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Tag Archives: Digital Cameras

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX55 Does Single Lens 3D, Might Even Have Usable Digital Zoom

 Sony DSC-TX55 Cyber-shot (Image courtesy Sony)
By Andrew Liszewski

Usually when a digital camera includes a line about digital zoom in its feature list I glaze right over it, because quite frankly, it’s useless. All they’re really doing is zooming in on the center of the image, which is going to result in a softer, possibly pixelated result depending on the quality of the resizing algorithm it uses. But Sony’s new DSC-TX55 Cyber-shot could be a different story. Besides being just 12.2mm ‘slim’ (thinner than a AA battery) the DSC-TX55 has something Sony is calling “By Pixel Super Resolution” technology which adds an extra 5X digital zoom to the camera’s sliding 5X optical zoom mechanism, without losing quality at the camera’s max resolution of 16.2 million pixels. I’ve no idea how it really works, or if it’s just marketing talk covering up the same old thing.

‘Round back it sports a large 3.3-inch touchscreen OLED display, which is also great for reviewing pics or videos since the DSC-TX55 shoots full HD video as well. And, it can even grab 12MP photos while you’re recording in HD. Available this September, the camera will come with a ~$350 price tag which also gets you electronic image stabilization, 0.1 second autofocus times, a new in-camera ‘Picture Effect’ mode, panoramic photos which can be easily captured by just sweeping your camera from side to side and even single lens 3D.

[ PR - Sony's Newest Cyber-shot Camera Expands Range Of Creative Options ] VIA [ Tech Digest ]

Takara Tomy’s Now Got A Digital Camera For Toddlers That Makes It Easy To Frame Their Shots

Takara Tomy Digital Camera for Toddlers (Images courtesy Japan Trends)
By Andrew Liszewski

Takara Tomy is hoping to get kids hooked on digital photography at an even younger age than anyone thought was possible with this new toddler-friendly digital camera they unveiled at the Tokyo Toy Show last month. I’m assuming it’s durable enough to be frequently dropped, and sports the usual bright colors, cartoony characters and oversized buttons we’ve come to expect on kid-friendly electronics. But what makes it unique is that instead of an oversized viewfinder or a large LCD display on the back, the camera simply features a photo-sized hole that littles ones can hold up in front of them to frame their shots. Now I’m sure the photos it snaps won’t perfectly match what kids are seeing in the frame, but I doubt they’ll be as anal about it as a professional photographer would be.

I have no idea when the camera will be available, how much it will cost or if you’ll ever be able to find one outside of Japan. But according to Japan Trends it does include a self-timer and has enough storage to hold 99 x 3MP shots.

[ Japan Trends - Digital Camera for Toddlers ]

Stylish Pixbag SLR Camera Wraps

Pixbags (Images courtesy DaWanda)
By Andrew Liszewski

Occasionally an SLR manufacturer like Pentax will come out with a colorful camera option for those who like to stand out in the crowd. But otherwise black, slightly less black, and really dark gray are pretty much your only color options when shopping for an SLR or DSLR these days. Unfortunately for the most part it’s the same situation when shopping for a case, though there are standouts.

These Pixbag bags by DaWanda (kind of like a European version of Etsy) seller Chocmuf are made from a large assortment of bright colors, patterns and prints. And while they’re not going to provide a heck of a lot of protection for your gear when traveling, they are padded and seem perfect for safely stashing your camera in a backpack, or for just carrying it around all day. The handmade bags, which come in 3 different sizes for different cameras, range in price from ~$72 (€49.90) up to ~$79 (€54.90), presumably depending on the fabric used. And additional options like a wrist strap or extra room for a battery grip add to the overall price.

[ Pixbag SLR Camera Wraps ]

DXG-018O 3D Camera Is Just $70 – But You Get What You Pay For

DXG-018O 3D Camera (Images courtesy DXG)
By Andrew Liszewski

Finding a half-decent digital camera for under $100 these days is not impossible. But finding a 3D capable digital camera for just $70? Well there’s bound to be some trade-offs. And in the case of the DXG-018O, there are certainly a few. If I’m reading the tech specs correctly the camera uses a set of 0.3MP sensors, which isn’t even VGA quality. But because there’s 2 of them, and the fact that the camera does internal interpolation, you end up with a combined resolution of about 1.3MP in your 3D images.

Unfortunately it’s impossible to actually view the 3D images it captures on the camera because there’s only a tiny 1.44-inch TFT LCD display on the back which isn’t 3D capable. If you want to see your images in the 3rd dimension you’ll have to actually print them out and use the DXG’s included 3D viewer, which in reality is nothing more than a fold out cardboard tube with a couple of lenses in it. At the least it probably produces better 3D results than a red/cyan anaglyph system, but not by much.

[ DXG-018O 3D Camera ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

More Hands-On With The Fujifilm FinePix X100

Fujifilm FinePix X100 (Image property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

Back in March we had our first opportunity to play with Fujifilm’s new FinePix X100, and more recently we were able to take it for a longer test drive outside of a press event setting. Unfortunately, because of the limited availability of the camera due to recent events in Japan, and the high demand, we were only able to spend a long weekend with it. And while we were able to glean some more in-depth impressions of Fujifilm’s homage to the classic rangefinder, we don’t feel we’ve had enough time with it to put together a proper review. So consider this a more elaborate ‘hands-on’ look at the camera. (If you are looking for an exhaustive and thorough review of the X100 we encourage you to check out DPReview’s in-depth look at the camera. As usual they go above and beyond the call of duty.)

But that doesn’t mean we haven’t come to any of our own conclusions about the FinePix X100. If you like the idea of carrying a camera with a DSLR sized APS-C sensor, minus the weight and bulk of an actual DSLR, the X100 is a strong contender. Particularly if you’ve got a soft spot for the charm and analogue controls of an old-school rangefinder, but prefer the convenience of digital over film. More after the jump.

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PrintBrush 4×6 Handheld Printer And Digital Camera In One

PrintBrush 4x6 (Image courtesy designboom)
By Andrew Liszewski

It screams concept design, but apparently the PrintBrush 4×6, which incorporates a digital camera into a handheld printer that you manually swipe across any flat surface like paper, wood and fabrics to print an image, could be hitting the market as early as 2011/2012. The idea for the PrintBrush was originally cooked up way back in the year 2000, with early prototypes being shown in 2003. But it took 10+ years to perfect the design, which included replacing its LED-based optical sensors with infrared lasers for more accuracy.

As the PrintBrush is swiped across a flat surface, the scattering of the reflected laser beams and its power fluctuations are measured by the sensors, which are then able to track the device’s motion and position. That data is then used to calculate what color of ink droplets, one of 16 million shades, should be laid down depending on where the PrintBrush is on a surface, allowing you to swipe it in any direction to get a printed image.

Its built-in digital camera has a resolution of 5 megapixels, and the PrintBrush printhead is capable of producing a 4×6-inch full color image at 600dpi. When it is finally available, it will sell for a remarkable $149. Though I suspect that cost to increase once it actually goes into production. And let’s not forget, there’s still the cost of replacement ink carts.

[ PrintBrush 4x6 ] VIA [ designboom ]

Panasonic’s New Disney Themed LUMIX DMC-FP7D

Panasonic's Disney Themed LUMIX DMC-FP7D (Images courtesy Panasonic)
By Andrew Liszewski

Finally realizing that consumer demand isn’t that important, and that people were probably tired of hearing about new ereaders, yesterday Panasonic announced a special Disney-themed edition of their Lumix DMC-FP7 P&S digital camera. Besides sporting Mickey Mouse graphics and patterns on the sliding lens door, the camera’s UI has also been ‘enhanced’ with Disney characters. And using the 3.5-inch touch friendly LCD display shutterbugs can even muck up their photos with Disney character themed icons, phrases and even fancy borders. The ‘D’ version of the Lumix DMC-FP7 will be available starting June 10th, presumably only in Japan, for ~$366 (¥30,000).

[ Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FP7D ] VIA [ Fareastgizmos ]

NeinGrenze 5000T – Tilt-Shift Photography On The Cheap(er)

NeinGrenze 5000T (Images courtesy Matomeno)
By Andrew Liszewski

Because it requires more than just turning on your DSLR’s exposure bracketing and combining the shots in Photoshop, tilt-shift photography hasn’t become as tired and overused as HDR photography has. (Ugh, awful.) They usually require a bit more skill and investment on the part of the photographer, including a tilt-shift lens like those offered by Lensbaby and Nikon. But now even amateur photographers with a limited budget can try their hand at faking miniature scenes with this NeinGrenze 5000T point and shoot.

As digital cameras go it’s pretty basic, with a 5MP sensor, 2.4-inch TFT LCD display, VGA video capabilities, an SD card slot, fixed focus and no zoom capabilities. But what will certainly have photographers trying to hunt down this basic $150 (MSRP) digicam is the fact that its built-in lens can be switched into a tilt-shift mode, and it even offers in-camera post-processing
effects to make your shots look like they’re from a Lomo. Because let’s face it, vacation photos are far more interesting if it looks like the person had some amazing Gulliver’s Travels-like adventure to Lilliput.

[ NeinGrenze 5000T ] VIA [ Matomeno ]

Custom Made Retractable Lens Cap For The Olympus XZ-1

Custom Made Retractable Lens Cap For The Olympus XZ-1 (Images courtesy UN)
By Andrew Liszewski

Lens caps, can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. You definitely don’t want anything scratching your glass when your camera and lenses are packed away, but I know when I’m out shooting I always forget which pocket I’ve stashed my cap away in, and there’s usually a panicked search before I find it. So Japanese camera accessory maker has created this retractable lens for the Olympus XZ-1 that works kind of like the built-in lens cap on a P&S.

It attaches to the camera’s lens with a custom-made mounting ring using bolts to hold it in place, and an allen wrench is all you need to install/uninstall it. From the looks of it the extending lens simply pushes the three doors of the lens cap open, so it automatically closes when you power down the camera and lens retracts. Available directly from UN for ~$91 (¥7350).

[ U-N - Retractable Lens Cap For The Olympus XZ-1 ] VIA [ DPReview ]