Cameras

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It's an odd paradox of our times, but when we see something extraordinary these days, it's easy to assume that it was computer generated. CGI is the current all-consuming method of creating movie effects, but this video of ink in water shot with macro photography shows just how beautiful practical effects can be.

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Drones are super cool, but they're also intimidatingly expensive. If you break them, you're up for a lot of cash for repairs. And the learning curve is steep, so breaking them is even more likely when you're new to the art. If you're looking for an easy to fly, entry level drone then eHang's GhostDrone 2.0 and its virtual reality headset are far more forgiving to a newbie than its competitors.

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Making your own sailor's hat out of newspaper? Easy. Crafting a 90mm f/2.8 lens from nothing except the raw parts? OK, that might register a bit higher on the difficulty scale. Evidently, Mats Wernersson decided it wasn't beyond his abilities and thankfully for us, he documented his build and uploaded the video.

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So far, 360° videos have mostly worked as novelty items that are rarely impressive. But I have to say this motion graphics exercise that starts in a sort of Max Headroom-ish outer space blasts through a deconstructed Tokyo and finally turns into a Space Odyssey-style head trip is one of the finest examples of the technique that anyone's produced.

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On Thursday, the US Center for Constitutional Rights challenged the NYPD's body camera policies, asking a judge to block the city's forthcoming pilot program, which is slated to outfit 1000 officers with body cameras as early as next week. The cameras were supposed to be a step forward for police accountability and transparency, but the CCR says the current policy dictating their use gives officers too much discretion about when to record, and makes it too difficult for the public to see the footage after the fact.

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So. You need a new camera, right? Your old one is looking a bit... old. So you need a new camera. And that camera should be Sony's brand new a9, a $6999 mirrorless full-frame monster that can shoot 20 frames per second without blacking out your view — your view, by the way, is through a brand new ultra-bright and high-res OLED electronic viewfinder. In-body image stabilisation, full-frame 4K video capture, a shutter speed of up to 1/32,000sec — this is the camera to end all cameras.

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For a few years now, Sony's been the most innovative name in the camera game, besting incumbents like Nikon and Canon in several categories with awesome point-and-shoots, like the RX100 line, and the truly game-changing A7 full-frame mirrorless line. Far from just an innovator, there are signs the company's efforts are finding an audience: A few days ago Sony claimed to have overtaken Nikon as the second best-selling producer of full-frame cameras, the big expensive cameras preferred by anyone who makes their living shooting pictures. But Canon, with its super fast 1D series of full frame cameras, is still king when it comes to big, badarse professional cameras used for shooting sports and NatGeo covers. Well, until now — Sony's new A9 has all the trappings of a dethroner.