DigitalCameraReview.com
Digital Camera News, 4/30/08
by David Rasnake -  4/30/2008

Google's VisualRank: The future of online image search?

At an internet technology conference in Beijing this week, web giant Google, Inc. provided details about a new search algorithm pertaining specifically to images cataloged on the web.

Google

Termed "VisualRank," after Google's groundbreaking PageRank search system, the new image software has the potential, at least, to fundamentally change the way image search works. Instead of depending on the text associated with each image to gather and rank image search results, VisualRank adds image-recognition capabilities to Google's image ranking process.

While the theory is sound, technological progress on the idea has been slow in coming. In reference to VisualRank, PMA Newsline reported this week that "[p]rogress has been made in automatic face detection in images, but finding other objects, which are instantly recognizable to humans, has lagged."

The basics of VisualRank were outlined by two Google scientists in a paper presented at the conference, though additional details about when we might see a full-scale implementation of the idea are still fairly vague.

Check out PMA Newsline for a brief synopsis of the paper presentation.

2008 TIPA award winners unveiled

The European Technical Image Press Association (TIPA), the organization that has bestowed its logo on the boxes and websites of some of the most innovative cameras on the market, has unveiled its 2008 award winners.

TIPA

TIPA recognized four DSLRs among its best of 2008 honorees: the Sony Alpha A200, the Canon EOS 450D/Rebel XSi, the Nikon D300, and the stunning Nikon D3. Other notable winners that have recently been on the DCR.com radar include the touchscreen Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 ("Best Compact Digital Camera"), the Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ("Best Expert Lens"), the Casio EX-F1 ("Best Imagining Innovation"), and the Canon Pixma MP970 ("Best Multifunction Photo Printer").

Head to TIPA.com to see the press organization's complete selections for 2008.

SeaLife launches new digicam for divers

Speciality digicam maker SeaLife has released details on its latest foray into high-function waterproof cameras, the SeaLife DC800.

SeaLife DC800

The DC800 is an 8 megapixel digital camera with a wide-angle 4x optical zoom and a dedicated underwater housing. Capable of operating to depths of up to 200 feet within its polycarbonate housing, the DC800 features a 2.7-inch LCD and is compatible with SeaLife's external flash system.

Out of its housing, the SeaLife is a slim compact with the standard range of land-going camera features, including 16 scene presets and a unique "spy" mode capable of taking still images at regular user-selectable intervals from five seconds to five minutes. Five auto-exposure underwater shooting modes give the DC800 the flexibility to capture a wide range of aquatic scenes; the camera also utilizes three separate color balance modes for cast correction in different kinds of water.

Weighing in at 17 ounces inside its rubberized waterproof shell, the DC800 utilizes SD/SDHC memory and a 1250mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery good for around 200 shots.

Like most waterproof digital shooting options, the DC800 won't come cheap: suggested retail price for the new SeaLife, which should be available in dive shops and online retailers in the near term, is $550 dollars.