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Equipment

Leica unveils retro version of the APO-Summicron-M 50mm F2.0 ASPH to honor the LHSA

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 11:45am
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Hot on the heels of yesterday's Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 ASPH announcement, Leica has debuted yet another lens this week. This time, it's a special edition: the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm F2 ASPH 'LHSA' released in honor of the 50th anniversary of The International Leica Society (LHSA).

What makes this lens special is, basically, that it meshes the styling of the original Summicon 50mm F2 from 1954 with the optics of the current APO-Summicron 50mm F2 ASPH released in May of 2012. Optically, it's identical to the 2012 lens, but on the outside it features either a black paint or silver chrome finish, a 1950s style lens hood, and red engravings of the distance scale. Other special markings include:

The special serial number is engraved on the aperture ring and is picked out in black on the silver chrome version and is not coloured on the black paint lens. Further engravings are found on the bayonet ring: ‘MADE IN GERMANY’ and the LHSA Logo – both of which are not picked out in colour.

This special edition Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm F2 ASPH 'LHSA' will be limited to just 500 copies—300 in the black finish and 200 in silver—and each of them will come in 'high quality packaging' with a certificate of authenticity.

Both colors will be available starting the 4th of December, and according to our contacts at Leica it will retail for $9,595. That's $1,800 more than the non-special edition lens retails for.

To learn more about this lens, visit the Leica website.

Press Release

Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH. 'LHSA': Special Edition to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of 'The International Leica Society' (LHSA)

Wetzlar, 30 November 2017 – For the past 50 years, ‘The International Leica Society’ (LHSA) has dedicated itself to researching the history of Leica and the use of the company’s products. The beginning of the celebration of the 50th anniversary in 2018 will be marked by the launch of a special edition of the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. produced especially for the occasion. The appearance of the lens is reminiscent of the Summicron 50 mm f/2 from 1954. The special edition thus unites the outstanding imaging performance of the current lens—which was the first to be able to fully exploit the contrast and resolution offered by modern digital cameras—with the look of the nineteen-fifties.

Depending on the choice of colour of the ‘LHSA’ special edition, the outer brass elements of the lens are finished either in black paint or in silver chrome. This also applies to the separate lens hood in the style of the nineteen-fifties that is also made of brass. While the engravings of the distance scale in feet are picked out in red on both versions, the other engravings vary in colour depending on the version of the lens selected: these are in white on the black paint version and black in the case of the silver chrome option. The special serial number is engraved on the aperture ring and is picked out in black on the silver chrome version and is not coloured on the black paint lens. Further engravings are found on the bayonet ring: ‘MADE IN GERMANY’ and the LHSA Logo—both of which are not picked out in colour.

The cordial collaboration between Leica and the LHSA has a long tradition and has already been the source of a number of special editions in the past. These include, for example, a set comprising a silver chrome Leica M6 and three Summicron-M lenses of different focal lengths produced in 1993 and a Leica MP from 2003 finished in a special hammertone lacquer.

The LHSA special edition of the APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. is strictly limited to 500 examples, 300 in black paint finish and 200 in silver chrome. Both versions will be supplied together with a certificate of authenticity in particularly high-quality packaging and will be available from 4 December 2017.

Categories: Equipment

Gear of the Year 2017 - Dan's choice: Sony a9

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 11:14am

It's been fascinating to watch the rise of mirrorless cameras over the course of my 7+ years writing about digital photography. And Sony in particular has been fun to watch as they've lead the mirrorless charge in terms of sensor size and resolution.

I’ll never forget the moment the Sony NEX-7 was unveiled in a pre-launch briefing in 2011 - it was the first time I truly craved a mirrorless body - the publication I worked for at the time even named it 'Camera of the Year'. Up until that point mirrorless still felt like something of a novelty: a nice option for amateurs craving a small, light ILC alternative to a DSLR, but certainly not a replacement for one, especially for those 'serious' about their photography.

It's often been Sony in particular making the mirrorless cameras I'm most eager to get my hands on.

As the mirrorless market continued to take off and cameras like the original Sony a7 were unveiled, my interest in what originally seemed like a niche continued to grow. And while a lot of brands have contributed serious innovation to the mirrorless market, it's been Sony in particular making the mirrorless cameras I'm most eager to get my hands on - an opinion not shared by all my colleagues, mind you.

But time and time again I found my expectations of shooting a Sony mirrorless camera never quite matched the reality of using the product. For instance, when it came to the Sony a7, sure it packed a full-frame sensor in a super compact mirrorless body - something that'd never been done, but the user interface of the camera, to put it simply, felt unfinished. This led to an overly frustrating shooting experience.

The Sony a9 is the brand's first truly refined mirrorless camera, in this writer's opinion.
ISO 1000 | 1/1000 sec | F5.6

To make matters worse, many of Sony's early mirrorless UI stumbling points were uniquely their own: slow startup times, vague error messages, and batteries draining while the camera's shut off were problems other manufacturers had long since addressed (not to mention poor battery life). And while no one has the perfect menus, Sony's have historically been the most cluttered and confusing.

But time and time again I found my expectations of shooting a Sony mirrorless camera never quite matched the reality of using the product.

For years, early Sony mirrorless adopters defended their decision to go all-in citing that, eventually, you do get used to the annoying UI and find workarounds. And indeed I'm sure they did. But a good camera shouldn't force you to work around it: it should work with you. And as the Sony a7 II-series came to market, it seemed clear the brand was intent on fixing a lot of these issues and shaking its image as the camera brand with bad UI.

And then came the Sony a9

But it wasn't until the release of the Alpha 9 this year, that a Sony camera has felt as refined in use as it DSLR counterparts. A year early, the Sony a6500 came pretty close to hitting this mark, but it's the Sony a9 that's finally won me over as a whole-hearted mirrorless believer.

Make no mistake, the a9 is meant to compete against the likes of the flagship Nikon D5 and Canon EOS 1D X Mark II. What it lacks in built-in vertical grip, it makes up for in a faster burst (20 fps on the Sony, 14 fps on the Canon and 12 fps on the Nikon). But it has more appeal to me than as just a sports camera.

The a9 is a sports camera, but that doesn't mean it isn't also well-suited for shooting candids. In fact it's flip-out touchscreen is perfect for discreetly focusing on a subject.
ISO 100 | 1/640 sec | F5.6

For me, the mark of a truly good camera is one you find yourself reaching for regardless of the assignment or subject matter. Since the a9 landed in our office, it's been a camera that I've found myself grabbing for both static and moving subjects. Because as well-suited as it might be for sports photography, it's also a great street photography camera with lenses like the FE 28mm F2 attached. I find that using the flip-out touchscreen to select a point of focus is a great way to shoot candids.

Since the a9 landed in our office, its a camera that I've found myself grabbing for both static and moving subjects.

I recently took a trip to Jackson, Wyoming where I expected to shoot a mix of wildlife, landscapes and video, and found myself bringing the a9 because it offered a fast burst rate with good AF, 4K video without any heavy crop factor and excellent dynamic range. But moreover, I packed it because it is a camera I enjoy shooting with and can, with some time spent, customize to complement my shooting style perfectly.

I picked the Sony a9 for a once in a lifetime trip to Jackson, Wyoming because of its small size, dynamic range, 4K video and burst speed.
ISO 50 | 1/640 sec | F8

That's a big step forward for Sony. They've long made cameras that out-spec'ed the competition but for me personally, were not enjoyable to use. But the a9's menus have been overhauled and are less confusing, its also responsive (starts up fast) and rarely throws confusing errors messages. These may sound like little things, but they add up to vastly more pleasant shooting experience compared to Sonys of years past.

I packed it because it is a camera I enjoy shooting with.

Improvements like a new, larger capacity battery that doesn't self-drain, gave me more confidence in grabbing the Sony for what was likely a once in a lifetime shooting excursion. Plus, compared to a D5 or 1D X II, the a9 is a much smaller lighter camera to pack. And its in-body + lens stabilization allows me the flexibility to shoot handheld at slower shutter speeds and avoid lugging a tripod around. This was something that mattered to me as I was to do a lot of hiking in Jackson.

These bison may be nursing, and therefore stationary, but they can run at speeds up to 40 MPH. Good thing the Sony a9 can shoot at 20 fps.
ISO 100 | 1/500 sec | F5.6

Where Sony can go from here

The Sony a9, and its recently-released cousin, the Sony a7R III are both exceptional cameras. I used to hesitate to pick up a Sony camera; with this recent generation, no longer. That said, there are still some areas these cameras could improve to truly leave their DSLR pals in the dust, specifically: weather-sealing and subject tracking.

'Nikon's 3D Tracking is still superior to Sony's Lock-on AF for subject tracking.'

The Sony a9 is dust and moisture resistant to certain degree, but the lack of robust rubber gaskets on the ports, SD card and battery doors does not lead me to trust its ability to survive shooting in conditions such as a lacrosse game in torrential downpours - I'd be much more comfortable grabbing a Nikon D5 of Canon 1D X II.

The same goes for any assignment/circumstance were nailing focus on the shot is mission critical: Nikon's 3D Tracking is still superior to Sony's Lock-on AF for subject tracking.

There are some other minor grievances I have with the a9, like the inability to enter menus while the buffer clears. Another: the omission of video gamma and color modes found in most other Sony cameras. But these are all things that can easily be added/improved in the next generation. And if there is one thing I've learned covering Sony's camera technology, it's that the brand listens to customers and industry feedback.

This was shot through a seaplane window. If you've ever flown in one, you know they can be very shaky, thankful the camera's stablization helped steady my shot.
ISO 800 | 1/2000 sec | F5.6

It's no secret that Sony is hungry for a piece of the professional sports photography market, eager to get mirrorless cameras on the sidelines of the Olympics and Super Bowl. And with the Sony a9, there's compelling reason to at least acknowledge Sony as a legit player. I think it will take a few more generations of cameras for Sony to blow past the competition, giving pros a concrete reason to consider switching. But if they keep moving in the direction they have been, I see no reason why more and more pros wouldn't give them a chance.

So for winning me over and being the first Sony mirrorless camera I truly love shooting with, the a9 is my pick for 2017 gear of the year.

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Categories: Equipment

Hasselblad launches its own online store, offers 5% off for a limited time

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 10:40am

Iconic medium format manufacturer Hasselblad has opened its own online store, allowing users all over the world to skip the third-party vendors and local dealer and buy direct from the manufacturer itself. Following in the footsteps of Hasselblad's first brick-andmortar stores in Sweden, China, and Japan, the online 'Hasselblad Store' will be open to resident of the USA, China, UK, Germany and France.

Currently, the Hasselblad Store is selling both X1D and H6D cameras, as well as a limited number of lenses. Opening offers include 5% off some X1D kits and the body-only price, while H6D buyers can get a free hard case with their purchase. These discounts will last until December 7th.

The company's hope is that an official online store will broaden the availability of its products:

The launch of the ‘Hasselblad Store’ is one of our core initiatives derived from our strategy that focuses on not only making our products more accessible to photographers seeking hands on experience with the Hasselblad product line-up, but also to inspire fans with great images and stories.

For more information or if you want to purchase a brand new Hassy from the company itself, check out the Hasselblad Store for yourself.

Press Release

Hasselblad Expands Into E-Commerce with Launch of 'Hasselblad Store'

Hasselblad’s New Online Store is Now Open To The USA, China, UK, Germany and France

Hasselblad, the leading manufacturer of digital medium format cameras and lenses, is pleased to announce the launch of its new online ‘Hasselblad Store’. The online store will broaden availability of Hasselblad’s iconic high- performance cameras and lenses to photographers in the USA, China, UK, Germany and France.

“The launch of the ‘Hasselblad Store’ is one of our core initiatives derived from our strategy that focuses on not only making our products more accessible to photographers seeking hands on experience with the Hasselblad product line-up, but also to inspire fans with great images and stories” said Bronius Rudnickas, Hasselblad Marketing Manager.

The online store follows closely behind the new Hasselblad website and the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ program that was launched earlier in November.

‘Rent a Hasselblad’ is a global online reservation service for Hasselblad cameras and lenses. Whether renting a Hasselblad system for a speci c photoshoot, booking a camera to try it out before purchasing, or reserving gear to pick up and use at their next travel destination, the rental service provides photographers with more freedom and greater accessibility to Hasselblad systems.

During the opening week of the online store, customers will be eligible to receive a ve percent (5%) discount on the award winning X1D and the XCD 45mm and 90mm lenses. In addition, for every customer purchasing an H6D-50c or H6D-100c camera, an H System Camera Hard Case will be included. This offer will end on December 7th, 2017.
Access to the ‘Hasselblad Store’ at:
https://store.hasselblad.com/

Categories: Equipment

Hasselbald launches its own online store, offers 5% off for a limited time

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 10:40am

Iconic medium format manufacturer Hasselblad has opened its own online store, allowing users all over the world to skip the third-party vendors and local dealer and buy direct from the manufacturer itself. Following in the footsteps of Hasselblad's first brick-andmortar stores in Sweden, China, and Japan, the online 'Hasselblad Store' will be open to resident of the USA, China, UK, Germany and France.

Currently, the Hasselblad Store is selling both X1D and H6D cameras, as well as a limited number of lenses. Opening offers include 5% off some X1D kits and the body-only price, while H6D buyers can get a free hard case with their purchase. These discounts will last until December 7th.

The company's hope is that an official online store will broaden the availability of its products:

The launch of the ‘Hasselblad Store’ is one of our core initiatives derived from our strategy that focuses on not only making our products more accessible to photographers seeking hands on experience with the Hasselblad product line-up, but also to inspire fans with great images and stories.

For more information or if you want to purchase a brand new Hassy from the company itself, check out the Hasselblad Store for yourself.

Press Release

Hasselblad Expands Into E-Commerce with Launch of 'Hasselblad Store'

Hasselblad’s New Online Store is Now Open To The USA, China, UK, Germany and France

Hasselblad, the leading manufacturer of digital medium format cameras and lenses, is pleased to announce the launch of its new online ‘Hasselblad Store’. The online store will broaden availability of Hasselblad’s iconic high- performance cameras and lenses to photographers in the USA, China, UK, Germany and France.

“The launch of the ‘Hasselblad Store’ is one of our core initiatives derived from our strategy that focuses on not only making our products more accessible to photographers seeking hands on experience with the Hasselblad product line-up, but also to inspire fans with great images and stories” said Bronius Rudnickas, Hasselblad Marketing Manager.

The online store follows closely behind the new Hasselblad website and the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ program that was launched earlier in November.

‘Rent a Hasselblad’ is a global online reservation service for Hasselblad cameras and lenses. Whether renting a Hasselblad system for a speci c photoshoot, booking a camera to try it out before purchasing, or reserving gear to pick up and use at their next travel destination, the rental service provides photographers with more freedom and greater accessibility to Hasselblad systems.

During the opening week of the online store, customers will be eligible to receive a ve percent (5%) discount on the award winning X1D and the XCD 45mm and 90mm lenses. In addition, for every customer purchasing an H6D-50c or H6D-100c camera, an H System Camera Hard Case will be included. This offer will end on December 7th, 2017.
Access to the ‘Hasselblad Store’ at:
https://store.hasselblad.com/

Categories: Equipment

Phase One unveils Capture One 11 with 'next level layers' and more

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 10:29am

Watch out Adobe. Early this morning, Phase One unveiled the next major update to Capture One. The new version, Capture One 11, promises improvements in every regard: from "new, highly responsive tools," to "workflow enhancements" to a new "finely tuned processing engine."

Here's a quick introduction to what's new in Capture One 11 straight from Phase One itself:

The major improvements can be broken down into three categories: layers, workflow, and performance.

Performance

When Phase One talks about 'optimized' performance, the company is not just talking about how quickly Capture One can open and edit your Raw files. Included in these improvements is 're-engineered' color handling, as well as the addition of a LAB Readout option for "customers who wish to measure image output to critical values."

'Next Level Layers'

With this update, Phase One is now characterizing Capture One 11 as a 'layer centric application.' All of the program's adjustment tools are now compatible with layers, masking tools have been improved with the ability to refine and feather masks after drawing, and you can now control the opacity of individual layers.

Workflow

Since Capture One 11 is trying to be "the professionals’ choice in imaging software," several improvements have also been made on the workflow side.

You can now add annotations and graphics on top of your image as overlays, and export them as separate layers in a PSD file; crops can be added as a 'Path' when exporting to a PSD file, so you don't lose any pixels if you transfer out to Photoshop; and, finally, you can now export watermarks as a separate layer in an exported PSD file as well.

As with all major Adobe competitors—and Capture One is arguably one of the best-known and most widely-used—the message Phase One wants to send loud and clear is, "we care about our customers' needs." In fact, you could say Phase One stopped just short of calling Adobe out by name in its announcement:

In keeping with Phase One’s commitment to its customers’ choice, Capture One 11 is available for purchase by either perpetual license or by subscription – whichever best suits the customers’ needs.

For photographers eager to escape Adobe's subscription-only model, Capture One 11 represents a very tempting choice.

Capture One 11 is available now for both Mac and Windows at $300 for a brand-new perpetual license or $20/month on subscription (or $180 if you pay for a year in advance). If you already own Capture One Pro 9 or 10, you can get a perpetual license for just $120, and if you purchased Capture One Pro 10 on October 31st, 2017 or later, you can actually upgrade to Capture One 11 for free by using your same license key.

To learn more or download a fully-functional 30-day free trial, head over to the Phase One website.

Categories: Equipment

2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for people and events

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 11/30/2017 - 7:00am

Those shooting portraits and weddings need a camera with a decent autofocus system that won't give up in low light, good image quality at medium/high ISO and great colors straight out of the camera. Read on to see which cameras are best suited to those tasks.

Categories: Equipment

Nikon's redesigned SnapBridge app adds full manual camera control and 'intuitive' UI

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 11:01pm

Nikon just released a new version of its camera connectivity app SnapBridge. The new SnapBridge Version 2.0—which is available for both iOS and Android devices starting today—has been redesigned with an easier-to-use interface and a bunch of new features like the ability to register up to five devices, and full-manual control of select cameras.

On the UI side, both the screen design and the menu structure have been updated to be 'more intuitive' and offer direct access to Help functions. The app has also now been equipped with a 'power saving mode' that keeps SnapBridge from draining your smartphone or tablet's battery when you're not connected to a camera (i.e. when it's not in use).

On the feature side, the major addition is full manual control. If you have a compatible camera—according to Nikon, these include the Nikon D850, D500, D7500, and D5600—you'll now be able to control exposure modes (P/S/A/M), shutter speed, aperture, exposure comp, ISO, and white balance.

You can learn more about the new SnapBridge app by reading the full press release below, or downloading it yourself off of the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

Press Release

Nikon Announces Updated Version of SnapBridge Camera Connectivity App for Seamless Image Transfer and Sharing

Easier to Use, More Intuitive and Simpler Connection with SnapBridge Version 2.0*

MELVILLE, NY (November 29, 2017 at 11:00 P.M. EST) – Today, Nikon is pleased to announce the release of version 2.0 of Nikon SnapBridge, which offers enhanced functionality, stability and ease of use. SnapBridge is the Nikon app that enables users to easily and seamlessly share images and control select Nikon digital camera via Bluetooth** and Wi-Fi® connection with a compatible smart device such as a phone or tablet.

Enhanced Interface and Connectivity

SnapBridge version 2.0 reflects feedback from users of earlier versions of the app and represents a significant update of the user interface (GUI). Screen design and menu structure have been significantly revised in several ways, including the adoption of progress displays to provide visual confirmation of the status of an operation (e.g. when a smart device is paired with a camera or connection is changed to a Wi-Fi connection). Direct access to help functions from the app menu are also now available. The app also offers different instructions for each category of camera to ensure easier setup, navigation and usage.

Additionally, up to five cameras can now be registered with the device running the app. This makes switching between cameras much easier for those who own multiple Nikon cameras.

The app is also equipped with a new power-saving mode that controls the amount of smart device power consumed by the app when it is not connected to a camera for an extended period of time. SnapBridge Version 2.0 also features a location data accuracy setting that allows users to choose between lower power consumption and greater location data accuracy by selecting how often the smart device updates location data.

Greater Remote Photography Functions

For even more creative control with select Nikon cameras, important digital SLR camera settings can now be controlled from the SnapBridge app through remote photography*. The live view display on the smart device can be used to confirm and adjust camera settings, allowing users to enjoy more full-scale shooting. Users also now have access to exposure modes (P/S/A/M), shutter speed, aperture value, exposure compensation, ISO sensitivity, and white balance. Controls will vary among various camera models.

Nikon Image Space Integration

Nikon SnapBridge Version 2.0 has a dedicated tab that makes it easier than ever to use NIKON IMAGE SPACE. With SnapBridge 2.0 and a NIKON IMAGE SPACE account a user can automatically upload an unlimited number 2MB images ideal for sharing on the go. In addition, photos taken using remote photography can now be uploaded to NIKON IMAGE SPACE automatically.

Nikon will continue to enhance the app's usability and strengthen its functions to provide users with ever increasingly rich imaging experiences well into the future.

For more information about Nikon SnapBridge and the latest Nikon cameras and other products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

*Functions available with the SnapBridge and SnapBridge 360/170 apps differ.

  • iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, and Android™ devices to which the SnapBridge app has been installed can be used. The SnapBridge app can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store® and Google Play™. See Nikon's website for further information.
  • Operation of this app is not guaranteed with all devices.
  • Nikon SnapBridge 2.0 Compatible Cameras:
    • Nikon D850, D500, D7500, D5600, D3400,COOLPIX A900, A300, B700, B500, W100, W300, KeyMission 80

**The Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® functions built into cameras are effective only when connected to a smart device on which the SnapBridge app has been installed.

Categories: Equipment

Fujifilm releases X Raw Studio and updates X-T2, X-T20, GFX 50S firmware

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 10:15pm

Fujifilm has announced its X Raw Studio Conversion System software, which it first teased back at Photokina. The software is essentially a viewer for the in-camera Raw converters that already exist on X and GFX series cameras. In fact, the software doesn't actually do any processing - the camera does, over a USB connection. Fujifilm claims that X Raw Studio is more than twenty times faster than the SilkyPix-based converter. The macOS version is available for download today, with a Windows application to follow in February.

The software adjusts exactly the same parameters as on the camera and supports batch processing and saving conversion profiles. As you'd expect, a side-by-side viewer is available. As of today only the GFX 50S and X-T2 are supported, with the X-Pro2 and X100F to follow in December, all via firmware updates.

Speaking of which, the company also posted firmware updates for the X-T2, X-T20 and GFX 50S that were announced at Photokina. Changes include:

FUJIFILM X-T2: V.3.0 Key Features:

  • New AF tracking algorithm enhances AF-C to track moving subjects half the size, or moving twice as fast as previous models.
  • Supports FUJIFILM X RAW STUDIO which enables users to convert RAW files with X Processor Pro.
  • Supports Instax SHARE SP-3 and higher resolution prints for SP-2.
  • Allows users to choose RGB and brightness histogram with or without highlight warnings.
  • Improves radio flash controller usability allowing users to shoot with compatible third party studio flash in high speed sync or TTL mode via their radio controllers.
  • Supports backup and restore of camera settings from one camera to another via FUJIFILM X Acquire.

FUJIFILM X-T20: V.1.1 Key Features:

  • Touch panel operation while looking into the electronic viewfinder.
  • Supports Instax SHARE SP-3 and higher resolution prints for SP-2.

FUJIFILM GFX 50S: V.2.0 Key Features:

  • Supports FUJIFILM X RAW STUDIO which enables users to convert RAW files with X Processor Pro.
  • Supports Instax SHARE SP-3 and higher resolution prints for SP-2.
  • Improves radio flash controller usability allowing users to shoot with compatible third party studio flash in high speed sync or TTL mode via their radio controllers.
  • Supports backup and restore of camera settings from one camera to another via FUJIFILM X Acquire.
  • Addition of “Eye Sensor + LCD Image Display” in View Mode that allows for shooting through the viewfinder and checking images on the LCD.
  • ON/OFF for 1/3-step shutter speed adjustment.
  • Addition of “Shoot Without Card” mode so camera will not shoot without SD card inserted.
  • Addition of “-6” and “-7” to EVF's brightness settings.

Press Release

FUJIFILM ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF NEW FUJIFILM X RAW STUDIO CONVERSION SYSTEM

New Firmware Updates for GFX and X Series Cameras available now

Valhalla, N.Y., November 29, 2017Fujifilm North America Corporation today announced the launch of FUJIFILM X RAW STUDIO, a new conversion software that allows photographers to quickly and easily convert RAW files while maintaining outstanding image quality.

Also available today are Firmware updates for the FUJIFILM X-T2 and X-T20 X Series cameras, and the FUJIFILM GFX 50S.

New FUJIFILM X RAW STUDIO

FUJIFILM X RAW STUDIO enables users to convert RAW files with ease, offering exceptionally fast conversions. Due to the size of RAW files, photographers can often find batch conversion extremely time consuming. X RAW STUDIO utilizes the connected camera’s X-Processor Pro high-speed image processing engine, allowing for quick and effective conversion without compromising on image quality. Compatible with both Mac and PC systems, the new X RAW STUDIO enables batch conversion of a selection of images. Users can store conversion settings or copy settings between images, and variable image processing conditions can be adjusted in the same way as in-camera RAW conversion.

Fujifilm X RAW STUDIO Key Features:

  • Supports single or batch conversion for RAW images through a Mac or PC system.
  • Image processing settings can be adjusted like the in-camera RAW conversion.
    • All conversion parameters available through in-camera RAW conversion are adjustable, enabling photographers to monitor results in a preview window when changing settings.
  • Displays before and after images side-by-side for easy comparison while changing adjusting settings.
  • Enables users to save, load, or copy conversion profiles onto another RAW image.

Availability & Pricing

FUJIFILM X RAW STUDIO for Mac is available now, and is set to launch for Windows in February 2018. X RAW STUDIO is available to users at no cost.

New GFX Firmware Updates

Fujifilm has released firmware updates for the GFX 50S that add new support for FUJIFILM X RAW STUDIO, improved third party studio flash controller usability and new functions to improve operability.

FUJIFILM GFX 50S: V.2.0 Key Features:

  • Supports FUJIFILM X RAW STUDIO which enables users to convert RAW files with X Processor Pro.
  • Supports Instax SHARE SP-3 and higher resolution prints for SP-2.
  • Improves radio flash controller usability allowing users to shoot with compatible third party studio flash in high speed sync or TTL mode via their radio controllers.
  • Supports backup and restore of camera settings from one camera to another via FUJIFILM X Acquire.
  • Addition of “Eye Sensor + LCD Image Display” in View Mode that allows for shooting through the viewfinder and checking images on the LCD.
  • ON/OFF for 1/3-step shutter speed adjustment.
  • Addition of “Shoot Without Card” mode so camera will not shoot without SD card inserted.
  • Addition of “-6” and “-7” to EVF's brightness settings.

New X Series Firmware Updates

Additionally, Fujifilm has released firmware updates for the FUJIFILM X-T2 and X-T20 X Series cameras to add new functionality and improve operability. These updates include new support for FUJIFILM X RAW STUDIO, dramatic improvements to the AF-C tracking algorithm in zone and tracking AF mode, addition of 4K video support and computer tethering functions and enhancements to touch panel operations.

FUJIFILM X-T2: V.3.0 Key Features:

  • New AF tracking algorithm enhances AF-C to track moving subjects half the size, or moving twice as fast as previous models.
  • Supports FUJIFILM X RAW STUDIO which enables users to convert RAW files with X Processor Pro.
  • Supports Instax SHARE SP-3 and higher resolution prints for SP-2.
  • Allows users to choose RGB and brightness histogram with or without highlight warnings.
  • Improves radio flash controller usability allowing users to shoot with compatible third party studio flash in high speed sync or TTL mode via their radio controllers.
  • Supports backup and restore of camera settings from one camera to another via FUJIFILM X Acquire.

FUJIFILM X-T20: V.1.1 Key Features:

  • Touch panel operation while looking into the electronic viewfinder.
  • Supports Instax SHARE SP-3 and higher resolution prints for SP-2.
Categories: Equipment

Instagram is testing a 'Regram' button and other major feature updates

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 5:16pm
Photo by Erik Lucatero

Instagram is testing a bunch of new features, including one very intriguing and long-awaited button that will put several 3rd party apps out of business: the Regram. The new features were published by The Next Web, which was able to obtain screenshots of several feature updates that are still only being tested with small groups of users.

First things first though: Regram. Like Tumblr's Reblog or Facebook's Share, regramming would allow Instagram users to share another user's photo or video with their own followers. Third party apps already allow for a cumbersome version of this, but a built-in button has never existed... until now.

Regram Button Screenshot. Credit: The Next Web

In addition to the Regram, TNW found that Instagram may soon:

  • Allow you to search for and add GIFs to your profile or Instagram Story.
  • Allow iOS users to join a Beta program that will give you early access to upcoming versions of the app.
  • Add an Archive feature for Stories (you can already archive regular posts)
  • Create a "Closest Friends List" that lets you share posts or stories with a smaller more intimate group.
  • Share to WhatsApp
  • Search by Top Hashtag and Top Emoji
  • Follow hashtags, not just other profiles

There is also an "Add Coffee" button that mysteriously popped up in the share page (the same page where you write your caption, select the social media accounts you'd like to share to, and click post). Nobody seems to have any idea what that's about.

To see screenshots of all these features, head over to The Next Web's report by clicking here. And let us know what you think of these new features in the comments down below.

Categories: Equipment

The new HDMI 2.1 specification (and cable) adds support for 10K, 8K HDR, and 4K at 120fps

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 4:24pm

Originally announced back in January and slated for a mid-year release, the HDMI 2.1 specification is just now making its debut on the world stage. Announced by the HDMI forum yesterday, the new specification offers users the ability to deal with 10K video resolution, as well as other data-intensive formats such as Dynamic HDR, uncompressed 8K HDR video, and 4K at 120fps.

A new Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable standard has also been announced that carries up to 48Gbps, and which is said to have ‘exceptionally low electro-magnetic interference’ to avoid conflict with other devices in the vicinity.


HDMI 2.1 is backwards compatible with earlier versions of the standard, as is the new high speed cable. For more information, visit the HDMI forum website.

Press Release

HDMI FORUM RELEASES VERSION 2.1 OF THE HDMI SPECIFICATION

A Huge Leap Forward Supports Resolutions Up to 10K and Dynamic HDR and Introduces New Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable

SAN JOSE, California – November 28, 2017 - HDMI Forum, Inc. today announced the release of Version 2.1 of the HDMI® Specification which is now available to all HDMI 2.0 adopters. This latest HDMI Specification supports a range of higher video resolutions and refresh rates including 8K60 and 4K120, and resolutions up to 10K. Dynamic HDR formats are also supported, and bandwidth capability is increased up to 48Gbps.

Supporting the 48Gbps bandwidth is the new Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable. The cable ensures high-bandwidth dependent features are delivered including uncompressed 8K video with HDR. It features exceptionally low EMI (electro-magnetic interference) which reduces interference with nearby wireless devices. The cable is backwards compatible and can be used with the existing installed base of HDMI devices.

Version 2.1 of the HDMI Specification is backward compatible with earlier versions of the specification, and was developed by the HDMI Forum’s Technical Working Group whose members represent some of the world’s leading manufacturers of consumer electronics, personal computers, mobile devices, cables and components.

“The HDMI Forum’s mission is to develop specifications meeting market needs, growing demands for higher performance, and to enable future product opportunities,” said Robert Blanchard of Sony Electronics, president of the HDMI Forum.

HDMI Specification 2.1 Features Include:

  • Higher video resolutions support a range of high resolutions and faster refresh rates including 8K60Hz and 4K120Hz for immersive viewing and smooth fast-action detail. Resolutions up to 10K are also supported for commercial AV, and industrial and specialty usages.
  • Dynamic HDR support ensures every moment of a video is displayed at its ideal values for depth, detail, brightness, contrast and wider color gamuts—on a scene-by-scene or even a frame-by-frame basis.
  • The Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable supports the 48G bandwidth for uncompressed HDMI 2.1 feature support. The cable also features very low EMI emission and is backwards compatible with earlier versions of the HDMI Specification and can be used with existing HDMI devices.
  • eARC simplifies connectivity, provides greater ease of use, and supports the most advanced audio formats and highest audio quality. It ensures full compatibility between audio devices and upcoming HDMI 2.1 products.
  • Enhanced refresh rate features ensure an added level of smooth and seamless motion and transitions for gaming, movies and video. They include:
    1. Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) reduces or eliminates lag, stutter and frame tearing for more fluid and better detailed gameplay.
    2. Quick Media Switching (QMS) for movies and video eliminates the delay that can result in blank screens before content is displayed.
    3. Quick Frame Transport (QFT) reduces latency for smoother no-lag gaming, and real-time interactive virtual reality.
  • Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) allows the ideal latency setting to automatically be set allowing for smooth, lag-free and uninterrupted viewing and interactivity.

The HDMI 2.1 Compliance Test Specification (CTS) will be published in stages during Q1-Q3 2018, and HDMI adopters will be notified when it is available.

Categories: Equipment

Lytro Immerge 2.0 is a HUGE light-field camera rig for high-end VR production

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 3:34pm

Lytro has unveiled the Immerge 2.0, a massive light-field camera rig that looks improves upon the similarly-massive Immerge camera Lytro first introduced in November of 2015.

As with the original Immerge, Lytro's new Immerge 2.0 is designed for high-end VR production, but it utilizes "a few smart tweaks" to boost quality and increase production efficiency. But lets you think "a few small tweaks" is nothing major, Lytro is describing the Immerge 2.0 as "a major update" to the original... so there's that.

Unlike with the original Immerge camera, Immerge 2.0 is designed with alternating rows of cameras that are pointed in the opposite directions (yes, those are all cameras, not lights). The design enables Immerge 2.0 to capture 120-degrees of content rather than the previous 90-degrees, reducing the number of camera rotations from five to three when capturing 360-degree content. And operators of the original Immerge will be thrilled to know that the calibration process is now automated.

In addition to its hardware update, Lytro has also been working on improving its software, enabling it to extract higher quality images from the light-field content.

According to Road to VR, which was given an exclusive look at the Immerge 2.0, Lytro has remastered its previously released video Hallelujah with a higher resolution of 5K per eye (when viewed with a VR headset)—a significant increase over the previous 3.5K. But they didn't stop there...

In fact, with this new hardware and software update, Lytro is ready to offer a 10K-per-eye resolution once VR headsets that can handle that kind of resolution are developed.

Categories: Equipment

Pixelmator reveals Pixelmator Pro, an Adobe competitor for Mac users

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 3:13pm

Pixelmator's new high-end Mac photo editor Pixelmator Pro, which the company partially revealed back in September, is officially live and available to purchase through the Mac App Store.

In case you've forgotten, Pixelmator Pro is a nondestructive single-window application with some editing features powered by machine learning, GPU-based image editing tools, and what the company describes as "an incredibly intuitive and accessible design." Users get a fully native Mac experience, says Pixelmator, which designed Pixelmator Pro with a look inspired by macOS.

Thanks to Core ML framework, Pixelmator Pro also features integrated machine learning to power features like automatic horizon detection and layer naming, intelligent quick selection, and realistic object removal.

Ultimately, the company is hoping that Pixelmator Pro will represent the perfect marriage between pro-tier features and accessible design.

Other notable features include full Mac integration, including support for iCloud, compatibility with Adobe Photoshop, support for raw images and multiple raw layers, HEIF compatibility, and vector tools, among many other things. And if you feel that a major feature is missing, you'll be happy to know that multiple free updates bringing major new features are already in the pipeline for release in the near future.

Until then, you can pick up Pixelmator Pro 1.0 is through the Mac App Store for $60 USD.

Categories: Equipment

Cameraman injures OSU football player during pregame warm-up

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 11:58am
Photo by Paula R. Lively. CC-BY-2.0

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett allegedly suffered an injury after being hit in the knee by a cameraman during pregame warm-ups. Barrett went on to play during the first-half of the game, but left during the second-half due to the knee injury.

The claim that an unidentified cameraman was responsible was initially made by OSU coach Urban Meyer during the post-game press conference. "A guy with a camera hit [Barrett] in the knee..." explained a visibly angry Meyer, going on to call for an "all-out" investigation into who was responsible, though ESPN later reported that OSU Athletic Director Gene Smith said such a probe wouldn't happen.

"We're not doing a full-blown investigation to find the photographer," Smith said. "We're looking at what things led up to that."

Details about how the incident happened are unclear, and despite there being a stadium full of cameras, no footage of the actual 'collision' has been released. TMZ has obtained some footage of the immediate aftermath from a fan who pulled out his smartphone to record what was happening, which shows Barrett limping off and gives you an idea of just how crowded the sidelines were during warm-up:

Despite Meyer's anger at the specific cameraman, the incident will probably have a broader impact rather than individual punishment. Smith stresses that the focus will be on making changes so that something like this doesn't ever happen again.

According to ESPN, Smith said:

The conference office is gathering data. That's the extent of it. The outcome of it will ultimately be improved operations. There's no attempt to try and find a person. The attempt is to find out what happened, what corrective measures we need to put in place.

So it sounds like the individual cameraman is off the hook... unless of course this 'collision' translates into strict new rules and limited access for sports photographers. Then he'll have have some very upset colleagues to answer to.

Categories: Equipment

Zoner Photo Studio X brings support for the HEIF image format to Windows

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 11:19am

Apple introduced the HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) image format with its latest iPhone models 8, 8 Plus and X. Essentially, the new format is more efficient than current standards at compressing image data—images with the same size and level of detail occupy up to 50% less space on your device storage or hard drive—while also offering additional features like the ability to store burst photos, focal stacks, and exposure stacks in a single file.

In the long term, HEIF is meant to replace JPG as a the most common image standard, but until now the format could only be viewed or edited on iOS 11 devices or an Apple Mac... not exactly universal. That all changes today with the latest release of Zoner Photo Studio.

Zoner Studio X is officially the first software package to bring HEIF support to the Windows platform. Its makers still call the feature "experimental" and recommend keeping a backup of your HEIF photos in a separate format (just in case), but this is a big deal if you're an iPhone user who uses a PC instead of a Mac. No need to sacrifice image quality to save space or visa versa.

Zoner Studio X offers more than HEIF support, of course, and is a potent image editor in its own right. The feature set includes: image organization, layers, non-destructive RAW editing, retouching, and automatic adjustments.

To learn more or download a 30 day trial, visit the Zoner website. The full version will cost you $49.

Categories: Equipment

Leica unveils Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 ASPH lens with 'hair-thin depth of focus'

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 10:32am
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Leica unveiled a new low-light monster of a lens today, adding to the 'Noctilux legacy' with the Leica Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 ASPH. According to Leica, the new lens boasts 'impeccable speed' and 'exceptional imaging performance' as well as "hair-thin depth of focus [that] isolates subjects with extreme precision."

This is the fourth Noctilux lens ever created and only the second released this century, this lens follows in the footsteps of the Noctilux-M 50mm F0.95 ASPH released in 2008. But while Leica is calling this the "co-founder of a new family of lenses," the company is also quick to point out that the new Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 boasts some advantages over its older brother:

The upgraded features of the Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH. open up entirely new opportunities in portrait and close-up photography, including a shallower depth of focus than that of the Noctilux-M 50 mm f/0.95 APSH. and a close focusing distance of 0.85m, making for a reproduction ratio of 1:8.8 for even more precise isolation of subjects. Additionally, the eleven blades of its iris ensure a soft and harmonious bokeh in out-of-focus areas.

Inside, you'll find six groups made up of nine lens elements that have been manufactured from glasses with "high anomalous partial dispersion and low chromatic dispersion." Two of those elements are aspherical, and the lens uses a floating element with what Leica describes as a "complex focusing mechanism" (aren't they all?) that promises high-quality performance all the way from minimum focus distance to infinity.

You can read more about the Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 in the full press release and tech specs below, but if you like what you read, be ready to drop some serious cash. According to Leica, the lens will retail for $12,795 when it shows up at Leica stores, boutiques and dealers in the beginning of 2018.

Press Release

Leica Camera Pushes Photographic Boundaries With the New Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH Lens

True to the Noctilux legacy, the new lens boasts impeccable speed and exceptional imaging performance

November 29, 2017 – For more than 50 years, the name ‘Noctilux’ has been synonymous with exceptional speed and outstanding optical design. Today, Leica Camera announces the newest addition to their lens portfolio – the Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH. Coupled with exceptional imaging performance and unique bokeh, its hair-thin depth of focus isolates subjects with extreme precision, ideal for portraits with an unmistakable “Leica look”.

A legacy of excellence

The first lens of the Noctilux family, the Leica Noctilux 50 mm f/1.2, was announced at photokina in 1966. While the original lens innovated with revolutionary optical properties, ongoing developments led to the launch of two additional generations of the Noctilux in 1975 and 2008. The additional lenses were developed under the premise of further pushing the envelope for imaging performance, each with a faster aperture than its predecessor. All Noctilux-M lenses to this day are special for their rendering and aesthetic when shot wide-open, yielding a three-dimensional “pop” that separates its subjects from the background like no other lenses. The out-of-focus areas behind the subject is smooth and pleasing to the eye, giving a lovely soft background even in the darkest of lighting scenarios.

Together with the Leica Noctilux-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH., the Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH. is the co-founder of a new family of lenses. The two current members of this family are both distinguished by their extreme maximum aperture and exceptionally high performance at all apertures, even wide open, and lend themselves to the creation of timeless images marked by a distinctive and revered Leica aesthetic.

Superior imaging performance

The upgraded features of the Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH. open up entirely new opportunities in portrait and close-up photography, including a shallower depth of focus than that of the Noctilux-M 50 mm f/0.95 APSH. and a close focusing distance of 0.85m, making for a reproduction ratio of 1:8.8 for even more precise isolation of subjects. Additionally, the eleven blades of its iris ensure a soft and harmonious bokeh in out-of-focus areas.

To guarantee this extraordinary imaging performance, the nine elements in six groups that make up its optical design are manufactured from glasses with high anomalous partial dispersion and low chromatic dispersion. Two of the elements are aspherical, and reduce other potential aberrations to a hardly detectable minimum. The use of a floating element within the complex focusing mechanism guarantees a constantly high level of imaging performance throughout the entire focusing range of the lens – from its minimum focus distance to infinity.

When shooting at maximum aperture, the exceptionally shallow depth of field of the Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 APSH. can be easily focused in when an electronic viewfinder such as the Leica Visoflex. Additionally, the Leica M-Adapter L transforms the Noctilux-M into an excellent lens to use in conjunction with the Leica SL. When the lens is mounted on the Leica SL, the 4.4 megapixel resolution of the camera’s EyeRes® electronic viewfinder enables particularly comfortable and extremely precise focusing.

The Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 ASPH. features the convenience of an integrated lens hood, which can be extended or retracted in one simple twist. The lens is complemented by a tripod adapter for safe and secure mounting of the lens on a tripod.

The Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH will be available at Leica Stores, Boutiques and Dealers at the beginning of 2018.

Technical Data

Angle of view
(diagonal, horizontal, vertical)

For 35 mm format (24 x 36 mm):

~ 32°, 27°, 18°

For Leica M8 models (18 x 27 mm):

~ 24°, 20°, 14°, equivalent to FL of ~ 100 mm in 35 mm format1

Optical design

Number of elements/groups

Aspherical surfaces

Position of entrance pupil

(at infinity)

9/6

2

26.9 mm (in front of the bayonet)

Focusing

Working range

Scales

Smallest object field/

largest reproduction ratio

0.85 m to ∞

Combined metre/feet graduation

For 35 mm format: ~ 212 x 318 mm / 1:8.8,
For Leica M8 models: ~ 159 x 238 mm / 1:8.8

Aperture

Settings/functions

Smallest aperture

With click stops, half-stop detents

16

Bayonet

Leica M quick-change bayonet with 6-bit bar coding for Leica M digital cameras2

Filter mount

Inner thread for E67 screw-mount filters, non-rotating

Lens hood

Integrated, with twist-out function

Viewfinder

Camera viewfinder3

Finish

Black anodised

Dimensions and weight

Length to bayonet flange

Largest diameter

Weight

~ 91 mm

~ 74 mm

~ 1055 g

Compatible cameras

All Leica M-Cameras3, 4, Leica SL-Cameras with Leica M-Adapter L

1 The nominal focal lengths of the Leica M-Lenses relate to 35 mm format, i.e. original image frame dimensions of 24 x 36 mm. However, with dimensions of 18 x 27 mm, the sensor of the Leica M8 models is a little smaller, by a factor of 0.75. For this reason, the angle of view of this lens when mounted on a Leica M8 model corresponds to that of a lens with a focal length that is longer by a factor of 1.33 (1.33 = reciprocal of 0.75).

2 The 6-bit coding on the lens bayonet (7) enables Leica M8 digital models to identify the lens type mounted on the camera. The cameras utilise this information for the optimisation of exposure parameters and image data.

3 With the exception of the Leica M3 and the former version of the Leica MP ( professional version of the M3), all Leica M-Cameras without a 75 mm bright line frame can be retrofitted with this frame by the Customer Care department of Leica Camera AG (it then appears in the viewfinder together with the frame for 50 mm lenses).

4 This is independent of the image frame format of the respective camera – whether 18 x 27 mm (sensor size) for the Leica M8 models or 24 x 36 mm for all other Leica M models.

Categories: Equipment

Gear of the Year 2017 - Richard's choice: Sony NP-FZ100

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 9:00am

I wrote, two years ago, that I thought the distinction between DSLRs and mirrorless cameras would disappear. Not that mirrorless would eclipse DSLRs, more that the differences would reduce to the point that the presence or absence of a mirror becomes the least relevant part of a discussion of two cameras.

As I was writing a comparison of the Sony a7R III and Nikon D850 today, I was suddenly struck by the realization that it might have already happened. I think there are a lot of interesting differences between the two cameras but very few of them have anything to do with the way we’d tend to categorize them.

With this in mind, my gear of the year is the Sony NP-FZ100. Or, to those of you not obsessed with product codes, the a9 and a7R III’s battery. The simple reason for this is the role it plays in rendering the difference between mirror-less and mirror-full cameras moot.

Good enough: the threshold beyond which any further excess is superfluous

It all comes down to the idea of ‘good enough.’ And please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not talking about accepting the mediocre or tolerating the barely sufficient. Instead I’m referring to the threshold beyond which any further excess is, if not excessive, then at least superfluous: it offers no practical benefit.

Once I have enough battery life to get me through a demanding day of shooting, then any extra left in the tank is all very nice, but not exactly necessary. I recently spent a morning shooting both stills and video of a cyclocross race with the a7R III. Shooting a mixture of JPEGs, uncompressed Raws and 4K video, I comfortably churned out more than the 64GB capacity of my memory card and had to switch to a second. What I didn’t come close to doing was running the battery out. At the end of the racing, I still had more than 27% charge left, despite the sub-10°C temperatures.

The move to the 'Z-Type' battery on the right is the difference between me having to worry about charging and carrying spare batteries and me never having to think about it.

This suddenly eliminates the constant battery anxiety I’ve always felt with previous Sony mirrorless cameras (and that excludes the RX1R II, an otherwise fabulous camera whose butterfly-like lifespan prompts even its proponents joke “it’s like shooting film: you need to think about what you’re going to do with your 36 exposures”). Because when I’m shooting, I don’t ever want to be worrying about whether I’ve brought enough batteries, and which ones are charged. I don’t even want to have to think about it.

This eliminates the constant battery anxiety I’ve previously felt with many mirrorless cameras

More demanding shooters, be they photojournalists or longer-form filmmakers, can always attach a battery grip for longer duration, but for me, the FZ100 means the a7R III is able to surpass my ‘good enough’ threshold. So, while the D850 can boast a very impressive 1840 shots per charge, for me and my photography, that’s well into the territory of overkill.

So, as a technology that allows mirrorless cameras to offer the same practical benefits as their DSLR rivals, my gear of the year is a battery. Because it makes the a9 and a7R III into significantly better cameras, not just because it pulls another leg out from under all those tired ‘mirrorless vs DSLR’ arguments.

Categories: Equipment

2017 Buying Guide: Best pocketable enthusiast cameras

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 11/29/2017 - 7:00am

If you want a compact camera that produces great quality photos without the hassle of changing lenses, there are plenty of choices available for every budget. Read on to find out which portable enthusiast compacts are our favorites.

Categories: Equipment

The Yashica Y35 digiFilm camera raised over $1.25M in crowdfunding

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 3:25pm

Despite a decidedly lukewarm reception in our community—and much mockery from the pro and semi-pro photographers out there—the Yashica Y35 camera and its digital ‘film’ cartridges has become an Internet sensation, raising many, many times more than the required funding to make it to market.

The company’s Kickstarter campaign was backed by 6,935 funders who together contributed HK$10,035,296 (about US$1.286M). And now, in case you missed the Kickstarter round, Yashica has put the Y35 on Indiegogo as well, to ensure that the project not only goes ahead, but that it comes with a few upgrades too.

In case you're not familiar, the Yashica Y35 digiFilm project aimed to create a digital camera that acts more like a film camera—complete with film winder and ‘film’ cartridges with different ISO ratings and alternative image characteristics. While many found this idea silly on the face of it, thousands more disagreed and poured their money into Yashica's crowdfunding campaign, allowing the company to upgrade the camera's specs a little bit.

Originally, the Y35 was intended to feature a 1/3.2in sensor, but that has been upgraded to a 1/ 2.5in sensor (still with the original 14MP pixel-count). The 35mm lens has also had a positive change in specification, going from f/2.8 to a four-element f/2.0 lens with a wider diameter and what the company promises is better image quality.

There is a gallery of sample shots captured with a pre-production version of the Y35 camera—with its bigger sensor and faster lens—on the Kickstarter and Indiegogo pages if you're curious. As for the production model, the camera is due to be delivered to crowdfunding backers in May of 2018.

Categories: Equipment

Photographer sues Bruno Mars for posting childhood photo of himself on Instagram

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 1:52pm
Photo by Brothers Le, CC-BY-2.0

Singer Bruno Mars recently shared a childhood photo of himself from 1989, and now the photographer behind the photo, Catherine McGann, is suing him for copyright infringement. The image was shared by Mars back in June on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, amassing more than a million 'likes' and thousands of comments.

As of this writing, it's still live on the pop star's Instagram account:

A post shared by Bruno Mars (@brunomars) on Jun 21, 2017 at 2:22pm PDT

The lawsuit, which was first surfaced via TMZ, is being leveled against both Mars and record label Warner Music. According to McGann, Mars never asked for permission to share the image on his social media accounts, and the lawsuit seeks any and all profits made from the image's use, plus damages.

A look at McGann's Instagram page shows that she posted a version of the image with a copyright notice on November 3rd, 2016.

Categories: Equipment

Google finally activates 'Visual Core' imaging chip inside Pixel 2 smartphone

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 1:29pm

The finalized version of Google's Android 8.1 operating system is expected to be released in December, but today the company has announced the availability of the last Developer Preview which, among other things, activates the formerly dormant Visual Core chipset in the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones.

The custom-built system-on-a-chip (SOC) is designed to power and accelerate the Pixel 2 phones' HDR+ function that achieves better dynamic range and reduced noise levels through computational imaging. The feature is already incredibly powerful, so we can't wait to see how it gets even better with this additional hardware boost applied.

HDR+ photo captured with the Pixel 2 for our Sample Gallery. Credit: Allison Johnson

The latest Pixel smartphone generation comes with the chip built in, but it appears Google ran out of time before the Pixel 2 launch to fully optimize Visual Core implementation in the device, and therefore decided to not activate it. With the new software version, Visual Core can can now be turned on through an option in the Developer menu.

In addition to souping up the Pixel 2's native camera app, this update also allows third-party apps using Android Camera API to capture HDR+ shots. Previously, this function has been exclusive to the Google Camera app.

There is a wide selection of third-party apps for all types of mobile photographers available in the Google Play Store. It's no doubt a positive move by Google to make the capability of using HDR+ available to all of them. To install the Android Developer Preview, your Pixel 2 device needs to be registered in the Android Beta Program. Or you could just wait for the official Android 8.1 launch in December.

Categories: Equipment

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