Posts Tagged ‘demo’

OPPO and Xiaomi demo under-display front cameras

04 Jun
Xiaomi Mi 9 prototype with under-display front camera (left)

Front cameras are an essential component in mobile devices and used for a range of tasks, including selfie captures, video calls and face-unlocking. However, they can stand in the way of clean device design, taking up space on the front of the phone and requiring bulky top-bezels, display holes or a front camera ‘notch’.

Recently several manufacturers have come up with creative design solutions that ensure an uninterrupted almost bezel-less display. Pop-up and rotating cameras are mechanical solutions, however, that are subject to wear and tear. Now it looks like Chinese manufacturer OPPO has found a solution that does not require any moving parts: a camera that is hidden under the display.

OPPO VP Brian Shen shared a video clip on the social network Weibo, showing what appears to be a smartphone without any visible front camera holes or notches on a desk. When the camera app is launched a live preview of the room’s ceiling is displayed. The demonstrator also moves their finger over the area where the camera appears to hidden.

Rival Xiaomi did not take long to respond to the OPPO video, posting its own under-display camera demo. Company’s president Lin Bin shared a video clip in which an under-display camera was added to a Xiaomi Mi 9 prototype.

In contrast to mechanical solutions users of an under-display camera would not have to worry about wear and tear but in a follow-up post to the demo, Shen says that the technology is still in an early development phase. ‘At this stage, it’s difficult for under-display cameras to match the same results as normal cameras, there’s bound to be some loss in optical quality,’ Shen writes. ‘But, no new technology jumps to perfection right away.’ Neither OPPO nor Xiaomi have said when the new technology will be released.

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Unreal Engine’s latest demo videos show just how photorealistic the digital world has become

23 Mar

At this year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC), Epic Games showed off a new pair of demo videos that show just how capable its Unreal Engine has become thanks to advanced ray tracing technologies.

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The first video, seen above, is titled Rebirth and showcases just how photorealistic scenes can be when developed with the gaming engine’s technology. The demo, designed by the studio Quixel, highlights how realistic the lighting technology inside Unreal Engine 4 has become.

The demo was created by just three artists who developed it all using a standard version of Unreal and real-world scans from Quixel’s Megascans Icelandic collection. The result is a stunning showcase of textures and details that rival reality, as seen in the gallery of screenshots above, captured from the 4K stream.

The second demo is a teaser for an upcoming movie titled Troll. Still in the works, the movie is a collaboration between Deep Forest Films and Goodbye Kansas Studios. The short glimpse we get of it once again highlights just how realistic the animated lighting is in the scene, with the face of a woman being dynamically illuminated by little fire fairies of sorts.

As for what this means in the world of photography, the possibilities are seemingly endless. Aside from the inevitable point in time when we can no longer tell a rendering from an actual image — if it’s not already here — the ability to replicate precise lighting situations could open up the door to new software and technology that could not only help to simulate lighting setups in the digital world before testing them out in the real world, but also open up the door to adding realistic lighting to scenes and portraits in post-production.

Keep in mind that unless you’re viewing the videos in Google Chrome on a 4K monitor, you won’t be able to see them in their 4K glory. Even in 1080 though, the videos look incredible.

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Demo: How to edit professional beauty images with GIMP on Linux

24 Apr

Though Photoshop remains the most recognizable image editing application out there, open-source alternative GIMP is still around, still free, and still receiving updates. In this video tutorial, photographer Shane Milton spends around 25 minutes demonstrating how to use the software to apply a pro-level beauty edit to an agency’s model image.

If you want to go fully open source for your photo editing, Milton is a great resource. His YouTube library offers numerous other videos on GIMP and free Lightroom alternative Darktable. In this particular video, Milton uses a Wacom Intuos Pro Small tablet with GIMP 2.9 running on Linux. He previously demonstrated optimizations that users could make to this version of GIMP, as well as setting up the Wacom tablet for use with Linux.

GIMP can be downloaded at this link for Windows, macOS, Linux, BSD, and Solaris.

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Japan’s NHK will demo an 8K camera that can shoot 240fps slow motion at NAB 2018

04 Apr
NHK Fukuoka Broadcasting Bureau. Credit: Soramimi

Japan’s national public broadcasting organization NHK is developing an 8K slow-motion camera capable of recording ultra-high-definition content at 240fps. The technology was announced in a press release (partially translated here), and will be showcased at NAB 2018 in Las Vegas next week. Though 8K monitors and televisions are still in their infancy, the broadcaster is pioneering 8K technologies in anticipation of future demand.

To that end, NHK also plans to showcase a new 8K VR display during NAB 2018. The display is designed to eliminate the pixelated look common to current VR headsets.

NHK’s 8K 240fps camera

Finally, future 8K broadcasts may benefit from the NHK’s new transmitter technology, which reduces an 8K broadcast from a huge 40Gbps to a more manageable (but still huge) 8Gbps. The transmitter then converts the content into an IP-based signal for live broadcasting, a process that allegedly happens in “tens of microseconds.”

According to AV Watch, NHK anticipates using its new 8K technology for sports broadcasts (think Tokyo 2020 Olympics) and other content featuring fast-moving objects starting later this year. Unlike existing solutions, the NHK system is said to offer better compression and transmission for a very low delay while maintaining 8K quality for live shows.

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DJI AeroScope demo shows drone tracking tech in action

21 Nov

In October, DJI introduced a new technology called AeroScope that makes it possible for law enforcement and other officials to track drones that broadcast info. The system was launched to address growing concerns about drones being operated in forbidden locations, such as near airports or over wildfires. AeroScope works by picking up telemetry and ID data broadcast by DJI drone.

The Verge recently shared a video showing AeroScope in action.

The system, which is a box-shaped device that includes a touchscreen display, issues an alert when it detects a drone nearby. Officials can pull up the ID and telemetry info the drone is broadcasting and potentially use that to identify the operator. A explained in the video, AeroScope shows the operator’s email address, which officials can message for direct contact.

Speaking to DIY Photography, DJI said that email addresses were displayed to users in a beta version of the AeroScope software, and that such abilities won’t be included in the final version.

There are some limitations to the AeroScope system. For example, drones that aren’t registered won’t provide info that helps officials identify the operator. As well, the system is localized, meaning it can only detect drones within a couple miles of the device. DJI previously explained that it chose this localized tracking method to prevent drone data from being easily amassed in government databases.

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Demo: Sony a7R III’s impressive Eye AF

26 Oct

We’ve been fans of Sony’s Eye AF feature for a while now, and since the company claims it’s twice as effective in the a7R III it was one of the first things we wanted to check out. In our brief initial demo it does indeed look impressive, which could be a huge benefit for pro photographers. Take a look.

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Demo: Adobe’s experimental ‘Cloak’ tech is like Content Aware Fill for video

21 Oct

Yesterday at Adobe MAX, the lucky attendees got to see a few of Adobe’s signature “Sneaks”: sneak peeks at crazy features that are in development. And chief among them this year was something code-named Adobe Cloak.

In essence, Adobe Cloak is the video-editing counterpart to Photoshop’s Content Aware Fill. Simply outline the portion of your video that you would like removed—be it a stationary object or a couple walking through your scene—and Adobe Cloak will intelligently erase them from the shot. This is, of course, something VFX artists have been doing for ages, but automating the process to this degree is impressive to say the least.

Adobe sent us a few demo videos of the feature in action, which you can check out above. And if you want more details about how Adobe Cloak works/was developed, Engadget got to sit down with Adobe research engineer Geoffrey Oxholm and VFX product manager Victoria Nece to talk about the technology, which is still “in the experimental stages.”

The bad news is, there’s no current plans to implement it. The good news? They wouldn’t be working on it if they didn’t plan to implement it some time, right!?

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Demo: Gudsen adds ‘Mimic Motion Control’ to Moza Air gimbal

22 Aug

Chinese gimbal manufacturer Gudsen has released new firmware update for its Moza Air that offers new ways to control the motion of the head, as well as better timelapse features for long exposures. The Moza Air—which is designed for cameras ranging from CSC bodies to high-end enthusiast DSLRs—now allows operators to control the direction and angle of the head remotely just by moving a small handlebar-mounted control unit.

With the supplied thumb controller attached to a set of handle bars, the Bluetooth-paired head mimics the motion of the bars so that the mounted camera can be moved by small increments without the user even touching the gimbal.

Pitch, Roll and Yaw movements can be controlled while a read-out on the thumb controller’s screen lets you know the exact position of the head.

The second part of the update adds improved timelapse functionality, ensuring the head is still during long exposures. It does this by using a ‘move-stop-shoot-move’ process rather than a continuous moving path across the programmed points. The timelapse interface on the Moza Assistant app has also been updated, allowing more control in a clearer design.

For more information, visit the Gudsen website.

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Simple demo shows the power of a polarizing filter

04 Jul

Here’s a neat little demo that you can use to wow your non-photographic friends, or your favorite photo novice. Thirty-five seconds into the polarizing filter intro above, Christopher Frost captures a series of shots with and without a polarizer, and the difference is striking.

The video itself is several years old, offering a basic overview of circular polarizers, how they work, and why they’re ‘so neat.’ It’s useful for beginners, but the part we enjoyed most was the demo—where Frost laps a polarizer onto his camera, shoots video of some reflective surface, and turns it while the video runs.

The surface of a river, a storefront window, stacks of books, even some reflective leaves later on in the video, all of them take on a totally different character when you remove the reflections by using a polarizer:

Check out the video up top to see all of the examples (the video will automatically start at the 35 second mark). And on the off chance you don’t know what a polarizer is or how it works, you’ll get a basic photography lesson while you’re at it.

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Google shows off Pixel imaging capabilities in demo video

19 Oct

Nat and Lo is a YouTube Channel that started out as a ‘20% project’ within Google and has an objective to ‘demystify the technology in our everyday lives.’ Now the makers of the channel have published a video that was almost entirely shot with Google’s recently announced Pixel high-end smartphone.

The Pixel comes with a A 6-element lens with F2.0 aperture, a 1/2.3″ 12.3MP sensor with 1.55µm sized pixels, on-sensor phase detection with laser-assist and a gyroscope-based electronic video-stabilization system. The demo video shows off all of those capabilities and features, mixing 4K output of the front camera with 1080p Full HD footage from the front camera and some slow-motion sequences. A comparison shot shows the efficiency of the new video stabilization system and viewers can enjoy some nice still images and panorama shots of New York City. 

The video doesn’t really show anything that we would not have seen before on various other mobile devices but gives a good overview of the Pixel’s imaging capabilities. To judge for yourself watch the video at the top of this page and don’t forget to flick on the 4K switch on YouTube.

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