The Prez nixes replays, a JPEG bug, MILC-friendly camera bags, light modifiers, Lexar's speedy reader, more
White House Ends Re-Enactments for Press Photographers
Was the above photo shot at the actual press conference where the President announced the death of Osama Bin Laden, or was it a re-enactment minutes after the speech ended? We'll never know for sure, but one of the best-kept White House secrets for decades is that many events, such as press conferences and televised speeches, apparently would be re-enacted for press photographers. The press corps has protested the practice out of concerns for fakery, and according to the Associated Press, the White House has decided to stop the re-enactments.
Re-enactments go back to the days of Harry Truman, who would give speeches for the radio and then repeat them for newsreels. In later years, presidents would read a few lines of their statements and then walk off, so the photographers would have a chance to get stills for their publications. The reason this was done was that the noise made by photographers during a speech might be distracting to both viewers and the President. Photo courtesy the White House.
JPEG Bug discovered in Lightroom 3.4, Camera Raw 6.4
Adobe has announced on its Lightroom Journal blog of an apparent image-damaging bug that was introduced by Lightroom 3.4 and Camera Raw 6.4. That's the bad news. The good news is that it only happens if you save metadata to JPEG files with an unusually large block of private camera data in the file, so if, like most people, you don't do this, you probably won't be infected and Adobe says it isn't necessary to revert to a previous version. However, just to be safe, they're working on a patch to fix it and that should be ready in a couple of weeks. Read the announcement.
Lowepro Unveils MILC-Friendly Bags
Two bits of news this week show the growing ubiquity of mirrorless interchangeable lens compact (MILC) cameras such as the Olympus E-PL2, Sony NEX 5, and Panasonic GF-2. First, Lowepro introduced new, compact Courier of camera bags designed to accommodate MILCs and their accessories. The Compact Courier 70 and 80 have a brushed tricoat lining, built-in microfiber cloth for cleaning lenses and LCDs, fabric fasteners and zipper access, a shoulder strap and belt loop, and weather-resistant material. For details, read the Lowepro press release.
Gary Fong Puffer for Micro Four Thirds Cameras
The second MILC-friendly product to be introduced this week is the Gary Fong Puffer for Micro Four Thirds cameras from Olympus and Panasonic. Designed to diffuse light from the accessory mini-flash designed for the Olympus Digital Pen and Panasonic GF-series cameras, the Puffer is basically a diffusion screen that widens the light surface, resulting in softer, more flattering light. Previous Puffers were designed to soften the light from DSLR pop-up flashes. It will sell for around $22.
Lexar launches 500MB/sec Card Reader
If you shoot a lot of high-resolution RAW files or HD videos, image transfer speed can be a time-eater, or a time saver. Lexar's new 500MB/sec Card Reader promises to be the latter. The reader can transfer the contents of a full 8GB card in 16 seconds, according to Lexar, saving photographers and videographers time. The reader uses USB 3.0, the new standard for USB, which allows it to transfer at such a screamingly fast rate. It can be ordered now for $49.95.
Think Tank Reboots “Speed” Packs
Think Tank this week announced that they've redesigned their popular Speed Racer, Speed Freak, and Speed Demon bags. All of them are shoulder bags that can quickly convert into belt packs. The Speed Demon, the smallest, can carry a consumer-sized DSLR and a couple of modest-sized lenses, while the Freak and Racer can carry prosumer and pro rigs, respectively. All feature a flip lid that opens away from the photographer, easy-access front, stretchable mesh sides, rain covers, and a “disappearing” wasit belt. Read the details.
And finally...RIP Willard Boyle,
Co-Inventor of the CCD Sensor
Let us pause a moment and remember Willard Boyle, who won a Nobel Prize in physics for inventing the Charge-Coupled Device. The CCD electronically captured light from electrons that are knocked out of orbit every time light strikes silicon, and converted it into images. Boyle, with co-creator George E. Smith, created the first digital camera in 1970, and CCD sensors found their way into TV cameras by 1975. Refinements to CCDs would lead to the rise of digital photography a couple of decades later. Anybody who has taken a digital photo owes a debt of gratitude to Mr. Boyle.
Photo: Willard Boyle receiving his Nobel prize in 2009.
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That's a wrap--have a great weekend!