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The quickly altered law means that upskirt photos will no longer be legal
Just days ago, Boston courts ruled that a man could not be charged for sneaking an "upskirt" photo of a woman on the MBTA, as current peeping tom laws only covered people who were "nude or partially nude." However, the Massachusetts legislature has rushed through a change in the law, closing the loophole, and hopefully putting in place a proper system to punish people who undertake this scummy activity.
The new bill would make it illegal to record or photograph under someone's clothes, and would be a misdemeanor crime. According to the AP
The legislation says anyone who "photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils" another person's sexual or intimate parts without that person's consent would face a misdemeanor charge and a maximum penalty of two-and-a-half years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
The crime becomes a felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for photographs or recordings of a child under 18. Distributing such photos would carry a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Given the short amount of time since the original case was thrown out—just a matter of days, it's impressive to see the Massachusetts legislature react so quickly. And while this might be too late to prosecute the original perpetrator, it provides a legal recourse going forward if people are caught doing this in the future.
Photo: By Arnold Reinhold (Creative Commons)
Made up of thousands of tiny spheres arranged on a board
Ever wanted to have your face immortalized in one of the most expensive metals known to man? Feel the need to spend half a million dollars on a halftone print of a loved one? Then boy, do Platinum Sphere Portraits have the perfect gift for you!
This bizarre, and incredibly expensive, piece of art comes from a Japanese company called Platinum Guild International K.K., who will craft an image like this for you, for $500,000. The image is comprised of a tightly packed grid of platinum spheres, in a variety of sizes. When perfectly arranged, they create a halftone print, but one made of an extremely precious material.
According to the press release, the images are comprised of 1kg of platinum (worth around $47,000 on its own, if 100% pure), which is crafted down to 13,000 spheres, ranging in size from 2mm to 5mm. Each dot is hand placed in the correct location, and held in place by a small tab on each sphere.
If you actually want to get one of these yourself, prices start at $500,000 for a 58x80cm (23"x32") version, with larger and more expensive options available. After a half hour meeting, the company will arrange a photographer to come and shoot you for a couple of hours, and then the image is digitized, and then hand-assembled in platinum form. If you want, they'll even send you a videotape of the assembly process.
Yes, it's ludicrously expensive, and the image doesn't even look that good. But you have to admire a company for really going all out when it comes to obscene luxury. That's not the sort of thing you'd see anywhere else.
A better, smaller JPEG
Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, has announced a new project, designed to make the ubiquitous JPEG take up a little less space. Dubbed mozjpeg, it's a move to make JPEG images that are the same quality, take up less space, and are still compatible with the vast majority of platforms and decoders currently in use.
There have been other attempts to compress images without further quality degradation, such as JPEGMini and WebP, but these suffer from the drawback that they're not yet widely supported, whereas JPEG images will work on pretty much anything.
The first version of the mozjpeg project has already been released, and it uses an existing tool called "jpegcrush" to reduce filesizes by around another 10%. It's not new, but this does bring it to a far wider audience than might otherwise know about it:
What we’re releasing today, as version 1.0, is a fork of libjpeg-turbo with ‘jpgcrush’ functionality added. We noticed that people have been reducing JPEG file sizes using a perl script written by Loren Merritt called ‘jpgcrush’, references to which can be found on various forums around the Web. It losslessly reduces file sizes, typically by 2-6% for PNGs encoded to JPEG by IJG libjpeg, and 10% on average for a sample of 1500 JPEG files from Wikimedia. It does this by figuring out which progressive coding configuration uses the fewest bits. So far as we know, no production encoder has this functionality built in, so we added it as the first feature in ‘mozjpeg’.
10% might not seem like a lot, but if you're dealing with hundreds of images, it would add up. And this is only the very first release, hopefully future versions will do more and more to squeeze those JPEGs down, without losing any quality or compatability.
A new approach for one of the biggest names in photo licensing
When it comes to licensing photography, there are few, if any, names bigger than Getty Images. And now, they're doing something very interesting. They're making the lion's share of their images free to embed around the web with no watermark on the photo.
The Peeping Tom laws don't currenlty extend to people who are "fully-clothed"
Sneaking "up skirt" photos of unsuspecting folks in public places is one of the sleaziest activities a person can do with a camera. However, a decision by the Supreme Judicial Court in Boston recently decided that it's not actually against the law.
The case saw a Boston man sneaking sleazy shots of women on the mass transit system. He was busted and a lower court deemed it against the law. The decision was overturned, however, by the Supreme Judicial Court, stating that the Peeping Tom laws only apply to people who sneak photos in places like restrooms or dressing rooms where people are "nude or partially nude."
The AP quoted a pertinent piece of the ruling, "A female passenger on a MBTA trolley who is wearing a skirt, dress, or the like covering these parts of her body is not a person who is 'partially nude,' no matter what is or is not underneath the skirt by way of underwear or other clothing,"
Reports claim that the law is currently being reworked so that it covers this kind of thing. It only seems logical that this kind of behavior be unlawful, but it will be interesting to see how they handle the specific wording. There's also always the outside chance something like this could be used to try and justify a "no photography on the transit system" rule, which would be bad news.
Photo: By Arnold Reinhold (Creative Commons)
Add some lizard look to your camera
Fujifilm shooters in the UK now have the option to add a very interesting bit of custom modification to their camera, courtesy of a program Fujifilm is calling "X-Signature". With it, you can get a custom skin to go over your camera. They're meant to look like lizard skin, but come in an array of colors likely not found on any lizard on this planet.
You can either buy an X-20, X-Pro1, or an X-E1 with the signature skin already installed, or else if you're already an owner, pick up the cover for the X-10, X-20 (black or silver), X-100, X-Pro1, or X-E1 (black or silver). Each camera has an array of different colors to chose from, with up to 12 options available for some models.
More extroverted users can choose colors like pink, blue, and green, but there are also more sedate options, in various shades and styles of brown and black. Most of the designs appear to be based on lizard skin, but there are some croc, snake, and some just labeled "crinkle", for at least a little variety.
As for the price? Each of these custom skins will set you back £129.99 (around $217)—so it's not a cheap option. We also don't know if this feature will be coming to other countries any time soon, limiting the hot pink lizard skins to just the UK for now.
(via Photo Rumors)
Photographer Scott Markewitz on framing action photos
Images of skiing, mountain biking, and other active outdoor pursuits need more than sharply frozen athletes and eye-grabbing kinetic energy. Action shots need great backgrounds, too. “I always pay attention to what’s happening behind my subjects,” says outdoor specialist Scott Markewitz of Salt Lake City. “I use backgrounds to make the subject stand out, or to unify or pull together the overall composition. I like clean, fairly uniform locations, and I avoid scenes that are busy or cluttered.”
For this image of pro rider Eric Porter, Markewitz was drawn to a grove of aspens. “The nice thing about aspens is they have a clean, linear look, especially when you shoot straight up at them. Bushier trees like some firs or maples hide their trunks behind layers of foliage and wouldn’t work for a shot like this. Aspens point straight up like arrows,” says the photographer. If you position yourself with a little care and have the right lens, those “arrows” can point straight to your subject.
To take a photo like this, Markewitz suggests that you:
•Pick the right tricks. When the rider performs complicated tricks with flips or spins, it can look great in video but confusing in stills. “Keep the tricks simple, with poses the rider can hold for a second,” says Markewitz.
•Shoot in continuous mode. You need to be able to pop off between 5 and 10 frames per second in order to capture a perfect moment.
• Start with practice runs. Have your subject go through a set of trial runs so you will know where to position yourself.
• Use manual focus. Prefocus in manual at a point where you know the athlete will soon be.
Line up a subject. “You can’t ask just anyone to get on a bike, fly off a ramp, strike a pose, and land safely,” says Markewitz. “Only experienced riders need apply.”
Find a location. Look for dense, evenly wooded stands of aspens, red pines, or other tall trees with bare trunks and thinly foliated canopies.
Get the right gear. Markewitz opted for a fisheye lens for the depth and drama it created. Athough the biker appears to fly high, he was only five feet above the photographer, who laid flat on the ground and shot up on his subject. The fisheye’s 180-degree angle of view also captured the entire length of the tree trunks, creating strong converging lines that all lead to the subject. Your camera should offer a fast burst speed, to at least 5 fps.
Wait for the right light. Overcast skies will produce more even lighting with highlight and shadow levels relatively close. If you must shoot under direct sunlight, go when the sun is low on the horizon as Markewitz did here. This shot might also work with sun immediately behind the subject. Final Step Compose with care and fire away. “For this shot, centering the subject was important for the overall composition, but I also needed him close to the center because I was shooting with that fisheye lens,” said Markewitz. “With fisheyes, the image center shows much less distortion than its edges.”
To immerse yourself in Scott Markewitz’s killer action photos, go to scottmarkewitz.com. Markewitz will teach a Pop Photo workshop, sponsored by Sony, in Palm Springs, CA, this month. Visit imaging-edge.com/workshops.
Add the ability to mount Nikon, Olympus, Contax/Yashica, and Konica lenses on your K-mount camera
The PK+MM Mount would do something pretty remarkable to a wide range of Pentax DSLRs—it would give you the ability to mount hundreds of other lenses, by totally replacing the metal mounting plate for one with greater compatibility. The PK+MM mount transforms just about any K-mount camera into one that can also handle Nikon F, Olympus OM, Contax Yashica C/Y, and Konika AR glass.
The PK+MM Mount has an asking price of S$98, around $78USD. It's a small metal ring that you use to replace the metal mount that's usually on your camera—meaning that if you ever want to, you can just swap it back for the original.
Since the mount contains no optical elements, there's no degradation in image quality, and you'll also get the ability to focus to infinity with many lenses. But, there are a relatively sizable number of other caveats. As you might guess, the lenses have to be used entirely manually—there's no AF or electronic aperture control. Nikon lenses have to be used with a mounting shim to adjust the distance slightly to use them accurately; OM mount lenses need to be fixed at maximum aperture to work properly; Konica lenses can't focus to infinity; and C/Y lenses need a slight modification removing part of the aperture lever to fit properly. Also, it won't work with weather sealed Pentax cameras, though there is a variant for that in the works.
All told, that's a lot of fiddling to get everything working properly—but the results seem pretty impressive. And it would be a way of opening up your camera to decades of glass, many of which is available for very affordable prices.
[via Imaging Resource]
If you already have malware, these photos could be used to get malicious code onto your system
The malware is called TSPY_ZBOT.TFZAH, and doesn't itself come through the images, but rather, once it's already in place it uses the photos as a way of masking code that might otherwise be easier to spot. The malware itself arrives via the usual channels, through other malware or through visiting an infected site.
Once it's in place, it will download the image without your knowledge. As Trend Micro explains:
The user does not even see this particular image, but if someone did happen to see it it would look like an ordinary photo. We encountered an image of a sunset, but other security researchers reported encountering a cat image. (This particular photo appears to have been lifted from popular photo-sharing sites, as it appears in these sites if you search for sunset.)
Using steganography, the image contains concealed information for the malware, specifically of various banks to target. If the user then visits one of those bank websites, it intercepts login information, gaining them access to your bank account.
As for the images themselves, they're popular and widespread photos of indeterminate origin, which further makes it easier to seem like something you might have once downloaded legitimately.
A trio of new rolling bags from Lowepro for transporting massive amounts of gear
Traveling with large amounts of gear is often a hassle, but a good rolling bag can help things along quite a bit. This week at the WPPI show in Las Vegas, Lowepro is announcing the latest version of their Pro Roller x-AW series bags.
The Pro Roller comes in three sizes, X100, X200, and X300. The X100 and X200 are both small enough to work as an airline carry-on, while the massive X300 needs to be checked. Of course, if you're traveling by car, it doesn't really matter since they all fit in a typical trunk.
The interior protection system uses a ballistic nylon shell around the outside of the case with new foam for padding in the dividers. The MaxFit dividers use a specific Velcro attaching system to allow for more precise adjustment. And since adjusting Velcro dividers is one of the most annoying things I can think of, that's a welcome addition.
It has TSA-approved locks, see-through pockets on the flap, and smooth-rolling wheels for easy transport. There's also a "reserve pack" that comes out of the hard shell in case you'd rather wear your gear on your back instead of rolling it around.
The X100 starts at $369, while the X200 checks in at $399. The flagship X300 checks in at $479.
The elegant, ultra-compact metal-body Olympus OM-D E-M10 is the latest addition to the award-winning Olympus OM-D series of interchangeable-lens Micro Four Thirds-format cameras. And thanks to an advanced 16MP Live MOS combined with a state-of-the-art TruePic VII image processor it delivers pro-caliber image quality, blazing speed, impressive responsiveness, vibrant viewing, and unsurpassed ease of use for everyone from emerging photographers to serious enthusiasts. Perhaps equally important, the E-M10 provides a gateway to a world of optical opportunities. It lets you expand and empower your creativity with a full line of 15 outstanding digitally optimized Olympus M. Zuiko lenses covering an incredibly versatile range from 9mm (18mm equivalent) ultra-wide to 300mm (600mm equivalent) super-telephoto including 7 different zooms!
All Olympus M. Zuiko Micro Four Thirds lenses are crafted of professional-grade glass, and deliver unsurpassed image quality that reflects the company’s long heritage in the demanding medical and scientific fields. And because the Micro Four Thirds format more closely approximates the image circle of the lens, their telecentric design transmits light to the image sensor more efficiently, enabling the lenses to be more compact and lightweight, and to provide superior close-focus working distances. Other high-performance features found in M. Zuiko lenses: Ultra-high-precision glass molding and double-sided aspheric lens elements to enhance color correction and image quality; MSC (movie and still compatible) lens-drive mechanisms; circular apertures for beautiful defocusing (bokeh) effects; and Z.E.R.O (Zuiko Extra-Low Reflection Optical) lens coating to eliminate chromatic aberration, flare and ghosting, resulting in brilliant color reproduction. The entire family of superb M. Zuiko lenses work with the EM-10’s 3-axis VCM In-body Image Stabilization system that virtually eliminates blur due to handheld camera shake, allowing you to capture breathtakingly detailed still images and smooth pro-caliber videos.
Two Exciting New M. Zuiko Lenses for the Olympus OM-D E-M10
With the new “world’s slimmest” M. Zuiko Digital 14-42mmn f/3.5-5.6 EZ electronic standard zoom lens *(sold separately) mounted on its ultra-compact, premium-grade metal body, the E-M10 measures an astonishingly compact 2-1/2 inches front to back! And when combined with the latest high speed M. Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8 M. Zuiko normal lens (50mm equivalent) it delivers beautifully soft backgrounds for capturing compelling portraits and pictorial effects, as well as providing enhanced low-light capability plus virtually silent auto-focusing when shooting HD movies.
Olympus OM-D E-M10: Portable. Powerful. Picture Perfect.
With rapidly changing technology, movie preservationists are fighting for a truly "archival" format
One of the great strengths of analog film is just how long it can last, if preserved properly. Thanks to a film negative being stashed in just the right way, we can recover fantastic old images, or partly reconstruct previously damaged works of art. There's even an industry devoted to restoring damaged old films to the best possible quality. But what happens when the world moves to digital?
Over at The Dissolve, Matthew Dessem has put together an excellent article looking at the current difficulties of trying to properly archive films that may only ever exist in a digital form—and it's a complicated and worrying situation. For now, the standard seems to be to make a 35mm film print (or preferably color-separated black and white prints), which will last more or less indefinitely if stored properly. But some films don't exist in this format—the Wolf of Wall Street was digital only, and 3D versions of films like Avatar were never committed to celluloid.
And unfortunately, digital preservation just doesn't seem to be at a point where you could find it in a basement 50 years from now, and recover all the data. Where, with analog formats, the worry was the degradation of the data itself, with digital media, the problem's more around technological obsolescence of the storage media and data formats. If you've ever found yourself with a Zip disk full of documents from the late 90s, you know that feeling well.
Dessem's piece delves into specific archiving problems, like the fact that current backups to magnetic tapes are assumed to only last five years, and that the drives that read them become obsolete every four years or so, forcing companies to constantly be spending money to migrate previous digital assets onto newer formats. As he puts it:
So a film that was archived to tape in 2006 using then-state-of-the-art LTO-3 tapes can’t be read by the LTO-6 drives that are for sale today. In other words, the tape drive that created an archival copy of Skyfall in December 2012 wouldn’t be able to read the original 2006 copy of Casino Royale—the technology becomes obsolete faster than James Bond is recast. To read one of these tapes, even if the data is in pristine condition, you’d have to find an older drive.
It's the same struggle that photographers are facing at the same time. External hard drives fail. Cloud companies go under. Flash drives become obsolete. So how do you preserve your images so that you can come back to them in 20 years? We suggest reading the whole piece to see some of what the film world is dealing with now, and how it might turn out—and for once, it's even worth reading the comments for some further insight.
You can get a new laptop and upgrade your software, but you're stuck with the body and eyes you have. Here's how to make the most of them
Streamlining your editing workflow doesn’t have to stop at Lightroom presets and database backups. It also means having the right workspace, and taking care of your eyes.
We spoke with Dr. Scott Greenstein, an ophthalmologist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and C. David Tobie of color-management specialists DataColor about how to optimize your peepers and your personal workspace for even-better editing sessions.
Don’t Worry About the Long-Term
“You’re not going to damage your eyes by sitting at a computer,” Greenstein says, even if you log long editing sessions on the regular.
He notes that computers have been in the workplace for more than 30 years now—long enough to turn up any worrisome pattens related to vision loss. Studies by the National Eye Institute haven’t turned up anything yet.
"It’s sort of like the old myth, if you study in a dark room or by candlelight, you’re going to need glasses,” Greenstein says. “These are basically old wives’ tales.”
Make Yourself Comfortable
This sounds obvious, but so many photographers still suffer from the temporary eye-strain, dryness, and headaches that can come along with extended screen time.
Greenstein gives his patients a few common-sense tips to reduce discomfort. If you’re getting headaches, adjust the brightness (usually by turning it down). Sit a comfortable distance from the screen, so you don’t have to struggle to see detail. For most people, it's between two and three feet from the monitor, depending on the screen size and your personal preference.
Change Your Focal Length
Just like a zoom lens, your eyes can adjust to different focal lengths. Try to use the whole range—it eases discomfort and strain.
"Take a break, and change your focal length,” Greenstein says. “Look away, look out a window, walk around the office. We advise this to anybody doing a lot of office work, whether it’s an accountant or a photographer—anybody working on a screen.”
Keep Eye Drops Handy
“Some people who stare at a computer all day don’t blink as much as if they were doing something else, and it can actually develop or exacerbate dry eyes,” Greenstein says. “Put a drop of over-the-counter artificial tears in each eye periodically to soothe and lubricate."
Get the Right Prescription
We sit at an intermediate distance from computer screens—too far for reading glasses, too close for distance glasses, Greenstein says. Check with your eye doctor to see whether your prescription covers the two- or three-foot range. If not, you can have that range added.
For serious editors, Tobie suggests going a step further. "Ideally, a pair of dedicated single-focal glasses of the prescription needed for your preferred display viewing distance should be used for critical editing work,” he says.
Dim Your Ambient Lights
Ambient lighting can really tie a room together—but it can also get in the way of effective editing.
Tobie suggests to start by turning off most overhead lights, and pulling blinds over the windows.
"Windows are a variable light source. Consistency is the goal. I'd suggest both drapes and blinds as the right amount of window coverage” he says. “Think of hotel black-out drapes. Get your sunshine while on frequent breaks, not while editing."
When a room has too much incidental light, your eye adjusts to the color temperature of the room, rather than the monitor, Tobie says, so it’s important to make the monitor the main light source.
Of course, there’s room for some ambient lighting. "A single lamp off to one side, where prints can be viewed, shaded to be out of the eye's direct field-of-view, is ideal. A 5000k proofing lamp is ideal. A low-cost Ott-Lite is a reasonable alternative."
Let Your Monitor Warm Up
As the temperature of your monitor changes, it displays colors slightly differently. But once it reaches a static temperature, the colors will stay put. Tobie suggests running a display for an hour before any “color-critical work” (you can decide if your photos qualify for that distinction), and then leaving it turned on all day.
For what it’s worth, your eyes are remarkably consistent in this regard. Even during an editing marathon, they’ll see color and detail the exact same way in the first five minutes as they do in the last bleary hour. The amount of time you’ve been staring at a screen “will absolutely not” affect the way your eye perceives the screen, Greenstein says.
Unless you have an existing condition, no food, vitamin, or exercise will improve your eyesight or directly benefit the health of your eye, Greenstein says. But a healthy lifestyle decreases the risk of serious eye problems.
“Obesity and smoking are two major risk factors for macular degeneration,” a chronic loss of vision, Greenstein says. “Obviously you don’t want to become diabetic.”
In general, what’s good for your body is also good for your eyes, so be sure to take walks, eat well, and stop to smell the roses.
The first sensor to break the 100-point barrier
DxOMark has undertaken one of its detailed sensor based tests on a very different camera than usual—it's put the Red Epic Dragon under the microscope, and what the site found was a camera sensor better than anything else it's tested by a significant margin.
Scoring 101 points on the DxOMark scale, the Dragon is the first ever sensor to pass the 100 point mark, but it well beyond the Nikon D800E, which held the previous high water mark at 96 points.
What's interesting is where the Red Epic Dragon performed so well. It scored in the top spot for both color depth and dynamic range, but came in a relatively more sedate 10th place for image noise. That means the Red Epic Dragon had better color depth and dynamic range than not only full frame cameras, but also some medium format models—and that's with an APS-H sized sensor.
As DxOMark mentions, this also opens potential for photographers to record video, and just extract a single frame for what they need. As the site puts it:
More importantly, the ability to choose a high quality still photo from a movie sequence will be invaluable to time-pressured imaging professionals, in the studio or elsewhere. While this will take some time to filter down to consumer level HD-DSLRs, this new technology just may forever change the way both footage and stills are shot in the future.
Of course, the body alone will set you back almost $30,000, but that's to be expected. Do you think pulling stills from motion capture will ever become the norm?
It's blurry, packed with celebrities, and now it's the most popular photo ever tweeted
Tonight on the Oscars, host Ellen Degeneres tried to set the record for the "most retweeted photo." She gathered up some famous people, plunked them in front of a smartphone she was being paid to promote, and mentioned it on TV. The result? One of the most popular photographs ever posted on one of the world's biggest social media networks.
It's just like Andy Warhol said, "My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person." This one is halfway there, I guess. Thanks for the pageviews, Ellen.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
That said, I totally get that a photo need not be a masterpiece to be important. But, it's nice when a photo represents a moment that isn't completely manufactured. For the record, the last photo to hold the most RT'd title was a celebratory photo from Barack Obama after his reelection. A historic moment, regardless of your politics.
Four more years. pic.twitter.com/bAJE6Vom
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 7, 2012
Long live the #selfie
Giving them just one week to apply for the new "videocentric" approach
According to a report by the NPPA, the Orlando Sentinel is massively restructuring its photography side, and giving the newspaper's current employees just days to apply for massively altered positions, and cutting a team of nine staff photographers down to just five.
The report states that on Monday, the Sentinel's photography staff had their first meeting with Todd Stewart, the newspaper's design, graphics and multimedia editor, and were told that all the old jobs were gone, and that they had until Friday to apply for the new ones.
The massive restructuring hits 13 jobs, including the photography director. The new positions will be "videocentric", and a Sentinel photojournalist told the NPPA:
There are two new positions defined as 'mobile photojournalists' who will be shooting video in the field on iPhones or iPads, not using DSLR cameras, and posting video to the Web. And there will be two video editing positions, two video coordinator positions, and two manager's positions.
Newsroom photographers have been increasingly under fire over the last couple of years, as papers move more towards mobile photography, citizen journalists, and news wires. Most famously, the Chicago Sun Times fired its entire photo staff, and while it later made some concessions and hired some back, its front page has never really recovered.
All as part of the "Love Your Selfie" series
The Today Show is currently running a segment called "Love Your Selfie", devoted to addressing body image issues, and the way people view themselves. Now, as part of that, the show's anchors have gone under the Photoshop knife of the experts at Cosmopolitan magazine to show just what sort of edits an image will go through before heading to print.
You can see the before and after above, and the editing notes below. A lot of it is fairly normal stuff, bringing out some details, changing colors, whitening teeth, and the like. But unfortunately, some stronger tools got brought out, too. Wrinkles were removed and flesh was reshaped, thanks to the power of "liquify". And one of Al Roker's hands has gone mysteriously missing.
It's a bit disengenous to pretend that this sort of editing is new to the hosts of the Today Show, though. We're willing to bet that any official press shots of the quartet would have gone through a similar process.
Fresh off the Olympics, Nikon releases its latest flagship DSLR
Top-tier DSLRs dominate with pros at the Olympics, and now that the games are over, Nikon is ready to officially announce their new flagship, DSLR camera, the D4S.
Despite rumors, the sensor is still a 16.2-megapixel full-frame affair, but it has been redesigned, and Nikon claims the D4S beats the D4 in dynamic range.. It's now couple with the EXPEED 4 image processing engine, which gives it an overall top ISO setting of 409,600. Of course that's an expanded ISO mode (the top native setting is 25,600), but it's there if you're trying to shoot in extreme dark circumstances and you're not worried about noise.
The 51-point AF system has stuck around, too, but it has gotten some upgrades as well. The D4S can churn out 11 FPS with AF tracking engaged and auto-exposure. The new group AF mode, which uses five AF points at a time to help maintain tracking and cut down on misses. It's meant for tracking small objects that move quickly, like at a sporting event.
The 91,000 pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix Metering III system is carried over from the D4. It wasn't broken, so they didn't go out of their way to fix it and that's fine with us.
Because this camera is geared toward working pros, they have also added some pro-specific improvements, most of which involve the speed with which images can be processed in and sent out from the camera. There's a new Raw S file size, which produces an 12-bit uncompressed NEF file with a resolution of just 2464 x 1640, so they're easier to process in a hurry. It also has faster LAN transfer rates, which agency shooters should appreciate and a longer lasting battery, which goes up to 3,020 shots in single exposure mode.
Video capture has remained much the same, only now it has access to the higher ISOs and more processing power in the camera. It can still record to CF and XQD high-speed memory cards due to the dual slots.
The body is as tough as you'd expect and the shutter is rated to 400,000 cycles, which is important if you're cranking out photos at 11 fps. The grip is slightly different and the mirror-moving mechanism has been changed to soften the slapping of the mirror.
The D4S will be available on March 6th for $6,499. It's a pro price for a truly pro body. Some folks may be surprised to see that it didn't get a resolution bump, but with so much emphasis on speed, it shouldn't be shocking to see them stick around that 16-megapixel sweet spot.
We'll have a body in soon at which point we're going to switch over to ISO 409,600 and take a bunch of pictures in the dark like a bunch of camera nerds. We'll be sure to share those with you when we do.
It's time once again to update your Adobe products
Adobe has put out the release candidate for Adobe Raw and DNG Converter 8.4 bringing the usual suite of compatibility updates for cameras and lenses. But inside this mass of new features, two stand out: Adobe Raw officially has support for the Nikon D4s, and is now attempting to match Fujifilm's in-camera film simulations.
The full list of new cameras supported in the release candidate are:
- Canon EOS 1200D (REBEL T5, KISS X70)
- Casio EX-100
- DJI Phantom
- Fujifilm X-T1
- Hasselblad H5D-50c
- Hasselblad HV
- Nikon D3300
- Nikon D4S
- Olympus OM-D E-M10 (preliminary support)
- Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS40 (DMC-TZ60, DMC-TZ61)
- Phase One IQ250
- Samsung NX30
- Sony Alpha a5000 (ILCE-5000)
- Sony Alpha a6000 (ILCE-6000)
There's also a large set of release notes, for tweaks to how ACR performs.
As part of the ongoing move to constantly add new features to Adobe CC, only the cloud version of Photoshop will get the new features mentioned above. Photoshop CS6 users will get the camera and lens support, as well as the bug fixes.
Now There Are Three. And All Deliver Awesome Image Quality
The award-winning line of Olympus OM-D Micro Four Thirds cameras is acclaimed among pros and serious shooters as the ultimate compact mirrorless system. The original high-tech landmark OM-D E-M5, and the state-of-the-art flagship OM-D E-M1 established an unmatched legacy of breathtaking image quality, amazing speed and responsiveness, brilliant viewing, and compact, ergonomic form factors that provide a uniquely satisfying picture-taking experience. The newest member of the family is the OM-D E-M10, a broad-spectrum, high-value, easy-to-use ultra-compact camera to delight everyone from emerging photographers to serious enthusiasts. Its posh, ultra-slim metal body is a masterpiece of understated functional design. And like its illustrious siblings it captures images and Full HD 1080p videos of astonishing sharpness and quality thanks to its state-of-the-art, hi-res 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor combined with the latest, most advanced TruePic VII image processor. Its awesome image processing power also enables such advanced features as a big, bright ultra-hi-res 1.44M-dot electronic viewfinder, blazing 8 frames-per-sec burst rate, 81-point FAST AF (autofocus), and built-in Wi-Fi for easy sharing and remote shooting via smart phones.
Express your creativity with incomparable Olympus lenses
Perhaps the most important feature of the OM-D E-M10 for emerging photographers and enthusiasts is that it’s fully compatible with the extensive Olympus line of 15 advanced, high-performance, digitally optimized M. Zuiko Micro Four Thirds System lenses covering focal lengths 9mm (18mm equivalent) to 300mm (600mm equivalent) and including 8 zooms and 7 prime lenses. All these pro-caliber optics provide inherently more efficient light-gathering power for superior image quality.
With its ultra-compact metal body paired with the new “world’s slimmest” M. Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ electronic zoom lens *(sold separately), the E-M10 measures an astonishingly compact 2-1/2 inches front to back! And when combined with the latest high speed M. Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8 M. Zuiko lens (50mm equivalent) it delivers beautifully soft backgrounds for capturing compelling portraits and pictorial effects, enhanced low-light capability, plus virtually silent auto-focusing. All M. Zuiko lenses work with the EM-10’s 3-axis VCM In-body Image Stabilization System to eliminates blur due to handheld camera shake, allowing you to capture crisp, detailed still images and smooth pro-caliber videos.
Olympus OM-D E-M10: Take Your Photography To The Next Level
Bust out the scissors and the tape, it's time to make a tiny portfolio
Photojojo's ongoing quest to make the most adorable photo-related content has continued unabated with a new guide on how to make a tiny little photo portfolio. At just 3x2 inches, it's tiny enough to pack away into any pocket, and while rather labor intensive, would make a very impressive take on a business card.
The tutorial itself isn't anything too surprising. You scale the image down to the appropriate size, cut off the excess paper, and tape them together. Then, make yourself a cover out of some matboard, and add more tape and some graphical flourishes, and call it done!
But, if you wanted to get a bit more advanced, there are a few tweaks we'd make to this DIY. Firstly, the Photojojo version prints one tiny image on the center of a full piece of 8x11 paper, wasting the rest of it. At the very least, you'd want to try and add as many images as you could fit on a single page to cut down on the waste.
If you're particularly good with Photoshop and making it play well with your printer, you could actually take a page from the 'zine days of yore, and print to a layout that requires much less assembly and cutting—using just a single piece of paper and some mad craft skills.
But no matter how you put it together, we're sure that anyone you hand this itty-bitty portfolio to will be impressed. Just make sure to pick images that'll look good when scaled down like that.
But the company is being very quiet about how it works
The Falcon Eye KC-2000 that seems to offer a very promising new take on night vision video—it's able to record full color footage down to just 0.005 lux. Created by Japanese company Komamura it seems an intriguing alternative to the washed out greens of the more common infrared night vision that you're used to seeing.
But there's an awful lot we don't know about this camera, and how it works. It's set to launch this month in Japan for an unknown price—but will be strictly regulated for export due to the Wassenaar Arrangement, which limits which nations certain products can be sold to. And while the video provided is certainly neat, comparing it to the low light performance of a pocket camera from 2008 doesn't do much to bolster its promises.
In fact, we'd really like to know a bit more about how it works. The product page simply says "The Falcon Eye cameras do not work with IR illumination or an image intensifier unit as most night vision equipment does. The Falcon Eye cameras are build with a new type of CMOS sensor and combined with the advanced electronics and image controlling software it has been possible to create this unique system with a light sensitivity way beyond what other night vision systems can deliver." There's a better demonstration video on this page.
Officially, the Falcon Eye can record video in as little as 0.005 lux, if it's using an f/1.4 lens, and shooting at 30fps. It has a 2/3" CMOS sensor, and takes CS mount lenses. Folks on the internet remain skeptical about how impressive it actually is, though, with some accusing it of just being a CCTV in a portable housing.
Even so, if the 0.005 lux figure is accurate, that's incredibly impressive. The internet went wild over Canon promising a camera sensor capable of shooting video in 0.03 lux, and this is an order of magnitude dimmer.
All the better to spot subjects off in the distance
If you find yourself spending a bit too much time squinting into the distance, trying to make out what exactly it is you're looking at, there may be an application that can offer you some relief—without ever needing to set foot inside a doctor's office. By targeting the brain's ability to interpret visual input rather than your eyes, UltimEyes could dramatically improve your vision. Assuming that it works as billed, that is.
UltimEyes is the brainchild of Aaron Seitz, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Riverside, and was recently used for a research paper published in the journal Current Biology. Seitz used the app (which is available for Mac, PC, and iPad) to work with a cadre of 19 baseball players to improve their vision. Of those that tried the program, they could see an average of 31% further than they could before the process.
UltimEyes works by having you undertake a 25-minute session, four times a week, for a total of eight weeks. It has you identify fuzzy spots called "Gabor stimuli", which essentially trains your brain to identify to process out of focus subjects more efficiently. In an interview with Popular Mechanics, Seitz said, "within the last decade or so we've started to learn that brain fitness is a bit akin to physical fitness. If we exercise our brain in the proper ways, pretty much everything that the brain does should be able to be improved."
Some of the baseball players saw dramatic results, getting their vision up to a whopping 20/7.5—so what most people could see at 7.5 feet, they could see at 20.
However, there's still a lot of questions about this study, and the method. The published article has a relatively small number of participants, and the long term efficacy of the technique isn't known. But if you do want to delve into it a bit more, both the author of the Popular Mechanics piece, and Seitz himself, popped up in a recent Reddit thread to answer questions about it—including delving a lot more into the technical side of how it works.
The app itself also seems a bit problematic, as it's iPad only on mobile for now, and there have been widespread complaints of it not loading properly or frequently crashing. But for a comparatively low outlay of $5.99, and a couple of hours a week, we're willing to bet that more than a few people would be willing to give it a shot.
A brilliant new addition to the award-winning Olympus OM-D line of Micro Four Thirds System cameras, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 delivers super-premium performance in a posh metal-bodied, ultra-compact form factor. It’s perfect for everyone from travelers and family memory keepers, to sports and nature fans—in short anyone who wants to capture life’s magic moments on the fly. That’s because the E-M10 operates at blazing speed, with an impressive 8 frames-per-sec (fps) burst rate, a brilliant ultra-hi-res electronic viewfinder (EVF) with a phenomenal 120 fps (0.0007 sec!) refresh rate, an amazing 81-point FAST AF system that instantly achieves perfect focus, and a best-in-class shutter lag time of less than 1/20 sec. All this and much more are made possible by the same state-of-the-art TruePic VII image processor used in the flagship OM-D E-M1.
The E-M10 also offers photographers a dazzling array of easily accessed in-camera creative tools. These include 12 selectable Art Filters such as Pop Art, Grainy Film, Key Line, and Water Color, and 7 different Art Effects (e.g. Pin-Hole, White Edge, and Star Light) to give your images a personal creative touch. Photo and Movie Capture lets you capture high quality stills while shooting Full HD 1080p movies. There’s a choice of two high-dynamic-range (HDR) modes for automatically capturing gorgeous full-tonal-range images of challenging scenes, plus HDR bracketing for creating stunning composites of 3, 5, or 7 frames shot at different exposures. Color Creator offers a quick way to tune the camera’s color output to suit your style. Photo Story gives you 4 ways to create stories with multiple photos, transforming moments into compelling narratives.
In short, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 uses cutting-edge technology to deliver a level of picture-taking prowess, user-friendliness, versatility, and convenience that will delight everyone from experienced shooters to emerging enthusiasts. Its advanced 16-Megapixel Live MOS sensor and TruePic VII image processor capture exquisitely sharp pictures and Full HD videos with any of the superb lenses in the renowned Olympus M. Zuiko lens line and its built-in 3-axis Image Stabilization system effectively counteracts the effects of camera shake. The ultra-compact E-M10 incorporates a big hi-res, tilting LCD, built-in Wi-Fi for easy image sharing and remote shooting via smart phones, and it’s the only OM-D with a built-in pop-up auto flash!
Empowering Your Eye: The perfect addition to a great system