Picture Snob

July 31, 2008

Don't Blink: It's the Eyeball Digital Picture Frame

eyeballdigiframe.jpgThis is definitely a novelty item but hey, we have a soft spot for eyeball styling. Chinese electronics manufacturer Strongking has developed the eyeball-like Strongking GK858 DPF. The screen ranges from 1.5 to 1.8 inches and displays JPGs and BMPs with 16MB of internal memory. Connects to PC via USB 2.0 and operates with AAA battery and energy saving mode. The clock and calendar functions make us thing this would be fun for a kid's alarm clock. The eyeball seems to be newly launched so we'll follow up on where to buy and pricing once it's released. Blinky blinky! (via SlipperyBrick)

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 30, 2008

eBooks on Your Wireless Digital Picture Frame: RoverSoft's Zune eBook Creator

zuneEbookcreator.pngOkay. Just because you CAN put two things together doesn't mean you should. Say you're sitting on the couch, hanging out with your new wireless digital picture frame, thinking about reading a book, trying to choose between the two. Well! You can put an end to this bitter love triangle by using your wireless picture frame to download the new RoverSoft Zune eBook Creator ($19.50). Simply put, the Zune software converts the text of your average eBook-formatted file into a JPG and displays it on your frame. It also allows you to modify the JPGs, although we're not sure why you'd want to do that. So the bottom line is, you can cuddle up with your digital picture frame and read. Thank goodness. Why one would go to all this trouble rather than fork over for the portable, outdoor-light-friendly Kindle, remains a mystery to us. We also like the smell of books. You decide. (via wirelesspictureframe)

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 29, 2008

GoPro Digital Sports Cameras: An Extreme Sportsman's Dream

GoPro_sportscam.jpgIf you're a dirt biker, road biker, mountain biker or motorcycle biker, GoPro has got a durable digital camera for you to mount to your helmet, wrist or bike--as well as your kayak, skis, skateboard, car and anything else you can think of. This would probably work for hardcore Segway riders too. The cameras are waterproof to 100 feet and bomb-proof and capture both photo and video. Details are below--click through the links to buy and see actual footage shot with the cameras.

Helmet HERO ($169.99)
GoPro_helmet.jpg- Quick-release mounts to your helmet (vented or non) or sporting device (skis, kayak, etc.)
- Shoots up to 56 minutes of TV-resolution 30 fps video
- Can activate "Photo Every 5 Seconds" mode to capture up to 1400 photos (2 hours)
- Adjustable sound recording to address high-vibration environments
- 3-megapixel, 2 GB memory card, PC/MAC compatible, takes 2 AAA batteries
- Waterproof to 100 feet, bomb-proof
- Optional accessories: wide-angle lens, Expansion Kit, Ride HERO, Parts Grab Bag

Motorsports HERO
($179.99)
GoPro_motorsports.jpg- Miniature wireless digital video camera
- Quick-release design for simple click-mount (car, motorcycle, etc.)
- Shoots up to 56 minutes of TV-resolution 30 fps video
- Sound recording designed to capture extreme driving sounds
- 3-megapixel, 2 GB memory card, PC/MAC compatible, takes 2 AAA batteries
- Waterproof to 100 feet, bomb-proof
- Optional accessories: Suction Cup Mount, Expansion Kit, Ride HERO, Parts Grab Bag
- Available for pre-order now--ships 12/01/08

Digital HERO 3 ($139.99)
GoPro_digital3.jpg- Wrist-mount digital camera (4.5 ounces) locks flat and pivots for use
- Shoots up to 56 minutes of TV-resolution 30 fps video
- Can activate "Photo Every 5 Seconds" mode to capture up to 1400 photos (2 hours)
- Adjustable sound recording to address high-vibration environments
- 3-megapixel, 2 GB memory card, PC/MAC compatible, takes 2 AAA batteries
- Waterproof to 100 feet, bomb-proof
- Optional accessories: Expansion Kit

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 28, 2008

Disposable Digital Cameras: Made with Recycled Cell Phones

disposabledigicam.jpgJapan is leading the way here on disposable digital cameras made from recycled cell phone displays. Plaza Create Co. developed the camera and runs 1,200 photographic print shops across Japan. Right now only the LCD displays are recycled but the company plans to incorporate phone camera lenses in the future. The disposable camera will do 27 exposures and retail for about 1,280 yen ($11.91) or 50 exposures at 1,480 yen ($13.77), which is comparable to the current film models priced between 500 and 1,000 yen ($4.65-9.30). Considering there's no development fee with the digital camera, consumers are making out well. While you can't rewrite over the memory card, you are given the option to "save" or "delete" after each shot, so there should be no exposures wasted. (via The Daily Yomiuri)

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 22, 2008

Meet GigaPan: The Robot Who Helps Digital Cameras Take Panoramic Shots

gigapan_beta500.jpgIf you don't already have a robot in your life, get used to the idea because they are already sweeping floors, cutting grass and now they're shooting a mean panoramic photo.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a consumer-friendly robotic device that attaches to most digital cameras. It's called GigaPan, descriptive of its ability to capture over a billion pixels in a high-resolution panorama. Woah! GigaPan is larger than your digital camera and requires the use of a tripod. It uses a robotic finger to repeatedly click the shutter to take dozens to thousands of overlapping images, each at a slightly different tilt. The images are then spliced together to create the awesome panorama. How long does a shot take? Up to 90 minutes, so bring a cocktail.

These "giga" panoramas are idea to zoom into on a computer monitor, seeing crisp detail across a vast space--kind of like looking through binoculars. The plan is to release the GigaPan later in the year--no exact price yet, but folks are dedicated to making this affordable and speculate on a price in the $150-300 range.

Visit gigapan.org to see more examples. It's pretty cool! We'll keep you posted on updates.

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

July 21, 2008

Parrot Digital Picture Frames: Setting the Standard for Design

parrot_digiframes.jpgOkay, time to call off the Aesthetic Police! Finally we have found a line of digital picture frames that are actually designed. Parrot has been a bit of a loner on this front and most recently announced a new 7-inch Bluetooth digital picture frame created with famed French designer Andrée Putman. You will find many more styles at Amazon--everything from fabric and zebra print to leather and wood. The frames are small, only 3.5- or 7-inch, but perfect for accents around home and office. Pricing and technical capabilities are on par with the market. Check it out!

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 18, 2008

flickr Friday: Bowen Island Ghost

flickr_bowenislandghost.jpgIn honor of our spooky camera post this week, here's an image with a ghost-like-object (GLO) in it. What say you? Ghost or smoke? Mist or phantom? Shot was taken at Bowen Island in Vancouver. You can see more work from Philippe Sokazo at Flickr.

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

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 17, 2008

Digital Picture Frame that Doubles as a Computer Monitor: The Asus UFOTO UF735

asus_ufoto735.jpgWhile part of us says, "Hey, you can use any computer monitor as a digital picture frame" the other part says, "hey, you can't use any digital picture frame as a computer monitor." Such is the UFOTO UF735, the latest innovation from Asus. It's a 7-inch high-resolution digital picture frame that does all you would expect--play audio and slideshows--but it also offers a sub-display function that allows you to use it as a secondary display on your computer. So how cool is this? While it will allow you to visually drop things from PC to the frame, those who would benefit from this intuitive and visual method would probably not find setting up a second PC display so intuitive. And who gets excited about a 7-inch computer monitor? Right. We're not sure what consumer Asus has in mind here but it sure hit the news wires in June thanks to winning a Red Dot design award. No release information yet--stay tuned. (via Engadet)

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 15, 2008

Soul Snatchers: The Best Digital Cameras for Ghost Hunters

ghosthuntercamera.jpgSo we all know that digital cameras have caught on with the general public, but did you know that Ghost Hunters are into them now too? Imagine that. If you dabble in paranormal research and are in the market for a digital camera to capture your spooky evidence, look out for the following features: (via Suite 101)

Auto and Manual Settings

When it comes to photographing semi-transparent matter (i.e. mist, ectoplasm) you'll want to be able to override your camera's automatic settings on flash and depth of focus.

Variety of Shutter Speeds
You'll also want to be able to set your own shutter speed--sport settings (high-speed shutter) will help you capture orbs and light vortices while slow shutter speeds (don't forget to use a tripod) will help you with things in motion (i.e. Myrtle floating down the stairs).

High ISO
The higher the ISO, the less light you need to get an exposure. Note that the higher the ISO, the greater the grain in your shot. Digital grain can be pretty icky depending on the quality of your camera and number of megapixels... it tends to take on a muddy blue cast.

Many Megapixels
If you're going to have any luck proving your phenomenal theories, treat yourself to some megapixels. The more megapixels, the better the detail in the shot and the more flexibility you'll have to crop into a shot or compare Casper with his dental records.

So which camera?
For the ultimate control, seriously consider a digital SLR. They pain the wallet, but you can't beat the capabilities if you know how to use them. One of the key features of the Canon EOS-40D ($900) is that it's designed to shoot at a high ISO with very little grain (sometimes called noise). Nikon's D3 SLR ($4,700) has one of the highest ISO settings available (25,600 -- no, that's not a type-o) and 12-megapixels to see right up the nose of your ghost. For a more affordable option, most Kodak EasyShare ($200+) cameras are a good bet--just be sure to get 6-megapixels or more.

The truth is out there, folks. It's up to you to capture it.

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 14, 2008

Pandigital's Collage-Style Digital Picture Frame

pandigital_collageframe.jpgUm... we're not sure about this one. It's a 7-inch digital frame, one 5x7 still frame and two 4x6 still frames attached together into this Collage Monster. Roar. We kind of wish they were all digital frames, it seems like a clunky marriage of the old and the new. At any rate, Pandigital is a hearty player in the digital frame world and this offering at a reasonable $140 (Amazon) is no exception. It's got all the features you should expect from a digital picture frame: plays photos, music and video, remote control, auto settings, clock, calendar and compatibility with more memory cards. (via ChipChick)

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 11, 2008

flickr Friday: Hot Frogs!

flickr_hotfrogs.jpgMost of the country was hot this week. So are these frogs. You can just tell. The making of this shot is a mystery to us, but we love the detail -- click to see it big. It's hard to get a good look at a frog! You can see more work from fatuousplatitudes at Flickr.

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

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 9, 2008

Photo Printers: Inkjet vs. Dye Sub

inkjetdyesub.jpgSo what exactly differentiates a photo printer from a regular printer? Most notably, good photographic printers have a broader gamut of colors that will produce more vibrant and color-accurate prints. Another way photo printers are defined is by their ability to operate without a computer through wireless technologies like PictBridge or memory card slots that allow you to print directly from camera-to-printer. There are two major types of photo printers on the market today -- inkjet and dye-sublimation (dye sub). Inkjet is definitely the most popular option, but it's worth understanding them both and figuring out what suits your needs best.

Inkjet: When Versatility Matters Most

The good thing about inkjets is that you can print on a variety of sizes and paper finishes, often including DVDs and other non-paper printable media. The sore point on inkjets is that even with an 8-ink inkjet printer, it's hard to get the color quality of a dye sub because of the inkjet process. Like most printing, inkjet uses a process called dithering, which is simply thousands of different colored dots printed next to each other to simulate a solid color. You can see these dots with a magnifying glass. Here are a couple inkjets to take a gander at:

Epson PictureMate Express Printer ($89.95 at Amazon)
The portable printers can be a lot of fun. If you scrapbook or like to print "live" when on family gatherings and such, this can be a perfect solution. Epson's PictureMate will print up to 4" x 6" borderless prints and is compatible with memory card and USB.

Epson R1900 Large Format Photo Printer
($511.25 at Amazon)
This is a great printer for options and quality. Maybe you want to print a poster this week, holiday card prints the next and an iron-on t-shirt pattern later. Get to it! Features Epson's UltraChrome Hi-Gloss two pigment ink for excellent glossy prints.

Dye Sub: When Quality is Your End Game

A dye sub printer uses a ribbon containing CMY (cyan, magenta, yellow) which is heated over a piece of photo paper (go here for detailed information on this process) which makes for a 16 million color gamut (woah) and transparent inking that gives you solid colors. Dye sub is also dry instantly and colors will not fade over time. Unfortunately, there is little flexibility in print size or material with dye sub -- if you want to print 4x6 photos, you purchase a 4x6 printer and 4x6 ink ribbons. Paper and ink are usually sold together and you will find that the per-print cost is higher than inkjet, but that's to be expected with quality. Check out this dye sub printer as a place to start:

Canon Selphy CP760 Compact Photo Printer ($99.99 at Amazon)
This portable dye sub printer will print on paper up to 4" x 8" and features onscreen editing. Works with PictBridge, Bluetooth, memory card and USB.

(via Hyperphocal)

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 8, 2008

New Digital Picture Frames from Transcend: The T.photo720 and T.photo710

transcend_t710.jpgWell, these new digital picture frames sure have been hitting the news wires. We like the designs, but per yesterday's post we'll be keeping an eye on these frames as they get closer to releasing price point and retail details. Transcend is known for its products in memory, not multimedia. The 710 is already available for sale (see below) but the 720 has just been announced. At any rate, here are the features of note:

T.photo720
- 7-inch widescreen with HD (800x480)
- 2GB internal memory plus room for memory cards
- Automatic Orientation Sensor (AOS) which will rotate image to be right-side-up on screen
- Supports photos, video and audio (including FM radio) as well as slideshows

T.photo710 ($101.59 at Amazon)
- 7-inch flat panel display (480x234)
- 1GB internal memory plus room for memory cards
- Supports photos, video and audio as well as slideshows
- Calendar and alarm clock feature

(via Gadgetell)

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 7, 2008

Fire Warning: Cheap Digital Picture Frames Rejected at U.S. Border

cheapdigiframesonfire.jpgThis is case in point of "you get what you pay for." With the rising popularity of the digital picture frame, all kinds of unqualified manufacturers are getting in the game, usually in China. These cheap frames are branded generically or sold as private label frames for stores like Best Buy and Wal-mart. Fortunately, U.S. port officials have caught on and just rejected almost 1 million digital picture frames manufactured in China due to fire hazard concerns.

Fire? Yes, indeed. Many a cheap digital picture frame has been blamed for fires in homes and offices across the country because the frames spontaneously catch on fire. Manufacturers are using substandard materials that run at high temperatures and/or LCD screens and operating systems that are not engineered to handle the constant usage that the average digital picture frame is under. Buyer beware of manufacturer Sun Plus Technology -- their screens and operating systems were originally designed for portable DVD players and have been identified as fire starters. Take it from us -- stick to the trusted brands and if the price is too good to be true, as Dad said, it usually is. (via DigitalPictureFrameReview)

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 4, 2008

flickr Friday: Happy 4th Photo Challenge!

flickr_sparklers.jpgNow here's a Fourth of July Photo Challenge for you. Get a pack of sparklers and a couple pals and experiment with some long exposures. Throw the flash on a of couple times too, it'll be fun and you'll be interested in the results. Send us your best shots and we'll post the winner and find you a prize in the Picture Snob grab bag. This shot is a 6-minute exposure of 3 people twirling sparklers. Cool, huh? Taken with a Fujifilm SP-3000. You can see more work from teotwawki at Flickr.

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

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 3, 2008

HDTV + Cookbook + Digital Picture Frame = The Pandigital Kitchen

pandigital_kitchenctr.jpgWe like this movement to beef up the digital picture frame --these devices can serve more than one purpose at a time. Welcome the Kitchen Technology Center from Pandigital. Introduce your kitchen to this glorious invention (mount under cabinet, on wall or stand on counter) and enjoy morning news, evening recipes and entertaining photo slideshows. The frame comes with preloaded recipes and you can upload additional ones. The frame has got 512MB built-in memory to hold your MP3s, photos and video -- transfer files with memory sticks or Wi-fi and connect to your favorite photo-sharing site. Screen is 15-inch with 1280x720 HDTV resolution. And the best part, is this device is designed for messy kitchen life with a glass seal to protect from greasy splatters and make it easy to wipe clean. Comes with three faceplates to match your décor -- brush steel, black and white. You'll be able to pick this up in August for $400, stay tuned! (via Kitchen Contraptions)

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

July 2, 2008

Frame Channel: Manage Your Digital Picture Frame's Wi-Fi Feeds

framechanel.pngIf you've got a Wi-Fi digital picture frame in your life and haven't heard of Frame Channel, check it out. Here you can manage your RSS feeds and multiple photo sharing accounts. Through this single membership (free) you can set up your digital frame to receive your photos (and those of friends and family) from all kinds of sites like Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, MSN, Photobucket -- the list goes on. You can also set up RSS feeds to receive news and sports updates right to your frame. A centralized place to manage this stuff is fantastic. (via wirelesspictureframe)

Susan Moriarty Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

July 1, 2008

June 2008 Monthly Roundup for PictureSnob

monthlyroundup.jpgWell, you've wasted another perfectly good month reading PictureSnob. And we thank you. Lots of innovation this month -- the discovery of the BirdCam and Ricoh's GPS camera, the release of the Strobist's lighting tutorials on DVD -- and some crazy animals taking charge of Flickr Friday. We're still being inundated with touch screen digital picture frames, which you know makes us cringe. But hey, when touch screens get us down, we think about the wonderful world of Wi-Fi and we feel better. Don't forget to take a break from the screens in your life and see the real life earth this summer!birdcam1.jpgProduct of the Month: Wingscapes' BirdCam
We like birds. We like cameras. We love the BirdCam! This little machine is simply perfect for capturing our feathered friends on the sly. Attaches to feeder posts and trees, operates by battery with infrared motion-activation. You will be the paparazzi of the birds. Check out the earlier post for the full story or be impulsive and hit up Amazon for the BirdCam at $249.99.

Accessories

Digital Cameras

Digital Picture Frames

Gift Guides

Industry News

Monthly Roundup

Photo Printers

Tips and Tricks

flickr Friday

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