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Camera Acc

Leica lens holder keeps your lens and helps you stabilize your shots

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Do you suffer from unsteady hands especially when you're taking photographs with your camera? It's not a very good trait to have - unless you're into creating artsy-looking blurry photographs. That's one of the reasons why the tripod was invented but unfortunately, it's not something that's very practical to bring around with you at all times.

Leica's latest lens holder seems to solve the problem while giving you a convenient location to hold a second pair of camera lenses. Designed for the Leica MP or M7 film cameras that has a tripod mount, the Leica lens holder lets you carry an extra lens around for your camera without you needing to lug around a bag for it. You attach it to the bottom of your Leica camera, and then secure your extra lens onto it - that's about it.

In addition to letting you store your camera lens conveniently, it weighs the camera down and gives you an extra handle which improves your stabilization - just don't forget to keep that lens cap on. The Leica lens holder is available now with prices ranging from $180 to $200+ online.
source: Ubergizmo

Upcoming Canon 1Ds Mark IV

Word has it that Canon will launch the 1Ds Mark IV. A few people have pointed out that the Canon 1Ds Mark III has reportedly disappeared from the Canon Canada site. The camera has been moved to the archived products section. Too bad, there is no official confirmation from Canon so far. Stay tuned for more updates. [Northlight Images]
source: TechFresh

Fujifilm introduces a new FinePix with the S4000

Summer is not over yet and in some countries it did not even started yet! So don't worry you still have plenty of time to get one of these new Fujifilm FinePix S4000 Bridge for your vacation!

Announced at around 30,000 and powered with only four AA batteries the FinePix S4000 comes with a 14Mpix CCD Sensor, and a stunning 30x optical zoom equivalent to a 24x720mm one! The S4000 also comes with 3" screen, shoot in JPEG and RAW, has a ISO speed range of 64 to 1600 expendable to 6400, support SDHC and SD cards and also capable to shoot video in MotionJPEG 720x30p.
source: Akihabara News

SZ-11 a new compact shooter from Olympus

Here you are another point and shoot from Olympus with the SZ-11. This 14Mpix camera comes with an impressive 20x Optical Zoom, DUAL IS, HD Movie Mode (h2.64) with support of Olympus Magic Filters, a 3" monitor, SDHC and SDXC, Eye-Fi support and even a 3D photo mode!

The SZ-11 will be available in Japan within august at around 30,000 Yen.

HD movie (MPEG-4 AVC / H.264) recording

High-quality movies are available in 1280 x 720-pixel high-definition quality. Movie recording can be manipulated by a dedicated movie REC button. Multi-motion function for stabilizing the image during movie shooting while walking.

Magic Filters

The SZ-11 features an expanded range of 10 Magic Filters, Pop, Pin Hole, Fisheye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk, Watercolor and Sparkle*8 inherited from the previous model, and newly added Reflection*9 and Miniature*9. Furthermore, Magic Movies recordings are available in Pop, Pin Hole, Fisheye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk, Watercolor and Reflection delivering distinct look and artistic feel.

Reflection: Applies an effect like a reflection on a lake in a night scene or a landscape for a fantasy effect.

Miniature: Converts real-world images into magical images of a toy world.

3D Photo Shooting Function

You can shoot dynamic 3D photos in any mode from usual life to landscape. Recreate a sense of depth like that of the original scene. You can then enjoy the full power of 3D images on compatible TV sets and computers. Simply select the 3D Photo in Shooting mode and then release the shutter and slide the camera sideways to easily get a 3D photo. During 3D Photo shooting, a 3D file and regular JPEG files are recorded at the same time. There are two modes to shoot 3D photos;

MP Format (Multi Picture Format)

This is a format standardized by CIPA to handle multiple images under a single image file. When you use the 3D Photo Shooting function, the images for the right and left eye are recorded in a single MP format file.

Pet Mode*10

The camera automatically detects dogs' and cats' faces. Selecting the [Pet Mode - Dog] or [Pet Mode - Cat] from the scene mode, the camera will quickly detect your pet's face and automatically focus on it before shooting the photo. The camera will detect up to 10 faces of different dogs or cats.

Auto Release

The camera captures perfectly your pet's cute expressions. Use the Auto Release function to have the camera automatically shoot the photo the moment the dog or cat who is the main subject turns to face the camera. You will never again miss your pet's whimsical facial expressions.

Eye-Fi Card Compatible*11

Eye-Fi Cards are SDHC memory cards with built-in wireless LAN functionality. The images that you take can easily be uploaded wirelessly to your computer and to photo printing services and online albums.

*1 Image stabilization effect varies depending on shooting conditions

*2 Recording time per session is limited to less than 29 minutes. Recording is terminated automatically when the file size reaches 4 GB *3 Effective pixels *4 Image size is limited to 5M or smaller in Sketch, Soft Focus, Watercolor and Sparkle. The types of Magic Filters that can be used for shooting movies is limited. *5 35mm camera equivalent

*6 The 3D effect cannot be obtained when shooting moving subjects. Movies cannot be recorded. The 3D file recorded conforms to the Multi-Picture Format standardized by CIPA. During 3D Photo shooting, a 3D file and regular JPEG files are recorded at the same time.

*7 Image size is limited to 5M or smaller. Beauty Mode effect varies depending on shooting conditions

*8 Filter is not effective on LCD monitor *9 Image size is limited to 5M or smaller

*10 The number of pets automatically detected is limited to 1 when Auto Shutter Release is set to ON, or up to 10 when it is set to OFF. Depending on the subject and shooting conditions the camera may not be able to correctly detect faces. In Pet mode, the flash and face detection of people's faces cannot be used.

*11 The use of Eye-Fi cards is limited to the original country of purchase. Observe all the applicable laws of the country of use. Turn off the Eye-Fi setting or refrain altogether from using Eye-Fi cards inside airplanes or in other places where wireless communication is restricted or forbidden. Single files (images or movies) exceeding 2GB cannot be transferred wirelessly. Files recorded using the 3D shooting function (MP files) are supported only by the X2-Pro card. For any inquiries regarding Eye-Fi cards please contact the card's manufacturer.
source: Akihabara News

Olympus PEN E-PL3 Pricing Unveiled

Olympus has unveiled the pricing of the PEN E-PL3. It is a mid-range micro 4x3 digital camera with a slim body and a swivel screen that increase your comfort when shooting from above your head, or below your waist. The Olympus E-PL3 will be launched in September 2011 in two different configurations; a zoom kit including the M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm lens and a prime kit including the 17mm f/2.8 pancake lens. The estimated street price for each kit is $699.99. [Ubergizmo]

Olympus SZ 11 Digital Camera

t seems that compact digital camera makers still continue to add many features to their devices despite their small size. Credit it to new advanced technology to cram other features to a compact digital camera for better images. One digital camera of note is the recently announced Olympus SZ 11 Digital Camera.

The Olympus SZ 11 is the latest compact digital camera announced by the company. It features a 14Mp sensor and comes with a 20x zoom to give it some super-telephoto capability that are usually only found with DSLR's. This makes it able to capture closeup images of distant subjects without blurring, thanks to its DUAL IS using a CCD-shift image stabilization mechanism. The Olympus SZ 11 can also record HD video as well as take 3D images. The new Olympus SZ 11 Digital Camera is expected to come out around the first week of August. Pricing details have not yet been provided.

Olympus SP-810UZ Superzoom Digital Camera

Here's the newest addition to Olympus' superzoom digital camera range, the SP-810UZ. This compact camera sports a 14-megapixel CCD image sensor, a 36x wide optical zoom lens, a 3.0-inch LCD display, a TruePic III+ image processor, an SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot, 3D photo shooting mode, an HDMI port and 720p HD video recording capabilities. The SP-810UZ will hit US market from September for $329.99. [PhotographyBlog]
source: TechFresh

Olympus America brings a new 36x Camera with the SP-810UZ

Olympus introduced yesterday a few camera in Japan with the VG-145 and its 5x optical Zoom and the very stylish SZ-11 and its 20x optical zoom, but as you know in America everything has to stand out of the crowd in style and Olympus America just announced the SP-81UZ a another well design 14Mpix shooter that comes however with an amazing 36x optical zoom, the world's longest for a compact camera!

If you put aside for a minute this gigantic 36x optical zoom (28-864mm), the SP-810UZ is also a very capable shooter with a nice 3" monitor, 720p video recording (better have a nice IS once shooting video at 36x) and even a 3D image mode!

"The SP-810UZ is the best zoom performance Olympus has ever delivered," said Jennifer Schmell, product manager Olympus Imaging America Inc. "No compact camera from Olympus has ever offered such impressive wide-angle zoom performance. As the most powerful camera in Olympus' ultrazoom category, it succeeds the prestigious SP-800UZ."

Expert Still and HD Movie Performance

From the sidelines of the soccer field to bird-watching on a riverboat, engage AF Tracking technology to lock focus on your fast-moving subjects and keep them in focus, even while they move in and out of the frame. The fast, wide 1:2.9-5.7 24-864mm* zoom lens combined with Dual Image Stabilization, enhanced ISO sensitivity, Shadow Adjustment Technology and TruePic III+ image processor guarantee tack-sharp photos and virtually eliminate blur in high-definition (HD) videos. With HDMI Control, you can use your HDTV's remote to control playback functions and navigate the camera's menus from the comfort of your couch.

Be Creative and Express More

Ten Magic Filters apply your own creative vision to movies and stills for greater artistic freedom. New Miniature Filter narrows the depth of focus and enhances color and contrast to convert your real-life images to look like a magical toy world. The new Reflection Filter adds a reflection to your subject as though it were standing over a glassy, still lake. In 3D-mode, the SP-810UZ combines two photos of the same subject from different angles to generate dynamic 3D images that can be viewed on a 3D-compatible monitor or television. Another creative highlight is In-Camera Panorama, which helps you capture a super-wide angle photo simply by panning the camera across the scene to combine three shots into one inside the camera.

Easy Operation

By eliminating time-consuming manual settings, the SP-810UZ frees you to concentrate on your subject. Intelligent Auto Mode recognizes the five most common photo scenarios and automatically optimizes settings such as focus and lighting. Don't forget the family pet! Activate Pet Detection mode to automatically capture your furry friend's face when it looks at the camera. The SP-810UZ is also compatible with an optional Eye-Fi SD card, adding Wi-Fi capability so you can automatically upload images to your computer as you take them. Be the life of the social media party by uploading your shots immediately.

Availability The Olympus SP-810UZ will be available in black, starting in September 2011. It will ship with a Lithium-Ion Battery (LI-50C) & Charger, USB Cable, USB-AC Adapter, Audio/Video Cable, Protective Lens Cap w/ Strap, Camera Strap, Quick Start Guide, Warranty Card, Instruction Manual and [ib] Software CD-ROM.

U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations

Olympus SP-810UZ Estimated Street Price: $329.99

Journalists interested in more information, review units and high-resolution images of the Olympus SP-810UZ should contact Keith Gordon, Mullen Public Relations, 212-885-3218,, or Jennifer Colucci, Olympus Imaging America Inc., 484-896-5719,, or visit the Olympus website:


Olympus Imaging America Inc. is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering award-winning products for consumer and professional markets.

Olympus Imaging America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and its ultimate parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhances people's lives every day. These include:

Digital Cameras

Professional and Interchangeable Lens System Cameras

Related Underwater Products and Accessories

Digital and Microcassette Recorders

Digital Media

Binoculars Olympus Imaging America Inc. is responsible for sales in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For more information, visit:

*Specifications and design are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. All trademarks and registered trademarks listed herein are the property of their respective holders, in the US and/or other countries.

* 35mm camera equivalent. ** As of July 2011.
source: Akihabara News

Olympus SP-810UZ: A P&S Camera with DSLR Powers

Travelers tend to have a dilemma: Whether to bring along their DSLR cameras, heavy zoom lenses and all, or their lighter, point-and-shoot digital cameras that would sacrifice image quality and versatility.

Olympus comes up with a solution in the form of a powerful 14-megapixel camera packed with a 24-864mm, f/2.9-5.7 optical zoom lens. The result is the Olympus SP-810UZ, a point-and-shoot camera with 36x ultrazoom. It also comes with 720p HD video, 3D image capture, and a 3-inch LCD screen. Other features include AF Tracking that locks focus on fast-movie subjects, dual-image stabilization, enhanced ISO sensitivity, Shadow Adjustment Technology, and TruePic III+ image processor for tack-sharp photos that are free from blur commonly seen in HD videos.

The camera also comes with HDMI control, up to ten “magic” filters, a “pet detection mode” that automatically snaps a photo whenever an animal looks straight to the camera, compatibility with optional Eye-Fi SD card, and WiFi connectivity.

The Olympus SP-810UZ will be available beginning September 2011 with an estimated cost of $330.

2X Telephoto Camera-Phone Lens Is Ready for Its Closeup

Photojojo's new telephoto lens doubles the magnification of your cellphone's camera

Photojojo's new add-on cellphone camera lens will double, yes double the focal length of the lens you have on there already. Like the wide-angle and macro lenses it joins in the lineup, the 2X telephoto snaps onto a tiny magnetic donut that sticks to your phone, surrounding the camera like the attractive washer it is.

Nope, you're not seing things. It's meant to look like that

Not only will the lens pull things closer, it also adds an almost ridiculous amount of vignetting around the edges of your photographs, making them look like they were shot through some kind of Lomo-branded toilet paper tube. This is, if you were still wondering, a good thing.

The 2X telephoto will cost your $20 if you buy it alone, or $50 in a set with its wide-angle and macro brothers. And if you have a shiny glass-backed iPhone 4, you'll need a case. Photojojo tells us that the little sticky donuts don't stick so well to its sleek, slippery surface. Available now.

Telephoto Phone Lens [Photojojo. Thanks, Kiran!]
source: Gadget Lab

Olympus 810UZ Puts the ‘Super' in ‘Super-Zoom'

The lens on Olympus new compact sports a ridiculous 24-864mm range

Olympus' new compact camera, the SP-810UZ, has one genuinely jaw-dropping feature — a 36x zoom. If that number doesn't mean much to you, try it this way: The 35mm-equivalent focal length range is 24-864mm. Pretty sick, right? As if that wasn't enough, there's a 4x digital zoom laid on top,

The giant lens on the front of an otherwise small body leaves no doubt as to the purpose of the camera, and the rest of the somewhat pedestrian specs reflect this. The three-inch screen features a pathetic 230,000 dots, and the ISO limps up to a maximum of 3200. The maximum aperture isn't bad, and runs from ƒ2.9 up to a surprisingly decent ƒ5.7.

You also get a smattering of “Magic Filters,” which let you tweak photos with faux tilt-shift effects and the like, dual stabilization (a necessity when shooting handheld at 864mm), and 720p video.

In all, it's a pretty decent camera for $330, if what you want is zoom performance and can live with the compromises made to keep the price down. The 810UZ will be available in September.

SP-810UZ product page [Olympus]
source: Gadget Lab

CVSB-K162 HD USB Webcam

Stay connected in real high definition with this ultra convenient HD USB webcam from Chinavasion, the CVSB-K162. This compact plug and play USB webcam features a 1x4-inch CMOS image sensor, a built-in microphone and has the ability to capture 1280 x 960 HD video. If you're interested, the CVSB-K162 can be yours for just $16.71.
source: TechFresh

Sony introduces three new Cyber-shot shooters in Japan with the TX55, WX30 and W550

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Just announced in Japan here you are Sony's latest Cyber-Shot with the DSC-WX30, DSC-TX55 and DSC-W550.

Both the DSC-WX30 and DSC-TX55 comes with a nice 16.20Mpix 1x2.3 Exmor R BSI (Back Side illuminated) CMOS sensor, with for the a 5x optical zoom, a 3" touchscreen for the WX30 and 3.3" OLED Touchscreen for the TX55, our two camera are capable to shoot photos in 3D as well as AVCHD full HD (1080x60i) video recording as well as supporting for the WX30 Memory Stick and SDXC cards while the TX55 comes however with the support of only Memory Stick and MicroSDHC cards.

The WX 30 also comes with Sony's TransferJet Technology as well as being capable to shoot HD Video and Picture at the same time like Sanyo's Xacti Cameras (This latest feature is also available on the TX55 as well).

The W550 in the other hands packs a 14.10 1x2.3 Super HAD CCD sensor, with a 10x optical Zoom, a 3" Screen, SDXC support and is only capable to shoot videos in VGA only!

Note : The TX55 has also been introduced in North America and will be market at around $350 USD.
source: Akihabara News

Dr. Tech 5MP 2.4-Inch Red Digital Camcorder

Check out this affordable digital camcorder from Dr. Tech. Priced at only $59.99, this compact camcorder comes with a 5.0-megapixel CMOS image sensor, an 8x digital zoom, a flip-out 2.4-inch LCD screen that swivels for front and back viewing, an SD card slot (2GB card included), a USB port and can capture 640 x 480 VGA video at 30fps.
source: TechFresh

Lomo LC-A+ Russia Day Limited Edition

Lomography has rolled out the limited-edition Lomo LC-A+ Russia Day film camera. The camera is dressed in red leather and equipped with a Minitar 1 32mm f/2.8 lens. The camera comes packaged in a special velvet box with a Lomo LC-A+ book, a Lomo LC-A+ “toolkit” instruction manual, a cable release, a battery, a special Russia Day camera strap, a Russia Day emblem for the camera (5 designs available) and Russia Day emblem with the strap (5 designs available). No word on pricing at this time. [PhotographyBLOG]
source: TechFresh

Olympus releases a new compact Camera with a 5x Optical Zoom and HD Video

Olympus Japan has announced today its new compact camera with the VG-145. Featuring a 14Mpix CCD sensor with a 26mm 5X optical Zoom, Olympus DIS, a 3" LCD and 720p Video mode compatible with the camera many Magic Filters.

The VG-145 will be available in Japan within August in three different colors at around 15,000 Yen.

The VG-145 is equipped with 5x zoom lens from wide angle of 26mm and image stabilization in a slim, stylish body. Equipped with an abundant array of easy-to-use automatic functions like iAUTO which enables any user to easily take beautiful pictures, and automatic tracking AF for face detection, it is simple to use even for novices. Also HD movies with AVI Motion JPEG format are available by just pressing the dedicated Movie REC button without selecting Movie mode from the menu.

DIS Using higher ISO sensitivities allows the use of faster shutter speeds, reducing camera movement and subject blur. Images shot in this mode will have less noise and better color reproduction than images shot just using a high ISO.

HD movie (AVI Motion JPEG) recording

HD movie recording is available with the slim, stylish VG-145. Movie recording can be manipulated by a dedicated movie REC button When using any of SD/SDHC memory card, it is selectable to record to which card.

Magic Filters

The VG-145 features an expanded range of 7 Magic Filters, Pop, Pin Hole, Fisheye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk and Sparkle*6. With Sparkle filter, you can enjoy photos with

the luxurious feel created by the added twinkling lights.

*Image size is limited to 5M or smaller in Sketch and Sparkle.

*The frame rate may change when using Soft Focus.

*1 Recording time per session is limited to less than 29 minutes. Recording is terminated automatically when the file size reaches 4 GB

*2 35mm camera equivalent

*3 Effective pixels

*4 Image stabilization effect varies depending on shooting conditions

*5 Image size is limited to 5M or smaller in Sketch, Soft Focus, Watercolor and Sparkle

*6 Filter is not effective on LCD monitor

5x wide zoom, HD Movies, and a large LCD monitor
source: Akihabara News

Olympus PEN E-PL3 Priced

A few weeks ago, we had a close encounter with the Olympus PEN E-PL3, a mid-range micro 4x3 digital camera with a slim body and a swivel screen that increase your comfort when shooting from above your head, or below your waist. Many users got excited and were anxiously waiting to know about the pricing the upcoming damage to their wallets.

This is now official: the PEN E-PL3 will come out in September with a $699.99 price in two possible kit lenses: 1/ the 14.42mm lens with its super-fast and silent autofocus. 2/ a 17mm compact “pancake” lens. Interestingly, the f-stop of those lenses was not mentioned, but it should be f3.5-5.6 and f2.8, respectively.

This price is very similar to its competitor, the Panasonic GF3 that we reviewed recently. Which one do you prefer?
source: Ubergizmo

SVP CyberSnap-912 9MP Digital Camera

Here's a very affordable digital camera for you to take home from SVP, the CyberSnap-912. Priced at only $43.99, this compact camera packs a 9.0-megapixel CMOS image sensor, an 8x digital zoom, a 2.4-inch TFT LCD screen, a 16MB of internal memory, an SD card slot (up to 16GB) and video recording capabilities.
source: TechFresh

Sony TX55 Digicam Comes On Like a Cellphone

It's easy to mistake Sony's new compact for a cellphone

Sony's new Cybershot point-and-shoot — the TX55 — is a weird little camera. It combines a tiny, slim body with a huge 3.3-inch screen (which takes up almost the entire rear of the camera) and a far-too-large 16.2MP sensor.

It also adds in enough photo-processing software to make older versions of photoshop look like pencil and paper.

The first gimmick is “By Pixel Super Resolution” and its sub-category, “Clear Image Zoom”. This is a 5x digital zoom, which comes in addition to the 5x optical zoom. I know what you're thinking. Digital zoom just blows up the picture, and doesn't actually do any zooming. Sony claims that its version takes full resolution photos “without lowering the pixel count.”

What does this really mean? Interpolation. The camera uses its brain to add new pixels in between the blocky zoomed ones, smoothing things out. This can certainly help, but still isn't really a zoom.

The other gimmick is faux 3-D, which the TX55 calculates by snapping two successive shots and using the first to estimate depth information. A “3-D” image is then produced.

Other than this, you get the now obligatory range of toy-camera filters, along with Sony's neat sweep panoramas where you just pan the camera to capture a panoramic scene.

It's pretty clear that the low end of the point-and-shoot market is dying, as cellphones are now more than capable of snapping good photos. Sony seems to be countering with old-school megapixel marketing and app-like FX. Hell, the thing even looks more like a cellphone than a camera. $350, available in September.

Sony's Newest Cyber-Shot Camera Expands Range of Creative Options [Sony]
source: Gadget Lab

Silverlit I/R Spy Camera Helicopter

The Silverlit I/R Spy Camera Helicopter features an adjustable 1.3-megapixel camera, a lightweight body, an infra-red transmitter with a range of up to 30ft, and a 128MB internal memory. This spy camera is easy to use. You just need to launch the camera helicopter and capture footage with a push of a button on the remote controller. A series of internal gyroscopes will keep the helicopter stable in the air, so your video footage is always nice and smooth. £69.99($114) is all you need to bring home the Silverlit I/R Spy Camera Helicopter.
source: TechFresh

Sony Cyber-shot TX55 packs 16.2-megapixel sensor

With point and shoot cameras apparently now up against a megapixel wall, manufacturers are focusing on adding quirky new features to keep you hooked on the upgrade cycle. Sony's new Cyber-shot TX55 includes several such additions, such as ‘amazing' 3D image capture, ‘extremely low' noise, and a new digital zoom technology called By Pixel Super Resolution, which promises to double the camera's 5x optical zoom range while still capturing 16.2-megapixel images at full quality. We're a bit skeptical about that last one, but if the $350 camera really can deliver on its promise, then we may just have a winner.

Sony says there's also high-speed autofocus that can lock onto subjects in 0.1 seconds, optical image stabilization, a 3.3-inch OLED touch-screen, and 1080i AVCHD video. It also includes some features found on the higher-end NEX-C3, such as Picture Effects, and a 42.9-megapixel Sweep Panorama mode.

ony has yet to completely nix the Memory Stick slot, including one with the TX55, though there's also MicroSD support for those who prefer to take advantage of that more affordable memory card standard. We're not yet convinced that all of the point-and-shoot cam's new features perform as well as Sony suggests, but if they do, the TX55 may even be worth its $350 price tag when it hits stores in September.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX30 Point-And-Shoot Camera

Sony has showed off another point-and-shoot camera namely the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX30. This super compact camera sports a 16.2-megapixel Exmor R CMOS image sensor, a 5x optical zoom lens, a 25mm wide angle lens, a 3.0-inch touchscreen display, Sony's BIONZ processor and 1080p Full HD video recording capabilities. The Cyber-Shot DSC-WX30 will start shipping in September for unannounced price yet. [Sony]
source: TechFresh

Sony DSC-TX55 Cyber-shot takes great photos for casual shutterbugs

If you're one who loves dabbling around with a digital camera for fun, and yet do not want to take the plunge into the world of DSLRs let alone mirrorless technology like the Micro Four Thirds segment, then perhaps your wait for the "perfect" consumer class digital camera is now over with Sony rolling out their new slim and stylish DSC-TX55 Cyber-shot.

Just what can you find inside the DSC-TX55 to make you draw near to it? For starters, how about the "By Pixel Super Resolution" technology that will boost the camera's zoom range to a virtual 10x without sacrificing on quality at the image sensor's maximum resolution (16.2 million pixels)? Sounds like a dream, and this is also the inaugural Cyber-shot model that offers a "Picture Effect" mode which will expand a shooter's artistic possibilities without having to use any further editing software.

Other hardware specifications are pretty much cookie cutter to a certain extent, but the DSC-TX55′s main strength would be its style that is super slim at just 12.2mm, making it the thinnest in its class. Despite the diminutive size, it is capable of capturing Full HD AVCHD video clips as well as 16.2-megapixel stills. You can even capture 3D stills if you want to with but a single shutter press, as a couple of shots will be shot consecutively, where the first image will estimate the depth information so that a 3D still image is created.

Out later this year for $350 in September, this is one camera that might just do well this Christmas for those who are looking for an able first camera.
source: Ubergizmo

Sony introduces a new Blu-Ray External burner with Direct Copy, the VBD-MA1

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sony's new VBD-MA1, is the company latest external and autonomous Blu-Ray/DVD burner featuring Direct Copy. Plug your Video Camera directly to it via USB and you will be capable to create your own Blu-Ray or DVD Movie in a second without having to fire-up your PC!

The VBD-MA1 also supports Photo and 3D Photo (MPO) and comes with 2.7" color screen control.

No word on the pricing yet but expect the VBD-MA1 within august in Japan.
source: Akihabara News

AMEX Digital MP-G7 Android TV Media Player

AMEX Digital rolls yet another Android-powered device onto the already cluttered scene in the form of the MP-G7 Android TV Media Player, but as you can tell by the name of the device itself, this is going to be very, very different from yet another Android smartphone or tablet. First of all, let us set the record straight – the MP-G7, even though it is powered by Android, would feel far more comfortable huddling in front of your TV at home instead of being brought out wherever you go.

Underneath the hood lies a dual-core ARM Cortex processor that is capable of delivering full HD video output over HDMI, in addition to USB device support including a keyboard and mouse. An SD memory card slot is also thrown into the mix, not to mention LAN and Wi-Fi connectivity. It won't come with a hard drive though, but you can always stock it up with a 2.5″ hard drive of your choice.

Interestingly enough, it will be able to run Android applications from its unofficial marketplace, now how about that? No idea on whether the MP-G7 will arrive Stateside or not, but if it should get through the FCC, expect to fork out around $200 for this puppy.
source: Ubergizmo

Olympus VF-3 Electronic Viewfinder

Olympus today introduced a new add-on electronic viewfinder (EVF) for the XZ-1 compact and all PEN cameras equipped with an accessory port. The Olympus VF-3 has a resolution of 920,000 dots, a 0.97x magnification and a 100% frame coverage. Unlike the VF-2, the new VF-3 has a shoe-lock mechanism. Its high magnification and built-in diopter adjustment offer easy viewing with and without eyeglasses. No word on pricing at this moment. [Olympus]

USB Flash Drive Spy Camera DVR

Here comes another unique spy gadget from Chinavasion, the USB Flash Drive Spy Camera DVR. Shaped just like an ordinary USB flash drive, this thumb-sized device is able to capture both 720 x 480p video at 30fps as well as up to 1600 x 1200p digital still images. In terms of specs, it has a microSD card slot (4GB card included), motion detection video recording function, a voice recorder, a USB interface and a 260mAh battery (up to 80 minutes of working time). The USB Flash Drive Spy Camera DVR retails for just $27.69.
source: TechFresh

Samsung Patent Creates Shallow Depth-of-Field in Digicams

Samsung's imaginary cameras uses depth information from two lenses to blur backgrounds

With their tiny lenses and even tinier sensors, will cellphone cameras ever be able to take photos as good as those from SLRs and Micro Four Thirds cameras? The quality has all but been taken care of with the latest phone-cams, but there's one problem common to all point-and-shoots: Their tremendous depth-of-field. A patent from Samsung shows how this could be fixed.

Depth-of-field is the amount of front-to-back sharpness in a photograph. Lots of it means that almost everything, near and far, will be in focus. A shallow depth-of-field (DOF) means almost nothing will be sharp other than what you actually focus on. Large sensors and wide-open apertures give shallow DOF, and let you pop your subject out from a blurred background.

Before and after: Blurred backgrounds from tiny cellphone-camera sensors

Samsung's fix for small sensors actually uses two cameras in one, almost like a stereoscopic camera. The main one takes the shot as usual whilst a lower resolution camera takes another shot. The offset between them lets the camera work out the depth of anything in the frame. This information is then processed and digital blur applied to wash out the background.

It's an idea that is already used, more or less, by the iPhone app Synthcam. The app combines stills from a video stream to calculate depth. Samsung's version doesn't rely on you shooting a shaky video, though, so it would be more or less invisible to the user.

Like most patents, we have no idea whether this will ever make it to market. But at least it shows that somebody is looking at the last big reason not to use a cameraphone for all your snapshooting.

Samsung Working on DSLR-like Bokeh for Compact Cameras [Photography Bay]

Samsung Patent Application (PDF) [USPTO]

Tokina AT-X 17-35mm f/4 Pro FX Release Date Delayed

Kenko-Tokina has decided to postpone the release of the Tokina AT-X 17-35mm f/4 Pro FX wide zoom lens. The delay is due to defect found in mass-produced component parts. Kenko-Tokina has pushed back its market launch to the end of August 2011 for the EF-mount version and September 2011 for the F-mount variant. We will keep you posted. [Kenko-Tokina]
source: TechFresh

Casio Exilim EX-ZS15 Touchscreen Digital Camera

The Exilim EX-ZS15 is the latest touchscreen digital camera from Casio that sports a 14.1-megapixel CCD image sensor, a 26mm wide-angle lens, a 5x optical zoom lens, a 3.0-inch touchscreen display, an SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot and 720p HD video recording capabilities (30fps). Pricing and availability are still unknown at the moment. [Casio]
source: TechFresh

Panasonic GF3 Review

Panasonic has surprised a lot of people by announcing the Panasonic GF3 camera only 5-months after releasing the GF2 to the market. Just like its predecessor, the GF3 is a camera that has interchangeable lenses (micro 4x3) just like its predecessors. It walks in the steps of the GF2, which Panasonic had built to be a more "consumer-oriented" camera. It is philosophically different from the GF1, which was designed for photography enthusiasts with a need for an ultra-compact camera.

Panasonic has realized that the GF line could be used to enter the much larger "premium" consumer market, that's why the company has pushed hard to make the GF Series simpler to use and more attractive for those who want the image quality, without the hassle of tweaking settings. Does it really achieve that? And how good is it?

The GF3 uses Micro four third (or Micro 4x3), a standard for lenses and sensor that is also featured by a number of camera makers, including the Micro 4x3 creators: Panasonic and Olympus. Other brands use similar designs, but based on the larger APS-C sensors often found in Digital Single Lex Reflex (DSLR) cameras. They are technically not considered to be Micro 4x3, but they share the same idea, goal and overall design.

I won't go through the whole list of specifications, but here there are a few things that you should keep in mind:

Size: with 107.5 x 67.1 x 32mm, the GF3 is one of the smallest camera in that category, but it is not the smallest. The Sony NEX-C3 gets the title with 109.6 x 60.0 x 33mm. Still, the sizes for both cameras are largely comparable. When compared to the GF2, the GF3 is 17% smaller. I have the GF1, which is noticeably bigger than the GF2 already… so it's much bigger than the GF3.

Weight: at 221g (7.83oz), the GF3 is light. It is also 16% lighter than the Panasonic GF2.

Optical Capabilities: The camera has a 12 Megapixel sensor, and can shoot 1080p videos. You can review the shots on the 460,000 pixels display.

Design: This is very subjective, but I think that the GF3 is one of the best-looking micro-camera out there. Those who like the "retro look" may prefer the Olympus PEN, but it's hard not to like the GF3 for its design. By the way, I found the colored versions to look more polished (especially the red and white ones) then the back version, even if the black GF3 is just as well built (aluminum body etc…)

What's new?

The mode selection dial is gone

From an external point of view: the size, and the removal of certain physical controls (buttons) are the most obvious changes. I have used the GF2, and the GF3 has a much better touch display. It simply reacts faster and feels better to the touch. It still feels a bit like an older smartphone, but it is one of the best touch-display that I have seen in a camera. Without a doubt, cameras will catch up to smartphones in the next few years.

The sensor sensitivity tops out at ISO 6400, which is plenty. That's higher than the ISO 3200 of my GF1, but the GF2 already had ISO 6400, so this is not new. If you are not familiar with the ISO sensitivity, this basically means that the sensor can "amplify" (or "gain") the light that it receives, but noise will be introduced as well, which creates slightly grainy photos.

The GF3 uses the same "Venus" image processor than the much larger Panasonic GH2 uses, which is good. The importance of a good image processor should not be underestimated. Raw data captured by the camera sensor has to be interpreted by software, and there can be a big difference in terms of image quality from one image processor to the next. Software image processing is often what makes the difference between good and great cameras.

The expanded user interface pushes the GF3 deeper into “consumer” territory, and while this could be a sensitive subject with enthusiasts who loved the GF1 for all its physical controls, it may also make more novice users feel more comfortable.

Touch interface: selecting the image quality

Touch interface: changing the ISO settings

On the minus side, camera enthusiasts will notice that the minimum ISO went from 100 to 160. The lower the minimum ISO is, and the less noisy the images can potentially be. I personally do not consider this to be a huge deal, but purists may mind.

Finally, there is no flash accessory option anymore as the flash mounting shoe is gone. This will surely make part of the enthusiast population unhappy, or outright angry.

Context: how I use it

Before we go on, I think that it's important that you know how I'm using my micro-camera as this inevitably shapes how I perceive its qualities and pitfalls.

The micro-camera follows me when I roam around trade shows, or go on a vacation. I also own a Canon D50, which is a really good,but bulky, camera. I have clearly chosen the micro-camera for its small size and weight, and I love the fact that it can fulfill most of the duties that my 50D does for me. In both situations, I tend to shoot in difficult lighting conditions, whether it is on a poorly lit showroom, or at diner with friends. But whatever happens, I never use the Flash. I personally prefer photos without it.

Also, I tend to use my photos only on the web, and I rarely print anything larger than letter-size, if at all.

Image quality

Shot on a cloudy afternoon (50mm, f1.4, 1x60, ISO 200)

Light-emitting object (50mm, f1.4, 1x60, ISO 160)

A night shot with only candle and far away street lamps (50mm, f2.5, 1x80, ISO 6400). Settings could have been better...

The Panasonic GF3 can shoot great photos, and here are a few shots to illustrate my point. Some have been taken with the pancake lens, others with a 50mm f1.4 lens that can be purchased separately (it is an awesome lens). I think that most people simply want to capture what they see with the highest possible quality, so it is important to have a low f-stop lens.

What's f-stop? In a nutshell, it's a metric that shows how much light gets into the lens. More light means more "image" information, which means "better image". In dim lighting, more light also means "seeing better". For example, when we go from f1.4 to f2.0 to f2.8 the light intensity is reduced by two each time. f2.8 lets only a quarter of the light in, when compared to f1.4. This is a big deal!

On a sunny day, fstop doesn't matter so much because there is plenty of light, and even high f-stop lenses provide more than enough light information to get clear and crisp images.

In dim lighting (or when capturing fast action) the sensor needs all the light it can get to "see" the image. If it doesn't, the camera can compensate by boosting the sensitivity (ISO), but that introduces noise in the photo, thus reducing image quality to some extent.

Overall, I'm impressed by the image quality of the Panasonic GF3, especially if you have a low f-stop lens. Despite its small size, it does deliver clear, colorful and crisp images. My personal advice to to get the lens kit that has the lowest f-stop, and forget about the zoom capabilities.

Check our Ubergizmo Flickr account to see more samples.

Video Recording

On the video front, the Panasonic GF3 also delivers a very crisp image. With a 1080p resolution (50fps says VLC) and a bitrate of 16Mbps (256Kbps for the audio track). Although VLC tells me that the GF3 did produce a 50fps video (it didn't feel like 50fps), panning the camera around, made the video a bit jittery – at least more than I would expect.

The conclusion is that it's best to shoot from a static position or pan very slowly. For example, in my case, it's great for an interview, but not so practical to shoot an on-screen demo, as the images (or the shiny screen) could disturb the auto-focus. By the way, the motor noise can be fairly noticeable in a silent scene

In video mode, the GF3's autofocus works faster than the GF1's but it can still take up to a couple of seconds to focus (in photo-mode, it's super-fast). This is much slower than most ($500+) handheld camcorders. The other option is to use manual focus and shoot a video with a fixed-focus. With that setup, you can get beautiful video shots.

Don't replace your mid-range camcorder with this yet, but if that's the only video device that you have with you, it will do a good job, especially in low-light – if you have a "fast" lens (low f-stop).

How is it compared to a DSLR camera?

Some people think of the Panasonic GF3 (or GF-Series) as an high-end "compact", but when I jumped onto the micro 4x3 wagon, I thought of it as a "DSLR replacement". In terms of pure image quality, I think that the Panasonic GF3 does deliver images that are comparable to DSLR cameras in the same price range, but don't forget that image quality depends *a lot* on your lens quality. DSLRs tend to have larger sensors, but they also come with average kit lenses.

For what I do, the only thing that the DSLR was doing consistently better was to focus faster (a lot faster), especially on difficult objects like… shiny smartphones. Every GF camera may have a hard time focusing on such objects and I it may take more time to get the focus where I want to.

As said earlier, lower f-stop lenses will produce less noisy images, especially under low-light conditions (or when using fast shutter-speeds). One of the GF3 kit contains a ƒ3.5-5.6 14-42mm lens, which is an average, all-purpose, equivalent to what can be found in many DSLR kits. On the other hand, it is also possible to get a 14mm (fixed) f2.4 pancake lens if you feel so inclined. Unfortunately, I don't think that the 20mm f1.7 lens that came with my GF1 camera is GF kit lens anymore (it's still available as an option, and it has a great price/performance ratio). I would personally recommend going for the GF3 kit with the pancake lens (lowest possible f-stop).

I consider the choice between a DSLR or a micro-camera to be a “lifestyle issue”, not a technological, or even an image quality issue. For a given image quality and budget, do you want to have a camera that is light and small, or one that has a classic feel and access to a wide array of accessories?

If you are wealthy enough, most of you may actually want both…

What could be better?

As good as it is, the Panasonic GF3 is not perfect. I think that there are a few things that would make it an even more compelling camera. Here's my take:

Built-in optical stabilizer: today, there is no optical stabilizer built into the camera's body. This could be an improvement that would help every single user.

USB charging option: I love the small format, but the battery charger is 50% of my camera size, and I would love to having the option of not using it. I would lobby for having a USB charging option, even if that means a slower charge. Also, if you forget/lose your charger, you would not be dead in the water. For a fast charge, the current charger is just fine. By the way, the charger should be able to plug directly to the wall, without an electric cable. We need it to be as compact as possible.

Apps?: I know that this is very early in the game, but I truly believe that cameras will soon become programmable to the point where we can get downloadable apps. Imagine what you could do if you had the brains of a smartphone and the optic of the GF3… The possibilities would be endless. In the meantime, there's room for improvement in the user interface.

Controls When it comes to buttons, Panasonic thinks that "less is more"

Most people want to use any camera as a "point and shoot" (yes, even DSLRs), but I know that some of you will want more control, and that's a fair request.

In terms of controlling the camera settings, the touch display does an OK job, but let's face it: it is there mainly to simplify the camera usage for the majority, rather than making it faster/better for enthusiasts users. When I want to quickly change things via the quick menu, I can do it faster with the physical buttons on my GF1, there's no question about it. The thing is: I rarely tweak anything at all.

Touch interface: shooting mode selection

The same thing goes for the mode selection (Auto, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority…) and the rate selection (single shot, burst mode…). Those physical controls are completely gone to reduce thickness, but they are accessible via the touch screen menu.

Touch anywhere on the screen to tell the camera where you want the focus

The new touch interface also introduces things like touch-to-focus, a feature similar to what is found on smartphones. You can simply touch the screen to tell the camera where to focus. There is also a mode where a tap on the screen will focus and take the shot in one action. Admit it, this is cool.

Obviously, I understand that those who want to tweak things for every shot can be frustrated by the reduction in the number of physical controls and dials. However, that is the price to pay for getting such a tiny body. And from the overall direction where things are going, this may not get better soon.

Presets: like most small cameras, the GF3 also comes with "presets" that catter to particular needs. Here's the list: Soft skin, Baby1, Baby2, Portrait mode, Peripheral defocus, Architecture, Party/indoor, Night portrait, Pet, Scenery, Food, Low light, Illumination snap, Flower, Night scene, Sports mode, Sunset

Depending on your situation, they could be useful as they are supposed to use the "optimum" settings for each situation. In practice, I have never, ever, used any of them. I usually have a low f-stop lens, and the fully automatic options do wonders. If it really comes down to it, I might tweak the shutter speed and/or the ISO, but that's about it.

Who is this for?

Consumer: The Panasonic GF Series has become more and more consumer-oriented over time. The GF1 was very much for enthusiasts, but the GF3 is much more consumer-friendly in my opinion. It is less intimidating because it has less buttons and dials, and its size is very attractive to those who want to take great photos without sacrificing their comfort.

Enthusiast: The enthusiast may have lost some execution speed with the GF2 and GF3, but I find the GF3 to be much more responsive and comfortable to use than the GF2. In the future, I bet that this will get even better, and that it would eventually catch up with what we have on smartphones today.

Unfortunately, hardcore users who would love to have a more extreme version of the GF1 (with manual controls and a “pro” philosophy) will be disappointed. The Market is not going in that direction and I have yet to see another manufacturer pursue this.

I think that Panasonic can do something for everyone if it continues to improve the responsiveness of the touch display and make sure that the user interface is great (this is always a tricky one). Camera companies are not as good as application developers when it comes to touch interfaces, but they should be able to learn quickly, or maybe they should open the user-interface to developers…

Conclusion It would be a mistake to consider the Panasonic GF3 as "just" a fancy compact camera as it can truly be a DSLR replacement for a lot of people, including me. To be fair, it also has the price of a DSLR, so it's normal that we expect the same level of performance from it.

As I said earlier, it comes down to lifestyle and usage model: I own both type of cameras and that's really how I think of it. Both are very good at what they were built for, but they are so (physically) different that they are bound to have significant advantages over each other, depending on the situation.

From an image quality point of view, the Panasonic GF3 can hold its own when compared to much bulkier camera but it is obvious that DSLRs often have an advantage when it comes to sensor size, variety of lenses and accessories. However, the GF3 will win every time when it comes to portability. Often, the best camera is the one that you have handy.

If the Panasonic GF3 is of interest to you, I strongly recommend considering the 14mm f.2.5 kit (or the 20mm f1.7). It is a bit more expensive (up to $700 for the camera+lens), but using the pancake lens gives you the full benefits of having a small camera that can fit in a small pouch or cargo pants pocket. You always have the option of using an array of other lenses if you want to.

I hope that I have answered most questions that you may have. If not, feel free to drop a comment and I'll try to reply as soon as I can.
source: Ubergizmo

Takara Tomy introduces their “First Digital Camera” for your toddler

When it comes to giving technology to their kids, we're thinking that most parents would pause at the thought of handing over a $500 piece of technology, which could very well break in the next minute, to a 5 year old child. While Takara Tomy's "First Digital Camera" is nowhere near the $500 tablet/smartphone range, it will put into your child's hands, the technology to snap photos rather intuitively.

Built with toddlers in mind, the cartoony characters, the bright colors along with the extra large buttons should be able to attract the attention of your child. It also features a see through pane which acts as a viewfinder for the toddler, and although chances are that what they're looking at through the pane will not make its way to the final photo (this is because the real viewfinder is actually placed above, so perspective and angle might be slightly off), we're thinking that most toddlers may not be too particular about that. If they are, perhaps you should consider cultivating them for a career in photography.

It sports a 1.44-inch LCD used for playback and supposedly features a self-timer and has an image sensor of 3 megapixels, which should also be able to take up to 99 photos, which seems like a fair bit. It is available from Japan Trend Shop for $110, not including the shipping fee of $24.
source: Ubergizmo

Upcoming Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX55

According to an article on Consumer Reports, Sony is working on their new point-and-shoot camera namely the Cyber-Shot DSC-TX55. It's said that the camera will feature a 26mm wide-angle zoom lens, a 3.3-inch touchscreen LCD, 10 frames per second (full resolution) burst mode, 3D-still photos capability, a dedicated video button, Sony's Clear Image Zoom technology and 1080i Full HD video recording capabilities. The Cyber-Shot DSC-TX55 is expected to go on sale in September for around $350. [DCViews]
source: TechFresh

Anpanman First Digital Camera For Kids From Takara Tomy

Kids now have a lot of high tech devices for toys. What was once considered as a common device used largely by adults is now available in its kid version. The common device being talked about is the digital camera. It seems that there is now one available for little toddlers in the form of the new Anpanman First Digital Camera For Kids by Takara Tomy.

It seems that you can't be too young anymore in order to start taking pictures of everything. Whether it is a future photojournalist, fashion photographer or even a paparazzi, kids can now start early in photography with this new Takara Tomy digital camera for kids. This new digital camera is designed with kids in mind, complete with cartoonish Anpanman art and bright colors. But it is also a 3MP digital camera that can allow kids to take their own view of the world in photos. It is available at Japan Trend Shop for US$110.

Panasonic Lumix FZ47 Superzoom Digital Camera

Panasonic has unveiled its new super-zoom digital camera, the Lumix FZ47. The high-end point-and-shoot camera features a 24x optical zoom, 1080i video recording capabilities, and a 25mm ultra-wide angle Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens. The Lumix FZ47 has a 12.1-megapixel CCD sensor with a Venus Engine FHD processor, a 3-inch (460,000-dot) LCD screen, the POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), and a Wind Cut function that reduces background wind noise. Available in black, the Panasonic Lumix FZ47 will be launched in August 2011 for $399.99. [dpreview]
source: TechFresh

Panasonic Lumix FZ47 offers 24x optical zoom

Panasonic is back to further expand their Lumix family of digital camears with the Lumix FZ47, a high-end point-and-shoot digital camera that is touted to offer unprecedented control over video and still photo capture – all thanks to its Creative Control mode.

While the megapixel race is clearly done and over with, as camera manufacturers realize customers are more learned than ever before, and at a certain point, packing in so many megapixels won't do the images justice as how many folks would actually blow up their shots to the size of their front gate? Hence that might explain a “mere” 12.1-megapixel resolution on the Lumix FZ47.

At least it comes with 24x optical zoom that lets you capture action from afar – imagine being at a safari and you need to get a closer shot of that yawning lion, but are separated by a wall of fear? Let the superzoom ability handle that, in addition to capturing permanent memories using 1080i HD at 30 fps video capture ability.

Other hardware details include 3″ LCD display, a 24x Leica zoom lens with a 25mm wide-angle focal length, and the ability to capture 3.5-megapixel stills – all when you have a video recording session going on, of course. Expect to fork out $400 for the Luimx FZ47 as it ships next month.
source: Ubergizmo

Sony Alpha A77 spotted again (rumor)

There are rumors of Sony's upcoming Alpha shooter, known as the Alpha A77, and what you see above is a supposedly leaked image – although we remain open to the possibility that this could very well be a Photoshop job, and a good one at that. You cannot really tell too much from the photo itself, other than this being Sony's top mid-range shooter that will carry translucent mirror technology inside. Apart from that, if the Sony Alpha A77 were to materialize, it will see off the aging A700 APS-C DSLR, carrying a 24 megapixel sensor in the process, coupled with new double Bionz processors and a 3-million dot OLED electronic view-finder. No idea on pricing at the moment as we are not even sure that the A77 is real, but if it were to appear, chances are it will reside in the same price bracket as the A700 which it will replace.

What do you think?
source: Ubergizmo

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS5 runs on AA batteries

Remember back in the day when cell phones from Alcatel ran on AA batteries? Yeah, that was touted to be a great selling point, since you can always use AA batteries regardless of where you travel. I'm glad that common sense won out in the end with the progress of lithium ion battery technology, as the charger is a whole lot easier to lug around than a quartet of rechargeables and its charger to boot. Well, digital cameras that are powered by AA batteries have yet to be extinct, and Panasonic might have just injected some life into this niche market with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS5.

This 14.1-megapixel shooter will sport a high-quality 26mm wide-angle, 5x optical zoom lens, letting you snap great quality photos even in low light conditions thanks to an incredible F2.8 lens and Optical Image Stabilization. It also does video capture, although you can rule out Full HD capability with its 720p High Definition resolution.

There is no word for pricing for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS5 just yet, although we do know that it will arrive later this November – coming in just one color, black.
source: Ubergizmo

Blurb Turns Your Instagram Photos Into Real Physical Books

Blurbs photo books now pull straight from your Instagram account

A new service from photo-printers Blurb will turn your Instagram pictures into a printed paper book. The service, which starts at $11 for a 20-page softcover book, is almost as easy to use as Instagram itself.

Blurb uses a Flash-based online editing app to layout the book, which isn't as bad as it sounds. To start, you click the link and then grant the app access to your Instagram account. Then wait a few moments for Blurb to load you photos. It will automatically populate the pages for you, and you could just click the order button and be done. But there is more fun to be had editing it yourself.

The editor is surprisingly powerful. The default view shows you one two-page spread at a time, and at the bottom of the screen you'll see a strip containing thumbnails of all your Instagram photos. If you're working on a big screen, you can click a drop-down to show “All Photos,” expanding this strip to a four-row box. Then click the “Arrange Photos” button below the page preview and you'll get a proper overview of all your double-page spreads.

Like the happy accidents in Instagram, Blurb's auto-layout is sometime serendipitous. Photos Charlie Sorrel

Now you can add pages and drag existing ones into the order you like. You can also change background colors, put more than one photo on a page, zoom images and add text and captions.

It's a lot of fun. So much fun, in fact, that I'm still tweaking mine until I get it just right. When I'm done, the 7 x 7-inch book will take 7-15 days to reach me.

I'm off to finish my layout. I'll report back on quality when I'm done.

Make Instagram books with Blurb [Blurb. Thanks, Grace!]

Is this the Sony to be official Alpha A77?

Well according to the Dyxum Forum, these pictures are the official picture of the soon to be launched Sony Alpha A77, a new 24Mpix DSPL with 1080p video capabilities, translucent mirror for quick autofocus and double Bionz Image Processor!

Anyway I hope this pictures are the really deal coz I kind of like this body!
source: Akihabara News

Panasonic's New 24x Superzoom Makes Us Feel Sleepy

If these awkward super zooms were children and they had hair, they'd be red-headed step-chidren

Panasonic has made an update to its FZ superzoom family. The FZ-47 has a 25-600mm (35mm equivalent) range, a 12.1 megapixel sensor, 1080p video and no RAW capability.

Whenever I see somebody with one of these mongrel cameras I wonder why they bought it. Barely smaller than a budget SLR, bigger than an Micro Four Thirds camera and yet featuring the sensor (usually) of a tiny compact (in this case 0.43 inches on the diagonal, or 1x2.33). The only reason to make a camera this big, with such low-level specs seems to be to accomodate that huge zoom lens.

The FZ-47's lens is a whopper. The Leica-branded glass offers a 24x zoom, running from a maximum aperture of ƒ2.8 (reasonable) to ƒ5.2 (thank the gods that the camera has image stabilization). ISO runs to an old-school 1600, and the rear 3-inch LCD panel offers an equally-outdated 460,000 dots.

You also get the usual complement of face-detection, color-changing effects and exposure modes. In short, you'd be hard put to find a duller camera.

The FZ-47 will be available in August for around $400. Or you could walk into a Walmart and buy a Nikon D3000 for $50 more.

Panasonic FZ-47 press release [DP Review]

Panasonic introduces new superzoom Lumix FZ47 with full manual control on Full HD videos

Panasonic has introduced today a new Bridge with the Lumix FZ47 and its 24x Leica Zoom. The FZ47 is a 12.1Mpix camera that comes with a 3" screen, a LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT Lens offering a nice 24x optical zoom and with combined IA Zoom (Digital) offers a stunning 32x superzoom without much image deterioration as well as being capable to record 1080x60i videos in AVCHD and even a 3D photo mode!

The FZ47 comes with an ISO Speed of 100 to 1600 expendable to ISO 6400, a 3.7fps burst mode, support of SDXC cards and a battery capable to offer up to 400 continuous shoot on a single charge.

The FZ47 will be put on the market in the USA and Japan within this august at $399.99 and 43,000 Yen Respectively!

“The LUMIX FZ-Series is an extremely popular line for Panasonic and we expect this model to be another winner for users who not only want an impressive 24x optical zoom, but those that seek exceptional image quality, and thanks to the Leica lens and full HD video capabilities - the FZ47 delivers,” said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “New to the FZ-Series are the improved AF speeds, 3D photo shooting and full 1080 HD video capabilities.”

Powered by a 12.1-megapixel Hi-Speed CCD sensor, the LUMIX FZ47 can produce the high-speed, large-capacity signal processing required for 1920 x 1080 full-HD video recording in the AVCHD format, and high-speed continuous shooting. The Venus Engine FHD processor helps create superb image quality in both photo and video recording, while also powering the Intelligent Resolution technology to perform the optimum signal processing. With Intelligent Resolution, the LUMIX FZ47′s zoom can be extended 1.3x times to a 32x zoom length. The LUMIX FZ47 can take high-resolution consecutive shots at 3.7 fps in 12.1-megapixel full-resolution and maximum 10 fps at 3-megapixel recording. With Panasonic's Sonic Speed AF (Auto Focus), the LUMIX FZ47 has a quick start-up time, approximately 35% faster than the Panasonic LUMIZ FZ40, and also has an incredibly fast response time, helping to catch any fast-action photo opportunity. Additionally, the LUMIX FZ47 has fast and accurate AF Tracking.

The LUMIX FZ47′s 24x optical zoom optimized for video recording with a mechanism designed to minimize the noise of AF and zooming. The full-HD video capability is complemented with the high-quality stereo sound of Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator, to offer extremely realistic audio. And with a Wind Cut function, the LUMIX FZ47 reduces noise from background wind automatically. While shooting video, users can simultaneously take a 3.5-megapixel still photo.

Differentiating itself from most digital cameras that record video, the LUMIX FZ47 is unique in that it features a Creative Video mode, which lets the user set the shutter speed and aperture manually. Changing the shutter speed brings special effects to videos, which is especially suitable for shooting a fast-moving subject. The ability to control the aperture is convenient when there are several subjects at different distances and it is desired to have each of them stand out.

The creative mode is also available for still photos. For users seeking more creative freedom, the LUMIX FZ47 adds the new Creative Control and Photo Style that comes with a variety of options for artistic effect modes, including: Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, Miniature Effect, Film Grain and Pin Hole. Users can also adjust exposure compensation in the Creative Control mode. In addition, Photo Style is newly added to the LUMIX FZ47 to allow finer adjustment of contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction in these settings: Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery and Portrait.

On the other hand, for those users who would prefer not to change any settings, the LUMIX FZ47 also features Panasonic's iA (Intelligent Auto) mode. When in iA mode, the LUMIX FZ47 automatically chooses the best setting based on the shooting environment and features include: POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), Motion Deblur*, Face Recognition, Face Detection, AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Scene Selector. Additionally, iA is available during video mode, and the following features engage automatically: POWER O.I.S., Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Selector and Intelligent Exposure.

Other features of the Panasonic LUMIX FZ47 include:

· 3D Photo Mode: Take 3D still photos** that can be played back on MPO-compatible 3D equipment, such as a Panasonic VIERA 3D HDTV

· 3.0″ Intelligent LCD: Features a 460,000-dot high resolution

· Social Media Connection: The LUMIX FZ47 makes it extremely easy to share photos via Facebook and videos via YouTube. As soon as the camera is connected to the computer it will prompt the user with an easy-to-follow menu asking if they want to share the images - no software needed

The Panasonic LUMIX FZ47 will be available in black for a suggested retail price of $399.99, starting in August 2011. For more information on Panasonic LUMIX digital cameras, please visit
source: Akihabara News







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