Canon just dropped a nuke in the megapixel war

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Canon has developed 250-MP CMOS camera sensor.
Canon has developed 250-MP CMOS camera sensor.
Photo: Canon

Canon has developed a CMOS camera sensor that records a 250-megapixel image. Not that this should kill your excitement about the 12 megapixels you’re going to get with the camera on the new iPhone 6s, but take a moment to consider the number.

How do we even fathom 250 megapixels? Canon, in its press release boasting of the pixel count (19,580 x 12,600), said engineers zoomed in on a photo taken of an airplane from 11 miles away and could distinguish the lettering on the side of the plane.

Samsung outranks Apple where it really hurts… in the patent department

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In an effort to prevent rivals from stealing its ideas, Apple patents everything it invents — from the iPhone and the iPad, to app icons and even “magic” tactile gloves. But compared to its biggest competitors, Apple’s patent portfolio from 2015 looks surprisingly bare.

Microsoft, Sony, Google, and LG have all outrank Apple in the patent department this year, while arch rival Samsung has absolutely crushed it.

Stumptown shooter stalks the sexy and the strange

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Olsen's notes for Cardiac:
Olsen's notes for Cardiac: "Strobist: 550ex and Vivitar 285 with a red gel placed in the boxes. WL1600 with a strip bank to the left and above camera. Triggered via pocket wizards."

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Grab a camera when the zombies come. They won’t eat your brains — they’ll strike a pose.

It’s a trick photographer Luke Olsen learned when he was surrounded on the streets of his hometown. His shots from the Portland Zombie Walk showcase the lean and mean side of his stylish but macabre portraiture.

The organized chaos of events like the zombie walk offers comic relief from formal photography sessions filled with intricate lighting, staging and models. Any opportunity to capture inspired lunacy is technically practice, but Olsen gravitates toward flash mobs to cut loose with his camera-wielding compatriots. He’s thrown himself into the thick of SantaCon, the infamous alcohol-fueled rampage that grew from absurdist San Francisco street theater into a national headache. The moribund Portland Urban Iditarod, where teams of costumed runners dragged tricked-out shopping carts from bar to bar, has also been shutter fodder.

“It’s a great deal of fun to wander into a large event with a group of friends, shoot the event and reconvene later to see what everyone got,” says Olsen. “It’s like The Bang Bang Club, just 100 percent less deadly.”

Canon G1 X Mark II Ditches Viewfinder, Adds Wi-Fi

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Canon’s new G1 X Mark II brings good news and bad news. The bad news is that it ditches the optical viewfinder that has been found on G-series compacts like forever. The good news is that it adds a faster lens, better manual controls, a flip-up touch-screen LCD panel, Wi-Fi and NFC.

So, on balance, not so bad.

Canon G16 Adds Wi-Fi And Not Much Else

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In camera years[1], Canon’s G-Series is now drawing a pension and should really be scratching out a will. And when a product line is so successful and so mature, it gets hard to improve on it. The G15 had a big sensor, a fast ƒ1.8 lens and a handy front control dial, as well as all the rugged capability that made the G-Series last this long.

The new G16 adds very little, but it get one hugely handy update: Wi-Fi.

Canon’s Vixia Fisheye Camcorder Would Have Been Amazing… Five Years Ago

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Poor Canon. When it comes to compact cameras, its heart is in the right place, but the market is shriveling so fast that sometimes it’s hard to see the point. Today’s example is the Vixia Mini camcorder, a video version of its quirky Powershot N. The Vixia Mini is a square box with a flip-out screen and a fisheye lens. And as a nod to smartphone users, it has Wi-Fi built in. But do we care?

Canon Camera Confusion: EOS 100D Is Smallest DSLR, Like, Ever

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Oh man, this is what happens when companies don’t really know what to do with themselves. We’re familiar with Apple’s ultra-simple product lineup, a hallmark of a focused corporate mind. Canon, on the other hand, decided that — after stripping down the DSLR to make the mirrorless EOS M — it would take that stripped-down camera and, uh, strip it back up again.

So here we have the EOS 100D (or Rebel SL1, to further confuse things), billed as the smallest DSLR in the world, and essentially an EOS M with a mirror and therefore a viewfinder. And corporate confusion aside, it might actually be a cool little camera.

Rumors Of iPhone 5S And The Next iPad On Our Newest CultCast

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This week on The CultCast—finally—it’s time to talk iPhone 5S and iPad 5! We’ll tell you why April and August might be bringing you the tasty new iDevices, and if they’ll be drastically different than the models we’ve already got.

Then, is Apple is a innovation lull? Ex-Apple CEO John Scully thinks so. We’ll tell you what we think is really going on.

Subscribe to The CultCast now on iTunes to download our newest episode, or easily stream new and previous episodes via Apple’s free Podcasts App.

Show notes up next!