Nokia held a competition with a $10,000 prize this year asking filmmakers to create a short film using only the Nokia N8 cell phone. Director JW Griffiths won with this super creative and beautifully shot film titled “Splitscreen: A Love Story”.
I’m not sure how useful this would be for most people, but it’s a neat look at the kinds of technologies people are working on to enrich our photo sharing experience. Pass-Them-Around is an app developed by researchers at Nokia that lets you share digital photographs with friends sitting around a table as if you had physical prints sitting in front of you. The phones can also be placed side by side to act as larger displays for the photos.
Move aside Panasonic GF3, this is the world’s smallest Micro Four Thirds camera. Olympus took its Despicable Me-style shrink ray and reduced the Olympus E-PL1, E-P2, and E-PL2 to the size of an SD card for a promotion over in Hong Kong. They’re meant to be used as cute little cell phone charms, but they work nicely as tiny prop cameras for your action figures as well! Read more…
What if you could take perfect group photographs by first shooting multiple frames and then selecting the best portions of each one? Microsoft amazed us with this concept last year with its Photo Fuse technology, and now we may soon be seeing something similar coming to mobile phone cameras (and hopefully compact cameras as well). Imaging technology company Scalado gave the above demonstration at a conference earlier this month showing off Rewind, a super-useful feature that shoots a burst of full-res photos, then lets you select the best faces for each person in the image. Next up on our wishlist: Content Aware Fill.
Rather than using traditional instant film that develops on the spot, newer instant cameras are using a special ZINK technology that prints digital photos rather than exposing special paper. As more and more consumers rely solely on their mobile phones for shooting casual snapshots, perhaps the Sophie concept iPhone case is the next step in instant film’s evolution: it’s a case with a built-in printer that turns your iPhone into a Polaroid-style instant camera. What do you think of the idea?
Cell phones are playing a bigger and bigger role in citizen journalism — just look at the imagery coming out of the Middle East protests — and universities are beginning to offer entire courses on using them for photography. A new class at Immaculata University is designed to teach both the ethical and technical aspects of cell phone photography. Communications professor Sean Flannery leads the students in issues including voyeurism, ethics, citizen journalism and the difference between public and private spaces, and professional photographer Hunter Martin teaches things like composition, lighting, and editing.
Images created by the current crop of students will be on display next month in a campus art show.
With the limited lens and sensor sizes of cell phone cameras, the megapixel race isn’t really doing much to improve the quality of the resulting photos. A new startup called Pelican Imaging thinks it can revolutionize the game by increasing quality without focusing on megapixels. Instead, they use an array of 25 micro-cameras to capture each image, processing the data into a single photograph with fancy software. If all goes well, future cell phones will be taking much nicer photos while still staying thin and compact.
If you’re not content with having a massive telephoto lens for your DSLR camera, you can get one for your cell phone as well! The Conice Zoom Lens is a 6x lens for the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S, or Sony Xperia 10 that makes your phone look absolutely ridiculous. Read more…
In addition to slowly replacing the need for compact cameras, the cameras found on mobile phones will also have a huge impact on how we live our lives in the area of augmented reality. Word Lens is a crazy new free app for the iPhone that translates between Spanish and English in real-time in the video feed, allowing you to read the world in your language through your cell phone. As this technology becomes available for more and more languages, it will change the way people survive in foreign countries.
If cameras can have external flashes, why can’t mobile phones? The iFlash is a flash module that allows owners of older iPhones to illuminate dark scenes with a blast of LED light. iPhone 4 owners can also use it to gain some additional light. Read more…