Picture Snob

May 30, 2008

flickr Friday: Lazy Cow

flickr_lazycow.jpgShocking, wasn't it? This cow is lying around in Essex, England. This cow tried to eat the photographer's shoes -- ironic, no? Shot with a Fujifilm FinePix S5000. Dying to see more cow photos? Visit law_keven at Flickr.

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Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 29, 2008

New Digital Cameras for Amateur Astro-Photographers

astrocamera.jpgNot sure if this is you? If you've ever sat outside in the dark with your camera and tripod trying to capture stars and planets, you, my friend, could be an amateur astro-photographer. You would be more convincing at it if you treated yourself to a special camera...

The Imaging Source just announced an offering of affordable, low noise astronomy cameras that will help you capture quality images of the night sky. Made of premium aluminum and zinc materials, you can choose USB or FireWire connectivity. You can mount them to telescopes for amazing images. Prices start at $350.00 -- go to Astronomy Cameras for more information and ordering options.

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 28, 2008

Smartparts SP8PRT: Is it a Digital Picture Frame or a Printer?

smartparts_SP8PRT.jpgWelp, you guessed it -- it's both. And it's got the clunky body to prove it. In theory, the SP8PRT sounds like a plausible product. In actuality, we are sorry to report that this offering feels a bit premature with undeveloped features making this a questionable investment at $250.

To be frank, this is a picture frame with a thermal-dye printer mounted on its backside. From the front it looks like a frame, and acts like a frame, but at an angle you'll see the hulking girth -- obviously you can't mount this puppy on a wall and you'll want to choose placement carefully to draw attention away from the printer growth.

Frame supports USB keys and camera memory cards, plays movies and sound. There is no way to connect a computer to this frame -- all file transfers, displaying of images and printing is done through the USB keys and memory cards. (Great.) There are no editing capabilities aside from the ability to rotate photos. Remote control included.

Printer uses a continuous roll of paper and a single "ink cartridge" (technically called a "dye pack"). The roll paper means it will be thinner than your average photo paper and tend to curl. (Great.) Prints are limited to 4x6. On the bright side, color is good and photos are water-resistant and scratch-resistant. Smartparts has no data that guarantees the color-fastness of the prints, so it remains a mystery how long a print will last. (Great.) In addition, when compared to printing from a dedicated photo printer, which costs about 25-30 cents per photo, the SP8PRT is practically double at about 55.5 cents per photo.

All this kind of leaves us scratching our heads. For now, keep your digital picture frames and photo printers separate. We're grading it an Incomplete. (via PCMAG)

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 27, 2008

Fidelity Electronics Digital Picture Frames: Vibrant & Reliable

While a lesser-known brand, Fidelity Electronics is kicking up some dust in the digital picture frame market. The latest invention, due to hit stores in July, is the Digital Photo Vault. (via Marketnews) Fidelity has always been known for crisp and vibrant displays. The biggest difference between the models is screen size and screen resolution. If you plan on using your digital picture frame with your computer, the word on the street is that Fidelity frames are not excellent with MACs. They could use some better product photography too, don't you think? fidelity_digivault.jpgDigital Photo Vault (Available in July for $399)
Featuring an 8-inch screen and enormous 80GB hard drive (expandable with flash memory), this frame is meant to be a convenient storage facility for a vast collection of photos. Plays MP3 and video and comes with a rechargeable battery -- ideal if you like a wire-free display situation or want the frame to be portable. In addition, the frame has a motion sensor that will automatically power up the frame when it senses motion in the room.

ArrowContinue reading: "Fidelity Electronics Digital Picture Frames: Vibrant & Reliable"

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May 27, 2008

Got an Old Laptop? Turn It Into a Digital Picture Frame!

laptop2digiframe.jpgTake a click over to Hack A Day to learn how you can transform an ancient laptop into a fancy digital picture frame. It looks hard.

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May 26, 2008

Think Grandparents & Newlyweds: Kodak Preloaded Digital Picture Frames and Memory Cards

kodak_preloaded.jpgThis is a great gift idea. As part of your online order, Kodak will load your new digital frame with up to 100 of your photos. Frames come in 7-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch and range from $145-225. The Wi-Fi frame is also available preloaded at $275. See our earlier post for more detailed information on the frames. You can also order a Secure Digital memory card and preload that for $20. Now that's a great gift. How about getting the grandparents a frame one year and then annually sending a loaded memory card with the latest photos of the kids? Or the newlyweds a frame loaded with shots from their wedding? Yes indeed. Visit the link below to get started with Kodak:

http://www.kodakgallery.com/DigitalPictureFrameOverview.jsp

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 23, 2008

flickr Friday: Happy Memorial Day from the Living Flag

flickr_livingflag.jpgHappy Memorial Day! Enjoy the long weekend and don't forget why we have the holiday in the first place. Sometimes we take photos to document strange things we see. This is a "living flag" formed by some members of the Happy Valley 4-H Club. If you were thinking this looks like something you'd see in the Midwest, you're right--see more work from wausaublog at Flickr.

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New BenQ Digital Cameras: Mega Fashion, Mega Pixels

If you like the unusual, the European, the metro glam -- then get yourself one of these new BenQ cameras. Exterior is metal and leather, wear it with your favorite shoes and belts! They don't market BenQ cameras in the United States. These models are for sale in Europe and Asia starting this month, but were still tracking down online retailers--stay tuned.

benq_c750.jpgBenQ DC-C750
- 7-megapixels
- 3X Optical Zoom Pentax lens
- 2.5-inch LCD display, supports 4:3 and 16:9
- Face Detection (up to 8!), Smile Catch
- Super Shake Free image stabilization
- 14 shooting modes
- PictBridge for printing directly camera-to-printer
- Honorable Mention for Design 2008 by Red Dot Jury

benq_c850.jpgBenQ DC-C850
- 8-megapixels
- 3X Optical Zoom Pentax lens
- 2.7-inch LCD display, supports 4:3 and 16:9
- Face Detection (up to 8!), Smile Catch
- Super Shake Free image stabilization
- 14 shooting modes
- PictBridge for printing directly camera-to-printer

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 22, 2008

All I Want is an Optical Viewfinder in My Digital Camera

Finding a digital camera with an optical viewfinder isn't all that easy these days -- especially if you want the latest digital features and don't plan on carrying around (or investing in) an SLR. Well, remember this, Viewfinder Votaries, Canon and Sony are your friends. We've identified two great choices below:

canon_SD850.jpgCanon PowerShot SD850 -- $239.95
Long live the PowerShot. You've got the optical viewfinder and a 2.5-inch LCD screen. 8-megapixels will get you great prints up to 16x22 inches and the 4x optical zoom will serve you well at a distance. Canon's delivering image stabilization, ISO 1600 for low-light shots and the usual slew of intelligent features--face detection, red-eye correction and 18 scene modes. Five movie modes give you the ability to choose frames per second speed and file format and will even record time lapse and up to 1 hour of video. As if that weren't enough check out the printing features -- you can bypass your computer completely with PictBridge technology and if you pair up with Canon printers you'll open a world of additional options.

sony_DSCW120.jpgSony Cybershot DSCW120 -- $179.99
And the other shot of note... Cybershot. Again, you've got a 2.5-inch LCD screen and the optical viewfinder. 7.2-megapixels will keep you happy up to 14x19-inch prints. Bundle of intelligent features like smart zoom image stabilization, face detection and smile detection. ISO 3200 helps you handle low-light situations and the 4x optical zoom features a Carl Zeiss lens. You can shoot up to 10 minutes straight of MPEG video. The most interesting feature is its compatibility with HDTV -- hey, did you know Sony also sells HDTVs? Comes in black, pink and blue too.

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 21, 2008

New! Real Memories: Online Custom Framing

realmemories.pngWe're excited about this one. While all the rage is digital picture frames, there will always be an occasion for the old fashioned beautifully framed print. And isn't it such an expense and hullabaloo to bring prints to a local shop? Well, at Real Memories you can upload your digital image file, edit it and select all the framing options you like--over 2,000 frame styles and mat openings--then you'll get a framed print in the mail! The web site is intuitive and easy to use and the base prices are affordable. Frames are handmade in the United States and you can select archival mats and museum quality glass. Beware they have a bird logo on the site that chirps -- anytime they want to turn that little feature off would be great. We plan on trying it out soon--let us know how it goes if you get to it first!

Some key features:

- Add personalized captions in foil stamp
- Ship the same frame to multiple people
- Can simulate a preview of the frame hanging on your wall, complete with your own paint color
- Loyalty points program gives you 10% back on every order

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

May 20, 2008

Digital Organization: Keep a Visual To-Do List with Your Cameraphone

cameraphone_todolist.jpgSee? Technology makes it all better! Even if you do manage to keep a To Do List in one place without regularly misplacing it, remembering to write things on it can be a feat in itself. What if you could document your needs as they arise? Try this tip from an overworked blogger at Minddriven who finds that his mobile phone is usually with him and he can easily snap a photo when he, say, runs out of toothpaste or coffee. If you don't bring your phone to the bathroom with you, well, get with the times. (via Lifehacker)

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May 19, 2008

Alert! Olympus Firmware Updates for Olympus FE-350 Wide, FE-330, FE-310, FE-290, FE-270

olympus_FE350.jpgThese are the kind of things your average camera owner never hears about. Who knew there were firmware updates for digital cameras? Computers yes, but cameras? Well they are increasingly just little super computers these days. One update improves the camera's stability during operation and the other is a minor update to the Korean version. Simply click here to download the update from Olympus and click here to learn more about Olympus firmware updates in general.

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May 16, 2008

flickr Friday: Anneler Gününüz Kutlu Olsun!

flickr_rosesformom.jpgThat's Turkish for "Happy Mother's Day!" We know that was last week, but this photo is just so stunning. You can see more work from Kıvanç at Flickr.

Is there a flickr photo you want to see on PictureSnob? Email us!

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 15, 2008

New! Sony VGF-CP1 Digital Frame with WiFi

sony_VGFCP1.PNGWelcome to WiFi, Sony. Now you can get a Sony frame and connect wirelessly to your computer, printer, mobile phone and the Internet to access your photo albums at places like Picasa. What's lame about it? We're wondering why Sony couldn't fit in video playback and make some models with a larger screen. For some reason WiFi products seem to launch first in Japan, so unless you've got a plane ticket 30,000 yen on your hands, you'll have to wait to spend your $300 later in the year.

Here's some stats:
- 7-inch screen
- 16 million colors at 800x480
- 512MB built-in memory, accepts most memory sticks
- MP3 and WMA playback
- WiFi enabled to connect to devices and internet
- Will access RSS feeds to broadcast news headlines, weather
- Remote control

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 14, 2008

Oh My: Digital Picture Frame Pet Urns

digitalpicturepeturns.jpgThat's right folks, digital picture frame URN. Designed for pets, at this point. The urn compartment can manage 0-75 lbs. of remains. There's a 7-inch screen and a 256MB internal memory, so if you save your photos down to screen resolution you can fit hundreds of them on there. Comes with a battery operated remote, a power supply cord and a USB cord for transferring photos with your PC. Will also handle audio, so you can hear the precious barks, whines and purrs anytime. Urns are available in oak and walnut for $289.95 from www.pet-urns.com. Get them while they last!

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 13, 2008

CHDK: Hacking Your Canon Digital Camera

canonhacking.pngJust what you've been waiting for! Lifehacker has a fabulously intriguing article about hacking your average Canon point-and-shoot digital camera. CHDK (Canon Hacker's Development Kit) is an open source firmware that you can load onto your camera's memory stick whenever you want to use it. Even if you don't intend to do this, it's worth a read. Did you know you could increase the video recording time to one hour, get faster shutter speeds, change onscreen data or even run scripts for a set of actions like time lapse photography? No you didn't! Now go visit Lifehacker and he'll tell you how to do it.

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 12, 2008

The Nikon & Ashton Campaign: BFF?

Stars, they're just like us: they take digital photos!

It's time to rain down on Nikon's Ashton Kutcher TV campaign for CoolPix. Oh, the horrors. Now exactly how much do Nikon and Ashton Kutcher have in common that he would ever be chosen to embody the brand? And didn't Ashton peak years ago? There's great celebrity pairings to be found--Nike & Tiger, Priceline & Shatner--you know makes them work? Some thread of relevance.

For a brand that has a stellar, high-end reputation for innovation and consistency, enjoys the faithful patronage of pros and hobbyists alike, why would it ever launch an oops-my-strategy-is-showing television campaign to beg a younger audience with entry-level product? Nikon we love you, but seriously--let's hope moving those $250 point-and-shoots is worth eroding the brand.

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 9, 2008

flickr Friday: Peace to the Mommies

flickr_motherchild.jpgFond wishes to mothers everywhere this weekend. You can see more work from phitar at Flickr.

Is there a flickr photo you want to see on PictureSnob? Email us!

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 7, 2008

Death to the Dust Jacket: A Great New Offering from Blurb

blurb_imagewrap.jpgGo, Blurb, go. As of tomorrow, you can order a hardcover book with ImageWrap at Blurb. As you can see above, ImageWrap allows you to print one seamless cover head-to-toe with images. Previous to this offering you could only achieve this with a dust jacket, and let's face it, most dust jackets get mangled and even removed over time. It's a durable matte finish and prices start at $24.95.

Tomorrow Blurb's prices go up as well. We're okay with this. What prices aren't going up? You can read more here in the Blurb blog.

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 6, 2008

How Aspect Ratio Affects You: Have You Ever Noticed Your Digital Prints Are Cropped?

aspectratio.jpgWhen we all shot 35mm film, we all produced images with the same aspect ratio (3:2), and the ever popular 4x6 print is based upon that. In the digital world, however, digital cameras do not all share this 3:2 aspect ratio, and as a result, all digital photos do not convert well to 4x6 prints. The most common aspect ratios for digital cameras are 3:2 (most digital SLRs) and 4:3 (most compact point-and-shoots). Some cameras allow you to choose your own aspect ratio. Aspect ratios differ between manufacturer and even between models from the same manufacturer. Awesome, huh?

What is aspect ratio? Aspect ratio is simply the relationship between the width and height of your image--as you see in the chart below, we get the aspect ratio of an image by reducing the numbers to their lowest common denominator. (Don't worry, we did the math for you!)

Print Size ---> Aspect Ratio
4x6 ---> 3:2
5x7 ---> 7:5
8x10 ---> 5:4
20x30 ---> 3:2

Some day, this discrepancy may sort out--maybe labs will print in other aspect ratios and maybe manufacturers will agree on an aspect ratio. Until then, here are a few things you can do to prevent an Insolent Cropping Crisis:


  1. If you know what size you like to print, get a camera that agrees with that aspect ratio.

  2. Some labs (try Snapfish) allow you to select "true digital size" and will not crop your image.

  3. Print with a lab that allows you to select your own crop when you want to -- try myPhotopipe.com (see our earlier post on this service).

  4. Be vigilant when taking your photos and leave enough "safe space" around the edges so that an auto-crop won't cut off anyone's head or eyeball or some such.

  5. Write to your congressman. If they have time to pioneer HDTV, they have time to save us from crappy crops.

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 5, 2008

Mother's Day Gift Guide: 3 Great Digital Picture Frames Under $100

Okay folks, you're cutting it close on the big Mom Day, but here's 3 great digital picture frames under $100 you can score in a hurry through Amazon or by scampering out to your local store--call first!Axion_AXN9702.jpgAxion AXN-9702 7-Inch Widescreen Digital Picture Frame -- $59.99
An unknown brand, but a decent one, this 7-inch frame has a few lifestyle features included--clock, calendar and alarm setting. It plays MP3s, has a remote and is compatible with USB flash drives. The only drawback is that you've got to get a memory card with this--it only holds 15 photos on the built-in memory--but you'll probably eventually want more memory with any digital picture frame.kodak_SV710.pngKodak EasyShare SV-710 7-Inch Multimedia Digital Picture Frame -- $79.90
Kodak is one of those trusted brands folks gravitate to, with good reason, so this'll be a familiar name to Moms everywhere. We recently reviewed the whole Kodak line so be sure to check out the post if you're interested in a bigger screen or wireless capability. The SV-710 plays MP3s, video (MOV, AVI, MPEG) and has a variety of on-frame capabilities (editing, browsing, albums) as well as a remote, slideshow templates and programmable on/off settings. It also features PictBridge which allows you to print directly to a printer without using a computer. Styling is traditional--comes with a black frame but you can purchase another faceplate to change the design.Philips_6pt5inch.pngPhilips 7FF2FPA 6.5-Inch Digital Picture Frame -- $99.99
Always stellar in the electronics field, Philips has some nice frame offerings, including this 6.5-inch. It features Photo Manager, where you can create photo albums, adjust images and display slideshows. Philips' touts quality of color and an auto-fit feature that will automatically size your photos to fill the screen. Styling is modern and there are programmable on/off settings. Again, with just 16MB of internal memory you'll need a memory card right off the bat--otherwise you'll only fit about 30 shots.

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 2, 2008

flickr Friday: Pandas!

flickr_panda.jpgPandas make our hearts hurt. Ow. This little panda is sleeping at a research base in China. You can see more work from Hipnos at Flickr. If you want more heart pain, see more pandas here!

Is there a flickr photo you want to see on PictureSnob? Email us!

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 1, 2008

April 2008 Monthly Roundup for PictureSnob

monthlyroundup.jpgThis month we spent a lot of time on photo editing software and photo books. We were surprised how many great, affordable, and even free options are out there for software. We talked about Kodak's lineup of digital frames, including their new wireless model. A great discovery of MyPhotopipe, a high quality digital photo lab -- a great option for enlargements and event photographers. Then there's the crazy Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ50S Wi-Fi from Japan. It is cra'zazy. See below for links to all this month's articles.

GE_G1.jpgProduct of the Month: GE G1 Digital Camera

Our hats must go off to GE this month for the wonderfully affordable and feature-packed GE G1. Sometime this year we'll see some updates with the G2 and G3 -- we'll let you know when they hit retail. $119.95 gets you a slim, 7-megapixel camera with zoom, movie and sound capability, and a zillion other features. Read the post to get the whole story.

Digital Cameras

Digital Photo Services

Digital Picture Frames

Industry News

Photo Software

flickr Friday

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