LEAF introduces a new 50-megapixel CMOS - Leaf Credo 50

by JamesNYCSeptember 8. 2014 10:24

The Leaf Credo 50, from Mamiya Leaf, is the latest medium-format shooter to feature a 50-megapixel CMOS sensor. As such, the new digital back follows in the footsteps of recently-released devices like the Phase One IQ250, Hasselblad H5D-50c and Pentax 645Z, by boasting a versatile wide ISO range, improved Live View, and faster continuous shooting than its predecessors.

The 50-megapixel medium-format (44 x 33 mm) CMOS sensor at the heart of the Credo 50 is manufactured by Sony, and is understood to be the same one used in a number of rival cameras. In this case it's paired with a new image processor, to offer faster read and write speeds, and help produce highly detailed images with classic Leaf colors, which tend to be more film-like than many other digital cameras.

With an ISO range of 100 to 6,400, the new digital back should be capable of delivering the photographic goods in a variety of lighting conditions. Its 14-bit RAW files also have an expanded dynamic range of 14 stops. Though it's certainly no sports shooter, the Credo 50 is capable of firing off 1.2 frames per second, and its exposures can range from 1/10,000th of a second to an hour.

While the Credo 50 digital back will be available in a number of mounts for use with different camera bodies, its makers would probably rather you use it with a Mamiya/Phase One 645 DF+. On its rear is a 3.2-inch touchscreen display with a 1.15-megapixel resolution. This can be used for improved Live View focus and framing, adjusting settings, as well as inspecting and editing shots.

As full-resolution RAW files can come in at around 50 MB, users might want to stock up on CompactFlash cards if shooting un-tethered. However, if studio-based tethered shooting is more your thing, you'll be pleased to know that the Credo 50 features FireWire 800 and USB 3.0 connectivity, and comes with Capture One software for image capture and editing. Unfortunately though, it lacks the built-in Wi-Fi of the Phase One IQ250.

The Mamiya Leaf Credo 50 digital back will be on show at Photokina 2014, and available later this month for US$27,000 or $31,000 as a system with a 645 DF+ body. There will also be a Wide-Spectrum back option for Near IR and UV imaging.

NEW SENSOR-NEW POSSIBILITIES

The new Leaf Credo 50 is the latest member to the very successful Credo line. It follows the course of delivering legendary image quality and by employing a new high-performance CMOS sensor, it brings high iso capabilities along with fast capture rate, high dynamic range and improved Live View performance.

HIGH RESOLUTION AND HIGH SPEED

The Leaf Credo uses high resolution SONY CMOS sensor with 50 Megapixel, measuring 44mm x 33mm. It can capture at 1.2 frames per second and provides an extended iso range of 100-6400 means more freedom in choosing locations, lighting conditions and capture parameters. For many photographers this means they no longer have to carry another camera for certain type of jobs.

UNCOMPROMISING IMAGE QUALITY

The Leaf Credo 50 delivers the stunning, film-like quality that has been Leaf’s trademark for many years. The new CMOS sensor delivers an unsurpassed 14 f-stops of dynamic range provides unmatched detail, richness of color, low noise and beautiful tonality.

HIGH QUALITY LIVE VIEW

The use of the new CMOS sensor allows for improved Live View image quality with faster refresh rate ald low noise at almost every lighting conditions.

LONG EXPOSURES

The New Leaf Credo 50 digital back can capture virtually noise free images with exposures of up to 1 hour long.

WIDE SPECTURM

The Leaf Credo 50 is available also in Wide-Spectrum version, where the standard IR-cut filter has been replaced with an optically corrected glass. This new back delivers amazingly clean detail in a wider wavelength range due to high NIR sensitivity, high iso capability and excellent long exposures performance. Read more about the WS backs.

CAPTURE ONE SOFTWARE

You are now able to leverage the unique features and workflow environment of Capture One workflow software to optimize and enhance your images, create web galleries and print contact sheets directly from the computer. Together, the Leaf Credo 50 and Capture One are essential tools in producing the results you expect The Leaf Credo 50 offers the best price-performance ratio of any high resolution, high iso single-shot capture device, enabling you to take your photography further by capturing the highest quality, single-shot images possible. The sensor provides the ability to record the finest detail, eliminating the need to use cumbersome multi-shot solutions.

TOTAL CONTROL FROM CAPTURE-TO-DELIVERY

The Leaf Credo 50 lets you shoot anywhere. Featuring a high resolution, touch 3.2” screen, enabling you t o view, inspect and edit your images under all kinds of challenging lighting conditions, both in-studio and outside, as well as offering a wide range of on-screen functions.

CAPTURE SPEEDS AS FAST AS 1.2 FRAMES PER SECOND

Providing the fastest image transfer speed through the use of advanced FireWire 800, USB 3.0 and UDMA CompactFlash technologies, the Leaf Credo 50 is built for speed.

 

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Samsung 850 Pro 3D NAND and RAM caching result in the fastest, most durable SSD money can buy

by JamesNYCSeptember 3. 2014 06:16

In the world of SSDs, the Samsung 850 Pro is a major achievement. Up until now, all of the advances in SSD technology have come from either shrinking the size of the memory cells through using smaller process nodes, or through packing more data into each cell. For years, that approach won us ever-falling prices and improved performance, but it came with a built-in timer — at each successively smaller process node, it became more and more difficult for manufacturers to ensure NAND would retain its speed and reliability for years.

The alternative to this approach is to adopt 3D NAND, also called V-NAND (Vertical NAND), and stand the entire die stack on its head. The 850 Pro is the first SSD to deploy this method. Samsung has worked on the technology for years. We’ve discussed 3D NAND multiple times before — the basic idea is that by standing the NAND stack on its head and working downwards, it’s possible to build a NAND structure that holds a great deal more data per square millimeter — or at least, that’s the eventual goal.

read more here

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How Codecs Work - Tutorial

by JamesNYCSeptember 2. 2014 09:32

If you work with video, it's vital to understand how codecs work and how they change your image. In this tutorial, I over all of the big concepts behind codecs, breaking it down into understandable pieces. While the nitty-gritty of compression algorithms can get complicated, all of the main ideas are quite simple.

Here's an overview of the topics covered:

- What a codec is - And how it differs from a container.
- Different types of codecs - And why I frequently use 4 different codecs on a single project.
- Bit Depth - What it means and why it matters.
- Chroma Subsampling - 4:4:4, 4:2:2, and 4:2:0, and when it becomes an issue.
- Spatial Compression and Blocking - One of the most common artefacts you see with normal work.
- Temporal Compression - Long-GOP codecs, inter-frame compression, and ALL-I codecs.
- Lossless vs. Lossy compression - How image compression differs from data compression.
- Bit Rate - How to calculate bit rates and the differences between kbps/kBps/Mbps/MBps.
- Raw - Briefly, the difference between Raw, compressed, and uncompressed video.

Take a look at the companion post on Philipbloom.net as well

How Codecs Work - Tutorial from David Kong on Vimeo.

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Crowdfunding Project - 13 Questions Around Jazz

by JamesNYCSeptember 1. 2014 06:26

13 Questions Around Jazz

A series of intimate and exclusive portraits of Jazz artists in New York City and vicinities

Hi! It's the one talking in the video! I'm responsible for this whole endeavour.

I'm very excited to be here, to present this project to you: A series of private images, and a special glimpse into the jazz world.

My subjects were gracious enough to invite me into their world. Now let me invite you in – to their homes, where they work, places which are part of what constitute the actual fabric of Jazz and keep it alive. Along with my images there are interviews with all the subjects: each is asked the same 13 questions about music and life in general. The book comes with a musical CD of compositions by some of the artists photographed. It's a great book, and it looks great! These are moment between moments, in the flow of the music that never stops, in the city that never sleeps. These special images and words I believe deserve an appropriate format: when closed it's the size of a vinyl record cover (about 12.5x11 inches / cm 32.5x27.5), with a hard cover and a dust jacket. When published, this book will be distributed in book stores, music clubs/restaurants and other public venues and will not only become a great vehicle of promotion, but will in turn allow me to give back to all the artists and subjects of my project for participating to it: I believe this book and CD will help to stimulate curiosity and attract interest toward Jazz AND toward its exponents, which is the real bottom line.

We must raise $22,000 to print a minimum of 500 copies (they don't do less), plus somewhere between $500 and 1,000 to print the music CDs and sleeve them, and a small amount to cover shipping costs, plus hopefully some extras: to pay a couple of friends who helped me and didn't ask any money upfront. Therefore I'm setting the goal to $25,000.

 Check out the crowd funding page and make a donation.

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Redrock Micro One Man Crew Parabolic Slider

by JamesNYCSeptember 1. 2014 05:58

 

Parabolics are not an entirely new form of slider – there are several currently on the market – but Redrock Micro’s is self-contained and that makes it attractive to one-person news, documentary or indie movie shooters. And me. Gone are the days of hoping for budgets big enough for crew or camera assistant. Now the need to DIY, alone, is paramount.

The Redrockmicro one man crew can only be used as a parabolic slider – there is no way to make a straight slide with it. A motor moves the camera in one direction along the track and when it reaches the end it reverses and goes back in the opposite direction. This action is repeated for as long as you want and the idea of the setup is that you can leave your second camera running unattended for the entire duration of an interview, giving you a beautiful slow-moving cutaway shot. Better still, because the subject is kept in the same distance from the camera, it will stay in focus.

Setting up is super quick. You take it out of the bag, screw the included tripod head on, plug it into mains electricity and you are practically ready to go. All that remains to be done is to use the built-in laser guides to line up your subject – moving it closer or further away until the red dots vertically align.

Redrockmicro One Man Crew Examples from Matthew Allard ACS on Vimeo.

read more here

 

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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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Dropbox Pro Users Now Get 1TB of Storage, Other features

by JamesNYCAugust 27. 2014 06:13

The cloud storage service Dropbox has added a number of new features to its Pro storage tier.

Headlining the changes is a more generous allotment of storage. Whereas the Pro tier was previously split between 100, 200 and 500GB tiers, Dropbox will consolidate a Pro membership around a single, 1TB offering for $9.99 a month.

Beyond more generous storage, the company has introduced view-only permissions for shared folders which will enable users to share files without worrying that their recipient will make unwanted changes or edits. Now shared folders will come with three permission levels (owner, editor and viewer) to better control who can do what with Dropbox files.

In addition to the price cut, Dropbox is bringing some new sharing controls to Dropbox Pro. For added security, you can now set a password and expiration date for a shared links. The change comes after Dropbox in May disabled shared links to fix a bug that caused users to unwittingly leak their own personal files online. You can also now specify whether recipients can edit or just view the files in your shared folder.

There's also a new remote wipe feature that lets you easily delete Dropbox files from a lost or stolen device while keeping them safely backed up in the cloud..

Launched in 2008, Dropbox now has 300 million users saving 1 billion files a day.

 

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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.

Photo Assistant

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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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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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