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Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

New Gear and Gadget Roundup

September 11th, 2013 No Comments
Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

New iPhone

As you may know by now, more photos taken with an iPhone are uploaded to photo-sharing sites than those taken with any other camera or smartphone.(!)  As such, it’s only reasonable for a photography blog to take note when a new iPhone hits the shelves – and that happened yesterday with the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S.

The Telegraph, of all publications, has a very complete breakdown of specs and features plus some links that Apple fanboys may like.  For a tabular comparison, check out Tech Wrench.  Both iPhones have 8 MP cameras but the specs indicate that the 5S’s camera pips that of the 5C.  A textual comparison on Geek confirms this suspicion.

Finally and most importantly, check out Amateur Photographer’s take on the new iPhones for a camera-centric evaluation and a photographer’s point of view.

Both iPhones’ cameras also (of course) shoot video and here too the 5S is slightly better.

New Contraption

If you’ve ever tried to photograph lightning or fireworks, only to go ‘aargh!’, now you can make your family and friends go ‘wow!’   Hours back Shutterbug heralded the arrival of ‘The Lightning Bug.’  

This ‘bug’ is one smart contraption; in essence it is a shutter trigger with a sensor and automation to take the luck (and skill and anticipation) out of shooting lightning and fireworks!  Get the lowdown on the ‘bug’s website.

New (and Cheap) Everything!

To close out our Gear post, here’s Dan Richards on Popular Photography.  Minutes back they published The Best Photography Bargains of 2013.

This article is divided into three parts: Travel / Adventure, Everyday Shooting, and Studio Photography.  The typical reader of this blog will be most interested in the middle category, 

If you’re in for a DSLR, it’s Canon’s very-not-new EOS 60D that comes up trumps!  You see, Richards explains that after the announcement of the 70D, the 60D got steeply discounted to the extent that you can get “a larcenously good deal” for one of the best DSLRs out there.

You’ll also find some nifty little I-didn’t-know-thats, like the SpinLight 360 system, in this article.


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Unusual Gear and Gadgets

April 23rd, 2013 No Comments

English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We usually have a weekly post on unusual and the bizarre news from the World of Photography on this blog while on our Professional site’s blog we have a weekly feature on gear and gadgets.  Today we’ll do a twofer: here’s a roundup of unusual gear and gadgets.

The Camera Brand that Refuses to Die

“Rumours of my death are greatly exaggerated,” Samuel Clemens / Mark Twain once said.  That could just as well apply to Kodak as a maker of cameras: PhotoRumors reported yesterday that Kodak displayed a “new Pixpro mirrorless (interchangeable lens?) camera” sporting a 28-112mm zoom at the P&E Show in China.  A Kodak Camera!  And we all thought that Kodak cameras were dead!

Or perhaps they are?  For PhotoRumors does mention that a “few months ago JK Imaging got the rights to use the Kodak brand name” so is it really a Kodak?  Or are people in Developing Countries who may view Kodak as a major brand name seen as naive consumers for what is no more than a licensing-rights product?  

A legendary ‘good name’ is being sold off in bits and pieces by a once-dominant company as it gently, gently sinks into oblivion.

Reversed ND Filters

84.5mm’s ‘Reversed ND Filters’ are probably in that class of products one would call “Why didn’t anyone else think of it before?”

Not exactly “reversed”, these filters are graduated from the middle to the top and seem to have a harder transition at the other end.  

PhotographyBlog reports that they’re meant for using while shooting landscapes during the Golden Hour when your composition includes the sun so that you don’t get exposure imbalances and can maximize dynamic range.

Nice idea, and it should work . . . let’s see what reports from the field have to say.

Funky and Funkier

It’s all happening for the iPhone and iPad with one new novelty, er, ‘development’ each.  

FocusTwist is an iPhone app that synthesizes the Lytro effect.  Key word, ‘synethesizes’, for FocusTwist shoots a series of images with different focus points, unlike Lytro technology.  From there on, it’s easy to see how you can dynamically choose a different plane of focus for a photograph.

The iPad development is less of a novelty though it’s funkier: you get a zoom lens hanging off your tablet computer to complement its wee-wee 5 MP camera!  We couldn’t say it any better than Lauren Crabbe on DPReview: “There is something about seeing a tablet take photos that just brings on the giggles. Pair that with a telephoto lens and you’ve got a one-way ticket to lol-ville.”  

This one’s for iPad diehards only!


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Calling all iPhoneistas!

January 3rd, 2013 No Comments
Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

If you’re an iPhone aficionado, this post is for you – here are four nifty, spanking new add-ons for your camera.

GoldenPic is an app that allows you to anticipate the kind of light you can expect at a particular place at a particular time.  It’s main claim to fame is that it provides four mini-charts, Sunrise, Sunset, Moon, and Weather, showing timings for Blue Hour Begins, Sunrise, and Golden Hour Ends for the first, reversing that order for the second mini-chart.

That – of course – is not all.  Weather, locations, moon, timezone detection and similar support round out this app.  According to ePhotozine, it’s simple and useful when an outdoor photographer wants to be in the right place at the right time but is a bit steep.

Much cheaper is the VSCO Cam.  It is a ‘value-added’ picture-taking app – it has an editor with ten features, ten filters, sharing capabilities via different social media outlets, and more.  Not bad for a buck!

Novices will like the way they can warm up or cool down a picture with a couple of clicks or add novel effects, like grain and the main attraction will surely be the instant sharing on offer: Twitter – or wherever.

Now if you’re worried that someone will steal your work off some social media website (cheesiness alert!) Have no fear, Marksta is here!  A few hours back BJP published an article about photographer John D. McHugh teaming up with a software developer to create this app that lets you put a watermark – more like a signature – in your choice of type and style on your photos, quickly and easily.

“It’s not just about protecting the commercial value of their photographs, it’s also about protecting their moral rights. What I hope is that when you use the app, you feel it’s just easy,” he says.  That should put a lid on stealing, or at least on unattributed re-use of the fruits of your skills.

Whether you go for GoldenPic or VSCO Cam, your iPhone may look a bit more stylish with Trygger Camera Clip.  The clip has an integrated polarizing filter (once seen as an essential for outdoor photographers), a sharp idea.  But is the $40 price tag justified?  Here’s what Trygger have to say about their product and campaign and they also provide a few sample images.  See if this iPhone clip is worth the price – then again, it is a polarizer lens. 


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Nikon D600 — does it sync too slow at 1/200?

September 13th, 2012 1 Comment

    The gear announcements are flying thick and fast in the Autumn season when new products are unveiled and among the various gizmos announced today, amateurs would probably be struck by the odd mix of a Nikon full-frame body, Tamron lenses and (wait for this) Apple’s new iPhone – and why not?  Would you believe that the iPhone is one of the most popular snapshot cameras!

    The iPhone 5’s camera has an 8 MP resolution, like its predecessor.  However, it’s going ‘upmarket’ with additions like a sapphire-crystal lens coating.  The biggest evolution seems to be in the software as you can pan across a scene to take a panoramic picture of upto 28 MP.  You just click and pan, the software will straighten out the hand-shake and off-axis movement, and create the panorama!

    Since the days of film Tamron has been one of the ‘go-to’ names in optics.  Many pros opt for Tamron lenses because they are seen to offer above-average quality at below-average prices.  Their A009 zoom catches the eye because of its maximum aperture – a big f/2.8.  The 90mm macro opens up to f/2.8 and has a magnification ratio of 1:1.

    The biggie surely has to be Nikon’s D600; one can call it the amateur’s ‘pro’ camera or the pro’s backup body.  An expert has dissed this camera’s sync speed of 1/200 which has caused quite a flurry of chatter on the Strobist blog.  (Remember when flash sync used to be 1/60?  Those were the days!)

     (Flash sync-speed is important, and the higher the better because that results in a wider aperture which is what is really important as it lets in more light; consequently, assuming all other variables are constant, you can either get more juice out of your lighting setup or, more critically, it will give you more ‘reach’ or ‘throw’.) 

    On the point of (flash-)freezing motion, the blog’s author makes the pitch-perfect point that flash cares only about aperture and not shutter-speed.  And, the converse point, in a somewhat back-to-front way, is that motion blur ‘cares’ only about shutter-speed, i.e. even with motion-freezing flash, you can get some residual (post-flash) motion blur for effect.  Anyway, how about a choice of sync speeds?  I think that would make everyone happy!  






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