Posts Published in January 2011

SunCalc Provides a Map View for Checking Sunlight and Golden Hour

SunCalc is a super-simple web app created with Google Maps and Javascript that helps you determine the best time to shoot depending on the quality of light you want in your photos.

You can see sun positions at sunrise, specified time and sunset. The thin orange curve is the current sun trajectory, and the yellow area around is the variation of sun trajectories during the year. The closer a point is to the center, the higher is the sun above the horizon. The colors on the time slider above show sunlight coverage during the day.

It was created by Vladimir Agafonkin. Similar apps include The Golden Hour Calculator and The Twilight Calculator.

Uncut Series of Photos Shows What it Takes to Score the Right Shot

This unique video shows an uncut series of 2,000 photographs taken by professional photographer Chase Jarvis over the course of 5 days. He estimates that only 6 to 10 of the photographs will ever be used as a commercial or fine-art photo. If you find that only a few of your shots after a long day of shooting are acceptable, don’t be discouraged — it’s like that for the pros as well!

Government Issued Internal Notice Affirming Photographers’ Rights

We reported in October of last year that a lawsuit by the New York Civil Liberties Union against the US Government ended with a settlement upholding the right to photograph and film in public spaces outside government buildings. The US Department of Homeland Security also agreed to notify its officers and employees in writing of the “public’s general right to photograph the exterior of federal courthouses from publicly accessible spaces”

Now, a redacted version of the directive sent out last year has been made public.
Read more…

Canon 7D at the Australian Open

Big, expensive television cameras aren’t the only kind recording the action at the Australian Open. During the Federer vs. Djokovic semifinal match last night, the camera cut to this guy recording Novak with a Canon 7D. Luckily for him, it didn’t get smashed by a broken racquet.

It’s fun seeing cameras accessible to us ordinary folk being used on the big stage.

Kodak Isn’t Doing So Hot These Days

What you see here is the history of Kodak stock starting from 1978. In the mid-1990s the stock peaked at over $90 per share, but has experienced a slow demise since then, and is currently at $3.70 a share. What’s more, the company just announced yesterday that profits fell a staggering 95% in the fourth quarter of 2010. During that quarter the company earned just $22 million, compared to the $443 million it earned during the same period a year earlier.

Acquisition rumors have been swirling around for quite some time now as the stock continues its free fall. Any predictions on what will become of this once-great company?

Kodak profit plunges 95%; sales fall short (via Photo Rumors)

Update: Kodak still sees a “big silver lining” amidst all this bad news.

200 Paper Planes Launched from Space Carrying SD Cards

Samsung recently partnered up with viral marketing agency The Viral Factory to launch 200 paper airplanes carrying SD cards from the edges of space. We first reported on this experiment back in September of last year, but they followed through with the plans and just published this video this week showing how they accomplished it. The balloon was launched in Germany, and each SD Card carried a message for the finder to prove how durable they are.
Read more…

Nikon Looking Into Adding a Projector to DSLR Cameras

Having figured out how to embed a projector into the body of a compact camera with the S1000pj, Nikon is now apparently looking to do the same with DSLR cameras. A recent patent filing by Nikon in Japan describes a DSLR camera that has a projector function. The text reads,

[…] when the photographing instrument is set as projector mode, the light which supported reproduced image information is projected on the screen of the photographing instrument exterior via the eyepiece of an electronic view finder, and two or more persons can see the reproduced image simultaneously projected on a screen.

Tech blogs are reacting to the fact that the projection may be through the viewfinder, concerned that photographers would have their eyeballs accidentally burned out if the projector were to be accidentally turned on. An easy fix for that problem would be to use a proximity sensor to disable the projector mode if a face is pressed against the camera… if this technology ever graduates from being a patent and enters the real world.

(via Nikon Rumors)

Stabilize Your Camera for $1 with a Washer, Bolt, and String

You’ve likely seen this DIY trick before, but it doesn’t hurt to share this for those who haven’t. Instead of carrying around a tripod or monopod, you can easily stabilize your camera using a washer, some string, and a bolt. It’s a cheap and easy stabilizer that you can carry around with you in your camera bag for those moments when you wish you had a steadier hand.

Nikon D7000 Teardown Shows Sony-Made Sensor Inside

Tech analysis company Chipworks recently did a teardown of the Nikon D7000, and confirmed that the 16.2 megapixel APS-C sensor within is manufactured by Sony (the IMX071 to be exact). This is likely the exact same sensor used by Sony in the A55 translucent mirror camera and the A580 DSLR.

To see what a Nikon 7000 looks like blown up tore down, check out the in-depth analysis.

Teardown of the Nikon D7000 DSLR (via Photography Bay)

Update: Apparently the sensors in the D3, D3s, D700, and D3100 are all made by Nikon. D90 is Sony. Nikon Rumors has more here.

Image credits: Photographs by Chipworks

Canon Image Stabilization in Action

Ever wonder what Canon’s Image Stabilization technology looks like in action? Like a lens element doing a jig, that’s what!

Update: You can see Nikon’s VR system in action here. Click the “VR Mechanism” tab. (Thanks Jason!)