Intel buys video patents from RealNetworks

RealNetworks, makers of the Real Player, have sold video-related patents and apparently a video codec development team, to Intel: Intel bolsters video patent portfolio with purchase from RealNetworks — Engadget.

Clearly, Intel wants to ramp up some video offerings. Years ago, before Youtube days, I experimented with streaming online video using Flash, Real, Quicktime and Windows Media.

My goal, then, since it ran on my own servers, was to minimize the bit rate. Real’s codec generally did best on the tests that I did, back on those long ago days. Later, when I did a test where I had more bits to play with, one-pass Flash did best on retaining fine detail, although I later found I could get almost the same detail using two-pass H.264.

Each codec has advantages and disadvantages. Flash took a long time to encode, but so does two-pass H.264; Flash also needed a separate video player.  Real’s technology was easy to work with and did a good job on most things I threw at it but needed its own Real Player. Windows Encoder was okayran only on Windows in the Windows Media Player.  Quicktime was easy to use but its encoding was slow and you needed the QT player installed.

Today, most everything just uses H.264 as the industry standard so all of the above no longer matters much!

Fujifilm X-Pro1 demonstrates very low noise images


This links to a French web site – if you visit this using Chrome, Chrome will offer to translate to a language of your choice: Fujifilm X-Pro1: images with higher sensitivities.

Fujifilm uses a new design APS-C sensor to deliver super low noise images. According to the link (with sample images), noise is essentially invisible through ISO 1600 and minimal through ISO 6400.  This means that Fujifilm has achieved superb low noise capabilities without requiring a full frame sensor.

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Sigma likely to focus on micro Four Thirds and NEX lenses

Currently we are looking at serious photographers or photo enthusiasts. We think its our mission to support as many systems as possible. But we try to support systems that provide high quality images. So, for compact system cameras, we think the Sony system and Micro Four Thirds are the categories that we should support.

via Sigma interview: NEX and Micro Four Thirds are major focus – Imaging Resource.

New Lumix Lens Converters

Panasonic has introduced some new lens teleconverters that work with their 14-42mm lenses.

Click on the image for a larger view.

And a couple of “concept lenses”. Panasonic expects to expand their lens line up to 20 total lenses by the end of 2012.

The Internet access at the hotel is so slow that I may not be able to post much in the way of much of anything. This was torturous just to get these two photos uploaded.