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Sony Announces its Next-generation α6400 Mirrorless Camera with Real-time Eye Autofocus

Vlad Poptamas

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Sony Electronics Inc. today introduced an exciting new addition to its E-mount mirrorless camera lineup – the α6400 (model ILCE-6400).

The α6400 brings many of Sony’s most advanced technologies from their acclaimed full-frame lineup to a compact, lightweight APS-C camera. The speedy new camera boasts the world’s fastesti autofocus (AF) acquisition of 0.02 secondsii, while also introducing the new advanced “Real-time Eye AF” and “Real-time Tracking” capabilities. Also included are high-speed shooting at up to 11 fpsiv with AF/AE tracking, a new-generation BIONZ X image processing engine that produces excellent image quality, 4Kvi video recording, a fully 180-degree tiltable LCD touch screen and much more, making it the ultimate tool for all types of creators ranging from professionals to vloggers.

“The α6400 represents another important step in the growth of Sony’s overall interchangeable lens camera lineup,” said Neal Manowitz, vice president of Imaging Solutions at Sony Electronics. “By bringing so many of our latest and most advanced technologies from full-frame cameras to a brand new APS-C model, we are giving today’s creators more options than ever to realize their vision.”

Speedy Performance that Captures Decisive Moments
The impressive autofocus system on the new α6400 inherits many technologies from Sony’s newest line-up of full-frame cameras including the α9, α7R III and α7 III models. The new a6400 features 425 phase-detection AF points and 425 contrast-detection AF points that are placed densely over the entire image area, covering approximately 84 percent of the image area. This high-speed, high-performance tracking AF system is paired with a new-generation BIONZ X image processing engine that together allow the camera to acquire focus in as little as 0.02 secondsii and maintain subject lock extremely effectively, ensuring even the fastest moving subjects can be tracked and captured with ease.

The α6400 introduces advanced “Real-time Eye AF,” the latest version of Sony’s acclaimed Eye AF technology. This exciting new capability employs artificial intelligence based object recognition to detect and process eye data in real time, resulting in improved accuracy, speed and tracking performance of Eye AF. In all autofocus modes, the camera now automatically detects the eyes of the subject and activates Eye AF with a half press of the shutter button, and when in AF-C or AF-A mode, the preferred eye (left or right) of your subject can be selected as the focus point. Choices include Auto / Right Eye / Left Eye, and a Switch Right / Left Eye function is able to be assigned to a custom function as well. This exciting new technology completely frees the photographer to focus solely on composition with full trust that focus will be tack sharp on the subject’s eye. Eye AF support for animals[vii] will be added in summer 2019 via a system software update, ideal for wildlife photographers.

Also debuting on the α6400 is Sony’s newly developed “Real-time Tracking.” This mode utilizes Sony’s latest algorithm including artificial intelligence (AI) based object recognition and processes color, subject distance (depth), pattern (brightness) as spatial information to ensure that all subjects can be captured with excellent accuracy. Additionally, when photographing or videographing humans or animals, face and eye position information is recognized by AI and the subject’s eyevii is monitored in real time with extremely high tracking precision. This can be activated by a simple half press of the shutter button[viii], or can be assigned to a custom function as well.

In terms of overall shooting speeds, the new camera can shoot at up to 11 fpsiv with full AF/AE tracking while utilizing the mechanical shutter, and up to 8 fpsv with full AF/AE tracking while silent shooting. It can shoot at each of these speeds for up to 116 frames JPEG Standard / 46 frames RAW compressed, greatly increasing the chances of capturing the perfect moment.

All-around Advancements in Image Quality
Sony’s new α6400 is equipped with a 24.2 MPiii APS-C sized image sensor with that is paired with an upgraded BIONZ X processor to deliver incredible advancements in image quality and color reproduction in all types of shooting conditions. Standard ISO ranges up to ISO 32000 for both still and movie, and is expandable up to ISO 102400 for still images, with excellent noise reduction at medium and high sensitivities.

The camera also inherits many of the image processing algorithms from Sony’s newest full-frame cameras, greatly suppressing noise while preserving resolution and improving texture depiction.

Advanced High-resolution 4Kvi Movie Recording with Fast Hybrid Autofocus
The versatile α6400 is an exceptional video camera, offering internal 4K (QFHD: 3840 x 2160) movie recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning to collect about 2.4x the amount of data required for 4K movies, and then oversamples it to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. Focusing during movie shooting is fast and stable thanks to upgraded Fast Hybrid AF technology, which keeps the subject in constant smooth focus no matter the scene, and even if an object crosses in front of the camera. This advanced AF plus touch focus functionality make it an ideal camera choice for many vloggers and video creators that are regularly creating and uploading content online.

For time-lapse movie creationix, the new camera features built-in interval recording that can be set anywhere between 1 and 60 seconds, with a total number of shots from 1 to 9999. AE tracking sensitivity can be adjusted to “High”, “Mid” or “Low” during interval shooting, allowing for reduced changes in exposure over the shooting interval.

Additionally, for the first time in Sony APS-C mirrorless camera, the new model includes an HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma)picture profile, which supports an Instant HDR workflow, allowing HDR (HLG) compatible TV’s to playback beautiful, true-to-life 4K HDRx imagery. Further, both S-Log2 and S-Log3xi are available for increased color grading flexibility, as well as Zebra functionality, Gamma Display assist and proxy recording. The camera can also record Full HD at 120 fpsxii at up to 100 Mbps, allowing footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow-motion video files in Full HD resolution with AF tracking.

Upgraded Build to Maximize Versatility
The new camera is designed to offer a high level of functionality and customization to maximize shooting freedom. New on the α6400 is a fully 180-degree tiltable, 3.0-type LCD flip screen with 921k-dots of resolution that allows for simple and effective framing of selfie-style shooting for both still and video capture. Utilizing this capability, vloggers will be able to check and monitor composition throughout their entire creative process. The LCD screen is also equipped with touch functionality, with options for Touch Pad, Touch Focus, Touch Shutter and new Touch Tracking which quickly activates “Real-time Tracking” through the touch screen.

The camera features a high-quality XGA OLED Tru-finder™ viewfinder, extensive customization with 89 functions that are assignable to eight custom keys, the new My Dial and My Menu functionality, enhanced overall menu usability, a help screen for menus, star rating for images, and many other features that allow for a seamless shooting experience. It is also built with a tough magnesium alloy design and has an extremely durable shutter that is rated for approximately 200,000 cyclesxiii. It also is capable of seamlessly transferring files to a smartphone or tablet when connected to the brand new Imaging Edge Mobile applicationxiv.

Pricing and Availability
The α6400 will ship in February 2019 for a suggested retail price of $900 USD and $1,250 CAD. It will also be offered as a kit with the 16-50mm F3.5 – 5.6 lens for a suggested retail price of $1,000 USD and $1,350 CAD, or in a kit with the 18-135mm F3.5 – 5.6 lens for a suggested retail price of $1,300 USD and $1,750 CAD. The camera and kits will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.

A variety of exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new camera and other Sony α products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com, a site built to educate and inspire all fans and customers of the Sony α brand.

Photo caption: Sony α6400 Mirrorless Camera

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Automotive

Sono Motors to Produce Sion in Sweden

Betty Tűndik

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Sion - The first Solar Electric Vehicle. A car charging itself. - Photo Source: sonomotors.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The first series production solar electric vehicle (SEV) developed by the German mobility provider Sono Motors is to be manufactured in Sweden. As Sono Motors officially announced today, the first generation of the Sion will be produced in Trollhättan by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS). The plant located there was home to the production lines of the long-standing and innovative automobile manufacturer SAAB. In total, an initial 260,000 vehicles will roll off the production line in Trollhättan over an eight-year period. Production will commence in the second half of 2020. After the ramp-up period, approximately 43,000 Sion a year will be manufactured in two-shift operations. Production will be carried out using one hundred percent renewable energy.

“In NEVS, we found the perfect partner for us,” says Thomas Hausch, Chief Operating Officer, Sono Motors. “Together, we share a vision of intelligent and resource-conserving mobility. We also value our partner’s specific expertise based on their many years of experience in traditional automobile development and production in combination with proven expertise in the area of electromobility.”

The innovative vehicle concept of the Sion already represents tomorrow’s mobility today – the aim of which needs to be the reduction of vehicles on the roads through more sustainable and more efficient usage. The Sion will therefore be equipped ex works with integrated sharing options. These enable the owner to share the vehicle itself, individual journeys, or even energy via a mobile application (goSono app), developed by Sono Motors. A bidirectional charging function enables the Sion to both receive and supply electricity, power electrical devices independently, and feed energy to other vehicles or into the electricity grid. Thanks to full-surface solar integration, the vehicle battery can be charged with pure and free solar energy worth up to 34 kilometers’ range per day in addition to its regular WLTP range of 255 kilometers.

For its market launch, the Sion will be rolled out in one single variant version costing 25,500 euros. There are plans afoot to develop other vehicle models based on the vehicle’s platform.

Since the presentation of the prototypes in summer 2017, the Sono Motors team has been going on test drive road shows all over Europe. On the occasion of the cooperation with NEVS, the next road show will take place in Sweden. Sono Motors has so far taken approximately 9,800 partially paid preorders for the Sion.

 

SOURCE Sono Motors GmbH

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Awards

New Research Identifies the Technology That Hotel Guests Really Want

Betty Tűndik

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Criton developed app for Cheval Residences
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Research conducted by leading travel technology firm Criton reveals the importance of hotel technology to improve the experience of today’s travellers

Dependence on mobile phones when travelling is brought into sharp focus by a survey of more than 3,600 travellers which reveals a growing appreciation for bespoke travel apps. Research commissioned by Edinburgh-based hospitality firm Criton, highlights that loyalty programmes, self-check-in/out and accessing your hotel room via a digital door key are primary requirements of today’s guests.

Julie Grieve, Founder and CEO of Criton

 

 The findings highlight crucial information for all hoteliers, with guests’ smartphones now recognised as an essential tool for delivering and improving their travel experience. With 45% of respondents travelling for leisure more than four times a year, findings showed that 62% of respondents regularly use an accommodation app, with the figure increasing to 67% amongst business travellers.

If their favourite hotel was to have its own app, 74% of respondents overwhelmingly stated they would use this digital channel, with only 10% favouring an in-room device such as a hotel’s smartphone or tablet. This reinforces Criton’s core belief that the future of hotel technology is own device. Hoteliers no longer need to absorb the cost of installing in-room devices when their guests travel with their own smartphone and are more comfortable with the apps and content within it.

The opportunity to check-in via an app and access their hotel room via a digital door key was warmly received with 58% likely or very likely to want this technology. With 68% finding it unacceptable to queue at reception for longer than five minutes, offering guests access to a service which global chains already offer is fast becoming a core priority for independent operators.

Respondents prioritised loyalty programmes as their favoured element of hotel technology with 53% recognising it as their top requirement. In a competitive landscape, the opportunity to drive direct and repeat bookings through a personalised loyalty programme will ensure hoteliers save on OTA commission while creating their own closed marketing group to upsell onsite services and facilities.

Underlining modern travellers’ awareness of technology, the survey found an audience ready to talk about tech use and expectations while travelling. Reflecting on the results of the survey, Julie Grieve, founder and CEO of Criton, which developed the UK’s first intuitive app builder for the hospitality sector, said:

“Increasingly, today’s travellers are downloading apps that help them get around and stay connected with their hotel. That level of tech awareness or even dependency also raises expectations for information, guest services, such as check-in, digital key and offers and incentives to reward their loyalty.

“Respondents to the survey were people who travel regularly, with the majority opting for a mid-range hotel or accommodation. It is increasingly clear that adopting technology has to be seen as an imperative for all hospitality providers; it is not something purely for the major franchises.”

Criton lets independent operators compete with big chain technology through an easy to use platform. From digitising the traditional hotel room guest book to PMS, live chat, digital door key and in-room ordering integrations all contained within a fully-branded hotel app; Criton supports hospitality businesses with their digital transformation strategies and work with clients across the UK and overseas.

Research Methodology:

An online survey ran from Tuesday 26th March until Monday 1st April and received a total of 3,654 responses, of whom 1,311 were classed as business travellers.

Key Findings:

  • 45% of travellers stated they travel for leisure 2-3 times a year
  • 36% travel for business
  • 39% use TripAdvisor as main source of research and inspiration before booking a hotel, followed by 29% of respondents relying on online search
  • 40% of travellers said they regularly stay in a 4-star (boutique) hotel, with 6% in a 5-star (luxury) hotel. The majority (47%) stated they regularly stay in a 3-star (mid-range) hotel
  • 53% have at least one hotel app on their phone
  • 74% would use a hotel app if their favourite hotel had one
  • 55% stated it is acceptable to wait at check-in 2-5 minutes
  • 62% would be likely or very likely to check-in to a hotel via an app
  • 58% would be likely or very likely to check-in to a hotel via an app and use digital key

App usage

  • 62% use an accommodation app regularly (eg Airbnb)
  • 57% use a transport app regularly
  • 47% use an airline app regularly
  • 36% uses a hotel app regularly

The hotel technology that respondents seek:

  • 53% – loyalty programmes
  • 35% – self check-in
  • 10% – in-room mobile
  • 18% – in-room tablet

Awards:

  • Criton won the ‘Best Technology Provider’ award at the 2018 Travolution Awards and was Highly Commended for Best Use of Mobile
  • Criton won the ‘Industry Breakthrough and Innovation Award’ at the ASAP Awards 2018
  • Julie Grieve, Founder & CEO won the prestigious ‘HOSPACE 2017 Best Entrepreneur Award’

 

SOURCE: Criton

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Computer Electronics

Defining the essence of future, DIGIX HUAWEI Global Smartphone Theme Design Competition Officially Launched

Betty Tűndik

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HUAWEI_THEME_1
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

DIGIX HUAWEI Global Smartphone Theme Design Competition was formally launched on April 11th, inviting exceptional designers and art enthusiasts from all over the globe to send in their thematic interface designs, including illustrations, animations, and 3D graphics. With the theme of ‘Hello, New Art’, this competition aims to create a fusion of art and technology, sharing the cutting-edge design and aesthetic trends with global users.

Global Authoritative judges facilitate to forge an international professional design arena

An impressive panel of judges has been appointed including Xiaokang Liu(KL&K Creative Strategics Founder), Jun Fei (Professor of School of Design, Central Academy of Fine Arts), Bai Cha (One of China’s Most Popular Cartoonists), María José Pérez-Luque (Head of the Multimedia and Graphic Design program, ESNE, Madrid), Alejandro Magallenes (Member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale), Jun Liang (Huawei UCD Chief User Experience Design Director), Alexandre Plicque Gurlitt (Senior Visual Designer, Paris Aesthetic Research Center), and other prominent design masters so as to forge the most influential design arena in the mobile phone industry.

Special guest designers to create conceptual works, interpreting the essence of new art 

For the warming-up of this competition, an influential panel of design masters had been invited to create a set of stylish and imaginative masterpieces, showing audiences the new definition of art. The panel list is as follow:

Ye Luying, illustrator named in the Forbes Under 30 Asia List
Wu Sijun, young artist
LOST7, popular illustrator
Paulo Villagrán, One of Mexico’s Most Prominent Illustrators
Wang Yunfei, popular illustrator
FIREYE, popular illustrator

Free to show your strengths in four major categories

This year’s Global Theme Design competition is divided into four separate categories, including illustrations, animations, 2D graphics, and 3D graphics. Designers can choose to submit work into any category to compete for the prize and demonstrate their uniqueness in the specific art field.

In this world-class design competition, designers from all over the world will compete on the same stage and interpret new art with extraordinary creativity. Art design will be revitalized by those talented designers in the process of exploring the futuristic aesthetics.

Generous rewards to your design talent

Eight major awards were set up for 134 winners, with a total prize of more than $330,000 US dollars, and will include the Global Winner Grand Prize, Stars of Tomorrow Award, Most Popular Award etc. In addition to cash rewards, as part of the designer support program, a special Creative Fund is established to incentivize the art work creation and guarantee artists the corresponding income. At the same time, this competition will be launched in more than 170 countries and regions. All entries are able to receive exposure from billions through online and offline channels worldwide, bringing an  extraordinary experience to hundreds of millions of Huawei smartphone users.

Easy to create themes by employing Huawei Themes Development Tool 9.0

In line with this competition, Huawei officially launched the Theme Development Tool 9.0. The newly upgraded theme development tool supports theme visualization editing, multi-effect online preview, and materials one-click packaging, enabling designers to get rid of complex lock screen script development etc., generating a designer friendly environment and leaving more time for the creation.

Event information not to be missed: Your participation will affect the future of smartphone theme design aesthetics

The theme is one of the key artistic measure of smartphones and the theme designer is the master of making the fusion of art and technology possible. And hundreds of millions of users will be influenced by every detail of the theme design.

A great number of designers from all over the world will participate this competition enthusiastically!

For more information, please visit the official website: https://themes.cloud.huawei.com/contest/index.html or open the Huawei Themes application to enter the competition registration page and sign up to participate!

 

SOURCE: Huawei

 

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