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Craigslist poster raises the bar on terrible car photography

Fr, 22/09/2017 - 20:35

A Craigslist post offering a 1990 Mazda RX-7 for sale is going viral today thanks to the photos of the car... and it's not because they're good.

For whatever reason, the ad's author decided the best way to photograph his or her car for this ad was to take pictures of the car with their cell phone, and then take pictures of the pictures displayed on their cracked, hazy smartphone screen.

The original Craigslist post, a link to which hasn't been shared publicly to avoid disrupting the seller's efforts, was spotted by Murilee Martin and shared with Autoweek. And yes, the pictures are exactly as bad as described.

The reasoning behind this photographic decision aren't known and probably never will be. But instead of sharp, colorful, detailed photos of a car what we get are hazy, in some cases out-of-focus shots of a red vehicle that is difficult to make out through the cracks in the screen.

Even by Craigslist standards these are bad. By car photography standards? It's like something out of a horror film.

Kategorien: Fotografie

The iPhone 8 Plus is the best smartphone camera DxOMark has ever tested

Fr, 22/09/2017 - 18:01
Photo: Apple

Apple fans who were hopeful the iPhone 8/Plus would represent a big step up in camera quality over the already-respectable iPhone 7/Plus have something to celebrate. DxOMark just released the results of its iPhone 8 and 8 Plus tests, and the new Apple smartphones represents a significant improvement over the previous versions.

In fact, the iPhone 8 Plus is now the best smartphone camera DxOMark has ever tested, and the iPhone 8 comes in a close second, pushing the Google Pixel down from the top stop into the #3 position.

You can read full iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus reviews by clicking on the respective links, but the conclusion from DxOMark's review of the Plus just about tells you all you need to know:

Overall, the Apple iPhone 8 Plus is an excellent choice for the needs of nearly every smartphone photographer. It features outstanding image quality, zoom for those needing to get closer to their subjects, and an industry-leading Portrait mode for artistic efforts. It is at the top of our scoring charts in nearly every category — and in particular, its advanced software allows it to do an amazing job of capturing high-dynamic range scenes and images in which it can recognize faces.

'Nuff said? Now we wait to see how much better (or not) the iPhone X is... and what Google's response will be when the company reveals its new smartphone on October 4th.

Kategorien: Fotografie

This Kodak Moments chatbot digs through your old photos and tries to sell you prints

Fr, 22/09/2017 - 17:36

Kodak has created a new Facebook Messenger chatbot called 'Kodak Moments' that tries to get users to buy physical products by digging through and resurfacing their old photos.

The AI algorithm works by searching through the mass of images a user has uploaded to Facebook and suggesting ones that may have been forgotten in hopes the user, when suddenly presented with this fond old memory (or Kodak moment... if you will), will order it as a physical print or photo product like a coffee mug.

Facebook users are given the option of either dismissing the chatbot's suggested image, requesting other images that contain the same people as the first image, or requesting a print or product containing the selected image. All you have to do to join this 'fun' game that tries to sell you things is search for Kodak Moments in the Messenger app.

Unfortunately, the chatbot—at least in its current iteration—doesn't support any sort of filtering options, making it impossible to prevent the bot from digging up photos of old memories better left forgotten. Consider yourself warned.

Joining this Messenger chatbot is a new Kodak Moments app (Android | iOS) that goes a bit further. After being given permission, the app will search through a Facebook or Google account and camera roll to find images it thinks users may want to turn into physical products.

The goal behind the new Kodak Moments technology is (obviously) to increase the company's print sales while reviving the idea of a 'Kodak Moment' and helping customers sort through their possibly massive photo albums. We'll let you decide if the concept is fun, annoying, or maybe a bit traumatizing.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Affinity Photo for iPad adds extremely useful drag-and-drop feature with iOS 11 update

Fr, 22/09/2017 - 16:47

One of the useful features added to the iPad with the update to iOS 11 this week was drag-and-drop between the operating system's "Files" app and other applications on the tablet. And popular photo editor Affinity Photo has already updated its iPad app to take advantage of this really handy feature.

Now, if you want to edit a photograph in the Affinity Photo app, all you have to do is drag it from the files app into Affinity... that's it. No need to get the image onto your iPad in some other, more convoluted way—as long as it's accessible from your Files app (read: in a cloud-connected folder on your Apple computer) you can drag it into the app.

What's more, you can drag multiple files in at once for HDR merging, panorama creation, and focus stacking. Here's the description direct from Serif, the makers of Affinity Photo:

Thanks to iOS 11’s new Files app you can now drag and drop multiple images straight into Affinity Photo for iPad and start editing. This is tremendously useful when working with HDR merge, image stacking and panoramas and will provide an instant boost to your workflow. And if you ever receive images, or even PSD files, via email, you can now open and edit that file – with all layers intact – by simply dragging it in.

Affinity Photo made a big splash with their iPad release, calling it "the first full blown, truly professional photo editing tool to make its way onto the Apple tablet." As Serif builds more and more functionality into the app, they're hoping to close the gap between mobile and desktop editing. This represents a big step in that direction.

Learn more about Affinity Photo for iPad by clicking here. And if you're more of a desktop editor sort of person, don't forget to check out our review of Affinity Photo 1.5.2 posted this week!

Full Review: Affinity Photo 1.5.2 for Desktop

Kategorien: Fotografie

Yashica teases 'Unprecedented Camera': Coming to Kickstarter in October

Fr, 22/09/2017 - 16:04

Last week's Yashica teaser was met with a lot of excitement. But it didn't take long for people to claim that teaser had nothing to do with a camera. In fact, they said, Yashica was just teasing a clip-on smartphone lens they had already released. Womp womp...

But not so fast! Another teaser video released yesterday seems to hint at the big return to the camera market we were all actually hoping for.

The teaser, titled "The Prologue," shows more of the same girl walking around with an old Yashica film camera (maybe?) and even a brief scene with that clip-on smartphone lens. All unremarkable, except the whole thing starts with this tagline:

Expect the Unexpected

The Unprecedented Camera by YASHICA

And later on a date floats onto the screen:

October 2017, Kickstarter

It looks like Yashica may be making a grand return after all. Hopefully they don't disappoint us after all this teasing. If you're claiming to release an "unprecedented" camera, you'd better deliver.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Synology launches its first 6-bay NAS tower, updates more affordable options

Fr, 22/09/2017 - 15:41

Storage solution company Synology has introduced its first six-bay NAS device: the DS3018xs. The new model holds six drives of its own, but if that's still not enough storage for your epic photo library, it can combine with the company’s DX1215 expansion units to control up to thirty.

The company has used the Pentium D1208 dual-core 2.2GHz processor that can boost to 2.6GHz, and provides a PCle slot for users to install an optional dual M.2 SATA SSD adapter to shift processing onto solid state drives for speed and efficiency. The DS3018xs comes with 8GB of RAM installed, but has two memory slots for expansion up to 32GB, and an optional 10GbE network card can provide 2230MB/s sequential read speeds.

At the same time, Synology has launched four other DS and DS+ models that replace existing NAS enclosures. The new DS918+ and DS718+ are upgrades of the DS..16+ models, and bring more memory capacity and options for adding extra slots via DX517 expansion unit. These models and the DS218+ and DS418 get new processors as well, while all are said to be capable of transcoding 4K video on the go.

Synology has started a series of workshops around the world that demonstrate some of these models and show off the company’s technology. They are free to attend to anyone registered via the Synology 2018 events page. For more information about the new NAS enclosures visit the Synology website.

Pricing

DS3018xs - £1298.18 (including VAT), €1190 (excluding taxes)
DS918+ - £518.18 (including VAT), €475 (excluding taxes)
DS718+ - £414.55 (including VAT), €380 (excluding taxes)
DS218+ - £310.90 (including VAT), €285 (excluding taxes)
DS418 - £387.91 (including VAT), €351 (excluding taxes)

Press Release

From Home to Business: Synology® Unveils New XS/Plus/Value-Series Product Lineup Storage solutions designed to meet a multitude of needs

Synology® Inc. announced the official launch of new product lineup featuring:

DS3018xs: Synology's first 6-bay tower NAS with optional 10GbE and NVMe SATA SSD supports

Plus-series DS918+, DS718+, and DS218+: Designed to meet your intensive daily workloads

Value-series DS418: Featuring optimized 4K online transcoding capability

To allow for ultra-high performance using SSD cache without occupying internal drive bays, DS3018xs features a PCIe slot, which can be installed with a dual M.2 SATA SSD adapter card (M2D17). DS918+ comes with dedicated dual M.2 NVMe slots at the bottom where you can directly install M.2 NVMe SSDs. DS418 features 10-bit H.265 4K video transcoding, and while supporting the next-generation Btrfs file system in DSM 6.2 official, expected to release in early Q1 next year. Btrfs provides reliable data protection through its cutting-edge self-healing and point-in-time snapshot features.

DS3018xs, Synology's first 6-bay tower NAS, is compact yet powerful as it features the Intel’s advanced Pentium D1508 dual-core 2.2GHz processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz) with AES-NI encryption engine; offering scalability of RAM up to 32 GB and storage capacity up to 30 drives with two Synology DX1215. In addition to four Gigabit LAN ports, DS3018xs takes advantage of boosting maximum throughput with an optional 10GbE network interface card, delivering stunning performance at over 2,230 MB/s sequential reading and 265,000 sequential read IOPS.

DS918+ and DS718+ are powered by Intel‘s Celeron® J3455 quad-core processor. DS218+ is powered by Intel’s Celeron® J3355 dual core processor. Both models are equipped with AES-NI hardware encryption engine and support up to two channels of H.265/H.264 4K video transcoding.DS918+’s RAM is scalable up to 8GB, while DS718+ and DS218+ are scalable up to 6 GB, allowing you to operate more intensive tasks at once. DS918+ and DS718+ are equipped with two LAN ports, and their storage capacity can be scaled up to 9 and 7 drives, respectively, with Synology’s DX517 expansion unit.

"Responding to the demands from our customers, DS3018xs is built as a comprehensive business-ready desktop NAS. Running mission-critical applications or planning virtualization deployment with DS3018xs has never been easier." said Katarina Shao, Product Manager at Synology Inc. "The new DS918+, DS718+, and DS218+ are optimized to be your digital video libraries, and will bring you an excellent viewing experience with high definition live video transcoding, regardless of device limitations."

DS418 is equipped with a 1.4GHz quad-core processor with hardware encryption engine, 2 GB RAM, and two LAN ports. Powered by the hardware transcoding engine, DS418 supports H.265 4K transcoding allowing it to serve as your media library. Combined with Btrfs and Snapshot supports, DS418 is delivers more efficient data storage and more reliable data protection.

For more information on DS3018xs, please visit https://www.synology.com/products/DS3018xs

For more information on DS918+, please visit https://www.synology.com/products/DS918+

For more information on DS718+, please visit https://www.synology.com/products/DS718+

For more information on DS218+, please visit https://www.synology.com/products/DS218+

For more information on DS418, please visit https://www.synology.com/products/DS418

Kategorien: Fotografie

New product overview videos: Canon EOS 6D II and more

Fr, 22/09/2017 - 14:00

We're always expanding our collection of product overview content, and we've just added videos for the Canon EOS 6D Mark II, the EOS Rebel SL2 and EOS M6. Take a look at some of the key features these cameras offer – demonstrated in the shooting scenarios they were built to handle. For more overviews and gear tests, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 overview

Canon EOS M6 overview

This is sponsored content, created with the support of Amazon and Canon. What does this mean?

Kategorien: Fotografie

Throwback Thursday: the Canon PowerShot G1

Do, 21/09/2017 - 14:00

It wasn't the first 'prosumer' compact on the market, but it did check off a lot of the items on enthusiasts' wish lists at the time. The Canon G1, announced to the world on September 18, 2000, offered a great deal of manual control options, a hot shoe, Raw capture and a fully articulated 1.8" screen. That line would eventually evolve into the present-day PowerShot Gx X series – but it all started 17 years ago this week.

Read our full Canon PowerShot G1 Review

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Kategorien: Fotografie

Incredible microscopic close-ups of a peacock feather

Mi, 20/09/2017 - 20:50
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Turkish macro photographer Can Tuncer takes his macro work far beyond most macro shooters. Forget 1:1 or even 2:1, when Tuncer decides on a project his super macro work requires complex focus stacking rigs, microscope lenses, and 40-images per photo to get everything in focus.

This was the case with his most recent project, Peacock Feather, in which he used three different microscope lenses and a super-macro setup to capture extreme closeups of these colorful marvels.

For this particular project, Tuncer used three lenses: a Lomo 3.7x (3.7x magnification), Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 5x (5x magnification), and Nikon CF Plan 10x 0.30 WD 16.5 (10x magnification). Each was mounted to his Canon 6D in turn and, using the light from a single Yongnuo YN-560 III and two Ikea Jansjö LED lamps.

The final rig looked like this:

And these are the three lenses used:

The project took two weeks to complete, during which time Can captured 1,500 images of a single feather in order to create the final focus-stacked series you see at the top. Scroll through the high-res versions for yourself if you need to add a bit of wow-factor to your Wednesday.

And then, if you want to see even more incredible macro photography, you can find more of Can's work on 500px, Flickr, and Instagram.

All images by Can Tuncer and used with permission.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Oprema Jena revives Biotar 58mm F2 lens with record-setting 17 aperture blades

Mi, 20/09/2017 - 19:59

After successfully funding the 'legendary' Biotar 78mm F1.5 lens through Kickstarter, newly-minted company Oprema Jena is trying to pull off yet another resurrection. This time the crowdfunding platform is Indiegogo, and the lens they're bringing back is the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 'historic' 17-blade aperture.

Oprema isn't holding back when it comes to describing this lens in the most epic of terms:

Reengineered to its true historic 17 aperture blade version it will change how you feel about photography. With its unique design the Biotar 58 balances the need for sharpness and bokeh in one lens like no other. It is truly an enchanting miracle bokeh wonder lens for all your photographic situations.

"Miracle bokeh wonder lens" .... there's a tagline for you. And if that's not enough, here's an overly-dramatic introduction to this lens complete with inspiring music and over-zealous presenter voice:

Joking aside, people seem very excited about this old lens coming back. The original design dates back to 1927, and it was introduced to the public around 1937. Unfortunately, due to the war, the original Biotar 58 was only produced in small numbers, and later versions never quite recaptured the original's flare for dramatic bokeh.

Until (at least according to Oprema Jena) now.

Oprema identified the models that were "most outstanding" from the Biotar's history, and recreated those while adding in some modern conveniences like rangefinder coupling for Leica users, and modern-day lens mounts for everyone else. Here are some web resolution sample photos so you can judge for yourself if they succeeded in creating a lens worth dropping a grand on:

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Already over 150% funded, it looks like the Biotar 58mm F2 will come to be whether or not anybody else decides to pledge their money and pick one up. But if you want to learn more about this lens and/or drop the $950 it'll take to buy one in either Silver or Black (Super Early Bird level, still 180 available), head over to the Indiegogo campaign by clicking here.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Adobe announces record-breaking $1.84 billion in revenue for Q3

Mi, 20/09/2017 - 19:27

Adobe has once again posted record quarterly revenue, this time for the fiscal quarter that ended on September 1, 2017. The software company experienced a 26% year-on-year revenue growth with $1.84 billion in its third fiscal quarter this year. Of that, $1.27 billion came from the company's Digital Media segment, including Creative Cloud. On a GAAP basis, Adobe saw its year-on-year net income grow 55% and its operating income grow 48%.

We'll give you a moment to take that in... 55% net income growth, and a fiscal quarter of $1.84 billion. The jump to a subscription model is treating the company VERY well.

This marks yet another high point for Adobe, which previously posted record revenue during its second fiscal quarter ending in June 2017. During its Q2, Adobe made then record-setting $1.77 billion with its Digital Media segment having driven that revenue.

Looking forward, Adobe anticipates fourth fiscal quarterly revenue of $1.95 billion, which would once again keep it in line with analysts' expectations and set yet another record. Financial highlights from Adobe for Q3 are listed below:

  • Adobe achieved record quarterly revenue of $1.84 billion in its third quarter of fiscal year 2017, which represents 26 percent year-over-year revenue growth.
  • Diluted earnings per share was $0.84 on a GAAP-basis, and $1.10 on a non-GAAP basis.
  • Digital Media segment revenue was $1.27 billion, with Creative revenue growing to $1.06 billion.
  • Digital Media Annualized Recurring Revenue (“ARR”) grew to $4.87 billion exiting the quarter, a quarter-over-quarter increase of $308 million.
  • Adobe Experience Cloud achieved revenue of $508 million, which represents 26 percent year-over-year growth.
  • Operating income grew 48 percent and net income grew 55 percent year-over-year on a GAAP-basis; operating income grew 43 percent and net income grew 46 percent year-over-year on a non-GAAP basis.
  • Cash flow from operations was $704 million, and deferred revenue grew to approximately $2.20 billion.
  • The company repurchased approximately 2.1 million shares during the quarter, returning $298 million of cash to stockholders.
Kategorien: Fotografie

Report: Blackstone working with Morgan Stanley to sell 45% Leica stake

Mi, 20/09/2017 - 19:12
Photo by Alexander Andrews

In early August, Reuters reported that Blackstone was engaging in talks with potential buyers to acquire its 45% stake in Leica. Sources had said at the time that Blackstone was working with an investment bank, though that bank wasn't named, and that it had already discussed the potential business deal with several possible buyers. Reuters is back with more info about the alleged business plan, revealing that Blackstone is working with Morgan Stanley.

Sources have claimed that Zeiss was interested in possibly acquiring a stake in Leica, but only if it could get a majority of the company. Private equity funds, family investors, and "Asian optics groups" are also claimed among those interested in Blackstone's 45% stake.

In its most recent report, Reuters said that Blackstone is aiming for a high valuation, banking on the fact that Leica is perceived as a luxury brand versus other big camera companies like Nikon and Canon. No auction for the stake has been started, the sources claim. Neither Blackstone or Morgan Stanley have commented on the report.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Snapseed app updated with new interface and presets, adds perspective tool to iOS

Mi, 20/09/2017 - 17:27

Google has just pushed out an update to Snapseed, the popular mobile image editing app for iOS and Android. The update (version 2.18) is for both versions of the app, and offers users on both mobile platforms a new interface and 11 new image presets. Additionally, the iOS update has brought the app's Perspective Tool to Apple's mobile devices, enabling users to adjust the horizon and "skewed lines" using their iPhone or iPad.

The update was announced on the Google Plus Snapseed page, where the team explained that Snapseed 2.18 is redesigned to make accessing features more efficient while speeding up the overall editing process. The new interface, meanwhile, moves Looks to the main screen, a feature that enables users to save their favorite edits so they can be applied to multiple other photos quickly.

Other changes are minor, and include switching the app from a dark to a light theme, as well as making certain tools and the export function accessible in a menu at the bottom of the display while editing. Both the Android and iOS updates are available now through the Google Play and iTunes App Stores, respectively.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Photo Experiment: Shooting macro photos of boiling water

Mi, 20/09/2017 - 17:18

Recently I've become interested in photographing boiling water in a glass tea kettle. It may sound boring and uninteresting, but with the right lighting you can get some truly interesting images.

It began when I was boiling my tea water one day in January this year, and I happened to have my camera with a macro lens and a speedlight mounted, laying nearby. I decided to try what would happen if I photographed the boiling water in the glass tea kettle and was very surprised by the results! It looked like melted metal, and the shapes were a lot more intricate and detailed than I would have expected.

When experimenting with this, I have gotten the best results when using a macro lens with a long focal length. I used my trusty Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro. You could probably get interesting photos with a non-macro lens, but you would likely have to do some cropping to take away the edges of the teakettle and the background, as you wouldn't be able to focus as closely.

I set the aperture to around F6 or F7 for the sharpest results, and I focus fairly close, but not all the way to 1:1 magnification. I make sure that the room is as dark as possible, as this gives the photos a calmer background. I use either a normal speedlight mounted on the top of the camera, or, for more interesting results, I use two speedlights with colored gels, placed at different angles towards the teakettle.

In this case, I used two Godox TT 685s: cheap but incredibly well-built wireless speedlights.

Finally, I turn on the teakettle and let the water start boiling, while I press the shutter as many times as possible. Be prepared to take a lot of photographs, and know that most of them will turn out only okay. When I recorded my video about this, I took thousands of shots, and only deemed around 10-20 to be "good." But when you get a nice composition of bubbles, with perfect sharpness and that metallic, futuristic look, it is worth the effort!

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The most interesting photos seem to come at two stages: when the water is boiling the most – when it is total chaos inside that teakettle—and when it has stopped boiling and you only see small, flat bubbles rising from the bottom with some distance between them.

Again, this might seem like a silly, boring idea but photographing boiling water is a fun and interesting experiment to try at home on a rainy day!

Micael Widell is a photography enthusiast based in Stockholm, Sweden. He loves photography, and runs a YouTube channel with tutorials, lens reviews and photography inspiration. You can also find him as @mwroll on Instagram and 500px.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Diversify Photo launches database of photographers of color to promote diversity

Mi, 20/09/2017 - 16:50

Diversify Photo wants to promote greater ethnic inclusion in the world of photography, and they're taking concrete steps. Step one: Diversify has just established a database of ‘photographers of color’ that will make it easier for art buyers, creative directors and editors to find photographers from a wide range of cultural backgrounds to hire.

The point of the database, says Diversify Photo, is to, "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments."

The groups says that calling for greater diversity in the media has proved not to be enough, so it took action by creating this online database. The website features a gallery of images taken by individual photographers, and clicking on any of those pictures takes users to the photographer's website. The site also offers an email service that explains the self-identified ethnicity of its photographers, along with their areas of expertise and languages spoken.

The site was set up by Brent Lewis, a senior editor at ESPN’s The Undefeated, and independent photo editor Andrea Wise. In an interview Brent told Photo District News that the database was created to show photography buyers, “that there are a lot of talented people out there that they may not see, have the time to go looking for, or just don’t know where to begin to find.”

At the moment there are 340 photographers registered on the site covering a wide range of photographic genres. For more information, and to see their work, visit Diversify.Photo.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Lensbaby unveils Creative Bokeh and Sweet 80 optics

Mi, 20/09/2017 - 16:23

Lensbaby just released two new "optics" for portrait photographer and other shooters who want to add a bit of creative flare to their photography. The first is the Sweet 80: an 80mm optic that gives portrait shooters that trademark Lensbaby 'sweet spot' of focus; the second is the Creative Bokeh optic: a 50mm single-element lens that comes with 11 drop in apertures in a variety of shapes.

You can see both optics in the gallery below:

Product Photos

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Both the Sweet 80 and Creative Bokeh optics join the so-called 'Lensbaby Optic Swap System' that allows you to pop different creative lenses onto your Composer Pro I or II Composer, Muse, Scout, and Control Freak.

Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic

At its core, the Sweet 80 is an 80mm F2.8 selective focus optic with a 12-blade aperture that closes down to F22. As with Lensbaby's other 'Sweet' optics, you select the size and location of your 'sweet spot of focus' by tilting the lens and adjusting the aperture.

Here are a few sample photos captured with the Sweet 80:

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As mentioned above, the Creative Bokeh optic is a 50mm, single-element lens that you attach to a Composer Pro II. Inside you'll find a 12-blade aperture that ranges from F2.5 to F22, but the built-in aperture isn't the main draw of this optic.

Instead, Lensbaby is including 11 magnetic drop-in aperture plates that will turn the out-of-focus points of light in your background into a variety of shapes, including: diamonds, dripsplat, slots, swirly, whirlpool, birds, sunburst, heart, star. There are also two blank disks so you can create your own.

Here are some sample images captured with the Creative Bokeh optic:

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Both of the new optics are available now from the Lensbaby store. The Sweet 80 is available by itself for $200 or in a kit with the Composer Pro II for $380, and the Creative Bokeh optic sells for $100.

To learn more, head over to the Lensbaby website.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Review: Affinity Photo 1.5.2 for desktop

Mi, 20/09/2017 - 14:00
Affinity Photo for desktop (Mac + PC)
$50 | Affinity.Serif.com | Buy Now

Usually, the price of software comes at the end of the review, but with Affinity Photo 1.5, the image editor for Mac and Windows, the price is the starting point, along with a prominent qualifier from the product’s website: 'No subscription.'

Key Features

  • Professional editing tools for almost anyone who needs to manipulate images
  • Edits are mostly non-destructive
  • Windows and Mac support
  • Inexpensive, with no subscription required
  • Batch processing

Affinity Photo’s developer, Serif, knows its audience. When Adobe shifted Photoshop and nearly all of its other products to a subscription model in 2013, it prompted an outcry from customers who didn’t want to be locked into a perpetual fee. Four years later, despite the move being apparently successful for Adobe, subscription pricing continues to be a point of contention for many people, turning into an opportunity for developers like Serif.

If you’re already familiar with Adobe’s flagship, it won’t take long to orient yourself in Affinity Photo.

However, simply offering a less expensive image editor isn’t enough. We’re beyond the point where photographers will put up with limited software to save a few bucks, and with Affinity Photo, we don’t have to. You won’t find some of the specialized features Photoshop includes, such as its 3D tools, but most everything else is there – sometimes to Affinity Photo’s detriment.

Getting Started Affinity Photo's personas break up the editing experience into five main categories.

Software should be evaluated on its own merits, and for the most part I’m looking at Affinity Photo through that lens. How does it perform for photographers? Does it get in the way when handling familiar operations? Does it improve the editing experience? Comparisons to Photoshop inevitably come up, and I’ll refer to them when needed, but this isn’t specifically a comparative review between Affinity Photo and Photoshop.

That said, if you’re already familiar with Adobe’s flagship, it won’t take long to orient yourself in Affinity Photo. If photo editing beyond the basics is new to you, it’s easy to pick up.

Working modes, aka 'Personas'

Affinity Photo is built around four working modes, referred to as “personas,” each of which contains its own specialized tools. These personas include: Photo, Develop, Tone Mapping and Export.

The Photo persona is the main editing interface, with adjustments, layers, masks, and the like. The Liquify persona is a playground for distorting areas when retouching (creating an editable mesh of the entire image and then pushing and pulling the pixels to do things like make areas seem slimmer or to correct distortion). The Develop persona kicks in when opening a raw file for pre-processing, akin to Adobe Camera Raw. The Tone Mapping persona is exclusive for working with HDR (high dynamic range) effects, which can apply to single images as well as several merged shots. And lastly, the Export persona provides tools for creating versions of the image outside the application, from specifying file types and compression levels to preset slices.

You’ll also find tools for painting and drawing, including extensive controls for creating and manipulating brushes, but for the sake of brevity, I’m looking at the application in terms of editing photos.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Instagram is testing a four-photo grid, and some users are freaking out

Di, 19/09/2017 - 20:03

Facebook-owned image sharing behemoth Instagram (heard of 'em?) is testing a new change to its app, and the internet is collectively freaking out about it. According to some users, Instagram is already rolling out a new 4-across profile grid to replace the current 3-across setup that people know and (apparently) love.

Not a huge deal, you might think, but many photographers and casual users alike use that 3-across grid to create interesting mosaics that help their profile stand out. And those people are not reacting well to news of the test:

INSTAGRAM MIGHT UPDATE ITS FEATURE FROM A 3-ACROSS TO A 4-ACROSS PHOTO GRID AND IVE NEVER BEEN THIS DEVASTATED IN MY LIFE. MY FEED OH NO

— nikki regalario (@spicycinderella) September 17, 2017

I'm going to be fuming when Instagram changes to a 4 grid!! My theme will be ruined. ????????#bloggerproblems

— The Beauty Kingdom (@BeautyKingdomUK) September 19, 2017

Anyone else's Instagram showing a 4 in a row grid? This is going to ruin everything ???? #gridview #instagram #aesthetics pic.twitter.com/XmCLyv5lx1

— LouAnne (@louannedias) September 15, 2017

Instagram starts 4-pic grid? RETHINK!!! Too many beautifully curated feeds will be ruined... @instagram #instagrid #instaupdate #gridview

— Jousianne Propp (@jousianne) September 13, 2017

Literally no one wants the 4 grid instagram change. Listen to your users @instagram this might be the beginning of your end

— FC (@ATM__R) September 15, 2017

Thoughts and prayers to the people who curated their instagram based on the three column grid.

— Mary (@marysilvestre) September 14, 2017

Hey @instagram, people have spent years perfecting their feeds. No 4 grid update please. pic.twitter.com/hPuCJthKb6

— Abhimanyu (@ItsMisterJadhav) September 14, 2017

Of course, by now Instagram is used to these kinds of reactions—it seems like every change they make is met by a deluge of fear, anxiety and threats of abandonment. The algorithmic feed has been a boon for the company, but it set the community into a panic; and even smaller changes like the ability to block comments automatically or by keyword are usually met with at least some skepticism.

But for those photographers who have built their Instagram 'brand' in part by making creative use of the 3-across grid on their profile, this change would represent a swift kick to the mosaic.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Zenit's full-frame mirrorless camera will use components made by Leica

Di, 19/09/2017 - 19:45

Following an announcement last month that camera maker Zenit would launch a full-frame camera in 2018, USSRPhoto claims the new Zenit model will be based on the Leica SL full-frame camera. Leica will reportedly make components for the Zenit based on the ones found in its Leica SL camera, but will tailor them specifically for the upcoming Zenit model.

Little is known about Zenit's plans at this time. In mid-August, an announcement that Zenit would return with a new camera was reportedly made on Moscow Region Radio 1. No camera specifications were provided aside from the fact that it will be a full-frame mirrorless model with a brand-recognizable design and an anticipated 2018 launch date.

We know that the reborn Zenit company won't try to compete with the industry's biggest camera makers, and it was stated at the time that a "leading photographic equipment company" would be used to produce some of the new model's components. That company wasn't revealed, but assuming USSRPhoto's leak is correct, it will be Leica.

However, and in speaking to PetaPixel, USSRPhoto said the KMZ Zenit factory in Russia will itself produce the new lenses for this upcoming model, and that work on this project has already started. Though the factory isn't capable of producing electronic components for the camera (hence Leica's involvement) it does have the equipment necessary to make its own optics.

Additional information—such as cost, specs, and a more specific release date—still haven't been revealed.

We have reached out to Leica for comment and will update this post if and when we hear back.

Kategorien: Fotografie

Report: Samsung is developing a 1,000fps mobile image sensor

Di, 19/09/2017 - 19:19

According to sources who spoke to Korean publication ETNews, Samsung is planning to kick its mobile camera technology up a notch with a 1,000fps smartphone camera sensor that will compete directly with Sony's similar sensor. This technology is called a "3-layered image sensor," and Samsung has reportedly ordered special equipment necessary to start producing the hardware in November. Smartphones featuring this technology, like the Sony Xperia XZ, can record super-slow-motion video.

ETNews, which has a good track record in relation to Samsung leaks, claims that this 3-layered image sensor is comprised of TSV stacking technology alongside a DRAM chip and system semiconductor. Pilot production of the image sensors will start in October, the sources claim, followed by mass production in November. By comparison, Samsung currently uses 2-layered image sensors in its newest flagship smartphones.

It is the DRAM chip for temporary data storage that will enable the mobile image technology to capture at 1,000fps, and as we mentioned earlier, Samsung won't be the first company to develop this technology for mobile devices. Sony was the first to bring this 3-layered image sensor tech to commercial devices, though the sources say Samsung will use TSV stacking rather than thermal compression to avoid the costs that come with licensing other companies' patents.

Questions remain about which Samsung smartphones will receive the new 3-layered image sensors. Assuming mass production does start this November, it is reasonable to assume we'll see the sensors implemented into the next batch of Galaxy smartphones the company will unveil in 2018.

Kategorien: Fotografie

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