9to5mac is reporting that shortly before he passed away Steve Jobs met with Lytro CEO Ren Ng to discuss cameras, product design, and the ways in which he might apply Lytro’s groundbreaking light field technology into a new generation of iPhone cameras. According to “Inside Apple,” the forthcoming book by Adam Lashinsky, which 9to5mac excerpts in their report, “At Jobs’s request, [Ng] agreed to send him an email outlining three things he’d like Lytro to do with Apple.”
“Jobs actively pursued his goal of reinventing photography, asking the CEO of Lytro to outline three specific things that the company would want to work on with Apple,” reports 9to5mac.
If you’ve forgotten, Lytro is the tiny rectangle camera designed by Ng—a Stanford PhD—that captures “living pictures” that are focused after the fact by capturing an image’s entire light field data in one click. The “living picture” bit means that the image is forever adabtable. Now imagine if this technology were applied to the ubiquitous iPhone camera, which, as 9to5mac points out, is already “mobile photography at its finest.”
Give the circumstances now it’s uncertain whether the Lytro/Apple mashup will ever see the (excuse the pun) “light” of day, but it is a pretty exciting prospect to imagine.
(Gizmodo, via 9to5mac)
In an expected move, Kodak filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy today. According to an announcement at the KodakTtransforms website, the iconic American photo company anticipates that reorganization as a result of chapter 11 will “enable Kodak to bolster liquidity in the U.S. and abroad, monetize non-strategic intellectual property, fairly resolve legacy liabilities, and enable the Company to focus on its most valuable business lines.” In other words, this is a far less grim turn of events that the full extinction of the brand many had predicted. The press release says that “the company has sufficient liquidity to operate its business during chapter 11″ and CEO Antonio Perez relates that “Chapter 11 gives us the best opportunities to maximize the value…of our technology portfolio: our digital capture patents…and our breakthrough printing and deposition technologies.”
(Kodak, via Engadget)
The latest offering in Canon‘s prosumer PowerShot G series is the new G1 X. Announced today—the first official day of CES—the G1 X features a 1.5-inch 14.3-megapixel CMOS sensor (compared to the G12‘s 1/1.7-inch 10MP CCD sensor) as well as Canon’s DIGIC 5 image processor. It also boasts an ISO range of up to 12800 for low-light capture and an f/2.8-f/16 4x optical zoom lens. With a price tag of $800, the G1 X costs as much, if not more, than an entry-level Canon DSLR, which might turn off those photographers who are shopping around for a next level camera to step up their image quality and feature set from a compact point-and-shoot, especially if they’re looking to get into a system with interchangeable lenses. However, the Canon G series has for more than a decade now been a favorite everywhere camera for professional and enthusiast shutterbugs when they need to reach for a more portable option that will still make great images.
The Canon G1 X will be available for $799.99 in February.
Just ahead of CES, Nikon has unveiled its new big gun: the D4 DSLR. Featuring a 6.2-megapixel FX (full)-format CMOS sensor and an ISO range up to 204,800, the D4 is a professional grade low-light fighting machine. Notable upgrades to 2009′s D3S—in addition to the 7.3-micron pixels sensor and mega ISO range—include: a 3.2-inch 921K dot LCD screen; a time lapse shooting feature that combines a selected frame rate and shot interval in a dedicated time lapse photography menu with playback speeds from 24x to 36,000x; and full HD video recording (1080p at 30 or 24fps and 720p at 60 fps). Additionally, using B-Frame data compression allows you to record H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC format video for up to 20 minutes per clip.
The Nikon D4 will be available for $5999.95 in February and is compatible with all 50+ lenses in the NIKKOR optics system.
Just ahead of the madness that is soon to be CES, FujiFilm has made several new digital camera announcements. Most notable among them is the new 26x optical zoom X-S1. Featuring a 2/3-inch 12-megapixel EXR CMOS sensor, the superzoom camera has a bridge model body (styled after a DSLR) but is more compact and lightweight. As for the optics, the X-S1 boasts a new all glass FUJINON F2.8-5.6 lens and 26x optical zoom (24-624mm). The X-S1 also features a 1.4 million dot electronic viewfinder (EVF) and a 3.-inch titling LCD display with “Monitor Sunlight Mode” for shooting in bright sunlight. It also shoots in RAW, JPEG or RAW and JPEG simultaneously, and features an Auto ISO range of 100-3200 with manual control up to ISO 12800. The Fuji X-S1 will be available at the end of January for $799.95.
Additionally, FujiFilm has unveiled three new speedy S-series compact cameras: FinePix S4200, S4500 and SL300; two new FinePix T-Series ultra-compact long-zoom cameras: FinePix T400 and T350; FinePix HS30EXR and HS25EXR; the all new rugged and durable FinePix XP150, XP100 and XP50 for outdoor shooting; three easy-to-use point-and-shoots: JX580, JX500 and AX550; and three new additions to the high-end, compact long-zoom FinePix F-Series: F770EXR (with GPS), F750EXR and F660EXR.