Just unveiled at Photokina, Casio’s new EXILIM EX-H20G point-and-shoot is a pretty ordinary 14.1 megapixel HD video-capable camera with a trick up its sleeve: a hybrid GPS system for geotagging your photos. Ordinarily cameras geotag your images with location based on signals from GPS satellites, but become oblivious to where you are if you move to a location where the signals can’t be detected. The EX-H20G attempts to overcome this problem by storing the user’s last known satellite location in the camera’s memory, and then using data from internal motion sensors to calculate where the user has moved to since the signal was lost.
It’s not clear yet how accurate this hybrid system is, or whether the camera needs to stay on for all this to work. If it does indeed work as advertised, then this is a pretty nifty solution to a common problem. The camera will be available in November 2010 for $350.
A week ago Canon announced the development of a APS-H CMOS sensor that delivers a staggering 120 megapixels. Not content with ruling the megapixel race, they’ve just announced a physically gigantic sensor — the largest CMOS sensor in the world.
In the photo above, the sensor is shown next to a standard 35mm full frame sensor. The thing measures 202 x 205 mm (or 7.95 x 8.07 inches), or 40 times the size of current sensors, and is extremely sensitive. It can supposedly record 60fps video under moonlight. Potential applications of this kind of sensor include capturing the night sky and documenting nocturnal animal behavior, though (like the 120MP sensor) you probably shouldn’t expect this to hit the consumer market anytime in the near or semi-distant future.
In a post on the Facebook blog yesterday, Divvyshot founder Sam Odio announced that Facebook is adding the same face detection features found in many consumer cameras to its uber-popular Facebook Photos app.
Previously, users had to manually select each face found in a photograph to tag it with a friend’s name, but now the service will automatically select each face and prompt you for the name, streamlining the process and making it much easier for uploaders.
I’m guessing we’ll soon see features added that promote collaboration and pooling together photographs as a group to a shared pool, similar to what Divvyshot offered prior to the acquisition and shutdown.
Gosh, and we though having HD video on a cell phone was enough. Sharp has just announced the world’s first 3D HD camera designed for cell phones and point-and-shoot cameras. This thing is capable of filming 3D footage at 720p, and will see mass production starting in 2010.
Before long we’ll be picture and video messaging one another in 3D. Hopefully it won’t require special glasses.
Sony officially announced their new EVIL cameras, the NEX-3 and NEX-5. There wasn’t really anything in the announcement that we didn’t know before today. After all, the actual camera was spotted in an Asian bar at the end of last month, and official photos and specs started appearing online yesterday.
Both cameras are intended to compete with the Micro Four Thirds format, and use Sony’s new E-mount interchangeable lens system. They boast 14 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensors, and have tilting 3 inch LCD screens. The NEX-5 offers 1080i AVCHD video on top of the 720p found on the NEX-3. For more specs, check out our post about the camera yesterday.
Now onto the surprising news… Sony is developing an interchangeable lens camcorder!
The camcorder will use the same sensors found in the NEX cameras and the same E-mount lenses. Additionally, it will accept any of the lenses designed for the Alpha range of Sony cameras with an adapter.
Imagine if Canon or Nikon released a camcorder that accepted their DSLR lenses! I’m guessing they’re already working on such things, and that Sony simply wanted a slight head start by announcing their efforts earlier.
What are your thoughts on these new cameras? Do you think Canon and Nikon should jump into these markets?
Researchers at the University of Toronto have come up with a new video camera that can achieve infinite depth of field even when objects are immediately in front of the camera. What they did was stuff an array of video cameras into a single camera, with each camera focused at a different distance. Software then calculates the distance of each object in the scene, and selects the individual pixel that has the object in focus. The resulting image is one in which every object, both near and far, is in focus.
Maybe in the future consumer cameras will also have an array of cameras, allowing us to have much more control over the photo (or video) in post-processing.
Students at the University of Tromso in Norway have created an interactive display wall using 28 separate projectors, which creates a 7168×3072, or 22 megapixel, display. Interactive with the display simply involves placing your hands in front of it. Touching the display itself is not necessary, and multitouch is supported. What better way to demonstrate the capabilities of such a system than zooming through a gigapixel photograph?
Gigapixel images are great, but navigating them on a regular sized display through a slow web browser isn’t such a great experience. This video shows how we navigate a 13.3 gigapixel image of Tromsø, Norway on a 22 megapixel display wall, using a custom, camera-based multi-touch interface and a custom system for high-performance navigation and visualization of high-resolution datasets.
Here’s an amazing video demonstrating the wall in action:
Ah… A glimpse of the future. We may soon find ourselves post-processing our photographs on our walls at home.
InVisage, a California-based start up company, has announced a new image sensor technology that it claims is up to four times more sensitive than traditional sensor technologies.
Their product, QuantumFilm, is a layer of semiconductor material added on top of the traditional silicon that uses quantum dots to gather light.
According to InVisage CEO Jess Lee, quantum dots have a 90% efficiency in gathering light, compared to the 50% of traditional silicon.
What this means is that we can expect cell phone cameras to improve at a much faster pace than what we’ve been seeing, since improving the performance of traditional silicon has proved difficult. Lee predicts that in two years, mobile phones will contain cameras that are superior than current digital cameras in both megapixels and light sensitivity.
If this turns out to be true, we will likely see a dramatic decrease in the number of point-and-shoot cameras sold, as more and more consumers rely solely on their camera phones.
Our Facebook page has been pretty popular since we started it months back. Up to this point, we’ve only been showing PetaPixel articles as entries on the page wall. We’re now opening up the wall for all of you to submit and share your own content with the PetaPixel community. Have a photograph you’d like seen? We’d like to see it! Have a link you’d like to share? Feel free to post it! If you have any questions regarding photography, you could ask on the wall as well. Of course, you can always set the filter to only show PetaPixel entries if you’d like.
We look forward to seeing all your awesome content! You can visit and become a fan of our Facebook Page here.
When we launched back in 2009, I decided to host PetaPixel on the same hosting plan as my personal website at 1&1. Their plans are cheap (~$7/month) and they offered enormous amounts of storage and unlimited bandwidth, so I decided to try hosting PP with them.
Things have gone pretty well over the past 9 months or so, especially since we were essentially hosting the blog for free. However, we’ve grown to a point where traffic is occasionally causing our site to go down, since 1&1 tries to keep server usage fair among its customers. We’ve learned that though they offered “unlimited” traffic hosting, it’s meant for small, personal websites that don’t hog the server’s resources.
We went down again for a short period of time today, signaling to me that we should probably begin moving to something that will support us better as we continue to grow. This weekend I’m planning on moving the site over to Rackspace Cloud, and the transition has already begun. If everything goes according to plan, by the time we resume posting next Monday we’ll be serving PetaPixel from our new home.
We’ll update this post when we’re at the new location and settled down. Have a great weekend, and see you on the flip side!
Update: If you can see this update then you’re visiting us at our new home. Welcome!