Sony’s new Cameras with the OLED Viewfinder


Todd talks with Al Dean from Sony about the SLT A77V and A65 Cameras and their incredible OLED Viewfinder.

When Todd walked up to it an looked into the viewfinder he said a few words that were not fit for video. But, he regained his composure and did the interview.

The A65 and A77 cameras use a translucent mirror which means that the mirror does not have to move out of the way to make a shot. The A65 will shoot 10 frames per second (double what normal mirror viewfinder cameras can do) and the A77 can shoot 12 frames per second. Also, when shooting video, the mirror stays in place so the viewfinder works unlike most other DSLR type cameras.

The A65 goes for $1000 with lens kit and the A77 goes for $1300 for the body only and $1999 with the lens kit. They are available in limited quantities now with general availability later this year.

For more information go to Sony.com

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Keep Your Tablet Clear with the Lenspen SideKick

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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GoPano Turns iPhone Camera into 360° Camera

GoPano

GoPano

By now, we’ve seen a lot of lenses that you can attach to your iPhone to make them take better pictures. But this lens from GoPano does something different: It makes some great 360° pictures and video without hassle.

Simply attach the iPhone case, then attach the GoPano mount. Start your camera (or video) and you are recording in panoramic view. When you are done, upload it to the GoPano website and you can pan the video to see what’s happening around you. Attach a microphone to your iPhone and people can get a new experience from your videos.

GoPano starts at $79.95 and is for the iPhone 4 and 4s. They also have a lens attachment for other cameras if you want to get higher quality photos or video. You can then use the Video Warp software to process and publish video.

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Lethal Protection Life-Phorm Pro Gadget Positioning Device

Lethal Protection LogoLethal Protection is the name of the company but it’s not a clue as to the product. It’s not a bullet-proof vest, it’s not ferocious guard dog but what is it? Todd finds out what it is from Melissa of Lethal Protection.

Winner of a CES Innovation Award, it’s called the Life-Phorm Pro and it’s an one-size-fits-all gadget positioning device. Only it’s weird…very weird…but in a cool way. Think GorillaPod but scary and it’s not just for cameras – tablets and smartphones fit on just as well.

Life-Phorm Pro with DSLR

The flexible six legs allow myriad standing, gripping and hanging positions, all the while keeping your gear off the floor. The Pro version is made from aluminum and carbon fiber, weighing in at only 8oz.

Lethal Protection is setting up manufacturing and production of the Life-Phorm Pro and it’s expected to ship in April of this year. The Pro version will run $149 and the basic version will be $69.

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

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Toddy Smart Cloth

Toddy Gear LogoSince the finger became the input device of choice, I’ve spent more time polishing my smartphone and tablet than I care to admit. I usually use whatever is handy but I know that this isn’t always a good idea – cotton can be more abrasive than you think and there’s nothing worse than a grain of sand caught in the weave. Toddy Gear have the solution to this problem with microfibre smart-cloths designed to keep your gadgets smudge free without liquids and in dozens of brilliant patterns. And they are brilliant patterns.

Toddy Cloths

They’re also reasonably priced with most single cloths at $10 and there’s currently a “3-for-2″ offer on in the on-line store. Toddy Cloths available from Best Buy and Target retail stores. Regrettably, it doesn’t look like the Toddy Cloth is currently available in the UK, otherwise I’d be popping out to get one.

Our Todd will be chatting with their Todd at next month’s CES in Las Vegas. Watch this space.

Panasonic Expands 3D Camera Line with Lumix FZ150, HDC-Z10000

Panasonic 3D cameras

Panasonic 3D cameras

Last Friday, Panasonic introduced the LUMIX FZ150 Digital camera. It is part of their 3D camera line as a digital point-and-shoot. With a 24x Optical zoom and 25mm Ultra Wide-Amgle Leica lens, the 12.1 megapixel MOS sensor camera can also shoot HD video (1920 x 1080 60p).

“Panasonic continues to strive to meet the photography demands of its consumers by providing unique features and advanced technology in all our LUMIX digital cameras,” said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company.

Panasonic Lumix FZ150

Panasonic Lumix FZ150

Their adding to the line of Pro handheld cameras, too. A prototype of a future Lumix  camera (yet to be named) was displayed at IFA 2011. The video camera can shoot in 2D and 3D, and has two – 4x optical zoom lenses. Video is recorded in the AVCHD format.

Panasonic also announced their HDC-Z10000 camera, another 2D/3D camcorder with low-light and macro shooting ability. You will be able to record close in low light, thanks to the f/1.5 lens and focus as close at 17.8 inches. The Z10000 has a 10x zoom for 3D and 12x for 2D. It contains a dual 3MOS sensor  (each with 6.57 MP resolution).

New Sony DSLR SLT-A77, A65, NEX-7 Makes my Mouth Drool

Sony SLT A77

Sony SLT A77

Sony announced some new DSLR cameras today. All three working at 24.3MP and using the APS-C format. Announced as the SLT-A77, SLT-A65 and NEX-7, these new DSLR cameras will contain fixed translucent mirrors, full manual focus and exposure override.

The SLT-A77 is made of a magnesium-alloy that is touted as weatherproof. It can capture in JPG and RAW formats (12 frames a second) – as well as HD AVCHD video in 60p/60i/24p – up to 29 minutes per video.

Other features of the SLT-A77 include 19-point /11 cross AF system, ISO sensitivity, built in GPS for geo-tagging and dual memory card slots for larger photo shoots.

The Sony Alpha A65 also has the 24.2 MP APS-C imaging sensor and shoots at 10 fps. It has a 15 point AF system and three cross sensors. The NEX-7 also has a 24.2 MP APS-C sensor and 921,000-dot tiltable LCD (with 2.3 million dot OLED viewfinder) screen. It has a slimmer case (more like a point-and-shoot with replaceable lenses).

All three will be sold at B&H only at launch.  The SLT-A77 starts at $1,399.99. The A65 is at $899.99 and the NEX-7 is at $1,199.

Microsoft Rep Takes a Dig at Apple Fanboy

Microsoft made some big announcements today at the E3 gaming show, most surrounding the Xbox, but a few involved Xbox Live in Windows Phone. However the bigger, or at least more interesting, Windows Phone news came from Microsoft Vice President of Windows Phone Joe Belfiore, via his Twitter account.

Today an Apple fan got excited about the fact the volume up button can be used to take a picture.  Mr. Belfiore responded, good-naturedly, that Windows Phone can do a good bit more.  It was a rare bit of humor from Redmond, which tends to stick to the policy of ignoring Apple completely (while sometimes borrowing an idea).

Perhaps the Windows Phone team has some reasons to be happy.  After all, they are definitely on the rise, while Apple may be running a bit low on new ideas as they have slipped behind Android and are looking over their shoulder at Windows Phone.  Today’s announcements didn’t break any new ground, but seemed more like playing catch-up.

Make no mistake though, Apple can never be counted out and may have something huge brewing that hasn’t yet made it into the rumor mill.  But, at least for one day, it seems Microsoft may have a leg up.

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D-Link Wireless Day/Night Home Network Camera

I have been using a D-Link Wireless day and night home network camera DSC-932L for the past month or so. This is a great camera when you want to keep an eye on the house, talk with kids, let grandma login and chat with just a web browser.

I set my camera up in my studio and used it quit a bit when I was on travel. My wife was having trouble with her iPad and I could not understand what she was talking about so I told her to go to the office and hold the iPad up in front of the camera. I logged into the D-Link website “mylink” and saw what she was talking about and walked her through the issue. But where I think this camera could really be worth it’s weight in gold is you can have one of these in a living room, or baby bedroom and you can monitor the baby sitter or just monitor the baby in bed.

I was able to access the camera via my iPhone/iPad and they also have a Android app as well. If your in front of your computer you can get to it via your private security enabled login.

Setting the camera up took about 10 minutes and it is connected via wifi to my wireless router. The camera as a night mode as well. I will say the night mode of the camera is not as good as the night mode on my home security systems.  You can find this camera at all the major retail outlets as well as online from $99,00 to $139.00 the model number is DCS-932L.

So if your looking to get a camera that you can access via the web, iPhone, iPad, Android powered with D-Link mydlink service I think you will be pleased with this camera.

Cisco Discontinues Flip – What Are They Thinking?

flip camera

flip camera

Today, Cisco decided to nix the Flip line altogether. They fired 550 employees and stopped production of the popular video camera, just months after they introduced the highly anticipated Flip UltraHD with a dock for attachments.

Although I was completely floored when I heard this news, I wasn’t too surprised. Cisco is not really in the video capture area. It doesn’t fit their business model.

So why did they buy it for $590 million?

Why the Flip was Flopped

We are making key, targeted moves as we align operations in support of our network-centric platform strategy. As we move forward, our consumer efforts will focus on how we help our enterprise and service provider customers optimise and expand their offerings for consumers, and help ensure the network’s ability to deliver on those offerings.

-John Chambers, CEO Cisco

Cisco was loosing big (18 percent in Q2 alone), so a re-org was necessary. Cisco will be making some major changes, like this one.

Why not Sell Flip?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to sell Flip to Kodak or Sony? Maybe even Apple, HTC, RIM or Motorola? I am not sure if they held any patents. In fact, there was an issue where the flip was under an infringement issue against Advanced Video Technologies.

Flip is Old, Smartphone Replaces

One thing to think about, with the introduction of the iPad2, you can record and edit video right on your tablet. An iPhone also has that ability. The newest iPhone should improve the front and rear cameras – not to mention the accelerometer can help with stabilization of HD video.

Blue Mic Mikey for Flip on Hold

Talked with Blue Mic today about their attachment for Flip – the Mikey (which you can get for iPod nano). They mentioned the Mikey is officially on hold until they can figure out what is happening.

It’s still sad to see a consumer device that is pretty popular get sidelined. Maybe it’s only inevitable since smartphones (as well as Digital SLR cameras) are getting better in video recording and come with programs to edit and publish.

There are still times where I would want a camera over a smartphone. There are also times I would want a $130 camera over a $700 DSLR. I wouldn’t take my smartphone or DSLR underwater.

If you are looking for a movie camera, you can still get a Kodak Playtouch, Sony Bloggie or Sanyo Xacti .