Remember those weird floating “precog” psychics in the movie Minority Report? They could foresee crimes before they even happened, allowing law enforcement to prevent them from ever becoming a reality. While that kind of sci-fi foreknowledge will almost certainly never exist, scientists are working on an eerily similar system that uses cameras and artificial intelligence — a system that they hope will be able to “see” crimes before they even occur. Read more…
Here’s a brief video in which Reuters shows off the special underwater camera it created to shoot swimming competitions at the London Olympics. The design was derived from the cameras used during the BP oil spill back in 2010.
Photographer and developer Ben Syverson has created an iPhone camera app called Mattebox that mimics the Konica Hexar, a luxury point-and-shoot from 1993 that was powerful enough for professionals but simple and intuitive enough for beginners. It’s one of the most beautifully designed camera apps we’ve seen yet, and comes with a number of fancy features baked into it (e.g. dual stage shutter release, highlight recovery, advanced B&W conversion). The app costs $4 over in the iTunes App Store.
Time-lapse enthusiast and electronics wiz Achim Sack came up with this super-small hardware-based intervalometer. Only a little larger than the size of a standard 2.5mm stereo plug, the device doesn’t require any special setup or configuration — all you do is plug it into your Canon/Nikon/Pentax DSLR and then take two photographs between 0.4 seconds and 18 minutes apart. The device will continue to shoot photos at that interval until the memory card is full or the battery dies. Sadly, it’s not for sale, but if you’re handy with electronics you can find the schematics and code for free on Sack’s website.
What if you could take perfect group photographs by first shooting multiple frames and then selecting the best portions of each one? Microsoft amazed us with this concept last year with its Photo Fuse technology, and now we may soon be seeing something similar coming to mobile phone cameras (and hopefully compact cameras as well). Imaging technology company Scalado gave the above demonstration at a conference earlier this month showing off Rewind, a super-useful feature that shoots a burst of full-res photos, then lets you select the best faces for each person in the image. Next up on our wishlist: Content Aware Fill.
IT consultant and photo enthusiast Viktor Takacs didn’t have much success when he tried capturing lightning on camera, so he decided to build this fancy do-it-yourself trigger (which he named “Zeus”) that automatically snaps a photo whenever the photodiode detects a flash of lightning. He even built a knob into the device that can be used to adjust sensitivity. The demo above shows the trigger reacting to manually triggered flashes from a strobe.
Takacs has a detailed post that walks through how he created the device. You can also email him for the code used by the microcontroller.
This is one of the most intense do-it-yourself videos I’ve seen, showing how to hack a Canon 18-55mm kit lens into a super macro lens for extreme closeup shots. It involves sawing, disassembling the lens, using wires from a floppy drive cable, and all sorts of advanced awesomeness. Unless you’re extremely good with your hands, you probably won’t be trying this, but it’s very interesting to watch nonetheless.