Posts Tagged ‘useful’

Never Lose a Lens Swapping Duel Again with the Lowepro Lens Exchange Case

Dan Bailey over at The Photoletariat captured this brief video of Lowepro showing off its new Lens Exchange 200AW case at PhotoPlus Expo in NYC. The case is designed to help you swap lenses with one hand — instead of setting one lens down before taking out the new one, it expands to reveal a second compartment. Stick the old lens in, pull the new lens out, and then collapse the case back into its compact form.

Grndctrl Will Tell You How Long It’ll Take to Save up for That Gear You’re Eyeing

Want to know how long it’ll take you to save up for that camera or lens you’ve been dreaming of buying? grndctrl, an uber-simple personal finance web app, can tell you. It doesn’t take any personal details, but simply asks for your income, expenses, and savings amounts. You can then provide it with a list of “rewards” that you’d like to save up for, and it will give you estimates of how long you’ll need to wait.

grndctrl (via MakeUseOf via Lifehacker)

Lens Band: A Gel Bracelet for Your Lens to Prevent Zoom Creep

Zoom creep is what happens when gravity causes your lens to zoom in or out due to it being pointed up or down. While it’s not really an issue when you’re shooting hand-held, it can cause problems if you’re trying to keep the zoom fixed while the camera’s on a tripod. A trick to combat this is to use rubber bands to keep the zoom ring still, but now there’s a fancier solution to this problem: the Lens Band. It’s a gel bracelet-style band that’s wrapped around the zoom ring when not needed. When you want to freeze the zoom, simply slide half of the band over the lens body.

They’re available in a variety of colors and sizes to fit most lenses, and cost $5 each from the Lens Band website.

Lens Band (via Pixiq)

Adobe Pixel Nuggets: Search Your Photo Library for Similar Features

Adobe’s amazing Image Deblurring demo was the star of the Sneak Peeks event at Adobe MAX 2011, but it was just one of the many demos shown that night. Another interesting photography-related demo was for “Pixel Nuggets”: a feature that lets you search a large library of photos for features (e.g. people, landmarks, patterns, logos).
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How to Make a DIY Portable Light Box

Needing a portable light box, Instructables member HHarry came up with a ingenious collapsible design that has built-in lighting. He’s also written up a tutorial on how you can build one too, but be warned: the materials may cost you up to $80, and you’ll need a good amount of know-how. However, if you’re looking for a hefty weekend project and need a convenient way to light and photograph small objects on-the-go, this one’s for you.

Portable light box [Hack a Day]

DIY Tool Makes Focus Stacking a Breeze

Focus stacking is a technique for creating photos with a large depth of field by combining multiple photos with shallow depth of fields. One of the applications is in macro photography, where the technique is often used to make sharp images of tiny insects. Oleg over at Circuits@Home wanted an easier way to focus stack while shooting in the field, so he build a focus stacking assistant using Arduino. Given two focal points, the tool automatically takes a sequence of photographs, moving the focus slowly from one point to the other.

Oleg shares some details on how he created his EOS camera version, and says he’s also working on a Nikon version.

Focus stacking assistant for EOS cameras (via Hack a Day)


Image credits: Photographs of flies by Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Automate Useful Photo Tasks with If This Then That

ifttt (If This Then That) is a new service that lets you automate tasks across different social media services you’re signed up for, including Dropbox, Flickr, Instagram, and Facebook. All you have to do is choose what “this” and “that” are, and the service will take care of handling the task. For example, you can use ifttt to automatically send every photo uploaded to Facebook that’s tagged with your name to your Dropbox account, or have it send all of your new Instagram photos to a particular Facebook album. Each task is called a “recipe”, and you can browse the most popular ones here.

ifttt (via Boing Boing)

Pico Dolly: Pint-Sized Wheels for Cameras

Since we wrote about CineSkates last week, the tripod-on-wheels project has already raised nearly $200,000 in preorders — not bad considering the goal was only $20,000. Today, Emm over at CheesyCam just announced something similar: the Pico Dolly. It’s a tiny portable dolly system for your video-capable camera that lets you capture smooth tracking shots without the hassle of big and expensive equipment. Unlike CineSkates, they’re already shipping — $65 will buy you the dolly itself, and $90 gets you the dolly and an 11-inch friction arm.

Pico Dolly [Photography and Cinema]

JPEGmini Magically Makes Your JPEGs Up to 5x Smaller

JPEGmini is a new image compression service that can magically reduce the file size of your JPEG photos by up to 5 times without any visible loss in quality. ICVT, the Israeli company behind the service, explains how the technology works in an interview with Megapixel:

Our technology analyzes each specific photo, and determines the maximum amount of compression that can be applied to the photo without creating any visual artifacts. In this way, the system compresses each photo to the maximum extent possible without hurting the perceived quality of the photo.

You can test out the technology on your own photos through the service’s website.
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Handy Guide to Flickr Keyboard Shortcuts

Here’s a nifty visual guide to all the keyboard shortcuts you have access to when viewing a photograph on Flickr. Don’t bother bookmarking this page though — Flickr just added these guides to every page on the site. Simply press the “?” key for the popup to appear!

(via Flickr Blog via Pixel Analogo)