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No Venue? No Problem! Maluma Sings in Buenos Aires Streets After Stadium Shuts Down

Billboard.com - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 12:29pm
It was a bit of a tumultuous weekend in Buenos Aires, with popular venue Estadio Luna Park shutting down in the midst of a busy concert season...
Categories: Music Industry

Bronze Radio Return Plays Brooklyn Benefit Concert For Willie Nelson's Farm Aid

Billboard.com - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 12:21pm
Bronze Radio Return, the savvy indie band with songs heard in two new Showtime series, marked the release of its new album Live From Brooklyn And...
Categories: Music Industry

Chase Rice Sends “Everybody We Know Does” To Radio

MusicRow.com - Nashville Music Industry - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 11:56am
Chase Rice will ship a new single, “Everybody We Know Does,” to country radio on Tuesday [...]
Categories: Music Industry

KAMAU Recruits Lion Babe For 'Jusfayu' Remix: Exclusive Song Premiere

Billboard.com - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 11:55am
KAMAU isn't one to shy away from a big concept -- so it makes sense that the D.C./DMV-raised singer-songwriter’s latest single,...
Categories: Music Industry

Daddy Yankee Will Celebrate 20 Years in Music at the 2016 People En Español Festival

Billboard.com - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 11:52am
Daddy Yankee will be honored with People En Español's 20th Anniversary Award at its annual festival during Hispanic Heritage Month...
Categories: Music Industry

20 Year-Old Woman Dead After Attending EDC Las Vegas: Report

Billboard.com - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 11:44am
Though initially EDC Las Vegas was believed to have taken place without any reported deaths, FOX5 reports that a 20 year-old woman died after...
Categories: Music Industry

LifeNotes: Longtime Waitress At Pancake Pantry, Mrs. Joyce Stubblefield, Passes

MusicRow.com - Nashville Music Industry - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 11:39am
Mrs. Joyce Stubblefield, 78, of Goodlettsville, passed away peacefully on Thursday (June 23). She was [...]
Categories: Music Industry

Steven Tyler Reveals Solo Album Track Listing, Confirms Aerosmith Farewell Tour

MusicRow.com - Nashville Music Industry - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 11:26am
Several of Nashville's top songwriters are featured on Steven Tyler's upcoming solo country [...]
Categories: Music Industry

Danish Metalheads Volbeat Explain Breaking Through in America & Their Awkwardly Awesome Coachella Show

Billboard.com - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 11:20am
If you didn’t realize Volbeat was on its sixth album, you’re forgiven. Still, American rock fans would be wise to have Seal the Deal and...
Categories: Music Industry

Rihanna, Josh Groban and More Mourn Legendary Street Style Photographer Bill Cunningham

Billboard.com - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 11:14am
Legendary New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham died Saturday (June 25) at age 87 after almost four decades at the newspaper. Known as the...
Categories: Music Industry

Spotify Survey: People Hate Mondays, Music Is Coffee, Sex Is Less Helpful

Billboard.com - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 10:48am
Spotify's automated Discover Weekly playlists are a hit -- over 5 billion songs streamed since mid-2015 -- so now the streamer has commissioned...
Categories: Music Industry

Big Sean and Mike Epps Talk Working Together on ABC's 'Uncle Buck': Billboard Exclusive

Billboard.com - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 10:34am
Big Sean goes from the stage to the small screen with his upcoming cameo in ABC's new comedy Uncle Buck, ...
Categories: Music Industry

Desiigner Unleashes Debut Mixtape 'New English'

Billboard.com - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 9:27am
After hitting the top of the Hot 100 with his hit single "Panda," Desiigner goes wild on his highly-anticipated debut ...
Categories: Music Industry

Matoma Reveals Fall North American Tour Dates: Exclusive

Billboard.com - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 9:13am
It's been a big year for Matoma. "Old Thing Back," his 2015 track, continues to accumulate fans -- the song now has north of 130...
Categories: Music Industry

Rihanna Blasts Off on Powerful 'Star Trek Beyond' Ballad 'Sledgehammer': Listen

Billboard.com - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 8:37am
Rihanna dropped the full track for "Sledgehammer," her contribution to the Star Trek Beyond soundtrack on Monday morning (June 27) and...
Categories: Music Industry

This Week in Billboard Chart History: In 1988, Michael Jackson Made History With His Fifth No. 1 From 'Bad'

Billboard.com - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 8:05am
Your weekly recap celebrating significant milestones from more than seven decades of Billboard chart history. June 27, 2009Seven years ago today,...
Categories: Music Industry

Mirrorless is 'probably' the future: an interview with Hasselblad Product Manager Ove Bengtson

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 8:00am

It is quite extraordinary for Hasselblad to produce a mirrorless camera like the X1D for a number of reasons. Firstly is the obvious: it has predominantly produced cameras with very large mirrors since its first consumer camera in 1948 - the 1600F. Second, mirrorless cameras with touch screens and electronic view finders are very modern, and we may not all think of Hasselblad as a manufacturer of entirely up-to-date electronic products.

In the X1D we are looking at a medium-format sensor in a body that can hide behind a standard high-enthusiast 35mm-style DSLR. Okay, so plenty of people will point out that it isn't 'full frame' 645 (the smallest of the 120 film formats), but it's very similar to 127 film which was considered medium format by the ISO organization. More to the point, it's much bigger than the 'full frame' 35mm format and is essentially the same size as the sensors used in Leica's S series, the Pentax 645Z, Phase One IQ3 50MP and Hasselblad's own H6D-50c.

I guess this kind of breakthrough is one we'd expect to come from what we might consider a high-tech company, not a business that has traditionally created a relatively low volume of very high-priced and principally mechanical professional tools.

Of course Hasselblad marked a technological turn around when it introduced the H6D with its new electronic platform, but this new X series camera takes what the H6D did a few steps further. Shortly after the announcement of the X1D in Gothenburg I got some time with Hasselblad product manager Ove Bengtson to discuss some of the technical challenges that had to be overcome to create the X1D and to find out some more detail about how the product will work when it comes to market.

'...designing a mirrorless system is relatively easy compared to our usual H cameras'

'The X1D took only between 18 and 20 months to develop from the final concept to where we are today,' says Ove Bengtson. 'As it uses the same 50-million-pixel Sony IMX161 sensor, the same electronic platform and same processor as the H6D-50c most of the work was already done - designing a mirrorless system is relatively easy compared to our usual H cameras as there are no moving parts. We started discussing the idea in November 2013 but were still talking about it a year later before we decided to go ahead. The work that we had already done in the development of the H6D saved us a lot of time in research for the X1D.'

As mirrorless cameras are so much easier to make and offer so much more flexibility I wonder if mirrorless is the future for Hasselblad. 'Yes, it probably is, but not for a while. Mirrorless systems can be smaller and lighter, and because they have no internal movement they are more durable and they create less vibration so there is less to disturb image quality. Electronic viewfinders will need to get better though and the AF systems will need to improve to catch up with phase detection systems.' 

'We really do want phase detection but we'll have to wait for the sensor manufacturer.'

'It is a great benefit to be able to have AF points all over the screen, as in our H system we are really restricted to the centre of the frame, but phase detection wasn't even an option for the X1D. We discussed having phase detection AF points built into the sensor, but Sony was already too far down the road with the sensor development at that stage. We really do want phase detection but we'll have to wait for the sensor manufacturer.

So, while mirrorless has many advantages over mirrored systems there are still just as many reasons to use the H system. The H system has better AF in low light, and a lot of photographers prefer an optical viewfinder. The H system is also modular so you can change the backs and use a waistlevel viewfinder – not to mention a choice of 12 lenses including technical lenses – so it is still a very different experience.'

To allow X1D users access to the existing range of H system lenses Hasselblad will introduce what it describes as a 'simple adapter', but in the announcement there wasn't much more detail than that. 'Yes, this adapter will allow autofocus to operate with most of the H lenses, but they weren't designed to work with contrast detection systems. Consequently users will need to update the firmware in their lenses to allow them to work properly. Not all lenses have firmware that can be upgraded as early H lenses in 2002 were fixed, but all more recent lenses will be able to be used.'

'It is still early days for this camera but when it comes to market it will have touch AF...'

The cameras on display at the announcement event had touch screen controls for working the menus and for making feature selections, but they didn't allow touch AF controls. 'It is still early days for this camera but when it comes to market it will have touch AF and the AF points will be spread across the screen. You will press the AF/MF button and an AF point display will appear on the screen and then you can select the point you want to use.'

The X1D's touch-driven interface. The menu screens and displays are controlled via a series of swiping motions, much as we are used to in smartphones.

Ove said that the company hadn't directly considered allowing the rear screen to be used as a touch pad while the EVF is in use, but that it would probably be a question of firmware and that they would consider it. 'The touch experience for the user has been a major consideration for us, and we want the touch sensitivity to be the best there is. Users will all have smart phones and we couldn't allow the screen of the X1D to present an experience that isn't as good as people will be used to.'

We also talked about the company's integration of the Nikon flash system and what the reasons were for not developing a system of their own. 'We don't want to have to develop our own flash system, as we'd prefer to concentrate our resources on making cameras and lenses. Any system needs a range of flash units as customers want a choice, so it makes much more sense to work with an existing system that already has that range and choice. When we only had the V system we partnered with Sunpak, and in more recent years we worked with Metz, but Metz discontinued the gun as they didn't sell enough. Nikon agreed to work with us and we are very happy that they offer excellent flash units that will work well with our X1D.'

'We have to produce the best that we can and allowing reduced quality just isn't an option'

The XCD lenses that Hasselblad has developed to go with the X1D use leaf shutters and offer a top shutter speed of 1/2000sec. Leaf shutter systems allow much faster flash synchronization than focal plane shutter systems and, as is the case with the H6D, the X1D can work with full power flash at that shortest shutter opening. 'In this camera and in the H6D we use a dual shutter system to achieve the top 1/2000sec flash sync speed,' explains Ove.

'The new XCD lenses are designed and built to the same specification standards that we use for the H series lenses. We have to produce the best that we can and allowing reduced quality just isn't an option. In fact these have a short back focus which makes it easier to design them to really excellent standards. The lenses are designed by us and manufactured by Nittoh who have made many great lenses in the past, including the lenses for the X-Pan. These XCD lenses have no crosstalk and the angle of the light as it approaches the sensor is well within the limits. You'll notice that the exit pupil of the wide angle particularly is set well inside the barrel.'

'Right now... we have no zooms on the roadmap'

'To start with we will concentrate on fixed focal length lenses as we can make these small in line with the compact concept of the camera. I expect there will be some demand for zooms but we will wait and see what that demand is and then respond to it. Right now though, we have no zooms on the roadmap. Personally I think they will have to be too big, and I want us to concentrate on the best performance and the highest resolution possible.'

Speaking to Ove and other technicians at the event it is obvious that Hasselblad has built this system around the specific physical dimensions of the 43.8x32.9mm sensor. If there will be a 100MP version of the X camera it will not be one using the current Sony offering that measures 53.4x40mm. 'The camera isn't designed to take a larger sensor,' I was told, 'and the XCD lenses don't have the covering circle to work with it. We designed the camera to be small and portable, and a part of that equation is the size of the sensor. If we work with a larger sensor it means we need a bigger body and bigger lenses, and that would defeat the principles of what the X1D is about.'

No one would be drawn on how many lenses the company expects to have in the XDC range in five years' time, but it is clear there will be more and that they will start coming shortly. The 30mm will be formally announced at Photokina and I think it reasonable to assume there will be hints of other focal lengths at the time, even if the announcements aren't formal.

The X1D really does mark quite a departure for Hasselblad and a step towards a larger market (though still some way from the mass market) that will allow the company to broaden its user base. The step too though is as much about demonstrating it is a modern company now that can make modern products. It has also drawn an unmistakable line under that period of its life when it rebadged and allowed other brands to have too much of a hand in its manufacturing.

Things are looking up; Hasselblad seems to be back on track, innovating once more and in many ways getting ahead of the game. The X1D is certainly the coolest, most flexible, portable and accessible digital medium format almost on the market.

Categories: Equipment

Kanye West Made an Hour-Long Remix of 'Father Stretch My Hands': Listen

Billboard.com - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 7:35am
The least shocking thing Kanye West did over the weekend was release an hour-long remix of The Life of Pablo track "Father Stretch My Hands...
Categories: Music Industry

7 Things You Didn't See or Hear at the BET Awards

Billboard.com - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 6:29am
The 16th annual BET Awards is now a wrap. But here are a few behind-the-scenes observations and tidbits gleaned from the red carpet and inside the...
Categories: Music Industry