Tag Archives: CCD

March 02, 2012 at 05:51AM

Kodak discontinues three slide films: E100VS, E100G and Elite Chrome Extra Color 100

Thephoblographer received a confirmation from Kodak that they will be discontinuing three of their slide films: E100VS, E100G and Elite Chrome Extra Color 100:

“I’m confirming that we did send a notice to dealers today that we will be discontinuing our three slide films – E100VS, E100G and Elite Chrome Extra Color 100 – due primarily to significantly declined sales and usage over the years.. I’ve attached the dealer notice.

This does not affect any other films in our portfolio. All the color negative (Portra, Ektar) films and black and white (Tri-X, T-Max and BW400CN) films remain in our portfolio.”

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March 01, 2012 at 03:25AM

Man Captures iPhone Photo of Mayan Pyramid Firing Beam Into the Sky

When Los Angeles resident Hector Siliezar visited the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza with his family in 2009, he used his iPhone to snap some photos of a pyramid called El Castillo. After snagging a lightning strike in the third shot, Siliezar was surprised to see that he had also captured what appeared to be a beam of light shooting up from the pyramid towards the heavens. Jonathon Hill, a researcher who works with NASA’s mars imagery, tells MSNBC that it appear sto be an iPhone glitch:

He says the “light beam” in the Mayan temple photo is a classic case of [image artifacts and equipment errors] — a distortion in an image that arises from the way cameras bounce around incoming light.

It is no mere coincidence, Hill said, that “of the three images, the ‘light beam’ only occurs in the image with a lightning bolt in the background. The intensity of the lightning flash likely caused the camera’s CCD sensor to behave in an unusual way, either causing an entire column of pixels to offset their values or causing an internal reflection (off the) camera lens that was recorded by the sensor.” In either case, extra brightness would have been added to the pixels in that column in addition to the light hitting them directly from the scene.

In an interview with Earthfiles, Siliezar notes that none of the people present actually saw any beam of light when the image was captured, which supports Hill’s explanation that it was simply a camera glitch.

(via Earthfiles via MSNBC via Gizmodo)

Image credit: Photograph by Hector Siliezar

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February 01, 2012 at 11:16PM

New Gear: Nikon Coolpix S30 Sounds Like a Great Kid Camera

A rugged compact for 20 might be the thing for sharing the photography bug with little ones

The problem with most cameras made for kids is that they’re toys. Slap a picture of Barbie on the outside and some VGA-resolution webcam on the inside, sell it for 9 and you’ve got a holiday hit. But, Nikon’s new semi-rugged Coolpix S30 might be a nice alternative if it lives up to its promises.

Photographically speaking, it has a 10-megapixel CCD sensor behind a standard 3x zoom lens with a full-frame equivalent of 29-87mm. That’s plenty of resolution for printing, but makes the files small and easy to work with and upload. It even has about 50 MB of internal storage in case the memory card is forgotten at home or lost completely. It even shoots 720p video.

But the real draw here is the claimed durability. It’s waterproof to a depth of 9.8-feet, which means it can survive a dip in the bathtub and even most swimming pools. It’s also shockproof enough to survive drops from up to 2.6-feet. That’s not enough for most adults, but for someone who’s only 4 feet tall, it should do just fine.

It’s powered by standard AA batteries, which is also great for a kids camera because you won’t have to worry about remembering to recharge it. Of course, you could always get rechargeable AAs to save on your battery budget.

It has a built-in flash that’s directly above the lens, which is normally not a great spot due to its propensity for increasing red-eye. But, putting it in the center seems like it might actually prevent fingers from going in front of it, which is a plus.

There is a variety of built-in shooting and effects modes as well, which might actually see some use in a camera at this level.

When it hits shelves later this month, the S30 will cost around 20. That does make it more expensive than most of the proper toy cameras, but for the extra performance and durability, it might be a worthwhile investment if you’re trying to get a kid interested in photography. It also makes it a lot cheaper than full-blown rugged cameras.

We’re hoping to get our hands on one soon so we can then put it in the hands of a kid to see how it goes.

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February 01, 2012 at 04:42AM

The Truth About Fractional Sensor Size Measurements

Ever wonder why camera manufacturers these days are describing often sensor sizes with fractions instead of millimeters? Roger Cicala of LensRentals explains:

[…] then we get into all of these fractional-inch-type-measurements for the smaller sensors. That measurement system originated in ancient times (the 1950s to 1980s) when vacuum tubes were used instead of CCD or CMOS sensors in video and television cameras. The image sensor was, in those days, referred to in terms of the outside diameter of the vacuum tube that contained it.

Why do manufacturers keep using such an archaic measurement? Because it helps them lie to you, of course. If you do the math 1/2.7 equals 0.37 inches, which equals 9.39 mm. But if you look at the chart above you’ll see that a 1/2.7″ sensor actually has a diagonal of 6.7 mm. Why? Because, of course, a thick glass tube used to surround the sensors. So they calculate the sensor size as if the glass tube was still included. Makes perfect sense to a marketing person who wants to make their sensor seem larger than it is. What sounds better: 1/2.7″ or ‘less than 10% the size of a full frame sensor’?

If you have a few minutes, give his entire post on sensor sizes a read — it’s quite illuminating.

Sensor Size Matters [LensRentals Blog]

Image credits: Photograph by Sphl

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January 31, 2012 at 09:29PM

New Gear: Panasonic Lumix TS4 and TS20 Rugged, Waterproof Compacts

Panasonic has two new tough cameras that want to go where cell phone cameras can’t

There are some places that cell phone cameras just can’t go, which is why the rugged, waterproof compact camera segment seems to be one of the fastest growing. Panasonic has two new tough cams ready for release, including a new flagship in the TS4 and a budget-minded option in the TS20.

The TS4 is about as tough as they come in this category. It’s waterproof to a depth of 40-feet, shockproof from 6.6-feet, dustproof, and freezeproof to 14-degrees F. From a photographic standpoint, it has a 12.1-megapixel CCD sensor and a 4.6x optical zoom lens that gives a 35mm equivalent of 28-128mm. Like most of Panasonic’s high-end compacts, it also shoots 1920 x 1080 HD video in AVCHD format.

In addition to its burly case, the TS4 also has built-in GPS for geotagging and use as a compass. There’s also a barometer and an altimeter, all of which provides data that can be recorded and tied to images upon upload.

As a nice finishing touch, the TS4 has Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto shooting mode, but it also has full-on manual control, something we like to see at a camera of this level. But, the TS4 is ultimately a pretty granular update over the TS3 that came before it. We’ll be interested to see how much their tweaking has bumped the performance. Still, we would liked to have seen RAW capture or rule 1080p video.

The TS20 is slimmer than its burlier brother, but it’s also not as tough. It’s waterproof to 16-feet and shockproof from up to five-feet, which is actually still pretty good at this level.

Photographically speaking, the TS20 has a 16.1-megapixel sensor, a 4x zoom lens (25-100mm full-frame equivalent), and a 2.7-inch LCD display. Its video performance is capped at 720p at 30 fps.

Predictably, you also lose the option for manual mode in the TS20 in exchange for more robust automatic modes. But, that’s to be expected in a camera that’s only 79.

The TS20 will be available this month in orange, blue, black, and red for 79. The TS4 will be out in mid-March, offering orange, blue, black, and silver options for 99.

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January 26, 2012 at 09:18PM

New Gear: Pentax Optio VS20 Has Two Shutter Buttons

If you’re spoiled by the vertical shutter button on your DSLR grip, you might be interested in this compact

If you have a top-end pro DSLR or you’re just used to using a battery grip on your camera body, then you’re familiar with the advantages of having two shutter buttons. But, Pentax has brought that idea to the compact game, giving their new VS20 two buttons for activating the shutter, as well as two zoom switches. There’s even a second tripod socket.

From an imaging perspective, it has a 16-megapixel CCD sensor with built-in Shake Reduction and a 3-inch LCD on the back for composing and reviewing shots. It also has a 20x zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent of 28-560mm. That’s actually pretty substantial for a 50 compact.

But, the real draw here is the pair of shutter buttons. While more and more compact cameras are using optical or electronic viewfinders to encourage eye-level shooting, this one is going in the exact opposite direction. In fact, when it’s vertically-oriented, it reminds me a lot of the Flip HD cameras that were once omnipresent. It will hit stores in February.

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January 26, 2012 at 07:33AM

The new Pentax Optio VS20 compact camera has two shutter release buttons

The new Optio VS20 point and shoot camera from Pentax has a second vertical shutter-release button with zoom lever for portrait oriented shooting. The rest of the specs: 3in. LCD display, triple shake reduction, sensor-shift-type shake reduction (SR) mechanism, 20x optical zoom, 16MP sensor, HD video.


(DENVER, CO) January 25, 2011. PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION announced the Optio VS20 digital compact camera today. This versatile model features a high-power 20X optical zoom lens (28-560mm equivalent) and a second vertical shutter-release button with zoom lever for effortless portrait oriented shooting. A vertical shutter release and zoom lever give the Optio VS20 a unique feature typically found on DSLR cameras, which lends itself to added stability at long optical zooms, as well as comfortable grip for such images as portraits, high rise buildings and architecture, monuments, trees, sports action, and panorama frames. The Optio VS20 even includes a vertical tripod socket for outstanding stabilized vertical support. A new Handheld Night Snap mode also is introduced to capture beautiful images with minimal blur and noise even in low light settings.

The Optio VS20 body is built in a compact digital form factor, and offers several other advanced functions and user-friendly features including:

A 16.0 megapixel CCD sensor with mechanical sensor shift Shake Reduction for stabilized, blur-free images even in low lighting

A large 3.0 inch, wide view (approx. 170 degrees) LCD for easy image capture and review

Auto Picture mode that automatically chooses the best camera settings

Triple Shake Reduction (SR) for sharp, blur-free images and video

Other new scene modes including Fish-eye, Sketch modes and a Stretch filter for more creative options

The PENTAX Optio VS20 will be available in noble black and brilliant white on www.pentaxwebstore.com for 49.95 in February 2012.


The 20X optical zoom lens with 28mm wide-angle coverage handles a variety of subjects and scenes
The Optio VS20 features a high-performance, extra-powerful 20X optical zoom lens covering focal lengths from 28mm wide angle to 560mm super-telephoto (equivalent in the 35mm format). The extra-wide zoom range captures images in a wide range of subjects and scenes from landscapes to sports events. A high-quality Macro mode shoots down to just one centimeter from the subject. An Intelligent Zoom function further extends the zoom range to approximately 144X to cover the focal length of an approximately 4032mm super-telephoto lens (in the 35mm format) without compromising image quality.

Effortless, comfortable vertical-position shooting with image orientation shift and vertical position tripod socket
The Optio VS20 enhances vertical shooting three ways:

An extra shutter-release button and a second zoom lever offers a better grip for vertical shots

Automatic shift of image display orientation (from horizontal landscape to vertical portrait by detecting vertical alignment with its orientation sensor)

A vertical-position tripod socket to securely set the camera up with a lighter, more portable tripod

Exceptional image quality
With 16.0 effective megapixels, a high-performance smc PENTAX zoom lens, and a CCD shift Shake Reduction (SR) mechanism, the Optio VS20 delivers well-defined, high-quality images. Even when enlarged, images offer high-resolution prints with outstanding edge-to-edge sharpness.

Large 3.0 inch LCD monitor
The Optio VS20 features an HVGA high-resolution 3.0 inch color LCD monitor with approximately 460,000 dots. Since this extra-large monitor provides a clear view of images and menus, the photographer can quickly and efficiently check captured images and menu settings. In addition, the monitor is treated with AG (Anti-Glare) coating to improve visibility by minimizing reflections and blocking stains such as fingerprints.

Triple Shake Reduction for sharp, blur-free imagesSensor-shift-type Shake Reduction (SR) mechanism
The advanced sensor shift SR mechanism produces sharp, blur-free images even under shake-prone shooting conditions such as when shooting with a telephoto lens, at sunset or indoors with low-lighting.

Digital SR mode*
During still-image shooting, the Optio VS20 automatically raises its sensitivity to as high as ISO 6400 by detecting the subject’s brightness level. This user-friendly feature allows photographers to capture the subject at faster shutter speeds to minimize the risk of camera shake and subject shake.

Movie SR mode**
During movie recording, the Movie SR mode effectively compensates for camera shake to produce beautiful, stabilized movie clips.
*When the Digital SR mode is selected, the recorded size is fixed at five megapixels (2592 x 1944 pixels).
** When the Movie SR mode is selected, the angle of view becomes narrower than normal shooting.

Automatic selection of the most appropriate shooting mode
The Optio VS20 features the PENTAX-developed Auto Picture mode, which automatically selects the most appropriate shooting mode for a given subject or scene by accurately assessing various photographic conditions over the entire image field. This user-friendly mode selects one of 15 shooting modes including Blue Sky and Sunset among others, and optimizes various camera settings (such as sensitivity and shutter speed) for the best results with minimal effort.

New Scene and Filter modes for greater creative options
Thirteen user-friendly scene modes allow the photographer to effortlessly capture beautiful images simply by selecting a desired scene mode for a given subject or scene. Handheld Night Snap for low light allows photographers to take pictures while confirming the level of filtering effect on the LCD monitor, and Fish-eye and Sketch modes offer creative visual effects for more personalized expression. A New Stretch filter extends a particular portion of an image for an eye-catching special effect.

Upgraded auto face recognition function with a new face recall function
The Optio VS20 Face Recognition AF & AE function offers a new Face Recall function that prioritizes a pre-registered face when optimizing focus and exposure settings, which comes in handy when taking group shots. To assist the photographer in capturing beautiful, lively snapshots, the Optio VS20 also provides other user-friendly features including the Smile Capture mode that automatically releases the shutter the moment the camera detects the subject’s smile, and the Blink Detection function that warns the photographer when the subject’s eyes close at the time of shutter release.

High-quality HDTV movie recording with pushbutton start
The Optio VS20 captures beautiful, high-definition movie clips (1280 x 720 pixels).* Since the camera provides an independent movie recording button on its back panel, the user can instantly start recording movie clips from any shooting mode. It also features three new digital filters (Fish-eye, Miniature and Sketch mode) to allow the user to experiment with more diversified visual expressions.
*When the Optio VS20’s AV output terminal is used, movie clips are output as normal image-size data. If the user wishes to play back movie clips at high-definition TV proportions (1280 x 720 pixels), the data must be transferred to a personal computer for playback.

Additional features:

Digital level and 48 segment grid display functions for easy confirmation of horizontal and vertical alignment

Wireless remote-control shooting using an optional PENTAX infrared remote control

Choice of three image aspect ratios (4:3, 16:9 and 1:1) to accommodate different applications

D-Range setting to prevent whitewashed (overexposed) and blacked-out (underexposed) areas in an image

Digital Panorama mode to effortlessly create a single panoramic picture from as many as three images

Neck strap included

Image viewing, editing and filing software included: MediaImpression 3.1 for PENTAX (Windows version compatible with Windows 7) and MediaImpression 2.1 for PENTAX (Macintosh version compatible with Mac OS X 10.7)

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January 12, 2012 at 04:47AM

Polaroid launches SC1630: the world’s first Android HD smart camera

Polaroid announced at CES the world’s first Android HD smart camera – the SC1630. Here are the basic features:

16MP CCD sensor

3.2 in. touch screen display

3x optical zoom

Wi-Fi capabilities

face and smile detection


32GB of memory via a micro SD card

one button upload to popular social media networks

in camera photo editing

Some more images of the SC1630 + the official press release:

Fusing the Feature Set of a High-End Digital Camera with the Power of Android*, the Polaroid SC1630 Makes Snapping and Sharing High Definition Digital Images an Instant Experience

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 10, 2012 – Polaroid today announced that capturing and sharing high-end digital images is now seamless with the Polaroid SC1630, an Android powered smart camera. The Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera features a high definition 16 megapixel camera with built in 3X optical zoom, touch screen display and Wi-Fi, making uploads to social networks as easy as the touch of a button. Merging the optics of a digital still and video camera with the limitless power of the Android platform, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera evolves the process of clicking, editing, uploading and tagging to an instant experience on one device.

With the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera powered by Android you will no longer need to choose between your smart phone and your point and shoot camera because it offers the best of both worlds. Delivering everything expected from a digital camera but powered by Android, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera surprisingly packs all the features needed to conveniently capture, connect and instantly share beautiful HD digital images and video into one device, weighing a mere five ounces.

An ultra-portable, two-in-one instant sharing powerhouse, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera leaves even the most powerful camera phones in the dust by combining an advanced imaging feature set with an unmatchable Android powered mobile platform:

Capture Like the Pros: Life’s quickest moments are no longer at risk to becoming blurry images from a basic camera phone. Built on a 16 megapixel CCD senor, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera treats images to a 3X optical zoom – a feature not found in most mobile phones. Choose from 18 scene modes and then click and view crystal clear images – captured at 36mm or full 108mm magnification – on the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera’s 3.2” widescreen display.
Enhance Your Moments With Smart Features: The Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera powered by Android takes the work out of being behind the lens with automatic face and smile detection. Also, gone are the days when digital images that never connected with a USB cord went unorganized and forgotten. The Smart Album feature of the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera automatically organizes photos by date, location and people. Plus, geo-tagging features can add longitude and latitude coordinates to photos.

Edit, Share and Save: Now there is no reason to leave the party – everything needed to edit, save and upload can be done anywhere right on the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera. On-board editing features include cropping, red-eye removal, resizing and color correction. Backed by the power of Android, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera uploads images to social networks with the touch of one button and can hold up to 32GB of memory via a microSD card.

Instantly Connect to the World: The Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and optional cellular data connections empower digital images to be shared from anywhere in a snap.
Get Productive: Need to check-in on where friends are gathering, get directions or make the next move in your favorite game? Backed by the power of Android, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera supports Google’s Android Market, making it truly like no other camera available today. Now you can snap, share and link up with more than 400,000 apps.

“Polaroid has helped the world bring stories to life through photographs for the past 75 years,” said Scott W. Hardy, President, Polaroid. “The newest member of the Polaroid family, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera unites the beauty of high-end digital images with powerful Android connectivity features. The result is an instant experience of click, capture and share that enables social networks to see and experience the moment as if they were there.”

Designed to be just as fashionable as it is portable, the simple, clean lines and straight forward interface of the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera makes capturing and sharing effortless. Loaded with features that enable easy capture, connecting and sharing on the fly, the rechargeable battery can last all day on a full charge.

The Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera powered by Android can be viewed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s Central Hall (booth #13613) from January 10 – 13, 2012. High-res images of the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera can be found at http://bit.ly/yONUNC .

The Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera will be available in 2012. Price is TBD.

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New Gear: Panasonic Lumix SZ7 and SZ1 Bring Big Zooms To Small Cameras


New Gear: Panasonic Lumix SZ7 and SZ1 Bring Big Zooms To Small Cameras

With faster focusing, 3D recording, and new shooting modes, Panasonic has added a wide array of new features to its compacts

With more and more people using their cellphone to take photos, Panasonic is attempting to fight back by squeezing more camera into less space. The freshly announced Panasonic Lumix SZ7 and SZ1 both feature an impressive zoom range of 10x or a 25-250mm 35mm-equivilent. However, we are still waiting to hear from Panasonic regarding specifics about these cameras, including official dimensions and lens aperture.

Both cameras offer 3-inch LCDs, and the newly added Panorama Shot and Miniature Effect modes — the latter of which can record both stills and video with a psuedo-tilt shift function. If you’re a fan of photo filters, both cameras have six available: Toy Effect, Soft Focus Dynamic Monochrome, Expressive, High Key and Retro. You’ll also find AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control, MEGA O.I.S., Intelligent Scene Selector and Intelligent Exposure on both.

The Lumix SZ7 has a 14.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, can record 1920×1080 60i video, and Panasonic is claiming that its AF system can focus in just 0.1 seconds. The SZ7 also features a number of shooting modes and tools that its sibling model does not, including High Dynamic Range, Intelligent Handheld Nightshot, Motion Deblur and Face Recognition. The SZ7 also has the ability to capture 20 shots in a panorama, and have the camera choose the correct two to create a 3D image.The Panasonic Lumix SZ1
While the SZ1 doesn’t have a number of the features of the SZ7, it at least scores a few points in the megapixel race, with a 16.1-megapixel CCD sensor. While it can only capture 720p HD video, it does have face detection mode, and will no-doubt be cheaper than the SZ7.

Panasonic isn’t going to give a firm price or date until just 30 days before the launch, but we do know that the SZ1 will be available in black, silver, red and blue, and the SZ7 will available in just black.

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