It's no secret that Panasonic's first digital SLR, the DMC-L1, wasn't very well received. But Panasonic's not worried about that. They viewed the L1 as a "technology statement," to show that they're serious about jumping into the SLR market. The company's new dSLR, called the Lumix DMC-L10, is aimed at people stepping up to a SLR from compact cameras, and marks a big step forward for the company's SLRs. The L10 features a Four-Thirds-sized, Live MOS imaging sensor with 10.1 effective megapixels and a Supersonic Wave Filter system to rattle … Read more
Nikon has been dabbling in Wi-Fi-equipped cameras for a few years now. Most recently, the company included Wi-Fi in its ultracompact 7-megapixel Coolpix S50c. The new Coolpix S51c continues this trend and includes an 8MP CCD sensor, a 3-inch, 230,000-pixel LCD, sensitivity of up to ISO 1,600, and optical image stabilization. This new model also includes Nikon's D-Lighting to compensate for imperfect exposures after the fact, as well as Face Priority AF to help make sure that the camera focuses on your friends' faces, instead of a tree or some national monument in the background. It also … Read more
If you're a fan of Kodak, or a cryptologist, you shouldn't have any trouble figuring out that the company's new superzoom, called the Z812 IS, is an 8-megapixel camera with a 12X optical zoom lens and optical image stabilization. The name won't tell you that the camera has a 2.5-inch, 230,000-pixel LCD screen, or that the camera can capture MPEG-4 video, with stereo sound at up to 1,024x720 pixels and 30 frames per second. Kodak seizes on this last fact to say in its product literature that the Z812 IS can capture 720p … Read more
The update to Digg yesterday brought with it a handful of tweaks, although notably absent was the much anticipated photos section. Keep in mind that you'll still find Digg saturated in photos, there's just not a bona fide section for them, or way to view pictures on-site. While confirmed on the official Digg blog that a special photo section is on track for October (two months from now), there's already a handful of sites to get your fix for photos made popular by real people. Here are seven of my favorites:
Less than two months after Casio announced the Exilim EX-Z77 and S880, the company has unveiled two new digital cameras. The Exilim EX-V8 offers a 7x zoom in an ultracompact shell; the EX-Z1080 features the highest ISO sensitivity we've seen yet on a Casio camera.
The Exilim EX-V8 replaces the EX-V7 as Casio's higher-zoom camera. The 8-megapixel V8 keeps its predecessor's 7x zoom, 38mm- to 226mm-equivalent, f/3.4 to 5.3 lens, giving it the highest zoom power of the current crop of Exilims. Like the V7, the V8 uses sensor-shift image stabilization to help reduce … Read more
If you've ever used Picnik (review) before, you have an idea of how far online photo editing has come. Similarly, there's Fotoflexer, a user-friendly photo editor that offers one-click tweaks, along with some advanced tools on par with desktop class photo editing software. The service has been around since late last year, and is launching version two this morning.
Like several other online photo editors, Fotoflexer integrates major services like Flickr, MySpace, Picasa, and Facebook to pull your photos down for editing. Short of MySpace (which doesn't have an open API), you can send your edited photos back to all of them if you've plugged in your login credentials. Once you've found a photo you want to "flex," the app will jump you out to a full-screen editing canvas, where you have quick tabbed controls for all the usual editing goodies like rotation, a cropping tool and a resizer. You'll also find some fun distortion effects similar to the liquefy tool in Photoshop (as seen in the screenshot below). This is probably the most enjoyable of the bunch, since it processes the effect in real-time.
The real claim to fame however, is Fotoflexer's Smart Cutout and Recolor effects, which can help you cut out various pieces of a photo, or recolor them to match the tone of your choice. The cutout is the more useful of the two, and lets you cut people or objects out from a shot without having to trace their outline. If you've ever used Photoshop's magnetic lasso or masking tool, you'll know full well how tedious a process this can be. Instead, you use a small paintbrush to "tag" objects you'd like to keep or remove. One click later, and the app will do its best to single out those parts of the photo. If it makes slight mistakes, you can then go back in and remove or replace bits and pieces manually.
Once you've got a cutout, you can add it into another photo, or bring another shot in to the workspace. Fotoflexer lets you have as many layers as you want, and you can move them up and down, or merge them by simply right-clicking. Again, it's probably one of the few Web apps for photo editing that offers contextual menus.
Despite its beauty, there are a few snags here and there. For one thing, even in full screen, the editor remains the same size, which looks and feels very odd if you're using a wide screen monitor. The feature is being added as early as this week according to the Fotoflexer team, although in the meantime, if you're working with a landscape shot, things feel a bit cramped. There's also a lack of some of the advanced editing controls on the quick color effects. For example, clicking the "stamp" button will do its best to make your shot black and white shot with an excess of contrast, however there's no slider or option to tweak it. You either like it or you don't. Luckily, if you know what you're doing, you can achieve similar effects by using the advanced options to recreate each effect manually.
All in all, Fotoflexer is a really well put together app that could make a solid piece of standalone software. The fact that it's free and runs in your browser makes it even better.
For decades, tech companies have been trying to create a digital pen that appeals to the masses. But after years of effort, the world isn't exactly overrun with high-tech quills.
A new crop of companies, however, say it's too soon to write off the idea.
This week, Irvine, Calif.-based Iogear announced plans for a digital pen that can work with standard paper. Last month, educational computer maker LeapFrog introduced the FlyFusion, its second go at the digital pen. And later this year, Silicon Valley start-up LiveScribe plans to introduce a $200 device that can not only take … Read more
Pentax very quietly announced two new cameras late yesterday. The first, an 8MP model called the Optio Z10, marks new territory for Pentax with a sliding lens cover that moves sideways and, like the sliding covers on Sony cameras, turns the camera on and off. Sony often gets credit for the sliding lens cover design in digital cameras, but many compact film cameras incorporated sliding lens covers years before Sony started using them in its digital cameras.
While those film cameras often had mechanical issues due to their extending zoom lenses, this Pentax has an internally zooming refraction lens. The … Read more
The rumors have been fierce--and some of them have been true--yet now Nikon has made it official. Their new weather-sealed, top-of-the-line dSLR, the 12.2MP D3, will have a full frame CMOS image sensor, which Nikon has dubbed the FX format. Well...OK, it's almost a full-frame sensor. It measures 36mm by 23.9mm; just 0.1mm vertically shy (does that make it vertically challenged?) of the technical full-frame spec, but we'll let that slide. I know that any Nikon owners with DX lenses must be reeling right about now, so it pays to mention that the D3 … Read more