Picture Snob

March 11, 2008

Polaroid-style Digital Photo Frame

polaroidframe.jpg
Keep hoarding the Polaroid stuff, that's all we can advise for coping with their departure. Now keep in mind this is still a concept product -- digital photo frame that mimics a Polaroid photo. You can write on the frame with a dry erase marker, just like a good old Polaroid. The photo actually fades into the screen from white, just like a good old Polaroid. If you shake the frame and blow on it, that's cheap therapy. This frame takes a memory stick and is operated by a touch screen. Also runs on a rechargeable battery in case you want to be free of the wire. Hopefully Polaroid will get this on the market soon. Stay tuned.

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

February 25, 2008

RIP: Polaroid Stops Making Instant Film

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Well if this isn't history being buried before our eyes... Earlier this month Polaroid announced it will no longer make instant film, laying off 450 people and closing factories in Massachusetts, Mexico and the Netherlands. The instant film will be available at stores until 2009, but expect the price to go up -- when Polaroid stopped making its iconic camera last year, price rose from $30 to $140! From then on, if you're looking for antique Polaroid bits, try eBay. We're going to miss that nasty green hue.

On the bright side, brace yourself for the onslaught of digital camera-printer-in-ones -- see our earlier post on Zink. We just learned this company was founded by former Polaroid scientists and executives, and there's some kind of alliance in the works so you might see the Polaroid brand on some Zink merchandise later this year.

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

February 19, 2008

New Patent Allows You to Take Movies on DSLRs

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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 7, 2008

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

olympus1030SW.png
(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

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(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

January 28, 2008

Digital Picture Frame Virus! -- Best Buy's Private Label Brand: Insignia

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The news wires are reporting that some digital picture frames sold by Best Buy over the holidays were "contaminated with a computer virus during the manufacturing process." (source) When you connect the frame to any Windows PC via USB, the virus will spread into your computer. The virus will NOT travel to cameras, USB drives and memory cards.

Moral of the story: Run antivirus software on digital photo frames you connect to your computer. This software will detect and remove many viruses. To reduce virus chances in general, get an Apple computer!

Best Buy is NOT recalling the frames. The frame has been discontinued and remaining stock taken off the shelves. The full specs of the frame are below. If you think you've purchased it, get in touch with Best Buy to reconcile the situation. You can get more information at the Insignia site as well.

Insignia 10.4-inch Digital Picture Frame
Model #NS-DPF-10A

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

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