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Polaroid was showing off their new Android-based camera at the Pepcom Digital Experience on the eve of CES 2013. Aimed at snapshooters, this CSC features a 10-30mm zoom with a 3.4" touchscreen LCD, powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system.

Polaroid Android Camera

Yes, you can load apps and access the Internet via the camera's built-in WiFi radio. The performance for the demo model, however, was a bit sluggish. And it did crash once during testing.

Android Based Polaroid

A very unique feature is the location of the sensor: it's in the lens. No need to worry about dust and contaminates because the sensor is never exposed.

CPU in the Lens

Estimated price will be $349. Based on what I saw, I can't recommend it, even though it costs less than other system cameras. The fit and finish of the components was less than stellar, the OS felt unstable, and I'm just not sure about the lens design.

We'll see what others report. But for the time being, this seems more like a novelty item rather than a legitimate photographic tool.


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We're seeing WiFi in our cameras more and more. The new Samsung NX300 and Canon PowerShot N are two recent examples. Then we jump over to the mirrorless bandwagon, which is getting quite crowded. I then wrap up with my preparations for CES 2013 in Las Vegas.

Story #1 - WiFi in Your Camera. One of the trends that we will see in 2013 is that more cameras will have Wi-Fi built-in. We've seen it at the DSLR level, with the Canon 6D and others, and now we're going to see it more at The compact system camera level and even compacts.

A current example is the Samsung NX300, a 3-D capable 20 megapixel mirrorless camera that also has dual-channel Wi-Fi built-in.

Why would you want this? Well, yes, you can connect directly to online sharing sites. But this could still be easier. I think the real use for Wi-Fi in our cameras will be to connect with our other devices, actually. You can share pictures with your smart phone or your computer or your tablet, do your editing, and then upload from there.

Story #2 - Acceptance of Mirrorless Cameras. The bandwagon is starting to get a little crowded. More and more big-name photographers are suddenly stating their love for Compact System Cameras and saying that DSLRs are on their way out.

And even though it's great to see my philosophy that's over two years old finally being accepted, I can tell you right now that DSLRs are here to stay also. It's not a matter of one type of camera replacing another. It's more about having a greater variety of tools for the different situations we face.

So if you're thinking about embracing mirrorless cameras in 2013, that's great! I love them so much. But at the same time, please keep your current to DSLR system. Don't sell it. There's a place in your photography for both types of cameras.

Story #3 - Packing for CES. Speaking of Compact System Cameras, for CES I am taking a Lowepro Photo Hatchback with my Olympus OM-D and Olympus Pen mini with five lenses. I'll also have a full size iPad and an iPad mini. And to make typing easier, I'll be using the Brydge Bluetooth Keyboard for the full-size iPad. All of this fits easily and my Lowepro Photo Hatchback bag: two camera bodies, two iPads, five lenses, a flash headphones, and a few personal items. I'm looking forward to reporting on the event from Las Vegas.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (26 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

The January 2013 photo assignment is Self Timer.

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

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Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to saven 20% at check out.

During the first day of press events at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, we're seeing a number of gadget mashups. A primary ingredient is mobility. It seems to spice up to everything from cameras to laptops to cars.

A good example on display at the CES Unvieled event at the Mandalay Bay Hotel is the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix that represents the fusion of laptop and tablet.

Lenovo ThinkPad Helix The Lenovo ThinkPad Helix being demonstrated at CES Unveiled.

The device is built around an 11.6" touchscreen tablet with 1080p resolution, Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory, and 256GB of solid state storage. Lenovo chose to use Windows 8 Pro as the OS rather than the mobile version of the operating system. And when you dock the tablet to the keyboard, it both charges (via the second battery) and supercharges (via overclocking the processor) the tablet. The Helix can be used in a variety of configurations for work, display, and portability.

KickStarter Projects on Display The Urban Hello needs your support...

Another area of convergence is how we're doing business. KickStarter projects such as the Urban Hello phone that connects itself instantly to any internet gateway for home phone service. What's interesting to me is that the Urban Hello won a CES Innovations award, yet the fundraising has just begun to actually produce it.

There's going to be lots more to report around these themes, including the convergence of mobile technologies and photography. So stay tuned...


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Shooting video is a lot more fun than editing it. If you're one of those photographers who never took the iMovie dive, you might want to get your feet wet with iMovie for iOS and an iPad.

"Surfacing" was edited, produced, and shared solely on an iPad 3 running iMovie for iOS.

The $4.99 app available in the iTunes App Store is a great introduction to the power of non-linear video editing. You can trim, add transitions, move clips, add titles, manage sound tracks, and share your finished product online. By way of example, here's a short movie titled Surfacing, where all post production work was accomplished on an iPad 3 running iMovie.

I recommend that you use the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit to copy digital camera video to the iPad, then spend 30 minutes or so playing with it in iMovie. Apple provides a comprehensive Help Site to get you up to speed quickly.

Who ever thought that getting an iPad would finally get you into movie editing?


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For the Nov. 2012 Photo Assignment, TDS shooters shined a light on their favorite subjects. See for yourself in our gallery, Flash. And which one will be the SizzlPix Photo Assignment Pick of the Month?

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"I was so excited when you announced flash was the contest for this month. As wedding photographers, we often shoot in low light and rely on flash to capture spectacular images, including light paintings," wrote Jennifer Rhoades. "This was shot in pitch black. Laurie and Blake wanted a shot in front of the Memphis Zoo, but it was 9pm! I put two SB-910s behind them pointing left and right, and my assistant held a 24 inch softbox above their heads. The image was shot with a D800 and a 16-35 f4 VR." See all of the great images from this month's assignment by visiting the Flash gallery page.


Participate in This Month's Assignment

The Jan. 2013 assignment is "Self Timer." Details can be found on the Member Participation page. Deadline is Jan. 31, 2012.

Please follow the instructions carefully for labeling the subject line of the email for your submission. It's easy to lose these in the pile of mail if not labeled correctly. For example, the subject line for this month's assignment should be: "Photo Assignment: Jan 2013." Also, if you can, please don't strip out the metadata. And feel free to add any IPTC data you wish (These fields in particular: Caption, Credit, Copyright, Byline), I use that for the caption info.

Gallery posting is one month behind the deadline. So I'm posting Nov. 2012 at the end of Dec., the Dec. gallery will be posted at the end of Jan., and on and on.

Good luck with your Jan. assignment, and congratulations to all of the fine contributors for November.


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Now Available! The Digital Photography Companion. The official guide for The Digital Story Virtual Camera Club.

  • 25 handy and informative tables for quick reference.
  • Metadata listings for every photo in the book
  • Dedicated chapter on making printing easy.
  • Photo management software guide.
  • Many, many inside tips gleaned from years of experience.
  • Comprehensive (214 pages), yet fits easily in camera bag.

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Man in Gorilla Suit Chasing Seagulls

I think the title says it all for this one...

Gorilla Chasing Seagulls

Thanks for a Memorable 2012

With 2012 in our rear view mirrors, I want to thank you for being a part of our photography community. Thanks to your support of the podcast via subscribing to it through iTunes, purchasing the TDS Podcast App in the App Store, participating in photo assignments, commenting on articles, and shopping at B&H, Amazon, SizzlePix, and Red River Paper though our sponsor tiles, you've contributed to keeping this show on the air.

Sky and Tree Sky and Tree, Interstate 5, CA - Photo by Derrick Story.

I'll be back to full steam next week with more podcasts, news, opinion, and articles. I'm thrilled that you'll be starting the New Year with me.

Twilight Main Street

One of my favorite phrases on the road is, "Come here and look at this." When I hear that, I make sure I have camera in hand.

The sunset last night on Main Street in Huntington Beach was saturated honey. I had an Olympus mini in my pocket with the 17mm f/2.8 prime lens, and used it to capture this scene.

Main St - Huntington Beach CA

I finished off the image in Aperture 3.4, later that evening after returning from dinner. What a great way to end the day.


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Canon 5D Mark II Not Ready for Pasture

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According to this report on Imaging-Resource, Canon isn't quite ready to discontinue the venerable 5D Mark II.

"At this time we have no update regarding the status of the EOS 5D Mark II DSLR camera," a Canon U.S.A. spokesperson told Imaging Resource. "This product has been faithfully selling in the market since 2008 and has helped usher in a new era for Canon with the introduction of the Cinema EOS System." (reported by Imaging-Resource.com)

Canon may not be ready to retire their landmark full frame sensor DSLR, and neither am I. As much as I like their latest offerings in this category, my 5D Mark II is still serving me well. It's my "go to" camera for portrait assignments and high-end product photography. It's mechanically sound, provides amazing image quality, and it's paid for.

I've noticed that the 5D Mark II is currently available at B&H Photo for $1,800 with memory card. It will be interesting to see what happens with the price over the coming months.

In the meantime, mine is charged up and ready for its next assignment.


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After reading the review of the Sony RX1 full frame compact camera, I have even a further admiration for what Sony engineers have accomplished.

Aside from its outstanding image quality and depth of field control, the fit and finish of this camera achieves world class status, "...the feel of the controls is among the finest that I have ever encountered on any camera. Only an M Leica is comparable. Every knob, switch and dial on the RX1 is solid, has firm detents, and overall the whole camera feels like it would survive reentry from orbit, or at least six months in a pannier on a round-the-world bicycle trip." (Luminous Landscape review)

Quite frankly, if I owned the Sony RX1, I would shoot with it, and often. In fact, I would go as far to say, that if I were to invest in another full frame camera, the RX1 would get serious consideration.

Warning: This review could cost you $2,800...