Thinkgeek's Security Camera Birdfeeder ($15.99) is a bit of gallows humor for the post-Snowden age. Feed animals in your yard while they perch unwittingly into an icon of the corporate-government surveillance apparatus, and try not to think about the CCTVs -- metaphorical and literal -- watching you as you watch them. Then ask yourself: "Who's the birdbrain around here?"
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Blackmagic's trick is to make cameras with great cinematic image quality at a relatively inexpensive price. The tradeoff is gear that is Satan's gift to ergonomics, with low-end audio inputs, terrible battery life and a limited set of features. Enter the Blackmagic Studio Camera, which includes a big 10" monitor, 4 hours on a charge, XLR inputs, and broadcast-friendly features lacking in the earlier models. With the offered grip accessory, one may even hold it with a human hand! The game-changing prices remain: it's just under $2k, with a 4K version for $3k. You'll still need to bring your own lenses and SSDs.
Also announced is the Blackmagic URSA, a higher-end model with a super35-size 4k sensor aimed at professional feature use. At $6k, it isn't as affordable to students and consumers as the other models (especially the $990 pocket cinema camera), but it compares well on paper to the five-figure price tags hanging off similar gear from Canon, Sony and others.
In 1972, Polaroid introduced its iconic SX-70 camera. It was an evolutionary leap from the groundbreaking "Land Camera" invented in 1947 by Polaroid co-founder Edwin H. Land (image right). LIFE has posted a gorgeous gallery of SX-70 photos from a time when instant photography was still in the realm of magic. The shots were taken by LIFE photographer Co Rentmeester who had a chance to put the SX-70 through its paces before it was available for purchase. #nofilter
After a hit kickstarter and more than a year of development, the Digital Bolex is ready for lights, camera, and action. With RAW recording, interchangeable lenses, a Super 16-size sensor and built-in storage, it's got a similar pitch to Blackmagic's Cinema Camera: much more cinematic footage than consumer camcorders can produce, but much less expensive than standard pro-grade gear. While the Blackmagic needs to be accessorized to be useful, though, the Digital Bolex's old-school pistol-grip form, built-in SSD and XLR mic inputs make it easier to just head out and shoot great footage. Read the rest
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Panasonic's Lumix GX7, released last month, stuffed high-end features (including in-body stabilization, WiFi and 24fps video, a rarity in Micro Four Thirds models) into a body rather lighter than other high-end models. I didn't go for it, though, because it's still just a bit too chunky for my lazy tastes. I want something barely a smidgen larger than a point-and-shoot, that I can screw all my MFT lenses into, and which has the same rangefindery good looks as Fujifilm's X-series models.
Sony's built a reputation for making small camera with great image quality, with large-sensor models like the RX1 and RX100 leaving the competition–and our wallets–in pain. The latest models? A superzoom, and the full-frame interchangeable-lens compact that fans have been waiting for. Read the rest
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Sony's minsucule QX Lens Camera offers the specs of its high-end RX100 point-and-shoot--a 1" sensor and Zeiss F1.8 glass--but clips right onto a smartphone. It hooks up with an iOS or Android app, via WiFi or NFC, thereby letting you use the phone as the camera's viewscreen. (There's an even smaller version, too, though its sensor and lens aren't as good; you may as well just get a Nokia 1020.)
I rather like the idea of a tiny, high-end camera that can just clip-on to anything--cellphone, webcam, helmet, bike, etc. But the RX100 is already small enough, has more features, and is only a little more expensive. At $500 for the version worth buying, that QX is a pretty penny.
Bozardeux, a recent French graduate and Instructables user, has undertaken a project to make an open, 3D printed
DSLR camera. All the parts and designs are licensed CC Attibution-ShareAlike.
3D Printed Camera : OpenReflex by Bozardeux (Thanks, Gregory)
The OpenReflex is an Open-Source analog camera with a mirror Viewfinder and an awesome finger activated mechanic shutter (running ~ 1/60°s). What's more, it's compatible with any photographic lens with custom mount ring.
All the pieces easily printable on any recent RepRap-like ABS 3D-printer without using support material ! Everything should print in less than 15h and anyone should be able to assemble it within 1h.
All parts are separate ( Film receiver, Shutter and Viewfinder ) to simplify builds and modifications. The source files are available under the CreativeCommon By-Sa license, fell free to modify them if you want a new feature, and don't forget to share your improvements on the web ;)
The GoPro Hero 3 is a matchbox-sized, battery-powered HD camera that goes anywhere, capturing everything from adrenaline-fueled sporting escapades to underwater adventures. The Angenieux 15-40mm is a $45,000 cine lens that makes everything look wildly beautiful. Now, assuming you don't mind a 6x crop factor and a $295-a-day rental fee, you may have them together!
Tampa, Florida web developer Jon Gales mapped the city's new network of downtown surveillence cameras installed for the Republican convention, to empower fellow citizens to become aware of the encroaching surveillance society. City authorities have not responded to his queries about what will happen to the cameras once the convention ends.
Nikon Rumors has pictures of Nikon's forthcoming Android camera, the S800. Resembling a standard compact digicam from the front—with a 25-250mm-equivalent lens—the rear's full-size touchscreen serves up access to Google Play apps. But Cult of Mac's Charlie Sorrel says it'll live or die on its connectivity, and it isn't a cellphone: "GPS is great, and putting Instagram on your camera even better, but if you have to wait to find a Wi-Fi hotspot before posting or Tweeting that photo, a major part of mobile photography is lost."
Sorry if you're getting sick of everyone raving about Sony's RX100, but this thing--the size of a deck of cards!--really is the dog's bollocks. With Canon about to hit town with an APS-C mirrorless, I reckon low-end Micro 4/3 models (and Sony's own sub-$1k NEXes) are done.