Samsung unveils ultra fast UFS cards

by JamesNYCJuly 7. 2016 09:12

We continually demand more of our mobile devices, action cameras and drones, the need for faster spacious storage grows with it. Samsung is the first to offer a taste of the next-gen memory cards. Its new Universal Flash Storage cards are the same size as microSDs, but can match the ultra-fast data transfer speeds of solid state drives.

The new cards are based on the new JEDEC Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 1.0 Card Extension Standard, which is aimed at upping data transfer speeds, as well as ending the need for different card type adaptors. Samsung is claiming a sequential read speed of 530 megabytes per second (MB/s), which is up to 5 times faster than a typical microSD card, and in a similar league to SATA SSDs.

The result? Samsung says its latest storage options mean it would take about 10 seconds to read a 5 GB high definition movie, as opposed to 50 seconds for a UHS-1 microSD card with a 95 MB/s sequential read speed.

As well as improving the sequential read rate, the new standard offers dramatic improvements in random read rate. The 256 GB UFS card works at a rate of 40,000 IOPS, an improvement of more than 20 times compared to a typical microSD card's random read rate of 1,800 IOPS.

 

More importantly the write speed is also up substantially, with Samsung promising 35,000 random IOPS from its 256 GB card. That's 350 times faster than a typical microSD card, while its 170 MB/s sequential write speed is almost double what you'd get from something like a SanDisk Extreme Pro.

When it comes time to transfer your files to a computer, the new cards offer better download time, less thumbnail loading time and less buffering from burst shooting. For fast and efficient data transfer, the card supports multiple commands and command queueing, while separately dedicated paths allow concurrent reading and writing.

Price and a launch date haven't been announced, though cards will be available in 32, 64, 128 and 256 GB variants. However, as the pin configuration on the back of the cards is different to microSD, the move to UFS may not be a perfectly smooth one.

 

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The look of a 136 Year Old Lens on a Modern Digital Camera

by JamesNYCJanuary 5. 2016 15:53

There's a good reason why photographers should never, ever, get rid of a lens. Photographer Mathieu Stern dug up a large format camera lens that he says dates back to the 1880s and adapted it to fit on his Sony a7 II. “The lens is incredibly sharp for a 136 years old simple metallic lens, from my test it’s even sharper than most of my modern canon lenses, the results are amazing. But it also gives some strange lens flares and light leaks that are pretty dreamy.”

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Phase One Releases Capture One Pro 9.0.1

by JamesNYCDecember 17. 2015 02:37

Phase One released Capture One Pro 9 just a little over two weeks ago and announced today its first update. This new version includes a couple of bug fixes and adds support for the DxO One camera. Like any new major update, Capture One 9 was released with a couple of issues that were known by Phase One. Gladly, the Danish medium format camera manufacturer was quick to correct most glitches and release version 9.0.1 of their software. This minor service release includes a couple of fixes that will make their professional raw converter more stable. Among the bugs that have been fixed include:

Mac

  • Synchronization of corrupted cos files
  • Keyword library: Add child keyword
  • Keywords: Drag a keyword between two CO documents
  • Save a style including a bundle ICC profile
  • Import of user styles after a clean install of CO
  • Other stability improvements

Windows

  • Crash when removing keywords
  • Red cross on the histogram of the levels tool followed by crash
  • Crash when setting up naming in the importer
  • Crash when stressing the thumbnail browser
  • Various other hangs and crashes

This is not the full list of corrections, but rather the most notable ones. Most of these bugs would make Capture One crash and could turn out to be quite annoying for some users. Because the framework used by the software is different on Mac and Windows, some bugs are different between the two versions.

You can find a full list of the bug fixes brought by Capture One Pro 9.0.1 in the official press release.

Find the new update here: Phase One's website.

 

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Great Cinematography of 2015

by JamesNYCDecember 14. 2015 00:34

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DaVinci Resolve 12.1: Remote Rendering, Native Display Support & More

by JamesNYCNovember 10. 2015 13:34

With the release of DaVinci Resolve 12, the former color suite has turned into a full blown NLE. This has been further expanded with version update 12.1; giving editors the ability to select clips when using the blade tool, extend freeze frames, use faders on generators and titles, perform negative time-code offsets and much more.

Since it's initial release in September(2015), DaVinci Resolve 12 has been downloaded by more customers than any other version of the NLE software and has become the industry's fastest growing video editor. DaVinci Resolve is now used on virtually all major films, television shows and commercials! "We've listened to feedback from professional editors and colorists and are excited to give them this free update which includes even more of the features they've been asking for!"

Here is a list of the many changes in 12.1:

  • Remote rendering on DaVinci Resolve Studio
  • Support for native display color profiles on OS X
  • Preferences option to enable 10-bit precision on viewers on OS X 10.11 El Capitan
  • Ability to select clips when in blade mode
  • Support for faders on generators and titles
  • Ability to extend freeze frames from the start of the edit
  • Ability to media manage selected clips on a timeline
  • Ability to perform negative timecode offset in clip attributes
  • Improved support for sub-clips from FCP7 XML
  • Improved rendering of audio transitions (cross-fades) and audio faders
  • Auto scroll during timeline item resize
  • Improved sorting in media storage and media pool
  • Support for smart bin filtering based on clip type
  • Ability to move clips and timelines from a smart bin view
  • Support for moving files to the trash instead of deleting them permanently when using the media manager on both Mac and Windows systems
  • Ability to delete multiple projects and folders in project manager
  • Ability to decompose a compound node
  • Ability to grade nested timelines
  • Ability to filter clips based on whether they have keyframes
  • Ability to manually keyframe power windows in frame mode even without tracking
  • Ability to freeze the current frame on an external matte
  • User option to copy flags and markers when performing ColorTrace
  • Improved ACEScc support
  • Support for stereo decision list (SDL) v0.25
  • Support for RED SDK v6.0.4
  • Support for embedding timecode in audio output

 

DaVinci Resolve 12.1 is available now as a free update to both versions of DaVinci Resolve. You can find the download for it at www.BlackmagicDesign.com

 

Blackmagic Design Announces DaVinci Resolve 12.1 Update Now Available

Fremont, California – November 12, 2015 – Blackmagic Design today announced the immediate availability of DaVinci Resolve 12.1 which adds dozens of new features such as remote rendering, 10-bit viewers, new editing and color correction tools, and more. The DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update is available now for both DaVinci Resolve 12 and DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio customers, and can be downloaded from the Blackmagic Design website.

DaVinci Resolve 12 is the most successful update in the history of the software and has become the industry’s fastest growing video editor. The feedback from the DaVinci Resolve community has been overwhelmingly positive and Blackmagic Design engineers have been hard at work to add even more of the features that professional editors and colorists have asked for.

DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update gives editors the ability to select clips when using the blade tool, extend freeze frames, use faders on generators and titles, perform negative timecode offsets, filter clips more efficiently, media manage groups of selected timeline clips, sort bins and footage more easily, create better filters for smart bins, and much more. Customers also get improved subclip support with Final Cut Pro 7 XMLs and improved audio rendering of audio transitions.

For colorists, DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update adds the ability to color correct nested timelines and to decompose compound nodes along with new manual keyframe options for Power Windows, support for 3D stereo decision lists version 0.25, filtering of keyframed clips, the option to copy flags and markers when performing ColorTrace and more.

In addition, the free DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update adds support for native display profiles on Mac OS X El Capitan, along with the option to enable 10-bit precision in the on screen viewers. That means customers using the new iMac with Retina P3 Display will be able to see more color, detail and dynamic range than ever before.

Since its release in September, the rapidly growing community of DaVinci Resolve 12 editors has meant that developers are now bringing their best and most exciting OpenFX plugins to DaVinci Resolve. For example, GenArts has been working with Blackmagic Design to bring new Sapphire Builder support to DaVinci Resolve 12. Expected in an upcoming Sapphire 9.0.1 release, Builder will let DaVinci Resolve users combine Sapphire plug-ins together in any order to create a virtually unlimited number of unique effects and transitions. “DaVinci Resolve is the first OFX host to support Sapphire Builder!” said Sapphire product manager Brian Fox, “We’re very excited that DaVinci Resolve 12.1 users can benefit from all the new capabilities of Sapphire Builder.”

To support the growing momentum of DaVinci Resolve 12, Blackmagic Design has conducted multiple hands on training sessions with the Motion Pictures Editor’s Guild in Hollywood. “I feel like DaVinci Resolve 12 is the NLE users have been waiting for all of these years,” said Noam Kroll, Los Angeles based filmmaker and editor whose feature film credits include “The Grace Of Jake” (2015), “Shake The Dust” (2014) and “Footsteps” (2012). “DaVinci Resolve 12 offers the same track based system that many editors are most comfortable with, but also provides truly innovative tools that feel very forward thinking.”

“Since it was released in September, DaVinci Resolve 12 has been downloaded by more customers than any other version of the software and has become the industry’s fastest growing video editor,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “DaVinci Resolve is now used on virtually all major films, television shows and commercials! We’ve listened to feedback from professional editors and colorists and are excited to give them this free update which includes even more of the features they’ve been asking for!”

What’s new in DaVinci Resolve 12.1

  • Remote rendering on DaVinci Resolve Studio
  • Support for native display color profiles on OS X
  • Preferences option to enable 10-bit precision on viewers on OS X 10.11 El Capitan
  • Ability to select clips when in blade mode
  • Support for faders on generators and titles
  • Ability to extend freeze frames from the start of the edit
  • Ability to media manage selected clips on a timeline
  • Ability to perform negative timecode offset in clip attributes
  • Improved support for sub-clips from FCP7 XML
  • Improved rendering of audio transitions (cross-fades) and audio faders
  • Auto scroll during timeline item resize
  • Improved sorting in media storage and media pool
  • Support for smart bin filtering based on clip type
  • Ability to move clips and timelines from a smart bin view
  • Support for moving files to the trash instead of deleting them permanently when using the media manager on both Mac and Windows systems
  • Ability to delete multiple projects and folders in project manager
  • Ability to decompose a compound node
  • Ability to grade nested timelines
  • Ability to filter clips based on whether they have keyframes
  • Ability to manually keyframe power windows in frame mode even without tracking
  • Ability to freeze the current frame on an external matte
  • User option to copy flags and markers when performing ColorTrace
  • Improved ACEScc support
  • Support for stereo decision list (SDL) v0.25
  • Support for RED SDK v6.0.4
  • Support for embedding timecode in audio output

About DaVinci Resolve 12

DaVinci Resolve 12 is the only software that lets customers edit, grade and finish projects all in a single tool. DaVinci Resolve lets professional editors work in a comfortable, familiar way while also giving them an entirely new toolset, along with DaVinci’s legendary image processing technology, that will help them cut and finish projects at higher quality than ever before. The familiar multi track timeline, customizable interface and keyboard shortcuts make it easy for editors to switch to DaVinci Resolve 12. Best of all, with DaVinci Resolve there is no monthly subscription, you don’t need to be connected to the cloud, and you don’t need to buy any proprietary hardware.

DaVinci Resolve Versions

DaVinci Resolve 12 is available for Mac, Windows and Linux computers with 3 versions available:

DaVinci Resolve 12 is free for customers to download and is a full professional editing and color grading system that is suitable for independent users working on SD, HD and Ultra HD projects. The free version supports all of the same file formats and has the same exact image quality as the paid version of DaVinci Resolve. The free version is designed for editors and colorists who need a dependable and professional tool to grow their business.

DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio is $995 and has all of the same features as the free version, but also adds support for multiple GPUs, 4K output, motion blur effects, temporal and spatial noise reduction, 3D stereoscopic tools, remote rendering, and collaboration tools that let multiple users work on the same project at the same time. DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio is recommended for professional studios and collaborative workgroups.

DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panel is $29,995 and includes the Linux, Mac and Windows version of DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio, along with the award winning DaVinci Resolve hardware control surface. Designed with input from professional colorists, the DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panel lets colorists manipulate multiple parameters simultaneously, giving them more control and creative options than is possible with a standard mouse and keyboard.

Availability and Price

DaVinci Resolve 12 and DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio are available now for download from the Blackmagic Design web site free of charge for all DaVinci Resolve customers.

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The Leica SL full frame mirrorless camera

by JamesNYCOctober 24. 2015 22:42

Leica has released details of its full-frame mirrorless, interchangeable system – the Leica SL. Using the same excellent 24-megapixel CMOS sensor as the Leica Q we reviewed in June, the SL debuts with a 24-90 mm f/2.8-4 zoom lens. It looks like a beast, but it’s going to sit in an awkward spot – it’ll struggle to compete with full-frame workhorse DSLRs for resolution, lens choices or autofocus speed, and it’s far too big to enjoy the portability advantages of other mirrorless full-frames like Sony’s A7R II.

The specs on the Leica SL are impressive. We know the sensor is great, the EVF is a 4.4 million pixel beauty with a latency time "below the threshold of perception," it shoots 11 frames per second for quick action shots and the company boasts that its contrast-detect autofocus system is the fastest on the market. Presumably they mean the fastest on the mirrorless market. It launches with the fastest zoom lens in the full frame mirrorless class as well – a 24-90 mm Vario-Elmarit-SL with an aperture of f/2.8 at the wide end and f/4 at full zoom. This will soon be joined by a 50mm f/1.4 and a cannon of a tele zoom in the 90-280 f/2.8-4.

The control system is Leica, with just a few unmarked buttons and dials that can be assigned to different functions. It won’t be a pick-up-and-shoot, there is a learning curve.

It looks like video is more than an afterthought though. The SL shoots in 8-bit 4K with a built-in flat color mode to maximize post-processing abilities. There’s 3.5mm audio in and out jacks for external microphones and headphones, and a full size HDMI port that lets you record even higher quality 10-bit 4:2:2 footage using an external recorder. 1080p recording will support up to 120 frames per second for slow-motion.

There’s no two ways about it – for a mirrorless camera, the Leica SL is a whopper. Billed as the professional shooter’s mirrorless system, the SL dwarfs the rest of the segment. In fact, with a battery and the 24-90 lens on, it’s similar in size and some 13 percent heavier than a Canon 5D Mk3 DSLR with a 24-70 f/2.8 II lens (1,987 g vs. 1,745 g). With the giant 90-280 lens on board it’ll hang even heavier on the shoulder.

No doubt the Leica SL will deliver excellent image quality, but it will be in a unique spot in the market. At such a size and weight, you lose the key thing people tend to be looking for when they go mirrorless – portability. It’s also expensive. The body is US$7,450 and the 24-90 lens is $4,050, giving you a $11,500 starter kit . The Sony A7R II with a 24-70 f/4 Zeiss lens will run you less than $4500 – with nearly twice the sensor resolution and truly uncanny low-light performance. Leica’s minimalist creative approach has won it a lot of fans, and there’s no shortage of people out there who already have cars, as well as money to burn. The SL will doubtless be a quality piece of gear for those that can afford it.

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Western Digital acquires SanDisk and becomes a memory super power.

by JamesNYCOctober 21. 2015 22:37

 

Major hard drive maker Western Digital has announced that it is acquiring SanDisk, one of the biggest and most familiar names in flash storage, creating a new global memory giant of sorts.

Western Digital says the deal, which involves acquiring a combination of cash and SanDisk stock valued at about US$19 billion, will double its addressable market and give it long-term, lower-cost access to solid state technology.

Both companies argue that the acquisition is beneficial to shareholders, but what it will mean for consumers will depend upon how successful a newly swollen Western Digital can be at using Sandisk's resources to create new and innovative storage products.

A long term joint venture between Sandisk and Toshiba, which holds claim to the invention of NAND Flash memory technology back in 1987, surely sweetens the deal for Western Digital and adds some capability when it comes to newer memory technologies like 3D NAND.

The deal still requires approval by SanDisk shareholders. It is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016.

 

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Seagate packs 2 TB of storage into 7 mm-thick laptop hard drive

by JamesNYCSeptember 2. 2015 10:25

When it comes to data storage capacity, too much is never enough. But Seagate is doing its best to sate people's craving for gigabytes on the go by announcing the world's highest capacity 2.5-inch hard drive. Equaling the 2 TB capacity of the Samsung Spinpoint M9T that the company unveiled back in 2013, the new drive is 2.5 mm thinner than that unit, stretching the calipers to just 7 mm.

Weighing in at 90 g (3.17 oz), the new drive is 25 percent lighter than Seagate's previous generation mobile hard drives and is aimed at ever-thinner mobile devices and laptops with ever-increasing storage demands. Packing two 1 TB platters, Seagate credits the incorporation of head, media, preamp and channel recording-subsystem components for the drive's impressive areal density.

The company says high spatial efficiency of the platters also results in a quiet, robust drive that can handle the intense shock and vibrations that mobile devices inevitably deliver, while freeing up space for other device components, such as bigger batteries, more memory or simply better air circulation.

Despite the performance advantages of solid state drives (SSDs), platter-based HDDs continue to hold their ground thanks largely to their lower cost. However, as it has with its Momentus XT hybrid drives, Seagate says it may look to combine the cost advantages of this new platter-based drive with the performance advantages of NAND flash memory in a hybrid model.

Seagate hasn't announced technical specs, pricing or a release date for the new drive, which will be targeted at original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) – initially, at least.

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Elinchrom, Phottix and Sekonic team up to create ‘revolutionary’ lighting control system

by JamesNYCAugust 12. 2015 21:58

Photography lighting companies Elinchrom, Phottix and Sekonic have announced they are teaming up to launch the ‘most revolutionary lighting control system ever’.

Each of these companies have their own domain they dabble in, but the hope is that through this alliance photographers will more easily be able to create a unified workflow, even across different brands.

The press release announcing the partnership notes design engineers from Phottix and Elinchrom are working on bringing ‘enhanced features’ to the next generation of Skyport Transmitters, specifically hyper-sync functionality (the ability to use strobes at a faster shutter speed than a specific camera is otherwise capable of). Likewise, owners of Phottix’s Indra lighting systems will soon be able to natively use Elinchrom light modifiers.

 

Sekonic is getting in on the action by partnering with Phottix and Elinchrom ‘to finalize two new 478-series LiteMaster Pro flash meters’, which will include new in-meter controls for adjusting Elinchrom lights and the ability to trigger specific Phottix lighting groups at a time.

 

Individually, none of these technologies are quite as ‘revolutionary’ as they seem. PocketWizard and Sekonic have had in-meter integration for years and PocketWizard has devices that can adjust lights from the trigger itself. What will eventually make it at least evolutionary is that over time this alliance will create an ecosystem of technologies that work seamlessly with one another without the need for third party triggering systems.

From the press release, it doesn’t seem like the new products are too far out, so keep an eye out and we’ll keep you up to date.

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Macy's ditches downtown Brooklyn studio space for Long Island City

by JamesNYCAugust 11. 2015 02:06

The department store is taking a 150,000-square-foot full floor at the Factory Building in Long Island City.

Macy’s is expanding and relocating its photo studio and set space from Brooklyn to Queens.

The department store has signed a 150,000-square-foot deal at the Factory Building in Long Island City for a new space to photograph its merchandise. Currently, the studio was scattered on various floors at Macy's Fulton Street store in downtown Brooklyn.

"As a major omni-channel retailer, we have increased needs to photograph merchandise for macys.com and various forms of marketing," a spokesman for Macy's, said in an email to Crain's. "The new Long Island City location will allow us to have the whole operation on one level with more modern facilities and space for additional sets, closets, pantries and a kitchen set-up as well as offices and conference room."

The deal is one of the biggest leases to be signed in Long Island City so far this year and reflects how the neighborhood is attracting more creative tenants. Long Island City, once seen primarily as a cheap destination for back-office operations, has begun to transition into a place where companies want to base the core of their operations.

The Factory Building is about 1 million square feet in size and is owned by a partnership between Atlas Capital, Square Mile and Invesco. According to a website for the building, Macy’s was an original tenant when the property was built in 1926. Back then the department store used its space there as a furniture warehouse.

A leasing team from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank led by brokers Howard Kesseler and Brian Waterman, represented the building’s landlords in the deal.

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