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Equipment

Manfrotto launches secure backpack with concealed rear opening

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 3:24pm
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Accessory manufacturer Manfrotto has launched a new backpack that hides the opening of its main camera compartment between the bag and the person carrying it. The Advanced Rear backpack's main compartment zipper is between the shoulder straps on the back side of the bag, so that when it is being carried no one can open it from behind.

Manfrotto says that the lower part of the bag is big enough for a professional DSLR along with three wide aperture zooms as well as accessories such as flash units. The camera compartment in this lower section is removable and comes with its own zipped cover so items can be stored when the rest of the bag is being used for something else.  The top section can be used for more accessories or personal belongings.

An additional pocket is suitable for a 13in laptop, a tablet and documents up to A4 in size. A tripod can be attached via the tripod pocket, and a cover is built-in to protect against rain and dust. The company says that the pack is a suitable size to carry as hand luggage on most airlines.

The Manfrotto Advanced Rear backpack costs $159.99/£119.95. For more information visit the Manfrotto website.

Press release:

MANFROTTO PRESENTS: Manfrotto Advanced Rear Backpack

Manfrotto, world leader in the photography, imaging equipment and accessories industry, announces the launch of the new Manfrotto Advanced Rear Backpack.
The Advanced Rear Backpack can be used as a camera backpack, a laptop backpack, or just as a protective camera case.

Protective for photographers
Featuring the Manfrotto Protection System, the lower part of the bag is dedicated to holding photographic equipment, and will safely hold a professional DSLR camera body with up to 3 lenses. The zip for the camera compartment is hidden on the back of the bag, giving maximum security to your equipment. The camera compartment is completely removable, meaning the bag can be transformed into a spacious daypack.

Practical for travellers
The new Manfrotto Advanced Rear Backpack features plenty of space for personal belongings when you are travelling. The front pocket can store a 13” laptop, A4 documents, 10” tablet and small book and can be opened separately without affecting your camera equipment. The side pocket is suitable for a notebook and water bottle and the upper compartment can contain other documents and personal items. The zips can also be locked for further security.

The bag comes with a dedicated tripod compartment, a side pocket perfect for a small tripod and a branded rain cover to keep equipment protected in all weather conditions.

Categories: Equipment

Keeping the faith: Pentax K-1 video overview

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 1:53pm

Pentax shooters have waited a long time to join the full frame club, and with the release of the K-1 DSLR that wait is finally over. But thanks to its 36MP sensor, some innovative features, and a very aggressive price point, the K-1 will likely appeal to photographers outside the Pentax sphere as well. We take a look at what makes this camera unique.

Categories: Equipment

The ultimate hiking partner? Sony's RX10 III goes the distance

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 8:00am
Mount Rainier, captured from the trail up Mount Teneriffe, near North Bend in Washington State. ~200mm (equivalent), ISO 800. Still another 2 miles to go until lunch, and another 400mm to go before the RX10 III's maximum telephoto setting.

Sony's new Cyber-shot RX10 III might look a lot like the older RX10 II, but its lens is really something else. With an effective focal range of 24-600mm, the RX10 III is one of the most versatile cameras we've ever used. But focal range is only part of the story - it's optical quality that impresses us most. And boy, are we impressed.

Hiking with the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

A very short shooting experience by Barnaby Britton

Caveat: This is not a review, nor is it sponsored content. This is a shooting experience based largely on a single day of picture-taking, during a hike. Four miles up a mountain in the sunshine, four miles down in the dark. One memory card half-filled, one battery half-emptied. All shots were processed 'to taste' from Raw and all are un-cropped. Your mileage (both literal and figurative) may vary.

I've been searching for the ideal hiking camera for years. Since I moved to the Pacific Northwest I've tried and rejected DSLRs, fixed-lens primes, travel zooms, super-zooms and several iPhones. Recently, I've been packing my Ricoh GR II for its small size and sharp lens, but the lack of a viewfinder really limits its usefulness in some conditions.

The last time I brought a DSLR on a mountain hike I almost left it tucked under a rock on the trail, rather than drag it all the way up (that was the old, famously brutal Mailbox Peak trail, for any PNW natives reading this...).

Pretty good flare performance, considering the complex lens. This shot was slightly adjusted in ACR to bring out a little detail in the shadows. 24mm equivalent, ISO 100.

It's been a few years since I experimented with a superzoom compact camera, after a couple of bad experiences with sub-par lens performance. I've always liked the idea of them, but all too often I've been disappointed by the results in practice. These days, though, as my colleague Jeff likes to remind me, the good ones are actually pretty good.

OK, sure, but 'pretty good' for a super zoom is only 'OK, ish' by the standards of a shorter-lens compact or interchangeable lens camera, right? Well, that's what I thought, too. Until...

We knew the sensor is good from our experience of using the RX100 IV, but the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III's major selling point is its lens. And the lens in the RX10 III is, as far as I can tell, made of magic. I genuinely have no idea how Sony's engineers packed a 24-600mm equivalent lens of such high quality into a camera this small. It defies all reason. From wide-angle all the way to extreme telephoto, the RX10 III's lens delivers impressive results. Weirdly impressive.

As well as distant details, the RX10 III is capable of capturing sharp images of tiny things, very close to the camera. Like these wildflowers. 24mm equivalent, ISO 100.

Now, obviously I could take technically better shots with a DSLR and a fast zoom, or for that matter a prime lens compact like the GR II. Portraits with shallower depth of field, landscapes with critically better edge-to-edge sharpness and all the rest. But this past weekend a DSLR was out of the question. If I'm hiking up a mountain in 80+ degree weather, I'm traveling as light as possible. Most of the weight on my back this weekend was drinking water, and although it's a fairly chunky camera, the RX10 III was light enough to clip onto the shoulder strap of my backpack with one of these.

Mount Teneriffe on a hot day is a pretty demanding hike, but the view from the top makes it worthwhile. 40mm equivalent, at ISO 100.

The Ricoh GR II is lovely, but I knew that from Mount Teneriffe I'd be looking at three peaks - Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, and Glacier Peak, as well as Mount Si and Mailbox, a little closer at hand. So 28mm just wasn't going to do the job. We timed our hike so that the sun would be go down shortly after we summited, and I knew that I wanted a nice, closeup (ish) shot of Mount Rainier's famous purple glow (see the picture at the top of this page).

Exposed for the highlights, it was easy to brighten shadow areas in this shot using Adobe Camera Raw. 24mm, ISO 100.

You can't really see here, but just where the blade of grass meets the horizon to the right of my subject, is Seattle's distinctive skyline. See below for a shot taken from the same vantage point at 600mm.  

A lot of the prejudice about long zoom compact cameras comes from a misunderstanding of how to interpret their lens performance, especially at the long end. Atmospheric distortion and haze from moisture, pollen and pollutants will reduce the sharpness of any telephoto lens, especially on warm days.

So if your telephoto shots look like they were taken through a frosted bathroom window, the lens might not be the culprit. On the other hand, if everything in your pictures looks like someone went over the edges with a magenta highlighter pen - well, that's the lens.

Seattle at sunset, from almost 40 miles away. 600mm equivalent, at ISO 100. Moderate 'dehaze' applied in Adobe Camera Raw. 

I had no such issues with the RX10 III (which was reassuring, since it costs $1500) but as always, I was shooting Raw, so what little fringing I did see in my images was easy to correct. Likewise, Photoshop's 'dehaze' control in Camera Raw came in very useful to bring back some clarity to images taken at the telephoto end of the RX10 III's lens. 

Mount Baker, seen through more than 90 miles of pollen-laden air, just before sunset. This shot didn't require quite so much dehazing as the last one. 600mm equivalent, ISO 250.

During a day's shooting during which my hiking partner and I walked a roundtrip of about 13 miles up and down a 4500ft peak, the RX10 III nailed virtually every shot. And that's everything from a knee-level picture of some tiny wildflowers a few centimeters away from the lens, to a 600mm capture of Mount Baker, 90 miles away from my vantage point and half lost in haze (above).

We hiked about half of the trail back to the car in the dark. For the last half mile we were accompanied by an owl. This grab shot was taken at ISO 12,800, by the light of our headlamps. At 95mm equivalent, there's no motion blur at 1/15sec.

From these sunset landscapes to ISO 12,800 snapshots of an owl that followed us back to our car at the trailhead, every time I looked at something and went 'oooh' and tried to take a picture of it, the RX10 III - and its insanely wide-ranging lens - got me the shot that I wanted. 

Hiking through the forest just before sunset. 50mm equivalent at ISO 6400.

We're working on a more scientific assessment of the RX10 III's lens right now, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy our updated samples gallery (now with Raw files!).

I've only been using the RX10 III for a few days, and there are plenty of things I don't like about it (confusing menus, clunky ergonomics, no touchscreen, laggy GUI, the aluminum lens and focus rings scratch the minute you look at them) but somehow, despite all that, I'm already planning next week's hike.

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Categories: Equipment

JPEGmini Photoshop extension aims to top Adobe's 'save for web'

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 2:53pm

Beamr, the software company behind the content-aware JPEGmini image compression application, has introduced an extension for Adobe Photoshop. Dubbing it the 'The Save For Web button Adobe should've made', the company claims the extension will save users time and produce better results than Adobe’s default Save For Web settings.

JPEGmini is an image compression package that analyzes individual sectors of an image and applies different degrees of compression to each sector according to its content. The designers claim that its compression results in no visible degradation of the image, but that it can reduce file sizes by up to 80% while 'preserving their full resolution and quality.' The smaller files save space on a hard drive and are also lighter for emailing and web hosting, according to the company.

The Photoshop extension comes as part of the JPEGmini Pro bundle, along with a plug-in for Lightroom, which costs $99. Photoshop CC 2015.1 is required to use the extension. For more information visit the JPEGmini website and read our test of a previous version of the software

Categories: Equipment

2016 Roundup: Interchangeable Lens Cameras $500-800

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 1:00pm

The $500-800 category (based on US MSRP) features quite a few strong offerings, some of which should satisfy first-time camera buyers with easy-to-use interfaces and point-and-shoot style functionality. Others are aimed more at seasoned-enthusiasts, offering direct manual controls and high-end features.

At this price point, all of the cameras use either Four Thirds or larger APS-C-sized sensors and all can shoot Raw. And while a larger sensor can mean the potential for better image quality and more control over depth-of-field, the difference in size between APS-C and Four Thirds is not enormous. As such, small differences notwithstanding, the vast majority of cameras in this roundup have what we would consider to be very good image quality.

All of the cameras in this selection are reasonably small in size (compared to pricier ILCs), but the number and arrangement of control points, grip size, build quality and weight all vary quite a bit. As do the inclusion of features like like 4K video capture and in-body image stabilization.

Let's take a look at the currently available interchangeable lens cameras that fall into the $500-800 price range (give or take).

Categories: Equipment

Pentax K-1's Pixel Shift challenges medium-format dynamic range

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 8:00am

The Pentax K-1 has produced one of the best dynamic range performances we've yet seen. As our testing of the camera continues, we've been looking through the results of our Raw dynamic range test and we've been very impressed. And that's before we looked at the benefits brought by Pixel Shift Resolution mode.

Raw Dynamic Range

Exposure Latitude

In this test we look to see how tolerant of pushing exposure the EOS-1D X II's Raw files are. We've done this by exposing our scene with increasingly lower exposures, then pushed them back to the correct brightness using Adobe Camera Raw. Examining what happens in the shadows allows you to assess the exposure latitude (essentially the dynamic range) of the Raw files.

Because the changes in this test noise are primarily caused by shot noise and this is mainly determined by the amount of light the camera has had access to, the results are only directly comparable between cameras of the same sensor size. However, this will also be the case in real-world shooting if you're limited by what shutter speed you can keep steady, so this test gives you an idea of the amount of processing latitude different formats give.

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Compared with the Nikon D810, the Pentax does a great job. There's less chroma noise visible after a 5 and 6EV push, suggesting the Pentax is adding even less noise to its images than the already very good Nikon. It's a similar story when compared with the Nikon D750$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2463").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2463); }); }). The difference compared to the Sony a7R II$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2464").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2464); }); }) is even greater, marking the K-1 as one of the best results we've ever seen.

The picture is slightly muddied by the D810 offering an ISO 64 mode$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2467").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2467); }); }), which can tolerate around 2/3EV more exposure before clipping, allowing longer shutter speeds that provide a shot noise benefit commensurate with that. This doesn't stop the K-1's result (from a camera with a list price roughly half as much) from being hugely impressive.

The difference is even bigger in Pixel Shift Resolution mode. Because it samples the scene multiple times, it effectively collects more total light, which means less shot noise. As you might expect, the result from the four 1/320 sec exposures used to create the 1/320 + 6EV image$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2465").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2465); }); }) show similar levels of noise to the 1/80th second exposure shot in single image mode (a 2EV advantage), only with the greater sharpness that Pixel Shift mode brings. This lower noise means you can push the files to a tremendous degree - far beyond what the Nikon D810's ISO 64 mode allows$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2466").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2466); }); }).

ISO Invariance

A camera with a very low noise floor is able to capture a large amount of dynamic range, since it add very little noise to the detail captured in the shadow regions of the image. This has an interesting implication: it minimizes the need to amplify the sensor's signal in order to keep it above that noise floor (which is what ISO amplification conventionally does). This provides an alternate way of working in situations that would traditionally demand higher ISO settings.

Here we've done something that may seem counter-intuitive: we've used the same aperture and shutter speed at different ISO settings to see how much difference there is between shooting at a particular ISO setting (and using hardware amplification) vs. digitally correcting the brightness, later. This has the advantage that all the shots should exhibit the same shot noise and any differences must have been contributed by the camera's circuitry.

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You can see all the K-1's full ISO Invariance results here and its pixel shift results here. The K-1 is as close to being ISO Invariant as we've seen, meaning there's no cost to shooting at ISO 100 and pushing the files later, rather than using a higher ISO. This means you can keep the ISO down and protect multiple stops worth of highlight information that would otherwise be pushed to clipping by the hardware amplification.

ISO invariance isn't an end in itself: there are cameras such as the Sony a7R II that are ISO variant because their higher ISO results are so good, not because their low ISO DR is deficient. However, a look at our standard test scene shows its high ISOs are extremely good, so you're not losing much in comparison with these dual-mode sensors. The K-1's files have a very high level of flexibility when it comes to processing.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the K-1 gives one of the best Raw dynamic range results we've ever seen, when shooting in single shot mode and absolutely outstanding results in circumstances where you can use the pixel shift mode. The multiple sampling of the same scene effectively gives a 2EV dynamic range boost, meaning it out-performs both the D810 and the 645Z by a comfortable margin. Less noise (though multiple captures) and multiple 14-bit values at every pixel mean it can give outstanding levels of DR wherever you can use the Pixel Shift mode.

Categories: Equipment

Go with the glow: How to effectively use Orton Layers in post processing

DPReview.com - Latest News - Sun, 05/08/2016 - 8:00am

This image was taken in the summer of 2015 on the Skyline Trail near Panorama Point on the slopes of Mt. Rainier, WA.  The image is composed of 8 focus stacked frames and was shot at the following settings: 16mm, f/8, 1/25sec, ISO 400 using a Sony a7R and a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II lens.

Photo: Chris Williams Exploration Photography

Have you ever wondered how some of the top landscape photographers achieve that dreamy yet sharp look in their photos? It turns out that the answer is really quite simple. The Orton effect, as it has been dubbed in recent years, is achieved by selectively adding a Gaussian Blur layer in Photoshop. When applied correctly the technique can add depth, atmosphere and an almost surreal feeling to your images.  It can also help reverse some of the 'crunchiness' that sometimes results from web sharpening and compressing a large scene dynamic range into one, tone-mapped image. 

The technique itself was developed by photographer Michael Orton in the darkroom some years ago. This 'Orton' effect was achieved through the process of sandwiching two slightly over exposed images; one of which was slightly out of focus while the other remained tack sharp. The result of this process yielded a soft glowy image that retained much of its edge detail. 

Lucky for us this effect is now easily attained and even simplified in the digital age through the use of tools like Photoshop. In the following steps I will outline how to use and refine the technique that has been made popular by landscape photographers like Ryan Dyar over the past few years. 

Apply the Blur

The first step to this process is to take care of your focus stacking, exposure blending and touch up work before you apply the blur layer. Once that has been completed, sharpen your image as you would normally and merge the visible layers. Right click on your merged image layer and duplicate it.  

Now that you have the duplicated layer you can begin the process of applying the Orton effect. Select your duplicated layer (leave it at 100% opacity and normal blending mode) and apply the Gaussian filter to your layer. The radius at which you blur the pixels really depends upon your camera’s resolution and the desired outcome for your finished product. 

Selecting the Gaussian Blur layer is as simple as browsing through the filter options in Photoshop and selecting the appropriately named layer.

I typically blur the Raw files from my Sony a7R at a pixel radius of around 37. If you’re using a lower resolution file from something like a Sony a7S or even an APS-C camera I wouldn’t go further than a pixel radius blur of 25. The methodology behind this is that you don’t want to lose all of your edge detail and compromise the contrast in your blur layer, so choosing the correct blur radius is important. It’s a balance, and one that you should really play with to determine what blur radius works best for your needs and file types. Generally speaking, you want to stay within a pixel radius blur range of 15-40.  

A preview of the effect of your Gaussian blur settings can be seen prior to applying the setting to the layer; adjust the pixel blur radius here to determine what works best for your image.

Once you have selected the Gaussian blur settings that work best for your image click ‘okay’ to apply the filter to your layer. Leave the opacity of the layer at 100% for now.  

Bring Back the Contrast and Select the Opacity

One of the most important steps to this process is to apply a ‘levels’ adjustment to this layer. More often than not, when photographers first start to experiment with this type of technique in post processing, their images are left with haloing and a lack of contrast. Applying a levels adjustment selectively to your Orton layer can make a huge difference in your final result by bringing back the blacks and highlights that the Orton layer tends to bleed out. I normally bring the blacks in to between 10-25 and the highlights to around 245. Applying this step to your layer will ensure that you lose a minimal amount of contrast and will help to blend the layer in areas of harsh transition.   

Choose the 'levels' tool and adjust the blacks and lights to your taste.

Once you have completed this step it’s now time to adjust the opacity of your Orton layer. I typically aim for between 10-20% opacity. This really depends on your style and what the overall desired look and feel of your image is.  The example below illustrates what can happen if you increase your Orton layer to 35%, which can be a bit on the excessive side depending upon your image.   

10% Orton Layer 35% Orton Layer

The Devil is in the Details

Now that you’ve got this great atmosphere and glow going on in your image, you may ask yourself what happened to the detail? Loss of detail can happen when this layer is applied in your workflow, but there is a very easy solution to remedy this issue; the High-Pass filter. 

The first step is to duplicate your original background image layer (that has no Orton applied to it), select it, pull it to the top of your workflow and navigate to the filters tab.  Scroll down to find the ‘other’ category and select ‘High Pass’. A high-pass filter brings the detail out in the areas that tend to be most effected by the Gaussian layer: the edges of the elements in your composition. 

Choosing the high-pass filter follows many of the same steps as locating the Gaussian filter only this time the filter is located in the sub-menu titled 'other'.

Once you have done this you will be given an option to select the pixel radius you wish to apply to your layer. I normally try to stay within a pixel radius of 4-5.5 (any larger and the image detail can get grainy). Pick your desired radius and click OK.  

Once you have selected the high-pass filter you can choose your pixel radius size; I normally choose between 4 and 5.5.

If you aren’t familiar with this type of application your first thought will probably be: 'what did I just do to my image?' as you stare at the grey layer on your screen. Fear not! There’s a very easy solution; you will need to select the layer and choose the ‘Soft Light’ blending mode.  

Make sure to apply the 'soft light' blending mode to your layer to blend the high-pass pixel detail seamlessly into your exposure.

This mode seamlessly blends the High-Pass pixel detail back into your image. You may want to adjust the opacity of this layer to your tastes after its application, but that’s all there is to it!  If you feel like you've got your settings down to a science you may want to even record this as an action. Be aware that every image will be a bit different from a processing stand point, however, so you may want to make subtle changes on a case by case basis.

Toggle the application of your layers off and on and make changes in opacity, detail and contrast as you see fit.

The Final Product

No Orton applied Orton applied

If you’ve completed all of these steps successfully, you now know how to effectively utilize an Orton layer in your workflow. This type of layer can be added to anything from landscapes, to wildlife, and even to portraits in some cases. The limits are only bound by your creativity. Have fun with it and happy shooting!    

Categories: Equipment

Week in Review: The flagships are here! The flagships are here!

DPReview.com - Latest News - Sat, 05/07/2016 - 8:00am

Week in Review: The flagships are here!

It's been a busy week here as three high profile cameras have come sailing through our doors in (roughly) the past seven days: the Pentax K-1, the Canon EOS-1D X II and the Nikon D500. As a result, lots of studio work and samples made their way onto the site. And in an exciting plot twist, we actually had some decent weather! In early May! In Seattle! Let's recap, shall we?

Week in Review: The K-1 impresses early

We waited a long time for the Pentax K-1 to arrive. And let's not even start on how long Pentax shooters have been waiting for full-frame digital. Here at last, the K-1 has already impressed us in the studio. And we don't have to wonder any longer what the camera's Pixel Shift mode will be like – so far it's nothing short of spectacular.

Week in Review: Nikon D500 on the town

Fate smiled upon Seattle last weekend and bestowed us with summer-like weather, which is by no means guaranteed on any day before July 4th around here. The Nikon D500 had already made its way through our preliminary round of studio tests so plenty of shooting out and about was in order for Nikon's APS-C flagship, and that's just what happened. 

Week in Review: Canon's revamped sport shooter arrives

Completing the triple threat is Canon's update to its full-frame sports shooter, the EOS-1D X II. And with a new 20.2MP sensor, improved 61-point AF system and 14 fps shooting with AF, it is a thing to behold. We're just getting started and have plenty of fast-action shooting to do with the 1D X II, but for starters we took a look at its performance in our studio tests. In short, we saw a slight dip in high ISO performance compared to its rivals, but the 1D X II shows a marked improvement in dynamic range. Check out the full results for yourself.

Week in Review: Samyang throws an AF curveball

It was a quiet week in terms of new gear but Samyang surprised us with its first ever autofocus lenses: a 50mm F1.4 and 14mm F2.8. They'll debut for Sony FE and no pricing has been made public yet, but we're optimistic that this means more AF Samyang lenses are in the works.

Week in Review: Round 'em up

We rounded up the current crop of 1" sensor long zoom compacts to help make the tough job of picking a camera a little easier. If you want something pocketable or want to shoot for the moon, you'll find it in this group.

Week in Review: Sony on a winning streak

It's pretty much a given that every camera maker is selling fewer cameras than they were in the past. Financial reports have tended to follow the same trend of bad news in recent years too, but Sony seems to have found a path through the darkness. In its latest financial year, the company's imaging division posted some impressive gains in income, even with a decrease in sales.

Until Elon Musk can find a way to get average schmoes like us into orbit, this neat footage from a GoPro on a rocket might be as close as we get. The HERO4 took a ride on UP Aerospace Inc.'s SL-10 rocket and made a quick roundtrip return back to Earth with a NASA-designed capsule. 

Categories: Equipment

Under the hood: A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

DPReview.com - Latest News - Sat, 05/07/2016 - 8:00am

A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

Panasonic's LX100 is an ambitious little camera. It steps right over the 1" sensor compact class with a 16MP Four Thirds sensor (though only 12.7MP is truly available), a 24-75mm equiv. F1.7-2.8 lens and 4K video recording. It all added up to a very favorable score and a gold award when we reviewed the camera. Now, thanks to the folks at iFixit, we can take a look at what's inside the LX100 without ever picking up a screwdriver. 

A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

Removing the battery is a first and very important step. 

A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

After removing plenty of screws from the body of the camera, removing this metal piece from the hotshoe reveals yet another set of screws.

A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

A spudger is the best tool for this job – with all of the screws out of the way the back of the chassis can be pried away from the camera body.

A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

Here's a view of the back panel with the cover out of the way. The motherboard lies just below the buttons seen here.

A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

To get to the motherboard, the LCD needs to be removed. Here, the silver metal backing is pried away with a spudger. A ribbon cable also connects the screen to the rest of the device and is carefully removed.

A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

With the LCD gone, the motherboard and its related ribbon cables are visible.

A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

A couple more screws out of the way and the EVF pops right out. In that housing is an XGA 1024x768 panel.

A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

Next goes the motherboard, which is gently pried back and pulled away from the camera.

A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

Next to go is this copper plate. On the other side we'll find the lens, but only after the next batch of screws is removed. 

A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

No fewer than four different sized screws, from 4mm down to 3.1mm are used here. 

A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

With the last (well, almost last) screws out of the way the lens casing is free...

A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

...and then the lens can be removed as well. 

A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

The top panel is ready to go too...

A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

...and we can see what goes on under the dials and shutter release up there.

A look inside the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

And there you have it, the LX100 in all disassembled. 

Categories: Equipment

TIME names Kodak and Polaroid cameras two of the 'most influential gadgets' in history

DPReview.com - Latest News - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 2:46pm

TIME Magazine has published its list of 'the 50 most influential gadgets of all time,’ and included among them is the Kodak Brownie Camera (#8) and the Polaroid Camera (#27). According to the publication, the list is ordered by each gadget’s influence on subsequent technologies and devices, such as the Brownie camera that helped bring photography 'into everyday use.'

The Kodak Brownie Camera, launched in February 1900, was priced at $1 and used inexpensive film, making it possible for anyone to capture snapshots of daily life. The low price and subsequent ease by which anyone could get into photography boosted film sales for Kodak, but that was only a small part of the Brownie's role in our history and its influence on our future. Says TIME, the Brownie camera 'helped capture countless moments and shape civilization’s relationship to images.'

Arriving later on (and further down the list) is Polaroid and its OneStep Land instant camera launched in 1977. This model holds the distinction of having been the first affordable and easy to use camera of its kind, says TIME, going on to become so popular that the influence of its 'square-framed, often off-color snaps' lives on today in apps like Instagram.

Are the Brownie and Polaroid cameras deserving of their spots on the list? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Via: TIME Magazine

Categories: Equipment

4K from Space: ISS astronauts shoot 3D movie of planet Earth

DPReview.com - Latest News - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 12:55pm

Astronauts based on the International Space Station have been working as movie makers to help create a 3D film featuring the planet Earth as viewed from space. A Beautiful Planet was shot in 4K using Canon’s cinema camera system, and will be shown in IMAX theaters from the end of the month. The film includes dramatic views of the planet lit up at night as well as overhead perspectives on weather systems and the Northern Lights.

A Beautiful Planet IMAX® Trailer

Footage for the film was collected by six space station astronauts over the course of three missions from November 2014, after Canon EOS C500 and EOS-1D C cameras were delivered to the ISS via an unmanned supply ship with a collection of lenses. Made in association with NASA, the film aims to educate viewers about Earth, but also to highlight the effects humanity has on the planet.

For more information on the film and where you can see it visit the IMAX website.

Press release


IMAX® Film ‘A Beautiful Planet’ Features “Out Of This World” Canon 4K Imagery

Using Canon Cameras and Lenses, Teams Shooting from the International Space Station Capture Breathtaking Images of Our Planet from a Vantage Point Few Get to See

MELVILLE, N.Y., April 14, 2016 – The future of 4K filmmaking is looking up — in fact, all the way to space. A Beautiful Planet, the latest 3D space documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Toni Myers and IMAX Entertainment, made in cooperation with NASA, will premiere in IMAX in New York on April 16 and was shot primarily in space using Canon cameras and lenses.  The film will be shown to the public exclusively in IMAX® and IMAX® 3D theaters beginning April 29.

The Canon EOS C500 4K Digital Cinema Camera and EOS-1D C 4K cameras were transported from Earth to the International Space Station (ISS) in November 2014 via an unmanned supply ship, and were received by NASA astronaut Terry Virts, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti from the European Space Agency and Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov. This was the first time that 4K cameras were brought aboard the space station for a commercial film project. During a six-month mission at the ISS, Virts, Cristoforetti and Shkaplerov worked closely with NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Butch Wilmore, Scott Kelly, and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to take turns using Canon’s advanced digital cameras and lenses to film footage of lightning storms, the continents, volcanoes, coral reefs and bright city lights on Earth for the film. One of the film’s greatest and most dramatic highlights, the striking imagery of the Northern Lights--or the aurora borealis-- was captured by NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren. These awe-inspiring images were previously unattainable in such stunning resolution.

The Canon EOS C500 4K (4096 x 2160-pixel) Digital Cinema Camera is capable of originating uncompressed RAW output for external recording to meet the demands of premium cinematic productions and other top-quality production markets. It features a Super 35mm, 8.85-megapixel CMOS image sensor, DIGIC DV III Image Processor and an expansive range of recording and output options specifically for 4K and 2K image acquisition. The compact, lightweight Canon EOS-1D C Digital SLR camera delivers outstanding video performance and provides video recording at 4K (4096 x 2160-pixel) or Full HD (1920 x 1080-pixel) resolution to support high-end motion picture, television production and other advanced imaging applications.

‘A Beautiful Planet’ joins Canon at NAB
A gallery of still images taken on the ISS with the Canon EOS-1D C camera and Canon lenses during the shooting of the film will be shown at the Canon booth # C4325 at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) trade show, April 18-21, 2016 in Las Vegas, NV. During NAB, the film’s Director of Photography, James Neihouse, ASC, will speak at Canon’s stage on the challenges and benefits of shooting in space. Joining him will be Marsha Ivins, a consultant on the film, former NASA astronaut, and a veteran of five space shuttle missions. Neihouse has worked on more than 30 IMAX films including Space Station 3D and Hubble 3D and trained more than 25 shuttle and space-station crews on the intricacies of large-format filmmaking.

The documentary, A Beautiful Planet was produced, written, and directed by Toni Myers, and is narrated by Academy Award®-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence.

About A Beautiful Planet
A Beautiful Planet is a breathtaking portrait of Earth from space, providing a unique perspective and increased understanding of our planet and galaxy as never seen before. Made in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the film features stunning footage of our magnificent blue planet — and the effects humanity has had on it over time — captured by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). From space, Earth blazes at night with the electric intensity of human expansion — a direct visualization of our changing world. But it is within our power to protect the planet. As we continue to explore and gain knowledge of our galaxy, we also develop a deeper connection to the place we all call home. From IMAX Entertainment and Toni Myers — the acclaimed filmmaker behind celebrated IMAX® documentaries Hubble 3D, and Space Station 3D — A Beautiful Planet presents an awe-inspiring glimpse of Earth and a hopeful look into the future of humanity.

Categories: Equipment

LG G5 Review

DPReview.com - Latest Reviews / Previews - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 10:14am
Categories: Equipment

Two in one: LG G5 camera review

DPReview.com - Latest News - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 10:14am

DPReview smartphone reviews are written with the needs of photographers in mind. We focus on camera features, performance, and image quality.

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The LG G5 succeeds last year's G4 and is the first LG smartphone with a dual-camera setup. With an F1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization, the main 16MP module is very similar to the G4 in terms of specification and provides a 78-degree angle of view which is in line with most current high-end smartphone cameras.

But here's where things get interesting: the second lens comes with an F2.4 aperture and 8MP sensor and captures a 135-degree super wide-angle image. In the camera app you can switch between lenses via a button, and when using the digital zoom the camera switches seamlessly between the two modules. As before, the autofocus is assisted by a laser that measures the subject distance.  

There is also an optional camera grip that should make the G5 particularly appealing to mobile photographers. The G5's 2,800mAh battery is removable and slots into the device from the bottom. The latter clips away when a release button is pressed which allows you to attach a number of replaceable modules, one of which is the CAM Plus camera grip. It comes with an additional 1,200mAh of battery capacity and offers power, shutter, video and zoom buttons. It also lets you lock exposure and provides a more comfortable grip. We've put the G5 and the CAM Plus grip through its paces. Read our full review to find out how they performed.

Key Photographic / Video Specifications

  • 16MP main camera
  • F1.8 aperture
  • Optical image stabilization
  • 8MP secondary super wide angle camera with F2.4 aperture
  • 8MP, F2.0 front camera
  • 4K video
  • 120 fps 720p slow motion video
  • Optional camera grip with shutter button and control dial

Other Specifications

  • 5.3-inch 1440p display
  • Snapdragon 820 chipset
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage
  • microSD support
  • 2,800 mAh battery

Our 9-page review

We've considered every aspect of the LG G5 with the photographer in mind. We examined the user interface of the native camera app and its special features. We experimented with the camera's performance when taking stills and video, and had a play with the device's many special feature modes. Click any of the links below for more information of specific functions and continue to our conclusion for a final summary of our findings.

Categories: Equipment

Ready for takeoff: GoPro records rocket trip into space

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 3:39pm

While you're waiting for Space X to get you into orbit, there's an easier way to enjoy an otherworldly view. A GoPro HERO 4 camera was used to record a UP Aerospace Inc. SL-10 rocket's travel into space, showing the flight at speeds of up to Mach 5.5 from Earth to an altitude of 120,700m / 396,000ft and back again. The video was recorded on November 6, 2015 during a mission to deploy the Maraia Capsule designed by NASA, and was recently showcased by GoPro on its YouTube channel.

This isn’t the first time GoPro’s action cameras have been used to record space missions. In April 2015, for example, NASA published a pair of videos showing astronauts on a spacewalk, both of which were recorded using the small action cameras. A GoPro was also used to record Felix Baumartner’s ‘Red Bull Stratos,’ a space jump that took place 24 miles above Earth. 

Categories: Equipment

No alias: Pentax K-1 added to studio scene comparison

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 2:10pm

It's been a long wait for the arrival of our Pentax K-1, but it finally is here. We wasted no time taking Ricoh's new flagship DSLR to our studio to see how the long-awaited full frame 36MP sensor stacks up to the competition.

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Pixel Shift

It's worth calling out in particular one of the major highlights of the K-1: its Pixel Shift Resolution mode that debuted in the APS-C format K-3 II last spring. We're only showing you this mode at ISO 100 for the time being, but we'll be updating our widget with higher ISOs once ACR support is updated.

The K-1's Pixel Shift Resolution mode takes four consecutive shots and moves the sensor by a single pixel each time. This means that each of the original pixel positions gets sampled by a red, a blue and two green pixels. This has a few major benefits. First, it removes the need to demosaic: you don’t have to interpolate data from the surrounding area to build up color information, which leads to less color aliasing. It also brings a modest increase in resolution because you're sampling luminance (green) information at every pixel position and not effectively blurring it by borrowing it from surrounding pixels. The increased resolution can easily be seen by looking at the color resolution targets, or looking at the text in the center of the studio scene, which shows no aliasing and can be read down to the very last line.

Another benefit to Pixel Shift is better noise performance: because you’re taking four shots, the camera essentially captures four times as much light, which decreases relative shot noise contributions. The decreased noise levels lead to better high ISO performance, and increased dynamic range.

There's yet another significant benefit to Pixel Shift: the camera locks up the mirror and uses a fully electronic shutter in this mode, which removes any vibrations that might be caused by the mechanical shutter moving at certain shutter speeds. The mechanical shutter, unfortunately, introduces a good degree of blur, evident in our lower ISO studio scene shots in the 'Normal' drive mode.

Categories: Equipment

Unconventional COVR Photo case launches for iPhone SE

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 7:43pm
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The COVR Photo iPhone case promotes shooting from an unconventional angle. Rather than holding your phone with the screen facing toward you, a prism in the case redirects the camera's angle of view so the user can hold the phone as they would a remote control. Previously available for the iPhone 5/5S and 6/6S, it's been released for the iPhone SE.

The app that is used with the device has also been improved to allow control of contrast, brightness and manual focusing, as well as a square shooting option and a burst mode.

The guiding principle behind the device's design is that it allows more comfortable one-handed operation of the iPhone. Because the user points the ‘wrong’ part of the phone towards the subject, it isn’t obvious that a picture is being taken. The inventor, photo journalist Thomas Hurst, says that the design lets parents take more natural pictures of their children. He claims it is also useful for street photography and photo documentary work.

The device consists of a rigid case that snaps around the iPhone and a sliding prism with a lens unit that can be pushed over the phone’s camera unit or pulled back for 'normal' shooting. An app converts the image so that it doesn’t appear upside down on the screen.

The COVR Photo lens case for the iPhone SE costs $59.95 and comes in black, white, blue and purple. The case is also available for the iPhone 5/5S and 6/6S.

For more information visit the COVR Photo website.

Press release:

COVR Photo Releases App and New Case for iPhone SE

COVR the world with the only case that allows for one-handed iPhonography

As the only iPhone case with a built-in lens and custom app, COVR Photo is pleased to announce its case for the new iPhone SE. COVR Photo is the only case that allows users to take photos and videos while holding the phone one-handed and from a horizontal angle, like holding a TV remote.

"As a professional photographer for 20-years, I know how difficult it can be to capture a timeless moment,” said COVR Photo Founder, Thomas Hurst. "COVR came from a desire to help my wife easily capture the natural moments of our four children with the camera she always had with her – her smartphone.”

He adds, “COVR is the first smartphone case with a sliding lens built directly into it – so it’s always with you, at your fingertips, ready to help all of us capture the spontaneity of life with of our family, friends, and loved ones."

Accompanying the new iPhone SE case, COVR Photo has just launched an updated app. In addition to adding manual contrast and brightness adjustment, the new app also features a “burst” mode, improved social media sharing, square camera mode and manual focus abilities.

The iPhone SE COVR case is available online now in black for $29.95 and $24.95 for white, blue and purple. Along with the case for the new iPhone SE, COVR Photo also offers cases for the iPhone 5/5S and iPhone 6/6S.

Parents, grandparents, professionals, photo-enthusiasts and travelers around the world use COVR to take photos and videos from a unique angle to capture once-in-lifetime moments using just one hand.

The case features include:

  • Patented sliding feature– Allows users to shoot using the COVR case similar to a remote control, or slide the COVR lens back and take pictures or videos with the regular iPhone camera lens.
  • Built-in Lens– COVR Photo is the only iPhone case with a built-in lens.
  • Protective case– Shock absorbent rubber core and a hard outer shell provides durability and protection without the bulk and weight.
  • Mobile app– The free COVR Photo app complements the COVR case by redirecting pictures through the COVR Photo lens as well as allows users to adjust focus, exposure and formatting.

Based out of Renton, Wash., COVR Photo was founded in 2014 by award-winning photojournalist Thomas Hurst. Designed with a high-quality prism, COVR Photo sits at just under a half inch tall, fitting comfortably in most pockets.

About COVR Photo: Created by photographer, Thomas Hurst, COVR Photo produces revolutionary products to equip and inspire people to document the world around them through photographs and videos. To learn more, visit covrphoto.com.

Categories: Equipment

Elinchrom launches new EL-Skyport Plus system to include hotshoe flashes in wireless lighting networks

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 3:23pm
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Swiss studio flash manufacturer Elinchrom has launched the next generation of its Skyport wireless triggering system that allows photographers to include hotshoe flash units in their lighting set-ups. The EL-Skyport Plus system includes a newly designed transmitter that has a swivelling head that the company says helps to optimize reception, while the new receiver features a hotshoe mount for triggering ‘almost any’ brand of hotshoe flash.

The units work via 2.4Ghz radio communications, have a range of 656ft/200m and offer 16 channels with four groups.

The EL-Skyport Transmitter Plus costs $89.99 and the kit that includes the transmitter and the hotshoe receiver costs $139.99.

For more information visit the Elinchrom website.

Press release:

The Latest Evolution of the Skyport

Introducing the New EL-Skyport Plus System

The next generation Skyport is here and allows you to take full control of your flashes from the palm of your hands.

The EL-Skyport Plus follows the successful launch of the EL-Skyport Transmitter Plus HS for Canon® and Nikon®, for those shooters requiring Hi-Sync. The new EL-Skyport Plus system is compact and robust, using readily available AA batteries. The Skyport Plus offers an extended range of up to 656 feet (200 m) and controls the power of all Skyport enabled Elinchrom flash units. With eight individual frequencies and the choice of standard and speed protocols, there are 16 frequency options, each with four groups. The EL-Skyport Transmitter Plus is compatible with almost every camera. The transmitter head folds down for reduced profile and easier subject viewing while shooting.

Compatible with Most Flash Systems
The EL-Skyport Receiver Plus will trigger almost every flash system and features a built-in hot shoe to trigger speedlights, while enabling them to also be conveniently mounted onto a lighting stand.
When used in conjunction with a Skyport HS Plus Transmitter, most speedlights set at full power can also be incorporated into Hi-Sync applications (using high shutter sync speeds to freeze motion and control ambient light).

“Elinchrom has long prided itself on providing as much control as possible to its photographers. The new Skyport Plus continues that tradition by allowing shooters to take and maintain complete control no matter what they are shooting. When it comes to Living Light, no company does it better than Elinchrom.” said Jan Lederman, MAC Group President.

The Elinchrom Skyport Plus system is retro compatible with the existing Skyport Speed system, and forward compatible to the additional frequencies offered by the latest Elinchrom ELB and ELC units.

EL-Skyport Plus To Go Contents
* EL-Skyport Transmitter Plus contains:
* EL-Skyport Transmitter Plus
* 2.5 mm to PC sync cord
* Wrist strap
* 2-year warranty

EL-Skyport Universal Plus set contains:
* EL-Skyport Transmitter Plus
* EL-Skyport Receiver Plus
* 2.5 mm to PC sync cord
* 3.5 mm to 3.5 mm sync cord
* 3.5 mm to 6.35 mm adapter
* Wrist strap
* 2-year warranty

Categories: Equipment

MindShift Gear’s Multi-Mount Holster bags offer five wearable configurations

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 3:01pm
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MindShift Gear has launched four Multi-Mount Holsters for photographers in need of a versatile bag that can accommodate a DSLR or mirrorless camera, a lens, and a few accessories. The Multi-Mount Holster 10 is the smallest of the four, with the Multi-Mount Holster 20, 30, and 50 being incrementally larger while retaining the same general design and features.

The entire line of Multi-Mount Holsters can be used in five different configurations: as a belt around the waist, over the shoulder, over the chest, in front on a harness and as a fanny pack. Each holster has a Stabilizer Strap System for securing the bag into the chosen configuration while helping distribute weight. All four models feature a seam-sealed rain cover and interior weather-block under the zippered lid. The Multi-Mount Holster 30 and 50 also have an expandable front pocket.

Other notable features include a removable LCD screen protector, YKK zippers with an anticorrosion coating and enamel finish, a 420D nylon exterior with a ‘Durable Water Resistance’ finish, a security loop in the main compartment for securing a camera, and a clip-on point for water bottles on the shoulder strap. The 30 and 50 models can also hold keys, memory cards, and more in the front pocket.

Each bag offers the following capacities:

Multi-Mount Holster 10 ($89.99)

  • Holds one large (un-gripped) Mirrorless body and one standard zoom lens or prime
  • Holds one compact DSLR (Rebel, 3300 or 5300 series) and one lens
  • Compatible Lenses: Prime lens; Kit Lens; 16-85mm (Canon or Nikon) with hood REVERSED; 16-35mm f/2.8 (Sony)

Multi-Mount Holster 20 ($99.99)

  • Holds one standard-size DSLR (5DM3 or D810) and one standard zoom lens or two primes
  • Holds one large (un-gripped) Mirrorless body and one standard zoom lens or two primes
  • 16-35mm f/2.8 with hood EXTENDED (Canon); 16-35mm f/4 VR with hood EXTENDED (Nikon); 24-70mm f/2.8 with hood REVERSED (Canon or Nikon); 17-55mm f/2.8 with hood REVERSED (Canon or Nikon)

Multi-Mount Holster 30 ($109.99)

  • Holds one standard-size DSLR (5DM3 or D810) and one standard zoom lens
  • Holds one gripped DSLRs (1Dx or D4s) and one standard zoom lens
  • 24-70mm f/2.8 with hood EXTENDED (Canon or Nikon); 70-200mm f/2.8 with hood REVERSED (Canon or Nikon); 300mm f/4 with hood REVERSED (Canon or Nikon); 80-400mm f/4 AF-S/G with hood REVERSED (Nikon)
  • Front pocket holds SB-910 (Nikon Speedlight); 600 RT (Canon Speedlite)

Multi-Mount Holster 50 ($119.99)

  • Holds one gripped Pro DSLR (Nikon D3/D4 series or Canon 1D/1Ds/1DX series) and one standard zoom lens
  • Holds one standard DSLRs with L-bracket (Nikon D800/D700) and one standard zoom lens
  • 24-70mm f/2.8 with hood EXTENDED (Canon or Nikon); 70-200mm f/2.8 with hood REVERSED (Canon or Nikon); 300mm f/4 with hood REVERSED (Canon or Nikon); 80-400mm f/4 AF-S/G with hood REVERSED (Nikon)
  • Front pocket holds SB-910 (Nikon Speedlight); 600 RT (Canon Speedlite)
Categories: Equipment

Canon catching up? Canon EOS-1D X II tested in our studio

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 8:00am

Announced back in February, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II has at long last made its way through our door. We're just itching to get it out and put its 20.2MP sensor and 14 fps burst rate to work shooting some fast action to see what its AF system can do, but first we put it through our slate of studio image quality tests.

Like the EOS 80D there's a big improvement in the camera's dynamic range. Canon's move to a design using on-chip analog-to-digital conversion allows less noise is added before the signal is converted into digital values, meaning it's easier to distinguish between captured information and background noise. In turn, this means more malleable Raw files with more useful information available when you try to process them.

In our standard studio tests, the findings were slightly less positive. The JPEG engine seems to use the same sharpening parameters as the 50MP EOS 5DS R, which ends up being rather heavy-handed when applied to 20MP levels of detail capture. High ISO performance, once a Canon strength, drops a little behind its better rivals.

Raw Dynamic Range

Exposure Latitude

In this test we look to see how tolerant of pushing exposure the EOS-1D X II's Raw files are. We've done this by exposing our scene with increasingly lower exposures, then pushed them back to the correct brightness using Adobe Camera Raw. Examining what happens in the shadows allows you to assess the exposure latitude (essentially the dynamic range) of the Raw files.

Because the changes in this test noise are primarily caused by shot noise and this is mainly determined by the amount of light the camera has had access to, the results are only directly comparable between cameras of the same sensor size. However, this will also be the case in real-world shooting if you're limited by what shutter speed you can keep steady, so this test gives you an idea of the amount of processing latitude different formats give.

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The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II shows very similar amounts of noise to the excellent sensor in the Sony a7R II up until a 3EV push, with the Canon dropping behind after a 4EV push. It's a similar story against the likes of the Nikon D750$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2429").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2429); }); }) or D810$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2430").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2430); }); }). This means that the darker shadows in a processed image would be slightly cleaner in images from these cameras, after contrast adjustments or a less extreme push.

However, this performance is noticeably better than the Canon EOS 5DS R$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2432").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2432); }); }) and, significantly, better than the 1D X II's most direct rival: the Nikon D5$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2433").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2433); }); }).

ISO Invariance

A camera with a very low noise floor is able to capture a large amount of dynamic range, since it add very little noise to the detail captured in the shadow regions of the image. This has an interesting implication: it minimizes the need to amplify the sensor's signal in order to keep it above that noise floor (which is what ISO amplification conventionally does). This provides an alternate way of working in situations that would traditionally demand higher ISO settings.

Here we've done something that may seem counter-intuitive: we've used the same aperture and shutter speed at different ISO settings to see how much difference there is between shooting at a particular ISO setting (and using hardware amplification) vs. digitally correcting the brightness, later. This has the advantage that all the shots should exhibit the same shot noise and any differences must have been contributed by the camera's circuitry.

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You can see the EOS-1D X II's full results here. As you may have inferred from the Exposure Latitude tests, the EOS-1D X II isn't entirely ISO invariant - the camera is adding enough downstream read noise such that you can't use a lower-than-normal ISO and selectively brighten the image later - to protect highlight information - without some noise cost.

To put this in perspective, though, the camera's files appear much more flexible than those of the Canon EOS 5DS R$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2434").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2434); }); }), which itself was a big step forward from the EOS 5D Mark III$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2435").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2435); }); }). So, while they're not a match for the likes of the Nikon D750$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2436").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2436); }); }) or the latest Sony sensors, the 1D X II is a step forward for Canon, and performs better than the Nikon D5$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2437").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2437); }); }) in this regard. In fact this test slightly under-represents the Canon's performance, since the D5's ISO 6400 result is better to start off with: to start off ahead but then fall behind the Canon, the Nikon must be adding more noise at low ISOs.

Categories: Equipment

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