40% of All Camera Sensors Sold in 2014 Were Made by Sony

by JamesNYCMay 1. 2015 06:55

Sony is not well known for making smartphones or cameras, but it’s playing a larger role in those industries than than many people may be aware: the company’s image sensor business has been growing in recent years. In 2014, Sony manufactured 40% of all the sensors sold across the globe.

The Wall Street Journal has published a fascinating look at how Sony is banking on image sensor manufacturing as one of the core pillars of the company. Instead of focusing on selling Sony-branded electronics, as the company did in past decades, Sony is now working at getting its technologies inside other companies’ hit products.

For example, every iPhone 6 contains two camera sensors made by Sony, and every sale of the phone generates up to $20 for the company, according to the WSJ report.

The latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphones both contain Sony camera sensors.

Back in February, Sony sorted its different businesses into three tiers depending on priority. Image sensors was placed into the highest tier, and Sony says it’s investing over $1 billion in its sensor factories in order to meet global demand. Sony’s camera business fell into the middle tier.

Although its own cameras may not be the company’s top priority now, photographers have a friend at the top: Sony’s CEO, Kazuo Hirai, reportedly refers to himself as a “camera nut.”

It just remains to be seen whether Sony can remain the leader in image sensors in both quantity and quality. If it can, Sony will have established itself as one of the cornerstones of the world of digital photography.

 

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Leica Officially Announces New M Monochrom Type 246 Camera

by JamesNYCApril 29. 2015 13:26

Today Leica has announced the new M Monochom (type 246) camera, a follow up to the M Monochrome black-and-white shooting rangefinder. The new digital camera boasts a faster Maestro image processor, 2 GB buffer memory, 24-megapixel black-and-white full-frame sensor, live-view zoom, focus peaking, and 1080p Full-HD video.

The M Monochroms claim to fame is being the first and only digital camera that produces only black and white images without any processing. Leica claims that their camera, without the hindrance of color, provides better images. According to Leica, "The result is 100 percent sharper images with brilliance and detail contrast that far exceeds what color photography can do."

The improvements to the processor allow for up to 3 times faster shooting and viewing on its beautiful 3-inch 921k-dot LCD screen. They've also added full-HD filming, 10x live-view zoom, and focus peaking, which reveals sharply focused edges with color highlights. Other improvements over the predecessor include a new CMOS sensor, a departure from the previous generations CCD sensor. The new sensor allows for a substantial bump in ISO range, which is capped at 25,000.

There is a video featuring Ragnar Axelsson using the new Monochrom here: https://vimeo.com/126365311

It should be noted that this camera will ONLY shoot B&W still and video and with an MSRP of $7,450 it will be the well off that like toys that this camera will appeal to. The rest of us will be content to change to B&W in Photoshop or use a Capture One Pro styles pre-set.  The Leica M Monochrom type 246 will be available in May as can be pre-ordered now.

 

 

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The Changing Face of Avid: Audio is king and Media Composer is free

by JamesNYCApril 28. 2015 11:59

 

RedShark News' David Shapton reports from Avid's press conference this weekend which heralded several important announcements and updates.
He writes, "The Avid press conference on Saturday morning was a fascinating confirmation that we live in a time of extreme technological change and that Avid is now an IT company - and it makes more audio than video hardware. It also announced first thing on Monday morning that it's spending around $60m buying realtime graphics company Orad...Essentially, with the exception of its hardware, Avid's products are becoming services, available from the internet."

Read the full story here.

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Avid Announces Free Version of Media Composer

by JamesNYCApril 13. 2015 22:47

Avid recently announced a free version of it’s popular video editing software. Media Composer | First is coming sometime in 2015, but has released some information on what to expect.

Media Composer | First will be a trimmed down option of the full version of Media Composer. The concept is to make video editing more accessible to those just learning or who do not have the funds for purchasing a full NLE.

Just how limited will it be? Well, one thing to note is that there will be a limited number of projects available, projects will be stored in the cloud, and there will be limited cloud storage space. Additional project and storage space will be available as an extra purchase. Avid does have a FAQ up on their website, and had this to say about limitations of the software:

READ MOE HERE

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Canon Responds to Format Trends

by JamesNYCApril 13. 2015 12:59

 

Larry Thorpe of Canon U.S.A.’s Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Professional Engineering & Solutions Division has been listening to the company’s camera and lens customers.

“I see three major format sizes dictating most of what is being done with lenses and cameras today: the large-format, Super35, there’s no question that’s very hot. And good old 2/3-inch is rock solid in applications like sports and still a lot of broadcast studios, and some ENG and EFP. And then down in the small format, the 1/3-inch and variants on that, we see it still briskly growing, especially in broadcast news.”

Canon is a player in lenses for all three of the camera types he mentioned, but only makes digital video cameras in the large-format and 1/3-inch sensor arenas.

Canon recently introduced three new DSLRs: the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R, which pushed open a new era of still camera resolution with 50 megapixel sensors, and the EOS 7D Mark II, with a host of still photography tools such as the ability to shoot 20-megapixel still photos at 10 frames per second.

“Of course that does not have much bearing on the video capabilities,” said Chuck Westfall, advisor, Canon U.S.A.’s Strategic Research & Development, Future Product & Solution Plan Division, “but we’re seeing that there’s a tremendous level of interest in these cameras as general purpose tools that can do more in terms of high resolution for stills, while maintaining full HD capability.”

 

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Red's latest 'Weapon' is an 8K full-frame camera

by JamesNYCApril 13. 2015 12:35

Red launched the first mainstream 4K camera when 1080p seemed like overkill, and now that this whole 4K thing might work out, it's got an 8K RAW model. The Weapon 'Vista Vision' features a mind-boggling 8,192 x 4,320, 35-megapixel sensor that can do up to 75 fps, widescreen 8K. The chip is also 40.96 x 21.6mm or Vista Vision-sized, considerably larger than the full-frame sensor on a camera like the Nikon D810. Video can be recorded in RAW and scaled-down ProRes formats simultaneously, just as with the company's 6K Weapon models.

So, how much does it cost to be on par with Peter Jackson and James Cameron? A helluva lot. If we're reading the (rather confusing) pricing correctly, you'll need to order the company's 6K Weapon Woven CF "brain," or bare camera for a cool $49,500, then add another $10,000 for the 8K sensor upgrade. That makes $59,500 by our counting, plus whatever your accessories, storage and lenses cost. The upgrade price is only good until the end of NAB on April 16th, after which time it'll be $20,000. If you already own a Red Scarlet or Epic camera, you can get credits in various amounts towards the Weapon models.

Other specs are still unknown, as is the exact shipping date. Red actually launched its 6K Weapon camera just a few months ago, and it's still not shipping. We're not sure who exactly needs 8K, since there aren't a lot of TVs out there in that format -- but it might look great blown up to IMAX size. Red said the sensor would arrive by the end of the year.;

8K VISTA VISION FORGED WEAPON from RED Digital Cinema on Vimeo.

 

See more video - RED at NAB 2015

 

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OWC Envoy Pro Mini is a Desktop Class SSD in a Thumb Drive

by JamesNYCApril 13. 2015 12:29

OWC announced the Envoy Pro Mini SSD drive back at CES 2015 but is getting closer to shipping the drives. The Envoy Pro Mini will be available in 120GB, 240GB and 480GB.

Using an USB 3.0 interface, the Envoy Pro Mini can deliver up to 433MB/s transfer speeds. The form factor is pretty incredible given that is slightly larger than the chintzy USB thumb drives. However, the Envoy Pro Mini can be formatted for use as a dedicated external drive.

Pricing will be $119 for the 120GB version and $199 for the 240GB version. Pricing has not yet been announced for the 480GB version but it is likely to be $299.

find them on OWC’s website.

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At $2,500, Canon’s New 4K Camcorder Is Actually a Bargain

by JamesNYCApril 10. 2015 12:43

Most of Canon’s camera designs are pretty straightforward. But the company has also thrown some interesting and super-weird models into the mix over the years: The tubular 35mm film Autoboy Jet, the submarine-themed PowerShot D10, and the buttonless and belt-buckle-sized PowerShot N among them. But 99 times out of 100, Canon’s design sense skews conservative.

 Not this time, and it’s nice to see that Canon can still bring the funk. The new Canon XC10 ($2,500) splits the difference between a camcorder and a camera, although Canon is billing it primarily as a camcorder. The company says the XC10 was built with roving journalists in mind. It captures 4K video and 12-megapixel stills with its mechanical shutter and 1-inch-type sensor—the same size sensor found in Sony’s RX100 cameras and AX100 4K camcorder. This time, that imager is baked into a body that looks like it should be comfortable to use when shooting both stills and video, and that’s a rarity.

 Sensor size isn’t the only trait this hybrid video-and-photo machine shares with Sony’s hardware. Its adjustable swiveling handgrip and unique body hearken back to retro jams such as the Sony Cybershot DSC-F828 and its predecessors. The XC10 is a little more advanced, though.

 At its highest resolution setting, it captures 3840×2160 video at 30 frames per second. It will also record 1080p clips at up to 60fps, and 720p clips at up to 120fps for those slow-motion sequences. For the Ultra HD video, the camera uses Canon’s proprietary XF-AVC codec, which is also used in its just-announced Cinema EOS C100 Mark II professional camera. Here’s the kicker: That codec supports a bitrate of up to an insane 305Mbps. That should mean absurd detail.

In order to handle all that data per second, the XC100 won’t work with your average SD card to capture 4K video. It uses a CompactFlash-sized CFast 2.0 card—a 64GB SanDisk card and reader is included with the camcorder—although you can use SDHC/SDXC cards for 1080p and 720p recording.

 

It’s a fixed-lens camcorder, making it sort of a step-down non-interchangeable companion to the CX100 series, and its optics range from 24mm wide angle to 240mm telephoto (10X) with a maximum aperture of F2.8 to F5.6 at the respective ends. Manual focus is adjustable via a control ring around the lens, and there’s a physical mode dial and control wheel on the grip for tweaking manual, shutter-, and aperture-priority controls. An adjustable 3-inch tilting touchscreen around the back lets you tap to focus and access deeper menu selections, and there’s a separately sold clip-on unit to turn that screen into an EVF.

One thing that’s missing for anyone thinking about picking this thing up as an independent-filmmaking tool: There are no XLR mic inputs. There are stereo mics built in, and a hot shoe on the top of the camera for other lower-end mics, but you’ll need a step-up Cinema EOS camera for XLR.

Compared to those higher-end EOS cameras, the $2,500 XC10 seems like a bargain. Just keep in mind that it has a much smaller sensor than a full-frame 4K-capable shooter such as the EOS-1D C. And compared to Sony’s similarly sensored 4K Handycam AX100, it’s a thousand dollars more. Just like it splits the difference between a still camera and a camcorder, the XC100 will also split the difference between a consumer camcorder and a professional-level model when it comes out in June.

 

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Using the New Film Tools in Magic Bullet Looks

by JamesNYCApril 9. 2015 13:08

Magic Bullet Suite 12 includes the all-new Magic Bullet Film, an easy-to-use effect that gives your footage the real look of motion picture film, thanks to hundreds of feet of 35mm film we shot, processed, scanned, and measured.

This film simulation is also included in Magic Bullet Looks, where we broke it into two separate Tools — one for simulating camera negative stocks, and one for print film stocks. You can use these together, or on their own, and optionally in combination with the other powerful Tools in Looks. Here's how.

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Monkey Selfies can not be copyrighted

by JamesNYCAugust 22. 2014 06:10

The verdict is in: monkey selfies cannot be copyrighted.

A public draft of a U.S. Copyright Office report, released Tuesday, said it will register only works created by human beings.

Hidden among the document's 1,222 pages is article 306, which covers The Human Authorship Requirement: "The U.S. Copyright Office will register an original work of authorship, provided that the work was created by a human being," the record said. "The Office will not register works produced by nature, animals, or plants."

The first, very specific, example: a photograph taken by a monkey. It turns out a mural painted by an elephant doesn't count, either.

British nature photographer David Slater spent three days in the Indonesian wilderness in 2011, shadowing a pack of macaque monkeys, becoming a part of their tribe. Once comfortable with each other, the photographer set his camera on a tripod, framed the shot, and left the shutter button for a female monkey to operate.

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Stuff people say

Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar. - Helmut Newton

 

"The Camera does not lie, Post Production and Publishers do". - James-ism 09/06/2013

 

Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work. - Booker T. Washington

 

"Papa, ... Music is your love, but Photography is your Religion." - Joya D. Hall-Sullivan | Age 10

 

"All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth." - Richard Avedon - 1984

 

 "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas Alva Edison

 

"Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar." - Helmut Newton

 

"You don’t have to sort of enhance reality. There is nothing stranger than truth." - Annie Leibovitz

 

"When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know you are on the right track." - Weegee

 

" The camera is much more than a recording apparatus. It is a medium via which messages reach us from another world." - Orson Welles

 

"Some people's photography is an art. Not mine. Art is a dirty word in photography. All this fine art crap is killing it already." - Helmut Newton

 

"Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more. " - Nikola Tesla

 

"I think all art is about control - the encounter between control and the uncontrollable." - Richard Avedon

 

"The first 10 000 shots are the worst." - Helmut Newton

 

“If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner it is that there are no short cuts in photography.” – Edward Weston

 

"Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning." - Mahatma Gandhi

 

"Ultimately success or failure in photographing people depends on the photographer's ability to understand his fellow man." - Edward Weston

 

"If you want reality take the bus." - David LaChapelle

 

"You don't take a photograph, you make it." - Ansel Adams

 

"When I have sex with someone I forget who I am. For a minute I even forget I’m human. It’s the same thing when I’m behind a camera. I forget I exist." - Robert Mapplethorpe

 

" Great photography is always on the edge of failure." - Garry Winogrand

 

"I don’t think photography has anything remotely to do with the brain. It has to do with eye appeal." - Horst P. Horst

 

"Be yourself. I much prefer seeing something, even it is clumsy, that doesn't look like somebody else's work." - William Klein

 

"Avedon claims to have been the best photographer in the '60s - bullshit - Bob Richardson was - despite or because of being insane and strung out on drugs, I managed to do photographs that are considered iconic - being known as the 'photographer's photographer' means I lead and they follow - I'm broke and they are rich." - Bob Richardson

 

"If you're absent during my struggle, don't expect to be present during my success" - Will Smith

 

"Either take the lead or follow behind, just stay the fuck out of my way." - James Sullivan

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