Photokina 2014 highlights

Video Cameras

Contour has released its latest actioncam, the ContourROAM, which is simpler to operate an...

Amongst the various actioncam brands currently in existence, Contour is certainly one of the better-known. Today, the company introduced a new addition to its family, the ContourROAM. Like its predecessors the Contour+ and ContourGPS, it has a rugged cylindrical aluminum body, and a swiveling lens that users aim via two laser beams on either side. Unlike those cameras, however, it can be taken in the water, and goes from being powered off to recording with the push of one button.  Read More

The Pico Flex Dolly allows low-budget film-makers to execute smooth tracking shots

Few things add to the production value of a video like a good tracking shot - you know, where the camera is on wheels, and moves around or towards the subject. While full-size dolly systems for 35 mm movie cameras are financially out of reach for most low-budget and hobbyist film-makers, guess what? You can now shoot movies with a little something called a digital single lens reflex camera, and it only needs a tiny dolly. One such creature is the CineSkates system, but we recently heard about another, known as the Pico Flex Dolly.  Read More

Stem Innovation has developed a secure remote monitoring camera system capable of live str...

When I lived in what is generally described as an unsavory neighborhood, I had a device installed which would ring my mobile phone if the alarm sounded. Technology has moved on a tad since then with home monitoring options like this one from Florida-based Stem Innovation. The company has developed an app-controlled video camera called the iZON Remote Room Monitor that streams live video and audio to your iOS device when movement or sound is detected at home. The system can even send the recording direct to a private YouTube account for safe-keeping or sharing.  Read More

Film-maker Rob Spence has announced that his 'Camera Eye' is now fully functioning (Image:...

When he was nine years old, Toronto film-maker Rob Spence received a severe injury to his right eye in a shotgun accident. After a period of hiding the aftermath under an eyepatch, six years ago he had the eye replaced with a prosthesis. Being a visual artist, however, he had an idea - instead of just an unseeing artificial eye, he wanted one that could capture images of what he was looking at, and wirelessly transmit them to an external recording device. He himself wouldn't be able to see through the eye, but the footage obtained from it could take film-making to new levels. It's been a few years since Spence began his Eyeborg Project, but he has just announced that the eye is now functioning.  Read More

The NEX-VG20 interchangeable lens camcorder from Sony

Sony has taken the wraps off the NEX-VG20, a consumer HD interchangeable lens camcorder that follows the world's first consumer-oriented HD camcorder with an interchangeable lens system, the NEX-VG10. The upcoming NEX-VG20 features the same E-mount system that offers users the choice of seven different E-mount lenses. Sony claims the VG20 offers a number of improvements over the previous model, including comprehensive manual controls, improved imaging quality, upgraded sound and ergonomic refinements such as enhanced grips and a second record button.  Read More

CineSkates are soft urethane wheels for the GorillaPod Focus tripod, that allow users to d...

If you’re a videographer, and want to elevate your work from just looking competent to looking slick, one of the best things you can do is put your camera on a dolly. No, I’m not talking about a Ken or Barbie, but a wheeled camera mount that allows you to do smooth, fluid tracking shots. While the Spielbergs of the world use actual purpose-built camera dollies, lower-budget film-makers often make do with wheelchairs, skateboards, or wheeled spreaders that mount on the bottom of industrial-sized tripods. Given the popularity of JOBY’s compact and flexible GorillaPod tripods, however, it perhaps shouldn’t be surprising that someone has developed a wheel system for them – it’s called CineSkates.  Read More

Vision Research's Phantom v1610 high-speed digital camera shoots 1 million fps videos

Vision Research has revealed the latest addition to its line of digital high-speed cameras, in the form of the Phantom v1610. It shoots videos at an impressive speed of 16,000 fps, at a resolution of 1280 x 800. However, if the number of pixels is reduced to just 128 x 16, the speed can be increased to a whopping 1 million frames recorded every second. While that's less than the X-ray camera that shoots at 4.5 million fps, the Phantom v1610 is not a scientific one-of-a-kind device.  Read More

The wearable camera system can be used to capture the motion of an actor in just about any...

Computer-generated imagery (CGI) has become such a staple of modern movie-making that most people know what actors are doing when prancing around in front of green screens wearing skin-tight leotards with reflective balls affixed at various locations over their bodies - motion capture. In addition to the actor’s performance, such techniques can also require the tracking of camera movements and props so that perspective is maintained when translating the movements into CGI. Now researchers have demonstrated a system that can perform motion capture almost anywhere and without the need to track a separate camera and it does this by mounting the cameras on the actors instead.  Read More

Drift Innovation is releasing a smaller, lighter version of its HD-170 actioncam, called t...

Last August, we did a side-by-side video comparison of Drift Innovation’s HD-170 actioncam, and the ever-popular GoPro HERO HD. While we liked the HD-170’s image quality, LCD screen, ease of use and swiveling lens, we noted that it lacked the HERO’s replaceable lens, and that it was considerably longer (although narrower) than the GoPro camera. Well, with its new compact Drift HD, Drift Innovation has addressed both of those shortcomings.  Read More

ZEISS Ultra Prime set

Like all things digital, the technology in your beautiful new camera is heading towards obsolescence at an alarming rate. The same is true, though to a lesser extent, about that SLR lens with its own processors and motors for focus, aperture and stabilization. In the analog world of manual film lenses where a lifetime of use is guaranteed there has been a renaissance in the manufacture of high quality optics at all price points, driven in part by the advent of digital SLRs and cheaper camcorder options that are capable of delivering that "film look". But for serious moving picture shooting, still camera lenses just won’t cut it. Let’s explore why.  Read More

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