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All articles from Digital Photography Review
Updated: 21 min 37 sec ago

Go hands-free: GoHawk offers bite-triggered remote shutter for GoPro

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 6:48pm

Mounting your GoPro on your chest or helmet frees up your hands for all those extreme moments you'd like to capture, but when you still need to operate the shutter, are you truly hands-free? The GoHawk by Oregon-based POA Labs wants to help.

Currently in prototype form, the GoHawk is an accessory kit that includes three remote shutter options: a handlebar, tongue and bite switch. The GoHawk is also designed to tell its user when the GoPro is actually recording via an LED indicator light that can be positioned inside of a helmet. Also included is an auxiliary USB power port for extended shooting.

The unit is compatible with the GoPro Hero4 and essentially works like a camera cable release - that is triggering the switch via, your teeth, tongue or finger will allow you to record video, shoot single exposures or trigger a burst. The LED indicator light will be illuminated red while the GoPro is recording video or shooting stills and blue while the unit is on standby.

POA Labs is seeking a total of $20,000 in funding. The unit and a single type of switch (your choice) is offered with a $131 pledge. Backers of the GoHawk can expect their units to ship in September 2016 if the funding campaign is a success.

GoPro shooters and filmmakers would surely welcome the ability to trigger and monitor recording without lifting a finger. For more information, check out the Kickstarter page.

Categories: Equipment

Leica announces shortlist for the €35,000 Oskar Barnack award

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 5:50pm
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Leica has released details of the 12 photographers that have been shortlisted for this year’s Oskar Barnack competition. The company says that over 3200 photographers from 108 countries submitted portfolios of 12 images to compete for the Leica Oskar Barnack Award and the Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award. The top prize for the main award is €25,000 in cash as well as Leica M system equipment to the value of €10,000, while the Newcomer will win €10,000 and an M camera and lens. Each of the remaining 10 finalists receive €2500 in cash.

Although the competition is open to all countries the majority of winners come from Europe this year, with France taking five of the shortlist slots on its own. Only one shortlisted photographer is from Leica’s home nation of Germany.

The winner will be announced at a Berlin ceremony at the end of September during the run up to the European Month of Photography. For more information, and to see the complete portfolios of the shortlisted photographers (highly recommended), visit the Oskar Barnack Awards website.

Press release:

Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2016 finalists revealed

Twelve finalists selected in prestigious international photographic competition

Leica Camera has announced that the twelve finalists in this year’s ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Award’ have been selected. Chosen by a jury of prominent international experts, the complete portfolios in the categories ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Award’ and ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award’ can now be viewed at www.leica-oskar-barnack-award.com.

This year, more than 3,200 photographers from 108 countries took part in and submitted their work to enter the long-established international photographic competition, organised by Leica Camera AG. This is a new record number of entrants in the history of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award. The announcement of both category winners will take place on 28 September at an official awards ceremony in Berlin. During EMOP Berlin – the European Month of Photography – Leica will publicly present the work of all twelve finalists for the first time in a grand exhibition at the ‘Neuen Schule für Fotografie Berlin’, from 29 September to 23 October 2016.

The twelve finalists are as follows:

  • Juan Pablo Bellandi, Venezuela: ‘Chasing HAMPA’
  • Fulvio Bugani, Italy: ‘Soul y Sombras’
  • Scarlett Coten, France: ‘Mectoub’
  • William Daniels, France: ‘C.A.R.’
  • Vincent Delbrouck, Belgium: ‘New Paintings’
  • Guillaume Herbaut, France: ‘Ukraine: Maidan to Donbass’
  • Stéphane Lavoué, France: ‘The North East Kingdom’
  • Max Pinckers, Belgium: ‘Two Kinds of Memory and Memory itself’
  • Guilio Piscitelli, Italy: ‘Informal facilities in the Jungle’
  • Clémentine Schneidermann, France: ‘The Unbearable, the Sadness and the Rest’
  • Sadegh Souri, Iran: ‘Waiting Girls’
  • Esther Teichmann, Germany: ‘Mondschwimmen’

The members of this year’s Leica Oskar Barnack Award jury were: Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Chief Representative Leica Galleries International (Austria), JH Engström, photographer and last year’s award winner (Sweden), Christine Ollier, Art Director Galerie Filles du Calvaire (France), Chris Boot, Executive Director Aperture Foundation (USA) and Lorenza Bravetta, Director Camera – Italian Centre for Photography (Italy).

Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Chief Representative Leica Galleries International, said, “The entire jury was impressed by the number of entrants, and the ongoing diversity and quality of the portfolios from 108 countries entered in this year’s competition. This once again underlines the international importance of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, to which we have responded this year with its new alignment. The return of the prestigious award to Germany, and the roots of the man who lent it his name, was a wish that was very close to our hearts. We are looking forward to sharing the delight of the finalists at the exciting award-giving ceremony and the grand exhibition in Berlin.”

With prizes amounting to a total value of 80,000 euros, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award is one of the industry’s most prestigious photographic competitions. The winner in the main category will be honoured with a cash prize of 25,000 euros and Leica M-System equipment (a camera and lens) valued at an additional 10,000 euros. The winner of the Newcomer Award will receive a cash prize of 10,000 euros and will also be presented with a Leica rangefinder camera and lens. In order to honour the work of all twelve finalists, this year’s competition will be the first to award cash prizes of 2,500 euros each for the works of a further ten photographers in addition to the awards for the winners of the two main categories.

A special issue of LFI Magazine presenting the winners and finalists, and their comprehensive portfolios, will be published to accompany the Leica Oskar Barnack Award.

Categories: Equipment

Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Frank Doorhof Edition features 'Super Soft Silver' reflector

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 2:56pm

Rogue has introduced a new FlashBender 2 XL Pro reflector designed in collaboration with photographer Frank Doorhof. The reflector uses 'Super Soft Silver' fabric, a material that produces an effect that falls somewhere between the soft lighting created by white fabric and the harsher, more contrasty reflections of sliver fabric.

The FlashBender 2 XL Pro is the largest FlashBender model at 13in x 16in / 33cm x 41cm; it includes a belt and buckle for attachment to a flash, and an adjustable shape for altering the direction of light.

The Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Super Soft Silver Reflector is available now from Rogue for $59.95.

Press release:

ExpoImaging, Inc., creator of the patented FlashBender shapeable light modifiers for off-camera flash photography, today announced availability of the new Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Super Soft Silver Reflector, Frank Doorhof edition.

“Photographers looking for more contrast in their images while shooting flash on location will love this new Super Soft Silver FlashBender 2 XL Pro,” said Erik Sowder, ExpoImaging CEO. “Highly reflective shiny silver fabric is prone to hot spots and is often too bright and too contrasty for portraiture, especially in brighter light. Our custom Super Soft Silver fabric falls between harsh shiny silver and soft white fabrics. It is brighter and more “edgy” than white fabric while producing a softer and more even light than shiny silver fabric.”

Professional photographer and lighting instructor Frank Doorhof is a master of using edgy light and contrast to create remarkable images. “I love more edge in my images,” said Frank, so when he first saw Rogue’s Super Soft Silver fabric, he knew he wanted a version of the Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Reflector incorporating the fabric. Thus, the Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Super Soft Silver Reflector, Frank Doorhof edition was born.

Designed for portability to pack flat in most camera bags or laptop compartments, the 12” x 16” (30.5cm x 40.5cm) FlashBender 2 XL Pro reflector is the largest FlashBender. Building on the success of the popular Rogue FlashBender light modifiers for speedlights, FlashBender 2 reflectors can be shaped to control the direction of light from an accessory flash, and FlashBender 2’s improved belt and buckle design provides a faster and more secure attachment to your flash.
With the control, versatility and portability of all FlashBenders and a Super Soft Silver reflective surface, the Frank Doorhof edition FlashBender 2 XL Pro Reflector represents a unique new photographic tool to create spectacular images.

Pricing and Availability

The Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Super Soft Silver Reflector is available from ExpoImaging’s distribution partners worldwide or online at RogueFlash.com. The Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Super Soft Silver Reflector retails for $59.95.

About Rogue Photographic Design

Created by ExpoImaging, Rogue Photographic Design develops innovative lighting equipment for speedlight enthusiasts. Compact, versatile, and durable, patented Rogue light modifiers offer unparalleled lighting control in portable and light weight designs. More information about Rogue Photographic Design is available at RogueFlash.com, or ExpoImaging.com. Rogue FlashBenders are patented: see http://www.ExpoIP.us.

About ExpoImaging, Inc.

ExpoImaging, Inc. markets, designs, manufactures and distributes innovative camera accessories to the photographic market. ExpoImaging is the pioneer in white balance filters and manufactures ExpoDisc White Balance Filters, Rogue FlashBenders, Rogue Diffusion Panels, Rogue Grid, Rogue Flash Gels, and Rogue Safari. ExpoImaging is also the exclusive U.S. distributor of CapBuckle, and Ray Flash: The Ring Light Adapter. These unique products are available at select photography dealers worldwide or online at RogueFlash.com, or http://www.expoimaging.com.

Categories: Equipment

Study finds that yes, you can take photos and enjoy an experience too

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 11:18am

As smartphone picture-taking has become ubiquitous, so has criticism of it. It's become a common refrain to hear that taking pictures detracts from fully enjoying and experiencing an event, whwther that's a concert or a papal visit. To be truly in the moment, you shouldn't be taking photos.

Depressing stuff, but a new study presents a different view, one that photographers would probably agree with: taking photos enhances enjoyment of experiences, rather than detracting from enjoyment.

A previous and much-cited study looked at the effect of photo-taking on memory, and found that people taking photos of objects at a museum were more likely to forget what they'd seen than people who hadn't taken photos. This new research focuses rather on enjoyment rather than recall. 

According to lead author Kristin Diehl, 'unlike checking your email or texting, [...]  photo-taking actually directs you towards the experience'.

The research mostly focuses on use of a simple camera for taking snapshots, both in real-life situations like a city bus tour, and simulated scenarios. Again and again, participants in the study who were directed to take photos reported higher enjoyment of the experience than those who could not take pictures. 

Categories: Equipment

OnePlus 3 announced with 16MP stabilized camera

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 11:09am
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Chinese startup OnePlus has announced its latest high-end device, the OnePlus 3. Like previous models the 3 offers flagship-level specifications and features at a mid-range price point. It is also the first OnePlus device that doesn't require an invitation to purchase. It can be ordered now on the OnePlus website for $399.

The main camera module is centered around a Sony IMX298 16MP sensor with on-sensor phase detection. The chip comes in the 1/2.8" format and has a pixel size of 1.12-micron. The lens has a fast F2.0 aperture and optical image stabilization. The system is capable of recording Raw image data, 4K video and 720p slow-motion footage. At the front an 8MP Sony IMX179 sensor with 1.4-micron pixel size and F2.0 aperture is capable of recording digitally stabilized 1080p Full-HD video in addition to self-portraits.

The rest of the specification reads very nicely as well, especially considering the 3's price point. Images can be viewed and composed on a 5.5" 1080p AMOLED display that is protected by Gorilla Glass 4. Android 6 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset and a generous 6GB of RAM. There are 64GB of internal storage which unfortunately is not expandable. A fingerprint reader, dual-SIM connectivity and NFC are on board as well. The 3,000 mAh battery supports quick charging and all the technology is wrapped up in an anodized aluminum body that is available in Graphite and Soft Gold colors.

Categories: Equipment

Hands-on with new Panasonic Leica Summilux 12mm F1.4 ASPH

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 12:00am

Hands-on: Panasonic Leica Summilux 12mm F1.4 ASPH

Panasonic has just announced a new prime lens for Micro Four Thirds. The Lumix G Leica DG Summilux 12mm F1.4 ASPH is a metal-bodied prime that provides an equivalent focal length of 24mm in full-frame terms. We've got one in our hands, and we've got pictures to prove it! 

Hands-on: Panasonic Leica Summilux 12mm F1.4 ASPH

As you can see, the new 12mm prime is a fairly substantial lens, and at 335g it's relatively heavy, too. Panasonic is touting its all-metal construction (which even extends to the detachable hood) and 15 glass elements also contribute substantially to the weight. A nine-bladed aperture should ensure both attractive bokeh and sunstars at smaller apertures. 

Hands-on: Panasonic Leica Summilux 12mm F1.4 ASPH

Of those 15 elements, two are 'ultra' extra-low dispersion glass, and one is regular extra-low dispersion. According to Panasonic, they should combine to provide very good edge-to-edge sharpness even at wide apertures, making this an ideal lens for astrophotography (among other things). The front filter ring has a diameter of 62mm. 

Hands-on: Panasonic Leica Summilux 12mm F1.4 ASPH

A manual aperture ring and wide, well-damped focus ring give a feeling of real quality to the new 12mm, and although it's not a lightweight lens, handling is very nice on the Lumix DMC-GH4. Autofocus is handled by a stepping motor, which Panasonic claims is capable of keeping up with the 240 fps refresh rate of modern Panasonic M43 cameras' sensor-based autofocus. 

Hands-on: Panasonic Leica Summilux 12mm F1.4 ASPH

When paired with a weather-sealed camera like the GH4, the 12mm F1.4 becomes relatively weather-resistant. Panasonic claims that this combination should be 'splash and dust' proof. 

Hands-on: Panasonic Leica Summilux 12mm F1.4 ASPH

It's hard to make out in this image, but around the lens mount you'll find the slimmest of rubber seals, to prevent moisture and dust from getting into the camera when the 12mm F1.4 is attached.

Hands-on: Panasonic Leica Summilux 12mm F1.4 ASPH

Here's the included lenshood in all its glory. The Panasonic Leica Summilux 12mm F1.4 ASPH is the sixth Leica lens in Panasonic's current M43 lineup – pricing and availability have yet to be announced, but we'll keep you posted.

Categories: Equipment

Panasonic introduces splash-proof Lumix G Leica Summilux 12mm F1.4

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 12:00am
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Panasonic is introducing a new prime lens to the Micro Four Thirds family: the Lumix G Leica DG Summilux 12mm F1.4 ASPH. It will be the widest prime that company offers (not counting its 8mm fisheye) and provides an equivalent 24mm view on Micro Four Thirds bodies. Designed to withstand a little wear-and-tear in the form of splashes and dust, the 12mm F1.4 offers a dedicated ring to control its nine-bladed aperture.

Its rugged build includes a metal mount, body and included lens hood. The lens uses inner focus drive and a stepping motor for quiet operation, and is made up of 15 elements in 12 groups. Pricing and availability information has yet to be announced.

Press release:

PANASONIC LUMIX G LEICA DG SUMMILUX 12mm, F1.4 ASPH Lens

The H-X012 Micro Four Thirds Professional Wide Angle Mirrorless Lens

NEWARK, NJ (July 1, 2016) – Panasonic unveiled a new LEICA DG SUMMILUX 12mm/F1.4 ASPH. (35 mm camera equivalent: 24 mm) digital interchangeable lens for Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera based on the Micro Four Thirds standard. The new 12mm wide-angle lens enables photographers to capture beautiful group, event, and nature photography. It also allows indoor shooting in low lighting and produces an impressive, natural defocusing effect with its F1.4 aperture. In addition, the LEICA DG SUMMILUX 12mm/F1.4 ASPH. boasts a rugged, splash/dust-proof design (when combined with splash and dustproof LUMIX G Mirrorless camera models) to meet the needs of a wide-range of photographic situations.

Integrating two aspherical lenses, two UED (Ultra Extra-Low Dispersion) lenses and an ED (Extra-Low Dispersion) lens, the lens system is comprised of 15 elements in 12 groups. The adoption of five special lenses makes it possible to meet the stringent LEICA standard for exceptional image quality with high resolution and minimum distortion. In general, flare is commonly seen around the periphery of a point source with many high-speed lenses when a large aperture is employed. However, the new LEICA DG SUMMILUX 12mm/F1.4 ASPH. achieves high resolution from the center of the image to the corners by suppressing this flare. Users can take advantage of this lens to shoot a brilliant night skies or night scenes containing illumination to capture true-to-life images with minimal blurring and distortion at the edges. The multi-coated lens elements also minimize ghosting and flaring.

Incorporating an inner focus drive system and a stepping motor, the new LEICA DG SUMMILUX 12mm/F1.4 ASPH. is capable of smooth, silent operation together with the camera’s high-speed, high-precision contrast AF system for both photo and video recording. It is also compatible with the sensor drive at a maximum of 240 fps to take full advantage of cameras with high-speed AF. This stunning AF performance is excellent for recording 4K videos, where precise focusing is essential.

The LEICA DG SUMMILUX 12mm/F1.4 ASPH. comes with an aperture ring for direct, intuitive aperture control. Nine blades give the aperture a rounded shape that produces an attractively smooth effect in out-of-focus areas when shooting at larger aperture settings. A highly reliable metal mount assures durability for repeated use. The lens mount, the barrel and the hood are all made of metal to provide a sleek, sophisticated design that matches the entire line-up of LUMIX G Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) cameras.

Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Summilux 12mm F1.4 specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format sizeFourThirds
Focal length12 mm
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Aperture
Maximum apertureF1.4
Minimum apertureF16
Aperture ringYes
Number of diaphragm blades9
Optics
Elements15
Groups12
Special elements / coatings2 aspherical lenses, 1 ED lens, 2 UED lenses
Focus
Minimum focus0.20 m (7.87″)
Maximum magnification0.1×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeStepper motor
Full time manualUnknown
Physical
Weight335 g (0.74 lb)
Diameter70 mm (2.76″)
Length70 mm (2.76″)
SealingYes
Filter thread62.0 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Categories: Equipment

DxOMark Mobile Report added to our LG G5 review

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 4:35pm

We have added DxOMark's Mobile Report to our camera review of the LG G5. The report includes DxO Lab's usual industrial-quality scientific measurements. Its imaging experts have analyzed 14 aspects of mobile imaging including detailed image quality assessment, flash performance, autofocus reliability and more to calculate a final score. Click below to read our LG G5 review and go to page 9 for the DxO Mark mobile report.

Categories: Equipment

KitSplit is a peer-to-peer rental service for camera equipment

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 3:11pm

KitSplit is a peer-to-peer rental network for camera gear and is best described as the 'AirBnB' of the camera world. Photographers who need equipment at a specific location are put in touch with owners who are willing to rent their gear out, while KitSplit takes care of vetting, insurance and the logistics. The company was founded about a year ago in New York by photographers who were unhappy with equipment rental options and by now has approximately 5000 members, both individuals and companies, and $40 million worth of equipment available to rent.

The latter includes not only traditional cameras, but also drones and virtual reality gear. KitSplit says its services have been used by companies such as Condé Nast Entertainment, Hearst and NBC. After rapid growth in the New York area, KitSplit has now launched its first geographical expansion, to the Greater DC area, Philadelphia and Boston.

Social sharing has taken off in recent years, especially in the accommodation and car rental sectors, so it only makes sense to apply the same principles to camera and imaging equipment. We'll be interested how the company develops in the nearer future. More information about how KitSplit works can be found on the website.

Would you use a service like Kitsplit? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: Equipment

Affinity Photo for iPad early build showcased at Apple's WWDC 2016

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 2:20pm

At Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference 2016, software maker Serif demonstrated an early build preview of its Affinity Photo for iPad software. Affinity Photo is a Photoshop alternative currently available for macOS with, as previously announced, a Windows version in the pipeline. This newly demonstrated version of Affinity Photo is designed specifically for the iPad, and brings with it the same features found on the desktop version.

Though the company hasn’t formally detailed all of the iPad version's functionality, the video does showcase a handful of features and capabilities, including a high level of performance enabling it to handle very high resolution photos, full 32-bit HDR editing, the ability to view and edit panoramas in a 360-degree view, and focus merging.

'We’ve still got a load of work to do on [the iPad version],' Serif stated, 'but we thought you might like a peek.' An anticipated release date was not provided. The company currently offers a macOS version for $49.99, while Windows users can sign up for access to a pending Windows beta release.

Categories: Equipment

Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 impresses with image quality, versatility

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 11:47am

Key Features

  • 16MP Four Thirds MOS sensor
  • Electromagnetically driven shutter
  • Depth from Defocus AF
  • 2.76M-dot field sequential EVF
  • 1.04M-dot tilting touchscreen display
  • 4K video / photo
  • 5-axis image stabilization with Dual I.S.
  • Bouncable pop-up flash
  • Wi-Fi

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 is a mid-range interchangeable lens camera sporting a 16MP Four Thirds sensor and 4K video capability. In markets outside of North America the GX85 is sold as the GX80; in Japan it is sold as the GX7 Mark II.

Sliding in directly below the flagship GX8, the GX85 is targeted toward enthusiast photographers and videographers. It doesn't use the new 20MP Four Thirds chip we saw in the GX8, instead it sticks with the familiar 16MP sensor used on many other Micro Four Thirds cameras. It also does not have the tilting EVF, weather-sealing or microphone input offered by the GX8. 

Still, the GX85 shares many of its big brother’s features like 4K photo mode, Post Focus, Depth from Defocus AF, and Dual I.S.. It also has a redesigned shutter mechanism. Shutter-induced blur ('shutter shock') was an issue we encountered on the GX8, which used a motor and spring arrangement in its shutter mechanisms. The new electromagnetic shutter found in the GX85 resolves this problem.

The GX85 also has no anti-aliasing filter, a first for Panasonic cameras. This should lead to better detail retention at the pixel level, but can also lead to moiré. However, Panasonic claims that the new Venus Engine image processor is specially tuned to combat moiré and false color and in use, we've found that it does so pretty well.

Like the GX8, the GX85 offers Dual I.S., combining sensor-based image stabilization with lens-based IS. But unlike the GX8, which has 4-axis sensor IS, the GX85 offers 5-axis sensor IS with rotation correction. Another advantage over its big bro: the GX85 can also use Dual IS during 4K video capture, something that the GX8 cannot.

Compared to its peers

  Panasonic GX85 Panasonic GX8 Panasonic GX7 Olympus PEN-F  Sony a6300
Sensor 16.0MP Four Thirds CMOS  20.3MP Four Thirds CMOS 16.0MP Four Thirds CMOS  20.3MP Four Thirds CMOS  24.0MP APS-C CMOS
Anti-aliasing filter  No  Yes Yes  No  Yes
Image stabilization Sensor-shift (5-axis) + Dual I.S.
Sensor-shift (4-axis) + Dual I.S. Sensor-shift (2-axis) Sensor-shift (5-axis) In-lens only
AF system  49-pt CDAF 49-pt CDAF 23-pt CDAF 81-pt CDAF Hybrid AF
(with 425 PDAF points)
Flash x-sync  1/160 sec  1/250 sec   1/320 sec 1/250 sec  1/160 sec
Burst rate
(with C-AF)
 6  fps   6 fps 5 fps 5 fps   11 fps
EVF res/type 2.76M-dot field sequential LCD 2.36M-dot tilting OLED 2.76M-dot tilting field sequential LCD 2.36M-dot fixed OLED 2.36M-dot fixed OLED
EVF magnification  0.7X 0.77x  0.7x 0.62x  0.7x
LCD type/res 3" tilting touch 1.04M-dot LCD 3" vari-angle touch
1.04M-dot OLED
3" tilting touch
1.04M-dot LCD
3" vari-angle touch
1.04M-dot LCD

3" tilting
921.6k-Dot  LCD

Built-in flash  Yes  No  Yes No *  Yes
Video 2160/30p @ 100Mbps 2160/30p @ 100Mbps 1080/60p @ 28Mbps 1080/60p @ 77Mbps  2160/30p @ 100Mbps
Mic/headphone sockets No / No Yes / No No / No No / No Yes / No
Weather-sealing No Yes No No  Yes
Battery life  290 shots 330 shots 320 shots 330 shots 400 shots 
Dimensions 122 x 71 x 44 mm 133 x 78 x 63mm 123 x 71 x 55mm 125 x 72 x 37mm 120 x 67 x 49 mm
Weight (CIPA) 426 g 487 g 402 g  427 g 404 g
* External flash included in box 

It's arguable whether the GX85 should be called the little brother of the GX8 or the true replacement to the GX7. And the different regional naming conventions for the GX85 only add to the confusion. The chart above seems to give support to both ways of looking at it: the GX85 uses the same field sequential EVF as the GX7 (although it doesn't tilt), and what is presumably the same sensor (sans AA filter). And like the GX7, it lacks weather sealing and microphone/headphone ports but has a pop-up flash.

However, aside from its sensor and EVF, the GX85 also shares a lot of core components and specs with the GX8, such as its 49-point AF system, 4K video capture and 6 fps burst with AF. So whichever way you view the GX85, it certainly stacks up nicely to its Panasonic peers, as well as to the competition.

Part of the family: The GX85 (top) alongside its Lumix stablemates, the GX7 and GX8.

Pricing and availability 

Kitted with the collapsible 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 zoom lens, the GX85/GX80 will run you $799/£599/€699. In the UK and Europe it's available body-only for £509/€599 and with both the 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 and a 35-100mm F4-5.6 for £729/€899.

Categories: Equipment

Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 impresses with image quality, versatility

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 11:47am

Key Features

  • 16MP Four Thirds MOS sensor
  • Electromagnetically driven shutter
  • Depth from Defocus AF
  • 2.76M-dot field sequential EVF
  • 1.04M-dot tilting touchscreen display
  • 4K video / photo
  • 5-axis image stabilization with Dual I.S.
  • Bouncable pop-up flash
  • Wi-Fi

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 is a mid-range interchangeable lens camera sporting a 16MP Four Thirds sensor and 4K video capability. In markets outside of North America the GX85 is sold as the GX80; in Japan it is sold as the GX7 Mark II.

Sliding in directly below the flagship GX8, the GX85 is targeted toward enthusiast photographers and videographers. It doesn't use the new 20MP Four Thirds chip we saw in the GX8, instead it sticks with the familiar 16MP sensor used on many other Micro Four Thirds cameras. It also does not have the tilting EVF, weather-sealing or microphone input offered by the GX8. 

Still, the GX85 shares many of its big brother’s features like 4K photo mode, Post Focus, Depth from Defocus AF, and Dual I.S.. It also has a redesigned shutter mechanism. Shutter-induced blur ('shutter shock') was an issue we encountered on the GX8, which used a motor and spring arrangement in its shutter mechanisms. The new electromagnetic shutter found in the GX8 resolves this problem.

The GX85 also has no anti-aliasing filter, a first for Panasonic cameras. This should lead to better detail retention at the pixel level, but can also lead to moiré. However, Panasonic claims that the new Venus Engine image processor is specially tuned to combat moiré and false color and in use, we've found that it does so pretty well.

Like the GX8, the GX85 offers Dual I.S., combining sensor-based image stabilization with lens-based IS. But unlike the GX8, which has 4-axis sensor IS, the GX85 offers 5-axis sensor IS with rotation correction. Another advantage over its big bro: the GX85 can also use Dual IS during 4K video capture, something that the GX8 cannot.

Compared to its peers

  Panasonic GX85 Panasonic GX8 Panasonic GX7 Olympus PEN-F  Sony a6300
Sensor 16.0MP Four Thirds CMOS  20.3MP Four Thirds CMOS 16.0MP Four Thirds CMOS  20.3MP Four Thirds CMOS  24.0MP APS-C CMOS
Anti-aliasing filter  No  Yes Yes  No  Yes
Image stabilization Sensor-shift (5-axis) + Dual I.S.
Sensor-shift (4-axis) + Dual I.S. Sensor-shift (2-axis) Sensor-shift (5-axis) In-lens only
AF system  49-pt CDAF 49-pt CDAF 23-pt CDAF 81-pt CDAF Hybrid AF
(with 425 PDAF points)
Flash x-sync  1/160 sec  1/250 sec   1/320 sec 1/250 sec  1/160 sec
Burst rate
(with C-AF)
 6  fps   6 fps 5 fps 5 fps   11 fps
EVF res/type 2.76M-dot field sequential LCD 2.36M-dot tilting OLED 2.76M-dot tilting field sequential LCD 2.36M-dot fixed OLED 2.36M-dot fixed OLED
EVF magnification  0.7X 0.77x  0.7x 1.23x  0.7x
LCD type/res 3" tilting touch 1.04M-dot LCD 3" vari-angle touch
1.04M-dot OLED
3" tilting touch
1.04M-dot LCD
3" vari-angle touch
1.04M-dot LCD

3" tilting
921.6k-Dot  LCD

Built-in flash  Yes  No  Yes No *  Yes
Video 2160/30p @ 100MBps 2160/30p @ 100MBps 1080/60p @ 28MBps 1080/60p @ 77Mbps  2160/30p @ 100MBps
Mic/headphone sockets No / No Yes / No No / No No / No Yes / No
Weather-sealing No Yes No No  Yes
Battery life  290 shots 330 shots 320 shots 330 shots 400 shots 
Dimensions 122 x 71 x 44 mm 133 x 78 x 63mm 123 x 71 x 55mm 125 x 72 x 37mm 120 x 67 x 49 mm
Weight (CIPA) 426 g 487 g 402 g  427 g 404 g
* External flash included in box 

It's arguable whether the GX85 should be called the little brother of the GX8 or the true replacement to the GX7. And the different regional naming conventions for the GX85 only add to the confusion. The chart above seems to give support to both ways of looking at it: the GX85 uses the same field sequential EVF as the GX7 (although it doesn't tilt), and what is presumably the same sensor (sans AA filter). And like the GX7, it lacks weather sealing and microphone/headphone ports but has a pop-up flash.

However, aside from its sensor and EVF, the GX85 also shares a lot of core components and specs with the GX8, such as its 49-point AF system, 4K video capture and 6 fps burst with AF. So whichever way you view the GX85, it certainly stacks up nicely to its Panasonic peers, as well as to the competition.

Part of the family: The GX85 (top) alongside its Lumix stablemates, the GX7 and GX8.

Pricing and availability 

Kitted with the collapsible 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 zoom lens, the GX85/GX80 will run you $799/£599/€699. In the UK and Europe it's available body-only for £509/€599 and with both the 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 and a 35-100mm F4-5.6 for £729/€899.

Categories: Equipment

Raw capture coming to iPhone in iOS 10?

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 11:23am

An eagle-eyed Reddit user has spotted an important new iOS 10 feature that Apple slipped into its WWDC keynote yesterday: Raw image editing. The feature didn't get a mention in the keynote speech itself, which instead focused on the addition of computer vision technology to sort photos more intelligently. Instead, the mention of Raw editing flashed on the screen behind SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi. 

Apple's news release for developers seems to suggest that Raw capture will also be offered with the update, which brings 'more sophisticated control and monitoring of the entire [image] capture process [...] including support for new features such as Live Photos and RAW format capture'.

Many Android users have been enjoying Raw capture for some time now, so Apple would seem to be catching up. But the biggest news for photographers might be the ability to edit Raw files on an iPad Pro. iOS 10 is being offered in beta currently to developers, and will be released to the public this fall.

Categories: Equipment

Amazing underwater 4K footage from Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 7:00am

Backscatter Underwater Video & Photo in Monterey CA is the world's leading supplier for underwater imaging equipment. But as well as selling underwater photography gear, the staff at Backscatter also put it to good use.

Staff member Russ Sanoian has been diving with the Canon EOS-1D X Mk II for a little while and you can check out the results of his dives in the video below. We spoke to Russ about what makes a good underwater camera, and why he thinks the EOS-1D X Mark II is a good option for stills and video shooters.

What do you do at Backscatter?

Backscatter is the largest underwater Photography store in the world. We dive, shoot and service everything we sell and all employees are underwater videographers and photographers. I am our Product Manager and responsible for sales of underwater equipment. 

What makes a good underwater camera?

Large sensors and High ISO are critical for good underwater performance as it's typically a low light environment. Artificial lights or strobes can help with macro/close up, but for wide-angle photography. To shoot with the EOS-1D X Mark II I'm using a Nauticam 1D X Mk II housing with a Small HD Monitor.

What has impressed you about the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II underwater?

I owned and shot with the Sony a7R II before the 1D X Mk II, but the Canon shoots 4K at 60p, which is a big deal. It's great in low light and ISO at 2500 footage is incredibly clean.

I've also found that Canon cameras are the best for manual white balance underwater, they will nail a custom white balance setting at any depth and have the best blues in the industry even edging out RED cameras. So far I have shot the EOS-1D X Mark II with the Canon EF 100mm F2.8L IS USM Macro IS and the Canon EF 8-15mm F4L Fisheye USM attached.

Can you share some quick tips for underwater photography?

Always shoot in manual mode, and lock focus manually. This can be extremely challenging for macro subjects but is the best way to shoot with such a narrow depth of field. The 1D X Mk II has incredible autofocus and I have been testing it but so far it's just not accurate enough for underwater work.

Categories: Equipment

Apple Photos gets smarter in iOS 10, macOS 'Sierra'

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 5:08pm

On the first day of its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple has announced new features for its Photos app on both iOS 10 and macOS ‘Sierra,’ scheduled for release this fall.

The updated Apple Photos apps will use 'advanced computer vision technology' to identify people, objects and scenes in order to allow for intelligent searching and automatic sorting based on content. Most notably, a new Memories feature will use this information to automatically create movies and shareable collections of photos based on data such as people, places and events such as a trip or holiday.

Additional features leveraging the new technology include a People album, which automatically groups photos based on who is in the shot, a Places album, which plots your photos on an interactive world map, and Intelligent Search, which allows searches based on the content of photos.

Although Google has provided similar features through its Google Photos service for some time, Apple’s offering includes one feature that may appeal to many users: instead of sending photos to the cloud for analysis, Apple will use on-device intelligence to analyze and categorize photos in order to protect user privacy.

For more information about the new Photos apps head on over to Apple's website.

Categories: Equipment

Kerlee 35mm F1.2 is 'World's fastest' 35mm for full frame cameras

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 3:56pm
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Industrial lens manufacturer Shenzhen Dongzheng Optics Technology has announced the Kerlee 35mm F1.2 – which it claims is the fastest 35mm designed for full-frame SLR cameras. The lens is manual focus and features a choice of clicked or silent aperture operation to suit both stills and movie photographers. The company says it will produce units with mounts in Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony E and Pentax K fittings.

The lens uses 11 elements in 10 groups and includes two high refractive index lenses and one ED low dispersion element. The company says the closest focusing distance is 0.3m / 1ft, but optical performance is said to be at its best when the subject is 1-5m / 3.2-16.4ft from the camera. The smallest aperture is F22 and a depth of field scale is provided.

Pricing has yet to be released, but more information can be found on the Dongzheng Optics website.

Press release:

The world’s first SLR full frame camera support large aperture lens 35mm f/1.2

KERLEE 1.2/35 lens, specially developed for all lovers of photography,
is of high performances featuring large aperture, soft Bokeh effect and rich colors.

Features:
1. Minimum focus distance is up to 0.3.
2. Optional switchable aperture lock, allowing for smooth adjustment in video mode.
3. The optimal distance is within 1-5 meters with the best image quality
4. Smooth focusing feel, appropriate damping and superior experiences.
5. ED lens effectively improve image/color differences.
6. It’s globally the first 35mm F/1.2 large aperture lens that supports single-lens reflex full-frame cameras. When taking an image, set the aperture to Maximum f1.2 can conspicuously emphasize the subject on the background, producing a nice picture atmosphere.
7. Excellent rendering effect in dim light, also enhance shutter speed to complete a shot

Categories: Equipment

STG Uploader app allows Sony cameras to upload directly to Google Photos

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 2:33pm

A new unofficial app called STG Uploader enables Sony cameras compatible with PlayMemories Camera Apps to upload content directly to Google Photos. Running the application will prompt the user to set up a Wi-Fi access point, after which the user will authorize the app to place an oAuth token on the camera’s SD card, a safer alternative to saving the user’s Google username and password on the camera.

Full instructions on installing the app are located on the Sony-PMCA-RE Github. Once installed and set up, users are presented with a simple screen that shows how many photos are ready to be uploaded to Google Photos and how many have already been uploaded. An upload status bar is provided, as well as an option for erasing the upload database.

According to a user at SonyAlpha Rumors, the app uploads photos in full resolution. Images uploaded directly will appear in Google Photos with the name 'SonyUpload' followed by the date. Note that formatting the SD card will cause the oAuth token to be erased and the app setup process will have to be repeated.

Via: SonyAlpha Rumors

Categories: Equipment

Time-lapse captures fast-changing Singapore skyline over three years

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 12:55pm

Time-lapse and tilt-shift specialist Keith Loutit's latest project has been years in the making. The Lion City II - Majulah is a follow-up to another impressive feature, documenting the rise and fall (but mostly rise) of skyscrapers on Singapore's skyline over the course of three years.

Channel NewsAsia reports that the four-minute video is the culmination of 500 hours of shooting from June 2013 to June 2016. The soundtrack was composed for the project by Michael Adler Miltersen in collaboration with Loutit. 

The Lion City II tells a compelling story about daily life in the shadow of urban growth. And as someone who played way too much Sim City as a kid, I'm pretty sure I could watch this on repeat all morning. Are you inspired to start a time-lapse project of your own? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: Equipment

2016 Roundup: Semi-Pro Interchangeable Lens Cameras

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 8:00am

Within this category, which is made up of cameras costing $2000 or more (body-only, and based on MSRP in the US), you'll find some of the fiercest competitors the camera industry has to offer. This includes cameras with 50 or more megapixels geared perfectly for studio shooters, 4K-capable cameras for serious film makers, and all-rounders that can easily split their time between pro-level still shooting and high-end video capture.

All of the cameras in this price range use full-frame sensors. And while most of them are DSLRs, there are also several mirrorless options as well. Simply put, there is something here to satisfy just about everyone who is willing to pony up the requisite funds. Read through to see what makes this segment so cutthroat, and what innovations are driving this tier forwards at a remarkable pace. 

The models covered in this roundup are:

Note: We purposely excluded the Canon EOS 1DX II, Nikon D5 and Pentax 645Z from this roundup as we feel the capabilities of both cameras put them in a class of their own, which we'll cover in an additional roundup.

Categories: Equipment

India says no to Google Street View, citing security concerns

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 7:00am
Launched in 2007, Google's Street View service uses imagery captured by cameras mounted on cars, backpacks, bicycles and snowmobiles. Today, the service covers locations all over the globe.

Indian officials have told the BBC that the country has rejected Google's plans to image its towns and cities as part of its expanding Street View service. Citing security concerns around 'sensitive defense installations,' officials point out that planning for the 2008 Mumbai attacks was believed to have involved photographic reconnaissance. As such, the country believes, Street View could compromise national security.

This isn't the first time that Google's Street View service has attracted concerns. Several countries have at one time or other raised privacy and security worries. The Czech government has banned the company from taking any new imagery (current Street View images of Prague are frozen at 2014), and in 2010, almost 250,000 Germans requested that Google blur images of their homes.

Categories: Equipment

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