US

AT&T decision to drop Huawei Mate 10 Pro reportedly made under pressure from US Congress

According to a report by Reuters AT&T’s decision to not sell the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, currently one of the best camera smartphones, in the US might have been made under pressure from the US Congress.

According to the report, lawmakers did pressure the communications company to drop its plans to offer Huawei’s devices to customers. AT&T is also being urged by Senators and House members to put an end to its collaboration with the Chinese manufacturer on standards for its 5G network.

The report claims that companies are being told that doing business with Huawei, China Mobile and other Chinese companies could reduce the chances of procuring government contracts. “The next wave of wireless communication has enormous economic and national security implications,” said Michael Wessel of a US-Chain security review commission. “China’s participation in setting the standards and selling the equipment raises many national security issues that demand strict and prompt attention.”

According to US intelligence information, Huawei has shared sensitive information with the Chinese government

In addition, Congress has proposed a bill that would prevent any government agencies from working with the Chinese company. The proposal says that, according to US intelligence information, Huawei has shared sensitive information with the Chinese government, and that Chinese security agencies can make use of Huawei equipment to spy on US businesses.

As one would expect, Huawei insists that its technology does not come with any built-in tools for access to US communications infrastructure. The company also told Reuters that its equipment is used by 45 of the world’s top 50 carriers, for all of whom security is a priority.

The good news is that If you are based in the US and did like the Mate 10 Pro’s camera performance in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/huawei-mate-10-pro-camera-review" → continue…

From:: DPreview

CVS bans photo manipulation on its beauty images, will hold other brands to same standard

Photo: CVS Health

Earlier today, CVS announced that it would ban ‘materially altered’ imagery on its store-brand beauty products, and begin marking imagery on all of the beauty products the store carries as ‘Digitally Altered’ if it doesn’t match the new policy by 2020. Given the influence CVS wields—it is the US’s largest drug store chain—major beauty brands such as L’Oreal, Maybelline, and others are expected to follow suit.

The announcement is branded as a “commitment to create new standards for post-production alterations of beauty imagery,” and includes the introduction of the so-called CVS Beauty Mark: a watermark that will appear on all beauty imagery in the store that has not been materially altered. And, just in case you’re not sure what CVS means by ‘materially altered,’ the company explains:

For this initiative, materially altered is defined as changing or enhancing a person’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles or any other individual characteristics.

The move, says Helena Foulkes, President of CVS Pharmacy and Executive VP of CVS Health, is a recognition of the company’s responsibility as one of the largest beauty retailers in the United States:

The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established. As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.

The CVS Beauty Mark will begin appearing on CVS-produced beauty imagery in 2018, but the goal is to have all of the photographs in the beauty sections of CVS stores up to transparency standards by the end of 2020. At that point, any altered beauty image that appears in CVS “stores, marketing materials, websites, → continue…

From:: DPreview

The Google Arts & Culture app can find your fine art doppelganger

Google’s Arts & Culture app was first launched in 2016, offering “virtual access” to some of the most famous art collections in the world, and many stories about arts and culture from around the world. The latest update of the app, however, makes use of Google’s extensive knowledge of machine-learning-based facial recognition, and the front camera of your smartphone, to find your fine art doppelganger… just ’cause.

The new feature lets you record a selfie and receive a list of portrait artworks your self-portrait resembles. While the user interface is extremely simple, Google is using highly sophisticated facial recognition algorithms to compare your facial characteristics to the portraits among the 70,000+ works of art in its Google Art Project database.

To try it out, download and install the app and scroll down to the “is your portrait in a museum?” icon on the front screen. From there, you simply capture an image of your face, and the system will analyze which which work of art you most resemble.

Looking at some of the results on Twitter and other social media, it is fair to say that the feature generally does a pretty decent job in matching selfie subject and piece of art; however, among the examples we have posted below, you’ll also see the occasional slip-up.

Unfortunately, it appears that if you are, like myself, living outside the US, you are currently out of luck as the new feature has not been rolled out globally yet. Hopefully this will happen soon though. If you are based in the US, you can find Google Arts & Culture on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Hey good morning everyone, this Google Arts and Culture app is scary. → continue…

From:: DPreview

AT&T won’t sell the Huawei Mate 10 in the US over political concerns

Chinese device manufacturer Huawei was widely expected to announce its first distribution partnership for a flagship smartphone in the US with carrier AT&T at CES this week. However, the carrier pulled out of the agreement at the last minute for reasons that are not entirely clear, though there is some interesting speculation.

According to a report by the New York Times, it appears Huawei’s strong ties with the Chinese government and a fear of espionage have played an important role in the decision. This means that Huawei yet again won’t have an opportunity to compete eye-to-eye with its main rivals Apple and Samsung in the US, as its flagship device Mate 10 Pro will only be available to buy online, through retailers such as Amazon or Best Buy.

If you live in the US and are not so concerned about Chinese espionage, the Mate 10 Pro is definitely worth a closer look. With a 6-inch 18:9 OLED screen, Kirin 970 processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and its Leica-branded 12MP dual camera setup, it’s firmly placed in the high-end bracket of the market. That’s a lot smartphone for the $800 retail price.

Oh, and its camera is also one of the best among the current crop of flagship phones.

→ continue…

From:: DPreview

Report: GoPro has laid off 200-300 more staff from its drone division

Californian action camera manufacturer GoPro has laid off between 200 and 300 staff, according to a report by TechCrunch. The report claims the redundancies have been made in the division of the company that builds it aerial offering—the Karma drone—and that GoPro cited a need to “better align our resources with business requirements” as the reason for the layoffs.

GoPro has suffered in recent times, with its share price taking a hammering and profits showing in negative figures. One of the main reasons for this was the much-anticipated Karma drone, which had to be recalled after it was discovered the battery could shake itself loose, causing the device to lose power mid-flight and plummet back to Earth.

The company claims that, since returning to stores, Karma has been the number 2 best-selling drone priced above $1,000 in the US for a period of six months up to September 2017. Even so, it would have faced (and still does) stiff competition from former partner DJI.

GoPro’s November report to shareholders announced increased revenue of $300 million, up 37% on the same quarter last year, and a gross margin of 40%. The company was in profit too, making $15 million against a loss of $104 million in the third quarter of 2016. However, the share price has remained low, with current trading at $7.51 against a high of $90 in October 2014.

After 370 job cuts in 2016 and early 2017 the company stated that it employed 1,327 people, but that number is now set to drop to close to 1,000, according to the TechCrunch report.

GoPro, which has been operating under the name since 2004, hasn’t commented on the claims, but the job losses have come between the end of the financial year (December 31st) and → continue…

From:: DPreview

2017 in review: a look back at June

Those sweet, sweet rays. Photo by Dan Bracaglia with the Nikon D7500.

As most summer months are, June was relatively quiet in the camera business. Like many photographers, we were outside trying to make good use of all that daylight, shooting festivals and trying to drown rugged cameras in lakes. But that’s not to say there was no news at all – remember the viral photo of that guy mowing his lawn in front of the tornado? Or the Swiss village with the genius PR stunt? And how could we forget the Canon lens cut in half by a 60,000 PSI water jet?

June marked the 20th anniversary of the first ever photo shared from a phone, and the 10th anniversary of the iPhone

June was also a month of mobile tech milestones. It marked the 20th anniversary of the first ever photo shared from a phone, and the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. Thanks to these innovations, we can share photos with friends halfway around the world in an instant, and tease our pets with treats while we rake in the likes.

Toward the very end of the month we were treated to two new DSLRs from Canon – a much-awaited 6D replacement and the small-but-mighty Rebel SL2.

See all June content


Canon announces EOS 6D Mark II

Just shy of its fifth birthday, the Canon EOS 6D was ripe for replacement. Just prior to its announcement, we got the chance to put it to work photographing some of the most stunning landscapes in the US.

See our Canon EOS 6D Mark II
pre-production gallery

Canon → continue…

From:: DPreview