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Ricoh introduces weather-resistant Pentax K-70 with Hybrid AF and Pixel Shift

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 6:00pm
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Ricoh has unveiled the Pentax K-70, an advanced entry-level DSLR with an AA-filterless 24MP APS-C sensor and a body that's designed to stand up to the elements. It boasts a dustproof, freezeproof and weather-resistant design, and is the first Pentax DSLR to offer Hybrid AF in live view. 

The K-70 offers in-body shake reduction image stabilization, bringing with it Pixel Shift Resolution and AA filter simulation. An 11-point AF system offers nine centrally located cross-type sensors, and burst shooting is offered at 6 fps.

A PRIME MII image processor allows for 14-bit readout and a maximum ISO of 102,400. Movie recording tops out at 1080/30p, augmented by a 4K interval mode that combines 4K resolution stills into a movie file. On the back panel, the K-70 provides a 3" 921k-dot vari-angle LCD where its K-50 predecessor used a fixed monitor. Rounding out the feature set is built-in Wi-Fi.

The Pentax K-70 will cost $649.95. Somewhat cryptically, Ricoh says it will announce availability for the camera at the beginning of July.

Press release:

Ricoh Imaging unveils weather-resistant, advanced digital SLR camera designed for the great outdoors

PENTAX K-70 incorporates speedy, high-accuracy AF, ultra-sensitive imaging engine and other technologies for producing high-resolution images in a wide variety of challenging conditions

DENVER, Colo., June 8, 2016—Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation today announced the PENTAX K-70 advanced digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. Compact, dustproof and weather-resistant, the new PENTAX K-70 camera incorporates features — many of which have previously only been available on top-of-the-line PENTAX models — that enable photographers to produce high-resolution still photos and HD videos in a wide variety of challenging conditions, including low light and temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C). The camera’s weather-resistant capabilities and compact design make it an ideal photographic companion for hikers, climbers and snow sports enthusiasts, as well as for nature and landscape photographers.

With a newly developed image accelerator unit providing a top sensitivity of ISO 102,400, plus the PENTAX-developed PRIME MII image processor, the PENTAX K-70 is capable of capturing high quality images in extremely low-light conditions. A new Hybrid Autofocus (AF) system, integrating both image-plane phase-matching and contrast-detection autofocus technologies, delivers speedy and accurate autofocus while also providing continuous auto focus for HD video recording.

“PENTAX has a long history of developing cameras and lenses that can withstand the rigors of the great outdoors. The K-70 goes a step further, with new, advanced features that enable the creation of higher quality images and make the camera very easy to use, both in the backyard and in the field,” said Kaz Eguchi, president, Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation. “Combined with any one of our many available weather-resistant lenses, this camera is in a class of its own for outdoor photography.”

The PENTAX K-70 provides a variety of advanced features found only in Ricoh’s high-grade PENTAX K-series models, such as the PENTAX Pixel Shift Resolution System, which produces high-resolution, finely detailed images. These also include an AA Filter Simulator that effectively eliminates moiré without the need for an anti-aliasing filter, a variable-tilt LCD monitor, and an in-body shake-reduction mechanism that reduces the effects of camera shake up to 4.5 shutter steps. The K-70 also incorporates built-in Wi-Fi for remote shooting and easy transfer to smart devices using Ricoh’s dedicated Image Sync app.

The PENTAX K-70’s exterior is designed with outdoor operations in mind. Features such as a newly designed grip, mode dial and control buttons on the camera’s top and back panels are designed to be easy and intuitive to operate, even with a gloved hand. It also comes equipped with an outdoor-friendly LCD monitor with an illumination control that can be instantly adjusted to the lighting level of any shooting location. The K-70 also has a red-lighted monitor display function which keeps ambient light from interfering with astrophotography.

In conjunction with the PENTAX K-70 camera, Ricoh Imaging is announcing the HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3ED PLM WR RE lens, a compact, weather-resistant telephoto zoom (see details in separate news release, also issued today); plus the Cable Switch CS-310, a remote shutter release designed especially for use with the K-70.

| Pricing and Availability |

Availability of the PENTAX K-70 camera, which comes in black and silky silver finishes, will be announced at the beginning of July. When available, it can be purchased at www.ricohimaging.com for $649.95, as well as at Ricoh Imaging-authorized retail outlets throughout North America.

Pentax K-70 specifications:

MSRP$649/£559 (body only), £799 (w/18-135mm lens)
Body type
Body typeCompact SLR
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Other resolutions4608 x 3072, 3072 x 2048, 1920 x 1280
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors25 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorPRIME MII
Color spacesRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
ISOAuto, 100-102400
White balance presets8
Custom white balanceYes (3 slots)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes4.5 stop correction
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsBest, better, good
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • Raw (PEF or DNG)
Optics & Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points11
Lens mountPentax KAF2
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size3″
Screen dots921,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.95×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/6000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Shutter priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter and aperture priority
  • Manual
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Macro
  • Moving Object
  • Night Scene Portrait
  • Sunset
  • Blue Sky
  • Forest
  • Night Scene
  • Night Scene HDR
  • Night Snap
  • Food
  • Pet
  • Kids
  • Surf & Snow
  • Backlight Silhouette
  • Candlelight
  • Stage Lighting
  • Museum
Built-in flashYes
Flash range12.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes
Flash modes Auto, auto w/redeye reduction, flash on, flash + redeye reduction, slow sync, trailing curtain sync, manual
Flash X sync speed1/180 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Self-timer
  • Remote control
  • Bracketing
  • Mirror-up
  • Multi-exposure
  • Interval shooting
  • Interval composite
  • Interval movie
  • Star stream
Continuous drive6.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 secs, continuous)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (2, 3, 5 frames )
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I compatible)
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (mini-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n
Remote controlYes (wired or wireless)
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionD-LI109 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)410
Weight (inc. batteries)688 g (1.52 lb / 24.27 oz)
Dimensions126 x 93 x 74 mm (4.94 x 3.66 x 2.91″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPS notesO-GPS1
Categories: Equipment

Affordable reach: Ricoh announces Pentax 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 lens

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 6:00pm
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Ricoh Imaging has announced the HD Pentax DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE lens. The new version builds in some new features and sheds some weight compared to the company's previous 55-300mm F4-5.8ED WR lens, but at the expense of a slightly smaller maximum aperture range.

Namely, this new lens features a pulse motor (PLM) and adopts a 'rear-focus' system - both of these changes result in faster autofocus acquisition times (8.3x at wide angle and 1.7x at telephoto), as well as quieter overall autofocus performance when compared to its predecessor. Ricoh also claims that, when the lens is mounted on the new K-70 DSLR, a new autofocus algorithm ensures greater precision and faster operation with dimly lit subjects.

The lens is 10% lighter than the old 55-300mm, is fully weather-sealed and focuses down to 0.95m/37.4in. Rounding out the key specs and changes is an electromagnetic diaphragm control system, which, according to Ricoh, will provide smoother aperture control during video recording.

The HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE lens will retail for $399.95/£399.99 when it becomes available – Ricoh will make an availability announcement in July.

Press release:

Ricoh Imaging announces compact, lightweight and weather-resistant HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3ED PLM WR RE lens

Advanced-design telephoto zoom lens delivers high-speed, quiet autofocus and outstanding optical performance in an extremely portable package

DENVER, Colo. June 8, 2016 – Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation today announced the
HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3ED PLM WR RE lens. Designed for use with PENTAX K-mount digital single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras, this new, weather-resistant 5.5X telephoto zoom lens provides enhanced autofocus (AF) and outstanding optical performance in a compact and lightweight package.

The lens provides effective focal lengths between 84.5mm and 460mm when mounted on a PENTAX APS-C format digital SLR, including the new PENTAX K-70 announced today (see separate news release). Its design enables quiet, high-speed AF operation in still-image shooting, as well as smooth and quiet AF tracking operation during video recording, with minimal mechanical noise created by focus and aperture shifts.

PENTAX HD (high-definition) coated optics deliver sharp, bright, high-contrast images free of flare and ghosting. The HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3ED PLM WR RE lens offers a minimum focusing distance of 37.4 inches (0.95 meters) to further expand the range of photographic applications. With a fully retractable design, the lens measures only 3.5 inches (89 millimeters) long when retracted, and weighs less than one pound (442 grams), making it easy to carry around, even for casual shooting.

Fully weather-sealed, this lens is a durable and dependable companion for outdoor shooting—even in rain, snow or other wet conditions—when used with any of the many weather-resistant PENTAX DSLRs, such as the new K-70.

| Pricing and Availability |

Availability of the HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3ED PLM WR RE lens will be announced in early July. When available, it can be purchased at www.ricohimaging.com for $399.95, as well as at Ricoh Imaging-authorized retail outlets throughout North America.

Main Features

1. High-speed AF operation

With the adoption of a rear-focus system, the lens is almost 10 percent lighter than the PENTAX’s previous 55-300m lens—the HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8ED WR. By driving this focusing lens using a pulse motor (PLM), which is directly linked to a lead screw, this zoom lens also operates faster — approximately 8.3 times at its wide-angle end and approximately 1.7 times at its telephoto end —and quieter than its predecessor. When mounted on the new PENTAX K-70 digital SLR camera body (also announced today), it assures smoother, faster AF operation with dimly lit subjects, thanks to an improved AF algorithm that exchanges AF data between the camera body and the lens with greater precision. Operability of its power-assisted focus system during manual-focus operation has also been improved. Since its distance ring is designed to accurately detect the angle of rotation and swiftly react to a change of angle, this zoom lens can shift its focusing lens smoothly in response to distance ring operation.

2. Quiet AF operation and electromagnetic diaphragm control, perfect for video recording

This is the first K-mount lens to feature an electromagnetic diaphragm control system.* When mounted on the new PENTAX K-70 digital SLR or other compatible camera body, it assures smooth, high-precision aperture control during video recording. This state-of-the-art system shifts the aperture setting automatically and smoothly to result in more natural, true-to-life videos, even when the brightness level of the subject changes drastically, such as a live theater performance or a sunlight- streaked forest scene, or with active subjects such as athletes and animals. Coupled with the PLM mechanism, the system also assures smooth AF tracking operation and exposure control, while minimizing the intrusion of focus- and aperture-shift noises during video recording.

* NOTE: This lens’ KAF4 mount is compatible with an electromagnetic diaphragm control system. In order to use this lens, the camera’s firmware must be upgraded to the latest version (except for the PENTAX K-70). Cameras compatible with this system are: K-1, K-3 II, K-S2 and K-S1. If this lens is mounted on a camera without proper firmware upgrade, its diaphragm control mechanism becomes inactive, making it impossible to obtain correct exposure.

3. High-quality images, with a minimum focusing distance of 37.4 inches (0.95 meters)

With focal lengths from 84.5mm to 460mm (in the 35mm format), this telephoto zoom lens provides approximately 5.5-times zoom coverage from medium- to super-telephoto ranges. Its 14-element, 11- group optics include an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) optical element to effectively minimize spherical and chromatic aberrations, while delivering high-resolution, finely detailed images with rich contrast from the image’s center to its edges and minimal color bleeding at any focal length setting. In addition to a short minimal focusing distance of 0.95 meters, made possible by the rear-focus system, the lens barrel has also been designed to be free of extension during AF operation.

4. Compact telephoto zoom lens

Thanks to its retractable structure, the lens is only 3.5 inches (89 millimeters) long and weighs less than one pound (442 grams).

5. Weather-resistant construction

The lens features dependable, weather-resistant construction with 11 sealed parts to effectively prevent the intrusion of water into the lens interior. When paired with a weather-resistant PENTAX digital SLR camera body, the result is a durable, dependable digital imaging system that performs superbly in demanding shooting settings.

6. HD Coating to optimize image description

The lens is treated with high-grade, multi-layer HD (high definition) Coating. Compared with conventional multi-layer coatings, this PENTAX-original coating assures higher light transmittance and less reflection to deliver bright, high-contrast images free of flare and ghost images, even under demanding lighting conditions.

7. Other features

・Quick-Shift Focus System allows the user to instantly switch to manual-focus operation, even when the camera’s AF system is in operation.

・SP (Super Protect) Coating applied to the front surface of the lens to effectively repel water and grease.

・Rounded diaphragm with nine blades to produce a smooth, beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect. Designs and specifications are subject to change without notice.

Categories: Equipment

Canon USA launches new online photography courses

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 2:54pm

Canon USA has announced seven new photography courses that will form the beginning of the company’s new Canon Online Learning program. The courses are aimed at the full spectrum of photographers from beginner to professional says Canon, and students will be able to learn at their own pace as the resources aren’t live. There will be video tutorials and downloadable worksheets and assignments for the practical courses, while equipment-based courses intend to help users get the most out of their Canon cameras and accessories.

The first seven courses will be:

  • Understanding EOS Camera Operations
  • Photo 101: How to Take Great Pictures
  • Printing Basics & Beyond
  • Great Landscapes Made Easy
  • Child’s Play: Simple Tips for Photographing Children
  • Getting Started with Flash Photography
  • Canon Insider Guide: EOS Rebel Series

Courses will be priced from $19.99 to $59.99.

For more information visit the Canon Online Learning website.

Press release

Canon Educates & Inspires With New In-Depth Online Learning Program

Canon Online Learning Courses Designed to Support and Develop Imaging Skills for Passionate Photographers of All Levels

Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is launching Canon Online Learning, a new program of immersive digital courses designed to help photo and video enthusiasts of all levels develop their skills at their own pace. The program, which expands upon Canon’s robust mix of existing free and paid educational offerings, looks to educate parents, travelers, imaging hobbyists and working professionals with proven techniques from recognizable industry talents.

Available now are these initial seven courses, suitable for all skill levels:
* Understanding EOS Camera Operations
* Photo 101: How to Take Great Pictures
* Printing Basics & Beyond
* Great Landscapes Made Easy
* Child’s Play: Simple Tips for Photographing Children
* Getting Started with Flash Photography
* Canon Insider Guide: EOS Rebel Series

These first seven courses, and subsequent classes to follow, will include video guides unique to each course with the option to download or print PDF materials. With the exception of Canon Insider Guide: EOS Rebel Series, courses will also include complementary resources such as bonus video content, lighting/shooting diagrams, shot lists, resource guides and interviews with course instructors. Additional interactive materials may include quizzes, assignments, interactive images and diagrams.

“Canon has always provided industry leading educational resources for our customers. Over the years, we have expanded our offerings to include live workshops, one-on-one in-person sessions and countless free lectures across the country. Now, for those passionate customers looking to take a deeper dive into photography or videography, we have developed a curriculum of content that addresses the various ways our customers use our products today, and it’s available at their convenience online, day or night,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “This new program also helps familiarize the imaging community with our wide range of educational tools, allowing them to learn valuable tips from our technical experts, as well as our Explorers of Light professional photographers.”

Initial course offerings range from $19.99-$59.99. To learn more about Canon Online Learning please visit: http://usa.canon.com/onlinelearning or email learning@cusa.canon.com.

Categories: Equipment

Adobe Lightroom CC 2015.6, Lightroom 6.6, and Camera Raw 9.6 now available

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 2:04pm

Adobe has released Lightroom CC 2015.6, Lightroom 6.6, and Camera Raw 9.6, primarily fixing bugs and adding camera profiles as well as Raw support. Lightroom CC and Camera Raw 9.6 users, however, also get a new feature called Guided Upright that reduces/eliminates keystone effects in buildings, straightens images and fixes horizons.

Guided Upright adds a semi-automated function to an existing feature, using guides drawn by the user to apply perspective corrections. It's found within a new ‘Transform’ panel, which also houses manual perspective correction sliders. Users manually draw 2 to 4 guide lines on the photo, which the software uses to transform the image via Upright. Those manual perspective correction sliders can be used to ‘fine tune’ the resulting image when necessary. 

Lightroom CC 2015.6 / 6.6 and Camera Raw 9.6 have added support for the following cameras:

  • Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
  • Leica M-D (Typ 262)
  • Nikon COOLPIX B700
  • Panasonic DMC-GX85/GX80/GX7MK2

The software has also added camera matching color profiles for the Pentax K-3 II, K-1, and 645Z cameras. Both versions of Lightroom also received tethered camera support for the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, Canon EOS 80D, and Canon EOS 1300D / Canon Rebel T6.

The full list of new lens profile support in Lightroom 2015.6 / 6.6 is available here, and the list for Camera Raw 9.6 lens profile support is available here.

Categories: Equipment

Video: Canon EOS 7D versus leaf-cutter ants

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 1:00pm

Taking pictures of wildlife in the jungle isn't easy, which is why a lot of photographers set up 'trap' cameras. But every now and then, you end up attracting the wrong species altogether. Watch what happened when conservationist and YouTube host Phil Torres set up his Canon EOS 7D near a nest of leaf-cutter ants, in the jungles of Peru.

It's never pleasant seeing an expensive camera get destroyed but quite honestly we're more concerned about the health of the ants after eating all of that plastic. Also, sorry Phil, but that's not how Gorrillapods got their name

Categories: Equipment

OOWA smartphone lenses use 'free-form' tech for improved image quality

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 12:14pm

DynaOptics, an optical engineering company that has previously looked at bringing zoom lenses to smartphones, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for its OOWA smartphone add-on lenses. 

The lenses, a 2.5x tele-lens with an equivalent focal length of 75mm and a 15mm equivalent super-wide-angle, use DynaOptics' patented free-form system design methodology which promises improved edge-to-edge sharpness, minimal distortion, no chromatic aberrations and no vignetting, compared to conventional optical designs. This is achieved through a rotationally asymmetric design that optimizes image quality in a rectangular shape (i.e, the shape of an imaging sensor). In contrast, conventional rotationally symmetric lenses optimize image quality in a circle.

Both lenses attach to iPhone 6-series models via an included protective case. The tele-lens has 5 elements, one made from glass and 4 made out of plastic. The wide-angle has three plastic elements and one glass element. 

You can currently secure either lens by pledging $65 on the OOWA Kickstarter page, or $120 for the kit. If you like the idea behind the lenses but don't currently own an iPhone you can also help OOWA select the next devices that it will make lenses available for. Samples and comparison shots can be be found on the DynaOptics website.

Press Release:

Palo Alto, CA and Singapore – June 8, 2016 – DynaOptics, an innovator in optics technology, entered the mobile photography market today with OOWA, a suite of iPhone lens attachments powered by free-form lenses. OOWA’s high-quality wide-angle and telephoto lenses, together with protective phone cases, are available for pre-order on Kickstarter now.

“The introduction of OOWA lenses marks a true innovation in the world of optics: for the first time, a free-form lens is incorporated into a camera lens,” said Li Han Chan, DynaOptics CEO and co-founder. “OOWA’s precision-crafted lens attachments are now available for the iPhone 6 series. Our technology empowers these users to see the world from a fresh perspective -- with unprecedented clarity -- zero chromatic aberration (no color bleeding) and zero vignetting (no dark corners).”

Photographs taken by OOWA can be found on Instagram at #madewithoowa.

OOWA’s suite of products includes:

  • a 2.5X zoom telephoto lens,
  • a 110 degree diagonal field-of-view wide-angle lens, and
  • a phone case that allows for lens attachment with ease and precision while protecting the phone

A Single Lens Kit (telephoto or wide-angle lens) comes with the selected lens and a phone case, a lens cap, and a carrying pouch. The Pro Kit comes with both lenses, two lens caps, two carrying pouches, and a phone case. OOWA’s Kickstarter supporters can purchase lens kits at early-bird prices (Single Lens Kit at $65; Pro Kit at $120) during the first three days of the campaign. After which, the kits will be offered at regular reward levels of $79 and $139 respectively.

As mobile phones capture an ever-increasing share of the world's photos, the pressure is on for cell phone technology to compete with the image quality of DSLR cameras. Market research firm InfoTrends estimates that more than one trillion photos will be taken by mobile phone users in 2017, up from 0.14 trillion in 20101.

OOWA’s products address this insatiable demand for ever-improving image quality and technology in today’s mobile camera world. Visit OOWA’s press page here for more information on OOWA’s free-form technology, product specifications, lab and field image quality results, and a prototype review by a professional photographer. 

OOWA products are available today for pre-order on KICKSTARTER. OOWA lenses are compatible with the iPhone 6, 6S, 6+ and 6S+ (other phone users -- watch this space!), and with screen protectors. The products are expected to ship in November 2016.

Categories: Equipment

Firmware update adds watermarking and improves user interface of DxO ONE

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 9:00am

DxO has released a firmware update for its ONE connected camera. The main additions in firmware version 1.4 are support for copyright/author metadata as well as watermarking. Users can now preview aperture and exposure compensation settings in real-time on the 'viewfinder,' better known as an iPhone or iPad. DxO has also tweaked the user interface, with quicker access to camera and app settings. And, as with most firmware updates, overall camera performance has been improved.

Version 1.4 of the DxO ONE app for iOS is now available in the iTunes Store. The camera firmware is updated via the app.

Press Release:

DxO ONE continues to redefine mobile photography with v1.4 update

A new streamlined user interface helps protect your photos with integrated copyright and watermarking support

PARIS—June 8th, 2016—DxO announced today the immediate availability of another major update to the multi-award-winning DxO ONE Miniaturized Pro Quality Camera™ for iPhone® and iPad®. Continuing with the promise to make the DxO ONE even better after you’ve bought it, version 1.4 adds integrated copyright/author and watermarking support to help protect your photos from unauthorized use. In addition to important performance enhancements, the update also features a dramatically improved user experience that puts all of your capture and application settings in their own, quick-access menus.

“Like my DSLR and tripod, the DxO ONE has become an important part of my workflow, allowing me to instantly share high quality, high res photos with my clients and followers”, said noted motorsports photographer, John Thawley. “By adding integrated copyright info and watermarking support, I can be confident that my shared DxO ONE images are now protected from unauthorized use.” 

Since its initial introduction revolutionized the world of mobile photography, literally dozens and dozens of new features have been added to every DxO ONE via automatic (and free) software and firmware updates. Photographers the world over told our team they love the instant sharing capabilities of the DxO ONE, but wanted a way to better protect their work. DxO’s engineers responded by providing the ability to automatically embed copyright and author info directly into the EXIF data of every DxO ONE photo. In addition, version 1.4 introduces the option to automatically add a watermark to photos shared to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and every other photo sharing service supported by Apple iOS.

As more and more sophisticated controls have been added to the DxO ONE iOS app, the design team in Paris determined through exhaustive usability studies, that access to these controls could be even more efficient. The resulting version 1.4 update sports a streamlined user interface that provides one-tap access to capture settings, all of which are now logically grouped in a consolidated design. In addition, application settings, such as the Message Center and online support, can now be accessed with one tap from the Gallery view. The net result is that the bright, beautiful Retina viewfinder of the iPhone is now far less cluttered, leaving more room to compose your DxO ONE images.

“DxO has a world-class design team in Paris that values direct user feedback above everything else,” said Kirk Paulsen, consulting CMO for DxO. “They continue to innovative at a breakneck pace, adding exciting new features and useful controls with each successive release. It’s remarkable how far the DxO ONE has advanced in less than a year since it was first introduced.”

Version 1.4 also introduces a host of other features based on direct user feedback, including the ability to preview in the viewfinder, in real-time, camera controls such as Aperture and EV-bias. Users can now determine when they want their DxO ONE to go into power saving mode, and all-important firmware updates that unlock new features and functionality are now more visible via top-level notifications, so you’ll never miss the opportunity to take advantage of cool new ways to control your DxO ONE.

Every DxO ONE camera includes free access to DxO Connect, very simple but extremely powerful software for Mac and PC, that can make your best DxO ONE photos look even better. DxO Connect v1.4 now leverages the new DxO OpticsPro 11 engine, which includes even more remarkable noise reduction for high ISO, low-light images. The new processing engine also makes use of face detection to automatically extend the dynamic range, add fill light, and improve contrast while optimizing illumination on faces in your photos. DxO Connect can even automatically add microcontrast to sharpen fine details in your images, but it’s smart enough to leave those details intact with photos involving faces or with those captured at a high ISO in low light. Mac users, who use OS X Photos as their primary photo editing software, may want to download the updated extension (DxO OpticsPro for Photos - DxO ONE Camera only) from the App Store, which lets you tap into the power of the new DxO OpticsPro 11 photo engine without ever leaving the Photos app.

Pricing & Availability

The DxO ONE Miniaturized Pro Quality Camera™ for iPhone® and iPad® is available for purchase at dxo.com, Amazon, Best Buy, B&H, Target and other respected retailers for only $499 (US).

The DxO ONE iOS v1.4 app and companion Apple Watch app are both available for free via the iTunes App Store. New firmware, also immediately available, can be downloaded to the iPhone and installed on existing DxO ONE cameras with a simple tap. The 1.4 updates to DxO Connect and ‘DxO OpticsPro for Photos – DxO ONE Camera only’, are also immediately available for existing users to download from dxo.com and the Mac App Store, respectively.

Categories: Equipment

2016 Roundup: $1200-2000 Crop-Sensor Interchangeable Lens Cameras

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 8:00am

For those wanting to step up from entry-level to midrange ILCs, there are many things to consider, including the choice between a DSLR or mirrorless camera, what sensor size suits you best, how important video is to you, and of course the lens system. 

While full-frame cameras typically offer superior low light image quality and more control over depth-of-field, crop-sensor cameras are extremely capable in their own right - and (usually) more compact and less costly.  

We've split the $1200-2000 ILC marketplace into two segments - cropped sensor cameras (which you'll find in this roundup) and full-frame options (coming soon). 

There's a lot of variety in this group of crop-sensor cameras. Two of them are DSLRs and five are mirrorless. While most use APS-C sensors, the Olympus PEN-F and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 use smaller Four Thirds sensors. Some of these cameras are aimed toward still shooters, while others are more video-centric.

Here are the competitors in this crop-sensor round-up:

Categories: Equipment

Take a closer look inside Canon's impressive EF 200-400mm F4L IS

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 7:00am

Canon has posted a video showing its massive EF 200-400mm F4L IS USM Extender 1.4 X reduced to its component parts.

The Canon 200-400mm is an impressive lens. This hefty telephoto uses no fewer than 33 elements arranged in 24 groups, including Fluorite and Ultra-Low Dispersion glass, and features a built-in 1.4X teleconverter. Canon's stop-motion video is rather charming, and makes a nice change from the computer-generated exploded imagery that we're used to seeing. 

Categories: Equipment

It was only a matter of time... new app turns your Instagram into virtual art gallery

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 06/07/2016 - 5:16pm

Have you ever wanted to see your photographs on the wall of an art gallery? Come on - be honest. Your cat pictures deserve a wider audience, and the makers of new app 'Instamuseum' agree. 

Instamuseum converts any Instagram account into a 3D virtual reality experience, placing images (up to 90) from the feed on the walls of a computer-generated gallery space. There are four templates available (including 'Louvre') and the rendered space can be explored using VR goggles or using a more conventional pan / zoom interface in a desktop browser.

Instamuseum for @dpreview by barney.britton on Sketchfab

Coming in the same week as the actual Louvre gallery in Paris (into which we've placed DPReview's Instagram feed, above) was evacuated due to historic flooding, we can't help wondering if this is just another sign of the end times. Let us know what you think in the comments. 

Categories: Equipment

Lumigon launches T3 smartphone with night vision camera

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 06/07/2016 - 5:04pm

Danish electronics company Lumigon has announced a new smartphone that it claims is the first in the world to offer a night vision camera. The Lumigon T3 features three cameras in total; a 13MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera and a 4MP night vision camera that uses what the company describes as a ‘dual infrared flash’. Lumigon says the camera can take stills and video in total darkness. The rear 13MP camera uses a dual tone flash, has a phase detection AF system and can shoot 120fps slow-motion video as well as 4K video.

The T3 uses a 2.2 GHz 64-bit 8-core processor with 3GB of RAM, and all models come with 128GB of internal storage. The device runs Android 6.0 and features a 4.8in Super AMOLED 1280x720 display. The stainless steel body uses Gorilla glass on the front and back, and offers BackTouch touch sensitivity on the rear for controlling functions displayed on the front screen. Other features include dual SIM slots, universal IR remote control and wireless charging.

The Lumigon T3 will be available in white, black and orange, as well as four different gold versions. The standard ‘classic’ models will cost €645/DKK 4799/$740 while the gold models will be€1100/DKK 8000/$1200.

For more information visit the Lumigon website.

Press release:

Lumigon launches T3, a premium smartphone with unique features in Scandinavian design

Lumigon announces the launch of the T3 smartphone, integrating minimalistic Scandinavian design with durable steel exterior and innovative features such as a night vision camera and the innovative BackTouch technology, so far never seen before in mobile phones.

“We wanted to create a new smartphone that reflects our design philosophy,” says Lumigon CEO Lars Gravesen. “The glass and steel used in the T3 are extremely durable, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing the look and feel of the phone. In fact, it provides a great balance between design, premium materials, innovation and technology.”

In addition to the classic versions, the T3 is also available in a gold edition with four different models, to fulfil the needs of customers who like it a little more extraordinary.

Innovative design, inside and out
The exterior of T3 is crafted from molybdenum 316 stainless steel, whose strength and high resistance is known from the boat industry. This durability is further enhanced with scratch and damage resistant glass. Both the front and back of the phone are of Corning® Gorilla® Glass to help ensure the 4.8” HD Super AMOLED Diamond display is not spoiled by screen cracks. These robust materials were carefully selected and precisely crafted to create a dust and water-resistant phone that can withstand daily use, while retaining the sleek design of an exclusive product.

These details extend to the interior, which is powered by an ultra-fast 2.2 GHz 64 bit 8-core processor with 3 GB RAM running Android™ 6.0, making this smartphone run smooth and fast. Lars Gravesen continues, “In a world with such huge demands for data, we wanted to give our customers enough capacity that will make users hardly run out of space, thus we decided to launch the T3 with 128 GB internal memory as standard.”

Being a truly versatile device, the T3 also features a 4G Dual Nano SIM slot allowing the use of two SIM cards simultaneously. These can be hot-swapped without shutting down the phone, allowing for exceptional agility on the go.

Perfect picture – day and night
The T3 comes with three cameras and provides high quality photography regardless of time of day or lighting conditions. The 4K HD camera takes ultra-sharp photos while the advanced Phase Detection Autofocus find its focus point instantly. The 2K HD front camera with innovative FrontFlash allows for perfect selfies even in dark environments. The mirror in combination with the FrontFlash turns this phone to a gadget that the ladies will find very handy when fixing their makeup on the go.

The T3 is the first smartphone in the world to have a 2K HD Night Vision camera that can capture photos and videos even in total darkness.

The innovative BackTouch technology enables to scroll content on the display from the back of the phone and is very convenient when taking selfies as the user just needs to tap on the BackTouch. This brand new feature introduces easy one-handed navigation and improved swiping and scrolling capabilities.

T3 has cutting-edge security and interface features. The 360° ceramic fingerprint reader provides added security along with 740 unique Vault feature that lets the user store private and confidential information on the phone. The data within the Vault is secure and encrypted with AES 256-bit algorithm.

Make it Your Way
T3 is provided in three classic colours, black, white and orange as well as the exclusive series, like the elegant 24-karat gold in four different models. Users can then show their individual looks, while those who want to experience the next level of luxury can leave their mark with a personal engraving.

Mr Gravesen says, “The T3 was created for users who want something different and want to stand out from the crowd.”

“To me,” he continues, “Danish design reflects craftsmanship, simplicity and real-life functionality, taking high-quality materials and combining them with innovative features to create a clean premium product. That was the design mindset that brought us to the creation of the T3 smartphone.”

The T3 is available for purchase at the Lumigon web shop and at selected dealers worldwide at a price starting from EUR 645/DKK 4799 for the stainless steel versions with 128 GB internal memory. The sales box also includes a stainless steel designer headset created from quality materials and with precision in every detail.

Categories: Equipment

Eye-Plug camera dongle enables Android phones to record 3D video

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 06/07/2016 - 2:26pm

At Computex in Taipei recently, Chinese company Weeview Inc. showcased a USB-C dongle that adds another camera to an Android phone, enabling it to record stereoscopic 3D videos. Called Eye-Plug, this camera dongle records content simultaneously with either the rear or front-facing camera integrated in the handset; because it uses USB-C, the dongle can be inserted in either direction. 

A prototype version of Eye-Plug was demonstrated at Computex, and the company will, according to Engadget, begin production on a commercial version later on this year. Weeview plans to sell Eye-Plug for $35 and to eventually produce an iPhone version; it isn't clear whether a mini USB model will also be produced or if it will remain limited to USB-C devices (which is a pretty small group of phones at this point.)

No information on the dongle camera's resolution has been provided, though the product video below shows notable differences in quality and white balance between Eye-Plug's footage and footage recorded with the handset's own camera. It isn't clear whether the company's app will adjust the footage in post-processing to correct this issue. The video below suggests the app offers still image editing tools for selective adjustments made possible by layering two images taken simultaneously.

Availability for Eye-Plug was not provided by the company.

Categories: Equipment

Mosh Pits and Sunsets: Shooting with the Panasonic GX85

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 06/07/2016 - 7:46am

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Real World Experience 

An evening of challenge light, both in terms of temperature and brightness, couldn't stop the Panasonic GX85. Edited to taste in ACR. ISO 3200, 1/500 sec at F2.8. Shot at 50mm (equiv. ) using the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm F1.7 lens.SO 3200

I've been working on our forthcoming review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 for two weeks now and as I put the finishing touches on the technical portion of the write-up, I wanted to share some highlights of my shooting experience with the camera, specially in two very different shooting environments.

While I've been using the GX85 to shoot street photos and portraits of friends, this past Saturday I brought it along to a music festival in Seattle's industrial SoDo neighborhood called Big BLDG Bash. I shoot a lot of live music for my blog, mostly with a Nikon D750, 50mm F1.8, 20mm F1.8 and flash. But after using the GX85 for a couple of weeks, I felt relatively confident in the Panasonic's ability to keep up.

The GX85 handled challenging AF scenarios all night long. Out of camera JPEG.  ISO 6400, 1/500 sec at F4.5. Shot at 50mm (equiv. ) using the Lumix G Panasonic 25mm F1.7 lens. 

Seven stages, both indoor and outdoor, gave me a chance to test out the GX85's autofocus and overall performance in a variety of scenarios. And the non-stop music meant that this would be a good test of the battery life, too. 

Of course after a night of rocking out I figured the GX85 needed some peace and quiet, so I also brought it shooting around one of my favorite places in Seattle: Golden Gardens, a beach along the city's Northwest coast. There I put the GX85's articulating touchscreen and near-silent electronic shutter to good use as I photographed both strangers and other wildlife enjoying the beautiful day and later, the sunset.

I love articulating LCDs, especially ones with touch interfaces. The GX85 makes it so simple to get creative with your framing. Edited to taste in ACR. ISO 640, 1/640 sec at F2.8. Shot at 48mm (equiv. ) using the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm F2.8. 

Rock and roll

But let's start with some rock and roll. I arrived at the venue around 9:00pm, with plans to shoot as many acts as possible, using mostly available light, until everything wrapped up around 2am. 

Since starting work on the GX85, I've found myself very attached to the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm F1.7. Maybe because it reminds me so much of using my own Nikon 50mm F1.8. Both are lightweight, affordable lenses that offer excellent results. I also brought along the Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 lens. 

Panasonic's Depth from Defocus technology is really impressive. Having already run the GX85 through our AF test (more on that in the forthcoming review) I knew it was more than capable of maintaining focus on a moving subject while shooting at 6 fps. But that testing had been done in bright daylight, and I was eager to see if those results would hold up in low light.

Great Spiders is one of Seattle's best rock and roll bands. This image in particular was shot one-handed as a cold one graced my other hand during the set -- a crucial part of real world testing. Edited to taste in ACR. ISO 6400, 1/320 sec at F1.8. Shot at 50mm (equiv. ) using the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm F1.7 lens.

Looking back through my images shot in continuous drive at 6 fps I am impressed. The hit rate isn't quite what I enjoy with my full frame DSLR (nor did I expect it to be), but it's still very high.

The majority of the show was shot using a single point in continuous AF mode. One of my absolute favorite features is touch-pad AF. With one's eye to the finder, simply touch the screen with your thumb to drag your AF point around. The GX85 is remarkably responsive in this regard; and shooting with touch-pad AF is ridiculously simple. 

I did also try using both face detect and subject tracking, two AF modes I've had success using in good light, but had poor results in this environment, which is not all that surprising given the challenging shooting conditions.

Edited to taste in ACR. ISO 6400, 1/500 sec at F4.5. Shot at 14mm (equiv. ) using the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 lens.

Overall, I was very happy with the GX85's performance at Big BLDG Bash. Sure I got some funny looks from dual-DSLR-toting hot-shots, but after field testing cameras like the Sigma Quattro, I'm use to that. One of the best feature of the GX85 is how light it is, especially with lenses like the 25 F1.7, 7-14 F4 and even the 12-35mm F2.8. All of those, with the exception of the 25mm are image stabilized lenses, meaning they can take advantage of the GX85's Dual I.S. system which combines sensor and lens based image stabilization.

Of course, IS doesn't do a whole lot for me if I'm shooting stills of bands thrashing around stage, but for hand-held video, it is a true blessing.

Shot at ISO 6400 1/50 sec F4 in 4k/24p. Shot at 50mm (equiv.) using the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm F1.7 lens.

Though my experience with the GX85 at Big BLDG Bash was largely positive, I did have some frustrations: Many times I found myself attempting to flip the camera on in a hurry in an effort to capture a fleeting moment of rock and roll glory, only to accidentally switch the camera to video mode and initiate video capture.

This unfortunate occurrence is due to the illogical placement of the mode dial in relation to the on/off switch. The mode dial sits directly above the on/off switch, and because Manual Video mode is directly to the left of Manual mode on the mode dial, it’s easy to bump the dial to this position while turning the camera on in a hurry. 

Also, Panasonic is one of the few companies that does not offer a minimum shutter speed setting in Auto ISO, something that would have been hugely helpful for me shooting fast subjects in low light.

Donormaal performing at the Hangar 1 stage. Edited to taste in ACR. ISO 6400, 1/400 sec at F1.7. Shot at 50mm (equiv. ) using the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm F1.7 lens.

By 11pm my first battery died. By 1am my second battery died. Around 1000 images and 20 videos into the show and the GX85 was dead. Good thing I packed my Nikon just in case!

Beach day

The next day I made my way out to Golden Gardens which is about a 10 mile bike ride from my apartment. A backpack packed to the brim with picnic supplies left little room for camera gear, fortunately the GX85 with 12-35mm F2.8 was just small enough to make the cut. 

Once I got to Golden Gardens and started shooting, one of the GX85's biggest pitfalls became more apparent, specifically, in regard to its field sequential 16:9 electronic viewfinder. While in low light, color tearing and the rather small image view (due to displaying a 3:4 image in a 16:9 aspect ratio) is less noticeable, it is VERY noticeable in bright light. For these reasons I stuck to shooting using the LCD only while at Golden Gardens. This of course put me in flare's way, fortunately the GX85 can be operated with one hand, freeing your other hand to shade the sun's rays from the LCD. 

I don't shoot birds in flight, I prefer birds at rest. Out of camera JPEG shot in the Scenery JPEG style . ISO 200, 1/1600 sec at F3.5.  Shot at 70mm (equiv. ) using the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm F2.8 lens.

In fact, I spent the majority of the day using the touchscreen with the camera set to it electronic shutter mode. This allowed to discreetly take images, whether of folks walking through the frame, or waterfowl. Speaking of the E-shutter, I am happy to report that at no time was I forced to use it to avoid shutter shock. The GX85 features a newly designed shutter that appears immune from the issues we've experienced with previous M43 cameras.

The scenic views also gave me a chance to try out some of the GX85's JPEG picture styles. The above scene was taken using using the 'Scenery' style, while the below was taken using the new 'L.monochrome' style. 

Out of camera JPEG shot in the L.monochrome style. ISO 200 at 1/320, F9. Shot at 70mm (equiv. ) using the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm F2.8 lens. 

The GX85 offers four customizable buttons, one of which I assigned to 'Photo Style,' for easy access. The new L.moncohrome picture style is pretty cool in certain shooting scenarios . And it’s nice to see Panasonic jumping into the fun of releasing a moody analog b/w mode. I really hope this trend of trying to capture specific film ‘looks’ in JPEG profiles continues. I much prefer it to the trend of tacky creative filters.

Back to custom buttons, I left the Quick menu assigned to its default and assigned another button to toggle the touchscreen on/off. I set the final button to 'Focus area set,' so that I could still move my AF point while using the LCD with the touchscreen off.  

While I mostly shot using the touch functionality, I occasionally found that when shooting vertically, my nose would move the AF point. Which is both hilarious and frustrating.

The Takeaway

The GX85 is an excellent choice for street photographers, though I wish it was weather-sealed. Out of camera JPEG. ISO 200, 1/80 sec at F2.8 Shot at 52mm using the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm F2.8 lens. 

The GX85 is arguably Panasonic's most compelling camera to date. Sure, it doesn't use the new 20MP Four Thirds chip from the GX8, but it makes good use of its 16MP sensor by removing the AA filter for better detail retention. Moreover, its new shutter mechanism means that shutter shock is a non-issue. And its 5-axis in camera IS makes it the steadiest Panasonic M43 camera to date, not to mention its offers outstanding 4K video. But most importantly, its a really fun and practical camera to shoot with, regardless of whether you're shooting a concert in the dark, or a lazy day at the beach. 

Now, should someone buy this over (say) a Sony a6000? Before I answer that, let me make it clear that the reason I compare the GX85 to the a6000 is because despite its age, the latter is probably the camera I end up recommending most to friends and family, due to its excellent all-round performance and price point. 

Another low angle shot brought to you thanks to the GX85's articulating touchscreen. And yes, the seaweed was very smelly. Thankfully, I did not have to lay in it.  Out of camera JPEG. ISO 200, 1/500 sec at F14. Shot at 52mm (equiv.) using the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm F2.8 lens. 

In short, reasons to purchase the GX85 over an a6000: Better/more affordable lens selection, excellent sensor-based IS (plus Dual I.S.), an outstanding touchscreen with class-leading interface and excellent 4K video. On the other hand, with the Sony, you get a better EVF, better overall image quality and a hybrid AF system. Though the GX85 handles itself quite well in the last two regards.  

At the end of the day, the GX85 is a great camera, with a couple of things, like its EVF and fumbly controls holding it back. But as a complete package, it has a lot going for it. Enough so that I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a lightweight, capable interchangeable lens camera.

Out of camera JPEG. ISO 200, 1/400 sec at F5. Shot at 70mm (equiv.) using thePanasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm F2.8 lens.
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Real World Samples

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Categories: Equipment

New glassless 'metalens' is 100,000X thinner than conventional optics

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 06/07/2016 - 7:00am

A team at Harvard University has designed a 'metalens', around 100,000 thinner than an equivalent glass lens. Constructed from titanium dioxide 'nanofins', the lens is a mere 600 nanometers thick, and can focus features smaller than the wavelength of the light it is imaging, thanks to its very high numerical aperture that allows it to focus light into a spot smaller than the wavelength of light being imaged. Senior author Federico Capasso and his fellow researchers successfully imaged structures 400nm in size, which is on the order of the bluest light in the visible spectrum. That suggests the tech is essentially diffraction-limited: resolving small structures as well as one ever theoretically could using visible light.

An electron microscopic view of the titanium dioxide metamaterial lens, created by engineers at Harvard University. These TiO2 towers are only 600nm in length, yet can image features traditional microscopes require lenses 6cm in length - 100,000 longer - to image. And apparently do so 30% better.

John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences/Harvard University

This is the first planar lens that works in the visible spectrum. The nanofins (shown above) are constructed using similar lithographic processes used to fabricate computer chips, and mounted on a thin layer of transparent quartz. The fins are made of titanium dioxide because it is clear, and interacts strongly with visible light. Each fin is angled and positioned so that the ensemble effectively bends light just as the curved surface of a lens would. Different focus can be achieved simply by changing the size, spacing and orientation of the pillars - it's just a matter of doing the computer simulations and calculations to dial in the proper design. Different materials can be used to target different wavelengths of light: previously, the team has used silicon to focus infrared light, for example.

The practical potential of lenses made from these so-called 'metamaterials' are almost infinite, considering the drastic reductions in size and weight that the technology makes possible. A planar surface saves considerable space and volume compared to the typical curved surfaces traditional lenses necessitate. Furthermore, the non-reliance on a perfectly curved spherical or aspherical surface means images can be relatively aberration-free. And the nanostructures themselves can be manufactured with incredible precision, and in a cost-effective way as well, due to the compatibility with traditional microprocessor chip foundries.

Currently, these lenses can't handle full-color imaging because of the very narrow band of wavelengths that can currently be imaged with any particular TiO2 arrangement. However, the team hopes to broaden the wavelengths over which the technology works in the future. This might allow for small yet very high numerical aperture, aberration-free imaging in cameras and cell phones.

But even without spectral broadening advances, the potential applications are very exciting. Obvious applications include microscopy and medical instruments, where structures larger than the wavelength of light are more the exception than the rule. But another potentially huge application is display technology - particularly virtual/augmented reality and wearable optics in general, where the size and weight of today's headsets is a major obstacle to mass adoption. Display technology actually utilizes narrow wavelength R, G, and B primaries, mixing them in just the right ratios to trick your eye/brain into perceiving the intended color. Small, flat lenses that can focus these primary colors with very high precision, aberration-free, might just open up a world of high-resolution and practical VR devices.

Source: phys.org

Categories: Equipment

Sandisk launches 128GB capacity memory stick with USB-C and A connections

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 5:36pm

Memory manufacturer SanDisk has announced a new series of portable flash drives that feature a retractable, reversible connector that allows users to pair the stick with both USB Type-C and Type-A devices. The company suggests the dual compatibility of the Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C will make it easier for smartphone users to transfer images and data from the phone to a computer, as well as offering a solution for expanding the storage memory of the device.

SanDisk claims the USB sticks have a maximum read speed of 150MB per second but says that the write speed is dependent on the device it is connected to. Android users can download the SanDisk Memory Zone app that features a convenient interface for transferring files between the phone and the external storage areas. The flash drives come in capacities from 16GB to 128GB and have a five year warrantee.

  • 16GB $19.99/£10
  • 32GB $29.99/£13
  • 64GB $39.99/£21
  • 128GB $69.99/£39

For more information see the SanDisk website.

Press release:

SanDisk Mobile Storage Portfolio Expanded with Faster, Higher Capacity USB Type-C Flash Drive

New SanDisk Ultra® Dual Drive USB Type-C™ offers hassle-free transfer between smartphones and next-generation USB-C™ devices

Western Digital® Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC), a global storage technology and solutions leader, today expanded its line of SanDisk-branded mobile storage solutions with the new SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C flash drive. The newest generation drive features a new retractable design, faster speeds and higher capacity, giving consumers the ability to quickly and easily free up space and transfer content between their smartphones and today’s USB-C devices1.

"With its reversible connector, impressive speeds, and multi-purpose potential, USB Type-C is a game-changer," said Dinesh Bahal, vice president of SanDisk product marketing, Western Digital. "More Type-C devices are entering the market and through our Type-C mobile drives, we can offer consumers a complete line of mobile storage solutions. The new SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C flash drive now provides more than twice the capacity and offers the flexibility to quickly and conveniently move photos, videos and files between devices, as well as the freedom to expand device capacity."

Now available in up to 128GB*, the sleek, new SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C includes one reversible USB Type-C connector and one standard USB (Type-A) connector, enabling users to easily free up space on a smartphone or tablet, or transfer files between smartphones, tablets and computers and next-generation devices. The drive also now delivers high-speed USB 3.1 performance of up to 150MB/s2 – offering users phenomenal speeds when moving their photos, videos and files to a computer.

"By 2020 we expect that 44 percent of all mobile phones sold worldwide will include a USB-C connector, that’s about 800% growth over the next four years," said Ken Hyers, director, Wireless Device Strategies, Strategy Analytics. "At this rate of anticipated growth, we expect to see more and more solutions like the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C flash drive that offer consumers a way to move and access their content between devices with varying connectors."

The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C flash drive also works with the SanDisk® Memory Zone app for Android™, giving users an easy way to manage and back up content on their device. The app, which is available for free through the Google Play™ Store3, auto-launches upon insertion of the drive into a compatible device, allowing immediate access to the user’s content.

The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C flash drive complements the company’s suite of SanDisk brand USB Type-C flash memory solutions which range from USB drives to portable SSDs.

Pricing and Availability
The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Type-C Flash Drive features a five-year warranty4, and is now available worldwide at Amazon and other leading retailers. The new offering comes in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB with U.S. MSRPs of $19.99, $29.99, $39.99 and $69.99, respectively.

Categories: Equipment

Instagram begins rolling out reordered feeds to all users

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 4:11pm

In March, Instagram announced plans to reorder user feeds using an algorithm, eliminating the chronological arrangement and replacing it with a personalized order that prioritizes content based on a user's behavior. In a recent blog post, Instagram announced that it is now rolling out these reordered feeds to all of its users.

The initial feed change announcement was not well received; many users worried it would result in decreased usability, and a Change.org petition attempting to halt the plan garnered about 160k signatures. Still, Instagram went ahead and introduced the reordered feeds to small groups of users over the past couple months, expanding that rollout to all of its users over the course of June.

According to Instagram, users on the service don't see approximately 70% of the content in their feeds. Reordering the feeds based on an algorithm will, in theory, ensure users see the content they're most interested in while pushing the less desirable photos and videos to the fringes. In the past, Facebook enacted a similar feed change that replaced chronological posts with algorithm-based arrangements, but many users complained they no longer saw posts from people they were interested in.

The Instagram feed change hasn't been wildly popular with some users who have already seen the update, judging from comments on Twitter using the hashtag #InstagramUpdate. They cite trouble finding newer posts, less posts surfaced from accounts they enjoy and difficulty seeing what others are up to in real-time.

Via: Instagram

Categories: Equipment

Leica releases audio and S-lens adapters for SL mirrorless

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 12:44pm
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Leica has announced the availability of a pair of adapters for its SL full frame mirrorless camera that will allow users to fit lenses from the S medium format system and to use microphones and headphones when shooting video. The Leica S-Adapter L opens the camera to 16 lenses from the S system including the company’s collection of leaf-shutter lens. While this doesn’t add any focal lengths that aren’t available via the existing SL zooms it will allow access to wider apertures for some and will also save existing S users having to buy extra lenses.

The new audio adapter uses the camera’s USB port and provides a pair of 3.5mm jack sockets for connecting a microphone and audio monitors for those shooting video with the SL.

The Leica S-Adapter L is available now and will be priced at £950, while the audio adapter AA-SCL4 will be on sale at the end of the month for £120. US pricing has yet to be announced.

For more information visit the Leica website.

Press release

Leica announces availability of Leica S-Adapter L and forthcoming release of Audio Adapter for the Leica SL

- Leica S-Adapter L enables S-lenses to be used with the Leica SL
- Leica AA-SCL4 Audio Adapter available end of June

Leica Camera has today announced that the Leica S-Adapter L for the Leica SL mirrorless camera system is now available. This adapter further extends the range of lenses that can be used with the Leica SL to include those of the Leica S medium format camera system.

The S-Adapter L allows the use of 16 Leica S-Lenses with focal lengths from 24 to 180mm (including six central shutter lenses), in addition to the system’s own lenses, the Vario-Elmarit–SL 24-90mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. and the Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90-280mm f/2.8-4. The exceptionally fast S-Lenses are the result of more than 100 years of experience and expertise in optical design and precision engineering. Combining traditional Leica quality with cutting edge technology, they achieve uncompromising imaging quality in virtually all photographic situations, in the studio and on location.

Furthermore, the outstanding compatibility of the Leica SL-System grants photographers access to almost every Leica lens ever made. For example, Leica T lenses can be mounted on the Leica SL without an adapter, the M-Adapter T (already available) enables the use of almost all Leica M-Lenses with the Leica SL, while the R-Adapter L (available Q3/2016) will provide access to an entire range of Leica R-System lenses.

Leica AA-SCL4 Audio Adapter

Another new addition to the range of accessories and equipment for the Leica SL camera system is the AA-SCL4 Audio Adapter, which is scheduled to be available at the end of June 2016.

Pricing and availability

The Leica S-Adapter L is available now from Leica stores and authorised Leica dealers in the UK at a suggested retail price of £950 including VAT. The AA-SCL4 Audio Adapter, available at the end of June 2016, will have an SRP of £120 including VAT.

Additional information can be found at uk.leica-camera.com

Categories: Equipment

Samsung announces ruggedized Galaxy S7 Active

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 12:28pm

Samsung has announced a ruggedized "Active" version of the standard Galaxy S7.  The Active comes with the same IP68 rating for water resistance as the standard device, but adds the MIL STD-810G standard and a shatterproof display to the mix, making the S7 Active resistant to the occasional drop. 

The beefy 4000 mAh battery is another notable change compared to the standard S7's 3000 mAh variant but most other internal components remain unchanged. Like on the Galaxy S7 the Android OS is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset and 4GB of RAM. Versions with 32 or 64GB of internal storage are available and a microSD-card can add up to another 256GB. For added security a fingerprint reader is on board and, important for mobile photographers, there are no are no changes in the camera department either.

Images are captured on a 1/2.6" 12MP sensor with 1.4 µm pixel size and on-sensor phase detection. The aperture is a very fast F1.7 and the focal length 26mm equivalent. The camera is capable of recording 4K video and at the front a 5MP/F1.7 module should be capable of capturing decent self-portraits.

At least for now the Galaxy S7 is exclusive to AT&T in the US. It will be available from June 10 and cost you $26.50 or $33.31 a month, depending on your plan. The Galaxy S7 Active looks like a good options for those who like shooting with their phone during outdoor activities and the like, let's hope Samsung will make it available through additional channels sometime in the nearer future.

Categories: Equipment

Festival Friendly: The Canon G7 X Mark II at Sasquatch! 2016

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 9:30am

Canon G7 X Mark II at Sasquatch! Music Festival

The Sasquatch! Music Festival, which takes place at the Gorge Amphitheater in the town of George in eastern Washington State, is loud, expensive, crowded, beautiful and dirty. Leaving behind the 'expensive' part, that about sums up why this is the fourth year I've attended, and why I've brought a camera (or three) with me each time.

The first year I went, I attended chiefly for the music (i.e., for fun). But having seen friends cover it for college publications 'back in the day,' I decided I had to bring a camera just to document the absolute spectacle of it all. So for that year, I had a friend with a real press pass smuggle my D700 in for me along with a couple of lenses. Ever since, I've been hooked, though with less smuggling - the following two years were all X100 classic all the time (100% kosher with the official rules), though that eventually resulted in some big pieces of dirt stuck in my hybrid viewfinder.

Going bananas - I was excited to see the G7 X Mark II has a screen that now tilts downward as well as upward, for easier shooting above the crowd. Of course, constant jostling from the crowd meant I still had some cropping to do to get the composition I wanted. Good thing there's 20MP on tap. Processed and cropped to taste from Raw. F2.5 | 1/100 sec | ISO 1000 | 40mm equiv. Photo by Carey Rose.

This year, I was hoping to bring the Nikon D5 to further supplement our recent review, but the festival has gotten stricter with its 'big camera' policy (DPR was, shockingly, denied a press pass). And since this was a personal trip more than anything else, I didn't want my expensive festival wristband cut off for breaking some rules. Luckily, the Canon G7 X Mark II had just arrived the day before my departure - with a capable 1" CMOS sensor, a fast zoom lens with a useful range and sturdy metal build, what better festival camera could I have brought?

Taking the good with the bad - the G7 X Mark II's lens can produce some nice sun stars, but at F11, you're running into sharpness-ruining diffraction territory. With such a good amount of dynamic range available from the Raw file, I'd still take this image over a cellphone JPEG any day. Processed and cropped to taste from Raw. F11 | 1/200 sec | ISO 125 | 24mm equiv. Photo by Carey Rose.

Getting to know the Mark II

Despite my shooting full-frame Nikons for personal work, I've always had a soft spot for Canon compacts (my first digital camera ever was a PowerShot A75). Having extensively used the G5 X (which is, beneath its skin, very similar to the original G7 X), it's clear that the G7 X Mark II is more refining than revolutionizing in a lot of ways. That's not necessarily a criticism.

Sure, the sensor and lens are essentially unchanged from the Mark I to the Mark II; the sub-par continuous autofocus performance still encourages 'Single-AF and recompose' behavior, and the rear controls are still a little fiddly. But even so, Canon has managed to take what was already an engaging compact camera and make it appreciably better.

The view from Terrace Camping at The Gorge with the G7 X Mark II at maximum zoom. Processed and cropped to taste from Raw. F4 | 1/1250 sec | ISO 125 | 100mm equiv. Photo by Carey Rose

The 'cons' list of the original G7 X review contains a number of not-insignificant criticisms we had with Canon's first foray into the 1"-sensor compact market. But when I looked at them, and then compared them to the Mark II model, I was pretty surprised.

Specifically, this new model features increased battery life, 8 fps continuous shooting even in Raw, an option for 24p video, smoother menu operation, re-damped front and exposure compensation dials (and the front dial can even be de-clicked, if you like) and in-camera Raw processing. Plus, the more standard Canon GUI has been refined. In all, more than half the previous 'cons' list has been taken care of (with many thanks to the DIGIC 7 processor). That's not too shabby.

Festival-friendly features

The new, more-robust screen mechanism on the G7 X Mark II tilts both upward and downward to make working at odd angles a breeze, with responsive touch-to-focus functionality to boot. Processed to taste from Raw. F1.8 | 1/320 sec | ISO 200 | 24mm equiv. Photo by Carey Rose.

What isn't all that eye-catching from a spec sheet or press release point-of-view - yet makes a very real difference in the real world - is the new grip on the front of the Mark II. It adds very little bulk, but does absolute wonders as far as how this camera feels in the hand. I had a thin neck strap on it, but if I just wanted to grab the camera for a quick snap, the grip inspired some confidence.

Perhaps most crucially for this sort of trip was the appreciably increased battery life on the Mark II, plus the new USB charging option. In the past, I've not always been a fan of USB-only charging, but when camping and using communal USB power banks, it made perfect sense and meant that I rarely needed to swap in the second battery I carried with me.

The G7 X Mark II won't let you turn backgrounds into butter at moderate distances, but for more casual documentary and portrait work, some context can be useful. Also, I promise this isn't just an informercial for cheap beer. Processed to taste from Raw. F2.2 | 1/320 sec | ISO 250 | 38mm equiv. Photo by Carey Rose.

As stated earlier, the 20MP sensor in the G7 X Mark II is the same as its predecessor, which is to say, it's a peach. The Raw files are very malleable, and they respond well to pushes and pulls (though you might need a touch of noise reduction).

Speaking of noise reduction, the default JPEG noise-reduction on the Mark II is a little heavy-handed, though as is typical of Canon cameras (even compacts), the colors are great. As a matter of personal preference, I still like processing out Raws (even when shooting for fun - I'm a nerd), but wirelessly transmitting the above-average JPEGs from the G7 X Mark II to my phone for posting to social media was quick and easy.

Even at high ISO values, the G7 X Mark II's Raw files retain a fair amount of flexibility. F2.8 | 1/200 sec | ISO 4000 | 100mm equiv. Photo by Carey Rose.

Lastly, the video mode on this camera might not be 4K, but the image stabilization is incredibly effective, making casual shooting look far nicer than it has any right to.

Not-so-festival friendly

So while the G7 X Mark II ended up being a near-ideal companion for most of the long weekend, there were still a couple of things I had to keep in mind.

Press pass - Sasquatch! style. Straight-out-of-camera JPEG - click through to the full-size to see the noise reduction robbing detail on his palm, even at base ISO. F2.8 | 1/400 | ISO 125 | 28mm equiv. Photo by Carey Rose.

The build quality of the Mark II is very, very good - but there are no claims of weather-sealing. Remember how I said Sasquatch! was dirty? Between high-speed gusts of dusty wind and large quantities of people carrying large quantities of beer, I ended up treating the Mark II pretty carefully. I didn't actually experience any issues with dust (or liquid) intrusion, but like I said - I was being careful.

Straight-out-of-camera JPEG with some spectacularly rich red tones. F2.8 | 1/400 sec | ISO 125 | 24mm equiv. Photo by Carey Rose.

And while the tilting touchscreen is very good and very responsive, it can be hard to see in bright sun - especially when it's covered in sunscreen-y fingerprints and dust. At least that new grip means it's easier to hold the camera with one hand and shield the screen with the other.

Lastly, Canon's 'auto lighting enhancer' works a little less effectively than competing models in high-contrast scenes, giving an awful lot of weight to preserving highlight detail at the expense of overall underexposure of your scene - and in JPEGs, that means a potential loss of shadow detail that you can't get back.

In the G7 X Mark II's dust-filled natural habitat, at least for that weekend.

The wrap

The updates Canon has brought to the PowerShot G7 X Mark II cement it, for me, as an impressively engaging photographers' compact. The improvements to overall responsiveness finally make the camera feel as premium in general operation as it feels in your hand. The autofocus performance still doesn't quite match up to the improved burst speed (and the autofocus modes are still a little confusing), but being able to shoot at 8fps will help you catch moments that you might have missed with its predecessors' 1.1fps burst speed in Raw.

The real story for me is that I still brought two other cameras along 'just in case' - a Ricoh GR and my trusty D700 - and I used the G7 X Mark II for over 90% of the photographs I took, with no regrets.

Until next year. Processed to taste from Raw. F1.8 | 1/60 sec | ISO 4000 | 24mm equiv. Photo by Carey Rose.

More real-world G7 X Mark II samples from Sasquatch! 2016

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Canon G7 X Mark II Real-world Samples Gallery

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Categories: Equipment