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disney-mickey-mouse-camera-updated
If you’ve been looking to buy your child a digital camera for Christmas or as a birthday present, or simply to get them started in the world of photography, then you’d be forgiven for thinking a kids digital camera would be a good idea. Here we’ll have a look at whats on offer, and offer some helpful advise along the way.

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With the new year almost upon us, we’re ready for the latest and greatest technology. Here are some cameras that you should keep your eye out for in 2012.

LYTRO Camera

Lytro Camera RedLytro is coming out with a handy, lightweight camera for shooting on the go. The micro-lens paired with a special sensor collects all the light from a landscape, allowing you to capture immaculate detail of the scene. All you have to do is press a button to capture the color. This camera goes for $399 for the 8 GB model, and $499 for the 16 GB. For more information have a look at the Lytro press release.

V.I.O. POV.HD Camera

V.I.O. POV.HD1This mounted camera has the fast shutter speed to capture an action-packed scene. With this gadget you can not only capture the landscape from your helmet, but you can use the handheld ability too. Flexible and rugged, this camera is going for about $600 a pop, and gives a 142 degree Field Of View. For more information have a look at the VIO website.

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Winter image
Scott Gilmour, arctic photographer and videographer, and PNY, a provider of quality products for everything in and around the computer, have come together to give advice to photographers, detailing how to shoot great video and photos in extreme cold.

1. Polar environments are very dry and extremely cold. Your equipment will become easily susceptible to any additional moisture in the atmosphere. This will cause problems if you retreat from the cold into a warm environment (e.g. a tent), breathe on your camera, or trap air in it with a filter or a lens cap.

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It’s with some surprise and sadness that I found a post on DCViews, which I thought was celebrating it’s 10 years of being on the web, but instead, it’s a notice explaining that they have decided to close the website, citing market saturation when it comes to digital photography. You can read their message here.

“Today, exactly ten years ago, we launched our DCViews website to support you in finding your way in the uncharted but wonderful world of digital photography. Not only the digital photography was in its infancy then, but the Internet was far from what we see today, in terms of user interface as well as performance.”

DCViews was one of the first dedicated digital photography / digital camera websites on the web, and has always been an invaluable resource when you wanted to find information of cameras, with an excellent database of both new and old cameras. It will surely be missed. We wish the owners all the best for the future.

Sony Cybershot W520
Every year cameras get smaller, cheaper, have bigger zooms, and bigger screens, less or in fact no optical zoom, smaller batteries, and worse battery life… take the:

Sony Cybershot W130, 8mp, 4x zoom, viewfinder, with 370 shot battery life, which begat the
Sony Cybershot W220, 12mp, 4x zoom, (no viewfinder), 370 shot battery life, which begat the
Sony Cybershot W320, 14mp, 4x zoom, with 240 shot battery life, which begat the
Sony Cybershot W520, 14mp, 5x zoom, with 220 shot battery life…

What can we expect next years model (the W620?) to feature? 200 shot battery life, or worse? But remember technology is supposed to be getting better? Right? Instead of selling us cameras based on actual improvements, such as improved battery life, or better image quality, most manufacturers are simply increasing the megapixel count, and optical zoom.

Although saying that, there’s always some exceptions, such as the Olympus XZ-1 which has an emphasis on improved image quality with brighter f/1.8 lens and larger 10 megapixel sensor (and other serious compacts such as the S95, LX5, etc), and the impressive 1000 shot battery life of the Casio Exilim H30 and last years H15.

focus-on-imaging-2011 Simon Whitcomb
Focus on Imaging 2011 is over for another year, until 2012, but that doesn’t mean the excitement is over, so we thought we’d post up links to some of the most exciting products and news from Focus on Imaging:

HOT: Sony Alpha A700 / A77 DSLR Transparent Prototype @ephotozine
HOT: Fujifilm FinePix X100 Hands-On @ephotozine
HOT: Magneflash Splash Flash System Prototype @ephotozine
Nikon’s new Focus Stand and Cameras @ephotozine
New Samyang lenses for all systems including Micro Four Thirds @ephotozine
JVC Falconbrid Hands-On GC-PX1 300fps video, 60fps 10mp photos @ephotozine
New Epson Stylus Photo R3000 A3 Photo Printer @ephotozine
Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR Hands-On @ephotozine
Sony Cybershot HX100v and others Hands-On @ephotozine
Casio Exilim ZR100 (30fps @10mp) Hands-On Preview @ephotozine
Kodak Easyshare Max Z990 Hands-On Preview @ephotozine
Pentax Optio S1 (in Chrome!) Hands-On Preview @ephotozine

Photo roundups from the show: ephotozine, PhotographyBlog, 10 photos at PhotoRadar. Video roundup of Focus @dpnow.com – you may even spot me! 😉 Video of the Fujifilm FinePix X100 @BJP, Art by Simon Whitcomb.

gloucestershire-university-photography-mac
Focus on Imaging started yesterday, the 6th of March, and is running till the 9th of March, at the NEC, Birmingham, UK. It’s the UKs biggest photography show and is open to both the public and trade, with not only a chance to see all the new products and play with them, but also the chance to buy some special offers from the various shops. Some of the deals on offer include the Canon Powershot S95 for £249, and one store is even offering the Fujifilm FinePix X100 for pre-order for £899 (a reduction of £100 off the original RRP).

For more information and photos from the show have a look at ePHOTOzine.

Polaroid GL10 GL30
Polaroid has announced the new Grey Label GL10, GL20, and GL30. The Polaroid GL30 is a new instant 12mp digital camera, with built in zink printer and swivel screen, although it appears to be in prototype stages as specifications, price and release dates are unknown. The Polaroid GL10 is a new bluetooth printer, available in May for $149, much like the original Polaroid Pogo Printer. Both the instant camera and printer prints 3 x 4″ photos. Engadget went hands-on, and there are more pictures at Crunchgear.

Polaroid Grey Label GL30

“Polaroid and its Creative Director, Lady Gaga today unveiled Polaroid Grey Label, an original line of products co-designed with Lady Gaga. This collaboration between two cultural icons reflects Polaroid’s long standing tradition of innovation tracing back to founder Dr. Edwin Land and Lady Gaga’s mission to deliver products that enable creativity for all, celebrate artistry and make sharing instantaneous across the physical and digital. The inaugural Polaroid Grey Label line is truly expressive of Lady Gaga’s artistic vision and includes the GL10 Instant Mobile Printer, GL30 Instant Digital Camera and the GL20 Camera Glasses, a unique new look at how to turn images into a fashion statement.”

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With the holiday season coming up, a number of digital cameras are now available on special offer, with upto £50 cashback available on some models, including pocket zooms, digital SLRs, and Micro Four Thirds cameras. We’ll keep this post updated with all the cashback offers available in the UK, the cheapest place to buy them, and details of when the offer expires! Have a look below, and make sure you check the latest prices when buying!

Nikon D3100 DSLRNikon cashback offers are available from the 1st of December 2010 until 31st January 2011. see Nikon for more information.

Nikon D3100 Digital SLRread reviews here – £40 cashback offer “Purchase a Nikon D3100 between 1st March 2011 and 4th May 2011 and claim £40 cashback. Claims must be received by 5th June 2011.”, £394 from Amazon UK, with VR kit lens, making the camera £354 after cashback.

Latest Cashback Offers:

Casio Exilim ZR100

Casio Exilim Cashback – upto £50 on Casio Exilim Digital cameras, including the Casio Exilim ZR100 shown above, until 31st of July 2011. More details here.

Canon Cashback – upto £40 on IXUS / EOS Digital Cameras. Until 1st June 2011.

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close-to-elephants

Ever been this close to a herd of elephants? Neither have I. The lens I rented for my trip to Africa makes them look a lot closer than they were!

I’ve rented for a few reasons.

First, I want to make sure the reviews I read about equipment match up to my expectations. Reviews like the ones here at DigiCamReview.com are priceless. I would never consider buying equipment before checking it’s reviews first. But there’s a lot to be said for having equipment in your hands. Does that giant zoom lens make you feel extra conspicuous? Does Image Stabilization (Vibration Reduction if you’re a Nikon) make that much of a difference? I bought my favorite Lens (Canon’s 100mm f/2.8 IS L Macro) because I rented it first to make sure it was perfect. And it was.

I’ve also rented specialty equipment. I went to Africa this year and I knew my 17-40mm and 18-135mm lenses wouldn’t be enough to get good shots of far away animals. After reading tons of reviews and suggestions I knew the best lens for the trip would be Canon’s 100-400mm zoom lens. It’s the perfect safari lens. But at home in California I do food/product photography and landscapes. That lens would be a $1600 hunk of metal and glass gathering dust in the closet. So I rented it for a month. I spent just $250 USD including shipping and insurance. Pretty sweet deal, huh?

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