Posts tagged cameras
Capturing moments of our lives has always been an important element of human culture. Before modern technologies existed, people told stories, then later learned to write those stories down. When cameras were invented, people suddenly had the opportunity to take snapshots of their life, whether spontaneous or artistic, that they could later admire. Nowadays, our phones enable us to easily combine still photos with video, yet there has always been one constraint to sharing and capturing that only storytelling isn’t affected by: the time on day, i.e., how much light there is at the time of day. Photos can have perfect composition but be ruined by bad lighting. On the other hand, lighting can be artistically manipulated to create different effects that can actually enhance the look (e.g., with filters or digital adjustments).
In photography, there is a technical measure of how much light you are letting into your camera aperture. Or in other words, the amount of sensitivity to bright or dim light the camera is set to when taking a picture. This measure is called the ISO, pronounced “i-sow”, and it is something that even film for early cameras had the ability to adjust. You could buy ISO 100 film for sunny photos, ISO 200 films for cloudy photos, and ISO 400 film for indoor shots. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive the camera is to lower brightness light. The same rules apply to video. Although older cameras only went up to an ISO of 400, nowadays more expensive cameras go into the thousands. Just recently, Canon released a camera that has the potential to rock the photography/videography world; not for it’s quality of photos and videos, although that is excellent too, but for it’s ISO, able to be set all the way to 4 million.
The video below is about the CMOS sensor, which has been upgraded slightly over the past two years, but you can still see the incredible video quality.
You may be wondering what that even means. If an ISO of 400 is good for taking photos inside, and ISOs into the thousands are good for even darker lighting, what does and ISO of 4 million, that’s 10,000 times more sensitive that what’s needed for inside lighting, does? Well, it turns out that setting your camera to an ISO of 4 million allows you to literally shoot in the dark, effectively giving your camera night vision. Not infrared night vision where the picture looks like a color inverted iPhone, but real night vision, meaning you can film during the night and the video or image will look exactly the same as if you were shooting the day.
This technology was invented by Canon back in 2013 with their CMOS sensor, which just got integrated into Canon’s new camera, the Canon ME20F-SH. The camera is essentially just a cube with a lens, being surprisingly small, only around 4 inches across. It weighs two pounds, which is fairly heavy for a camera, but still allows the device to be used in a wide variety of situations and doesn’t inhibit its portability. Even though bringing the ISO up on regular cameras makes the video quality worse, the ME20F-SH still shoots at HD quality, allowing serious film-makers to use this camera for professional films.
Specs aside, this camera opens up a whole new world of possibilities for film-makers. From cave explorers to experimental directors, this camera can be used for an incredible variety of ways simply for that fact that it can see in the dark. Now, the camera isn’t for amateur photographers or directors who simply want to get a clear night sky shot, as after all, the expected price of the camera is $30,000. But, for people who do have the ideas and also have the money, this camera may totally change the way they film. For the first time in the history of capture-based art and storytelling, light isn’t an obstacle.
GoPro, the now world famous company who made helmet mounted cameras mainstream for any daredevil, and now even are going after the regular consumer with their entry-level $129 model, have pretty much completely launched themselves into a whole new side-business. On their fourth iteration of the product, GoPro have now made themselves a big name in not only manufacturing and selling GoPros but also adventure filmmaking. Just as Red Bull is (or used to be), GoPro is now using their excess funds to sponsor creative, exciting and dangerous expeditions and experiments, all the while having the people doing the expedition decked out in GoPros, so they can later use the film to make some pretty awesome short film adverts. With the release of their new line of products, the GoPro Hero4 Silver, the Hero4 Black, and the new entry Hero, I’ve taken a look at all their films so far, and picked my favorites, which are below:
#1. Adventure Of Life in 4K
To celebrate the release of their new line of products, now capable of shooting 4K video, GoPro made this film, showing small clips of many adventures including climbing an iceberg in Greenland, riding mustangs (the horses, not the cars) in Nevada, climbing down into a volcano in Vanuatu and much more. Beautifully woven together to make a overall great film, this video just shows that there are so many amazing and cool things you could do with your life, you just have to find out what it is you want to do.
#2. Descent Into the Lava of Marum
In this film, watch 2 men, Geoff Mackley and Bradley Ambrose, be the first people ever to stand right on the edge of a giant lava lake in Vanuatu, a small island in the Pacific. It may seem insignificant, but as pointed out in the video, more people have been on the moon than where they were that day. Watch them journey down the tricky mountain surrounding the lake, battling weather and equipment the whole way through, just to get the amazing view right down by the lake. An incredible film altogether.
#3. Lioness Hunts Down a Buck with Kevin Richardson
This short films, recorded via a GoPro strapped on the back of a lioness, gives us a interesting insight on what it feels like to be a lion, hunting in the middle of the plains, bearing down on your prey. Putting GoPro’s on animals is a recent endeavor into the use of these flexible (in terms of usage) products, and this cool video certain rides that wave perfectly. Also, it features Kevin Richardson, who can somehow interact and be near these amazing animals without getting ripped to shreds, which alone is amazing to watch.
#4. Shark Riders
This amazing film, documenting Roberta Mancino and Mark Healey, doesn’t need many words. Shot 100% on GoPros, Roberta and Mark, both free divers, take amazing footage of coral reefs, fish, and sharks, and even at one point grab onto the sharks fin and “ride” it, giving the film it’s name. The film shows them diving deep, some plane ruins underwater, and both of them swimming with sharks unprotected.
#5. Longest Jump Story
“When I woke up the morning of jump day, I called my wife and told her that I had a bad feeling. I’ve traveled the world for motorsports and seen hundreds of crashes – multiple car pile ups at high speeds, race cars rolling end-over-end, sometimes on fire.” This is what James Kirkham, GoPro’s Original Productions head had to say about Guerlain Chicherit’s attempt to break the world record for longest jump in a car on the day of the jump. Whether it was a success or not, I won’t tell, just watch it yourself, but all I’ll say is that some amazing footage was captured during and around the attempt, and it is definitely worth the 12 minutes of watching.
Kama The Surfing Pig
If you want a laugh, or just to brighten your day, watch this, a 100% GoPro film documenting Kamapua’a, the surfing pig, or Kama for short. This pig knows how to surf, not just he can stand on a board. He adjusts to the waves, balances, and if the wave is too small, he’ll jump off because it’s too boring. All the while being adorably awesome.
This has got to be the most awesome camera that ever set foot on the market. There are great cameras that has WiFi, interesting filters (which Lytro has), and great specs, but Lytro is just out of this world. And galaxy. And universe. What makes it so special is it’s in innovative design and interesting and new capabilities. Also it’s untraditional shape may change cameras forever.
The design of the Lytro features a square body, with a grid-like grip at the end. On one side of the grip, there are 2 controls: a button for the shudder release (the button for taking the picture) and a row of touch-sensitive squares for adjusting zoom. On the back side, there is a touch screen used for setting up photos and doing basically everything a regular camera does. On the front, the lens resides like a hobbit hole door. And just to put icing on the cake, the top 3/4 of Lytro has a slick aluminum housing available.
The software of the Lytro is really what puts it out by itself. First of all, it has a couple ingenious filters, such as through glass, a carnival painting and more. But the most important, the most amazing, the most spectacular feature is that Lytro can make GIFs. Well, sort of. What Lytro can do is change the perspective of the photo after the photo is taken. Then, you can change that into a GIF. But if you don’t like the perspective of the photo, or want to change it slightly, Lytro can really help. Plus, all the filters are also “living”. To see some examples, click on this link.
Not only is Lytro a great camera, it’s new app allows you to wirelessly upload photos to your phone, then instantly share them on varios social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Also, Lytro has it’s own photo sharing network the allows you to see other peoples work. Then, if you want to email it, Lytro make a GIF of the photo rotating perspective. Lytro truly thought of everything. They even have a slick carrying case and purse. Who knows? This might be the camera of the future.