Leica invented autofocus, then abandoned it

Leica invented the autofocus camera system with the Correfot in 1976.
Leica invented the autofocus camera system with the Correfot in 1976.
Photo: WestLicht Camera Auction

Legendary German camera maker Leica spent nearly 20 years patenting technology that would take focusing out of the hands of photographers. As with the 35 mm still camera the company created in 1925, Leica stood ready to once again revolutionize photography, this time with an autofocus system.

But after spending the last part of the 1970s working on prototypes, Leica dropped plans to bring autofocus to consumers. Leica figured its customers already knew how to focus their cameras.

“There’s an element of truth in that,” said Heinz Richter, who was a member of the Leica Historical Society of America when he held one of the first autofocus cameras at a meeting in Minneapolis in 1980. “Leica used to be an extremely conservative company. The autofocus mechanism as they were available then didn’t fit into the company’s ideal of precise focusing.”

GoPro’s tiny new rival boasts interchangeable lenses

The E1 is a small Micro Four Thirds camera that shoots 4K video and fit a variety of lenses.
The E1 is a small Micro Four Thirds camera that shoots 4K video and fit a variety of lenses.
Photo: Z

The E1 camera is so small, there is barely any room on the body for its two-character name.

This is only a slight exaggeration for the slight camera with large ambitions and an impressive list of specs that could make it legitimate competition for GoPro, the reigning king of the Point of View camera market.

Startup camera company Z says its E1 is the world’s smallest Micro Four Thirds 4K video camera with interchangeable lenses.

Filters for iPhone up for new ownership shortly after launch

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Filters goes up for sale after just four months in the App Store.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

Not long after debuting to a pretty successful launch, Filters for iPhone is up for sale. Developer Mike Rundle explains that he has a full-time job plus children to feed and his little side project of love deserves more attention than he can give. His asking price? $10,000.

These magnetic iPhone lenses will make your videos and photos much more attractive

An utterly simple and useful way to get your videos and photos to the next level.
An utterly simple and useful way to get your videos and photos to the next level.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I was shooting my son’s school play a couple of months ago with my iPhone, as I don’t have a dedicated video camera any more. Because I sat up close, I wasn’t really able to capture the whole stage in one shot.

What I needed was a wide-angle lens. That’s where these PhotoJojo magnetically attachable lenses come in.

When you’re shooting video with an iPhone, there are times when you want a bit more control over the image without having to resort to a confusing app.

The simplest way to get an altered image is an attachable lens, and these magnetically attached lenses from PhotoJojo do just the trick.

Photographers add Foo Fighters to their Taylor Swift contract battle

The Foo Fighters will perform at RFK Stadium and one news outlit is boycotting over its photo agreement.
The Foo Fighters will perform at RFK Stadium and one news outlit is boycotting over its photo agreement.
Photo: Jo/Flickr CC

Taylor Swift’s bold rant against Apple over royalties continues to echo in the ears of photographers.

A quick recap . . . Swift used her Tumblr page to chide Apple for initially not paying musicians during the trial period of the new Apple Music. Then a music photographer in England called her a hypocrite because the contract her people force editorial photographers to sign before shows says Swift has the right to use those photos for free to promote her brand.

Apple backed down, but the good publicity-bad publicity for Swift has photographers and photo editors taking second looks at the contracts of other musical acts.