Keep an eye on it: iON launches home security camera

iON home

iON home

iON Cameras made a name for itself in the last few years with its wearable and mountable WiFi-enabled outdoor-oriented action cameras. Now the consumer electronics firm is coming indoors to almost literally enter a new area: your home.

“The home security sector is experiencing phenomenal growth right now, and we saw an opportunity to offer a more fully featured and simple to use product for consumers,” the company says.

iON the Home is billed as an easy-to-use, affordable wireless monitoring and security camera system for use in homes or businesses. The cloud-based monitoring system provides 24-7 live streaming, two-way talk functionality, and remote viewing to let you monitor everything via WiFi and your smartphone or tablet.

iON says it is unique to the home security market in providing rolling 24-hour cloud storage for all event videos — free of charge. Options to buy more long-term storage at the check out register will be available as gift card-like add-ons, for 7-days at $10/month, and 30-days for $30/month.

The HD video camera has a 102-degree lens and built-in WiFi. It requires AC power, and has infrared-based night vision,  and motion, noise and light sensitivity triggers for video recording. The camera system “is easy enough for a child to use but capable enough to provide peace of mind for those seeking to keep an eye on their home, kids or pets,” the company says.

iON has already scored a major retail partner for its rollout: Walmart will carry the camera for $130.

There’s more information here.


Canon updates high-end movie camera

canon eos 100 2

canon eos 100

Much like its big new lens earlier this week, Canon’s latest video camera is aimed only at a certain user — but this one is not only for elite professionals: the C100 is “designed for economical film and video productions such as documentary and remote broadcast crews, wedding and event coverage, indie film productions, as well as film schools and business and government users.”

The C100 Mark II has an 8-megapixel sensor in the “Super 35mm” format for MP4 1920×1080 video at 60p, “delivering a cinematic look with shallow depth of field and high sensitivity in low-light environments.”

The new model adds “an innovatively hinged” 3.5-inch OLED display panel, “delivering 100 percent field-of-view coverage, wide color range support, and improved viewing even in bright sunshine. The new hinge design folds the panel shut when stowed, protecting the OLED surface ─ and opens 180-degrees to reveal function keys and a joystick. The panel can open even further to 270 degrees to deploy against the side of the camera to provide monitoring for directors and other production personnel.

The camera weighs 2.5 pounds and is compatible with more than 103 Canon EF lenses. It’s $5,500.
There’s more information here.

Hide those photos



Need to ensure your images are securely unseen?  

“Some things should stay hidden,” say the developers of the new iOS app Hidely, billed as a “zero trace camera and private photo gallery.”

The app takes encrypted photos that are saved only to Hidely’s “hidden” passcode-protected gallery. The encrypted photos are stored on your device, not on a cloud server.

Sharing is also secured with a private link sent to friends that only allows them to view the shot within their own Hidely account.

“Zero Trace means that photos stored using Hidely are encrypted and their contents are unknown – and unknowable – to everyone except you,” the company adds. “Hidely leaves no trace of the photos on your camera roll, they only reside in the app. Sharing these photos leaves zero trace too, as the link expires within 24 hours or after the first time it is clicked. Shared photos can only be accessed by your friends within Hidely.”

So, indulge your paranoia and try the free download here.


5K iMac improves photo editing

apple Mac27retina

apple Mac27retina

Attention photo editors: Apple just announced the world’s highest resolution display — and not only are they selling it for less than currently available lower-resolution monitors… it’s also part of a complete high-end computer.

The 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display has 14.7 million pixels, a resolution at which Apple says “text appears sharper than ever, videos are unbelievably lifelike, and you can see new levels of detail in your photos.”

The 5120 x 2880 resolution has four times more pixels than the standard 27-inch iMac and 67 percent more pixels than a 4K display, so “you can see more of your high-resolution photos with pixel-for-pixel detail.”

The tech specs are interesting, as Apple says it had to hammer out its own chips and retool its manufacturing to get this many pixels in the thin case: “iMac with Retina 5K display uses a precisely manufactured oxide TFT-based panel to deliver vivid display brightness from corner to corner. A single supercharged Apple-designed timing controller (TCON), with four times the bandwidth, drives all 14.7 million pixels. …The display also uses highly efficient LEDs and organic passivation to improve image quality and reduce display power consumption by 30 percent, even while driving four times more pixels at the same brightness. To improve the contrast ratio, …the display uses a new photo alignment process and a compensation film to deliver blacker blacks and more vibrant colors from any viewing angle…. (it) is calibrated using three state-of-the-art spectroradiometers to ensure precise and accurate color.” Phew!

The computer also has the latest quad-core processors, high-performance graphics, and a Fusion Drive (combining solid-state and spinning platter storage). “It’s the ultimate display combined with the ultimate all-in-one,” the company says. Pricing starts at $2,499.

ipad air 2

Apple also introduced its iPad Air 2, which has an improved display “for enhanced contrast and richer, more vibrant colors, and better cameras for taking stunning photos and videos.”

The latest model weighs less than a pound and is 6.1 mm thick.

With an anti-reflective coating that reduces glare by 56 percent, a 40 percent faster CPU, and improved cameras, the company highlighted the tablet’s photo capture and editing capabilities.

“Innovations to the iSight camera enable better photos and videos, with an 8-megapixel sensor and advanced optics to help capture rich, detailed images and add new features including panoramic in Photos, time-lapse video, slo-mo and 1080p HD video,” Apple says.
Pricing starts at $499.


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.


Adobe changes time, removes haze

adobe demoes haze

adobe demoes haze

The latest update to Adobe’s Creative Cloud did not provide any of the eye-catching new photo-editing features the company debuts every year or two — but that doesn’t mean more new tricks aren’t in the works.

At its recent conference Adobe showed it could alter the apparent time at which a photo was captured. The Defog demo automatically cuts down on environmental haze that sucks out contrast and saturation in objects that are far away from your camera, reports Popular PhotographyThe full story is here.

Ricoh’s latest rough cam adds WiFi

Ricoh wg30w

Ricoh wg30wThe latest “adventure-proof camera” from Ricoh Imaging adds WiFi connectivity and smartphone interoperability.

“Designed to capture outdoor activities effortlessly, the WG-30w has a durable construction and a variety of outstanding features that make it ideal for those with an active lifestyle,” the company says.

The camera is waterproof down to a depth of 40 feet, shockproof from a 5-foot drop, crushproof against 220 pounds, and coldproof down to -10 degrees C.

The $300 camera has a back-illuminated 16-megapixel sensor, and six macro lights around the lens to illuminate any subject. The “Handheld Night Snap” mode automatically captures four images of the same nighttime scene and produces a single blur-free composite image from them.


HTC’s tube-like camera

htc RE

htc RE

While HTC invites you to “Step out from behind the viewfinder and focus on the moment, not on your camera,” its new camera would mandate you have to do just that — as it lacks a viewfinder.

The RE is billed as a “remarkable little camera,” and the company says it “applies HTC’s innovative touch and stunning design philosophy to break into a completely new product category and reinvent photography to suit current and future trends… Once people get a RE in their hands, they won’t want to put it down.”

The RE has a 16-megapixel sensor and a 146-degree wide-angle lens. It has WiFi to send photos through a paired mobile phone, and it’s also waterproof without needing an additional case. It will sell for $200.

The “minimalist cylindrical design… fits naturally and comfortably in the palm of your hand,” HTC adds, and the grip sensor “instantly activates the camera as it’s picked up, eliminating the need for a power button.” The large shutter button captures photos with a tap, and videos with a longer press.

The company is betting that “For the moments that really matter, you want to be at the heart of the action, not peering through a lens.” But given that anyone can, y’know, choose not to look through the viewfinder while shooting with the camera or phone they already have  (I’ve done it that way often) it begs the question of what this design offers apart from no framing the shot when it is important you get it just right — and no checking immediately after to ensure it exposed and focused correctly.

There’s more information here.


GoPro goes full 4k

gopro hero 4

gopro hero 4

Outdoor action cam maker GoPro updated its lineup with a cheaper model, and a full 4k camera.

The Hero4 Black captures 30 frames per second of full 4k video — twice that of a previous GoPro that took 4k at 15fps. It will also take 2.7K video at 50 frames per second, and 1080p video at 120fps for slo-mo playback.

Additional enhancements include improved image quality and low-light performance, as well as highlight moment tagging and an improved user interface “that allows for easier discoverability and access to key features and controls,” the company says. Yu can extract an 8-megapixel still from the 4k video. Also, GoPro says its redesigned audio system now captures high-fidelity sound with 2x the dynamic range of previous models. It’s $500, and includes WiFi and Bluetooth.

The $400 Silver models doesn’t deliver the full 4k or slo-mo, but it adds a touchscreen “for those who value convenience and ease-of-use over no-holds-barred performance.” And while it won’t take 4k, it can snap “12-megapixel magazine cover-quality photos at burst speeds of 30 photos per second,” the company claims.

There’s also a new entry-level model: it captures 1080p video, but lacks the WiFi and other high-end features. It’s $130.


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).