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Equipment

The Kennel Club 2017 photo contest winners are cute as h*ck

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 06/21/2017 - 6:00am

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

The Kennel Club has announced the 2017 winners of its annual 'Dog Photographer of the Year' photo contest. Now in its 12th year, the international competition received almost 10,000 entries from 74 countries around the world, and was sponsored by SmugMug and Nikon School. As the internet would say, that's a lot of h*ckin' good puppers.

We present the 1st place winners from each of the ten categories in the competition. To see all the winners in each category, head over to the Dog Photographer of the Year website.

Above:

Overall winner and 'Man's Best Friend' category winner: Maria Davison Ramos (Portugal)

About the photo: For me, capturing real and candid moments is what photography is all about. This is one of those moments. My friend had just adopted Yzma and while we were chatting in the kitchen I was taking some photographs. The location and the light were far from perfect, but I ended taking one of the photos I’m most proud of.

About the dog(s): The dog's name is Yzma and she's a Golden Retriever cross. She was adopted by one of the photographer’s closest friends.

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

'Assistance Dogs' category winner: Alasdair Macleod (Ayrshire, Scotland)

About the photo: Megan was photographed during her weekly visit to South Beach Care home in Saltcoats, with one of the residents, 95 year old RAF veteran Mr Duncan Currie (a pilot for the Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron, Dam Busters) who has Dementia.

About the dog(s): Megan is a rescued Greyhound and was the top Therapet for 2016.

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

'Dogs at Play' category winner: Kalyee Greer (United States)

About the photo: Petey and I stood there together on the water’s edge in awe as the day bowed out to the night and the sun slipped its yellow head behind the horizon. Pastel colours painted themselves across the Summer sky above our shoulders in stripes of pink and cobalt blue as we quietly revelled in that perfect, endless moment. Then, just as suddenly as the sky had lit itself on fire, Petey clumsily jumped into the water with a joyful little sparkle in his eye, beckoning me to come along. I followed him in and giggled until my sides hurt as he would push his paw down into the warm, salty water, sending little crystal droplets flying through the air all around him. With each happy splash came the realization of the perfection in those tiny moments, and of the unmatched purity of the canine heart.

About the dog(s): The dog in the photo is named Petey. A cuddly and endlessly sweet Wheaten Terrier who belongs to a previous client of Kaylee’s.

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

'Rescue Dog' category winner: Alexandra Robins (Wiltshire, England)

About the photo: When I went to Bath Cats and Dogs home to photograph some of their animals, Chloe and Tess were the first on my list. We took them out to one of the large, grassy paddocks for them to have a run around. Both dogs flew across the field together, I managed to get some fun action shots of them playing. However, it was this image of Chloe looking up at her carer that has always been my favourite. Chloe was a little timid towards strangers; she was probably looking for reassurance with a strange photographer present!

About the dog(s): Chloe came to Bath Cats and Dogs home with her friends, Tess and Diego, when their owner died. Chloe the brindle greyhound was a timid dog and used to hide away from strangers but was gentle and caring to her friends. All three dogs found loving homes.

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

'Dogs at Work' category winner: Sarah Caldecott (Yorkshire, England)

About the photo: The photograph of Rita was taken during a training day in February this year on the moors in County Durham the weather hadn't been kind and the light was fading fast.

About the dog(s): The dog in the photograph is a pointer called Rita owned by a friend who Sarah met during training sessions with her dog.

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

'Puppy' category winner: Mirjam Schreurs (Netherlands)

About the dog(s): Mirjam placed a call out on Facebook for dogs to photograph and the owner of Tyson the Boxer puppy responded to it. Mirjam photographed Tyson when he was 14 weeks.

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

'I Love Dogs Because...' category winner: Julian Gottfried (Chicago, US)

About the photo: I especially enjoy this photo because it exemplifies what I love about my dog. In the image you can easily see his cuteness, personality, and playful manner. Combined with the snow, they create a truly lively photo.

About the dog(s): Pippin, a terrier-mix. Julian’s family adopted him on Valentine's Day in 2010. He and his brother had been wanting a dog for a really long time, and their parents finally decided to adopt one. Pippin had been found wandering around Missouri with his mother in a poor state, and was staying at a shelter. He was only seven pounds, but the most adorable dog there, and he has since become an integral part of the family.

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

'Oldies' category winner: John Liot (St. Helier, Jersey)

About the photo: This image was taken as part of a commissioned shoot with three rescue dogs. It was a beautiful and bright November day and the Sun was creating an intense light through the windows, warming the client’s house. Kelly, an apprehensive 12 year-old collie-cross, found her spot in the God rays heating up the arm of a sofa and had a nap. She was a cautious girl with a sad backstory and had challenging behavioural issues prior to being adopted. Happily though, she has found rejuvenated life with her new family in Jersey who are giving her all the love and attention she sorely missed in her younger years.

About the dog(s): Kelly is rescue and her breed is unknown. She was 12 when the photo was taken. She was adopted by Bex D., a worker at Jersey's animal shelter, who has two other rescue dogs that she's also adopted from the JSPCA.

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

'Young Pup Photographer' category winner: Dylan Jenkins (Swansea)

About the photo: I took this photo in my garden. We had some cake and Mosey came to sniff it. I took about twenty photos and this was the best and the funniest.

About the dog(s): Mosey is the older of our two hounds. She'll be 10 in October. She has had some scent training (truffles!) and has appeared in a few dog shows but is happiest as a pet/companion dog She is incredibly gentle and sweet-natured and hilariously funny. Mosey and Dylan have an incredible bond.

The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year

'Dog Portrait' category winner: Anastasia Vetkovskaya (Russia)

About the photo: This magnificent Afghan was incredibly nice to shoot - he is very expressive and emotional.

About the dog(s): SISLEY- SHOU GERAT GRANT AHTIAR AK JAR, Afghan Hound

Categories: Equipment

Videre 35mm is a build-it-yourself cardboard pinhole camera

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 5:42pm

In an era where everyone has a camera in their pocket, incredibly, cardboard analog cameras are having a moment. It's easy to see the charms of Videre 35mm, an adorable, assemble-it-yourself pinhole camera that's seeking funding as part of Kickstarter's Gold program right now.

It's a re-tooled version of the medium-format Videre, which was fully funded on Kickstarter in 2013 by creator Kelly Angood. Her second project, a smaller version called Viddy which took 35mm and medium-format film, was successfully crowdfunded a year later.

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Videre 35mm is smaller and easier to assemble than its medium-format predecessor, offering a tripod mount, redesigned film mechanism and a sturdier shutter. Angood claims that the whole thing can be assembled in about an hour, and shipping is anticipated for December 2017 – provided its $10,000 funding goal is reached. With 40 days to go the project has reached close to $4,000.

Categories: Equipment

Tony Northrup wants to help you pass the FAA's drone test

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 3:43pm

Tony Northrup has published a video detailing the Federal Aviation Administration's Part 107 sUAS Test that drone operators must pass in order to fly for commercial purposes. The video is nearly two hours long and details a number of topics related to the FAA's test, including information on radio frequencies, restricted areas, drone laws, runway markings and patterns, management, and more.

The FAA requires any drone operator intending to fly a drone for commercial purposes to take and pass this test; the Administration includes for-profit drone photography under its 'commercial purposes' umbrella. So if you want that aerial photo of the wedding party on the beach, you'll need to start studying.

In addition to third-party guides such as this video, the FAA itself offers educational and study materials, including an aeronautical knowledge handbook, test guide and more. That material is available for free here.

Via: PetaPixel

Categories: Equipment

Video: Canon lens cut in half with a 60,000 PSI water jet

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 3:02pm

Lens lovers look away, this one is going to hurt. Six months after cutting an SLR in half with their 60,000 PSI water jet, the folks at the aptly named Waterjet Channel are destroying even more camera gear. This time, their victim is a Canon 17-85mm F4-5.6.

Fortunately for optical enthusiasts, this isn't exactly an expensive or much sought after lens. And while we can never countenance the destruction of camera gear just because it's 'cool,' we have to admit the results are pretty... well... cool.

Unlike the previous SLR video, the Waterjet guys were able to keep the lens mostly intact, slicing it so cleanly it almost looks like one of those display case units you see at photography trade shows:

Check out the gruesome footage for yourself up top. And if you're really brave, you'll stick around until the end and stomach some grade-A trolling in the form of a photography 'lesson' that starts around the 2 minute mark.

Can you believe this lens contains a memory card, pentaprism, and room for either a digital sensor or film!? Yeah, neither can we.

Categories: Equipment

Find out what it's like to be an AP photographer in Washington DC

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 2:47pm

Andrew Harnik says he probably waited a few years longer than he should have to apply for his dream job, but can you blame him? As a Washington DC native, he grew up with the Washington Post at the breakfast table. And when he began a career in photojournalism, the photos that the Post published became a professional benchmark for him.

He was initially intimidated by reaching out for a long-standing goal, but eventually went on to work for the Post. Now, he's a photographer with the Associated Press, and in this recent feature produced by InFrame, discusses the challenges of his role at the AP compared to a newspaper. 'An event that we cover here also has to be helpful for a newspaper in Israel or London,' says Harnik. It's an interesting look into a photojournalist's world in the fast-moving scene that is the US's capitol city.

Categories: Equipment

Saramonic unveils VMic series of high-end shotgun microphones for DSLRs

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 1:50pm

Microphone maker Saramonic has launched the VMic series of high-end shotgun microphones for DSLRs. The top-of-the-range Saramonic VMic Pro is a super directional shotgun microphone that mounts directly onto your camera's hotshoe. It comes with an integrated shock mount system that features an all-metal construction.

There is a 150 Hz low cut filter and a high frequency boost (+6dB) feature that can be controlled independently. The VMic Pro also comes with three position level control (-10dB, 0dB, +20dB), a 3.5mm headphone jack for audio monitoring, and a low battery LED indicator. The microphone's frequency response is 35 Hz ~ 20 kHz, signal-to-noise ratio is 75dB, and the microphone has a dynamic range of 120dB. Power is supplied by two AA batteries and the package includes a foam windshield as well as a detachable 3.5mm cable to connect to the camera.

The VMic Recorder model features an integrated flash recorder that can store 16-bit / 48 kHz WAV audio files to a Micro SDHC memory card up to 32GB capacity. It also comes with an LCD monitor and a single-button recording function. The standard VMic model comes with similar specifications to the Pro variant but has to make do with a slightly reduced feature set. It will set you back $119.95; the Recorder is $199.95. No US pricing has been released yet for the VMiv Pro yet which in the UK will cost you £199.14.

Categories: Equipment

OnePlus 5 camera sample gallery

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 12:46pm

Today OnePlus has launched its latest flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 5, which comes with a dual-camera setup that combines a main camera with a 1/2.8" 16MP Sony IMX 398 sensor and F1.7 aperture with a 2x tele-lens that captures images on a 20MP 1/2.8" Sony IMX 350 sensor features an F2.6 aperture.

We already have our hands on a production unit and our full camera review will be available in the near future. To shorten the wait until then we have posted a selection of sample images that were taken with both wide angle and tele lens in a variety of lighting situations in the gallery below.

Sample Gallery

There are 17 images in our OnePlus 5 samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution.

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Categories: Equipment

OnePlus 5 lanches with currently highest resolution dual-camera system on a smartphone

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 12:45pm

OnePlus today introduced its latest flagship smartphone OnePlus 5 and it is pretty obvious that the Chinese manufacturer has put a lot of emphasis on the device's camera design. The OnePlus 5 comes with the currently highest resolution dual-camera system on a smartphone. The main camera comes with a 1/2.8" 16MP Sony IMX 398 sensor with a 1.12 um pixel size and a fast F1.7 aperture. It is supported by a 2x tele-module featuring a 20MP 1/2.8" Sony IMX 350 sensor with 1.0um pixel size and F2.6 aperture.

The OnePlus dual-camera design allows for an iPhone 7 Plus-like background-blurring portrait mode and the Smart Capture feature combines optical zoom with multi-
frame technology for improved zoom quality. The OnePlus 5 camera also comes with 4K video, a 720p/120fps slow-motion mode and a dual-LED flash. The camera app's new Pro mode provides manual control over the most important shooting parameters and DNG Raw capture.

In the processor department the OnePlus 5 features Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 835 flagship chipset and 8 GB RAM/128 GB storage or 6GB RAM/64 GB storage options are available. The 3,300mAh battery supports the OnePlus Dash Charge quick charging system which can provide enough power for the day in only a half-hour charge. OnePlus also says the OnePlus 5 battery lasts up to 20 percent longer than the OnePlus 3T.

All the high-end components are wrapped up in a 7.25mm thin aluminum unibody that is available in Midnight Black and Slate Gray colors. The OnePlus 5 will be available in an early drop sale on oneplus.net immediately after the keynote launch event on June 20 for customers using a special code that will be announced during the keynote. You will also be able to get your hands on the new model at one-day pop-up stores in New York on June 20 and in London, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Helsinki and Copenhagen on June 21. Open sales on oneplus.net begin on June 27. The The Midnight Black version which comes with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage will set you back $539, the Slate Gray variant with 6 GB RAM and 64GB storage is a little more affordable at $479.

We already working on our full review of the OnePus 5 camera which will be available in the near future. For now you can already have a look at the OnePlus 5 image output in our sample gallery.

Key specifications:

  • Dual-camera
  • 16MP 1/2.8" Sony IMX 398 sensor and F1.7
  • 20MP 1/2.8" Sony IMX 350 sensor and F2.6
  • Dual-LED flash
  • 4K video
  • 720p/120fps slow-motion
  • Portrait Mode
  • Manual controls
  • DNG-Raw support
  • 16MP / F2.0 front camera
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset
  • 6GB RAM/64GB storage or 8GB RAM/128GB storage
  • USB Type-C
  • Fingerprint reader3.5mm audio jack
  • 3,300 mAh battery with Dash Charge

Press Release:

Say Hello to the OnePlus 5 – Dual Camera. Clearer Photos.

World’s Highest Resolution Dual Camera, Up to 8 GB RAM and Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 Processor Deliver Professional-level Photography and Smooth Performance in Sleek Flagship Smartphone

NEW YORK – June 20, 2017 – OnePlus today introduced the OnePlus 5, the latest in its lineup of premium flagship smartphones. With this new device, OnePlus is further demonstrating its mission to share the best technology with the world.

The OnePlus 5 features the highest resolution dual-camera system on a smartphone today for clearer photos than ever before. Dash Charge, OnePlus’ industry-leading charging technology, gives users a day's power in half an hour. The Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 platform, coupled with up to 8 GB of RAM, provides a smooth user experience at a lower power consumption rate. The OnePlus 5 also supports 34 GSM network bands, keeping users connected around the world.

“The OnePlus 5 showcases our obsessive attention to detail and our focus on delivering the best user experience possible,” said OnePlus Founder and CEO Pete Lau. “We have applied this approach to all aspects of the OnePlus 5. For example, the dual camera provides some of the clearest photos on the smartphone market today and gives users more control to take stunning photos in all conditions.”

Attention to Design Detail
At 7.25 mm, the OnePlus 5, available in Midnight Black and Slate Gray colors, is the thinnest OnePlus flagship ever. The aluminum unibody features a continuous hard line around the edge of the phone. The Horizon Line, a key element of OnePlus design, casts one half of the phone in light and the other in shadow, offering an elegant, streamlined appearance. The minimalistic design is further reinforced by a new crescent-shaped antenna that blends seamlessly into the top and bottom edges of the phone. Rounded corners and edges makes the OnePlus 5 feel more comfortable in the hand.

Dual Camera. Clearer Photos.
The OnePlus 5 features the highest resolution dual-camera system on a smartphone today. A tailor-made 16 MP sensor is supported by a 20 MP sensor with a telephoto lens to accurately determine the distance between the sensor and objects in the environment. A large f/1.7 aperture allows for faster snaps and helps compensate for stuttering to improve image stabilization.

In Portrait Mode, the two sensors work together to create a focal separation between faces and backgrounds, while a custom software algorithm makes your subject clear and well-lit. This results in a professional depth-of-field (bokeh) effect that keeps faces sharp in front of a blurred backdrop. Smart Capture combines optical zoom with multi-
frame technology to let you zoom in with greater clarity, while Fast AF uses the dual-camera system to more accurately calculate depth to speed up auto-focus by up to 40 percent.

The all-new Pro Mode gives smartphone users powerful DSLR features such as ISO, white balance, shutter-speed, focus and exposure modification, as well as an on-screen histogram and RAW image file support for complete control of post-shot editing.

A Day’s Power in Half an Hour
First introduced with the OnePlus 3, Dash Charge is the fastest charging solution on the global market. A quick half-hour charge gives the OnePlus 5 enough power for the day. By carrying more current and shifting the power management from the handset to the adapter to keep the phone cooler during charging, Dash Charge can continue to fast charge the OnePlus 5 even when using GPS or playing graphically intensive games. The 3,300 mAh battery also lasts up to 20 percent longer than the OnePlus 3T.

Smooth Experience
Through a combination of powerful hardware and intelligent software, the OnePlus 5 provides a truly seamless smartphone experience.
The OnePlus 5 takes advantage of the top-of-the-line Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 platform that provides powerful performance while drawing up to 40 percent less power. With up to 8 GB of LPDDR4X RAM, the OnePlus 5 can run a large number of apps in the background without a single second of lag. The combination of UFS 2.1 and a new two-lane ROM results in 26 percent faster storage performance in everything from installations to loading apps and games.

OnePlus’ custom operating system, OxygenOS, is designed to refine stock Android’s core functionalities with features and optimizations that add value to the user experience. New updates to the OnePlus 5 include Reading Mode, which utilizes an ambient sensor and gray-scale mapping to make reading as comfortable as reading an actual book. Gaming Do Not Disturb Mode allows users to play their favorite games without being disrupted by notifications or accidental hardware button presses. With App Priority, the OnePlus 5 loads your most-used apps more quickly to further improve performance.

Pricing and Availability
The OnePlus 5 will be available in an early drop sale on oneplus.net immediately after the keynote launch event on June 20 for customers using a special code that will be announced during the keynote. The OnePlus 5 will first be available for direct purchase at one-day pop-up stores in New York on June 20 and in London, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Helsinki and Copenhagen on June 21. Open sales on oneplus.net begin on June 27.
The Midnight Black version (8 GB RAM / 128 GB storage) will sell for USD 539 / EUR 559 / GBP 499 / CAD 719. The Slate Gray version (6 GB RAM / 64GB storage) is USD 479 / EUR 499 / GBP 449 / CAD 649.

Categories: Equipment

Is 8K the resolution at which convergence finally matters?

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 9:30am

We've been talking about the convergence between still and video technology for years, but usually from the perspective of picking a tool that does one job exceptionally well, while doing the other 'well enough.' You can shoot 4K video with a DSLR, but the quality still lags behind what you'll get from a professional cinema camera shooting Raw video. Conversely, it's been possible to extract still frames from 4K and 6K Raw video, but the level of detail is still below what you can get with a high end DSLR.

In the video above, Vincent Laforet makes a strong argument that 8K may be the point at which this technology convergence really begins to matter. In his case, he uses an 8K RED Weapon camera for both stills and video. As he explains, however, there are advantages to shooting stills with this camera that go beyond simple resolution.

While RED Weapon cameras are admittedly a bit expensive for most of us, technology has a habit of trickling down to more affordable products over time, and chances are good that similar technology will be available in a few years at much more affordable price points. Assuming it is, how would this change your approach to photography? (Or video, for that matter.)

Categories: Equipment

Fujifilm X-A3 sample gallery

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 06/20/2017 - 6:00am
Photo by Jeff Keller

Despite its modest MSRP, Fujifilm's entry-level X-A3 has dual control dials, a tilting touchscreen, and the same 24MP sensor from the company's flagship models - but with a traditional Bayer color filter array instead of X-Trans. We're pushing through our full review, but in the meantime, check out how it performs with a variety of the company's prime and zoom lenses.

See the Fujifilm X-A3 sample gallery

Categories: Equipment

Move over Nikon: Gitzo celebrates 100 years with pricey, limited-edition tripods

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 8:01pm

Gitzo is celebrating 100 years since the founding of its brand by Arsène Gitzhoven, and to commemorate the occasion they've released two special edition tripods. The 100 Year Anniversary Edition Tripod features a 'new high-appeal look and feel' as well as features standard on the Traveler Series tripods: Carbon tubing, 180-degree leg folding and the company's G-lock mechanism. Only 1917 of them will be sold, but if that's not exclusive enough for you, there are only 100 Arsène Gitzhoven Traveler Tripods to be had.

The Arsène Gitzhoven Traveler features an all-carbon fiber construction. Each one will be laser engraved with its production number from 1/100 to 100/100 as well as an engraving of its owner's signature. It'll set you back $3000; the 100 Year Anniversary Edition will sell for $1500. Each will be available from 'select dealers.'

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Categories: Equipment

Pixel Peeper lets you check the Lightroom edits made to a JPEG

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 5:33pm
Pixel Peeper is an EXIF viewer that will show how a JPEG was edited in Lightroom – provided it was, you know, edited in Lightroom. This photo wasn't.

Freelance web developer Piotr Chmolowski is the creator of Pixel Peeper, a simple web application that displays EXIF information and any Lightroom edits made to an image. By uploading any JPEG image (the site's fine print states that photos are not saved to a server) you'll see the camera and lens used to make the image, exposure settings, and the positions of each Lightroom adjustment slider – provided the owner of the image hasn't chosen to hide that data.

I made a little website that takes a JPG image and shows you how it was edited in Lightroom (+ camera settings)https://t.co/EFG3UhMdTS pic.twitter.com/P8EaienbZ2

— Piotr Chmolowski (@p_ch) June 19, 2017

The site is quick and certainly easy to use. Chmolowski mentions that he's looking to add an option that would use an image's URL rather than requiring the user to download an image they're curious about. If you've often wondered how a particular image was edited, it might be worth bookmarking Pixel Peeper for future reference.

Categories: Equipment

Video: insane drone footage shows Muscle Beach in the early a.m.

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 4:32pm

Drones are not easy to fly. As a novice drone enthusiast myself, I've become acquainted with the learning curve that comes with taking to the skies. As a result I'm always amazed by highly skilled drone pilots and their videos. But some videos go above and beyond simply inspiring: they make you question the very laws of physics and space.

The video above, filmed at Santa Monica's famed Muscle Beach, falls into this category. It was posted by Vimeo user Robert McIntosh, whose page features a ton more awesome drone videos. A bit of research reveals that he shoots most of his footage with a 250 mm mini quadcoptor that is likely custom-built - with an action camera mounted to it. The small size explains its uncanny ability to squeeze through tight spaces mid-flight.

Sure, the sound effects in the video are a bit silly, but McIntosh's flight skills and the resulting footage are nothing short of breathtaking – which makes me feel either inspired or intimidated to fly more. I'm not sure which.

Categories: Equipment

Report: Ricoh announcing cost cuts in face of crisis

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 3:24pm

According to a report by Nikkei Ricoh is facing its biggest crisis ever and will have to cut costs in order to survive. Ricoh’s Imaging and Solutions division, which predominantly produces printers and accounts for 90% of Ricoh’s consolidated sales has been struggling the most. Nikkei reports that 'Ricoh is staring at huge losses as the market for multifunctional printers, Ricoh’s cash cow, evaporates and its global sales network racks up high costs.'

In light of this situation Ricoh's new President and CEO, Yoshinori Yamashita, has set a target of reducing costs by 100 billion yen ($912 million) through March 2020. He is also quoted as saying that the company’s new policy is to rid itself of the 'emphasis on market share above all else.'

According to the report the lion's share of the cost cuts will be realized in Ricoh’s global sales and services network which comprises of more than two-thirds of the company's 100,000 global employees. At this point it is not clear if and how Ricoh's imaging brands, such as Pentax, the Theta 360 degree cameras or the R Development kit live-streaming VR camera will be impacted by the cost reductions. When Nikkei reported earlier this spring that Ricoh was considering leaving the camera business, Ricoh denied that it was considering such a move.

Categories: Equipment

Varjo '20/20' VR headset to offer 'human eye resolution' bionic display

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 2:24pm
Comparison image (shot with a Sony RX100 IV) viewed through Varjo's 'bionic' display (above) and an Oculus headset. Image courtesy Varjo

Poor display resolution is one of the hurdles VR needs to overcome if it's going to gain traction with a larger audience. That's why Finnish company Varjo is actively developing a virtual reality/augmented reality headset codenamed '20/20,' a moniker that refers to its 'human eye resolution' display. While the Oculus Rift offers approximately 1.2MP for each eye, Varjo aims to far exceed that resolution at 70MP, though with a twist: the '20/20' headset tracks which objects the wearer is looking at, rendering those objects at a very high resolution while objects in the wearer's peripheral vision are lower resolution.

Varjo hasn't gone into great detail about the technology behind its headset, though Engadget reports that it is using what the company calls a 'bionic display' alongside 'foveated eye tracking,' the combination of which makes its VR '10 years ahead of the current state-of-the-art.' The company claims to employ scientists who previously worked at Intel, Microsoft, and NVIDIA, among others.

The company goes on to claim that its '20/20' headset can also be used for augmented reality and mixed reality applications, though details on both are slight at this time. Likewise, information on Varjo's launch plans are unclear, though the company states that pro-tier 'Varjo-branded products' will start shipping in the fourth quarter of this year. Varjo offers several photos comparing its display technology with that of existing VR headsets here.

Via: Engadget, Varjo

Categories: Equipment

LG launches G6+ with wireless charging and improved G6 software

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 1:49pm

If you liked the performance of the LG G6 dual-camera in our review but still weren't quite convinced by LG's 2017 flagship, maybe the G6+ – announced today – will win you over.

The G6+ retains most of the original G6 specification including the 13MP dual-camera with super-wide-angle lens, but doubles the internal storage to 128GB and brings Qi wireless charging to the feature set. In addition, it will come with premium B&O headphones included in the box. The Plus model will also offer a few new color options, including Optical Marine Blue, Optical Terra Gold and Optical Black. A special coating will make the back panel change hue with the angle of reflected light. No information on the G6+ pricing and availability has been released yet.

In addition to launching the Plus model, the original G6 is also getting a boost: a new software version brings face recognition functionality for unlocking the device. The new feature allows you to unlock by just lifting the G6 up and pointing the front camera towards your face.

The Low Power Consumption feature is also new and makes use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset's ability to improve battery usage. It collects data from sensors and optimizes power usage, depending on your location and movement. Other new features include fine volume control of the Hi-Fi Quad audio and automatic call recording for pre-defined numbers.

Categories: Equipment

Firmware v1.1.1 for Canon 5DS and 5DSR fixes HDR mode and level display

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 11:17am

Canon has released firmware version 1.1.1 for its EOS 5DS and 5DS R full-frame DSLR models. The new firmware fixes a number of user-reported bugs, including an issue in HDR mode that prevents the camera from completing a full bracket with certain settings.

Other fixes include:

  • Err70 display which with certain combinations of settings
  • Correction of level display when the camera is held in vertical orientation with the hand grip pointing downward
  • Correction of a power-up delay of approximately five seconds when using certain CF cards

You can download firmware version 1.1.1 for the Canon EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R now on the Canon website.

Categories: Equipment

Flash review: the Godox Ving V860 II is a great-value wireless solution

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 6:00am
  • Godox Ving V860 ll flash - $199/£161
  • Godox Ving V860 ll flash kit with X1 transmitter - $245/£199
  • X1 transmitter - $40/£37
  • www.godox.com

I've been a big fan of independent flash brands since I was a teenager. Marquee brands’ hotshoe units were always disproportionately expensive, and for a young photographer on a stacking-shelves budget the appeal of cheaper and more powerful models from secondary manufacturers was obvious.

In those days of course flash unit controls were much less complicated, but working with flash was generally much harder than it is today - all we expected back then was a cable socket and a manually variable burst of illumination.

The Godox V860 ll is a very well made flash unit that comes equipped with an AF assist light on the front, a sync socket for cabled triggering and a USB port for firmware updates.

The head offers full tilt and swivel movements, manual and automatic zoom, a diffuser and a white card reflector for catchlights

Flash changed with the advent of aperture priority options, the coming of full TTL metering, optical off-camera communications and then, eventually, radio controls. While in the distant past the independent flash brands were very much following in the footsteps of the big names, now we often see the resourcefulness of some companies putting the sluggish progress of the main brands to shame.

While Nikon and Canon have held on to their intermittently effective optical flash control systems for far too long, innovative brands such as Godox, Phottix and others have been making real progress in the field of 2.4GHz radio controls. The big names have been catching up of course, but for those looking for something that doesn’t come with a significant premium for having radio wireless TTL control these companies offer an interesting set of alternatives.

Specification

Godox V860 ll
Compatible Canon, Nikon, Sony
Guide No 60m/190ft @ ISO 100
Flash coverage 20-200mm (14mm with diffuse)
Zoom control Auto and manual
Tilt/Swivel -7-90 degrees/180 degrees both L and R
Flash duration 1/300-1/20000sec
Exposure TTL and manual

Flash exp comp

+/- 3 stops
Sync mode

High speed (up to 1/8000sec)
First curtain and second curtain

Strobe-flash Up to 90 bursts at 100Hz
Wireless functions Master, Slave, Off
Slave groups

3 (A, B, C)

Transmission range

Optical indoors: 39-49ft
Optical outdoors: 26-33ft
2.4G Radio: 100m/328ft

Channels

Optical: 4
Radio: 32

Modelling flash Yes, via camera's depth of field button
AF assist beam Yes. Range - Centre: 33ft, Edge: 16ft
Power 11.1V/2000mAh Li-ion polymer battery
Recycle time <1.5 seconds
Battery life Approx 650 full power flashes
Sync triggering Hotshoe, 2.5mm port, wireless
Color Temperature 5600 +/-200k
W x H x D 64x76x190mm/2.5x3x7.5in
Weight without battery 430g/15.2oz
Weight with battery 540g/19oz

In case you aren’t aware, the attraction of radio over optical controls in flash-to-flash communications is that the signal is more reliable outside on a sunny day and it can pass through walls and other physical barriers. Units don’t have to be the same room or very close together, and we don’t have problems of modifiers covering sensors if the flash unit needs to sit inside a softbox or similar. And that is what makes me excited about using these Godox Ving V860 ll units.

Features

The V860 II is the latest Godox offering for Canon, Nikon and Sony users, and it provides TTL metering and off-camera control via a wireless 2.4GHz radio system, as well as the usual optical control system. The unit can operate on the camera's hotshoe as a commander unit for both other Godox flashguns and the marque brand’s own radio units, or it can join a network controlled by an ‘official’ flash unit – or indeed by a radio transmitter plugged into the camera.

The output is healthy enough, with an official guide number of 60m/190ft @ ISO 100 at 200mm, and we are offered full manual control from full to 1/128th power in 1/3rd EV increments. Flash duration figures range from 1/300sec at the more powerful settings to 1/20,000sec for the lighter bursts.

High speed sync allowed me to shoot with shutter speeds well above the standard sync speeds of the Nikon D810. The shot on the left was taken at 1/640sec and that on the right at 1/1000sec. Despite the short shutter speed and the reduced opportunity for the flash to get its illumination out, the V860 ll was easily able to compete with the bright sunlight - even when hindered by a mini softbox

The flash provides rear curtain sync even if your camera doesn’t, and high speed sync allows the flash units to be used on or off-camera at shutter speeds of up to 1/8000sec. The head has zoom positions to cover the angle of view of lenses from 20mm to 200mm, while a wide angle diffuser provides for focal lengths as short as 14mm. Comprehensive swivel and tilt positions help us direct that coverage in practically every direction except directly downwards.

Strobing can be arranged at a range of frequencies, intensities and over fixed periods, though the over-heating protection asks that we limit ourselves to 10 sequences before resting. To give you an idea of what the unit is capable of at ¼ power it is possible to choose options between 1 flash per second for 7 seconds and 2 flashes at a rate of 100 flashes per second. At minimum power that changes to 90 bursts at 1 per second, and 40 bursts at 100 per second. In normal shooting though Godox says 30 full power or 100 ¼ power flashes can be fired in quick succession before the over-heating protection kicks in and demands a 10 minute break.

One of the interesting elements of the flashgun is its power source. The V860 II is powered by the sort of rechargeable lithium ion block battery we might expect to see in a large camera. With a 2000mAh capacity the battery is claimed to be good for 650 full-power bursts and can be recharged in about two and a half hours. I’m not sure this constitutes a revolution, but it feels like one and is a good deal more convenient and civilized than carrying and burning endless AA cells.

What can be controlled wirelessly?

The V860 II is very flexible. It's happy to to be used to command a group of connected flash units or to be controlled by another. As a commander it can fire to influence the exposure itself or be used as a pure trigger, with no flash output. Godox offers a separate commander/receiver called the X1 that makes a more cost-effective hotshoe commander when no light is required from the camera position.

The system allows three groups of flashes to be controlled at the same time, and users can pick between 32 channels to steer clear of other radio systems in the vicinity. The V860 II can still be controlled optically across four channels, but when in radio mode it has a range of 100m and works outside even in bright light, as well as when positioned in a different room with a wall between the flash and the controller.

This scene was lit with a pair of V860 ll units - one inside and one outside the house. The main flash unit was fitted into a Godox S-Type Speedlite Bracket with a SFUV softbox, and was positioned in the garden to fire through the window on the left of the frame. A second V860 ll was placed camera-right, to light the back of the subject's head through a Rogue snoot. The camera's metering was set to matrix, while both heads were set to +1EV via the X1 transmitter on the camera.

I found the flash's color consistent, well balanced and in no need of correction. The cool-day/warm-day effects here were created in post-production.

Wireless control extends to manual and TTL control, as well as high speed working and strobotic operation, and a modelling burst is still possible with a press of the camera’s depth-of-field preview button.

Handling

The V860 II has a clear enough screen and lays out its wares in a pretty logical way. Once we are familiar with the mostly standard type icons it is easy to see what settings are prevailing at any one time. Changing the settings though is less straightforward so a good and thorough read of the instruction manual is recommended. The controls are really not intuitive enough that they can be used with a hazy memory or no previous experience.

With familiarity we can take advantage of a good range of control in the master and slave units. Exposure compensation runs only to +/-3EV for in-unit controls and for slaves across the three channels, which some may consider a little short for complex set-ups. On a similar note it isn't possible to control the zoom position on slave units from the master control panel. To be fair this is not a standard feature on this sort of flash unit, but it would be useful.

A nice touch - when in commander mode the rear screen of the V860 ll turns green and when being used as a slave it turns orange. The button arrangement is simple enough - at least once you're used to it and know what the icons mean.

Buttons and dials on the rear of the flash are nicely designed and make operation deliberate once you've worked out what each one does, but the controls on the X1 transceiver are a little more fiddly than they need to be and require quite small fingers. The display screen is adequate but a bit small, and on every occasion I used the rear wheel I turned it the wrong way.

The controls on the X1 are small and quite fiddly. They are fine in a relaxed studio environment, but less easy to operate on the go or with gloves on

Changing batteries in mid-shoot is fantastically easy and can be achieved in much less than a quarter of the time it takes to change four AA cells – which makes for much more relaxing weddings. And when fumbled these batteries don’t clatter and roll all the way down the church either. I am rather taken with this idea and wonder why we haven’t been using lithium blocks in our flash units for years. I'm told it makes export more difficult, but I'm not sure how much I believe that's the whole reason.

Cheap flashguns are all very well but we need something well made and built to last, and these Godox units seem to satisfy both requirements. They feel nice to use and have a reassuring solidity about them without being too weighty. They are actually really well made and I can personally vouch for the fact that they can withstand being dropped from about waist height on to pretty hard ground.

Performance

I used a pair of these V860 ll units with the X1 transceiver on a Nikon D810, and across a couple of weddings and a few portrait shoots they did very well indeed. Nikon I suppose must be given credit for the accuracy of the metering, but the Godox units worked with the camera seamlessly.

Godox's operating range claims seem well-founded and the radio communication does in fact work well through walls and around corners, though in a couple of instances at very close range I managed to find a blind spot when using the X1 hotshoe transmitter. I was quite surprised to encounter this on a number of occasions when holding the gun in my hand while shooting, and also while the gun was mounted on a bracket next to the camera. The blind spot seems to be at 45 degrees forward of the transmitter when the flash is placed directly alongside.

At greater distances, more normal perhaps for off-camera work, the system performed really very well, but the short range reliability became a bit of an issue for me until I got used to it - I often hold a unit in one hand and the camera in the other when working on my own at events.

Here is an overhead view of the set-up, with flash A in the softbox and flash B bouncing into the reflector. The Godox bag is being used to create a shadow around the base of the bowl. I used an X-Rite Color Checker Passport to white balance the rear flash, and found the shift in color from the camera's flash white balance setting was hardly noticeable .
For this shot I used a single flash (A) in a softbox, set to 0EV compensation, positioned behind the subject. Here the only light is coming from flash B, positioned forward to the side and bouncing into a gold reflector.
This shot shows the effect of both flashes lighting the scene, with both set to 0EV compensation To create a little more of a three-dimensional feel I increased the power of flash A in the rear to +2EV, and reduced flash B at the front to -1.3EV

At one stage I found the X1 wouldn’t trigger the guns at all, and no matter what I tried I couldn’t make it work. This was extremely frustrating for a long time. I solved the issue by accident when I triggered one V860 ll from the other and then found that suddenly the X1 wanted to work again. I’m not entirely sure what the problem was, but suspect some sort of communication issue that was somehow unblocked when the second flash unit kicked in.

The limitations of the over-heating system will prohibit a few users from being able to make use of these units, but for the vast majority of photographers requiring more than 30 full blast bursts in quick succession is something of a rarity. I certainly can’t complain about recycle times as even at full power the lithium ion battery feeds the flash quickly enough that we can expect a burst every second.

With one flash in another room off the corridor and aimed towards the groom, and another in my hand positioned to bounce from the ceiling, I was able to create some nice lighting effects quickly with this system. The bounced flash was set to -1.3EV so it would just fill the shadows.
The robust metal threads on the supplied feet make the V860 ll units easy to mount on tripods or lighting stands. I used a pair of softboxes to light this shot, one either side of the couple. The small size of the softboxes and the flash heads contributes to the cut-out feeling and illustrates a limitation of hotshoe flashes.

I found the coverage to be even enough at most focal length settings and the output of manual burst to be consistent from shot to shot. The color shifts somewhat between the brightest and the weakest bursts, but not so much that it will be an issue for most non-technical applications.

The flash duration quoted by Godox seems to be the total flash duration rather than the effective duration (the time the maximum intensity drops by half) . Using a Sekonic L-858D meter I measured the total duration at full power to be approx. 1/450sec, and the effective duration to be more like 1/1600sec. The difference will probably not be noticed by most.

Shot in bright sunshine at f/5.6 and 1/400sec at ISO 100, and the zoom in the 70mm position. The flash was in the hotshoe and was more than powerful enough to reach the subjects in an effective way. I was glad of the long-lasting lithium ion batteries on such a day of full power bursts. The main light here is daylight from a window to camera-right. The walls behind the bride though were rather too dull and shaded, so I placed a single V860 ll behind her to light them up a bit. I left it at 0EV and it did the job nicely.

Translating the guide number into real world situations, I found that full power gave me a meter reading of f/8@ISO 100 with the flash 10 feet away and the zoom head set to 50mm. Changing the zoom position to 200mm increased the reading to f/11 ½ in the same situation.

Add-ons and accessories

Included in the two-flash kit I received were feet/stands with a brass tripod thread in the base, a pair of strap-on diffusers, a set of colored gels and a pouch for each flash.

Like many other flash brands, Godox offers a range of accessories that help to modify the light from their units. My favorite accessory though is the S-mount adapter that allows the flash to be clamped within an adapter ring for S-Mount (Bowens) accessories. I tried the V860 ll flashes with big and small softboxes and dishes, as well as the good-sized pop-up softbox that comes with the adapter. As you will know, some speedlight accessories are too big, floppy and cumbersome to use easily, but with its own clamp the S-adapter is excellent and the softbox genuinely useful.

The company also sells an external battery pack for these flash units. The ProPac Lithium Power Pack PB960 can deliver 1800 full power bursts after a three-hour charge, and can accommodate two flash units at the same time. Via adapter cables it can run Godox, Canon, Nikon and/or Sony guns.

It is worth noting too that the radio system of the V860 ll flash units is the same as that which controls some of the company's studio flash heads, so you can use a mixture of speedlite and studio style sources together.

Conclusion

I have been really very impressed with this system. Firstly because these V860 II units make excellent hotshoe flashguns on their own, and secondly as they provide a comprehensive amount of control and a mostly-reliable wireless radio connection. They perform well when paired with other Godox flashes and are equally well behaved within a group of Nikon radio units, as well as within a collection of optically controlled flashguns.

I really appreciate the reliability and range of radio controlled flash units, not just in these flashes, and that they can be used in a much wider set of circumstances. I got thoroughly sick of trying to use optical systems outside some years ago, and was frustrated at the chances I was missing out on.

The light in this room was nice and even, but being able to balance a flash unit on a basin in the adjoining bathroom allowed me to quickly add an extra dimension to the bride's face and body with a bit of a broad keyline. Knocking 0.7EV off the brightness of a single V860 ll placed wide camera-left was enough to get the balance right for this early evening shot. The flexibility of the system allowed me to work quickly to get a nice result without having to dash to the flash unit to change the power

I really enjoyed having a block battery and not carrying and disposing of AA cells – it just makes life that much more relaxing and enjoyable. And with the 650-burst capacity it makes me wonder why other brands don’t adopt the same idea.

The most surprising thing about these flashguns though is their price, and that when they turn up they don’t feel like or perform like low cost alternatives. They make an astonishingly good purchase, and I highly recommend them.

Pros

  • Good wireless connection at normal distances
  • Very well made
  • Great block battery with good life
  • Plenty of control on and off the camera
  • Powerful enough for most users
  • Really good price

Cons

  • X1 transceiver could be easier to use
  • Radio signal not so reliable when the flash is close to the X1
  • Needs more than +/-3EV range of compensation
Categories: Equipment

Olympus TG-5 gallery updated

DPReview.com - Latest News - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 6:00am

Now that summer adventure season is getting underway, we've had more time with Olympus' rugged TG-5 compact in just the conditions it was built to withstand. Bring your SPF 50 and head to our updated gallery for more samples – just bear in mind we don't yet have Raw support.

See our updated Olympus Tough TG-5 sample gallery

Categories: Equipment

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