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Considering that Instagram had the tilt-shift ability for a while, it’s pretty nice that now Google has updated their main camera app to include the new lens blur tool–meant to simulate the look of bokeh. According to their research blog, their inspiration came from the bokeh that an SLR can deliver. Of course though, one should NEVER think that the digital bokeh simulated by Google can outdo the organic stuff straight from a real lens and bit sensor.

When you start the use the tool, they tell you about bokeh and some of the simulated effects. They recommend that you stand no more than five feet away from your subject but that the closer you are the better your results will be. They then recommend that you take the photo and then pan the phone upward. The image then gets processed to deliver the bokeh.

When you’re done, you can choose the edit the level of blur. If you’re an Android phone or tablet user, go right ahead and update the app. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Update: In low light, you need the pan upward very slowly.

Canon Rebel SL1 white edition

After the recent sensor debacle–as a reminder, two Canon cameras in a row scored poorly in DxOMark’s sensor tests–it appears that the brilliant marketing geniuses over at Canon World Headquarters decided that it was time for a new approach at winning new customers. Looking into the history books, they must’ve found a reference on Leica somewhere, more precisely on how Leica effectively re-launched one and the same camera over and over again for decades by making one special edition after the other.

Something like this must’ve happened for sure, as we have no other explanation for what Canon has just done: they launched a white edition EOS Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D + 18-55mm kit lens. Yes, both camera and lens are clad in exclusive Canon Polar White, which is just a little bit whiter than the white Nikon uses in their 1-series cameras. We’re joking of course. About the white, that is. Not about the white camera. That one’s real. And the lens.

If we’ve got you all excited now, better calm down and put that credit card back where it belongs: it appears the super special white Rebel SL1 will only be available on European markets. That’s too bad, because let’s face it, who wouldn’t fancy a white Rebel! Owning one of these would surely make you stand out from the crowd of DSLR users. That is, until some Japanese bloke comes along with his multi-colored Pentax

Via Canon Watch

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The Panasonic/Leica DG Summilux 15mm f1.7 lens for Micro Four Thirds was only announced very recently, but DxOMark has apparently already gotten their hands on a copy of the lens. According to the tests that the company announced today, the sharpness of this lens beats the pants off of Olympus’s 17mm f1.8 and Sigma’s 19mm f2.8 Art lens. Additionally, it shows less chromatic aberration than the Sigma lens but not the Olympus lens. Overall though, the 17mm f1.8 is scoring slightly better than Panasonic’s option.

If you haven’t purchased either lens yet, know that both of them have retroness built into their designs. The Panasonic lens has a working aperture ring while the Olympus lens has a snap back manual focus with a working depth of field scale. Street photographers would value either one, but they’d probably lean more towards the Oly.

While these tests are interesting, we don’t think that they’ll mean that much of a difference in real life shooting situations given that modern software is just so good at fixing these problems. And even if you’re a JPEG shooter, the cameras have a way of correcting any issues. Additionally, when you post the images online we highly doubt that everyone you know will try to go in and pixel peep.

Still though, this is interesting to note about how the technology is advancing. We got to try out the 15mm f1.7 and we reviewed the 17mm f1.8 a while back as well as a comparison to the 20mm f1.7. Be sure to check out both of those reviews.

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The GoPro video we featured two days ago of snowboarder Xavier de la Rue rappelling a rocky cliff and then snowboarding down the mountain is nothing compared to this one we’re featuring today. Watch in the first person POV as this extreme mountain biker barrels down what could possibly be the most insane mountain bike path in the world!

The track is a rocky path on a narrow ridge near Zion National Park in Utah; the biker, Geoff Gulevich. This breathtaking, toe-tingling, and adrenaline-pumping video was taken during the 2013 Red Bull Rampage, an annual freeride mountain biking competition that’s become one of the biggest in the world. And it had just gone viral, near miss slips and all.

Most of us have been on bikes since we were kids but I doubt any of us will be braving this track anytime soon. So it’s nice to get a little taste of the excitement in the comfort of our own living rooms. While we’re at it, let’s up the ante a little and watch an even crazier one of Kelly McGarry on the same track, at the same event, backflip over a 72-feet canyon included.

Watch the two extreme GoPro videos after the jump!


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ONA has been on a roll with lots of beautiful products and releases as of late. And today, they’ve got even more that they’re showing off. Four new products were announced in the form of the Astoria, Capri, Leather Capri and the Leather Presido strap. The bags are oriented towards the city dweller that wants to have something stylish. They are set to launch and be available in the ONA store today.

More details about the products are after the jump.

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TCL-X100 with X100S_Left_Silver

After making a behind glass appearance at the CP+ trade show, Fujifilm has finally announced the TCL-X100, a 1.4x teleconverter for the X100 and X100S. The new screw on piece of glass turns the X100 and X100s’ fixed 23mm f2 lens into a 32mm lens perfect for street shooting and candids.

The new attachment essentially sits in front of the prime lens to extend its focal length from an equivalent 35mm to 50mm. Along with giving it a bit of extra reach through four glass elements, the teleconverter is also treated with a HT-EBC coating to reduce flare. To use the new lens, X100 and X100s shooters will need to update their camera with the latest firmware and then select the “Tele-Conversion Lens” option from the shooting menu.

X100 and X100s shooters looking for a little more flexibility with their camera should also check out Fujifilm’s last convertor lens, the WCL-X100 wide-angle convertor. Rather than acting as a teleconverter, this wide-angle attachment converts the Fujifilm camera’s prime lens into a wider 28mm equivalent. Alternatively, photographers not in the Fujifilm ecosystem can also pick up a wide array of lens converters at Photojojo including a 2x convertor for $50.

The TCL-X100 will be available in black or silver later this May for a yet to be announced price. Previously, the price was reported to be around $300. Check past the break for another look at the TCL-X100 in black and silver.

Via DP Review

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