Digital Bolex

15 March 2012

Another week, another Kickstarter project that gets many $$$$$$!! There’s nothing you can’t do (and nothing that can’t be funded) with the KS platform really. Need a thousand dollars? KS Ten grand? KS maybe a million? KS too!

And in the context of all-indie-things-on-earth SXSW festival, where groups and start-ups compete for mass media attention, Joe Rubinstein & Elle Schneider just got to present a prototype of their upcoming Digital Bolex D16…. a video camera aimed at those who like to shoot in RAW.

Digital Bolex D16 prototype
Digital Bolex D16 prototype

Pretty much every DSLR & digital mirrorless camera nowadays already shoots images & videos in RAW quality… so why on earth would you buy a “Digital Bolex”? Because it has a retro feel! And because it was funded via KS! And because it’s cool ok!?

 So with their new project, Joe & Elle will attempt to relaunch the 16mm & Bolex trend and market an “affordable digital cinema camera that will allow filmmakers to shoot high-quality footage on any budget”. We’ll have to see the final retail price to judge what they mean by “affordable” because if we follow the KS page … $2500 is a good starting price-point for the DBolex.

future Bolex ad
future Bolex ad

All things considered (specs included, even if everything for now are drawings, rumors, prototypes and more drawings…), and because no-one except maybe Peter Jackson can afford a RED, there surely is a niche market for the project. Hey, 91 people who’ve already pre-ordered the D16 without even knowing what it will look like exactly and nearly $300K to fund the project are a good sign right?

You can also contribute if your body feels like it, although to get a camera next August you’ll have to jump to the $3500  level. More info this way.

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2 August 2011

I’ve been dying for a thing “like” this for ages. An Android-powered device I could use for “everything” except phone calls and that would be as tiny as an iPod nano. Unfortunately this one is not, but it’s closer than anything (and I still prefer my nano’s tinyness).

We have to inevitably compare it with those magic “Sifteo” cubes, Sony’s LiveView… or anything that comes out of the MIT labs. Now that manufacturing tiny development boards has become really inexpensive and connectivity modules are as small as a 1 penny coin there’s a LOT of room to come up with new toys & connected devices.

WIMM as a watch? as a sports accessory, as a...

WIMM Labs are proposing this (sort of thick) tiny little cube with bluetooth & wi-fi capabilities (besides the touchscreen, accelerometer and other nice things) which is not an mp3 (has no headphone jack), nor a sports Garmin watch with GPS (booo) but they rather describe it as a “platform”.

The good thing is that as a modular platform you can develop any cradle or accessory (besides Android apps of course) and it may well become those mp3, watch or bike accessories you desire. You’ll have to develop specifically for it as despite running Android 2.1 not all apps are suitable of course…. but imagine a mini-Spotify app for it.

with a Scorpion bike clip

They’re still looking for partners (retailers mainly) and app developers (through their website), so in case it doesn’t make it to the market (should launch this Christmas) you can always ask for it as a “development tool”. Price? Nothing yet, but we’ll be happy to tell you when it launches.

The guys from TIMN already had a look at it…

Gorgeous right?  We need more of these “open” products (or… why did Apple not allow this on the nano?)

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15 July 2011

 You have cameras, and you then have these other cameras. But they all come from the same place: Japan. Who’s more crazy about photography than Japanese people?

They’re not only the kings of  real photography but of toy photography too (or “casual” as they like to call it). And this little Japo brand called Superheadz (and Powershowel behind it which happens to be a record label and book publisher at the same time) is releasing a few of their crazy gadgets for the summer. You may think they’re pointless (why on earth would you buy a cat-camera right?), Japanese think they’re cute, and as a witty gift they’re always useful.

“Clap” is this first model with usb connector included which despite its tiny size it includes a 2MPx camera capable of recording   720×480 videos and with a microSD slot. You can buy it through their Japanese store, so unless you understand their crazy buying store we recommend you go through the ICP store or the UK’s Photographers Gallery shop (goes from around 50£ to 75$).

That first model is our favorite but those of you who love cats they’ve come up with this weird “Necono” model…

Basically a cat-shaped camera where one of the eyes acts as a lens while the other as a LED self-timer. The interesting thing about this Alice in Wonderlanish camera are its 4 magnets under its legs allowing you to place it pretty much everywhere. It looks like it also shoots video (640×480 only though) and has a 3MP sensor.

Now who on earth would buy these things….? Japanese of course. Buyable on the same shops mentioned above, although the cute cat is twice as expensive though.

oh and there's also this Monitor Ground accessory screen if you want to go pro!
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22 June 2011

While we’re still waiting for Panasonic to release their GF5 or however their future “Pro” micro 4/3 camera is called next fall we suddenly feel challenged by the introduction of this new “light field” technology into the mass market….

The light field fully defines how a scene appears. It is the amount of light traveling in every direction through every point in space – it’s all the light rays in a scene. Conventional cameras cannot record the light field.

A massive buzz Ren Ng has generated across the whole tech blog community & industry promising to release pocketable devices “sometime this year” under his company “Lytro”. From his blog…

“People often refer to taking a picture as capturing the moment, but conventional photography does not really capture the moment. It captures one angle, one set of light, and one focus of the moment. If you are a professional photographer, you might capture the best parts of the moment. If you are someone like me, you most certainly will not. With Ren’s light field camera, you actually capture the moment or at least all of the light that visually represents the moment.

Once you have captured the moment, you can go back at any time and get the picture that you want.

Essentially, you can take the picture you wish you would have taken after the fact. If you are used to the old paradigm, it’s like travelling backwards through time.”

The light field sensor captures the color, intensity and vector direction of the rays of light. This directional information is completely lost with traditional camera sensors, which simply add up all the light rays and record them as a single amount of light.

The idea & techno behind has been developed over the past 3 years at Stanford University labs, and after raising $50 million from several angel investors (NEA, K9 Ventures, Greylock Partners and Andreessen Horowitz) Lytro will not only propose “always focused” images but some amazing 3D effects (see video below).

Mindblowing? Mmmmmm, you can find more info and reserve your camera on their website. Ore a few demonstrations on their official blog. Shoot now, focus later … their marketing moto…

The question now is… will it shoot videos?

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Infobar A01

19 June 2011

When and why did we miss this last month? It should be released next moth but iida’s Infobar A01 is already making a world viral tour across the web. Partly because of that amazing User Interface designed by Yugo Nakamura and the always “cool toy” design iida has accustomed us to.

Apple may still make everyone dream with its amazing designs and iOS simplicity (especially since the 5 update) but they’re starting to feel a bit old since the arrival of tile-based designed WinMo7 and these amazing ideas by Idaa & Naoto Hukazawa.

The best thing of all is that despite resembling Windows phone 7, Infobar A01 is actually an Android-powered smartphone with a custom modular interface willing to break with the icon&widget ecosystem.

Unfortunately the device will only be released in Japan under KDDI, running Android 2.3 and some other nice hardware features … 3.7-inch qHD display, 8 megapixel camera, a 1Seg TV tuner, and dual-mode GSM / CDMA connectivity… and more info yet to be confirmed.

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30 May 2011

Is it a bird? Or is it a plane? A bit of a ridiculous (but funny) teasing that Asus has been carrying for the past few days and that was unveiled earlier today at Taiwan’s Computex. And even if we were far more impressed with the also announced UX21 laptop series (a serious MacBook Air competitor), the Padfone was the start of the day.

What Asus proposed today (and should market by the end of the year when Google’s Android Ice Cream version is out), is as simple as a Tablet with a dock for your 4.3″ Asus smartphone. Smart? Well… I’m pretty sure Telco operators aren’t very keen on it (you would only need the phone’s 3G/4G connectivity), and personally I’m a bit reluctant about its future success; but hey… they introduced the transformer, the slider & the MeMO and they didn’t seem that crazy at first…

As in most cases when the product is announced more than half a year before its release, most specs and design might change, so a few ports will be added here, and a few slots there but you get the basic idea. However there’s one thing they should definitely attempt to radically change… their PR events & their advertising… just as bad as Microsoft’s.

What we know however from the presented mock-up (it wasn’t even a working prototype because they probably don’t even know what Android’s next iteration looks like) is that the tablet should have a 10.1 inch screen…. and that’s about it.

More pics on the Asus website.

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New Yorker goes iPad

9 May 2011

It was just a matter of time before Conde Nast made the iPad move for their less digital-oriented (Wired, Arstech) publications, so starting today one of our favorite cultural references, The New Yorker, will have a subscription equivalent for the Apple slate.

Maybe one day all these publications that keep appearing for Apple will arrive to Android (sooner or later they will), but until then, the iPad keeps being the partner of choice for launching the digital versions of most publications.

What doesn’t change is the necessity to subscribe to read it ALL… so as with many other iPad mags before, the weekly edition is also available through In-App Purchase on the App Store (with access to the web-based edition for $5.99/month or $59.99/year. Cheap? Mmmm well, if you think it’s cheap you can always go for the duo…  print and digital bundled subscriptions for $6.99/month or $69.99/year.

Ahhhh the inevitable road to hell is now more clear… I mean, towards content digitalization.

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Claire Denis Film Scores

30 April 2011

Claire Denis and her sometimes provocative, many times too-static and contemplative films have  usually relied on the obtuse and dense melodies by the Tindersticks. Gentle orchestrations that translate into six titles: “Nénette Et Boni”, “Trouble Every Day”, “Vendredi Soir”, “L’Intrus”, “35 Rhums” and her latest film with Isabelle Huppert… “White Material”.

Constellation records have now put together all those collaborations in a luxury box “Claire Denis Film Scores 1996-2009” which includes a 60-page booklet featuring stills and liner notes.

It’s true that for most of us, fans of the Nottingham band, their works with the French director have mainly remained secondary, never paying attention to a group of purely instrumental material that made their romantic atmospheres filled with literary lyrics fade away in Denis’ films.

Ambient scores that take away all the Tinderstick’s mumbling vocals and pop melodrama but that are always, always a pleasure to listen to. Maybe you should give them a go.

The compilation is now available for pre-order on their webpage for 55$ (or £74.99 here in the UK… not quite the currency change we were expecting….).

TINDERSTICKS – Claire Denis Film Scores BOX SET PREVIEW by Constellation Records

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Sony’s honeycomb tablets

26 April 2011
the S2... which looks more like a 90s Casio agenda

It’s been a while since the last gadget whim I wrote about. And when I woke up this morning to  the announcement of Sony’s first Honeycomb tablets I thought “that’s it, that’s my future honeycomb tablet” (S1 I mean of course). But after a careful look and despite all the goodies & potential this product may offer (synchronisation & control of all your other Sony products, Qriocity, Playstation-only games.. blablabla), then I realized this may not be my tablet. I may just go for the 9mm thick Samsung 10.1 model.

Where do I go with a tablet that has a “curved wrap design that resembles a folded magazine”?

S1... the magazine



What about the tech specs?

They may change again but apparently the S1 will be a 9.4inch model with a front- and rear-facing cameras. While the S2 has two 5.5-inch displays (1,024 x 480 res), Tegra 2 SoC, and a camera… and obviously both will come in wi-fi or 3G models, come PlayStation Certified and support DLNA.

They should be made available globally next fall (when any other manufacturer in the world will already have released a tablet)… and pricey, like any other Sony product.

I’m sure they’ll look good, Sony will add a great laggy user interface on top of Honeycomb which will look amazingly polished & integrated with their media services but might destroy the rest of the experience. (still remember the SonicStage). We’ll see.

more info on Sony’s press release site.

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17 April 2011

There were too many good things that happened last weekend @ Dazed Live here in London, one tiny little surprise was the zine exhibition @ the Tramshed filled with arty porno publications, vintage extinguished home-made zines… and a lot of new publications (and I thought zines were an 80s-90s thing).

Shebang‘s turquoise blue quickly grabbed my attention (that and the zine by Kyle Platts, well there was one of the Dazed girls making subtle promo about “his gifted friend”), an impeccable production floating in the ocean of barocco-styled and trashy pop publications. This is obviously a matter of taste.

Grabbing the latest number took me back to my young days of Malasañeo where loads of local & underground zines used to invade the Madrilian shops and the Fuencarral market. (Oh and for those of you still reading you should know that the London Zine Symposium is on today until 6!!!)

Shebang is a light blue homemade zine crammed with music features, travel guides, artist profiles, craft and any other interesting goings-on that catch our eye! We believe that the simple things in life should be celebrated and shared; the new favourite record you’ve found for pennies in a charity shop, t

he cake recipe your nan passed on or the gig last night that made your heart skip…

Fed up of music and pop culture magazines selling more of a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle than rock ‘n’ roll spirit, Shebang was created by Liv from paper scraps and glue in her bedroom. Despite spending a few afternoons photocopying and drawing up plans, Shebang never really took off until Liv moved in with graphic designer Lynsey a few years later, who helped to give the zine a makeover and turned it into a professionally printed mag. The zine now operates between Derbyshire (where Lynsey lives) and London (where Liv is now based), though it’s roots will always be Falmouth in Cornwall and Brighton, where the first 2 issues were made.

We highly recommend it (it will cost you a few pennies though), but as they say, if you’re not willing to pay ££ for an overcrowded Dazed or an ad packed vice, then you can always go for the quality of your local Zine. More info on their page (also to buy it).

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30 January 2011

Someone commented the other day @engadget… “Nintendo always comes up with things we don’t expect, Sony brings to the market what we always wanted”… and the PSP2 (or Next Generation Portable as they call it now) seems to be a bull machine with endless possibilities…

Continue reading NGP

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Flip phone

23 January 2011

Another day, another concept. One of those you know will never be manufactured… but will all these new super-flexible amoled screens Sony, Samsung & co keep bringing out and with the flexibility of Android… you never know….

Continue reading Flip phone

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Prius C

11 January 2011

Detroit Motor shows opens 2011 with an optimistic spirit but with very few few novelties, so far we’re liking the Hyundai Curb concept, Kia’s KV7 and this other concept… the Toyota Prius C….

Continue reading Prius C

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3 January 2011

Ingenious or rather pointless… although we should think that being a Norway product it’s all about design and high-tech materials. In the case of “Swims“, it’s all about keeping your shoes safe & shiny…

Continue reading Swims

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8 December 2010

Coming directly from Holland here’s an idea that could kill all those electronic readers and eInk technologies & stuff the “Dwarsliggers” or “Librinos” as they call them in Spain. Ok ok, they certainly won’t kill any Kindles or Nooks, but, it’s a good initiative editorials are using to survive while adapting to the new world…

Continue reading Dwarsligger

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