OMG Life Autographer Quick Review
On the whole, we know what cameras are supposed to look like. There are all sorts of variations in design and implementation, of course, but in essence we expect a body shape that's designed to be used hand-held, with a lens at the front, a large screen for viewing on the back, and a shutter button on top. It's really not often that anyone tries to do something substantially different with the basic concept. But this is exactly what a UK company called OMG Life has done with its device called the Autographer - billed as the 'world's first intelligent wearable camera'. How could we not be intrigued?
The Autographer is basically a small black box, about half the size of a shirt-pocket compact camera, that's designed to be worn on a neckstrap or clipped to your clothing. It has a custom-designed semi-fisheye lens with a 136° ultra-wideangle view, a 5MP sensor, and has built-in GPS and Bluetooth. But what is really interesting (and unique) is that it uses five sensors to decide automatically when to take a picture - an accelerometer to determine whether it's moving, a colour sensor, a magnetometer (i.e. compass), a thermometer, and a PIR proximity sensor. No pressing of a shutter button is required. After capture the images can be used as single frames, or compiled into stop-motion movies.
This may all sound like hocus-pocus, but OMG Life is a spin-off from image capture specialists Oxford Metrics Group, so has some pedigree. The initial concept was in fact medical, as a therapeutic aid for patients suffering from amnesia or Alzheimer's disease (the device was known as the Vicon Revue). This doesn't prove anything about how well the camera works in practice, of course, but does suggest that there should be something behind the idea.
Autographer key specs
- 5MP sensor
- 3mm 1:3.2 ultra-wideangle fixed-focus lens; 136° angle of view; glass hybrid construction
- Automatic shooting based on input from five sensors
- 8GB built-in memory (stores up to 28,000 images)
- Built-in GPS
- Bluetooth for communication with smartphone
- Built-in battery, charges over USB
- 90mm x 37.4mm x 22.9mm
The Autographer isn't the only automatic, wearable camera around: there's also the Memoto, which is superficially quite similar. But there are several key differences; the Memoto doesn't attempt to be 'intelligent', but merely takes a picture every 30 seconds for 'lifelogging'. It uses a narrower angle lens, and is sealed for use in wet weather (the Autographer isn't). Memoto is also designed so that all captured images are automatically uploaded to the company's servers for processing and organisation when the camera is plugged into a computer, and there's no other way to access them - a model some potential users may well be uncomfortable with using.
Image access - smartphone and desktop apps
Autographer uses 8GB of built-in memory that can store up to 28,000 images, which means that the software used to access, sort and process them is pretty important. Two options are available - a free smartphone app (currently iOS only, but with an Android version in development) and a desktop app for Windows and Mac. The latter can be installed directly from the device when you plug it into your computer. Both offer similar options; you can view individual images as stills, play through them as a sequence, and turn them into stop-motion movies. We'll look at them in more detail later.
With this type of device, there are inevitable concerns over etiquette and privacy. It's not obviously a camera, takes pictures without any user intervention, and is also distinctly unobtrusive. So you have to be considerate about how you use it.
In a charmingly British fashion, the camera comes with a little card reminding you of all this, and offering guidelines for usage. It suggests that you familiarise yourself with local customs when visiting a new country, and offer to delete images from your device if unwitting subjects voice any objection. Hopefully this will sound like common sense to most people.
Availability and pricing
The Autographer is sold purely through the company's website, www.autographer.com, for £299.99. OMG Life will ship it to most European countries (UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden), but not, for the moment, the USA. We're told that US sales should start in a couple of months.
|Swinging With The Sunflowers by Bill Bentley|
|Chureito Pagoda (Fujiyoshida) by BrentSchumer|
from -Magnificent Pagodas- (in Full Colours Only)
Sigma says its 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sport lens is set to hit shelves by the end of December 2018 at a retail price of $1,499.
DxO PhotoLab 2.1 brings a collection of new features to MacOS and Windows users alike.
The new 'Elegant' lens series includes entirely manual F2.4 lenses in 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 90mm focal lengths.
A feature alerts pilots visually and/or verbally when their drone is approaching airspace that is unsafe or areas where drone flying is not permitted.
GoPro announced Monday morning that it plans to move production of United States-bound cameras out of China, citing tariffs concerns.
The Sigma 56mm F1.4 combines a sensible sub-$500 price tag and excellent performance, providing a portrait-friendly 85mm equiv. view on Sony's APS-C mirrorless cameras.
Azriel Knight of the YouTube channel This Old Camera explains the history of DX encoding.
The 250mm F4 is Fujifilm's longest lens for its medium-format system. It's equivalent to about 200mm on a GFX camera, and we put it to work on some portraits as well as some scenes around Seattle's waterfront – take a look.
Sony has removed the ability to download firmware version 2.0 for its a7 III and a7R III mirrorless cameras from its website.
Handing out awards for the best gear of the year is a big job, so we called in some reinforcements from Calgary to help us.
A new patent from Canon lays out the schematics for a speedbooster-style adapter for mounting Canon EF lenses onto EOS M cameras, but with a variable baffle to reduce the risk of flare.
The Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board has started a campaign asking visitors to stop geotagging their specific locations when visiting Wyoming's national parks.
Film simulation app Filmborn has been updated with new presets, features, and overall improved support on Apple's latest mobile operating system and devices.
The Colorado Tripod Company has introduced what it claims is the world’s first titanium tripod system, with a funding campaign on Kickstarter.
We've been shooting with the LX100 II both in and out of the studio, as part of our ongoing review. We're pretty impressed, so far, with the revised JPEG color and addition of a touchscreen both noticeable improvements.
An upcoming Xiaomi smartphone might use a 48MP sensor for pixel-binning, high-quality digital zooming and other algorithm-powered imaging features.
It's not cheap, but you may soon be able to get your hands on peel apart film once again thanks to ONE INSTANT.
Skylum's Luminar 3 arrives on December 18 with the long-awaited ability to manage your photo library. However, it won't be a full DAM (digital asset manager); the company plans to roll out features throughout 2019 and won't charge for updates from Luminar 2018 during that time.
Hasselblad has released an update to its Phocus post-production software that brings new and updated tools, as well as updated native lens support.
Nikon's IPTC Preset Manager, a tool for creating predetermined sets of metadata, has received an update. Version 1.1.0 no longer uses Microsoft Silverlight, sheds the network connection requirement, adds extended language support, updates support for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, and ends support for Windows Vista and Windows XP.
Insta360 has launched a software update for its One X 360-degree camera and announced a camera bundle exclusively available on Apple.com.
Xiaomi has laid out the details for its new AI-powered image processing platform DeepExposure.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset is expected to power most 2019 high-end Android phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S10.
Camera app developer Hipstamatic says it has found a way to use the depth data generated by the iPhone X to improve the way its TinType app works out which areas of a picture to render out of focus.
If you're looking for a high-quality camera, you don't need to spend a ton of cash, nor do you need to buy the latest and greatest new product on the market. In our latest buying guide we've selected some cameras that while they're a bit older, still offer a lot of bang for the buck.
The Verizon-owned social network platform Tumblr has announced it will be removing all adult content - including photos - from its platform starting December 17th, 2018.
Guests who would rather spend time actually enjoying their Swiss vacation can now do so while still maintaining a presence on social networks, thanks to Ibis Switzerland Hotels' new social media sitting services.
Two challenges to Apple’s claim that its iPhone X can shoot studio quality portraits have been turned down by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
We take a head-to-head look at the Apple iPhone Xs's bokeh effect versus a 58mm Nikkor lens on full-frame. The results? Well, we're pretty impressed.