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Digital Camera News: Digital Camera Brand Loyalty, ThatsMyMonkey.com Tips Website, Remove Blur with a Flutter Shutter
by Ben Stafford -  8/31/2006

Digital Camera Brand Loyalty Decreases

A report from J.D. Power and Associates shows that only 26% of consumers would buy another camera of the same brand, down from 35% in 2005.  With a wide range of digital camera brands with similar features and functions, brand reputation becomes less of a differentiator.

The study also showed that 63% of consumers use the Internet for independent reviews and research before purchasing (good news for us!), while only 33% use consumer product publications for research.

Their study measures overall satisfaction in four price segments: less than $199, $200-$399, $400-$599, and more than $600.  Overall satisfaction is based on six factors: ease of use, connectivity, functionality, cost, picture quality and appearance.

Nikon ranks highest in overall satisfaction inthe less than $199 segment, with Sony right behind.  Sony receives top ratings, by consumers, for their camera's functionality.

In the $200-$399 segment, Kodak ranks highest for the third year in a row.  Sony also takes the second spot in this segment.

In the $400-$599 segment, Canon ranks highest, with top ratings in the areas of functionality, picture quality and cost.  Sony is right behind Canon.

In the $600 and more segment, Olympus ranks highest and has the greatest improvement since the same survey in 2005.  Nikon comes in behind Olympus.

For more information, see: www.jdpower.com.

New Digital Photography Tips Website

Brothers Bruce L. Snell and Michael C. Snell have rolled out a new photography tips website aimed at "working Joe" photographers.  ThatsMyMonkey.com is well designed and humorous in its approach.  Look for tips in blog articles, "conversations" between the two brothers, and in-depth articles available in PDF format. 

See: www.thatsmymonkey.com

"Flutter Shutter" Research to Remove Blur

A Mitsubishi Electric research team has developed a "flutter shutter" that is effective in removing blur from images with a rapidly moving subject.  Traditionally, a camera shutter is opened once to capture the light need to expose the image.  The Mitsubishi team developed a shutter, using a modified Canon Powershot Pro1, that is only open for about 50 milliseconds at a time.  The blur is removed by using a particular sequence of "fluttering" this shutter and using some software to account for the movement between frames.

According to the research team, a flutter shutter can be installed easily on any "off the shelf" camera using an external filter.  However, they also mention that it will probably be several years before this technology makes it into consumer digital cameras.  Before that, they see it being used on security cameras to do things like read license plates of speeding cars.

For more information and sample images, see:  http://www.cfar.umd.edu/~aagrawal/sig06/sig06Main.html