NASA is working on an aerial 'Fluid Cam' that can see through ocean waves
We know more about the surface of the moon and Mars combined than we do about our own ocean floor, according to NASA Ames scientist Ved Chirayath, which is why he is developing a camera that can remove the water from our seas to reveal 3D images of what’s below the waves. Using a grant from Earth Science Technology Office, Chirayath is working on a project that uses both hardware and software to see and map the floors below great bodies of water as though the water isn’t there at all.
In the video above, Chirayath explains that it is hard to see the ocean floor due to the waves on the surface, but his Fluid Cam uses software called Fluid Lensing to image objects in up to 10 meters of water.
While he doesn’t explain exactly how this technique works, he does say it requires a camera with a lot of processing power, as the software runs on-board. The camera he shows in the video uses a Leica Elmarit-M 28mm F2.8 lens on front of what is described as a ‘high performance’ camera. We are told it uses a 16-core processor and has 1TB of RAM, and that it outputs data at a rate of 550MB per second.
At the moment, the camera is in the test stage and has been used attached to a drone, but NASA hopes that the technology will be housed in airplanes and satellites in the near future, so wider areas can be mapped and explored.
The project was unveiled on the NASA website as part of the agency’s program to mark Earth Day. For more information, visit this link.
New Camera Tech Reveals Underwater Ecosystems from Above
Scuba divers and snorkelers spend vacations visiting exotic coastal locations to see vibrant coral ecosystems. Researchers also don their gear to dive beneath the surface, not for the stunning views, but to study the health of the reefs that are so critical to fisheries, tourism and thriving ocean ecosystems.
But one person can only see so much coral in a dive. What if you wanted to assess coral over an entire region or see how reefs are faring on a global scale?
Enter Ved Chirayath of NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California. He has developed a new hardware and software technique called fluid lensing that can see clearly through the moving water to image reefs. Imagine you’re looking at something sitting at the bottom of a swimming pool. If no swimmers are around and the water is still, you can easily see it. But if someone dives in the water and makes waves, that object becomes distorted. You can’t easily distinguish its size or shape.
Ocean waves do the same thing, even in the clearest of tropical waters. Fluid lensing software strips away that distortion so that researchers can easily see corals at centimeter resolution. These image data can be used to discern branching from mounding coral types and healthy coral from those that are sick or dying. They can also be used to identify sandy or rocky material.
So far Fluid Cam, the imaging instrument that carries the fluid lensing software, has flown only on a drone. Someday, this technique could be flown on an orbiting spacecraft to gather image data on the world’s reefs.
That amount of data would be painstaking to sort through to look for specific coral attributes. So Chirayath’s team is cataloging the data they’ve collected and are adding it to a database to train a supercomputer to rapidly sort the data into known types – a process called machine learning. Because of the technology developments in both the tools to collect the data and the machine learning techniques to rapidly assess the data, coral researchers are a step closer to having more Earth observations to help them understand our planet’s reefs.
|Spring evening by Kaappo|
from Landscape #1
|Bringing Home the Bacon by Domenick Creaco|
from My Best Photo of the Week
Well-known photography educators Tony and Chelsey Northrup recently won $40,000 from an Australian company who used one of their most popular portraits on product packaging without so much as asking permission. Check out the video for the full story.
The Sigma 105mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens—colloquially referred to as the 'bokeh master'—will cost just $1,600 USD when it ships for Canon, Nikon, and Sigma mounts in 'late June.' That's $600 less than the Nikon 105mm F1.4E.
'Recall shooting functions' lets you recall previously saved exposure settings (including shutter speed and aperture) by simply pressing and holding specific controls. The function is designed to allow for quick shooting parameter changes in variable light conditions.
Zeiss has announced a new lineup of 13 'Supreme Prime' lenses for large format cinematographers who want smaller and lighter glass that still produces top-quality results. The kind of lenses that make your salivary glands work... and your wallet groan.
The new HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9+ supposedly offer "the fastest printing capabilities available on the market today," all while using fewer ink tanks, and featuring useful add-ons like a built-in vertical trimmer.
In an effort to streamline production and minimize confusion, RED has announced that it is simplifying its product lineup to three main cameras. As an added bonus, this change dramatically drops the prices for all three options.
Fujifilm's new X-T100 is an SLR-style mirrorless camera that takes the internals of the X-A5, including phase-detect AF, and adds a fully articulating LCD and high-res OLED viewfinder. The X-T100 is priced at a very reasonable $599/€599 body-only and $699/€699/£619 with a 15-45mm lens.
Panasonic's latest firmware update for its GH5S, GH5 and G9 series of cameras was leaked in Japan earlier today and is now being officially announced a week early. But don't get too excited – you still won't be able to download it until May 30th.
We've been saying for years that the term "lens compression" is misleading, but Lee Morris over at Fstoppers has put together a useful video that explains why this is the case, and demonstrates it with two easy-to-understand examples.
Last week, some 'leaked' photos were published online that purported to show a DJI Phantom 5 drone with interchangeable lens camera and several prime lenses. The rumor was widely reported, but DPReview has learned that those images do not, in fact, show a Phantom 5 at all.
The bezel-free Vivo Apex concept phone with its pop-up camera might be more than a concept. A new teaser video and ad seem to hint at a similar smartphone to be released June 12st.
Skylum has teamed up with its sister company Photolemur to create Skylum AI Lab, where the duo will work on AI-powered image solutions including image segmentation, tagging and upscaling.
Award-winning fashion and celebrity photographer Markus Klinko recently tested out the Godox EC-200 flash extension head. Actually, he tested out four of them, creating a quad-flash ring light alternative that works great for both beauty and close-up work.
According to a recent investor presentation, Sony intends to occupy the top slot in the overall camera market by the end of 2020, beating back Canon and Nikon by boosting its interchangeable lens systems.
HTC brings back the dual-camera on the newly-announced U12+, which features a secondary tele-camera with 2x zoom factor, as well as 4K video recording at 60 frames per second.
Google has finally added the ability to mark your favorite images in Google Photos, so they can be filtered into a dedicated album. The service is also planning to a social network-like "heart" button that lets you like other people's photos.
We've been messing around with Apollo, an iOS app that allows you to add 3D lighting effects to images using depth information, and have to say we're impressed with what it's capable of – but that doesn't mean we don't have a few requests for the next version.
The new lightweight laptop packs a whole lot of photo- and video-editing punch. The laptop can be specced out with a Core i9 processor, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD storage, NVIDIA graphics with 4GB of GDDR5, and a 4K display with 100% Adobe RGB coverage.
It looks like Canon is getting into sensor sales. The three specialized CMOS sensors the company recently demoed—including a 120MP APS-H model and an ultra-low light sensor—have been listed for sale through a distributor in the US.
Instagram has finally launched a "Mute" button, and is testing an "All Caught Up" feature that will let you know when you've seen all new post from the people you follow from the past 48 hours.
45-year-old photography magazine Shutterbug announced today that it is shutting down its print publication, focusing instead on reaching its readers online as a web-only publication.
Kodak Alaris has launched a new single-use disposable camera in Europe. Called the Kodak Daylight Single Use Camera, this 800 ISO film camera is supposedly ideal for parties, weddings, and similar events.
Computer vision company Lucid and cinema camera maker RED have partnered to create an 8K 3D camera that can capture 4-view (4V) holographic images and video in real-time. The camera is designed to work with RED's upcoming holographic Hydrogen One smartphone.
If Canon and Nikon do get into high-end mirrorless, it's almost certain that they'll do everything they can to maintain compatibility with their existing mounts. But, asks Richard Butler, wouldn't it be more interesting if they built a small, niche system to live alongside their existing DSLRs?
It seems RED's Hydrogen One super-phone will make it into the hands of customers in the near future. The phone is now officially slated for a Verizon and AT&T release in the US sometime this summer.
You know that feeling when you're already all suited up and out on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station, and only then do you realize you forgot to put the SD card in your GoPro? No? Us either... but one astronaut on the ISS sure does.
From 2015 to 2017, filmmaker Macgregor and his crew spend many months traveling back and forth on the famed Mauritanian Railway—the so-called 'Backbone of the Sahara—to document the grueling journey endured by merchants who regularly travel atop this train. This beautifully-executed short doc is the result.
You can now insert another user's Instagram post into your own Stories as a customized sticker, the first official "regram" feature we've seen from the Facebook-owned photo sharing app.
Synology has added a new 6-bay NAS to its DiskStation+ series, and it's aimed squarely at photographers and medium sized businesses. The DS1618+ can handle up to six 12TB drives, giving it a max capacity of 72TB, or up to 60TB in RAID 5.
Our original gallery for Tamron's new 70-210mm F4 had portraits, slow-moving wildlife and city scenes, but was sorely missing fast action. We remedied that by photographing some motorcycles flying through the air.