Rental tenants typically cannot install cameras — or anything else — in common hallways. But landlords can.
The trooper, Jacob Brown, who was charged with assaulting Aaron Larry Bowman in May 2019 and later resigned, defended the attack as “pain compliance.”
Apple, Samsung and others want us to replace our phones constantly, but many of our problems with current devices can be fixed.
Sony has launched its first vlogging-specific mirrorless camera, the ZV-E10, that borrows a number of features from ZV-1 compact vlogging model. At the same time, it’s roughly based on the A5000 and A6000-series APS-C mirrorless cameras, with all the good (and bad) that entails.
The two biggest advantages of the ZV-E10 over the ZV-1 are the larger 24-megapixel APS-C sensor and interchangeable mirrorless mount. The latter feature opens Sony’s range of 60-plus E-mount lenses to vloggers, making the ZV-E10 much more versatile than the fixed-lens ZV-1. The larger sensor, meanwhile, will deliver improved light sensitivity and a shallower depth of field.
The ZV-E10 uses the aging 24-megapixel APS-C sensor found in the A6100 and other recent Sony models. While that delivers sharp, downsampled 4K video at up to 30 fps (or 120 fps 1080p), it’s likely to have a serious amount of rolling shutter that’s not ideal for its intended purpose.
On the more positive side, it offers optical and active electronic image stabilization, just like the ZV-1. That should smooth out handheld shooting pretty well, though don’t expect miracles for walk-and-talk type vlogging — especially if rolling sensor wobble proves to be an issue.
Size-wise, the ZV-E10 is smaller than any of the A6000-series cameras at 343 grams and isn’t much larger and heavier than the ZV-1. It lacks an electronic viewfinder, but it’s Sony’s first APS-C mirrorless camera with a fully-articulating flip-out screen — a basic requirement on any vlogging camera these days.
The ZV-E10 comes with Sony’s latest phase-detect autofocus system, both for video and still shooting. That means you should get incredibly quick subject tracking, along with reliable eye, face and head detect autofocus. It also has an S&Q (slow & quick) feature that lets you record time-lapse and slow motion footage in-camera without the need for any post processing work.
It borrows several vlogging features directly from the ZV-1. The first is called “product showcase,” a setting that allows it to instantly focus away from your face and onto an object placed in front of the camera. That’s particularly handy for vloggers reviewing products, devices, etc.
The other is a bokeh switch that instantly sets the lowest f-stop available for lighting conditions. That way, you can have the background as defocused as possible, allowing your subject to stand out clearly.
The ZV-E10 has a built-in, high-quality three-way microphone (left, right and central channels) that’s designed to pick out your voice. That means you can vlog without the need to buy a microphone, though it still won’t match the quality and voice isolation of a dedicated shotgun or lapel mic. It also comes with a hotshoe-attached muff to help block wind noise, and if that’s not enough, a wind noise reduction setting. It also comes with a microphone input, though not a headphone output.
Finally, if you’re into live streaming, you can connect the ZV-E10 directly to a smartphone and stream directly to YouTube or other services — much as you can with Panasonic’s latest GH5-II. It will also work directly as a webcam, streaming both video and audio (not just video like other cameras) so you can take advantage of its high-quality microphone.
The ZV-E10 will be available in either black or white by the end of August and will cost $700 for the body, or $800 in a bundle including Sony’s 16-50mm F/3.5-5.6 power zoom lens.
This post originally appeared on Engadget.
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High-tech scanning techniques used by geologists, planetary scientists, drug companies and the military are revealing secrets of how artists created their masterpieces.
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Three of the officers in Savannah, Ga., mocked the death of William Harvey in a group text message exchange, in which an inappropriate GIF was shared, officials said.
A lot has changed in the last decade-ish of instant photography, yet all the while the boxy build of instant cameras has stayed more or less intact. Modern instant shooters have slimmed down and put on a variety of calming pastel tones, but they’re not exactly slender.
But lo, Polaroid — the new Polaroid, not the old Polaroid — has done a thing. The company says its latest camera, the Polaroid Go, is the world’s smallest analog instant camera. And you know, yeah, it looks really quite small.
How small is small? It’s 4.1 inches long, 2.4 inches tall and a little over 3 inches wide. The Go is undeniably tiny but boasts a handful of useful features, including a selfie timer, selfie mirror and the ability to take dreamy double exposures.
In the promo photos, Polaroid’s models hold it like a delicate canapé or casually wield it with a few dainty fingers as it dangles from various stylish-looking accessories (camera straps? necklaces?). The company really wants people to wear this thing, it seems, and I for one am not above it.
With the Go, Polaroid continues the sort of annoying but I guess necessary instant photography trend of making a new film format, which in this case is basically a miniaturized version of its iconic old-school square film. And while the camera is teeny, TechCrunch’s own tiny camera-haver and forthcoming review writer Devin Coldewey says you don’t actually lose much size in the shots compared to something like the Instax Mini.
Polaroid claims that the Go marks the “most significant and exciting change to the Polaroid form factor in decades” and it’s probably not wrong. The company’s improbable return from the dead was likely more exciting, but we don’t want to undermine how cute this thing is. Let’s just hope it makes pictures good.
The Polaroid Go will join the Polaroid Now, its standard though now hideously bloated sibling, and the OneStep+, which blends digital and analog and connects to a phone over Bluetooth. It’s on preorder now and will retail for $100, which is the same amount you’d pay for the regular old new Polaroid camera. But why would you?
The guilty verdict notwithstanding, the case demonstrated the wide latitude police officers are given to kill people.
Used-goods marketplaces, an online staple since the beginning of the internet as we know it, have really come into their own during the Covid-19 pandemic: they’ve been a place for people clearing out their domestic spaces to list items that they have that are still in good shape, making some money in the process; and for buyers, they are a resource for finding items at a time when shopping in person and spending money in uncertain economic times have both fallen out of favor. Today, MPB — a popular marketplace that specializes in used cameras and photographic equipment — is announcing significant funding to double down on the opportunity after seeing its platform “recirculate” some 300,000 items of kit globally each year.
The Brighton, England-based startup has snapped up £49.8 million (about $69 million at current exchange rates). It plans to use the money both to expand into more markets — it currently has offices in Brooklyn and Berlin — and into more product areas, specifically, extending the marketplace concept to serve content creators.
The Series D is being led by Vitruvian Partners, with significant participation from Acton Capital, and Mobeus Equity Partners, Beringea and FJ Labs also participating. Vitruvian is a new backer for MPB; the rest were already invested in the startup, which has raised around $91 million since 2011.
MPB did not disclose its valuation in a statement on the fundraise; we have contacted the company to ask and will update if / when we learn more.
For some context, this is the biggest-ever round raised by a startup out of the university-fueled town of Brighton, which has had some tech world focus — Brandwatch made a splash in February when it was acquired by Cision for $450 million; and it is well known for gaming companies and talent — but has largely been off the fundraising radar, perhaps in part because it is so close to London and its own gravitational pull for entrepreneurs and VCs. PitchBook put MPB’s valuation at $50.86 million in 2019; it’s likely to be significantly higher than this now.
“This funding round is a major milestone for MPB, culminating a decade of strong performance and a vision to make great kit accessible and affordable,” said Matt Barker, MPB’s founder and CEO, in a statement. “With the backing of Vitruvian Partners and those reinvesting in our business, we can accelerate our US and European growth strategy at scale, profitably. Photography and videography are intrinsic to societies and cultures all over the world, and at MPB we have created a circular model that offers everyone the chance to be visual storytellers and content creators in a way that’s good for the planet.”
Indeed, what’s interesting about MPB is how it touches on and addresses a number of themes that have been playing out across the world of e-commerce and wider digital society, and what’s probably made it successful has been its appeal to people on one or more of those fronts at the same time.
First, there is the platform it gives to people to sell and buy used camera equipment. The sale of used items gives owners an opportunity to make money off items they no longer need, and buyers a way to procure items at lower costs. And it has an obvious environmental angle to it, since circular economy operators encourage people to get more life out of electronics that might otherwise simply become part of landfill (or encourage more manufacturing of new goods in their place).
But on a more practical level, used-good sales also have often put people off in part because they are deprived of some of the guarantees that you would normally get on goods when buying from more established retailers.
MPB provides buying and seller security in its own way: by employing a team of people to vet and prepare items for sale, and providing a six-month guarantee on items sold over its platform.
(And more generally, used goods marketplaces are seeing some big attention from VCs at the moment in Europe: in February, Wallapop in Spain raised $191 million for its more generalised used-goods marketplace.)
Second, it touches on the bigger trend we’ve seen around the growth of communities focused on specific rather than general interests. It’s a clear way of conferring more authenticity, focus and signal in an otherwise very noisy world online, and in a specialized area like the sale of photography equipment, this can be especially critical and a unique selling point over more generic sales platforms like eBay: it means more attention paid by the platform to stock, as well as a more focused community of buyers and sellers.
Third, there is the focus of MPB in particular. We have most definitely seen the birth of a “creator economy” online, where people are making livings out of their own brands (ugh), or from their specific creative output, bypassing some of the more traditional middle-men in favor of newer ones (eg, network broadcasters no longer the sole gatekeepers for serialized video content and all of the work that goes into making it; YouTube conversely now makes a killing off it, and if Substack, Patreon and others like it play their cards right, they will soon, in their own areas of interest, too.)
What this might mean for companies like MPB is a surge of interest and attention on equipment for capturing those images, although it will be interesting to see how and if that can be leveraged on a wider scale, given how so much of that creation today is happening on smartphones, which themselves continue to get more sophisticated and eat into not just casual photographers’ buying patterns, but more serious ones, too.
In the question of scaling, MPB will have an interesting partner in the form of Vitruvian Partners, which backs second-hand clothes marketplace Vestiaire Collective — which raised $216 million last month, another sign of the times and how they have boosted the opportunities for used-good sales — alongside other marketplaces like Carwow, Just Eat, Farfetch, Skyscanner and Trustpilot.
“MPB has developed a unique tech-enabled platform to meet a market need, transforming access to photography kit to become a global leader in its field, whilst building a product that genuinely has a positive impact on the world,” said Tom Studd, partner at Vitruvian Partners, said in a statement. “Matt and the team have achieved strong and profitable growth through recent launches in the US and Germany, and we’re delighted to partner with them for the next step of the journey. Vitruvian looks to back exceptional teams with unique products in large markets, and we believe Matt and the team fit those criteria perfectly.”
Sebastian Wossagk, managing partner at Acton Capital, added: “It’s always a privilege to watch companies like MPB grow and excel in their field. Matt and his team have already taken the first steps into internationalisation by opening locations in Brooklyn and Berlin, and we’re excited to support them as they pursue further expansion in both the US and Europe.”
Something notable about MPB is that Barker once said that he founded it in part because he didn’t feel that the requirements of people in the photography community were being addressed well enough by more general sites like eBay or Gumtree. That may still be the case for those two sites (and countless other generic sales platforms), but it doesn’t mean that there are not a number of other players addressing the used-photography equipment market. They include the likes of Worldwide Camera Exchange, Park Cameras, Camera World, and many others with equally SEO-friendly names. That represents opportunities for consolidation, competitive threat, and hopefully innovation for better services, but also a sign that there is more to this market than might meet the eye.
Spurning commercialism, he made thousands of one-of-a-kind prints that for decades he largely kept to himself. Then came a show at the Whitney.
Whether made with setups using sapphire and carbon fiber or an old mitten and a standard camera, these photographic approaches allow close-ups of the tiny masterpieces formed when snow falls.
The man, who the authorities said sustained several bite injuries, can be heard in dash camera footage pleading with Trooper Parker Surbrook to pull the dog off him.
Without one, you may never know who else lives on your property. Or who’s eating your bush beans.
Photographing the impact of Covid on an ultra-Orthodox group there required unusual access. But that was just the first step.
Sukhdeep Gill, a Santa Clara County deputy who claimed that he had been shot in his body camera last year, was charged with fabricating the attack, prosecutors said.
Sony is making a play for the top end of the professional digital camera world, where videographers and sports photographers demand immaculate image quality at high resolutions in short order. The new Alpha 1 beats pretty much everything on the market on paper, but it’ll set you back a cool $6,500.
This is, of course, well above the price range for ordinary consumers and even spendy enthusiasts and “prosumers.” It’s a professional tool, and in this range Canon has historically been the go-to with its 1D series, and more recently its R5, a full-frame mirrorless that leapfrogged the competition to great acclaim last year. But Sony clearly means to leapfrog the R5 in turn.
The Canon R5 ticked all the right boxes: full frame sensor, 45 megapixels at 20 frames per second, an excellent EVF, in-body image stabilization, and 8K video. Sony ticks them all too… but harder.
The Alpha 1 will send down its 50 megapixel stills at 30 frames per second and with no viewfinder blackout (plus the backside-illuminated sensor will be more sensitive); its EVF has nearly twice the pixels and can refresh twice as fast, 240 fps; its 8K video is born at a higher resolution (the Sony uses the full 8.6K and downrezzes); it’ll shoot for half an hour without overheating (an R5 quirk); and so on and so forth.
Sony seems to have deliberately outdone Canon’s flagship in every way possible, though with no consideration for cost: the R5 goes for about $3800, while the A1 is $6500.
Yet photographers are no strangers to spending that kind of cash on a tool of the trade (a lens can run you as much or more). Anyone who shoots sports or nature knows that 30 fps instead of 20 fps may mean the difference between getting a cover shot and nothing at all. Visual effects artists who work closely with footage peep pixels all day will be able to tell an R5 8K from an A1 8K. Will it matter? Maybe, maybe not. Would you take the risk or pay extra to eliminate it?
If it’s merely a question of money to get the best instead of almost the best, there are a lot of people out there who will write that check without a second thought. Of course, the R5 was released half a year ago and its successor (the “Mark II”) may change that calculus again.
To be clear, the R5 and A1 are both far more camera than most people will ever need. They’re the bleeding edge of the industry — an industry that has been shrinking steadily for years. Battling fiercely now over professionals may have long-lasting effects as bit players get edged out, unable to compete. It’s an investment in the markets that they think will last despite the constant creeping encroachment of smartphones.
More importantly for the rest of us, competition like this in the camera industry is good because it produces advances that trickle down to the models we can actually afford. Not that anyone really needs 8K, but that improved sensor readout and EVF sure would be nice to have.
The police chief said Officer Adam Coy “must be terminated immediately” for not quickly turning on a body camera and not providing aid to the man he shot.
“Our community is exhausted,” said the mayor of the Ohio capital, which is still reeling from the fatal shooting of Casey Goodson Jr.
It took a customized headpiece to monitor when and how much a grackle blinked in flight.
Internet sleuths have been captivated by the photos, which were recently developed and document a couple’s trip to the Swiss-Italian border with a dachshund.
He pioneered the use of strobe photography to break down a golfer’s swing. He was also innovative, even crafty, in documenting P.G.A. tournaments for decades.
Intel and Nvidia chips power a supercomputing center that tracks people in a place where government suppresses minorities, raising questions about the tech industry’s responsibility.
Over the past few years, streetlights in the city of San Diego have become “smart,” equipped with a slate of cameras and sensors that report back data on the city and its denizens. Following protests from privacy activists, the city mayor ordered the network disabled for the time being—but it turns out that city staff can’t turn the cameras off just yet without plunging the city into literal darkness.
Thousands of streetlight cameras were supposed to be disabled this fall, the Voice of San Diego reports, but there is no software switch for doing so. In lieu of disabling the cameras, the vendor responsible for them at the time instead simply cut off the city’s network access to the devices.
The Smart Streetlight project began five years ago, in 2015, when San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced (PDF) a new “partnership” with GE Lighting to deploy “a software-defined lighting technology that will help San Diego solve some of the city’s infrastructure challenges.”
Backyard birding has become the perfect pandemic pastime. Here’s how to draw more species to your yard, and maybe get a good photo, too.
On social media, people had some concerns about the Ring Always Home Cam. To put it mildly.
“There is insufficient evidence to prove a crime of negligent or reckless homicide” was committed, the Pima County Attorney’s Office said in a report released Monday.
Yes, you can now pay less than $399 for a smartphone — and it won’t stink.
Could changes to telecasts made during the coronavirus pandemic become permanent?
Chris Larsen knows that a crypto mogul spending his own money for a city’s camera surveillance system might sound creepy. He’s here to explain why it’s not.
Canon has finally fully revealed its much-anticipated R5 and R6 mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, and they look like very strong contenders for the field. The R5 is the new flagship of Canon’s mirrorless line, and it’s priced accordingly at $3,899 for the body alone. The R6 is its ‘affordable’ sibling at $2,499 for the body alone, and still includes an impressive list of features including some of the biggest autofocus system improvements common to the R5.
Canon EOS R5
The R5 is essentially now Canon’s top of the line interchangeable lens camera, barring the 1D X III. It has a 45 megapixel full-frame sensor, which is brand new with this camera, and uses the same DIGIC X processor found in the EOS-1D X III. Along with in-body image stabilization (which stacks with lens stabilization, if available), it has the ability to shoot 8K video at 30 frames per second – uncropped, meaning it uses the full resolution capabilities of that large sensor for maximum quality.
The R5 can capture 4K footage at up to 120 fps, and it can record 10-bit 4:2:2 footage using either C-Log and HDR PQ internally for maximum dynamic range and editing flexibility. This is really the camera that video pros and enthusiasts have been asking Canon to make, and beyond, since the 8K capabilities should mean it’s relatively future-proof.
Catering further to video pros, there are both mic and headphone jacks on the R5 body, and an optional wireless title transmitter grip can add an Ethernet jack and facilitates more advanced multi-camera linked shooting features. The R5 also features a fully articulating fold out display, and an electronic viewfinder with 5.76 million dot resolution. It’s weather sealed for outdoor shooting in a range of conditions, and has two card slots, including one CFexpress slot and one SD card slot.
For both still and video shooters there’s an autofocus system that uses Canon’s Dual Pixel technology to deliver AF across the entire frame. It can also detect human faces and yes, as well as the eye face and body of animals including not only dogs and cats but also birds – sure to be a popular feature among wildlife photographers. Also great news for still shooters is the 12 fps burst rate, which climbs to 20fps when using the software shutter.
Canon EOS R6
The R6 is similar in size and feature set to the R5, but has a much lower resolution 20.1 megapixel full frame sensor. It also shoots video at a maximum of 4K/60fps (with slight cropping), and has a lower resolution OLED EVF vs. its more expensive sibling. It also has Dual UHS-II SD card slots in place of the CF/SD combo on the R5, and less rigorous weather sealing. It also lacks the R5’s top e-ink display.
Still, it does include the same AF features and uses the same new battery type as the R5, and is compatible with the BG-R10 battery grip that also works with the more expensive camera. It finally sounds like a true and capable competitor to other options that have retained popularity among video enthusiasts and creators like the Sony A7 III even as Canon has released newer cameras like the EOS R and RP.
One potentially disappointing note for both cameras is regarding battery life, where the rating is around 320 shots with the LCD or just 220 shots on a full charge when shooting with the EVF. Sony’s A7R IV manages between 530 to 670 shots with the EVF and LCD respectively, for comparison.
New RF lenses
Canon’s camera hardware sounds like it delivers on a lot of what Canon fans, photographers and videographers have been looking for from the company for many years. But the real advantage of Canon’s system might reside in its RF glass, which has excellent reviews for all its existing lenses, and which is also gaining a bunch of versatile new products across the price range.
These include a new 100-500 f4.5-7.1 superzoom ($2,699), which includes built-in image stabilization and should be a fantastic option for birders and wildlife photographers. There’s also affordable new RF600mm ($699) and 800mm ($899) fixed aperture f11 primes that won’t be useful in low lighting but that should be fantastic for sports and wildlife outdoors. Finally, a new RF85mm F2 ($599) with close-focusing macro capabilities seems like an awesome mid-range portrait and close-up lens.
Canon is also releasing 1.4x ($499) and 2x ($599) teleconverters for its RF lenses, which is a standby that every well-rounded system needs.
The R5 is set to be available at the end of July, and the R6 is going to begin shipping at the end of August. The lenses range in available from July to October, and the extenders will be shipping at the end of July as well.
Everyone needs a webcam these days, whether for business meetings or the distant socializing accomplished via video calling — but if you’re like most, you’re using the built-in camera on your laptop or some piece of junk from years ago. But if you happen to have a nice big-brand camera, it’s easy to set it up as a standalone webcam and produce imagery that will be the envy your friends and colleagues.
Our guide to setting up a professional-looking home webcam solution with lighting, audio, and all the other fixins is here, but unless you’re using a capture card (that’s a whole other how-to) getting your DSLR or mirrorless camera hooked up to your computer isn’t as simple as it ought to be.
Surprisingly, you can’t just take a camera released in the last couple years and plug it into your computer and expect it to work. So far only Canon, Fujifilm, and Panasonic provide free webcam functionality to at least one desktop OS. For Nikon, Sony and Olympus, you may have to pay or put up with a watermark.
Here are the easiest ways to put each brand of camera to work. (Spoiler warning: For Macs, it’s mostly Cascable. I’ll mention that a few more times because people are probably just scrolling past this to their brand.)
Canon: EOS Webcam Utility
Canon released this software just a couple weeks ago and it’s still in beta, so there may be a few hiccups — but it supports both Windows and Apple machines and a good variety of camera bodies. There’s even some extra documentation and tutorials for the app at its microsite.
Compatibility is pretty good, working with any of their camera bodies from the last 3-4 years: the Rebel T6-T7i, T100, SL2, SL3, 5D Mk IV, 5DS, 5DS R, 6D Mk II, 7D Mk II, 77D, 80D, 90D, 1D X Mark II and Mark III, M6 Mk II, M50, M200, R, RP, PowerShot G5X Mk II, G7X Mk III, and SX70 HS. Download the software here.
If you’re having trouble, check out the third party apps listed for other brands below and see if you have more luck.
Fujifilm: X Webcam
Fujifilm’s solution is easy, but a bit limited. The popular X100 series is not supported, and Macs are left out in the cold as well. But if you have one of the company’s more recent interchangeable-lens bodies and a Windows 10 machine, you’re golden. Just install and plug in your camera with a normal USB cable.
Compatibility includes the X-T2, X-T3, X-T4, X-Pro2, X-Pro3, X-H1, GFX100, GFX 50R, and GFX 50S. Get that medium format setup going right and your eyes will be in focus but not your ears. Download the software here.
For Macs, Cascable is a useful bit of Mac software that acts as a bridge to your camera for a variety of purposes, and the author just added webcam capability. It has wide compatibility for both wired and wireless connections, and provides broader functionality than Fuji’s own software, but it isn’t free. But the current $30 price is probably less than you’d pay if you opted for a nice webcam instead.
If you’re confident fiddling around in command lines, this tutorial tells you how to get a Fuji camera working on Macs with a bit of fiddling around and some other third party software.
Panasonic: Lumix Tether
Panasonic just made the webcam-capable version of their Lumix Tether Windows app available, and you can tell from the paucity of the documentation that it’s a pretty barebones solution. The price is right, though. It works with the GH5, G9, GH5S, S1, S1R, and S1H. The company also posted a helpful start-to-finish tutorial on how to get going with streaming software like OBS here:
Cascable works well with a variety of Panasonic cameras, far more than the official app, even some superzooms that could be really fun to play with in this context.
There’s no official software to turn your Sony cameras into webcams, so we have to jump straight into third party options. For Windows users, Ecamm Live is probably your best bet, but it has limited Sony compatibility, only supporting the latest bodies. It’s $12 per month, but there’s a free trial if you want to give it a go first.
Cascable on Mac is again your best bet there, with support reaching back several generations to cameras like the NEX series and RX100 III.
It’s the same story for Olympus. On Windows, Ecamm Live has compatibility with the latest bodies — the E-M1 II, III, and X, and the E-M5 original and Mk II. No go on the PEN series, unfortunately.
On Mac, Cascable has wired support for many more Oly bodies, including Stylus cameras and the retro-style PEN F, which will probably resent being used for such a modern purpose.
Surprisingly, while Nikon recently put up a rather helpful page on streaming using its cameras, it doesn’t produce any of the software itself, referring the reader to a variety of third-party programs.
As before, Cascable seems like the easiest way to get your Nikon working with a Mac, and Ecamm Live for Windows — though for Nikons, SparkoCam is also a frequently recommendation.
Warnings to the webcam-curious
These methods may be easy, but they’re not completely without issues.
One potential problem is heat. These cameras were designed primarily for capturing stills and short video clips. Running full time for extended periods can result in the camera getting too hot to function and shutting down. A camera shouldn’t damage itself seriously, but it’s something to be aware of. The best way to avoid this is using a dummy battery with a power adapter — these are pretty easy to find, and will mitigate overheating.
Audio also may not be as nice as the image. For people doing serious video work, an external mic is almost always used, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t do the same. Considering a solid mic can be had for under $50 and should provide a substantial upgrade to your device’s built-in one, there’s no reason not to take the plunge.
You may also want to check a few forums for the best settings to use for the camera, from making sure it doesn’t turn off after a few minutes to exposure choices. For instance, since you’re not doing stills, you don’t need to worry about sharpness, so you can shoot wide open. But then you’ll need to make sure autofocus is working quickly and accurately, or you’ll end up lost in the bokeh. Check around, try a few different setups, and go with what works best in your situation.
And when you’re ready to take the next step, consult our more thorough guide to setting the scene.
Body cams have turned brutality into spectacle.
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Sony has taken aim at the suddenly enormous market of people who want to self-produce high-quality video with a minimum of setup. Its ZV-1 mutates the versatile RX100 series into a selfie video machine, and it could be the all-in-one solution many a vlogger has been searching for.
The new camera is very much based on the highly successful and acclaimed RX100, which over the years has grown in both price and capabilities but remains something the user is behind, rather than in front of. The ZV-1 rethinks the camera for people who need to work the other way round.
The 1″, 20-megapixel sensor and 24-70mm equivalent, F/1.8-2.8 lens are borrowed from the RX100, meaning image quality should be excellent (though vloggers may want a wider angle lens). But the camera has been customized with an eye to selfie-style operation.
That means the electronic viewfinder is gone, but there’s now a fully articulating touchscreen display. A powerful new microphone array takes up a large portion of the camera’s top plate, and the ZV-1 comes with a wind baffle or deadcat that attaches to the top hot shoe, giving the camera a flamboyant look.
A huge new dedicated record button is placed for perfect operation by a left hand holding the camera from the front, and the zoom dial should be thumbable from there as well. A new “background defocus mode” uses the widest possible aperture, naturally narrowing the depth of field with no need for all the AI rigmarole found on smartphones — and it’s smart enough to switch focus to the product a vlogger is being paid to promote when they hold it up close.
All told this could be a convincing works-out-of-the-box solution for people who may be juggling a panoply of hardware from multiple generations to get the same thing done. The proven RX100 image quality and reliability combined with ergonomic tweaks to make it more selfie-friendly might entice people thinking of putting together more complex setups.
At $800, or $750 if you order in the next month, it’s certainly more expensive than an entry-level setup but probably cheaper (and definitely easier) than getting a mirrorless, lens, mic, and other accessories you might need to match it.
For $399, this smartphone hits the high notes: speedy, a great camera and a nice screen. Took long enough, didn’t it?
More than a decade after announcing that it would keep Polaroid’s abandoned instant film alive, The Impossible Project has done the… improbable: It has officially become the brand it set out to save. And to commemorate the occasion, there’s a new camera, the Polaroid Now.
The convergence of the two brands has been in the works for years, and in fact Impossible Project products were already Polaroid-branded. But this marks a final and satisfying shift in one of the stranger relationships in startups or photography.
I first wrote about The Impossible Project in early 2009 (and apparently thought it was a good idea to Photoshop a Bionic Commando screenshot as the lead image), when the company announced its acquisition of some Polaroid instant film manufacturing assets.
Polaroid at the time was little more than a shell. Having declined since the ’80s and more or less shuttered in 2001, the company was relaunched as a digital brand and film sales were phased out. This was unsuccessful, and in 2008 Polaroid was filing for bankruptcy again.
This time, however, it was getting rid of its film production factories, and a handful of Dutch entrepreneurs and Polaroid experts took over the lease as The Impossible Project. But although the machinery was there, the patents and other IP for the famed Polaroid instant film were not. So they basically had to reinvent the process from scratch — and the early results were pretty rough.
But they persevered, aided by a passionate community of Polaroid owners, continuously augmented by the film-curious who want something more than a Fujifilm Instax but less than a 35mm SLR. In time the process matured and Impossible developed new films and distribution partners, growing more successful even as Polaroid continued applying its brand to random, never particularly good photography-adjacent products. They even hired Lady Gaga as “Creative Director,” but the devices she hyped at CES never really materialized.
In 2017, the student became the master as Impossible’s CEO purchased the Polaroid brand name and IP. They relaunched Impossible as “Polaroid Originals” and released the OneStep 2 camera using a new “i-Type” film process that more closely resembled old Polaroids (while avoiding the expensive cartridge battery).
Polaroid continued releasing new products in the meantime — presumably projects that were under contract or in development under the brand before its acquisition. While the quality has increased from the early days of rebranded point-and-shoots, none of the products has ever really caught on, and digital instant printing (Polaroid’s last redoubt) has been eclipsed by a wave of nostalgia for real film, Instax Mini in particular.
But at last the merger dance is complete and Polaroid, Polaroid Originals and The Impossible Project are finally one and the same. All devices and film will be released under the Polaroid name, though there may be new sub-brands like i-Type and the new Polaroid Now camera.
Speaking of which, the Now is not a complete reinvention of the camera by far — it’s a “friendlier” redesign that takes after the popular OneStep but adds improved autofocus, a flash-adjusting light sensor, better battery and a few other nips and tucks. At $100 it’s not too hard on the wallet, but remember that film is going to run you about $2 per shot. That’s how they get you.
It’s been a long, strange trip to watch, but ultimately a satisfying one: Impossible made a bet on the fundamental value of instant film photography, while a series of owners bet on the Polaroid brand name to sell anything they put it on. The riskier long-term play won out in the end (though many got rich running Polaroid into the ground over and over), and now with a little luck the brand that started it all will continue its success.