Archive | September, 2013

Three neat pieces of imaging research

30 Sep
  1. Correcting for all sorts of flaws in cheap lenses using software
  2. Recording a photograph from the point of view of the light source, not the camera
  3. Extracting or manipulating 3D objects inside a photograph

Bonus:

Hope you enjoyed.

Fluid-focusing lens made, mimics human eye

22 Sep

Using a flexible polymer, researchers at Ohio State University have created a fluid-filled lens that can focus at distances from close-up to infinity. This is believed to have the potential to make lenses more durable as it requires only a single moving part. Additionally, the lens allows for local focus, including off-centre, mimicking the properties of a lensbaby photographic lens. The lens also takes some properties from the insect eye in being subdivided into smaller pockets, and allowing a wider angle of view.

GoPro’s system-on-a-chip maker offers 4K video, 720p240

22 Sep

Just picking up a quick story from fstoppers, there’s a new SoC in town from the current supplier to GoPro, capable of 4K video at 30 frames per second as well as 1080p at 120 frames per second and 720p at 240 frames. You can read the rest of the specs here. It’s possible this assembly will be the basis of the next GoPro Hero camera iteration.

Nikon and Olympus need to shorten duration of repairs

22 Sep

I’ll excerpt here a very interesting graph from lensrentals’ (LR) recent review of the lens repairs they needed from mid-2012 to mid-2013:

Lens repair times

Days taken for lens repair by manufacturer.

In the light of many saying that the Olympus OM-D E-M1 is targeted at professional photographers currently using Nikon or Canon gear, it is noteworthy that said professionals, if they choose to go the Olympus route, are currently looking at long stretches of lost earnings if any of their Olympus lenses ever fail. In the Micro Four Thirds world, Panasonic lenses may be a better bet given this consideration – they’re usually back same time the following week. That said, Sigma, Tamron and Fuji are even faster, with Canon the best service provider. LR also presented data showing that Panasonic was the most affordable repair provider, followed by Sigma and Tamron.

The corollary for Nikon camera owners would be to go with Sigma and Tamron as much as possible, since these give fast and affordable repairs, where Nikon typically takes 24 days and has recently developed a history of poor customer relations. Sony, meanwhile, has the piglet-in-the-middle position in this listing – anything worse than Sony (Zeiss, Nikon, Olympus) should be avoided, while Sony itself might be bearable. That said, its products, such as the TX30 “waterproof” compact, don’t always have the best reputation in terms of needed repairs. The best brand is still the one that doesn’t break. In that category at least, Micro Four Thirds doesn’t seem to be doing too badly, with none of their lenses among the 19 most frequently broken ones. No data were presented for Pentax or Leica because these items are too rare in the inventory to produce any meaningful data.

Nikon D610: D600 minus oil spots – landslide in sales?

20 Sep

The Nikon D610 is to be a very simple replacement of the D600, as reported by Nikon Rumors. It will have an improved shutter, reducing oil splatter onto the sensor. I predict that this will make a landslide difference to sales, especially if the price point doesn’t get hiked up unreasonably relative to the current D600.

Nikon presents a waterproof mirrorless system camera…

19 Sep

…and two matching waterproof lenses as well as an anti-fogging “filter” to attach when in beach or underwater use. Welcome Nikon AW1, may you hold what you’re promising.

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Who will try to compete with this? Pentax? Olympus?

Which waterproof compact fails the least?

19 Sep

Number of amazon reviews mentioning loss of function as a result of water ingress:

Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 12.56.03 AM

Note: The “proportion” is the proportion of reviews mentioning water ingress as a principal problem that led to loss of fitness-for-purpose. It is likely that the actual failure rate is much lower, as disgruntled customers are more likely to submit reviews.