Digital Imaging Reporter’s 9th Rudy Awards

Digital Imaging Reporter’s 9th Rudy Awards


Inspired by the late, irrepressible Rudolph Maschke, who cofounded Photo Industry Reporter (Digital Imaging Reporter) along with his lifelong friend and business partner, the late, great Ed Wagner, we present the Rudy Awards each year to innovative, fascinating and out-of-the-box photo products. Here are our editors’ outstanding selections for the 9th Rudy Awards.

Ricoh Imaging WG-M1 Adventureproof Action Cam
Sporting a unique form factor for active, outdoor shooters, the WG-M1 action cam is waterproof to 32 feet, shock-resistant against a 6-foot fall and cold-resistant to 14° F. With an ultra-wide-angle lens, it’s engineered to record Full HD movies with a realistic sense of depth. The WG-M1 boasts 14 megapixels and 10-fps high-speed, continuous shooting. Its lightweight body features an outdoor-oriented design, large control buttons and a 1.5-inch LCD monitor. It comes with a carabiner-equipped strap for carrying and a WG adhesive mount to attach the camera to different surfaces. Numerous optional accessories are available, including a wrist strap mount, a helmet mount and a magnet mount. $299.95.

Polaroid Zip Mobile Instant Printer
The Zip pairs wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet via iOS/Android apps to instantly print 2×3-inch photos from the smart devices. It uses ink-free Zero Ink Printing technology developed by ZINK Imaging and ZINK paper—a composite material embedded with cyan, yellow and magenta dye crystals. The Zip uses heat to activate the crystals to produce full-color, smudgeproof images without cartridges, ribbons or toner. A 2×3-inch photo prints in under a minute. And because the ZINK paper is adhesive backed, the photo can be used as a sticker. About the size of a smartphone, the Zip also works with its free apps to permit users to apply creative filters, effects and controls, including adjustments to brightness, contrast, saturation and tint; 12 color filters; a collage mode; and the ability to draw in colors as well as apply frames, stickers, stamps, emojis and animations. It ships this spring. $129.99.

Toshiba NFC SDHC Memory Card
Toshiba announced the world’s first SDHC UHS-1 memory card with built-in NFC (Near Field Communication) functions earlier this year. Normally, in order to find out what is stored inside SD memory cards, users need to put them into a digital camera or a computer. But this new product utilizes the features of NFC technology to exchange data simply with a touch. By holding an NFC-enabled Android smartphone over the memory card, and using Toshiba’s Memory Card Preview app, the card enables previews of its available storage space as well as 16 thumbnails of the photos stored on it. The Class 10 SDHC cards will come in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB capacities.

Steadicam Universal Smartphone Mount
Until now, mounts for attaching smartphones to compact Steadicam Smoothee and Curve image-stabilization devices were model-specific. As a result, switching phones meant buying another cradle. Now there’s an ingenious, new adjustable universal cradle that permits a wide variety of cell phones, including the large-format iPhone 6 Plus, to be used on either Steadicam device. It’s slated for delivery in 3Q 2015. Price: to be announced.

Mylio Photo Management Software
For pros, photo enthusiasts and snapshooters, Mylio software finds and protects image and video libraries created on a variety of devices. It aggregates all of a user’s photos, whether stored on computers, memory cards, hard drives, social media sites and mobile devices, to create an organized visual system for instantly locating any photo and accessing it from any desktop, laptop, tablet or phone brought into a personal Mylio system. Using Wi-Fi, it automatically replicates pictures to a phone, tablet or laptop, so users can work on them wherever they are, even without Internet access. Mylio automatically protects the original pictures on multiple devices and provides editing tools. It comes in three subscription plans, ranging from $50 per year to $250.

Sony FDR-X1000V 4K Videocam

Sony’s palm-sized FDR-X1000V action camcorder measures just 1x2x3.5 inches and weighs only 4.03 ounces, but the splashproof cam enables adventurers to capture 4K 3,840×2,160 video at 30p (100Mbps/60Mpbs), as well as 1080p, 720p and 480p video. The cam features upgraded image stabilization to allow for vibration-free aerial footage using drones or shooting at high frame rates, like 120p in Full HD and 240p in HD, for slow-motion footage. Its Zeiss Tessar lens covers an ultrawide 170º, and it comes with a housing that makes it waterproof to 33 feet. It can also shoot 8.8MP stills, and there are manual controls and setting adjustments, loop recording so users can maximize available memory card space, plus live streaming capabilities. $499.99.

Nikon Coolpix S6900 “Selfie” P&S

The S6900 is the first Coolpix with an intuitively designed, vari-angle LCD and kickstand designed for selfies. The 3-inch touch screen flips all the way around to face the photographer, while the built-in kickstand keeps the camera in an ideal selfie position. When ready to shoot, users can press the convenient front shutter button or just wave a hand to activate Nikon’s cool gesture control feature. Plus, a 12x optical zoom Nikkor ED glass lens with 24x Dynamic Fine Zoom technology enables users to take close-up selfies, group shots and portraits with detail and accuracy. Also featured is lens-shift VR to minimize the effects of camera shake on photos and HD video. The 16MP camera includes built-in Wi-Fi with NFC connectivity for easy sharing via smartphone or tablet. $229.95.

DNP DS80DX Duplex Photo Printer
For pro photogs and photo retailers, this dye-sub printer offers printing options for creating photos, photo books, calendars and cards in-store and on-site. The printer measures just 16.4×12.7×19.7 inches, eliminating the need for a designated printer area. Designed to provide greater control over pricing, its printing and duplexing units, weighing 30 pounds each, can be separated for easy deployment. Producing matte and glossy finishes, the DS80DX has dual paper supplies: duplex printing is sheet-fed with a dedicated tray. Simplex printing yields 4×8-, 5×8-, 6×8-, 8×10- and 8×12-inch photos. Bundled DNP Mini Photobook software creates 4×4, 4×8 and 6×8 books, as well as 4×16-inch panoramic photo books. Images can be loaded into the program from a media card or drive. Once users select the desired photos and output size, the program auto populates the pages with the ability to customize, crop, reorder pages and edit the layout. $3,695.

GoPro Hero4 Black & Silver Action Cams
The GoPro Hero4 is the company’s highest performing POV action cam line. The Hero4 Black delivers twice the performance of its predecessor, capturing 4K video at 30 fps, 2.7K video at 50 fps, and 1080p video at 120 fps. It’s engineered to eliminate rolling shutter while allowing for slow motion effects, and a redesigned high-fidelity audio system has twice the dynamic range. Other features include: an improved UI for easier access to controls; improved low-light performance; the ability to extract 8.3MP stills from video; 12MP photos at 30 fps; and 50% faster Wi-Fi combined with Bluetooth.

Hero4 Silver features include: GoPro’s first built-in touch display for camera control, framing and playback; 2.7K 30-, 1080p 60- and 720p 120-fps video capture; 12MP photos; 30-fps bursts; and 50% faster Wi-Fi with Bluetooth. $499, Hero4 Black; $399, Hero4 Silver.

Canon Connect Station CS100
As one of the objectives of today’s technology is to free users from the shackles of a desktop PC, Canon’s Connect Station CS100 made our list. The CS100 is a desktop box with 1-terabyte of internal storage, Wi-Fi connectivity and an HDMI port to connect to an HDTV set. It simplifies image and video viewing, transfer, organization, storage and sharing, without having to put the images onto a computer or send them to a cloud storage service. With NFC-equipped Canon cameras, transferring digital content to the Connect Station is as easy as tapping the two together. The unit recognizes previously imported photos and videos, so there’s no duplication. It also includes a USB port and a card slot. And the device allows users to view, upload and download images from smartphones, tablets or PCs using a web browser. Priced at $299.99, it’s scheduled for June 2015 availability.

Kodak PixPro SP360 360º Videocam
Under license from Kodak, JK Imaging’s Kodak PixPro SP360 action cam is a portable device that captures 360º HD video and fully immersive images in one shot. Palm-size, the SP360 uses a dome-shaped, fixed lens to record 360º HD videos at 30 fps that can be shot and viewed in multiple-vantage-point modes: 360º panorama; 212º front view; 180º split front/rear view; 214º dome; and 360º ring/sphere modes. The splashproof, freezeproof, shockproof cam adds interactivity with a free de-warping and editing app. Once the video is downloaded from the SP360 to a computer, users can pan and select viewing angles and save them as new files, or select frames from different perspectives and save them as high-res photos. Other features include: a motion sensor setting that triggers recording when it detects movement; built in Wi-Fi for sharing and remote shooting up to 65 feet away; and a microSDHC card slot. The SP360 is sold in three kits with various mounts, tethers and a waterproof housing. $349–$399.