Simon is a journalist and photographer who has spent the last ten years working for national UK newspapers - but has never hacked a mobile phone - and specializes in writing about weird products and photography technology. When not writing for Gizmag, Simon is often found playing with LEGO and drinking far too much coffee.
The best camera is undoubtedly the one you have with you, and there's a good chance nowadays that's a smartphone. But, while your phone can almost certainly take good photographs, it might need a little help to be the best camera it can be. Here Gizmag looks at some of the best smartphone camera accessories available in 2015.
Eyefi has announced it's bringing its wireless sharing and Eyefi Cloud storage to Wi-Fi enabled GoPro and and Olympus cameras. Users of supported cameras will be able to instantly send images to an Eyefi app on their Android (and soon iOS) phone, without the need for a wireless memory card. Images can then be automatically synced with the cloud storage service, organized, and smart tagged.
Not content with updating its RX cameras, Sony has also announced a new flagship full frame mirrorless camera with the A7R II. The new camera features a 42-megapixel back-illuminated full frame Exmor R CMOS sensor, internal 4K video recording and an improved autofocus system with 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points, which is said to be 40 percent faster than that of the original A7R.
Sony has revealed the latest iterations of its impressive pocket-friendly and big-zoom RX cameras with the Cyber-shot RX100 IV and RX10 II. While the cameras each look a lot like their respective predecessors, the new models boast a new 1-inch-type stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor along with some nifty high-speed, slow-motion and 4K shooting skills.
After much speculation, Leica has finally announced its new full frame fixed lens camera. The drool-inducing Leica Q (Typ 116) is a high-end compact which pairs a 24-megapixel CMOS sensor with a Summilux 28-mm F1.7 lens. The stylish camera also features mod cons including a contrast-based autofocus system along with a high resolution electronic viewfinder and a 3-inch rear touchscreen.
As anyone who has ever used an action camera will know, they have a nasty tendency of chewing through batteries just when you're in the worst possible situation to recharge them, whether that's halfway up a mountain or at the beach. Polar Pro is attempting to address this issue with the launch of the PowerVault, a GoPro carrying case which can charge a GoPro battery five times thanks to its own built-in battery.
The Leica Gun, or "Leica Gewehr" in German, is one of the rarest and most unusual Leitz accessories ever produced. Created in the 1930s for sports and wildlife shooters, of the photographic variety, it paired a Leica camera and lenses with a mirror-housing and barrel viewfinder along with a rifle-like wooden stock and trigger. This week a very rare prototype of the New York Leica Gun RIFLE is due to be sold at auction for an estimated €300,000 to €350,000 (around US$335,000 to $390,000).
Photographers normally have to choose between having their camera protected from the elements, or being ready to shoot at a moment’s notice. Having recently exceeded its Kickstarter target, the Agua is a storm-proof quick-draw camera carrier which aims to change that by boasting IPX3-standard water-resistance and also doubling up as a carry strap.
Hasselblad has launched a new medium format camera range designed specifically for the needs of aerial photographers. To prevent unwanted image-spoiling movement that can occur due to aircraft vibration, the A5D System aerial camera range has been created with no moving internal parts, and can be used with locking aerial versions of Hasselblad lenses.
Phase One has given professional photographers something to lust after with the launch of the new high-end medium format XF Camera System. The new system sees an XF camera body launched alongside a new line of IQ3 digital backs offering resolutions up to 80-megapixels, and new modular viewfinders. The system also boasts a major redesign, a new autofocus platform, and an upgradable OS with a new OneTouch User Interface.