A company called Lytro has just launched with $50 million in funding and, unlike Color, the technology is pretty mind-blowing. It’s designing a camera that may be the next giant leap in the evolution of photography — a consumer camera that shoots photos that can be refocused at any time. Instead of capturing a single plane of light like traditional cameras do, Lytro’s light-field camera will use a special sensor to capture the color, intensity, and vector direction of the rays of light (data that’s lost with traditional cameras).
[...] the camera captures all the information it possibly can about the field of light in front of it. You then get a digital photo that is adjustable in an almost infinite number of ways. You can focus anywhere in the picture, change the light levels — and presuming you’re using a device with a 3-D ready screen — even create a picture you can tilt and shift in three dimensions. [#]
Try clicking the sample photograph above. You’ll find that you can choose exactly where the focus point in the photo is as you’re viewing it! The company plans to unveil their camera sometime this year, with the goal of having the camera’s price be somewhere between $1 and $10,000… Check out more sample photos here
About a year ago, engineer and photo-enthusiast Morten Hjerde began brainstorming ideas for the next generation of photographic lighting after concluding that most of the lights used by photographers these days are simply glorified light bulbs.
Using embedded electronics and microprocessor programming, he set out to explore ways to create a different kind of light. A light that would go where the current lights could not go. Exploring the possibility and feasibility of actual digital light. Light that could be pushed and tweaked like you push and tweak the pixels on your computer screen. [#]
He set up a company called Rift Labs, and decided to open source the design and software involved in creating this digital light source. The video above provides some interesting background on the project.
The pro-level mirrorless camera Nikon is rumored to be working on (the “Coolpix Pro”) may unfortunately boast a not-so-pro-sized sensor. The latest news to be sweeping across the Interwebs is that the camera will pack a 2.6x crop factor sensor, smaller than the Micro Four Thirds format sensor or the APS-C sensor found in the FujiFilm FinePix X100. It’s also likely that the mirrorless camera would have been announced already had production not been stalled by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan.
Every time you launch Photoshop, you’re greeted momentarily with a splash screen showing a cloud of names that give credit to the people who have worked on the program. This “Behind the Splash Screen” video introduces you to some of the people whose names are found there, and provides some background on how Photoshop CS5 was developed (as well as the huge challenges they faced). Read more…
If computers can have fans, why can’t cameras? With recent Sony cameras running into unexpected limits due to the sensor overheating, Nikon may be looking to solve the problem with a good, old-fashioned fan. A recent patent filing by Nikon shows a mirrorless camera with a computer-style fan embedded into the circuit board. Read more…
NEC announced today that they’ve developed “noise suppression technologies” for compact cameras that will clean up the audio in video recordings by canceling out the noise created by the lens zooming in and out. It works by storing a recording of what the zoom noise sounds like to the camera, and subtracting that noise from recorded video. Casio’s new EX-ZR10 will be the first compact to feature this new tech, but NEC promises that it’ll be found throughout the digicam market soon. Enjoy the “ZZZZ! ZZZZ!” sound while it’s still around!
Kodachrome film officially died at the end of last year when the last developer — Dwayne’s Photo Service — stopped accepting the film. Before that final nail in the coffin was pounded in, 53-year-old Jim DeNike drove from Arkansas to Dwayne’s in Kansas to have 1,580 rolls developed. The total cost for the 50,000 slides? $15,798. All of the photographs were of trains.
Tagging friends in massive group photographs is about to get a whole lot easier. Facebook has just announced “tag suggestions”, which uses facial recognition technology to automatically group together photographs that have the same face in them.
Because photos are such an important part of Facebook, we want to be sure you know exactly how tag suggestions work: When you or a friend upload new photos, we use face recognition software—similar to that found in many photo editing tools—to match your new photos to other photos you’re tagged in. We group similar photos together and, whenever possible, suggest the name of the friend in the photos. [#]
While many people will probably opt for the old fashioned tagging method to have more control over the process, this feature will undoubtedly save many users a good deal of time. The feature will begin rolling out to users in the US over the next few weeks.
Did you know that the first digital camera invented in 1975 didn’t actually produce the first digital photograph? The first digital photo actually came almost two decades earlier in 1957 when Russell Kirsch made a 176×176 pixel digital image by scanning a photograph of his three-month-old son. The low resolution was due to the fact that the computer they used wasn’t capable of storing more information.
It was only at the beginning of the year that the megapixel race for cell phone cameras hit 14.6 megapixels, but now Sony has unveiled a 16.41 back-illuminated CMOS sensor that can shoot 15 frames per second at full resolution, and is capable of HD video recording (30fps at 1080p and 60fps at 720p). Read more…