Picture Snob

June 9, 2008

Waist-High Photos: Digital Cameras for Kids (Ages 3 & Up)

fisherpricekidcam.jpgWhile 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
- 1.3-megapixels
- 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

Susan Moriarty at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 5, 2008

BirdCam! Wingscapes' Digital Camera for Birdwatchers

birdcam1.jpgNow 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!birdcam2.jpg

Susan Moriarty at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

June 3, 2008

The Nikon & Ashton Campaign: It Gets Worse

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.

Susan Moriarty at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

Digital Cameras for Travel: Key Features to Consider

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. lumix_TZ5K.jpg1. 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.

ArrowContinue reading: "Digital Cameras for Travel: Key Features to Consider"

Susan Moriarty at Permalink | Comments (1) | 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 at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

May 23, 2008

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 at 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 at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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.

Susan Moriarty at 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 at 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 at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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