Researchers at Osaka University in Japan have created a new camera that makes shooting “from the hip” easier by projecting a white border onto the real world — similar to what laser sights do for firearms. The frame line shows exactly the area that will be in the photograph, and allows users to quickly shoot without looking through or at the camera itself. Before you get too excited about the possibility of using it for street photography, here’s the bad news: it’s more suited for things like snapping QR codes due to the fact that the compact projector is only bright enough to be used in dark places and at close range.
Posts Tagged ‘japanese’
Here are some fantastic compliations of commercials promoting Japanese camera companies. They aired from the 1970s to the 1990s. The video above is the Canon collection.
Here’s a funny prank that Canadian hidden camera show Just For Laughs Gags did involving a Polaroid camera and asking strangers to help take a picture. Pictures don’t lie, right?
Judging from the strange novelty products coming out of Japan, there’s apparently a huge population of people there who love both photography and cats. If a picture taking cat isn’t enough to satisfy you, you can add this cat-shaped memory card reader to your collection. It reads SD cards and Memory Stick cards using slots that are exposed when you lower the cat’s tail. They’re available from Donya for ¥399, or about $5.
The Necono Digital Camera is a funky cat-shaped digital camera out of Japan that might make it easier for you to take smiling baby photos. It’s a 3 megapixel camera that doesn’t have any LCD screen embedded for you to review your shots — you have to connect it to a “Monitor Ground” base that includes an LCD or transfer the images to your computer via USB. The cat has a shutter button on its butt, the camera and a self-timer LED in its eyes, and magnetic feet that allow you to stick it in random places.
Like many novelty cameras, the Necono doesn’t exactly come cheap… It’ll run you a whopping ¥15,750 ($192). At least you can be the only one among your friends to take pictures with a cat.
Another Nikon patent discovered recently provides yet another sneak peek at their yet-to-be-announced mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera.
This one seems to be for some sort of system that protects the inside of the camera body from dust and foreign objects when the lens is removed. It does make sense though, and I wonder why DSLR bodies don’t already do this?
It would be great if the camera automatically closed some sort of protective barrier whenever it detected that the lens was being removed. If you needed to actually see the innards of the camera, you could expose it via some option inside the menus, similar to how the sensor is exposed on DSLRs. Thoughts?
Most camera rain covers can be a bit cumbersome, but this Japanese rain cover concept might take the hassle to a whole new level. In fact, a freezer bag seems more practical.
While the cover is designed to be wallet-friendly, it’s probably much less kind to the user. It may be remarkably typhoon-proof, but forget long lenses, manual focus, zoom, and image sharpness, to name a few essential DSLR features lost to design flaws.
However, hailing from Japan, it’s possible that this accessory is simply a “chindogu” invention.
SanDisk has just announced that Japan’s police force has adopted its 1GB SD WORM memory card for collecting evidence. The Write Once, Read Many cards are tamperproof, can only be written to using a WORM-compatible device, and supposedly stores data reliably for 100 years. Practically speaking, this means that photographs and audio can be collected onto the cards, allowing those who access the data later on to be confident that it wasn’t tampered or edited in any way. The National Police in Japan have tested the technology extensively, and seem to be convinced of SanDisk’s claims.
We can’t really think of any practical application for ordinary photographers (can you?), but it’s interesting to know that this kind of technology is out there and being used.
Just as the Winter Olympics are heating up international competition in Vancouver this week, the U.S. has suffered a bit of a statistical loss to non-American companies on home turf: American-owned companies have captured far fewer U.S. patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2009. U.S. corporations hold about 49% of all U.S. utility patents in 2009, while non-U.S. firms hold the majority.
In a repeat of last year’s trend, major Asian companies, such as South Korea’s Samsung, Japan’s Canon, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sony and Seiko Epson have snagged a spot in the top ten in number of patents issued in 2009, according to the IFI Claims Patent Services ranking.
An interesting note: out of the top 10 on the list, many, such as Canon (viewfinder patent sketch featured above), Panasonic, are diverse companies whose products include printers and televisions, but have a notable stake in the consumer camera industry. Fujifilm, a Japanese-owned company dedicated to consumer camera products alone, placed 19th on the top 50 list as well.
Though the sheer number of patents does imply an accelerated growth and company innovation with an intent to bring the products to a consumer market, the press release notes that America has held its own considering the recession climate that still lingers:
Although the margin of patent dominance between U.S. and non-U.S. firms is slight and has been for several years, there is no uncertainty that foreign firms are adding patents at a frenetic pace. “Interest in protecting corporate intellectual property has become intense both in the U.S. and abroad, and as a result we’re seeing an increased level of patent activity,” continued [general manager of IFI Patent Intelligence Darlene] Slaughter. “The silver lining may be that the high priority foreign firms place on U.S. patents is a confirmation of the value and importance that the U.S. market represents.”
U.S. companies, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, and Hewlett-Packard held top spots on the rank as well, at 1st, 3rd, 8th, and 10th, respectively.
Two days ago, Sankei News in Japan reported that a Nagoya Institute of Technology team led by Professor Yojiro Ishino was certified by Guinness World Records as having built the “Camera With The Most Lenses”. The camera boasts a staggering 158 separate lenses.
The setup reminds me of the camera array used to shoot the “bullet time” scenes in The Matrix, except rather than having a large number of individual cameras, this setup has a single “camera” with a large number of lenses.
The record-breaking camera took six months to build, and is meant to capture the movement of a flame simultaneously from multiple directions. Each lens cost only 200 yen, which is about $2.26. Thus, the whole collection of lenses cost only about $360.
Kudos if anyone can send us photographs taken with this camera!