RAWsumer reviews at the Compact Reviews Organizer
CANON: G11 S95 G10 G9 S90 SX1is
PANASONIC: LX5 LX3 LX2 FZ50 FZ100 FZ40/FZ45 FZ38/FZ35 FZ28
FUJI: S100fs
NIKON: P7000 P6000
CAMERA DIARIES: Panasonic LX3 Canon G10

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Speculation: What other RAWsumers can we expect in 2007?

It is almost mid-September and we have just 3 1/2 months left before 2008 comes around. With a big percentage of digital camera sales happening in November and December, the majority of new cameras are announced before that. So basically we have September and October to get new RAWsumers, and then we take a bit of a break until CES and PMA come around in 2008.

So what else can we expect or hope for? Well, here is my speculation. The cameras are listed in no particular order, and the camera names are my best guestimate. I have no insider info (unfortunately):
1) Ricoh GX120: a follow-up to the GX100, using one of the new 12mp sensors. Given that the GX100 one would think it may be too early, but since Ricoh updates their R-series every 6 months, and the prosumer market is wide open, if Ricoh is able to fix some of the GX100 issues, they could have a best seller in their hands. Remember the new R7 comes with a new processing engine that claims to offer improvements, especially when it comes to noise pollution.
2) Ricoh GRD2: The GR1D is two years old so it is reasonable to expect an update! We already saw some improvements going from the GRD to the GX100, so if Ricoh can continue to improve, they could have another success story. The only other camera to perhaps compete with this one is the Sigma DP-1...
3) Sigma DP1: Yes it has been announced, and it will probably be released at some point. Will we it still be 21st century when that happens? Okay, dramatization aside, Sigma needs to do a better job of keeping potential buyers updated on this camera. If/when it does get released, it could create a bit of a stir among enthusiasts. The only other camera using such a large sensor was the Sony R1.
4) Fuji S9200fd (aka S9700fd): Take the S9100 (S9600), add sensor shift stabilization, the dual xD/SD drive, and the 12mp sensor found in the F50fd and you have an update one year after the S9100. One thing that may lead Fuji away from this is the 18x superzoom S8000fd, although as the model # suggests, the S9xxx series is still the top of the line.
5) Leica's version of the Panasonic FZ18. Given the early reviews the lens performed quite well given its zoom ratio, so it would be a lens that Leica wouldn't be shy about selling as their own (it already has their name on it anyways)
6) Will the 60fps Casio that was announced with a development notice be released in 2007 and have RAW?

Less Likely, But We Would Love to see these!
1) Take the Fuji F50d, add RAW and voila, the F51fd (or offer it via firmware update!)
2) Take the Nikon P5100, add RAW, and voila the P5200 (or offer it via a firmware upgrade)
3) Take the Fuji S8000fd, add RAW and voila the S8100fd (or offer it via a firmware update)
4) Canon's emergency Hyperzoom, the Powershot S8 IS (I gave it a name!) to fight off the 18x and 15x superzooms of Fuji, Olympus, Sony and Panasonic. Since two of those already offer RAW, and Canon added RAW going from the G7 to G9, there is a better chance of seeing RAW in the "S8 IS" (if it has an 18x zoom), or perhaps an "S7 IS"
5) A Fuji E900-body version of the Fuji F50fd with RAW, sensor-shift and xD/SD! Come on Fuji, you can do it, we can help!
6) Panasonic LX3 - although it looks like Panasonic is probably done with new cameras this year
7) Panasonic FZ50 follow-up - same as above, esp since they just added an 18x superzoom
8) A follow-up to the Kodak P880! The camera found its niche among enthusiasts once the price fell, so why not try it again?
9) Take the Canon A650-IS, add RAW and offer it as A660-IS (or add RAW with a firmware upgrade!)
10) Kodak P812: Just like the P712/Z712 were tiered, how about an 8mp 1/2.5" P812 with RAW? RAW being a distinguishing characteristic of the Kodak P-series. But we went from two P-series in 2005 to one in 2006 and zero in 2007 :-(
11) Olympus SP-followup: These little cameras packed RAW and offered an interesting mid-range alternative. So why not release another one?
12) Take the F31fd, add sensor-shift stabilization, add the xD/SD drive, keep the same sensor and battery and release it as F32fd! Come on Fuji, you can do it!

Resurrection Ship
Fans of BSG know what this means, everybody else will figure it out by looking at the models mentioned in the list.
1) Minolta A2/A200 follow-up: This would fit nicely in Sony's line-up as they don't really have anything in the above mid-range segment. They could even have a dual model line-up, a more advanced with a more expensive A2-like EVF for more and a mass-market A200-like as well
2) Sony R2: A big sensor in a fixed lens body had its fans and its detractors. Given that Sony does not have a new entry-level DSLR, an R2 would not even in the eyes of marketing folks would not affect their DSLR sales.
3) Nikon 8400 follow-up: Very few digital cameras start at 24mm, and a follow-up would be nice. But as with all the 8mp 2/3" cameras, there is no new sensor at that size. Of course they could always make a 1/1.7" version of it
4) Samsung Pro815 follow-up: It created a stir because of its size and specs but Samsung has not done anything else since. Instead they are focused on becoming the #3 global market share company. Perhaps next year when they start looking at increasing the price of their cameras sold :)
5) Panasonic LC-2: The LC-1 body screams advanced prosumer, and while no new 2/3" sensors, perhaps we can see one with a 4/3rds nMOS sensor. Panasonic makes the sensors after all so they should be able to get them at a fair price ;-) Or if they want to go for a bigger market, one using the 1/1.7" sensor could also create a stir. Sort of like a blend of the LX-, FZ- and LC-series, perhaps one with a 28-200mm or starting at 24mm lenses?
6) Canon Pro2 IS: The Canon Pro 1 had its fans and people would buy a follow-up! Again, no sensor :(
7) Olympus C8080: Same as above, this was Olympus's most critically acclaimed camera in the competitive era (see Phil Askey's review of the C8080).
8) Nikon 8900: A direct follow-up to the Coolpix 8700 and 8800. Issues same as above
9) Sony F717/F828 follow-up, let's call it F939: The F-series was a big success, despite the akward look. Why did Sony abandon them? Yes, just like the other 2/3" cameras they would need a new sensor, but Sony has the upper hand since they are the ones who make the sensors
10) Sony V4: If Canon resurrected the G-series after three years with the G7/G9, why wouldn't Sony do the same thing with the V4 since the RF-like cameras have made a comeback? This could be styled more like a V1 to go after the LX-/P5000-series, or more like the V3 to go after the GX100/G7/G9. Either way, why not Sony? :-)
11) Canon S90: The S-series used to have RAW, then it disappeared from the S80. How about a new S90 but with RAW this time? Give it a 28mm or 24mm wide angle to differentiate it from the G7/G9 and the other Elphs/Ixus/Ixys.

This concludes our speculative spectacular! If I left out any camera that you think it belong as a speculative RAWsumer, please leave a comment and I will add it to the appropriate list!


amin said...

I enjoyed reading your speculation. I'd love to see some new high end non-SLR cameras with 2/3" or 1" sensors. One question - what do you see as needing to be fized with the GX100? I find it to be nearly ideal for my purposes. The only thing I'd like is a slightly faster lens on the tele end, but this would increase the size of the camera. You implied that the GX100 has noise problems; but as a RAW shooter, I haven't found this to be a problem.

1001 noisy cameras said...

Thanks for your comments! Yes, new high end non-DSLRs would be very nice to see! Hopefully manufacturers wake up and smell the buyers waiting :-)

Yes, for your purposes and for other advanced photographers who are comfortable and enjoy this process, the GX100 is a unique tool.

But for a broader audience among photographers and techophiles, I was referring to the issues pointed out in reviews (eg the dpreview review).

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