Lenses and sensors weren’t the only camera components miniaturized and dumbed down when digital photography jumped over into the world of smartphones: flashes did too. In order to fit everything into a tiny package, smartphone makers have largely opted for LED flashes in their phones rather than the bigger and bulkier xenon flashtubes found in proper digital cameras (a notable exception is the Nokia PureView 808). That may soon change.
Scientists in Singapore have developed a new capacitor that may lead to more powerful xenon flash units replacing the LED flashes found in consumer smartphones.
Electronics reverse-engineering company Chipworks has published an article that discusses and reviews Nikon’s use of Sony CMOS sensors in certain DSLRs:
The recent high profile Apple vs. Samsung patent infringement case further emphasizes the incestuous nature of the supply chain for components in consumer electronics. Apple has traditionally sourced a great many components for its smartphones and tablets from its competitor Samsung. An analogous relationship exists in the DSLR world where Nikon both designs its own CMOS image sensors (CIS) to be fabricated by a foundry partner, and sometimes uses CIS components from its camera competitor Sony [...] What is somewhat interesting is that after a run of Nikon-designed CIS devices in Nikon FF and APS-C cameras, Sony has muscled its way back in for the FF format D800 [...]
Sony supplies the CIS for the D800, a camera with the resolution (36.3 Mp) and performance that approaches the performance of medium format cameras for some applications [...] While there are certainly those who groan at the prospect of cranking up the resolution of a FF sensor, the D800 appears to be a disruptive event in the FF camera segment – one that Canon is rumored to likely respond to.
Chipworks notes that the D800 has the smallest pixel size of any full frame sensor it has examined so far. Canon is reportedly hard at work testing tiny pixels of its own.
Full Frame DSLR Cameras – Nikon vs Sony [Chipworks via Image Sensors World]
Polaroid the company was named after the inexpensive polarizing film developed by founder Edwin Land back in 1929. Over the years it became an iconic brand name associated with easy-to-use cameras and instant photos. After the company went bankrupt in the early 2000s, the brand name was sold off to a holdings company, which began licensing the name to third parties.
Up until now, the brand name has been used for mostly photography-related products, but that’s set to change: Polaroid has partnered with British retail chain Asda — owned by Wal-Mart — to branch into other electronics, including televisions and media players. The gadgets will hit store Asda shelves by the end of the month.
Brooklyn-based photographer Henry Hargreaves teamed up with food stylist Caitlin Levin on his project “Deep Fried Gadgets”, which — as its name indicates — shows various electronics deep fried. The purpose of the project is to highlight the wastefulness of consumer culture and its rapid consumption of the latest gadgets.
Time-lapse enthusiast and electronics wiz Achim Sack came up with this super-small hardware-based intervalometer. Only a little larger than the size of a standard 2.5mm stereo plug, the device doesn’t require any special setup or configuration — all you do is plug it into your Canon/Nikon/Pentax DSLR and then take two photographs between 0.4 seconds and 18 minutes apart. The device will continue to shoot photos at that interval until the memory card is full or the battery dies. Sadly, it’s not for sale, but if you’re handy with electronics you can find the schematics and code for free on Sack’s website.
Intervall Timer for Nikon und Canon DSLR v2 (via Hack a Day)