Japan’s space agency has an adorable ball-shaped camera drone on the ISS

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has a robotic ball-shaped camera drone called Int-Ball floating around the International Space Station, and for the first time ever it has released videos and images captured by the camera.

The drone, which measures 15cm in diameter and was delivered to the ISS on June 4th, was created using 3D printing technologies; with it, flight controllers and researchers on Earth can watch video from the ISS in real-time.

JAXA hasn’t detailed the type of camera used with Int-Ball, saying only that the robot features ‘existing drone technology.’ According to a report in The Japan Times, a dozen propellers enable Int-Ball to navigate in any direction while a variety of inertial sensors, ultrasonics sensors, and a camera make navigation possible.

JAXA says Int-Ball frees up about 10% of the ISS crew’s time for other tasks… so there is some use for it beyond adorable ISS drone marketing.

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From:: DPreview

NEW SGM-250CX Professional Compact Cine Shotgun Microphone

By Posted by Jody Michelle Solis, Editor

The SGM-250CX is a short length, condenser shotgun microphone that is ideal for mounting on
compact digital Cinema Cameras, as well as Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras equipped with
XLR adapters. At only 6 inches in length, the SGM-250CX is the perfect length to stay out of the
way, but long enough to offer excellent rear and side sound rejection. The highly sensitive
microphone element runs on 48 V phantom power and comes with a hardwired, (13”) XLR cable
that provides convenient connection to camera.

The SGM-250CX fits perfectly in most ring-clamp style microphone mounts and also includes
Azden’s newly designed SMH-X shock mount which mounts to standard size camera shoe
slots, as well as ¼”- 20 threaded mounts and tripods.

The SGM-250 microphone series has become notable in the industry for its natural and
professional sound. Specifically tuned to preserve the natural qualities of a speaking subject,
you can expect the SGM-250CX to accurately record the sound of your scene, without the
unnatural heavy bass response of our competitors.

You can rely on the SGM-250CX for great reference audio, but it’s capable of more than that. Its
low noise, and wide frequency response means it can capture audio good enough for the final
cut. Whether you run and gun, mount to a pistol grip or a boom pole, the SGM-250CX can be
your go-to microphone for great dialogue capture. Hand crafted in Japan the SGM-250CX is
in stock and backed by Azden’s 10 year warranty. Suggested retail price of $250.00.

For more information, visit www.azden.com.

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From:: Student Filmmakers

Bic Camera will soon accept Bitcoin at retail stores throughout Japan

Bic Camera, a major Japanese consumer electronics franchise, will soon begin accepting Bitcoin payments at its retail stores throughout Japan and at select Kojima shops, according to local publication Nikkei.

Support for the digital currency could be introduced in Bic Camera stores as early as this month, though select locations in Tokyo already accept the payment option. Since introducing that initial support back in April, the retailer saw immense popularity, prodding it to expand the support to all of its locations.

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin has become an increasingly popular way to buy goods, and though its support was largely relegated to the dark web in its early days, many companies have since added support. Back in 2014, for example, Dell announced that it would accept Bitcoin through its Dell.com website, and many companies have followed suit with similar announcements—including Microsoft, Newegg and more.

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From:: DPreview

Lesli Linka Glatter: Homeland is Where the Heart Is (Along With Lots of Other Places)

By Mark London Williams

“Back when the American Government actually sponsored the arts,” recalled Homeland executive producer Lesli Linka Glatter, invoking a long-ago incarnation of the USA, “I had a grant to perform in the Far East.” That grant, to study and perform in places like Paris and London, and eventually the Far East, found her in Japan, after some […]

The post Lesli Linka Glatter: Homeland is Where the Heart Is (Along With Lots of Other Places) appeared first on Below the Line.

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From:: BLT News

CIPA figures for May show more good news for camera makers

The number of cameras made and shipped by manufacturers continues to grow, spelling some positive news for the photo industry. Although the total number of digital still cameras produced in May by members of the Camera and Imaging Products Association was only up by 4.1% in April, the difference over May 2016 was an impressive 42.2%—and by value 38.9%.

Compact camera and interchangeable lens camera shipments grew by much the same amount, but within the interchangeable lens sector almost two and a half times more mirrorless cameras were produced than last May, while DSLRs grew by only 12.1%.

By value, production of DSLRs was flat on last year and mirrorless up by 160%, but the number of DSLRs produced is still well ahead of compact system cameras—628,336 units as compared to just 387,287.

May 2017 figures still fell short of 2015 (the dotted purple line), but far outpaced May of 2016 (the solid black line).

The association’s figures show that the value of cameras shipped in May was up by 54.5% on the same month last year, with the compact system sector growing by over 200%. While the number of units shipped has also grown, these figures demonstrate a (predictable) movement towards higher priced cameras across the whole industry, and particularly in the mirrorless category.

The mirrorless bug seems to be quickly catching on in the USA, with the region showing value growth of 390%, but the actual number of models shipped still lags behind Europe and Asia. America seems to have a taste for the more expensive mirrorless models though, with a mean pre-tax price of around $720 per camera compared to $480 in Europe, $500 in Japan and $470 in Asia.

For more information see the CIPA website → continue…

From:: DPreview