NASA mechanical engineer Mark Rober made an uber-creative halloween costume that features a gaping see-through hole in his torso. What he did was strap two iPads to his body — one in front and one in back — with a FaceTime video chat running between them. Each iPad’s camera footage is displayed on the other iPad’s screen, providing a view right through Rober’s body.
Contrast detection is one of the two main techniques used in camera autofocus systems. Although focusing speeds continue to improve, the method uses an inefficient “guess and check” method of figuring out a subject’s distance — it doesn’t initially know whether to move focus backward or forward. UT Austin vision researcher Johannes Burge wondered why the human eye is able to instantly focus without the tedious “focus hunting” done by AF systems. He and his advisor then developed a computer algorithm that’s able determine the exact amount of focus error by simply examining features in a scene.
His research paper, published earlier this month, offers proof that there is enough information in a static image to calculate whether the focus is too far or too close. Burge has already patented the technology, which he says could allow for cameras to focus in as little as 10 milliseconds.
Japanese company Nippon Electric Glass has developed a new type of ‘invisible glass’ that drastically reduces reflections, rendering the glass almost invisible to human eyes. The secret is a special anti-reflection film that is formed on each side of the glass, which allows more light to pass through rather than bounce off. In ordinary glass, about 8% of the incoming light is reflected, but with this new glass, only 0.5% is. In the photo above, we “see” normal glass on the left and the new glass on the right.
Gadget blogs are salivating over the glass’ potential benefits for phone and computer screens, but we’re interested in seeing whether the glass may prove useful for photography. Perhaps it could pave the way for next-generation lenses and filters?
Dan Bailey over at The Photoletariat captured this brief video of Lowepro showing off its new Lens Exchange 200AW case at PhotoPlus Expo in NYC. The case is designed to help you swap lenses with one hand — instead of setting one lens down before taking out the new one, it expands to reveal a second compartment. Stick the old lens in, pull the new lens out, and then collapse the case back into its compact form.
German photographer Heinz Maier only started doing photography last year, but his stunning photographs of water drop splashes are already taking the Internet by storm. By using a macro lens and colored filters, Maier makes tiny splashes of liquid look like intricate glass sculptures. Read more…
Early beta versions of Photoshop CS6 (codenamed “Superstition”) have already made it into the hands of testers, and information about changes and new features is slowly starting to emerge. AppleInsider has published some screenshots of the new program, which apparently comes with a darker, Aperture-esque user interface. There’s a number of new features geared towards working with 3D, a mysterious new “Remix Tool” inside the healing brush pallet, and a “Perspective Crop” tool. There’s also new auto-save options that help you save your work automatically in the background.
At this point, it doesn’t seem like we’ll be seeing Image Deblurring appear in CS6. Adobe is rumored to be shooting for a CS6 launch around May 2012.
Here’s a fun entry to add to your brain’s collection of “totally random facts about the world”: Nikon’s 52mm lens caps will fit neatly on most beverage cans. 52mm isn’t just a common diameter for camera lenses… it’s also an international standard diameter for can tops!
Sorry Canonites, your lens caps don’t really work for this.
Image credit: Photograph by kokotron and used with permission
Photographs of Panasonic’s upcoming Lumix GX1 Micro Four Thirds camera leaked onto Chinese camera forum Mobile01 over the weekend. The camera will reportedly be similar to the GF1, except with a grip, and offer 12MP resolution, a max ISO of 12800, speedy 0.09 autofocus, a large pop-up flash, a touchscreen interface, and two color options (black and silver).
Panasonic appears to be targeting serious shooters with this new GX line while targeting consumers with its GF cameras. We’ll likely hear about this camera officially sometime in early November. Read more…