Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom

DPR Connect reports: [edited]

Smartphone imaging components have improved a lot in recent years but the lack of an optical zoom is still a major disadvantage compared to traditional compact cameras. Samsung tried to bridge the gap with last year's Galaxy S4 Zoom but the device ended up being bulkier than its smartphone cousin, the Galaxy S4, without offering the same high-end specification.

The new model offers a slimmer body than the S4 Zoom (18 vs 28 mm) and most of the smartphone components have been upgraded. The Super AMOLED screen has grown from 4.3 to 4.8 inches, but the 720p resolution doesn't match the 1080p displays of the Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 or Sony Xperia Z2.

The 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS sensor now captures 20.7MP images versus the S4 Zoom's 16MP. The 10x zoom lens offers the same 24-240mm equivalent focal range and F3.1-6.3 maximum aperture as the S4 Zoom and comes with optical image stabilisation. There is also a xenon flash and a 2MP front camera for the occasional selfie.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Lytro Illum

Engadget reports: [edited]

When Lytro first introduced its light field camera two years ago, it shook up not just the world of photography, but of technology in general. Bundled inside a tiny rectangular block was a groundbreaking image sensor that could capture millions of rays of light along with their color, intensity and direction -- a task that previously required hundreds of cameras and a supercomputer. That hardware combined with some complex software meant that you could not only get a 3D image from a single shot, but also the ability to refocus a photograph after you take it. It's this latter trick that is arguably the Lytro camera's most identifying characteristic, and the one that put it on the technological map.

The Illum lens has a zoom range of 30 to 250 mm with a very wide f/2 aperture across it. All you have to do is tap on an image to autofocus, and toggling through the different settings is just a touch and a scroll away.

At the heart of the Illum is a 40 Megaray light ray sensor, which means it's able to capture 40 million rays of light (in contrast, the original only has 11 Megarays). The refocusing is much finer and more granular - we were able to focus in so tight on a labrador's nozzle that we could see its pores. In addition, the Illum has a mechanical shutter with a speed of 1/4000ths of a second, which Rosenthal says would make it great for sports photography. He showed us an example of a Lytro image where it captured a cloud of dirt as a motorcycle went around a dirt track. If you'd rather shoot things up close, the Illum has an extremely close-up macro capability as well, allowing us to zoom in really close on a pair of jeans and hone in on the stitches. Powering it all is one of the highest performance chipsets available; Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800.

You get all of the same software tricks as before, like 3D imaging and post-shot refocusing, but you'll also now be able to adjust the depth of field in order to widen or narrow the focusing area. Additionally, Lytro has worked out a deal with Adobe and Apple so you can transfer those images to Lightroom, Photoshop or Aperture if you wish to work on them after you've adjusted the image's focus and depth of field.

The Lytro Illum will be available July 15 for $1,599.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Free Font - Comic Neue reports: [edited]

Comic Sans wasn’t designed to be the world’s most ubiquitous casual typeface. Comic Neue aspires to be the casual script of choice for everyone including the typographically savvy.

The squashed, wonky, and weird glyphs of Comic Sans have been beaten into shape while maintaining the honesty that made Comic Sans so popular.

There are two variants: Comic Neue and Comic Neue Angular, which features angular terminals rather than round. Both include light, regular, and bold weights, with oblique equivalents.

Thursday, 3 April 2014