June 2007

Yahoo! Photos is closing
Photo sharing is wonderful, but trusting your pictures to any one such site is dangerous. Flickr is booming and Photobucket is doing fine, and some others, too, but when even a giant like Yahoo! can simply shut their photo sharing service down, you know this is not a medium to pass on your pics to the grandkids. Hey, we learned that the hard way when the grand daddies of today's services came on the scene back in 1999 or so. Then, Zing and PhotoPoint duked it out. Alas, they were ahead of their time and both died, without an oblivious Kodak even looking at them. So make sure you have backups of whatever you upload. -- Posted Thursday, June 28, 2007 by chb

Intelligent auto modes in new Pana Lumix cameras
Panasonic introduced the newest additions to its FX-series of compacts, the LUMIX DMC- FX55 (3-inch display, US$349.95) and DMC-FX33 (2.5-inch display, US$299.95). Like the entire 2007 LUMIX line, the two new models incorporate Panasonic's revolutionary Intelligent Image Stabilization technologies, and are the first Panasonic cameras, along with the newly introduced DMC-FZ18, to offer Intelligent Auto Mode, a system which combines Mega Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S) and Intelligent ISO Control with three new features: Face Detection System, Intelligent Scene Selector and Continuous Auto Focus. Both models combine 8.1-megapixels with a 28mm wide- angle LEICA DC lens with 3.6x optical zoom -- Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007 by chb

Olympus 770SW: 77 feet without an underwater case
We push equipment to the very limit. Sometimes we need a camera when we go diving but just don't feel like taking a big, bulky underwater case along for the dive. That's where the Olympus Stylus 770SW comes in. It doesn't need a case. And though its depth rating is just 33 feet ("just" being relative; that is excellent), we've taken it much deeper. Last weekend it came along on the "deep dive" part of an advanced scuba class. Did it survive 77 feet? Did it work down there? Read the Olympus Stylus 770SW at a depth of 77 feet, without case. -- Posted Tuesday, June 19, 2007 by chb

Combination WiFi/SD Card
A company cleverly called Eye-Fi will release a SD Card that also contains wireless functionality later this year. The card will have a memory capacity of probably 2GB and also contain WiFi circuitry. This way, digital camera users can send pictures directly to their PC or photosharing/processing sites. When we reviewed the Nikon P3 with 802.11b/g WiFi, we found the addition of WiFi interesting but weren't sure if it makes sense as it adds complexity. Putting WiFi on a SD card would make it camera-independent, but add cost and cooperation from the camera industry. -- Posted Monday, June 11, 2007 by chb