The Past Week in Review: For July 5, 2011
We search for the more interesting and provocative news and views of the past week…just so you don’t have to.
This week we see how computers can control vision, find deals for editing, and hear about the city’s growing start up scene.
Computing Instead of Focusing
We’re moving beyond the standard photographic know-how you may have picked up over the years. Cameras are gaining lens arrays that look like a fly’s eye. This latest trend in vision research–soon to be commercial–make imaging capturing more akin to ‘computational photography’, a melange of computer graphics and traditional imaging.
What’s unique here is that you focus the image after you take it, not before. This means you can move through a still image and pick you focus, much as you might change the depth of field in a film lens (no motion image capture capability has been discussed yet).
That’s what being delivered via a new Mountain View, CA-based startup called Lytro, which plans to ship the first of its cameras at some point later this year. The camera features tens of thousands of micro lenses, which sit before the capturing chip; each is said to function as a kind of superpixel. Lytro gives a simple explanation of the process here.
The Economist’s Babbage blog has a very thorough presentation of the history and science behind light-field photography and a bit of specific info of Lytro’s approach.
Here’s a quick, simpler take by PC magazine
Could Avid & Adobe Take Back Market Share from FCP?
If you are involved in video editing, it’s been pretty hard to miss the hubbub that began with June’s release Final Cut X. We have already covered the issues that are irritating professional editors who have bet their companies or careers around the software. Among the many complaints, most turn up around what was lost between the last Version 7 and the new Version 10: no source monitor, no multi-cam editing, no bins, no windows that can be broken up onto multiple monitors, no usable trim mode, no OMF/AAF export and no EDL support.
As you might imagine, the other ‘A’ list companies involved in editing-Adobe and Avid-are making the most of this kerfuffle by offering discounts to entice editors using Final Cut Pro. Adobe’s offer of 50 percent off of Adobe Creative Suite CS5.5 Production Premium or Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 sounds like a pretty good deal, and you can find more info here.
Adobe quotes Jim Guerard, general manager and vice president of professional video and audio at Adobe as saying that the company has been hearing from pros who want the latest capabilities from their editing software but want something that also allows them “to use legacy footage and workflows”. Ouch.
Adobe’s switcher program is limited to “commercial customers” and is valid through September 30th.
The Splice Now editing blog notes that “In the wake of Apple’s perceived abandonment of the professional editing community” Avid is reinstating their Final Cut Pro “cross-grade” offer on July 5th. Licensed users of FCP (through version 7) will be able to purchase a copy of Media Composer for $999. Students can use Avid’s academic pricing and get MC for $300.
NYC VC Targets Digital Media for Growth
Author João-Pierre S. Ruth writes on the Xconomy website that venture capitalists and early-stage investors in New York on average churn through some 80 start-ups before choosing one. The city’s growing number of start-ups include many in digital media, since our traditional media industry offers a strong foundation for them. Read more here.