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Ultrawide Zoom in a Compact Camera 248

manavendra writes to tell us that Image-Resource has an interesting writeup on the recently released Kodak EasyShare V570 digital camera. The V570 is a dual lens camera that incorporates an ultra-wide angle lens and an optical zoom lens. The camera will feature 5 megapixel resolution, 5x optical zoom, in-camera panorama stitching, video recording, a 2.5 inch LCD screen, in-camera distortion correction, and picture blur alert.
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Ultrawide Zoom in a Compact Camera

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    • by pair-a-noyd ( 594371 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @08:14PM (#14381319)
      I was about to pop in and say just about the same thing and the very first thing I see is your post.

      When I was a kid in the 60's they had a huge collection of stereoscopic slides at our local library.

      I would go there everyday and spend hours and hours going back in time through
      that old wooden viewer and those old slides. Many of them were 1800's or near the turn of the century.

      To me, those old slides WERE time travel. Where are those slides now?
      I suspect that most of them went in dumpsters in the 70's..

      History, lost forever.

      • by plover ( 150551 ) * on Monday January 02, 2006 @09:11PM (#14381555) Homepage Journal
        My mom has quite a collection of them. She used to live in an old school that was converted to condominiums in the 1980s, and they had preserved a cabinet with several drawers of these slides. She contacted one of the local museums to see if they were interested, but they were not. As far as I know, she still has them.
      • I've made red/green stereoscopic images with a webcam before and they come out pretty well. You just need two images of the same scene, each about 3 in apart. Colorize them appropriately so that they each show up as white through the appropriate glasses lens. Then you overlay them and you're done.

        It might be a little tricky to get two DSLRs that close, and of course they'd need to have the same lens, but i might give it a shot sometime soon.
        • It might be a little tricky to get two DSLRs that close, and of course they'd need to have the same lens, but i might give it a shot sometime soon.

          Most people I've seen with these setups place the cameras bottom to bottom to get them close enough. You just have to rotate the pictures in different directions. The same lens is half the problem, getting the same focus, white balance, and exposure is the other. Having cameras where these things are all manual makes this much easier.
    • by LionKimbro ( 200000 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @08:23PM (#14381363) Homepage
      3-D photography does not require multiple lenses, if you can move the camera, and if the target is relatively stationary.

      So for example, if you were photographing a mountain scene, you can just wave your camera around. If you had 25 different shots, it's like having 25 different eyes to position and construct an image from.

      And the resulting calculated image can have a much greater resolution than the camera itself.

      So, you can end up with a 3D high-resolution textured model, simply from one camera input. Like, say, your cell phone.

      Now, granted, that's a lot of processing for a camera to perform... ...which is why wireless is so interesting. If you can send the pictures to google, and get google to work out the calculations, and send you the result, ...

      Look up Photogrammetry. [taoriver.net]
      • You would not need just the images, but also very accurate positioning data on where the photos were taken.

        In theory, perhaps you could extrapolate the positioning information by looking at static objects in the frame, shadows, etc., but I don't think that's anywhere near practical.

        However if you had a cellphone with augmented GPS (WAAS or something like it) that had submeter accuracy or better, and you were taking pictures of a large object, and maybe included a compass chip or something like it to give you an azimuth reading, then I think you could do what you're talking about. At the very least you'd be able to easily construct a photographic panorama / flyaround (a la Quicktime VR). The work necessary to produce a 3-D model might be, as a physicist I knew used to say, "really nontrivial." At least working just from the images and telemetry data without any other subjective stuff (like selecting out the areas by hand as those 2-d photogrammetry systems have you doing, it seems).

        But in general I think that's a very cool idea. It would be neat to see digital camera manufacturers start to embed GPS chips into cameras; at the very least it would be cool to open something in iPhoto and see a minimap of exactly where you took the photo. I know that there are some vacation photos of mine that I wish I knew exactly where I'd been standing when I took it, and there's no easy way to figure out now. It's not like the chips to do that would be bulky anymore, now that they've been miniaturized for cellphones. In fact I think I remember a fairly old Kodak DSLR (one of their really serious ones that were built on Nikon F1 frames) that had a serial port and might have been able to connect to a GPS, for that purpose. I think it's a feature that's ready for prime time.
        • by LionKimbro ( 200000 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @12:04AM (#14382127) Homepage
          You would not need just the images, but also very accurate positioning data on where the photos were taken.

          Quite right!

          In theory, perhaps you could extrapolate the positioning information by looking at static objects in the frame, shadows, etc., but I don't think that's anywhere near practical.

          No; It actually exists, now. It's not just a theory. I have a video on my hard drive here, demonstrating it ("kitchen.mp4.avi",) but I can't find it online. No matter; do a google search on "real-time camera tracking in unknown scenes" [google.com] (which is the title I see when I start up the video,

          It's just as you say-- those little points are called "landmarks," and it uses them to track by.

          However if you had a cellphone with augmented GPS (WAAS or something like it) that had submeter accuracy or better, and you were taking pictures of a large object, and maybe included a compass chip or something like it to give you an azimuth reading, then I think you could do what you're talking about. At the very least you'd be able to easily construct a photographic panorama / flyaround (a la Quicktime VR). The work necessary to produce a 3-D model might be, as a physicist I knew used to say, "really nontrivial." At least working just from the images and telemetry data without any other subjective stuff (like selecting out the areas by hand as those 2-d photogrammetry systems have you doing, it seems).

          A blue bird in industry has told me that in the next 3-5 years, cell phones will have not only GPS, but $3 accelerometers capable of sub-meter resolution sustained for 1 hour without update. (Important for underground locations.)

          The work to produce 3-D models may be non-trivial, but: Did you follow the links I gave you? [taoriver.net] It's all been done- and this isn't recent: This is a few years back.

          Here's a very simple example, [caltech.edu] here's a more complicated one, [isprs.org] and here's yet another, this time dated 2000. [toronto.edu] Be sure to check out the generated 3D models.

          So the techniques are out there, and they're in practice, and many people are starting to wake up that these are useful things to do. There's a lot of money to be made here. So, this is why I don't think it'll be long before this is integrated into cameras.

          We have 2D camera phone scanners. [newscientist.com] Why not 3-D? Some even do OCR.

          But in general I think that's a very cool idea. It would be neat to see digital camera manufacturers start to embed GPS chips into cameras; at the very least it would be cool to open something in iPhoto and see a minimap of exactly where you took the photo. I know that there are some vacation photos of mine that I wish I knew exactly where I'd been standing when I took it, and there's no easy way to figure out now. It's not like the chips to do that would be bulky anymore, now that they've been miniaturized for cellphones. In fact I think I remember a fairly old Kodak DSLR (one of their really serious ones that were built on Nikon F1 frames) that had a serial port and might have been able to connect to a GPS, for that purpose. I think it's a feature that's ready for prime time.

          The cell phones have cameras, and many phones already have GPS. It won't be long before they all do..!
    • They're easy. You just Gaffa tape two cameras together and you're good to go. Well, if you're not into gaffa, you can always use, like mounting hardware and stuff. Or just a double-ended screw in the tripod mount, provided it is centred underneath the lens, and not offset. A high-end system will have adjustable spacing and adjustable toe-in among other features.

      Then you use free software like Panorama Tools [fh-furtwangen.de] to process the image in a variety of ways.

      Digital cameras are so cheap these days that it's very temp

      • You can do it for a lot cheaper than that.

        Just get two disposable cameras. Film is okay, if you count your frames, but now they've even got digital "disposables." Mount them horizontally on a flat piece of wood (I saw someone use what looked like a 1x2, but it's not like it matters) right next to each other. Depending on the kind of camera, they're small enough that placed next to each other the lenses are spaced almost the right distance apart. You can even space them wider apart if you want a more exagger
  • Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dzimas ( 547818 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @07:23PM (#14381138)
    Anyone else notice that this thing's design harkens back to the wooden boxed Kodak Brownie cameras that were introduced (along with 120 roll film) in about 1901? I wish Kodak much success with their digital innovations -- it's been a bloodbath (technologically and from a dollar & cents/employment perspective) at their company for the last couple of years.

    Personally, I'd like to see them create a hybrid analog/digital sensor that combines the best of the film and digital worlds. It would avoid the nasty blowouts that digicams are succeptible to, while adding the benefit of digital speed to the analog image capture process.

    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MSBob ( 307239 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @08:02PM (#14381275)
      As an (unhappy) owner of DX6490 I can tell you exactly why Kodak is in trouble. It is a camera built for nobody. Some of its features belong in an entry level DSLR while it targets the know-nothings. However, it's quite a challenge to get a decent photo out of it in a point-and-shoot mode. On the other hand, nobody who knows anything about photography will not be willing to put up with the lack of manual focus, lack of RAW format or no manual white balance adjustment.

      Why did I buy their camera? Because I'm stupid. Knowing nothing about photography at the time I went to the local mum and pap photo place and asked for advice. They sold me a crap camera that happened to be expensive. I vow never again to rely on anyone else's word when making a significant purchase or buy a Kodak product.

      • Knowing nothing about photography at the time I went to the local mum and pap photo place and asked for advice. They sold me a crap camera that happened to be expensive.

        To riff on that a little - that is exactly why B&M stores need to fear the net. If you are going to get rip-off customer service from the expensive places, you might as well get customer non-service from some generic place online that charges half as much.
      • You poor thing. I like Kodak film and their pro imaging materials. But they make the worst point-and-shoot cameras on earth. When I worked at a camera shop they tried to get me to push those things because they get good deals with Kodak. But it turns my stomach to pick those horrid things up.
      • Manual focus may be useful, but it's one more seldom-required setting to bump by accident. You probably have a focus-lock ability. Focus right on the object, lock the focus, then move as desired for artistic composition.

        White balance adjustment in a camera is kind of silly unless you expect to go direct from camera to printer. The "correct" white balance is a fiction anyway; human eyes adjust to surrounding conditions and there are artistic considerations as well. It's better to keep the camera uncomplicate
        • You might have to take a photo very quickly or miss the chance.

          Except that the camera is the slowest thing in the world. Its shutter lag is enormous and it focuses very slowly too (hunts focus a lot).

          Manual white balance is nice if you don't have RAW format available. They do include three preset options to do this through the menu. But those three presets are rarely right.

          Oh and it has a 10x zoom with no image stabilisation which makes this camera tooootally useless at the highest focal length unless

        • I took photos just the other day of a large cat animal in Melbourne zoo. Moving around with some urgency, being behind thick security fence and not too well lit, all you'd get is the wire fence with something furry behind.

          My D70s's manual focus mode made light work of the problem though, and the fact that what I see [through the viewfinder] is what I get [well given a quick enough shutter speed] was a massive benefit that let me take some good, sharp photos even in such difficult conditions.

          My previous came
      • Kodak outsources the production (and possibly the design) of its cheapest cameras. My wife and I purchased one a few years ago because it was just about the only affordable digicam available. It (and all its breatheren) had defective battery management that made it impossible to use in the real world.
      • I vow never again to rely on anyone else's word when making a significant purchase

        That's a touch strong. Perhaps you should alter your vow to never rely on just one (commissioned) person's word. Shop around. Ask around. Surf the web, but keep in mind that lots of the review sites that float to the top of Google are written by astroturfing salesmen, designed you lure you into buying those same crappy cameras anyway. It takes a while to find the trustworthy sites -- "camera reviews" in Google just won'

      • not so (Score:4, Insightful)

        by penguin-collective ( 932038 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @12:39AM (#14382259)
        On the other hand, nobody who knows anything about photography will not be willing to put up with the lack of manual focus, lack of RAW format or no manual white balance adjustment.

        People who know something about photography know that it is about making compromises; they often have multiple cameras and pick the best one for each job.

        The V570 looks like an interesting camera; if image quality is at least decent, it will probably be quite popular, since you can't get a 23mm (equiv) lens in any package 5x the size and weight. Whether it has RAW, manual focus, or manual white balance doesn't matter.
    • Personally, I'd like to see them create a hybrid analog/digital sensor that combines the best of the film and digital worlds.

      Fuji has been shipping sensors with special photo sites for highlights for several years now, and most of their consumer cameras have them. Several new sensor technologies are also in the works to give even greater dynamic range and from a single exposure.

      With a regular sensor, you can combine multiple exposures of a scene digitally to get a very large dynamic range.

      Ultimately, there
  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by shobadobs ( 264600 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @07:25PM (#14381143)
    It would be nice if this advertisement included a price. And why no coupon?
  • by Poromenos1 ( 830658 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @07:27PM (#14381151) Homepage
    Slashdot is broken. I am using Opera and the ad is bleeding in the article.

    Oh, wait...
  • Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Capt'n Hector ( 650760 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @07:28PM (#14381153)
    Cool design. Looks like a tribute to the twin-lense reflex era. Check out this Kodak TLR camera from 1957:

    Kodak57b.jpg [wikipedia.org]

  • Too perfect... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by davecrusoe ( 861547 )
    Too perfect. Distortion correction? Stitching? So not only does the picture lack the qualities of film (such as grain) - now it even corrects my creativity! Pah, film is so much more fun. Digital? The digital race: well, how normal can we get?
  • Almost right (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jay Maynard ( 54798 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @07:34PM (#14381171) Homepage
    The camera looks nice. and that they went to Schneider Kreuznach for their optics is a major plus. Unfortunately, the total lack of an optical viewfinder is a major drawback. The problem with LCD-only viewfinders is that they're useless for trying to take a picture in an area dark enough that you need the flash to make the picture: even though the picture will work, you can't see to compose it.
    • True but I have taken about 8000 pictures with my digital camera over the past few years and I have rarely used the viewfinder. For me it wouldn't be a con.
    • and that they went to Schneider Kreuznach for their optics is a major plus.

      Trust me it isn't. S-K lens is mediocre at best. Way below even the cheapest junk that canon or nikon make.

    • You need to buy a better digital camera. I have no problems in low light with framing the LCD. Cameras that don't gain-up their LCDs should be avoided.
      • I have two digicams I use regularly these days: a Canon S410 and an Olympus E-10. Both work better in low light with the optical viewfinder than the LCD.
  • by hotspotbloc ( 767418 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @07:40PM (#14381196) Homepage Journal
    Autostitch is a free (as in beer) app that will stitch together multiple photos with no human intervention. Pretty nice stuff.

    Autostitch home page:
    http://www.cs.ubc.ca.nyud.net:8090/~mbrown/autosti tch/autostitch.html [nyud.net]

    Download via Coral cache:
    http://www.cs.ubc.ca.nyud.net:8090/~mbrown/autosti tch/autostitch.zip [nyud.net]

    Autostitched photos on Flickr:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/autostitch/ [flickr.com]

    BTW, it's a MS Windows app but works great under wine.

  • by yorkpaddy ( 830859 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @07:41PM (#14381199)
    Why doesn't slashdot post announcements on D-SLRs. The D200, D50, and Canon 5D have come out in the past year and not a single annoncement. I want to hear what slashdot users have to say about these cameras, not cutesy point and shoot cameras. Once you use a digital SLR you will never want to use a point and shoot again. There is no delay between pressing the button and the shutter firing. The manual control is nice as is changing lenses, but the zero delay is the best part of these cameras.
    • Even if the digital SLR is better, it may be a far worse value. It's seldom 5 to 80 times better. which is the normal price difference.

      Maybe the Slashdot editors like to go hiking. It's no fun to carry something heavy and fragile.

      Maybe they like to have a camera with them much of the time, perhaps in a diaper bag. Again, it's no fun to carry something heavy and fragile.

      Maybe they live in a high-theft area. Something expensive will get stolen.

      Maybe they have kids with greasy fingers. (could be a nephew or li
    • I think this camera is on slashdot because it's more innovative than those you mention... which is not to say "better."

      DSLRs are not necessarily any faster than point-and-shoot cameras. Canon uses the same chip (digic-II) in most of its newer cameras, SLR or not.

      The only good reason to get an SLR is if you'll be changing between lenses. Interchangability adds expense which goes to waste if you don't use it. If it's the 35mm sensor you're after, you can go for the Sony DSC-R1 which is the most camera+

      • You are kidding right?

        Have you actually used a Cannon point and shoot camera? They have high shutter lag even with their new Digic-II processors. DSLRs are invariably faster than PS cameras. Sure, Cannon used to be woefully slow and now are merely painfully slow, but they remain slower than DSLRs.

        Bully for you if you think you are getting the DSLR quality in Cannon PS cameras and the only difference is interchangeable lenses. The rest of the reality-based world will think otherwise though.
      • My Canon 20D goes from off, to taking a picture in about a quarter of a second. If I leave the thing on in 'sleep' mode, it will take a picture as fast as I can hit the shutter button. There is no perceptible lag. Camera speed is indeed one of the primary reasons to get a DSLR.
    • I bought a $1000 gift card for $500 a few days ago. Tried to find some advice on a DSLR from a geek, no one had a worthy article!

      Bought a D50, and am blown away with it. Far better than any digicam I've had, and half what I was willing to pay.

      Highly recommended.
    • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @03:27AM (#14382777)
      I have friends with D1x, 20D, 300D, 350D, D100 and D70s. I've used most of those. dSLRs are nice. The noise levels are amazingly low.

      But I stopped using SLRs. Why? Too large. The best shot isn't always the one with the lowest noise level, with the longest zoom or even the best composure. But it is always a SHOT YOU GOT. And I just found that an SLR was too large, I couldn't carry it often enough. I was getting great shots when I got shots, but I was missing tons of shots because I had to leave the SLR behind and I didn't get those shots at all.

      As to delay when pressing the button, you need to investigate recent P&S cameras. Recent P&S cameras have shutter lags similar to dSLRs, and actually, there's no reason they can't do better than dSLRs. Because a dSLR has to raise the mirror before it can start the exposure, and a P&S doesn't. That's additional lag right there.

      Sony has been making P&S cameras with up-to-date chips and thus virtually no lag for over a year now. They've rolled their entire line to use such chips a while back and some are on the 2nd generation of these chips. Canon, on the other hand still sells crap like the G5 which use old chips that are slow to start up, slow to take shots, slow to display shots.

      Go to dpreview and read the reviews of recent good cameras like the Sony DSC-V3 or the Canon SD### (like 550) series. Shutter lag in P&S cameras is way down. And if the market demands it, it'll go even lower.

      Oh, and Sony has near-full manual control on all their cameras and full manual control (minus setting manual white balance in degrees K) on the higher-end (typically larger) models. Again, the DSC-V3 is a great example. And most of the other manufacturers also have full manual controls on their high-end P&S cameras.
  • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday January 02, 2006 @07:50PM (#14381227) Homepage
    At this point, I think you are nuts to buy any camera (except perhaps a DSLR) that does not include Image Stabilization technology. My camera (a Canon Powershot S2 IS) has it and it makes a WORLD of difference in low light and when zoomed in. It help in normal situations too. Sony just released one of their ultra-tiny cameras with it (the first folded lens camera to have it, the DSC-T9), and many other cameras on the market have it.

    My mother has a digital camera and she is constantly dissapointed by it. It is a nice camera, but like all digitials it seems to need more light to get a decent picture than a film camera with ISO 400 in it (boot the ISO to that on the camera, it still needs more light and the noise is horrendus). Having IS would be a HUGE help for that reason, and others (light camera + slightly shakey hands = blurry pictures). About the only time she gets good pictures out of it is in full sun (she could other times too with some learning and trial and error, but I don't blame her for not wanting to spend the time).

    If the camera doesn't have Image Stabilization, skip it. Go to a store and try a camera with it on and off. The difference is amazing. You can see more about it if you read a review of the S2 IS or other cameras that have it.

    • many people have never read a book on how to use a camera - which usually explain how to stand, how to breath, or even how to hold a camera. Simple tricks such as leaning against a wall or fence, using a bean bag (or an item of clothing) to rest it on are very easy!

      the best thing I bought in the last year was a monopod - cheaper than a tripod, and because it's much more portable than a 3pod, I tend to use it far more, and it really helps when recording video (so much so that people comment on it).

      finall

      • Everyone should use cameras with fast lenses and fast shutters. It makes much nicer pictures. It irks me when I go to a camera shop and they describe the f3.5-4.5 kit zoom as a fast lens! argh! 1.4 is fast. 2.8 is fast for a 200mm lens. 3.5 is slow!

        People look at me funny when I use my TLR on a monopod.
    • Or just get one with a stop or two faster lens (smaller F number).
    • That's your problem. You need fewer pixels, a bigger sensor chip, or both. A bigger lens wouldn't hurt.

      Unfortunately, these are nerd specs. They aren't available with rugged little pocket cameras. You have two choices:

      • buy a big heavey expensive fragile digital SLR
      • go to Mars and steal a rover camera
    • ...or instead, you could skip the gimmicks, and just buy a camera with a decent lens.

      Something that opens up to f2.8, for starters. There are actually plenty non-SLR digitals out there that have decent lenses -- they just don't tend to be the pocket-sized pieces of wunderplastik that look like credit cards.

      The irony of image stabilization, is that on most consumer-grade equipment (even in the SLR world) it makes a shitty lens into an average lens at a cost that would have bought you a good lens. But camer
    • Or you get a camera with a usable 1600 ISO, and lenses that let in more light than can fit through a pinhole, and you are able to take pictures with reasonable shutter speeds in very low light. I'll pit my Canon 20D with a 50mm f/1.8 against any crappy consumer grade image stabilized camera any day.
      • Much of an equipment snob? You'll pit your 8MP DSLR against a sub $500 camera for low light capability?

        What else to you want to compare? A porsche 911 Turbo against a Yugo?

        We all know that DSLRs will always have cheaper digicams beat. That doesn't change the fact stabilization is a godsend for consumers and will become standard in the future. Nobody wants to carry around huge heavy expensive camera bodies.
        • Why do you think I put "Except maybe a DSLR" in my post that you replied to? I know that on even a lower SLR (like a Digital Rebel, which is lower compared to a 20D) ISO 400 and 800 are very usable (and probably as clean as my 50 and 100). The only reason there was a "maybe" in there is because there are DSLRs that have Optical Image Stabilization so you get the best of both worlds.

          But, did you REALLY think I was trying to say my $500 ultra-zoom camera was better than a $2000 DSLR? I would trade it in for

    • All digital cameras aren't alike any more than film cameras are.

      If you find your camera needs to much light to take a picture, then you need to get a camera with larger glass. More glass means more light taken in. More light taken in means better picture without jacking the ISO.

      People think they can buy a pocketable digital camera and take pics with it they would have tried to take with a 35mm camera which is much larger.

      I don't have a problem with image stabilization, but it's not going to take the place o
  • Hardly surprising.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by viksit ( 604616 )
    considering that in a recent shootout of cameras which I did to buy my new one, 4 out of 5 models had the above technology. Whats more, they were 7 or 8 mega pixel cameras. My final purchase was a Powershot SD550, which offers excellent manual features and compactness.. and the Kodak mentioned in the article doesn't beat that. My question - why would you focus on one model, which doesn't offer as much as some others do, and has all its features enveloped by others in the same price range anyway?
  • Ultra Wide? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MartinB ( 51897 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @08:18PM (#14381343) Homepage
    23mm? Ultra Wide? Not even close. Call me when you get below 15mm. My 18mm is just about wide enough for normal use as a wide-angle (albeit on a Canon D10, which has the usual DSLR 'small CCD' problem, so lenses get a wee telephoto boost, so it's about the same as a 23mm lens with on a film body)
  • by Colgate2003 ( 735182 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @08:55PM (#14381493) Homepage
    The headline is deceiving. This camera does not have an ultrawide zoom. It has a 37-117mm equivalent zoom lens in front of one 5MP sensor with a second, 23mm equivalent prime lens in front of another 5MP sensor. There is no way to take a picture with an equivalent focal length between 23mm and 37mm (a difference of 25 degrees in angle of view).

    So, this is really a fairly normal pocket camera with an "ultrawide mode" accomplished by adding an entire second imaging system to the device. That's pretty big news in itself, isn't it? Two 5MP sensors in your pocket!

    • If they both worked together, that would be way cool. Take an overview shot, with a detail shot at the same time. Use stitching software to blend them, or just use on a website with "click to view detail" or automate one of those "picture in picture" technical illustrations with an arrow pointing to the srea the detail is taken from.
  • by Colgate2003 ( 735182 ) on Monday January 02, 2006 @09:10PM (#14381552) Homepage
    I'd love to see a camera like this with the option to take a picture using both imaging systems at the same time. Imagine having a wide-angle "context" view for each picture you took while on vacation. A 117mm telephoto shot with an embedded wide angle view giving almost 5x the viewing angle to give context to the detail shot. This wouldn't be useful all of the time, but it would be interesting to have. You could always take the wide shot at a lower resolution when it wasn't the main view the photographer was interested in.

    A second option could take two 5MP photos and interpolate the two images together to provide an extremely high-resolution shot, corrected for any lens defects or flare. Take a 23mm shot with every longer shot and use the area of the 23mm shot that mirrors the longer shot to enhance the image quality. You would get more help at wider angles than at telephoto, but you would gain detail with any shot.

    This would be less useful, for the majority of snapshooters who end up having to crop way too much from their photos, 23mm shots could also include a slightly closer view from the other lens to eliminate some of the inevitable quality-degrading "digital zooming."

    With two sensors, you are ignoring one of them every time you take a picture. Use both!
  • As an alternative... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Tolomak ( 173813 )

    Consider the Ricoh Caplio GX [ricoh.com].

    28-85mm Optical Wide Zoom, 5 Megapixels, 2 AA batteries, has manual mode, and is compact so I take it with me everywhere (it survived backpacking and mountain biking); I have it for a year and a half now and I'm very happy with it; it's noticeably faster than the SONY P71 I had before and takes beautiful shots (use a tripod in low light though).

    It was ~$350 but it's not available in North America, you'll have to order from Europe (cheaper) or Asia.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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