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.
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.
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.
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. Read more…
Virgin America airlines is producing the “first-ever film made at 35,000 feet”, titled Departure Date. It’s a movie that takes place entirely inside the cabin of an airplane that’s actually airborne. 20 hours of in-flight shooting was done on Virgin flights that spanned 3 continents and covered 28,000 miles. The film was written and directed by Kat Coiro and stars some pretty well known faces. It’ll premier next month at LA Film Fest, and will soon be available in its entirety on the in-flight TV system of Virgin flights.
Samsung has developed what the company claims is the world’s first CMOS sensor that can capture both RGB and range images at the same time. Microsoft’s Kinect has received a good deal of attention as of late for its depth-sensing capabilities, but it uses separate sensors for RGB images and range images. Samsung’s new solution combines both functions into a single image sensor by introducing “z-pixels” alongside the standard red, blue, and green pixels. This allows the sensor to capture 480×360 depth images while 1920×720 photos are being exposed. One of the big trends in the next decade may be depth-aware devices, and this new development certainly goes a long way towards making that a reality.
Lomography has launched the LomoKino, the world’s first consumer 35mm movie camera. It’s an old-school hand-cranked camera that uses standard rolls of 35mm film (yeah, the kind you use in film cameras). The camera captures 144 individual frames onto each roll of film, producing a video that lasts 50-60 seconds. Once you have your film developed, you can watch it using a separate LomoKinoScope: a hand-cranked movie viewer! Read more…
Seeing a double rainbow is a relatively rare treat, but how about three or four rainbows? Scientists have only reported seeing triple rainbows five times over the past 250 years, but German photographer Michael Theusner was recently able to capture this first ever photograph of a fourth-order rainbow. Ordinary rainbows (first and second order) appear in the area of the sky opposite the sun (and aren’t seen in his shot), but when higher order rainbows appear, they show up on the sunward side.
Last year, U.S. Naval Academy meteorologist Raymond Lee and a colleague, Philip Laven, laid out a prediction for the conditions that would produce third-order rainbows, and they challenged rainbow-chasers to go out and find one. Among the requirements: dark thunderclouds, and either a heavy downpour or a rainstorm with nearly uniform rain droplets. If the sun broke through the clouds under these conditions, it could project a dim tertiary rainbow against the dark clouds nearby, they said. [#]
Back in May, a photographer named Michael Grossman followed this advice and succeeded in capturing the first ever photo of a third-order rainbow. Lee’s challenge and Grossman’s success are what inspired Theusner to try his hand at photographing higher order rainbows. You can find more background info on Theusner’s blog and in his recently published scientific paper.
Instagram is changing not just the way photos can be shared, but how music videos can be made. UK indie rock band The Vaccines recently created a website that asked fans to snap photographs of themselves while at music festivals and then tag them with “#VACCINESVIDEO”. After receiving nearly 3,000 submissions, the band used them to create the music video for their song “Wetsuit”. Aside from a few video clips, everything you see in the video was submitted through Instagram.
P.S. Building upon this idea: what if a band were to ask fans to snap photos during a live performance of a song, and then combine the photos afterward using the timestamps of the photos to sync them with the song? That would be crazy.