Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'photography'

Iain Farrell

Verónica Sousa's Cul de sac

Verónica Sousa’s Cul de sac

Ubuntu was once described to me by a wise(ish ;) ) man as a train that was leaving whether you’re on it or not. That’s the beauty of a 6 month release cycle. As many of you will already know, each release we include photos and illustrations produced by community members. We ask that you submit your images using free photo sharing site Flickr and that you limit your images this time to 2. The group won’t let you submit more than that but if you change your mind after you’ve submitted, fear not, simply remove one and it’ll let you add another.

As with previous submissions processes we’ve run, and in conjunction with the designers at Canonical we’ve come up with the following tips for creating wallpaper images.

  1. Images shouldn’t be too busy and filled with too many shapes and colours, a similar tone throughout is a good rule of thumb.
  2. A single point of focus, a single area that draws the eye into the image, can also help you avoid something too cluttered.
  3. The left and top edges are home to Ubuntu’s Launcher and Panel so be careful to consider how your images look in place so as not to clash with the user interface. Try them out on your own desktop, see how they feel.
  4. Try your image at different aspect ratios to make sure something important isn’t cropped out on smaller/ larger screens at different resolutions.
  5. Take a look at the wallpapers guidance on the Ubuntu Wiki regarding the size of images. Our target resolution is 2560 x 1600.
  6. Break all the rules except the resolution one! :D

To shortlist from this collection we’ll be going to the contributors whose images were selected last time around to act as our selection judges. In doing this we’ll hold a series of public IRC meetings on Freenode in #1410wallpaper to discuss the selection. In those sessions we’ll get the selection team to try out the images on their own Ubuntu machines to see what they look like on a range of displays and resolutions.

Anyone is welcome to come to these sessions but please keep in mind that an outcome is needed from the time that people are volunteering and there’s usually a lot of images to get through so we’d appreciate it if there isn’t too much additional debate.

Based on the Utopic release schedule, I think our schedule for this cycle should look like this:

  • 08/08/14 – Kick off 14.10 wallpaper submission process.
  • 22/08/14 – First get together on #1410wallpaper at 19:30 GMT.
  • 29/08/14 – Submissions deadline at 18:00 GMT – Flickr group will be locked and the selection process will begin.
  • 09/09/14 – Deliver final selection in zip format to the appropriate bug on Launchpad.
  • 11/09/14 – UI freeze for latest version of Ubuntu with our fantastic images in it!

As always, ping me if you have any questions, I’ll be lurking in #1410wallpaper on freenode or leave a question in the Flickr group for wider discussion, that’s probably the fastest way to get an answer to a question.

I’ll be posting updates on our schedule here from time to time but the Flickr group will serve as our hub.

Happy snapping and scribbling and on behalf of the community, thanks for contributing to Ubuntu! :)


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Prakash Advani

Olympus TG-3 Waterproof Camera

Olympus TG-3 is a new release of the popular TG series of waterproof camera. Here is what is interesting:

  • Waterproof: you can go diving with it up 15m.
  • Shockproof
  • Crushproof: you can throw it around and literally jump onto it.
  • Has GPS, so you can tag the location of your photos
  • Also records altitude/depth and pressure
  • e-Compass, to get directions if you get lost
  • Wifi with Android application
  • 16 MegaPixel
  • Wide Aperture: F2.0 for those great pictures in low light conditions
  • 1080p video shooting
  • fish eye and telephoto lenses options (at additional costs)

 


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Iain Farrell

Hello everyone! I’m delighted to be kicking off the next wallpaper selection process for the 13.10 release of Ubuntu coming this October. As you can see from the Saucy Salamander release schedule, we hit UI freeze on August 29th of this year and we’d like to get all your lovely community submitted images ready before then. To get involved submit your images to the Flickr group for submissions.

I’ve also made the above short video to encourage new people to get involved, share it around as hopefully it’s a good intro to the process and if you have ideas or comments then let me know, I can make additional ones as we go.

With some help from designers in Canonical we’ve come up with the following tips for creating wallpapers images.

  1. Images shouldn’t be busy and filled with too many shapes and colours, a similar tone throughout is a good rule of thumb.
  2. A single point of focus, a single area that draws the eye into the image, can also help you avoid something too cluttered.
  3. The left and top edges are home to Ubuntu’s Launcher and Panel so be careful to consider how your images look in place so as not to clash with the interface.
  4. Try your image at different aspect ratios to make sure something important isn’t cropped out on smaller/ larger screens at different resolutions.
  5. Take a look at the wallpapers guidance on the Ubuntu Wiki regarding the size of images. Our minimum resolution is 2560 x 1600.

To shortlist from this collection we’ll be going to the contributors whose images were selected last time around to act as our selection judges. In doing this we’ll hold a series of public IRC meetings on Freenode in #1310wallpaper to discuss the selection. In those sessions we’ll get the selection team to try out the images on their own Ubuntu machines to see what they look like on a range of displays and resolutions.

Anyone is welcome to come to these sessions but please keep in mind that an outcome is needed from the time that people are volunteering and there’s usually a lot of images to get through so we’d appreciate it if there isn’t too much additional debate.

So, to get this show on the road here’s the outline for this cycle.

  • 12/07/13 – Kick off 13.10 wallpaper submission process
  • 23/07/13 – First get together on #1310wallpaper at 19:30 GMT
  • 16/08/13 – Submissions deadline at 18:00 GMT – Flickr group will be locked and the selection process will begin
  • 23/08/13 – Deliver final selection in zip format to Launchpad
  • 29/08/13 – UI freeze for latest version of Ubuntu with our fantastic images in!

As always, ping me if you have any questions, I’ll be lurking in #1310wallpaper on freenode or leave a question in the Flickr group for wider discussion, that’s probably the fastest way to get an answer to a question.

I’ll be posting updates on our schedule here from time to time but the Flickr group will serve as our hub.

Happy snapping and scribbling and on behalf of the community, thanks for contributing to Ubuntu! :)


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Prakash

Nikon is releasing the CoolPix S800C in September. With the Android and WiFi powered, you will be able to use your favourite application (Whatsapp, Facebook, Ubuntu One, DropBox, etc.) to share photos easily. Here is the cool features of the CoolPix.

  • 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen with 819,000-dot resolution,
  • 10x optical zoom
  • GPS, 1080p video capture at 30 frames per second
  • 1.7 GB onboard storage
  • SD and SDHC external storage support
  • 18 filter effects
  • HDMI Out (up to 1080i resolution)
  • USB port, and Wi-Fi
  • Weight than a half-pound (6.5 ounces)
  • 1.1-inch depth.

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Prakash

Olympus has a new baby in the micro four-third category. The OM-D E-M5. This is new OM-D series as compared to the PEN series.

Here is what is cool:

  • 16 Megapixel
  • Micro Four-third mirror-less camera with interchangeable lenses
  • Magnesium alloy body
  • In Body image stabilisation
  • Three inch touch screen display with tilt
  • Weather sealed body, you can also purchase complimenting weather sealed lenses
  • HD Video recording
  • 425g weight

What not so cool:

  • No inbuilt flash, you need to purchase external flash
  • Tilt LCD is not as versatile as swirl ones found in the Panasonic, but guess that is patent protect hence Olympus had to do with tilt. But nevertheless tilt can be used to take photos at different angles

 

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Prakash

Olympus has released 3 micro four-third cameras with interchangeable lens.

First lets see what is common in them.

  • All follow the micro four-third standard which give you small lenses. Being a standard which means you can switch camera body and lens providers easily.
  • All the cameras are 12.3 megapixel. Which is enough for most users.
  • ISO 100-12,800 which is sufficient for low light conditions.
  • Inbuilt image stabilisation.
  • RAW photo support.
  • 3″ LCD Screen.
  • Live View.
  • Electronic View Finder (Optional)
  • All support shutter speeds up to 1/4000
  • Full HD Video support 1920×1080.
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card support
  • USB 2.0
  • HDMI port
  • Lithium ion Rechargeable battery
What’s missing.
  • No GPS
  • No USB 3.0 (I haven’t seen any other cameras having this either).
Here is what is difference between them:
Features Olympus PEN E-P3 Olympus PEN E-PL3 Olympus PEN E-PM1
White balance presets 12 8 8
Number of focus points 35 11 35
Screen dots 614,000 460,000 460,000
Touch screen Yes No No
Built-in flash Yes No No
Continous shooting 3fps 5.5fps 5.5fps
Weight 369 g 313 g 263 g
Pricing

While the E-P3 and E-PM1 have fixed LCD, the E-PL3 can be tilted to give you some flexibility. It’s not as flexible as some of the other cameras but it still is a nice feature to have.

The E-PM1 is also called the Pen Mini. If you are looking for a really small camera with interchangeable lens, then this is for you. However this is not the smallest in the category, the Panasonic is smaller. However the E-PM1 has built in-body image stablisation.

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Prakash

Olympus Pen E-P3 12.3MP DSLR Camera Black & 14-42MM 2RK Lens BlackOlympus E-P3, the third generation of Micro four-third camera is now available.This is a perfect camera for someone who wants a professional camera in a compact body.

Whats nice:

  • Built in Flash
  • Fastest auto focus
  • Built-in auto focus illuminator light
  • 12 Megapixel
  • Touch sensitive LCD. What would be better if they had a varied angle LCD like the Panasonic G3 which can be swivel screen.
  • Full HD 1080i60 movies in AVCHD format
  • In-body image stabilisation.
  • USB 2.0 (have yet to see cameras with USB 3.0)

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Prakash

Nikon COOLPIX S9100 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 18x NIKKOR ED Wide-Angle Optical Zoom Lens and Full HD 1080p Video (Black)The Nikon Coolpix S9100 is a Super Zoom in a compact body. The advantage of a Super Zoom is you can take wildlife photos without getting too close to your subject such that you get extinct.

The problem with existing Super Zoom were that they were big and bulky which people had to carry around hoping to get their moment. Or they carried a compact and wished they had carried the big one! With S910 you no longer need to carry big fat cameras to get High Zoom. Its compact enough to fit in your pocket and you can use the 18X zoom when you need it.

Here is what’s cool about the Coolpix.

  • 18x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom
  • 12.1-megapixel
  • Full HD 1080p Videos
  • 3-inch Display
  • Continuous mode can shoot 5 shots per second at full resolution
  • 5-way VR Image Stabilization System

What was no so cool:

  • If it had a varied angle LCD, it would have been more flexibility
  • Its small enough fit into a bag, but not exactly pocket size.
  • The battery is charged by connecting the camera to the USB, while this is good as you have to carry less stuff around.. but a separate charge would be more convenient. The separate charger is available at additional cost.

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Prakash

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G3 16 MP Micro Four-Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera with 3-Inch Free-Angle Touch-Screen LCD and 14-42mm Lumix G VARIO f/3.5-5.6 Lens

This is Panasonic’s third generation of mirror-less Interchangeable Lens Camera. The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G3.

Whats cool:

  • 16-megapixel
  • 3D photos with optional lens
  • 3.0-inch free-angle LCD with touch control
  • New Pinpoint AF feature, just touch anywhere on the screen to select a focal point
  • 1080/60i HD video capability in AVCHD format
  • ISO 160-6400
  • 4 fps continuous shooting (20fps at 4MP)
  • Electronic View Finder
  • HDML Port
  • SD / SDHC / SDXC card support
  • Micro four-third standard

What would be even better:

If it had an in-body image stabilisation, which is there in Olympus micro four-third cameras.

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Prakash

Ever since Panasonic started offering their first micro four-third, interchangeable lens cameras, they have been rolling out  models with lots of features.  They call this the Lumix G Micro-System.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 is the latest in the family, its got more advance video capabilities than the G2, whcih is primarily for still photography.

Advantages over its predessor GH1.

  • 16 Megapixel vs 12 Megapixel. The actual sensor is 18 Megapixel but gives you 16 Megapixel in different aspect ratios.
  • ISO range 160 – 12800 (vs 100-3200)
  • Video shooting at 1080p 60 or 50 fps vs 24 or 25 fps
  • Faster AF
  • Larger EVF (852 x 600 rather than 800 x 600 pixels)
  • Touch-sensitive LCD screen (same as G2)
  • And yes the camera can shoot in 3D with 3D Interchangeable lens.

Panasonic claim to fame is this model has the fastest auto-focus.

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Iain Farrell

Two weeks into our wallpaper contest we’re seeing lots of really interesting entries for the photographic part. As those of you who read the previous post about the contest will know we’re also reserving at least three places this release for non photographic wallpapers. The plan _was_ to use another site to manage these entries. Unfortunately the dedicated community team working on this site have hit some issues with keeping it running and so we’ve decided to move all entries to Flickr. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and we’ll explore this solution again next cycle.

Metal & Bolts Sculpture SW 6th 1 of 3 by Orb9220

Metal & Bolts Sculpture SW 6th 1 of 3 by Orb9220

In the meantime we’ve a Narwhal who simply has to look Natty and we need something robust and reliable so that you can all focus more on creating and getting your entries to our judging panel and less on trying to upload. As before with the photographic entries simply tag your image NattyWallpaper so we can easily find it when judging time comes.

While you’re hard at it snapping, sketching and creating our future desktops we’ll be contacting previous winners and asking them to prepare to look through all your entries. Good luck and have fun!

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Prakash


The Canon Photoshot G12 is targeted as a backup camera to professional gear like DSLRs. These have a lot of features found in professional cameras in a compact form factor.

Canon was the first to reduce the megapixel with the G11. The reason for reducing megapixel was that with each increase in megapixel, there was a drop in image quality. Hence Canon decided to focus on improving image quality rather than increasing megapixel. If quality matters to you in a compact camera, then this camera is for you, if megapixel matters to you, then you need not read further :)

Here are some key features of the G12 which are carried over from G11:

  • 10 Megapixel camera
  • 5X wide-angel optical zoom
  • 2.8? swirl LCD
  • Support for RAW
  • HDMI connectivity
  • Lithium Ion battery
  • Built in flash
  • 28-140mm (35mm equiv)
  • ISO from 80-3200 (the G12 has more ranges)
  • Weight: 355g

New features over G11:

  • HD Movie mode (new addition)
  • Hybrid IS (better image stabilisation)
  • Support for SDXC cards.

My suggestions: If you don’t need the additional features, go with the G11 as you may get a nice deal.

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Prakash

Canon has announced the SX30 at Photokina 2010. This is new addition to the super zoom family. Earlier Canon was still limited to 20X while competition had gone to 30X. With this release canon has now beaten most of the competition by releasing a 35X Optical Zoom.

Here are some cool features.

  • 14 Megapixel
  • HD Movie Recording (Upto 1280×720)
  • 2.7″ Vari Angle Lens.
  • Optical Image Stabilisation
  • HDMI mini-port to connect to High Definition TVs
  • Memory card support: SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MMCplus, HCMMCplus
  • Weight: 601g (a bit heavy)
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Full Manual Controls

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Prakash

I have used over a dozen bags from LowePro, Case Logic, Samsonite, Belkin, Hush Puppies to name a few known brands. I have also evaluated Targus, Swiss Gear and some other brands in detail.

I have founds that a few are well designed to carry laptops while others are well designed as professional camera bags. I have come across very few bags which are well suited for both. As a matter of fact most IT professionals, specially the young ones are buying Digital Camera. After the laptop their next purchase  is usually an expensive gadgets (iPhone/iPad) or high end cameras.

Remember bag is no more an accessory to carry your device, it provides security to the customer that all his/her devices are going to be safe in this bag.

For me, my bag is my office while I am travelling. I use the bag to carry a laptop, sometimes a second laptop/netbook for demos. Brochures, Business Cards and CDs. I also carry a camera with a lens and other accessories.

Here is my wish list for what a bag should do. Also I have found that most of the bags do a few of these well but not all of the following:

  • Stroller backpack: Strollers are good to use when you have lots of stuff to carry around and don’t want to strain your back. The challenge is to make the bag light weight at the same time able to have a stroller. Solution: Explore alternative material like titanium/carbon fiber for stroller.
  • All terrain stroller wheels: The stroller wheels should be big ones which can work in difficult terrains. I have used bags, where the stroller is designed only to be used in offices/hotels and not designed for outdoor use. You may not always have a smooth train specially if you go outdoor for photography. I am currently using a bag which has silicon wheels, lets see how that goes.
  • Weight Bearing Capacity: Some of the bags that I have used, give way once you put all your things. Most of the bags don’t publish their weight bearing capacity so you don’t know how much you should or should not load. Solution:Publish the Weight Bearing Capacity.
  • Solar Panel: I saw some bags which had solar panels on the top, these are nice for emergency charging of cellphones and other devices. They are also environmental friendly.
  • Laptop Slot: Since the bag is primarily going to be used to carry a laptop, the slot must be well padded from all sides include the base. It should also not directly face the stroller metal bar as this could damage the laptop.
  • Impact resistant base: The base should be designed to be able to take a small amount of impact/drop from a desk in case that happens.
  • Mobile phone/mp3 player slot: Many people user their mobile phone as an Mp3 player, the bag should have a slot to put these. This should be easy to drop it as air travellers need to quickly drop their mobile phones at airport security.
  • Removable Laptop Sleeve: The bag should have a laptop sleeve, so people can remove the laptop from the bag and yet have some protection. This is useful for airport security or if customer just want to take the laptop with him/her without taking the entire bag.
  • iPad Compartment: Many customer already have a second device (Netbook) or will invest in a iPad like device. The bag must have a compartment for a second device such as a second laptop which is required for demos, second netbook or an iPad.
  • Removable laptop battery case: in one of the bags that I used, it has a little case for laptop battery which was removable. This is a nice feature and can have Velcro to strap it inside the bag.
  • Removable Camera Compartment: There should be a compartment to carry a digital camera with some accessories or an SLR. This should be removable so customer doesn’t have to carry multiple bags when he/she wants to keep the bag but move around with the camera.
  • Adjustable pockets for accessories: Many people need to carry additional accessories/lenses, etc. The bag should have a pockets which should be adjustable to carry one big device or a few small ones.
  • Water bottle/drink slot: A few bags have them, while others don’t. While travelling people want to carry water or their favourite drinks.
  • Key ring hook: A key ring hook is a nice feature, so people can secure the keys inside the bag. A few bags have them, however a few of them have key-chains inside, which one needs to use to use the hook. Its better to just provide a key hook so people can use what ever key-chain they want to use.
  • Secure compartment: Bags usually have a place to store your passports/cash but they need to be secure enough so people trust them and use them to keep their cash and other important document.
  • Slots for Brochures, pens, business cards are given and found in most bags.
  • Phone Slot: People still prefer to keep their phones in their pocket, but at times they need to keep their phones away like at Airport Security. They bag should have slot where they can keep their phone away at the same time have easy access.
  • Sleeve for Luggage: Some bags have a sleeve which can be used to attach your laptop bag to the luggage, this makes it easy if you have to carry two bags.
  • Not just black! I have see so many nice bags, but all that they have is a black colour. I know black is the corporate colour and many business laptops are black too but its time to experiment with more colours.

I must now like to admit, that after writing this article I came across Crumpler bags. They were able to satisfy most of the requested features but not all. I will write my review once I check them out.

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Prakash

Canon 550D/Rebel T2i

Canon has released the 550D as an upgrade to 500D. It has inherited some of the features of their high end 7D while offering a cheaper alternative to 7D.

Key features:

  • 18 Megapixel! Will this megapixel race ever end?
  • ISO 100-6400 (Expansion to 12800) , similar to 500D
  • 1920X1080 Full HD Movie Recording
  • SDHX compatible
  • External microphone support 3.5mm stereo jack
  • Weight 530g

Limitations:

  • Fixed LCD
  • No in camera RAW conversion

Canon 7D Advantage over 550D

  • Faster burst speed 8fps vs 3.5fps (550D)
  • Weather proof sealing
  • Top LCD

If faster burst speed or weather proofing is not your requirements, 550D would work out better for you.

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Prakash

Panasonic is expanding their micro-four third lines by introducing two new cameras.

Both these:

  • 12 Megapixel
  • Support high-definition video
  • 3″ LCD Screen
  • 1:1 Aspect ratio for square photos

Here is a comparison between the two:

Features
Lumix G2
Lumix GMC-G10
Video Mode
Motion JPG + AVCHD
(smaller file size)
Motion JPG
Interface First one to have touch interface No touch, just regular button
LCD Screen
Tilt and Swing Fixed
Movie Recording High Definition High Definition
HDMI Yes Yes
Weight 371g 336g (lightest Micro 4/3)
List Price US$ 899 US$ 699
Support this site. Buy Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2
Buy Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10

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Prakash

People often send large photos via email. These file sizes are usually large, typically a few megabytes because they are taken from multi-megapixel camera. The more the megapixel, the larger the file size.

I prefer to reduce the image size before I email or post on the web, these file sizes are small (couple of 100 kilobytes) and typically occupy 10 percent the disk space of those taken directly from your digital camera. They are also easier to send/forward and you can send many of them at once.

I found a very nifty plugin for Nautilus called Nautilus image converter. Nautilus is the default file manager on Gnome (Linux/Unix Window Manager). Under Ubuntu, startup synaptic and look for nautilus-image-converter.

After installation, you need to either logout or re-start your PC for it to take effect.

Once loaded, you just need to right click on the image/s and resize them. You can select one or multiple files. By default your original image is not replaced, new image is created with the name: filename.resized.jpg (or whatever is the file type)

You can also replace your original image if you like and rotate them.

For those who prefer command line, you can install this package called imagemagick and use this tool called mogrify.

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Prakash

If your work required very high megapixel camera, this is for you. And yes it costs an arm and a leg – 25,000 dollars! Check out more.

Hasselblad H3D II 50 Digital Camera 50MP

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Prakash

Olympus has been bringing Micro Four-Third cameras to the market faster that expected. After the E-P1 and E-P2, they have now released E-PL1 which is cheaper by US$ 200.

Here are the specs.

  • Kit includes 14-42 Zoom lens
  • 12 MegaPixel
  • 2.7″ LCD
  • HD Video support
  • List price US$ 599

E-PL1 has a few advantages over E-P2:

  • Dedicated REC button
  • Magnified live view button
  • Up to 14x live view magnification
  • Lighter low-pass filter
  • Built-in flash

E-P2 advantages over E-PL1:

  • Two control dials
  • More direct-access buttons (including ISO and white balance)
  • Superior image stabilization system
  • AE/AF lock button
  • Orientation sensor
  • Larger, 3.0″ LCD
  • More substantial construction
  • 1/180 sec flash sync speed (rather than 1/160)
  • Maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 sec (rather than 1/2000)
  • Maximum ISO of 6400
  • Virtual level display
  • Built-in stereo mics/speakers
  • Optional wireless remote
  • Electronic View Finder (EVF) bundled, in EPL-1 it is optional

Detailed comparison of all the three models at DP Review.

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Prakash

Pen gets a viewfinder

Olympus  has launched the E-P2 soon after they launched the E-P1. E-P2 has an electronic view finder which was absent in the E-P1.

Rest of the specs remain more or less the same as the E-p1.

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