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January 26, 2014

Linux Imaging Software News: Shotwell moves from Yorba to Elementary

With Google exercising more and more control over Android, it is only a matter of time before more power-users/techies begin the quest and migration to less corporate-centric "open" systems. Linux is still alive and kicking and it has its own imaging software too and one of them is Shotwell which was up until recently in the care of Yorba. However, Yorba does not have the necessary resources to continue developing this, so now this project is handed off to Elementary OS, where it will be forked as Pantheon Photos.

More on this at Elementary OS dev list and OMG Ubuntu and Beta News.

If you are not familiar with the software, here are some short reviews, overviews and opinions at Dedoimedo and lwn.net and Make Use Of and Turtle Techie and a video podcast at The Linux Action Show and Linux Magazine and Lifehacker and Wikipedia.

January 24, 2014

Medium Format CMOS Sensor Mania Week: new Phase One IQ250 digital back with Sony CMOS sensor

This is the unofficial medium format CMOS sensor week. Earlier on, Hasselblad went CMOS. Now we have the new Phase One IQ250 digital back with a Sony CMOS sensor and a starting price of $35,000. The IQ250 will be available in various MFLF mounts (M, H, V, C). Yes, C for Contax 645. The choice of a CMOS sensor brings with it some of the CMOS-vs-CCD benefits we see in DSLRs and fixed-lens digital cameras (faster burst mode, live view, ISO, long exposures, etc).

More details in an easy-to-read Q&A format at Digital Transitions and the product page at Phase Une.

A couple of 100-second videos from the Phase One YouTube channel talk about the sensor and the digital back, YouTube-embedded below...



January 21, 2014

Kickstarter Meta: Photographer Haje Jan Kamps on how to succeed at Kickstarting projects

You may have heard of Haje Jan Kamps from his Photocritic photography blog or perhaps one of his photography books or perhaps his Triggertrap camera trigger system, funded twice by very successful Kickstarter campaigns. Now he is attempting to create a tear in the fabric of space and time by crowd-funding on Kickstarter a new book about ...crowd-funding on Kickstarter. He will be sharing his experience and tips on how to have a successful Kickstarter campaign. Crowd-funding is something that perhaps should be of great interest to creative people. Very few of us have the connections to milk the high-dollar patrons, but a lot more of us can get their projects funded by pleading to the millions of internet users.

You can learn about this meta-Kickstarter project at the project's Kickstarter page and at the publisher's website, Ilex Press.

Another new round of action cameras, this time from Veho (1080 at 60fps or 720 at 120fps, 100m waterproof case)

The action cameras continue to advance undeterred at the moment as they have managed to find a fairly safe spot from the crossfire between digital cameras, camcorders and cameraphones. Lost in the CES 2014 shuffle was a new announcement by Veho, they revealed three new Veho K-series action cameras. The leader of the trio is offering 1080p at 60fps video and 720p at 120fps and a 100 meter waterproof case and smartphone co-operation.

You can see an 80-second trade show overview video at Videomaker.com and a summary of its specs at Engadget. Prices are mentioned for the UK but not the US yet. It is expected to come out in February or so. More details should come out as we get closer to release.

CMOS sensor arrives at Medium Format: new Hasselbad H5D-50c is a 50mp CMOS sensor medium format camera

The world of medium format has a new first, a CMOS sensor! Hasselblad has just announced the new H5D-50c medium format camera using a CMOS sensor instead of a CCD sensor previously used in medium format monster.

Hasselblad's press release promises the following benefits from the new CMOS sensor technology:

+ will offer a faster capture rate
+ longer shutter speed capability
+ much greater ISO performance
+ it will provide greatly improved Live Video in Phocus and will also be available with Multi-Shot functionality

The camera body will be based on the existing H5D-50 CCD MF camera but with a CMOS sensor inside and all that it entails. Thus the lower case "c" appended to the model name. Fans of CMOS sensors and giant sensors can now go to sleep at night dreaming of CMOSian miracles and wonders!

More details and prices on the CMOS version will be announced in March 2014. The previously released CCD H5D-50 model currently goes for $27,000 as body only.

January 17, 2014

Lightroom for iPad $99 annual subscription leaks from Adobe's website

People have been speculating about this for a while, and it finally leaked, Lightroom for the iPad was leaked at the Adobe website and the leak showed a one-year subscription for $99 per year. This perhaps goes hand in hand with the rumors/plans for bigger iPad Pro models. A larger, more powerful iPad would be a better companion for a tablet Lightroom. After all, Apple decided to name iPad 5 "iPad Air", mirroring their laptop naming scheme.

Leakage captured at 9 to 5 Mac (via Mac Rumors)

Reader Picture Showcase powered by flickr


January 16, 2014

What's Inside? Sony artistically shows what's inside the QX100 sensor-lens smartphone module

Sony is trying to turn teardowns in some kind of gadget art form, they have a 2-minute video showing the different pieces of the Sony QX100 sensor-lens smartphone module "grow" in parallel and then come together. Right now, you can watch the video on YouTube or YouTube-embedded right below... (via Android Central and Android Authoritae)


Quesabesde Gone Wild: Fuji X-E2 vs Olympus E-M5 vs Panasonic GX7 vs Sony NEX-7 Head to Head

If you love camera group comparisons, especially of the mirrorless kind, Quesabesde published a 4-way head-to-head comparison squaring off the Fuji X-E2 vs Olympus E-M5 vs Panasonic GX7 vs Sony NEX-7. This is a detailed comparison, with all kinds of goodies, including ISO-range samples and RAW sample pictures as well! You can also read this comparison computer-translated. A winner and a runner-up are picked, but we won't spoil the fun here! This is great work by Quesabesde, a comparison fit for a cameraholic!

For more opinions on these four cameras compared above, check their lists of completed reviews (in reverse alphabetical order):

+ Sony NEX-7 reviews
+ Panasonic GX7 reviews
+ Olympus E-M5
+ Fuji X-E2 reviews

New Photoshop Cloud features: 3D printing, Perspective Wrap, Linked Smart Objects

Adobe announced new features in version 14.2 of the Photoshop Creative Cloud! They include one-click 3D printing along with Perspective Wrap and Linked Smart Objects. More details at these two aforelinked pages along with the Photoshop Help pages.

Speaking of Adobe, their $10/month Photographer Creative Cloud subscription offer is now extended until 2/28/14. This offer is only good if you own CS3 or later software! This is not good for everyone like it was last year. [CORRECTED! Thanks for the alert!]

Back to the Photoshop Cloud new features, the official Photoshop blog published five videos outlining them, you can find them YouTube-embedded after the jump...

»» Continue reading "New Photoshop Cloud features: 3D printing, Perspective Wrap, Linked Smart Objects" »»

Kodak S1 (m43rds) detailed specs come out

More detailed specs of the first Kodak JK Imaging S1 micro four thirds mirrorless camera are now published on the interwebs, they are waiting for you, nicely organized at ePhotozine.

One of the dangers of all these wishy-washy untested and unvetted third-party rebranding manufacturers coming into the internchangeable lens camera market is that they may offer subpar products, and, in the eyes of the mythical average consumer, harm the image of interchangeable lens cameras as more serious photographic tools.

Nikon UK confesses their Mirrorless is having hard times outside Japan and Asia

A Nikon UK marketing director, interviewed at Amateur Photographer UK, confessed that the Nikon mirrorless system is having a hard time outside Japan and Asia where both compact-er and mirrorless cameras are popular. "... If we look at the market worldwide, it's not so promising...", he said. He also said that Nikon is trying to make adjustments, with the $800 Nikon AW1 waterproof as an example of this new strategy. Not sure if the AW1 is really anything that breaks out of the mold of the 1-System in terms of bringing in new buyers, except for those few who are willing to pay crazy money for a 1-inch waterproof.

The naked truth is something like this: Both Nikon and Canon mailed it in with their mirrorless systems from an observer-photographer perspective. But while they may not be a commercial success, they may have succeed in some of their internal goals: 1) not to cannibalize their own DSLR sales, while checking the mirrorless marketing checkmark, and 2) stem the growth of other competing mirrorless systems by stealing sales from them thanks to the Canon and Nikon brand-name recognition.

In terms of pricing, the Nikon AW1 got discounted recently, the AW1 w/11-27.5mm now goes for $800 while the AW1 two-lens kit goes for $1000 at Adorama and B&H Photo. It is still back-ordered with a late January 2014 release estimate.

Laugh Out Loud Nao: two new Camera and Photography Comedy/Parody/Satire blogs

Taking life too seriously is a guaranteed way to make life more miserable. Smile and laughter are the miracle cures. Oops, this is not the "Noisy Affirmations" blog. There are thousands of photography websites and blogs and forums, and quite a few have a high percentage of uptightness and buttoned-up-ness. The world of photography needs more fun and comedy and laughter and parody and satire.

In recent months, two new camera and photography comedy + parody + satire blogs got launched. We take a look at them...


New Camera News
Tired of Old Camera News? How about some New Camera News? This is perhaps the closest attempt at an "Onion" for photography. Here are some of the many many posts over there:

+ Ten mind-blowing predictions for 2014

+ Why Micro Four Thirds is doomed

+ photographers make top ten of most bitter professionals

+ Sony, Nikon, Send White Men into Countryside

+ 24 hours with the Pentax Q0 mirrorless

+ Steve Stonewall reviews the Nikon D4S

+ Daughter with iPhone takes better photos than father with Nikon D800

+ Canon congratulates Nikon on the Df

+ NSA starts up an Instagram account

+ new Microsoft Photosynth preview

+ the joy of user manuals

+ decoding Nikon's secret plans


If you are worried your camera news will go stale, you can also follow them on Twitter where everything is fresh!


Camera Grump
John Dvorak does not hold exclusive rights to grumpiness. There's also The Camera Grump on Tumblr. Here are some of the posts over there:

+ how many dpreviewers does it take to create a Buyer's Guide

+ "only chemicals are real"

+ on Black Friday DSLRs


The Camera Grump has an appropriate Twitter profile as well:

"Photographer with a golden eye. Leading authority on optics. Renowned industry analyst and consultant. Social media expert. My opinions make a difference"


Bonus Article
Engineers/scientists are trained to be thorough, so even their attempts at humor are thorough. Ming Thein has perhaps the most comprehensive camera-photography-terminology-jargon jokes in "You know if you’re a real photographer if…".


Any Other Photography Comedy/Parody/Satire Blogs? Let us know!
Many of you are probably already familiar with the Fake Chuck Westfall. Have you found any other comedy + parody + satire camera and photography blogs? Let us know using the online contact form.

January 15, 2014

Crowdfunding Lenses: Moment promises two quality add-on prime lenses (0.63x and 2x) for iPhones and Galaxy smartphones

One of the big benefits of the internets is the democratization of creativity. And Kickstarter and similar crowd-funding services can sometimes help make ideas come to life. One such case is a new Kickstarter project, Moment, that is making add-on lenses for the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Two lenses are in the works, a wide and a tele prime. The raison d^etre of this project (in their own words): "We were tired of sacrificing quality for convenience, so we made lenses that put photographic finesse in your pocket.". That's the premise and promise.

They already include a number of sample pictures taken with iPhones at their Kickstarter page (page down and down to see them all). They have already received more than 2X as much as their original goal. The Kickstarter levels are $50 for one lens or $100 for two lenses. Free shipping in the US, +$25 for addresses outside the US. They also have additional tiers, including one for software developers wishing to take advantage of the new lenses.

The two lenses that are part of this crowd-funding project are the 0.63x wide lens (five elements, four groups) and the 2X tele lens (four elements, four groups). The exact "equivalent" focal range depends on each phone's own built-in lens. Per the FAQ at the bottom of their Kickstarter page, more lenses will come out eventually if all goes well.


Moment-smartphone-lenses-on-kickstarter-jan2014


If you find this interesting but don't have and don't want an iPhone/Galaxy, they have a Google Docs form accepting suggestions for what other cameraphones to support (eg HTC One, Lumias, Nexus, etc).

More details on their blog and website and twitter.

Via The Next Web and The Verge and the rest of the internets.

Their Kickstarter video (800x600) is embedded after the jump...

»» Continue reading "Crowdfunding Lenses: Moment promises two quality add-on prime lenses (0.63x and 2x) for iPhones and Galaxy smartphones" »»

Cameras get drawn in the Drone Wars

As if we didn't have enough of the paranoid own-shadow-fearers associating cameras and photographers with terrorism, we now have a new front of fearnoia, weaponized drones with cameras. And this isn't something an average person said, but a high-ranking Senator. Soy vey! Details and discussion in the comments at The Verge.

Stock Photography Gets Its Own Dollar Store

There are plenty of dollar stores in the brick and mortar world, and the popularity of mobile apps at 99c further pushed the "dollar store" mentality to the forefront. Now, big buyers of stock photography have their own "dollar store", and they don't shy away from using the name. Fotolia named this their Dollar Photo Club. You pay $10/month and get ten free images, and every image after that is $1. You can buy as many as you like at $1/photo from a choice of 25 million images. No contracts and no commitments. Via Tech Crunch.


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