Thu, Oct 05, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Technology Review

NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE

The Leica M8.

PHOTOS: NY TIMES NEWS SERVICE

A DIGITAL CAMERA THAT ACCEPTS LEICA LENSES

Photo buffs know a few things for certain: It's best to shoot with the sun behind you, red-eye can be avoided with the right flash and Leica makes some of the most sought-after cameras. Its latest, the Leica M8, is a 10-megapixel digital camera built on Leica's M system of lenses.

The M8 uses Leica's standard magnesium and brass body. It also has a 10.3-megapixel sensor and Leica's range-finder viewfinder and 2.5-inch color display. The camera takes SD cards for storage and can create compressed JPEG's or uncompressed DNG format images.

The M8 is compatible with almost all Leica M-series lenses (Leica introduced the line in 1954, so plenty of lenses are floating around). The camera weighs almost 567g and includes a rechargeable battery and simple controls on the top to set shutter speed and exposure.

What do all of these high-end features cost? Almost US$5,300. The M8 can be preordered now at online camera stores and will be released in mid-November. It comes in black and silver; a rakish fashion photographer's beret and turtleneck are not included.

PUT ON THE ‘TROUT’ QUINTET AND WATCH THAT FISH BOOGIE

While Darwinists may take exception, Tiger Electronics has placed its fish higher on the evolutionary ladder than its dog and cat.

This month the high-tech toy company released its I-Fish interactive music companion, sculptured of white plastic with an artfully articulated tail with blue and silvery details.

Like Tiger's popular line of I-Dog and I-Cat music companions, the I-Fish is made to be plugged into a portable media player and operate as a speaker. But I-Fish responds to music and touch, with much more sophisticated expressions than its predecessors.

The I-Fish rocks, spins and swishes its tail to the music, and displays a hypnotic dance of colored lights inside its minimalist, translucent head, whether it is working as a speaker or just positioned in front of one.

I-Fish operates on three AA batteries. It is recommended for those eight or older, but ultimately, said Sharon John, general manager of Hasbro, which owns the Tiger brand, “it is for anyone for whom it appeals.”

FOR THE mobile PHONE WITH EVERYTHING, A DVR OF ITS OWN

Now that many portable devices can show video — iPods, PlayStation Portables, Pocket PC's, Palm devices and even cell phones — the question is how to get that video to the devices. SanDisk has a hardware solution for moving video from your television, DVD player, cable set-top box, digital video recorder or digital camera to your hand-held viewer.

The SanDisk V-Mate video memory card recorder acts as a bridge between your video source and your hand-held device. It takes the output of any video source, converts it to the video format of the receiving unit and saves it on a memory card. The V-Mate has slots for all the major memory card formats, from SD to Sony Memory Sticks.

The unit connects to your TV, and the V-Mate's built-in software lets you mimic a DVR by scheduling the recording of a TV show for later viewing on your portable device. The V-mate retails for about US$130 and will be available next month at www.sandisk.com and major retailers.

SanDisk also sells memory cards, of course, and cards for the V-Mate are sold separately.

80 YEARS OF A MAGAZINE ON A HARD DRIVE?

If E.B. White and Joseph Mitchell had known that their essays would end up on metal platters spinning at 5,400rpm, they would probably have asked for a bit more per word. Their writing — along with articles by hundreds of other contributors to The New Yorker — is now collected on one 3-by-5-inch portable hard drive.

This story has been viewed 2778 times.
TOP top