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All articles from Digital Photography Review
Updated: 49 min 41 sec ago

US intelligence agencies warn against purchasing Huawei smartphones

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 2:15pm

Directors from six US intelligence agencies, including the CIA, FBI, and NSA, have told the Senate Intelligence Committee that they wouldn't recommend Americans use Huawei services or products, according to CNBC.

FBI Director Chris Wray explained to the Committee:

We're deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks. That provides the capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure. It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.

This saga actually began in 2012, when the Chinese tech company was the subject of a national security investigation by US government officials who worried that its products may pose a cybersecurity risk. Huawei publicly dismissed the concerns, though the final investigative report alleged the Chinese company wasn't fully cooperative with investigators. Australian government officials had expressed similar concerns at the time.

Huawei has consistently denied claims that its products and services may be compromised by the Chinese government. These concerns, however, have persisted to varying degrees over the years, and recently came to a head when AT&T abandoned plans to offer the Huawei Mate 10 phone in its stores.

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro went up for pre-order in the United States earlier this month.

Sources speaking to Reuters last month claimed that US lawmakers pressured AT&T into cutting commercial ties with Huawei over national security concerns, and that included asking AT&T to stop offering Huawei phones through its Cricket subsidiary. Bloomberg reported similar issues related to Verizon's abandoned plans to sell the Huawei Mate 10.

This intelligence report to the Senate Intelligence Committee is the latest, and possibly the worst, blow for Huawei, which has struggled to enter the US market. The Mate 10 Pro and its impressive camera only just went up for pre-order in the US, and already consumers are being warned against purchasing.

Chinese drone maker DJI recently faced similar issues following a leaked government memo and a report detailing what is claimed to have been a major security vulnerability.

Categories: Equipment

Skydio R1 4K camera drone boasts game-changing autonomous tech

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 1:56pm

California-based company Skydio has announced the R1, a drone described as a "self-flying camera" that autonomously follows and records a subject. Unlike some competing models, R1 was built specifically for autonomous flight; it is able to fly itself at up to 25mph / 40kph while maneuvering around obstacles thanks in part to Skydio's Autonomy Engine.

While many drones depend on GPS for autonomous flight, Skydio's R1 is different—it features 13 cameras that work with the Autonomy Engine to perceive and map the world around the UAV. Skydio packed an NVIDIA Jetson AI supercomputer into R1, and the little drone is using it to power intelligent features like real-time movement planning and complex environment navigation.

Here's a quick intro video that explains how it's all done:

Users launch the drone in either Side, Follow, or Orbit modes using the companion mobile app. No manual operation is necessary, and in fact, Skydio claims that users can move through complex environments, such as dense woods, without interrupting the R1's tracking and recording abilities. Skydio goes so far as to claim R1 is "the most advanced autonomous device—of any kind—available today."

Skydio goes so far as to claim R1 is "the most advanced autonomous device—of any kind—available today."

The R1, which is small enough to fit in a backpack, is made with carbon fiber and lightweight aluminum. The drone's primary camera can record subjects at Full HD/30/60fps and 4K/30fps with a 150-degree FOV. The primary camera is isolated from vibrations, stabilized with a 3-axis gimbal, and joined by 64GB of onboard storage. The remaining 12 cameras provide omnidirectional vision for navigation.

Skydio R1 is available now in the United States and Canada through the company's website for $2,500 USD. Buyers are currently limited to one unit with orders shipping 2 to 3 weeks after being placed. To learn more, head over to the Skydio website.

Categories: Equipment

These are the six finalists for 2018 World Press Photo of the Year (NSFW)

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:59am

The Finalists for World Press Photo of the Year 2018

Warning: This slideshow contains graphic and disturbing imagery that is not suitable for children, and may not be suitable for viewing in the workplace. Proceed with caution.

World Press Photo has changed its announcement process for the coveted World Press Photo of the Year award in 2018. Rather than announcing the overall and category winners at once, they have revealed the six finalists for 2018 World Press Photo of the Year today, almost two months before the official awards ceremony in Amsterdam on April 12th.

The finalists are... harrowing. Six heartbreaking and at times graphic images that were selected from 73,044 entries by 4,548 photographers from 125 countries. Judging was done by "a group of internationally recognized professionals in the fields of photojournalism and documentary photography," who convened in Amsterdam, where they were presented with all of the entries anonymously.

Behind the scenes photograph of the judging process.

Every single nominated photograph, including all singles and stories in seven of the eight contest categories, is eligible for the World Press Photo of the Year grand prize. And yet, New York Times photographer Ivor Prickett managed to get two of his photos into the top six, both captured as part of his Battle for Mosul series.

You can see all 312 nominated photographs across eight categories on the World Press Photo website, and learn more about the entire contest in the press release below. To view the six finalists for World Press Photo of the year, scroll through the slideshow above.

The World Press Photo of the Year winner will be announced in April, where he will receive a 10,000 Euro cash prize and a selection of camera equipment from Canon.

Press Release

World Press Photo announces 2018 awards nominees

The World Press Photo Foundation announces the results of its renowned contests, the 61st annual World Press Photo Contest and the 8th annual World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest.

Amsterdam, 14 February 2018

This year the announcement process is new

The foundation is today announcing the nominees in each category of the Photo Contest and the Digital Storytelling Contest, with the winners to be revealed at the Awards Show in Amsterdam on 12 April.

The highlight of today’s announcement is that, for the first time, the six nominees for the World Press Photo of the Year are revealed. The winner of the World Press Photo of the Year will be announced at the Awards Show in Amsterdam on 12 April.

Lars Boering, managing director of the World Press Photo Foundation:

“The best visual journalism is not of something; it is about something. It should matter to the people to whom it speaks. Today the World Press Photo Foundation continues to play the role it began with in 1955 because the juries in our contests nominate the best photographers and producers. The great work in this 2018 edition of our contests helps us fulfill our purpose: connecting the world to the stories that matter.”

The 2018 World Press Photo Contest

The jury selected nominees in eight categories, including the new environment category. They are 42 photographers from 22 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, UK, USA and Venezuela. Of these nominees, 15 have won previous World Press Photo awards, while 27 are being recognized for the first time. In total, there are 312 nominated photographs across the eight categories.

The World Press Photo of the Year honors the photographer whose visual creativity and skills made a picture that captures or represents an event or issue of great journalistic importance in the last year. Each nominated photograph, including all singles and stories in seven of the eight contest categories (excluding Long-Term Projects) is eligible for the World Press Photo of the Year.

The six nominees for the World Press Photo of the Year are, in alphabetical order:

  • Rohingya Crisis | Patrick Brown, Australia, Panos Pictures, for Unicef
  • Boko Haram Strapped Suicide Bombs to Them. Somehow These Teenage Girls Survived. - Aisha, age 14. | Adam Ferguson, Australia, for The New York Times
  • Witnessing the Immediate Aftermath of an Attack in the Heart of London – Toby Melville, UK, Reuters
  • The Battle for Mosul - Lined Up for an Aid Distribution | Ivor Prickett, Ireland, for The New York Times
  • The Battle for Mosul - Young Boy Is Cared for by Iraqi Special Forces Soldiers | Ivor Prickett, Ireland, for The New York Times
  • Venezuela Crisis | Ronaldo Schemidt, Venezuela, Agence France-Presse

See the video of the jury discussing why they chose these six photographs.

The 2018 Photo Contest details

The contest is free to enter and drew entries from around the world: 4,548 photographers from 125 countries submitted 73,044 images.

A group of internationally recognized professionals in the fields of photojournalism and documentary photography—chaired by Magdalena Herrera—convened in Amsterdam to judge all entries. The jury is independent, and all entries were presented anonymously. A secretary without voting rights safeguards the fairness of the process, which is explained in full here.

For the full list of jury members and secretaries, please see here.

The World Press Photo Foundation will release a technical report reviewing the contest, including the code of ethics, entry rules, and verification process on Monday, 5 March.


The premier award, the World Press Photo of the Year, carries a cash prize of 10,000 euros. In addition, Canon will present the winning photographer with a selection of camera equipment. For more information about Canon, visit here.

Nominees have their travel and lodging paid for by the World Press Photo Foundation to Amsterdam so they can attend the World Press Photo Festival, an event taking place 13-14 April featuring photographer presentations, screenings, and talks. They also receive a diploma and a Golden Eye Award at the Awards Show.

2018 Exhibition

The prize-winning photographs are assembled into an exhibition that travels to 100 locations in 45 countries and is seen by more than 4 million people each year. The winning pictures are also published in the annual yearbook, which is available in multiple languages. The first World Press Photo exhibition opens in De Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam, on 14 April 2018. For more information about the exhibition in Amsterdam, please follow this link.

This year’s exhibition displays will be printed on Canon large-format and Arizona flatbed printers. Please see the Canon website for further information: http://www.canon-europe.com/

The 2018 World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest

The Digital Storytelling Contest (previously known as the Multimedia Contest) rewards those producing the best forms of visual journalism enabled by digital technologies and the spread of the Internet. The contest is open to digital storytellers, visual journalists and producers, with submissions that include the work of a professional visual journalist.

The 2018 Digital Storytelling Contest in numbers

This year, 308 productions were submitted to the contest: 149 Short Form, 63 Long Form, 68 Immersive Storytelling and 28 Innovative Storytelling.


Nominees in each category are invited to the World Press Photo Festival in Amsterdam. A representative from each of the nominated productions will have their travel and lodging paid for by the World Press Photo Foundation. The winners in each category will receive a diploma and a Golden Eye Award, presented during the Awards Show. The prize-winning projects are assembled into an exhibition that travels to select locations.

The FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo

The FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo recognizes a documentary photographer whose project demonstrates courage and commitment in the pursuit of human rights. The 2018 winner is Standing Strong by Josué Rivas.

FotoEvidence was founded in 2011 by photojournalist Svetlana Bachevanova as part of the humanistic tradition of photography. In 2017 FotoEvidence partnered with World Press Photo and the book award became the FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo.

FotoEvidence publishes the winning project in a high quality, hardbound book, which will be launched at the World Press Photo Exhibition 2018 in Amsterdam on 14 April 2018, and then shown in several cities around the globe.

The Finalists for World Press Photo of the Year 2018

Rohingya Crisis | © Patrick Brown, Panos Pictures, for Unicef

28 September 2017

The bodies of Rohingya refugees are laid out after the boat in which they were attempting to flee Myanmar capsized about eight kilometers off Inani Beach, near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Around 100 people were on the boat before it capsized. There were 17 survivors.

The Finalists for World Press Photo of the Year 2018

Boko Haram Strapped Suicide Bombs to Them. Somehow These Teenage Girls Survived. - Aisha, age 14. | © Adam Ferguson, for The New York Times

21 September 2017

Aisha (14) stands for a portrait in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. After being kidnapped by Boko Haram, Aisha was assigned a suicide bombing mission, but managed to escape and find help instead of detonating the bombs.

The Finalists for World Press Photo of the Year 2018

Witnessing the Immediate Aftermath of an Attack in the Heart of London | © Toby Melville, Reuters

22 March 2017

A passerby comforts an injured woman after Khalid Masood drove his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London, UK, killing five and injuring multiple others.

The Finalists for World Press Photo of the Year 2018

The Battle for Mosul - Lined Up for an Aid Distribution | © Ivor Prickett, for The New York Times

15 March 2017

Civilians who had remained in west Mosul after the battle to take the city line up for aid in the Mamun neighbourhood.

The Finalists for World Press Photo of the Year 2018

The Battle for Mosul - Young Boy Is Cared for by Iraqi Special Forces Soldiers | © Ivor Prickett, for The New York Times

12 July 2017

An unidentified young boy, who was carried out of the last ISIS-controlled area in the Old City by a man suspected of being a militant, is cared for by Iraqi Special Forces soldiers.

The Finalists for World Press Photo of the Year 2018

Venezuela Crisis | © Ronaldo Schemidt, Agence France-Presse

3 May 2017

José Víctor Salazar Balza (28) catches fire amid violent clashes with riot police during a protest against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela.

Categories: Equipment

Tamron teases new lens ahead of CP+

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 10:24am

Tamron Japan has posted an intriguing teaser image on its Instagram account, just in time for an announcement at either WPPI or CP+ (probably the latter). The backlit image is all we have to go off of, but naturally, speculation is running rampant online.

Canon Rumors thinks this might be a 100mm f/2 VC or a 135mm f/2 VC, while Sony Alpha Rumors received an anonymous (and therefore still highly unreliable) tip that it is in fact a "28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD" for Sony FE mount. Based on the design alone, we're leaning towards calling this a zoom lens—notice the two rubber rings and the gap between the top ring and the top of the lens.

As user Sharlin points out in the CR forums, the design is very to the Tamron 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Di III VC.

Of course, all of this is errant speculation until Tamron decides to officially announce whatever its teasing. But if you have any educated guesses about what the lens might be, drop them in the comments along with your reasoning.

Categories: Equipment

Zeiss unveils 'small, robust and versatile' Loxia 25mm F2.4 lens

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 9:37am
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The Zeiss Loxia manual focus lens family for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras just gained a new member. Say hello to the Loxia 25mm F2.4, a wide-angle lens that boasts a compact design, the ability to de-click the aperture for video shooting, and "outstanding image performance across the entire image field."

Zeiss is calling this lens "small, robust and versatile," a "new focal length of modest proportions" that joins four other manual-focus Loxia lenses: the 21mm F2.8, 35mm F2, 50mm F2, and 85mm F2.4.

The point of the Loxia line and its lack of autofocus is to provide compact, durable, lightweight companions for the Sony full-frame E-mount system that do not draw too much attention—great for street and travel photographers who are happy to trade the convenience of autofocus to remain as inconspicuous as possible.

Here is a sample photo shot with the Loxia 25mm F2.4 in Taipei, by photographer Jeff Hsiao, for your pixel peeping pleasure:

Photo © Jeff Hsiao, courtesy of Zeiss

To see more official Sample Photos, visit the Zeiss Camera Lenses Flickr account.

The Zeiss Loxia 25mm F2.4 will be available in March for €1,300 (including German VAT) or $1,300 USD (excluding local taxes), lens hood included. Zeiss also says to look out for a special filmmakers set comprising all five Loxia lenses to be available soon. To learn more, read the full release below or visit the Zeiss website.

Press Release

The New ZEISS Loxia 2.4/25 – Flexibility for Photography On-the-Go

With this compact wide-angle lens, ZEISS is adding a new focal length of modest proportions to its ZEISS Loxia lens family.

OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 2018-02-14. – With the ZEISS Loxia 2.4/25 compact wide-angle lens, ZEISS is adding a new focal length to its lens family that will benefit both landscape and architectural photographers: "High resolution across the entire image as well as low distortion ensure the perfect result," says Product Manager Christophe Casenave. "The compact lens delivers great images thanks to the new optical design." The ZEISS Loxia 2.4/25 also features high-quality mechanical parts, and the durable metal housing makes this a reliable lens for photographers on the road.

The right companion for years to come

Small, robust and versatile: the lenses in the ZEISS Loxia family for mirrorless cameras in the Sony Alpha series are particularly well-suited for street and travel photographers who love being inconspicuous as they capture special moments in cities and in nature without carrying around a lot of equipment. The compact design of the ZEISS Loxia lenses has been specially developed for the mirrorless full-frame Sony E-mount cameras. Used in tandem, the lens and camera enable filmmakers and photographers to achieve a high-quality result, while the equipment's modest dimensions ensure users always have whatever they need with them. "This is a significant advantage for anyone who wants to blend into the background and is also on the road a lot," says Product Manager Casenave. The all-round talent from the ZEISS Loxia family is also great for filming.

Bringing creativity to life through precise, manual focusing

Traditional photography and cutting-edge technology all in one: with the ZEISS Loxia 2.4/25, photographers can let their artistic creativity run free. "A steady hand and the manual focusing means users achieve impressive results," says Casenave. The electronic interface for the ZEISS Loxia 2.4/25 transfers both lens data and focus movements to the Sony camera and then activates the focus peaking or the zoom function. Demanding photographers can achieve a wide range of creative possibilities thanks to precise, manual focusing, including a retro look and feel.

Precise and sophisticated – the ZEISS Loxia lens family featuring five focal lengths between 21 and 85 millimeters gives users a large number of creative possibilities when taking photographs or filming because of its technical refinement, linking traditional photography with modern technology.

A strong all-rounder for taking photographs and filming

The ZEISS Loxia family comprises five lenses with focal lengths between 21 and 85 millimeters. The lenses with manual focusing are all compact, durable and do not draw too much attention. With these lightweight companions, photographers and filmmakers have the necessary equipment and flexibility they need while on the road. The ZEISS Loxia lenses along with all the accessories have the same diameter and enable users to quickly and easily switch between different focal lengths during a shoot. The lenses offer the optimum foundation for capturing photographs and filming, both individually and as a set. These strong all-round talents excel at a wide range of uses.

Price and availability

The ZEISS Loxia 2.4/25 will be available at the ZEISS Webshop and at dealers from March 2018. The price of the new ZEISS Loxia 2.4/25 is €1,299 (incl. German VAT) or $1,299 US (excl. local taxes). The lens hood is included. Filmmakers can look forward to a special offer on a set comprising all five ZEISS Loxia focal lengths ranging from 21 to 85 millimeters.

For more information, please visit www.zeiss.com/photo/loxia2425

Categories: Equipment

Learning to shoot video with a gimbal: a frustrating, yet highly rewarding experience

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 9:00am

A new Panasonic GH-series camera always seems to mean having to learn more about video, but that also tends to mean getting experience behind a video camera. I'd like to think I'm getting better as a videographer. Hell, I even remember to record some background audio most of the time, but the GH5S review meant having to learn about a whole new piece of kit.

The GH5S's oversized sensor means there's little scope for any kind of sensor-shift stabilization, which means it's best suited to shooting with external forms of stabilization*. This meant that, in addition to borrowing a nice video lens, I needed to rent (and learn to use) a gimbal.

Gimbaling around

In just a few years, external stabilization has gone from being the preserve of Hollywood movies (most famously by Steadicam) to something that can be provided by sub-$1000 equipment. It probably shouldn't come as a surprise that DJI, best known as a maker of drones, also sells the technology required to mount and control aerial cameras as stand-alone stabilization rigs.

The DJI Ronin M is essentially a scaled-up version of the gimbals DJI mounts its drone cameras on. It provides a cradle that can move in all three axes, with motors to correct for (or provide) movement in each of these directions. At its most simple, it provides a platform that tries to keep the camera steady, regardless of the movements you make while holding the handles. This is both its fundamental role and the thing that makes it tricky to get used to.

The GH5S with Metabones Speedboost Ultra and Sigma 18-35mm T2.0, mounted in a DJI Ronin M: a powerful combination but one that's not particularly easy to hold at shoulder-height for any length of time.

Initial setup is pretty easy: you connect the camera cradle to a top handle, screw some lateral arms and handles on, then clip a large rechargeable battery pack on the back. You then have to carefully adjust the position of the cradle so that the camera and lens are neutrally balanced (that way the gimbal isn't having to constantly fight against the camera's weight to keep the it level).

To make the most of the GH5S I borrowed a couple of nice pieces of kit: a Sigma 18-35mm T2.0 CINE lens and a Speedbooster Ultra 0.71. The problem is that this is a pretty substantial combination, something that would come back to haunt me later.

Lens choice

A Speedbooster is essentially an equivalence machine, condensing the lens's projected light down onto a smaller sensor, shortening the focal length and lowering the F-number (since you have the same entrance pupil but with a shorter focal length lens). The upshot is that the 18-35mm T2.0 ends up giving essentially the same angle of view and depth-of-field it was designed to provide on APS-C/Super 35 format.

The result is something along the lines of a constant F1.4 lens. And, while it's not really sensible to start mixing F and T-stops**, it quickly becomes irrelevant. Because, to shoot in daylight, the camera's base ISO setting (320 in Log mode) meant I had to use a variable ND filter to prevent over-exposure, which meant I could use the aperture primarily to control depth-of-field, without necessarily having an impact on exposure.

Only the realization that I really can't think in Imperial took the shine off one of my favorite lenses

Coming from a photography background it still feels somehow wrong to throw away light like this, but if your minimum ISO is 320 and you need to keep the shutter speed somewhere around 1/50th of a second, you're going to have to do something to prevent constant overexposure. Sacrificing it to an ND filter is preferable to stopping down, since you then lose control over depth-of-field and smooth your footage with the power of diffraction.

It was a lovely combination to shoot with, though, offering a really useful zoom range, more than enough control over depth-of-field and beautifully damped controls for everything. Only the realization that this version had its distance scale in feet, and that I really can't think in Imperial, took the shine off this version of one of my favorite lenses.

In practice

There's a difference, of course, between knowing the theory and putting it into practice. I knew in principle what 10-bit capture should mean and I knew how a gimbal was supposed to work, but that's not the same as seeing it out in the field. Or, in this case, in one of Seattle's public parks.

I'd tested the gimbal the night before. Checked it was level and, via an app on my phone, configured it to move the way I wanted it to. Because while the basic function of a gimbal is to correct for the operator's movement, the Ronin can also be configured so that a large movement of the handles is treated as an instruction to move the camera. You can configure which axes it'll move in, how sensitive the system is to your inputs and how quickly it moves the camera in response. It's all really clever.

It's also a bit of a handful, at first. I quickly found myself trying to operate the focus and exposure on a camera that was constantly trying to move away from my attempts to grab it. Between this, the sheer weight of the setup and the inability to see the camera's screen, it was incredibly difficult to make or assess any changes on the camera: a deeply frustrating experience. Then the rain we'd timed our shoot to avoid started. And then turned to hail.

1'9? So that's, what, about 1/6th my height, plus about one and a half of those 15cm rulers we used at school? I'm not very good at thinking in Imperial measurements.

I was feeling pretty defeated. I'd shot maybe 10 seconds of footage, couldn't work out how to operate the camera and was beginning to think I was wasting everyone's time. The rain hammered down and I desperately cast around for a Plan B.

But you know what they say about silver linings? Mine was that the enforced rain break gave me more time to learn to handle the gimbal. In the end I developed a technique that involved powering it down, reaching for the camera with my right hand and letting the carrying frame collapse into the crook of my arms. I could then hold and operate the camera comparatively normally before finally making a grab for the carry handle with my left hand, letting the camera hang, then powering it all back up again.

The Ronin M went from nearly bringing me to tears to being one of the most fun pieces of equipment I've ever used

It also became apparent that some of the difficulty I was having was the result of the combined weight of the camera and lens, rather than just user error. The quick-release lever that locked the cameras fore/aft movement wasn't tightened quite enough to withstand the weight of my setup. So as soon as I let the camera hang on the gimbal to change settings, it was slipping forwards or backwards on its plate, throwing off the balance I'd so carefully set up. Hence its refusal to then work properly afterwards.

With these problems overcome and the sun starting to strike out from behind the clouds, I found myself getting more and more confident with every shot I took. And in a matter of hours, the Ronin M went from nearly bringing me to tears to being one of the most fun pieces of equipment I've ever used.

Back at the computer

Even after dragging all the camera gear back up the hill from the beach, the emotional peaks and troughs weren't complete, though. As with every other video project I've undertaken, there's a moment back at the editing machine where I wished I'd done almost everything differently, if given the chance to do it again. Obviously I was missing the necessary audio for a key part of the video (again) but I also found myself wishing I'd shot using a different color mode.

The moment I applied Nick Driftwood's LUT to my sole HLG clip, I wish I'd shot the whole thing that way

As I wrote up my review, I speculated whether it'd be better to shoot using the HDR-video-made-easy 'Hybrid Log Gamma' (HLG) mode, rather than the V-Log L workflow designed for professionals. I had reason to believe the simpler mode might make better use of the GH5S's 10-bit video capability. However, the knowledge that I already had the look-up table (LUT) to convert V-Log L footage into something that more usable was enough to tip the balance in that direction, so I shot everything but the closing shot that way.

The moment I applied Nick Driftwood's LUT (found via Google) to my solitary HLG clip, I wish I'd shot the whole thing that way. It may not prove to be the professional choice but it immediately got me closer to the end point I was hoping for.

I'm acutely aware of the risks of over-using the effect that that gimbal gives

That said, for all that I'd do the whole thing differently, I'm pretty pleased by the way the video turned out. No, my gimbal work isn't particularly polished and there are a thousand little tweaks and changes I wish I'd made (including, as always, the need to shoot more little 'B-roll' clips to cut away to), but I think the results look better than my previous efforts, and that's how learning works.

I'm also acutely aware of the risks of over-using the effect that that gimbal gives. But I'm itching to get a chance to use one again, hone my skills and bring a little bit of drifty magic to my next project. Once my shoulders have stopped aching.

*Panasonic would say I've got cause and effect confused. The outcome is similar though: I needed a gimbal.

**Since these same optics sold for stills use as an F1.8, you could argue that, with a 0.71x focal length reducer it ends up being an F1.3 lens. Certainly it can't be said to be a T1.4, since the additional glass in the SpeedBooster will inevitably reduce the light transmission a smidge. But, as I say, the numbers don't matter so much as the effect.

Categories: Equipment

Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9: What you need to know

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 7:00am

Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9: What you need to know

Nominally at least, the new Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 is the successor to the GX8. But while it has a lot in common with the earlier model, the new camera comes with some serious updates, and a couple of caveats. In some ways in fact, the GX9 can be thought of as a step-up model from the GX85, rather than as a direct successor to the more expensive GX8.

We've had access to a pre-production GX9 for a few days, and we've been digging into its feature set. Here's what you need to know.

No low-pass filter

The GX9 incorporates the same 20MP Micro Four Thirds sensor as its predecessor, but omits the low-pass filter found on previous models. JPEG shooters might not see much of a difference, but this should allow you to eke out a little more detail in low-ISO Raw files.

Redesigned shutter - no more 'shutter shock'

The GX8 was a very likable camera, but at certain shutter speeds, we encountered issues with so-called 'shutter shock' when the vibration caused by the shutter movement blurred fine detail. We reported this issue to Panasonic at the time, and apparently they took it seriously. The GX9 features a redesigned shutter, which should result in a 90% reduction in shutter shock, compared to its predecessor. That's according to Panasonic – obviously we'll be testing it for ourselves as soon as possible.

As well as the mechanical shutter, you also have the option of engaging the silent, fully-electronic shutter from 1 - 1/16,000 sec. If you're taking pictures in a very quiet environment, this is the way to go, but distortion might become an issue when shooting fast moving subjects.

Tilting EVF (but not the same viewfinder)

One of our favorite features of the GX7 and GX8 were their tilting viewfinders, and we're pleased to see that this design has been carried over into the GX9.

The bad news is that it's not the same finder. The GX9's EVF is a field-sequential type, featuring 2.7 million dot (equivalent) resolution and an equivalent magnification of 0.7X, compared to the 1.04 million-dot, 0.77X magnification OLED of the GX8. The GX9's viewfinder image is very nice, but it's a little smaller, and (being field-sequential) it is also prone to 'rainbow effect', if you're one of the people who are bothered by that.

Touch-sensitive rear LCD - tilting only

As well as a tilting EVF, the GX9 also features a tilting, 1.24 million-dot rear LCD. The 3" screen is touch-sensitive, allowing for (among other thing) easy AF point placement. By contrast, the GX8's rear LCD was fully-articulating. Some people prefer tilting screens, some people don't, which will determine whether or not you see this as an up or downgrade.

Continuous shooting and autofocus

Continuous shooting is possible at up to 9 fps with focus locked (and no live view), or 6fps with live view and/or in continuous AF mode. While the GX9's sensor is not set up for on-sensor phase detection, Panasonic's Depth from Defocus autofocus technology does a pretty good job of focus acquisition and tracking. DFD uses the individual (de)focus blur characteristics of modern Panasonic Micro Four Thirds lenses to quickly drive the lens's focus groups in the right direction, largely avoiding the distracting hunting behavior of conventional contrast-detection AF systems. Face and eye-detection AF modes both work well.

In use, the GX9 isn't in the same league as its action-focused stablemate the G9, but autofocus is fast and accurate in most shooting situations.

4K video

As well as stills, the GX9 can also capture UHD 4K video, at up to 30p. The maximum bitrate of 100Mbps (4K/30) isn't competitive against Panasonic's more pro-oriented GH5 and GH5S, but the GX9 should be more than capable of satisfying the needs of occasional videographers.

Video is initiated via the distinctive red button at the center of the main on/off switch, just behind the shutter release in this image. Note also the integrated exposure mode / compensation dials on the upper right of the GX9's body.

I/O ports door

We don't normally get too excited by the door that covers I/O ports but we'll make an exception for the GX9...

I/O ports door

...because the GX9's ports door is a little bit special. Rather than flapping around, getting in the way of your USB or HDMI cables whenever they're plugged into the camera, the door hides itself away inside the body of the camera. Neat.

4K Auto Marking and Sequence Composition

Two new 4K features have been added in the GX9: Auto Marking, which automatically marks faces or motion in your video (full disclosure - try as we might, we cannot get this feature to work in our pre-production camera), and 4K Photo Sequence Composition (shown above).

Sequence Composition allows you to shoot a moving sequence in 4K, and then quickly create a composite JPEG in-camera by dragging and dropping the moving element/s from neighboring frames.

5-axis image stabilization

The GX9 features in-body stabilization, which combines with the optical stabilization systems in many Panasonic M43 lenses to offer 5-axis stabilization for a total benefit of around 4EV.

While not up there with the G9 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II's 6EV+ stabilization systems, 4EV is still very useful, and should mean for example that with a 25mm lens (50mm) equivalent, sharp images can be taken right down to 1/8sec.

New 'Dynamic' monochrome mode

A new 'L Monochrome: Dynamic' mode has been added to the GX9's suite of Creative Control effects, along with a random (i.e. non-repeating) monochrome grain effect. Normally we're pretty indifferent towards modes like this on enthusiast-grade cameras, but the results when shooting in Monochrome D mode + grain actually look really good. Not quite Kodak Tri-X good, but close.

Built-in flash

Also new compared to the GX8 is a small built-in flash. This pop-up flash is available for close-range portraits and fill light, but with a guide number of 4.2 (ISO 100) it won't replace an external flash for anything more than that.

The GX9 is compatible with Panasonic's wireless flash control system, when paired with DMW-FL200L / FL360L / FL580L flashguns.

Optional grip and eyecup

The GX9 features a fairly skinny (but perfectly comfortable) handgrip, but if you want a bit more of a handful, an optional grip is available for the pretty reasonable price of $59.

Optional grip and eyecup

A wider eyecup is also available as an optional extra, for more comfortable shooting when wearing glasses.

Wi-Fi- and LE Bluetooth

As we'd expect from a modern Panasonic camera, the GX9 features built-in Wi-Fi for image transfer to and remote control from a mobile device, but low-energy Bluetooth (BLE) is a new addition.

BLE allows the camera to maintain a constant connection, allowing for easy wireless remote triggering and avoiding the need to go through lengthy and sometimes frustrating connection steps every time you want to use a wireless feature.

Body, sealing and battery life

The GX9 is about 25g heavier than the GX85, and about 40g lighter than the GX8. It's slightly smaller than the GX8, too, and lacks the older models' weather-sealing. Weather-sealing is one of those rather nebulous 'features' that means different things to different manufacturers, but if you enjoy shooting in all winds and weathers, take note – you have been warned.

In terms of battery life, the GX9 uses the same DMW-BLG10 battery as the GX85, and as such its CIPA-rated battery life has dropped compared to the GX8, to around 250 images per full charge. It's not all bad news though – this increases to around 900 shots in Eco Mode, and as always, it's likely that a stills-focused photographer will be able to get quite a bit more endurance than the CIPA figures suggest. We'd still invest in a spare battery, just in case.

What do you think?

The GX9 is dividing our commenters – some of you like the focus on feature enhancement, and don't mind the loss of an articulating screen, weather-sealing, and the rest while others are unhappy that Panasonic hasn't doubled-down on some of the GX8's unique features.

Some of you, like us, are probably just confused by Panasonic's ever-changing naming scheme for its entry-level and midrange ILCs. Which camp do you fall into? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: Equipment

Fujifilm Imaging Solutions posts excellent financial results

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 3:48pm

Fujifilm Holdings has posted its financial results for the first three quarters of the 2017 fiscal year, and it's all good news for the Imaging Solutions division. The segment recorded a revenue of 297.7 billion yen (approximately $2.77 billion USD), a bump of 15.6% year-on-year. Imaging Solution operating income totaled 50.0 billion yen (approximately $465 million USD), up 76.1% over the same period during the previous year.

From the figures in its earnings presentation, it seems the bulk of the increase comes from the Photo Imaging business—read: Instax cameras—but strong sales in the Electronic Imaging business show the X-Series is starting to deliver. Quarterly revenue for Electronic Imaging is up 39%, thanks to strong sales of the X-E3, X-T20 and X100F models, and the mirrorless medium-format camera GFX 50S and corresponding lenses.

Sales also increased in the Optical Devices business, largely due to strong sales of various industrial-use lenses, used for example in vehicle cameras or projectors. And, finally, Fujifilm's presentation also mentions the launch of the new MK series of lenses, which are designed for cinema cameras and targeted at the growing area of video creation for online purposes.

If you want to dive into more detail, you can find all the report documents, including a video of the presentation, on the Fujifilm Holdings website. But long story short: Fujifilm's Imaging Solutions division seems to be doing very well.

Categories: Equipment

Science photography award goes to image of a single trapped atom

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 3:30pm
Single Atom in an Ion Trap | Photo by David Nadlinger/University of Oxford/EPSRC/PA

A photo of a single trapped atom has won the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's (EPSRC) science photography contest. The image, which is titled "Single Atom in an Ion Trap," was taken by David Nadlinger of the University of Oxford. Showcased in the image is single positively-charged strontium atom trapped by electric fields produced by metal electrodes.

You have to zoom in to really see it, but even that is incredible when you really wrap your mind around what you're looking at. Here's a closer crop:

This closer crop better shows the glowing strontium atom, trapped by electric fields produced by electrodes in the vacuum chamber.

According to the EPSRC, the image is a long exposure that was taken through an ultra-high vacuum chamber's window. A blue-violet laser was used to illuminate the atom, which absorbed light particles and then re-emitted them. That process produces enough light that a regular camera can photograph the atom if a long exposure is used.

Photographer and overall EPSRC contest winner David Nadlinger discussed the idea behind the image:

The idea of being able to see a single atom with the naked eye had struck me as a wonderfully direct and visceral bridge between the minuscule quantum world and our macroscopic reality. A back-of-the-envelope calculation showed the numbers to be on my side, and when I set off to the lab with camera and tripods one quiet Sunday afternoon, I was rewarded with this particular picture of a small, pale blue dot.

Categories: Equipment

Lightroom Classic 7.2: Major performance boost, new features, and more

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 3:10pm

Lightroom Classic 7.2—the performance boosted version of Lightroom DPReview got to test for ourselves at the end of January—has finally arrived! And with it come numerous performance improvements, better support for Intel hardware, a fix for speed issues experienced by some users, and some new features to boot.

Additionally, Adobe has also updated the new cloud-based Lightroom CC ecosystem for both desktop and mobile operating systems. Let's take them one at a time.

Lightroom Classic Performance Boost

The company explains that it has worked with Intel to improve performance scaling on computers that have multiple cores and at least 12GB of RAM, and as we showed in January, the result is much faster importing and preview generation, and improved speed for things like adjustments rendering in Develop, HDR/Panos rendering, and more.

"One key attribute of the enhancements is that they scale appropriately with a customer's investment in hardware," says Adobe. Users who invest in newer, more powerful hardware will see more performance improvements, particularly if the system has at least 12GB of memory. This time around, Adobe says it focused on batch processing improvements (how efficiently system resources are used and batch tasks are completed), but the company will also focus on Interactive (interface response speed) needs in the near future.

Some users had experienced problems with Lightroom Classic slowing down over time, an issue Adobe says it has fixed "in most cases," though it is possible some users will still experience this issue.

Lightroom Classic Feature Enhancements

Performance improvements and fixes aside, Lightroom Classic 7.2 comes with multiple new features, including a text search for finding a specific folder ("Folder Search"), the ability to filter favorites within folders, an option for creating collection sets from folders for use with Lightroom mobile, as well as a feature for creating collections from Map Module pins.

This version of Lightroom Classic also adds a library filter for unedited and edited images and enables users to create smart collections with unedited or edited images.

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Finally, Adobe says it has enabled Photoshop Continuously Scalable User Interface in the Adobe Camera Raw plugin, with the scaling limited to 100% or 200%. Support for per-monitor scaling in Windows has also been added. In explaining the plugin update, Adobe said, "This is primarily a Windows change to sync up Photoshop, and Windows users will now be able to scale the ACR plugin from 100% to 500%, in increments of 100%."

The full Lightroom Classic 7.2 update changelog is available here, new camera support can be found here, and new lens profile support can be found here.

Updates to Lightroom CC and Lightroom Mobile

In addition to the Lightroom Classic CC updates, the whole Lightroom CC ecosystem—including the Lightroom Mobile apps on iOS and Android—have been updated as well with "optimized performance, added support for new cameras and lenses, and some great new features for desktop and Android."

Adobe says it put a lot of effort into "tuning and improving stability" with this update. Lightroom CC on Mac and Windows will see performance improve when moving between photos, grid scrolling, and exporting, while all the apps across mobile and desktop should be "a lot more stable."

As for new features, Lightroom CC for desktop gets the ability to add copyright to imported images; meanwhile, Lightroom Mobile on Android gets a geometry tab for correcting perspective distortion, the ability to add a watermark upon export, the ability to search your Lightroom library with Google Assistant, and a new “Add to Lr” option that will allow you to add photos from third party apps directly into your Lightroom library.

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All of these updates are available now, so if you have a Creative Cloud subscription, update to the latest versions and give them a go. And if you want to dive deeper into all of these new features, head over to the Adobe blog.

Categories: Equipment

Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 First Impressions Review and Sample Gallery

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 8:00am

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 is a rangefinder-style Micro Four Thirds camera whose most recognizable feature is its tilting electronic viewfinder. The GX9 provides a healthy serving of new features and performance improvements over its predecessor, the GX8.

The most notable changes include the removal of the low-pass filter on the GX9's 20MP sensor, 5-axis in-body image stabilization (up from 4-axis), slightly faster burst shooting and Bluetooth connectivity. The shutter unit has also been redesigned, with Panasonic claiming a 90% reduction in 'shutter shock' compared to the GX8. There's also a built-in flash - something the GX8 lacked - as well as some tweaks to image processing.

Panasonic appears to have rearranged their lineup a bit, with the GX9 serving more as a midrange model than its predecessors, sitting alongside the DSLR-style DMC-G85. The price has come down to $999 with a kit lens, compared to $1199 for the GX8's body alone. Alongside the price drop, some features found on the GX8 are now gone, such as weather-sealing. The EVF is smaller and battery life has dropped by about 25%, as well.

The GX9's closest peers are the Fujifilm X-E3 and Sony's a6300, both of which have 24MP APS-C sensors, hybrid autofocus systems (which the GX9 lacks) and 4K video capture.

* The 12-32mm lens pictured above is not the kit lens, which is the Panasonic Lumix G 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 OIS.

Key Specifications

  • 20.3MP Four Thirds sensor with no low-pass filter
  • 'Dual IS' 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • Depth from Defocus contrast-detect AF
  • Tilting 2.76M-dot electronic viewfinder
  • 3" 1.24M-dot touchscreen display
  • 6 fps burst shooting with continuous AF
  • 4K UHD video capture at 30p
  • Built-in flash
  • Redesigned shutter mechanism with electromagnetic drive
  • New L. Monochrome D and Grain Effect color modes
  • Wi-Fi + Bluetooth

All-in-all that's a pretty nice feature set, with the removal of the low-pass filter promising better resolution and the new shutter reducing the shutter shock which plagued its predecessor. Panasonic also added some new tricks to its 4K Photo mode that we'll touch on later.

Compared to...

Now let's take a look at how the GX9 not only compares to its predecessor but also how it stacks up against Fuji's X-E3 and Sony's a6300.

Panasonic GX9 Panasonic GX8 Fujifilm X-E3 Sony a6300
MSRP $999 (w/12-60mm lens) $1199 (body only) $1299 (w/18-55mm lens) $999 (w/16-50mm lens)
Sensor 20MP Four Thirds (no OLPF) 20MP Four Thirds 24MP X-Trans APS-C 24MP APS-C
Image stabilization 5-axis (Dual IS) 4-axis (Dual IS) Lens only Lens only
ISO range (full) 100-25600 100-51200
AF system Contrast-detect (DFD) Hybrid Hybrid
AF joystick No Yes No
Burst rate (C-AF) 6 fps 8 fps
LCD 1.24M-dot tilting 3" touchscreen 1.04M-dot fully articulating 3" touchscreen 1.04M-dot fixed 3" touchscreen 921k-dot tilting 3" touchscreen
Viewfinder 2.76M-dot LCoS (tilting) 2.36M-dot OLED (tilting) 2.36M-dot OLED (fixed)
Viewfinder magnification 0.7x equiv. 0.77x equiv. 0.62x equiv. 0.71x equiv.
Built-in flash Yes No Yes
Video 4K UHD @ 30p
Wi-Fi Yes, w/BT Yes Yes, w/BT Yes, w/NFC
Weather-sealed No Yes No Yes
Battery life 260 shots 340 shots 350 shots
Dimensions 124 x 72 x 47mm 133 x 78 x 63mm 121 x 74 x 43mm 120 x 67 x 49mm
Weight (CIPA) 450 g 487 g 337 g 404 g
The GX9 (left) is noticeably smaller than the GX8.

You can see that the differences between the GX9 and GX8 are a mixed bag. The GX9 loses the low-pass filter, get an extra axis (rotation) of image stabilization and adds Bluetooth and a flash. However, its viewfinder is smaller, body no longer weather-sealed and battery life has taken a turn for the worse. Speaking of viewfinders, Panasonic has gone back to a field sequential panel (a different technology than traditional LCD or OLED,) which some people may find distracting due to 'color tearing'. The LCD is now tilting versus fully articulating, which some people may find as an upgrade, and others will not.

The 20MP Live MOS sensor on the GX8 is as high resolution as you'll find on a Micro Four Thirds camera, though larger APS-C sensors perform a bit better at high sensitivities. Both the X-E3 and a6300 have hybrid (contrast + phase detect) autofocus systems, though Panasonic's DFD system has performed quite well despite lacking phase-detection. The GX8 has higher resolution LCDs and an EVF that's quite a bit bigger than the X-E3's. Both the X-E3 and a6300 have faster burst rates and 35% higher battery life.


Two accessories for the DC-GX9 really caught our eye, and would likely be placed in the shopping cart next to the camera if we bought one.

The GX9 shown with its optional DMW-HGR2 grip.

The GX9 doesn't have a huge grip and we found ourselves really liking the available DMW-HGR2 grip. The grip protrudes quite a bit, so smaller hands might find it a bit too substantial, but those of us in the DPReview office who tried it had no complaints. The one downside is that it must be removed in order to access the battery and memory card compartment.

GX9 with optional DMW-EC5 eyecup.

If you find yourself shooting outdoors with the EVF then the DMC-EC5 eyecup is a must. Without the eyecup this reviewer found himself using his left hand to keep light out of the viewfinder, rather than bracing the camera for stability, and for $19, buying it is a no-brainer. Getting at the diopter correction knob can be a bit challenging with it attached, though.

Pricing and Availability

The DC-GX9 will begin shipping in early March at a price of $999 with the Panasonic Lumix G 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens. (Keep in mind that the GX8 launched at $1199, body only.) Other regions will likely have other kits available.

Color choices include black or silver.

Categories: Equipment

Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200/TZ200: First Impressions Review

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 8:00am

Meet the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 / TZ200: the world's furthest reaching pocketable 1" -type camera. It sits beside the near-identical-looking ZS100 as the longer reaching model, providing a 24-360mm equiv. F3.3-6.4 zoom range compared to the 25-250mm equiv. F2.8-5.9 lens of the ZS100.

What's cool about the ZS200 is its greater zoom range is achieved while barely increasing the size of the body (it's 1mm thicker and 1mm taller than the ZS100), though the lens is nearly a half stop slower at the wide end, compared to its older sibling.

Both cameras use a 20.1MP 1" -type sensor but the ZS200 gains a higher resolution 2.33M dot equiv. electronic viewfinder compared to the 1.7M dot LVF on the ZS100 (still field sequential, more on that later). Panasonic has also added low power Bluetooth connectivity, in addition to Wi-Fi. It also gains a 3cm macro mode (available on the wide end only), Panasonic's L. Monochrome Photo Style, and a new highspeed 1080/120p video mode.

Key Features:

  • 20.1MP 1"-type BSI CMOS sensor
  • F3.3-6.4 24-360mm equiv. zoom lens
  • 2.33M dot LVF with 0.53x equiv. magnification
  • 10 fps burst (AF-S), 6 fps burst (AF-C)
  • 5-axis in-body stablization
  • UHD 4K/24/25/30p video
  • 3" touch LCD
  • Depth from Defocus AF
  • Wi-Fi and low power Bluetooth
  • 4K Photo
  • USB charging

To put it simply the ZS200 seems to take the excellent pedigree of the ZS100 (one of our picks for best travel camera), makes some slight improvements and adds a longer, slightly slower lens. Combined, these two cameras fill a gap in the 1" -type compact camera market, providing significant telephoto reach beyond that of other pocket friendly models, such as the Sony RX100 series.

Compared to its peers

Speaking of the RX100 series, here's how the ZS200 stacks up in terms of specification to its peers.

Panasonic DC-ZS200 Panasonic DMC-ZS100 Sony DSC- RX100 V Sony DSC-RX100 IV Canon G7 X Mark II
MSRP $800 $700 $999 $899 $699
Lens range (equiv.) 24-360mm 25-350mm 24-70mm 24-70mm 24-100mm
Aperture range F3.3-6.4 F2.8-5.9 F1.8-2.8 F1.8-2.8 F1.8-2.8
Autofocus Contrast detection Contrast detection Phase detection Contrast detection Contrast detection
Viewfinder 2.3M-dot (field sequential) 1.7M-dot (field sequential) 2.36M-dot 2.36M-dot No
Rear screen Fixed Fixed Tilt up/down Tilt up/down Tilt up/down
Touch sensitive? Yes Yes No No Yes
Video capability


Burst Shooting 10 fps 10 fps 24 fps 16 fps 8 fps
Wifi, Bluetooth, NFC Yes, Yes, No Yes, No, No Yes, No, Yes Yes, No, Yes Yes, No, Yes
Battery life (CIPA) 370 300 220 280 265

As you can see, the ZS200 matches up or beats its peers in some areas, like offering touch sensitivity and ample video capture options. But it also gets beat in others areas like maximum aperture range and burst speed. Though one thing worth calling out is the ZS200 features the best battery life of the bunch, something we look forward to confirming in real world testing.

We'll also include an equivalent aperture vs equivalent focal length graph, comparing the ZS200 to its peers, as soon as we get a final version of the camera back in our office.

Pricing and availability

Available mid-March, the ZS200 can be yours for $800 in either black, or silver/gunmetal, shown here.

Categories: Equipment

Panasonic Lumix GX9 offers 20MP with no low-pass filter, improved shutter mechanism

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 8:00am
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Panasonic is taking the wraps off the GX9, a 20MP Micro Four Thirds camera. Its sensor does not use a low-pass filter in an effort to maximize sharpness, and a new L/Monochrome D Photo Style is on board for fans of black-and-white film. The GX9 does not offer weather-sealing, unlike the GX8 and G9.

The GX9 offers a 2.7 million-dot (equiv.) EVF that tilts 90° upward, and a 1.2 million-dot touchscreen that tilts up 80° and down by 45° – a departure from the G9 and GX8's fully articulated screens. An electromagnetic drive claims to reduce shutter shock by 90%, an attempt to mitigate the shutter-induced softness we saw in previous GX- models.

The camera relies on contrast detect autofocus with the help of Panasonic's Depth from Defocus technology when Panasonic lenses are used. Naturally 4K/30p/24p video is present with all of the affiliated 4K Photo Modes, including two new ones: Auto Marking and Sequence Composition. Auto Marking allows the camera to identify movement in a 4K clip and set a marker to quickly jump to the action, and Sequence Composition makes it easy to create composite images of action in-camera.

In-body 5-axis stabilization combines with dual-axis optical stabilization, resulting in a claimed 4-stop reduction in shake. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are available for quick image sharing.

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 will ship in the beginning of March with a new 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens for $999. An optional wide eyecup ($19) and grip ($59) will also be available.

Press release


The Ultimate Compact Single Lens Mirrorless Digital Camera Capture High Quality Images in Your Own Creative Way

Newark, NJ (February 13, 2018) – Panasonic is proud to introduce the LUMIX GX9, a sleek, compact new Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera for everyone who wants to shoot vibrant, true-to-life, high quality images in their own creative way with excellent resolution, high contrast and impressive color reproduction.

The LUMIX GX9’s 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor without a low-pass filter and Venus Engine combine to drive maximum lens performance while rendering natural, high-precision images. The L.Monochrome D mode is newly added to Photo Style, making it easy to shoot detailed dynamic monochrome photos with emphasized highlights and shadows. Plus, Grain Effect can also be adjusted in all monochrome modes with Photo Style.

A 5-axis Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer) in the LUMIX GX9 effectively suppresses blur. Combining an O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) and a B.I.S. (Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis), the Dual I.S. compensates for a wider range of movement to enable blur-free photo/video shooting from wide to tele, even in low-light conditions.

A new wide screen LVF (Live View Finder) in the LUMIX GX9 tilts up approx. 90 degrees. With its high, approx. 2760k-dot equivalent, resolution and 100% color reproduction, this 16:9 LVF provides approx. 1.39x / 0.7x (35mm camera equivalent.) magnification and 100% field of view. Plus, the camera's large 3.0-in., approx. 1240k-dot high resolution static-type touch monitor provides nearly 100% of field of view tilts up approx. 80 degrees and down 45-degrees to enable shooting in high or low angle even easier.

The Contrast AF System in the LUMIX GX9 features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology and excels in both speed and accuracy by exchanging digital signals between the camera and the lens at max. 240 fps*1, for ultra-fast auto focusing in approx. 0.07 sec*2. A range of extensive AF functions include Face/Eye Detection AF, Pinpoint AF, One-shot AF and advanced Low Light AF to enhance usability to comply with various shooting situations. Live View Boost makes it possible to check composition even in total darkness by boosting sensitivity just for live view.

The LUMIX GX9 records smooth, high-resolution 4K video in 3840x2160 at 30p or 24p in MP4. 4K PHOTO is easier to use in more creative ways with Auto Marking and Sequence Composition, two new additions to Post Focus, Focus Stacking, Light Composition and 4K Live Cropping.

Ultra HD 4K video and 4K PHOTO

With a high-speed sensor signal readout and engine processor, the LUMIX GX9 records smooth, high-resolution 4K videos in 3840x2160 resolution at 30p or 24p in addition to the Full-HD 1,920x1,080 60p videos with practical full-time AF. With this technology, LUMIX 4K PHOTO lets users capture perfect moments by extracting single frames from 4K burst files shot at 30 fps to save as 8-megapixel equivalent photos.

Choosing the best shots out of hundreds of 4K video frames is now easier with a newly added Auto Marking function. Auto Marking identifies the frame most different from others in the file to help minimize the time it takes to choose the best individual shot. A Sequence Composition function creates a stromotion image in-camera by synthesizing multiple images shot at fixed frame to produce a unique image of a subject’s motion without special retouching.

The LUMIX GX9 also includes Post Focus, a function selects an in-focus area even after shooting. Post Focus is helpful in situations such as macro shooting where strict focusing is required or for changing expressions by changing the focused subject. This capability combines high-speed, high-precision DFD (Depth From Defocus) auto focus technology and 4K technology. A Focus Stacking function adjusts depth of field after shooting by combining multiple images shot with Post Focus in the camera. Now users don't need to focus strictly while shooting because they can create images with the defocus level they want or pan-focus simply by selecting the focus area after shooting — beneficial when shooting macro images of insects, small accessories and so on.

LUMIX GX9 also incorporates a Light Composition function, a new 4K PHOTO option. The camera synthesizes images by choosing and saving a brighter pixel to easily produce more dramatic images of fireworks or night scenery in-camera. What's more, the LUMIX GX9 also enables 4K Live Cropping in video recording to realize stable panning or zooming. In panning shots, users just set the viewing angle to begin and end with for smooth panning imagery without using special equipment like a slider. And in zooming, users can set the after-zoomed viewing angle firs to ensure the subject is perfectly in the frame. The imagery of zooming is smooth because it does not move the zoom lens physically.

The LUMIX GX9 includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi® connectivity for a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation. Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (Bluetooth Low Energy) enables consistent connection with a smartphone or tablet with minimum power consumption.

About motion picture recording / 4K Photo recording
- Use a card with SD Speed Class with "Class 4" or higher when recording motion pictures.
- Use a card with SD Speed Class with "UHS-I UHS Speed Class 3 (U3)" when recording motion pictures with [MP4] in [4K] or [4K PHOTO]. (SD speed class is the speed standard regarding continuous writing.)
- MP4 motion pictures with [MP4] in [FHD/30p] [FHD] [HD]: You can continue recording without interruption even if the file size exceeds 4 GB or 30 minutes in length, but the motion picture file will be divided and recorded/played back separately. - MP4 motion pictures with [MP4] in [4K]:
- When using an SDHC memory card: You can continue recording without interruption even if the file size exceeds 4 GB, but the motion picture file will be divided and recorded/played back separately.
- When using an SDXC memory card: You can record a motion picture in a single file. - When the ambient temperature is high or continuous recording is performed, the camera may stop the recording to protect itself. Wait until the camera cools down.

For [4K] video output, use an HDMI cable that has the HDMI logo on it, and that is described as "4K compatible."

*1 Contrast AF with DFD Technology works only with Panasonic Micro Four Thirds lenses. *2 In AFS, at wide-end with H-FS14140 (CIPA).

Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9

MSRP$999 (w/12-60mm F3.5-5.6 lens)
Body type
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Max resolution5184 x 3888
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors22 megapixels
Sensor sizeFour Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorVenus Engine
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
ISOAuto, 200-25600 (expands down to 100)
Boosted ISO (minimum)100
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (4 slots)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notesDual IS uses sensor and lens-shift (when available)
CIPA image stabilization rating4 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, standard
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.31)
  • Raw (Panasonic RW2)
Optics & Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (2x-4x)
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points49
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,240,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.39× (0.7× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution2,760,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Shutter priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashYes
Flash range6.00 m (at ISO 200)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash modesAuto, auto w/redeye reduction, forced on, forced on w/redeye reduction, slow sync, slow sync w/redeye reduction, forced off
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Burst
  • 4K Photo
  • Post Focus
  • Self-timer
Continuous drive9.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs, 3 photos over 10 secs)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 20 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1280 x 720 @ 30p / 10 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I supported)
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with Bluetooth 4.2 LE
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)260
Weight (inc. batteries)407 g (0.90 lb / 14.36 oz)
Dimensions124 x 72 x 47 mm (4.88 x 2.83 x 1.85″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
Categories: Equipment

Panasonic Lumix ZS200 offers 1" sensor and 24-360mm equiv. zoom in a pocketable form factor

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 8:00am
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Panasonic has announced the ZS200/TZ200, a 20MP 1"-sensor compact that updates the existing ZS100 and its 25-250mm equiv. zoom with a 24-360mm equiv. F3.3-6.4 lens that's both slightly wider and much longer (though a bit slower).

Like its predecessor the ZS200 offers a 3" touchscreen, accompanied by an upgraded 2.3 million-dot EVF with 0.53x magnification. Contrast detect autofocus is aided by Panasonic's very good Depth from Defocus technology, and up to 10 fps burst shooting is available with AF-S (6 fps in AF-C). Rounding out a travel-friendly feature set are 4K video, Wi-Fi with Bluetooth, 5-axis image stabilization and a new L.Monochrome Photo Style for a black-and-white film look.

The ZS200's 3840 x 2160 4K recording is offered at 30p and 24p. Familiar 4K Photo features like Post Focus are available, in addition to a couple of new modes. Auto Marking analyzes a 4K video clip and automatically marks points at which it detects action. Sequence Composition allows you to composite multiple frames of a moving subject in front of a static background into a single image – think of the images you see of a snowboarder frozen mid-flight in the various stages of a jump.

The Panasonic ZS200 boasts an improved battery life of 370 shots per charge (the ZS200 claimed 300) thanks to a new eco-friendly mode. It will ship in mid-March for $799 in your choice of gunmetal silver or black.

Press release:

LUMIX DMC-ZS200 Travel Zoom Camera

Powerful 15x Optical Zoom with 1-in. 20.1-MP High Sensitivity MOS Sensor for 4K Video/ 4K PHOTO Capability

Newark, NJ (February 13, 2018) –Panasonic is proud to introduce the LUMIX DMC-ZS200, the new flagship camera of the popular Travel Zoom series. The compact LUMIX ZS200 comes with a 24mm ultra-wide angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens and enhanced 15x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 24-360mm). The camera also includes 5-Axis HYBRID Optical Image Stabilizer Plus*1 to suppress hand-shake in both photo and video recording. For added creativity the LUMIX ZS200 integrates a new L.Monochrome mode in Photo Style for monochrome images with rich B/W film gradation.

The camera's 1-inch MOS sensor produces high-quality images with stunning details. The combination of a High Sensitivity MOS Sensor and Venus Engine delivers up to ISO 12,800 for high sensitivity quality beyond the reach of most other digital compacts. And an upgraded Live View Finder (LVF) integrates a new 0.21-in. 2,330K-dot equivalent LVF to provide a high magnification ratio of approx. 1.45x/0.53x (35mm camera equivalent). Both LVF and a 3-in. touchscreen display provide approx. 100% field of view. The LUMIX ZS200 boasts exceptional optical performance with stunning clarity with minimum distortion and flare. This new lens system also enables stunning close-up shots with its 3cm macro capability.

With the LUMIX ZS200, 4K video recording is every bit as stunning with high-resolution QFHD 4K video in 3840x2160 at 30p or 24p in MP4. And 4K PHOTO lets LUMIX ZS200 users capture memorable moments by extracting single frames from 4K burst files shot at 30 fps to save as 8-megapixel equivalent images. Auto Marking and Sequence Composition, included in addition to Post Focus and Focus Stacking, make 4K PHOTO even easier to use.

A Contrast AF System features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology*2 and excels in both speed and accuracy for ultra-fast auto focusing in approx. 0.1 sec*3. The LUMIX ZS200 includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi® connectivity for a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing. Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (Bluetooth Low Energy) enables a consistent connection with a smartphone or tablet with minimum power consumption.

The independent dials and Control Ring located on the lens barrel provide an intuitive way to capture creative vision. Smoother control of exposure and zoom allows users to concentrate on framing the perfect picture and press the shutter at the perfect moment. It also provides easier access to frequently-used settings such as aperture, shutter speed, focus, filter effect and scene mode. For even more precise control over focusing, the LUMIX ZS200 also boasts a Focus Peaking function that shows the peak of focus in manual focus mode to ensure users know exactly where the focus is.

The LUMIX ZS200 will be available in stores on March 20, 2018. Suggested retail price is $799.99. Available in Black and Silver.

Additional features

Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi 2.4GHz (IEEE802.11b/g/n)
The LUMIX ZS200 integrates Bluetooth and Wi-Fi® connectivity to offer a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation. Once the camera is connected to a smartphone or tablet installed with the Panasonic Image App for iOS / Android, users can shoot, browse and share images remotely. They can also choose the quality of images to transfer using the Image App. Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (called BLE: Bluetooth Low Energy) enables a constant connection with a smartphone/tablet with minimum power consumption. This activates the camera by simply using a smartphone/tablet or to automatically add GPS geotags on the photos.

• Long battery life and AC/USB Power Charging
Thanks to a newly adopted eco30fps mode, the LUMIX ZS200 provides long battery life for approx. 370 pictures (when using a rear monitor) per charge. The battery is recharged via AC or USB according to user convenience.
• Exposure / WB / Focus / Aperture Bracket
Focus Bracket and Aperture Bracket are new additions to the conventional Exposure Bracket and WB Bracket to let users choose their best shots later. In Focus Bracket, a maximum 999 images can be shot with different focus points. The Aperture Bracket enables multiple shots with different depths of field.
• In-Camera RAW Data Development
• The LUMIX ZS200 can shoot images in RAW and develop them in-camera.
• LEICA is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH. • LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lenses are manufactured using measurement instruments and quality assurance systems certified by Leica Camera AG according to the company's quality standards.
• “AVCHD Progressive”, “AVCHD”, the “AVCHD Progressive” Logo and the “AVCHD” Logo are trademarks of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation.
• Manufactured under license from Dolby Laboratories. Dolby and the double-D symbol are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.
• All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective corporations.
• The LUMIX ZS200 is compatible with both SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards. Use SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards on compatible devices only. SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards cannot be used with devices compatible only with SD Memory Cards. (Before using an SDHC/SDXC Memory Card in another device, read the operating instructions for that device.)
• Some accessories are not available in some countries.
• Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.

*1 5-axis compensation works in video recording except for 4K video recording.
*2 Works for still image recording.
*3 Based on the CIPA standard.

Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 specifications

Body type
Body typeLarge sensor compact
Body materialMetal
Max resolution5472 x 3648
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors21 megapixels
Sensor size1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorVenus Engine
Color spacesRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
ISOAuto, 125-12800 (expands to 80-25600)
Boosted ISO (minimum)80
Boosted ISO (maximum)25600
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (4 slots)
Image stabilizationOptical
Image stabilization notesHybrid 5-axis available in movie mode
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, standard
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.31)
  • Raw (Panasonic RW2 format)
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)24–360 mm
Optical zoom15×
Maximum apertureF3.3–6.4
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (2X)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range50 cm (19.69″)
Macro focus range5 cm (1.97″)
Number of focus points49
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,240,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.53×
Viewfinder resolution2,330,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
Scene modes
  • Clear Portrait
  • Silky Skin
  • Backlit Softness
  • Clear in Backlight
  • Relaxing Tone
  • Sweet Child's Face
  • Distinct Scenery
  • Bright Blue Sky
  • Romantic Sunset Glow
  • Vivid Sunset Glow
  • Glistening Water*
  • Clear Nightscape
  • Cool Night Sky
  • Warm Glowing Nightscape
  • Artistic Nightscape
  • Glittering Illuminations
  • Handheld Night Shot
  • Clear Night Portrait
  • Soft Image of a Flower
  • Appetizing Food
  • Cute Dessert
  • Freeze Animal Motion
  • Clear Sports Shot
  • Monochrome
Built-in flashYes
Flash range6.80 m (at Auto ISO)
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Continuous drive10.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs, 3 shots @ 10 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 20 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1280 x 720 @ 30p / 10 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I compatible)
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (microHDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.2 LE
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)370
Weight (inc. batteries)340 g (0.75 lb / 11.99 oz)
Dimensions111 x 66 x 45 mm (4.37 x 2.6 x 1.77″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
Categories: Equipment

Sony's huge 400mm F2.8 GM OSS lens spotted at the 2018 Winter Olympics

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 6:35pm

The gigantic Sony 400mm F2.8 GM OSS lens announced as 'in development' back in October 2017 has allegedly been spotted IRL at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

A photo that claims to show the un-released lens—covered in tape to hide telltale markings, of course—was shared by the Photosthelife blog (here it is translated) and later on Instagram by SonyAlphaRumors. This appears to be the first image of the 400mm lens, whose rumored price tag will very likely tip the scales around ten grand, just like the Canon and Nikon versions of the same lens.

In its announcement last year, Sony explained that the new lens would "deliver a new elevated shooting experience for all professional sports" photographers, among others. The Olympics presents a great opportunity to put the lens to the test in an incredibly challenging environment, so it makes sense that Sony would be testing it out there.

Unfortunately, additional details—such as how many of these lenses are actually being tested in the wild, and by whom—aren't public.

Sony says it plans to release the 400mm F2.8 GM OSS lens in Summer 2018. Until then, this blurry picture will just have to hold all of those Sony a9 owners over.

Categories: Equipment

Leica unveils limited edition Leica Q 'Snow' inspired by an Olympic snowboarder

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 6:18pm

A new, white version of the Leica Q full-frame compact camera has been announced that was inspired by Olympic snowboarder and photographer Iouri Podladtchikov. The ‘Snow’ edition will be limited to only 300 units worldwide, and will cost $5,395/£4300.

As with most Leica special editions, on the inside, this camera will be exactly the same as the standard Q. What differentiates it is the special white leather trim and anodized silver top plate, base plate and control dials.

A white leather case and strap complete the ‘Snow’ theme:

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Speaking about the special edition camera, Podladtchikov says the white finish doesn’t only reflect the snow he is so closely associated with:

‘White, for me, also means ‘carte blanche’ – it’s up to you. It’s time to get creative’.

The Swiss Olympic gold medalist and world champion is also a keen photographer, and intends to open his own photographic studio. He was due to compete in the current Winter Olympics in Korea, but had to pull out after sustaining an injury at the 2018 X Games.

The Leica Q ‘Snow’ will be available starting in March. For more information, read the full press release below, or visit the Leica website.

Press Release

Leica Q ‘Snow’ by Iouri Podladtchikov

The Swiss Olympic gold medallist and dedicated Leica photographer designs a special edition of the iconic Leica Q

Wetzlar, 12 February 2018 – Leica Camera AG presents a new version of its high- performance compact camera with full-frame sensor and fast prime lens: the Leica Q ‘Snow’ by Iouri Podladtchikov. This limited edition has been created in collaboration with Swiss Olympic gold medallist, World Champion snowboarder (halfpipe) Iouri Podladtchikov, whose own ideas inspired the design of the camera.

The Leica Q ‘Snow’ by Iouri Podladtchikov is based on the coloured version of the Leica Q with a silver anodised top deck and baseplate and controls on the top deck in silver. The design concept also features a new accessory shoe cover made from aluminium. The highlights of the special edition include the pure white trim in premium real leather that gives it its name. The edition is also strictly limited to only 300 pieces for the worldwide market, each of which bears a special serial number.

In the words of the dedicated Leica photographer: “As a brand ambassador, it’s a fascinating feeling to have inspired a special edition of a camera, but I also see it as an enormous responsibility”. Interestingly, his choice of the colour white doesn’t just relate to snow – perhaps the obvious choice for a snowboarder: “White, for me, also means ‘carte blanche’ – it’s up to you. It’s time to get creative” explains, Iouri Podladtchikov, who has already published two books of his photography and will soon be opening his own studio.

The Leica Q ‘Snow’ by Iouri Podladtchikov is presented as a set complete with a case in soft white leather and a colour-matched carrying strap and will be available from March 2018 for £4,300 (including VAT).

The technical specifications of the Leica Q ‘Snow’ by Iouri Podladtchikov are identical to those of standard model of the Leica Q. Thanks to its particularly fast Leica Summilux 28 mm f/1.7 ASPH. lens, the camera is perfect for photography in low light, for street photography, architecture and landscapes. To allow for reliable control of subject composition, the Leica Q also features an integrated viewfinder with a resolution of 3.68 MP. Even the finest details of every exposure are displayed without any perceptible lag as soon as the camera is brought up to the user’s eye.

All functions of the camera are clearly laid out and logically placed to guarantee perfect ergonomics. Its clear and logical menu concept provides rapid access to all essential functions and enables users to programme personalised settings.

The Leica Q also delivers video recordings in full-HD quality. Depending on the scene and subject, users can choose between 30 and 60 full frames per second for video recording in MP4 format. The camera also features an integrated Wi-Fi module for wireless transmission of still pictures and video and remote control by WLAN from a smartphone or a tablet with the Leica Q App.

Categories: Equipment

US Navy confirms: Combat camera units will be eliminated over budget issues

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 5:55pm

The U.S. Navy has confirmed that it will eliminate a pair of combat camera (COMCAM) units. Confirmation was given by the Pentagon's Navy spokesperson Lt. Lauren Chatmas to the Navy Times, which reported last week about the Navy's plans to eliminate the units by October 1st.

The U.S. Navy has two COMCAM units, one called Expeditionary Combat Camera, the other called Fleet Combat Camera. Both units will be eliminated because of budget constraints, according to Chatmas's statement:

...difficult decisions were made in order to ensure the resourcing of critical mission areas that support Navy's expeditionary operations. Other expeditionary mission areas took precedence over COMCAM. Therefore, as an overall cost savings measure, the decision was made to provide this capability to the fleet from the existing Navy Public Affairs Support Element command.

Sources expanded on that statement to Navy Times, claiming that COMCAM budget cuts in fiscal year 2017 decreased funding by 60%, and was joined by a declining workload. Officials reportedly decided to eliminate the COMCAM units entirely when working out the fiscal year 2019 budget, having failed in 2017 to consolidate the two units into a single COMCAM unit.

Categories: Equipment

RED and Foxconn want to produce affordable 8K cameras for the general public

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 5:44pm
Photo by Jakob Owens

The head of iPhone manufacturer Foxconn has said that the company is working with RED Digital Cinema to build top quality video cameras at a third of current prices. Speaking at a company party at the weekend, Chairman Terry Gou announced that the two companies are already in talks with the aim of producing cameras:

...that will shoot professional-quality films in 8K resolution but at only a third of current prices and a third of current camera sizes.

Foxconn assembles over 70% of Apple’s iPhones, which accounts for 50% of its business, but the company wants to diversify into areas with a better profit margin, according to a report from Nikki Asian Review. Its acquisition of Sharp’s semiconductor business will give Foxconn the chance to manufacture critical components for digital cameras and displays, including chip technologies that go into image sensors.

The company already has a working relationship with RED, and builds and assembles ASIC/front-end LSI circuits for the movie camera maker, according to EOSHD.

Within a few years we might see this powerful combination challenging Panasonic and Sony for space in the enthusiast-level 8K handheld video camera market. It's still a ways out, but that would be interesting!

Categories: Equipment

Google strikes deal with Getty, will remove direct image links from search

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 4:02pm

Getty Images has announced a licensing deal with Google that resolves a 2016 lawsuit filed by the photo agency against the Internet giant. The lawsuit accused Google of "promoting piracy" by linking to high-resolution copyrighted images without watermarks, enabling anyone to save and use the images without paying the related fee.

At the heart of the issue was Google Image Search, and how it directly links to high-resolution images found in articles and other online destinations. Because the high-resolution images could be readily found on Google Images, users had little motivation to hunt down the proper image source. This resulted in many "accidental pirates" infringing image copyrights, the lawsuit claims.

To settle the matter, Getty and Google have jointly announced a new multi-year agreement last week, with Getty's CEO Dawn Airey explaining that Getty "will license our market leading content to Google, working closely with them to improve attribution of our contributors' work and thereby growing the ecosystem." That, unfortunately, is as far as official details go.

Fortunately, The Verge elaborated on the agreement, reporting that Google will start removing direct links to image URLs and more prominently displaying copyright disclaimer—good news for all photographers and photo agencies, assuming this practice will go beyond images licensed by Getty.

Getty Images has formally withdrawn its legal complaint against Google.

Categories: Equipment

DPRSplit will help pull more dynamic range from Canon 5D Mark IV Dual Pixel RAW files

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 2:19pm

RawDigger and FastRawViewer have released the beta version of an application called DPRSplit, designed for Canon 5D Mark IV owners. With DPRSplit, photographers can input a CR2 file from a Canon 5D Mark IV and then extract a second image from it, one with an exposure value that is about one stop lower than the original CR2 image.

This utility works only if the camera's Dual Pixel RAW mode was enabled when the shots were taken.

Canon explains how this technology works on its website:

The Dual Pixel sensor’s pixels have a dual photodiode construction. This sensor design means the sensor can receive an A and B signals from the subject and to detect any phase differences between the two signals, allowing them to attain focus as part of the Dual Pixel AF system ... During Dual Pixel RAW shooting, a single RAW file saves two images into the file. One image consists of the A+B combined image data and the other only the A image data.

Photographers benefit from this technology by using Canon's Digital Photo Professional software, which enables users to make "microadjustments" to focus, bokeh shift, and reduce ghosting. However, the software doesn't enable users to extract both images from the CR2 file separately—that's where DPRSplit comes in.

With this utility, photographers get access to that second frame, which has half the light of the composite image. This means that, in essence, the camera is automatically capturing two shots, bracketed by about 1EV.

Extracted images are saved as DNG files for editing with any software that supports the format, so you can blend the images back together and get about +1EV more usable dynamic range. And since the exposures are captured simultaneously, you don't have to worry about motion blur in your image. The only potential "issue" is a minor parallax error between the two frames.

DPRSplit beta 0.8 is free to download for Windows 7 or higher and Mac OS X 10.6 through macOS 10.13. As with any beta software, it is possible users will encounter bugs, but if you're a 5D Mark IV user and you already shoot in Dual Pixel RAW, this one might be worth a shot.

Categories: Equipment