German optical manufacturer Carl Zeiss recently introduced the PhotoScope 85 T* FL. The PhotoScope combines a high-resolution digital camera with a super tele lens. Photographers shooting outdoor activities, such as sports events and wildlife, could benefit from the huge telescopic range and the high-quality lens.
The PhotoScope enables the simultaneous observation and capture of faraway or small objects, opening up entirely new possibilities. The new camera practically creates a new class of camera/telescopes. With a magnification range of 15-45x for observation and outdoor photography and a viewing angle of 68 degrees, 80 m/1000m at 15x or 27 m/1000m at 45x, the unit gives both an observation experience as well as a photographic one.
The lens’ elements contain fluoride in an 85 mm lens in order to guarantee minimal color fringes; the result is a highly brilliant, razor sharp and absolutely natural image. The integrated 7 megapixel digital camera enables the simultaneous digital capture of the scenery; however, unlike common cameras, this one works without sliding mirrors or similar elements. Therefore, it is possible to observe and take pictures at the same time without disruptions or vibrations. Furthermore, the reaction time is ultra-short: picture-taking is done almost instantaneously.
For all photographers who want a fully outdoor-capable solution with a long focal length, the PhotoScope offers a focal length of 600 to 1800 mm (35 mm format). This means that small objects as close as five meters to faraway objects can be captured digitally in high-resolution quality.
The PhotoScope offers many advanced settings (compared to other telescopes/cameras) including a color temperature for a specific white balance, ISO values above 50 ASA, spot measurement, bracketing function and sequential shots. Another interesting feature is the setting of exposure using a histogram. The PhotoScope uses an SD card as well as a USB connection in order to save and download the recorded images.
According to Carl Zeiss, special attention was given to ergonomic design and ease of use. Magnification and focus settings are made using large wheels on the lens, and taking a picture requires only the opening of a 7.5-cm OLED screen on the side of the device, on which the live image can be seen and camera parameter settings can be entered. The camera is equipped with an IR remote control, which can set all the parameters as well, as well as enable minimal vibrations upon release.
TFOT has also covered Sony Ericsson’s C905 Cyber-Shot, which offers an impressive of 8.1 Megapixels (for a phone), the Casio EX-F1, a camera capable of capturing up to 60 stills frames per second and up to 1,200 fps in video recording, and Nikon CoolPix P6000, a 13.5-Megapixel camera which features a built-in global positioning system (GPS). Another related TFOT story is TDVision’s technology that allows users to view 3D digital content in High Definition format.
While the market launch of the PhotoScope 85 T* FL is scheduled for mid-2009, prices are yet to be announced. For more information see Carl Zeiss’ website.