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All articles from Digital Photography Review
Updated: 6 min ago

Google Pixel XL camera review

Wed, 12/21/2016 - 7:00am
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For its latest smartphone generation, Google has dropped the Nexus moniker of previous models and used Pixel branding borrowed from the company's top-end Chromebooks and tablets. The Pixel XL is the larger of two models and comes with a 5.5" QHD-screen that uses AMOLED technology. 

In terms of technical camera specifications, not much has changed compared to last year's Nexus devices. A 1/2.3" 12MP sensor is paired with an F2.0 aperture but offers no optical image stabilization. However, Google has flexed its muscles on the software side of things and added a new gyroscope-based video stabilization system that reads gyro data 200 times per second for smoother panning and shake-free handheld video recording.

Additionally, thanks to more powerful processing and zero shutter lag the excellent HDR+ mode is now on by default, using an image stacking approach to reduce noise, capture better detail and increase dynamic range. While the Pixel XL's camera hardware looks promising, it is these innovative algorithms that make the Google device one of the most interesting smartphones for photography released this year. 

Key Photographic / Video Specifications

  • 1/2.3” 12MP CMOS sensor with 1.55µm pixels
  • F2.0 aperture
  • AF with on-sensor phase detection and laser-assistance
  • Dual-tone LED flash
  • 4K video at 30 fps
  • 1080p slow-motion at 120fps, 720p at 240fps
  • Manual controls and Raw-support with third-party camera apps
  • Gyroscope-based video stabilization
  • 8MP front camera, 1/3.2" sensor, 1.4 µm pixels, F2.4, 1080p video
  • Unlimited cloud storage for full-resolution images and videos

Other Specifications

  • 5.5-inch Quad-HD AMOLED screen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32/128GB storage
  • 3,450mAh battery
  • Splash and dust resistant
  • Fingerprint reader

DPReview smartphone reviews are written with the needs of photographers in mind. We focus on camera features, performance, and image quality.

Categories: Equipment

Sensor innovations push global shutter chip capabilities

Wed, 12/21/2016 - 6:00am

Engineers with Tohoku University have detailed a new project in which a CMOS sensor with a global shutter is able to record ultra-high-speed footage without the constraints of existing technology, namely short-duration recording and low resolutions. The end result is a CMOS sensor capable of recording one million frames-per-second over a 'large' duration of time, relatively speaking (480 micro-seconds in this case), at full resolution.

By re-designing the sensor's memory bank, researchers have tested a 96 x 128 pixel array with global shutter at 480 frames. The design is intended to be tiled on a sensor with 1MP resolution – clearly not enough for consumer photography, but great for engineering applications. 

Don't feel left out though, consumer photography and videography may also see benefits from this kind of technology – Canon also reported progress on its research of global shutter sensors. Canon's technology similarly uses memory in an innovative way: by assigning each pixel its own memory cell. While Tohoku University's research is concerned with ultra high speeds, Canon is looking for ways to improve the dynamic range of global shutter sensors. The company has tested a 10MP sensor at 30 fps – take a look at the results below. 

Global shutter chips typically offer poor dynamic range. To improve DR, Canon has increased the number of 'accumulations' per frame, or the number of times each pixel deposits electrons to its associated memory cell. Image supplied by Canon

Via: IEEE Spectrum

Categories: Equipment

This image is why the world needs professional photographers

Tue, 12/20/2016 - 2:22pm

An AP photographer was in the audience during the attack on Russia's ambassador to Turkey - the latest here: https://t.co/QNlIA8e2Eu pic.twitter.com/EBPa5izHsi

— AP Images (@AP_Images) December 19, 2016

A gunman assassinated Russia's ambassador to Turkey yesterday at the opening of a photography exhibit in Ankara. Associated Press photographer, Burhan Ozbilici was covering the event and witnessed the assassination first hand, which occurred while the ambassador was addressing the room of attendees.

In the face of an active gunman meters away, Ozbilici kept on making pictures. And because of his bravery, the world can witness and better contextualize this horrific event. But before you go on calling Ozbilici a hero for being brave, consider for a moment that he did exactly what he is trained to do. He did what any good photojournalist should have done. 

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times today, Ozbilici had this to say about the incident:

“I was, of course, fearful and knew of the danger if the gunman turned toward me. But I advanced a little and photographed the man as he hectored his desperate, captive audience,” Ozbilici tells the LA newspaper. “I was thinking: ‘I’m here. Even if I get hit and injured, or killed, I’m a journalist. I have to do my work. I could run away without making any photos… But I wouldn’t have a proper answer if people later ask me: ‘Why didn’t you take pictures?'”

It's a stark reminder that the world needs well-trained photojournalist now more than ever. Unfortunately the trend in the newsroom, both in the United States and World-wide has been a constant cycle of slashing staff photography positions. 

There are a lot of reasons why photojournalism jobs are disappearing, the decline of print/classified ads is surely one, but the increase in smartphone image quality is another. Smartphones have come a long way and for many media companies, a multi-talented journalist who can shoot some photos and video with their iPhone is often considered good enough.

So what if instead of a proper photojournalist, the Associated Press has sent just a reporter with a smartphone to cover the event? After all, it's just a gallery opening right? A quick snap of the ambassador behind the podium and a few shots of the gallery walls to accompany the text should do the trick. 

The point is, there really is no substitute for a professional photojournalist with years of training and field time. In an era when news is increasingly catered toward one's specific taste, the facts can be elusive. But a good photojournalist can get us closer to the truth. It’s their job.

Categories: Equipment

Modern Mirrorless: Canon EOS M5 Review

Tue, 12/20/2016 - 10:18am

Introduction

The Canon EOS M5 is the most enthusiast-friendly EOS M yet. It's a 24MP mirrorless camera built around a Dual Pixel APS-C sensor, giving it depth-aware focus across most of the frame. On top of this it adds a built-in electronic viewfinder, a good number of external controls (including twin control dials) and a well implemented touchscreen.

This level of direct control puts it comfortably ahead of Sony's a6000 and a6300, and more on par with Panasonic's GX85 (GX80 in some markets) and GX8 enthusiast models. All of these cameras aim to offer stills and video capabilities in relatively small bodies but with a reasonable level of direct external control.

Key Specifications

  • 24MP Dual Pixel APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • 2.36M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder
  • 1.62M-dot tilting rear touchscreen
  • Electronic video stabilization combines with in-lens IS to give 5-axis IS
  • 7 fps continuous shooting (9 fps with focus and exposure locked)
  • Wi-Fi with always-connected Bluetooth

The Canon EOS M5 is a very approachable camera, despite all those buttons and dials. In fact, it's the implementation of this touchscreen that, in general, we're most impressed with. Much like the system developed by Panasonic, the M5 not only lets you use the rear touchscreen to position focus, it also allows its use as a touchpad to move the focus point when you're shooting through the viewfinder. This, combined with decisive autofocus, has proven to be significant for both stills and video shooting. 

The camera has four dials in total: two main dials on the top of the camera, a dedicated exposure compensation dial and a fourth dial encircling the four-way controller on the back of the camera. This is a much higher level of direct control than offered on the simpler EOS M-series models offered previously, suggesting Canon expects the user to take more hands-on control of the shooting experience.

Three of the four control dials on the M5 are on the top plate, giving users easy access to exposure parameters.

While the lack of 4K video capability is a disappointment, the ability to use the touchscreen to re-position the focus point with a high level of confidence that the camera will smoothly glide the focus to the right point is highly desirable.

The touchscreen-plus-Dual-Pixel-AF combination is also useful for stills shooting - you can not only use the touchscreen to drag the focus point around the screen but also use it to select between available faces if shooting or recording in face detection mode.

The other significant benefit of the M5 finally receiving Canon's Dual Pixel AF system is that it is now able to focus adapted EF and EF-S lenses very effectively - overall performance isn't quite the same as an 80D in Live View mode, but it's leaps and bounds ahead of any previous M camera. You're also no longer limited to the small central focus area offered when using comparable Rebel / EOS x-hundredD DSLR models, and focusing is almost DSLR-quick and decisive.

Compared with its peers

The enthusiast photographer has a good number of choices when looking for a reasonably sized mirrorless camera with a good degree of direct controls. Sony offers the a6000 and a6300 (the higher-specced a6500 comes in at a significant premium over the EOS M5), depending on how much you need 4K video and how demanding your AF needs are. Meanwhile, Panasonic offers both the GX85 and GX8, with the more expensive model offering higher resolution and a better viewfinder. Olympus's E-M5 Mark II offers a broadly similar feature set and form factor. All of these models are extremely capable, with ease-of-use being the Canon's most obvious response to their broadly higher video specifications.

  Canon EOS M5 Sony a6300 Panasonic GX8
MSRP $1099 with 15-45mm lens $1149 with 16-50mm lens $1199 body only
Pixel count 24MP 24MP 20MP
Focus method 'Dual Pixel' on-sensor PDAF On-sensor PDAF Contrast detection*
EVF 2.36M dots 2.36M dots 2.36M dots
 Dials Two on top plate
Exposure Comp
Four-way/dial
Top plate
Four-way/dial
Two on top plate
Exposure Comp
Continuous shooting 9 fps
(7 with live view and C-AF)
11 fps
(8 with live view)
8 fps
(5.5 with live view)
Video specifications 1080/60p 4K/30p
1080/120p
4K/30p
1080/60p
Peaking/Zebra Yes/No Yes/Yes  Yes/Yes
Touch focus in video Yes No  Yes
Battery life
Screen/EVF
295/295 shots 400/350 shots 330/310 shots

* When using Panasonic-branded lenses the GX8 adds distance prediction based on the out-of-focus characteristics of the lens (A system the company calls 'Depth From Defocus').

So, is the EOS M5 the mirrorless tour de force we've been expecting from Canon? It's no secret that we found it to be an incredibly promising camera, even if it is a bit late to the party. To find out just how compelling an option the M5 is, let's press on.

Categories: Equipment

Modern Mirrorless: Canon EOS M5 Review

Tue, 12/20/2016 - 10:18am

Introduction

The Canon EOS M5 is the most enthusiast-friendly EOS M yet. It's a 24MP mirrorless camera built around a Dual Pixel APS-C sensor, giving it depth-aware focus across most of the frame. On top of this it adds a built-in electronic viewfinder, a good number of external controls (including twin control dials) and a well implemented touchscreen.

This level of direct control puts it comfortably ahead of Sony's a6000 and a6300, and more on par with Panasonic's GX85 (GX80 in some markets) and GX8 enthusiast models. All of these cameras aim to offer stills and video capabilities in relatively small bodies but with a reasonable level of direct external control.

Key Specifications

  • 24MP Dual Pixel APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • 2.36M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder
  • 1.62M-dot tilting rear touchscreen
  • Electronic video stabilization combines with in-lens IS to give 5-axis IS
  • 7 fps continuous shooting (9 fps with focus and exposure locked)
  • Wi-Fi with always-connected Bluetooth

The Canon EOS M5 is a very approachable camera, despite all those buttons and dials. In fact, it's the implementation of this touchscreen that, in general, we're most impressed with. Much like the system developed by Panasonic, the M5 not only lets you use the rear touchscreen to position focus, it also allows its use as a touchpad to move the focus point when you're shooting through the viewfinder. This, combined with decisive autofocus, has proven to be significant for both stills and video shooting. 

The camera has four dials in total: two main dials on the top of the camera, a dedicated exposure compensation dial and a fourth dial encircling the four-way controller on the back of the camera. This is a much higher level of direct control than offered on the simpler EOS M-series models offered previously, suggesting Canon expects the user to take more hands-on control of the shooting experience.

Three of the four control dials on the M5 are on the top plate, giving users easy access to exposure parameters.

While the lack of 4K video capability is a disappointment, the ability to use the touchscreen to re-position the focus point with a high level of confidence that the camera will smoothly glide the focus to the right point is highly desirable.

The touchscreen-plus-Dual-Pixel-AF combination is also useful for stills shooting - you can not only use the touchscreen to drag the focus point around the screen but also use it to select between available faces if shooting or recording in face detection mode.

The other significant benefit of the M5 finally receiving Canon's Dual Pixel AF system is that it is now able to focus adapted EF and EF-S lenses very effectively - overall performance isn't quite the same as an 80D in Live View mode, but it's leaps and bounds ahead of any previous M camera. You're also no longer limited to the small central focus area offered when using comparable Rebel / EOS x-hundredD DSLR models, and focusing is almost DSLR-quick and decisive.

Compared with its peers

The enthusiast photographer has a good number of choices when looking for a reasonably sized mirrorless camera with a good degree of direct controls. Sony offers the a6000 and a6300 (the higher-specced a6500 comes in at a significant premium over the EOS M5), depending on how much you need 4K video and how demanding your AF needs are. Meanwhile, Panasonic offers both the GX85 and GX8, with the more expensive model offering higher resolution and a better viewfinder. Olympus's E-M5 Mark II offers a broadly similar feature set and form factor. All of these models are extremely capable, with ease-of-use being the Canon's most obvious response to their broadly higher video specifications.

  Canon EOS M5 Sony a6300 Panasonic GX8
MSRP $1099 with 15-45mm lens $1149 with 16-50mm lens $1199 body only
Pixel count 24MP 24MP 20MP
Focus method 'Dual Pixel' on-sensor PDAF On-sensor PDAF Contrast detection*
EVF 2.36M dots 2.36M dots 2.36M dots
 Dials Two on top plate
Exposure Comp
Four-way/dial
Top plate
Four-way/dial
Two on top plate
Exposure Comp
Continuous shooting 9 fps
(7 with live view and C-AF)
11 fps
(8 with live view)
8 fps
(5.5 with live view)
Video specifications 1080/60p 4K/30p
1080/120p
4K/30p
1080/60p
Peaking/Zebra Yes/No Yes/Yes  Yes/Yes
Touch focus in video Yes No  Yes
Battery life
Screen/EVF
295/295 shots 400/350 shots 330/310 shots

* When using Panasonic-branded lenses the GX8 adds distance prediction based on the out-of-focus characteristics of the lens (A system the company calls 'Depth From Defocus').

So, is the EOS M5 the mirrorless tour de force we've been expecting from Canon? It's no secret that we found it to be an incredibly promising camera, even if it is a bit late to the party. To find out just how compelling an option the M5 is, let's press on.

Categories: Equipment

Have Your Say: Best Gear of 2016

Tue, 12/20/2016 - 6:30am

Have Your Say: Best Gear of 2016

For the past few weeks we've been running a series of polls to find out what you - our readers - think of the major product releases of 2016. For the first round of voting we made initial five polls covering lenses, compact cameras and interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs). Now that those polls have closed, we're pleased to announce the winners.

In this slideshow we're announcing the winners and runners-up in each category, and kicking off a final poll, to determine which of the ten individual poll winners from the first round should be crowned as your choice for overall best gear of 2016.

Best Prime lens - Runner-up: Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art

We've been waiting and hoping for Sigma to create an 85mm lens in its highly-regarded 'Art' lineup for some time, and 2016 saw that dream come true. Like all of the Art primes, the 85mm F1.4 is a stunning performer. We've heard Sigma representatives say that the Art series is the company's 'no compromise' line, and the company certainly didn't compromise with the new 85mm - it's as big as a flower pot.

It might be a bit of a lump, but it's beautifully constructed, and optical quality really is gorgeous. We love this 85mm for its sharpness, and the quality of its bokeh. Clearly it has impressed you, too. You voted this lens runner-up in our poll for best prime lens of 2016.

Best prime lens - winner: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 105mm F1.4E

Winner of our readers' poll for best prime lens of 2016 is another fast portrait lens, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 105mm F1.4E. Like Sigma's 85mm F1.4 Art, the Nikon 105mm F1.4 is a big, heavy lens, and it comes with a big, heavy pricetag. Optically though, we think it's worth every penny. While armchair engineers, xenophobes, and those ignorant of modern lens design might balk at the polycarbonate exterior and 'made in china' label, as our friend Roger Cicala has proved, the 105mm F1.4 is a tough, well-built lens.

As far as its optics are concerned, the 105mm F1.4 represents the state of the art for fast short telephoto lens design. There's no doubt that this lens is a relatively niche product, but with such stunning central sharpness between F2-4 and such beautiful bokeh, it's among the best portrait lenses on the market. You voted the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 105mm F1.4E best prime lens of 2016.

Best zoom lens - runner-up: Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 Art

Sigma's 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Art provides a 75-150mm focal length range on the APS-C format DSLRs for which it's designed, and - crucially - replicates the classic F2.8 (equivalent) continuous aperture that has been a traditional feature of high-end full-frame zooms.

Offering a fast maximum aperture and standard 'Art'-series construction quality the 50-100mm is solid, heavy and luxuriously engineered. An ideal companion to high-end DSLRs like Canon's EOS 7D Mark II and Nikon D500, you voted the Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 Art runner-up in our poll for best zoom lens of 2016.

Best zoom lens - winner: Olympus M.Zuiko 12‑100mm F4 PRO

Olympus is ending 2016 with a bang, thanks to two major new releases. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is an extraordinarily powerful, pro-grade mirrorless camera, and a new kit lens, the 12-100mm F4 has also impressed us - and you - greatly.

The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4 IS Pro is a powerful carry-everywhere zoom lens. Combined with Olympus' 5-axis IBIS in the new OM-D E-M1 II, it can offer up to 6.5 stops of image stabilization, which greatly expands the camera's usefulness in marginal light, for both stills and video. As we'd expect for a lens in Olympus's 'PRO' lineup, the 12-100mm is also splash-proof, dust-proof, and freeze-proof. We've been impressed by its versatility since we got our hands on a sample after Photokina, and clearly you agree.

Best high-end compact camera - Runner-up: Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

The Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III is an expensive camera, no doubt about it, and one of the largest 'compact' cameras on the market. But it's also one of the best performers. Despite boasting a fast 24-600mm (equivalent) zoom lens and a 1 inch sensor, the RX10 III produces images that beat or rival its competitors even at the very furthest ends of its zoom reach. Within a few days of shooting with it, DPReview's staff were already talking about the RX10 III's lens as 'magic', and however they managed it, Sony's engineers should be congratulated on a significant optical achievement.

Of course it's not all about the lens. The RX10 III also offers class-leading image quality in terms of resolution and high ISO image quality, and an impressive 4K video specification, plus the option to capture HD-quality high frame-rate footage. The RX10 might rival some DSLRs for size, but it beats them when it comes to a lot of other things.

Best high-end compact camera - Winner: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V

As we've come to expect, Sony released a lot of cameras this year, and the Cyber-shot RX100 V clearly caught your attention. Although it's not a major upgrade to the RX100 Mark IV, the new Mark V improves on its predecessor with a revamped autofocus system, which features 315 phase-detection AF points covering 65% of the frame. The other major addition is a significantly increased buffer, allowing for full-resolution 20MP capture at 24fps, with full AE and AF. This is effectively equal to shooting 5K 24p video footage, made up of up to 150 JPEGs, or ~60 Raw + JPEGs in a burst. Impressive stuff.

This kind of performance, plus an impressive 4K video specification make the RX100 V a real powerhouse. It's one of our favorite compact cameras of 2016, and clearly a hit among our readers, too. You voted it your high-end compact camera of the year. 

Best midrange ILC - Runner-up: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85

The Panasonic G85 (G80 outside the US) has proven to be something of a sleeper hit, this year. Although not as flashy as Olympus's 2016 M43 offerings, the G85 is one of the most powerful and capable cameras of its type on the market. The G85 uses the same sensor as its predecessor the G7, but without an AA filter. The 2.36M dot OLED electronic viewfinder is all new, and boasts increased magnification compared to the G7.

The camera also gains in-body 5-axis image stabilization and Dual I.S. 2 as well as weather and dust-sealing. It now uses an electromagnetic shutter and features a new in-camera focus-stacking mode. Like its predecessor it is 4K-capable, has built-in Wi-Fi and utilizes Panasonic's Depth from Defocus AF.

The G85 has become one of our go-to cameras for tradeshows and press events thanks to its small size, reliably focus and high-quality 4K video mode. Clearly it has impressed you, too, taking the runner up spot in our readers' poll for best midrange ILC.

Best midrange ILC - Winner: Sony a6300

The G85 had tough competition this year in the shape of the Sony a6300. With an APS-C sensor and compact form factor, the a6300 is one of the most powerful cameras of its type on the market. As far as image quality is concerned the a6300 (literally) punches above its weight, offering class-leading resolution and high ISO noise performance and superb 4K video footage. Fast continuous shooting performance and an advanced hybrid AF system round out an impressive feature set.

Since it was released, we've reached for the a6300 more and more, for 'run and gun' video, especially. And the a6300 impressed you enough to beat stiff competition and win our poll for best midrange ILC. 

Best high-end / professional ILC - Runner-up: Fujifilm X-T2

The Fujifilm X-T2 is one of the most likable ILCs on the market. While the X-T1 was a lot of fun to use, it was in some respects (resolution, video and autofocus being the most obvious) a little behind its competition. The X-T2 fixes all that, without messing with the formula that made its predecessor such a great camera. 

Fujifilm's current 24MP APS-C sensor is capable of excellent still image quality, and while not class-leading, a revamped AF system makes the X-T2 more versatile than its predecessor. The X-T2 is Fujifilm's first camera to offer 4K video capture, and footage compares very well to other 4K-enabled competitors, not to mention older X-series models, which were notoriously weak when it came to video. We weren't surprised to see that you think highly of the X-T2, voting it runner-up in our readers' poll for best high-end / professional ILC. 

Best high-end / professional ILC - Winner: Nikon D500

It was a tight race in the high-end / professional ILC poll this year, but the Nikon D500 just pipped the X-T2 to the top position, by a whisker. The long-awaited successor to the D300S, the D500 is a stunning camera, and easily the most advanced APS-C DSLR that we've ever reviewed. Essentially the best bits of the flagship Nikon D5 but in a smaller, APS-C format body, the D500 is a powerhouse.

Capable of 10fps capture with an almost infinite buffer (when using an XQD card) the D500 is a superbly capable tool for wildlife and action photography, but is equally useful for travel, landscape work and portraiture. The D500's 153-point autofocus system is almost uncanny in its ability to accurately track moving subjects, and the camera's tough and weather-sealed body is designed to stand up to hard professional use. 

Aside from its somewhat half-baked 4K video mode, the D500 is practically peerless in the APS market, and also compares very favorably against the best of its full-frame competitors. It topped your list of 2016's high-end / professional ILCs, and a very worthy winner it is, too. 

Have Your Say

You've seen the results from our five polls, so now's the time to pick an overall winner. You can vote for up to three of the products in this poll, and voting closes at midnight (PT) on December 31st. We'll announce the overall winner, and runner-up early in the new year.

Thanks for voting, and for contributing to DPReview over the past year. We couldn't do any of this without you.

.

Have your say

$(document).ready(function() { Poll({"pollId":"5121852146","openForVoting":true,"mainElementId":"poll0","slot":null,"isSingleChoicePoll":false,"minNumberOfChoices":1,"maxNumberOfChoices":3}); })
Have Your Say: Best Product of 2016
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Fujifilm X-T2
Nikon D500
Nikon AF-S 105mm F1.4E
Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85
Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art
Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 Art
Sony a6300
Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V

Voting is easy - you pick your favorite products by dragging and dropping. You can pick up to three, and rank them in order of priority.

Categories: Equipment

Rangefinder magazine announces 30 rising stars of wedding photography for 2016

Tue, 12/20/2016 - 6:10am

30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography

Rangefinder magazine has announced selections for its fifth annual 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography for 2016, based on submissions by photographers from over 200 countries. Rangefinder is the official publication of the annual Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) conference, and honorees will be featured in the December issue of Rangefinder, as well as on display at the WPPI Conference+Expo from Feb. 5-9 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

We've highlighted a few of our favorite photos from this year's selections, and you can find a complete online gallery here.

Above: Lato Photography/Laura&Tommy (Italy) "One of our favorite weddings of the last season. We were dealing with very difficult and shiny light, and we had to get the best from that situation so we captured this moment using a 45mm tilt-shift lens to create a softer background. The strength of this image comes from their hand positions creating a harmonious line, the delicate colors of their clothing matching with the background and, of course, the bride's look."

Lukas Piatek (Germany)

"During a wedding day, I often try to take photos of small children. They are not disturbed by the camera at all and just do whatever they would do if I was not around. This little boy was basically running around the dance floor the entire evening, and at one point, I literally waited for him to do something special. I did not expect, however, that he would jump so perfectly, raising his arms in the air, looking into the light and being perfectly centered and framed on the dance floor. The shot was made two years ago and it was my favorite photo from that year."

Jacob Loafman (USA)

"So, this couple's ceremony and reception were held at their church. However, their church had recently built a brand new building, but they informed me they still had access to the old church. They wanted to know if I would like to do the main wedding party and bride/groom portraits there. I excitedly agreed and we headed that way. As soon as we walked in, I almost fell over from how amazing the building was inside. It was vacant. Completely vacant. This vacant space still featured the remnants of where the previously used cross hung on the wall. It was just beautiful."

"I noticed there was still access to the balcony and wanted to do a full wedding party portrait from up there. My idea was to just have them arrange themselves randomly. I provided very little direction, as that's what I wanted. My desire was to create a group portrait that felt more like an album cover, where the entire group was the focal point, but the vacancy and tattered old floors added an element of interest to the shot. After I released the shutter button a few times, I knew I had accomplished what I was going for."

People Truelove Tellers (Spain)

"This was a very lucky one. We didn’t actually want to shoot it because we were running out of time and were on our way to another spot for portrait pictures. We were driving in a tiny, narrow and lonely road in the middle of nowhere outside of Madrid, and suddenly a full flock of sheep crossed the road. That was perfect because they ran away to the hill in the perfect direction of the sunset. I asked for the couple to follow them and the photo came!"

Tim and Laura Sullivan (USA)

"Chip and Karyn had a lot they wanted to do for their wedding (ranging from Prince impersonators to multiple live bands), but in the end, they chose an in-town elopement with just their two kiddos and us. Tim officiated, Laura took the ceremony photos, and we spent the day gallivanting around some of the most gorgeous spots in Seattle (we even organized a private chef in an industrial loft for them, because going above and beyond for our clients is our favorite thing). This shot is from the deck of their unfinished condo during their ceremony. Our florist came in and covered the construction dust with the most gorgeous arrangements, almost like their own little Wonderland. Their daughters were crying, we were crying—oh man, was it all memorable."

Marko Marinkovic (Croatia)

"My editing process aims to resemble the colors of the visual artists from the 16th and 17th century as they, among others, struck a foundation for all of us. Each of the paintings I visit for inspiration gives me insight on the thought process a painter must go through in order to recreate 3D light on a two-dimensional surface. From framing the scene on the square canvas to choosing the color palette, it stays pretty much the same in photography today. Spoiled by the digital era we often overshoot and undermine the thought process behind the images we create."

The Hendrys (Scotland)

"This was one of the most heartfelt weddings we've captured to date. The sun was out—when it was forecasted to rain heavily—emotions were running high and the couple and their guests exuded happiness throughout the whole day. At that moment, we thought to ourselves, is this really our job?! And from then on, we knew it was what we wanted to continue doing for as long as we possibly could."

Lucy Spartalis (Australia)

"Working with Paul and his groomsmen was like spending a day on the set of Monty Python. LOOK at those mustaches; socks; sexual poses. My partner Alastair and I were wiping tears away between every shot. At one point, someone did a handstand and someone else started posing provocatively on the floor. I could’ve just shot them as they already were, but with a little zhuzhing (I checked that spelling, by the way—what a word)—positioning Paul between the spread legs of the groomsman behind him, asking another gent to kneel on one knee to create a mid-level point of interest, etc—we created a more balanced and dynamic composition. I don’t like to pose people too heavily in most cases, but when you’re onto a good thing, a little directorial tweaking can really take things to the next level."

Heather Liddell (New Zealand)

"Spring weddings are something special. Julia was greeted by an ecstatic Graham and a sun shower when she reached the top of the aisle. The beads of water caught the light and created the most amazing effect. I crouched low so I could create an angle to get in a little sun flare and to make sure that the rain drops would be highlighted against the dark hedge."

Pablo Beglez (Spain)

"A few minutes after Paula got out of her room to go directly to the altar, she had a problem with the dress. The designer was there with us and had to take a needle and thread and sew the dress right there. Those were some minutes of stress, but it finally was great."

Jacob Murphy (USA)

"It was toward the end of the night and the dance party was reaching a crescendo, but I couldn’t help but notice this perfect vignette of everyone’s shoes. I love when details can tell a strong story too. I used an indirect tunnel flash technique to make this photo more interesting."

Categories: Equipment

GoPro HERO cameras undergo torture test: a dip in liquid nitrogen

Tue, 12/20/2016 - 6:00am

Industrious YouTube user Grant Thompson recently subjected the GoPro HERO5 Session and HERO5 Black cameras to a chilly torture test: dunks in liquid nitrogen. He first tested the experiment with an older Session camera, hoping to avoid the destruction of two perfectly good new cameras if death proved swift. However, the older Session held up surprisingly well, and so he put the two new cameras to the test, literally freezing them solid. See the results in the video above.

Via: PetaPixel

Categories: Equipment

New 20mm F2 4.5x macro lens released by Mitakon

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 5:29pm
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Chinese optical manufacturer Mitakon has announced a macro lens with a maximum magnification ratio of 4.5:1. The Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm F2 4.5x Super Macro offers the opportunity to fill the frame of a 35mm-sized camera with objects four and a half times smaller than the camera’s sensor and can focus as close as 20cm, according to the company’s specification sheet.

The lens is manual focus, has apertures from F2 to F16, and uses a 3-bladed iris. The construction is of six elements in four groups with a metal barrel and a total length of only 60mm. The lens can’t be used for normal infinity focusing and the lowest magnification factor is 4x, so it is solely for macro use.

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Mitakon says the lens is available in mounts for Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony FE, Sony A, Pentax K, Sony E, Fujifilm X and Micro Four Thirds cameras, and costs $199. For more information visit the Mitakon website.

Press release

ZY Optics releases the Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5X Super Macro Lens for high magnification shots

Zhongyi Optics (ZY Optics) has released a new compact Super Macro Lens for full frame cameras, the Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5x Super Macro Lens and it features a high reproduction ratio up to 4.5:1.

Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5X Super Macro Lens is very compact in its class which allows photographers to capture extremely fine details or patterns with ease. The lens is capable of creating unbelievable macro images ranging from 4x to 4.5x magnification. Users no longer need to DIY or use any extension tubes to reach high magnification shooting. It incorporates a 6pcs of elements in 4 groups structure which delivers impressive resolution from corners to corners. Weighing merely 0.5 lbs (230g) and 6cm long, it is a perfect companion for wildlife and outdoor shooting. The wide angle of view and close focusing distance allows you to compose creative images with more information included into the frame. Greater magnification (up to 13:1) can also be achieved by stacking extension tubes or bellows. The high magnification is also extremely useful for scientific purposes.

The enclosure of the lens is made of metal to strengthen its durability. Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony FE, Sony Alpha, Pentax K, Sony E, Micro Four Thirds, Fuji X mounts are available.

Pricing & Availability

Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5X Super Macro Lens is now available to ship and purchase at ZY Optics authorized resellers and at our official website (http://www.zyoptics.net/). The Recommended Retail price is USD 199.

Categories: Equipment

Nokia brand rumored to return with camera-centric smartphone

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 2:41pm

HMD Global, a Finnish company that has acquired patents and the rights to manufacture Nokia-branded smartphones from Microsoft for the next 10 years, is expected to launch a couple of high-end Android devices at the Mobile World Congress in February and one of them looks like a serious weapon for mobile photographers.

The rumored Nokia C1 is expected to feature a dual camera with 16MP and 12MP modules, a triple-LED flash, laser-assisted AF and, like some famous Nokia smartphones from the past, a real xenon flash. With a Snapdragon 835 chipset, 4GB of RAM, a 3,210 mAh battery and 32, 64, and 128GB storage options, the non-camera-related part of the specification sounds pretty good as well.

A second device is expected to also come with the Snapdragon 835 chipset, 6GB of RAM and a 23MP camera with Zeiss-branded lens, all wrapped up in a metal body. Both devices look appealing but from a photography point of view the C1 is arguably more interesting. 

With the 808 and Lumia 1020, Nokia was responsible for two of the best camera smartphones ever made. If the rumors are true the new owners of the brand might be on a good path to making Nokia a favorite of the mobile photography community's favorites again. We'll keep our eyes open for the new devices at Mobile World Congress in February.

Categories: Equipment

Updating a classic: Canon 16-35mm F2.8L III lens review

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 1:25pm

The Canon 16-35mm F2.8L II has been one of the most coveted lenses amongst landscape photographers for a fairly long time. The legendary sunstar was one of the major selling points of the lens and it was one of the major characteristics that really separated the Canon lens from the rest of the field.

When we first heard that Canon was going to release an updated version of the lens we were pretty darn excited. The Mark II was a fantastic piece of glass, but struggled in terms of corner sharpness and control of chromatic aberration along the edges and in the corners of the frame. The upgraded version of the Canon lens promised to correct a number of those issues while still holding onto some of the characteristics of the previous version that made it so appealing to landscape shooters around the world.

With that said, the real question is; how does the updated Canon lens compare to its predecessor? The previous iteration of this lens had a number of issues that we will discuss in this review while we compare and contrast the two versions. The fundamental questions that we will be addressing in this review is; if the upgrade warrants the price increase and if the performance from the new design is convincing enough to justify the upgrade.

APS-C

With an equivalent focal length of 25.6-56mm and an equivalent aperture of F4.5 there are better wide-angle APS-C options on the market such as the Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II Lens or the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM that can really take advantage of a fast aperture for a fraction of the price. For this reason we're not going to consider this lens for use on the APS-C platform in this review.

Canon 16-35mm F2.8L III USM Headline Features

  • Fully weather-sealed construction
  • F2.8 maximum aperture
  • 16-35mm focal range
  • Sub-wavelength Coatings (SWC) and Air Sphere Coatings (ASC) to eliminate lens flare and ghosting
  • Two large-diameter double-surface GMo lenses plus a ground aspherical lens to help decrease distortion, curvature of field and astigmatism
  • Two UD lenses help to reduce chromatic aberration

Specifications Compared

  Canon 16-35mm F2.8L II USM Canon 16-35mm F.28L III USM
MSRP $1599.00 $2199.00
Lens Type Wide-Angle Zoom Wide-Angle Zoom
Focal Length  16-35mm 16-35mm

Filter Thread 

82.0mm 82.0mm
Image Stabilization  No No
Lens Mount Canon EF Canon EF
Aperture Ring No No
Maximum Aperture  F2.8 F2.8
Minimum Aperture F22 F22
Minimum Focus  0.28m (11.02") 0.28m (11.02″)
Diaphragm Blades 7 (rounded)  9 (rounded)
Elements  16 16
Groups  12 11
Special Elements/Coatings 2-Ultra-low dispersion glass lenses, 3 high-precision aspherical lens elements; ground, replica and GMo, Super Spectra lens coatings 2 large-diameter double-surface GMo lenses and a ground aspherical lens, Sub-wavelength Coatings (SWC) and Air Sphere Coatings (ASC)
Autofocus  Yes Yes
Motor Type Ring-type Ultrasonic Ring-type Ultrasonic
Full Time Manual  Yes Yes
Focus Method Internal Internal
Distance Scale  Yes Yes 
DoF Scale No No
Full Weather Sealing Yes Yes
Zoom method  Rotary (internal) Rotary (internal)
Weight  635 g (1.4 lb) 790 g (1.74 lb)
Dimensions

111.6mm (4.39") x 88.5mm (3.48")

128 mm (5.02″) x 89 mm (3.48″)
Hood Included (EW-88D) Included (EW-88D)
Categories: Equipment

Updating a classic: Canon 16-35mm F2.8 III lens review

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 1:25pm

The Canon 16-35mm F2.8L II has been one of the most coveted lenses amongst landscape photographers for a fairly long time. The infamous sunstar was one of the major selling points of the lens and it was one of the major characteristics that really separated the Canon lens from the rest of the field.

When we first heard that Canon was going to release an updated version of the lens we were pretty darn excited. The Mark II was a fantastic piece of glass, but struggled in terms of corner sharpness and control of chromatic aberration along the edges and in the corners of the frame. The upgraded version of the Canon lens promised to correct a number of those issues while still holding onto some of the characteristics of the previous version that made it so appealing to landscape shooters around the world.

With that said, the real question is; how does the updated Canon lens compare to its predecessor? The previous iteration of this lens had a number of issues that we will discuss in this review while we compare and contrast the two versions. The fundamental questions that we will be addressing in this review is; if the upgrade warrants the price increase and if the performance from the new design is convincing enough to justify the upgrade.

APS-C

With an equivalent focal length of 25.6-56mm and an equivalent aperture of F4.5 there are better wide-angle APS-C options on the market such as the Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II Lens or the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 Art DC HSM that can really take advantage of a fast aperture for a fraction of the price. For this reason we're not going to consider this lens for use on the APS-C platform in this review.

Canon 16-35mm F2.8L III USM Headline Features

  • Fully weather-sealed construction
  • F2.8 maximum aperture
  • 16-35mm focal range
  • Sub-wavelength Coatings (SWC) and Air Sphere Coatings (ASC) to eliminate lens flare and ghosting
  • Two large-diameter double-surface GMo lenses plus a ground aspherical lens to help decrease distortion, curvature of field and astigmatism
  • Two UD lenses help to reduce chromatic aberration

Specifications Compared

  Canon 16-35mm F2.8L II USM Canon 16-35mm F.28L III USM
MSRP $1599.00 $2199.00
Lens Type Wide-Angle Zoom Wide-Angle Zoom
Focal Length  16-35mm 16-35mm

Filter Thread 

82.0mm 82.0mm
Image Stabilization  No No
Lens Mount Canon EF Canon EF
Aperture Ring No No
Maximum Aperture  F2.8 F2.8
Minimum Aperture F22 F22
Minimum Focus  0.28m (11.02") 0.28m (11.02″)
Diaphragm Blades 7 (rounded)  9 (rounded)
Elements  16 16
Groups  12 11
Special Elements/Coatings 2-Ultra-low dispersion glass lenses, 3 high-precision aspherical lens elements; ground, replica and GMo, Super Spectra lens coatings 2 large-diameter double-surface GMo lenses and a ground aspherical lens, Sub-wavelength Coatings (SWC) and Air Sphere Coatings (ASC)
Autofocus  Yes Yes
Motor Type Ring-type Ultrasonic Ring-type Ultrasonic
Full Time Manual  Yes Yes
Focus Method Internal Internal
Distance Scale  Yes Yes 
DoF Scale No No
Full Weather Sealing Yes Yes
Zoom method  Rotary (internal) Rotary (internal)
Weight  635 g (1.4 lb) 790 g (1.74 lb)
Dimensions

111.6mm (4.39") x 88.5mm (3.48")

128 mm (5.02″) x 89 mm (3.48″)
Hood Included (EW-88D) Included (EW-88D)
Categories: Equipment

Filmmaker ScottDW trades his pro video gear for Canon EOS 80D: Watch the results

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 6:00am

What happens when you swap out a video pro's cinema-grade gear with a Canon EOS 80D?

Filmmaker ScottDW found out, when he put down his usual pro kit and picked up the 80D to shoot an installment of his High School Dance Off video series.

 ScottDW is a professional filmmaker with over 880,000 YouTube fans

ScottDW put Canon's Video Creator Kit to use filming the short. The bundle was introduced alongside the 80D and includes a Rode directional microphone along with a power zoom adapter for the camera's 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens. Take a look at how it all came together in the video above.

The Canon 80D offers a touch screen, handy for things like AF point selection

Though you won't find any choreographed dance routines, you can also check out the 80D's performance in DPReview's video feature Barney Builds a Boat.

Categories: Equipment

Gear of the Year 2016 - Barney's choice: Nikon D500

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 5:00am

From almost the minute it was announced, somewhat incongruously, at the Consumer Electronics Show in January (well, it does have a touchscreen, I suppose), the Nikon D500 looked like it was going to be a hit with DPReview's readers. After so many years we had almost lost hope that Nikon would replace the D300S, which soldiered on well into its dotage, and well beyond the point where it was able to keep up with the likes of Canon's EOS 7D II. 

But replace it Nikon did, and in impressive fashion. I won't waste your time listing specifications (you can find all of that here) in this article, but suffice to say it's unlikely that the D500 will look outdated any time soon.

The D500 boasts a 153-point AF system, of which 55 can be manually selected. But it doesn't just boast a lot of autofocus points, it also offers them across most of the width of the frame.

Despite its obvious appeal, I was a little hesitant to make the D500 my choice for Gear of the Year because of all the people on the DPReview team, I've probably used it for the least amount of time. But my experience of shooting with it for our September Field Test, with National Geographic photographer, friend to the wolves and all-round man-crush Ronan Donovan was a definite highlight of 2016.

Most of our video shoots are organized far in advance, and planned almost down to the last detail. Camera features are carefully aligned with shooting situations, locations are scouted ahead of time, and the shoot proceeds predictably, and more or less according to plan.

Most Field Tests are like that, but some are not. The D500 shoot was not.

A combination of factors including limited availability of D500 bodies, limited availability of Ronan, an already packed pre-Photokina schedule, the vicissitudes of rural Montana's postal system some inconveniently-positioned wildfires meant that we weren't able to plan the shoot quite as carefully as we might have liked.

A Tight Timeframe

In fact, we ended up with a mere 24-hour window of time in which to work with Ronan, filming at a remote wildlife reserve in Montana, more than 10 hours' drive away from DPReview's home base of Seattle. The cameras only showed up a couple of days before we were due to head to the reserve, so it was essential that D500s didn't fail or present any major surprises on location. If that had happened, there wouldn't have been enough time to troubleshoot.

The broad width of the D500's autofocus coverage, and its impressive 3D AF Tracking mode combine to offer unparalleled accuracy when it comes to tracking subjects around the frame. Even flying against a similarly-colored, cluttered background, the D500 had no trouble accurately tracking birds of prey on the Montana video shoot.

For instance, had the D500 been susceptible to dust or high temperatures, or had it simply presented too steep a learning curve for Ronan and me to pick up and use more or less straight out of the box, we would have been in trouble. Similarly, if it had been incapable of focusing on the fast-moving birds we were pinning our hopes on capturing, or if its autofocus system gave out in low light, we might have been forced to scrub the shoot for lack of coverage.

That's the gear, but the concept itself also presented some risk. When you center a video shoot around wildlife photography, it's a good idea to build some extra time into the schedule as insurance against the unexpected. With such a tight window, multiple extra shoot days weren't an option. Things were further complicated by wildfire haze and a 30mph wind on the day of our shoot, which threatened to reduce both air quality and audio quality, as well as keep the birds we were hoping to photograph on the ground or tucked away in the branches of trees.

Ominously, a frequent visitor to the reserve told me when we arrived that he had seen fewer birds during his vacation this year than any previous year he could remember. Gulp.

This image is one of a sequence taken after dark. Even in such low light, the D500 accurately tracked these swans landing on a lake, and at ISO 258,032 the images are grainy, but after careful processing they still contain plenty of detail and natural color.

Fortunately despite the wind and the haze, we did find some birds, and although the wind blew out a lot of our audio, we still managed to record plenty of usable sound. Ronan was great on camera and quickly got to grips with the D500, and the D500 itself shrugged off the dust and heat and did everything that we asked of it. And we asked a lot.

In a 24-hour shoot we baked our three D500s in the sun, froze them overnight taking time-lapse shots of the stars, covered them in dust, and repeatedly asked them to focus track small, distant birds at long focal lengths. Even more challenging was shooting after dark, when we attempted 10 fps AF tracking bursts of trumpeter swans flying at night, and grabbed unplanned images of an owl, lit only by the headlamps of our truck. 

Sharp Focus

The reason we were able to get all of those images with relatively little trial and error is that the D500's autofocus system seems to have been sent from the future by benevolent aliens, whose mission - apparently - is to help us take better photographs. 

In 3D AF tracking mode, the camera managed to accurately follow our small, erratic subjects around the frame, even in very low light. When 3D AF tracking didn't work so well, one of the several other autofocus modes invariably delivered the results we needed. Group Area AF, for instance, proved especially useful for the smaller birds.

The D500's 1.5X crop turns a 500mm lens into an effective 750mm. This is very handy when shooting skittish birds like this hawk. 

Once we'd wrapped the shoot and Ronan had left, I spent a couple of hours the next day on my own, getting some additional images in the bag before we left the wildlife reserve. With the film crew otherwise occupied, I posted up near a fence where we'd seen hawks the previous day, and waited to see if they'd come back. They did, and I spent a pleasant couple of hours shooting them wheeling around the sky, with the D500 accurately tracking them around the frame even as they moved in front and behind of low trees and bushes.

If you make the mistake of getting too close to one of these birds of prey, you might end up regretting it. This image is one of a sequence of shots which show a juvenile hawk diving at me, at a closing speed of roughly 100mph. This image shows the bird starting to open his wings to pull out of the dive a few feet above my head. 

Less pleasant was a diving attack from one of the juveniles, which dropped on me from a hundred feet or so, folding its wings and coming straight for the camera, like a beaked dart. I fired off a few shots before losing my nerve but remarkably, despite the incredible closing speed of the bird and my shaking hands, the D500 nailed several sharp images of the hawk before it pulled out of the dive at close to 100mph, a few feet about my head. I took the hint and moved on.

I headed to a small lake and shot an unbroken sequence of images of a pelican taking off and circling around the lake. With an XQD card installed, the D500 can maintain its 10 fps continuous shooting rate almost indefinitely, while maintaining accurate focus the entire time. I like pelicans. They're very sedate. Less... attacky. 

Although there are higher-resolution cameras on the market, 20MP is enough resolution for high-quality landscape imaging. Raw files from the D500 also offer a wide latitude for post-capture adjustment.

With these sequences, plus Ronan's shots from the previous day, we knew we had enough images to really show the D500 at its best. Despite the challenging shooting conditions, the D500 did everything we asked of it, and more. After more than ten years writing about digital cameras, I'm not easily seduced by impressive-sounding specifications or fancy new features. I knew the D500 was good before the Montana video shoot, but I didn't know how good. That experience impressed me enough to make the Nikon D500 my pick for Gear of the Year 2016.

Nikon D500 real-world samples

Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. Because our review images are now hosted on the 'galleries' section of dpreview.com, you can enjoy all of the new galleries functionality when browsing these samples.

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Nikon D500 Sample Gallery

109 images • Posted on Apr 29, 2016 • View album
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Categories: Equipment

Shots from a drone help photographer take first place in Travel Photographer of the Year awards

Sun, 12/18/2016 - 6:00am

2016 Travel Photographer of the Year

Joel Santos, Portugal Winner, Travel Photographer of the Year 2016/www.tpoty.com

Salt Desert, Danakil Depression, Afar, Ethiopia. This unique aerial photo shows the salt miners guiding a dromedary and donkey caravan through this desert's unique salt patterns.

A photographer from Portugal has won the £4000 top prize in 2016’s Travel Photographer of the Year competition with a pair of portfolios of volcanic landscapes and, in contrast, a document of the life of fishermen in Ghana. Joel Santos is the first Portuguese winner of the competition, as well as the first to win with a set of images shot from a drone.

Winners of other categories in the competition went away with cash and accessories, while the best portfolios in the 'Mankind', 'Land, Sea, Sky' and 'Journeys & Adventures' sections won a Fujifilm X camera and lens. The Young Travel Photographer of the Year was Darpan Basak, a 14-year-old from India, while an 18-year-old from the USA, Courtney Moore, won the 15-18-year old category, and Ankit Kumar from India won the 14 and Under section.

The competition attracted entries from 123 countries, and a selection of the winning images will be exhibited in Hull, UK, between 18th May and 30th June, and again at the University of Greenwich, London, during August.

For more information and to see the winners in all categories visit the Travel Photographer of the Year website.

Press Release

ON TOP OF THE WORLD

Travel Photographer of the Year 2016 winners are revealed

From fiery lava flows to a magical, snow-swirled New York street scene that echoes an impressionist painting and from the imperious gaze of an elusive, endangered Iberian lynx to wonderfully minimalist images of West Kirby, England, the winning images in the 2016 international Travel Photographer of the Year awards (TPOTY) have been revealed, and they are stunning.

Photographers from 20 countries have won awards, and the winning images will go on show at TPOTY exhibitions at the UK City of Culture celebrations in Hull from 18th May to 30th June 2017 and at 10 Stockwell Street, Greenwich at the University of Greenwich, London from 4th August to 3rd September 2017.

Joel Santos becomes the first-ever Portuguese overall winner in the award’s 14-year history, beating photographers from 123 countries to take the title of Travel Photographer of the Year 2016. His winning entry features a delicate and intimate portfolio depicting traditional fishing in Ghana and – in another first for TPOTY – an aerial portfolio captured using a drone, giving a bird’s eye view of one of the hottest places in the world, Ethiopia's Danakil Depression.

The Young Travel Photographer of the Year 2016 is 14-year old Darpan Basak from India, 18-year old Courtney Moore (USA) won Young TPOTY 15-18 and Ankit Kumar (India) won Young TPOTY 14 and Under.

In the portfolio categories, former overall TPOTY winner Craig Easton won ‘Land, Sea, Sky’, with two German photographers – Sandra Bartocha and Stephan Fürnrohr
– each being awarded ‘Best Single Image’ in the category. China’s Ruiyuan Chen took first place in ‘Mankind’, with Jeremy Woodhouse (UK) winning the award for Best Single Image, and Beniamino Pisati (Italy) won ‘Journeys & Adventures’, with Lluís Salvadó (Spain) winning Best Single Image.

In the single image categories, ‘Shaped by Light’ was won by Chinese photographer Biran Zhao, Michele Palazzo (Italy) won ‘Cities – Architecture & Spaces’ and Luke Massey (UK) won ‘Wildlife & Nature’.

Briton Alison Cahill came first in the New Talent award, and fellow Brit Rufus Blackwell won the HD video category Travel Shorts. Finally, Italy’s Marina Spironetti took first prize in Smart Shot, the category for images taken on a mobile phone or tablet.

Travel Photographer of the Year is judged by an international panel of judges that includes Deputy Editor in Chief, Fotomagazin, Germany, Manfred Zollner, champion jockey turned travel photographer Richard Dunwoody and Jerry Tavin (co-president of Glasshouse Images and founder of Young Photographers’ Alliance).

Awards and prizes
In addition to the significant international exposure that comes with winning TPOTY, Joel Santos receives £4,000, a selection of StaaG luxury leather travel goods and sterling silver accessories (worth over £1250), £500 to spend on the Páramo clothing of his choice, and a Plastic Sandwich personalized leather portfolio case.

For their success in Journeys & Adventures; Land, Sea, Sky, and Mankind, Beniamino Pisati, Craig Easton and Ruiyuan Chen each receive a Fujifilm X-Series camera and lens of their choice. The winner of the Best Single Image award in each portfolio category receives a giclée fine art print from Genesis Imaging.

Biran Zhao, Luke Massey and Michele Palazzo, the winners of Shaped by Light; Wildlife & Nature, and Cities - Architecture and Spaces will each enjoy a five or six- day winter or summer voyage for two people along Norway’s stunning coastline with Hurtigruten, and receive a Torres Insulator Jacket from Páramo.

Alison Cahill receives a set of luxury leather travel goods from StaaG, a personalized leather portfolio case from Plastic Sandwich, Photo Iconic tuition and a Páramo Halcon Traveller jacket for winning New Talent, while Marina Spironetti and Rufus Blackwell each win £500, a Páramo Halcon Traveller jacket and a Plastic Sandwich portfolio case, for winning ‘Smart Shot’ and the HD Video category respectively.

Young TPOTY winner Darpan Basak receives £500, Photo Iconic photography tuition and a Plastic Sandwich leather portfolio case. Each Young TPOTY age group winner receives £250 plus Photo Iconic photography tuition. The awarded photographers in Young TPOTY also receive destination guides from SNAPP Guides, as do certain awarded photographers in a number of other categories

To see all the winning images across all categories, visit the 2016 Winners’ Gallery at www.tpoty.com.

2016 Travel Photographer of the Year

Joel Santos, Portugal Winner, Travel Photographer of the Year 2016/www.tpoty.com

Lake Bosumtwi, Ashanti, Ghana. The Ashanti people fish from the traditional wooden padua.

2016 Travel Photographer of the Year

Courtney Moore, USA (age 18) Winner, Young TPOTY 15-18/www.tpoty.com

Island Beach State Park, New Jersey, USA. On a particularly windy day, this fox was sitting only a few yards away from the ocean as sand pelted against his fur.

2016 Travel Photographer of the Year

Ankit Kumar, India (age 13) Winner, Young TPOTY 14 and Under/www.tpoty.com

Lake Natron Tanzania. A flock of Lesser flamingos take flight above Tanzania’s salt and soda Lake Natron.

2016 Travel Photographer of the Year

Beniamino Pisati, Italy Winner, Journeys & Adventures portfolio/www.tpoty.com

Bayankhongor, Mongolia. Horses are present in all aspects of life in Mongolia. A popular saying is: “A Mongol without a horse is like a bird without wings”.

2016 Travel Photographer of the Year

Alison Cahill, UK Winner, New Talent, Eye to Eye/www.tpoty.com

Son & Dad Barbers, George Town, Penang, Malaysia. Portrait of Elyas the head barber and owner of Son & Dad.

2016 Travel Photographer of the Year

Craig Easton, UK Winner, Land, Sea, Sky portfolio/www.tpoty.com

West Kirby, Wirral, UK. A lone Buddhist monk walks around the boundary wall of the West Kirby Marine Lake.

2016 Travel Photographer of the Year

Ruiyuan Chen, China Winner, Mankind portfolio/www.tpoty.com

Daliang Mountains, Sichaun province, China. Portraits of the ethnic Yi people, who live in great poverty.

2016 Travel Photographer of the Year

Biran Zhao, China Winner, Shaped by Light/www.tpoty.com

Baiyu County, Ganzi, Sichuan Province, China. Every morning, the nuns walk around the mountain as practice lesson. Regardless of the season, they walk year after year, day in and day out.

2016 Travel Photographer of the Year

Luke Massey, UK Winner, Wildlife & Nature/www.tpoty.com

Sierra de Andújar National Park, Andalucia, Spain. In 2001 there were less than 100 Iberian lynx left in the wild. Fifteen years later there are now more than 400, but it is still, unfortunately, the rarest cat in the world.

2016 Travel Photographer of the Year

Rudi Sebastian, Germany Joint Runner-up Wildlife & Nature/www.tpoty.com

Berlin, Germany. In a small pond at the rural border of Berlin, male moor frogs in their bright blue mating colour try to mate with a common toad, which almost drowned. It took about 30 minutes before she managed to free herself and reach dry ground.

2016 Travel Photographer of the Year

Michele Palazzo, Italy Winner, Cities: Architecture & Spaces/www.tpoty.com

Flatiron Building, Manhattan, New York, USA. While walking through the Jonas snowstorm that swept across the East Coast, I captured this shot of the Flatiron Building against a backdrop of swirling snow.

Categories: Equipment

Flickr reveals its top 25 photos of 2016

Sat, 12/17/2016 - 6:00am

Flickr's top photos of 2016

The lonely tree. Photo by Tom Hall

Flickr staff sorted through billions of photos uploaded to the site to pick their top 25, taking into account social and engagement metrics to help determine which photos made the cut. They published the results this week in a blog post. Take a look at a few of the Top 25 here and head to Flickr to see the rest.

We're looking for DPR readers' best shots of the year to share in an upcoming article – if you'd like to participate, find out how you can submit your images for consideration.

Flickr's top photos of 2016

Lake Mungo / Mungo National Park. Photo by Young Ko

Flickr's top photos of 2016

Misty forest. Photo by Chris Frank

Flickr's top photos of 2016

Spotlight. Photo by sedat yıldız

Flickr's top photos of 2016

Braving the cold. Photo by Christophe Brutel

Flickr's top photos of 2016

Rainbow Ride. Photo by Zachary Gertsch

Flickr's top photos of 2016

Infinity. Photo by Niels Oberson

Flickr's top photos of 2016

i.get.a.kick.out.of.you. Photo by .brianday

Flickr's top photos of 2016

Tempest || Dubai. Photo by Elia Locardi

Flickr's top photos of 2016

Freedom! Photo by Cyril Blanchard

Categories: Equipment

Canon releases its TS compact and faster Pixma printers to US market

Fri, 12/16/2016 - 6:31pm
The Canon Pixma TS8020

Canon has announced that four compact Pixma printers it released in Europe will now be coming to the USA, with slightly different names. The new Pixma TS models are said to be smaller and quicker than previous versions, taking up less desk space and starting up in just six seconds.

The printing and scanning all-in-one devices offer wireless connections via regular Wi-Fi and through smartphone and Cloud apps – including Apple’s AirPrint. A range of control screen sizes are available across the series, with the higher end models featuring a touch-screen interface for printing and limited editing functions such as the application of filter effects.

Each of the models prints and scans with media of up to A4 in size, and after scanning a warning appears to remind users to remove documents from the scanning platen.

The devices are available now and are priced:

Canon PIXMA TS5020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printer - $99.99 MSRP (white or gray)
Canon PIXMA TS6020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printer - $149.99 MSRP (white or gray)
Canon PIXMA TS8020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printer - $179.99 MSRP (black, white, red or brown)
Canon PIXMA TS9020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printer - $199.99 MSRP (two-tone red/black or white/black)

For more information visit the Canon USA website.

Press release

Canon U.S.A. Introduces Four Compact PIXMA Wireless Inkjet All-in-One Printers

Proof that good things do come in small packages, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced today four new PIXMA TS-series Wireless1 Inkjet All-In-One (AIO) printers. The PIXMA TS5020, PIXMA TS6020, PIXMA TS8020 and PIXMA TS9020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printers are more compact than their predecessors, but pack a big, high-quality punch for users. Perfect for tech savvy gadget lovers, creative crafters, passionate image makers, family projects and household printing needs; these small, sleek and sophisticated printers can fit in with any home décor.

“Canon U.S.A. is excited to bring a new series of PIXMA printers into families’ lives, helping to make their day to day more productive than ever” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “By decreasing the size, but increasing efficiencies and delivering crisp and clear results, we’ve made the printers in this series must-haves for every home.”

While these printers preserve what is valued from the previous series of PIXMA All-In-One printers, the new models are easy-to-use and cost-effective delivering print reliability and high-quality images. Additional new and exciting features make these printers:

Easy!
The new user interface (UI) includes a large, simplistic touch LCD screen making it easy to read and select functions such as copy, scan or print. 

  • PIXMA TS9020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printer – 5 inch screen with touch panel and on-screen buttons
  • PIXMA TS8020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printer – 4.3 inch screen with touch panel and on-screen buttons
  • PIXMA TS6020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printer – 3 inch screen with touch panel and off-screen buttons
  • PIXMA TS5020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printer – 3 inch screen with off-screen directional pad and start/stop buttons

Compact!
The size of each new PIXMA model has been minimized, making the printer easy to store and take up less space on a desk.

Fast!
Each new PIXMA model in this series will be ready to print six seconds after it is turned on and the command is sent over from your laptop, smartphone or tablet. This is half the time than on select previous models.

Smart!
Wireless printing means you don’t have to plug in to print1. Each printer in this series features cloud printing capabilities through a compatible smartphone or tablet device, so PIXMA owners can print using the Canon PIXMA Cloud Link2 from virtually anywhere to link with various cloud services they use to print photos and documents. Further adding to the overall wireless capabilities of the PIXMA line of printers is Google Cloud Print, which allows users to send Gmail messages, file attachments and select Google Docs to the printer from any compatible devices.

After scanning a document or photo, the PIXMA TS9020, TS8020, TS6020, and TS5020 printers will show a reminder on the LCD screen to take the document with you to avoid misplacing important information.

The PIXMA TS9020 and TS8020 models are also able to print directly through NFC via Android devices further adding to the overall ease of use of these machines.3

Helps foster your creativity!
Through the LCD screen, the PIXMA TS9020 printer allows users to enhance their images with creative filters including options such as Monochrome, Antique, Sepia and Cinema Style. The PIXMA TS5020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printer, PIXMA TS6020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printer and PIXMA TS8020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printer can utilize the same creative filters through the free Easy Photo Print+ web based software.4

Through PIXMA Cloud Link on the Canon PRINT app5 and the LCD screen on select models, Canon users can de-stress with a creative release by printing from over one hundred and twenty coloring pages available.

All of the printers are compatible with the new 5 inch by 5 inch paper option available today which is ideal for square prints and printing images from Instagram.

Along with the coloring pages available through PIXMA Cloud Link on the Canon PRINT app3, all Canon PIXMA wireless inkjet printers come with My Image Garden6 software. My Image Garden offers a variety of features designed to inspire and enhance creativity while empowering the sharing of images.

The PIXMA TS5020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printer is $99.99 MSRP and the PIXMA TS6020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printer is $149.99 MSRP. Both are available in black, white and gray. The PIXMA TS8020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printer is $179.99 MSRP and is available in black, white, red, and brown and the PIXMA TS9020 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Printer is $199.99 MSRP and is offered in two-tone red/black and white/black.

For more information and the full list of product specifications, visit: shop.usa.canon.com/pixma-ts-series

Categories: Equipment

Canon advisory warns of counterfeit EF 50mm F1.8 II lenses

Fri, 12/16/2016 - 1:58pm

Canon has issued a service notice advising users of counterfeit Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II DSLR lenses that ‘fraudulently display the Canon logo’ and company trademarks. Canon became aware of these counterfeit lenses after customers began bringing them into company service centers seeking repairs.

According to the service notice, Canon was not involved in the design or manufacturing of these fraudulent lenses, which can be identified based on the 'Canon Inc' company name molded into the mount. Genuine Canon lenses feature a space between the words 'Canon' and 'Inc' while the counterfeit lenses do not feature this space.

The counterfeit EF 50mm lenses are made using electric circuits and parts on the interior, Canon warns, which fail to meet safety standards in multiple countries. Canon further advises that it isn't liable for any issues that could result from using these fake lenses.

Via: Canon USA

Categories: Equipment

Sony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro Sample Gallery

Fri, 12/16/2016 - 7:00am
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The Sony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro offers 1:1 magnification for a relatively minimal investment. We took it to our local conservatory and around the neighborhood to see how well it performs when getting extremely close to our subject. Click any of the images above to open them in our gallery viewer.

Categories: Equipment

'Ethereal' takes you to Iceland in 4K

Fri, 12/16/2016 - 6:00am

'Ethereal' was shot by Evosia Studios in the remote Icelandic Highlands and took two years to put together. This video brings aerial cinematography together with time-lapse (a combination you don't see too often) to produce some pretty darn amazing footage. Each frame was shot as a Raw photo with the DJI Inspire 1 drone. The individual photos were then processed using LRTimelapse, Lightroom and After Effects. The film was then edited in 4K/60p in Premiere Pro.

The end result is spectacular to say the least – turn off the lights and check this one out in HD to really take in the full experience.

Categories: Equipment

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