If you're sad about the demise of Polaroid, pick yourself up with this photo booth from Hammacher Schlemmer. That's right. Whenever you're home alone thinking "technology doesn't make me happy anymore" you can tuck yourself into this booth, draw the shade and one button push later, you'll have 4 wallet shots of crazy you to cheer you up. Sigh. The prints are made with a Polaroid-designed thermal printer, producing 2-inch square 72dpi monochrome images. Booth comes with 2 rolls of film, which translates to 800 sessions (4 photos a session). You'll need an AC outlet for this. Oh, and $10,000. And another $2,000 for shipping.
Now here's a poll that won't get you down. In August 2008, PMA (The Worldwide Community of Imaging Associations) reports that almost 80% of digital cameras sold in the US had 8-megapixels or more. To boot, 27% of digital cameras sold in the US had 10-megapixels or more. Compare this to August 2007, where only 20% of digital cameras sold in the US had 8-megapixels or more. In 2007, DSLRs accounted for just 10.3% of digital cameras sold in the US. We don't have more recent numbers on that fact, but it'd be interesting to see what kind of camera bodies people are housing their megapixels in. There's a distinct correlation between dollars and megapixels and at a certain point, you're not benefiting from the megapixels in a low-end camera body. Kind of like putting ground rib eye in meatloaf. You dig? (via ZDNet)
There's a lot to be said for the touch screen, just ask any iPhone fanatic. While we find it awkward on, say, a digital picture frame where you're mucking up your display with fingerprints, on an operating screen it can be a great feature. AgfaPhoto'snew DC-1338sT ($265) offers a 3-inch touch screen you can operate with a stylus or your finger. In addition, it's got 10-megapixels, a 3x optical zoom, ISO sensitivity to 3200, 22 scene modes, a collection of intelligent features like smile detection and face tracking, as well as low-resolution video and audio recording. While Agfa's not usually on the short list, this little machine is worth a look and due to release in the US anytime. In the meantime you can examine the Agfa's DC-1338i -- the model is identical except for the touch screen.
So we all know your digital camera will record the date and time of a photo, but what about the exact location of it? Well, there are two digital cameras we can recommend that will geotag your photos, recording the exact coordinates (longitude and latitude, folks) where you took the photo. What can this do for you? Besides satisfying nerd needs, it's another way you can sort your photos and you could even create an interactive map of a recent vacation with images that correspond to points along your route.
Check out the Nikon Coolpix P600 ($466) and the iPhone 3G for affordable geotagging fun. Now you can still geotag photos taken with other cameras, you just have to do it manually with either software or hardware. For a detailed explanation, check out this article at MacWorld. Google Earth, iPhoto and Flickr are great software for geotagging. For hardware, you can check out the ATP PhotoFinder ($100) or the Gisteq PhotoTrackr ($90) -- these are devices you carry with you and use to record your location as you go along.
Perhaps the most notable update on these new Cybershots is the look. Sony has managed to be more sleek and more hip than anyone else on the market right now when it comes to pocket-sized digital cameras. Both cameras feature 10.1-megapixels, Carl Zeiss lenses, a 4x optical zoom and an incredibly thin dimension--only 5/8 of an inch! Here are the differentiating features:
Sony Cybershot T77 ($299)
The 3-inch widescreen touch panel LCD, 11 scene modes and high sensitivity shooting (up to ISO 3200) are among the best-in-class features that make Cybershot a shoo-in.
Sony Cybershot T700 ($399)
In addition to the features you find in the T77, you get 4GB of internal memory and a 3.5-inch widescreen touch panel LCD with an upgraded display meant for photo-album-in-your-pocket viewing.
Unless you're a regular gawker of surveillance equipment catalogs, you probably don't know where to find your next pair of spyglasses. Well, we at Picturesnob are here to help, not to judge. Whether you're trying to streamline your gadgetry, stalk a loved one or just yearn to be a creep, you'll be pleased to find these new offerings from Brando.Sunglasses with Camera and MP3 ($165)
The built-in 2GB Flash memory allows you to take over 15,000 photos (yikes!) at 1.3-megapixels. There's a built-in rechargeable battery that's good for up to 2 hours of music or 2-9 hours of photos, depending on how frequently you're shooting. You control the camera with a wireless remote shutter control that you can keep in your pocket for the ultimate discreet operation. Stereo headphones will allow you to set your surveillance to music--Carmina Burana perhaps? Lenses are polarized.
Sunglasses with Video and Audio Recorder ($186)
Similar to the above, but instead of the camera and MP3 functionality you have a video/audio recorder that shoots 30 frames per second at 320x240. The built-in 2GB memory can be supplemented with a 2GB memory card. The design of these glasses isn't as covert, so depending on your operation you might want to go for something more discreet.
All right, we'll put our Ashton Campaign Disgust on hold just long enough to talk about the newest Nikon digital SLR, the D90. The youngest in a line of notable siblings (D40, D60, D80) the D90 flaunts being the first DSLR with a movie function. Key features include 12.3-megapixels, 3-inch LCD, low-noise performance from ISO 200 to 3200 (can go to 6400) and a multitude of scene recognition settings for optimal auto exposures. As for the movies, it shoots in AVI format at 320x216, 640x424 or 12800x720 and you can use your multiple lenses, so that means movies in macro, wide angle and even fisheye if you are so inclined. Learn more at the D90 microsite.
The verdict? It's a nice perk, the DSLR with movie capability. And you pay for it. But we're still in the conservative mindset that if quality is your game, you are best off with a separate DSLR and video camera. We'll attest to the D90's relative lightweight and its battery's incredible life--we've used it for a 10-hour day of wedding photography and even a week in Rome, so while we advocate keeping a spare battery on hand, there's quite the juice in them. You'll find this sweet machine at Amazon for $1,284 (with lens).
Now for the rant: we despise Ashton Kutcher as the face of Nikon. Watch this ad and tell us Nikon isn't out of touch with its audience. You want to sell a $200 CoolPix with Kutcher, be our guest. You want to sell a $1300 D90 with Kutcher, get a clue. Sigh.
It can be lonely in the viewfinder of the binocular... especially in this age of instantly sharing what we see on camera LCDs, phones and more. There are two types of photo binoculars -- ones that simply mount a digital camera between the binoculars' eyepieces and ones that have the digital camera lenses integrated into the binocular lenses. The former is cheaper but not truly representative of what you see in your lenses and may result in blurry or double vision images--it's the simple math of one lens trying to capture what two lenses are seeing. The latter ensures what-you-see-is-what-you-get in your photos and videos.
What can you do with photo binoculars? They're great for birders and wildlife voyeurs of course, but also Joe Sports Fan might want to bring a set to the game and record some plays for a later debate.
As with any two-in-one apparatus, photo binoculars give you both functions but of course if you want the best camera, just get a camera, and if you want the best binoculars, just get binoculars. You will find photo binoculars to generally have a more limited field of view and width of view than regular binoculars. Here are a few to check out:
Not to be left in the dust, Fujifilm has gotten on the bandwagon with a new offering of digital cameras ripe for the holiday season (yikes), one of which includes HD video capabilities. Affordably priced and competitive with auto features, here's the lineup to consider:
Fujifilm FinePix S20000HD ($299.71)
- 10-megapixel with 2.7-inch LCD
- 15x optical zoom with bracketing zoom feature and one-touch 2x digital zoom
- Wide-angle lens capability (27.6mm) and macro zoom (to 1cm)
- Continuous shooting at high-speed 13.5fps (up to 33 Frames)
- 1280x720 HD video recording (up to 15min)
- Image stabilization, face detection, 13 scene modes and manual modeFujifilm FinePix F60fd ($284.35)
- 12-megapixel with 3-inch LCD
- 3x optical zoom
- Auto Scene Recognition makes thorough exposure adjustments
- Image stabilization, face detection, 13 scene modes and manual modeFujifilm FinePix J150w ($199.95)
- 10-megapixel with 3-inch LCD
- 5x optical zoom with wide-angle lens (28mm)
- 640x480 video recording (30 frames per second)
- Image stabilization, face detection, 13 scene modes and manual mode
- ISO 1600 sensitivity