Transcend offers WiFi camera storage card

Storage card maker Transcend Information released a new WiFi SD storage card that “instantly adds wireless capability to an SDHC-compatible digital camera.”

Also, when the card is coupled with the company’s app, “users can take advantage of the high resolution of their digital camera and the versatility of their smartphone or tablet to easily share beautifully shot photos to the world as soon as they are taken.” The company also notes the advantage of pairing a camera with a table to immediately see the high-resolution images the camera captures on the tablet’s bigger display.

The card can set a peer-to-peer connection between camera and mobile device, or to a nearby Internet hotspot.

The cards are priced at $60 for 16GB and  $99 for 32GB.

More information is here.

Sony adds WiFi, faster autofocus to ILC — and upgrades via apps


In a first for its line of interchangeable lens cameras, Sony’s new NEX-5R features Fast Hybrid AF autofocus technology, which combines phase-detection and contrast-detection methods to ensure speedy, accurate autofocus in any shooting situation, the company says.

The 99 phase-detection AF points arrayed on the image sensor detect a subject’s distance and quickly lock focus on it, Sony adds; then contrast-detection AF confirms precise details.

The new NEX is also Sony’s first interchangeable lens camera with integrated WiFi “for easy image sharing, saving and viewing.”

Like preceding models, the NEX-5R has a 16-megapixel sensor. The 3-inch tilting LCD adds touch-shutter and touch-tracking features.

The camera will sell for $650 for the body, or $750 with an 18-55mm lens.

Also: You don’t need Android to enhance a camera’s features: Sony says its PlayMemories Camera Apps will “offer a variety of applications that expand camera functionality, personalizing your photographic experience and enhancing your network connectivity.”

Its the first application download service for an interchangeable lens camera, the company says, “and lets you install new functions on demand to boost the capabilities of your camera.”

The system will first work on the NEX-5R. Downloadable utilities will include “Smart Remote Control,” an Android/iOS app with which users can remotely checks the image on screen, adjust exposure and release the shutter of the NEX-5R with a smartphone or tablet.

Other apps available on launch will include:

“Picture Effect+” — expands the artistic treatments;

“Bracket Pro” — shoots a burst of three images at different ‘bracketed’ settings – for shutter speed, aperture or focus;

“Multi Frame NR” — captures a series of images in rapid succession that are superimposed to create one low-noise photo at the selected ISO speed.

“Photo Retouch” — adds a palette of adjustments like brightness, saturation and contrast

More information on the camera is here.

More information on the apps are here.



Samsung adds Android, 3G/4G connectivity to camera. Not a phone


Samsung Electronics says it is “creating a brand new type of device” with its Galaxy Camera, “for those who wish to shoot, edit and share high quality photographs and video easily and spontaneously from anywhere, at any time.”

While cameras equipped with WiFi connectivity have been offered for years with varying success, smart expandable operating systems such as Android are a much newer feature on consumer  cameras — and Samsung is going a step further with not just WiFi, but also 3G and/or 4G connectivity (albeit with a carrier-connected micro-SIM card slid inside). All told, this new device has the OS and connectivity of a smartphone — but it lacks standard phone functionality. You won’t be making a call with this camera.

However, the Voice Control option allows users to control basic functions such as ‘Zoom in’ and ‘Shoot’ through voice. (See here for more on this possibility.)

As a camera, this is pretty strong contender: The EK-GC100 Galaxy Camera has a 16-megapixel, 1/2.33-inch BSI CMOS sensor. The 21x lens zooms from 23-480mm, with a f/2.8 – 5.9 aperture.

The camera is operated from its 4.8-inch touchscreen, with touch-to-focus functions, as well as intelligent scene modes such as Waterfall Trace with slowed shutter speed, and Night Trace for evening shoots of light trails. The ‘Smart Pro’ technology “makes it easy to recreate advanced photographic setups in just a few simple steps for stunning artistic results,” Samsung says. Also, the camera includes 35 photo-editing features, a ‘Photo Wizard’ that “allows users to make professional quality edits on the go.”

Additionally, the Auto Cloud backup feature uploads photos as you shoot.

It’s unclear at this time whether the camera’s capture modes use the Android 4 OS, or, like Nikon’s upcoming Coolpix S800c with Android 2, it instead relies on the company’s own firmware for capture — and merely shifts to Android for editing and sharing.


Samsung sites the “new era of visual communication” which becomes “more vivid and lively with high-quality images and instant sharing anywhere, anytime.” The Galaxy “easily outperforms any smartphone camera,” the company says, with “outstanding photography on the go:. Users never again have to sacrifice picture quality if they want to edit and share their photos instantly.”

With a bigger sensor and the ability to work as a phone, a Galaxy camera could replace both the smartphone and the quality camera in the pockets of imaging enthusiasts. This current iteration doesn’t quite fit that bill, but comes closer than previous offerings.

More information is here and here.



Nikon adds Android, WiFi to Coolpix

The long-rumored Android camera from Nikon has officially made its debut: “Designed for the always connected individual,” Nikon says, “the S800c delivers the high picture quality and superior performance expected from a Nikon camera coupled with communication functions and app-based versatility of a smartphone or tablet.”

Nikon compares the $350 camera’s capture capabilities to phones, not other cameras: the 16-Megapixel sensor is “much larger than the CCD sensor traditionally found in smartphones or tablets… This backside illuminated CMOS sensor excels in challenging lighting conditions, and provides images with vivid colors, low noise and exceptional contrast and sharpness.” It also has a10x zoom lens with optical image stabilization — not something you’ll find on any phone — and an articulated 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen, and built-in GPS.

With its built-in WiFi, the S800c’s “beautiful images can now be confidently and quickly shared with friends and family,” Nikon adds. Customers can “create images they will be proud to share.”

We’ve long sounded the need for consumer cameras to match mobile phones in connectivity and the capability to run interesting imaging apps. However, just WiFi —not 3G or other untethered mobile data — is not exactly new in cameras, and this device is not so much an Android camera as it is a camera that also runs Android separately for image editing and sharing — just not so much for capturing. Users literally switch from shooting mode to Android. Nikon has not apparently developed an Android app for image capture — that is handled much as in its other cameras. And it might be unlikely that third-party developed will program something specifically for this one camera — especially as it runs an older version of the Android mobile operating system, 2.3 (Gingerbread).

Nikon concludes that “the new S800c answers the call for users who need the ability to capture photos and HD video with amazing clarity and color, yet offers a familiar portal to connect to social networks and popular imaging applications through the Android OS.” That much is true — but a real Android-powered camera would also use that expandable operating system to bring new capture capabilities… not just sharing.

Our colleagues at the Imaging Resource have an in-depth hands-on look at the camera here.


Tilting display and WiFi highlight Samsung MV900F camera


The Gesture Shot system in Samsung’s newest camera uses motion-sensing technology to let zoom and snap a photo “with simple hand motions from across the room.”

The MV900F also has a 180-degree display makes it “easy to capture and share creative self-portraits from any angle,” the company says. The 3.3-inch flip-out touchscreen “helps shutterbugs easily capture and frame images.”

The 5x lens zooms from 25mm, and has a f2.5 maximum aperture. The camera also has a 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor. It also captures 1080 HD video.

With its WiFi, the $350 camera connects with services such as Facebook or to other devices “without the need for pesky wires or cables,” Samsung adds. “It is easier than ever to instantly share and securely store pictures.”