Canon claims longest 4K ultra-telephoto lens

canon cineservo

canon cineservo

First: yep, it’s $78,000. So no, you likely are not the target customer for this hunk o’ glass.

However, Canon says its “the increasing use of large-format single-sensor 4K cameras for field productions like sports and nature documentaries” means there might indeed be more potential buyers for its new ultra-telephoto CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 Ultra-Telephoto Zoom lens.

It has a 75-1500mm focal length to “offer cinematographers new possibilities for shooting scenes in HD, 2K and 4K on single-sensor cameras,’ the company says. “The use of large-sensor 4K cameras is rapidly spreading beyond motion pictures and episodic television, into many new types of productions such as broadcast sports and nature documentaries.”

It’s available in either EF- or PL-mount, and “provides outstanding aberration correction and high image quality extending from the center of the image to all edges. For professional users, this lens enables close-up 4K imaging of wildlife subjects or athletes while maintaining the physical distances necessary in such shooting situations,” Canon adds.

There’s more information here.

 

Photo book finds funding, ties to mobile

smolan tracks

smolan tracks

Famed photographer Rick Smolan is enhancing one of his earliest works with a smartphone-enabled coffee table book — for which he has now completed a first round of funding on Kickstarter.

Inside Tracks: Alone Across the Outback is based on a woman’s solitary 1,700 mile camel trek across the Australian Outback, the book she published about her journey, the photos Smolan captured — and the new movie hitting screens soon.

Smolan was a twenty-eight-year-old photojournalist when he was sent to document Robyn Davidson’s nine-month Australian adventure. National Geographic published his initial photos; she wrote her own book about the journey; and Smolan later published his own photo book, From Alice to Ocean.

Inside Tracks will be a self-published 224-page landscape coffee-table book, 30-inches wide when open. It will “weave together three experiences of her journey,” Smolan says: quotes from her book, the best of his photos, many of which have never been seen before, and images and the screenplay from the new movie.

With integrated HP technology, Smolan adds, “you simply point your phone or tablet at specially marked photos and immediately you’ll see a clip from the movie showing how that photograph was brought to life.”

The Kickstarter funding has met Smolan’s initial goals — but you can still sign up now to get a good deal on the finished volume, and help ensure the publication.

 

Thousands of private photos hacked

snapchat

snapchat2

It was bad enough when a few famous celebrities had their private photos stolen and publicized — but now apparently hackers are preparing to do the same to thousands of would-be anonymous users of the Snapchat instant communications app.

Business Insider reports “a giant database of intercepted Snapchat photos and videos has been released by hackers who have been collecting the files for years…”

Reportedly the “SnapSaved.com” service that allowed users to receive photos and videos and save them online. (Wait, isn’t that alone completely opposing the point of Snapchat and its instantly self-destructing images?) The article alleges “the site was quietly collecting everything that passed through it, storing incriminating Snapchats on a web server, with the usernames of senders attached.”

The full story is here.

 

Google Glass fights crime

google wink

google winkDon’t go breaking any laws in Dubai: facial recognition technology combined with the head-mounted camera and computer in Google’s Glass device may make it easier to ID suspects, detectives there say.

Reuters reports the Gulf Arab emirate will deploy software developed by Dubai police to connect the wearer and a database of wanted people. Once the device “recognized” a suspect based on a face print, it would alert the officer wearing the gadget.

Glass is available now, pre-mass release, for $1,500.

The full story is here.

Animoto surveys “next generation of home movies”

Animoto Video Creation Survey

Animoto Video Creation SurveyToday, 85 percent of us enjoy creating videos, Animoto reports in a new survey.

The Animoto Video Creation Study surveyed 1,031 U.S. consumers who had recorded or created a personal video in the past six months, the company says, and showed that the vast majority enjoyed creating videos, while 80 percent said they create videos to keep in touch with friends and family.

The Animoto web service provides video creation tools. “We were curious about how people thought about capturing video and what motivated them to edit their personal video clips,” the company says. “The survey showed consumers are actively interested in creating videos that can be shared and watched numerous times. They’re inspired to bring their life stories to video, so they can preserve their memories and experience them in a meaningful way with friends and family.”

Other findings include:

• 76 percent have used a smartphone’s camera, and 60 percent used a digital camera with video capabilities to record video.
• 72 percent of consumers create video to have as keepsakes.
•56 percent of respondents use a smartphone to record video at least once a week — 16 percent of those do so on a daily basis.
• 81 percent feel more connected to family and friends when watching videos of them.
• 86 percent enjoy sharing videos they create.
• 76 percent have shared videos via Facebook.
• 52 percent use email to share videos; YouTube scored 50 percent.
• 34 percent used text messages/SMS to share videos.

“Consumer-created videos featuring beloved photos and videos have a powerful emotional impact on creators and viewers, and can tell a compelling story in a way that static photos simply cannot,” Animoto adds. “In fact, 65 percent of consumers prefer watching videos to looking at photos, and 79 percent of respondents believe it is important that the videos they create can be watched time and again.”

 

YesVideo launches outsourced photo-scanning and memory-keeping

WW-LR

legacy republic

Proclaiming “memories matter,” analog-to-digital video service YesVideo launched a spin-off that will outsource scanning an estimated 2 billion analog videos and photo albums stored by US families.

WW-LR“If you’re passionate about preserving memories and helping others, this is the place for you,” the company says of the new Legacy Republic. “Establish your personal legacy and create moments that matter while connecting your family with generations to come. Our mission is to protect, preserve, and share your memories.”

Details are scare on the company’s own sites, but TechCrunch reports the new service will “build a freelance workforce to digitize family photos and videos.”

YesVideo will “recruit an army of Legacy Makers.” The contractors are described as micro-entrepreneurs similar to an Uber driver or an Airbnb host.
YesVideo was founded in 1999.
The full report is here.

Forest Service says you can still shoot in the wild

meet-forest-service

meet-forest-serviceThere’s been a lot of talk online lately about the U.S. Forest Service banning or fining pro photography in the woods.

Just a misunderstanding, the government agency now says.
Nonetheless, it’s also asking you to have your say at its site as it seeks to firm up future policies.

Arizona Highways reports that while shooters were justifiably concerned that the proposed rule change for photography permits in wilderness areas could affect amateur photographers and the general public, “the Forest Service has clarified its stance on the issue. The proposed change would only make permanent a temporary directive that’s been in place for years. And it only applies to commercial shoots, such as movies or TV commercials; it would not affect the vast majority of photographers or other visitors to wilderness areas.”

“If you’re there to gather news or take recreational photographs, no permit would be required. We take your First Amendment rights very seriously,” the agency says in a statement. “Professional and amateur photographers do not need a permit to photograph in wilderness areas unless they use models, actors or props; work in areas that are normally off-limits to the public; or incur additional administrative costs.”

The Forest Service is soliciting public comment on the proposal here.

 

Stay off those train tracks!

train

train

The photo ain’t worth it: Believe it or not, people *die* every year from purposely standing in front of an onrushing train.
…Okay, they were just posing for a photo — on a train track.
On which a train arrived. At full speed.

As The Online Photographer reported earlier this year, “on January 18th, in Auburn, Washington State, a 42-year-old Las Vegas man was struck and killed by an Amtrak Cascades passenger train traveling from Portland to Seattle. What was he doing on the tracks? You guessed it — posing for his girlfriend, who was taking pictures of him.”

• In 2012, TOP reports, a 52-year-old California high school photography teacher was killed on the train tracks. “She was photographing one train approaching her and was struck by another coming the other way. She must have assumed that the horns and ground vibration she heard were coming from the train in front of her, not another one behind her.”

More than 900 people were injured or killed while trespassing on railroad property in the U.S. just last year alone, according to Federal Railroad Administration statistics.

Now the Union Pacific Railroad is officially “urging professional photographers to refrain from taking photographs of sports teams, high school seniors, wedding parties and other subjects on or near train tracks or trestles.”

“You never know when a train will come along,” says Union Pacific’s director of public safety, and so “we want to remind photographers that walking on or near railroad tracks is extremely dangerous.”

Want to safely and legally access a site? Look here.

Flying cameras get FAA approval

parrot bebopdrone

mit drone light

The Federal Aviation Administration is now permitting the use of camera-equipped drones on movie sets. It’s hopefully a first step in lightening regulations on all pros and hobbyists who want to shoot stills or video from their quadcopter.

The Consumer Electronics Association says the FAA decision “is an important milestone as the agency develops rules to allow unmanned aircraft to operate safely in U.S. airspace. We support the FAA’s action and related guidance that provides a model for other private businesses seeking approval to operate drones in populated areas under controlled environments.”

The devices are used in aerial coverage for sports and real estate, assistance in search and rescue and disaster relief missions, and “providing novel new camera angles to capture professional and personal video footage,” the CEA adds.  “The sky is the limit.”

CEA forecasts the global market for consumer drones will approach $300 million by 2018 (just under a million units).

Texas court strikes down ‘improper photography’ statute

1280px-Flag_of_Texas.svg

1280px-Flag_of_Texas.svg

Yes, a kind of picture-taking was against the law in Texas…
“Improper photography” had been defined as arousing photography taken without consent. Yes, it was perhaps primarily first meant to simply stop peeping toms and such scofflaws. But vague wording meant enforcement could have overreached, and it could have been a dangerous precedent. Thankfully it’s been struck down.

Part of the Court’s reasoning:
“A statute is likely to be found overbroad if the criminal prohibition it creates is of “alarming breadth.” Such is the case with the current statute, the breadth of which has been accurately characterized as “breathtaking.” The statutory provision at issue is extremely broad, applying to any non-consensual photograph, occurring anywhere, as long as the actor has an intent to arouse or gratify sexual desire. This statute could easily be applied to an entertainment reporter who takes a photograph of an attractive celebrity on a public street. But the statute operates unconstitutionally even if applied to someone who takes purely public photographs of another for personal reasons with the requisite intent.”

The full story is here — written by the law professor who co-wrote the legal brief in the court case.