About Paul Worthington

Paul Worthington is a journalist and consumer imaging consultant. He produces the annual Future Imaging Summit at PMA@CES, and writes for PMA Newsline and PMA Magazine, as well as other publications.

Instagram offers free Hyperlapse app

instagram hyperlapse

instagram hyperlapse

It was only a week or two ago that we were all marveling at a Microsoft Research project that superbly smoothed out videos that had otherwise suffered from lots of motion.

And now Instagram is providing a free app that will let anyone do it on an iPhone.

Instagram said it used its own in-house stabilization technology to let you “shoot polished time-lapse videos that were previously impossible without bulky tripods and expensive equipment.” You can shoot handheld even “while you’re walking, running, jumping or falling.” The result “will be instantly stabilized to smooth out the bumps from the road and give it a cinematic feeling.”

Examples of its us could include “Capture an entire sunrise in 10 seconds—even from the back of a moving motorcycle; Walk through the crowds at an all-day music festival, then distill it into a 30 second spot; Capture your bumpy trail run and share your 5k in 5 seconds,” the company says.

The app is here.

Wired has a very interesting profile of the developers here. “What was once only possible with a Steadicam or a $15,000 tracking rig is now possible on your iPhone, for free,” the article says.

The gist of it: rather than use a smartphone’s limited computational power to replicate intensive video post-processing, Instagram’s tech uses the phone’s built-in gyroscopes during capture to measure the camera’s movement directly.


Fujifilm improves compact cam

fujifilm x30

fujifilm x30

Fujifilm’s latest fixed-lens premium compact camera is “aimed at enthusiast and professional photographers,” the company says, with its dual manual control rings “for composing and taking pictures quickly and easily.”

The X30 has the same lens, processor, and 12-megapixel sensor as the preceding X20 — but it adds a tilting 3-inch LCD and WiFi, for the same price: $600. It also boosts battery life.

Fuji says its “Real Time Viewfinder” is the largest, brightest, fastest and highest resolving viewfinder in its class. Also, the 4x lens is made of 11 glass elements in nine groups, including three aspherical lens elements and two ED lens elements, which yield a wide-angle maximum aperture of f/2.0.

There’s more information here.


Vine now imports and edits video

vine edits

vine edits

“Vine” makes fun little video clips posted on Twitter and other social media. But the app has long had a serious limitation: you could only use the video you captured in the app. There was no using clips from your phone’s camera roll, no importing editned and enhanced video from other tools.

No longer: the newest version  “gives you the freedom to create a Vine in any way you want,” the company says. The new app “offers powerful ways to edit your videos as well as the ability to import existing videos on your phone and turn them into Vines. Simply put, this release gives you total creative freedom.” The app also sports imporved editing tools.

Vine boasts “Every day, millions of people open Vine to share memories in the moment. Every month more than 100 million people watch Vines across the web, and there are more than 1 billion loops every day.”


Witness to Genius: photographer keynotes mobile conference

doug menuez

doug menuezOne photographer had access to the early days at many Silicon Valley innovators — and he’ll share what he saw and learned at the Mobile Photo Connect industry conference.

Photographer Doug Menuez is the author of “Fearless Genius: Witness to the Digital Revolution,” in which he is “reporting what I saw – I was in the room and witnessed the decisions and actions.” He was invited by Steve Jobs and other execs to “record their stories of struggle, failure, sacrifice and success, from 1985 to 2000.”

The special session will be “a source of insight and inspiration for today’s entrepreneurs,” says Mobile Photo Connect conference chair Hans Hartman. He also announced the first 23 of 30 developers who will present their photo apps in three fast-paced show-and-tell sessions. Among the companies demonstrating are Dropbox, Fujifilm, Kodak Alaris, Lifepics, Magisto, and MailPix.

mobile photo connect

Hasselblad captures 200 megapixels

Hasselblad H5D-50MS

Hasselblad H5D-50MS

With its H5D-50MS Hasselblad  says its “raised the bar yet again” for capturing “super high-quality images.”

It’s not a 200-megapixel sensor in there however: the new camera uses the company’s multi-shot technology to combine 50-megapixel captures to take “still-life studio photography to mind-blowing moiré-free 200-megapixel resolution… to produce a quality that is hard to believe is possible.” (And let no one say Hasselblad can’t hyperbolize.)

Hasselblad adds that its “patented symmetrical multi-shot frame accurately positions the sensor with a sub-micron accuracy using piezo-electrical actuators, and can capture 6 shots with the sensor positioned accurately at a sequence of quadrants of the pixel…”

The medium-format 43.8 × 32.9mm sensor can take 1.5 frames per second, although long exposures can last 12 minutes. The high dynamic range is 14 stops.

Free sales analytics for retailers

Square Analytics

Square Analytics

Would you like to know more about your business’ sales patterns — without paying a premium for the intel? Transaction services company Square is offering small businesses a suite of analytics tools to help sellers track how their business is performing in real-time, Silicon Beat reports.

The service is free for those using Square’s point-of-sale system. “Expensive annual fees, tedious set-up processes, and irrelevant, generalized reports have traditionally excluded small business owners from useful information available to larger merchants,” the company says.

The analytics tools show merchants their top-selling items and categories, what time of day is the most profitable — including hour by hour trends — and how their business is performing compared to industry averages in real-time, according to the company.

There’s more information here.


Stereo Daguerreotypes in New Zealand for World Photo Day

new zealand daguerreotype

new zealand daguerreotype

At Snapshot Cameras in New Zealand, they celebrated World Photo Day in style. Because the 175th anniversary of photography coincided with the 150th anniversary of the city of Hamilton, the store owners thought it fitting to invite their local contemporary Daguerreotypist to help them celebrate.

The store first dates back to 1928, and has been owned by the Boswell family since 1946.

Photo Organizer Jill Boswell reports Alan Bekhuis from Cased Images created a stereo image from two daguerreotypes, for which each silver-coated copper plate must be brought to a high mirror polish and sensitized to light with iodine and bromine. The plate is then exposed in the camera and developed over heated mercury to reveal the latent image.  “Exposed plates must be developed within a very short time of exposure so our guest brought his mobile darkroom, complete with fume cupboard, along on the day to both prepare and to develop the plates.”

boswellSnapshot Cameras also provided in store displays of antique and classic cameras, a reproduction of the first folding whole plate camera, and some images captured using older techniques, Boswell adds.

Sam Boswell produced a video of the day which can be viewed here.

MediaFire automates photo and video syncing on mobile



MediaFire updated its Android cloud storage app to automatically store, access and share mobile photos and videos; it launched an iOS version earlier this Summer.

“In just one week since the launch of our automatic photo and video syncing update for iOS, MediaFire users have used our app to back up and share over 5 million photos and videos online,” the company says.

The service “can be a convenient tool for photographers” the company adds “because it supports uploading file hierarchies. Creatives with lots of subfolders can automatically sync all that organized content to the cloud without having to upload individual files.”

The service also supports one-click sharing for a large number of social media services, and includes embed links for major blogging platforms. It also supports “watching” folders, so you can share, follow and track access to specific files.

MediaFire is available for Windows, OSX, iPhone, Android and the Web, and provides 15GB free cloud storage, and 1TB for $25 per year.

The “online storage and collaboration company” says it now has 37 million active registered users. It was founded in 2006 in The Woodlands, Texas.


Pics.io manages Google-stored photos



A new photo Web app is built on top of Google Web services: Pics.io will let you access, manage, edit and share photos from any device via your Google+ account, with online storage in Google Drive.

The service, pronounced Pixio, will feature asset management functions and rating tools such as stars, flags and color labels, as well as the company’s Raw uploading and editing capabilities, the Next Web reports.

The app, from software development company TopTechPhoto, is now in a beta release, and will “store your entire life’s photo library in secure and redundant storage,” the company adds.

There’s more information here.


Vemory “transforms pictures into video memories”

vemory hero

vemory hero A new app for the iPhone and iPad is billed as a transformational tool that “automagically” finds your favorite pictures and “creates videos that incorporate comments and likes from social media.”

Vemory claims it provides the easiest way for you to “enjoy pictures you love and also the favorite moments you may have forgotten all about.”

The company says its technology intelligently discovers the top pictures from your camera roll, iCloud and social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Flickr) based on time, location and popularity on social media. Vemory creates videos around “your best pictures of all time and also from recent trips, events, moments and hashtags from you and your friends’ social networks. It’s not just building photo albums, it’s intelligently building your favorite memories from your favorite social apps and camera roll.”

The Austin, Texas company was founded in 2012.