PT360: Episode 21 – Selfie Sticks Get Banned, Exciting News from CES 2016, Incredible Video of the Northern Lights, and New iPhone Lenses from Zeiss Highlight This Week’s News

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It was only a matter of time.

Selfie sticks, those awfully convenient yet awfully annoying inventions that have become part of the vernacular over the last few years seem to be falling ever more out of favor.

If you intend to go to Coachella this year, leave your selfie stick behind. Same goes for Lollapalooza, the Roman Colosseum, the Palace of Versailles, Britain’s National Gallery, and an increasingly long list of other festivals, monuments, and other establishments.

While many view the selfie stick as nothing but an obnoxious tool used by narcissists to take their own picture, most bans on the photography gadget center around two things: safety and the experience. A bunch of metal rods extended into the air seems to be of concern to people in charge of event safety. The bans are also intended to improve the experience of people who otherwise might not be able to see their favorite band, piece of art, or landmark through a forest of selfie sticks.

Whether you love them or hate them, it’s hard to argue the impact that selfie sticks have had on photography. But as time goes by, it seems more and more people think that impact has been a negative one.

Find out other locations where selfie sticks have been banned and get further details about the issue at the Times of India.

The Rumor Mill

Nikon Teases New Action Camera at CES 2016

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The Consumer Electronics Show always has some fun photography gadgets and this year was no exception.

One of the coolest features from Nikon was its KeyMission 360 Action Camera.

The KeyMission has dual lenses that combine their imagery into a single, spherical photograph. Still images and Ultra High Definition 4K video will be possible, both above water and underneath it, as the camera is waterproof up to 100 feet.

Another neat feature is that the camera will be shockproof, dustproof, and can withstand low temperatures, although Nikon hasn’t provided specifics regarding just how cold the weather can get without interfering with the camera’s functionality.

There’s no price yet either, nor is there an official release date. All Nikon will say is that “a revolution is coming.”

Get more details and see an awesome video shot with the KeyMission at Nikon USA.

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Nikon Announces Awesome New Features for D500

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While Nikon’s D5 has gotten most of the press lately, it’s DX format D500 camera has many of the same incredible features as its ultra high-end D5 cousin.

The D500 will have a 20.9 megapixel APS-C sensor powered by the Expeed 5 image processor from the D5, and will sport the same AF system that has a whopping 153 AF points, of which 99 are cross-type. The camera can shoot at 10 fps, and the buffer will hold an astonishing 79 images. And while the D500 is no match for the D5’s 3.28 million ISO, it’s still got quite a respectable number at ISO 1.64 million.

Other fun features include native Ultra High Definition 4K video capabilities and an articulating 3.2-inch touchscreen LCD.

The D500 is on sale now for a cool $1,999.95 for the camera body.

Head over to Nikon USA for further details.

Upcoming Event: Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival


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One of our favorite events is the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival, held each year in Titusville, Florida. The festival includes all sorts of awesome activities, including educational experiences, opportunities to go out and photograph gorgeous wildlife, and fun social events where you can mingle with other photography enthusiasts. If you’re near the Space Coast, this is an incredible opportunity to learn more about birding, wildlife, and photography!

But this year’s festival is coming up fast! Opening day is January 20, and the festival extends through January 25. However, the registration deadline is this Friday, January 15 at 5:00 pm EST, so you’ll need to act quickly to reserve your spot.

Get all the details about this year’s event and register for the event here.

What’s New on Photography Talk

Video: The Northern Lights Have Never Looked So Good!

We’ve been highlighting some pretty amazing photography from around the world, and one of our recent subjects is certainly worth a mention.

Richard Gottardo spent two years taking more than 6,500 photos to create the video below.

What started as a trip here and there to the mountains to try to catch the northern lights has erupted into something of a passion project. Lots of bitter cold Canadian nights, self-taught meteorology, and plenty of patience and perseverance are required when you want to capture the best of what the skies have to offer.

Head over to our feature article to find out more about Richard and to see some of his incredible photos of the northern lights.

Gear and Gizmos

Zeiss Now Makes iPhone Lenses

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Yep, you read that right.

While the market seems to be flooded with smartphone accessories that claim to improve the quality of smartphone photos, many fall short. But, when a company like Zeiss joins the fray, people pay attention.

The venerable optics company has teamed up with ExoLenses to produce a line of lenses for the iPhone that includes a macro, wide-angle, and telephoto variant. The lenses screw onto an ExoLens aluminum bracket for a tight fit over the iPhone’s camera.

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The lenses will also sport real glass elements, some aspherical elements, and Zeiss’ anti reflective coating to help reduce reflections when taking shots in bright sunlight. Additionally, the wide-angle and telephoto lenses will have an afocal design, meaning they are focused at infinity, leaving the iPhone to do the focusing. The macro lens will sport an equivalent focal length of 40-80mm.

Zeiss reports that the lenses should be available sometime in the spring or early summer.

This Gizmo Collects and Stores Photos From Every Member of the Family

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One of the problems a lot of people have with smartphones is filling up their memory with photos and not really knowing where or how to store them. There are options like Dropbox, but it can be slow when uploading or downloading images.

There’s also the issue of how to get photos from multiple phones and store them in one place that’s secure and organized.

That’s where Bevy comes in.

Just download the accompanying app, and Bevy will collect, organize, and securely store the whole family’s photos. Share photos with other family members with ease – there are no accounts or passwords to create. No matter where you are in the world, Bevy can collect your images and store them for you.

It’s just a tiny little box that you can easily place on your desk next to your computer. Connect it to Wi-Fi to share images to the cloud, connect it to your TV to watch slideshows, or simply use it as a secure backup for all your family photos.

Check out more details about this gadget at Bevy.

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Must-See Photography

Go Deep With the 2015 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition Winners

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Although most of the earth is covered with water, the oceans remain a place that is little explored, and perhaps little understood.

But you can get a glimpse of what life is like out in the deep by exploring the winners of 2015’s Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition.

The Best of Show and 1st Place winner was an image of a larval stage eel taken off the coast of Hawaii. Not only was the image taken at night, but it was also taken in 4,000 feet of water. If you think finding a subject, lighting it appropriately, and focusing on it is hard on land, try it underwater!

See all the winners at Discovery News.

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