ITU approves new video standard
The goal of bringing 4k video to future broadband networks, while also making streaming HD video available even on bandwidth-constrained mobile networks, has come one step closer with adoption of the H.265 standard, also informally known as High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), by the ITU yesterday. The new standard will enable publishers to stream 1080p video with about half as many bits as required today which could also mean that in places where there is good broadband connectivity, 4K streaming could be possible with connection speeds of 20-30 Mbps of bandwidth. A team within the ITU continues to work on developments within HEVC including support for 12-bit video, 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 chroma formats, scalable video coding as well as stereoscopic and 3D video coding.
Researchers use AUVs to find and monitor whales
Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have used two autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) equipped with digital acoustic monitoring equipment to detect 9 North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) in the Gulf of Maine, National Geographic reports. The AUVs process and classify the whales’ acoustic signatures, then surface every two hours and transmit the positions of the whale calls to shore-based computers. In future, this information could then be used to reroute shipping away for the whales.
CBS interviews giant squid film advisor
CBS News has aired an interview with Edith Widder, oceanographer and marine biologist, who was part of the team that captured the first footage of giant squid in their natural habitat off the coast of Japan. In it, she talks about the techniques that allowed the team to get the groundbreaking footage:
“Unfortunately, we do go out with remote-operated vehicles that do scare them away, but the submersibles and the camera system I was using are unobtrusive and I think that will allow us to see a whole lot more. … We were exploring in a different way than ever before,” she said. “In the past we were scaring them away. (Our team) used a red light that they can’t see and an optical lure to draw them in towards us.”
Philip Bloom tests Canon 1DC SLR
Filmmaker Philip Bloom has posted an extensive review of the Canon 1DC SLR camera onto Vimeo. The review uses graded 4K footage scaled down to 1080 HD video, so is not an actual representation of what the 1DC is capable. Bloom has said that he will add some WETRANSFER links for native 4k footage soon.
Wetpixel spoke to the Canon representatives at DEMA last year, and they pointed out that the 1DC has the same internals with respect to still photography as the 1DX, but an improved video pipeline. Bloom asks: “Is it worth the money though? After all this is a DSLR that thinks it’s a video camera. A first. Also the first DSLR to shoot 4k and it’s internally!”
Google and photography: Some changes ahead
It would seem that one of the consequences of Internet giant Google’s acquisition of Nik Software is that the latter’s Color Efex Pro plug-in is no longer compatible with Nikon’s Capture NX2 image processing software. Nikon Europe announced that:
“Shortly after the acquisition of Nik Software by Google in September 2012, Nik ended sales of the Color Efex Pro plug-in for Nikon Capture software.”
Version 4 of the plug-in is now incompatible with Capture NX. Since Nik Software had been responsible for the development of the NX platform, this must raise questions about the viability of Capture NX’s platform. Elsewhere, the British Journal of Photography reports that Getty Images has granted Google a license deal that offers Google Drive users access to some 5,000 iStockphoto images for free. Photographers whose images were used were apparently paid a non-negotiable fee of $12, and all embedded image data , including copyright notices was removed from the images.
BRNO releases dri+Cap lens caps
As underwater image makers, we spend a lot of time in fairly damp, humid environments. Maintaining our equipment’s function in these can be a challenge. BRNO has launched camera and lens caps that have a built-in chamber to allow a desiccant pack to be inserted and O-rings to help create a firm seal to prevent moisture from seeping in. The company claims that the system “stores your camera equipment at the optimum relative humidity (RH) of 35% to 45%.” This minimizes condensation build-up and avoids any mold growth within lenses or cameras.
The dri+Cap is available now for Nikon or Canon cameras and lenses. A complete kit consisting of both camera and lens caps costs $44.99, with individual caps costing $23.99 each.
Dyron announces new products
Dyron has announced various new accessory products. The SWAL13 is a 13mm wide-angle removable wet lens with a 67mm thread attachment It features coated lenses in 2 groups and is described as being great for split level shots. In addition, the company has released a series of clip-on filters for the GoPro HERO3 POV cam. The filters are available as a red filter with mount, and additional colored lenses in either orange or purple.
The new products are available now, with prices still to be announced.
DIVEMAG issue 13 available
The January 2013 issue of DIVEMAG.org, the Brazilian dive magazine, is now available to download. This issue features articles about various Brazilian dive sites including: Cartagena de Indias, Colombia; Shipwrecks, Recife and Maceió. Photographically, the magazine has an article about Sony RX-100, the Recsea RX-100 housing as well as a featured portfolio by Phil Simha.
- British Wildlife Photography Awards Now Open (via DivePhotoGuide)
- New York Underwater Photography Society Meeting: Adding Divers… (via DivePhotoGuide)
- Video of the Week: “Life of a Wave Photographer” (via DivePhotoGuide)
- Rumors: Post CP+ Show Speculation for Nikon and Canon DSLRs (via DivePhotoGuide)
- Video: Photographing Antarctic’s Leopard Seal (via DivePhotoGuide)
- Mobile Photography Awards Feature Stunning Pics (via DivePhotoGuide)
- Canon Announces Firmware Update for EOS 1D-C (via DivePhotoGuide)
- DPG Announces December Monthly Contest Winners (via DivePhotoGuide)
- In Photos: The Hammerhead (via DivePhotoGuide)
- First Signs of Life Discovered in Antarctica’s Lake Whillans (via DivePhotoGuide)