Published On: Sat, Feb 1st, 2014

Insights

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro Has Dual Leica Lenses and AI Photo Features

Posted on October 16th, 2017

Huawei just unveiled two new smartphones, the Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro. The phones include the world’s first Kirin AI processor as well as dual Leica cameras.

Both versions of the smartphone come with the new Kirin 970 processor, featuring AI enhancements which provide a “faster, more customized process.” It also has an octa-core ARM Cortex CPU, a “first-to-market” Mali-G72 12-core GPU, and the first Neural Network Processing Unit (NPU) designed for a smartphone.

The Huawei Mate 10 (left) and Mate 10 Pro (right).

The Kirin 970 delivers “25x better performance and 50x greater energy efficiency” for AI-related tasks when compared to four Cortex-A73 cores. That’s thanks to the specialized NPU and Huawei’s HiAI mobile computing platform.

The smartphones “deliver real-time responses” to it users, including AI-powered Real-Time Scene and Object Recognition, and an AI Accelerated Translator. Huawei has also opened up the phones to developers to create “new and imaginative” AI apps.

Huawei Mate 10.

“As we enter the age of intelligence, AI is no longer a virtual concept but something that intertwines with our daily life. AI can enhance user experience, provide valuable services and improve product performance ,” said Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “The HUAWEI Mate 10 Series introduces the first mobile AI – specific Neural Network Processing Unit, launching a new era of intelligent smartphones.”

To create the camera, Huawei partnered with Leica to co-engineer the dual-lens camera. Combining a 12-megapixel RGB sensor with a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor, the new dual cameras feature 2x lossless zoom, optical image stabilization, and lenses boasting the “world’s largest aperture” of f/1.6.

The Mate 10 series also has 4K video recording, which will go very nicely with the OLED display of the Mate 10 Pro’s 6-inch 18:9 screen. The Mate 10, on the other hand, has a 5.9-inch screen with a 16:9 display.

The Pro version is also water and dust resistant.

The new AI tech creeps into the camera too. The Real-Time Scene and Object Recognition feature allows the smartphone to automatically choose camera settings based on the actual object or scene it’s photographing. The AI-powered digital zoom and motion detector allows for “clearer and sharper pictures” by selecting the best choice of the 4 autofocus systems: laser focus, phase detection focus, depth focus, and contrast focus.

Huawei Mate 10 Pro.

There’s also a new 360-camera accessory available, capable of shooting 5K photos and 360-degree 2K videos with “multiple viewing modes.”

The Huawei Mate 10 will be available in Europe starting in late October for €699 (~$824), and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro will be available in mid-November for €799 (~$942). US pricing and availability will be announced at a later date.

Surfing with a Back-Mounted GoPro on a Pole That’s Edited Out

Posted on October 16th, 2017

Here’s a neat perspective for shooting surfers: filmmaker Chris Rogers mounted a GoPro HERO6 onto surfer Bianca Buitendag‘s back and then edited the pole rig out during post-processing. You can see the mount and the footage at 2:17 in the 4-minute video above.

The GoPro HERO6 mounted to Buitendag‘s back.

The setup resulted in mesmerizing 3rd-person point-of-view shots of Buitendag in action.

The 3rd-person point-of-view that was captured.

Rogers is a travel and action sports filmmaker based in Cape Town, South Africa, and this video was shot during a 2 week trip to the Mentawai islands in Indonesia. You can find more of his work on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


Image credits: Video and still frames by Chris Rogers

Shooting Portraits with a Large Format Camera for the First Time

Posted on October 16th, 2017

Here’s an 8-minute video by photographer Irene Rudnyk with a behind-the-scenes look at her first experience in shooting portraits using a large format camera.

Rudnyk used two large format monorail cameras: the Combo SCII RS 4×5 and the Eastman View 8×10. With large format cameras, each shot is made with a slow and relatively tedious process. The film is put into a holder and slid into the camera, exposed, and then removed under the safety of a dark cover.

Large format photographers tend to favor the cameras for the high-quality images they produce (thanks to the sheer size of the film) as well as the amazingly shallow depth of field they’re capable of producing.

Before exposing the film, Rudnyk shoots a Polaroid image with the camera to be sure that everything it how she wants it.

She also really likes the tilt-shift feature of the Combo SCII RS 4×5, since you can tilt the front of the camera to bend the focal plane. That produces some very nice results:

Rudnyk then switches to the Eastman View, which is over 100 years old (and can’t do tilt-shift).

It produced some really gorgeous results:

To finish off, Rudnyk shot some frames using 8×10 Ilford multigrade photo paper, a cheaper alternative to the usual negatives.

And then with Ilford positive paper:

The film processing process takes longer for large format film than medium format, but it’s pretty similar otherwise.

A really neat trick that Rudnyk used was to photograph the negative on her iPhone and then invert the colors using the Photoshop app. This allowed her to preview what it was going to look like.

The negatives are then scanned and uploading to the computer, where they’re later converted to normal colors.

You can find more of Rudnyk work on her website, Facebook, Instagram, 500px, and YouTube.

(via Irene Rudnyk via ISO 1200)

How to Use a Strip Softbox for Portraits in Outdoor Locations

Posted on October 16th, 2017

Here’s a 10-minute video tutorial in which photographer Kyle Cong shows why a strip softbox is a very handy thing to have if you’re shooting portraits on location.

If you’re on location, you might find that you don’t have much space. With the narrow modifier of the strip, its dispersion of light over the scene is more concentrated. A compact softbox lets you fit into most situations without the physical limitations of a large studio umbrella.

Most people use a strip softbox vertically, but they also work in a horizontal position. Cong says it works “really well under certain lighting conditions.” The horizontal position means you have a much wider spread of light to wrap around the subject, and it’s like using “2 or 3 beauty dishes.”

The scene above has very strong backlighting, so when she turns her face to the camera it’s too dark. To achieve “more of a wrap-around light,” Cong puts the strip into a horizontal position.

With the sun behind the model, the narrow nature of the strip softbox protects the shadow underneath her chin.

Here are some other examples of what Cong has achieved using a strip softbox:

Kyle Cong photography

Check out the video above for more tips from Cong. You can also find more of his videos on his YouTube channel.

(via Kyle Cong via Reddit)

Canon Unveils the G1 X Mark III, The First PowerShot with an APS-C Sensor

Posted on October 16th, 2017

Canon has just announced the PowerShot G1 X Mark III. This latest G-series camera is Canon’s first to boast a large APS-C sensor, the largest sensor ever offered in a Canon point-and-shoot camera.

Inside the premium compact camera is a 24.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor that features an ISO range of 100 to 25600 and Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF. This is also the first time Canon’s Dual Pixel technology has been introduced in its compact cameras — it uses two photodiodes at every pixel site to provide a grid of phase-detection AF elements across the sensor

“This feature, popular amongst enthusiast and professional users, provides extremely fast and smooth autofocus capabilities across nearly the entire focal plane, allowing for more creative compositions when framing a subject away from the center of a shot,” Canon states.

The G1 X Mark III has a continuous shooting speed of 7 frames per second, or 9fps while shooting with fixed AF and the Dual Pixel system.

On the front of the camera is a 24-72mm lens f/2.8-5.6 (35mm equiv.) with 3x zoom and optical image stabilization.

“This provides users with the versatility to shoot in low-light scenarios like a dimly lit restaurant which can frame subjects with beautiful background blur,” Canon says.

On the back of the camera are two ways of framing your shots: a 2.36-million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) and a 3-inch Vari-angle touchscreen LCD. A Touch & Drag AF feature lets you adjust your focus or track subjects with your finger on the LCD without taking your eyes away from the EVF.

Other features and specs of the G1 X Mark III include dust and water resistance, a pop-up flash, 1080/60p HD video recording, 5-axis movie image stabilization, Wi-Fi/NFC/Bluetooth wireless connectivity, Panoramic Shot mode for shooting panoramas by swinging the camera, and Time-Lapse Movies.

The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III will be available starting in November 2017 with a price tag of $1,299.


Correction: The original version of this article mistakenly featured photos of the Canon G1 X Mark II rather than the new camera. The images have since been updated.

Crop, Full Frame, and Medium Format: Can You Tell the Difference?

Posted on October 14th, 2017

Here’s an 11-minute video in which landscape photographer Thomas Heaton looks at how much the camera you shoot with really matters for the vast majority of viewers. Given the opportunity to try the Canon M5 and Fujifilm GFX 50S, Heaton pits them against his trusty Canon 5D Mark IV.

The Canon M5 is an APS-C sensor mirrorless camera that costs ~$900, the Canon 5D Mark IV is a full-frame DSLR that costs ~$3,300, and the Fujifilm GFX 50S is a medium format mirrorless camera that costs ~$6,500.

With most people viewing photos in a low resolution online, such as on social media, the potential of high-resolution monster cameras is not properly realized these days. In the video, Heaton shares an image from each camera, but without pixel-peeping at high resolution, it’s impossible to know which camera shot which image.

So when you’re thinking about your first camera, the most expensive camera with the most megapixels is not always necessary for most people.

Heaton says that if you want to present your photos at huge sizes, with fine-art prints, or have them look the best they can possibly be, then “gear matters.”

“But at the stage that most people are at, I don’t think it matters as much,” says Heaton, talking about his regular viewers and audience on YouTube.

It’s interesting seeing Heaton share his experiences with all 3 cameras. In particular the Fujifilm GFX 50S, a 50-megapixel monster that lets you crop to your heart’s content and still retains that sharpness and quality.

Talking about the Canon M5, Heaton was disappointed at the appearance of chromatic aberration in the image but notes that he was comparing this to his usual 5D Mark IV. Even so, he still thinks that at least one of the photos he took with it will “make it into next year’s calendar,” but that it just required a bit more work in post.

The overall message from Heaton is that 90% of a photo is down to the photographer and the camera you use is only a smaller part of the equation.

Check out the full video above to hear everything Heaton has to say about the cameras. You can find more of Heaton’s popular videos by subscribing to his YouTube channel.

Western Digital’s New Tech Promises 40TB Hard Drives by 2025

Posted on October 13th, 2017

Western Digital has unveiled new “next-generation technology” that promises to bring hard disk drive capacity to a whopping 40TB by 2025. That’s a leap of about 300% in a span of around 7 years.

One of WD’s new developments is something called “microwave-assisted magnetic recording”, or MAMR. The company showed off its first MAMR HDD at an event earlier this week at WD’s headquarters in Silicon Valley.

An MAMR drive uses a breakthrough innovation called the “spin torque oscillator,” which generates a microwave field that helps write data at an extremely high density without reduced reliability.

Here’s a short video that offers an explanation of how the technology works:

“Western Digital’s innovative MAMR technology is expected to offer over 4 terabits-per-square-inch over time,” the company writes. “With sustained improvements in recording density, MAMR promises to enable hard drives with 40TB of capacity and beyond by 2025, and continued expansion beyond that timeframe.”

Experts say the new MAMR technology will further lower the cost of hard drives when it comes to dollars per terabyte. Cameras these days are offering ever-increasing resolution that comes with ever-increasing file sizes — Canon’s developing a 120MP DSLR that captures a 210MB file with each snap — but don’t worry… it looks like cheap storage will be keeping up with the pace.

(via WD via Engadget)

Buying a Used DSLR Kit for $80: Here’s What You Get for the Money

Posted on October 13th, 2017

Cameras and lenses are expensive. Really expensive. Even the cheapest entry-level DSLR kit today costs $500 or more. But what if you buy the cheapest possible used DSLR? A camera that’s over 10 years old? How would it stack up against today’s modern cameras? I was curious about this, so I decided to find out for myself.

After two weeks of watching classified ads closely, and missing a couple of good bargains because I wasn’t fast enough, I finally managed to purchase a Canon 400D (also known as Rebel XTi) with a battery grip and a Canon 50mm f/1.8 II lens on it. All this for only $80. It seemed like a great deal to me. It even came with a 2GB CF card!

I took the camera for a long walk the same day I bought it, and to summarize my experience: I was amazed by how good it was!

The sensor outputs 10-megapixel photos, meaning that they measure roughly 3900×2600 pixels. This is more than enough for posting on social media or viewing photos on a computer screen. And what amazed me even more was that with a fairly good lens, which the Canon 50mm f/1.8 is, these pixels get utilized very well.

A 100% crop looks very crisp and sharp in most cases.

The only major downside with using an 11-year-old camera is that the dynamic range in the sensor is bad compared to my modern Sony A7. If you do not nail the exposure really well when you take the photo, you have fewer options to correct it later. With my modern cameras, I just shoot everything slightly underexposed and lift the exposure later in Lightroom. That would not be a good idea with the Canon 400D.

This camera’s weak dynamic range also makes it hard to capture scenes with strong light and deep shadows in the same frame. But other than that, this camera kit has already after a couple of days given me a lot of photography joy for the money. I will definitely keep this camera, it is a fun tool to take out once in a while to add some variation to my photo walks.

This little experiment taught me that if you just want a good camera to take nice looking photos in your everyday life and you don’t have professional needs (e.g. 50-megapixel files) $80 will get you surprisingly far. An added benefit is that 10-megapixel files give you such a fast editing experience in Lightroom.


About the author: Micael Widell is a photography enthusiast based in Stockholm, Sweden. He loves photography, and runs a YouTube channel with tutorials, lens reviews and photography inspiration. You can also find him on Instagram and 500px where his username is @mwroll.

About the Author

- "The Back Page" was developed by Kristakov & Co. as an aggregation resource tool for sharing tips, techniques, inspiration and news with the larger photographic community. The site is threaded with information that is produced for or can be found around the web in disparate sources. The Back Page serves as a means of bringing those disparate sources together for discussion, comment and insights.

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