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Unfade for iOS scans and restores old prints

Published on May 26, 2016 by in News

The team behind the document scanning app Scanbot has used its smartphone scanning expertise to create Unfade, a new app for the iPhone that lets you scan old photos and restore their color using automated filters.

The app has been designed with ease-of-use in mind and works almost fully automatically. You simply need to hold your smartphone camera over a photo print and it will be scanned. The app then detects faded colors and presents the option to restore them using a filter function. Once images have been digitized and restored they can be sorted into albums. On the Unfade website the team also says that a range of new features are currently in the development pipeline, including editing features, image presentation options and sharing tools. 

Unfade requires iOS 9 or later and is compatible with the iPhone 5s and newer models in addition to a number of recent iPad models. The app is currently available at a 40% launch discount but will still set you back $4.99 in the Apple App Store.

 
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Content-aware cropping coming soon to Adobe Photoshop CC

Published on May 26, 2016 by in News

Adobe Photoshop CC will soon offer content-aware cropping, the company has announced. The feature, as demonstrated in a video released today, will allow Photoshop users to automatically fill any white space around an adjusted photo with content that matches the original image. The tool can be used to add content (to change the aspect ratio, for example), or to fill in gaps that result from rotating or repositioning the image.

Content-aware cropping has been a frequently requested feature, says Adobe. The company will include the new cropping tool ‘as part of an upcoming major release,’ though it doesn’t specify whether it will be the next major update or a later one.

Via: Adobe

 
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ZTE Axon 7 features 20MP Samsung ISOCELL sensor

Published on May 26, 2016 by in News

Chinese smartphone maker ZTE has announced its latest high-end device, the Axon 7. It comes with an impressive camera specification that includes a 20MP Samsung ISOCELL sensor, fast F1.8 aperture, a sapphire glass lens front element, optical image stabilization and on-sensor phase detection autofocus. A dual-LED flash helps with illumination in dim conditions, and in video mode the camera is capable of recording footage with 4K resolution. The front camera comes with an 8MP sensor. 

The other components of the device match the camera’s high-end specifications. The Axon’s aluminum unibody houses a 5.5-inch AMOLED panel with 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD resolution that is covered by 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 4 and the Android OS is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset. In terms of memory consumers get to choose between a version with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage or a 6GB/128GB premium model. There is also a microSD-slot for expansion. A hearty 3140 mAh battery supports the Quick-charge 3.0 standard. There are also a dedicated audio chip, dual speakers, a fingerprint reader and a USB Type-C connector.

The Axon 7 will be launched in China first in July and make its way to international markets at a later stage. Official pricing will be revealed closer to launch, but is expected to be below $500 which sounds like an interesting offer for such a well-specified device.

 
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Photoshop’s Upcoming Content-Aware Crop Feature Straightens Photos Without Creating Awkward Compositions

Published on May 26, 2016 by in News
Photoshop Content-Aware Crop

No more tricky crops thanks to straightened photos

Adobe’s Content-Aware Crop Photoshop feature tries to eliminate the pain of weird crops from straightened photos…
 
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Lens shootout: Sony RX10 III destroys the competition

Published on May 26, 2016 by in News

When the RX10 III was revealed as the ‘top secret’ Sony product launch in San Francisco earlier this year, I felt a bit cynical. ‘Another RX10, Sony? Really?’ I cried, along with a few bored commenters. ‘The last one is hardly a year old!’

Then I saw some telephoto sample images and was immediately impressed, wondering if I had been underestimating the 1″ bridge camera segment. Then Barney described the RX10 III to me as ‘magic’, which is high praise indeed and warranted further investigation. Which is exactly what we’ve done, below. Note that our results here are only indicative of the one copy of each camera we have on hand, some of which appear to be slightly decentered.

The Shootout

Starting at the wide end, which is around 25mm for all the cameras tested, we see in the center of the image (where our RX10 II appears to perform as expected) improvements over the RX10 II aren’t incredibly pronounced. Other areas of the scene show the advantage of the RX10 III, especially when it is stopped down from its maximum aperture of F2.4 to F2.8. Its performance is definitely a step up from the Panasonic FZ1000, and is miles ahead of the Canon G3 X.

Where crazy zoom lenses like these typically struggle is in the extremes of the frame, with neither the RX10 III or the FZ1000 being an exception. The sharpness fall-off is less severe with the RX10 III, though, and all in all, the RX10 III is the best performer on the wide end.

Moving on to 400mm, the maximum focal length for the Panasonic FZ1000, we see a similar amount of detail between the Panasonic and Sony near the center of the image. Sharpness and resolution change for both throughout the frame, with the Sony showing a slightly iffy left side, and a better right side. Through most of the scene the two are practically neck and neck, with the G3 X turning in comparable performance as well, but let’s not forget the Sony and Canon still have more zoom range to go. 

The RX10 III’s 24-600mm lens isn’t only useful for distant details.

The real reason people consider bridge cameras is for the reach, and Sony extended the RX10 III’s reach by a full 400mm over the RX10 II. That means it now offers the same amount of reach as the G3 X’s 600mm equivalent maximum focal length. The RX10 III’s lens is clearly sharper, but it has another thing going for it: its faster maximum aperture helps it combat diffraction. Remember that F4 and F5.6 on 1″-type cameras are equivalent to F11 and F15, respectively. Both cameras are limited by atmospheric distortion at these focal lengths (hence the drop to ‘print’ resolution in the previous comparison link), but it’s clear that the RX10 III exceeds the G3 X’s performance, while offering just as much zoom versatility. The Canon PowerShot G3 X’s trump card has been trumped.

Even at 600mm (equiv), the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III’s lens delivers sharp results.

In all, it seems the RX10 III does offer a bit more than similar 1″ bridge cameras from other manufacturers. It exceeds, or at least matches, the competition with respect to zoom range, while offering sharper images, and brighter apertures than all but Sony’s own RX10 II. Importantly, sharpness performance appears to be maintained throughout the zoom range, from wide to tele, which cannot be said for any of the other cameras in this test. Feel free to explore through these images and post your own findings below.

Things to Consider

As you look at the comparison widget, bear in mind that It appears our copy of the RX10 II appears to be slightly decentered. This isn’t really noticeable in normal shooting but it’s obvious in a controlled test like this. 

The second caveat to these results is the weather. Light varied over the course of the test, and had darkened so much that the Panasonic, the final camera tested, needed 2/3rds more exposure to produce a comparable image. All the exposures were processed in ACR with default sharpness and the ‘Adobe Standard’ profile used across the board.

We’ll be adding the RX10 III to our standard database of studio test images very soon – watch this space!

 
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Lens shootout: Sony RX10 III destroys the competition

Published on May 26, 2016 by in News

When the RX10 III was revealed as the ‘top secret’ Sony product launch in San Francisco earlier this year, I felt a bit cynical. ‘Another RX10, Sony? Really?’ I cried, along with a few bored commenters. ‘The last one is hardly a year old!’

Then I saw some telephoto sample images and was immediately impressed, wondering if I had been underestimating the 1″ bridge camera segment. Then Barney described the RX10 III to me as ‘magic’, which is high praise indeed and warranted further investigation. Which is exactly what we’ve done, below. Note that our results here are only indicative of the one copy of each camera we have on hand, some of which appear to be slightly decentered.

The Shootout

Starting at the wide end, which is around 25mm for all the cameras tested, we see in the center of the image (where our RX10 II appears to perform as expected) improvements over the RX10 II aren’t incredibly pronounced. Other areas of the scene show the advantage of the RX10 III, especially when it is stopped down from its maximum aperture of F2.4 to F2.8. Its performance is definitely a step up from the Panasonic FZ1000, and is miles ahead of the Canon G3 X.

Where crazy zoom lenses like these typically struggle is in the extremes of the frame, with neither the RX10 III or the FZ1000 being an exception. The sharpness fall-off is less severe with the RX10 III, though, and all in all, the RX10 III is the best performer on the wide end.

Moving on to 400mm, the maximum focal length for the Panasonic FZ1000, we see a similar amount of detail between the Panasonic and Sony near the center of the image. Sharpness and resolution change for both throughout the frame, with the Sony showing a slightly iffy left side, and a better right side. Through most of the scene the two are practically neck and neck, with the G3 X turning in comparable performance as well, but let’s not forget the Sony and Canon still have more zoom range to go. 

The RX10 III’s 24-600mm lens isn’t only useful for distant details.

The real reason people consider bridge cameras is for the reach, and Sony extended the RX10 III’s reach by a full 400mm over the RX10 II. That means it now offers the same amount of reach as the G3 X’s 600mm equivalent maximum focal length. The RX10 III’s lens is clearly sharper, but it has another thing going for it: its faster maximum aperture helps it combat diffraction. Remember that F4 and F5.6 on 1″-type cameras are equivalent to F11 and F15, respectively. Both cameras are limited by atmospheric distortion at these focal lengths (hence the drop to ‘print’ resolution in the previous comparison link), but it’s clear that the RX10 III exceeds the G3 X’s performance, while offering just as much zoom versatility. The Canon PowerShot G3 X’s trump card has been trumped.

Even at 600mm (equiv), the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III’s lens delivers sharp results.

In all, it seems the RX10 III does offer a bit more than similar 1″ bridge cameras from other manufacturers. It exceeds, or at least matches, the competition with respect to zoom range, while offering sharper images, and brighter apertures than all but Sony’s own RX10 II. Importantly, sharpness performance appears to be maintained throughout the zoom range, from wide to tele, which cannot be said for any of the other cameras in this test. Feel free to explore through these images and post your own findings below.

Things to Consider

As you look at the comparison widget, bear in mind that It appears our copy of the RX10 II appears to be slightly decentered. This isn’t really noticeable in normal shooting but it’s obvious in a controlled test like this. 

The second caveat to these results is the weather. Light varied over the course of the test, and had darkened so much that the Panasonic, the final camera tested, needed 2/3rds more exposure to produce a comparable image. All the exposures were processed in ACR with default sharpness and the ‘Adobe Standard’ profile used across the board.

We’ll be adding the RX10 III to our standard database of studio test images very soon – watch this space!

 
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Photo Challenge Finalist Gallery: Flowering Trees

Published on May 26, 2016 by in News

A colorful collection of spring photos

Trees put on a show in the springtime and our readers were there to capture it.
 
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Eric Karr Photo – Jaycee – Miss Lubbock Contestant – 2016

Published on May 25, 2016 by in Portraits

Jaycee05252016-1a

 
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Broncolor launches range of softbox edge masks for rim light effect

Published on May 25, 2016 by in News

Swiss lighting brand broncolor has announced a range of diffuser panels for its softboxes that help to create a rim light effect when the subject is positioned in front of the softbox. The Edge Masks feature a large black panel in the center of the diffuser that prevents light from passing, but leaves strips all the way around the panel for the flash to pass through. The idea is that people posed in front of the panel will appear on a black background but highlighted with a rim of light all around them.

The panels are designed to replace the usual white diffuser of the softbox, which is removed when the Edge Mask is in place. The effect is relatively easy to achieve using any softbox and a panel of black material, but these are a bit more convenient and look more professional.

The company has also launched a 110cm parabolic umbrella that can be used to vary the focus of the reflected light. The umbrella has a particularly long arm that allows the light source to be placed at a range of distances from the reflective material.

The Edge Masks come in a range of sizes and are available now, as is the Focus 110 umbrella. The Edge Masks are priced from £42/$54 to £84/$113, while the umbrella costs £150/$210.

For more information visit the broncolor website.


Press release:

New Light Shaping Tools – Edge Masks & Focus 110

Hot on the heels of the new Siros L battery powered studio monobloc, broncolor have also released two brand new lights shaping tools – the Edge Mask diffuser and Focus 110 umbrella.

Edge Masks
Using the broncolor range of softboxes just became even more creative and flexible. The new Edge Mask helps turn the rectangular sizes of the softboxes in to a rim light, allowing for subjects to be photographed in-front of and against the softbox, with the light wrapping around the subject from behind. This is a popular technique previously only created by flagging off the softbox with a board, but the Edge Mask provides a professional, easy and uniform method for creating the effect. Simply attach the Edge Mask to your existing softbox as you would an external diffuser.

Focus 110
The new parabolic Focus 110 umbrella (110cm diameter) provides a quick an easy way of producing a focusable parabolic light effect. Simply pop it up and use the lamp heads umbrella holder to slide and focus the shaper.

Pricing and availability
The new Edge Masks and Focus 110 are ready and available to ship now!

33.612.00 – Edge Mask for Softbox 35 x 60 – £35 ex. VAT
33.613.00 – Edge Mask for Softbox 60 x 100 – £40 ex. VAT
33.614.00 – Edge Mask for Softbox 90 x 120 – £50 ex. VAT
33.615.00 – Edge Mask for Softbox 120 x 180 – £70 ex. VAT

33.576.00 – Focus 110 – £125 + VAT

 
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Vuze VR 3D 360 camera targets consumers with $799 price

Published on May 25, 2016 by in News

At the Cannes Film Festival, HumanEyes Technologies unveiled the Vuze VR, a consumer-grade 360-degree camera for VR applications. The camera was used to record the recently screened 3D VR short movie Summertime, and is now available to pre-order for $799 USD. In addition to capturing 3D stereoscopic content for VR platforms, Vuze VR can record 360 degree 2D video.

Vuze VR is equipped with eight cameras capable of recording full stereophonic audio and 360-degree Full HD video in both 2D and 3D. Each camera is fitted with lenses that capture a 120 degree FOV horizontally and 180 degree FOV vertically. When the videos are stitched together, the resulting video has a 4K resolution.

The camera is small at 12 x 12 x 3cm (4.7 x 4.7 x 1 in.), and features what HumanEyes calls ‘near real time processing,’ with each minute of footage requiring one minute of processing. The camera supports both PCs and Macs, and can be remotely controlled using related iOS and Android apps. 

The Vuze VR camera can be pre-ordered now for $799 from the product’s website. Shipping to buyers is estimated to start in October 2016.

Via: PRNewswire

 
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