Category Archives: Techniques

How to stream 3D movies from your PC to your Gear VR 

Source: How to stream 3D movies from your PC to your Gear VR | Android Central

Samsung’s Gear VR is designed to work with Samsung smart phones. However, with the right viewing apps, it can sometimes be used to view VR and 3D videos with non-Samsung smart phones.

At the time I bought a Gear VR headset, it was apparently the only type of “Google Cardboard” Viewer headsets that included a diopter adjustment to correct for near or far sightedness. Basically, going back a year or two, VR viewers were unusable by most people over age 45 due to presbyopia (and the need to wear reading glasses as we get older).

I use the Gear VR to view some VR content using an old Nexus 4 phone and an app that supports either a Bluetooth mouse button for clicking. The Gear VR otherwise only supports clicking with Samsung phones but you can pair a Bluetooth mouse to your smart phone and use the mouse button (or the mouse pointer!)

The demographics of camera users

The author, at the link below, notes that those under 30 predominately use their smart phone to take photos.

Older travelers use compact point and shoot cameras, and middle aged and older often shoot with higher end DSLRs.

One thing I noticed on my trip to the UK , specifically London, was the abundance of cameras.

Source: Cameras, Cameras, Everywhere | Garden Walk Garden Talk

A recent Nikon item said that 55% of their DSLR sales are now going to consumers upgrading from smart phones.

My observations are in line with those of the linked article. I noticed this summer an increase in the number of travelers using an actual camera, rather than a smart phone. “Bridge cameras” – which look a bit like DSLRs but have a built-in, non-interchangeable lens, are popular.

The market is shifting a bit back towards real cameras. My hunch is many consumers will start out with larger cameras but eventually retreat to smaller cameras as they find the size and weight becomes cumbersome.

I suspect the 1″ cameras, with excellent image quality and good low light performance, may be the sweet spot for size, quality and convenience.

As the next blog post notes, post processing software is enabling small cameras to begin to rival their big cousins’ features. Software tools today provide high quality noise reduction, enabling small sensor cameras to work more like big sensors, and software tricks can even simulate bokeh.

Noise Reduction using Neat Image

I took the following photo using a Nikon 1 V2, 1″ sensor camera, at ISO 800. This is a big enlargement of a tiny section of a photo of a Titan II rocket launcher (from underneath). This was a very dark location, in the basement of the Evergreen Aviation Museum building.

I processed this image using Neat Image 8, the latest version of the Neat Image noise reduction software. You can see the remarkable improvement from the original, at left, to the noise reduced version, at right.

Voila_Capture 2016-08-29_07-47-05_PM

Today’s noise reduction software enables even small sensor cameras to produce remarkable results in low light.

Noise reduction is built in to Adobe Camera RAW, Photoshop, and Lightroom, RAW Therapee, Affinity Photo, and nearly all image editing software today.

3rd party tools are available in the Google NIK Collection (Dfine2 tool), and the Noise Ninja “community edition” or commercial edition.

Each noise reduction software applies its own methods for noise reduction. You may find that some programs work better on some types of photos than others. I have used Neat Image 7 for a long time and just began using Neat Image 8. For most photos, I just use Lightroom and a combination of “Masking” and Noise Reduction. But for tougher photos or those where I want the best result, I generally turn to Neat Image.

Original Image, after Neat Image processing, and then re-compressed using Mac Preview to 55% to keep the size under 2 MB for upload (in other words, this is a moderate lossy compression version).

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3D photos shot with dual Lumix GH-2 cameras

I used two Lumix GH-2 micro four thirds cameras, and two wireless remote controls. A remote receiver was used on each camera to activate the shutter, with a single remote control transmitter. Surprisingly (to me!) the two cameras synchronized very well.

I used two of these wireless remotes. Amazon says they work with any of these cameras – Panasonic: DMC G1, G2, G3, G6, G7, G10, GF1, GH1, GH2, GH3, GH4, GX1, GX7, L1, L10, LC-1, FZ20, FZ20K, FZ20S, FZ20S, FZ30, FZ30K, FZ50, FZ50K, FZ50S, FZ100, FZ200; Leica: DigiLux 2, DigiLux 3, V-Lux 4

This image is in cross-eyed viewing format – both trains were moving in these shots:

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Side by Side for parallel or 3D monitor viewing:

P1050159SxS (Large)

Red/cyan anaglyph version:

P1050159RC

I have used the dual Lumix GH-2 cameras before but had to manually press the shutters on both cameras at “roughly the same time” – with the manual shutter control, I could not have photographed a subject like these two moving trains.

The inter-axial lens spacing is about 6 inches or 15 cm.

Using a c-mount lens on a Nikon 1 J2 camera

The Nikon 1 cameras – J1, J2, J3, J4, V1, V2, and V3 – use a “1 inch” sensor that is about the same size as “Super 16mm” film. The small’ish sensor is ideal for working with old 16mm lenses (I have one) or with various c-mount lenses. Ideally, the c-mount lens should provide a “1 inch” coverage. However, the photos below were shot using a Tamron 4-12mm f/1.2 lens having a 1/2 inch coverage. Except when zoomed in, in which case it covers the full frame with a very tiny amount of vignetting.
These macro photos amazed me – shot on an inexpensive Nikon 1 J2 with a CCTV c-mount lens! You can click on the photos for larger version, although these were uploaded at about half the horizontal resolution. The extremely narrow depth of field is pretty neat for a small sensor camera using an inexpensive wide angle lens!
The c-mount lenses I have used are often quite soft when the aperture is fully opened. Stopping the aperture down a bit improves sharpness. They also tend to have softness in the corners, or vignetting. This particular lens is very good for these close macro shots – the edge softness is obviously not a problem as it is supposed to be out of focus! But I would not recommend this lens for general purpose shooting of non-close subjects. I also have a Computer 12.5-75mm f/1.2 lens. This is useful mostly in full zoom (75mm end) but at f/1.2 it is very soft. Stopping it down to f/2 to f/4 greatly improves the image quality – and with the telephoto effect, does a good job for creating certain types of narrow depth of field. I would not use it as a general purpose lens, however.
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