Kodak Returns to CES 2015 with Consumer Showcase

Kodak LogoAfter an absence of three years, Kodak is returning to CES in January 2015 with a range of innovative consumer products including action cams and baby monitors.

Building on a history of digital and video cameras, Kodak will be introducing a line of PixPro cameras, including the PixPro SP360 action cam which provides a 360-degree view. In addition, Kodak will be showing off a smartphone as well as line of headphones and earbuds.

Returning to its photographic roots, Kodak will be demonstrating the Kodak Picture Kiosk and My Kodak Moments app for making prints and other photo products from mobile devices.

Finally, Kodak will be bringing out the Kodak Baby Monitoring System CFH-BVA10, which has already earned a prestigious CES Innovation Award in advance of the show.

Kodak has one of the world’s most powerful brands and we intend to renew it and apply to it to expand our consumer business and grow the company,” said Steven Overman, President, Consumer & Film Division, and Chief Marketing Officer. “The world’s love affair with Kodak Moments has spanned more than a century. Building on that legacy, Kodak today presents a broad range of consumer products – reliable, accessible and easy-to-use.

Other Kodak products on show at CES include:

  • Flash drives and storage media.
  • Photo mailing labels, stickers and other paper imaging specialty items.
  • A full line of batteries and new line of chargers for smart phones and tablets.
  • Photo-related accessories and equipment, including binoculars, camera cases and memory card readers.

The Kodak booth is #21818 in South Hall 1.

DJI Multirotor Copters at The Gadget Show

Quadcopters and multi-rotor copters were very much in evidence at the Gadget Show, from the Parrot AR.Drone to tiny nano quadcopters. DJI had one of the most impressive ranges at the show, along with a flight demonstration area on the stand.

The newly launched Phantom 2 Vision+ is a quadcopter with a digital video camera payload and the capabilities are impressive. It can stream video from the camera to your smartphone while in flight using wi-fi, record 1080p HD video to a microSD card, hold position above the ground in winds up to 25 mph and fly for around 25 minutes. The batteries can easily be swapped, so a spare battery will get the quadcopter flying again immediately. The remote control unit lets you clip your smartphone to the handset so you easily see what the camera is recording while flying the aircraft. What you get for your money is incredible – an entry level model is GB£349 and the Vision+ is £915.

DJI Phantom

Four rotors not enough? DJI has six and eight rotor variants for professional users.

Six Rotor Copter

Eight Rotor Copter

Andy takes me through the features of the new Phantom 2 Vision+ at the Gadget Show. I want one!

Canon Legria Mini at The Gadget Show

I have to be honest, I was completely unaware of the Canon Legria Mini digital camcorder until I spotted it at The Gadget Show. Canon describe it as a “Digital Creative Camcorder” and it’s very much designed for bloggers, artists and the selfie generation who want to record themselves doing what they love. It’s different from a normal camcorder as the Legria Mini is designed to be setup and used by the subject of the recording: the 2.7″ flip-up touchscreen is clearly visible by those being recorded and the wide-angle lens captures more of what’s going on. There’s a flip down stand on the bottom as well to help get the Mini perfectly positioned.

Canon Legria Mini

Obviously the Mini can be used as a normal camcorder and specwise, it’s full HD at 25p 1920 x 1080. There’s streaming to smartphones and tablets via wi-fi, with a complementary remote control app on both iOS and Android. Still photos run to 12 megapixels (4000 x 3000)

There are two variants, the Mini and the Mini X. The latter is a “pro” version with CD-quality sound, AVCHD recording in addition to MP4 and SD cards instead of microSD.

Canon Legria Mini X Streaming

I’m sold and Eno gives me a demo at The Gadget Show. Available now on-line at around GB£200 for the Mini and GB£350 for the Mini X.

Lensbaby pushes new iPhone lens on Kickstarter

While point and shoot, as well as DSLR, cameras are just as popular as ever, it seems that many people take a majority of their images on a smartphone. It’s convenient, as it fits in a pocket and is always with us. With that in mind, many OEMs are producing better cameras for devices, most notably Nokia.

However, those who carry an iPhone now have a unique option. Lensbaby has posted a Kickstarter project that aims to provide an add-on lens for these handsets. “With the booming popularity of photo sharing and photo filter apps, mobile phone users are always looking for a new way to let their creativity shine.  Lensbaby’s Sweet Spot Lens for iPhones is a fun and easy tool to make photos pop on social media channels”, the company states.

The lens brings a unique feature to the photos taken — adding a sharp focus to the center, while blurring everything around that area. The lens will be compatible with iPhone 4s, 5, 5s, and 5c. Backers on Kickstarter can get in for as low as $1, but to get a lens, it will take a pledge of $40. The company is hoping to raise $20,000 and is closing in on the halfway point with 29 days remaining.

Garmin VIRB Action Camera

Garmin VIRBGarmin are well known for their satnavs and GPS-based devices but a new range of wearable action cameras were announced at this year’s CES. Todd chats to Maddy about the new cams.

Garmin’s VIRB range of action cameras are 1080p HD video cameras in a ruggedised and waterproof (IPX7) case, with a built-in 1.4″ display and around 3 hours of recording time. There’s full range of accessories and the VIRB camera comes with an industry mounts compatible adaptor so existing gear can be potentially re-used.

The basic VIRB is $299 and the VIRB Elite is $399. Available now.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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GeoNaute shows off 360-degree action camera

geonauteWe’re all familiar with the wearable cameras on the market today, most notably the GoPro. We even see them being using on TV to capture action during mountain bike and skiing events. But one thing none of those do is capture the entire 360-degrees around the wearer.

GeoNaute is changing that with its new 360-degree Camera Pack. The device contains three lenses place around it, so can capture action in all directions. The device automatically stitches these images together, so there is no need for post-production when you get home. The camera is set to retail for $499 and will be available in the coming months. You can pre-order now.

Interview by Jamie Davies of Health Tech Weekly and Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network

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Samsung Reveals New Cameras for CES

Ahead of Samsung’s CES event on Monday, the Korean company has announced two new cameras to get the show on the road, the NX30 and the Galaxy Camera 2.

Aimed at the prosumer, the NX30 compact system camera extends Samsung’s NX range, though my guess is that it will replace the current NX20 model. The heart of the camera is a 20.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and combined with Samsung’s NX AF System II, should provide fast and accurate auto-focussing. The shutter speed can be cranked up (down?) to 1/8000 sec and in continuous shooting mode takes 9 frames per second. NX30 has a 3″ Super AMOLED touch screen for a viewfinder which can swivel out and rotate so that it stays in view from difficult angles. Hopefully the AMOLED screen won’t wash out in bright sunlight.

There’s also Remote Viewfinder Pro function that lets the photographer control several functions of the NX30 from a smartphone, including zoom, shutter speed, aperture and taking the photograph. That’s neat and as you might expect in this day and age, the NX30 has advanced sharing capabilities and can transfer images using both wifi and NFC to smartphones and beyond.

Samsung NX30

The NX30 continues the evolution of our award-winning NX series of cameras, bringing with it new and improved features such as a better imaging processor and our advanced SMART Camera offering. Not only does this camera deliver the performance users demand, it is also easy-to-use so that moments are never missed,” said Myoung Sup Han, Executive VP and Head of the Imaging Business Team at Samsung Electronics. “The NX30 allows photographers to shoot with confidence, providing a seamless ability to capture moments and share them immediately, delivering exceptionally beautiful photographs while creating an unmatched photo-sharing experience.

The NX range also saw the introduction of a new premium S Lens, the 16-50 mm F2 – 2.8 S ED OIS and a zoom lens, the 16-50 mm F3.5-5.6 Power Zoom. Both have a focal length of 16 – 50 mm (equivalent to 24.6-77 mm in 35 mm format) but I’m not an expert in photography so I’ll point you in the direction of the press release if you want to know more.

Moving onto the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2, this is an update of the previous Android-powered Galaxy Camera. As you might expect, the focus (sorry) is on the ease of picture-taking followed by easy uploading and sharing of the photos. The camera itself has a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor with a 21x optical zoom and is paired with a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor and 2 GB of RAM. As with the NX30, the Galaxy Camera 2 has wifi and NFC transfer capabilities and 50 GB of cloud storage is provided via the pre-loaded Dropbox app.

For Instagram generation, the Camera 2 comes with Smart Mode, which lets photographers choose from 28 different pre-set modes all designed to address different shooting scenarios and for those unsure which mode they want to select, the Smart Mode Suggest analyses the scene at hand and then recommends the best Smart Mode for a perfect shot. New Smart Mode “Selfie Alarm” takes five consecutive, high resolution images so that narcissists hipsters can select their best view and share immediately on their favourite social media site.

 

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2

From the press shots, it looks like it will be available in both black and white finishes as per the current model. More info on the Galaxy Camera 2 in the press release.

“Consumers love the GALAXY Camera, and this next-generation version was designed to improve on the successful predecessor, with upgraded and new features that will enhance the photography experience,” said Myoung Sup Han, “The result is a more powerful and portable device which continues to embrace the public’s passion for the social features of smartphones, yet also provides superior image control and quality. We are dedicated to making it easier for more people to achieve great results and with the GALAXY Camera 2’s host of creative features, anyone can capture stand out images.

If you want to know more and you are at CES, you’ll find Samsung at booth #12004 in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Pricing was not announced but I imagine it will be inline with the current models.

Android meets tilt-shift with Miniature Preview Camera

You may or may not know the name “tilt-shift”, but if you have any interest at in photography then you’re likely familiar with it. Its n art form in and of itself and a rather complicated process to pull off using a real camera. Fortunately, with smartphones there are camera apps that take the place of those expensive devices and lenses — before you comment, yes, I know the quality is not in the same ballpark.

Recently an XDA Developers form member, OctoberApps, released his own camera app, designed to handle tilt-shift photos. Miniature Camera Preview is not the first to appear in the Google Play store, but early indications are showing it is by far the best.

In the words of the developer, “beautiful miniaturized photo also requires good photo composition and objects which matches up with tilt shift effect. So this app offers real time preview of tilt shift effect. You can capture the best miniaturized photo while you are watching result of effect. It also offers test for EDIT mode which makes you to add tilt shift effect to the image in gallery”. (NOTE: I have left the quote in his words.)

The app is free from the Google Play store and contains the ability to zoom, edit, set sharpness and decide on a focus area — the outside of that area receives a blur effect.

miniature camera preview

Sigma Lens and Cameras

Sigma Sigma the maker of quality lens for DSLR cameras announced a new global vision. They are dividing their new lens into three lines, art, sports and contemporary. Sigma hopes that this will make it easier for the buyer to decide which lens would be best for them. The newest art category camera is the 35mm F1.4 which is approximately $899 retail. In the Contemporary Line there is the 17–70mm lens with a macro mod of 1–2.8 and optical stabilization. The 17–70mm lens has a light and compact design. Making it easy to carry, the perfect go to lens for someone on the go. The newest lens in the Sports Line is the 120–300mm lens for $3599. This lens is to be released in March. It has a 100 percent weather seal, making it perfect for taking pictures of sports events in in-climate weather. The 120–300mm lens has a USB dock which allows you to update the firmware in the lens. You can adjust auto focus sped and adjust the auto focus at different focus length.

Sigma also makes digital camera. The Sigma digital camera have a Foveon X3 sensor chip which helps to create a high-resolution image. The Sigma digital cameras start at $999.00

Sigma camera and lens have a unique finish to them. Once you know the look you can spot a Sigma product anywhere. Their composite body makes them lighter and tougher then most lens. They also produce photos that have a specific look, they are known for their punchier images.

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

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GoPro Hero3 Black Edition

GoPro have announced the latest addition to their lineup of action cameras, the Hero3 Black Edition and it’s some camera. Capable of 4k video recording, albeit at 12 fps, and 60 fps at 1080p, this captures adrenalin-fuelled action in all its glory. Other features include burst modes, time-lapse, wi-fi video preview and a wi-fi controller.

GoPro Hero3

 

If you want to show off your extreme adventures, this is the camera to have. It’s pricey enough at $399 (£379) and there are lesser models at $299 (£279) and $199 (£179) for the silver and white variants respectively. As expected, there’s a range of accessories for attaching cameras to machines, helmets, bodies and other sporting equipment. The Black Edition will be out in November.

To show off the features of the Hero3, GoPro commissioned this film which was shot entirely with a Hero3. It’s stunning.

“Mermaids!” says my daughter.