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“Hey Jules, So I was trying to verify our Facebook page, and during the process it kicked all of my email addresses off as an Admin. Can you make me an Admin again. It looks like someone else took it over.”

“Oh man, sure. I’ll call you back.”

That’s how it started–the longest 24 hours of my career as the Editor in Chief of the Phoblographer began with simply trying to get our page verified.

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All photos by Jason Cheung. Used with permission.

If you’re using an older analog camera of some sort or just have a dim rangefinder in one of your cameras, photographer Jason Cheung created a workaround that seems pretty nifty. It involves a bit of thinking in a different way–while most photographers will instead try to brighten the focusing patch, not many think about dimming the rest of the viewfinder to make the patch stand out more. But that’s what Jason did–and he did it just enough for it to still be usable.

More after the jump.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Modification of a camera bag (1 of 11)ISO 1001-250 sec at f - 5.0

When you look at this bag, you wouldn’t think at all that it would be a camera bag. In all honesty, it isn’t. Inspired by the story of the Magnum Photographers who worked with Filson camera bags to design something super low profile, I decided to simply hack a bag that I’ve been using for years and years into something that can hold pretty much most of the gear that I need when I go on shoots. Of course, it isn’t enough when it comes to shoots requiring me to work with monolights, but for the most part this little bag handles almost every situation I tackle, is low profile, and allows my to have quick access to my gear.

A simple bag like this is what many camera bag manufacturers should be able to make affordably.

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The Lubitel is a very old TLR camera that is still made today in a different fashion by Lomography. The camera shot 120 film but there were tinkerers that made it into a Polaroid shooting machine. Photographer Ed Cole posted on Reddit about unearthing his father’s old hacked Lubitel. He asked George Cole, his father, if he had any photos available from when the camera was still brand new. Unfortunately, George stated that he doesn’t have anything. And while Ed tried to run some film through it, it wasn’t very much of a success due to the fact that the Polaroid used the old 88 film. Not even the Impossible Project makes that stuff anymore.

Still, it’s a very cool and notable find. More photos are after the jump.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus product photos (5 of 5)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 2.8

Magic Lantern has done some amazing things with Canon cameras by hacking the firmware. Recently, they expanded the dynamic range of the 5D Mk III by a stop. Now, user Jonathan Zdziarski did an informal test comparing the results of the Canon full frame DSLR and the Nikon D800–which has enjoyed quite the reign as a camera with a kick ass sensor.

Using what the hack calls Dual ISO, it is able to capture more information in a photo–therefore expanding its dynamic range. To do this, the camera takes two photos at different ISO settings and merges them together. According to Jonathan,

“Each individual scan-line is interleaved as its sampled from the sensor, so you’re capturing one image with every other scan line at, say, ISO 100 for example, and the next scan line at ISO 800, 1600, or whatever you specify in ML.”

Crazy cool, huh? What’s even crazier is that it seems to be improving the image quality at lower ISO settings too.  Of course, this is really best with still images and not really for video–the added capabilities of RAW video though are a nice touch.

You can find more over at Jonathan’s blog. We also wonder if Canon is paying attention to this.

Canon EOS 5DmkIII

Canon Rumors reports about what could become a new trend in customizing your camera: hardware hacks. In past years, we saw a lot of third-party firmwares that promised to improve image quality and performance of your camera–most notably Magic Lantern, which greatly improved video performance in Canon DSLRs. But Canon compacts weren’t left out, either, and Nikon DSLRs had their own Magic Lantern counterpart. But let’s face it, every trend becomes a fad at some point, and in 2014, software hacks just don’t cut it anymore.

The next big thing coming to a camera near you could be hardware hacks, which, as the name suggests, involve swapping out hardware parts of the camera. It’s not uncommon that photographers tinker with their camera, for example when converting them to infrared or multi-spectrum sensitivity by adding and/or removing filters on top of the sensor. It’s another thing altogether, though to swap the camera’s entire logic bord. Which is exactly what Canon Rumors suggests will soon be offered for Canon DSLRs.

The site has received word that “a certain company” will soon come out with a hardware hack for the EOS 5D Mk III, which will replace the camera’s mainboard with a customized one. The benefit of the operation that will cost around US-$ 1000 will be increased dynamic range as well as better sharpness and performance when recording video. In that regard, the hardware hack promises roughly the same results as Magic Lantern’s custom firmware.

At this point, we have no idea who is doing this, when it’ll be available, how much of an improvement it will yield, and whether other camera models will also receive hardware hacks–though CR is positive the 5D3 won’t stay the only model that can be customized. Firmware hacking is already a risky thing to do, because it can potentially make your camera inoperative, or contain malignant code. But at least it’s free. Would you pay someone a whopping $1000 to tinker with the internals of your DSLR, though?