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Landscape photographer Kurt Lawson captured these images while on a photography trip to complete a special project about this area.
It seems like only yesterday, a few weeks ago really, that we were writing about the vandalism at Cape Kiwanda on the Oregon coast. Yet here we are again with yet another case of vandalism – this time in Death Valley, California's Racetrack playa. The area is known for its 'moving stones' and it appears that vandals have driven onto the playa and caused irreparable damage to the landscape.
The Racetrack in Death Valley National Park is a protected area in which large stones seem to move of their own accord across the playa. In reality they move whenever it rains – as the rain water freezes and winds cause the rocks (sometimes boulders of up to 600lbs) to move across the playa floor leaving a meandering trail behind them. Evidence of this was actually captured for the first time back in 2014. There are only two places in the world where this occurs naturally.
As he documented on his blog, landscape photographer Kurt Lawson was in the area scouting shooting locations for a project when he discovered the damage. He entered the protected area in the park and began to notice car tracks. It appeared that a group of individuals had driven a car across the the playa, thus carving car tracks permanently into an area where rain is a rarity.
|Deep tracks were carved across the rock trails that take years to form.|
What this means is that these tracks will be there for a very, very long time – if not forever. Some of the tire tracks cross trails made by the rocks. There are three parking lots in the Racetrack area, so vandals would have likely ignored the signs and at each one of them in order to carve their own paths through the playa as they left the designated parking areas.
|What appear to be initials have been chiseled about 1/8" deep into the rock.|
The type of damage that they caused isn't repairable. What's even more concerning is that whoever is responsible for it more than likely knew exactly what they were doing – there are 'No motor vehicles beyond this point' signs posted at every parking lot and along the roads between them.
|The area that was vandalized is well marked with these 'No motor vehicle' signs. You can see tire tracks off in the distance.|
Nikon's stand at Photokina is split fairly equally between displays of its DSLRs and demonstrations of its new KeyMission 360, 170 and 80 cameras. We took a look at everything they had to offer, starting with the Nikkor 105mm F1.4E ED. It's as big as it is beautiful. At 106mm long and 95mm across, it's quite a handful. That said, it didn't feel disproportionate when mounted on a D5, despite its 985 g (2.17 lbs) weight.
The 'E' in the lens' name means it offers an electromagnetic diaphragm. This not only operates faster than apertures operated by mechanical coupling, which is ideal when shooting at high frame rates, but also means many recent Nikon cameras can control the aperture even when they're in live view mode, which is great news for video shooters.
Also on show is Nikon's D3400, the company's latest entry-level DSLR. It looks a lot like the D3300 and shares many of its specifications, with it still being built around a 24MP APS-C sensor. Without AA filter, in this instance.
The big news with the D3400 is the inclusion of Bluetooth Low Energy, which it uses to stay constantly connected to a smartphone. The iOS version of the SnapBridge app is now available, to which the camera can upload images automatically. The camera also includes a significantly boosted battery life (1200 shots per charge), but some of this will stem from the use of a less powerful built-in flash.
Originally announced back at CES in January, the KeyMission 360 is about to become available. Nikon says the two >180 degree lenses that combine to give 360 degree coverage are one of the aspects of the company's expertise that it can bring to the sector.
From the top, it's apparent just how small the camera is. In part the lenses have to be mounted close to one another in order for them to provide an overlapping field of view.
A slightly more conventional action cam, the KeyMission 170 offers a wide-angle lens that provides the field of view that the name implies. Rather than needing a special housing, the camera is itself already waterproof and shockproof, though an additional accessory is available to allow the 170 to be submerged to much greater depths.
The KeyMission 170 includes a standard tripod thread but Nikon says it will offer an accessory to adapt this so the camera can be used with common mounts designed for GoPro cameras.
They KeyMission 80 is a wearable style camera with a (you guessed it) 80 degree field of view, and is designed to be used in a vertical orientation. On the front is a 12MP 1/2.3" CMOS sensor that's capable of 1080/30p video – no 4K here.
On the back there's a rear-facing 4.9MP selfie camera and a 1.75" touchscreen. The whole camera is waterproof to about 1m/3.2ft, shockproof to 1.8m/6 ft and freezeproof to 14 F/-10 degrees C.
Despite looking high and low, we couldn't find any sign of the much-anticipated FL compacts. Prototypes are not yet available, we were told. We're still looking forward to them, though, and are hoping there'll be more news at Photo Plus Expo next month.
At HumanEyes Technologies' Photokina booth we had the chance to look at some of the first production models of the Vuze VR 3D 360 degree cam, first announced at the Cannes Festival in May. The camera uses 8 Full-HD cameras with wide-angle lenses that are arranged in pairs on the corners of the device to record 360 degree video in 3D. Of course you can also record standard 2D footage at a 4K output resolution and 30 frames per second. Each lens covers a 120 degree angle of view horizontally and 180 degree vertically.
A standard tripod mount allows for easy mounting to any camera support, including the combined tripod/grip that comes in the package. The camera is operated via a single button on the device and settings can be changed via the Vuze App on any smartphone. The app also allows for management of footage that has already been saved on the microSD card and for a preview of the final video.
Stitching and editing of recorded footage is done in the Vuze Studio software on a PC or Mac and final results can be viewed on the included VR headset that is compatible with most smartphones. The Vuze will be available soon for $799.
Western Digital has introduced the first ever 1TB SDXC card, doing so under its recently acquired SanDisk brand. Though the card will not be available on the market anytime soon, the prototype does serve to highlight the next level in SD card capacity. This isn't the first time SanDisk has unveiled a high-capacity prototype at Photokina; in 2014, the company unveiled its then-prototype for a 512GB SDXC card.
'Just a few short years ago the idea of a 1TB capacity point in an SD card seemed so futuristic – it’s amazing that we’re now at the point where it’s becoming a reality,” said Stargate Studios CEO Sam Nicholson. '…High-capacity cards allow us to capture more without interruption, streamlining our workflow, and eliminating the worry that we may miss a moment because we have to stop to swap out cards.'
Though Western Digital is showcasing the prototype at Photokina, it has not stated when it anticipates the card being available commercially, nor what consumers can expect to pay.
Polaroid licensee C&A Marketing is showing an upgraded version of its original Polaroid Snap digital instant camera. The Polaroid Snap Touch adds a 3.5" LCD touchscreen on the back of the camera for easier framing and control of the menus and settings. Images are captured on a new and improved 13 MP CMOS sensor and the new model is capable of recording 1080p Full-HD video. Images and video footage are saved on a microSD card up to 128GB in size.
Remote connectivity through Bluetooth to the Polaroid Print app for iOS or Android allows for printing from other devices, such as smartphones or tablets, and the app also offers editing functions including a range of filters and digital stickers.
As before, at the heart of the camera there is an integrated printer that uses using ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology, allowing for 2x3” prints in under a minute. Up to ten images can be queued, so that you can keep shooting while printing is still in progress. Selfie shooters will appreciate the self-timer and a pop-up selfie mirror for easy framing. The Polaroid Snap Touch is available in several colors and can now be preordered for $179.99.
Smartphone cameras can do many of the things that stand-alone compact cameras are capable of, but flash photography is not one of them. The tiny LED lights in smartphones do not offer nearly the output power of the Xenon flashes that are found in most conventional cameras. However, help is at hand in the form of Fotopro's new FS-X1 Xenon accessory flash for smartphones.
It offers a guide number of 5.6 (ISO 100) and covers approximately 53 degrees vertically and 66 degree horizontally. The flash communicates with the iPhone via a Bluetooth connection that has a range of up to 10m and a dedicated camera app. This means off-camera flash is an option as well.
A full battery allows for approximately 130 flash shots and Fotopro says the recycle time is between three and six seconds. Charging via a microUSB port takes approximately 1.5 hours. For easier focusing in very low light a focus LED is on board as well. Unfortunately, no pricing information is available yet.
With 4K resolution and sophisticated electronic stabilization, modern high-end smartphones offer video quality that satisfies even demanding users. However, things don't look quite as good in the audio department and if you want your sound quality to match the images, an external microphone is indispensable. With the VideoMic Me Australian microphone maker Rode is now offering a new option for demanding smartphone film makers.
The VideoMic Me is a directional microphone that connects via the TTRS headphone/microphone jack and weighs only 34 grams. Thanks to a flexible mounting bracket it works with most smartphones and can be fitted for use with the main or front camera.
With some apps, a 3.5mm headphone jack on the rear of the microphone allows for play-through of audio while recording. It also means you can play back your footage or listen to music during a shooting break without having to remove the microphone. A furry windshield for shooting outdoors or in adverse weather is included in the package. The VideoMic Me is available now for $59.
Alongside the announcement of the new E-M1 II at Photokina, Olympus introduced three new lenses. We got our hands on the latest zoom - the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4 IS Pro. Click through for a closer look.
The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4 IS Pro features optical image stabilization. This works with the OM-D and PEN-series cameras' in-body stabilization to offer greater compensation - especially at the longer end of its zoom. With the new E-M1 II's in-body stabilization system, Olympus is claiming a total of 6.5 EV of compensation.
Normally we'd be skeptical of such big numbers, but Olympus has been impressing us with its stabilization systems for years, and our initial impressions (albeit based on very limited, non-scientific use) suggest that the IS is highly capable.
As we've seen on several other Olympus lenses, the 12-100mm features a simple push-pull AF/MF toggle, for quickly switching between automatic and manual focus.
The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4 IS Pro covers an effective focal length range of 24-200mm, making it a highly versatile 'go everywhere' lens for travel, and videography. The constant maximum aperture of F4 will be appreciated by videographers, too. Olympus offers faster zooms, but none which cover such a wide range of focal lengths.
At its 12mm focal length setting, the 12-100mm is relatively compact...
...but its overall length increases considerably when zoomed in all the way to 100mm.
Minimum focus distance at the 12mm end is a mere 1.5cm from the front element of the lens, and 27cm at the telephoto setting. The 12-100mm F4.0 IS Pro is fully weather-sealed as we'd expect from a lens in the 'PRO' lineup, and will be available in November for $1299.
Olympus used this year's Photokina tradeshow as a platform to announce the development of a new flagship camera - the OM-D E-M1 II. And we just got our hands on it. Click through this slideshow for a tour of the camera's key new features.
The E-M1 II is very well-built. We expected nothing less from the successor to the original E-M1, and it's obvious that the new camera is made to withstand shooting in tough conditions.
As well as flagship build quality, the E-M1 II also features the now-traditional plethora of buttons, dials and switches that Olympus adds to all of its high-end cameras.
Resembling a small DSLR, the E-M1 features a high-resolution electronic viewfinder which offers a live view feed at a rate of 120fps. The reaction time is a mere 6 milliseconds. The low, mixed lighting of a Photokina meeting room was not ideal to really assess the quality of the finder in normal use, but it certainly seems sharp and clear.
One of the paradoxes of high-end Micro-Four Thirds cameras has been their size. They're small compared to most DSLRs, but much bigger than you might expect from the size of their sensors. The E-M1 II is a pretty bulky camera compared to some of Olympus's lower-end M43 offerings, but it is more comfortable to hold, and that bulky handgrip feels great.
New in the E-M1 II is a fully articulating rear LCD screen (the E-M1's screen was a simpler tilting design). Olympus tells us that this kind of articulation is more popular with videographers, which makes sense.
The E-M1 II offers a very impressive 4K video specification, boasting up to 236mbps data throughput. From our brief use, the revamped image stabilization system provides uncannily stable video footage, too.
Twin SD card slots allow for multiple configurations, including overflow (where one card simply acts as a spare) backup, and mixed-media recording. On shoots which involve both video and stills capture we suspect that a lot of photographers will record video to one card and stills to the other. The E-M1 II supports the latest UHS-II SD format.
If there is one word that sums up the E-M1 II it's 'speed'. The autofocus system has been completely redesigned, with 121 cross-type AF on-sensor phase detection points. One of the camera's two quad-core processors is dedicated to AF, which enables the E-M1 to shoot at up to 18fps at full-resolution, with continuous autofocus.
Our brief experience is extremely positive. Even in very poor lighting, the E-M1 II seems to achieve focus virtually instantaneously, and we're keen to try out the tracking performance once final samples start to ship.
The E-M1 II will be compatible with a new dedicated grip, which provides duplicated vertical controls and the option to add a second battery.
Duplicated front and rear dials make handling easy in the portrait format - especially with longer, heavier lenses.
Olympus claims that the E-M1 II's new battery offers significantly greater endurance than the previous-generation in the original E-M1. It's hard to tell from this picture, but the new battery is certainly much larger physically. CIPA battery life figures have yet to be finalised.
We're very excited by the OM-D E-M1 II and we can't wait to try out a shipping sample once they become available to press later this year. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
Sigma is showing off its latest lenses, including the long-anticipated 85mm F1.4 addition to its Art range of high-quality optics. This means five Art F1.4 primes are now available in the 20 - 85mm range.
The 85mm is a very substantial lens, featuring 14 elements in 12 groups. No word has been given on weight, yet, but at 126mm long and with a diameter of 95mm, it makes quite an impression. The lens will initially be available for Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts, with the Nikon version including electronic aperture control.
Sigma is also displaying its 12-24mm F4 Art wide-angle zoom for full-frame cameras. Sigma's early reputation was built on wide-angle zooms, so we're excited to see one wearing the 'Art' branding that has meant such good things, so far.
The 12-24mm will initially be available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma's own SA mount. The lens is 132mm long, with a diameter of 102mm. It weighs 1,150g (40.6oz) and has a minimum focus distance that ranges from 24 to 25.8 cm.
As well as the two new Art lenses, Sigma has also added a 500mm F4 lens to its 'Sport' range.
Weighing 3,310g and measuring 380mm long, it's a bit of a beast.
Alongside the traditional photographic lenses, SIgma has a range of its newly-launched Cine lenses. These feature gearing to allow the zoom, focus and aperture to be controlled when mounted in filming rigs.
The Cine lens range includes a geared version of the company's 18-35mm F1.8, now known as the 18-35mm T2. The lens covers the Super 35 format and requires a roughly 350 degree rotation to zoom from 18-35mm, allowing very precise control.
Phase One is showing off two new 'Blue Ring' lenses at this year's Photokina tradeshow in Cologne, Germany. We visited the Phase One booth earlier and got our hands on them.
First up is the new 150mm LS F2.8 IF, which offers a focal length equivalent to 64mm on full-frame, making it a useful portrait prime. At first glance this is an enormous lens, but a lot of its apparent size is actually the detachable hood.
F2.8 is fast for a medium-format lens, which should ensure nice shallow depth of field when used wide-open for portraits. Here's a view straight down the front of the lens. See what we mean about that big hood?
With the hood removed, the 150mm becomes a good deal smaller. The new lens can synchronize with flash at shutter speeds of up to 1/1000sec and can focus as close as 100cm/3.2ft. It uses 8 elements in 7 groups and accepts 105mm screw-in filters. It could be yours for only $6990/€5990.
Next up is the 45mm LS F3.5, which Phase One tells us will offer extremely good edge-to-edge sharpness, even wide-open. Aimed at landscape photographers, the 45mm (and indeed the 150mm) offers a simple auto/manual focus clutch switch. Shifting to manual focus is as easy as pulling the focus ring towards the camera.
Like the 150mm, the 45mm features a leaf shutter inside the lens itself, and it can synchronize with flash at shutter speeds of up to 1/1600sec. Construction comprises 10 elements in 7 groups.
Equivalent to a 28mm field of view on full-frame, the new 45mm F3.5 has a closest focusing distance of 55cm/1.8ft. It is available now for $5990/€5290.
This is Lau Norgaard, VP of R&D at Phase One. He's pretty pleased with his new lenses - what do you think? Let us know in the comments.
The new Lumix DMC-G85/G80 sits somewhere between the GX8 and the G7. It provides a much more advanced user experience and more rugged magnesium body than the G7 but without the 20MP resolution of the GX8. While the shape is very much like the G7 the build is significantly more solid and the grip feels more substantial. Panasonic has weather- and dust-proofed the body and introduced a new shutter unit that reduces shutter shock in mechanical mode and which offers an electronic first curtain mode for the first time.
The rear screen is the same 1040k-dot unit touch LCD that is used in the G7, and it features the same vari-angle hinge too. The viewfinder is also the same 2360k OLED but Panasonic has increased the magnification from 0.7x to 0.74x to make the view feel a bit bigger – which it does. The eye relief is also increased from 17.5mm to 20mm, to help glasses wearers. The layout of the back of the camera is much in the style of the G7, GX8 and the GH4, so will be familiar to those already using the Lumix system.
The top plate is pretty standard Lumix fare, with the dual control wheels on either side of the grip that can be customized for a range of preferences and activities. The head houses a built-in flash unit that can be used as an active or silent commander with the company’s wireless flash system.
The dial on the left of the top plate provides access to some of the drive functions of the camera. The high drive mode allows shooting at up to 9fps for 200 JPEGs or 40 Raw files, and the 4K symbol indicates where we find the 4K Photo modes. The new icon of a flower and a mountain is the Post Focus setting that now doubles as a focus stacking mode.
The camera shoots a 4K clip running the focus from the closest to the farthest point in the scene, and in Post Focus the user can choose which part of the scene they'd like to be in focus. The same clip can be used to create a focus stack of either all the clips or clips just covering a particular range within the scene – so you can have full control of what is in and out of focus. The mode is only good for static subjects though. An addition to all the 4K modes is Bulk Save – which simply saves all the frames from any 4K Photo/Post Focus clip as 8MP JPEG files on the memory card.
The base features the battery chamber with an additional cover that suggests that a mains power adapter will be available to run the camera from a household supply. The battery used to power the G85 is the same DMW-BLC12E 1200mAh unit that is used in the GX8. The contacts on show here are designed to connect with the optional battery grip DMW-BGG1.
The Lumix DMC-G85 uses a 16MP Live MOS sensor that operates without a low-pass filter in the same way that the GX85 does. Panasonic has included the new Dual IS 2 5-axis in-body image stabilization system in this camera and claims it compensates for 5-stops. The system in the GX85 only claims 4-stops. The new system can combine with in-lens Mega OIS when it is available to alter the principle source of stabilization between the body and the lens according to the type of shake it expects from the focal length in use. The camera’s 4K video features are much the same as the G7’s but now include unlimited recording outside the EU and 60p/30p recording in PAL areas.
Weather-sealed covers on the side of the camera reveal a micro HDMI port along with USB, microphone and a cabled remote release socket. There is no headphone socket unfortunately, but now we can stream to an HDMI monitor while recording 4:2:2 to the memory card. On the other side of the camera you’ll find the SD card slot – which has moved from the battery compartment so that it can be accessed when the grip is attached.
The grip provides duplicates of the top plate dials for adjusting apertures and shutter speeds, designed to feel just like their counterparts as well as to perform the same tasks. Even the exposure compensation button has made the trip, while a back-button offers AF/AE lock.
The optional grip DMW-BGG1 adds considerable bulk to the G85, making it much taller than the GH4, but it also makes the camera much more comfortable to hold in the upright position. It houses an extra battery that can be accessed automatically when the body battery is exhausted or when the user switches between the cells via the menu system.
Panasonic claims that a new economy mode allows the usual expected 320 shots per charge to be extended to up to 900 shots by reducing the amount of time displays are on. The economy mode shuts off the rear screen during shooting and works most effectively for those who use the viewfinder.
JK Imaging, which holds a license to produce Kodak-branded cameras, has launced a new 4K 360 degree camera at Photokina in Cologne today. The camera is splash-proof and comes with a selfie-stick and remote control in the package. A status-display on the top of the housing allows you to view and control settings and parameters. Alternatively this can be done via a dedicated iOS or Android app on your smartphone.
Images and video are captured on two 20MP BSI CMOS sensors. The front lens covers a 155 degree angle of view, the one at the back captures a wider 235 degree angle. This way you can easily switch between standard 16:9 "flat" 4K video, just using the front camera, and full spherical 360 degree recording using both cameras. Both lenses have a F2.4 aperture and video is electronically stabilized. In still image mode the camera can produce 27MP spherical images. The PixPro supports on-camera stitching at a reduced resolution for quick sharing, full resolution files can be created on an external editor.
With Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth the PixPro 4KVR360 is fully connected. It captures stereo sound using four built-in microphones but also offers a connector for an external microphone. The battery is removable and image material is saved on a microSD card. The camera is expected to be available in January 2017. Final pricing is not determined yet but should be around the $500 mark.
The new Fujifilm GFX 50S might just be the star of this year's Photokina tradeshow. We're in Cologne and we just got our hands on a prototype of the new medium-format camera.
The first thing that strikes you when you pick up the GFX 50S for the first time is its weight - or rather it's lack of weight. Considering the size of its sensor, the GFX 50S is impressively small and light. Fujifilm used to make some highly portable medium-format film rangefinder cameras, and it's obvious that this philosophy has carried over into the new 50S.
Ergonomically, the 50S resembles an upscaled X-series camera. With the grip attached it operates in a very similar manner to the X-T2.
The rear LCD can be tilted for waist-level or high-angle compositions, which is very handy for landscape and studio work. The screen on this demonstration prototype has been grubbied by countless enthusiastic journalist's fingers, but trust us - once the smudges are wiped off, it's bright and clear.
As you'd expect, the GFX 50S is considerably 'deeper' than the company's APS-C mirrorless cameras, but the flange-back distance has been kept impressively short, at 26.7mm. This view gives an idea of the size of the add-on viewfinder, which will ship in the box at no additional cost.
Although we didn't have a DSLR ready to compare sizes, the GFX 50S feels roughly equivalent in size and weight to a full-frame DSLR, despite having a sensor 1.7X larger. The body is weather-sealed and build quality is superb.
Unlike the X-T2, the 50S features a top-plate LCD screen, which displays key exposure settings. This view also shows off the traditional-style ISO and shutter speed dials, and Nikon-style integrated shutter button and on/off switch.
The viewfinder is lovely, and at least a match for the excellent finder in the X-T2 in terms of clarity and size. An additional finder will be available which can tilt upwards by 90 degrees and even swivel from side to side. This kind of articulation is especially useful when shooting in a studio.
This shot illustrates the 50S's impressively short flange-back distance. A focal plane shutter allows for a minimum shutter duration of 1/4000sec.
The 50S is built around a 43.8 × 32.9mm 51.4MP sensor, without an AA filter. That's 1.7X bigger than full-frame. Despite the obvious similarities to the imaging chips used in the Pentax 645Z and other cameras, Fujifilm is insisting that this is a new, Fujifilm-developed sensor.
Interestingly, this is a conventional Bayer-pattern filter array, not X-Trans.
The 50S will be available early next year alongside three weather-sealed lenses - a 63mm F2.8 Prime, a GF 32-64mm F4 LM WR wide to normal zoom and a GF 120mm F4 Macro. Three more lenses will follow later. Kitted with the 63mm F2.8, we're told that the total cost will be 'well under' $10,000.
The a99 Mark II looks a lot like its predecessor but a lot of changes have gone on. The most significant of these is the upgraded image sensor - it's now a 42MP BSI CMOS chip - but a series of tweaks have also been made to the camera's body.
The heart of the camera's AF capability stems from its combination of a dedicated DSLR-style PDAF sensor with information from the on-sensor phase detection elements on its main imaging sensor.
In the a99 II, the dedicated PDAF sensor has 79 AF points, the central 15 of which are cross type. The central point is designed to be extra sensitive with wide-aperture lenses and is rated as working down to brightness levels as low as -4EV.
The remainder of the AF points on its dedicated sensor are horizontal type sensors, while all its 399 on-sensor AF detection points are vertical type sensors. When used in together, these provide what Sony calls 'Hybrid Cross Type' AF. These work over the region where both sensors overlap.
The a99 II can shoot at up to 12 fps, something it can maintain for up to 60 JPEGs or 54 Raws. It can also continue to show live updates while shooting at up to 8 frames per second, giving an experience much closer to an optical viewfinder than usual, as demonstrated in the video below.
The silent control dial on the front of the camera has been reworked. In addition to being able to rotate freely, for smooth control over continuous settings in video mode, it now gains a switch that introduces click stops. This means it can be used more precisely when controlling discrete, stepped settings.
Sony has refreshed the camera's menus to make them both easier to navigate and to remember. Some associated features have now been clustered together - you can find all the movie options in the same place, for instance.
The tabs as the top of the menu are also now color coded, to help you recognise and remember which section of the menu you're in. Whether this is be visible enough to help you recall where a particular setting is remains to be seen but it's great to see Sony taking steps to address their menu system.
The camera features the same multi-hinged LCD as its predecessor, and it continues to lack touch sensitivity. There's a flip out cradle that extends from the back of the camera and, at its lower edge, there's a hinge that allows the screen to rotate in several directions away from the body. This allows you to angle the screen in numerous different ways, to suit the way you're trying to shoot.
Numerous other refinements include never making you wait to get into playback mode. After a burst the camera can now start to show the first images you shot, along with an on-screen indication of how much longer you'll have to wait for the others to become available.
The a99 II also gains an anti-flicker mode for shooting under artificial light that syncs its continuous shooting to the brightest point in the light source's flicker cycle.
Medium format camera system manufacturer Phase One has announced a lower-cost version of its 100MP digital back, as well as a pair of new Blue Ring lenses for the XF camera. The new back joins the ‘no frills’ IQ1 range and will be offered in mounts for Phase One XF cameras as well as for Hasselblad H models.
The back provides the same resolution, 53.7x40.4mm sensor and 15-stop dynamic range as the top-end IQ3 model and much of the same specification, but it lacks many of the shooting features and has no HDMI or Wi-Fi communication. The IQ1 models can't share power with the XF body and have no electronic shutter or ability to capture while in Live View mode. Display options are also restricted, with no exposure clipping warnings and no Exposure Zone tool – among other functions and menu items. When an XF body is bought with an IQ3 back Phase One offers a lens up to the value of $6990/€5990, but this offer isn’t open to those buying the camera with an IQ1 back.
Schneider Kreuznach 45mm LS F3.5 and 150mm LS F2.8 IF
The two new lenses joining the Blue Ring range, which is designed to cope with the higher resolution sensors, include a wide-angle and a moderate telephoto focal length. The wider is the Schneider Kreuznach 45mm LS F3.5 which provides the same 48° angle of view as a 28mm lens would on a 35mm camera. The LS in the name indicates that it has a leaf shutter and so can synchronize with flash at shutter speeds of up to 1/1600sec. The lens uses 10 elements in 7 groups and offers both auto and manual focusing options with a closest focusing distance of 55cm/1.8ft.
The second lens is the Schneider Kreuznach 150mm LS F2.8 IF, which acts as a 94mm would on a 35mm camera. It can synchronize with flash at shutter speeds of up to 1/1000sec and can focus as close as 100cm/3.2ft. It uses 8 elements in 7 groups and accepts 105mm screw-in filters, and Phase One claims it can produce an extremely shallow depth of field.
The Phase One IQ1 100MP Digital Back will cost $32,990/€26,990, while the Schneider Kreuznach 45mm LS F3.5 will be $5990/€5290 and the Schneider Kreuznach 105mm LS F2.8 IF will be $6990/€5990.
For more information see the Phase One website.
Announcing the IQ 100MP Digital Back and New Wide-angle & Fast Telephoto Blue Ring Lenses
COPENHAGEN, September 20, 2016 – Phase One, the world’s leader in medium format digital photography solutions, maintains a singular focus on enabling unmatched image quality. Today the company is announcing more flexible camera options to meet the requirements of the world’s most demanding photographers.
As the creator and provider of the industry’s first 100-megapixel medium format camera system, the XF IQ3 100MP, Phase One today introduces a new IQ1 family member: the IQ1 100MP Digital Back. With mounting options for XF and H cameras, and accommodating a range of technical systems, the IQ1 100MP Digital Back is uniquely suited for workflow flexibility and adept performance in any photographic application.
“Phase One is dedicated to providing working professionals with the tools that best serve their specific photographic needs,” said Lau Nørgaard, Vice President, Phase One Research and Development. “Working with an integrated and modular camera system allows photographers to embrace a single component, such as the powerful new IQ1 100MP Digital Back, in order to achieve their creative visions.”
In addition, Phase One is adding two new Schneider Kreuznach Blue Ring lenses, strengthening both ends of the optical spectrum from telephoto to wide-angle. The 150mm f/2.8 IF is the fastest Blue Ring telephoto lens, and the 45mm f/3.5 enhances the Blue Ring wide-angle lens options.
Phase One Freedom of Choice
Dedicated to its diverse professional photographic community, Phase One is introducing the free choice of any Blue Ring prime lens to be included in the kit (instead of the previously standard 80mm lens) when purchasing an XF IQ3 Camera System. This freedom of choice will help to ensure that the system is tailored from the start to the optical performance that best fits the customer’s needs without any additional cost.
New IQ1 100MP Digital Back
Phase One’s engineering team designs for uncompromising standards, relentless in perfecting image quality. The IQ1 100MP Digital Back is designed to exploit the power of the industry’s most advanced image sensor design. As a flexible component to be used in a variety of photographic applications, this digital back brings with it:
* 101 Megapixel Resolution – full frame 645 medium format images with a native size of 11608 x 8708 pixels;
* ISO 50-12800 with CMOS sensor technology – ISO flexibility and performance alongside video-quality LiveView, for any camera system;
* 16 Bit Color Depth – true 16-bit RAW file capture;
* 15 Stop Dynamic Range – exposure control and flexibility capturing extreme shadow and highlight detail.
Read more about the IQ1 100MP Digital Back at: https://www.phaseone.com/IQ1-100MP
Two New Schneider Kreuznach Blue Ring Lenses
Phase One continues to diversify its already extensive, high-quality Blue Ring lens portfolio. The introduction of two new Blue Ring lenses ensures a complete lens range in both wide-angle optics and telephoto lens speed. Blue Ring lenses are manufactured to Phase One’s highest standard of optical quality, capable of performing well beyond 101-megapixel resolution.
* New Schneider Kreuznach 150mm LS f/2.8 IF; the fastest Blue Ring telephoto lens with extremely shallow depth of field which is perfect for portrait as well as landscape applications.
* New Schneider Kreuznach 45mm LS f/3.5; providing edge-to-edge sharpness in a nearly distortion free wide-angle design, making it ideal for landscape photography as well as interior and architecture applications.
Read more about the new Blue Ring lenses at: https://www.phaseone.com/45-150mm-BlueRing
Availability and Pricing
The IQ1 100MP Digital Back is shipping this month and will be available through Phase One Partners: www.phaseone.com/partners
IQ1 100MP Digital Back (XF or H mount) – 26.990 EUR / 32,990 USD
New Schneider Kreuznach Blue Ring lenses are available now through Phase One Partners: www.phaseone.com/partners
Schneider Kreuznach 150mm LS f/2.8 IF – 5.990 EUR / 6,990 USD
Schneider Kreuznach 45mm LS f/3.5– 5.290 EUR / 5,990 USD
All Phase One IQ3 Camera Systems are available now with a choice of one Schneider Kreuznach Blue Ring prime lens valued up to 5.990 EUR / 6,990 USD
Phase One has updated its image manipulation package, Capture One Pro, to include profiles for 11 new cameras and 15 new lenses, as well as adding a feature that allows users to create profiles within the program for certain EIZO ColorEdge monitors. Capture One Pro 9.3 introduces Raw working profiles for Canon’s EOS 5D IV as well as the latest models from Fujifilm and Panasonic, and is loaded with optical information for new lenses from Canon, Olympus, Nikon and Sony. A full list of over 400 compatible products can be found on the company’s online compatibility page.
The new version of the application also allows users of EIZO ColorEdge monitors from the CG range to create color profiles of their screens directly from the Capture One Pro software. The feature makes use of the CG monitor’s built-in calibration system to both calibrate and form a color profile that Phase One says will ensure the color seen on the screen via the software’s own interface will be as accurate as possible.
Version 9.3 is available to download now and is free for current Version 9 owners. Those using versions 7 and 8 can upgrade for $99/€99 and new users will pay $299/€279 for an outright purchase or $15/€12 per month on subscription. A free 30-day trial is also available.
For more information visit the Phase One website.
Brings incomparable image rendering, incredible color and workflow gains
COPENHAGEN, September 20, 2016 -- Phase One, the developer and provider of the world’s first 100 Megapixel medium format camera, today released Capture One Pro 9.3. Professional photographers rely upon Capture One Pro -- its superior quality raw image rendering, plug and play tethering ease, precision image editing resources, and its robust enhancements to support their creative work.
The release of Capture One Pro 9.3 introduces precision color management advances based on collaboration between Phase One and EIZO. This enables users to create monitor profiles for EIZO ColorEdge CG Series monitors within Capture One Pro with a single click. Now customers can benefit from Capture One Pro’s leading color profiles with color fidelity assurance on industry-leading EIZO ColorEdge monitors.
More professional workflow enhancements include:
* Support for the newly released Phase One IQ1 100MP digital back and new Blue Ring lenses (see today’s related announcement);
* New camera support for 11 new cameras, including the new Canon 5D Mk IV., Fujifilm X-E2s, Fujifilm X-T2, Panasonic GX80/ Panasonic GX85 and the new Phase One Industrial iXU-RS camera range;
* More than 15 new lens profiles for Sony, Canon, Olympus and Nikon;
* General improvements of back-end processors to optimize overall user experience.
Kazuhide Shimura, executive operating officer of product & business development at EIZO said, “EIZO provides optimal color precision and ease-of-use with the ColorEdge lineup so creatives have the power to express their true vision. Collaborating with Phase One has provided the opportunity to offer an even more seamless workflow to photographers with calibration done in just one click.”
“With Capture One Pro 9.3, creating monitor profiles for industry-leading EIZO ColorEdge monitors is easier than ever before,” said James Johnson, Software Product Manager, Phase One. “This capability aids photographers in navigating the potential minefield of color management, delivering an immediate, ‘out of the box’ experience in optimal color workflow.”
For more details on all the new and improved features in Capture One Pro 9.3, including new cameras and lenses supported, please go to: www.phaseone.com/ninethree
Availability and Pricing
Capture One Pro 9.3 is available now for the Mac and Windows operating systems online at www.phaseone.com/store and from Phase One authorized partners worldwide www.phaseone.com/partners. It is free to all Capture One Pro 9 customers.
New customers are eligible for a free 30-day trial period. A Capture One Pro 9 license may be purchased for 299 USD / 279 EUR. Owners of versions Capture One Pro 7 or 8 may upgrade for 99 USD / 99 EUR at www.phaseone.com/upgrade. Each license permits three activations.
Capture One Pro is also available by subscription. A single-user subscription is 15 USD / 12 EUR per month for a 12-month plan. Please see all subscription options at www.phaseone.com/subscribe.
MeFoto has announced a line up colorful, re-designed travel tripods. The MeFoto Air series offers a new leg lock design it's calling HyperLock, which uses a single locking point for each leg in an effort to simplify setup and break down.
The MeFoto Air has another interesting trick up its sleeve – by removing the center column and attaching an included phone clamp, the tripod can be converted into a selfie stick. A Bluetooth remote attaches to the handle so the user can remotely trigger his or her mobile device.
The Air series will be available starting November in plenty of bold colors and in a variety of sizes, including a monopod.
|Model||Price||Weight||Closed Length||Min Height||Max Height||Max Height with Center Column||Max Payload|
|Walkabout Air Monopod||$65.00||0.9 lbs||13.4"||13.4"||59.1"||n/a||22.1 lbs|
|BackPacker Air Tripod||$125.00||1.98lbs||14.4"||11.2"||37.4"||59.5"||8.8 lbs|
|RoadTrip Air Tripod||$175.00||2.5 lbs||15"||11.4"||38.4"||61"||13.2 lbs|
|GlobeTrotter Air Tripod||$225.00||3.2 lbs||16.7"||12"||45.1"||68.1"||17.6 lbs|
Lighter, Faster and Easier-to-Use, MeFOTO Air Sets a New Standard for Today’s Traveling Photographers
COLOGNE, GERMANY (September 20, 2016) – MeFOTO is proud to introduce a new line of colorful and compact tripods and monopods — MeFOTO Air. Offering exceptional value and performance, MeFOTO is sure to capture the attention of photographers in search of a lightweight and ultra-portable camera support solution. Featuring HyperLock, MeFOTO’s revolutionary new leg lock system, the line boasts a unique combination of durability, functionality, speed, size and style, offering users endless new creative possibilities.
“Our world is moving faster and faster every day – our gear should too,” said Brian Hynes, MeFOTO Brand Manager. “With MeFOTO Air, our design engineers zeroed in on how users interact with their tripods, paying close attention to the leg locks. We developed HyperLock, a completely new leg locking system which not only simplifies the process of locking down each leg section, but also makes it significantly faster and lighter. The result is a tripod that’s quicker to setup, easier to carry and that takes up less space in a pack, all without sacrificing performance. MeFOTO Air truly raises the bar by which all travel tripods will be measured against.”
Engineered from the ground up, HyperLock is one of the most advanced leg locking systems found on any tripod today. Typically, a tripod or monopod features a locking mechanism for each leg section, forcing users to adjust each individually in order to ensure stability. With HyperLock, users need to only interact with one locking mechanism per leg. One small turn unlocks and extends the entire leg, and with a simple reverse twist, the legs lock back into place.
By revolutionizing the leg locking mechanism, MeFOTO Air drastically reduces the time needed to setup and breakdown. Once folded up, the ultra-compact and lightweight tripods and monopods fit easily inside small and medium sized bags.
Fun & Colorful
While the world is a colorful place for photographers and videographers to capture, the color and style of their gear doesn’t usually reflect it. MeFOTO Air changes all of that. Manufactured using anodized aluminum, MeFOTO Air is available in several vibrant colors: orange, blue, purple, green, red, titanium and black.
Integrated Selfie Stick
For added stability and to safely hold a user’s mobile device, each MeFOTO Air tripod easily converts into a telescoping selfie stick and includes a spring-loaded phone adapter. Moreover, a rechargeable Bluetooth remote that attaches to the handle also comes standard, opening a whole new world of opportunity to smartphone photographers.
The MeFOTO Air series will be offered in a variety of sizes, including MeFOTO’s BackPacker, RoadTrip and GlobeTrotter tripods and the WalkAbout monopod. MeFOTO Air will be available beginning November 1, 2016. For a full demonstration on the functionality of MeFOTO Air, please visit https://vimeo.com/182870823.
Forget full-frame, Fujifilm is diving head first into the world of digital medium format and we’re frankly pretty excited. The GFX 50S will make use of a 51.4MP CMOS sensor and X-Processor Pro imaging processor. In terms of surface area, the sensor is 43.8 × 32.9mm or about 4 times the size of sensors used in the company’s APS-C cameras (and 1.7x larger than a full-frame sensor.) And if 51.4MP sounds familiar, that’s because it's the same pixel count as the Pentax 645Z and Hasselbled X1D (though Fujifilm says their sensor is newly developed.)
The GFX 50S is a mirrorless camera and the body itself looks a bit like a jumbo-sized XT-2. Set to launch in early 2017, several accessories will be available including a pretty cool clip-on accessory EVF 'prism' that can be tilted and rotated once affixed.
Other accessories include a vertical battery grip, which adds an additional shutter release for use in the vertical orientation, control wheel and additional power. Like the camera, the grip is weather and dust-sealed by design. The camera is also freezeproof down to 14°F. Though we've yet to hold it, Fujifilm claims the GFX 50S is much lighter than traditional digital medium format cameras and also a good bit smaller.
The GFX 50S’ default aspect ratio is 4:3, however the camera can be set to shoot in a variety of other aspect ratios including: 3:2, 1:1, 4:5, 6:7 and 6:17.
New sensor size, new lens mount: The GFX 50S uses Fujifilm’s new G-Mount, which has a flange distance of 26.7mm. When the camera launches (sometime in early 2017), three G-Mount lenses will be available. The GF 63mm F2.8 WR, shown above, is one of them. It offers a 50mm equiv. field-of-view (due to a 0.79x crop factor). There's a possibility Fujifilm will kit that lens with the camera body and according to Fujifilm reps, that kit should cost 'well under $10,000.'
Also in early 2017, Fujifilm will be releasing a GF 32-64mm F4 LM WR wide to normal zoom with about a 25-50mm equiv. field-of-view. Like the 63mm F2.8 WR (and actually all G mount lenses) the 32-64mm is weather-resistant.
The third lens to ship around the same time as the camera is the GF 120mm F4 Macro R LM OIS WR lens (bottom, left of center). It offers a 95mm equiv. field-of-view and optical image stabilization.
It’s obviously no small task launching an entirely new system with new lens mount. But as far as glass is concerned for the GFX 50S, a normal fast prime, wide to normal zoom and a macro lens feels like a good start. And there are other lenses that will be coming later in the year, more on that on the next page…
In mid 2017, Fujifilm hopes to ship the GF 23mm F4 R LM WR and GF 110mm F2 R LM WR lenses. The former offers an 18mm equiv. field-of-view and the latter an 87mm equiv. Also, in late 2017, the company will release the GF 45mm F2.8 R WR lens with a 35mm equiv. field-of-view.
That's all we've got for now. We’ll update this article with more information and images once available. But for now, what do you think, is the Fujifilm GFX 50S a camera you’d buy?
Fujifilm has announced that it's developing a 1:1 format instant film and accompanying Instax camera for release in spring of 2017. The film itself will measure 85.6mm x 72mm, while the image itself will measure a square 62x62mm. That's the extent of the information released at this point, though Fujifilm has created a teaser page for Instax Square.
PHOTOKINA 2016, COLOGNE, GERMANY, September 19, 2016—FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) is pleased to announce that its next generation format “instax SQUARE format film” and “instax SQUARE camera” are currently under development.
With its 1:1 aspect ratio, square format photography is ideal for both portraits and landscapes, and has long been the format of choice for users enhancing their artistic expression. In recent times, the popularity of square format has increased to such an extent that it has become the de facto standard of smartphone cameras and timeline photos on social media platforms.
Fujifilm believes that the instax square format has the potential to drastically evolve the role and presence of instant photography. By adding this new format to the existing mini and wide, a new dimension will be added to the wealth of possibilities of instax photographic expression, users will have a wider choice, and instax cameras and films will be able to respond to a broader range of photographic subjects and situations than ever before.
In addition to the new square format film, a new camera which is able to fully express the attractions of square format photos is also under development. Further details are available at the below website.
“instax SQUARE format film”:
Image size: Height 62mm x Width 62mm
Photo size: Height 85.6mm x Width 72mm
“instax SQUARE format camera”: TBD