[DIY] How to Make a Cool POV Helmet Cam

Want to shoot footage like you are in a first person shooter game? Want it to be light on your pocket, and want to do some homework? Then this is for you. The video shows how to build a camera rig that can (easily) be mounted on a common motorcycle helmet (no, you don’t have to use a pink helmet). The rig is made with a helmet, a metal bar, a cheap tripod head and using some weights. The tutorial is easy to follow and building this thing doesn’t require particular engineering skills.

[via diyphotography via planet5D]

Low-Light Comparison: 5D3 vs 5D2 vs D800 – Next Take

I posted about this comparison before. Now the test has been redone with some parameter adjustment, mainly because of the different way these cams handle ISO (watch the video to learn more). Short conclusion (just my 2 cents):

  • Nikon D800: good sharpness, good dynamic range at low ISOs, color shift towards green
  • EOS 5D Mark III: very good ISO performance, good tones and colors, less sharp, better dynamic range at high ISOs
[via fstoppers]

Another Light-Leak Problem on a Canon Camera (PowerShot G1 X, this time)

imaging-resource published a detailed and exhaustive review of the PowerShot G1 X. And while the review confirms the many good features of the G1 X (high ISO performance, outstanding lens, good video performance, and much more), it appears that the tech-savy folks at IR found also a small problem that shows up in certain conditions: light leaking and finding a way to the sensor when it should not. The result are visible (and replicable) artifacts in the images (click here for a test shot showing the artifact). The problem occurs only at high ISO settings (>1600) and focal lengths around 50mm equivalent, and it’s most pronounced using an exposure of 1/4000. When all these parameters are given, then a «bright light source near the center or toward the bottom of the frame will produce a bright artifact in the center and right side of the image». Quoting (scroll down to the very end of the post to read about the problem and to see the test images):

The cause is likely a light leak or reflection through the lens assembly that makes its way around the shutter, allowing light to fall on the sensor either before or after the shutter opens and closes to make its exposure. Since the effect is most pronounced at 1/4,000 second, it seems that extra light is allowed to fall on the sensor after the shutter has closed to end its exposure, but while the sensor is still powered up to record light.

They sent the images to Canon asking for feedback. Canon calls the phenomenon “glowing dots”, but there are no dots. However, Canon states that «[d]ue to the limited circumstances under which the PowerShot G1X ‘Glow Dots’ phenomenon can occur, Canon does not plan to change the camera’s specifications or offer repair service for this issue.» It must be said that the setting where this phenomenon shows up is not a real world setting: you will hardly shot bright objects using a high ISO setting. True. Nevertheless, quoting imaging-resource again:

We want to note up front that this phenomenon is not very likely to show up in average everyday shooting situations, because most of us don’t shoot bright objects at ISO 1,600 to 12,800 at high shutter speeds. But those trying to achieve a special effect or even simply forgetting to change from a high ISO to a lower one when entering bright light might encounter the defect, just as we did.

Unfortunately the phenomenon occurs also when shooting a bright object, not only when there is a strong light source in the frame. Check the images of the garage door (click here) and this one to get an idea. The leak occurs through the lenses and not through the viewfinder or other openings on the camera (this was extensively tested). Concluding:

So what might be happening to cause this? While we can’t tell for sure, we think that light is bouncing off the shutter itself after it closes, but while the sensor is still sensitive to light. We think it’s happening after the shutter closes, because the effect doesn’t appear to be visible at slower shutter speeds: Our hypothesis is that the artifact is being recorded during a very short interval after the main exposure occurs. If the light levels are such as to produce a proper exposure with a shutter speed of, say, 1/60 second, the brief interval during which light from the leak accumulates after the exposure would represent a very small portion of the total exposure time, and so not be noticeable. Further supporting this theory is that the artifact fades relative to the main exposure as you move to lower ISO sensitivities, suggesting that the leak is being recorded for a relatively short, fixed duration.

Did anyone here notice the same issue on a PowerShot G1 X?

[via imaging-resource]

112 MP B&W Sensor that Captures the Sun and the Stars in one Shot

 

You thought the Leica M Monochrom was the hippest camera you can get? Change your mind. Tucson, Arizona based Spectral Instruments gets the crown for the most amazing camera you can get (better you’re not on a budget). The sensor (part of their 1100 series) showcased in the video above is an 112 megapixel black and white CCD, no Bayer mask nor filter of any type. The sensor has a 95x95mm surface (APC-S: 25.1×16.7mm, 35mm film: 36×24 mm, medium format: 46×36mm). Do you have an idea about how much light such a sensor might capture? A whola lot! The dynamic range is so huge that this sensor can capture the sun and the stars in broad daylight. Spectral Instruments usually makes sensors for camera systems used in laboratory instrumentation or mounted on satellites. Now they want to make a camera for “normal” users. So, if you have some >$100,000 to spend (the cost of the sensor alone), then this is the camera for you. What ever are the $8,000 of the Leica M Monochrom? Nothing but a bargain… :-) Indeed, Spectral Instruments will not build such a camera if they do not get a response strong enough to motivate them. So, it’s up to all of us to make this happen. Spread the voice.

[via gizmodo via fstoppers]

 

Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM Review

 

This is a lens that will probably not appeal to professionals, and I guess a lot of people thinks a lens like the Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM is not good enough for their last generation DSRL bodies (not true indeed, and we all know that it’s the photographer who makes the picture, not the gear). Nevertheless, this is a perfect travel lens. Light weighted (490g/17.3oz), with an 11.1x zoom range (18-200mm, on an APC-S sensor equivalent to 28-320mm), image stabilization, decent build quality, and fair performance. It has an HSM motor driving the zoom. Consider that this lens has a street price of $399 and you have the perfect travel lens. More after the break.

 

Click here to open the rest of the article

CCD technology explained (video)

 

Have you ever wondered how those CCD sensors work? What’s behind the science that captures light and outputs all these nice pics you are shooting? We all know that having a larger sensor is usually a pretty good thing, but how exactly is a sensor working? Well, there is one thing you can take for granted: there’s a lot of sophisticated work to do. And Bill Hammack (The Engineer Guy) is here to help us understand. Enjoy the video!

[via engadget]