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On the 25th anniversary of the first PowerBook, Apple has announced three new MacBook Pro models. The long-awaited new flagship 13in and 15in MacBook Pros bring performance boosts compared to the previous generation, revamped ergonomics, and a new 'Touch Bar', aimed at making the machines more versatile for creative professionals.
It's no surprise that the two new flagship MacBook Pro models are slimmer and lighter than their predecessors, but the ergonomic changes are more fundamental than that. Their new 'force touch' trackpads are twice as large as the previous-generation, and the keyboards have been redesigned, with a slimmer butterfly switch design, that Apple claims will offer superior tactile feel to the similar switches in the 12in MacBook.
The big news, however, is the addition of a 'Touch Bar'. Much anticipated (and leaked), this is a touch-sensitive display strip, that effectively replaces the traditional function keys which have been a feature of consumer computing for more than 40 years. The Touch Bar is fully customizable, and its default functions change depending on the application. Obvious uses including scrubbing through a video timeline in Final Cut Pro, and quick text formatting and email flagging in Apple's Mail app.In addition to the new 13" and 15" Touch Bar-equipped models, a third new 13in MacBook Pro has also been introduced, which is even slimmer, even lighter, but features only two thunderbolt ports, and a traditional function key array. Base configurations of the new 13in and 15in MacBook Pro models will be available starting at $1799 and $2399 respectively, and the slimmer non-Touch Bar model will start at $1499.
During a demo at the launch event, a representative from Adobe demonstrated how the Touch Bar can be used in Photoshop to quickly switch between layers, blending modes and select brushes without needing to access any of the usual on-screen pallets - effectively allowing true 'full-screen' image editing. Adobe is expecting to add full support for the Touch Bar before the end of 2016.
Another big change is how the new MacBook Pro models manage peripherals. Gone is the built-in SD reader, MagSafe connector, and any traditional USB or HDMI ports. Instead, the new computers offer four Thunderbolt 3 ports, all of which can serve as power, USB 3, HDMI, display, or ThunderBolt connectors.
In terms of performance, Apple claims that the new MacBook Pro's displays are 67% brighter, offer a 67% greater contrast ratio and 25% greater color gamut than the previous generation, and the 15in version offers 130% greater 3D graphics performance. Video editing on the 15in model should be 57% faster than the previous generation, thanks to a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, faster 2133Mhz memory and up to 4GB of video Ram. Built-in storage has been boosted too, up to 3TB with a maximum rated data transfer rate of 3.1 gigabytes per second.
We're intrigued by the possibilities of the new Touch Bar, and after watching Adobe's demonstration of its integration into Photoshop, we can see it becoming popular with photographers. Likewise video editing. The ability to run a video at full-screen, without any on-screen clutter but still have access to key navigation and editing tools from the Touch Bar is pretty neat. Business users will appreciate Touch Bar integration with MS Office, and an integrated iOS-style Touch ID fingerprint scanner for quick unlocking and user-switching.
Every time Apple adds or removes an I/O port, certain Internet commenters get up in arms, but with the exception of the lack of SD slot, the move to an all-Thunderbolt I/O interface makes sense. We suspect that for serious users, the sheer versatility of the four USB-C style ports should outweigh the inconvenience of switching away from traditional USB, HDMI and display connectors in the long run.
Less clear-cut is the matter of how Apple intends to evolve its desktop and mobile operating systems. With iOS getting more powerful (just anecdotally, the iPad Pro has effectively replaced laptops for several of us here at DPReview), and Mac OS getting progressively more iOS-like, we're curious to see what happens next. The addition of the Touch Bar to the new MacBooks brings OS integration a little closer, but will Apple continue to expect developers like Adobe to create separate versions of its applications for both iOS and Mac OS – even as the user bases overlap?
What do you think? With Microsoft's new hybrid device, the Surface Studio snapping at their heels, is Apple still providing creative professionals with the high-end computers that they need? Let us know in the comments.
The DJI Phantom 4 camera drone may be functional, but it’s not luxurious. Filling that void is DronesDirect.co.uk, a drone retailer offering a 24-carat gold plated Phantom 4 model — something it has dubbed the 'Rolls Royce of the drone world.' The unit is the same as an ordinary Phantom 4 drone excluding the expensive gold coating.
DronesDirect calls this the DJI Phantom 4: Gold Edition drone, and says it is an exclusive offering. Gold exterior aside, buyers get the same features as they would with any other Phantom 4 drone, as well as the remote controller, mobile device holder, an intelligent flight battery, a pair of propellers, propellers storage bag, battery charger, gimbal clamp and a 16GB microSD card.
The Phantom 4: Gold Edition drone is available now for £19,999.97 / $21,800, with the company offering financing that brings it to £1,666.67/month for 12 months.
Via: DIY Photography
Lens and camera manufacturer Sigma has released three firmware updates that improve the functionality of its sd Quattro camera, the company’s MC-11 mount adapter and the two versions of its 150-600mm F5-6.3 zoom lens.
The update to the sd Quatrro camera deals with an issue that causes the camera to freeze when being controlled via the company’s Capture Pro tethered-shooting software package, while the update for the MC-11 prepares the device for Sigma’s new and forthcoming 12-24mm F4, 500mm F4 and 85mm F1.4 lenses. The MC-11 allows users to mount certain Sigma EF- and SA-mount lenses to Sony E-mount cameras, and the update improves AF accuracy of EF-mount lenses that aren’t fully compatible with the system. It also allows lenses with Optical Stabilizer built-in to switch off in-body stabilization systems to use the in-lens system even when the lens isn’t fully compatible with the MC-11. With the firmware installed the start-up time of the combination is also improved.
AF accuracy is also the main theme of the update to the 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports and Contemporary lenses in the Canon and Sigma mounts. The lenses will perform better when used with the MC-11 mount adapter, and with the sd Quattro in the case of the Sigma mount version. The update also reduces the sound made by the aperture blades in the Canon mount versions during filming both with and without the MC-11 – and the lenses are now fully functional with the Canon Digital Cinema Camera EOS C300 Mark ll.
Those with the Sigma USB dock can install these updates themselves, and those who don’t have it can take their lenses and MC-11 to a Sigma approved service center and have the firmware updates installed for free. For more information visit the Sigma website.
Thank you for purchasing and using our products.
Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce that new firmware of SIGMA sd Quattro is available for download.
Benefit of the firmware update;
SIGMA sd Quattro [Ver.1.03]
It corrects the phenomenon where the camera stops responding to any operation after pressing [AF Capture] button, [AF Drive Only] button, and/or [MF Capture] button on SIGMA Capture Pro during shooting using SIGMA Capture Pro.
SIGMA sd Quattro firmware Ver.1.03 download page
* SIGMA Photo Pro 6.4.1 is required to develop RAW data (X3F files, X3I files) taken with sd Quattro cameras with firmware Ver1.02 or later.
SIGMA Photo Pro 6.4.1 Download page
We would like to announce the availability of a new firmware update for the SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports in SIGMA and Canon mount, and the SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary in SIGMA and Canon mount. The firmware can be updated using SIGMA Optimization Pro.
The lens firmware update improves the AF accuracy and reduces the operating sound of the diaphragm blades when it is attached with the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11.
For customers who own the following applicable products and the SIGMA USB DOCK, please update the lens firmware using SIGMA Optimization Pro.
SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports – SIGMA and Canon mount
SIGMA 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary – SIGMA and Canon mount
Benefits of this firmware update
- It has improved the AF accuracy when the lens is attached with the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11.
- For customers who own SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11, it is necessary to update this to the latest firmware Ver1.02.
- It has improved the AF accuracy of this lens when mounted on the SIGMA sd Quattro (SIGMA mount only).
- It has reduced the operating sound of the lens diaphragm blades when attached with the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 EF-E and used for shooting movies (Canon mount only).It has improved the AF accuracy when the lens is used for shooting movies as well as Live View on EOS DIGITAL SLR cameras (Canon mount only).*1
- It has reduced the operating sound of the lens diaphragm blades when used for shooting movies on EOS DIGITAL SLR cameras (Canon mount only).*1
- It is fully functional with the Canon Digital Cinema Camera EOS C300 Mark II.
- *1 The degree of improvement differs depending on the camera used.
Please ensure the SIGMA Optimization Pro has been updated to Ver1.3.1 or later from the following download page before updating the lens firmware.
SIGMA Optimization Pro Download page
For customers who do not own the SIGMA USB DOCK, the lens firmware update will be provided free of charge but you will need to provide the proper documentation as listed in the instructions on the Service & Support section of our website
We would like to announce the availability of a new firmware update for the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 EF-E and SA-E.
This firmware update supports the following new products; SIGMA 12-24mm F4 DG HSM | Art, which we started the delivery from October 2016, SIGMA 500mm F4 DG OS HSM | Sports and SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art, which are scheduled to be delivered from November 2016. In addition, it has improved the operation when some lenses that are not fully compatible are attached. It has also corrected the phenomenon where the distortion correction figure is not indicated properly in the camera when the SIGMA 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | Art is attached.
For customers who own the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11, please update the firmware using SIGMA Optimization Pro.
Please ensure the SIGMA Optimization Pro has been updated to ver1.3.1 or later from the following download page before updating the MC-11 firmware.
SIGMA Optimization Pro Download page
SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 EF-E
SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 SA-E
Benefits of this firmware update
- It is fully functional with the SIGMA 12-24mm F4 DG HSM | Art, the SIGMA 500mm F4 DG OS HSM | Sports and the SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lenses.
- It has reduced the startup time between turning on the camera and taking an image by not initially driving the focus when the camera is turned on.
- When lenses with Optical Stabilizer (OS) function that are not fully compatible with the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 are attached with the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 and mounted on a camera which incorporates a stabilizer unit, it enables the camera's stabilizer unit to be turned off and the lens's OS function to be turned on and off.
- It has improved the AF accuracy of Canon EF lenses that are not fully compatible with the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 (EF-E only).
- It has corrected the phenomenon where the distortion correction figure is not indicated properly in the camera, when the SIGMA 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | Art is attached.
It's probably no surprise that you won't find a review or a score for the Game Boy Camera in DPReview's archives. Even by 1998 standards, the Game Boy Camera was a bit underwhelming in terms of technology. It took 0.5MP still images and displayed them at half that resolution. Output options were extremely limited: you either displayed your photos on the screen and passed your Game Boy around the room, or you acquired the Game Boy Printer – a glorified receipt printer that spits out tiny renditions of your subject on thermal paper.
But it was also the first camera that some of us on the DPR staff called our own, and for that reason holds a special place in our hearts. Take a look back at the Game Boy camera with us in all its 8-bit glory.Throwback Thursday: Game Boy Camera
The camera itself attaches to a standard Game Boy cartridge, and the camera unit itself can swivel 180-degrees to face forward or backward. That's right, Nintendo was so far ahead of the selfie craze that we didn't even have an obnoxious name for them yet.Throwback Thursday: Game Boy Camera
The menu system is about as straightforward as it gets: your three options are Shoot, View and Play. Of course, it needed to have a game element, so the Game Boy Camera offers three simple mini-games. But the real attraction is that camera on top. Hitting 'shoot' brings you to a screen where you can choose to just jump right into a fantastically laggy live view experience, or navigate to menu options called things like 'Items' and 'Magic'. There's a kind of Easter Egg if you select an option called 'Run,' but the less said about that the better.Throwback Thursday: Game Boy Camera
Here's what's surprising about the Game Boy Camera – it offers quite a bit more than meets the eye. There are time-lapse, panorama and self-timer options. Nine different 'trick lenses' unlock more effects, like posterize, mirror and a 4x4 collage. You can also add hotspots to images, that when clicked take you to other images in your album. If you've got the time and imagination, you can actually do a lot with it. Heck, the cover of one of Neil Young's albums was taken with a Game Boy Camera.
That said, low light shooting is not at all a strength of the camera, so any photo taken in less than ideal light comes out as not much more than some dark, indistinguishable pixels.Throwback Thursday: Game Boy Camera
Choosing 'View' from the main screen brings you to a simple 3x3 grid where you can select images individually to view at larger size (weirdly, you can't scroll between images in this view). On this screen you can unleash all kinds of mischief – zany borders, eyeball-shaped stamps and comments. But the party really started when you hooked up your Game Boy Printer.Throwback Thursday: Game Boy Camera
That's right, if you really wanted to share your photos, you had to shell out some more cash for the printer. It outputs images on tiny strips of thermal paper at about the size of a postage stamp. The best part? The back of the paper can be peeled away to reveal an adhesive strip, which was ideal for attaching photos to your Trapper Keeper.Throwback Thursday: Game Boy Camera
The thing we remember most about the Game Boy camera is that it was just plain fun – and who could resist 'fun-tography'? In 1998, digital cameras were still making their way into the hands of the masses. Being a kid and suddenly having the ability to attach a camera to your beloved handheld game system was kind of magical. It encouraged silliness, inspired creativity and was the first step toward a lifetime of photo geekery, at least for a few of us.
Some of us were thrilled to be reunited with the Game Boy Camera of our childhood. Others? Less thrilled. Watch as DPR staff revisit the Game Boy Camera – or in some cases, pick it up for the very first time.
Chinese lens and accessory maker Kipon has introduced an adapter that includes a variable neutral density filter, primarily for video shooters. The filter is placed between a Canon EF-S mount and a Sony E-mount body. The Kipon EF-S/E AF ND retains the autofocus and image stabilisation features of the lens, according to the company, and EXIF data is communicated so it can be recorded in the image files. The adapter also allows manual focusing of the lens to trigger MF assistance features of the camera – such as peaking or magnification.
Kipon has produced adapters that contain graduated neutral density filters before but this is the first that has a variable ND filter. The filter is turned via a wheel that sticks out of the barrel and is marked with values between 1.5 and 7 f-stops. The idea of the adapter is that wide apertures can be used with shutter speeds appropriate for shooting video – as well as for stills shooters who want a shallow depth of field outdoors on bright days.
The adapter features an EF-S mount, so that it can use both EF and EF-S lenses but covers the full frame image circle for use on a7 series cameras.
The company suggests that the selling price should be 45,000 yen before tax, which is approximately $430.
You can read more about the adapter, including camera compatibility, on this translated version of Japanese agent Focus Workshop's website.
Microsoft today expanded its Surface lineup, announcing the 'world's thinnest LCD monitor' but in an exciting form factor: a touch-based all-in-one desktop PC with a 28" 4.5K PixelSense display. The 4500 x 3000 3:2 display sports 13.5 million pixels, and at 192 PPI almost approaches the 218 PPI figure of the 5K Retina iMac, but with 10-point multi-touch capabilities. Like the 5K iMac, the display's color gamut extends to DCI-P3 (25% larger than sRGB), something photographers routinely editing and printing will appreciate. Microsoft is calling the 10-bit display 'TrueColor'.
But the real story here is the touch-based, pen-enabled 4.5K display. Wacom Cintiq's highest res screen is only 2.5K and has more primitive touch input in comparison. As for Apple's iMac, well, mice and Wacom pens and Astropad are so yesterday. The Surface Studio literally combines these devices into one, allowing you to draw directly on the surface with the precision Surface Pen. With a simple push of the screen, you can adjust the angle of the display down to a 20-degree orientation – then use it like a drafting table. And the new Bluetooth Surface Dial radial accessory will allow you to change settings, like the color you're drawing with or brush size, on-the-fly. The display and dial sense each other, and with time and adoption we expect to see all sorts of creative solutions emerge that integrate the capabilities of the display, dial and pen.The new Microsoft Surface Studio is a powerful all-in-one desktop with a 28" 4.5K wide-gamut PixelSense display touting touch, pen and dial capability. It easily folds down to drafting table-esque low angle for easy drawing and image editing.
A number of apps at launch, like Paint 3D and Sketchable, will support enhanced capabilities with the dial and pen, and we expect creative applications, like Adobe's Creative Suite, to quickly follow suit, particularly because Microsoft has made it easy for developers to do so. Microsoft's approach with Windows 10 and its hardware products prioritizes a unified app experience across all devices. With one operating system, app developers simply build new UI layers on top of existing apps, meaning less work for developers (than building a whole new app for, say, iOS) and, perhaps more importantly, a consistent user experience: Photoshop on the Surface is just like Photoshop on a desktop PC, but with an added pen/touch layer.Microsoft's approach prioritizes a unified app experience across all devices.
To keep the display on the Surface Studio thin, Microsoft put a lot of the guts of the Surface Studio in the base, and the specs are impressive. Three configurations ranging from $2,999 to $4,199 are available, all using Intel's 6th generation Quad core i5/i7 processors with 8, 16, or 32GB RAM. Every Studio comes with a dedicated nVidia discrete GPU, with the lower two configurations using the GTX 965M with 2GB GDDR5 memory, and the highest configuration using the GTX 980M with 4GB GDDR5 memory. There are a number of connectivity options, including 4 USB 3.0 ports, SD card reader, Mini Displayport, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Gigabit ethernet, and Xbox Wireless. A 5MP/1080p Windows Hello capable front-facing camera is built in, as are 2.1 Dolby Audio speakers, and dual microphones.
Microsoft also announced three new Surface Book models with Performance Bases, touting 6th generation Intel Core i7 processors and more than twice the graphics processing power of the original Surface Book.Windows 10 Creators Update promises ease of creation, sharing and experiencing 3D models and mixed reality (with accompanying VR headsets).
Microsoft is pushing their Surface solutions as tools for creatives, and indeed Microsoft's previous Surface Pro and Book models have generated a lot of interest from artists and designers who've already shown the benefits of fully-fledged touch/pen-based computers. Microsoft clearly hopes to take a bite out of Apple, traditionally seen as the choice for creatives.
Microsoft's effort to attract creatives couldn't be more evident in the company's recent focus on 3D and mixed reality. To that end the Windows 10 Creators Update, slated for early 2017 release, updates a number of apps to allow users to work seamlessly with 3D models, including ones they can generate themselves by scanning real-world objects with their phone. The popular Paint app will now be Paint 3D, and over the next year the popular Microsoft Office suite will also gain 3D capabilities. The Creators Update also promises ease of creation, sharing and experiencing mixed reality. Microsoft announced that HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer and ASUS will ship the first OEM virtual reality headsets capable of mixed reality through the Creators Update, and at a very reasonable $299 price tag. These devices, paired with Windows OS and apps, should allow users to place and interact with virtual 3D objects placed in the real world.
Microsoft's newly announced products are available for pre-order today, and early adopters of the Surface Studio will get a free Surface Dial. For more coverage and details on today's launch event, head over to Microsoft's dedicated site on the launch event.
NEW YORK — Oct. 26, 2016 — Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday unveiled a broad vision to empower a new wave of creativity with a major update coming to more than 400 million Windows 10 devices and the introduction of Surface Studio, Surface Dial and a more powerful Surface Book.
Expanding the Surface family, Surface Studio is a new class of device that transforms from a workstation into a powerful digital canvas, unlocking a more natural and immersive way to create on the thinnest LCD monitor ever built.1 With a stunning ultra-HD 4.5K screen, Surface Studio delivers 63 percent more pixels than a state-of-the-art 4K TV. Surface Studio works beautifully with pen, touch and Surface Dial — a new input device designed for the creative process that lets you use two hands on the screen to compose and create in all new ways.
Launching as a free update in early 2017, the Windows 10 Creators Update will enable anyone to create, share and experience in 3-D and mixed reality, connect people faster to those they care about most, and empower every gamer to be a broadcaster. And with the Creators Update, Microsoft Edge will be the first browser to fully embrace 3-D.
“At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “With Windows 10, Microsoft Surface and the medium of Mixed Reality, we aim to empower the builders, the makers and the creators with the tools to create, collaborate and express themselves in new ways.”
Surface Studio turns your desk into a creative studio
Surface Studio is a new class of device designed for how people naturally create and bring ideas to life. The 28-inch PixelSense™ Display immerses the user in 13.5 million pixels of pure, true-to-life color, and the Zero Gravity Hinge allows the screen to effortlessly adjust to each stage of the creative process. When the screen transitions from Desktop Mode to Studio Mode, it sits at a 20-degree angle, the same angle as a standard drafting board, making it ideal for sketching, writing and designing.
The 6th Generation Intel® Core™ processors accelerated by a discrete NVIDIA® GeForce® GPU deliver smooth and immersive graphics performance and the power to run professional programs such as Siemens’ NX™ software,2 taking people through their workflow from end to end. Now architects can sketch their ideas with the Surface Pen, put them into production using powerful 3-D modeling software, and review and mark up plans with a client, all on one device.
Surface Studio starts at $2,999 estimated retail price (ERP) USD. It is available for pre-order today in the U.S. through Microsoft Stores, MicrosoftStore.com and BestBuy.com, and will begin shipping in limited quantities this holiday with broader availability in early 2017.
Surface Dial — a new spin on creativity
Surface Dial is a new peripheral designed for the creative process. It integrates with Windows 10 to work with Surface for a faster and more intuitive way to scroll, zoom and navigate. The Dial also enables a set of unique experiences exclusive to Surface Studio. When you place the Dial directly on the screen, it brings up a set of digital tools specific to the app that is open, allowing people to more seamlessly move through their workflow. For example, with Surface Dial, artists can change the color or the size of their brush tip as they paint without ever moving the pen away from the screen. The combination of Dial, pen and touch creates a more immersive and tactile way for people to create in digital environments. Partners like BlueBeam Inc.,2 Drawboard,2 Mental Canvas,2 Siemens PLM Software,2 Silicon Benders,2 Smith Micro Software, Inc.2 and StaffPad have already optimized their software to take advantage of the new experiences Surface Dial provides.
Surface Dial is available for pre-order today in the U.S. through Microsoft Stores, MicrosoftStore.com, select Best Buy locations and at BestBuy.com, and will be available for $99 ERP USD starting Nov. 10.
The most powerful Surface Book yet
Microsoft also introduced Surface Book with Performance Base, making the most powerful laptop in its class even better. The three new Surface Book models feature 6th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processors and pack more than twice the graphics processing power as the original Surface Book. Plus Surface Book with Performance Base brings 16 hours of battery life3 into the same sleek, versatile design people love. With Surface Book with Performance Base, engineers can spin 3-D CAD models with thousands of parts, designers and developers can render large files quickly, and gamers can play more of their favorite games. No other laptop combines similar battery life, performance and pixels in as lightweight a package.
Surface Book with Performance Base starts at $2,399 ERP USD. It is available for preorder today at Microsoft Stores,4MicrosoftStore.com and select retailers in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and is available starting Nov. 10.
The Windows 10 Creators Update
Empowering everyone to create, share and experience in 3-D
With the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft unveiled a comprehensive vision across hardware and software to bring 3-D to everyone.
Microsoft introduced a new way to bring your ideas to life with Paint 3D. Building on the popularity of Microsoft Paint, with more than 100 million monthly users on Windows, Paint 3D will be your all-new, easy-to-use 3-D art studio. The company also introduced the new online community Remix3D.com, connecting creators and creations around the world. Remix 3D will enable all-new scenarios for creators, including the ability for Minecraft players to share their 3-D creations broadly with the Remix 3D community.
To inspire a new wave of creativity, Microsoft is partnering with Trimble to bring the 3-D modeling program Sketchup — and its millions of creators and creations from 3D Warehouse — to Remix3D.com.
To further demonstrate the possibilities of 3-D in Windows 10, Microsoft showed how easy it is to use your phone to capture a real-world object in 3-D — like a sand castle from your family vacation — to save, personalize and share as a 3-D memory or photo. To bring your ideas to life, Microsoft is also adding support for 3-D in Word, Excel and PowerPoint over the next year, which means with the Windows 10 Creators Update, Office features will work seamlessly with 3-D models.
Empowering everyone to experience mixed reality
Mixed reality blends the virtual world with the real world to change the way people create, communicate, learn and play across virtual reality, augmented reality and everything in between. To demonstrate the possibilities of mixed reality, the company showed a proof of concept together with Houzz — a leader in home renovation and design. Using the Microsoft Edge browser on HoloLens, Houzz users could preview products in their own home before they buy. Microsoft Edge was the first browser to bring inking to the web, and will be the first browser to fully embrace 3-D.
The Creators Update will be the most powerful and affordable way to experience mixed reality. Microsoft announced that HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer and ASUS will ship the first VR headsets capable of mixed reality through the Creators Update. Coming in 2017, these accessories will contain built-in sensors to enable inside-out, six-degrees of freedom for simplified setup and to more easily move around your home as you experience virtual worlds —no markers required.
Less powerful VR accessories today start at over $500 ERP USD. With the Windows 10 Creators Update, the new VR accessories will work with affordable laptops and PCs and start at just $299 ERP USD.
Windows 10: the best platform for 4K gaming and in-game broadcasting
Gaming has exploded in popularity as both spectator entertainment and as a sport. The Windows 10 Creators Update will make it easy for every gamer to create and enjoy live game streams and customized eSports tournaments on the fastest, most reliable multiplayer network, Xbox Live.5
The Creators Update will include Beam system integration on Xbox One and Windows 10 for interactive broadcasting and viewing of gameplay on Xbox Live, with even more features yet to be announced. And with interactive broadcasting, you don’t just watch your favorite streamer play, you interact in real time right along with them.
The Creators Update will also bring the power of user-generated tournaments via Arena on Xbox Live, where anyone can define the rules of competition, invite friends and track tournament progress seamlessly across devices, whether it’s on Windows 10 or Xbox One.
Plus, with a Windows 10 gaming PC, you’re able to play games like “Forza Horizon 3,” “Gears of War 4” and more in 4K,6 the highest possible visual fidelity that this holiday’s biggest blockbusters can deliver.
A faster way to connect and share with people who matter most
With the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft is putting the people you care about most at the center of your experience — right where they belong — with Windows MyPeople. Now, with the Windows 10 Creators Update, your most important friends, family and co-workers will be instantly accessible across any Windows PC.
With MyPeople, you can pin your favorite contacts to the Windows task bar and easily drag and drop any document, photo or video right on top of the contact for easy sharing. Get unique notifications, called “Shoulder Taps,” from your most important people and easily open and see an integrated view of emails, IMs, shared documents and more, all in one place. The Windows MyPeople experience will be integrated across Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps for easy sharing.
More to come
Windows Insiders will be able to preview the Windows 10 Creators Update through the Windows Insider Program at https://insider.Windows.com. 3-D and mixed reality for everyone, in-game broadcasting and MyPeople are just some of the new experiences coming to the Windows 10 Creators Update in early 2017. Additional productivity, creativity, security and gaming features will also be included and announced soon.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
1 Average cross-section thickness across entire display
2 Sold separately
3 Surface Book with Performance Base features 16 hours of battery life for local video playback.
4 Where available
5 Network claim: Independent IHS Markit study, June/July 2016. Tested on Xbox One versus PlayStation 4 on top five selling games with matchmaking; results may vary, not an endorsement. Visit xbox.com/betternetwork.
6 Games sold separately. 4K functionality available with supported games, monitors and graphics chips. Check PC to determine graphics chip compatibility.
Late last month, a homemade camera dubbed Chronos surfaced alongside the claim that it can shoot at speeds up to 21,650 fps. The camera was notable not only for its ultra-high-speed shooting capabilities, but also its comparitively affordable $2500 price tag. The camera was the subject of a recent YouTube video showing off its various features and functionalities.
Chronos 1.4 is the brainchild of engineer David Kronstein, who first demonstrated the camera’s hardware and recording capabilities with a production-level prototype under his YouTube handle ‘tesla500.’ The camera can record 1,057 fps at 1280 x 1024, and up to 21,650 fps at lower resolutions. Kronstein lists the pre-production camera features as the following:
- 1.4 Gigapixel per second throughput
- 1280 x 1024 at 1050 fps
- Lower resolutions at higher speeds
- 8, 16, or possibly 32GB RAM
- Storage on SD card, USB drive, SATA hard drive
- Raw video saving
- No PC needed for operation
- AC Adapter or battery (1.75 hour per charge)
You can see a full review of the camera in Taofledermaus’s new video below. Per his video, it seems the current plan is to launch the camera on GoFundMe rather than Kickstarter in the next month or so, but details on that are still slight at this time.
Since the Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones have become available for purchase, there have been several reports about the camera of the devices, despite stellar scores in the DxOMark ranking, being very prone to lens flare with the sun at a certain angle to the camera lens. Now a group of affected Reddit users has described the problem in the Google Product Forum and got a quick reply from a Google employee:'First, for some background -- flare is a property of ALL camera lenses. It comes in a ton of different shapes and sizes and can even be used for creative effect -- good and bad :-). The shape, color, amount, etc. of flare is related to dozens of different parameters of the lens structure and inclement light. However, we have seen reports about this "halo/arc flare". This is the specific kind of flare that appears as a bright/low-contrast arc in the corners of the frame. You can expect a software update in the next few weeks that will improve the effects of this issue. We're working on some algorithms that recognize the halo/arc flare, characterize it mathematically, and then subtract it from the image. :-) You will need to use HDR+ to see the benefits of this software.' So it appears Google is planning to solve a hardware problem with a software solution and bake an algorithm, that mathematically removes the flare from the image, into the Pixel camera's HDR mode. This means the measure will only be effective when shooting in this mode and it remains to be seen if there is any impact on noise and/or image detail in the affected areas of the image. We will certainly have a closer look at the Pixel's flare behavior in our own test of the device.
Photokina 2016 gave us a chance to speak to Nikon about the models it's showing, where the market is going and the challenges it faces.
It was a relatively quiet show for Nikon, with three KeyMission lifestyle cameras taking up as much space as the recently announced D3400 and 105mm F1.4 lens. We took the opportunity to speak to Naoki Kitaoka, Department Manager, Marketing Department and Masahiko Inoue, Group Manager, Marketing Group 2, to see how the company sees the market. Please note the following interview has been slightly edited for clarity and flow.What's the key mission of KeyMission?
We started by asking whether they foresaw DSLRs and other dedicated cameras returning to being the niche product they were at the end of the film era and where KeyMission fits in:
‘We don’t want to change our policy,' said Kitaoka: ‘We will keep offering the best DSLR to the customer. On the other hand, smart devices are getting popular: almost everyone has one or two or three devices in their pocket. In the mobile era, we have to offer new solutions that are fit for the mobile era. We want to be the end to end solution for consumers. The KeyMission is one of our solutions I think.’The KeyMission range, including the KeyMission 360 are aimed at 'immediate immersive storytelling,' the company says.
KeyMission, then, is intended as a way of bringing Nikon’s expertise to new customers, Inoue explains: ‘Our competence is high quality imagery. So we will continue to keep that our core competence and apply it into the KeyMissions.’
‘For instance, the lens in the KeyMission 360 has a very wide angle of view. But this kind of category needs the size to be wearable. Using our competence and some new techniques, we managed to keep the quality and realize the miniaturization.’
‘It’s a very wide-angle view. Very fast lens: F2.0. Very bright and very wide, normally that kind of lens is larger optical design but we try to do the miniaturization.’
As well as image quality and size, simplicity is another aim for the camera, says Kitaoka: ‘It is not just an action camera. With the KeyMission series, we are bringing to market the ultimate tools for immediate immersive storytelling. They also demonstrate the role Nikon technology can play in the exciting new field of VR.’
‘The concept is about sharing your beautiful experience.’ Inoue concurs.
This means making it easy to share a wide variety of content types, Kitaoka says: ‘We believe every single model, every single customer has a different image of sharing. We have expanded the categories we cover to include KeyMission so you can find your best camera, from KeyMission to DSLR. Additionally, different types of consumers with different purposes need different types of cameras for every mission. We don’t want to interrupt your adventure.’The value of sharing
This need for simple sharing underpins the company’s plan to introduce a version of its SnapBridge sharing system across its entire model range: ‘Easy means setting up between camera and smartphone,' says Kitaoka: 'We launched the WMU app so we had kind of experience for this setup process. We tried to improve, to make the setting easier. But still some of you might feel it’s quite difficult. Now three or four steps are needed to connect camera to mobile phone. We are trying to reduce steps from four to one, and finally zero.’'Now three or four steps are needed to connect camera to mobile phone. We are trying to reduce steps from four to one, and finally zero'
The company has chosen the technology it thinks will help. ‘We use Bluetooth Low Energy so it can realize smart link,’ says Kitaoka. There’s a benefit to this technique, despite its low bandwidth, he explains: ‘If we use Bluetooth you can use Wi-Fi at the same time. Once you can shoot your story and then camera automatically sends your story to smartphone. Your Wi-Fi can stay connected to the internet: you don’t need to switch Wi-Fi from the camera to Internet. We wanted to make your steps easier.’
Inoue is confident that SnapBridge is a step in the right direction: 'after you purchase a Nikon camera, you do the pairing once: after that it's automatic.'The future of Nikon 1
Moving on, we asked about the future of the Nikon 1 series and what role it now plays in expanding Nikon’s audience. Despite a dearth of releases, the cameras featured prominently on Nikon’s booth and both men spoke positively about the system’s future.
‘The Nikon 1 concept is fit for some customers,’ says Kitaoka: ‘For now we’ll keep Nikon 1 as usual.' The sudden focus on KeyMission doesn't take away from this, he explains: 'as I told you before, the action category getting popular. [The] market [is] always changing so we launched KeyMission series to expand our customers.’It's been nearly two-and-a-half years since Nikon last released a Nikon 1 V-series body but we're told the system is still part of the company's plans.
Inoue elaborates: ‘Some manufacturers have tried to enter the DSLR market with their mirrorless camera or something. Our standpoint is different. Because our product mix covers full-frame and APS-C DSLR and the Nikon 1, these three product categories mean we offer to the full lineup and we receive each customer’s good reactions.’
‘And then we're not seeing cannibalization between the DSLR and the Nikon 1: the customer is completely different.’Totally different, but with an overlap
While this distinction is clear for the J and S models, we wondered whether this also applied to V series customers. ‘The J, S and V models are different categories, says Kitaoka: ‘the V series is sort of special, people they well know about DSLR, what is a photograph, they understand these ideas.’
The smaller size of the cameras provides a benefit for these customers, Kitaoka explains: ‘Sometimes you get work from a client that requires you to travel for the job and maybe go back to shoot more. In that kind of situation, sometimes the photographer doesn’t get enough money from their clients to carry their whole equipment because of the baggage costs of the airline.’
‘V3 helped them a lot. The telephoto lenses are smaller. Just in case, they use V series for second camera at the same time, so they can reduce the size of their systems.’
‘One of the most important features of the V series is the high frame rate and accuracy of autofocus. It's fit for professional photographers' demand. It’ll never be the main camera for a photographer but it can help them a lot.’
Neither man would be drawn on whether Nikon intends to concentrate on one of these 1 series user groups over the other. ‘We really recognize the mirrorless type of camera, the possibility and we always study [the market],’ says Inoue: ‘but sorry, we won’t be able to comment on future products.’1V vs DL
On the topic of future products, we also weren’t able to get clarification on when to expect the much-delayed DL compacts, so we asked how these users were distinct from the Nikon 1 V series customer:
‘DL’s concept and target is users of the D800 series,’ says Inoue: ‘Of course the D800 is a very nice camera but the DL... Anytime and anywhere [you can] take a high quality picture by using the DL. It’s a very good second camera for that kind of user. Therefore the switching and the menu, the GUI, is in accordance with the DSLR equipment. That kind of DSLR customer can use the DL without any stress. Even the power switch is in the same position as on DSLR. Zooming dial right here.’There's still no news on when Nikon's delayed DL series of 1"-type sensor compacts will arrive.
'[They] borrow technology from Nikon 1 and DSLR. Of course the one inch sensor, on-sensor phase detection autofocus and high frame rate continuous shooting, everything from the Nikon 1, but the high quality images and the user interface and the Picture Quality control from our D series. Also the lens quality. You know, the DL has fast lenses with the nano crystal coating, but in a compact type of camera. This is the first time we've used that kind of technology in a DSC.’Who uses video?
Finally, and continuing the theme of making models for more than one type of customer, we asked about the importance and challenges of video for Nikon.
‘There are two types of high end users [using video]’ explains Kikaota: ‘those who started [their careers] shooting still pictures, but also there are a lot of customers who started with video. In our company we have two types of customer. It’s difficult to make one solution to fit for both of them.’'I think that line between movie photographer and stills photographers has gone. The client wants to you to shoot the both of them at the same time to reduce costs'
Shooting video with current cameras can often be quite complicated, we suggested. ‘[This] complicated operation is fit for the customer they started shooting from video. On the other hand there are professional [stills] photographers: they are not yet used to using video, their demand is easy operation. So there are two types of people. It’s a big problem.’
‘We are trying to make a solution fit for both of them. One solution is Flat Picture Control. Flat Picture Control is well suited for the professional photographer, who started shooting pictures and now find they have to shoot some video, too.’
‘They are not necessarily so familiar with video editing or modifying video. With Flat Picture Control they can understand from stills point of view.'
'Now we have an exact solution right now, but we will keep considering [whether to make] a separate product or [if it should] go into the one product.'Nikon recognizes the challenge of adding video features that both stills and video shooters will appreciate.
'I think that line between movie photographer and stills photographers has gone. The client wants to you to shoot the both of them at the same time to reduce the costs.'
Kitaoka then expanded on the demands they're hearing from customers: 'First of all, quality of the movie is a basic demand so we have to answer that, second frame rate, then lens quality and autofocus, also, [the challenges of] movie AF and still AF totally different.'
'Movie autofocus needs to be smooth, sometimes fast, sometimes slower, depends on the situation. Movie shooters want to [be able to] choose high speed autofocus or natural speed autofocus.'
'Actually we equip the autofocus system fit for the movie but a lot of people [are finding it difficult to use] autofocus between still photo and movie. But we keep trying to [provide the] best movie autofocus in [our] DSLRs and across every single category.’
When Astronomer Pieter van Dokkum was looking for ways to study galaxies, he turned to the equipment he was familiar with as an amateur photographer. Thanks in part to some advanced optical coatings, he and his research team have been able to discover previously unseen galaxies.
In 2011, van Dokkum and fellow professor and astronomer Roberto Abraham, were discussing ways to find a way to get a better look into the very diffuse cosmic light that's scattered by traditional telescopes like Hubble. Van Dokkum's thoughts turned to his consumer imaging equipment, and some claims Canon was making about its then-recently-released 400mm F2.8L II.
Introduced in August the previous year, the 400mm F2.8L II offers what Canon calls 'a SubWavelength Structure Coating (SWC), which uses microscopic cone-shaped structures smaller than a wavelength of visible light' to reduce internal reflections and scattered light. This kind of coating would theoretically help collect enough light to study galaxies with low 'surface brightness', and sure enough, it did. Says van Dokkum: 'We compared their performance to those of the best reflecting telescopes, and found that they produce almost an order of magnitude better suppression of the wings of the point spread function - probably in part because of the SWC coatings.' In short, the 400mm F2.8L II fit the bill.
More lenses were acquired and the Dragonfly Telephoto Array was born (clustering lenses allows researchers to increase the effective aperture of the system). Van Dokkum and Abraham started with eight lenses, and now operate two mounts with a total of 48 lenses.Custom connectors, as well as off-the-shelf components like Intel Compute Sticks help drive Dragonfly. Photo by Pieter van Dokkum
You won't find a Canon EOS 5DSR behind anywhere on the array, though. Each lens is attached to its own science-grade 8MP CCD camera, and has a custom astronomical filter slotted in. There's a custom-built connector between each camera and the lens that can drive focus, and an Intel Compute Stick attached to each camera takes care of data recording and some processing. It's all controlled by a central computer that can carry out commands like 'auto-observe Mars' and 'expose 900 seconds'.
The array has helped examine much-observed heavenly bodies like the Coma Cluster, where they've been able to identify what the research team has dubbed 'ultradiffuse galaxies.' They continue to discover more of these galaxies with the help of Dragonfly, and aim to keep learning about their variety and formation.
Sony has announced that its a99 ll full-frame SLT camera will go on sale on November 25th as expected, but it will not be able to supply nearly enough to meet demand straight away. The company has issued a statement saying that domestic demand has 'significantly' exceeded the Japanese company’s sales plans and that customers should expect some delay in the delivery of ordered cameras.
The 42MP camera offers a top shooting rate of 12 fps and features a combined phase detection and contrast detection AF system that the company says provides speed, accuracy and improved tracking. The camera was the surprise launch of Photokina this year, as many assumed Sony had abandoned its SLT cameras in favor of the more popular mirrorless models.
It seems even Sony has been caught off-guard by the demand of the a99 ll, and if there are to be delays in the Japanese market there will almost certainly be delays in the rest of the world. The a99 ll is due to be priced at ¥388,880/$3200/£3000/€3500. For more information see the Sony website.
Numerous reports have surfaced from LG V20 owners claiming that the glass covering the smartphone's rear camera is easily shattered. In some cases, the glass reportedly breaks without any direct impacts, leading some to speculate that the LEDs may be the cause. Some users report receiving a new phone with glass that's already cracked, while others indicate it cracks after only several hours or days of use.
In addition to user reports on Reddit, smartphone durability tester 'JerryRigEverything' experienced the same issue. The glass camera covering is shown shattering in the video below a few moments after he rubs it with a pick to test its durability against scratches. LG has not issued a comment on the reported issue. For now, users are advised to keep the protective film covering on the camera glass in an effort to avoid cracks.