“Hand Powered” Sony digicam prototype announced
On Thursday, Sony revealed a prototype digital camera that does away with batteries favor of human power. The pizza-cutter shaped “Twirl ‘N Take” is powered by a small wheel-driven generator on one end of the device. Fifteen seconds of turning produces enough power to take one shot, according to the manufacturer.
The imaging unit itself, similar in design to the small models currently used in cell phones, is mounted inside the device’s handle.
In the interest of minimal power consumption, the Twirl N’ Take does away with an LCD display. Users must connect the camera to a computer to view photos.
Sony has released several similar environmentally conscious prototypes, including a “Crank N’ Capture” video camera, but the company says not to expect production models of these eco-aware gadgets on store shelves any time soon.
Kingston 19-in-one Media Reader reaches consumers
Memory manufacturer Kingston recently rolled out its new Media Reader, a 19-in-one high-speed flash memory reader.
The USB 2.0 device supports most common flash memory types, including miniSD and microSD cards without adapters. The external box has a retractable chassis that stores cards safely inside and houses the reader’s short USB cable.
Other supported formats include CF Type I and II, SD, SDHC, MMC, and Sony’s Memory Stick. The notable oversight here is xD Picture Card compatability, leaving Fuji and Olympus owners out in the cold on this one.
Units are already available on the web. Expect to pay around $17.
Samsung/Microsoft unveil WiFi photo frame
Samsung and Microsoft recently teamed up in the development of the Samsung SPF-83V, an 8-inch digital photo frame with wireless network connectivity.
Announced on Wednesday, the SPF-83V is “one of the few offerings in the marketplace that offer a ‘network’ approach to digital photo sharing,” according to Samsung’s Christopher Franey.
User photos uploaded to the online Windows Live Photo Gallery are automatically downloaded to the frame via WiFi, allowing users to share new photos with friends and family in different locations or while traveling. The frame can also play audio and video files, and receive online content including RSS feeds.
Current street price for the SPF-83V is around $250.
Nikon D3 and Canon 1Ds Mark III settle dispute with Barbies
John Harrington’s recent head-to-head comparison of the new Nikon D3 and Canon 1Ds Mark III professional DSLRs starred Barbie (yes, the doll), plus her buddy Penelope and a photographer action figure named Marcus in the lead roles.
The review, posted on Harrington’s Photo Business & News Forum over the weekend, pitted the latest offering in a Nikon professional system that’s taken some flack for showing too much noise at moderate ISOs against the 1Ds Mark III, which builds on the controversial technology first seen earlier this year in the 1D Mark III. (Those that closely follow the world of professional equipment have probably seen Rob Galbraith’s candid review of the 1D Mark III’s autofocus system woes from a few months ago.)
In spite of the Canon’s huge resolution advantage (22 megapixels, versus the D3’s 12.1), Harrington and Marcus come down on the side of the Nikon – if only just – in early tests. Check out Barbie, Penelope, and ringside camera smack-down shots from these two heavyweights here.