Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Graphics Software Technology

The Wi-Fi Cameras are Coming 137

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the getting-connected dept.
Vcullen writes "This week will see many 'new' digicams released at CES but few will be more than cosmetic tweaks and updates on current models. However Kodak have just announced something new (for them) - a Wi-Fi enabled digital camera that enables online photo sharing and viewing without the need for a computer. It also has 256MB of internal memory and stores up to 1500 images." Of course, to actually get on a wireless network, a special card is required for the camera, and the firmware has yet to support WEP, so one has to wait until a Q3 2005 update to join most authenticated networks.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Wi-Fi Cameras are Coming

Comments Filter:
  • yay! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @11:43PM (#11272175)
    finally I can peep on chicks better!
    • That or people are going to start copyrighting new things like scenery. The government will tell you whom or what you can take pictures of.

      I give it 2 years and soon people will copyright their face so you can't take a picture of them unless you pay the poparazzi tax soon to be implemented by the Digital Picture Association of America (No it doesn't exist... YET)

      Sarcasm /off

    • Somehow, I read that as:
      finally I can check on peeps better!
      and was imagining the precious farm of Easter candy that you lovingly feed and care for.
  • by Rares Marian (83629) <hshdsgdsgfdsgfdr ... kiytdiytdc...org> on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @11:44PM (#11272184) Homepage
    How many times do they need to reimplemebt something? Can't they use WEP chipsets that already exist?
  • 1500 images? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thesatch (844290) on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @11:44PM (#11272186)
    maybe if they're the size of postage stamps...
    • Re:1500 images? (Score:3, Informative)

      by imsabbel (611519)
      150 kbyte is plenty for a normal screen res photo (xga) if you dont happen to photograph a newspager or a resolution chart.
      So postage stamp is a bit of an exegeration.
      O
      • Re:1500 images? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by thesatch (844290)
        A 3 megapixel image (~700kb) is the minimum needed for decent 4x6 developing/printing.
        • My 2.1mp camera produces 4x6 prints that are indistinguishable from film. The couple 8x10s I've done have come out quite good as well, though at that point it's definitely noticable up close. Regardless, the parent was referring to screen resolution, not printing.
          • i've made good 8x10's with an old (but good) 1.3

            of course... i just bought a new 8mp nikon....
          • perhaps they are indistinguishable to you, but professional photographers that I've asked have said that 5Mpixels is the absolute minimum for emulating 35mm film (highest print size being 8x10.) For the screen, you're right, it's not the same, but consider who's going to buy this. Not someone who wants to post pictures on a personals site or show friends their vacation pictures. This camera is aimed (like all digital SLRs) at the professional market, as in magazine and fashion photographers. The big ben
            • perhaps they are indistinguishable to you, but professional photographers that I've asked have said that 5Mpixels is the absolute minimum for emulating 35mm film

              That's great, and I'm not arguing with that, but "emulating 35mm film" and "3mp is the absolute minimum resolution for decent 4x6 printing" (which I was debating) are radically different concepts.

    • Re:1500 images? (Score:3, Informative)

      by LiquidCoooled (634315)
      ahem, its the online picture service:

      "..people can upload the pictures and videos for near instantaneous electronic sharing with friends around the world.

      On-the-spot sharing of up to 1,500 favorite pictures, synchronized with a person's PC-based picture collection..."

      The camera itself has 256mb of memory, so it will fit a reasonable amount of pictures on, you choose your favorites and upload them to kodak.

      You can then steer your family and friends and anyone interested to the site - instantly, certainly
  • Great (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DrKyle (818035) on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @11:44PM (#11272187)
    Now I don't have to stop and swap cards when they get full, but swap batteries because I'm constantly uploading them to my server.
  • No WEP? (Score:5, Funny)

    by magefile (776388) on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @11:46PM (#11272197)
    No WEP? It'll be like wireless X10 - you'll be able to see whatever your neighbor is taking pictures of. This could be a good thing, heh.
    • Re:No WEP? (Score:3, Funny)

      by tuxter (809927)
      Depending on the aesthetic value of your neghbour/neighbours choice of mating partner, yes. Let's hope mom and pop turn the Wi-Fi off for the sake of their offspring.
    • Do you have any idea how insecure WEP is? I've heard that breaking into a WEP network takes somewhere in the area of fifteen minutes, and even less if you can do a known plaintext attack.

      So...it'll be like X10 even if they add the security.

      It remains unclear to me what the advantage is of even having a security protocol that is as vulnerable as WEP is. Perhaps the camera makers feel the same way.
    • It may also be a very bad thing...depending on what you are in to...
    • - you'll be able to see whatever your neighbor is taking pictures of. This could be a good thing, heh

      What neighborhood do you live in, and can I get an apartment? Because around here, it'd be a really, really BAD thing.

  • Hardly a first (Score:5, Informative)

    by redback (15527) on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @11:48PM (#11272208)
    canon already have wireless adapters for their high end cameras

    hardly a first
  • Real Question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ZiakII (829432) on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @11:58PM (#11272265)
    The real question is with they be bannked in Saudi Arabia like camera phones where?
  • by `Sean (15328) <sean@ubuntu.com> on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @11:58PM (#11272267) Homepage Journal
  • Too easy. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Forge (2456) <kevinforge AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday January 05, 2005 @11:59PM (#11272273) Homepage Journal
    This is in the relms of "That's so obvius, the guy who patented it died laughing" :).

    I mean a wifi camera is neaded by a lot of people. Let's say you are a jurnalist and want to take pictures where it's not exactly alowed. With wifi, the pics can get out imediatly so that if someone takes your camera to destroy incriminating pics you can let them have it (while recording that "transaction" too).

    • Re:Too easy. (Score:2, Informative)

      by shoolz (752000)
      Excellent point. I've protested (peacfully) at various events where I couldn't take photos of those who were physically assaulting me because i knew my camera would be smashed to smithereens as soon as they saw the flash.

      This idea would allow me to take photos instead of beatings.
  • How about WiFeye? or maybe WiFiEye?
  • Wonderful idea! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZeeExSixAre (790130) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @12:02AM (#11272286)
    This could link up very well with a pocket-sized hard drive unit sitting in a pocket or photographer's vest. The pictures would automatically be downloaded to the hard drive while shooting. Since 1GB drives are pretty much the norm for shooting (with the exception of the 4GB flash drives), and photos can run upwards of 15-20MB/photo in RAW, this would be a photojournalists/sports photographer's dream not to have to switch out cards every 50 or 80 pictures. This is definitely something to consider, especially when many high-end cameras can take 8 pictures/second in burst mode, with a buffer able to hold 30 or more pictures before writing to flash.

    Average Joe would not only benefit greatly by not needing to connect cables to the computer to transfer files, but this is likely to open up a digital convergence gateway where cameras, computers, and phones can transfer photos to each other. We all know that media sharing has become the next big thing, not just in P2P, but in a hardware sense, too.

    Think about it - how many times have you taken pictures at a party with your digicam, and your friends ask you, "I want a copy of that pic!" Now you can without batting an eye!

    • photos can run upwards of 15-20MB/photo in RAW, this would be a photojournalists/sports photographer's dream not to have to switch out cards every 50 or 80 pictures.

      Yeah, except that photojournalists and ESPECIALLY sports photographers can't shoot RAW because of the additional delays in processing (much easier to FTP JPEGs directly to the photo department, and most prepress deadlines occur DURING night games - and there's far more overhead than just prepress); besides, no sane photojournalist would trus
    • this would be a photojournalists/sports photographer's dream not to have to switch out cards every 50 or 80 pictures

      I'd almost prefer to port around the equivilant dollar value in consumer CF cards since my 6 MP dSLR makes _at least_ 48 MB/s of data shooting TIFFs in sny of the burst modes. Firing the files off at 55 Mbps without cache would bottleneck the image buffer and camera in about 2s, or 1s on a >10 MP real dSLR.

      Also, if I'm putting a harddrive on my body, I'd use much faster USB2 or FW to tra
    • Average Joe would not only benefit greatly by not needing to connect cables to the computer to transfer files, this is likely to open up a digital convergence gateway where cameras, computers, and phones can transfer photos to each other. We all know that media sharing has become the next big thing, not just in P2P, but in a hardware sense, too.

      wasnt this supposed to be the purview of bluetooth. Wifi wasnt designed for this particular application, bluetooth however was and most new phones, laptops, etc ha
      • Re:Wonderful idea! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by aardwolf204 (630780)
        yes but bluetooth is slow. and the point of the grandparent poster is so that sports photographers have more storage space. I think he is looking at it all wrong. wifi or bluetooth are just going to suck up batteries. a much better, and faster solution would be to use multiple CF cards and an iPod or similar storage device with card reader hooked up to a wifi adapter. Fill up a card, eject it and pop it in the ipod, it should sense the card and automatically download, transmit and format while your poping i
    • Think about it - how many times have you taken pictures at a party with your digicam, and your friends ask you, "I want a copy of that pic!" Now you can without batting an eye!

      Ah, the eye-batting protocol, with its Bardot rate, IRIS interface and open flirtation technologies. Sad to see that one go.

  • Bluetooth!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sr180 (700526) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @12:03AM (#11272294) Journal
    Wifi is nice, but I just want bluetooth on my Camera, that way in the field, I could email photos via my bluetooth phone.

    Very useful for those working in the field needing to get photos back to the office.

    • One exists, I've seen a review. Search Google.

      Short story: The camera is a simple little thing that doesn't take good pictures (IIRC). The ONLY stand out thing on the camera is that it has Bluetooth. Only problem? Bluetooth is SLOOOOOWWWWWWWWWW. It's what, 721Kbps? So to download 128MB of memory, you would be waiting 1420 seconds (about 24 minutes). Just a single 2MP image is what, 1.2MB? That would be about 14 seconds. God help you if you had a high quality 5MP image or bigger. That would be what, nearly

      • OK, SERIOUSLY screwed up the VGA file size. That should be 87KB, not 875KB. That means about 1 second to download. That's not so bad at all, for a single picture to a cell phone now and then.

        Also found the camera, here [geekzone.co.nz]. Also note that while my times were theroretical (and ideal), they achieved about 10KBps (or 80kbps out of the theoretical 721kbps). That would make the 128MB take nearly 4 hours. Two mega pixel image? About two minutes. So the 5MP would be something like 5 minutes. Ouch.

      • Maybe bluetooth is only 721Kbps... what speed do you think your cell phone would get? The link between the camera and phone wouldn't be the bottleneck here.
        • You wouldn't have to send it only to a phone. I mean computer today ... tv tomorrow ... coffee maker with your kids picture ... hopefully never.

          you get the point though to much data to push through to small a pipe. Like everything these days faster's better :)
    • While the bluetooth phone concept is good in theory, i find that the bluetooth bandwidth in practice with my phone, a Motorola v550 (i think,... don't remember the model #), is very low. I get peak transfer speeds of about 7k/sec in conjunction with the integrated bluetooth on my laptop. I don't know where the bottleneck is, but at this time it doesn't seem very practical.
      • The problem is not Bluetooth. A GPRS connection is no more than 48Kbps these days. This is way lower tha Bluetooth max 721Kbps.

        Actually most implementations use 115Kbps because of Serial drivers on the OS (Windows if you're using it).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06, 2005 @12:05AM (#11272304)
    and, it's been around for a while, AND has ALWAYS had WiFi ... and you won't believe what this multisession, multiuser camera can do. Too bad they don't have the marketing clout the Big Boyz do, but that is how it goes I guess. I don't know what I would do without the six I have... exactly what was needed and still going great http://www.iqeye.com

  • Who has those? Most networks are wide open. If your pix are private you probably shouldn't be using this device anyway.
    • You are right most are not secure and it's a bas thing. I think all wireless devices should have security on by default and not work in unsecure mode for any reason! I have seen an owned wireless network at a small buisness recently and it didn't look pretty.
  • My cell phone can take pictures and send them [at broadband speed!] over email, or to the local bluetooth network, or over the infrared port, all built in with no "special card" or extra gadgets needed. That and its an mp3 player to boot.
    Why would I want a WiFi camera?
    • by mboverload (657893) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @12:15AM (#11272365) Journal
      becuause the cameras in phones suck.

      The aperature is too damn small, everything comes out grainy, blured, and the quality is just plain crappy.

      • it's just a matter of who gets there first.

        will cameraphones get better cameras first, or will these 'wireless cameras' get... uh... phones first?

        i'd say it's a safe bet that cellphones with better cameras will win.
      • This doesnt answer the question really; if I needed higher quality images on the go, I would want a camera with Bluetooth so I could use my phone to send pictures over internet. But Wifi is useless because I need to be within a few dozen feet of an open access point, which is only a few dozen feet from a USB port.
        • Bluetooth is _way_ too slow, and GPRS/WAP too slow and too expensive...(it's in the cents per KILObyte range here). I don't have any experience with 3G, but that might be a little more useful...

          > But Wifi is useless because I need to be within a few dozen feet of an open access point, which is only a few dozen feet from a USB port.

          that's a pretty valid point, but as wireless networks become more common, and once they get WEP or WPA on the camera it may be more useful.

          I guess they've got to start some
          • I have EDGE gprs at around 150k at a flat rate, no per byte or minutes charge whatsover. Not expensive at all.
            • hence why I added the word "here" to my post.

              GPRS in Australia is charged at about 2c per k, with a 20c flagfall.
              And for that, you get less than modem speed (20 - 40kbps).

              I would love to get 150k, and whilst flat rate would be great I'd be willing to pay the same as metered broadband - ~10c per meg.

              However, the two main telcos here have pretty much killed mobile internet through their pricing.
              • I agree with you there. Like erm, >$15 for 1mb worth of data at normal rates. No thanks, screw you Optarse.

                Vodafone has a good GPRS data bundle, $50 for 500mb, but I would like something at a much lower cost. I haven't seen any new plans out of Telstra and Optus to compete with this either.
        • The WiFi camera isn't subject to data/carrier fees.

          Also, think fixed wireless.
      • "The aperature is too damn small, everything comes out grainy, blured, and the quality is just plain crappy."
        I find that a little hard to belive. Any photographer can tell you that the smaller the aperature (physical size not number), the larger the depth of field in the picture. Meaning more things would be infocus (not blurred). More likely, most cell phone cameras suck because they have horrible lenses that point at bad sensors.
  • nearly every new cellphone being released these days has a camera built in.

    i just recently saw one with a 2 mega pixel camera in it, and i'm sure it's only a matter of time until we see great quality 4 mega pixel cameraphones (4 megapixels seems to be the break point for cheapish snapshot digital photos).

    plenty of people already use their cameraphones to send images directly up to their blogs or internet services like flickr.com, it's just a matter of when wireless cameras meet with cameraphones.

    then the
    • Megapixels are not everything. Cell phone cameras have a sensor, and lense about the size of a corn kernel. This is not good for taking any half way decent pictures.
    • by i41Overlord (829913) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @01:09AM (#11272678)
      i just recently saw one with a 2 mega pixel camera in it, and i'm sure it's only a matter of time until we see great quality 4 mega pixel cameraphones (4 megapixels seems to be the break point for cheapish snapshot digital photos).

      The megapixel count seems to be the big selling point to uneducated consumers. They think that the more megapixels, the better the camera. But in actuality the quality of the picture doesn't usually depend on the pixel count. You can have a crappy lens and a 99 megapixel sensor behind it, and you're going to get a very big blurry, distorted picture. Also, if the sensor is not a very good one, you'll get a picture made of a lot of washed out pixels.

      Take an older high end camera where they put effort into giving it a quality lens and quality sensor and compare it to a heavily marketed modern camera with lots o' megapixels. The difference in picture quality will speak for itself. There are lots of 5 mp cameras nowadays, but lots of them still take crappy pictures. They're just BIG crappy pictures.
      • Indeed. Which is exactly why people still use SLR cameras (digital or film) and medium format ones. Because the optics on those are just astounding compared to compact cameras. If you want a good picture, you need good optics first, whether you're using film or digital.

        So the first advice I always give to friends buying a camera is to check what the specs of the optics are. More often than not, this is also the reason for a significant difference in price between cameras that are otherwise identical. But

      • you are correct, but the number of megapixels wasn't really my point...

        it's a matter of what product will be more useful to consumers... wireless cameras, or phones with cameras built in?

        i'd much rather carry a single item with all the gadgets i want (this camera is obviously marketed as a cheaper snapshot camera, which is what a cameraphone is) than carry around two things - my phone and a camera as well.
      • I've tried to explain this to a lot of people. It's hard to explain the whole aperature size thing, but usually I manage to simplify it to two points:

        Digital zoom sucks, you want at least 3x optical, preferable at least 4-5x

        Megapixel is useless with a teeny barrel or crappy lense in most cases. Smaller lense/barrel == less light. Light makes pictures. Therefore more megapixel with less light == larger but grainier picture.
    • > i'm sure it's only a matter of time until
      > we see great quality 4 mega pixel cameraphones

      great quality happens only when the lens is more or less as wide as the phone itself (you mean great quality, right?)... and when it happens, the phones wont be as mobile as you expect..

      so it wont happen..
  • by Anonymous Coward
    peeping toms...
  • by drewzhrodague (606182) <drew&zhrodague,net> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @12:21AM (#11272403) Homepage Journal
    You could perhaps take pictures of the areas you are wardriving with your camera. Go figure, it's the obligatory wardriving post.
  • nothing to see here (Score:5, Informative)

    by Maskirovka (255712) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @12:23AM (#11272414)
    The EASYSHARE-ONE redefines what is possible with a digital camera

    Consumer camera yes, but Kodak is hardly the first to wifi in a digital camera [nikonusa.com].

  • by FuturePastNow (836765) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @12:38AM (#11272498)
    but Linksys has been selling wi-fi webcams for a while now: http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=3 3&scid=38&prid=650 [linksys.com]
  • WIFI features.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FUF (68684) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @12:44AM (#11272534) Homepage
    With 802.11, there'll be quite some bandwith available for these cameras to use... so I see no reason why the following feature request(s) (HUGE points on my wishlist as a professional photographer for a long time now) should be hard to implement.

    The cameras (after obtaining ip's, dhcp or static) should have a running webserver that streams video of exactly what the camera's lcd would display, A web-lcd per se. There should also be COMPLETE functionality of the ALL the camera's functions tied into controls on the web application. Basically, if you can use a function on the physical interface, it should be available for use over the air as well.

    Is this too much to ask? :-)
    • Forget a streaming webserver. I'd like it if it could just save the photos direct to the hard disk of a laptop or some other WiFi-accessable storage. Flash memory is damn slow. I hate using the TIFF option on my camera because it takes so long to save the ~12M image to the slow flash memory card (XD).
  • Nikon has had a wireless transmitter for their D2H (high end $2k+ SLR digital camera) for about a year or more. It's nice to see this filtering down into the consumer area.
    Nikon WT-1 Wireless Transmitter [nikonusa.com]
  • Nice headline.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by the angry liberal (825035) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @12:53AM (#11272578)
    "This week will see many 'new' digicams released at CES but few will be more than cosmetic tweaks and updates on current models. However Kodak have just announced something new (for them) - a Wi-Fi enabled digital camera that enables online photo sharing and viewing without the need for a computer. It" .....

    Actually, if you consider higher quality lens systems and much higher resolution a "cosmetic tweak", then um, we need to send you back to slashdot university for a while before submitting another headline.

    The "Without a computer" part sounds more like marketing BS, too. Nine times out of ten, if you are in range of a Wi-fi router you have access to, you'll be within walking distance of your PC.

    Yeah, I know someone will come in here and throw down their example of how this would be useful, but think about 99% of the other users out there. I predict this thing won't do so well, though a neat bit of technology.
    • I completely agre. I have a friend that is in that other 1%. He's a professional photographer that has gone digital. he has been planning on purchasing a wireless camera for a while so that the pictures he takes could be stored directly to his laptop, allowing for greater storage space and faster transfer times - ie, faster if you consider it hapepening every time you take a picture instead of all several hundred when your eager to get back on the road and head home.

      But at the same time I'm sure he wil be
  • Oh please...

    Ok...well...I'll jump on the band wagon as soon as Kodak invents a Wifi router and, say, network to go with it that fits in my pocket.

    If I'm at home I can connect this camera to my computer anyway (read: unlimited picture storage).

    Seriously, besides saving entire seconds in transfer time, what is the benefit? (btw, I didn't TFA)

    Inject.
  • Ricoh had this in 2001, on one of their high end cameras - it had two full-blown PCMCIA slots.

    I was peripherally involved with a proposed project to port it's embedded software from vxworks to linux. It never got off the ground, because Ricoh US wanted it to happen but Ricoh Japan didn't. Ricoh US only had the documentation in japanese, but they wanted our US division and not our japan division to do it.

    The deal was all messed up. But a very nice camera. We were sad to box it up and send it back after abo
  • by Animats (122034)
    Haven't we had wireless webcams for a while now?
  • GPS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by marmite (79819) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @02:41AM (#11273155) Homepage
    Who cares about WiFi on digital cameras?

    I want GPS coordinates in an exif tag (or something).

    • Oh, and a digital compass as well please - exif would perfect with gps + direction facing.

      Eventually you could build up a database of pictures that overlap so theoretically you could build a picture of the whole world - would be cool to get a open database of photos all over a town say - would make creating realistic games all the easier.

      woah. sorry for the mind piss
  • by Zen Programmer (518532) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @03:22AM (#11273310)
    I've been using Wi-Fi for my toilet cams since 2001. Prior to wireless it was really a hassle to have to retrieve the tapes after they had been dumped on for a few days. Now it's walk in, drop in a cam, order a Filet-O-Fish, sit down, open my laptop and watch the show ;).
  • "It also has 256MB of internal memory and stores up to 1500 images."

    My 2MP camera makes JPEGs of over 400K, so that makes around 500 images on a 256Mb card (I have one).

    So are they refering to 1500 Webcam-style VGA images?
  • Around here on the coast (Vancouver) several issues have been raised with the police abusing their power in regards to picture takers.

    The first case I heard of was actually a student (journalism I believe) who was arrested for "obstructing justice" and had her camera confiscated - even though she was taking pictures from across the street and was in no way obstructing the officer.

    The second case was similar but - da da dum - they nabbed a lawyer instead... hopefully that will end up biting them in the

10 to the 12th power microphones = 1 Megaphone

Working...