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How The Vatican Plans To Digitize Its Library

Published on April 21, 2014 by in News

Through years of scanning, this incredible archive of historical works will be viewable by anyone

The Vatican Library is one of the greatest historical archives on the planet, a centuries old institution with a millennia of documents tucked away. But the extreme fragility of many of these original items means that very few people ever get to see them. But that’s all set to change with a new initiative to digitize the library, and allow anyone to peruse it.

The Vatican has partnered with Japanese firm NTT Data for a pilot program to scan some 3,000 of 82,000 documents in the library. Some 50 professionals over the next four years will digitize this first section of the archive using five scanners. According to the Wall Street Journal, NTT Data has been working on a special scanner specifically for this project. They feature a protective screen to limit exposure to light, and will be used in blacked out rooms to limit possibly damaging external light. All operators will be forbidden from wearing jewelry and will wear gloves to provide the utmost protection for the precious documents.

Once scanned, the documents will be “formatted for long-term storage”, and then released online for viewing, starting later this year. The first four-year interval will cost NTT Data $25 million, as the company has agreed to cover the first stages. Hopefully, if successful, further digitization can be done at a faster pace, as at a rate of 750 documents per year, it would take more than a century to complete the entire archive.

[via Mashable]

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Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

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Sony Patent Shows RX100 Followup May Be In For Brighter Lens

Published on April 21, 2014 by in News

28-100mm f/1.8-2.8 would be a major improvement over the f/1.8-4.9 the RX100 II currently has

The Sony RX100 II is one of the most well-regarded point-and-shoot cameras currently available—but one of the few complaints you can legitimately levy against it is that the aperture drops off too quickly as you zoom. With a 28-100mm (equivalent) f/1.8-4.9 lens, it doesn’t take long for a lot less light to come in. But a newly-spotted Sony Japan patent is for a 28-100mm zoom lens, meant for a 1-inch sensor, with a significantly improved f/1.8-2.8 aperture range. Could this be the lens for the RX200?

Specifically, the patent is for a 10-36mm f/1.8-2.8 lens, which when you account for the crop factor of a 1-inch sensor, works out to the focal length of the RX100 and RX100 II. So when zoomed in all the way, you’d still have the rather impressive maximum aperture of f/2.8, rather than the much less ideal f/4.9 the RX100 II is currently saddled with.

However, as always, we caution against reading too deeply into the tea leaves when it comes to patents—especially those in a foreign language. There’s a lot of nuance that becomes lost when using a machine translated version of a text, and the existence of defensive patents might meant that this design never comes to fruition. In fact, it looks like Sony has applied for patents on five different lenses, three of which fall under this focal and aperture range.

But given the dominance of the RX100 II in the world of high-end compacts right now, Sony is doubtless motivated to try and keep its position at the head of the pack. And a dramatically overhauled lens would be an excellent way of doing that.

[via SonyAlphaRumors, PhotoRumors]

sony rx200 patent
Photo by: Popular Photography Magazine Editor

sony rx200 patent

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Bobbi – Wedding Dress.

Published on April 20, 2014 by in Fashion

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In photos: ‘Paris in the Springtime’

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‘Paris in the Springtime’ is a new photography exhibition at the Beetles+Huxley gallery in London featuring notable photographers such as André Kertész, Robert Doisneau, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Willy Ronis and Elliott Erwitt. These classic black and white images are some of the scenes that have defined Paris’ romantic street life cliché found in modern pop culture. The collection of mid-twentieth century photos are on display from April 7 – May 3. See gallery

 
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Bobbi – Wedding Dress.

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How to Shoot Razor Sharp Water Splash* – Speed Shooter Ep.2

Published on April 19, 2014 by in News

*If you can afford an absurdly expensive flash system, and don’t mind making a mess. Speed Shooter is a new series of vids where we take one super cool fast moving subject and freeze frame them into a ferocious sequential burst of photo goodness…the subject for the second vid – a splash of water!

 
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