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Reverie: Just in case you needed more convincing…

…on the whole DSLR + video thing:

Click to watch: Sample Video: EOS 5D Mark II

This video was shot with a pre-production Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR. The files used to create this video were not manipulated in any way, only re-compressed for 1/4 resolution display on our website. To view Vincent Laforet’s comments and behind-the-scenes video on the making of REVERIE, please visit his blog: blog.vincentlaforet.com

Microsoft Image Composite Editor: Easy to use, good results

Microsoft Image Composite Editor

Image Composite Editor is Microsoft’s over-engineered way of saying “panorama stitcher.” This software takes multiple images and stitches them together automatically, blending seams, cropping, the works. It’s extremely simple to use: just drag and drop a batch of images onto the interface and it gets to work immediately finding overlapping points, stitching the image together, correcting for distortion, and blending the results together.

To test it, I dropped two images from a simple two-frame panorama I shot a few weeks ago of Balboa Pier onto it. It worked quickly and did a fair job of compositing the images. It did have some blending trouble around the right-center portion of the photo. But overall the result was good and it was ridiculously easy. This is the easiest to use stitching software I’ve ever used.

Another nice feature is that it will export to multiple formats including JPG, TIFF, Photoshop, HD View Tileset, Deep Zoom Tileset, Windows Bitmap, PNG, and HD Photo Image. And you can export layers if the format supports it (for example, Photoshop) to help with additional post-processing.

Click here to download Microsoft Image Composite Editor (Free, Windows only).

Below are images from the pier I composited and the trouble areas:

And the winner is…

Last week we held a lens rental giveaway sponsored by BorrowLenses.com. You left a comment describing which lens you’d like to rent and why and BorrowLenses.com chose one lucky recipient to receive a free 2-week lens rental. And that lucky photographer is…

Bryan Villarin who wrote: “I think I’d want to try a Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 because I’m very much into street photography right now and my 50mm is too close for comfort. :)” Max at BorrowLenses.com wrote that he also liked Bryan’s photo blog (you might too, check it out).

Congratulations, Bryan! And thanks to everyone who entered!

Hey! You got video in my DSLR!

Personally, I’m really excited about the Nikon D90, not only because it looks like a great camera and a nice upgrade to my trusty old original D70 (I must like odd numbers), but because it’s got this great high-def video feature. I’ve always liked video but I’ve always hated video cameras. I have a Panasonic DV camera around here somewhere… probably on the floor gathering dust. Too big. Transferring video from tapes. It’s a chore. But video in my DSLR? That can be recorded without the use of disposable media? At 720p? In a device I have with me everywhere already that can also record 12 megapixel stills? Heaven!

Of course, Canon announced video capability in their new Canon 5D Mark II. They’ll undoubtedly include it the next generation of their Rebel line as well. The Mark II is also a very nice camera and does 1080p. It’s just a bit pricier, though.

I can think of a bunch of fun things to do with a video camera with interchangeable lenses. I almost bought one today on impulse, the kit with the new 18-105 VR, but I had to stop and remind myself about the tax check I recently sent to the IRS and pesky details like my health insurance bill and my mortgage payment… Soon…

So what’s your take on this whole DSLR with video shenanigans? For or against? Excited or grumpy?

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