4K tech could come to iMac or new monitor
OS X Yosemite -- which is going into public beta tomorrow -- should eventually ship in late October, sources claim. The present plan is reportedly to keep releasing new developer betas every two to three weeks through September 29th. Work should then shift to a gold master build, due October 10th. Final details, including a launch date, may be announced at Apple's October media event.
Apple could be key client
Sony has announced plans to invest 35 billion yen, or about $345 million, on scaling up production of image sensors for phones and tablets. Manufacturing of stacked CMOS sensors will increase at two factories in the southern Japanese island of Kyushu; meanwhile, the company is planning to complete work on a factory in northwestern Japan that it bought from Renesas. The hope is to boost wafer output 13 percent to 68,000 per month by August 2015, moving towards a longer-term target of 75,000, itself just a mid-term goal.
Previously released for iOS in August, turns tablets into notebook, sketchpad
Those looking for a note-taking solution or a sketchbook for Windows 8 and Android-based tablets have a new option to look at today. Wacom has expanded the availability of Bamboo Paper, adding tablets beyond the iPad, including the Kindle Fire, Surface 2 and Galaxy Tab 4, to the mix. Bamboo Paper was originally launched for iOS devices in August.
11.6-inch MacBook Air cut to $950
This week, BestBuy.com is offering sale prices on a variety of Mac models, one being the 11.6-inch MacBook Air, which has seen a $150 discount from $1,099 down to $949. That discount makes this the best price currently available on this Mac model by $50. Free US shipping is included, and sales tax applies for residents of most states. This MBA features a 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 256GB of solid state storage. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
Blackmagic Design adds Apple ProRes file formats for Camera 1.8.2 software
Video software maker Blackmagic Design has announced the availability of Camera 1.8.2 software, adding three new Apple ProRes file formats for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and Blackmagic Production Camera 4K. The new Apple ProRes file formats include ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT and ProRes 422 Proxy, and their inclusion means that Blackmagic Design camera can have significantly smaller video file sizes with longer recording durations, while preserving 10-bit 4:2:2 quality. Camera v1.8.2 is available now for download from the Blackmagic Design website, free for all Blackmagic camera customers.
New versions for Photoshop CS 6 and CC add new camera support, bug fixes
Adobe has made available release candidate versions of its upcoming Camera Raw 8.6 plug-in and DNG Converter, also at version 8.6, for final testing by users before an official release. As is now official policy with Adobe, users running Photoshop CS6 are limited to only receiving any new camera support and bug fixes; only Photoshop CC subscribers will receive any new feature updates. The release candidates a number of all three additions in the latest version.
Google Earth aerial images can be purchased, previously only viewable with API
Google opened up a new path for businesses looking for aerial photography this week, with an addition of Google Maps for Business imagery. The service now grants customers the ability to purchase aerial photos used in Google Earth from the continental United States, reducing the need for business to collect and store their own.
FCC approves rules to cover clips under Communications of Video Accessibility Act
Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to extend the provisions of 2012 closed captioning rules to further cover Internet video clips from television shows. The new rules expand provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 in the process. As a method of ensuring equal access to all programming forms to parties that suffer from hearing impairment, the FCC opted to require all Internet TV show clips to have captions in place, starting in January 2016.
4K monitors, cameras, PCs and more
This week at NCIX.com, get the Samsung 28-inch 4K LED monitor on sale for the reduced price of $530 with free shipping. That's $170 off their regular price of $700, and about $90 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This monitor features 28 inches of 4K resolution (3840x2160) with a contrast ratio of 1000:1, 1ms response time and a brightness of 370cd/m. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac, with HDMI or DisplayPort connectivity options.
Optical zoom in Pentax XG-1 extends to 208-times magnification with digital assistance
Ricoh has launched a new bridge camera with a long optical zoom and similar physical styling to DSLR cameras. The Pentax XG-1 houses a 16-megapixel back-illuminated 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with a maximum sensitivity of ISO 3200, behind a 52-times optical zoom lens giving 35mm-equivalent focal lengths from a 24mm ultra-wide-angle to a 1,248mm super telephoto lens.
Wunderlist 3 announced, to premiere in coming weeks
Task management app Wunderlist has announced the upcoming release of its third version, due in the coming weeks. Featuring a new design, Wunderlist 3 includes 60 new improvements, which centre around improving the app's versatility in curating and sharing lists. Those interested in being one of the first users of Wunderlist 3 can sign up, and news updates can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google+.
Google Cardboard offers an incredibly good VR experience
One of the highlights of the Google I/O developer event for 2014 was the debut of the experimental Google Cardboard project. With the dawn of mass market virtual reality finally upon us thanks to the arrival of the Oculus Rift (at least in early beta hardware form), Google Cardboard seems decidedly low-tech by comparison. Seemingly a little odd at first, the Cardboard premise is a simple one: bring a virtual reality experience to an even wide audience, on the cheap, to anyone who owns a relatively recent Android smartphone. Made from its namesake cardboard, could it possibly be any good?
Akvis updates SmartMask, adds compatibility with Photoshop CC 2014
Akvis has announced the release of its newest version of SmartMask, an image selection tool for photo editing. The software handles a selection of objects, and processes both soft and sharp edges. Available as a standalone program as well as a plug-in for photo editors, SmartMask v5.0 includes a new Share option for publishing images on desired social networks, with background color options availble prior to uploading. The maximum size of the Eraser and History Brush tools has been increased, and the Magic Brush has been improved.
Internet camera looks good on paper, runs into problems in everyday use
Keeping an eye on the home while out and about these days is common practice. Internet cameras have become popular due to the ease of scanning for intruders or checking on the welfare of a child. Selecting the right model can be challenging, based on the number of cameras on the market. Brands like Dropcam and Foscam are generally trusted, but larger companies like Samsung offer alternative solutions. Attempting to bring a Dropcam competitor to consumers, Samsung released the SmartCam HD Pro. But does it offer the features a user needs without hiccups? Find out in our review.
Android Wear devices can take photos using paired smartphone camera
Google has updated its Camera app, allowing it to work in tandem with a smartwatch running Android Wear. Version 2.3 of the app, slowly rolling out on Google Play, adds the ability for Android Wear devices to remotely control the camera app's shutter function, though the update also introduces a few other new additions to the software at the same time.
Akvis Pastel released, available as standalone app and Photoshop plug-in filter
Akvis has announced the release of Pastel, a photo-to-painting image editor available for both Windows and OS X. Offering a variety of presets as well as detailed setting options, users of Pastel can create images that appear as though they are paintings from digital or scanned photographs. Its adjustable effect parameters function as an artistic filter, with advanced brush tools that assist in refining the result.
Each gains access to a 'broad range' of products and services under agreement
Software giant Microsoft and camera specialists Canon announced today that the two companies have signed into a cross-licensing agreement for intellectual property (IP) patents. The agreement gives each company the ability to license numerous patents, from mobile phones to digital imaging. Contents of the scope and scale of the agreement, as well as monetary considerations, were not disclosed in the announcement.
Solves issues with video editors, multiple displays
This Monday's OS X 10.9.4 update appears to have made undocumented fixes to rendering problems with the 2013 Mac Pro, users say. Under v10.9.3, people running video editors like Adobe Premiere Pro and Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve were encountering problems such as crashes, freezes, pink and green lines in exported clips, and videos stalling during the export process. Posts on Adobe and Blackmagic's forums indicate that after updating OS X, video output is back to normal.
Cheaper alternative to GoPro 3 delivers good picture, but lacks shock resistance
Since the introduction of the GoPro, numerous action cams have come out of the woodwork to tackle the consumer need for camcorders that can take a beating. Even though they existed prior to what's now the staple camera on the market, the small-form HD cams have now become the target to shoot for. DXG has entered the market with the IronX 5G9V HD action cam, bringing a number of accessories and a lower price to compete with the GoPro. But is the IronX worth $350, or is that money better spent towards a GoPro 3? Find out in our review.
Yahoo Mail adds existing iPhone features for iPad
Yahoo has released an update for its Mail app for iOS, featuring enhancements for iPad users. The service includes 1TB of free storage space, and one's inbox can be personalized with Flickr themes that sync across devices. Yahoo Mail v3.1.0 aims to offer more access to information in a consolidated space, with news, search, and snapshots of weather, sports scores and more now available. Filters can be created, edited and deleted for one's mail, and various performance and bug fixes. Free to download, Yahoo Mail requires iOS 7.0 or later, and a mail account through Yahoo.
Creates environments for 3ds Max, Maya, Softimage, Cinema4D, Lightwave
Oregon-based 3D software maker e-on has announced that its Ozone 2014 atmosphere generator plug-in for popular 3D programs is now available. The company says the produce produces "ultra-realistic" environments with volumetric clouds, accurate light dispersion and "natural phenomena such as 'Godrays'." The accurately-simulated environment can affect other scene elements and flows organically in accordance with natural behaviors. The new version offers a number of improvements.
App will support third-party extensions
In the wake of Aperture's demise, the upcoming Photos app for OS X Yosemite will incorporate professional-level features, an Apple representative claims. These include functions related to editing, effects, and image search, and support for third-party extensions. The spokesperson didn't go into any further details however.
Services like MLB At Bat, WatchESPN under the gun
Apple pushed organizations like Major League Baseball and ESPN to adopt its HTTP live streaming (HLS) technology, and in so doing caused them to infringe on an Emblaze patent, a lawyer for the latter party claimed today at the start of a federal trial. The patent in question was issued in 2002; Emblaze says that it covers delivering live-streaming video over wireless networks. Apple began work on HLS "no earlier than 2007," according to the Emblaze attorney, and asked services like MLB At Bat and WatchESPN to switch to the format to improve sales of iOS devices, since they can't handle other standards like Flash.
MacBook Pro, SSDs, cameras and more
This week at Adorama.com, get the 15.4-inch Retina MacBook Pro for the sale price of $2,749. That's $250 off the list price of $2,999, and the lowest price we have seen on this MBP by the same price margin. This MacBook Pro features a Retina display, a 2.0GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Includes usable SD memory card, four apps, CanvasPop gift card, more
Photo- and image-editing software maker Macphun has launched a bundle deal on four of its OS X consumer photo apps -- Snapheal, Focus 2, FX Photo Studio and ColorStrokes -- delivered on a reusable SD memory card during the first week of July. Dubbed the "Snap Pack Bundle" the $25 offer also includes a $20 gift certificate for CanvasPop, which specializes in turning photographs into wrapped canvas prints, and a chance to win one of three $50 Amazon gift cards.
Promotion cuts price of AfterShot Pro 2 by 25 percent for Aperture or Lightroom users
Following Friday's surprise announcement by Apple that it will cease developing Aperture -- a rare acknowledgement of this by the company -- Corel has joined the growing number of companies that are or are planning to woo the photo-enthusiast and creative pro crowd displaced by Aperture's discontinuation. While the program will continue to operate as expected in both Mavericks and Yosemite and possibly beyond, most users are expected to eventually migrate to alternatives -- including, Corel hopes, its own AfterShot Pro 2.
Apple planning comprehensive replacement for iPhoto, may have some 'pro' features
In the wake of Friday's earlier announcement that it has ceased development of Aperture, Adobe has moved quickly to further reassure users of the pro photo management and editing program that it is working with Apple to offer a transition path, that it plans a "rich roadmap" for future Lightroom development and that it is "doubling down" on its existing and future products for OS X and for iOS. Lightroom 5, Adobe's Aperture alternative, is available as a standalone app or as part of a Creative Cloud subscription.
Final Cut Pro gets numerous workflow enahncements
Apple has issued updates for all of its professional video-related Mac apps. Leading these is Final Cut Pro 10.1.2, which has received dozens of workflow improvements and bugfixes. Optimized, proxy, and rendered media can now be stored in any location outside of the library, or deleted from within Final Cut. A standard (Rec. 709) look can be applied in real-time to HDR and wide-color video from ARRI, Blackmagic, Canon, and Sony hardware, and the software newly supports Apple's ProRes 4444 XQ format.
27-inch iMac cut to $2,699, 21-inch iMac for $999
This week, Adorama has slashed the price on the 27-inch iMac by $200. It carries an MSRP of $2,699, but has been reduced to $2,499. That discount makes this $200 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This iMac features a 3.5GHz Intel quad-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 3TB Fusion Drive. Included is a wireless Magic Mouse, wireless Apple keyboard, and one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Software has struggled in competition with Lightroom
Development of Aperture has halted, and is instead shifting to the editing tools in OS X Yosemite's Photos app, Apple has announced. Photos -- which will actually miss the launch of Yosemite, and ship in early 2015 -- will include an option to import Aperture libraries. Compatibility updates should let Aperture run in Yosemite, but no further support is planned. Apple and Adobe are cooperating to help some users migrate to Lightroom.
Videographers provided with YouTube Creators mobile app, sound effect library, 60fps video support
Google has added more tools to YouTube, to help creators with their video productions. Presented at Vidcon, YouTube Director of Product Management for Creators Matthew Glotzbach and Vice President of Engineering for Creators Oliver Heckmann showcased upcoming features to the video service, including a new mobile app, and support for 48fps and 60fps video.
Nikon D4S features appear in new D810
Nikon has launched a follow-up DSLR to its D800 digital camera. Having the same resolution as its predecessor, the 36.3-megapixel sensor in the new D810 is an FX-format version which leaves off the optical low pass filter and works with the Expeed 4 image processing engine found in the D4S, allowing it to improve image detail for both still shots and for video recording.
New platform integrates with Android Wear controllers, Bluetooth controllers
Google is taking yet another shot at the set-top box industry. Announced today, Android TV is a new software platform with similar functionality to the Chromecast or Apple TV. The platform will be made available on a wide array of 2014 and 2015 4K television models, bringing Android integration into the living room for those investing in the new HDTV platform.
Cost, supply issues may hurt 4.7-inch model
It's likely that only the 5.5-inch iPhone will get optical image stabilization for its camera, several analysts are predicting. The most substantial claim comes from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. "Differing from market consensus, we don't expect the main camera of the 4.7" iPhone 6 to use OIS VCM due to production capacity restraint at iPhone 6 VCM suppliers Mitsumi (JP) and Alps (JP)," he writes. "Rather, we predict it will use a middle-mount type of open-loop VCM updated from the one used in the existing iPhone 5S. The 5.5" iPhone 6 is more likely to be equipped with OIS VCM due to lower estimated shipments and the need for more product features to differentiate itself from the 4.7" iPhone 6." It is however expected that the 4.7-inch iPhone will still get faster focusing and better power efficiency than camera in the iPhone 5s.
Printers produce 'laser-like prints' at a lower cost, pricing starts at $99
Printer specialists HP announced two new Officejet Pro printers today, each positioned for small business owners searching for quality on a budget. The Officejet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One and the Officejet Pro 6230 ePrinter are designed to deliver expensive-looking prints at a low cost to customers. On top of a lower printing page cost, consumers can save money on ink, as each printer is eligible for HP's Instant Ink service.
Red Giant releases update for Red Giant Universe, includes new effects
Red Giant has announced the release of an update for its new multi-host app library of GPU-accelerated tools, Red Giant Universe. Red Giant produces tools for filmmakers, editors, visual effects artists and motion designers; this release of Red Giant Universe allows its members to access a wide variety of tools and effects for creating visual projects that run on multiple host apps. The update (v1.1) includes nine new free and premium effects, as well as updates that add new features and functionality to several existing Universe tools, expanding the toolset to a total of 59 effects and transitions.
First such part leak
Photos of what's claimed to be an LCD panel for the 5.5-inch iPhone were leaked over the weekend, reports note. The two images came from Sonny Dickson, a well-known source of Apple parts leaks. In both instances, the photos use a ruler for scale.
Three 1080p models from 50 to 60 inches, feature 'Beyond Smart' concept
Consumer electronics company Panasonic has announced that the latest televisions in its Life+ Screen series are now available. Ranging in size from 50 to 60 inches, the AS650 model 1080p LED televisions feature Panasonic's "Beyond Smart" concept. Users can see personalized content and applications set on the home screen in an easy-to-use interface.
Sony RX 100 Mk III improvements make the best compact camera even better
Electronista has had the opportunity to go hands-on with the third incarnation of Sony superb RX100 compact point-and-shoot camera. The hotly anticipated RX100 Mk III model has added some additional refinements to Sony's already-winning formula, including a new Zeiss lens and a built-in TruView OLED viewfinder. Sony continues to sell the original RX100, and its improved sequel, the RX 100 Mk II. The RX100 Mk III now sits atop the range, and while slightly more expensive, offers new features normally found on A-Mount or E-Mount cameras at a very reasonable price point for what you're getting. Most importantly, it produces very high quality photos with a special emphasis on low-light performance.
New app utilizes pressure sensitive styli, including new Adobe Ink stylus
Developer Avatron software, known for display extender Air Display 2 has launched a new app called Air Stylus. The app lets artists use an iPad or Android tablet as a wireless drawing surface for Mac- or PC-based graphics software programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Apple Aperture. With Air Stylus and a pressure-sensitive pen, users can draw directly on the iPad's screen into almost any computer-based creative software that supports pressure sensitivity.
Should bring iOS 8 up to par with Android, Windows Phone
Third-party photography apps should get near-total camera control with iOS 8, reports note. The firmware's new AVCaptureDevice APIs are said to let apps manually adjust focus, shutter speed, ISO levels, white balance, exposure compensation, and even several different forms of exposure bracketing. Of those, iOS 8's stock Camera app is only due to receive exposure compensation as an exclusive option.
Every app refreshed
Adobe has officially revealed the 2014 update of its Creative Cloud desktop suite. Every app has been updated; the suite's core software, Photoshop CC, has gained new Blur Gallery motion effects, as well as a tool called Focus Mask, which makes it possible to highlight individual sections in photos with low depth-of-field. Other changes include new Content-Aware functions, Smart Object linking across documents, and the ability to sync settings for one layer across all others.
SDK will enable third-party apps based on Adobe tech
Previously teased in concept form, Adobe has formally announced its first two hardware accessories, the Ink pen and Slide ruler. The former is a pressure-sensitive aluminum stylus designed around iOS 7, while the latter is a companion designed to help with more precise drawing, including straight lines and perfect circles. To provide initial software support, Adobe has released two iPad apps, Sketch and Line.
Devices uses filament spools with post-consumer recycled plastic
Coca-Cola and 3D printer manufacturer 3D Systems have debuted the Ekocycle Cube 3D printer. Based on the company's Cube 3D printer, the new device uses specially-formulated spools of raw material that use 25 percent post-consumer recycled materials unique to this printer line.
Darklight Version 2.0 now available on iTunes
Image editor for iOS Darklight has received an update, bringing the latest release version to 2.0. Featuring a range of enhancements, adjustments and effects, DarkLight offers image-editing tools with preset attributes as well as customizable options. The latest release of Darklight includes an updated home screen layout, minor bug fixes and improved rendering of images. Free to download through iTunes, Darklight requires iOS 6.0 or later.
Could make Sharp more integral to Apple supply chain
Apple's main assembly partner, Foxconn, is in talks to use Sharp technology to help build iPhone and iPad displays, says Taiwanese publication the United Daily News. Sharp is one of several companies already involved in producing displays for Apple products; if Foxconn itself can build displays, though, it could reduce supply bottlenecks, streamline development, and/or reduce Apple's dependence on other panel suppliers, which include LG Display, Japan Display, and Samsung.
Milestone to remain standalone company, will utilize Canon's business channels
Digital camera maker Canon announced Friday that it is acquiring open platform video surveillance software company Milestone Systems. Canon Europe picked up the Denmark-based startup to diversify its offerings, specifically carving out a niche in the surveillance market. The company said that buying Milestone will "significantly enhance Canon's software capabilities" in the sector.
Free iOS app and iPhone 4 or greater required for remote control
The BMW Group Technology Office and GoPro have announced the first mass-produced integration of a GoPro camera with an automobile's on-board infotainment system. In BMW Group vehicles equipped with the BMW Apps or MINI Connected option, a GoPro camera may now be configured and controlled using BMW's iDrive controller and high-resolution screen. The updated GoPro App is now available for free in the iTunes Store.
Curved image sensor still in development, mimics human eye
Sony has shown off a new style of camera sensor for the first time, one that has a curved surface. The unnamed curved CMOS sensor is said to offer a number of benefits when compared to normal, flat sensors used in modern cameras, with engineers claiming it to be 1.4 times more sensitive to light than flat equivalents at the center of the sensor, and twice as sensitive at the edges.
Chunky Comic Reader blazes a path in a crowded iPad comic consumption field
For every file format, there are a hundred iOS apps that will read them. We've already discussed what we feel is the pre-eminent reader for PDFs: GoodReader. What about comic books? Sure, many of them are distributed as PDFs, making GoodReader a solution, but there are other formats. For that, we're examining one of the best reader apps out there -- the free Chunky Comic Reader (CCR).