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Category Archives: Digital Cameras

The Lightning Trigger Takes Artsy Pictures For You

lightning triggerBy David Ponce

I won’t spend more than a couple lines on this, just cause it’s so darn old. But, I didn’t know about it, and there may be those of you who don’t either, and might appreciate it. There’s this product I just stumbled across called the Lightning Trigger. You stick it on your camera, point it at a storm and wait. Soon’s there some lightning, it’ll trigger the shutter for you. Seeing as electronic is faster than human, you’ll end up with pretty pictures of lightning, easy as pie.

It’s compatible with a variety of cameras (check here) and costs $330. They company claims they’ve been in business since 1998, and I reckon that’s when they made the website, and haven’t updated since. Kind of like an Internet time capsule.

And, well, so much for “just a couple lines…”

[Lightning Trigger] VIA [Fark Tech]

Pentax X-Change Concept Point & Shoot

Pentax X-Change Concept (Image courtesy Photokina)By Andrew Liszewski

Every two years all the major camera manufacturers bring out their latest models of cameras, lenses and accessories for the Photokina show. But they also make sure to bring along a few concepts to give people an idea of what they might be racking up credit card bills for in a few years.

Among several concepts showed by Pentax is the X-Change point and shoot. The idea was to create a camera that facilitates the use of different lenses like with a digital SLR but with the compact dimensions of a point and shoot. The body of the X-Change is very thin, includes a pop-up flash and also allows the use of small interchangeable lenses. The lenses themselves are also quite interesting as each one has an integrated CCD offering different focal lengths. With SLR cameras the CCD is inside the camera body and is basically exposed to the elements every time a lens is switched. Having the CCD built into each lens means they’re always protected from dust which is good but at the same time probably adds quite a bit to their pricetag.

[Pentax X-Change Concept @ LetsGoDigital Photokina Report] VIA [Ubergizmo]

Hammacher Sells Keychain Camera

keychain cameraBy David Ponce

It’s interesting to think that we’ve reached an age where we very well might be stuffing some stockings with 3MP digital cameras; 3MP digital cameras which then will most likely dangle from a keychain. Yeah, that’s right: everyone’s favorite store, Hammacher Schlemmer is selling a keychain camera that takes pictures of 2560 x 2048 resolution in still mode, does 320 x 240 video and even triples as a 640 x 480 webcam. It comes with a slide out LCD of unspecified size, though the entire unit is impossibly small at 1.5″ H x 2.5″ W x 0.75″ D., which does indeed make it a good keychain candidate. On-board memory is a paltry 8MB, so you’re going to want to boost that up with an SD card. Transferring of data is then done via USB.

It’s $70, and should be shipping by the end of the week.

[Keychain Camera] VIA [NewLaunches]

HP’s Digital Slimming Effect

digital slimming hp

By David Ponce

Being horizontally challenged is not easy. I’d know. I had to lose 50 pounds, once. It was less fun than watching dry paint get dryer. But you know something? I’m glad I lost it; I didn’t just give up and give in to the sweet, sweet call of delicious fried chicken. And to me, there seems to be something oddly fatalistic about HP’s new “Slimming” feature found in some digital camera models; it’s something that says “Can’t lose weight? Take the digital way out!” You know you’ve lost control over a part of your life when you start finding features, in gadgets, that help you deal with it.

But anyway, it works like this.

You take a picture, and then, right from the camera, you can apply some post-processing. Among the many options, like “Vintage”, “Soft Glow” and such, you can find one that says “Slimming”. Select that, and then proceed to squash your subject. You can control the degree of distortion, presumably so you don’t end up looking like an unnatural spaghetti.

The feature is available on 7 different models, like the M628 and M527.

[HP Digital Camera Slimming] VIA [FayerWayer]

Submersible Camera Bag

Ewa-Marine Housing (Image courtesy Popular Science)By Andrew Liszewski

In previous posts I’ve lamented at the extreme cost of underwater housings for cameras, especially for larger SLRs. While it makes sense that you really don’t want to cheap out on protection if you intend to completely submerge your electronics it also means that most hobby photographers never get the chance to try their hand at underwater photography.

However it seems Ewa-Marine currently sells an affordable and extremely durable PVC bag that will accomodate almost any piece of camera or video gear you want to take down to the murky depths. While the bag doesn’t really give the user full access to all of their camera’s various controls the transparent and flexible PVC material still allows most buttons to be easily pressed.

Most of the Ewa-Marine bags are submersible up to 30 feet but some can even be taken as deep as 150 feet. Prices range from about $100 for bags designed for point & shoot cameras and up to about $350 for SLR bags.

[Ewa-Marine Submersible Housing] VIA [Popular Science]

Nikon D80 Announced

Nikon D80 (Image courtesy Nikon)By Andrew Liszewski

I know this is already being reported on by nearly every single gadget site on the web, but being a Nikon fan I feel obliged to also post that today they unveiled their latest pro-sumer DLSR, the D80.

There’s a long list of upgrades and improvements made to the D80 when compared to the D70 including a new 10.2 megapixel CCD, a refined 11-area AF system previously only found in the high-end D2 series, a bit of a bump in terms of ISO options (now 100-1600) and a considerably larger LCD. And like the D50 the D80 uses SD cards instead of the compact flash format.

The Nikon D80 will go on sale in September starting at $999 for the body-only and $1299 including the 18-135mm DX lens. Head over to DPreview for what is probably one of the more accurate and in-depth previews of the D80 online right now.

Now back to calmly reassuring my D70 that he’s still a useful and respected member of my gadget family…

[Nikon D80] VIA [DPreview]

X-Loupe – Use Your Canon IXUS As a Microscope

X-Loupe Adapter (Image courtesy Taiwan Screen Optronics Co., Ltd.)By Andrew Liszewski

Is regular old macro photography beginning to bore you? Well the X-Loupe adapter can really take it to the next level by turning your camera into a microscope capable of 150X magnification.

Of course by ‘your camera’ I mean any Canon IXUS compact digital camera which is the only make and model the X-Loupe is compatible with. Manufactured by the Taiwan Screen Optronics company the X-Loupe adds only about 300 grams of weight to the camera it’s attached to and will work in either still or video mode. It even has a light-up LED lens ring that will properly illuminate whatever you stick in front of the lens.

For now the X-Loupe PRO appears to be only available online bundled with a Canon IXUS 65 camera and three lenses (60, 100 and 150X) for about $1500.

[X-Loupe Adapter] VIA [Gizmag]

SatuGO Bouncing Ball Digital Camera

SatuGO Bouncing Ball Camera (Image courtesy SatuGO)By Andrew Liszewski

While it looks like an ordinary ball-shaped webcam the SatuGO camera stands out for the simple fact that it is an actual rubber ball.

Created by Dutch designers Eschel Jacobsen and Mads Ny Larsen the SatuGO camera can be safely thrown like any other ball and instead of shattering into a thousand pieces upon impact it will instead snap a photo. Or you can set the timer and have the camera capture shots in mid-flight if you prefer some aerial photography instead. While it’s an interesting idea given the camera’s size I question how well it will be able to take unblurred shots while it’s bouncing all over the place.

As for availability, when the website for the product includes a ‘Manufacture Needed’ (their spelling) section it’s pretty obvious these won’t be hitting retail shelves any time soon. However the designers have already estimated the cost for the SatuGO to be about $69.

[SatuGO Bouncing Ball Camera] VIA [Coolest-Gadgets]

GoPro Digital Hero Waterproof Camera

GoPro Digital Hero Waterproof Camera (Image courtesy GoPro)By Andrew Liszewski

While I enjoy underwater photography, even if it’s just in the backyard pool I’m usually stuck with buying a disposable film camera since I don’t like dunking my Nikon DSLR and waterproof housings for said camera are far from cheap.

The GoPro Digital Hero is a really basic digital camera designed to be strapped to your wrist and used for ‘extreme’ sports, whether wet or dry since it’s contained in a shock-proof polycarbonate housing and is functional up to 30 feet underwater. Technically speaking the camera is pretty much the bottom of the barrel with a VGA (640×480) sensor and only 32MB of memory inside, but at that resolution you can at least store about 300 shots before dumping them to your PC via a USB cable.

Even with the waterproof housing I still think the Digital Hero’s $79.95 price tag is a bit high, but if you think it will suit your extreme lifestyle you can buy one directly from the GoPro website.

[GoPro Digital Hero Waterproof Camera] VIA [Ubergizmo]