Archives for February 16, 2011

Panasonic takes HD underwater

Just when we thought the rush of new camera announcements had abated, Panasonic came forward with more pocket camcorders.

The highlight of the new models is the pistol-style HX-WA10, which is optimized for shooting outdoors and in rainy weather, the company says, with a backside illumination sensor for shooting in dimly lit conditions, such as swimming in a pool or the ocean.

The waterproof/shockproof casings is good for 3 meters underwater for up to 60 minutes. The camcorder captures 1080p video or 16-megapixel still images. It has a 2.7-inch LCD and a 5x optical zoom.

The HM-TA20 features a “triple tough design,” Panasonic says, that is waterproof, shockproof and dustproof — and a night view mode for shooting in dim lighting “such as a birthday party scene where someone is blowing out candles or a party at night.”

The camcorder captures 8-megapixel still pictures, and has a 3-inch touchscreen, but lacks a zoom lens.

LG smartphone and tablet capture, show 3D

LG Electronics is standing out from the hordes of Android-based phone and tablets with the first 3D models.

The Optimus 3D’s 4.3-inch 3D display is large for a phone — and it houses applied parallax barrier technology, which means glasses are not required to view 3D. The phone also has two 5-megapixel cameras on the back to shoot stereoscopic HD video at 720p; it can also capture 1080p video in 2D.

The phone connects to a 3DTV via HDMI, runs a Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 dual core processor, and is due in May; pricing was not announced.

LG’s Optimus Pad has similar 3D functions: two cameras on the back for shooting 3D video, and a 2- megapixel camera on the front for video calls. The tablet has an 8.9-inch display, and runs the Android Honeycomb OS on an Nvidia processor.

Sony phone emphasizes TV connectivity

Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Neo phone will plug into an HDTV via HDMI, and is controlled with a standard remote.

The phone has an 8 megapixel main camera with LED flash, and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera. Sony says the Exmor R mobile sensor “enables the capture of high quality, bright pictures and HD videos even in low light.”

The Neo has a 3.7-inch screen, and runs the Google Android 2.3 OS on a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

Also: The Xperia pro is a business phone with a full QWERTY keyboard, and secure syncing for email, calendar and contacts.

Kodak Gallery providing full-resolution downloads

Kodak Gallery, Emeryville, Calif., now provides users with the technologies to upload and store their images at original resolution, and to provide full-resolution image downloading to friends. Kodak Gallery is also provide one-click link sharing of multiple images.

“Your pictures will look their best at the Kodak Gallery, whether you’re sharing a photo slideshow with friends or creating a photo book,” says Trent Gruenwald, Product Marketing Manager. “Unlike other services that compress image quality, we allow people to upload and store their photos at their original resolution and now your friends can download full-resolution copies of the images you share with them for free.”

Police pay photographer thousands for deleting public images

Amateur Photographer is reporting a man has won $40,000 in damages after Atlanta, Ga., police confiscated his camera phone and deleted images he had taken of them in a public place. Marlon Kautz had been filming officers as they arrested someone last April when he was told he had no right to record them.

Kautz belongs to a group, Copwatch, that films police activity using cameras and mobile phones.

According to the report, he claimed one officer snatched the phone from his hand. “Kautz said that when asked to get his phone back, another officer said he’d return it only after Kautz gave him the password… so he could delete the footage,” reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. When police returned his phone the images had been ‘deleted, altered or damaged’.

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