Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks


Profoto’s ProDaylight 400 and ProDaylight 200 Announced

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 6:10 PM on April 16, 2012

profoto logoHow something is lit can make the difference between an ok photo or video and a great one, that is where Profoto comes in. Profoto is a leading manufacturer of professional photography lighting and Light Shaping tools. They announced at NAB (National Association of Broadcast Show) that they are releasing two new products the ProDaylight 200 Air and ProDaylight 400 Air. These are versions of the ProDaylight Air 800 which was released in 2011. The 200 and 400 are smaller and lighter, but still powerful and sturdy. A great thing about both of these devices is that they do not require a fan to keep them cool. If you have ever tried to shoot a video with sound you know how irritating the sound coming from a fan can be. They also can be controlled remotely by a controller that can sit in the palm of your hand.

Both the 200 and the 400 ProDaylight Air products are HMI lights which are ideal for most photo and video shoots. They are a continuous light source that compliments both photo and video shoots. Profoto is also introducing ballasts to work with these devices, the ProBallast 200 and ProBallast 400. Pro-ballast will automatically recognizes when a ProDaylight 200 Air or a ProDaylight 400 Air has been connected and will adjust itself accordingly. The ProBlast is multi-voltage and flicker free. If you are NAB you can see these and other Profoto products at booth #C8217. If you can’t make it to NAB you can see their products at their Web site.

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Instagram for Android Sign-up Now Available

Posted by Alan at 4:47 PM on March 24, 2012

Android Logo

Instagram, the popular iPhone app that allows users to share photos, is finally coming to Android as you may have heard.  Today they made it feel a little more official by setting up a web page to allow people to sign up for information on the long-awaited app.  Instagram showed off their forthcoming Android app at SXSW in Austin, Texas recently and it made quite a splash.

Unfortunately the sign-up page doesn’t give any real information about the new app, but only provides a place for those who can’t wait to enter their email address and receive notifications.  Still, it is another step closer to making this all a reality.  While we don’t know an official launch date, it’s likely that it will be within the next few weeks.  You can sign up at instagr.am/android.

Adobe Lightroom 4 Officially Released

Posted by Alan at 7:55 AM on March 6, 2012

Adobe announced today the official final version of Lightroom 4 is now available.  Lightroom is a popular photo editing tool that is used by many amateur and professional photographers alike.  Lightroom is part of Adobe’s Photoshop family, but is a cheaper and more dedicated version geared specifically towards working with digital photos.

Adobe claimed they had 300,000 users of the public beta version of Lightroom 4 and used all of that feedback to make changes before their final release.  Changes made since the Beta version include:

  • Reverse geocoding now available in the Map Module
  • Revamped and improved auto tone in Develop based on new controls
  • Increased range of local white balance controls (temperature and tint)
  • Updated Develop presets plus added new presets for video
  • Maximum Blurb book size is now 240 pages
  • Over 800 bugs found and fixed!

Lightroom 4 is available now for $149.  You can also download a free trial version if you want to check it out first.  You can buy it or download the trial from Adobe.

World Pride’s Spy Gadgets

Posted by Andrew at 9:10 AM on February 22, 2012

Bluetooth WatchWorld Pride is unlikely to be a name that you’ve heard of, but once you see a few of their gadgets in the video, you’ll recognise them from the gadget stores and catalogues. Jeffrey and Jamie chat with Jim.

The team at World Pride visit factories in Asia and try to spot cool gadgets that haven’t yet made it to market in the US. They then work closely with the factory to refine the product for US consumers. On show here are examples of gadgets that World Pride has already brought or will be bringing to the market.

One of the watches in the interview has a Bluetooth receiver and when someone rings your mobile phone, the watch will display the name or number of the person calling. As Jamie mentions, great if you are in a meeting and want to know if you should take a call.

Other gadgets include a pen and a watch with a video camera built-in and finally, there’s a miniature digital camera. It’s only about an inch wide but it looks like a tiny point-and-shoot camera while still taking 5 MP pictures and HD video.

Interview by Jeffrey “Austin” Powers of Geekazine and Jamie “007″ Davies of the MedicCast and the Nursing Show.

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Barber Tech SteddiePod

Posted by Andrew at 9:31 AM on February 21, 2012

BarberTech SteddiePodThis is the funniest CES interview I’ve seen (which isn’t saying much, to be honest). Jeffrey and Jamie get a hands-on demonstration of BarberTech‘s SteddiePod by Eddie Barber, which actually looks pretty handy, all joking aside.

The Barber Tech SteddiePod is billed as the “world’s most versatile camera support” and it’s a handheld camera stabiliser with extra features designed in, so it can be used as a tripod or with the boom extended to give overhead shots. The setup looks amazingly straightforward – there’s a good video on the Barber Tech website – and with just a few minutes easy work, the SteddiePod can be accurately balanced for a video camera.

The SteddiePod starts at $499 and is available from dealers nationwide. Barber Tech is “Emmy Award Winning” and has other products such as camera booms and teleprompters for the TV and film industry.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Jamie Davies of the MedicCast and the Nursing Show.

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Canon G1X Point and Shoot Camera

Posted by Alan at 9:10 AM on February 14, 2012

Canon is considered by many to be the premier camera maker in the world right now and they didn’t disappoint with their latest offering, the G1X, which they were showing off last month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  The G1X is the new flagship of the popular PowerShot line of cameras.

The Canon G1X boasts a very large 1.5 inch sensor, making it almost as good as an entry-level DSLR.  The large sensor allows for great low-light performance and the ability to give your photos that professional-looking “background blur”.  Other features include a 4x optical zoom, a rotating 3 inch LCD display, 1920 x 1080 video recording, 14-bit RAW shooting, and the ability to attach EOS accessories to the lens.  That last feature is perhaps the coolest part, because now amateurs can begin experimenting with upgrading their photos without making the DSLR investment.  Plus, those EOS accessories can be used later if you do decide to make the jump to a Canon DSLR.

You can expect about 250 shots out of the lithium-ion battery between charges and you can use any standard SD card.  The Canon G1X will be available later this month with a MSRP of $799.  Keep an eye on the Canon PowerShot site for it’s release.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

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Canon Vixia Camcorders

Posted by Andrew at 9:07 AM on February 14, 2012

Canon Vixia CamcordersThe Canon Vixia camcorders have been popular with consumers and Canon have upgraded the range with six new models. Jeffrey Powers has been a Vixia owner for some time and chats to Ben Thomas from Canon to learn more.

Some of the new models have built-in wi-fi allowing live streaming from the camera to iOS devices such as the iPad and iPhone. The footage can be captured by the free Movie Uploader app and, if desired, uploaded to Facebook and other video sharing websites.

There’s also new dynamic image stabilization technology that has four different stabilization modes that kick-in depending on the particular situation.

The Vixia camcorders normally record the AVCHD format but they can record direct to MP4 which is great for sharing on media players and mobile phones. The cameras take SDXC cards (up to 64GB) and have internal memory; the price determines exactly how much. Roughly, 32 GB will give 12 hours of 720p footage.

Prices start from $349 for R-series and $549 for the M-series.

Sorry we didn’t get to see Kellie Pickler. Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

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Keep Your Tablet Clear with the Lenspen SideKick

Posted by Andrew at 5:16 PM on January 28, 2012

Lenspen LogoLenspen have a long history of products in the photography market and they’ve brought their expertise of lens cleaning to the mobile gadget space. Their client list reads like a who’s who of the photography market with Nikon, Canon and Sony all producing OEM-branded version of Lenspen’s lens cleaning tools. Todd and Don chat with Peter from Lenspen to get an update on the latest products.

Last year, Lenspen introduced the first SideKick and since then the product line has been expanded with new colours and new packaging. The SideKick is a matchbox-sized sprung-loaded carbon pad that is wiped over the screen and completely removes fingerprints from tablet and smartphone screens. Using a carbon-based technology, the SideKick absorbs oils without any abrasion leaving a perfectly cleaning screen. It then closes up to keep all the carbon inside and one cartridge will do 300-400 cleanings before needing to be replaced. The SideKick is available online and in retail stores from $14.99 for a single SideKick. Other package combinations are available.

Lenspen also has specific cleaning products for LCD monitors and screens, such as the Laptop-Pro, that removes both dust and fingerprints.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Don Baine, the Gadget Professor for the TechPodcast Network.

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Pextor’s PlexEasy Burns Without The PC

Posted by Andrew at 1:48 PM on January 11, 2012

Plextor LogoToday at CES International, Plextor announced the PlexEasy, a standalone external 8x DVD and CD burner that will burn discs from SD cards and USB-connected devices without the need for a PC. It can connect directly to a wide variety of devices including both mass storage devices and Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) devices such cameras, smartphones, tablets, and camcorders. Photos can be burnt directly from digital cameras and smartphones, regardless of OS, without copying the pictures onto a PC first or fiddling about with a disc-burning software.

With the Plextor PlexEasy, it’s now a three-step process:
1. connect the device,
2. insert a DVD or CD and
3. press a button to burn a backup.

The PlexEasy’s compatibility with mass storage devices allows almost any storage device to be connected – MP3 players, flash drives, external hard disks and even tablets. The PlexEasy can also copy from an inserted SD-card to the mass storage device for quick backups. Of course, the device can be connected to a PC and it then offers all the features of a high-end DVD burner with support for all types of CDs and DVDs.

Pictures, pricing and availability to follow.

Samsung’s Smart Cameras

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 10:31 PM on January 9, 2012

DV300F There are more than 2.5 million digital photographers in the world and over one half of them share their photos online. Once upon a time in order to share your photos you would have connect your camera to your computer by a usb cable, download your photos from your camera to your computer. Finally after you did all that you could then upload them to your favorite sharing site. No more, now with Samsung Smart Cameras you can share to your favorite social sites or upload to your computer wirelessly using WiFi. You can also use Auto Backup to automatically transfers pictures to your home computer. By using customized back-up options you are ensured that you only share what you want. Smart Auto is also available giving you the right setting no matter the conditions, for the best results every time.

Samsung Smart Camera wireless line consist of five cameras and camcorders. At the low-end is the ST200F. The ST200F allows you to back up your computer by way of AutoSharing or the cloud using Samsung’s Allshare® or Microsoft’s SkyDrive®. The ST200F can take pictures up to 780/25p. It is beautiful and slim easy to slip into a pocket ready to use at anytime. If you want something with a little more power and love taking self portraits then the DV300F is for you. This is a 16 megapixel with a 5x lens camera. It has both a front and rear LCDs. The front LCD allows for great self portraits. Using the social sharing feature you can upload your photos directly to Youtube or Facebook. At the high-end of the line is the WB850F travel camera. It takes pictures up to 1080/30p and 1080i for scenery shots. It has GPS and Live Landmark installed, so you always know where you took that picture. It has a crystal clear 3.0 VGA AMOLED screen with Bsi CMOS sensor technology to reduce noise and distortion. It is great for travelogues who can upload their best travel photos directly to Facebook, Photobucket or Picasa.

WB850

The Samsung Smart Camera line is a camera for todays social world. As Mr Myoung Sup Han, Senior Vice President and Head of the Digital Imaging Business, Samsung Electronic said, “The ability to instantly share, securely save and automatically back-up images on the go make our newest line-up of SMART cameras must-haves for a whole range of photographers.”  If you are ready to move up from the camera on your phone, then your are ready for a Samsung Smart Camera. Samsung will be at CES 2012 showing off their products.