Apple has been awarded a patent that describes a mobile camera technology that can interpret infrared signals, which could then be used to disable the camera from recording at events like concerts, among other things.
An infrared transmitter would send encoded data to the device, which would be processed by the phone. Depending on the application, the device may temporarily disable its built-in camera in locations where photography and video capture are forbidden, for example music venues, classified company areas or museums. With the system activated a 'RECORDING DISABLED' message would pop up on the smartphone screen when the user tries to take a photo or video. The patent even mentions the ability to add a watermark to any images or video captured when certain infrared signals are detected.
The patent also describes use of this technology to provide additional information or visuals in a different scenario: for example, an art gallery. Pointing a smartphone camera at an IR transmitter positioned next to a painting could provide more information on the device's screen about the artwork. The patent also mentions applications in retail environments.
There is understandably some concern about how and where such systems would be implemented. Arguably, most people would be fine with concert venues protecting the intellectual property of their acts or companies preventing industrial espionage, but there are concerns that the technology could also be used to undermine the freedom of the press. As usual, the existence of a patent does not necessarily mean we'll ever see the final product, but in this case it might be worth at least keeping an eye on how the idea is being developed further. You can read the full patent document on the USPTO website.
German lens manufacturer Meyer-Optik Goerlitz has announced a portrait lens that it claims has unique coatings to reduce flare. The Trimagon f2.6/95 is the latest in a line of lenses that the company has produced that use only three elements in the design. While the 100mm and 50mm Trioplan lenses were produced for their distinctive retro bubble-effect bokeh this Trimogan is 'a dynamic modern lens' according to the company. Meyer-Optik says a unique coating has been used to reduce flare and the glass used for the three elements is from the German company Schott and Japan's Ohara.
The company claims the resolution of the lens makes it suitable for use on cameras with 60MP or more. The optical design is based around full-frame sensors, but versions with mounts for smaller formats are listed as being available.
Like all Meyer-Optik lenses, the Trimagon offers manual focus only, and its 'distinctive' bokeh and rounded out-of-focus highlights are helped by the use of a 15-bladed iris.
The lens is available now as it has already been on sale in Germany, and it is offered with mounts for Canon, Nikon, Fuji X, Sony E, Micro Four Thirds and Leica M. It costs $1699/€1699. For more information see the Meyer-Optik Goerlitz website.
Press release:Unique Coating and Design of Glass Lenses Provide Professional Photographers Sharp Artistic Portraits
Atlanta, GA – June 30, 2016 -- Meyer-Optik Goerlitz announced today the availability of its new portrait lens, the Trimagon f2.6/95, in the United States and worldwide. Aimed at professional photographers, the Trimagon 95 uses a unique coating and design that delivers sharp images with minimal reflections to preserve skin tone. The triplet architecture 15-blade design adds Meyer Optik's trademark artistic bokeh to Trimagon 95 images. 'While the Trioplan 100 restored Meyer-Optik's long lens to the artistic photography market, the Trimagon 95 provides professionals a dynamic modern lens that delivers extraordinary portraits and natural-looking photographs,' said Dr. Stefan Immes, CEO, Meyer-Optik Goerlitz. 'The remarkable nature of the lens is its rendering of secondary light, specifically providing realistic reflections of the finest structures.'
A unique coating on the Trimagon f2.6/95 reduces unnecessary light flares and overexposed reflections. The Trimagon f2.6/95 features high-index glass from Schott or O'Hara, providing excellent sharpness. The new portrait lens is suitable for resolutions from 60 million pixels and even more.
As with all Meyer-Optik lenses, the Trimagon f2.6/95 is 100% handmade in Germany. All Trimagon f2.6/95 lenses feature the best components and manufacturing processes, and undergo a rigorous inspection process with strict tolerance limits. The end result is a superior high-end lens for discerning photographers.
'The bokeh is exquisite and gives images a distinctive look,' said professional photographer and author Alexander Henry. 'The sharpness is impressive and the lens significantly reduces the amount of post-production required.'
The technical specifications of the Meyer-Optik Trioplan f2.6/95 include:
- Light intensity and focal length: f2.6-22; 95mm
- Optical design: 3 elements in 3 assembly units
- Angle of view: 25°
- Filter diameter: 52mm
- Optical assembly as a classic triplet | 3 lenses/3 units
- Iris diaphragm with 15 uniquely calculated steel aperture blades with special anti-reflection coating
- Fuji X
- Leica M*
The Trimagon f2.6/95 is available for purchase at USD$1,699. Orders are currently being taken on the Meyer-Optik website. The lens was initially released only in Germany.
* Rangefinder not supported.
SanDisk has announced a pair of new 256GB microSD cards: the SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card and the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card. These are the fastest microSD cards in the world, according to SanDisk, with the Premium Edition also 'optimized for mainstream consumers.' The cards are intended for action cameras, drones, smartphones and other gadgets with demanding storage needs.
The 256GB Extreme card is the fastest of the two, offering transfer speeds up to 100MB/s (compared the Ultra's 95MB/s max transfer speed) and write speeds up to 90MB/s. SanDisk presents the Extreme model as being ideal for UHD video recording, saying the card can hold up to 14 hours of 4K video. The Ultra version, meanwhile, is better suited to lower resolutions, and can store more than 24 hours of Full HD video.
In addition, both microSDXC cards can withstand extreme temperatures and are waterproof, shock-proof, and x-ray-proof. Both are compatible with SanDisk’s Memory Zone Android app. The company will launch the Ultra Premium Edition card globally in August for $149.99, and the Extreme card globally in the fourth quarter of this year for $199.99.
Eye-Fi will soon end support for its X2 and older wireless memory cards, services and apps, according to a notice sent to customers today. Citing security concerns, the company will complete the 'end of life' stage on September 16, 2016 by ending server support. The cards will still function at that point, and certain wireless transfer modes may still work, but their associated apps and services won't offer full functionality. Eye-Fi is offering to move customer data to its newer Cloud service, and will sell affected customers new cards at a discount. Mobi, Mobi Pro and EyeFi Cloud are all unaffected.
Eye-Fi mentions that some functions that don't require contact with its servers may still work after September 16, but their function is by no means guaranteed. The company states that Direct Mode for transfer directly to a computer or mobile device may keep working, as well as Selective Transfer, in which the user chooses images for transfer by designating them as 'locked' or 'protected' on the camera. Eye-Fi warns that if customers want to try and keep using these modes, they should make sure they're configured prior to September 16.
Eye-Fi Premium customers will be able to migrate to an Eye-Fi Cloud account, and owners of legacy cards can buy a limited number of Mobi cards at a discount to replace them. Below is a list of affected products which Eye-Fi will no longer support.
- All original pre-X2 products (Original, Home, Share, Explore, Video Share, Video Explore, Pro)
- 4GB Geo X2
- 4GB Connect X2
- 8GB Explore X2
- 8GB Mobile X2
- 8GB Pro X2
- 16GB Pro X2
- Visioneer X2
- Sandisk X2
- Eye-Fi Windows desktop software (Eye-Fi Center)
- Eye-Fi Mac desktop software (Eye-Fi Center)
- Eye-Fi app for iOS
- Eye-Fi app for Android
- Eye-Fi Center web app (center.eye.fi)
Eye-Fi began the process of retiring its older products in March 2015, citing vulnerable security mechanisms and technological obsolescence. Visit Eye-Fi's website for an FAQ and more information about the end of life products.
June 30, 2016To Our Eye-Fi X2 and Earlier Generation Product Customers:
This message is for customers that purchased an Eye-Fi Pro X2 or earlier generation products prior to March 2015. Effective today, June 30th 2016, we will no longer be offering support for our legacy product lines, a complete list of which appears below. This notice formally begins the final stage of the “end-of-life” (EOL) process started in mid-2015 for the affected products. It’s very important that customers cease using these products no later than September 16, 2016 as some key services these products rely on will be shut down at that time. All customers who have a Mobi or Mobi Pro products purchased since 2013 are not affected by this announcement.
We began EOL on these product lines in 2015 largely driven by technological obsolescence of some of the key technologies included in these products. The primary technologies relate to Internet security and authentication mechanisms that were state-of-the-art in 2007 when we built them into our products but have since proven to be vulnerable. Since mid-2015 we have been offering migration services free of charge for Customers who have paid Eyefi Premium accounts. We will continue to offer this service migrating your Eyefi View data to Eyefi Cloud. You can request a migration here. For those customers that wish to use an Eyefi Mobi Pro card in place of their earlier generation products, we have also made a limited quantity available at a deep discount, see details here if you wish to take advantage of this offer.
Please note that we will maintain our customer service Web site and content for all customers. The support site includes detailed explanations for how to accomplish migration to Eyefi Mobi/Mobi Pro and Eyefi Cloud services. We are grateful to all the customers around the world that used Eye-Fi products in the past as well as for our newest customers. The EOL of a product line is always difficult and we have made every effort to minimize the impact of this change on our customers. Thanks for your loyalty and understanding.
LISTING OF IMPACTED PRODUCTS
Customers with Eye-Fi 1.0 product line and Eye-Fi Premium subscriptions will be impacted by this EOL process. Effective September 16, 2016 the following products may no longer operate:
Eye-Fi 1.0 Products:
All original pre-X2 products (Original, Home, Share, Explore, Video Share, Video Explore, Pro)
4GB Geo X2
4GB Connect X2
8GB Explore X2
8GB Mobile X2
8GB Pro X2
16GB Pro X2
Eye-Fi Windows desktop software (Eye-Fi Center)
Eye-Fi Mac desktop software (Eye-Fi Center)
Eye-Fi app for iOS
Eye-Fi app for Android
Eye-Fi Center web app (center.eye.fi)
The Mobi, Mobi Pro and Eyefi Cloud products and applications are unaffected and will remain operational with continued future developments.
Fotodiox has announced a new LED Studio-in-a-Box, designed to make it easy to create simple macro and product images on a tabletop. Aimed at Etsy and Ebay sellers just as much as macro and still life enthusiasts, the Studio-in-a-box comes in four sizes, from 16x16" ($69.99) all the way up to 28"x28" ($119.99). Each model comes with an integrated ring of LED lights, and four plastic, wrinkle-free 'cyclorama' backdrops.Features:
- Comes with Integrated Daylight LED Lights (~85 CRI) & Diffusion Panel
- Folds up into supplied carrying case
- Four sizes available: 16x16", 20x20", 24x24" And 28x28"
- Comes with four choices of backdrops: blue, gray, white and black
- 24 Months Manufacturer Warranty
WAUKEGAN, IL JUNE 29, 2016Fotodiox Pro Announces Lightweight, Portable LED Studio-in-a-Box for Tabletop Photography
Fotodiox Pro, creator and distributor of several lines of specialty solutions for videography, cinematography and photography, has announced the LED Studio-in-a-Box: a lightweight, fold-out kit that provides tabletop photographers with a fully-contained environment for shooting clean, professional images.
Ideal for small business owners, artists, retailers and independent Etsy and eBay sellers, the LED Studio-in-a-Box comes equipped with built-in LED lights and a removable diffusion panel for maximum control and ease of use. Available in four different sizes, the LED Studio-in-a-Box can be purchased now on FotodioxPro.com.
The LED Studio-in-a-Box can be set up by photographers of any skill level in well under five minutes, with no need for tools, and folds down flat after use. The kit includes four plastic, wrinkle-free “cyclorama” backgrounds in black, white, gray and blue, as well as a removable diffusion panel and an integrated ring of top-mounted LED lights for a powerful, even glow. Perfect for macro photographers, professional tabletop photographers and artisans, the LED Studio-in-a-Box saves an enormous amount of time and space, and allows any user to shoot dynamic, expertly lit images with any type of camera, including smartphones.
To learn more about the Studio-in-a-Box and Fotodiox Pro’s additional photography and filmmaking accessories, please visit FotodioxPro.com. View unboxing videos and product demonstrations via youtube.com/user/FotodioxInc.About Fotodiox
Serving the photo and video markets since 2004, Fotodiox Pro is a leading manufacturer and distributor of high-quality, professional and affordable photography and filmmaking accessories. Known for such products as the WonderPana wide-angle filter system, the Vizelex ND Throttle adapter series, the ever-expanding line of award-winning GoTough accessories for GoPro cameras, and the groundbreaking FlapJack LED Edgelights, Fotodiox Pro is also responsible for bringing the CamDolly Cinema System – the industry’s first truly portable, modular dolly system for professional videography gear – to filmmakers in the United States.
For more information about Fotodiox Pro, please explore online at http://www.fotodioxpro.com, http://www.youtube.com/user/FotodioxInc, http://www.facebook.com/Fotodiox and http://www.twitter.com/Fotodiox.
DxOMark has rated the Canon 1D X II's sensor, and it looks very competitive for its class. Strong low-ISO dynamic range and impressive high ISO performance earn it a score of 88 - tying with the Nikon D5 despite having an edge in both these areas.
These results echo our own findings, which showed the latest generation Canon chip offering greater low-ISO DR than previous designs: enough to out-perform the Nikon D5 (whose own performance isn't particularly good in this respect by modern standards).
However, while it performs well for its class, these numbers are only enough rank it 21st in DxO's overall sensor score chart, which sees the high-resolution chips in the Nikon D810 and Sony a7R II significantly out-perform it in terms of low light performance, dynamic range and the ability to distinguish between colors. Of course, what these other sensors can't do is shoot continuously at 16 frames per second, but it's interesting to see the image quality hit that you currently have to pay to get that high-speed performance.
As always, along with the composite score, DxOMark's site includes a full technical assessment of the sensor performance, from which you can derive a deeper understanding of its behavior.
Sony has said that the FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS lens for its E-mount cameras is to be delayed until September. When the lens was announced in February this year the company expected to be delivering the tele-zoom to stores this month. No reason is given for the delay, but the statement thanks users for their patronage and apologies for the inconvenience.
Along with the zoom the company will also push back the release of the two tele-converters that are supposed to go with it – the SEL14TC 1.4x converter and the SEL20TC 2x converter.
The FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS is part of a new G Master range of lenses designed with the company’s full frame a7 series of cameras in mind – though they are also compatible with the APS-C models. Other GM lenses announced along with the 70-200mm F2.8 are the FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM and the FE 85mm F1.4 GM.
For more information see the Sony website.
Chinese manufacturer ZTE has launched its latest flagship-level device, the nubia Z11. Looking at its specifications the new model has the potential to be a serious alternative for mobile photographers for several reasons. On paper, the camera module looks very similar to the one on the recently unveiled OnePlus 3 and comes with a 16MP Sony IMX298 1/2.8" sensor that offers on-chip phase detection and a pixel size of 1.12 micron. The lens is protected by a sapphire glass element and comes with a fast F2.0 aperture and an optical image stabilization system. The front camera captures 8MP images on a sensor with a 1.4 micron pixel size. The lens on the front module covers a wide angle view of 80 degrees and features a F2.4 aperture.
Photographers and frequent video shooters will also like the generous on-board memory. The Z11 comes in two versions, either with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, or 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. On both models storage can be further expanded via a microSD-slot.
Photos can be viewed and edited on a 5.5-inch Full-HD display that is protected by Gorilla Glass 3, and inside the Android 6.0 OS is powered by Qualcomm's current top-end chipset Snapdragon 820. A fingerprint reader increases security and the 3,000 mAh battery supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 standard. The high-end components are built into an elegant looking all-metal case with extremely thin display bezels. In China the nubia Z11 will be available from July 6 at approximately $375 for the model with 4GB RAM and $525 for the higher-end version. No information on availability in other markets is available yet.
Google has updated both Google Earth and Google Maps with higher-quality satellite imagery using images mostly taken by NASA and the USGS's Landsat 8. According to the company, the refreshed imagery provides truer colors and greater detail in comparison to the previous content captured by Landsat 7, helping provide what Google calls its 'freshest global mosaic to date.'
The company pored over more than 700 trillion pixels' worth of Landsat images to choose the clearest photos. Before this imagery refresh, Google's mapping products included satellite imagery captured, in same cases, nearly two decades ago. Google has rolled out the new images to all of its mapping products; the content can be viewed on both the 'satellite' layer on Google Maps and on Google Earth.
Via: Google Lat Long Blog
- 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- 9-point autofocus system
- 1080/30p video capture
- Fixed 3" 920k-dot LCD
- ISO 100-6400, expandable to 12800
- 3 fps burst shooting
- Wi-Fi with NFC
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 / 1300D is an entry-level DSLR targeted toward first-time ILC users and smartphone upgraders. Built around an 18MP APS-C sensor, the T6 offers Wi-Fi with NFC for easy photo sharing when you’re out-and-about, and adds a faster processor compared to its predecessor, the Rebel T5.
Its closest competitor in the category is the Nikon D3300, which was announced in January 2014 and is getting a little long in the tooth at this point.
As per Rebel tradition, the T6 packages up some tech borrowed from previous-generation higher end models, and that's no bad thing. It offers a 9-point AF module, 1080/30p video and built-in Wi-Fi with NFC. Battery life is a very respectable 500 shots per charge, putting it near the top of its class in that respect. But one of the T6's headline features isn't on the inside of the camera at all, it's written on the outside of the box: that sweet $500 price tag with lens.The T6 is better tuned to a beginner's needs and hits an aggressively low price point
Offering tech handed down from previous generations at a very reasonable price is what the Rebel line has traditionally done best. The original Digital Rebel is just about 13 years old, and was essentially a single-dial 10D in a plastic body, priced at $1000 with kit lens - a breakthrough price-point for DSLRs at the time. As well as being cheaper still, the T6 is a vastly more capable camera than that pioneering Rebel, and better tuned to a beginner's needs.
In short, with the T6, Canon has gathered up various components it had lying around on the shelf from Rebels past and put them together in an aggressively priced bundle. Smart business move for Canon, but is it the best way to spend your $500? Read on.
The Alpha SLT-A68 is Sony's entry-level Translucent Mirror camera and the follow-up to the a58. Despite its position in the entry-level class, it borrows many components from its big brother, the Sony SLT- A77 II. This includes a 79 point AF system with 15 cross-type points, Bionz X processor and a stabilized sensor. It all adds up to quite a lot of camera.
The weather is just starting to really warm up here in Seattle and the long days offer plenty of sun-filled hours for shooting. We've been out and about with the a68; click the link below to get a sense of its real-world image quality.
The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) has announced the winners of its Environmental Photographer of the Year awards and given out £6000 (approx. $8000) in prizes as well as a job. The winner of the £3000 overall award is Swedish photographer Sara Lindstrom for a picture of a forest fire taken in Alberta, Canada.
Luke Massey took the £1000 Young Environmental Photographer of the Year award for pictures of a peregrine on a balcony in Chicago, and the Environmental Film of the Year, and £500, went to Sergiu Jiduc for a film called ‘The Karkoram Anomaly Project, Pakistan’ about dramatic climatic conditions that effect the Balti people in Pakistan.
SL Kumar Shanth from India won the Atkins Built Environment award that includes a year-long position of Photographer in Residence with design and engineering firm Atkins, while the Changing Climate award and £500 went to Sandra Hoyn and the People, Nature and Economy Award and £1000 went to Pedram Yazdani.
The winning images will be included in a 60-picture exhibition that will be held at the Royal Geographic Society in London from 29th June to 19 August 2016. The exhibition will then tour to Grizedale Forest, supported by Forestry Commission England, from 3 September 2016 until 1 January 2017. For more information on the exhibition and the awards visit the Environmental Photographer of the Year website.
Images used with kind permission of Levi Bettwieser of The Rescued Film Project
Levi Bettwieser is the founder and film technician for The Rescued Film Project - an archive of images from 'lost and forgotten' rolls of film, sourced from all over the word. Last year, Bettwieser acquired 66 packages of undeveloped film from the 1950s, totaling an estimated 1,200 rolls.
Each package is made up of several rolls of undeveloped film, meticulously wrapped in aluminum foil, newspaper and athletic tape and as Bettwieser explains, 'this is way more film than I can process myself.' The single roll that he has developed shows some degradation but has yielded usable images.
Blue Moon Camera in Portland has agreed to take on the task of developing the rest of the unprocessed film, but even with a discount, processing so many rolls is going to cost a lot of money. Bettwieser has launched a funding campaign on Indiegogo.com, and at time of writing, his team has raised roughly a third of the total funding goal of $15,000.
If you're interested in this project, you might enjoy reading a series of articles that we published in 2014.
The earthquake that hit Japan's Kumamoto prefecture in April affected multiple camera companies with facilities in the region, including Sony. In its most recent statement about the matter, Sony revealed several camera models that will be delayed getting to customers.
The following models are mentioned in Sony's statement:
- a77 II
It's interesting to note that the delays primarily affect older models, suggesting the company is concentrating its supplies and efforts on its most popular models. Sony also states that other models not specifically mentioned above might be delayed as well.