The Gadgets Page

January 21, 2010

CES 2010: Polaroid Looks at Its Past

Filed under: Cameras,Retro Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Polaroid did an excellent job of playing off its rich photographic past in its booth at CES this year.

They had a display honoring the great Dr. Edwin Land, inventor of polarization.

CES 2010 Polaroid Looks at Its Past from The Gadgets Page

They showed some artwork made with Polaroids.

CES 2010 Polaroid Looks at Its Past from The Gadgets Page

They even brought some favorite retro gadgets out of the Polaroid Museum for some nostalgic appeal.

CES 2010 Polaroid Looks at Its Past from The Gadgets Page

You can see all the photos here:

January 20, 2010

CES 2010: Polaroid PoGo Instant Camera

Filed under: Cameras — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

It’s amazing how ingrained certain habits can be in all of us. Take the action of shaking a Polaroid picture. I saw my parents do it. I did it. Outkast even wrote a song about it. Sadly, Polaroid and their iconic film were destined to be relegated to a footnote in our gadget history when they stopped making the film.

CES 2010: Polaroid PoGo Instant Camera

Fortunately, they came out with the Poloroid PoGo Instant Camera to replace it. They actually showcased the PoGo camera last year at CES, but this year, they had them out and available for people to play with.

CES 2010: Polaroid PoGo Instant Camera

They come equipped with ink on the paper, so all you have to do is load the paper and start clicking. They even come with cute frames for your photos. Here is the Polaroid of Mike and I that they took of us at the show.

CES 2010: Polaroid PoGo Instant Camera

With a little more centering, it would have been perfect. You can do that sort of editing on the camera, so when you know it’s ready, then you print.

The photos are substantially smaller than the Polaroids of yesteryear (2″ X 3″), but they are a good enough size for sharing with friends.

Here is a video from last year’s CES showing how the PoGo works.

In the end, you get a cute little photograph and with the new technology, no shaking is required. Outkast will be so disappointed…

December 31, 2009

OWLE iPhone Camera Accessory

Filed under: Cameras — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I was pretty excited about the OWLE iPhone Camera Accessory when I first saw it. It is a case that your iPhone fits into that gives you a boom microphone and an adapter for 37mm lenses. It comes with a standard and macro lens.


Here is video showcasing it:

Think Geek has it for sale for $129 right now:

I have to admit that I am feeling the limitations of the iPhone camera and sometimes I miss my Panasonic Lumix. The problem with the OWLE is that it’s just as bulky as carrying around a “real” camera. If I have to carry around some bulky thing, I might as well just carry around my Lumix. It has a wide angle Carl Zeiss lens and optical image stabilization.

The iPhone camera is the best camera available, which means that it’s the camera that I have when I’m not planning on filming or taking photos. Unfortunately, the current iPhone camera will never be good enough for serious photographers and videographers. No amount of added lenses and mounts will change that.

Sorry, OWLE, you’re cool, but if I have to carry around something that bulky, I’m going to be packing some REAL heat.

Via: OWLE Adds a Boom Mic and Wide Angle Lens to your iPhone |

December 30, 2009

How To Get Your Lost Camera Back

Filed under: Cameras — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

The brilliant Andrew McDonald has provided this Pictorial Guide to avoiding Camera Loss!

‘How can I prevent Camera Loss?’ I hear you ask, wishing I’d get to the point. Well, you can’t prevent cameras from getting lost, but you can do something so your camera can be found very soon after it has vanished.

All you have to do is take some photos – which you never delete from your camera – so when someone finds your camera at the bottom of the gorilla pit they are able to locate you and return the lost property to its rightful owner.

To illustrate, he included the photos that he keeps on his personal camera:

How To Get Your Lost Camera Back

After reading through the photos and laughing with him, I would definitely try to contact him to return his camera.

I need to go take a picture of myself in the bathtub now…

Via: * Your daily gif blog *: How To Avoid Camera Loss

December 24, 2009

Kodak Pocket Camera I and IA Instruction Manual

Filed under: Cameras,Retro Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

While shopping at a used bookstore, I found this little instruction manual for a Kodak Pocket Camera.

Kodak Pocket Camera I and IA Instruction Manual

It is for a hundred year old camera, but some of the advice is good even today. I love their simple definitions for things like Depth of Focus and f-Stops. This photograph showing the proper way to hold the camera is wonderful!

Kodak Pocket Camera I and IA Instruction Manual

These old Kodak cameras had a feature that I wish modern day cameras had. It was called the Autographic Feature and allowed you to document notes about the photograph when you took it.

Kodak Pocket Camera I and IA Instruction Manual

The advice on how to take photographs is still good even today. I love this description of why it’s important to keep your lens clean. All of us need to remember this simple tip when we pull our camera phones out of our lint infested pockets for a quick shot.

Kodak Pocket Camera I and IA Instruction Manual

If you own a camera like this, then this instruction manual might be helpful. You can see the whole manual here:

If you don’t own a camera like this, it’s sure fun to see how far photography has progressed in the last century and how the definition of “pocket” has changed over the years.

December 16, 2009

3D Camera: Old Concept, New App

Filed under: Cameras — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

When I saw this advertisement for Revere 33 Stereo Camera, I wanted one:

Revere 33 Stereo Camera

It reads:

So lifelike you feel like you’re right there with 3 dimension pictures!

It’s a camera and viewer that takes 3D photos and then lets you see them in a viewer similar to a Viewmaster. Some of them are still around today.

Wollensak Revere 33 by cso237 from Flickr

3D Camera iTunes LinkFortunately, if you own an iPhone, you can do this with an inexpensive app called 3D Camera [iTunes Link].

The way it works, you aim the camera straight ahead and take a left picture. Then you move the camera a little to the right to take the right picture. The 3D Camera software merges the images for you, creating a stereogram, color anaglyph or wigglegram. Here is a screenshot of the directions:

3D Camera on the iPhone by LauraMoncur from Flickr

It’s easiest to do these 3D photos on inanimate objects like this tiny lava lamp and snow globe. Since I have 3D glasses lying around from my Toy Story Mania! game, it’s easy for me to see the 3D object using the color anaglyph.

3D Camera on the iPhone by LauraMoncur from Flickr

If you’re able to see stereograms, then this option is the best for you because you can see the image without color distortion from the 3D glasses. Note: view this stereogram by crossing your eyes.

3D Camera on the iPhone by LauraMoncur from Flickr

It’s a lot more difficult to get humans or animals with the 3D Camera, however. If they move, even a little bit, it will screw up the photo. Since Maggie was being stone still, I was able to get a pretty good 3D picture of her here.

3D Camera on the iPhone by LauraMoncur from Flickr

If you look at the stereogram, however, you’ll notice that in one photo her eyes are more open than in the other, which creates a weird effect in the 3D photo. Note: view this stereogram by crossing your eyes.

3D Camera on the iPhone by LauraMoncur from Flickr

The Wigglegram makes that weirdness looks like she’s blinking.

Wigglegram of Maggie

Ansel Adams took MANY stereogram photographs over the course of his career. I wonder if he had to do it like this or if he had a camera like the Revere 33. I absolutely LOVE 3D Camera. It makes me feel a little bit like Ansel Adams. I originally bought the 3D Camera app when it first came out and they have since made taking the photos MUCH easier. It’s a great application for the iPhone and almost as good as the Revere 33 Stereo Camera!

Ad via: vintage_ads: Revere 33 Stereo Camera

October 29, 2009

Show Your Best Side, Not Your Beast Side

Filed under: Cameras — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Samsung has created this funny and enjoyable tutorial on how to take a great self-portrait.

Perfect for this holiday, try clicking on each of the portraits for a fun how-to video on showing your best side instead of your beast side.

Samsung 12MP Dig Camera 5X Opt 3 In LCD Red at Amazon.comMy biggest problem with taking photos of myself and my friends (or fellow zombies), is that I can’t see myself in the viewscreen. The cameras Samsung is promoting with these funny videos, the ST 550 and the TL 225, have viewscreens on the FRONT of the cameras in addition to the large ones on the backs. If you are constantly taking photos of yourself, then this camera might be a good option for you, but most of the time, I am willing to take the photo a few times and check it to make sure that it worked and try again.

October 15, 2009

Sony Betamovie Camcorder

Filed under: Cameras — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Here is an old advertisement for the world’s first camcorder, the Sony Betamovie.

Betamovie BMC-100p by LauraMoncur from Flickr

It reads:

Betamovie BMC-100P – Exciting Betamovie

Here comes Betamovie, the revolutionary one-piece video camera with built-in recording capability. With no awkward, bulky size or cumbersome weight, the compact, take-me-anywhere Betamovie goes wherever you go Just pop in any Beta-format videotape and you’re instantly ready to shoot for up to 3 hours and 35 minutes (with a Sony L-830 cassette tape).

Sony’s state-of-the-art Betamovie. The terrific way to get more out of home video movie making.

Compared to the technology of its day, this camcorder WAS compact, but right now, I have a video camera on my cell phone that can record video at a higher rate for longer. This ad was made in the 1980’s. If someone had come up to me in the early Eighties and said that I could carry around a better video camera in my POCKET than our high school TV station had, I would have been so excited for the future.

August 14, 2009

Eye-Fi: Making an Old Camera New Again

Filed under: Cameras — Matthew Strebe @ 1:47 pm

I have a Sony DSC-F828 digital camera that I’ve been quite happy with. It’s a full-frame camera with a large, attached lens that was Sony’s premier camera before they acquired Konica-Minolta’s camera business. It’s not an SLR, but it’s fine for my needs, and with its 8MP imager it’s still quite a good camera. It takes Memory Stick (MS) and CardFlash (CF) mediate types.

But I know that modern cameras have useful features like Wi-Fi connectivity that allows you to automatically upload photos to your computer and to online sharing sites such as Facebook or Flickr. I’ve also gotten quite enamored of the Geo-tagging feature that my iPhone supports for photos. So I’ve been very tempted to update to a new camera for quite some time, even though I’ve been happy with my old Sony and I’ve got quite a few accessories for it. It would be expensive to replace, to say the least.

As I was browsing the isles at Fry’s Electronics, I saw an SD to CF adapter and a plan instantly gelled in my mind: If I could fit an SD card into my Sony, then I could use the Eye-Fi WiFi SD camera card to automatically upload and Geo-tag my photos. So I bought both the CF to SDHC card adapter ($20) and the Eye-Fi Explore 4GB ($100).

CF to SDHC Adapter and the EyeFi Explore

The Eye-Fi is a standard SD flash memory card made specifically for cameras that includes integrated WiFi and GPS. Basically, you set the card up using your computer to associate with your Wireless router, and then put the card in your camera. When you take pictures with the camera, the photos are uploaded automatically either to your computer or to Eye-Fi’s servers on the Internet. Eye-Fi’s servers, the photos can be transmitted back to your PC whenever it’s on, and also to online photo sharing websites.

The setup was a piece of cake—you just plug the Eye-Fi card into a USB slot, run the software contained on the card that shows up, answer a few questions and create an account, and then plug the card into your camera and take a picture. The software opens a website that walks you through the process completely, all the way through to receiving your first photo. It was really amazingly easy to setup.

The Eye-Fi also worked perfectly fine in the generic $20 SD to CF adapter I’d bought. My Sony camera recognized it with no issues even though it doesn’t normally take SD cards.

I’m really quite pleased with the Eye-Fi. For about $120, I saved the $1000 it would cost to replace a camera that I’m otherwise completely happy with. With a CF Adapter, the range of cameras that can utilize this amazing little card is dramatically increased. Before you spend the money on upgrading, consider this alternative and save yourself a bundle.

July 13, 2009

Did He Drop His iPhone Into A Swimming Pool?

Filed under: Cameras,PDAs and Phones — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

This video from KhenaKara on YouTube caused a bit of a sensation. He appears to be taking a video with his iPhone 3GS when he accidentally drops it into a swimming pool.

His comments were:

Was trying video on my new iPhone 3G S at the pool and dropped it in the pool. Don’t know if it’s waterproof, but it still works fine. I had a few people comment on seeing a strap in the video. I have a rubber cover and had put a strap through the earpiece hole to avoid just this type of thing. I didn’t have it on my wrist at the time, but believe me, I will from now on!!!! Maybe the rubber cover helped with it not getting damaged.

You can see the wrist strap he was talking about at the 43 second mark. Here is a screen shot of it:

Did He Drop His iPhone Into A Swimming Pool?

The problems with this video is that it wasn’t uploaded directly from the iPhone, so it was played with in iMovie a bit. I import ALL the video I take into iMovie so I can add headlines and other information, so this is very common. Additionally, the strap is something that is rarely included on an iPhone case. Here is KhenaKara’s video showing the case and strap he was using:

It looks like a typical rubber case with a camera strap added to it. I have a Sanyo Xacti E1 that can easily be dropped in the water and survive because it’s made to do that. It’s impossible to tell if he took this video with a waterproof camera and said it was his iPhone, or if he actually dropped his phone in the pool and lived to tell the tale.

What do you think?

Via: Don’t try this at home

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