Tag: cameras

Samsung’s 360 Round camera livestreams 3D VR

Samsung already has a virtual reality camera in the form of the Gear 360, but it's not really for pros -- it's for everyday users who want to record a 360-degree video on the street. What if you're a pro, or a well-heeled enthusiast? Samsung has you covered: it's launching the previously hinted-at 360 Round. The disc-shaped device carries a whopping 17 2-megapixel cameras and six microphones (plus two mic ports) to create 3D (that is, stereoscopic) VR video. It's powerful enough to livestream 4K VR at a smooth 30 frames per second, helped in part by software that promises to stitch together immersive video with virtually no lag.

Other nods to pro use? The Round is IP65 water resistant, so you can use it in the rain, and its unibody design is meant to keep you shooting for "hours" without the need for a noisy cooling fan.

Samsung is releasing the 360 Round later in October for American buyers at an unmentioned price, with other countries coming later. Keep in mind that the camera is only one part of the cost, though. You'll need a monster PC, especially if you're livestreaming. A post-processing rig demands at least a Core i7-6700K, 16GB of RAM and GeForce GTX 1080 graphics, while livestreaming and preview machines ask for a 10-core i7-6950X, 32GB of RAM and two GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards. You're probably not going to use the Round for your video blog, then, but this makes high-quality 3D VR a viable option using off-the-shelf PCs.

Source: Samsung

DxO’s snap-on smartphone camera is coming to Android

DxO, the company best known for its lens and camera scores, is also behind one of the nicer smartphone-attached cameras out there, the $499 DxO One. Up until now, it has only supported the iPhone and iPad, but the company has revealed that it will soon release the DxO One Android via an early access program. It didn't give many details, other than saying it will attach to type-C USB connectors, so it'll likely only work with newer Android devices.

It should function much the same as it does on an iPhone, turning your smartphone into a display for the camera and letting you choose the f/stop, shutter speed, ISO and other settings. With a one-inch, 20-megapixel sensor similar to the one on the high-end Sony RX100 V compact, it'll generally give you nicer images than even the iPhone 8 Plus, Galaxy Note 8, Pixel 2 and other top-shelf smartphone cameras.

The company says version 1.0 of the DxO One Android camera app will arrive "in the coming weeks" as part of the Early Access program. You can sign up now to get in line, and the company has promised more details on November 2nd.

In other DxO news, there are new accessories for its current iPhone DxO One, too. For better selfies, there's a new tilt stand (above, right) that lets you set different angles for hands-free use, along with an external battery pack (left) that doubles its runtime. The latter also includes the "Outdoor Shell," a weather-resistant case. The tilt stand is included with new DxO One cameras (the company didn't mention if current owners can buy it separately) and the battery pack is $60.

Via the latest version 3.0 iOS update, the DxO One now supports Facebook Live streaming with multi-camera shoots, using both the DxO One and your phone's own camera. That could be helpful for folks who do a lot of live streaming, as an extra camera angle can make your shows more interesting.

It bears mentioning that you could buy a used Sony RX100 Mark III or IV for around the same price, and then just pair it with your smartphone. The DxO one is smaller, though, and more convenient if you share a lot of photos or edit them on your phone. Also, camera makers are not known for their great smartphone apps, and Sony's PlayMemories app is no exception. As mentioned, the DxO One is $499 at DxO's store.

Source: DxO One

The Pixel 2 has a surprise: Google’s first custom imaging chip

Google didn't spill all the details about the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL at its October 4th event. As it turns out, these phones have a secret weapon: Google's first custom imaging chip (and indeed first system-on-chip of any kind), the Pixel Visual Core. The eight-core processor works closely with software to handle Google's machine learning-assisted HDR+ photography up to five times faster than the Pixel 2's main CPU, all the while using a tenth of the energy.

More importantly, the chip makes HDR+ shooting accessible to any third-party camera app. You don't have to use Google's software to capture more detailed highlights and shadows. The tech giant is also promising new uses for Pixel Visual Core over time (it's programmable), so you could expect to see more photographic abilities as time goes on.

There's only one main catch with the Core. You see, it's not actually enabled yet -- it won't be available as an option until the developer preview of Android Oreo 8.1 arrives in the "coming weeks," and it won't be ready for all third-party apps until sometime after that. If you bought a Pixel 2 as soon as you could, you'll have to rely on the stock camera app for a while. Google didn't say to expect this feature when you bought the phone, to be fair, but its full potential won't be realized until considerably later.

Source: Google

Canon’s G1 X Mark III is its first APS-C sensor compact

Canon has unveiled its first-ever APS-C sensor compact zoom camera, the 24.3-megapixel PowerShot G1 X Mark III. It's much bigger than the last G1 X Mark II model, with a very similar body to the G5 X compact. It also features Canon's fast and accurate dual-pixel autofocus and an all-new 2.36 million OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF). To get those big-sensor bragging rights, however, Canon had to sacrifice a few key features from the last model and jack up the price significantly.

Gone is the versatile 24-120mm f/2.0-3.9 zoom lens of the last model (which had a smaller 1.5-inch sensor), replaced with a slower and shorter 24-72 mm f/2.8-5.6 model. It's easy to understand why Canon did this -- with a larger image circle, an equivalent lens would likely have been too large and heavy.

During a call, company engineers pointed out that with a larger sensor, the f/2.8-5.6 lens will still be capable of shallow depth-of-field, and is (a bit) faster than its DSLR or mirrorless kit lenses. Photographers will now have to decide, however, whether they want a big sensor or faster lens, like the one on the (cheaper) Sony RX100 V or the stellar f/1.4-2.8 model on the Panasonic LX10.

The 2.36 million dot EVF was a much-requested feature by owners of the last model, and the G1 X Mark III now has a 3.0-inch vari-angle touch display with touch and drag autofocus. With the dual-pixel autofocus and a Digic 7 image processor, the compact can now shoot at 7 fps with continuous AF tracking or 9 fps with fixed tracking. It also has five-axis optical stabilization and a new type of shutter release that Canon calls "more DSLR-like."

The dual-pixel AF improves focus speed for both still and video images, but with a serious caveat next to its competition. As with other recent Canon models like the M100 mirrorless, the G1 X Mark III is limited to 1080p 60fps video, while rivals like Panasonic and Sony have cheaper compacts (the RX100 V and LX10) that can shoot 4K/30 fps and 1080p at 120 fps.

Other features include a new panoramic mode that can stitch up to seven photos together, either horizontally or vertically. There's now WiFi, NFC and Bluetooth, making for easy pairing, photo transfers and remote live-view shooting of stills and video. Finally, there's a new time-lapse mode that can automatically determine intervals and exposure.

The biggest pain-point for potential G1 X Mark III buyers is the price. It's available in November 2017 for a stunning $1,299, a good $300 more than the RX100 V which, other than the sensor size, offers better specs across the board. If you really want an APS-C compact zoom, however, the G1 X Mark III is currently the only one in the world.

The future of surveillance is hidden in airport ads

Public anonymity is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Coming soon to an airport in Dubai is an artsy, colorful video security and customs tunnel that scans your face, adds you to a database, indexes you with artificial intelligence, and decides if you're free to leave -- or not.

By the end of summer 2018, Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3 will have replaced its security clearance counter with a walkway tunnel filled with 80 face-scanning cameras disguised as a distracting immersive video.

Travellers' eyes will roam the enclosed tunnel and its virtual shimmering aquarium as they head to their gate, while their biometric data is seamlessly collected, compared, and stored .... somewhere, under unknown terms and conditions. According to officials presenting the security and customs tunnel at the 37th Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) Technology Week at the World Trade Centre in Dubai, its video shows will not be limited to chicken of the sea. The airport plans to also distract its very captive audience with desert scenes, majestically galloping white horses, or ... advertisements.

"The fish is a sort of entertainment and something new for the traveller but, at the end of the day, it attracts the vision of the travellers to different corners in the tunnel for the cameras to capture his/her face print," Major Gen Obaid Al Hameeri, deputy director general of Dubai residency and foreign affairs, told press.

Travellers are expected to "register" their faces at kiosks throughout the airport so they may travel. The tunnel will replace the terminal's security control desk. "At the end of the tunnel," The National reported, "if the traveler is already registered, they will either receive a green message that says "have a nice trip" or, if the person is wanted for some reason, a red sign will alert the operations room to interfere." You can watch a video of their reporter's walkthrough here.

Australia is currently considering the same thing, where passengers are filtered through a tunnel that seamlessly captures their biometrics (facial scanning) as they go through the airport.

The "virtual aquarium tunnel" was four years in the making, and debuted this week at GITEX. Other stars of the GITEX innovation conference included a flying autonomous taxi and drone motorcycle for police. This year the theme at GITEX is "Re-Imagining Realities" with a focus on smart cities.

When surveillance becomes "look at the pretty fish"

The best dystopian fiction frightens because it shows us our future in a hideous funhouse mirror; we know it's based on reality yet its contortions are too despotically insane to seem possible. Such was the vibe in the sci-fi film Minority Report, and its memorable scene of Tom Cruise continually being recognized and served intrusive, personalized ads as he's desperately trying to escape a smart city of the future. To avoid the intertwined systems of intrusive, tailored advertising based on his identity and having his movements tracked and sent to police, he gets surgery from a black market doctor.

Maybe, like today's social media sites like to tell us, the science fiction dystopia of Minority Report was just trying to make his advertising experience better. But considering that the Dubai International Airport is already talking about its security scanner as an advertising surveillance tunnel, it feels like science fiction is letting our current world off the hook by comparison.

You have to wonder where this is leading, all dystopian things considered. I mean, are they being considered? We know that Facebook, ever servile in its advertising greed, has created the world's largest database of biometric identity by way of its nonconsensual facial recognition program performed on all its users. And this is where we have the first clear instance of law enforcement and advertisers mingling in a facial scanning, AI-run security network. And that, according to Major Gen Obaid Al Hameeri, surreptitious retinal scanning will be added to the 80-camera tunnels in the near future.

It's scary because dystopian science fiction was supposed to be cautionary tales. Blade Runner was meant to be far-out sci-fi about the brutal contradictions of identity ownership and creating a disposable, trackable working class.

Yet here we are. Even one of the inventors of facial recognition is agonizing about his Frankenstein monster. "It pains me to see a technology that I helped invent being used in a way that is not what I had in mind in respect to privacy," said Joseph Atick, who helped create facial recognition in the 1990s.

"I can no longer count on being an anonymous person," he told Daily Beast, "when I'm walking down the street." Atick has called for regulations to protect the privacy of citizens, because without it Americans are left with "a myriad of state laws," he said. "And state laws can be more easily manipulated by commercial interests."

We don't know who the airport's officials are that will be accessing the facial recognition data, what database sharing is in the background, or what safeguards will be in place to prevent misuse. Dubai's government arms are also no stranger to being hacked.

Maybe a 15% chance of cavity search

On one hand, the point of the aquarium surveillance tunnel, they tell us, is to streamline the security experience -- to make it "smarter." It's not like travelers will have a choice in the matter, but the rubric is that security and convenience outweigh privacy and personal security in the heat of the moment every time. The TSA is living proof of that; good luck finding an American that will tell you the TSA is convenient and efficient. Though when it comes to data security, when last we checked, the TSA was failing spectacularly at that, too.

Half the people I've talked to about the aquarium tunnel are profoundly excited about this futuristic convenience. Security professionals one and all, they are not deterred by the lurid bait-and-switch attention for surveillance aspect. Nor are they disturbed by the implications of inevitable database security madness that will surely ensue, or troubled by questions of accuracy (the FBI's face recognition is only 85% accurate and has trouble with black faces).

Are they jaded after riding from breach to breach, year after year, watching the effects of companies collecting our information only to squander it by giving it less importance than happy advertisers? Or are they just yearning for cities of the future and their magical conveniences?

I can't fault them for either reasoning. Yet I still can't shake the sense that Philip K. Dick, he of the Minority Report and the Blade Runner, was trying to tell us something.

Images: AFP Photo / Giuseppe Cacace (Tunnel); Matt Brian/Engadget (Facial recognition); REUTERS/Bob Riha Jr (TSA)

The best camera bags

By Erin Lodi, Mike Perlman, and Eric Adams

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter, reviews for the real world. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.

If you're working with only a single camera and a lens, a good camera strap is all you need. But as soon as you start bringing multiple lenses and a tripod, you'll want a proper camera bag—preferably one that also looks nice enough to use every day. After spending the past two years testing more than 30 camera bags, we've found a number of great bags that cover a wide range of styles and carrying needs. For many photographers, the best choices are the 20-liter Peak Design Everyday Backpack or the 15-inch Everyday Messenger.

How we picked and tested

To narrow the field of contenders, we focused on bags with these features:

  • Easy access to the camera
  • Camera-specific pockets, organization for accessories, and ample padding
  • User-configurable internal dividers
  • Waist belts
  • Weather-resistance or waterproofing
  • Big enough to hold everything you need, without encouraging overpacking
  • We avoided premium bags from designer fashion labels or made of leather.

To test the bags, we asked professional photographers and Wirecutter contributors Eric Adams, Erin Lodi, and Mike Perlman to take the bags out shooting for at least a few hours, but up to several consecutive days in some cases. Each tester loaded the bags with a compact DSLR or mirrorless camera, lenses, accessories, an assortment of cables, a laptop, and personal items.

A versatile, stylish backpack

The Peak Design Everyday Backpack suits a wide variety of people's frames and sizes. Photo: Eric Adams

The Peak Design Everyday Backpack is our favorite backpack for enthusiast shooters who don't want to sacrifice good looks for great performance. The bag is highly adjustable, breathable, and roomy, with many thoughtful features—such as fast but secure access mechanisms, external gear loops with cinch straps, a waist belt and sternum straps, and a flexible hook-and-loop internal organization system. We tested the 20-liter version, but a 30-liter version is also available for those with more gear.

The Everyday Backpack has well-thought-out pockets overall, but its fold-top camera compartment stands out in particular for providing the fastest camera access out of any backpack we tried. It also has a 15-inch laptop sleeve.

An affordable backpack

Photo: Erin Lodi

The AmazonBasics Backpack for SLR/DSLR Cameras and Accessories is ideal for a growing photographer who needs an affordable and flexible option for protecting and transporting their gear while they're still honing their kit. This bag holds all the basic necessities, including a 13-inch laptop and multiple accessories. It has user-configurable Velcro internal dividers for accommodating a variety of photo kits, and plenty of breathable padding for a comfortable fit. It's a bit smaller and stiffer than other bags we tested, but it's a solid value given its low price..

A bigger backpack

Photo: Erin Lodi

The Think Tank Photo StreetWalker HardDrive can hold a surprising amount of gear without feeling or looking bulky, including multiple full-frame bodies, a 17-inch laptop, a handful of lenses, two flashes, and all the accessories you might want. It's extremely comfortable with a thick, cushioned back and straps. It uses adjustable Velcro dividers in its cavernous main compartment, and has an organizer built into its exterior pocket as well as elastic sleeves for organizing smaller items like SD cards.

Our favorite camera messenger bag

The Peak Design Everyday Messenger (left) and Tenba Cooper 13 Slim. Photo: Mike Perlman

A messenger bag is ideal for when you need something less bulky than a backpack but still want to take a camera, a laptop, and a couple of extras. The Peak Design Everyday Messenger combines the same strong design and thoughtfulness that we enjoyed with the Everyday Backpack, but in messenger form. In place of conventional modular Velcro pads are slim, origami-style foldable inserts that you can arrange in numerous patterns and configurations. It's perfect for one DSLR or two mirrorless cameras and a few lenses and accessories, and it also has room for a laptop and tablet. Just keep in mind that you'll be putting all that weight on one shoulder.

A super-affordable messenger bag

Photo: Erin Lodi

If you want a messenger bag that's very affordable, the Ape Case Envoy Large Messenger DSLR Case is one of the few budget models we found that will hold your laptop as well as your camera. This simple but well-designed messenger bag can hold a 13-inch laptop, a DSLR body, three lenses, a flash, and all your accessories. And it's comfortable enough to wear for long periods even when fully loaded, thanks to its heavy padding. It has cushioned dividers for customizing the internal pocket, a wide variety of pocket types and sizes, and offers quick access to your camera via a top zipper.

A camera purse

A photo purse isn't as great for heavy loads of gear—but it does offer a more stylish look. Photo: Erin Lodi

The Kelly Moore 2 Sues 2.0 bag is our favorite purse-style camera bag for carrying a photographer's essentials to a shorter shoot. It offers easy access to the main compartment and plenty of pockets for stashing everything from memory cards to a smartphone. The bag looks like leather but is a "vegan-friendly" material of the company's own devising called Cambrio that comes in several colors; the gold hardware accents look shiny and high-end. The longer strap offers considerable padding to carry the bag across one shoulder, but fashion takes precedence when it comes to camera purses, so the 2 Sues 2.0 doesn't prioritize weight distribution or body contouring.

This guide may have been updated by Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

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Wirecutter’s best deals: Nikon’s Coolpix B700 Superzoom drops to $350

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter, reviews for the real world. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read their continuously updated list of deals here.

You may have already seen Engadget posting reviews from our friends at Wirecutter. Now, from time to time, we'll also be publishing their recommended deals on some of their top picks. Read on, and strike while the iron is hot -- some of these sales could expire mighty soon.

Eufy HomeVac Duo Stick Vacuum

Street price: $100; Deal price: $80

This is a new low price on a vacuum we like in our best stick vacuum guide. The Eufy HomeVac Duo has a pop-out hand vacuum module, thus the Duo name. Usually between $100 and $110, at $80 for the red model, this deal beats the lowest price we'd previously seen by about $5 dollars. Looking for black or white instead? Both are also discounted at $83, a few dollars below the previous low. Shipping is free with Prime.

The Eufy HomeVac Duo is our versatile and affordable pick in our guide to the best stick vacuums. Liam McCabe wrote, "If you want a budget cordless vacuum with more battery life or the ability to pull double duty as a hand vacuum, check out the Eufy HomeVac Duo (formerly known as the Anker HomeVac Duo). Like the Hoover Linx, the Eufy HomeVac Duo can't compete with the Dyson V6 in cleaning power, but it's useful for tidying up."

Nikon Coolpix B700 Superzoom Camera

Street price: $450; Deal price: $350

If you're looking specifically for a superzoom camera, this is a very solid drop on the Nikon Coolpix B700, our top pick. Usually well over $400, at $350 this is one of the lowest prices we've seen for it new and it's roughly equivalent in price to where we usually see it sold in refurbished condition by a trusted retailer, so grab one while you can. Shipping is free.

The Nikon Coolpix B700 is our top pick in our guide to the best superzoom camera. Ben Keough wrote, "Although none of the models we tested ticked all of the boxes on our checklist, the Nikon Coolpix B700 includes the most important features you could want in a superzoom. In particular, its eye sensor makes switching between the rear screen and the electronic viewfinder a breeze, the articulating rear LCD enables easy off-angle shooting, the raw capture is a great feature for anyone who owns image-processing software, and the impressive lens zooms in to an incredible 1440mm-equivalent focal length, long enough to fill the frame with a building located a mile away. You can find some of the B700's individual attributes in other superzooms, but no competitors combine them all in a reasonably sized camera body. Ken McMahon of Camera Labs agrees, writing that "there's very little that compares with the B700 at this price point."

Aukey USB-C to USB 3.0 Adapter 2-pack

Street price: $10; Deal price: $7 w/ code AUKEYAA1

If you have a computer or peripherals with legacy ports you plan to hold on to, now's the time to start stocking up on adapters as USB-C is rapidly becoming ubiquitous. Right now, thankfully, you can save on a 2-pack of our recommended nub adapters when you use code AUKEYAA1. The code is valid for a 2-pack in the black or white colors and lowers the price from $10 to $7, matching the previous low we've seen. Shipping is free with Prime or a qualifying $25 purchase.

The Aukey USB-C to USB 3.0 Adapter is our top nub adapter pick in our guide to the best USB-C adapters, cables, and hubs. Nick Guy wrote, "Of the models we tested, our favorite nub-style adapter is Aukey's CB-A1-2, available in a two-pack for less than $10. (If you want just one, there's also the CB-A1, but having a handful of these around is useful.) The plastic-bodied dongle is a little over an inch from end to end (including its own USB-C plug), about half an inch wide, and barely thicker than the USB plug that you'll connect to, so you can use two of the adapters side-by-side on a 2016 MacBook Pro, though it's a tight fit. The CB-A1 is nothing fancy, but it works well, and it's cheap enough that you could buy a few packs and just leave the adapters attached to the cables and plugs of your legacy peripherals."

Refurbished DJI Phantom 3 Standard

Street price: $400; Deal price: $314

We've been fans of DJI drone refurbs for some time due to the generous warranty, the same offered for DJI drones when purchased new. This refurbished DJI Phantom 3 standard, sold via the Newegg DJI storefront, is available for $314, about as low as we've seen the Phantom 3 on sale without a coupon code. While we've seen this $314 price a few times, for a beginner, it's an affordable price for a very capable drone. Shipping is free.

The DJI Phantom Standard is our budget pick in our guide to the best drones. Mike Perlman wrote, "If all you want is something to capture aerial footage on occasion for personal use and social-media sharing, and you don't need advanced flight features or collision-avoidance technology, you can save several hundred dollars by getting the DJI Phantom 3 Standard. It has all the important core features you need from a video drone, including high-resolution 2.7K video recording, excellent image and flight stabilization, and limited smart-flight modes like Follow Me (tracks and follows a subject) and Point of Interest (encircles a subject while capturing photos and videos). But it doesn't fold up, it comes with an outdated controller, and it's limited to a half-mile operating range."

Because great deals don't just happen on Thursday, sign up for our daily deals email and we'll send you the best deals we find every weekday. Also, deals change all the time, and some of these may have expired. To see an updated list of current deals, please go to thewirecutter.com.

Shutterstock’s composition photo search is powered by AI

Fresh off its AI-powered tool for countering watermark removal from photos, Shutterstock is using machine learning for something else. In this case, it's launching a composition-aware search tool.

"This tool allows users to specify one or more keywords, or to search for copy space, and arrange them spatially on a canvas to reflect the specific layout of the image they are seeking," a press release reads. "The patent pending tool uses a combination of machine vision, natural language processing and state of the art information retrieval techniques to find strong matches against complex spatially aware search criteria."

So, dragging "pen" to the lower left corner of the search box, and "desk" to the upper right corner will come back with photos where the pen is in the lower left of the frame, and a desk is in the upper right. At least that's how it's supposed to work in theory. Plenty of the results had the pen all over the photo, and a desk was always in the background. Adding "mug" to the search and moving it around the space performed as it should've though.

Proper nouns don't work so hot. Searching for "Beyonce" resulted in pictures of (mostly) Caucasian women, and even one of a lady wearing a whipped cream bikini. So, yeah, it still has a ways to go. But, with normal stuff it works pretty well. Google Photos, which also uses AI and computer vision to sort and search photos, runs into similar hiccups, so this isn't unheard of.

As is the case with any type of machine learning, Shutterstock's tool will only get better with time and use. The company can't do anything about the former, but since the feature is free for anyone to mess around with, the latter shouldn't be an obstacle.

Via: The Verge

Source: PR Newswire, Shutterstock Labs

DJI’s 6K drone camera is designed to make movies

You can certainly shoot movies with drones right now, but that doesn't mean drone cameras are ideally suited to movie-making. They seldom have the resolution and image quality of the pro movie cameras you see on the ground, let alone the high-quality lenses. DJI is trying to fix that -- it's introducing the Zenmuse X7, billed as the first Super 35 digital camera tuned for pro drone cinematography. Its large sensor lets you shoot 6K RAW video (in CinemaDNG format) with 14 stops of dynamic range, promising crisp, editing-ready video with plenty of detail in low light. And like any good movie-grade camera, the glass plays a prominent role.

The X7 relies on a dedicated mount system built for carrying prime lenses. You have choices of 16mm, 24mm, 35mm and 50mm lenses, all of which have a maximum f/2.8 aperture. You should get a shallow, film-like depth of field for closer shots regardless of which lens you use. The 16mm lens has an ND 4 filter, while all the other lenses tout mechanical shutters.

Software may play as much of a role as the optics themselves. There's a Cinema Color System to offer more flexibility in the editing booth, and a new mode imitates the behavior of film cameras to help preserve info.

To no one's surprise, airborne cinematography won't come cheap. The base Zenmuse X7 costs $2,699 by itself, while every lens save for the 50mm costs $1,299 (the long-ranged lens costs $100 less). Completists will probably want to buy a four-lens bundle at $4,299. At least you won't have long to wait before you can start on your aerial magnum opus, as the X7 and its lenses start shipping in early November.

Source: DJI

Samsung’s latest imaging sensors may rid smartphones of camera bumps

As Apple, Samsung and (perhaps, surprisingly) Google battle to claim the top spot in smartphone imaging, we've been left with lenses jutting out of the device, or in the case of the Note 8, a thicker phone. The iPhone 8 and Pixel 2 may be the latest offenders, but Samsung thinks its latest imaging sensor can keep things slim with its duo of new ISOCELL sensors: two different components with different selling points.

Its 12-megapixel Fast 2L9 sensor uses "Dual Pixel" tech to speed up its auto-focus, shrinking pixels to 1.28μm, down from 1.4μm in its predecessor. And what the heck does that mean? It should improve improve the speed it takes for future smartphones to focus, as well as the ability for the camera to keep locked-on and track moving objects. Samsung promises this is all possible in low light too, vowing that it'll keep your next (presumably Galaxy-branded) smartphone bump-free, while also delivering 'bokeh' depth of focus effects with just a single lens.

The ISOCELL Slim 2X7, like its name suggests, will be able to slide itself into even more slender smartphone designs, despite its meatier 24-megapixel spec. It's the first mobile image sensor to have a pixel size below 1.0μm -- 0.9μm apparently, helping shrink that sensor size, but keeping color fidelity and low noise thanks to Samsung's improvements with its ISOCELL tech and pixel isolation.The Slim is also built for improved low-light photography. It does so by combining four neighbouring pixels to work as one, increasing light sensitivity. It'll still be able to tap into all 24 megapixels when lighting conditions are better. Samsung pitches it as a sensor that works at its best, regardless of how much light's around.

Ben K. Hur, Vice President of System LSI Marketing at Samsung Electronics says in the release that the sensors are "highly versatile as they can be placed in both front and rear of a smartphone." Better selfies too, then.

Source: Samsung