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Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

Apple is releasing its Live Photos API, which means more moving photos in more places

21 Apr

Apple has revealed the API for its Live Photos feature, meaning more app and web developers will be able to support the company’s short 1.5 second video ‘moving photo’ video clips. Apps like Facebook are already able to display Live Photos for users running iOS 9, but making the API available will allow any developer who wants to put a Live Photos viewer on their website or in their iOS app to do so.

Live Photos debuted in 2015 with the iPhone 6S. Owners of recent iPhones including the 7 and 7 Plus can capture the moving images in the stock camera app, and anyone running iOS 9 or later can play the video clip by pressing and holding the image.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Apple is working on a reimagined Mac Pro, apologizes for lack of updates

05 Apr
Image via Apple

In a conversation with several media outlets, Apple has reportedly apologized for disappointing customers of its Mac Pro desktop, and says that a re-imagined version is on the way. The company is also working on a new pro display and higher-end iMacs.

The unusually-shaped Mac Pro was introduced in 2013 and hasn’t seen an update since then. Depending on your viewpoint, that changed today when the company announced a change in pricing that upgrades the $ 3000 entry-level models specs. But the hardware essentially remains the same, and Apple says that an updated version wouldn’t be available anytime this year, at least.

According to reports from Buzzfeed and TechCrunch, Apple execs cited the Mac Pro’s unusual design as a contributor to its problems. The company has been unable to upgrade its hardware to keep pace with the needs of pro users. A design that was touted for its ability to dissipate heat evenly turned out to be its downfall when the industry began embracing large, single GPUs rather than the Mac Pro’s approach using two smaller chips.

Mac Pro users aren’t alone in their frustration with Apple – the latest Macbook Pro refresh brought rounds of criticism from photographers and other professionals unhappy with the the lack of an SD card slot and traditional USB ports.

Is this a step in the right direction for Apple? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Apple launches new 9.7″ iPad and limited edition iPhone 7 in red

21 Mar

Apple has today announced a new 9.7″ iPad model that is simply called the iPad and replaces the iPad Air 2. Compared to the latter, the A8X processor has been replaced with the A9 chip that is also being used in the iPhone 6s. Due to a larger 8610 mAh battery the new model is at 7.5mm also 1.4mm thicker than the iPad Air 2. The rest of the specifications, including the 9.7″ display with a resolution of 1536 x 2048 pixels, the 8MP/F2.4 rear camera and the 1.2MP front camera remain unchanged. TouchID with Apple Pay is on board as well. 

In an unusual move, Apple has lowered prices. In the past 9.7″ iPads started at $ 499. The 32GB base version of the new model is only $ 329. The 128GB variant will set you back $ 429. An additional $ 130 gets you the cellular version of the respective models. The new iPad will be available in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold starting March 24 in the US and 20 other countries. Apple also reduced the price of the iPad mini 4 which now comes in only one storage version with 128GB at $ 399. The cellular version is $ 529.

In addition to the iPad, Apple also launched the (Product) Red edition of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Proceeds of the (Product) Red line go towards charitable causes – in this case, they go to the Global Fund to support HIV/AIDS programs.

The new models only come as 128GB and 256GB storage versions. The red iPhone 7 starts at $ 750, the Plus version is $ 870. In both cases an additional $ 100 gets you the 256GB model. The devices will be available from March 24.

Also new is a video sharing app called Clips. It lets you treat your videos with a large variety of transformations, overlays and filters and also offers a number of more conventional video editing features. Final results can be shared to any app but Clip lacks some of the social networking features of apps like Vine or Snapchat. 

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Fruitless: 10 Closed & Abandoned Apple Stores

20 Mar

[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

abandoned-apple-store-1a

Apple Stores and Apple authorized resellers are about as sure a thing as can be in business but even these b&m goldmines close shop and are left abandoned.

abandoned-apple-store-1d

There weren’t any official Apple Stores before May 19th of 2001, only authorized Apple resellers ranging from Mom & Pop computer shops to big box retailers like Best Buy and Circuit City. The sign above hales from the 1980s (the “rainbow” Apple logo was used from 1977 to 1998) and towers over the Roberts Court strip mall on Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw, Georgia. According to Rebrn.com, the sign advertised Rick’s Educational Products and although that store moved many years ago, the sign lingered on for decades. The images above date from April 8th of 2011 and April 10th of 2011 respectively.

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Later that month, something – most likely a weather-related event – twisted the top of the sign 180-degrees and shattered the plastic on both sides. A Reddit user who lives nearby fortuitously picked up some of the pieces as seen above. Not sure what his plans for them are but we hear pretty much anything sells on eBay these days.

Dublin Down

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abandoned-apple-store-2b

The number of Mac authorized resellers dropped by almost half between 1997 and 2000. Around that time Tim Cook, Apple’s Senior Vice President for Worldwide Operations since 1998, announced the company would “cut some channel partners that may not be providing the buying experience (Apple expects). We’re not happy with everybody.” Perhaps the late and lamented Apple Centre on Kildare Street in Dublin, Ireland was one such partner that aroused Cook’s ire – no pun intended. Flickr user Fintan Palmer (fintanp) snapped the shuttered shop in October of 2008; fellow Flickrer twrbl noted no change in its abandoned status five months later.

Simply Closed

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abandoned-apple-store-3b

Simply Mac may have referred to itself as “the greatest Apple partner in North America” but according to a January 2017 announcement by the West Acres mall in Fargo, North Dakota, “Apple Corporation (is) ending its national agreement with Simply Mac to sell them Apple product, making it impossible for them to continue.” The Fargo store and the other depicted store in Billings, Montana are not the only Simply Mac stores closing and no doubt the signage pictured above will be coming down sooner than later.

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[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

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Posted in Creativity

 

Apple captures 79 percent of global smartphone profits with 14.5 percent market share

09 Mar

According to Flickr the iPhone is the most popular camera(s) in the world and even 10 years after the original model was launched, iPhone continues to generate enormous profits for Apple. According to research from Strategy Analytics, that was obtained by The Korea Herald, in 2016 the iPhone captured 79 percent of profits in the global smartphone market, at a market share of only 14.5 percent. In absolute numbers that is $ 44.9 billion out of a $ 53.7 billion total profit.

Apple’s biggest rival Samsung leads the market share ranking in front of Apple at 20.7 percent but only grabs 14.6 percent of the profit, amounting to $ 8.3 billion. This is a similar picture to previous years when, thanks to very high margins, Apple was able to claim a much bigger proportion of smartphone profits than its market share would suggest. 

With the upcoming iPhone 8 models expected to bring a range of innovative features at what are projected to be high price points, the situation is unlikely to change in 2017. If Apple continues to invest profits into camera development, we could all benefit from its success.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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An Apple a Day Keeps Creativity Awake

17 Feb

Do you find yourself lacking inspiration? Without new ideas? Or just unsatisfied with your average looking images? Pablo Picasso – the famous and talented artist – once said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” This exercise is designed to help you achieve exactly that, and awaken your creativity.

An old English proverb says, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. So following this principle I came up with a routine for your photographic health. Something to keep you busy so that inspiration can find you working, as Picasso suggested.

Step 1: Photograph an apple

An Apple a Day Keeps Creativity Awake

Why an apple? Well, because I found that many times the excuses that we use are linked to the idea that we don’t have an interesting subject, or a nice-looking one, or an expensive one, in other words something worthy of photographing. So don’t procrastinate at the market looking for the perfect red shiny apple that looks like one from a fairy tale, just get an apple. An apple is something we all have access to. It’s not particularly expensive, and as you will see, also very versatile.

The first part of the exercise is to photograph your subject, in this case the apple without altering it. In other words, you are the one who is going to adapt in order to get the most out of it. For now you don’t have to worry about the technical part, so you can just leave your camera on automatic mode and shoot away. Photograph your apple from the top and from the bottom; from afar and in macro; with a wide-angle lens and a telephoto – anything you can think of.

Once you have done this and you can’t think of any other ways to photograph the apple, push yourself to do at least two more. Yes, it may take some time to come up with them, but trust me, those will be the best ones! Why? Because photograph has been around for almost two centuries, and lately thousands of images are done everyday, so most likely the first images you can come up with, are also the same ones everybody thinks about. That is why you need to come out of your comfort zone and exercise your photographic mind and eye.

An Apple a Day Keeps Creativity Awake

An Apple a Day Keeps Creativity Awake

An Apple a Day Keeps Creativity Awake

As you can see, the color and exposure on each one is different. This is because the camera was set on automatic mode. This way the settings adjust to the information it’s receiving. If most of the frame is covered by the warm colors of the apple it sends different information than a frame mostly covered by the white background. This is why the next step is very important.

Step 2: Put your technique to good use

Now that you have found the best angle for photographing your apple, you can move on to the next level – make it professional!

When you had your camera on auto mode it made the decisions by itself. Let’s be honest, with the cameras that exist on the market today, it’s very easy to get a well-exposed photo. However, what I always say to my students is, “We learn photography not to make it good, but to make it our own.”

If you use the automatic mode of your camera, it might come out a good photo, but it won’t be your photo, because you didn’t make any of the decisions. In this part of the exercise you need to put your photographic knowledge – no matter how much that is – to good use.

If you know about bracketing (the process of making the same photo with different exposures) then do that.

An Apple a Day Keeps Creativity Awake

Underexposed

An Apple a Day Keeps Creativity Awake

Correctly exposed

An Apple a Day Keeps Creativity Awake

Overexposed

If you know about lighting, then play with your lights. Use a direct flash to create a hard shadow for one image, then use a flash and a reflector to soften the shadow, and so on. Even if you don’t have a professional set of lighting gear you can always play with artificial light from lamps and natural light from windows. The point is to use your tools and techniques to make your photo the way you want it to be and not just another snapshot.

An Apple a Day Keeps Creativity Awake An Apple a Day Keeps Creativity Awake
An Apple a Day Keeps Creativity Awake An Apple a Day Keeps Creativity Awake

Step 3: Get creative

Now it’s all about the finishing touches. It’s always important that you are able to produce a technically good and unique photo of an object/subject. But how about getting a bit more creative? Try to tell a story, to set a mood, or to use the apple as a metaphor, anything goes! (Image basket.jpg)

An Apple a Day Keeps Creativity Awake

Once you have your best angle and your light and settings selected, it’s time to decide what you want to say with your photo. Do you want your photo to be yummy and inviting? Maybe cut the apple and plate it on a beautiful table. Do you want it to be about health and nutrition? Maybe add some other fruits to the set.

If you want to push yourself a little bit more then try to tell a story, maybe make a photographic series. Think about Snow White or Adam and Eve, in both cases the apple plays an important role. Do you want it to be conceptual? Think about life and death for example using a fresh and a rotten apple. You can do anything you want just by adding some elements, add some context, and get creative!

Today for me it was a healthy, ready-to-eat snack!

An Apple a Day Keeps Creativity Awake

Conclusion and what’s next

Great work! I hope you enjoyed your apple for today. Tomorrow maybe go with an orange, or a dog, or a self-portrait. You can apply this three steps to everything, or stay with the apples and see how far you can get, the important thing is to exercise every day.

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The post An Apple a Day Keeps Creativity Awake by Ana Mireles appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Apple files patent application for optimization of focus stacks

14 Feb

Focus stacking on smartphone cameras is not an entirely new thing. It was used on some Nokia Lumia phones, including the Lumia 1520 in 2014, to create a shallow depth-of-field effect and allow for refocusing an image after capture, similar to what the Lytro light field cameras can do.

However, now it appears Apple is also taking an interest in the technique. The company describes a method for the optimization of focus stacking in a patent application that was filed in 2015, but only published in December 2016. The patent details a method for calculating what positions the lens elements need to be in for an optimized capture process. After the lens is positioned in its first location and collects initial focus information, an algorithm calculates ‘target depths’ that would be required to capture all objects in the scene in focus. The camera would then capture an image at the current lens location, continuing to other focal points until all elements of the screen have been captured in focus. 

In combination with ever improving smartphone processing power and potentially optimized camera hardware, this new method could help speed up the focus stacking process significantly, making it a possible default camera setting. Current options usually take at least a couple of seconds per focus stack for capturing and processing. The method could also be used for depth mapping and help improve the precision of portrait modes, such as the one implemented on the iPhone 7 Plus.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Apple emphasizes iPhone 7 low light capabilities in “One Night” ad campaign

02 Feb

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Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’ ads have been a familiar sight on billboards and on TV for quite some time now. For the latest round of advertising Apple is now focusing on the iPhone 7’s low light capabilities. The campaign’s title is ‘One Night,’ because all images were taken by a group of photographers around the world on the night of November 5th, 2016.

The group captured life around them from dusk to dawn, only using the iPhone’s camera. Like most smartphone cameras, with its small image sensor the mobile device has a distinct disadvantage compared to DSLRs and other system cameras in low light, but with its fast F1.8 aperture, improved optical image stabilization and a clever multi-frame mode, it’s a step into the right direction and a noticeable improvement over the previous iPhone 6 generation. 

You can read and view the samples in our own comprehensive review of the iPhone 7 Plus or view a selection of the campaign images in full size in our gallery above. 

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Apple selling more Plus models than ever

31 Jan

Apple’s financial results, which will be released tomorrow, show that in Q4 2016 Apple has sold more iPhone 7 Plus units than any of the preceding Plus models in previous years. The Plus model has a larger screen, more RAM and a bigger battery than its standard counterpart but we’d suspect the iPhone 7 Plus dual-camera with its 2x optical zoom factor and portrait mode has a lot to do with consumers increasingly opting for the more expensive iPhone variant. Overall 24 million iPhone 7 Plus units have been sold which is a 55% increase compared to the 15.5 million iPhone 6s Plus in Q4 2016. This represents 40% of all iPhone 7 sales.

This is also the first time that users in China bought more Plus devices than standard iPhones. 52% of iPhone buyers opted for the dual-camera model. With the previous iPhone 6s generation only 40% decided to go with the larger version. 

Despite good news for the iPhone 7 Plus, overall the iPhone has been struggling in the fourth quarter of 2016. According to analysts Cowen & Co, the Apple results show that consumers are less willing to upgrade their device than before and rumors about a 10 year anniversary iPhone model in 2017 made some users skip the 2016 model. Like all mobile manufacturers, Apple is under constant pressure to innovate. At least in terms of imaging the 7 Plus dual-cam looked like a step into the right directions. Let’s hope Apple can follow up on it 2017.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Astropad launches Astropad Studio for the Apple iPad Pro

12 Jan

The team behind Astropad, an iOS app that turns your iPad into a graphics tablet for the Mac, has today released Astropad Studio, a premium version of the original Astropad. The new release was specifically designed to work with the iPad Pro and offers better performance and an expanded feature set. 

Astropad Studio can communicate with an Apple Mac computer via a Wi-Fi or USB connection and uses Liquid Extreme, an improved and 5 times faster version of the standard app’s Liquid technology which allows for smooth operation of the tablet and image quality that is free of compression artifacts. 

In addition, Astropad Studio supports both Bluetooth and wired keyboards and comes with the new Magic Gestures feature that allows for the creation of gesture shortcuts using touch-Pencil combinations. Sidebar shortcuts automatically adapt to the Mac app you are working with and Stroke Lab lets you adjust the characteristics of your pencil stroke in a variety of ways. 

Astropad Studio will be available as a subscription service for either $ 64.99 per year or $ 7.99 per month. This includes syncing of settings across devices and priority support. A 7-day free trial is available for those who are interested in trying the app. More information is available in the video below and on the Astropad Studio website.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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