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Posts Tagged ‘LIVE’

YI Technology announces consumer-level 360 live VR camera

25 Apr

YI Technology today announced the YI 360 VR consumer-level live VR camera. The new model is capable of capturing 360-degree spheric video footage at 5.7K resolution and 30 frames per second. It also offers 4K instant in-device stitching and 2.5K live-streaming.

The camera weighs only six ounces and can be controlled via basic on-device controls or a mobile app. It uses a pair of 220-degree lenses and 12MP Sony IMX377 CMOS sensors to record video footage or 5.7K 360-degree still images.

“Virtual reality is exciting. It promises a whole new range of opportunities for creating and sharing truly immersive experiences,” said Sean Da, CEO of YI Technology, “but it can also be really intimidating. For VR to truly take off it has to be easy and fun. At YI Technology, we challenge ourselves to bring the most innovative technologies together in a way that is simple, enjoyable and useful for anyone, from kids to professionals. VR is no exception. Too many of today’s solutions are exciting in theory but really complicated in practice. That is why we worked so hard to perfect YI 360 VR. Using the best components, rigorous industrial design and many years of testing, we eliminated the cables, confusing interfaces and bulky components and added 5.7K fidelity, 4K in-device stitching and 2.5K live-streaming, all in a handy, affordable package so everyone can share exciting moments live, from any angle.”

The camera is available for pre-order from today at $ 399. Delivery is scheduled for June 2017. The Yi 360 VR will also be on display at this week’s NAB 2017 show in Las Vegas.

Press Release:

YI Technology Announces YI 360 VR™, First High-end, Live VR Camera for Any Consumer

Newest pocket-sized, camera combining 360-Degree 5.7K VR capture, 4K instant in-device stitching, and 2.5K live-streaming debuts at NAB 2017 today and releases in June

LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–NAB Show – YI Technology, the leading, international provider of advanced, intelligent imaging technologies, today announced the new YI 360 VR™, a major step in making truly high-end virtual reality video easy and accessible to anyone who wants to create and share content. Scheduled to be released in June 2017, the YI 360 VR™ is available for early ordering now and will be on display at this week’s National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas, NV.

With a simple, handheld and mountable camera design, the YI 360 VR™ is the first VR camera to combine high-fidelity, 360-degree video capture, mobile application for easy use along with 4K instant, in-device stitching and 2.5K live-streaming to any sharing channel. With these innovations, the YI 360 VR™ provides a complete solution for anyone to create immersive, 360-degree video experiences easily, quickly and anywhere.

“Virtual reality is exciting. It promises a whole new range of opportunities for creating and sharing truly immersive experiences,” said Sean Da, CEO of YI Technology, “but it can also be really intimidating. For VR to truly take off it has to be easy and fun. At YI Technology, we challenge ourselves to bring the most innovative technologies together in a way that is simple, enjoyable and useful for anyone, from kids to professionals. VR is no exception. Too many of today’s solutions are exciting in theory but really complicated in practice. That is why we worked so hard to perfect YI 360 VR. Using the best components, rigorous industrial design and many years of testing, we eliminated the cables, confusing interfaces and bulky components and added 5.7K fidelity, 4K in-device stitching and 2.5K live-streaming, all in a handy, affordable package so everyone can share exciting moments live, from any angle.”

YI 360 VR™ CAMERA HIGHLIGHTS:

VIVID: The camera delivers stunning video and images – in 360. YI 360 VR™ features professional-grade video quality at up to 5.7K/30fps in 360 degrees for post-production work, thanks to Ambarella’s virtual reality SOC H2V95 chip and a pair of sharp 220-degree lenses mated to a pair of 12MP SONY IMX377 CMOS sensors. It also captures 5.7K 360-degree still photos. Most other multi-lens VR cameras give you clunky, choppy video images and require streams to be stitched together on a computer. The YI 360 VR™ offers seamless in-device stitching without added software so anyone can make high-quality 4K, 360-degree VR videos instantly.

EASY: YI 360 VR™ is lightweight and compact. At only six ounces and easily mountable wherever you put an action camera, it can go anywhere you go. Simple controls are on the device or the companion YI 360 VR™ mobile app allows you to control the camera, preview, playback, edit and share 360-degree videos from any smartphone. Record for over an hour on one battery charge (AC power also included) the YI 360 VR™ connects with WiFi so you can view, edit and share instantly and continuously right in the app.

LIVE: YI 360 VR™ features up to 100Mbps high-speed WiFi (Dual-band Wi-Fi 2.4GHz & 5GHz) to enable users to live-stream 2.5K/30fps 360-degree videos or download photos and videos from camera to smartphone. Connect with a WiFi network and you can start live-streaming everything around you to Facebook, YouTube, and more at 2.5K in 360 Degrees. The high-speed WiFi makes photo auto-sync possible and video download extremely fast. Photos taken by the camera can be automatically synchronized to any smartphone instantly so manual download is no longer needed. Use the app to easily post photos or videos with one click to all your favorite social networks.

Pricing & Availability

At $ 399 MSRP, YI 360 VR™ will be available for early ordering beginning today, with scheduled delivery for limited release in June 2017. https://yitechnology.com/yi-360-vr-camera

YI 360 VR™ is only one of YI Technology’s advanced 360-degree video solutions unveiled today at NAB 2017. The company also announced today the YI HALO™, the newest professional-grade 360-degree, stereoscopic camera for the Jump platform from Google.

See and experience YI Technology’s two new products, YI 360 VR™ and YI HALO™, at NAB 2017 in the Virtual & Augmented Reality Pavilion, Booth N1121VR. Visit www.yitechnology.com for more information.

Note, the company will also present its products at the Sixteenth Annual Las Vegas SuperMeet on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 from 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm in the Brasila Ballroom at the Rio Hotel.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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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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StyleShoots Live robotic photography studio uses AI to shoot and process photos

24 Feb

A new robotic ‘smart studio’ device aims to increase brands’ photography efficiency and productivity by replacing, to a certain degree, professional human photographers with artificial intelligence and a robotic camera/lighting system. Called StyleShoots Live, this smart studio is equipped with robotic lighting, a Canon 1DX Mark II camera, and machine intelligence for shooting, processing and exporting photos and video automatically.

StyleShoots, the Dutch company behind the smart studio, unveiled the product on Wednesday, saying it is ‘designed to create instantly edited video and stills for fashion lifestyle and eCommerce shoots in minutes.’ This is made possible via a large steel enclosure in which a model is posed. A variety of technologies then make technical decisions, adjusting lighting and camera settings as necessary to shoot content that matches brand-specified customized styles.

The resulting content is automatically processed, including things like cropping images to certain aspect ratios or stitching together multiple videos. The final content can then be reviewed by the human in charge and, if approved, exported for various platforms. A human is given control over the entire process via a built-in iPad Pro with a Live View mode of the model.

Speaking about the smart studio, StyleShoots’ Head of Product Anders Jorgensen said:

‘Fashion brands need to keep their customers engaged with fresh content every day – and video shared on social media is the most powerful form of storytelling. To keep up with the continuous demand, StyleShoots Live creates stills and video ready for publishing on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and websites within minutes – without any manual editing or post production.’

Of course, such a studio raises concerns about technology and its potential ability to replace human photographers with machines. In response to that concern, StyleShoots explained in a long FAQ sheet that it didn’t design its smart studio to be a replacement for humans. ‘To run a fashion shoot,’ the company explained, ‘you need a creative eye to compose the shot, pose the model and style the clothes — a robot can’t do that (yet).’

Source: StyleShoots

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Blackmagic Web Presenter makes it easy to use any camera for live webcasting

12 Feb

Have you ever wanted to use your DSLR, mirrorless, or other high quality camera for live video streaming on platforms like Facebook Live, Skype, or Periscope? If so, you’ve probably discovered how challenging it can be to get some of these programs to work with something other than a webcam or smartphone camera.

 
This week, Blackmagic Design announced what appears to be a great solution to this problem. The Blackmagic Web Presenter is a device that captures video from any camera and relays it to your computer, making the video appear as though it originates from a webcam. Blackmagic claims that it should work with Mac, Windows, Linux, and even Chromebook computers automatically without installing any drivers.
The Web Presenter supports video output from cameras up to Ultra HD resolution. The device scales output signal down to 720p for web streaming using Teranex conversions, which should result in very high quality scaling. It supports both HDMI 2.0 and 12G-SDI connections, and also includes XLR and component audio-in.
 
If you’ve longed to use your favorite DSLR or mirrorless camera instead of a mediocre webcam or smartphone for live webcasts, the Web Presenter looks like it could be a great option.
 
The Blackmagic Design Web Presenter is available now for $ 495.
 
Press release:

Blackmagic Design Announces New Blackmagic Web Presenter

Now it’s possible to make any SDI and HDMI video source appear as a USB webcam for high quality streaming on the internet.

Fremont, California – February 6, 2017 – Blackmagic Design today announced the new Blackmagic Web Presenter, which allows customers to use their professional SDI and HDMI video sources with streaming software and services such as YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and more.

Featuring 12G-SDI and HDMI connections, Blackmagic Web Presenter will down convert any SD, HD and Ultra HD sources and make them look like a 720p USB webcam. As all streaming software works with webcams, Blackmagic Web Presenter also makes it easy to work with any streaming software, but with dramatically higher quality. Streaming in 720p ensures customers get the quality of HD and a 16:9 aspect ratio, but with very low data rates so uplinking streams to the internet is easy from any computer.

Blackmagic Web Presenter can also live switch programs using its built in 2 input production switcher when the optional Teranex Mini Smart Panel is installed, making it a full live production solution for location broadcast.
Blackmagic Web Presenter is available now for US$ 495 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

Blackmagic Web Presenter is the fastest and easiest way to get high quality video directly on the web for a new generation of web broadcasting. It replaces expensive and hard to set up dedicated streaming encoders and lets customers or broadcasters use professional cameras to stream high quality video through their favorite software and websites. Because Blackmagic Web Presenter looks like a simple webcam, any webcam compatible software will be able to capture this USB video and audio from any broadcast quality source without the need for additional drivers.

Blackmagic Web Presenter is designed for both the high end broadcaster as well as a new generation of web broadcasters. Traditional broadcasters can use Blackmagic Web Presenter to get content online quickly to a global audience from any location. AV professionals can create high quality live streams of seminars and conferences, educators can stream school performances and recitals to family members around the world, and gamers can share their gameplay with massive online communities of players.
Blackmagic Web Presenter also completely revolutionizes online webinars because customers can use it as a full featured, professional live production switcher simply by adding the optional Teranex Mini Smart Panel. That means they can create webinars using multiple sources so the finished program looks better and is far more dynamic than ever before.
Blackmagic Web Presenter features Teranex conversions that provide high quality image scaling for incredible looking web video. Incoming SD, HD and Ultra HD sources are automatically converted to 720p and output via USB to the computer for streaming on the internet. Converting sources to 720p is ideal for streaming because it delivers HD resolution and incredible quality at the lowest possible data rate. If the streaming software detects a slow internet connection, it can command Blackmagic Web Presenter to reduce the frame rate to 20, 15, 10 or even 5 frames per second.
Customers using Blackmagic Web Presenter don’t need to install any additional drivers because it is a standard UVC and UAC compatible USB video device. That means Mac, Windows, Linux and even Chromebook computers will automatically recognize Blackmagic Web Presenter as a standard webcam. This allows customers to use professional cameras to get far superior video quality, while maintaining compatibility with all of their existing software because the computer sees it as a simple webcam. Blackmagic Web Presenter works with software such as Open Broadcaster and XSplit Broadcaster, as well as popular sites like YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Skype, Twitch.TV, Periscope and more.
 
When used with the optional Teranex Mini Smart Panel, Blackmagic Web Presenter can be used as a broadcast quality, 2 input live production switcher. The panel adds push button controls, an LCD screen and spin knob for quickly cutting between sources. Blackmagic Web Presenter features re-synchronization on the HDMI input, so cutting between sources is always smooth and glitch free. For example, customers can connect an SDI camera and an HDMI laptop, and then use the front panel to switch between them while broadcasting live on the internet, complete with smooth, professional looking dissolves.

Blackmagic Web Presenter features 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 connections for working with all formats up to 2160p60, loop out to send the input signals back out to other devices such as a projector, and a program output to send full resolution SDI to a recorder or monitor. It also has XLR and RCA HiFi inputs for connecting microphones and other audio devices, along with a built in 90V – 240V AC power supply so customers don’t have to carry around extra power bricks or cables.

Blackmagic Web Presenter is portable enough to take anywhere so customers can broadcast wherever there’s an internet connection. The compact 1/3 rack unit size is perfect for equipment racks and can be placed alongside other equipment such as Teranex Mini Converters, HyperDeck Studio recorders and even ATEM Television Studio HD.
“Blackmagic Web Presenter lets customers create incredible looking online broadcasts using their professional SDI equipment and HDMI sources such as cameras, laptops and gaming consoles,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “The exciting part about it is that there are no drivers, it just works with all of the most popular webcam software and sites such as Open Broadcaster, XSplit Broadcaster, YouTube Live, Twitch.TV, Facebook Live and more. Plus, it can be turned into a full featured live production switcher simply by adding a Teranex Mini Smart Panel. Blackmagic Web Presenter is revolutionary because it makes global broadcasting available to anyone, which has been our dream for a long, long time!”
Blackmagic Web Presenter Key Features

  • Converts any SDI or HDMI source to USB webcam video in 720p HD format.
  • No drivers required, works with popular streaming software such as Open Broadcaster, XSplit Broadcaster, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Periscope, Twitch.TV and more.
  • Supports all SD, HD and Ultra HD input sources up to 2160p60.
  • 12G-SDI input with 12G-SDI loop output.
  • 12G-SDI program output, ideal for recording masters when doing live switching.
  • HDMI 2.0 input with independent HDMI loop output.
  • HDMI video input re-sync for live switching.
  • XLR balanced mic/line level audio input.
  • Consumer HiFi connections for 2 channels of audio input.
  • Teranex quality down converter.
  • Built in 2 input switcher when used with optional Teranex Mini Smart Panel.
  • Desktop design or can be rack mounted using the Teranex Mini Rack Shelf.

Availability and Price

Blackmagic Web Presenter is available now for US$ 495 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.
 

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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DxO ONE app update adds support for Facebook Live

14 Dec

DxO has announced an update for the iOS app that supports its ONE camera. Version 2.5 of the app will make it possible to use the camera for Facebook Live streaming. When used remotely via Wi-Fi, the app’s Facebook Live integration allows for switching between the ONE’s camera as well as the iPhone’s built-in front and rear facing cameras. Users can also switch between the ONE and the iPhone’s audio feeds, or set the app to switch automatically when the camera is switched. 

DxO estimates that the app update will be available in early 2017.

Press release

The DxO ONE camera to offer the most accessible and flexible pro-quality solution for Facebook Live

Free DxO ONE camera iOS app update revolutionizes Facebook Live broadcasting with a powerful and professional multi-camera mode

PARIS and SAN FRANCISCO—December 14, 2016—DxO, pioneer in digital imaging technologies, announces a major free update to its award-winning DxO ONE pro-quality miniaturized and connected camera for iPhone that will take Facebook Live broadcasting to new heights. The DxO ONE camera iOS app version 2.5 will introduce the world’s first pro-level multi-camera solution for Facebook Live, enabling users to take full advantage of the DxO ONE’s remarkably compact design, outstanding image quality, and integrated internet connectivity while broadcasting to their followers. Available to all DxO ONE users free of charge, the update is expected to be available in early 2017 via the iTunes App Store.

With the update, the DxO ONE app will embrace Facebook Live, providing the ability to quickly and easily create a live stream with only a few taps of the app. When combined with full Wi-Fi remote control, the DxO ONE will operate as a remote broadcast camera, giving users the ability to experiment with camera compositions and placements that are impossible to achieve with the iPhone’s built-in cameras alone. The DxO ONE’s large image sensor and fast lens combine to provide a shallow depth-of-field and natural looking bokeh that lets users live stream with a level of quality that is breathtakingly cinematic.

The DxO ONE Facebook Live solution provides a sophisticated set of controls, including an elegant multi-camera source panel, that lets you preview all three camera views at once—DxO ONE, iPhone front and back—so you can recompose the shot, adjust the lighting, or prepare your subject before going live with any camera view. You become the technical director, as you seamlessly cut between each of the three cameras on-the-fly with a quick tap. Your audio feed can be sourced from the DxO ONE’s internal microphone, the iPhone’s microphone, or set to automatically switch between the two as you cut between cameras. And of course, the DxO ONE app will allow you to name your Live stream and let you connect with the people who care most, whether it’s a select group of personal friends, or your fans worldwide.

“Because it’s so incredibly compact, the DxO ONE has been my go-to camera for pro-quality video whenever and wherever I need it most,” said Nathan Yamniak, Film Director. “Now with the addition of a multi-camera broadcast control panel, and deep support for Facebook Live, it has become for me and my clients the ultimate pro-quality live broadcasting solution.”

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Fujifilm launches ‘Pro’ tethered shooting plug-in for Lightroom with live view and remote control

03 Nov

Fujifilm X-T2 owners will soon be able to shoot tethered to Adobe’s Lightroom image manipulation software application using a new plug-in that will be sold through the Adobe Add-ons website. Tether Shooting Plug-in Pro is an upgrade from the existing version of the company’s Tether Shooting plug-in that is now compatible with the X-T2 as well as the X-T1. The new version brings a Control Panel display that allows users to check their imported images more quickly and to preview the image in live view mode while at the same time being able to control the camera’s settings.

The plug-in features two shooting modes that allow the user to control settings at the camera or via the computer screen, with both modes allowing the captured images to be transferred directly to the computer by USB connection.

The X-T1 and X-T2 cameras both need the relevant firmware to be able to operate with the plug-in, and Fujifilm has announced that v1.10 for the X-T2 will be available on 8th November. This firmware also makes the camera compatible with the standard version of Tether Shooting Plug-in and Tethered Shooting Software HS-V5.

The camera firmware will be free to download, but the Tether Shooting Plug-in Pro will cost $ 79.

For more information visit the Fujifilm website.

Press release:

Tether Shooting Plug-in PRO for Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®

PC tethered shooting support for FUJIFILM X-T1/X-T2

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) is pleased to announce the launch of “Tether Shooting Plug-in PRO for Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®” to enable tethered shooting of FUJIFILM X-T1(hereafter X-T1) and FUJIFILM X-T2(hereafter X-T2)* to a compatible computer.

“Tether Shooting Plug-in PRO for Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®” is a tethering software plug-in that allows Lightroom users to connect X-T1 / X-T2 to a computer via USB cable for direct saving of captured images onto computer, and controlling the camera from the computer**.

“Tether Shooting Plug-in PRO for Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®” will be available from Adobe Add-ons website*** for US$ 79. The launch of the Mac OS X / macOS Sierra version*4 is scheduled for release around the beginning of November 2016, and the Windows version*5 is scheduled for release around the beginning of December 2016. The detail launch schedule will be informed on this page.

(1) Featuring the “Camera Mode” and “PC Mode” to control shooting on camera or from computer
In Camera Mode, the camera is held in hand or set up on a stand. The images taken will be transferred directly and saved onto computer for use in Lightroom. Adjustment of exposure and other shooting settings as well as the shutter release is carried out on the camera. In PC Mode, users can check the viewfinder image of a remotely-setup camera in the LIVE VIEW window, operate the camera and adjust its settings on the computer screen. The user can also take images and have them transferred directly and saved onto a computer for use in Lightroom. Adjustment of exposure and other shooting settings and the shutter releases are carried out from the connected computer.

(2) Featuring the “Control Panel” to check captured image and to control camera
In addition to the features of “Tether Shooting Plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®” (standard version)*6, “Tether Shooting Plug-in PRO for Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®” has Control Panel which can check captured images and to control the camera. The Control Panel PREVIEW window allows users to check transferred images in quicker than before.

The Control Panel also allows users to check shooting angles with LIVE VIEW, to set shooting conditions from computer, to operate interval/bracketing shootings and to backup/restore all the camera settings*7.

* * X-T1 and X-T2 must be upgraded to the tethering-compatible firmware (X-T1: Ver. 3.10 or later, X-T2: Ver.1.10 or later). Internet connection is required for downloading compatible firmware.
* ** Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 6 or CC is required.
* *** https://creative.adobe.com/addons/
* *4 The compatible OS is same as that of Lightroom. To use on macOS Sierra, Lightroom should be upgraded to 6.7 or later / CC 2015.7 or later.
* *5 The compatible OS is same as that of Lightroom.
* *6 The current version (Ver.1.2) of “Tether Shooting Plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom®” (standard version) is compatible only with X-T1. X-T2 will be supported with upgraded version (Ver.1.3) or later.
* *7 Backup/restore is only compatible with X-T2.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Pentax K1 firmware update adds electronic shutter in live view mode

04 Oct

Pentax has released new firmware for its flagship K1 full frame camera that includes the ability for users to select electronic shutter shooting for the first time. Firmware version 1.3 adds a live view Electronic Shutter option to the menu system that the company says avoids the vibrations caused by mechanical shutter actions immediately prior to the exposure of the sensor. There are some limitations however, as the shake reduction system can’t operate during electronic shutter exposures, HDR mode won’t work, external flash units won’t be triggered and the drive is limited to single shot or multiple exposure modes.

Other functions added by this update include the ability to shoot square images and to record only two frames (Off and Type 2) when using the anti-aliasing filter simulation bracketing feature. Previously, three frames had to be recorded in a sequence that included Type 1 as well. A general ‘bracketing cancel’ Off option has also been added to the camera menu under the BKT function.

Pentax says that other more general stability issues are fixed too with this update. To read more and to download the firmware see the Pentax website.

Release information:

Release of the function expand Firmware version 1.30 for PENTAX K-1

RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. is pleased to announce the release of the function expanding Firmware version 1.30 for PENTAX K-1 digital SLR camera (launched on April, 2016) on September 29, 2016.

The function expand firmware is to add new function or increase number of setting for currently used PENTAX K-1 camera, so that improve the function, easy handling and update to the latest function.

New Enhanced Functions

*The Electronic Shutter at Live View mode
The Electronic Shutter can be selected at the Menu to reduce camera shake from the mechanical shutter when shooting with Live View mode.

*Add the [1:1] format at the Crop mode
Added and selectable [Square format (1:1)] size at the Crop mode.

*Add [2 frames bracketing] for the [AA Filter Simulator bracketing]
Addition to the current [3 frames bracketing (OFF, TYPE1, TYPE2)], the [2 frames bracketing (OFF, TYPE2)] is added and selectable for the [AA Filter Simulator bracketing]

*Smart Function
At the [BKT] setting, the bracketing range [±0 (=single frame)] can be selected.

[Others]
*Improved stability for general performance.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Google Photos for iOS improves Live Photos management

10 Sep

An update to the Google Photos app for iOS brings some of the features of the Motion Stills stand-alone app to Google’s main photo application. New functions allow for easier editing, sharing and stabilization of Apple’s animated Live Photos. Thanks to intelligent electronic stabilization algorithms Google Photos now lets you create animated images with moving subjects but frozen backgrounds, and sweeping pan shots. 

After editing Live Photos can now be converted into movie files and saved to the iPhone’s camera roll. This means with the update the files are shareable with Android phones and other devices which are not capable of processing Apples Live Photo format. Additionally, the improved version of the app includes some new photo organization functions. Images in albums can now be sorted chronologically and you can choose thumbnails for your friends’ faces in the People module. 

The update can now be downloaded and installed from the Apple App Store and should be available for the Android and Web versions of Google Photos soon. 

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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4 Tips for Using for Live View to Get Sharper and More Creative Images

02 Sep

Live View versus optical viewfinder on your DSLR, pros and cons?

Pascal

By Pascal

If you shoot with a DSLR you probably use the same method for taking pictures that most people do, holding the camera up to your eye and looking through the viewfinder before snapping the shutter button.

This tried-and-true method has several benefits, including letting you see precisely what you are going to take a picture of before you click the button. Also, allowing you to track fast-moving subjects without any lag time, and even stabilizing the camera due to the fact that it’s being held up against your face instead of away from your body.

Getting this shot using the optical viewfinder wouldn't have been impossible, but it would have been much more difficult.

Getting this shot using the optical viewfinder wouldn’t have been impossible, but it would have been much more difficult.

However, the Live View function that is built into most DSLR cameras has a few tricks up its sleeve that can greatly benefit you as well. While not useful in ever single photographic situation, Live View certainly is worth a second look if you are the type of person who normally casts it aside in favor of the traditional viewfinder.

#1 Make sure your subject is perfectly focused

When you look through the optical viewfinder on your camera, you will see an array of rectangles or dots which each represent points on which your camera can focus. This is a result of your camera’s phase detect focusing system which is present in nearly every DSLR. While it usually works just fine, there are situations in which it can present a bit of a problem.

For one, the subject on which you are focusing can sometimes be outside the boundary of your focusing points, which makes it quite difficult to get it tack sharp even with something like the focus-and-recompose technique. Also, even with using the built-in focusing points it’s not always a guarantee that your subject will be completely in focus, especially if it is very far away like when shooting landscapes or scenic vistas.

Live View helped me get this flower focused just how I wanted, and instead of laying in the mud I used the flip-out screen to help me compose the picture.

Live View helped me get this flower focused just how I wanted, and instead of laying in the mud I used the flip-out screen to help me compose the picture.

Zoom-in on Live View

Live View is the magic bullet in these situations, as you can use it not just to frame your shot, but to zoom in close on a specific area to make sure it is focused. Think of this as though you were holding a magnifying glass up to your camera’s viewfinder when focusing on your subject, and using that as the basis for judging whether it is tack sharp or just a bit fuzzy. This obviously works best if your camera is firmly attached to a tripod, but even if you just set it on a solid surface such as a shelf, rock, post, or other object, you should be fine.

Live View can be a good way to make sure your subjects are tack sharp and perfectly focused.

Live View can be a good way to make sure your subjects are tack sharp and perfectly focused.

Each camera handles the zoom-in function a bit differently, but for most DSLRs there will be an option in one of the menus to enable a button on your camera to zoom in during Live View, and even set the percentage of zoom which tells you how much it will magnify the image. If your subject is not moving, and neither is your camera, this technique is one of the best possible ways to make sure everything is tack sharp precisely how you want it to be (using manual focus in this instance can be helpful also).

#2 See previews of camera effects in realtime

One fun trick that many DSLR manufacturers have added to their cameras is the ability to do various types of effects like selective coloring, miniature, and black-and-white, among many others. Think of them as though you are adding Instagram filters, but in realtime, as you are taking your pictures instead of on your phone afterwards.

Using Live View as you activate various scene modes is a fun way to experiment with different types of creative image effects. It also has the added bonus of allowing you to play around and see how the options affect your photography before you even click the shutter.

A common camera effect is "miniature," which mimics a tilt-shift lens. It's fun to play around with these built-in effects using Live View which shows you a preview of what the final image will look like as you compose it.

A common camera effect is “miniature,” which mimics a tilt-shift lens. It’s fun to play around with these built-in effects using Live View, which shows you a preview of what the final image will look like as you compose it.

Some photographers frown on this type of creative expression, and prefer to leave these effects and scene modes to Photoshop, where things can be endlessly controlled, changed, and tweaked to perfection (often ad nauseam). But, my own personal stance is, if you’re making pictures you enjoy by using simple in-camera effects, then why not keep doing it?

Some of the built-in modes are a little cheesier than others, and you usually can’t shoot in RAW format. But using Live View to preview the different sorts of photography effects you can explore, is a great way to try something new and add a little spark back to your creative juices at the same time.

#3 Depth of Field preview

This one piggybacks pretty well off of the previous item, but I wanted to list it separately because it is so useful on its own. When you change the aperture and focal length of your lens, you are also changing the depth of field, or area that is in focus. It’s a difficult concept to understand since it involves several different variables, including how close you are to your subject and how far away is the background.

This confusion can be compounded by the fact that your optical viewfinder doesn’t really show you what to expect when you click the shutter button. Some DSLR cameras have a Depth of Field Preview button that allows you to close down the aperture and see what it will look like when you take a photo (it also gets dark if you use a small aperture), but another way to do this is by using Live View.

It really helped to see a preview of the depth of field by using Live View when composing this image.

It really helped to see a preview of the depth of field by using Live View when composing this image.

How it works

When you look through the viewfinder on a DSLR camera you are seeing through the lens while it is opened to its widest possible value. But, when you click over into Live View the aperture blades close down to the value you’ve specified, or that which the camera thinks is appropriate, depending on the shooting mode you are using.

This makes it possible to see precisely what the picture will look like when you press the shutter button. So, if you focus on an object while in Live View, you will see a more accurate representation of the depth of field than looking through the viewfinder. This is incredibly useful when shooting macro photos, because it’s difficult to understand just what is in focus and what is not unless you can see it yourself using Live View.

Depth of field can be extraordinarily thin when shooting macro pictures, and using Live View to see a preview of the final result is a good way to get the photo to show up just how you want.

Depth of field can be extraordinarily thin when shooting macro pictures, and using Live View to see a preview of the final result is a good way to get the photo to show up just how you want.

#4 Tap to focus

One final trick that Live View offers, is the ability to actually use it for the act of focusing itself. As more cameras start implementing touch screens, manufacturers like Canon have started allowing users to tap on the screen itself to actually focus the camera, much in the same way you do on your mobile phone.

While this feature is not available on all DSLR cameras, and though some with touch screens don’t have focusing enabled, if you do have a camera that allows you to tap-to-focus you might find it incredibly useful and well-worth your time. This won’t do you any good if you are shooting sports, action, or wedding photos, since the touch-based focusing isn’t as quick. But if you are out shooting casually it’s something you might really enjoy trying.

It even has some advantages over traditional viewfinder-based focusing if you are shooting at extreme angles, such as very low to the ground. More and more cameras are offering flip-out screens so you can swivel it, instead of crouching down, and then tap it to lock focus.

If you have a touchscreen, using Live View can be a great way to make sure your subject is focused exactly how you want by simply tapping the area you want to be in focus.

If you have a touchscreen, using Live View can be a great way to make sure your subject is focused exactly how you want by simply tapping the area you want to be in focus.

Summary

These are just a few of the options available to you if you use Live View on a DSLR. If you are more of a traditional shooter who prefers the optical viewfinder I hope you at least give Live View a chance. It’s not going to be the best option in every situation, but you may find it to be more compelling and useful than you realize.

If you do like shooting in Live View and have your own tips to share, please leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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1956 Stereo-Nikkor 3.5cm F3.5 lens auction goes live on eBay

16 Aug

A Stereo-Nikkor 3.5cm F3.5 lens said to be in mint condition has been put up for auction on eBay. This speciality lens was designed for the Nikon S-Mount rangefinder to produce stereoscopic 3D images on a single photograph. The lens is being offered as part of a full kit that also includes a brown Nikon leather case, a Nippon Kogaku lens cap, original silica gel, Nikon Stereo Prism, and original Nikon Stereo L 38 filter.

According to the eBay seller, there’s a chip in the prism’s glass and ‘very tiny scratches’ on the lens, but otherwise the items are said to be in excellent condition. Unfortunately, not much information about the Stereo-Nikkor exists; the product was introduced in December 1956 and discontinued in 1961 or 1962, according to Mir.com. Estimates place Stereo-Nikkor manufacturing at between 100 and 200 units during its brief production.

Though the auction currently has $ 1,125 in bids, it has not reached its minimum reserve amount. The product is located in Vienna, and has a $ 300 shipping rate.

Via: PetaPixel

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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