Hiroshima Patents Jessops at CES

Lost Hiroshima explosion photograph found

Nikon Patents transparent LCD technology

Nikon reassure Jessops Customers

CES, what actually happened?

Lost Hiroshima explosion photograph found

When the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima to end the war with the Japan and bring the whole Second World War to a close. There were not that many pictures of the incident and those that were taken were mainly by the US military to document the event. Of images captured on the ground only 2 or 3 exist.

Hiroshima_10km-615When the twin towers were hit or during the London riots and even now during the Syrian civil war there are and were a large number of pictures taken on mobile phones and cameras. These images document a huge amount of information and give a realistic picture of the events. For many young people learning history it is inconceivable that there are so few images and it makes the scale of the event hard to fully understand.

The images were found by a museum curator among articles related to the atomic bombing that are now owned by Honkawa Elementary School in Hiroshima city.

The images have been seen before when they were published in a Japanese publication in 1988 but the whereabouts of the originals was unknown. The image was taken 6 miles east of Hiroshima at Kaita and depicts the tier cloud system of the explosion.
Although there had been some confusion about the timing of the photograph with  notes on the back of the print saying 2-3minutes after the explosion and the reprinted image in 1988 stating it was taken 20-30 minutes after the explosion. According to the American Institute of Physics the image matches those taken by the military and the discovered picture would have been taken 2-5 minutes after the explosion.

Although it is still unknown who took the picture, this ground level photograph that has come to surface offers a rare glimpse for people at what the horror of the even looked like from the ground. People in the town said that they thought the bomb had exploded right outside their houses and places of work, as there was a bright flash of light and then a loud sound.  When looking out of the window they witness something different. Obviously the photographer saw that this was not the bombing raid that Hiroshima had been expecting and this was the birth of a new world.

Nikon Patents Transparent LCD technology

2012_257100_fig02-dab91Nikon have patented something quite interesting, a transparent LCD. Now transparent LCDs are not new and have been around for a few years. Companies have been trying like crazy to find an intuitive way to implement them into their products.

Nikon has and has patented a use for the screen. The screen is patented as a flip up display with an information overlay. With the screen flipped up you would be able to see not just the framing of the scene you are planning on capturing but also what is happening just outside the field of view. This is slightly similar to range finder cameras when you can see what is happening and can make the conscious choice of when to take a picture, without the awakward moment when some just steps into frame just as you press the trigger. On a zoomed in image this would be immensely useful.

2012_257100_fig08-bce0e

Don’t get your hopes up too much, remember companies patent a lot of stuff and some of it doesn’t come to the market. We will watch this space.

Nikon reassure Jessops Customers

Jessops is dead. I was not surprised when the company entered administration but was surprised on Friday night when I read that it had closed its doors for the final time after only 3 days of looking for a buyer. There have been stories that a man with a £500 voucher arrived at a store as the doors had been shut to find out that it was irredeemable. People who have ordered cameras with a debit card will have lost their money while those who used a credit card will most likely be more successful in getting their money back.

Nikon UK though has stepped in to reassure their customers.

“Nikon UK would like to assure Jessops customers that we are actively working with the administrators and plan to undertake all outstanding repairs as quickly as possible….  Nikon UK can confirm that we will also be honouring any repairs under Jessops’ Photo + extended warranty scheme.”

Nikon will be contacting customers directly regarding repairs to their cameras. They have also issued a number for any enquirers. The number is 0330 123 0928.

This is a good step for Nikon positive advertising about the care of their customers including those who don’t directly buy from the company. I hope that other camera manufactures do the same.

CES, what actually happened?

Last week was the Consumer Electronic Show. It was huge with companies showing of their latest and greatest. I have read so many stories about the technology being showcased here that I feel my head may turn to mush. This is not the biggest Camera show in the year but there have been some interesting announcements of new products that are coming to market. Here is just a roundup of them.

Canon Powershot N

This is an innovative camera that has been shown off. The camera uses a ring around the outside to zoom with and then by pressing the ring inwards a picture will be taken. It doesn’t matter how you have the camera orientated when you compose or take your shot.

I really like the sound of it as it seems a more fluid way to take a picture than zooming with a button and takes me back to my first SLR and the feel when you zoomed and focused on the lens.

Fuji Film x100s and x20

This is an upgrade model to the x100 a retro styled camera. The main difference between the two models being, a slightly different control layout.  Fuji has said that there are over 70 changes between the two cameras with most of them coming from user feedback. This is a 16 megapixel camera using an APS Cmos II sensor with a fixed 22mm F2 lens.

The x20 really is the x100s little brother. Replacing the x10 with a capable 12 megapixel resolution sensor. The x20 really is just an upgrade and x10 users should feel at home with it.

Nikon One J3 and S1

Nikon one is a camera that jumped out of the starting blocks when it arrived on the scene trying to fill the gap between SLR and Compact.  The J3 is a new addition in the Nikon One Hierarchy being placed just below the V2. Like the V2 it has a 14 megapixel CX sensor but does lack the manual control of the V2.

The S1 on the other hand sits at the bottom of this line-up being based on the J3 predecessor the J2. The S1 has a 10 megapixel sensor but with a simplified interface.

Panosonic ZS30

Well Panasonic have been using their smarts with their new cameras both the high end and the compact. They have most recently been refreshing their compact lineup and one of the features being Near Field Communication. This is a simple method of connecting two Wi-fi enabled devices when situated close to each other.

The ZS30 is sporting a 18 megapixel sensor with a 20x zoom with the equivalent focal length 24mm-480mm.

Pentax MX1

Well the retro theme is continued with Pentax’s High end compact camera the MX1 modeled after the 1970 MX SLR. The camera looks nice but is very similar spec wise to the Olympus XZ-2 with a 12 Megapixel censor.

Polaroid iM1232W

Polaroid surprised everybody this year presenting a mock-up of a future camera sporting 3 interchangeable lenses. These cameras look like carbon copies of others on the market. Polaroid however has added a twist to their cameras by having the sensors built into the lens. The iM1232W runs a standard camera operating system but the planned iM1836 will carry android.

Samsung NX300

The NX300 is the newest camera in the NX range and is a mark above it s predecessor. The camera uses a on-sensor phase detection Auto Focus system. The screen is touch sensitive and is able to be tilted. The camera offers a 20 megapixel Cmos sensor and can shoot up to 9 frames a second.

Sigma

Sigma expanded its range of DP cameras this year with the DP3. The DP3 features a Foveon sensor with a 75mm (equivalent) lens.

This however is not what I was impressed by with Sigma what impressed me was their new USB dock which connects to its new lenses, allowing you to reprogram the firmware from your computer. The Firmware customization includes focus limiting and AF adjustments at all focal lengths.

For me the only thing I would ask for in the coming years is for Cameras to have more simple names.

If you have any comments or opinions about the stories covered let me know using the comment box below.

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