Digital Photography/Video Article (9)
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ULTRA Stackables Review
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Diamond XtremeTV HDTV 110 Hybrid Tv Tuner USB 2.0
» December 19, 2007 04:00PM
Digital Photography/Video News (130)
Posted: May 6, 2013 02:56AM
Scientists at the University of Illinois have developed a digital camera that functions in a similar way to an insect's eye. The prototype camera has 180 small lenses embedded in a curved mount, which enables it to capture high resolution panoramic photos with a continuous depth-of-field. The camera is made by inflating a flat layer of lenses into a hemispherical eye-shape, similar to eyes found in insects. This technology has a wide variety of possible applications, and could eventually be used in anything from surveillance systems to UAVs.
Each lens focusses light onto a photosensitive silicon layer, which is then built up with images from the other lenses to form a representation of the objects around the camera. The viewing angle of the lens is around 160 degrees, however the prototype camera has a relatively low resolution. John Rogers, a material scientist at the university, says that with the basic designs his team have developed, they can now work on increasing the resolution by adding more and more lenses to the camera.
Posted: January 10, 2013 09:48AM
Google's own social network, Google+, has added functionality that allows users to zoom into pictures from within their web browser. This follows Google+'s early success with photographers; its addition of the zoom function will increase the popularity further with this group. Currently, however, the maximum upload resolution is capped at 2048 pixels, which limits the effectiveness of this addition. This upload cap can be bypassed through using Picasa or the Android uploader to post images.
Unfortunately, at higher resolution, Google+ fails to retain image quality through numerous compression artifacts, however this is likely to be resolved in time. The addition of the high-resolution image uploader is not uncommon, with sites like Flickr and Facebook embracing high-resolution image before Google+. In-browser zooming is also not uncommon, and has existed in Google's Picasa Web Albums and Microsoft's SeaDragon technology.
Posted: July 26, 2011 04:40PM
Author: Brentt Moore
With the grocery store chain picking up Vudu a while back, it seems odd that the company is just now integrating the service into their website, but it is so. Customers that log onto the Walmart website can now stream videos to their computer, as well as other compatible devices such as Blu-ray players, and streaming media boxes as well. Rental prices are far and in between with price ranging from the lowly one dollar area, all the way up to six dollars. Purchases still remain about the same as they have always been however, with videos starting at just five dollars and going up from that price point. Vudu on the Walmart site compliments the physical media that the grocery store chain has, which is currently now at 20,000 different movies, though obviously the company is seeing the growing need for media distribution in other forms with this addition.
Posted: June 26, 2011 10:38AM
Natsumi Hayashi works as a photographer's assistant and probably spends her day the same as the rest of us gravity-bound earthlings. But once an impromptu burst of inspiration strikes the 20-something Tokyo native, she can't seem to keep her feet on the ground. And so Hayashi takes pictures of herself as she travels around the city. Looking at her photographs, it's easy to see why her amusingly peculiar self-portraits have created a healthy stir of interest from all over the world. What makes all of Hayashi's outdoor pictures so remarkable is that she appears to levitate without warning. To be more specific, she manages this illusion by jumping. Many times. "Sometimes I need to jump more than 300 times to get the perfect shot," she says.
Granted, levitating pictures aren't anything new, but Hayashi's flights of fancy have a ballet-like beauty to it, and she has a wonderful habit of including strangers into her shots with dramatic effect. Take, for example, a picture of a dead-pan Hayashi floating amidst a chaotic Tokyo train station rush hour: while people make their way along a crowded flight of stairs, she just takes a leap, not minding any of the bewildered looks from the commuters. You can almost imagine what these people must think of this strange jumping woman. There's even a surreal quality to some of her photographs where she's being deliberately ignored by passers-by, like they're used to seeing someone jump in public for no apparent reason. Drop by Hayashi's website and see for yourself why she doesn't need wings to fly.
Posted: June 8, 2011 09:22AM
Sony has released information that it has made its already-tiny NEX camera line even smaller. Dubbing its creation the "world's smallest interchangeable lens camera with an APS-C sized sensor" the company has released the NEX-C3. The camera weighs six percent less than its predecessor at a miniscule eight ounces. Not only is the little camera small, but it packs a punch as well. It contains a 16.2 megapixel sensor and is capable of shooting 720p HD video. Along with this power the camera also has better battery life. The release date for the camera is mid-August, at which time it will be sold in silver, pink, and black, and will run $600 to $650 depending on which package is purchased.
Posted: May 18, 2011 06:42PM
Author: Brentt Moore
Many users that own the Boxee Box complained that their audio, concerning five speaker surround sound, was immensely broken once the 1.1 update was pushed. There has been a new fix however that has just been released which cures the surround sound issue, though the change of not internally decoding Dolby TrueHD to 5.1 channel PCM still remains, probably due to licensing problems. However another change that was made was involving the volume control, which can now be easily turned back on within the settings menu by a simple check box. Luckily the issue of surround sound did not occur for too long, as many consumers that own the Boxee Box were constantly complaining on many websites across the Internet and were contemplating other home media options.
Posted: May 4, 2011 05:17AM
Author: Brentt Moore
With Vudu being a great on demand video selection service, offering full HD along with 5.1 HDX audio, it has decided that its time to add some television selection to its broad range of available titles. Though not the most robust selection as of yet, the new idea is panning out well, though value is something that is of question concerning the purchase of some titles. Most of the shows can be bought at a competitive price compared with Amazon and iTunes, but others are slightly overprices, especially when the physical copy in Blu-ray format from Amazon is cheaper. Also noted with these additions to the lineup is that some shows are played in HD, while some others are still feeling the standard definition love. Hopefully this gets changed in the near future, and as Vudu works its way onto more devices, the price for most shows, both purchase and rental, should see some kind of drop.
Posted: April 7, 2011 03:22PM
It has been long rumored that a movie based on the Halo universe was to be made, but now those rumors have been solidified. Starting off this summer, there is to be a short teaser trailer that is to build up momentum for the real deal. The movie is to be named Halo: Operation Chastity, and although the full film has not yet been started, they are slated to begin working on it following the trailer's release. Many of the props have been made and they are looking to be very detailed. Halo fans should be excited to see their favorite series being done justice and have much to look forward to later this year.
Posted: January 4, 2011 07:53PM
Author: Dale Shuck
On the eve of CES 2011, NVIDIA has announced a Web community dedicated to 3D content where users with a 3D-capable computer can enjoy stereoscopic 3D videos and photographs. The site, 3DVisionLive.com, is designed to allow users of NVIDIA's 3D Vision technology to share and enjoy 3D content as well as stream 3D movie trailers, music videos, sport clips, and video shorts. Members can also post and view high-quality, high-resolution 3D photographs. Users can use the site to create custom photo galleries which they can share with friends and family or the 3DVisionLive.com community at large. Users can use NVIDIA 3D Vision technology, but NVIDIA has also provided the capability to view content in anaglyph (blue/red) mode.
Posted: July 21, 2010 03:57PM
Panasonic has announced five new digital cameras today which will all fall under its Lumix brand. The new cameras are the LX5, FZ40, FZ100, FX700, and TS10 and all are of the point-and-shoot variety. The LX5 is an update to the LX3 and features an F2.0 ultra-wide angle 24mm Leica lens with a 3.8x optical zoom to help you capture any shoot you wish with great results. The F2.0 lens is twice as bright as an F2.8 lens so the shots you take with it should look professionally done. The LX5 will be a 10.1 megapixel camera that uses a Venus Engine FHD image processor to help produce noise-free shots while hopefully enabling them to be taken in quick succession. You can also record HD videos in AVCHD Lite while making use of a few different shooting modes during the video taking. The LX5 will be available in black or white models.
The FZ40 and FZ100 both feature a 24x optical zoom and are 14.1 megapixel cameras while the FZ100 can record video in 1080p. The FZ40 features a 25mm ultra-wide angle Leica lens while the FZ100 packs in a MOS sensor to record videos in 1080p. Both cameras are nearly identical other than the higher quality video recording, as both the FZ40 and FZ100 make use of advanced image stabilization systems to help take stutter-free images and video. The FZ40 records videos in the AVCHD Lite format while the FZ100 records in the AVCHD format while also making use of an optional microphone to better capture memories.
The FX700 is another 14.1 megapixel camera that can also record in 1080p, though it only packs a 5x optical zoom. It uses a 24mm ultra-wide angle F2.2 Leica lens and can also record in the AVCHD format just like the FZ100. It seems to me that the FX700 is nearly identical to the FZ100 except for the smaller zoom. Either one would work out well for photo or video taking but perhaps the larger zoom of the FZ100 makes it the more attractive option.
The last camera announced today is the TS10 which is a waterproof, freezeproof, shockproof, and dustproof camera which makes ideal for world travelers. It is a 14.1 megapixel camera with a 4x optical zoom but it is the rugged features that make it worthy of your consideration. It is waterproof up to 10 feet, shockproof up to a 5 foot fall, and is dustproof and freezerpoof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit or -10 Celsius. The TS10 also comes with a silicone jacket to protect against scratches. It can also record videos in 720p though it uses the Motion JPG format instead of the AVCHD like the other ones announced today. The TS10 will be available in blue, red, black, and silver models.
The TS10 will be out in September for $249.95. The LX5, FZ40, FZ100, and FX700 will all be out in August for $499.95, $399.95, $499.95, and $399.95, respectively.
Posted: July 14, 2010 12:40PM
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Sony Handycam name and Sony is certainly celebrating in style. The latest model from Sony, the NEX-VG10, is the world's first interchangeable lens HD camcorder as well as being the first to sport an Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor. That same sensor is found in Sony's interchangeable lens digital cameras, the NEX-3 and NEX-5, so it is good to see the same high quality shots can be had on either option. The NEX-VG10 camcorder can shoot in 1920x1080/60i at 24 Mbps so you are going to get some high quality HD video with it. For still photography, you will find it takes shots at 14.2 megapixels which should be more than adequate for anything you can think of. The camcorder comes with an 18-200 mm lens though you can use any E-mount or A-mount lens for any variety of angles or zooms you will need. The camcorder features a Quad Capsule Spatial Array Stereo Microphone, a 3 inch swivel display, Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, BIONZ processor, and twin accessory shoes. There is no internal storage but the NEX-VG10 will take SDXC, SDHC, and Memory Stick Pro Duos.
The NEX-VG10 will be launching this September for about $2,000.
Posted: June 1, 2010 02:05PM
Panasonic has shown off its new point and shoot camera today, the FX75, and it sounds like a very good option if you are in the market for a new camera. The camera packs a 14.1 megapixel sensor, a 24mm ultra wide-angle F2.2 lens with 5X optical zoom, and HD video recording capabilities. The HD video is recorded in the AVCHD Lite format though you also have the option to record in Motion JPEG, WVGA, and VGA. The FX75 also has intelligent picture processing options as well to help make the shots the best they can be. On the back you will find a 3 inch touchscreen that has a pretty nifty touch-to-focus function that I hope shows up on more cameras.
No word on pricing or availability was announced at this time but expect more information on that before long.
Posted: May 26, 2010 05:14PM
Samsung is launching a new camcorder in South Korea today, one that records directly onto a solid state drive. Not only does it pack an SSD for storage but it can also stream video over WiFi so you do not need to plug it into your computer to watch your video. The camcorder will come in a 32 and a 64GB model but we will not have long to wait to get it here. It is out in South Korea today but for the U.S, the 64GB model will ship on May 28th and the 32GB model on June 4th. Each version has a 10 megapixel CMOS chip, 1080/60i recording capability, and a 3.5 inch LCD touchscreen.
The 64GB model, the HMX-S16, will cost you $1,200 while the 32GB model, the HMX-S15, will only be $1,000. The only difference between the two is the size of the SSD, so you are not losing any features. Just storage space.
Posted: May 11, 2010 06:05PM
It is getting close to summer time, so you know that new gadgets and goodies are starting to roll out. Today, Canon has announced a new camera to its Digital ELPH line, the PowerShot SD4000 IS. The camera features a 10 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, DIGIC 4 image processing engine, and a 3.8x optical zoom. It also has an f/2.0 lens and Canon's own HS System to help produce better looking low-light shots. The camera also has an 8.4fps burst capture rate, an HD movie mode, HDMI output support, a Super Slow Motion movie mode that captures images at 240fps, and a 3-inch rear LCD. The SD4000 IS will work with the new SDXC memory cards and has support for Eye-Fi.
The camera will cost $349.99 and comes in a choice of red, black, silver, or a limited edition white. No word on a launch date was announced, but expect it soon.
Posted: May 10, 2010 01:52PM
Author: Ben Grantham
You may be familiar with GigaPan as being the company that produced the robotic photography platform that enabled the capture of President Obama's Inauguration in impressive detail. GigaPan has since released improved hardware in the shape of the GigaPan Epic Pro and decided to show off what it could by creating the world's largest stitched together image, picking the Dubai skyline as the subject. With a Canon 7D mounted to the robotic platform taking nearly 4,250 photos (27.5GB worth) in total the final image weighs in at just short of 45 Gigapixels (44,800 Megapixels) and is available to view on Gigapan.org. That means you should be able to accurately count all of the cranes dotted around what must be the world's largest building site (with the imposing structure of the Burj Kalifa at its center). There is also a (not all that interesting, truth be told) "making of" video below.
Posted: April 12, 2010 10:55AM
Author: Brentt Moore
Paramount and Seagate have teamed up together to try and boost the sales of Seagate’s FreeAgent Go 500GB hard drives, and in working together, have decided to include movies with the product. The movies, which come to a total of about twenty-one, will obviously be all Paramount film features, but there will be a catch in how users can access them. Star Trek will be the only movie that is actually free on the drive for viewing, and all of the other titles will have to be unlocked with a key, which has to be purchased. The keys will sell anywhere from $9.99 to $14.99 a movie, and with all of the movies unlocked, will take up roughly ten percent of the total hard drive space on the FreeAgent Go. It’s an odd way to try and boost sales, since consumers have to pay for the movies included if they want them anyway, but it might be possible for Paramount to help Seagate in some way if this is able to catch on.
Posted: March 24, 2010 09:07PM
Samsung is getting ready to launch two new cameras, the ST5000 and ST5500. Both cameras are 14.2 megapixel, feature a 7.2x optical zoom, and come in a choice of black or orange. The ST5000 has a 3.5 inch LCD touch screen while the ST5500 has a 3.7 inch AMOLED touch screen. Both cameras can record footage at 30 frames per second in 720p in the H.264 format. To show off your captured video, just connect either camera to your HDTV through the included HDMI port. The big selling point of the ST5500 is the ability to upload or email pictures with its built in wireless module. Now if you cannot get to your computer, just use the camera to share the pictures with anyone you like.
The cameras are set to launch in South Korea soon with Great Britain following next month. The prices in Great Britain are £279.99 for the ST5000 and £349.99 for the ST5500. No word on a launch in the U.S. has been announced at this time.
Posted: March 22, 2010 08:35AM
Author: Dale Shuck
InVisage Technologies Inc. out of Menlo Park, CA has announced a new technology which the company claims will deliver four times higher performance with twice the dynamic range of current technology. The new technology is called QuantumFilm and is based on quantum dots - semiconductors which have the ability to capture between 90-95 percent of available light, compared to 25 percent for ordinary silicon-based image sensors. According to InVisage, its new QuantumFilm image sensors will enable high pixel count and high performance in tiny form factors such as those in mobile phones.
â€œIt is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to develop next-generation image sensors using silicon; essentially, silicon has hit a wall,â€ says Jess Lee, InVisage President and C.E.O. â€œThe fundamental problem is that silicon cannot capture light efficiently, but until now it has been the only option. The disruptive nature of QuantumFilm builds on silicon's success in electronics, and elevates its function using new materials that are engineered from the ground up for light capture.â€
The quantum-dot film is deposited directly onto the wafer during the final stage of manufacturing and covers 100 percent of each pixel. Because the process is akin to applying a photo-resist layer to a wafer it can easily be integrated into existing foundry processes while adding minimal cost. InVisage expects to begin sampling product to OEMs beginning in Q4 of 2010.
Posted: March 21, 2010 10:22AM
At CES 2010 this year, JVC announced a new camcorder, the Everio GZ-HM550. This camcorder comes with a 10.6 megapixel CMOS sensor, 32GB of built in storage, an SD/SDHC slot, Bluetooth module and geotagging capability. The Bluetooth module will allow you to control the camera’s zoom, play, and record functions as well as geotag areas with a compatible cellphone. If you are so inclined, you can also sync a Bluetooth headset to the camcorder to listen to the recorded sound or add your own voice to the film. The camcorder can also record in 1080p, zoom up to 16 times, and take 9 megapixel still shots.
The camcorder will go on sale this spring for $799.95. A touch pricey for a camcorder, but it is loaded with features that most others do not have.
Posted: February 13, 2010 09:56AM
Author: Brentt Moore
The popular computer company has dominated the music market since its initial release of the iPod as well as iTunes. Since that time however, multimedia elements such as television shows, movies, and more music have been added for the mass amount of consumers who use the program. With the iPad set to come out around April, Apple is now redefining its prices in order to possibly attract more customers. Television shows will be lowered shortly to just one dollar, though it is not yet known if high definition shows will cost more like they usually do. This attempt by Apple is being made to bring more customers in, especially after the report came out concerning iPad prices and the adoption of them among the tech community.
Posted: September 9, 2009 05:59PM
Author: Dale Shuck
When OCC reviewed the vReveal video enhancement software earlier this year, our reviewer found a lot to like about the package including the results along with its ease of use and the fact that it is CUDA-enabled in order to take advantage of the additional processing power offered by NVIDIA GPUs. Motion DSP has recently upgraded the software to include support for NVIDIA GeForce 8 Series (G80) graphics cards as well as other additional features:
- NVIDIA "G80" models now supported for GPU acceleration (GeForce 8800 Ultra, 8800 GTX, 8800 GTS 640, 8800 GTS 320; Quadro 4600 and 5600)
- Even more powerful video stabilization, plus auto-cropping of black bars from around stabilized videos
- New output formats including DivX and MJPEG AVI (joins the previous output options of WMV and uncompressed AVI)
- Japanese localization (full set is now English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese)
- Integrated Facebook video uploader
Posted: May 30, 2009 07:59PM
Author: Brentt Moore
Manufacturer of motherboards as well as the popular Eee PC systems and other computer components, ASUS, is planning to bring consumers a media streamer that will show off quicker speeds than competing models. ASUS is including a good amount of ports on the products, such as USB, HDMI, eSATA, stereo audio jacks, optical digital audio, Ethernet, as well as an AC port on the model, which is codenamed HDP-R1. The actual name of the streaming product is O!Play, and will be sold with a price tag of roughly $168, with it hitting European stores by July. More specifications on the HD media streamer will be available at Computex, including information on whether an internal hard drive will be sold with it or not.
Posted: May 16, 2009 07:00PM
Author: Brentt Moore
While reports of the new Sony DSLRs have already been out on the Internet for a little while, the electronics manufacturer has now confirmed that the cameras are ready for the consumer market and the masses. Prices on the new revisions of the camera known as Alpha are decent, with the Alpha 230, 330, and 380 retailed at $550, $650, and $850 respectively with the SAL-1855 standard zoom lens. While those prices are for the L-series kit, the Y-series kit comes with second lens, a telephoto SAL-55200, which raises the total price up $200 across all of the Alpha models. Pre-ordering is available on May 18th for the Sony products, while the cameras will actually be shipped out sometime shortly after, in July.
Posted: May 12, 2009 03:24PM
Author: Ben Grantham
According to results recently released from a report by market researchers NPD Group on entertainment trends in America, the majority of consumers still prefer physical media when it comes to their video viewing habits. That 88% of U.S. consumer home video spending was made up of sales or rentals of DVDs or Blu-ray discs over the past three months suggests that won't be changing in a hurry. Of an average $25 per month spend, it comes down to 63% of that being accounted for with DVD purchases, 18% on rentals, 9% on video on demand, 7% on Blu-ray purchases and a mere 3% on digital downloads. Of the 11,000 people surveyed, 9% did say that they had watched movies online, compared to 5% last year. That would suggest that consumers are slowly becoming more accepting of online viewing, though when online distribution will become the preferred choice for the majority is hard to predict. Analysts will continue to question how long physical media can last, but for now at least we seem to be happy enough to hold onto our discs.
Posted: April 3, 2009 09:01AM
On Thursday, VideoLan released VLC version 0.9.9, a bug fix release that corrects a few issues with the previous version. The new release allows fullscreen behavior on Windows with multiple screens, has a workaround bug with libxml2 >=2.7.3, gives better video performance on Intel-based Macs, and adds various decoders updates on Windows. It also has updates to it's Real Media demuxer, which will give better performance with Real Media Files. You can download it here.
Posted: April 2, 2009 07:54PM
Author: Rpbert Bergem
Ritz Camera will be closing almost half of its stores. This is part of the new bankruptcy status Ritz Camera has found itself in. A total of 300 Ritz Camera retail stores will close out of a total of 700 retail stores currently open. The press release stated the liquidation will continue until "everything is sold to the bare walls." This means that everything in the store, not just camera equipment, will go. If you've been looking to pick up any new camera equipment, now is you chance to get a great deal on some. If you've been looking for somewhere to put your Folding farm, now is your chance to pick up cheap shelving. If you have a Ritz Camera store near you, it's probably in your best interest to drop by and see what's for sale. Ritz Camera also owns other chains, such as Boater's World, Wolf Cameras, and Kits Cameras. Boater's World's 137 stores are also slated to close. The Ritz Camera chain all started with a single store in Atlantic City in 1918, now they are barely hanging on. A full list of the stores that will be closing can be found here.
Posted: March 19, 2009 07:25PM
Author: Brentt Moore
Apple has for a while now given users the option of renting movies with a quality set at 720p. For downloads however, this high-definition video was not avaliable to keep, as only standard definition videos were sold in the form of Hollywood movies. With the new iTunes 8.1 and the release of the new iPod Shuffle though, the company has now given users the option to both download and keep movies in the form of 720p. Along with the video file that users will watch, a mobile version of the same content is provided, so customers can even catch their favorite flick while they are out and about. The HD form of the movies available cost $19.99 and will take up approximately 4 to 5 gigabytes.
Posted: March 12, 2009 10:30AM
In an inspiring tale of turning disability into ability, a filmmaker named Rob Spence plans to use the camcorder built into his prosthetic eye for unconventional filmwork. His eye was shot out when he was a child and he's been forced to see the world with one eye ever since. But this one eye does not mean that he's one-sighted, focused only on tragedy and gloom. On the contrary, Spence plans to use his prosthetic camcorder to bring to light the extent of government surveillance and possible breaches of our privacy that go unnoticed. Spence is currently making a documentary using his unique video recording ability, reminding me of my favorite saying, "When life hands you lemons, you paint them 'thangs gold and try to sell them on the street."
Posted: March 2, 2009 02:22PM
Inspiration often comes from the most unlikely source, and for Ivan Vakarelski, coffee stains may be the next big thing in TV coatings. He believes that the pattern formed by coffee when it dries, like that of a coffee ring on a napkin, will provide a superior coating for LCD and plasma screens than what today’s technology currently offers. The circular ring left by drying coffee is caused by the evaporating liquid in the coffee, with the coffee granules being arranged by varying rates of evaporation and convection.
Coffee isn’t quite conductive enough for a screen coating, so Vakarelski instead uses gold particles about 20 nanometers across along with latex balls to create a conductive coating suitable for LCD and plasma screens. The main benefit to the process that Vakarelski has created is cost; typical coatings are expensive, requiring clean rooms and vacuum chambers. While there has only been a coating created a few square centimeters large as of now, the process should be easy to scale in the future.
Posted: February 18, 2009 03:05PM
Author: Ben Grantham
Canon just gave anyone looking for a new point and shoot a few new options, adding 10 new models to its ranks. It's hard to get too excited about what are mainly updates to models that already exist, but there is the rugged PowerShot D10, which is waterproof (to 33ft), freeze-resistant and shoockproof (providing you don't drop it too far). Apart from that it's about updated features, such as the latest Digic IV image processor and bumped resolutions. The new cameras range from the $600 SX1 (I don't have to tell you that's a lot for a point and shoot), down to the $130 A480. So just about something for everyone then.