Action cams, GearComments Off on GoPro Karma: Foldable, Removable Stabilizer, ‘More than a Drone’
GoPro finally revealed their Karma Drone, but in CEO Nick Woodman’s words: It’s so much more than a drone. Foldable, easy-to-use, and equipped with a removable stabilizer that you can use hand-held or mounted to something else, this is an incredibly impressive all-around machine.
Announced during this morning’s live stream, Karma is a big deal for GoPro. Not only does it let you take your Hero 5 Black, Hero 4 Black, or Hero 5 Session to the skies, the attached stabilization system can be removed and inserted into the included “Karma Grip” that lets you use it handheld or mount it to your helmet, bike, car, or self.
Combine that with GoPro’s built in digital stabilization and the stabilizer allows users to create buttery smooth footage never before possible with any action cam.
Details like controller range, flight time, and other details that you would expect GoPro to mention right away were left out of the announcement.
Woodman, and by extension GoPro, instead focused on the experience of the thing. Like how easy it is to fly using the “game-style flight and camera control, how portable it is all folded up and packed in the Karma Case, and how cool it is that the stabilizer is removable.
Not to mention the The GoPro Passenger App, that lets a friend control your camera and see what you’re capturing using an iPad or iPhone while you pilot the drone itself.
If you dig into the landing page, you’ll find some details though. For instance, you’ll find out that that the Karma drone features built-in “No-Fly Zones” to keep you out of trouble, and a simple land button that brings the Karma drone back to you or the launch location, no matter where you’ve flown it to.
Battery wise, Karma will run for 20 minutes on a 1-hour charge, and GoPro has gone out of its way to make the drone easy to repair. Not just the “efficient” and “quiet” propellers that allegedly generate more lift with less noise, but the arms themselves can be replaced, and replacement arms come with all the tools you’ll need to do it yourself.
Here are some video intros to the Karma Drone, Karma Grip, and Karma Controller, along with product shots of the drone from all angles:
Action cams, GearComments Off on The GoPro Hero5 Black: Waterproof, Stabilized, Voice Commands & More
GoPro is calling the new Hero 5 Black “Simply the best GoPro, ever.” They’re not wrong. Waterproof to 33ft out of the box and featuring 4K video, stabilization, voice commands, and more, the Hero 5 Black is a lot of action camera for $400.
This morning’s GoPro announcement was a product release bonanza. Not only did we get to see the Karma ‘so muchmore than a’ Drone, CEO Nick Woodman also debuted the new flagship GoPro Hero5 Black.
The big news on the surface is that the Hero5 Black can survive below the surface… of the water that is. Out of the box and without a casing of any kind, it’s waterproof to 10 meters (~33ft). This thanks to a new one-button design that takes away a lot of seams and looks pretty sleek doing it.
The second most ‘exciting’ bit of news about the Hero5 Black is the voice controls, which let you “stay in the moment” while capturing said moment. Available in 7 languages at launch, you can tell your Hero5 Black to start recording, take a photo, take a burst, and more.
Over and over during this morning’s release Woodman harped on the fact that GoPro’s goal was to make a camera that “disappears.” A camera that is so easy and intuitive to use that you forget you’re using a camera—an extension of your experience instead of something that interrupts it. Voice controls are a big piece of this.
Add to that the automatic upload to the cloud that comes with a GoPro Plus subscription—every time you plug in your GoPro to charge, it uploads automatically—and Woodman is getting closer to his “invisible” camera dream.
Here’s a quick into and an overview of “what’s new” with the Hero5:
TechniqueComments Off on 500px ‘RAW’ Lets You Shoot, Edit, and License RAW Photos, All on Your Phone
500px’s latest app “RAW” is more than the name implies. Not only does it let you shoot and edit RAW photos on your iPhone, it also helps you license those photos to clients who submit specific briefs to the 8 million photographer 500px community.
Since the release of iOS 10, several camera apps have alreadyjumped on the RAW bandwagon by letting you shoot, edit, and share RAW files straight from your iPhone or iPad. But 500px RAW goes a step further by pairing that capability with on-demand photography assignments from companies looking to license photos.
On the photo editing side, 500px RAW offers some robust RAW editing tools. Beyond the basic edits like contrast and exposure, the app actually lets you edit hue, saturation, and luminance by color.
Once you’ve dialed in a look you like, you can save a custom filter. And if all that seems like too much work, 500px teamed up with some of their most popular users to create some ready-to-use presets for you.
AppleComments Off on iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Announced: Dual Cameras for Zoom and Bokeh
Apple just announced the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, a smartphone it calls “the world’s most advanced smartphone.”
The phones feature a new aluminum body that comes in shiny black, matte black, gold, silver, and rose gold.
Both phones are now officially water and dust resistant, boasting an IP67 protection standard that means your iPhone will be safe from splashes.
The iPhone 7 has a new camera system that features optical image stabilization system that lets you shoot longer exposures while reducing shake, larger f/1.8 aperture that lets in 50% more light, a 6-element lens that delivers sharp images, a new 12-megapixel sensor that’s 60% faster and 30% more energy efficient.
The flash is a Quad-LED system that True Tone flash, 50% more light, and Flicker sensor that compensates for the flickering in artificial light. Here are a couple of sample photos shot using the new flash:
The image signal processor at the core of the phone has 2x the throughput compared to previous iPhones. It uses machine learning to detect objects and people. The system then sets exposure, focus, color, white balance, tone mapping, noise reduction, and multiple image compositing. Everything is done in 25 milliseconds.
Here are sample photographs shot using the iPhone 7:
AppleComments Off on Apple’s Bokeh-filled iPhone 7 Event Invite Hints at Camera Upgrades
Apple sent out invites to journalist this week for an event in San Francisco on September 7th — presumably to announce the iPhone 7. The invite itself is covered with colorful bokeh, perhaps hinting at major camera upgrades coming to the phone.
Smartphone cameras generally aren’t known for offering an extremely shallow depth of field and smooth bokeh (the quality of the out-of-focus points of light). One upgrade that might help the iPhone 7 achieve these things is the addition of a second camera module with another lens and sensor.
A dual camera has long been rumored to be a major feature of the iPhone 7 Plus, and if it is announced, Apple would be following in the footsteps of Chinese phonemaker Huawei and its new P9 phone with dual Leica cameras.
In addition tomultiple leaked photos showing the purported dual camera system, some people are pointing to the invite image itself as proof that the twin cameras are coming.
TechniqueComments Off on PortraitPro Body Packs Drastic Body Retouching Into Simple Sliders
Doing extreme retouching to the human body in photos has gotten a great deal of bad press as of late, but that’s not keeping a London-based software company Anthropics Technologyfrom trying to innovate in that space. It has launched a new program called PortraitPro Body, which it claims is “the industry’s first dedicated full body retouching software.”
While high-end retouching portraits is generally done with the multitude of tools found in programs such as Photoshop, PortraitPro Body seeks to simplify the retouching process by putting major touch-ups behind simple sliders.
The 6 main panels in the program are Mark Up, Shape Sliders, Shape Tools, Skin, Face, and Picture.
The sliders in these panels allow you to easily slim someone down, bulk someone up, change a person’s height, adjust poses and posture, modify facial expressions, remove various blemishes from their skin, and more.
Hello, photographers. For the last two months, I’ve been doing market research for my project Photolemurand looking for different tools in the area of photo enhancement and photo editing. I spent a lot of time searching, and came up with a large organized list of 104 photo editing tools and apps that you should know about.
I believe all these services might be useful for some photographers, so I’ll share them here with you. And just to make it easier to find something specific, the list is numbered. Enjoy!
Table of contents
Photo enhancers (1-3)
Online editors (4-21)
Free desktop editors (22-26)
Paid desktop editors (27-40)
HDR photo editors (41-53)
Cross-platform image editors (54-57)
Photo filters (58-66)
Photo editing mobile apps (67-85)
RAW processors (86-96)
Photo viewers and managers (97-99)
1.Photolemur – The world’s first fully automated photo enhancement solution. It is powered by a special AI algorithm that fixes imperfections on images without human involvement (beta).
2.Softcolorsoftware – Automatic photo editor for batch photo enhancing, editing and color management.
3.Perfectly Clear – Photo editor with a set of automatic correction presets for Windows&Mac ($149)
4.Pixlr – High-end photo editing and quick filtering – in your browser (free)
5.Fotor– Overall photo enhancement in an easy-to-use package (free)
6.Sumopaint – The most versatile photo editor and painting application that works in a browser (free)
7.Irfanview – An image-viewer with added batch editing and conversion. rename a huge number of files in seconds, as well as resize them. Freeware (for non-commercial use)
TechniqueComments Off on Wildlife Photography, The Pokemon GO of the Real World
It finally happened: after countless months of wandering around, going to places where people say they’ve spawned, after using lures, and being patient, I managed to add a… Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus) to my collection!
Now, I don’t really play Pokemon GO (as the above was making reference to) though I did install the app to see what the fuss was about, and can see why it appeals to people. Like some aspects of wildlife or bird photography, you’re out trying to collect them all, there’s friendly competition in trying to find a ‘better’ one than your peers, and it’s an excuse to get out.
Like most things, it also happens to be something you can get better at as experience works out the solutions to the many little hurdles that present themselves to you while you are learning the art, and that sense of progress can get addictive.
An Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus) isn’t particularly rare in Australia — their beautiful long calls followed by a sharp, distinct ‘whip’ are heard on many a forest walk, but they aren’t seen as often as they are heard. On this occasion while out on a walk, I heard one, and used the Morcombe’s Birds of Australia app (available forAndroid and Apple) on my phone to play one a call in response. Around mating season, this often entices some birds out to investigate.
It never before worked on a Whipbird for me, but this time I saw a particularly inquisitive Whipbird scuttling through the undergrowth near me, hopping on branches in the surrounding scrub, practically doing circles around me and very curiously trying to investigate where this potential mate (unfortunately for him this time, just my Sony Xperia Z5) might be, and I managed a snap before driving the little guy too crazy with expectation.
Prior to this, my most memorable find was a Wompoo Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus magnificus), and as its Latin name alludes to, it is quite magnificent, bearing a grey head, a red beak, green body, purple throat and yellow wing accents.
Action cams, GearComments Off on GoPro Hero 5 Photos and User Manual Leaked, Voice Commands Incoming
Some photos of and a user manual for the upcoming GoPro Hero 5 have allegedly leaked online, showing a camera that looks like a hybrid between the Hero 4 and Hero Session cameras, will focus heavily on GoPro’s upcoming cloud service ‘GoPro Plus,’ and may feature voice commands.
The images first appeared on (and were subsequently pulled from) the Japanese blog Nokishita, but before they could be removed the folks at Mirrorless Rumors snagged some screenshots. That’s how we come to share these real life photos and an alleged schematic for the unreleased action cam.
The camera will probably be waterproof out of the box (although an external casing will, we assume, still be required to take the camera to serious depths) given the rounded edges and rubberized look, it will feature a touch screen display, and otherwise looks very similar to the aging Hero 4.
Here’s another look at the leaked video from a couple of weeks ago, showing GoPro’s touchscreen interface at work:
Gear, TechniqueComments Off on Photo Challenge: Using a 15-Year-Old DSLR for a Modern-Day Portrait Shoot
It’s easy to forgot how easy we have it shooting digital in 2016, because when digital cameras first started picking up steam they were not easy to use. How difficult were they? Watch as Jared Polin of Fro Knows Photo takes the 15-year-old Nikon D1X out for a modern day on-location portrait shoot.
Warning: The video above contains some strong language, user discretion advised.
This particular video, part of Fro’s “5 Min Portrait” series, is different than most of the challenges like it we’ve seen because he takes you along for the entire (sometimes painful) process. From unboxing, to finding era-appropriate lenses, to struggling for focus, to the finished prints on his studio floor.
The full video is over an hour long. It’s not short, but it’s a great weekend watch if you want to (1) be reminded of how good you have it with your fancy new D5 or whatever you’re shooting, and/or (2) refocus on some of the photography basics that you maybe started letting your new camera take care of automatically.
Fro certainly had to change his mindset and adjust to shooting “vintage,” but some of the shots he captured—candids as well as more traditional on-location portraits—turned out really well. Here are a few of our favorites:
MarketingComments Off on 10 Tips for Self Publishing a Photo Book Through Kickstarter
In January 2016 I launched a successful Kickstarter campaignto get my first book, Animal Soul, printed. Here I will share ten things I learned that could perhaps be valuable for those wanting to follow this path.
1. Fully Funded is Not the Same as Successful
Success in Kickstarter is not measured by if you are fully funded, for that is only part of the process. In order to host a truly successful campaign, you need to fulfill each of the following.
Your campaign is fully funded
You actually manage to produce the product with the allocated budget.
The product is shipped within your estimated timeframe with minimal delays.
The product quality meets or exceeds expectations.
When your project is fully funded, you have a responsibility to your backers to meet all the claims you made throughout your campaign. If this is your first time publishing a book, I would recommend allotting yourself an extra 2–3 months ahead of your bona fide timeline estimate. There will ALWAYS be unexpected setbacks. As Victor Hugo once wrote, and I paraphrase, “foresee the unforeseen”.
2. Transparency is Everything
Kickstarter is not a shop. Backers know this. They are not buying readymade products. The Kickstarter community exists to support individuals who are going against the grain. Most people hosting a Kickstarter campaign are new to whatever it is they are trying, so trouble will always be over the horizon. Be as clear as you can with your audience about the hurdles you foresee and how you plan to overcome them.
If problems that you hadn’t even considered show up, update your backers and explain your plan to approach the problem. I was very hands-on with Animal Soul, and as a result most of the reviews of the campaign explained how the backers felt as though they were a totally up-to-date and informed part of the project, as opposed to simply being the consumer.
The more honest and transparent you are about the project, the better the project is likely to fare. If you plan to host subsequent crowdfunding campaigns in the future your reviews will be scrutinized. Showing that you made good on your promises goes a long way.
3. Launch in January or February
Host it early in the year. I found some researchthat concludes that Kickstarter hosts the fewest amount of projects right after the winter holidays. There may be less traffic on the site but there is far less competition. Trust me, this can make all the difference.
4. The Inside Track to Free Press on Major Websites
Getting the buzz going about your crowdfunding campaign is the next step to reaching your funding goal.
When pitching a book project to traditional publishers and literary agents, you are often required to submit a proposal. In the proposal there should be a competitor analysis. Which books that have already been published will you be sharing a market with? Which artists have been producing similar photos to the ones you are doing?
Once you have established who your competition is, find out who wrote about it. For example, there were about 5 books and another 10 artists whom Animal Soul would share a slice of the market with. I had a very simple search strategy, which went as follows:
“(Name of website / publication) + (description of competition) + (keywords like: photographer, coffee table book, etc.)”
Or if I plug in the variables for an example:
“The Guardian Seth Casteel dogs underwater” or “MyModernMet dog portraits” and so on.
The search results will then yield articles published by a particular website about your competition. Go through these pages and find out who wrote the articles. Most of the time there is a credited author to each article.
Next step is to research some company email formats. Try to find out which format the site of your choice uses. This information is generally not public, so I am not able to share my findings for all the major sites, however the following formats are common:
With the right format in mind, plug in the name of the person who wrote that article and ask if they would be interested in running a story about your work. After all, journalists and reporters make a living off of generating content, so you’re not doing anybody a disservice if you legitimately feel your material is worth writing about.
I got about a 65% response rate from these, which yielded ultimately about a 30% chance in a published article on a big website, per email I sent. Check out where I’ve been published here, to see that this actually works.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on How the Fujifilm X-Pro2 Was Designed for ‘Decisive Usability’
Digital cameras are notoriously difficult to design and get right. Where do you start? Who is the customer? What features do you include on the camera? There are uncountable ways to approach a camera development and design program.
For example, you can create a spreadsheet listing current and near-future ‘must-have’ specifications and cross them out one-by-one to please the techno-consumer. Or you can specialize and excel in specific areas—a more difficult proposition altogether. For the X-Pro2, Fujifilm chose the latter simply because of their heritage of crafting cameras for particular needs.
If you take a look at Fujifilm’s history of cameras, you get a sense of a company that sees photography not only as a technological endeavor but also an artistic one. For example, I have in the past used two remarkable Fujifilm cameras — the GX680 III and the GA645. The GX680 III is the largest SLR ever made. It’s a very specialized camera catering to product, interior and architectural photography. The superb Fujinon EBC lenses were attached to a front standard that in turn connected to the camera body with bellows. This enabled not only close-up shots with any lens but also enabled the front standard to have view camera movements — rise/fall, tilt, shift and swing. With this combination, you could shoot a small product that was completely in focus, as well as photograph interior and exterior architecture while correcting for converging parallels. It shot a rare 6 x 8 cm image on medium format film, which is close to magazine page proportions in order to minimize cropping.
Gear, TechniqueComments Off on Portraits of 19th-Century Characters with 21st-Century Gadgets
For his personal project “Gold Rush,” Los Angeles-based photographer Qingjian Meng combines two different eras. The subjects look like they’re from the 19th century, except each of the 8 people is using some piece of technology from the 21st century.
“By creating these 19th Century characters posing with 21st Century technology, the portraits create a dialogue between generations,” Meng says. “It shows the conflict between the two different eras and this reveals how cyclical economic and innovative tides can be within a society.”
Technologies seen in the photos include headphones, a tablet, video games, a Bluetooth headset, an e-cigarette, and more. Here are the other portraits containing anachronisms:
Gear, TechniqueComments Off on Is a Full Frame Camera Really Worth It? D610 vs D7100 Real World Test
Since I got my Nikon D7000 camera 6 years ago I’ve used it almost everyday. That is a lot of shutter clicks, 148,558 to be exact. It looks like I will be in the market for a new camera soon as the D7000 is only factory tested to 150,000 clicks. My dilemma is should I go full frame, or stick with my cropped frame?
I keep asking myself, is a full frame camera really worth it? I took a Nikon full frame D610 and a Nikon cropped frame D7100 on a test drive around Paris to see the real world differences.
What exactly is a “full frame” camera?
Film was the unchallenged king for a century and the most popular format was 35mm film. It was sometimes referred to as “small format” to differentiate it from “medium format” or “large format” cameras, but for most of us it was the standard film we used. Although called 35mm, it actually measured 36x24mm.
When they started making digital cameras they used a smaller sensor than their film counterparts, roughly 24x16mm, but the bodies still took advantage of the same 35mm lens. The smaller sensor size meant there was a part of the image that never made it to the smaller sensor. About a decade ago, developers in Japan decided to increase the size of their sensors to the equivalent of 35mm film and as a very cleaver marketing ploy, called them “full frame” renaming their current cameras as merely “cropped frame.”
Makes you feel like you’re missing out right? Lets take a look at some of the key differences.
TechniqueComments Off on The Idea of Gravity, or: How Wedding Photography Referrals Work
If you’re like me, you’re constantly looking to improve and expand your referral base. Once you’ve got a good number of weddings under your belt your base will be made up of (mostly) previous couples.
Every wedding you shoot is another set of potential clients down the road. Members of the wedding party, their family members, friends and guests of the couple… these are the people who will hopefully come to you in the future when they themselves are looking for a wedding photographer.
So how do you get it all going? For a lot of photographers, getting work in the beginning is like the chicken or the egg. You need weddings to get weddings. So where’s the break in the loop?
It’s important to understand the order of the referral tree. This is where “gravity” comes into play. It’s also where photographers who are just starting out are at a bit of a disadvantage.
While it can certainly vary couple-to-couple, the booking order usually goes something like this:
2. Venue / Date
4. DJ / Band
5. Catering (if not provided by the venue)
8. Dress shop
9. Justice of Peace (if necessary)
10. Videographer (I don’t agree with the tendency to book video late, but it seems to be the trend)
11. Misc vendors (drapery, lighting, candy buffets, photo booth, cocktail hour trios, etc)
Apple, TechniqueComments Off on Polaroid Swing: An App for Snapping and Sharing Moving Photos
The Polaroid brand has launched a new free mobile app called Polaroid Swing. It’s “an innovative moving photo app” that opens the door to a “new visual medium for the mobile era.”
The app was created by a partnership between the Polaroid brand and a tech startup chaired by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.
Using the app, you can capture moving photos, or one-second moments that come to life when you touch the static photo or swing your phone around. The concept is similar to the Live Photos feature built into Apple’s latest iPhones.
GearComments Off on This Hyperlapse Through Saigon Was Shot Handheld with the DJI Osmo
Time-lapse photographer Rufus Blackwellspent the last 2 months taking the DJI Osmo handheld stabilized camera around Saigon, Vietnam. The 3-minute video above is what resulted.
“Because the camera is so steady, you can create hyperlapse sequences from shooting video, a completely new way of creating a moving timelapse,” Blackwell tells PetaPixel. “This allows you so much latitude in post, you can warp time. This was a highly experimental shoot, I was amazed by the results.”
This is a big week for new top-tier gear at DxOMark. First, they crowned the Canon 1D X Mark II the best Canon sensor they’ve ever tested, and now the affordable Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary has been named DxO’s top-ranking Sony E-Mount prime.
The full review dropped earlier today, and if you’re looking for a super-sharp lens for your Sony E-Mount APS-C camera, you need look no further. According to DxOMark, the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DN is “an excellent standard prime option for Sony E-mount cameras and ranks at the top for all lenses we’ve tested on the A6000.”
GearComments Off on OOWA Smartphone Lenses Promise Top Quality Thanks to Special Design
There’s no shortage of smartphone lenses out there to choose from, but these two from DynaOptics promise to be both special, and unique. Designed with their patented ‘free-form’ technology, the OOWA smartphone lenses claim they are “the highest-quality lens attachments ever created for mobile photography.”
That’s quite the claim, especially with competition from high-end glass lenses like the Moment offerings, but DynaOptics has a technological ace up their sleeve: “patented free-form technology” they say results in “unprecedented” edge-to-edge sharpness, minimal distortion, no chromatic aberration, and no vignetting.
TechniqueComments Off on Photoshop Trick: How to Stitch Together Difficult Panoramas
If you’ve ever tried to stitch a panorama in Photoshop, you know that the program is not always up to the task. In this “Photoshop Secrets” tutorial, photographer Jimmy McIntyre will show you two tricks that will help Photoshop stitch even the most difficult tiles together into a beautiful pano.
The first 4:40 of the video is a small bit of self-promotion followed by tips on how to shoot panoramas to make stitching them in Photoshop easier: he talks about overlap between tiles, shooting a lot of extra info around the edges, and more. These are important tips if you’ve never shot panoramas, but if you want to skip straight to the tips on stitching together difficult panoramas, jump straight to 4:40.