Tag Archives: HD

Sony Unveils the A57 SLT: Improved Shooting Speed and Autofocus

Sony Unveils the A57 SLT: Improved Shooting Speed and Autofocus

Sony has announced the Alpha A57 pellicle mirror camera, the successor to its A55 released a year and a half ago. While the sensor resolution is still 16-megapixels — no megapixel war here — the new camera has an increased ISO limit of 16,000 (up from 12,800), a faster continuous shooting rate of 12fps (up from 10), and an improved 15-point AF system with enhanced object-tracking and snappy AF during HD video recording. It can also capture full HD video at 60p, 60i, and 24p. It’ll be priced at 00 for the body only (or 00 with a 18-55mm kit lens) when it hits store shelves next month.

In an interview with Amateur Photographer, Sony states that it will be targeting the DSLR market with its SLT cameras, and that it’s unlikely the company will ever release another traditional DSLR camera.

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This is the full press release for the Sony a57 SLT camera:

Sony a57 press release

This is the full press release for the Sony a57 SLT camera:

SAN DIEGO, March 12, 2012 — A wider palette of creative options is now accessible to more shooters with the α57 camera, the newest addition to Sony’s popular line of A-mount cameras employing Translucent Mirror Technology.

The innovative Translucent Mirror design directs incoming light to the CMOS image sensor and the AF sensor at the same time, allowing full-time continuous AF during both still and video shooting. Users can also frame, focus and preview shots in real-time on the high-resolution Tru-Finder™ electronic viewfinder, which offers a wide viewing angle and 100% field of view. This allows photographers to capture exactly what they see on the screen.

A natural successor to Sony’s acclaimed α55 camera, the α57 is positioned for a wide audience of DSLR users. It can shoot still images at up to 12 frames per second, full HD video at 60p, 60i or 24p frame rates and has a variety of creative modes including Auto Portrait Framing, a world’s first technology

“Today’s DSLR consumer is looking for a higher level of control and flexibility in their camera,” said Mike Kahn, director of the Alpha camera business group for Sony Electronics. “With the introduction of the new α57, we’re bringing blazing fast response rates, enhanced artistic capabilities and other advanced features to the mainstream DSLR marketplace, offering professional-grade performance at affordable prices.”

With the α57 camera, shooting speeds of up to 12 frames per second are achieved in new Tele-zoom Continuous Advance Priority AE mode, maintaining continuous auto focus and auto exposure with fixed aperture. Magnifying the central portion of the sensor’s image by 1.4x, it’s perfect for capturing split-second action close-ups with a burst of sharply focused images, even when the subject is moving. In this shooting mode, aperture is fixed at either f/3.5 or the maximum aperture of lens in use (whichever is smaller) and image size of photos is about 8.4 megapixels.

Additionally, the α57 camera lets people create powerfully expressive Full HD movies. Responsive full-time continuous phase detection AF ensures that moving subjects stay sharply focused, just like with still shooting. Support for the AVCHD™ Ver. 2.0 (Progressive) format means that Full HD resolution movies can be captured with 60p frame rate: ideal for capturing smooth, blur-free action. Shooting in 24p is also available to give footage a rich, cinematic look. Movie-making options are enhanced further with full control over P/A/S/M shooting modes for virtually limitless creative expression.

The α57 model shares the α65’s 15-point AF system with three cross sensors delivering fast, accurate TTL phase detection autofocus. Newly enhanced Object Tracking AF keeps faces or other selected objects in sharp focus – even if a target is obscured momentarily by another passing object.

Even the novice photographers can now easily create pro-style portraits with the α57 thanks to new Auto Portrait Framing, a world’s first technology. Using face detection and the compositional ‘rule of thirds,’ the camera identifies a subject’s position, trimming the scene to create tightly framed, professional-looking pictures in portrait or landscape orientation while maintaining a copy of the original image. Saving both the original photo plus the adjusted version allows for easy comparison between the two images, offering photographers inspiration to refine their portrait skills.

To get closer to the subject, 2x Clear Image Zoom digital zoom technology doubles the effective magnification of your lens and is a highly practical alternative to travelling with a bigger, bulkier telephoto lens. The camera uses Sony’s “By Pixel Super Resolution Technology” to ensure that cropped and zoomed images retain full pixel resolution.

Additionally, the model’s range of popular in-camera Picture Effect modes includes 11 different effects and 15 total variations – offering a generous palette of ‘PC-free’ artistic treatments, including Pop Color, HDR Painting, Miniature Mode and much more. Results can be previewed directly in live view mode on the LCD screen or in the new Tru-Finder™ electronic viewfinder while shooting either Full HD video or stills.

Still and video shooting, framing, focusing and real-time preview of exposure adjustments are a pleasure with the new Tru-Finder™ electronic viewfinder. With ultra-detailed 1440k dot resolution and a 100% field of view, it rivals quality optical viewfinders. There’s a choice of selectable high-resolution information displays with a wide viewing-angle to help consumers shoot with confidence, including a digital level gauge and framing grid. Information can be displayed either directly in the viewfinder or on the angle-adjustable 7.5 cm (3.0-type) Xtra Fine LCD™ display.

Ensuring detail-packed images, the 16.1 effective megapixel Exmor® APS HD CMOS sensor is teamed with a latest-generation BIONZ® engine. Refined by Sony during the development of its flagship α77 and high-end α65 cameras, this powerful processor effortlessly handles large amounts of image data for flawless, low-noise images and Full HD video.

Thanks to the BIONZ processor, creative shooting opportunities are boosted by an outstanding sensitivity range of ISO 100-16,000. Users will experience consistently natural, low-noise images – whether shooting at fast shutter speeds to freeze dynamic action or handheld without flash in low light.

Pricing and Availability

The new α57 interchangeable lens camera will be available this April with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens for 00 (model SLT-A57K). It will also be offered as body-only for about 00 (model SLT-A57).

Sony will also be introducing a new battery-powered LED video light, model HVL-LE1, which broadens options for recording video indoors or in low light. This new accessory will be available this month for about 50.

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Who wants a 5MP camera with a 9.7 inch 2048×1536 display?

Who wants a 5MP camera with a 9.7 inch 2048×1536 display?

Yesterday Apple announced their new iPad. Here are the camera related specs:

5MP camera

5 elements, f/2.4 lens with hybrid infrared filter

Autofocus (tap to focus)

Face detection (for pictures only)

HD 1080p, 30 fps video recording

Video stabilization

Geotagging

9.7-inch LED-backlit display with 2048×1536 pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch

The lens inside the new iPad

You can see some sample images taken with the new iPad here.

Apple also released a new multi-touch version of iPhoto for iOS devices, see the full details in iTunes.

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Is The New iPad’s Ultra-High-Res Screen Trouble For Photographers?

Is The New iPad’s Ultra-High-Res Screen Trouble For Photographers?

Want your images to look their best on the new iPad? They’ll have to be big enough for an 8″x10″ print

After months of rumors, Apple has just announced the new version of the iPad. It has a faster processor, a new camera on par with the one found in the iPhone 4s and a new screen with a resolution of 2048 x 1563. That’s a lot of pixels. Maybe even too many.

A 2048 x 1563 image is roughly 3.2-megapixels. As we all learned back in the days of the megapixel wars, that’s plenty of resolution to produce a more-than-acceptable 8″ x 10″ print. Even at 11″ x 14″, you’d likely get a more than acceptable result. And that’s how big you’re going to have to make your online images if you want them to look their best on the new iPad.

Once you’ve uploaded a full-resolution image, there’s really not much you can do to protect it. Even if photo sharing sites implement safe-guards, they’re still going to have a hard time blocking people from just taking screen shots of the ipad using the home and power buttons — 3.2 megapixel screenshots.

If you want to upload smaller images, your viewers will be left with two options. They can zoom in on the image and reduce its quality or simply look at it in a much smaller format. For viewers who are used to looking at full-res versions on their current iPad’s 1024 x 768 screen, that will likely be disappointing. Both options detract from the overall viewer experience, which is always bad.

If you have a lot of images already uploaded to photo sharing services, you’re likely going to be faced with another decision. Flickr’s large setting limits images to 1,000 pixels in each direction, meaning that looking at the large version will now only fill up a portion of the screen. That’s true for many HD monitors, but they’re often much larger than the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen, so viewing it is still fairly easy. Whether or not it’s worth it to go back and upload bigger is something to consider.

This new development will also likely be pretty tough on iPad publishers for some time as well. Current iPad magazines are optimized for the old screen, which means they’re only about 1/4 the resolution they need to be for new display. Adapting is going to significantly drive up the download size of any photo-heavy app, especially magazines. Plus, any full-page image in the magazine will now need to be the full 3.2-megapixels, something many photographers most likely won’t be too happy about.

It’s also worth noting that the upped resolution puts a bit of a hindrance on Adobe’s recent Photoshop Touch release. Their photo editing app caps image files at just 1600 x 1600 pixels. So, you won’t be able to produce images that fill up the whole iPad screen, which isn’t exactly ideal. Of course, Apple likely isn’t too sad about it, since they also announced their own photo editing iPad app, iPhoto.

It will be interesting to see how most shooters, as well as the photo sharing services, react. Recently, 500 PX began letting users offer computer desktop-sized image downloads for a price of .99 (with $.99 of that going to the site and the other going to the photographer). I wouldn’t be surprised to see other services offering similar models, but until then, we’ll likely go through a bit of a sorting out phase.

How will you handle the resolution shift? Watermarks? Sticking with smaller images? Letting the high-res out and hoping for the best? Does the potential for beautifully-displayed offset the risk? Let us know via Twitter or Facebook.

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Apple Unveils the New iPad: 5MP Camera, HD Video, “Best Display Ever”

Apple Unveils the New iPad: 5MP Camera, HD Video, “Best Display Ever”

Apple officially announced the new iPad today (called “the new iPad” rather than the “iPad 3″). It’s a tablet computer, but its new features make the device much more camera-like than the iPad 2. There’s a new 5-megapixel iSight camera on the back that features a backside illuminated sensor and a five-element f/2.4 lens. It’s also able to record HD video in full 1080p. On the frontside is a 9.7-inch retina display that packs 4 million more pixels than the iPad 2 and 1 million more than an HDTV. Get ready for a world in which more and more people take Instagram photos using large “cameratablets”.

The New iPad [Apple]

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Is The New iPad’s Ultra-High-Res Screen Trouble For Photographers?

Is The New iPad’s Ultra-High-Res Screen Trouble For Photographers?

Want your images to look their best on the new iPad? They’ll have to be big enough for an 8″x10″ print

After months of rumors, Apple has just announced the new version of the iPad. It has a faster processor, a new camera on par with the one found in the iPhone 4s and a new screen with a resolution of 2048 x 1563. That’s a lot of pixels. Maybe even too many.

A 2048 x 1563 image is roughly 3.2-megapixels. As we all learned back in the days of the megapixel wars, that’s plenty of resolution to produce a more-than-acceptable 8″ x 10″ print. Even at 11″ x 14″, you’d likely get a more than acceptable result. And that’s how big you’re going to have to make your online images if you want them to look their best on the new iPad.

Once you’ve uploaded a full-resolution image, there’s really not much you can do to protect it. Even if photo sharing sites implement safe-guards, they’re still going to have a hard time blocking people from just taking screen shots of the ipad using the home and power buttons — 3.2 megapixel screenshots.

If you want to upload smaller images, your viewers will be left with two options. They can zoom in on the image and reduce its quality or simply look at it in a much smaller format. For viewers who are used to looking at full-res versions on their current iPad’s 1024 x 768 screen, that will likely be disappointing. Both options detract from the overall viewer experience, which is always bad.

If you have a lot of images already uploaded to photo sharing services, you’re likely going to be faced with another decision. Flickr’s large setting limits images to 1,000 pixels in each direction, meaning that looking at the large version will now only fill up a portion of the screen. That’s true for many HD monitors, but they’re often much larger than the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen, so viewing it is still fairly easy. Whether or not it’s worth it to go back and upload bigger is something to consider.

This new development will also likely be pretty tough on iPad publishers for some time as well. Current iPad magazines are optimized for the old screen, which means they’re only about half the resolution they need to be for new display. Adapting is going to significantly drive up the download size of any photo-heavy app, especially magazines. Plus, any full-page image in the magazine will now need to be the full 3.2-megapixels, something many photographers most likely won’t be too happy about.

It will be interesting to see how most shooters, as well as the photo sharing services, react. Recently, 500 PX began letting users offer computer desktop-sized image downloads for a price of .99 (with $.99 of that going to the site and the other going to the photographer). I wouldn’t be surprised to see other services offering similar models, but until then, we’ll likely go through a bit of a sorting out phase.

How will you handle the resolution shift? Watermarks? Sticking with smaller images? Letting the high-res out and hoping for the best? Let us know via Twitter or Facebook.

Photo courtesy of the Engadget Live Blog

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March 06, 2012 at 01:40AM


Close-Up Photos of Wild Lions Captured with an Armored “BeetleCam”

UK-based wildlife photographers Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas got the Internet’s attention a couple years ago with the BeetleCam, a special remote controlled DSLR that allowed them to capture close-up photos of animals in the wild that photographers would have difficultly strolling up to. After the success of that experiment, they decided to return to Africa last summer with upgraded (and armored) versions of the BeetleCam in order to photograph lions in Kenya.

We had with us two BeetleCams. The first was an armoured version of the original BeetleCam, equipped with a Canon 550D. The second was a more advanced model, boasting a live video feed, HD movie recording and a Canon 1Ds MK III. We imaginatively named the more advanced buggy “BeetleCam Mark II”.

You can find more photos and read more about their experience — including a close call with a lion — over on their blog or the BeetleCam project page.

Image credits: Photographs by Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas and used with permission

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March 02, 2012 at 12:32PM


Canon EOS 5D Mark III announcement

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is now official: 22.3MP, 3,2″ LCD screen, DIGIC 5+ processor, 61 AF points, HD 1080/30p and 720/60p. Canon also announced a new Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT and a new Speedlite 600EX-RT.

The 5D Mark III is now available for pre-order at B&H for ,499.00. The 600EX-RT priced at 29. Shipping is expected to start at the end of March, 2012.

Press release:

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., March 2, 2012 – On the 25th anniversary of its world-renowned EOS System, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce its latest model, the new EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera. Positioned between the extremely popular EOS 5D Mark II and Canon‘s top-of-the-line professional EOS-1D X model, the EOS 5D Mark III delivers superb image quality, thanks to a new 22.3-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS sensor, a high-performance DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor, a 61-point High Density Reticular Autofocus (AF) System and six frames-per-second (fps) continuous shooting speed. Building upon the trailblazing success of the EOS 5D Mark II, the EOS 5D Mark III also incorporates enhanced video features for professionals in the fields of cinematography, television production and documentary filmmaking, including better noise reduction, longer recording times and a built-in headphone jack for audio monitoring. The EOS 5D Mark III is Canon‘s answer to hundreds of thousands of advanced amateurs and emerging professionals looking for a compact, high-quality camera system to help them achieve their artistic vision, whether it be through still or video imagery. The EOS 5D Mark III introduction coincides with Canon‘s 25th anniversary celebration of the EOS camera system. Canon‘s award-winning EOS system first debuted in March of 1987 with the introduction of the EOS 650 SLR camera and three EF lenses.

“We are extremely excited to announce the highly anticipated follow-up to our EOS 5D Mark II, a camera which has been called a ‘game-changer’ in most professional photography and videography circles. The EOS 5D Mark III will carry on that tradition, delivering better and more advanced features, helping our customers achieve excellent image quality for stills and video,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.

The EOS 5D Mark III inherits many features from Canon‘s recently announced flagship DSLR, the EOS-1D X, including a DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor and a high-performance 61-point High Density Reticular AF array with up to 41 cross-type points and five dual cross-type points available, depending on the lens in use. The enhanced processing power enables fast continuous shooting of up to six fps, exceeding the speed of the EOS 5D Mark II model by more than 50 percent, and with improved weather resistance the EOS 5D Mark III is a serious option for sports and wildlife photographers.

EOS 5D Mark III Video: The Legacy Continues

The EOS 5D Mark II blazed the trail for EOS cameras and Canon to enter the professional video and cinema markets, paving the way for Canon‘s recent introduction of the Cinema EOS system of cameras and lenses. Now, the EOS 5D Mark III continues Canon‘s commitment to these new markets with new and requested features from cinematographers, television production professionals and independent filmmakers. This new model captures 1080p Full HD video at 24p (23.976), 25p, and 30p (29.97) fps; 720p HD recording at 60 (59.94) and 50 fps; and SD recording at 30 (29.97) and 25 fps, giving cinematographers and videographers more flexibility and options for video capture.

The EOS 5D Mark III includes new H.264 video compression formats to simplify and speed up post-production work: intraframe (ALL-I) compression for an editing-friendly format and interframe (IPB) compression for superior data storage efficiency, giving professionals options to help achieve their ideal workflow. Like the EOS-1D X, the 5D Mark III also includes two methods of SMPTE-compliant timecode embedding, Rec Run and Free Run, allowing video footage from multiple cameras and separate audio recordings to be synced together in post production.

The new full-frame CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+ processor have enhanced the camera’s image processing performance over the 5D Mark II, significantly reducing moir‚ and color artifacts in scenes with horizontal lines. The video footage produced will exhibit less moir‚ than seen in previous DSLR models, resulting in a significant improvement in HD video quality. Accommodating documentary filmmakers, and event videographers using EOS DSLR cameras, the 5D Mark III includes the ability to record video continuously up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds across multiple 4GB files. Long-form filmmakers will enjoy the camera’s automatic file splitting in combination with the extended memory capacity offered by dual card slots.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III also includes manual audio level control with 64 levels, adjustable both before and during movie recording. There is also an automatic audio level setting, or sound recording can be turned off entirely. A wind filter is also included. Sound can be recorded either through the internal monaural microphone or via an optional external microphone through the stereo mic input. Notably, the EOS 5D Mark III is the first EOS Digital SLR to feature a built-in headphone jack for real-time audio monitoring during video capture.

Newly Developed Canon CMOS Sensor

With its completely new 22.3-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS image sensor, the EOS 5D Mark III becomes the highest resolution Canon Digital SLR released to date. It is eminently suitable for a wide variety of assignments including weddings and portraits, nature and wildlife, travel and landscapes as well as commercial and industrial photography. With a gapless microlens design, a new photodiode structure and improved on-chip noise reduction, the new sensor achieves higher sensitivity and lower noise levels for both RAW image data as well as in-camera JPEGs and EOS Movies compared to the 5D Mark II. The result is outstanding image quality in all shooting conditions, even low light. An eight-channel readout doubles the speed of image data throughput from the sensor to the DIGIC 5+ processor, resulting in better video image quality as well as six fps for still photos.

The low-light capability of the EOS 5D Mark III is evident in its incredible ISO range and image quality in poor lighting conditions. Adjustable from ISO 100 to 25,600 within its standard range, the new model also offers a low ISO 50 setting for studio and landscape photography and two extended ISO settings of 51,200 and 102,400, well suited for law enforcement, government or forensic field applications.

The new 5D Mark III is also equipped with Canon‘s EOS Integrated Cleaning System, featuring a Self Cleaning Sensor Unit with a fluorine coating that repels dust and dirt particles.

Canon-Exclusive DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor

The EOS 5D Mark III’s new DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor is 17 times faster than the DIGIC 4.The EOS 5D Mark III uses that extra speed not only for improved image quality, but also to add no less than nine new features that do not exist on the 5D Mark II. These new features include six fps continuous shooting, HDR and Multiple Exposure modes, in-camera RAW processing, a comparative playback function, Scene Intelligent Auto mode, two forms of movie compression, and support for high-speed UDMA 7 Compact Flash memory cards.

Another extremely valuable feature enhanced by the DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor is the EOS 5D Mark III’s choice of reduced resolution M-RAW (10.5 megapixel) and S-RAW (5.5 megapixel) recording modes. These settings are particularly useful to wedding photographers for candid photos that do not require the EOS 5D Mark III’s 22 megapixel full resolution, because they take up less space on the memory cards and speed up post-processing without losing the critical benefits of RAW image data, such as highlight and shadow control as well as white balance adjustment. M-RAW and S-RAW also preserve the full field of view rather than cropping the image or resorting to JPEG mode to reduce resolution.

High-Performance 61-Point High Density Reticular AF

For still photographers, Canon has included its new 61-point High Density Reticular AF System, originally introduced with the top-of-the-line EOS-1D X professional camera. A significant advancement over previous 5D-series AF systems, the new 61-Point High Density Reticular AF included in the EOS 5D Mark III is the most sophisticated SLR AF system Canon has ever released. All 61 points are manually selectable and sensitive to horizontal contrast with maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/5.6. The camera’s twenty one focusing points in the central area are also standard precision cross-type and effective with maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/5.6. The center five points are ultra-high-precision diagonal cross-type points for maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/2.8. The 20 outer focusing points function as high-precision cross-type points with maximum apertures larger than or equal to f/4.0. Other innovations of the new 61-point High Density Reticular AF include expanded AF coverage area, superior focusing precision and low-light sensitivity to EV -2, and greater low-contrast subject detection capability compared to earlier EOS AF systems. (See image below for AF point configuration)

All AF functions now have their own menu tab for quick and easy access (formerly AF custom functions in previous EOS models). A new AF Configuration Tool allows for customized setting of tracking sensitivity, the acceleration and deceleration of tracking subjects, and AF point auto switching, all of which are easily accessed and adjusted via the new AF menu tab. A built-in Feature Guide advises photographers on which settings to use according to subject matter.

The EOS 5D Mark III uses the same high-performance AI Servo III AF tracking algorithm as the flagship EOS-1D X professional DSLR. This new feature works together with the 61-point High Density Reticular AF system to provide superb tracking performance that blends very well with the new camera’s 6 frames-per-second high-speed continuous shooting capabilities.

Similar to the AF point selection options offered in the EOS 7D and EOS-1D X camera models, the EOS 5D Mark III offers six AF point selection modes: Spot, Single Point, Single Point with surrounding four points, Single Point with surrounding eight points, Zone selection and Automatic AF point selection.

iFCL Metering

Complementing the EOS 5D Mark III camera’s 61-point AF system is Canon‘s 63-zone iFCL dual layer metering system. The ‘FCL’ stands for ‘Focus, Color and Luminance,’ and references the fact that the metering system not only measures color and luminance data, but also analyzes the data provided by each point of the AF system. Canon‘s iFCL metering keeps exposure levels stable from shot to shot, even as the light source changes. The camera’s autofocus information is also used to help determine which area of the scene is of greatest importance in determining exposure.

HDR Mode

The EOS 5D Mark III camera features a built-in HDR mode, merging three images at various exposure levels into a single image, in-camera, for stunning photographs of landscapes and architecture with enhanced tonal gradation beyond the range of the naked eye. The exposure levels in the camera’s HDR mode can be set to cover a range of up to ñ3 stops, in a choice of five settings: Natural, Art Standard, Art Vivid, Art Bold and Art Embossed providing unique visual effects. Individual source images can be saved as separate files, and the HDR mode has an optional automatic alignment function that can be useful for hand-held shooting. The EOS 5D Mark III’s standard Auto Exposure Bracketing function has been upgraded to allow for up to seven exposures per sequence, and exposure compensation can now be set for up to +/- 5EV.

Multiple Exposure Mode

The EOS 5D Mark III is the second EOS Digital SLR after the EOS-1D X to feature Multiple Exposure capabilities with the ability to combine up to nine individual images into a single composite image, with no need for post-processing in a computer. Four different compositing methods are provided for maximum creative control, including Additive, Average, Bright and Dark. Compositing results can be viewed in real time on the camera’s LCD monitor, and there is a one-step Undo command that allows photographers to delete an image and try again if desired. The EOS 5D Mark III camera’s Multiple Exposure mode even allows photographers to specify a previously captured RAW image as the starting point for a new Multiple Exposure composite image, or shoot continuously when photographing moving subjects.

Comparative Playback

A new feature seen for the first time in the EOS System on the 5D Mark III is Comparative Playback allowing photographers to display two images side by side on the camera’s 3.2-inch LCD screen. The images can be displayed with a histogram to check exposure levels, or magnified to check for focus or facial expressions.

Durability, Reliability and Other Features

The EOS 5D Mark III features a rugged camera body with magnesium alloy body covers and a stainless steel lens mount. The new camera also has dust- and moisture-resistant design with improved gaskets and seals. Although not quite as weatherproof as an EOS-1D-series camera, the EOS 5D Mark III does feature improved weather resistance over the EOS 5D Mark II model. The EOS 5D Mark III’s newly developed shutter unit has a durability rating of 150,000 exposures, and shutter release lag time has been reduced to 59 milliseconds, making the shutter button very responsive. Canon‘s locking mode dial is standard on the new model and a new custom function allows photographers to shut off other dials to prevent inadvertent operation.

The EOS 5D Mark III uses the same LP-E6 lithium-ion battery pack as other popular EOS cameras like the 5D Mark II, 7D and 60D. Battery life is estimated at 950 exposures at normal temperatures, an improvement of 100 exposures more than the EOS 5D Mark II. The EOS 5D Mark III body weighs approximately 33.5 oz. with a battery installed, and the dimensions are approximately 6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0 inches.

The EOS 5D Mark III incorporates Silent shooting modes, available for low-speed continuous shooting as well as single exposures. This feature is ideal when photographing in quiet environments. For better file management especially when working with multiple cameras, the new model also supports custom file names. There is also a new image rating feature that lets photographers rank their photos from 1 to 5 stars for quick editing.

The EOS 5D Mark III features a 3.2-inch Clear View II LCD screen with 1,040,000 dot resolution. This is the same screen that’s used in the top-of-the-line EOS-1D X. The camera’s optical viewfinder has been upgraded to approximately 100 percent coverage, and it features an Intelligent Viewfinder display with an optional grid on demand. The EOS 5D Mark III also has a built-in Dual Axis Electronic Level that can be displayed on both the LCD screen and the optical viewfinder.

The EOS 5D Mark III accepts both Compact Flash Type 1 and SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards in a dual card slot configuration. Three recording methods are supported: Record the same data to both cards, record different file sizes or types to each card, or automatically switch to the second card when the first card is full.

Accessories

The EOS 5D Mark III DSLR also has a number of new optional accessories, including the new Canon Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7A featuring wireless LAN support for 802.11 a/b/g/n signal protocols for various network environments. The WFT-E7A connects to the camera through its USB port and includes a built-in gigabit Ethernet connection, time syncing for multiple cameras on the same network, FTP mode, EOS Utility mode, WFT Server mode and Media Server mode. With this new WFT model, professionals can synchronize clocks on multiple cameras and use the unit to support linked shooting when utilizing multiple cameras. In addition, Bluetooth-compatible equipment can be easily linked to the device as well.

The EOS 5D Mark III also has an optional Canon GPS Receiver GP-E2, which can be connected to the camera via the accessory shoe or a USB cable. With a GPS logging function built-in, the GP-E2 will log latitude, longitude, elevation, and the Universal Time Code – and allow viewing of camera movement on a PC after shooting. With its built-in compass, the GP-E2 receiver will also record camera direction when shooting, even when shooting vertically. The Canon GPS Receiver GP-E2 is compatible with the EOS-1D X and EOS 7Di as well as the EOS 5D Mark III.ii

Battery Grip BG-E11 is an optional accessory for the EOS 5D Mark III that accepts one or two LP-E6 lithium-ion battery packs or a set of six AA-size batteries. This new grip has a multicontroller and a multifunction (M.Fn) button together a with a full set of grip controls for easy operation when shooting portraits or other vertical format photos. The BG-E11 is made from sturdy magnesium alloy and has the same degree of weather resistance as the EOS 5D Mark III.

Speedlite 600EX-RT

In addition to the EOS 5D Mark III, Canon is also announcing the first professional Speedlite on the market with a built-in wireless radio transmitter, the new Speedlite 600EX-RT. The new Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT is the flagship model in the Speedlite line, ideal for wedding portrait and photojournalism. Compatible with all EOS Digital SLRs, this new model eliminates the need for accessory radio slave units and their inherent limitations. Speedlite 600EX-RT features Master-Slave two-way transmission, letting the photographer control the Speedlite settings directly from the “Master” camera.

Radio-based Wireless E-TTL can be performed with up to 15 Speedlite 600EX-RT “slave units”, used off-camera up to 98.4 feet (30m) away, and triggered by either a “Master” 600EX-RT on-camera, or the optional new Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT. Used with the EOS 5D Mark III or EOS-1D X, up to five groups of flashes can be completely controlled, independently, off-camera. And, it remains fully compatible with Canon‘s legacy optical-based Wireless E-TTL technology, for users already committed to existing EOS Speedlites. The Speedlite features enhanced weather-resistant construction – matching that of the EOS-1D X camera body – and a more reliable electrical contact. The flash head zoom range now reaches from 20mm to 200mm.The Speedlite also allows remote shutter release of a single EOS camera, or Linked Shooting (simultaneous firing of up to 15 cameras, when one “Master” camera is fired), and includes gelatin filters and a dedicated filter holder to help photographers match ambient light.

Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT

Canon is also introducing the new Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT. Providing full support of Canon‘s new radio-based wireless flash technology, the new ST-E3-RT can control up to five groups of flashes, up to 98.4 feet (30m) from the camera. The remote shutter release capability enables photographers to either fire a single camera remotely (by pressing a button on the ST-E3-RT), or to fire up to 15 EOS cameras with Canon‘s Linked Shooting feature. Making it easy to control and adjust, all of the Speedlite Transmitter features are accessible through the Flash control menu of the EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III cameras.

Pricing and Availability

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR camera is expected to be available at the end of March 2012 and will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated retail price of ,499.00. The EOS 5D Mark III will also be available with the EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens in a kit for an estimated retail price of ,299.00. The Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7A is scheduled to be available by the end of April 2012 at an estimated retail price of 49.99. Availability for GPS Receiver GP-E2 is expected by the end of April 2012, with an estimated retail price of 90.00.Battery Grip BG-E11 is scheduled to be available at the end of April 2012 for an estimated retail price of 90.00. The Speedlite 600EX-RT and Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT are also scheduled for end of March 2012 availability at estimated retail prices of 29.99 and 70.00 respectively.

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February 28, 2012 at 01:55AM


Nokia Unleashes a Game-Changing 41-Megapixel “PureView” Camera Phone

Nokia dropped a bomb on the cameraphone market today by introducing its new 808 PureView phone — a phone that is capable of capturing 41-megapixel photos. The native resolution of the phone (16:9) produces 38-megapixel images measuring 7152×5368. The phone also allows you to capture 5-megapixel images by condensing every seven pixels into one, which dramatically reduces noise and improves image quality. Other features include a 4-inch screen, 16GB of built-in storage, a Carl Zeiss f/2.4 lens, lossless digital zoom (i.e. cropping a photo out of the giant image), and HD video recording. It’ll hit store shelves in May at a price of €450 (~00).
Here’s a short video teasing the phone:

AllThingsD has published an interesting piece on the phone’s technology and how it came about.

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February 27, 2012 at 09:43PM


Nokia 808 Pure View Phone’s Camera Has a 41-Megapixel Sensor

Can lots of resolution make up for a lack of optical zoom lenses? Nokia hopes to find out

Two years ago, Nokia exec Anssi Vanjoki claimed that phones would be making DSLRs obsolete sooner than later. That’s kind of crazy, of course, but it seems like they’re still actually working on making it happen. Their new 808 phone has a 1/1.2″ sensor with a total of 41-megapixels on-board. Yes, 41-megapixels.

It sounds a bit outlandish. In fact, some people were upset with Nikon for putting 36-megapixels on a full-frame sensor in their new D800. But, Nokia’s technology is a bit different than the brute-force megapixel attack of days past. The 808 can take photos up to 38-megapixels in resolution, checking in at 7728 x 5354, but it doesn’t seem like they intend for you to do that all too often. Their intention was to combine those pixels to make better 5- or 8-megapixel images.

According to reports, the Pure View has been in the works for more than five years, which helps explain why the new phone runs the now-ancient Symbian OS. The phone does what’s called “oversampling,” which combines pixels on the sensor in order to make clearer images at smaller resolutions. It’s not an entirely new concept, but it makes for an impressive headline.

Part of the driving force behind the development was the fact that fitting optical zooming lenses into a phone is difficult, if not impossible. So, the phone uses its megapixel power to let you “zoom” up to 3x without a loss of image quality, or so they claim. That “zoom” power gets pumped up to 4x in video mode, since full HD video only requires 1920 x 1080 resolution. When you zoom, you’re just selecting which area of the sensor to use the capture the image.

This is different than typical digital zoom because Nokia has limited the zoom range to prevent upscaling. It won’t zoom past the point where the final image resolution exceeds that of the input resolution.

The sensor isn’t the only piece of fancy photography kit that they put in the 808. The lens is a Carl Zeiss with a maximum Aperture of F/2.4 and has a full-frame equivalent of 26 or 28mm, depending on the aspect ratio you choose. Plus, the flash acts like a real camera flash, rather than a janky flashlight like some other smartphones.

In the end, it’s an interesting experiment. The sensor is still very small considering the resolution. It’s more in-line with what you’d find in a typical compact, which still makes is far smaller than anything you’ll find in a DSLR or even a Micro Four-Thirds camera.

If you dig, you can find a couple sample images online, but we’re always weary to trust those. We’ll be interested to get our hands on one of these at some point. Unfortunately, that will likely be a ways off as it’s only being officially released in Europe for the moment where it will cost 450 Euros.

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