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Friday, August 21, 2015

Modulo Camera Promises Unlimited Dynamic Range

A group of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have proposed a camera that can take a perfect picture, even in extremely contrasty lighting conditions. Called a “modulo camera,” this device designed to never overexpose any part of a photograph, enabling single-capture HDR imaging. Where "traditional" HDR-capable cameras use multiple normal images to create one final high-dynamic-range photograph, the modulo camera only requires one shot to create an HDR image. The new solution gets around the limited well capacity of conventional sensors by resetting the sensor capacitors whenever the "well" gets full, and uses an inverse modulo algorithm to calculate how much light the reset sensors took in. This algorithm recovers a much larger dynamic range. For example, if a certain camera sensor can record eight bits of information, then when those eight bits are filled, the capacitor will be reset to zero. The number of resets is recovered by the algorithm, which then calculates the relative brightness of each area of the photo. Interested readers are encouraged to visit the project's website and read the technical paper published by the researchers.

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Jessops to Open Three New Stores

UK photo specialist Jessops has just opened the doors to three brand new stores located at the Sainsbury's in Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Gloucestershire’s Cheltenham and Abbey Wood, South-East London. These new Jessops stores aim to bring a fresh photography experience to its local shoppers, whilst still offering try-before-you buy product displays, one-to-one photography tuition in-store, on-site lab for photo products made in-store within the hour, and the widest ranges of the latest cameras and photographic accessories from the world’s leading imaging brands. New services on offer at the three stores include the Jessops rental service, a trade-In offering and sensor cleaning. The Murrayfield and Cheltenham concession stores also have a Jessops Academy Training room to deliver their photography courses.

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Nikon Postpones Launch of AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR Lens

Nikon have postponed the launch of their new AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR lens. Originally planned for an August 27 release, the new image stabilised full-frame standard zoom is now expected to hit the shelves in October 2015. Offering up to four stops of image stabilisation, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR is constructed of 20 elements arranged in 16 groups - including a number of aspherical and ED glass elements as well as a new ASP/ED element - and features an iris diaphragm with 9 rounded aperture blades. Nikon's exclusive nano crystal coating is also employed to reduce flare and ghosting. The lens has a minimum focus distance of 38cm and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:3.6, and is equipped with a Silent Wave Motor for fast and quiet auto focus. The suggested retail price is £1,849.99 / €2,499.00 /$2,399.95.

Source: Nikon Japan via The Digital Picture

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Lytro Power Tools Advances into Beta Phase

Lytro has opened its imaging platform to developers, photographers and producers, enabling them to explore light field photography and integrate the underlying 3D data into new applications. Lytro Power Tools (LPT) Beta was developed to give programmers, researchers and artists complete control at every step – from capture on the camera to post-processing light field data. Initially announced as an Alpha program only available in the United States, LPT Beta is now available to anyone who’s interested. Alpha participants have created and shared tools to generate time-lapse video as well as panoramic video that can be viewed with virtual reality headsets like Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR. To learn more and download Lytro Power Tools Beta, visit the website below.

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Magix Fastcut for Android

Magix have released a free video editor for Android devices. The new Fastcut app uses your video clips to automatically create dynamic short films right on your smartphone or tablet. After selecting your footage and a template you can rearrange individual clips, or have Fastcut automatically rearrange them for you if you are not satisfied with the initial result. All of your creations can be exported in all resolutions up to Full HD, uploaded to the Internet and shared on Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook and other platforms. The app can be upgraded with extra templates and features for £0.89 or $0.99 per month.

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Corel PaintShop Pro X8

Corel have just released Paint Shop Pro X8 (read review) and PaintShop Pro X8 Ultimate. New features include text wrapping, a content-aware Magic Move tool, a comprehensive set of lens corrections, UHD monitor support, a Before/After button in the Adjust workspace, new swatches in the Materials Palette, Text & Shape Cutter preview, Gradient preview and more. This latest version of the application also boasts an enhanced Batch Mode, an updated Camera Raw Lab, an expanded range of selection tool options, various performance gains and an improved layer workflow. PaintShop Pro X8 Ultimate offers the versatility of PaintShop Pro X8, plus a collection of photo-focused add-ons including AfterShot 2, Perfectly Clear 2 SE and Perfect Effects 9.5. Suggested retail pricing for PaintShop Pro X8 is $79.99 (USD/CAN) / €69.99 / £59.99 / $99.95 AUD. PaintShop Pro X8 Ultimate is available for $99.99 (USD/CAN) / €89.99 / £79.99/ $129.95 AUD.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Grizzly: The Bears of Greater Yellowstone

Grizzly: The Bears of Greater Yellowstone by Thomas D. Mangelsen is a new title from Rizzoli International Publications. Celebrating the most famous family of grizzly bears in the world — matriarch 399 and her offspring — Mangelsen has been tracking and photographing them for 10 years, amassing an incomparable portfolio that offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of this celebrated bear family. With more than 150 breathtaking images, this is a dramatic tale of life and death, near annihilation and survival, and the relationship between people and grizzly bears. A treasure for naturalists and conservationists as well as photography enthusiasts, this 240-page hardback will be available from October, priced at $60 / £40.

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DxO OpticsPro 10.4.3

DxO have released DxO OpticsPro 10.4.3, DxO FilmPack 5.1.5 and DxO ViewPoint 2.5.7. These updates add support for the Canon EOS 750D / Rebel T6i, the EOS 760D / Rebel T6s and the EOS M3, as well as the Leica T (Typ 701), the Nikon 1 J5 (pictured) and the Pentax K-3 II. DxO OpticsPro 10.4.3 also adds 672 new camera/lens combinations to the DxO Optics Module library, providing support for Canon, GoPro, Leica, Nikon, Pentax, Samsung, Sigma, Sony, Tamron, Tokina and Zeiss lenses for numerous Canon, GoPro, Leica, Nikon, Pentax, Samsung and Sony cameras.

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Kenro to Launch ‘Own Brand’ Tripods

UK photo accessory distributor Kenro has announced the upcoming launch of its own brand range of supports. The initial line-up consists of four tripod kits and one monopod kit, each of which is supplied with legs and head along with a bag to transport it all in. Out of the four tripod kits, three of them convert into monopods, while the fourth one boasts an ultra-compact design, ideal for the traveller with restricted luggage space. All five models come with a 6-year limited warranty. Retail pricing to be announced.

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Impossible Instant Film Starter Pack

Impossible have just launched their new Instant Film Starter Pack. Consisting of 3 packs of film, the starter pack comes complete with a list of tips on how to make the most of every photograph. There are two options available, the Starter Pack Film combined with a Polaroid 600 camera priced at €150, and the Starter Pack film alone for €52 for those who already have an original Polaroid camera but have not had the chance to start using it yet. Both are available from the website below.

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