Luminar 4 announced: Now you can fake the sky too!

You still remember that time when photos were representing the actual real world? Those times are long gone and today it gets even worse :)

Skylum announce the new Luminar 4 software (info here). It’s available for preorder now and it will be available this fall. Among the many new features it also will have the world’s first Sky Replacement technology.

There are two bundle offers:

1. Luminar 4 + Signature Looks bundle for US$59 instead of US$138
2. Luminar 4 + Signature Looks + Luminar 3 bundle for US$89instead of US$207

Current Luminar 3 owners pay $49 only:

Full press text:

Sky’s the limit: Luminar 4 introduces the first automatic Sky Replacement technology

Utilizing the proprietary technology based on machine learning, Luminar 4 will be the first photo editor to have a fully automated Sky Replacement tool to save the artists hours of editing.

BELLEVUE, WA – July 23, 2019 — Today, Skylum announces the upcoming release of Luminar 4, set to ship this fall. Skylum continues to push innovations forward through machine learning tools. In addition to the new AI Sky Replacement tool, Luminar users can expect to see more machine learning present in Luminar 4. With its easy-to-use interface and sensible workflows, Luminar 4 is a great choice for creatives looking to move their photography forward.

“With Luminar 4 we continue to empower everyone who loves photography to make incredible images faster and easier,” said Alex Tsepko, CEO of Skylum. “No one needs a “simply another photo editor” these days. That’s why with every Luminar update we bring photographers something truly meaningful, something that will really level up their creative skills.

In Luminar 2018, Skylum introduced the AI Sky Enhancer filter, helping to add depth and color back into flat or blown-out skies. Earlier this year, Skylum added the Accent AI 2.0 filter to Luminar 3, a powerful content aware filter powered by machine learning to automatically enhance images. Now, with Luminar 4, AI Sky Replacement offers the first automatic tool for replacing skies. Machine learning tools like these are the foundation of the Luminar platform, helping to save photographers hours of manual labor so they can achieve their creative dreams.

Why AI Sky Replacement?
Sky replacement methods have become popular in recent years with landscape photographers, in order for them to truly showcase their creative vision. Up until now, photographers have spent minutes or even hours manually replacing skies, through tools like Smart Selection, Luminosity Masking, Overlaying, Layers, Masking, Smart Brush, Color Range and more. And even with all those tools, it was hard to get a perfect sky.

While development of AI Sky Replacement has been equally challenging, Skylum’s machine learning technology means that photographers can apply a realistic sky to their photograph in mere seconds, freeing up time to be more creative.

How does it work?
AI Sky Replacement works by automatically detecting not only the sky, but also objects in a photograph’s scene. This helps make sure the photo ends up being as realistic as possible once you insert a new sky. It removes things like halos, artifacts and edges of transitions, problems that often were present in existing sky replacement techniques. With the AI Sky Replacement you will also be able to adjust the sky to fit the rest of an image — things like depth of field, tone, exposure and color — making it great for not only landscapes, but also portraits.

When working on an image, the AI Sky Replacement technology automatically creates a mask for the sky, taking a step that would oftentimes take minutes or even hours, and boiling it down to mere seconds with just the click of a mouse. But that’s not all it does — AI Sky Replacement also correctly detects the horizon line and the orientation of the sky to replace so that it looks as realistic as possible.

Furthermore, with the scene relight technology, you’ll see the rest of your photo change in terms of light and color when you select your sky of choice. This makes sure that an image and sky match so they appear they were taken during the same conditions. Because of the toning that AI Sky Replacement does to an image, it looks as natural and smooth as possible.

The new AI Sky Replacement filter is the perfect tool for recreating that special moment that you might not otherwise be able to revisit. It’s great to bring life into vacation photos where the weather wasn’t perfect, or surprise moments where you couldn’t plan for the perfect conditions. And best of all, it’s available through a simple, easy-to-use tool in the Luminar 4 interface.

Now, with AI Sky Replacement, it’s easier and faster than ever for photographers to achieve their goals, and focus on what they enjoy most — photography.

Pricing and availability
Luminar 4 is set to be released this fall. Pre-orders are now available on skylum.com.
Pricing will be announced at a later time, and upgrade pricing will be available for current users.

About Skylum Software
Skylum is a global imaging technology company with offices in Bellevue, USA; Kyiv, Ukraine; and Tokyo, Japan. Skylum allows millions of photographers to make incredible images faster. We automate photo editing with the power of Artificial Intelligence yet leave all the creative control in the hands of the artist. The Skylum Team has won the Red Dot Award, Apple’s Best of the Year, and other top industry awards. To learn more about Skylum, visit http://skylum.com.

Sony has announced six new FF sensors that can be sold to Nikon-Panasonic-Pentax

Sony published the short spec list of six new FF sensors. Those sensors are open for sale to third party camera makers. So it’s likely that you will see some future Pentax-Nikon-Panasonic cameras usin those sensors.

What’s particular is that the sensor named IMX521 uses the Quad Bayer Structure. Sony writes:

HDR function is available by dividing exposure time in the 4 same color pixels into long exposure pixels and short exposure pixels. or dividing conversion gain in the 4 same color pixels into LCG pixels and HCG pixels.
Quad Bayer RAW function makes it possible to readout 4 same color pixels without addition.
When normal operation. 4 same color pixels are added and made 1 pixel, and output as bayer pixel array. In addition, a group of divided 4 same color pixels is defined as 1 pixel unit in this product specification.

Here are the short sensor specs:
IMX311: 48,9MP (45° deg. square pix array)
IMX313: 48,9MP (16bit A/D, stacked 3:2, 30p at 16:9 FULL 8k readout. 60p at 6k with crop.)
IMX409: 55MP
IMX410: 24.6MP (24mpix, 19fps for photography. 6k 40fps, 4k crop 100fps.)
IMX521: 15MP with Quad Array
IMX554: 30MP

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Hasselblad launches the 907x special edition to celebrate 50 years on the moon

Press text:

HASSELBLAD LAUNCHES THE 907X SPECIAL EDITION TO CELEBRATE 50 YEARS ON THE MOON

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing, Hasselblad proudly celebrates its role as the cameras chosen by NASA for space photography, and even more so, the cameras that documented the historical moment of the first humans on the Moon. In honour of this momentous occasion, Hasselblad launches the limited 907X Special Edition, which includes the 907X camera body and CFV II 50C digital back, both in matte black with commemorative “On the Moon Since 1969” anniversary text.

Considered one of the most iconic moments in history is the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the Moon – an event so extraordinary that saw the first humans step off our planet and onto another celestial body. Taken down to the lunar surface, attached to astronaut Armstrong’s chest, was a silver Hasselblad Data Camera (HDC) fitted with a Zeiss Biogon 60mm ƒ/5,6 lens and 70mm film magazine which had never actually been tested in space before. A second black Hasselblad Electric Camera (HEC) with a Zeiss Planar 80mm ƒ/2,8 lens was used to shoot from inside the Eagle lunar module. A third black HEC was used by astronaut Michael Collins aboard the Command Module Columbia in lunar orbit. Standing up against the intense temperatures and lack of gravity in space, the Hasselblad cameras captured this once in a lifetime moment flawlessly, letting the rest of Earth see what astronauts Aldrin and Armstrong experienced on the Moon. The resulting images taken with the HDC and HEC have not only provided scientific insight but have proven to be legendary marvels recognized the world over. It was the HEC used by Collins that was taken back to Earth, while the HDC and HEC used on the lunar surface and lunar module were left on the Moon to meet narrow weight margins for successful return. As far as we know, they’ve been on the Moon since 1969.

Hasselblad proudly celebrates being the camera that documented the historic Moon landing with the 907X Special Edition. The limited-edition kit includes the 907X camera body and CFV II 50C digital back, both in matte black, just as the HEC that made it back to Earth. On the digital back is the text “On the Moon Since 1969”, commemorating the HDC and HEC left behind on the lunar surface fifty years ago. Together, the 907X and CFV II 50C connect Hasselblad’s photographic history into one system.

Coupling the CFV II 50C with Hasselblad’s smallest medium format camera body ever, the 907X, creates a highly compact mirrorless digital camera. This combination offers a truly distinct photographic experience, including the classic waist-level shooting style of the V System enabled by the CFV II 50C’s tilt screen. With the 907X attached to the CFV II 50C, the photographer gains access to all the high-quality XCD Lenses, providing autofocus and electronic exposure control. Coupled with the XH Adapter, all HC/HCD Lenses can be used on the 907X, along with XPan and V System Lenses in electronic shutter mode with the XPan and XV Lens Adapters, respectively. In addition, the 907X enables compatibility with a wide range of third-party adapters and lenses in electronic shutter mode.

Reminiscent of the classic V System film magazine design, the modern CFV II 50C also works as a stand-alone digital back. Compatible with most V System cameras made from 1957 and onwards, the CFV II 50C can also be used on third party technical or view cameras.

Key features of the 907X Special Edition include:

  • Large medium format 50MP CMOS sensor
  • Up to 14 stops of dynamic range
  • Captures 16-bit RAW images and full resolution JPEGs
  • High-resolution 3.0-inch 920K dot touch and tilt screen
  • Smooth live view experience with a high frame rate of 60fps
  • Focus peaking, enabling more accurate focusing (especially advantageous on the manual-focused V System cameras)
  • Intuitive user interface with swipe and pinch touch controls
  • Internal battery slot with the option to recharge in-camera via the USB-C port (same battery used on the X System)
  • Dual UHS-II SD card slots
  • Integrated Wi-Fi and USB-C connection
  • Portable workflow with Phocus Mobile 2 support

Continuing the celebration, Hasselblad releases a limited edition 50 Years on the Moon merchandise collection, including posters, t-shirts, patches and stickers that commemorate this historical anniversary. The whole collection is available for purchasing here.

The 907X Special Edition has an MSRP of € 6500 / $ 7499 / £ 5825 excl. VAT. Ordering information and availability will be announced later in the year. See more information and technical specs here.

Get the full history about Hasselblad on the Moon, download the legendary images taken on the lunar surface with the HDC and read the original 1969 press release here.

Learn more about Hasselblad in space here.

Nikkei expects Canon profit to drop 40% amid a slowing European economy and slumping chip market

No good news from Canon today! Nikkei Asian Review reports:

TOKYO — Canon‘s operating profit is on track to sink 40% this year to slightly over 200 billion yen ($1.85 billion), Nikkei has learned, amid a slowing European economy and slumping chip market.

The Japanese company’s profit for the year ending in December is seen falling roughly 60 billion yen short of its downgraded guidance in April. Sales likely will shrink 6% to a figure above 3.7 trillion yen, off about 100 billion yen from April’s forecast. The full-year projections are expected to be lowered again when Canon presents first-half earnings next week.

Worsening economic conditions in Europe have caused corporate clients to hold off on investments, softening sales of office equipment and other machinery. The depreciation of the euro against the yen also undercut profitability in exports.

This comes on top of a global market downturn for semiconductors used in data centers and smartphones. Semiconductor manufacturers have withheld capital spending on chipmaking equipment, one of Canon’s products, and deliveries have been postponed.

via CanonWatch