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Equipment

2016 Holiday Gift Guide: $100-500

DPReview.com - Latest News - Sat, 11/19/2016 - 6:00am

2016 Holiday Gift Guide $100-500 

Shopping for photographers is hard. In fact, shopping in general is hard. We'd like to help everyone involved out a little bit, whether you're shopping for a photographer or taking a break from the stress of holiday shopping to #treatyoself. In this price range you'll find more than just stocking stuffers.

Cooph Photographer Hoodie

$127/€119/£102
cooph.com

Have you often wondered why the photographer in your life is wearing a boring normal-people sweatshirt? This holiday season you have a chance to set that straight with the Cooph Photographer Hoodie. Made of 100% organic soft and comfy cotton, the Photographer Hoodie has a classic style that Cooph says is 'cut specifically for photographers.'

There's an integrated zippered lens pocket, a lens cleaning cloth in a hidden pocket, an integrated sleep mask for those long flights, and thumbholes for warmth during those chilly on-location mornings. The whole thing even has built-in snaps to fold into a pillow. We're not sure that it’s going to make anyone a better photographer, but it might make them warmer and more stylish.

Think Tank Airport Advantage Rolling Camera Bag 

$250/£230
thinktankphoto.com

Airplane travel isn’t much fun for most people these days, and it is especially un-fun for photographers. Checking luggage? The TSA (and who knows else) almost certainly go through it. So most of us prefer to keep gear in our carry-on luggage. But with carry-on size and weight requirements becoming more and more strict, photographers need a pretty specifically sized bag that is as light as possible in order to get everything on board.

Think Tank’s Airport Advantage rolling camera bag was designed with exactly this in mind. At 12.7 x 19.5 x 7.3 in (32.3 x 49.5 x 18.5 cm) it is designed to meet both US and international carry-on size requirements, and its light 5.9 lb (2.7 kg) weight allows you to pack gear in while staying under weight limits. Depending on layout, the Airport Advantage fits up to 2 gripped DSLRs with 3-4 lenses, and offers a dedicated sleeve for laptops up to 15 in.

Lomography Lomo'Instant Automat Film Camera

$150/£129
lomography.com

Does the photographer in your life need to slow down a little? Do they ramble on too often about megapixels, high ISO noise and autofocus points? Could they stand to be entranced by the magic of a slowly appearing instant photo? Then you need to get them the Lomography Lomo'Instant Automat. Using Fuji Instax Mini film, the Lomo'Instant Automat aims to be the most advanced automatic instant camera ever. That said, there are only two exposure modes, automatic and bulb, and two flash modes, on and off.

All the Lomo favorites are here: four-icon zone focusing, color gels, multiple exposures, and add-on accessory lenses. The photos are creamy, dreamy and maybe not all that sharp, but that's kind of the fun of it. As Lomo says, 'Don’t think, just shoot: live fearlessly in the now, be your own inspiration, and create your own universe.'

Ricoh Theta SC – $499/€465

$300/£250
theta360.combuy now

The Ricoh Theta SC doesn't quite offer everything its Theta S predecessor does. But it comes with a cheaper price tag and all of the essential features, and it's a great way to try out 360-degree capture without much of a commitment. The Theta SC uses twin spherical lenses with 14MP sensors to capture 360 degree images and video that can be viewed on devices like the Samsung Gear VR, or shared to social media from Ricoh's Theta S app.

Panasonic DMC-LX10 (avail Nov 28)

$700/£600
shop.panasonic.combuy now

If you’ve done any photography equipment research as part of your holiday shopping, you could be forgiven for thinking that the world revolves around DSLRs, mirrorless cameras and a few select compacts. Where are the high-quality-yet-pocketable, large-sensor fixed-lens cameras? Panasonic’s reply is the newly released Lumix DMC-LX10 (also known as the LX15 in some markets).

With a 1”-type 20.1 MP sensor, a Leica 3x DC Vario-Summilux 8.8-26.4mm (24-72mm equiv.) F1.4-2.8 lens and a shirt-pocket size, the LX10 continues Panasonic’s long history of high-end compact cameras. A 180-degree upward tilting touchscreen, 4K video capability and five-axis image stabilization round out the feature set. Packed in a suitcase for a trip around the world or a purse for a trip to the beach, the LX10 should be an excellent companion.

Tenba Cooper 13 DSLR

$245/£220
tenba.combuy now

Every photographer needs a sleek, functional shoulder bag that isn’t too bulky and doesn’t scream 'steal me.' It’s a market segment that has seen many options over the years. But for the 2016 holiday season, it would be foolish to not take a look at the Tenba Cooper 13 DSLR-sized messenger. Designed to hold a DSLR with 2-3 lenses, the Cooper 13 DSLR’s peach-wax cotton canvas exterior and full grain leather trim checks boxes in the style department. The quick access top zipper, expanding external side pockets, 13" laptop sleeve and silent opening velcro will probably be the features that photographers are most impressed with in use. The Cooper bags are personal favorites at DPR and we highly recommend them.

DJI Osmo Mobile

$300/£300
dji.com | buy now

Are you constantly made to watch shaky, nausea-inducing video footage taken by a budding videographer using a smartphone? Let’s face it, smartphones are ergonomic disasters as far as videos are concerned and any shift in grip or slight jostle causes the footage to jump like there was an earthquake.

Enter the DJI Osmo Mobile, a 3-axis gimbal that steadies out even the shakiest footage. Designed to hold phones from the compact iPhone SE to large phablets such as the Google Pixel XL, the Osmo Mobile is simple enough that even children figure out how to use it in minutes. For those who want more control, DJI’s Go app allows changes to shutter speed, ISO and white balance from the phone and the Osmo Mobile’s handle offers physical controls for controlling shooting modes and operation. Throw in a three hour battery life and that’s a lot of steady footage.

WD 2TB My Passport Wireless Pro Portable External Hard Drive

$185/£189
wdc.combuy now

No digital photographer is ever going to turn down more storage space. What if that storage space also happened to be battery powered, 802.11ac (5 ghz) Wi-Fi enabled and also include an SD 3.0 card reader? I suspect most photographers would flip at the chance to get their hands on that device.

The WD 2TB My Passport Wireless Pro portable external hard drive is meant to be a compact on-the-go wireless NAS (network attached storage) device for downloading full memory cards in the field and accessing them via wi-fi or USB 3.0 when back at your computer. Its 6400 mAh battery gives up to 10 hours of power (depending on use) and can even be used to charge USB connected devices such as smartphones and action cameras.

Tamrac Nagano 12L Backpack

$120
tamrac.com

Who wants to carry 5 lb (2.2 kg) of backpack when they're already carrying 20 lb (9 kg) of gear? Nobody, that’s who. So if you know a photographer who carries a lot of gear on their back, give them the lightweight Tamrac Nagano 12L backpack this year. At a featherweight 2.2 lb (1.0 kg) the Nagano weighs a fraction of similar packs and still holds a DSLR 3-4 lenses and accessories. There’s room for an 11 in tablet or computer or a hydration bladder if liquid is more important than computing. Dual, stretch pockets accommodate a water bottle on one side, and a compact tripod on the other.

Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom CC membership

$120/year
adobe.com

There's no denying that Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are the photo editing gold standard. The reason they haven't been replaced by something new is because they remain the best option for most photographers. Yes, great photos can be made, edited and shared without Photoshop or Lightroom. But if the photographer on your list doesn’t have these two programs, you probably can't go wrong giving them the gift of 12 months of access to Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC. They will be able to install the programs on up to two computers and multiple mobile devices. They, and their photos, will thank you.

Categories: Equipment

Atomos releases HDR update to Inferno, Flame and Blade recorders

DPReview.com - Latest News - Sat, 11/19/2016 - 3:30am

Atomos has announced a new OS update for its Inferno, Flame and Blade series of professional monitor/recorders, with a focus on improving HDR workflows. Atomos’ AtomHDR technology allows users with Log output from their camera to view up to 10.2 stops of dynamic range on the monitor while providing a preview of what graded footage will look like. Atom OS 7.12 adds support for Sony S-Log, FujiFilm Log and Canon C-Log 3 to the list of previously supported Log formats for Panasonic, JVC, Canon, Sony, Red and Arri cameras. The update is available directly from Atomos.

Additionally, Atomos is offering a limited time cash back and trade in program on some of its Flame and Blade products, with total savings of up to $500 on the Shogun Flame (normally $1695), up to $400 on the Ninja Flame (normally $1295), and up to $100 on the Ninja Blade (normally $495). Full details of the program can be found on the Atomos web site, and the promotion ends January 31, 2017.

Press release:

YouTube goes HDR, Atomos HDR upgrade & $500 off for content professionals

Melbourne, Australia – 17th November 2016: Timed with the recent announcement by YouTube for HDR delivery, Atomos announces a new OS update to further broaden HDR compatibility and offers a limited time discount to make the HDR upgrade easier this holiday season.

The HDR wave continues to gather pace with YouTube adding to other content delivery platforms such as Google Chromecast ultra, Sony PS4 Pro, Amazon, Netflix and Vudu in bringing HDR transmission and playback to the growing population of people with HDR compatible TV’s, the leading Christmas gift in 2016. Now the race is on for content developers to create HDR content and with that comes the challenge for creatives to move to a new HDR workflow, in particular to get exposure for HDR in the field accurate. Atomos announces new OS and new promotional pricing to make HDR upgrading easier this holiday season;

  • AtomHDR technology across the Inferno, Flame and Blade Series Pro Monitor/Recorders gives users with a Log output from their camera 10.2 stops of dynamic range, along with our patent pending HDR waveform & HDR slider to make setting exposure for HDR delivery precise, yet simple.
  • •New OS 7.12, which is a free download, broadens Log support to include Sony S-Log, FujiFilm Log and Canon C-Log 3 in addition to previous support for Panasonic, JVC, Canon, Sony, Red and Arri log curves.
  • A limited time cash back and trade-in program which gives up to $500 cash back on the AtomHDR range. This brings the price of our HDR, High bright monitor-recorders down to non-HDR, monitor only prices;
    • Shogun Flame MSRP $1695, down to $1395 w/cash back or $1195 w/cash back & Shogun trade-in
    • Ninja Flame MSRP $1295, down to $1095 w/cash back or $895 w/cash back & Shogun trade-in
    • Ninja Blade MSRP $495, down to $395 w/cash back or $320 w/cash back & Ninja2 trade-in
  • The flexibility of both SDR and HDR in the one unit. Expose correctly for HDR in the field but grade the recorded log footage for either HDR or SDR delivery. Those with an eye on HDR for the future but delivering SDR now, will benefit greatly with less noise in their footage by exposing their log footage away from the noisy end of the sensor.

“We are super pumped about YouTube and others move to HDR. They see what we see, HDR is the next big advancement for consumers around the world in imaging” said Jeromy Young, CEO and Co-founder of Atomos, “Now creative filmmakers and photographers alike need AtomHDR in the field to make sure they expose correctly and don’t screw up their shoot before finishing!”

The new pricing & functionality targets a move across to HDR, but the AtomHDR platform does not exclude SDR/Rec709 workflows. It in fact improves it! Exposing Log for HDR = cleaner SDR images ensuring you expose in the cleanest part of the sensor. The 1500 nit high-bright panel also improves SDR workflows making outdoor monitoring a breeze. The Atomos award winning AtomHDR monitors are best in class both now and the future.

For details on the cashback and trade in offers go to: https://www.atomos.com/offers/hdr-upgrade

Shogun Flame and Ninja Flame free OS update can be downloaded from https://www.atomos.com/firmware

Categories: Equipment

Blackmagic Design announces update to Video Assist monitors

DPReview.com - Latest News - Sat, 11/19/2016 - 3:30am

Blackmagic Design has announced a software update to its 5-inch Video Assist and 7-inch Video Assist 4K monitor/recorders. Video Assist 2.3 allows users to load up to six 3D LUTs when monitoring on their devices, making it possible to view output from cameras in a form that approximates the final color grade of the footage.

In addition, the update adds several features to the 5-inch Video Assist that were previously only available 7-inch Video Assist 4K model. These include the ability to record DNxHD and DNxHR files in MXF format, improved compatibility with Avid systems running on Windows, false color monitoring to accurately judge exposure in different parts of the image, and additional options for customizing focus peaking indicators.

Video Assist 2.3 can be downloaded from the Blackmagic website.

Press release:

Blackmagic Design Announces New
 Video Assist 2.3 Update

Major update adds new 3D LUTs, focus assist features and improved DNxHD and DNxHR support!

InterBEE 2016, Tokyo, Japan - November 18, 2016 - Blackmagic Design today announced Video Assist 2.3, a major new update for Blackmagic Video Assist customers that adds 3D LUTs to both models. This update also adds features to the 5” Blackmagic Video Assist including improved DNxHD and DNxHR support, false color monitoring, expanded focus options and new screen rotation features. The Video Assist 2.3 update is available for download now from the Blackmagic Design website and is free of charge for all Blackmagic Video Assist customers.

Video Assist 2.3 Update is being demonstrated at InterBEE on the Blackmagic Design booth 8216.

Customers using the Video Assist 2.3 update can now load up to six 3D LUTs when monitoring video on set with their 5” or 7” Blackmagic Video Assist. 3D LUTs have become an important part of digital filmmaking because they transform the camera images into a look that closely approximates the final look the director wants. The benefit of monitoring with 3D LUTs is that the crew can see the footage as the director intends it, and it’s completely non destructive because the original camera footage remains untouched. The six x 3D LUTs can be stored and recalled at any time by the user and this new feature is available on both the 5” Blackmagic Video Assist model and the 7” Blackmagic Video Assist 4K model.

For customers using the 5” Blackmagic Video Assist model, this update adds new features that were previously released only on the 7” Blackmagic Video Assist 4K model.

These new features include the ability to record to DNxHD and DNxHR files in MXF format which improves compatibility with Avid systems running on Windows. In addition, customers can now choose between DNxHD 220, 145 and 45 bit rates, or between DNxHR HQ, SQ and LB formats when recording.

The Video Assist 2.3 update also adds false color monitoring exposure tools to the 5” Blackmagic Video Assist model. False color exposure tools make it easier to properly set exposure in different parts of the image by highlighting specific color ranges of luminance with a solid color overlay. For example, green indicates neutral grey, while pink tones are good references for skin, which is typically one stop over neutral grey. Using false color helps camera operators keep exposure consistent from shot to shot.
In addition, Video Assist 2.3 update also expands the options for focus assist so customers can now choose whether they want to see red, green, blue, black, white or traditional focus peaking indicators. This makes it easier for customers to accurately adjust focus in a wider range of scenes and under a variety of different lighting conditions. Customers will now also have the ability to manually control the screen orientation and turn off the auto rotate feature which makes it easier for customers to use the 5” Blackmagic Video Assist model with handheld gimbals and other equipment designed to move the camera and rig simultaneously.

“Blackmagic Video Assist is perfect for customers that need better monitoring and higher quality recording,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “This new update adds incredible LUT monitoring to both models, and brings some of the same powerful high end features from the 7” Blackmagic Video Assist 4K model to customers that have the 5 inch Blackmagic Video Assist model. We think the massive number of features on the 5 inch Video Assist model is amazing when you consider it only costs $495! Thats why Blackmagic Video Assist has become an essential part of every filmmakers toolkit because they help customers shoot and capture higher quality video with everything from DSLRs to older tape based camcorders, and even the latest digital film cameras!”

Availability and Price

Blackmagic Video Assist 2.3 update is available now and is a free download from the Blackmagic Design website.

About Blackmagic Video Assist 4K

Introduced at NAB this year, the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K is a portable all in one monitor and video recorder that can be used to add professional recording and monitoring to any SDI or HDMI camera. It features a bright, high resolution 7 inch screen for checking focus and framing, two high speed UHS-II recorders that work with the latest high performance SD cards for non-stop HD and Ultra HD recording. Blackmagic Video Assist 4K has multi rate 6G-SDI BNC connectors for input and output, HDMI in and out, two extremely high quality XLR microphone inputs for professional audio recording, a built in speaker, DC power, dual slots for two LP-E6 batteries and more.

About Blackmagic Video Assist

Blackmagic Video Assist is a portable professional monitor and recorder that can be used with any SDI or HDMI camera. It features a 5” full resolution HD monitor that helps you get perfect focus and framing, along with a professional ProRes and DNxHD recorder that uses high speed SD cards and saves files compatible with all modern NLE software. Blackmagic Video Assist has multi rate 6G-SDI inputs and outputs via DIN 1.0/2.3 connections, as well as HDMI in and out. It features a single SD card slot for recording HD resolution video. The touchscreen allows settings, histogram, audio meters, timecode display and much more. Blackmagic Video Assist works with DC power and has dual slots for two LP-E6 batteries.

Categories: Equipment

How fast were you going? GoPro HERO5 Black videos can now include GPS and telemetry data overlays

DPReview.com - Latest News - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 2:46pm

GoPro has updated its Quik desktop software with a new feature that enables HERO5 Black camera owners to overlay GPS and telemetry data onto their videos. This data is gathered by the camera’s various sensors during recording, and provides an extra layer of information for viewers, including things like the date and time the video was recorded, the altitude, elevation gain, and distance in miles or kilometers. 

The data overlays are customizable, and include resizable graphs and the ability to choose which data is included in the video. In addition to the aforementioned data, the overlays can also include a compass to show the camera’s orientation, speed, a speed graph with activity spikes, the GPS path and position pinpoints, and G-Force levels.

The Quik desktop editing software is available for 64-bit PCs running Windows 7 or newer and Macs running macOS 10.10.X or later. PCs are advised to have at least an Intel Core i3 processor and Macs should have at least an Intel Dual Core, though Core i7 processors are recommended for both.

Via: GoPro

Categories: Equipment

GekkoGum is an adhesive mount for action cams and smartphones

DPReview.com - Latest News - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 1:48pm

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A new crowdfunding project on Kickstarter is looking to raise funding for the production and distribution of the GekkoGum camera support. GekkoGum is made from an odorless and grease-free rubber compound that is malleable and does not stick to your fingers but, according to its makers, has a retaining force comparable to gecko feet. This means you can use it to attach your action camera or smartphone to any surface or object within a matter of seconds. It won't stick to silicone though.

GekkoGum comes in a storage pouch and can be cleaned with water to remove superficial dirt. It does not shrink or become brittle over time and keeps its characteristics for many years. The recommended maximum camera weight is 200 grams which includes most common action cams and smartphones. You can now secure a GekkoGum by pledging €15 (approximately $16) on the project's Kickstarter page. Shipping is envisaged for January 2017.

Would you feel comfortable sticking an expensive device to a wall using GekkoGum? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: Equipment

Woof! Sony a6500 sample images are here

DPReview.com - Latest News - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 11:00am

Dan just wrapped up an action packed two days of photography in Austin, Texas* with the new Sony a6500. After shooting thousands of frames with the new camera, the a6500 is looking seriously impressive. 

We'll be publishing an in-depth shooting report soon, but based on our initial use, although in most respects the a6500 feels like a slightly refined evolution of the a6300, the touchscreen is a huge let down. It's simply not very responsive. More on that soon. For now, we've published a gallery of JPEG sample images, and we'll add converted Raw samples as soon as possible. 

* At a Sony-sponsored event, for photo press. 

Categories: Equipment

2016 Holiday Gift Guide: up to $100

DPReview.com - Latest News - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 6:00am

2016 Holiday Gift Guide: up to $100 

Shopping for photographers is hard. In fact, shopping in general is hard. We'd like to help everyone involved out a little bit, whether you're shopping for a photographer or taking a break from the stress of holiday shopping to #treatyoself. Our first round of gift suggestions make for great stocking stuffers that won't put a strain on your budget.

Rode VideoMic Me phone mic

$59/£47
rode.com | buy now

One of the fastest and easiest ways to polish your video work is to improve the sound quality. While phones may be able to put a 4K video camera in your pocket, their microphones are made for voice calls, not Hollywood. Since carrying an external audio recorder around for mobile videos is somewhat impractical, allow me to suggest the Rode VideoMic Me.

The VideoMic Me is a compact and lightweight directional microphone that connects right to a smartphone's headphone socket (sorry, iPhone 7/7 Plus users). The mic’s directional pattern will keep ambient noise at a minimum and make your subject’s audio easier to hear. There is a passthrough 1/8 in (3.5 mm) headphone jack on the back that allows audio monitoring while recording (app dependent). It even comes with a tiny 'dead cat' windscreen for shooting in adverse weather.

BlackRapid Breathe Sport Camera Strap

$82/£82  
blackrapid.com | buy now

When hiking or engaging in other fast-paced activities, photographers are often stuck with their camera stabilized, but inaccessible in a pack, or having it accessible, but bouncing and swaying around on a camera strap. BlackRapid’s Sport Breathe strap is designed specifically to help avoid that problem.

Available in right or left hand versions (so make sure you get the correct one), the Breathe’s ergonomic, moisture-wicking pad is designed to be slung over the photographer’s shoulder with the camera hanging upside down on their opposite hip for quick and easy access. A second strap crosses under the user’s armpit and further stabilizes the camera when needed.

Domke F-5XB Shoulder Bag - Ruggedwear

$80/£72
tiffen.com | buy now

Not every camera bag needs to be able to carry as much gear as a pack mule. Many photographers enjoy shooting with one camera body and a couple small fast primes, or just own a small mirrorless kit for travel. Either way, a small tough bag is a handy accessory to have around.

While bag designs come and go, the Domke F-5XB quietly keeps on doing its job. Perfectly sized for a small body and a lens or two, the F-5XB can be carried with its 'gripper' shoulder strap or attached to a belt as a waist-pack. The Ruggedwear fabric sheds water much better than the old canvas Domke bags, and like your favorite pair of jeans, it will look even better as it ages.

Agua By Miggo 'stormproof' water resistant camera bag

$68/£44
mymiggo.com 
buy now

Living in the Northwest, I’m quite familiar with rain. I’m also quite familiar with the hassles involved with trying to keep camera gear dry while out in that rain. Waterproof camera bags either have giant stiff zippers or slow and frustrating roll-top closures. Neither lends itself to giving you easy access to your gear.

Miggo’s Agua bags are designed to protect a camera in the harshest downpour, but still keep it accessible for when the clouds part and that double rainbow appears. With a clever split open design, double layer impact and moisture protection, and an IPX3 water resistance certification, the Aqua 45 keeps the elements at bay.

Amazon Basics Circular Polarizer 77mm

$16/£13
amazon.com | buy now

A circular polarizer is something that many beginner photographers do not understand and thus, do not bother with. I see far more photographers out and about with $2000 lenses than I do using the humble polarizing filter. Perhaps they would change their tune if they saw just what a difference a polarizer can make for colors, glare and reflections.

High-end polarizers can be very expensive, particularly for 77mm F2.8 zoom lenses. While you can certainly find higher quality filters than the Amazon Basics Circular Polarizer, at $16 you won’t find a better value for the money. Every photographer should give one of these a try and see what a polarizer can do for their photography.

Datacolor Spyder5Express

$100/£85
spyder.datacolor.com | buy now

As photographers, we go through a tremendous amount of work to create our images. We huddle freezing in the mud waiting for the perfect mountaintop sunrise, we spend hours adjusting every studio light just-so and we even risk getting soaked at a children’s birthday party water balloon fight. Why then, would a photographer take a chance that their hard-won image would end up with incorrect colors by the time it makes it to the printer or social network posting?

Color calibration isn’t the most glamorous aspect of photography (though, come to think of it, neither is waiting in the freezing mud). But if photographers want their photos to accurately reflect the colors they captured, they need to make sure that their monitor is displaying them correctly. Give the photographer in your life the gift of accurate color with the Datacolor Spyder5Express.

The Spyder5Express’s simple 4 step process takes just minutes to to calibrate a monitor with its 7-detector optical engine. Seeing the before and after examples right there on their own monitor will make any photographer wonder why they waited so long to calibrate.

Peak Design Cuff wrist strap

$20/£20
peakdesign.com | buy now

Not everyone needs a shoulder/neck strap for their camera. Sure, they leave a photographer’s hands free. But they can be bulky, snag on things, and dangle into the shot from time to time. Sometimes all one needs is something to make sure the camera can’t be dropped off a cliff.

The Peak Design Cuff strap is simple, lightweight and foolproof. Installed or removed in seconds with Peak Design’s clever anchor attachments, the Cuff takes up a tiny corner of a camera bag and yet can save thousands of dollars of camera gear. It can even be worn as a bracelet to keep it at hand in between uses.

Cam Caddie Scorpion Jr. Video Camera Stabilizing Handle

$25
camcaddie.combuy now

Cameras these days can capture exceptionally high video quality. Everything from DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, GoPros and even phones offer 1080p and even 4K resolution. However, almost none of them are designed ergonomically for filming. They can be difficult to keep level over the course of a long shot and impossible to hold steady while moving.

If you have a budding Steven Spielberg in your life, take a look at the Cam Caddie Scorpion Jr. camera stabilizing handle. It can hold cameras up to 2kg/4.5lbs, has a comfortable foam grip and an adjustable accessory shoe for mics, small monitors and LED lights. With a little luck, you’ll never be forced to watch shaky drifting video footage again.

Canon Selphy CP1200 dye sublimation printer

$96/£96 
canon.combuy now

Despite living in an age of Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest, most folks still get a little thrill when they get a printed photo. My children think a printed photo is such a novelty that it MUST be a special thing and fight over who gets to keep it. Inkjet printers can provide amazing quality, but ink is expensive, the prints are damaged by moisture and the print jets can clog without regular use. Digital printing is inexpensive and quick at photo labs, but if there isn’t a lab nearby, slow mail order may be the only option.

The Canon Selphy CP1200 offers an excellent middle ground. At the price of an inexpensive inkjet, the CP1200 is a printer that can output 4 x 6 prints in at little as 47 seconds. Because the dye sublimation process is water resistant, just like a photo lab print, the prints will be protected from both liquid and little sticky hands. Media for the CP100 includes both the paper and dye ribbon. At $28 for 108 sheets, prints come out to $0.26 each.

PhotoMemo Photographer’s Memo Book 2pk

$10
shootfilmco.com

Looking for a stocking stuffer? These PhotoMemo Photographer’s Memo Books are designed for a photographer’s note taking needs. Each two-page spread is designed as a 'roll journal,' which has space to record shooting data, camera/lens choice, film type, and more. It also offers ample area for free notes, sketches, lists, and anything else.

The books measure 13.9 x 9.5 cm/5.5 x 3.75 in and has 22 2-page spreads (48 pages in all). The cover paper is 100lb Neenah Environment Desert Storm paper, and the pages are 60lb Finch Opaque Smooth archival quality paper. Okay, so it’s a little more useful for film shooters, but for those who enjoy the retro feel, like to record shooting info, or heck, still shoot film, the PhotoMemo is a clever little memo book.

Categories: Equipment

DJI publishes film shot entirely with Inspire 2 drone

DPReview.com - Latest News - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 4:00am

A couple days ago DJI introduced a pair of new drones with some very impressive specifications, especially when it comes to video. One could even argue that DJI just leapfrogged traditional camera manufacturers when it comes to video capabilities, and impressively so.

To highlight the potential of the new Inspire 2 drone, DJI worked with cinematographer Claudio Miranda, ASC (Life of Pi) to produce a 13-minute short film called The Circle, shot entirely on the Inspire 2. It’s an impressive piece of work and gives you a sense of what the new drone and camera are capable of.

If you want to learn more, Dan Chung over at NewsShooter has published a short article exploring the implications of these new drones and cameras, including some behind-the-scenes videos from the filming of The Circle. There's also a video with the colorist who graded the film from Raw footage shot on the Inspire 2. If you’re interested in aerial photography, or even where video technology on small cameras is headed, it’s worth a look.

Categories: Equipment

Vivo Xplay6 features 4-axis stabilized 12MP dual-cam

DPReview.com - Latest News - Fri, 11/18/2016 - 3:30am

Chinese manufacturer Vivo has unveiled its high-end model Xplay6 and the new device comes with an interesting (at least on paper) dual-camera setup. The main sensor is a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 chip with a 1.4um pixel size. It is coupled with a fast F1.7 aperture lens, four-axis optical image stabilization and a dual-tone LED. Phase detection AF is on board as well and the main sensor is supported by 5MP secondary chip for depth measurement, which will presumably be used to create a 'fake bokeh' effect.

The front camera comes with a 16MP sensor and F2 aperture and images can be composed and viewed on a curved 5.46" QHD AMOLED display. Also included are a fingerprint sensor and a headphone-jack with dedicated amp. Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Vivo's Funtouch OS 3.0 are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset and a whopping  6GB of RAM. 128GB are available for storage and a 4,080 mAh battery should get you easily through the day. 

All the high-end components are wrapped up in a metal body that is available in gold or rose gold. The Xplay6 will become available in China on December 12 for approximately $651. No detail on international availability has been released yet. 

Categories: Equipment

TIME releases 100 most influential images of all time

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 4:39pm

TIME has released its 100 Most Influential Photos of All Time, a multi-platform project that explores 100 images that have changed the world and shaped the human experience. Of primary interest is an interactive virtual museum of all 100 photos, which also includes essays, 20 original short documentary films, and the never before told stories behind many of the photos.

Along with the website, TIME is publishing a companion book with all 100 images, and will feature the project as its cover story in the November 18th issue of TIME Magazine.

Not only is this an impressive collection, but the stories and videos behind the photos are very interesting, so we encourage you to head over to the site.

Which images stand out to you? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Categories: Equipment

AirSelfie, a pocket-sized camera drone, launches on Kickstarter

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 2:11pm

An London-based startup is looking to fund production of a tiny, flying selfie camera called AirSelfie. AirSelfie features four propellers surrounded by safety guards and is compact enough to slot inside of a smartphone case. It features a 5MP camera that can take photos and record videos from up to 20m/66ft. 

AirSelfie produces its own 2.4GHz WiFi network to which smartphones can connect. Users control the drone using a mobile app available for iOS and Android, both of which include a ‘selfie delay timer’ with a range up to 10 seconds. A maximum of eight consecutive photos can be taken. Content is saved to an included 4GB microSD card. Unfortunately, flight duration is very low at only 3 minutes per charge.

A Kickstarter campaign seeking funding for AirSelfie went live today with a funding goal of nearly $50,000. Assuming that goal is met, the company plans to offer the AirSelfie at a reduced price of $249, with two units costing $478. The team behind AirSelfie anticipates shipping the first 3,000 pre-ordered units in March 2017, with everything else shipping starting in April 2017.

Press release

AirSelfie Launches Best Pocket-Sized Flying Camera for Smartphones

Armed with a $3M investment, AirSelfie will debut on Kickstarter November 17 to give fans early access to the first pocket-sized flying camera; pre-orders will be delivered March 2017

London, November 17, 2016 – AirSelfie has today announced the launch of the first pocket-sized flying camera, the only portable flying camera that integrates with smartphones. Comprised of four powerful propellers and a 5-megapixel video camera, AirSelfie is smaller than a smartphone and can fly vertically up to 66 feet, allowing users to take aerial selfies of themselves and their friends. The device connects to the most popular smartphones, including iPhone (6, 6s, 7 and 7 Plus), Huawei P9, Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. The device includes self-generated WiFi and comes equipped with a rechargeable battery through a cell phone case, as well as the option to purchase an external power bank. Additionally, a vibration-absorber system and in-flight stability systems guarantee stable, clear, flowing images.

AirSelfie is available for pre-order via Kickstarter beginning November 17, 2016, for delivery in March 2017.

“Our team of 60 seasoned technology professionals and enthusiasts researched, designed and created a flying camera that exceeds all current standards,” said Edoardo Stroppiana, co-founder of AirSelfie. “We saw an increasing need for a device that goes beyond a selfie stick, allowing users to take pictures from all angles, and we’re excited to introduce AirSelfie to Millennials and consumers around the world. It sets a completely new bar for the market.”

With AirSelfie, users can:

  • Take group selfies and family photos from up to 66 feet away, capturing both people and panoramas
  • Take indoor and outdoor aerial photos of subjects and locations that would otherwise be unreachable (e.g. monuments and stadiums during sporting events)
  • Take videos from perspectives that were formerly impossible
  • Use the device as a monitoring camera (when the device is not flying and is connected to a power source)
  • Use the video as a work tool (for example, time-lapse shots of company event setups)

AirSelfie’s 5-megapixel video camera and four powerful propellers are enclosed in an Italian-designed, stylish and lightweight (52g) aluminum case that measures 3.72 x 2.65 x 0.42 inches – smaller than a smartphone. The device attaches to users’ smartphones using a special cover available for iPhone and Samsung which contains a battery that can recharge AirSelfie in just 30 minutes. Backers can also purchase an external power bank which guarantees up to 20 full charges and allows those without a compatible phone to use and charge AirSelfie. 

How it works

One of the key differentiating—and appealing—features of AirSelfie is its ease of use. To activate AirSelfie, the user simply removes it from its case and turns it on. The device connects automatically to smartphones via WiFi—the flying camera creates the WiFi (2.4GHz) network itself and it is immediately ready for take-off.

AirSelfie users must simply download the free iOS and Android app in order to control the device’s movements through three different flight modes. AirSelfie can be returned to its departure point either manually or automatically. When users are finished using the device, it’s easy to return it to its landing spot—simply press the button labelled “slide to land” and AirSelfie descends and turns off. Users can also directly reposition the device by hand with no risk whatsoever of damaging it or themselves.

Using the “selfie delay timer” function, users can take timed photos, giving them up to 10 seconds to get into position and hide their smartphone so that it doesn’t appear in photos. Users can also take up to eight consecutive shots. AirSelfie’s technology integrates directly with social media, making it easy to post photos and videos directly to users’ accounts.

AirSelfie comes equipped with a 4 GB micro SD memory card and a 260mAh 7.4v battery that enables three minutes of flight time.

AirSelfie on Kickstarter

To give consumers a special first look at AirSelfie, the company is launching a Kickstarter campaign that will go live on November 17, 2016. Consumers can purchase AirSelfie via the Kickstarter website or Kickstarter app. As an added incentive, the first 1,000 supporters have the option of becoming AirSelfie Ambassadors by pre-ordering the first version of the flying camera at the discounted price of $199; the regular retail price will be $300. Additionally, the power bank will be available as a standalone product for $69 or as part of the AirSelfie package for $246. The power bank will be delivered in April.

Production of the gadget will begin once the threshold of $50,000 is reached. After the first 1,000 AirSelfies have sold, the company will produce another 2,000 models, which will be available for the reduced price of $249. Consumers will also be able to purchase two AirSelfies for the price of $478. The first 3,000 pre-orders will be delivered in March of 2017, with the rest, including the power bank packages, being delivered in April of 2017.

“People have the impression that camera drones are costly, difficult to operate and unwieldy,” added Stroppiana. “AirSelfie redefines the space with a device that's small, light and easy to use. This Kickstarter campaign will enable the launch of a large-scale AirSelfie production in a matter of months. We have succeeded in developing a great product, and we can’t wait to share it with our growing base of AirSelfie enthusiasts.” 

In 2017, AirSelfie will hit the market for $300. It will be available in other colors and will be compatible with additional smartphone models.

For additional information and other opportunities to support the project, visit the AirSelfie Kickstarter page.

Categories: Equipment

Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 comes with UHD screen and 94% Adobe RGB gamut

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 1:33pm

Wacom has updated its Cintiq line of pen displays that allow you to work with a stylus directly on a screen that is connected to a Mac or PC. The 13" Cintiq Pro 13 and the 16" Cintiq Pro 16 differ mainly in terms of display size, resolution and color gamut. The larger model comes with a 3840 x 2160 UHD resolution and can display 94% of the Adobe RGB color space. The smaller variant offers a 1920 x 1080 Full-HD panel that covers 87% of Adobe RGB.

The ExpressKeys and TouchRing controls of previous models, that offered easy access to frequently used tools on the right side of the display, have been removed and replaced by an optional Express Key remote. The tablets also come with pop-out legs that allow you to angle them up. 

Both models support multi-touch gestures and come with Wacom's new Pro Pen 2, which, according to Wacom, is four times more accurate and pressure sensitive than the previous version. The Cintiq Pro 13 will be available from next month for $1,000. The larger model will set you back an additional $500 when it arrives in February 2017. More information is available on the Wacom website.

Categories: Equipment

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II added to studio comparison scene

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 10:05am

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II raised a lot of eyebrows when it was released. It comes with an all-new 121-point autofocus system, 20MP sensor and 60fps Raw + JPEG shooting. Oh, and a $2000 MSRP. Can't forget that.

Nonetheless, Olympus' new flagship is here, and it is seriously capable. We're in the home stretch on our full review, but in the meantime, check out how it stacks up against the competition in our studio comparison scene.

Note - all Raw images were processed using a beta version of Adobe Camera Raw. We do not have Raw support for High Res Shot mode yet.

Categories: Equipment

Throwback Thursday: Fujifilm FinePix F601 Zoom

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 6:00am

One of the more unusually shaped cameras from the early 2000s was Fujifilm's F601 Zoom. This vertically oriented compact wasn't designed by F.A. Porsche like previous models, but its gentle curves and metal lens cover were still eye-catching. Fujifilm's F601 Zoom used a 3MP sensor, and through a trickery involving its Super CCD HR sensor, could output an image up to 6 megapixels – and its successor, the 610 could produce images up to 12 million pixels!

In his review, Phil Askey liked its vivid color reproduction and welcomed the inclusion of manual exposure controls, but wasn't a fan of the camera's 89% coverage in live view. You can still find the camera brochure on Fujifilm's website – go take a look, it's a treat. 

While the F601's unique design didn't endure, it's a reminder of experimental early days in digital photography. 

Read our full Fujifilm FinePix F601 Zoom review

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Categories: Equipment

DxO ViewPoint 3 adds automatic distortion correction

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 11/17/2016 - 3:30am
A new 'miniature' tool allows for application of a tilt-shift type effect.

DxO ViewPoint 3 is available today, adding automatic horizon and distortion correction to DxO's wide-angle lens correction software. The existing manual distortion correction tools are now complemented by an all-auto option to correct geometric distortion while automatically cropping the image. A new 'miniature' look is also added, providing a tilt-shift effect that can be adjusted by the user – you can adjust the direction of the blur gradients, and even modify the look of the bokeh by specifying the shape of the 'virtual iris'. 

DxO ViewPoint 3 is available now for Mac and Windows. Through December 4 it's offered for $50/£39, a discount off the usual $79/£59 price.

Press release

DxO announces DxO ViewPoint 3, a major update to its industry-leading wide-angle lens correction software

New automatic perspective and horizon correction tools are complemented by a miniature effect that perfectly mimics tilt shift lenses

Special discounts on all DxO software through December 4, 2016

PARIS—November 16, 2016—DxO, a world leader in digital imaging technologies, announces a major update to DxO ViewPoint, its simple but powerful software that automatically corrects problems inherent in photographs taken with wide-angle lenses. DxO ViewPoint 3 leverages DxO’s advanced image science to automatically correct skewed perspectives and horizons with a single click, making the process quick and easy. The update also introduces a brand new tool that produces a remarkable miniature effect, the first software of its kind to perfectly replicate the popular look made famous by tilt shift lenses.

DxO ViewPoint is simple, but powerful image processing software for Mac and Windows that thousands of photographers rely on for photos taken with their wide-angle lenses because of its ability to fix even the most complex perspective problems, as well as restore the natural shape to subjects situated on the edges of photos. DxO ViewPoint benefits from the automatic corrections provided by DxO Optics Modules, developed by exacting laboratory analysis of thousands of camera and lens combinations.

The existing perspective correction tools have been dramatically enhanced with an innovative, fully automatic mode that can instantly correct geometric distortion, straighten both horizontal and vertical lines, and automatically crop images, effectively eliminating keystoning while preserving the maximum information in the picture. The new auto horizon correction tool is equally efficient at correcting skewed landscape and architectural images. A single click detects the most relevant straight lines in the image, which are analyzed to determine the correct horizon.

“DxO ViewPoint has become an essential tool for me when photographing with my wide-angle lenses, which by their very nature induce all manner of odd deformations,” said architectural photographer, Luca Nicolao. “Its tools let me easily correct for distortions and keystoning, allowing me to achieve a much more natural composition in my images.”

DxO ViewPoint 3 also adds an innovative and useful new tool that perfectly simulates the depth-of-field reduction that’s identical to the type of creative looks that previously required the purchase of costly and tricky tilt shift lenses. To replicate the miniature look, DxO ViewPoint 3 displays the location and intensity of two blur gradients which the user can adjust symmetrically or asymmetrically. The application even enables photographers to simulate a precise type of bokeh.

With just one license, DxO ViewPoint works as both a stand-alone app, and as a plug-in for DxO OpticsPro, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. DxO ViewPoint 3 can be used as a plugin for DxO OpticsPro starting with version 11.3 (also available).

Pricing & Availability

DxO ViewPoint 3 for Mac and Windows is immediately available in the DxO online store (shop.dxo.com) and at photo resellers at a special discount through December 4, 2016:

  • USD: $49 instead of $79
  • GBP: £39 instead of £59
  • EUR: 49€ instead of 79€ (Suggested retail prices, including VAT)

Photographers who acquired a DxO ViewPoint license on or after September 1, 2016 are entitled to a free upgrade to version 3.

A fully-functional trial version of DxO ViewPoint 3, good for one month, is available on the DxO website: http://www.dxo.com/us/photography/download.

Categories: Equipment

Picture of school boy in uniform wins Swiss photographer £15,000 Taylor Wessing prize

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 11/16/2016 - 1:55pm
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London’s National Portrait Gallery has announced the winner of its annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, with Swiss photographer Claudio Rasano scooping the top award of £15,000. The winning image, of a school boy from South Africa, was part of a series studying how people can remain individuals while wearing the same uniforms. Rasano has featured in the short list for the prize in two previous years, but this is the first time he has won.

Second prize went to Joni Sternback for a tintype portrait of a pair of surfers which won him £3000, while the £2000 third prize went to Kovi Konowiecki for a picture of a pair of Jewish girls. Both photographers are from America.

The competition also provides an additional £5000 prize for a photographer under the age of 35, which was won by the UK’s Josh Redman. His John Kobal New Work Award grants him a commission to photograph someone from the UK film industry for the gallery’s collection.

The winning images, along with over fifty other entries, can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery in London until the 26th February. Entrance is £6. For more information visit the National Portrait Gallery website.

Press release

CLAUDIO RASANO WINS TAYLOR WESSING PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE 2016 FOR HIS PHOTOGRAPH OF A JOHANNESBURG SCHOOLBOY

Claudio Rasano won the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016 for his portrait of a Johannesburg schoolboy, the National Portrait Gallery has announced. The prestigious £15,000 award was presented to the Swiss-Italian photographer at an awards ceremony last night (Tuesday, 15 November 2016).

The winning portrait, part of Rasano’s series Similar Uniforms: We Refuse to Compare, was taken in February 2016, in Johannesburg, South Africa and focuses on issues of preserving individuality in the context of school uniforms. The photograph was shot in daylight, outdoors and in front of a plain white paper background. The sitter for this particular inkjet print is eighteen-year-old Katlehong Matsenen.

Rasano explains: “Children themselves have been known to rebel against uniforms, especially as they approach the awkward age characterised by the need to fit in and the desire to stand out, all at the same time. Some experts too have spoken against school uniforms on the grounds that they suppress individuality and diversity.”

Claudio Rasano was born in 1970 in Basel, Switzerland. His work has been included in numerous international exhibitions and previously featured in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize in 2011 and 2013. Rasano’s awards include the Shortlist for the Athens Photo Festival, 2016; Bieler Fototage 2015; Leica Oskar Branack Prize 2015 and a finalist in the Photography Masters Cup 2015.

Second prize has been awarded to Joni Sternbach’s large-format tintype portrait of surfers Thea Adler and Maxwell Schultz and third prize has gone to Kovi Konowiecki for his photographs Shimi Beitar Illit and Tilly and Itty Beitar Illit part of a series of inkjet prints that portray Orthodox Jews from around the world. The John Kobal New Work Award, worth £5,000, was won by Josh Redman for his portrait, Frances.

The winning portraits will be on display as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016 exhibition from 17 November 2016 to 26 February 2017. The annual exhibition is one of the most prestigious photography awards in the world and showcases new work that has been submitted by some of the most exciting contemporary photographers. Since the international competition began in 1993, it has remained a hugely important platform for portrait photographers and offers an unparalleled opportunity for celebrated professionals, emerging artists and amateurs alike.

The competition judges had no knowledge of the identity of the entrants, and the diversity of styles in the exhibition reflects the international mix of entries as well as photographers’ individual and varied approaches to the genre of portraiture. For the second time, photographers were encouraged to submit works as a series in addition to stand-alone portraits, and there was no minimum size requirement for prints. This year, for the first time, the rules also allowed photographers to submit photographs on different supports to the competition – to encourage the demonstration of a range of different photographic processes.

The prize-winning photographs and those selected for inclusion in the exhibition were chosen from 4303 submissions entered by 1842 photographers from 61 countries.

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery, says ‘My congratulations to Claudio Rasano for his winning portrait of schoolboy Katlehong Matsenen taken in Johannesburg earlier this year. The quality and diversity of both this year’s shortlist and exhibition are a testament to the engaging work being produced by international photographers. Each and every photographer who entered has contributed their part to the debate and evolution of contemporary portrait photography.’

Tim Eyles, Managing Partner, Taylor Wessing LLP, says: ‘One of the great joys and honours of sponsoring the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize for the past nine years- and being part of the judging panel- is having the rare opportunity to catch an intimate glimpse into the lives of people from around the world. Each winning portrait tells a different, unique story and builds a genuine connection between the viewer, the subject and the photographer. I hope that you will share our enjoyment of the photographs in this year's exhibition, and join me in congratulating the photographers whose portraits are featured.'

American artist Joni Sternbach was born in the Bronx, New York and is a Visiting Artist at Cooper Union School of Art, faculty member at the International Centre of Photography and The Penumbra Foundation in New York, where she teaches wet plate collodion. Sternbach uses early photographic processes to create contemporary landscapes and environmental portraits, centring on man’s relationship to water. Her series Surfland, features large-format tintype portraits of surfers. Her prize-winning portrait was taken in February 2016 at Davenport Landing, Santa Cruz, California, USA. Sternbach says: ‘For me, this photograph represents many of the challenging aspects of creating a portrait. I was in an entirely new location and faced with people I’d never met before. In this spectacular environment, I aimed to create a dynamic complexity within the picture that was both unique to that person and also understandable to others.’

American artist Kovi Konowiecki was born and raised in Long Beach, California. After pursuing a professional career in football, Konowiecki is in the final stages of an MA in photography at the University of the Arts, London. His work lies between documentary and fine art, often focusing on portraiture and telling stories that also reveal his identity, and his experiences of growing up in Long Beach. Shimi Beitar Illit and Tilly and Itty Beitar Illit are part of a series of inkjet prints that portray Orthodox Jews from around the world. The colours and floral background create a painting-like quality, highlighting the mysticism of the subjects and their association with a history that many may find unfamiliar.

Konowiecki explains: ‘When I set out to photograph the faces of Orthodox Jews around the world, it was an attempt to both strengthen my ties to my family’s history and shed light on the traditions of a people that seem strange to modern society. The project started by contacting members of the Jewish community from where I grew up, and evolved into travels across the world to capture Orthodox Jews who, although they live thousands of miles apart, are bound together by history, tradition and a set of values that serve as the cornerstone of the lives of many who live in today’s society.’

£5,000 John Kobal New Work Award: Josh Redman for Frances

The £5,000 John Kobal New Work Award has been awarded to Josh Redman for his photograph Frances, from an on-going series of pared down studio portraits. Redman says, ‘This was Frances’s first serious photo shoot, and it’s an honour to have been part of her initiation into modelling at age 83. During the 3-hour sitting we chatted over pastries about her late husband, the War, her lifelong job as a typist and her daughter Tineka.’ Born in the UK in 1984, Redman was a sculptor and potter until 2012 when he decided to sell his kiln, buy a camera and move to London. Since then he has worked as a freelance photographer, winning the AOP Assistant Award in 2014 and has been commissioned by Adidas, SKY TV and The British Museum amongst others.

The John Kobal New Work Award is given to a photographer under thirty-five whose work has been selected for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition. The winner receives a cash prize of £5,000 to include undertaking a commission to photograph a sitter connected with the UK film industry for the Gallery’s Collection.

The competition was judged from original prints by Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery; Dr Phillip Prodger, Head of Photographs, National Portrait Gallery; Carole Sandrin, Curator, Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne; Christiane Monarchi, Editor Photomonitor; Nadav Kander, Photographer and Tim Eyles, Managing Partner, Taylor Wessing LLP.

The exhibition also features an In Focus display of previously unseen prints from a new body of work by the award-winning Spanish photographer, Cristina de Middel. The photographs, making their international debut in the exhibition, are part of the series ‘Gentleman’s Club’, taken of prostitutes' clients in brothels in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. By recruiting her sitters through a newspaper advert, she inverted the normal roles of the business by placing herself in a position of power. Sitters were asked about their experience, personal history and motivations. In Focus is an annual showcase for new work by an internationally-renowned photographer, which is exhibited alongside the images selected for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016. De Middel is the second In Focus artist, selected by the Gallery’s curators, following last year’s inaugural display which featured the work of Pieter Hugo.

TAYLOR WESSING PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE 2016
17 November 2016 – 26 February 2017
Tickets with donation: Full price £6, concessions £5 / Tickets without donation: Full price £5, concessions £4 (Free for Members and Patrons) Supported by Taylor Wessing npg.org.uk/photoprize #photoprize

PUBLICATION
A fully illustrated paperback catalogue including all photographs from this year’s exhibition features an interview with the In Focus photographer Cristina de Middel and interviews with the prize-winners by Richard McClure. RRP £15 with a special price of £9.99 when purchased directly from the National Portrait Gallery shops.

Prizes: First prize is £15,000, second prize is £3,000, and third prize is £2,000. The winner of the John Kobal New Work Award receives £5,000.

Tour: The exhibition will tour to Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens from 18 March – 4 June 2017 and The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury from 8 July – 29 October 2017.

Categories: Equipment

MINT SLR670-S Noir is a refurbished Polaroid SX-70 with added auto modes

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 11/16/2016 - 1:37pm

MINT has launched a refurbished and upgraded Polaroid SX-70 camera, dubbing it the SLR670-S Noir. In addition to all the features of the original Polaroid base model, MINT’s updated version includes A100 and A600 auto modes for using SX-70 film and ISO 600 film. 

According to MINT, its refurbished camera features ten shutter speeds with speeds up to 1/2000sec, two shutter options for long exposure, a focusing distance of 26cm to infinity, and a three-year warranty for maintenance. The camera itself is priced at $675, though a ‘Starter Pack’ with limited accessories is offered at $765 and an ‘Ultimate Package’ is offered at $869. It isn't clear how many of these refurbished cameras MINT has available.

Via: The Phoblographer

Categories: Equipment

Google updates Photos app with advanced editing features

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 11/16/2016 - 1:11pm

Yesterday, Google introduced its pretty impressive new PhotoScan app and presented RAISR, an upsampling method that uses machine learning. You would think that was enough innovation in imaging for one day, but no, Google also implemented some pretty interesting upgrades to its Photos app that be found pre-installed on most Android smartphones and is also available for iOS devices and on the web.

A new auto enhance function balances exposure and saturation in order to maximize detail at the tap of a button. For those who prefer more manual input, advanced editing controls for light and color allow you to fine tune your images using a range of sliders for highlights, shadows and warmth among others. The Deep Blue parameter allows for partial adjustment of the blue tones in images of sea and sky and there is an equivalent slider for fine-tuning skin tones. 

In addition there are 12 new smart filters that Google calls looks. Looks use machine learning to analyze the contents of an image and then make edits based on brightness, darkness, warmth, or saturation before the final filter is applied. If you want to try the new features you won't have to wait. The upgraded Google Photos app is rolling out today across Android, iOS and the web. 

Categories: Equipment

DPReview asks: who would you want to shoot your portrait?

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 11/16/2016 - 6:00am

We sat down with ten well-known photographers and asked a simple question: "Who would you want to shoot your portrait?" Some of the answers may surprise you.

So what do you think – if you had your pick, who would shoot your portrait? Tell us in the comments!

Categories: Equipment

Vimble S is an intelligent smartphone gimbal with physical camera controls

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 11/16/2016 - 4:00am

A Kickstarter project that just launched is aiming to raise funding for production and distribution of the Vimble S smartphone gimbal. The Vimble S is a three-axis motorized image stabilizer that is compatible with a large range of smartphones, including Apple's iPhone models, the Huawei P9, Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy and other devices with similar dimensions. The gimbal communicates with the phone via a Bluetooth connection and folds down to about 11.2 inches when not in use.

A range of physical controls on the handle allow you to adjust the smartphone camera's exposure, zoom, focus, and white balance and trigger the shutter. The gimbal's motor keeps the camera steady, allowing for the recording of smooth video and still image shooting at slow shutter speeds. However, it also gives the Vimble S a number of intelligent functions, which are controlled via a dedicated app. Those include the ability to track faces, allowing for video-selfies, shoot panorama images with automated panning and record time-lapses.

The engineers behind the project say the Vimble S has a battery life of 8 hours and a very quiet motor. The handle is designed to also function as a monopod. With 29 days to go currently, the campaign is a good way to reaching its funding goal. If the feature set sounds like what you have been waiting for, you can secure a Vimble S by pledging $179 or more on the Vimble S Kickstarter page. Shipping is planned for January 2017.

Press Release:

Vimble S, the gimbal stabilizer for smartphones, allows everyone to capture professional-quality video

Never capture shaky video again, available on Kickstarter from US$179

November 15, 2016 (Hong Kong) - Today Vimble S, a 3-axis gimbal stabilizer specifically engineered for smartphones, launches on Kickstarter. The intelligent monopod ensures, no matter what, that your smartphone stays stable while filming, producing silky smooth video and sharp photos. It’s also accompanied by a feature-packed app, ViCam, allowing users to create stunning time-lapses, track selected faces for perfect selfies and snap effortless 180° panoramic vistas. 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/368303780/653404756?token=44cc14d5

Aiming to provide everyone with a professional yet affordable way to shoot high-quality video and images, Vimble S has been expertly designed to produce fantastic content in every situation.

Vimble S perfectly balances smartphones to cancel out unwanted movement in a 3-axis space, counteracting any jarring wobbles or shakes. Its motors are silent too, so not to disturb the footage audio. The handle embraces ergonomic design, with the integrated control panel easily accessible with just one hand, allowing users to easily operate every aspect of the gimbal’s movement and camera settings. 

Vimble S also comes with a companion app, ViCam, specifically developed to control each of the smart shooting features available. Create beautiful montages of passing time with a few simple clicks. Automatically centre on your subject with ViCam’s face tracking tool, recording their every movement even if they move out of the camera’s range. Capture the entire scene with the spectacular 180° panoramic mode, smoothly rotating while staying completely level. Users can edit and share photos directly from the app, while keen developers can tinker with the provided SDK to customise features and unlock hidden capabilities. ViCam will be available for iOS and Android. 

Rian Cheng, Founder and CEO at DelTron Technology, comments: “Our dream is to bring professional videography into everybody’s daily lives. Sharing our experiences of the world through pictures and video is now second nature, with over 1.8 billion digital images uploaded everyday. Whether posting on Instagram, Facebook or another social channel, we love to share what we see. Vimble S puts the power in your hand to create beautiful visual memories with complete ease.” 

Manufactured using high-grade materials, Vimble S is a sturdy and reliable travel companion. The premium device is prepared for rigorous use that any practical camera stabilizer has to go through. Small enough to be tucked away in your bag, it also has a long-lasting battery life of up to 8 hours, besting their closest competitors. Whether filming a trekking tour through a national park, catching that awesome skateboard trick, or gaining self-shooting experience as a videographer, Vimble S allows you to take on the director role with everything you create. The gimbal also opens up a wide range of angles including landscape, portrait and underslung to add variety to your shooting style.

“This isn’t just some fancy selfie stick, the technology we’ve implemented into the Vimble S sets your photo and video content apart from the mundane. Vloggers, extreme sports enthusiasts, travellers or anybody else can use features such as our intelligent face tracking to breathe new life to their videos. It does, of course, take incredible selfies too.” adds Peter Zeng, Co-Founder and CTO at DelTron Technology. 

Vimble S is available to back on Kickstarter now from US$179 and will ship to backers worldwide in January 2017 - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/368303780/653404756?token=44cc14d5 

Vimble S Tech Specs: 

Gimbal

  • Angular vibration range : ±0.03°
  • Max Controllable speed: 200°/s
  • Axis freedom:
    • Tilt: 320°, Roll: 320°, Pan: 360° - Slip ring design for limitless rotation

Mount

  • Supports phones of various sizes - the iPhone series, Huawei P9 and P9 plus, Samsung Galaxy S7/edge, and other smartphones with similar dimensions
  • Standard quarter inch nut on bottom, thus Vimble can be mounted on tripod

Battery

  • Battery life: 8 hour maximum; 6 hour under heavy usage condition. also varies by temperature
  • Battery capacity: 3000mAh
  • Charging: Micro USB port

Wireless

  • Model: Bluetooth 4.0

Weight & dimensions

  • 486g, including built-in battery
  • 285mm x 113mm x 60mm 

ViCam app

  • Automatic panorama
  • Face tracking
  • Night photo enhancement
  • Exposure/ Focus/ White Balance and Zoom can be easily adjusted by the control panel
  • Shooting parameter adjustable. Up to 4k/ 30fps or 720p/ 240fps
  • Upgrade firmware wirelessly
  • Motion time-lapse
  • Remote control of rotation of Vimble S
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