Posts Tagged ‘Samsung’

Samsung Looks into Depth of Field Fix for Compact Cameras

In a recent patent application [here, via Photography Bay], Samsung proposed “a method for performing out-focus of camera having a first lens and a second lens, comprising: photographing a first image with the first lens and photographing a second image with the second lens; extracting depth information of the photographed first image and second image; and performing out-focus on the first image or the second image using the extracted depth information” [via]. Basically, they’re looking into a way to get the kind of shallow DOF results of the DSLR with a compact point-and-shoot. We recently saw that a different technology for the same result is in the works with the Lytro camera.

[Patent via Gizmodo, via Photography Bay, via Wired]

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Samsung SH100 WiFi Compact Camera Review

Samsung SH100: Pocket Camera with Instant Image Sharing
Text and Images by Allison Gibson

First revealed at CES this year, the Samsung SH100 ($199.99 MSRP) compact digital camera offers instant, wireless sharing of images—via email or upload to social networking and photo sharing sites—directly from the device. For a petite pocket camera, this gadget has a far reach. It features a 14-megapixel CCD image sensor, a 5x optical zoom 26mm f/3.3-5.9 Samsung lens, and 720p High Definition video recording (30fps).

Instant Sharing

The most notable feature of the Samsung SH100 is its ability to share and automatically backup captured images instantly and wirelessly, with easy menu options for single or bulk image sharing. By using the camera’s built-in wireless, you can connect to your WiFi network, to other Samsung WiFi cameras, or to an Android-powered Galaxy S smartphone to share your images. The phone can also be used as a remote viewfinder, offering real time preview and control of the shutter release.

The options for sharing include: email, and upload to Facebook, Picasa, YouTube and Photobucket. You can also browse existing photo albums while logged into Facebook, but cannot view walls or post statuses (there’s no qwerty keyboard on the camera).

When I recently met with members of the Samsung team, I nagged them about the fact that the SH100 wasn’t Twitter compatible, given the massive global popularity of the social networking site. Twitter users regularly include images in their tweets and I saw this as a missed opportunity for Samsung. Another obvious missed opportunity for the photo sharing community is Flickr. The good news is, I was told that Twitter and others are being considered for the next generation of the camera, and that adding support for new services is easy now that the technology for sharing is already there there. The fact that the remote viewfinder feature only works with Samsung smartphones seems a little incestuous and excludes users of other smartphones, but I can understand the interest in keeping the technology within the brand.

Design & UI

click thumbnails to enlarge

With a 3-inch touchscreen LCD that operates in the familiar way of a smartphone, the menus are easy to navigate, if a smidge less graceful in the dragging department than the smartphone that I’m most familiar with—the iPhone 4. The only button on the back of the camera, to the right of the LCD, is a dedicated Home button, which brings you back to the main menu from wherever you happen to be. At the top of the camera, you have the power button, zoom toggle and playback button. Otherwise, everything else is in the digital menu, which certainly helped to keep the camera’s slim profile in check. At 3.66″W x 2.12″H x .74″D, the SH100 is very compact, and also lightweight. Another way they keep the size of the body down is to use MicroSD for memory, rather than the more common SD/SDHC cards.

The thing about these tiny digicams, though, is that they are sometimes too small to stabilize, making them prone to blur from camera shake. And, unfortunately, the SH100 only features “Digital Image Stabilization,” not OIS (optical image stabilization, which stabilizes before the image is converted digitally) to compensate for shakiness. However, one exterior aid is the thumb grip on the back of the camera, which allows the camera to sit more securely in-hand when recording. But even then, especially in low-light conditions, you will need to brace the left side of the camera and turn up the ISO sensitivity to combat blur. I think one way to combat this—externally— in a future generation would be to raise the shutter release, rather than leave it in the recessed position it is in now. As it is now, it requires a lot of pressure to snap a shot, and any extra pressure is bound to cause camera shake.

Creative Touches


Magic Frame: Billboard 1 (click to view full-size image)

One of the many creative features of the SH100 is called Magic Frame Shot, which allows you to layer your photograph into a digital template of your liking, with real time preview of the effects as you shoot. The options include: Wall Art, Album, Ripple, Full Moon, Old Record, Magazine, Sunny Day, Classic TV, Yesterday, Holiday, and two Billboard choices. Options such as image quality, flash and self-timer may still be applied to this effect. As with a regular shot, a Magic Frame Shot can be instantly shared on Facebook or emailed once captured.


Photo Filters: Vignetting, Fish-eye, Miniature; Smart Auto mode (click images to enlarge)

Another built-in creative feature of the SH100 is Photo Filter, which includes a menu of distinct automatic art filters, such as: Miniature (similar to Tilt-Shift or Toy Camera options seen elsewhere), Vignetting (similar to a Pinhole camera effect), Soft Focus, Half Tone, Sketch, Fish-eye, Defog, Classic, Retro, Negative, and two Old Film options. I was pleased to find that the Fish-eye filter is one of the better digital replications of the fish-eye lens effect that I’ve seen to date, after having tested the effect in several other cameras’ art filter lineups—including that of the PENTAX K-x and K-r DSLRs. I only wish the fish-eye images weren’t framed with that black vignette, which sort of looks like an old television set.

Additional creative features include: Scene Modes, Vignetting, Beauty Shot, Movie Filter, Night Shot, Palette Effect and Object Highlight. There is also a built-in Photo Editor. The SH100′s Smart Auto 2.0 for still images and video does the guesswork for you by choosing one of 17 different shooting modes.

Conclusion

While the Samsung SH100 isn’t the first WiFi point-and-shoot, it does offer the most avenues for connecting. Hopefully soon this will be standard fair for pocket cams, with even more options, as instant sharing is the name of the game these days.

Samsung SH100

  • MSRP:
  • $199.99
  • Size/Weight:
  • 3.66”W x 2.12”H x 0.74”D
  • Image Sensor:
  • 14-megapixels, CCD (1/2.33″)
  • Still Recording Format:
  • JPG
  • Memory:
  • Micro SD
  • Display:
  • 3-inch touch LCD
  • Video Recording Mode:
  • 1280×720 (30/15fps); in H.264 format
  • ISO Equivalent:
  • Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
  • Power Source:
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Contact:
  • www.samsung.com/us
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Samsung Announces Five New Digital Cameras

Samsung today announced five new compact digital cameras—the ST30, ST6500, ST95, ST90 and ST65. The 16-megapixel, 5x zoom ST6500 (pictured above) continues with its predecessor (the compact ST5000)’s ergonomic, angled design, and also features a wide 3-inch LCD touch screen and a built-in image editing and creative shooting tool suite that includes Magic Frame and Smart Filter 2.0. Available in March for $229, the ST6500 is the highest priced of the newly launched point-and-shoots. The 10MP ST30 will be available in March for $99.99, and the 16MP ST95, 14MP ST90 and 14MP ST65 will be out in February for $199.99, $149.99 and $129.99, respectively. More from Samsung below:

Samsung ST30, ST95, ST90 and ST65
click thumbnails to enlarge

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Hands-on with Samsung NX11

CES 2011, Las Vegas—The new Samsung NX11 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera is the latest in the company’s successful NX lineup, following the NX10, which we really enjoyed testing last summer. (For more information on the technology of interchangeable lens cameras, check out the NX10 link.) The upgrades to the new NX11 include the i-function lens, which allows for full manual shooting controls (aperture, shutter speed, EV, WB, and ISO) via the i-function button or ring on the lens—allowing the photographer to control these settings easily, without taking the camera off the subject. The NX11 continues to use the APS-C size image sensor (which is larger than that of the micro four thirds sensor) for advanced image quality in a compact body.

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Samsung Announces PL90 Camera with Built-in USB

Samsung has been rolling out a number of compact camera announcements this summer and now they’ve launched the PL90—a 12.2MP compact digicam with a built-in USB connector, which “enabl[es] consumers to capture images and connect to a computer on the move without the need of additional wires or cords.” On the one hand, this could be an incredible convenience to point-and-shooters who want to unload images in the easiest possible way. However, many photographers prefer to use a memory card rather than store images directly within a camera’s built-in memory, and USB card readers already exist to bypass the messy wires. Granted this is one extra step in comparison to a built-in USB camera, but storing images on a card allows more freedom (namely, switching between equipment). What do you guys think? The PL90 will be available for $149.99 in September. More from Samsung below.

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