Who needs to be in focus anyway: RAWtalk 149
Right off the bat we had a little snafu this week. We did not focus the center camera during our pre show check which means we will be cutting around the center angle the entire show. From here on out we will have a nice little checklist to follow before we roll.
It looks like we cracked the two hour mark once again. We had a lot of topics to discuss from Avril being single to Todd shooting a wedding to the sigma 150-600, photo news and more.
This weeks show is brought to you by ATOMOS who just released the Atomos Assassin. The assassin is 10% light and 35% more adorable then it’s big brother the shotgun. What I love about it is it has the same 7 inch screen as the shotgun and records 4k straight from the cameras sensor. Where the shotgun is the top of the line for high end cameras as well as DSLR’s, the assassin is the perfect match for DSLR’s and mirrorless cameras. Check out more info right here.
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Show Intro – 00:00:16
Photo News – 00:20:00
Gear of the Week – 00:56:54
Flying Solo – 01:06:03
Wheel of Fro – 01:55:13
Here’s all of Stephen’s photo news stories in detail:
Canon Files Patent For Expandable LCD Screen
Canon has filed a new patent for an expandable LCD screen that will fill the entire back of a camera. The recently published patent features a hinge-like set of buttons that will serve as your main back-camera buttons like usual, but instead of being fixed, you can slide them out of the way revealing the entire LCD screen on the back. Check out the filed patent below, complete with visuals. Is this a good idea? (via egami)
Instagram Now Supports Landscape and Portrait Formats
Instagram now finally supports landscape and portrait formats so you’re not forced to go the square format route anymore. This isn’t just for stills either, it also works for video. The company revealed that nearly 1/5 of uploaded photos and videos aren’t in square format. They say, “Square format has been and always will be part of who we are. That said, the visual story you’re trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to.” Here’s how it works: when importing a photo or video into the app, in the bottom left hand corner there is a new format icon that will let you keep the image in its original aspect ratio vs the standard square format. However, keep in mind that when looking at someone’s IG profile in grid view, the images are still cropped in square format. Finally, no third party format apps!
Instagram Update Direct Service To Act More Like Snapchat
Instagram has also improved their Instagram direct service to act more like Snapchat. The service now lets you send an image directly from your feed to someone privately. They also now create a thread where users can go back and forth with each other, sending images or text, instead of just single pictures. Plus, the service added the ability to name your groups. Instagram also put in a quick camera feature in the thread, along with more emoji’s. To start, there’s now an arrow icon under every post in your feed that will let you create a new direct thread with someone. Users can also send hashtag pages and location pages by tapping the arrow icon in the top right-hand corner. If you think no one used this service to begin with, think again. Instagram says more than 85 million people use Direct every month…
Polaroid’s New Compact Instant Camera is Called the “Snap”
Polaroid has announced a new 10-megapixel instant camera called the “Snap”. They’re calling it, “the perfect blend of nostalgic Polaroid instant photography and sleek modern design. The Polaroid Snap puts a modern twist on [a] classic.” Form factor wise, it’s the size of a standard compact camera and matches the color scheme of their Cube camera and Zip printer. It creates 2×3-inch prints in just under a minute using their ZINK technology. Users can print in color, black & white and even give it a vintage Polaroid look. Prints also have the option of having the classic white Polaroid border on them. No need to wait for printing either, new photos can be snapped while existing ones are printing. As far as the digital aspect goes, images are saved on a MicroSD card (which it’ll hold up to a 32GB MicroSD card). The camera also has a popup viewfinder. It’ll be available later this year in red, white, blue and black for $99.
Tamron Announces Two New Fast Primes
Tamron has announced two new fast primes: a SP (“Super Performance”) 35mm and 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD lens. As the name hints, both lenses are image stabilized. The designs have been optimized too, almost mirroring Sigma’s Art lenses, with a 20% increase on their distance scale window and new switches and rings. Their lens hood and caps have been re-engineered too to be more durable and have a tighter fit. Spec wise, the 35mm has the world’s first 0.2m (7.8in) minimum focus distance for a full frame DSLR lens. Other specs for both lenses include minimal vignetting (even when wide open), eBAND coating to prevent ghosting and flare, their Ultrasonic Silent Drive (USD), fluorine coating, a weather-resistant construction, and a 9-blade circular aperture. Both lenses will be available in Canon and Nikon mounts and will be released in October. They say Sony Alpha mounts will arrive later too. Price wise, they’ll both sell for $599. Check out a preview video of the lenses being used by photographer Christian Altengarten below:
Panasonic Announces GH4R, Adds New V-Log Firmware
Panasonic has announced an upgrade to the GH4, with the new GH4R. The camera features only a minor upgrade to the standard GH4, offering now unlimited 4K recording internally (before there was a 29:59 limit) and features a new V-Log video profile that will give it an additional 2 stops of dynamic range along with better post production capabilities. The body should be available later this month for around $1,800. For those interested in the just the V-Log profile, they can upgrade their current GH4’s with a firmware update that will cost $99. Why not a free update Panasonic?
Sony A7R II Rated as Best Sensor Ever by DxOMark
DxOMark has rated the a7R II sensor as the best sensor they’ve ever tested. Sony’s new mirrorless flagship received a score of 98, which beat out the Nikon D810 that has a score of 97. They say the backside-illuminated sensor increases low-light performance (both color sensitivity and dynamic range) and gives the camera “the most impressive sensor performance that we’ve seen to date.” Breaking down the score, the color depth is now rated at 26 bits. It has nearly 14 stops of dynamic range at 13.9 stops and for their low light test it scored a 3,434 rating which is quite high. Now as far as real world use? We’ll have to wait and find out… (via PP)
Adobe Working on Algorithm That Will Automatically Remove Distractions in Images
Adobe is working on new technology that will automatically remove distracting elements from a photograph. The technology is called “distraction prediction” and is being worked on by Adobe and Princeton computer vision scientists. They say distracting elements are “the regions of an image that draw attention away from the main subjects and reduce the overall image quality.” Here’s how it works: the scientists first gathered together thousands of photos and asked people to manually mark distracting regions in them. They specifically said, “Please mark the areas you might point out to a professional photo editor to remove or tone-down to improve the image.” That set of marked images was then used to train a computer to recognize areas of photos that people might want to remove in random photos presented to it. Once the computer began to automatically identify distractions in photos, the next step is simply using content-aware fill and removing the distraction. Here’s some things they noted: “We have a specific car detector in the code because people often want to eliminate cars that wander into the frame. We have a face detector. If the face is large and in the center of the photo, we probably don’t want to remove it. But if it is coming in from the side, it might be a photobomb.” They say that eventually this technology could be a quick and easy way for casual photographers to give their snapshots better compositions. Check out some sample before-and-after photos using the algorithm here. (via PS)
Man Mimics Lens Aperture in Custom-Built Engagement Ring Box
A man named Matt Chalker made a custom engagement ring box for his photographer girlfriend which mimics a camera lens. The box is in the shape of a lens–being a circle–and has an actual working circular aperture built inside which when twisted, opens up to reveal the ring. He says it took him about 50-60 hours to make. He used ipe wood, brass, bronze, and NERF darts to create it (they were the cushion padding on the bottom). His original plans for the box were based on a tutorial on creating a real 12-leaf mechanical iris. Check out a video of him opening the box below: (via PP)
How NOT To Clean Your Camera Gear
A new parody video on “How to clean expensive camera gear” is now online. The video below shows an INSANE man cleaning a RED Epic Dragon 6K camera, Canon 1DX and a couple Canon L lenses–totaling up to nearly $100K in gear. In the video you see the jokester pouring water directing into the RED’s sensor, throwing the 1DX in a pool to soak in, dousing the L lens elements with water and even rubbing sand all over the RED, especially in its exhaust vents–OUCH! He finishes by putting soap in the RED’s sensor and then putting it in a toilet and flushing it. My guess is that he lost all the gear in a water-related incident or their just VERY good replicas…On a serious note, NEVER clean your gear like this!
Introducing the “SATLAPSE”: A Drone Timelapse
A photographer named Jamie Brightmore created something new that he’s calling a SATLAPSE–a birds-eye aerial timelapse from a drone. He used a DJI Phantom 2, a GoPro HERO4 and a H3-3D Gimbal to pull it off. Each image is captured with the drone hovering in one spot for several minutes, making the timelapse static without any movement. It’s also a true timelapse too, he took individual still frames rather than straight video. Check out the full video below: (via PP)
Drone Discovers Man Sunbathing on Top of 200-Foot Wind Turbine
Now on to some bizarre news related to drones: a drone pilot named Kevin Miller flew his drone over a 200-foot wind turbine where he was surprised to find a man sunbathing topless on top. Miller says that after he landed the drone, the man leaned over the edge of the turbine and gave a friendly wave. Check out the hilarious video below: (via Mirror)
Holga Unveils New Digital Toy Camera
Holga has announced a new Kickstarter for a new lo-fi toy camera that’s digital. The company says, “You’ll be snapping beautiful images in a matter of seconds.” There’s no controls on the camera besides aspect ratio options from 1:1 square format to the standard 4:3 option. But, there are 4 different camera colors (black, white, pink, and mixed) and a set of accessories you can use with it, including lenses (wide, fisheye, and telephoto) and external flashes (via the built-in hot shoe). Spec wise, it has a 1/3.2-inch 8MP CMOS sensor, a built-in viewfinder, aperture slide from f/2.8 and f/8.0, a minimum focusing distance of 1.5m (~5 feet), Bulb or 1/60s shutter speeds and SD card storage. The campaign has already surpassed its goal of $37,000 too with a little over a month to go still. To get one yourself, you’ll have to toss up $80. Check out their Kickstarter video for a preview of the new camera below: (via PP)
Introducing Peak Design’s New Lens-Switching System Called the CaptureLENS
Peak Design have announced a new product called CaptureLENS which lets you easily swap out lenses quickly. The device comes in the form of a double sided lens mount that will let you quickly remove a lens from your camera body with one hand, attach it to the CaptureLENS and grab the other lens. “Simply attach your lenses to the CaptureLENS system and then detach them when needed.” The mount integrates with their Capture Clip system too so you can have it ready to go right on you, and it rotates 360 degrees so you can easily grab the 2nd lens off it. The new system is compatible with a ton of lenses too, from Canon to Nikon to Sony. The lens kit will sell for $40, and to get a better understanding of it, watch their preview video below: (via PP)