Google Unveils the Pixel 3 and 3XL with New AI Camera Features
Google has unveiled the new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL smartphones. The new generation of Pixel phones features an improved camera that’s backed by Google’s AI.
The Pixel 3 features a 5.5-inch screen and the 3XL has a 6.3-inch screen. On the back of the phones is a 12.2MP 28mm f/1.8 (35mm equiv.) dual-pixel camera.
A new feature called Top Shot uses AI to capture alternate shots in HDR+ and then recommend the best one from the sequence, which you can flip through and select a photo from yourself.
The zoom is now aided by a Super Res Zoom feature, which uses computation photography from the world of astronomy and scientific imaging to provide sharper details when you’re zooming.
When shooting in low-light environments, an upcoming feature called Night Sight will help you shoot natural-looking photos without the aid of a flash. The feature combines multiple exposures to create low-light photos with less noise and more detail.
The fronts of the phones now have two separate cameras: an 8MP 28mm f/1.8 (35mm equiv.) standard one and an 8MP 19mm f/2.2 (35mm equiv.) wide-angle one. For selfies, a feature called Group Selfie provides 184% more room in the photo while shooting with the wide-angle camera.
Like the new iPhone XS and XS Max, the new Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL allow you to adjust the blurriness of the background after shooting Portrait Mode photos. In addition to tweaking the depth of field, you can even select a different focus point after the photo is captured.
Other new camera features include a Photobooth mode (AI that snaps photos when it detects facial expressions), selective color mode, a Playground mode for playful photos (with stickers and captions), and super smooth video (with Motion Auto Focus and front-facing video stabilization).
Here are some official sample photos captured with the new Pixel 3:
All photos and videos are given unlimited Google Photos cloud storage at their original resolutions.
Non-photo features and specs of the phones include Google Lens, Smart Composite in Gmail, Google Assistant (the AI can now handle real-world tasks like calling restaurants to book a table), AI call screening, wireless charging, IP68 water- and dust-resistance, Android 9 Pie, a secure custom-designed Titan M chip, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, 4GB RAM, and a 2915 mAh battery.
The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL are available for pre-order now from Verizon, Project Fi, and the Google Store unlocked. Colors are Clearly White, Just Black, and Not Pink.
Combining a Hasselblad 500C/M and a Fujifilm Instax 9
Instant photos are magical. They develop before your eyes. You can share them, gift them, spill water on them, draw on them. The only problem is that most instant cameras are pretty cheap — that’s why I’ve always wanted to hack my medium format camera to take instant photos with shallow depth of field and sharpness.
This project was created in collaboration with Eddie Cohen over the course of one weekend.
Hasselblad made a large Polaroid back for the 500 series to help photographers check their metering and lighting before exposing film. I’ve played around with one a bit, but the back is pretty bulky, the film is expensive, and the film area is larger than the camera can expose. You’re left with an off-center exposure.
We began by taking apart the FujiFilm camera in an attempt to understand how the internal mechanisms work.
If you’re going to try taking apart any sort of camera, be careful of the flash capacitor. It stores enough energy to give you a good zap. You can discharge it by shorting the two contact points closest to the capacitor — just make sure you’re holding a non-conductive handle.
The ejector is one of the most complicated mechanisms. As the exposed film leaves the camera, it is pulled through a set of tensioned-rollers that evenly spread the developing chemicals over the film.
It was important that we could align the loaded film as close to the body of the camera as possible so that the focal distance of the viewfinder would match the film. To get the instant-film closer to the exposure plane of the Hasselblad, we ended up removing all of the automatic film-ejection mechanisms from the Fujifilm and opting for a custom mechanism made out of laser cut acrylic.
One of our biggest challenges was making a custom mounting plate that matched the back of the Hasselblad to the FujiFilm and didn’t leak light. We made a template based on the Hasselblad and laser cut matching groves into a piece of acrylic. Our solution works OK — light still leaks in direct sunlight. We’ll keep telling ourselves that this adds to the charm.
Here are the remnants of the FujiFilm camera and a few custom parts we created using a laser cutter.
And here’s a side-by-side comparison of a standard Hasselblad film back and our instant back.
We were really happy with our first tests. The full frame of the film is exposed and the images are sharper than we’ve ever seen on this type of film. There are still a few ongoing issues with light leaks and with focusing because of the slight difference in focal plane length.
Working under a time constraint proved to be extremely helpful not only to keep us accountable but also to keep us from over-thinking the design. We tried not to lose the distinct form languages of each camera, to create an object that felt like 1950’s Swedish design and 1990’s Japanese design fused together.
I’m looking forward to running around the city with this strange franken-camera.
About the author: Isaac Blankensmith is an hardware interaction designer at Google Creative Lab and an adjunct professor at School of Visual Arts in New York City. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work on his website, Twitter, and Instagram. This article was also published here.
REVIEW: ‘A Star Is Born’ is a Tour De Force of Breathtaking Storytelling
The rumors are true: A Star Is Born is a bona fide hit. Now, before you slate this positive observation as a given because of V’s commitment and love for it’s shining star Lady Gaga, think again. As the fourth iteration of the iconic love story, the 2018 Cooper-directed revival is a standout tour de force of film-making, storytelling, and succeeds in every category imaginable making it a piece of cinematic gold.
Framed with a killer soundtrack penned by both Cooper and Gaga, the voice of thi…
ADOX HR-50 is a New Monochrome Film for 35mm, 120, and 4×5
ADOX, the world’s oldest photographic materials manufacturer, has announced a new monochrome film called HR-50 that will be available in 35mm, 120, and 4×5 formats.
The ADOX brand has been on photochemical products since 1860, making it the oldest brand that’s still around today. And the company wants to ensure that film photography doesn’t go anywhere.
ADOX says HR-50 was originally a high-resolution film that was used for technical applications. By making modifications to give the film “Speed Boost” technology, the company has converted it into a usable film for ordinary photography.
The sensitivity of the film has been increased to 50 ISO and contrast has been reduced so that the film can be processed using ordinary developers. The grain of the film is “ultrafine,” and it’s sensitive to all wavelengths of visible light.
“The HR-50 is ideal for cityscapes or travel photography,” ADOX writes. There’s also a new ADOX filter that can be used to shoot infrared photography with the film. For portraiture, ADOX recommends a special developer called HR-50 DEV that it designed specifically for the film.
Here are some sample photos captured on ADOX HR-50:
No word yet on when or where ADOX HR-50 will be available or how much it will cost when it is.
Windows 10 Update Pulled After Users Report Deleted Photos and Files
Microsoft has paused the rollout of its latest Windows 10 update after users reported that photos and other personal files had been wiped without warning by the latest version of the operating system.
The Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) was made available on October 2nd but hadn’t yet been pushed through Windows’ automatic update system. Some people who chose to install it through Windows Update soon reported that their personal documents folders had been wiped clean. Photos, videos, music, documents, and other files were nowhere to be found.
Microsoft responded on October 4th by pulling the update for further investigation into the bug.
“We have paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) for all users as we investigate isolated reports of users missing some files after updating,” Microsoft writes.
If you installed the update and were stunned to find your photos wiped, Microsoft says you should “minimize your use of the affected device” and immediately call the company for help directly at 1-800-MICROSOFT.
Microsoft support technicians “have the tools to get you back to a good state,” Windows Insider Program lead Dona Sarkar tweets.
Based on that statement, it appears that the deleted files may be recoverable, but it’s definitely a good idea to refrain from using the computer further to ensure that things don’t get overwritten and lost forever.
“Traditionally enlarging and printing from your negatives has been reserved only to those with the space and budget for professional darkroom setups,” Intrepid says. “But The Intrepid Enlarger is not like other enlargers – it is a simple, small, lightbox that attaches to a 4×5 camera (just like a film holder).”
The Intrepid Enlarger kit consists of a Lightbox attachment compatible with any Graflok 4×5 camera, a programmable Timer for controlling exposure, swappable carriers for film, a multigrade filter holder, and a lens board for mounting enlarger lenses. The resulting enlarger can make prints from 4×5, 120, and 35mm film.
After you’re done making prints, the Intrepid Enlarger can be folded and tucked away. It’s so portable that you can bring it with you on trips to do darkroom work on-the-go.
Outside a darkroom, you can also use the Lightbox by itself to create high-quality scans from your film using a camera, tripod, and computer/smartphone.
Here’s a 1.5-minute video introducing the Intrepid Enlarger:
The Intrepid Enlarger is being launched on Kickstarter, where it blew past its initial $20,000 goal in the first 20 minutes of being online. Assuming the project delivers on its promises, a pledge of about $222 will get you the basic 4×5 enlarger kit while a pledge of $274 gets you the full enlarger kit with all the film carriers.
Thank you for listening to the PetaPixel Photography Podcast! Connect with me, Sharky James on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (all @LensShark) as we build this community.
We’d love to answer your question on the show. Leave us an audio question through our voicemail widget, comment below or via social media. But audio questions are awesome!
You can also cut a show opener for us to play on the show! As an example: “Hi, this is Matt Smith with Double Heart Photography in Chicago, Illinois, and you’re listening to the PetaPixel Photography Podcast with Sharky James!”
Nikon Z7 Teardown: Inside Nikon’s 1st Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera
Our brand new Nikon Z7 full frame mirrorless camera arrived at the office this week, and we immediately got down to business. Four years ago, Sony fired the first shot of this battle with the A7 and continued to release one iteration after another, each improving on the last, and did so completely unanswered by the competition until August 23rd of this year when Nikon announced the Z7 and the Z6.
Based on the popularity of our last teardown where we took the a7R III all the way down to its sensor, we’ve decided to provide model-by-model coverage of the full-frame mirrorless wars by showing you what’s under the hood. Specs and performance matter, but taking a detailed look inside can tell you a lot about a camera and how it stacks up to the competition. For this reason, we started with the most worthy challenger to the Sony a7R III: the powerful, 46-megapixel Nikon Z7.
The hype is genuine, this camera feels just like a DSLR in your hands. It is well balanced, incredibly responsive, and tightly constructed. We’ve taken our Z7 apart and put it back together and we still can’t get it to rattle or make a noise no matter how hard we shake it. Along with its very tight tolerances, the connection ports and battery and XQD card doors appear to be well sealed against the elements.
The a7R III has a new rival, and so do all the cameras that still use mirrors. So, what’s going on inside this thing?
If it weren’t for the new lens mount, they probably could have called the Nikon Z7 the ‘D850 Slim’. That’s how much it looks and feels like a slender, professional DSLR.
Much like the a7R III, the bottom plate comes off first.
We can not be held responsible if the battery retention clip attacks you. Unscrew carefully and be ready to catch the pieces.
More screws on the port side.
Removing the eyecup reveals 4 screws that’ll have to come out.
And, another under the XQD card slot. Be extra rough on this one to discipline the camera for its lack of dual card slots.
Carefully skin the grip side of the Z7. This is custom for traditional Nikon dishes and greatly enhances flavor, but it also reveals the VERY tightly interlocked frame underneath which will have to be separated to break the camera down into its main components.
The back of the Nikon Z7 will then open up revealing many connectors, some of which we haven’t seen before even in other 2018 releases. We were also surprised by how plain things are looking under the hood so far. We’re not seeing the layers of heat shielding and heat sink tape that we say in the a7R III. Is this a good or bad thing? Let us know in the comments.
Separating some connectors frees the back and LCD from the board.
Separate the remaining connectors and remove all screws securing the board…
… and, the board comes right out. The Z7 has just one board with nothing too crazy going on. There are a lot of overlapping connectors that create quite a nest of ribbon cables, but they can be lifted to reveal more hidden screws. We take these out to break the camera down further.
First, a closeup of the board (front). Some of those connectors near the top are definitely new.
…and the back. Nikon clearly made a tough decision between one XQD card or two SD’s. The a7R III’s dual SD card slots just barely fit onto the main board as you can see from our last breakdown. Nikon went for quality over quantity here, but this is a contentious subject. Only time will tell if professionals share their philosophy.
Here are some more intimate shots of how things are looking so far.
The lens mount is tightly weather sealed as well by the rubber you can see peeling off in the 2nd shot here (right) as we take off the lens mount ring.
Don’t forget the secret screw hiding in the EVF diopter.
The camera is now broken down into its major component groups.
A detailed look under the top piece before we proceed.
Now for the sensor and shaker components: the heart of any modern, IBIS enabled, full-frame contender for the professional mirrorless throne. Several thick and sturdy springs like the one seen here keep the sensor suspended in the perfect position for proper focusing.
Removing the sensor assembly reveals a separate component for the headphone and microphone jacks, also like the a7R III.
At last, the full sensor assembly, IBIS shaker included.
We were surprised to find that the Nikon Z7’s shaker itself does not move very much compared to Sony and others. Despite this, Nikon still claims a CIPA image stabilization rating of 5-stops, where the a7R III claims 5.5.
Another unique aspect: the cover glass of the Z7’s sensor is about half a thick as the Sony’s, coming in at 1.1mm. This means the Nikon will have better performance with adapter lenses right out of the box. However, with our ultra-thin conversion measuring down to 0.2mm, the camera will still benefit a great deal from a modification service if you’re a Leica lens (or other legacy glass) enthusiast.
The Nikon Z7 is a beautiful camera inside and out, one that genuinely surprised us with its simplicity when compared to other mirrorless cameras. It seems to have taken a few design pointers from the a7R III but is still very much its own unique camera. Is it the new standard for full-frame mirrorless? Time will tell. Other DSLR titans like Canon and Panasonic are entering the arena. Old underdogs like Sigma are coming out of retirement. Fujifilm has announced another, smaller medium format mirrorless camera. This is shaping up to be the war to end all camera tech wars, and it’s only just beginning.
About the author: Ilija Melentijevic is the founder of Kolari Vision, an infrared camera conversion business based in New Jersey. You can learn more about the company’s service’s on its website. This article was also published here.
Banksy Artwork ‘Self-Destructs’ After Selling for .4M at Auction
The anonymous street artist known as Banksy just pulled off one of the greatest pranks ever seen in the art world: one of his paintings was sold for nearly $1.4 million at a Sotheby’s auction in London last night, and immediately after being sold, the painting self-destructed.
The 2006 spray-painted canvas painting titled “Girl With a Balloon” had a final price of £1,042,000 ($1,367,471) with the buyer’s premium.
After the hammer fell, attendees suddenly heard an alarm ring out. As everyone’s attention was drawn to the painting in the large frame, it suddenly was drawn through the bottom of the Banksy-made frame and shredded.
[Update: Banksy has published this video showing how he built the shredder frame and footage of the painting being shredded:]
“[It] sold for over a million dollars and as we sat there…the painting started moving,” Robert Casterline of Casterline Goodman gallery tells Hyperallergic. “[It was] all out confusion then complete excitement.”
It turns out there was a remote-control mechanism built into the frame that shredded the painting on command. Amused attendees quickly pulled out their phones and cameras and began snapping photos with smiles on their faces.
Lo último: @banksy destruye sí #GWRB Girl With Red Balloon, antes que cayera el mazo en plena subasta en Sotheby's.
The auction house says it’s in discussions with the anonymous buyer (a private collector) about the next steps. The art world is currently trying to figure out whether the painting was destroyed or transformed, and whether its value was decreased or increased.
“We’ve been Banksy-ed,” says Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European head of contemporary art. “We are busy figuring out what this means in an auction context. I’ll be quite honest, we have not experienced this situation in the past, where a painting is spontaneously shredded upon achieving a record for the artist.”