K|Lens Launches Light Field Lens | The Photography News Show #29

by alessandro_carpentiero

K|Lens has unveiled the K|Lens One, the world’s first light field lens that can be used with any full-frame camera. We then have the biggest camera ever built, a Bluetooth editing controller, and much more. Here’s the best news I’ve selected for “The Photography News Show”!


K|Lens One Light Field Lens

Lenses are awesome, and they’re constantly being improved in terms of sharpness, image quality, distortions, and all that. Still, they capture a 2D image, and if you miss focus, well, there’s nothing much you can do about it. What’s the future of lenses looking like? 

German-based startup K|Lens has been working on something very interesting, that might change the way we think about lenses. The K|Lens One is, in fact, the world’s first light field lens that can be used with any full-frame camera.

This means that besides capturing the normal image, it also captures depth information, unlocking new creative possibilities in post-processing. For example, you can select objects based on their depth, refocus your shot, expand the depth of field, do stereoscopic photography, and much more.

To get all this you would normally need a multi-camera setup, so how does this lens work? It uses an internal system of mirrors that creates 9 images from slightly different perspectives, which is like positioning 9 cameras very close to each other and shooting 9 different pictures.

Of course, generating 9 images from a single sensor will equal a lower resolution, but if you use a high-megapixel camera such as the Sony A7RIV, you will still have enough pixels. To access all the special functionalities of this lens you need to use its own software that calculates a depth map for every image, and thanks to its algorithms, the single image generated will have almost half of the sensor’s resolution.

It has a focal length of 80mm, it weighs 1,7kg, and it launches on Kickstarter today for $2,000, which is 50% less than the price it will have once it will hit the market. I believe this is an exciting product as it can open new possibilities for photos and videos, ultimately expanding our creative possibilities.


3.2-Gigapixel Camera: the Legacy Survey of Space and Time

We’re most likely going to see 100-megapixel full-frame cameras in the coming years, but what if I’d tell you there’s a camera with 3.2-gigapixel? I’m talking about the world’s largest digital camera, called the “Legacy Survey of Space and Time”, which is currently being finalized and will be mounted in the future on the Vera Rubin Observatory in Chile.

Credit: Rubin Obs/NSF/AURA

It’s composed of an array of sensors and six massive filters that can be changed depending on the light conditions. Besides its massive resolution, it also has massive dimensions, and one of the challenges will be to move the whole system up to the observatory. Once there, it will help scientists deepen their understanding of the Milky Way, dark matter, and other phenomena.

Credit: Rubin Obs/NSF/AURA
Credit: Rubin Obs/NSF/AURA

Sony Pauses Production for a7II and a6400

While getting back on Earth, the global chip shortage is still affecting the industry. This week Sony published a press release where it stated that it has suspended the production of all the a7II series and a6400 cameras so that it can use the micro conductors for its newer cameras. When will the situation improve? Let’s wait and see.


Donut X1, the World’s First Bi-Rotor Ducted Drone

What happens when a drone meets a donut? A Dronut is born.

And no, I’m not kidding.

US manufacturer Cleo Robotics has announced the Dronut X1, the world’s first bi-rotor ducted drone. It’s super small, and thanks to the completely enclosed propellers and the advanced sensors, it can fly safely in high-risk environments where you can’t rely on GPS.

It might look like a toy, but it’s packed with technology, something that is clearly visible from its whopping price of $9,800. Of course, the Dronut X1 is designed for industrial inspection, law enforcement, and defense industries, but we have to look at it with the future in mind. In fact, we’ve seen countless times in the past how innovation in the defense or aerospace industry eventually brings innovation to the consumer world. So I’m pretty sure we’ll have flying donuts from the major drones manufacturers in the future.


TourBox Elite Bluetooth Controller

Editing plays a big part in the creative process, and it’s usually more time-consuming than the shooting part. So, how can you speed it up? A fast computer helps, a graphic tablet too, but how about an editing controller?

This week I have for you the TourBox Elite, a super customizable Bluetooth controller that can speed up your workflow in Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere, and a ton of other software.

The company states that the TourBox can completely replace a keyboard while making editing more natural, and it also comes with a wide-band vibration motor to simulate the haptic touch.
I personally rely a ton on all the keyboard shortcuts, and I’d be curious to test one of these out.


2021 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Winners

In this segment, I feature the most interesting pictures I’ve seen on the web!

Wildlife photography is usually super serious and dramatic, but sometimes animals might not be in the most flattering pose. This week I have for you the winners of the 2021 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

© John Speirs – I Guess Summer is Over
© Chee Kee Teo – Time for School
© Roland Kranitz – I Got You

With hilarious titles and weird poses, this is surely a different approach to wildlife photography that can put a smile on your face. The competition was free to enter, and 10% of the revenue will be donated to the Save Wild Orangutans organization.

And as usual, you can find all the awarded shots in the link in the description.


NVIDIA GauGAN2 Text to Image

Image by Capture One

Some episodes ago, I showed you how the Nvidia Canvas app could generate incredible photos starting from doodles. This week, Nvidia is back with a new app called “GauGAN2”, where you can generate images starting from a simple text. I tried to write “Tropical island”, and the app generated an image with exactly that. The image kept updating based on the new text I’d input, and I even tried some creative filters that would change the atmosphere of the shot. You can play with this yourself from this link, and I’m curious to see how AI will affect the future of photography.

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