Advances in phone optics expected by HTC within 12 to 18 months
HTC is looking towards adding optical zooming to its smartphones, the company's camera expert has revealed. Symon Whitehorn advised in an interview that the company expects to see "huge advances in phone optics" in relation to optical zooming within 12 to 18 months, and suggesting a smartphone could reach a DSLR level of imaging performance in 18 to 24 months.
Flickr offers new user interface, live filters, video support, more
Yahoo has updated the iOS client app for its Flickr photo-sharing service, giving it a more iOS 7-compatible "flat" look and navigation system that offers a noticeably more "Instagram-like" experience, where moving through photos is more free-form. The update now allows users to post up to 30 seconds' worth of HD video to the service, with live filters and adjustment tools available for both video and photos. Version 3.0 now sports certain kinds of object recognition beyond just faces, among other changes.
Likely meant to boost Carousel
Cloud storage service Dropbox has bought out Loom, a photo storage and organization service, according to a notice on the latter company's website. Additionally acquired by the file sharing locker is collaborative document service Hackpad which will continue to support its app, unlike Loom.
Photographs automatically uploaded to Eyefi Cloud after being shot
Eyefi is expanding the usefulness of its Wi-Fi-equipped SD memory cards, by launching its own cloud storage service. The Mobi SD card, released last year, will now not only wirelessly transfer photographs taken by a digital camera to a mobile device, but it will also provide the option of automatically uploading it to the Eyefi Cloud.
Front and back camera shooting app now available for Android devices
Frontback, a "selfie"-focused photo capturing app originally released for iPhone, is now available for Android users. The app captures two shots: one of the subject with the rear camera, and one of the user's face, a second later, with the front-facing camera (though varying combinations of shots can be paired). The second photo intends to add context much like a caption, and both images can be posted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr, as well as Frontback's own newsfeed.
WordPress announces debut of Version 3.9, refines blog management tool
Today WordPress.org announced an update to its blog management tool of the same name. Aiming to provides its users with a clearer understanding of how content will appear once published, WordPress v3.9.0 features improved editing. Its new visual editor includes increased speed, accessibility, and mobile support. Speedier access to crop and rotation tools allows for faster image editing, and images can now be uploaded by dragging and dropping from one's desktop to the editor.
New apps share iOS 7-friendly interfaces
Corel has brought its previously iPad-only mobile video editing app, Pinnacle Studio, to the iPhone. The app allows for complex editing, including the ability to trim individual frames and insert elements like transitions, stills, titles, graphics, fast/slow-motion, and picture-in-picture effects. Quick clip arrangement can be done with the Storyboard, while the Timeline allows for more precise manipulation and trimming.
Photos stored in Auto Backup now accessible in Gmail messages with new button
Google today announced its latest addition to Gmail's email message composition tools, with the release of the Insert Photo button for its web version. Allowing users to access and insert photos that have been uploaded to their Auto Backup from their phone, including photos in emails through a web application is now simplified. Entire albums can also be shared, if images are uploaded and organized on Google Photos. Within the body of an email draft, users can resize images by dragging on any corner of the inserted photo.
New camera uses 51.4MP CMOS, with peak ISO of 204,800
Today, Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation has revealed the new Pentax 645Z magnesium alloy-bodied, medium-format DSLR. The new camera features a 51.4-megapixel CMOS image sensor, tiltable LCD, and is the only camera so far in the medium-format category to offer video recording capabilities. The new camera has a shutter speed of up to 1/4000th of a second, and has an top ISO of 204,800.
$400 off 27-inch iMac
MacMall.com has dropped the price on the 27-inch iMac from $1,800 down to $1,400. Until April 30, a $100 mail-in-rebate offer drops the price even further to $1,300. That is about $200 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This iMac features a 2.9GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. Included is a one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
Can add menus, chapter markers to videos
Corel's Roxio division has released Toast DVD at the Mac App Store. The utility makes it possible to not only burn videos to DVDs or Video-TS folders, but add menus for navigation. There are 25 stock themes, and users can further customize colors, text, and backgrounds.
Command line app converts Panasonic GH4 video to 2k 10-bit
Rarevision developer Thomas Worth has released an OS X command line program that will allow owners of the Panasonic GH4 4K video recordings to output 10-bit 2K HD instead of the specific 8-bit. The app uses pixel summing, taking the extra pixels in a 4K file to fill in absent color information. The app outputs 10-bit DPX files in 2048x1080 resolution.
Coolpix S810c uses Android Jelly Bean, has 16MP sensor
Nikon is adding another camera to its popular Coolpix line, with an Android-based device. The Coolpix S810c runs on Android 4.2.2, an upgrade from the Android 2.3 used in the Coolpix S800c two years ago, and while it has a similar 16-megapixel sensor to its predecessor, its optical zoom has been improved from 10x to a greater 12x, doubling to 24x using "Dynamic Fine Zoom."
Nikon 1 J4 has 20fps continuous shooting with AF, 60fps focus-locked
Nikon has unveiled a new addition to its J-range of Nikon 1 cameras. The J4 follows on from last year's J3 mirrorless camera in terms of size, though its styling has been modified for a slightly squarer appearance, with the 14.2-megapixel sensor switched for an 18.4-megapixel AF CMOS sensor with no low-pass filter and the Expeed 4A image processing engine.
Includes 64-bit support
Aviary has launched a major update to its Photo Editor SDK for iOS, used by a number of photography-related apps. The SDK includes a new UI scheme, aligned with changes made in iOS 7. Developers can choose to customize the editor to suit their particular apps. Aviary has also improved the code's efficiency, for instance by shrinking the SDK, and boosting performance in finished apps through changes like 64-bit support.
Updated app now offers postcards, gallery or canvas prints of images
Image software maker MacPhun has partnered with PQ Blackwell-owned Milk Tailor Made Books, integrating print services into MacPhun's Focus 2 software for the first time. Users can now order prints of their manipulated images directly from within the program, in the form of postcards, folded notecards, framed gallery prints or wrapped canvas prints.
Requires both latest desktop version and Creative Cloud subscription
In a surprise debut on Monday, Adobe took the wraps of its briefly-leaked Lightroom Mobile for iPad, a mobile version of its desktop software intended as a companion app to the full version for desktops and notebooks. As such, it requires both the latest version of Lightroom 5 (which was also updated earlier today to v5.4) for Mac or Windows, and a subscription to Adobe's Creative Cloud subscription service in order to use the free application. The program uses syncing and lower-rez thumbnails to get around the problem of the iPad's limited storage.
Amazon Instant Video updated for iOS 7
Amazon's video streaming service app for iOS, Amazon Instant Video, has been updated to version 2.5. Powered by Prime Instant Video, users can stream over 40,000 movies and TV episodes, including Amazon's original content. Purchased and rented content can be downloaded for offline viewing from the library, and content can be viewed on Apple TV using AirPlay. In its latest update, the app is optimized for iOS 7, featuring a revised overall look. Also included are bug fixes and stability improvements. Amazon Instant Video for iOS is available for iPad and iPhone, and can be downloaded from iTunes.
New displays provide massive color gamut, good connectivity
At this week's National Association of Broadcasters conference, HP has announced two new HP DreamColor Displays. The new displays, available today, boast 1.07 billion on-screen colors, giving what the company calls "color error so small that it is not discernible to the human eye."
Enhances hardware, software support
Autodesk has revealed Smoke 2015, the next edition of its video editing software. Upgrades this time around include an overhauled Timeline FX system, with added effects options including direct access to Action 3D compositing. A new 3D Tracker tool matches visual effects to camera movements, such as layers, text, or 3D objects.
Firm had recently revealed its role as an Apple supplier
Former Apple Vice President of Hardware Engineering and Technology David J. Tupman has joined the board of directors at Pixelworks, a video and pixel-processing hardware and software company. Roughly a month ago, the firm revealed that Apple had accounted for 10 percent of its business in 2013.
iMacs, cameras and MacBook Pros
This week, MacMall has cut the price on the 21.5-inch iMac by 20 percent -- bringing the cost down from $1,300 to $1,080. A $40 mail-in-rebate offer drops the price further to $1,040, making this $50 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This iMac features a 2.7GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, along with an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics board. Included is a Apple wireless keyboard, Magic Mouse and one-year warranty on parts and labor from Apple.
New display offers 144Hz refresh, 80,000,000:1 contrast
Display manufacturer AOC today announced the 24-inch 144Hz Gaming Monitor -- model number G2460PQU. Designed for high-performance gaming, the AOC G2460PQU delivers a refresh rate of 144Hz and response time of 1ms to offer users reduced input lag and more frames per second. The wall-mountable monitor displays up to 16.7 million colors with a maximum resolution of 1920x1080 and a contrast ratio of 80,000,000:1.
Premiere to support editing After Effects work without switching apps
Presenting at this week's National Association of Broadcasters expo in Las Vegas, Adobe has revealed updated versions of its flagship video editing tools, Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC. New features in Premiere include the ability to edit After Effects compositions without switching apps, and a heavier emphasis on the cloud, specifically in the form of automated backups and real-time sync between apps and teams using Adobe Anywhere. A new dynamic masking and tracking function should make it easier to blur out logos and faces.
Could improve image quality, battery life on future devices
Apple is in negotiations with Japan's Renesas Electronics to acquire a unit of the company, says Nikkei. In particular Apple is said to be after Renesas SP Drivers, a joint venture with Sharp and Powerchip that designs chips for smartphone displays. The takeover deal would involve buying up Renesas' 55 percent stake at an estimated price of 50 billion yen, or roughly $479 million.
New 1080p monitors from Samsung shipping in April
Samsung has revealed a trio of monitor models it will be bringing out in the coming weeks in the United States and other markets. The 1920x1080-resolution SD390 and SD590, each available in two different sizes, are accompanied by the premium UD590, a 28-inch monitor that includes support for 1 billion colors and can display an image at a resolution of 3,840x2,160.
Former media event lives on as accessory, app showcase
The Macworld Expo (now called Macworld/iWorld) certainly isn't the show it was five years ago, the last year Apple attended. Its a much smaller show -- maybe 25,000 attendees at best -- but with a more sustainable focus: a showcase for computer and mobile peripherals, accessories and gadgets, as well as a gathering of app developers. Because Apple doesn't make big announcements timed to the conference anymore -- and the one company that did, Microsoft, chose not to have its Office for iPad event there -- the Macworld/iWorld show doesn't make the news as often as it used to.
Pair of compact cameras launching in May, June for $350, $400
Olympus has unveiled a pair of compact digital cameras. The Stylus SH-1 point-and-shoot camera uses a similar five-axis image stabilization system to the one employed by the E-M1 and others, while the Stylus Tough TG-3 is a ruggedized shooter that is able to alter the photographs it takes thanks to the use of screw-on lens attachments.
21.5-inch iMac for $1,100
This week at MacMall.com, get a 21.6-inch iMac for $1,100. It was $1,500, but has been cut to $1,180 -- and until April 30, save an additional $80 through a mail-in-rebate offer that drops the final cost to $1,100. That makes this the lowest price we have seen on this model by roughly the same price margin. This iMac features a 2.9GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
Some users seeing Facebook Places info rather than Foursquare data
Facebook has started testing location information embedding, looking at integrating Facebook Places data into Instagram. Instagram currently uses Foursquare data for geotagging and attaching photo data to a location. Neither Facebook nor Foursquare have any comment on the matter, and a wholesale replacement of the photo tag data source doesn't appear to be underway in any more than a small scale test to a limited subset of users.
Head, arm-mounted Panasonic camera offers 200fps video function
Panasonic has revealed its first wearable camera capable of recording 4K-resolution video. The HX-A500 is unusual in its design, consisting of the camera sensor attached to an earpiece connected to an armband-mounted main unit instead of a self-contained box like the GoPro range, with the camera and unit weighing 31 grams and 119 grams (1.1 ounces and 4.2 ounces) respectively.
Apple updates Digital Camera Raw Compatibility plug-in for iPhoto, Aperture
On Thursday, Apple updated its Digital Camera RAW plug-in for Aperture 3 and iPhoto '11 that adds compatibility with supported and new RAW camera output formats. The latest version, 5.04, adds six new cameras to its support list for users running OS X 10.8.5 or later and recent versions of Aperture (3.4.5 or higher) and iPhoto (v9.4.3 or higher). The update adds support for the Fujifilm X-E2 and X-T1, the Nikon D3300 and Nikon 1 AW1, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 and the Pentax K-3. The update is now available through the Mac App Store's Software Update.
Major consumer problems with technology 'solved' according to CEO
At yesterday's HP shareholder conference call, HP CEO Meg Whitman revealed that the company would enter the 3D printing market. An press event is scheduled for some time in June, that Whitman refers to as a "big technology announcement" regarding the nascent technology.
Provides more realistic shadow, light sources and transparency effects
Imagine Technologies, the company that provides graphics subsystems used in Apple's iPhone and iPad processors as well as other GPUs, has announced a new version of the PowerVR graphics architecture, called "Wizard," that adds realism and better lighting and transparency effects to graphics by using selected ray-tracing effects alongside traditional rasterization. The technology is already supported in the just-announced Unity 5 gaming engine.
NX mini has 20.5MP sensor, Wi-Fi, NFC, flip-up display
Samsung has launched a new mirrorless camera that it claims is the world's slimmest and lightest. The NX mini's body weighs 158 grams (5.5 ounces) and measures 22.5mm (0.88 inches) thick, but still offers a 3-inch flip-up HVGA touchscreen display that flips 180 degrees, making it useful for "selfie" photographs or, as Samsung terms it, group "wefie" shots.
Softimage to be phased out
Autodesk has announced a slate of 2015-edition updates to its 3D animation programs, including 3ds Max, Maya, MotionBuilder, Mudbox, and Softimage. Perhaps the greatest focus is on Maya, which has been upgraded with features like the new Bifrost procedural effects system, the XGen arbitrary primitive generator for hair and vegetation, and geodesic voxel binding for character skinning. ShaderFX is a new node-based interface for shader programming, and the software also supports Pixar's OpenSubdiv libraries.
Will allegedly assume some of Sharp's orders
Samsung is set to become a display supplier for the iPad mini in the second half of 2014, says Korea's ETnews. Apple currently relies on three companies: LG and Sharp for Retina displays, and AU Optronics for non-Retina panels. AU Optronics is expected to be dropped from the supply chain entirely, while Sharp will allegedly see its orders cut back, the lost share being handed over to Samsung.
New display features Miracast, MHL, HDMI, speakers
MMD, the technology company and brand license partner for Philips Monitors, announced today the new 239C4QHWAB 23-inch Philips Miracast display with connectivity based on the Miracast standard, enabling users to stream mobile content wirelessly from Android devices and other compatible hardware. The new monitor is a 16:9 device at 1920x1080 resolution, and has support for 16.7 million colors, at a brightness of 250 cd/m2. Internal 3W speakers provide audio.
PortraitPro 12 adds face relighting, hair and skin enhancement tools
Anthropics Technology has announced the launch of PortraitPro 12, featuring realistic photo enhancement tools. Including new face relighting technology, the software can emulate realistic natural lighting to improve overall photo appearance. Its face-slimming, skin-enhancing and hair-thickening, smoothing and recovering features intuitively alter facial appearances with basic control settings.
Film Strip Effect released for Final Cut Pro X, offers new projection styles
FXFactory has announced its release of Film Strip Effect for Final Cut Pro X, a plug-in that offers aesthetic options that go beyond a simple slide projector effect. Users have analog controls over each included effect, and can determine the shape, size, and position of each slide. Blurring, scratching, dust, jittering, light flash and more variables are featured, to offer a vintage look for one's production. A free trial of Film Strip Effect is available online, with the full plug-in available for $50.
Eclipse TD-M1 wireless speaker system features compact size, Airplay compatibility
Eclipse TD has announced the upcoming availability of its wireless speaker system, the Eclipse TD-M1. The M1 aims to reproduce the sound of music played live, incorporating a non-oversampling DA converter (NOS-DAC) for clear listening. Its egg-shaped form is designed to suppress internal standing waves, as well as minimize the diffraction effect that occurs from the front baffle angle. Featuring wireless music playback, the M1 is AirPlay compatible for high-resolution sound from any recent Apple computer or device. Touch sensors and LED indicators provide intuitive use and reduce clutter of its design, removing the need for buttons. The Eclipse TD-M1 has a dedicated iOS app available for remote control functionality, offering power on or off, volume adjustment and input switching functionality. Available for purchase beginning March 31, the Eclipse TD-M1 speaker system is priced at $1,300.
Nokia rolls out Refocus app to all Lumia devices running Windows Phone 8
Nokia is making its Lytro-style Refocus app available to all Windows Phone 8 Lumia devices, as a free download via the Windows Phone Store. The app, which was initially released for Lumias with PureView, allows users to adjust the focal point of an image, after the photograph has been taken, with the resulting image shareable on social networks and stored on OneDrive.
First beta bumped 4K support to 60Hz from 10.9.2's 24Hz
Apple has begun seeding the second beta of OS X Mavericks 10.9.3, again asking developers to focus testing on graphics drivers and audio, the same areas mentioned in the first beta release. The new build, 13D17, continues to include the enhanced 4K monitor support found in the first beta, which raised the refresh rate of 4K monitors considerably, offered a pixel-doubling scaling option for external monitors, and expanded the range of supported monitors.
171-point contrast detection AF in Nikon 1 V3
Nikon has revealed the third generation of its Nikon 1 V-series of mirrorless cameras. The 11.4-ounce Nikon 1 V3 offers an 18.4-megapixel AF CMOS sensor with no low-pass filter, up from the 14.2-megapixel version in the V2, the new Expeed 4A image-processing engine, and the ability to shoot at 20fps with continuous AF, pushed to 60 when focus is locked.
Over 150 movies, 200 TV shows on demand coming next month
United Airlines will be rolling out a new inflight entertainment service that offers over 150 movies and nearly 200 TV shows on-demand to passengers beginning in April, at no cost -- if they have an iOS device like an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The free entertainment will be made available through the airlines' own iOS app, which can be downloaded for free while in-flight if needed.
May hint at more camera design coming in-house, leveraging PrimeSense tech
In an unusual move, Apple has greatly expanded its call for specialists and engineers connected to camera, lens, sensor and other aspects of digital imaging in recent job postings. The iPhone maker has added 15 want ads related to camera and digital imaging over the past two weeks, joining nine other listings posted last month. Camera technology has been a major selling point in Apple's mobile devices but is also a key part of its desktop and notebook offerings.
Samsung-made graphics chips at issue, used in both iOS and Android devices
Audio-Visual products manufacturer Creative Technology, through their ZiiLabs (formerly 3D Labs) subsidiary, is suing Samsung and accusing the Galaxy maker of infringing on 10 patents used in graphics system-on-chip designs for mobile and desktop devices. Both Apple and Samsung are named in the suit, as Samsung provides or formerly provided some of its own SoC components to some of Apple's devices.
Lumix GH4 shipping in late April, May, priced at $1700 for the body alone
Panasonic has released more details about shipments of its Lumix GH4 camera, following its formal unveiling early last month. The 4K-capable device and its optional YAGH interface unit will be shipping to customers in late April or May, depending on the country, with the 16.05-megapixel Micro Four Thirds camera being priced at $1,700 for the body alone.
Appears intended to support 4K displays
The OS X 10.9.3 beta supports new graphics scaling options which appear aimed at supporting 4K displays, users say. While a Mac Pro or Retina MacBook Pro can connect to a 4K monitor, they normally do so at resolutions up to 4096x2160 at 24Hz, which results in OS X's interface being spread out and shrunk, and choppiness in the case of things like the mouse cursor. The MacBook Pro can alternately use 3840x2160 at 30Hz, but this isn't an improvement.
Television range uses sub-pixels to help display 4K content on 1080p panel
Sharp has started to ship a range of 4K-supporting, sub-4K-resolution televisions the company launched at CES in January. The Quattron+ collection, part of its 2014 Aquos range, is capable of playing Ultra HD content, but does so using a 1080p panel that employs Sharp's "Revolution" technology, splitting pixels in two to provide 16 million sub-pixels, giving it an "effective resolution of 3840x2160."