I guess we’re all used to Leica gear being expensive. But when it’s rare as this Vario-Elmar-M 3.5-5.6/28-75mm ASPH. prototype lens, it gets even pricier. This Vario-Elmar prototype is one of only three existing in the world, and it was recently sold at an auction for a whopping €240,000, which is more than $290,300 USD.
A few months ago, some of you might remember I posted a video about some prototype USB cables I’d been testing. These cables take advantage of the USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) protocols in order to negotiate a 9v signal, instead of the USB-typical 5v, which can be used to power cameras and other devices.
Well, those cables are what is now known as Straw, and they’ve just launched on Kickstarter. Also, there are a couple of new Nikon EN-EL15 and Canon LP-E6 Type-C dummy batteries available, too. For those that missed it, here’s the video I posted back in June.
USB has been undergoing a pretty rapid development over the last few years since the Type-C connector came along. We’ve seen massive increases in speed, but it’s also received a very cool feature that few companies seem to actually be utilising; USB Power Delivery (USB PD).
It’s essentially an attempt to consolidate and standardise all of the different “quick charge” protocols that smartphone companies have implemented into their devices over the years. But did you know you can actually power a DSLR or mirrorless camera with it, too? Well, you can if you have this little cable. I was sent a couple of prototypes, so I made the above video to test them out.
At just about every show I’ve been to for the last couple of years where Canon has been in attendance, they’ve been showing off some concept camera prototypes. We featured a couple of them last year during The Photography Show 2018 in the UK. And at CP+ 2019 in Japan a few months ago, they were showing off more. Now, Nikkan is reporting that three of these concept cameras will be released before the end of this year and suggested they are cameras we’ve seen before.
As technology advances, we get to see some interesting camera-related inventions. Engineers at the University of Michigan have recently presented a prototype of a wireless camera that can power itself indefinitely by light. It’s also less than a millimeter wide, so it can be hidden anywhere.
CES 2017 may over, but the gear and technology announced over the weekend is still in the news. For Razer, though, CES 2017 appears to have been something of a bittersweet event. Let’s start with the good news. Razer introduced the world to Project Valerie, the world’s first triple 4K display laptop. And oh boy does it look sexy. With a company like Razer, you know it’s primarily intended for gamers. It does, however, open up many possibilities for video and photo enthusiasts and professionals.
I’ve been using multiple monitors on my desktops now ever since switching to Windows 98. It’s why I’ve come to despise working on laptops. If I have to go mobile with a single screen, I’d sooner just go with a tablet. If the tablet can’t handle it, then it can wait until I get back to a “real computer”. Something like this does make me reconsider my choices for the future, though.
I’ve always found Olympus cameras to have excellent quality. But when I first picked up the PEN-F, it was immediately apparent that the quality of this camera is of a higher caliber. The PEN-F oozes quality. The attention to detail, the way it feels in my hand, the satisfying heft of the camera, I knew, was all deliberately designed. I wanted to find out more about the thinking behind the PEN-F because I felt that there was something special going on.
The allure of small cameras have always revolved around the possibility of having a high quality, precision photographic tool that doesn’t get in the way and thus, ready to go anywhere with you. There have been many small cameras over the years, especially point-and-shoots that were the mainstay for the general consumer for decades. Of course, these cameras fell by the wayside with the arrival of the smartphone. But the essence of small cameras, or compactness — of something that is well made and efficiently packaged — continues to entice photographers around the world. Like luxury watches and jewelry, small products have a magnetic quality that many people around the world feel drawn to.
Open any social media platform and you’re pretty much guaranteed to see the same type of photos. If you’ve got a friend in Paris there will a photo of the Eiffel Tower and your cousin visiting NYC just posted a filtered photo of the Statue of Liberty. Two of your friends posted selfies at the gym and fifteen others posted pics from last night’s concert.
Enter the Camera Restricta. This prototype camera uses a GPS to track your location and then searches for photos geotagged in the same area. Should there be too many photos uploaded online from your location, the shutter button will retract and the viewfinder will show a big red “X”, effectively preventing you from taking another photo at an already overly-popular location.
Described as “one of the rarest and most unusual Leitz accessories”, a New York Leica gun rifle prototype will be auctioned by WestLicht with bids beginning at € 150,000 (~$170,000).
The Kit, including a camera and lenses, dates back to as early as 1939 and is expected to sell for for $370,000-$400,000.
The auction will take place later this month so hurry up and get your money ready.
Leica’s Lisse store in the Netherlands has put 21 rare Rolleiflex cameras up for sale on eBay and every single one of them is a prototype.
The set consists of cameras from the following series: SLX, SL 66 X, SL 66 E, 6001, 6002, 6003, 6006 and 6008.
While the manufacturer might shut down soon, its heritage makes these prototypes worth big bucks.