Google Pixel 8 Pro may blend cameras for better Night Sight shots


Google is preparing a new feature for the Pixel 8 Pro that would combine multiple cameras to take even better Night Sight photos.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.


With the release of the Pixel 7 Pro, Google unveiled an upgrade to the way that telephoto shots are handled. If you zoom in, but not far enough to switch to the telephoto lens, Google Camera will take your intended shot with both the main and telephoto cameras.

Using that additional data, the Pixel 7 Pro can enhance the center portion of the photo with details that wouldn’t normally be visible.

https://9to5google.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2023/03/gcam-fusion.mp4
Multi-camera Super Res Zoom on Pixel 7 Pro | Image: Google

Over the weekend, an update for the Google Camera app, version 8.8, began rolling out via the Play Store. In the app’s code, our team has found that Google has included some of the first details for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. We’re still collecting the full details of what’s new for Google’s next flagships, but along the way, we spotted a new feature that’s set to be exclusive to the Pixel 8 Pro.

From what we can piece together, the “Multi-camera Super Res Zoom” feature above seems to be referred to in the code as “Hawk” and “FusionZoom.” In a change specific to the Pixel 8 Pro, Google is expanding when this special Hawk variety of Super Res Zoom can be used, enabling it for Night Sight shots.

In practice, the underlying technique should be nearly unchanged, with both camera sensors taking the same shot over an extended period of time. Once the two photos are taken, Google Camera should seamlessly merge them into a single Night Sight (or perhaps astrophotography) shot with even greater detail than you would have had before.

Considering Google has improved Night Sight in some way every year since it debuted on the Pixel 3, it’s no surprise to see the company investing in low-light photos once again. All the same, it should be intriguing to see how Google’s machine learning handles merging long-exposure photos compared to ones shot in well-lit areas.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


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Salida doble antes del equinoccio primaveral


Este fin de semana largo, aprovechando la festividad en Madrid del lunes, hemos podido salir dos noches consecutivas con el telescopio. El novilunio de febrero se nos estropeó por culpa de las nubes así que era una buena manera de recuperar el tiempo perdido y desquitarnos.

Aunque la previsión meteorológica indicaba una noche despejada el sábado no las teníamos todas con nosotros ya que por la tarde había una buena cantidad de nubes y de hecho en el camino hacia la provincia de Toledo nos cayó un chaparrón. Lo cierto es que las nubes estuvieron acompañándonos durante la primera parte de la noche, causando alguna interrupción, pero el cómputo general fue positivo y pudimos disfrutar de una noche agradable aunque con una humedad en capas altas relativamente elevada. El SQM no superó el 21.06 y el termómetro IR no pasó de -21ºC.

El objetivo astrofotográfico fue sacar tomas RGB a bin 2×2 de la galaxia M95 que tenía hecha la luminancia desde el año pasado y añadir el color de un nuevo objeto, NGC5033.

Toda la sesión fue como la seda, con un guiado muy bueno y solo 4 imágenes afectadas por el paso de unas nubes que detuvieron el guiado.

M42, Nebulosa de Orión

Estuve con los prismáticos observando algunos objetos de invierno muy típicos, la Nebulosa de Orión siempre majestuosa con su color gris azulado y el brillo del trapecio destacando en la zona central, los cúmulos de Auriga de los que no me canso nunca, hermosísimos con prismáticos, las Pléyades y las Híades o el Cúmulo del Pesebre, colosales cúmulos con estrellas brillantes que hacen las delicias sin requerir esfuerzo alguno. Luego más tarde estuve disfrutando de la brillante zona del Cúmulo estelar de Coma (Melotte 111), como no retrotraerme a una de mis primeras noches de observación cuando tanto me llamó la atención hace ya 14 años y me llenó de asombro y curiosidad, y a última hora de la sesión incluso pude observar por primera vez este año M13, Vega y el Cisne, señal de que el verano ya está llamando a las puertas.

Luz zodiacal

Antes de eso, al atardecer, pudimos disfrutar de los brillantes Venus y Júpiter, éste último cada vez más bajo y menos brillante a medida que se acerca a su conjunción solar. Otro de los fenómenos que pudimos contemplar fue la luz zodiacal, algo ya habitual de ver en esta zona durante estas fechas como hemos podido atestiguar en años anteriores.

Marte, a pesar de estar muy alto sigue perdiendo brillo mientras también se aleja de nosotros. Pudimos contemplar también algunos meteoros esporádicos aunque ninguno muy brillante. Lo que sí se veían eran satélites artificiales, un montón. Cada día se ven más por desgracia.

Estuvimos hasta las 02:30 de la madrugada y como vimos que la previsión meteorológica era muy buena para el domingo puse a cargar las baterías nada más llegar a casa.

La segunda noche comenzó mejor que la primera, con menos humedad ambiental y mejor transparencia. Además el seeing estaba bastante estable. Como quería sacar la luminancia de NGC5033 y éste se encontraba muy bajo todavía me puse a sacar unas tomas de M108 ya que recientemente se había descubierto una supernova en ésta galaxia. He procesado las imágenes y la verdad es que se llega a ver esta explosión estelar que se estima en mag 17 aprox.

Tras fotografiar la supernova ya sí empecé con la rutina de luminancia de NGC5033, en la que todo funcionó estupendamente. Aproveché para seguir observando con los prismáticos prácticamente los mismos objetos que la noche anterior aunque se apreciaban mejores condiciones. El SQM marcó 21.26 y el termómetro IR llegó a -26ºC. Tan solo había algunas nubes altas hacia Madrid que reflejaban algo de contaminación lumínica.

Aunque había menos humedad la temperatura era más baja que la noche anterior y tuve que tirar de pantalones de esquí para sobrellevar los apenas 2ºC. Las plantillas químicas para las botas también ayudaron a hacer más confortable la sesión.

Esta segunda noche fue un goce para los sentidos. A una noche oscura y estrellada se unía un agradable olor de los almendros en flor que rodeaban la zona. Aunque es pronto para escuchar grillos si que nos acompañaron algunos mochuelos con su canto y un cárabo en la lejanía e incluso llegado un momento también escuchamos algunos zorros en los montes cercanos.

Finalmente y con las pilas cargadas después de una noche más bajo las estrellas me puse a hacer los flats y recogimos el telescopio para volver a casa y pensando ya en las próximas actividades astronómicas que tenemos previstas: una visita al observatorio de Yebes y la asistencia al Congreso de Astronomía en Zaragoza.

Astrophotography Cameras Market Growth and Forecast till 2028


The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

Mar 20, 2023 (The Expresswire) —
The “Astrophotography Cameras Market” Study Describes how the technology industry is evolving and how major and emerging players in the industry are responding to long term opportunities and short-term challenges they face. One major attraction about Astrophotography Cameras Industry is its growth rate. Many major technology players are [Nikon, Canon, Sony, ZWO, QHYCCD, Atik Cameras, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Olympus, Leica] have been looking into Astrophotography Cameras as a way to increase their market share and reach towards consumers.

What is the Astrophotography Cameras market growth?

Astrophotography Cameras Market Size is projected to Reach Multimillion USD by 2028, In comparison to 2023, at unexpected CAGR during the forecast Period 2023-2028.

Browse Detailed TOC, Tables and Figures with Charts which is spread across 99 Pages that provides exclusive data, information, vital statistics, trends, and competitive landscape details in this niche sector.

Client Focus

1. Does this report consider the impact of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war on the Astrophotography Cameras market?

Yes. As the COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war are profoundly affecting the global supply chain relationship and raw material price system, we have definitely taken them into consideration throughout the research, and in Chapters, we elaborate at full length on the impact of the pandemic and the war on the Astrophotography Cameras Industry

Final Report will add the analysis of the impact of Russia-Ukraine War and COVID-19 on this Astrophotography Cameras Industry.

TO KNOW HOW COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND RUSSIA UKRAINE WAR WILL IMPACT THIS MARKET – REQUEST SAMPLE

This research report is the result of an extensive primary and secondary research effort into the Astrophotography Cameras market. It provides a thorough overview of the market’s current and future objectives, along with a competitive analysis of the industry, broken down by application, type and regional trends. It also provides a dashboard overview of the past and present performance of leading companies. A variety of methodologies and analyses are used in the research to ensure accurate and comprehensive information about the Astrophotography Cameras Market.

Which are the driving factors of the Astrophotography Cameras market?

Growing demand for [Individual, Commercial] around the world has had a direct impact on the growth of the Astrophotography Cameras

The Astrophotography Cameras segments and sub-section of the market are illuminated below:

Based on Product Types the Market is categorized into [Requires Connected Device or Specific Software, No Connected Devices or Specific Software Required] that held the largest Astrophotography Cameras market share In 2022.

Get a Sample PDF of report -https://www.360researchreports.com/enquiry/request-sample/20117363

Astrophotography Cameras Market – Competitive and Segmentation Analysis:

2.How do you determine the list of the key players included in the report?

With the aim of clearly revealing the competitive situation of the industry, we concretely analyze not only the leading enterprises that have a voice on a global scale, but also the regional small and medium-sized companies that play key roles and have plenty of potential growth.

Short Description About Astrophotography Cameras Market:

The Global Astrophotography Cameras market is anticipated to rise at a considerable rate during the forecast period, between 2022 and 2028. In 2021, the market is growing at a steady rate and with the rising adoption of strategies by key players, the market is expected to rise over the projected horizon.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global Astrophotography Cameras market size is estimated to be worth USD million in 2021 and is forecast to a readjusted size of USD million by 2028 with a CAGR of Percent during the review period. Fully considering the economic change by this health crisis, the Europe Astrophotography Cameras market is estimated at USD million in 2022, while the United States and China are forecast to reach USD million and USD million by 2028, respectively. The proportion of the United States is Percent in 2022, while Chinese percentage is Percent, and it is predicted that China market share will reach Percent in 2028, trailing a CAGR of Percent through the analysis period. As for the Europe Astrophotography Cameras landscape, Germany is projected to reach USD million by 2028. and in Asia, the notable markets are Japan and South Korea, CAGR is Percent and Percent respectively for the next 6-year period.

Requires Connected Device or Specific Software accounting for Percent of the Astrophotography Cameras global market in 2021, is projected to value USD million by 2028, growing at a revised Percent CAGR in the post-COVID-19 period. While Individual segment is altered to an Percent CAGR throughout this forecast period and will hold a share about Percent in 2028.

The global major manufacturers of Astrophotography Cameras include Nikon, Canon, Sony, ZWO, QHYCCD, Atik Cameras, Fujifilm, Panasonic and Olympus and etc. In terms of revenue, the global 3 largest players have a Percent market share of Astrophotography Cameras in 2021.

This report focuses on Astrophotography Cameras volume and value at the global level, regional level, and company level. From a global perspective, this report represents overall Astrophotography Cameras market size by analysing historical data and future prospect. Regionally, this report focuses on several key regions: North America, Europe, China and Japan, etc.

Get a Sample Copy of the Astrophotography Cameras Report 2023

3.What are your main data sources?

Both Primary and Secondary data sources are being used while compiling the report.

Primary sources include extensive interviews of key opinion leaders and industry experts (such as experienced front-line staff, directors, CEOs, and marketing executives), downstream distributors, as well as end-users. Secondary sources include the research of the annual and financial reports of the top companies, public files, new journals, etc. We also cooperate with some third-party databases.

Geographically, the detailed analysis of consumption, revenue, market share and growth rate, historical data and forecast (2017-2027) of the following regions are covered in Chapters:

● North America (United States, Canada and Mexico) ● Europe (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Russia and Turkey etc.) ● Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam) ● South America (Brazil, Argentina, Columbia etc.) ● Middle East and Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa)

This Astrophotography Cameras Market Research/Analysis Report Contains Answers to your following Questions

● What are the global trends in the Astrophotography Cameras market? Would the market witness an increase or decline in the demand in the coming years? ● What is the estimated demand for different types of products in Astrophotography Cameras? What are the upcoming industry applications and trends for Astrophotography Cameras market? ● What Are Projections of Global Astrophotography Cameras Industry Considering Capacity, Production and Production Value? What Will Be the Estimation of Cost and Profit? What Will Be Market Share, Supply and Consumption? What about Import and Export? ● Where will the strategic developments take the industry in the mid to long-term? ● What are the factors contributing to the final price of Astrophotography Cameras? What are the raw materials used for Astrophotography Cameras manufacturing? ● How big is the opportunity for the Astrophotography Cameras market? How will the increasing adoption of Astrophotography Cameras for mining impact the growth rate of the overall market? ● How much is the global Astrophotography Cameras market worth? What was the value of the market In 2022? ● Who are the major players operating in the Astrophotography Cameras market? Which companies are the front runners? ● Which are the recent industry trends that can be implemented to generate additional revenue streams? ● What Should Be Entry Strategies, Countermeasures to Economic Impact, and Marketing Channels for Astrophotography Cameras Industry?

Customization of the Report

Can I modify the scope of the report and customize it to suit my requirements?

Yes. Customized requirements of multi-dimensional, deep-level and high-quality can help our customers precisely grasp market opportunities, effortlessly confront market challenges, properly formulate market strategies and act promptly, thus to win them sufficient time and space for market competition.

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Detailed TOC of Global Astrophotography Cameras Market Insights and Forecast to 2028

Major Points from Table of Contents

Global Astrophotography Cameras Market Research Report 2023-2028, by Manufacturers, Regions, Types and Applications

1 Introduction
1.1 Objective of the Study
1.2 Definition of the Market
1.3 Market Scope
1.3.1 Market Segment by Type, Application and Marketing Channel
1.3.2 Major Regions Covered (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Mid East and Africa)
1.4 Years Considered for the Study (2015-2028)
1.5 Currency Considered (U.S. Dollar)
1.6 Stakeholders

2 Key Findings of the Study

3 Market Dynamics
3.1 Driving Factors for this Market
3.2 Factors Challenging the Market
3.3 Opportunities of the Global Astrophotography Cameras Market (Regions, Growing/Emerging Downstream Market Analysis)
3.4 Technological and Market Developments in the Astrophotography Cameras Market
3.5 Industry News by Region
3.6 Regulatory Scenario by Region/Country
3.7 Market Investment Scenario Strategic Recommendations Analysis

4 Value Chain of the Astrophotography Cameras Market

4.1 Value Chain Status
4.2 Upstream Raw Material Analysis
4.3 Midstream Major Company Analysis (by Manufacturing Base, by Product Type)
4.4 Distributors/Traders
4.5 Downstream Major Customer Analysis (by Region)

5 Global Astrophotography Cameras Market-Segmentation by Type
6 Global Astrophotography Cameras Market-Segmentation by Application

7 Global Astrophotography Cameras Market-Segmentation by Marketing Channel
7.1 Traditional Marketing Channel (Offline)
7.2 Online Channel

8 Competitive Intelligence Company Profiles

9 Global Astrophotography Cameras Market-Segmentation by Geography

9.1 North America
9.2 Europe
9.3 Asia-Pacific
9.4 Latin America

9.5 Middle East and Africa

10 Future Forecast of the Global Astrophotography Cameras Market from 2023-2028

10.1 Future Forecast of the Global Astrophotography Cameras Market from 2023-2028 Segment by Region
10.2 Global Astrophotography Cameras Production and Growth Rate Forecast by Type (2023-2028)
10.3 Global Astrophotography Cameras Consumption and Growth Rate Forecast by Application (2023-2028)

11 Appendix
11.1 Methodology
12.2 Research Data Source

Continued….

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Mum lost 14 stone left with “body of a 90-year-old woman” thanks to 25lb of loose skin


A mum who lost 14 stone says she has the “body of a 90-year-old woman” thanks to 25lb of loose skin – and finds it weird now men give her “attention”. Kristina Murphy, 34, weighed 26st 7lb and was a US size 30 at her heaviest after a lifelong struggle with her weight. The mother-of-two said her weight “got out of hand” during the pandemic leaving her unable to tie her shoelaces or walk up the stairs without difficulty. She gained 1st during lockdown and said after it affected “every aspect of her life” she decided in 2020 it was time for a “drastic” change. She started her bariatric journey in January 2021, incorporating diet and exercise changes such as portion control and gym sessions into her lifestyle, before undergoing gastric bypass surgery on April 28th 2021. Now at 12st 7lbs, Kristina is still suffering with body dysmorphia – as the weight loss has left her with an estimated 20-25lb worth of sagging loose skin around her stomach – which she said makes her look like a “90-year old-woman”. She has been forced her to buy clothes in a US size 10-12 – two sizes bigger than her new US Size 8, because she has to “pack a massive stomach” in. But her self-confidence has still grown since shifting 14st 4lbs, and says guys offer to buy her drinks and give her attention which she finds “weird”. Kristina, a secretary, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US, said: “The skin is a massive problem and was something I worried about before the surgery. “I struggle with finding clothes to fit me properly because I have to pack a massive stomach into clothes. I’m a size eight in jeans but I have to buy a size 10 to 12 to fit the skin, which is frustrating. “I’m dealing with rashes on the skin regardless of how clean I am, in my bellybutton, thighs, armpits. It hurts when I run because it hits against itself and it’s taken a toll on me mentally. “I feel good when I’m dressed, I can see the difference in myself and I feel beautiful, but when I’m by myself and I take my clothes off it crushes me. “I’ve got the body of a 90 year old woman. The skin all wrinkly and saggy and not where it should be. “I haven’t fully got rid of myself – I’m stuck with my old shell of my fat body. I can’t move into the new me when I still have the old me hung around me. “I was always the fat funny friend, and now guys buy me drinks and give me attention which is very weird for me.” Previously Kristina was stuck in a cycle of binges, diets, and restriction. She said: “I was your typical chronic dieter. I would try every diet, and restrict myself. “I’ve now been diagnosed with binge eating disorder, but at the time I didn’t know about this. I would go without eating much for a week but I would be craving food and as a result of depriving myself so much I would overindulge in the week. “I would have protein shakes and salad in the week, then on the weekend I would eat a whole pizza by myself and chicken wings or soft drinks. One binge day would turn into four binge weeks. “I would gain 10-15lb from that binge episode.” Before qualifying for the surgery Kristina had to spend three months trying to lose weight through diet and exercise, as well as attending sessions with a nutritionist and psychotherapist to understand her weight difficulties on a deeper level. Kristina said: “My struggle with my weight has been something I’ve dealt with on and off my whole life. “In 2020 during the pandemic everyone was stuck at home and my weight got out of hand. “It took a toll on me physically. It had bothered me mentally but at this point I couldn’t get up steps easily and every aspect of my life was affected. So I decided it was time for me to do a drastic change and I started looking into weight loss surgery. “Now I’m in the phase of dealing with the aftermath and figuring out who I am as a person again after the weight loss.” Through her weight loss journey Kristina said she has been able to reconnect with herself, and develop a new sense of self-worth. She said: “I‘m becoming who I always was on the inside, digging her out from under my weight which was burying who I’ve always been. The person who I haven’t been able to explore. It’s like the weight has muddled me. “It’s been a journey to try and explore that to find myself and my light again, from little things like figuring out how to dress the new body to big things, like how do I have a healthy new relationship with food again?” Kristina’s relationship with children Kamrem, eight, and Isaiah, 10, has been a “big motivator” to improve her health. She said: “They are a big motivator because I want them to grow up and have a healthy relationship with food. “They never asked me to lose weight, but it killed me that I couldn’t run around with them because my knees hurt . Seeing what I couldn’t do with them is what bothered me. “Now it feels amazing that I can go to the park and swing with them and be in those moments with them rather than watching those moments and creating those memories.” Working with a nutritionist and psychologist as part of the bariatric team, Kristina has adopted a new diet and approach to food. She manages portion control with small plates, uses scales to weigh her food, and balances her meals with vegetables making half, protein at least one third, and the rest carbohydrates. Chewing her food slowly and giving her brain time to register she is full has also helped Kristina to achieve moderation with her diet. She no longer severely restricts her food and still eats carbs and small treats, because her nutritionist explained the restriction triggers binge episodes. She said: “It’s helped me see my triggers and how much of an emotional eater I am, has forced me to find healthier outlets in times of darkness and stress – reworking my brain. “Instead of bingeing I now go to the gym three to four times a week or spend time with my kids playing in the park, trying a new restaurant. I also like drawing, pursuing creative outlets, photography, and astrophotography. “In America everything revolves around the food, holidays, birthdays, celebrations. For me I had to learn life differently – we go out to eat now but I’m there for the company and conversation not the food. She is advised to undergo full body lift which will cost $50-55k but Kristina only has the insurance to cover her breasts and lower stomach and is now looking into other ways to fund it. Kristina said: “It feels like the last hurdle to transform into who I want to be. I’ve lost an entire person, but I struggle with body dysmorphia when I look down and still feel like the old me. “I’m just trying make fun of some of the darkness we’re going through. I’ve lost the weight but not my sense of humour.”

Samsung’s Moon Shots Force Us to Ask How Much AI Is Too Much


And unlike, for example, the Eiffel Tower, its appearance is not going to change drastically based on lighting. Moon shooting typically only happens at night, and Samsung’s processing falls apart if the moon is partially obscured by clouds.

One of the clearest ways Samsung’s processing fiddles with the moon is in manipulating mid-tone contrast, making its topography more pronounced. However, it’s clearly also capable of introducing the appearance of texture and detail not present in the raw photo.

Samsung does this because the Galaxy S21, S22, and S23 Ultra phones’ 100x zoom images suck. Of course they do. They involve cropping massively into a small 10-MP sensor. Periscope zooms in phones are great, but they are not magic.

Credible Theories

Huawei is the other big company accused of faking its moon photos, with the otherwise brilliant Huawei P30 Pro from 2019. It was the last flagship Huawei released before the company was blacklisted in the US, effectively destroying its phones’ appeal in the West.

Android Authority claimed the phone pasted a stock image of the moon into your photos. Here’s how the company responded: “Moon Mode operates on the same principle as other master AI modes, in that it recognizes and optimizes details within an image to help individuals take better photos. It does not in any way replace the image—that would require an unrealistic amount of storage space since AI mode recognizes over 1,300 scenarios. Based on machine learning principles, the camera recognizes a scenario and helps to optimize focus and exposure to enhance the details such as shapes, colors, and highlights/lowlights.”

Familiar, right?

You won’t see these techniques used in too many other brands, but not for any high-minded reason. If a phone does not have a long-throw zoom of at least 5x, a Moon mode is largely pointless.

Trying to shoot the moon with an iPhone is difficult. Even the iPhone 14 Pro Max doesn’t have the zoom range for it, and the phone’s autoexposure will turn the moon into a searing blob of white. From a photographer’s point of view, the exposure control of the S23 alone is excellent. But how “fake” are the S23’s moon images, really?

The most generous interpretation is that Samsung uses the real camera image data and just implements its machine learning knowledge to massage the processing. This could, for example, help it to trace the outlines of the Sea of Serenity and Sea of Tranquility when attempting to bring out a greater sense of detail from a blurred source.

However, this line is stretched in the way the final image renders the position of the Kepler, Aristarchus, and Copernicus craters with seeming uncanny accuracy when these small features are not perceptible in the source. While you can take an inference of where moon features are from a blurry source, this is next-level stuff.

Still, it’s easy to overestimate how much of a leg up the Samsung Galaxy S23 gets here. Its moon photos may look OK from a glance, but they are still bad. A recent Versus video featuring the S23 Ultra and Nikon P1000 shows what a decent sub-DSLR consumer superzoom camera is capable of.

A Question of Trust

The furor over this moon issue is understandable. Samsung uses lunar imagery to hype its 100x camera mode and the images are, to an extent, synthesized. But it has really just poked a toe outside the ever-expanding Overton AI window here, which has directed phone photography innovation for the past decade.

Each of these technical tricks, whether you call them AI or not, was designed to do what would have been impossible with the raw basics of a phone camera. One of the first of these, and arguably the most consequential, was HDR (High Dynamic Range). Apple built HDR into its camera app in iOS 4.1, released in 2010, the year of the iPhone 4.

The Great American Eclipse – Astroniklas



Aug 24

Three days after this magnificent eclipse I managed to process through some more photos out of my camera’s memory card. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to capture the diamond ring before the totality, just the one the came afterwards. Regardless, I am happy the sun got sunspots 2671 and 2672 clearly visible. It made the job a whole lot easier.

All images were photographed with a Canon EOS 50D, DSLR camera on prime focus method on a William Optics 110mm FLT APO f/7.0 telescope. While the live video on Youtube at the day of the eclipse was a Samsung Galaxy S7 phone with afocal method on a 32 mm ocular attached on a William Optics Megrez 72mm FD f/6.0.

The camera settings were, ISO-500, shutter speed at 1/3200 sec., 6000 K and the wheel setting was on M (manual mode).

Below is a composite image of all the solar eclipse phases that are displayed individually on the slideshow above. Click on the image below to expand it to its full size.

Niklas Henricson


The fascination of star gazing had already started during the very first years of my childhood. I was looking up at the night sky with my grandfather every summer night, studying constellations, the phases of the moon cycle, counting satellite passages and by using his binoculars to discover globular clusters of stars. Equipped with star maps from his home-library I was gradually discovering more and more of this fascinating world we call universe.
Even though years went by, the interest and fascination of cosmos had never left me… I found myself occupied with many other things before astronomy finally became my main hobby in recent years.

I was born in Stockholm, Sweden 1979 and grew for the most part of my childhood years in Greece. Later I’ve studied physics at Lund’s university and was hoping to continue with astronomy. At my free time I was an active amateur astronomer in South Sweden, Lund. At some point I was also appointed as chief of observatory for the Tycho Brahe Astronomy Society in Lund.

Circumstances in life led me to move with my family to California. Today I’m working as a sofrware developer within the aviation industry and weather systems for airports. During my off-time, I spend most of my time with my wife Melissa and our daughters.

My main hobbies are astronomy, astrophotography, game development and I was also a member of several astronomy societies in south Sweden but time was never enough to continue being an active member.

This blog is dedicated to my family (Melissa, Vanita and Lena Grace), our friends and to all of you who share the same fascination towards the beauty of this science and all the mysteries yet to be revealed by our constant discoveries!


Yes, Apple will ‘fake’ zoomed photos on the iPhone 15 too–but how far will it go?


Macworld

You might have seen headlines this week about the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra taking so-called “fake” moon pictures. Ever since the S20 Ultra, Samsung has had a feature called Space Zoom that marries its 10X optical zoom with massive digital zoom to reach a combined 100X zoom. In marketing shots, Samsung has shown its phone taking near-crystal clear pictures of the moon, and users have done the same on a clear night.

But a Redditor has proven that Samsung’s incredible Space Zoom is using a bit of trickery. It turns out that when taking pictures of the moon, Samsung’s AI-based Scene Optimizer does a whole lot of heavy lifting to make it look like the moon was photographed with a high-resolution telescope rather than a smartphone. So when someone takes a shot of the moon—in the sky or on a computer screen as in the Reddit post—Samsung’s computational engine takes over and clears up the craters and contours that the camera had missed.

In a follow-up post, they prove beyond much doubt that Samsung is indeed adding “moon” imagery to photos to make the shot clearer. As they explain, “The computer vision module/AI recognizes the moon, you take the picture, and at this point, a neural network trained on countless moon images fills in the details that were not available optically.” That’s a bit more “fake” than Samsung lets on, but it’s still very much to be expected.

Even without the investigative work, It should be fairly obvious that the S23 can’t naturally take clear shots of the moon. While Samsung says Space Zoomed shots using the S23 Ultra are “capable of capturing images from an incredible 330 feet away,” the moon is nearly 234,000 miles away or approximately 1,261,392,000 feet away. It’s also a quarter the size of the earth. Smartphones have no problem taking clear photos of skyscrapers that are more than 330 feet away, after all.

Of course, the moon’s distance doesn’t tell the whole story. The moon is essentially a light source set against a dark background, so the camera needs a bit of help to capture a clear image. Here’s how Samsung explains it: “When you’re taking a photo of the moon, your Galaxy device’s camera system will harness this deep learning-based AI technology, as well as multi-frame processing in order to further enhance details. Read on to learn more about the multiple steps, processes, and technologies that go into delivering high-quality images of the moon.”

It’s not all that different from features like Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting, Night Mode, Magic Eraser, or Face Unblur. It’s all using computational awareness to add, adjust, and edit things that aren’t there. In the case of the moon, it’s easy for Samsung’s AI to make it seem like the phone is taking incredible pictures because Samsung’s AI knows what the moon looks like. It’s the same reason why the sky sometimes looks too blue or the grass too green. The photo engine is applying what it knows to what it sees to mimic a higher-end camera and compensate for normal smartphone shortcomings.

The difference here is that, while it’s common for photo-taking algorithms to segment an image into parts and apply different adjustments and exposure controls to them, Samsung is also using a limited form of AI image generation on the moon blend in details that were never in the camera data to begin with–but you wouldn’t know it, because the moon’s details always look the same when viewed from Earth.






© Mac World
Samsung says the S23 Ultra’s camera uses Scene Optimizer’s “deep-learning-based AI detail enhancement engine to effectively eliminate remaining noise and enhance the image details even further.”

Samsung

What will Apple do?

Apple is heavily rumored to add a periscope zoom lens to the iPhone 15 Ultra for the first time this year, and this controversy will no doubt weigh into how it trains its AI. But you can be assured that the computational engine will do a fair amount of heavy lifting behind the scenes as it does now.

That’s what makes smartphone cameras so great. Unlike point-and-shoot cameras, our smartphones have powerful brains that can help us take better photos and help bad photos look better. It can make nighttime photos seem like they were taken with good lighting and simulate the bokeh effect of a camera with an ultra-fast aperture.

And it’s what will let Apple get incredible results from 20X or 30X zoom from a 6X optical camera. Since Apple has thus far steered clear of astrophotography, I doubt it will go as far as sampling higher-resolution moon photos to help the iPhone 15 take clearer shots, but you can be sure that its Photonic Engine will be hard at work cleaning up edges, preserving details, and boosting the capabilities of the telephoto camera. And based on what we get in the iPhone 14 Pro, the results will surely be spectacular.

Whether it’s Samsung or Apple, computational photography has enabled some of the biggest breakthroughs over the past several years and we’ve only just scratched the surface of what it can do. None of it is actually real. And if it was, we’d all be a lot less impressed with the photos we take with our smartphones.

Hobbs State Park-Conservation to host astrophotography and sky viewing lecture







© Provided by KATV Little Rock/Pine Bluff


The Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area announced on Thursday it will be hosting an astrophotography lecture and night sky viewing on Saturday.

Hobbs State Park-Conservation said the lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the visitor center and after that, there will be a sky viewing at 8:30 p.m..

The conservation is located at 2021 East Highway 12 in Rogers.

The lecture will be run by Sugar Creek Astronomical Society experts who will talk about planetary astrophotography.

The Hobbs State Park-Conservation defines astrophotography as something that records objects within our solar system, such as other planets as far as Neptune.

The lecture will review the proper tools for astrophotography, like a single lens, a reflex camera with low-light capabilities, a fast lens with a long focal length, and a tripod.

When it comes time to view the night sky, the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society will bring their high-quality telescopes so the public can see celestial objects.

Participants will need to dress in warm clothing for local weather conditions, and they are encouraged to bring a red flashlight and a pair of binoculars.

This is a free event, and for more information, contact the park at (479) 789-5000.

The night sky is always getting faked


When astronomer Tyler Nordgren first got involved in astrophotography in the ’90s, he noticed something very off about the postcards, posters, and other photos he’d see when living and traveling in the American Southwest.

“One of the big things that struck me at that time was the number of pictures I’d see that show the buttes in Monument Valley with a full moon rising behind them,” Nordgren recalls. Nordgren had been to that exact location in Monument Valley, and he knew the Moon didn’t rise in the position shown in the photos. “And even if it did, the shadows on the Moon are utterly different from the shadows on the buttes.” Even in a time before widespread Photoshop use, it was clear that something was up: the photos were fake.

A dark, starry night sky is undeniably beautiful but also remarkably difficult to snap a decent photo of. This week, Samsung drew criticism for the technology its newer phones use to “enhance” photos of the Moon. A user on Reddit, ibreakphotos, conducted an experiment by creating a blurred photo of the Moon and then taking a picture of it using their Galaxy S23 Ultra. Even though the photo was completely blurry, their Samsung device appeared to add details to the image that weren’t there before, like craters and other marks, calling into question whether the highly detailed Moon photos people have been taking with their Galaxy devices really are photos of the Moon. While Samsung’s Moon fakery has ignited a debate around the appropriate way to photograph the Moon, the truth is that people have been faking the night sky for a long time — even without the help of artificial intelligence.

“This is something that in the astrophotography community comes up quite a bit,” Nordgren tells The Verge.

People were “sandwiching negatives, doing things in the darkroom”

Many of the night sky pictures seen plastered on social media, included in calendars or even available as desktop wallpapers involve some sort of alteration. As you can see in this set of photos collected by astrophysicist Ethan Siegel, there’s nothing stopping someone from sprinkling in some extra stars that weren’t actually there, adding some fancy colors, or even replacing the toenail clipping of a crescent Moon with a nice big full one, craters and all. Nordgren, who leads trips in Alaska to see the aurora borealis, says these images even have an effect on the way his guests perceive the wave of lights.

A real photo of the Moon that Nordgren snapped on his iPhone while on Mount Kilauea in Hawaii.
Image: Tyler Nordgren

“You get these spectacular photos of bright vivid greens and reds that are not visible under most circumstances to the naked eye,” Nordgren says. “It’s a disappointment because it’s not the picture that they hope to see… a part of me cries inside because of that.”

And while faking the night sky once involved “sandwiching negatives, doing things in the darkroom,” as Nordgren says, it’s become far easier and more prevalent in the age of Photoshop.

“One of the biggest things people do is sky replacements,” Lynsey Schroeder, a professional astrophotographer tells The Verge.They’ll take the Milky Way from a different photo and Photoshop it in so that it looks like it was there.” An expert would immediately know that it’s fake. “But to the general public, they don’t know.”

For serious astrophotographers, the generally accepted practice is that “you don’t add anything that wasn’t there in the original photograph,” Nordgren says.

An edited picture of the northern lights behind a cactus. Schroeder made the sky replacement image for April Fools’ Day.
Photo: Lynsey Schroeder

There’s a whole Twitter account dedicated to identifying fake pictures of space. It’s a huge issue for photographers, and even National Geographic came under fire after astrophotographers accused it of publishing a “fake” sky photo in 2019. “Sometimes those photos even win awards and get more publicity than more legitimate ones,” Schroeder says.

Of course, that isn’t to say there aren’t any real pictures of the night sky out there — there are, and they are amazing pictures. As Schroeder tells me, she could just go outside, take a picture of an environment, and just insert a photo of the sky she’s taken previously in that photo, saving her hours of work — but that defeats the entire purpose of what she and many other astrophotographers do. “Anytime you’re creating content, that isn’t there, that’s not photography anymore.”

After all, there’s a lot of planning involved to get the perfect photo of a starry night. To photograph this award-winning photo of the Milky Way in San Manuel, Arizona, Schroeder camped out in the desert all night waiting for the Milky Way to get in just the right position. “We left the house at 11pm. Got out to our spot by about 12:30 and set up our cameras,” Schroeder says. “I finally got home at 4:30 in the morning and you end up being out there all night waiting to get things aligned properly… and that’s what gets me.”

Samsung’s AI processing means we can get a nice image without all that effort, but whether it’s really a photo of the night sky is another question. “You are adding something that had never been in the image,” Nordgren says. “And at that point, can you really say that you’re photographing something?”



Astrophotography to be focus of Hobbs State Park lecture







© Provided by KNWA Fayetteville
Astrophotography to be focus of Hobbs State Park lecture

ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area announced it is hosting an astrophotography lecture and night sky viewing for the public.

The lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. on March 26 where experts will discuss planetary astrophotography, which records objects within our solar system, including planets as distant as Uranus and Neptune.

According to a news release, the lecture will also cover the proper tools for astrophotography including a single-lens, reflex (DSLR) camera with low-light capabilities, a fast lens with a long focal length, and a sturdy tripod.

Traveling Smithsonian exhibit coming to Arkansas

Following the lecture will be a night sky viewing at 8:30 p.m. The Sugar Creek Astronomical Society will bring high-quality amateur telescopes for the public to share in viewing celestial objects. At this time, lecturers say the moon will be a 4-day-old crescent and Venus, Mars and Uranus will be within view. Comet 176p may also be visible, the release states.

Other highlights reportedly include the constellations Orion, Taurus, and Ursa Major; star clusters such as the Pleiades, the Hyades, and the Beehive; and a possible meteor shower.

The release says participants should come dressed in clothing warm enough for local weather conditions. If possible, guests are advised to bring a red-light flashlight and a pair of binoculars.

The event is free to the public. Ages 8 and above are welcome. Hobbs State Park-Conservation area is located at 20201 E. Highway 12 in Rogers.

For more information, contact the park at 479-789-5000.

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