Epson Prepping For Release Of New EVF Panels


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Epson is set to release it’s white knight product associated with optical viewfinders. EVF technology has been a barrier for using non-mirror interchangeable lens systems. Epson is really banking on this new technology which they are hoping will continue to grow in 2010.

Here’s the official press release of the HTPS Panel:

– TOKYO, Japan, October 14, 2009 –

Seiko Epson Corporation (“Epson”, TSE:6724) today announced that it has begun volume production of a new high-temperature polysilicon (HTPS) TFT color panel for electronic viewfinders. Measuring just 0.47 of an inch (1.2 cm) diagonally, the new panels offer SVGA (800 x RGB x 600) resolution in red, green and blue for a total of 1.44 megapixels.
The new panels are targeted at camera manufacturers for use as electronic viewfinders in mid- to high-end digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras.

Competition in the digital camera market has reached a fever pitch. Companies are launching new products with higher resolutions and more features at even lower prices. In recent years, more and more consumers have been switching from compact cameras to SLR units in pursuit of better performance and image quality, driving the need for smaller and thinner DSLR cameras with video and other features.
Epson’s new panels meet this need and open a whole world of possibilities for DSLR cameras.

Until now, no electronic viewfinder has been able to offer the resolution and fidelity needed to replace optical viewfinders and to focus the image. Epson’s new panel, developed using HTPS technology, not only makes this possible but also uses an analog driver to recreate smooth gradations and a natural softness. This panel will allow camera manufacturers to eliminate the mirrors and pentaprisms needed for optical viewfinders, enabling much smaller and thinner camera bodies and letting users capture the image they see. In addition, the use of a color filter prevents the color breakup that tends to occur with other color systems when shooting fast-moving subjects and while panning.

Epson has long developed HTPS panels to meet the high-definition, high-resolution needs of its market-leading projector business. Using technology developed for projectors, Epson created this new product to meet the needs of the digital camera market.

This panel is the first in Epson’s new “ULTIMICRON” series of compact, high-resolution HTPS panels that display full color on a single screen for electronic viewfinders and other compact displays. Epson will continue to offer new solutions for the growing DSLR camera market by expanding its lineup with higher resolutions, better image quality, and smaller sizes.

MK802 III: mk802 iii
RC11 Air Mouse: RC11
MK808: mk808b

Features of the new panel

* Compact
o Small 0.47-inch diagonal screen enables compact, thin cameras
* High resolution
o High pixel density with SVGA resolution (800 x RGB x 600, 1.44 megapixels)
* Color filter
o Not affected by color breakup that occurs with fast-moving subjects and panning shots when using a field-sequential color system

Advantages when used in a DSLR camera

* High resolution enables easy focusing
* Can capture images as they are seen
* Viable alternative to optical viewfinder
o Avoids the blackout of optical viewfinders when shooting video
o Enables smaller cameras by eliminating need for mirrors and pentaprisms
o Eliminates mechanical time lag caused by mirror


Benro Tripods Coming to the US


There’s a chance that you’ve heard of a company called Benro and their quality tripods that they’re renowned for. If you haven’t heard of them don’t feel too bad, up until now they’ve only released their product in China. However, their product is now coming to the US by way of MAC Group.

Jeff Karp, Benro Product Marketing Manager states the reasoning for adding Benro to their lineup, “The high quality, innovative designs and exceptional value make Benro the perfect choice for demanding photographers on a budget.”

Benro has been clamored over because of their capabilities to design tripods that are of high quality and affordability. They are able to do this using different materials than other tripod manufacturers. They combine the stability of carbon fiber, with the financial feasibility of aluminum to craft a solid product that won’t put a huge dent in your wallet.

Along with price and quality, functionality is a reason to give Benro a try. Their tripods are easy to carry, and allow for compact traveling. Check out Benro’s site to check out their products.

[via: Shutterbug]

Canon EOS Rebel T1i


Hands-on Review of the Video Feature on the Canon EOS Rebel T1i

Since its spring release, the Canon EOS Rebel T1i has elicited praise from the reviewers and joy from the users. Because it is the first Rebel to implement video capability, this feature has received a lot of attention. I recently purchased the Rebel T1i, and a few days after purchasing, I took a major overseas trip to put the camera through the paces. Here are some of the stand-out (and maybe some not-so-standout) features of the T1i video capabilities that helped (or hurt) my photography on the trip.

A Note About Durability
Due to the rugged nature of my journey and the on-the-go mobility of my travel, I wasn’t able to give my new toy the TLC that a camera of its price probably deserved. More often than not, it was freely swinging on its strap or making unintentional contact with objects, walls, or other people. Other times, I was forced to stuff it quickly in my backpack or camera bag, and then quickly tear it out of the bag to snap a quick shot. Despite nearly four weeks of constant abuse, the camera looks almost brand new. If you look at the display in just the right light, you may see a hint of a scratch or two, and a trace of dust has accumulated in the flash mount. Other than that, the camera withstood my terrorizing amazingly well.Canon EOS Rebel T1i

First off, it is nice to have a DSLR that is fully integrated with a video feature. The video specs aren’t too bad (1080p HD, 20fps or 720p HD, 20fps) and fit my purposes perfectly. Even the onboard microphone records decent sound. In action, I found the automatic lighting adjustments were flawless. Color came out perfectly, even without any enhancements. Depending on the lens and filter, you are nearly guaranteed to have pleasing quality to your video from that perspective.

Unfortunately, the video feature gave me a few complaints: First, the image stabilizing lens seem to do precious little during video mode. Either bring your tripod along (for me, impossible, since I was shooting from a helicopter) or make sure that you practice your steadying skills.

Secondly, make sure you’re using a high-capacity (HC) SD card. The standard SD cards will not due, since they are incapable of recording video fast enough. Thankfully, I was equipped with a couple 16GB SDHC cards, which performed exceptionally well for all the videos that I took—with one notable exception. During one hair-raising helicopter swoop toward a waterfall, I was eagerly taking video. Since the camera is capable of taking still shots and video simultaneously, I snapped a couple quick ones as we rushed toward the waterfall. Unfortunately, the still shots dragged memory away from the video processing, meaning that several split-second chunks were eaten from the most critical part of my video. Quite disappointing.

Focusing the video is cumbersome. In order to auto-focus the video, you must hold down the focus button until the camera finds that sweet spot. Unfortunately, this means that it must cycle through the entire lens movement, regardless of where it was originally focused. The whole focus process takes about five seconds, which can be a lot of time in a situation where you want to take a quick video.

Finally, video capture is only available using live display. The eye viewfinder shuts off in video mode. nearly all my photography was outdoors, the screen display wasn’t bright enough for me to see what was going on. This created problems on several occasions, specifically when I wanted to make sure that the video was focused on the right object. Usually, I would switch the camera to a manual setting, focus the camera, then switch back to video and commence recording.

For its few shortcomings, Canon has done us all a favor by finally including video with the Rebel. Although it’s not perfect, we can probably expect some notable upgrades in the next generation of cameras.

Corel Digital Studio 2010


For those who are fans of Corel over the “other” image editing company Adobe, you might want to check out their latest product. Corel Digital Studio 2010 is a editing program specifically for photos, and videos. You might not have full options of other more expensive image editors, but this program still offers quite a bit for the price. Probably the biggest addition of the software is the ability to edit their photos using touch navigations, instead of a traditional mouse. If you have the right hardware of course.

Below is the official press release with some more information. Click here to find out everything included with Corel Digital Studio 2010.

London, UK – 2 September 2009 – Corel Corporation (NASDAQ:CREL) (TSX:CRE) today introduced its all-new photo and video product Corel® Digital Studio 2010. Now TM it is simple, fast and fun for everyone to enjoy and share their favourite photos and videos all within one integrated and engaging environment.
Offering an elegant design and intuitive tools, Corel Digital Studio inspires creativity and confidence by making it easy for anyone to create beautiful photo and video projects with no previous experience
required.

While the average family takes hundreds of digital photos and video clips each year, various research indicates that less than half edit their photos and fewer still edit their videos. As a result, digital memories sit dormant on family computers without ever being enjoyed or shared. Why? Because most people just haven’t found photo editing and video editing on the PC to be the simple and rewarding experience they’re looking for. Corel Digital Studio 2010 responds to this need by bringing together photo, video, DVD burning and playback, all within one easy, fun and engaging environment.

With Corel Digital Studio 2010, all your photos and videos come together in one simple creative experience. Whether you are making one-click fixes to your photos and videos, creating a photo book, making slideshows or home movies complete with your own soundtrack, or burning high-definition DVDs, you’ll enjoy the same elegant look and feel across the Studio. In this integrated and intuitive environment, once you learn how to do one task, you’ll quickly know how to do them all.

“With Corel Digital Studio, PC users finally have a simple, fast and fun way to enjoy their photos and videos, and create something amazing that they can share with others,” said Daniel Weisbeck, Corel’s Vice President, Global Product Marketing. “With its simple, elegant design and intuitive, all-in-one approach, Corel Digital Studio removes barriers, inspires creativity and gives everyone the ability to create and share something memorable in just minutes.”

Corel Digital Studio 2010 is designed to take advantage of the latest Microsoft® Windows® 7 advances including the natural, hands-on experience offered by Windows Touch. The product also offers a great creative environment for customers using Windows® XP or Windows Vista®. Corel Digital Studio 2010 is just one example of the design innovation that resulted in Microsoft naming Corel its Global ISV Consumer Partner of the Year in June 2009.

“There is no other creative software application on the market that offers consumers new and unique ways to experience creative multi-touch features complementing Windows 7 in the way that Corel Digital Studio 2010 does. Windows 7 & Corel make new things possible” Christian Georgeson, Windows Consumer Product Manager at Microsoft.

Corel Digital Studio 2010: Create Amazing Photo and Video Projects in Minutes
You don’t have to master overly complex software programs or spend hours working on your projects. Corel Digital Studio is designed specifically for users who value simplicity and want results fast.

* Movie Making Made Easy: Finally, movie making is something everyone can enjoy. With its simple interface and intuitive controls, Corel Digital Studio offers a groundbreaking, visual approach to video projects that makes it easy for anyone to enhance and share favorite video memories — even in HD.
* Creative Photo Projects: Thrill friends and family with beautiful photo books and calendars that you can create in just minutes from within Corel Digital Studio. There’s no lengthy online uploading process to slow you down when you want to get creative. Instead, you can focus on your memories, create your project and when you’re done, print at home or have your creation professionally printed using Corel’s online service.*
* All Your Media in One Place: The Media Organizer brings all your photos and videos together so you can more easily search, find and organize your favorite memories. You can also access your music library to add your own personal soundtrack to slideshows and home movies. The Media Organizer is the starting point for all your projects, making it easy to move from one task to another.
* Online Sharing Has Never Been Easier: Share your files and projects any way you choose. Use email, Flickr , Facebook and YouTube , or send to your TM TM TM mobile device. With Corel Digital Studio, connecting with friends and family is just a few clicks away.
* Simple Backup and Burn: Backup and protect your photo and video memories, burn a professional looking DVD complete with Hollywood-style menus, or create audio CDs and MP3 discs by simply dragging and dropping. It’s never been this easy.

Pricing and Availability
Corel Digital Studio 2010 is now available globally in English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Spanish and Chinese Traditional as an electronic software download (ESD) at a SRP of £59 incl. VAT. Corel Digital Studio 2010 will also be available at leading retailers around the world starting in mid-September 2009. For more information, to purchase an ESD or download a free, fully featured 30-day trial, please visit www.corel.com. The individual photo and video components of Corel Digital Studio 2010 can also be purchased as standalone products. Corel® PaintShop Photo Express 2010 is available TM at a SRP of £29 incl. VAT and Corel® VideoStudio® Express 2010 £39 incl. VAT.

Using the Ambience Of Shadow


Have you ever stopped and looked at a shadow? They’re so simple that it’s curious what makes photos so much more interesting when a shadow is involved. Is it the stark contract to the light that provides a more diverse shot? Or is it the way shadows play off objects that make them pleasing to the eye?

Whatever the reason, shadows are something to keep an eye out for when looking for your shot. There are a few key components to utilizing shadow for your photo.

First, try and find shadow used in unconventional ways. One of my favorite type of photos is when a shadow is reflected on a surface showing something much larger than the actual object. It could be a person, or an object. When light is shown through a material that only produces an outline of an image works. An example to look for is a person staring through frosted glass. You’ll only see their outline and it produces interesting results.

Something you’ll find with shadows is that they’re very concrete. You’ll never see a shadow react differently then what it’s supposed to do, unless you’re watching Peter Pan. Remember when having this mindset that patterns will emerge that provide a marvelous canvas for your camera. You’ll be surprised at what patterns you find in the world, and just how revealing shadows can be.

Get to work, shadow hunter.

The Life Of A Travelling Photographer


Travel is a concept that most people dread. Sure, some love the idea of getting away for a week, or even a couple of weeks. But then the loneliness of the road wears down, and hope is all you can think about. However, for those with the personality of always being on the run and at the same time love photography then ‘Travel Photography’ might be something to look into.travel

If you’re looking for inspiration, or insight into Travel Photography then I highly recommend reading this interview. It’s on PopPhoto.com, and it’s of Tewfic El-Sawy a well renowned travel photographer. He shares some tips on how to get started, and what it takes to be a successful travel photographer.

While the circumstances behind the source material changes, the fundamentals of the photography remain the same. Lighting, colors, shape all are factors to keep in mind. Like in all facets of photography, you’re trying to tell a story through your photos. Nothing changes with the travel, only that you’ll be telling different stories.

If you want to learn a bit more of El-Sawy, he has a blog site. The bulk of his work is on his main site though, and it’s there where you’ll see his incredible gallery. If it doesn’t inspire you to be a travelling photographer, I don’t know what will.

Some Nerdy/Awesome Photos of Comic Con 09


If there ever was a place to take some amazing pictures, it’s Comic Con. Here is where you’ll find some of the nerdiest and/or most awesome people on the Earth. People from all over show up at this event to find out the latest news in the world of comics, movies, and video games. And of course to check out the outrageous costumes that people put on to celebrate the event.

Enjoy.

Jack Sparrow

He’s Captain Jack Sparrow — savvy?

Ghostbusters

Uh Yea…man…we’re here to like bust your ghosts?!

Poison Ivy

Ok, so there is an instance in my life that I’d like a little poison ivy

Capcom

Need a little more calf muscle there Chun-li…to be fair there’s no real life woman with calf muscles like Chun-li

FinePix F200EXR Firmware Update Ver.1.10 Is Out


If you own the FinePix F200EXR you should know that the firmware update for Ver. 1.10 has been released. It is available for download, and the full specs of the update can be found here.

The bulk of the update relates to the performance of the Super Intelligent Flash. Its performance has been improved and should provide a much better option sans update.

FinePix F200

For those who might want to use the camera’s menu in a different language — Finnish, Nowegian, Danish, and Slovak have been added as languages.

If you’re unsure of how to update your camera, there are instructions provided in the link I posted prior. It can be quite a handful to conduct your first update, so I suggest if you’re a noob to give it a read.

Ricoh Updates CX 1 Firmware (1.19)


Ricoh CX 1

The Ricoh CX1 has received a couple of interesting updates in the past couple of weeks. First was the Firmware 1.16 update that fixed the problem with the M-Cont. Plus, a MP file may be recorded with missing a partial frame(s). It also fixed the problem with the Focus-Bracketing, a which was a feature with known functionality problems.

Now we have Firmware 1.19, which fixes a problem that might be aggravating some of you. When the battery is low, camera may power down without retracting the lens. This of course could lead to some serious problems if not remedied.

Another cool update, not to the camera itself is Ricoh has created an information based CX 1 site. It’s rather extensive, and you can find a slew of information about the camera. For instance, were you aware that the CX 1 only supports a 32 GB memory SD card?

TwitPic Gives You Photo Options For Twitter


Twitter is now, and for quite sometime been the internet phenomenon. Everyone is on Twitter. It’s blogging, without having to take time to actually blog. You can keep others up to date with everything going on in your life easier than ever before.TwitPic

The idea of Twitter has spilled over in many ways to various sites. It has now become a micro-blogging world on the world wide web. Photography, and image sharing is beginning to adopt this same philosophy. You need not look any farther than a site called, TwitPic.

The essence of Twitter is found here. The pictures, for the most part aren’t of anything that significant. They’re mainly quick snapshots into the daily life of its users. Of course there are diamonds in the ruff, you just have to be committed to do some searching. If you have loved ones, the site is a wonderful way to check in and get a glimpse of what is going on in their life.

The coolest feature I’ve found with TwitPic, is the front page. They utilize Google Maps, and they post random user pictures while showing you where that user is from. Just be prepared for some random, and sometimes gruesome photos.

The community isn’t quite at Flickr level quite yet. As I’ve been looking through, the quality of content isn’t quite what I’ve seen with some of the people I follow on Flickr. This could undoubtedly be due to the fact I haven’t delved deep enough into TwitPic yet. Has anyone else checked it out yet, and if so are you an avid TwitPic user?