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Category Archives: Digital Cameras

Pure Digital Makes One-Click-Upload Digital Camcorder, Pleases The Elderly

pure digital

By David PonceIt seems that for some people, even the drop-dead easy YouTube video uploading process is a little too strenuous on their thinking membranes. (I’m thinking Grandmas though, well, anyone could be similarly impaired I imagine) And while I’m unable to find confirmation on their website, it seems company PureDigital is aiming to take the (imaginary) pains out of online video sharing (while riding the YouTube hysteria) by selling basic point-and-shoot digital camcorders with one-click upload to your video sharing site of choice: simply connect the camera to your PC, press a button, and the video gets uploaded directly from the device. Presumably, you’ll have to go through an initial setup process (for login info and such, which is likely to involve Grandson) but after that initial setup, you’ll be able to watch thrilling videos of wicker baskets being knit any time of day or night, which Grandma uploaded all on her own.

There are two models of the cameras, which hold either 30 or 60 minutes of videos. The player works on two AA batteries, has an LCD screen for immediate playback and while the quality may not be stellar, it is reported to be sufficient for home movies. It’s $130 and available at Target, though the one-click upload models may not yet have arrived. We hear they’re on their way.

[Pure Digital's oint-And-Shoot] VIA [FarEastGizmos]

Sony’s Cyber-Shot DSC-N2 Reviewed

sony cybershot dsc n2

By David Ponce

The inevitable elbow-rubbing with throngs of overweight Holiday shoppers is only a few weeks away. Don’t be part of the hysteria, and start planning now. So, how’s a digital camera from Sony grab you? The folks at Imaging Resource have reviewed Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-N2, a 10.1 MP addition to their N-line, and seem pleased enough. The nice thing about this camera is its touch-screen interface, which allows for a clean body style (perfect for pockets) while enabling a much simpler user interface. The only reason we’re mentioning it, in fact, is due to this particular feature, though a couple of other things are worth noting. The ISO settings go up to 1600, which is nice when taking shots in low light settings, but unfortunately the camera produces very grainy shots in the higher range. The 3X optical zoom can be artificially compounded by up to 17X (depending on resolution) plus an additional 2X Precision Digital zoom. However, with no image stabilization, you better set the camera down on something stable for those long shots.

The MSRP is at $450, which doesn’t factor in the generally overpriced Sony Memory Sticks. Still, it is 10.1MP, and it is a funky touchscreen interface which is bound to attract a few compliments for a little bit. For a full review and sample pics, follow the link love.

[Imaging Resource Reviews Sony's DSC-N2] VIA [TechEBlog]

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]

HP Portable PhotoSmart A716 Printer Reviewed. Verdict: Versatile, but Pricey

Everything USB has reviewed what appears to be one of the most versatile photo printers out there. The PhotoSmart A716 is built-in with several features designed for portability in mind. For starter, you’ll find a 4GB hard drive that provides temporary photo storage during long trips. The 2.5″ LCD allows for a variety of photo editing, albeit rather primitive. The front USB port also isn’t just for direct printing from PictBridge cameras; it can offload images from the built-in HDD to an external USB hard drive or a CD/DVD burner. It’s too bad that the total ownership cost is still a lot higher than getting the digital photos printed at a local Wal-mart.

The HP Photosmart A716 is the perfect printer for shutterbug that wants to be able to print and store photos on the go. That is assuming you don’t mind paying twice what you could print the same photos for at your local Wal-Mart. At the end of the day the A716 prints great photos, but you pay dearly for them.

[HP PhotoSmart A716 Review] @ Everything USB

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]