Lubbock Photographer

Fujifilm facilities resume some production following Kumamoto earthquakes

Fujifilm is slowly but surely bringing a key subsidiary’s production facilities back online after earthquakes forced a shut down, and expects to be back at full production by the end of May. In a statement issued today, Fujifilm confirmed that trial operations began on April 23 at the facilities and were ultimately successful. Barring any further problems, the company anticipates being back at pre-earthquake production levels by the end of this month.

Fujifilm Kyusyu Co., Ltd operates the facilities that were impacted by the earthquakes that struck Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture on April 16. These facilities are responsible for manufacturing a key component of LCD panels. A few days after the event, the company announced that operations in the area would be stopped while assessments were performed. None of the facilities were found to be seriously damaged, but at the time the company said it hadn’t yet decided when operations would restart, and that it would hold a trial run on April 23 and 24.

Inspections of warehouse stock are still underway; as of April 19, Fujifilm says it has been shipping out products that pass inspections. ‘Fujifilm Kyusyu is doing its utmost to resume all operations,’ says the company; the rate at which it does so is determined in part by the number and intensity of aftershocks.

Friendly Rebel: Canon EOS Rebel T6 / 1300D samples

Canon’s latest entry-level Rebel DSLR does what all of its entry-level offerings do best: provide only the basic level of controls and features in a beginner-friendly and cost-conscious body. The Canon EOS Rebel T6 (1300D) continues the tradition with an 18MP APS-C sensor, 9-point AF system, built-in Wi-Fi with NFC and 1080p HD video. See how it performs under a variety of conditions in our real-world shooting.

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Lens: Sample Image Gallery

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens

See what we shot with Sigma’s 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN lens sample image gallery…

Eric Karr – Jordan – Senior Pictures.

Jordan-1aa

Accessory Review: Peak Design Slide Camera Sling strap

Peak Design Slide Camera Sling
$59/£45 | www.peakdesign.com | Buy Now

I admit, I’m generally not much of a camera strap user. Oh sure, I have a few straps, but they tend to be utilitarian affairs more there for emergencies or #dadlife convenience (‘What do you mean your feet hurt and I have to carry you the rest of the way through the zoo?’). Even when I was in the thick of my years as a working pro, I tended to work out of a bag far more often than I worked off my shoulder.

That said, shoulder straps have a lot going for them. They protect your camera from accidental drops, allow you to use both hands without putting your camera away, provide a way to keep multiple bodies at hand and the ease of access they offer cuts down on shots missed because you were digging your camera out of a bag or pack. So when I was asked to take a look at the Slide sling strap from Peak Design, I figured it was time to give straps another try.

Specifications

  • Maximum Length: 145cm/57in
  • Minimum Length: 99cm/39in<
  • Weight: 171g/6oz
  • Width: 45mm/1.8in
  • Strength Rating: 200lb (This is the rating for the Dyneema-corded Anchor Link anchors. The 45mm seat belt webbing could probably lift up your car.)

It is worth noting that Peak Design also offers a narrower version of the Slide, the SlideLITE, for mirrorless systems and other smaller cameras. Specs are virtually the same save for the width being 32mm/1.25in and the weight being cut to 141g/5oz. The reduction in weight is likely due to the narrower width and the fact that the SlideLITE is unpadded.

In Use

Attaching the Slide took less time than any strap I have ever installed. The Anchor Link connector design is clever and quick. So much so, even when I wasn’t using the strap, I left the Anchor Link anchors installed on my camera. Sure, they look a little silly and flap around like little ears, but they don’t get in the way and allow me to install the strap again in seconds. With four anchors included, it would be easy to move the Slide between bodies. The anchors loop around your camera body’s strap eyelets and then click the anchor into the connector at the end of the Slide strap. To remove, you press down on the anchor and slide it back out again. You could easily do it in the dark and yet there is virtually no chance of it happening accidentally. 

There are two different options to connect the Slide to your camera. The first is the traditional connection to your body’s strap eyelets, suitable for the classic ‘neck strap’ style with the camera hanging down in front of you. The second makes use of the included Arca-Swiss compatible tripod plate.

The plate has small cutouts in each corner that allow attachment of an anchor. When connected to a strap eyelet and the plate, the camera hangs more naturally at your side when worn across your shoulder/chest as a sling. There are other products on the market that allow you to attach a strap to your camera’s tripod mount, but virtually all of them must be removed if you wish to use a tripod. Integrating an Arca-Swiss compatible plate into its design means that users of the Slide can easily tripod mount their camera without making any changes to the strap setup. 

The Slide is surprisingly comfortable. The wide soft seatbelt material combined with the internal padding makes carrying even heavy DLSRs manageable. It has been a long while since I’ve had a ‘padded’ camera strap. I have either found them exceedingly bulky or made out neoprene that allowed the camera to ‘bounce’ on my shoulder more than I liked. The Slide’s padding is only 1/4 of an inch thick or so, but it has enough firmness to it that it can support and distribute the weight of the camera. One side of the padded section is smooth and the other has rubberized ‘gripper’ lines added, allowing you to choose between the two options.

The one drawback to the Slide’s padding is that it is somewhat stiff and doesn’t fold up particularly well. This isn’t noticeable on your shoulder, but can be a little awkward when putting your camera into a bag. I suspect that the padding will soften up with age and be more flexible, but I wonder if that will take away any of the cushioning abilities. Only time will tell I suppose.

Length adjustment is quick and easy, even one-handed. You just pull up on the quick adjust handle to release the strap and slide up or down to the desired length. It’s really handy to be able to lengthen the strap for when you are actively shooting and to tighten it back up again when you’ve got some hiking to do. This does, however, bring me to the most glaring problem with the Slide.

While the metal adjustment handles are nice looking and give a sense of quality to the strap, they are also a significant hazard to equipment for those of us who put our cameras in bags. I was constantly afraid that the handle was going to scratch a body or LCD or worse, chip a lens that had somehow been put away without a cap on. As far as I’m concerned, there is no way that the Slide should have used metal in this design. The added weight was unneeded and the danger to camera gear too great. I would love to see this exact design, but with plastic adjustment handles. 

What’s the Bottom Line?

The Peak Design Slide Sling Strap is a well-made, innovative camera strap with a premium price tag. Its construction and materials show quality. The namesake ‘slide’ feature works exceedingly well, the minimal padding and wide strap width tames even heavy DSLR/lens combos and the Anchor Link connectors are a clever and quick way to install and remove a strap.

However, for all the good points about the Slide, the fear that the aluminum quick adjustment handles will scratch or chip expensive equipment is a significant drawback. This is particularly true for those of us who tend to work out of a bag more often than we carry a camera around our shoulder or neck. If you are in that boat and want a strap that still offers many (though not all) of the Slide’s features, it might be worth checking out the Peak Leash strap. 

What we like:

  • Ease of length adjustment, even one handed
  • Innovative hidden non-bulky padding
  • Wide enough to be comfortable
  • Easily installed/removable, can use on multiple cameras
  • Versatile attachment system
  • Material is soft and flexible
  • Arca-Swiss style tripod plate attachment 

What we don’t like:

  • Stiffness of padding makes it difficult to put in bag
  • Metal adjustment buckles can bang against camera/gear in bag
  • Most would consider it expensive for a camera strap

Final Rating:

Eric Karr – Jaycee

Jaycee04282016-3

Let’s take a look: Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

Before Sony ever put a 1″-type sensor in a compact, there was the Canon PowerShot G series. If you wanted extensive controls without all the weight of a DSLR, the G-series compacts were where you looked. The PowerShot G16 was the last in that line, sporting a 12MP 1/1.7″ sensor before Canon ushered in a series of 1″ compacts with a similar form factor.

The G16 may be gone from retailer’s shelves, but it is not forgotten. It’s also the subject of a recently published iFixit disassembly guide. The good people at iFixit publish product-specific disassembly guides, written to help common folk make simple repairs to their own electronic devices. They’re also an easy way to peek inside a modern digital camera without voiding your warranty. This week, we look inside the Canon PowerShot G16.

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

The first disassembly step (after taking the battery out, of course) is an easy one. The G16 offers an accessory attachment point around the lens, which is covered when not in use by a metal ring. Pressing the button on the front panel next to the lens frees the ring.

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

Next comes the removal of the screws. Many screws. Including this one hiding next to the viewfinder…

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

…And another tucked next to the ports. 

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

With the first round of screws removed the back chassis can be removed from the body, revealing just a peek at the motherboard. 

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

The front panel can also be carefully removed…

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

…And after removing another screw, the port cover is ready to go.

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

This ribbon cable on the back panel connects the buttons to the motherboard, and can be carefully removed.

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

The button circuit board comes free with the removal of a couple of tiny screws, revealing a cable connecting the motherboard to the LCD. Got your spudger handy?

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

In order to free the cables you’ll need to lift this little tab. A spudger is just the tool for the job.

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

And with that, the LCD is free.

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

The copper shield (likely for heat dissipation) can be removed. 

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

More screws are removed, freeing the viewfinder casing.

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

With the metal shield removed, the network of cables underneath is revealed. The ribbon highlighted here connects the top panel with the motherboard and will need to be removed from the motherboard with the trusty ol’ spudger.

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

The top panel is ready to go once it’s free of its connections to the motherboard. 

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

Lose a few more cable connections and the motherboard is ready for removal.

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

The front lens covering is next to go after the five screws connecting it to the front plate are removed.

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

At this point there’t not much camera left, and the lens module can be removed from the rest of the housing with one last screw removed.

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

But why stop at removing the lens? The viewfinder can be taken right off the top of the lens assembly.

Canon PowerShot G16 iFixit disassembly guide

A few more odd screws removed and that’s it – the Canon PowerShot G16 is reduced to its bare bones. 

MacPhun launches Filters for Photos free app for Mac users

Software developer MacPhun has announced a new app for Mac OSX users that comes with 30 photo filter effects, and which is being offered as a free download. The Filters for Photos application can be downloaded as an extension to Apple’s own Photos program or as a standalone product. It provides one-click effects in a similar way to Instagram, and comes with sketch, oil painting, color tones, black and white, and grain styles – among others. Once applied the filters can be down-played and adjusted according the characteristics of that effect, and users can apply multiple filters to a single image.

When finished, filtered images can be exported directly to social media or other MacPhun and Adobe software programs, or they can be saved to the hard drive.

Filters for Photos can be downloaded from: macphun.com/filtersforphotos.


Press release:

Macphun’s new extension for Photos makes Photos for Mac more creative and fun

Filters for Photos adds 30 creative photo filters, and is available for free

Macphun, a leading photography software developer has today launched a new free app, Filters for Photos. The new software works as a Photos for Mac extension, as well as standalone software? it gives users the ability to add sketch, analog, vintage, and many other filters to their photos in a single click.

The software is the next step in Macphun’s continued support for Photos for Mac. Macphun was the first software developer to launch the Photos extensions in September, 2015. And now all the bestselling Macphun apps work as extensions (Aurora HDR, Intensify, Tonality, Snapheal, Noiseless).

About Filters for Photos
Filters for Photos is available as a free download exclusively from the Macphun Store. It introduces 30 creative filters to suit every hobby photographers’ style? from sketch to oil painting, vintage to rainbow palette. Users can adjust and tweak every filter, plus apply the filters to a certain part of the photo, quickly export their creations to other photo editors, or share via the social media and email.

Apple Photos for Mac is the default photoediting software for every Mac user, and Macphun aim to accelerate the user experience with this exciting new extension. There are 8 default filters in Photos for OS X with limited styles. Filters for Photos by Macphun is changing that.

In addition to 30 new filters, users will be able to:

  • Selectively apply filters with the custom brush
  • Preview all the changes in real time
  • Adjust and tune filters
  • Mix filters, creating new creative styles
  • Export to social media
  • Export to other photo software by Adobe, Apple and Macphun

Why Filters For Photos?
Macphun have introduced Filters For Photos in response to the popularity of oneclick presets and filters in Macphun’s other software. FX Photo Studio by Macphun (available for both iOS and Mac OS) features over 170 different filters? it has over 2 million monthly active users, and a total of over 25 million downloads. Over 65% of people, who use Aurora HDR, Intensify and Tonality, use oneclick presets to give their photos the necessary look in no time. So there’s definitely a high demand for editing tools that allow a quick change of the look of the photo.

Filters for Photos integrates with the Photos for Mac user experience, and helps more people be creative with their photography, without spending anything. Filters for Photos is available as a free download from macphun.com/filtersforphotos

Getty accuses Google of anti-competition practices, files complaint in EU

Ian Walton / Getty Images

Getty Images, one of the largest photo agencies in the world, has filed a complaint with the European Union’s Competition Commission because Google won’t budge on making high resolution photographs freely available from its Images search engine. Getty says that as users can see images in high resolution via the results window in Google Images there is no incentive for searchers to click through to the owner’s website. Getty maintains that the practice of showing searched images at high resolution deprives websites of traffic, while also making it easier for Google users to download and use images without paying a license fee to the copyright owner.

In an open letter posted on the Getty Image’s website, the companys General Counsel, Yoko Miyashita, says ‘Our complaint focuses specifically on changes made to Google Images in 2013, which have impacted the competitiveness of our business by siphoning off traffic and promoting piracy – to the detriment of the 200,000 contributors who rely on us to earn a living. On a broader scale, this has impacted the interests of content creators around the world, allowing Google not only to profit from their work, but also to reinforce its role as the internet’s dominant search engine and thus maintain its monopoly power.’

The changes Miyashita mentions, that were made in January 2013, are those which saw Google shift from serving searchers a thumbnail sized image to allowing users to see and download full-sized images. The service even allows users to specify the size of image they want to see. Getty argues ‘Once an image is displayed in high-resolution, large format, it is immediately consumed – there’s very little reason to go see it somewhere else. This format change immediately diverted traffic away from Getty Images, and from the websites of Getty Images’ customers and those of other image creators, deterring users from leaving Google’s platform to engage with content through legitimate sources. This, in turn, negatively impacts content creators’ ability to monetize users’ interest through licensing and advertising, and reduces the level of reinvestment available for the creation of new content.’

Getty says it has been in talks with Google for three years, but that Google’s attitude has been that image creators should either accept the search engine’s terms or opt-out of image search. Getty says it is fighting to protect its interests and those of its contributors, but also to protect the entire image-making industry.

Getty’s complaint is part of a wider investigation of Google by the European Competition Commission in which the search giant faces questions about restrictive practices in the way it serves search results as well as the compulsory apps that come with devices using the Android operating system.

For more information, and to read Yoko Miyashita’s open letter, see the Advocacy page on the Getty Images website


Press release:

Getty Images to file competition law complaint against Google

Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, will today file a competition law complaint against Google Inc. with the European Commission. The complaint follows on from Getty Images’ submission in June 2015, when it joined as an interested third party in support of the European Commission’s existing investigation into Google’s anti-competitive business practices. 

The Commission’s current proceedings against Google are wide-reaching, with Google accused of distorting search results in favour of its own services. This affects a myriad of industries, from media companies like Getty Images, to comparison shopping and travel websites. Just last week, a further set of proceedings were issued against the search engine, to address Google’s business practices around its Android mobile operating system.

Getty Images’ complaint focuses specifically on changes made in 2013 to Google Images, the image search functionality of Google, which has not only impacted Getty Images’ image licensing business, but content creators around the world, by creating captivating galleries of high-resolution, copyrighted content. Because image consumption is immediate, once an image is displayed in high-resolution, large format, there is little impetus to view the image on the original source site. These changes have allowed Google to reinforce its role as the internet’s dominant search engine, maintaining monopoly over site traffic, engagement data and advertising spend. This has also promoted piracy, resulting in widespread copyright infringement, turning users into accidental pirates.

Getty Images’ General Counsel, Yoko Miyashita says: ‘Getty Images represents over 200,000 photojournalists, content creators and artists around the world who rely on us to protect their ability to be compensated for their work. Google’s behavior is adversely affecting not only our contributors, but the lives and livelihoods of artists around the word – present and future. By standing in the way of a fair marketplace for images, Google is threatening innovation, and jeopardizing artists’ ability to fund the creation of important future works. Artists need to earn a living in order to sustain creativity and licensing is paramount to this; however, this cannot happen if Google is siphoning traffic and creating an environment where it can claim the profits from individuals’ creations as its own.’

Miyashita continues: ‘Getty Images believes that images have the power to move the world by spurring action and driving change. It is key that these issues with Google are addressed and that the dominant search engine in Europe leads users to legitimate sources for imagery, rather than creating an environment that benefits Google alone. A fair marketplace will allow photographers to continue to capture the ground-breaking imagery that informs and impacts the world every day.’

Getty Images firmly supports a more image-rich, digital world, but one that recognizes and remunerates the content creators who create this imagery. In 2014, Getty Images launched its embed tool, which revolutionized the visual content industry by making imagery available for easy, legal sharing at no cost for non-commercial use. This embed functionality provides consumers with an easy, legal alternative to the ‘right click,’ an alternative that ensures the content creator is appropriately credited for their work and that the image is clearly traceable to Getty Images in the event that a user wishes to license the image for a commercial purpose.

Visit Where We Stand  to learn more about how Getty Images is working with policy makers and industry groups to defend intellectual property and ensure a fair marketplace for content creators.

Sony patents contact lens camera with blink-triggered shutter

Sony has patented a contact lens that comes with an integrated miniature camera module and all its components, such as image sensor, lens, processor, storage and even a wireless module to transfer images to a smartphone or other connected device. The camera is triggered by a “conscious” eyelid aperture and closure. A sensor measures the pressure of your eyelid, and other settings such as aperture and zoom can be controlled via eyelid movement as well. A display unit allows you to view captured images directly on the lens. The patent document says the following about the camera module:

“The image pickup unit includes, for example, a lens system including the image pickup lens, an aperture stop, a zoom lens, a focus lens, and the like, a drive system that causes the lens system to perform focusing operation and zooming operation.”

There is even a digital image stabilization system to counteract image blur caused by motion of the eyeball. Google and Samsung have filed for similar patents before but with its range of controls the Sony variant is, at least on paper, the most advanced so far. It’s impossible to know if a product like this will ever hit the market but if it does, it’s certain to raise even more privacy concerns than Google Glass at the time. You can read the full document here

Via: Sony Alpha Rumors | Via: PetaPixel