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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U.S. Copyright Office Studying the Copyright Struggles of Photographers

by JamesNYCApril 28. 2015 22:26

The U.S. Copyright Office has published a call for comments from photographers and visual artists about how their works are “monetized, enforced and registered” and about “obstacles” artists face protecting their copyrights “when navigating the digital landscape.” The U.S. Copyright Office announced the research initiative April 24 in the Federal Register. The written comments are due by July 23.

What action, if any, the U.S. Copyright Office takes as a result of its research remains to be seen. “We just want to get an overview of the landscape,” says spokesperson Catie Rowland. “We’re just researching it, to see where it leads. There are a lot of concerns. We want to see if we can address them.”

Visual artists have been sharing their concerns and frustrations with the Copyright Office for years over registration burdens and the challenges of protecting their copyrights in the face of widespread online infringement. Rowland acknowledged that the issues the U.S. Copyright Office is seeking comment on “have been brought up for a long time.”

READ MORE HERE

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The Changing Face of Avid: Audio is king and Media Composer is free

by JamesNYCApril 28. 2015 11:59

 

RedShark News' David Shapton reports from Avid's press conference this weekend which heralded several important announcements and updates.
He writes, "The Avid press conference on Saturday morning was a fascinating confirmation that we live in a time of extreme technological change and that Avid is now an IT company - and it makes more audio than video hardware. It also announced first thing on Monday morning that it's spending around $60m buying realtime graphics company Orad...Essentially, with the exception of its hardware, Avid's products are becoming services, available from the internet."

Read the full story here.

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Sony introduces two updated zoom lenses for its A-mount camera systems

by JamesNYCApril 23. 2015 14:29

Today, Sony lifted the veil on two new Zeiss zoom lenses to add to its lineup of A-mount glass. The two new lenses are the standard zoom 24–70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II and the wide-angle zoom 16–35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II.

Both the 24–70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II and 16–35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II rely on the same optical formula as their predecessors. However, as similar as they are in build, a number of improvements have been made across the board, making them more than worthy enough of their ‘Mark II’ nomenclature.

The first difference is an improved subject tracking function, which is said to be 4x better than their predecessors thanks to changes made to the quiet, SSM (Super Sonic wave Motor) autofocus drives and associated electronics used inside the two lenses.

New coatings have also been applied to the Zeiss optics, which are said to further reduce ghosting and flaring in images.

Lastly, both lenses are now dust and moisture resistant, which should give you a little more piece of mind when taking your gear out in more challenging environments.

The two new models are designed to be used with Sony’s A-mount cameras, including their popular α99 and α77 II models. However, they can also be used with any E-mount Sony cameras with Sony’s LA-EA4 Adaptor.

The new 24–70mm F2.8 ZA SSM II standard zoom and 16–35mm F2.8 ZA SSM II wide-angle zoom lenses will be available June 15th for $2100 and $2250, respectively. You can pre-order yours now at B&H through the above links.

 

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ZEISS launch Batis 25mm f2.0 and 85mm f1.8 full-frame autofocus E-mount lenses

by JamesNYCApril 22. 2015 14:35

Zeiss has announced a duo of lenses designed specifically for use with Sony’s Alpha range of mirrorless full-frame system cameras (a7, a7R, a7S and a7 II). The Batis 25mm f2 and 85mm f1.8 lenses have Sony’s E-mount and will also work on video cameras like the FS7 or FS700. The two new lenses are available to order now and will ship in July 2015. The recommended retail prices are $1299 US for the ZEISS Batis 25mm f2 and $1199 US for the ZEISS Batis 85mm f1.8.

In a break with tradition, Zeiss has decided to equip the Batis lenses with a OLED display instead of a conventional focus scale. The little screen is illuminated, enabling users to see it even in low light conditions, and shows the distance to the subject as well as depth of field.

Both Batis lenses are constructed to high Zeiss standards and feature dust and weather seals. According to Zeiss the new AF drive system is fast and quiet, with linear motors allowing for rapid AF shooting in a variety of situations. If you don’t want to use the AF function a rubberized focus ring supports manual focusing, although it appears that this is of the fly-by-wire type.

 

This from Zeiss:
ZEISS Batis 2/25:
The ZEISS Batis 2/25 wide-angle lens has ten lens elements in eight groups and draws on the ZEISS Distagon optical design. Four of the lens elements are aspheric on both sides and five are made from special types of glass. The aspheric lens design ensures consistently high image quality over the whole image field and a sharpness that extends right to the edges of the frame. The moderate 82 degree image angle combined with a minimum focusing distance of 0.2 meters makes this wide-angle lens the perfect choice for architecture and landscape photography and many other applications besides. It encourages the user to make creative use of depth of field which can often yield surprising results, particularly in close-up photography.

ZEISS Batis 1.8/85:
The ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 is a moderate tele lens which offers 11 lens elements in eight groups and features the ZEISS Sonnar optical design. The lens elements are made from special types of glass and designed to ensure superior image quality. The ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 is a particularly good choice for wedding photography and portrait shots, offering the high speed which provides plenty of creative scope to bring out the main subject. Thanks to its optical image stabilization, the ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 can capture outstanding images even under difficult, shifting light conditions.

“The Batis family of lenses is the first time we have launched autofocus lenses for Sony’s full- frame E-mount cameras which are ZEISS through and through – in other words exclusively developed and distributed by us,” says Dr. Michael Pollmann, Product Manager at ZEISS Camera Lenses. The Sony alpha full-frame E-mount system, which currently consists of the α7 family of cameras, is one of the most innovative camera systems on the market and is becoming an increasingly popular choice for professionals and people considering switching from DSLRs. “The ZEISS Batis lenses are our way of acknowledging this trend and providing creative and ambitious photographers with the expert tools they need,” says Pollmann. The lenses are easy to use yet offer professional performance, so they are a sound investment for amateur photographers, too: “Camera sensors are constantly evolving, and so are photographers. Our Batis lenses are the perfect answer to these changing trends and herald a new era of professional photographers using mirrorless full-frame cameras,” says Pollmann.

The ZEISS Batis 2/25 and ZEISS Batis 1.8/85 lenses offer an initial choice of two focal lengths which have proved to be the most popular among users of the system: a moderate wide-angle focal length and a tele portrait focal length. The lenses make optimal use of the camera sensors, capturing every last detail with impressive contrast and high resolution. As well as offering fast and reliable autofocus, the lenses also support manual focusing, allowing users to choose the best option for each individual situation. The sleek, modern design – with smooth surfaces reminiscent of the high-end ZEISS Otus lenses – emphasizes the superior quality of this new lens family and gives the Batis lenses an unmistakable look and feel.

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Broncolor FT-System Continuous Lights With New Parabolic Reflectors

by JamesNYCApril 21. 2015 12:57

Hot lights have become common place in the studio for some time now, especially with the advent of video DSLRs.

And While BRIESE Lighting has been the dominant player in the CONVERTIBLE LIGHTING sector for the last 18 years; it' appears that Broncolor is finally taking a cue from them and following suite with ere latest offering.

The newest Broncolor light is made to fit into one of Broncolor's new parabolic reflectors which are known for being pretty great, yet expensive. Although the prices have yet to be released it's far to say that these are for a select clientele and the new FT-System is fit for both pro photographers and videographers alike - giving a good deal of bang for your buck.

One of the biggest benefits of the new system is that the light is completely flicker-free, according to Broncolor. This is amazing news for blink-of-an-eye paced shooting as well as cinematography. There are two models for the new product, the 1600 and the 2000. The 1600 is a 1600 watt daylight balanced light, while the 2000 is the 2000 watt tungsten balanced light. Each head attached to an electronic ballast and has a lamp head and focusing device. 

The complete Broncolor FT System is set to start shipping September 2015

FULL PRODUCT SPEC HERE

 

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Adobe rolls out Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6 with HDR and panorama tools

by JamesNYCApril 21. 2015 12:37

Adobe has announced new standalone and Creative Cloud versions of its image management and Raw conversion software, Lightroom. The latest versions gain simple HDR and Panorama merging tools that create DNG files from the merged results (16-bit floating point DNGs in the case of the HDR mode). Also added is the ability to paint-out regions of gradient filters, to allow more flexible overlays. Face Recognition tools have also been added, to simplify the tagging and retrieval of images.

The CC version of the software is also designed to tie-in with the iOS and Android versions of Lightroom, by allowing for collections you choose to be synced and available across multiple devices, as well as on a web platform. The CC version also works with Voice and Slate: two new programs for creating image-based animations and presentations.

Read more here

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GoPro HEROCast – New GoPro Streaming Solution for Live Broadcasting – NAB 2015

by JamesNYCApril 17. 2015 14:41

The new GoPro HEROCast makes GoPro streaming of live events a reality. It’s built for professional live broadcasting of GoPro HD footage and works with any receivers.GoPro HEROCast has just become the smallest and lightest professional live-broadcast transmitter on the market. The add-on accessory connects to any GoPro HERO 4 or previous generation.

gopro-herocast-1

For those in the live event business this is important news as it opens up new possibilities, new perspectives when covering an event. So far GoPro style shots were mostly limited to a non-live workflow.

HEROCast was developed together with Vislink who already offer a solid broadcast receiver ecosystem. It will also work with third party receivers and is said to offer a low-latency transmission with minimal to no signal interruptions.

The new GoPro streaming solution can be powered off a GoPro battery for minimum weight or through an external power source.

HEROCast    $7,500 MSRP

  •       Optimized for body mounting and engaging POV shots
  •       Separate units for versatile mounting and easy accessibility
  •       Easily attached to GoPro mounts including Chesty and more
  •       Connects via [supplied] HDMI cable

HEROCast BacPac    $7,500 MSRP

  •       All-in-one solution for immersive live-action footage
  •       Camera, transmitter, housing, and BacPac in one convenient unit
  •       Mounts to walls, cars, and other larger surfaces
  •       *Water resistant to IP67 specification

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