photography

This $2,200 Sony Camera Got Fried by a Tattoo Removal Laser

This ,200 Sony Camera Got Fried by a Tattoo Removal Laser

You probably know that the lasers in concerts and even on self-driving cars can damage your camera’s sensor in a direct hit, but did you know that light reflected off skin during laser tattoo removal can also destroy your sensor? Watch this 37-second video to see for yourself.

The video was recorded by Andy Boyd, who had his $2,200 Sony a7S II permanently damaged by pulses from the tattoo removal laser.

“Don’t record laser tattoo removal on… anything,” Boyd writes. “You can see with each pulse the sensor shows new damage. The repair cost was about as much as a new camera so try to avoid this.

“Club lasers can do this too but we’d never seen the reflection of a laser beam do damage, only when the beam itself hits the sensor.”

So if you’re ever around any kind of powerful laser being used for any kind of purpose, you may want to think twice before pulling out your digital camera.

(via Andy Boyd via Reddit)


Source: PetaPixel

This ,200 Sony Camera Got Fried by a Tattoo Removal Laser

Flickr Will Save All Creative Commons Photos, Deceased Members’ Accounts

Flickr Will Save All Creative Commons Photos, Deceased Members’ Accounts

Flickr will begin deleting photos of accounts over the 1,000 file limit starting on March 12th, but the photo-sharing service has just announced two changes to its policy: spared from deletion will be all Creative Commons photos and the accounts of deceased members.

Creative Commons Photos

When Flickr announced its Free account changes back in late 2018, it stated that freely licensed public photos (e.g. Creative Commons, public domain, U.S. government works) uploaded on or before November 1st, 2018, would be spared from the mass deletion.

But Flickr is now going a step further by promising that future Creative Commons photos will be protected as well.

“Creative Commons licenses have been an important part of Flickr since we introduced them on our platform in 2004,” Flickr says. “We wanted to make sure we didn’t disrupt the hundreds of millions of stories across the global internet that link to freely licensed Flickr images. We know the cost of storing and serving these images is vastly outweighed by the value they represent to the world.

“In this spirit, today we’re going further and now protecting all public, freely licensed images on Flickr, regardless of the date they were uploaded. We want to make sure we preserve these works and further the value of the licenses for our community and for anyone who might benefit from them.”

Flickr says it now hosts over 500 million public CC-licensed photos.

At the same time as making this CC-photo change, Flickr is also disabling bulk license changing across the site to prevent members.

“We’ve done this to prevent community members from flipping all their images to a new license without first understanding the significant implications of the various free licenses we support,” Flickr says. “Any member (Free or Pro) can still change the license of any of their photos on the photo page.”

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“In Memoriam” Accounts

Flickr is also announcing that it will preserve the accounts of members who pass away.

“Since we announced changes to Flickr’s Free and Pro accounts on November 1, we’ve heard from members who are concerned about what will happen to accounts owned by deceased members, and what will happen to their own accounts when they die,” Flickr says. “We’re photography lovers here at Flickr, too, and we love the idea of photographers’ legacies living on in memoriam—that’s why we’re pleased to announce today that we’re offering ‘in memoriam’ accounts to existing Flickr members who have passed away.”

All public content of “in memoriam” accounts will be preserved indefinitely even if the account’s Pro subscription expires. The account will also be locked (i.e. no one can sign in) and the username will be updated with the “in memoriam” status.

You can help Flickr identify accounts that qualify for “in memoriam” designation by nominating it on this Flickr Help Center page. Once Flickr staff verify the required details, the account will be preserved.


Source: PetaPixel

Flickr Will Save All Creative Commons Photos, Deceased Members’ Accounts

Sony Smartphone Cameras Trail Rivals Due to Fears of Cannibalizing Itself

Sony Smartphone Cameras Trail Rivals Due to Fears of Cannibalizing Itself

Sony’s imaging sensors have been the talk of the photography world for several years now, and the company’s mirrorless cameras have been praised for their imaging quality and abilities. But while Sony dominates the global image sensor industry, its own smartphone cameras have trailed rivals in hype and features.

In an interview with Trusted Reviews, Sony Senior Manager of Global Marketing Adam Marsh revealed that politics and fears of self-cannibalization may have held Sony back in the past from dominating smartphone photography more.

“Even though we’re one company, there are still sometimes barriers that Alpha doesn’t want to give Mobile certain things, because all of a sudden you have the same as what a £3,000 camera’s got,” Marsh tells Trusted Reviews. “Now that barrier’s gone a little bit. They’re saying, ‘Okay, we see that having a smartphone and camera that gives you the same experience is a good thing.’”

After Sony CEO Kaz Hirai stepped down and was replaced in 2018, executive Kimio Maki was changed from shepherding the Alpha division to becoming head of product development for Mobile. And now Sony is looking to make waves with its future smartphone cameras.

“[Maki] said ‘Okay, so we work with Alpha here, let’s take this bit, we work with the CineAlta brand, let’s bring this bit.’ He opened up the whole of digital imaging for us,” Marsh says. “Because that imaging team is all together, they can share that experience across Cybershot, Alpha and Xperia.

“A closer collaboration with Alpha is a definite, thanks to the management change that’s happened in Tokyo with Mobile now belonging to Imaging.”

Sony’s new Xperia 1 marks a change of approach for Sony, Trusted Reviews says. The phone features a triple-camera system with the BIONZ X image processing engine, RAW noise reduction, manual control of shutter speed and ISO, 21:9/4K/HDR/24fps video recording, optical and electronic image stabilization, 2x optical zoom, 10fps (with AF/AE), and Eye AF (the first in a smartphone).

Sony has also benefited from rival companies’ self-cannibalization fears. Even though Sony jumped into full-frame mirrorless cameras with the a7 back in 2013, Canon and Nikon didn’t unveil full-frame mirrorless cameras to rival Sony until late 2018 due to fears of cannibalizing their bread-and-butter DSLR sales, allowing Sony to enjoy years of growing as a near-monopoly in the full-frame mirrorless market.


Source: PetaPixel

Sony Smartphone Cameras Trail Rivals Due to Fears of Cannibalizing Itself

Hipster Pissed Over His Photo in Article on Hipsters Looking the Same… But It’s a Different Hipster

Hipster Pissed Over His Photo in Article on Hipsters Looking the Same… But It’s a Different Hipster

The MIT Technology Review recently published a story titled, “The hipster effect: Why anti-conformists always end up looking the same.” The photo accompanying the article pissed off a hipster, and hilarity ensued.

The article was a summary of a research paper that found that in trying to make a “counter-cultural statement,” hipsters often end up looking like each other. And at the top of the article was a photo illustration of a hipster with copies of him:

The Register reports that the magazine soon received an angry email from a man who wasn’t happy when he saw himself being used as the lead illustration for the article. He accused the Technology Review of “slandering him.”

Here’s the story told in a series of Tweets by MIT Technology Review editor-in-chief Gideon Lichfield:

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Lichfield then looked into whether the magazine had the proper model releases to use the man’s likeness.

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It turns out the photo illustration was based on a Getty Images stock photo titled, “Styled for the street: Shot of a handsome young man in trendy winter attire against a wooden background.”

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The photo had a restriction stating that any use in an unflattering way must be accompanied by a note stating that the subject is a model.

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And here’s where things get hilarious: the furious hipster who emailed wasn’t even the hipster in the photo.

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“He’d misidentified himself,” Lichfield writes. “All of which just proves the story we ran: Hipsters look so much alike that they can’t even tell themselves apart from each other.”


Source: PetaPixel

Hipster Pissed Over His Photo in Article on Hipsters Looking the Same… But It’s a Different Hipster

Meyer Optik Gorlitz Admits Nocturnus was a Modified Chinese Lens

Meyer Optik Gorlitz Admits Nocturnus was a Modified Chinese Lens

After years of launching lenses through much-hyped Kickstarter campaigns, Meyer Optik Gorlitz died in 2018 but was brought back to life after its parent company, net SE, was acquired by the German company OPC Optics. With a new owner, Meyer Optik is now confessing that yes, the Nocturnus was actually a modified Chinese lens.

Back around 2015, photographers began pointing out that the $3,000 Meyer Optik Görlitz Nocturnus 50mm f/0.95 was surprisingly similar to the $849 Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95. When asked whether the Nocturnus was based on the Speedmaster, Meyer Optik representatives denied it, but photographer Ori Cohen did some digging and found that the internal optics and specs of the lenses were identical:

“It seems that it’s undeniable that the Nocturnus 50mm f/0.95 I and II were based on the Mitakon 50mm f/0.95, having gone through several redesign stages,” Cohen wrote in 2017.

Fast forward a couple more years, and now Meyer Optik is admitting what photographers have suspected — that the “Made in Germany” Nocturnus was actually made in China.

“After analyzing the portfolio of products most recently sold and advertised by the previous supplier, a decision was made to discontinue the Somnium and Nocturnus ranges for the time being,” Meyer Optik writes in a press release. “In line with comments in the past on various online platforms, forums etc., the current Meyer Optik staff also soon became aware that internally the Somnium was actually a modified Russian lens and the Nocturnus was a modified Chinese lens.”

“That is an absolute no go,” says OPC Optics Managing Director Timo Heinze. “As a German manufacturer using the ‘Made in Germany’ quality seal, this is a shameful indictment. These lenses may be perfectly good in their own right, but their production methods and marketing goes against all our principles.

“With us, nothing of this nature will occur. At the same time, we are not ruling out launching lenses with similar characteristics in the future. But if we did decide to do so, they would, of course, be our own designs and produced by us, in order to genuinely earn the ‘Made in Germany’ label.”

So if you’re an owner of the original Meyer Optik Nocturnus 50mm f/0.95, sorry… you would have saved a hefty sum while getting the same image quality by buying the Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95.


Source: PetaPixel

Meyer Optik Gorlitz Admits Nocturnus was a Modified Chinese Lens

Abstract Aerial Photos of Melting Glaciers in Iceland

Abstract Aerial Photos of Melting Glaciers in Iceland

“Glacier Pools” is a photo series by German photographer Tom Hegen, who flew over melting glaciers in Iceland in a helicopter and captured abstract aerial views of the pools that form in the outwash plains.

“These Glacier Pools occur when a chunk of ice breaks off of a retreating glacier and embeds itself in the ground,” Hegen writes. “When it melts, it forms what is called a kettle pond.”

“In freshly deglaciated areas, such as around the melting glaciers in Iceland, there are dozens of small pools in the outwash plains,” Hegen says. “The lake colors indicate amounts of sediment or depth: the Deeper or clearer the water, the bluer the lake.”

You can find more of Hegen’s work on his website and Instagram.


Image credits: Photographs by Tom Hegen and used with permission


Source: PetaPixel

Abstract Aerial Photos of Melting Glaciers in Iceland

Meike Unveils the 85mm f/1.8 MF Lens for Sony FE

Meike Unveils the 85mm f/1.8 MF Lens for Sony FE

The Hong Kong-based gear manufacturer Meike has unveiled its new 85mm f/1.8 lens for Sony full-frame E-mount cameras.

The manual-focus lens features a 9-blade circular aperture for beautiful bokeh and is great for portrait photography.

Features and specs include a minimum focus distance of 2.8 feet (0.85m), 9 elements in 6 groups, and a filter diameter of 67mm.

Here are some sample photos captured with the lens:

Pricing has yet to be announced, but the 85mm f/1.8 for Canon EF features autofocus (a Meike first) and costs less than $200.


Source: PetaPixel

Meike Unveils the 85mm f/1.8 MF Lens for Sony FE

Flickr Unveils a New Login That Ditches Yahoo’s System

Flickr Unveils a New Login That Ditches Yahoo’s System

After being acquired by Yahoo in 2005, Flickr became bound to its new owner’s authorization system, meaning all users needed to have a Yahoo account just to use Flickr. Flickr has just announced a new login system that finally frees the service from Yahoo.

Flickr says that a revamped login system was the single most requested feature by users after it was sold to SmugMug in 2018.

“We set to work right away to bring all our members a new, secure login method that doesn’t require a Yahoo account, and we’re thrilled that the time has come to begin migrating members to the new login,” Flickr writes in a blog post.

The Flickr login page has already been updated with a redesigned look.

The new login box on the sign in page.

Once the rollout reaches you, you’ll be taken through a simple process that will allow you to choose a new login email address and a new password — you may have already changed your password once in 2016 after Yahoo announced that 1 billion of its accounts were stolen.

Because Flickr has so many registered users, this rollout will take some time, but it should reach you sometime “over the next few weeks.”

“We hope you love this new, simpler login experience,” Flickr says. “We’re still hard at work on performance and stability improvements across the site (as discussed here), but we’re delighted to check this key item off our members’ wish lists.”


Source: PetaPixel

Flickr Unveils a New Login That Ditches Yahoo’s System

Review: Topaz Sharpen AI is Amazing

Review: Topaz Sharpen AI is Amazing

I got an email notifying me of the release of Topaz Sharpen AI, a program that enhances details and fixes out-of-focus/blurred shots. I initially expected that it was something similar to Adobe Enhance Details, which slightly enhanced the details of some specific shots and didn’t work for many other images. Topaz provided a demo fully-functional for 30 days, so I decided to give it a try.

Honestly speaking, I didn’t expect much. AI is the buzz word these days. Every company claims that their products feature wonderful AI but usually such AIs underperform my expectations.

I tell you the conclusion first so that you don’t have to waste your time. I was very, very impressed with Topaz Labs’ technology. It doesn’t work perfectly well with all images and it has some drawbacks, but the overall technology is really amazing.

Let me show you some images I processed using this software.

Nikon D810E + AF-S Nikkor 28-300m f/3.5-5.6 VR

The first example is a landscape photograph I took during my travels in Australia. It was a typical situation for travel photographers: I had to take this photo with my 28-300mm utility zoom lens. There’s no problem with the focus or camera shake, but it was simply that the lens was soft particularly at the edges.

Before at center.
After sharpening at center.
Before at edge.
After sharpening at edge.

I was blown away. The following settings were applied. If you feel it’s a little too sharp at the center, turn Remove Blur down to, say, 0.40 and blend them together in Photoshop using the circular gradation tool on a layer mask.

As soon as I started using this software I noticed something unusual — It is really slow! This program is extremely CPU/GPU intensive, so you need to run it on a fast PC. My 27″ Retina iMac is not too slow (Core i7 7700K 4.2GHz with Radeon Pro 8GB and 40GB of RAM), but it runs really slow on my computer. If you turn off Automatically Update Preview switch at the right bottom of the window, it runs smoothly but you need to check out the preview to make appropriate settings. The workaround I found was to keep the preview size as small as possible — then it ran a little faster. Still slow but somewhat bearable.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 14-150mm F4-5.6

Let’s move on to the next example. This photo was again taken with a utility zoom lens. I took this shot when I lived near the building (Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building) several years ago. The original image was slightly out of focus. Perhaps I should’ve fixed the purple fringe in Lightroom in advance. But the Sharpen AI enhanced the details dramatically and also removed the purple fringe to some degree.

Before at center.
After sharpening at center.
Before at edge.
After sharpening at edge.

So far this program is really amazing. But it doesn’t always work perfectly well.

Nikon D800E + SIGMA 50mm F1.4 ART

This shot was taken with the Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4, so it’s actually very sharp and doesn’t really require any further sharpening, but I tested it, too.

Before around the center.
After sharpening around the center.
Before at the trees in the shadows (brightened to make them more visible).
After sharpening at the trees in the shadows (brightened to make them more visible).

The AI successfully sharpened the image except for the trees hidden in the shadow. The original was much better in this particular area. So you need to know how to blend two images using a layer mask in Photoshop to fully appreciate this software.

Nikon D800E+Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR

How does it work on photos with a shallow depth of field? I tested the AI with the above example shot.

Before around the center.
After sharpening around the center.
Before in the defocused area.
After sharpening in the defocused area.

To my surprise, it sharpened the focused part and also smoothened (or reduced the noise at) the defocused part.

The focused and defocused areas were easily distinguishable in the above example. Let’s try it with another sample in which the amount of bokeh varies within a single subject.

Olympus E-M5 + a MF lens (but I don’t remember the name.)

You might wonder why I couldn’t focus on a cat who stayed still. Well, I manually focused using an old lens… It’s a shame to show you such a badly taken photo, but it is a good example for the review.

Before.
After sharpening.

These settings couldn’t fix the focus. So let’s try another algorithm.

Before.
After sharpening.

A little better. But not very natural. Maybe you can blend it with the original to make it look as if the focus is on the nose of the cat. I need to test more photographs to draw a conclusion but I guess that the AI is not very good at handling this sort of photographs, that is, the amount of bokeh varies dramatically within a single subject.

Nikon D800E + Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

The last example is a photo of an eagle I took in Australia with the 28-300mm utility zoom. I spotted an eagle while driving in the outback. I quickly pulled over the car and took this shot but unfortunately the camera couldn’t AF well.

Before.
After sharpening.

Wow! I was utterly gobsmacked at the result. It’s magic, isn’t it!?

Before.
After sharpening.

But it also sharpened defocused areas in an unnatural way as well. So I’d need to blend the sharpened image with the original in Photoshop. I’m not going to explain how to blend them in Photoshop in this article, as it is already too long and I want to focus on the AI.

The Bottom Line

This product doesn’t work perfectly for every photo but it works wonders on many photos. I highly recommend Topaz Sharpen AI if you have a fast computer. I bought it. I would be delighted if I could use PayPal though.


About the author: Yuga Kurita is a professional photographer based in Japan. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Kurita’s work on his website, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, 500px, and Instagram. This article was also published here.


Source: PetaPixel

Review: Topaz Sharpen AI is Amazing

The Lesson from Costco’s Photo Lab

The Lesson from Costco’s Photo Lab

I received a letter from Costco that the location I frequent for my 8 pounds of ground beef and jumbo bottle of vodka is closing their photo department. Why? Because in spite of more pictures being taken now than in any time in the history of photography, people are simply not printing their snapshots and, because of this rapid decline in printing volume, it makes no financial sense to keep the photo department open.

And after reading this letter, I have one thing to say: People… WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Listen, I’ve tried being nice. I have. I’ve tried the cute graphics and the thought-provoking posts, but now, I am going to sit you down to have a come to Jesus moment regarding your memories.

Folks, you are ‘effing losing them. Daily. By the second, even.

Now, I’m not even talking about professional photos; no, I’m talking about all the day-to-day memories you take courtesy of your mobile device. The thousands of photos you have on your phone right now, people.

The ballet recital. The trip to the park. The vacation. The ordinary, run-of-the-mill wonderful events that make up a life, events that you whip out your phone to remember. Events that the minute your phone crashes or falls into the toilet, you will no longer have.

“But I back up to the cloud,” you say. “My pictures are safe,” you say.

People, repeat after me: “There is no cloud.” You are simply backing photos up to another computer somewhere. And while you may have access to them, will your kids? Or their kids? Or their kids?

Let me answer that for you. NO. No, they won’t, which means all of those precious day-to-day images will be lost for future generations because you didn’t take an hour to send them off to be printed onto paper.

Again… WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Are these images not important enough to print? Are they throw-away memories?

I tell you truly from the bottom of my heart, the snapshots you have today will be MORE important later. But, later, well, you won’t have them. 30 years from now, when you are searching for that photo of your dad at his birthday or your daughter in her kindergarten play, you won’t have it.

And when you are gone and your kids are searching for family pictures, what will they find? A link to an online gallery? An obsolete hard drive? Or boxes and albums full of wonderful printed photos, photos they will hold in their hands and pass around the table and treasure more than gold.

If you think photos are important now, wait until they are all you have left. ‘Cause the true value of a photo is only understood years after it is taken.

So upload them, back them up, but more than anything… PRINT WHAT YOU WANT TO PRESERVE. Don’t let your memories die when your phone does.


About the author: Missy Mwac is a photography satirist, a lover of bacon, a drinker of vodka, a lover of sparkle, and a guide through the murky waters of professional photography. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can connect with her on her website, Tumblr, and Facebook. This article was also published here.


Image credits: Header photos by Elvert Barnes and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0


Source: PetaPixel

The Lesson from Costco’s Photo Lab