Canon Working on Fuel Cell Powered DSLRs

A patent application, filed by Canon, reveals technology that would effectively incorporate fuel cell technology in DSLRs and other small consumer electronic devices.  The United States Patent Application Publication Pub. No. 20080081236 can be found here.

As Canon points out it the patent claims, fuel cell technology is a bit of a tough cookie for small electronic devices due to uneven gas densities and variances in load currents, among other things.  For example, the mirror operation in a DSLR can cause sudden fluctuations in the load current, which is problematic for fuel cells.  However, Canon claims to have overcome this barrier in its fuel cell power system, “which is capable of counteracting the instantaneous fluctuation of a load current and [is] designed as a smaller lightweight system.”

The patent doesn’t reveal the what the fuel cell system will look like when integrated into a DSLR.  Maybe we’ll see some sort of battery grip integration in the first iteration, like in the MTI Micro image above.

On a (perhaps) related note, MTI Micro recently announced a partnership with an unnamed Japanese digital camera manufacturer to evaluate the use of fuel cells in digital cameras.  (See this report on Engadget for more.)  I’m just reading between the lines here, but maybe Canon is that “someone special” for MTI Micro.

Nikon’s New Viewfinder Does Double Duty

Nikon has blown photographers away this past year with the introduction of the critically acclaimed Nikon D3 and Nikon D300.  Rumors abound of several new Nikon DSLRs in the works, including a D90 (update to the D80), D10 (mid-range full-frame camera) and a 24 megapixel D3X (leaked in a recent D3 firmware update).  We should know by the time Photokina 2008 rolls around which of these new cameras will come to fruition.

The technological advancements found in the D3 and D300 have pushed Nikon to the forefront of the DSLR market.  According to recently published patent applications, Nikon may have something special up its sleeve for its next generation of DSLRs. [Read more...]

DSLR “Movie Mode” Patent

Mirror - SensorWith the pervasiveness of Live View modes from DSLR makers, it is only a matter of time before similar technology brings a “movie mode” to DSLRs.  While the ability to record video is a common feature among point & shoot cameras, technological challenges make the incorporation of a video recording more difficult in DSLRs.  A recently published patent application by inventor Hiroshi Terada may change all of this.  The patent addresses many of the technological hurdles that have prevented incorporation of a movie mode into DSLRs.

As we all know, DSLRs are designed for optimal performance in capturing still images – and DSLR manufacturers have truly raised the bar over the past couple of years.  Accordingly, DSLRs are specialist tools that have been optimized to have a very narrow focus tolerance and an ever-increasing auto-focus speed.  These features are not quite conducive to smooth video capture.  Additionally, the field-of-view changes, albeit slightly, during auto-focus operation.  Finally, fast and accurate hand-held auto-focus is dependent up accurate phase-difference AF evaluation, which requires a mirror to reflect the image to the AF sensor.

As you can see, getting live image to the image sensor and capturing smooth, in-focus video seems difficult to achieve without sacrificing some still image capture properties of DSLRs.  These obstacles, among others, are what Mr. Terada attempts to overcome in his patent application. [Read more...]

Canon’s Iris Registration Mode – Biological Copyright Metadata

Canon is using Iris watermarking to take photographer’s copyright protection to the next level.

. . . to provide an imaging apparatus that makes it possible to protect the copyright of photographic images by reliably acquiring biological information of a photographer . . .  – US Patent Application No. 2008/0025574

Stories like the recent discovery of Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir’s stolen Flickr images that surfaced on iStockphoto make all photographers cringe.  Many photographers go to great lengths to protect their images.  Past attempted solutions include watermarks on the front of images.  I can recall this practice from my childhood years with the Olan Mills studio gold embossing in the bottom corner.

More recently, in the digital age of photography, watermarking in Photoshop or other image editing software.  While visible watermarks are common among a variety of photographers, invisible watermarks (“electronic or digital watermarks“), which are embedded in the image file,  are somewhat less prevalent – but gaining ground and acceptance among photographers.  Companies like Digimarc are pressing the digital watermark cause to protect photographer’s and other author’s data.

Camera companies are pushing forward as well.  Stories like that of Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir help increase the desirability and demand for practical copyright solutions in modern digital photography. [Read more...]

Kodak’s New High-Resolution CMOS Image Sensor

Industry’s First 1.4 Micron, 5 Megapixel, High-ISO CMOS Sensor Combines Two New KODAK Technologies for Better Pictures from a Smaller Sensor

ROCHESTER, N.Y. –(Business Wire)– Feb. 4, 2008 Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:EK) is enabling a new level of performance in consumer imaging devices by redesigning the basic building blocks used to collect light and is incorporating that technology into a brand-new sensor. [Read more...]

Eye-Fi Now Supports iPhoto, Leopard and Safari

In case you haven’t heard of Eye-Fi, check out this post for a primer.

Macworld, SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 14, 2008 — Eye-Fi (www.eye.fi), makers of the world’s first wireless memory card for digital cameras, today announced new capabilities for Mac users, including wireless photo uploads directly into iPhoto and support for Safari and Leopard. This week, Eye-Fi will be demonstrating the Eye-Fi Card at booth number 1338 at the Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco.

The Eye-Fi Card allows users to wirelessly and automatically send photos directly from their digital camera to their Mac or favorite online photo sharing site using their home Wi-Fi network. The new downloadable Mac upgrade will enable iPhoto to automatically import photos uploaded wirelessly to the Mac, eliminating a manual process and saving iPhoto users time. In addition to iPhoto, Eye-Fi users can upload to any one of 19 leading online photo sharing, printing, social networking or blogging sites.

The Mac upgrade will also allow Mac users to use the Safari 3 browser to access the Web-based Eye-Fi Manager for managing card settings and upload preferences. And, it offers full Eye-Fi software and service compatibility with the new Leopard Mac OS X (10.5). The downloadable upgrade is free to current Eye-Fi Card users and will be included in new Eye-Fi Cards.

“With iPhoto, Apple has made saving and managing photos a cornerstone of the Mac experience, so adding new Mac capabilities is an important step for Eye-Fi,” said Ben Bajarin, analyst for Creative Strategies. “This new automatic import feature for iPhoto will save users time and hassle and deliver the seamless experience that Apple customers demand.”

“We know that Mac users especially cherish the kind of simplicity and effortlessness we strive for. We think this is one of the reasons the Eye-Fi Card has been so popular with Mac users,” said Jef Holove, CEO of Eye-Fi. “The Mac community is dear to us and the Mac upgrade will give Mac and iPhoto users the very best experience when saving and sharing their memories.”

The 2GB Eye-Fi wireless SD memory card for digital cameras recently won the Yahoo! Tech “Last Gadget Standing” competition at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Eye-Fi Card retails for $99.99 USD. For a complete list of Eye-Fi’s activities at Macworld and for more information, please visit www.eye.fi.

[tags]eye-fi, sd, mac, apple, support, iphoto[/tags]

RiDATA SMART Compact Flash Card

ridatalogo.jpgWe know PMA is coming, but we’re seeing a little fallout from CES with product announcements like the RiDATA SMART (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) CF card, which helps prevent major data loss. If you want to try out the RiDATA Pro 150x 2GB, you can get it on the cheap right now.

[Read more...]

28 Great Adobe Lightroom Resources

If you’re an Adobe Lightroom user (or a wannabe), you’ll want to take a look at these books and links:

Links

Free 30 Day Trial – try out LR on Adobe

Adobe Design Center – tons of info from Adobe on how to use LR effectively

Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts – a simple, but handy chart

Lightroom Journal – blog by Adobe LR crew

Lightroom News – gobs of essential info, updated regularly

Lightroom Killer Tips – one sweet LR blog from “the Photoshop guys”

Photo Presets with One-Click WOW! – Over 80 free presets for LR designed by Photoshop Hall-of-Famer Jack Davis w/ tutorial video

Inside Lightroom – best known for its awesome collection of LR develop presets

Official Lightroom User Guide (.pdf) – the manual

Lightroom Getting Started Guide (.pdf) – again, from Adobe

RawWorkflow.com – instructional videos from Michael Tapes

Layers Magazine – several workflow tutorials, including some nice vids

Getting Photos to Your iPhone – a handy post for iPhoners from O’Reilly

Keyword Tagging – tutorial on Peachpit on keyword tagging in LR

Project Photoshop Lightroom – several great tutorials on using LR

Tethered Shooting – another Peachpit article on tethered shooting in LR

Peachpit Lightroom Resource Center – the best of the rest from Peachpit

Update:

Matt over at Lightroom Killer Tips has aptly noted that I missed Sean McCormack’s Lightroom Blog. Fixed. That makes 29, but what the heck.

If I’ve missed anything else, please leave it in the comments and it’ll go here.

Books

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers by Martin Evening

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips by Matt Kloskowski

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for Digital Photographers Only by Rob Sheppard

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Workflow: The Digital Photographer’s Guide by Tim Grey

Digital Photographer’s Guide to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom by John Beardsworth

Photoshop Lightroom Adventure: Mastering Adobe’s next-generation tool for digital photographers by Mikkel Aaland

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.1 for the Professional Photographer by David Huss and David Plotkin

Managing Your Photographic Workflow with Photoshop Lightroom by Uwe Steinmueller and Jergin Guelbins

Adobe Lightroom Photographers’ Guide by John G. Blair

The Digital Photographer’s Notebook: A Pro’s Guide to Adobe Photoshop CS3, Lightroom and Bridge by Kevin Ames

[tags]lightroom, resources, books[/tags]