Photography Club of Thessaloniki
Brian May, guitarist with the band Queen and a stereo photography enthusiast, has launched a kit that allows users to view 3D stereo pairs and virtual reality content on a smartphone for just £25 (approx. US $37). The OWL VR Smart Phone Kit is an adaptation of a traditional Victorian-style stereo viewer sold by May’s London Stereoscopic Company. Instead of inserting card-mounted stereo pairs, users fix a plate to the viewer’s aperture that holds the smartphone in place. May says that the device provides a much better value alternative to standard VR headsets, and it is more adaptable and of higher quality than low cost models. It's in much the same vein as Google's Cardboard VR and other budget-friendly viewers designed for Google's VR app.
The OWL has a rigid structure but folds flat for storage, is made from ‘high-grade’ polypropylene and features ‘high quality’ lenses with adjustable focus. The adapter allows access to all the phone’s controls while it is in place, including the headphone socket so audio can be enjoyed during 3D movies and VR experiences.
Although not in continuous existence, the London Stereoscopic Company was founded in 1854. Over the years it created and sold stereo equipment and cards showing scenes from all around the world. Its fortunes have undulated along with the popularity of stereo photography, and was dissolved a number of times. It was revived in 2008 to promote and preserve the work of the photographer Thomas Richard Williams. Brian May has been one of the directors of the business since 2008.
The OWL VR Smart Phone kit will be available from June and will ship internationally. For more information visit the London Stereoscopic Company’s website.
Lifelong stereoscopy enthusiast and collector, and, incidentally, world-famous rock guitarist, Brian May this month launches the OWL VR Smart Phone Kit, a Virtual Reality and 3-D stereo image viewer that brings all the excitement of VR within reach of anyone with a smart phone.
Brian’s London Stereoscopic Company has been supplying his unique original patent OWL Stereo Viewer to 3-D enthusiasts since 2009, enabling a whole new audience to view the company’s reproductions of classic Victorian stereo cards, as well as the originals, plus recently released astronomy and Queen-focused 3-D images. The OWL has been recognised and adopted by 3-D organisations world-wide, as a high quality immersive device.
The new OWL VR Smart Phone Kit takes the existing OWL Stereo Viewer and, through use of a simple but ingenious adaptor, enables its use with a smart phone not only to view online 3-D images, but also those taken by the user, and commercially available virtual reality content. Manufactured from high-grade polypropylene, and fully collapsible to a thin flat configuration, the OWL is supplied ready for use in seconds. Its carefully positioned high-quality optical lenses, plus fully adjustable focus, present every user with the ideal optical geometry for perfect viewing of side-by-side 3-D images.
Working with any smart phone, the OWL VR Kit has a significant advantage over most other VR devices, which are usually tied to just one particular make or model of phone. And, in contrast with most of the low cost viewers available, the OWL kit offers full access to the controls on the phone at all times. Access to the headphone socket is also unobstructed. This is particularly useful when using the OWL to watch virtual reality films of concerts, or other content with a soundtrack. It also enables users to connect their smart phone to a home cinema system to generate surround sound to complement the 360° 3-D visuals.
Commenting on the launch, Brian May said, “Virtual Reality has taken the consumer electronics world by storm over recent months and masses of content is now rapidly becoming available. However, until now, users have had the choice of an expensive VR viewer that puts it out of reach of many people or a very low cost alternative that just doesn’t do the format justice.” He continues, “The OWL Smart Phone Kit changes all that; for a very modest outlay, anyone can now enjoy the VR experience, and also gain access to the fascinating world of Stereoscopy. Plus, with the apps that are available for smart phones, it’s now possible to take your own 3-D images and enjoy them instantly using this simple OWL Kit.”
The OWL Smart Phone VR Kit will be available from mid June 2016 for £25, direct from
The Canon EOS 80D is a 24MP APS-C format enthusiast DSLR, with a strong stills and video feature set. When the opportunity presented itself to build a traditional Greenland-style skin-on-frame kayak with craftsman and friend of DPR Kiliii Yuyan, DPReview editor Barnaby Britton used the EOS 80D to document the process.
This is sponsored content, created with the support of Canon. What does this mean?
Lensbaby has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Lensbaby Circular 180+, a lens that attaches to a GoPro Hero's waterproof housing. The Circular 180+ has an ultra-wide 185° field-of-view and features ‘tack sharp edge-to-edge focus,’ according to Lensbaby, as well as 'intense depth' and rugged construction.
The new lens is designed specifically for GoPro’s Hero action cameras, attaching to the waterproof housing with a mount that screws tightly into place. The lens housing is likewise waterproof with an IP68 standard rating, enabling it to handle ‘extended immersion’ to depths down to 3m/9.8ft. The lens is joined by a water-resistant mount, and there's a waterproof add-on mount as well. Compatibility includes the GoPro Hero, Hero+, Hero+ LCD, and the current standard housing, which supports the Hero4 Silver and Black, Hero3+, and Hero3.
Lensbaby is seeking $30,000 in funding on Kickstarter, where the Circular 180+ lens is offered at various price points as low as $69. Backers are expected to receive their orders in August 2016, assuming the funding campaign is successful.
Olympus has updated its tough camera lineup with the Stylus Tough TG-Tracker, a rugged action-cam that specializes in tracking location, temperature, altitude and more. The TG-Tracker takes 8MP stills with a 1/2.3" sensor and provides 4K/30p and 1080/60p video recording options. It offers a fixed F2.0 13.9mm equiv. lens and the whole unit is rated to be waterproof to 30m/100ft, shockproof from 2.1m/7ft, freezeproof to -10C/+14F and crushproof to 100kgf/220lbf.
Also provided are a 1.5" flip-out (but non-rotating) LCD and a built-in lamp with 30 and 60 lumen settings, the latter of which can be used for a flashlight mode. The tracking features for which the camera is named for include built-in GPS, barometric pressure sensor, temperature sensor, compass and an accelerometer. A pistol-style SG-T01 grip is bundled with the camera to help keep shots steady. The grip itself bends into a few different configurations to enable high or low angle shooting, and of course, selfies.
The camera syncs with Olympus' Image Track app via Wi-Fi to display data logs including the user's route and elevation, and can display detailed summaries of excursions including total elapsed time, distance traveled, average speed and minimum/maximum elevation, among other data points. Images and video (though not 4K clips) can be transferred to the user's smartphone using the app as well.
The Olympus Stylus Tough TG-Tracker is due to hit retailers in June for $349.99 in green and black body options.
Ultra HD 4K Video Comes Alive with High-Quality Imaging and Rich Log Data That Tells an Immersive Story
CENTER VALLEY, PA, May 24, 2016 — Olympus expands the outdoor video experience with the latest member of the Tough product family, the new Olympus Stylus Tough TG-Tracker. The Stylus Tough TG-Tracker is the first rugged experiential camera that combines Olympus’s Tough rugged capabilities with an advanced Field Sensor System,*1 a 204° ultra-wide-angle F2.0 high-speed lens and Ultra HD 4K 30p video capture to record brilliant action video with corresponding activity data. The Stylus Tough TG-Tracker’s built-in Field Sensors include GPS,*2 a barometric-pressure sensor, a temperature sensor, an e.Compass and an accelerometer. Data logs can be displayed simultaneously with recorded images using the Olympus Image Track app, enhancing the excitement of reliving outdoor action with an immersive, data-rich viewing experience.
Like all other cameras in the Olympus Tough™ series, the Stylus Tough TG-Tracker is optimized for the most extreme shooting environments, with five rugged capabilities: waterproof to depths of 100 feet,*3 dustproof,*4 shockproof from 7 feet,*5 freezeproof to 14°F,*6 and crushproof up to 220 pounds of force,*7 — no protective case required. The Stylus Tough TG-Tracker represents a new category of rugged cameras with its Field Sensor System that’s capable of capturing location, altitude and depth, g-force and air and water temperature while users record videos and still images of their outdoor adventures.
A high-intensity LED headlight is integrated into the camera body for shooting support in low-light conditions. The bundled SG-T01 Steady Grip helps with stable framing during hand-held shooting. The Olympus Stylus Tough TG-Tracker’s compact body and tilt-out LCD monitor provide for quick and easy video capture, including low- and high-angle shooting.
*1 Because the GPS and other field sensors are not intended for use as strictly accurate measurement functions, under no circumstances are measured values (such as longitude and latitude, altitude, shooting direction and temperature) guaranteed. Additionally, information may differ from actual circumstances due to the effects of events such as natural disasters. *2 Depending on the country/region of use, different laws and regulations may be applicable regarding the use of the GPS function. Be sure to follow local laws and regulations. Turn off the GPS function in places where its use is forbidden or restricted, such as inside airplanes. Either the A-GPS Utility computer software or the Olympus Image Track app is required to update the Assist GPS data. *3 Waterproof functionality is equivalent to JIS/IEC protection class 8 (IPX8) according to tests performed following our in-house methods. *4 Equivalent to JIS/IEC protection class 6 (IPX6) according to tests performed following our in-house methods. *5 When the LCD monitor is closed, the Lens Protector is attached and the Mount Coupling, grip and Underwater Lens Protector are not attached, according to tests performed following our in-house methods. *6 The number of shots that can be recorded is reduced at very low temperatures. *7 When the LCD monitor is closed, the Lens Protector is attached and the Mount Coupling, grip and Underwater Lens Protector are not attached, according to tests performed following our in-house methods.
U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Olympus Stylus Tough TG-Tracker will be available in green and black beginning in June 2016 with an estimated street price of $349.99 (U.S.) and $479.99 (Canada). For a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website: http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/digitalcameras/tough/tg-tracker.html
Field Sensor System for capturing all the action of outdoor adventures
The wearable-device market has expanded in recent years, offering ways to automatically record location information, steps walked, calories burned and other life-logging data. In the same spirit, the new Olympus Stylus Tough TG-Tracker is equipped with the Field Sensor System, which includes GPS, a barometric-pressure sensor, a temperature sensor, an e.Compass and an accelerometer. Users can select from three different display options on the LCD monitor, including a compass display, level display, and log display, to show the data captured via these sensors. Log Mode records data without video for extended time periods.
Rugged capabilities: waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, freezeproof and crushproof
With its sealed construction, the Stylus Tough TG-Tracker is waterproof to depths of 100 feet (30 meters). The waterproof seal also makes the camera dustproof, so users don't have to worry when operating the Stylus Tough TG-Tracker in dusty areas. The dual-layer chassis makes for superb shockproof performance, allowing the camera to clear drop tests from heights of up to 7 feet (2.1 meters). Operation is guaranteed in temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C), so you can shoot in cold-weather environments where other digital devices fear to tread. The Stylus Tough TG-Tracker also boasts a rigid construction that can withstand loads of up to 220 pounds of force (100 kilograms of force).
High-quality images captured with an ultra-wide-angle lens
Versatile shooting style and superb controls
The compact body provides for quick and easy video capture no matter your shooting style, allowing low- and high-angle camerawork. An SG-T01 Steady Grip is bundled with the camera to help with stable framing during hand-held shooting.*3 The MC-T01 Mount Coupling comes with a small mirror on the front to assist in capturing wide-angle group selfies.*4 The high-intensity LED Headlight is built into the camera body for shooting support in low-light conditions.*5 Its quick-action operation lets you swiftly illuminate subjects for high-quality imaging. Even when the camera is turned off, users can press and hold the Info button to activate the headlight for standalone use.
Compatibility with the Olympus Image Track smart-device app
The Stylus Tough TG-Tracker is equipped with built-in Wi-Fi.*6 Using the exclusive Olympus Image Track app, users can easily transfer videos recorded on the camera, along with field data, to a smart device. Users can also display the log data and view images simultaneously, enjoying the experience of the shooting environment during playback. Within the app, the data display can be switched between geographical information and altitude/depth information to best match the scene, and data is saved so that users can conveniently check the information at any time.
*1 A “chapter” is a bookmark designating a scene transition in a movie. This feature lets you quickly find the exact spot you want during movie playback. Chapters can be manually inserted by pressing the OK button on the top of the camera, but manually inserted chapters cannot be transferred to the Olympus Image Track smartphone app. *2 4K videos cannot be transferred to a smartphone. They should be viewed on a large TV that supports 4K playback. *3 Because the Stylus Tough TG-Tracker's angle of view is a diagonal 204°, part of the tripod will appear on the monitor when it is connected directly to the camera. This can be prevented by using the tripod baseplate on the bottom of the Steady Grip. *4 The Mount Coupling attaches to the top of the Steady Grip for mounting on the camera. *5 The LED Headlight can be used only for a limited duration. *6 “Wi-Fi” is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance. *7 Users can select from 1080p, 720p or VGA and can record at up to 30 FPS in full HD. *8 The bundled UP-T01 Underwater Lens Protector is required to shoot underwater. Without it, the camera will not be able to focus underwater. The angle of view becomes narrower underwater; users must change the camera's angle-of-view setting to Underwater. *9 When the Electronic 5-Axis IS is activated, the angle of view becomes narrower.
Optional Accessories CSCH-125 TG-Tracker Case
This case can be attached to a backpack or belt, and data logs can be recorded while on the go with the camera inside. The camera can be stored in the case on its own or with the Steady Grip attached. The case is equipped with a carabiner and spiral safety cord so users never have to worry about losing the camera. This accessory can even be used in the rain or in saltwater, so it’s perfect for use during outdoor sports or in harsh environments.
With so-called 'influencers' in the news recently, an anonymous social media executive confesses to Digiday just what contributed to the rise of the phenomenon and the somewhat startling realities of the new ecosystem.
While it may come as no surprise to the general public that the 'influencer' ecosystem is going through some turmoil as of late, it is somewhat surprising that it came about in the first place. According to the interview, it took brands until 2014 to realize what most of us saw much earlier - social media is addictive and engrossing for much of the general public, and it's here to stay.
Instead of a handful of TV commercials to make each year, brands and agencies realized that they needed to greatly increase the sheer volume of their content creation in a never-ending quest for ever more 'impressions' via their social media channels. So, what easier way to get your product out there than to simply pay someone to post your product in front of their hundreds of thousands of followers? Thus, the influencer was born.
What started as a simple $500 investment for someone to 'show up and take some photos' has ballooned into paying '$300,000 for a few photographs because the CEO's kid liked someone.' It's pretty absurd, with the executive going on to admit 'we have no idea what to pay them.' Although it appears there's more of a vetting process being developed at some agencies, you still get influencers whose entire pitch is 'I want to take a car and pick it up in London and drive it around Europe, so give me $100,000.'
So it's no surprise that the interview concludes on a bleak note regarding the future for Instagram superstars. The unnamed executive predicts influencers will start to disappear as brands recognize that the value isn't there. 'Just because photos look good and have 200,000 followers means nothing.' While it lasts, it sure seems like a pretty sweet gig.