This puts them at the same equivalent to your typical pro-grade SLR lenses. Except that they were non-working prototypes.

The EVIL (electronic viewfinder interchangible lens) market is healthy. Sigma has started making lenses designed for the Micro-4/3rds and Sony mounts.

Canon G1 X

I'm also interested to see that Canon declined to introduce an EVIL camera, instead releasing the G1 X. I'm not surprised that things played out this way. For the most part, Canon doesn't need an EVIL camera. If they seriously want to release an EVIL mount, they will attract sufficient buzz on their own. It has a sensor slightly larger than the Micro-4/3rds sensor in a body that's only marginally larger than the previous G-series Canons. I think it's a good choice and makes me feel a bit better about my E-P3 as well.

The thing to remember is that a non-interchangeable-lens camera like the Canon G1 X or Fuji X100 won't have the same sensor-dust problem that the EVIL cameras have. And they will end up being a smidge smaller to boot. Horses for courses -- you can't assume that the same body will work for everybody identically.

Fuji's mount

Fuji decided to make their own EVIL lens mount instead of a Micro-4/3rds camera. Even though they were once part of the 4/3rds consortium. As it turns out, although most people in the US marketplace may not remember, Fuji can make pretty good cameras and lenses. They made a bunch of really nice medium format cameras over the years, some of which I sometimes ponder buying used. So they don't necessarily need Olympus/Panasonic or Sony's existing marketplace and it's a good time for them to launch. There's a bunch of nice little features like the hybrid viewfinder and their latest and greatest imaging technology.

It does sound like the Thailand flooding really messed up everybody's release cycle.



I'd intended to post this last week, but life intruded. Sorry 'bout that.

I should also highlight Thom Hogan's new site, sansmirror. Thom's been writing about the benefits of EVIL cameras for a long long time. Of course, he learned from Galen Rowell himself about the benefits of climbing mountains for the perfect shot...

Also announced at CES was the Droid 4. My Droid 1 is getting long in the tooth and I still like having a keyboard, so that was exciting.

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