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Preview: Microsoft related news: Digital Photography Review (

microsoft related articles: Digital Photography Review (

microsoft related articles from Digital Photography Review

Last Build Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2018 23:04:00 Z

Copyright: Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Digital Photograph Review

Wacom's new Cintiq Pro Engine turns your Wacom pen display into a full-blown PC

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 23:04:00 Z

Back in July of 2017, Wacom announced that it would be releasing 24- and 32-inch versions of its popular Cintiq Pro pen display for creatives. But today's official debut of the 24-inch model isn't the most interesting news out of Wacom; the interesting bit is the Cintiq Pro Engine: a plug-and-play PC module that turns your Cintiq Pro tablet into a full-blown Windows 10 workstation. Or, in Wacom's own words: Designed for professional illustrators, designers, engineers and motion graphics users who require professional computing power and graphics performance, the modular Cintiq Pro Engine slots into the back of the Cintiq Pro 24, eliminating the space, cable clutter and compatibility issues that often result from using external computers and laptops. Attaching the Cintiq Pro Engine to the Cintiq Pro 24 tranforms the Cintiq Pro 24 into a full Windows 10 creative studio that supports even the most demanding programs and applications used by creative professionals. The Cintiq Pro Engine is a PC module that quite simply slides into a slot on the back of the 24-inch (and eventually 32-inch) Cintiq Pro pen display. Once added, your Cintiq Pro is now a Windows 10 PC in one of two variations: If go with the $2,500 Cintiq Pro Engine i5, you get: A quad-core Intel Core i5HQ processor NVIDIA Quadro P3200 graphics card with 6GB of dedicated GDDR5 RAM 16GB of RAM A 256GB PCIe Gen3 SSD WiFi and Bluetooth Connectivity Or you can get the $3,300 Cintiq Pr Engine Xeon with: An Intel XEON processor The same NVIDIA Quadro P3200 graphics card with 6GB dedicated GDDR5 RAM 32GB of RAM A 512GB PCIe Gen3 SSD Wireless and Bluetooth connectivity What's more, the SSDs and RAM inside both versions are upgradable, so you can keep the PC modules current as demands increase. And since the Cintiq Pro Engine is plug-and-play, you can swap it between various Cintiq Pro 24- and 32-inch pen displays "while retaining the same computing environment." Both versions of the Cintiq Pro Engine will be available starting in May in Japan, the US, and 'select countries' in Europe. To learn more about the Cintiq Pro 24-inch and the Cintiq Pro Engine, visit the Wacom website. Press Release Wacom Cintiq Pro Engine and Cintiq Pro displays: The first modular all-in-one creative studio Wacom Cintiq Pro Engine is a compact PC module that converts the Cintiq Pro into a powerful creative studio. Artists, Designers and Engineers can transform their Cintiq Pro into a powerful Windows 10 workstation with the power to run the demanding creative applications and workflows, including 3D, animation and virtual reality. Tokyo, Japan – Feb. 27, 2018 – Today Wacom announced the Wacom Cintiq Pro Engine, a creative PC module available in two configurations that fully integrates into the Cintiq Pro 24-inch pen display (announced today in a separate release). Designed for professional illustrators, designers, engineers and motion graphics users who require professional computing power and graphics performance, the modular Cintiq Pro Engine slots into the back of the Cintiq Pro 24, eliminating the space, cable clutter and compatibility issues that often result from using external computers and laptops. “It is our mission to help professionals create with the least amount of distraction and clutter and to give them the power to tackle the new spaces of creating content for AR, VR and MR. The Wacom Cintiq Pro Engine provides a beautiful, easy to use solution for creatives everywhere,” said Faik Karaoglu, Executive Vice President of the Creative Business Unit at Wacom. Attaching the Cintiq Pro Engine to the Cintiq Pro 24 tranforms the Cintiq Pro 24 into a full Windows 10 creative studio that supports even the most demanding programs and applications used by creative professionals. The combination of the Wacom Cintiq Pro display, the powerful Wacom Cintiq Pro Engine creative PC module, and a flexible and rotatable new Wacom Ergo Stand is an innovative approach to providing an all-in-one specialized working environment for creatives. Adding the use of the Wacom Pro Pen[...]

Microsoft adds 'Ultimate Performance' mode to latest Windows 10 Pro build

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:48:00 Z


Microsoft has introduced a new "Ultimate Performance" power scheme in its latest Windows 10 preview build. The new mode will be available to Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, a high-end version of Windows 10 that Microsoft introduced back in August. The company explains that Ultimate Performance is a way to "provide the absolute maximum performance" on these workstations for users who need as much power as possible.

Ultimate Performance mode builds upon the existing High-Performance option, working to eliminate micro-latencies, says Microsoft, that are "associated with fine grained power management techniques." Ultimately, the new mode is designed for reducing those micro-latencies and it may result in increased power consumption; as such, Microsoft hasn't made this mode available on system powered by batteries (like laptops).


For creatives who need to squeeze the most power possible out of their Windows machine as they edit 8K footage in Premiere Pro or cull and edit thousands of photos in the speedier new build of Lightroom Classic, the new mode could potentially give you a performance boost in exchange for higher power consumption.

Both OEMs and users can enable Ultimate Performance via Control Panel > Power Options > Hardware and Sound. The feature is only available to Windows Insiders running Windows 10 Pro for Workstations via Preview Builds 17079 or greater, for now.

Microsoft Photos Companion app offers easy photo transfer from smartphones to PC

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:35:00 Z


Microsoft has launched a new app to facilitate easy photo transfer from mobile devices to a Windows 10 PC, without using the cloud. Photos Companion is available for iOS and Android and deposits your mobile images in the Windows Photos app on the desktop or laptop PC using just a WiFi network.

To get started, you have to scan a QR code in the Windows Photos desktop app to pair smartphone and computer. Both devices have to be connected to the same WiFi network, which in turn allows you to send individual images or entire batches across very quickly. It is, in essence, the exact same system as Apple's AirDrop, but limited to photos and videos.


Pairing isn't permanent, and will have to be re-established for each sharing operation. Still, that's easily done and the app looks like an interesting solution for collecting media files from multiple mobile devices on a single PC for working on collaborative projects.

Once on the PC, images and videos can be shared and edited in the Windows Photo app as usual. If Photos Companion sounds like an app that could potentially improve your workflow, you can find more information and app store links on the Microsoft website.

Surface Beast: A photographer's review of the Microsoft Surface Book 2

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:04:00 Z

This review was originally published on Blair Bunting's blog, and is being republished in full on DPReview with express permission from the author. Over the last year I have been slowly migrating from Apple to Windows, and to be honest, breaking out of the walled gardens that I lived within (some known, some unknown) has not been easy, but it has been freeing. I have to hand it to Apple, they made a system, an environment, that has been comfortable and creatively useful for many years; however, slowly the sparkle that was once held in such high regards by artists, has begun to dull. For me, there was one piece of hardware that remained from my Apple past, one that traveled with me to all my photoshoots and pre-production meetings, coffee shops and airport bars, studios and locations alike… my MacBook Pro. When I began transitioning to Windows, I had made concessions. I thought at the time, that one of the few pieces of Apple hardware that would stay in my repertoire was the MBP. I had even decided to upgrade it to the newest one before the announcement, for I knew it would be cutting edge in the ways that other Apple products of the past had been. Then, to the horror of myself and many around, we watched as Apple gave us the new MacBook Pro, complete with… wait for it… the touch bar (ready to suit all of my emoji needs). That very day I bought a Microsoft Surface Book (the very one that I am typing this blog on) and never looked back. To be honest, I had intended to write a review of it for quite some time, however, that blog had been put on the backburner. What was striking about the original Surface Book was something I had a very hard time quantifying. While there were many things I fell in love with on it, such as the keyboard, and the detachable screen, the thing that won me over more than anything was how much it just worked. Almost overnight I started to see my productivity rise as I was able to re-focus on the business side of advertising photography. I was transporting my RAWs from set on the original Surface Book and would occasionally do minor edits on it in airports; however, the 100-megapixel files from the Hasselblad H6D-100cwere taxing on it once layers were added in Photoshop and file sizes surpassed the 5GB mark. Now I know that 5GB files are rarely opened on a laptop, but I had to test it out and did notice that the large files sizes were tough on the processor. Then, about a month ago, the phone rang and it was Microsoft, wondering if I would like to hear about a new piece of equipment… the Surface Book 2. Previously they had let me try out their Surface Pro, which I liked, but still found myself using the Surface Book more. It was a no brainer and I quickly signed to have a loaner unit sent over immediately. The Surface Book 2 arrived only days before I was to fly out for a campaign I was shooting in New York and New Jersey. I have always had a rule that any gear headed to set has to have a backup. No matter how different the backup is, there needs to be a safety net in case something unforeseen happens. For the past year, I was traveling with the Surface Book in my carry on while the MacBook Pro was in my checked baggage. Perhaps there was part of me that was nervous about letting go of that laptop. However, the campaign on the East Coast would be the first one completely void of an Apple product, backups included. All this had been planned before the Surface Book 2 arrived. Then the FedEx delivery man arrived with the package that I had been sitting next to the door waiting for all day (on a side note, does FedEx know when I am anxiously awaiting a package and then decide to be late as hell delivering it?). In the box was the clean white box containing a new Surface Book 2, and to my surprise… IT WAS THE 15” MODEL. While I knew it existed, I had told the gentleman on the phone to send out whatever was easiest and I didn’t want to hassle them with demands. To be honest, I had g[...]

Microsoft unveils Surface Book 2 with powerful graphics chips, adds 15-inch model

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:24:00 Z


Microsoft has announced the next generation of its Surface Book hybrid device, the Surface Book 2, and like its predecessor, the new two-in-one laptops are targeted at creative types and gamers. Microsoft says the Surface Book 2 offers, "the power of a desktop, the versatility of a tablet, and the freedom of a light and thin laptop in one beautifully designed device."

The new models come with Intel's 8th generation Core processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 and 1060 GPUs, making them "up to five times more powerful" than the original model and twice as powerful as the latest MacBook Pro.



Despite powerful processing components, the hybrid device offers all-day battery life, with up to 17 hours of video playback in laptop mode and 5 hours in tablet mode. The detachable 15" PixelSense multi-touch display comes with a 3240 x 2160 resolution, while the smaller 13" variant still offers a very dense 3000 x 2000 pixel count but is lighter than its larger cousin (3.38lbs vs 4.2lbs).

Finally, in one last nod to dissatisfied MacBook Pro users, the new Surface Book 2 comes with a full array of ports, including: two USB-A ports, a USB-C port, and an SD card reader, reducing the need for dongles or other connection accessories.

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You can find the complete Surface Book 2 specifications on the Microsoft website, where you'll also be able to pre-order the new models starting November 9th for $1500 for the lowest power 13-inch model and a whopping $2,500 for the base 15-inch model.

Consumer Reports no longer recommends Microsoft Surface devices: too unreliable

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 15:31:00 Z

Photo by Jared Brashier

Yikes. Microsoft's Surface devices—particularly the versatile Surface Pro tablet computers—have become popular among photographers. But if you're considering taking the plunge on the new Surface Pro, you might want to consider this news from Consumer Reports. The respected car, appliance, and gadget tester just completed a survey of over 90,000 Surface owners, and what they found forced them to remove the 'Recommended' label from the Microsoft devices.

According to the report on CR, the breakage rate of Surface devices is 'significantly worse' than competing laptops and tablets. How much worse? According to its survey, CR says 25% of Surface owners will run into issues within the first 2 years of ownership. This finding applies to Surface Pro tablets, Surface Book laptops, and standard clamshell Surface laptops.

Common problems reported by survey participants include freezing, unexpectedly shutting down, and have issues with their touchscreens.

For its part, Microsoft disputes the report, claiming their own support numbers don't track with the CR survey. "We don’t believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners’ true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation," said the company in a statement.

To read the full report, head over to Consumer Reports.

Microsoft demonstrates better way to bend sensors for simpler lenses and better IQ

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 08:00:00 Z


Microsoft has become the latest company to show its hand in the race to gain the image quality benefits of curved sensors. Its Project Vermont has developed a method for bending conventionally made silicon sensors into more uniformly-curved shapes.

We've reported several times over the past few years on various commercial and academic projects working towards the creation of curved sensors. Curved sensors promise several image quality improvements: they can work with simpler lenses, since you don't need to optically correct a curved projection to a flat surface, they also give more direct illumination to pixels at the edges of the sensor, improving how much light they can receive. There's also a benefit at the center, possibly stemming from better acceptance of light from the edge of the lens.

In a paper published in the journal Optics Express (doi:10.1364/OE.25.013010), the group discusses a method for bending conventional silicon sensors in a way that gives a more even, rounded curvature. The process was refined to the point that it took only a couple of minutes to curve the sensor and maintain the curvature.

The paper discusses the creation of a curved sensor based on an Aptina 1/2.3" type sensor and its performance, it also discusses the modelled benefits of sensors with curvatures to match lenses ranging from 30mm equiv to 80mm equiv, vs the performance of similar flat sensors.

The team also compared the performance of its curved sensor and lens to a flat version of the same chip with a commercially available 6mm F1.2 lens. These, in turn, were compared with the performance of a Canon 50mm F1.2 lens on EOS-1D S Mark III. The simpler lens on the curved sensor gave significantly more consistent across-the-frame performance than either conventional lens and flat sensor combination.

The group list photography, videography, computer vision and automation, reconnaissance and surveillance imaging, microscopes, and telescopes as being some of the fields that could benefit from curved sensors, though the issue remains that the curvature needs to be matched to the focal length of the lens, limiting their benefits to systems with fixed focal lengths, unless the curvature can be varied.

The new Surface Pro: new processors, boosted battery life and more

Tue, 23 May 2017 19:29:00 Z

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Microsoft's Surface Pro (they've dropped the numbering scheme) looks impressive. In an interview with The Verge, Microsoft's head of Surface, Panos Panay, claims there are about 800 new custom parts in the Surface Pro.

Battery life is up from 9 to 13.5 hours, it's got the latest Kaby Lake processors, there are promised sleep/wake improvements (an issue that plagued many Surface Pro 4 users), and the device just looks and feels nicer with more rounded edges as well as a barely visible vent.

The Core i5 now joins the m3 in being fanless (the high-end i7 still has a fan). The new hinge allows the Surface Pro to lie almost completely flat at 165 degrees, which Microsoft calls Studio Mode (after the Surface Studio). This'll make it easier to use with the Surface Dial. Of note: Surface Dial will come to Surface Book and Pro 4 users later this year.

The Surface Pen gets a sizable update as well: it now has 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt detection (only with the Surface Pro) for better shading and inking accuracy. Perhaps even more important is that it's more responsive because of a reduction in minimum activation force. Though this time around, it's a separate purchase. And despite the re-design, we still wish secondary clicks were easier with the pen, without requiring you to rotate the pen to the right position to click the secondary button (a ring button wrapped all the way around the pen would be more ergonomically friendly).

There's still no USB-C, and only one USB port (this accessory will help photographers import SD cards to an external drive without a hub, utilizing the Surface's micro SD port). A new LTE option should be great for those one the go, though a release date for that feature hasn't been announced.

The new Surface Pro is available for pre-order today starting at $799, with the Type Cover coming in at $129 and Surface Pen coming in at $99. Shipping starts June 15th.

Via: The Verge and Microsoft

Microsoft unveils Windows Story Remix, a video editor for Windows 10

Fri, 12 May 2017 07:01:00 Z


Windows Movie Maker is revived in Story Remix, an app announced today for Windows 10 users at Microsoft's Build conference. It allows users to easily edit together photos and videos from their mobile and desktop collections into movie clips.

Microsoft's presentation emphasizes its ease-of-use and collaboration features, but the attention-getter is the ability to easily drop in special effects. Fireballs, 3D-figures and text can be added to a scene and anchored to objects for a realistic-looking cinematic effect. 

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For those less interested in customizing their video, Story Remix can automatically edit photos and videos into a movie with basic input from the user, presenting the option to 'remix' the whole thing if you don't like what you get. The demonstrations certainly look clever – we'll be interested to see how end users take to the final product.

Microsoft's HoloLens may give surgeons virtual help during spinal surgeries

Fri, 05 May 2017 22:28:00 Z

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Scopis, a maker of navigation tools for surgeons, has introduced a new platform that utilizes Microsoft's HoloLens mixed-reality headset. The benefits are pretty obvious – useful information can be projected in onto a patient, hands-free, and virtual monitors can be displayed within view for quick reference. Take a look at a simulated demo in the video above.

Microsoft Surface Studio morphs the photographer's desktop into a studio

Thu, 14 Apr 2016 12:00:00 Z

When we last reviewed a flagship Lumia device (the 1520), it was still sold under the Nokia name. In the meantime Nokia has sold its device business to Microsoft, but it took a long time for the new owners to come up with a replacement for the 1520. Eventually the first duo of Lumia flagship phones under the Microsoft banner was announced in October 2015. The Lumia 950 and 950 XL differ in size and processor specification but use the same PureView-branded camera.

The latter comes with a 1/2.4"-type 20MP Sony sensor and a Carl Zeiss branded lens with F1.9 maximum aperture. A latest generation optical image stabilization system is keeping things steady and a triple-LED RGB flash aims to avoid undesirable color casts when shooting with flash. As you would expect from a current flagship, 4K video recording is on board as well. At the front a 5MP module with F2.4 aperture is installed for self-portraits and video-chats. 

For this review we used the smaller of the two devices, the Lumia 950, which comes with a 5.2-inch 1440p display and Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 chipset. The 950 XL offers a larger screen, a more powerful Snapdragon 810 chip and a slightly larger battery, but the camera setup is identical to the 950's. Read our full review on the following pages to see how the camera on the new Microsoft device performed in our test. 

Key Photographic / Video Specifications

  • 20MP 1/2.4"-type Sony CMOS sensor 
  • Carl Zeiss branded lens with F1.9 maximum aperture
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 26mm equivalent focal length
  • Triple-LED RGB flash
  • 4K video
  • 5MP / F2.4 front camera
  • Dedicated shutter button

Other Specifications

  • Windows 10 operating system
  • 5.2-inch AMOLED 1440p display (564 ppi)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 SoC
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB storage
  • MicroSD slot
  • 3000 mAh battery

Our 9-page review

We've considered every aspect of the Microsoft Lumia 950 with the photographer in mind. We examined the user interface of the native camera app and its special features. We experimented with the camera's performance when taking stills and video, and had a play with the device's many special feature modes.

Microsoft provides additional detail on Lumia 950 and 950XL cameras

Fri, 16 Oct 2015 23:03:00 Z


On October 6th Microsoft launched the long-awaited successors to the Nokia Lumia 930 and 1520, the Lumia 950 and 950XL. Now Juha Alakarhu, Director, cameras for phones at Microsoft, has written a post on the Microsoft Devices Blog that provides some more detail about the camera hardware and software in the new models and shows some impressive looking sample images. 

The new models use a PureView camera module that combines a 20MP BSI CMOS sensor with a Zeiss-branded F1.9 lens, optical image stabilization and a triple-LED flash. Sensitivity can be increased up to ISO 12800 and of course the video mode is capable of recording 4K footage. At the front there is a 5MP wide-angle camera for selfies and video-chats.

Microsoft Lumia 950XL, ISO 64, 1/250 sec, Image: Microsoft
100% crop: impressive detail

Alakarhu claims that on the software side of things image processing has been optimized in terms of exposure, color and pixel-level image quality and that the sensor's native dynamic range is so good that the camera's HDR mode is hardly needed. He also explains the function of the triple-LED flash that automatically matched the color of ambient light. 

It's not the first time we've heard these sort of claims at or shortly after a device launch, but Microsoft has posted some pretty impressive looking full-size image samples that have been captured with a prototype device to back up its statements. We are certainly looking forward to production units becoming available putting it through its paces. For now head over to the Microsoft Devices Blog to read the full post and view the samples.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 comes with larger screen and more power

Tue, 06 Oct 2015 19:09:00 Z


Today Microsoft not only launched two new smartphones with PureView camera but also the latest incarnation of its high-end Surface Pro tablet that is capable of running full desktop-applications, such as Adobe Photoshop CC or Lightroom. General concept, design and dimensions of the Surface have remained pretty much unchanged but, as you would expect, there are a range of improvements in the new model.

Thanks to thinner bezels the screen could be expanded from 12 to 12.3-inches and comes with a resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels. At 8.4mm the magnesium housing is now a little thinner and under the hood the new model provides desktop level horsepower with Intel Core m, Core i5 or Core i7 processors running the Windows 10 operating system. There are also integrated Intel HD graphics (515, 520 or Iris 540), 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage. Like previous models the Surface Pro 4 comes with a dock, allowing you to use it as your main PC. The new model is compatible with the docking station and Type keyboard cover of its predecessor but there is also an updated keyboard version that comes with a fingerprint reader for added security, a new key design for better typing and a 40% larger trackpad. 


The latest generation Microsoft Pen adds a virtual eraser to its back which allows you to undo previous actions and comes with a range of interchangeable tips, allowing you to simulate the use of various types of pencils. It is capable of detecting 1024 levels of pressure and magnetically attaches to the side of the tablet.

The new Surface Pro 4 tablet is available from $899 and goes up to $2,199 for the most powerful version. The new Type cover will cost you $129.99 and the Surface Pen is available at $59.99.

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Microsoft launches Lumia 950 and 950 XL with PureView cameras

Tue, 06 Oct 2015 19:06:00 Z

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL Lumia devices have always had a good reputation among mobile photographers but the last high-end models in the line, the Lumia 930 and 1520 were launched more than one and a half years ago, before Nokia's device division was sold to Microsoft. Today the latter has finally launched a new pair of high-end Lumia smartphones, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, both of which come with a PureView branded camera module.  As the name suggests, the Lumia 950 XL is the bigger and more powerful of the two devices. It comes with a 5.7-inch AMOLED QHD display and the Windows 10 operating system is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset and 3GB of RAM. A liquid cooling solution is used to keep the device temperature in check. A new USB Type-C connector serves as data and charging cable but also lets you connect the phone to the Microsoft Display Dock, allowing you to use a large screen, keyboard and mouse with your phone and giving you a PC-like experience. Power is provided by a large 3,340mAh battery and there is Qi standard wireless charging as well. 32GB of storage can be expanded via a microSD slot. In terms of numbers the camera specification is actually not that much different to the Lumia 1520 but given all the components have been updated we'd certainly expect a boost in performance. The PureView camera comes with a 1/2.4-inch 20MP sensor and a Carl Zeiss branded lens with F1.9 aperture. A latest generation optical image stabilization system is keeping things steady and a triple-LED RGB flash should ensure there are no undesirable color casts when shooting with flash. 4K video recording is on board as well. At the front a 5MP module is supported by its own dedicated LED flash, similar to what we've seen on the recently announced Motorola Moto X Style. On the software side of things the new Windows Hello feature uses the front camera to recognize your face and unlock the device. The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL will be available next month and cost $650 unlocked. Microsoft Lumia 950 The Lumia 950 comes with the same camera specification as its larger brother but has to make do without the front flash. Images can be viewed on a smaller 5.2-inch QHD display and a Snapdragon 808 processor is running the system. Like on the XL model there are 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. At 3,000mAh the battery is a little smaller than on the XL but you also get wireless charging and the USB Type-C port. The Lumia 950 will be available in November and retail for $550. [...]

Microsoft's MobileFusion turns smartphones into 3D scanners

Tue, 25 Aug 2015 18:50:59 Z


3D scanning and modelling are complex tasks that usually require specialist hardware and software. A research project undertaken by Microsoft and the University of Oxford is now aiming to make things easier, quicker and cheaper by turning your smartphone into a 3D scanner. The MobileFusion project has developed an app that can turn objects into 3D models by capturing them with the camera in your phone. The user must walk around the object to capture it from all angles, and the device scans its target by comparing the camera's live RGB data with previous frames. It then takes the live frame and performs stereo matching in order to generate a depth map, which is merged into a 3D mesh model. 

The generation of the 3D model happens live on the device and progress can be viewed on the screen. This allows the user to see the state of completion and whether any important parts of the object have been missed in the scanning process. The resolution of the finished model still leaves room for improvement but is good enough for 3D printing, augmented reality applications or online sharing.

MobileFusion appears to be a very interesting way of creating quick 3D models for printing, displaying in online shops or simply sharing with your friends. It isn't available to the public just yet but there are plans to release apps on the Android, iOS and Windows app stores. 

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Source: Inside Microsoft Research | Via: Engadget

Microsoft retires Photosynth apps

Mon, 13 Jul 2015 18:36:28 Z

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mount stuart by wideangle on photosynth

Microsoft has retired its Photosynth apps for Windows Phone and iOS, directing users instead to its new web-based Photosynth technical preview, which it calls a more immersive and robust platform. The Photosynth apps allow mobile users to create spherical panoramas. 

The Photosynth website will continue to be maintained despite the mobile apps’ discontinuation. Microsoft is encouraging users to upload their creations to the website for the sake of preservation. Both public and private upload options are available. The Photosynth mobile apps will remain operational for those who currently have them installed, but will no longer be supported or maintained by Microsoft. Likewise, the apps are no longer available for download in the Windows Phone Store and the Apple App Store.

Source: Microsoft

Microsoft launches its Hyperlapse app

Sat, 16 May 2015 00:38:37 Z

In August 2014, Microsoft introduced its hyperlapse algorithm for stabilizing camera footage into smooth timelapses. Now, the technology comes to life as the company has released the product as an app for Windows Phone, and as a beta app for Android devices as well as other Microsoft platforms. Image courtesy Microsoft The problem Microsoft Hyperlapse (not to be confused with Instagram's Hyperlapse) tries to solve is that long first-person videos are boring to watch. Speeding them up makes them more entertaining, but doing this amplifies the jostles and bumps in the footage, making it difficult to watch. Microsoft Hyperlapse solves this issue by speeding up the footage while also stabilizing it so that the resulting product is smooth and more engaging. Where Instagram's app of a similar name uses your phone's orientation sensor to smooth out footage, Microsoft's algorithm creates a 3D model of the scene, maps a path through it and stitches together bits of the original footage to create a stable final product. Since the footage doesn't have to come from your mobile device, its applications are broader than Instagram's mobile-only implementation.  allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="326" src="" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="580"> Android users must go to Microsoft’s Google+ page and follow the steps required to become a beta tester. Windows Phone users running Windows Phone 8.1 are able to get the app now from the Windows Phone Store, while Windows PC users can download the program directly from Microsoft Research’s website. Microsoft Azure users, meanwhile, must visit the Azure blog and follow the instructions to get started. The Microsoft Hyperlapse app for Windows Phone supports 15 Lumia handsets ranging from the Lumia 435 to the Lumia 1520; it also supports the HTC One M8. Android users must have either a Samsung Galaxy S5/S6/S6 Edge/Note 4, a Google Nexus 5/6, Nexus 9, or an HTC One M8 or HTC One M9 device. It isn’t clear whether the features are uniform across all the products at this point. The Windows Phone app, however, states that Hyperlapse can directly capture video at a user-specified time lapse speed (up to 32x), and can also import existing videos from the mobile device’s camera roll. So-called “Selfie-lapses” are also offered. Source: Microsoft[...]

Microsoft announces Surface 3 tablet running full Windows

Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:17:00 Z


Microsoft has today announced the latest model in its Surface line of tablets, the Surface 3. The big news here is that, unlike its predecessors, which were running Windows RT, the new model comes with a full version of Windows 8.1. This means, like on the more expensive Surface Pro models, you can install and run any Windows application including Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, making the Surface 3 a real alternative to a conventional PC.

In terms of design, with its magnesium body without any cooling vents and the kickstand, the new model is close to its predecessor but inside an Intel Atom processor, similar to what you would find in Chromebooks and entry-level PCs, is powering the operating system. The Surface 2 had to make do with a lower-powered ARM processor.

Screen size and resolution have also changed. The Surface 2's 10.6-inch screen with 16:9 aspect ratio has been swapped for a 10.8-inch display with the same 3:2 aspect ratio that is used on the Surface Pro 3. Due to the changed aspect ratio resolution has changed from 1920 x 1080 to 1920 x 1280. The screen now also supports pressure-sensitive pen input via the same N-trig pen digitizer used in the Surface Pro devices.  

In the camera department the front-facing camera captures 3.5MP images while on the back the pixel count has been increased from 5 to 8MP. In contrast to many other tablets the Surface 3 offers a good range of ports including a full-size USB 3.0 connector, headphone jack, microSD slot and a Mini DisplayPort. There is also a microUSB connector for charging. 

The Surface 3 will be available from the 5th of May in two versions. Users can choose between a 64GB model with 2GB of RAM and a 128GB version with 4GB. Prices start at $499. An LTE version for $599 will be available soon as well. 

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Source: Surface Blog

Microsoft Image Composite Editor 2.0 offers new panorama features and improved interface

Mon, 09 Feb 2015 00:00:00 Z

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Microsofts Research's Interactive Visual Media Group has announced the release of Image Composite Editor 2.0. The software's latest update, taking advantage of the company's Photosynth technology, can seamlessly stitch together 'gigapixel images', create panoramas from video, and automatically fill in missing areas of photographs.

Image Composite Editor 2.0 also includes new projection features, such as creating a 360-degree 'little world' panorama from your photographs. A complete redesign of the website and its interface allow ICE 2.0 to better communicate with its brother's software, Photosynth. Microsoft notes that these updates build on 'years of research' from the team in Redmond, Washington.

The software is available as a free download for Windows PCs in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. Support has yet to be announced for Mac OS X.

Microsoft OneDrive updated with new photo features

Mon, 02 Feb 2015 23:18:20 Z

If you like storing your images in the cloud it seems the number of options is growing by the day. Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive and Google+ Photos are among the most popular services but now it appears Microsoft is upping its game and attempting to make its OneDrive Cloud service the number one choice for photographers via an update that will be introduced in several steps over the next few weeks.  As before you can configure OneDrive to automatically back up your pictures in the cloud when using the Android, iOS, or Windows Phone apps. When you do so you now get double the free storage space, 30GB which should allow you to store more than 12,000 images. Additionally you can now automatically import photos from devices that attach to your computer, such as USB sticks and back up images that are attached to emails directly to OneDrive from  The presentation of images has been improved as well. The new albums can be created with images from different OneDrive folders and view them in chronological order. Photos are grouped together by time and location and for quick browsing you can view photos grouped by month. In addition thumbnails are larger than before and single-image view fills the entire screen. Albums are introduced to the OneDrive web version and iOS app today, Android and Windows Phone apps will follow soon.  Lastly the OneDrive team has worked with their colleagues from Bing to integrate advanced search functions that let you search your OneDrive images by time, location, or both manually added or automatically created tags. If you to give OneDrive a spin you can sign up on the web or download one of the mobile apps. Source: OneDrive | Via: PetaPixel[...]

Microsoft announces Movie Creator beta for Windows Phone

Fri, 14 Nov 2014 20:21:18 Z

Microsoft has announced the Movie Creator video editing app: It is still in beta stage but can already be downloaded and installed free of charge on any Windows 8.1 smartphone or tablet. We have seen some of the best mobile imaging hardware on Windows Phone devices but the app selection remains limited compared to the Android and iOS ecosystems, so this comes as good news to all Windows Phone users who like to shoot and edit video on the go. Movie Creator lets you create a movie from up to 25 clips you have shot or saved on your device. You can also add still images, animated GIFs and music. As you would expect from a decent video editing tool you can change the order of your clips and cut them to the right length, add text cards, captions, and a range of effect filters. Zooming, panning and rotation are supported as well. The original files are not affected by your editing and remain safely on the device for future use. Once you are done editing the app offers a range of sharing options.  For those who prefer the software to do most of the work for them Movie Creator supplies a selection of pre-installed themes that apply pre-defined scene transitions, filters and music to your footage. Some of the themes are free but others are available via in-app purchase. If you have a Windows Phone 8.1 device and would like to try the app you should head over to the Windows Phone Store now. Source: Lumia Conversations[...]

Microsoft offers Office 365 subscribers unlimited OneDrive storage

Tue, 28 Oct 2014 05:17:42 Z

Microsoft has announced that all users subscribed to Office 365 will begin to see their OneDrive cloud storage upgraded to unlimited space for no additional cost. The new change will begin rolling out over the next few months to subscribers of the Home, Personal, and University editions, but you can get to the front of the line at Microsoft's preview site.


Users subscribed to Office 365 Business edition will begin to receive the update in early 2015, but in the meantime can still take advantage of the current 1 TB storage level offered. Prospective customers can check out for more information, and to find unlimited OneDrive storage and Office plans starting from $6.99 per month.