SAN FRANCISCO--Each summer for the last four years, I've been lucky enough to get to pick a region of the country and spend several weeks driving around, writing stories and taking photos of some of the best geek-oriented destinations I could find.
In 2006, it was the Pacific Northwest. In 2007, the Southwest. In 2008, it was the Southeast. And in 2009, I traveled through almost the entire Rocky Mountain and Continental Divide region. Over the four years, I've covered 18,528 miles and visited dozens of the most interesting research labs, military bases, aviation facilities, NASA centers, … Read more
A videographer who also happens to be a sea turtle has become a media star for filming the journey of a lost digicam that traveled 1,100 miles by sea and is now on the way back to its owner.
The seafaring saga started last November, when Royal Dutch Navy sergeant Dick de Bruin apparently lost his red Nikon Coolpix L18 while exploring an underwater shipwreck off the coast of Aruba. Six months later, Coast Guard investigator Paul Shultz spotted the cam--encased in sea-debris-encrusted Ikelite waterproof housing but intact--when it washed ashore in Key West, Fla.
Shultz said his investigative instincts were piqued by the orphaned camera, which didn't contain shots offering any definitive clues about its owner. He started sleuthing by posting a message on the online forum ScubaBoard.
"This is a total shot in the dark," he wrote. "I found a digital camera and waterproof case washed up here in Key West. I am trying to identify an owner so I can return it." He uploaded images from the cam, hoping other divers could help identify the location, which they pinned as Aruba, an island in the southern Caribbean Sea.
One photo showed the side of an aircraft, which helped Schultz trace the flight history to confirm that the camera had, in fact, been in Aruba. He posted additional photos from the camera to travel Web sites Cruise Critic and Aruba.com. Within days, an Aruban woman contacted Shultz saying she recognized the children in the photos as classmates of her son (de Bruin is stationed in Aruba with his family for several years).
The woman then contacted de Bruin to hook him up with Schultz, and the rest, as they say, is history. The camera is now on its way back to de Bruin--this time, presumably not by sea. … Read more
Every year, compact camera manufacturers announce their latest models in January and February. Many of them are refreshes or replacements of models released in the third quarter of the previous years. That leaves a whole lot of inventory for retailers to get rid of, which translates into potentially big discounts on cameras that are less than a year old.
I've collected up a dozen of these deals worth considering in the slideshow below. Several of them have had $100 knocked off their original prices; one is even marked down $150 (though that still might not be enough to get … Read more
The Nikon Coolpix S8000 is a 14-megapixel compact megazoom with a 10x Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens on front and a 3-inch 921K-dot LCD on back. It's also one of the slimmest 10x zoom cameras currently available. Nikon was late to adding HD video capture to its compact cameras, but that feature is available on the S8000 as is a stereo mic, which is still a bit of a rarity. An HDMI output is built in, too, for quickly connecting to an HDTV or monitor for viewing photos and movies.
Other features include Optical VR image stabilization, macro shooting as … Read more
Nikon's Coolpix L100 and L20 were very popular models last year and actually continue to be well trafficked on CNET. That has a lot to do with their price tags and far less to do with their quality. I didn't review the L20, but the L100 was a fairly weak camera. (But it had a 15x zoom for less than $250!) Nikon is now announcing their updates: the Coolpix L110 and L22.
For the same MSRP as the L100 ($279.95), Nikon increased the camera resolution to 12 megapixels and the 3-inch LCD resolution from 230K dots to … Read more
If you need a high-quality, professional-grade supertelephoto lens with a constant aperture and image stabilization that's not too big and heavy to be maneuverable out in the field, the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f4G ED VRII lens offers it all. Following up on the AF-S 200-400mm f4.0G ED VR lens released in 2003, the new lens adds Nikon's VRII Vibration Reduction system among other useful improvements. All of this quality doesn't come cheap, though.
The Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f4G ED VRII is a supertelephoto lens, with a zoom range of 200mm to 400mm on an FX body, and with a massive zoom range of 300mm to 600mm on a DX body. All while maintaining a constant aperture of f4.0 throughout the zoom range. Although not as fast as its f2.8 cousins, what it saves in weight and adds in maneuverability make it excellent for taking out into the field, shooting handheld, be it birds, wildlife, or yacht racing. … Read more
YOKOHAMA, Japan--Most people are probably unaware that Nikon, a brand synonymous with cameras, makes headsets, too. In fact, this UP multimedia headset, which plays back photos, videos, and music, has been around in Japan for more than a year now.
However, unlike most other viewers in the market, the UP--which is being displayed here at the CP+ photo show--comes with onboard Wi-Fi and a built-in Web browser for surfing the Net. The basic UP300 comes with 4GB of built-in storage, while the higher-end UP300x model offers 8GB of memory and A/V input.
The UP300x also features a motion … Read more