Picture Snob

February 19, 2008

New Patent Allows You to Take Movies on DSLRs


This is big. For years we've had point + shoot cameras that can take video clips and photos. If you wanted a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex)* you gave up the movies in favor of specialized lenses and focus options. Auto-focus is what stands between DSLRs and movie mode. DSLRs have gotten better and better over the years, mostly by faster auto-focus speeds and narrow focus tolerance. Inventor Hiroshi Terada has published a patent to make movie mode work in DSLRs by using a semi-transparent mirror and two auto-focus functions -- one for stills and one for movies. You can read about the patent in detail at Photography Bay. Not sure when this feature will hit, but we'll keep you posted.

* A SLR is a camera design where light enters through the lens and is reflected by a mirror up to the viewfinder, allowing you to see exactly what the final picture will look like -- focus, depth of field, etc. A DSLR is just a digital version of this, using light sensor chips and memory cards instead of film. You can also change lenses on SLRs that will allow you different focal lengths.

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

February 18, 2008

VuPoint Zippo Digital Spy Camera


Small and familiar... this spy camera from VuPoint is modeled after the Zippo lighter. Flip the top and reveal the lens and trigger button. 64MB built-in memory, self-timer and just 13 ounces. It takes one AAA battery and a whole lot of incognito. Check it out at Amazon for just $21.99.

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

February 15, 2008

Smile Detection, Blink-Recognition and Other Intelligent Promises


Between intelligent cameras and Prozac, the world will never frown again. A new "intelligence" seems to launch every year, this year being smile detection. It's up to you if you're willing to pay a premium for these features, but we suggest applying the proverbial grain of salt here. These features turn your camera into an auto-monster -- most require the auto setting to work and you might end up spending more time communicating with your camera than the photo-worthy experience around you. There is no cheap trick to get a perfect photo, and perfection does not the best photo make. As the author of this photo gaymay asks: is a frown just smile turned upside down?

Blink Recognition
If someone blinked in the photo you just took, the camera alerts you so you can take another shot.
Reality Check: This is handy when it works and if your subjects are obedient.

Face Detection
The camera finds faces in the scene and auto-focuses on the faces and optimizes the exposure and flash for the face. This is often part of a "portrait" setting.
Reality Check: A person's face must be facing towards the camera and the lighting must be good for this to work well. There may be a limit to how many faces a camera can detect.

ArrowContinue reading: "Smile Detection, Blink-Recognition and Other Intelligent Promises"

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

February 11, 2008

Just Released! The Casio EX-S10 is Slimmer than Slim

This little machine from Casio is just 3.7" wide x 2.14" mm high x 0.59" thin and it weighs under 4oz. Stick that in your pocket and shoot it. See what Casio has packed into this thin-wonder:

3x optical zoom
YouTube Capture Mode
-- shoots video in H.264 encoding mode (high quality, small file size)
2.7" Widescreen LCD screen
Shutter Release Control -- reduce camera shake from your hands
Smile Detection (sad face need not apply)
iPod and iPhone compatible
Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery
Connect to PC with USB

It's just released -- try Amazon at $249.99 in red, blue, silver and black. Delicious!

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

February 7, 2008

News from PMA 08: Olympus Stylus 1030 SW is Shockproof, Waterproof, Freezeproof + Crushproof!

(PMA is an annual convention focused on the latest photo innovations. We'll highlight some of the best stories throughout the week.)

Finally, a camera we can treat like our cell phone. This new Olympus Stylus 1030 SW is one tough cookie. Think of this for your active lifestyle type, or your irresponsible type, or for those who lack balance and coordination (sign me up). In addition to the body armor below, you get 10.1 megapixels and a 3.6x optical zoom wide-angle lens and is available in a cool new green color.

Shockproof! Designed to survive a 6.6-foot fall with shock-absorbing metal construction. Waterproof! Seals and gaskets protect this camera to 33 feet -- take it diving, drop it in a puddle. Freezeproof! Skiers can finally take the camera out of their long underwear -- the Stylus 1030 SW performs great to 14˚F. Crushproof! Go ahead and sit on it as long as you weigh 220 pounds or less.

Now this is a digital development we can use right away, without manuals. Yay! Get more details at Olympus. Camera will retail in March, but you can pre-order at Amazon now for $400.

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

February 6, 2008

News from PMA 08: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T300 Slim Digital Camera


(PMA is an annual convention focused on the latest photo innovations. We'll highlight some of the best stories throughout the week.)

Cherry Flavor! OK, not really but this red color sure looks yummy. (Also offered in silver and black for you less flashy folk.) Sony's delivering a lot for $400 in this small size:

  • 10.1 mexapixel
  • 3.5-inch LCD touch-screen with 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Carl Zeiss 5x optical zoom lens (33-165mm) -- check out Zeiss history, he got his start in microscopes
  • ISCN (Intelligent Scene Recognition) selects optimal settings for your shooting condition
  • Face + smile detection can be set to target adults or children
  • Image stabilization
  • High sensitivity settings up to ISO 3200 -- great for low-light situations where you want to avoid the flash
  • Can connect to an HDTV to display 1080 HD resolution slideshows
  • 15MB Internal Memory
  • Compatible with Memory StickDuo and Memory Stick PRO Duo
Sony's DSC-T300 will retail in March. It's available for pre-order at Amazon now.
Susan Moriarty at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 5, 2008

News from PMA 08: HD Video Recording is the New Standard for Point + Shoot Digital Cameras


(PMA is an annual convention focused on the latest photo innovations. We'll highlight some of the best stories throughout the week.)

Look for the addition of HD video recording to digital point + shoot cameras to be the new special feature across brands. Here are some of the new models with the hybrid camera/camcorder feature:

Panasonic Lumix TZ5 -- see our earlier post and this hands-on look at Gizmodo
Panasonic Lumix FX35
Samsung NV24HD
Canon PowerShot TX-1
Kodak EasyShare Z1275

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

January 30, 2008

Panasonic Lumix TZ5: Camera + Camcorder in One!


First the iPhone, now this — someday soon we WILL have all functions in a single device, I can smell it. This camera-camcorder is retailing for $350 in March. Here’s the stats:

- 9.1 megapixel digital camera
- 28mm 10x optical zoom lens
- 720p high-definition video recording
- 3-inch LCD screen
- optical image stabilizer
- motion-sensitive ISO control
- in-camera redeye editor

There’s a lesser version of this model (Lumix TZ4) for $300, but the downgrade isn’t worth the 50 bucks. Check out Panasonic’s press release. Stay tuned for where to buy!

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

January 29, 2008

15 More Days for Canon $125 Rebate


Canon's been offering a $125 manufacturer's rebate on select lenses and flashes through Amazon. Here's a few included in the promotion that are compatible with most SLRs, including the popular Canon EOS Digital SLR series:

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Wide Angle Lens
Lightweight and ultra-wide angle, for $650 this is one of 3 lenses you should own.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM SLR Telephoto Zoom Lens
The lens is big, but this zoom will change your life if you shoot sports, birds or just like to spy. Great value under $550.

Canon Speedlite 580EX II Flash
The best camera upgrade you can make for $357 to improve your photography is a flash like this. Gives the flash some height so you're away from people's eyes and can control the intensity and even bounce the flash off the ceiling.

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

January 23, 2008

Zink Camera/Printer — the modern day Polaroid


Zink has come out with a 7-megapixel digital camera that will print 2” x 3” borderless high-quality photos on the spot. Can you believe that? Of course you have to use Zink paper (comes with a sticky back optional). This was supposed to be released in late 2007… we’re waiting…

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

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