Samsung boosts storage of high-capacity SSDs to a hefty 2 TB

by JamesNYCJune 6. 2015 09:26

Samsung looked to usher in the consumer adoption of solid state drives (SSDs) back in 2013 with the launch of its speedy EVO series. It continues to forge ahead with its high-capacity vision for consumer-oriented, flash memory storage solutions with the addition of a pair of 2TB SSDs to its lineup.

The newest members of Samsung's SSD family are powered by the company's proprietary 3D Vertical NAND (V-NAND) technology, which it first unveiled in 2013. This brings the total range of products in its SSD lineup to 20, ranging in capacity from 120 GB up to the whopping new 2 TB options.

The drives are housed in the same 7 mm, 2.5-in aluminum casing as previous models and comprise 32 layers of 128 GB 3D V-NAND flash chips and an improved MHX controller to better support the 2 TB format. Also inside are four 20 nanometer-class 4Gb LPDDR3 DRAM chips.

Samsung has launched two versions, the 2 TB 850 EVO and 2 TB 850 PRO. The PRO variants have traditionally promised slightly better read/write speeds and reliability. Though Samsung is yet to release technical details on the new drives, it is guaranteeing the PRO model for 10 years or 300 TB written, and the EVO model for five years or 150 TB written.

The 2 TB 850 EVO is expected to cost US$800 and the 2 TB 850 PRO $1,000. There's no official release date yet, but they will be available to buy in 50 countries. Samsung also says that it has plans to extend the 3D V-NAND SSD lineups to include mSATA and M.2 form factors.

 

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Elle Australia Puts a Breastfeeding Model on Its Cover

by JamesNYCMay 22. 2015 08:43

Magazine dares to display Real-Life Moment

Breastfeeding moms are not a new thing when it comes to magazine covers, but Elle Australia apparently took advantage of a real-life moment when producing its June 2015 cover going out to its subscribers. The cover features new mom and model Nicole Trunfio breastfeeding her baby son Zion Clark. The shot, apparently, wasn't originally part of the magazine's plan. Ms. Trunfio was already booked for the shoot with photographer Georges Antoni. She brought her son along and started to feed him during a break, but the scene was so moving that the mag's team jumped on the opportunity to capture it on film.

"This wasn't a contrived situation: Zion needed a feed, Nicole gave it to him, and when we saw how beautiful they looked we simply moved her onto the set," Elle's editor-in-chief Justine Cullen said on the Elle Australia site. "It was a completely natural moment that resulted in a powerful picture."

Ms. Trunfio's reaction? "When I saw the [subscriber] cover of me breastfeeding, which was unplanned and just natural, I teared up and thought, 'Wow, this is such a special moment where my worlds have collided'," she told Elle.

 

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Rankin creates an Orgy of Surreal Erotica for Coco de Mer (NSFW)

by JamesNYCMay 20. 2015 23:18

Coco de Mer: X from TBWA\London on Vimeo.

U.K. erotic lingerie brand Coco de Mer is known for its risque ads, and in its latest, it goes for full-on erotic bombardment, albeit in a surreal style. The brand teamed up with photographer Rankin and TBWA/London to conceive the film, which will run in cinemas as well as online. It takes the viewer on a rollercoaster ride of sexual images (some definitely NSFW, but they're so brief you might miss them) mingled with seemingly random vignettes of other stuff -- from fighter jets to owls -- as it builds up to a climax and reminds us how often we think about sex. It was shot by an ensemble of directors including Rankin himself, Vicky Lawton, David Allain, Damien Fry, Joe Hunt, Trisha Ward and Bronwyn Parker-Rhodes.

Coco de Mer: This is Not a Rehearsal from TBWA\London on Vimeo.

Coco de Mer: This is Not a Rehearsal

Coco de Mer: Girls & Their Toys from TBWA\London on Vimeo.

Coco de Mer: Girls & Their Toys

 

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Straight talk from Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1958

by JamesNYCMay 20. 2015 14:31

Brilliant insights from a true legend.

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Fujifilm announces the enthusiast-friendly X-T10 camera

by JamesNYCMay 18. 2015 14:50

The Fujifilm X-T10 is the latest addition to the X-series line-up, and a little sibling to the high-end Fujifilm X-T1. As such the new mirror-less camera has a lot in common with its bigger brother, including a 16.3 megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor, a 2.36 million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder and the recently announced new autofocus modes. However, to reduce the intimidation factor for less experienced photographers, the camera is smaller and more accessible, with an Auto Mode Switch lever for accessing the fully-automatic Advanced SR Auto mode.

The core photographic specification of the Fujifilm X-T10 may well look familiar to those who have previously looked at the X-T1. A 16.3-megapixel APS-C (23.6 x 15.6 mm) X-Trans CMOS II sensor is paired with an EXR Processor II. This allows a wide ISO range up to an extended ISO 51,200 and burst speed shooting at 8 frames per second (fps) for approximately eight JPEG frames. While that top speed matches the X-T1 it's worth noting that the higher-end camera has a bigger buffer and can maintain this speed for 47 frames.

Autofocus is dealt with by a hybrid system which combines contrast and phase detection points to achieve fast and accurate focusing. Out-of-the-box the camera offers the standard 49-point Single Point mode along with the new Zone and Wide/Tracking modes that use a larger 77-point area when shooting moving subjects, which were recently announced for the X-T1 in an upcoming firmware update. It also has Eye Detection AF and an Auto Macro mode. Full HD 1080p video recording is possible at 60/50/30/25/24 fps, and a high bit rate of 36Mbps enables high quality footage.

 

Physically the X-T10 keeps the stylish retro look of the X-T1, but is smaller and lighter. It comes in at 118.4 x 82.8 x 40.8 mm (4.7 x 3.3 x 1.6 in) and weighs 381 g (13.4 oz) with a battery and memory card, but without a Fujifilm X mount lens attached. Around back there's a 0.39-in 2.36 million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder which allows the composition of images even in bright conditions, has a quick response time with a lag of just 0.005 seconds, and can display the effects of settings as you are shooting. Under this is a tilting three-inch LCD monitor with 920K-dots.

As we've come to expect from Fujifilm X-series cameras, there are plenty of physical controls and dials and to keep advanced photographers happy, though the X-T10 only has three top dials to the five of the X-T1. However, in a bid to be more accessible than the model it's based on, there's also an Auto Mode Switch lever on the top of the camera which can be used to quickly shift into a fully-automatic Advanced SR Auto mode for easy shooting. Here the camera will choose the optimum settings from 58 preset scenes. Another big change from the X-T1 is the inclusion of a pop-up flash.

The new camera also features built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for sharing images and video, or using a smart device running the Fujifilm Camera Remote app to remotely focus using a live display and "Touch AF" and then trigger the camera release. For those who like to process their images in-camera, there are a number of film simulation options, as well as the usual array of filters.

The Fujifilm X-T10 is expected to be available in silver or black from June, and will cost US$800 body-only.

You can check out a promo video for the X-T10 below. 

Product page: Fujifilm X-T10

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Leica Monochrom DNG Bug Can Wipe Out Your Apple Photos Library

by JamesNYCMay 13. 2015 23:40

Leica has discovered a serious bug that owners of the new Monochrom (Typ 246) need to be aware of. The camera’s DNG files have been found to be incompatible with Apple’s new Photos app. It’s not just that they can’t be opened: the files could corrupt your library and cause you to lose your entire photo collection.

 

In a product advisory first published over at Red Dot Forum, Leica says that loading Monochrom DNG files will cause Apple Photos to “crash continuously on loading.”

“This may cause the Apple Photos library to be destroyed. This means that pictures previously taken with any other camera will be lost,” Leica writes. “As such, Leica Camera does not recommend using the Apple ‘Photos’ App for DNG files from the new Monochrom (Typ 246) until further notice.”

Leica goes on to say that it’s working with Apple to “resolve this issue and develop a solution.” The fix will likely be on Apple’s end though, as Leica says that the next software update for Apple Photos should be free of this bug.

Apple’s new Photos app is the successor to iPhoto and Aperture, so there are undoubtedly a large number of photographers out there who are using the software for photo management and editing. For those who don’t have additional copies of photos outside of Photos, this could be a disastrous bug to learn of through personal experience.

 

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Watch a Video Walkthrough of the Canon XC10

by JamesNYCMay 8. 2015 13:19

Canon XC10 is a compact form-factor camera with a 1” sensor that shoots 4K UHD to Cfast and 1920×1080 HD to SD cards in Canon's new XFAVC codec.

There's a built-in 24-240mm equivalent lens with a manual zoom and face detection when shooting video. It runs on LP-E6 batteries, offers a 3.5mm jack microphone input and has a maximum ISO of 20,000.

Intriguingly it's also useable as a stills camera and has a mechanical shutter for taking 12MP stills in photo mode. There's also an articulating attachment for the rear screen that turns it into a viewfinder for judging focus when shooting handheld.

Canon plans to ship the camera in June for $2,499.

Canon's Paul McAniff gives rather lack luster run down on the new Canon XC10. We can only imagine how much more informative this video could have been IF Canon had properly informed and trained there sales rep.

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SanDisk targets enterprise customers with world's first 4 TB 2.5-inch SSD

by JamesNYCMay 5. 2015 09:22

Flash-based solid state drives (SSDs) have historically been the poor cousins to platter-based HDDs in terms of storage capacity, making them a poorer option for enterprise applications. But SanDisk is looking to change things with its new Optimus MAX SSD, the world's first 2.5-inch Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) SSD packing 4 TB of storage capacity.

Touting the new drive as the first true replacement for legacy mission-critical data center SAS HDDs, SanDisk claims the 4 TB Optimus MAX SSD allows enterprises to maintain their current SAS storage infrastructures, while providing improved, cost-effective performance, and generating less heat and consuming less power than HDDs.

Just exactly how cost effective the new drive is remains to be seen as SanDisk hasn't revealed pricing details, but it is claiming sequential read/write speeds of up to 400/400 MB/s and random read/write speeds of up to 75,000/15,000 Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) for the drive via its SAS 6 Gb/s interface.

Although the thought of slotting a 4 TB SSD into your laptop might sound appealing, SanDisk is targeting the drive at read-intensive applications with typical workloads made up of a read/write ratio of 90/10. This includes data warehousing, media streaming, web servers, video on demand (VOD), and web-based applications.

"Customers have been looking for a way to transition their data centers from HDDs to NAND flash, but have been forced to decide between cost and performance, or give up important functionality," says John Scaramuzzo, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Storage Solutions at SanDisk. "We believe that the Optimus MAX will be a disruptive force within the storage industry, catalyzing many organizations to make the switch from their HDD-prominent data center infrastructures to SSDs."

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40% of All Camera Sensors Sold in 2014 Were Made by Sony

by JamesNYCMay 1. 2015 06:55

Sony is not well known for making smartphones or cameras, but it’s playing a larger role in those industries than than many people may be aware: the company’s image sensor business has been growing in recent years. In 2014, Sony manufactured 40% of all the sensors sold across the globe.

The Wall Street Journal has published a fascinating look at how Sony is banking on image sensor manufacturing as one of the core pillars of the company. Instead of focusing on selling Sony-branded electronics, as the company did in past decades, Sony is now working at getting its technologies inside other companies’ hit products.

For example, every iPhone 6 contains two camera sensors made by Sony, and every sale of the phone generates up to $20 for the company, according to the WSJ report.

The latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphones both contain Sony camera sensors.

Back in February, Sony sorted its different businesses into three tiers depending on priority. Image sensors was placed into the highest tier, and Sony says it’s investing over $1 billion in its sensor factories in order to meet global demand. Sony’s camera business fell into the middle tier.

Although its own cameras may not be the company’s top priority now, photographers have a friend at the top: Sony’s CEO, Kazuo Hirai, reportedly refers to himself as a “camera nut.”

It just remains to be seen whether Sony can remain the leader in image sensors in both quantity and quality. If it can, Sony will have established itself as one of the cornerstones of the world of digital photography.

 

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Leica Officially Announces New M Monochrom Type 246 Camera

by JamesNYCApril 29. 2015 13:26

Today Leica has announced the new M Monochom (type 246) camera, a follow up to the M Monochrome black-and-white shooting rangefinder. The new digital camera boasts a faster Maestro image processor, 2 GB buffer memory, 24-megapixel black-and-white full-frame sensor, live-view zoom, focus peaking, and 1080p Full-HD video.

The M Monochroms claim to fame is being the first and only digital camera that produces only black and white images without any processing. Leica claims that their camera, without the hindrance of color, provides better images. According to Leica, "The result is 100 percent sharper images with brilliance and detail contrast that far exceeds what color photography can do."

The improvements to the processor allow for up to 3 times faster shooting and viewing on its beautiful 3-inch 921k-dot LCD screen. They've also added full-HD filming, 10x live-view zoom, and focus peaking, which reveals sharply focused edges with color highlights. Other improvements over the predecessor include a new CMOS sensor, a departure from the previous generations CCD sensor. The new sensor allows for a substantial bump in ISO range, which is capped at 25,000.

There is a video featuring Ragnar Axelsson using the new Monochrom here: https://vimeo.com/126365311

It should be noted that this camera will ONLY shoot B&W still and video and with an MSRP of $7,450 it will be the well off that like toys that this camera will appeal to. The rest of us will be content to change to B&W in Photoshop or use a Capture One Pro styles pre-set.  The Leica M Monochrom type 246 will be available in May as can be pre-ordered now.

 

 

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