Stunning Sony Patent details Image Sensor with Per-Pixel Exposure

Sony’s reputation for producing top quality full frame cameras is coming on in leaps and bounds with cameras like the A7R . So how could it invent an image sensor which exposes different parts of an image differently, not by using multiple shots , but all at once on a per-pixel basis ? That’s what Sony have dreamed up in a recent patent.

Discovered by SonyAlphaForum, the patent was published on October 30th. It shows a sensor that can expose individual pixels differently depending on where the darker parts and lighter parts of the scene are.

So dark shadows would become ‘long exposure pixels’ while bright highlights would become ‘short exposure pixels,’ essentially spitting out a high dynamic range image without the need to take multiple exposures and combine them.

The big problem is that taking a picture of a fast moving object could be difficult if not impossible when some pixels are exposed longer than others. But Sony addresses this issue in the patent.

They have suggested using a ‘sensitivity-specific interpolation process’ to come up with a final image by combining an entire short and entire long exposure version and to avoid blur , similar to traditional multiple exposure HDR.

You can take a closer look at the technology by reading the full, not to say fairly obscure to the layman ie me and you , patent by clicking here.

Nikon D3200 camera body , pre-owned

Nikon D3200 camera body , pre-owned , for sale , price £200 including free UK delivery . Perfect working condition.
The easy-to-use Nikon D3200 has a 24.2-megapixel CMOS image sensor, a new 11-point autofocus system, Full HD D-Movies plus Nikon’s Guide Mode to help achieve stunning results in a few simple steps – all housed in a lightweight body.

New to D-SLR photography? Guide Mode uses sample images and clear instructions to show you how to take great photos in a few simple steps.
24.2-MP DX-format CMOS sensor: capture sharp, detailed images with the 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor. Big prints look superb and you can crop images without losing any detail.
Go cinematic: make movies you’ll want to share with D-movie. With the camera’s large image sensor and high ISO, you can record sharp Full HD (1080p) video clips in any light.
High ISO (100–6400): take great images in low light or sharp shots of fast-moving subjects. Features an Auto ISO setting, and ISO is extendable up to 12800.
Razor-sharp 11-point autofocus system: enjoy fast and precise autofocus coverage throughout the frame whether your subject is off-center, moving fast or completely unpredictable.
Wireless Mobile Adapter: use the optional WU-1a to share images directly from the D3200 to a smartphone or tablet, or to control the camera remotely via your smart device.
EXPEED 3: Nikon’s fast and powerful image processing engine provides high-speed operation, remarkably clear images with excellent colour reproduction, and enhanced movie recording.
Scene Recognition System: let the D3200 help you capture superior images. Nikon’s Scene Recognition System will meticulously analyze the scene you’re shooting and adjust the focus, exposure and white balance for optimum results.
4fps continuous shooting: shoot action at a swift four frames per second and capture fleeting movements or expressions at exactly the right moment.
Photo retouch menu: enhance your photos in-camera with a range of tools and effects. Retouch tools include Resize, Quick Retouch and Straighten. Effects include Selective Color, Colour Sketch, and Miniature Effect, which makes distant subjects look like scale models.
Active D-Lighting: capture more detail in high-contrast lighting conditions. Nikon’s Active D-Lighting automatically captures the details in both dark and bright areas for stunning images with natural contrast.
Smart autofocus for movies: enjoy continuous autofocus (AF) when you shoot D-movies. Full-time servo AF (AF-F) and subject-tracking AF maintain the focus when you shoot moving subjects. Face-priority AF is ideal for filming events where you want to relax and let the camera focus on faces.
Extensive movie options: you can record Full HD (1080p) movies in 30p, 25p and 24p, and the camera supports use of Nikon’s ME-1 stereo microphone. In-camera edit functions let you perform tasks such as setting the start and end point of your movie. A mini HDMI output enables playback on an HDTV.
Easy-to-use: the D3200 lightweight body and superior ergonomics make it a pleasure to shoot with. A secure grip makes the camera comfortable to hold. Dedicated one-touch buttons for frequently used functions like D-Movie, or live view, make it easy to operate.

The Kelpies at the Helix Park open the John Muir Festival 2014

Kelpies at Helix park , GrangemouthThe Kelpies  in the Helix Park are  open to the public from Monday 21st April  . This Friday will see a stunning night-time artworks exhibition on the theme of Scotland as HOME with spectacular light, sound and flame display, by Groupe F, around Andy Scott’s iconic new cultural landmark.


A spectacular night-time arts event called HOME will launch both the opening of the John Muir Way and the international launch of The Kelpies prior to their opening to the public on the 21st April. On two evenings, 17th and 18th April, a selection of one-off, specially-commissioned night-time artworks will illuminate Helix Park, as thousands gather round the iconic Kelpies for an extraordinary animation of the colossal 300 tonne, 30 metre-high sculptures backed by a pulsating soundtrack.

Groupe F – the pyrotechnic maestros who worked at Big in Falkirk as well as the Millennium illumination of the Eiffel Tower – will bring the monuments to horse-powered heritage to life with a dazzling light, flame and sound performance
The celebration marks the start of a series of exciting John Muir Festival events taking place over nine days. A list of all the fantastic events on offer can be found on the John Muir Festival website.The Helix Park in Grangemouth covers a greenspace of almost 300 hectares. Opening up Scotland’s canal network, the Helix will also offer an outdoor recreational area filled with woodland, park, watersports lagoon, pathways, cycleways, and the hugely anticipated 30m landmark scupltures, the Kelpies.

Funding was provided by the Big Lottery Fund Living Landmarks programme. In 2005 the Helix project was awarded one of the top four prizes, which kick-started the £43 million project. The plans include a new 950-yard (870 m) section of canal, which joins the river below the four fixed bridges at a new sea lock. A new bridge under the M9 motorway has been constructed by cut and cover methods, and a lift bridge has been inserted into the A905 road. Two high-pressure oil pipelines which cross the area to feed the refinery at Grangemouth have been re-routed

The aim of the project is to transform under-used land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a thriving urban greenspace , “The Helix”. This includes a performance area, on which large scale events can be held, facilities for watersports provided by the construction of a large lagoon, all surrounded by play areas and high quality pathways. Access around The Helix will be provided by 27 kilometres (17 mi) of cycleways and footpaths.
Questions have been raised about the return on investment for the project . The Kelpies will be a major tourist attraction in the same way the Falkirk Wheel is , but with no cafe or restaurant facilities visitors may spend little or nothing in the area . The performance area,  which could host large scale events ,  has potential to bring in revenue to the area  , although it is not clear just how much .  Callendar Park  used to host the Big in Falkirk music and arts festival . Recently Falkirk stadium has hosted concerts by Elton John and Rod Stewart .
The final element of the Helix is giant new 
playpark. A set of 
giant wooden tepee-like structures making up the adventure zone will tower over the park.

Falkirk Council has signed off the £377,000 tender for the playpark .

Councillors were told the Helix Park is considered a “destination” for play and the design had to show it could cope with a large volume of use from children aged from three to 14, be as iconic as the park itself and the Kelpies, use materials in keeping with the park which were also durable and be innovative.

Rhona Geisler, director of development services, said: “This will be one of the prime play areas in Scotland and it is expected to be widely used.

“There was a lot of community consultation and feedback about what would be required.

“This product has been selected because of durability and is expected to last for 40 years.”

She added it is hoped the project, which is being part-funded by sportscotland, will be a “great” attraction for youngsters.

Nikon DSLR Cameras

DSLR cameras by Nikon have gained a lot of positive reviews from the online community with their unique features and superb photo-capturing options . Despite the declining camera sales in the market, the new range of Nikon cameras offers exciting new developments for a better photography experience.

Started in 1917, Nikon Corporation has been in the industry of optical devices for many years , producing high quality cameras and other equipment. Over the years, people saw the successful development of Nikon cameras – from the simple compact cameras to the HDSLR cameras of today. The company has even surpassed some of its close competitors with the innovative features of their recent DSLR camera releases. One of the best features that most DSLR cameras by Nikon have is their ability to capture highly detailed pictures, thanks to their huge megapixel capacities. Some of the professional-grade full frame DSLR cameras have up to 36.3 megapixels. Sensitivity of digital imaging systems of most Nikon DSLR cameras have a considerable advantage over other DSLR cameras in the market.

Two of their latest and more popular professional grade cameras, the Nikon Df and D4 Full Frame sensor cameras both have an impressive ISO range of 100-12800. In addition, viewfinders are also improved; with most units have 100% coverage and magnification now up to 0.86x. Image processing systems of most Nikon cameras are with Expeed. These also allow the cameras to have lower power consumption and extended battery life for up to 600 shots and more. One can also record HD videos by a new full HD movie mode found on some DLSR cameras, such as the Nikon D600. The barnd new Nikon D610 takes HD capture to a new level . Their latest models have also improved their auto-focus system and a quiet shooting mode. Generally, Nikon camera monitors have pretty decent and enough sizes to produce better previews of captured images. The most recent models have 3.2-inch 921K dots LCD screen. The cameras have also improved their access on different operating systems of other devices. Most are compatible with WLAN adaptors, making it possible to transmit captured photos from the camera to Apple IOS and Android-powered smart phones. There are also DSLR cameras by Nikon with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, like the Nikon D5300 and D4 units. Some units have also easy-to-use interfaces and with better mechanical controls for a great photo-capturing experience. Like most of the cameras, these Nikon cameras are convenient to use and easy to carry. The Nikon Df body model only weighs 710g, much lighter than its predecessor units Nikon D4 and D610. What’s good about these cameras is that over time, their advanced technologies produce lighter camera units with all added big features and even greater photography abilities. Their sizes are perfect for those who are handy photographers.

These Nikon DSLR cameras also come with reasonable prices. Price range starts with £429.95 for their entry-level cameras up to £7,999.95 worth of professional cameras. Over the years, DSLR cameras by Nikon have been consistently producing high quality results. With all the added features and improvements, Nikon makes every photo opportunity experience extraordinary.

Haunted Halloween castles

Scotland is full of ruined castles. Which castles are the spookiest of them all ?. Here’s a list of the spookiest , most haunted castles in Scotland , ideal for a visit at Halloween . If you’re lucky enough to survive a visit one of these castles , why not send a  free Halloween greeting card or download the free ecard app ?

Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan is one of the most picturesque and most photographed castles in
the world . Send pictures of the castle in our free Valentine cards app . The castle is on a small island in the middle of 3 lochs . It has featured in several films including Highlander and a James Bond film.  Robert the Bruce took refuge here in 1306 . The
original castle was destroyed in 1719 when 3 English
frigates attacked the Spanish troops garrisoned there. A direct hit on the arsenal  totally destroyed it .
. The castle was rebuilt in the 20th century . This castle is spooky because the spirit of
a Spanish troop is said to haunt the castle.

Send a free Halloween e-card

Donan castle screensavers

. More pictures of Eilean
Donan Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle commands the whole of the city centre , sitting on a volcanic rock . The castle is perhaps the spookiest in Britain because it has many ghosts. There is a drummer who only appears when the castle is
about to be attacked. A piper who disappeared in the
tunnels between the castle and the High Street comes back to haunt the dungeons. The castle is Scotland’s biggest visitor attraction with thousands of visitors each year.

edinburgh castle screensavers
Buy Edinburgh
Castle screensaver

Send a free Edinburgh Castle Halloween e-card.


The Blue Bedroom is the haunt of one of the Gordon clan members, who
fell from a window. He had been pushed to his death by “Red”
Sir John Forbes, a noble. Several people heard the step of
the unfortunate Gordon climbing the stairs to the Blue
Bedroom, as if he was living the moment before his death
again and again.One of the
other ghosts is one of a musician, who is very selective (he
shows himself just to people with the name of Forbes). He
fell in the moat of the castle and drowned. Send free Halloween e-cards

Linlithgow Palace

This was the castle of the Stewart kings of Scotland from the 15th
century . In 1512Mary , Queen of Scots was born here .
Queen Margaret’s Tower at the top of the stair towers
, is said to be haunted by the Queen’s mother , Mary of Guise , waiting for the
return of her husband , James V .

More pictures of Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow travel guide


In the oldest part of the castle, the double tower, there is a room
known as the Green Lady’s Room, because of the several
apparitions of this unknown woman with a baby. It is said
that she’s a member of the Burnett family, proprietor of the
apparitions began after the discover of two skeletons,
during renovation work : one of a woman and one of a baby.
The baby is said to be the child of a man who preferred to
kill the baby and the mother to hide their
relationship.The fact
that the apparitions continue, even after the discover of
the bodies means than the two poor beings will never be able
to rest in peace.

Stirling Castle

The castle stands on volcanic rock overlooking the town of Stirling and
the countryside . Mary , Queen of Scots was crowned in the
old chapel in 1533 . The Pink Lady, a beautiful lady in a
pink silk gown , has been seen many times at the castle . It
may be Mary , Queen of Scots. Others say it is the ghost of
a woman searching for her husband who had been killed when
Edward I captured the castle .

Free Stirling Castle e-cards

More pictures of  Stirling Castle
Free Halloween greeting cards

Eilean Donan Castle 605 HDR print


tone mapping

high dynamic range
[schema type=”product” url=”” name=”Eilean Donan Castle 605 HDR print .Paper size 19 by 13 inches , image size 16 by 12 inches. Photograph by David Rankin. Printed on Velvet Fine art paper , 100% cotton rag.” description=”Eilean Donan Castle 605 HDR print .Paper size 19 by 13 inches , image size 16 by 12 inches. Photograph by David Rankin. Printed on Velvet Fine art paper , 100% cotton rag.” brand=”Castle pictures” condition=”New” ]

New Nikon D600 camera goes on sale, price £1950

The new Nikon D600 camera goes on sale this week at a  price of £1950 in most retailers. The camera fits in between the D3200 and the D800 in the Nikon range, with a 24 megapixel sensor.

The Nikon D600 DSLR is fairly similar to the D800 — including a weather- and dust-resistant magnesium alloy build, fast Exspeed III processor, and AF that works down to f/8 ,  all contained in a body that is a full 15 percent lighter than the D800.

Nikon is also emphasising the fact that the D600 handles wireless transfers and triggers using the new WU-1b widget, which is identical to the familiar WU-1a  on the D3200 except that it plugs into the camera’s USB port rather than the HDMI port. There’s an Android app to allow your mobile device to communicate with the camera, and an iOS app is out by the end of September.

Nikon’s newly developed 24.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor delivers outstanding levels of detail and tonal range, even in low light situations.

From true wide-angle to super telephoto, the 14-bit A/D conversion and excellent signal-to-noise ratio enable images of remarkable quality with low noise and wide dynamic range even at high ISO sensitivities.

Offering an ISO range of 100–6400, extendable up to 25,600 (equivalent) and down to 50 (equivalent), low light capability is superb. The camera’s intelligent noise reduction systems manage noise without sacrificing fine details, allowing superb flexibility under all lighting conditions: images are crisp and clean, even at higher ISO settings.

EXPEED 3 image processing 
Equipped with the same state-of-the-art EXPEED 3 image-processing engine as Nikon’s flagship D4, the Nikon D600 makes light work of data-rich tasks without sacrificing speed and quality.

16-bit image processing offers richer colours and tones than ever before, delivering smooth gradations with abundant detail and tone all the way up the scale to pure white, even when shooting in JPEG.

Highly sensitive autofocus system
The Nikon D600 enables superior subject acquisition in most lighting conditions thanks to Nikon’s newly developed Multi-CAM4800 39-point AF system that boasts AF sensitivity inherited from the flagship D4.

A full-frame sensor is equivalent in size to a frame of 35mm film. Larger sensors are better for two main reasons: they potentially allow for larger photosites (light receptors) per pixel for a given resolution, and provide more creative flexibility with respect to depth of field at a given focal length. Larger photosites mean better light sensitivity, which usually means higher-quality photos.