Toys are getting fancier and cameras are getting weirder. Mattel is set to launch a new camera barbie called Barbie Photo Fashion that’ll upgrade many a dollhouse with a human-shaped 5-megapixel digital camera. Unlike the soon-to-be-outdated Video Girl Barbie and its chest-cam, this new photography doll features a camera built into her back with the LCD screen moved to her frontside. She can store 100 photos, features a mini USB port on her lower back, and comes with 15 built-in photo “filters” — a must-have for toy cameras and apps these days. It’ll cost a cool $50 when it hits store shelves in the near future, though availability hasn’t been announced yet.
Image credits: Photographs by Engadget
With camera-equipped phones eating up more and more of the compact camera market, manufacturers are turning to gimmicky features in order to lure consumers. Canon’s new line of ELPH cameras have a Sleeping Face Recognition mode that’ll make your camera
creepy stealthy (i.e. turn off flash, assist beam, and sounds) when it detects someone sleeping in the frame. Olympus’ new VR-340 has a Beauty Make-Up Mode that offers 18 in-camera enhancements (e.g. whiten teeth, lift cheek bones) — something that Panasonic is also dabbling in. Too bad these features can easily be offered as an app on smartphones. Someone should tell camera makers to focus on ease of use and image quality — areas they might still be competitive in.
Image credit: Illustration by Disney
Back in March of 1954, Popular Science magazine featured an invention called the “dentapod” — a metal bracket attached to the tripod mount that you bite with your teeth to stabilize your camera. For some reason, this didn’t seem to catch on back then, but if any of you aspiring entrepreneurs decided to revive this thing for DSLRs, I’m sure it would be the next big thing.
There’s all kinds of things people do to remember their beloved pets after they pass away, but here’s a pretty creepy one: a dog owner in Norway had a photo of their Gordon Setter named Susie printed with her ashes. Norwegian design studio Skrekkøgle figured out a way to rebuild a printer to accept dog ashes as “ink”, allowing them to print a vintage-looking black-and-white photograph of Susie.
The studio is also offering to do this for other grieving pet owners, but you’ll have to contact them to find out the pricing and specific details.
Cremation Portrait (via Pop Photo)
Don’t want people using photos of your private island without permission? Watermark it! Billionaire Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan had his name carved into the sand of his island in the Persian Gulf. The giant “HAMAD” is two miles long and half a mile tall, is partially filled with water from the Persian Gulf, and can be clearly seen in photographs of the region capture by satellite. Gives new meaning to the term “watermark”, eh?
Image credit: Photograph by Google Imagery, DigitalGlobe, Cnes/Spot Image, GeoEye, U.S. Geological Survey
Used in New York back in 1938, this revolver camera was a Colt 38 with a tiny camera that would capture a photograph whenever the trigger was pulled. I sure hope those sample photographs taken with this revolver were shot while the gun wasn’t loaded…
Image credit: Revolver-camera / Revolver camera by Nationaal Archief
Check out this photograph of camel thorn trees in Namibia shot by Frans Lanting. It looks like a painting but is actually a photograph…
Tinted orange by the morning sun, a soaring dune is the backdrop for the hulks of camel thorn trees in Namib-Naukluft Park.
Can your eyes and brain make any sense of it?
In 1993, a guy named Harrod Blank had a dream in which he drove around in a camera-covered car taking pictures of people staring at his camera-mobile. When he woke up, he decided to make the car a reality, and spent the next two years designing and building the thing. In 1995 he completed the Camera Van complete with a working camera to capture the expressions of onlookers.
Animal Planet recently featured Cooper the Photographer Cat, who is apparently becoming a pretty big deal. Cooper is also jumping into filmmaking in addition to his still photography, though we think they should start teaching him how to use a Steadicam to reduce some of the motion-sickness inducing camera shake.
(via Laughing Squid)
Remember Wafaa Bilal, that NYU professor that decided to have a camera implanted on the back of his skull? Well, turns out the human body doesn’t like it when random electronic devices are fused with it, so the cost of having the camera on his nogging has been antibiotic and steroid treatments to get the body to ignore the thing. Despite the treatments, his body still decided to reject one of the three posts onto which the camera is screwed, forcing him to have the camera and one of the posts surgically removed. In the meantime he’s strapping the camera to the back of his neck, something he probably should have done since the beginning.
The moral of the story for the rest of us is that cameras belong in hands and in front of the face rather than embedded into heads.