Apollo Surface Panoramas houses the photographic panoramas taken by the Apollo astronauts while hanging out on the Moon.
The imagess are stitched together from individual 70mm Hasselblad frames, which you can also find in the Lunar and Planetary Institute’s online catalog.
To explore the 32-megapixel images, just use the pan and zoom controls at the bottom righthand corner.
Why not just leave it in Superior Auto? Multishot modes like these rapidly take photos and overlay them to help remove blur, correct exposure, and reduce noise. However, they don’t work well with moving subjects and they require additional in-camera image processing so they take longer than a simple snapshot taken with Intelligent Auto and other single-shot modes. If there’s a chance your subject might be moving–even slightly–while you’re shooting I’d stick with Intelligent Auto. Also, these multishot modes plus 12 other standard scenes are available in the WX10′s SCN mode so you can always pick the appropriate one when you need it. That said, Superior Auto does allow you to take full advantage of the camera’s capabilities in an automatic mode.
Along with these options there’s Sony’s Intelligent Sweep Panorama mode for capturing horizontal or vertical panoramas with one press of the shutter release; this is unlike other cameras that require you to take several shots. Intelligent Sweep separates itself from Sony’s regular Sweep Panorama by automatically detecting faces and moving subjects to avoid distortion. It’s definitely one of those features you might not care about until you try it. Once you realize that it’s fun and works well, you end up using it all the time. Added in to this mode is a high-resolution option that produces larger and better-looking results. And by larger I mean huge: the resolution is 10,480×4,096, and a single shot can be more than 20MB.
The WX10′s movie mode is capable of recording at HD resolutions up to 1,920×1,080 pixels in either AVCHD or MPEG-4 formats with use of the optical zoom while recording. Though you can actually enter a dedicated movie mode, you can also just press the record button anytime you want to start shooting. Pressing the shutter release while you’re recording will grab 3-megapixel stills, too.
Lastly, there are three 3D shooting modes. The 3D Sweep Panorama works just like the Intelligent Sweep, but creates both a normal panorama shot and one that can be viewed in 3D on a 3D-enabled HDTV. As you sweep the camera it shoots separate photos for the left and right eyes, which is how it’s able to create 3D images with just one lens. The Sweep Multi Angle works similarly by taking 15 photos at different angles as you sweep across a scene. The camera then coverts those into one photo. By tilting the camera back and forth during playback, the camera’s built-in gyro sensor displays the image in a 3D-like view on the camera’s LCD. Finally, there’s the 3D still image mode that quickly takes two shots, analyzes subject distance between foreground and background, and creates a single 3D photo. The results are OK, but there’s definitely room for improvement. For example, the modes can’t handle anything moving, so it’s really just for landscapes or stationary subjects. Also, it’s pretty easy to see the image slices that are stitched together. Still, if you were already planning to buy an ultracompact camera and have already started collecting 3D equipment, this is one more reason to pick up the WX10.
The WX10′s shooting performance is pretty quick, which is the case for all of Sony’s Exmor R-based cameras I’ve tested. From off to first shot is 1.3 seconds with a shot-to-shot time of 1 second. Turning on the flash, though, slows the camera down to 3.3 seconds between shots. Its shutter lag–how quickly a camera captures an image after the shutter-release button is pressed–is good at 0.4 second in bright lighting and 0.7 second in dim conditions with less subject contrast. The camera’s burst shooting mode is capable of up to 10fps. This burst shooting sets focus and exposure with the first shot, and once you’ve fired, you’re stuck waiting for the camera to save the photos, generally two seconds per photo.
With all its capabilities, Sony managed to keep the overall design and usability pretty simple. The biggest issue is that the control panel on back is very cramped with a shooting mode dial, control pad, movie record button, and three other small buttons. Really, it’s the price you pay to get a camera this small, but those with bigger hands will probably want to try it before buying. The screen is large and bright making it easy to see in bright conditions (you’ll still struggle in direct sun, though).
Menus are easy enough to navigate, and if you’re not sure what something does, there’s a full manual stored on the camera available at the press of a button. Though most people familiar with digital cameras will have no problems using the WS10 out of the box, some of the shooting modes have a lot of settings and limitations. It might take some time to get acquainted with all this camera can do.
There are a couple other design things to be aware of. For some of its 2011 Cyber-shots including the WX10, Sony switched to charging the camera battery in the camera via USB. You can charge it by connecting to a computer or the included wall adapter. However, it’s a proprietary port on the camera so if you lose the cable, you’ll have to buy one from Sony. Also, the battery life is a CIPA-rated 360 shots, which is really very good. But, if you’re shooting a lot video, have the display brightness cranked up, or using a lot of the multishot modes or burst shooting, this will cut into your battery life. If you buy a backup battery you’ll probably want to buy an external charger as well, or just plan ahead.
Like the rest of Sony’s Exmor R-based cameras, the Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 is loaded with a lot of fun and useful features to help you get the best looking photos with the least effort. And for those that want to
tinker with settings, there’s stuff here for you, too. However, the WX10 also turned out some of the softest photos I’ve seen from a Sony camera this year. If you rarely blow up your photos and don’t do a lot
of heavy cropping, you’ll probably never notice these things. But if you need larger prints and a lack of sharpness bothers you and you’re not one to sharpen photos with software, you should probably skip this camera.
Find out more about how we test digital cameras.
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In “TrollHunter”, student filmmakers from a local college in Norway are making a documentary about bear hunting in the area. Local farmers have recently found their cattle and sheep savagely killed and feel a rouge bear is responsible. Bear hunting is heavily regulated in Norway and only registered hunters can participate in a hunt.
This appears to be a simple student film project consisting of countryside panoramas, live interviews with farmers and hunters, dead livestock and the end result of the dead predator on film. Everything appears routine, except the hard-boiled hunters are collectively disturbed by the presence of a poacher who they feel is out to bag the bear and steal off into the night. The filmmakers are curious and decide to try and find the camp of this intruder.
The juices of journalistic investigation start to heat up when they discover the odd trappings of the poacher’s trailer and actually meet him face to face. He is rough in appearance and indifferent to their inquiries. All they can find out is his name is Hans and he isn’t a poacher at all. He is a trollhunter.
After suppressing their laughter, the students decide to follow this trollhunter and find out what he is really looking for.
“TrollHunter” combines the spontaneous sense of discovery and accompanying fear of “The Blair Witch Project” (1999) with the menace and impending death of “Cloverfield” (2005). Luckily, this film has the redemptive elements of steady camera work and a progressive storyline. The beautiful scenery of the Norwegian fjord country complements the film without distracting from its unusual theme.
Writer/director Andre Ovredal establishes the improbable existence of trolls in modern Norway then proceeds with a trove of troll lore from eating habits, fear of sunlight, mating, aging and the various species of trolls from woodland to mountain kings. This constant deluge of information weaves a convincing tale of the threat of these mythological mammals actually living among contemporary Norwegians.
The special effects reveal just enough of the trolls to maintain a healthy level of curiosity as the same trolls are never encountered twice. This is a very entertaining film.
“TrollHunter” elicits laughter from the audience with a secret government agency known as TSS (Troll Security Service) and the bureaucratic paper jam of filling out an official “Slayed Troll Form” whenever a troll is killed. Aside from that, troll hunting is serious business, especially when a truly big one becomes the primary focus of the hunt.
“TrollHunter” is in Norwegian with English subtitles. It is playing exclusively at the Lyric Cinema Café. Visit www.lyriccinemacafe.com for show times.
Occipital, a Boulder, Colorado-based startup, has raised $7 million in Series A financing led by the Boulder-based venture firm Foundry Group. Occipital is developing software designed to improve the capabilities of smartphone cameras.
Today we’re announcing that we just raised 7M in Series A led by Foundry Group, representing the first major investment in Occipital.
Over the last year, what we’ve launched publicly is 360 Panorama – a popular app which lets you capture panoramas in seconds and share them as interactive 360 views. But what you might not know is that 360 Panorama is just the tip of the iceberg.
Your smartphone’s computational reach into its surroundings ends at its touchscreen surface. To your device, the real world isn’t a canvas of interactivity. Instead, it’s little more than a grid of pixels that might as well be random. We’re changing that. We’re using computer vision to make real world environments computationally interactive and fun, thereby extending the computational reach of your device into the visual space around you.
This concept is bigger than Occipital can handle alone, so we’re launching a platform that other developers can leverage. We’ll take care of the computer vision, allowing developers to focus on creating new experiences.
We’re also announcing new additions to our board of directors – Jason Mendelson and Brad Feld of Foundry Group, Manu Kumar of K9 Ventures and Gary Bradski of Willow Garage.
We’ve known Jason and Brad since 2008 when we joined TechStars. We’ve experienced first-hand their open and engaged approach to helping entrepreneurs. Jason, Brad, and the whole Foundry team, are awesome, and as part of their HCI theme, they share our belief that computer vision will fundamentally change the way we interact with our surroundings.
Dr. Manu Kumar is a successful entrepreneur, founder of K9 Ventures, and has a PhD from Stanford in eye-tracking HCI. We can’t overstate how helpful he has been since we met him three years ago. It’s about time we figured out how to work together officially.
Dr. Gary Bradski is the creator of OpenCV – a computer vision library used by thousands of computer vision researchers and engineers around the world. These days he’s Senior Scientist at Willow Garage where he works on advancing the state of robot vision. Gary agrees that we’re on the cusp of something huge in mobile computer vision and he significantly expands the technical gravity of our board of directors.
Welcome, everyone, to the Occipital team.
It’s going to be a wild ride – and where we’re going, we don’t need roads.