Friday, February 24, 2017

StyleShoots Live smart studio automates fashion photography

In a time where automation is king in mass production , certain fields where  art ,skill and creativity are found will probably be one of the least expected places where you would want a job replacing system .But apparently a company called Styleshoots has unveiled a giant photo booth which can take photos of a subject - without the shooter .



The photobooth - which works with a series of cameras including a Canon 1Dx Mk2 embedded in the arms can be configured by the user to photograph a series of images which can be optimized to any form factor - basically crop and adjust  the photo to different form factors as uploading photos to different social media sites and websites require different sizes .The system also shoots video , which can be used while the photo shoot happens . -This may be beneficial for time saving product photography agencies or shops , but it will be a wake up call for video editors , photographers and  aspiring models as automation - even at a slow pace , is creeping in .  Although the system is not priced yet , it will be met with negativity by fashion photographers as the Youtube viewcount has already shown mixed results


via - Slashgear

Thursday, February 23, 2017

AMD Ryzen 7

AMD has unveiled their latest bang for buck high performance  processors dubbed Ryzen . The new Ryzen series , according to our "intel" , the new Ryzen chips are somewhat faster (in benchmarks) than their equivalent Core i competitors  while costing a small fraction of their silicon . The family - the Ryzen 3 ( core i3 rival) , the Ryzen 5 and ...you guessed it ..Ryzen 7 are all part of AMD's efforts to break the processor wars by offering an alternative if you are hard on configuring your system . For now , AMD has only announced the Ryzen 7 series which are all 8 core processors with 3 categories which include the Ryzen 7 - 1700   , Ryzen 7 - 1700X and the Ryzen 7 1800x   . The entry level model - the 1700 is apparently 46% faster (than the i7 - 7700K) in multithreaded operations in cinebench and the 1700x is 4% faster than the i7 - 6900k and 39% faster than the i7 - 6800K .The 1800K model matched the i7-6900K in the  single thread score  and in the multi-thread score it gained a 9% advantage - quite good considering that the 6900k  costs more than double the 1800X's chip price .






via - anandtech.

Gsmarena

Sony Xperia XZ Premium to feature "motion eye" , stacked sensor with 960 fps video recording

Smartphone camera sensors are on a roll in this day and age . Last year - Samsung and Apple and Google (pixel) managed to bring RAW image capture to their devices and most importantly - refinement . With average sensor sizes at 1/25" and dual camera support , the cameras of 2017 will be even better , and now thanks to Sony , the sensor game will now go into a whole new level as they are apparently planning to show off their new sensor in the upcoming Xperia XZ premium smartphone .

Sony - a company that makes a majority of camera sensors for just about every phone and interchangeable lens camera is to unveil a new mobile camera sensor which uses the stacked sensor design as the previous (IMX 318 - found on new flagship Android and iPhones) and improves it by adding a layer of Dynamic RAM (DRAM) between the BSI image sensor and the circuit section . This new sensor - which has 21 effective megapixels is also a 1/2.3" sensor which puts in the same class as most high end action cameras of today .The sensor however can capture 19.6 megapixels in 1/120th of a second using its electronic shutter .

As for video , the sensor's new addition of the DRAM enables it to create a buffer for slow motion video upto (hypothetically) 1000 fps in 1080p - a stunning feat indeed (provided software is enabled by the vendor) . The sensor is capable of 60fps on 4K (Whoa!) and if the hypothetically insane fps values are not met by software (clean buffer reading and more DRAM than 1Gbit ) it will still capture 240fps in 1080p as well . 

As for the upcoming XZ , a slide showing a feature called "motion eye" has been leaked . This feature works by taking 4 pictures before the shutter button was pressed and 4 after , giving you the ability to select a clean picture if you missed the event . The added DRAM layer is therefore able to scan through images as it has quite a large buffer . The rest of the specs include a 4K HDR display - like the Z5 premium and a new chassis design with the Snapdragon 835 Soc. 


via -Xperiablog

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Nikon Axes DL camera lineup




Nikon , after shocking many with its accounting term which stated an "Extraordinary Loss" (Read article here has now shocked Nikon DL camera fans as the upcoming trio of DL bridge cameras are no more - yes the DL lineup is dead .

So if you are new to the situation at Nikon - well , briefly summarized - Nikon has basically lost many millions of yen and are expecting their Fiscal year (2017/3/31) to reflect that as well . The company has also introduced voluntary  retirement to a 1000 employees and this is mostly the result of Nikon's semiconductor(lithography)  business failing to reach its desired goals in 2016 . Nikon's revenue fields extend out to different fields which use precision optics and their camera business is just one more avenue , therefore have no fear as Nikon will not drop out or join the dark side anytime soon

Now focusing on to the DL line which is now prematurely aborted . The three cameras affected are

DL18-50 f/1.8-2.8

















DL24-85 f/1.8-2.8



















DL24-500 f/2.8-5.6


















TOKYO - Nikon Corporation announced today that sales of the long-awaited DL series of premium compact camera, the DL18-50 f/1.8-2.8, DL24-85 f/1.8-2.8, and DL24-500 f/2.8-5.6, will be canceled.
A June, 2016 release was originally planned for the DL series. However, with the identification of issues with the integrated circuit for image processing, release of the three cameras was delayed indeterminately.
Since then, everyone involved has worked very hard to develop products with which our customers will be satisfied. However, it has been decided that sales of the DL series will be canceled due to concerns regarding their profitability considering the increase in development costs, and the drop in the number of expected sales due to the slow-down of the market.
We sincerely apologize to all those affected by this decision, especially those customers who waited so long for the cameras to be released, retailers and others whose business will be affected, for the inconvenience this decision may cause.

Nikon's extraordinary loss ? what happened

Credits - koshirokun/deviantart

Nikon - a company with a history of a hundred years is probably one of the most house-hold names in the photography business , the company , which started out as a optics manufacturer has now expanded to making lenses , other optics for weapons ,binoculars and precision equipment for medical , semiconductor and engineering fields as well ,therefore the sudden press release from Nikon stating a "Recognition of Extraordinary Loss" might bring a sudden shock and even a mini heart attack to some , but should you actually worry about this ? lets take a look .


Notice of Recognition of Extraordinary Loss

Quote - As announced in “Notice of Restructuring” released on November 8, 2016, Nikon Group is currently under a fundamental company-wide restructuring to improve its corporate value as shifting from a strategy pursuing revenue growth to one pursuing profit enhancement.

In accordance with this restructuring, the Group recorded extraordinary loss of 29,790 million yen, mainly incurred from inventory write-downs/write-off in Semiconductor Lithography Business, as restructuring expenses for the nine months ended December 31, 2016.

This is probably the biggest bombshell to hit the interwebs from the company , apart from the cancellation of the Nikon DL camera lineup . The statement , which is described as an accounting term describes a financial loss which was not expected by the company - basically a bigger loss than expected .(Watch Tony Northrup's video below)


Although Nikon is mostly known to produce cameras , their Semiconductor Lithography Business was a major cash cow for the company as well . The process of Semiconductor fabrication (designing microprocessors for electronics) involves a step where a chip design  is etched into a silicon wafer coated with a special substrate . this etching involves focusing the film through a uv light and a lens ,but sadly due to internal issues of write-in's and off's and a slightly smaller market in 2016 , the company has therefore attributed a majority of the 29 billion Yen loss on its Lithography division*

Voluntary Retirement

Quote -Expenses related to the solicitation for voluntary retirement are expected to be approximately 16.7 billion yen and will be recorded in extraordinary loss for the fourth quarter of this fiscal year. The impact of this solicitation for voluntary retirement on the business performance has been reflected in the consolidated financial forecast for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, as announced today in “Revision of the Financial Forecast for the Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2017.”

In order to lower the headcount , Nikon has set up a voluntary retirement program to reduce its worforce by 1000 persons by 31st March , 2017 . The plan , which unlike a "laid off" program , gives the opportunity for workers with 5 years of experience to retire from the company with no hard feelings if they are able to find another employment avenue . This however might have some impact on Nikon as employees who may have good experience might decide to take the quit rather than a lesser experienced worker if there is a demand from rival industries .

Forecast for March 2017

Quote - Regarding the consolidated financial forecast for the year ending March 31, 2017, despite the continuous boom in sales of FPD Lithography Systems in the Precision Equipment Business, consolidated operating income as a whole is expected to fall below the previous forecast, impacted by the sluggish and shrinking markets of digital cameras in the Imaging Products Business and industrial metrology equipments in the Instruments Business.

As announced in “Notice of Restructuring” released on November 8, 2016, Nikon Group is currently under a fundamental company-wide restructuring in order to enhance our ability to generate profits and create value. And an extraordinary loss of approximately 53 billion yen in total, including the expenses related to “Result of Solicitation for Voluntary Retirement” and “Notice of Recognition of Extraordinary Loss” released today, is expected to incur as restructuring expenses, which is 5 billion yen increase from the previous estimate of 48 billion yen in “Notice of Restructuring” released on November 8, 2016.


In summary , Nikon's financial forecast for its fiscal year in 2017 (March 31'st) is as expected . The company , which is going through major changes in structure and product lines expect more direct hits in the form of drop in stoc ( Nikon's stock dropped 14.6% on Valentine's day -Following this report) and this combined with the reconstructing efforts (which cost millions of more Yen ) might mean that Nikon might continue to axe a few "less profiting" businesses off .


What does this mean for Nikon Cameras 

This however does not mean that Nikon's camera business is profitable either . The company , along  with other camera manufacturers including its arch rival - Canon are in the same boat when it comes to camera sales as one device has basically wiped out a large portion of the market in less than 10 years - yes ..if you guessed the "smartphone" as the answer , then you are right !

The smartphone - which basically became a commodity in the modern age thanks to Apple's efforts in making it a device for all and a jack of all trades has affected basically every company and profession with deep historic roots . From commerce to communication and travel , the little device slowly made major changes to the industry and since 2010 , they started to change one of mankind's greatest innovations - the camera . At first , the smartphone camera sensor was usually laughed off at as they were usually of poor quality and had very little capacity to produce a usable image . But as sensor technology improved , these cameras slowly took out their aged CCD based compact cameras as carrying around a second device for pictures was just not practical for all . Fast forward to 2016 , we have devices capable of 4K video recording , RAW image capture and even manual controls for some - this ,combined with the millennial's obsession of apps (myself included) has made cameras seem ancient as they are not intuitive as a "fun" app filled smartphone which allows you to share on social media in a jiffy .

Therefore ,owning a dedicated camera to shoot just photos may not appeal to a  regular Jane or Joe .Camera makers who made millions on compact cameras were probably unable to reel from the shock these pocket rockets put up since making quick decisions in large companies takes many months and years as the research and development would need to be shuffled back to respond to a industry that outgrew everything else .


Although the smartphone has basically nuked the compact camera from making any significant goals in the industry , there is still hope for the interchangeable lens camera as that market is still steaming forward . Nikon , which probably saw the DL lineup as another "least profitable" division has officially scrapped the lineup which is probably be a good decision in the long run as they can now focus on the ILS systems more (Nikon's Keymission action cameras might also face some "changes" too ) . The ILS camera business - which comprises of the Nikon 1 and the D lineup might see a shuffle here and there and a few - more focused models down the line rather than a small chassis design change (cough cough ..D3400 , D5600 ) .All in all , Nikon will continue to make cameras . They will continue to make DSLR's until the mirrorless craze takes hold . They will also make everything else Nikon too , but with 100 years (almost) successfully completed. the company will find itself catering to smaller crowd who would demand more from their camera , if Nikon were to go a decade beyond 100 years as a independent company , they would probably have to make even more changes with some ending up as headlines as scary as this one  .


Sources -
Nikonrumors

Petapixel

Nikon/Voluntary retirement notice

Nikon/lithography

Notice of Recognition of Extraordinary Loss

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Canon EOS M6

The Mirrorless market for Canon has relatively been good as its EOS M5 has so far been well recieved as it packs basically the same specs as the 80D in a more advanced body. The new M6 , a camera that basically mirrors the M5's specs has now officially been released .

The EOS M6 , as the name suggests , sits at one tier below the M5 according to Canon's lower the better numbering scheme. The camera , packed with Canon's 24.2 mp APSC sensor also features Dual pixel AF on board as well . The camera also features a maximum shooting rate of 7 fps and 9 fps on autofocus lock .The camera also features a ISO range of 100- 25600 and electronic 5 axis stabilization .

The biggest and probably the most odd "feature" is the lack of a EVF . This is apparently a strange cost saving feature as the optional EVF DC 2 hotshoe mounted viewfinder which is an additional $249 . This evf is sold seperately and it features a 2.36million dot display,but if you are not in a position to dish out more money , you can always use the 3" touchscreen display which flips upright unlike the awkward M5 which has a flip down display which makes things difficult when using a screw attachment .
On the subject of video , the phase detection AF on the camera is probably most welcome as it would help with tracking subjects .The camera sadly like the M5 only has 1080p video recording which in a time of 4K mirrorless cameras would probably make this more of a photo oriented camera rather than a video one .

The EOS M6 ,like its other EOS M brothers , will feature the ability to work well with EF ,EFS and the small range of EFM lenses availablr now . The camera is expected to be sold with Body only options as well as lens options at a price which starts at $779 - roughly $200 lower than the EOS M5 model (body only) ,but without the $250 evf , the camera does sit at a somewhat strange position in the mirrorless market which is currently occupied by Sony's A5000/5100 .

PRICING - Bhphoto
Body - $779
15-75mm - $899
18-150mm - $1279

Accessories
EVF DC2 - $249
EFs to EFM adapter - $199

Fast &Accurate Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Phase-detection
24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) Sensor
High-speed Continuous Shooting at up to 7.0 frames per second (fps) (up to 9.0 fps with AF Lock)
DIGIC 7 Image Processor, ISO 100–25600
Full HD 60p
Combination IS with five-axis Image Stabilization*
Built-in Wi-Fi®2, NFC3 and Bluetooth®4 technology
Intuitive Touch Screen, 3.0-inch Tilt-type LCD
Control & Customize with Five Functional Dials
Compatible with EF1, EF-S1 and EF-M Lenses & select EOS System Accessories

Via - Canonrumors

Canon EOS 800D / T7i / Kiss9i

Canon's EOS 800D / T7i / Kiss9i is the latest entry level DSLR from the company . Slotting under the newly announced EOS 77D . The camera brings  Canon's excellent dual pixel AF in to a market which has so far stayed eclipsed under the more expensive 70/80D models .
The EOS 800D - marketed as the T7i in the U.S and Kiss 9i in Japan  ,shares a polycarbonate chassis similar to the  rest of the Rebel T range . The camera also has 45 all cross type AF points and this is backed up by electronic image stabilization and a max 6 fps . The camera also has Dual Pixel AF - another first on a low end body which will allow you to pull better focus (in Auto) compared to the hybrid AF of the previous models . The Sensor - a 24.2 MP APS-C CMOS is also backed up by Canon's DIGIC 7 image processor which will allow you to process ISO levels from 100-25600 (which is slightly higher than even the 80D ) .Buyers can also expect NFC , Bluetooth 4.0 and WIFI technologies built in .
Unlike the slightly advanced 77D , the 800D does not feature a back button focus and a top mount LCD which is alright considering that its rivals in the price range (D5500) are also aimed at novice shooters.

Pricing
Bhphoto
Body only - $749
With 18-55mm - $899
With 18-140mm - $1299






Optical Viewfinder with a 45-point All Cross-type AF System*
Fast and accurate Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Phase-detection
24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) Sensor
DIGIC 7 Image Processor, ISO 100–25600
Built-in Wi-Fi®2, NFC3 and Bluetooth®4 technology
Vari-angle Touch Screen, 3.0-inch LCD
Movie Electronic IS
HDR Movie & Time-Lapse Movie
High-speed Continuous Shooting at up to 6.0 frames per second (fps)




VIA - Canonrumors

Canon EOS 77D

Canon's EOS 77D is the latest entry level DSLR from the company . Slotting between the newly announced 800D / KissX9i/Rebel T7i and the 80D . The camera , which brings Canon's excellent dual pixel AF to the table will probably make this a more appealing choice for consumers who want the excellent autofocus in video , but were put off by the price of the 70D and 80D models .






The EOS 77D , which shares a polycarbonate chassis similar to the 750D range is however the first entry level dslr to receive back button focus - A feature which will appease many novice shooters as it will allow users to focus more efficiently than a longer press . The camera also has 45 all cross type AF points and this is backed up by electronic image stabilization and a max 6 fps . The camera also has Dual Pixel AF - another first on a low end body which will allow you to pull better focus (in Auto) compared to the hybrid AF of the previous models . The Sensor - a 24.2 MP APS-C CMOS is also backed up by Canon's DIGIC 7 image processor which will allow you to process ISO levels from 100-25600 (which is slightly higher than even the 80D ) .Buyers can also expect NFC , Bluetooth 4.0 and WIFI technologies built in .

Pricing for the EOS 77D are as follows

Body Only - $899
With 18-55 mm - $1049
With 18-135 mm - $1499

Link to Bhphoto





Optical Viewfinder with a 45-point All Cross-type AF System*
Fast and accurate Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Phase-detection
24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) Sensor
DIGIC 7 Image Processor, ISO 100–25600
Built-in Wi-Fi®2, NFC3 and Bluetooth®4 technology
Vari-angle Touch Screen, 3.0-inch LCD
Movie Electronic IS
HDR Movie & Time-Lapse Movie
High-speed Continuous Shooting at up to 6.0 frames per second (fps)




via - Canonrumors

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Canon to unveil EOS 77D and Eos 800D entry level cameras

Canon has a relatively complex naming system for its Dslr cameras . The rebel series , which is destined for many western markets is now apparently said to recieve a even more confusing  nameplate as the company is now set to launch two new dslr cameras to replace the entry level - the new 77 D and the 800D ( aka T7i or Kiss X9) which is a replacement to the T6i


If you follow Canon's camera lineup , then upon hearing 77D , you would automatically assume it to be somewhat of a downscaled 80D with 70D features, but wrong . Once again , Canon's somewhat confusing naming structure has struck again as this model is said to be a replacement for the 750/760D models .

The camera , armed with a 24.2 mp sensor with 45 AF points has now stepped up to be a gamechanger entry level dslr as it will apparently have Canon's excellent dual pixel AF onboard  -  a major step up from the hybrid af in previous models . This will result in good AF in video and probably open up Canon to a new segment of young buyers who are searching for a capable entry level dslr . The camera will also have Canon's new Digic 7 processor and a iso range from 100 to 25600 and a max capture rate of 6fps. As usual you will get wifi and bluetooth for easy image transfer .

Number of effective pixels: 24.2 million pixels
Video engine: DIGIC 7
Dual pixel CMOS AF
Distance measurement point: 45 points (cross distance measurement point: 45 points)
Continuous: Up to 6 frames / sec (up to about 4.5 frames / sec when Live View shooting, [Servo AF] setting is set)
ISO sensitivity: 100 - 25600 (extended sensitivity: 51200)
Video: Full HD, 5 axis electronic image stabilization
Viewfinder: field of view ratio of about 95%, magnification of about 0.82 times
Liquid Crystal: Type 3 104,000 Dots Touch Panel Bali Angle LCD
Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth
Size: 131.0 × 99.9 × 76.2 mm
Weight: 493 g (body only), 540 g (including battery and SD card)



The next camera in Canon's to be released lineup is the EOS800D , this camera , built on the same chassis as the 77D is probably one of the more confusing cameras as it will have the same sensor and most of the hardware specs , but in a strange twist , it is said to feature 5 axis image stabilization  which is absent from the 77D .

Number of effective pixels: 24.2 million pixels
Video engine: DIGIC 7
Dual pixel CMOS AF
Distance measurement point: 45 points (cross distance measurement point: 45 points)
Continuous: Up to 6 frames / sec (up to about 4.5 frames / sec when Live View shooting, [Servo AF] setting is set)
ISO sensitivity: 100 - 25600 (extended sensitivity: 51200)
Video: Full HD, 5 axis electronic image stabilization
Viewfinder: field of view ratio of about 95%, magnification of about 0.82 times
Liquid Crystal: Type 3 104,000 Dots Touch Panel Bali Angle LCD
Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth
Battery: LP-E 17
Size: 131.0 × 99.9 × 76.2 mm
Weight: 485 g (body only), 532 g (including battery and SD card)


Both Cameras will be unveiled at CP+ 2017 (Feb 23rd) this month

Via
Slashgear
Nokishita

Friday, February 10, 2017

Vision Research anounces Phantom Flex 4k GS

The Phantom Flex - a camera featured on many youtube channels and used in many scientific applications has now recieved a 4K upgrade and a new shutter . The new Phantom Flex 4K GS , a camera that is designed to work in rugged conditions and have a plethora of lens mount options including Canon's EF , Nikon F and G and Arri PL mounts is now capable of shooting 1000 fps at Cinema 4k ,938 fps in full sensor readout (4K) or 1975 fps in 2K resolution .
..
features a 9.4mp APS-H (super 35) sensor also has a global shutter which makes rolling shutter almost non existent .the base ISO for color is 640 (with the shutter) and 320 (with the electronic shutter) , monochrome mode on the camera  however has a base of 5000 with the shutter and 2000 without it . All media recorded  can be exported to a external drive which is probably handy considering that the camera can shoot cineRAW and ProRes formats .

Pricing -$ 103-114,000


Via - studiodaily

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Blackmagic Web Presenter will make your indie live broadcast dreams come true

If you have dreams of using your proper camera and audio gear instead of using a smartphone for livestreaming , worry no more as Blackmagic has got you covered with its new Webpresenter . This encoding box , designed to process XLR audio and Video feeds from cameras is a plug in , ready to use system which will work with Mac , Windows and Linux systems .The system , which processes the feed into 1280x720 for livestreaming on facebook , youtube and other sites (most sites allow 720p streaming only ) is priced at a reasonable $495


Blackmagic Web Presenter Key Features 

Converts any SDI or HDMI source to USB webcam video in 720p HD format.
No drivers required, works with popular streaming software such as Open Broadcaster, XSplit Broadcaster, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Periscope, Twitch.TV and more.
Supports all SD, HD and Ultra HD input sources up to 2160p60.
12G-SDI input with 12G-SDI loop output.
12G-SDI program output, ideal for recording masters when doing live switching.
HDMI 2.0 input with independent HDMI loop output.
HDMI video input re-sync for live switching.
XLR balanced mic/line level audio input.
Consumer HiFi connections for 2 channels of audio input.
Teranex quality down converter.
Built in 2 input switcher when used with optional Teranex Mini Smart Panel.
Desktop design or can be rack mounted using the Teranex Mini Rack Shelf.

Availability and Price

Blackmagic Web Presenter is available now for US$495 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

Via - dpreview

Sony HVL-F45RM Radio controlled flash

Sony has announced a new radio flash that is designed with the Full frame Sony lineup in mind . The new flash is priced at $400.

Via - Sony Pressrelease 
 New Compact Radio-controlled Flash

Sony’s new HVL-F45RM flash enhances the radio-controlled lighting system capabilities of their growing system, offering a compact professional shooting solution when combined with the currently available wireless remote controller FA-WRC1M and receiver FA-WRR1.

The new flash, which is designed to complement the compact bodies of Sony’s E-mount camera line-up including full-frame α7 models, produces a maximum lighting output as expansive as GN45[iv]. This ensures sufficient illumination even when shooting with bounce lighting or high-speed-sync (HSS) flash. The radio capabilities of the HVL-F45RM allow it to be used as a transmitter or a receiver at up to 30m (approx. 98 feet[v]), making it an ideal fit for creative lighting with multiple flashes. Additionally, unlike optical flash systems, radio-control flashes do not require a direct line-of-sight between components to function properly, while also minimising any impact that bright sunlight has on signal transmission and control.

The HVL-F45RM flash has an impressive battery life of up to 210 bursts, and can tilt up to 150o vertically, a complete 360o horizontally and up to 8o downward to maximise versatility. Usability has been maximised with a new large, bright and highly visible LCD display, an LED light, dust and moisture resistant design3 and a revamped menu system that mimics those of Sony’s newest camera systems.

Via - Sony/press , Dpreview