[PMA] Sony, Fujifilm, Samsung Enter Panorama Camera War

Feb 24, 2010
Tomohiro Ootsuki, Nikkei Electronics

Fig 1
Fujifilm's HS10, which will be released in March 2010 at an expected price of US$499.
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The sweep panorama function, with which Sony Corp drew attention at PMA 2009 (See related article), is becoming common.

This year, at PMA 2010, Fujifilm Corp's HS10 (Fig 1), which features an optical 30x zoom lens, and Samsung Digital Imaging Co Ltd's TL350 (Fig 2) showed capabilities equivalent to the sweep panorama function. Both of the cameras come with a CMOS sensor that enables to take a movie at 1,000fps.

Fig 2
Samsung's TL350, which will be released in the spring of 2010 at an expected price of US$350. The exhibited model was not equipped with the sweep panorama function. And it had some problems related to white balance and auto focus with multiple focal points.
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The sweep panorama function is not only for easily taking panoramic images such as Fig 3. When Sony's camera is used in a certain way, it is possible to easily take impressive pictures. In addition, it is suited for taking pictures of daily scenes.

Fig 3
An image taken by Sony's DSC-WX1, whose sweep panorama function is one generation older than that of the DSC-TX7, which was announced at the 2010 International CES. The prices of the DSC-WX1 and the DSC-TX7 are approximately ¥20,000 (US$222) and 35,000, respectively.
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Fig 4
The sweep panorama function of the DSC-TX7. A cursor is shown at the right of center to indicate the direction to which the camera should be moved.
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Specifically, when the camera is moved sideways in the vertical-shaking mode as shown in Fig 4, it is possible to take pictures like Fig 5 and 6. It is as if an SLR (single-lens reflex) camera equipped with a heavy wide-angle lens is used. In other words, with a small change of its user interface, the sweep panorama function can be promoted as a wide-angle shooting function.

Fig 5
An image taken by Sony's DSC-WX1. It looks as if the image was taken by using a wide-angle lens.
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Fig 6
Another image taken by Sony's DSC-WX1. A press conference that Sanyo Electric Co Ltd had Feb 17, 2010, in Tokyo.
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