Photography News: Instagram’s disappearing likes, the best photos of the year

Afraid of missing out on the latest photo industry news while you’re out, well, actually taking pictures? Photography News of the Week is all the news you might have missed this week, published on the weekends. Alongside the biggest stories of the week, like an Etch A Sketch camera and a selfie ban at the biggest single-dish radio telescope, find briefs on the latest in accessories and photography news from this week.

Instagram may stop showing users how many likes a photo has

Instagram posts may ditch the number of likes attached to them and may only share the numbers only with the original poster. In a test that’s not yet public, the bottom of the Instagram post simply reads “liked by [username] and others” without a number attached.

In a pop-up inside the reverse engineered app, Instagram says “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes our posts get.” Instagram confirmed that the feature is part of a prototype, but that it hasn’t yet moved out to public testing. Like any prototype, the feature may never roll out to users — or it may wind up in a future app update.

The Fujifilm X-T3 gains better autofocus via firmware

The Fujifilm X-T3 just got a performance boost without a price change, thanks to free firmware for the mirrorless camera. The update improves face and eye detection autofocus while adding the option to select a specific face when the camera detects multiple people. The autofocus system, in general, improves with enhanced speed for subjects that are “at a distance,” Fujifilm says.

Additional updates include a new double-tap shortcut on the touchscreen, improved autofocus, and auto exposure area tracking through the electronic viewfinder, new flicker reduction options, and other updates.

The Fujifilm X-T30 also has a minor update available, with the firmware 1.01 designed to prevent accidental presses of the quick menu button.

Explore some of the best images of the year from the Sony World Photography Awards

One of the largest photography contests in the world, the Sony Photography Awards, announced photojournalist Federico Borella as the Photographer of the Year. The Italian freelance photographer won the top prize for his series Five Degrees, which looks at the growing number of suicides in Tamil Nadu in southern India as the region faces a drought tied to climate change.

The contest also awarded U.S.-based photographer Christy Lee Rogers the Open Photographer of the Year title for an image called Harmony. Zelle Westfall of Atlanta won the Youth Photographer of the Year for a portrait celebrating diversity, while the contest recognized Sergi Villanueva as the Student Photographer of the Year and Nadav Kander for Outstanding Contribution to Photography. The contest also recognized winners in 10 different professional categories.

The full selection of winning images can be viewed online and will also be displayed at a London gallery this year.

Lexar announces winners for a new photography contest

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Annie Fu

Lexar, working with 500px, announced the winners of a new photography competition, the Lexar Global Photo Contest. The new contest saw 50,000 images submitted worldwide, with this year’s contest focusing on landscape photography.

Annie Fu won the top prize for her image, The Splendor of Bow Lake, along with Elendil for the image Gongga Quodis Arcana. The contest also awarded five photographers for best in show. The gallery of winning images can be viewed online.

Shutterstock uses augmented reality to ‘look before you license’

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Shutterstock

Shutterstock is now using augmented reality to preview wall art. View in Room, a feature on the stock agency’s iOS app, uses the camera phone to display what any of the 250 million images on Shutterstock would look like as wall art. The feature is a result of the company’s hackathon that encouraged employees to come up with new tools for the app.

PowerDVD now supports 8K and 64-bit 4K

What came first, the 8K media player or the 8K screen? This week, CyberLink launched PowerDVD 19, adding 8K support to the video playback software as 8K displays have only just begun to enter the mainstream. The update also expands 4K support to 64-bit for HDR content. Spatial audio for 360 video playback is also listed among the enhancements.

The software, which supports all major file formats as well as DVDs and Blu-ray, is now available starting at $45 for a one-year subscription.

Photography

The Fujifilm GFX100 is a 102-megapixel, stabilized beast of a mirrorless camera

Double-digit megapixels just not enough? The Fujifilm GFX100 boasts the highest resolution yet for a mirrorless camera. But along with those 102 megapixels, the medium format camera offers in-body stabilization, 4K video, and enhanced…
Photography

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera isn't giving you the results you want, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone can touch.
Computing

Should you buy a MacBook Pro or a Razer Blade Stealth? We'll help you decide

Laptop head to heads are a great way to see which one might be the right one for you. Our latest sees the Razer Blade Stealth (2019) vs. MacBook Pro in a fight to see which one deserves to be your next laptop.
Photography

What are mirrorless cameras and are they better than DSLR cameras?

What exactly is a mirrorless camera, and what makes them so special? In this article, we break down the specifics of mirrorless cameras, including how they differ from the likes of a DSLR camera, and what kind of pros and cons are.
Photography

The best Nikon cameras, from DSLRs to superzooms

After reviewing dozens of Nikon cameras, we've rounded up the top models from the mighty D850 to the 125x-zoom P1000. These are the best Nikons you can buy right now.
Social Media

Be the master of your own Insta-verse with multiple Instagram accounts

Whether you own a small business or have separate Instagram accounts for your five cats, we'll walk you through the process of switching between your multiple accounts on your Apple or Android devices.
Photography

Peak Design’s Travel Tripod is must-have gear for photographers on the go

Peak Design has returned to Kickstarter to launch its latest product, the Travel Tripod. The company's first tripod, it uses a unique design with a triangular center column to minimize the volume it takes up in your bag.
Mobile

Treat your selfie with one of these 13 apps made to beautify your pics

Selfies might be a phenomenon second only to karaoke, but they're not the easiest thing in the world to create. Thankfully, these awesome selfie apps for Android and iOS will make beautifying your self-portraits easier than capturing them.
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Photography

What is ISO? A camera's sensitivity to light -- and how to use it -- explained

Curious what ISO is and how it affects your photos? Here's everything you need to know about the fundamental camera setting, including how it impacts exposure and how to properly adjust it for certain scenarios.
Photography

Olympus launches Tough TG-6 waterproof compact, and we’re not entirely sure why

With a spec sheet nearly identical to that of its predecessor, we're having a hard time figuring out what's new about the Olympus Tough TG-6. A new flash diffuser and fisheye adapter were also announced.
Photography

Adobe Premiere Rush now allows Android users to edit video without the laptop

After launching on desktop and iOS, Adobe Premiere Rush, a streamlined video editor, is now available on Android. Premiere Rush is designed for social media projects and non-professional editors.
Social Media

Vertical video haters win the war — Instagram’s IGTV has a horizontal view

Not yet sold on the idea of vertical video? The traditional horizontal aspect ratio is headed to Instagram's IGTV, thanks to today's update. The change allows horizontal images to fill the screen with the device rotated.
Photography

Leica and Lenny Kravitz team up again for special-edition snakeskin rangefinder

How's this for over the top: The Leica M Monochrome Drifter, designed by Lenny Kravitz, uses a vegan python skin wrap and matching strap along with two color-coordinated lenses and a bag. The set will cost nearly $24,000.