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Adobe slashes Creative Cloud school pricing to just $5 per user per year

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 05/03/2018 - 12:47pm
Credit: Adobe

Earlier today, Adobe announced new Creative Cloud educational pricing for K-12 schools (meaning primary and secondary schools, for those outside the US), slashing the price for individual schools and school districts to just $5 per license per year with a minimum purchase of 500 licenses for a school, or 2,500 licenses for a school district. Additional licenses can be purchased for $50 per 250.

Adobe says the move "underscores Adobe’s commitment to providing students and teachers with the world’s leading digital creative tools and skills," and is the company's way of "nurturing creativity and creative problem solving," both of which, research shows, will be key skills in tomorrow's job market.

The plans give students access to all of the Creative Cloud applications and 2GB of cloud storage each. But best of all, students won't have to be in the classroom to use the apps—named user licensing allows students to log in to and install Creative Cloud applications at home or on their mobile devices as well.

"Making Creative Cloud available at $4.99 per year, per license—with access in schools and at home—is going to be a game changer, providing students and teachers access to apps that will unlock their inherent creativity in new and exciting ways," says Adobe's Mala Sharma, VP and GM of Creative Cloud Product, Marketing, and Community. "Making Creative Cloud affordable is just one of many actions we’re taking to reduce the barriers to teaching these skills in today’s classrooms."

There is one thing Sharma forgot to mention: providing students with access to the Adobe CC suite starting as early as Kindergarten and Elementary School will also create a whole new generation of Adobe addicts who complain about the subscription costs but are willing to keep paying them anyway... welcome to the club kids.

For more information on the new pricing and Adobe's other Creative Cloud offers for educators, students, K-12 schools and beyond, click here.

Press Release

Adobe Empowers Educators with New Creative Cloud Offering for K-12

A new offer on Creative Cloud exclusively for K-12 schools and districts underscores Adobe’s commitment to providing students and teachers with the world’s leading digital creative tools and skills

SAN JOSE, Calif. — May 2, 2018 Adobe announced today that, beginning May 15, 2018, Adobe Creative Cloud will be available to K-12 schools for $4.99 per license, per year, with a minimum purchase quantity of 500 user licenses for a single school, or 2,500 licenses for a school district. This offer includes unprecedented access for educators and students to all Creative Cloud applications at school, at home and on any device. Adobe is committed to delivering the best tools and resources for nurturing creativity and creative problem-solving skills into the hands of educators and students. This new pricing and licensing, as well as new professional development offerings and lesson plans focused on Adobe Spark and Creative Cloud (details below), and recent release of Spark for Education with premium features free of charge for K-12 students are prime examples of that commitment.

“Strengthening the ‘A’ in STEAM, and making art and creativity core to the student learning experience is Adobe’s responsibility. Digital storytelling is a critical skill for all students, and enabling them to start creating videos, editing photos and publishing websites by grade 6 and earlier is key,” said Mala Sharma, VP & GM of Creative Cloud Product, Marketing and Community, Adobe. “Making Creative Cloud available at $4.99 per year, per license—with access in schools and at home—is going to be a game changer, providing students and teachers access to apps that will unlock their inherent creativity in new and exciting ways. Making Creative Cloud affordable is just one of many actions we’re taking to reduce the barriers to teaching these skills in today’s classrooms.”

Creative Cloud for K-12 Lowers Access and Cost Barriers Associated with Teaching Creativity and Creative Problem Solving to Students

A recent study conducted by Adobe, and several other third-party studies, show that jobs of the future will demand both creativity and creative problem-solving skills – two different capabilities that nearly all educators recognize as being essential for students to learn in school. However, research also shows that the biggest barriers educators currently face to nurturing these skills are the lack of access to necessary tools and technologies, and the costs associated with new technologies.

As part of Adobe’s commitment to providing educators with access to the tools and support they need to address these barriers, affordable access to Creative Cloud will encourage educators to develop new projects and lesson plans that bring out the creative skills in their students. Students will have access to all Creative Cloud applications, many Creative Cloud services and 2GB of storage. Adobe has also introduced named user licensing, which allows students to log into their accounts and work on Creative Cloud projects from any location on any device, be it their homes, the library or on the go. These licenses can be deployed by K-12 schools in a way that is consistent with data privacy laws under COPPA—the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

New K-12 Professional Development Offerings Make Adobe Spark a Great Project Tool in Every Class

Adobe is partnering with educators who use Adobe Spark in their classrooms, and will be sponsoring over 100 Edcamps taking place across the United States over the summer until back-to-school 2018. Edcamp leads educator-driven professional development grouped sessions, where educators drive and determine the topics of conversation. In addition, Adobe will be sending Spark experts to a select number of Edcamps over the summer. For more details on Adobe Spark sponsored Edcamps, please visit https://www.edcamp.org/edcamp-locations .

Educators can find new free professional development courses, lesson plans and a complete guide to using Creative Cloud in the classroom on the Education Exchange, Adobe’s free platform where educators can access courses taught by their peers and share teaching materials and curriculum.

Availability and Pricing

This offering is available for purchase starting on May 15, 2018 and will initially be available in the US, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, and India. In the US, school sites are eligible for the offer starting at $2,495 per year, which includes 500 user licenses for students and teachers ($4.99 per user license), and school districts are eligible for the offer starting at $12,475 per year, which includes 2,500 user licenses. Also in the US, additional purchases can be made in increments of 50 user licenses starting at $250. Pricing and minimums vary by region.

For more information and to purchase Creative Cloud for their K-12 classrooms, K-12 schools and districts can contact their Authorized Adobe Resellers, and for general information, please visit www.adobe.com/education/k12.html.

Categories: Equipment

Facebook is using Instagram photos to train its image recognition AI

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 05/03/2018 - 11:48am

At its F8 developers conference Facebook not only revealed a number of new Instagram features, the company also talked about how it is using the billions of images on Instagram to train the world's most accurate image recognition systems.

Training deep learning models for image and object recognition is typically a very labor-intensive task, as each training image has to be looked at and labeled by human workers. This is a serious limitation to the size of training image databases; however, Facebook has found a way to reduce human supervision in the training process by using images that are already labeled... with Instagram hashtags.

Its researchers used 3.5 billion Instagram images with approximately 17,000 hashtags to train deep learning models and the results have been encouraging.

A computer vision system that had been trained with one billion images and 1,500 hashtags, achieved 85.4 percent accuracy on the ImageNet benchmarking tool, outperforming the previous leading system by 2.3 percent.

It will be important to manage the disadvantages of less curated labels but the Facebook research shows that less supervised training of image recognition systems could be a step into the right direction, allowing for the use of much larger and databases and therefore improved image and object recognition and classification.

Translation: finding that photo you never tagged that's buried miles deep in your archive might soon get a whole lot easier.

Categories: Equipment

ESA unveils most detailed 3D star map ever captured

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 05/03/2018 - 11:31am

The European Space Agency (ESA) Gaia mission has released a new star map of the Milky Way, giving us the most detailed view of our galaxy to date.

Launched in December 2013 from Kourou, French Guiana, the mission of the Gaia space observatory is to create the largest and most detailed 3D space catalog in existence. To do this, it uses what the ESA calls the ‘largest digital camera in the Solar System,’ a one-billion-pixel camera made up of more than 200 CCD sensors.

Gaia’s sky in colour. Image provided by ESA

This new set of data, released on April 25th, details the location and movement of more than 1.3 billion stars. For context, the first set of data released by the ESA in May 2016 contained similar information of a mere two million stars. It’s not only the position and movement of the stars either.

As well as positions, the data include brightness information of all surveyed stars and colour measurements of nearly all, plus information on how the brightness and colour of half a million variable stars change over time. It also contains the velocities along the line of sight of a subset of seven million stars, the surface temperatures of about a hundred million and the effect of interstellar dust on 87 million.

The new information will be used for many years to come by scientists all over the world. "Gaia will greatly advance our understanding of the Universe on all cosmic scales," says Timo Prusti, Gaia project scientist at ESA, in the announcement blog post. "Even in the neighbourhood of the Sun, which is the region we thought we understood best, Gaia is revealing new and exciting features."

The ESA expects many more datasets to be released in future years, with the full and final catalogue set to be published sometime in the 2020s. Originally, Gaia was only set to operate until mid-20198, but the ESA has already approved an extension to its mission that should see it functioning well into 2020.

You can access the data from Gaia’s first release on the ESA’s archive site and view a collection of 360-degree videos in a dedicated VR page.

Categories: Equipment

LG unveils G7 ThinQ smartphone with super-wide-angle lens

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 05/03/2018 - 10:32am

After a few months' delay (the reasons of which are not entirely clear) LG is the last of the big mobile manufacturers to finally unveil its new 2018 top-end smartphone. The new model is called the G7 ThinQ, and comes with most of the photography features and characteristics you would expect from a current flagship device.

An almost bezel-less 6.1-inch LCD display with a resolution of 1440 x 3120 pixels is combined with Qualcomm's latest top-end Snapdragon 845 chipset, and embedded into an IP68 dust- and water-resistant body. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack with a quad DAC and a microSD slot for memory expansion. The device is available with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage or 4GB RAM and 64GB storage.

In the camera department, LG is sticking to its strategy of differentiating itself from most competitors by offering a super-wide-angle lens in the dual-camera setup. Both sensors now offer a higher 16MP pixel count, compared to the G6's 13MP, with the main camera boasting a 71-degree field of view, fast F1.6 lens, optical image stabilization, and an autofocus system that uses both phase detection and laser.

The super-wide-angle has to make do with a slower F1.9 aperture and without OIS. It also only comes with a fixed focus. Like on the V30S, camera operation is enhanced by LG's artificial intelligence technology that can detect objects and scenes and auto-adjust camera settings accordingly. Additionally, there is a "smart pixel-binning" mode for lower noise and better exposure in low-light shots.

Finally, we also get a "fake-bokeh" portrait mode on an LG flagship, which can artificially blur the background in portrait shots taken with both main camera and super-wide-angle.

LG is late to the game for 2018, and we'll have to see if consumers are interested in the brand's super-wide-angle camera concept when most other manufacturers bet on telephoto lenses in their dual-cam setups. In any case, it's good to have one more option in the high-end bracket of the Android smartphone market.

Categories: Equipment

Rokinon AF 14mm F2.8 EF sample gallery

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 05/03/2018 - 9:00am
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Rokinon/Samyang's first autofocus lens for Canon EF-mount is the 14mm F2.8, a variation on the company's existing 14mm F2.8 FE for Sony with a different optical formula. At $800 it's priced well under Canon's $2100 14mm F2.8L II, giving full frame Canon shooters an affordable alternative to the on-brand option. Having recently taken its FE counterpart for a spin, we were eager to try out the Canon variant (and let's be honest – pretty happy to get out into the sunshine for a while).

See our Rokinon/Samyang AF 14mm F2.8 EF sample gallery

Categories: Equipment

Days Inn is advertising a $10k summer gig shooting sunsets around the US

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 3:59pm

Here's an interesting opportunity for any landscape photographers who need a "summer job" in the most literal sense of the term.

Wyndham Hotels' property Days Inn—which features a rising Sun as its logo—has posted a job add seeking a photographer to serve as its "Sun-tern" for a one-month gig this summer. The chosen photographer will capture images of the sunset in cities around the US, providing them to Days Inn for use in hotel properties, on the company's social media accounts, and more.

Days Inn is offering a $10,000 stipend for the gig, paid travel expenses, Wyndham Rewards Diamond status, as well as "a glowing recommendation upon completion of the Sun-ternship from Barry Goldstein, Wyndham Hotel Group's executive vice president and chief marketing officer."

The company is seeking "a creative amateur photographer," according to the Sun-ternship Web page. Applicants must be at least 21-years-old, located in the US, and have an open schedule during the project. Anyone can submit an application via email until May 20th, and all applicants should include an original outdoor photo as well as 100 words detailing "why you're the best person for the job."

Categories: Equipment

FRAMES, Chapter 1: What it's like shooting a 24-hour endurance car race

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 3:33pm

Motorsport and sports photography can be an exhausting in the best of circumstances—lugging around incredibly large and heavy lenses, not to mention multiple camera bodies, and scrambling to edit and file images ASAP. But Chapter 1 of the short documentary series FRAMES covers something a whole order of magnitude more difficult: shooting a 24-hour endurance race.

The 12-minute video follow professional motorsport photographer Jamey Price as he prepares for and tries his best to survive the grueling TOTAL 24 hours of Spa at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.

This is one of the most prestigious endurance races in the world, and the short documentary gives you just a glimpse at what it takes shoot for 24 hours straight, stay awake for close to 40 hours, hike miles worth of race track, and survive the whole experience on a few bits and pieces of junk food you scrounged along the way. It is, in a word: fascinating.

And for just a bit more motivation, Jamey was kind enough to share some of his photos from the race with us, which you can see in the gallery below:

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Almost as interesting as the behind the scenes look itself is the story of how FRAMES was made... or almost not made. Bringing even a short doc to the public can be a herculean effort, even when you have the money, the backers, and interest from the media to share what you've created.

Jamey details the whole process in a blog post that will either inspire you to embark on your own such journey or scare you out of ever trying it.

From a successful Kickstarter, to the Daytona 24 saying "no," to the film's original producer backing out just three weeks before the Spa 24, the journey from idea to final product was almost as grueling as shooting the race itself. So watch the video above, read Jamey's blog post for an even deeper behind-the-scenes dive, and let us know what you think about FRAMES and the idea of shooting race cars for 24 hours straight.

Categories: Equipment

Instagram gets third-party Story support and video chat

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 1:28pm

Instagram has announced a number of new features during parent company Facebook's F8 developer conference. Firstly, you can now share to the Stories functions directly from third-party apps, without actually switching to the Instagram app. With compatible apps, Instagram will automatically pull the content in question into its editor where you can tweak the image file or add filters as usual.

On the one hand, this makes Stories operation a little easier and more seamless; however, it also means you don't have to connect your Instagram account with any third-party apps to post a Story, avoiding any sharing of account information.

The new feature will initially be available for Spotify and the GoPro app, but more apps will follow at a later stage. The feature is rolling out to Instagram from today.

There is also a new video chat feature that allows users to talk one-on-one or within a group-chat. This could potentially make Instagram an alternative to existing video chat services like Skype.

Finally, a redesigned Explore section is expected to debut within the coming weeks.

It looks like Instagram is slowly but surely moving away from its core-function as an image sharing app and transforming into a do-it-all communications platform, offering many of the same services as sister apps Facebook and Whatsapp. It'll be interesting to see how the new features will be implemented, and what this means for photographers who have built a sizable following on the [formerly] image sharing app.

Categories: Equipment

Tutorial: The best way to sharpen portraits in Photoshop

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 12:07pm

Sharpening plays an important role in influencing how the human eye interprets a photo and it is the only way to create the illusion of higher definition and detail. Also, much like we use light, color, and composition, it is an extremely effective way to guide the eyes of the viewer to wherever you want them to focus.

The first question to ask isn’t how to sharpen but when to sharpen. Any retouching, compositing, coloring, and any other edits you’ve made should be included in the sharpening process. So make sure that it’s the final step in your workflow just before you export! It’s important to note that you’ll want to resize your images beforehand as well. Resizing an image that has already been sharpened can have adverse effects such as reducing or exaggerating the amount of sharpening.

For example, if you want to upload one of your latest photos to Instagram, first resize your image to 1080 x 1080 pixels (their recommended dimensions for square images). Then go through the sharpening process as normal. Doing this will guarantee that your image quality will be consistent no matter what size your image is or where it will be displayed.

To begin the sharpening process, create a new layer, go to the Image menu, and select Apply Image. Apply Image will take all of the visible layers in your project and merge them together onto the new layer. This will allow you to sharpen your final image (including all of the edits you’ve made) without affecting the originals.

As far as technique goes, there are many ways to sharpen an image. I’ve always preferred the High Pass method which involves converting the new merged image into a Smart Object and then using a High Pass Filter to apply the sharpening effect. Since we’re working with a Smart Object and a Smart Filter, we can always go back to make changes to the radius by simply double-clicking on the High Pass option underneath the layer.

My favorite thing about this technique is just how flexible and precise it can be! If I ever need to make changes to the amount of sharpening I can either duplicate the sharpening layer (for a subtle adjustment), change the radius of the High Pass Filter, raise or lower the opacity, or simply paint with the Brush Tool on the layer mask.

Using Layer Masks, you can apply different levels of sharpening to different parts of a photo. You can have a sharpening layer just for facial features and a second for wardrobe. Create as many layers of sharpening as you need to get the look that you want. Overall, focus your sharpening on aesthetic details in your photo—hair, eyes, jewelry, details in clothing—anything that you want to stand out. Avoid sharpening things that might distract the viewer or bring out details you don’t want to be as noticeable (i.e. pores).

Like most things that we’ll do in Photoshop, sharpening is highly subjective. It’s up to you to determine where and how much to sharpen. And while we use a portrait as our example, this method works across all types of photography! This is a process I’ve developed over several years and it has served me well. So give it a try! I only hope that it helps you figure out your own favorite method that’s best suited for you and your work.

About the Author: For over seven years, Aaron Nace has been teaching photography and photo manipulation on PHLEARN.com to millions of users across the world at every skill level. You can subscribe for his professional videos or view the Photoshop tutorials as well.

Categories: Equipment

BenQ releases SW240 PhotoVue monitor for photographers on a budget

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 11:24am

BenQ has added a new entry-level monitor to its SW PhotoVue line of photo editing monitors. The new SW240 is a 24-inch 1080p 10-bit IPS display that will sit below the 27-inch QHD SW2700PT, the 27-inch UHD SW271, and the 32-inch UHD SW320, and like the rest of the lineup, it was designed with photo editors in mind.

The SW240 boasts 99% AdobeRGB coverage, 95% DCI-P3, a 14-bit 3D Look Up Table (LUT), hardware calibration, an 'advanced black and white' mode, and a color mode hotkey for switching between AdobeRGB, sRGB, and DCI-P3 while editing.

"We want to make professional tools accessible to everyone, whether you're just starting out or you're a pro upgrading an old monitor, the SW240 is the perfect choice," says BenQ Product Manager Jason Lee. "It fits in our professional lineup with pristine color accuracy and without the hefty price tag of similar professional monitors."

Key features:

  • 24.1 inches, 16:10, 1920 x 1200 resolution
  • 99% Adobe RGB coverage, 100% sRGB and 95% DCI-P3
  • 14-bit 3D LUT, ΔE ≤ 2
  • Hardware Calibration with Palette Master Element calibration software
  • Color Mode HotKey for switching between color modes
  • Advanced Black & White mode
  • Optional shading hood

Of course, the most important feature for this "value monitor" is its price, and that's where BenQ may have missed the mark. The SW240 monitor is available now for $400 by itself—the optional shading hood will cost you an additional $100. Which makes us wonder: why would you purchase an SW240 for $500 (with the shading hood) when you can get the SW2700PT 27-inch QuadHD option (shading hood included) for just $50 more right now?

Are we missing something? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Press Release

BenQ Adds Best Value Professional Photo Editing Monitor to Its Award-Winning SW PhotoVue Line

The High-Quality SW240 Monitor Gives Seasoned Photographers and Hobbyists All the Right Tools at the Right Price

COSTA MESA, Calif. — May 1, 2018 — BenQ America Corp., an internationally renowned provider of visual display solutions, today released the new SW240 24.1" PhotoVue Photo Editing Monitor. Presenting photography professionals, enthusiasts and students with the most affordable AQColor SW PhotoVue Monitor to date, it supports 99% Adobe RGB color space for greater and more natural color reproduction and hardware calibration via BenQ's Palette Master Element software for optimal, long-lasting, accurate color performance users can trust. The new monitor completes BenQ's SW PhotoVue professional photography IPS portfolio, which includes the award-winning SW2700PT (27" QHD), SW271 (27" 4K UHD HDR) and SW320 (32" 4K UHD HDR).

"Great artists rely on great tools, which is why we offer a complete family of professional photography monitors to suit every level, from the new value-priced 24.1" SW240 up to our 32" display," said Jason Lee, product manager at BenQ America Corp. "We want to make professional tools accessible to everyone, whether you're just starting out or you're a pro upgrading an old monitor, the SW240 is the perfect choice. It fits in our professional lineup with pristine color accuracy and without the hefty price tag of similar professional monitors."

Unparalleled Color Reproduction at an Exceptional Value

Engineered with all the advantages of a high-end professional monitor, the debut of the BenQ SW240 24.1" monitor is a photographer's dream. The 10-bit display shows more than 1 billion colors and allows users to enjoy the smoothest color gradations of even the most detailed images. Its 14-bit 3D Look Up Table (LUT) improves RGB color blending accuracy, resulting in impeccable color reproduction, and having Delta E≤2 in both Adobe RGB and sRGB color spaces gives users the truest and most representative view of the original image. Featuring BenQ's AQCOLOR™ technology, the SW240 provides out-of-the-box, factory-calibrated color accuracy with industry-standard color space to bring brilliant colors to life. The 99% Adobe RGB color space offers a greater range of color reproduction for shades of blue and green, resulting in a more realistic color representation for outdoor and nature photography.

Hardware Calibration for Consistent Images

The SW240 hardware calibration adjusts the monitor's image processing chip rather than the graphics card output. As a result, users are never fooled by what they're seeing on screen and can trust that images will stay consistent with their original copies. What's more, BenQ's Palette Master Element software allows users to easily tune and maintain the color performance of the monitor at its most optimal state.

Eye-Care Protects Eyes From Fatigue After Long Hours

The creative process can sometimes be a grueling one. Now users don't have to fret over how much time they're spending in front of their BenQ monitor. Engineered with BenQ's exclusive Eye-Care technology, every PhotoVue Series monitor reduces eye fatigue for user comfort, enhanced productivity and workplace safety during extended use.

The SW240 PhotoVue Photographer monitor is now available at retail price of $399. A shading hood, which can be mounted to suit portrait or landscape orientation, is also available for purchase (MSRP $99).

More information on the full line of BenQ products is available at www.BenQ.com.

Categories: Equipment

Olloclip launches Connect X lens system for Apple iPhone X

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 9:26am

Smartphone accessory lens maker Olloclip has launched a new mobile lens system that is designed specifically for use with the Apple iPhone X.

With a number of interchangeable lenses and a "lens mount" that clips onto your device, Connect X works in a very similar way to previous Olloclip systems. However, the new lenses come with a number of features that are exclusive to Apple's flagship smartphone, including a lens mount that aligns perfectly with the iPhone X's front and rear cameras, allowing for use of the accessory lenses with both camera modules.

In addition, the lens mount is expandable and therefore usable in combination with most protective phone cases. The Connect X system also comes with a pendant stand designed to carry the set of lenses, but that also works as a mini-tripod.

There are six lenses available for the Connect X system:

  • Super-Wide: Four-element lens with 120° field of view
  • Ultra-Wide: 155° field-of-view
  • Fisheye + 15x Macro: 180° wide-angle spherical effect + 15x magnification
  • Telephoto: 2x optical zoom
  • 14x + 7x Macro
  • 21x Macro

The system is now available to order on Olloclip.com. Individual components range from $60 to $80. You can also purchase a Mobile Photography Box Set for iPhone X which contains the Connect X lens mount plus Super-Wide, Fisheye, and Macro 15x lenses. It will set you back $100. The bundle will also be available at Apple Stores starting in June.

Categories: Equipment

Sample gallery: Pentax K-1 II

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 9:00am
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The Pentax K-1 was one of the most anticipated DSLRs in recent memory - with the K-1 II, Pentax hopes to take image quality and ISO performance to the next level. We're presently finishing up our full review of the camera, but wanted to share some sample images, shot in and around Seattle, WA, prior to publishing.

See our Pentax K-1 II sample gallery

Categories: Equipment

Corephotonics files patent infringement suit against Apple – again

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 3:41pm

In November 2017 we reported that Israel-based company Corephotonics—which is best known for its smartphone dual-camera systems—had filed a patent infringement case against Apple in federal court.

The company claimed that Apple had used Corephotonics' dual-camera zoom technology in the iPhone 7 Plus without any authorization or licensing agreement. Previously Corephotonics had demoed its technology to Apple and received positive feedback. However, the iPhone makers refused a licensing deal, suggesting Corephotonics patents could be infringed with little consequence.

A second lawsuit has now been filed to also include the newer iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X models. In addition it covers another patent that was only granted in January 2018, as Patently Apple reports. This makes the claim slightly confusing as both the iPhone 8 Plus and X were developed and released earlier than the patent was granted.

Things are made even more complicated by the fact that Corephotonics investors include Foxconn and chipmaker MediaTek, both of which are Apple suppliers. We'll make sure to keep an eye on things and see how this case develops.

Categories: Equipment

Halide update adds Apple Watch support, self-timer and more

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 10:21am

The makers of Halide today released an update to version 1.8 of the iPhone camera app, introducing a number of major new features.

A new Apple Watch companion app gives you access to framing tools, lets you set the timer and trigger the camera remotely, all from your wrist. You get an image preview on the watch display and according to the developers the watch app has been designed for fast and responsive operation.

For those without an Apple Watch, there is now also a timer mode in the main app, which can be set to 3, 10, or 30 seconds and comes with a countdown on the display for front camera use. When shooting with the main camera, countdown progress is signaled by the flash LED.

In addition there is an updated image review module with a grid-style layout, support for Dynamic and Bold type and VoiceOver support for improved accessibility. For privacy purposes you can now also prevent location information from being embedded in your EXIF data and select options to limit location sharing with connected social apps.

The Halide 1.8 update is free to existing customers. Everyone else can download the latest version of the app from the App Store for $5.99.

Categories: Equipment

AFP Kabul chief photographer among journalists killed by suicide bomber

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 10:00am

AFP news agency's Kabul Chief Photographer Shah Marai was one of several journalists killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan's capital city, the agency has confirmed. The attack happened approximately 15 minutes after an initial suicide blast and specifically targeted journalists and aid workers who arrived on scene following the first attack. The second suicide bomber was disguised as a journalist, according to BBC.

The AFP, via Yahoo, has since reported that Marai and nine other journalists were killed in the attack, as well as 'dozens' of others in multiple blasts today. BBC further clarifies that four police officers were killed and at least 45 individuals were injured. Islamic State claims it was behind the attacks.

A statement from AFP Global News Director Michele Leridon on the death of Shah Marai, AFP's chief photographer in Kabul (Part 1 of 2) pic.twitter.com/QwtLWUBzmm

— AFP news agency (@AFP) April 30, 2018

Marai, father of six including a newborn, began working as a photographer for the AFP in 1998. He described his experiences covering the region under Taliban rule in an essay published by the AFP, including the changes that came with their ousting in 2001 and their return in 2004, as well as the risks associated with carrying a camera.

The agency has issued statements on the tragedy and published a video showcasing some of Marai's work:

Categories: Equipment

SiOnyx Aurora action cam with color night vision blasts past Kickstarter funding goal

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 9:00am

Kickstarter's latest major funding success is a campaign for SiOnyx's Aurora, an action cam said to be the first ever day/night camera of its kind offering "true night vision." SiOnyx packed a 1-inch sensor into Aurora for low-light capabilities, using it to offer both night vision and color night vision recording options for twilight and night time settings.

Aurora records low-light scenes at 10x the brightness compared to standard CMOS sensors, according to SiOnyx, which claims there are no competing products with Aurora's level of performance at a sub-$800 price point. SiOnyx provides multiple examples of Aurora in action on its YouTube channel, including the video below:

Aurora features a manual Day/Twilight/Night mode selector, as well as time lapse, still picture, and video recording options. The camera has an IP67 waterproof rating for submersion to depths down to 3ft / 1m for up to 30 minutes at a time.

Joining the large 1-inch sensor is an F1.4, 2.0, 5.6 selectable 16mm lens, 8 fps to 60 fps recording, 4x digital zoom, integrated compass/accelerometer/GPS, stereo audio, color/monochrome display, WiFi, a 32GB microSD card for storage and support for both iOS and Android.

SiOnyx has exceeded its $50,000 Kickstarter funding goal, so far raising about $200,000 with 24 days remaining in the campaign. The company is offering an Aurora Early Bird unit for backers who pledge at least $559 USD with shipping expected to start in July 2018, assuming everything goes according to plan. Aurora will have a $799 USD MSRP.

Via: PhotographyBLOG

Categories: Equipment

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm F2.8-4 Yellowstone Sample Gallery

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 8:00am
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The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm F2.8-4 is a powerful - and portable - telezoom for Micro Four Thirds cameras, providing the equivalent of a 100-400mm focal length range. On paper, this compact stabilized zoom is perfect for wildlife photography, in environments where large, heavy lenses and tripods aren't always practical.

We recently returned from a trip to Yellowstone National Park with the 50-100mm and the Panasonic Lumix DC-G9. Check out our gallery to see how we got on.

See our Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm gallery

This gallery was shot on location, during a video shoot supported by Panasonic.

Categories: Equipment

Adobe is now making 'Lightroom Coffee Break' videos for Lightroom CC

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 11:50am

For a while now, the official Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube channel has produced a series titled ‘Lightroom Coffee Break.’ The collection of videos provides quick (~60 seconds) tips on how to make the most of Lightroom, and after 56 episodes, the creators have finally started to include tips specifically for Adobe’s cloud-centric Lightroom CC.

Until now, all of the videos have been based on Lightroom Classic CC. Now, the minute-long videos will include tips and tricks specifically created for Lightroom CC users—a welcomed change considering it’s becoming the go-to choice for many photographers, and there aren't a lot of resources out there as of right now.

The first video, presented by Lightroom team members Michelle Wei and Josh Haftel, details how easy it is to salvage an underexposed Raw photograph using only four sliders: exposure, highlights, shadows, and contrast. It might seem a bit basic, but you can count on future episodes to dive into more complicated adjustments.

Even though Adobe is just now getting around to making tutorials specifically for Lightroom CC, many of the previous videos made for Lightroom Classic CC still apply, so take some time and look at the archive. At one minute each, you could get through all 57 episodes in an hour—less time than it takes to watch an episode of Game of Thrones.

And if you want to keep up with future videos, be sure to subscribe to the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube channel.

Categories: Equipment

GIMP 2.10.0 released: Features 32-bit support, new UI and more

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 11:13am

Open-source image editor GIMP has been updated to version 2.10.0, its first major update in six years. In this new version, GIMP has been "nearly" fully ported to the GEGL image processing engine, which brings support for up to 32-bit images, multi-threaded processing, and optional GPU-side processing for systems with stable OpenCL drivers.

According to the team, GIMP 2.10.0 uses GEGL for all of its tile management and to build an acyclic graph for each project. That satisfies the prerequisites for eventually adding non-destructive editing, a future feature slated for version 3.2.

The new image processing engine aside, GIMP 2.10 brings an updated UI with a new default dark theme; the symbolic icons are also now enabled by default. This gives users a total of four theme option: Dark, Light, Gray, and System. However, themes and icons have been separated so that users can choose them independently for better customization.

Additionally, there are now four icon sizes to improve their look on HiDPI displays. The software automatically detects the best size for the display; however, since it may not always be accurate, users can manually change the size if necessary.

Many new features and improvements, as well as expanded support, have arrived in 2.10.0—complete details of the changes are available in the full release notes. Notable among the changes is support for multiple new formats (including OpenEXR, WebP, RGBE, and HGT) on-canvas previews for filters ported to GEGL, improved warp tools, color management has been revamped as a core feature, and the digital painting experience has been enhanced.

GIMP 2.10.0 can be downloaded now for Windows, macOS, Linux, BSD, and Solaris.

Categories: Equipment

DxO Labs confirms bankruptcy, but promises updates to Nik Collection and DxO PhotoLab

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 04/30/2018 - 10:21am

DxO Labs has released an official update on its financial situation in the form of a blog post on its website, and it’s not as doom-and-gloom as it seems... or sounds. While the statement confirms DxO Labs has chosen "to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection and is now in the process of restructuring the business," it also says the restructuring "will not affect our customers in any way."

In fact, DxO Labs says the process should take no more than a few weeks to complete. And not only should this news "not affect customers," DxO Labs took the opportunity to confirm that a couple of new products are on the horizon.

According to the statement, DXO Labs plans to release a free update (version 1.2) to its flagship program DxO PhotoLab sometime in June. The update will add improved local correction features and support for seen new cameras ‘including the Canon EOS 2000D and the Sony A7 III.’

In a quick swipe at Adobe, DxO writes that this impending update will serve as:

...an opportunity for us to reiterate our commitment to the 'perpetual license' model (as opposed to a subscription model) that allows our customers to update their products according to their needs, rather than in a constrained manner.

And if that's not enough good news to distract you from the Chapter 11 talk, DxO Labs also confirmed plans to update the Nik Software Collection.

In June, the Nik Software Collection will receive its first update since being bought from Google in December of 2017. The update is said to focus on fixing bugs and to make sure the plug-ins and standalone programs work smoothly on both PC and MacOS computers.

Official Statement:


On March 7, 2018, DxO Labs chose to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection and is now in the process of restructuring the business.

We are very confident that this procedure, which should not last for more than a few more weeks, will not affect our customers in any way. In fact, we are pleased to announce the following upcoming product releases:

  • In June, we will release a free update (version 1.2) of our flagship software, DxO PhotoLab. Recently awarded the TIPA 2018 Award for Best Image Processing Software, this latest version of DxO PhotoLab will include improved local correction features, and will add support for 7 cameras, including the Canon EOS 2000D and the Sony A7 III. This release will also be an opportunity for us to reiterate our commitment to the “perpetual license” model (as opposed to a subscription model) that allows our customers to update their products according to their needs, rather than in a constrained manner.
  • In June, we will release the new version of the Nik Software Collection, which DxO acquired from Google at the end of 2017. Much awaited by the Nik software community, this first “by DxO” version focuses on fixing bugs that up until now could disrupt the user experience, as well as on ensuring full compatibility with the latest Mac OS and PC platforms.

Thank you for your understanding and confidence,

The DxO Team

Categories: Equipment