September 2012

Move Over Twitter: Instagram Now Boasts More Active Mobile Users

It is commonly said that a picture is worth a thousand words. It seems that US smartphone users agree, for Instagram has now passed Twitter in active user count. The legions of Instagrammers aren't just checking their beloved social network more than their Tweeting counterparts -- their eyeballs are glued on it longer as well.

Review: Canon D20 is a Decent One Trick Pony for Shooting Around Water

Point-and-shoot cameras aren't doing so hot these days as consumers are replacing their multiple electronic devices with a single gadget: the smartphone. The compact cameras that have a chance of surviving are the ones that are special in some way, whether it's having a gigantic sensor or being hardened with serious weatherproofing.

Smartphone App Snaps Stealthy Photos to Spy On Your Life in 3D

With the advent of Internet-connectivity and apps in cameraphones and digital cameras, images can now be shared with others in ways never before seen in the history of photography. Unfortunately, not all of the ways are positive. Some are downright creepy.

Take PlaceRaider, for example. It's a malicious Android app that hijacks your smartphone's camera, secretly takes photos of your life, and uses those images to reconstruct 3D virtual spaces of private locations.

Macro Photos Shot Using a Smartphone and a Laser Pointer Lens

Last month we wrote about how the small focusing lens inside a laser pointer can be repurposed as a cheap macro lens for your smartphone. After seeing this project online, photo enthusiast John Coleman decided to give it a shot. To keep the lens secure against your phone, you'll need something to hold it (e.g. a hair pin) and some tape to attach the holder to the phone. The photo above shows the super simple attachment Coleman created.

Hoocap: A Lens Cap That Transforms Into a Hood, and Vice Versa

Lens caps are often cast aside in favor of lens hoods, but what if you could have both in one accessory? That's what the Hoocap does. It's not as fancy as the blooming lens hood concept we featured a year ago, but it seems pretty well thought out. Extend the cap/hood out from your camera, and the two "curtains" open up, allowing the camera to "see" and blocking errant light from causing flares. Close it, twist it, and push it into your lens, and it locks into its closed position for protecting your glass.

Time-Lapse of Daily Photos from the First 21 Years of a Young Man’s Life

Photographer Noah Kalina has taken a self-portrait a day for the past 12.5 years, but his already-impressive project has now been bested by one that's nearly twice as long. When Leeds Met University student Cory McLeod was born 21 years ago, his parents began faithfully documenting his life by taking a single photograph of his face every single day. This past week, the project was published as a one-of-a-kind video titled "21 Years" that shows McLeod's entire life in roughly six minutes.

Okay, Let’s Call Internet-Connected, App-Equipped Cameras “Smartcameras”

One major trend in the camera industry this year is the introduction of mobile operating systems such as Android into digital cameras. By opening the door to things like Wi-Fi, data plans, and apps, camera makers are going in the same direction that phone makers went some years ago, turning their devices into what can best be described as portable computers with specialized functions (e.g. voice-calling, photography).

While covering the trend, we've been at a loss for what to call the new cameras. After calling the Samsung Galaxy Camera a "voiceless phonecamera" in our hands-on first-look yesterday, commenters suggested that we call the device a "smartcamera". Bingo... that's the term we were looking for.

Canon High-MP DSLR May Have a 1D X-esque Body, 5D Mark II On Way Out?

Two interesting Canon rumors are currently floating around. The first has to do with the 46MP DSLR that Canon is reportedly field testing and may be planning to unveil in late October. Northlight Images received a tip saying the camera's body will be 1D-X-esque:

In an update to the high MP info, we're told that a camera will eventually appear in a 1D X derived body, in the same way as the 1D C. The information said that the actual designation was not known, but it would essentially be a '1 series'. There was also a warning that there would be a long wait between any 'preview' and any cameras being annouced and subsequently shipping.

If true, this means Canon is going for the larger pro-style body rather than following after Nikon's 36.3MP D800.

Amazing Photos That Show What It Looks Like to Fire a Gun Underwater

Ever wonder what it looks like when you fire a gun underwater? Firearm enthusiast Andrew Tuohy of VuurwapenBlog recently decided to find out. Taking his .40 Glock 22 into his swimming pool, he captured some high speed videos of himself firing a round using an ordinary Pentax Optio WG-2 waterproof compact camera (which has a 120fps movie recording mode). The photograph above is a still taken from one of the videos.

Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Camera, the Voiceless Phonecamera

Played around with the new Samsung Galaxy Camera very briefly at Photokina last week. It's basically a camera-fied smartphone that doesn't do voice calling. It does have 3G/4G/Wi-Fi connectivity though, so it's one of the first -- if not the first -- compact camera you can add a data plan to.

Perp Pics Posted to Pinterest Lead to an Uptick in Arrests

Last year there was a minor controversy when the Portland Police Department began posting photos of arrested Occupy protestors to Facebook. It may or may not have been inspired by the PPD, but Pottstown, Pennsylvania newspaper The Pottstown Mercury has begun sharing photographs of wanted individuals through the popular photo sharing service Pinterest.

Another One Bites the Dust: Kodak to Scratch Consumer Printers From Roster

Kodak divisions are falling left and right as the company struggles to claw its way out of bankruptcy protection. After killing off its camera business and selling off its film business earlier this year, Kodak announced today that it will shortly be pulling out of the consumer printing business in order to focus on commercial printing.

All the Unedited Photos from a Portrait Session in One Minute

Here's an interesting way to provide a behind-the-scenes look at how a portrait shoot was done. After photographing British comedian Frank Skinner, UK-based photographer Harry Borden took all the unedited photos from the shoot and turned them into a one-minute time-lapse movie. The resulting short film is a glimpse into how a session progressed from one pose to another, and the different ideas that were tried.

Strange: Samsung Giving Away Cameras to Anyone Named David Bailey

Samsung is doing one of the strangest promotional stunts we've seen in recent times. To celebrate the new NX1000 mirrorless camera announced back in April, they're giving away the camera to anyone in the UK named David Bailey.

That's right. If you share a name with the famous British photographer -- regarded as one of the best in the land -- then there's a NX1000 with your name on it.

People vs. Places: Double Exposures by Two Photographers on One Roll of Film

People vs. Places is a creative collaborative photo project by photographers Timothy Burkhart and Stephanie Bassos. They create double exposure photos by each shooting the same roll of film, but with a neat twist: they each stick to a theme:

This double exposure project allows us to step back from having full control of the image making process and trust in one another while allowing coincidences to happen naturally on film. Stephanie exposes a full roll of 35mm film of only "people," and Timothy reloads the film again into the same camera, to imprint only "places" and locations to the same roll. These images are all the end result of our ongoing series and are unedited negatives straight from the camera.

Thus, each image shows a randomly created clash between a photo of a person and a photo of a place.

Sony is Now the Largest Shareholder in Olympus

Sony has agreed to pour $645 million into Olympus in exchange for 11.5 percent of the embattled company, becoming the single largest shareholder. While the companies announced that they are considering cooperating in the digital camera industry, the main motivation for Sony wasn't photographic imaging but body imaging. Olympus is one of the major players in the medical endoscope market, holding about 70% of sales, and Sony's investment allows it to dip its toes into this lucrative industry.

Photobook of North American Indians Set to Fetch Millions at Auction

Behold: one of the rarest photobooks in the world. What you're looking at is an exceedingly rare complete set of American photographer Edward S. Curtis' book The North American Indian. It contains 772 large-format photogravures on Japanese tissue, 111 signed plates, and 20 extra text volumes that contain an additional 1,505 photogravures, 4 maps, and 2 diagrams.

Swann Galleries will be auctioning it off on October 4, 2012 with an estimated price of $1,250,000 - $1,750,000. This figure, however, may end up being much lower than the actual price it'll sell for. A similar set of this photobook was auctioned by Christie's back in April. After giving that set an estimated price of $1,000,000 - $1,500,000, it ended up selling for a whopping $2,882,500.