Cyber-Shots Feature New Sensor Technology

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Sony has bolstered its range of Cyber-Shot cameras, introducing the DSC-TX1 and the DSC-WXI. Both cameras utilise newly-developed sensor technology, with 10.2 megapixel EXMOR R CMOS sensors designed to deliver clearer images without noise in low-light situations.

The new EXMOR R system uses a back-illumination method, removing diodes and circuitry from above the sensor. This allows the camera to deliver twice the light sensitivity of conventional models. Sony claims photographers are able achieve clear and noise-free results without a tripod of a flash using as little illumination as candlelight.

DSCWX1B1Along with an anti-motion blur function, both of the new models boast a ‘sweep panorama’ mode, which allows photographers to merely swing the camera across a landscape to create a panorama shot. Both shoot 720 HD video, and the 16.5mm thick TX1 also features a ...full story

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Light-Sensitive Camera Clothing Invented

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The future of photography might lie in fashion, with the invention of a cloth that can see. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a textile mesh constructed from light-sensitive fibres which can capture an image like a camera, but without a lens.

The research, led by Associate Professor Yoel Fink at the Department of Materials Sciences and Engineering at MIT, helped develop a fabric composed of fibres less than a millimetre thick which can detect two frequencies of light. The mesh was able to detect the image of a smiley face during testing, displaying the results on a computer screen.

The material also has the benefit of being distributed across a wide area, rather than a single localised point as with a lens, making it less susceptible to damage.

MIT suggested that ...full story

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dSLRs Drive Canon’s Growth

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Despite dire financial conditions worldwide, Canon Australia and New Zealand has continued to grow its business at an astounding rate, increasing first-half profits 47.5 per cent.

Canon hasn’t had it so easy on the global scale, with the company recently reporting a 29 per cent drop in sales and an 86 per cent fall in profit. Locally, however, photographers can’t seem to get enough, with the EOS dSLR camera range witnessing a 74.7 per cent increase in sales. Likewise, the Ixus and the Powershot range grew 32.4 per cent.

“These results show that Canon is leading the way in innovation, producing a product that is well embraced by the Australian market. This continued strength has seen our company maintain its number one position in market share for both our digital LR range as well as our digital still compact camera ...full story

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Nikon Releases Point-and-Shoot Projector

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It’s been a big week for Nikon – first they release two brand-spanking new dSLRs and then they invent an entirely new kind of camera! The Coolpix S1000pj has something no other compact can claim: a built in projector. Announced as part of Nikon’s new Coolpix range, the S1000pj is the world’s first camera that can project still and moving images, reportedly up to 40 inches in size.

The nifty little camera is apparently no slouch in taking pictures either, with a 12.1 megapixel sensor and an EXPEED image processor, ISO capabilities up to 6400, a 28mm Nikkor lens and a whole bevy of functions such as ‘skin softening,’ ‘smart portrait,’ and ‘best shot selector’ modes.

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Like a number of innovative camera releases of late, ...full story

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TPM Issue 189 – Winners

Fujifilm F200EXR – Competition

Winner: Neil Ingram, New Plymouth

Epson Stylus Photo Printer – Competition

Winner: Bruce Barton, Northland

Sandisk 2GB Memory Card – Competition

Winners: Rachael MacLennan, Karen Whittingham, Ian Mochan

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Canon Lightens Carbon Footprint

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In a spot of good news, Canon New Zealand have been taking action to reduce their environmental footprint and have managed to cut their carbon emissions by almost 23 per cent.

The New Zealand branch of the international camera company has been making efforts wherever it can to save fuel and energy, often opting to use video conferencing tools (which it manufactures) rather than travel. Overall, Canon has managed to reduce air flights by 35 per cent over 2007-2008 making a saving equivalent to 602 tonnes of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

It fleet of vehicles have also been upgraded to high-efficiency models, and individual energy use by employees has dropped 2.1 per cent.

After receiving an official carbon audit by Carbon Planet, Canon found it had reduced its emissions from both direct and ...full story

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Panasonic Lumix G1 – Review – 28

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Harley Ogier takes the Four Thirds G1 for a test spin and is impressed by its quality pictures

The Lumix G1 from Panasonic is a world first, offering interchangeable lenses in a camera with a purely electronic viewfinder: no mirror, no prism, just Live View taken to the extreme.

The camera uses the relatively new Micro Four Thirds standard for digital compact cameras that was revealed by Panasonic and Olympus last year.

The standard provides equivalent quality to a crop-sensor dSLR, only without the mirror and pentaprism ” the arrangement of reflectors that allows a single lens reflex camera to direct light from the lens to either the sensor or viewfinder as required. Removing these elements allows for much smaller designs but prohibits the optical viewfinder central to dSLR cameras.

The Lumix G1 is the first camera to use this standard and boasts a beautiful 1,440,000-dot electronic viewfinder so sharp that it’s hard to see a disadvantage over the optical viewfinder of a more traditional dSLR setup. The contrast and colours aren’t quite perfect, but they do ...full story