Posts Published in August 2011

Full-Frame Sensors in Consumer Cameras

As technology improves, features that were once limited to expensive professional models often become available to the masses, but will this ever be true for full-frame sensors? Nikon’s Senior VP David Lee was recently asked this question in an interview with TWICE, and here’s what he said:

I think that there are definitely two different approaches here. What we’re seeing is that sensor performance continues to improve, but obviously there’s really a need for bulk because with a full-size sensor there’s a real low-light performance benefit, high speed performance, framing rates, and so on and so forth. So, I think you’ll definitely continue to see the higher-end pro consumer continue to have that large format. It’s definitely needed in the D3 and D700. You’ll see that technology continue to improve and grow, but the DX sensor form factor is also important. The compactness of the D3100 and D5100 is very popular. I don’t think one approach will ever overtake the other because of the overall image capabilities and the light performance capabilities.

Seems like he either misunderstood the question, or decided to beat around the bush. It’s an interesting question though — will any of the big manufacturers shake up the industry by being the first to put a full-frame sensor in a consumer-level camera? The sensors have already jumped from pro-level cameras to prosumer-level ones starting in 2005 with the Canon 5D, so it seems like the next logical step will be the consumer level. A sub-$1000 full-frame camera. Now that’s a thought.

How Much Does Size Matter In Image Sensors (via 1001 Noisy Cameras)


Image credit: What’s That? (63) by jurvetson

Epic Time-Lapse of Lightning Storms Under the Milky Way

Time-lapse photographer Randy Halverson spent three months hunting thunderstorms at night in central South Dakota using a Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 60D, and Canon T2i. Capturing both the storms and the Milky Way in the same shots proved to be a difficult task:

One of the challenges in making this video, was trying to get good storm and star shots. The opportunity doesn’t come along very often, the storm has to be moving the right speed and the lightning can overexpose the long exposures. I had several opportunities this summer to get storm and star shots. In one instance, within a minute of picking up the camera and dolly, 70mph winds hit. One storm was perfect, it came straight towards the setup, then died right before it reached it. [#]

In the end, he captured enough photographs to create this 3-minute-long time-lapse video showing the galaxy floating overhead while storm clouds roll in. Lightning photos are one thing, but seeing storms sweep across the scene at night is incredible.

(via Laughing Squid)

Sony LA-EA2 Helps Turn Your NEX into an Unwieldy Camera

Lost in the commotion of Sony’s awesome camera announcements was the official unveiling of the LA-EA2 A-mount adapter, which we reported on a couple weeks ago. This fancy lens adapter lets you use Sony’s Alpha line of DSLR lenses with NEX mirrorless bodies without the loss of autofocus functionality by having a translucent mirror and autofocus system baked into the adapter itself!

Adding a large lens and electronic viewfinder to a NEX body leaves you with one strange looking camera, but the ability to use your existing lens collection on a new mirrorless camera is definitely a big deal (hopefully Canon and Nikon offer something similar if they announce mirrorless cameras soon). The LA-EA2 will cost $400 when it arrives in November.

(via Foto Actualidad)

Facebook to Add Instagram-style Filters

Photo filters that turn ordinary pictures into vintage ones are becoming mainstream. How mainstream, you ask? Well, Facebook is reportedly planning hop onto the bandwagon, adding them to its mobile apps to compete against Instagram. The New York Times writes,

The new feature has been ready for some time, according to two engineers who work at Facebook, but Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, hopes his engineers and artists create more filters before releasing the new product. Both Facebook engineers asked not to be named as they are not allowed to speak publicly for the company about unannounced products.

The engineers said Facebook will introduce almost a dozen photo filters, including some that are similar to Instagram like old-style camera lenses and grainy film. Facebook will also try to introduce new styles of filters with the hopes of drawing users away from other photo apps.

The article also states that Facebook tried to acquire Instagram this past summer, but failed. Brace yourselves — the photo world’s about to become a whole lot more faux-retro.

Facebook Targets Instagram With Photo Filters [NYTimes]


Image credit: Instagram collage by ragesoss

Artist Mocks the Absurd Poses in Fashion Photos by Showing Them in Real Life

Have you ever noticed how ridiculous many of the poses seen in fashion and glamor photographs are? Artist Yolanda Dominguez has a project called Poses highlighting how absurd and artificial the poses are by having a group of women do them in public locations and filming the reactions of passersby. It’s interesting how something so ridiculous when seen in real life can look so “normal” when done by a model in the context of a fashion photograph.

(via mashKULTURE)

Shooting African Wildlife with a RC DSLR

Last year we featured the work of Matthew and William Burrard-Lucas, two brothers who mounted their Canon DSLR to a remote-controlled car to shoot close-up photographs of dangerous African animals. The behind-the-scenes video above was just published yesterday, and shows the RC DSLR being driven up to different animals, all of which are clearly thinking, “what the heck is this thing”? They should offer these “BeetleCams” for sale. I want one.

Dream Job: UN Photographer Post in Paris Pays Six-Figures

When was the last time you came across a photography-related job opening this awesome? The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is looking for a “Senior Photographer” for its Paris station. It pays the equivalent of $100,000 a year tax free, and has great benefits (e.g. 30 days of vacation per year). Check out the opening here.

(via duckrabbit)


Image credit: Eiffel Tower from Above – Paris, France by Thomas Leplus

Scott Kelby Launches an iPad Magazine Dedicated to the Topic of Lighting

Scott Kelby, the publisher of Photoshop User and Layers magazines, has launched a new iPad-only magazine dedicated to the subject of digital photography lighting called “Light It“.

It features the industry’s top experts on photography lighting, studio lighting, small camera flash, portrait lighting, location lighting and more. Readers will also find plenty of lighting tips and tricks, a section just for beginners, interviews with the pros, and news about the latest gear. Light it is for photographers of all skill-levels who use lighting or want to explore lighting concepts.

The first 50-page issue is free, and subsequent issues — published 8 times a year — will cost $3 each. Hopefully they’ll start making it available on Android tablets in the future.

Light It Digital Magazine [iTunes Store]

$9000 in Stolen Nikon Gear Recovered Using Serial Number Search

Earlier this year we saw the launch of two search engines — Stolen Camera Finder and GadgetTrak Serial Search — that help find stolen cameras by searching photos on the web for the serial numbers. The idea is neat, but no one knew whether it would actually help recover stolen gear or not. Turns out it does work.
Read more…

Zombie Attack Engagement Photos

Los Angeles-based photographer Amanda Rynda recently did an awesome engagement photo shoot with Juliana Park and Ben Lee, who wanted the photos to show them surviving a zombie attack. Needless to say, it turned out pretty epic.
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