The following is a video showing how an image is captured in a digital camera and how fast memory cards and card readers can help to speed up the process. The video is posted by Lexar Media, Inc., a subsidiary of Micron Technology, Inc. Read More…

Posted in Technology on February 15th, 2012. No Comments.

It seems impossible to find a cell phone that doesn’t take photos these days. The built-in cameras in the cell phones are getting better and better. The resolution has evolved from VGA (640×480) resolution just a few years ago to the 5, 8 megapixel found in some high end phones. But is the digital evolution powerful enough to endanger the digital camera species, as this article claims?

With the integration of phone and camera, people can share photos instantly in many different ways: MMS, email, and social networks. With most digital cameras, people have to upload them to a computer first before they can share the photos. People also tend to have their cell phones with them all the time. The same cannot be said for their standalone digital cameras. Do all of the above spell doom for the standalone digital cameras? Read More…

Posted in Technology on August 15th, 2010. No Comments.

Canon has published a white paper of its recently announced new professional flagship DSLR EOS-1D Mark IV (Check price). The white paper contains detailed descriptions of the camera design and features that you don’t typically see in product manuals. If you are interested in knowing how things work and how things are made in a DSLR, this is a great resource. It has many charts showing the construction of its components, such as AF system, viewfinder, sensor, etc. In addition, you can find an overview of software and accessories at the end as well as comparison to previous model the EOS-1D Mark III throughout the white paper.

Posted in Digital photography, Technology on November 16th, 2009. No Comments.

Have you ever wondered why wide angle lenses such as Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM doesn’t have the problem with its rear element getting too close to the image sensor of your DSLR camera?

Well, this is a reasonable question if your understanding of optics is not much beyond the simple thin lens model you learned in high school. Photographic lenses are not thin lenses. Even the simplest prime lenses are constructed with multiple lenses in multiple groups. These are called “thick lenses”. The effective focal length of the thick lenses are no longer the distance between the last optical element to the rear focal point (called back focal length). To make the wide angle length work on SLR cameras, the back focal length of the lens needs to be longer than the effective focal length so the mirror doesn’t hit the lens when the shutter is release. On the opposite, for telephoto lenses the back focal length needs to be shorter than the effective focal length. This is typically achieved by putting a concave lens (or negative lens group) or convex (or positive lens group) at the front for wide angle and telephoto lenses, respectively.

The modern day wide angle lenses were mostly inspired by the old but clever design called retrofocus lens design pioneered by a French engineer (a little more history can be found here). If you compare the original retrofocus lens and the aforementioned Sigma wide angle lens, you can notice the similarity. The Sigma lens used a group of concave lenses instead of single concave lens for the front element in the original design.

If you are interested in digging into lens design, there are many good books, for example, Applied Photographic Optics by Sidney Ray. However you can learn quite a lot without spending a dime from free online resources by using search engines.

Posted in Technology on October 6th, 2009. No Comments.

I talked about Microsoft’s first iPhone app Seadragon Mobile yesterday. I have been intrigued by the technology behind it. So I decided to test it out. Read More…

Posted in Digital photography, Technology on December 17th, 2008. No Comments.

If you are concerned with digital camera image quality, the newly announced DXOMark website is a must-visit place. They analyze RAW sensor data instead of RGB images generated from a RAW converter to evaluate the actual performance of the sensor, bypassing the noise reduction and other processing of RAW converters. Read More…

Posted in News, Technology on November 18th, 2008. No Comments.

We all know full frame DSLR cameras cost more than the DSLR cameras with DX or APS-C sized sensors but why? Part of the cost difference is due to the higher cost of making larger sensors. The article at Chipworks will tell you some details of the semiconductor manufacturing aspects of making CMOS image sensors.

The cost of making a full frame sensor is indeed a lot more than a APS-C sized sensor. However the difference isn’t that much compared to overall price of a high end DSLR. That’s why it should be possible to see a full frame camera just a few hundred, not a thousand or more, dollars more expensive than a APS-C DSLR with similar features. Today’s product lineups from Canon or Nikon are most likely results of marketing strategy that maximizes profits and strengthens market position. Read More…

Posted in Technology on October 30th, 2008. 1 Comment.
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