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All articles from Digital Photography Review
Updated: 40 min 25 sec ago

Readers' Showcase: Phil Garcia

Sun, 04/10/2016 - 8:00am

Readers' Showcase: Phil Garcia

Arctic fox, Iceland 2014. A young white morph Arctic Fox sunbathing in front of his den. After spending a week camping close to that place, the family just accepted me as one of them. Probably because of the smell! Photo and caption by Phil Garcia

Phil Garcia made a career of shooting mountain sports, but found his hobby photographing wildlife becoming more than a side project. Now he maintains a home in Iceland, studying and capturing the country's native Arctic Fox. Garcia is about to publish a book of his Arctic Fox photographs, and shares with us his views on photographing wildlife, respecting the natural world and what it takes to weather Iceland's rain.

You can see more of his work at his website, and reserve a copy of his forthcoming book by contributing to his crowdfunding campaign. Interested in having your work featured in an upcoming Readers' Showcase? Let us know! Include your DPR user name a link to your online portfolio.

Readers' Showcase: Phil Garcia

Common Vulture, Pyrénées mountains, Spain 2016. Vultures are quite common in my area and they are my winter favorite. I spend loads of time every year at the top of this cliff in the biting wind to catch this kind of shot. Photo and caption by Phil Garcia

Tell us where you're from and your history with photography.

I'm a French photographer – I was born in the Pyrenees mountains, close to the Spanish border. It's a mountain area with lots of wildlife, such as eagles, vultures, capercaillie, foxes, mountain goats, deers, etc. I bought my first camera when I was 15, that was 30 years ago. Then I became a full time photographer in the sports business, specifically mountain sports such as skiing and mountain biking. I shot for big brands like Oakley and Redbull and also for many magazines, while shooting wildlife and nature photography as a hobby.

Readers' Showcase: Phil Garcia

Atlantic puffin, Iceland, 2015. Some years ago, I made my first trip to Iceland. That was the time before I went completely mad about that country and decided to buy a house there and spend lots of time photographing its nature. This puffin was shot in the midnight light on the westernmost point of Iceland, facing Greenland. Photo and caption by Phil Garcia

What do you shoot with now?

I'm a Canon guy, and at the moment I shoot with the EOS 5D Mark III and 7D II. I don't use the 1D series anymore, mainly for weight reasons. Because I travel lots I like to take advantage of the APS-C format with smaller and lighter lenses. My lens kit include the 300mm F2.8, 70-200mm F2.8, 100mm macro, TS-E 90mm, 50mm and 16-35mm F4, all L-series.

Readers' Showcase: Phil Garcia

Eurasian Nuthatch, Pyrénées Mountains, France 2013. Snow is also one of my favorites subjects, but this picture was made from a comfortable shelter in my garden! Photo and caption by Phil Garcia

What kind of subjects do you specialize in photographing?

In my wildlife and nature photography, I like mountain mammals and birds of prey. But I shoot any kind of animal if it makes an aesthetic picture. I'm more after the good light and scene than after some particular or rare species. There are lots of animals I've never photographed properly but I don't really mind, I'm not ticking boxes. I prefer a good shot of a sparrow than 50 average shots of eagles.

Readers' Showcase: Phil Garcia

Arctic Fox, Iceland 2016. In winter, the arctic foxes of the white morph turn completely white. That’s a picture that took me a long time to get, as most of their areas are so remote that it’s quite impossible to get there in the middle of the winter, as the roads are often closed and the boats can’t sail. Photo and caption by Phil Garcia

You're preparing a book featuring the Arctic Fox for publication. What draws you to this subject in particular?

I've spent a lot of time in Iceland over the last five years, as I bought a house there. Iceland is full of birds but there is only one proper mammal to photograph: the Arctic Fox. And it's a hard one, it took me two years to get my first proper shot of an Arctic Fox. I spent lots of time in the field, and I got to know Ester, an Icelandic biologist specialized in Arctic Foxes. With my wife, we participate in local studies for its protection, spending weeks taking notes in front of a den in the cold and rain. In the end, it has become a full time passion, even when I'm not in Iceland!

Readers' Showcase: Phil Garcia

Arctic fox, Iceland 2014. July is the time for the young foxes to learn many things from their parents. Although the animal is a canid, the cubs love to play in a very kitten-like way. Photo and caption by Phil Garcia

Iceland is an important photographic subject to you as well. What is it that makes it such a unique destination for photographers?

Like in many Arctic countries, I think the light makes all the difference. It has amazing light and a very wild nature. I can spend a week in the field and hardly meet a couple of people. I photograph animals that may see a man twice a year. And many places are not hunted, meaning the animals are not extremely afraid of man, like in many other places in the world. 

Readers' Showcase: Phil Garcia

Arctic fox, Iceland 2014. After spending a week around them, the mother of this cub was so confident in me that she very often left me at her den with her cubs around while she went hunting guillemots for them. During that time, the male kept on checking the territory from a distance. He never got that friendly. Photo and caption by Phil Garcia

What advice would you give a photographer visiting Iceland for the first time?

Any photographer I've met who has traveled to Iceland for the first time has one thing to say: 'When will I be able to go back there?!' It's amazing but it's a hard country too: it's cold at any time of the year, and you always need a good rain outfit. I mean a real rain outfit, not just Goretex, thick rubber like sailors wear! If you visit Iceland, you must also take a lot of care to not disturb the natural environment – don't break any plants, don't walk on moss. It took the moss three hundreds of years to grow some centimeters thick and can be ruined instantly.

Readers' Showcase: Phil Garcia

Stilt, Mediterranean area, France, 2015. I love to play with lights and water, especially when I use my floating hide. This stilt was playing with the light too. Photo and caption by Phil Garcia

What's the experience of publishing a photo book been like so far?

It's been going pretty well so far as I decided to publish it myself, so I'm the boss of everything! It's a subject that is hard to sell for a publisher so I didn't even bother to propose it. It's really a lot of work to promote the book, but the crowdfunding went pretty well, it's almost done. Now comes the fun part of checking the files, the paper orders and the printing. I've done that already in a previous job, so it should be fine and the book will be beautiful!

Readers' Showcase: Phil Garcia

Arctic fox, Iceland 2014. This was certainly the first time that this blue-morph Arctic Fox met a man in a short distance. He was not scared at all, just very curious. Photo and caption by Phil Garcia

What advice would you give to new wildlife photographers?

That's an easy one, as I have guided workshops in Iceland for the last three years. I'll tell you what I tell my people: First, learn everything about the animal, from books or the internet. Second, learn about its habitat. Then you can open your camera bag and hopefully shoot something. Let the animal determine the distance, never follow it when it leaves and most importantly, as my friend Ester would say: 'Don't feed the foxes!' What that generally means is 'Don't interfere in the animal's life, just look at it.'

Categories: Equipment

Get out your spudger: iFixit Panasonic FZ1000 disassembled

Sat, 04/09/2016 - 8:00am

iFixit Disassembles the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

Feeling like taking apart your pricey Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 enthusiast superzoom? Probably not. Thankfully, the good folks at iFixit have already done the work for you. So grab your spudger and #00 screwdriver and follow along!

iFixit Disassembles the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

The first rule of camera disassembly is... removing the battery! No need to take off the battery door at this time, as that whole compartment will be removed later in the process.

All images courtesy of iFixit.

iFixit Disassembles the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

After rotating the LCD outward and removing a few screws, it's time to get out that spudger and separate the display from the body.

All images courtesy of iFixit.

iFixit Disassembles the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

And here's the 3" touchscreen LCD separated from its frame.

All images courtesy of iFixit.

iFixit Disassembles the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

Now it's time to get out the #00 screwdriver and get down to business. The screws on the top and both sides must all come out.

All images courtesy of iFixit.

iFixit Disassembles the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

You can then pull the back panel off, after which you need to carefully remove a lot of ribbon cables.

All images courtesy of iFixit.

iFixit Disassembles the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

With ribbon cables and yet more screws removed, the motherboard can be pulled out. While we're not 100% certain, that large chip could be the Venus Engine processor.

All images courtesy of iFixit.

iFixit Disassembles the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

Coming out next is the camera's 2.36 million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder. The unit is a lot bigger than you think!

All images courtesy of iFixit.

iFixit Disassembles the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

After - you guessed it - more screws and ribbon cables, the lens can be liberated from the rest of the body. In case you're forgotten, this is a 25-400mm equivalent F2.8-4 'super zoom' lens.

All images courtesy of iFixit.

iFixit Disassembles the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

After removing the aperture motor and yet more screws and ribbon cables, the FZ1000's 20MP, 1"-type BSI CMOS sensor is now yours for the taking.

All images courtesy of iFixit.

iFixit Disassembles the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

Very gently, the top panel can be removed from the frame. iFixit warns users to be careful when doing this, so electrical wires aren't snapped.

All images courtesy of iFixit.

iFixit Disassembles the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

The disassembly is nearing its end, as this metal panel - probably used to dissipate heat - is taken off.

All images courtesy of iFixit.

iFixit Disassembles the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

After removing with what seemed like a million screw removals, the FZ1000 has finally been completely disassembled. As you can imagine, putting it back together is as 'simple' as doing everything in reverse!

Thanks to iFixit for showing everyone how it's done!

Categories: Equipment

Macphun updates Tonality with batch processing and Raw support for more cameras

Fri, 04/08/2016 - 3:42pm

Software manufacturer Macphun has announced an update to its Tonality application that introduces batch processing, free preset packs, as well as Raw support for a wider range of cameras.

The black and white image manipulation package designed for the Mac platform already offers 160 ready-made manipulation and effects settings, but will now offer between one to three extra settings per month, created by a band of professional photographers. The company has four contributing professionals at the moment and will add a new one each month to enlarge the collection of settings users can download for free. Users can, of course, create their own presets using the tools and controls provided and can then share these amoung themselves. Further pre-sets are available to purchase.

The update also brings raw support for owners of Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II, Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR, Leica Q (Typ 116), Leica SL (Typ 601), Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246), Nikon D300S, Panasonic DMC-G7, Sony DSLR-A700, Sony DSC-RX100M3 and Sony DSC-RX10M2 cameras.

The company has also added a link to the 500px image sharing website to smooth the uploading of pictures directly from the program, and has also made it easier to export files to Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom applications.

The program is available in three forms, as a standalone application that is priced £15 (though £7.99 until 14th April), as part of the Tonality Complete Kit you get the Pro Version for £48.99, or as part of Creative Kit 2016 with five other Macphun applications for £89.99.

For more information see the Macphun website.

New Tonality updates brings amateur photographers closer to professionals

Ability to add free preset packs created by worldfamous photographers, 500px export integration, batch processing, new cameras support, and special discounts at Mac App Store

Macphun Software, a leading innovative photography app developer with over 30 million users worldwide, have today launched a major update to Tonality, their awardwinning black and white photo editor for Mac.
To celebrate the update, Macphun are offering a 50% discount and a free batch processing in the MAS version of Tonality for one week only (7th14th April) .

What are the key highlights of the update to Tonality?

Preset Packs from WorldFamous Photographers

Tonality users will now have access to a free preset library, created by professional photographers from around the world. To access the library, users simply need to click “Get more presets” from inside the software.

Macphun have enlisted the expertise of professional photographers, including Serge Ramelli, John Batdorff, Dan Hughes, Andy Krucezk and others to create exciting new preset packs exclusive to Tonality, which can be found at macphun.com/tonalitypresets.

Statistics show that since August 2014 (when the software was launched) Tonality users have processed over 7 million images , and applied over 50 million presets to their photos. Current favourite preset packs include Portrait, Architecture, and Dramatic.

500px Support plus 3month FREE membership

Macphun have teamed up with 500px to allow users to easily export images directly from Tonality to the global online photography community. Macphun are also excited to offer a 3month 500px membership for free as a bonus to Tonality.

More cameras supported

RAW file support has been improved and extended so RAW image files can now be opened from a variety of new cameras: Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II, Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR 100, LEICA Q (Typ 116), LEICA SL (Typ 601), LEICA M MONOCHROM (Typ 246), NIKON D300S, Panasonic DMCG7, Sony DSLRA700,
Sony DSCRX100M3, Sony DSCRX10M2.

What other new features and improvements can be expected?

Other improvements include ability to export images from Tonality to Aurora HDR, improved Lightroom and Photoshop export, improved language translation quality, and improved stability.

Standard version of Tonality (available on the Mac App Store)
In addition to all the updates listed above, the Mac App Store version of Tonality now includes batch processing as an InApp purchase. The batch processing inapp will be available for free between 7th and 14th April. Batch in Tonality allows users to process, rename and resize dozens of photos at the same time.

What is Tonality?
Tonality is a compelling black and white photo editor. It combines the authenticity of the
monochrome analog era and the cuttingedge colour technologies of the digital age. Reimagine your monochrome image editing with hundreds of presets, layers, unique digital controls, authentic grain and more.

Pricing and Availability:

Tonality is available as a standard version through the Mac App Store, a standalone Pro version direct from https://macphun.com/tonality , or as part of Creative Kit 2016 at macphun.com/creativekit . The standard version of Tonality is available via the Mac App Store at the 50% discount: £7.99 from 7th-14th April: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/tonality/id892581529?mt=12

Tonality CK standalone is available direct from https://macphun.com/tonality at £48.99. Creative Kit 2016, featuring Tonality and five other incredible Macphun apps, is available direct from macphun.com/creativekit at £89.99.

Categories: Equipment

Crossing the Bridge: Canon XC10 Review

Fri, 04/08/2016 - 11:00am

Canon XC10 key features

  • 12 Megapixel 1" CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC DV5 image processor
  • Fixed 10x (24 - 240mm equivalent) zoom lens with image stabilizer
  • Face Detection/Tracking auto-focus mode
  • Records 4K XF-AVC UHD (3840 x 2160) video to CFast 2.0 cards
  • 305Mbps video codec (4K)
  • Canon Log (12 stops of dynamic range)
  • Slow and Fast motion capture
  • 12 Megapixel stills (JPEG only, no RAW)

Hybrid, aka bridge, cameras are those capable of capturing both high-quality stills and video. Although they have been around since the release of the Nikon D90 and Canon 5D Mark II, a professional mirrorless hybrid camera is a new category for Canon. When Canon announced the XC10 at NAB 2015, there was some confusion as to what kind of camera it was. Was it a system targeted towards Canon DSLR shooters or Vixia shooters? A drone camera? Or a micro ENG camera? The only thing that was certain was that Canon positioned the camera as one that could credibly be used for both video and still photography work.

The XC10 is an all-in-one compact hybrid camera that features both 4K and Full HD video capture as well as 12 Megapixel stills. It has great ergonomics for handheld shooting, is built around a 1"-type sensor, and includes the ability to record Canon Log, providing up to 12 stops of dynamic range. Optically, it uses a fixed zoom with a 2x Digital Teleconverter and Optical Image Stabilization, as well as a built-in ND filter.

The XC10's lens gives you a focal range of 27.3-273mm equivalent for video capture and 24.1-241mm equiv. for stills. For monitoring, the camera features a touchscreen with Vari-Angle LCD monitor and an included loupe to mount to the LCD for viewing in bright environments. Unlike the 1080p EOS 5D Mark III, the XC10's video workflow options should meet the standards for professional video shooters, offering H.264 4:2:2/8-bit MXF 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) files (up to 305Mbps) to internal CFast 2.0 cards, or Full HD (1920 x 1080) to SD cards.

Its form factor sets the XC10 apart from typical DSLR and compact mirrorless cameras like the Sony a7R II or Panasonic GH4. With its adjustable side grip and loupe attached for continuous run-and-gun video shooting, the XC10 slightly resembles Canon's Cinema EOS cameras, such as the C300 Mark II and the C100 Mark II. With its side grip and adjustable LCD, you can comfortably shoot and monitor your shots at any angle.

Though probably intended for slightly different audiences, on paper the XC10 has a couple of competitors in this space: Sony RX10 II/III and Panasonic FZ1000. All three cameras contain 1"-type sensors and capture 4K video. The RX10 II/III also give you cinematic picture profiles, including S-Log2 which, like Canon Log, extends the cameras' latitude. Unlike the RX10 II/III and FZ1000, which are aimed at stills photographers, the XC10 does not support Raw image capture. Also, the XC10 is by far the most expensive of the three with a retail price of $2,499 (though street prices hover around $1,999).

And if video is your primary format, the XC10 could well be a solid replacement for your DSLR, especially if you need to capture 4K. So the question becomes, can the XC10 be a credible stills camera for people who primarily shoot video but need high quality stills in certain situations? Let's find out.

Categories: Equipment

Lee announces very hard neutral density grads for seascapes

Thu, 04/07/2016 - 2:32pm
Before and after with the Lee Filters Very Hard ND graduated filter

Lee Filters has announced a new range of neutral density graduated filters that have an extra hard transition from dark to clear, making them suitable for shooting seascapes and scenes in which the horizon is very flat. Along with these new 'very hard' graduates, the company has launched another range that has a 'medium' strength transition that sits between the traditional 'hard' and 'soft' grades.

Both of the new grades are available in half-stop incremental strengths from one to four stops, and in sizes compatible with the Seven5, 100mm and SW150 systems.
For more information visit the Lee Filters website.

Pricing

Seven5 medium grad (single filter 0.3ND to 0.9ND) RRP £51.88 (excl VAT)
Seven5 medium grad (single filter 1.2 ND) RRP £77.82 (excl VAT)
Seven5 medium grad set (0.3ND, 0.6ND & 0.9ND) RRP £138.35 (excl VAT)
100mm very hard & medium grad (single filter 0.3ND to 0.9ND) RRP £71.86 (excl VAT)
100mm very hard & medium grad (single filter 1.2 ND) RRP £108.86 (excl VAT)
100mm very hard and medium grad sets (0.3ND, 0.6ND & 0.9ND) RRP £179.66 (excl VAT)
SW150 very hard & medium grad (single filter 0.3ND to 0.9ND) RRP £79.70 (excl VAT)
SW150 very hard & medium grad (single filter 1.2 ND) RRP £119.55 (excl VAT)
SW150 very hard & medium grad sets (0.3ND, 0.6ND & 0.9ND) RRP £215.00 (excl VAT)

Press release:

LEE Filters introduces very hard and medium neutral-density graduated filters to its systems

Traditionally, neutral-density graduated filters have been available exclusively in hard and soft versions. However, because all neutral-density grads in the LEE Filters range are made by hand, it is possible to be extremely precise with the depth of the transition between the coated and clear sections of the filter. As a result, LEE Filters has the capabilities to manufacture ND grads in medium and very hard versions. In the past, these were available exclusively as custom-made filters for professional photographers. Now, however, they have been made available to all those who use the Seven5, 100mm and SW150 systems.

The medium and very hard grads not only expand a photographer’s creative options, they also allow for even more exact control when balancing lighter and darker areas of the frame. The very hard grad (available for the 100mm & SW150 systems) is perfect for seascapes that feature a completely flat horizon line, while the medium grad (available for the Seven5, 100mm and SW150 systems) is that perfect ‘in-between’ strength that is ideal for any scene in which an element of the composition – a mountain or a building, for example – protrudes into the sky.

Both ND grads are available in 0.3ND (1 stop), 0.45ND (1½ stops), 0.6ND (2 stops), 0.75ND (2½ stops), 0.9ND (3 stops) and 1.2ND (4 stops) strengths.

For further information, contact LEE Filters on 01264 366245; sales@leefilters.com; www.leefilters.com

Categories: Equipment

Hasselblad announces 100MP H6D-100c capable of 4K, H6D-50c 50MP option

Thu, 04/07/2016 - 11:11am
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Hasselblad has added the H6D range to its medium-format lineup, offering the H6D-100c with 100MP CMOS sensor and 4K video along with the H6D-50c with 50MP CMOS sensor. The H6D system offers a new, faster processor, a 3" 920k-dot touchscreen monitor, dual card slots, built-in Wi-Fi and USB 3.0 connectivity. Both cameras offer 1080/30p HD shooting in the H.264 format, and include mini HDMI and audio I/O ports. Hasselblad has updated its H series of lenses to support a top 1/2000sec shutter speed when used with the H6D system.

The H6D-100c includes 4K/UHD video recording in a proprietary Hasselblad Raw format, which can be ingested and converted by Phocus 3.0. The 100MP variant also provides a higher ISO range up to 12800, continuous shooting at 1.5 fps and claims 15 stops of dynamic range. With 50MP the H6D-50c claims 14 stops of dynamic range and is capable of 2.5 fps continuous shooting. 

The Hasselblad H6D-50c will cost $25,995/€22,900; the H6D-100c is priced at $32,995/€28,900.

Press release:

Hasselblad launches an all new medium format camera

75 years at the forefront of imagery, Hasselblad continues to innovate

Hasselblad began its journey when founder, Victor Hasselblad, refused to simply copy an aerial surveillance camera at the request of the Swedish government who asked him if he had the skills to produce a camera identical to one that had been captured. He famously said: ‘No, but I can make a better one’. The camera maker has once again, followed Victor’s philosophy and applied it to the award winning H medium format camera – launching the all new H6D.

Rather than an improvement on the existing medium format H Cameras, the H6D range has been completely rebuilt with new technical components and an all new electronic platform. The pioneering range retains the modularity appreciated by medium format enthusiasts along with iconic design elements and Swedish handmade quality for which Hasselblad is renowned.

The H6D range introduces the H6D-100c with CMOS sensor, a 100MP option and the H6D-50c with a 50MP CMOS sensor. A wider range of shutter speeds from 60 minutes to 1/2000th of a second, increased ISO range and a faster shooting rate along with USB 3.0 Type-C connector that delivers exceptionally fast file transfer. The H lens range is fully compatible and, with the choice of a faster shutter speed, can be further leveraged than with previous ranges.

The H6D-100c brings 4K video capability to medium format. The high-definition rear touchscreen LCD delivers a pin sharp live view experience and Wi-Fi as standard, a HDMI connector, for external monitor connectivity, completes the tool set.

Built-in dual card slots allow enhanced media capability; a CFast slot allows for high-speed capture and an SD card slot enables maximum compatibility. The all new platform is capable of handling the largest file throughput with speed and ease using optimised algorithms for matchless quality les.

Hasselblad’s image processing software, Phocus, has been enhanced with the new 3.0 version delivering additional features that allow you to apply local adjustments in the image and a new graphical interface that improves work flow and user experience.

Commenting on the launch Perry Oosting, Hasselblad CEO noted: “The launch of the H6D range is the beginning of a year of celebration for Hasselblad. It’s fitting that we have returned to our pinnacle medium format camera to showcase the innovation and passion that have been present in every one of our first 75 years. Our obsessive approach to optical quality and precision hand building in Sweden is at the heart of this camera.

We have retained the best and introduced the most relevant – delivering a medium format camera which we believe the Hasselblad user will fall in love with all over again.”

Categories: Equipment

Huawei Mate S camera review

Thu, 04/07/2016 - 8:00am

The Huawei Mate S boasts a 13MP RGBW sensor, an F2.0 lens and optical image stabilization, with a build quality that places it at the premium end of the market. While its spec positions it against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4, if your priority is imaging capabilities the Mate S can't quite match the competition. Read more

Categories: Equipment

Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens launches on Kickstarter

Wed, 04/06/2016 - 2:05pm
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Lomography is seeking funds in its latest Kickstarter campaign to bring into production a Daguerreotype Achromat F2.9 to F16 65mm Art Lens, a recreation of the first photographic optic lens from 1839. The lens is designed to work with modern analog and digital cameras, and will be available in Canon EF and Nikon F mounts with support for 'multitudes of other cameras using adapter mounts.'

The 64mm Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens will be available with black and brass finishes, and will support Micro Four Thirds cameras, the Fujifilm X-Pro1, Sony Alpha cameras and others using adapter mounts. An array of special effects are produced via Waterhouse Aperture plates; they range from what is described as an 'ethereal soft focus' at apertures below F4 to sharper effects with deep contrasts at aperture F5.6 and greater.

The special effects are created by inserting Waterhouse Aperture plates into a slot in the lens, positioning the plate in front of the lens elements. Three sets of plates are supported: Standard, Lumière, and Aquarelle. The latter two sets, Lumière and Aquarelle, were created by Lomography for this particular lens to create different effects in out-of-focus highlights.

By pledging to Lommography's Kickstarter, supporters can reserve an early copy of the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens, though certain backing options have been sold out, such as the brass 'super early bird' launch deal. Remaining pledge options include $400 for a brass or black-finish lens, $500 for a low serial number Nikon mount brass lens and $550 for an earlier September 2016 shipment rather than the later December shipment, among others.

Categories: Equipment

Huawei launches P9 and P9 Plus with Leica dual-camera

Wed, 04/06/2016 - 12:49pm

Huawei has launched the P9 and P9 Plus in London today. The new models jointly replace last year's P8 and are the first products coming out of Huawei's collaboration with camera maker Leica. Read more

Categories: Equipment

Lexar launches USB 3.0 card reader for XQD storage

Wed, 04/06/2016 - 12:13pm

Memory card manufacturer Lexar has announced a new card reader for users of XQD format memory cards that uses the USB 3.0 standard. The XQD 2.0 USB 3.0 Reader is designed to be used with XQD 2.0 cards and to move large amounts of data in a short time. Lexar says the reader is particularly aimed at those shooting high quantities of Raw files and those recording 4K video, and claims the built-in USB plug on the reader makes it more portable and easy to use as no cables are required.

The reader is backward compatible with USB 2.0 devices, but obviously with some sacrifice in speed. Theoretically, USB 3.0 devices can transfer data at a rate of up to 640MB/s, which is ten times the theoretical speed of USB 2.0 devices. Currently the fastest read speed for a Lexar XQD card is 400MB/s.

The XQD 2.0 USB 3.0 Reader will cost £29.99/$34.99 when it becomes available at the end of this month.
For more information see the Lexar website.

Press release:

Accelerate workflow with high-speed file transfer

Product highlights

  • Provides professional-level high-speed transfer of RAW images and 4K video files
  • Accelerates workflow, leveraging SuperSpeed USB 3.0 technology
  • Designed for use with XQD™ 2.0 cards
  • Compact, portable design for photographers and videographers on the go
  • Five-year limited warranty

Quickly transfer files on the go with the Lexar Professional XQD 2.0 USB 3.0 Reader. This professional-level, portable USB 3.0 reader easily offloads a large number of RAW images and 4K video from your XQD 2.0 card to your computer at USB 3.0 speeds, accelerating workflow and getting you back behind the camera faster.

Quickly offload RAW images and 4K video. Leveraging SuperSpeed USB 3.0 performance, this small but mighty reader makes it easy to quickly transfer a huge number of large files and speed through post-production. This makes it an excellent choice for professional photographers and videographers—either in the studio or on the go.

Convenient portability. With its compact, portable design, you can slip the reader into your pocket and go. No need to tote a bag or carry cables. Its simple plug-and-play design with USB 3.0 connector makes it easy to quickly offload content—wherever you are. For versatility, it’s backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices at USB 2.0 speeds.

Rigorously tested. All Lexar product designs undergo extensive testing in the Lexar Quality Labs, facilities with more than 1,100 digital devices, to ensure performance, quality, compatibility, and reliability.

Categories: Equipment

Nikon issues D810 and D810A firmware updates with remote control bug fix

Tue, 04/05/2016 - 2:09pm

Firmware updates for the Nikon D810 and D810A cameras are now available. Both updates fix a bug that may cause the cameras to stop responding if attached to a WR-R10 wireless remote control running firmware 3.00. The updates bring the Nikon D810 to firmware version 1.11, and the Nikon D810A to firmware version 1.01.

Via: Nikon

Categories: Equipment

Lytro CEO confirms exit from consumer photography business, focus on VR

Tue, 04/05/2016 - 11:00am

In a recent blog post, Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal has confirmed that the company is headed out of the consumer imaging business to focus instead on developing a light field virtual reality platform. Rosenthal admits that it was too risky to compete in an established consumer space (that was in decline, no less, thanks to smartphones), and determined the value-add of light field technology to VR would have greater impact. Hence, Lytro has scrapped product development in the consumer camera space.

Says Rosenthal, 'The cold hard fact was that we were competing in an established industry where the product requirements had been firmly cemented in the minds of consumers by much larger more established companies.' He also mentions the rise of smartphones and consumer satisfaction with image quality from them.

And 'while consumer Light Field cameras offered a number of true technological breakthroughs such as interactive 3D pictures, radical lens specs, and the ability to focus a picture after the fact,' the reality was that there was much more investment Lytro would've had to make to its cameras competitive with modern cameras in image quality. Meanwhile, VR companies and Hollywood studios were increasingly asking for light field technology in cinematic and next-gen content. 'We had just raised $50MM in new capital. We didn’t have the resources to both continue building consumer products and invest in VR.'

Accordingly, in November of last year, Lytro announced Immerge, a 360° light field video capture device, just after announcing plans for layoffs as the company shifted direction toward video and VR. The pro-grade Immerge was a confirmation of this change in focus. It's currently only a concept camera, capable of recording live action VR in what Lytro claims as 'six degrees of freedom' that, if we understand correctly, should allow for multiple perspectives from multiple angles of view, as well as focus and depth-of-field control after-the-fact. This is a clear benefit for VR capture, which aims to capture as much scene content as possible for the viewer to explore in a virtual environment. 

The decision to shift the company's focus was not taken lightly. Rosenthal details the anxiety he felt before shifting the company vision, but now says 'My middle of the night panic attacks are gone. I wake with a burning desire to go to work because I am so excited by what we are building and its potential to help shape VR.'

Have a read of Rosenthal's full blog post here. It's quite insightful in laying out some of the considerations Lytro has faced as a company. Some of us here are certainly disappointed that Lytro appears to be completely exiting the consumer camera space, as light field technology had a lot of potential in revolutionizing autofocus, in decoupling depth-of-field and light gathering ability, bringing depth-based image editing to the table, and in radical lens design previously thought impossible, thanks to the ability of light field data to perform certain corrections - even image stabilization - after-the-fact as opposed to optically. That said, we certainly understand the change in direction and are very excited to see what Lytro brings to VR and video.

We'll be following closely. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Categories: Equipment

Look Sharp: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85/GX80 video preview

Tue, 04/05/2016 - 12:30am

The Panasonic GX85/GX80 is an impressive mid-range ILC, borrowing many of the features from the company's enthusiast-level GX8 and bringing the size and price down to earth. We've put together a short video so you can see the GX85 in action with your own eyes.

Categories: Equipment

Small but mighty: hands on with the Panasonic GX85/GX80

Tue, 04/05/2016 - 12:30am

Introducing the GX85 / GX80

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 (known as the GX80 outside of North America) is Panasonic's latest mid-range Micro Four Thirds model. It sits in the company's 'GX' series which is used to denote that it's targeted towards dedicated enthusiast photographers but priced as a mid-range model.

It's a 16MP model that's capable of 4K video shooting but features a viewfinder and several features carried-over from the older GX7, including a built-in, bounceable pop-up flash.

As such, it'll sit below the GX8 in the company's lineup but the more budget-conscious user may well find that the GX85 offers a lot of its big brother's capabilities. And, thanks to a redesigned shutter mechanism intended to minimize shutter shock, may even offer some practical advantages.

Body

The GX85's body is noticeably smaller than the GX8's. In fact it looks a little like a GX7 that's been left in the wash and has shrunk a little. This downsizing leaves it with fewer customizable buttons, no focus mode switch and a smaller battery compartment, but most of those changes still leave it as being broadly comparable with the GX7.

Despite the lower price point, it's still a very solid-feeling camera. Unlike the GX8, it's not weather-sealed, but it doesn't feel like corners have been cut, either. The body has a pleasantly dense feeling to it, with no sense of flex or weakness.

The viewfinder is borrowed from the GX7 but it no longer hinges upwards. Its 2.7 million-dot equivalent resolution translates as 1280 x 720 pixels refreshed one color at a time (a process called field sequential update). This is a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is fairly unusual. Like the GX7, the GX85's rear screen tilts up and down, and is touch-sensitive. It's a 3:2 aspect ratio panel with 1.04M-dots, which works out as 700 x 480 pixels.

Stills and video

One of the biggest areas in which economies have been made is in the reversion to using a 16MP Four Thirds sensor. This probably isn't going to be a deal-breaker for many people, and Panasonic has sweetened the pill slightly by doing away with the anti-aliasing filter in front of the chip.

This lack of AA filter should allow it to capture slightly more fine detail (Panasonic claims an improvement of as much as 10%), though comes with a slightly higher risk of moiré when used with a sharp lens. Panasonic says its JPEG engine will detect and remove the false color of moiré when it detects it.

The camera also shoots 4K video at 30p or 24p (25p in the GX80 model outside North America).

Redesigned shutter

The GX85 hasn't simply been assembled from a bin of existing parts, though. It becomes the first Panasonic to use an electromagnetically driven shutter, rather than the motor and spring arrangement used in existing models.

This allows the shutter to be opened and closed in a more controlled manner, reducing the impact of any shutter shock, as well as making the shutter operation quieter. The new design doesn't appear to introduce much in the way of compromise: the maximum mechanical shutter speed is 1/4000 seconds, and the flash sync speed is 1/160th. This is a little bit behind the GX8's 1/8000th mechanical shutter a 1/250th sync speed but is a match for the less expensive G7 model.

Panasonic, rather cautiously, only says that the new shutter reduces shake, not that it eliminates it. We're told that an electronic first-curtain shutter (which obviates the need to open the mechanical shutter to start an exposure, essentially eliminating shutter shock), would require faster sensor read-out.

5-axis image stabilization

Like the GX8, the GX85 includes 5-axis in-body image stabilization and a Dual IS system which augments two of these axes if you use a lens with built-in stabilization.

Most impressively, Panasonic says that the IS continues to work in all 5 axes when you're shooting 4K video - the first camera we can think of that does this. The digital component of IS used in video requires the camera to read lines off the sensor above and below the standard output region, then use gyro sensors to predict where on the sensor the original framing is now being projected. Most sensors can't read out a large enough section of the sensor fast enough to stabilize 4K video, but the GX85 claims to do so.

Video capabilities

The GX85 continues Panasonic's history of offering high-end video capabilities across much of its range, with this latest camera able to shoot UHD 4K at 30p or 24p. It shoots this 4K footage as MP4s at up to 100Mbps, which is pretty respectable for a consumer-focused model. It can also capture 1080p footage at up to 28Mbps as MP4 or AVCHD.

We say 'consumer-focused' because the GX85 lacks not only the slightly flatter 'CinelikeD' color profile offered by the GH4 but also neglects to include a microphone socket, which will limit anyone with any real video-shooting aspirations. And to think we complained about the non-standard 2.5mm socket on the GX7 and GX8.

The camera does, however offers the 'Live Cropping' feature first introduced on the ZS100 (and demonstrated in our review of that camera). This lets you specify a start an endpoint to produce 1080p footage that appears to either pan or zoom, but does so from the 4K capture - meaning you can fix the camera on a tripod and not have to worry about how smoothly you can pan or zoom. It's a handy option if you aren't using sophisticated editing software.

Stills from 4K

Off the back of the camera's 4K video capture, Panasonic offers its usual array of clever modes that produce stills from 4K capture.

Top of the heap is the 4K Photo mode in which the camera captures bursts of 8MP images at up to 30 frames per second. More than simple grabs from video, this doesn't have to be in the 16:9 aspect ratio and the camera can be set to continuously record, then present you with the thirty images before and after you choose to hit the shutter button. A handy touchscreen interface lets you choose the perfect shot.

The Post Focus mode is similar, but it racks the camera's focus across the depth range it detects in the scene and shoots 4K video while doing so. Tapping on the point you want in-focus pulls the frame from the video that was focused at the specified point.

Finally, the new Light Composition mode again uses the camera's 30 frames per second 8MP image capability, this time to create a composite image. The mode uses only the brightest value from a series of frames you select, so scenes such as fireworks displays can be created from multiple images.

Other new features

In addition to the upgraded shutter mechanism, the GX85 gains a couple of features that stills shooters might find handy. Rather than limiting itself to exposure and white balance bracketing, the GX85 can also bracket focus or aperture setting across several shots.

There's also an extra monochrome mode (such things having apparently become popular of late). The L Monochrome Photo Style promises 'deep black and rich gradation like that of B/W film.' We've not yet had a chance to put it to much use but we'll make sure to include some more examples in our forthcoming samples gallery.

Wi-Fi

The GX85 features built-in Wi-Fi, which allows remote control of the camera from a smart device, as well as opening up the option to transmit images from the camera. To make full use of this, the GX85 includes in-camera Raw conversion so that pictures can be tweaked and perfected before they're shared with the world.

Like a couple of recent Panasonic models, the initial Wi-Fi connection is established by displaying a QR Code on the back of the camera, which can then be read by the iOS or Android app. It's not clear whether the slightly faster NFC method has been abandoned to keep cost down or because it excludes Apple devices.

Kit options

The GX85 will be available as a kit bundled with the tiny, collapsible 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 zoom that was created for the similarly minuscule GM models. It's not a bad little lens, though you pay for its convenient size through having to accept its modest reach. Panasonic USA says it currently has no plans to sell the camera body-only.

Panasonic's MSRP for this combination is $799, which compares very favorably to the $999 body-only price that Panasonic asked for the very similar GX7 just two and a half years ago. Obviously the cost of technology falls over time, but $799 with a simple lens looks competitive with Fujifilm's $699 X-E2S camera body or Nikon's $899 list price for the D5500 with 18-55mm VR II zoom, not least as none of its immediate peers is capable of shooting 4K video.

Overall

Interestingly the GX85 is called the GX7 Mark II in the Japanese market and, if you place the two side-by-side, that makes some sense: it's not radically different in spec or control layout. That gives a hint about its intentions - it may not have all the GX8's specifications, but it has enough that it could have sat at the top of the lineup just a few years ago.

Most of the omissions compared to the GX7 (tilting viewfinder, AF/MF switch) aren't necessarily essential features. Indeed the retention of the built-in pop-up flash actually gives it an advantage over the more expensive GX8. Sadly, there is one feature that's been removed that we think will be sorely missed: the lack of any microphone input is likely to come as a real blow to anyone wanting a keenly-priced stills/video hybrid.

Overall though, so long as the new shutter mechanism has settled the shutter shock problem, the GX85's capability and price mean it looks to wear both the mid-range and enthusiast labels comfortably.

Categories: Equipment

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 offers 16MP sensor with no AA filter, redesigned shutter mechanism

Tue, 04/05/2016 - 12:30am
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Panasonic has just announced its Lumix DMC-GX85 (GX80 outside of North America), a less expensive sibling to the Lumix GX8 that features a 16MP Live MOS sensor with no AA filter, a redesigned shutter mechanism, and 5-axis Dual IS. Panasonic claims the removal of the anti-aliasing filter boosts fine detail resolution by 10%, and an electromagnet-driven shutter mechanism aims to reduce blur from shutter shock – an issue we noted when we reviewed the GX8

The GX85 offers 'Dual IS', which combines its 5-axis in-body stabilization with in-lens OIS, offering up to 4.5 stops of shake reduction. That's an update to the GX8's 4-axis in-body system. Naturally, the GX85 carries 4K/UHD 30p video shooting and all of the related photography features, including 4K Photo and Post Focus. Speaking of focus, the GX85 offers the same 'Depth from Defocus' system that really impressed us on the GX8.

The GX85 provides a fixed 2764K-dot equivalent electronic viewfinder, and its 3" 1.04M-dot touch screen monitor tilts up by 80° and downward by 45°. Built-in Wi-Fi and a new L. Monochrome photo style mode are also included.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 will go on sale at the end of May for $799.99 with a 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 collapsible kit zoom. 

Press release:

LUMIX GX85 - High Image Quality and High Performance Packed in a Compact Body

Capture Life on the Move

Newark, NJ (April 5, 2016) – Panasonic is proud to introduce a new Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera, the LUMIX DMC-GX85 (GX85) for camera enthusiasts or anyone looking for an alternative to bulky DSLRs, that delivers lighter, more intelligent, uncompromising results. Nearly half the size of most DSLRs, the GX85 delivers impressive large sensor performance in the most compact camera system ever designed by Panasonic LUMIX. Thanks to the elimination of the low pass filter, its fine detail resolving power is boosted nearly 10% over previous 16-Megapixel sensors. 

The LUMIX GX85 incorporates a new 5-axis Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer) for more effective suppression of blur. Combining an O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) and a B.I.S.(Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis), the 5-axis Dual I.S. compensates for a larger range of movement than ever before. Users can enjoy blur-free photo/video shooting from wide to tele, even in low light situations.

The 16.0-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor without a Low Pass filter and the new Venus Engine combine to achieve crisp, high resolution images in detail with high contrast, impressive color reproduction. The LUMIX GX85 adopts a new electromagnetic drive in the shutter unit. The shock caused by the movement of shutter diaphragm is dramatically reduced and the shutter sound is also minimized. The Contrast AF System features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology and excels in both speed and accuracy by exchanging the digital signal between the camera and the lens at max. 240 fps, resulting in ultra-fast auto focusing of approx. 0.07 sec*. A variety of extensive AF functions including Face/Eye Detection AF, Pinpoint AF, One-shot AF and advanced Low Light AF enhance usability to comply with wide-ranging shooting situations.

The GX85 integrates a LVF (Live View Finder) with 2764K-dot equivalent high resolution and approx. 100% color reproduction*. This 16:9 Wide Screen LVF boasts approx.1.39x / 0.7x (35mm camera equiv.) magnification and 100% field of view. The new 3.0-inch large, approx.1040K-dot high resolution static-type touch monitor with approx. 100% of field of view tilts up by 80-degrees and down by 45-degrees which enables shooting at either high or low angle even easier.

For even more creative photography, the LUMIX GX85 integrates the new L.Monochrome mode in Photo Style that offers impressive monochrome capture with rich gradation comparable to that of B/W film. Focus Bracket and Aperture Bracket are also new additions to conventional Exposure Bracket and WB Brackets that allow users to choose the best shot later. Thanks to its Wi-Fi® connectivity, users can connect the camera to their smartphone / tablet to expand the flexibility in shooting/storing/sharing images.

1. 4K capability bringing the evolution in videography/photography – 4K video and 4K PHOTO

Taking advantage of the high speed signal readout capability of the sensor and high speed signal processing, the LUMIX GX85 is capable of recording 4K video. Despite its high performance, it boasts superior energy efficiency and the size is kept compact for high mobility. The LUMIX GX85 records stunningly smooth, high-resolution 4K video in 3840 x 2160 at 30p or 24p in addition to the full-HD 1,920 x 1,080 60p (60 Hz) videos with practical full-time AF. 

Thanks to this 4K technology, users can enjoy 4K PHOTO which users can capture the fleeting photo opportunities at 30 fps by extracting the most appealing frame. Three exclusive modes are available to choose from depending on the situation; 4K Burst, 4K Burst (Start/Stop) and 4K Pre-burst. All these function in 4K PHOTO enable saving pictures in 8-megapixel equivalent high resolution.

The LUMIX GX85 comes with the Post Focus function that enables users to select an in-focus area even after shooting. You can get multiple shots with different focus points with a single shutter release to choose from. It is helpful in situations such as macro shooting where severe focusing is required or for changing expressions by changing focused subject. This function has been developed by combining the DFD (Depth From Defocus) auto focus technology that enables measuring the distance to the subject and the 4K technology.  Operation is quite simple and easy – just shoot an image in a Post Focus mode and touch on the point where you want to set focus while playing it back.

In addition, the LUMIX GX85 incorporates the Light Composition function as a new option of 4K PHOTO mode. The camera synthesizes the images by choosing and saving a brighter pixel. This makes it possible to produce a more luxurious, dramatic image of situations such as fireworks or night scenery in camera with ease. 

The LUMIX GX85 also enables 4K Live Cropping in video that yields stable panning or zooming while video recording. In panning shots, you can just set the viewing angle to start and end to get smooth panning imagery without using special equipment such as a slider. When zooming, you can set the after-zoomed viewing angle first, so that the subject can fit perfectly in the frame. Thanks to the digital operation, the imagery of zooming is smooth because it does not physically move the zoom lens. 

* About motion picture recording / 4K Photo recording
- Use a card with SD Speed Class with "Class 4" or higher when recording motion pictures. 
- Use a card with SD Speed Class with "UHS-I UHS Speed Class 3 (U3)" when recording motion pictures with [MP4] in [4K] or [4K PHOTO].
   (SD speed class is the speed standard regarding continuous writing.)
- Recording stops when the continuous recording time exceeds 29 minutes and 59 seconds or the file size exceeds 4GB with [MP4] in [FHD] [HD] [VGA].
- MP4 motion pictures with [MP4] in [4K]:
  - When using an SDHC memory card: You can continue recording without interruption even if the file size exceeds 4 GB, but the motion picture file will be divided and recorded/played back separately.
  - When using an SDXC memory card: You can record a motion picture in a single file.
- When the ambient temperature is high or continuous recording is performed, the camera may stop the recording to protect itself. Wait until the camera cools down.
** For [4K] video output, use an HDMI cable that has the HDMI logo on it, and that is described as"4K compatible".

2. New 5-Axis Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer) to be free of blur

The LUMIX GX85 incorporates the new 5-axis Dual I.S.(Image Stabilizer) for more effective suppression of blur. Combining an O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) and a B.I.S.(Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis), the 5-axis Dual I.S. compensates for larger movement which was conventionally uncontrollable, making it possible to use 4-step slower shutter speed*1. By making the most of both O.I.S and B.I.S., it is highly beneficial not only in wide angle but also in telephoto and in the adverse situations such as at nighttime or with one-hand shooting.

The 5-axis Dual I.S. works in both photo and motion picture recording including 4K video. Panasonic LUMIX G DSLM (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) Cameras offer a wide variety of digital interchangeable lenses and most of them will comply with this 5-axis dual I.S. in LUMIX GX85*2 and the B.I.S. compensates for the camera movement even when a lens without O.I.S. is used.

*1 Based on the CIPA standard [Yaw/Pitch direction: focusing distance f=32mm (35mm film camera equivalent f=64mm), when H-FS12032 is used.] 
*2 Firmware update is required for some lenses.

3. The high image quality with real-to-life detail and impressive color reproduction

The LUMIX GX85 lets users shoot vibrant, true-to-life high quality images with excellent resolution, high contrast and impressive color reproduction. Removing the Low Pass Filter, the limiting resolution is improved by approx.10%* while detecting high frequency components to suppress generation of moiré by the Venus Engine, is designed for the GX85.The Venus Engine reproduces vibrant, impressive color such as clear sky by dividing hue, saturation, and luminosity, and finely adjusts them separately. Taking advantage of this fine tuning capability, LUMIX GX85 enables users to choose a preset of contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction as they choose according to the shooting subject in Photo Style. Notably, L Monochrome is a new option added to the Photo Style, making it possible to shoot impressive monochrome photo with deep black and rich gradation like that of B/W film.

The combination of the Digital Live MOS Sensor and the Venus Engine achieves clear image rendering with minimum noise even in low-lit situations and at max. ISO 25,600.

The LUMIX GX85 adopts an electromagnetic drive in the shutter unit. The shock caused by the movement of shutter diaphragm is dramatically reduced by approx.90% in comparison with a conventional spring-powered shutter units. 

4. High speed response and practical AF/MF options

The Contrast AF in theGX85 achieves even higher speed and higher precision focusing with digital signal communication at max. 240 fps. Furthermore, the DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology*1 calculates the distance to the subject by evaluating 2 images with different sharpness level while consulting the data of optical characteristics of the current lens. As a result, the GX85 achieves ultra-high speed AF of approx.0.07 sec*2 and high speed burst shooting at 8 fps (AFS) / 6 fps (AFC) to capture fast moving subject in-focus.

The Low Light AF makes it possible to set focus on the subject more precisely even without AF assist lamp in extremely low-lit situations to -4EV, which is as dark as moonlight. Plus, the GX85 integrates Starlight AF which allows users to shoot a star in the sky at night with auto focus. This can be achieved by accurate calculation of contrast value in a smaller AF zone.

A total of 49 focus detection areas offers more flexible composition together with Custom Multi AF mode in which users can freely select the blocks to focus out of the 49 in the focusing area. In addition to the conventional Face Recognition AF, the GX85 incorporates Face / Eye Detection AF which automatically sets focus right on the eye of human face. With the Pinpoint AF, users can magnify the target area to set precise focus. 

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

5. Intuitive control for operational comfort

The GX85 integrates a LVF (Live View Finder) with 2764K-dot equivalent high resolution and approx.100% color reproduction*. This 16:9 Wide Screen LVF boasts approx.1.39x / 0.7x (35mm camera equiv.) magnification and 100% field of view. It comes with the Eye Sensor and the Eye Sensor AF and starts auto focusing by just looking into the LVF not to miss the shooting opportunity. 

The 3.0-inch large, approx.1040K-dot high resolution static-type touch monitor has approx. 100% of field of view. It tilts up by 80-degrees and down by 45-degrees which enables shooting in either high or low angle even easier. 

To further enhance the controllability, the GX85 comes with thick, solid grip for stable holding even in one hand. The front/rear dual dial system enables direct setting - for example, users can adjust white balance with a front dial and set ISO with a rear dial while choosing the shutter speed or seeing the noise effect, which is helpful in complex lighting situations. 

6. Other Features

・Exposure / WB / Focus / Aperture Bracket NEW

In the LUMIX GX85, Focus Bracket and Aperture Bracket are new additions to conventional Exposure Bracket and WB Brackets for users to choose the best shot later. In Focus Bracket, max.999 images can be shot with different focus points. The Aperture Bracket lets users have multiple shots with a different depth of field.

・Creative Control in P/A/S/M Mode

The GX85 integrates a variety of artistic functions that adds fun to digital photography. The popular Creative Control mode features a total of 22 filter options. The effect parameter of each mode is also adjustable. Now it is possible to apply one of these filters even in P/A/S/M mode. Users can combine a favorable setting and filter to make specific effect.. Also theGX85 is capable of taking pictures “with” and “without” filter effect simultaneously, so that users can compare them and choose later.

・Easy Wireless Connectivity via Wi-Fi® with Smartphones

The LUMIX GX85 integrates Wi-Fi® connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) to offer more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation. Once connecting the camera and smartphone/tablet installing Panasonic's dedicated application software Panasonic Image App for iOS / Android, users can shoot / browse / share images remotely. 

・RAW data development in Camera

・AC/USB Power Charging

・Silent Mode

・Multiple Exposure

・Time Lapse Shot / Stop Motion Animation

Optional Accessories
The new compact, lightweight External Flash DMW-FL200L (GN20) is available. The DMW-FL200L offers 90-degree vertical bounce lighting and it can also be used as LED light when video recording. It also features wireless shooting capability.

The LUMIX GX85 will be available at www.shop.panasonic.com  and valued channel partners at the end of May for $799.99 in both silver and black versions with a 12-32 kit lens. 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 specifications

Price
MSRP$799
Body type
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor
Max resolution4592 x 3448
Other resolutions4:3 (3232 x 2424, 2272 x 1704), 3:2 (4592 x 3064, 3232 x 2160, 1824 x 1216), 16:9 (4592 x 2584, 3840 x 2160, 1920 x 1080), 1:1 (3424 x 3424, 2416 x 2416, 1712 x 1712)
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor sizeFour Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorVenus Engine
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 200-25600 (expands down to 100)
Boosted ISO (minimum)100
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (4 slots)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notesDual IS uses sensor and lens-shift (when available)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, standard
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • Raw (Panasonic RW2)
  • MPO
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (2x-4x)
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points49
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.39×
Viewfinder resolution2,764,800
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Shutter priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashYes
Flash range6.00 m (at ISO 200)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash modesAuto, auto w/redeye reduction, forced on, forced on w/redeye reduction, slow sync, slow sync w/redeye reduction, forced off
Flash X sync speed1/160 sec
Continuous drive8.0 fps
Self-timerYes
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
Resolutions3840 x 2160 (30p, 24p), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)
FormatMPEG-4, AVCHD
Videography notes100Mbps bit rate for 4K
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with NFC
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)290
Weight (inc. batteries)426 g (0.94 lb / 15.03 oz)
Dimensions122 x 71 x 44 mm (4.8 x 2.8 x 1.73″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone
Categories: Equipment

Think Tank Photo launches largest rolling case for lighting

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 9:25pm
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Bag manufacturer Think Tank Photo has introduced a rolling case for lighting kit that it claims is the largest on the market. The Production Manager 50 is designed to hold a pair of studio-style heads with power packs, battery packs, dishes, umbrellas and even lighting stands. The case has internal dimensions of 38 x 125 x 25.4cm / 15.5 x 49.2 x 10in and comes with a collection of adjustable dividers so users can customize the layout of the interior. Zip-up pockets on the inside of the lid are designed to keep cables tidy, and straps on the exterior can be used to attach tripods and larger lighting stands.

The bag is made with ballistic nylon coated with a water-repellent agent that covers a rigid shell, and the shock-absorbing wheels are user replaceable should they get damaged. Think Tank Photo says that the idea of this big case is to make it easier for photographers to transport large amounts of kit in one load, and claims the Production Manager 50 can carry what it would normally require two assistants to manage.

The Think Tank Photo Production Manager 50 costs $599.75/£515. For more information see the Think Tank Photo website.

Press release:

Photographers Can Fit Lighting Equipment and Large Light Modifiers in One Rolling Bag with Think Tank Photo’s New Production Manager 50

Santa Rosa, Calif. – Think Tank Photo has released the largest rolling photography equipment case on the market, the Production Manager 50.  Designed to hold an immense amount of gear, including lighting equipment and large light modifiers, one photographer will now be able to transport what it used to take up to at least two assistants.  It is easy to move, carry, work out of, and stack among other gear.

This large rolling bag features stabilizing, wide-set, shock-absorbing wheels that roll smoothly and hold up under the toughest conditions, the ability to lock the main compartment and secure the bag with the included lock and cable, and a fully customizable interior with dividers to protect small and large lighting equipment including c-stands and large modifiers.

“Pro photographers usually travel by car or van to where they are going to shoot,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank’s CEO and Lead Designer. “Once a shoot is completed the set needs to be torn down and moved to the next location. Often times, there can be a time crunch where all the gear has to be loaded quickly. Carrying these bags up and down stairs and over rough terrain can be very cumbersome and often takes two people.  The Production Manager 50 makes this time-sensitive, cumbersome process easier and quicker.”

KEY ADDITIONAL FEATURES
* Large front zippered pocket for reflectors, umbrellas, extension cords, cables, etc.
* Attachments for lightstands or tripods on both sides (straps included)
* Rigid shell and stiffened dividers ensures gear protection
* Robust handles on four sides for easy loading and unloading by two people
* Heavy-duty aluminum side-frame protects axle from impact
* ID plate can be registered on the Think Tank site that may allow lost or stolen bag to be returned
* YKK RC Fuse zippers, 1680D ballistic nylon, and super-stick velex (interior) contribute to one of the most robust products on the market.
* Large interior mesh pockets for organizing pocket wizards, gels, cords, tape, batteries, and other accessories
* Ergonomic top handle for rolling or carrying by two people.
* Velex wrapped dividers for extra durability and longevity.
* Adjustable lid straps keep bag open and accessible
* Rear skid rails and custom wheel housings allow for loading and unloading from a vehicle with ease
* Business card holder for easy identification on top panel
* User replaceable wheels & hardware
* Seam-sealed rain cover included

MATERIALS
External: All fabric exterior treated with DWR while fabric underside is coated with PU for superior water resistance, 1680D ballistic nylon, YKK® RC Fuse (abrasion resistant) zippers, custom designed extra tall skid plates, replaceable custom-designed wheels, antique nickel plated metal hardware, nylon webbing, 3-ply bonded nylon thread

Internal: 210D silver-toned nylon, PU backed velex liner & dividers, 2x PU coated nylon 210T seam-sealed taffeta rain cover, closed cell foam & PE board stiffened dividers, belly-o mesh pockets, 3-ply bonded nylon thread

PRODUCT DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT 

Exterior Dimensions: 17.3” W x 53.1” H x 12.6” D (44 x 135 x 32 cm)
Interior Dimensions: 15.6” W x 49.2” H x 10” D (39.5 x 125 x 25 cm)
Weight:  20.7 – 29.8 lbs (9.4 – 13.5 kg)

Categories: Equipment

Ricoh puts up 5 million Yen in prizes for Theta developers competition

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 9:02pm

Ricoh has announced the opening of its latest competition aiming to attract app developers to create new applications for its Theta 360° camera. The company says it is looking for innovative and original apps and devices that are creative, have potential for the future and which have practical value to Theta users. The prize fund for the competition is five million Yen (about $45,000), with one million going to an overall winner who also gets a trip to Japan for the prize-giving ceremony. 

The winner of the 2015 competition was a team called 'bitstars', which developed the desktop application 'holobuilder' that allows 2D and 3D objects, animations and text to be added to Theta 360° virtual tours. The program also allows links to be added to the photospheres so viewers can travel from image to image as if from room to room in a building or navigate an area following directions added to the scene.  

For more information about the competition visit Ricoh's Theta Developers Contest website. The closing date is 31st August 2016. 

Press release:

RICOH Announces the RICOH THETA Developers Contest

RICOH IMAGING EUROPE S.A.S is pleased to announce the second annual developers contest. The competition is looking for new apps and gadgets that utilise the RICOH THETA camera which takes 360-degree, fully spherical images or videos in one capture. Once registered applicants have until 31st August 2016 to submit their final app and gadget designs. 

Part of RICOH’s 80th anniversary celebrations this year, the contest challenges developers to create innovative apps and gadgets that work in conjunction with the RICOH THETA. Winners of the contest will receive a trip to Tokyo, Japan, for the awards ceremony and the first prize winner will be awarded a cash prize of one million Yen.

Applicants will also gain early access to an exciting new platform which has been optimised for cloud-based applications leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT). The new IoT platform makes it possible for developers to efficiently and cost-effectively build cloud-based apps, which typically require significant expertise in cloud services and servers and a longer development time. 

Categories: Equipment

New York Public Library launches interactive Photographers’ Identities Catalog

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 6:30pm

The New York Public Library has launched a new online tool called Photographers’ Identities Catalog (PIC), an interactive map with biographical data on more than 115,000 photographers, as well as photography dealers, studios and manufacturers. Users are able to filter the data based on several categories, such as region and format, to search for results throughout the entire history of photography.

Each PIC result appears as a colored-coded dot on an interactive globe, and each dot marks a specific individual or entity. Biographical data on photographers includes name, nationality, any relevant locations or dates, and the source of the NYPL’s data. Information on businesses includes addresses and years of operation. In addition to filters, users can zoom in on a specific region to explore its results.

Because of the wide variety of filters, users can perform very specific searches. As one example presented by the NYPL, someone can locate female photographers who worked with specific studios in certain countries. The library advises that some data could be incorrect, however, and those who spot an error can report it for correction. Historians and scholars with relevant data are encouraged to contact the NYPL to help expand the catalog, as well.

Via: New York Public Library

Categories: Equipment

Dual-camera rumored to be reserved for large iPhone variant

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 6:00pm

We've seen several rumors about the next iPhone generation coming with a dual-lens camera setup. Now it seems that, like image stabilization, this premium imaging feature will be available only in a larger model. Read more

Categories: Equipment

Beta: try out our new 'light' color scheme

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 5:45pm

We've been working behind the scenes for the last few weeks on one of the most-requested changes to DPReview.com - the option to switch to a lighter color scheme with white background. Today we're pleased to be able to launch the first phase of this project as a public beta. It doesn't yet include every page on the site (we've concentrated on the text-heavy articles, news, homepage and reviews sections), but we will continue to work until we have as near to 100% coverage as possible. Please try it out and let us know what you think!

To try the new color scheme simply click on the toggle at the very top of the page (above the main menu bar) - your choice will be remembered until you revert to the old (black) color scheme using a cookie.

As of today the new color scheme has been enabled for the homepage, all news pages, articles and reviews, some index pages and search results, for desktop and mobile 

The new theme has not yet been implemented for several popular sections of the site including Forums, Product Pages, Profile pages, Galleries & Challenges. We will continue to refine the design (some pages are still pretty basic) and to work towards full coverage over the next month or so.

Please try out the new look and let us know what you think, and send us any bugs you find, using the 'report a issue' link at the top of the page.

Note that we will not be retiring the 'classic' (white on black theme) - if you like your color scheme you will be allowed to keep it :)

Categories: Equipment

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