Over at Wired, Medea Giordano has brought her insightful eye as a photographer and a writer to the new Polaroid 600 Barbie Throwback camera, a retro take on the classic camera with all the Barbie flourishes you'd expect. But according to Giordano, the seemingly-novelty nature of the camera is tertiary to the fact that … it actually might be the best Polaroid alternative available right now, or at least, the least shitty thing that still connects most closely with our nostalgic memories of what a true Polaroid camera should be.
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The new Polaroid 600 Barbie Throwback camera ($149) doesn't just look like an old Polaroid. It kinda is one. The camera's internals are made from original Polaroid electronics that have been refurbished and tested by Retrospekt, a vintage-product restoration company, housed in a new plastic exterior that is just slightly updated from the ‘99 version. No batteries are needed, as they’re built into each film pack. (It takes an eight-pack of 600 film in color or black and white.) Unlike some of the other instant cameras released today, it produces the full-size photos you’ll remember from yesteryear.
The new Polaroid—formerly known as Polaroid Originals and the Impossible Project—has had trouble with its film quality since it first released its instant film in 2010. We noted the improvements in film quality back in 2017, but as Gear writer Scott Gilbertson wrote in March, newer Polaroid film is still sometimes plagued by grainy areas or spots that don't look fully developed.
The Nikon Museum in Tokyo issued this handsome wristwatch commemorating the 60th anniversary of the revolutionary Nikon F camera. Apparently the company only made 100 of the watches for sale in their museum gift shop for around US$180. From PetaPixel:
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The understated silver watch face is complimented by a black leather band and features an “actual-size shutter-speed dial as featured in the Nikon F” as its centerpiece. The back of the watch has the Nikon F logo emblazoned into the stainless steel.
Having spent hundreds of dollars on glass tripods and other camera accessories for my iPhone, it's fair to say that I'm neck-deep in love with iPhone photography. However, there are still some situations where pulling up my trust Sony RX100 III to capture a moment is a better choice. It's a wonderful camera, but it lacks GPS. To get around this issue, after taking a photo with my RX100, I often snap off a throwaway shot with my iPhone for the sake of capturing the location information. I've been doing it for years.
This video covers a bit of this, but it also goes a step further by illustrating how to batch import GPS coordinates for a single location into multiple images via Lightroom Classic. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to preform the trick described in the video using Lightroom for iOS or Android, but it works a treat with the desktop version of the app.
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Here's an ad from Hikvision, the worlds' largest security camera company, boasting of its products' utility in detecting people's ethnicity. James Vincent writes that it "speaks volumes about the brutal simplicity of the techno-surveillance state." [via @CharlesRollet1, who points to an archived webpage that details the "Uyghur detection" feature] Read the rest
Mathieu Stern is curator of the Weird Lenses Museum.
This lens spent 100 years in the dark, the last think it captured must have been the horrors of the World War I ... i think it was time to use it for something more light and positive. I took this Kodak Vest Pocket camera lens with me for a short trip to Vienna (Austria) to shoot some test footage. I must say i was pretty amazed by the sharpness and the quality of the image i saw on my screen.
It does look great. The go-to practical glass for getting this old-timey look is Soviet M42-mount Zeiss Biotar knockoffs, especially the Mir 1-B 37mm and the Helios 44-2 58mm.
I figure that the magic happens because old uncoated glass offers poor contrast, effectively compressing light and shadow into a thinner range: a bug in 1960 but a useful feature in 2020, where the resulting flat, grayish image can graded in real-time on pocket computers. The upside is capturing a filmlike range of light on everday video sensors. The downside is the loss of information in general--push too hard in the lab and it'll just look nasty. Which is good. Read the rest
UK educator and photographer Brendan Barry converted a shipping container into a large format film camera. Inside is a self-contained darkroom to develop the photos along with a gallery to display them. He describes it as “the world’s biggest, slowest, and most impractical Polaroid camera.”
Above is Exploredinary's documentary about the Container Camera. And you can read more about the project at PetaPixel.
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Researchers from the University of Zurich's Robotics and Perception Group designed an event camera system for drones. In the video above, the fun starts at 1:25. As explained by IEEE Spectrum, "These are sensors that are not good at interpreting a scene visually like a regular camera, but they’re extremely sensitive to motion, responding to changes in a scene on a per-pixel basis in microseconds. A regular camera that detects motion by comparing one frame with another takes milliseconds to do the same thing, which might not seem like much, but for a fast-moving drone it could easily be the difference between crashing into something and avoiding it successfully."
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Martin Fitzpatrick built the Etch-A-Snap, a digital camera with an automated Pocket Etch-A-Sketch as its display on the back. Each photo takes between 15 minutes to one hour to be sketched. From Two Bit Arcade:
Photos are processed down to 240x144 pixel 1-bit (black & white) line drawings using Pillow and OpenCV and then translated into plotter commands by building a network graph representation with networkx. The Etch-A-Sketch wheels are driven by two 5V stepper motors mounted into a custom 3D printed frame. The Etch-A-Snap is entirely portable and powered by 4xAA batteries & 3x18650 LiPo cells.
Find links to the plans and code here: "Etch-A-Snap: The Raspberry Pi powered Etch-A-Sketch camera" (Two Bit Arcade)
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Tesla500 rigged an array of 48 high-speed cameras "capable of recording 68 gigapixels per second - 720p at 72000fps!"
Bullet Time meets Moore's Law.
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In this delightful project, Will Gudgeon turned a frozen chocolate easter egg into a fun and effective pinhole camera. The first step is to eat the contents. "The main challenges were it melting, cracking and light leaks around the seal," Gudgeon writes.
"How to Make a Pinhole Camera Out of a Chocolate Easter Egg" (PetaPixel)
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Andy George made his own camera lens with borax, river sand, and soda ash. From PetaPixel:
“It has been one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever done,” George says after completing his lens. “Every single step in the project has been a huge pain.”
Making clear glass took over a dozen tries, annealing the glass pucks took at least four attempts, and grinding the lenses themselves took at least 30 hours of continuous grinding.
Sure, the lens is cloudy and, er, imperfect, but HE MADE HIS OWN DAMN CAMERA LENS FROM SCRATCH!
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I dig Moment's high quality smartphone camera lenses for the convenience that they offer. I don't always have my Sony RX100 III on me. It often isn't even charged and ready to use. But where ever I roam, I typically have my smartphone with me: thanks to Moment's lenses, I'm able to up my iPhone's photographic game to almost reach the heights that my pocket-sized Sony shooter affords. What's more, the money I've spent on their glass feels like a good investment. Should I ever pull together enough scratch to upgrade to a new iPhone, all I'll have to do in order to use the lenses I own is buy a new case for it. Currently, Moment makes cases for Apple, Samsung, and Google hardware and, as of earlier this week, OnePlus.
The one Moment lens that I used more than any other was their 60mm tele lens. It provided 2x optical zoom over what my old iPhone SE could manage on its own. My dual lens iPhone 7 Plus? Same thing, only better: when paired with the iPhone's native optical zoom, you wound up with 4x optical magnification. A couple of years ago, it allowed me to shoot this:
Not bad! But here's the thing: when you use the 60mm with a dual lens camera phone, like the iPhone X, which typically has a wider field of view, the images captured aren't as crisp at the edges as they are in the center. With the photo above, I was able to crop and correct for some of this in Lightroom, but it's a pain in the ass. Read the rest
If you want to get the most out of dedicated digital audio players, smartphones, cameras, drones, tablets or game systems, you'll need to pair it with the right memory card. No problem: head down to Best Buy or log into Amazon and you ca--shit there's a ton of the frigging things. You can buy the first, least expensive one that you see. That'll work for some things... but not all of the things. Some devices can benefit from speedier, more expensive memory cards. Knowing which card to jam into which thing can be daunting. Thankfully, Gizmodo's David Neild has put together a quick, easy-to-understand guide to figuring it all out.
To start with you’ve got a choice of sizes: The standard SD ones (mostly for digital cameras and bigger gear) and the smaller microSD ones (originally developed for, and still used in, smartphones). Extra letters after the SD mean a newer, improved standard, with room for greater capacities and faster speeds—these include HC (High Capacity) and the latest XC (Extended Capacity), and both are used across the SD and microSD form factors today.
Yeah, it's pretty dry stuff. But it's well presented and deeply useful.
So, before you buy a new memory card to go along with your new digital whatever this Monday, you'd do well to stop by Gizmodo first.
Image by CompactFlash.jpg: André Karwath aka AkaSecure_Digital_Kingston_512MB.png: Andrew pmkMS-PRO-DUO.JPG: KB AlphaXD_card_typeH_512M_Olympus.png: og-emmetMicroSD_card.jpg: KowejaMemory_Stick_Micro.JPG: The original uploader was J Di at English Wikipedia..Later Read the rest
How much better is a $4,000 EOS R than a $500 Rebel T100? Peter McKinnon invited a professional photographer to look at photos taken with both cameras and try to tell which camera was used. He didn't do a great job. Read the rest
Photographer Alireza Rostami scavenged the lens and shutter from his broken Chinese Seagull TLR camera to create this fantastic wrist-worn camera complete with a self-timer. More at PetaPixel.
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