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Groundbreaking High Speed Camera System

December 14th, 2011 No comments
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MIT Media Lab researchers have created a high speed  camera system that can capture images at a rate of one trillion frames per second.  This high speed camera system can capture  light traveling through objects. There are a multitude of scientific and artistic uses for a system such as this. For more on the MIT Media Lab visit their site http://www.media.mit.edu/.

Upgrading Photo Technology

December 11th, 2008 1 comment

” I’ve loved more cameras than women, but I love women more than cameras.”
photographers_nikon_fe2

I’ve been working out some theories on the most practical way to upgrade technology. Cameras, computer hardware, and software technology move at an alarming rate. The question is: when does it make financial and practical sense to upgrade? There are considerations of implementation and cost involved. Here I will outline these considerations and my theories and strategies.
Moore’s Law describes a long-term trend in computer hardware where capacity of circuitry doubles every 24 months. These same principles can be applied to almost all technologies, though the timing is different for every technology and situation. Technology upgrade theory is all about cost, implementation, and gain. Developing a good strategy is dependent on the nature of the technology and that must be studied carefully.

Know the Technology and know the habits and schedules of the manufacturers of that technology.
Example #1 Adobe is on an 18Month upgrade cycle: they allow you to skip versions and still get upgrade pricing: and their upgrades are usually major.
Example #2 Nikon usually upgrades the flagship models six-nine months before the top prosumer models. The top of the line prosumer cameras usually have many of the desirable features of the Flagship model at 40% of the price. Nikon is notoriously slow in getting their announced cameras to market. Read more…

Seitz Cameras and Scanning Backs

April 23rd, 2008 1 comment

Prepare to be humbled!

The Seitz 6X17 is a 160 megapixel camera and every pixel is real, not interpolated data. It’s a scanning camera and does not use the Bayer Filter Pattern associated with most modern camera sensors. Betterlight is another manufacturer of scanning backs and they have an excellent explanation of how scanning backs work. Seitz makes some of the most fascinating photographic equipment: from Web LiveCams to 360 Pano Cameras their stuff is cool. There website is fill of interesting photographic examples of what their products work.

This is the RoundShot D3 360 Camera. It spins around while scanning. This system uses only a slice of the lens so horizontal distortion is reduced.

This is the Tablet Control System. If you read my previous post on tethered tablet shooting, then you should appreciate what this control system adds to workflow.

I’ve worked with rented Betterlight scanning backs a couple of times, but have yet to own one; maybe for my 40th birthday. This stuff is not cheap, but you could be the only kid on your block with a 160 megapixel camera!

Tethered Tablet Shooting

April 16th, 2008 No comments

I’m using a Lenovo X61 Tablet PC for tethered shooting. It has really changed the way I shoot. I’ve been shooting tethered to laptops for some time, but a tablet is a much better way to go. Laptops need to be set up on a table or a stand which is never convenient. Tablets, however, can be hand-held or stuffed into a bag carried over the shoulder while the tablet is still connected and powered on. Just make sure the vents are not covered or you’ll cook your processor. I’ve got a special shoulder strap sleeve on my tablet. Not needing a surface to set up and being able to use a digitizer pen instead of a keyboard and mouse is what makes a tablet perfect for tethered shooting. Read more…

Digital Camera Sensor Size

November 18th, 2007 No comments


I wish camera manufactures would work on bigger sensors instead of more pixels. Old school photographers who swear by film cameras do have a point, but it’s not that film is better. The look and resolution of the film can be reproduced by digital techniques. Sensors are able to outperform film in almost every aspect. It’s the look of a medium format or large format film size and lens combination that can’t be reproduced. It’s all about the size relationship between the film and the lens. Longer focal length lenses are inherently sharper, and have shallower depth of field. They are also easier to precisely focus. When you combine these factors with the right of view, you have the big camera look. A wide angle lens on an 11X14 camera is a 210mm. A 210MM lens on a compact camera sized sensor will make the creators on the moon look like they are two feet from you. A wide angle lens on a compact camera is a 6MM. There’s nothing in digital that gives you the look of a “210mm wide angle lens.”

The diagram is sized down to fit on this blog, but the size relationships are still good.

The angle of view changes, but the other characteristics of the lenses stay the same. A 7mm lens has an incredible amount of depth of field at 2.8 mm. It also has a fair amount of distortion. It’s really tough to get shallow depth of field out of these small sensors. I often use Photoshop techniques produce shallow depth of field looks. The technique is simple.

  1. Duplicate the background
  2. Blur the new layer
  3. Add a black layer mask
  4. Paint the layer mask white where you want it sharp

Read more…

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