Podcast: 3D Virtual Reality and the Vuze Camera

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For the average photographer, many aspects of virtual reality imaging are confusing, and when you add 360° and 3D to the equation, we can really be in over our heads. Fortunately, on this episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we have a guest with more than his fair share of experience in these matters, who will make the going easy as we discuss virtual reality, 3D, and 360° imaging technologies.

Jim Malcolm is the North American General Manager of Humaneyes, and an expert in VR and computer vision. As President and CMO of Ricoh, Malcolm helped bring the Theta spherical cameras to the market and has now joined the pioneering 3D company Humaneyes to launch the Vuze 4K 3D 360 Spherical VR Camera. He joins us to discuss the evolution of VR technology and gear and the current tools available for professionals and consumers. He also touches on aspects of the hardware and storytelling which still need to be developed to improve the experience and we consider how certain disciplines, such as medical imaging, are already effectively utilizing these tools and how “social VR” may be the breakthrough platform for this technology.

Malcolm also explains the features of the Vuze cameras and how they are bringing 360° 3D imaging to a whole new set of users with a sturdy and compact build, easy to use controls, apps and software. Join us for this very educational episode.

Guest: Jim Malcolm

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The Latest Lenses from Rokinon

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Rokinon continues to keep itself busy with an ever-expanding range of ever-improving photo and cinema lenses. The company has introduced what will most likely evolve into a well-rounded line of autofocus lenses. The following is a roundup of some of the latest lens offerings from Rokinon, all of which are designed to capture impressively sharp image files at a lower price than their OEM counterparts.

Rokinon AF Lenses

The widest of Rokinon’s new autofocus lenses is the Rokinon AF 14mm f/2.8 , which for now, is only available in the Canon EF mount. Featuring weatherproof, all-metal construction, Rokinon’s autofocus ultra-wide contains 15 elements in 10 groups including dual Ultra Multi-Coated aspheric elements, a single extra-low dispersion element, and four HRI elements.

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Rokinon AF 14mm f/2.8

Rokinon also rolled out a pair of full-frame 35mm AF lenses for Sony E—one with a maximum aperture of f/1.4 and the other f/2.8. The Rokinon AF 35mm f/2.8 FE contains two aspherical elements and a single HR element, all of which feature Ultra Multi-Coatings. Other features found on this lens include manual-focus override and a seven-blade diaphragm.

The second 35mm AF lens is the Rokinon AF 35mm f/1.4 FE, which along with a two-stop advantage when shooting in low light, features dual pairs of Ultra Multi-coated aspheric and HR lens elements, internal focusing, manual-focus override, and a nine-blade diaphragm.

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7 Things to Look Out for in 2018

Author: admin  |  Category: Best Photo Sharing, Digital Cameras

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Let’s talk about the accelerating trends and cool new high-tech imaging gear that are guaranteed to make 2018 a banner year.

All things analog are hot

Film will never outstrip digital photography, but over the past few years, analog photography has quietly emerged as a robust, expanding, multifaceted niche. Shooting, processing, and printing film are experiencing a resurgence among traditionalists, art photographers, and the Millennial generation. While many film aficionados are hybrid shooters who scan their negatives to create digital image files, analog images retain their distinctive character, and film photography is definitely on an upward curve.

Everyone from neophytes to seniors seem to be captivated by instant-picture cameras that combine the immediate gratification of digital photography with an old-fashioned physical print, and this category is expanding rapidly. B&H still offers dozens of brand-new film cameras, from humble Holga and Diana box cameras to luxurious Leicas and Linhofs, and also carries scores of different films, from iconic companies like Kodak, Ilford, and Fujifilm, to lesser-known ones like Arista and Kentmere. Cruise the vintage camera listings on eBay or B&H’s Used Department and you’ll see that classic film cameras like the Hasselblad 500C/M, which sold for $400-500 complete during “The Great Film Camera Bust of 2005,” now command respectable prices in the $1,000-$1,500 range. Why? Because countless film enthusiasts are now using them to take pictures! Here’s a cool new instant-picture camera to give you an idea of what’s currently on the market:

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3 Upgrades to Increase PC Performance

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Do you have any dated desktops or laptops lying around that you haven’t used in a few years? Do you remember how quick and responsive they used to be when you first got them? Now it takes an hour to boot up and opening a new tab feels like you just asked it, “What do you want to eat for dinner?” It may be frustrating and mainly why we replaced them in the first place, but don’t fret, because you can bring them back from the dead with a few selective upgrades. Below is a list of parts that will help speed up your system, in order of efficiency.

Storage

SSDs are quite common now and widely used, especially in thin-and-light systems, not just in computers. As an alternative storage solution, compared to standard hard drives, which use spinning discs, an SSD is made without any moving parts. Without them, an SSD can perform faster and endure more because there is no mechanical limitation. So why exactly does an SSD provide you with an immediate performance boost when upgrading from a hard drive? An SSD is designed to store information, so let’s think of it as a water bottle. When you need to access information, you pour water out, but the water can only flow at a certain rate because it’s limited by the neck. Increasing the size effectively increases the flow of water, and in turn, access to information.

This “neck” is a communications protocol that you’ve seen before: SATA I, SATA II, and SATA III, and each has a certain theoretical throughput. SATA I has a cap of 150 MB/s, SATA II at 300 MB/s, and SATA III at 600 MB/s. Take the WD Black hard drive, for example: it’s a high-performance drive, which has a 150 MB/s data transfer rate. Even though it uses the SATA III interface, the drive cannot provide the speeds to fully saturate it. On the flip side, a Samsung 860 EVO can reach up to 550 MB/s, which provides you with a considerable performance boost.

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Lensbaby Announces Burnside 35 Lens with Double-Aperture Design

Author: admin  |  Category: Best Photo Sharing, Digital Cameras

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Lensbaby is expanding its arsenal of creative lenses with the Burnside 35, which is available for Canon EF, Fujifilm X, Micro Four Thirds, Nikon F, Pentax K, Samsung NX, Sony A, and Sony E-mount cameras. A 35mm f/2.8 prime with completely manual operation, this lens is characterized by its dual-aperture design that allows for control over the the swirly quality of its bokeh, allowing it to be either subtle or obvious, depending on the situation. This swirling gives out-of-focus areas the illusion of movement and, therefore, results in a dramatic look. Due to this effect, as well as pronounced vignetting around its corners, the Burnside 35 is an ideal lens for isolating a dominant subject into a dreamy yet dynamic background.

The innovative dual-diaphragm design features a 6-blade primary aperture and an 8-blade secondary set. The first diaphragm is configured as normal with f-stop markings and allows you to control exposure and depth of field, with bright apertures giving the most swirl to the bokeh and darker apertures resulting in a subtler effect. As for the second set, it comes equipped with a slider for controlling the diaphragm and is used to help modify the effect. When wide open, the swirling is soft and vignetting is reduced; once closed down, swirling becomes more detailed and light falloff on the corners is more pronounced.

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Fujifilm Launches Stabilized X-H1 Camera and MKX Series Cine Lenses

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Creating a new top tier in the X Series, Fujifilm has just unveiled details of the X-H1 Mirrorless Digital Camera, and alongside it come the Fujinon MKX18-55mm T2.9 and MKX50-135mm T2.9 lenses. This camera release builds on and improves upon its predecessor in almost every aspect of operation, making it the flagship model in the company’s APS-C line, and it has notably become the first X Series camera to feature 5-axis in-body stabilization. Still targeted at photographers with a capable 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III Sensor and the X-Processor Pro Engine, Fujifilm has taken care to make dramatic leaps in the video department with the implementation of DCI 4K recording at 24.00 fps and with a higher bit rate of 200 Mbps, as well as F-Log being able to be saved directly to an SD card. On top of this, Fujifilm has taken the recently released line of cinema zooms and updated them for X mount, enabling professional film shoots to take advantage of these phenomenal optics.

Leading the feature list of the X-H1 is five-axis in-body image stabilization, a first for Fujifilm’s X Series. This system is extremely effective, with a maximum rating of 5.5 stops when used with compatible lenses. As the goal is to reduce the impact of camera shake, Fujifilm has also taken care to offer electronic front curtain and fully electronic shutter options, which will further minimize the potential for vibrations during your imaging process. The addition of an internal stabilizer will also be a boon for filmmakers, because run-and-gun handheld shooting is now more feasible, with smoother movements and less distracting shake in your footage.

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Lastolite Announces Two Sizes for SkyLite Rapid Diffuser Line

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Lastolite has expanded its SkyLite Rapid line to include 5 x 5′ and 10 x 10′ versions of its light-modifier panels, which complement three currently existing sizes available to image-makers. The 5 x 5′ panel sits in the middle of the size range and comes in four cover styles: 0.75 stop and 1.25 stop diffusion, as well as silver/white and black/white reflectors. It is also available in a kit with the frame, 1.25 stop diffusion fabric, silver/white reflector, and rigid carry case. As for the largest model in the lineup, the 10 x 10′ is available only as a 0.75 stop or 1.25 stop diffuser without reflector options, and is also offered in a kit with the frame, 1.25 stop diffuser, and carrying case.

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5 Things You Need to Know About 5G

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5G, the next generation of wireless technology, is nearly upon us. With the first specs now established and multiple carriers announcing plans to launch 5G networks later this year, it’s time to get familiar with all things 5G. Don’t worry though: this won’t be some jargon-laden deep-dive. Instead, we’ll give you the 5 things you need to know about 5G.

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What is It?

At its most basic, 5G is simply a set of wireless networking standards—think of them as rules or requirements a network must meet to be called 5G. The G in 5G stands for “generation,” so 5G means this is the fifth generation of such standards. For the most part, each new generation of standards is defined by data transmission, with 1G being the first and slowest and 5G being the latest and fastest. There are other prominent features of 5G—lower latency, support for a larger number of simultaneously connected devices—but really what you need to know is that 5G is the newest generation of cellular networking, and it is going to be crazy fast.

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What Do I Use It For?

The new 5G standards require faster data transmission, lower latency, and broader support for simultaneous device connections. For most of us, that translates to faster download times and streaming content with zero or no lag—we’re talking the ability to download 8K movies in seconds, not minutes or hours.

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How to Buy an Outdoor TV

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With the “Big Game” over and the promise of warmer temperatures on the horizon, we now turn our attention to the great outdoors. It’s time to start thinking about what we’re doing with our outdoor entertainment areas. Maybe it’s not quite time to clean the pool, but we can consider our poolside electronics setup. And what better place to start than with an outdoor TV? After all, as discussed here, TVs are integral to our entertainment installations.

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SunBriteTV Signature Series 55″-Class UHD Outdoor LED TV

Have Realistic Expectations

The first thing you’ll need to know about outdoor TVs is that they won’t be as slim as their indoor counterparts, so you won’t be able to achieve that discreet flush look you did in your living room. This is due to the hardware required to make them weatherproof/waterproof, including waterproof seals, fans to keep them from overheating, and built-in heaters to keep them warm enough in frigid temperatures. Outdoor TV depths generally start at 2.5″.

Additionally, some features you’ve come to expect from TVs might not be standard with an outdoor TV, including built-in speakers. Since your outdoor setup is highly customizable, manufacturers of outdoor TVs will typically offer speakers separately from the TV; that way, if you’re using your own outdoor speaker system, you won’t be paying for a feature you won’t use.

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Home Entertainment Speaker Buying Guide

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There are a few things to take into consideration when shopping for speakers. First and foremost, you need to consider the size of your space. For the most part, large spaces require large speakers, and inversely, smaller spaces are best served with smaller speakers. Speakers too small for a room can sound tinny and diminutive is a cavernous space, while speakers too big for a room can will overwhelm the space. Other things to take into consideration is the type of system you want to put together, your personal taste, and budget.

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JBL Arena 125C 5.5″ 2-Way Passive Center Loudspeaker

Before making any decisions on the speakers you’re going to purchase, you first need to determine what you want out of a speaker system. Are you looking to put together a multi-channel home theater system, complete with a receiver capable of decoding object-based surround sound technology like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X? Perhaps, you want a small stereo system, or even a soundbar. Regardless of what kind of system you’re looking to put together, the good news is that there is an ideal solution for you, and hopefully this guide will help you in the decision-making process.

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