Are you attending Macworld Expo this year? Do you have a camera? Do you like to share? Fantastic!
Every January, Macworld editors scour the show floor to get hands-on time with new products, attend panels, take in presentations, and report back on what’s going on. But we only make up a tiny sliver of the attendees who are actually at the conference, so this year we’d like to see Expo from your point-of-view.
If you're in San Francisco for Macworld 2011, pick up your point-and-shoot, DSLR, or iPhone and take photographs of your favorite new products or lively panel discussions. Get candid shots of roving Mac personalities and rollicking after-parties. Artsy Hipstamatic pics of the Moscone Center? Sure, we like those too.
Much of your digital camera, including its sensor, LCD screen, lens, buffer, and autofocus, is controlled by microprocessors running firmware. Firmware is essentially the operating system of a digital camera, whether it’s a point-and-shoot or a DSLR. And just as a trip to Software Update can give you downloads that fix OS or software glitches and add functionality, some camera manufacturers polish the user experience after a camera has been released with firmware updates.
Firmware updates are not always necessary. If you find an update for your camera, but it doesn't have any bug fixes and the added features don’t apply to you (such as a new language you don't speak), you may want to skip the upgrade altogether. But more often these updates fix bugs or add cool new features and improvements. For example, the latest Sony NEX 5 firmware update makes major updates to the user interface, allows the softkey function to be customized for quick settings access in creative exposure modes, gives the camera 3D Sweep Panorama abilities, and adds autofocus support for fourteen Sony SSM and SAM lenses.
Nik Software will release Silver Efex Pro 2 on February 1, an upgrade to its plug-in for creating black-and-white images using Photoshop, Aperture and Lightroom. Silver Efex Pro 2 introduces new features that offer more control over detail, contrast, and tonality.
There hasn’t been much activity on the DSLR front from Olympus since the E-30 was released in 2009. At that time, its enthusiast DSLR out-specified the flagship E-3. Now, with the unveiling of the new E-5, Olympus shooters finally have a professionally-styled body with updated specs to complement their four/thirds lens collection.
The essential specs
The Olympus E-5 features a 3-inch articulated LCD with 920,000 pixels, very fast autofocusing (especially if you're using the excellent 12-60mm f/2.8-4 SWD zoom lens), HD movie capture, dual memory card slots (CF and SD), and an upgraded image processor (TruPic V+). The optical viewfinder provides a 100 percent view so what you see is what you get. The E-5 is a camera that can endure the elements with a weather resistant magnesium body that feels solid in the hands.
When iPhoto 4 first arrived in 2004, one of its touted features was improved performance when scrolling through thousands of pictures in a photo library. That was important because it did a better job of taking advantage of the hardware of the day. It was also key because as people quickly adopted digital cameras, their iPhoto libraries were growing by thousands of new images.
Our photo libraries continue to grow, and now the problem isn't so much one of hardware performance as it is overwhelming numbers. How do you quickly locate the shots you're looking for without having to scroll endlessly in iPhoto? Here are a few strategies for iPhoto users.
At CES this week, Samsung announced the SH100, a compact Wi-Fi-enabled camera that lets you wirelessly share and back up your photos.
Set to be Samsung’s leading fully connected camera in 2011, the SH100 has a 3-inch LCD display, 14.2-megapixel CCD sensor, 5x optical zoom, face recognition, touchscreen controls, and lets you connect to other devices with ease. For instance, if you have a compatible smart phone, you could use it to remotely control the SH100’s zoom and shutter, viewing the the shot you’re about to take in real time—an excellent feature for group shots and self portraits. The SH100 can also use your phone’s GPS to add the location of the shot to its metadata.