LUMIX DMC-TZ series
In the camera world, digital is closer to the body than analog.
A film camera captures an image by causing a chemical reaction of a substance applied to a film in accordance with the amount of light. Starting with black-and-white photographs that record only the intensity of light, color photographs emerged as the ability to record the intensity of RGB light.
Digital cameras turn images into CCD sensors. This sensor converts the intensity of RGB light into an electrical signal. The number of sensors is called a pixel, and the larger the number, the higher the resolution of the image.
On the other hand, in the structure of the human eye, optic nerve cells regularly arranged in the retina convert projected light into electrical signals. The information is transmitted to the brain, and various processes such as white balance adjustment, distortion correction, and noise reduction are performed. The process is very close to a digital camera. The cells of the CCD are optic nerve cells (cells), and the brain that performs image processing can be said to be an integrated circuit.
The transition from film to digital is therefore a more physical change. In that sense, the advent of digital cameras should have been revolutionary.
However, this is not the case in reality, and digital cameras evolve at the top of SLRs, which are an extension of film cameras.
In the first place, a film camera has to perform various image processing optically with a lens. For this reason, a complicated lens design is required, resulting in a large aperture and large size. In addition, a single lens reflex camera has a mirror between the lens and the CCD, so there is a large distance between the lens and the CCD. In particular, the structure is not suitable for wide-angle lenses frequently used in architectural photography. Furthermore, since the lens is interchangeable, it is not possible to perform image correction according to the lens characteristics. As a result, one cannot rely on image processing, which is a benefit of digitization, but one must rely on traditional lens performance.
Under these circumstances, we have not introduced digital cameras. However, there are cameras that make you feel a new direction of evolution. Panasonic's DMC-TZ series.
The DMC-TZ series is a compact digital camera equipped with a high magnification zoom. If a high-power zoom lens with a wide angle is installed, considerable distortion will occur naturally. However, this camera has almost no distortion from the wide-angle end to the entire zoom range. It is not hard to imagine correcting so far that there is no aberration. There are products that other companies also correct the distortion of the recorded image. However, the only digital camera that corrects distortion from the preview screen is the "TZ" series. Especially with regard to distortion, "TZ3" is almost perfect and is the best in the series.
The resolution is reduced by software-only correction, but the TZ series seems to correct the distortion without reducing the resolution by reducing the effective pixels and using the peripheral pixels. In fact, the effective pixel of the "LUMIX FX1070" with the same 35 million pixel CCD is 1010 million pixels, but the "TZ5" has only 910 million pixels, which is a luxurious specification in a sense.
Correction processing is performed in real time from the preview screen, based on the result of such technology. The big advantage of being real-time is video. There is no other device that can easily shoot wide-angle videos with such low distortion in high definition.
The original idea of the "TZ series" is an innovative idea that is not common in digital cameras. The image correction and the lens complement each other, giving the impression that the possibility of realizing a high-performance, wide-angle, compact camera has finally spread.
Future digital cameras will evolve toward higher image quality, wider angles, and more compactness by complementing image processing to compensate for chromatic / distortion aberrations and lower peripheral light levels, and by increasing the freedom of lens design. In such an era, the balance between image processing and lens becomes more competitive than lens performance. And the main battlefield will shift from single-lens reflex cameras to digitally appropriate markets.
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