One of the hardest parts of making an interchangeable-lens camera series attractive to people who use more than just the two basic slow zooms is the process of ramping up the lens selection. It's been a year and a half since the company announced its Nikon 1 series, and Nikon is still slowly filling out its lineup with the fixed focal-length lenses that attract the more advanced users. As of now, the company only offers eight lenses, six of which are pretty slow zooms. The latest addition, a 32mm f1.2 (with an equivalent angle of view to 86mm … Read more
I had two transformative yet very minor optical experiences last week, both kicking off in the space of 2 hours: I got contact lenses, and I began experimenting with Google Glass.
The two are interlinked, because I couldn't use Google's bleeding-edge wearable tech with my comfy Ray-Ban eyeglasses.
If I was going to use Glass, I'd need contacts.… Read more
If you've always wanted a pair of HD digital binoculars, you could very well get some without shelling out the big bucks.
A new smartphone accessory called Snapzoom allows you to mate your smartphone camera with the optical scope of a pair of binoculars, dramatically increasing the reach of your handset. The iPhone 5, for instance, would get its normal 33mm focal length boosted to 330mm on a 10x spotting scope.
Compatible with most smartphones (with or without a case), the Snapzoom can be mounted on all single- and dual-eyepiece scopes, which include the usual binoculars, spotting scopes, telescopes, and even microscopes. … Read more
Welcome to CNET Australia's guide to pocket filmmaking. The Pocket Filmmaker will show you how to turn the smartphone in your pocket into a camera capable of shooting video projects that are worthy of sharing with family and friends, online, and even with the judges of some of Australia's biggest short-film festivals.
Your host on this creative journey is Jason Van Genderen, winner of several short filmmaking awards, including at Tropfest NY, Tropfest Sydney, Aspen Shortsfest, and even an IF Award. Jason's projects have been shot on the Nokia N95, Nokia N8, and Apple's iPhone. He … Read more
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Backyard tinkerer Grant Thompson teaches us how to build a solar-powered death ray. A man gets a Netflix tattoo for life and only gets a measly one-year subscription for it. Plus, we meet Mr. Stubbs the alligator, the first reptile (that we know of, at least) to receive a prosthetic tail. Donation came from the Phoenix Herpetological Society and the Core Institute. … Read more
The idea of focusing the sun's rays into a concentrated beam of heat using a magnifying glass is so well known that all you have to do is say "ants under a magnifying glass" to conjure the image of a torturing bully.
Backyard tinkerer Grant Thompson isn't a bully, but he does have a giant magnifying glass. More specifically, he has a Fresnel lens -- that is, a giant lens made of corrugated concentric circles adapted from an old rear-projection TV. … Read more
Nikon hasn't lacked for full-frame wide-angle zoom lenses -- the 14-24mm f.8 is a yumburger -- but with the shipping of the D600 new Nikon adopters faced a rather limited choice of lenses that didn't cost as much as the camera. Nikon rectifies that with a new AF-S 18-35mm f3.5-4.5 FX lens which is better-priced to go with that camera at $749.95.
The lens is ostensibly designed to be compact and lightweight (about 13.6 ounces) to match the lighter D600 body as well. Other specs include a minimum focus distance of about 11 … Read more
Sony adds to its E-mount lens line for the Alpha NEX series of cameras with a 20mm f2.8 pancake (30mm equivalent) that will ship in April for $349.99. Sony currently only offers one other pancake lens, a 16mm f2.8 (24mm equivalent). From a size standpoint, the pancakes are a nice complement to the skinny NEX bodies, but you'll usually get better image quality --and faster apertures -- out of their not-so-slim counterparts.
Sony also took the opportunity to announce standalone pricing and availability for the 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 power zoom E-mount lens that it unveiled … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Nikon shipped the Nikon 1 J2 interchangeable-lens camera only five months ago and already it's obsolete. Given the lukewarm reception for such a meh update, especially given the flurry of competing products this past fall, it's neither surprising nor distressing that it's being superseded. Here at CES 2013, the company announced two new models in the Nikon 1 series: the Nikon 1 J3 and the cheaper entry-level model, the S1.
The J3 essentially has the same internals as the V2 in the body of the J2; the one physical difference is the mode dial has been … Read more
The most popular reason nonprofessionals buy dSLRs or other types of interchangeable-lens cameras is because they want better photos or faster performance than a point-and-shoot can deliver; the power of manual controls and interchangeable lenses seem to be a secondary concern. Nevertheless, I'm still routinely surprised when someone hands me his dSLR and it's set to auto and equipped with a standard kit lens.