Sony Cyber-Shot HX50V Announced; Comes With 20.4 MP Camera, 30x Optical Zoom

Sony recently announced the new Cyber-shot HX50V camera in the US. It features an impressive 30x optical zoom range and advanced 20.4 megapixel Exmor R CMOS image sensor. This device allows you to capture more than 400 photos on a single charge, thanks to the powerful X-type lithium ion battery. The Sony Cyber-shot HX50V is touted to be the world’s smallest and lightest camera with 30x optical zoom capability.

Patrick Huang, director of the Cyber-shot digital camera at Sony Electronics, said,
“Despite the emergence of smart phone cameras in today’s market, the HX50V model gives photographers plenty of reason to invest in a dedicated pocket camera. Its wide-ranging 30x optical zoom gives users more freedom to pick their shooting subject and position, and its extensive, advanced imaging capabilities give shooters the peace of mind that image quality will never be compromised.”

sony_cybershot_hx50

The Sony Cyber-shot HX50V offers enhanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization which reduces camera shake and blur at all ranges. It packs a powerful BIONZ processor which allows the camera to produce high-resolution as well as high-quality images in all types of lighting conditions. This camera is also compatible with TRILUMINOUS Color technology, which is currently available on Sony’s Bravia TVs.

Apart from that, the Cyber-shot HX50V camera features built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, which allows you to wirelessly transfer photos and videos to your smartphones or tablets using the Sony’s Play Memories mobile application. Currently, this app is available for devices running on the Android and iOS platforms. The Sony Cyber-shot HX50V compact digital camera will go on sale from next month for $450.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Review

We have reviewed a number of smartphones, tablets, music players and other gadgets at Techie Buzz. Now, for the first time, we are going to review a digital camera at your favorite blog. Panasonic recently sent us its flagship super-zoom digital camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200. After playing with the device for a couple of weeks, it completely changed my perception regarding bridge cameras. The Lumix FZ200 is the successor of the last year’s Lumix FZ150. The Lumix FZ200 is the first super-zoom camera which packs a 12.1 megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor with 24x zoom and maintains a fixed aperture f/2.8 lens starting from 25mm to 600mm.

Apart from that, the FZ200 comes with a 3 inch rotating LCD display, 0.2 inch electronic viewfinder (EVF) with 1.31 million dot equivalent resolution, full HD (1080p) video recording at 60fps, manaual shooting mode, Panorama shot mode, iA (Intelligent Auto) mode, Creative Control mode, 12fps continuous shooting without autofocus and 5.5fps with autofocus, 3D still images, RAW format support and much more. It captures the same amount of light throughout the zoom range and take amazing pictures even in low light and with higher ISO settings.

Specifications:

What’s In The Box?

  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 camera
  • Battery Pack (DMW-BLC12)
  • Battery Charger
  • USB Cable
  • Lens Hood
  • Lens Cap
  • Lens Cap String
  • Shoulder strap
  • CD-ROM
  • Basic Manual

Samsung Unveils Wi-Fi Enabled MV900F Point-and-Shoot Camera

Samsung has unveiled a new addition to its family of growing range of point-and-shoot SMART cameras with the launch of Wi-Fi enabled Samsung MV900F MultiView. The latest addition is the successor the Samsung MV800, and has complete social networking integration along with a splendid 3.3-inch flexible AMOLED 180-degree flip-out touchscreen display.

The Samsung MV900F sports a massive 16.3MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor, including a spectacular 5x optical lens, which is a 25-125mm, F2.5-6.3 zoom lens. The point-and-shoot camera has the capability to record Full HD 1080p video, and using a Wi-Fi connection, you can easily share videos with your friend by streaming it directly to Facebook, YouTube, or Flickr.

Samsung MV900F Wi-Fi Camera Launched

One great thing about the MV900F is the gesture support, which allows you to control the camera remotely. Yes, Samsung has added this amazing “Gesture Shot” feature, which lets you control the camera functionalities by simply moving your arms. The camera’s f/2.5 lens and the 5x optical zoom can be controlled by moving your hands in a circular motion to zoom in or out.

Yet another notable gesture feature is that you can take self-portraits without having to set the time. That is, you no more have to set the timer and run back to the group to take self-portraits. You can achieve this task by moving your hands up and down to capture the photo.

Samsung has also added some great shooting filters and scene modes, including the ability to add a background to a photo within the camera itself. The BSI CMOS sensor is designed to deliver good image quality in all lighting conditions. Enabling the Low Light Shot mode will automatically select the best settings while taking a picture in low light conditions.

Samsung MV900F Colors

Complete Specifications of the Samsung MV900F

  • 16.3 effective Megapixel BSI CMOS sensor
  • F2.5-6.3, 5X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 25 – 125 mm
  • Optical image stabilization
  • 3.3-inch AMOLED display with 614k pixels
  • Display can flip upward 180 degrees for self-portraits
  • “Gesture Shot” feature to control camera remotely with hand gestures
  • Point-and-shoot operation, with scene-selecting Smart Auto mode
  • Built-in Wi-Fi lets you control the camera from an Android smartphone, or send photos to social networking sites, e-mail recipients, or your computer on any open network
  • Plenty of special effects, including panorama and HDR modes
  • Records Full HD video at 1080/30p with monaural sound
  • Supports Micro SD/SDHC/SDXC cards
  • Uses BP-88B lithium-ion battery; no battery life available

The MV900F is going to be available in white, pink, black, and red. It will go on sale by the end of August for $349.99

 

Canon Launches the EOS 60Da

Yesterday, April 3rd 2012, Canon announced their latest DSLR, the EOS 60Da which is a camera designed especially for astrophotography. If you’re curious, astrophotography is the photographing of stars. This is the first upgrade to Canon’s astrophotography lineup since the release of the EOS 20Da, which featured an 8.2-megapixel sensor.

Canon EOS 60Da

The Canon 60Da is essentially the same camera as the original 60D using the same 18-megapixel APS-c sensor. The only major change that has been made to the sensor is that it has been finely tuned for extra-sensitivity to the hydrogen-alpha wavelength by using a modified infrared sensor.

The 60Da also brings an improved version of Canon’s ClearView screen by jamming 1-million dots into the same 3-inch screen. Canon has also stated that they will be including an output cable to monitor the 60Da’s live view on a TV. This will be extremely helpful when your camera is tethered to a telescope. Unfortunately, the 60Da will not include a t-ring adapter for attachment to a telescope so you will have to buy this separately.

If you want to pick up the 60Da for yourself, it’ll run you $1499 for the body, $500 more than the standard 60D. Kit pricing and availability have not yet been announced. The 60Da will only be available at select Canon authorized resellers.

Polaroid Announces 16 MP Android Cameraphone with Optical Zoom

In a somewhat surprising move, Polaroid has announced a new Android powered camera phone – the Polaroid SC1630. The SC1630 will feature a whopping 16 MP camera with 3x optical zoom and 5x digital zoom. On paper at least, it will boast of the most competent camera to grace an Android smartphone. According to Engadget, the shutter speed maxes out at 1/1400 second, aperture is between F3.1 – F5.6, and ISO can be dialed up to 3200.

Polaroid-Android-Camera-Phone-Optical-Zoom

The phone itself runs an unknown version of Android, powered by an unknown processor. However, we do know that it will have an 800 x 400 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen, 512 MB internal storage, upto 32 GB expandable memory (microSD), and 512 MB RAM. All the standard features such as accelerometer, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS are present, in addition to some additional options like FM. The handset supports 850/1900/2100MHz WCDMA and 850/900/1800/1900 GSM.

Unfortunately, the heavy duty camera has its own disadvantages. Polaroid SC1630 is rather bulky and heavy with maximum thickness being 18.5 mm. In fact, Polaroid even had to opt for a smaller battery (1020 mAh) due to space constraints. This might turn out to be a major area of concern as Android is known to be a battery hungry operating system.

The SC1630 is expected to retail in April for a very reasonable price tag of $299. However, Polaroid once again had to compromise on multiple aspects, including build quality and design, in order to achieve this. The SC1630 has too many unknown factors and shortcomings for us to recommend it as a smartphone. Hopefully, Polaroid has done a damn good job with the camera, as otherwise this Android device is going to sink without a trace.

5 Reasons to Upgrade/Buy a DSLR

Your point and shoot camera may not come handy when it comes to shooting professional quality photographs, since it may be lacking few features that you require to explore your creativity. To enhance the level of customization and enrich the quality of your photographs, you require a good DSLR camera.

Initially, DSLR cameras were not as popular as conventional SLR cameras, but today, DSLRs have taken a huge step in photography. Most professional photographers prefer using DSLRs, and recommend them to amateurs. However, if you are a beginner, you should start shooting with a point and shoot while exploring its various features. Once you have learned all its features, you can make a choice to go for either a DSLR or a semi-DSLR camera.

Here are 5 Reasons to why you need to upgrade to a DSLR:

#1. Speed – Fast and Continuous Shooting

DSLRs are conveniently faster when it comes to capturing photos. If you are using a point and shoot camera, it is quite frustrating to wait for the camera to process the image after you have clicked the shutter button. Well, DSLRs react faster when it comes to processing of photos. With a DSLR camera, there is virtually no delay between the time that you click the shutter button and the image takes to process.

Speed - Fast and Continuous Shooting - DSLRImage Credits: Prashant

DSLRs have faster power-up time, the capability of focusing quickly, faster shutter speed, negligent shutter lag and higher processing ability.

#2. Image Quality and Superior Sensors

DSLR cameras have large image sensors, and it is one of the main reasons why one should consider upgrading to a DSLR. Sensors are made up of photodiodes which are also called as pixels. A photodiode is a type of photo detector that is capable of converting light into photons, which are then translated to a brighter image to enhance the quality of the image.

Image sensors allow you to capture photos with larger pixel sizes that produce higher quality images. A larger sensor allows a larger number of photodiodes, and the higher the number of photodiodes, the better the quality of the image.

FYI: Image sensor used in a point and shoot camera is 25 times smaller than the ones used in DSLRs, and that is why they produce a low/medium quality photos.

#3. Multiple Lens Usability

One of the biggest reasons to upgrade to a DSLR camera is that it provides you with a wide range of shooting styles. Unlike point and shoot cameras that have a fixed optical zoom, DSLRs can be fitted with a variety of interchangeable quality lenses depending on what you are photographing.

For instance, if you were shooting landscape photographs, you would be using a wide-angle lens. But if you suddenly have to shoot a macro shot, then you can easily change to a macro lens without any difficulties.

Canon Lenses

DSLRs are not just compatible with lenses. They can also be fitted with things like special effect filters, remote flashes, lens hoods, flash diffusers, lens extenders and strobe lights.

#4. Manual Controls

DSLRs offer manual settings for more control over your image. The manual mode allows you to control aperture, shutter speed and ISO speed. Here’s an example of the Canon 60D’s manual settings –

Manual SettingsImage Credits: Daniel Straus

As you can see, you have the option to set shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, exposure compensation, metering, resolution and focus points. Being able to manually control all of these things lets you get really specific and precise with your images.

FYI: Although point and shoot cameras also come with manual settings, DSLRs offer more precise settings.

#5. Shooting in RAW

Point and shoot cameras process and compress your photographs as JPEGs. However, DSLRs provide you an option to shoot in RAW (NEF in Nikon). RAW image files contain minimally processed data from the image sensor – the output from each of the original red, green and blue pixels. In simple words, RAW image files are straight out of the sensor.

The diagram below will help you understand the difference between RAW and JPEG –

JPEG Processing

However, there are a few drawbacks of RAW images. Capturing photos in RAW will slow down your camera. Try shooting RAW images without leaving the shutter button. You camera appears to slog, but if you try the same without RAW, it will effortlessly capture the photos. Also, RAW files are extremely large in size which will hog up your memory card. On an average, a RAW file comes up to 18MB in size.

Useful articles that you might be interested in reading –

How-To View and Edit RAW Photos in Windows Live Photo Gallery

Microsoft has released Microsoft Camera Codec Pack that enables the viewing of a variety of device-specific file formats. The codec pack allows you to import, organize, and edit RAW files without using third-party plugins or applications.

A RAW file is the uncompressed output from each of the original pixels on the camera’s image sensors. RAW files have higher image quality than JPEG files and have more image information. Microsoft Camera Codec Pack lets you view RAW files from over 120 digital SLR devices in Windows Live Photo Gallery as well as in Windows Explorer. The files can also be viewed in other applications that are based on Windows Imaging Codecs (WIC). This pack is available in both the x86 and x64 versions for Windows Vista Service Pack 2 and Windows 7.

Once the codec pack is installed, you can edit copies of your RAW images in Windows Live Photo Gallery. Within Photo Gallery, make a JPEG or JPEG-XR (or HD-photo) copy of the original photo, and then apply different editing effects available. You can even use the RAW files to stitch panoramas using Photo Gallery.

The Microsoft Camera Codec Pack provides support for the following device formats:

  • Canon: EOS 1000D (EOS Kiss F in Japan and the EOS Rebel XS in North America), EOS 10D, EOS 1D Mk2, EOS 1D Mk3, EOS 1D Mk4, EOS 1D Mk2 N, EOS 1Ds Mk2, EOS 1Ds Mk3, EOS 20D, EOS 300D (the Kiss Digital in Japan and the Digital Rebel in North America) , EOS 30D, EOS 350D (the Canon EOS Kiss Digital N in Japan and EOS Digital Rebel XT in North America), EOS 400D (the Kiss Digital X in Japan and the Digital Rebel XTi in North America), EOS 40D, EOS 450D (EOS Kiss X2 in Japan and the EOS Rebel XSi in North America), EOS 500D (EOS Kiss X3 in Japan and the EOS Rebel T1i in North America), EOS 550D (EOS Kiss X4 in Japan, and as the EOS Rebel T2i in North America), EOS 50D, EOS 5D, EOS 5D Mk2, EOS 7D, EOS D30, EOS D60, G2, G3, G5, G6, G9, G10, G11, Pro1, S90
  • Nikon: D100, D1H, D200, D2H, D2Hs, D2X, D2Xs, D3, D3s, D300, D3000, D300s, D3X, D40, D40x, D50, D5000, D60, D70, D700, D70s, D80, D90, P6000
  • Sony: A100, A200, A230, A300, A330, A350, A380, A700, A850, A900, DSC-R1
  • Olympus: C7070, C8080, E1, E10, E20, E3, E30, E300, E330, E400, E410, E420, E450, E500, E510, E520, E620, EP1
  • Pentax (PEF formats only): K100D, K100D Super, K10D, K110D, K200D, K20D, K7, K-x, *ist D, *ist DL, *ist DS
  • Leica: Digilux 3, D-LUX4, M8, M9
  • Minolta: DiMage A1, DiMage A2, Maxxum 7D (Dynax 7D in Europe, α-7 Digital in Japan)
  • Epson: RD1
  • Panasonic: G1, GH1, GF1, LX3

Nokia N9 Camera Photo Samples – They Rock

There has never been a doubt in my mind that Nokia makes phones with great cameras. They had this ability since quite early when they fitted the Nokia N95 with a 5MP camera with Carl Zeiss lens. Even had a beast of a 12MP camera which was simply awesome.

Nokia N9 Images

The newly launched which runs on sports a 8MP auto focus camera with Carl Zeiss optics. Compared to the Nokia N8, this is an inferior camera but it does take some beautiful pictures.

The Nokia Conversations blog recently shared some images taken with the Nokia N9’s camera and posted the images. Most of them are brilliant and look stunning. The images have not been altered from their original form. Here are some of the image samples taken from the camera.

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What do you think? You can view the entire gallery on the Nokia Conversations blog.

Easily Compare The Latest Cameras With Snapsort

Buying a new camera is like deciding on a single chocolate when you have a bag full of one from every brand. Just like cocoa, sugar, taste, almonds spoil you for choice, so does ISO, shutter speed, aperture, lenses, megapixels and other camera jargon. Snapsort helps you sort your snapping equipment. It helps you compare different models and gives recommendations on what camera you should buy.

Snapsort is build in such a way, that it functions as a rating site as well as a guide. Every camera is given a score, depending on what camera you compare it with. You can browse cameras by type (say, point and shoots, DSLRs, ultra zooms etc.), features, brands and various other parameters. Based on scores, there are also lists of  popular brands, top digicams, top super zooms, top entry-level DSLRs and so on. Another great feature provided by Snapsort is Just tell me!where you enter a price, say like $300 on a point and shoot, and it lists out cameras under that range, neatly categorized into different utilities, like Best compact for under $300and Best travel under $300

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Snapsort is certainly a site you should keep in mind if you’re on the hunt for a new camera, a new camera that you’re gonna like.

Is it the Information Highway to Hell?

agent-ico As many of you know, the Internet is sometimes called the Information Superhighway. What most of you have not heard, is that the destination of this superhighway may not be what you had hoped. Where is it leading us?

What do you consider as threats to our privacy today?

• Cookie tracking
• Shopping data
• Search data
• Personal info from registrations
• Business info from credit agencies
• Medical data
• Government data
• Comments, Forums, Social sites
• GPS location tracking
• Cameras in Streets and Stoplights
• Cameras in Stores
• Cameras in Public Areas
• Nanny Cameras
• Home Security Cameras
• Satellite tracking cameras
• and more …

redlight-camera satellite

Doesn’t it make sense that someday, these will all be linked into the net and someone or something will be tracking your every movement? Who’s going to be watching? Governments are the obvious answer. For an example of this idea, watch “Enemy of the State“.

Another group to consider is the hacker community. They’ve discovered the profit in stealing your personal data.

If the governments and the hackers aren’t enough for you, let’s add more for you to worry about.

Your personal information is already a valuable commodity to businesses wanting to sell you products. What’s going to happen as those companies get access to ever more increasing amounts of data about you, where you are and what you are doing? Stephen Saunders at InformationWeek thinks the Internet will become:

… a sophisticated targeting system for companies to sell “stuff” to consumers, for governments to keep track of citizens, and for law enforcement to track illicit activity. In commercial terms, it will be an Internet where the user becomes the used.

I think Stephen may not be paranoid enough. After all, many are predicting the introduction of true machine intelligence by 2025. What could super-intelligent computers could do with all that information about us? I’m not afraid that Skynet will nuke us, but how long can we retain any illusion of freedom when our machines know everything about us and they’re smarter than we are? Watch the movie Eagle Eyefor a hint.

Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, expressed the same concerns ten years ago, in his post “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us“. I remember his question:

Can we doubt that knowledge has become a weapon we wield against ourselves?

Now you might understand why I’m a little paranoid about the future. I think we’ll have a choice to become “one with the machine”, like the Borg, or become useless slaves to our technology. The governments, corporations and hackers will be the least of our worries. Welcome to the machine.