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Tag Archives: cameras

The Hipster Is Strong With This One: The dSLR Wheel Of Filters

Filters… we’re starting to really hate them. Popularized by Instagram, they’ve spilled out of the hipster bandwagon and onto the mainstream, where everybody’s breakfast now looks like it was shot in 1969. Why is this cool? Are we just… old? Old fashioned? In any case, these kind of pictures have mostly originated from smartphone cameras, with the dSLR crop so far retaining a modicum of class and elegance. This won’t be the case for long if the dSLR Wheel Of Filters takes off. You’ll be able to take crappy, “artsy” pictures with your $1,000 camera that look just the same as those coming from that $30 plastic Holga from Urban Outfitters. And that, that, my friends, is what the hipster spirit is all about. We feel the same about paying $100 for a T-Shirt that looks like a $5 thrift store reject that we do about taking lo-fi pics with professional level photography equipment. But maybe it’s just us.

Of course our cynicism is going to fall on deaf ears. When something is trendy, it’s trendy. So for those of you that (gasp) are contemplating this purchase, know that the device will fit onto your Nikon or Canon camera, and features a 10-color wheel, and a prism and macro wheel.

For pictures of it, and pictures taken with it, hit the jump.

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FlyVIZ: Is The Ability To See 360 Degrees Worth Going Outside Looking Like This?

The FlyVIZ is an interesting visor whose sole purpose is to project a 360 degree panorama right on your eyes. A camera mounted at the top is able to see all around, and the resulting video feed is pumped to a pair of LCD screens that allow the wearer to see all around him. If he turns his head, so does the view, meaning that after an average of 15 minutes of initial nausea and disorientation, most wearers are eventually able to start navigating the world “normally.”

Presented at INRIA in Paris, the FlyVIZ is an exploration in “sensorial augmentation”, with some practical applications in mind:

In safety and security applications, soldiers, policemen or firemen could benefit from omnidirectional vision to avoid potential dangers or locate targets more rapidly. In less critical situations, some surveillance applications with a high visual workload, in all directions of space for instance, could also be concerned, such as for traffic regulation. Considering the novel perceptual experience proposed, FlyViz could also be transformed into entertaining applications and devices, as well as experimental materials for new perception and neuroscience studies.

This is clearly not a commercial application at the moment, but it’s interesting to know it exists.

Wanna know what it looks like from the wearer’s perspective? Hit the jump for a video, in French, as well as links.

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Cheetahs Filmed In Super Slow Motion

Phantom makes a pretty awesome line of high-speed cameras. The details these reveal about movements that are usually too quick for the eye to see are just incredible, and when the subjects are creatures as majestic as cheetahs, the resulting footage is simply jaw dropping. National Geographic recently went to the Cincinnati Zoo to capture the feline doing what it does best: run. The production ended up being one of the most sophisticated the crew had worked on, including several cameras rolling on a track-mounted dolly capable of reaching 60mph. A rotating cast of 5 cats were coaxed into short sprints by what looks like a ball of yarn on s string. Cute. They were shooting at 1,200 frames per second, and the video, included below, is simply a masterpiece. Totally worth checking out.

If you’re curious about how it was done, hit the jump for a video of that.

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Worried Mannequins In Store Windows Are Looking At You? They Could Be

Once the realm of the paranoid, fantasies about being spied upon by the mannequins in store windows has recently turned into a privacy-encroaching reality. The Italian mannequin maker Almax SpA makes a product called EyeSee, which is a mannequin with a camera embedded in one of its eyes. It watches the customers going through the store’s doors, feeds the data to facial-recognition software and analyses their characteristics to better target their service. For example, one store found that many shoppers that came in after 4 pm were Asian, so it assigned Chinese speaking staff at the entrance after that time.

Currently in use in three European countries as well as the US, it is deployed in stores like the Benetton Group, among others. And while the practice of using cameras to analyze customers’ appearances is not new, it was traditionally done from overhead cameras; Almax argues that the eye-level angles provide better data. Clearly the intentions are not nefarious and are aimed at providing a more tailored shopping experience, but the surreptitiousness of it has a few privacy critics alarmed. The question then becomes: should we still have a reasonable expectation of privacy while out shopping?

[ Bloomberg ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Spectacam Records The Action In Front, And In The Back

It’s never a bad idea to have a camera running when you are moving, whether it’s a dashcam in a car, or a helmet-mounted camera when you’re cycling. Not only is it fun to watch what you’ve done, but if there’s ever an accident, that’s some potentially important footage. Except of course it’s always footage of stuff in front of you. The Spectacam cycling cam seeks to change that by featuring two 1080p cameras mounted 180 degrees from each other. The small device is streamlined and mounts to the top of a helmet with velcro, then connects to a smartphone through WiFi. An included handlebar mount allows you to secure your phone in front of you and control what’s happening at the touch of a button. Being able to immediately see out of the cameras lets you adjust the shooting angle at each end of the Spectacam, to make sure you’re recording exactly what you want. The footage is stored in an SD card, and not on your phone. Battery life is said to be around 3 hours.

Currently a far-from-funded project on Kickstarter, a $200 pledge will get you in line for a May 2013 delivery.

[ Project Page ]

If You Really, Absolutely, Positively, Just Don’t Want To Use A dSLR

By David Ponce

The above product looks like it could be cool, until you start thinking about things in detail. It’s called the Phocus iPhone Case and it’s a rather large and rugged case that can ultimately be used with Nikon or Canon EOS lenses. It’s got a standard tripod thread so you can stabilize your newly created camera and take somewhat decent pictures. But we’re iffy on this and we’ll tell you why. First off, the standard case comes with its own lenses: $99 for wide angle and macro lenses, and $139 if you add a telephoto lens. But if you want to use your own dSLR lenses, you have to buy special 35mm adaptors: $220 for Canon lenses and $245 for Nikon. They’ll come with spacers so you can maintain the proper focal length. At this point, you’re $320 deep in the best case scenario, and that’s not even including the fancy lens. You don’t have electronic control over that lens either, which means the shutter is the iPhone’s. And the sensor… It’s… a really convoluted way of taking pictures when you could toss in a couple hundred dollars more and just buy a real camera. But hey, if you really, absolutely…. You get the idea.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Technabob ]

Picosteady: A SteadyCam For your iPhone

By David Ponce

Mr. Blurrycam’s first cousin is Mr. Shakycam. They make for a fine pair as together they make up a sizeable portion of the pictures and videos found online. And while the Picosteady pictured above doesn’t help Mr. Blurrycam much (just learn to focus, already), Mr. Shakycam could be out of a job. A SteadyCam is usually an expensive piece of equipment that stabilizes cameras and allows for those smooth, gliding shots you see in movies. It’s not something that you typically use with an iPhone. But if this Kickstarter project is successful, you’ll be able to do just that. It’s got a pivoting handle and a counterweight and accommodates a range of cameras, not just the iPhone. And from sample videos they’ve provided, it seems to do a fine job indeed. It’s smaller than a lot of the higher-end rigs and probably does still require a fair amount of care on the part of the operator, but for the smaller, harder to eliminate vibrations, it’ll do just fine. It’s $139 on pre-order on Kickstarter, after which it’s expected to go up to $179 in retail.

Hit the jump for a video and links.

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Bicycle Rearview Camera Seems Like It Could Come In Handy

By David Ponce

Life is already pretty miserable for cyclists everywhere. Latte sipping motorists in needlessly large cars are way too busy texting to pay any attention to anything on the road. So any piece of technology that makes a cyclists’ life easier is fine by us. The above Bicycle Rearview Camera sends a live feed of whatever is behind you so that you can keep focused on what’s in front and to the sides. The camera connects to the TFT screen via a 78 3/4″ zip-tied cable that accommodates any frame geometry and the battery in the monitor should last 10 hours on a 2 hour charge. There’s a quick-release mechanism so you don’t have to fiddle around when it’s time to take it in with you and a circular pattern of red LEDs flash when the camera’s built-in sensor detects low-light conditions for visibility to traffic. Finally, yes, it’s weatherproof so you can even take it out in the rain.

It’s $179.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

The Kick Is A Full-Spectrum Camera Light That You Control With Your iPhone

By David Ponce

Taking good pictures, moving or otherwise, involves more than having an eye for composition and timing. It helps to have good equipment, and high on the list is proper lighting. The Kick is a small, full-spectrum light that is made to work specifically with your iPhone. So while you might not have the lens, sensor, steady cam, jib or anything else that good photography often calls for, being able to control the light in the way that The Kick allows will go a long way to making those iPhone shots look great. The application lets you pick any color you want and The Kick will reproduce it. And what’s even more impressive is that it can also do animated light. You can pick from some presets like Lightning, Fire or Cannon shots, or (and this is really cool) open up a video, pick a sampling spot on that video and The Kick will reproduce the light from that part of the video.

Of course you’re not limited to using The Kick with the iPhone; you’re free to bring out the professional rig and simply use the iPhone as a remote control for the light. It’s fairly small, about the size of an iPhone and normal use will drain the batter in 4 to 5 hours. There are two versions up for pre-order on Kickstarter, The Kick Plus at $149, and The Kick Basic at $99. The cheaper version lacks WiFi connectivity, and thus iPhone control.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]