The incoming Panasonic GH4 has broken new ground with 4K, high-bit-rate video for a mere $1,700, but if you want more than 8-bits? It’s doable, but only if you also budget for a pricey external recorder. Fortunately, hacker Thomas Worth has just released a simple Mac command-line program that’ll let you do a neat trick with GH4 files: convert the 4K, 16-million color video to 10-bit HD with a billion hues. It works using pixel summing, in which the extra 4K pixels are used to fill in missing color information, resulting in true, 10-bit DPX files in HD. As shown after the break, the result is a sharper image, smoother color gradients, easier grading and less loss in detail during image processing. The only downside is much larger 17.7MB images, but the last time we checked, hard drives are pretty cheap.
[Image credit: Nick Driftwood]
Filed under: Cameras
Via: 43 Rumors
Source: EOS HD forums
American 3D printer manufacturers have stolen a lead on the competition, but a Japan-based alliance is looking to fight back… it’ll take a year or two, is all. The group includes universities, 27 companies including the likes of Panasonic, Nissan and Kawasaki, as well as the Japanese government. Rather than cheerfully-colored figurines and trinkets, the group plans to use titanium-based materials to craft complicated components like airplane parts and artificial joints for medical use.
For the government’s part, it’s promising 3.8 billion yen ($36.5 million) this year, with each member organization adding another 500,000 yen per year to the research group. According to the Nikkei, work will focus on advanced tech that will allow 3D-printed components through (awesome-sounding) “molten metal powders.” The aim is to have prototype machines by 2015, with some 3D printers ready for sale as commercial products. Final finished machines for making medical equipment and aircraft manufacturers will apparently take another four years to perfect.
If you don’t mind your wearable action cam being tethered to a separate unit for wrangling controls, Panasonic’s HX-A500 offers 4K video capture in return. The company touts the camera as the “world’s first” option for said resolution, recording the those exploits at 25fps. There’s also a 1080p option at 50fps, 720p at 100fps and 480p an a 100fps crawl for judging that swing in time for baseball season. It will also capture up to 30 minutes of video in up to three meters (about 10 feet) of water, should the need arise. Need to get the footage to another device? NFC and WiFi connectivity are built in with compatibility with Ustream for live broadcasts. The HX-A500 carries a similar look to the outfit’s HX-A100, but the “main body” now packs a 1.5-inch LCD monitor for keeping an eye on things and tweaking settings. Other notable features include a IPX8 waterproof rating, automatic leveling correction, image stabilization and a variety of mounts to keep the dustproof cam in the right spot for optimum capture. The HX-A500 is set to arrive in May with a £379.99 (around $626) price tag in tow.
Filed under: Cameras
Well, this is certainly a motley crew: a variety of companies in the virtual reality space are teaming up to create the “Immersive Technology Alliance.” The group is an evolution of an earlier consortium, The Stereoscopic 3D Gaming Alliance — apparently the world of 3D gaming no longer needs their support? Anyway, the renamed group includes major game players like EA as well as little teams like Technical Illusions (of CastAR fame), as well as the company most responsible for re-introducing VR, Oculus VR. The ITA list includes all the players you’d expect, but also has a few outliers in Epson and Panasonic; Sony isn’t part of the ITA just yet, but that may change sooner than later. The group’s first public appearance takes place next week at San Francisco’s annual Game Developers Conference and we’ll be on-hand to document the shindig. Also, to ask Panasonic what it’s doing there. Head below for an example of immersive technology (an Engadget editor punching virtual sharks, obviously) and the full list of members (thus far).
- Oculus VR
- GameFace Labs
- Big Blue Bubble
- I’m in VR
- YEI Technology
- Jon Peddie Research
- Crew Communicatons
- University of Ontario Institute of Technology
- Digital Extremes
- Virtuix Omni
You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours — all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
Tomorrow, Titanfall’s bringing more computing power to your Xbox One than it can handle, all thanks to Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure. Read on as Engadget’s Timothy Seppala explores the inner workings responsible for the title’s resource-intensive AI technology.
Edward Snowden made an appearance at SXSW this morning where he reiterated the importance of end-to-end encryption in protecting user’s private data. What’s more, the whistleblower spoke through a Google Hangout, which passed through seven proxies on its way from Russia.
Are you a Fitbit user? So is Shaquille O’Neal. We managed to sit down with the NBA superstar at SXSW 2014 and chat about how fitness wearables play a big part in keeping us healthy and active. Click on through to watch the conversation.
Apple unveiled its CarPlay interface last week at the Geneva Auto Show, and now its complimentary iOS 7.1 update is ready for action. In addition to CarPlay functionality, 7.1 brings a lengthy list of bug fixes and and a couple of clever Siri improvements. So head on over to your settings menu and get downloading.
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Filed under: Misc
Aiming to offer a long-term storage option in disc form, Sony and Panasonic have announced the new Archival Disc format that will store between 300GB and 1TB per disc. The companies are bigging up the non-HDD form factor for its hardiness to temperature and humidity. They’re also promising “inter-generational compatibility” between different formats as the standard matures — but we’ll believe it when we see it. While the initial team-up was signed back in July last year, the current roadmap suggests we’ll see the first 300GB discs from Summer 2015. Storage upgrades will follow, in line with signal processing improvements, with high linear density processing (which all sounds good) supposedly set to offer up to a magical one terabyte of space per disc. We’ll just go ahead and throw away all these Blu-rays.
Panasonic promised it would deliver a GH mirrorless camera capable of recording 4K video for under $2,000, and now we know just how far under that is. The Lumix GH4 camera body and its 16MP CMOS Micro Four Thirds sensor will cost $1,700, while the optional YAGH pro audio/video interface unit is available for an extra $2,000. The pre-order listings on Panasonic’s website currently show an estimated ship date of late April. EOSHD.com confirms the same information from retailers like Adorama and B&H, which also have their pre-order buttons ready. Check out our hands-on impressions of the camera and Panasonic’s own 4K demo reel if you need some convincing about how it will measure up to its predecessor, the GH3.
Filed under: Cameras
Panasonic, while a hugely famous name in consumer electronics, isn’t exactly the first name that comes to mind when you think of smartphones. That’s probably because they only made their first Android smartphone in May 2013, and decided to exit smartphones in its entirety only a few months later in September. Well, their farewell may have been a bit premature as Panasonic has revived their smartphone operation, launching the Panasonic P31 today.
The Panasonic P31 will have a 5-inch 854×480 resolution display with a MediaTek processor clocked at 1.3GHz, along with 1GB RAM, 8GB storage with microSD support, and a 2,000mAh battery. Connectivity features include all your basics with Bluetooth, GPS, 3G, and Wi-Fi and will be running Android 4.2. The device will also have dual-SIM capabilities which is almost expected for phones that launch in India as the P31 is.
While the P31 looks vaguely reminiscent of the Galaxy S4/Galaxy Note 2 design, there’s obviously not much in the way of hardware that is comparable to those devices, nor should you expect it to as the device will be launching for the price of Rs. 11,990 (approxiamately $195 USD). This puts it in the same playing field as the new Nokia X family of devices, which perhaps suggests that even Panasonic sees this extreme-budget section of the market as a possible area of growth. There’s been no indication that the P31 will be seen anywhere other than India, though.
What do you think about the Panasonic P31? Would you considering getting on of these if it were available where you are? Let us know your opinion in the comments.
If you’ve been dreaming of a Tesla but can’t afford a Model S and its $70k+ sticker price (before tax credits), the company is announcing a major step towards building an electric vehicle in your price range. CEO Elon Musk has targeted 2017 for building a vehicle that costs half that, and has released details (PDF) of the “Gigafactory” he expects to have building batteries by then. The company predicts that by 2020, it will pump out more batteries alone than the world manufactured in 2013, keeping prices down while Tesla ramps up production on the unnamed “Gen III” vehicle.
To do that, it’s raising $1.6 billion from a group of investors — rumors suggest Model S battery provider Panasonic could be in for as much as $1 billion — in a pair of bond offerings, with an option for an extra $240 million. The plant isn’t built yet of course, but Tesla has pointed out four southwestern states (Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada or Texas) as possible locations, ideal for its solar and wind renewable energy plans. The plant will lower costs by working on the raw materials, cells, modules and battery pack enclosures all in one place, employing as many as 6,500 people.
- Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) February 26, 2014
Filed under: Transportation
Panasonic may have bowed out of the consumer smartphone game, but gadgets for businesses are a completely different story. That’s why the Japanese company came to Mobile World Congress with a new pair of rugged Toughpad smartphones in tow. You can’t mistake them, despite their identical looks, because one runs Android 4.2.2 and the other has Windows Embedded 8 Handheld — and we just got a chance to see what they’re made of.
The Toughpads are well over an inch thick, but the heft is valuable since it helps the duo resist dust, drops, and liquid. Sadly, we didn’t have a bucket of water to hurl the things into, and drops on the carpeted floor of Panasonic’s press room weren’t as satisfying as we’d hoped. These Toughpads are modular (if not as stylish as other concepts we’ve seen). Some of the components lodged in the Toughpads’ backs can be unscrewed and swapped out completely, so folks who can’t think of anything to do with a barcode scanner can kiss it goodbye.
The company may bristle at our use of the dreaded s-word, preferring instead to call them tablets, but come now: if it looks like a smartphone, and makes calls like a smartphone, you’re not fooling anyone. That said, both Toughpads sport the same slew of rubberized buttons, port flaps and 8-megapixel rear cameras. The internals aren’t the same, though: The Windows Embedded version features a 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip while the Android model got stuck with a pokier 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4. Both devices felt snappy and responsive, and the 5-inch, 720p screens were better than you’d expect considering these things are meant to take a beating.
The thing to remember here is that you’re not going to waltz into a big box store and see one of these on the shelf. These Toughpads are designed for being tossed around warehouses and construction sites, not in and out of your skinny jeans. The prospective price tag just drives that point home: they’ll run you about 130,000 yen ($1,300) when they officially launch later this year.
Matt Brian contributed to this report.