It's been a pretty big year for Instagram. So far, it has released several big new features including video and people tagging. To end 2013 on a high note, Instagram announced today that it is launching Instagram Direct - a new private sharing feature. Highlights include:
One of the many photography-oriented announcements made during today's Google+ event was Snapseed's new HDR Scape filter, one which promised to produce awesome photos with a dynamic range that's deliciously high.
Unlike stock camera HDR modes, Vic Gundotra was sure to point out on stage today that Snapseed's HDR Scape filter doesn't approximate tonal mapping effects by measuring pixel brightness, but instead detects pixel edge contrast, which according to Gundotra should produce more realistic effects, close to what you might achieve with a set of bracketed exposures from a "real" camera.
Back at IFA, I got my hands on Sony's QX10 lens camera, one of two such devices the electronics manufacturer announced in Berlin. I wasn't sure what I thought about it then, having only played with it for about a day, but I've spent some quality time with the device since, and I'm ready to lay down my full impression.
For those not quite up to speed, the QX10 (and its higher-end counterpart, the QX100) is a camera in a lens.
Snapchat allows users to send and receive media that disappears after a recipient has opened it, laughed, and - if it's really good - taken a screenshot. It's a nice way to communicate and share content without having to deal with storing and organizing everything that you upload, but sometimes you may want to share a photo with all of your friends at once. Snapchat is rolling out a new feature that lets you share such content for up to 24 hours in a timeline that everyone can see.
Picking out an appropriate Halloween costume becomes gradually more difficult the older you get. It might actually be easier to just be yourself. No, I don't mean to avoid making an effort entirely. Just take a look at PopMask, a company that will make a mask out of any face you take a picture of with your smartphone or any other camera. They will then mail the comical creation to you for just $20, shipping included.
The Muku Shuttr is a simple piece of hardware that reached its Kickstarter funding goal in under a week, ending its campaign with almost ten times its original goal. It appeared an audience was ready and waiting for a mobile camera remote shutter.
I'm generally fascinated by the variety of mobile photography accessories pouring out of Kickstarter lately (I eagerly backed the Lumu light meter and am awaiting my unit now), and naturally wanted to give Shuttr a try.
According to the aptly-named New Cell Phones Blog, photos of the "4.3-inch or 4.5-inch" Droid 5 have surfaced, which would confirm that Moto has another QWERTY slide-out keyboard in the works. The photos come to New Cell Phones courtesy of Weibo and show off a wireless charging coil. Other rumored features evidently include NFC and a resistance to both water and dust.
Nothing else is known about these photos, their veracity, or Motorola's plans for a Droid 5, but we'll certainly keep you updated when and if more details emerge.
HTC's yet-unannounced Zara isn't exactly a stranger to the rumor circuit. We've heard all the important specs, but @evleaks has just given us a look at what appears to be a slightly censored press shot.
For those who may not remember, the Zara is rumored to be the midrange lovechild of the One and Desire lines, with (according to @evleaks) a dual core 1.2GHz processor, a 4.5" qHD (960x540) display, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage (expandable via microSD), a 2100mAh battery pack, and Android 4.3 with Sense 5.5 on top.
There seems to be a surge of mobile photography accessories on Kickstarter these days. Really, the trend makes sense – mobile manufacturers consistently tout their handsets' camera capabilities, and most everyone is prone to snapping shots with their phones. The desire to get better quality photos out of the most convenient cameras around is natural.