Archives for February 16, 2012

Device turns camera phone into microscope

A pocket-sized optical accessory turns a phone into a high-resolution microscope.

Developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the thin module attaches to a phone magnetically. The camera’s field of view is 2 x 3 millimeters, and has a resolution of one-hundredth of a millimeter. LEDs are embedded in the outer edge of the lens, allowing objects to be illuminated from different angles — and the resulting images could be used to produce 3D topographic maps, VTT adds.

Finnish enterprise KeepLoop Oy is exploring the commercial potential of the invention. The first industrial applications and consumer models will be released in early 2012.

More information is here.


JVC camera records in darkness

With 28 built-in infrared LEDs, JVC’s TK-T8101WPRU bullet camera captures images in the dark.

The camera’s low light sensitivity is 0.05 lux for color, 0.015 for black-and-white, and 0 lux with active IR LED, the company says, at a distance of 115 feet.

Resolution is limited to 600 TV lines — in other words, VGA/standard definition, not HD.

The $350 camera has a 3.3-12 millimeter variable focal lens. It also has automatic high light compensation for use in extreme white light, and backlight compensation. It detects motion in four settable areas, with eight zones of privacy masking.

The waterproof and dustproof die-cast aluminum housing has a tempered glass front. It operates in temperatures between 14 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

More information is here.


Win an Australian Outback Photo Safari

An Australian Photo Safari in August with AIPP Grand Masters of Photography photographers Tony Hewitt and Peter Eastway is the Grand Prize package in a sweepstakes offered by a group of imaging industry companies.

“There are few experiences that match sunrise or sunset at Uluru, the amazing rock that stands in the heart of Australia’s Red Centre, Eastway says. “Surrounded by the myths and legends of the Aboriginal Dreamtime, there is something very special about this remote area, as well as the other areas we will discover on our Adventure in Oz.”

The Adventures in OZ photo safari sweepstakes ends March 1, 2012, with two Grand Prize drawings. Contestants can enter the sweepstakes online at

The Grand Prize packages, one of which will be awarded to a student and one to a non-student, are valued at approximately $12,000.

The contest is offered by Nik Software, Academic Superstore, Adorama, Animoto, Bay Photo Lab, Datacolor, GNP Frame, Hahnemühle, WPPI, and Zenfolio.

Study: 18 percent consider phones their primary camera

Consumers are complementing their digital photography needs with multi-use devices, such as smartphones and tablets, according to a new study released today from the Consumer Electronics Association.

The CEA found 55 percent of consumers still consider a point-and-shoot camera as their primary photography device — but the number who consider their smartphone to be their primary device for their photography needs has tripled in two years to 18 percent.

The rise of multi-use devices expands photography options and creates new opportunities within the imaging industry, CEA says. “The image quality of SLRs and point-and-shoot cameras is still very important to consumers. In fact, 93 percent of consumers ranked digital point-and-shoots highest in image quality.”

However, 74 percent of consumers favor smartphones when it comes to portability, CEA adds. “With 61 percent of photos taken at the spur of the moment, the convenience of smartphones allows the average consumers to take 35 photos per month on their phones, versus 32 photos per month on their point-and-shoot cameras.”

Backing up points made here about the importance of sharing to photography, the study also found 74 percent of consumers ranked smartphones highest on ease of sharing. Consumers with smartphones and tablets were more likely to use sharing-related applications, such as sending images from one phone to another (38 percent), emailing photos (58 percent), posting photos to a social networking site (48 percent), and texting photos (45 percent).

The survey was conducted in December 2011. CEA’s report, The Changing Landscape of Digital Photography, is available now.


On the Imaging Executive podcast: Turn your best customers into your marketers

Can you transform your businesses’ marketing and public relations from a costly process that does little for the bottom line into a source of successful sales? Alex Goldfayn of the Evangelist Marketing Institute , a former syndicated technology columnist at the Chicago Tribune, explains how to do it in this interview.