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Updated: 13 min 5 sec ago

Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV review

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:46am

Introduction

The Sony DSC-RX10 IV is premium superzoom bridge-camera (DSLR-like form factor) with a 24-600mm F2.4-4 equivalent zoom lens and a 20MP 1"-type stacked BSI-CMOS sensor: the same used by the Sony RX100 V. This new sensor brings phase detect autofocus to the RX10 series for the first time, adding the depth-awareness that is important for focusing long lenses. The camera is also faster than its predecessor and can shoot at 24 fps with AF and auto exposure (compared to 5 fps).

The processor is borrowed from the flagship Sony a9, which should mean excellent subject tracking. In short, this camera packs speed, AF ability and lens reach into a convenient package, not to mention 4K video. So is it the most capable all-in-one camera on the market? Read on...

Key specs:

  • 20MP 1"-type stacked BSI-CMOS sensor
  • 24-600mm equivalent F2.4-4 stabilized zoom lens
  • 24 fps burst shooting in JPEG + Raw, with full AF and AE
  • 315-point phase-detection autofocus system covers 65% of frame
  • Detailed 4K video capture with well-controlled rolling shutter
  • High frame rate video capture
  • Touchscreen
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Updated menus

We feel like this camera will appeal to a variety of users including those seeking an all-in-one camera with serious reach for casual shooting, travel or vacationing. But advanced videographers may also find this camera tempting thanks to a laundry list of video features and good quality UHD capture.

Key features compared

The body is almost identical to that of its predecessor, using the same outstanding lens. However the RX10 IV offers a touchscreen that can be used as a touchpad for placing AF points with your eye to the finder or for selecting a point of focus in still or video mode. There are a few other minor differences between the two cameras as well:

Sony RX10 IV Sony RX10 III Sony RX10 II Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic
FZ2500
MSRP $1699 $1499 $1199 $899 $1199
Sensor 20MP 1"-type stacked CMOS sensor 20MP 1"-type stacked CMOS 20MP 1"-type stacked CMOS 20MP 1"-type BSI-CMOS 20MP 1"-type BSI-CMOS
ISO range (native) 100-12800 100-12800 100-12800 125-12800 125-12800
Lens (35mm equivalent) 24-600mm F2.4-4 24-600mm F2.4-4 24-200mm F2.8 25-400mm F2.8-4 24-480mm F2.8-4.5
Built-in ND filter No No Yes No Yes
AF system Phase detect Contrast detect Contrast detect Contrast detect Contrast detect
AF points 315-point 25-pt 25-pt 49-pt 49-pt
Fastest shutter speed

1/32,000 sec
(e-shutter), 1/2000 (mechanical)

1/32,000 sec
(e-shutter),
1/2000 (mechanical)

1/32000 sec
(e-shutter),
1/2000 (mechanical)

1/16000 sec
(e-shutter), 1/4000 (mechanical)

1/16000 sec
(e-shutter), 1/4000 (mechanical)

EVF resolution 2.36m-dot 2.36m-dot 2.36m-dot 2.36m-dot 2.36m-dot
LCD 3" 1.44M-dot tilting 3" 1.23M-dot tilting 3" 1.23M-dot tilting 3" 921k-dot fully articulated 3" 1.04M-dot fully articulating
Touscreen Yes No No No Yes
Burst rate 24 fps 14 fps 14 fps 12 fps 12 fps
Video 4K/30p 4K/30p 4K/30p 4K/30p 4K/30p
High-speed video Up to 960 fps @ 800 x 270

Up to 960 fps @ 800 x 270 Up to 960 fps @ 800 x 270 120 fps @ 1920 x 1080 120 fps @ 1920 x 1080
Wi-Fi Yes, with NFC and Bluetooth Yes, with NFC Yes, with NFC Yes Yes
Battery life (CIPA) 400 shots 420 shots 400 shots 360 shots 350 shots
Weather sealing Yes Yes Yes No No
Dimensions 133 x 94 x 145mm 133 x 94 x 127mm 129 x 88 x 102mm 137 x 99 x 131mm 138 x 102 x 135 mm
Weight 1095 g 1051 g 813 g 831 g 915 g

As you can see, the RX10 IV stacks up nicely next to its siblings and direct competitors. For someone primarily concerned with stills, the RX10 IV seems like the obvious choice, especially if you plan on shooting action: it's got the fastest burst rate of the bunch and is the only camera in its class with phase detection.

But for videographers, the FZ2500 with its fully-articulating touchscreen, built-in variable ND filter and similar zoom range might make it the more sensible choice, especially given its lower price point (though we found its lens performance inferior to its Sony counterparts). You don't get the cool, super-high-speed frame rate options offered by the Sony cameras, but 1080/120p is not too shabby.

Availability

The RX10 IV is available now for an MSRP of $1699.

Categories: Equipment

Google explains the Pixel 2 hybrid video stabilization

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:32am

Most smartphone cameras, even those with optical image stabilization systems, rely on electronic stabilization only for stabilizing video footage. Google's new Pixel 2 devices however are managing to combine both optical and electronic stabilization for ultra-smooth handheld footage and panning.

A new post on the Google Research Blog now explains in quite some detail how the system is working. As you would expect from a software company like Google, advanced algorithms making use of the company's expertise in the area of machine learning are the key to the solution.

Motion information is collected from the optical stabilizer and the device's built-in gyroscope. In a next step the Pixel 2 devices then use a filtering algorithm that pushes video frames into a deferred queue, analyzes them and uses machine learning to predict where and how the camera is going to move next.

The system can correct for more types of motion than conventional stabilization systems, including wobbling, rolling shutter and even focus hunting. Virtual motion is used to correct for strong variation in sharpness when the device is moved very quickly.

The system might still have scope for improvement but with a video score of 96, including a very high sub-score of 93 for stabilization, the Pixel 2 is already performing very well in the DxOMark Mobile ranking and makes us look forward to future generations of Google's AI-powered hybrid stabilization system. For more detail read the original article on the Google Research Blog.

Categories: Equipment

Ten Nikon D5 DSLRs will arrive at the International Space Station tomorrow

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 4:39pm

Back in August, NASA's love affair with Nikon cameras made the news when the space agency ordered 53 unmodified Nikon D5 DSLRs that it would use on the International Space Station and for 'training purposes' here on Earth. Ten of those D5 cameras are scheduled to make it to the ISS this week.

Packed aboard the Orbital ATK OA-8 Space Station Cargo Resupply Mission that took off this Sunday at 7:19am Eastern time, the camera are scheduled to arrive at the ISS tomorrow morning around 4:50am (you can actually watch live coverage of the rendezvous on NASA TV starting at 3:15am).

Nikon tells us that NASA is "reusing Nikon lenses and accessories previously launch with the Nikon D4 and D2Xs cameras," and planning to keep the D5 cameras in circulation for 12-18 months. With any luck, the astronauts aboard the space station will use them to capture more images like these:

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NASA's relationship with Nikon began in 1971, when the Nikon Photomic FTN (a modified Nikon F) went to the moon with the astronauts of Apollo 15. Fast forward to 2008, and NASA ordered its first digital cameras for use in space, a set of six Nikon D2XS DSLRs, followed by an order for 11 Nikon D3S cameras in 2009, 38 Nikon D4 DSLRs in 2013, and another 10 D4s in 2016.

The only question now, I suppose, is when is the Space Agency going to replace its glass? NASA's latest order of Nikon glass was placed in 2013, when 64 NIKKOR lenses were delivered to the space agency. If astronaut photographers are anything like us Earth-bound folk, that means they've been drooling over 'better' lenses than they currently have since about... three days after they got those lenses.

Categories: Equipment

Kodak will lay off 425 employees after reporting millions in losses

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 2:22pm

Kodak recently disclosed its third quarter fiscal results, revealing that it had a GAAP net loss of $46 million on $379 million in revenues during its Q3 2017. This marks a sharp downturn of fortunes for Kodak, which saw $12 million in net earnings during the same quarter last year. "An overall print market slowdown and rising aluminum costs have impacted our commercial print business," explained Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke in a release.

Clarke went on to explain that Kodak is, "taking immediate actions to accelerate cost reduction and reduce investments to sharpen our focus as we continue to actively pursue changes to the Kodak product and divisional portfolio." According to New York Upstate, "accelerate cost reduction" translates to the Eastman Kodak Company cutting 425 jobs.

The quarter had its upsides for Kodak, however, which reports that its Kodak Sonora Plates saw a 24% growth in Q3 and its Flexcel NX revenue grew 2% year-on-year. Overall, Kodak's CFO David Bullwinkle said the company anticipates generating cash during Q4 2017. "We plan to improve our cash balance through reducing working capital and through cost actions," Bullwinkle explained, "including focusing investments in technologies most likely to deliver near-term returns."

Categories: Equipment

Stunning 'orbital drone-lapse' captured by flying a drone in huge circles

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 2:00pm

It's difficult to stand out when creating a time-lapse these days—from the storm-lapses of Mike Oblinski, to the 'flow-motion' hyperlapses of Rob Whitworth, to the award-winning work of Michael Shainblum, it seems like it's all been done. Until, that is, someone comes up with something like 'Low Earth Orbit.'

This drone-lapse from Folegandros Island, Greece was captured by Hong Kong-based production company Visual Suspect using a simple 'orbital' technique; translation: they flew a drone in massive circles while recording time-lapse.

The results look like something out of Google Earth, but instead of static low-res images from orbit, you have living landscapes captured in HD. Here's an explanation of the "how" and "why" by the creators themselves:

Orbital drone movements are the ones with power to convert two dimensional images into dancing focal layers escaping out of the frame. We wanted to further explore the technique, with high altitude long orbits, along with ones very close to the ground, we call them "Orbital drone-lapses". These shots are a mix of automatic and manual flights.

Categories: Equipment

Professional photographers explain why they shoot Panasonic Lumix

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 9:13am

Being a professional photographer used to mean carrying around heavy SLRs and medium-format camera, tripods and cumbersome accessories. As cameras have evolved to become smaller and smaller, those days are over.

Panasonic was a pioneer in the mirrorless camera market, and over the past decade its G and GH-series cameras have been adopted by a wide range of photographers, including professionals in various different fields. In a new video by filmmaker Griffon Hammond, professional photographers Daniel J. Cox, Ben Grunow, William Innes and Jennifer Maring explain why they choose to shoot with Panasonic Lumix cameras.

Panasonic's latest G-series camera is the impressive flagship Lumix DC G9, which features a suite of powerful features including high frame-rate stills shooting and 4K video.

Read more about the G9 here

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Categories: Equipment

Affinity Photo for iPad Review

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 9:00am

Affinity Photo for iPad
$20 | Affinity.serif.com | Buy Now

We’ve come to expect less from iOS software on the iPad compared to desktop applications because, in most cases, they’re mobile—and “mobile” has traditionally meant “limited.” A lot of that has been due to hardware: even as the iPad’s main processors improved, most models included a minimal amount of RAM that made it difficult to pull off operations expected of a modern image editor, such as smoothly dealing with many layers and real-time effects.

The arrival of the iPad Pro, along with a commitment in iOS to take advantage of the hardware, has opened the door for more powerful applications. One of those apps is Affinity Photo for iPad, a full-fledged image editor that doesn’t feel as if the developers had to remove features from a whiteboard to make the app a reality. Whereas some companies have chosen to make multiple apps that specialize in a few image editing features—a big photography shop that begins with an A comes to mind—Serif has packed the gamut of features into Affinity Photo for iPad. It’s not a literal translation from the desktop version, nor should it be.

Key Features

  • Full suite of image editing features
  • Sophisticated layers enable compositing
  • Projects can be edited in Affinity Photo for iPad and desktop
  • Interface smartly designed for touch operation

Allow me to head off a common talking point at the outset: Yes, devices such as the Microsoft Surface give you a mobile tablet experience running desktop applications, including Serif’s Affinity Photo for Windows. That works for some people, and not for others, for various reasons. A few readers commented in our review of Affinity Photo for Mac that the performance of the Windows version lags on some systems.

Affinity Photo for iPad runs on the following models: iPad Air 2, iPad 2017, iPad Pro 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, and 12.9-inch.

Importing Photos

If you’re importing photos from a camera’s memory card, they must still be transferred using the default method of copying them first to the Photos app. However, you can also import from cloud sources, such as iCloud Drive, Dropbox, Google Drive, and others. Under iOS 11, this is made easier by tying into the architecture used by Apple’s Files app, which also acts as go-between for other apps that support it. For example, Affinity Photo can copy images directly from the app Cascable, which is a utility for transferring images using the Wi-Fi built into some cameras.

We’re accustomed to simply opening an image file to work on it; as long as your files are stored on some cloud platform or a compatible app, you can do the same on the iPad

This seems like a pedestrian point to make—ooh, thrilling, opening files!—but Apple’s traditional insistence that everything pass through the Photos app has always been just awkward enough to be annoying. In Affinity Photo, it’s possible to open images, including Raw files, without going through the Photos workflow. On the desktop, we’re accustomed to simply opening an image file to work on it; as long as your files are stored on some cloud platform or a compatible app, you can do the same on the iPad.

Interface and Workflow

A long list of features is impressive (and there are plenty of features), but if using them is frustrating, people won’t stick with the app. Affinity Photo has wisely tailored the interface for a small-screen, touch-based experience. The layout of tools and modes prioritizes visibility of the image you’re editing.

Tools are arranged around the edges of the screen, taking up minimal space.
The main tools, called out by pressing the ? button.

It’s an efficient use of space that may seem confusing at first—and occasionally requires some exploration until you’re familiar with it—but the interface has been well thought out.

For instance, the controls for adjusting brush sizes and other tool properties seem almost clumsy at first. Instead of customary sliders for everything, a tool’s options appear at the bottom of the screen as configurable circles. To make a brush larger, for example, drag from the middle of the control up or to the right; the pixel dimensions appear in the middle, and a solid border snakes around the perimeter to indicate how far the value is from the maximum or minimum value. The same mechanism controls opacity, flow, hardness, and other attributes. Tap the More button there to reveal a screenful of other options, such as blending mode, wet edges, and custom dynamics that affect Apple Pencil interaction.

That’s not intuitive if your brain has been wired to use Photoshop, or even Affinity Photo on the desktop. But it’s no coincidence that the control is finger-sized. Since it’s occupying a small portion of the bottom of the screen, you get control without sacrificing a lot of screen real estate. That said, using the gesture seems almost sloppy at times, because the sensitivity depends on the speed and distance you move your finger or Pencil.

Controls are easily available using your left hand, leaving the right hand for applying edits or making selections.

As with the desktop version of Affinity Photo, the app is split into multiple personas (modules). The Photo persona contains most of the editing tools, layers, and the like. Opening Raw files brings you into the Develop persona to apply Raw edits, which you must apply before you can access the app’s other personas and editing tools; you can also edit individual layers in the Develop persona. The Liquify persona gives you control over pushing, pulling, and warping pixels for retouching purposes. And the Tone Mapping persona applies HDR style effects to a layer.

Additionally, “studios” along the side break out tasks and other tools, such as Layers, Adjustments, Filters, Color, and so forth.

Different from the desktop software is a Selections persona that’s dedicated to making selections. It’s a bit odd to switch to a new persona just to select areas of an image, but after a short amount of time I appreciated that its 11 tools were all exposed by switching personas, versus tapping and waiting on a tool to reveal its alternates (which still happens for many of the basic tools), or digging through menus, as in the desktop software.

One thing you’ll find yourself doing often is working two-handed. For instance, with an Apple Pencil in my right hand and working in the Selections persona, I can quickly toggle between the Add and Subtract modes of the Smart Selection Brush tool using my left hand, just as if I were using Option or Alt on the desktop. Commands such as Deselect or Invert Selection are a finger-tap away at the top toolbar. Turning on Left-Handed Mode reverses the interface.

Categories: Equipment

Sony a7R III Pixel Shift lifts a veil off your landscapes

Sun, 11/12/2017 - 10:00am

Sony's replacement of its popular a7R II comes packed with new features, most of them aimed at performance, ergonomic and autofocus improvements. But there are image quality improvements as well, like more dynamic range, but also a new Pixel Shift feature that hasn't yet been talked about much.

Cameras with sensor-shift mechanisms are increasingly offering these pixel shift modes by precisely moving the sensor in one pixel increments to sample each color at every position, thereby overcoming the downsides of the Bayer filter array. And getting you sharper images with less moiré, with potentially less noise thanks to multi-sampling and less math required to figure out the R, G and B colors at each pixel. How does this look in the real-world? Explore our Pixel Shift vs. non-Pixel Shift Raw comparison below (Raws processed using Sony Imaging Edge with all sharpening and noise reduction settings zeroed out, and only tonal adjustments applied to deal with the high scene contrast):

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Move around the image and you'll see a marked increase in clarity almost everywhere. The buildings' windows are sharper and clearer, all the foliage far more defined... these Pixel Shift results are frankly astounding for static scenes. It's like a veil has been lifted off your scene: something landscape photographers will simply love. All details are clearer, crisper, and there is no hint of moiré anywhere. The last time I saw this jump in clarity was going from a Rebel with kit lens to a 5D with L-series lens, to put this in perspective.

Last time I saw this jump in clarity was going from a kit lens on a Rebel to an L-lens on a 5D

And it's not because of extra sharpening (which would come at the cost of more noise, which we don't see), but because of the extra sampling. We'd also expect a decrease in noise, but we can't quite tell here because of the non-standard workflow and because - to the credit of the a7R III's dynamic range - this sunset scene still doesn't have enough dynamic range to challenge the a7R III and make shadows visibly noisy.* That's saying a lot.

This sunset scene doesn't have enough dynamic range to challenge the a7R III. That says a lot.

What's more: Sony's recent lenses have enough resolving power to take advantage of this mode. You see the resolution increase at least partly because the lenses have enough resolving power to take advantage of the extra pixel-level sampling (theoretically, increasing the resolution of any part of the imaging chain has the potential to increase sharpness, but your lens needs to resolve enough to begin with to see the dramatic differences we're seeing here). You can't always take that for granted (see the limited increase in resolution of Pixel Shift modes on Micro Four Thirds cameras in our studio scene, for example).

Studio Scene Comparison

We know you're itching to compare these results to all our other cameras, including those with their own Pixel Shift modes. Well, here you have it (Phase One 100MP camera is included as a benchmark so you know what the details are actually supposed to look like in our scene):

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The first thing you might notice is the lack of moire in our saturated color wheels, something even the Phase One 100MP sensor fails at. The Pentax K-1 offers a similar performance here: sampling three primaries at each pixel position helps overcome the color aliasing typically associated with Bayer filters.

Pixel Shift removes color aliasing in the newspaper print$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-3794--1566952198").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(3794); }); }) as well (check back above). It also produces less moire in the black and white text$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-3798-785963340").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(3798); }); }) of our scene. The lack of moire and increased resolution allows you to read down to the last line with ease - something the a7R II can't claim.

You can even start to see the texture in our color wheel$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-3795-1120823446").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(3795); }); }) that not even the Pentax in Pixel Shift mode (much less the original a7R II) can resolve. The Phase One and Pentax medium format cameras are the only other cameras sharing that honor.

Traditional cameras with Bayer arrays particularly resolve less in saturated colors, where the lower resolution of the red or blue pixels really starts to show. So take a look at the massive increase in resolution in our saturated threads$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-3796--2100605088").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(3796); }); }). You can resolve individual strands the a7R II - or a7R III without Pixel Shift - don't show. The K-1 does well here too, but remember the a7R III images are processed through Sony 'Imaging Edge', and we expect things to improve once Adobe provides support (which, to our understanding, it will).

Just generally speaking there's more detail throughout our scene: take a look at our Beatles patch$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-3797--29172716").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(3797); }); }). You can make out individual threads otherwise only visible to the Phase One. The increased resolution of the a7R III over the K-1 probably helps resolve more threads, though the incredibly sharp Sony FE 85/1.8 may have some role to play here as well.

If you're curious how well the 50MP Canon 5DS R compares: not so well. Individual threads are not well resolved$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-3800--1236522308").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(3800); }); }) (if not noisy, particularly in the reds), and color aliasing$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-3801--202191445").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(3801); }); }) can be an issue.

Are we impressed?

How could we not be? Landscape, cityscape and architecture photographers will absolutely love this new feature paired with the already excellent sensor in the a7R III - as long as they steer clear of (or clone out) moving objects in the scene. The increase in resolution and decrease in aliasing Pixel Shift brings is obvious in both our studio scene and real world result. It's frankly dramatic in the latter.

Are we impressed? How could we not be? Landscape, cityscape and architecture photographers will love this

There can be obvious artifacts in anything moving though, so that's a potentially significant (albeit expected) caveat for landscapes with motion (water, fast clouds), telephoto shots prone to movement from wind and vibrations, etc. You'll want to use a sturdy tripod with a remote release or self-timer. Furthermore, for now, using Sony's 'Imaging Edge' software is clunky, but once Adobe incorporates support, we can't wait to start shooting landscapes and perhaps tougher subjects in this mode to see how well it copes.

* That said, this was still a high dynamic range scene that we exposed for the highlights and tone-mapped in post using Sony's 'Imaging Edge' software (the only option for processing Pixel Shift files at the moment). So shadows have been lifted many stops - yet remain noise free. You'll have to excuse the somewhat flat result, as we didn't have access to the tools we're used to to tonemap HDR images while retaining proper local contrast. More to come...

Categories: Equipment

Shooting an Olympic sailor in action using remote high speed sync

Sun, 11/12/2017 - 10:00am

This article was originally published on Luminous Landscapes, and is being republished in full on DPReview with express permission from Terry McDonagh.

In January of last year, I was commissioned to shoot some dramatic action shots of an Olympic sailor; however, I did some image research and wasn’t overly impressed by any images I found, so I decided that a good approach would be to try and light the subject and by doing so I could afford to underexpose the available light.

This would help add to the drama, plus in doing so I would be able to get some light into the water spray coming off the boat. In order to get this shot, I needed to freeze the action using a high shutter speed and combine that with flash, so how was I going to achieve all that?

Obviously, I needed to use flash, but I knew I would be shooting at a high shutter speed, so it had to be high-speed sync (HSS). The beauty of HSS is that it allows you to shoot at a high shutter speed whilst still syncing the flash, which was unheard of a few years ago.

I decided that I would use two flashes, both for the extra power and to avoid any redundancy due to the high risk of this particular situation. I was attaching a flash to a boat which could easily capsize, and I was doing it in January when, due to it being 3°C, the batteries weren’t going to last too long. In other words: I was only getting one chance to nail this job, so I had to minimize the chances of anything going wrong.

Flashes facing Starboard

I had used HSS before, but never remotely and not on the water, which was all a bit daunting.

To prepare, I did a bit of research on trigger systems and decided on a Phottix Laso trigger for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it would trigger my Canon 600EX-RT directly, via the built-in radio on the flash. Second, it came with a separate receiver for my Canon 580 EX-ll, which meant I could control both units remotely from one base unit. And finally, the receiver had a metal hot-shoe mount, which I wanted, as I knew that the gear was going to get bounced around out there so I wasn’t risking any plastic hot-shoe mounts.

Flying along flashes pointing to starboard

The next part of the jigsaw puzzle was the batteries, as HSS is really hard on batteries and the faster the shutter speed, the higher the power drain. I did some more research and came across some ‘Panasonic Eneloop pro rechargeable’s’, apparently the best. I purchased a few sets of them, tested them in the cold, and found they were amazing.

Which brought me to my next major problem: waterproofing the flash units. There was a strong chance that they would be submerged if the boat capsized, and having sailed a Lazer, the boat that I would be shooting, a few times, I knew that these boats flip over very easily. To counter this issue, I developed a triple bagging system using some freezer bags.

When I submerged the flash in a bucket of water to test, it stayed watertight: Happy Days!

The trick was to place one bag over the complete unit and then mount it to the hot-shoe. Then I placed another bag over this, but upside down, and a third one over the spigot so that it was completely sealed.

Flashes bagged up and tethered.

Then it was just a matter of pushing the spigot into the Manfrotto clamp which was attached to the boom of the boat.

Flashes pointing to port.

I headed down to the yacht club to do a technical recce and try to attach the gear to the boat and figure out all my settings.

I settled on mounting the units upside down, firstly so that the sail would not damage them, and also because I was afraid they might rotate with any impacts, plus I reckoned there would be fewer forces on them if they were not top heavy. I used a Manfrotto super clamp as it has a secondary safety lock, so I was able to instruct Annalise how to open the clamp and rotate the speed-lights.—every time she did a tack she rotated the units so they were always facing her, and she was brilliant at doing it. Her sailing wasn’t too shabby either.

Total control

So, I had designed a system that I could remotely fire, adjust exposure and rotate, and it was waterproof... pretty cool! Next thing was to get out there and see how it all worked.

On the day of the shoot, conditions were perfect: overcast, but with some nice contrast. I was getting a light reading of around 1/640 @ F3.2 iso 500. I underexposed by around two stops to try and get some drama into the images but without making it look too much like nighttime.

We headed out to sea about 4 km out as that’s where the wind was and I wanted little or no background buildings etc. in the images. To preserve the batteries I left the units off until we reached our destination, This proved to be a bit of a mistake as the boats were dancing around a lot, so much so that I almost fell in trying to locate the switches on both speed-lights and the receiver, and through the Ziploc bags it proved very tricky.

Luckily my very quick-witted boatman spotted this and grabbed me at the last moment, otherwise I honestly would have gone into the water with a 5DSr and a 70-200mm lens plus my phone etc. Thank god is all I can say.

We shot for approximately an hour, as that was long enough for both Annalise and me, and the batteries were getting very low on energy. I reckoned I had the images I needed in the bag.

Annalise loving the conditions.

I was shooting on a Canon 5DSr with a 70-200mm lens. Final settings were 1/640 @F3.2 and iso160. I had considered using a faster camera but the flash wouldn’t have kept up with it so I just stuck with the higher 50MP camera, which was important as we were using the image on billboards etc. so the higher the quality the better.

The shoot worked out brilliantly. The hardest bit was trying to maintain focus on Annalise, and trying to keep the horizon level; plus, watching all the other elements meant that after an hour of this type of thing you’re pretty burnt out.

When we finished, Annalise nearly fainted when she heard that there was approximately €2k worth of gear attached to her boat. She said had she known she wouldn’t have sailed so hard! I didn’t believe that for one minute.

Wind just died, time for home.

Based in Dublin, Terry works for leading advertising, design and architectural agencies throughout Ireland and often abroad in the areas of industry, architecture, products, people and food.

He provides a fast and reliable digital retouching and manipulation when required, and shoots live action commercials too. Feel free to contact Terry for more information.

Categories: Equipment

Photo story of the week: Sunrise in Burren National Park

Sat, 11/11/2017 - 10:00am

The warm colors of a sunrise or sunset in a wide open landscape, the foreground gently touched by the orange hues, and the sun throwing a nice aperture star—that is what the romanticizing cliché of landscape photography looks like in the heads of many people these days I reckon. Rightfully so, since it is one of the most atmospheric times of day to shoot: the light is soft, and partial illumination of the foreground is desirable for tonal separation and visual flow.

Almost every landscape photographer has at some point of his or her creative journey chased the intensity that comes with the golden hour. Still, even after all these years of shooting mainly landscapes, going after the elusive sunset and sunrise light is one of my favorite things to do while out in the field. One of the reasons is simply because depending on where you live it can be a rare sight—it is not an everyday sight for most of us.

For all who don't do this already I would highly recommend using satellite and radar data to scout your location ahead of time

Whenever I am out on a road trip or hiking trip I keep a constant eye on the satellite data—if I have cell reception—to check the cloud coverage in order to find spots right at the edge of a field of clouds to get good conditions for a sunrise or sunset shot. To take this shot, I took a look at the radar over the western parts of Ireland—over the Burren National Park to be exact—and monitored the satellite forecast before I was catching some shuteye.

The predictions for the following morning showed the clouds would most likely pass in the next couple of hours, being carried further north, leaving only a field of scattered patches behind. Furthermore, there would be no clouds at the eastern horizon blocking the sunlight. It is not hard to do these sorts of things if you know the sources for reliable weather data in the area you’re in, but it can be the difference between getting a good shot or none at all. So, for all who don’t do this already I would highly recommend using satellite and radar data to scout your location ahead of time.

When I woke up next morning it was still dark as I made my way out to the karst landscape of the national park grounds which are dominated by limestone ground speckled with shrubs and grass. I had scouted the lake before while I was preparing for my trip by looking at hiking maps of the area, and knew the sun was at the right angle to rise next to one of the limestone hills I had hiked to a day before. With this in mind, I was spending much of the blue hour finding different foreground compositions for the moment the clouds would light up and sun would make its way past the horizon line.

It seemed like the country had saved the best light for last

Originally, I intended to include a bigger patch of the lake in my image, but ultimately scrapped the idea for the shrubs and stones for three reasons: A) because the unique feature of the landscape is not the lake but rather the limestone, B) because the clouds were almost entirely gone by the time the sun rose and only covered a narrow strip of the sky, logically much of the reflection would have been just empty sky, and C) the morning light on the shrubs made for a warm and cold color palette with the rocks still in the shade.

I tried to balance out the double sun star in the upper right corner by placing some of the little bushes near the lower left corner of the frame. Due to the perspective, the gaps in between the shrubs appear to becoming shorter the further away they are from the camera, creating a visual flow and implicitly drawing the viewer into the image towards the sun, much like the curvature of the shoreline and the slim layer of mist above the lake. To me the leading lines were appealing in their subtlety, not being too obvious, yet present.

After I walked back to my sleeping bag I was very content, feeling like I did the landscape and the sunrise justice. This was also one of the last shots I took on my two week road trip through Ireland and it seemed like the country had saved the best light for last.

Pure bliss for a landscape photographer

Now I have another cheesy sunset in my portfolio. And sure, for some it may be nothing more than a cliché, but for me it represents a morning alone in Burren National Park, one of the most beautiful areas of Ireland, sitting in the warm morning light and enjoying these sights and taking a couple of shots while eating breakfast—pure bliss for a landscape photographer.

EXIF: Nikon D800 - Nikkor AF-S 20 mm 1:1,8 G ED | FLM CB-48FTR & CP30-M4S | 20mm | 4 Exposures for DRI | f/13 | ISO 100

Nicolas Alexander Otto is a semi-professional landscape photographer based out of North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. He writes for different online and print media, teaches workshops for several agencies, sells prints and calendars and offers post processing sessions. You can find more of his work on his website, Facebook and Instagram.

Categories: Equipment

Real-world test: Long exposures with Panasonic G9's high-res mode

Sat, 11/11/2017 - 9:00am
Out-of-camera 80MP JPEG using the Panasonic G9's high-resolution mode. Lots of detail, and some strange-looking pedestrians.
Panasonic Leica DG 12-60mm F2.8-4 | ISO 200 | 1/500 sec | F4

New to Panasonic's G9 flagship is a high-resolution mode, which shifts the sensor by half-pixel increments eight times, and generates an 80MP final image. As with similar technologies from Ricoh and Olympus, it's not necessarily recommended for scenes with moving subjects in them. But we thought we'd see if we couldn't make it work.

You'll notice in the above image, the pedestrians are sharply 'ghosted' in the foreground; this is due (obviously) to the eight exposures being taken, but also partially the 1/500 sec shutter speed. What if we purposely chose a slower speed, so that they would blur more naturally into each other?

These are only initial findings on a gray Seattle day, but we've got some interesting results.

Panasonic Leica DG 8-18mm F2.8-4 | ISO 200 | 1/30 sec | F8

For this situation, in order to get a proper exposure without either an ND filter or stopping down to diffraction-inducing levels, I figured I'd give 1/30 of a second a try. As you can see, there's a little 'repetition' around portions of the pedestrians in the foreground and across the street, and while there's lots of detail in the scene, you may want to just use the normal 20MP file for this one.

What if we go with a little longer of a shutter speed, though?

Panasonic Leica DG 8-18mm F2.8-4 | ISO 200 | 1/8 sec | F8

This looks to our eyes to exhibit some improvement. We overall found that a shutter speed between 1/4 sec and 1/8 sec gave a reasonably natural look to the average pedestrian in motion - of course, for faster and slower moving objects, you'll have to adjust accordingly. Do take note, though, that there are some interesting colorful streaks in our moving subjects, and a reduction of resolution in static objects that can be seen behind them.

If you're thinking about an even slower shutter speed, once you get down to 1/2 sec or so, pedestrians largely just disappear from your frame, leaving barely a shadow for you to notice. Of course, this could be an advantage if you're wanting to eliminate people from your photos, without necessarily needing an ND filter and a 30-second exposure.

There were some people on these stairs, I promise.
Panasonic Leica DG 8-18mm F2.8-4 | ISO 200 | 1/2 sec | F8

We tried an even longer exposure to see if we could get the motion artifacts to 'disappear' with subjects moving fast enough across the scene, but we still could see some - check out the car taillights and the ground surrounding them in the below image. The rest of the image, predictably, shows good detail, but once you start inspecting the areas of motion too closely, the image starts to look a little strange. That said - you'd probably have to have someone point it out to you to really notice it in real life.

Panasonic Leica DG 12-60mm F2.8-4 | ISO 200 | 1.3 sec | F4

In any case, the high res mode on the G9 is something we want to continue to look into as we progress with our review. Raw support is coming shortly, and we're looking forward to examining the Raw files from both real-world shooting as well as our test scene.

For now, we've added these images and their corresponding 'normal' 20MP equivalents onto the end of our existing image gallery for you to inspect.

Scroll to the end of our sample gallery to see our updated high res images
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Categories: Equipment

Bokeh Market site tracks used camera market value, offers alerts on price changes

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 2:27pm

A new website called Bokeh Market aims to take some of the work out of buying and selling used camera gear by providing users with real-time market value info. The website, which is free to use, provides a graph showing an item's value over time, its individual seller rating and, when possible, its trusted seller value. The site also culls active listings for the item from various online destinations, including eBay and B&H Photo.

The website is search-based, meaning users search for the gear they're interested in. Though an account isn't necessary to use the Bokeh Market, registering one allows users to create their own gear list, making it easier to see its value. Additionally, accounts can be used to get price alerts for specific items and to create bundles of items, the value of which is provided based on Bokeh Market's data.

Via: PetaPixel

Categories: Equipment

VNTG8 turns old 8mm film canisters into SD card holders

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 12:40pm

A new Kickstarter project wants to provide photographers with a retro storage solution for their SD and microSD cards. Called VNTG8, this project takes old 8mm film canisters and transforms them into SD card holders via a foam insert. This foam insert features six large pockets for full-size SD cards and six small pockets for microSD cards.

The foam insert has a somewhat clever radial design clearly inspired by the film spool it replaces. VNTG8 comes in two varieties, one that features a new Goldberg Brothers canister from remaining stock produced in the 1970s, the other featuring used canisters sourced from various places throughout the US.

In addition, the polyethylene foam insert will be offered as a standalone option for buyers who have their own 8mm film canisters, but only if the Kickstarter campaign reaches its $7,000 stretch goal. A Goldberg canister VNTG8 with foam insert is offered to backers who pledge at least $19. Delivery is estimated to start in February 2018 if the campaign is successful.

Via: Kickstarter

Categories: Equipment

Sharp's new 8K camera is $77,000

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 9:54am

With 4K recording available on many smartphones and 4K resolution pretty much a standard specification on TV sets, it looks like the industry is now pushing to move into 8K territory faster. Sharp's contribution comes in the shape of the new 8C-B60A 8K camcorder which is aimed at broadcasters and will undoubtedly be deployed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The camera comes with a Super 35mm sensor that's approximately the same size as the one on the Red Helium Weapon 8K and is capable of recording 10-bit 60 fps footage. Grass Valley's HQX codec helps keeping file sizes at a manageable level but the camera comes with a custom 2TB SSD pack that was developed in collaboration with Astrodesign and can hold approximately 40 minutes of 8K video.

A PL lens mount can take Zeiss and Leica lenses among other which should give film makers plenty of options for creating a specific look and make the camera an option far beyond the fields of news and sports.

In addition the 8C-B60A comes with a number of features aimed at broadcast users, such as an integrated top-handle and viewfinder, as well as simultaneous recording and output and a shoulder pad.

All those features don't come cheap, though. With a price tag of $77,000 the 8C-B60A will be out of reach for enthusiasts and pro-sumers but it will help big broadcasters and proucers drive 8K and help manufacturers, such as Sharp, push the sales figures for 8K displays.

Categories: Equipment

Gear of the Year 2017 - Barney's choice (part 1): Leica M10

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 9:00am

My choice for Gear of the Year is a pricey camera with niche appeal. The Leica M10 is not a camera that many people are likely to buy, when compared to other major DSLRs and mirrorless products released in 2017. Leica knows that, and trust me – Leica is fine with it. The M10 probably isn't a camera that will suit the majority of photographers, either – even those with the funds required to purchase one.

The M10 is a curious beast: a highly evolved throwback, which combines some very old technology with a modern 24MP full-frame sensor to offer a unique user experience with some unique quirks. It's awkward, tricky to master, and lacks a lot of the bells and whistles common even in much cheaper competitors, but I love it all the same.

I could have taken this picture with pretty well any camera. But I took it with the Leica M10, because that's what I had with me. (I didn't promise you an exciting story).

There is a certain magic to Leica rangefinders, which is hard to properly explain. A lot of their appeal comes down to the quality of construction, which is obvious the moment you pick one up. While other brands have thrown their efforts behind high-tech mass-production (with admittedly impressive results), Leica has never aspired to market saturation and still makes its M-series cameras in much the same way as it always has done; relying heavily on manual processes, and the accumulated years of experience of its small workforce in Wetzlar, Germany (with a little help from electronics suppliers in Asia and a facility in Portugal).

A lot of Leica rangefinders' appeal comes down to the quality of construction

I've been pretty cynical about some of Leica's digital imaging products in the past (I still can't get excited about the TL-series, for instance, despite the considerable improvements that have been made to that system since its introduction) and I make no secret of it. In the days of hybrid autofocus and 4K video, the M10 is clearly an anachronism.

But...

The M10 and current 35mm F1.4 Asph., makes a powerful and unobtrusive combination. Many DSLRs and ILCs are technically more versatile, but few are as discreet while still offering a full-frame sensor.

Ironically, the M10 has won a place in my heart (and my camera bag) precisely because it isn't trying too hard to be something that it isn't. In contrast to the slightly bloated Typ. 240, the stills-only M10 is stripped back to the essentials. Presenting almost the same form-factor as the M6 TTL and M7, and an identical footprint to the original M3, the M10 is noticeably slimmer than previous digital M-series rangefinders while offering a simpler digital interface and tweaked image quality. In fact, with the M10 I can comfortably shoot at ISO 12,800 and higher without worrying about banding, or any particular image quality gremlins. The sensor isn't quite up there with the best 24MP sensors on the market, but it's more than good enough.

It's been a long, strange year but as 2017 draws to a close, the M10 is probably the camera I've used most. While undoubtedly not as versatile as (say) a Nikon D850, the M10 does have the advantage of being considerably more convenient to travel with.

I still get a bit uncomfortable carrying what amounts to almost a year's rent around my neck

I've done a lot of traveling this year, and the M10 has been with me almost everywhere I've gone. I love that I can fit a full-frame camera and lens outfit covering 28-90mm into a small Domke F6 shoulder bag without feeling like I'm going to pull my arm out of its socket. I still get a bit uncomfortable carrying what amounts to almost a year's rent around my neck, but – touch wood (or rather, hand-laquered wood soft shutter release) – nothing bad has happened yet.

This started out as an attempt to quickly 'de-bling' a chrome M10 for my recent trip to the jungles of central Mexico. I might have got a bit carried away. Watch out for the 'Britton Special Edition Jungle M10' and remember – you saw it here first.

Partly that's because I'm careful about who I point my camera at (and where I do it) but partly it's because a black M10 in a black half-case, accessorized with some carefully applied black electrical tape, doesn't actually draw much attention. The eye-catching chrome version looks absolutely beautiful by comparison, but it's the kind of beautiful that makes me nervous.

The whole process of taking someone's picture is less confrontational than it might be with a larger and louder camera

I'm not a huge proponent of candid portraiture, but the subtle click of the M10's shutter means that even for casual snapshots of friends and family, the whole process of taking someone's picture is less confrontational than it might be with a larger and louder camera.

The flip-side is that it's also harder to use. For all of the smug chin-stroking of whiskery old salts who cut their teeth on M3s and M2s back in the Good Old Days, the suggestion that M-series rangefinders are as functional – or as practical – as SLRs "just as long as you know what you're doing" is nonsense. I still shoot film occasionally and I love it, but compared to a 24MP full-frame sensor, even the finest-grained film is a pretty low-resolution medium. I'm much more prepared to let minor focus errors or even camera-shake slide when I'm flipping through scans from my film cameras than I am when examining digital files at 100% in Lightroom.

One of my favorite lenses on the M10 is actually one of the oldest that I own: the tiny 1950s-vintage Nikkor 2.8cm F3.5, attached via an LTM-M adapter. At F4, the center is sharp enough for this kind of (slightly) off-center composition, with just enough out of focus blur fore and aft for some subject separation. Newer Leica and 3rd party 28mm lenses are unequivocally sharper, but they're also much bigger. This portrait was taken using Live View to ensure off-center sharpness using this vintage lens.

The M10 can turn out excellent results, but truly accurate focusing and composition can be extremely challenging – even for those with long experience of shooting with rangefinders. Yes, there's always Live View, but on this point I tend to agree with the whiskery old salts: you don't buy a rangefinder to use Live View (which doesn't mean that I never do, because like every good whiskery old salt, I am also a hypocrite).

Perversely though, its inherent trickiness is one of the reasons I enjoy shooting with the M10 so much. Compared to an auto-everything DSLR or mirrorless camera, it's very challenging. When I capture an image that I really like, I appreciate it more because I feel like I've worked harder to get there.

Leica M10 real-world samples

Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. Because our review images are now hosted on the 'galleries' section of dpreview.com, you can enjoy all of the new galleries functionality when browsing these samples.

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Categories: Equipment

Taro uses infrared technology and AI for improved subject tracking

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 8:00am

Conventional tracking systems tend to struggle when the tracked subject briefly exits the frame or disappears behind another object. The new Taro auto-tracker and stabilizer tackles this problem with infrared technology.

Users connect their smartphones, DSLR cameras or existing Bluetooth stabilizers to Taro and select the target they want to track. Taro will then follow the target using an AI-based infrared tracking algorithm that performs 30 calculations per second. According to the Taro team, this allows for tracking of objects that are moving as fast as 50 MPH.

“In developing Taro, we’ve essentially designed a robot that operates your camera just like a real cameraman could,” said Taro founder, Hao Qian. “Taro can instantaneously establish the intended object's approximate location,” he said. “Taro also has a powerful learning algorithm that immediately eliminates sub-optimal positioning, precisely pinpointing the object’s exact location – which results in the perfect balance between efficiency and accuracy.”

The Taro robot looks like an interesting solution for anyone wanting to film themselves during sports and action activities or for filming while moving. The Taro is available on Kickstarter now in three versions, a kit for smartphones, a kit for DSLRs or just a tracking module that can be used with existing Bluetooth stabilizers.

The smartphone kit will set you back $200 while the DSLR kit is $600. The tracking module on its own is available at $100. Early-bird offers are available as well. For more information watch the video below and have a look at the project's Kickstarter page.

Categories: Equipment

Cinematic 4K footage shot with the Apple iPhone X

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 3:28pm

Matteo Bertoli, a California-based cinematographer, got a chance to try out the iPhone X's video capabilities in Kauai and has just published the results. And before you ask – Bertoli states that it was all shot handheld.

"I DID NOT use any lenses, accessories, tripods or sliders. Everything was shot handheld, the only thing I had on the phone was the silicon case, that's it. Also I DID NOT use Filmic Pro. Everything was done with the native camera app. Shot in 4K at 24fps," he states on YouTube.

Bertoli did grade the footage in Davinci Resolve 14. He also stays that, impressively, most of the video was shot using the telephoto camera. The secondary camera module's inclusion of OIS and a brighter F2.4 aperture means it's more useful for these kinds of applications.

Take a look at the footage above and let us know what you think in the comments.

Categories: Equipment

Google rolls out 'Saturated' mode to address Pixel 2 XL display issues

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 1:50pm

The Google Pixel 2 might sport one of the best smartphone cameras around, but when it comes to the display—particularly on the larger XL—model, Google has had nothing but trouble. Reports of everything from burn-in, to blue tint off-axis, to 'dull' colors have left the tech giant playing catch up, and today it finally ... well... caught up. Or at least it tried.

A promised software update released on Tuesday (and rolling out to all users by the end of the week) addresses the issue of burn-in with some minor tweaks, and adds three total color saturation modes under the phone's Display settings to hopefully quiet down the complaints about 'dull' colors.

Here's a quick summary of the update in Google's own words:

This update includes some of the enhancements we posted about on October 26, such as the new Saturated color mode for Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, a fix for the faint clicking noise heard in some Pixel 2s, and other bug and security updates. As we mentioned in our deeper dive, this update also brings planned UI changes which extend the life of the OLED display, including a fade out of the navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen and an update to maximum brightness.

According to Android Central, the updated saturation settings come in three flavors: Natural, Boosted, and Saturated. Natural should provide the most accurate color reproduction; Boosted takes the place of the "Vivid Colors" setting previously available, which boosted saturation by 10%; and, finally, Saturated will put the display in an "unmanaged configuration" that will make colors "more saturated and vibrant, but less accurate," according to Google's deep dive on the topic.

Unfortunately, this mode throws away one of the most important things about Android Oreo: color management. In 'Saturated' mode, all apps, images and video will first render to sRGB (for now) and then be stretched to the display's wider color gamut.

This will make for completely inaccurate colors across the two devices, but there is hope for us color nerds. As Seang Chau, VP of Engineering at Google, says in his blog post: due to color management under the hood in the new OS, "an Android app developer can now make use of the wider Display P3 color gamut precisely for a wider range of colors. Google apps will take advantage of wide colors in the future." We're hoping this means that future apps will render either to P3 or straight to a display profile provided by Google, which would allow for saturated colors when appropriate, but not at the cost of accuracy.

Finally, no comment was made on the poor viewing angle of the XL model that introduces a strong blue-tint off-axis (see picture above of the Pixel 2 XL vs the original XL). This can make photos with warmer tones look even more desaturated by shifting toward blue. But while Google was able to address some of its display complaints this week, this seems like a hardware problem that will be difficult to fix via software.

Categories: Equipment

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 takes on Lightroom with more features and improved Raw processing

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 1:05pm

After releasing it in beta last month, ON1 has officially announced the latest version of its image editing and organization software: ON1 Photo RAW 2018. With this newest version, ON1 wants to establish its application as a viable alternative to Adobe's Lightroom, and says most of the improvements to the new version are a direct result of community input.

The new app comes with an updated raw processing engine and a new HDR function that merges a bracket of photos for increased dynamic range. Pano Stitching combines multiple photos into a single panoramic image and a host of new masking tools allow for precise selection of image areas and background masking.

ON1 has also updated the UI for a cleaner and more modern look, and has added support for the Nikon D850, Olympus EM-10 III, Panasonic DMC-G85, preliminary support for Sony a7R III, and a range of new lenses.

Other features include: re-editable adjustments for exposure, contrast, color, shadows, highlights, lens correction, and transform tools, as well as hundreds of customizable photo effects.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 for Mac and Windows is available now for download as a free 30-day trial from the ON1 website. Previous owners of any ON1 app (or ON1 plug-in) can upgrade to the new version for $100, while new users will have to pay $120. However, a single license can be activated on up to five computers.

For more information and a full list of updates, check out the video below and read the full press release below that.

Press Release

Portland, OR – November 9, 2017 ­– Today, ON1, Inc. announced ON1 Photo RAW 2018 is officially available. Along with the essential tools and features needed in a photography workflow, ON1 Photo RAW 2018 includes key updates to the fast, non-destructive raw processing engine. Photographers now have an integrated tool with accelerated photo management, precise photo development, hundreds of customizable photo effects, fast and beautiful HDR, pano stitching, masking and blending adjustments, layers, and much more – in one app.

From the beginning the ON1 community has driven the development of ON1 Photo RAW based on what's most important to them. Almost every feature and improvement made to the app in version 2018 is a direct result of community input through the ON1 Photo RAW Project.

This type of transparency is what customers can continue to expect from the ON1 team. This process has solidified ON1 Photo RAW as the app designed by photographers for photographers and a great alternative to Adobe® Lightroom®.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 includes major updates and enhancements in many areas. Key new features include the following.

  • ON1 HDR – Create stunning HDR photos that merge all tonality from a bracket of photos in a fraction of the time (test results have shown up to seven times faster than other HDR apps). Automatically aligns photos and removes ghosting from motion between exposures. Includes full non-destructive editing with natural results and can be turned up to 11 for a surreal look.
  • Pano Stitching – Combine multiple photos into a single panoramic or matrix photo. Automatically aligns photos, even if they are not shot on a tripod, and blends them together seamlessly. An option to embed panoramic metadata for Facebook panning is also available.
  • Global Mask Editing Tools – These include new mask Density and Feather sliders to allow for changing the density or opacity of masks as well as blur masks for softening.
  • Luminosity Mask Updates – Adjust the levels of a mask to increase the contrast or brightness as well as set a tonal window to only affect a certain zone. These updates allow users to target just the area they want, based on the photo.
  • Color Range Masks – Create a mask from a color range selection.
  • Blur and Chisel Mask Tools – In ON1 Effects, the Blur and Chisel mask tools are now included. The blur tool is perfect for softening or feathering a mask selectively. The Chisel tool lets the user push or pull the edge selectively, to remove halos. All of these new masking options are re-editable and non-destructive.
  • Versions — Versions are virtual copies of the same photo. Each version created can include non-destructive settings, including crop, retouching and adjustments. Versions work just like any other photo without taking up more space on your computer.
  • Updated UI — Clean and modern UI where your photo is the center of attention. Custom name filters and layers to easier keep track of work. Also select your own UI accent color.
  • Paint with Color Brush — Painting with color can be a solid color, perfect for skin smoothing and making annotation layers, or paint with just the color and leave the underlying luminosity in place to change the color of objects like eyes.
  • Selectively Add or Remove Noise — Brush away noise in areas like skies or add noise for an artistic effect.
  • Improved Highlight Recovery –– The algorithms for highlight recovery have been improved.
  • ON1 Photo for Mobile — Take the best shots with you on the go with the free ON1 Photo for Mobile app. It’s a great way to share portfolios. It can also sync new photos taken on phones back to the desktop so those photos are ready for editing.
  • Additional Camera & Lens Support — Added support for the Nikon D850, Olympus EM-10 III, Panasonic DMC-G85, preliminary support for Sony a7R III, plus a ton of new lenses.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 differentiates itself from other apps by allowing photographers to both browse and catalog their photos from the very beginning of their workflow. This hybrid system provides one of the fastest digital asset management tools available today. The ultra fast photo browser is perfect for quickly viewing and culling through photos without having to wait on an import process. Once the culling process is complete, the ability to create and catalog those photos is the next step in common workflows.

There is plenty more available within the app's non-destructive photo development. These features include re-editable adjustments such as exposure, contrast, color, shadows, highlights, lens correction, and transform tools. The hundreds of unique photo effects are also perfect for finishing off your photos to add that extra punch. Photographers have complete control of how each effect is applied using masking brushes, gradients masks, and local adjustments. Each effect is also completely customizable to save any look as a custom preset.

Photo editing technologies such as live blending options, apply to, smart layers, smart photos, and mask refinement tools also make ON1 Photo RAW 2018 a more advanced pixel editor without having to launch a separate app. The ability to combine photos together with layers, masks, and selectively apply filters and effects to raw photos gives users a big advantage.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 isn’t just for raw files. Supported file formats include JPEG, TIF, PSD, PSB, PNG, and DNG are supported and benefit from the speed, performance, and abundance of editing tools in the app. Photo RAW 2018 also continues to work seamlessly within current photography workflows. The app integrates as a plug-in for Adobe® Lightroom® Classic CC and Photoshop® and further builds its case as a complete standalone photo editor or alternative to the Adobe Photography Plan. Version 2018 also integrates with the major cloud services to allow for uploading, managing and editing photos across multiple computers. This also allows users to sync photos and their edits across multiple computers or in a studio setting.

Price and Availability

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 is available for download as a free 30-day trial from the ON1 website. Previous owners of any ON1 app (or ON1 plug-in) can upgrade for $99.99. Those who don’t own an ON1 app can order for $119.99. ON1 Photo RAW 2018 is also bundled with some excellent bonus materials which include: Three ON1 Photo RAW 2018 Courses by Product Director Dan Harlacher, and all of their 2017 and 2018 Loyalty Rewards. ON1 Photo RAW 2018 works with both Mac and Windows and includes activation on up to five computers.

Categories: Equipment

DxOMark: DJI Zenmuse X7 outperforms GH5, on par with top-notch APS-C DSLRs

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 12:36pm

Remember when the DJI Zenmuse X7 drone camera was released, and we said DJI had become a camera company without anybody noticing? You might consider the latest scores out of DxOMark proof of that assertion. The sensor testing company just released its review of the X7, ranking it above the popular Panasonic GH5 and on part with top-scoring APS-C sensors like the Nikon D7500.

Sporting the largest sensor yet for a DJI camera module, the X7 boasts a Super 35/APS-C sized chip that DxO discovered will hold its own against the leaders in that category. In fact, going through the rankings, you'll find that only two APS-C sensors have ever scored higher than 86. And when you compare it to one of the top-scoring APS-C cameras (the Nikon D7500) and the often-drone-mounted Panasonic GH5, you see that DJI is not playing around:

As DxOMark points out in their conclusion, this is an impressive showing for the drone maker:

Thanks to an increase in its size as much as to technological advancements, the DJI Zenmuse X7’s sensor takes a significant step up in performance from the Zenmuse X5S sensor. In fact, it delivers results that compete closely with those from a high-scoring APS-C format DSLR, despite being housed in a camera that’s mounted in a stabilized gimbal and specifically designed for aerial photography.

Be sure to head over to DxOMark to read their full DJI Zenmuse X7 review. And then check out our own opinion piece about DJI's transformation from a drone maker, into a full fledged camera company.

Categories: Equipment

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