After a few interesting Android smartphones Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi has now launched its first tablet. Like its phone counterparts, the Xiaomi Mi Pad has impressive specs at a very reasonable price point. It has a 7.9-inch, 2,048 x 1,536 pixel resolution screen and is powered by a NVIDIA Tegra K1 quad core processor. Learn more
Lytro’s new Illum camera packs in a few tricks that will appeal to some still photographers, but its aim is really to introduce a new type of imagery. Time will tell if that medium succeeds. Technology writer Liam McCabe spoke with a few players in the light field camera industry to get a sense of where this technology is headed in the next few years and beyond. Learn more
This new coating helps prevent smears and grime on the front element
One of the features of yesterday’s Nikon high-end lens announcements that didn’t get all that much attention was that Nikon has introduced a new coating for some of the elements, which looks like it might go a long way in repelling dirt and grime. In this dramatic video, Nikon shows what this fluorine coating can do, and how its powerful beading technology means that even the likes of permanent marker, motor oil, and oil based paints can be wiped right off.
Nikon’s fluorine coat effectively repels dust, water droplets, grease or dirt, ensuring easy removal even when they adhere to the lens surface. Thanks to Nikon’s original technology, it delivers higher durability and is more peel-resistant. Compared to other manufacturers’ coating of a similar kind, fluorine coat endures a higher frequency of lens surface wiping and provides longer-duration staying power. Its anti-reflective effect also contributes to the capture of clear images. Nikon’s fluorine coat is being applied first to the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR and AF-S TELECONVERTER TC-14E III.
Keep in mind, this isn’t to be confused with a fluorite lens, which Nikon has used for since at least 2013, and is marked by “FL” in the lens’s name. The new 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR has that too, but, for example, the 800mm f/5.6 FL ED VR doesn’t have the new coat.
Get this photo organization and editing tool for free, courtesy of CNET
CNET has teamed up with Zoner to offer a free download of the company’s titular software, for a limited time. Zoner Photo Studio 15 PRO debuted in 2012, and has since been replaced by version 16 on the official Zoner site. But, you can download this still fully functional piece of high-level software for free for just a couple of day.
Zoner Photo Studio is a Lightroom-like combination of photo organizing and photo editing software. It brings all your photos in through imports, allows you to search them by keywords and tags. It has powerful editing tools for manual tweakers, as well as a large number of presets for quick tweaks—or you can save your own favorite settings to use later. It can also post directly to Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa.
There are a couple of notable downsides. It’s Windows only, so Mac users are out of luck, and it’s missing some of the features of the newer, version 16. But it’s free, and only for a limited time, so if you’re looking for some software to make editing and organizing your photos just a little easier, then this might be the way to go.