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LaCie unveils DJI Copilot 2TB portable hard drive with built-in display

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:35

Seagate has just announced the LaCie DJI Copilot, a portable hard drive for photographers and videographers who use camera drones. The device features a 2TB drive, as well as an integrated screen for viewing the drive's available capacity, the status of any data transfers that are underway, and how much power remains on the device's built-in battery.

The company describes the new LaCie drive as a full backup on-set solution (BOSS) that enables drone users to review their footage without carrying around a laptop. This is achieved via the Copilot BOSS companion app for smartphones and tablets, which supports full-resolution playback on mobile devices and enables users to organize and manage their content on-the-go.

The LaCie DJI Copilot also functions as a power bank for charging USB devices, such as a smartphone or action camera.

According to Seagate, the 2TB capacity is ample enough to store up to 65 hours of 4K/30fps footage and 20,000 or more raw images. Users can directly copy data from USB storage devices (including USB-C), cameras, SD cards, and drones to the drive. Other features include durable construction that is resistant to dust, splashes, and drops, an included 3 year 'Rescue Data Recovery' plan, and a 1-month Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps subscription.

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Seagate will start shipping the LaCie DJI Copilot portable storage drive this Spring for $350 USD. To learn more, head over to the LaCie website by clicking here.

Press Release

Seagate Teams Up With Industry-Leading Partners To Offer New Mobile Data Storage Solutions At CES 2018

Enables consumers and creative professionals to work, play and collaborate on-the-go, to get the best out of their data

LAS VEGAS, NV – CES 2018 – Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX), a world leader in data storage solutions, today announced a range of new products at the CES 2018 conference designed to equip the world’s increasingly mobile population with solutions that solve key challenges they face when creating, processing and accessing their data on-the-go.

“Our world is becoming more data-centric, connected and mobile. This means creating, transferring, storing and accessing data quickly and reliably is critical to unlocking the potential of everything – from data created in the field, to data powering self-driving cars, AI personal assistants or virtual and mixed reality experiences,” said Tim Bucher, senior vice president of Seagate consumer solutions. “At Seagate, we’re constantly pursuing innovative ways to address our customer needs so they can gain a competitive edge in whichever field they play.”

For example, videographers who want to capture footage in the field can now streamline their on-set workflow thanks to the second product offering from Seagate’s strategic partnership with DJI, the world’s leading manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles, which looks to advance data solutions for the UAV ecosystem. The new LaCie® DJI Copilot, with design by Neil Poulton, is a complete backup on-set solution – enabling drone users to quickly ingest and review their content in full resolution without a PC. This changes the game by allowing creative professionals and consumers to playback, copy and manage their drone footage from their mobile device without the hassle of leaving the field or booting up a computer. Users can quickly connect and reference the built-in screen to initiate direct file transfer from an SD card to LaCie DJI Copilot – without the need of a laptop or a mobile network. The Copilot BOSS (Back-up On-Set Solution) app by LaCie allows users to playback video in full resolution as well as manage and organize files with their mobile phone or tablet, and a built-in power bank recharges your mobile devices. With 2000GB (2TB) of storage, the LaCie DJI Copilot enables users to easily store up to 65 hours of 4K 30fps video footage and 20K+ RAW photos. The LaCie DJI Copilot’s street price in the U.S. will be $349 and will be shipping in the spring.

Another challenge facing many mobile users today is extending the storage and battery life of their smartphones so they can capture, access and view content for longer periods of time. For consumers in China and Indonesia – two countries with some of the highest concentrations of smartphones on the planet – owners of Android mobile devices can significantly extend the battery life and capacity of their smartphone or tablet with the new Seagate® Joy Drive. Whether consumers are on their morning commute or just out with friends, the Seagate Joy Drive enables them to access videos and other content anywhere, without the need for a WiFi connection or cellular service. Available first in China this March through an exclusive partnership with JingDong, one of China’s largest online retailers, the Seagate Joy Drive is available in 1000GB (1TB) capacity and has a street price in China of 660 CNY ($99). Seagate is also evaluating potential future markets and partners for this product.

In the meantime, on-the-go consumers worldwide can keep their files and lives in motion with the new Seagate® Fast SSD – an ultra-portable flash drive that teams fast performance of up to 540MB/s transfer rates, with shock-resistance and USB-C connectivity. Users can backup or sync their content using Seagate’s new Toolkit software. The Seagate Fast SSD is available in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities and has a street price in the U.S. of $99, $169 and $349, respectively and will be shipping in the spring.

Data security is one more growing concern for anyone using a mobile device. To address this challenge, Seagate is introducing the latest addition to its popular line of LaCie Rugged drives: the LaCie Rugged® Secure. Built to withstand all-terrain extreme conditions from photo shoots in sub-zero temperatures to repeated drops on hard studio floors, the Rugged Secure, with design by Neil Poulton, is the first Rugged drive to include hardware encryption using Seagate Secure™ technology. This new drive gives creative professionals and other users peace of mind that they can control access to their content. A simple disconnection of Rugged Secure from a computer will automatically lock the drive and access to the data stored and will remain password-protected via new Toolkit software. The LaCie Rugged Secure street price in the U.S. will be $139 for 2TB and will be shipping in the spring.

And for creative professionals and enthusiasts looking to try out the latest graphic design and video editing software from Adobe Systems, an expanded partnership between Adobe and Seagate now provides limited-time, no-cost access to Adobe’s latest applications bundled with popular Seagate and LaCie drives. Two new offerings available immediately include two complimentary months of the “Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan” (worth $19.98) – which features the new cloud-based photo service, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC – across the full range of Seagate Backup Plus and LaCie Porsche Design devices, as well as packaging one complimentary month of the “Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps plan” (worth $74.99) – which features Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC and much more – with all LaCie Rugged, LaCie d2 and LaCie big devices.

For more details, come ‘get your game on’ during CES 2018 in the Seagate Experience Zone at The Venetian. There you’ll find interactive product demos and live experiences that showcase how the latest Seagate and partner technologies are teaming up to unlock the potential of creative workflows, smart home technologies, gaming, edge computing and more. We’ll also be joined at CES by our partners including Adobe, Blackmagic, CyArk, DJI, Grab Games, ioSafe and Synology. You’ll be right in the middle of the action as you explore a hands-on studio for creative professionals, a drone stadium and a future technologies pavilion. You can also find more information on new products at:

DJI Copilot

https://www.lacie.com/professional/dji-copilot/

Rugged Secure

https://www.lacie.com/professional/rugged/#secure

Fast SSD

https://www.seagate.com/consumer/backup/fast-ssd/

Joy Drive

https://www.seagate.com/consumer/backup/joy-drive/

Categories: Photo News

Hasselblad reveals the winners of the 2018 Masters Awards

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 08:56
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Eleven lucky photographers will be receiving a Hasselblad medium format kit after winning their categories in the Hasselblad Masters Awards 2018 competition. The company says the number of photographers that entered the contest increased by 175% this year, and a total of 31,500 images were submitted.

Ten categories were set with a generally open brief, with an additional section for photographers 21 years and younger. For the first time an aerial category was included, which was won by Jorge de la Torriente, a photographer from the USA. The USA produced three winners—the most from any one country—with other entries coming from Europe, Asia and Australia.

Entries were accepted taken on any brand of camera, with the only stipulation being that entrants should have been professional photographers for at least three years (other than for the under-21 category, of course).

For more information, and to see all the winning images, scroll through the gallery above, check out the video below, or visit the Hasselblad website.

Press Release

Hasselblad Announces Winners of the Masters Awards 2018

Hasselblad Masters is widely acclaimed as one of the world’s most prestigious professional photography competitions. The winners are chosen through a combination of a public vote and a professional Masters Jury - comprised of internationally renowned photographers and imaging experts.

Every Hasselblad Masters award winner will hold the title of ‘Hasselblad Master’ and be a brand ambassador for two years. In addition, they will receive a brand new Hasselblad medium format camera and be invited to shoot for a collaborative project with Hasselblad.

This project will be printed and released in the bi-annual Hasselblad Masters book.
Winners will receive their awards, medium format cameras, and trophies at a special Photokina 2018 ceremony in Cologne, Germany this September.

Bronius Rudnickas, Hasselblad Marketing Manager: “Over 30 000 images were submitted to this year’s competition and that was a record, we are glad to see the competition is growing every year.”

Masters Jury member and professional photographer Tom Oldham said: “It really struck me how progressive many of the entries were this year and how far the entrants were willing to push the brief. These were the photographers who caught my eye - the ballsy, out-there risk-takers who make compelling pictures that refuse to be ignored. I’m proud to have helped to get this great kit into their hands – their images deserve it.”

The Hasselblad Masters Awards 2018 winners are:

  • Aerial - Jorge de la Torriente – Miami, USA
  • Architecture - Kamilla Hanapova - St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Art - Maria Svarbova - Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Beauty & Fashion - Michal Baran - Trim, Ireland
  • Landscape - Benjamin Everett - Lopez Island, USA
  • Portrait - Tina Signesdottir Hult - Torvastad, Norway
  • Product - Marcin Gizycki - Warszawa, Poland
  • Project//21 - Nabil Rosman - Kota Bharu, Malaysia
  • Street / Urban - Ben Thomas - Kyneton, Australia
  • Wedding - Victor Hamke - Leipzig, Germany
  • Wildlife - Karim Iliya - Haiku, USA

The Hasselblad Masters Awards 2018 jury are:

  • Tom Oldham – Photographer
  • Ali Rajabi – Past Master
  • Martin Hausler – Photographer
  • Katrina Belkina – Past Master
  • Swee Oh – Past Master
  • Lars van de Goor – Past Master
  • Tim Flach – Photographer
  • Kevin Then – Photographer
  • Bara Prasilova – Past Master
  • Damien Demolder – Journalist
  • Blair Bunting – Photographer
  • Hans van Ommeren – Past Master
  • Mads Nissen – Photographer
  • Kevin Raber – Journalist

For more information and images, visit http://www.hasselblad.com/masters

Full Disclosure: Damien Demolder was one of the judges for this year's Hasselblad Masters Awards.

Categories: Photo News

ACE Eyewear are social-media connected camera sunglasses

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 08:31

If you are the kind of person who likes friends and social networks to 'participate' in what's going on in your life in real-time, the ACE Eyewear camera sunglasses might just be what you've been waiting for. These glasses allow for hands-free recording and live-streaming of video from your own point of view, all for a reservation fee of $100 (the total final cost of the shipping glasses is unclear).

The glasses feature an 8MP camera with a 120-degree wide-angle lens, which also allows you to record video at just under Full-HD resolution (1792 x 1168) and 24 frames per second. When connected through a smartphone’s Wi-Fi hot spot, the ACE can live-stream your video footage to Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.

A button at the top of the glasses starts recording and a built-in microphone takes care of the sound.

Thanks to a Dual Core MIPS 1.2GHz processor, power consumption during recording is low, allowing for up to 90 minutes of HD video recording or 40 minutes of live-streaming in addition to an 80-hour standby battery life. There is also 4GB of built-in memory, and files are managed via an accompanying app. All this technology fits into a pair of glasses that weighs only 50g (1.76oz) and comes with an IP65 rating for dust and splash resistance.

So far smartglasses have not really caught on with consumers, but the ACE Eyewear's low price and ability to stream to multiple networks give it an advantage over most competitors, and might make it more appealing to a larger audience.

You can find more information and pre-order a pair for yourself on the Ace Eyewear website. Delivery is planned for summer 2018.

Categories: Photo News

ACE Eyewear are $100 social-media connected camera sunglasses

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 08:31

If you are the kind of person who likes friends and social networks to 'participate' in what's going on in your life in real-time, the ACE Eyewear camera sunglasses might just be what you've been waiting for. These glasses allow for hands-free recording and live-streaming of video from your own point of view, all at a price of $100.

The glasses feature an 8MP camera with a 120-degree wide-angle lens, which also allows you to record video at just under Full-HD resolution (1792 x 1168) and 24 frames per second. When connected through a smartphone’s Wi-Fi hot spot, the ACE can live-stream your video footage to Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.

A button at the top of the glasses starts recording and a built-in microphone takes care of the sound.

Thanks to a Dual Core MIPS 1.2GHz processor, power consumption during recording is low, allowing for up to 90 minutes of HD video recording or 40 minutes of live-streaming in addition to an 80-hour standby battery life. There is also 4GB of built-in memory, and files are managed via an accompanying app. All this technology fits into a pair of glasses that weighs only 50g (1.76oz) and comes with an IP65 rating for dust and splash resistance.

So far smartglasses have not really caught on with consumers, but the ACE Eyewear's low price and ability to stream to multiple networks give it an advantage over most competitors, and might make it more appealing to a larger audience.

You can find more information and pre-order a pair for yourself on the Ace Eyewear website. Delivery is planned for summer 2018.

Categories: Photo News

Panasonic Lumix GH5S vs GH5: What's new?

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 06:00
Introduction

The Panasonic GH5 is one of the the most capable video cameras available, but it's a hybrid camera that aims to please a stills-shooting crowd too. So what kind of camera could it be if it was only focused on shooting video? The GH5S is the product of Panasonic engineers grappling with that question. Here's a breakdown of what's changed from the GH5 in the quest to make it an even stronger video camera.

Low light / Dual Gain

The new sensor features dual gain design, which Panasonic refers to as 'Dual Native ISO' technology. The sensor uses two separate read-out circuits – one that maximizes dynamic range at lower ISOs, and one that maximizes noise performance (at the cost of dynamic range). The first is used from ISO 160-640, with the camera switching to the second at ISO 800, allowing better high ISO performance than the standard GH5.

We've seen this technology before but we've not previously seen the option, present on the GH5S, that allows the camera to be locked into one of its modes (and limiting the available ISO options). We're not entirely sure what the benefit of this is supposed to be.

Note that, while Panasonic refers to 'Native' ISO settings of 400 and 2500, this is rather woolly videography terminology, which should not be confused with the concept of 'base' ISO.

Multi-aspect sensor

We've long been a fan of Panasonic's multi-aspect sensors for stills shooting, and it makes an appearance in the GH5S. The camera's total resolution is 12.5MP with a sensor larger than the Micro Four Thirds image circle: it offers up to 10.2MP crops of that total area, rather than further cropping in from the 4:3 area. This makes native DCI and UHD 4K recording possible, without having to keep cropping in further and further.

This means devoting the most possible sensor area to each of its crop modes, which benefits image quality and means that your wide-angle lenses are just as wide in ~17:9 DCI 4K mode as they are for standard 4:3 stills.

DCI 4K at 60/50p

The GH5 is capable of UHD 4K 60p/50p capture, but DCI capture tops out at 24p. Not so on the GH5S: it's capable of 60p, 50p, 30p and 25p DCI as well as 24p. Thanks to that multi-aspect sensor, the GH5S' angle of view when capturing DCI footage should also be noticeably wider.

14-bit Raw but slower shooting

The GH5S adds a 14-bit Raw option, which as we all know, means greater potential for dynamic range capture. The GH5 was already bumping up against the limits of how much DR could be fitted into a 12-bit file, and the GH5S's larger pixels mean that it should benefit from a little more room. That said, the real-world differences will only become apparent if you use those really deep shadows in your images.

It can be used in burst shooting, though at a cost to speed: 7 fps with autofocus and auto exposure, versus 9 fps at 12-bit in the GH5. The GH5S can be switched to 12-bit mode, at which point it'll reach 8fps with continuous AF.

No Stabilization

The camera's sensor-based stabilization is gone, which may on the surface sound like an odd decision, but makes a lot of sense for pro video shooters who are often working with their own stabilized rigs and gimbals. The floating sensor design used by the GH5's stabilization system can interact with gimbals even when it's turned off, so removing it entirely solves the problem. It's another clear appeal to pro video shooters, rather than a stills shooter looking for an occasional 'run and gun' video solution.

We've seen a degree of scepticism about Panasonic's reasoning but, if you assume there's some heat dissipation benefit for bonding the sensor to a solid object and you recognize that the camera is already shooting out to the edges of the Micro Four Thirds image circle, there may be no way of doing what the GH5S does and providing stabilization.

More VFR options

Variable framerate options have been expanded. The GH5S can capture a maximum of 240 fps in full HD and 60 fps for both DCI and UHD 4K, for slowdown to between 24 and 60p. The GH5 only offers up to 180 fps in FHD and its 60 fps 4K is limited to UHD mode. This makes it possible to create up to 10x slow-motion footage in FHD with the GH5S, though we're told there's an additional crop and loss of quality if you exceed 200 fps capture.

Timecode in/out synchronization

Timecode in/out synchronization is supported via the camera's flash sync terminal. This makes it easier to incorporate the GH5S into a multi-camera setup; when files are brought into an editor like Final Cut Pro, the timecodes are automatically detected and synchronized.

A flash sync socket to BNC adaptor lead is included in the box.

Mic options

While the GH5 offers a standard microphone plug-in, the GH5S offers a more robust option that supports line in and phantom power, allowing its use with a wider range of audio sources.

120fps viewfinder

The GH5S uses the same 3680k-dot OLED panel used by the GH5 with one key difference – and improved 120 fps refresh rate. We'd wager a guess that this possible because less pixels need to be read out from the sensor. Whether or not that's true, 120 fps will give a more natural view of the world that anyone looking at it can appreciate.

VLogL as standard

V-LogL came to the GH5 after launch as an optional firmware upgrade. In the GH5S, it's a standard feature. An LUT (look up table) can be uploaded to the camera via SD card, making it possible to preview grading corrections that will eventually be applied to the flat-looking V-LogL footage.

Whereas a Log-upgraded GH5 can apply this correction LUT to its live preview, the GH5S can also apply it when playing back the footage.

Different AF performance

Panasonic claims the GH5S can autofocus down to -5EV, or roughly as dark as a moonlit night with no other light source. This appears to come at a slight cost of speed, however. The GH5 claims a maximum AF acquisition speed of 0.05 seconds; the GH5S claims 0.07 seconds.

Cost of lower resolution

The most easily identifiable difference between the two cameras' spec sheets is sensor resolution: the GH5S offers 10.2MP resolution compared to the GH5's 20.3MP. It provides the 4K resolution that video shooters require, but allows Panasonic to use larger pixels. Coupled with 14-bit Raw mode, this presents a dynamic range benefit, but it also means there are fewer pixels to read out. This should result in less rolling shutter.

So the move to a 10MP sensor seems like a no-brainer: do away with resolution that video shooters don't really need. It also means the GH5S can have an anti-aliasing filter tuned to reduce the risk of moiré when video shooting. But in addition to this benefit, there are some drawbacks.

The sensor's lower resolution means it can't offer the GH5's '6K' high resolution anamorphic modes, but it can still show a de-squeezed preview with framing guides. The GH5's '6K Photo' modes are also absent from the GH5S.

Conclusion

With the GH5S, Panasonic's engineers have taken on a challenge to convert a hybrid camera into an even more movie-centric shooter. While the two cameras are identical on the outside, Panasonic has made some interesting moves to optimize the camera for video pros' needs.

Categories: Photo News

WD launches two new portable SSDs designed for photographers and drone users

DP Review Latest news - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 14:03

In addition to revealing the world's smallest 1TB USB-C flash drive, Western Digital has launched two new portable SSDs specifically designed for "avid photographers and drone enthusiasts" at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD offers both high performance and durability in an extremely portable package, while the My Passport Wireless SSD gives photographers a solid state version of WD's popular My Wireless Pro, which features built-in WiFi, an SD card slot, and other convenient features for photographers on-the-go.

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is a lightweight (79g / .17lbs) pocket-sized USB-C drive encased in a durable housing with an IP55 dust- and water-resistant rating. Thanks to the housing, the drive can withstand operating temperatures ranging from 0°C to 45°C (32°F to 113°F), as well as storage temperatures ranging from -20°C to 70°C (-4°F to 158°F).

The Extreme Portable SSD drive has a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface, read speeds up to 550MB/s, and out-of-the-box compatibility with Windows and macOS.

The drives are currently listed on SanDisk's website as "not in stock" at the following capacities and price points: 250GB for $100, 500GB for $170, 1TB for $350, and 2TB for $700.

WD My Passport Wireless SSD

The My Passport Wireless SSD, as the name suggests, is a solid state version/update to the original My Passport Wireless Pro that we reviewed and actually quite liked.

Housed in an enclosure with an integrated 802.11ac wireless connection, this drive allows users to access content on the drive over WiFi, including streaming 4K videos to a computer or mobile device. The wireless feature works with the My Cloud mobile app, as well as some third-party apps including LumaFusion and FiLMiC Pro.

In addition to wireless access, this My Passport product also has an integrated SD card reader so that photos and videos can be copied onto the SSD directly from the media card at speeds up to 65MB/s. For other types of media cards, the Wireless SSD supports direct transfers via a cable and connected media card adapter. Finally, the drive also features a USB port for transferring content to a computer via USB 3.0 at speeds up to 390MB/s.

Because this model has built-in wireless, Western Digital has packed a 6700mAh battery into the drive case, enabling the WiFi feature to be used for up to 10 hours before it needs to be recharged. And for convenience' sake, the device's built-in battery doubles as a power bank for charging other USB devices, such as a smartphone.

The My Passport Wireless SSD will be available in 250GB ($230), 500GB ($300), 1TB ($500), and 2TB ($800) capacities. Pre-orders are available now, with shipping estimated to start on February 15th.

Categories: Photo News

Ricoh courts developers with plug-in program for the Theta V 360 camera

DP Review Latest news - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 12:39
DPReview Ricoh Theta V hands-on photo. Credit: Jeff Keller.

Ricoh has just announced a so-called Partner Program for the 360° Ricoh Theta V. Taking advantage of the fact that the Theta V runs the Android operating system, Ricoh is setting up a program that will allow developers to create plug-ins specifically tailored to the camera.

The idea is actually kind of brilliant, as DPReview's own Dale Baskin explains:

This is interesting because most consumer-grade 360° cameras really don’t do anything unique. What makes them useful is the software (which is why I really liked the Rylo). I think Ricoh is smart to open their platform up to developers as someone may come up with a really interesting feature that could potentially drive sales of the hardware.

What we're not clear on is to what degree developers will be able to create features from scratch, given that Ricoh uses the word "plug-in" to describe what they'll be creating. The Partner Program graphic Ricoh released isn't much help in that department either:

"Based on the Android operating system, the RICOH THETA V provides a user-friendly way for third-parties to not only create apps and software that extend and enhance the capabilities of 360-degree imaging but also new features and functionality for the camera itself," reads Ricoh's announcement. "These can include customized capabilities that enhance the RICOH THETA V's use for specialty applications and in vertical markets."

The first step is to give developers access to the Theta V API and SDK. And once the apps and plug-ins start flowing, Ricoh will make them available for download through "an online RICOH THETA V partner marketplace where plug-ins can be uploaded and shared."

We consider this a step in the right direction for Ricoh, and a good reason to keep an eye on the Theta V in the weeks and months to come. The Partner Program is set to launch in Spring of 2018, at which point Ricoh hopes the Theta V will become "a constantly evolving product."

Press Release

Ricoh announces Plug-in Partner Program for RICOH THETA V

Launching spring 2018, initiative includes an online marketplace where third parties can upload and share their Android-based plug-ins for the popular consumer 360-degree camera

LAS VEGAS (CES 2018, South Plaza, Booth #64704), January 8, 2018 - Ricoh today announced the RICOH THETA V Partner Program, which will launch in spring 2018.

The new program will support third-party developers interested in creating their own Android™-based plug-ins for the RICOH THETA V, the top-of-the-line Ricoh 360-degree camera capable of capturing fully-spherical photos and 4K video. The program will be featured at CES 2018, where attendees will be able to get a hands on experience creating their own plug-in, resulting in the creation of a new feature for the RICOH THETA V camera.

Based on the Android operating system, the RICOH THETA V provides a user-friendly way for third-parties to not only create apps and software that extend and enhance the capabilities of 360-degree imaging but also new features and functionality for the camera itself. These can include customized capabilities that enhance the RICOH THETA V's use for specialty applications and in vertical markets. As part of the program, Ricoh is making available the RICOH THETA V's application program interface (API) and software development kit (SDK) and will provide tools and guidance to support plug-in development. It will also open an online RICOH THETA V partner marketplace, where plug-ins can be uploaded and shared.

A unique plug-in preinstalled in the RICOH THETA V enables “Remote Playback,”*1 which makes it possible, using a compatible wireless display adapter, to mirror playback of 360-degree still images and video data stored on the camera on a large screen monitor.

“By opening the platform for application development, we are enabling the RICOH THETA V to be a constantly evolving product. For this reason, we are very excited about the new partner program,” said Wataru Ohtani, Corporate Associate Vice President and General Manager of Smart Vision Business Group, Ricoh Company Ltd. “The RICOH THETA V Plug-in Partner Program will enable third-party companies and developers to create custom features and services. Our goal is for consumers and businesses alike to benefit from RICOH THETA V and to become a standard platform for the 360-degree imagery.”

When launched in 2013, the RICOH THETA was the world's first 360-degree*2, single-shot camera, enabling users to express themselves in new and unique ways. 360-degree still photos and videos redefined photography by giving the viewer the ability to control what he or she sees in a scene. In addition, the resulting 360-degree images were easily shared with others, allowing them to virtually experience a scene as if they were there.

Today, the RICOH THETA cameras are being used for a broad range of consumer and business applications, ranging from documenting vacation memories to photojournalism, law enforcement, real estate listings and virtual tours, and much more.

*1. Other devices are required, including the separate wireless display adapter.
*2. In the consumer products category, a camera capable of capturing fully spherical scenes surrounding the user in one shot. (as of October, 2013 investigated by Ricoh)
Categories: Photo News

Kodak launches KODAKCoin 'photo-centric cryptocurrency' and KODAKOne platform

DP Review Latest news - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:49

Amidst all of the CES 2018 news big and small, Kodak managed to drop what might be the most shocking announcement of the week: together with WENN Digital, Kodak will be launching its own "photo-centric cryptocurrency" called KODAKCoin alongside a blockchain-powered image rights platform called KODAKOne.

The cryptocurrency and platform are meant to "empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management."

The KODAKOne platform does this the same way Binded (formerly Blokai) does: by using blockchain technology to create an "encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership" where photographers can simply and securely register their new and old work. The difference being, of course, that Kodak is setting up its OWN blockchain and cryptocurrency rather than piggybacking upon an existing one.

Once registered, photographers can license their work through the KODAKOne platform, and the platform will continually crawl the web and monitor for infringement of registered images.

The KODAKCoin cryptocurrency, meanwhile, is meant to create a "new economy for photography." Images licensed through KODAKOne will be paid for in KODAKCoin, which Wenn and Kodak both promise is "subject to the highest standards of compliance." A cryptocurrency for photographers, with digital rights management built right in.

For now, if you visit the KODAKCoin website, you'll be greeted by the splash screen below, but that should be gone with the day:

“For many in the tech industry, ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ are hot buzzwords, but for photographers who’ve long struggled to assert control over their work and how it’s used, these buzzwords are the keys to solving what felt like an unsolvable problem,” says Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke. “Kodak has always sought to democratize photography and make licensing fair to artists. These technologies give the photography community an innovative and easy way to do just that.”

Of course, all of this is predicated on the idea that the KODAKCoin launch actually goes well. The SEC Regulated Initial Coin Offering for KODAKCoin is scheduled for January 31st, and open to "accredited investors" from the US, UK, Canada and a few other unnamed "select countries."

To learn more about KODAKOne and KODAKCoin, visit the main Kodak website for now, or check out the official KODAKCoin website when it launches in 24 hours' time.

Press Release

KODAK and WENN Digital Partner to Launch Major Blockchain Initiative and Cryptocurrency

KODAKOne platform and KODAKCoin cryptocurrency give photographers a new revenue stream and a secure platform for protecting their work

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Today Kodak and WENN Digital, in a licensing partnership, announced the launch of the KODAKOne image rights management platform and KODAKCoin, a photo-centric cryptocurrency to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management.

Utilizing blockchain technology, the KODAKOne platform will create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers to register both new and archive work that they can then license within the platform. With KODAKCoin, participating photographers are invited to take part in a new economy for photography, receive payment for licensing their work immediately upon sale, and for both professional and amateur photographers, sell their work confidently on a secure blockchain platform. KODAKOne platform provides continual web crawling in order to monitor and protect the IP of the images registered in the KODAKOne system. Where unlicensed usage of images is detected, the KODAKOne platform can efficiently manage the post-licensing process in order to reward photographers.

“For many in the tech industry, ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ are hot buzzwords, but for photographers who’ve long struggled to assert control over their work and how it’s used, these buzzwords are the keys to solving what felt like an unsolvable problem,” said Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke. “Kodak has always sought to democratize photography and make licensing fair to artists. These technologies give the photography community an innovative and easy way to do just that.”

“Engaging with a new platform, it is critical photographers know their work and their income is handled securely and with trust, which is exactly what we did with KODAKCoin,” said WENN Digital CEO Jan Denecke. “Subject to the highest standards of compliance, KODAKCoin is all about paying photographers fairly and giving them an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new economy tailored for them, with secure asset rights management built right in.”

The initial coin offering will open on January 31, 2018 and is open to accredited investors from the U.S., UK, Canada and other select countries. For more information visit www.kodakcoin.com. This initial Coin Offering is issued under SEC guidelines as a security token under Regulation 506 (c) as an exempt offering.

For more information and to sign up for product updates, please visit www.kodak.com/go/kodakone.

Categories: Photo News

YI's Horizon VR180 captures stereoscopic 3D stills and videos at 5.7K

DP Review Latest news - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:15
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YI Technology, in partnership with Google's VR team, has announced its Horizon VR180 stereoscopic 3D camera. The VR180 takes advantage of Google's format of the same name, which allows for viewing of 180° material on popular VR headsets, such as the Daydream, Cardboard and Playstation VR.

The VR180 can capture video and stills at 5.7K/30p with the push of its single record button, with instant stitching and live streaming capability. It has a 2.2" LCD touchscreen, Type-C USB port, and 4 microphones with noise reduction. The VR180 can be accessed using Google's VR180 app.

Pricing and availability have not been announced.

Press Release

YI Technology and Google Unveil YI Horizon VR180 Camera at CES 2018

Users and Viewers Can Easily Make and View More Immersive Videos Using 3D Camera for Google’s VR180 Format

CES, LAS VEGAS – January 9th, 2018 – YI Technology (YI), the leading provider of advanced, intelligent imaging technologies, in collaboration with Google’s Virtual Reality (VR) team, announced details of its YI Horizon VR180 Camera. Developed to leverage Google’s new VR180 format, the stereoscopic, 3-D camera gives users an easy way to capture high-resolution, immersive video that lets anyone who views it immediately transport to new and amazing places.

YI Horizon VR180 seamlessly integrates with YouTube and Google Photos so viewers can easily activate a VR experience when viewed with Google Cardboard, Daydream, PSVR, and a number of other certified VR viewers. Viewers can also easily view the content in 2D. With an intuitive and sleek design, the YI Horizon VR180 Camera captures 3D video in 5.7K resolution at 30 frames per second (fps) and video looks great on desktop or mobile. The camera also features instant in-device stitching and supports live streaming so creators and fans can be together in real time.

“We truly believe that it should be easy for everyone to create and share virtual reality experiences,” said Sean Da, CEO of YI Technology. “Whether it is to demonstrate a makeup tutorial or share rich experiences from a recent trip with friends and loved ones, the YI Horizon VR180 Camera provides an easy and deeply engaging way to capture many of life’s most special moments. When the opportunity to work closely with Google’s VR team on this initiative presented itself, it was a no-brainer given the team’s extraordinary commitment to defining the future of VR experiences and extensive investment in the YouTube VR180 format. We believe the YI Horizon VR180 Camera will bring endless amounts of joy to all that use the device.”

"We introduced VR180 as a way to make capturing high quality, immersive photos and video easy for consumers and professional creators" said Clay Bavor, VP of VR at Google. "YI's camera has amazing image quality, as well as features that we think will be compelling for creators like livestreaming and a preview display. We're excited to see what consumers and creators are able to capture and bring to virtual reality."

Key YI Horizon VR180 Camera Features:
● Capture stunning 5.7k resolution photos and video
● One-button live video streaming
● 2.2 inch, 640x360 retina touch screen
● Features Type-C USB port with HD speed data transmission
● Professional-grade 4 microphone design with outdoor noise reduction
● Easily manage photos and videos by using the VR180 app by Google
● Compatible with YouTube and Google Photos

To learn more, please visit www.yitechnology.com/180-vr-camera, and to learn more about YI Technology’s other VR offerings go to yitechnology.com/yi-360-vr-camera and yitechnology.com/yi-halo-vr-camera. To learn more about Daydream’s VR180 program visit vr.google.com/vr180.

Categories: Photo News

Titan AI Robot Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:13
The Titan AI Robot responds to your commands and monitors your mood.
Categories: Photo News

Western Digital reveals world's smallest 1TB USB-C flash drive at CES

DP Review Latest news - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:11

At CES 2018, Western Digital has introduced what it calls the world's smallest 1TB flash drive, a tiny USB-C model sporting the SanDisk brand. This flash drive isn't yet available on the market; instead, it's acting as a demonstration of Western Digital's latest advances in storage innovation.

The SanDisk 1TB USB-C model has a "classic" long flash drive form factor—not the newer form factor that fits almost entirely within a USB port—but the company managed to squeeze a full terabyte of storage into this still-tiny size, though it hasn't provided additional details such as speed, cost, or anticipated launch date.

In addition to showcasing the 1TB USB-C drive, Western Digital has launched the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive, a model it calls the smallest 256GB USB drive in the world. This drive features a low-profile form factor and a read speed up to 130MB/s.

The flash drive is currently listed on the SanDisk website for $150 USD, but is still shown as not-in-stock.

Categories: Photo News

Sony Xperia XA2 and XA 2 Ultra put high-end camera tech in mid-range phones

DP Review Latest news - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 10:52

Most mobile manufacturers tend to unveil new flagship smartphones at or around MWC in February or IFA in September, but occasionally interesting mid-rangers pop up at CES as well. That's the case with the Sony Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra devices, which were just launched this morning at the Las Vegas show.

Powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 630 chipset and sporting 1080p Full-HD displays, the new devices fit squarely in the mid-range bracket of the market, and yet they boast a lot of camera technology from the Japanese manufacturer's high-end Xperia XZ flagship models, making them an appealing option for mobile photographers who can do without the most powerful processor or highest screen resolution.

Both models feature 1/2.3-inch 23MP Exmor RS sensors in the rear camera. The imager chip is coupled with an F2.0 aperture and the camera offers a 24mm equivalent focal length, phase detection autofocus, LED flash and 4K video recording. There's also a 120 fps slow-motion mode; however, XA2 users will have to make do without the XZ models' unique 1000 fps ultra-slow-motion feature. In typical Sony fashion, optical image stabilization has been omitted as well.

While the main cameras are identical on the standard XA2 and the Ultra model, there is a difference at the front. The XA2 features an 8MP camera with a 120° field of view, while the Ultra model features an additional stabilized 16MP camera with a 80° field of view, allowing users to easily switch between solo and group selfies. Other differences between the two models are pretty much limited to screen size (5.3-inch on the XA2 vs 6-inch on the Ultra) and battery (3200 mAh on the XA2 vs 3500 mAh on the Ultra).

The XA2 models will be available from February, and will retail at 350 Euros (~$420 USD) for the standard XA2 and 450 Euros (~$535 USD) for the Ultra—no word yet on official US pricing. To find out more about these phones or check out some image samples shot with the XA2 and XA2 Ultra, visit the Sony website.

Categories: Photo News

'Water Torture Test' compares Canon, Nikon, Sony and Olympus weather sealing

DP Review Latest news - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 10:44

As part of their Camera of the Year comparison between the Nikon D850 and the Sony a7R III, Imaging Resource decided to test the cameras' weather sealing with their very own "water torture test." And just to spice things up a bit, they threw in the Canon 5D Mark IV and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II for good measure.

All four cameras were subjected to a "brief, moderately heavy rain shower and misty conditions," and despite what you may think about all top-tier cameras being more alike than different on the weather sealing front, not all four bodies coped well. You can watch the test above or visit Imaging Resource for an in-depth report on their weather sealing tests, but if you want the TL;DR (or DW), it goes something like this:

  • The Canon 5D Mark IV and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II both passed without so much as a stutter. No water getting anywhere it shouldn't have.
  • The Nikon D850 sprung a small leak into the viewfinder unless the Nikon BS-3 hot shoe cover was used. Everything else stayed dry.
  • The Sony a7R III performed the worst by far, leaking a significant amount of water into the battery compartment (seemingly from above), and malfunctioning entirely during IR's 15-minute 'heavy mist' test.

Of course, one should be careful making sweeping generalizations based on testing one copy of each camera, but if this test is indicative of all Sony a7R III's weather sealing, Sony might want to take note of IR's results as they go about designing the Mark IV.

Check out the in-depth review for more details on how each of the four models performed.

Categories: Photo News

Ubtech Walker Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 10:00
The Ubtech Walker is a roaming, voice activated security bot.
Categories: Photo News

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 10:00
This folding 15-incher is one of the first laptops with Intel's new hybrid chips that include AMD Radeon graphics.
Categories: Photo News

40 kg 'Fake Leica' steel sculpture by Liao Yibai appears on eBay for $100,000

DP Review Latest news - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 09:10

A smaller version of the stainless steel "Fake Leica" sculpture made by Chinese artist Liao Yibai (and found in the Leica Store LA) has appeared on eBay with a buy it now price of $99,995 USD. The auction was posted by Leica Store Lisse in the Netherlands, which is also accepting offers from potential buyers via the online auction.

Though this is a smaller version of the original, the "Fake Leica" in the auction is quite hefty at 40kg / 88lbs, resulting i $350 in shipping cost—then again, if you're already spending almost $100K on the thing, what's an extra $350 for shipping?

The sculpture measures about 44,8 x 76,2 x 48,9cm / 17 x 30 x 19.25in and is very rare, having the serial number 8/12. This sculpture, as with the original, is highly detailed.

This doesn't appear to be the first time Leica Store Lisse has listed this particular auction. Leica Rumors reported back in early 2016 that the Netherlands store was selling a small "Fake Leica" sculpture with the serial number 8/12. In its most recent auction, the store notes that a different "Fake Leica" sculpture sold in November 2013 through Westlicht Auction for 96,000 Euro (~$115K USD by today's exchange rate).

Categories: Photo News

X-mini Infiniti S Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 09:00
Packing four drivers and as subwoofer, the Infiniti S makes its debut at CES to awe your ears.
Categories: Photo News

Razer Project Linda Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 07:01
Project Linda is this year's high-concept CES 2018 prototype, dropping a Razer Phone into a Razer Blade Stealth.
Categories: Photo News

Roost Smart Garage Door Sensor Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 06:02
The Roost Smart Garage Door Sensor, unveiled at CES 2018, will let you know if the door is open or closed. It just can't do anything about it.
Categories: Photo News

Electrolux EFLS627S Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 06:00
This front-load washer has a hidden compartment just for detergent pods.
Categories: Photo News

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