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Digital Photo - Scanners

Panasonic Launches Camera/Phone Hybrid

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Panasonic Launches Camera/Phone Hybrid

Panasonic might have stopped selling Eluga smartphones in Europe, but it is still to give up on the mobile device dream-- the Japanese company announces the DMC-CM1, a photography-focused handset.

Revealed at Photokina 2014, the CM1 is the first device of its hybrid ilk to carry a 1-inch 20MP CMOS sensor together with f/2.8 Leica optics, mechanical shutter and a manual control ring. It also looks unlike any other smartphone on the market, with retro-style silver metal and mate black casing similar to those of, well, cameras.

Being 21mm thick and 204g heavy, the CM1 also makes a rather sleek package.

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Olympus Goes for Selfies With PEN E-PLZ

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Olympus Goes for Selfies With PEN E-PLZ

Olympus makes the taking of selfies easier for your customers with the PEN E-PL7, a micro four thirds camera with a retro-style body and a 3-inch touchscreen one can flip downwards by 180 degrees.

To make the taking of self portraits even easier if the screen is flipped the camera automatically enters a special mode with a shutter button on the touchscreen and time-delayed (by 1 second) photo snapping.

Further making the E-PL7 more attractive to smartphone users is a selection of Instagram-style photo filters such as "Vintage" and "Old Film Effect" and wifi connectivity.

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Sony Debuts "Smallest" a5100 Camera

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Sony Debuts

Sony launches what it claims is the smallest interchangeable-lens digital camera around-- the a5100, a pocket-size number featuring a 24.3MP APS-C sensor, built-in flash and wifi.

It carries the same hybrid autofocus system (which Sony claims pairs 179 phase-detection points with 25 contrast-detection points) and BIONZ X image processing engine as the previous a6000, if within a smaller design. However it lacks an electronic viewfinder, and all physical control dials are replaced by tilting 3-inch touchscreen.

For customers wanting to shoot video the a5100 handles 1080p recording at 50Mbps, with file sharing handled by NFC and Wifi Direct.

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The Polaroid Cube Action Camera

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The Polaroid Cube Action Camera

Polaroid takes on the GoPro and its action camera ilk with the Cube-- a small (3.5mm) camera packing a 124° wide-angle lens and 1080p video recording capability inside water and shock resistant rubber casing.

First revealed back at CES 2014, the Cube also takes 6MP photos, with up to 32GB storage (via microSD card) and a built-in battery promising up to 90 minutes of recording time.

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The Smallest Wireless Scanner Yet?

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The Smallest Wireless Scanner Yet?

Switzerland-based Dacuda presents what it claims is the smallest wireless scanner in the world-- the PocketScan, a compact scanner able to, well, scan and transfer images to PCs and mobile devices.

The PocketScan measures 95 x 27 x 50mm, weights 85g and connects to devices via Bluetooth. It scans images at resolutions of 400dpi or higher, and features SLAM Scan technologies for what Dacuda say is "true what-you-see-is-what-you-get" scans.

To scan users simply need to move the scanner across an image or text of choice, with an RGB imager, 1600cpi laser sensor and a gyroscope taking care of scanning duties. Power comes from a rechargeable battery Dacuda claims lasts for up to 400 scans.

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The Animated Gif-Cranking Camera

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The Animated Gif-Cranking Camera

Digital photography is all well and good, but what if customers ask for an easy way to snap animated pictures? Next Thing suggests a solution with the Otto, an animated gif-taking camera.

Essentially a Raspberry Pi microcomputer and a lens inside a disposable camera-style case, the Otto features a rotating crank next to the regular shutter button. Capturing an animated picture simply involves rewinding the crank by one turn, before an app syncs the recording as an animated gif on smartphones.

As well as file transfer the app provides control of just about every camera feature, from image filters and overlays to what actually happens when one presses the shutter button or turns the crank. According to Next Thing the Otto can also provide time lapse photography or act as an impromptu photo booth.

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360-Degree Video, Via Donut Camera

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360-Degree Video, Via Donut Camera

A group of ex-Apple engineers launch a means for customers to shoot 4K resolution panoramic video-- the Centr, a donut-shaped device small enough to fit in the palm of one's hand.

Based on the team's earlier work in military and broadcast cameras, the Centre promises eliminate all the work panoramic video requires, namely the dealing with multiple SD cards and image alignment. It shoots using four independent HD image sensors, while built-in calibration ensures seamless real-time panoramic images. Once filming is done users can view video on PCs or mobile devices via interactive player.

It also carries 8GB storage (expandable via SD card), 3 microphones, USB 3.0 connector, wifi and Bluetooth connectivity.

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Another Call-Making Samsung Camera

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Another Call-Making Samsung Camera

Samsung follows the Galaxy S 4 Zoom by grafting improved camera optics on a better smartphone-- resulting in the Galaxy K Zoom, essentially a Galaxy S5 variant with a 20.7MP sensor and 10x optical zoom.

The K Zoom carries a 4.8-inch 1280x720 resolution display, runs on Android 4.4 and features camera-focused software such as a "selfie alarm" and a Pro Suggest mode for optimised photo filters.

Oddly enough it is powered by two processors (one quad-core 1.3GHz, the other dual-core 1.7GHz) together with 2GB RAM and 8GB built-in storage. It also includes all familiar Samsung software additions, such as the S-Health suite.

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Lytro Camera Goes DSLR-Style

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Lytro Camera Goes DSLR-Style

"Light field camera" maker Lytro releases a high-end version of the point-and-shoot camera sharing its name-- the Illum, a DSLR-style offering complete with oversized optics, larger sensor and faster CPU.

For readers not in the know, light field photography allows users to shoot first and focus later. Essentially a lens array and sensor combo captures the colour, intensity and vector direction of light rays, and special software uses that data to create 3D images with adjustable depth of field.

Unlike the first, rectangular Lytro the Illum features a design more akin to traditional DSLR cameras. It carries an 8X (30-250mm) zoom lens and has a constant f/2.0 aperture, 1/4000 shutter, 4-inch touchscreen and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU.

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