RED and Facebook Unveil Manifold, a 3D and 360° VR Camera

RED and Facebook Unveil Manifold, a 3D and 360° VR Camera

RED and Facebook have unveiled Manifold, a new VR camera for shooting 3D and 360° imagery. It’s a “first studio-ready camera system for immersive 6DoF [6 degree of freedom] storytelling.”

“Manifold is a single product that redefines immersive cinematography with an all-in-one capture and distribution framework, giving creative professionals complete ownership of their 3D video projects, from conception to curtain call,” Facebook writes. “What this means for audiences is total narrative immersion in anything shot on the new camera system and viewed through 6DoF VR headsets. It’s nothing short of a paradigm shift in our ability to tell stories.”

The camera is designed to be powerful enough to capture immersive Hollywood-caliber movies — instead of sitting in a set watching a 2D movie, you’ll be able to watch the movie from inside the story.

The Manifold on display at Photokina 2018. Photo by Chad Davies.
Photo by Chad Davies.
Photo by Chad Davies.

Inside the Manifold are 16 separate RED Helium 8K sensors that arranged to capture a full 360-degree 6DoF view. The camera can record 8K raw footage at 60fps from all 16 cameras at the same time.

On the outside of the camera are 16 custom Schneider 8mm f/4 180-degree fisheye lenses. The control and storage devices can be placed 328 feet (100m) away from the camera head itself using a single SMPTE 304M cable for power, control, and data.

Footage that’s captured by the camera goes through RED’s image processing pipeline and then Facebook’s depth estimation technology. The end product is high-quality video “bursting with enhanced volumetric detail and movement.”

Here’s some sample imagery:

“Manifold is the first professional camera to fully capture a spherical set of images to accurately recreate entire scenes,” Facebook says.

Pricing and availability of the Manifold will be announced at a later date.

Image credits: Photos of the Manifold at Photokina by Chad Davies of Davies Imaging Group and used with permission

Source: PetaPixel

RED and Facebook Unveil Manifold, a 3D and 360° VR Camera

Fujifilm’s Next GFX is a 102MP Medium Format Mirrorless with PDAF, IBIS, 4K

Fujifilm’s Next GFX is a 102MP Medium Format Mirrorless with PDAF, IBIS, 4K

Fujifilm today announced that it’s currently building its third GFX medium format mirrorless camera. The new flagship camera will feature a 102-megapixel sensor and a number of firsts among its kind.

The not-yet-named camera will be the first medium format mirrorless camera to feature phase detection pixels across the entire image sensor, allowing it to track moving subjects and be more accurate during continuous autofocus.

It will also be the first medium format digital camera to feature in-body image stabilization, allowing photographers to capture sharper ultra-high-resolution photos while shooting handheld.

On the video front, the upcoming camera will be the first medium format camera of its sensor size (43.8×32.9mm) to offer 4K/30p recording. It will boast “substantially improved video recording capability compared to that of the GFX 50S and GFX 50R,” the company says.

The video performance will be thanks to Fujifilm’s X Processor 4, which “is capable of handling the massive amounts of data collected by the high resolution sensor.” It will also enable Fujifilm’s Film Simulations to be applied to the camera’s ultra-high-resolution imagery.

“This model will be FUJIFILM’s Fujifilm’s highest performance camera that offers unrivaled innovations and versatility, as seen in the three ‘world’s first’ features, satisfying all the needs of photographers at a higher level,” Fujifilm states.

Physically, the upcoming camera will differ from the bulky 50S and rangefinder-style 50R by having a built-in vertical battery grip, giving the camera “enhanced durability, handling and useability.” Fuji says the physical UI was developed based on feedback from photographers spanning multiple fields, including commercial, fashion, and landscape shooters.

Fujifilm will be announcing the camera’s name, features, specs, pricing (it will cost around $10,000), and availability (it’ll arrive sometime in 2019) at a later date. Stay tuned.

Source: PetaPixel

Fujifilm’s Next GFX is a 102MP Medium Format Mirrorless with PDAF, IBIS, 4K

iPhone XS vs. iPhone X : A Look at the Camera Hardware Changes

iPhone XS vs. iPhone X : A Look at the Camera Hardware Changes

My name is Sebastiaan de With, and I’m the co-founder and designer of the iPhone camera app Halide. Some reviewers with advance access to the iPhone XS have been kind enough to share technical readouts of the new phones with our team, detailing several camera hardware specs. After some analysis, we can now give you an overview of what’s new in the iPhone XS camera hardware and its technical capabilities beyond what Apple stated at their keynote.

Note that these are the hardware specs — Apple focused strongly on software enhancements like Smart HDR and the new Portrait mode, which are not covered by the technical specifications.

So What’s New?

A redesigned wide-angle lens

The lens on iPhone XS and XS Max that is used for most shots1 has had an overhaul with a new 26mm equivalent focal length. This is a change of 2mm—shaved off the previous iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X which have 28mm wide-angle lenses.

Rafael Zeier, a journalist and Halide and iPhone XS user was kind enough to share a comparison:

A new sensor

While we can’t check the size of the sensor with our Technical Readout, all data points to a new sensor in the iPhone XS. John Gruber of Daring Fireball speculates that the new iPhone XS sensor is about 30% larger — and Apple states that the pixels on the iPhone XS wide-angle camera sensor are now 1.4µm, a 0.2µm increase from the previous sensors.

Longer exposure time up to 1 second

The iPhone XS and XS Max are capable of a full second of exposure. Previous iPhones were only able to expose up to 1/3rd of a second2. This could enable a lot of cool long-exposure photography.

Wider ISO range

New sensor means new ISO range, which is a bit wider on the iPhone XS. ISO now goes from 24 ISO to 2304 ISO, which gives it a bit more sensitivity in low light. The ‘best’ iPhone sensor previously only went to 2112 ISO.

The Telephoto camera gained nearly 240 max ISO, its maximum ISO going from 1200 to 1440, indicating minor sensor tweaks there as well.

Presumably this means less noise across the board at the same level of light.

Minimum Exposure Changes

We read much longer minimum exposures on iPhone XS: wide angle and telephoto go from 1/91000th of a second to 1/22000th and 1/45000th, respectively. Unsure what this implies until we put the devices to the test.

Full Technical Readout Comparison

A Note on Other Changes

It bears repeating that our app’s Technical Readout only sees changes in the hardware in the camera modules.

Apple has significantly re-engineered the image processing pipeline, which includes automatic exposure merging for ‘Smart HDR’, likely changed and improved noise reduction based on machine learning with the new A12 Bionic chip, and more things we can’t comment on without rigorous testing of the new iPhone XS cameras.

Suffice it to say, the iPhone XS camera is likely to be a lot better than the iPhone X given the powerful system hardware enabling new software corrections and optimizations. A lot of image quality is in the software stack nowadays.

1. You will find that the stock camera app cleverly switches the camera even when at 2x zoom, as the telephoto lens and sensor are inflexible in many use cases. It’s a slower lens (it lets in less light), has a long minimum focus distance and the sensor isn’t as good as its wide-angle counterpart. See how Apple cleverly lies to you in day-to-day use here.

2. Apps that do exposures of more than 1/3rd of a second on non-XS iPhones are using composite images to simulate long exposures, which are not true long exposures.

About the author: Sebastiaan de With is the co-founder and developer of Halide, a groundbreaking iPhone camera app for deliberate and thoughtful photography. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can connect with him on Twitter. This article was also published here.

Source: PetaPixel

iPhone XS vs. iPhone X : A Look at the Camera Hardware Changes

Nikon Has Officially Left Brazil

Nikon Has Officially Left Brazil

Nikon Brazil is no more. The division has officially announced that it has ended all of its activities in the South American country, and the news comes less than a year after it announced the end of online sales.

The Nikon Brazil homepage is now virtually blank aside from some customer service and account info next to a notice of the closure:

Canon Brazil appears to still have thriving operations and a Facebook page with over 1.1 million likes.

Despite Brazil being a massive market — it has a population of around 210 million (the US is around 326 million) — Nikon failed to thrive in the country. Its struggles were apparently due to both the country’s policies and its thriving gray market. Brazilian hobbyist photographer Renato Murakami weighed in with some background info when sales were shuttered in November 2017:

“Not only [is the] Brazilian bureaucracy […] extremely horrible for foreign companies, […] but also there’s a huge grey market of not only cameras but all sorts of electronics and other types of products to contend with.

“[T]ax on electronics are around 60% of anything that’s over $50. But the rule is extremely confusing. […] In the end, any end consumer buying imported products in Brazil might have to pay over double the price and wait an extremely long time to actually get what they want.

“The situation is so ridiculous that it’s often cheaper to fly to Miami, purchase a bunch of electronics there, spend the weekend, and fly back… and still pay less than if you bought those products in Brazil. Particularly for expensive gear like cameras.”

Nikon Brazil says that valid warranties on photography equipment it sold will still be honored by the Nikon mothership and that those assistance and repair requests can continue to be submitted through its website’s form. Out-of-warranty products will now have their technical assistance services handled by Nikon USA.

Source: PetaPixel

Nikon Has Officially Left Brazil