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CES 2018 Robots closer to realistic home use

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They’re not quite there yet but CES 2018 showed many robots are close to delivering on their promise as true human helpers.Image Matrix Tech Editor Djuro Sen reports.

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Apple

Apple’s Latest Privacy Ad Reminds Me How Much I Miss Safari on Windows

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Apple’s latest privacy campaign got me thinking, remember when Safari used to be on Windows?

I sure do.

After shaky start Safari became a genuine choice on Windows. It was my preferred browser on both Mac and Windows for about five years. It launched in 2007 then discontinued on PCs in 2012 just as Chrome was really taking off. It was such a shame as using the same browser on different platforms is a far more secure way to operate online. I have to do that with Chrome now.

“We think Windows users are going to be really impressed when they see how fast and intuitive web browsing can be with Safari”, said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.

“Hundreds of millions of Windows users already use iTunes, and we look forward to turning them on to Safari’s superior browsing experience too”.

Apple Introduces Safari for Windows in 2007

Today, Google Chrome dominates the browser market with a 65% share followed by Safari at 18%. Obviously Safari is massive on Apple devices but with Chrome being cross-platform it has a sizeable install base of 30% on iPhones for example.

Privacy on iPhone :: Credit Apple 

Apple’s new privacy ad – embedded above – is essentially telling Internet users they are always being watched if they aren’t on Safari. And it’s a valid claim. Despite common beginnings, not all browsers are equal when it comes to privacy.

Privacy on iPhone :: Credit Apple 

The video is a modern take on Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ with security cameras (representing Internet trackers) taking the place of the birds.

Essentially data companies can track you across multiple websites if your browser isn’t locked down. Your location information can be collected without your permission and while handy, web extensions can also violate your privacy.

Privacy on iPhone :: Credit Apple 

Even private browsing modes don’t actually delivery on privacy promises, giving the user a false sense of security.

Privacy on iPhone :: Credit Apple

Apple wants Internet users to know that Safari prevents cross-site tracking, helps protect your location data, has privacy-preserving web extensions and state-of-the-art Private Browsing mode, with real protections.

Privacy on iPhone :: Credit Apple 

In 2005 Safari was the first browser to start blocking third party cookies then in 2019 it became the first browser to block all third party cookies. Safari also hides your IP address from known trackers. The great thing about Intelligent Tracking Prevention – it’s on by default.  

SLIDE TO SEE SETTINGS FOR PRIVACY

Safari was also the first browser to introduce a Private Browsing mode in 2005. Private Browsing doesn’t save the web pages you visited, the searches you’ve made, or your AutoFill information.

There’s a great blogpost on WebKit.org that takes you through all the aspects of Private Browsing. Click here to check it out.

When it comes to secure browsing for me, I use Safari Private Browsing with Express VPN for maximum privacy.

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Cameras

EOS R1 will be Tested at Olympics as Canon Also Confirms R5 Mark II

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Canon has confirmed the specifications and features of its new flagship, the EOS R1 mirrorless professional camera. The company also announced an update to the R5, the EOS R5 Mark II.

Both cameras have two processors – the DIGIC Accelerator and the high-performance DIGIC X image processor. As you can see by the table below the new cameras share a lot of technologies but they are very different beasts.

Camera Specifications

Key Specifications

Specification EOS R1 EOS R5 Mark II
Sensor 24.2 MP full frame back-illuminated stacked sensor 45 MP full frame back-illuminated stacked sensor
Pre-continuous shooting Up to 20 frames Up to 15 frames
Continuous shooting rate 40fps 30fps
Customisable continuous shooting speed Yes Yes
Blackout-free EVF 9.44M dots 5.76M dots
Processor New processor DIGIC Accelerator and Accelerated Capture New processor DIGIC Accelerator and Accelerated Capture
Image and Noise Reduction In-camera upscaling and Neural Network Noise Reduction In-camera upscaling and Neural Network Noise Reduction
Grip Integrated vertical grip Optional grips available
Design Compact and lightweight Compact and lightweight
Auto Focus Dual Pixel Intelligent AF
Registered people priority
Action priority
Enhanced eye-control AF performance
Focus down to -7.5EV
Cross AF
2-Stage AF-ON button
Dual Pixel Intelligent AF
Registered people priority
Action priority
Enhanced eye-control AF performance
Focus down to -6.5EV
Image Stabilisation Up to 8.5 stops of Image Stabilisation Up to 8.5 stops of Image Stabilisation
Video 6K 60p RAW with 4K video at up to 120p and 60p oversampled from 6K 8K 60p RAW with 4K video at up to 120p and 60p oversampled from 8K
Compatibility Extra compatibility with EOS VR System Extra compatibility with EOS VR System
Picture Support Custom Picture support
XF-HEVC S/XF-AVC S
Canon Log 2/Log 3
LPCM/24bit/4CH audio
Dual shooting (still and movie)
Proxy movie support
Custom Picture support
XF-HEVC S/XF-AVC S
Canon Log 2/Log 3
LPCM/24bit/4CH audio
Dual shooting (still and movie)
Proxy movie support
Monitor Waveform monitor Waveform monitor
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6E
2.5Gbps Ethernet in-camera
Dual threaded FTP transfer
Wi-Fi 6E
Dual threaded FTP transfer

The R1 is all about nailing the shot. It’s squarely aimed at sports, news and wildlife photographers. That’s why it ‘only’ has a 24.2 MP full frame back-illuminated stacked sensor and not 32 MP plus.

“The R1 is all about nailing the shot”

When you shoot subjects like sport, news and wildlife, you only get one chance to nail the shot. I wish the R1 had a global shutter and I wish it had more megapixels but in the end it’s about locking onto your subject and not letting go.

The R1 has a new Cross Type AF system that excels when shooting through a tennis net, picking out smaller subjects and locking on to vertical detail in situations where horizontal detail is missing from the subject under the AF area.

Its first big test will be at the upcoming Paris Olympic Games.

I think it’s fair to say the R1 should have been called the R3 Mark II. It makes sense given the logical improvements. But having used it – it absolutely feels like a Canon flagship in the hand. You can blast away for ten seconds before hitting a bottleneck.

I’m not here to defend Canon but I’ve seen some of the commentary about the R1 and it’s way off base. This camera is for pros and it’s built like a tank. It’s 24 MP for a reason and that’s performance.

“It’s 24 MP for a reason and that’s performance”

During the preview session at URBNSURF SYDNEY we got to test just how accurate the autofocus and subject tracking is on the R1. The new Canon flagship can rattle off 40 frames per second with electronic shutter active and up to 20 frames of pre-continuous shooting.

Although we were given pre-production models to play with the R1’s insanely fast autofocus and sticky subject tracking nailed every single shot. There wasn’t much time to dig into the settings so for the most part it was spray and pray.

We were restricted to JPEGs as RAW compatibility is not yet available. However, I did capture RAW shots simultaneously to see how well the camera handled the data stream. It had no problem.

Here are some R1 examples.

CREDIT: DJURO SEN – CANON R1 + RF 600MM F4 :: 1/3200 – f/4 – ISO 200

CREDIT: DJURO SEN – CANON R1 + RF 600MM F4 :: 1/3200 – f/4 – ISO 250

CREDIT: DJURO SEN – CANON R1 + RF 400MM F2.8 :: 1/2000 – f/2.8 – ISO 100

CREDIT: DJURO SEN – CANON R1 + RF 600MM F4 :: 1/2500 – f/4.5 – ISO 200

The R1 shots above are either as framed or cropped slightly. Keep in mind you only have 6000 x 4000 pixels to play with so it’s best to nail the frame in the moment. However, there will be times when you have to crop in substantially.

Users can also crop and upscale in-camera making it that much easier to send out photos without editing via separate applications.

But even when doing a standard crop in post, the results are excellent. The examples below show the full frame and the crop. I was pretty happy with the way they held up. If it was a breaking news story you wouldn’t even notice. Just drag the slider to compare.

CREDIT: DJURO SEN – CANON R1 + RF 600MM F4 :: 1/3200 – f/4.5 – ISO 320

The next shot comparison also demonstrates that it’s pretty much impossible to shoot your subject out of focus. The water was closing in and the surfer was facing away from the camera. This is what matters – not super high resolution.

CREDIT: DJURO SEN – CANON R1 + RF 600MM F4 :: 1/2500 – f/4.5 – ISO 160

Both cameras feature the latest version of Dual Pixel CMOS – Dual Pixel Intelligent AF. It has the ability to more accurately track subjects, by identifying the face and upper bodies of players and avoiding obstacles or other players. The videos below show how the new features work.

REGISTER PEOPLE PRIORITY

On top of that, a photographer can register specific faces so the camera can track and give priority to players in a football game for example. You can list up to 10 faces.

ACTION PRIORITY is a new mode that automatically identifies common action poses in basketball, soccer and volleyball.

ACTION PRIORITY

Canon MUST expand this to other sports. It ensures during the chaotic action on the pitch, the camera will lock onto the player most relevant to the ball. Believe me, this is incredible.

“Canon MUST expand this to other sports”

This is hands down the best new feature on the R1 and R5 II.

ACTION PRIORITY

EYE-CONTROL AF has been improved from the R3 and is available in both of the new models. A higher pixel count sensor, enhanced LEDs, a larger eye detection area, and an updated detection algorithm all combined for a more manageable way to select a subject.

EYE-CONTROL AF

THE SENSORS on the R1 and R5 II offer faster shooting speeds and faster sensor readout with a 40% reduction of rolling shutter compared with the R3. This puts the R1 on the same level as the mechanical shutter in the EOS-1D X Mark III. The R5 II has a massive 60% reduction in rolling shutter compared with the original R5.

The cameras feature a pre-continuous shooting function offering up to 20 frames (for EOS R1) and 15 frames (for EOS R5 Mark II) to be captured in HEIF/JPEG or RAW format at any frame rate before the shutter is pressed.

The viewfinders are big and bright. The R1 has the highest resolution at a staggering 9.44M dots and the EOS R5 Mark II is twice as bright as the R5. When I first picked up the R5 II it was very noticeable.

Both cameras feature up to 8.5 stops of image stabilisation performance in the centre and 7.5 stops at peripheral.

When it comes to the R5 II you have plenty of resolution to play with thanks to a 45 MP full frame back-illuminated stacked sensor. Take a look at this static shot below and just how good the crop turns out.

EOS R5 II OFFERS OUTSTANDING CLARITY WHEN CROPPING THANKS TO ITS 45 MP SENSOR

VIDEO

The R1 and R5 II can also support Canon’s cinema line with the R1 able to shoot
Canon Log 2 & Canon Log 3. Canon Log 2 enables shooting with dynamic range of up to 16 stops. The R1 shoots at 6K 60fps or 4K at 120fps, along with Full HD at 240fps.

Recording Specifications

R1 Recording Specifications

Specification Details
Format XF-HEVC S / XF-AVC S
Recording format RAW: Yes
HEVC: YCC422 10 bit / YCC420 10 bit
AVC: YCC422 10 bit / YCC420 8 bit
Movie recording size Resolution: RAW / SRAW / 4K-D / 4K-U / 2K-D / Full HD
Frame rate (fps) 236.76 / 200.00 / 119.88 / 100.00 / 59.94 / 50.00 / 29.97 / 25.00 / 24.00 / 23.98
RAW format Standard RAW / Light RAW
Compression method High Quality Intra / Standard Intra / Light Intra / Standard LGOP / Light LGOP
Image quality Fine / Normal
High Frame Rate movies Yes
Movie cropping Yes
HDR movies No
Time-lapse movies No
Custom Picture Yes
Audio format LPCM / 24bit / 4CH; AAC / 16bit / 2CH
Built-in microphone Monaural
Pre-recording Yes
Tally lamp Yes
Max. recording time per recording Normal movies: 6 hr. (59.94 fps or less)
HDMI RAW output Yes
Dual shooting (still & movie) Yes

If video is a major part of your work than the R5 II is the camera for you. Check out the 8K video below shot handheld with the RF 70-200mm zoom lens.

8K/25p Video from the r5 ii SHOT HANDHELD WITH RF 70-200MM :: CREDIT: DJURO SEN

Again, the inclusion of Canon Log 2 & Canon Log 3 is a massive deal for videographers. The R5 II really makes the case at the ultimate all rounder.

With its larger megapixel count and excellent video capabilities, it’s going to sell very well. It can shoot 8K/60p from the full width of the sensor and 12-bit RAW recording internally, along with 4K video at up to 120p with sound.

R5 MARK II 4K/100P SLOWMO VIDEO SHOT HANDHELD AND WITH MONOPOD

There’s also the possibility to record video proxies, industry-standard file naming, and structured folders to enhance post-production workflows. Shooting footage for immersive video is also made easier with enhanced preview and playback navigation.

Recording Specifications

R5 II Recording Specifications

Specification Details
Format XF / HEVC S / XF AVC S
Recording format RAW: Yes
HEVC: YCC422 10 bit / YCC420 10 bit
AVC: YCC422 10 bit / YCC420 8 bit
Movie recording size Resolution: RAW / SRAW / 8K D / 8K U / 4K D / 4K U / 2K D / Full HD
Frame rate (fps) 236.76 / 200.00 / 119.88 / 100.00 / 59.94 / 50.00 / 29.97 / 25.00 / 24.00 / 23.98
RAW format Standard RAW / Light RAW
Compression method High Quality Intra / Standard Intra / Light Intra / Standard LGOP / Light LGOP
Image quality Fine / Normal
High Frame Rate movies With audio: Yes
Without audio: Yes
Movie cropping Yes
HDR movies Yes (HDR movie mode)
Time-lapse movies Yes
Custom Picture Yes
Audio format LPCM / 24bit / 4CH, AAC / 16bit / 2CH
Built-in microphone Monaural
Pre-recording Yes
Tally lamp Yes
Cooling fan setting Yes
Max. recording time per recording Normal movies: 6 hr. (59.94 fps or less)
HDMI RAW output Yes
Dual shooting (still & movie) Yes

There’s a new higher performance LP-E6P battery to handle the extra workload. To combat overheating a Cooling Fan Grip has been specifically designed to extend shooting periods. That’s a separate purchase.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

EOS R1 is priced at A$10,999 RRP (including GST)

The EOS R1 is scheduled to be available in Australia from November 2024.

EOS R5 Mark II at A$6,699 RRP (including GST).

EOS R5 Mark II from August 2024.

Looking around, dealers are already offering A$500 discounts.

This is the first of several reports on the R1and R5 Mark II so stay tuned.

FULL SPECS FOR BOTH CAMERAS BELOW

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NASA

Massive Artemis Moon Rocket Stage Begins Journey to Florida

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This is a big moment for NASA’s first crewed mission to the Moon under the Artemis campaign.

The 1500 kilometre journey to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida has begun for the core stage of the Artemis II test flight. Special transporters were used to manoeuvre the massive stage from inside NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to the agency’s Pegasus barge.

The barge will make its way to Florida where engineers will prepare it in the Vehicle Assembly Building for attachment to other rocket and Orion spacecraft elements.

Barge Pegasus Facts

  • Length: 310 feet (94.4 meters)
  • Width: 50 feet (15.24 meters)
  • Usable cargo deck length: 240 feet (73.15 meters)
  • Usable cargo deck width: 36 feet (10.97 meters)
  • Usable cargo deck height: 41 feet (12.49 meters)
  • On-Board Power: Three 200 kilowatt generators
  • Engines: None. Tugboats or towing vessels are required to move the barge.

“With Artemis, we’ve set our sights on doing something big and incredibly complex that will inspire a new generation, advance our scientific endeavors, and move U.S. competitiveness forward,” said Catherine Koerner, associate administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

“The SLS rocket is a key component of our efforts to develop a long-term presence at the Moon.”

NASA/Michael DeMocker

The Boeing-built rocket stage, which is the largest component of the Artemis II mission, is 64 metres (212 feet) tall. It consists of five major elements, including two huge propellant tanks that collectively hold more than 2.8 million litres (733,000 gallons) of super-chilled liquid propellant to feed four RS-25 engines.

The stage will produce 2 million pounds (907,186 kg) of thrust during flight and will operate for just over eight minutes.

The mission will send a four-astronaut crew around the moon and back in 2025 CREDIT: NASA

“The delivery of the SLS (Space Launch System) core stage for Artemis II to Kennedy Space Center signals a shift from manufacturing to launch readiness as teams continue to make progress on hardware for all major elements for future SLS rockets,” said John Honeycutt, SLS program manager at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

“We are motivated by the success of Artemis I and focused on working toward the first crewed flight under Artemis.”

CREDIT: Boeing

After arrival at NASA Kennedy, the stage will undergo additional outfitting inside the Vehicle Assembly Building. Engineers then will join it with the segments that form the rocket’s twin solid rocket boosters.

Building, assembling, and transporting the SLS core stage is a collaborative effort for NASA, Boeing, and lead RS-25 engines contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies company. All 10 NASA centres contribute to its development with more than 1,100 companies across the United States contributing to its production. 

Image Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

“Boeing-built products helped land humankind on the moon in 1969, and we’re proud to continue that legacy through the Artemis generation,” said Dave Dutcher, vice president and program manager for Boeing’s SLS program.

“Together, with NASA and our industry partners and suppliers, we are building the world’s most capable rocket and paving the way to deep space through America’s rocket factory in New Orleans.”

SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon in a single launch.

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