We’ve seen some very heavy-duty gear lugged out to cover the Olympic games in London this year: some robotic rigs, an 800mm lens that could easily weigh more than the average lady gymnast, and of course, the usual suspects in a packed camera bag. But Guardian photojournalist Dan Chung is traveling light: he’s covering the games with a simple iPhone setup.
Using different combinations of an iPhone 4s, a clip-on Schneider lens and a pair of Canon binoculars, Chung has been live-blogging all aspects of the games. His photos yield surprisingly crisp results, indoors, outdoors and even underwater through a viewing window — which again reinforces the old photographer’s adage that the best camera is the one that’s with you.
Chung uses the Snapseed app to do in-camera/phone edits. You can check out more of Chung’s work on his Guardian blog.
Huge news came out of the Facebook universe today with little to no warning: Facebook has launched its own camera app. Seemingly out of nowhere, the social networking giant has launched its own “Facebook Camera” camera app that, of course, connects directly to your Facebook account, making it that much easier to take, upload, tag, and comment on your photos. Read more…
Here’s a great diagram by Mobot that shows how the 41-megapixel sensor inside Nokia’s new 808 PureView phone stacks up against other popular sensor sizes. It’s pretty clear that they didn’t just milk a small sensor for more megapixels as a simply marketing ploy, but instead came up with a sensor that’s significantly larger than those found in other smartphones. Engadget also has a photo showing a comparison of sensor sizes, while Digital Trends has published an article on five reasons why the 41-megapixels isn’t a gimmick.
After announcing its impending arrival last year, Adobe today officially launched Photoshop Touch for the iPad and Android-powered tablets. The app offers many of Photoshop’s core tools:
Use Photoshop features designed for the tablet such as layers, selection tools, adjustments, and filters to create mind-blowing images. Use new Scribble Select to easily keep and remove elements of an image.
Nokia dropped a bomb on the cameraphone market today by introducing its new 808 PureView phone — a phone that is capable of capturing 41-megapixel photos. The native resolution of the phone (16:9) produces 38-megapixel images measuring 7152×5368. The phone also allows you to capture 5-megapixel images by condensing every seven pixels into one, which dramatically reduces noise and improves image quality. Other features include a 4-inch screen, 16GB of built-in storage, a Carl Zeiss f/2.4 lens, lossless digital zoom (i.e. cropping a photo out of the giant image), and HD video recording. It’ll hit store shelves in May at a price of €450 (~$600). Read more…
For those of you who are interested in the business and technology side of things, here’s an interesting 45-minute interview in which Digg founder Kevin Rose chats with Instagram founder Kevin Systrom:
They chat about Systrom’s growing up with computers, his time spent at Stanford, and landing an internship at a startup destined to be worth billions. This ultimately led to launching Instagram which is now 15 million users strong and one of the fastest growing social networks on the planet!
Instagram is holding onto its place as the darling of the mobile photo sharing world. After adding a whopping two million new users in a month thanks to Thanksgiving and the release of the iPhone 4S, the app now has a shiny new trophy for its shelf: it has been selected as Apple’s “iPhone App of the Year“. The future is looking extremely bright for the 13-month-old, 7-man company: Goldman Sachs recently designated it as a potential IPO candidate and founder Kevin Systrom expects the membership base to double once the Android version arrives.
Today Instagram released version 2.0 of its wildly popular iPhone app, which will soon see its 10 millionth user. The base technology has been completely overhauled to bring speed to the app — filters now apply 200x faster, tilt-shift applies 100x faster, and both can be viewed live while shooting. Four new filters have been introduced (seen above), and borders on filters are now optional. Finally, the resolution of photos saved to the iPhone 4 has been increased from 612×612 to 1936×1936 (the size of photos uploaded to Instagram remains unchanged).
Noticeably absent from today’s announcement was an Android version of the app, though with this major release you can bet that they’re working harder than ever on getting it released.
Photo filters that turn ordinary pictures into vintage ones are becoming mainstream. How mainstream, you ask? Well, Facebook is reportedly planning hop onto the bandwagon, adding them to its mobile apps to compete against Instagram. The New York Times writes,
The new feature has been ready for some time, according to two engineers who work at Facebook, but Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, hopes his engineers and artists create more filters before releasing the new product. Both Facebook engineers asked not to be named as they are not allowed to speak publicly for the company about unannounced products.
The engineers said Facebook will introduce almost a dozen photo filters, including some that are similar to Instagram like old-style camera lenses and grainy film. Facebook will also try to introduce new styles of filters with the hopes of drawing users away from other photo apps.
The article also states that Facebook tried to acquire Instagram this past summer, but failed. Brace yourselves — the photo world’s about to become a whole lot more faux-retro.
Confused about what Google’s new Photovine photo sharing app is all about? Here’s a short video published yesterday that explains the service without blinding us with hairy-chested dudes. “Instead of just posting a photo, you plant it and watch it grow.”
Aside from the fun-factor of “vines” planted for random topics, it seems like the service could be useful for spreading images of real-time news stories (e.g. protests, disasters, etc..), similar to what Twitter does with text and hashtags.