Woo hoo! Ricoh has teamed up with GeoSpatial Experts to launch a camera with GPS modules, a magnetic compass and digital mapping software. This means your Ricoh 500SE camera will automatically link each photo with location coordinates derived from satellite positioning. It will also record the direction the camera was pointing when each photo was taken. Camera is 8-megapixels, has 3X optical zoom with optional attachments and built-in Bluetooth. Besides Gadget Goobers, real estate agents, insurance claims adjusters and police detectives might find these GPS features useful. GeoSpatial Experts is selling the Ricoh 500SE as a package deal for $1,709. Package includes 2GB removable memory card, camera bag, Lithium Ion battery and charger and for $50 more comes with Wi-Fi preinstalled.
Who knew? A couple weeks ago at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, New York, the radio frequencies from an employee's digital camera apparently interfered with a control panel it was near. The control panel regulated a boiler pump that provides water to steam generators and the interference resulted in a water level drop, which resulted in the shutdown of the nuclear reactor. There were no environmental problems associated with the shutdown. According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) simply having the digital camera "on" was enough to interfere with controls at the close distance. The nuclear plan regularly uses cameras to document equipment and this accidental shutdown has resulted in some fresh new policies as you can imagine. In 1997 there was an incident where Halon gas was released in Connecticut at the Haddam Neck Plant caused by camera flashes. Careful, Homer! (via newsday)
Well, it could. Thousands of digital cameras are lost each year on airplanes, in hotel rooms and at the hands of creepy thieves. With the new Eye-Fi memory card, you can program your camera to automatically send its photos and videos to an email address or certain photo sharing websites like Flickr and Facebook. The teenie memory card has a built-in wireless connection that automatically activates a transmission of data whenever you're passing within range of a specified wireless network. So to be clear, there's no guarantee that you'll reclaim photos from a stolen camera, but there's a chance. What's better is that while you're traveling, now you don't have to hunt down an Internet café or lug along a laptop to clear your memory card. You can pick up a 2GB Eye-Fi Card at Amazon for $99.99.
This is for all of us who ever wanted to live like the Jetsons. The PhotoPhone from GE is a cordless phone that has a 7-inch LCD screen to display photographic caller ID. You simply load your average memory card (up to 100 digital photos) and associate those photos with phone numbers of your friends and family. When the phone rings, no more deciphering of the caller ID screen, you get a photo! When you're not using the phone, the screen operates like any digital picture frame, playing a slideshow of your images. A must-have, right? Yeah, well, we think this could be a great product for the elder population who may find caller ID screens difficult to decipher. And hey, this is a whole lot more fun. You can load photos of the grandkids -- simple pleasures. Amazon's got the PhotoPhone for $124.19.
Start saving your shekels for the holidays, folks. A couple weeks ago Samsungannounced a collaboration with The Thomas Kinkade Company where they will marry large-scale high-definition displays with fine artwork. The working name is the Digital Masterworks Art-TV and it's a whopping 46-inch 1080-pixel LCD screen with a 40GB hard drive. The display is set in a traditional Thomas Kinkade frame giving it that gallery feel through and through. Once they've got this hulking beauty working, the idea is to distribute Thomas Kinkade artwork via the internet -- whether this is like purchasing PodCasts of art or a subscription, we aren't sure. There are even audio tracks that will narrate about the art period and artist as well. (There is talk of touch screen functionality but we sincerely hope they skip that smudgy idea.) There's no pricing reported yet, but expect to shell out.Thomas Kinkade Signature Galleries will have exclusive distribution of the Art-TV at the end of the year, and they expect broader distribution in the second half of 2009. We love the possibilities of this creation -- stay tuned for developments. (via SlashGear)
We've talked about Zink a few times -- it's a company founded by former Polaroid executives and dare we say they are keeping the Polaroid spirit alive in the digital age. Earlier this year they released a camera and printer in one but this time it's the Polaroid PoGo, a wireless mobile printer. It uses this inkless technology to produce 2"x 3" sticker photos. You can connect your digital camera directly to it with USB or even connect your cell phone via Bluetooth. We like this product mostly for the latter purpose: printing cell phone pictures. It's one of those underserved markets... what to do with the cell phone photos and how to expand your usage of them. Be sure to visit Gizmodo for a great review of the Pogo. Amazon is out of stock of the PoGo at the moment, but you can check it out anyway -- PoGo goes for $150 and paper is $10 for 30 sheets. (via gizmodo)
We're still not sold on the touchscreen idea for a viewing screen, but manufacturers sure think it's a good idea. Doesn't this make you wonder why they don't have touch TVs? Funny, it doesn't, does it? Well, latest on the touchy scene is NuTouch (get it?) from Digital Spectrum Solutions with a 7-inch digital frame that plays your photos and MP3s -- um, all at the touch of your fingers. 128MB internal storage with room for memory card, screen resolution is 800 x 480 with a 3:2 ratio, connects to PC via USB and best of all, there's an internal battery so you can avoid the ugly cord blues. You can pick this up at iwantoneofthose for about $250. Wash first, folks. (via engadet)
Now here's a frame for your crib. Digital Spectrum has a wide range of digital frame styles, which is nice to see in this sea of sameness. If gold's not your thing, you can experiment with other faceplates like woods and silvers and blacks. The 17-inch screen will delight you! (That screen size is what's causing the price point, by the way.) Plays JPGs, MP3 audio and video with built-in stereo speakers. Connect to your computer via USB. Operates via remote control. Pick it up at Amazon for $350.
Oh help. These little sea turtles look thirsty! They are making their way back into the sea. Flop, flop, flop. Taken with the Canon EOS 350D, which isn't really sold anymore, but the Canon Digital Rebel XTwould be similar. You can see more work from Luca5 at Flickr.
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Ever wonder how to shoot a good portrait? Want to know how to shoot a timelapse film with your DSLR? Get some advice on retouching or equipment? Check out the Digital Photography School blog for great tips and techniques.And the favorite lighting blog --Strobist -- is now on DVD! Strobist has released a lighting seminar on DVD presenting everything from gear to techniques in a hands-on way. We like seeing what we're learning through demonstration. The first edition sold out but they're still taking orders and will deliver in late June.
Love this. eStarling's 8-inch wifi frame has just been updated with a Facebook feed -- that means you can link it to your Facebook account and view your and your friends photos directly on your frame. You can already connect with Photobucket, Flickr and Smugmug. eStarling's tactic is to add new feeds like this rather than revise its hardware every 6 months -- a frame that keeps on giving. They use Seeframe Live to facilitate your photos -- it's a website where you can store, organize and share your photos. (via Crave)
Here's some stats on the frame -- you can find it at Amazon for $224.
- 8-inch widescreen, 800x600
- 128MB built-in memory, can store additional files on Seeframe Live
- Wi-Fi 802.11b/g with WEP encryption
- Easy photosharing -- frame has its own email address
While this might seem unnecessary at first, we've come to like the idea of a kiddie digital camera. It's certainly a creative activity for the kids and anything that lets kids play "grown up" is usually a big hit. Aren't you curious what your little tyke will choose to photograph? There is something marvelously experimental about digital photography. Junior can shoot till he's blue in the face, at no extra charge, and he can do-over as many times as he wants, delete his mistakes and try, try again. The Fisher Price Kid Tough Digital Camera is as durable as it sounds -- Junior can drop this camera, drool on it, smush cupcake on it -- all that fun stuff. Below are stats and you'll find a good deal at Amazon for $74.99. (via Simply Stated)
- 1.6" LCD screen
- Two-eye viewfinder
- Great dual grips, wrist strap and easy-to-use control buttons
- Automatic flash
- 8MB built-in memory will store up to 60 photos
- Can add up to a 1GB SD memory card (do not use high-speed SD card)
- Connect to computer with USB cable
- Requires four AA batteries
Wow... we've never seen a butterfly like this, have you? It's a South American butterfly often called the Glasswing Butterfly (genus: Ithomiinae) and the see-through wings are a defense mechanism so he's hard to see in flight. You can read more here about these butterflies. Taken with a Panasonic DMC-FZ7. You can see more work from e³°°° at Flickr.
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Now you can photograph your birds and still breathe! The Wingscapes BirdCam is designed to resemble a birdhouse and is weatherproof, infrared motion-activated and captures both photo and video. It's probably best suited for your backyard, or somewhere you can leave the camera for a while -- that's how you'll capture your best stuff. You can secure it to a tree or put it on a stake with your favorite bird feeder. This would be a great way to catch evildoers too -- squirrels, grackles and other food-snatching creatures. The BirdCam can support up to 4GB of memory cards, connects to your PC via USB and is powered by 4 D batteries. You can operate it via remote control in Auto, Manual or Timelapse. Focal distance is 18 inches, so be sure to set up the camera at least that far from a feeder. We had to do some math on the megapixels, but it appears to be 3.2-megapixel, which is pretty good considering you've got close-ups of birds and shouldn't need to crop into the image. Video resolution is 640 x 480 in 10-second clips. You can buy the BirdCam through Amazon for $249.99. Also look into the Mounting Arm for $29.00. Go to Wingscapes to see their video gallery and photo gallery -- it's amazing! Smile for the birdie!
Father's Day is just 10 days away -- June 15 -- so get crackin! Here are a few ideas for Dads this season:The Bronze Dad: Nikon Pen Lens Cleaning System - $5.77
You don't have to have a Nikon to use this lens-cleaning pen. It's easy to carry around with you and the instructions are simple. First brush debris off your lens with the brush tip and then use the fabric tip to get rid of smudges. If you're interested in a more comprehensive system, check out Nikon's Complete Lens Cleaner Kit.The Silver Dad: Joby Gorillapod Flexible Tripod - $21.95
We love this miniature tripod -- and not just because it looks like a creature we can befriend. It's compact for easy portability and oh so versatile. Attach the Gorillapod to rocks, benches, maybe even a dog (DogCam!) and you'll be able to capture timer shots and long exposures without worrying about the safety of your camera.The Gold Dad: Kodak EasyShare SV-710 Digital Picture Frame - $79.90
We recommended this frame for mommies too. Kodak is one of those trusted brands folks gravitate to, with good reason. 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. And be sure to look into Kodak's preloading feature.The Platinum Dad: Mustek PF i700 Digital Picture Frame iPod Dock - $122.95
Since we know you got Platinum Dad an iPod last year, how about a digital frame and iPod dock this year? This 7-inch frame from Mustek charges your iPod and plays it, all to the photos and movies of your choice. Remote control controls both frame and iPod. It's a great idea. Why have to load audio to yet another device (your digital picture frame) when you can just stick on your iPod?
We don't usually indulge in rants at PictureSnob, but Nikon's Ashton Kutcher TV campaign just keeps begging for it. In our earlier rant we chastised Nikon for a transparent and misguided campaign pushing entry-level product (CoolPix). Turns out, this goon is also the face of Nikon DSLR in this spot for the D60. Nikon even has the audacity to give a shout out to the D300 at the end of the spot. Here's the riddle: what exactly do the CoolPix, D60 and D300 photographer have in common? Taste in celebrity? At least make Ashton put the strap around his neck like most folks would do with a $700 camera. As for his self-centered, "phototainment" approach to shooting, we all know those types of people and they're irritating -- hardly an embodiment of the ever-savvy Nikon photographers we know. Nikon, you are testing the limits of our unconditional love.
When it comes to photography on the road, there's some key digital camera features that will help you avoid a life of frustration and travel photo mediocrity. We're going to focus on point-and-shoot cameras -- they're the most convenient for travel due to size and weight. Plus, you DSLR folks already know what you're doing, right?
Below are 6 considerations we believe to be crucial to having the best tool for travel. And just what camera lives up to this wish list, you ask? Check out Panasonic's Lumix DMC-TZ5K. At $269.99 you're getting 10X optical zoom, wide angle, 9-megapixels, incredible intelligent auto modes as well as manual options and decent video capabilities. 1. Wide-Angle Lens
A wide-angle lens isn't a common option for point-and-shoots, but it's one to keep an eye out for. Like a zoom gives you the flexibility to get close-up or shoot from far away, a wide-angle can add depth and help you capture shots in tight places. Just beware that capturing a group of people with a wide-angle is mutiny -- the people on the outside 20% of the frame will look like they're in a fun house mirror. Which isn't fun.
2. Flexible Controls for Aperture and Shutter Speed
While we love auto mode because we can use our brain for other things, it's not always the best move. Look for cameras with "Aperture Priority" and "Shutter Priority" modes. These are semi-automatic modes that allow you more control for unique lighting situations like sunsets and night shots. For example, in "Aperture Priority" mode you set the aperture (how much light gets in the lens) and the camera adjusts the shutter speed accordingly. If you've got a travel tripod, using "Shutter Priority" to set a long shutter speed (how much time the light has to get in the lense) can be a nice way to capture a sunset at dusk.
May brought forth a variety of news in digital photography. Some happy innovations with Kodak's preloaded frames and Blurb's ImageWrap, new digital frame offerings with Sony's WiFi and Fidelty's Photo Vault, and a few things you never thought you'd hear about: digital picture frame pet urns and astro cameras. As the world turns, folks.
Product of the Month: Kodak Preloaded Digital Picture Frames
While this seems like no big deal, we think Kodak hit the gift nail on the head here by offering preloaded digital picture frames and memory cards. That means you can purchase a frame as a gift and preload it with your favorite photos, saving the recipient from technology anxiety. In fact, you can gift them on a regular basis with preloaded memory cards (just $20) --they'll never have to do more than turn on the frame. Check out the earlier post for the full story as well as our coverage of the Kodak EasyShare Picture Frame line.