Tue, 12 Nov 2019 23:21:38 +0000Court Dismisses Apple’s Attempt to Invalidate RED’s RAW Video Patent
Apple’s recent attempt to invalidate one of RED’s most important patents has failed. Earlier this week, a US court dismissed Apple’s challenge to RED’s main RAW video patent, allowing RED to maintain some control over Apple’s ProRes RAW codec.
This story began back in May, when Apple quietly filed a legal petition to try and invalidate one of RED’s most important patents: the REDCODE codec for capturing visually lossless compressed RAW video.
Apple’s argument was that RED’s patent was a “logical combination” of two prior inventions, making the technology unpatentable. If Apple had succeeded in proving this point, it might have saved the company from having to pay RED royalties on ProRes RAW and allowed camera companies to more readily adopt the codec; as it stands, anybody who wants to use ProRes RAW needs to strike a deal with RED, because the codec uses the same compression technology described in RED’s original patent.
RED responded to the petition in August, filing in-depth responses from RED president Jarrad Land, recently-retired founder Jim Jannard, and the inventor of REDCODE Graeme Nattress defending the novelty of this key patent.
The filing included tons of fascinating historical data, detailed technical explanations of how REDCODE came to be, and several fascinating images showing the early development of the first RED cinema camera “Boris.” If you have the time and interest, they’re definitely worth checking out.
The companies went back and forth a couple of more times since then, but on November 8th, the patent office officially denied Apple’s petition, writing that Apple “has not shown a reasonable likelihood that it would prevail in establishing that any of the challenged claims 1–30 are unpatentable.”
You can read the full decision below:
In response to the USPTO’s ruling, RED president Jarred Land praised the decision before quickly reiterating that Apple and RED have a very positive working relationship, framing this little dispute as “all part of the process of defining how we work together in the future.”
“To be clear, as I mentioned before, this never really was Apple vs. RED. It has always been APPLE + RED,” writes Land on the RED User forums. “We are very excited for the new Mac Pro and the new XDR pro display and the power they bring to the entire RED workflow.”
For now, it seems, RED has managed to survive another legal attack on one of its most prized pieces of intellectual property.
Image credits: Images filed as part of RED’s official response, available through the USPTO.
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 22:11:41 +0000Polar Pro Unveils Innovative Summit Filter System for Landscape Photographers
Polar Pro has just unveiled the new Summit filter system for landscape photographers: a re-design of the standard filter holder that features several innovative design elements, prompting Polar Pro to call it “the industry’s most refined landscape filter system.”
As usual, we don’t know about the marketing hyperbole, but it’s clear Polar Pro put a lot of thought into the Summit system.
Both the filters and the holder were made to be easy to handle and use in the field. The holder is made from aluminum rather than plastic, and features a slot for an integrated circular polarizer and rails for your square filters, all of which can be installed and locked into place tool-free.
The filters themselves are made out of fused quartz glass with 16-layers of coatings, and feature aluminum frames with clear markings, making it easy to identify the right filter and preventing finger prints when handling or installing them.
The whole system screws onto your lens using special aluminum “thread plates” that allow for 360° of rotation without coming loose from the filter holder itself. And just for good measure, there’s a snap-on hood as well.
The Polar Pro Summit filter system is available as a Base Kit that includes the holder, hood, and a case for $250, or as a Landscape Kit that includes the Base Kit plus two thread plates, an ND64, an ND4 Grad filter, and the circular polarizer for $700.
Thread plates are available in 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm, and 95mm sizes for $35 each; ND filters are available in ND8, ND64, ND1000, and ND100K for $200 each; Soft Gradient filters are available in ND4 and ND8 for $250 each; and, finally, the circular polarizer will run you $150 on its own.
To learn more about the Summit system, head over to the Polar Pro website.
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 21:04:58 +0000Capture One Pro Basics: How to Adjust Exposure, Contrast and Saturation
When it comes to Lightroom alternatives, nobody has taken more users away from Adobe than Capture One Pro. But if you’ve never used Capture One and you need a crash course on the basics, Ted Forbes of The Art of Photography has put together a helpful video that you might find handy.
This short beginner’s guide—a Capture 101, if you will—covers all of the ways that you can adjust the exposure, contrast and saturation of your RAW files in Capture One Pro.
This might seem painfully basic, but if you’ve never used the program, it’s extremely helpful to get an overview of the core features and understand how they differ from something like Adobe Lightroom.
Throughout the video, Forbes edits a couple of photographs using the Sliders, the Levels, and the Curves tools, showing you how each of them works a little bit differently than the other, and sharing some helpful user interface hints for Capture One newbies along the way.
Check out the full video up top to watch this little beginner’s guide to Capture One Pro, and give The Art of Photography a follow if you want to see more. This is the first of a series of videos Forbes promises to do on the Lightroom alternative, which could come in very handy if you’re tempted to jump ship.
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 20:05:33 +0000Photographer Trampled to Death After Getting Too Close to Herd of Elephants
A photographer was tragically trampled to death in India’s West Bengal state earlier this month, after getting too close to a herd of wild elephants in order to take their picture.
The Daily Mail and Hindustan Times report that Asish Shit, a 35-year-old photographer from a town near Calcutta, was crushed to death by a wild elephant after walking too close to a heard he was photographing in West Bengal’s Jhargram district. The incident took place in the Atadihi area of Sankrail, and according to Arup Mukherjee, the divisional forest officer, “[Shit] went very close to the elephant that trampled him.”
The enraged elephant crushed the photographer, who was rushed to Bhangagarh hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
The news presents a sobering reminder for amateur wildlife photographers and tourists alike, especially those who want to photograph the wild elephants in West Bengal. Shit’s death is the 8th deadly elephant attack in the region since October 26th, including the death of a handler by one of the forest department’s own elephants.
Image credits: Photo by Yathin S Krishnappa, CC BY-SA 3.0
Tue, 12 Nov 2019 19:21:13 +0000Nikon D750 Replacement Coming in Early 2020 with 24MP Sensor, Better AF and More: Report
The D750 is a favorite among Nikon DSLR shooters, but in 2019 it’s really starting to show its age. Thankfully, the latest reports hint at a replacement coming sooner rather than later, and as of this morning, we have our first set of rumored specs for the unconfirmed DSLR.
This set of specifications come from Nikon Rumors, who claims that the camera will not be called the D760. Instead, sources tell NR that the camera will be “a merger of the D700 series and the D800 series” with a model number between D760 and D800.
Beyond this, several of the rumored specs read like a DSLR version of the mirrorless Nikon Z6: with a 24MP BSI sensor, 4K/30p and 1080/120p video support, better high-ISO performance than the D850, touchscreen, updated UI, and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. Where it differs will be the dual UHS-II SD memory card slots and a (obviously) DSLR-style autofocus system with between 51 and 153 AF points.
As with any “first set” of rumored specifications, we suggest taking these with a grain of salt, but it sounds like Nikon does have a D750 DSLR replacement in the works for those users who don’t want to jump on the mirrorless bandwagon. According to Nikon Rumors, the official announcement “could be as early as January-February.”