OPPO teases Reno device, shows 10x zoom samples

OPPO has been talking about its 10x periscope smartphone zoom lens for what seems like an eternity but now we are finally seeing some action after all the talk. The Chinese brand will be launching its new OPPO Reno line of devices on the 10th of April and has been teasing some information ahead of the event.

We've seen an allegedly official image of the device that shows the triple-camera with 48MP main module and 10 x periscope zoom on the rear posted on the social network Weibo. Other specs are so far largely unknown but it seems there will be models with Snapdragon 710 and 855 chipsets and a large 4,000+ mAh battery.

The company has also posted a number of images combining an image captured with the wide-angle camera with an inlay from the 10x zoom. The images are not full size, so aren't any useful for judging image detail, but they do give you a pretty good idea of the range of focal lengths that the camera will be covering. And if the samples are anything to go by 2019 might be the year in which the long range smartphone zoom will be taking off.

Meet the Insta360 EVO, a foldable camera that shoots 3D 180º video and 360º 5.7K video

Insta360 has launched EVO, a cube-style camera that shoots 360-degree and stereoscopic 3D 180-degree video footage and stills thanks to its unique folding design.

The camera features the same 5.7K video resolution and 18-megapixel still resolution as the Insta360 One X, as well as Insta360's six-axis FlowState stabilization technology. In fact, the camera as a whole has similar specs to the One X as a whole, including F2.2 apertures on both lenses, various exposure modes in video and stills, Bluetooth 4.0, 5Ghz Wi-Fi and a microSD card slot with a maximum storage of 128GB.

But the internal specs are where the similarities end. Unlike the One X, the EVO doesn't have any integrated LCD display. Instead, the camera features a hinged design that enables the cameras to capture a full 360-degree image when the lenses are facing opposite directions or stereoscopic 3D 180-degree images when the EVO is folded out with the lenses facing the same direction.

The camera itself has only a few buttons and ports on it, including a power button and a button for switching between various shooting modes and settings. On the side of the camera is the microSD card slot and a micro USB slot (unusual Insta360 didn't opt for a USB Type-C port instead).

Since the EVO doesn't have a screen of its own, the camera is dependent on an Insta360 EVO app to compose the images, change the settings and overall control the camera with more finesse than the limited on-device controls. The app will be available in the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.

The EVO is currently available for order on Insta360's website and B&H for $419.99.

Insta360 has also announced Insta360 VR, a new app for Oculus Go, HTC Vive Focus and Samsung Gear VR that will allow users to connect an EVO camera to a headset for simple wireless playback of the stereoscopic 3D 180-degree video or 360-degree video.

For phones that don't have stereoscopic playback capabilities, Insta360 has also announced Holoframe, a specialized phone display cover that will enable standard smartphones to view photos and videos in 3D with the naked eye. In its press release, Insta360 says 'It’s simple, mind-blowing and feels like magic.'

The HoloFrame is available for iPhone X/Xs, iPhone X Max and iPhone XR for $29.99 from Insta360's online shop.

Waterproof buying guide updated for 2019

Fed up with winter and packing for a trip somewhere warm? We've updated our waterproof camera buying guide so you can be sure your scuba selfies look their best.

The Ricoh WG-50 and Fujifilm FinePix XP130 have been removed to make way for their successors – the WG-60 and XP140 – and Ricoh's step-up WG-6 model has also been added. Our top recommendations, however, have not changed; we still think that the Olympus TG-5 is the best of the bunch.

Read our 2019 Waterproof Camera
Buying Guide

RED quietly removes mention of Hydrogen One modules from website

Initial reviews of RED's Hydrogen One smartphone weren't too favorable but at the time of the device launch one important component of the Hydrogen One eco-system had not been available yet: additional modules that would attach to the back of the device via pogo pins and offer expanded user experiences and features, such as extra battery life, additional storage space, and most importantly, a camera module with lens mount.

However, it now looks like we might have been waiting for the release of those modules in vain as RED has quietly removed all mention of them from its website. This change was spotted on Reddit by user u/ReipasTietokonePoju and kicked off a forum discussion between owners of the device.

Removed section of the RED website

RED eventually issued an official update saying 'We are currently in the middle of radically changing the Hydrogen program.' According to company founder Jim Jannard, 'A series of obstacles and then new discoveries have given us the opportunity to significantly improve the entire program, not only for Hydrogen but also for RED.

Those changes include a change of leadership - the RED team, lead by Jarred Land, will now be fully in charge of the professional image capture program for Hydrogen - but otherwise the company provides very little detail. More information is promised 'soon,' however.

New extended UK airport no-fly zones will take effect on March 13

Last month, UK officials announced plans to extend the no-fly zone around airports from the current radius of 1km / 0.6mi to 5km / 3mi. The change is in response to the Christmas 2018 Gatwick airport drone incident, during which time more than 140,000 passengers were impacted and more than 1,000 flights were disrupted. The change will go into effect tomorrow, March 13, 2019.

Though the precise threat small drones present to large aircraft remains unknown, a growing body of evidence suggests a mid-air collision between the two could potentially be catastrophic. No-fly zones aim to prevent these close calls, but many drone operators have been caught ignoring regulations.

Gatwick airport no-fly zone via NoFlyDrones.co.uk

In February 2018, a video was published showing a small UAV flying within close proximity of a passenger jet near the McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, for example. From February 2014 to April 2018, the US FAA had received 6,117 reports of drones being operated within an unsafe distance of manned aircraft, and Bloomberg reported in February 2018 that a small drone had struck a helicopter mid-flight, ultimately resulting in a crash.

Increasing the no-fly zone around airports will make it possible to use anti-drone technology to take down unwanted UAVs before they get too close to the facilities and runways. According to a report from BBC in January, the UK's Heathrow Airport had been testing anti-drone systems before the Gatwick incident, but it's unclear whether a permanent solution has been installed at either airport.

UK drone owners can view no-fly zones in the nation using the NoFlyDrones.co.uk website.

3rd time isn’t a charm for Huawei, who once again gets busted faking smartphone photos

You would think Huawei would've learned its lesson by now, but apparently not. Yet again, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer has been caught suggesting DSLR photos were images taken with its upcoming P30 and P30 Pro smartphones in an advertisement.

In both 2016 and 2018, Huawei was caught trying to do the same thing by passing off a DSLR photos as images captured with its P9 and Nova 3 smartphones, respectively.

This time, Hauwei shared a collection of advertisements, seen above, on its Weibo social media account to promote the launch of its upcoming P30 Pro smartphone on March 26th with a visual design that suggested the images were captured with the much-anticipated periscope camera system inside the devices.

In a result that's surprising no one, it turns out the images weren't actually captured with the smartphone. While it doesn't take much of a pixel-peeper to tell the images weren't actually captured with a smartphone, GadgetMatch took a closer look and confirmed the images weren't just DSLR images, but stock photos that can easily be licensed by anyone.

Using reverse image search, GadgetMatch discovered the volcano image was first shared on Flickr back in 2009 by photographer Tom Pfeiffer and also available for use on Getty Images. Similarly, the duck image was captured on a DSLR by photographer Jake Olson from a photo shoot some years ago.

Not long after it had been called out, Huawei updated the advertisements with a disclaimer saying the ads were meant only as an example, not photos actually captured by the P30 or P30 Pro. Huawei also made the following statement to GSMArena regarding the 'misunderstanding' in the P30 Pro preview ads:

'We’ve been made aware that there might have been some misunderstanding regarding our recent HUAWEI P30 Series teaser posters. We would like to reiterate that those are, in fact, only teaser posters, and are only intended to hint at the unique new features that will come with the HUAWEI P30 Series. Huawei has acquired the licenses to the original images and the posters are artistic renditions of said features only. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the media for their interest in our posters. We have much to announce in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned!'

Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us three times...we can't get fooled again. Let's see how long it'll take until we're inevitably running the fourth edition of this article.

Video: Watch this cannon shoot (and destroy) a Canon at 264mph in a tornado projectile test

A compact camera reached speeds of 264 miles per hour during a test to demonstrate the dangers presented by normal domestic objects flying around during tornado. And no, it didn’t survive.

The test was carried out by storm-footage stock library owner Martin Lisius with the help of a pneumatic cannon housed at the National Wind Institute’s Debris Impact Facility in Texas Tech University. The unit usually studies what happens when large lumps of wood caught in storm winds strike building materials, but for this test Lisius wanted to show what happens when smaller more common objects get picked up and thrown around.

A Canon Sureshot 60 Zoom, known as the Autoboy Juno in Japan, was loaded into the cannon and when fired reached speeds of 264mph before meeting a messy end against a concrete wall. According to Lisius, the shape and relative density of the film camera helped it travel much faster than the researchers expected.

The twenty four year-old camera, which could only manage 1fps in its highest drive setting, was filmed at 240fps as it met the wall. Even with that frame rate though it is hard to see exactly what happened on impact. I’m certain the research was useful for something, but even if it wasn’t it makes interesting viewing. To see other videos of things hitting other things at high speed see the National Wind Institute’s Debris Impact web pages.

Fujifilm GF 100-200mm F5.6 sample gallery

The Fujifilm GF 100-200mm F5.6 covers a 79-158mm equivalent range when attached to a GFX medium-format camera. It's the longest zoom option available for the GF system, counting both current lenses and those on the roadmap. Coupled with a GFX camera it's not exactly the most portable option, but we endeavored to bring it along on some snowy walks and trips to the waterfront anyhow.

See our Fujifilm GF 100-200mm F5.6
sample gallery

Roger Cicala tests new Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM, confirms ‘insanely good’ MTF results

Roger Cicala is a hard man to impress. His team tests a lot of lenses, but the new Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM is a cut above the rest. Literally, all the rest. Roger's verdict? 'This is the sharpest lens we've tested. Period'.

This is the sharpest lens we’ve tested. Period.

We already knew that the FE 135mm F1.8 GM was good, but the MTF results are quite spectacular. In Roger's words, 'curves higher than anything I’d ever seen in a normal-range lens'. Compare the Sony's performance at F1.8 to the Zeiss Batis 135mm F2.8, below. Even if you're not familiar with MTF curves (in brief - the center of this graph shows resolution at the center of an image, the extreme right and extreme left represent corner sharpness, and higher lines are better), it's clear that the Sony outperforms the Zeiss in the center and compares well towards the edges, even wide open.

And this isn't just a standout outlier sample hand-picked by Sony to give the best results - these graphs are created from data averaged from ten copies of the lens.

The 135mm F1.8 was so sharp, in fact, that just for fun Roger ran tests at 100 lp/mm as well as the usual 50 lp/mm, which - again - showed that Sony's latest lens should perform brilliantly for several generations of even higher-resolution full-frame cameras to come.

Read Roger's full article on the Lensrentals blog

Meyer Optik Görlitz confirms rumor that Nocturnus was a rebranded Chinese lens

Meyer Optik Görlitz, the German brand that offered lenses through Kickstarter before its parent company filed for insolvency last year, has confirmed speculation that the Nocturnus lenses were slightly modified versions of a Chinese lens, and the Somnium lenses were modified versions of a Russian lens.

The brand's new owner OPC Optics revealed its finding in a press release, stating that it had spent time analyzing the Meyer Optik products and planning how it would move forward with the brand. According to OPC Optics Managing Director Timo Heinze, 'It's fair to say that the previous organization and processes shocked us on occasions.'

Among other things, the company said it discovered that past speculation about the Somnium and Nocturnus lenses proved true, and as such it will discontinue both ranges 'for the time being.' The company didn't say which lenses were used, but online speculation over the years had pegged the $3,000 Nocturnus as a modified $849 Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster 50mm F0.95 lens.

Heinze explained, 'That is an absolute no go. As a German manufacturer using the ‘Made in Germany’ quality seal, this is a shameful indictment. These lenses may be perfectly good in their own right, but their production methods and marketing goes against all our principles.'

Heinze acknowledged that Meyer Optik may relaunch lenses 'with similar characteristics' under its ownership in the future, but they would not be rebranded, modified Russian and Chinese lenses. The potential future lenses 'would, of course, be our own designs
and produced by us, in order to genuinely earn the ‘Made in Germany’ label,' according to Heinze.

Via: PetaPixel

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