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Sony-Exmor-R exploded view

It looks like phase detection autofocus will be the new hot trick of smartphone cameras. First the iPhone 6 included phase detect AF and now Sony has announced a new stacked Exmor RS IMX230 CMOS image sensor for smartphones with an onboard image plane phase detection AF signal processing function.

Sony claims the 21MP sensor could use up to 192 AF points to achieve excellent focus tracking of fast-moving subjects. The IMX230 sensor itself is a 1/2.4 stacked CMOS image sensor, which also utilizes back-illuminated pixels. On top of taking high-resolution pictures, the sensor records 4K video in high-dynamic range as well as some more pedestrian 1080p video at 60fps.

Sony has announced it will release the its stacked CMOS image sensor in April 2015. There’s no word as to what will be the first device to utilize this new sensor. However, we’ll hazard a guess that the sensor will be first implemented into a future Xperia Z4 or another Android smartphone. Check past the break to see a few results from Sony’s new Exmor RS IMX230 sensor.

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One of our readers sent us a tip to let us know that the very rare Nikon 6mm f2.8 fisheye lens is available right now on eBay. The lens, which is literally able to see behind itself, is incredibly wide and is very rare because it is so specialized. The bidding is starting out at 49,990 Euro, and the lens overall seems to be in very good condition.

Earlier this year, another one of these lenses went on eBay too. As we state in our previous article:

Supposedly the lens was originally developed for special scientific and industrial use according to the seller’s description. This “special wider-than-180-degreee picture coverage [was] required for surveillance work, photographing the interiors of pipes, boilers, conduits, cylinder bores, and other constricted areas.”

Even cooler though is the fact that the owner shot a video with the Nikon D4s and the lens attached to show you what images from it look like.

More of the images and the video are after the jump, but head on over to eBay to see the lens for yourself.

- Thanks for the tip Kristoffer!

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Get ready to spend a ton of money to spy on your neighbors! At least, that’s what you may want to do with Nikon’s 600mm f4 FL ED VR that was patented recently. Nikon Rumors is reporting that a new patent was just put in by Nikon Japan and recently published for the lens. The coating is designed to help break up liquids that touch the surface of the elements.

Currently on the marker is a Nikon 600mm f4 Lens that costs just shy of $10,000 and even that is a special use lens probably only used by sports and wildlife photographers. Even so, it’s rare that any one photographer owns the lens as many of them are in the hands of agencies and news wires. According to Ken Rockwell though, their latest lens was announced in 2007–so it will probably be a while until we see it.

Panasonic GM5 DxOMark Comparison 1

When we first got our hands on the Panasonic GM5 it felt like a slightly updated GM1 with a new viewfinder and hotshoe. Now that DxOMark has just released its camera testing results of the GM5 we can see the tiny improvement to the underlying sensor. this incremental update has added.

According to DxOMark’s imaging benchmarks, the GM5 trades a sliver of color depth for several ticks of better lowlight ISO performance. Otherwise, there’s very little difference between the sensors. More importantly it appears Olympus is still well ahead of Panasonic when it comes to sensor technology as the OMD EM10 announced at the beginning the year performs better than the GM5 in every aspect.

One surprise we didn’t expect was that the Panasonic GM5’s performance actually isn’t that far off from the top-tier Micro Four Thirds cameras including the Panasonic GH4 and Olympus OMD EM1.

Of course, we have to stress these are just numbers. At the end of the day the GM1 was an excellent camera and we expect the GM5 will perform even better. Check out more results after the break.

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Kevin Lee The Phoblographer Lumera Product Image 5

One of the biggest and best features that makes mirrorless cameras so accessible is their ability to push images to smartphones over Wi-Fi. It’s a feature we’re seeing on more and more cameras including DSLRs like the Nikon D750, however there’s still a large segment of older devices left in the dark. Now a new module called the Lumera hopes to give all DSLRs a small wireless boost plus a few other features like GPS and HDR processing.

The new camera attachment mounts to bottom of your DSLR via the tripod mount, after which you’ll have to connect a USB cable while Lumera pairs with smartphones through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. Through an accompanying app you’ll be able to transfer images or even remotely control the camera.

Lumera Labs, the Montreal startup behind the device, also recently added GPS as a new feature that lets you geo-tag every image without cutting into the camera’s battery life. Lumera has a few additional features including automatically shooting and processing HDR images, creating 3D pictures, and setting up timelapses.

The Lumera Labs is currently seeking funding for its device on Kickstarter. As of this writing the crowd-funded project has reached the halfway point of its funding goal of $90,000 Canadian dollars (about $79,294 USD). If you want a Lumera of your own you can pick one up for as little as $140 CAD (about $123) for the very last early bird special. Otherwise get ready to fork over $170 CAD (about $170).

See the list of compatible cameras and more product images after the break.

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One of the worst things that you could possibly do as a wedding photographer is never give a couple their images. But apparently, that’s what Missouri Wedding Photographer Samantha Woolsey has done according to a story from Fox News. The story implies that Ms. Woolsey was behind on rent at her storefront in Cameron, Mo and that in order to not go into further debt, she took off and left. A forwarding address was also not left behind for mail or contact info–which further implies that she did not want to be contacted.

While photographers tend to go out of business all the time (sadly) Samantha had a couple of major debts left–to the brides whose weddings she had photographed. The story in particular shares the account of Toni Gardner whose family came from Australia for the wedding. But the problem is that she never got the images from Ms. Woolsey and now only has cell phone images from the guests. But Toni isn’t alone, and many other brides also called Fox News to complain.

The news story states that Samantha Woolsey photography is still advertising on Facebook, but if you indeed check her page you’ll see that no posts have been made since May of this year.

More, including the video is after the jump.

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