August 2010

A Flip Ultra HD underwater? Yes, with an Ikelight housing and a PRO-V8 light
Flip has sold millions of their little vidcams, and the latest ones record 720P HD video. Add an Ikelite housing and light and you have a very handy underwater video setup that is very affordable and lets you shoot very good video without weighing you down. We tested the setup on dives at the California Channel Islands and on Roatan. [See review of the Flip Ultra HD with Ikelite housing and PRO-V8 LED light] -- Posted Wednesday, August 25, 2010 by chb

Nikon releases D3100 dSLR with 1080P video and full-time AF

Nikon announced a new entry-level dSLR that packs a punch (several, actually). Following on last year's D3000, the new D3100 is Nikon's first dSLR that can record 1080p HD video (albeit only at 24 fps and not full 30 fps), and it is also the first to offer full-time autofocus both in live view and during video capture. Making it all possible is a new 14.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and Nikon's EXPEED 2 image processing engine. There is a 3-inch LCD, an enhanced "Guide Mode" to help first-timers get the max out of the camera, a HDMI port, SDHC/SDXC card storage, and the F3100, including a NIKKOR 18-55mm lens, retails for US$699. [See Nikon product page]
-- Posted Thursday, August 19, 2010 by chb

Camera with projector: Nikon Coolpix S1100pj
And another technology demonstration that may or may not go mainstream: a camera with a built-in projector. Micro projectors have become quite useful and powerful, so why not integrate one into a camera? This is what Nikon did with its second generation integrated projector offering, the US$349 Coolpix S1100pj. It's a handy 14-megapixel camera with a 5X optical zoom, a 3-inch touch LCD, and the ability to record 720p video. The big deal though is the integrated 0.4-inch reflective LED projection panel with a 4:3 aspect ratio and a brightness up to 14 lumens, and able to project a 47-inch image from a distance of about 7 feet. The onboard battery can power the projector for about an hour. [See Nikon Coolpix S1100pj] -- Posted Tuesday, August 17, 2010 by chb

Fujifilm releases updated 3D camera
In the 1950s and 60s, kids and adults alike were dazzled by "View-Master" reels that showed things in glorious 3D. Now, in the age of James Cameron's "Avatar," 3D is making another strong push, with 3D movies, 3D TVs, 3D computer screens, and new 3D cameras. Fujifilm's just announced FinePix REAL 3D W3 digital camera is the latest example: it's a 10 megapixel camera with two CCDs that records still pictures and even 720p HD video in 3D. You can view pics and video on the camera's special 3.5-inch "autostereoscopic" LCD that directs a different image to each eye, or you can view it all in full glory on most 3D TVs via HDMI. The REAL 3D W3 is a smaller, sleeker update to Fuji's initial FinePix W3 and will cost about US$500. The big question is whether 3D is the way of things to come, or just another fad (who wants to always wear 3D glasses when watching TV?). -- Posted Tuesday, August 17, 2010 by chb

Emerging markets fuel Japan's camera industry
tradingmarkets.com reports a boost to Japanese camera makers due to strong sales in emerging markets (China, India, Russia, Brazil, etc.). As a result, Nikon has raised its full-year sales forecast to 17.75 million cameras, and Canon raised theirs to 26.5 million, a 17% increase compared to 2009. Panasonic, aided by aggressive sales incentives, also reported higher unit sales. Continuing price erosion, however, is making for fierce competition and declining profits. Olympus director Hironobu Kawamata is quoted as saying, "We're really struggling at the lower end of the price range for compact models." [see report] -- Posted Friday, August 6, 2010 by chb

Rugged HD vidcam with G-sensor and GPS contest!
Oregon Scientific has long been known for supercool, yet affordable electronic gadgets. They're doing it again with a rugged, all-terrain, waterproof (to 65 feet), shock-resistant HD video camera that can record 1080P video onto microSD cards up to 32GB. The Oregon Scientific ATC9K camera comes with numerous mounting options and can be attached to a helmet, handlebars, surfboard, snowboard, etc., can measure G-force during acceleration, deceleration and hang time, and there's even an optional GPS module to record location, speed and distance using Google Maps or Google Earth. You can even share video of your outdoor adventures on the ATC9Ks Facebook page for a chance to win a grand prize package worth $750! [See Oregon Scientific ATC9K camera Facebook contest] -- Posted Tuesday, August 3, 2010 by chb