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DPReview’s in-depth hands-on preview of the Olympus PEN E-P3

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Andy Westlake and Richard Butler of DPReview gives you an extensive hands-on preview of the Olympus PEN E-P3:

The E-P3’s similarity of appearance to its predecessors could, all too easily, suggest that Olympus has again been subtle with its changes. But this isn’t the case at all, and the new model brings with it a whole raft of updates and refinements. Olympus has addressed many of the key criticisms of the older models, to the extent that we’d be tempted to say that the E-P3 is finally the camera that the PEN has always promised to be.

I’m always impressed with the utter depth and thoroughness of the reviews of the guys over at the Digital Photography Review website. Whenever I read any of the reviews from their site, it feels strangely enough as if I am about to read some sort of dissertation or a doctoral thesis–only, written in lay man’s terms. In other words, they write their reviews as if their very lives depend on it. Everything you ever wanted to know about every bit about the cameras they review is there. For me, DPReview is where you need to go on the net when you want to read greatly exhaustive camera reviews.

Too bad though, where it actually may matter, it would seem that the picture sample galleries for each camera reviewed usually fails to match the awesome quality of the written reviews. The way I see it, the pictures they show are not as interesting as the reviews themselves. In my opinion, the pictures in the reviews never live up to one’s expectations of the kind of images the cameras can do, and it can be a little bit of a let-down. One may be inclined to wonder, “Is this the only kind of picture that this camera can take?”

Great reviewers aren’t necessarily great photographers.

The new Olympus E-P3

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Tim Moynihan, PC World (syndicated in Macworld):

The E-P3 introduces a 3-inch OLED touchscreen, a revamped 12-megapixel Live MOS sensor, and a new imaging engine. The new “Fast AF System” supports 35 individual focus points and touch-to-focus controls while shooting still images; Olympus claims that the camera’s focus speeds are faster than those on any other compact interchangeable-lens camera on the current market.

If you are in the market for a new DSLR camera, something that’s small, but also full-featured, take a look at the new Olympus E-P3.

Choose the best printer for your business

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Melissa Riofrio of PCWorld (syndicated in Macworld) helps you choose the best printer for your business:

The classic monochrome laser business printer continues to sell surprisingly well, but the best printer for your business might be an inkjet, laser, LED, or solid-ink; and it might be a multifunction or single-function model.

How do you decide which technology and function level are best for your business? How much can you afford to spend? Take time to think about what you print, how much you print, and whether you need extra features or room to grow. Remember to check the cost of consumables to make sure your ongoing costs will be bearable.

Read the rest of the article here.

If you’re in New York City …

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Go see Anton Kawasaki, a.k.a. “that guy with crutches”:

Anton will be talking about his iPhone photos, processes and techniques at the SoHo Apple Store in NYC on Friday, June 24th, 2011 at 7 PM.

Apple Store SoHo:

Since the introduction of the iPhone, Anton Kawasaki has been taking up-close and personal photos that capture intimate moments of New Yorkers on the street. Join him for a special discussion, moderated by iPhoneographer Sion Fullana, and see Anton’s recent work, get valuable tips for taking photos with an iPhone—his camera of choice—and learn about ways to reach a wider audience.

Who is he?

Anton has been an editor, writer, comic book store owner, and much more. He is also a music junkie, Apple Inc. devotee, and soy chai latte addict.  Anton has gotten lots of recognition for his NYC street photography (which he takes exclusively with his iPhone). His work has been featured in published magazines, online sites, and photo exhibitions, and he was recently a winner of the “Ten Best Ten” photo contest that included over 10,000 entries.

By the way, Anton will have a solo Hipstamatic exhibitions that will surely be worth watching out for in San Francisco and New York later this year.

Kind of Bloop: A kind of an album art idea

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Andy Biao wrote on Waxy:

If you feel like it, you’re still welcome to buy digital copies of Kind of Bloop (without the cover art) at kindofbloop.com. Donations can be made to the EFF, and you’ll get a rad 8-bit shirt for joining. And if you have any ideas for an alternate album cover that won’t land me in court, bring it on!

How about using all of the same exact pixels from the album art in question but moving them about in a totally different arrangement to create a radically different new image? Rising out of the ashes, so to speak? Or, are all the pixels, as a whole, copyrighted?

Written by dominiquejames

June 23, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Surveillance?

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About the technology of light field photography using a handheld plenoptic camera from a Stanford University Computer Science Tech Report 2005-02 written by Ren Ng, Marc Levoy, Matthieu Bradif, Mark Horowitz and Pat Hanrahan of Stanford University with Gene Duval of Duval Design:

This [is] a camera that samples the 4D light field on its sensor in a single photographic exposure. This is achieved by inserting a microlens array between the sensor and main lens, creating a plenoptic camera. Each microlens measures not just the total amount of light deposited at that location, but how much light arrives along each ray. By re-sorting the measured rays of light to where they would have terminated in slightly different, synthetic cameras, we can compute sharp photographs focused at different depths. We show that a linear increase in the resolution of images under each microlens results in a linear increase in the sharpness of the refocused photographs. This property allows us to extend the depth of field of the camera without reducing the aperture, enabling shorter exposures and lower image noise. Especially in the macrophotography regime, we demonstrate that we can also compute synthetic photographs from a range of different viewpoints. These capabilities argue for a different strategy in designing photographic imaging systems.

So, what is this light field photography good for?

Written by dominiquejames

June 23, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Perfectly hocus-focus

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The magical science of Lytro’s in-camera technology called light field photography aims to bring your photos alive and interactive by being always in perfect focus at any point you want:

The way we communicate visually is evolving rapidly, and people’s expectations are changing in lockstep. Light field cameras offer astonishing capabilities. They allow both the picture taker and the viewer to focus pictures after they’re snapped, shift their perspective of the scene, and even switch seamlessly between 2D and 3D views. With these amazing capabilities, pictures become immersive, interactive visual stories that were never before possible – they become living pictures.

As exciting as adding one more technological capability to the camera may be, such as removing the pesky element of perfectly directed focus (which can be done with Lytro in post-production), it seems this will not be helpful to all. I see this technology as a new tool to help make great photographers take even greater pictures more quickly and more easily. But sadly, this new technology might not be as helpful to all other photographers.

Focus happens to be only one of those things in the entire art and craft of photography, not the only thing. This technology might help get the perfect focus on any part of the picture, but it will not help sharpen the focus of one’s vision.

Written by dominiquejames

June 23, 2011 at 10:35 AM

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