The latest from Canon – the Powershot N

canon logoThere are plenty of digital camera makers on the market, and several of them have solid, recommended devices, but Canon is arguably the leader in the space. At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the company showed off a new member of the family — the Powershot N.

The latest member of the Powershot family has some unique features. First, it is tiny. In fact, it takes the “pocket” concept to an entirely new level. Second there are no buttons — sort of. Shooting and zooming in built into the lens  Its hard to explain and you will really need to watch the video below to understand.

The Powershot N also features a capacitive screen, which also allows the user to snap a photo, much like  a smartphone does. It also features WiFi, a creative shot mode, 8x zoom and USB charging.

The Canon Powershot N will go on sale in April and retail for $300.

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Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine

Veho MUVI X-Lapse

The new generation of smartphones and digital SLRs make it very easy to take panoramic photos and time-lapse films that would be inconceivable at the price point a few years ago. But if you want to take the pictures to the next level without investing a fortune in accessories, you need to check out the Veho MUVI X-Lapse. It’s a camera mount that automatically rotates 360 degrees to take really good panoramic shots but it’s priced just under £30.

Muvi X-Lapse with Smartphone

The MUVI X-Lapse takes up to an hour to gradually rotate a full circle or it can be set to only rotate through part of the arc. Mounts for both smartphones and standard cameras (1/4-20) are included, and the X-Lapse itself can also be mounted on a tripod. Fold-out feet ensure a steady platform for heavier SLRs and video cameras

Veho Muvi X-LapseVeho Muvi X-Lapse

The X-Lapse doesn’t come with any app but there are plenty to choose from in the applicable app stores. If there’s a photographer in your life, I’m sure that they’d love one of these for Christmas. On sale from Veho for £29.95.

Astrononomy Photographer of the Year

The winning images from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012 were announced today and as you might expect, they’re absolutely stunning. Organised by the Royal Observatory in conjunction with the Sky at Night magazine and Flickr, every single one of the pictures is fantastic.

Nearly 700 pictures were submitted to Flickr for 2012 and you can see them all in the Flickr Group Pool for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year. There’s an endless supply of background images when you include the previous year’s entrants.

Milky Way Reflected in Tioga Lake

Photograph by Rick Whiteacre. Licensed under Creative Commons.

The BBC is showing off some of the photographs from the competition in a narrated presentation that’s well worth a watch as well.

The photographs are on show at the Royal Observatory through to 17 February 2013.

Breffo Spiderpodium Review

The Breffo Spiderpodium is an extremely flexible gadget holder that can be used in a multitude of situations. Arachnoid, it’s eight rubberised flexible legs attached to a grey base and it’s easy to bend the legs to grip, to hold or to simply stand. Take a look at some of the pictures – it’s much easier to show than explain.

Breffo Spiderpodium Naked

Twisted Breffo Spiderpodium

Breffo Spiderpodium with Tapwave Zodiac

Yes, that’s a Tapwave Zodiac playing Doom II in the Spiderpodium’s embrace. The eight legs give a great deal of flexiblity in the positioning and orientation of the device. Standing, hanging, upright, tilted, it’s all possible. There’s just the right amount of stiffness in the legs to keep the Spiderpodium in the right position without making too difficult to shape. There’s a bigger version for hold tablets and heavier devices too.

But I’ve a confession to make….I haven’t been using the Spiderpodium for my gadgets at all. I’ve been using it as a clothes hanger in my gym locker to stop my shirt and suit from getting creased. That’s how handy the Spiderpodium is.

Breffo Spiderpodium Coat Hook

A bargain at £14.95 or $19.99, available direct and in a range of colours. It’s also designed and manufactured in Britain, so support local innovation and industry.

Disclosure – I won the Spiderpodium in a contest organised by Breffo in Twitter.

RHP MirrorCase Goes For A KickStarter

RHP Multimedia MirrorCaseAt this year’s CES, Andy McCaskey and Courtney Wallin interviewed John Palmeri of RHP on their new MirrorCase, a special case for the iPhone 4/4S that lets photos be taken while the phone is horizontal, i.e. flat, rather than the more usual vertical orientation.

Depending on your point of view, it’s either a clever idea that stops the camera intruding on the moment or else it’s sneaky way of taking pics without other people realising. Regardless of reasons, it may be of interest to know that the MirrorCase is currently on Kickstarter.

If I read the funding levels correctly, at the moment $35 will get you pre-order of the MirrorCase (RRP $80) but there are only limited numbers of backers at that level. If you do miss out, you should be able to back at $40. Backers are also offered a discount on the iPhone 5 version, whenever that comes out!

There are another 28 days and $21,000-odd to go before the project is funded. Assuming this, delivery is expected in July.

BubbleScope Takes 360° Pictures and Video at The Gadget Show

The BubbleScope is an optical attachment for smartphones that takes 360° pictures and video called “Bubbles”. The BubblePix smartphone app is used to capture, view and share online the Bubbles, which can be hosted free at bubblepix.com. The pictures below gives you a feel of wraparound nature of a Bubble but when it’s in the BubblePix app, it joins up seamlessly. Here’s one in a fountain – the effect is amazing.

Gadget Show Bubble

Rollercoaster Bubble

Shaped a bit like a periscope, the BubbleScope attaches to the to the smartphone and uses the phone’s built-in camera to record the imagery. The optical part of the scope pops up and down to keep it clean and undamaged. Available initially for the iPhone 4 & 4S, it will be on sale this summer for £64.99. Versions compatible with other leading smartphones (Android) will be released shortly afterwards.

BubbleScoppe

In the interview at the Gadget Show Live, I talk with Tom Lawton, the inventor of BubbleScope about the device and how it took ten years to turn it from idea to product.

This is my favourite interview from the Gadget Show Live, so if you only listen to one of these, listen to this one.

Adobe Lightroom 4 Officially Released

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.

RHP Multimedia MirrorCase for Sneaky Snaps

RHP Multimedia MirrorCaseAfter years in surveillance industry, RHP Multimedia have gone out on their own with MirrorCase, an iPhone case for taking sneaky photos. Andy and Courtney take a peek with John Palmeri.

Taking a photograph with a smartphone (or any camera for that matter) is somewhat obvious and there are times when you’d like to be a little more discrete. The MirrorCase is an iPhone case with an angled mirror which allows a photo or video to be taken when the iPhone is held horizontally. A free camera app is included which has a “boss” mode, showing a fake app screen with a flick of the finger.

The MirrorCase is on pre-order at the moment for $80, with deliveries expected before the summer. An iPad version is in development.

Interview by Andy McCaskey and Courtney Wallin of SDR News and RV News Net.

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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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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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