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]