The Lily Drone is Back from the Grave and Ready to Try Another Takeoff

The Lily Drone is Back from the Grave and Ready to Try Another Takeoff

In January 2017, the company behind the highly anticipated Lily drone announced that it would be shutting down after raising over $34 million from backers. The company was quickly sued and accused of misleading people with a faked promo video. However, it looks like Lily is now making a bit of a comeback.

A California-based drone company named Mota Group has acquired the assets of Lily Robotics for a cool $750,000, and you could soon see this smiley drone buzzing about above your head soon.

The drone will now come with a new design and new features, and you can see the immediate aesthetic change in these two comparison images:

The original 2015 version of Lily, as crowdfunded on Kickstarter.
The remodelled 2017 version from MOTA Group.

What are the main differences? Well, the design is no longer circular, and will instead feature a shape more akin to the GoPro Karma. The rotor arms are also foldable, with foldable legs underneath them.

There are also two batteries instead of just one, meaning they can be easily swapped out instead of requiring users to recharge a single internal battery. Although flight time suffers, at only 18 minutes vs. 20 minutes (although the previous Lily’s flight time was really 0 minutes since it never took to the air).

The camera has been updated, with 4K resolution instead of just 1080p, and it’s lighter too at 385 grams vs. the original 1.3 kg. There should also be an internal stabilizer, as well as electronic image stabilization too, but the drone is not waterproof this time round.

When asked about the lack of waterproofing, an original unique selling point of the Lily 2015 version, MOTA Group told DroningOn, “For Lily Next-Gen, we gathered a user survey between creating a waterproof [drone] or [a lower] cost drone, and the majority of users chose less expensive. The waterproofing creates major restrictions such as [being] significantly heavier, and reduced battery life, so altogether it is not waterproof. But it is a really good drone with up to 36 minutes (2×18 minutes) batteries, carrying case and 16GB memory with 2017 technology.”

Lily 2.0 will be available for purchase from the Lily website, and it’ll cost $500 for the standard package, or $800 for a “fully loaded” package. Both options will come with an extra battery, charging cable, spare propellers, prop guards, 16GB memory card, and a rapid charger.

The fully loaded package, however, will come with a portable case, remote controller with a built-in screen, and a 1-year loss and damage protection warranty.

The price of Lily is said to increase soon, with orders placed now being dispatched within 30 days of purchase. It remains to be seen whether the Lily brand can overcome the huge failing of its first launch and regain the trust of drone enthusiasts.

(via Lily via WeTalkUAV)

Source: PetaPixel

The Lily Drone is Back from the Grave and Ready to Try Another Takeoff

Sony a9 vs. Canon 1D X II vs. Nikon D5: A Flagship Camera Shootout

Sony a9 vs. Canon 1D X II vs. Nikon D5: A Flagship Camera Shootout

The flagship cameras from Sony, Canon, and Nikon — the a9, 1D X II, and D5 — are all brilliant pieces of kit, but which is right for you? This 45-minute shootout from Michael Andrews (aka Michael The Maven) objectively compares the three cameras in great detail.

Table of Contents

Here’s a breakdown of the sections found in the video:

01:04 – Intro
05:30 – Sports Shooting
16:05 – Low Light Focusing
16:45 – Video Focusing
18:06 – Dynamic Range
22:27 – High Portrait ISO
23:48 – Moire Test
24:12 – Thermal Test
24:53 – Rolling Shutter
25:24 – Real World Video
29:07 – Portrait Test
32:10 – Ergonomics
32:11 – Conclusion

Here are some of the interesting highlights from Andrews’ tests and comparisons…


Andrews kicks things off by comparing the raw specs of the three cameras, as well as their price. The D5 is hardest on the wallet at $6,800, the 1D X II is $6,000, and the a9 is only $4,500. However, Sony’s lens lineup costs more than the Nikon and Canon equivalents, bringing the total cost back in line with the other cameras.

Sports Shooting

For the tests, Andrews uses the most current 24-70mm f/2.8 non-IS lenses from each manufacturer, as well as the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS lenses.

The first tests starting from 05:30 are comparing the performance of the cameras in sports shooting. This is where the Nikon especially excels, while the a9 struggles with dropping focus while rack zooming in. Despite the lower accuracy, however, the faster frame rates afforded by the a9 and 1D X II resulted in more ‘keepers’ from both cameras when compared to the D5.

Andrews says that he would gravitate towards the Canon and Nikon offers over Sony’s a9 due to the consistency. He says that the a9 feels more like cutting-edge tech with less polish and stability compared to the other cameras.

Dynamic Range

For testing dynamic range test at 18:06. Andrews uses a Stouffer wedge, which allows him to test the camera’s ability to differentiate between one-third stop intervals at ISO 100, 1600, and 6400.

At all ISO ratings, the cameras perform comparably, though each with their own unique issues. The 1D X II shows higher color noise, the D5 suffers from some banding, and the a9 has issues with posterization.


From 21:35 Andrews tests the ability of the cameras to produce sharp JPEG images at increasingly high ISOs, measuring the way the cameras apply noise reduction. In this test, the a9 is the standout performer.

High ISO Video

He then moves on to a video test at high ISO, in which the a9 blows the competition away.

Video still frames from a high ISO test

Color Tone Blind Test

Color tone comparison is a very subjective thing, so for this test, Andrews leaves it to the viewer. From 29:00 he takes a number of identical portrait sets with each camera and randomizes them.

One of the blind photo comparisons for judging color tones.

By scoring each image and calculating the results, you can get a good idea of which camera produces images that you prefer the most. You can find the camera models matched with the photos at 30:44.


Andrews’ overall conclusion is at 32:00. “This is not a comparison of apples to apples,” he says. “The 1D X II and D5 are two different flavored apples, but the a9 is an orange”.

Nikon D5

Pros: Incredible focusing system; excellent ergonomics and usability making it the most enjoyable to use; super high-speed dual XQD slots.

Cons: Most expensive; not a great choice for video use.

Canon 1D X II

Pros: Michael’s favorite for flesh tones and reds. All-round excellent performer for both still and video – excellent video performance compared to the D5.

Cons: Michael found difficulty listing any cons, although more efficient video codecs would be a plus.

Sony a9

An orange, but Michael’s preferred pick of the three.

Pros: Michael says the a9 is better in many ways, but it does have some rough edges. The camera itself is the lowest price; it has the best sensor design; it is excellent for video purposes; the eye detection performs extremely well; it has great focus coverage; the tilting monitor is a plus.

Cons: The camera is not as consistent when rack zooming, dropping focus especially while zooming in. The menu lockout while writing is frustrating; the available memory cards are slower, and the biggest con is that it is currently lacking the lens lineup to support it.

Watch the full 45-minute video at the top of this article for an in-depth look at these tests and more. You can also find more of Andrews’ videos on his popular YouTube channel.

(via Michael the Maven via ISO 1200)

Source: PetaPixel

Sony a9 vs. Canon 1D X II vs. Nikon D5: A Flagship Camera Shootout

Style File: Mastering The Look Of Warhol Muse Nico

Style File: Mastering The Look Of Warhol Muse Nico
Behind the mic, Nico carved her way to the top of music, singing lead for the Velvet Underground on their debut album. Her harrowing vocals and androgynous appeal made her a fashion hit and solidified her place as a bonafide Warhol Superstar. As the frontwoman for the legendary band, Nico embraced her rock ‘n’ roll roots by wearing slim pantsuits, mod boots and silk scarves.
Click below to see how to recreate Nico’s iconic fashion sense.

Keep on reading: Style File: Mastering The Look Of Warhol Muse Nico
Source: V Magazine

Style File: Mastering The Look Of Warhol Muse Nico

SanDisk Unveils the World’s Largest microSD Card, A 400GB Monster

SanDisk Unveils the World’s Largest microSD Card, A 400GB Monster

Today, SanDisk released the world’s highest capacity microSD card to date: the 400GB SanDisk microSDXC Ultra UHS-I card. It’s targeted at mobile users who have a lot of data to store on their smartphones, including high-res photos and videos.

The card comes about a year after SanDisk previously broke records by creating a 256GB microSD card that was the world’s fastest of its size.

This time around, this new Class 10 card looks pretty robust, too: it’s water, shock, temperature, and even X-ray proof.

An adapter allows the microSD card to be used as a standard SD card.

“Mobile devices have become the epicenter of our lives, and consumers are now accustomed to using their smartphones for anything from entertainment to business,” said Jeff Janukowicz, Sandisk Research Vice President. “We are collecting and sharing massive amounts of data on smartphones, drones, tablets, PCs, laptops and more.

“We anticipate that storage needs will only continue to grow as people continue to expect more sophisticated features on their devices and desire higher quality content.”

Western Digital, the company that now own SanDisk, says it leveraged its “proprietary memory technology and design” to allow for the increased capacity.

“We continue to push technology boundaries and transform the way consumers use their mobile devices,” said Sven Rathjen, Vice President of Western Digital. “By focusing on achieving new technology milestones, we enable consumers to keep up with their mobile-centric lifestyles with storage solutions they trust.”

The new microSD card is ideal for Android smartphone users and can hold up to 40 hours of Full HD video. The transfer times are fast too, with a read speed of 100 MB/s (that’s about 1,200 5MB photos per minute) and write speed of 10 MB/s. The card is also said to load apps faster, thanks to its adherence to the A1 App Performance Class specification.

The 400GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card comes with a 10-year warranty and SD adapter (for using it as a standard SD card) and is available on the SanDisk website and through retailers such as B&H for $250.

Source: PetaPixel

SanDisk Unveils the World’s Largest microSD Card, A 400GB Monster

Instagram Removes Forced Square Aspect Ratio for Multi-Photo Posts

Instagram Removes Forced Square Aspect Ratio for Multi-Photo Posts

Hate cropping your pictures into a square format on Instagram? You’re in luck!

While the app did away with the mandatory square format in August 2015, the rule still stuck for users creating multiple photo and videos posts. Starting today, however, Instagram announced that users can choose landscape and portrait formats when uploading multi-image posts. The only caveat is that all photos and videos in the post must be in the same format—all portrait or all landscape.

Instagram also announced that you can now edit tagged people after the post is live and, in iOS, users can save these posts as a draft if they aren’t quite ready to upload.

The update is rolling out as part of Instagram version 12.

The post Instagram Removes Forced Square Aspect Ratio for Multi-Photo Posts appeared first on PDNPulse.

Source: PDN Pulse

Instagram Removes Forced Square Aspect Ratio for Multi-Photo Posts

What to Expect if You Plan to Cover Harvey’s Aftermath

What to Expect if You Plan to Cover Harvey’s Aftermath

As journalists head to south Texas and Louisiana to cover the continuing floods and the damage from Hurricane Harvey, photographers who have been on the ground since the storm made landfall on Friday say they are managing with lack of gas, power and transportation, and using various communication methods to stay in touch with each other to work safely in hazardous conditions.

Austin, Texas-based photographer Tamir Kalifa has been shooting for The New York Times. He and the Times‘s Houston bureau chief Manny Fernandez have maneuvered around parts of the city in a Jeep 4×4 with four-wheel drive. “Make sure you’re in a vehicle that can get as much traction as possible,” he warns. Chicago-based photographer Alyssa Schukar, who has been shooting for The New York Times in Victoria, Texas and Houston, says her vehicle stalled at an evacuation point. Shukar and New York Times writer Alan Blinder then were able to travel with the National Guard to Houston, then traveled with citizens who used small boats to rescue their neighbors. Even in a boat, she says, “There are so many cars underwater, and there’s a decent chance we would hit one.” Downed power lines add to the danger.

On Tuesday, Kalifa told PDN that there is no gasoline available in the area, but colleagues who have had to cover hurricanes in the past had warned him to bring an extra supply. “We had ten gallons strapped to the roof. We used it, and wouldn’t have been able to finish without it.” (To learn how Houston Chronicle photographer Marie D. De Jesús and her colleagues prepared for the storm, read PDN’s interview.)

Reuters photographer Rick Wilking notes, “The cell phones work surprisingly well in most places, and I have a satellite phone for areas where they don’t, like Rockport,” a city that was hit hard when the storm made landfall and is still without electricity. Wilking has used Whatsapp to check in with his colleagues and share information. He has also used multiple map programs to navigate the flood. Schukar was able to use Google maps to help guide a boat loaded with evacuees and the citizens who had rescued them.

Photographers have been working in steady rain in waist- and chest-high water, so condensation in cameras is a problem. Kalifa says he’s been using aquatech covers over his cameras. “Sometimes you can’t see what you’re getting, but it’s a better solution than ruining your gear.”

Photographers PDN spoke to say they want to continue covering the response to the storm. “By far the vast majority of help is coming from volunteers,” Wilking says. Kalifa says, “The human capacity to help others is as extraordinary as the devastation.”

Houston Chronicle Photojournalist Marie D. De Jesus on Harvey and Home

What to Know Before Covering a Hurricane

The post What to Expect if You Plan to Cover Harvey’s Aftermath appeared first on PDNPulse.

Source: PDN Pulse

What to Expect if You Plan to Cover Harvey’s Aftermath

Watch a Nat Geo Photographer Rescue Her Mom from Houston Floods

Watch a Nat Geo Photographer Rescue Her Mom from Houston Floods

Want to see what it’s like to flee the devastating floods in Houston, Texas, caused by Hurricane Harvey? National Geographic conflict photographer Erin Trieb helped evacuate her mom this past weekend, and she documented the experience in the 5-minute video above.

Trieb is usually based in Istanbul, Turkey, but she was back home in Texas when the hurricane struck. On August 27th, 2017, she opened up the camera app on her smartphone and began recording her journey in helping her mom, retrieving her cameras, and checking up on her sister.

The photographer and her mother had to wade through waist-deep waters just to leave the neighborhood, pulling three dogs behind them in trash cans.

“Trieb plans to continue photographing her family’s Houston neighbourhood to document how victims are coping with floods,” National Geographic writes.

“While this is my third hurricane to photograph and second one in Houston, I have never before had to turn the camera on my own family, who has experienced substantial flood damage,” Trieb writes on Facebook. “A huge thanks to my mom and sister’s family, who are all safe, for allowing me to chronicle their personal experiences – all things considered, we’re very fortunate. Thoughts go out to all those in Houston currently battling this tremendous storm.”

You can find more of Trieb’s work on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Source: PetaPixel

Watch a Nat Geo Photographer Rescue Her Mom from Houston Floods

Style File: The Fashion The Defined The Studio 54 Era

Style File: The Fashion The Defined The Studio 54 Era
The ushering in of chart-topping disco music and the wild nights at Studio 54 that bled into mornings forever defined an era, marking a period in time unlike any other in its existence. During the roaring nights at Studio 54 one could expect to encounter the likes of Diana Ross, Cher, Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall, Debbie Harry and countless others that danced the night away under a glittering disco ball. Each night, the crowds in attendance never failed to don the most outrageous and…

Keep on reading: Style File: The Fashion The Defined The Studio 54 Era
Source: V Magazine

Style File: The Fashion The Defined The Studio 54 Era

Flight Attendant’s Photos Show Life in a Virgin America Crew

Flight Attendant’s Photos Show Life in a Virgin America Crew

Molly Choma of Portland, Oregon, has spent nearly a decade working as a flight attendant on Virgin America planes. In addition to her work in the skies, Choma is also a talented photographer. Her series The Secret Life of Virgins is a look at life in Virgin America flight crews.

Choma was recently interviewed by Travel + Leisure about her work. She states that although she started shooting photos on the job a few years into her career, her work took on a new sense of urgency in recent years after Alaska Air agreed to buy Virgin America last year in a $4 billion deal.

Virgin America will no longer exist by 2019, and Choma has since been recruited by Virgin America to document the airline’s culture before it goes extinct.

“I just wanted to preserve it, not necessarily for the public, but for my friends and people like me who grew up with Virgin America,” Choma tells Travel + Leisure. “Whether that’s people who were there since the start or only for the past six months, I wanted something to immortalize what we have.”

The photos in The Secret Life of Virgins capture flight crew members when they’re out of the sight of passengers.

You can find more of Choma’s work on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

(via Travel + Leisure via Fstoppers)

Image credits: Photographs by Molly Choma and used with permission

Source: PetaPixel

Flight Attendant’s Photos Show Life in a Virgin America Crew

These Coasters Stack to Form a Canon 85mm f/1.2 Camera Lens

These Coasters Stack to Form a Canon 85mm f/1.2 Camera Lens

The photo gear brand FotodioX recently launched a new line of drink coasters. Called the LenzCoaster, each set of 5 coasters stacks to form a 85mm f/1.2L camera lens lookalike.

Hidden magnets inside the coasters hold them together in lens form when they’re not being used. On the top and bottom of each coaster is a pad of non-slip silicone to absorb moisture and also keep it from slipping on smooth surfaces.

There are three different sets you can choose from. In addition from black with black (shown above), there’s also black with red and white with black.

You can pick up a LenzCoaster set for yourself for $25 through retailers like B&H and Amazon.

(via B&H via CheesyCam)

Source: PetaPixel

These Coasters Stack to Form a Canon 85mm f/1.2 Camera Lens