News aggregator

Wednesday Open Mike: Black Jeopardy (OT)

The Online Photographer - Wed, 10/26/2016 - 17:41
It's been a while since I've featured any comedy. This is note-perfect, both writing and acting. An incidental commentary in passing from the conservative columnist David Brooks: "Among the less educated, anxiety flows from and inflames a growing sense that... Michael Johnston
Categories: Photography

Microsoft Surface Studio morphs the photographer's desktop into a studio

DPReview News - Wed, 10/26/2016 - 14:01
$(document).ready(function() { SampleGalleryV2({"containerId":"embeddedSampleGallery_6194580448","galleryId":"6194580448","isEmbeddedWidget":true,"standalone":false,"selectedImageIndex":0,"startInCommentsView":false,"isMobile":false}) });

Microsoft today expanded its Surface lineup, announcing the 'world's thinnest LCD monitor' but in an exciting form factor: a touch-based all-in-one desktop PC with a 28" 4.5K PixelSense display. The 4500 x 3000 3:2 display sports 13.5 million pixels, and at 192 PPI almost approaches the 218 PPI figure of the 5K Retina iMac, but with 10-point multi-touch capabilities. Like the 5K iMac, the display's color gamut extends to DCI-P3 (25% larger than sRGB), something photographers routinely editing and printing will appreciate. Microsoft is calling the 10-bit display 'TrueColor'.

But the real story here is the touch-based, pen-enabled 4.5K display. Wacom Cintiq's highest res screen is only 2.5K and has more primitive touch input in comparison. As for Apple's iMac, well, mice and Wacom pens and Astropad are so yesterday. The Surface Studio literally combines these devices into one, allowing you to draw directly on the surface with the precision Surface Pen. With a simple push of the screen, you can adjust the angle of the display down to a 20-degree orientation – then use it like a drafting table. And the new Bluetooth Surface Dial radial accessory will allow you to change settings, like the color you're drawing with or brush size, on-the-fly. The display and dial sense each other, and with time and adoption we expect to see all sorts of creative solutions emerge that integrate the capabilities of the display, dial and pen. 

The new Microsoft Surface Studio is a powerful all-in-one desktop with a 28" 4.5K wide-gamut PixelSense display touting touch, pen and dial capability. It easily folds down to drafting table-esque low angle for easy drawing and image editing.

A number of apps at launch, like Paint 3D and Sketchable, will support enhanced capabilities with the dial and pen, and we expect creative applications, like Adobe's Creative Suite, to quickly follow suit, particularly because Microsoft has made it easy for developers to do so. Microsoft's approach with Windows 10 and its hardware products prioritizes a unified app experience across all devices. With one operating system, app developers simply build new UI layers on top of existing apps, meaning less work for developers (than building a whole new app for, say, iOS) and, perhaps more importantly, a consistent user experience: Photoshop on the Surface is just like Photoshop on a desktop PC, but with an added pen/touch layer. 

Microsoft's approach prioritizes a unified app experience across all devices. 

To keep the display on the Surface Studio thin, Microsoft put a lot of the guts of the Surface Studio in the base, and the specs are impressive. Three configurations ranging from $2,999 to $4,199 are available, all using Intel's 6th generation Quad core i5/i7 processors with 8, 16, or 32GB RAM. Every Studio comes with a dedicated nVidia discrete GPU, with the lower two configurations using the GTX 965M with 2GB GDDR5 memory, and the highest configuration using the GTX 980M with 4GB GDDR5 memory. There are a number of connectivity options, including 4 USB 3.0 ports, SD card reader, Mini Displayport, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Gigabit ethernet, and Xbox Wireless. A 5MP/1080p Windows Hello capable front-facing camera is built in, as are 2.1 Dolby Audio speakers, and dual microphones.

Microsoft also announced three new Surface Book models with Performance Bases, touting 6th generation Intel Core i7 processors and more than twice the graphics processing power of the original Surface Book.

Windows 10 Creators Update promises ease of creation, sharing and experiencing 3D models and mixed reality (with accompanying VR headsets).

Microsoft is pushing their Surface solutions as tools for creatives, and indeed Microsoft's previous Surface Pro and Book models have generated a lot of interest from artists and designers who've already shown the benefits of fully-fledged touch/pen-based computers. Microsoft clearly hopes to take a bite out of Apple, traditionally seen as the choice for creatives.  

Microsoft's effort to attract creatives couldn't be more evident in the company's recent focus on 3D and mixed reality. To that end the Windows 10 Creators Update, slated for early 2017 release, updates a number of apps to allow users to work seamlessly with 3D models, including ones they can generate themselves by scanning real-world objects with their phone. The popular Paint app will now be Paint 3D, and over the next year the popular Microsoft Office suite will also gain 3D capabilities. The Creators Update also promises ease of creation, sharing and experiencing mixed reality. Microsoft announced that HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer and ASUS will ship the first OEM virtual reality headsets capable of mixed reality through the Creators Update, and at a very reasonable $299 price tag. These devices, paired with Windows OS and apps, should allow users to place and interact with virtual 3D objects placed in the real world.

Microsoft's newly announced products are available for pre-order today, and early adopters of the Surface Studio will get a free Surface Dial. For more coverage and details on today's launch event, head over to Microsoft's dedicated site on the launch event.

Press Release:

NEW YORK — Oct. 26, 2016 Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday unveiled a broad vision to empower a new wave of creativity with a major update coming to more than 400 million Windows 10 devices and the introduction of Surface Studio, Surface Dial and a more powerful Surface Book.

Expanding the Surface family, Surface Studio is a new class of device that transforms from a workstation into a powerful digital canvas, unlocking a more natural and immersive way to create on the thinnest LCD monitor ever built.1 With a stunning ultra-HD 4.5K screen, Surface Studio delivers 63 percent more pixels than a state-of-the-art 4K TV. Surface Studio works beautifully with pen, touch and Surface Dial — a new input device designed for the creative process that lets you use two hands on the screen to compose and create in all new ways.

Launching as a free update in early 2017, the Windows 10 Creators Update will enable anyone to create, share and experience in 3-D and mixed reality, connect people faster to those they care about most, and empower every gamer to be a broadcaster. And with the Creators Update, Microsoft Edge will be the first browser to fully embrace 3-D.

“At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “With Windows 10, Microsoft Surface and the medium of Mixed Reality, we aim to empower the builders, the makers and the creators with the tools to create, collaborate and express themselves in new ways.”

Surface Studio turns your desk into a creative studio

Surface Studio is a new class of device designed for how people naturally create and bring ideas to life. The 28-inch PixelSense™ Display immerses the user in 13.5 million pixels of pure, true-to-life color, and the Zero Gravity Hinge allows the screen to effortlessly adjust to each stage of the creative process. When the screen transitions from Desktop Mode to Studio Mode, it sits at a 20-degree angle, the same angle as a standard drafting board, making it ideal for sketching, writing and designing.

The 6th Generation Intel® Core™ processors accelerated by a discrete NVIDIA® GeForce® GPU deliver smooth and immersive graphics performance and the power to run professional programs such as Siemens’ NX™ software,2 taking people through their workflow from end to end. Now architects can sketch their ideas with the Surface Pen, put them into production using powerful 3-D modeling software, and review and mark up plans with a client, all on one device.

Surface Studio starts at $2,999 estimated retail price (ERP) USD. It is available for pre-order today in the U.S. through Microsoft Stores, and, and will begin shipping in limited quantities this holiday with broader availability in early 2017.

Surface Dial — a new spin on creativity

Surface Dial is a new peripheral designed for the creative process. It integrates with Windows 10 to work with Surface for a faster and more intuitive way to scroll, zoom and navigate. The Dial also enables a set of unique experiences exclusive to Surface Studio. When you place the Dial directly on the screen, it brings up a set of digital tools specific to the app that is open, allowing people to more seamlessly move through their workflow. For example, with Surface Dial, artists can change the color or the size of their brush tip as they paint without ever moving the pen away from the screen. The combination of Dial, pen and touch creates a more immersive and tactile way for people to create in digital environments. Partners like BlueBeam Inc.,2 Drawboard,2 Mental Canvas,2 Siemens PLM Software,2 Silicon Benders,2 Smith Micro Software, Inc.2 and StaffPad have already optimized their software to take advantage of the new experiences Surface Dial provides.

Surface Dial is available for pre-order today in the U.S. through Microsoft Stores,, select Best Buy locations and at, and will be available for $99 ERP USD starting Nov. 10.

The most powerful Surface Book yet

Microsoft also introduced Surface Book with Performance Base, making the most powerful laptop in its class even better. The three new Surface Book models feature 6th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processors and pack more than twice the graphics processing power as the original Surface Book. Plus Surface Book with Performance Base brings 16 hours of battery life3 into the same sleek, versatile design people love. With Surface Book with Performance Base, engineers can spin 3-D CAD models with thousands of parts, designers and developers can render large files quickly, and gamers can play more of their favorite games. No other laptop combines similar battery life, performance and pixels in as lightweight a package.

Surface Book with Performance Base starts at $2,399 ERP USD. It is available for preorder today at Microsoft Stores, and select retailers in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and is available starting Nov. 10.

The Windows 10 Creators Update

Empowering everyone to create, share and experience in 3-D

With the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft unveiled a comprehensive vision across hardware and software to bring 3-D to everyone.

Microsoft introduced a new way to bring your ideas to life with Paint 3D. Building on the popularity of Microsoft Paint, with more than 100 million monthly users on Windows, Paint 3D will be your all-new, easy-to-use 3-D art studio. The company also introduced the new online community, connecting creators and creations around the world. Remix 3D will enable all-new scenarios for creators, including the ability for Minecraft players to share their 3-D creations broadly with the Remix 3D community.

To inspire a new wave of creativity, Microsoft is partnering with Trimble to bring the 3-D modeling program Sketchup — and its millions of creators and creations from 3D Warehouse — to

To further demonstrate the possibilities of 3-D in Windows 10, Microsoft showed how easy it is to use your phone to capture a real-world object in 3-D — like a sand castle from your family vacation — to save, personalize and share as a 3-D memory or photo. To bring your ideas to life, Microsoft is also adding support for 3-D in Word, Excel and PowerPoint over the next year, which means with the Windows 10 Creators Update, Office features will work seamlessly with 3-D models.

Everyone is welcome to start creating and sharing in Paint 3D today by joining the Windows Insider Program at To learn more about 3-D in Windows 10, go to

Empowering everyone to experience mixed reality

Mixed reality blends the virtual world with the real world to change the way people create, communicate, learn and play across virtual reality, augmented reality and everything in between. To demonstrate the possibilities of mixed reality, the company showed a proof of concept together with Houzz — a leader in home renovation and design. Using the Microsoft Edge browser on HoloLens, Houzz users could preview products in their own home before they buy. Microsoft Edge was the first browser to bring inking to the web, and will be the first browser to fully embrace 3-D.

The Creators Update will be the most powerful and affordable way to experience mixed reality. Microsoft announced that HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer and ASUS will ship the first VR headsets capable of mixed reality through the Creators Update. Coming in 2017, these accessories will contain built-in sensors to enable inside-out, six-degrees of freedom for simplified setup and to more easily move around your home as you experience virtual worlds —no markers required.

Less powerful VR accessories today start at over $500 ERP USD. With the Windows 10 Creators Update, the new VR accessories will work with affordable laptops and PCs and start at just $299 ERP USD.

Windows 10: the best platform for 4K gaming and in-game broadcasting

Gaming has exploded in popularity as both spectator entertainment and as a sport. The Windows 10 Creators Update will make it easy for every gamer to create and enjoy live game streams and customized eSports tournaments on the fastest, most reliable multiplayer network, Xbox Live.5

The Creators Update will include Beam system integration on Xbox One and Windows 10 for interactive broadcasting and viewing of gameplay on Xbox Live, with even more features yet to be announced. And with interactive broadcasting, you don’t just watch your favorite streamer play, you interact in real time right along with them.

The Creators Update will also bring the power of user-generated tournaments via Arena on Xbox Live, where anyone can define the rules of competition, invite friends and track tournament progress seamlessly across devices, whether it’s on Windows 10 or Xbox One.

Plus, with a Windows 10 gaming PC, you’re able to play games like “Forza Horizon 3,” “Gears of War 4” and more in 4K,6 the highest possible visual fidelity that this holiday’s biggest blockbusters can deliver.

A faster way to connect and share with people who matter most

With the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft is putting the people you care about most at the center of your experience — right where they belong — with Windows MyPeople. Now, with the Windows 10 Creators Update, your most important friends, family and co-workers will be instantly accessible across any Windows PC.

With MyPeople, you can pin your favorite contacts to the Windows task bar and easily drag and drop any document, photo or video right on top of the contact for easy sharing. Get unique notifications, called “Shoulder Taps,” from your most important people and easily open and see an integrated view of emails, IMs, shared documents and more, all in one place. The Windows MyPeople experience will be integrated across Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps for easy sharing.

More to come

Windows Insiders will be able to preview the Windows 10 Creators Update through the Windows Insider Program at 3-D and mixed reality for everyone, in-game broadcasting and MyPeople are just some of the new experiences coming to the Windows 10 Creators Update in early 2017. Additional productivity, creativity, security and gaming features will also be included and announced soon.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

1 Average cross-section thickness across entire display

2 Sold separately

3 Surface Book with Performance Base features 16 hours of battery life for local video playback.

4 Where available

5 Network claim: Independent IHS Markit study, June/July 2016. Tested on Xbox One versus PlayStation 4 on top five selling games with matchmaking; results may vary, not an endorsement. Visit

6 Games sold separately. 4K functionality available with supported games, monitors and graphics chips. Check PC to determine graphics chip compatibility.

Categories: Photo Gear News

Chronos 1.4 is a $2500 camera that can shoot at 21,650 fps

DPReview News - Wed, 10/26/2016 - 10:22

Late last month, a homemade camera dubbed Chronos surfaced alongside the claim that it can shoot at speeds up to 21,650 fps. The camera was notable not only for its ultra-high-speed shooting capabilities, but also its comparitively affordable $2500 price tag. The camera was the subject of a recent YouTube video showing off its various features and functionalities.

Chronos 1.4 is the brainchild of engineer David Kronstein, who first demonstrated the camera’s hardware and recording capabilities with a production-level prototype under his YouTube handle ‘tesla500.’ The camera can record 1,057 fps at 1280 x 1024, and up to 21,650 fps at lower resolutions. Kronstein lists the pre-production camera features as the following:

  • 1.4 Gigapixel per second throughput
  • 1280 x 1024 at 1050 fps
  • Lower resolutions at higher speeds
  • 8, 16, or possibly 32GB RAM
  • Storage on SD card, USB drive, SATA hard drive
  • Raw video saving
  • No PC needed for operation
  • AC Adapter or battery (1.75 hour per charge)

You can see a full review of the camera in Taofledermaus’s new video below. Per his video, it seems the current plan is to launch the camera on GoFundMe rather than Kickstarter in the next month or so, but details on that are still slight at this time.

Via: PetaPixel

Categories: Photo Gear News

Google acknowledges lens flare issue on Pixel camera, promises software fix

DPReview News - Wed, 10/26/2016 - 09:55

Since the Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones have become available for purchase, there have been several reports about the camera of the devices, despite stellar scores in the DxOMark ranking, being very prone to lens flare with the sun at a certain angle to the camera lens. Now a group of affected Reddit users has described the problem in the Google Product Forum and got a quick reply from a Google employee:

'First, for some background -- flare is a property of ALL camera lenses. It comes in a ton of different shapes and sizes and can even be used for creative effect -- good and bad :-). The shape, color, amount, etc. of flare is related to dozens of different parameters of the lens structure and inclement light. However, we have seen reports about this "halo/arc flare". This is the specific kind of flare that appears as a bright/low-contrast arc in the corners of the frame.   You can expect a software update in the next few weeks that will improve the effects of this issue. We're working on some algorithms that recognize the halo/arc flare, characterize it mathematically, and then subtract it from the image. :-) You will need to use HDR+ to see the benefits of this software.'   So it appears Google is planning to solve a hardware problem with a software solution and bake an algorithm, that mathematically removes the flare from the image, into the Pixel camera's HDR mode. This means the measure will only be effective when shooting in this mode and it remains to be seen if there is any impact on noise and/or image detail in the affected areas of the image. We will certainly have a closer look at the Pixel's flare behavior in our own test of the device.
Categories: Photo Gear News

Camera Industry Peaked in 2011

The Online Photographer - Wed, 10/26/2016 - 05:21
According to a chart at Statista sourced from CIPA, CIPA members shipped 121.5 million cameras in 2011, and the interchangeable-lens portion of that was even greater in 2012, 2013, and 2014. But now both categories are down drastically. (The chart... Michael Johnston
Categories: Photography

'It's about sharing your beautiful experience': Nikon Photokina interview

DPReview News - Wed, 10/26/2016 - 03:00

Photokina 2016 gave us a chance to speak to Nikon about the models it's showing, where the market is going and the challenges it faces.

It was a relatively quiet show for Nikon, with three KeyMission lifestyle cameras taking up as much space as the recently announced D3400 and 105mm F1.4 lens. We took the opportunity to speak to Naoki Kitaoka, Department Manager, Marketing Department and Masahiko Inoue, Group Manager, Marketing Group 2, to see how the company sees the market. Please note the following interview has been slightly edited for clarity and flow.

What's the key mission of KeyMission?

We started by asking whether they foresaw DSLRs and other dedicated cameras returning to being the niche product they were at the end of the film era and where KeyMission fits in:

‘We don’t want to change our policy,' said Kitaoka: ‘We will keep offering the best DSLR to the customer. On the other hand, smart devices are getting popular: almost everyone has one or two or three devices in their pocket. In the mobile era, we have to offer new solutions that are fit for the mobile era. We want to be the end to end solution for consumers. The KeyMission is one of our solutions I think.’

The KeyMission range, including the KeyMission 360 are aimed at 'immediate immersive storytelling,' the company says.

KeyMission, then, is intended as a way of bringing Nikon’s expertise to new customers, Inoue explains: ‘Our competence is high quality imagery. So we will continue to keep that our core competence and apply it into the KeyMissions.’

‘For instance, the lens in the KeyMission 360 has a very wide angle of view. But this kind of category needs the size to be wearable. Using our competence and some new techniques, we managed to keep the quality and realize the miniaturization.’

‘It’s a very wide-angle view. Very fast lens: F2.0. Very bright and very wide, normally that kind of lens is larger optical design but we try to do the miniaturization.’

As well as image quality and size, simplicity is another aim for the camera, says Kitaoka: ‘It is not just an action camera. With the KeyMission series, we are bringing to market the ultimate tools for immediate immersive storytelling. They also demonstrate the role Nikon technology can play in the exciting new field of VR.’

‘The concept is about sharing your beautiful experience.’ Inoue concurs.

This means making it easy to share a wide variety of content types, Kitaoka says: ‘We believe every single model, every single customer has a different image of sharing. We have expanded the categories we cover to include KeyMission so you can find your best camera, from KeyMission to DSLR. Additionally, different types of consumers with different purposes need different types of cameras for every mission. We don’t want to interrupt your adventure.’

The value of sharing

This need for simple sharing underpins the company’s plan to introduce a version of its SnapBridge sharing system across its entire model range: ‘Easy means setting up between camera and smartphone,' says Kitaoka: 'We launched the WMU app so we had kind of experience for this setup process. We tried to improve, to make the setting easier. But still some of you might feel it’s quite difficult. Now three or four steps are needed to connect camera to mobile phone. We are trying to reduce steps from four to one, and finally zero.’

'Now three or four steps are needed to connect camera to mobile phone. We are trying to reduce steps from four to one, and finally zero'

The company has chosen the technology it thinks will help. ‘We use Bluetooth Low Energy so it can realize smart link,’ says Kitaoka. There’s a benefit to this technique, despite its low bandwidth, he explains: ‘If we use Bluetooth you can use Wi-Fi at the same time. Once you can shoot your story and then camera automatically sends your story to smartphone. Your Wi-Fi can stay connected to the internet: you don’t need to switch Wi-Fi from the camera to Internet. We wanted to make your steps easier.’

Inoue is confident that SnapBridge is a step in the right direction: 'after you purchase a Nikon camera, you do the pairing once: after that it's automatic.'

The future of Nikon 1

Moving on, we asked about the future of the Nikon 1 series and what role it now plays in expanding Nikon’s audience. Despite a dearth of releases, the cameras featured prominently on Nikon’s booth and both men spoke positively about the system’s future.

‘The Nikon 1 concept is fit for some customers,’ says Kitaoka: ‘For now we’ll keep Nikon 1 as usual.' The sudden focus on KeyMission doesn't take away from this, he explains: 'as I told you before, the action category getting popular. [The] market [is] always changing so we launched KeyMission series to expand our customers.’

It's been nearly two-and-a-half years since Nikon last released a Nikon 1 V-series body but we're told the system is still part of the company's plans.

Inoue elaborates: ‘Some manufacturers have tried to enter the DSLR market with their mirrorless camera or something. Our standpoint is different. Because our product mix covers full-frame and APS-C DSLR and the Nikon 1, these three product categories mean we offer to the full lineup and we receive each customer’s good reactions.’

‘And then we're not seeing cannibalization between the DSLR and the Nikon 1: the customer is completely different.’

Totally different, but with an overlap

While this distinction is clear for the J and S models, we wondered whether this also applied to V series customers. ‘The J, S and V models are different categories, says Kitaoka: ‘the V series is sort of special, people they well know about DSLR, what is a photograph, they understand these ideas.’

The smaller size of the cameras provides a benefit for these customers, Kitaoka explains: ‘Sometimes you get work from a client that requires you to travel for the job and maybe go back to shoot more. In that kind of situation, sometimes the photographer doesn’t get enough money from their clients to carry their whole equipment because of the baggage costs of the airline.’

‘V3 helped them a lot. The telephoto lenses are smaller. Just in case, they use V series for second camera at the same time, so they can reduce the size of their systems.’

‘One of the most important features of the V series is the high frame rate and accuracy of autofocus. It's fit for professional photographers' demand. It’ll never be the main camera for a photographer but it can help them a lot.’

Neither man would be drawn on whether Nikon intends to concentrate on one of these 1 series user groups over the other. ‘We really recognize the mirrorless type of camera, the possibility and we always study [the market],’ says Inoue: ‘but sorry, we won’t be able to comment on future products.’

1V vs DL

On the topic of future products, we also weren’t able to get clarification on when to expect the much-delayed DL compacts, so we asked how these users were distinct from the Nikon 1 V series customer:

‘DL’s concept and target is users of the D800 series,’ says Inoue: ‘Of course the D800 is a very nice camera but the DL... Anytime and anywhere [you can] take a high quality picture by using the DL. It’s a very good second camera for that kind of user. Therefore the switching and the menu, the GUI, is in accordance with the DSLR equipment. That kind of DSLR customer can use the DL without any stress. Even the power switch is in the same position as on DSLR. Zooming dial right here.’

There's still no news on when Nikon's delayed DL series of 1"-type sensor compacts will arrive.

'[They] borrow technology from Nikon 1 and DSLR. Of course the one inch sensor, on-sensor phase detection autofocus and high frame rate continuous shooting, everything from the Nikon 1, but the high quality images and the user interface and the Picture Quality control from our D series. Also the lens quality. You know, the DL has fast lenses with the nano crystal coating, but in a compact type of camera. This is the first time we've used that kind of technology in a DSC.’

Who uses video?

Finally, and continuing the theme of making models for more than one type of customer, we asked about the importance and challenges of video for Nikon.

‘There are two types of high end users [using video]’ explains Kikaota: ‘those who started [their careers] shooting still pictures, but also there are a lot of customers who started with video. In our company we have two types of customer. It’s difficult to make one solution to fit for both of them.’

'I think that line between movie photographer and stills photographers has gone. The client wants to you to shoot the both of them at the same time to reduce costs'

Shooting video with current cameras can often be quite complicated, we suggested. ‘[This] complicated operation is fit for the customer they started shooting from video. On the other hand there are professional [stills] photographers: they are not yet used to using video, their demand is easy operation. So there are two types of people. It’s a big problem.’

‘We are trying to make a solution fit for both of them. One solution is Flat Picture Control. Flat Picture Control is well suited for the professional photographer, who started shooting pictures and now find they have to shoot some video, too.’

‘They are not necessarily so familiar with video editing or modifying video. With Flat Picture Control they can understand from stills point of view.'

'Now we have an exact solution right now, but we will keep considering [whether to make] a separate product or [if it should] go into the one product.'

Nikon recognizes the challenge of adding video features that both stills and video shooters will appreciate.

'I think that line between movie photographer and stills photographers has gone. The client wants to you to shoot the both of them at the same time to reduce the costs.'

Kitaoka then expanded on the demands they're hearing from customers: 'First of all, quality of the movie is a basic demand so we have to answer that, second frame rate, then lens quality and autofocus, also, [the challenges of] movie AF and still AF totally different.'

'Movie autofocus needs to be smooth, sometimes fast, sometimes slower, depends on the situation. Movie shooters want to [be able to] choose high speed autofocus or natural speed autofocus.'

'Actually we equip the autofocus system fit for the movie but a lot of people [are finding it difficult to use] autofocus between still photo and movie. But we keep trying to [provide the] best movie autofocus in [our] DSLRs and across every single category.’

Categories: Photo Gear News

An array of Canon 400mm F2.8L II lenses is helping astronomers discover new galaxies

DPReview News - Wed, 10/26/2016 - 02:00
The Dragonfly Telephoto Array. Photo by Pieter van Dokkum

When Astronomer Pieter van Dokkum was looking for ways to study galaxies, he turned to the equipment he was familiar with as an amateur photographer. Thanks in part to some advanced optical coatings, he and his research team have been able to discover previously unseen galaxies.

In 2011, van Dokkum and fellow professor and astronomer Roberto Abraham, were discussing ways to find a way to get a better look into the very diffuse cosmic light that's scattered by traditional telescopes like Hubble. Van Dokkum's thoughts turned to his consumer imaging equipment, and some claims Canon was making about its then-recently-released 400mm F2.8L II. 

Introduced in August the previous year, the 400mm F2.8L II offers what Canon calls 'a SubWavelength Structure Coating (SWC), which uses microscopic cone-shaped structures smaller than a wavelength of visible light' to reduce internal reflections and scattered light. This kind of coating would theoretically help collect enough light to study galaxies with low 'surface brightness', and sure enough, it did. Says van Dokkum: 'We compared their performance to those of the best reflecting telescopes, and found that they produce almost an order of magnitude better suppression of the wings of the point spread function - probably in part because of the SWC coatings.' In short, the 400mm F2.8L II fit the bill.

More lenses were acquired and the Dragonfly Telephoto Array was born (clustering lenses allows researchers to increase the effective aperture of the system). Van Dokkum and Abraham started with eight lenses, and now operate two mounts with a total of 48 lenses.

Custom connectors, as well as off-the-shelf components like Intel Compute Sticks help drive Dragonfly. Photo by Pieter van Dokkum

You won't find a Canon EOS 5DSR behind anywhere on the array, though. Each lens is attached to its own science-grade 8MP CCD camera, and has a custom astronomical filter slotted in. There's a custom-built connector between each camera and the lens that can drive focus, and an Intel Compute Stick attached to each camera takes care of data recording and some processing. It's all controlled by a central computer that can carry out commands like 'auto-observe Mars' and 'expose 900 seconds'. 

The array has helped examine much-observed heavenly bodies like the Coma Cluster, where they've been able to identify what the research team has dubbed 'ultradiffuse galaxies.' They continue to discover more of these galaxies with the help of Dragonfly, and aim to keep learning about their variety and formation. 

Categories: Photo Gear News

The Sony a99 ll will be available on time – but in very short supply

DPReview News - Wed, 10/26/2016 - 00:00

Sony has announced that its a99 ll full-frame SLT camera will go on sale on November 25th as expected, but it will not be able to supply nearly enough to meet demand straight away. The company has issued a statement saying that domestic demand has 'significantly' exceeded the Japanese company’s sales plans and that customers should expect some delay in the delivery of ordered cameras.

The 42MP camera offers a top shooting rate of 12 fps and features a combined phase detection and contrast detection AF system that the company says provides speed, accuracy and improved tracking. The camera was the surprise launch of Photokina this year, as many assumed Sony had abandoned its SLT cameras in favor of the more popular mirrorless models.

It seems even Sony has been caught off-guard by the demand of the a99 ll, and if there are to be delays in the Japanese market there will almost certainly be delays in the rest of the world. The a99 ll is due to be priced at ¥388,880/$3200/£3000/€3500. For more information see the Sony website.

Categories: Photo Gear News

LG V20 owners report fragile, easily cracked camera glass

DPReview News - Tue, 10/25/2016 - 10:47

Numerous reports have surfaced from LG V20 owners claiming that the glass covering the smartphone's rear camera is easily shattered. In some cases, the glass reportedly breaks without any direct impacts, leading some to speculate that the LEDs may be the cause. Some users report receiving a new phone with glass that's already cracked, while others indicate it cracks after only several hours or days of use.

In addition to user reports on Reddit, smartphone durability tester 'JerryRigEverything' experienced the same issue. The glass camera covering is shown shattering in the video below a few moments after he rubs it with a pick to test its durability against scratches. LG has not issued a comment on the reported issue. For now, users are advised to keep the protective film covering on the camera glass in an effort to avoid cracks.

Via: TechTimes

Categories: Photo Gear News

Xiaomi's Mi Note 2 looks a whole lot like the Samsung Note 7

DPReview News - Tue, 10/25/2016 - 10:23

Xiaomi has today launched the Mi Note 2, a device looks a lot like Samsung's Galaxy Note 7, the production of which was ceased after repeated incidents of exploding batteries, and could neatly fill the gap in the market that was left by the Samsung device.

Like the Note 7, the Mi Note 2 offers top-end specs all-around. In the camera department a 22.46MP 1/2.6" Sony IMX318 Exmor sensor is coupled with a six-element lens, F2.0 aperture and on-sensor phase detection. There is an electronic stabilization system for video shooting but the camera has to make do without optical stabilization. On the plus side there is a low-light mode, which presumably uses image-stacking for lower noise and better detail, and a long-exposure mode. At the front the 8MP camera uses Sony's IMX268 sensor and comes with autofocus, an F2.0 aperture and Xiaomi's Beautify 3.0 selfie mode.

Another highlight of the new device is its curved 5.7" AMOLED display with extremely thin bezels and 1080p Full-HD resolution. It means the Mi Note 2's screen-to-body ratio is an impressively high 77.2%. Processing power is provided by by Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 821 SoC which comes in combination with either 6GB RAM and 128GB storage or 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. Sound is optimized through a 24-bit / 192kHZ DAC and a large 4070 mAh battery that supports Quick Charge 3.0. should make sure you hardly ever run out of juice.

The global version of the 6GB RAM/128GB storage option will be available for approximately $520 while the lower specced variant will set you back $415. No details on geographic availability have been provided yet.

Categories: Photo Gear News

Book Sale: 'Origins of American Photography'

The Online Photographer - Tue, 10/25/2016 - 08:32
As a matched pair, the very best history of American photography Here we go! Last February we hosted a very large book sale—of a very large book—for Keith F. Davis, the noted author, photo historian, and Senior Curator of Photography... Michael Johnston
Categories: Photography

The Answer to Every Question

The Online Photographer - Tue, 10/25/2016 - 06:40
Yesterday's post was an "answer to every question" post—i.e., the answer to every question about what printer to get is either the P800 or the Pro-1000. Other answers to every question: iMac; fruits and vegetables; Miata. And just recently, is... Michael Johnston
Categories: Photography

Your Shot of the Day (OT)

The Online Photographer - Tue, 10/25/2016 - 06:16
Regular readers know that I never write about pool. Ergo tonight's Shot of the Day consists of a remarkable two flukes in a row by the number two snooker player in China, Liang Wenbo. As we pick up the action... Michael Johnston
Categories: Photography

Google Pixel XL added to mobile studio test scene comparison

DPReview News - Tue, 10/25/2016 - 03:00

Google's Pixel and Pixel XL have garnered plenty of interest for their imaging capabilities since they were launched in the beginning of October. They each offer a 12.3MP camera with an F2.0 lens and a 1/2.3" sensor - the same size used in yesteryear's compact cameras - sporting 1.55µm sized pixels. The Pixel phones also utilize gyroscope-based stabilization for some seriously smooth video recording.

We got our hands on a Pixel XL review unit, and while we wait for the clouds to part outside for some real-world samples, we put it in front of our studio test scene. Take a look below at its JPEG and Raw performance in daylight and low light. It's quite impressive: the lens is relatively sharp across the frame, and our low light Raw shots show that despite receiving 1.33 EV less light than the iPhone 7, the Pixel shows only slightly more noise, meaning it comfortably outperforms the iPhone camera in low light.*

$(document).ready(function() { ImageComparisonWidget({"containerId":"reviewImageComparisonWidget-33637093","widgetId":423,"initialStateId":null}) })

Related: Google's Pixel phones: what you need to know

*Multi-frame noise reduction - used in low light by both the Pixel and iPhone 7 - may skew results in either direction for either camera, providing better performance for static subjects, or potentially blurry images for moving ones.

Categories: Photo Gear News

Starling vortex wins £10,000 Landscape Photographer of the Year prize

DPReview News - Tue, 10/25/2016 - 01:00
2016 Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year winners

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2016 Matthew Cattell - Starling Vortex, Brighton, East Sussex, England

The winners of the 2016 Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year competition have been announced, with a shot of a flock of starlings flying in front of Brighton Pier taking the top prize. The competition, which accepts entries from around the world of pictures taken in the UK, is in its tenth year, and is run by landscape photographer Charlie Waite.

There are ten main categories for manipulated and un-manipulated images taken by adults and by those 17 years and under, as well as additional competitions for supported by sponsors – such as railway company Network Rail’s Line in The Landscape, Adobe and the Visit Britain tourist service. The top prize is £10,000 and category winners receive £1000 or £500 for the youth prizes.

Commended and runner up photographers get their images published in the Landscape Photographer of the Year book, and an exhibition of selected images runs at London’s Waterloo station for 12 weeks from 21st November.

For more information and to see more of the winning images visit the Take A View website. You can also read our interview with Charlie Waite.

2016 Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year winners

Adult Classic view - Winner Dougie Cunningham - Shelter from the Storm, Loch Stack, Sutherland, Scotland

2016 Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year winners

Adult Classic view - Highly commended Scott Robertson - Binnein Beag through Steall, Scottish Highlands

2016 Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year winners

Adult Classic view - Runner-up Scott Robertson - Stob Dearg, Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe, Scotland

2016 Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year winners

Network Rail ‘Lines in the Landscape’ Award - Winner Francis Taylor - Sunshine breaks through, Ribblehead Viaduct, North Yorkshire, England

2016 Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year winners

The Sunday Times Magazine Award - Winner Rachael Talibart - Maelstrom, Storm Imogen, Newhaven, East Sussex, England

2016 Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year winners

Adult Living the view - Winner Martin Birks - Chrome Hill, Peak District, Derbyshire, England

2016 Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year winners

The GREAT Britain #OMGB Award - Winner Mark Gilligan - Finding Gold, Wast Water, Cumbria, England

2016 Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year winners

The Adobe Prize - Winner Damian Ward - Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk, England

2016 Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year winners

Adult Your view - Winner Tony Higginson - Shifting sands, Silverdale, Lancashire, England

2016 Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year winners

Adult Your view - Runner-up Daniel Pecena - A82, Glen Coe, Highland, Scotland

2016 Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year winners

Young Landscape Photographer of the Year 2016 Hannah Faith Jackson - Mirror Bar, Glasgow, Scotland

2016 Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year winners

Youth Living the view - Winner Rowan Ashworth - Sunset Explorer, Hushinish, Isle of Harris, Scotland

Categories: Photo Gear News

iOS 10.1 adds 'beta' support for Portrait mode to iPhone 7 Plus

DPReview News - Tue, 10/25/2016 - 00:00

Apple has released an update to iOS 10, which alongside various bug fixes and refinements, adds beta support for 'Portrait' mode in the iPhone 7 Plus.

The Portrait mode feature is only supported by the dual-lens iPhone 7 Plus model running iOS 10.1, and is designed to replicate the look of shooting at a shallow depth of field - an effect traditionally limited to larger imaging formats. Although anyone with an Apple developer account has been able to shoot with the new mode for a while (we posted a gallery including some samples last month), iOS 10.1 represents the first truly public 'beta' test of the new feature.

Are you curious? Have you downloaded it? Did you jump straight to the comments section before you finished reading this paragraph? Let us know. 

Categories: Photo Gear News

Facebook is planning to relax censorship rules for newsworthy images

DPReview News - Mon, 10/24/2016 - 10:40
 Image: Nick Ut/The Associated Press

Last month Norway’s largest newspaper, Aftenposten, published an open letter on its front page, accusing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg of 'abuse of power.' The letter was published as a response to Facebook removing the famous ‘Napalm Girl’ image, taken by photographer Nick Ut, from the newspaper's Facebook page on the grounds of a blanket ban on nudity in all images posted on the social network.

The picture had been used in an article about the seven most iconic images in the history of war. After receiving a wave of intense criticism following the incident, Facebook has announced in a blog post that it will be relaxing its photo censorship rules around news events:

'In the weeks ahead, we’re going to begin allowing more items that people find newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest — even if they might otherwise violate our standards. We will work with our community and partners to explore exactly how to do this, both through new tools and approaches to enforcement. Our intent is to allow more images and stories without posing safety risks or showing graphic images to minors and others who do not want to see them.'

We will have to wait and see how exactly this will be defined but it's fair to assume that Nick Ut's picture would have been considered historically significant and therefore safe under the revised guidelines. 

We should expect any changes to take effect within the next few weeks as Facebook is working on replacing its filter algorithms. The company says it will be working closely with experts, publishers, journalists, photographers, law enforcement officials and safety advocates to achieve this. 

What do you think? Is this a step in the right direction for Facebook? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: Photo Gear News

Swedish court rules drone photography is surveillance and requires a permit

DPReview News - Mon, 10/24/2016 - 10:00

Sweden's Supreme Administrative Court has issued a ruling that classifies drone photography as surveillance, thus meaning operators of drones with cameras would need to obtain a surveillance license – an unlikely case for members of the public. Swedish drone owners are understandably upset with the ruling, stating that it will effectively kill an entire industry. Local media outlets also find it troubling, since no exceptions are made for journalistic applications.

UAS Sweden, an organization of Swedish drone operators, plans to try to convince lawmakers that the decision is an overreaction that will have a tremendous negative impact on their industry. Either way, the policy will likely be difficult to enforce. Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet points out that local police seem unlikely to prioritize any reports of suspected unauthorized surveillance. 

Categories: Photo Gear News

Oldest existing Nikon I camera goes up for auction with original lens and case

DPReview News - Mon, 10/24/2016 - 09:48
$(document).ready(function() { SampleGalleryV2({"containerId":"embeddedSampleGallery_1322935571","galleryId":"1322935571","isEmbeddedWidget":true,"standalone":false,"selectedImageIndex":0,"startInCommentsView":false,"isMobile":false}) });

The oldest known Nikon camera in existence has gone up for auction at WestLicht. This particular Nikon I, serial number 60924, was made in April 1948 and is notable as being the third camera produced by Nikon. WestLicht describes the camera’s condition as ‘B+,’ and says it includes the original Nikkor-H 2/5cm no.70811 with a matching Nikon cap in 'fantastic original condition.'

The Nikon I still has its original shutter, according to WestLicht, as well as engravings that indicate the serial number, ‘Nippon Kogaku Tokyo’ and ‘Made in Occupied Japan.’ In addition to the camera itself, the auction includes the original double-strap carrying case; WestLicht describes the case as 'extremely rare.' 

The auction's starting price is €90,000, with WestLicht estimating the camera will sell for between €160,000 to €180,000 (about $174,000 to $195,750). 

Categories: Photo Gear News

Printer Conundrum? Not So Much

The Online Photographer - Mon, 10/24/2016 - 05:19
Certain things are hard to buy. For instance, I brew my coffee in a Clever Dripper, essentially a paper filter holder with a valve in it that allows the coffee to steep before it drains. It works fine for one... Michael Johnston
Categories: Photography
Syndicate content

Who's online

There are currently 0 users and 1 guest online.

Recent comments