Pentax released a new compact camera today called the Optio VS20, which offers a feature we haven’t seen before on a point-and-shoot: a second shutter release, zoom lever, and tripod mount for shooting vertically. The 16-megapixel camera is also smart about the orientation, as it packs an accelerometer that helps it intelligently display images the correct way. Other features include a 3-inch LCD screen and 720p video recording. It’ll start shipping next month for $250.
Apple’s doing it. Adobe’s doing it. Now Dropbox wants in. An upcoming version of the company’s popular cloud storage client will include a new photo importer feature that will automatically backup your photos whenever you connect a memory card, smartphone, or camera to your computer. You can try it out now by downloading the experimental build from this forum thread. Be sure to read the instructions to make sure you have a system that supports the feature.
Olympus and Panasonic might be cofounders of the Micro Four Thirds movement, but the companies appear to be taking different approaches toward 3D photography. While Panasonic offers a special 3D lens that contains two lenses, a newly discovered Olympus patent shows an even more novel approach: adding a second lens to a camera via its hot shoe. Simply stick the lens on and turn your camera sideways to transform it into a stereoscopic 3D camera!
Developer Conrad Kramer was poking around in iOS 5 when he stumbled upon a hidden panorama feature built into the operating system. It allows you to create panoramic photos by simply sweeping your camera across a scene. If you’re familiar with iOS, unlocking the feature involves changing a single line in a preference file (set EnableFirebreak to “YES” in com.apple.mobileslideshow.plist). People with jailbroken iPhones and iPods can also download the new Firebreak app in Cydia.
Last week we shared a sneak peek at some jaw-dropping image deblurring technology currently in development at Adobe. The video wasn’t the best quality and was captured from the audience, so we didn’t get to see the example images very clearly. Adobe has now released an official video of the demo, giving us a better glimpse at what the feature can do. Read more…
At the Adobe MAX 2011 event in LA last week, the company gave a sneak peek into an advanced Image Deblurring feature that may appear in an upcoming version of Photoshop. Provided with a blurred photograph, the feature uses advanced algorithms to calculate the camera movements that caused the blur, which allows the program to do a very accurate unblurring of the photograph. The video is a bit shaky and the quality isn’t the best, but judging from the audience’s reaction when the example photo is unblurred, the feature works extremely well and caused a lot of jaws to drop.
A Nikon patent published today details a new dust reduction feature that might make its way into future Nikon DSLRs. The basic idea is the introduction of a hole at the bottom of the camera’s mirrorbox that is designed to catch dust when the mirror swings up. Nikon claims that the feature reduces dust found on the sensor by 50% after 10,000 actuations.
Flickr introduced an innovative location-based privacy feature today called “geofences“. It’s a way of assigning default privacy settings to certain locations for geotagged photographs. For example, you can assign a geofence with a certain radius around your home, and automatically set those photos’ location data to only be visible to your friends and family. Each user can have up to 10 geofences, and existing photographs are automatically updated to new geofence privacy settings.