Did you know that Leica was actually the company that first invented autofocus? Between 1960 and 1973 the company patented a number of autofocus technologies, and then showed off the technology at photokina in 1976 and 1978. However, the head honchos of the company believed that their customers knew how to focus and preferred focusing themselves, so they decided to sell the patent rights to Minolta.
Late to Digital, Leica Slow to Refocus (via Foto Actualidad)
Image credit: Minolta Maxxum 7000-Mirror Detail by Capt Kodak
We covered the WVIL (wireless viewfinder interchangeable lens) concept camera at the beginning of the year when the design team behind it released a fake video of it being showed off at CES 2011. The above video is another neat glimpse at the supposedly patent-pending design, which puts all the camera functions in the lens itself, leaving the camera body to function as a wireless display and control panel. What do you think of the idea?
WVIL (via PhotoWeeklyOnline)
The applications of this on the consumer photography market are likely nil, but researchers at Ohio State University have invented a method of shooting 3D photographs using a single lens. The trick is that the lens is cut like a gem, giving it eight different facets in addition to the main face that “see” the subject from different perspectives. Custom software then takes in the image and processes the 9 different views to create a single 3D image.
If Doctor Octopus were to design a DIY flash accessory, it might look a little something like this. German microbiologist Marcell Nikolausz has been experimenting with using fiber optics to split a single flash unit’s light into multiple light sources. Optical fibers are threaded through Gorillapod-style Loc-Line channels, allowing flexible and stable positioning of the light sources. Each individual light source can be controlled using various modifiers (e.g. diffusers, gels, etc..), changing their quality and intensity.
For some sample photographs taken with this contraption, check out this set of photos. You can also learn more about Nikolausz’s experimentation on his blog.
Image credits: Photographs by Marcell Nikolausz and used with permission
The October 27, 1972 issue of LIFE read “A Genius and His Magic Camera: Dr. Edwin Land of Polaroid demonstrates his new invention”. The invention was the Polaroid SX-70 instant camera.
LIFE (via Photojojo)
Shooting photos or video remotely may get a whole lot easier if a startup company named Satarii is able to raise enough funding ($20K) for their idea — a camera base called the Satarii Star that automatically keeps the lens pointed at a remote sensor. We could waste our breath explaining how it works and all the different applications it could be useful for, but the video above does quite a good job.
So far they’ve built a functional prototype that they showed off at CES, and raised about half their target funding. If you’d like to jump in on the project, visit their IndieGoGo page here.
Satarii Star Accessory (via Engadget)
The “Flutter in Pinhole” is a beautiful concept camera that combines a cardboard pinhole camera with instant film to make sharing memories a breeze, and could be the high-tech postcard of the future.
The folks over at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have created a camera modeled after a fly’s eye that provides a 360° view of the world. Packed with the 100 small cameras, what the camera captures is combined on a computer to provide a single 3D view of the world.
How do you take a picture of something above the surface of the water and below at the same time? Well if you had the “underabove” camera, it would be a snap. The concept design features two lenses; one on the top half filled with air and one on the bottom half filled with water. It sports a flash and even a “time wheel” so you can take an underwater self portrait. The camera then stitches the images together and displays them on the LCD screen.
The design won a Red Dot Design Concept 2010 award.
UNDERABOVE (via engadget)
If you’re a digital photography buff, here’s some required trivia knowledge: what you see above is a photograph of the first digital camera ever built. It was created in December 1975 by an engineer at Eastman Kodak named Steve Sasson, now regarded as the inventor of the digital camera. In a Kodak blog post written in 2007, Sasson explains how it was constructed:
It had a lens that we took from a used parts bin from the Super 8 movie camera production line downstairs from our little lab on the second floor in Bldg 4. On the side of our portable contraption, we shoehorned in a portable digital cassette instrumentation recorder. Add to that 16 nickel cadmium batteries, a highly temperamental new type of CCD imaging area array, an a/d converter implementation stolen from a digital voltmeter application, several dozen digital and analog circuits all wired together on approximately half a dozen circuit boards, and you have our interpretation of what a portable all electronic still camera might look like.