Taming Apple's Lion, Lensbaby's Portrait Bundles, Panasonic's Superzoom, street shooters stand their ground, more!
Apple Unleashes Lion; Compatibility Concerns for Photographers
Within days of Apple's release of OS X Lion, Apple, Nikon and Canon all reported software compatibility concerns with the new Mac operating system, while some users are grumbling about Apple's abrupt decision to pull all low-end MacBooks from the market with the exception of educational outlets while keeping the smaller but reduced-feature Air as the company's only $999 laptop. Canon has started testing its Digital Photo Professional and other DSLR software with OS X Lion. Nikon is doing likewise and expects to provide a full report on its software's compatibility soon. Adobe is reporting that Droplets created in Photoshop CS5, CS4 or CS3 stop working when you upgrade to Lion, but offer a solution here.
Lensbaby offers Portrait Lens Bundles for Senior Shooters
Lensbaby, those fun-loving makers of funky selective-focusing lenses and accessories, have just announced a pair of portrait photography kits that they're marketing specifically to Senior portrait photographers. The Portrait Kit and Ultimate Portrait Kit are both said to give shooters the stuff they need to “take cutting edge senior portraits that are ideally suited to teens' contemporary tastes.” The Portrait Kit ($470) includes a Lensbaby Composer with Double Glass Optic, Soft Focus Optic, Wide Angle/Telephoto kit, Creative Aperture Kit 2, and a system bag. The Ultimate Portrait Kit ($590) will consist of a Composer Pro with Double Glass Optic, Scout with Soft Focus Optic, Wide Angle/Telephoto Kit, Creative Aperture Kit 2 and a System Bag. To celebrate the release of these two kits, Lensbaby also announced a Senior Style Photo Contest. Get details here.
Panasonic Presents Superzoom EVF, Low-Cost Compact
Panasonic yesterday announced a superzoom EVF camera, the DMC-FZ47, and a low-end compact, the LX5. The 12MP FZ47 features a 24x optical zoom lens that starts at 25mm (35mm equivalent), as well as 1080 HD video capture, 3.7fps in full resolution and 10fps at 3MP image size. The camera also has Dolby stereo recording, AF tracking, and a Creative Video mode that lets you set shutter speed and aperture manually while shooting video as well as stills. For those who don't want to bother setting the camera, iA mode chooses the best combination of settings automatically. Other features include: POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), Motion Deblur, Face Recognition, Face Detection, AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Scene Selector. Additionally, iA is available during video mode, and the following features engage automatically: POWER O.I.S., Face Detection, Intelligent Scene Selector and Intelligent D-Range Control. Read the press release for details. The other camera is the DMC-LX5, a 14MP model that has a 5x optical zoom lens with a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture, making it well-suited for low-light photography. Learn more here.
Photogenic adds Light Kits
Photogenic has just announced three new light kit lines with the idea of simplifying good choices for studio shooters. Solair monolight kits (six of them) are said to be able to keep color temperature consistent throughout the power setting range, a key feature when using multi-lamp setups where each lamp is providing different output. The eight new Powerlight kits are described as “perfect for providing exact and repeatable results” while the ten StudioMax III kits also use constant color technology. Visit Photogenic for details.
GE Announces Micro-Holographic Microstorage Breakthrough
GE is claiming a breakthrough that could impact photographers and videographers' growing need for data storage . The company has developed a holographic technique that would produce CD-sized optical storage devices that could record up to 500GB of data at the a recording speed similar to Blu-Ray—in other words, fast. This could lead to improving workflow thanks to faster image or video transfer rates. GE is looking into bringing this good thing to commercial light.
Olympus Adds Viewfinder to Pen Line
Just as the first wave of third-generation E-P “Digital Pen” cameras hit the market, Olympus has announced a new electronic viewfinder for the Pen line of cameras (as well as for the XZ-1), the VF-3. Slightly smaller and lighter, and with lower resolution than the VF-2 (920k dots vs. 1.44 million dots), the VF-3 offers a new and very useful shoe-lock, which solves the problem of jiggly finders fitting a bit too loosely in the Pens' flash mounts. (Of course, some of us use gaffer's tape for insurance.) Pricing not yet announced.
Casio Adds Touch-Screen Compact
Casio this week announced the 14MP Exilim EX-ZS15, featuring a 3-inch touch-screen LCD with a touch shutter. The user simply touches the screen to navigate the various functions and to scroll through preview images, and to choose a focus point and take a picture. Casio says this will be one of its most user-friendly cameras. It has a 5x optical zoom that starts at 26mm (35mm equivalent), and can shoot 720p videos.
Samsung Twin Lens Cameras To offer DSLR-like depth of field?
Samsung has applied for a camera design patent to give compact cameras with small sensors the ability to capture shallow depth-of-field images to rival that of DSLRs. When shooting with a smaller sensor, camera makers must build smaller lenses, resulting in greater depth of field; a lens may cover a 35mm equivalent, but its focus characteristics reflect its actual size. So, an 8mm lens on a small-sensor camera that covers the equivalent angle of view of a 50mm lens on a camera with a 35mm sensor still has the hyperfocal depth of an 8mm lens, meaning most everything will be in focus even at its smallest aperture. Samsung is proposing to use two lenses that capture the image simultaneously; in-camera processing will extract depth information by comparing images captured by both lenses, then create images with shallower depth of field. Could this make it to market? You never know. Ten years ago, who would have believed face recognition would become a standard feature?
And finally...London Street Shooters Test Security Guards, Stand Their Ground
As part of the London Street Photography Festival this week, a group of street photographers decided to go around the city, with videographers trailing them, to test out how local security personnel handled their perfectly legal right to take pictures in public. All stood on public property as they shot. Watch what happened...
Props to the cops for keeping level heads and understanding the law, and to the photographers for showing their fellow street shooters how to stand their ground when confronted by jittery security personnnel.