Here’s some interesting innovation on the tech-side of photography: on August 24, Sony will be unveiling a new lens adapter called the LA-EA2 that will let customers use large Sony Alpha DSLR lenses on their small NEX mirrorless cameras. Unlike most lens adapters, this one actually does a lot more than adapt lenses — it has its own translucent mirror and phase-detection autofocus sensor to aid the camera in providing snappy autofocus. It’s almost like an accessory that helps turn small NEX bodies into a DSLR-style camera (except there’s still no optical viewfinder).
The photo sharing feature on Twitter that we first reported on a couple months ago is now live for all users. This nudges the service a little more closer towards what Facebook and Google+ offer, allowing users to upload and share photos directly through Twitter. Third-party photo-sharing services geared towards Twitter users can’t be too happy about this — the founder of TwitPic turned down a $10 million offer back in 2009, only to have Twitter drink its milkshake a couple years later.
Thought the grain-of-salt-sized camera announced in Germany earlier this year was small? Well, researchers at Cornell have created a camera just 1/100th of a millimeter thick and 1mm on each size that has no lens or moving parts. The Planar Fourier Capture Array (PFCA) is simply a flat piece of doped silicon that cost just a few cents each. After light information is gathered, some fancy mathematical magic (i.e. the Fourier transform) turns the information into a 20×20 pixel “photo”. The fuzzy photo of the Mona Lisa above was shot using this camera.
Obviously, the camera won’t be very useful for ordinary photography, but it could potentially be extremely useful in science, medicine, and gadgets.
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.