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Tag Archives: Digital Cameras

Clutching At Design Straws, Sony’s Latest Point And Shoot Features A Glass Case

By David Ponce

The main reason Kodak recently filed bankruptcy is that when they finally decided to try and be competitive in the digital camera market, that market itself started dissolving right before their feet; it was too little way too late. But how is this true? Well, it’s simple: smartphone cameras are quickly making standalone point and shoots obsolete. Many people consider these pictures “good enough”, so it’s becoming harder for new arrivals on the market to stand out. Sony’s idea with the Cyber-Shot DSC-TX200V? Make the case out of glass (to match your smartphone, perhaps?) and slap a half grand sticker price on it. Yeah, as in $500. Sure, it’s got lots of features, which are detailed after the jump. But… really, Sony? For a couple hundred more you can get into entry level dSLR territory…

In any case, we’re not judging if the point and shoot still has a place in your heart. If that’s the case, keep reading for a full list of specs.

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This Is Allegedly The World’s Smallest Camera

By David Ponce

Don’t sneeze when you take it out, it might just fly out of your hand and disappear it’s so darn small. Even though it’s been out for a couple of months now, we just recently came across this little thing from Hammacher Schlemmer. It claims to be the world’s smallest digital camera, and at 1 1/8″ L x 1″ W x 1 1/16″ in size, it might be. It weighs only half an ounce and yet is capable of taking pictures at a 2MP resolution (1600 x 1200), and video at 30 fps and 640 x 480. The camera comes with a 2 GB microSD card but supports up to 32 GB.

It’s $100.

[ Product Page ]

Polaroid Releases Z340 Instant Digital Camera

By David Ponce

Polaroid pictures have become somewhat of a relic, a nice reminder of simpler times when cameras had films and being able to hold your shot instantly was the pinnacle of technology. And while film has gone the way of the dodo, being able to hold on to a printed piece of paper immediately after taking a picture still can have some value. At least for those of us old enough to appreciate that value. Polaroid’s gone ahead and made the Z340 in the hopes you’ll agree. Combining ink free printing technology ZINK, the Z340 looks a lot like Lady Gaga’s yet-to-be-released GL30 but is available right now. 14 megapixels, it’s able to print 25 4″ X 3″ pictures in one battery charge.

It’s not the first time Polaroid tries its hand at this; let’s remember the Polaroid PoGo. The Z340 looks more like the cameras of old and the pictures it prints are somewhat bigger than the PoGo. For $300, you too can re-live a digitally remastered remake of your youth.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

Digimo Camera Concept Has A Split Personality

By David Ponce

Concepts are a love/hate sort of thing at OhGizmo. Mostly hate because we rarely get to buy and own them, although there have been exceptions. We wish the Digimo Camera becomes one such exception as it looks like a really cool way to take pictures. The device would essentially be two cameras joined together. When used in this way, you can capture pictures in 3D. The fun really begins when you split them. You can then position one camera somewhere and control it remotely via the other one. This can create picture taking opportunities that traditional cameras can’t give you, as people and animals tend to behave differently when they know they’re about to be shot. It goes without saying that the LCD on the remote camera would display what the picture-taking cam is seeing.

Check out the rest of the post for a bunch more pictures showing you the different types of scenarios the Digimo could enable. Again, this is just a concept right now, but here’s hoping that it somehow makes its way into a real product.

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Rotor Digital Camera Concept Is All About The Dials

Rotor Digital Camera Concept (Image courtesy Charlie Nghiem)
By Andrew Liszewski

Part of the appeal of Fujifilm’s FinePix X100—for me at least— is that settings like shutter speed have been made accessible via a dedicated physical dial. And I like dials. Particularly compared to having to change a setting by navigating a convoluted menu system in a cluttered UI. And that’s why I really like Charlie Nghiem’s Rotor digital camera concept.

Instead of a collection of buttons seemingly randomly located all over the camera’s housing, the various functions are controlled using a stack of dials on the back of the camera. It’s certainly an ambitious design, but with a bit of practice and a dash of muscle memory, I can see myself being able to easily change the settings on the camera without ever having to look at the dials. The cylindrical stack also has the added bonus of providing a physical bulge on the side of the camera, making it easier to grip and hold with one hand.

[ designboom - charlie nghiem: rotor digital camera ]

Nikon’s New ‘1’ Mirrorless Camera System Says Cheese

Nikon J1 & V1 (Images courtesy Nikon)
By Andrew Liszewski

For better or for worse, last night Nikon introduced their long rumored Nikon 1 system, officially throwing their hat into the brave new world of compact digital cameras with bigger sensors and interchangeable lenses. Interestingly enough, of all the camera manufacturers to enter this market, Nikon and Canon have long been the holdouts. So while the world still strokes their beards, pondering what Canon has in store, let’s take a look at what Nikon’s brought to the party.

The cameras in the Nikon 1 line currently come in two flavors. The lower-end, $649.95 (including a kit lens) Nikon 1 J1 and the higher-end, $899.95 Nikon 1 V1 which is probably what most photography enthusiasts will be after. Both cameras include a 10.1 MP CX format sensor, which is larger than the one found in your average compact P&S. But, still smaller than a Micro Four Thirds sensor which is more common in these types of cameras.

Both cameras pack a dual core EXPEED 3 image processor which lets them do nifty tricks like shooting video at 1080P while capturing stills at the same time. In fact, Nikon uses it for their ‘Motion Snapshot’ feature which combines slow motion video intercut with stills, and a cheesy soundtrack. Slightly more useful are the cameras’ ability to fire off a bunch of shots in rapid succession, saving only the best of the best based on sharpness and contrast. Nikon even claims their 1 system has the world’s fastest autofocus, with a hybrid system using both phase detection AF for speed and moving subjects, and contrast-detect AF for low-light situations.

As for the price difference between the two models? As you can see in the product shot above, the V1 adds a 1,440,000 dot SVGA electronic viewfinder and an i-TTL hot shoe allowing you to use Nikon’s new—and adorable—1 SB-N5 Speedlight flash.

The cameras also feature Nikon’s new Nikon 1 lens mount, and when they’re available come October 20, you’ll have your choice of 4 different lenses. A 10-30mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 (kit lens), a 30-110mm ƒ/3.8-5.6 ($249.95), a 10mm ƒ/2.8 pancake ($249.95), and a 10-100mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 powered zoom ($749.95). None of them are particularly fast, and while Nikon promises an F-mount adapter for its traditional lenses is enroute, as Charlie Sorrel over at Wired points out, “…with a crop factor of 2.7x, that nifty 50mm ƒ1.4 lens you own will turn into an almost useless 135mm ƒ1.4″

Admittedly, neither model is really going to shake up the compact, interchangeable lens camera market. At least not as much as Sony’s NEX cameras did with their big APS-C format sensors. But as someone who’s been a Nikon DSLR user for years now, and who’s never been a fan of their smaller P&S cameras, it’s nice to have a more compact option when I feel like lightening my photography load.

[ Nikon 1 Camera System ]

Casio Exilim EX-ZR15 Doesn’t Keep You Waiting

Casio Exilim EX-ZR15 (Image courtesy Casio Japan)
By Andrew Liszewski

Two of the things I love about using a digital SLR are that as fast as I can turn it on I can start taking pictures, and I’m rarely left waiting for the autofocus to do its thing. I can’t say the same for my backup P&S. So maybe it’s time to give Casio some consideration since they’ve seemed to prioritize speed over megapixel count these days.

I mean their new Exilim EX-ZR15 still packs 16MP which is really far more than most consumers need, and a 7X zoom lens, which is hopefully backed with some image stabilization. But what might pique your curiosity the most is that the camera starts up and is ready to take a photo in just 0.99 seconds. Still slower than a DSLR, but they don’t feature retractable lenses that have to be extended. It’s also no slouch in the autofocus department, promising that focus beep in just 0.13 seconds. And in-between shots you’ll only have to wait about 0.29 seconds. They say the best camera is the one you have on you, but not if it’s so slow you miss the shot. The Exilim EX-ZR15 will be available in gold on September 22 in Japan for ~$520 (¥40,000) and in red, black or white come October.

[ PR - Casio Exilim EX-ZR15 ] VIA [ Newlaunches ]

Samsung MV800 Features A Multi-functional Flip-up LCD Touchscreen Display

Samsung MV800 (Image courtesy Samsung)
By Andrew Liszewski

When it comes to compact P&S digital cameras it’s not easy to innovate. Sure, you can make it smarter, cram a bigger sensor in there and generally improve the specs year after year. But improving the form factor isn’t as easy when your goal is to make something compact and easy to pocket. Samsung, however, has come up with a simple but very useful improvement on their new MV800 P&S. The massive 3-inch capacitive touchscreen display on the back can be flipped up 180 degrees making it easier to take photos from low-angles as well as self-shots. It also serves as a handy support or makeshift tripod if you want to prop the camera up somewhere.

The 16.1MP snapper also features 5X optical zoom, dual image stabilization and a host of software based features like filters, easy panoramas, photo touch-ups and effects, faux 3D and in-camera cropping. Oddly enough it seems to use microSD/SDHC cards instead of the far more common SD/SDHC, most likely to help shrink the camera’s body. So keep that in mind if you were hoping to use the mountain of SD cards you’ve collected over the years. Available soonish, most likely well before the holiday shopping season, for $279.99.

[ Samsung MV800 ]

Olympus Makes A Case For Their Compact Digital Cameras With 36x Zoom

Olympus SP-810UZ (Image courtesy Olympus)
By Andrew Liszewski

I don’t like to think I’m a snob when it comes to digital cameras. But after many years of buying and upgrading equipment I guess I’ve developed some loyalties. Specifically, Canon when it comes to compact point and shoots, and Nikon when it comes to DSLRs. So normally I don’t pay too much attention to digicams from other manufacturers, except when they bring something particularly unique or impressive to the table. Like Olympus’ new SP-810UZ which features a whopping 36x zoom lens. Ensuring it will be at the top of stalkers’ Christmas wish lists this year.

If you’re having trouble crunching the numbers, that’s a 35mm equivalent range of 24-864mm. And on top of that you get 4x digital zoom too, but that’s like adding speed holes to a Bugatti Veyron. Of course a camera with that much zoom is only usable with good stabilization, so the SP-810UZ includes sensor-shift IS and an ƒ-stop range of 2.9 to 5.7. On the back you’ll find a 3-inch LCD display, though limited to 230,000 pixels, and like any digital camera these days it’s 720P ‘HD’ video capable. It’s also got a smattering of software based features like image effects, easy panoramas, beauty mode, auto-focus tracking, face detection and processed 3D. All for $329.99 come September.

[ Olympus SP-810UZ ] VIA [ DPReview ]