Mini-review: Lensbaby LM-10, a fun if pricey accessory for iPhonography fans

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It took a while for Lensbaby’s Kickstarter-funded selective focus lens for the iPhone to make it into production, but the LM-10 is now here and I took it out for a play.

For those not familiar with Lensbaby, the company makes lenses for DSLRs with a bellows lens that provides a small in-focus area, with the rest of the image out of focus. It’s not the same effect as the shallow depth-of-field achieved with a wide-aperture lens, but a less-controllable effect designed to provide fun and unusual images …  Read more

Review: Simplicam, the Dropcam HD competitor that adds face-detection

Home security cameras that send you alerts when they detect movement have been around for a while now. We reviewed Dropcam, one of the better-known names in the business, last October.

The problem, though, is that most movement isn’t likely to be of interest – especially if you have pets or are susceptible to changes in nature from sunlight/wind. What we really want to know is when a person arrives, and that’s what Simplicam aims to deliver through face-detection software. You can thus choose to be notified about any one or more of three types of event: movement, sound and face-detection …  Read more

Claimed schematic again raises suggestion iPhone 6 will have sub-1mm protruding camera lens

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A claimed schematic of the 4.7-inch model of the iPhone 6 appears to support suggestions that the camera lens will protrude, though only by 0.77mm. Posted by Apple Club in Taiwan, it appears to show a 7mm thick casing with the thickest part of the camera extending 0.77mm beyond this.

Suggestions that the quest for thinness might result in an iPod Touch-style protruding camera lens on the iPhone 6 date back to March, and have been supported by claimed backplate photos as recently as this month. There have, though, been conflicting reports, with one suggestion that Apple would be able to avoid this by restricting optical image stabilization to the larger 5.5-inch model …  Read more

KGI: 4.7″ iPhone’s camera may not support optical image stabilization, 5.5″ likely will

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A new research note from KGI indicates that the 4.7-inch model of the iPhone 6 won’t support optical image stabilization due to constraints in the production of VCM suppliers. The larger 5.5-inch version is expected to support the feature, while the smaller device will employ a cheaper motor that’s similar to the one found in the iPhone 5s.

Rather, we predict it will use a middle-mount type of open-loop VCM updated from the one used in the existing iPhone 5S. The 5.5” iPhone 6 is more likely to be equipped with OIS VCM due to lower estimated shipments and the need for more product features to differentiate itself from the 4.7” iPhone 6.

The difference will reportedly be one of the factors that sets the two devices apart, lending further credence to the idea that these will not simply be two internally-identical devices with different display sizes as is currently the case with the iPad its “mini” counterpart.

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Mini-review: Lockscreen Wallpaper Designer, the simple iPhone app for creating prettier lockscreens

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You’d think choosing a photo to use on your iPhone lockscreen would be a pretty simple task. Scroll through your Camera Roll, choose a photo you like, hit Set and you’re done.

The reality is a little different. Half the time the photo you really want to use is landscape format (horizontal) and you need a vertical image. The iPhone will automatically crop it, and allow you to slide the image around to get a crop you like, but the result rarely does justice to the original shot.

The other half of the time, you find a portrait (vertical) photo which looks great on its own but then clashes with the clock and slide to unlock text when you set it as your lockscreen. Lockscreen Wallpaper Designer is a very simple app that aims to solve these problems …  Read more

Former iPhone camera engineers create 360-degree video camera

CENTR, a startup created by a group of former iPhone camera engineers, has developed a video camera that creates 360-degree views, allowing viewers to pan around the image during playback.

CENTR allows you to capture your experiences and share them in a whole new way. Capture 360° video in real-time on a camera that fits in the palm of your hand. With decades of experience working on cameras at Apple, the CENTR team knows what it takes to bring beautiful design and groundbreaking technology together in one product …

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Purported iPhone 6 pictures show protruding camera, rounded edges

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Images posted on Weibo claim to show an iPhone 6 under testing at Foxconn, via GforGames. The validity of these images cannot be confirmed, but the shots do line up with previous rumours. The iPhone 6 depicted here has a protruding camera (similar to the current design of the iPod touch), rounded edges and a considerably thinner profile than the current iPhone 5s.

Supposedly, these photos come from inside Foxconn itself. Drawings published on Friday reflect these images somewhat. A protruding camera component is part of the schematics, for example. Evidence of a thin chassis for the next-generation iPhone were originally found in January, albeit those pictures were as sketchy as these latest images.

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Want to upgrade your iPhone 5s camera to 2k video? All you need is this app …

If you like to use your iPhone to shoot video and Apple offered to upgrade your iPhone 5s from 1080p HD to 2k video for just $7, the decision wouldn’t require much thought. That’s exactly the trick Ultrakam has pulled off with its new iPhone app.

If you’re wondering how a mere app can convert your camera to a higher resolution, it doesn’t: it simply allows the software to use more of the hardware capabilities of your camera. Apple may say that your iPhone 5s has a 1080p HD videocamera, but that’s not quite true: the camera hardware itself is capable of anything up to 3264×2448, it’s just that the software can’t process that many pixels at a sensible frame-rate …  Read more

Apple reportedly acquires SnappyLabs, the company behind the rapid-fire iOS camera app

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According to a new report from TechCrunch, Apple has acquired the photo technology startup SnappyLabs. SnappyLabs is a one-man development team known for creating the SnappyCam app. As the name implies, the big feature of SnappyCam is its ability to take full-resolution images at 20 to 30 frames per second, which is considerably faster than the native Camera app on iOS. The app was sold for $1 on the App Store and was relatively popular, reaching #1 on the paid app chart in nine countries.

SnappyCam, on iPhone, is the fastest smart-phone camera on earth. With it you can easily get that impossible, perfect shot, every time. SnappyCam also shoots unique living photos that capture the entire moment, not just a single snapshot in time. It’s like an interactive flip-book, in full 8 Mpx glory and at high-speed.

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Starbucks now supports redeeming Pick of the Week cards with iOS 7’s camera feature

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Starbucks, this week, updated their iconic Pick of the Week promotion to take advantage of iOS 7’s ability to use the device’s camera to redeem iTunes gift cards. Before that, customers had to pick up a physical card featuring a promo code to redeem the Pick of the Week app and manually type the code into the iTunes Store. Earlier this year, Starbucks began offering the promotion via an App Store app. The pick of the week promotion allows customers pickup cards from participating Starbucks locations and download an app or other piece of iTunes media for free:

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After the (RED) Leica, the (RED) desk (in aluminum, of course)

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Following the interview in which Jony Ives and Marc Newson talked about their collaborative design of the one-off Leica M camera for the (RED) charity auction, the one-of-a-kind desk designed by the two has also been unveiled.

As you might expect, it’s made from machined aluminum, fabricated by renowned aluminum specialists Neal Feay Studio. The design is, though, not quite as minimalist as I’d expected, featuring a mosaic pattern on its surface. More photos below the fold …

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iOS 7 How-to: Redeem iTunes gift cards with your device’s camera

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iTunes gift cards are a great gift for iOS Device users. They can be used to purchase content from the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore. However, entering in the string of characters to redeem the gift card balance has typically been a pain with the touch keyboards on iPads, iPhone, and iPod touches. Like iTunes 11 on the Mac, iOS 7 moves to solve this problem. You can now use your device’s camera to scan in the code.

Go to the main/featured page in whichever store you choose and to get to the redemption screen, scroll all the way down, and press on redeem:

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