When we hear hype that something is the “easiest” thing in the world to set up, we usually put on our hip waders and prepare to slog through a waist-high pile of dung, because 19 times out of 20, it's usually a load of crap.
Well, believe us when we say that the Dropcam HD is the easiest Internet camera we’ve ever set up. We mean it. To set up the Dropcam HD, you just plug the camera into your PC via USB. The setup files are stored in flash, which kicks up a configuration utility. This lets you create an account with Dropcam and connect the device to a Wi-Fi network. Once you’ve done that, you unplug the Dropcam HD, move it to the area you want to monitor, and plug it in via the included 2-amp wall wart. That’s it; you’re done and streaming 720p video to the Internet in about two minutes flat. The lens is a wide 107 degrees, which is enough to let you see most of a room. The video quality is good, and while certainly far better than QVGA surveillance cams, the compression is heavy enough that you won’t be picking out license plates with it.
The Dropcam can be removed from the unique mount, if needed.
There was a time when film was king, and Kodak was riding high in the camera market. What a difference a decade can make. Kodak is now rumored to be planning an orderly Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing. The paperwork could be official as early as later this month. Kodak employs 19,000 people, but layoffs are likely in the event of Chapter 11.
Here's an interesting riddle: If integrated cameras on smartphones and cell phones are so much better than what they were just a few short years ago, why are there so many crappy mobile photos on the Internet? Figure that one out and we'll assign you a similar case related to YouTube videos. But we digress. The real point here is that smartphone cameras are continuously improving and are now responsible for snapping more than a quarter of photos and videos.
Microsoft released a Kinect for Windows SDK several months ago, and now the Kinect team has posted an update on new sensor hardware specifically for a PC. The original Kinect for Xbox had some flaws that made us question its viability on the PC side of things, but the blog post by Craig Eisler cites a number of ways that Redmond is working to tweak Kinect for a Windows environment.
Do you have thousands and thousands of dollars to spend, and also a love of super-high quality video? Then mark your calendar for November 3 when RED will be announcing details and shipping info for the new RED Scarlet video camera. RED has been making changes to the device in preparation for its debut, but CEO Jim Jannard is keeping things nice and vague for now.
Sony’s new Alpha NEX-5N takes great-looking stills and vibrant 1080p/60fps video, but many users have reported the audio is driving them bonkers. It seems that when the camera is moved, even slightly, it produces a clicking sound. A minor annoyance when taking stills, but it makes the audio track in videos pretty much useless.
These days it seems like everybody has a camera. A teeny-tiny inexpensive camera. You'll find them built into cell and smart phones. You'll find them in notebooks, tablets, and personal music players. So, if you have a perfectly decent compact camera, why on earth would you even consider dropping five, ten, even twenty times that much money on a full-blown SLR that's several times larger and several times heavier?
While cellphones might be the go-to photographic device for many people these days, Many of us choose to stick with a mission-specific device to capture the moments of our lives. Whether it’s a fancy DSLR that cost us more than our first car or a trusty point-and-shoot that simply gets the job done, the investment of time and money that a photographer outs into their camera is substantial enough that seeing it lost or stolen is unthinkable. Should such a crisis ever arise, you can curse the gods of photography for not equipping your shooter with GPS transmitter, or you can attempt to track it down using Stolen Camera Finder, our Cool Site of the Week.
According to CrunchGear, Sony may be preparing to step up the image quality of smartphone and point-and-shoot cameras with a new 17.7MP CMOS sensor. It's not just the crazy-high resolution of the sensor that makes this imaging gear special, the sensor is reportedly able to "convert multiple pixels into single pixels simultaneously" making image compression 75% faster, reports The Nikkei.