If you own a Nintendo Switch and an Android smartphone, did you know that the two can be paired for photography? It turns out the Joy-Con controller can be used as a remote shutter release for triggering photos without having to touch your phone.
A Reddit user named Byotan recently shared this neat fact in this video showing the Joy-Con shutter release in action.
To do this yourself, you’ll first need to pair your Joy-Con with your Android phone over Bluetooth. Press and hold the Joy-Con’s “Sync” button until the light indicators on the side turn on. Next, open your phone’s Bluetooth menu and you should see a new Joy-Con entry. Select this entry to pair your phone with the Joy-Con.
Once the controller is paired, how you use it as a shutter release will vary depending on what device you have, and you may need to fiddle around to see what works for you (and if the left Joy-Con doesn’t work, try the right one, and vice versa).
9to5Google notes that on Google Pixel phones, you take a photo by tapping the “A” button, though whether or not this works may depend on what app you’re using. On Samsung smartphones, you can use the “X” and “Y” buttons to zoom in and out (in increments of 0.1x per press), and the “B” button is used to snap a photo.
Outside of camera apps, the “A” button should also act as a home button and the “Y” button should allow you to select the upper-left app on your home screen.
From what others are reporting online, whether or not this system works for you may be hit and miss. But if you’re in a jam and need a quick way to trigger some photos remotely (like if you’re taking a group photo with your phone on a tripod), you may want to try giving the Joy-Con a shot.
Image credits: Header illustration: phone stock photo licensed from Depositphotos and Joy-Con photo by Nintendo.
A newly published patent suggests that Canon might be trying to bring a catadioptric optical system back to its camera lens lineup. If the “mirror lens” designs do materialize, we would likely see super telephoto lenses that are much smaller and cheaper than equivalent Canon lenses currently on the market.
“An optical system includes a first optical element having a first reflective surface concave toward an object side, a second optical element having a second reflective surface convex toward an image side, and a lens unit disposed between the first optical element and the second optical element,” Canon writes in the patent’s abstract. “Light from an object travels to an image plane through the first reflective surface and the second reflective surface in this order. A movable unit configured to move during image stabilizing includes at least one of the second optical element and the lens unit.”
The patent goes on to describe and show the designs of at least 5 mirror lenses (AKA cat or reflex lenses): a 400mm f/3.6, 800mm f/5, 1200mm f/8, 1200mm f/10.5, and 2000mm f/15. What’s unusual is that they all have image stabilization built in.
“Has Canon decided it’s time for some catadioptric long lenses for the RF system?” Northlight Images writes. “Expect a chorus of disapproval from those who’ve never owned a cat lens.”
The mirrors used to bounce light forward and backward in a catadioptric lens allow lenses to be much shorter than more traditional lens designs, in which light only travels through the length of the lens. The second convex mirror multiplies the focal length up to 4 or 5 times, allowing for super telephoto lenses that are relatively compact.
“In a nutshell, a mirror lens is a compact telescope,” B&H writes. “Mirror lenses contain a series of angled circular mirrors that gather the light and, rather than transmit a focused image directly to the camera sensor (or film plane), reflect the incoming light back and forth, each time reflecting a narrower portion of the image until a highly magnified portion of the original image reaches the camera’s imaging sensor.”
Drawbacks of mirror lenses have historically included fixed apertures (due to the center of the lens being obstructed), low contrast, and donut bokeh (caused by the way light enters the lens through a ring along the outside).
It’s possible that Canon has invented clever ways to overcome one or more of these historical weaknesses.
If these lenses are being designed for the Canon RF ecosystem, an advantage the mirrorless cameras would have is that their viewfinders would not be darkened by the small apertures like the optical viewfinders on DSLRs would be.
Canon Rumors writes that based on the Canon roadmap it has, these mirror lenses could possibly end up in the hands of photographers.
“Interestingly, a Canon RF 1200mm f/8 appears on my Canon RF lens roadmap, Canon Rumors states. “This patent may actually be part of future consumer products. However, I do have it reported as an L lens, so we’ll have to wait and see on that one.”
The releases of mirror lenses could allow the photography masses to try out ultra-long focal lengths — albeit with significantly more limitations — without breaking the bank.
As with any patent, though, there’s no guarantee that the things described will ever show up in the real world, but this is definitely an interesting development from Canon that some photographers will be hoping and watching for.
Manchester City recently topped rival Manchester United to take the Premier League title and to celebrate the internal content team has published this 3-minute and 40-second single-shot first-person-view (FPV) drone video that tours the entire Etihad Stadium.
Single-take drone videos are starting to balloon in popularity thanks to the smash success of first-person drone pilot Jay Christiensen. Christiensen stunned the cinematography community with his viral video sensation of a single-take bowling alley video in early March. Since then, he and his team have produced two more videos, one featuring the iconic Los Angeles diner Mel’s Drive-In and the other sponsored by the Mall of America that pays homage to The Mighty Ducks.
“This footage is 100% genuine, no camera tricks, no hidden edits, no CGI – a single take drone shot!” the club writes in a description of the video.
Manchester City’s single-take FPV drone video is pretty close to the level of Christensen’s work and is incredibly impressive in its own right given the amount of space the drone covers and how well it deftly moves through both wide open and tight spaces. The drone covers a huge amount of space both inside and out, which likely pushed the signal strength of the controller and drone to their limits. Similar to Christiensen’s video, the Manchester City content team dubbed audio over the original footage to give viewers something to listen to other than the loud whir of the drone’s propellers, though no people are visible anywhere, which is something that again separates this particular video from the ones that likely inspired it.
Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium was first opened to the public in July of 2002 as the home of the Commonwealth Games before it was converted into Manchester City’s home stadium in 2003. The stadium cost £112 million to build and seats over 55,000 fans.
Manchester City took the Premier League title in 2021 for the fifth time in nine years after rivals Manchester United lost to Leicester City earlier this week. Manchester City’s rise from forgettable outsider to one of the world’s most elite teams over the course of the last 20-plus years is one of the more impressive turnaround examples in the sport.
Digital Trends notes that the soccer club has not yet disclosed the identity of the drone pilot who captured the impressive celebratory footage, though it apparently has promised to post a behind-the-scenes video revealing as much and more in the coming days.
The Fujifilm X-E4, announced in January, is the last Fujifilm camera to use the company’s X-Trans IV sensor, according to a new report. The sensor was first introduced on the X-T3 and later found its way into several other cameras over the course of the last three years.
According to FujiRumors, Fujifilm will no longer use the X-Trans IV sensor that is the heart of the Fujifilm X-T3, X-T30, X-Pro3, X100V, X-T4, X-S10 most recently the X-E4. The X-Trans IV is Fujifilm’s fourth-generation backside-illuminated 26.1-megapixel CMOS that the company says integrates the unique X-Trans color filter array to reduce moire and false colors without the need for an optical low pass filter. This combines with its backside-illuminated structure to reduce noise levels and increase image quality.
When the X-Trans IV was first announced as part of the X-T3 release, Fujifilm touted its ability to expand its standard ISO range to ISO 160, which was previously only available via extended ISO. The native ISO range of 160 to 12,800 could then be further expanded to ISO 80 at the new low and ISO 51,200 as the new high.
While the sensor has served as the core of several beloved Fujifilm cameras since its 2018 introduction, this new report alleges that the company is set to leave it behind, meaning the X-E4 will be the last Fujifilm camera to use it.
In the interview above published last month, Fujifilm product manager Takashi Ueno notes that Fujifilm’s focus on its XF18mm f/1.4 release was “resolution,” which Fuji Rumors reports is a hint that higher-megapixel cameras would come in the future. Building on the report that Fujifilm is set to leave the 26.1-megapixel sensor behind, the hope is that an equally functional but higher resolution sensor will come soon.
Researchers have designed a new, dual camera platform with the aim of making up for the poor resolution output that comes with most 360-degree cameras.
360-degree field of view cameras of varying types and price ranges have been available in consumer and specialist security markets for some time now. They are often used for virtual business tours, real estate, security, sports and action, travel, and other purposes.
The study explains that with the use of a fisheye lens, which collects light across a wider range, a 360-degree camera is a cost-effective solution to surveillance that leaves hardly any to no blind spots, compared to using several general-purpose cameras to collectively cover the same field of view.
One solution to the low resolution problem would be to increase video resolution to at least 4K, as proposed by a 2015 study by Budagavi et al., which brings an additional set of complexities, such as the need for efficient compression technologies that can handle increased bitrates as a result.
Premachandra and Tamaki also agreed to the need to increase video resolutions to at least 4K “in order to mitigate the problem of resolution degradation due to wide fields of view when using omnidirectional cameras for monitoring,” but the practicalities of detecting and tracking objects, combined with converting such video into 2D images is a complex, costly, and lengthy process.
For example, PetaPixel recently reported on (sphere) Pro1 360-degree lens which can capture video content with no stitching but this type of technology comes at a cost that can be out of reach for most.
This is why both researchers came to the idea of designing a system that takes images from a conventional omnidirectional camera and at the same time also uses a separate camera that can capture high-resolution images of objects further away, whereby combined, the system would enable better identification of moving objects while still affordable.
In the study, the duo created a prototype hybrid camera platform that consists of one omnidirectional camera and two pan-tilt (PT) cameras with a 180-degree field-of-view on either side. When an indistinct target region is detected using the 360-degree camera, the PT camera is then used to capture a high-resolution image of the target.
The two used Raspberry Pi Cameras on which a pan-tilt module was mounted and then connected to the system through a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. Then, all of the parts of the setup were connected to a personal computer to allow overall control.
“The researchers first processed an omnidirectional image to extract a target region, following which its coordinate information was converted into angle information (pan and tilt angles) and subsequently transferred to the Raspberry Pi,” Science Daily explains.
Following the experiments, the study concluded that this type of system did indeed deliver higher-resolution images compared to those that were generated from a single 360-camera. However, one issue that arose was a possible time delay in the process. For example, when a moving object is determined as a target to be captured with a high-resolution image, there is a potential shift because it takes a moment for the appropriate PT camera to capture it.
As a potential countermeasure, the duo proposes the Kalman filtering technique, which is an algorithm that gives estimates of unknown variables which in this case are future coordinates of the moving object, which would counteract the shift encountered.
Science Daily reports that Premachandra is confident that their proposed camera system “will create positive impacts on future applications employing omnidirectional imaging such as robotics, security systems, and monitoring systems.”
The full published study, including details of all experiments, can be read on the IEEE Xplore website.
Image credits: Header image by Chinthaka Premachandra and Masaya Tamakiused and used under Creative Commons.
Smartphone manufacturer Oppo and National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore have partnered to produce a set of photos and videos of various at-risk animals whose unique colors are in danger of disappearing forever.
Joel Sartore is an award-winning photographer, speaker, author, conservationist, and the 2018 National Geographic Explorer of the Year. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic Magazine and an Eagle Scout. Joel is the founder of the NatGeo Photo Ark, a 25-year project to show the world the beauty of biodiversity and inspire action to save species.
Through the series Endangered Color, Sartore, National Geographic, and Oppo worked together to highlight the power of colour in the natural world, and how its fragility should not be taken for granted. Climate change is a recognized global emergency and in a series of videos, Joel explains what is the first thing he would do, if he had the power to solve some of the challenges the planet faces.
“The Endangered Color campaign showcases animals at risk of extinction. From the striking red throat pouch of the grey crowned crane and the vivid green feathers of the thick-billed parrot, to the bright blue skin of the poison dart frog, each animal represents the world’s at-risk species,” Sartore told PetaPixel.
“OPPO recognized its responsibility to be a sustainable brand that contributes to a better world and plans to support the work of the National Geographic Photo Ark, which uses the power of photography to inspire people to help protect species before it’s too late,” he says.
Because the partnership was with Oppo, Sartore was tasked with capturing photos of these animals using the company’s latest smartphone, the Find X3 Pro. As would be expected, this was not the same experience that Sartore was used to, but it did have its advantages.
“They say the best camera is the one you have with you. Since smartphones are so lightweight and portable, and they now shoot RAW files and 4K video, there no reason to not use one on more and more occasions,” Sartore says. “I know they’re here to stay for consumers, and for professional work they’ll become more commonplace as well.”
Sartore says that the main challenges with shooting animals is trying to keep things in focus as they move. While larger cameras may have their advantages, he says that the fact the sensor is smaller and therefore has a wider depth of field was advantageous to keep everything in focus.
“Having everything in focus when shooting video was amazing. No noise either, not a peep. For someone like me that shoots wildlife, this was a huge advantage,” he adds.
“I love the fact that it’s small, silent, and produces such high end still image files and video,” Sartore continues. “It is very easy to work with, so easy in fact that it’s hard to mess up good opportunities for photos. So, the process for me was the same, but using much, much less gear, which was very freeing.”
Regardless of how the photos were captured, the mission of Sartore, National Geographic, and Oppo is to highlight the beauty of some of the most striking, rare colors found naturally in the animal kingdom in the hopes that those who see the photos and videos will understand that these amazing animals are close to being lost forever unless something is done to save them and their precious environments.
Sartore’s Photo Ark project has already taken portraits of 11,000 species and counting. In his quest to document the world’s diversity, he is over halfway through his goal of photographing the approximately 15,000 species living in the world’s zoos and sanctuaries. The entire Ark can be explored here, and Sartore hopes that the photos will inspire others to support on-the-ground conservation efforts to protect the thousands of creatures around the world and help them navigate the threats they face in the wild.
Image credits: Photos by National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore, captured on the Oppo Find X3 Pro and used with permission.
A new design leak alleges that for the first time in a while, Google is going to dramatically change how its next smartphone will look. The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will allegedly sport an all-new design with a very unusual camera array.
“I was sent actual images of this device. I had more images for this than for most of my other leaks,” he says. “Like, really high quality, detailed images from the source.”
Prosser is therefore particularly confident in this leak, which shows the two new smartphones from Google sporting a camera array that looks akin to Star Trek’s famous thin-visor-wearing Geordi La Forge.
The mockups show two different devices with two different camera arrays. The Pixel 6 has a similar design but only two cameras in it’s bar-like module while the Pixel 6 Pro is much larger and has three cameras in its array.
“I guess they’re getting rid of their XL naming that they’ve been using forever,” Prosser says.
The front of the device has what is colloquially referred to as a “hole-punch” selfie camera design. This look helps maximize the amount of screen on the front of the smartphone and avoids the “notch” that is seen on Apple iPhones. Additionally, the bezels around the front display look especially thin, and Prosser’s renders seem to indicate that the phone will use an under-display fingerprint reader like other Android devices on the market.
The design is so unusual that Prosser says that if he did not see actual hands-on photos of the device, he would have been unlikely to believe the report himself.
Unfortunately, Prosser only had images of the device and not a specifications sheet, so he was unable to provide any guesses as to what kind of sensors, cameras, or focal lengths are to be expected in either the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro.
The orange color that was found on the Pixel 4 looks to be making a return here in the Pixel 6, which Prosser says looks like it is blended with design elements from the Pixel 1 and 2.
Prosser indicates that a major reason why Google seems to be “going for it” so aggressively in this design is that it is anticipated that the company will be releasing them with its own silicon, the GS1010 Whitechapel Chip. Since the inside of the device is set to be so different, Prosser reasons that the company would also want to make sure the outside of the smartphone reflects that difference.
The devices are not expected to release until the fall.
In the past decade, Zeiss has launched a number of new lens lines for DSLR and mirrorless cameras with unusual-sounding names such as Batis, Otus, and Milvus. Perhaps you own one of these lenses, but did you know that each of those lens lines is named after a bird?
After announcing its first family of lenses for mirrorless cameras back at Photokina 2012, Zeiss announced the name, Touit, in April 2013. In a blog post, Zeiss explained the reasoning behind the name choice and shared that it would name future lines after birds.
But where does “Touit” come from? This illustrious name was found through an intensive international selection procedure. We followed a concept that is already well established in the automotive industry: selecting certain themes for product names. As an example, one well-known German carmaker names its automobiles after types of winds and currents.
We decided to derive the future names of the lenses from the Latin names of birds. That fits well, as birds usually have excellent eyesight and can take unusual perspectives. Birds are also diverse and lively animals. Furthermore, the Latin names all have an attractive sound and are common in many languages and cultures.
The German carmaker Zeiss is referring to is Volkswagen, which names its famous models after winds. For example: Golf refers to Golfstrom (“gulf stream” in German), Jetta is “jet stream, and Passat is “trade wind.”
Here’s a closer look at what birds Zeiss chose for its lens lines:
Zeiss Touit lenses offer “high image quality with a fast and accurate autofocus function,” and they’re available for APS-C cameras using Sony E and Fujifilm X mounts.
“The name Touit comes from the band-tailed parrots,” Zeiss says. “This bird is very small and agile, and its plumage is deep green. The Touit parrots live in Latin America and the Caribbean in a wide range of different habitats, from damp-tropical island regions to lowland rainforests to thorn-bush savannas and even high in the Andes Mountains at altitudes of up to over 20,000 feet.”
“Touit is pronounced like the English ‘do it,’” Zeiss says. “Touit stands for good visibility, agility, mobility and diversity, qualities which also aptly describe the new ZEISS lenses for mirrorless camera systems.”
Otus is the largest genus of owls when it comes to the number of species — roughly 45 species are currently known. Their brownish color allows them to blend in against tree trunks. The owls are small in size and are known for being agile.
Zeiss Batis lenses are “professional full-frame AF lenses” for Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras.
Batis is a genus of songbirds that are found in Africa. They are small, have striking plumage, and are agile enough to catch flying insects in mid-air.
Zeiss Loxia lenses are “compact, full-frame MF lenses” for Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras.
Loxia (also called the crossbill) is a genus of six species of birds in the finch family. The birds have beaks with crossed mandibles, hence the name “crossbill.” The colorful birds use their unusual beaks to pick out seeds from cones.
It appears that Nikon is beginning to discontinue its F-mount lenses. Seven lenses are now appearing as “old product” on Nikon’s official website, which is a term used to describe products that have been officially discontinued.
As originally reported by by Asobinet and noted by Nikon Rumors, Nikon has listed a total of seven F-mount lenses as “old product,” six of which are new at the time of publication. Nikon Rumors reported that it had retired the AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens on May 9.
All seven lenses are listed as out of stock with major U.S.-distributors and given all of the above have the designation as “old product” on Nikon’s official website, it is unlikely that store shelves will see their stock replenished again.
Nikon did not immediately respond to the request for comment.
The discontinuation of these lenses follows a report from earlier this week that Nikon was phasing out its APS-C line of cameras. While at the time, only the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens is officially noted as discontinued, reports that some of the cameras — such as the D500 — had been listed as out of stock for months led some to question the future of Nikon’s support for its DX-format DSLRs.
Over the past couple of months, Canon also has discontinued a host of lenses as part of a “series optimization.” At the time of publication, the company had ceased production on at least 22 EF lenses with more expected to come before the year’s end.
As both Canon and Nikon focus efforts on mirrorless cameras and lenses, ceasing production of older DSLR lenses is to be expected. Specifically in Nikon’s case, the company likely needs to put its entire effort behind producing Z7 II and Z6 II cameras, as it has had difficulty meeting the demand for the new devices.