Tag Archives: USB

March 06, 2012 at 01:12AM


New Gear: Profoto Air Sync Camera Release Cables

Profoto’s new line of cables morphs flash triggers into camera release units.

Profoto’s Air Remote and Air Sync strobe units let you control off-camera flashes up to 1,000 feet away from wherever you’re standing — and with the new introduction of a series of release cables, that functionality has expanded to taking photos, too.

The new line is a series of release cables for Sony/Konica Minolta, Phase One/Mamiya, Olympus, Canon E3, Canon N3 and Nikon 10-pin; and pre-release cables for Olympus, Canon (both E3 and N3), and Nikon. Unfortunately, there’s no official word on price or availability.

Setting up the cables for remote control of your cameras is as straightforward as setting them up for flashes. You need an Air Sync or Air Remote to function as a receiver, and one to function as a transceiver. You run the appropriate cable from the receiver to your camera, and with that you’re set to remotely fire your camera from up to 1000-feet away. With more receivers, you can trigger more cameras simultaneously.

As part of the Air System, Profoto also has a USB stick and software, so we’re going to go ahead and assume you could even hit your cameras trigger from the comfort of your laptop. Pair it with an EyeFi card, and you never even have to stand up.

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March 02, 2012 at 12:32PM


Canon EOS 5D Mark III announcement

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is now official: 22.3MP, 3,2″ LCD screen, DIGIC 5+ processor, 61 AF points, HD 1080/30p and 720/60p. Canon also announced a new Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT and a new Speedlite 600EX-RT.

The 5D Mark III is now available for pre-order at B&H for ,499.00. The 600EX-RT priced at 29. Shipping is expected to start at the end of March, 2012.

Press release:

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., March 2, 2012 – On the 25th anniversary of its world-renowned EOS System, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce its latest model, the new EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera. Positioned between the extremely popular EOS 5D Mark II and Canon‘s top-of-the-line professional EOS-1D X model, the EOS 5D Mark III delivers superb image quality, thanks to a new 22.3-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS sensor, a high-performance DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor, a 61-point High Density Reticular Autofocus (AF) System and six frames-per-second (fps) continuous shooting speed. Building upon the trailblazing success of the EOS 5D Mark II, the EOS 5D Mark III also incorporates enhanced video features for professionals in the fields of cinematography, television production and documentary filmmaking, including better noise reduction, longer recording times and a built-in headphone jack for audio monitoring. The EOS 5D Mark III is Canon‘s answer to hundreds of thousands of advanced amateurs and emerging professionals looking for a compact, high-quality camera system to help them achieve their artistic vision, whether it be through still or video imagery. The EOS 5D Mark III introduction coincides with Canon‘s 25th anniversary celebration of the EOS camera system. Canon‘s award-winning EOS system first debuted in March of 1987 with the introduction of the EOS 650 SLR camera and three EF lenses.

“We are extremely excited to announce the highly anticipated follow-up to our EOS 5D Mark II, a camera which has been called a ‘game-changer’ in most professional photography and videography circles. The EOS 5D Mark III will carry on that tradition, delivering better and more advanced features, helping our customers achieve excellent image quality for stills and video,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.

The EOS 5D Mark III inherits many features from Canon‘s recently announced flagship DSLR, the EOS-1D X, including a DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor and a high-performance 61-point High Density Reticular AF array with up to 41 cross-type points and five dual cross-type points available, depending on the lens in use. The enhanced processing power enables fast continuous shooting of up to six fps, exceeding the speed of the EOS 5D Mark II model by more than 50 percent, and with improved weather resistance the EOS 5D Mark III is a serious option for sports and wildlife photographers.

EOS 5D Mark III Video: The Legacy Continues

The EOS 5D Mark II blazed the trail for EOS cameras and Canon to enter the professional video and cinema markets, paving the way for Canon‘s recent introduction of the Cinema EOS system of cameras and lenses. Now, the EOS 5D Mark III continues Canon‘s commitment to these new markets with new and requested features from cinematographers, television production professionals and independent filmmakers. This new model captures 1080p Full HD video at 24p (23.976), 25p, and 30p (29.97) fps; 720p HD recording at 60 (59.94) and 50 fps; and SD recording at 30 (29.97) and 25 fps, giving cinematographers and videographers more flexibility and options for video capture.

The EOS 5D Mark III includes new H.264 video compression formats to simplify and speed up post-production work: intraframe (ALL-I) compression for an editing-friendly format and interframe (IPB) compression for superior data storage efficiency, giving professionals options to help achieve their ideal workflow. Like the EOS-1D X, the 5D Mark III also includes two methods of SMPTE-compliant timecode embedding, Rec Run and Free Run, allowing video footage from multiple cameras and separate audio recordings to be synced together in post production.

The new full-frame CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+ processor have enhanced the camera’s image processing performance over the 5D Mark II, significantly reducing moir‚ and color artifacts in scenes with horizontal lines. The video footage produced will exhibit less moir‚ than seen in previous DSLR models, resulting in a significant improvement in HD video quality. Accommodating documentary filmmakers, and event videographers using EOS DSLR cameras, the 5D Mark III includes the ability to record video continuously up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds across multiple 4GB files. Long-form filmmakers will enjoy the camera’s automatic file splitting in combination with the extended memory capacity offered by dual card slots.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III also includes manual audio level control with 64 levels, adjustable both before and during movie recording. There is also an automatic audio level setting, or sound recording can be turned off entirely. A wind filter is also included. Sound can be recorded either through the internal monaural microphone or via an optional external microphone through the stereo mic input. Notably, the EOS 5D Mark III is the first EOS Digital SLR to feature a built-in headphone jack for real-time audio monitoring during video capture.

Newly Developed Canon CMOS Sensor

With its completely new 22.3-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS image sensor, the EOS 5D Mark III becomes the highest resolution Canon Digital SLR released to date. It is eminently suitable for a wide variety of assignments including weddings and portraits, nature and wildlife, travel and landscapes as well as commercial and industrial photography. With a gapless microlens design, a new photodiode structure and improved on-chip noise reduction, the new sensor achieves higher sensitivity and lower noise levels for both RAW image data as well as in-camera JPEGs and EOS Movies compared to the 5D Mark II. The result is outstanding image quality in all shooting conditions, even low light. An eight-channel readout doubles the speed of image data throughput from the sensor to the DIGIC 5+ processor, resulting in better video image quality as well as six fps for still photos.

The low-light capability of the EOS 5D Mark III is evident in its incredible ISO range and image quality in poor lighting conditions. Adjustable from ISO 100 to 25,600 within its standard range, the new model also offers a low ISO 50 setting for studio and landscape photography and two extended ISO settings of 51,200 and 102,400, well suited for law enforcement, government or forensic field applications.

The new 5D Mark III is also equipped with Canon‘s EOS Integrated Cleaning System, featuring a Self Cleaning Sensor Unit with a fluorine coating that repels dust and dirt particles.

Canon-Exclusive DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor

The EOS 5D Mark III’s new DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor is 17 times faster than the DIGIC 4.The EOS 5D Mark III uses that extra speed not only for improved image quality, but also to add no less than nine new features that do not exist on the 5D Mark II. These new features include six fps continuous shooting, HDR and Multiple Exposure modes, in-camera RAW processing, a comparative playback function, Scene Intelligent Auto mode, two forms of movie compression, and support for high-speed UDMA 7 Compact Flash memory cards.

Another extremely valuable feature enhanced by the DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor is the EOS 5D Mark III’s choice of reduced resolution M-RAW (10.5 megapixel) and S-RAW (5.5 megapixel) recording modes. These settings are particularly useful to wedding photographers for candid photos that do not require the EOS 5D Mark III’s 22 megapixel full resolution, because they take up less space on the memory cards and speed up post-processing without losing the critical benefits of RAW image data, such as highlight and shadow control as well as white balance adjustment. M-RAW and S-RAW also preserve the full field of view rather than cropping the image or resorting to JPEG mode to reduce resolution.

High-Performance 61-Point High Density Reticular AF

For still photographers, Canon has included its new 61-point High Density Reticular AF System, originally introduced with the top-of-the-line EOS-1D X professional camera. A significant advancement over previous 5D-series AF systems, the new 61-Point High Density Reticular AF included in the EOS 5D Mark III is the most sophisticated SLR AF system Canon has ever released. All 61 points are manually selectable and sensitive to horizontal contrast with maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/5.6. The camera’s twenty one focusing points in the central area are also standard precision cross-type and effective with maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/5.6. The center five points are ultra-high-precision diagonal cross-type points for maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/2.8. The 20 outer focusing points function as high-precision cross-type points with maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/4.0. Other innovations of the new 61-point High Density Reticular AF include expanded AF coverage area, superior focusing precision and low-light sensitivity to EV -2, and greater low-contrast subject detection capability compared to earlier EOS AF systems. (See image below for AF point configuration)

All AF functions now have their own menu tab for quick and easy access (formerly AF custom functions in previous EOS models). A new AF Configuration Tool allows for customized setting of tracking sensitivity, the acceleration and deceleration of tracking subjects, and AF point auto switching, all of which are easily accessed and adjusted via the new AF menu tab. A built-in Feature Guide advises photographers on which settings to use according to subject matter.

The EOS 5D Mark III uses the same high-performance AI Servo III AF tracking algorithm as the flagship EOS-1D X professional DSLR. This new feature works together with the 61-point High Density Reticular AF system to provide superb tracking performance that blends very well with the new camera’s 6 frames-per-second high-speed continuous shooting capabilities.

Similar to the AF point selection options offered in the EOS 7D and EOS-1D X camera models, the EOS 5D Mark III offers six AF point selection modes: Spot, Single Point, Single Point with surrounding four points, Single Point with surrounding eight points, Zone selection and Automatic AF point selection.

iFCL Metering

Complementing the EOS 5D Mark III camera’s 61-point AF system is Canon‘s 63-zone iFCL dual layer metering system. The ‘FCL’ stands for ‘Focus, Color and Luminance,’ and references the fact that the metering system not only measures color and luminance data, but also analyzes the data provided by each point of the AF system. Canon‘s iFCL metering keeps exposure levels stable from shot to shot, even as the light source changes. The camera’s autofocus information is also used to help determine which area of the scene is of greatest importance in determining exposure.

HDR Mode

The EOS 5D Mark III camera features a built-in HDR mode, merging three images at various exposure levels into a single image, in-camera, for stunning photographs of landscapes and architecture with enhanced tonal gradation beyond the range of the naked eye. The exposure levels in the camera’s HDR mode can be set to cover a range of up to ñ3 stops, in a choice of five settings: Natural, Art Standard, Art Vivid, Art Bold and Art Embossed providing unique visual effects. Individual source images can be saved as separate files, and the HDR mode has an optional automatic alignment function that can be useful for hand-held shooting. The EOS 5D Mark III’s standard Auto Exposure Bracketing function has been upgraded to allow for up to seven exposures per sequence, and exposure compensation can now be set for up to +/- 5EV.

Multiple Exposure Mode

The EOS 5D Mark III is the second EOS Digital SLR after the EOS-1D X to feature Multiple Exposure capabilities with the ability to combine up to nine individual images into a single composite image, with no need for post-processing in a computer. Four different compositing methods are provided for maximum creative control, including Additive, Average, Bright and Dark. Compositing results can be viewed in real time on the camera’s LCD monitor, and there is a one-step Undo command that allows photographers to delete an image and try again if desired. The EOS 5D Mark III camera’s Multiple Exposure mode even allows photographers to specify a previously captured RAW image as the starting point for a new Multiple Exposure composite image, or shoot continuously when photographing moving subjects.

Comparative Playback

A new feature seen for the first time in the EOS System on the 5D Mark III is Comparative Playback allowing photographers to display two images side by side on the camera’s 3.2-inch LCD screen. The images can be displayed with a histogram to check exposure levels, or magnified to check for focus or facial expressions.

Durability, Reliability and Other Features

The EOS 5D Mark III features a rugged camera body with magnesium alloy body covers and a stainless steel lens mount. The new camera also has dust- and moisture-resistant design with improved gaskets and seals. Although not quite as weatherproof as an EOS-1D-series camera, the EOS 5D Mark III does feature improved weather resistance over the EOS 5D Mark II model. The EOS 5D Mark III’s newly developed shutter unit has a durability rating of 150,000 exposures, and shutter release lag time has been reduced to 59 milliseconds, making the shutter button very responsive. Canon‘s locking mode dial is standard on the new model and a new custom function allows photographers to shut off other dials to prevent inadvertent operation.

The EOS 5D Mark III uses the same LP-E6 lithium-ion battery pack as other popular EOS cameras like the 5D Mark II, 7D and 60D. Battery life is estimated at 950 exposures at normal temperatures, an improvement of 100 exposures more than the EOS 5D Mark II. The EOS 5D Mark III body weighs approximately 33.5 oz. with a battery installed, and the dimensions are approximately 6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0 inches.

The EOS 5D Mark III incorporates Silent shooting modes, available for low-speed continuous shooting as well as single exposures. This feature is ideal when photographing in quiet environments. For better file management especially when working with multiple cameras, the new model also supports custom file names. There is also a new image rating feature that lets photographers rank their photos from 1 to 5 stars for quick editing.

The EOS 5D Mark III features a 3.2-inch Clear View II LCD screen with 1,040,000 dot resolution. This is the same screen that’s used in the top-of-the-line EOS-1D X. The camera’s optical viewfinder has been upgraded to approximately 100 percent coverage, and it features an Intelligent Viewfinder display with an optional grid on demand. The EOS 5D Mark III also has a built-in Dual Axis Electronic Level that can be displayed on both the LCD screen and the optical viewfinder.

The EOS 5D Mark III accepts both Compact Flash Type 1 and SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards in a dual card slot configuration. Three recording methods are supported: Record the same data to both cards, record different file sizes or types to each card, or automatically switch to the second card when the first card is full.

Accessories

The EOS 5D Mark III DSLR also has a number of new optional accessories, including the new Canon Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7A featuring wireless LAN support for 802.11 a/b/g/n signal protocols for various network environments. The WFT-E7A connects to the camera through its USB port and includes a built-in gigabit Ethernet connection, time syncing for multiple cameras on the same network, FTP mode, EOS Utility mode, WFT Server mode and Media Server mode. With this new WFT model, professionals can synchronize clocks on multiple cameras and use the unit to support linked shooting when utilizing multiple cameras. In addition, Bluetooth-compatible equipment can be easily linked to the device as well.

The EOS 5D Mark III also has an optional Canon GPS Receiver GP-E2, which can be connected to the camera via the accessory shoe or a USB cable. With a GPS logging function built-in, the GP-E2 will log latitude, longitude, elevation, and the Universal Time Code – and allow viewing of camera movement on a PC after shooting. With its built-in compass, the GP-E2 receiver will also record camera direction when shooting, even when shooting vertically. The Canon GPS Receiver GP-E2 is compatible with the EOS-1D X and EOS 7Di as well as the EOS 5D Mark III.ii

Battery Grip BG-E11 is an optional accessory for the EOS 5D Mark III that accepts one or two LP-E6 lithium-ion battery packs or a set of six AA-size batteries. This new grip has a multicontroller and a multifunction (M.Fn) button together a with a full set of grip controls for easy operation when shooting portraits or other vertical format photos. The BG-E11 is made from sturdy magnesium alloy and has the same degree of weather resistance as the EOS 5D Mark III.

Speedlite 600EX-RT

In addition to the EOS 5D Mark III, Canon is also announcing the first professional Speedlite on the market with a built-in wireless radio transmitter, the new Speedlite 600EX-RT. The new Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT is the flagship model in the Speedlite line, ideal for wedding portrait and photojournalism. Compatible with all EOS Digital SLRs, this new model eliminates the need for accessory radio slave units and their inherent limitations. Speedlite 600EX-RT features Master-Slave two-way transmission, letting the photographer control the Speedlite settings directly from the “Master” camera.

Radio-based Wireless E-TTL can be performed with up to 15 Speedlite 600EX-RT “slave units”, used off-camera up to 98.4 feet (30m) away, and triggered by either a “Master” 600EX-RT on-camera, or the optional new Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT. Used with the EOS 5D Mark III or EOS-1D X, up to five groups of flashes can be completely controlled, independently, off-camera. And, it remains fully compatible with Canon‘s legacy optical-based Wireless E-TTL technology, for users already committed to existing EOS Speedlites. The Speedlite features enhanced weather-resistant construction – matching that of the EOS-1D X camera body – and a more reliable electrical contact. The flash head zoom range now reaches from 20mm to 200mm.The Speedlite also allows remote shutter release of a single EOS camera, or Linked Shooting (simultaneous firing of up to 15 cameras, when one “Master” camera is fired), and includes gelatin filters and a dedicated filter holder to help photographers match ambient light.

Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT

Canon is also introducing the new Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT. Providing full support of Canon‘s new radio-based wireless flash technology, the new ST-E3-RT can control up to five groups of flashes, up to 98.4 feet (30m) from the camera. The remote shutter release capability enables photographers to either fire a single camera remotely (by pressing a button on the ST-E3-RT), or to fire up to 15 EOS cameras with Canon‘s Linked Shooting feature. Making it easy to control and adjust, all of the Speedlite Transmitter features are accessible through the Flash control menu of the EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III cameras.

Pricing and Availability

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR camera is expected to be available at the end of March 2012 and will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated retail price of ,499.00. The EOS 5D Mark III will also be available with the EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens in a kit for an estimated retail price of ,299.00. The Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7A is scheduled to be available by the end of April 2012 at an estimated retail price of 49.99. Availability for GPS Receiver GP-E2 is expected by the end of April 2012, with an estimated retail price of 90.00.Battery Grip BG-E11 is scheduled to be available at the end of April 2012 for an estimated retail price of 90.00. The Speedlite 600EX-RT and Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT are also scheduled for end of March 2012 availability at estimated retail prices of 29.99 and 70.00 respectively.

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March 02, 2012 at 12:12PM


New Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

The long-awaited follow-up to one of Canon‘s most popular DSLRs ever

When Nikon recently announced its D800 multimedia-machine DSLR, the internet was already abuzz with folks wondering how Canon would fire back. That follow up comes today in the form of the full-frame Canon 5D Mark III.On the photography front, the most notable improvement is the completely redesigned autofocus system. The Mark III offers 61 AF points, 41 of which are crosstype. That’s a huge upgrade from the nine total points offered by the 5D Mark II for which AF performance may have been its biggest detractor. That also bests Nikon’s D800, which has 51 total AF points, 15 of which are crosstype, and five which are double crosstype. The final number of points you have access to with either of those cameras when shooting ultimately depends on the maximum aperture of the lens attached. It also offers six different autofocusing modes, compared to 2 on the Mark II and the AF modes have been made much more prominent in the menus to make navigating them much faster.The Mark III checks in at 22.3-megapixels which is only a modest hop from the Mark II’s 21.1, but the sensor has received a complete overhaul. Gapless micro lenses, similar to those found on the sensor of the Canon 1D X, channel light into the photo diodes much more efficiently. As a result, the new sensor, according to Canon, offers nearly two additional stops of noise reduction in JPEG shooting at higher ISO’s compared to the Mark II. To compound the effect, Canon also incorporated “on chip noise reduction,” into its sensors, killing off potential noise before information even hits the Digic 5+ processor.Canon employs their latest, greatest Digic 5+ chip to handle the Mark III’s image processing, which they claim to be 17x faster than the Digic 4 processor found in the Mark II, and 30% faster than the ordinary Digic 5 processor. This helps bring the Mark III’s burst capabilities up to 6 fps, compared to 3.9 fps on the Mark II. That’s also two better than the 4 FPS max (without the battery grip) offered by Nikon’s D800.Metering is handled by a 63-zone (up from 35 in the Mark II), dual-layer metering system they’ve dubbed iFCL. It stands for Focus, Color, Luminance, and it uses information from the AF points to help provide more accurate and consistent exposures. Canon also shrunk the size of its spotmeter point, which now comprises just 1.5% of the sensor, compared to the 3% meter on the Mark II.The Mark III’s native ISO range of 100 to 25600 is expandable, when shooting stills, all the way up to 102,400 (two stops higher than the D800) and down to 50. When switched over to video mode there’s a hard-stop at 25,600, same as its predecessor.Expanding on the video capabilities, some folks will no doubt be slightly disappointed to see that 1080p capture is still capped at 30 fps rather than the smoother 60 fps frame rate. There are some notable video upgrades though, including an external microphone jack and a headphone jack, which film makers have been craving for years. Maximum clip time has been jacked up to about 30 minutes (up from 12 in the Mark II) and you can now manually control audio levels during video recording.While the video upgrades aren’t exactly monumental, Canon already has a rather large segment of the HDSLR market, so fixing a few long-standing gripes from users might be enough to keep users firmly entrenched in the Canon camp.From a design standpoint, the Mark III takes more than a few pages out of the 7D’s book. In fact, the top of the camera is exactly identical, with the exception of a locking mode dial (first made standard on the 60D). Mark II upgraders will have to get used to the on/off switch moving to directly below the mode dial. The backside of the camera also looks strikingly similar to the 7D. The Liveview button has moved to the top right portion on the back of the camera. Canon also incorporated a “Creative Photo Button,” and a “Photo Rating Button,” which saves on-the-fly star ratings in an image’s metadata. You’ll likely use the latter much more often than the former.Other physical upgrades include a slightly larger 3.2” 1.4 million dot LCD (compared to the 3” LCD found on the Mark II). It’s nice, but we were a bit surprised not to see a Vari-Angle screen on a machine with so much video firepower. Viewfinder coverage has also been nudged up to 100% as it is in the 7D. Canon placed great emphasis on improving weather seals on the Mark III body, and while its not quite as water and dust resistant as the 1D X, its ability to survive the elements definitely surpasses the Mark II.One simple, but crucial inclusion is that of a secondary card slot, giving it one CF and one SD. While most cameras with two slots allow users to split RAW and JPEG files on individual cards, Mark III users can take it even further, splitting two different size JPEG’s or two different size RAW files. Speaking of which, the Mark III offers three different RAW file sizes including RAW (which is 22.1 MP), M-RAW (10.5 MP) and S-RAW (5.5 MP).A newly redesigned shutter cuts lag time down to 59 milliseconds, compared to 75-millisecond lag time on the Mark II. Other new features include a “Silent Continuous Shooting Mode,” which we witnessed in person, and are pretty impressed with. When in this mode, the burst rate is cut down to 3 seconds, however the decrease in shutter noise is very noticeable.Set to ship late March, the 5D Mark III will run you 500 for body only, or 300 for the body and a 24-105 F4L IS lens. That makes it a full 00 more expensive than than the D800, which might make a significant difference. Needless to say, we’re excited to get the new camera in the lab and see just how much improvement Canon has made.

Canon has also released a few new accessories for the 5D Mark III. Here’s a quick rundown:

Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7A 49.99

Plug it into the camera’s USB port and it’ll hop onto a WiFi network. From there, you can use it to transfer files and syncrhonize multiples cameras shooting at the same time. It also has built-in Bluetooth connectivity.

GP-E2 GPS Receiver 90

A pretty standard GPS tagging dongle tracks capture locations as well as universal time code. It also tracks camera movement and uses a compass to record the direction the camera is pointing when the shutter is fired.

BG-E11 Battery Grip 90

The 5D Mark III’s battery grip accepts two LP-E6 batteries and has a new multicontroller and M. Fn button in addition to a full set of grip controls. Like the camera body, it’s made from magnesium alloy and shares the same burly weatherproofing.

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February 25, 2012 at 05:10AM


Plug In USB Cables Correctly the First Time by Observing the Seam

Here’s a simple trick for those of you who find yourself always plugging in USB cables the wrong way on your first attempt: pay attention to the seam on the metal tip. Apartment Therapy writes,

Look closely on the metal tip and you’ll notice that there is a seam on one side of the connector. This seam denotes the contact side of the USB. In horizontal oriented USB ports the seam should face down. In vertical oriented USB ports the seam should face left. If you follow those rules, you’ll get your USB plugged in the right way, the first time, most of the time.

(via Apartment Therapy via Lifehacker)

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February 14, 2012 at 04:55AM


Barbie Photo Fashion: 5-Megapixel Pics and a Built-In Chest LCD Screen

Toys are getting fancier and cameras are getting weirder. Mattel is set to launch a new camera barbie called Barbie Photo Fashion that’ll upgrade many a dollhouse with a human-shaped 5-megapixel digital camera. Unlike the soon-to-be-outdated Video Girl Barbie and its chest-cam, this new photography doll features a camera built into her back with the LCD screen moved to her frontside. She can store 100 photos, features a mini USB port on her lower back, and comes with 15 built-in photo “filters” — a must-have for toy cameras and apps these days. It’ll cost a cool 0 when it hits store shelves in the near future, though availability hasn’t been announced yet.

(via Engadget)

Image credits: Photographs by Engadget

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January 20, 2012 at 11:46AM


Adorama now taking pre-orders for the new Sony XQD memory cards

Adorama just opened their pre-orders for the new Sony XQD memory cards:

Sony XQD Memory Card H-series 16GB

Sony XQD Memory Card H-series 32GB

Sony XQD Memory Card Reader, USB 2.0/3.0 Compatible

Shipping is expected to start next month. As of today, the Nikon D4 is the only camera that uses XQD memory cards. SanDisk and Lexar are officially not supporting the XQD standart yet.

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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

geo-tagging

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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