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Adobe's Project 'Deep Fill' is an incredible, AI-powered Content Aware Fill

DP Review Latest news - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 07:00

The coolest technology to come out of Adobe MAX is, sadly, not the technology we already have access to. Like Adobe's Project Cloak we showed you earlier today, it's the incredible 'Sneaks' sneak peeks that really wow the audience. Case in point: check out Project Deep Fill, a much more powerful, AI-driven version of Content Aware Fill that makes the current tool look like crap... to put it lightly.

Deep Fill is powered by the Adobe Sensei technology—which "uses artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep learning"—and trained using millions of real-world images. So while Content Aware Fill has to work with the pixels at hand to 'guess' what's behind the object or person you're trying to remove, Deep Fill can use its training images to much more accurately create filler de novo.

The examples used in the demo video above are impressive to say the least:

And just when you thought the demo is over, you find out that Deep Fill can also take into account user inputs—like sketching—to completely alter an image:

In this way it's a lot more than a 'fill' feature. In fact, Adobe calls it "a new deep neural network-based image in-painting system." Check out the full demo for yourself above, and then read all about the other 'Sneaks' presented at Adobe MAX here.

Categories: Photo News

Asus ZenPad Z8s review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 05:00
The Asus ZenPad Z8s tablet is a small and stylish Verizon exclusive that costs considerably less than the iPad Mini 4.
Categories: Photo News

LEE's new Reverse ND filters help you tame that bright horizon

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 13:40

LEE Filters has launched three new Reverse ND filters that are designed to reduce horizon exposure by up to 4 stops, helping you get 'perfectly balanced' sunrise and sunset photos.

What distinguishes a Reverse ND from a regular graduated ND filter is that the center of these filters are most opaque, becoming clearer and clearer as you 'fade' to the top of the filter. This makes them ideal for scenes where the sun sits close to the horizon. And unlike competing Reverse ND filters, LEE claims that its versions have an "extremely smooth and gradual" transition so that the resulting images don't appear to have a strong dark stripe in the middle.

Here they are demonstrated by photographer Mark Bauer, who worked with LEE to develop this range of Reverse ND filters that he says, "do the job properly" without the harsh transitions he's noticed when using other brands:

The new filters are offered in 0.6, 0.9, and 1.2 strengths representing 2, 3, and 4 stops of exposure reduction, respectively. As well, all three filters are hand-manufactured for 100mm, Seven5, and SW150 systems. LEE says its Reverse ND filters work best when used with lenses that are at least 24mm wide.

The filters are currently available for preorder at the following prices:

Seven5: $125 / £81.80
100mm: $175 / £114.34
SW150: $200 / £125.56

To learn more, head over to the LEE Filters website by clicking here.

Categories: Photo News

Photographer sues New York Times over age discrimination and 'full-time freelancer' status

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 13:19
Photo by Haxorjoe

The New York Times and its photography director Michele McNally have been hit with a lawsuit by former Times' photographer Robert Stolarik. The lawsuit claims that Stolarik, age 48, was discriminated against due to his age, and was also misclassified as a 'full-time freelancer' for nearly a decade.

According to the complaint—which was filed on July 6th in New York and covered at that time by Bloomberg BNA—Stolarik began working for the Times as a photographer in Colombia in 2000, followed by additional work in Venezuela until 2002. Stolarik then resumed working for the Times in 2004, the legal document explains, ultimately resulting in nearly a decade of full-time work.

However, despite working full-time, the lawsuit claims that Stolarik was paid under a 1099-MISC form as a freelancer—a classification that deprived Stolarik of the benefits that would have come with full-time employment, including health insurance.

The complaint alleges that editors managed Stolarik in the same manner as employees, including giving specific start times for his assignments which regularly comprised 8-hour shifts. Stolarik claims that he was denied overtime pay for extended shifts and that he was not compensated for the time he was required to spend editing photos outside of his assignment hours.

The allegations continue from there, claiming that Stolarik 'regularly sought' a staff photographer position with the NYT, making his desires known both in writing and orally. Age discrimination allegedly prevented him from getting a full-time role with the company, though. The complaint states that "Stolarik was told on numerous occasions by various editors that he was too old" to get the staff position he sought.

One Times editor is accused of having asked Stolarik if he was under 30 years old, abandoning an effort to get him a staff position after learning that he was, at the time, 37. Another editor reportedly told Stolarik that he should be 'concerned about' his age in regards to his desire for a staff position, telling him on multiple occasions that he was too old to be an employee.

During his years spent freelancing for the Times, the lawsuit states that Stolarik's requests for a staff role were ignored in favor of hiring photographers who were under the age of 30. The lawsuit also claims that the Times regularly gave assignments to its freelancers under the age of 30 versus its freelancers over the age of 30.

Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that the Times denied Stolarik assignments due to a wrongful arrest he suffered in the Bronx while on assignment for the company. Per the complaint, an NYPD officer had ordered Stolarik to stop taking photographs. The altercation resulted in Stolarik's 'violent arrest,' which snowballed into the Times' alleged decision to decrease the photographer's assignments with the company.

Finally, the lawsuit also states that Stolarik's lawyer sent a letter to the Times' general counsel claiming that he had been discriminated against due to the arrest he suffered while on assignment, as well as his age. This complaint allegedly resulted in McNally ordering Times editors to stop giving Stolarik assignments altogether.

Among other things, the lawsuit seeks back pay, unpaid wages, overtime pay, and unpaid benefits in actual damages totaling at least $500,000, as well as compensatory damages, interest, costs and disbursements.

As Ramin Talaie points out on Medium, this lawsuit serves to highlight growing issues with the so-called 'gig economy,' which classifies workers as independent contractors despite work arrangements that may mirror that of employees. The classification gives companies a way to save money, but saddles the worker with self-employment tax while eliminating the protections and benefits that come from employee classification.

The full complaint can be read here.

Categories: Photo News

Irix announces 100mm filter system for wide angle lenses

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 12:24

Lens manufacturer Irix announced earlier today that it plans to release a filter holder and a collection of filters in 100x100mm and 100x150mm sizes—a system designed especially to fit its 15mm F2.4 lens. The holder accepts a special bayonet mount adapter to attach to the front of the 15mm lens, while a range of additional screw thread adapters will allow the holder to be used with other lenses.

The Irix Edge 100 system will consist of a dual slot holder that the company claims is the lightest in its class. The holder is made from ‘aluminium alloy’ and features a rotating joint to allow easy positioning of graduated filters and polarisers.

Irix says that the holder, called the IFH-100, has a profile that’s slim enough to avoid mechanical vignetting even when two filters are held in front of the 15mm lens, and that a layer of black velvet covering the forward surfaces prevents light leak during long exposures.

The filter system includes 2mm-thick filters in the 100x100mm and 100x150mm sizes—to begin with the company will launch mostly NDs, ND grads and a polarizer, but has plans to offer a filter that cuts the effect of pollution. The holder accepts filters from other systems as well, and the company plans to offer adapter rings for lenses with threads of between 67mm and 82mm. Irix already has a series of circular screw-in filters under the Edge brand.

Price and availability have yet to be announced. For more information visit the Irix website.

Press Release

Irix presents its Edge 100 filter system

The TH Swiss company would like to announce the expansion of its range of Irix accessories with the Edge 100 series filter system. Among new products, there will be a versatile holder – the IFH-100 - with dedicated adapters and a wide choice of 100x100mm and 100x150mm filters.

The Irix Edge IFH-100 filter holder

The Irix IFH-100 is a universal filter holder designed for size 100mm filters. Its lightweight compact construction and bayonet adapter are created especially for the Irix 15mm f/2.4 lens, allowing the use of two filters at the same time without any vignetting effect. The construction of the filter holder base on the removable adapters allows for quick and easily attachment to the lens, along with free rotation around the optical axis when using the graduated or polarizing filters.

The ability to use removable adapters with thread diameters from 67mm to 82mm means that the holder can be used with lenses produced by Irix in the future, along with other brands. Each adapter has an additional thread for attaching the cap to the lens.

The filter holder is made of an aluminium alloy, which guarantees the high strength and stiffness of its structure. This has enabled to get an extremely compact size while keeping wide functionality, along with an aesthetic design together with the whole Irix product line. It is worth mentioning that the IFH-100 is the lightest holder of its class. The front surface of the filter holder is covered with a light-absorbing velvet fabric that blocks access to the side light, what is especially important when using high density optical ND filters.

The Irix Edge 100 filters

With the introduction of the IFH-100 filter holder, the Edge 100 series filters will also be available in two formats. The first, size 100x150, will contain gradual filters with a soft and hard transition, and also a reversed gradual filter dedicated to taking pictures of sunrises and sunsets. These rectangular filters will be available in ND4, ND8 and ND16 versions. In the square format, Neutral Density filters with densities ND32, ND128, ND1000, ND1000K will be available for the 100x100mm, along with a polarizing filter. There are future plans by the manufacturer to introduce filters which reduce light pollution.

Edge 100 series filters have a thickness of 2mm and are made from high quality optical glass which is also used in the production of the optical elements in lenses. Filters are coated on both sides with an anti-reflective nano-coating to keep high contrast and natural colours in pictures. The additional water and oil repellent coating also ensures easy cleaning of the surface.

The premiere at Photo Plus Expo 2017

The Edge series will be available at the Irix booth (No.929) during the Photo Plus Expo in New York City on October 26-28, 2017.

The full range of new Irix Edge accessories, along with pricing and availability information, will be published in the near future.

Categories: Photo News

FAA wants airlines to ban cameras and other electronics from checked bags

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 12:10

The Federal Aviation Administration wants airlines to ban cameras and other electronics from checked luggage, citing the fire and explosion risk presented by the devices' lithium-ion batteries. After conducting tests involving these batteries, the FAA found that if one were heated to the point where it caught fire near an aerosol can (think: hairspray), it could result in an explosion so quick and powerful that it would render a plane's fire suppression system useless.

Lithium-ion batteries are the most common variety found in consumer electronics, and they're well known for being volatile. But in a recent paper submitted to the UN's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the FAA highlighted tests demonstrating these batteries as a potential fire risk that, in the most extreme case, could even result in "the loss of an aircraft."

The tests found that a battery fire next to an aerosol can could cause an explosion before the plane's fire suppression system could put the fire out. That subsequent explosion could, in turn, be powerful enough to disable the suppression system, enabling the fire to grow catastrophically.

The Administration also tested battery fires next to items that are commonly placed in checked luggage, including hand sanitizer and nail polish remover, and found that they could contribute to large fires. The conclusion is straight forward: lithium-ion batteries in checked luggage could put both aircraft passengers and crew members at major risk should one of the batteries ignite... something that has happened before, albeit in the cabin.

The agency wants airlines around the world to ban these items from checked luggage, requiring passengers to put them in carry-on bags instead. The ICAO is scheduled to discuss the proposed ban during a panel taking place over the next week.

Categories: Photo News

Cherry Labs Cherry Home Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 11:42
The Cherry Home system uses your voice, your gait and even the length of your limbs to identify you. It also recognizes whether you're sitting and laughing or tripping and falling.
Categories: Photo News

808 Audio XL-V Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 10:52
The new XL-V speaker looks similar to Amazon's original Echo and costs $130.
Categories: Photo News

Amazon Echo (2017) review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 09:55
Alexa's new flagship smart speaker is better than the first one -- and it costs a lot less, too.
Categories: Photo News

Bye bye backpack: The Pixentu photography jacket lets you carry your gear ON you

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 09:51

An intriguing set of photographer-specific jackets just popped up on Kickstarter. Dubbed Pixentu, these jackets have been designed to meet the gadget-toting needs of photographers, providing an extended hoodie for the rain and a large number of pockets intended for items a photographer is likely to carry around, including memory cards, film, lenses, cards, a camera, and even a travel tripod—bye bye backpack.

Pixentu exists in three different iterations: as an outdoor jacket, a travel blazer, and a street photography jacket.

While the three varieties mostly offer the same pockets, there are some small differences. The travel blazer, for example, is a 2-in-1 combination unit that can be used as a jacket or as a vest, but lacks compartments for a tablet, travel tripod, and camera. The outdoor jacket, in comparison, doesn't transform into a vest and is a lighter option than the street photography jacket, which is better for cold temperatures.

Neither the blazer nor the outdoor jacket have the extended hoodie featured on the street photography jacket; with that hoodie, photographers can shield their camera from rain while taking a shot. Pixentu says its jackets are made from unspecified durable Japanese material, while the lens pockets are water-resistant and feature a soft lining.

The Pixentu jackets are currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, where they've very nearly reached their goal. The super early bird units are offered for pledges starting at £99 / $132, and shipping to backers is estimated to start in February of 2018.

To learn more or pledge for your own, head over to the Pixentu Kickstarter page.

Categories: Photo News

Demo: Adobe's experimental 'Cloak' tech is like Content Aware Fill for video

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 09:28

Yesterday at Adobe MAX, the lucky attendees got to see a few of Adobe's signature "Sneaks": sneak peeks at crazy features that are in development. And chief among them this year was something code-named Adobe Cloak.

In essence, Adobe Cloak is the video-editing counterpart to Photoshop's Content Aware Fill. Simply outline the portion of your video that you would like removed—be it a stationary object or a couple walking through your scene—and Adobe Cloak will intelligently erase them from the shot. This is, of course, something VFX artists have been doing for ages, but automating the process to this degree is impressive to say the least.

Adobe sent us a few demo videos of the feature in action, which you can check out above. And if you want more details about how Adobe Cloak works/was developed, Engadget got to sit down with Adobe research engineer Geoffrey Oxholm and VFX product manager Victoria Nece to talk about the technology, which is still "in the experimental stages."

The bad news is, there's no current plans to implement it. The good news? They wouldn't be working on it if they didn't plan to implement it some time, right!?

Categories: Photo News

Flickr shuts down wall art service, moves photo book printing to Blurb

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 08:31

The photo sharing platform Flickr was officially acquired by Verizon in June, and it appears we are now seeing the first changes after the takeover. Flickr has announced that it will cease to offer its existing photo book and wall art printing services.

Printing services for Flickr users won't be completely shut down. Instead, photo books using Flickr images can now be printed in numerous ways via the third-party service Blurb. To make this work, your Flickr account needs to be connected to Blurb, which then allows you to browse your Flickr stream in Blurb’s online book-making tool. Book size, paper quality and image layout can all be customized, and it is of course possible to add image captions and text. The final product can be distributed via Amazon, Ingram and the Blurb Bookstore.

Unfortunately, there is no equivalent replacement for the wall art printing service.

Current Flickr Pro account holders get a $35 credit for their first Blurb order, and $35 when you renew your subscription (with a minimum purchase $70). Book or wall art orders that are currently in progress with the old system should be completed and sent in before December 1st, 2017. Afterwards, your project will be lost.

Categories: Photo News

Canon patents a huge, hinged and reversible DSLR LCD

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 07:18
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A newly published Canon Japan patent might reveal the future of Canon DSLR LCD screens... and that future is massive and flippable. Originally spotted by Canon Rumors, the patent details a hinged rear LCD that is so big it hides all of the controls on the back of the camera underneath it.

As you can see from the diagrams (or read in the patent itself) the LCD is capable of lifting upward, then reversing, and is specifically designed to avoid obstructing the camera's viewfinder. This makes it possible to view an image from the uplifted LCD and use the viewfinder during the same session.

While a hinged DSLR rear display is nothing new, Canon's patent shows a design that would allow for a large and reversible display unlike anything we've seen before. In fact, the LCD shown in the patent's illustrations covers the entire back of the camera, making it necessary to tuck the rear dial and several buttons behind it, though several others are exposed on either side of the viewfinder.

As with every patent, there's no indication of whether or not Canon has plans to incorporate this design into an upcoming camera, but it's one of the more curious Canon patents we've run across.

Categories: Photo News

2017 Zero Motorcycles Zero SR Release Date, Price and Specs - Roadshow

CNET Reviews - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 06:16
The Zero SR has more torque than you could ever need and handling that'll put a smile on your face, but short range may leave you frowning.
Categories: Photo News

Harman Kardon Invoke review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 06:00
Microsoft's answer to Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomeKit is here with the Harman Kardon Invoke. The first smart speaker with Cortana built in, the $199 Invoke sounds great and looks good, but falls short on skills.
Categories: Photo News

More Nikon D850 samples images added

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 06:00

Our review process is based both on studio testing and real-world shooting. We make sure every camera goes through the hands of several photographers and is shot in a variety of circumstances, to give a broad representation of how the camera will perform.

All those images and experiences are considered as we draw our conclusions about a camera. So, even if you've looked through the D850 gallery before, you may well find there are shots you've not seen before. Take a look, and be sure to check out the full review if you haven't already.

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Categories: Photo News

Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 04:00
The first of the new wave of Windows VR/AR headsets is easy to use, but the software isn't there yet.
Categories: Photo News

Samsung DV7750 dryer review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 14:52
Spend less cash, time doing laundry with this Samsung dryer.
Categories: Photo News

Amazon Echo (2017) Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 14:28
Here's everything you need to know about the 2017 version of the Amazon Echo.
Categories: Photo News

Wiral LITE cable system lets you capture cinematic shots almost anywhere

DP Review Latest news - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 11:28

A simple cable cam system called Wiral LITE has launched on Kickstarter, where the campaign has already blown away its funding goal, raising nearly a quarter-million dollars in just a few days' time. The system is comprised of a motorized, remotely-controlled device that rolls across a cable fixed to two poles or similar structures. A camera can be attached to the bottom of Wiral LITE, which itself rolls across the cable while the camera records cinematic motion shots.

The cable cam system is being presented as an alternative to portable motorized slider devices, offering the ability to record motion shots over much larger distances than the average portable slider.

Wiral LITE features a standard camera mount on the bottom and can handle camera/lens weights up to 3.3lbs / 1.5kg. The system includes a ball joint, a GoPro mount, cable, quick reel for retracting the cable, a tightening strap, end stop clips, batteries, and a battery charger.

The cable system offers multiple modes, including a time lapse mode that moves with a minimum speed of 0.006MPH, but the device's top speed is 28mph / 45kmh.

The team behind the device explains that the Wiral system takes 3 minutes to setup, which involves attaching both ends of the reel to a pair of objects, tightening the cable between the two, and then mounting the Wiral LITE onto the cable. In other words, setup is a breeze:

And once you're set up, you can capture long-range panning shots like this with ease:

Wiral LITE is being sold to backers for a pledge of $200. Bundles are also available for those who want to pledge a bit more, such as an 'Ultimate Kit' for pledges of $250 or an 'Extreme Kit' for $1,700.

To learn more or put a pledge in yourself, head over to the Kickstarter page.

Categories: Photo News

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