Thursday, April 17, 2014

Elvis is alive!

The making of a nano dSLR clone...

ELVIS = ELectronic Viewfinder Image Stabilization
Your eyes are not fooling you, this in fact is a Panasonic P&S (Point 'n Shoot). In my view, this is the best P&S camera ever made so far, the Lumix LX7.
But, hang on, this does not look anything like the LX7 as commonly known.
Yep, that's right! And here is why:

I love electronic view-finders! Great stuff! Hence, that's in the hot-shoe. The virtual "R" explained, since the is no mirror to do the R, i.e. "reflex".
However, 100% of the image sensed by the image sensor is reflected, i.e. shown, in the EVL. Actually, the EVL is even better than a (d)SLR's view finder, since it shows all the relevant data, and, acts like a night vision system in low light situations.

Right, the view finder sorted, you may ask what's goin' on with the lens...
The LX7, much like its predecessor, the LX5, has got a built-in objective lens, which keeps moving in and out to the camera's likings (or the zoom command of its owner, for good measures).
Said cameras have a relatively open relationship between the sensors and the surrounding atmosphere. And this is a problem! Driving in and out, the lens mechanism pumps air in and out. Air that may contain dust, pollen, fine particles, you name it, its in there!
The sensors of the LXs are not protected in any way, hence, all the above mentioned junk will collect on the sensor(s).
Hence the next step building up the camera is sealing it from the environment by adding the filter tube, closed by a filter. The picture above shows the LX7 with a tube surrounding the built-in lens while providing a thread to screw filters on.
In my very own set, I am using a 52mm "circ pol" filter, directly connected to the filter barrel, which itself is covered by a UV filter for protection.

Side remark on polari(s/z)ation: in photography, a filter called "circular polarization filter" is a filter that polarizes light in a linear fashion and is mounted in a manner allowing for its rotation about the polarization axis.
In real world of optics, circular polarization is understood as right- of left-handed circularly polarized light, which of course has nothing to do with linearly polarized light at all.
=> What is called "CPL", i.e. "Circular PoLarization" in photography, has nothing to do with light being circularly polarized.

Back to ELVIS!  It is not as small as I liked my LX7. However, having the skin condition I am having, a closed to sealed camera helps a lot to get dust out.
The LX7 already provides an ND filter, on the push of a button, now it is equipped with a polarization filter to take care of reflections.

The LX7 in itself is a brilliant camera, extended as shown above, the LX7 is clearly the most desirable P&S camera available today. Despite the added bulkiness, the accessories mentioned above renders the LX7 close to a professional DSLR.

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