Digital Photo Help


Photo story of the week: Locomotion

by on Mar.10, 2018, under Reviews

In November 2013, I was fortunate enough to backpack through Southeast Asia with my partner. We visited some incredible places, met some of the nicest people and experienced many amazing moments along the way, but the place that is most memorable for me would be the quiet town of Hoi An, in Vietnam. It is located on the coast of the East Sea in the South Central Coast region of Vietnam.

The thing that convinced me to travel SE Asia was definitely the change of lifestyle from western society and, of course, their culture. I have always been fascinated by the diversity of different cultural lifestyles. Everywhere you look in Asia, especially around the cities and busy little towns there are photo opportunities waiting to be captured. Sometimes the action is difficult to keep up with when you are standing in the middle the bustling streets with people scattered everywhere. Taking a steady shot is impossible when so much spontaneous movement is going on around you.

This is when the cinematic technique comes into play—namely: panning. This works a treat for some unique and fun images. I spent most days walking the streets with my camera hanging from my shoulder, ready for moments like these to come by, and the majority of my photos from Hoi An were of local people riding their bicycles and scooters through town.

This image is of two young Vietnamese boys riding a bicycle through Central Market. I stopped my aperture down to F16 and shot a low ISO of 50 to eliminate as much ambient light reaching my sensor. This gave me an exposure of 1/4 sec: quick enough to pick up definition in the subject, but slow enough capture motion blur. I locked my auto focus onto the boys as they approached and fired continuously while panning my camera with them as they rode past. I ended up with a dozen shots, but this was my favorite.

The photo was shot with a Canon 5D Mark II and Sigma 35mm F1.4 at F16, ISO 50, and 1/4 sec shutter speed.

Drew Hopper is a freelance documentary photographer from NSW, Australia, working on long-term projects whilst exploring the visual literacy of the still image. You can find more of his work on his website, or by following him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Android P brings HEIF and multi-camera support to Pixel devices

by on Mar.09, 2018, under Reviews

Google has released the first developer preview of its upcoming Android P mobile operating system, and the long list of improvements includes support for a display cutout (iPhone X-style “notch”), more precise indoor navigation, and improved messaging notifications among others. However, there are also two points that should be specifically interesting to camera-minded users: HEIF-support and the ability two simultaneously access streams from two or more physical cameras.

Devices running Android P will support the same HEIC version of the High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF) as the latest iPhones. HEIC files are roughly half the size of JPEGs, and can include several photos as well as short videos. Android P devices will also be capable of merging image data from two or more cameras at OS-level, which kind of makes us think there could be a dual-camera equipped Pixel-phone on its way.

“You can now access streams simultaneously from two or more physical cameras on devices running Android P. On devices with either dual-front or dual-back cameras, you can create innovative features not possible with just a single camera, such as seamless zoom, bokeh, and stereo vision. The API also lets you call a logical or fused camera stream that automatically switches between two or more cameras.”

It’s possible (read: likely) this first Developer Preview of Android P will be pretty unstable, but if you are feeling adventurous and have a spare Pixel device lying in a drawer, you can download and install the new OS version from the Android website for the Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 2, Pixel XL and Pixel. A full list of new features can be found here.

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Leaked images confirm Huawei P20 will have a Leica-branded triple-camera

by on Mar.08, 2018, under Reviews

Huawei will launch its new flagship smartphone at a dedicated event in Paris on the 27th of March, and over the past few weeks we have seen a number of rumors indicating the new device will be the first smartphone to feature a triple-lens camera. Now, thanks to a fresh set of leaked images, that rumor is all but confirmed.

Previous rumors indicated that the triple cam setup will offer a total resolution of 40MP and a 5x optical/digital hybrid zoom. Additionally, the front camera will allegedly feature a 24MP resolution.

We still don’t know the exact camera specifications, but the existence of the triple-camera setup has now been pretty much confirmed by a series of very official-looking product renders, which were discovered by Dutch website Telefoon Abonnement on the Chinese social network Weibo.

As you can see from the images above, a fairly-conventional looking dual-camera is joined by a third, separate module, with all cameras aligned vertically on the device’s back plate. There is also a dual-LED flash and the Huawei-typical Leica badge.

According to the teaser images, we should also expect some AI-powered functions from the camera app, and the new model appears to come with an iPhone X-style camera notch at the front. Huawei itself doesn’t appear too concerned about the leaked product images, and has actually published a number of teasers on its Instagram account and other social media.

We’ll be in Paris on the 27th to have a closer look at the new device and its camera for you on launch day, so stay tuned for official details in a few weeks’ time.

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