New look, new owner

 Dear Photography Friends,

Today I am announcing some new changes here at CoolPhotoIdeas. There has been a change of ownership and a layout update as well!

Well, Kerry handed me over the website, so I am the new owner. With this post, I want to introduce myself along with my new ideas and layout.


Penguin-cam helps BBC get amazing shots

Some people say that a good photographer can get great shots whatever camera they are using. But sometimes it helps to have a dedicated tool for the job … like the BBCs Penguin-cam.

To help them get close-up footage of Emperor penguins in Antarctica, wildlife producers hid 50 cameras in a series of disguises ranging from rocks and eggs to penguins.

Nikon celebrates 80th NIKKOR anniversary with lens-making movie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Nikon recently celebrated the 80th anniversary of the Nikkor brand … and decided to commemorate the achievement by releasing a video offering an insight into how its lenses are made nowadays.

The three-and-a-half-minute movie takes viewers through lens-making process; from forming the glass, to meticulously checking and polishing it before fixing it in a barrel ready to mounted on your camera.

It's a fascinating insight into process you probably take for granted, and certainly a great way to celebrate the 80 year history which began with the first shipment of Nippon Kogaku’s Aero-Nikkor aerial photographic lenses.

Sony ridicule DSLR users who use automatic settings

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sony think it's daft that so many people buy expensive DSLRs and then leave them on automatic settings, so they sent out professional photographer Gary Heery to investigate why.

In a video which has gone viral online, Heery can be seen chatting to a number of photographers about how they use their cameras, an what they know about them.

It soon becomes apparent that many people may as well be wearing expensive necklaces as their DSLRs, because they are just for show and they don't know how to use them.

Google shows off backpack camera system

It's no secret that Google as got some pretty cool technology, and that includes their photography tech used for producing Google Street View.

Google recently showed off a wearable backpack camera system which has been used to capture images of the Grand Canyon.

The device - which features several cameras positioned in a sphere raised above the wearer's head - was used to capture 360-degree images of the breathtaking landscapes.

Moleskine introduces classy photobooks

Moleskine, the brand behind the famous black notebooks, has joined the photo-book business by launching Print on Demand photo books and photo album.

Featuring the classic Moleskine cover, rounded corners, ivory colored acid-free FSC paper, elastic closure, and expandable pocket the books are a collaboration with MILK Photo Books.

The Moleskine photo range is available in three formats – Photo Books, Photo Books plus (a premium photo book range) and Photo Albums (with linen fabric presentation box) – in four sizes and multiple page extents from 20 to 200 pages.

Eye-Fi Pro X2 16GB Class 10 Wireless Memory Card

We've been fans of Eye-Fi wireless memory cards for quite a while now, but recently (thanks to a shooting with a D800) we've found them somewhat restrictive.

Luckily for us Eye-Fi has announced a new Eye-Fi Pro X2 16GB, Class 10 card that increases both storage and speed capabilities while retaining the wireless features we love.

The new 16GB card provides twice the storage capacity of the prior Pro X2 card, while the Class 10 performance delivers ultra-fast read and write speeds. And best of all, the price has stayed the same.

Autographer is an automated camera which decides when and what to shoot

A hands-free camera which is worn around the neck and uses a host of sensors to automatically decide what photos to take is set to go on sale.

Autographer uses five on-board sensors and GPS capability to identify the perfect time to take a photo, based on changes in light and colour, motion, direction and temperature, and  then snaps away using a wide-angle lens.

For instance, Autographer might capture an image when the wearer speeds up as they run for the bus, moves from a warm pub to a snowy street or turns around to greet a friend.

Lensbaby launches affordable selective focus with the Spark

Lensbaby has been offering selective focus lenses for a few years now, but now they hope to take it to the masses with the launch of the more affordable Lensbaby Spark.

Geared more towards young photo enthusiasts the Spark is available for Canon and Nikon DSLRs and lets users create images which a sweet spot of focus surrounded by blur.

The $80 manual focus lens is activated by photographers squeezing to focus and then tilting to move the "sweet spot" around the image.

Google acquires Nik Software

Google has announced that it has acquired Nik Software, makers of standalone and plug-in image editing tools, in a bid to take on the Facebook acquisition of Instagram.

It's thought that the move was driven by a desire to own Snapseed, a photo editing and sharing app, and that the technology could be incorporated into Google services including Picassa and Google+.

A spokesperson for Nik said: "We are pleased to announce that Google has acquired Nik Software. For nearly 17 years, we’ve been guided by our motto, “photography first”, as we worked to build world class digital image editing tools.

Apple reveals iPhone 5 … which means new "most popular" camera

When Apple release their new iPhone, it's a big deal for photography, because the iPhone is the most popular camera in the world … so let's take a look at the iPhone 5.

The 8-megapixel camera features the tap to focus autofocus we've seen before along with face detection and an LED flash but the camera now boasts 40 per cent faster photo capture.

There's also better low-light performance and improved noise reduction, with a spokesperson for Apple saying: "You can snap more shots with more detail and clarity than ever before."

Nokia faked footage in Lumia 920 promo video

Nokia recently revealed their upcoming Lumia 920 phone which features a PureView camera and Optical Image Stabilization. In fact they were so proud of the cameras ability they also released a video showing off the OIS.

The problem was the clip - which shows how steady the OIS could make moving video - was faked and wasn't created using the technology Nokia was so proud of.

Shortly after the release of the marketing video, it was noticed that reflections revealed the footage had been shot with a DSLR sized camera rather than one of the new phones. Oops!

Instacube: An Instagram digital photo frame

There's no denying that Instagram is having a huge impact of photography. The filter-based photo service has become one of the most popular ways to share photographs.

The problem is that this sharing has so far been limited to mobile phones and links on social networks … enter the Instacube, a digital photo frame for Instagram.

Currently looking for funding on KickStarter, the Instacube is a retro-inspired Android photo frame which connects to your wireless network and accesses your Instagram feed.

Seagate Backup Plus Drives Automatically Upload Photos to Flickr

We all know that backups are important. But how many of us can honestly say we have our photos securely stored in multiple locations?

Well Seagate hope their latest hard drives will help you sort out your personal photo storage issues -- because they automatically upload and download photos from Facebook and Flickr.

The Backup Plus external drives - which are available in sizes from 500-gigabtyes to 4-terabytes - claim to protect and share your entire digital life with minimal fuss.

MacBook Pro with Retina display will make your photos pop

The MacBook Pro is a popular laptop choice for photographers. And it's only going to become even more popular after the announcement it's now available with a Retina display.

The Retina display - which has already featured on the iPhone, iPod and iPad - has a resolution of 2880-by-1800. That's over 5 million pixels (3 million more than an HD TV) and an impressive 220 pixels-per-inch.

This is said to produce an amazingly sharp display which makes text, graphics and more importantly your photos, look their best.

Fisheye Baby 110 is a pocket-sized Lomo Fisheye camera

The Lomographic Society has released a pocket-sized fisheye camera which it claims brings the iconic warped looking images to the palm of your hand.

The Fisheye Baby 110 - which is available in two versions, plastic and metal - produces circular Fisheye shots on 110 format film.

A spokesperson for Lomography said: "This miniature version of the Fisheye No. 2 is packed with the same features—170-degree lens, bulb setting, multiple exposure capability—but can easily fit in your pocket."

Sony NEX-F3 is the latest entry-level mirrorless shooter

Sony have rolled out yet another compact mirrorless camera which is said to be capable of producing DSLR-quality images - the entry-level NEX-F3.

Described as being 'pocket-sized' (maybe if you have a pancake lens) the Sony NEX-F3 features a APS-C size image sensor with 16.1 effective megapixels, a 180° tiltable LCD and a built-in flash.

It is also able to shoot Full HD video (50i/25p) and the CMOS sensor captures more light for flawless, low-noise stills. A battery boost also means you can now shoot 470 images on a single charge - up 18% over the NEX-C3.

Facebook Camera iOS app launched

Not long ago Facebook splashed the cash and snapped up Instagram for a billion dollars. Now, showing their commitment to photography and mobile, the website has also launched the Facebook Camera app.

The free app - which was in development well before Facebook bought Instagram - allows users to post multiple images to Facebook in one go, edit them on the spot or add filters and tap to tag friends in the images.

A spokesperson said: "Facebook Camera is an easy way to share photos on the go. You can post multiple photos at a time, and see your friends’ latest photos in a single feed."

Lensbaby Pro Effects Kit: Professional but still fun

Lensbaby have some pretty cool products, in the past we've raved about their Sweet 35 and various selective focus tool -- but we've always seen them as fun rather than work.

That could be changing soon though, after they released Pro Effects Kit, a bundle of  their product which combine to make a unique tool to aid your creative photogrpahy.

A spokesperson for Lensbaby said: "This versatile kit provides a selective focus system solution for whatever type of photography you're shooting.  From portraits and weddings to landscape and commercial photography - this kit is the top choice.