Sony just announced the Alpha a7 IV, the latest “low-end” model in its full frame mirrorless camera line but with some decidedly high-end features. The new Sony A7 IV features a 33-megapixel full frame Exmor R CMOS image sensor and Sony’s latest generation image processing engine, the Bionz XR.
This image sensor and processor combination is designed to help the Sony A7 IV capture high resolution photos with accurate color and low noise for crisp images that look true-to-life. The Sony A7 IV will also be able to capture 15 stops of dynamic range and features an upgraded 759-point phase-detection autofocus system with 94% coverage. The new Bionz XR processor also helps the A7 IV’s overall speed; it’s capable of shooting at 10 frames per second (fps) with AF/AE tracking.
For video, the Sony A7 IV can shoot 4K in 30p with 7K oversampling in full frame readout without pixel binning, and 4K in 60p in the Super35 format for slow motion. It also can capture real-time Eye AF while shooting video for humans, animals and birds. This AF feature was previously only available for still photography.
While the Sony A7 IV, which will retail for $2500 when it goes on sale in late December 2021, represents the bottom end of Sony’s full frame mirrorless line, many of the features listed above comes from its top tier Sony A1, A7S III, and A9 II and A7R IV cameras. The A7 IV will be replacing the A7 III, Sony’s old “basic” model that came out in 2018 though we’ve heard that model will remain available for some time. (That’s a good thing for photographers on a budget, the Sony A7 III debuted at under $2000 and now can be found for less than $1800.)
Here’s a rundown of the key features in the Sony Alpha a7 IV camera:
33MP, full frame, Exmor R CMOS image sensor
Bionz XR image processor
Can capture a reported 15 stops of dynamic range
Upgraded 759-point phase-detection autofocus system with 94% coverage
Improved AF-S speed/Improved low light AF down to EV-4
AF tracking for continuous shooting at F22
New Creative Look and Soft Skin Effect settings
Real-time Eye AF for Humans and Animals including Birds (for both stills & video)
In-body 5-axis image stabilization with a 5.5 step advantage
10 fps shooting with AF/AE tracking
ISO sensitivity range expandable to ISO 50 – 204,800
828 continuous RAW+JPEG shooting
10-bit HEIF format (4:2:2 or 4:2:0)
Advanced external flash control
Side opening, 3-inch, touch-sensitive vari-angle LCD with 3:2 aspect ratio
Dual slot memory card storage: CFexpress Type A + UHS II (slot 1) and UHS II (slot 2)
Separately assignable menus/buttons/dials with Still/Movie/S&Q
3.68 million-dot OLED QVGA EVF with high 120fps
Improved live-view image quality
Improved grip holding and top-panel REC button
4K 60p video recording in Super35 format for slow-motion
4K 30p video recording, 7K oversampling for high resolution footage
S-Cinetone and Creative Look for quicker delivery of work
10bit S-Log3 with 15+ stops of dynamic range
10-bit depth, 4:2:2 color sampling, Intra-frame encoding (XAVC S-1
High-efficiency MPEG-H HEVC/H.265 (XAVC HS)
Optical “Active Mode” image stabilization
Digital Audio Interface for cleaner, clearer audio recordings
7-step AF Transition Speed, 5-step AF Subject Shift Sensitivity
Easy subject tracking with Touch Tracking
AF Assist supports focus transition when using AF
Intuitive depth-of-field visualization with Focus Map
Breathing compensation for minimizing focus breathing
Heat-dissipating structure for longer movie recording
UVC/UAC 4K15p/FHD60p online communication & streaming
Up to 4K 60 simultaneous recording while live streaming
Movie shot marks can be added to recorded movie clips
Improved Imaging Edge Mobile connection settings
WiFi 5GHX/USB 10Gbps (USB 3.2 Gen2) High-speed transfer
Pricing: $2500 (body only), $2700 with FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS zoom lens
Availability: Late December 2021
Editor’s Note: This is a breaking news story. We will add more images and information about the new Sony A7 IV as we gather it. Check back at Digital Photo Pro later today for our first look review of the Sony A7 IV.
As secondary lens manufacturers keep cropping up, they appear to be racing each other to who can make the most impressive lens with the lowest price tag. This is a race I can get on board with.
The swell of manufacturers of cheap, manual focus lenses has been staggering in the last decade. It feels as though every week I see a new, interesting lens from a company I have never heard of in Asia. If autofocus is non-negotiable for you, the news pieces about these various lenses will be disappointing every time you click one, but if manual focus isn’t a barrier for you — like it isn’t me — then the lenses are welcome.
I will freely admit, I had never heard of Brightin Star before this video by Arthur R. After a little research, it appears they make lenses that the word “budget” doesn’t quite cover. For example, they have a 35mm f/1.7 for APS-C cameras for $56. I can’t imagine how the profit margins are possibly workable on that!
Well, the 50mm f/0.95 is by far their quickest lens and also their most expensive, which I take some solace in. However, $400 for a brand new f/0/.95 prime is not a lot even if it is manual focus only. The example images in the video are pleasant, and with some retouching to play to the strengths of the lens, I have no doubt you could get some great shots. However, I know from experience that using lenses this fast means shooting wide-open is one strong breeze away from missing focus. There are also a lot of artefacts in the images which would be irritating to deal with, but it’s still a lot of lens for the meagre price.
Fujifilm has confirmed on several occasions that it has no intention of producing a full frame camera. What Fujifilm has done instead is produce some of the best APS-C and medium format cameras. The most remarkable thing Fujifilm accomplished was to bring down the overall price of medium format cameras. The GFX 50 series of cameras are the most notable.
The Fujifilm GFX 50S II is the latest medium format camera from the company. Although it continues with the same sensor and retains the contrast-detect autofocus system, the update and price point make it an enticing option. Features such as the in-body image stabilization, pixel shift, and improved autofocus could be enough for some, especially when you consider its price.
At $3,999, the GFX 50S II sits comfortably among several high-end full frame cameras. If image quality is a strict concern, then it’s pretty difficult to find better value for money.
A recent video from Kai Wong discusses some of the improvements in the new Fujifilm GFX 50S II. The improvements to autofocus seem to stand out the most. Despite it being contrast detect, Wong discusses how it’s much snappier, making it more effective for a wider range of photography.
Of course, full frame cameras still hold advantages over medium format cameras. However, as Fujifilm continues to develop the sector, it may become more prudent to purchase a medium format system instead of full frame.
How much difference can you see if you shoot portraits on a full frame camera and compare it with those shot on an APS-C camera, both using excellent lenses? This video finds out.
The long-term future of APS-C feels slightly uncertain at present as the industry is waiting to see what Canon has in mind for its mirrorless cameras and Sony is finding ways to make its full frame bodies so small that the cropped sensor format could become redundant. The a7C is a surprisingly small and compact body that at a glance could easily be mistaken for having a smaller sensor and it’s prompted some wonder whether Sony’s a6x00 line might not be updated much further.
Similarly, speculation over Canon’s plans continues; will it introduce a crop-sensor version of its popular RF-mount mirrorless cameras, or will it aim to make smaller, more affordable full-frame bodies to attract entry-level customers? And what does it have in mind for its M-mount cameras?
The difference in colors between the a6100 and a7C is slightly surprising given that these cameras were released a little more than a year apart — the a6100 arrived in August 2019 and the a7C came in September last year. Part of this might be down to the jpeg processing but it’s still a very marked difference between some of the shots.
Would you choose APS-C over full frame? Let us know in the comments below.
Meike has added a fourth lens to its line-up of full-frame Cine lenses, which includes the Meike 50mm T2.1 S35 Prime CINE Lens, which will be available in PL, Canon EF, Canon RF, Sony E, and Panasonic L mounts.
The Meike 24mm T2.1 FF-Prime Cine Lens has industry-standard 0.8mm pitch gears on the focus and aperture ring and inside, the lens design consists of fourteen elements in nine groups while the aperture mechanism consists of 11 aperture blades. The minimum focus distance is 30mm.
It’s a wonderful time to be considering a new camera. There are so many options for camera type, features, prices, and sensor sizes that the choices can seem overwhelming. For this conversation, we’re going to focus (pardon the pun) on the sensor sizes you might consider for your next camera.
Full disclosure: I photograph with a Fujifilm X-T4 camera, which is a mirrorless camera with APS-C sensor size. I have been using the Fujifilm X series cameras since 2014.
I’m going to base this article on the options available in mirrorless cameras, as there are many more options available as well as there are many more planned future cameras for mirrorless than DSLR. Additionally, I’m going to limit the scope of these comparisons to physical properties and specs, as all the currently available cameras will produce images with incredible quality. Currently, there are four different sensor size systems available, from smallest to largest they are: micro four-thirds (M43), APS-C, full-frame, and medium format. Let’s start with a comparison of the size, weight, and cost of the various systems.
Size, Weight, and Price Comparisons
For these comparisons, I’ll be using the camera I own, the Fujifilm X-T4 (26-megapixel), as the baseline camera. Obviously, these comparisons are far from exhaustive. I tried to find a couple of representative cameras in each category as a point of general comparison. Please watch the embedded video above for visual representations of these size comparisons.
Starting with the smallest sensor size, M43 (17.3mm x 13mm) cameras offer the potential for drastically smaller cameras and lenses to work with the smaller sensor. For example, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV (20.3MP) is 122mm wide versus 135mm for the X-T4 and it weighs 335 grams versus 526 grams for the Fuji. Additionally, it is much less expensive at $700 versus $1700 for the X-T4.
Not all micro four-thirds systems prioritize size, weight, and price in their design. The Panasonic Lumix GH5 II (20.3MP) is a bit larger physically than the X-T4, and much heavier at 727 grams, while also retailing for the same price. The reason for the extra size and cost in the GH5 II is that this camera is engineered to excel at video and utilizes the extra space for system cooling during video recording sessions.
Comparing APS-C systems (23.6mm x 15.7mm), will find several distinct options available. Sony’s Alpha 6600 (26MP) rangefinder-style (versus the more traditional DSLR look) offers a compact system that is slightly smaller in width and much smaller in height than the X-T4 for about $1400 and weighs about the same at 503 grams. On the more entry-level end, Nikon offers the Z50 (20.9MP) in a DSLR style body that is slightly smaller in width and height compared to the X-T4, and significantly lighter at 395 grams versus 526 grams for the X-T4 at a price of $860.
Moving up to full-frame systems (36mm x 24mm) provides the most options, by far. At the entry-level, Canon offers the EOS RP (26MP), which is about the same width as the X-T4, while being smaller, lighter, and less expensive at $1,000. The next comparison will use the Canon EOS R6 (20MP), which is very similar in size to the X-T4, but heavier at 680 grams, and more expensive at $2500. Currently, Sony is the only manufacturer to have a flagship full-frame mirrorless camera, and that is the Alpha 1 (50MP). This camera is actually a little bit smaller than the X-T4, but heavier at 737 grams and much more expensive at $6500 USD. Canon has released some details on its next full-frame mirrorless, the R3, but it won’t be the company’s flagship quite yet. It will be impressive though, and the rumored specs include a 24MP sensor, body style and size similar to the current 1DX MK III, and likely a similar weight of about 6000 grams and price of over $6,000.
There is one last sensor size to compare: medium format (44mm x 33mm). Currently, only Fujifilm and Hasselblad offer this sensor option for mirrorless users. For this comparison, I’ll use the latest Fujifilm medium format camera, the GFX 100S (100MP). With its considerably larger sensor (about 180% larger than APS-C), it’s amazing how relatively compact the GFX 100S is. It’s only 15mm wider and 12mm taller than the X-T4 and about 300 grams heavier. However, it is significantly more expensive at $6,900.
Crop Factor and Lenses
Any discussion of a camera system must also include a comparison of the lenses available for the system as well as an understanding of crop factor. Crop factor is a function of the relative size of the camera’s sensor to the “standard” sensor size, which is full-frame (36mm x 24mm) to determine the relative focal length and field of view of a lens.
A sensor that is 50% smaller, as APS-C is, its crop factor is 1.5x. That means a 24mm focal length on an APS-C sensor camera will have a (cropped) field of view of 150% compared to a full-frame, resulting in a focal length “equivalent” of 36mm. Medium format works in the opposite direction, as its sensor is larger than full-frame, and its crop factor is 0.8x. The short version is this is, the larger the sensor, the “easier” it is to get a wider field of view, while a smaller sensor makes it “easier” to get a narrower and more telephoto field of view. Depending on the photographer and type of desired photos, both have advantages and disadvantages from a practical standpoint.
The physical specifications and prices for lenses generally, but not always, increase with sensor size. There are far too many lens options to compare in detail here, so I will compare a common zoom lens of 24-70mm (full-frame) to give a general idea of the variances in lens specifications in the different sensor sizes. See the image below for the size, weight, and price comparisons of these lenses.
Lenses compatible across manufacturers. Any of the lenses designed for this system will work on any camera from any manufacturer.
Able to be smaller and lighter.
Can be engineered for excellent video capabilities due to smaller sensors.
Lens sizes can be dramatically reduced.
More depth of field at a given aperture results in the use of faster apertures and shutter speeds and potential less use of a tripod
Less choice – only two current major camera manufacturers in Olympus and Panasonic (and perhaps Blackmagic).
Generally poor performance at higher ISO settings with more noise.
Not many wide angle lens options (wider than 18mm full-frame equivalent).
More depth of field results in less background blur and subject separation if desired.
Future uncertain. Olympus (now OM Digital) has been relatively quiet on future plans. Panasonic has also been relatively quiet about future plans for photography-focused M43 systems.
Generally smaller, lighter, and less expensive than full-frame options, especially when it comes to lenses.
Excellent image quality, even at higher ISO settings.
Choice of established mirrorless systems that are at least 10 years old.
1.5X crop factor results in more ease in getting a narrower (more telephoto) field of view.
Can be engineered for excellent video capabilities due to smaller sensors.
Less background blur at a given aperture, means less subject separation.
Approximately one stop loss of high ISO performance compared to full-frame.
Less choice of mirrorless systems. Sony is rangefinder-style only in their offerings. Canon does not offer an APS-C mirrorless system and lenses but has its M system that is similar in sensor size, but which has an unclear future.
Less size, weight, and price difference than full-frame than in the past.
Mirrorless allows for size and weight reductions.
Excellent image quality, including at higher ISO settings.
Most options for current cameras and lenses
Easier to get a wide angle field of view in lenses.
Easier to get background blur and subject separation than smaller sensors.
Higher resolution options of 40 to 50MP.
Generally, larger, heavier and more expensive than smaller camera sensors.
I’ve got nothing else to list here…
Medium Format Advantages
High-resolution sensors: 50 to 100MP
Exceptional image quality and detail
Shallower depth of field than full frame for more subject separation from background
Medium Format Disadvantages
Generally, larger, heavier, and more expensive than smaller camera sensors.
Generally not engineered for video or fast-paced performance.
Fewer options of systems and lenses.
Generally not engineered for low noise at high ISO settings.
When I started writing this article, I expected to say something like, “most folks should strongly consider APS-C for their next camera” at this point. However, after this research and with the new choices in both size and price available in full-frame cameras, I think for many photographers, that might be the system to beat. I’m not sure what system I would choose if starting anew today.
If possible, visit your local camera store and get your hands on the cameras on your shortlist. A huge part of using your camera is how it feels to you, and how easy it is for you to interact with the physical controls and electronic menu systems. Another advantage of your local camera store is talking to someone who really knows the gear, and will ask you questions that can help refine your choices and guide you in a more specific direction.
It is a Great Time to Be Considering Your Next Camera
Deciding on your next camera can be a lot of fun. It also can be a lot of stress. One way to deal with the stress of so many options and choices is to remember: first, there are no perfect cameras; second, any new camera will let you create amazing photos (in most situations.); and third, there will be a new, “better” camera released soon.
To paraphrase a famous saying, “The best time to buy a camera was yesterday. The second best time is today.”
About the author: Michael Sladek teaches digital photography at Highline College near Seattle, Washington. He enjoys dad jokes, doughnuts, and helping others discover the fun of creating photos they love. Stay connected with Michael on his website, YouTube channel, and Instagram.
Do you wish you could adapt your medium format glass so that you could shoot medium format images on your full frame camera? This adapter does exactly that, giving you all of the high resolution and lens performance that comes with it.
The Rhinocam Vertex is an innovative new adapter from Fotodiox and available for a wide range of lens mounts. As discovered by Mathieu Stern as part of his continuing research into weird lenses, the adapter is impressively effective, albeit with a few compromises necessitated by the rotation. The process is similar to the Brenizer technique, a favorite among wedding photographers for creating high resolution images that cover a relatively wide angle but with a very shallow depth of field, achieving a combination of width and bokeh that would otherwise be impossible.
The adapter is ingenious and makes you wonder why no one has come up with this device before, effectively rotating the sensor so that it can pretend to be larger than it is.
The RhinoCam Vertex comes in versions that will connect with Nikon Z, Canon RF, and Sony E-mount cameras. Each mount has a version that then adapts Hasselblad V-mount, Bronica ETR mount, Pentax 6×7, and Pentax 645 lenses.
Do you have medium format glass that you want to adapt? Let us know in the comments below.
For some, the “magic” of film, medium format especially, or the benefit of full frame digital is all hype. Is it really just hype or can you tell a difference?
In this article, I am going to share the results of a series of photographs that were each taken with an iPhone, a full frame digital camera, and a medium format film camera. All photographs were taken on the same snowy day in Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio. Each photo was edited as I would normally would and is presented with a letter in the bottom right corner of the frame to be able to consistently judge across the different images which camera took which photograph. Each photo was cropped to be a 1:1 format so as to not completely give away the answer based solely on the aspect ratio of the image. In addition, while I don’t have lenses for each that are in perfect equivalence, I used the widest good lens I had for the digital camera and film camera to at least try and not have the focal length give away the results either.
For consistency between the digital camera and film camera, the shutter speed was metered using the digital camera using the same aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Lastly, it should be noted that I did not attempt to edit each photo to look identical to one another. Instead, I edited the shots as I normally would given the camera/film stock.
Mamiya RZ67 paired with a 65mm f/4.0 W using Portra 400, shot and processed at 400 ASA, scanned using Epson V600 (a review can be found here) and inverted/edited with Negative Lab Pro
For our first comparison, we are looking at Ash Cave, which provides an excellent opportunity to really exercise the dynamic range of each camera. In addition, the cave itself is quite enormous and looks beautiful after a fresh coat of snow. Camera A really struggled with this photo as the shadows got quite muddy and just about all of the details south of the bottom of the trees are also quite muddy. Between Cameras B and C, the color palette is different but overall, they both seemed to perform well. If I were to be really picky, I may say that the edge goes to Camera B where the shadows seem to have kept more detail.
The second comparison is of a broken tree in the woods. I don’t know what attracted me to this scene, but I really liked it. For this comparison, Cameras A and C were much closer than in many of the others — the color palettes are very similar. Camera B was also close but a tad warmer.
The third comparison, of Lower Falls, had similar results as the previous set of photos with one exception. Camera A produced a slightly warmer shot than Camera C, and once again, Camera B was warmer than both of the other two. Overall, I think all three cameras performed quite well, and trying to say one is better than another would come down to splitting hairs.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the results of the fourth comparison are much like that of the previous ones. Camera A just isn’t as sharp as the other two, and the color palette of Cameras A and C produced similar images, while Camera B is a good deal warmer.
The last comparison is of a barn just outside of Hocking Hills. This comparison was much closer than just about all of the others, I think. The main difference was in sharpness, where Camera A is not quite as sharp as the other two. The second difference was in the tendency for Camera A to be cool and Camera B to lean a bit warm.
So, do you think you know which camera is which? If you’re at all familiar with Portra 400, you have probably guessed that Camera B is the Mamiya RZ67 loaded up with Portra 400. For film enthusiasts, the tones of the Portra series are pretty hard to mistake. In addition, if you’ve been looking at the images closely, you’ve probably noticed that while Camera A had sufficient clarity for a small print, the resolution is nowhere close to that of Camera C, which means, you guessed it, Camera C is the Sony and Camera A is my iPhone.
There are, of course, limitations to any comparison like this — most notably would be with the representation in the film category. That is, the choice of format (e.g., 645, 6×6, 6×7, etc…) would have a pronounced impact on the perceived sharpness of an image. In addition, the choice of the film itself can have a large impact on the final results. As you may recall from a previous article outlining the different types of film, slide film would offer substantially more clarity and more vibrancy but suffers from a much-reduced dynamic range. In addition, even a move from Portra 400 to Ektar, another color negative film, would have resulted in better sharpness and more saturated colors.
In addition to the choice of film stock and film format as ways to get substantially different results, the specific digital camera and lens used could also substantially alter the results of a comparison. That said, I only own one digital camera, and my Nikon 28mm is an exceptionally sharp lens and the widest good lens that I own.
Beyond the limitations presented by the choice of cameras and film stock, I would like to also acknowledge that all of my comparisons are made on landscapes only in a snowy Hocking Hills. For a portrait photographer, the comparisons I’ve made would be of limited to no utility. Even for a landscape photographer, drastically different scenes could present their own challenges would potentially better highlight the differences (or lack thereof) between the different cameras.
To start, I’ll admit that had I really put forth effort to try to mimic film with my digital shots; I think the comparison would have been much harder between the Mamiya and the Sony. That said, I have a pretty consistent editing style at this point in my life if for no other reason than that I strongly prefer for the film stock to do the talking when it comes to the color palette and sharpness. As a result, editing my digital images have similar results in that they have minimal edits to them, letting the color tendencies of the specific camera/lens shine through. At the end of the day, the best camera is the one you have on you. Should you have more than one camera one you at the time, particularly if you’re counting your phone? How do you decide which to use?
While these two cameras are different in a whole host of ways, they have similar strengths insofar as they’re both concerned with high resolution and for pixel peepers, it’s an interesting comparison. However, what’s more interesting — to me at least — is a real-world, artistic comparison; which produces more pleasing results?
This is a strangely appropriate video for me. I have been shooting with Sony cameras for several years now as my main bodies, but after a trip with Fujifilm for the launch of the GFX 100, where I used a GFX 50R for a lot of the trip pre-launch, I have been wrestling with the justification of a purchase of one. Ideally, I want both in my kit bag as they serve slightly different purposes for me, but there would be a lot of overlap where I would need to decide between the two.
In this video, landscape and cityscape photographer, Serge Ramelli, goes on a little outing with both cameras taking shots from the same vantage points. It isn’t a scientific test, nor did I want it to be. Sometimes there’s more value in seeing cameras working in the field and then the images edited, than a studio setting with eye charts and creepy dolls, and then examining it by zooming in at 200%. Those sort of tests have their place and can be valuable for putting a camera through its paces and investigating the veracity of the manufacturer’s specs!
The Looking Glass Portrait is the first portrait-oriented digital photo frame capable of showcasing 3D holograms that can be made specifically for it using any camera or produced from a single Portrait Mode photo from your iPhone.
Looking Glass previously successfully Kickstarted a landscape-oriented holographic display that was designed to be used by 3D creators. Ht was able to project objects in three dimensions that were created using 3D modeling software.
Building upon that product, Looking Glass has created the Portrait, a more consumer-friendly iteration of the company’s technology. The company claims that it is easy to use and supports multiple ways of creating images that will display on the device with perceived depth.
The Portrait uses super stereoscopic technology, making it the only current multi-viewer holographic display that generates 45 to 100 views of a three-dimensional scene. The result is an image that looks 3D and requires no glasses to produce the effect.
Using depth information that is baked into a Portrait Mode photo that is usually used to generate a fake bokeh effect, the Portrait uses that same depth mapping to generate a three-dimensional hologram with a single click.
Looking Glass says that the new iPhone 12 Pro uses a combination of advanced machine learning techniques and LiDAR capabilities to capture the best depth photos yet, but the Portrait is also compatible with iPhones as far back as the iPhone 7 Plus. Some Android phones also support portrait mode photos, and that same depth mapping can be utilized by the Portrait to create the same effect.
In addition to quick iPhone images, the Portrait can display images that are created specifically for it using a light field capture technique. The term “light field” means a series of images taken from different perspectives. You can now capture these advanced three-dimensional photographs with conventional panning shot techniques using the camera you already own and display them in Looking Glass Portrait.
A simple 4K panning video can be used to create a 3D hologram. Any camera that shoots 4K video will work, and the technique requires a rail or stabilized camera.
Photogrammetry-based 3D scans and the newest LiDAR scanning technology that is packed into the iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro can be played back in the Looking Glass Portrait as well. Looking Glass says that this method is the easiest way to take and display 360° captures of people, places, and objects.
This particular method works with point cloud and mesh-based 3D output from most known photogrammetry software packages including Metashape, Zephyr, itSeez3D, and Reality Capture. Also compatible with the exports from LiDAR scanning packages Canvas by Occipital, SiteScape, Polycam, and 3D Scanner App.
Looking Glass has also created an app called Depth Recorder that works with a Microsoft Azure Kinect, Intel RealSense depth camera, or select iPhones to record, send, and playback 10-second holographic messages on the Portrait.
While it works great with the Kinect and the RealSense, the most approachable way to make these types of videos is of course via the near-ubiquitous iPhone. The newest iPhones (X, 11, 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max) have the ability to record depth videos with their front-facing TrueDepth camera, and in the case of the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, also with their back-facing LiDAR enhanced cameras.
There are numerous applications for the Portrait, but most general consumers are likely to just enjoy a tabletop 3D hologram device that can be used to send messages to friends or share images with one another. Since digital photo frames are already popular, it isn’t too much of a stretch to believe many will find a lot of value in the added 3D effect.
The base Looking Glass Portrait is priced at $199, which is anticipated to be $150 off the final retail price. The company is also offering bundles for those who want to create content for the Portrait but lack the equipment. Looking Glass anticipates fulfiling deliveries of the finished product to backers by March of 2021.
As always, remember that Kickstarter is not a pre-order platform. While Looking Glass has a record of successfully delivering products in the past, approach crowdfunding projects with caution. Do your research and back at your own risk.
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