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Updated: 15 min 43 sec ago

Buying guides updated with Panasonic DC-G9

35 min 13 sec ago

Now that we've completed our review of Panasonic's Lumix DC-G9, we've updated its entry in our Best Cameras Under $2000 and Best Cameras for Sports & Action buying guides. The G9 is Panasonic's flagship stills camera, and earned a Silver Award with impressive stabilization, burst shooting, and solid image quality.

Head to our buying guide hub for help finding the right camera by both price and use case.

Read our Best Cameras Under $2000 buying guide

Read our Best Cameras for Sports & Action buying guide

Categories: Equipment

The Hasselblad H6D-400c multi-shot captures insane 400MP images

1 hour 35 min ago

Swedish medium format manufacturer Hasselblad has introduced its next-generation multi-shot body, building a monster that outputs 400MP images.

Following in the footsteps of the company's H6D-100c, the H6D-400c MS uses sensor-shift technology to combine up to six exposures into a single monster image measuring 23200 x 17400 pixels. If you work to the principle that 300ppi is ‘"photo-quality", that means you can create a print of over 77x58in.

The final image from the 6-shot process is a 16-bit TIFF that weighs 2.3GB.

The camera is aimed at the art digitizing market and other industries that require super-resolution and accurate color.

The H6D-400c MS gathers color information by shifting the sensor by a pixel at a time in a four-by-four grid, and recording four images with the red, green and blue filters over-lapping to produce RGBG at every pixel. The sensor is then returned to the normal position before being shifted half a pixel horizontally and then half a pixel vertically to record extra resolution via these two extra images.

The GIF below shows the whole process from start to finish:

The system is similar to that used by companies like Olympus and Panasonic, except that these manufacturers use their ‘floating’ 5-axis sensor image stabilization technology to manipulate the sensor into position. Hasselblad’s system uses a machined metal block with a track milled into it that the sensor is shifted along.

This creates a system that’s more ridged, to ensure the sensor movements are absolutely parallel and precise every single time. When not being used in multi-shot mode, the camera acts just like a H6D-100c, so it can be used normally too.

The H6D-400c MS will begin shipping in March, but pre-orders are being accepted immediately. The price of the camera will be $47,995 (€39,999 / £36,250 / RMB 319,999 / JPY 5,391,380 excluding VAT). If that’s a little out of your budget, you will be able to rent it directly from Hasselblad for about $480 (€400 / £360) per day, with discounts available for longer-term agreements.

For more information visit the Hasselblad website.

Press Release:

Hasselblad Introduces the H6D-400c MS, a 400 Megapixel Multi-Shot Camera

Building on a vast experience of developing exceptional, high-quality single and multi-shot cameras, Hasselblad once again has raised the bar for image quality captured with medium format system.

Multi-Shot capture has become an industry standard in the field of art reproduction and cultural heritage for the documentation of paintings, sculptures, and artwork. As the only professional medium format system to feature multi-shot technology, Hasselblad continues to be the leading choice for institutions, organizations, and museums worldwide to record historic treasures in the highest image quality possible.

With over 10 years of digital imaging expertise, the latest Multi-Shot digital camera combines the H6D’s unrivalled ease of use with a completely new frontier of image quality and detail. This new camera encompasses all of the technological functions of Hasselblad’s H6D single shot camera, and adds to that the resolution and colour fidelity leaps that only Multi-Shot photography can bring to image capture.

With an effective resolution of 400MP via 6 shot image capture, or 100MP resolution in either 4 shot Multi-Shot capture or single shot mode, the Multi-Shot capture requires the sensor and its mount to be moved at a high-precision of 1 or ½ a pixel at a time via a piezo unit. To capture Multi-Shot images the camera must be tethered to a PC or MAC.

In 400MP Multi-Shot mode, 6 images are captured, the first 4 involve moving the sensor by one pixel at a time to achieve real colour data (GRGB- see 4 shot diagrams below), this cycle then returns the sensor to its starting point. A further two exposures are made moving the sensor by ½ a pixel horizontally and then ½ a pixel vertically (see 6 shot diagram on next page). These 6 captures are then merged to give the equivalent of a single 400MP image, delivered as a 2.3GB 16-bit TIFF (23200 x 17400 pixels), for those seeking the utmost in image quality and resolving power.

The H6D-400c MS encompasses all the features and functionality of Hasselblad’s standard single shot cameras:

  • USB 3.0 type c connection for tethered shooting, high speed data transfers & 30FPS live view
  • Dual media card slots: CFast 2.0 and SD card
  • 3.0-inch touch rear display
  • Smartphone style user interface
  • HD & UHD video
  • Modular system with improved back removal process
  • Technical camera connectivity (single shot)
  • Wi-Fi
  • HDMI & Audio I/O
  • True Focus II

The H6D-400c MS will begin shipping March 2018 with a MSRP of € 39,999 / $ 47,995 / £ 36,250 / RMB 319,999 / JPY 5,391,380 excl. VAT.
Pre-orders can start to be taken January 16th

The H6D-400c MS will also be available to rent through your local Hasselblad sales representative. The rental fee is approx. €399/day for short term loans, but you can save up to 50% of that cost if you rent for a longer period.

Categories: Equipment

CVS bans photo manipulation on its beauty images, will hold other brands to same standard

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 4:52pm
Photo: CVS Health

Earlier today, CVS announced that it would ban 'materially altered' imagery on its store-brand beauty products, and begin marking imagery on all of the beauty products the store carries as 'Digitally Altered' if it doesn't match the new policy by 2020. Given the influence CVS wields—it is the US's largest drug store chain—major beauty brands such as L'Oreal, Maybelline, and others are expected to follow suit.

The announcement is branded as a "commitment to create new standards for post-production alterations of beauty imagery," and includes the introduction of the so-called CVS Beauty Mark: a watermark that will appear on all beauty imagery in the store that has not been materially altered. And, just in case you're not sure what CVS means by 'materially altered,' the company explains:

For this initiative, materially altered is defined as changing or enhancing a person's shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles or any other individual characteristics.

The move, says Helena Foulkes, President of CVS Pharmacy and Executive VP of CVS Health, is a recognition of the company's responsibility as one of the largest beauty retailers in the United States:

The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established. As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.

The CVS Beauty Mark will begin appearing on CVS-produced beauty imagery in 2018, but the goal is to have all of the photographs in the beauty sections of CVS stores up to transparency standards by the end of 2020. At that point, any altered beauty image that appears in CVS "stores, marketing materials, websites, apps or social media" will be clearly labeled as such.

To learn more about this initiative, head over to the CVS Beauty Mark website. And if you plan to shoot campaign images for ... well ... almost any beauty brand from this point forward, you might want to keep these standards in mind. Chances are good that product is carried in a CVS store.

Press Release

CVS Pharmacy Makes Commitment to Create New Standards for Post-Production Alterations of Beauty Imagery

WOONSOCKET, R.I. | January 15, 2018 – CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), today announced a commitment to create new standards for post-production alterations of beauty imagery it creates for stores, websites, social media and any marketing materials. As part of this initiative, transparency for beauty imagery that has been materially altered will be required by the end of 2020.

The company also announced that it will introduce the "CVS Beauty Mark," a watermark that will be used to highlight imagery that has not been materially altered. For this initiative, materially altered is defined as changing or enhancing a person's shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles or any other individual characteristics. CVS Pharmacy will be working together with key brand partners and industry experts to develop specific guidelines in an effort to ensure consistency and transparency.

"As a woman, mother and president of a retail business whose customers predominantly are women, I realize we have a responsibility to think about the messages we send to the customers we reach each day," said Helena Foulkes, President of CVS Pharmacy and Executive Vice President, CVS Health. "The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established. As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health."

This new initiative is being introduced in an effort to lead positive change around transparency in beauty as well as to allow customers to differentiate between authentic and materially altered imagery. The CVS Beauty Mark will start to appear on CVS Pharmacy-produced beauty imagery in 2018 with the goal of all images in the beauty sections of CVS Pharmacy stores reflecting transparency by the end of 2020.

"We've reached out to many of our beauty brand partners, many of whom are already thinking about this important issue, to work together to ensure that the beauty aisle is a place that represents and celebrates the authenticity and diversity of the communities we serve," Foulkes added. "We've been inspired by their willingness to partner with us to redefine industry standards around this important issue for the well-being of all of our customers."

"Girls Inc. applauds CVS Pharmacy's leadership commitment to showcase and celebrate beauty in all of its forms. As the national nonprofit dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, Girls Inc. is honored to be a partner in CVS Pharmacy's movement to counter limiting stereotypes too often faced by girls and women. Allowing diversity and natural beauty to shine will have an immensely positive impact on girls and women everywhere." said Judy Vredenburgh, Girls Inc. President & CEO.

CVS Health has previously made significant changes in its retail stores with the health of its customers in mind, such as ending the sale of tobacco products, delivering healthier food options throughout CVS Pharmacy stores and committing to remove certain chemicals of concern from all store brand beauty and personal care items by 2019.

To learn more about CVS Pharmacy's new beauty imagery initiative, visit www.cvshealth.com/BeautyMark.

Categories: Equipment

Canon launches refillable ink printers in the UK

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 3:41pm

Canon has announced that it will introduce a series of printers that are fitted with ink tanks designed so that users can refill the inks themselves. In move that might be interpreted as an "if you can’t beat them, join them" attitude, the company will release four models in the new Pixma G range, each of which has four built-in tanks for black, cyan, magenta and yellow ink.

The company will also sell bottles of ink so that users can refill the printers without having to buy individual cartridges—they will also, in theory, save money.

The new printers will be filled via 70ml bottles of colored dye ink which cost £10, and a 135ml bottle of black pigment ink that will cost £13. This makes the colored ink 13p per ml and the black 9.5p per ml compared with the 200p per ml that UK consumers pay for ink for the Pixma MG series, and 106p paid for 1ml of ink that’s used in the Pixma Pro range.

It's worth noting, however, that Canon hasn’t made any print-life claims with these inks, and the printers are being marketed as general-purpose photo-capable machines rather than photo-specialist printers, so perhaps we shouldn’t expect the same quality.

The Pixma G series consists of four models that range from basic printer to a multi-functional four-in-one (print, copy, scan and fax) with the second two models offering Wi-Fi connectivity and printing from a smartphone app.

For more information, visit the Canon website.

Pricing and Availability

  • The PIXMA G1510: Available from March 2018 with a SRP of £180/€200
  • The PIXMA G2510: Available from March 2018 with a SRP of £200/€230
  • The PIXMA G3510: Available from March 2018 with a SRP of £250/€280
  • The PIXMA G4510: Available from March 2018 with a SRP of £300/€350

Press Release:

Canon launches refillable ink tank printer range in the UK

Canon announces the anticipated launch of its new collection of refillable ink tank printers. The high yield, easy to use and compact PIXMA G Series printers are designed for those seeking high volume, low cost per page, productive printers for home, home office and small office environments.

The new PIXMA G series collection includes:

  • PIXMA G1510, a printer designed for high volume printing at low cost per page
  • PIXMA G2510, a high yield multi-function printer with added user benefits of copying and scanning
  • PIXMA G3510, a high yield multi-function 3-in-1 printer with Wi-Fi connectivity that supports smartphone and tablet print, copy and scanning via the Canon PRINT app
  • PIXMA G4510, a compact 4-in-1 printer with 20 sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and wireless connectivity to smart devices with a high page yield resulting in a low cost per page

Boost Productivity:

Created for home, home offices and small office environments, the PIXMA G Series has been designed to boost productivity. Keeping running costs down and delivering more prints, the PIXMA G Series offers convenience and efficiency to suit all printing requirements.

Key Features:

  • The strong focus across the range is the high page yield allowing users print up to 6,000 pages from the black ink or 7,000 pages from a set of colour inks[1] meaning you can print for longer without changing inks and ensuring very low cost per page
  • Auto Power ON/OFF setting[2] helps to save energy when the printer is not in use
  • High quality prints with genuine pigment black ink ensuring sharp and crisp text & dye colour inks for vibrant images; all the models within this series can produce borderless photos up to A4

Design & Technology

The new PIXMA G Series printers have been built with productivity and design at its forefront; with front facing ink tanks that make it easy to determine remaining ink levels, well designed ink bottles minimising potential spills or leaks and quick installation process due to the inherent technology of the printer.

Easy to set up and simple to use, the PIXMA G series models ensure better prints on plain paper for high quality prints every business will be proud of. PIXMA G2510 and PIXMA G3510 also feature a new 1.2” mono segment LCD screen while PIXMA G4510 retains the 2 line segment mono LCD. The handy screens make it easy to copy, check Wi-Fi connectivity and troubleshoot so your time is better spent on work.

With the FINE print head system the new printers are made to be durable and produce high volume printing meaning you can rely on the PIXMA G Series when printing weighty documents for that all important meeting. The air-tight ink tube technology for smooth printing ensuring every print is as good as the one before.

Connectivity

PIXMA G4510 and PIXMA G3510 both feature Wi-Fi technology, allowing users to print wirelessly via a laptop/PC or smart device. Use the Canon PRINT app[3] for printing, scanning and copying purposes, as well as printer maintenance. You can access PIXMA Cloud Link via the Canon PRINT app so you can print photos and documents remotely from cloud services such as Facebook, GoogleDrive, Dropbox, Instagram and more.

Both models are compatible with Mopria on Android so you can print without needing to download additional apps. PIXMA G4510 is compatible with Apple AirPrint which allows compatible iOS devices to print directly too.

PIXMA G4510 and PIXMA G3510 allow users to simultaneously handle both conventional Wi-Fi connection via a router and without access to a Wi-Fi router using Wireless Direct or Access Point Mode[4], making connecting a smart device to the printer simple.

Photo Printing

Users can now print borderless 4 x 6” photos in just 60 seconds and select from a range of templates with My Image Garden. Use the software to get creative with your photos and print various projects using your own images.

The rear paper feeding system capable of holding up to 100 sheets of plain paper enables a smooth paper pass for a wide range of media support including glossy photo paper Square Media (5x5”).

Get Creative

Enjoy a range of creative platforms to do more with your printer:

  • PosterArtist Lite[5] programme lets users create and print eye-catching posters and brochures for all business purposes.
  • Experiment with Canon’s Message In Print[6] app by sending invisible messages to friends and family when printing photos with PIXMA G3510 and PIXMA G4510. Add animations, URLs or text to the photo for the recipient to decode when using the Message In Print app
  • Organise photos, create collages or gift personalised calendars and cards to loved ones, with online platform My Image Garden – compatible with all printers in the PIXMA G Series with applications such photo layout print and Full HD Movie Print
  • Print arts and crafts from Canon’s Creative Park free online web platform, allowing users to print a range of crafts from 3D models, greeting cards, frames, masks and more

Convenient Copying

Make copies of hard documents at the touch of a button. Simply take a photo of any document with the Smartphone Capture and Copy function on the Canon PRINT app and convert it to a PDF to save, share or print; ideal for remote working.

Make copies of double sided ID cards with PIXMA G4510 for trips abroad or personal verification. The easy to use feature enables you to scan the front and back sides to print on one page.

Handy Design

Built for the home and office environment, the compact PIXMA G Series is designed to save space while optimising both print quality and quantity. The front-facing ink tanks make it easy for you to monitor your ink levels so you’re always prepared for your printing demands.

Make copies[7] at the touch of a button when you choose either PIXMA G2510 or PIXMA G3510 with built-in 1.2” LCD screen. With PIXMA G4510 users will also benefit from a two-line LCD screen to assist with initial setup, Wi-Fi status and troubleshooting.

The new PIXMA G Series range offers small businesses and home offices cost-effective printing solutions; increasing productivity and easing flexible working. The new printers guarantee long-lasting, durable prints, whether it’s vivid photos or documents for a professional-looking finish.

Categories: Equipment

18 useful Lightroom shortcuts for beginners

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 3:22pm

Adventure and lifestyle photographer Lucy Martin put together this useful little video that goes over her favorite Lightroom shortcuts. There are 18 in all, and while they're all probably a little basic for the power users out there—L = lights out, X = reject, etc.—the beginners reading this will definitely pick up a few new shortcuts to add to their repertoire.

We've listed all 18 below, just like Martin did in the video's description, but check out the video to see all of the min action:

  • G - Go to Grid (Library Mode)
  • E - Enter Loupe View
  • L - Lights Out
  • P - Pick/Flag Photo
  • X - Reject Photo
  • CAPS LOCK - Auto Next Photo
  • CMD + DELETE - Delete all Rejects
  • D - Go to Develop Module
  • \ - Before & After Shortcut Key Lightroom
  • Y - Before & After Side-by-Side
  • V - Black& White
  • R - Resize & Rotate (Crop)
  • Q - Spot Removal Tool
  • H - Hide Adjustment Pins
  • CMD + Z - Undo Last Action
  • CMD + C - Copy Develop Settings
  • CMD + P - Paste Develop Settings
  • CMD + / - Show All Shortcuts

If you have any favorites you want to add to this list, drop them in the comments. And if you found the video helpful, you can check out more from Martin on her YouTube channel.

Categories: Equipment

Condé Nast has cut ties with Mario Testino and Bruce Weber amid sexual misconduct allegations

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 2:48pm

Left: Mario Testino by Walterlan Papetti, CC-BY-SA-4.0

Right: Bruce Weber by Christopher Macsurak, CC-BY-2.0

A shocking report published by the New York Times this past Saturday shares a slew of sexual misconduct allegations against iconic fashion photographers Bruce Weber and Mario Testino. The allegations, which both photographers categorically deny, have already convinced Condé Nast to sever ties with Testino and Weber "for the foreseeable future", and come just as the publisher is finalizing a new Code of Conduct.

Allegations Against Two Fashion Industry Giants

The Times article quotes former assistants and current and former male models who shared sometimes graphic harassment and molestation stories of their photo shoots with Testino and Weber. In light of these allegations, Condé Nast has promised not to commission any new work from either Weber or Testino. The official statement by both Anna Wintour, artistic director of Condé Nast and editor of Vogue, and Bob Sauerberg, CEO of Condé Nast, reads:

We are deeply disturbed by these accusations and take this very seriously. In light of these allegations, we will not be commissioning any new work with Bruce Weber and Mario Testino for the foreseeable future.

Both Weber and Testino vehemently deny the accusations. Weber told the Times in a statement that he is, "completely shocked and saddened by the outrageous claims being made against me, which I absolutely deny," while Testino's lawyers "objected to the allegations and called the credibility of the men who said they were harassed into question," according to the Times.

A New Code of Conduct at Condé Nast

In addition to cutting ties with the two fashion photographers, Condé Nast also announced a new code of conduct today. The code, which the publisher began working on after cutting ties with photographer Terry Richardson—is meant to protect models from sexual harassment and workplace abuse, and will go into effect at the end of the month.

Bob Sauerberg, CEO of Condé Nast, revealed a few of the new "guidelines for vendors" who plan to work with the publisher in the future:

  1. All models appearing in fashion shoots must be at least 18 years old. The only exceptions that will be made are for subjects appearing as themselves as part of a profile or news story, who will be required to have a chaperone with them on set at all times.
  2. Alcohol is no longer allowed on Condé Nast sets. Recreational drugs are also not allowed.
  3. Photographers are no longer permitted to use a Condé Nast set for any work that is not commissioned or approved by Condé Nast.
  4. Any shoot involving nudity, sheer clothing, lingerie, swimwear, simulated drug or alcohol use, or sexually suggestive poses must be approved in advance by the subject.

Sauerberg expects to release the full code of conduct by the end of the month, at which point he hopes "our colleagues and partners will adopt these or similar recommendations so that each of us involved in the creative process does our part to help ensure a safe and respectful work environment."

Categories: Equipment

The Google Arts & Culture app can find your fine art doppelganger

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 12:46pm

Google's Arts & Culture app was first launched in 2016, offering "virtual access" to some of the most famous art collections in the world, and many stories about arts and culture from around the world. The latest update of the app, however, makes use of Google's extensive knowledge of machine-learning-based facial recognition, and the front camera of your smartphone, to find your fine art doppelganger... just 'cause.

The new feature lets you record a selfie and receive a list of portrait artworks your self-portrait resembles. While the user interface is extremely simple, Google is using highly sophisticated facial recognition algorithms to compare your facial characteristics to the portraits among the 70,000+ works of art in its Google Art Project database.

To try it out, download and install the app and scroll down to the “is your portrait in a museum?” icon on the front screen. From there, you simply capture an image of your face, and the system will analyze which which work of art you most resemble.

Looking at some of the results on Twitter and other social media, it is fair to say that the feature generally does a pretty decent job in matching selfie subject and piece of art; however, among the examples we have posted below, you'll also see the occasional slip-up.

Unfortunately, it appears that if you are, like myself, living outside the US, you are currently out of luck as the new feature has not been rolled out globally yet. Hopefully this will happen soon though. If you are based in the US, you can find Google Arts & Culture on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Hey good morning everyone, this Google Arts and Culture app is scary. pic.twitter.com/yt2kSYMWyM

— Ding Dong Daddi (@sixthsentz) January 13, 2018

This is addictive. Google Arts and Culture app will tell you which museum painting looks most like you. Please call me Manuel from now on. pic.twitter.com/8LKG8bRkO2

— David Wade (@davidwade) January 14, 2018

Torn between which one I think is better likeness with the Google Arts and Culture app. pic.twitter.com/uSw8RmOip8

— Felicia Day (@feliciaday) January 13, 2018

Honestly fuuuuuuuck google arts and culture pic.twitter.com/8W4gLO48PJ

— Linz (@LinzElah) January 14, 2018

Just got owned by Google Arts and Culture app. pic.twitter.com/RTQCPQ3AR1

— Adam The Greatest C.P.A. Morris (@aimorris) January 13, 2018
Categories: Equipment

On Assignment with Kylie Mazon and the Canon EOS M6

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 9:24am

The M6 is a lightweight and compact mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, which features a 24MP APS-C format sensor, tilting touch-sensitive rear screen and Canon's innovative Dual Pixel autofocus system, for fast and reliable AF in both stills and movie modes.

Recently, we spent a day in Los Angeles with the M6, in the company of photographer, cook and food blogger Kylie Mazon. Join us and see how Kylie approaches the challenge of shooting lifestyle and promotional images for a downtown hotel with the Canon EOS M6.

This is sponsored content, supported by Canon. What does this mean?

Categories: Equipment

Leica announces APO-Summicron-SL 75mm and 90mm F2 lenses

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 9:00am
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Leica has announced a pair of short telephoto lenses for its SL full-frame mirrorless camera. (They'll also work on the company's crop-sensor ILCs, such as the TL and CL, with a 1.5x crop.)

The APO-Summicron-SL 75mm and 90mm F2 ASPH lenses feature an apochromatic design to reduce chromatic aberration, a single aspherical element and minimum focusing distances of 0.5 and 0.6 meters, respectively. Both lenses have a maximum magnification of 0.2X and have a 'Dual Synchro Drive' focusing system which can traverse the entire focal range in 250ms, according to Leica.

The 75mm and 90mm lenses have the exact same dimensions (73 x 102mm) and filter diameter (67mm) and nearly the same weight (700 vs 720 grams). Both are sealed against dust and moisture.

The new APO-Summicron-SL lenses will ship in February. The 75mm model will retail for $4750 while the 90mm will set you back $5150.

Press Release

Leica Camera Unveils New Prime Lenses for the Leica SL-System

The new APO-Summicron-SL 75 mm f/2 ASPH and APO-Summicron SL 90 mm f/2 ASPH lenses embody superior performance and the finest engineering in compact designs

January 15, 2018 – Today, Leica Camera announces the first two editions of a new line of high-performance Summicron-SL lenses for the Leica SL-System; the APO-Summicron-SL 75 mm f/2 ASPH. and the APO-Summicron-SL 90 mm f/2 ASPH. that will be available in February for photographers across the country. Both lenses seamlessly work with the SL-System’s lightning-fast autofocus and, as with all SL-Lenses, have been designed and constructed in Germany with exceptional materials for a long work life, even withstanding the rigors of professional use while always providing superior image quality.

The focal lengths of these two SL-Lenses are ideal for all types of photography, and truly shine when used for portraiture. While the APO-Summicron-SL 75 mm f/2 ASPH., for example, captures exceptional natural portraits, the APO-Summicron-SL 90 mm f/2 ASPH. is a classic telephoto focal length for portraits with the often sought-after compression between the subject and background, ultimately creating the ideal aesthetic for exquisite pictures of people. Another great feature of these new lenses is their fast and silent autofocusing, meaning the photographer does not have to wait to take the perfect shot to quickly capture their subject’s best look, even for a moment.

Both the construction and design of the new, cutting-edge Summicron-SL line represent the continuing innovation in the development of lenses for the Leica SL-System. State-of-the-art, extremely precise manufacturing methods and measuring technologies were developed specifically for the production of these lenses. The results of these developments are reflected not only in the more compact dimensions and considerably lower weight of the lenses, allowing for greater portability, but also in their excellent imaging performance. As the Leica SL-System continues to evolve with new capabilities and lens options, the addition of these two primes further round out the Leica SL native lens selection, which now encompasses two zoom lenses and three prime lenses. Current Leica SL customers continue to receive new lens options at their disposal that can bolster their current capabilities, and new users have more selection than ever before.

Additionally, these lenses feature a new, faster autofocus system, as well as a considerably shorter close focusing limit for tight portraits of their subjects. The autofocus drive of all Summicron-SL lenses employs extremely powerful and robust stepping motors with DSD® (Dual Syncro Drive™). Thanks to this advanced focusing drive, the entire focusing range can be fully travelled in only around 250 milliseconds, providing photographers the confidence that they will always be able to instantaneously capture their subjects in crystal-clear sharp focus.

As both Summicron-SL primes deliver extremely high imaging performance at their largest f/2 aperture, the lenses are also ideal for photography in low-light or difficult lighting conditions. The Leica promise of ‘maximum aperture is a usable aperture’ also applies to the new SL-Lenses. Users can rest assured that their lens is capable of creating a tack-sharp photograph in any situation. Meticulous attention was paid to the prevention of stray light and reflections in the construction of the APO-Summicron-SL lenses. Together with optimizing the optical and mechanical design, the application of high-quality coatings to each lens surface reduces unavoidable reflections to an absolute minimum. Thus, photographers get a lens that always creates images with beautifully strong contrast, where other lenses may suffer from distracting flares and ghosting effects that detract from the photo.

All glass elements in any optical imaging system, including camera lenses, can sometimes refract certain colors of light at different lengths. Thus, not all rays of light from a multi-colored subject are always focused at the same point – the result of this imperfection is chromatic aberration, also known as color fringing. In order to reduce chromatic aberration to a hardly perceptible minimum, both new Summicron-SL lenses are Apochromatic, or in short, APO, corrected, allowing photographers to capture photos in high contrast situations without a distracting purple or green outline along backlit subjects. Further supporting this optical achievement, most of the eleven elements of the optical system, one of which is aspherical, feature anomalous partial dispersion and are manufactured from sensitive and specially formulated, high-quality glass. Without all of these state-of-the-art lens corrections, images could suffer from fringing, flares, ghosting or distortion. These incredibly well-corrected glass optics are what make a Leica lens special and so crystal clear.

The APO-Summicron-SL 75 mm f/2 ASPH. and the APO-Summicron-SL 90 mm f/2 ASPH. will be available in February. Both can be purchased at Leica Stores, Boutiques and Dealers. In the second half of 2018, the SL-System will even further increase its prime lens arsenal with the launch of a Summicron-SL 35 mm f/2 ASPH. and APO-Summicron-SL 50 mm f/2 ASPH.

Leica APO-Summicron-SL 75mm/90mm F2 ASPH lens specifications

 Leica APO-Summicron-SL 75mm F2 ASPHLeica APO-Summicron-SL 90mm F2 ASPH
Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length75 mm90 mm
Image stabilizationNo
Lens mountLeica SL
Aperture
Maximum apertureF2
Minimum apertureF22
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades9
Optics
Elements11
Groups9
Special elements / coatings1 aspherical
Focus
Minimum focus0.50 m (19.69″)0.60 m (23.62″)
Maximum magnification0.2×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeStepper motor
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight720 g (1.59 lb)700 g (1.54 lb)
Diameter73 mm (2.87″)
Length102 mm (4.02″)
SealingYes
ColourBlack
Filter thread67 mm
Tripod collarNo
Categories: Equipment

Gallery Update: Panasonic Lumix DC-G9

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 9:00am
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Since initially publishing our G9 sample gallery late in 2017, we've had the chance to spend substantially more time shooting with it. Now that the full G9 review is live, we wanted to revisit that gallery and update it with additional ACR conversions, out of camera JPEGs, and high-res mode samples. Without further adieu, the updated G9 sample gallery...

See our Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 gallery

Categories: Equipment

Huawei Mate 10 Pro camera review

Sat, 01/13/2018 - 9:00am
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The Mate 10 Pro is Huawei's new flagship smartphone and the latest in its line of Leica-camera equipped devices. The dual-cam setup combines a 12MP RGB sensor with a 20MP monochrome chip. Like on previous high-end Huaweis, the latter allows for a native black-and-white mode, and Huawei claims that the combination of captured image data from both sensors leads to improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.

Both of the dual-cam lenses feature a fast F1.6 aperture, and optical image stabilization is on board as well. The high-resolution setup allows for what Huawei calls a 2x lossless zoom, and PDAF combined with laser and depth sensors enables fast and precise autofocus. The Mate 10 Pro is capable of recording 4K video at 30 fps and the front camera captures images at an 8MP resolution.

Huawei isn't relying on hardware alone though—AI and neural networking are applied to improve the quality of the fake bokeh mode, and object recognition for automatic scene selection also relies on some AI magic. Finally, motion detection is being used to reduce motion blur in low light conditions.

Find out how Huawei hardware and software play together and the Mate 10 Pro shapes up in our testing on the following pages.

Key Photographic / Video Specifications

  • Leica-branded dual-camera
  • Dual 12MP RGB / 20MP Monochrome
  • F1.6 aperture
  • OIS
  • 2x lossless zoom
  • 4-in-1 AF with depth, contrast, PDAF and laser
  • dual-LED flash
  • 4K video
  • 8MP front camera

Other Specifications

  • 6" 2160 x 1080 OLED HDR display, 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Corning Gorilla Glass
  • EMUI 8.0 / Android 8.0 (Oreo)
  • Hisilicon Kirin 970 CPU Octa-core
  • 128GB storage, 6 GB RAM or 64GB storage, 4GB RAM
  • Hi-Res 32bit audio
  • 4000 mAh battery with fast charging
Categories: Equipment

Nine straight-forward tips from an award-winning travel photographer

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 4:57pm

Travel photographer Bob Holmes recently put together this quick-tips video for Advancing Your Photography in which he shares nine useful photography tips; or, as Holmes puts it in the video, nine 'crutches' for when you feel like the muse has deserted you.

They're basic tips, but this is what Holmes looks for when he goes out to shoot—lines, punctuation, and energy—and they're the reason he has managed to continue producing award-winning work year after year after year.

For those of you who prefer reading to watching, here's a quick summary of all nine tips:

  1. Look for leading lines – they can lead your viewer through the composition
  2. Look for diagonals – they give a dynamic feel to your photos
  3. Look for horizontal lines – they will give a calm feel to your photos
  4. Capture gestures – they can really help your photo pop
  5. Try to find 'punctuation' – like a splash of color or a solitary person in a larger landscape
  6. Put energy into your photos – you can do this by capturing movement in the frame
  7. Be receptive – let the picture 'impress itself' upon you
  8. Look at art for inspiration – famous paintings are often examples of fantastic composition and great lighting at work.
  9. Look at photography books for inspiration – there's a reason the Irving Penn's and Henri Cartier-Bresson's of the world are still remembered today.

The tips might seem overly simplistic, but simple isn't always a bad thing when you're trying to get out of a rut. And it's not like Bob Holmes doesn't know what he's talking about: he's the only photographer to ever win the Travel Photographer of the Year Award 5 times, most recently in 2017.

Check out the video above for photo to go with each of the tips, and then let us know if you have your own "get out of a rut" routine in the comments.

Categories: Equipment

Gudsen’s Moza AirCross gimbal can provide both stabilization and power

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 4:02pm

Gudsen has launched a new gimbal that’s aimed at mirrorless photographers. With a payload of 3.9lbs/1.8kg, the new Moza AirCross can provide stabilization to a mirrorless body even when it's fitted with a cinema lens, and a new in-handle option can provide power to Sony and Panasonic cameras while they're shooting.

The Moza AirCross offers a more lightweight alternative to the Moza Air—which is aimed at compact system cameras and small DSLR users. It also has a number of newer features, including a claimed 12-hour battery life, and the ability to accept power from an external power bank.

The handle holds three 2000mAh batteries that can run the gimbal all day, or be used to power a range of compatible Sony and Panasonic cameras via a dummy battery pack that fits inside the camera. As the gimbal can also take power from a portable power bank, Gudsen claims that users need never run out of juice.

Another new feature is a quick release system that is compatible with both Manfrotto 501PL and Arca type quick release plates. The system allows users to remove a camera from the gimbal head and refit it later without having to rebalance the whole rig. Auto-tuning via the Moza app ensures the gimbal remains balanced for the weight and distribution of the attached equipment, and the gyroscopes are said to offer calibration-free IMU technology.

Gudsen has also added roll-follow to yaw-follow and yaw-pitch-follow to the range of movements on offer, and users can expect to be able to tilt between -175° and +135°, and achieve 360° of yaw and roll.


The gimbal itself weighs 896g and 1/4in threaded ports allow accessories, microphones and monitors to be mounted on the handle. The AirCross can produce move-stop-shoot-move long-exposure timelapse sequences with a fully programmable path via the Gudsen app, and the accessory thumb-controller provides wireless mimic-movements when mounted on the optional handle-bars.

Certain Sony and Panasonic models can have stop/start recording controlled via the main handle, while some Canon DSLR models can have their focus controlled too. Gudsen has promised that firmware updates in the future will add aperture control to the AirCross.

The Gudsen Moza AirCross is on sale now for $420 at the Gudsen website.

Compatible cameras:

  • Sony a7SII, a7S, a7RIII, a7RII, a7R, a6500, a6300, a9, RX100
  • Panasonic Lumix GH5, Lumix GH4, Lumix G7, Lumix G85
  • Canon EOS M3, M5, M6, M10, M100
  • Fujifilm: X-T2, X-T20
Categories: Equipment

Lensbaby launches $50 macro filter kit

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 3:21pm
Background Photo by Kathleen Clemons, courtesy of Lensbaby

Lensbaby has launched a 46mm macro filter kit that can be combined with several of the company's "bokeh effect" lenses, expanding their scope of application to close-up photography.

The filters screw onto the front of the lenses and the kit comes with three diopter options (+1,+2, and +4). The individual filters can be stacked for even higher levels of magnification and LensBaby says multiple coatings have been applied for enhanced contrast.

The 46mm kit is compatible with the Sweet 35, Sweet 50, Edge 50, Edge 80, Twist 60 and Creative Bokeh lenses, as well as the LensBaby macro converters, allowing for a multitude of close-up effects. In the Lensbaby product line-up it sits alongside the effect filter kit that was launched last October and comprises of an eight-point star filter, a three-stop neutral density filter and a circular polarizer.

The new macro filter set is available now for $50. You can find more information and additional sample images on the company's website.

Categories: Equipment

Rumor: Nikon's full-frame mirrorless will sport an all new 'Z-Mount'

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 2:15pm
Photo by Lilly Rum

Nikon Rumors has gotten wind of a very interesting bit of plausible speculation—at this point, we're not comfortable calling it any more than that. According to the rumor site, the Nikon full-frame mirrorless people are hoping and praying for will sport an all-new so-called "Z-Mount".

The name is probably still not final at this stage, but NR is reporting with some confidence that the Z-Mount will have an external diameter of 49mm and a flange focal distance of 16mm.

We obviously can't know if these numbers represent a real mount in the works at Nikon, but we can confirm that the numbers add up. While 16mm is very short, if you have a camera with a wide enough diameter it kind of doesn't matter. The back of the lens could be further forward than 16mm, so long as the mount doesn't intrude.

For comparison's sake, Sony's E-Mount (the shortest to be used with a full frame sensor) sports an external diameter of 46.1mm and a flange distance of 18mm.

As always, we have contacted a Nikon representative for comment, and will update this post if and when we hear anything official from Nikon USA.

Categories: Equipment

Kodak didn't get into cryptocurrency and bitcoin mining, "Kodak" did

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 12:09pm

Kodak’s CES announcements tell an interesting tale of the power of brands, and what happens to those brands when you start licensing them to other companies.

A lot of people still have positive associations with the Kodak brand and its iconic logos, but it’s worth clearing something up, especially in light of all the cryptocurrency madness that Kodak unleashed at CES: not everything with the Kodak name on it has much connection to a bunch of clever people in Rochester New York.

The parent company, Eastman Kodak, left the consumer photography business in 2012 following court-overseen ‘Chapter 11’ restructuring. Its remaining consumer photo businesses were sold to Kodak Alaris, which continues to sell photo film and printing kiosks.

So it’s worth keeping your fond memories of that company at arms length when you read about its apparent embrace of the blockchain.

The "Kodak" KashMiner, yours to rent for just $3,400 and a two year contract.

At CES this year ‘Kodak’ announced both blockchain-based IP protection and cryptocurrency projects, and a scheme that apparently lets you buy a Bitcoin-mining farm for them. However, the KodakOne project appears to be as much a rebranding of an existing project called RYDE as it does a “partnership between Kodak and [RYDE owner] Wenn Media”. Meanwhile, the Kodak KashMiner scheme, which lets you rent the hardware to mine the more famous Bitcoin cryptocurrency appears to be entirely separate: essentially an unconventional investment scheme using industry-standard hardware with the Kodak logo stuck on the side so that there’s something to show at CES.

Essentially, these look a lot like Kodak licensing its name to other companies in much the same way as the current holders of the Polaroid, Rollei and Vivitar names accept fees to let those names get emblazoned on, well, pretty much anything.

Eastman Kodak still makes film, but it appears to have only two customers: Hollywood and Kodak Alaris.

The Kodak PixPro Orbit360 4K VR camera, by JK Imaging

Then, of course, there are the cameras. You can still buy ‘Kodak’ cameras: JK Imaging, a California-based company, sells cameras under the Kodak brand. Interestingly, JK Imaging shares an address with General Imaging, which licensed the General Electric brand for its photo products.

Given the way that even the largest names in photography regularly use third-party ‘OEM’ manufacturers to produce some of their models, it’s senseless to try and draw a line between ‘real’ Kodak and licensees of the brand name. That the red and yellow logo doesn’t necessarily tie anything back to your fuzzy memories of Kodachrome, or brilliant developments such as the Bayer color filter.

Categories: Equipment

Leaked photo hints at Samsung Galaxy S9 with variable aperture lens

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 11:30am

Samsung has confirmed its upcoming new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S9, will be launched at MWC in Barcelona, so we'll have to wait until late February to know for sure what features and specifications the new model will have to offer. That said, Reddit users have found an image of an alleged S9 retail box that is already giving us a good idea of what to expect from the new flagship.

From a photography point of view, the most interesting information on the box is the "F1.5 / F2.4" aperture specification, indicating that the Galaxy S9 might come with the same stabilized variable aperture 12MP camera as the China-only W2018 flip-phone.

On that phone, the camera switches between F1.5 and F2.4 when it senses there's enough light around in an attempt to capture the background as much in focus as possible. Whether or not that really makes a lot of sense, given the small image sensors in smartphones, is for you to decide. In any case, the F1.5 aperture value is the fastest on any current smartphone, which should be appealing to any low-light shooter.

Source: Reddit

If the specifications on the box are true, the S9 camera will also record super slow-motion videos, hopefully at similarly high frame rates as the latest Sony devices. In addition, there is a pair of AKG-powered stereo speakers, and we'd expect the S9 to come with Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 845 chipset.

Most most of the additional information on the retail box is quite similar to the current S8 model: the S9 screen will have a Super AMOLED panel with Quad HD+ resolution (1440 x 2960 pixels), 18:9 aspect ratio, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and an 8MP front camera, all wrapped up in an IP68 water and dust resistant body.

Categories: Equipment

Kodak Scanza is a portable, budget film scanner that turns negatives into JPEGs

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 11:01am

Kodak has launched a new budget scanner that digitizes film and slides. The scanner, called the Kodak Scanza, is compact at just 12cm x 12.7cm (4.7in x 5in), and features: a 3.5-inch color screen, an integrated SD card slot for saving scanned content, adapter trays for different types of film, and an HDMI port for viewing scanned content directly on an external display.

Kodak Scanza, which was introduced at CES 2018, supports 35mm, 110, Super 8, and 8mm film negatives and slides via inserts and adapters. Content is scanned as 14MP JPEGs, though users can enlarge the resolution up to 22MP.

The integrated screen, which is hinged for tilting, provides access to pre-scanning options, such as exposure and color adjustments.

Both Windows and macOS are supported out-of-the-box, and scanned content can either be saved to a compute, or directly to an SD card inserted into the scanner's built-in card reader. Kodak Scanza will be available to purchase from Amazon for $170 USD. Availability and pricing in other regions is unclear at this time.

To learn more about the scanner, visit the Kodak Scanza landing page.

Categories: Equipment

Canon defends embarrassing photo sharing gaff, photographer fires back

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:12am

Yesterday, we reported on an understandable if embarrassing mistake by Canon Italy and Canon Spain. The two branches of Canon had shared a composite photo that contained stolen elements from a photo by travel photographer Elia Locardi all over their social media accounts; to make things worse, those elements were shot with a Fujifilm camera.

The reasonable response would have been to admit the mistake, apologize, and move on. This morning, however, Canon responded through social media and managed to somehow make things worse.

In its response, the company confirmed our assertion that it had pulled the photograph from the royalty free photo sharing website Unsplash, but claimed that it was not the same photo, pointing to "seasonal variation" between the two shots and completely ignoring the fact that parts of the photograph are exact clones.

Here is the response in full, posted as a comment on the Canon Italia Facebook share:

This answer, for obvious reasons, has photographers shaking their heads. There is no denying that the photograph uses stolen elements from Locardi's—the same exact sky and water patterns don't just repeat themselves willy nilly, making sure that the same bird is flying through the shot at the exact same time for good measure.

But the fact that Canon shared a composite with part of his work isn't what bothers Locardi. Speaking with him yesterday and this morning, it was obvious that this was just an odd and funny moment for him. What does bother him about Canon's response is something else entirely, as he explained on Facebook this morning:

Guy takes part of my Fujifilm photo, uploads it to a copyright free website. Then Canon shares it all over their social media. And now, Canon’s official response is that it’s not my photo? And the differences are just a “seasonal variation.”

LOL, really? As if this story couldn’t become more awkward.

But seriously, the greater part of this story and by far the largest issue here, is the fact that Canon is using a free image resource like Unsplash to fuel their social media rather than tapping into their large community of photographers. That's incredibly insulting to both their own consumers and to the photography community itself.

Speaking with me directly this morning, Elia repeated the last part of his Facebook post before he continued on to say that this kind of thing, "encompasses almost everything that's wrong with our industry today." To really drive home the point, he also posted the comment as a response to Canon Italia's comment on Facebook.

Here's one last look at these two photos, just for good measure:

The original by Elia Locardi
A composite from Unsplash that obviously takes the sky and parts of the foreground directly from Elia's image.

We have not received a response to yesterday's request for comment from Canon, but we will update this post if and when we hear back.

Categories: Equipment

A closer look at the Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN for Micro Four Thirds

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 9:00am

We've got a pair of Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN lenses in the office: one for Micro Four Thirds and the other for Sony E-mount. In this article we have some impressions of the MFT version, as well as some other lenses in this class worth considering.

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The 16mm F1.4 acts as a 32mm equivalent lens on the Micro Four Thirds platform. It's an interesting focal length to end up with: not quite 28mm equiv., which many people would consider the gateway to wide-angle, but also noticeably wider than the near-normal of 35mm equiv. I didn't expect it to make any difference but found myself constantly fighting against too much stuff creeping into the edges of the frame in a way that I don't with a 35mm.

In terms of handling, I felt the 16mm worked best when mounted on the larger Micro Four Thirds camera that feature prominent hand grips: its comparatively long length feeling a little unbalanced on the smaller, rangefinder-style boxes, though it's light enough that it doesn't end up feeling too front-heavy. The lens's only control point is a large by-wire focusing ring. It's a little under-damped for my tastes, rotating fairly freely but it was effective on the few occasions I ended up having to manual focus (turns out LED Christmas lights and autofocus do not always play nicely with one-another).

Optically, I was pretty impressed with the lens, the F1.4 (F2.8 35mm-equivalent) aperture gave me plenty of control over depth-of-field and sufficient light for low-light work. Sharpness seems good if not necessarily stellar and with what appears to be pretty good cross-frame consistency, until you reach the extreme corners. As you'd expect, the performance gets better if you stop down a couple of notches. The 16mm is pretty resistant to flare, even when given significant provocation, with good levels of contrast maintained even in contre jour images with veiling flare.

Autofocus was snappy to the degree that I didn't ever really have to think about it. Only the aforementioned Hybrid AF/LED Christmas light mismatch caused me to even give it a second thought. It's fast and quiet to the degree that you just don't notice it, and can concentrate on composing your shot instead.

Alternatives

My impression is that the Sigma is sharper, two thirds of a stop faster and comparably priced to the Olympus 17mm F1.8. However, I don't think it's quite as easy a win as that makes it sound. The Olympus is significantly smaller and features the lovely snap-back manual focus clutch and linear manual focus system (faux-cus by wire, perhaps?), both of which are definite bonuses. So, while I'd find it hard to choose between the two, I probably wouldn't rush out to replace a 17mm if I had one, not least because I personally prefer the narrower angle-of-view that the extra 1mm brings.

1mm in the opposite direction is the Panasonic 15mm F1.7. It usually retails for around $100 more than the Sigma, despite being rated as half a stop slower. Again it's smaller than the Sigma, meaning it handles better on a smaller camera body. Similarly, the 15mm offers a neat operational advantage over the DN, at least for Panasonic shooters: the lovely Leica M lens style front aperture ring (worth the extra $100 on its own, in my opinion and well worth lobbying Olympus for firmware support for, if you're on that side of the system). Optical performance is perhaps a step up from the Sigma, leaving the 16mm F1.4 DN DC as an attractive extra option for Micro Four Thirds but not an absolute must-have, from my perspective.

Categories: Equipment

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