When Sakar first presented its Polaroid-branded Android-powered interchangeable lens camera, everyone’s first thought was, “haven’t I seen this somewhere before?” And indeed, it seemed as if the design team responsible for the camera’s styling had simply copied-and-pasted the design of Nikon’s 1 series camera–or, more precisely, the J1 model of that series. As was inevitable, Nikon eventually sued Sakar for copying the J1′s styling in October of this year.
On December 4th now, both parties agreed on an injunction before court, with the effect that Sakar may no longer “manufacture, import, advertise, promote, offer for sale, sell, or ship the Polaroid iM1836 digital camera in its present configuration.” Which, if we’re honest, doesn’t seem to be a huge loss. After all, the camera had little to offer that isn’t already available: a Nikon 1 J1-styled body, interchangeable lens+sensor modules à la Ricoh GXR, and an Android system just like the Samsung Galaxy NX.
Whether or not Sakar will reintroduce the camera with a different styling remains to be seen.
We recently reported about a code snippet that gave away that Google was apparently working on implementing raw capability in the Android camera. In an interview with CNet, Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano now confirmed that Google is indeed working on improving the Android photography experience. According to the interview, the raw capturing capability is now part of Android’s hardware abstraction layer (HAL), which also supports a burst mode as is already implemented in the camera of the Google Nexus 5 smartphone.
In a future Android release, the company aims to implement an application programming interface (API) that’ll make it possible for developers to create their own camera apps with raw capture capability. At the moment, we have no idea as to whether Google will go for the universal DNG raw file format, or whether they’ll use a proprietary format (or even moreso, whether the file format will depend on the phone’s manufacturer.) Scigliano also didn’t mention a schedule for the implementation of the new API. But judging from her remarks, it’s entirely possible that we’ll see raw shooting go live sometime within the lifespan of the Nexus 5.
In the pantheon of image making devices, smartphones usually don’t rank very high when held against actual cameras. The only fair comparison would be within its own class. Smartphones are phones first and cameras second. Or third or fourth, depending on the priorities of the company. Samsung is one of a few companies that has its hands in both the camera and mobile industries. With the Galaxy S4 Zoom, Samsung effectively fused the S4 Mini with its point and shoot line of cameras along with some subtle NX style touches.
The photo & video sharing space got a bit more crowded, but we really don’t mind. Ultravisual is a media-sharing app that emphasizes beauty above all else. Technicolor-backed and Brooklyn-based, Ultravisual released this week for iOS 7, and it aims to carve out a sizable chunk of the space dominated by the likes Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and Vine. [click to continue…]
A new Kickstarter for a device called the Michron is trying to make timelapse shooting easier for everyone. The Michron is a a tiny device that mounts into your hot shoe and then connects to your camera via cable. The device holds information that you send to it via your phone. In turn, this means that you’ll need to download an app from the Google Play store or App store.
In order to send the information, you’ll need to connect to the Michron via a cable. Once the info is all sent, then it will be ready to go and all you need to do is disconnect your phone.
Though the idea has been done already, not many folks can boast a battery life of 2,500 hours–which means you can pretty much shoot timelapses non-stop. It allows you to do things like bulb ramping, interval ramping, HDR bracketing and more.
If successful, we’re positive that the company will go on to do even more. Considering that they’re taking the mobile approach, they can also figure out a way to do this via ad hoc wifi or maybe even bluetooth.
From one side, it looks like a point-and-shoot. From the other, it looks like an Android phone, but we’re not concerned with that side for this post. Essentially, Samsung has taken a variant of the front of one of their point and shoot cameras and fused it with the Galaxy S4 Mini. The lower left of the lens has the bump where an NX lens release would normally go, and perhaps it’s there to give the appearance of a compact interchangeable lens camera. It’s a nice decal, but anyway, the phone is surprisingly comfortable.