Is your Adobe Lightroom running slowly on your computer? Adobe regularly receives questions through social media regarding sluggish photo editing, and recently decided to start compiling the non-traditional solutions that work onto a single helpful page. In the Lightroom Help section of the Adobe website, there’s now a page titled “Performance hints“. Read more…
Back in June, a National Geographic crew was given the task of filming and photographing a cheetah running at full speed. While there are plenty of videos and photos out there showing this, the magazine wanted to track alongside the cheetah as it ran (rather than simply capture it from a fixed location). The short behind-the-scenes video above shows how they went about doing this. Read more…
Photographer Jeff Cable purchased a couple Canon 5D Mark IIIs recently and discovered that although the camera offers both SD and CF card slots, you should avoid the SD slot if you want maximum shooting speed. He writes,
[...] for some reason unbeknownst to me, Canon decided to build the 5D Mark III with one very fast CF slot which supports the newer UDMA7 protocol and a standard SD card slot which does NOT support the high speed standard [...] Without UHS [Ultra High Speed] support, the top speed that can be achieved by the SD card is 133x. This is true even if you purchase a 600x SD card and insert it in the camera. The best you will get is 133x
It turns out that the camera will default to the slowest card inserted. So, if you have a 1000x CF card in slot one and any SD card in the second slot, the very best buffer clear that will achieve is 133x.
It might not be a big deal for most photographers, but if your line of work requires clearing the camera’s buffer as quickly as possible, it something you might want to be aware of.
Contrast detection is one of the two main techniques used in camera autofocus systems. Although focusing speeds continue to improve, the method uses an inefficient “guess and check” method of figuring out a subject’s distance — it doesn’t initially know whether to move focus backward or forward. UT Austin vision researcher Johannes Burge wondered why the human eye is able to instantly focus without the tedious “focus hunting” done by AF systems. He and his advisor then developed a computer algorithm that’s able determine the exact amount of focus error by simply examining features in a scene.
His research paper, published earlier this month, offers proof that there is enough information in a static image to calculate whether the focus is too far or too close. Burge has already patented the technology, which he says could allow for cameras to focus in as little as 10 milliseconds.
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.