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All articles from Digital Photography Review
Updated: 4 min 53 sec ago

Three EF-to-RF adapters available for EOS R

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 3:41am

Alongside the new RF lens mount, Canon has announced a trio of RF-to-EF adapters for owners of current Canon DSLR lenses. There's a basic adapter, another with a customizable control wheel and a third with support for drop-in filters. The Mount Adapter EF-EOS R, Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R and Drop-in Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R are compatible with both EF and EF-S lenses.

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Categories: Equipment

Four RF-mount lenses kick off Canon's new full-frame mirrorless system

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 3:15am

Canon's first full-frame mount in more than 30 years is here, in the shape of the RF-mount. Featuring the same diameter as the venerable EF-mount but with a much shorter flange back distance, RF is designed from the ground up for mirrorless cameras. It's still early days, but four lenses have been debuted alongside the consumer-grade EOS R, providing a tantalizing glimpse into Canon's future ambitions.

Today sees the unveiling of the Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM, RF 50mm F1.2L USM (pictured above), RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM and RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM. This quartet covers common focal lengths from 24mm to 105mm and includes an exceptionally fast aperture zoom lens, and in a throwback to the early days of the EF system in the late 1980s, a flagship fast 50mm.

In addition to the four new lenses, Canon has also introduced three EF to RF adapters. The most basic is a simple mount converter, with an additional two adapters which add a customizable control ring (to match the control ring on native RF lenses), and a tray for drop-in filters, respectively. The drop-in filter adapter makes it possible to add a vari ND or circular polarizer to all lenses, including the traditionally awkward super-wides.

Canon promises that the EF-RF adapters will allow the millions of existing EF lenses in circulation to be used "without compromise" on the new EOS R and future RF-mount cameras.

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Categories: Equipment

Canon full-frame mirrorless system debuts with announcement of EOS R

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 3:02am
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Just two weeks after Nikon introduced its Z-system, Canon has joined the full-frame mirrorless club with its new RF-mount system, with the first camera being the EOS R. Canon says that the EOS R is the first camera in the system: "not to be the last."

The EOS R is fully compatible with EF and EF-S lenses, even enhancing the function of those lenses. The company says that the "most revolutionary component isn't the camera, it's the mount."

"Being the first to enter the full-frame mirrorless system [market] was never [our] goal. It was to reimagine optical excellence"

The mount has the same 54mm inner diameter as the EF-mount, but the shorter flange back distance allows for better illumination of the corners. Because of the closer distance to the focal plane, lenses can be designed with fewer elements, allowing for tighter control over optical aberrations and extremity performance. The mount has 12 electrical contacts with "the fastest electronic communications we've ever had" and allows for primes and zooms with brighter constant apertures.

Four lenses will debut at launch:

  • RF 24-105mm F4L IS
    • Smaller than EF version
    • 5 stops of image stabilization
    • Nano USM motor
  • RF 50mm F1.2L
  • RF 28-70mm F2L
    • "A revolution"
  • RF 35mm F1.8 IS Macro
    • 5 stops of image stabilization

All four lenses have customizable control rings. There will be three EF-mount adapters, providing full compatibility with EF, EF-S, TS-E and MP-E lenses. One adapter is basic, another offers a control ring while the third allows you to drop-in filters between the lens and camera body.

The EOS R has a customizable multi-function touch bar, a new Fv exposure mode, a fully articulating LCD and an EVF with 3.69 million dots. Its Dual Pixel AF system has a whopping 5,655 selectable points and can focus down to -6EV with F1.2 lenses.

The camera can capture 4K/30p video which can be output over HDMI at 4:2:2 (10-bit). Canon Log is supported right out of the box.

The EOS R will be available in October for $2299 body only or $3399 with the 24-105mm F4L lens.

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Categories: Equipment

Interactive tool demonstrates how camera settings impact images

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 6:09pm

A neat interactive camera tool created by London-based designer and artist Simon Roberts helps new photographers visualize the way camera settings impact images. Users are given both Auto and Manual options, each featuring sliders representing settings like shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.

In explaining why he created the tool, Roberts said, "A big part of my day job is using design and animation to make complex things more comprehensible – through this project I’m applying these skills to photography."

Users can manually adjust the slider for each camera setting, seeing in real time the effects on things like exposure, motion blur and depth of field. Roberts also provides a printed graphic that breaks down each setting; an A2 screen print is £39 and an A3 riso print is £21, both options including free international shipping.

Via: Reddit

Categories: Equipment

CIPA: Sizable drop in camera shipments for July

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 5:18pm

CIPA, the Japanese Camera & Imaging Products Association, has released its numbers for July and things don't look terribly rosy. The summer months are generally a slower time of the year for most retail sectors, but in terms of camera shipments this past July has been much worse than in 2017.

Compared to last year, shipments of all digital cameras are down 33%, dropping from 1,942,192 to 1,496,604. Things look only slightly better in the interchangeable lens segment where we have seen a smaller drop from 973,651 to 820,893 units (down 16%).

The numbers look particularly bad in part because summer shipments in 2017 were strong – or at least, didn't dip as dramatically as they have in 2016 and this year. And on the plus side, the industry can now look forward to the traditionally stronger autumn months and the holiday season. The recent high-profile product launches from Nikon, Fujifilm and Panasonic, plus any new products that might be announced at the upcoming Photokina trade show, will likely have a positive impact on shipments for the remainder of the year.

Categories: Equipment

Red releases Hydrogen One product photos, confirms release date

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 4:31pm
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When it was first announced in July 2017 the RED Hydrogen One super-phone created quite the splash, thanks to a Leica-made 5.7" lightfield holographic display and a pin-based expansion system that allows for attaching a range of hardware modules. The system is similar to Motorola's Moto Mods, but probably more focused toward high-end video given the brand we're dealing with.

Since then delivery has been pushed back several times, most recently because the company needed some extra time to receive carrier certification. However, now we have a fixed release date: November 2nd. Pre-orders will ship on October 9th.

The Hydrogen One aluminum version will be available through AT&T, Verizon and Telcel
for $1295

Additionally, Red founder Jim Stannard has shared several actual product photos on the Hydrogen product forum that allow for a good look at the device's large dual-camera module. The Hydrogen One also comes with a rugged-looking design that features a lot of carbon fiber, giving the phone a pretty unique appearance.

The price tag will unfortunately be unique as well. The Hydrogen One aluminum version will be available through AT&T, Verizon and Telcel for $1295. The titanium variant will be out in 2019 and set you back an additional $200.

Categories: Equipment

ZTE launches Axon 9 Pro with super-wide-angle dual-cam setup

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 1:24pm

ZTE is one of the few smartphone manufacturers who have decided to launch their 2018 flagships at IFA in Berlin. The Chinese manufacturer announced the Axon 9 Pro at the show and with its super-wide-angle dual-camera setup the device looks like a viable alternative to LG's G7 THinQ and V30/V35 – the only current high-end phones with a similar camera concept.

The secondary camera is an ultra-wide-angle with a 130-degree field of view and 20MP resolution

The ZTE's main module uses a 1/2.55" Sony IMX363 sensor with 12MP resolution and 1.4 µm pixel size in combination with a F1.75 aperture. Optical image stabilization and dual-pixel AF are featured as well. The secondary camera is an ultra-wide-angle with a 130-degree field of view and 20MP resolution. Its image data is also used to create a background-blurring "fake-bokeh" effect in portrait mode.

Software features include AI-powered intelligent motion and facial recognition functions, as well as smart portrait compositions. At the front the device features a 20MP selfie camera with F2.0 aperture and fixed focus. The front module can be tasked with face recognition duties but there is a fingerprint sensor on the back for added security as well.

All the components are housed in a body with scratch-resistant glass back and IP68 certification for water and dust resistance

Other specs include a Snapdragon 845 chipset, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of built-in storage and a microSD card slot. The large 4,000mAh battery supports fast charging and the 6.21-inch 1080p+ AMOLED display is HDR10-capable and features an RGB sensor for optimized color balance.

Like previous Axos generations, the 9 Pro comes with Dolby Atmos-enabled stereo speakers but with the new model you have to make do without the 3.5mm headphone jack. All the components are housed in a body with scratch-resistant glass back and IP68 certification for water and dust resistance.

The ZTE Axon 9 Pro will first be launched in Europe and set you back 650 Euros (approximately $755). Availability will expand to other markets in the future but no detailed information has been provided yet.

Categories: Equipment

Olloclip announces Multi-Device Clip for smartphone lenses

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 12:53pm

Olloclip has built a reputation as one of the most successful manufacturers of smartphone accessory lenses. However, so far most Olloclip lenses have had one important limitation: they were device-specific. If you had more than one smartphone you could not use the lenses with all your devices, or if you upgraded to a new handset you usually needed to get new lens clips and/or lenses.

This is now a thing of the past, however. Today Olloclip has announced its new Multi-Device Clip. The clip is designed to work with the company's Connect X line of interchangeable lenses, which includes several wide-angle options, macro lenses, a telephoto and a fisheye, and works with most smartphones.

The Multi-Device-Clip can expand to fit devices of up to 12mm thickness, meaning it is compatible with screen protectors and you can usually leave your case on as well, when snapping an image with your Olloclip lenses.

Olloclip's new Multi-Device Clip will be available with any of the Connect X lenses mid-September starting at $60. You can sign up for more information on the upcoming release on the Olloclip website.

Categories: Equipment

First impressions: DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 9:00am

The DJI Mavic 2 is a foldable drone that comes in two versions: the Mavic 2 Pro features an integrated Hasselblad camera with a 1” sensor and the Mavic 2 Zoom has a 2x optical (4x digital) zoom lens.

The bodies of the two drones are identical. Both include 10 sensors which combine to detect obstacles in any direction, utilize a 3-axis mechanical gimbals, come with 8GB of internal storage and feature a number of automated flight modes. I had a chance to test both drones in flight before launch and was generally impressed with what I saw.

Like the original Mavic Pro, the Mavic 2 Pro and Zoom models are foldable—making them ideal for travel. Unfolding the drones and preparing them for flight is as easy as you would expect it to be. The Mavic 2 has a solid feel and is slightly larger and heavier than the original Mavic Pro. A button on the top of the drone turns it on and within seconds the camera orients itself to give you a straight horizon line once you take flight.

The Mavic 2 Pro (front) and Mavic 2 Zoom (rear) are physically identical except for their cameras, though the Mavic 2 Zoom has a couple of extra tricks up its sleeve that require a zoom lens.

The controller is also foldable. Your smartphone clicks right into place, and it uses the familiar DJI GO app, along with the physical controls, to pilot the drone. The controller is similar in size to the one from the Mavic Air, and I found it comfortable to hold. Like the Air, it also features joysticks that can be unscrewed to make its profile smaller when packed. I found all the controls to have well designed ergonomics, and all were easy to access with your thumb and index finger. The controller for the Mavic 2 also features its own display, making it useful for things such as monitoring battery levels on the drone.

During my flight I found the controller to be quite responsive—a light touch gave me the movements I was looking for, although you’ll surely be able to adjust this within the DJI GO app to match your preferences. Since both models are identical except for the cameras the experience of flying them was the same.

I found the experience of flying the Mavic 2 so intuitive that I was able to focus on getting epic shots, rather than worrying that the drone might drift into something and crash.

The real beauty of the Mavic 2 is that you don’t have to be an expert flier to keep this drone in the sky. The omnidirectional obstacle avoidance sensors, along with a variety of automated flight modes, make the Mavic 2 a drone that you can essentially launch into the sky and with minimal movements on the controller grab beautiful and seamless footage. I found the experience of flying the Mavic 2 so intuitive that I was able to focus on getting epic shots, rather than worrying that the drone might drift into something and crash.

The compact Mavic 2 controller is similar to that seen on other recent DJI models, and includes its own screen to display much of the information you would normally monitor through the DJI GO app. One of the dials on the back of the remote can be used to control zooming on the Mavic 2 Zoom.

Zooming while flying Mavic 2 Zoom is also a breeze; you control the zoom function of the camera using the dial on the back right side of the remote. If you’ve spent limited time with video game controllers or previous drones it’s an intuitive movement.

The Mavic 2 Zoom features two new automated modes: Dolly Zoom and Super Resolution, both of which leverage its 2x zoom lens, and I tried out both during my test flight. Dolly Zoom is an automated video mode where the drone physically moves away from a subject while the camera zooms in—it’s an old cinema effect popularized by folks like Alfred Hitchcock that was once quite tricky to pull off. With the Mavic 2 Zoom it’s all automated and can be found in the quickshot menu in the DJI GO app. It takes just a few steps to activate the feature and in use I found it very smooth.

The Mavic 2 Zoom can create dolly zoom effects by automating the process of synchronizing the drone's movement with its optical and digital zoom, keeping a subject in place while changing the perspective of the surrounding scene. Video courtesy of DJI

Super Resolution is a photo mode which uses the optical zoom to shoot 9 overlapping images of a scene and then automatically stitches them together to create a 48MP image. I wasn't able to take the sample images with me after my test flights, so we can’t comment on the level of detail captured, but the process of shooting the images and stitching them together was quick, and from the phone screen appeared to be quite accurate.

The Mavic 2 Zoom can capture 48MP 'Super Resolution' images by shooting nine overlapping photos and stitching them together automatically. Image courtesy of DJI

The drone’s updated OcuSync 2.0 gave me nearly instant access to the photos and videos from my flight, including 1080p video and full resolution JPEGs. These can be saved to your phone and immediately shared.

In the air the two new drones are noticeably quieter than the original Mavic Pro as well. There is of course some noise, but the familiar drone hum isn’t found here.

The Mavic 2 is larger than DJI's Mavic Air (pictured), and is also slightly larger than the original Mavic Pro.

Landing the Mavic 2 is just as easy as getting it into the air. I flew during the middle of the day so I didn’t get to see the auxiliary LED lights in action, but according to DJI these additional lights will help with landing the drone in low light conditions.

I was impressed by the performance of both Mavic 2 models during my brief hands on time with the products. They're compact, easy to fly and the number of automated flight modes should make the Mavic 2 appealing to enthusiasts and even some pros. We’re planning a full review of both models to see how they stack up against the competition, as well as to see how the different cameras perform.

Categories: Equipment

Leica M10-P real-world samples gallery updated

Tue, 09/04/2018 - 7:00am
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The new Leica M10-P updates the M10 with the addition of a touchscreen, electronic level and a quieter shutter. Image quality from the 24MP full-frame sensor and Maestro II processor is unchanged, but the somewhat more discreet 'P' variant could be more interesting to candid and street photographers than the stock M10.

We took the M10-P out for a weekend on the Washington coast, and we've just updated our previously-published gallery of sample images with a selection of images converted from Raw using ACR 11.

Learn more about the Leica M10-P

Categories: Equipment

Hands-on with the new Leica M10-P

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 9:00am

Hands-on with the new Leica M10-P

'Go unannounced' is the tagline that Leica is using for the new M10-P, which has been introduced alongside the standard M10. The M10-P is built around the same 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor and Maestro II processor, but offers a slightly more discreet, quieter operational experience, with a couple of other neat additions. Let's take a closer look at exactly what's new (and what has stayed the same).

Hands-on with the new Leica M10-P

Probably the most significant new feature is a touch-sensitive rear LCD. This makes it possible to quickly set the magnification point for accurate live view focus, and quickly zoom into (via a double-tap or a pinch motion) and flip through captured images, without using the 4-way controller on the right of the rear of the camera. Leica has also added an digital level gauge to the M10-P in live view mode, for those times when the vertical and horizontal optical framelines aren't quite enough. The screen itself is the same 1.04 million-dot, 3" display that we're familiar with from the M10.

Another change compared to the standard M10 is the rear engraving to the right of the viewfinder, which now reads 'Made in Germany' as opposed to the more verbose 'Leica Camera Wetzlar | Made in Germany' on the M10.

Hands-on with the new Leica M10-P

Well for starters, there's the addition of Leica's classic top-plate engraving, which is not offered on the M10. Does this make the M10-P more discreet? Well... most people would probably say no. In fact quite the opposite in our opinion, but it certainly looks pretty.

Hands-on with the new Leica M10-P

Unarguably more discreet (and of some practical use) is the plain screw cover, where the red dot is normally to be found on the M10 and other standard non 'P' models. Underneath the slotted cover is a trim pot for the M10-P's vertical rangefinder adjustment. It's not uncommon for this to go out of alignment over time (or after a bump or two) and since it's a relatively easy adjustment, a lot of experts will be pleased to have such easy access.

Will tinkering with the rangefinder alignment void your warrantee? That's a little unclear. Our understanding from talking to Leica is that assuming the adjustment is done correctly, without any damage being caused to the camera, you should be fine. If in doubt, check.

Hands-on with the new Leica M10-P

Here's another view of the M10-P's fancy top-plate engraving and matching metal hotshoe cover. The rest of the design elements and controls are identical to the standard M10.

Hands-on with the new Leica M10-P

The M10-P shares a sensor with the standard M10, too. It's a 24MP full-frame chip, with specially-designed microlenses to help mitigate corner vignetting with wide-angle lenses. On the upper left of the front of the M10-P is its single custom button, which can be set to manually magnify the image in live view mode, to help with accurate focusing. On the right is the frameline selector lever – also the same as the M10.

Hands-on with the new Leica M10-P

The 'P' in 'M10-P' supposedly stands for 'Press' (although there is some debate about that) but one thing that working photojournalists probably won't appreciate about Leica's M-series digital models is the awkward card and battery loading, which still requires....

Hands-on with the new Leica M10-P

....the complete removal of the baseplate. One small consolation (depending on how you look at it) is that the M10's tripod socket is built into the camera, not the plate, as on some previous models. This should make it more secure, but the downside of course is that the card and battery compartments are entirely inaccessible when the M10-P is mounted to a tripod.

Hands-on with the new Leica M10-P

Realistically though, the M10-P isn't really a tripod camera. Rangefinders are arguably at their best shooting handheld street and candid scenes, and this is where the M10-P's quieter shutter becomes especially useful. The M10's shutter isn't exactly loud, but the M10-P definitely shoots with a much quieter, more muffled 'clump' sound.

Leica calls the shutter sound a 'mere whisper', which is overselling it a bit, but side by side against a 1960s M2, we believe Leica when the company says that the M10-P has the quietest shutter of any M-series camera, film or digital.

The M10-P is available now, at an MSRP of $7,995 – that's $700 more than the standard M10.

Categories: Equipment

Review: Grip Gear Movie Maker 2

Sun, 09/02/2018 - 9:00am

Grip Gear Movie Maker 2
gripgear.com | $130 | Buy now

In 2018, almost every one of us has a camera that can film HD or even 4K video. Videos can be uploaded to Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook, or Instagram with the click of a few buttons. What once was reserved for filmmakers or TV productions with giant budgets now is available in everything from full-frame DSLRs to GoPros to the smartphone in your pocket.

So how do you make your videos stand out in a sea of cats flushing toilets and grandmas dancing the funky chicken? A whole accessory segment has grown to try and help you do just that. External microphones, add-on wide/tele lenses, and gyroscopic stabilizers can all polish up your footage and give your videos a far more professional feel (even if you’re just filming your kid’s piano recital). But what if you want something that will stand out even more? The Grip Gear Movie Maker might be what you are looking for.

What is it?

The Grip Gear Movie Maker is a compact (claimed to be the world’s smallest) motorized motion control slider/dolly. It's aimed at smartphone or GoPro photographers, but has a 750g/26oz weight limit high enough for most mirrorless cameras and even a few smaller DSLRs as well.

Having a tool like a slider gives video-makers access to some of the most iconic shots in cinematography

For those not familiar, a motorized camera slider is a set of track, single in this case, frequently double in larger rigs, with a motor mount designed to allow a camera to be attached. The motor allows the camera to move along the track at very precise and consistent speeds. Having a tool like a slider gives video-makers access to some of the most iconic shots in cinematography. Tracking, dolly, and push-in shots are some of the foundations of scene building and emotional communication. Adding them to your videos will make them stand out in a way that an add-on wide angle lens never could.

In use

Setup for the Movie Maker is fairly easy. The slider track itself is a modular design that clamps together with each section of tracking being about 12in/30.5cm long. This both allows easier transport and gives you the option to purchase additional sections. The motor unit slides onto the rails and has a small ballhead with a standard tripod screw, and a spring-loaded smartphone holder is also included.

Power is supplied by an internal rechargeable battery giving a claimed run time of up to two hours. The battery’s micro-USB charging port also allows the use of a USB battery pack for far longer run times. The track has three pairs of adjustable feet that allow basic leveling on uneven ground. They also offer the ability to wrap around something like a pipe or fencepost to allow the camera to move vertically. More importantly, there are 1/4-20 and 5/8 tripod mounts on the bottom of the track.

How does it work?

While the rails and connecting/mount hardware are aluminum there is unsurprisingly a lot of plastic in the Movie Maker’s construction. You definitely don’t feel like you are holding a high end device – but at $130, you also aren’t paying for one either. The little ballhead is of middling quality and care needs to be taken when connecting the rails to make sure there is no gap between the sections of plastic teeth. But overall, construction is just fine for the intended purpose and price-point. The Movie Maker also breaks down into a surprisingly small package. While packing for a family vacation, I tossed everything into some extra space in my suitcase and took it along with no trouble.

Mounting is both a simple affair and a bit limiting. While the adjustable feet do allow some tolerance for uneven ground and vertical mounting, they're also not all that large or strong so you won’t want to rely on them if you are using a camera at the top of the Movie Maker’s weight limit.

The lightest travel tripod I had in my closet held the Movie Maker quite well

Perhaps more importantly, you’ll quickly find that using the feet pretty much locks you into low angle shots. You’ll be forever dragging tables across the room or trying to set the unit up on a car hood in order to get your camera off the ground. The answer to this is going to be the tripod mount. This gives you far more options to find the optimal height and placement for your shot. And given that the whole unit doesn’t weight that much and doesn’t work with heavy DSLRs, you don’t need much of a tripod at all. The lightest travel tripod I had in my closet held the Movie Maker quite well (assuming that you aren’t filming in a windstorm).

That said, the design of the Movie Maker's tripod mount is somewhat frustrating. In an effort to offer both 1/4 and 3/8 tripod mounting options, the mount is a 3/8 thread with a 1/4 adapter nut screwed into it. This would be fine except that for those of us using standard 1/4 tripod screws (most everyone), this means that there is very little surface area to prevent wobbles or twisting as the camera is on the far ends of the track. I ended up using gaffer tape or zip-ties occasionally to keep everything steady. A better design would have had the 1/4 screw go directly into the Movie Maker and include a 3/8 adapter for those who want one. As is, I would probably rig up a tripod plate with a 3/8 screw if I were going to be using the Movie Maker regularly.

Controls for the Movie Maker are quite simple. In fact, there are only four buttons: two that control starting/stopping/direction and two that increase/decrease the motor speed. There are nine speeds to choose from, the slowest being a VERY slow crawl and the fastest being moderately quick. There is even a handy guide printed on the track that tells you how long the motor will take to cross the whole track at each speed. I would prefer to have seen a few more speeds on the “fast” end and I’m unsure how many people will find the slowest speeds to be useful. Generally though, the speed range works just fine for most purposes.

One thing worth noting is that, unlike with higher-end sliders, there is no option to pan or tilt the camera while it is running on the track – it is locked to whatever angle you set the ballhead at. On a Hollywood production, this would be a significant limitation. But on a slider at this price-point, it can easily be forgiven.

With just a few exceptions, the footage is generally outstanding

With just a few exceptions, the footage is generally outstanding. Using the same camera, I’m not sure that you would be able to tell the difference between a shot on the Movie Maker vs one done on a slider that was three times the price. But about those "exceptions" – the first is that the camera’s microphone can pick up motor hum, especially at the faster speeds. The motor isn’t loud, but it isn’t silent either. The second is something I alluded to earlier: gaps in the plastic teeth. When assembling the rail sections, you need to make sure that there are no gaps where the plastic teeth come together. If there is a gap, you will see a noticeable bump as the motor unit tries to crawl across it.

The final exception isn’t the fault of the Movie Maker at all, but it is something that must be mentioned given that Grip Gear is positioning the Movie Maker as a tool for “mobile filmmakers”. When using a tripod, gimbal, or other external stabilizer, your camera’s internal optical image stabilization system must be turned off. If left on, it can introduce vibrations on its own just due to the way that these systems operate. The late Canon guru Chuck Westfall described the situation like this:

"The IS mechanism operates by correcting shake. When there is no shake, or when the level of shake is below the threshold of the system’s detection capability, use of the IS feature may actually *add* unwanted blur to the photograph, therefore you should shut it off in this situation. Remember that the IS lens group is normally locked into place. When the IS function is active, the IS lens group is unlocked so it can be moved by the electromagnetic coil surrounding the elements. When there’s not enough motion for the IS system to detect, the result can sometimes be a sort of electronic ‘feedback loop,’ somewhat analogous to the ringing noise of an audio feedback loop we’re all familiar with. As a result, the IS lens group might move while the lens is on a tripod, unless the IS function is switched off and the IS lens group is locked into place."

This is bad enough for still images, but it is even more noticeable when shooting video. Most mirrorless and even many compact and action cameras offer the option to turn their OIS systems off. However, this becomes more tricky for smartphones. Some Android phones and software appear to allow the user to turn off OIS, but you will need to verify this for your own phone.

Far worse is the news for owners of iPhone models 7/8/X. As far as I have been able to tell, there is no way to disable OIS on an iPhone. This makes the Grip Gear Movie Maker somewhat frustrating for millions of phone owners. As I mention above, this isn’t Grip Gear’s fault and iPhones have the same issue with gimbals, tripods and other stabilization devices. But it's also an important issue that can’t be ignored.

Some Extras

There are a few extras that give the Movie Maker additional functionality. The first is that the motor unit can be removed from the track and with the installation of an included mount, turns into a motorized head for panoramic images or time-lapse video. While fairly basic, this works surprisingly well.

Sadly, due to the use of the motor to drive the camera rotation, it is impossible to use the panoramic functionality and the slider at the same time. While understandable, especially at this price point, it’s kind of a bummer because timelapse slider videos can be really neat.

The second extra is something Grip Gear calls a Micro Dolly. It is essentially a small three-wheeled platform that uses the motor unit from the Movie Maker for power. It is a small unit, and the wheels are made for smooth terrain. But even so, in the right location you can get essentially endless dolly type shots.

Additionally, the two “steering” wheels can rotate allowing the Micro Dolly to run in various size circles. I could see this being useful for portrait, product or even unique timelapse videos.

What’s the bottom line?

All told, this is a clever and inexpensive kit that does what it claims to. You can get some unique video shots that are unlike what you see 500 times a day on your friends’ social media posts.

Are you going to make huge dolly shots with two feet of track or a little rolling cart on a table? No, you aren’t. This isn’t for Hollywood films, it’s for phones and GoPros. It would make a fun birthday/holiday gift for someone you know who enjoys making short videos for YouTube or Instagram. I could also see it being an easy way to add some style to videos for Kickstarter projects or Etsy sellers.

Would I put it on the top of my list of “most useful video accessories”? No, probably not. But is it in the running for “best value in a fun video accessory”? Absolutely.

What we liked:
  • Price
  • Unique shots
  • Creativity
What we didn’t:
  • Subpar tripod mount
  • Weight limits
  • Weak ball mount
  • Interaction with phone OIS systems that can't be turned off

Categories: Equipment

LensRentals tears down Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8 Mark III and Mark II

Sat, 09/01/2018 - 9:00am

LensRentals Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8 Mark III and Mark II teardown

When Canon announced the EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS III USM earlier this summer, the company was pretty open about the fact that it was a minor upgrade to its predecessor, featuring tweaked coatings and a new finish, but the same optical-mechanical formula.

Never ones to take a press release at face value (and since repairing lenses is a big part of their job) Roger Cicala and the team at LensRentals opened the lenses up to see whether Canon made any hidden changes. Not to spoil the surprise, but what they found... wasn't a surprise.

All images courtesy of LensRentals, and used with permission.

LensRentals tears down Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8 Mark III and Mark II

The new Mark III version of the 70-200mm F2.8 is indeed optically and mechanically identical to the older Mark II. In Roger's words: "If you think there’s an optical or performance difference, please contact me about some Tennessee Beach-front property I have for sale."

But that doesn't mean that they're not optically and mechanically interesting lenses. According to Roger, the various versions of the Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8 are possibly the most popular lenses that the company has in their loan stock, but because they're so complex, internally "the 70-200mm f/2.8 is [...] one of the ugliest bits of engineering in the Canon fleet"

LensRentals tears down Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8 Mark III and Mark II

If the containing tape in the last photograph didn't give it away, the camera-side internals of the 70-200mm F2.8 II/III are something of a rats nest of fragile ribbon connectors, wires and PCBs. "Not much fun to work with" says Roger, and we believe him.

LensRentals tears down Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8 Mark III and Mark II

This shot shows the rear group (being lifted off) connected by one remaining ribbon to the image stabilization unit. The rear group acts as a single centering element, making it "a bit of a pain to adjust", requiring repeated adjustment, reassembly, more adjustment, reassembly (again) and so on, until it's correctly aligned.

LensRentals tears down Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8 Mark III and Mark II

Here's the IS unit, removed from the main lens barrel. The tweezers indicate one of the four posts that stop the IS unit from moving around too much inside the lens. To avoid damage to the IS unit during travel or shipping, Roger recommends turning IS off when the lens is still on the camera. Otherwise the element won't lock and these plastic posts are the only things stopping the lens from banging around freely inside the barrel.

LensRentals tears down Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8 Mark III and Mark II

Two layers of weather-sealing tape (which the LensRentals team tells us is pretty much the same material as this stuff) protects the 70-200mm's front group, and helps prevent water ingress. This is how the LensRentals team gets access to the front element of the 70-200mm, which they have to do a lot, to replace scratched front elements, get rid of dust and make optical adjustments.

So is the new Mark III version worth upgrading to? We're not convinced, and neither are Roger and his team. Both are excellent lenses, and if you can find a Mark II for a good price, go for it.

For more details – and a lot more images – read the full blog post at LensRentals.com.

Read the full tear-down at LensRentals

Categories: Equipment

Rumors point to imminent Canon full-frame mirrorless system launch

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 4:21pm

Over the past few days, rumor sites seem to have come to a consensus that Canon will launch a full-frame mirrorless camera in the very near future. Canon Rumors and Canon Watch point to a full-frame body called the EOS R, alongside a list of lenses published today by Japanese news and rumor site Nokishita. A list of 'RF' lenses rumored to be launched with the system include:

  • Canon RF 35mm F1.8 M IS
  • Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM
  • Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM
  • Canon RF 24-105mm F4L USM

Also rumored to be announced soon:

  • Canon EF-M 32mm F1.4 STM
  • Canon EF 400mm F2.8L IS III
  • Canon EF 600mm F4L IS III

Nokishita also suggests that a battery-grip, radio-wave receiver and an adapter (M to R, or "mount" – they say it's unclear which) will also be announced.

Obviously, nothing is confirmed at this point and rumors are rumors. But we'd be surprised if Canon wasn't prepping a full-frame mirrorless system amid competition from Sony and now Nikon. What's your take on this list of lenses supposedly launching with the system? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: Equipment

Sony Cyber-shot HX95 and HX99 compact high-zoom 4K cameras announced in Europe

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 2:18pm

For European customers, Sony has launched the Cyber-shot HX95 and HX99, a pair of slim, compact high-zoom cameras featuring the BIONZ X image processing engine, front-end LSI and 4K video recording. Both models are nearly identical, each sporting a 180-degree tiltable LCD, OLED Tru-Finder, and 1/2.3" Exmor R 18MP CMOS sensor.

Both the Cyber-shot HX95 and HX99 feature a ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 24-720mm High Magnification Zoom lens, Optical SteadShot image stabilization, Zoom Assist, and auto focus speeds as fast as 0.09 seconds. Both models support 4K video recording at 3840 x 2160.

The Cyber-shot HX99 camera differs from the HX95 in a few ways, one of which is an OLED Tru-Finder with a control ring versus the HX95's retractable viewfinder. The HX99 also features a control ring for customized camera functions, Touch Shutter, Touch Focus, and a focus point shifting function called Touch Pad.

Both the HX99 (€520 / £450) and the HX95 (€500 / £430) will be available in Europe starting October 2018.

Via: Sony

Categories: Equipment

Toshiba releases new UHS-II EXCERIA Pro SD cards in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 12:00pm

Toshiba has unveiled its UHS-II EXCERIA PRO N502 SD cards, a new line of memory cards for the European market designed specifically for capturing 4K and 8K ultra-HD video.

The UHS-II EXCERIA PRO SD cards, which will come in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities, have a minimum data transfer speed of 90MB/s, the requirements for the Video Speed Class 90 label it's been given. The maximum read speed is 270MB/s, while the maximum write speed is 260MB/s — enough to earn the line an SD Speed Class 10 and and UHS Speed Class 3 rating.

In addition to being x-ray proof, shockproof and waterproof, the EXCERIA PRO N502 SD cards can withstand temperatures ranging from -25ºC to 85ºC (-13ºF to 185ºF) without condensation. Each card includes a five-year warranty when purchased through an authorized retailer.

The cards appear to be limited to the UK, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey for the time being, with no listings currently available. Prices are unavailable at the time of writing this article. We will update accordingly if a product page goes live.

Categories: Equipment

What you need to know about Nikon's new entry-level D3500

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 9:00am

Everything you need to know about the Nikon D3500

Let's face it: Entry-level DSLRs aren't the most exciting cameras out there. That said, Nikon's D3000-series have traditionally been very easy to use, very affordable and offered excellent image quality. Despite not having the latest and greatest technology, cameras like Nikon's newest model, the D3500, serve a variety of purposes quite well.

Before we get into what's new, here's what's not. The D3500 uses the same 24MP DX-format (APS-C) CMOS sensor as the previous-generation D3400 (and several other Nikon models) which has excellent resolution and Raw dynamic range. Its Expeed 4 processor allows for a top ISO of 25,600 and 5 fps burst shooting. The 11-point autofocus system is pretty dated, though it does offer Nikon's 3D Tracking system. Just don't expect D500-style performance.

Even more compact

The D3400 was already a small DSLR and the D3500 is even more compact. That's because it uses almost the same body shell as the D5600, which is 6mm (0.24") thinner than the D3400. We like the D5600's design because it doesn't sacrifice a decent hand grip as a trade-off for being small, which is the case with some of its peers. With the bundled AF-P 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens, the D3500 is almost as portable as the smallest Micro Four Thirds cameras.

While we're looking at this view of the camera, it's worth mentioning that the D3500 no longer supports the ML-L3 wireless remote, since there's no infrared receiver. You can, however, use your smartphone for the same purpose.

Buttons for everything

One area in which the D3500's design differs from that of the D5600 is the LCD. Where the D5600 has a larger, fully articulating touchscreen, the D3500 uses the same fixed 921k-dot non-touch display as the D3400.

The D3400 had five buttons that sat to the left of its display (playback, menu, zoom in, zoom out, i), and those have all been relocated to the opposite side. The D3500's rear control layout is a little cluttered as a result, but everything you need is close at hand. Being an entry-level camera, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that there's only one control dial.

The optical viewfinder on the D3500 is unchanged. It still offer 95% coverage and a magnification of 0.57x equiv., which is actually a bit larger than the D5600's OVF.

Improved battery life

Despite using the same sensor, processor and display as its predecessor, the D3500's battery life has increased by 30% (CIPA) compared to the model that it replaces. With a CIPA rating of a whopping 1550 shots, you should be able to go for days without replacing the battery. Nikon includes an external charger for keeping a spare topped up. The camera doesn't support USB charging, unfortunately.


The D3500 continues to offer a Bluetooth-only version of Nikon's SnapBridge wireless system. With it, the camera can automatically transfer 2 Megapixel versions of photos to your smartphone as they are taken (since there's no Wi-Fi there is no option for transmitting full resolution images.)

New to the D3500 is the ability to use the SnapBridge app as a remote shutter release.

Guide mode

Something that makes the D3500 one of the easiest-to-use cameras on the market is its Guide Mode, which is accessed via the mode dial. Guide Mode gives you basic options – essentially scene modes – and 'advanced operations,' where you can adjust shutter speed, aperture, white balance and exposure compensation without having to know what any of those are.

In 'easy operation' mode, you can select something like 'moving subjects' and the camera will do the rest. In 'advanced operation' mode you can, for example, choose from freeze motion (people), freeze motion (vehicles) and show water flowing. Once you've picked one, the camera will let you adjust the shutter speed, but with a detailed explanation of what the effects are. Once you're happy just choose from shooting through the viewfinder or live view and off you go.

Truly advanced settings (by D3500 standards,) such as ISO sensitivity and Picture Controls are still available in Guide Mode, should you wish to access them.


The Nikon D3400 was our favorite entry-level DSLR and the D3500 looks like it might supplant the older model in our affections. Unlike some of its competitors, it's small, light, and very easy to use, without sacrificing ergonomics or image quality. The D3500's 24MP sensor isn't new, but it's still one of the best APS-C sensors around.

The D3500 is a camera that beginners who pick it up from a big box store can take home and use immediately, simply by turning on Guide Mode and choosing something like 'Moving Subjects'. When they want to dip their toes into manual controls they can use the 'Advanced Operation' half of the Guide Mode, which allows them to adjust the shutter speed with a helping hand. And, when these users are ready to take full control over the camera, the D3500 has everything the casual shooter needs.

The D3500's 24MP sensor isn't new, but it's still one of the best APS-C sensors around

Nikon will be selling the D3500 in two kits: one with the collapsable AF-P 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 VR lens ($499) and another with that lens plus the un-stabilized AF-P 70-300 F4.5-6.3 tele-zoom ($849, though current street prices are below $600). As mentioned about, the D3500 is almost certain to appear in places like Costco during the holiday season, usually with a bag, extra battery and memory card thrown in.

Categories: Equipment

Tamron introduces 2nd-generation 15-30mm F2.8 full-frame lens for Canon and Nikon

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 3:00am

Tamron has updated its SP 15-30mm F2.8 Di VC USD lens with new elements and coatings, a more powerful autofocus CPU and an enhanced Vibration Correction system.

The use of XGM (eXpanded glass-molded aspherical) and low-dispersion elements reduce distortion and lateral chromatic aberrations, according to Tamron, while an AX (Anti-reflection eXpand) coating handles ghosting and flare. The lens is weather-sealed and has a fluorine coating to keep water and oil off of the front element. The 15-30 F2.8 has nine rounded aperture blades.

A Dual Multi-Processing Unit and new algorithms have boosting AF speed and precision, and the VC system now corrects for up to 4.5 stops of shake. The 15-30 has a minimum focus distance of 28cm (11"), a magnification of 0.2x and support for rear gel filters on the Canon model. It supports Tamron's TAP-in Console for making fine adjustments to autofocus and Vibration Correction.

The Nikon FX-mount lens will ship first on September 21st, with the Canon EF-mount version coming about three weeks later. The Tamron SP 15-30mm F2.8 G2 will be priced at $1299.

Press Release

Tamron Announces A New Advanced, Super High-Quality, Fast, Ultra-Wideangle Zoom Lens

SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Model A041)

August 31, 2018, Commack, New York— Tamron announces the launch of a new high-speed ultra-wide-angle zoom lens, the SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Model A041), for full-frame DSLR cameras. The new model will be available in Nikon mount on September 21st and in Canon mount October 12th at a suggested retail price of $1299.

With a well-established reputation for ultra-high-quality wideangle zoom lenses with its Model A012, Tamron carries on the tradition of high optical performance with the new SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Model A041). By incorporating an XGM (eXpanded Glass Molded Aspherical) lens element, as well as multiple LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements, the distortion and lateral chromatic aberrations so common in wideangle shooting have been greatly minimized. Furthermore, a newly developed AX (Anti-reflection eXpand) Coating has been applied to reduce ghosting and flare more thoroughly than ever before. The optical performance in this high-speed F/2.8 ultra-wideangle zoom lens is outstanding. In addition, the built-in Dual MPU (Micro-Processing Unit) enables vastly improved AF speed and precision and image stabilization. This is a next-generation super high-quality, high-speed ultra-wideangle zoom lens with first-rate optics and a wide range of features that serve to revitalize the user’s shooting experience. With the release of this model, three of Tamron’s high-speed F/2.8 zoom lens with VC (Vibration Compensation) are now G2 (Generation 2).


1. Super high-quality high-speed ultra-wideangle zoom lens
The Model A041 is an F/2.8 ultra-wideangle lens with a focal length starting at 15mm that offers high resolution even in the peripheral area of the image. By incorporating an XGM (eXpanded Glass Molded Aspherical) lens element and multiple LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements to curtail distortion and lateral chromatic aberrations, Tamron has achieved a degree of resolution throughout the range that is just as good as a fixed focal length lens.

2. Newly developed AX Coating
The AX (Anti-reflection eXpand) Coating, especially effective for wideangle lenses that tend to let in harmful light from peripheral areas, was developed to control rays that affect image quality. It is a revolutionary new proprietary coating developed in-house by Tamron using specialized deposition technology. The new coating keeps the reflection factor for peripheral areas at the same high level as that for the center area, not only overcoming standard curvature issues, but even overcoming the problems of conventionally produced convex surface with large curvatures for which uniform deposition has always proved difficult to achieve. Furthermore, the Model A041, along with eBand (Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency) Coating utilizing nanotechnology, and BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) Coating, makes effective use of three different types of coatings, thereby enabling unsurpassed curtailment of ghosting and flare and consequently enabling superlative, exceptionally clear image quality edge to edge.

3. High-speed, high-precision AF
Superb AF speed and precision is delivered by equipping the lens with a Dual MPU (Micro-Processing Unit) system and employing an enhanced AF control algorithm to improve performance. The AF drive uses proprietary Tamron technology, USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive), enabling high torque, high response, and silent operation. And because it comes with a Full-time Manual Focus override system, manual focus adjustments can be made on the fly.

4. VC promises sharp images for all varieties of shooting
Tamron released the first high-speed F/2.8 ultra-wideangle zoom lens in the world equipped with a VC (Vibration Compensation) mechanism, the original Model A012. The new Model A041 has been further improved with a newly developed VC mechanism that surpasses former versions and reaches 4.5 stops , according to CIPA standards. This makes it possible to shoot sharp photos over a wide range of photographic scenes, including indoor and outdoor shots as well as handheld shots at stopped-down aperture settings for landscape photography.

5. Rear filter holder
The Model A041 made for use on Canon (EF-mount) cameras comes with a filter holder as a standard feature that lets you insert gelatin and other sheet filters into the rear side of the lens. This makes photography using filters much easier and simpler by overcoming the problem of the curvature of the front lens elements that made shooting with filters so difficult in the past.

6. Vastly improved highly durable Fluorine Coating
Abrasion resistance capability has been vastly improved on the new Model A041. The front surface of the lens element is coated with a Fluorine Coating based on a newly developed fluorine compound with high water- and oil-repellent properties. The lens surface is easier to wipe clean and is less vulnerable to the damaging effects of dirt, dust, moisture, and fingerprints, and enabling your important lenses to be continually protected on a long-term basis.

7. The new design provides greater operability and design consistency
With the new SP design applied, Model A041 shares the same feel of high quality and operability as the other two models in this series, SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Model A032) and SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Model A025). Tamron has merged beautiful craftsmanship with intuitive design in this new high-speed ultra-wideangle zoom lens. Even details like the shape of the switch box, distance-scale window, and the precision and stability of the metallic mount reveal a commitment to functionality, as well as design. The result is a next-generation lens that’s easy to use yet loaded with cutting-edge technology.

8. Compatible with TAMRON TAP-in ConsoleTM, an optional accessory
The new Model A041 is compatible with the TAMRON TAP-in Console, an optional accessory product that provides a USB connection to a personal computer for easy updating of the lens’s firmware as well as customization of features including fine adjustments to the focus position of AF and VC control.

9. Moisture-Resistant Construction
Seals are located at the lens mount area and other critical locations to prevent infiltration of moisture and/or rain to provide Moisture-Resistant Construction. This feature affords an additional layer of protection when shooting outdoors under adverse weather conditions.

10. Manufacturing innovation with thorough attention to details based on the rigorous quality standards worthy of the SP series
Tamron has enhanced the SP series lenses to fulfill high-level photographic requirements and provide the pleasure of ownership. While introducing a new exterior design, Tamron reviewed the SP series standards. The new SP series has been developed by setting rigorous standards for design, manufacturing and quality that apply to the optical design and mechanical design as well as such wide-ranging areas as the product’s robustness and improvements in a variety of individual functions. This has helped to achieve a more consistently superb optical performance, making it a lens that fulfills the demand for higher image quality that is compatible with the latest high-pixel cameras. To maximize the optical performance of the SP series, Tamron will continue to enhance the accuracy of the component parts of each lens element unit and improve the mechanical precision of the entire lens, thereby achieving a high overall performance.

Tamron SP 15-30mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typeZoom lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length15–30 mm
Image stabilizationYes
CIPA Image stabilization rating4.5 stop(s)
Lens mountCanon EF, Nikon F (FX)
Maximum apertureF2.8
Minimum apertureF22
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades9
Special elements / coatings2 eXpanded glass molded aspherical + 1 molded glass aspherical + 3 aspherical elements, Anti-reflection eXpand + BBAR + fluorine coatings
Minimum focus0.28 m (11.02″)
Maximum magnification0.2×
Motor typeRing-type ultrasonic
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleYes
DoF scaleNo
Weight1110 g (2.45 lb)
Diameter98 mm (3.86″)
Length145 mm (5.71″)
Zoom methodRotary (extending)
Power zoomNo
Zoom lockNo
Filter notesCanon version accepts rear gel filters
Hood suppliedYes
Tripod collarNo
Categories: Equipment

Polaroid launches Mint digital instant camera and mobile printer

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 3:03pm

Polaroid has launched the Mint 2-in-1 digital instant camera at the IFA trade show in Berlin. The Mint camera (not to be confused with the Instax-mini-compatible Mint InstantFlex TL70) comes with a 16MP image sensor, a microSD-slot for cards of up to 256GB capacity, a built-in selfie mirror, and a self-timer. A smartphone-like LED-flash is on board as well.

Polaroid says the camera "makes it easier than ever to capture and print instant photos that last a lifetime" and the built-in printer, which uses the inkless ZINK-technology can produce color, black-and-white or sepia prints in less than a minute. Before printing, users have the option of adding a frame to the image. The Polaroid Mint instant camera is available in black, white, red, blue and yellow and will set you back $99.99.

The Mint Instant Digital Pocket printer is Polaroid's second new product at the trade show and meant to be used in conjunction with mobile devices. The pocket-sized printer uses the same ZINK technology as the Mint camera and lets you print any photo from your smartphone or tablet via the Polaroid Mint app and a bluetooth connection. The app features many common editing functions, including filters, frames and stickers.

The printer can be charged via a USB port and is the battery is good for 50 prints. The Polaroid Mint printer is available in black, white, red, blue and yellow and retails at $129.99. More information on the Mint camera and printer is available on the Polaroid website.

Categories: Equipment

Sony launches the Xperia XZ3 high-end smartphone

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 12:21pm

Sticking to its usual 6 months cycle, Sony has launched a new model in its high-end XZ smartphone line. The Xperia XZ3 follows on from the XZ2 which was released earlier this year. The new device is more evolution than revolution and the major differences to the XZ2 are an updated screen, a bigger battery and a slightly modified body design.

The new 6-inch OLED display supports HDR and comes with a 2880 x 1440 pixel resolution. It is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 that is curved at the edges to integrate smoothly with the aluminum body. The bezel dimensions have also been reduced, allowing for an improved display/body ratio.

Probably thanks to the marginally larger device body Sony has been able to use a beefier 3330 mAh battery which, compared to the XZ2's 3180 mAh unit, should deliver a slightly improved battery life. Sony has also improved the S-Force front speakers, offering better base and treble as well as a 20% increased overall volume.

At 1/2.3" the sensor is comparatively large for a smartphone camera and is combined with a 25mm equivalent wideangle lens and F2.0 aperture

Other specs include a Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, all wrapped up in a IP68 water and dust resistant body. At least on paper the rear camera specification has not changed for the new model and the XZ3 comes with the same 19MP camera module as the XZ2. At 1/2.3" the sensor is comparatively large for a smartphone camera and is combined with a 25mm equivalent wideangle lens and F2.0 aperture. Predictive PDAF, laser AF and 4K video recording are on board as well.

The front-facing unit has been updated, however, and now comes with a higher 13MP resolution and faster F1.9 lens. The Xperia XZ3 will b available from October 17 for $900. More information is available on the Sony Mobile Blog.

Categories: Equipment