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Old 07-17-2006, 05:12 PM   #1
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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New technology releases




Lest you think that the digital camera engineers are all down at the Starbucks sipping mocha choco latte yaya decaf ...

Here's a couple of interesting recent entries:

Fujifilm FinePix S6500fd
Thursday, 13 July 2006 06:20 GMT

This 6 mp compact camera sports the following benefit, for those who aren't that good at picking out your subjects face. Pulled from the brochure:

"Face detection"

Photographs of friends and family are among the most popular in day-to-day photography. Yet these are the shots that are hardest to get right because the best photographs are not the posed ones, but those that are unexpected. Previously, face detection concepts have been a slow, software based process, relegating them to a novelty feature rather than a powerful picture-taking tool. The potential delay in
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Old 07-18-2006, 12:00 AM   #2
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If you still believe that Sony is the one and ony here is a new offering in the 10 mp range.

It appears that the new under a $1000 benchmark for horsepower has jumped from 6 mp to ten mega pixel. For this new Sony camera this will produce a 3872 x 2592 image. This would seem to be a blisteringly good image. It makes you wonder just how much farther they need go. My guess is that photographers are no different than bass fishermen. I think they'll level off somewhere around 150 mp.

Stores are now taking orders for future delivery of the new Sony Alpha DSLR-A100, a 10.2 effective mp DSLR selling for $899 body only.

The announcement read:

In July 2005 Konica Minolta and Sony made an announcement that they were to jointly develop digital SLR cameras. This agreement hinted at shared technology between the two companies such as auto focus, metering and Anti-Shake coming from Konica Minolta and sensors, electronics and batteries from Sony. Some six months later Konica Minolta dropped a bomb on the camera market by announcing that they were withdrawing from the camera business and had transferred certain camera assets including the Maxxum/Dynax lens mount and related SLR technologies to Sony.

Almost a year on since that first announcement we have the new Sony Alpha DSLR-A100, a compact, ten megapixel (CCD) digital SLR with a (Konica) Minolta lens mount, Anti-Shake (now Super SteadyShot) and a definite cross-breed appearance. It's fair to say that while this camera may share some components with previous Konica Minolta digital SLR's Sony's involvement has brought external styling, build quality and finish up to a higher standard. The lens mount is to be called the 'Alpha mount' and Sony has announced no less than 22 lenses which will carry the Sony Alpha branding (although many are based on existing Minolta lenses).
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Old 07-20-2006, 06:48 PM   #3
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New Nikon coming soon...

Nikon Japan has today started a teaser campaign promoting a new compact 10.2 megapixel digital SLR which will be announced in 20 days, we can only guess that this would be the natural successor to the D70/D70s. The teaser gives away few details other than the fact that the camera will have 10.2 megapixels (just in case you were thinking of buying a Sony Alpha mentioned above).
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Old 07-22-2006, 12:20 AM   #4
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Face detection is important indeed
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Old 07-22-2006, 10:25 AM   #5
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Face recognition? They can pick out Osama Bin McCarty in his Irish disguise from a space satellite.

It's an amazing thing when you think about the kind of electronic logic that must go into this. It's not something that would send me off to the camera store for a quick purchase, but it is an amazing thing to contemplate.

This is my understanding: lets say you have a scene with five people on and around a couch. Some down on the floor in front, one or two sitting on the couch, and a couple variously standing behind. The problem that can arise if your not careful is one of depth of field. The distance from the face of the closest subject sitting in front to the person standing in the back could be six or more. You nail the focus on grandma sitting in the middle on the couch and the front and backs are out of focus. Dang, you say, I wish I had had some of those face recognition algorithms going for me.

If you had, the camera would have tagged the position of each face and adjusted (made deeper) the depth of field (aperture, fstop) such that it would include the closest and the farthest subject. Also adjusted the exposure for the faces.

I understand that it will also track these faces while in motion.

A horse is a horse unless of course ... it's uncle Harry! I'd like to test this algorithm on some of the faces I've woke up with.

Is skilled labor a thing of the past? It may be in our lifetime.

Speaking of sitting on the couch.
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Old 07-30-2006, 09:21 AM   #6
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I pulled this off of the dpreview.com site. It was given in the context of this years big photo manufacturers annual convention when all the new products are trotted out.

Under the heading of "future trends" ...

Quote:
This year will see the end of the megapixel race for compact cameras, while we will still see some manufacturers releasing cameras with higher pixel counts the majority of sensible manufacturers will realize that most buyers know that they have a large enough image and that there are other more important things for the R&D guys to be working on.

We also need to be aware of the increasing use of marketing speak, image stabilization that isn't (it just increases sensitivity) and high ISO on compacts which is unusable, use of the word RAW where there isn't any. Other things to expect are larger and larger LCD's (3.0" won't be unusual) and some with touch-screen. It's a year when all the manufacturers will have to start thinking again, the last three or so years have been a megapixel staircase (without necessarily the step up in image quality), this year cameras are going to need be better, faster and more featured.
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Old 08-02-2006, 07:25 PM   #7
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GPS tracker

I'm not sure how this could impact our portrait photo taking but I thought I'd post it just because it's kinda neat and pretty high tech. Here's Sony's release of their latest gadget.

Also, if you haven't tried the Google mapping that they speak of below it's a real handy time saver. Just dial up www.google.com and click on maps. Try typing in your own address and then choose the sattelite image option which may show you standing in your front yard!

***

Wednesday, 2 August 2006

Sony GPS tracker for photographers

Sony has today announced a very interesting little device for recording the position where photographs are taken. The GPS-CS1 is a small (9 cm / 3.5 in) cylindrical device which you simply attach to a backback or belt loop and carry with you while you shoot, it records your GPS location and this information can later be synchronized with your digital images to provide a map of where your photos were taken. We assume it does this using date and time information stored in the image header (which obviously requires your camera's clock to be synchronized). Interestingly the mapping solution is an online website with maps provided by Google Maps (it appears that the synchronization software will write the GPS location into JPEG EXIF headers).
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Old 08-09-2006, 06:15 PM   #8
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Nikon D80 introduction

Today Nikon introduced the D80, their new 10 mp digital SLR. The body alone will be $999 and the kit (w/lens) will be $1299. This was exactly the pricing of the first D70 which I bought when it was first introduced about two and a half years ago. The kit lens sounds like a dandy: AF-S DX 18 - 135 mm F3.5 - F5.6G ED (27 - 202.5 mm equiv. FOV, 7.5x zoom). It is one of two new lenses being newly introduced. The other being: AF-S 70 - 300 mm F4.5 - F5.6G VR (105 - 450 mm equiv. FOV, 4.3x zoom).

This camera will produce an image of 3872 x 2592 compared to the D70's 3008 x 2000. If you have all your dials pointed in the right direction this should produce a devastating image. Especially considering where we were in the cost / quality equation just five years ago.

So, I wish I had one but I don't and won't. I have another seven and a half years to go on my D70. By then cameras will be an attachment to our contact lenses.

You can get all the details here including a side by side comparison to the D70s:

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/nikond80/
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:16 PM   #9
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Thanks Mike for the comparison link.

The D80 looks sweet, and my D100 is getting aged (having exceeded the shutter life projections).

I wish Phil Askey would also compare the D80 to the D200. There are many similarities. Strangely, a same size CF card in a D200 holds more shots than an SD card in a D80. Why? (according to the Nikon PDF brochures for each camera)

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Old 08-10-2006, 04:06 PM   #10
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Garth,

It would be a sweet set up, and I like the zoom range of the kit lens.

I think for you to get better reference photos would be a criminal act. You paint way to good with what you have. For the sake of the rest of us, stick with what you've got.

But if you persist - you can create your own side-by-side comparisons on the www.dpreview.com site. On their home page from the list on the left you will see "buying guide," if you position on this you will see a listing of all cameras from which you can select to make your comparisons.

I don't know the answer to your storage question. However, when you do your side-by-side look down to the "storage types," just to the right you will see a "?" click on this and you can read up on all the different types of devices. You may find your answer there, maybe not.
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