Gamification — the application of game design elements to non-game contexts — is a pretty hot idea right now in the online startup world. More and more startups are introducing things like badgets, achievements, leaderboards, points, and progress bars to encourage users to do things such as visit new businesses, answer questions, and, of course, play games. One particularly interesting application of gameification is in the area of education, using fun to motivate learning.
Lunchbox is a stealthy startup that’s planning to introduce this kind of learning to the world of photography. Read more…
We’re in the year of the camera’s app. Not the camera app, which you use on your phone, but the camera’s app, which is found on your camera. A boatload of new cameras this year will have Internet connectivity and app support built right in, giving photographers access to all kinds of custom features and functions that weren’t easily available in the old age of cameras.
While Android is one of the big operating systems manufacturers have gravitated towards, Sony has decided to go the Sony way and make its system proprietary. Instead of running Android, the Sony NEX-5R and the NEX-6 will offer apps through the PlayMemories ecosystem. Read more…
Nikon’s massive 800mm f/5.6 super-telephoto lens hasn’t been launched yet, but English press photographer Leon Neal was given the enviable opportunity to play around with a pre-release copy at the London Olympic Games. After shooting two sessions at the aquatics center with the beastly piece of glass, Neal published a blog post with some sample photos and thoughts on how the lens performs:
The shot above is an unsharpened 100% crop of the frame below with no noise reduction applied. As you can see, not only has the lens done a pretty good job of tracking but the D4 has provided good results at 4000ISO. Image stabilisation seemed subtle with no obvious “clunk” as it kicked in like some lenses. The only discernible giveaway was the soft purr of the IS motor disengaging after I took my finger off the trigger. Likewise, the effect of the stabilisation was equally subtle with only a barely noticeable delay when looking through the viewfinder at a subject.
Head on over to Neal’s blog to read his short review.
Here are a few videos showing the new Canon Rebel T4i/650D’s touchscreen LCD in action. The navigation options (e.g. pinch to zoom and swipe to change) are very similar to controls found on smartphones. Read more…
Last year imaging company Scalado showed off an app called Rewind that lets you create perfect group shots by picking out the best faces from a burst of shots and then combining them into a single image. Now the company is back with another futuristic photo app: it’s called Remove, and lets you create images of scenes without the clutter of things passing through (e.g. people, cars, bikes). It works like this: simply snap a photograph, and the app will outline everything that’s moving in the scene with a yellow line. Tap that person or object, and it magically disappears from the scene! Read more…
Here’s a hands-on tour of the new Fujifilm X-Pro1 that was announced yesterday — a gorgeous camera that has the photo world buzzing with excitement. There’s been a lot of speculation on the camera’s price, which hasn’t been announced, with most sources reporting that it will be in the range of $1,600-$1,700. Read more…
Microsoft is adding a boatload of new features to its Windows Live Essentials suite of free applications (for Windows users), and one of the features to appear in Windows Live Photo Gallery caught our eye. It’s called Photo Fuse, and what it does is take a number of similar photographs and allow you to choose the best parts of each one to include in the final photo.
For example, if you take a number of group shots, you can combine only the faces that are smiling and not blinking. What’s more, the resulting photograph is quite seamless, and reminds us of the Content Aware Fill feature of Photoshop CS5.
TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington had a chance to sit down with Brian Hall (GM at Microsoft), and recorded the following demonstration of the technology:
Keep your eyes peeled — the new features won’t be appearing in the suite for another few weeks. Now if only Microsoft would include a Content Aware Fill-type feature as well…
In addition to Content Aware Fill, Puppet Warp is another powerful feature to be included in Adobe’s upcoming Photoshop CS5.
In this demo, it’s used on a layer containing a wooden mannequin, allowing the limbs to be manipulated as you would be able to do in real life prior to photographing it. The feature is then applied to rope, digitally tying it into a knot, and finally to fix distortion in a multi-photo panorama.
While this feature isn’t as mind-boggling as Content Aware Fill, it’s definitely something those of you excited about CS5 can look forward to.
Last week Olympus began running a teaser for what appears to be a new camera that will shortly be announced. The teaser featured a mysterious image of a camera hidden behind a hand, and a form for collecting emails to be contacted immediately at launch.
From what can be seen of the camera in the teaser, it’s pretty clear the new camera will be part of the new Micro Four Thirds system of cameras, which features DSLR-quality imaging in more compact bodies due to the omission of a mirror and optical viewfinder system.
A few hours ago 43rumors reported that a leaked image (shown at the top of this post) of the new Olympus camera had appeared on an Asian forum. Though the image was removed within minutes, a reader had already saved the photo and emailed it into 43rumors.
Comparing the leaked image and the teaser, it appears the cameras are the same. The leaked image shows a 14-42mm lens, while the lens appears to be different in the teaser (43rumors states it’s a 17mm). We’ll probably learn more about this camera at PMA 2010 next month.