Google scientist Sam Hasinoff has come up with a technique called “light-efficient photography” that uses focus-stacking to reduce the amount of time exposures require. In traditional photography, increasing the depth of field in a scene requires reducing the size of the aperture, which reduces the amount of light hitting the sensor and increases the amount of time required to properly expose the photo. This can cause a problem in some situations, such as when a longer exposure would lead to motion blur in the scene.
Hasinoff’s technique allows a camera to capture a photo of equal exposure and equivalent depth of field in a much shorter amount of time. He proposes using a wide aperture to capture as much light as possible, and using software to compensate for the shallow depth of field by stacking multiple exposures. In the example shown above, the camera captures an identical photograph twice as fast by simply stacking two photos taken with larger apertures.
Nikon included the above illustration when announcing its new mirrorless cameras in the UK. The company’s new EXPEED 3 image processor, which is supposedly “the fastest in the world”, can process data at a whopping 600 megapixels per second. That’s equivalent to 24 frames per second with a 25MP sensor!
In an interview with The Imagine Resource, Nikon General Manager Masahiro Suzuki says that the processor is five times faster than the company’s current flagship DSLRs by using 24 channels of digital readout instead of 12 channels of analog readout. Regardless of whether or not the Nikon 1 System succeeds, the fact that this kind of technology is making its way into consumer cameras is pretty exciting.
Here’s a quick tip for making Photoshop faster: change Preferences->File Handling->Image Previews to Never Save. This keeps image preview data from being stored in the file every time you save, and gives you smaller files for uploading to the web!
Instead of labeling their memory cards in MB/s, some manufacturers choose to use “Times” ratings (e.g. 8x, 12x, 20x, etc…). While it’s pretty clear that a higher number indicates faster speed, what exactly is the number a multiple of? Read more…
Photoshop is a pretty resource intensive program that can slow down to a crawl when you’re working with large and/or many files. Aside from beefing up your hardware specs to provide the program with more memory or disk space, there’s also a number of Photoshop and operating system preferences you can adjust to make sure the program runs as smoothly and quickly as possible. The Photoshop performance team recently published a helpful guide with 19 adjustments you can make, which range from optimizing cache level to turning off thumbnail display.
This video, created by PhotoErrant, shows a Canon 7D shooting at 8 frames per second on high-speed continuous mode. This definitely isn’t something you should try yourself, since it whacks hundreds of shutter actuations off the lifespan of your camera and exposes the sensor to dust. Luckily for us, there’s people willing to do these experiments and upload them to YouTube.