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Photo FOMO: Red gets cheaper, Skylum backs A.I., Illustrator teases new tool


Afraid of missing out on the latest photo industry news while you’re out … well, actually taking pictures? Photo FOMO is all the news you might have missed this week, published on the weekends. Alongside the biggest stories of the week, like Fujifilm’s new X-T100, a melted camera at a rocket launch, and a 4V camera from RED and Lucid, find briefs on the latest in accessories and photo industry news from this week with Photo FOMO.

Red drops prices — and Weapon and Epic cameras

Red’s cinema cameras are now a bit more affordable — but there are fewer to choose from. This week, the company pared down its cinema-grade cameras to just three models: The DXMC2 Monstro, the DSMC2 Helium, and the DSMC2 Gemini. The move discontinues the Weapon and Epic-W.

Along with reducing the number of available cameras, the company also dropped the prices on the three remaining models. The Monstro now sits at $54,500, the Helium at $24,500, and the Gemini at 19,500.

“We simplified our portfolio, found efficiencies, and are passing along the benefits to our users,” the company wrote in a statement.

Panasonic GH5, GH5S, and G9 get faster autofocus via firmware

Panasonic owners will want to check for new firmware with the launch of a handful of updates that include performance boosts. On May 23, Panasonic announced new firmware for the GH5, GH5S, and G9 mirrorless cameras. The updates will be available for download beginning May 30.

All three cameras get a boost in the autofocus performance along with better audio recording, new functions, and other smaller improvements. The GH5 and G9 also get enhanced image stabilization (the GH5S doesn’t use in-body stabilization). The G9 also gets a boost to the camera’s high-resolution mode.

Sony sets goals to continue sensor-market dominance

Sony is the biggest producer for sensors that are inside cameras — but that’s not enough for the company. In an annual look at strategy, the company set new goals to dominating the field for sensing applications as well. That means that, along with creating sensors for cameras and smartphones, the company will expand into additional tech relying on sensors, such as the cameras built into cars and other Internet of Things devices.

Photo editor Skylum is researching A.I., integrates Photolemur

Photo software company Skylum (formerly Macphun) is prioritizing artificial intelligence. This week, the company formed a new Skylum A.I. Lab, a research and development team focused on potential machine learning improvements. Heading up the new initiative is Alex Savsunenko, who previously led Let’s Enhance as CEO.

With the announcement, Skylum also shared that Photolemur is now part of the Skylum family. Photolemur is an A.I.-powered photo editing app. As part of Skylum, the company says the Photolemur tech will be used to create a cloud-based batch photo editor to save time by editing multiple photos at once.

“Our A.I. won’t make you any less of a photographer and will help many people see big improvements in their images and less time spent editing. A.I. won’t decide when, where or how to take the decisive image, or what is the best composition, framing option or lighting situation. It can’t ‘take over’ or take away our artistic decisions either,” wrote Alex Tsepko, the Skylum CEO and a co-founder of Photolemur.

“What it can do is empower people, help them to unlock their creativity, and produce work they never imagined possible before. Our A.I. technologies make it possible to get stunning image results that can’t be created with camera settings or ordinary editing.”

Canon’s high-tech sensors are now being sold third-party

Canon has announced a number of technically advanced imaging sensors over the past few years, and now that tech has the chance to be integrated into third-party cameras. Supplier Phase One Technology Corp (not the medium-format camera company) is now selling those Canon sensors for other companies to integrate into their products. 

The sensors are designed for industrial use, but they bring technology firs announced in 2015 into real-world applications. The sensors include the company’s crazy 120-megapixel option, along with a CMOS designed for low light and a global shutter sensor.

Illustrator will soon have diffusion gradients for easily blending colors

Illustrator CC Sneak Peek: Diffusion Gradients | Adobe Creative Cloud

Gradients create a more natural mix of colors, but the current tool that draws a line to determine where one color meets another isn’t as flexible as some designers need. That’s why Adobe is adding a new tool called diffusion gradients to Illustrator. In a sneak peek of the feature, Adobe demonstrated how the new tool works.

Designers place color pinpoints on the digital canvas or within a shape and those colors automatically blend together based on the location of the points. The result is a more organic blend of color, Adobe says. The user can also control the intensity and transparency of that blend. And the biggest perk? Designers can add as many different colors to the blend as they want by adding new color points.

Adobe says the diffusion gradient is coming to Illustrator CC sometime before the end of the year.

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