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.

Why store photos in the Cloud?

hans photo cloud

hans photo cloud

Sixteen percent of those surveyed report they store all their photos in the cloud.
Half the respondents store at least some photos in the cloud… which of course means that half do not store any there.
Researcher Hans Hartman at Suite 48 Analytics is offering a new white paper based on a study for which 1212 North Americans between the ages of 25-44 were surveyed.

“For many smartphone photographers, the cloud is becoming the most important photo storage location,” the report says. “General cloud storage or syncing services are increasingly adding features and interfaces targeting photo enthusiasts because their freemium business model – free starter packages plus tiered pricing based on storage volume – benefits from (typically large) photo and video file sizes. Since photos sell storage subscriptions, many cloud services have begun adding features like timeline, photo discovery based on metadata, visual browsing, and unified photo viewing independent of file or folder structure.”

Hartman adds that many cloud photo services now “leverage various photo metadata through user-friendly interfaces, e.g. by letting users rediscover photos that correspond with today’s date in previous years. Going forward, we expect them to also start leveraging image recognition technologies, which have made tremendous progress  in the last two years as deep-learning technologies are developed and marshaled to solve the image recognition needs of deep-pocket advertising and e-commerce vendors.”

In addition, Hartman believes that the number one factor that could drive further adoption of photo cloud storage services is for these services to more transparently address mobile photographers’ most pressing photo storage need: secure backup. “Our respondents were clear: backup is the most important reason why they use these services. Many are confused as to whether their photo cloud services offer secure backup, as well as whether they would provide full recovery of their original photo collections in the event their devices break down or are stolen. Some services need to better deliver the desired backup and restore features, others need to better explain how their features work.”

The Photos and the Cloud white paper is based on a study Suite 48 Analytics conducted for PhotoGurus and addresses the following questions:

•       Do mobile photographers store any of their photos in the cloud?
•       Why do they store photos in the cloud?
•       If they do store photos in the cloud, why not all their photos?
•       Which cloud service do they use most?
•       Why do some not store any photos in the cloud?
•       Are they concerned about not backing up all their photos in the cloud?

The free white paper can be downloaded at http://www.suite48a.com/cloud.


Photo app “captures Space”

fyuse screen


“Why squeeze a complex world into a tiny square frame?” ask the developers at Fyusion. Instead, they say, their app “lets you capture dynamic panoramas, immersive selfies, and full 360 views of the things that matter to you,” in order to “share interactive representations of the world.”

The Fyuse app is “the first consumer Space capture experience,” they add. “With Fyuse we are moving away from the traditional “point and shoot” model to “tap and wave.”

fyuse screen

The new version 2.0 of Fyuse now yields “sharper, higher-resolution” images which can be viewed “seamlessly from all angles (including full 360!),” the company says. It also supports 3D tags, with which a recognized object shows the label from whatever angle it’s viewed. Also new are “Selfie Panoramas” that “unroll …into a wide-angle, dynamic panorama.”

It’s available for iOS or Android.

There’s more information here.

Prints for less than penny

snapprint 1

snapprint 1

That’s right: way less than a penny, at just $0.003 per photographic print.
And instantly, as well.
Yes, of course there’s a catch. And here, it’s a true case of “you get what you pay for” — ironically, as the prints are made from the thermal paper used for cash register receipts, which changes color when exposed to heat.

PrintSnap” is just in the early development stages now, PetaPixel reports, but the creator has a working model.

The 3×1.75-inch prints have a 640×384 resolution. Sure, the look leaves something to be desired — but for shooting casual instant snapshots, the fun is in the spontaneity, not the “photographic” print quality. Shooting with new Impossible Project film costs about $3 per shot, PetaPixel notes: “In other words, for the price of one Impossible Project shot, you’ll be able to capture 1,000 photos using this camera.”

The full story is here.
Here is the developer’s site.

snapprint 2

EyeEm edits, shares photos — and edit choices

eyeEm 5

eyeEm 5

Online imaging community developer EyeEm introduced “a completely new set of editing tools for iOS and Android” — and shares the ‘recipe’ used on each image as well.

The new “Open Edit” function “lets you explore how other photographers edit their images,” the company says, “and makes it easy for you to try their edits on your own photos. It speaks to the curiosity we all have about how photos are made and how a certain style is achieved.” Just tap on an icon “to reveal the filter and tools that were used.”  And with a second tap, you can apply the same techniques to an image of your own.

EyeEm 5 also contains “24 distinct new filters” with adjustable intensity, and “carefully crafted” editing tools to adjust contrast, brightness, and saturation.


Casio synchs seven snapshooters

casio synch cam

casio synch cam

Hey, if you happen to have seven Casio Exilim EX-100PRO cameras, have we got an app for you!

Actually, Casio has the app, but it’s free: SynchroShot synchronizes seven Exilim EX-100PRO cameras.

The system allows you to capture high-speed video footage or a continuous sequence of photos from multiple perspectives, The Verge reports. Accuracy is within 500µ seconds, “so any discrepancy in time will be undetectable to your eyes.”

The EX-100PRO is a special new camera based on the EX-100, and it’s specifically designed for high speed capture: 60 frames per second/1000fps for slow-motion footage.

500px app adds camera capture, Adobe edits

500pix ios app

500pix ios app

The 500px photography sharing service has updated its iOS app, and not just with in-app capture capabilities — it also now sports image enhancement tools it says use Adobe’s Lightroom technology. It can adjust exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, clarity, vibrance, temperature, tint, sharpening, and noise reduction, and has 22 presets.

The Camera tool has manual controls to adjust focus and exposure with sliders.

500px says more than 2 million users have already downloaded its iOS app.

More information is here.

Compact but costly medium-format camera

phase one alpa

phase one alpa

Danish developer Phase One has combined its medium-format sensors with camera and lenses from Swiss camera maker Alpa for a compact but pricey product.

Phase One is selling the mirrorless A-series cameras for $47,000 for a 50-megapixel model, with manual controls for shutter speed and aperture, a mechanical shutter, and no autofocus or automatic metering.

CNet has the full story here: How a $47,000 camera learned to go mirrorless.

CyberLink, Intel use 3D camera for SFX

cyberlink youcam

cyberlink youcam

You can beat your local weatherman’s special video effects on your laptop — providing it’s camera uses Intel’s RealSense, and you’re working with the new YouCam RX software from Taiwan’s CyberLink.

The webcam app “utilizes the unique Intel RealSense 3D camera to provide immersive virtual webcam environments,” the company says. It “provided us with an opportunity to create software that blurs the line between human and computer interaction.”

YouCam RX provides a real-time green screen-like experience, letting you create customized backgrounds for a webcam session, CyberLink adds. “Users can instantly place themselves in any setting of their choice, appearing as if they were chatting from the steps of the Sydney Opera House or the peak of Mount Everest. Enterprise users can also utilize YouCam RX in the work environment by removing the background entirely and replacing it with a PowerPoint presentation or other graphic for a truly interactive approach to conferencing.”

The software provides depth-sensing foreground/background adjustments, allowing lighting and contrast enhancements to be applied to specific regions of the webcam window.

The Intel RealSense 3D camera is billed as “the world’s first and smallest integrated 3D camera” that delivers real-time depth sensing for all-in-one PCs and laptops.

There’s more information here.


Facebook auto-enhances photos

facebook auto enhance

facebook auto enhance

Who has time to optimally expose every snapshot? Not most phone users, that’s for sure. And now Facebook will automatically enhance your pics posted to its social service.

TechCrunch reports the technique is now rolling out to iPhone users, and will come to Android at a later date. “You’ll be able to adjust a slider to control just how enhanced you want the light, shadow, and clarity, or revert back to your original shot.”

Photos are of course a prime factor when it comes to online engagement, and Facebook is looking at evermore competition in that regard from Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and others.


Three 8MP cameras on one phone

honor phone 2 cams

honor phone 2 camsHow many cameras do you need? Okay, how many does your phone need? Chinese phone maker Huawei thinks the answer to that second question is “Three.”

The Honor 6 Plus is a high-end Android smartphone with three 8-megapixel cameras: there’s one at the front for selfies, and two are side-by-side on the rear for… what, exactly? Perhaps to also capture depth and distance information, DP Review reports here: “The dual lens setup allows for refocusing of already captured images… According to Huawei, the look of the images can be adjusted to resemble pictures taken at apertures from F0.95 to F16.”

The phone has a 5.5-inch display,