The President honors the inventor of the digital camera, Nikon launches new pro service web site, Samsung unveils a roadmap, and Olympus quietly unveils a new Pen in Japan
Readers' Choice 2010: Voting is Underway!
Before we get onto the news of the week in review, a quick question: Have you voted yet for the top DSLR, MILC, Compact Camera and Photographic Accessory of 2010? The Adorama Learning Center Readers' Choice 2010 Award gives you a chance to tell us which products rock your world. You still have time. Voting is open through Tuesday, and the results will be announced a week from today!
Olympus Launches Pen PL1s and New Lenses...in Japan
We don't know if the Olympus E-PL1s, which was introduced in Japan this week, will come to the United States, but it's an intriguing update of the compact interchangeable-lens trailblazing camera line. It's mostly a cosmetic update with a few new design-y lines added, although it also offers high-speed, nearly silent focusing and a top ISO setting of 6400. The E-PL1s comes with a lighter kit lens, the new 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II M. Zuiko. The camera and lens combination weighs 25% less than its predecessor. Hey Olympus: That high-speed focusing would be most welcome on this side of the Pacific!
Digital Camera Inventor Meets The President
Another day, another presidential award is handed out. But this time, as long-time Kodak engineer Stephen Sasson was announced, the stacatto clatter of camera shutters in the East Room of the White House was unusually loud and prolonged. That was in honor of the fact that none of the cameras whirring away would have existed had Sasson not invented the digital camera in 1975. The photographers working the room held their fingers on their shutter releases and kept their motor drives going to the maximum in salute to Sasson, who received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama on Wednesday. Sasson's invention “revolutionized photography, as all these folks back here can testify,” quipped Obama, referring to the noisy photographers.
Here's a video where Stephen Sasson tells the inside story of how he, along with a few Kodak engineers, created the first digital camera, and how he shot the world's first digital photo, of another Kodak employee. He also has a few words of inspiration for would-be inventors:
Samsung announces NX i-Function lens roadmap
The Samsung NX100, announced at Photokina in September, promises a new approach to camera and lens design, thanks to a single button on the lens that can set shutter speed, focus, exposure or white balance, but at the moment there aren't that many lenses in the system. Samsung this week released a roadmap detailing which i-Function lenses are going to be introduced and when for 2011.
They will include a 60mm f/2.8 macro, a 16mm f/2.8 wide-angle pancake lens, and an 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 movie pro lens, all to be introduced in the first half of the year, and a 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Movie Home lens and an 85mm f/1.4 pro-level portrait lens scheduled to arrive in the second half of next year. Samsung also announced a firmware upgrade that lets NX10 users use i-Function lenses.
Speaking of the NX100, here's a video that the musical group OK Go made in partnership with Samsung using the NX100, and a few hundred slices of toast:
Hoodman introduces ruggedized SDHC card
Raw Steel. It sounds like the name of some heavy metal band but it is, in fact, a new waterproof/ruggedized steel-plated SDHC card from Hoodman. Hoodman is so confident in this Class 10 speed card that they give it a lifetime warrantee. Built with a reinforced internal housing that protects flash compnents from the elements, the Hoodman Raw Steel is being made in 4, 8, 16, and 32GB capacities. It should be available by the end of November.
Nikon boosts pro services with new web site
Nikon has just announced a web site for Nikon Professional Services (NPS), a membership organization through which Nikon supports and provides services to professional photographers worldwide. NPS has been around for a while, but now the NPS Global web site will provide members easier access to NPS services and support. Log on to find inks to regional NPS sites to find out about practical local information, local service facility list for photographers to visit when they face with equipment problems while they are on overseas assignment, and world-wide NPS service depot information. The site also offers helpful articles, product news, and software and firmware updates and can be accessed by professional and advanced amateur photographers who are not NPS members.
Tether Tools announces new JerkStopper
I hate to dash the hopes of pro photographers who think the JerkStopper will prevent their lest-liked art directors from breathing down their necks during a shoot, but this little gadget can save you other kinds of grief. Tether Tools' JerkStopper is a cable management device that prevents USB or power cables from accidentally being pulled out of your camer. This damage prevention tool supports USM, HDMI, power adapters and many other cables with a diameter of 3.5 to 8.5mm. It's available for $17-22.
Gorillamobile for iPhone 4
The camera built into the iPhone 4 is pretty good for a camera phone. Now it has support—the physical kind. Joby's Gorillamobile is a tabletop/flexible tripod that will hold an iPhone 4 so users can take advantage of its front-facing camera, camera flash, HD video, and retina display. There's a bumper case that stays on the phone—just snap the rig onto the Gorillamobile and you're ready to go. The flexible, wrappable legs let you attach your iPhone 4 to just about anything so you can get steadier stills and videos. CES has already given it a Design and Engineering 2011 Award. The Gorillamobile is the first in a promised lineup of iPhone 4 accessories from Joby.
New from Sony: Super 35mm Full HD Compact Camcorder
Sony has introduced the PMW-F3K Super 35mm Full-HD Compact Camcorder, which they say gives a “film look” and high image quality for filmmakers and broadcasters. It records 23.98p frame rate, has a PL mount for cine lenses, and a resolution and frame rate range of 30fps at 1080p to 60fps at 720p. There's a 3.5-inch LCD monitor and the camcorder is compatible with Sxs Pro and SxS-1A memory cards, with optional accomodation for MS or SD cards. Price is expected to be $20K for body only and $8000 more with three lenses.
...and finally, Diana Trinity trio of toy cameras unveiled
The Lomographic Society is at it again, releasing the Trinity, an all-plastic 35mm toy camera, in pink, white, or black. Each camera has a set of masks so you can shoot in square, half-frame, or full-frame. Here's the cool part: You can switch masks in mid-roll. Available for $70-$100, depending on color.