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All articles from Digital Photography Review
Updated: 25 min 38 sec ago

Shooting the Sony a7 III around the Pacific Northwest: Sample gallery updated

12 hours 1 min ago
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Now that we've gotten the Sony a7 III in our Seattle offices and are working our way through our full review, we've updated our sample gallery with a selection of our favorite images from our neck of the woods.

From cherry blossoms at the University of Washinton to coastal lighthouses and even a few furry friends for good measure, check out our gallery for a taste of Seattle in the springtime.

See our updated Sony a7 III gallery

Categories: Equipment

GoPro licensing deal will let third parties use the company's camera tech

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 4:48pm
Photo by Dose Media

GoPro has announced a new deal with manufacturing services company Jabil. The multi-year agreement, officially announced Thursday, will involve GoPro licensing its intellectual property and reference design to Jabil, which will use it to incorporate GoPro sensor modules and camera lenses into third-party products.

According to the GoPro announcement, the company will reserve approval over any third-party services and products in which its technology is used. The agreement includes an equipment license, ultimately covering "a range of products and services each company offers," among them being "certain digital imaging and consumer products," says GoPro.

This isn't the first time Jabil and GoPro have worked together. Jabil Optics' vice president Irv Stein calls this new deal "a natural extension" of the companies' involvement with each other, explaining that the GoPro tech will likely be used in "enterprise" segment:

This agreement is a natural extension of our long-standing relationship with GoPro and our commitment to developing innovative technologies. Early market feedback indicates strong demand in the enterprise action camera segment for applications in smart homes, military, fire, police, rescue, and security.

Additional details about the agreement, including financial numbers, weren't disclosed. However, the expanded partnership comes at a time when GoPro faces ongoing financial troubles that have resulted in multiple layoffs over past months. Licensing its goods may help GoPro survive its turbulent action camera sales.

Press Release

GoPro and Jabil Announce Global Technology and Equipment License

San Mateo, CA and St. Petersburg, FL, March 22, 2018 – GoPro, Inc. and Jabil Inc. today announced a global, multi-year technology and equipment license. With this agreement, Jabil will leverage GoPro's cutting-edge reference design and IP to produce camera lens and sensor modules for incorporation into GoPro-approved third-party products and solutions. This agreement builds on GoPro and Jabil's longstanding relationship.

"This collaborative approach with Jabil will enable innovative, GoPro enabled products and services from some of the most exciting hardware and software companies out there," said Sandor Barna, GoPro's chief technology officer. "Imagine a world where video conferencing, robotics, and even self-driving cars are powered by GoPro's camera lenses and image sensors. Together, GoPro and Jabil can make this a reality."

This agreement covers a range of products and services each company offers, including certain digital imaging and consumer products. GoPro and Jabil have a history of collaborating to bring high-quality, cutting-edge products to consumers, including GoPro's line of HERO cameras, starting with HERO4.

"This agreement is a natural extension of our long-standing relationship with GoPro and our commitment to developing innovative technologies," said Irv Stein, Jabil's vice president of Jabil Optics. "Early market feedback indicates strong demand in the enterprise action camera segment for applications in smart homes, military, fire, police, rescue, and security."

Categories: Equipment

Rumor: Canon full-frame mirrorless already 'being used by select pro photographers'

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 3:40pm
So far, the EOS M5 is the nearest thing Canon has made to a high-end mirrorless camera.

Rumors of a Canon mirrorless full-frame camera are heating up. Just days after our own Canon interview from CP+ 2018 seemed to hint, quite strongly, that a "high-end mirrorless" from Canon is in the works, Canon Rumors is reporting that they have "confirmed from a couple of good sources" that a full-frame mirrorless Canon is indeed being tested by select pros.

The Canon Rumors report, published earlier today, claims that "a full frame mirrorless camera is well into its development cycle," and is in fact being used by "select Canon pro photographers" in the field. This matches up with what Canon told us during our interview at CP+ 2018. Specifically, the Canon executives we spoke to said:

In accordance with the full lineup strategy, we will be tackling [the mid-range and high-end mirrorless market] going forward.

And when we asked if it was "realistic" to expect a Canon full-frame mirrorless camera within a year, their tongue-in-cheek response was:

That would be nice, wouldn't it?

Read our full Canon interview from CP+ 2018

Canon Rumors is "very confident we’re going to see something announced before the end of Q1 in 2019," while other outlets have predicted something for Photokina in September. Either way, as rumors and reports heat up, it seems more and more likely the industry will be getting a major shake-up in early 2019 or late 2018.

The major unanswered question is: what about lenses? Will Canon release a new lens mount with this rumored full-frame mirrorless camera—thereby taking advantage of the shorter flange distance offered by mirrorless—will the new camera be compatible with EF lenses out of the box, or will it be some sort of hybrid arrangement?

When we spoke to Canon, the company said it "can’t simply ignore the [130 million EF lenses] in the market," but that "we’re considering the technical advancements that are possible" with a new mount. In the end, they didn't give us anything definitive, encouraging us instead to "let your imagination suggest some possibilities."

Categories: Equipment

Fashion magazine expects photographers to PAY to be on the cover

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 2:09pm

An American fashion magazine has created a storm by expecting photographers to pay $860 if their image is chosen for its cover. In a ‘the world’s gone crazy’ role-reversal, Sheeba magazine's submission guidelines specify that photographers lucky enough to have an image selected for the cover will have to pay for the privilege of having it used.

In the magazine’s defense, it does style itself as a place where photographers, designers and models have an "opportunity to show-case and promote their contemporary masterpieces worldwide through print, digital and social media exposure" and presumably getting the cover position allows that photographer the most exposure.

Work placed inside the magazine is published for free, and at the moment there’s a special 50% off deal for cover placement.

In return, the photographer gets a copy of the print edition, a high-resolution tear sheet, and possibly an interview inside the magazine. Although billed as a monthly magazine, there seem to be three ‘volumes’ some months. The 74-page latest issue costs $26 for the print edition.

It isn’t clear what the magazine’s reach is, or exactly how much exposure gracing the front cover will gain the chosen photographer. The magazine’s Instagram page has fewer than 2,500 followers and its Twitter posts appear in the feed of just 75 people. The magazine is a little more successful on Facebook where it has 6,703 followers, but its most recent post is rather soiled by a lengthy comment thread about the morality of its cover policy.

If you don’t feel up to applying for a place on the cover, the magazine is looking for a number of interns to help put the publication together. The job ads offer the "opportunity to gain valuable editorial experience in media publishing and further develop a professional portfolio in return for work efforts" and a promise that you might be considered for a permanent position in the future. There’s no mention of payment, but the magazine expects considerable skills and dedication, and someone to layout 100 pages of content—perhaps three times a month.

For more information see the Sheeba website.

Categories: Equipment

Russian drone pilot pushes his tiny drone to 33,000ft

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 1:51pm

YouTube user and drone pilot Denis Koryakin ("Денис Корякин") recently published a video showing a small drone's trip to an altitude of around 33,000ft. Operating a drone at that altitude would be against regulations in many places, not to mention risky to commercial aircraft—as such we would never condone or suggest this kind of drone stupidity.

That said, this particular ascent appears to have taken place in a remote region of Russia near the Siberian city of Strejevoï, and there don't seem to be any altitude restrictions on small drone flights in Russia, so he didn't technically break any laws.

According to Koryakin's video description, this "drone experiment" intended to get the drone to an altitude of 10 kilometers, which is just under 33,000ft and about the cruising altitude of passenger jets. The on-screen display shows the drone's speed hitting 13 meters per second at one point, and Koryakin explained that temps went down to -50°C (-58°F) when the drone reached an altitude of around 8,000 meters (~26,000ft).

The video translation reads (H/T DPReview user ShaiKhulud):

March 9, 2018. Experiments with drone are still in progress. Goals for this flight are: reach a height of 10km and return to the launch site without accidents.

By popular demands, by my own desire and with a help of my friends we've added an air temperature gauge.

Because of the thermometer inertia, temperature is displayed with a slight delay.

The outside ground level temperature was around -10 C.

Max temperature during flight was around -50 C at 8000 m. altitude.

DVR footage and HD footage is slightly out of sync (by a few seconds) because of the frame skipping.

In the video description, Koryakin also lists the parts used to construct and control the drone, all of them readily accessible to anyone who wants to replicate it. Components include Cobra brushless motors, Gemfan carbon nylon propellers, and Sony li-ion batteries. The drone weighed around 1kg / 2.3lbs.

Categories: Equipment

Instagram updates news feed, makes it a bit more chronological

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 1:12pm

Yesterday, Instagram announced some changes to the News Feed that might quiet some of the grumbling that's been going on ever since the app switched from a Chronological to an Algorithmic feed. No, the rumors were not true and the company is not going back to the chronological feed in full, but your Instagram feed will begin surfacing newer posts closer to the top of your feed from now on.

The announcement comes less than a week after Instagram was forced to debunk a viral rumor that it was testing a return to the Chronological feed. But it seems that rumor might have contained a grain of truth.

Yesterday's update is actually two-fold. First, newer posts are now "more likely to appear first in feed" so you don't have to scroll through a bunch of posts from several days ago in order to see images that were posted this morning. And Second, the feed will no longer update automatically; instead, Instagram is testing a "New Posts" button that allows you to manually refresh the feed only when you're ready.

The latter change is a response to feedback that "it can feel unexpected when your feed refreshes and automatically bumps you to the top." I can personally relate to this annoyance, and I'm sure some of our readers can, too.

Profile names and hashtags are now clickable in your Instagram bio.

Finally, right before this announcement went live, Instagram also revealed that it would now allow users to link hashtags and profile links in their bio. So if you add your professional photo profile to your personal bio or visa-versa, that @-name will now be clickable. Same goes for hashtags.

Adding a level of security to this, whenever you link someone's profile in your bio, their account will receive a notification, and they can choose to remove the link.

All of these changes are rolling out now, although the News Feed changes still in the 'testing' phase. To take advantage of the updates yourself, just make sure you're using the latest version of Instagram on either iOS or Android.

Press Release

Changes to Improve Your Instagram Feed

Today we’re introducing changes to give you more control over your feed and ensure the posts you see are timely.

We’ve heard it can feel unexpected when your feed refreshes and automatically bumps you to the top. So today we’re testing a “New Posts” button that lets you choose when you want to refresh, rather than it happening automatically. Tap the button and you’ll be taken to new posts at the top of feed — don’t tap, and you’ll stay where you are. We hope this makes browsing Instagram much more enjoyable.

Based on your feedback, we’re also making changes to ensure that newer posts are more likely to appear first in feed. With these changes, your feed will feel more fresh, and you won’t miss the moments you care about. So if your best friend shares a selfie from her vacation in Australia, it will be waiting for you when you wake up.

Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing more about improvements we’re making to feed. Our goal is to be the best place to share and connect with the people and interests that matter most to you.

Introducing Hashtag and Profile Links in Bio

Today, we’re introducing hashtag and profile links in bio, a new way to express yourself and the things you care about. Now when you include a # or @ in your bio, they become live links that lead to a hashtag page or another profile.

In December, we introduced the ability to follow hashtags, giving you new ways to stay connected with the interests, hobbies, passions and communities you care about. With hashtag and profile links in your bio, you can express yourself and your interests right in your profile. Whether you’re a #guitarlover, into #pencilsketching or have a #makeuptutorial account, now you can link to any hashtag or profile you want.

To add a hashtag or profile link in your bio, just tap on Edit Profile and go to the bio section. When you type a # or @, you will see a list of recommended hashtags and accounts in the typeahead. Once you select the hashtags and accounts you want, they will automatically be linked in your bio.

When you mention someone else’s profile in your bio, they will receive a notification and can choose to remove the link to their profile. Their profile will remain in your bio but without a link.

Instagram has always been a place for self-expression, and now there are even more ways to express yourself and your interests. To learn more, check out the Help Center.

Categories: Equipment

Sony World Photography Awards reveals 2018 Open category and National Awards winners

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 7:19pm

Sony World Photography Awards Open category winners

The World Photo Organization is taking its time announcing the winners of this year's Sony World Photography Awards. Overall winners—including the coveted Photographer of the Year award—won't be revealed until next month. But in the meantime, World Photo is teasing us, first with the shortlist announced last month, and now with the winners of the 10 Open categories and the 63 National Awards winners.

The Open competition is open to photographers of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels, and several of this year's category winners are not professional photographers by trade.

This week's announcement reveals the winner of each of the 10 categories—Architecture, Culture, Enhanced, Landscape & Nature, Motion, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, Travel, and Wildlife. All ten winning photographers walk away with "the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony," but only one will be named Open Photographer of the Year on April 19th, earning an additional $5,000 worth of prize money.

The National Awards competition, meanwhile, seeks to identify "the best single image taken by a local photographer" in nearly 70 countries across the world. Scroll through the gallery above to see all 10 Open category winners, and then click here to view all 63 National Awards winners.

Press Release

World’s best single images revealed by the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

  • Winners of the 10 Open categories, plus all 63 National Awards announced today
  • Huge diversity of genres and topics across the global winners

March 20, 2018 – ​Selected from hundreds of thousands of entries worldwide, the winners of the Open competition and National Awards of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards are announced today.

The 10 Open category winners were chosen by an expert panel of judges as the world’s very best single photographs, and the National Awards winners selected as the strongest single image taken by a local photographer across nearly 70 countries. The winning works and their photographers are truly international, with images coming from Australia, Argentina, Cambodia, China, Kenya, Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Subject matter across the photographs could also not have been more diverse. Photographers chose a variety of stunning landscapes, personal portraits, touching encounters and sporting moments as their inspiration.

Chair of judges Zelda Cheatle comments:

“Judging the Open competition and National Awards allowed me to discover high calibre international work of great interest. In choosing the winners, the images all had to have something special - whether it be composition, impact, skill, a portrayal of a unique event or informing in a new way. Above all else, each winner had to be an exceptional photograph.”

All Open category and National Award winners receive the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony. In addition, the winning work will be published in the 2018 Awards’ book and shown at the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in London from April 20 – May 6.

The ten Open category winners will now go on to compete for the Open Photographer of the Year, winning $5,000 (USD). This photographer, along with the Professional categories winners, will be announced in London on April 19.

Produced by the World Photography Organisation, the Sony World Photography Awards is the world’s most diverse photography competition. The 11th edition saw a record breaking 320,000 submissions by photographers from more than 200 countries and territories, presenting some of the world’s finest contemporary photography captured over the past year.

Open category winners

Photographers worldwide may enter any of the Open competition’s 10 categories, with judges looking for the best single image fitting each categories’ brief. Many of the winners are non-professional photographers, making their achievement even more remarkable.

The Open category winners are:

  • Architecture: Andreas Pohl, German with the image The Man and the Mysterious Tower
  • Culture: Panos Skordas, Greek with image Young Minotaur
  • Enhanced: Klaus Lenzen, German with image Every Breath you Take
  • Landscape & Nature: Veselin Atanasov, Bulgarian with image Early Autumn
  • Motion: Fajar Kristianto, Indonesian with image The Highest Platform
  • Portraiture: Nick Dolding, British with image Emile
  • Still Life: Richard Frishman, American with image Sunday Buffet at Jerry Mikeska's BBQ; Columbus, Texas 2017
  • Street Photography: Manuel Armenis, German with image Old Friends
  • Travel: Mikkel Beiter, Danish with image Shapes of Lofoten
  • Wildlife: Justuna Zduńczyk, Polish with image An Unexpected Meeting

National Awards winners

Running across nearly 70 countries, the National Awards program seeks to recognize and reward the best single image taken by a local photographer. The 63 National Award winners can be found in full at: https://www.worldphoto.org/2018-national-awards

Sony World Photography Awards Open category winners

Photo © Andreas Pohl, Germany, Winner, Open, Architecture (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Vertical wind tunnel build in the years 1934 to 1936 for aeronautical studies in Berlin-Adlershof. Photo was taken on 9th January 2017 at 4:26 pm when the dusk had already set in. I took the photo because I had it in mind for more than 2 years without a chance... cause there is not much snow in Berlin.

Sony World Photography Awards Open category winners

Photo © Manuel Armenis, Germany, Winner, Open Street Photography and Winner, Germany National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Hamburg, Germany. Spring of 2017. The most graceful lady of her neighborhood, despite the burden of old age. Always stylish, colorful, in good spirits, smiling, never complaining, even though the everyday is a struggle and a challenge for her. And never to be seen without her best friend—her little dog.

Sony World Photography Awards Open category winners

Photo © Justyna Zdunczyk, Poland, Winner, Open Wildlife and Winner, Poland National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

I was about to leave the Sequoia National Park when, from the corner of my eye, I saw a beautiful clearing bathed in fog. Without thinking too much, I ran with the camera to take some pictures.

When I reached the clearing, I heard the crack of broken twigs... I can't say that I was not afraid since Sequoia National Park is a home for black bears and people are warned about it at every step. When I turned around, fortunately there was not any bear, instead I saw a curious mule deer walking towards me who cheerfully chewed his supper. Soon after other deers joined him and we just stood there together for a while and watched each other. It was one of the most beautiful moments during my trip thru California, this autumn.

Sony World Photography Awards Open category winners

Photo © Panos Skordas, Greece, Winner, Open Culture, and Winner, Greece National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Picture taken in the actual palace of king Minos, on the island of Crete. Costume and mask made by me, model with lots of patience... my son.

Sony World Photography Awards Open category winners

Photo © Fajar Kristianto, Indonesia, Winner, Open Motion and Winner, Indonesia National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

The new aquatic stadium for The 18th Asian Games just has opened in Gelora Bung Karno sports complex, Jakarta. It will be held in two cities, Jakarta and Palembang. A diving athlete was in the middle of a training session while I was capturing this moment.

Sony World Photography Awards Open category winners

Photo © Nick Dolding, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Open, Portraiture (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

The stylish Emile shot for Paypal looking suitably aloof and hoity in a set with just a little nod towards Wes Anderson.

Sony World Photography Awards Open category winners

Photo © Veselin Atanasov, Winner, Open Landscape & Nature and Winner, Bulgaria National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

The autumn has begun to decorate with its colors the woods of the Balkans. National Park - Central Balkan, Bulgaria.

Sony World Photography Awards Open category winners

Photo © Mikkel Beiter, Denmark, Winner, Open Travel and Denmark National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

This composition is quite popular amongst photographers at the moment, and it's easy to understand why! The beautiful Mount Olstinden has almost the same shape as the roof of this cute yellow cabin and the yellow color creates some amazing contrast to the snow covered mountain.

This place can be found in the Lofoten Archipelago at the small island named Sakrisøy. I've removed a small cabin in the left side during post process. Beside that, color correction, contrast and sharpness has been done in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Sony World Photography Awards Open category winners

Photo © Klaus Lenzen, Germany, Winner, Open, Enhanced (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

The picture was taken in summer 2017 from 35 individual images of swimmers at the triathlon in the Duesseldorf Media Harbor. I was able to take a picture of them from above, while the athletes crossed a pedestrian bridge capturing their very individual "breathing techniques“.

I was inspired by the work of Andreas Gursky, therefore I took the individual images with the highest possible sharpness. That enables me to display or print the overall picture in large format.

Sony World Photography Awards Open category winners

Photo © Richard Frishman, United States, Winner, Open Still Life and Winner, United States National Award, 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Documenting our American culture through our roadside landscape, I found this curious juxtaposition while looking for lunch in rural Texas, the heart of hunting country. Mikeska's Bar-B-Q is famous for its Sunday BBQ buffet and its taxidermy.

Authentic to the scene depicted, this highly-detailed image is constructed of over 100 individual photographs meticulously stitched together.

Categories: Equipment

Venus Optics unveils Laowa 9mm F2.8 Zero-D lens for mirrorless APS-C cameras

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 2:33pm

Venus Optics has officially announced the Laowa 9mm F2.8 Zero-D lens: the "world's widest F2.8 lens for APS-C mirrorless cameras." Featuring a 113° angle of view, fast F2.8 aperture, and a Zero-D design that promises "close to zero" distortion, the 9mm (13mm equivalent) lens promises to deliver 'extreme' specs in a portable package that weighs just 215g.

The Laowa 9mm F2.8 Zero-D is the third lens in Laowa's Zero-D lineup, and like the others it promises "close to zero" distortion despite its ultra-wide angle focal length. This is achieved using an optical design of 15 lens elements in 10 groups, including 2 aspherical elements and 3 extra-low dispersion elements.

From the press release:

The extreme 113° angle of view and ultra-fast f/2.8 aperture allows photographers to create impressive astro-photography shots with ease. It also gives photographers a fast and wide-angle option for landscape photography and low-light shooting.

The Laowa 9mm F2.8 Zero-D is designed for APS-C mirrorless cameras, and will ship in Fuji X, Sony E, and Canon EOS-M mounts starting in "early April," at a suggested retail price of $500 USD. Scroll through the gallery below to see a few official sample photos from Venus Optics, then head over to the Venus Optics website to learn more or pre-order one for yourself.

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Press Release

Venus Optics announces the Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D, the World’s Widest f/2.8 Lens for APS-C Mirrorless Cameras

Featuring a 113° Angle of View, Ultra-fast f/2.8 aperture, close-to-zero distortion, 49mm filter thread & less than 0.5 pounds in weight, this is a perfect ultra-wide option for still & videographers.

Anhui China, Mar 21, 2018 – Venus Optics, the camera lenses manufacturer who had previously launched a number of unique Laowa camera lenses, is proud to announce the world’s widest rectilinear f/2.8 lens for mirrorless APS-C cameras, Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero- D.

Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D is the third member of the Laowa ‘Zero-D’ line-up and they all feature an excellent control of the optical distortion which is commonly appeared in ultra- wide angle lenses. This new lens is an ultra-wide & ultra-fast prime lens with a 35mm equivalent focal length of around 13mm. Despite the extreme specifications, Venus Optics has successfully minimized the weight of the lens to less than 0.5 pounds (215g) and 2-inch (53mm) long. This compact and light lens comprises of 15 elements in 10 groups with 2 pcs of aspherical elements and 3 pcs of Extra-low dispersion elements. This optical design successfully minimizes the distortion and chromatic aberrations to its lowest but at the same time, delivers a superb optical performance from corners to corners.

The extreme 113° angle of view and ultra-fast f/2.8 aperture allows photographers to create impressive astro-photography shots with ease. It also gives photographers a fast and wide-angle option for landscape photography and low-light shooting. For videographers, the compact size of this lens is friendly to the use of gimbals or even handheld shooting without much of shaking. The lens is designed with a 49mm filter thread which gives additional portability for screw-in filters. It comes with both Sony E, Fuji X & EOS-M mounts.


The Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D is currently available to pre-order in the official website of Venus Optics (http://www.venuslens.net/) and their authorized resellers. Recommended Retail Price in US (without tax) is USD 499/pc. Pricing may vary in different countries. The first 100 orders will get a set of Laowa 49mm filters for FREE (CPL + UV + ND1000). Shipping is expected to start from early April.


Focal Length: 9mm

Max Aperture: F2.8

Angle of View: 113°

Format Compatibility: APS-C

Lens Structure: 15 elements in 10 groups

Aperture Blades: 7

Min. Focusing Distance: 12cm

Max Magnification: 1:7.5

Filter Thread: 49mm

Dimensions: 60 x 53mm

Weight: ~215g

Mounts: Fuij X, Sony E, Canon EF-M

Categories: Equipment

Watch: Unboxing $221,000 worth of Leica Summilux-C cinema lenses

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 1:48pm

Videographer Devin Graham of Devin Supertramp has published a new video in which he unboxes $221,000 worth of Leica Summilux-C lenses. "When deciding to purchase these lenses, it was a six month process," said Graham, who also explained while retrieving a lens box, "These are like a holy experience to me."

Graham chose the Summilux lenses over Leica's Thalia lenses due to their ability to shoot at a lower key stop, he explains in the video. The Summilux lenses were used in several notable productions recently, including: Stranger Things, Beauty and the Beast (2017), and Justice League. Overall, the purchase and subsequent unboxing involves half a dozen lenses: 16mm, 21mm, 29mm, 40mm, 50mm, and 75mm.

And if the video above isn't quite enough expensive lens unboxing for you, check out Graham's video from January below, in which he unboxed $25K worth of Sigma Cine lenses:

Categories: Equipment

We're hiring! DPReview seeks Software Development Engineer

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 11:00am

DPReview is hiring! We're looking for a Software Development Engineer to join our Seattle-based team. Bring your creativity, passion and talent to help us build the next generation of our web and mobile experiences. This role will help build shopping and comparison tools for photo gear as well as other special projects on the roadmap. Find all the details below.

Click here to find out more and to apply for this role - Software Development Engineer, Digital Photography Review

Software Development Engineer, Digital Photography Review

Digital Photography Review (DPReview.com) is seeking a talented, passionate, and creative engineer to help us build the future of the world's most popular digital camera website. You will leverage our unique position in the industry to constantly strive for smarter and better ways to deliver the content, services, and tools that have made it such a success.

Your core focus will be to build the next generation of web and mobile experiences for DPReview.com. This includes shopping and comparison tools for photographic gear, community and social features focused on photography enthusiasts, and other special projects on the roadmap.

While a part of Amazon, DPReview has its own unique culture. It's a startup-like environment backed by an industry leader. Engineers will have an opportunity to partner with our in-house product management and editorial teams to help shape projects from concept to delivery.

If you're looking for an opportunity to be a part of a small, lean team that'll work across the stack on a variety of interesting problems, then this is it!

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or related field
  • 4+ years of professional software development experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • Some design and / or UX experience a big plus
  • Proficient in at least one object-oriented programming language such as Java, C++ or C#
  • Strong problem solving skills and computer science fundamentals (data structures, algorithms)
  • Experience in common web technologies: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX
  • Experience with REST and other web service models

Click here to find out more and to apply for this role - Software Development Engineer, Digital Photography Review

Categories: Equipment

Fujifilm X-A5 sample gallery

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 9:00am
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If you're on a budget and looking to get into Fujifilm's X-series, the X-A5 is likely on your radar – at $600 with a 15-45mm lens, it's the cheapest entry point to the system. The camera uses a 24MP sensor with a conventional Bayer filter and hybrid AF. It also boasts improved battery life over its predecessor, claiming 450 shots per charge. We're just getting started putting the camera through its paces; take a look at our first sample images.

See our Fujifilm X-A5 sample gallery

Categories: Equipment

NEA report reveals photography industry's contribution to US economy

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 3:11pm

A report from the National Endowment for the Arts sheds light on the photography industry's contribution to the US economy. The report breaks down data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), revealing that the arts overall contributed more to the US economy than warehousing, agriculture, and transportation at $763.6 billion.

Photography and photo-finishing services in particular contributed $10.2 billion of that in 2015, with the industry experiencing a 2.9% average annual growth from 2012 to 2015. The industry's total production, according to the NEA, were 97.7% made up of arts and cultural goods.

The arts industries as a whole employ 4.9 million people across the nation, and they boast a positive trade balance of $20 billion. Further breaking down the numbers, the NEA says the arts added 4x more to the nation's economy than agriculture, also exceeding warehousing and transportation by $200 billion. Jewelry, movies, and television fueled the trade surplus, while web publishing and streaming, architectural service, performing arts, and design saw the fastest growth.

The National Endowment for the Arts offers a tool for viewing the economic contributions of each art industry individually.

Via: PDN

Categories: Equipment

Google reportedly to acquire Lytro for $40 million

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 2:52pm

Lytro first appeared on the scene in 2011 with its unique light field cameras that allow for refocusing of an image after it has been captured. However, after the concept failed to catch on in the consumer space, the company decided to abandon this market and focus on Light Field video solutions for professional users.

More recently the inevitable happened and Lytro discontinued the pictures.lytro.com platform, which had allowed Lytro users to share their refocusable 'living' light-field images with others online and through Facebook.

Now TechCrunch reports tech giant Google is about to acquire the company. According to unnamed sources, Google will pay approximately $40 million for Lytro's technology and patents. According to the same sources, some Lytro employees have already left the company.

Lytro's technology could be very useful for Google's ventures into the rapidly growing area of virtual reality where it is competing with Facebook's Oculus and a number of other players. A recent example of Google's VR activities is the "Welcome to Light Fields" app on the digital distribution platform Steam. According to the app description, users can "experience real-world reflections, depth, and translucence like never before in VR."

Categories: Equipment

Sony a7 III studio scene published

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 9:00am

The Sony a7 III is a 24MP full frame mirrorless camera with a BSI CMOS sensor. It's the third generation of Sony's entry-level full frame camera but it comes with a significant number of the features and improvements introduced with the pro sports a9 model.

On paper, at least, the specifications look like an impressive all-rounder, with very little in the way of corner-cutting to keep the camera down to a certain price or capabilities omitted to avoid cannibalizing the sales of more expensive models.

Key Features:

  • 24MP full frame BSI CMOS sensor
  • 93% AF coverage (693 phase detection points, 425 for contrast detection)
  • Oversampled 4K/24p video taken from full width 6K (cropped-in 5K for 30p)
  • In-body image stabilization
  • 10 fps continuous shooting
  • 2.36m dot OLED viewfinder
  • AF joystick
  • Touchscreen
  • Larger, 'Z-type' battery
  • Dual SD card slots
  • USB 3.1 Type C


The move to a BSI CMOS sensor, combined with the adoption of the latest technologies, such as dual gain design promises improved low light performance, compared with the somewhat under-performing chips in the previous models.

The Eye AF function, which finds and focuses on eyes within the scene makes extremely simple to shoot in-focus portraits.


The a7 series is the last in Sony's lineup to receive 4K video capture, but gets one of the best implementations, as a result. It can read the full width of its sensor (roughly 6000 x 3375 pixels) then process and downsample the footage, resulting in higher detail levels than would be possible shooting with a 3840 x 2160 pixel sensor. This

Beyond this, the a7 III has all the other video support tools and features Sony tends to include: focus peaking to aid manual focus, zebra warnings to help guide exposure and the ability to display a corrected preview when shooting Log footage.


The a7 III gains the same body as the a7R III, giving it a more substantial grip and an autofocus joystick on the rear plate. There's also an extra custom button on the left rear shoulder. By default this acts as a 'Protect' button for ensuring your favorite images don't get deleted but there's also the option to assign it to rate images, with a menu option to select how many rating steps are used.

As with the other recent Sonys, you can assign different functions to each custom button for stills and playback (and video?)

There's also a touchscreen, primarily used for setting the AF point, either as a touchpad, when the camera is to your eye, or for direct selection when it isn't.

Compared to its peers:

Sony a7m3 Sony a7m2 Sony a7Rm3 Nikon D750 Pentax K-1 II
MSRP (body only) $2000 $1700 $3200 $2300 $2000
Pixel Count 24MP 24MP 42.4MP 24MP 36.4MP
Cont. shooting rate (fps) 10 10 6.5
Rear LCD res
Rear LCD articulation Tilt up/down Tilt up/down Tilt up/down Tilt up/down Tilt up/down
Viewfinder magn. 0.78x 0.71x 0.78x 0.70x 0.70x
Viewfinder res (dots) 2.36m 2.36m 3.69m N/A N/A
Highest video res UHD 4K/30p 1080/60p UHD 4K/30p 1080/60p 1080/30p (as 60i)
Max bitrate 100 Mbps 50 Mbps 100 Mbps ~24 Mbps ~20 Mbps
Mic / Headphn Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
Categories: Equipment

Nimbus Data ExaDrive pushes SSD capacity record to 100TB

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 4:33pm

Only a few weeks ago Samsung set a new record for SSD-drive capacity with its latest 30TB model. The achievement didn't stand for long; US company Nimbus Data just shot past Samsung's benchmark with the launch of a gargantuan 100TB drive.

The company says the “ExaDrive DC series raises the bar in SSD power efficiency, density, and write endurance”. At a 85% lower claimed power consumption than the competition (0.1 Watts/TB) the new drive is the world’s most efficient SSD which, according to Nimbus, means a 42% reduction cost of ownership per terabyte.

With a mean time between failures (MTBF) of 2.5 million hours, or over 285 years, longevity of the drive should be ensured as well but the the ExaDrive's selling point is of course capacity. According to the Nimbus press release the drive has “capacity to store 20 million songs, 20,000 HD movies, or 2,000 iPhones worth of data in a device small enough to fit in your back pocket.” As a photographer you're unlikely to ever run out of space, even when shooting high-resolution Raw files or recording 4K video footage.

The ExaDrive DC100 comes with the same 3.5" form factor, SATA interface and plug-and-play capability as most standard hard drives, allowing for easy installation. The ExaDrive DC100 will be available this summer. No pricing information has been provided yet but given it's targeted at datacenter use the new drive likely won't be cheap. More information is available on the Nimbus website.

Press Release:

Nimbus Data launches the world’s largest solid state drive – 100 terabytes – to power data-driven innovation

ExaDrive DC series raises the bar in SSD power efficiency, density, and write endurance

Irvine, CA, March 19, 2018 – Nimbus Data, a pioneer in flash memory solutions, today announced the ExaDrive® DC100, the largest capacity (100 terabytes) solid state drive (SSD) ever produced. Featuring more than 3x the capacity of the closest competitor, the ExaDrive DC100 also draws 85% less power per terabyte (TB). These innovations reduce total cost of ownership per terabyte by 42% compared to competing enterprise SSDs, helping accelerate flash memory adoption in both cloud infrastructure and edge computing.

“As flash memory prices decline, capacity, energy efficiency, and density will become the critical drivers of cost reduction and competitive advantage,” stated Thomas Isakovich, CEO and founder of Nimbus Data. “The ExaDrive DC100 meets these challenges for both data center and edge applications, offering unmatched capacity in an ultra-low power design.”

Optimized to Maximize Flash Storage Capacity and Efficiency

While existing SSDs focus on speed, the DC100 is optimized for capacity and efficiency. With its patent-pending multiprocessor architecture, the DC100 supports much greater capacity than monolithic flash controllers. Using 3D NAND, the DC100 provides enough flash capacity to store 20 million songs, 20,000 HD movies, or 2,000 iPhones worth of data in a device small enough to fit in your back pocket. For data centers, a single rack of DC100 SSDs can achieve over 100 petabytes of raw capacity. Data centers can reduce power, cooling, and rack space costs by 85% per terabyte, enabling more workloads to move to flash at the lowest possible total cost of ownership.

Plug-and-Play and Balanced Performance for Diverse Workloads

Featuring the same 3.5” form factor and SATA interface used by hard drives, the ExaDrive DC100 is plug-and-play compatible with hundreds of storage and server platforms. The DC100’s low-power (0.1 watts/TB) and portability also make it well-suited for edge and IoT applications. The DC100 achieves up to 100,000 IOps (read or write) and up to 500 MBps throughput. This equally-balanced read/write performance is ideal for a wide range of workloads, from big data and machine learning to rich content and cloud infrastructure.

“The release of such a high capacity flash device that is fully compatible with HDD form factors opens up the opportunity to turbo charge big data platforms while at the same time improving reliability, significantly reducing device count, increasing data mobility, and lowering the TCO of multi-PB scale storage platforms,” said Eric Burgener, research vice president of Storage at IDC. “Devices of this class will allow flash to cost-effectively penetrate a broader set of use cases outside of tier 0 and tier 1 applications.”

Superior Reliability and Complete Data Protection

The ExaDrive DC100 is protected by an unlimited endurance guarantee for 5 years. By doing away with confusing drive-writes-per-day restrictions, the DC100 offers peace of mind, reduces hardware refresh cycles, and eliminates costly support renewals. Embedded capacitors ensure that buffered data is safely protected if there is a sudden power loss. Encryption, multiple ECC processors, and a secure-erase feature ensure data security. The DC100 offers a mean time between failures (MTBF) of 2.5 million hours.

Availability, Certifications, and Pricing

The ExaDrive DC series includes both 100 TB and 50 TB models. It is currently sampling to strategic customers and will be generally available in summer 2018. Nimbus Data has qualified the DC series in storage and server enclosures from major vendors. Pricing will be similar to existing enterprise SSDs on a per terabyte basis while offering 85% lower operating costs. Overall, the ExaDrive DC series will cost 42% less per terabyte over a 5-year period compared to existing enterprise SSDs. This TCO advantage factors in the superior endurance, balanced read/write performance, power savings, cooling savings, rack space savings, component reduction, and lower refresh costs.

Categories: Equipment

DJI Phantom 5 leak hints at interchangeable lens camera system

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 4:29pm

A pair of images show what may be the upcoming DJI Phantom 5 drone featuring an interchangeable lens camera. The drone model hasn't yet been announced and details about it aren't yet officially available. However, leaks and rumors surrounding the drone have increased in past weeks, one of the most recent coming from Twitter user OsitaLV.

A drone said to possibly be the DJI Phantom 5 is featured in two tweeted images. The drone itself is mostly blurred, the only exception being a dark armature and what appears to be a silver or grey body. The drone's camera, however, is featured front and center, appearing to reveal the presence of an interchangeable lens system.

The same user claimed in a later tweet, "DJI said that the leaked photo of the [Phantom 5] is a customized drone for designated users, not for sale." The user expressed skepticism about that claim, but no official statements have been made. OsitaLV again tweeted a leak later on, that one a sketch featuring a drone said to be the Phantom 5.

An interchangeable lens camera isn't beyond the realm of possibility. In October, DJI introduced the X7 camera, a Super 35/APS-C system created specifically for aerial use. Rather than build on an existing platform, DJI engineered its own camera, lens mount, and four cinema primes for the system at launch. Though we usually think of DJI as a drone company, it's now a camera company as well, and it's reasonable to assume it will leverage that expertise across additional products.

According to the tweet containing the image above, the DJI Phantom 5 drone features an aluminum shell, a plastic GPS antenna cover, and plastic landing gear. The leaker's credibility as a source isn't clear, however. It's expected that DJI will announce the Phantom 5 model later on this year.

Via: PhotoRumors

Categories: Equipment

RIP Canon's Chuck Westfall, 1952-2018

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 1:00pm
Chuck Westfall, pictured in front of our studio test scene on a visit to DPReview to show us the EOS 7D Mark II, in 2014.

We were sad to learn that Chuck Westfall, 35-year veteran of Canon USA and friend of the site, passed away last week. At the time of his death he held the position of Product Planning Advisor for Canon's Imaging Technology & Communications Group.

After DPReview moved to Seattle in 2010, Chuck became our primary point of contact for technical questions and product briefings on high-end products in the USA. His pride in Canon's portfolio of cameras and lenses and his very genuine love of photography was undimmed, even after more than 30 years at the company. During this time he played a key role in the development of countless flagship products, both film and digital.

A legendary figure within our industry, probably the nearest Chuck ever came to being a household name was as a result of the briefly-famous 'fake Chuck Westfall' blog of the late 2000s - which could not have been further from the character of the man himself. The real Chuck Westfall was polite, reserved and unfailingly professional.

While we didn't work with him for as long as some of our US-based peers (we'd recommend reading Dave Etchells' heartfelt tribute at Imaging Resource) all of us at DPReview have benefited from Chuck's expertise in one way or another. He didn't talk about his illness and it didn't stop him working; he was a welcome presence at product briefings and trade-shows until relatively recently, and he will be greatly missed by everyone here at DPReview.

Remembering Chuck Westfall

Barnaby Britton, Senior Editor

The first time I came across Chuck Westfall was in 2000 or 2001, when researching the purchase of my first professional SLR. Being a student, I couldn't afford the then-current EOS-1V, so I had my eye on a (much) used EOS-1. I sent off for archived magazine camera reviews from the late 1980s and 90s (remember when you could still do that?) and spent hours searching around in obscure corners of the Internet for any information about that long-discontinued model.

During the course of my research I dug up an incredibly detailed technical paper on the EOS-1's flash metering and autofocus systems. In terms of informational content, it was far more informative than any review I'd been able to find, while still being readable. The author was Chuck Westfall.

Although it was years before we met in person, the way that paper was written said a lot about Chuck as a person.

Chuck Westfall, pictured with photographer Adam Jones during the filming of DPReview's first long-form 'field test' video, featuring the EOS 7D Mark II, in late 2014. I took along an original EOS D30 as a conversation piece, and to shoot behind-the-scenes images.

During my time with DPReview I have met and spoken to Chuck on countless occasions about Canon's latest digital cameras. In late 2014 I spent a few days with him in Montana, during the filming of a long-form video that featured the then-new EOS 7D Mark II. I had limited access to the camera before the shoot, and his help was invaluable when it came to navigating the camera's menu systems and custom options, while (equally as important) speaking coherently about them on-camera. I took my treasured EOS D30 along to shoot some behind the scenes images of the production, and I peppered Chuck with questions about his memories of the early days of digital imaging at Canon - a hugely important period when it seemed like new technologies were being unveiled almost every week.

For as long as I knew him professionally, I never stopped asking him Chuck about the cameras I used to aspire to owning when I was still a kid. Cameras like the T90, the EOS-1, the D30 and Canon's first-generation professional DSLRs. I'll miss those tangents, which invariably came in the middle of what should have been an interview or a briefing about some or other new Canon camera or lens.

Chuck was a key figure at Canon during one of the most important periods in the company's history, and his breadth of experience was just one of the reasons he was so valuable both to Canon, and to the journalists and analysts that he worked with. If you've shot with a Canon camera at any point in the last 30 or so years, the chances are that you've benefited from his expertise. We'll miss him.

Please note that comments have been enabled on this article to enable our readers to share their memories of Chuck. Please be respectful.

Categories: Equipment

Nikon D850 Filmmaker's Kit includes Atomos Ninja Flame, three lenses and two microphones

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 10:00am
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Nikon looks to be positioning its D850 as a serious video rig with today's announcement of a D850 Filmmaker's Kit. The kit includes the camera body, three AF-S Nikkor lenses (20mm F1.8G ED, 35mm F1.8G ED, 85mm F1.8G), an Atomos Ninja Flame external recorder, ME-1 shotgun and ME-W1 wireless mics and an extra EN-EL15A battery.

Purchased separately, these items cost nearly $6300, so the kit's MSRP of $5499 is a nice discount. The Filmmaker's Kit will be available for purchase in late March.

Press Release

For the U.S. market, Nikon Inc. is excited to announce the all-new Nikon D850 Filmmaker’s Kit, a custom bundle specifically designed for content creators and filmmakers looking to take full advantage of the D850’s extensive video capabilities and controls. The key component of the kit, the award winning Nikon D850 offers incredible features, including full-frame 4K UHD video capture at 24/30 fps, 8K and 4K time-lapse, focus peaking, zebra stripes, HDMI output and enhanced audio control.

The Nikon D850 Filmmaker’s Kit will include three prime NIKKOR lenses which are ideal for content creation, and exhibit the clarity and sharpness needed for 4K Ultra HD video; AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED, AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED, and the AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G. The kit will also contain an external 4K Atomos Ninja Flame recorder/monitor (with power kit, docking station and coiled HDMI cable).

The Nikon D850 Filmmaker’s Kit will be available in the U.S. for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $5,499.95 and will go on sale at the end of March 2018.

The Nikon D850 Filmmaker Kit includes the following:

  • Nikon D850 DSLR (with supplied accessories)
  • AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED lens
  • AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G lens
  • AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED lens
  • Extra EN-EL15A battery
  • ME-1 Stereo Microphone
  • ME-W1 Wireless Microphone
  • Atomos Ninja Flame External Recorder (with supplied accessories)
  • Custom foam inserts (can be used in hard case for transporting, hard case sold separately)
Categories: Equipment

Alien Skin Exposure X3 review

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 3:01am

Alien Skin Exposure X3 3.5
$149 | www.alienskin.com/exposure/ | Buy Now

This review is based on use of Exposure X3 and a beta version of Exposure X3 Complete Workflow Update for Mac.


We’ve reached the point with image editing software that most basic features are covered. Correcting for exposure, saturation, and other settings are the expected baseline, which means applications need something more to differentiate themselves.

Some, like Skylum’s Luminar or Serif’s Affinity Photo (see Review: Affinity Photo 1.5.2 for desktop), are competing on price, along with the fact that they don’t require subscription plans.

Add to the mix Alien Skin Software’s Exposure X3. It’s competitive on price—$149 on its own, or $199 for a bundle that includes a couple of the company’s utilities, with no subscription—but it also includes several unique features that demonstrate the company is willing to tailor the software experience to how its customers use the product.

Differentiation in organizing

Like Adobe’s Lightroom family of products, Exposure X3 is both an image editor and an organizer for managing your photo library. You can preview thumbnails, rate and flag photos, assign keywords, and fill in basic IPTC metadata such as Title, Caption, Copyright, and contact information.

People who capture many images at a time and need fast turnaround will appreciate Exposure X3’s ability to import from multiple connected memory cards at once. You can rename files at import, specify custom destinations (and create presets for folder structures), and apply keywords and metadata during the ingest process. What it doesn’t do, surprisingly, is let you preview thumbnails of what’s coming in to cull shots before they’re copied to disk. It also doesn’t let you specify how to treat Raw + JPEG image pairs; you get both shots as separate images.

Import photos from multiple sources in the same batch.

Reviewing photos is aided by Exposure X3’s Quad and Six layout views, especially when you have several photos from the same capture burst where the subject is similar in each one. Four or six adjacent images in your library are displayed in a grid so you can compare differences between them, such as the expression on a person’s face. (There are also options to compare two or three images at a time.) If one stands out, you can pin it to the screen and compare it to others. The views are synchronized, so zooming in on one zooms them all at the same location in the image.

Compare four similar images at a time in the Quad view.

An important distinction about Exposure X3’s asset management features is that they’re directory-based, not catalog based. Applications such as Lightroom and Apple’s Photos keep track of where your photos are located on disk—sometimes all within the same library file or folder, set up by the software—and store metadata and edits about the images in a central catalog.

The advantage to this approach is that, as long as you continue to use that application to manage everything, all that data is more easily accessed by the software. You don’t need to worry about managing files, because the application does it for you. On the other hand, it means the metadata and edits don’t live with the image files. If you move an original Raw file on disk to a new location, for example, any edits you made would not go along with it. And in the case of Lightroom, moving the file in the Finder or Windows Explorer confuses Lightroom because it’s lost track of the image.

Exposure X3 doesn’t use standard XMP files, as many applications do

Exposure X3 takes a different tack. It reads images from the folders in which they’re stored, and writes edits to a separate sidecar file that lives in the same directory as the image file. When you view a photo in Exposure X3, the software also reads the information in the sidecar file and displays the edits noted there.

However, Exposure X3 doesn’t use standard XMP files, as many applications do. Within every directory of images, it creates a folder hierarchy, “Alien Skin > Exposure X3,” that contains metadata files ending in “.exposurex3” created for every image you edit. Those files use the same structure as XMP files, but can also include editing instructions that only Exposure X3 understands.

Some directory viewing software is just a visual way to traverse the folders on your disk, but Exposure X3 does use some centralized know-how to help you organize photos. The Collections feature lets you create virtual albums to group related photos that may exist in separate directories, such as shots from a single client captured over several photo shoots. Adding photos to a collection doesn’t move the files on disk.

Differentiation in editing

Before Alien Skin released Exposure as a stand-alone application, it was known for its presets that simulated the looks of film stocks and other effects. Those are all there in Exposure X3, and the results are quite good.

Exposure X3’s many presets simulate the looks of old photo processes, favorite film stocks, and more.

Want to preview how a preset will look before you apply it? Mousing over the preset thumbnails reveals the effect on your image, but you can also “audition” up to four presets at a time by selecting an image and dragging the presets you want to open slots.

Compare presets to the same image before applying your pick.

In addition to the basic editing adjustments (tone, color, and so forth), Exposure X3 also includes controls for controlling grain and creating vignettes that introduce variation such as distortion and lump size for more organic results. An IR panel introduces the soft hazy signature look of infrared photos with sliders to control color contrast and the degree of halation (light spread). A Bokeh panel includes a multitude of controls for adding selective focus. Exposure X3.5 brings the Color tools into the present with the addition of granular Hue, Saturation, and Luminance controls, as well as white balance controls listed in Kelvin units and with camera Raw presets.

One feature I stumbled upon is the software’s batch editing feature, which resulted in me accidentally making the same adjustments to several shots at once. Instead of making edits to one photo and then copying them to other images, you simply select all the images you want to change in the grid view or the filmstrip at the bottom of the screen. As you make edits to one, the adjustments are applied to all of the others.

When you make any adjustment, as with Lightroom, the effect is applied to the entire image. Unlike Lightroom, Exposure X3 supports multiple layers, enabling you to isolate adjustments on their own layers. In fact, local adjustments such as brush strokes or radial or linear gradients automatically appear as new layers. Each layer has an automatic mask that hides the adjustments until you expose them with the brush or gradient tools.

If your images are stored in a shared location, such as a Dropbox folder, someone else running Exposure X3 can view the photos

The Portrait Touch Up preset demonstrates this: when you apply it, Exposure X3 creates three layers designed to whiten teeth, smooth skin, and enhance a subject’s iris. Paint over the affected areas to reveal the effects. You can’t apply blend modes between layers, as some applications allow, but you can choose an opacity level for each layer.

Remember earlier when I mentioned that Exposure X3 stores metadata in its own sidecar files? All of the editing information is also stored in the same place, creating an interesting collaborative possibility. If your images are stored in a shared location, such as a Dropbox folder, someone else running Exposure X3 can view the photos. The adjustment data exists in the text-only sidecar files that are updated on both machines as they’re changed.

You’ll want to make sure you’re not both editing at the same time, which can overwrite edits, but it allows you to work on an image together over the phone or in alternating sessions without having to send file revisions back and forth.


Working with layers and local adjustments in Exposure X3 is a bit of a mixed bag. When editing Raw .RAF files from my FujiFilm X-T1, there was noticeable lag when using the brush, which meant I became accustomed to painting an area and waiting a beat for the result to appear before moving on. The lag was more pronounced when viewing an image at 1:1 zoom; an onscreen Rendering progress indicator showed up often. Even when reviewing images, I saw pauses as the software processed my Raw files.

This was a surprise, because I came to Exposure X3 with the expectation that it tended to do a better job handling the Raw files from Fuji’s X-Trans sensors. The update from version 3.0.6 to 3.5 did improve performance somewhat, but the lag is still noticeable.

I became accustomed to painting an area and waiting a beat for the result to appear before moving on

I also loaded some Nikon .NEF Raw files from a D90, as well as Sony .ARW Raw files from a Sony a7R III. Performance was just fine on the former, and a little slow on the latter’s significantly larger (86 MB) image files. But the X-T1’s images, which max out at 16.3MP (compared to the larger 24.3MP files from the Fujifilm X-T2, which I didn’t have to test) still performed the slowest.

For context, I tested Exposure X3 on a late-2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, outfitted with 16GB of RAM (the maximum the machine can handle) and the Radeon Pro 460 graphics processor with 4GB memory (the top-line GPU upgrade when the computer was offered). This isn’t the most powerful Mac available, but it isn’t a slouch, either.

With the caveat that I’m not a software engineer, I suspect one possibility for the lackluster editing performance is that Exposure X3 doesn’t seem to be making use of the high-performance GPU. (You can check this by opening Activity Monitor, switching to the Energy tab, and looking at the Requires High Perf GPU column.)

I was also surprised that the Shadows control seems subpar. Yes, it brightens shadow areas, but it does so by flattening the entire image more than you’d expect; it feels like using a blunt instrument instead of a surgical one.

It’s a reminder that even basic features need attention, as well as the differentiating ones.

Pros and Cons


  • Import from multiple sources at the same time
  • Edits and metadata are stored in local files, not a central database
  • Quad layout reviewing
  • High-quality presets
  • Ability to audition presets
  • Fixed price, no subscription


  • Frequent rendering lag using Fujifilm Raw files
  • Shadows control is heavy-handed
  • No thumbnail preview during import
  • Raw+JPEG pairs are treated as separate images

Good for:

Photographers looking for non-subscription software that does more than basic editors.

Not good for:

The impatient.

Categories: Equipment

Alien Skin offers Exposure X3 update

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 3:01am

Alien Skin has released a significant update for its Exposure X3 image editor, adding greater precision to adjustment tools and more printing capabilities, among other improvements.

Called the Exposure X3 Complete Workflow Update, this software version introduces hue, luminance and saturation controls for individual colors. New white balance presets and adjustment in Kelvin values is now available, and workflow when copying images from a card to a collection has been improved. Along with new watermark adjustment options and added keyword functions, the update expands camera support and adds pre-sets to match Fujifilm's film simulation modes.

Exposure X3 Complete Workflow Update is available now; current owners of Exposure X3 can download the update for free. Exposure X2 and earlier customers can upgrade for $99, while new customers will pay $149.

We've been given an early look at the update – take a look at our Exposure X3 review.

Alien Skin Software Announces Exposure X3 Complete Workflow Update for Photographers

Update for Exposure X3 includes hue and luminance color controls - Kelvin-based temperature and tint controls - printing - enhanced watermarks, keywords, and side-by-side view - expanded camera support

Raleigh, NC (March 20, 2018) - Alien Skin Software today announced the release of the Exposure X3 Complete Workflow Update, the latest version of their non-destructive RAW photo editor. The award-winning Exposure combines powerful organizational tools and accurate photo processing into a single intuitive solution. Enhancements to this latest version make Exposure the ideal solution for handling the full photography workflow.

Photographers can easily organize, edit, retouch, export, and print their photos using Exposure’s efficient workflow. Exposure’s intuitive design streamlines image management and backups. Its support of cloud-based storage enables multi-computer and collaborative workflows.

The Exposure X3 Complete Workflow Update introduces numerous creative and organizing enhancements.

“This latest update to Exposure X3 provides photographers with additional creative and organizational control, and handles their printing needs as well,” said Alien Skin CEO Finley Lee. “Exposure’s speed, stability, and power makes it the fastest way for photographers to bring their vision to life.”

Improvements to the color controls enable photographers to adjust hue, luminance, and saturation for specific colors. In addition, users can can easily target specific colors in their image for detailed adjustments.

For RAW images that record white balance data, photographers can now specify precise Kelvin values to correct for lighting conditions and unwanted color casts. New white balance presets provide a quick way to set the Kelvin temperature for a specific type of light.

Photographers can now print their photos directly from Exposure. New print capabilities include numerous preview and margin options, output sharpening, integrated watermarks, grid capability for printing contact sheets, and more.

Collections see several refinements. New images copied from a photo card are now placed in a Last Copy From Card collection. Optionally, when copying images from their camera card, photographers can choose to add images to any existing collections. Also, when creating a collection, it’s possible to add any images that are currently selected.

Keywords have been improved with the ability to remove all keywords from a photo and to add and remove keywords from a set. It’s also now possible to import keyword sets from other applications like Lightroom.

Exposure’s watermarks now have new metadata options, a watermark preview in the Export dialog, and improved control when moving and rotating a watermark.

A number of miscellaneous improvements include expanded camera support, the ability to backup photos to a second location when copying images from a card, a six image side-by-side layout, a new uninstaller, 15 new presets that mimic Fujifilm in-camera film simulations, and more.

About Exposure

Exposure is a RAW photo editor that provides photographers with all the tools they need to complete their workflow: from first copying images to their computer, culling and organizing, creative edits and retouching, and finally exporting and printing.

Exposure’s beating heart is its advanced rendering engine, which handles the demanding task of accurate film emulation and provides exceptional processing quality and performance. Exposure handles the most sophisticated edits. Its extensive library of customizable presets makes hundreds of iconic film looks and other styles available to photographers. Extensive editing, layering, and retouching tools make it easy to refine images, as well as to blend subtle or bold creative looks.

Powerful organizing tools enable photographers to manage even the largest photo collections.

All of Exposure's tools work together in a carefully designed, customizable user interface, resulting in a seamless workflow for a wide range of photographers.

Exposure also works as a creative editing plug-in with other editors, such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

Pricing and Availability

The Exposure X3 Complete Workflow Update is available now from www.alienskin.com for $149. The update is free for current owners of Exposure X3. Upgrade pricing is available to owners of Exposure X2 and earlier versions for $99.

The Exposure X3 Complete Workflow Update is also the centerpiece in the Exposure X3 Bundle. This integrated collection bundles Exposure with Alien Skin’s award-winning Blow Up and Snap Art tools to add high-quality upsizing and natural media special effects. It is available for $199. Owners of one or more of the current apps in the Exposure X3 Bundle can purchase for $119. It is free for current owners of the Exposure X3 Bundle.

A 30-day fully-featured free trial of Exposure is available. Visit www.alienskin.com/exposure to learn more and download the trial.

Host Requirements

The Exposure X3 Complete Workflow Update may be used as a standalone program or as a set of plug-ins. When used as a set of plug-ins, it requires one of the following host applications:

  • Adobe Photoshop CS6 or Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 or newer
  • Adobe Lightroom 6 or Adobe Lightroom CC 2015 or newer

System Requirements

  • Apple Mac: OS X 10.10 Yosemite or newer
  • Microsoft Windows: Windows 7 64-bit or newer
  • An Intel Core 2 processor or compatible
  • A monitor with 1280 × 768 resolution or greater
Categories: Equipment