Seagate starts shipping world's first 8 TB hard drives

by JamesNYCAugust 27. 2014 07:38

For many, solid-state drives are the way to go because of the speed advantages they offer over traditional platter-based hard drives. However, HDDs still hold the advantage when it comes to cost per GB. It's with that in mind that Seagate has started shipping the world's first 3.5-in HDD with a whopping capacity of 8 TB.

Seagate is, at least for the time being, targeting its new drive at enterprise users, such as cloud-based data centers, and back-up disaster recovery storage. This makes sense, as for such users it's all about making the most of space and cramming 8 TB into a single drive increases the storage density such facilities can accommodate.

Seagate also claims the the new drive boasts the best Watts/GB for enterprise bulk data storage in the industry, resulting in lower power costs for users. It also incorporates a SATA 6Gb/s interface, making it easy to integrate into existing data centers.

Seagate is shipping the drives to "select customers" right now, and it's planning to offer the drives to the masses sometime next quarter (October – December 2014). Pricing details are yet to be announced.

Source: Seagate

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Photographer Files Vague Patent, Sues Others for Shooting and Selling Photos of Sporting Events

by JamesNYCAugust 23. 2014 14:17

In the world of patents, some money, a lawyer and the carefully crafting a few hundred words can go a long way — for better or worse.

 

One such example is the case of Peter Wolf, owner of Photocrazy, a company that takes photos of sporting events such as triathlons, then offers prints to the participants by matching their race number to an internalized, searchable database.

And although this concept has been around for quite some time in various forms, EFF reveals that Wolf managed to get three patents on this generalized idea and is now attempting to squash other, smaller operations that use a similar method.

Specifically, 6,985,875; 7,047,214 and 7,870,035 are the patents Wolf has managed to secure with the help of some clever wording on behalf of his lawyer. The basis of the most vital component in primary claim — 6,985,875 — is the process of taking a photo of a sporting event, tagging and sorting the participants by their bib number and date of the event, then making available the photographs in an online search form using those variables.

Naturally, the patent filing explains it in far greater detail:

  1. A process providing event photographs of a sporting event for inspection, selection and distribution via a computer network, comprising the steps of:

taking photographs of at least one participant of a sporting event along at least one point of a course or field thereof;

associating identifying data with each photograph taken, wherein the identifying data is selected from at least one of: a number corresponding to a number worn by a participant, a participant’s name, a code acquired from a component worn by a participant, and a date and time, including hour and minute the photograph was taken;

informing the sporting participants of the identifying data;

transferring the photographs to a computer network server;

cataloging each of the photographs in a web-site server according to the identifying data;

accessing the server at a location other than the sporting event and searching for a photograph of a particular sporting event participant utilizing the identifying data; and

displaying the photograph of the sporting event participant for inspection and ordering.

This patent is drawing a great deal of criticism though, considering there’s nothing exactly proprietary within the filings — it’s a conglomeration of already-existing general concepts. With the patents in hand though, Wolf is able to effectively control this generalized idea and file lawsuits against other, smaller operations.

The first is a rather small company called Capstone, which has been using a similar workflow for their images for quite some time. Wolf is looking to sue them for doing so. Fortunately, two previous cases — Alice v. CLS ruling and Limelight v. Akamai ruling — make it seem like these patents could be rendered invalid for a number of reasons.

Even if the patents are determined invalid though, Capstone and any future company using a similar workflow aren’t quite off the hook.

Legal fees alone could collapse a small company such as Capstone, which is made up of almost completely part-time workers. Capstone is attempting to crowdfund support for the lawsuit, but only $5,000 has come through, which is just a drop in the bucket of the impending legal fees, regardless of whether the patent is ruled valid or not.

One way or another, cases like this show just how counterintuitive patents can be, when their original purpose was to create, not stifle, innovation.

To read up more on the patents filed, follow the respective links in the article above.

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Leica goes discreet with the improved M-P

by JamesNYCAugust 23. 2014 08:38

Photo Assistant

The Leica M-P will be available in silver chrome or black paint finishes

Leica has announced the launch of the M-P rangefinder camera. The new model improves on the original Leica M by featuring a bigger buffer, a sapphire glass display-cover, and a frame selection lever for subject framing. The German firm has also opted to make the M-P more discreet by omitting the iconic red dot.

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The Leica M-P (not to be confused with the film-shooting Leica MP) shares the vast majority of its features with the Leica M. As such the full-frame M-mount shooter features a 24 megapixel sensor, an ISO range of 200-6,400 and the ability to shoot Full HD 1080p video footage.

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Photo Assistant

The Leica M-P will cost US$7,950 and is due to start shipping by the end of the month

In much the same way as the Leica M9-P differed from the M9, changes to the M-P are modest, but could make all the difference to some users. The most performance enhancing improvement is a bigger buffer, which at 2 GB now makes it possible to shoot up to 24 full resolution images at a continuous speed of 3 fps.

Photo Assistant

The Leica M-P has a sapphire glass cover on its rear monitor

While the three-inch rear LCD still just features a 920k dot resolution, it's now covered with sapphire glass, to offer better scratch resistance and durability. The M-P also gains a frame selection lever on the front, which can be used to show the framing of various focal lengths in the viewfinder. New versions of some protectors and ever ready cases will be released which accommodate the added frame selector.

Photo Assistant

The Leica M-P features a 24 megapixel full-frame sensor

Another change, again in line with previous P-series cameras, is that the M-P is designed to be more discreet. What this means in practice is that it lacks either the M or Leica red dot branding on the front of the camera, which some users tape over. Instead there's the less attention-grabbing classical Leica script engraving on the top of the camera.

The Leica M-P will be available in silver chrome or black paint finishes and is expected to start shipping by the end of the month. It will set you back US$7,950, compared with the $6,950 price-tag of the Leica M.

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Product page: Leica M-P

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Photo Assistant

The Leica M-P has an ISO range of 200-6,400 and the ability to shoot Full HD 1080p video footage

Photo Assistant

The Leica M-P a discreet variation of the M camera which lacks the iconic red dot

 

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Magic Lantern 40fps on Canon 5D Mk III in RAW

by JamesNYCAugust 22. 2014 12:38

Magic Lantern keeps pushing the boundaries of the Canon DLSR platform.

They have recently announced that it is now possible, on the Canon 5D Mark III, for you to shoot at 40 frames per second at 1080 in RAW mode.

If you are shooting in 720 you can record up to 67fps in RAW.

You might be asking why this is such a big deal. Until now you were limited to only 30fps in full 1080. Many projects these days require the ability to shoot slow motion in 1080 is a necessity.

Until now my work around has been to shoot those productions that require slow motion in 24 fps for the main footage and then any b-roll I would shoot at 30fps and conform those to 24fps. This slows down the b-roll enough to really help create a cinematic look to the video.

That is the way I can stay in full 1080 resolution. With this workflow I can take the “edge” off the video but it still isn’t really slow motion. I also shoot 30fps with a high shutter speed and can slow the footage down even more in post to get closer to real slow motion in 1080.

Now with the ability to go down to 40fps I can now start approaching true slow motion in 1080. If you need to push slow motion a little more you can still apply post production slow motion and those extra 10 frames per second really make a huge difference.

Make sure you download and try out a few features from Magic Lantern. It is like buying a whole new camera with new features. Happy shooting.

Technical info here.

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ZEISS - The Physics of Camera Lenses

by JamesNYCAugust 22. 2014 08:23

Zeiss has released a technical article by Dr. Vladan Blahnik all about the irradiance and aperture of camera lenses. The 32-page article goes in-depth on the physics of lenses.

Read it here.

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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Films Through Pentax Viewfinder for Charming Short Film

by JamesNYCAugust 22. 2014 07:24

Mathieu Maury and Antoine Pai used the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera to film vignettes through the viewfinder of a Pentax 67 camera.

Mathieu Maury and Antoine Pai are two photography and filmmaking enthusiast who decided to launch a production and advertising company called Maison Carnot. They are passionate about finding new subjects and ways to explore what surrounds them. Based on this philosophy, they came up with the short film "Paris through Pentax".

Through the viewfinder images always seem to catch the eye and this video is no exception. The beauty of Parisian life is shown from start to finish. Here is a short interview with them to see how and why the film was made. From Antoine: 

It's interesting story, Mathieu passed by my place with the Pentax 67 and almost the same day I received the Blackmagic pocket camera and it just seemed obvious to us when the two cameras were lying together on the table. The depth and beauty from the Pentax is just hypnotizing. So, after some DIY brainstorming we ended up with the right set up.

This short film is shot in a few of the best spots around Paris, they cleverly used a mix of famous and not-so famous locations. Watching this film, it is quickly evident that there is a decent amount of dynamic range in the scenes - great use of the Black Magic Pocket camera's capabilities. They also created a wooden jig to hold the camera and black paper covered flag to get rid of any reflections or flares. This resulted in a relatively inexpensive setup that created expensive looking high-end finished product. When DIY is done right, you don't know it's DIY. Enjoy this quick trip around Paris.

Maison Carnon around the web: Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo.

DIY brainstorming we ended up with the right set up.

 

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Monkey Selfies can not be copyrighted

by JamesNYCAugust 22. 2014 06:10

The verdict is in: monkey selfies cannot be copyrighted.

A public draft of a U.S. Copyright Office report, released Tuesday, said it will register only works created by human beings.

Hidden among the document's 1,222 pages is article 306, which covers The Human Authorship Requirement: "The U.S. Copyright Office will register an original work of authorship, provided that the work was created by a human being," the record said. "The Office will not register works produced by nature, animals, or plants."

The first, very specific, example: a photograph taken by a monkey. It turns out a mural painted by an elephant doesn't count, either.

British nature photographer David Slater spent three days in the Indonesian wilderness in 2011, shadowing a pack of macaque monkeys, becoming a part of their tribe. Once comfortable with each other, the photographer set his camera on a tripod, framed the shot, and left the shutter button for a female monkey to operate.

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Free Color Predictor App Lets You Preview Camera Color Capabilities Under Different Lighting

by JamesNYCAugust 20. 2014 08:12

First released at NAB earlier this year, the Academy Color Predictor for iOS 7 aims to let you predict and preview the color rendering capabilities of digital cameras under different lighting setups.

Great lighting is just as much science as it is art. Finding tools and resources covering the artistic side of lighting is fairly easy, finding them on the scientific side not so much. Luckily for us, there’s an incredibly bright group of people out there that think of nothing else but the physics behind light and how it relates to cinematography. They’re called The Academy’s Scientific and Technology Council, a part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the very same people who hand out those small golden statues each year that everyone seems to enjoy so much).

The Academy’s Solid State Lighting committee released a very interesting free app for the iPad (iOS 7 only) at NAB 2014 called the Academy Color Predictor (ACP). Its object is to allow cinematographers and art directors to predict and preview the color rendering capabilities of digital cameras under different lighting setups. The ACP allows you to check a camera setup with a wide variety of variables against a known reference light source, and shows you the color differences you’ll have using standard color charts on your iPad.

Here’s the issue: you have a shot that encompasses two different types of lights.

Light A is a small 1x1 foot square panel made up of hundreds of small LEDs, drawing around 40 Watts of power from a small camera battery, that you want to keep about 1-3 meters from your talent.

Light B is a giant ball of plasma 1.3 million kilometers around, putting out 3.846×1026 Watts of power from an ongoing hydrogen thermonuclear fusion reaction, that you really want to keep about 150 million kilometers or so away from your talent.

It probably wouldn’t surprise you that because of the wildly different sources of light, the spectral response of each light may be very divergent even though the color temperature (5600K) is the same. The LED panel and the Sun have different frequencies of red in their light, so they will render a red shirt in different ways. The Academy Color Predictor can show you those differences, and let you determine if this combo may pose difficulties for color correction later.

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You Are Not A Storyteller

by JamesNYCAugust 19. 2014 09:06

Finlay someone better able to express what I've been saying for 25 years.

You are not a storyteller - Stefan Sagmeister @ FITC from FITC on Vimeo.

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David LaChappelle directs music video for Daphne Guinness

by JamesNYCAugust 17. 2014 08:28

SHOWstudio: Evening In Space - Daphne Guinness / David LaChapelle / Tony Visconti from SHOWstudio on Vimeo.

Daphne Guinness consolidates her move into music with a theatrical, mesmerising new music video directed by acclaimed image-maker David LaChapelle. Evening in Space was produced by Tony Visconti and is the first single from Guinness' upcoming debut album, which is billed for release in September 2014. The video features custom fashion by many of Guinness' favourite houses, including Iris van Herpen and Noritaka Tatehana, alongside pieces from her own celebrated clothing collection.

Song Writing and Performance: Daphne Guinness
Music Production: Tony Visconti
Video Direction: David LaChapelle

showstudio.com/project/evening_in_space

 

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Stuff people say

Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar. - Helmut Newton

 

"The Camera does not lie, Post Production and Publishers do". - James-ism 09/06/2013

 

Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work. - Booker T. Washington

 

"Papa, ... Music is your love, but Photography is your Religion." - Joya D. Hall-Sullivan | Age 10

 

"All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth." - Richard Avedon - 1984

 

 "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas Alva Edison

 

"Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar." - Helmut Newton

 

"You don’t have to sort of enhance reality. There is nothing stranger than truth." - Annie Leibovitz

 

"When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know you are on the right track." - Weegee

 

" The camera is much more than a recording apparatus. It is a medium via which messages reach us from another world." - Orson Welles

 

"Some people's photography is an art. Not mine. Art is a dirty word in photography. All this fine art crap is killing it already." - Helmut Newton

 

"Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more. " - Nikola Tesla

 

"I think all art is about control - the encounter between control and the uncontrollable." - Richard Avedon

 

"The first 10 000 shots are the worst." - Helmut Newton

 

“If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner it is that there are no short cuts in photography.” – Edward Weston

 

"Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning." - Mahatma Gandhi

 

"Ultimately success or failure in photographing people depends on the photographer's ability to understand his fellow man." - Edward Weston

 

"If you want reality take the bus." - David LaChapelle

 

"You don't take a photograph, you make it." - Ansel Adams

 

"When I have sex with someone I forget who I am. For a minute I even forget I’m human. It’s the same thing when I’m behind a camera. I forget I exist." - Robert Mapplethorpe

 

" Great photography is always on the edge of failure." - Garry Winogrand

 

"I don’t think photography has anything remotely to do with the brain. It has to do with eye appeal." - Horst P. Horst

 

"Be yourself. I much prefer seeing something, even it is clumsy, that doesn't look like somebody else's work." - William Klein

 

"Avedon claims to have been the best photographer in the '60s - bullshit - Bob Richardson was - despite or because of being insane and strung out on drugs, I managed to do photographs that are considered iconic - being known as the 'photographer's photographer' means I lead and they follow - I'm broke and they are rich." - Bob Richardson

 

"If you're absent during my struggle, don't expect to be present during my success" - Will Smith

 

"Either take the lead or follow behind, just stay the fuck out of my way." - James Sullivan

 
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