Leica’s new flagship digital rangefinder, the Leica M, was announced more than a month ago, but things have been very quiet in regards to sample photos demonstrating the camera’s capabilities. If you’ve been dying see actual photos shot using the camera, today’s your lucky day. Pandachief over at the forum HK LFC has published quite a few sample photographs shot in a low-light environment (it appears to be a dinner party).
The world of camera gear is getting really into this whole touchscreen thing. Touchscreen interfaces appeared on a bevy of cameras at Photokina this month (especially when paired with Android OS) and even on a new light meter, the Sekonic L-478D. The latest guest to crash the party? The flash.
The new Metz 52 AF-1 is the world’s first hot-shoe mounted flash unit to offer a touchscreen interface. Granted, the screen isn’t as flashy as the touchscreens found on the devices mentioned above — it won’t be winning any beauty contests anytime soon — but it gets the job done.
On a mountaintop in Chile is the most powerful digital camera mankind has ever constructed. Called the Dark Energy Camera, the phone booth-sized device shoots 570-megapixel photographs using an array of 62 separate CCD sensors and a 13-foot light-gathering mirror. Planning and building the thing took 120 scientists from 23 international organizations a whopping 8 years.
This past week, the researchers behind the project announced the first fruits of their labor: massive photographs that show patches of the sky 20 times the size of the moon (as seen from Earth).
Cell phones have already gone the way of the touchscreen, so why not light meters? Perhaps they will, starting today. Sekonic has just announced a two new light meters that are the world’s first to offer a touchscreen interface. The L-478D and L-478DR both feature a 2.7-inch LCD touchscreen through which settings are changed by tapping or sliding your finger.
The world’s first color moving pictures have been discovered, dating back to 1902. The film sat forgotten in an old metal tin for 110 years before being found recently by Michael Harvey, the Curator of Cinematography at the National Media Museum in England. The pictures were part of a test reel of early color experiments by an Edwardian inventor named Edward Raymond Turner, and show Turners children, soldiers marching, domesticated birds, and even a girl on a swing set.
Did you know that LCD screens and live view didn’t arrive until a number of years after digital cameras hit the market? The first consumer digital camera that featured those technologies was the Casio QV-10 (seen above), which hit store shelves in 1995. However, the screen was purely for framing shots, not for eyeballing exposure, and it took roughly 10 years for live view as we know it to become ubiquitous.
The first prosumer camera to use live view for both exposure control and preview framing was the fixed-lens Canon PowerShot G1 from 2000, although this was still in the line of compact cameras.
The first DSLR to use live view for framing preview only was the fixed-lens Olympus E-10 from 2000. The first interchangeable-lens DSLR to use a live preview was the Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro, which was launched in October 2004. Its “Live Image” mode could display a live, black-and-white preview of the subject that could be magnified for manual focusing purposes, although the preview was limited to a duration of thirty seconds. [...] The first general-use interchangeable-lens DSLR with live view for framing preview only was the Olympus E-330 of 2006. The first general-use interchangeable-lens DSLRs with live view for both exposure simulated preview and framing preview were the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III and Canon EOS 40D of 2007.
Just in case you were wondering, the terms “live view” and “live preview” are interchangeable.
Live Preview on Wikipedia (via Casio via NPhoto)
What you see here is the first image ever uploaded to the World Wide Web. It’s a graphic featuring a promo shot for comedy band Les Horribles Cernettes, and was uploaded almost exactly 20 years ago by Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web. Motherboard has the interesting story behind the photo:
So when Berners-Lee and his team cooked up a new edition of their still-primitive World Wide Web system, one that could support photo files, he went a few steps from his workstation to ask de Gennaro for a Cernettes-related image. The Web had already used a few small vector image files to show off schematics, but Berners-Lee and his team needed a guinea pig for the leap into photos.
Lucky for him, de Gennaro had been toying around with a scanned .gif version of the July 18th photo, using version one of Photoshop on his color Macintosh. The .gif format was only five years old at the time, but its efficient compression had made it the best way to edit color images without slowing PCs to a crawl.
The image was added to a webpage about musical acts at CERN (where Berners-Lee worked), and was probably less viewed than the same image on physical posters around the lab. The Mac that housed the original .gif file died around 1998, and the photo faded into obscurity.
Crossdressing, Compression and Colliders: The First Photo on the Web [Motherboard]
Niniane Kelley of PhotoboothSF — the SF photo shop that still shoots tintype portraits — shot a series of tiny tintype photographs using a 110 camera. The images are likely the world’s first 110 tintypes, and the world’s smallest tintypes as well (each one is about half the size of a standard 35mm frame).
This image might look like some kind of screenshot from an old 16-bit video game, but it’s actually the first photo ever made of an atom’s shadow. Researchers at Griffith University in Australia suspended a ytterbium atom in midair, shot it with a laser beam, and then used a Fresnel lens on the other side to snap a photograph of the dark shadow left by the atom. Scientist Erik Streed has a writeup explaining how they accomplished it and the project’s implications for other research.
Snapping an atom’s shadow? Now that’s a first (via Engadget)
Image credits: Photograph by Kielpinksi Group/Centre for Quantum Dynamics
Hovering somewhere between “novel idea” and “pointlessly stupid,” InstaCRT is a new iOS app that bills itself as “the world’s first real camera filter.” Photographs processed through the app are given a CRT monitor look that doesn’t involve any digital fakery. Instead, your photo is actually sent to the creators’ machine located in Stockholm, Sweden, where it’s displayed on a tiny CRT monitor and then photographed by a DSLR. The new photo is then beamed back to your phone in less than a minute.