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Sony HDR-SR1Sony earlier this week unveiled two new Handycam camcorders which can record in full 1080i HD resolution and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. The new HDR-UX1 will be available in September for around $1,400, while the HDR-SR1 will appear a month later for around $1,500.

These two new camcorders will be capable of directly playing back on a HD television via HDMI outputs, in addition to being able to record at 1080i HD resolution. The HDR-SR1, which will have a 30GB hard drive, will be capable of recording over 10 hours of HD video in long play mode. The HDR-SR1, meanwhile, will make use of three-inch DVD discs for recording. Both models support the new AVCHD camcorder recording format based on the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec for video compression and Dolby digital audio as well as offering other features like four-megapixel digital still image capture and a 3.5” LCD swivel screen display which doubles as touch-sensitive control panels, giving easy access to many of the camcorders’ settings.

Read More | Sony Press Release


Samsung HelmetCamAll those Shaun White wannabees who went out and bought the Samsung HelmetCam to record their radical moves on the half pipe seem to have jumped the gun a bit too soon.  Even though it’s remote camera lens could be mounted anywhere, it was handicapped by the USB cable connection it required.

Well, no more.  The upgraded version, the HelmetCam SC-X210WL, goes wireless, has a fifteen foot range, and uses RF technology for high bandwidth without sacrificing battery life.  That means that thrashers can cut a 720 and not get tangled up in the video cable running to a camera in their pocket.

The 1-GB model costs $679 and will be available in September.  Not in time for the XGames, sadly.

Read More | HelmetCam Product Page via Sci-Fi Tech

GZ-MG77KRJVC’s Everio camcorder now makes it easier to burn videos straight from it’s onboard hard drive thanks to the Everio CU-VD10 Share Station. The Share Station is a DVD burner designed specifically for use with three new JVC Everio G-Series camcorders.  Connected via USB 2.0, the Everio Share Station will create a DVD that has direct access to scenes, easy re-sequencing of scenes, and instant scene deletion. Once connected, the camcorder automatically identifies the DVD burner and is used to control it with a menu that appears on the camcorder’s LCD, and with the push of a button, one hour of video clips are burned to a blank DVD-R/RW disc in about 45 minutes.

The JVC CU-VD10 Everio Share Station sells for about $200.

Read More | JVC Press Room

Fujifilm FinePix S6000fdFujifilm today is showcasing their first ever digital camera to work with their “face detection technology” to take better pictures. The new FinePix S6000fd is priced at $499.95 and should be available in September.

The FinePix S6000fd, said Fujifilm, detects up to 10 human faces regardless of their position in the scene. The faces are then reportedly prioritized, with the camera adjusting “its focus and exposure automatically so the intended subject is sharp, clear and exposed in the most flattering manner”. Other features highlighted by Fujifilm include automatic power intensity adjustment of the flash system depending on scene conditions, a 6.3 mega-pixel CCD, ISO equivalency up to 3200 at full resolution, 28-300mm Fujinon 10.7X optical zoom lens and a dual-shot mode.

Read More | Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd Product Page

Sanyo Xacti HD1aSanyo announced a new digital media camera today due for release in September which builds upon the success of their Xacti HD1. The new Xacti HD1a is priced at $699.99 and features an optimized recording mode for portable video players as well as a 16:9 still shooting mode for widescreen viewing.

The Xacti HD1a, which Sanyo says is ergonomic and can be operated with one hand, can record both 720p high-definition video and 5.1 megapixel digital still images to a standard SD flash memory card. It also includes among its feature set in-camera video editing, a 2.2-inch LCD display and 10x optical zoom.

Read More | Sanyo Press Release

Samsung NV7 OPSSamsung has introduced a new line of digital cameras (“slim-bridge”) which feature slim, stylish designs, easy to use features and lots of cool technology. An example of the new NV Series is the seven-megapixel NV7 OPS, priced at $449.99 and available this fall.

The NV7 OPS has a super slim body which measures 4.2” x 2.5” x 0.8”. Besides having seven-megapixels, this digital camera also incorporates a Schneider 7x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 38-270 mm in 35 mm format), optical picture stabilization and shake reduction.

Other features of the NV7 OPS include three kinds of manual exposure adjustment, an auto macro function that automatically adjusts shooting distance and focus between 10cm to infinity, video recording in VGA (640x480) at 30fps, 11 scene modes and several special effects functions for in-camera editing.

Read More | Samsung Product Page

DescriptionAcer is apparently out today with a new 8.28-megapixel digital camera which looks to incorporate cutting edge features in a retro design. Say hello to the CP-8660.

The CP-8660 sports the following in a lightweight design: 6x optical zoom, a 2cm super macro mode, 17 preset shooting modes, 25MB of internal memory, SD card support, video recording, a 2.8” TFT LCD screen, PictBridge support, USB 2.0 connectivity, built in editing tools, voice memo and a rechargeable battery.

On top of all of this, the CP-8660 is apparently the first Acer camera to come with anti-shake DSP (Digital Signal Processing) technology.

Read More | Acer Product Page via Gizmodo

Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000 and VX-6000

It’s no secret that Microsoft wants to integrate PC and Xbox 360 users together when Vista debuts later this

millenium century

decade.  One step towards that goal is the integration of instant messaging between the two disparate platforms, and with the release of the Xbox 360 Live Vision Camera a short time ago, Microsoft is partway there.  Keeping the momentum going, Microsoft is now releasing two new webcams aimed at the PC market, the VX-3000 and VX-6000 LifeCams.

The first two available webcams, the Microsoft LifeCam VX-6000 and Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000, bring a new dimension to Windows Live Messenger and feature exclusive industry firsts that streamline the webcam experience: • Windows Live Call Button. Located on the top of each LifeCam, the Windows Live Call Button makes placing a video call a breeze by eliminating the usual multiple steps. Just one touch brings up the Buddy Picker, a tool that shows users only current online buddies. They simply select their contact’s name and they are on their way to making a video call. • LifeCam Dashboard. Built right into the Windows Live Messenger window for easy access during video calling, the LifeCam Dashboard provides simple access to the controls people need most, including pan, tilt and zoom. Now users’ attention stays where it should be — on their video conversation. • One-touch blogging. Windows Live Spaces is one of the fastest-growing blog communities in the world, with more than 50 million individual Spaces. Now, users can post High Definition LifeCam pictures directly to their Windows Live Space blog with one click from within the LifeCam window. The new Microsoft LifeCam VX-6000 is a top-of-the-line wired webcam providing the highest quality still photography on the market (5.0 megapixels interpolated), High Definition video (1.3 megapixels)3 and 3x digital zoom. A 71-degree wide-angle lens allows enough room for up to three people to join in the conversation. The Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000 offers High Definition still photography (1.3 megapixels interpolated) and brilliant video (640x480 pixels). Both LifeCams feature a built-in acoustic noise-canceling microphone to ensure crystal-clear audio performance without adding clutter from extra headsets or external microphones. In addition, both new LifeCams come with fun Video Effects, such as falling snowflakes and twinkling stars, to personalize and enhance the background of video conversations. The LifeCams also have a Universal Attachment Base for easy and secure attachment to virtually any size monitor.

The webcams are available now with USD list prices of $99.95 (VX-6000) and $49.95 (VX-3000).

Read More | Microsoft via bit-tech

What happens when you create a giant slingshot, and use it to propel a piece of old-school technology into a solid cement wall at over 100 MPH? Find out in this episode of Breakin’ Stuff.

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Sony DSLR-A100

With Sony and Minolta teaming up last year, it was only a matter of time before the fruits of their partnership were made apparent.  That time is now, and the result is Sony’s first SLR with interchangeable lenses - the DSLR-A100.

The camera uses a lens mount system that is compatible with Minolta’s A-type bayonet mount, and that’s good news for a couple of reasons.  One, it gives existing Minolta camera users an upgrade path for their compatible equipment.  That’s important because it was only a short while ago that Minolta announced they were withdrawing from the camera business, leaving more than a few customers in the lurch.  Secondly, it gives new owners of the DSLR-A100 an immediate upgrade path with the abundance of pre-existing 3rd-party and Minolta lenses.

Sony has taken Minolta’s anti-shake technology, made a few improvements, and dubbed it Super SteadyShot.  They claim that having it enabled allows use of shutter speeds up to 3.5 stops lower than without it.  Having image stabilization built into the camera body is nice as it allows you to use the feature with any lens, as opposed to buying special lenses just to get the feature.  Other items of note include the ability to take continuous shots at three frames per second (at any resolution except RAW) until the memory card is full, a 40-segment metering sensor, and an anti-dust feature that basically vibrates the CCD clean.

An expected street price of $899.95 puts the new DSLR firmly in the entry-level SLR camp, competing with Canon’s Digital Rebel XT and Nikon’s D70s.  It’s arguable that Canon and Nikon don’t have too much to worry about, but even so, competition is always a good thing.

Read More | Rob Galbraith DPI
Read More | Digital Photography Review