Not much is known about Polaroid's new interchangeable-lens mirrorless cameras.
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A couple months back, the photography rumor mill kicked into high gear with an unexpected and intriguing headline: Polaroid—yes, that Polaroid—was working on a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Photos and renders were furnished showing off the Polaroid iM1836, a camera that looked like a clone of the recent Nikon 1 J1.
A Russian-language spec sheet soon followed, promising a 3.5-inch touchscreen, an 18-megapixel sensor, and a 10-30mm lens—the same focal length as Nikon's kit lens. A couple days later, Polaroid's CEO Scott Hardy confirmed that the rumors were true, Polaroid was launching a mirrorless camera. And what's more, it would run Android Jelly Bean.
Today Polaroid has taken the wraps off their mirrorless babies, and here's the big news: there are three of them. The sensors really are 18 megapixels, the lenses really are 10-30mm, and the screens really are 3.5 inches and touch-sensitive. The three models include the entry-level iM1030, the WiFi-enabled iM1232, and the Android 4.1-powered iM1836.
But there's something about today's announcement that doesn't quite check out: in Polaroid's press release for the iM1030, it describes the camera as "a compact Micro Four Thirds body"—a rather unlikely claim—but strangely goes on to state that it is "compatible with a wide range of Micro Four Thirds lenses with available adapter." The separate press release for the iM1836 only mentions the adapter, but there's still no further discussion of what native mount and lens ecosystem the three cameras use. Based on some circumstantial evidence, we're relatively certain that it's an entirely new one.
Exhibit A: A shot of the iM1030's mount reveals a sensor that's obviously smaller than Nikon's 1-inch unit.
The chip here frankly looks more like the Pentax Q's tiny unit than the Nikon 1's, but we actually think it's somewhere in between. The mount also uses a total of 26 electronic contacts, which is a lot more than any other camera we can recall. They're arranged in two rows—one of 11 and one of 15; perhaps not coincidentally, the Micro Four Thirds mount uses 11 contacts. Might the iM1030's Micro Four Thirds adapter use that row of 11, perhaps?
Exhibit B: A product shot of the iM1030 shows the kit lens starting at an effective focal length of 35mm. A bit of simple math—the 35mm effective focal length divided by the 10mm actual focal length—indicates that the Polaroid sensor's crop factor is 3.5x. The Nikon 1-series sensor has a 2.7x crop factor, while Micro Four Thirds is a 2x crop. The closest match is the 2/3-inch sensor used in Fuji's X10, X-S1, and XF1, which has a 3.8x crop.
If true, this leaves us with yet another new mount in an already packed mirrorless market. Would you buy into a Polaroid-backed lens ecosystem? Well, maybe not. But wait, there's one thing we forgot to mention: the iM1030 is priced at $299, with lens. Bump that up to $349 for the iM1232, and $399 for the iM1836.
So, let us rephrase: would you buy into a Polaroid-backed lens ecosystem that can also make use of Micro Four Thirds lenses, for just $299? Hmm, maybe it's not so crazy after all.
There's no word on when these three models will debut, but we hope to gather more info at CES. Stay tuned for updates.
In addition to its headline-grabbing mirrorless models, Polaroid is also introducing a new 24x zoom bridge camera, the iS2433. It might not be the most thrilling camera out there, but its specs are actually pretty impressive in light of its super-low price.
Key specs include a 25mm wide-angle lens, a 16-megapixel backside-illuminated Sony CMOS sensor, and a 3-inch rear LCD. Polaroid says the iS2433 has a "DSLR body style," but the grip doesn't look that substantial to us. Still, it doesn't look like an ergonomic nightmare, either. The camera also offers HD video recording (we're assuming 720P since the press release doesn't specify), an in-camera panorama mode, and blink detection.
Once again, there's no release date info, but the iS2433 will launch at a typically low price of just $199.
Polaroid Launches Three New High-Performance Still & Video Cameras at CES
Polaroid’s 2013 Range to Offer Options Including Interchangeable Lenses, Built-in Wi-Fi and Video-in-Video Recording
Las Vegas (January 8, 2013)—Polaroid today unveiled three new additions to its growing line of high-performance digital still and video cameras to make it fun, easy and affordable for everyone to capture professional-quality images and high-definition video of life’s most precious memories. The products, offered by Sakar International, an authorized Polaroid licensee, are on display in the Polaroid Booth #13613 at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show, Jan. 8-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The addition of these new models expands the line of Polaroid still and video cameras, ensuring there is the perfect camera for every consumer to capture every moment.
From interchangeable lens options and built-in Wi-Fi to instantly upload and share pictures over the web, the next-generation cameras combine the legendary Polaroid advanced imaging technology and fun, user-friendly features in small and ultra-portable, yet powerful devices.
“Different consumers want different feature sets from their digital still and video cameras these days,” said Scott W. Hardy, President and CEO of Polaroid. “Whether it’s the flexibility and portability offered by a compact interchangeable lens camera or the image quality and ease of use offered by a fixed lens bridge camera, the right combination of features and benefits is different for every individual. With the addition of these new models, we’re ensuring that Polaroid has the right combination of features for virtually every consumer. Of course ease of use, creativity, and fun are among the features included in every Polaroid product.”
“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Polaroid and bring these world-class products to market,” said Jeff Saka, president of Sakar International, an authorized Polaroid licensee and manufacturer of the new products. “As with all of our Polaroid products, these new cameras offer the same exceptional image quality and optics technology the brand is known for, with user-friendly features that make them perfect for easy use in any situation.”
The new products include:
• The Polaroid iM1030/iM1232 compact interchangeable lens camera features a 10mm-30mm lens in a compact Micro Four Thirds body that’s compatible with a wide range of Micro Four Thirds lenses with available adapter. The vibrant 3.5” LCD display, HDMI output, HD video recording, 18.1 megapixel resolution, auto blink detection and panoramic photo capabilities make this compact camera perfect for every special moment at $299 MSRP. With optional built-in peer-to-peer Wi-Fi (model iM1232W for $349 MSRP), it’s easy to connect to any network and instantly upload and share those great memories with friends via email or social networks.
• The Polaroid iS2433 bridge camera is the ultimate in high-performance and affordable style. Featuring a 25mm wide-angle, 24x optical zoom and enhanced definition lens, the 16.1 megapixel Sony BSI CMOS sensor captures exceptional image quality. Easily capture the perfect shot with the iS2433’s user-friendly 3” LCD display and auto blink detection plus panoramic photo capabilities built-in. And, why stick to just stills? This comfortable D-SLR body style camera also offers HD video recording, all priced at just $199 MSRP.
• The Polaroid iD975 Video-in-Video camcorder lets you see yourself in the shot for a truly unique video capturing experience. The 16 megapixel, full 1080p HD video quality delivers stunning image quality while the 10x optical zoom lets you get in close on the action. The 3” gesture touch screen makes the iD975 a snap to use, so you’ll always be ready to capture great footage. The Polaroid iD975 makes HD video affordable at just $249 MSRP.
To check out the latest-generation digital imaging Polaroid products by Sakar, visit Booth #13613 during the 2013 CES or visit www.polaroid.com.
About Sakar International
Sakar International, Inc. is a leading provider of consumer electronics and accessories. With a rich heritage of technology innovation since 1977, Sakar has developed a global presence by consistently evolving alongside technology to develop on-trend, cutting edge products. Sakar licenses over forty major entertainment brands and has maintained a diverse portfolio of product offerings, including: digital cameras, video recorders, karaoke machines and small appliances, along with audio, tablet, camera, smartphone and computer accessories. Sakar acquired the Vivitar brand in 2008 and has since launched a full line of photographic, optic and related accessories. Sakar is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey, with additional offices in the United Kingdom, Canada, Latin America, Hong Kong and China.
About The Polaroid Brand
Across several generations, people regard Polaroid as one of the most trusted, well-respected and recognizable brands when it comes to technology. The history of Polaroid began 75 years ago, with its roots stemming back to Polaroid instant film, cameras and camera accessories – thus was the introduction of the famous Polaroid Classic Border Logo which is still recognized today as a true landmark of photography.
In recent years, Polaroid has expanded its range of products in consumer electronics and photography, such as instant and digital cameras, high-definition camcorders, mobile printers, tablets, flat-screen TVs and more. People can expect to see new Polaroid products that will deliver the fun, instant gratification and value that the brand has long stood.
For more information, visit http://polaroid.com or http://polaroidstore.com.
Polaroid, Polaroid & Pixel, Polaroid Color Spectrum and Polaroid Classic Border Logo are trademarks of PLR IP Holdings, LLC, used under license.*