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Lytro Illum Light Field Camera

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You may remember seeing the first Lytro light field camera here on the blog back in 2011. If its unconventional box-like shape wasn’t enough to catch your eye, the astounding technology that enabled photographers to adjust the focal point of the image after it had already been captured surely would have. Check out an example below, you can click to change the focal point and scroll to zoom in and out. There are more samples on Lytro’s Gallery page.

Well, now Lytro is back with the next evolution of the light field camera: the Lytro Illum. Physically, it appears much more in-line with traditional point-and-shoot cameras than its radical predecessor, with an angled display screen that gives the profile of the camera big points on both character factor and, I’d imagine, ergonomics. I’ve also read in some hands-on reviews that it feels remarkably light, weighing in at less than two pounds…yes, that lens that looks like a cumbersome beast apparently weights only half a pound.

lytro-illum-backside-screen

As pretty as the Illum is on the outside, it isn’t until you take a look at what’s inside that you can get a sense for how revolutionary this camera really is. The Illum uses a patented micro-lens array that captures data about color, light direction and intensity, storing this data for later use. This is the key difference between light field cameras and other cameras, which generally don’t give you much control over the photo once it’s been taken. A special Lytro button enables a helpful UI overlay that outlines the contours of objects in the shot, giving a sense of depth and a preview of how the image’s focus will be able to be adjusted by its viewers.



Perhaps the biggest kicker of all is the price tag. Looking at a piece of technology as revolutionary as this, you might instantly assume that it’s going to run tens of thousands of dollars. Wrong. It’s being listed at around $1,599 USD, which isn’t exactly cheap, but in the photography field it actually is very affordable. In his original post, Jon finished it off by opening the table for ideas on how this technology could be applied to great effect. One can’t help but think of all the possibilities when you look at technology like this: how would you use the Lytro Illum differently than you would your usual camera? Or, which of your favorite photographers would you like to see use a camera like this?

You can read more on the Lytro Illum on Engadget and The Verge
Posted by: Alex Koplin via Mani Nilchiani

Leica M Special Edition

Posted by Jon M









Apple chief of design Jony Ive and industrial designer Marc Newson worked together to design a one of a kind special edition of the Leica M rangefinder camera, to be auctioned at a charity event with the proceeds going towards (RED), the charity founded by Bono from U2 to support the fight against HIV and AIDS, and is expected to raise anywhere between $500,000-$750,000.

It is said that it took Ive and Newson 85 days and over 500 models to come up with the final product, which features a laser machined aluminum body and an anodized aluminum outer shell, a 24-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor (as the $7,000 Leica M), and it includes a 50mm f/2 lens.

Designspiration Job Board

Over the last few months I (Shelby) have been working on a number of large updates to Designspiration. The first of these updates is the job board. The goal of the job board is to help creatives find career opportunities at great companies.

There were a number of challenging aspects of building this site addition, but the main one was how to handle mobile. It’s not something I’ve done a whole lot of and just to complicate things, a new grid needed to be developed for the updates to follow. The restructuring of the grid took just about as much time to figure out as it did to build the job board itself. I’ll follow up this post after the next updates to talk more about making Designspiration fast on mobile (hint, hint).

If you know an agency or company looking to hire, post a job or let them know about the job board. Also, follow the Designspiration jobs twitter @Dspnjobs for job updates.

Check it out: http://ds.pn/jobs

Lets talk Boards Of Canada RSD 12″

Posted by Jakub

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As part of Saturday’s Record Store Day festivities, Warp released a solitary 12″ credited to the pair through NY record shop Other Music. The disc features a short clip of a woozy none-more-BoC piece, plus a vocodered voice reading out the numbers “9-3-6-5-5-7″. It appears the record may be one in a series of jigsaw pieces: the record is credited as “—— / —— / —— / XXXXXX / —— / ——” , and features dead space on either side of the clip, implying a fill-in-the-gaps approach.

We obviously approached the story with the requisite skepticism, but Pitchfork now claim they have had direct confirmation that the record is legit. An Other Music employee, Mikey IQ Jones, has also got in touch directly with FACT. According to Jones: “It’s real. We were given a copy to secretly place in the racks at Other Music; we’re really psyched that it was found by a big fan!”

– FACT

So the vinyl is legit, now its time to figure out what the numbers mean. I have to hand it to Warp Records and BoC, this brought back the young fan in a lot of people that might have written them off. Its funny how hardcore music fans that treat music really seriously can trash talk and the less serious more carefree listener is just geeked and ready to spend their weekend trying to decode the exciting mystery that is there.

I personally think the 6 spaces each stand for a letter and then will be converted to ASCII to text and its not going to spell out SUMMER but the album title. Any thoughts from you guys?

Quality sources with info:
2020k

FACTmag

UPDATE – VINYL 2:

Review: Samsung Galaxy Camera

We’ve entered a strange territory in photography, where the software benefits & ubiquity of a mobile operating system like Android, meet the hardware of a decent point and shoot. I’ve been testing the Samsung Galaxy Camera for the last month, so I figured I’d share a few thoughts.

A smart camera.

This is, first and foremost, a large point and shoot camera. As camera software goes, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is a breath of fresh air. This is a huge win over any custom OS that attempts to reinvent the wheel. You can install any app available in the Google Play store, from Instagram to games to Wifi-tethering apps. The touchscreen is also amazing. It’s huge. With the camera app open, it makes every type of photo easy to see, frame & capture.

For a phone-less camera, it’s super connected.

Because it comes with GPS, Wifi & 3G connectivity, it makes sharing your photos while you’re on the road really easy. In fact, I’d call it a potential lifesaver. You can set it up to auto-upload to Dropbox or Google+, so if you lose your camera, you’ll still have your photos. Or you can use it to Skype the Icelandic police when you lock yourself out of your car at dusk, in a sand storm, in the middle of nowhere. True story.

Optical zoom is great. Photo quality is so-so.

At 16 megapixels, it outputs photos larger than what phones currently can, yes, but are they better? Not entirely. The lens and 21x optical zoom give you more versatility than a smartphone, but if you examine the photos below closely, you’ll see some JPEG compression and color fringing. For $500 bucks, it’s certainly not as good as you’d find in another equally priced point and shoot camera.

[Full-resolution sample]

[Full-resolution sample]

Photo editing software on Android is scarce.

The camera comes pre-installed with the Photo Wizard editing app, which is sufficient for some, but you’ll probably want to install PicsPlay Pro if you want more control & full resolution exports. It’s the best Android photo editor I can find.

Awkward to hold when you type.

You’ll be using the touchscreen keyboard just as much as you would when operating your standard Android phone, which means you’ll want to hold the screen like a phone, which also means you’ll be holding a camera in a way it wasn’t meant to be held – lens to palm. Not ideal. Thankfully this one has an automatic lens cover.

A note for heavy Instagram users… 

The zoom lens opens and extends every time you activate the camera, so if you’re indecisive like me when choosing a photo to post to Instagram, you’ll find the camera opens and closes repeatedly. One of those nobody saw it coming kind of things.

Overall

There are some usability & quality issues between hardware and software that need figuring out, but the Galaxy Camera is pretty killer considering all you can do with it (hat tip to Android). It’s more camera than smartphone, but when you consider portability, smartphones may still win in the end once smaller, mobile sensors catch up in quality.

Concrete Cat

I recently acquired some concrete art form Concrete Cat. They keep impressing me with the things they are doing in concrete. From a clock collaboration with Furni to Matt Heide’s Concrete Tactile Painting to larger furniture and counter tops. I love seeing an artist evolve with their craft as they push the limits of its intended purpose.

concretecat.com
mattheide.com
Instagram: @concretecat

Posted by: Seth Hardie | Instagram: @hallwood

Benjamin JeanJean








Today, I bring you an incredibly talented individual, Benjamin JeanJean. I am very envious of not only his work, but his surroundings and life in general. An excerpt from his own biography reads:

“Deeply rooted in the surf and skateboard culture, Benjamin JJ follows life at his own pace on the French Atlantic coast: he drives a 1965 404 Peugeot; lives in an old house he renovated himself, packed with vintage furniture and art pieces; surfs on an old school longboard and takes pictures with a medium format analog camera. Time seems timeless for him. ”

Sounds like the life, if you ask me. Benjamin is well-versed in design, surfing (both shaping and riding), and photography. In todays world, everyone uses their computer or their digital cameras (or phones) to create art, but I find it refreshing to see someone who doesn’t mind getting dirty and taking the time to really put a bit of himself into the things he creates. From pencil and paper, to a surfboard. I love the idea of creating something beautiful that you can also use and enjoy beyond just looking at it.

He has inspired me to pick up a pencil and paper, start working with my hands more, and live my life the way I want to live it.

- Tavish