by Mike McNamee Published 01/10/2012
New stuff was being released daily as the manufacturers tried to separate their new toy announcements from the general fog of war and so material was coming up after some of us had long-departed. Top spot for inventive press packs went to Nikon with their dinky little model D4s in which the lens was a USB stick. McNamee spent the whole time trying to prevent people from stealing it! (see the images).
Good material was even discovered over coffees in the airport departure lounge; the http://www.liquidimageco.com/ . Ego cameras are most interesting and fit in places where other cameras cannot go. Best toy at the show had to be the helicopters from www.dji-innovations.com. Radio controlled, with quite a high payload capability, if you were to link them with the Ego cameras you could get up to all sorts of fun! The Egos are marketed in the UK by Hahnel.
Extreme sports disciplines and other kinds of leisure activities are becoming increasingly popular. Paragliding, bungee jumping, kite and wind surfing, motorcycle and bicycle riding, mountain climbing, skiing, snowboarding and skateboarding are all popular pastimes that people like to share with others on photographs or film. The Ego is one of the new kind of cameras developed in recent years that is ideal for this purpose, as no situation seems to be too extreme for it: generically they are known as 'action cams'. These cameras are not only small, shock- and water-resistant, they can also be set up almost anywhere with the right accessory. As a result, they can be used to make full HD video recordings even under the toughest conditions. Most of these cameras also have no difficulty making sufficiently high-resolution photographs. Many of them can also transmit images via WiFi directly to a PC or network, from where they can be distributed through the Internet. Some action cams can also directly stream their videos and photos to TVs so that viewers can be transported right into the midst of the action (Hama, Jobo, Rollei). Your editor cannot rid his mind of what an action cam rigged up to Richie Walton would look like!
Smartphones - the new multimedia all-rounders - are turning into versatile camera accessories. Not only do special apps allow users to employ the WiFi features of cell phones and cameras to transmit images within networks and upload them to internet platforms, they also increasingly enable the wireless remote control of cameras equipped with the LiveView feature. It's therefore no longer a question of whether to use cameras or smartphones, but of the new combination of camera plus smartphone. Because many compact cameras of all types - and not just in the entry-level segment - used to boast only a fraction of the functions provided by smartphones, many people forecast that smartphones could negatively impact the market for these cameras. This has not proven to be the case, however. On the contrary, the smartphone and the tablet PCs, which are largely based on the same platforms, have become the most important allies of the imaging world and the camera industry. This is likely to have a profound influence on the wedding market. At the upcoming Societies' Convention there are lectures on the influence of Uncle Bob (by Dennis Orchard, among others). Now Aunty Edna (Bob's missus) is also armed with a camera, this time in her smart phone; and her pictures are on Facebook before the official photographer has even finished their afternoon's work! Almost all of the leading camera manufacturers (eg Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Samsung) are now offering new, network-enabled products equipped with WiFi features and methods for connecting them to smartphones.
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