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Visual China Group has acquired photography platform 500px


[Update: Create your own lenses from within the app] Snapchat's Lens Studio will let anyone make and publish Augmented Reality 'Lenses'

Snapchat is an inexplicably popular service, but you know what it's missing? There just aren't enough augmented reality filters (known as Lenses) for your snaps, right? True or not, Snap has announced a new tool called Lens Studio that will let anyone create augmented reality objects and publish them for other Snapchat users.

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[Compress this!] Google issues a machine learning challenge to build a better JPEG

When you navigate to a website on your expensive new Android device, or try to view an image that someone has sent you on your gorgeous Super AMOLED Quad HD display, the last thing you want is to find yourself standing there, waiting for a progress bar to crawl across the screen, or to squint angrily at the spinning loading icon as it sputters.

(Did you know that the loading icon is called a “throbber”? I just found out, and I’m now stuck on the idea of a “sputtering throbber.” That’s neither here nor there.)

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Google launches two new gimmicky photography apps on Android

Google is wild for all this machine learning and computational photography stuff lately. That's good because it has led to innovations like HDR+ and Google Photos. Google's researchers are also constantly coming up with neat little demos, some of which are packaged up as apps. Case in point, the newly launched Storyboard and Selfissimo apps in the Play Store. You can check them out right now, but don't expect a lot of functionality. Both apps are one-trick-ponies.

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ElsiePic wants to kill the selfie by crowdsourcing photographers near you

If there's one thing that annoys me more than almost anything else, it's the selfie stick. If you use one, I'm sorry, I really am, but I just can't stand them. Walking around packed central London streets is hard enough without people flapping about with creepy telescopic camera mounts. So when a company says they want to kill the selfie, and by virtue also the selfie stick, I'm all ears.

ElsiePic is a new app with an interesting premise. It's essentially a crowdsourcing app for finding a photographer in the vicinity who will take your photo so you don't have to resort to a selfie or give your phone to a stranger.

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Google posts truly incredible night images captured by the Pixel and Nexus 6P

Smartphone cameras have come a long way, but can you ever take images that rival a "real" camera? According to Google software engineer Florian Kainz, the answer is yes. Using a custom camera app and some post-capture editing , Kainz shows what the camera sensors in the Pixel and Nexus 6P can do in low light situations.

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PSA: Google Photos on the web now handles burst photos correctly

Google updated the Photos app a few months ago to add proper support for burst images, and it looks like the web version has now done the same. We're not sure when this happened, but the change seems to have gone mostly unnoticed. So, we're just letting you know.

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Gesture-Based Photo Organizer 'Slidebox' Swipes Into The Play Store

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Managing photos isn't a new problem. Smartphones may provide us with a camera in our pockets all the time, but we've had to wrestle with how to store photographs since we started taking them. We've crammed pictures into photo albums and transferred images off digital cameras using USB cables. These days we're trying to figure out the best way to manage photos on touchscreen devices that let us take and store so many.

Slidebox is one the latest options to pop up in the Play Store.

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Google's Nik Collection For Professional Photographers Is Now Free To Download On OS X And Windows

Brief refresher: in September 2012, Google acquired a company, Nik Software. Nik is now a Google subsidiary, but it still develops the software it made before the acquisition: Snapseed, a popular photo-editing app for iOS and Android, and Nik Collection.

Nik Collection is today's focus. Google is taking the price down from $150 to the grand total of free. Google dropped the price from $500 to $150 when it acquired Nik three years ago, so this is a pretty good deal. The Collection is nothing to be sniffed at, either: it consists of professional-level filter plug-ins for Adobe products, including Photoshop and Lightroom, and Apple's Aperture.

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DJI Announces The Phantom 4 With Smart Collision Avoidance, New Automatic Flight Modes, And A Host Of Other Improvements

Whether you call them UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), RPAs (remotely piloted aircraft), or drones, there's no denying that they are making waves. It's hard to bring up the subject without specifically talking about the DJI Phantom series. In the year since it was announced, the Phantom 3 has become the crowd favorite among photographers. Today, DJI announced the brand new Phantom 4, and it includes a boatload of improvements and new technology over earlier models.

The Phantom 4 looks a lot like its predecessors, but almost every aspect has been touched up or completely redesigned. The chassis is both stronger and lighter thanks to a new magnesium core, which should help in the event of a collision and hopefully bring up the flight time just a bit.

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