Posts Tagged ‘confirms’

US Navy confirms: Combat camera units will be eliminated over budget issues

13 Feb

The U.S. Navy has confirmed that it will eliminate a pair of combat camera (COMCAM) units. Confirmation was given by the Pentagon’s Navy spokesperson Lt. Lauren Chatmas to the Navy Times, which reported last week about the Navy’s plans to eliminate the units by October 1st.

The U.S. Navy has two COMCAM units, one called Expeditionary Combat Camera, the other called Fleet Combat Camera. Both units will be eliminated because of budget constraints, according to Chatmas’s statement:

…difficult decisions were made in order to ensure the resourcing of critical mission areas that support Navy’s expeditionary operations. Other expeditionary mission areas took precedence over COMCAM. Therefore, as an overall cost savings measure, the decision was made to provide this capability to the fleet from the existing Navy Public Affairs Support Element command.

Sources expanded on that statement to Navy Times, claiming that COMCAM budget cuts in fiscal year 2017 decreased funding by 60%, and was joined by a declining workload. Officials reportedly decided to eliminate the COMCAM units entirely when working out the fiscal year 2019 budget, having failed in 2017 to consolidate the two units into a single COMCAM unit.

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Federal Court confirms (again): Police can be photographed in public

11 Jul

Following in the footsteps of the US’s First, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, judges for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals have unanimously ruled that individuals have a First Amendment right to photograph and video record police officers in public. The decision follows multiple cases involving law enforcement retaliation against individuals who were recording police activity in public.

The ruling, which was filed on July 7, 2017, details two cases in which Philadelphia police officers interfered with individuals who were recording public law enforcement activity.

The first case involved Amanda Geraci, who was filming the arrest of an anti-fracking protester when an officer ‘pinned’ her against a pillar, blocking her ability to record the arrest. The second case involved Richard Fields, who was arrested after refusing to stop recording public police activity.

On behalf of the court, and per the document filed last week, Judge Thomas Ambro wrote, “Simply put, the First Amendment protects the act of photographing, filming, or otherwise recording police officers conducting their official duties in public.”

There may be exceptions to this right, the judge notes, such as times when a “recording interferes with police activity.” However, in the absence of that concern, the Court finds that “under the First Amendment’s right of access to information, the public has the commensurate right to record—photograph, film, or audio record—police officers conducting official police activity in public areas.”

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DxOMark confirms Canon EOS 1D X II sensor advances

30 Jun
This is how the EOS-1D X Mark II’s sensor compares. Its performance sees it rank joint 21st with the Nikon D3X, putting it just ahead of its closest rival, the Nikon D5.

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 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.

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Lytro CEO confirms exit from consumer photography business, focus on VR

05 Apr

In a recent blog post, Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal has confirmed that the company is headed out of the consumer imaging business to focus instead on developing a light field virtual reality platform. Rosenthal admits that it was too risky to compete in an established consumer space (that was in decline, no less, thanks to smartphones), and determined the value-add of light field technology to VR would have greater impact. Hence, Lytro has scrapped product development in the consumer camera space.

Says Rosenthal, ‘The cold hard fact was that we were competing in an established industry where the product requirements had been firmly cemented in the minds of consumers by much larger more established companies.’ He also mentions the rise of smartphones and consumer satisfaction with image quality from them.

And ‘while consumer Light Field cameras offered a number of true technological breakthroughs such as interactive 3D pictures, radical lens specs, and the ability to focus a picture after the fact,’ the reality was that there was much more investment Lytro would’ve had to make to its cameras competitive with modern cameras in image quality. Meanwhile, VR companies and Hollywood studios were increasingly asking for light field technology in cinematic and next-gen content. ‘We had just raised $ 50MM in new capital. We didn’t have the resources to both continue building consumer products and invest in VR.’

Accordingly, in November of last year, Lytro announced Immerge, a 360° light field video capture device, just after announcing plans for layoffs as the company shifted direction toward video and VR. The pro-grade Immerge was a confirmation of this change in focus. It’s currently only a concept camera, capable of recording live action VR in what Lytro claims as ‘six degrees of freedom’ that, if we understand correctly, should allow for multiple perspectives from multiple angles of view, as well as focus and depth-of-field control after-the-fact. This is a clear benefit for VR capture, which aims to capture as much scene content as possible for the viewer to explore in a virtual environment. 

The decision to shift the company’s focus was not taken lightly. Rosenthal details the anxiety he felt before shifting the company vision, but now says ‘My middle of the night panic attacks are gone. I wake with a burning desire to go to work because I am so excited by what we are building and its potential to help shape VR.’

Have a read of Rosenthal’s full blog post here. It’s quite insightful in laying out some of the considerations Lytro has faced as a company. Some of us here are certainly disappointed that Lytro appears to be completely exiting the consumer camera space, as light field technology had a lot of potential in revolutionizing autofocus, in decoupling depth-of-field and light gathering ability, bringing depth-based image editing to the table, and in radical lens design previously thought impossible, thanks to the ability of light field data to perform certain corrections – even image stabilization – after-the-fact as opposed to optically. That said, we certainly understand the change in direction and are very excited to see what Lytro brings to VR and video.

We’ll be following closely. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Panasonic confirms Lumix G 25mm F1.7

03 Sep

Following a development announcement in July, Panasonic is making good on its promise of a 25mm F1.7 lens. With a seven-blade aperture, it acts as a 50mm equiv. on Micro Four Thirds bodies and takes advantage of Panasonic’s 240 fps contrast detection AF system. Read more

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Canon confirms price drop on select EF lenses

03 Sep

Canon US has confirmed several price drops across its range of lenses, including several L-series models. According to Canon the price reductions are in honor of reaching a milestone – the production of 100 million EF lenses. Price drops range from a modest $ 40 up to $ 1000 off the original retail price, depending on the lens. Read more 

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Profoto confirms Nikon compatible B1 update for September

19 Aug

Profoto, the Swedish flash manufacturer, has confirmed that a Nikon compatible TTL remote will be available for its popular B1 off-camera flash on September 15th – just in time for Photokina. The Air Remote TTL-N will give Nikon photographers the same TTL functionality enjoyed by Canon shooters with its Air Remote TTL-C since the November 2013 launch of the B1 flash. Read more

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iFixit tears down the Nikon D600 – Chipworks confirms Sony sensor

08 Nov

MCLmUSsFFytBCjbU.jpeg has performed a complete tear-down of the Nikon D600, reducing it to its component parts to see how easy it is to repair. Nikon’s latest full-frame DSLR scored a low ‘repairability’ score, of 2 out of 10 since ‘most components almost require a certification in soldering in order to properly remove’. On the plus side, the tripod mount is easy to remove, if you ever cross-thread it accidentally. iFixit has also worked with semiconductor experts Chipworks to take a very close look at the D600’s 24MP CMOS sensor. Click through for more details, images, and a link to both iFixit and Chipworks’ tear-downs. 

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