Digital Cameras

Creative rolls out third gen Vado HD pocket camcorder

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Creative sure seems to be taking the incremental approach to upgrades with its Vado HD pocket camcorders, but if you’ve found the previous two models just a tad lacking, you might want to consider the company’s newly announced 3rd gen model. From the looks of it, most of the core specs remain the same, but Creative is promising some improved low light video recording and manual exposure adjustment, along with a new motion detection mode, support for an external stereo mic, a headphone output, and even the ability to take some still photos. You’ll also now get out of the box Mac and PC compatibility, and five glossier than ever colors — though Creative has curiously dropped the 8GB model in favor of a single 4GB option, which will set you back $179.99.

GoPro HD Hero review and helmet cam face-off

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What’s this, another tiny, high-definition camera to strap onto your person before doing something wild and crazy? Yes, it’s the latest pixel-pushing contender for high-def helmetcam supremacy, the GoPro HD Hero; a little gray box in a waterproof case that can record 1080p at 30fps, 720p at 60, and comes with a selection of mounts that will enable the thing to hang on to just about whatever you want to sling it from — but at $299 you might not feel particularly inclined to put it in harm’s way. Worth the risk, and how does it compare to the competition and its predecessors? Read on for the full analysis, and of course plenty of gratuitous high definition footage.

Leica M7 Edition Hermes drops this December at a price you can’t afford

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We’ve coveted many a Leica in the past, and when the company pulls out the stops for a limited edition you can bet that it will be quite lust-worthy — and quite expensive. The M7 Edition Hermes sees the classic M7 35mm camera get a silver chrome finish and a choice of either orange or etoupe calfskin leather. On top of that, your purchase includes a Leica SUMMILUX-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH wide-angle lens, a matching classic round lens hood, a LEICAVIT M rapid winder and a leather carrying strap, and will arrive at your doorstep in a linen-covered, silk-lined box. But you’d better jump now, ‘cos only 100 of each color will be produced. Available in the UK this December from authorized Leica dealers and at the Mayfair Leica Store for a mere £8,550 (about $14,250). PR after the break.

Canon EOS 7D impressions for filmmaker wannabes

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These times are strange. Five years ago if you walked onto the set of a movie, TV show, or music video — before you got kicked out by a strung out production assistant — you’d have probably seen a bustling group of workers huddled around a giant camera changing out huge spools with Kodak or Fujifilm logos on them. The RED ONE camera shook up the industry when it was released two years ago and those cans of film were replaced with hard-drives and digital technicians. Now, we’re in the midst of another monumental camera shift, and it’s not the 3D revolution that everyone predicted. Nope, in 2009 we make our movies on DSLRs. Just how good are they? Well, the recently released Canon EOS 7D may just be the new Engadget workhorse. Read on for the inside scoop on our ridiculously cinematic new rig.

Casio stuffs backlit CMOS sensors in Exilim EX-FC150 and EX-FH25 superzoom

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Casio’s usual Exilim fare might struggle to engender a second look from the weary-eyed camera cognoscenti, but a few of the company’s models do feature an attention-grabbing 1,000fps shooting mode (albeit at a relatively useless 224 x 64 resolution). A pair of those speedy shooters, the EX-FC100 and EX-FH20, have today been ever so gently upgraded with a set of new name badges and mildly improved performance. (more…)

Trust in Casio’s Japanese Exilim EX-FS10S, it’ll turn your bogeys into birdies

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Sure, we could rattle off a list of specs — and if you’re curiuos, it’s a 9.1 megapixel sensor with 3x optical zoom and 720p video — but you know what’s really gonna have Casio’s Exilim EX-FS10S flying off shelves? The ability to stand it behind your tee and show you exactly how you screw up your swing, with special help of the company’s trademark 1000 frames per second burst mode. The catch is, while the EX-FS10 is already available in US, only the Japanese model seems to have your golf buddy. Bummer.

Big Shot camera kit could help turn your kid on to the dark world of the teardown

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Pardon us while we freely admit that we have literally no idea what’s going on inside a camera — whether it’s digital or those quaint film-based ones you hear about from your grandma. Luckily, our own kids might not have to suffer as we have: a group at the Computer Vision Laboratory at Columbia University have designed and built a prototype digital camera that should demystify the devices. The Big Shot digital camera kit, if / when it hits the market, will be a box of all the necessary parts for kids to be able to build their own simple, candy-colored digital camera. While the Big Shot is still in prototype testing phase, we really hope this gadget (and more like it) makes it to the market sometime soon.

Ricoh GXR camera system swaps out the sensor along with the lens

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Ricoh‘s been getting some love on its spendy GR series of late, but this new direction for what’s apparently slated to debut as a new “GXR” system is a wild one indeed. Basically, the camera comes in two parts, a body with an LCD, storage and accessory shoe (which works with an electronic viewfinder), and different lens / sensor combos which can be slotted into the body. Interestingly (and perhaps to prove the point), the first two lenses and sensors that Ricoh is announcing are widely different, with a 24-70mm lens on top of a 10 megapixel CCD sensor that can shoot VGA video retailing for £300 (about $500 USD), while a 50mm macro lens with a CMOS sensor that can do HD video goes for £600 (about $1,000 USD). Pluses to this system include the fact that there’s nowhere for dirt to get on the sensor or inside the lens, size advantages over micro four thirds counterparts, and of course the glass and electronics can theoretically be optimally paired. The body itself will go for £420 (about $700 USD), which puts an entire setup rather up there price-wise, even without that wild British Pounds-to-dollars conversion rate. The system is supposed to be available in December. Video explaining the system was pulled by review site Which.co.uk, who seems to have broken the official release date, but hopefully we’ll have more official word on this from Ricoh soon.

Canon EOS 7D gets high marks all around

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Canon’s EOS 7D is a pretty grandiose piece of image-recording equipment, whether you’re talking about its size, features or price. You’re probably aware of the 18 megapixel APS-C sensor and dual DIGIC 4 processors already, but we’ve all had to be a bit more patient than usual in waiting for the pro reviews to come out. Dpreview doesn’t disappoint though, with a thoughtful 31-page tome awaiting the keen reader, and we’ve also got more digestible video reviews from DPhoto Journal for the less patient among you. If you’re after direct comparisons against competing models, such as the Nikon D300s, you’ll find those sprinkled in among the reviews as well, with Cameratown throwing in a direct head-to-head with Canon’s own 5D Mark II. The 7D was found to produce “virtually no visible noise” all the way up to ISO 1600, and scored further points for its gorgeous 100 percent frame-covering viewfinder and fast 19-point AF. With a weather-sealed, highly ergonomic body design, ridiculously fast processing and a sensor so good that “in most situations the lens, rather than the camera, is likely to be the limiting factor,” the only thing reviewers could criticize was the somewhat uncompetitive pricing, but that’s likely to soften with time anyway. Read on… if you dare.

Leica X1 photo gallery proves that big shots do come in little packages

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For those who’ve never really understood the mystique and allure surrounding Leica‘s retro-styled cameras (and their stratospheric price tags), here’s a gallery of shots that might just lend a little insight into the fixation. The outfit’s X1 was announced back in September, though initial shipments aren’t expected to begin across the pond until early 2010. That said, the shutterbugs over at dpreview managed to procure one ahead of time, and they’ve hosted up a cornucopia of sample images from the currently unpriced compact. Go on and give that read link a look if your interest in piqued — we’re guessing you’ll come away wishing your SD200 could produce similar results.

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