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All articles from Digital Photography Review
Updated: 51 min 35 sec ago

Canon announces new flagship EOS C700 cinema camera

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 3:57pm

Canon has announced a new addition to its Cinema EOS line of professional cinematography cameras, the EOS C700, which appears to be the first camera from Canon to leverage the global shutter CMOS sensor technology the company revealed yesterday. The camera will available in three variants: the C700, C700 PL, and C700 GS PL.

The EOS C700 and EOS C700 PL feature a Super 35mm 4.5K sensor with wide dynamic range, which Canon says extends to 15 stops of latitude. The EOS 700 GS PL features a Super 35mm 4K sensor with global shutter. Global shutter is a desirable feature for filmmakers as it allows the camera to capture data from the entire sensor at one time. In contrast, most CMOS sensors capture data using what is known as a rolling shutter, in which data is captured line by line as it comes off the sensor, and which is responsible for the ‘Jello’ effect often seen in digital video.

All three cameras support Canon’s standard Log gamma profiles (Canon Log3, Canon Log2, and CanonLog), and support frame rates up to 4K/60p and 2K/240p. Canon has also added the ability to record footage straight to Apple ProRes, a common editing format, in addition to Raw data capture and Canon’s own XF-AVC compressed codec. Additionally, these are the first Cinema EOS cameras to include a de-squeeze feature for live monitoring when shooting with anamorphic lenses.

Owners won’t be locked into a lens mount or sensor; the C700 will allow users to switch between EF and PL mounts, as well as between the standard CMOS sensor and the global shutter CMOS sensor. (Though this work will need to be done at a Canon service facility.) Canon gives users incentive to pair the camera with EF lenses as these will make it possible to take advantage of Dual Pixel autofocus, however those who choose PL mount versions will get compatibility with Cooke/i metadata communication technology.

Finally, Canon has partnered with Codex to provide a fully integrated, no cable workflow option with the Codex CDX-36150 recorder.

These look like impressive tools, and they come with a price tag to match. The EOS C700 and C700 PL are expected to go on sale in December with a list price of $35,000, while the EOS C700 GS PL should be available in January (2017) with a list price of $38,000.

Press Release:

MELVILLE, N.Y., September 1, 2016 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced today the next step in the evolution of the Cinema EOS family of professional cinematography products with the new EOS C700, EOS C700 PL and EOS C700 GS PL cinema cameras 

Featuring a completely new, customizable, modular design, the EOS C700 meets the demands of today’s productions – from feature films to documentaries to episodic dramas. The EOS C700 and EOS C700 PL cameras feature a Super 35mm 4.5K sensor1 with wide dynamic range, and can be ideal for productions requiring 4K UHD TV or 4K DCI cinema deliverables. The EOS C700 GS PL features a Super 35mm 4K sensor with a global shutter to enable the distortion-free capture of subjects moving at high speeds. In addition to supporting the earlier XF-AVC2 recording format, the cameras also support Apple® ProRes.

Recognizing that customers today demand flexibility and the ability to respond to the changing needs of productions, the EOS C700 allows users to convert between EF mount and PL mounts, and between a standard CMOS image sensor and a global shutter CMOS image sensor at Canon service facilities3. The EF lens mount provides compatibility with Canon’s diverse lineup of over 70 interchangeable EF lenses as well as enabling use of Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology. While the EOS C700 PL and EOS C700 GS PL allow use of industry-standard PL lenses and compatibility with Cooke /i metadata communication technology.

For those wanting to shoot and deliver High Dynamic Range (HDR)4 content, the EOS C700 and EOS C700 PL are ideal – providing 15 stops of latitude5, Canon’s proprietary Log Gammas (Canon Log3, Canon Log2 and Canon Log) and renowned color science. Additionally, these cameras seamlessly integrate with Canon’s professional 4K displays (DP-V2420, DP-V2410 or DP-V1770) for on-set color management and review that conforms to SMPTE ST 20846 standards of HDR display.

To complement these powerful new acquisition tools, Canon has turned to its trusted partner Codex to provide a fully-integrated (no cables) recording and workflow option. The combination of the EOS C700 camera with the optional Codex CDX-36150 recorder allows for high-speed 4.5K RAW recording at up to 100FPS, 4K RAW at up to 120FPS, 4K ProRes at up to 60FPS, 2K ProRes at up to 240FPS and XF-AVC at up to 60FPS.

Canon’s new EOS C700, EOS C700 PL and EOS C700 GS PL are the first Cinema EOS cameras to support anamorphic shooting by utilizing a “de-squeeze” function for monitoring7, making possible the creation of images with the 2.39:1 aspect ratio typical of cinema productions. Furthermore, enabling Full HD high-frame-rate recording at a maximum of 240 fps (crop8), the camera enables smooth playback, even when slowed down, for great emotional visual expression. 

Along with the announcement of these cameras, Canon is also introducing optional accessories OLED 1920x1080 Electronic View Finder EVF-V70, Remote Operation Unit OU-700, Shoulder Support Unit SU-15, Shoulder Style Grip Unit SG-1 and B4 mount adapters MO-4E/MO-4P. 

The EOS C700 and EOS C700 PL are currently expected to go on sale in December 2016, while the EOS C700 GS PL is currently expected to go on sale in January 2017. The EOS C700 and EOS C700 PL will have a list of $35,000.00 each** and the EOS C700 GS PL will have a list price of $38,000.00**.  

†Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.

*This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained. 

**Availability, pricing and specifications are subject to change without notice. Actual prices are set by individual dealers and may vary.

1 4.5K RAW recording will be supported following a firmware update (currently scheduled to be released at the end of March 2017, see chart below).

2 Canon’s proprietary video format that efficiently compresses video data.

3 Conversions will incur a fee and will be handled by Canon service facilities.

4 High Dynamic Range refers to a technique that enhances the contrast between light and dark values (the dynamic range) of an image.

5 15 stops achievable in EOS C700 and EOS C700 PL models in Canon Log2 mode. EOS C700 GS PL achieves 14 stops.

6 The wide dynamic range imaging standard recommended by the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers.

7 A lens that enables shooting with landscape-orientation compression and makes possible a characteristic blur effect.

8 A shooting function that creates a pseudo-telephoto effect using a portion of the sensor area.

Categories: Equipment

Snapseed 2.9 for iOS adds Raw support for 144 camera models

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 3:54pm

The iOS version of Google's Snapseed mobile photo editing app just got an update with a major new benefit: full Raw support for 144 cameras and all DNG files. With the update, the app can now be used to edit Raw files from a lengthy list of advanced compacts and interchangeable lens cameras.

A full list of cameras included in the update is available at Google's Snapseed support website. The website also suggests supported workflows to get those Raw files onto your device, listing EyeFi MobiPro, Google Drive and Apple's Lightning to SD card reader or USB camera adapter as possibilities. Realistically, a Raw editing workflow will probably make most sense with an iPad Pro.

Version 2.9 also introduces a face tool with various pre-set options to apply different smoothing and brightening effects to detected faces in a photo. Also added is an option to specify the JPEG compression rate applied when exporting photos, and the ability to save a lossless PNG.

Original photo from front-facing camera of an iPhone SE.  'Subtle' face effect. Not usually a fan of 'beauty' settings on cameras, but I won't lie: I am fine with this.
Categories: Equipment

Leica adds 60mm F2.8 macro to TL lens lineup

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 2:48pm

Leica has announced a 60mm F2.8 macro lens for its TL-mount cameras, which is just the T (Typ 701) at this point.

The company was very short on details about the APO-Macro-Elmarit-TL 60mm F2.8 ASPH, aside from saying that it will have a 1:1 reproduction ratio and will arrive this Fall in black or silver. When mounted on the APS-C 'T', the lens will be equivalent to 90mm.

This will be the sixth lens for the TL mount.

Press release:

Leica Announces Newest Addition to the T Lens Portfolio: the Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-TL 60mm

All future lenses for the Leica T camera system will be marketed under a new name: “TL”

September 1, 2016 – Beginning today, a new prime lens is available for the Leica T camera system – the Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-TL 60 mm f/2.8 ASPH. Considered to be the reference lens in the APS-C segment, this lens delivers macro exposures with a reproduction ratio of 1:1 and impresses with best imaging performance.

Like the Leica Summilux-TL 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH., the Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-TL 60 mm f/2.8 ASPH. is available in both black and silver.

With this new addition, the lens portfolio of the Leica T camera system now offers a total of six lenses – including three prime lenses and three zoom lenses – that together offer a range of focal lengths for every photographic situation. The two fast prime lenses, the Leica Summicron-TL 23 mm f/2 ASPH. and the Summilux-TL 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH, are classic focal lengths for reportage photography. The APO-Macro-Elmarit-TL 60 mm f/2.8 ASPH. complements them ideally as a lens for finely detailed close-up photography. Finally, the three compact zoom lenses, the Leica Super-Vario-Elmar-TL 11–23 mm f/3.5–4.5 ASPH., Vario-Elmar-TL 18–56 mm f/3.5–5.6 ASPH., and APO-Vario-Elmar-TL 55–135 mm f/3.5–4.5 ASPH., cover an entire range of focal lengths equivalent to 17 to 200 mm in 35 mm format and deliver outstanding images with rich contrast from corner to corner of the frame.

As the Leica T and the new Leica SL share the same L bayonet mount, the name ‘TL’ will be implemented for all new Leica T lenses moving forward. Thanks to the flexibility offered by the TL-Lenses for a wide range of applications on cameras with the L-Bayonet, Leica once again showcases the company’s fundamental principle of system-compatibility and sustainability and offers users access to an even wider portfolio of Leica products

All Leica TL-Lenses impress with outstanding imaging performance at lengths that range from infinity to their closest focusing distance and deliver images with the unique Leica look and bokeh. Designed by the optical engineering specialists in Wetzlar, the lenses all offer the exceptional imaging performance for which Leica lenses are renowned. The combination of optical and technical expertise and the use of only the finest materials guarantee consistent quality and reliability in every situation.

Categories: Equipment

DJI Osmo Mobile brings 3-axis gimbal stabilization to smartphones

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 2:30pm

DJI has introduced the Osmo Mobile, a variation of its previously launched Osmo that is, in this case, designed for smartphones. With Osmo Mobile, users can insert a smartphone into the mount and record smooth, stabilized footage with the handset thanks to the SmoothTrack technology and 3-axis gimbal stabilization. The stabilizer works with the DJI GO App for livestreaming videos, sharing content, and tracking moving objects via DJI’s ActiveTrack.

The Osmo Mobile’s 3-axis stabilization claims accuracy down to 0.03 degrees, while the SmoothTrack tech works to reduce small movements and shaking. Trigger control enables switching between the handset’s front and rear camera, as well as re-centering and locking the gimbal direction. Standard, Portrait, Flashlight, and Underslung operation modes are available.

The DJI GO App offers, in addition to ActiveTrack, functions including access to camera settings, Panorama, Long Exposure, Live Stream, and Motion Time Lapse. Other Osmo features include Bluetooth, a 3.5mm charging/upgrade port, and compatibility with Osmo accessories. DJI says Osmo Mobile ‘should’ support any smartphone between 2.31 and 3.34 inches wide; this includes the most recent high-end smartphones, including the Galaxy S7, iPhone 5/6/6s Plus, and the Huawei Mate 8.

The Osmo Mobile is available as of today for $299.

Via: PRNewswire

Categories: Equipment

Getty Images Reportage shifts from editorial to commercial focus

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 1:38pm
Getty Images Reportage has gained a reputation for photojournalism and covering important issues.

Getty Images has reportedly communicated a change in strategy for Getty Images Reportage. Launched in 2007, Reportage represented top photojournalists, as well as emerging photographers, with a focus on in-depth features that addressed important issues and stories. Some of these have included the Haiti earthquake, the war in Afghanistan, Nigerian and Somali pirates, and the nuclear legacy of Northeast Kazakhstan.

The company announced that as of October, Reportage will no longer represent its photographers for editorial assignments. In its place, Getty will back a new commercial agency called Verbatim, which will represent Reportage’s photographers to commercial clients instead. According to the report in TIME, Reportage will keep its Emerging Talent program, but will become mainly an archive following the transition.

Categories: Equipment

Throwback Thursday: the Samsung NV10

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 9:00am
Pretty? Yes. Well-built? Yes. Image quality? Ehhh...

In 2007, I was chiefly concerned with three things: fixing whatever had recently broken on my 1980 Datsun 210, scouring the electronics section of the local Goodwill in an endless quest for a louder stereo, and finding older computer games that my home-built PC would play acceptably well. Despite where I've ended up, it turns out that photography wasn't really near the top of my priorities list.

Regardless, I was dead-set on spending every penny of savings from my job at Dairy Queen to take a trip to Europe with three friends after our high school graduation, and my grandmother had offered to help me buy a new camera for the trip. That's where this Samsung NV10 comes in.

It may look a little odd today, but Samsung's 'Smart Touch' technology actually made for a responsive and engaging way to manipulate the camera's controls and settings before the advent of affordable touch screens.

The Samsung NV10, which we reviewed back in 2006, is a compact camera with a 35-105mm equiv. F2.8-5.1 zoom lens, a 10.3MP 1/1.8" CCD sensor, and Samsung's 'Smart Touch' user interface. Most importantly to the mini-me at Omega Photo in Bellevue, WA, it was small - it could just about fit in a jeans pocket. It was smaller than the hand-me-down Canon PowerShot A70 I had used during high school when my Samsung VGA flip-phone wouldn't cut it. I liked the NV10's all-metal, all-black design, and though I really had no idea why I needed the option, it offered at least some control over exposure parameters.

So despite the best efforts of my dad, who wanted me to get that absolute behemoth that was the Canon PowerShot S3 IS for a similar price (my 18-year-old self couldn't fathom why anyone would want to carry a camera around his or her neck), I opted for the svelte little Samsung. After some time with the NV10, I decided - in typical American teenage fashion - to ignore nagging suspicions that my dad had been right all along.

The NV10 produced fairly clean, punchy files so long as there was enough light. I don't know why I was making that face, nor why I felt I needed to stage a photograph of my car on this lawn. Samsung NV10 @ 35mm equiv. ISO 100, 1/250 sec, F2.8.

Photo by Erin Bynum

So, what did I find to be positive about the NV10 besides its design, pocketability and control scheme? Unfortunately, not much.

As Simon stated in our full review, the NV10 produced files that were excessively saturated and overly contrasty. This often led to clipped shadows and highlights, and though you wouldn't have expected a Raw option on this camera, there were no options to adjust the JPEG output at all. The battery life was rated at an unimpressive 180 shots and the lens' wide-angle equivalent left me wanting something a bit wider at the time (today, I find that 35mm equivalent is wide enough). One interesting tid-bit? It did at least support USB charging.

You want punchy colors? You got 'em. Samsung NV10 @ 35mm equiv. ISO 100, 1/200 sec, F7.1.

Photo by Carey Rose

Of course, this is a point-and-shoot compact camera from 2006, and as such, has a very limited ISO range. You could push it up to ISO 1000, but things really started to fall apart around ISO 400. The problem there was that in anything but reasonably bright light, the camera would drag the shutter, likely resulting in a photo that was blurred and noisy, and the slow aperture at the telephoto end of the zoom range meant you were sticking to the wide end if you wanted to avoid using the flash.

Can't skip the cat photo. Check out that noise at ISO 400, and the handheld blur from an over-caffeinated teenager. I'm probably hitting the minimum focus distance without macro mode as well. Samsung NV10 @ 35mm equiv. ISO 400, 1/20 sec, F2.8.

Photo by Carey Rose

Despite all of this, I managed to convince myself that the Samsung NV10 was fine at the time. In hindsight, I was wrong. Full disclosure, though: my limited knowledge of photographic basics hurt my experience with the camera at least as much as the camera's limited capabilities. Someone doing a "Pro Tog, Cheap Camera" challenge with the NV10 would likely turn out some good results, but they'd better keep an eye on the ISO value.

To round things up, then, this was a camera for my graduation trip to Europe, and therefore you may be wondering where all those European photos might be. Well, I ended up losing the camera on a train in Germany, and therefore losing around 600 thoroughly mediocre photos. Turns out, my dad was right - I needed a camera that would stay comfortably slung around my neck.

I got back home from my trip, saved up some money and bought that PowerShot S3 IS, and never looked back.

Naches, WA. Samsung NV10 @ 93mm equiv. ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F12.3.

Everyone makes mistakes. Do you have a camera that you realized you bought too hastily, or have even regretted purchasing? Did you keep it, or trade it out for something else? Let us know in the comments!

Samsung NV10 real-world sample gallery

Categories: Equipment

Tamron announces 2nd generation SP 150-600mm Di VC USD 'G2'

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 6:00am

Tamron has announced a new version of its popular 150-600mm telezoom - the SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD G2. The 'G2' stands for second generation, reflecting several improvements to the design.

These improvements include more effective image stabilization (to a claimed 4.5 stops of benefit), faster AF speed and compatibility with Tamron's 'TAP-in' Console, for lens firmware updates and customization. A 'Flex Zoom Lock' mechanism has also been added to keep the lens barrel fixed at any focal length. Flourine coating has been added to the front lens element, and the entire lens barrel offers greater moisture resistance.

The SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 will sell for $1399 and will go on sale in Japan starting September 23rd in Nikon and Canon mounts, arriving in the US soon after. A Sony A-mount version will follow later. A pair of new teleconverters designed for use with the 150-600mm have also been announced.

Press release


New generation "G2" lens boasts faster AF speed and enhanced VC

SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 (Model A022)

September 1, 2016, Commack, New York - Tamron, a leading manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces the launch of the SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (Model A022). This second generation "G2" lens builds upon the success of the SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD (Model A011), which launched in December 2013 and continues to successfully meet photographers' needs in the ultra-telephoto category. The new G2 version was developed to provide superior optical performance with today's high resolution DSLRs and to add improvements to several features including speed and accuracy of AF and VC (Vibration Compensation). Also, several new features have been added: FLEX ZOOM LOCK mechanism, Fluorine Coating and optional teleconverters. The new lens delivers outstanding performance and a luxurious, upscale appearance, including a metal lens barrel.

Delivery of the new lens in Canon and Nikon mounts will start on September 23 in the Japanese market and soon thereafter in the U.S. market (Sony A-mount to be delivered at a later date) at a price of $1399.


1. Optical design refreshed to achieve even higher performance
Three LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements completely eliminate axial and transverse chromatic aberrations. The design also features an upgraded optical construction (21 elements in 13 groups) and leverages improvements in manufacturing technology. As a result, the lens delivers high resolution, improved sharpness and overall better performance.

2. Tamron's sophisticated eBAND Coating for eliminating ghosting and flare
eBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency) Coating is a nano-structured layer deployed on the lens element surface. In addition to regular anti-reflection coatings, eBAND Coating offers higher light transmission and significant improvement in anti-reflection characteristics, especially against angulated incident rays. Combined with BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) coatings, flare and ghosting are reduced to imperceptible levels.

3. MOD reduced to provide optimum tele-macro photography
Tamron's advanced manufacturing technology has made it possible to reduce the MOD (Minimum Object Distance) to 86.6 in (2.2m), compared to 106.3 in (2.7m) for Model A011, and has allowed for the wonders of tele-macro photography with its 1:3.9 Maximum Magnification Ratio.

4. AF speed is faster and much more responsive with moving subjects
The Model A022 is equipped with a USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) ring-type motor that delivers excellent responsiveness and control. AF speed is significantly improved from the current model, and it enables accurate high-speed focus even when capturing moving subjects. When shooting with AF, the Full-time Manual Focus override allows you to instantly make fine-focusing adjustments manually, without having to switch between modes.

5. VC performance is now 4.5 stops and offers 3 modes optimized for different situations
The VC (Vibration Compensation) effectiveness is equivalent to 4.5 stops, based on image stabilization performance levels established by CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) when using VC MODE 3. Model A022 now has three types of VC modes, and it is possible to choose the optimum VC mode according to the situation for taking a photograph, such as when panning.

  • VC MODE 1 is the standard mode that strikes a great balance between the stability of the viewfinder image and the stabilization effects.
  • VC MODE 2 is exclusively used for panning.
  • VC MODE 3 prioritizes the stabilization of the captured images and forgoes the stabilization of the viewfinder image.

A new VC Mode can be programmed with the optional TAMRON TAP-in Console™. You can overwrite VC Mode 1 with a new VC Mode that allows stabilization to be engaged constantly for videography purposes. In this mode, the LCD screen is used.

6. New FLEX ZOOM LOCK mechanism enables locking of the zoom ring at any position
The FLEX ZOOM LOCK mechanism quickly locks or unlocks the zoom at any position simply by sliding the zoom ring. Photographers can shoot from any angle without the zoom extending unintentionally. Additionally, the lens features the conventional Zoom Lock switch to prevent unwanted barrel extension during transportation.

7. Fluorine Coating and Moisture-Resistant Construction for a more user-friendly lens
The front surface of the lens element is coated with a protective fluorine compound that is water- and oil-repellent. The lens surface is easier to wipe clean and is less vulnerable to the damaging effects of dirt, dust, moisture and fingerprints. For greater protection when shooting outdoors, leak-proof seals throughout the lens barrel help protect your equipment.

8. Electromagnetic diaphragm system now used for Nikon-mount lenses
An electromagnetic diaphragm system, which has been a standard feature for Canon-mount lenses, is now employed in Nikon-mount lenses[1]. More precise diaphragm and aperture control is possible because the diaphragm blades are driven and controlled by a motor through electronic pulse signals.

9. Lightweight and easy-to-hold tripod mount is compatible with an Arca-Swiss style quick release plate
A new textured grip and Arca-Swiss style tripod interface enhances both speed and utility. And because the tripod mount is made of lightweight magnesium, it is much easier to carry.

10. Compatible with TAMRON TAP-in ConsoleTM, an optional accessory product
The optional TAP-in Console provides a USB connection to your personal computer, enabling you to easily update your lens's firmware as well as customize features including fine adjustments to the AF and VC.

11. Teleconverters exclusively for the Tamron lens now developed
Two exclusive teleconverters[2], which perfectly match the optics of the new SP 150-600mm G2 (Model A022), offer 1.4x and 2x magnification, and provide a maximum zoom range up to 1200mm. These new teleconverters extend focal length of the master lens, making it possible to take pictures in farther ultra-telephoto ranges.

Changes in zoom range when used with SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (Model A022)

  Mounted on 35mm full-frame DSLR camera Mounted on APS-C format DSLR camera
 Without teleconverter  150-600mm  Approx. 233-930mm
 With 1.4x teleconverter  210-840mm  Approx. 326-1302mm
 With 2.0x teleconverter  300-1200mm  Approx. 465-1860mm

Changes in magnification ratio when used with SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (Model A022)

  Maximum Magnification Ratio 
Without teleconverter 1:3.9
With 1.4x teleconverter 1:2.8
With 2.0x teleconverter 1:2

Available focusing mode when used with SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (Model A022)

  When using viewfinder When using live view mode
 With 1.4x teleconverter AF*1*2/MF  AF*2/MF
 With 2.0x teleconverter MF   AF*2/MF

*1 Autofocus functions normally on any camera that offers F/8 autofocusing (see your camera's instruction manual for your camera's ability).
*2 Subjects with low contrast and/or luminosity values can sometimes result in out-of-focus images.

12. Based on the rigorous quality standards worthy of the SP series, this new lens is manufactured with thorough attention to details
For the SP series products in particular, Tamron has established rigorous design and quality standards. These standards apply to the optical design, mechanical design and the cosmetic appearance, as well as to such wide-ranging areas as the product's robustness and improvements in various individual functions. Tamron thoroughly reviews of all of the design and manufacturing processes in order to offer products to customers with ever-higher precision and quality levels.

For the SP 150-600mm G2 (Model A022), the optical design was refreshed, mechanical parts were improved and a new exterior design was adopted. To maximize the optical performance intrinsic to this product, Tamron improved the accuracy of component parts and increased the precision of the overall zooming mechanism.

Design Concept
The new design adopted for the four SP series lenses already on the market is essentially the fusion of engineering and style, the pursuit of functional beauty and craftsmanship achieved by giving meticulous attention to minute details. Using metal as the exterior material creates a high-grade design based on the concept that emphasizes "Human Touch" characteristics, and significantly improves user-friendliness. The SP models feature a novel design for the switches, easy-to-read characters, an enlarged window over the distance scale and the adoption of organic forms easy for the photographer's fingers to hold onto.

This design philosophy-the pursuit of functional beauty with a "Human Touch"-is applied even to the most minute details of the new SP 150-600mm G2 (Model A022) ultra-telephoto zoom. By using metal for the exterior material and adding new functions such as the FLEX ZOOM LOCK mechanism, the Model A022 achieves a size and weight that makes comfortable handheld shooting possible, with a slim and stylish appearance design to top it all off.

[1]Available only with cameras compatible with the electromagnetic diaphragm (D3100, D3200, D3300, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D7000, D7100, D7200, D300, D300s, D600, D610, D700, D750, D800, D800E, D810, D810A, D3x, D3s, D4, D4s, Df, D500, D5). (As of September 1; Tamron)
[2] Additional information will be available on Tamron's website at a later date.

Optical Construction:



  • Model : A022
  • Focal Length : 150-600mm
  • Maximum Aperture : F/5-6.3
  • Angle of View (diagonal) : 16°25' - 4°8' (for full-frame format): 10°38' - 2°40' (for APS-C format)
  • Optical Construction: 21 elements in 13 groups
  • Minimum Object Distance : 86.6 in
  • Maximum Magnification Ratio : 1:3.9
  • Filter Size : Ø95mm
  • Maximum Diameter : Ø108.4mm
  • Length[1] : for Canon 10.2 in / for Nikon 10.1 in
  • Weight[2] : for Canon 70.9 oz / for Nikon 70.2 oz
  • Aperture Blades : 9 (circular diaphragm[3])
  • Minimum Aperture : F/32-40
  • Image Stabilization Performance: 4.5 stops (using VC Mode 3) CIPA Standards Compliant (For Canon : EOS-5D Mark III is used / For Nikon : D810 is used)
  • Standard Accessories : Lens hood, Lens caps, Lens case
  • Compatible Mounts : Canon, Nikon, Sony A-mount[4]

Specifications, appearance, functionality, etc. are subject to change without prior notice.

[1]Length is the distance from the front tip of the lens to the lens mount face.
[2] Weight includes the weight of the detachable tripod mount
[3]The circular diaphragm stays almost perfectly circular up to two stops down from maximum aperture.
[4]The Sony mount model does not include VC, since the bodies of Sony DSLR cameras include built-in image stabilization functionality.

Tamron SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typeZoom lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length150–600 mm
Image stabilizationYes (VC - Vibration Compensation)
Lens mountCanon EF, Nikon F (FX), Sony/Minolta Alpha
Maximum apertureF5
Minimum apertureF32
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades9
Special elements / coatingseBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular Dependency) Coating Fluorine Coating
Minimum focus2.70 m (106.3″)
Maximum magnification0.2×
Motor typeUltrasonic
Full time manualYes
Distance scaleYes
DoF scaleNo
Weight2010 g (4.43 lb)
Diameter106 mm (4.16″)
Length258 mm (10.15″)
Filter thread95.0 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Categories: Equipment

Tamron announces new 1.4X and 2X teleconverters

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 6:00am

Tamron has announced two new teleconverters, designed to be used with select telephoto Tamron lenses, starting with the company's new SP 150-600mm F5-6.3 Di VC USD G2. The 1.4X and 2X converters are moisture and dust-resistant, and turn the 150-600mm into a 210-600mm or 300-1200mm equivalent zoom, respectively. Both teleconverters use Tamron's BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) coatings to reduce ghosting and flare, and the 2X converter uses a low-dispersion element to suppress aberrations.

The 1.4X and 2X converters will cost $419 and $439 respectively. They'll be available in Canon and Nikon mounts starting September 23rd in Japan, with availability in the US soon after.


New models designed exclusively for Tamron lenses


September 1, 2016, Commack, New York - Tamron, a leading manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces the launch of two teleconverter models exclusively[1] for select Tamron lenses. These accessories make it easy to expand the versatility of the new SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (Model A022) ultra-telephoto zoom lens. TELECONVERTER 1.4x (Model TC-X14) increases the focal length by a factor of 1.4x, while TELECONVERTER 2.0x (Model TC-X20) doubles the focal length. Delivery of the new teleconverters, each available in Canon and Nikon mounts, will start on September 23 in the Japanese market and soon thereafter in the U.S. market at a price of $419 for the 1.4X and $439 for the 2X.


1. Increases maximum focal length
Although the maximum focal length is increased, the minimum object distance remains nearly the same, so the magnification ratio during close focusing is enhanced. Both teleconverters are carefully designed and constructed to preserve the original superior image quality of the lens. The 2.0x model uses one LD (Low Dispersion) lens element to suppress aberrations. BBAR (Broad-Band Anti-Reflection) coatings are deployed on both models to help minimize ghosting and flare.

2. Autofocus and VC features are retained with compatible lenses
Autofocus functions normally with compatible lenses (please refer to Compatible Tamron Lens List below). VC (Vibration Compensation) performance is maintained.

3. Moisture-Proof and Dust-Resistant Construction
The new teleconverters are ideal for use in outdoor photography when matched with any lens that has a Moisture-Resistant Construction because special seals that are dust-resistant and moisture-proof are used at every joint and seam.

4. Sturdy, durable barrel design
The barrel frame of the teleconverters are made of die cast aluminum, except for some parts of the exterior finish, to maintain extra strength when used with large lenses. The design utilizes a bayonet mount made of brass on the camera side and stainless steel on the lens side to ensure excellent durability even with repeated mountings and detachments.

Design Concept

These accessories embody Tamron's new design that's born from the pursuit of functional beauty and achieved by smoothly blending engineering and design enhancements. Meticulous craftsmanship is applied to every detail. The new teleconverters feature a metal lens barrel and share this same design concept. Both teleconverters provide remarkable ease of use-even the release lever offers a comfortable touch to the photographer's finger.

Compatible Tamron Lens List (As of September, 2016)

SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (Model A022)
For Canon and Nikon

Changes in zoom range when used with SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (Model A022)

  Mounted on 35mm full-frame DSLR camera Mounted on APS-C format DSLR camera
 Without teleconverter  150-600mm  Approx. 233-930mm
 With 1.4x teleconverter  210-840mm  Approx. 326-1302mm
 With 2.0x teleconverter  300-1200mm  Approx. 465-1860mm

Changes in magnification ratio when used with SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (Model A022)

  Maximum Magnification Ratio 
Without teleconverter 1:3.9
With 1.4x teleconverter 1:2.8
With 2.0x teleconverter 1:2

Available focusing mode when used with SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (Model A022)

  When using viewfinder When using live view mode
 With 1.4x teleconverter AF*1*2/MF  AF*2/MF
 With 2.0x teleconverter MF   AF*2/MF

*1 Autofocus functions normally on any camera that offers F/8 autofocusing (see your camera's instruction manual for your camera's ability).
*2 Subjects with low contrast and/or luminosity values can sometimes result in out-of-focus images.

[1]Compatible model is SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (Model A022) (As of September 1; Tamron)

Optical Construction:



  • Model : TC-X14
  • Magnification : 1.4x
  • Optical Construction : 6 elements in 3 groups
  • Maximum Diameter : for Canon Ø70mm / for Nikon Ø62.6mm
  • Length[1] : for Canon, Nikon 0.8 in
  • Entire Length[2] : for Canon 1.3 in (34.1mm) / for Nikon 1.3 in (32.3mm)
  • Weight : for Canon 7.2 oz / for Nikon 6.3oz
  • Standard Accessories : Mount cap, Rear cap, Lens case
  • Compatible Mounts : Canon, Nikon

*Use of the TC-X14 tele converter reduces the effective aperture by one f/stop.


  • Model : TC-X20
  • Magnification : 2x
  • Optical Construction : 9 elements in 5 groups
  • Maximum Diameter : for Canon Ø69.8mm / for Nikon Ø62.3mm
  • Length[1] : for Canon, Nikon 2.1 in
  • Entire Length[2] : for Canon 2.6 in (66.8mm) / for Nikon 2.6 in (65mm)
  • Weight : for Canon 12.7 oz / for Nikon 10.8oz
  • Standard Accessories : Mount cap, Rear cap, Lens case
  • Compatible Mounts : Canon, Nikon

*Use of the TC-X20 tele converter reduces the effective aperture by two f/stops.

Specifications, appearance, functionality, etc. are subject to change without prior notice.

[1]Length is the distance from the front tip of the lens to the lens mount face.
[2]Entire Length is the distance between the tip of the lens and the tip of protrusion.

Categories: Equipment

Canon introduces global shutter CMOS sensor with improved dynamic range

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 7:12pm

Canon has announced a global shutter CMOS sensor with a re-designed pixel structure aimed at boosting dynamic range. Using global shutter presents a clear benefit for the sensor's videography applications, as it doesn't suffer from the distortion effects that a standard 'progressive scan' sensor does when capturing fast-moving subjects.

However, global shutter designs have tended to offer less dynamic range than their conventional counterparts. Canon says that the sensor's drive system (the way it's read out) increases the amount of light the sensor can capture before overexposing. This is combined with a more efficient pixel structure and 'optimized internal configuration' to reduce noise and increase sensitivity. The result should be improved dynamic range, though it's not clear how this improved performance will compare with traditional chips of the kind that exhibit rolling shutter.

Canon says it will explore use of the chip in measurement and industrial applications, and consider applications in video production. No details of the sensor's size or resolution were given.

Press release:

Canon develops global shutter-equipped CMOS sensor that achieves expanded dynamic range through new drive method

TOKYO, August 31, 2016—Canon Inc. today announced that it has developed a new CMOS sensor equipped with a global shutter function that, because it exposes all of the sensor's pixels at the same time, enables the capture of distortion-free images even when shooting fast-moving objects. Employing a new signal-readout drive system and new pixel structure that significantly expands the full well capacity and reduces noise, the sensor contributes to high-image-quality video capture by making possible the realization of a wide dynamic range.

Distortion-free image capture when shooting fast-moving objects

Standard CMOS sensors make use of the rolling shutter method, which sequentially exposes the pixels one row at a time. Because rolling shutters can create slight discrepancies in signal-readout timing depending on the location of the pixel, images of fast-moving objects may appear distorted and flash photography may result in the occurrence of the flash band phenomenon, in which the upper and lower portions of images display different levels of brightness. Because Canon's newly developed CMOS sensor employs a global shutter, when shooting such fast-moving objects as a rotating propeller or a speeding train, subjects are able to retain their proper form to create distortion-free images. Enabling the confirmation of object shapes with a high degree of accuracy, the sensor offers potential benefits in industrial applications, including as a sensor for use in inspection cameras.

Wide dynamic range realized through new proprietary drive method and pixel structure

When the newly developed CMOS sensor converts light into electrical signals and stores the signal charge in memory, the new drive system achieves a significant expansion in full well capacity. Also, because it employs a structure that efficiently captures light and each pixel incorporates an optimized internal configuration, the sensor makes possible increased sensitivity with reduced noise. The expanded full well capacity, realized through the sensor’s new drive system, and substantial reduction in noise, enabled by the new pixel structure, combine to deliver a wide dynamic range, facilitating the capture of high-image-quality, high-definition footage even when shooting scenes containing large variances in brightness.

Canon will explore various industrial and measurement applications for the newly developed CMOS sensor and consider deploying it in the field of video production for cinema production applications, TV dramas, commercials and more.

Categories: Equipment

Peak Design adds Range Pouch to Everyday lineup

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 4:51pm

Peak Design has added the Range Pouch to its lineup of versatile Everyday camera bags. The pouch is designed to carry a lens on a belt, in a bag or on a strap, and is available in three sizes. The smallest is designed for kit and prime lenses, and the large will fit up to a 70-200mm. The pouches pack down flat when not carrying a lens, and the larger models can be configured to fit a couple of smaller lenses stacked on top of each other.

Right now the Range Pouch is available as an add-on when you back Peak Design's current Kickstarter campaign. The small Range Pouch can be added for $29, the medium for $34 and the large for $39. Following the campaign, the small will cost $35, the medium $40 and the large $45.

Categories: Equipment

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 4K action cam unveiled with voice control

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 3:57pm
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Garmin has introduced the VIRB Ultra 30, a rugged action camera capable of recording 4K/30fps footage. Despite its small size, Garmin packs a bunch of sensors and features into the camera, including GPS, voice control to start recording, a touchscreen display and a high-sensitivity microphone. The VIRB offers what Garmin calls 3-axis image stabilization, but it's available up to 1440/60p, which leads us to believe it's digital.

In addition to 4K footage, the new VIRB action camera can record 720p/240fps slow motion video and can capture 12 megapixel still images. Content is stored on a microSD card. The touchscreen display works when the camera is enclosed in its waterproof case, as does the microphone, according to Garmin. That waterproof case includes an anti-glare coated and water-repellant lens.

In addition to changing settings via the touchscreen display, the VIRB Ultra 30 supports Sensory TrulyHandsfree voice control. Commands like ‘OK Garmin, remember that’ for tagging moments and ‘OK Garmin, start recording’ are supported. Additionally, the camera can be controlled remotely using the VIRB app on a tablet or smartphone. The VIRB app is complemented by the Garmin VIRB Edit desktop software for post-processing.

The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 is available in the U.S. now for $499, and will be available in the UK for £449 in Q3 2016.

Via: Garmin Blog

Categories: Equipment

DxO releases major firmware update and accessories for DxO One camera

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 3:01pm

DxO has released a significant firmware update and an expanded range of accessories for its DxO One camera. The improvements include remote operation over Wi-Fi, while the accessories include a waterproof case.

The firmware update finally enables the camera's Wi-Fi, making it possible to use it remotely. The camera can either create and ad hoc connection to an iOS device or can join an existing Wi-Fi network.

The Wi-Fi system uses the Apple Lightning connector to establish the communication between the two devices. These ad hoc connections should have a range of 10-15m, depending on how much radio traffic there is. Connections across existing Wi-Fi networks work over a greater range but use a slower transfer protocol.

The firmware update also improves both the camera's battery management and the battery level reporting, meaning you should be able to shoot for longer with the camera and have a clearer idea of how much battery life remains.


DxO has also launched a series of accessories that considerably extend the One's capabilities.

These include a footplate/tripod mount, that allows the camera to sit upright and includes both a standard tripod thread and Arca-Swiss-style flanges. These are closer together than usual, though, so it may not be compatible with all Arca-Swiss heads.

There's also a rugged case. This comes with two clip-on backs, one of which provides environmental sealing and allows the continued use of the touchscreen and a second that provides full water proofing (to a depth of 45m). The case includes a hinge attachment, making it compatible with many mounts and accessories designed for GoPros.

With the waterproof back attached, the camera's shooting mode can be changed by holding your hand over the lens for 3 seconds - allowing a degree of control without having to remove the camera from its case.

There's also a set of adapters to allow 30.5mm filters to be clipped onto the front of the camera. This makes it possible to add diopter lenses or optical filters to the camera easily.

The firmware update and associated iOS app will be free. The tripod stand will cost around $24.99/£19.99/€24,90, while the 'outdoor case' has a recommended price of $59.99/£49.99/€59,90.

Press Release

The DxO ONE award winning camera takes it one step further with two new state-of-the-art features

PARIS and SAN FRANCISCO—August 31, 2016—Camera manufacturer DxO announces major updates to the DxO ONE Miniaturized DSLR-quality Camera for iPhone, including Wi-Fi remote control and a new waterproof Outdoor Shell designed to further extend its elds of use. Upholding their promise to make the camera even better after you’ve bought it, Wi-Fi Remote Control will be available to all existing users free of charge via a forthcoming 2.0 software update. DxO’s accessories ecosystem also introduces an ultra-compact Stand and a snap-on Optical Adapter, enhancing creative possibilities for the DxO ONE which captures pro-quality photos and videos that you can share instantly to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and more.

DxO’s new Wi-Fi Remote Control implementation is remarkable in that it completely eliminates the cumbersome and altogether frustrating Wi-Fi con guration process that plagues every other Wi-Fi-equipped camera on the market. When attached via DxO’s patented Lightning connector, Apple iOS can seamlessly pass its Wi-Fi authentication credentials from the iPhone to the DxO ONE. In-house or in-of ce, users can take advantage of this unique DxO innovation that lets the camera immediately tap into the Wi-Fi network that your iPhone is already logged onto. And when traveling about, or out in the wilderness, your DxO ONE can just as easily create a direct Wi-Fi connection to your iPhone. By enabling remote connectivity between the DxO ONE camera and your iPhone, photographers are free to explore every conceivable photographic angle, while still having control over every capture setting, and the ability to easily view, edit and share their content to social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

“Last year, we revolutionized mobile photography by packing DSLR-quality into a camera design so incredibly small that it could always be available in our pocket,” said DxO CEO and founder, Jérôme Ménière. “And now, thanks to Wi-Fi Remote Control and our new accessories ecosystem, all our users can take the DxO ONE with them absolutely anywhere, without restrictions, and extend their creativity even further.”

The Outdoor Shell, compatible with all existing DxO ONE cameras, is extremely rugged and yet quick and easy to attach. The shell can be equipped with either of two waterproof back doors, one of which is splash proof (IP67), perfect for sailing or walks in the rain. The other is fully submersible and immersion proof to depths of 45m (150 ft) for scuba diving in a reef or just swimming in your pool. The design features a dual clamping system that snaps securely into place to protect your DxO ONE camera from water, dust and shock, while providing access to power switching and multiple capture modes without having to open the shell. Built to stand up to the elements, the Outdoor Shell is made from durable high end polymers and stainless steel. The shell accepts 30.5mm thread optical add-ons, features a 1⁄4-20 thread for tripod mounting, and can even be attached to popular Action Cam xtures and harnesses. Available in seven exciting colors including yellow, coral, lime, olive, black, white and lagoon, the waterproof Outdoor Shell is the perfect way to protect and personalize your DxO ONE.

The 2.0 software update also introduces Mobile Smart Lighting, a lighter-weight variant of the famed Smart Lighting feature in DxO OpticsPro, which automatically analyzes each scene and applies an intelligent and customizable global tone map—in this instance, to every photo you take with your DxO ONE. The overall effect is similar to having added a ll light to the picture, which dramatically enhances the dynamic range of your images. The automatic 2.0 update also includes signi cant enhancements to battery management and power consumption including an on-demand auto- focus mode similar to that of DSLRs, and an innovative underwater white balance that automatically compensates for the blue cast to achieve a more pleasant rendering in your underwater images.

“It seems every few months the team in Paris automatically updates my DxO ONE with cool new features,” said celebrated motorsports photographer, John Thawley. “Now, with remote Wi-Fi control I’m totally untethered. Combined with the protective shell, I’m free to place the camera in all sorts of new and discreet scenarios. This means I can capture high resolution images that just weren’t possible before... not with any camera!”

An e-store, accessible right from the DxO ONE app, allows you to easily order any of the new accessories including an ultra-compact Stand that uses an ingenious combination of clamps to let you balance your camera on almost any surface or mount it to a tripod. Also accessible via the e-store is a snap-on Optical Adapter that allows standard ND and creative lters, macro lenses, and hoods to be mounted in front of the lens of your DxO ONE camera. And of course, the accessories store also provides one stop access to the waterproof Outdoor Shell that lets you take your DxO ONE miniaturized camera where no DSLR or smartphone can go.

Pricing & Availability

The DxO ONE Miniaturized DSLR-quality Camera for iPhone and iPad is available now for pre-order at dxo.com and Amazon, and other respected retailers for £399 / 499 €. First customer availability is expected second half of September.

Also available in the same timeframe from select retailers, as well as via the new in-app e-store, are genuine DxO accessories designed to enhance the DxO ONE user experience. These include the waterproof Outdoor Shell for £49.99 / 59,90 €, the ultra- compact Stand for £19.99 / 24,90 €, the snap-on Optical Adapter for £19.99 / 24,90 €, and a protective quick-draw Zipped Pouch for £15.99 / 19,90 €.

The DxO ONE 2.0 iOS app and companion Apple Watch app will be made available as free software updates via the iTunes App Store, also available the second half of September. Every DxO ONE user is invited to download DxO Connect for Mac/PC, or on Mac DxO OpticsPro for Photos – DxO ONE camera only, both of which harness the power of the DxO OpticsPro photo engine to make your best DxO ONE photos look even better.

Categories: Equipment

Hasselblad True Zoom Moto Mod hands-on preview

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 2:30pm

At IFA in Berlin, Lenovo has revealed its latest Moto Mod detachable smartphone accessory module: The Hasselblad True Zoom. It's a camera module with a 10x zoom lens, physical shutter button, zoom lever and a Xenon flash. Like previous Moto Mods it attaches directly to a compatible phone – currently the Moto Z, Moto Z Force and also brand new Moto Z Play will work – magnetically and via a series of contacts on the back of the device. It offers the following specifications:

  • 12MP 1/2.3" CMOS sensor with 1.55 um pixel size
  • 25-250mm equivalent 10x zoom lens
  • 12MP
  • F3.5-6.5 aperture
  • ISO 100 to 3200
  • 1080p video 
  • 2 built-in microphones 
  • Physical two-stage shutter button and zoom lever
  • Xenon flash
  • 145g

We have had the chance to test a pre-production unit, attached to a Lenovo Moto Z Force, as well as with the new Z Play, for a few days. Read on to find out how we got on.

Operations and ergonomics

The docking process is extremely simple and quick. The Hasselblad True Zoom is literally 'sucked' in place on the back on the smartphone by magnetic force and usable instantly, without the need to restart the device. The process is much quicker and easier than, for example, attaching the LG G5 camera grip, which requires removal of the battery and a restart. It's also easier than pairing the Sony QX or Kodak Wi-Fi camera modules. 

Both smartphone and camera module come with electronic connection pins. Once the two devices get close the camera clips into place by magnetic force.

The module body is made from a solid-feeling plastic material and the rubberized grip makes it comfortable to hold. In terms of overall dimensions, weight and ergonomics the Moto Z Force with the attached True Zoom module feels not too dissimilar to the Samsung Galaxy Camera models, but gives you the option to remove the module when it's not needed. The physical shutter button supports half-pressing for locking exposure and AF and, like the zoom rocker, works just like on a compact camera. There is no noticeable lag, and overall operation is very responsive.  

With its rubberized grip the True Zoom feels comfortable and secure to hold. With an attached smartphone the combo feels similar to the Samsung Galaxy Camera series.

By default the True Zoom works with the standard Moto camera app, which makes things nice and easy for the user, as no adaption to a new user interface is required. More advanced users will appreciate the full manual control over shooting parameters in Manual Mode and the ability to save Raw files with the JPEG images. The final version of the app will come with a range of True Zoom-specific Hasselblad image modes, but those had not been implemented yet on our pre-production test device.

In the settings you select DNG Raw format. The final version of the True Zoom will come with a range of Hasselblad image modes.

You can also use the True Zoom module for capturing images straight from Instagram and similar apps but it appears that at this point manual control and Raw capture are not available in third-party camera apps that focus on photographic control, such as Manual camera or Camera FV-5.

Image Output

The 10x optical zoom is one of the True Zoom’s most obvious advantages over a smartphone camera and covers pretty much all focal lengths needed on a typical vacation or trip. The optical image stabilization works very efficiently and keeps things steady at longer focal lengths. On our pre-production unit sharpness does vary a bit across the zoom range though – at some settings there is noticeable softness around the edges. 

Wide angle, 25mm equivalent, ISO 100, 1/2000 sec

Tele, 250mm equivalent, ISO 100, 1/320 sec

In good light the True Zoom produces good exposure and consumer-friendly vibrant colors but in terms of pixel-level detail it does not offer any noticeable advantage over most built-in smartphone cameras. Images show the same smearing of finer low-contrast detail, highlight clipping and luminance noise levels at base ISO that you would expect from a smartphone camera. 

 ISO 100, 1/800 sec
 ISO 100, 1/500 sec

In lower light the True Zoom images are again on a similar level to built-in smartphone cameras. Image detail starts suffering as you go up the ISO scale and both luminance and chroma noise are becoming more noticeable. Partly this is caused by the comparatively slower apertures of the lens, especially at the longer end of the zoom range. Thanks to the efficient OIS camera shake is hardly an issue, even at longer focal lengths, but in Auto mode slow shutter speeds in low light can lead to motion blur on moving subjects. Thankfully shutter speeds can be manually increased, as long as you're happy to shoot at higher ISOs.

ISO 560, 1/30 sec
ISO 2500, 1/100 sec, manual exposure mode

The Xenon flash is another big advantage of the True Zoom module. It’s much more powerful than the LED flashes of smartphone cameras and allows for the illumination of subjects farther away from the lens, such as groups of people, and even some of the background. In our testing, exposure was good and we did not see any red-eye effect. In flash mode the camera also keeps the ISO low which makes for decent detail. 

 ISO 200, 1/30 sec, flash

The True Zoom also shoots 1080p video at 30 frames per second. Image quality is again on smartphone level but the module's big bonus is the zoom which, thanks to the very efficient OIS, allows for getting closer to your subject, even when recording handheld. The low light video below shot with the zoom set to approximately 150mm equivalent.

Studio test scene comparison

Below you can see how the Hasselblad True Zoom performs capturing our standard studio test scene, next to the Moto Z Play's built-in camera for comparison. 

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The Hasselblad True Zoom is the best smartphone camera add-on I have used so far. Attaching it to the phone is super-easy and quick. When it's not needed, it is swiftly removed and stored away. It feels nice in the hand and the controls work well. The zoom range is very useful and offers a big advantage over the fixed wide-angle lenses in smartphone cameras. The Xenon flash is much more powerful than a smartphone LED and helps keep the ISO down.

Those looking for premium-compact or even DSLR-like image quality will be disappointed, though. Looking at the True Zoom's sensor specification, it is no surprise that pixel-level detail and dynamic range are on very similar levels to built-in smartphone cameras. In terms of image quality, the optical zoom, robust image stabilization and Xenon flash are the module's real advantages.

Currently, the most obvious disadvantage is the fact that you can only use the Hasselblad True Zoom with a compatible smartphone. That said, the Lenovo Moto Z models are attractive devices in their own right and make a nice package with the module. I enjoyed using the True Zoom on a recent short vacation and, as a photographer, I really hope the module will be an economic success for Lenovo and its subdivision Motorola. This would mean that we'd be likely to see more models in this series. A 'Pro' version with shorter zoom range but larger sensor, and maybe a physical control dial, sounds like music to our ears.

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Categories: Equipment

Lenovo announces Hasselblad True Zoom camera module for Moto Z smartphones

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 2:30pm

Lenovo offers a range of detachable smartphone accessory modules, called Moto Mods, for its Moto Z series smartphones. So far a power pack, a speaker and a mini-projector have been available. Now the company has launched a new addition at IFA in Berlin that is especially interesting to mobile photographers: the Hasselblad True Zoom.

As its name suggests the True Zoom camera module was developed in cooperation with Swedish camera maker Hasselblad, and with its 10x zoom lens and Xenon flash it converts any Moto Z device into a connected travel zoom camera. Like the other Moto Mods, the True Zoom is attached to the smartphone via magnetic force and can be used instantly - no need to restart the device or pair the phone. Communication between the devices takes place via a range of electronic contact pins.

The True Zoom's body is made from a plastic material. Inside, images are captured on a 12MP 1/2.3" CMOS sensor with a 1.55 um pixel size. The zoom lens offers an equivalent range of 25-250mm and a F3.5-6.5 aperture. Optical image stabilization is on board as well, and the module can record 1080p Full-HD video.

Currently compatible smartphone models are the Lenovo Moto Z, Moto Z Force and the just-announced Moto Z Play mid-range phone that comes with a 16MP camera, 5.5" 1080p AMOLED display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor. We have had the chance to test the Hasselblad True Zoom on a Moto Z Force for a few days – you can read about our experience with the module in our hands-on review.

Lenovo's Moto Mod range includes a power pack, a speaker, a projector and now the new Hasselblad True Zoom camera module.

Hasselblad True Zoom Moto Mod key specifications:

  • 12MP 1/2.3" CMOS sensor with 
  • 25-250mm equivalent 10x zoom lens
  • 12MP
  • F3.5-6.5 aperture
  • ISO 100 to 3200
  • 1080p video
  • 2 built-in microphones
  • Physical two-stage shutter button and zoom lever
  • Xenon flash
  • 145g
Categories: Equipment

Lenovo announces Moto Z Play Android smartphone

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 2:30pm

Lenovo has announced the Moto Z Play smartphone at IFA in Berlin. The new model slots in below the Moto Z Force and Moto Z in Lenovo's current smartphone lineup and, like its sister models, is compatible with the Moto Mod range of detachable accessory modules, including the also newly announced Hasselblad True Zoom camera module.

With a 16MP CMOS sensor, F2.0 aperture, on-sensor phase detection, laser-assisted AF and dual-LED flash the rear camera specification sounds very similar to the Moto G Plus that was announced back in May but, unlike the G Plus, the Moto Z Play is capable of recording 4K video. At the front the new device features a 5MP camera with a 85 degree angle of view and LED-flash.

Android 6.01 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset with  a 2 GHz Octa-Core CPU. The device comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 2TB via a microSD slot. Images can be viewed on a 5.5" 1080p Full-HD Super AMOLED display and a fingerprint reader below the screen provides extra security.

The device body comes with a water repellent nano-coating and a USB Type-C port is used for charging and connection to other devices. Lenovo claims the 3510 mAh battery is good for 50 hours of mixed use, and it also features the company's TurboPower quick-charging which can give you up to 10 hours of usage in only 15 minutes of charging. 

Categories: Equipment

Lomography Lomo’Instant Automat camera launches on Kickstarter

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 2:28pm

Lomography has launched the Lomo’Instant Automat camera on Kickstarter, where it has already exceeded its $100k funding goal with 34 days remaining in the campaign. The Lomo’Instant Automat is, according to Lomography, an instant camera with two modes: an Automatic Mode that automatically adjusts shutter speed, aperture, and flash output, and Bulb Mode for long exposure shots up to 30 seconds in length.

Lomography describes the Lomo’Instant Automat as ‘small, yet mighty,’ able to shoot in a variety of situations including low-light environments. The camera features a built-in lens with a focal length equivalent of 35mm, a remote control lens cap, a dedicated exposure compensation button, the ability to enable and disable the flash, support for multiple exposures, and an LED exposure counter to track how much film is remaining.

The camera will be available in four colors – red, black, white, and yellow – and is compatible with a wide-angle lens, fisheye lens, ‘close-up’ lens, and interchangeable color gels. Says Lomography, a ‘nifty box’ of goodies with things like magnet stickers and photo clips are included with every camera.

The company offers several backing options on its crowdfunding campaign, including a ‘super early bird’ model in white or black for $96 USD, a ‘Kickstarter special’ for $112 USD, and a ‘super early bird combo’ for $115 USD. The company anticipates shipping backers their items starting in December 2016.

Via: Kickstarter

Categories: Equipment

Canon 5D Mark IV brings dramatic dynamic range improvements to the 5D line

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 2:16pm

Back when we were briefed by Canon about its update to one of the most popular line of digital SLRs in existence, Canon told us that dynamic range was one of the top concerns of current 5D-series owners. We're happy to report that the 5D Mark IV represents a major leap forward in this regard, and it's thanks to the same move to on-chip analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) that the 1D X II and 80D saw. It's been a long time coming for Canon, as placing the ADCs on the imaging chip itself is a staple of modern image sensor design.

This design ensures less noise is added to the analog signal captured by the sensor by digitizing* as early as possible, resulting in lower read noise, which you can think of as background amplifier hum. The lower 'hum' means its easier to distinguish between captured information and background noise in areas of low signal. In turn, this means more malleable Raw files with more useful information available when you try to brighten shadows, allowing you in turn to more confidently expose high contrast scenes, like the one below, for the highlights.

This shot was exposed for the highlights by keeping ISO near base. In M mode I dialed in a wide-open aperture and the shutter speed necessary to freeze the action (1/640s). In order to ensure I didn't blow any of the sky, I kept my ISO down at 140, despite a meter reading suggesting ISO 2200 for a 'proper' exposure. Pushing shadows 4 EV in post, while holding back the highlights, I was able to tonemap the scene to my desired vision, without tones becoming too noisy. Thanks to a high dynamic range sensor. Photo: Rishi Sanyal

Below we look at just how malleable the 5D Mark IV's Raw files are, and on the next page we'll assess the 'ISO-invariance' of the camera, the property that allowed for the capture of the above image without noise penalty.

Exposure Latitude

One of the most easily understandable ramifications of increased base ISO dynamic range is increased processing latitude; that is, the ability to brighten Raw exposures without drastic noise penalty (there will always be some penalty due to shot noise). This can be particularly useful in dealing with high contrast scenes, which require conventional underexposure to prevent bright tones from clipping to white, with requisite shadow brightening - or tone-mapping - to make dark tones visible on our current dim display technologies.

So in this test we look to see how tolerant of pushing exposure the 5D Mark IV's Raw files are. We've done this by exposing our scene with increasingly lower exposures, then pushing them back to the correct brightness using Adobe Camera Raw. Examining what happens in the shadows allows you to assess the exposure latitude (essentially the dynamic range) of the Raw files.**

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The 5D Mark IV shows significant improvements in exposure latitude thanks to its increased dynamic range. After a 5 EV push, it's well ahead of the 5DS which, despite its old sensor design with off-chip analog-to-digital conversion, was already 2/3 EV ahead of the 5D Mark III. That places the 5D IV well ahead of its predecessor, nearly catching up to the excellent Sony a7R II. Despite it's improvements, it's not at the level of the current industry leader, the Nikon D810, though. After a 6 EV push$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2774").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2774); }); }), the 5D Mark IV falls further behind the a7R II and D810, but the improvement over the 5DS is even more dramatic.

Digging a bit deeper: the 5D IV shows improvements over the 5DS with even more moderate 3-4 EV pushes$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2768").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2768); }); }), but especially so when files are pushed 5-6 EV$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2770").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2770); }); }). This means you'll see the advantages of the on-chip ADC in the form of less noise not just with drastic exposure adjustments, but even more moderate ones. Results are about on par with, if not slightly better than, the 1D X II$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2769").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2769); }); }). And while the 5D IV falls just slightly short of the Sony a7R II, the differences are really only visible after fairly extreme pushes$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2771").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2771); }); }).

Differences against the current dynamic range market-leader, the D810, start becoming apparent$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2767").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2767); }); }) after even a 3 EV push, and fairly significant after a 6 EV push. The D810 can perform so well because of even lower read noise, and increased sensor capacity for light at ISO 64 that gives its files a nearly medium format-esque quality.

On the next page, we'll look at how ISO-invariant the 5D Mark IV is, and also directly compare the Mark IV to its predecessor, the Mark III.

* Digital signals tend to be more 'protected' or immune to noise than analog signals, because they're binary. It's the same reason CDs (digital) don't exhibit the pops and crackle of records (analog).

** Differences in noise performance in our Exposure Latitude test are caused by both read noise and shot noise, the latter of which is mainly determined by the amount of light the camera has had access to. Therefore, one might argue the results are only directly comparable between cameras of the same sensor size. However, sensor size differences will also be relevant in real-world shooting if you're limited by what shutter speed you can keep steady, so this test also gives you an idea of the amount of processing latitude different formats give when light-limited.

Categories: Equipment

Hasselblad X1D-50c shipments delayed until September 15

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 4:11pm

Shipment of the Hasselblad X1D-50C has been delayed for a couple of weeks, according to a listing on B&H Photo. The retailer’s product page now shows a shipment start date of September 15, two weeks later than the previously given August 30 date.

Hasselblad's 100MP H6D has also missed its target ship date, though by a much greater margin: announced in April, it's currently listed as unavailable at B&H. Hasselblad announced a trade-up deal for those waiting for the H6D-100c; customers can purchase a 50MP H6D-50c and only pay the difference to trade up for the 100MP back when the H6D-100c becomes available. Earthquake damage to Sony Japan's sensor facilities has been cited as the root cause of that delay.

Via: Mirrorless Rumors

Categories: Equipment

Lytro Immerge VR footage showcased for the first time

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 2:49pm

Last November, Lytro unveiled Immerge, a pro-grade camera rig for producing cinematic VR content using the company’s light field technology. At the time, Lytro offered interested partners and studios the option to checkout a prototype of the rig, but little had been said since. That changed last week, with Lytro publishing a demonstration video showing footage created by its rig as seen through an Oculus Rift VR headset.

Lytro’s Immerge produces content by capturing data from all directions around the rig, using that to generate views for VR footage. The resulting footage can be presented in a few different forms: as spherical videos, 180-degree and 360-degree immersive videos, and there’s also the option for seamless capture. Unlike most VR cameras on the market, though, Immerge is being targeted at large studios and others interested in producing cinematic VR content. As demonstrated in the video below, these studios can use Immerge’s end-to-end system to blend CG elements into the footage without using a traditional green screen.

It's not clear which companies have partnered with Lytro. However, Lytro VP of engineering Tim Milliron said in a statement to The Verge, ‘What I can say is definitely in Q1 of 2017 you should be seeing several kinds of these kinds of experiences out in the real world from other content producers that we’re working with today.' The rig’s price hasn’t been revealed, but previous statements from the company pegs it at 'multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars.'

Via: The Verge

Categories: Equipment

Putting Image Microadjust to the test on the Canon 5D Mark IV

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 1:03pm

One of the most discussed features of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is Image Microadjust. This uses the slight difference in perspective between the left and right-facing halves of the split 'dual' pixels to fine-tune the effective focus point of the images.

Like everyone else, we were interested to see what degree of refocusability this gave.

If you're wondering: 'will this let me correct which eye my portrait is focused on?' The answer is a resounding 'no'. Indeed, even if the question is: 'can I shift the focus back from the eye lashes to get the iris sharp,' the answer isn't much more positive.

Dual Pixel Image Microadjustment

We set up the 5D Mark IV with EF 35mm F1.4L II USM at F1.4, set up at approximately 25x focal length distance from our LensAlign target. The Dual Pixel Raw file was then processed in Digital Photo Professional (DPP) to see how much the maximum backward and forward adjustments could move focus.

+5 (Max backward adjustment) 0 (No adjustment) -5 (Max forward adjustment)

AF (Lens) Microadjustment

For comparison, here's the amount of adjustment that can be achieved using AF microadjustment - the traditional method for calibrating your lens to your body to correct back/front-focus issues. The rollover starts at +1 as this is the degree of adjustment needed by this lens on this body.

 +20  +10  +3  +2  +1  0  -1  -2  -3  -10  -20

Real-world difference

To demonstrate the real-world impact image microadjust might have on a traditional head-shot portrait, we shot Carey with an EF 85mm F1.8 at F1.8.

This portrait was very slightly front focused, so we tested the degree to which it can be refocused, backwards. For each of the adjustments, 'Strength' was set to 10 to maximize the input from one set of pixels.

+5 (Max backward adjustment) 0 (No adjustment) -5 (Max forward adjustment)

Interestingly, it appears the images become noticeably softer when you apply forward or backward adjustment, so there's a chance that slightly better-looking results will be possible if you apply higher levels of sharpening to the microadjusted images. However, the degree of correction we're seeing is so small that we wonder whether it's worth the additional effort of having to incorporate the DPP software into your workflow, especially given the relatively long opening times required for each image, even on a fast computer. Or the doubling in file size.

Overall, traditional 'AF microadjustment' is a much more powerful tool for achieving pinpoint sharpness and ensuring any particular lens is properly calibrated to your body. Dual Pixel Raw's primary value, in this particular incarnation, is questionable, as it will only be useful for very minor focus shifts, rather than as a general tool for correcting focus error. That said, the technology itself is promising, and we hope to see more capable future iterations as Canon iterates on the technology.

Categories: Equipment