PMA 2010 at the Anaheim Convention Center
Plenty of new imaging technology was on display at the PMA 2010 show in Anaheim, and a lot of it had a retro slant. Film is still going strong, camera designs are throwbacks to the old days, and instant cameras are making a comeback. Here's a look back at the future.
Camera Body Design Goes Retro
The field of cameras that falls somewhere between inexpensive point-and-shoots and pricy DSLRs is growing. One of the ways these new cameras are setting themselves apart is with stylish and classy designs that are inspired by older film cameras. The design of Olympus’s micro four-thirds line of cameras is based on the original PEN cameras that came out in 1959. Other cameras are following suit, like the sleek, two-tone Pentax Optio H90 ($180) that is decidedly 70s.
Pentax Optio I-10 Meets Its Maker
Pentax’s retro-fashionable Optio I-10, announced a few weeks back, was showcased next to its design inspiration: the tiny Pentax Auto 110 from the late 1970s. The good old Pentax Auto 110 accepted Kodak 110 film cartridges and offered a handful of small interchangeable lenses (the lens on the Pentax Auto 110 in this picture is a 24mm prime lens). Its offspring, the all-digital, 12-megapixel Optio I-10, has a fixed 5x optical zoom lens and is available in white or black for $300.
Fujifilm Instax Mini Offers Instant Prints
Last year, we took a look at Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 7, an uniquely designed film camera that brought us back to the good old days of Polaroid instant cameras. Since then, Polaroid has revived its instant camera line, and Fujifilm has released a few more instant film cameras of its own. This is the Fujifilm Instax Mini 55i, which prints photos in a minute using the company’s credit-card-sized Instax Mini film. The Instax Mini 55i also offers two shutter buttons (one for vertical shots, the other for horizontal shots), shutter-speed adjustments, a self-timer, a flash, and a monochrome LCD that shows you how many shots are left in your film cartridge.
Fujifilm Instax 210: Bigger Prints, Bigger Size
If credit-card-sized instant prints just aren’t big enough for you, you can upgrade to the bigger, badder Fujifilm Instax 210. The Instax 210 instantly prints photos on wider-format 3.9-inch-by-2.4-inch film and runs on four AA batteries.
Samsung TL350’s Battery and Memory Gauges
Fujifilm GF670 Medium Format Folding Camera
Polaroid instant cameras are new-fangled compared to this camera: Fujifilm’s new (yes, new) GF670 Medium Format Folding Camera. It’s a dual-format camera built for professional studio and landscape photographers, shooting to 120 or 220 film and creating either 6cm-by-6cm or 6cm-by-7cm exposures. The dial on the top right of the camera controls shutter and ISO settings, while the dial on the top left is used to roll the film.
Photoframed.com Lets You Custom-Frame Your Photo
Who needs digital photo frames? If you’re having problems matching a photo to the perfect analog frame—or even printing your digital photo out at all—you may want to look into an online service called Photoframed.com. The site lets you design your own photo frame from scratch or use the site’s pre-set frame templates, upload a digital photo, and have the service send you the printed-out picture in a frame of your own design. Prices vary depending on the size of the print and the amount of customization you’d like.
Minox DCC Minature Replica
German camera company Minox is reincarnating classic film cameras as miniature digital cameras. Its latest product is the three-inch high Minox DCC (left), a faithful recreation of the 1954 Leica M3 camera, shrunk down to a third of the size and made digital.
The 5.1-megapixel camera is more than a pretty shell--it sports a 2-inch LCD display, can shoot video, and has a handful of bespoke accessories, including a mini bulb-style flash and a leather camera case. Minox has previously released a 3-megapixel Rolleiflex replica (right), complete with a top viewfinder. The DCC costs $250 and is also available in a gold plated design.
Minox Brings Back Intrigue with the DSC Spy Camera
For a camera that’s supposed to be incognito, the DSC Spy Camera from Minox is certainly eye catching. The DSC is a digital take on Minox’s classic film camera, which was actually used by spies starting in the 1940s. The 5-megapixel, $200 camera is 3.4 inches long and 1.2 inches high, shoots still images as well as video clips, and comes with a detachable external flash that doubles as an LCD display for previewing your images. Minox is creating an entire line of spy-inspired gear, including a pen, sunglasses, and belt with hidden cameras.
Disposable Digital-On-The-Go Camera
The Digital-On-The-Go camera from VistaQuest’s is a single use--meaning disposable--digital camera. The camera is a same size and style as its disposable film predecessors, and a perfect blank canvas for custom labeling. The Digital-On-The-Go can hold up to 40 pictures and allows users to delete the last image they shot. Starting at $7.99, the disposable camera is available with or without an LDC display, and comes bundled with a proprietary USB cord for uploading images. The company hopes to have the final product by September.
Kodak Keeps the Faith with New EKTAR Film
Kodak made its big camera announcements before PMA, but it still had a few smaller releases at the show, including new camera film. Kodak announced new 4 by 5 and 8 by 10 versions of their Professional EKTAR 100 fine grain, color negative film.
The film market has remained steady for the past few years, buoyed by resurgence in use by professional photographers who are rediscovering the personality and challenges of film. They can set themselves apart by shooting on film, which alters the process (fewer shots mean more thought and planning go into each photo) and the final product (real film grain and unpredictable colors).
TruView Digital Photo Album Hopes Bigger is Better
Attempting to recapture the charm of analog doesn't always mean small. TruView’s digital photo albums look just like the large albums you have stacked on your shelves now--thick and heavy with a traditional book-style design. Inside each digital album is an 8-inch LCD screen that displays images from a memory card. There is also a built-in storage area for all of your memory cards, which is handy since you can’t upload images from the cards to the book. The TruView album is for people who miss the weight and girth of traditional family albums and long to enjoy their digital photographs the old fashioned way.
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