Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ten Best Living Photographers

I find a great blog about photography: The Online Photographer

Here the list of ten photographers.

10. Jill Freedman.
9. Duane Michals.
8. Kim Kirkpatrick.
7. Nicholas Nixon.
6. Sally Mann.
5. Roy DeCarava.
4. Ray McSavaney.
3. Edward Burtynsky.
2. James Nachtwey.
1. Elliott Erwitt.

Friday, December 15, 2006

High speed flash photography kit

With the kit you can take "impossible" pictures, leaving everyone wondering "How did you do that?" Capture high-speed events -- A splash. Popping balloons. Breaking glass. Use your imagination! Adjustable flash controller triggered by light or sound. Kit includes a high-speed flash, disposable camera, flash controller and fully assembled flash trigger that synchronizes the high-speed event and the flash.

More details you can find here

Almost opensource digital camera

The Dakota Digital Camera is one of several inexpensive ($10.99 MSRP) single-use digital cameras currently on the market in the US. Picture quality is a bit lacking, but acceptable for Web images and the like, and certainly not bad for the price. These are available at participating Ritz or Wolf Camera stores, or can be ordered by phone at 1-877-690-0099 (no online ordering, apparently). The camera is easily adapted from single-use to many-use following the instructions below, and is powered by two easily-replaced AA batteries. While they are sold with the intention that you return them at some point for processing (they give you prints and a photo CD, but keep the camera), there is nothing (no contract, rental agreement, deposit, etc.) that actually requires you to return it--once you buy it, it's yours to do with as you please.

Dakota USB Driver: A portable driver to access the Dakota camera via USB. The driver permits development of software for the Dakota that does not depend on a particular implementation of the USB stack.

Dakota Memory API: An API that provides read/write access to the camera's external memory space, the firmware flash, and the DRAM.

Dakota Firmware Update Tool: Firmware update is done in cooperation with the currently installed firmware, so an update failure will ruin your camera.

Dakota Configuration Tool: A tool that lets you alter the dynamic non-volatile configuration of your camera.

Original site here
Other Dakota sites
John Maushammer (see his Dakota page)
Tim Gipson (also has a Dakota page)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Yahoo and Reuters have launched paparazzi website

Who needs paparazzi when Yahoo! and Reuters make us all photo journalists?
By Stuart Corner

The world's celebrities should be getting nervous. Yahoo and Reuters have launched a website where members of the public can submit photos and videos of news events.

According to a Reuters news report, the two companies have created a news contribution system called "You Witness" which will collect, edit and distribute selected photos and video to other news outlets. Yahoo also plans to run selected images contributed by users as part of topical packages on Yahoo News, which already aggregates news from dozens of professional news organisations including Associated Press, CNN and Reuters.

The two companies have given on indication that the scope of You Witness will be extended to sneak photos of the rich and famous, but given the high price paid for such material, and the likelihood that members of the public will serendipitously get chances to take such shots, it would seem inevitable.

According to Reuters the initial focus is on news, but Yahoo! aims to expand the system to solicit user contributions for sports, entertainment and other sections of its site. Photos and videos can be submitted via or However the only option for submission from the Reuters page is to email the content to While the Yahoo! page has lots of hints and tips on how to shoot good photos and video, there is almost no information on the Reuters page, and neither site has any information on payment, ownership of copyright of submitted material etc.

According to Reuters, it and Yahoo are working out a plan to compensate contributors when their images are selected for commercial syndication. The report quoted Scott Moore, head of news and information at Yahoo Media Group, says that the service could be extended to take text contributions as well as images and video.

Friday, December 01, 2006

How to Choose the Best Camera Phone

What is it with these all-singing all-dancing bells and whistles cell phones these days? They'll be going to the toilet for us next! I mean, just how much more gadgetry are the manufactures planning to cram into these tiny devices? Apart from the communication function of a mobile, the only other 2 features I've used are the radio and the camera. All the internet, games, planners, calculators and other bits that they come equipped with these days, fall by the wayside with me I'm afraid. Even the camera was nothing but a novelty to begin with, but now that the image quality is improving, it just might be a replacement for the standard digital camera. But just how do you choose the best camera phone?

All of the big cell phone brands have models with cameras and they're all are telling us that theirs are a cut above the rest, but they can't all have the greatest cell phone camera out there. This is why we need as much info as possible in order to make an informed decision prior to purchasing our new camera phone.

Although the technology is improving all the time, even the best camera phone is substandard to regular digital cameras, simply because they lack the versatility and functionality of the real deal. If you simply want a cell phone camera for quick snaps shots or to record images for reference material, then you may not care too much about image quality. If, on the other hand, you want to be able to take nice photos for posterity, then you really do need to compare between the models.

So, the biggest set back with the camera phones have been with image quality. Quite often the results are grainy, not too sharp, and lack perspective. Up until quite recently, the resolution on a mobile phone camera was around 640 x 480 pixels. Now compared to the digital cameras, which literally have millions of pixels, you can quite clearly see why there is such a drastic difference in image quality.

However, that was then and this is now. The new age of camera phone is upon us and there are models available which also boast resolution in millions of megapixels. In fact, in 2005, Pantech announced an impressive 5 Mega-Pixel Mobile Camera Phone and was hailed as the first ‘real’ camera phone, simply because it dramatically enhanced quality of images for users.

There are lots of other models too which are now introducing millions of pixels into their camera phones, so choosing the best one is becoming less of an ordeal than it was say a couple of years ago. There's the Samsung i320N 1.3-megapixel camera (inclusive of flash), which is great for happy snappers. The snazzy Palm Treo 750v also has a 1.3-megapixel camera but without flash. In fact the list is endless and at the time of writing 1.3 megapixel seems to be the new standard, but with the speed of technology, that'll all change pretty soon.

The bottom line is that the higher the resolution (resolution simply refers to the number of pixels in an image), then the higher the image quality will be.

The internet is a wonderful tool for consumers of all goods and services. With the pace in which technology changes, I urge anyone who is seeking to purchase a new camera phone, to hop online first and read 'real' reviews on the latest products. This way, choosing the best camera phone at that time will a much less arduous task.

from here

Top Ten 6+ megapixel compact cameras

Photographers who want to make large prints (8x10 or larger) and capture lots of image detail need all the megapixels they can get. But that's not all these high-res models offer. Each of them has a distinctive feature set and design -- and they're not all made with the same kind of shooter in mind. So before you invest in a high-res camera, take a look at our top picks to find out what sets each model apart from its peers -- and which one will sync with your own photographic style.

1. Canon PowerShot S80
Aside from one or two very minor lens shortcomings, Canon's new flagship S-series model stands out in its class.

Resolution: 8 megapixels
Zoom: 4x digital, 3.6x optical
Display: 2.5 inch TFT active colour matrix
Dimensions: 104 x 38.8 x 57 mm
Weight: 225 grams

2. Nikon Coolpix 7900
Despite a few shortcomings, this handsome little camera packs a punch, with practical snapshot features and solid picture quality.

Resolution: 7.1 megapixels
Zoom: 4x digital, 3x optical
Display: 2 inch TFT active colour matrix
Dimensions: 88 x 36.5 x 60 mm
Weight: 150 grams

3. Sony Cyber Shot DSC-T9
Sony's new Cyber Shot DSC-T9 is a beautiful, highly pocketable camera that's fast and easy to use and has good image quality, to boot.

Resolution: 6 megapixels
Zoom: 6x digital, 3x optical
Display: 2.5-inch (230K pixels) Hybrid, clear photo LCD plus
Dimensions: 90 x 20.2 x 54.8 mm
Weight: 140 grams

4. Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1 has a broad set of manual controls, image stabilisation, and a wide lens and sensor crammed into a compact package.

Resolution: 8.4 megapixels
Zoom: 4x digital, 4x optical
Display: 2.5 inch TFT active colour matrix
Dimensions: 11 x 56 x 35 mm
Weight: 213 grams

5. Casio Exilim EX-Z750
The Casio Z750 marries form and function with a great design and satisfying manual controls.

Resolution: 7.2 megapixels
Zoom: 8x digital, 3x optical
Display: 2.5 inch TFT active colour matrix
Dimensions: 89 x 23 x 58 mm
Weight: 159 grams

6. Canon PowerShot A620
The Canon PowerShot A620's above-average feature set and great photo quality should make it as popular as the A95.

Resolution: 7.1 megapixels
Zoom: 4x digital, 4x optical
Display: 2 inch tilt LCD screen
Dimensions: 104.8 x 66 x 49.1 mm
Weight: 235 grams

7. Canon PowerShot G6
A very good camera that needs a speed bump to pull ahead of the competition.

Resolution: 7.1 megapixels
Zoom: 4x digital, 4x optical
Display: 2 inch low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT colour
Dimensions: 104.9 x 73.1x 72.8 mm
Weight: 380 grams

8. Casio EX-P700 Exilim Pro
A compact camera with enough manual controls to keep enthusiasts happy.

Resolution: 7.2 megapixels
Zoom: 4x digital, 4x optical
Display: 2 inch TFT active colour matrix
Dimensions: 97.5 x 67.5 x 45.1 mm
Weight: 225 grams

9. Fujifilm FinePix F10
This compact camera's versatile 2.5-inch LCD, usable high-ISO photos, and shoot-all-day battery are offset by a few image-quality issues.

Resolution: 6.3 megapixels
Zoom: 6.2x digital, 3x optical
Display: 2.5 inch TFT active colour matrix
Dimensions: 91 x 28 x 58 mm
Weight: 156 grams

10. Sony Cyber Shot DSC-W7
This compact camera's versatile 2.5-inch LCD, usable high-ISO photos, and shoot-all-day battery are offset by a few image-quality issues.

Resolution: 7.2 megapixels
Zoom: 2x digital, 3x optical
Display: 2.5 inch TFT active colour matrix
Dimensions: 91 x 61 x 38 mm
Weight: 196 grams