A new patent application by Apple is showing off some of the technology we may be finding in the next generation camera. The application, which you can read in its entirety here, mentions a few new features, among them the ability to select multiple focus points, allowing the the phone to take over and adjust the aperture, exposure and even post-process to get the best possible picture for those points.
A few other notable features mentioned in the patent include motion tracking for focus, automatic sharpening of key areas, and the possibility of a dedicated image processor (instead of the image processing hardware built into the A5 chip?). Of course we can’t be sure that these advances will make their way into the next iPhone or that they’ll see the light of day at all, but just the fact that Apple is taking this much of an interest in improving an already good smartphone camera seems to bode well for the phoneotographers among us.
(via Photography Bay)
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is planning on becoming more invested in photos and video with the next iterations of iCloud and, subsequently, iOS. The updates, which are expected to be announced officially at the WWDC starting June 11th, will include the addition of video synching similar to the current photo stream alongside some exciting photo-sharing capabilities.
Up until now iCloud has been entirely a synching service (take a picture on your iPhone and you have it on all of your devices right away) but the new iCloud will allow users to create and share albums with other iCloud users. As is usually the case with Apple details are hard to come by, but sources “familiar with the matter” are fairly certain we should expect social-network-like sharing and commenting abilities. Watch your back Flickr, Apple’s coming for you!
Apple Plans iCloud Upgrade (via The Next Web)
After dipping its toes in Apple’s Mac App Store last July by offering Photoshop Elements, Adobe has now jumped in headfirst by listing its professional-caliber program, Lightroom 4. The download costs $150 and tips the scales at 388MB. Adobe might be a giant company, but it gets charged the same commission as any other developer: for every copy sold through the App Store, Apple pockets a cool $45.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 (via The Verge)
Back in August we featured a service called JPEGmini, which gives anybody the ability to shrink their photos up to 5-times in size without any visible quality difference — a substantial claim, but one that the service seemed to live up to quite well (we use it regularly). Read more…
Now here’s a divisive photo series that will draw both anger and cheers: graphic designer (and former Apple employee) Michael Tompert teamed up with photographer Paul Fairchild for a project titled 12LVE that consists of photographs showing annihilated Apple products. Here’s the description:
12LVE [...] provides society a mirror, forcing us to question our infatuation with mere objects. By annihilating the adored, pulverizing the precious, and obliterating the beloved, 12LVE reminds us that although these objects have become quasi-religious icons, we will soon discard and replace them with the new crop—sleeker, faster, shinier.
We’ve all seen photographers make mad dashes into group portraits, hoping to get into position before the camera’s self timer automatically snaps a photograph. Apple wants to make those a thing of the past. A new patent filed by the company (#20120057039) describes a new and smarter self-timer system that uses facial recognition in addition to the standard timer. Using a picture of the photographer’s face, the camera will wait until the shooter is in the scene before starting the countdown, ensuring that everyone in the photo has the same amount of time to put on a picture perfect smile.
(via Patently Apple via Ubergizmo)
Apple officially announced the new iPad today (called “the new iPad” rather than the “iPad 3″). It’s a tablet computer, but its new features make the device much more camera-like than the iPad 2. There’s a new 5-megapixel iSight camera on the back that features a backside illuminated sensor and a five-element f/2.4 lens. It’s also able to record HD video in full 1080p. On the frontside is a 9.7-inch 2048×1536 retina display that packs 4 times more pixels than the iPad 2 and 1 million more pixels than an HDTV. Get ready for a world in which more and more people take Instagram photos using large “cameratablets”.
The New iPad [Apple]
The private photographs on your phone might not be as private as you think. Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that iOS has a loophole that allows third-party apps who have access to location information to also access (and copy) your entire photo library without any further notification or warning. A couple days later, Android was also found to have a loophole that’s even worse — any app that can access the Internet can copy photos to a remote server! Both companies have acknowledged the privacy flaws and are currently working on fixes for them. Welcome to the scary world of Internet-connected cameras!
(via The Verge via Engadget)
Image credit: iPhone Camera by Nico Kaiser
Here’s some good news for all you iPhoneographers out there: Apple’s upcoming iOS 5.1 update — the rumored release date is March 9th — will feature a new unlock screen that’s designed to make accessing your iPhone (or iPod) camera as easy as unlocking your phone. They’ve decided to include a new fixed camera slider button next to the unlock slider — simply slide this icon up to reveal the camera! Currently, the fastest way to access the camera is to double-tap the home button and then click the camera icon that appears.
(via MacRumors and BGR)
It wasn’t too long ago that Kodak filed multiple patent infringement lawsuits against Apple in a scramble for life-giving cash, but now the tables have turned. Less than a month after Kodak filed for bankruptcy and announced the end of its camera business, Apple is reportedly in the process of asking the court for permission to sue bankrupt Kodak for infringing on Apple’s patents in its printers, digital cameras, and digital picture frames. This back and forth IP fight is one that Kodak might not be in for long: the company is still trying to sell off its portfolio of roughly 1,100 imaging patents.
(via Bloomberg via Ars Technica)
Image credit: Knockout by What What