Archives for April 5, 2012

YouTube automating 3D video conversion

YouTube will now automatically convert standard flat 2D videos into simulated stereoscopic movies for 3D viewing.

Last year YouTube offered tools to convert videos into 3D with a click, and since then users have “converted hundreds of thousands of videos to 3D,” the site says. Now its expanding the beta test by adding automatic 3D conversion for short-form videos uploaded in 1080p.

Users can select “3D viewing” in the Quality settings on the YouTube player, don 3D glasses, “and see YouTube in another dimension.”

For the conversions, YouTube adds it looks at video characteristics such as color, spatial layout and motion to estimate a depth map for each frame of a monoscopic video sequence. Also, machine learning from the “true 3D” videos on YouTube understands video depth characteristics, and applies them in depth estimations. The generated depth map and the original monoscopic frame create a stereo 3D left-right pair, which a stereo display system needs to display a video as 3D. “With this broader knowledge of 3D conversion, we then apply cloud computing scalability to make conversion possible.”

More information is here.


1000memories organizes virtual shoeboxes

Multiple friends and family can contribute to shared photo albums with the new paradigm put in place with 1000memories’ simplified design built around virtual shoeboxes.

This “new take on traditional photo albums” are easy-to-make collections of photos from the past, the company says. “We are reinventing traditional photo albums by allowing you to invite different groups of family and friends to view and collaborate on any shoebox. Now, all the photos from a family event or vacation with friends can be collected in a single shoebox, rather than many disparate albums.”

Also, “the selective sharing feature ensures that you have greater control over your privacy, 1000memories adds. “Instead of broadcasting content to an entire network of friends or followers, you can choose just the right family members and friends with whom to share.”

The company offers a mobile photo-scanning app with which to use a smart phone to import printed images into an online album. Also, it has partnered with pro photo scanning service ScanCafe “to digitize those paper photos in your closet.”

The company concludes its has “helped hundreds of thousands of users breathe new life into their long-forgotten photos sitting in old albums and hard drives.”

More information is here.



Small Sony camcorder captures 50Mbps

Even “Full 1080” does not quite meet professional HD video standards. It has to also be captured at a very high bit rate — lots of data per second with very little compression — and most consumer  cams don’t qualify.

Now Sony is offering pro-level capture with 50 megabytes per second. The PMW-100 has a 1/2.9-inch Exmor sensor, 10x optical zoom lens, and 3.5-inch LCD. It also records four-channel audio in 24-bit uncompressed 48kHz.

“Advancement in digital imaging technology has enabled professional journalists and videographers to cover stories by using portable devices such as mobile phones, DSLRs and consumer camcorders,” Sony says. “However, when compared to main-stream shoulder mount camcorders, there is still a significant gap in image quality, ease of editing and data management. The PMW-100 achieves the best of both worlds, by recording full broadcast quality MPEG HD422 video within a hand-held form factor.”

Pricing was not announced.

Panasonic debuts ultracompact ILC, Lumix GF5

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

Panasonic Consumer Marketing Co. of North America, Secaucus, N.J., announced the LumixDMC-GF5, a 12.1 megapixel, Micro Fourth Thirds interchangeable lens camera.  The Lumix GF5 features a newly developed Live MOS sensor and redesigned Venus Engine, helping to ensure true-to-life images through exceptional resolution, image rendering and color reproduction, the company claims.

The noise reduction system includes a combination 3DNR (3D Noise Reduction) and MNR (Multi-process Noise Reduction) allowing for both bright areas and dark areas to be faithfully reproduced with minimal noise in high sensitivity image recording.

Lumix GF5 has a large, 3.0-inch 920,000-dot high-precision touch display and Graphic User Interface (GUI).  The touch-control system immediately allows users to set focus on a subject just by touching the screen and users can even release the shutter to snap a photo directly from the touch screen. Once a user locks onto a subject by a touch, the camera will track the subject with the AF tracking function, even if the subject moves.  Touch Zoom is also available when the Lumix Power Zoom Lens H-PS14042 lens or H-PS45175 is mounted.

Creative Control Mode has been upgraded from the Lumix DMC-GF3 by increasing filter options available on the Lumix GF5 from six options to 14, adding Soft Focus, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, One Point Color, Cross Process, Low Key, Toy Effect and Star Filter, in addition to the conventional Expressive, Retro, High Key, Sepia, Hi Dynamic and Miniature Effect*3 modes.  With the new GUI menu tab, switching filter effects is seamless.  A preview of filter effects can be seen on the large LCD screen via Live View mode and the camera intuitively recommends filters depending on the scene that the camera detects in iA (Intelligent Auto) or iA Plus mode.

In addition to shooting still photography, the Lumix GF5 can also record 1920-by-1080 60i full-High Definition videos in AVCHD format. The Lumix GF5 features a dedicated video record button on the top of the body so users can instantly start recording videos while shooting photos without having to make setting adjustments.

The Lumix DMC-GF5 will be available in black, white and red later this year in the following kit options:  Body with 14-42mm standard zoom lens will have a suggested retail price (SRP) of $599; body with 14-42mm power zoom lens will have an SRP of $749.