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Monkey copyright lawsuit finally over, court rejects PETA's claims

DP Review Latest news - 2 hours 22 min ago
Photo: David Slater

PETA's "monkey selfie" copyright lawsuit has finally, finally reached a satisfying ending. On Monday, a three-judge panel with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that only humans can pursue copyright infringement claims, upholding a lower court's decision after a judge refused to let PETA settle its way out of this likely conclusion.

In its ruling, the court said:

Affirming the district court’s dismissal of claims brought by a monkey, the panel held that the animal had constitutional standing but lacked statutory standing to claim copyright infringement of photographs known as the "MonkeySelfies." ... The panel held that the monkey lacked statutory standing because the Copyright Act does not expressly authorize animals to file copyright infringement suits.

The ruling follows the Ninth Circuit's decision earlier this month to reject PETA's settlement dismissal request.

PETA had argued that the macaque named Naruto, not camera owner David Slater, owned the copyright because it took the image itself. Courts had expressed skepticism about PETA's argument, also questioning whether the organization had a suitable relationship with the monkey to sue on its behalf.

In September 2017, PETA announced a settlement with Slater; it asked the Ninth Circuit Court to dismiss the case and vacate the lower court's ruling. However, in a decision earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit indicated that it had rejected the request because it seemed to be PETA's way to avoid establishing a precedent. The court had also stated:

As one of our colleagues once warned in a similar context, “courts must be particularly wary of abetting ‘strategic behavior’ on the part of institutional litigants whose continuing interest in the development in the law may transcend their immediate interest in the outcome of a particular case."

The ruling doesn't impact PETA's settlement with Slater, which requires the photographer to donate 25% of future revenue from the image to charities that protect crested macaques in Indonesia.

Categories: Photo News

Video: Remember that your gear is more advanced than Ansel Adams'

DP Review Latest news - 3 hours 16 min ago

"Every famous photograph was made with a camera less advanced than the one you are using now." This paraphrased quote is the inspiration behind The Art of Photography’s latest YouTube video titled "Your camera is better than Ansel’s." In the ten-minute video, Ted Forbes breaks down his thoughts on the idea that, instead of taking an introspective approach to our photography work, we tend to blame the gear and use that as an excuse to our shortcomings as artists.

How often do you hear the phrase "I don’t have the right lens to get the shallow depth of field I want" or "I don’t have this camera body that shoots 15 frames per second." These laments aren’t uncommon among photographers, but according to Forbes, they miss the point.

Sure, it’s fun to gawk over the latest and greatest gear, but it’s by no means necessary in order to create fantastic artwork—this morning's Behind the Scenes article by Michael Benanav should more than prove that point. As Forbes elaborates throughout the video, gear is little more than a tool to create the artwork we’ve envisioned in our head—a means to an end.

Forbes summarizes this concept in the video’s description:

The truth is that important work… work that matters… doesn't have anything to do with the technology we have access to. It has everything to do with what we have to say and communicate visually. Photography is an act of speaking.

It’d be an oversight to say there’s never a time when you need new gear. After all, it’s almost impossible to properly photograph a deer a few hundred yards away without a 400mm lens. But it’s something to think about when considering new equipment. Is that new camera actually necessary to produce the results you desire? Or is the gear you're lusting over little more than a crutch that will help you avoid addressing your lack of a vision or direction?

Categories: Photo News

Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1 Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - 3 hours 21 min ago
Dell mixes in the necessary ingredients to turn its consumer XPS 15 2-in-1 into a mobile workstation.
Categories: Photo News

Adobe apologizes for Lightroom Classic CC bugs, releases bug fix update

DP Review Latest news - 3 hours 24 min ago
Credit: Adobe

The latest update to Lightroom Classic CC—a 'massive update' to camera profiles for both Lightroom and ACR—came complete with an infuriating set of bugs that, judging by our comment section, left Adobe users quite frustrated. But have no fear: the software giant is back with an apology and a slew of bug fixes in the form of Adobe Lightroom Classic CC 7.3.1.

The release went live this morning, complete with this apology on the Adobe blog:

We heard your feedback and felt that parts of the release didn’t uphold the level of quality that we hold ourselves to. We’re happy to report that these issues were resolved and now available for immediate download. Some of the issues resolved included converting presets, sorting and copying/pasting profiles, translation errors, along with crash fixes.

You can download the update and read the full release notes at this link, but here is the TL;DR about what this Lightroom Classic CC update fixes:

  • An issue where some presets were not converting to the new format.
  • An issue with B&W legacy presets where the profile resets to Adobe Standard
  • An issue where Develop presets were not sorting correctly
  • Translation errors in other languages for some profiles
  • An issue where users were unable to copy/sync Black and White Mix settings
  • Lightroom backup catalog error issues.
    • Note: To resolve corruption issue in the backed up catalogs, update to Lightroom Classic CC v7.3.1 and then back up your catalogs again. If you're backing up your catalogs on macOS, see this known issue related to catalog compression below.
  • Known Issue on macOS only: When backing up your catalogs on macOS, Lightroom Classic doesn't compress (zip) catalogs that have a file size less than 4 GB. As a workaround to this issue, manually compress the backed up catalog files. Compressed files take up less hard disk space. By default, Lightroom Classic saves backed up catalogs to the following location on macOS:
    • /Users/[user name]/Pictures/Lightroom/[catalog name]/Backups

To update to the latest version, simply run the update in the Creative Cloud Desktop App.

Categories: Photo News

Samsung's super fast 970 PRO and EVO NVMe SSDs offer 'exceptional endurance'

DP Review Latest news - 3 hours 55 min ago

Samsung Electronics has launched the 970 PRO and EVO solid state drives (SSD), aimed at tech enthusiasts and professionals. Thanks to very fast read/write speeds and large capacities they look like interesting options for anyone handling and editing large amounts of image or video data.

The new drives come in the M.2 form factor and with the latest PCIe Gen 3×4 lane interface, offering NVM Express (NVMe) bandwidth. The 970 PRO is capable of sequential read speed of up to 3,500 MB/s and sequential write speed of up to 2,700 MB/s. The EVO models offers the same read speed but a slightly slower write speed of up to 2,500 MB/s. In terms of write speed that equals a 30 percent improvement over the previous 960 generation.

Samsung has achieved this by implementing its latest V-NAND technology and an upgraded Phoenix controller. Additionally, the 970 EVO Samsung's TurboWrite technology uses a buffer of up to 78GB to enable even faster write speeds.

That said, the new models aren't only fast, Samsung also claims they are very reliable. Samsung's Dynamic Thermal Guard technology protects the drives against overheating through temperature monitoring, and a heat spreader and new nickel-coating on the controller lower temperatures further. Samsung's warranty covers a 5 year period or up to 1,200 terabytes written.

The 970 EVO will be available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB sizes, the 970 PRO with capacities of 512GB and 1TB. Both drives will be available worldwide starting May 7th, 2018. The Pro model starts at $330, while the smallest EVO drive will set you back $120.

More information, including full specs, is available on the Samsung Electronics website.

Press Release

Samsung Electronics Sets New Performance Standards for NVMe SSDs with 970 PRO and EVO

New 970 series enables high-performance computing through enhanced speed, exceptional endurance and system design flexibility

Samsung Electronics, today introduced the Samsung 970 PRO and EVO, the third generation of its industry-leading consumer solid state drive (SSD) lineup. Having led the market with the first consumer-focused NVMe SSD in 2015, Samsung continues to push the performance barriers with this latest generation of SSDs that are built for tech enthusiasts and professionals so that they can enjoy higher bandwidth for intensive workloads on PCs and workstations.

“Samsung has led the NVMe SSD industry since its inception, and the company continues to define the latest standards of consumer storage with unprecedented performance of the 970 PRO and EVO SSDs,” said Un-Soo Kim, senior vice president of Brand Product Marketing, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. “The 970 series sets a new bar in all aspects for the NVMe SSD market with groundbreaking performance, superior reliability and best-in-class capacity.”

The Samsung 970 PRO and EVO are designed based on the M.2 form factor standard and with the latest PCIe Gen 3×4 lane interface. The 970 series maximizes the potential of NVMe bandwidth, delivering unparalleled performance for processing large volumes of data, including 3D, 4K graphics work, high-end games and data analytics.

The 970 PRO enables sequential read speed of up to 3,500 MB/s and sequential write speed of up to 2,700 MB/s1, while the EVO features sequential read speed of up to 3,500 MB/s and sequential write speed of up to 2,500 MB/s2. The sequential write speeds represent an enhancement of up to 30 percent over the previous generation3, thanks to Samsung’s latest V-NAND technology and the newly designed Phoenix controller. The 970 EVO, in particular, utilizes the Intelligent TurboWrite technology, which uses a large buffer size of up to 78GB4 to enable faster write speeds.

In addition to the advancements in performance levels, the 970 PRO and EVO deliver exceptional endurance and reliability. Featuring a five-year warranty5, or up to 1,200 terabytes written6 – 50 percent higher than those provided for the previous generation7 – the 970 PRO and EVO are built to last. The Dynamic Thermal Guard technology safeguards against overheating by automatically monitoring and maintaining optimal operating temperatures, while a heat spreader and new nickel-coated controller further lower the SSD temperatures.

The 970 PRO and EVO also provide greater system design flexibility for the high-performance computing systems. Offering a variety of high capacity options in a compact M.2 form factor – including the single-sided 2TB EVO model – the 970 series enables convenient storage expansion across a wide range of computing devices.

The 970 EVO will be offered in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB8 capacities, and the 970 PRO in 512GB and 1TB capacities. The 970 PRO and EVO will be available for purchase worldwide starting May 7, 2018, with manufacturer’s suggested retail prices starting at $329.99 and $119.99 USD, respectively. For more information, including warranty details, please visit www.samsung.com/SSD, www.samsungssd.com.

1 970 PRO and EVO performance may vary based on SSD’s firmware version, system hardware and configuration. Performance measurements based on IOmeter 1.1.0. *Test system configuration: Intel Core i7-7700K CPU @4.2GHz, DDR4 2400MHz 32GB, OS-Windows 10 Built 10240, Chipset–ASUS PRIME Z270-A. 2 Performance may vary based on SSD’s firmware version, system hardware and configuration. Performance measurements based on IOmeter 1.1.0.
Write performance measurements are based on Intelligent TurboWrite technology.
The sequential write performances after TurboWrite region are: 300 MB/s(250GB), 600 MB/s(500GB), 1,200 MB/s(1TB) and 1,250 MB/s(2TB).
The random write performances after TurboWrite region are: 80,000 IOPS(250GB), 160,000 IOPS(500GB) and 300,000 IOPS(1TB/2TB).
* Test system configuration: Intel Core i7-7700K CPU @4.2GHz, DDR4 2400MHz 32GB, OS-Windows 10 Built 10240, Chipset–ASUS PRIME Z270-A. 3 Up to 29% and 32% in sequential write speeds, respectively, have increased when compared to Samsung 960 PRO and EVO. 4 970 EVO Intelligent TurboWrite buffer size varies based on the capacity of the SSD: 13GB for 250GB model, 22GB for 500GB model, 42GB for 1TB model and 78GB for 2TB model. For more information on the TurboWrite, please visit www.samsungssd.com. 5 Five years or TBW, whichever comes first. For more information on the warranty, please find the enclosed warranty document in the package. 6 Warrantied TBW(Total byte written) for 970 PRO: 600TB for 512GB model, 1,200TB for 1TB model; Warrantied TBW(Total byte written) for 970 EVO: 150TB for 250GB model, 300TB for 500GB model, 600TB for 1TB model, 1,200TB for 2TB. 7 50% increase when compared to Samsung 960 PRO and EVO. 8 1GB=1,000,000,000 bytes by IDEMA. A certain portion of capacity may be used for system file and maintenance use, so the actual capacity may differ from what is indicated on the product label.
Categories: Photo News

A photographer has designed and built the first E-Mount film camera

DP Review Latest news - 5 hours 31 min ago

Photographer Alexander Gee has created something pretty cool: the first (to our knowledge) Sony E-Mount 35mm film camera. It's called LEX, and when it's finally finished, Gee intends to make the camera's design files open source so that anybody with a little bit of interest, soldering skill, and access to a 3D printer can built their own from scratch.

The LEX is the result of more than a year of design work, 3D printing, and trial & error, which Gee actually documented on the LEX Optical website. Development began around the shutter mechanism from a Sony a7, and continued from there until he had achieved a working prototype that has been improved upon and tidied up to create the version you see below:

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The current prototype isn't quite as pretty as the mockups, but it's not far off either. And more importantly: it works. There are already sample photos posted on the LEX Optical website and more (we assume) to come as development continues. The website doesn't offer any specific timetable, but Gee does say that he might crowdfund "a small batch of devices before opening the design files up."

To see sample images, keep an eye on the project's status, or jump onboard if and when Gee crowdfunds that batch of pre-built LEX cameras mentioned above, head over to the LEX Optical website or follow the project on Facebook and Instagram.

Categories: Photo News

Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - 5 hours 54 min ago
The company's new over-ear Bluetooth headphone costs $100 and has a lightweight, comfortable-looking design.
Categories: Photo News

Researchers develop low-power HD streaming tech for wearable cameras

DP Review Latest news - 6 hours 14 min ago
Dennis Wise/University of Washington

Wearable cameras, such as the type found in Snap Spectacles, are often limited to low-resolution video streaming due to their tiny batteries and small size. But now, researchers with the University of Washington in Seattle have developed a solution to that problem, one that involves offloading the processing burden to a nearby smartphone in order to stream high-definition content from the wearable camera.

The new low-power HD video streaming method utilizes backscatter technology and works by transmitting pixel intensity values via an antenna directly to the user's smartphone. Unlike the wearable camera, which by its nature is small and lightweight with limited hardware resources, a smartphone offers way more processing power and a much larger battery.

When used as part of this new system, the phone receives the pixel information from the wearable camera, then processes it into a high-definition video for streaming. The prototype system was tested using a 720p HD YouTube video, which was successfully fed into the backscatter system and streamed at 10fps to a smartphone located 14ft / 4.2m away.

The wearable camera features only a small battery and uses between 1,000 and 10,000 times less power than existing streaming methods; however, the researchers plan to go a step further and develop a battery-free camera system with potential applications outside of smart glasses and body cameras.

Security systems, for example, could benefit from this technology, which would eliminate the need to either plug the cameras into a power source or frequently recharge internal batteries. Instead, the video data would be transmitted via antennas from the cameras to a central processing unit connected to a large battery or wired powered source.

As study co-author Joshua Smith explained:

Just imagine you go to a football game five years from now. There could be tiny HD cameras everywhere recording the action: stuck on players’ helmets, everywhere across the stadium. And you don’t have to ever worry about changing their batteries.

If the idea of "tiny cameras everywhere" also sounds mildly disturbing and like a privacy nightmare to you, you're not alone... but we digress.

The full paper detailing this technology is available here.

Categories: Photo News

Nikon prepares investors as $94M wiped off value of its measuring business

DP Review Latest news - 6 hours 32 min ago

Nikon Corporation has warned investors that an assessment of its metrology business based in Belgium is worth much less than originally thought, and that they should brace themselves for an extraordinary loss of 10,343 million yen (~$94M USD). Nikon Metrology NV is a subsidiary of Nikon Corp, and concentrates on measuring and inspection equipment, including microscopes and laser scanners.

In a statement released yesterday, the company said that after a review of the cash flow of the subsidiary as part of the company-wide restructuring plan, it was discovered that the value of the company’s investment in Nikon Metrology NV has ‘declined’—though the statement doesn’t specify by how much. It does say, however, that 10,343 million yen of the decline would be recorded as an "extraordinary loss" on the company accounts for the year ending March 2018.

There's no suggestion that these losses will have a direct impact on the company's imaging business, which is a separate subsidiary, but it can't be helpful to the corporation as a whole.

Press Release

The Announcement of Recognition of Extraordinary Loss in Separate Financial Statements

Nikon Corporation (hereafter referred to as “the Company”) expects to recognize a loss on valuation of the investments in subsidiaries as an extraordinary loss in its separate financial statements, which are prepared in accordance with Japanese GAAP, for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 as follows;

1. Contents of the Extraordinary Losses

As a part of the restructuring plan, the Company has strategically reviewed its
product portfolio to strengthen business efficiency through management decisions such as the business transfer of CMM business* in Nikon Metrology NV (hereafter referred to as “NMNV”), its subsidiary located in Belgium.

As a result of reviewing NMNV’s future cash flow in the aforementioned process, the fair value of the investment in NMNV has declined, and 10,343 million yen of the loss on valuation of the investment in subsidiaries is expected to be recorded as an extraordinary loss based on Japanese GAAP.

*CMM Business: Development, manufacture, sales, and service of Coordinate Measuring Machines 2

Impact on Consolidated Performance

The valuation loss is expected to be reflected as an extraordinary loss in the Company’s separate financial statements under Japanese GAAP.

There is no impact on the consolidated performance, as the loss on valuation of the investment in subsidiaries is eliminated on the consolidated accounts.

Categories: Photo News

Behind the scenes of Himalaya Bound: Images of nomads in north India

DP Review Latest news - 7 hours 40 min ago
17-year-old Mariam leads her family’s caravan through the foothills of the Himalayas, while carrying her 2-year-old niece in the blue plaid shawl over her shoulders.

The forests and mountains of north India are home to a unique nomadic tribe whose world revolves around caring for the water buffaloes that they herd. During the fall and winter months, the Van Gujjars dwell in the lowland jungles of the Shivalik Hills, where thick foliage provides plenty of fodder for their animals at that time of year. But by mid-April, as temperatures there soar above 110 degrees, the leaves and grasses wither and die and creeks and streams run dry. With nothing left for their buffaloes to eat or drink, the Van Gujjars must move elsewhere.

Entire families, from infants to the elderly, trek with their herds up into the Himalayas, where melting snows reveal lush alpine meadows laced by gurgling streams, which provide abundant grass and water throughout the summer. When the cold sets in at the end of September, they head back down to the Shivaliks, where the jungle has sprung back to life following the monsoon rains. The tribe has followed this cycle of seasonal migration—up in summer, down in winter, perpetually living in the wilderness and shunning settled village life—for over 1,500 years.

My most recent book, Himalaya Bound: One Family’s Quest to Save Their Animals – And an Ancient Way of Life, which was published by Pegasus Books earlier this year, follows one extended Van Gujjar family on their spring migration into the mountains. In this article, I’ll delve into the story behind the images that are featured in the book’s photo insert, which is sandwiched between 230 pages of text.

Who Am I?

I’m a freelance photographer and writer for magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times. I’m also the author of three books.

I often find myself drawn to stories about nomadic communities around the world—for my first book, Men Of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold, I traveled 1,000 miles over age-old trade routes north of Timbuktu with one of the last working camel caravans on Earth. I’ve spent time with nomadic / transhumant people in Africa, the Middle East, a number of states in India, as well as Mongolia and the Southwestern U.S.

Before taking on the project that became Himalaya Bound, I had dreamed of migrating with a tribe—partly to document what is becoming an increasingly rare way of life, and partly because I imagined it would be an amazing thing to experience.

The Van Gujjars’ livelihoods are based almost entirely on the sale of buffalo milk Planning

No, I did not fly over to India, wander into the jungle, and start randomly knocking on huts asking Van Gujjars if I could migrate with them. As the idea for this project began to crystallize in my mind, it seemed wise to investigate how realistic it was to pursue before channeling too much time, money, and energy in its direction.

My first step was emailing the director of the Society for the Preservation of Himalayan Indigenous Activities (SOPHIA)—a small non-profit organization based in Dehradun, India, that advocates for the tribe—asking if he thought it would be possible for me to travel with a nomadic family and document their migration from beginning to end. He replied that he would check in with a few Van Gujjars to see if they were open to the idea. As it turned out, they were; since they were being pressured by the government to abandon their way of life against their will, they thought it might be helpful if someone would share their story with the rest of the world. SOPHIA also connected me with a translator who was willing to join me for most of the journey.

Gear

My choice of camera gear was determined by three factors: weight, budget, and year. The year was 2009 and I had to watch what I spent. But my main consideration was the fact that I was embarking on an assignment during which I would be trekking for over a month, from the lowlands into the Himalayas, while hauling everything I needed on my back—including a sleeping bag, clothing appropriate for temperatures ranging from over 110 degrees to below freezing, a first aid kit, and more. Thus, my goal was to make the most out of as little camera gear as I could carry and still get satisfying images.

I ended up taking a Nikon D90 (remember the year) with a few Nikon lenses: an 18-70mm zoom, plus 50mm F1.4 and 35mm F1.8 primes. I kept my old Nikon D70 in the bottom of my bag as a backup in case the D90 failed (it never did), and I brought along a low-quality but very lightweight tripod. Knowing that I might spend days or weeks without an electrical outlet, I also carried a bunch of batteries.

The prime lenses proved to be crucial: many days, we hit the trail by 3am, aiming to arrive at our next camp as early in the morning as possible. This meant that my best shooting opportunities on the trail were often during the liminal hours in weak light around the break of dawn. With the caravan marching forward, I had to get shutter speeds fast enough to stop motion, and the only way to do that was with wide apertures—often shooting at F2. Carrying my fully loaded backpack, I would run ahead of the family, pause, turn, shoot, and repeat, as they quickly caught up to me.

Hamju carries his nephew, Karim Goku carries her brother, Yasin, while following the Yamuna River into the Himalayas. Getting the Images

The most important element in the series of images I returned with was the time I spent deep in the Van Gujjars’ world. I lived with them for forty-four days: walking with them, herding buffaloes with them, swimming in rivers with them, joking around with them, helping with daily chores, and sleeping under their tents. I formed real relationships with my companions, which I think accounts for how natural they appear and how clearly their personalities are communicated through the images.

I never set up shots or posed anyone—I either snapped away while they were doing whatever they happened to be doing or, for true portraits, they presented themselves however they liked.

The heads of four Van Gujjar families discuss their strategy for moving higher into the Himalayas, after the government has threatened to ban them from their ancestral alpine meadows, where they have gone each summer for generations, because those meadows are now within a national park. They scrambled to find a different place to spend the summer. Jamila cooks lunch on the trail, with her 2-year-old son Yasin on her lap. Mustooq and his little cousins, Bashi and Salma, asked for their picture to be taken. Dhumman, the father of the family I traveled with, wanted a photo with his favorite buffalo.

Of course, the time I spent immersed with the tribe also allowed me to witness—and shoot—the scenarios that were essential to telling their story, as they happened.

One part of the Van Gujjars’ culture that I needed to capture was the deeply personal connection that they have with their water buffaloes. They think of their large horned animals as family members, and readily sacrifice their own comfort for their herds. If a buffalo falls ill, Van Gujjars become wracked with concern; if one dies, they mourn for it as though it were human. They never eat their buffaloes nor sell them for slaughter, using them only for the milk that they produce. (Though they are Muslim, Van Gujjars are also traditionally vegetarian, averse to the idea of killing animals.)

In order to get photos that convey this relationship in a way that was organic and authentic and not staged, I had to be there during those moments when that kind of closeness was demonstrated, and my companions had to be comfortable enough with me around so the fact that a foreigner with a camera was taking pictures didn’t alter the moment for them.

Goku pets one of her family’s buffaloes, at about 10,500’ above sea level. Sharafat dries off after a swim in the Yamuna River, trusting a buffalo enough to use it as a lounge chair. Karim gets his milk straight from the source. Bashi watches the herd at a camp in the mountains.

In the course of documenting the migration, unexpected issues arose. While covering the human rights aspect of the story, I learned that the government was threatening to ban a number of Van Gujjar families—including the one that I was traveling with—from their ancestral alpine meadows, where they had spent summers for many generations. Those meadows had been absorbed into a national park, and park authorities didn’t want the nomads using them any longer. The Forest Department announced that any Van Gujjars who entered the park would be arrested and have their herds seized—while refusing to offer them any alternative pastures.

This left these families deeply shaken, facing dire circumstances, because they had no idea where they would take their buffaloes for the season. Hence, when the father of the family I was with joined about 80 of his fellow tribespeople at Forest Department headquarters in Dehradun (about two hours by bus from where we were camped) to plead with park officials to let them go to their traditional pastures, I went to take pictures.

Though I did nothing more than photograph what was a very peaceful scene, the park director had me arrested for being a “foreign political agitator,” and when I objected I was forced into a police car at gunpoint. Fortunately, no one thought to demand my memory cards, and the captain at the police station released me relatively quickly, realizing that the charge was absurd. What could have been a nightmare turned into a gift: by the time I rejoined the Van Gujjars that night, word about the incident had spread among the tribe, so even people I hadn’t yet met trusted me by my reputation, knowing that I had been pushed around by the same person who was pushing them around.

Weeks later, another episode posed a photographic dilemma for me. While camped at about 10,000 feet above sea level, a cataclysmic Himalayan storm struck, during which a tree washed over a cliff and landed on several young buffaloes, crushing one’s front left leg. A broken bone stuck out of the yearling’s flesh and the hoof below it flopped around like it was attached by a rubber band. It was bad, really bad, and because of how close they feel to their animals, everyone in the family was devastated—even the men were weeping.

Watching this unfold, part of me was aching to take pictures of this scene. But another part of me felt that in this moment of raw anguish, it could be the wrong thing to do: that the snapping of a shutter could create a self-consciousness that would inhibit my companions’ experience and their expressions of suffering and vulnerability.

Bashi comforts the yearling with the broken leg

I vividly remember a photograph that once appeared on the front page of a major American newspaper, probably twenty years ago or so: it was taken at a funeral, I believe in England, after some horrible tragedy. I don’t recall the specific circumstances—what stood out to me was that one of the graveside mourners depicted in the image was looking at the camera dead-on, and using her fully extended middle finger either to wipe a tear, or to convey a not-so-subtle message to the photographer. It was hard not to imagine it was the latter.

I think it matters how taking someone’s picture makes them feel, and I try to weigh how important it is to get any one image if the taking of that image might be hurtful or disrespectful in some way. There are an array of factors to consider in what can be a split-second decision, but I do think it’s worth questioning how many photos the world needs of grieving people in tears. Surely we need some, but how often do those photos serve a larger purpose—such as provoking outcry against genocide or bringing aid to famine victims or filling in a crucial piece of an important story—and how often might those images be, say, a photojournalistic cliché?

In the particular dilemma that I faced, I decided the world’s need for photos of this family in their moment of distress was outweighed by what I perceived to be the family’s need to freely express their feelings without a camera clicking around them. I felt as though shooting right then would have been greedy—as though I would have been willing to make people I cared about feel uncomfortable so I could return with a photo of their suffering. I kept my lens cap on until a semblance of composure returned, hoping that perhaps there is some kind of photographer’s karma, which would reward me with even better shooting opportunities for letting this one pass by.

I don’t claim any moral high ground for making that choice. It was simply the right choice for me, in that moment. I’ve talked to a number of photographers who adamantly disagree with my decision, and I understand and respect their opinions even if I don’t share them. Of course, since I’m a writer as well as a photographer, I knew that I could always write about the scene later, creating a deeply moving image with words, thus telling the story without disturbing the moment as it was happening. And a couple of days later, I felt like I did receive a bit of the photographic-karmic reward I’d hoped for.

The family decided to save the yearling, splinting its leg and carrying it up and over a 3000-foot-tall Himalayan pass to the meadow where they would spend the summer. This was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen. And they did it not because the animal was worth much money, but because they love their buffaloes and would never leave one behind if there was any chance of saving it. After the Migration

I’ve been back to visit the family I traveled with a few times over the years since the migration. Once, I was lucky enough to catch them on their way back down from the Himalayas, and was able to join them for a few days on the road.

Though I had given them many prints of the pictures I took, it wasn’t until 2016 that any Van Gujjars got a real taste of what I was doing with this story. That year, a set of my photos from the migration was exhibited in New Delhi at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, and I gave a slide show at the opening. A few people from the tribe had been invited to attend, and though none of my companions were able to come, some of their cousins did.

The presentation was translated into Hindi as I gave it, and afterwards one of the Van Gujjars asked for the microphone and told the audience, “This is our life!” saying he was very happy that their story was being told. It was the most satisfying form of validation that my work on this project could have received.

Michael Benanav writes and shoots for The New York Times, Sierra, Geographical, The Christian Science Monitor Magazine, Lonely Planet, and other publications. His photographs have been used by international non-profit organizations and featured in National Geographic Books, on CBS’ 60 Minutes, at Lincoln Center in New York, and in exhibition at the Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts in New Delhi.

To see more of his work, visit www.michaelbenanav.com. To see more about his new book, Himalaya Bound: One Family’s Quest to Save Their Animals – And an Ancient Way of Life, visit www.himalayabound.com.

Categories: Photo News

Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition (2017) review - CNET

CNET Reviews - 9 hours 40 min ago
The 7-inch version of Amazon's kids tablet has the great software and warranty features of the 8-inch version, but falls behind in speed, screen and sound.
Categories: Photo News

2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 Release Date, Price and Specs - Roadshow

CNET Reviews - 11 hours 40 min ago
With cool style and easy-to-ride dynamics, Sweden's latest entry-level bikes are perfect for folks looking to make the transition to two wheels.
Categories: Photo News

NVIDIA's content-aware fill uses deep learning to produce incredible results

DP Review Latest news - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 15:47

Adobe Photoshop’s Content-Aware Fill is the current industry standard when it comes to removing unwanted artifacts and distracting objects, but that might not always be the case. Because while Adobe is currently working on an advanced deep learning-based "Deep Fill" feature, NVIDIA just demonstrated its own AI-powered spot healing tool, and the results are pretty incredible.

As you can see from the two-minute demonstration above, the prototype tool can handle both basic tasks, like removing a wire from a scene, as well as more complicated tasks, such as reconstructing books and shelves inside an intricate library scene.

The secret behind this tool is NVIDIA’s "state-of-the-art deep learning method" that the tool is built on. Not only does the tool use pixels from within the image to reconstruct an area—it actually analyzes the scene and figures out what it should look like when it’s finished. This helps to create a much more accurate and realistic result, even when the original image is an absolute disaster.

The best examples of this can be seen in a paper NVIDIA team members published titled ‘Image Inpainting for Irregular Holes Using Partial Convolutions.’ As seen in the comparison images below, NVIDIA’s tool blows Photoshop out of the water when reconstructing portraits where much or most of the face is removed.

From left to right: the corrupted image, Adobe's Content-Aware results, NVIDIA's results and the actual image.

In the discussion section (section 5.1) of the aforementioned paper, NVIDIA says its "model can robustly handle holes of any shape, size location, or distance from the image borders. Further, our performance does not deteriorate catastrophically as holes increase in size."

NVIDIA does note, however, that "one limitation of our method is that it fails for some sparsely structured images such as the bars on the door," as seen in the image comparison below.

From left to right: the corrupted image, NVIDIA's results and the original image.

Current shortcomings aside, this particular tool—prototype or otherwise—appears to be leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else that's currently on the market. Unsurprisingly, there’s no word on when, or if, we’ll ever see this hit the market, let alone in the consumer market, but we'll keep our fingers and toes crossed.

Categories: Photo News

This hacked Polaroid camera prints your photos onto thermal paper

DP Review Latest news - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 11:26

If you enjoy DIY projects and don’t mind diving deep into programming, soldering, and otherwise hacking apart old cameras, this weekend project is right up your alley. Meet the thermal paper Polaroid.

Created by tinkerer Mitxela, this Frankenstein of a camera takes the shell of a Polaroid Sonar Autofocus 5000 and crams a webcam, thermal printer and Raspberry Pi Zero computer inside. The result is a digital instant camera that immediately prints your photographs onto thermal paper—the type of paper receipts are printed on.

The project isn’t for the faint of heart. It involves a good bit of cutting, soldering, wiring and programming, as meticulously detailed in Mitxela’s step-by-step guide on how he built the thing. The entire process was filled with a healthy bit of trial and error, but when all was said and done, it worked. And not barely worked... flawlessly worked, as though that’s how the Polaroid camera was designed to operate all along.

As explained in the above video, the camera uses a three-dollar webcam as the eye, catching the scene through the lens of the Polaroid. When the shutter of the Polaroid is pressed, a screenshot from the webcam is captured and processed by the Raspberry Pi Zero before being sent off to the thermal printer. As it prints, the paper is fed through the same area a normal Polaroid print would be expelled from.

The amount of work that went into the project is evident in how clean the camera looks even after all of the hacking, soldering and glueing. From the outside, the camera still looks almost identical to how it did when Mitxela started. Everything is packed inside the frame of the original Polaroid Sonar—it can even be booted up externally through the clever positioning of the serial port. which is hidden beneath where flash bars are placed when shooting with instant film.

To see the entire process and dozens of photos from throughout the building process, head on over to Mitxela’s site and check it out. And if you’re brave enough to take on this project yourself, be sure to share your results with us.

Categories: Photo News

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Release Date, Price and Specs - Roadshow

CNET Reviews - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 11:05
Chevrolet's 755-horsepower super Corvette can be everything to everyone.
Categories: Photo News

Meizu unveils the 15 Plus smartphone with stabilized tele-camera

DP Review Latest news - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 09:34

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Meizu has launched a new high-end model, the Meizu 15 Plus. And based on specs alone, the 15 Plus could be well-worth a closer look for mobile photographers who are open to the idea of buying from a less established brand.

In the camera department, a 12MP 1/2.3" main sensor is combined with a 20MP secondary camera that features a 2x zoom factor. On the main camera, light is captured through a F1.8 lens while the tele-lens has to make do with a slower F2.8 aperture. Both lenses are equipped with optical image stabilization, though.

As with most similar systems, the optical zoom is enhanced with computational methods and Meizu promises a 3x "lossless" zoom, and the cameras features multi-frame noise reduction and HDR as well. To view and edit those images, the phone is equipped with a 5.95-inch AMOLED screen with QHD resolution and a notch-less 16:9 aspect ratio.

In the processing department, the Meizu deploys the Exynos 8895 chipset from last year’s Samsung flagship models, and users can choose between 64 or 128GB storage—unfortunately, there is no expansion slot. All components are housed in a body made of a stainless steel aluminum composite material.

The Meizu 15 Plus costs CNY 3,000 (approximately US$475) for the 64GB version and CNY 3,300 (approximately US$525) for the 128GB model. This sounds like a very decent deal for a tele-camera equipped device with high-end specs, but unfortunately, no pricing information for outside China has been provided as of yet.

Categories: Photo News

Demo: How to edit professional beauty images with GIMP on Linux

DP Review Latest news - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 09:24

Though Photoshop remains the most recognizable image editing application out there, open-source alternative GIMP is still around, still free, and still receiving updates. In this video tutorial, photographer Shane Milton spends around 25 minutes demonstrating how to use the software to apply a pro-level beauty edit to an agency's model image.

If you want to go fully open source for your photo editing, Milton is a great resource. His YouTube library offers numerous other videos on GIMP and free Lightroom alternative Darktable. In this particular video, Milton uses a Wacom Intuos Pro Small tablet with GIMP 2.9 running on Linux. He previously demonstrated optimizations that users could make to this version of GIMP, as well as setting up the Wacom tablet for use with Linux.

GIMP can be downloaded at this link for Windows, macOS, Linux, BSD, and Solaris.

Categories: Photo News

Free Insta360 Pro extension allows 'no-stitch' editing in Adobe Premiere Pro

DP Review Latest news - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 08:32

360-degree camera maker Insta360 has worked with Adobe to integrate the post-production workflow for its six-lens professional camera Insta360 Pro into the Adobe Premiere Pro CC video editing package, covering every part of the process from stitching to editing. The feature will be available as a free extension to users of Premiere Pro CC 2017 and later, and will be released during this quarter.

With the Insta360 extension installed, users will be able to directly import Insta360 Pro footage into Adobe Premiere Pro CC. Content can be edited before stitching, which is achieved by means of a lower-resolution proxy version of the original footage.

This not only allows for reductions in stitching time, it also means less computer power is required during editing and the original footage is only compressed once, during the final export.

“A major part of growing the 360° video industry is simplifying post-production, so that pros can use the skills they already have to explore a new medium,” said Sue Skidmore, head of partner relations for professional video at Adobe. “We’re thrilled that Adobe’s flagship video software is now ready to stitch, edit and polish content captured by the industry-leading Insta360 Pro."

When working with the proxy version, users can trim the footage and apply any type of edit. Then, during export, all edits made to the proxy version are applied to the original full-quality footage, and the latter is stitched using Insta360’s algorithm.

Integration with an industry-standard editing package, such as Adobe Premiere, is big step forward for Insta360 and a clear sign that 360-degree imaging is here to stay. Let's see if other manufacturers will follow suit.

Press Release

Insta360 Collaborates with Adobe to Simplify 360° Video Production in Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Los Angeles, April 23, 2018 — Working in close cooperation with Adobe, Insta360 has developed a new integration for Adobe® Premiere® Pro CC video editing software, part of Adobe Creative Cloud®. The integration allows users of Insta360’s six-lens professional camera, the Insta360 Pro, to complete every part of their 360° video post-production workflow — from stitching to editing — in Premiere Pro.

“A major part of growing the 360° video industry is simplifying post-production, so that pros can use the skills they already have to explore a new medium,” said Sue Skidmore, head of partner relations for professional video at Adobe. “We’re thrilled that Adobe’s flagship video software is now ready to stitch, edit and polish content captured by the industry-leading Insta360 Pro.”

The free extension will be released during this quarter to users of Premiere Pro CC 2017 and later.

Introducing “No-Stitch” Editing

Once users install the new Insta360 extension for Premiere Pro, they can directly import Insta360 Pro content into Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

The extension allows users to start editing before ever stitching their original footage, drastically cutting down stitching time at the outset of a project. To accomplish this, it generates a proxy version of the full-quality footage — a quick-stitched, lower-resolution substitute.

Working with a proxy version instead of the original footage offers some key advantages:

  • Stitching time at the start of a project is greatly reduced — down to just what’s necessary to generate the proxy video.
  • The software can perform smoothly during editing — without the processor-dragging challenge of navigating and displaying an 8K video file.
  • The video is only compressed a single time, during final export, ensuring maximum image quality. In a traditional workflow, there would be two compressions — one during initial stitching and one during final export.
  • Users can cut down the proxy version to exactly the parts that are necessary for their project. In the end, only the footage that’s used is stitched, avoiding any wasted time spent stitching footage that doesn’t make the final cut.

Once the proxy video has been generated, creators can trim it and apply any edits as they normally would in Premiere Pro.

The last step is to export the video. During export, all changes made to the proxy version will be applied 1-to-1 to a full-quality version, and the footage involved will be stitched using Insta360’s optimized algorithm.

The upshot is that creators maximize their time, minimize compression, and lump in stitching with the final export, after all of their work is done.

Learn more about the Insta360 Pro at Insta360.com.

Categories: Photo News

DxO Labs begins bankruptcy process in France, says customers 'will not be affected'

DP Review Latest news - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 08:14

According to reports and customer emails currently circulating online, DxO Labs has filed the initial proceedings to start the bankruptcy process in France, where the company is headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt.

While it’s possible the company could be dissolved and liquidated, legal documents and emails to customers confirm the company has been placed under ‘judicial administration.’ This effectively means DxO Labs will have the opportunity to restructure and look for potential buyers before resorting to liquidation.

French newspaper Le Figaro Économie published the details of the announcement as seen below—translated from French to English via Google Translate:

In a follow-up email from DxO Labs received by a reader in the Canon Rumors forum, a spokesperson confirms the news, but seems optimistic DxO Labs customers won't see any impact from the proceedings:

Hello sir,

In fact, the company has recently been placed under a regime of judicial administration, the time to reorganize.

Although we cannot comment on this situation, we can nevertheless assure you that the company is absolutely not in liquidation and that we are confident that our customers will not be affected by this procedure.

Best regards,

This news comes just a few months after it was announced that DxOMark would part ways with DxO Labs, becoming a privately-owned company. It’s also been less than a year since DxO Labs announced it was buying the Nik Collection suite from Google, saying it had intended to continue development.

DxO Labs is the business that built the DxO ONE smartphone camera attachment and develops post-production programs DxO PhotoLab, ViewPoint and FilmPack. DxOMark Image Labs, on the other hand, is the side that handles the testing and measurement of cameras and lenses.

We have reached out to DxO Labs for comment and will update the article if and when we hear back.

Categories: Photo News

Sony a7 III Review

DP Review Latest news - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 06:57

Read our overall conclusion

Despite its billing as a 'basic' model, the Sony a7 III is a supremely capable full frame camera. Though it doesn't have the most megapixels or shoot the fastest bursts, its well-judged mix of resolution, speed, features and price point make it an easy recommendation for all kinds of photographers and all kinds of photography.

Key Features:
  • 24MP full frame BSI CMOS sensor
  • 93% autofocus coverage (693 phase detection points, 425 for contrast detection)
  • Oversampled 4K/24p video taken from full width 6K (cropped-in 5K for 30p)
  • In-body image stabilization
  • 10 fps continuous shooting
  • 2.36m dot OLED viewfinder, 0.78x magnification
  • AF joystick
  • Touchscreen
  • Larger, 'Z-type' battery (CIPA rated to 710 shots)
  • Dual SD memory card slots
  • USB 3.1 Type C

Compared to its predecessor, the Sony a7 III has been updated in almost every way; when compared to other similarly priced full frame options, the a7 III looks to be a cut above in many respects. For generalist photographers, wedding and event shooters and even sports specialists, the a7 III gets an awful lot of things just right. But as with previous Sony mirrorless full-frame cameras, there are some foibles that persist with this new model.

We've now spent dozens of hours shooting the a7 III in our studio and out in the real world - read on to see how it performs.

What's new and how it compares

Take a look at the key spec differences between the Sony a7 III and its predecessor and how it compares to existing models from other companies.

Read more

Body and design

Most of Sony's (positive) ergo changes in other recent cameras have found their way to the a7 III, but there's been some cost-cutting along the way.

Read more

What's it like to use

We've gone beyond the spec sheet to discuss how the Sony a7 III performs in a wide variety of situations, from landscapes to weddings.

Read more

Image Quality

From our lab and real-world testing, we've found the Sony a7 III is capable of excellent image quality - with one or two exceptions.

Read more

Autofocus

The autofocus system in the Sony a7 III is lifted from the company's advanced a9 pro sports model, and in short, it rocks.

Read more

Video

Despite its relatively affordable price point, the Sony a7 III is one of Sony's most capable interchangeable lens cameras for video to date.

Read more

Review Publication History March 13 Studio comparison scene published April 23 Review finalized
Categories: Photo News

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