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Equipment

Canon EF 70-300mm F4-5.6 IS II USM sample gallery

DPReview.com - Latest News - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 6:00am

The Canon 70-300 F4-5.6 IS II USM is a budget-friendly zoom that packs a lot of focal length into a relatively lightweight package. It's a great option for enthusiasts or travel photographers wanting reach without too much heft.

Plus, it has built-in image stabilization, a nifty electronic lens information display and is fairly quick-to-focus. We took it to the zoo, and though it was cold and many of the animals were off-exhibit, the lens proved useful enough to capture a few cool creatures.

Categories: Equipment

PhotoSpots uses Google Maps to pinpoint photography hotspots

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 2:22pm

When you're traveling, it's always a good idea to scope out shooting locations ahead of time. Here to help is a newly launched online service called PhotoSpots. With PhotoSpots, photographers can find so-called 'photography hotspots' highlighted around the globe using Google Maps and the image hosting website 500px. The service was created by photographer Mike Wong, who recently detailed his creation on Reddit.

'I thought that it would be interesting to see where and when other photographers were taking photos,' Wong explained in his Reddit post, 'so I decided to create a small website that shows exactly that.' The photography hotspots are presented as a heat map, with red areas representing heavily photographed regions. A bar beneath the map shows thumbnails for images taken in a particular region and uploaded to 500px.

Clicking PhotoSpots' menu icon opens a slider that filters photos by month, while hovering over a specific photo thumbnail reveals the precise location it was taken via the map. "I'm also planning to make a filter for categories (e.g. nature, cities etc.) to make it more personalizable,' said Wong, though he didn't provide a timeframe for when that feature will be added.

Via: PetaPixel

Categories: Equipment

Company behind Lily drone shuts down despite $34m worth of pre-orders

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 2:03pm

When the Lily camera drone was announced in May 2015 it garnered a lot of attention for being one of the first drones capable of flying itself and tracking a user while capturing video footage for up to 20 minutes. As a consequence the company managed to secure $15 million in investment and an additional $34 million in pre-orders.

However, today the founders of Lily have announced in a letter and email to customers that the start-up is shutting down operations because it failed to raise additional funding to start production of its drone. The founders promise to reimburse all pre-order customers within the next 60 days.

"We have been racing against a clock of ever-diminishing funds," wrote the company's co-founders, Henry Bradlow and Antoine Balaresque. "Over the past few months, we have tried to secure financing in order to unlock our manufacturing line and ship our first units - but have been unable to do this. As a result, we are deeply saddened to say that we are planning to wind down the company and offer refunds to customers." 

The Lily drone was launched with a pre-order price tag of $499 and scheduled to ship in February 2016. Shipping was later delayed until summer and then again to early 2017. In the same time frame tracking drones from DJI, Zero Zero Robotics and Yuneec have all been brought to market successfully.

Categories: Equipment

HTC announces U Ultra 5.7" phablet with 12MP camera

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 12:43pm

If you liked the camera performance of last year's HTC 10 but would prefer a larger screen, the HTC U Ultra, which has been announced today, might just be what you've been waiting for. The Ultra U comes with the same rear camera module that can be found in the 5.2" HTC 10. A 12MP 1/2.3" sensor with 1.55µm pixels is combined with a fast F1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization. The camera also comes with phase detection AF and is capable of recording 4K video and 12-bit Raw files. 

Compared to the HTC 10 the front camera has received a serious upgrade, though. It now comes with a 16MP resolution and a pixel-binning low-light mode that puts out 4MP files. Images can be viewed on a 5.7" Quad-HD display that comes with a secondary small screen on top, similar to what we've seen on the LG V20. The Android OS is powered by Qualcomm's  Snapdragon 821 and 4GB of RAM. 64GB and 128GB storage options are available and can be expanded via microSD slot. 

Like the latest iPhones, the U Ultra lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack and only comes with a USB Type-C port. The latter is used to charge the comparatively small 3,000 mAh battery. Thankfully, quick-charging is supported. All the components are packed into HTC's new 'Liquid Surface' design metal unibody that is entirely covered in glass, so a solid case might be a useful investment for future U Ultra owners. The new model will be available globally this quarter. In the US the U Ultra will set you back $749 and can be pre-ordered now. Start of shipping is slated for mid-March.

Categories: Equipment

Throwback Thursday: the Panasonic GH1 - mirrorless video arrives

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 6:00am

Last week at CES Panasonic officially unveiled its newest flagship model, the DC-GH5, a video/stills hybrid camera that looks to be an indie filmmaker's dream. To see just how far we've come, for this week's TBT we decided to take a look back at where it all began: the Panasonic DMC-GH1.

The GH1 was announced way back in March, 2009, a few months after Panasonic's first mirrorless camera, the G1. The G1 delivered on the promise of a mirrorless ILC system, but despite all its advances it lacked support for video. Fast forward a few months and Panasonic gave us the GH1 - essentially a G1 with video features added.

It's hard to remember now, but back then there weren't many ILCs that captured video. The best known was the Canon 5D Mark II, which was famous for its full-frame depth of field and low light capabilities. Although it was based around a smaller Four Thirds sensor, GH1 quickly became a favorite of the video crowd thanks to its compact size, excellent video specs, and (relatively) good codec.

The camera shot 1080/24p as well as 720/60p video. (1080/24p video was actually encapsulated in a 1080/60i wrapper.) 1080/24p was a magic number for video enthusiasts and indie filmmakers, and thanks to the camera's multi-aspect sensor it was possible to capture a lens's full angle of view when shooting video in 16:9 format.

Although the camera's 1080p footage was competitive with other cameras from the era, I can tell you from first-hand experience that it tended to fall apart quickly if the image was too complex or involved a lot of motion, thanks to the 24 Mbps AVCHD codec. On the other hand, 720p footage generally held up much better, and that's actually how I ended up shooting the camera most of the time.

720/30p video shot on the Panasonic GH1. Yep... we used bagpipers for our video test. Crank up the volume for your neighbors.

Of course, one advantage we had back then was that most people weren't actually viewing content on HDTVs or at 1080 resolution online, so it was a reasonable tradeoff. Heck, I even did a bit of commercial work for a client using the GH1's 720p footage, and they loved it.

When it came to stills, the GH1's 12MP photos held up well against APS-C cameras of the time, such as the Canon EOS 500D (Rebel T1i). On the other hand, its performance left a little to be desired: from power on to taking a photo took 1.3 seconds. The camera could manage a respectable 3.3 fps of continuous Raw shooting... up to a total of 4 frames before the buffer filled up.

Perhaps what I really loved most about the GH1, and part of the reason it got so much traction in the market, was the virtually universal lens mount of the Micro Four Thirds system. This was particularly important to videographers and filmmakers as it allowed us to utilize virtually any glass we could lay our hands on with the system, a fact I took full advantage of by attaching all my old Nikkor primes to the camera with adapters. Crazy times, I tell you.

With a launch price of $1499 (including the 14-140mm F4.0-5.8 kit lens) the GH1 seemed expensive at the time. In that context, the $1999 price for the GH5, which can run rings around the GH1 in its sleep, doesn't seem too far out of line.

I have a GH1 sitting on my desk as I write this. I may have to charge up the battery and do a shootout against the GH5 as soon as we get it back in.

For a blast from the past, read our full review of the Panasonic GH1

Categories: Equipment

Focus ramping intervalometer Timelapse+ View goes on sale

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 4:00am

US accessories manufacturer Timelapse+ has announced that its latest on-camera timelapse controller is now on general sale. The Timelapse+ View allows photographers to program complex timelapse sequences and preview them as they happen on its built-in monitor. The controller can itself be controlled via a smartphone app which will also display the progress of a shoot as it is recorded.

Users can select start and end points for focus shifts during the timelapse sequence and determine over how many shots the changes will take place, and the device automatically shifts the focus of the attached camera’s lens during the shoot. Gesture detection allows previews to be activated without the photographer having to actually touch the set-up.

The company says that View also can be connected by Bluetooth to the Dynamic Perception NMX motion controller for moving-camera shots, and the files created are fully compatible with timelapse software LRTimelapse. The device supports a range of DSLR cameras from Canon, Nikon and Sony and costs $399.

For more information visit the Timelapse+ website.

Press release

Auto ramping intervalometer enables you to preview your timelapse

Time lapse hardware maker Timelapse+ announced today that after a successful KickStarter campaign, manufacturing for the second batch has already begun, with shipment expected to be around mid-January.

The VIEW ran a successful Kickstarter campaign in April 2016, with Timelapse+ successfully raising $131,337 of its $100,000 goal in 30 days.

The VIEW is a breakthrough intervalometer for cinematographers and photographers that allows for automatic bulb ramping, live time lapse preview -- watched either on the VIEW or a smartphone – and touch-free gesture controls. Since the end of the KickStarter campaign, Timelapse+ has been actively adding new features and working with other vendors to include third-party integrations to the VIEW.

The VIEW now has integrations to automatically connects to the Dynamic Perception NMX motion slider via Bluetooth and LRTimelapse support added to XMP data.

Additional new features include:

  • Automatically optimizes buffer time during ramping
  • Configurable ISO and shutter speed limits for auto ramping
  • Red theme option
  • Power button activates help screen for the currently selected item
  • Supports Canon, Nikon, and Sony Alpha

Elijah Parker, inventor of the view, said, “After reaching both the funding and shipping milestones, I’m excited to start this next phase.”

Pricing, updates, and availability
Retail Price: $399.

Pricing may vary by country for non-USD purchases and additional fees may apply,
including tax and shipping costs. Estimated to ship January 21st, 2017.

About Timelapse+
Timelapse+ is an innovator in hardware for time-lapse and HDR photography, with the original Timelapse+ Intervalometer and the new VIEW Intervalometer.

Categories: Equipment

Voice-controlled photo editing: coming soon to Photoshop?

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 4:55pm

Adobe Research is experimenting with a voice-controlled photo editing virtual assistant. A demo video uploaded to Adobe's YouTube account shows how the tool might function, performing and undoing basic edits to an image, and exporting the final product to Facebook – all achieved through spoken commands. 

The demo shows this feature being used for extremely basic editing functions (cropping, flipping an image), which Adobe calls 'a first step towards a robust multimodal voice-based interface' for its mobile applications. 

Given that voice control is popping up in just about every gadget you can think of, it seems logical for Adobe to be considering adding voice control to its apps. The Internet of Things is rapidly turning out to be the Internet of Shouting at Things, so voice-controlled photo editing seems inevitable. 

Do you think Adobe could make voice control sophisticated enough for the complex needs of serious photo editing? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: Equipment

DxOMark gives RED Helium 8K sensor a record-breaking 108 score

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 2:30pm

DxOMark has given RED’s 35.4MP Helium 8K sensor its highest overall score ever: 108. This makes the prototype sensor the second ever to exceed the 100 point milestone, joined only by the RED Epic Dragon prototype, which scored 101. DxOMark says the Helium is a ‘solid upgrade’ over the Epic Dragon, offering better color depth, less noise, improved low-light ISO and a greater dynamic range.

DxOMark explains that while both the Dragon and Helium sensors are ‘physically similar,’ the Helium ultimately offers more densely packed pixels at approximately 3.65 microns each. Less impressive is the organization’s assessment of the dynamic range, which measured at 15.2 stops versus RED’s advertised 16.5+ stops. That is still greater than the Epic Dragon’s DxOMark dynamic range rating of 14.8 stops, however. 

Because both the Helium 8K and Epic Dragon tests were performed with prototype devices, neither model will be officially added to DxOMark’s device ranking list. The company does present a ‘simulation’ ranking that shows where the two models would fall if they were included, however: above the Sony a7R II, Nikon D810, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II, and the Pentax K-1.

Via: DxOMark

Categories: Equipment

Astropad launches Astropad Studio for the Apple iPad Pro

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 1:56pm

The team behind Astropad, an iOS app that turns your iPad into a graphics tablet for the Mac, has today released Astropad Studio, a premium version of the original Astropad. The new release was specifically designed to work with the iPad Pro and offers better performance and an expanded feature set. 

Astropad Studio can communicate with an Apple Mac computer via a Wi-Fi or USB connection and uses Liquid Extreme, an improved and 5 times faster version of the standard app's Liquid technology which allows for smooth operation of the tablet and image quality that is free of compression artifacts. 

In addition, Astropad Studio supports both Bluetooth and wired keyboards and comes with the new Magic Gestures feature that allows for the creation of gesture shortcuts using touch-Pencil combinations. Sidebar shortcuts automatically adapt to the Mac app you are working with and Stroke Lab lets you adjust the characteristics of your pencil stroke in a variety of ways. 

Astropad Studio will be available as a subscription service for either $64.99 per year or $7.99 per month. This includes syncing of settings across devices and priority support. A 7-day free trial is available for those who are interested in trying the app. More information is available in the video below and on the Astropad Studio website.

Categories: Equipment

Fotodiox LED100WB-56 quick review

DPReview.com - Latest News - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 6:00am

The LED100WB-56 is a wall-powered, dimmable LED light source with that should be a little bit different. Fotodiox has done quite a bit, not just to negate the issued of using LEDs for continuous lighting but also to address some inherent issues of using continuous lighting in general. This is enough to warrant a closer look, as it could make these more useful for a wide number of users.

Included with the 3-light kit that we tested are three lights, reflectors, slip-on diffusion covers, ballasts/power adapters with XLR cables (not pictured), and a set of remotes. The kit also includes a set of light stands as well (not the short one pictured above), making the 3-light kit an entirely complete set for those getting started, as you are given more flexibility with three lights for a key, fill, and hair light, than you are with two.

One inherent issue with LED lights is the source itself. Bright LEDs are never a single diode: they're often an array of diodes arranged closely together. At first we saw LED panels grow in popularity, which spread single individual diodes in a grid to create a big and bright source. The issue is the individual diodes when spread out act like a series of point light sources, with each diode creating its own set of shadows. These complex shadows get distracting very quickly, and the bare bulbs are tough on the eyes.

As time has moved on, the diodes have shrunk down to a tight grid on a wafer, much like the chips in our cameras, just not quite as dense. Fotodiox has taken a panel like this and then put it back behind a glass lens with a frosted back. The back of this lens becomes the single light source instead of the hundreds of individual LED spots, creating an even light source with a single shadow, much like a classic tungsten source. 

Speaking of 'classic' tungsten sources, one of the biggest advantages of LED lights over these sources is heat production. Anyone who has used even a120-watt modeling light knows these things get extremely hot. So hot, in fact, that any skin contact with the bulb will leave behind oil residue that creates a hotspot - eventually resulting in the bulb's failure. While the Fotodiox does produce some heat, a small quiet fan keeps inside temperatures steady. During use, no outside part of the light becomes hot to the touch.

Another historic issue with the LEDs as a photographic light source is color - or lack thereof. This handy YouTube video dives a bit more in to the issue:

The Fotodiox is rated at 95+ CRI, which is quite a high rating for the price. This is also a drastic improvement over Fotodiox's own LED100WA, which is only rated at 85 CRI. CRI isn't a perfect way to assess color output but the spectrum Fotodiox shows for the lamps shows a fairly consistent output across most colors, with the only significant spike being in the blue region, meaning there shouldn't be any nasty surprises.

So these lights promise to take care of the light source and color issues, what else? How about flicker? All lamps flicker to some degree if they're powered by the alternating current of mains electricity but different lighting technologies have different dimming characteristics during the 'off' half of the power cycle. Tungsten bulbs stay fairly hot (and hence bright) throughout the cycle while poorly-designed LEDs abruptly switch on and off as the power cycles. You won't always notice this with the naked eye but set your shutter speed faster than the frequency of the lights and the difference can become apparent.

This effect can be seen with the Sony a7R II in 'low light' mode with 'electronic shutter' and maximum ISO in our studio scene - the line-by-line readout of the sensor happens at different parts of the light's power cycle, resulting in exposure differences that render as bands across the frame, despite the use of a tungsten bulb.

Fotodiox claims its LED100WB lights are flicker free, so we tried it out for ourselves by shooting some super slow-motion with two of the lights and a Sony RX10 III.

In these clips, the lights were at full power with their intensity controlled by their distance from the subject. When the lights are partially dimmed banding does begin to happen at 960fps/1000sec shutter speeds, but at full power there was no banding to be seen.

So, these lights are looking pretty good so far right? They also work quite well for portraits, especially when diffused or modified. The mount is the classic Balcar type, better known as the Paul C. Buff mount. This mount not only has a lot of affordable modifiers from Paul C. Buff, but also has adapters made for mounts like Bowens (which is what we own).

In use:

You'll find this shot on the back of Dan's debut bestseller novel (if he ever writes one). Olympus E-M1 Mark II, 75mm F1.8 lens, 1/200 sec, F2.2, ISO 200

This portrait of Dan was lit with just one LED100WB shot through an adapted Bowens mount beauty dish and two sheets of foam core: black for the background, and a white 'fill card' to the left of the camera. The light was at full power, and wasn't placed very far from Dan's head. That short distance meant the light was intense enough for a short shutter speed and soft enough to be flattering and smooth. However, the requirement for the short distance means that a lot of the light's output was being lost in the beauty dish, so those hoping to use existing light modifiers may find the LED100WB lacking in power in certain scenarios.

Using the lights outdoors on a dim day can also be an interesting experience, especially when a camera is left in any sort of priority mode where it can control either shutter speed or aperture automatically. Here's why: It essentially makes the 'B' button on the light's remote an overall exposure control. Let's look at this shot of Carey to explain further:

The lights can easily balance with lower light conditions, and the 5600K temperature balances relatively well with daylight and overcast conditions. Sony a6500, 50mm F2.8, ISO 100 1/60sec F4

What I wanted to achieve with this shot was to combine an F4 portrait (where this particular lens is very sharp) while also bringing attention to the shape of 'bokeh' balls in the background. After putting one of the LED100WB's with its diffusion sock where I wanted it relative to Carey (just over my head and a little to the left), I let the camera control shutter speed as I adjusted the light with the remote and watched the exposure change through the viewfinder.

When the lights were dimmed the camera's evaluative metering was mostly reading the brightness of Carey's face, and as the light was turned down the background got brighter. As the lights were brightened, the background got darker as the camera shortened the exposure time to keep Carey's face from over exposing. I ended up somewhere in the 25-50% power area to brighten up the 'bokeh balls' in the background.

While these lights can be used in limited cases for stills, the best application for the 3-light kit is for video. A 3-light kit gives photographers or videographers a key, fill, and hair light ready to go. Plus, their extremely quiet operation means they don't get in the way of a simple sound setup. We ended up using them when shooting our Game Boy Camera video a few months back:

One frustration we encountered was with the remotes. Having them was extremely handy but the implementation is a little clunky: each light has its own dedicated remote, which can make using multiple lights at once a bit fussy to use. Also, the buttons are just labeled alphabetically, with no indication of their function. The 'A' button works as on/off. The 'B' button cycles through 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% power levels. The 'C' and 'D' buttons act as an incremental adjustment up and down, with 'C' being brighter and 'D' being dimmer. That said, they're better than nothing, and came in handy several times while using the lights.

Conclusion

At the end of the day these lights are some of the easiest to use continuous lights we've encountered. Their nearly flicker-free output allows use of extremely high shutter speeds. Their lack of heat output means they can be used with any Balcar mount light modifier, not just special expensive ones made to withstand the heat of a tungsten bulb. Plus, the remotes make it easy to adjust power level, even when the lights have been placed out of reach.

For beginners, continuous light is a great option for mastering studio work, as you get to see the light as you shape it, and with mirrorless cameras you get to preview the results constantly. For photographers that need to match or even overpower bright ambient light, these lights aren't always powerful enough, so strobes would be a better choice. However, in the studio where ambient light can be controlled, these LED lights find many uses quite quickly, and for photographers looking for a set of lights to accompany them on a foray in to the video world, this 3-light kit is a great place to start.

Categories: Equipment

Nikon's 100 year anniversary video is both amazing and ridiculous

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 3:33pm

Nikon has been around for 100 years, which is pretty cool, and to celebrate the anniversary it has launched a dedicated anniversary site alongside a pretty amazing movie that traces Nikon’s history.

The video features an epic intro from outer space and a catchy song with the lyrics 'I can see the light, oh yes I can see the light,' repeated. It's the kind of song where if I lived in say, Berlin and enjoyed underground dance parties, I wouldn’t bat an eyelash if it came on in the club. There’s also cameos by famous photographers, recreations of historic moments, famous magazine and newspaper covers and a narrator with a Hollywood blockbuster-style voice.

In all seriousness it’s a very cool, albeit over the top, video. And Nikon is certainly a company with a rich and important history worth celebrating. The anniversary site also features a really cool timeline of the company's achievements. Here’s hoping they’ll be around for another 100 years.

Categories: Equipment

KitSplit acquires CameraLends, becomes largest peer-to-peer camera rental platform

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 2:12pm

Peer-to-peer camera equipment rental platform KitSplit has acquired its rival CameraLends to form the world's largest peer-to-peer gear rental community. The combined entity will be managed under the KitSplit brand from headquarters in New York and CameraLends founder Adam Derewecki will join KitSplit as an advisor. 

"There are more content creators today than ever before and they all need access to top quality, affordable gear. Since launching a little over a year ago, KitSplit has made huge improvements in gear rentals, making creative work and connecting with creators even easier and more affordable. The CameraLends acquisition will further our goals of democratizing access to great gear and empowering creators," says KitSplit cofounder and CEO Lisbeth Kaufman.

CameraLends user accounts including gear information have already been integrated into the Kitsplit web platform to smooth the transition for existing CameraLends users. In addition to individuals, KitSplit also works with rental houses and production companies to expand its gear pool. More information is available on the KitSplit website.  

Categories: Equipment

Kodak CMO says the company is 'looking into' reviving Kodachrome

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 1:55pm
Photo by pittaya via Flickr. Used under CC license

During CES 2017, Kodak announced it would revive the film stock it discontinued in 2012, Ektachrome. The announcement was well received, and was itself the result of an uptick in professional film sales, something that has also spurred Kodak toward another possible revival: Kodachrome. Eastman Kodak's President of Consumer Film division and Chief Marketing Office Steve Overman confirmed as much during a recent The Kodakery podcast.

The Kodakery team spoke with Overman from the Kodak booth during CES, and near the end of the discussion they mentioned the Ektachrome revival. That topic snowballed into a confirmation from Overman that Kodak is likewise looking into bringing Kodachrome back, but plans to do so haven’t been finalized at this time.

Overman works for US-based Eastman Kodak but it seems likely the company would follow the pattern seen with its recent Ektachrome announcement, and work with UK-based company Kodak Alaris to release a stills version of the film to photographic markets.

It took less effort and time to bring Ektachrome film back, Overman explained, which is why it was given precedence. He went on to say, though, that 'people love Kodak’s heritage products and I feel, personally, that we have a responsibility to deliver on that love.' 

Via: PetaPixel

Categories: Equipment

Kodak CEO says the company is 'looking into' reviving Kodachrome

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 1:55pm
Photo by pittaya via Flickr. Used under CC license

During CES 2017, Kodak announced it would revive the film stock it discontinued in 2012, Ektachrome. The announcement was well received, and was itself the result of an uptick in professional film sales, something that has also spurred Kodak toward another possible revival: Kodachrome. Eastman Kodak's President of Consumer Film division Steve Overman confirmed as much during a recent The Kodakery podcast.

The Kodakery team spoke with Overman from the Kodak booth during CES, and near the end of the discussion they mentioned the Ektachrome revival. That topic snowballed into a confirmation from Overman that Kodak is likewise looking into bringing Kodachrome back, but plans to do so haven’t been finalized at this time.

It took less effort and time to bring Ektachrome film back, Overman explained, which is why it was given precedence. He went on to say, though, that 'people love Kodak’s heritage products and I feel, personally, that we have a responsibility to deliver on that love.' 

Via: PetaPixel

Categories: Equipment

Instagram terms and conditions rewritten in simple language for teens

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 12:50pm

Law firm Schillings was recently tapped by the UK’s Children’s Commission to rewrite Instagram’s Terms and Conditions in simplified, child-friendly language. The simplified terms of service were included in the Commission’s newly published ‘Growing Up Digital’ report detailing, among other things, ways in which the Internet can help young users become better informed about the websites and apps they use.

At the heart of the report is a concern that children (and many adults) are unable to make informed decisions about the digital services they use due to the difficulty of understanding a service’s terms and conditions. The report cites Instagram’s Terms and Conditions as one example, finding that it contains 5,000 words across 17 pages ‘with language and sentence structure only a postgraduate could be expected to understand.'

Teenagers tasked with reading original Instagram Terms and Conditions report trouble understanding the information and frustration at its length. When given the rewritten TAC, however, which are condensed down to only a couple pages, the teenagers are able to explain the rules, what rights they have, and what rights Instagram reserves.

The full rewritten Instagram Terms and Conditions can be found on page 10 of the Commission's report.

Via: PetaPixel

Categories: Equipment

2017 Oskar Barnack award offers €80,000 prize fund

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 12:42pm

The Unbearable, the Sadness and the Rest
Clémentine Schneidermann
Winner of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award Newcomer 2016

Leica has announced that entries for its 2017 Oskar Barnack award will be accepted from 1st March and that the winner will receive €25,000 in cash and €10,000 worth of M-system equipment comprising a body and lenses. The theme for this year is ‘the interaction between people and their environment’ and entrants are expected to submit a series of between ten and twelve images that were all or mostly shot during 2016-17.

In addition to the main prize, there will be a Newcomer Award for 25s and under that will consist of €10,000 of cash and €10,000’s worth of M-system camera and lenses. Ten other photographers will receive a prize of €2,500 for being in the shortlist.

The competition is open to professional and, in the case of the Newcomer Award, prospective professional photographers and there is only one entry per person. Images do not have to have been shot on Leica equipment.

Entry closes on April 10th and the winners will be awarded their prizes at a ceremony in Berlin. For more information and to see the winners from previous years visit the Leica Oskar Barnack Award website.

Press release

{PressRelease}

Leica announces Oskar Barnack Award 2017

Dates confirmed for prestigious annual Leica Camera AG photographic competition

Now in its 37th year, Leica has announced the opening dates for the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2017. Those wishing to enter the renowned international competition for professional photographers, in addition to the ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award’ (for up-and coming photographers under the age of 25), can submit their entries between 1 March and 10 April 2017.

The competition calls for the submission of a self-contained series of between ten and twelve images, in which the photographer perceives and documents the interaction between people and their environment in a creative and ground-breaking style. Eligible for submission are portfolios of photographs captured in 2016 and 2017, or work from long-term projects including at least some images taken within this period. From 1 March 2017, entry forms and the terms and conditions of entry, will be available on the competition website at www.leica-oskar-barnack-award.com.

As in the previous year, the presentation of the awards to the winners in both categories will take place at a gala ceremony in Berlin. Oskar Barnack, the inventor of the revolutionary and iconic ‘Ur-Leica’ 35mm camera, began his career in the German capital. Indeed, in 1959, close to the Giesensdorfer Schule in Berlin – attended by Barnack as a child, and where children are still taught today – a street was named ‘Barnackufer’ to commemorate the school’s most famous pupil.

With prizes amounting to a total cash value of 80,000 euros, the ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Award’ is one of the industry’s most prestigious photographic competitions. The winner in the main category will be honoured with a cash prize of 25,000 euros and Leica M-System equipment (a camera and lens) valued at an additional 10,000 euros. The winner of the Newcomer Award will receive a cash prize of 10,000 euros and will also receive a Leica rangefinder camera and lens. In addition to the two main categories, a further ten submissions to the competition will each be honoured with prizes of 2,500 euros. The portfolios entered by all finalists will be published on the www.leica-oskar-barnack-award.com website and in a magazine published specially for the competition.

Further details will be announced during the year.

{/PressRelease} 

Categories: Equipment

Meet two nomadic photographers who travel full-time

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 6:00am

Plenty of photographers have the words 'travel more' at the top of their list of New Year's resolutions. In fact, when we asked our readers what their photo-related resolutions were, more than a quarter responded that travel was a priority. 

So Elia and Naomi Locardi's desire to travel as much as possible is a familiar one for a lot of photographers, but they've taken an unusual approach: they sold most of their possessions and live on the road as full-time travelers. You can learn more about their 'location independent' lifestyle in the SmugMug Films feature above. See a sample of the Locardis' photography below.

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What do you think – would you be able to embrace a permanent-address-free lifestyle? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: Equipment

Is this drone-toting concept car the future of photojournalism?

DPReview.com - Latest News - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 4:00am
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Photojournalists, especially those embedded or covering remote and/or dangerous regions of the world would likely benefit from a vehicle specifically designed to help them overcome the daily challenges they face. Dillon Kane, an automotive design student at Lawrence Technological University, seemed to think so too. He recently won Magna International’s 'Main Event' design competition for his concept called '30 degrees West,' a futuristic car that we can only describe as an Inspector Gadgetmobile for visual journalists.

The competition is held annually prior to the North American International Auto Show, and this year, judges asked young automotive designers to dream up a new vehicle that might debut in the year 2030.

Sure, the vehicle rendering looks a bit like a riding lawnmower, but it would actually be packed with intelligent technology and design. Kane's design features compartments for gear located on all sides of the vehicle (that apparently open and close in near silence) and a ladder pops out from the back of the vehicle to allow journalists a higher vantage point. Of course, if standing on the roof still isn't high enough, the vehicle has a built in drone, also located on the roof, that can be launched for aerial coverage. Because duh, it’s the future and drones.

Additionally, the vehicle would be covered with smart sensors and cameras to record information about one’s environment, and a built-in ‘gentle light’ is also included in the design to create some flattering light for portraits on the fly. While some aspects of its design may seem like they need more hashing out (like the fact that it is not autonomous and must be piloted), it's pretty cool to see a vision for a car designed specifically with photographers in mind.

So what do you think of Kane’s design, is it something you’d drive? Or better yet, how would you improve upon it to make it truly meet the needs of traveling photographers? Let us know in the comments!

Categories: Equipment

CamFi launches Matrix software for multiple camera control

DPReview.com - Latest News - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 2:46pm

The maker of remote camera controller and image transmitter device CamFi has announced a new software package that allows CamFi users to control and trigger multiple cameras at the same time.

CamFi Matrix is an application for Windows PCs that communicates via a Wi-Fi or cabled network with certain Canon and Nikon DLR cameras and which can be used to preview a shot via Live View. A control panel allows camera settings to be adjusted and focus points to be selected, and once the shutter is tripped remotely the images can be downloaded and viewed. The system allows an unspecified number of cameras to be controlled at the same time, though the company recommends a high-performance router for simultaneously controlling more than ten, and a cabled connection for more than 20. The company suggests that using multiple-camera set-ups will be useful for creating virtual reality images, 3D product shots and panoramas.

To operate with the Matrix software each camera in the system needs its own CamFi unit, and connection is made via a router or cabled Ethernet rather than directly between the PC and the camera – so an existing network is required.

The CamFi units have existed for some time and have previously been used to link cameras to phones and tablets as well as PCs, but only one camera at a time. The software is free for owners of CamFi units.

For more information and to see a list of compatible cameras visit the CamFi website.

Categories: Equipment

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