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Every Photography Lover Should Not Miss This: Twin-Lens Instant Camera InstantFlex TL70

Every Photography Lover Should Not Miss This: Twin-Lens Instant Camera InstantFlex TL70

The world’s first ever twin lens instant camera is almost on the market, and its unique blend of old world and new is sure to entice a wide audience.

Hong Kong based company MiNT, known for refurbishing old Polaroid cameras, have engineered the InstantFlex TL70. Knowing that retro is hip(ster), MiNT designed the camera to resemble the twin lens cameras of yore, with the viewfinder on top and the lenses stacked.

As the website boasts, the TL70 “is your personal time machine.” The company’s cadre of geeks spent five years designing this camera and, from the soft leather finish and brush chromium metallic frame, every bit is an homage to Polaroid’s legacy.

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Indeed, the company believes it is carrying on Polaroid founder Edwin Land’s legacy in creating the InstantFlex. It says that it is aiming this camera to those with a designer’s eye for instant film as well as photographers who appreciate the “magic of instance.”

The twin lens camera, around for the last 150 years, was meant to make shooting faster and easier by allowing a second viewfinder lens to match the focus of the shooting lens. The photographer could look down into the camera and focus while the camera sat at waist height.

The camera resembles the classic Rolleiflex line, and even uses an identical diffusion screen to frame and focus shots. Even the name, TL70, is meant to pay homage to the Rollei twin lens cameras as well as Polaroid’s SX-70 instant camera series.

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This comes after the company behind Rolleiflex cameras recently liquidated its factory at auction. Perhaps this is what the company means when it says it is “keeping the legend alive.”

Amateurs will love the simplicity of use. A built-in light meter detects ambient light to ensure proper exposure, or with a press of the B Mode button photographers can keep the shutter open for extraordinary night shots.

For indoor use, the TL70 comes with a built-in flash, also accessible with the touch of a button. All you need is two AA batteries to start shooting. And, of course, the instant print out of the picture will make it a party favorite.

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But professional photographers were not forgotten in the making of this camera. While most instant cameras use two shutter blades, the TL70 uses five, which gives photographers greater control over aperture. The camera can focus as close as 48 centimeters, and even has a bokeh feature, a noncircular aperture whose shape is a unique “hidden easter egg” for each camera.

To under or over expose a shot at your leisure, there’s also the EV switch which changes the shutter speed by one full stop. LED lights next to the display window indicate the camera’s exposure, with green light indicating proper exposure and red light indicating that the shot is either over or under exposed.

The result is stunning visual representations never before seen in instant form.

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And because the InstantFlex is also 30 percent thinner than the average twin lens camera, it makes it your new best friend for on-the-go shooting.

Another great feature is that, unlike other instant cameras on the market like the FujiFilm Instax Mini, which requires a special kind of film, the TL70 works with all instant films, size 54 x 86 mm.

All this for $323, once the camera goes on sale. There has been a “coming soon” button on the website since March, so fingers crossed it’s up for grabs before summer is here to get all those boat, beach and barbecue shots.

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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