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Medium-format mirrorless: Hasselblad unveils X1D

DPReview News - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 04:30
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Hasselblad is making good on its promise to launch something big. Today it introduces the X1D, a medium-format mirrorless camera with a 50MP CMOS sensor. With dust and weather-sealing the X1D isn't afraid to step outside of the studio, and offers a 100-25600 ISO range and is capable of 1080/25p HD video. We suspect the X1D uses the same sensor in the Pentax 645Z, meaning 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion, despite claims of '16-bit color'.* Its hot shoe is compatible with Nikon Speedlights and the camera can sync with flashes at its maximum shutter speed: 1/2000 sec.

Not surprisingly, the X1D uses a new lens mount, accepting XCD lenses. Two have been announced at launch: a 45mm F3.5 and a 90mm F3.2, offering 35 and 70mm equivalent fields of view, respectively (and for those curious, F2.8 and F2.5 equivalent depth-of-field, respectively). More options will follow 'shortly' including a 30mm (24mm-equiv) lens to be launched around the Photokina trade show in September. An H lens adapter will also be offered to extend support to Hasselblad's existing H lens system, with full autofocus operation.

The X1D offers a 3" 920k-dot touch screen and a built-in 2.36M-dot (XGA) electronic viewfinder. Wi-Fi and GPS are built-in, and the camera includes dual SD card slots. The X1D and its battery weigh in at 725g, which Hasselblad points out is half the weight of your typical medium-format camera. Lack of a mirror or focal plane shutter also mean there's no camera-induced shake to worry about.

The Hasselblad X1D will be priced at $8995/£5990/€7900 body-only. A kit with 45mm F3.5 lens will cost $11,290, and bundled with both lenses the X1D will cost $13,985. The XCD 45mm F3.5 will cost $2,295 separately; the XCD 90mm F3.2 will cost $2695. Hasselblad plans to offer demos of the system in July, with delivery to customers in August.

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Press release:

Hasselblad announces groundbreaking X1D
The world’s first compact mirrorless digital medium format camera

Hasselblad is proud to introduce the groundbreaking X1D – weighing less than half that of a conventional digital medium format camera, the mirrorless 50MP camera is a game changer in the world of photography.

Inspired by the brand’s iconic design heritage, the camera is ergonomic and compact, offering a handling experience unlike any other. Handmade in Sweden, the X1D combines Scandinavian sensibility with beautiful performance.

Like the iconic V System, the X1D seamlessly combines portability with excellent optical quality for which the brand is renowned. Hasselblad has ingeniously introduced mirrorless technology to digital medium format for the first time ever, creating a precision performance camera that can sit in the palm of your hand. The 50MP CMOS sensor captures the finest details with true natural colours.

Commenting on the announcement Perry Oosting, Hasselblad CEO noted: “The X1D marks a pivotal point in Hasselblad’s rich 75-year history. This camera makes medium format photography available to a new generation of Hasselblad users, while pushing the existing limits of photography to new heights.”

A completely new family of dedicated autofocus lenses has been developed to support optical quality and portability, offering a wide range of shutter speeds and full flash synchronisation up to 1/2000th second.

Weighing just 725g and including HD video, Wi-Fi and built-in GPS, the X1D is a trusted partner and ideal travel companion. The robust exterior is dust and weather proof, providing durability to take with you wherever you go.

The X1D has been created with passionate photographers in mind, opening up Hasselblad to a new generation of creatives. Ideal for those who want to create the highest quality medium format images with a straightforward and easy to use camera that can fit in the palm of your hand.

The Hasselblad X1D is priced at 7,900 EUR / 8,995 USD / 5,990 GBP
Prices stated are exclusive of VAT

Hasselblad X1D specifications PriceMSRP$8995/£5990/€7900Body typeBody typeRangefinder-style mirrorlessSensorMax resolution8272 x 6200Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3Effective pixels51 megapixelsSensor photo detectors53 megapixelsSensor sizeMedium format (44 x 33 mm)Sensor typeCMOSColor spacesRGB, AdobeRGBColor filter arrayPrimary color filterImageCustom white balanceYesImage stabilizationNoUncompressed formatRAW + TIFFFile format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • Raw (3FR format)
  • TIFF
Optics & FocusAutofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Manual focusYesLens mountHasselblad XFocal length multiplier0.79×Screen / viewfinderArticulated LCDFixedScreen size3″Screen dots920,000Touch screenYesScreen typeTFT LCDLive viewYesViewfinder typeElectronicViewfinder coverage100%Viewfinder resolution2,360,000Photography featuresMinimum shutter speed60 secMaximum shutter speed1/2000 secExposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashNoExternal flashYes (Nikon compatible)Flash X sync speed1/2000 secContinuous drive2.3 fpsSelf-timerYesMetering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Videography featuresResolutions1920 x 1080 (25p)FormatH.264MicrophoneStereoSpeakerMonoStorageStorage typesDual SD/SDHC/SDXC slotsConnectivityUSB USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)HDMIYes (mini-HDMI)Microphone portYesHeadphone portYesWirelessBuilt-InWireless notes802.11b/g/n/acPhysicalEnvironmentally sealedYesBatteryBattery PackBattery description3200 mAh li-ion batteryWeight (inc. batteries)725 g (1.60 lb / 25.57 oz)Dimensions150 x 98 x 71 mm (5.92 x 3.86 x 2.81″)Other featuresOrientation sensorYesGPSBuilt-in

* Note 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion (the Sony 50MP CMOS has 14-bit ADCs) is not necessarily a bad thing. Although editing in 16-bit/color makes sense in a post-processing workflow, 14-bits are often (but not always) all that is needed at the time of capture, with higher bit-depth ADCs simply oversampling shot noise. Interestingly, it's for this reason that no more than 14 stops of dynamic range are claimed, since dynamic range - at the pixel level - cannot exceed the bit-depth of the ADC.

Categories: Photo Gear News

Sony warns against use of unauthorized third-party apps

DPReview News - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 11:08

Sony Japan has issued a brief statement about the use of third-party apps, advising camera owners that it cannot guarantee non-authorized software will work as advertised. The statement also seems to suggest that using them will void a camera's warranty. 

The advisement refers to unauthorized firmware, camera apps, and scripts made available by websites other than Sony's. This includes things like the STG Uploader app that enables Sony cameras to upload directly to Google Photos, and a recently publicized hack that removes video recording limits from some Sony cameras. 

Google's translation doesn't make it totally clear whether Sony is saying the whole camera's warranty will be voided, or rather if any repairs necessitated by third-party firmware will not be covered by the warranty. We've reached out to Sony for clarification.

Via: Photo Rumors

Categories: Photo Gear News

Specialists

The Online Photographer - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 10:45
It's easy for humans to be dismissive. It's an integral feature of human nature. I am not good with plants, so I've always been happily dismissive of flower pictures. But in buying a new house I have inherited the previous... Michael Johnston
Categories: Photography

Plugin allows direct Instagram posting from Lightroom

DPReview News - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 08:56

Despite its success and millions of users, many people still think of Instagram as an image sharing platform for teenagers to post selfies and pictures of their breakfast. In reality, Instagram is full of inspiring photography as many professional photographers and talented amateurs have discovered the platform as a viable tool for promoting themselves and their work.

Problem is that, despite more and more 'serious' photographers using it, Instagram remains a mobile platform and posting pictures that have been taken with a non-connected camera and edited on a computer typically involves some third-party uploading tool or image transfer to a mobile device for upload. 

Now a new Lightroom plugin makes things considerably easier, at least for those users who rely on Adobe's editing and image management software. LR/Instagram lets you post images to Instagram directly from Lightroom. Once installed you can authorize one or more Instagram accounts. Images are uploaded by dragging them into a publish collection and before you do so you can add hashtags or captions or crop your images to an aspect ratio that is supported by Instagram. By default images are auto-padded with a white border.

The plugin can be downloaded and installed for free from the LR/Instagram website but the developers ask for a $10 contribution via registration in the Lightroom Plugin Manager if you like the tool.

Categories: Photo Gear News

All about that lens: Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III review

DPReview News - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 07:46
Introduction

The Sony DSC-RX10 III is an enthusiast-oriented bridge camera with a 24-600mm equivalent F2.4-4 lens and 20MP 1"-type stacked CMOS sensor. That sensor and the BIONZ X image processor are shared with the RX10 II and Sony RX100 IV, and offer great dynamic range and high ISO performance as well as 4K video and a range of high-speed video capture modes.

The RX-series has always been designed as much for video shooting as well as stills shooting in mind, and the RX10 III doesn't change that. The real story of the RX10 III lies within its massive zoom lens. The RX10 III may look similar to the RX10 II when you look at them individually, but once you see them together, it's immediately apparent just how much Sony tweaked the design of the III to accommodate the threefold increase in zoom power. The body and grip are 'chunkier,' and the weight has increased as well. Overall, the two are more siblings than twins.

Key Features
  • 20MP 1"-type stacked CMOS sensor
  • 24-600mm equivalent F2.4-4 Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens
  • Bionz X processor
  • 4K video capture
  • Ultra slow-motion video capture
  • Tilting screen and high-resolution OLED electronic viewfinder with 2.35m dots
Straight-out-of-camera JPEG, cropped to taste. 124mm equivalent | F4 | 1/3200 sec | ISO 100. Photo by Carey Rose

There will be those people that buy the RX10 III straight away, simply because it zooms more than x camera. But it's worth asking yourself if you really need 600mm of reach - because if you aren't really sure you do, then you probably don't. But as you'll see later on, the RX10 III's lens is so good that it might be worth it to you even if you only use the extreme reach occasionally.

Let's also put that 'extreme reach' into some perspective here. The RX10 III's 600mm zoom might seem to pale in comparison to a Nikon Coolpix P900, which packs a 24-2000mm zoom - but puts it in front of a much smaller sensor. The Sony and the Canon PowerShot G3 X attempt to strike a balance between image quality and size with their 1"-type sensors, and the image quality compared to smaller sensor solutions speaks for itself. Larger sensor = more light = better quality.

Straight-out-of-camera JPEG. 41mm equivalent | F5 | 1/1000 sec | ISO 100. Photo by Jeff Keller

Now, whether or not you want to use all this reach will vary greatly depending on the types of photography you enjoy. But it's worth noting that long telephoto focal lengths, just like very short (wide angle) focal lengths, can take some practice to get good photographs with. Just because you can zoom closer in to an object doesn't necessarily coincide with an increase in the quality of your photos or the video clips you capture.

With all that out of the way, let's look a little closer at what this lens can do.

600mm

The RX10 III's lens zooms in so far it's almost amusing. It takes between three and four seconds for the lens to rack through the full zoom range. It also takes noticeably longer for all that glass to extend for power up than either the Panasonic FZ1000, which has less reach, and Canon G3 X, which has a much more compact lens at the expense of a slower maximum aperture.

Shooting at 600mm equivalent can offer up some interesting compositional choices, while the available 20MP make additional cropping a viable option if you could've used even more reach. But check out that heat haze, even early in the day! Processed and cropped to taste from Raw. 600mm equivalent | F4 | 1/1000 sec | ISO 250. Photo by Carey Rose

So while the lens makes the camera a little slow to start up and adds some bulk, in use it is very sharp throughout the zoom range, irrespective of distance to your subject (atmospheric conditions notwithstanding). Before using the RX10 III, I simply wouldn't have thought images from a 1"-sensor superzoom camera could look this detailed. This model commands a $300 MSRP premium over the RX10 II, but in this case, it seems you get what you pay for.

The 72cm focus distance at maximum zoom won't get you true super macro photos, but you'll probably find that it focuses close enough. The lens also renders bokeh very nicely. Processed to taste from Raw. 600mm equivalent | F4 | 1/1000 sec | ISO 320. Photo by Carey Rose

Key features compared   Sony RX10 II Sony RX10 III Panasonic FZ1000 MSRP $1199 $1499 $899 Sensor 20MP 1"-type stacked CMOS 20MP 1"-type stacked CMOS 20MP 1"-type CMOS ISO range (native) 100-12800 100-12800 125-12800 Lens (35mm equivalent) 24-200mm F2.8 24-600mm F2.4-4 25-400mm F2.8-4 Built-in ND filter Yes No No Min. focus distance 3cm 3cm 3cm AF system Contrast detect Contrast detect Contrast detect AF points 25-pt 25-pt 49-pt EVF resolution 2.36m-dot 2.36m-dot 2.36m-dot LCD 3" 1.23M-dot tilting 3" 1.23M-dot tilting 3" 921k-dot fully articulated Burst rate 14 fps 14 fps 12 fps Video 4K/30p 4K/30p 4K/30p Wi-Fi Yes, with NFC Yes, with NFC Yes Battery life (CIPA) 400 shots 420 shots 360 shots Weather sealing Yes Yes No Dimensions 129 x 88 x 102mm 133 x 94 x 127mm 137 x 99 x 131mm Weight 813 g 1051 g 831 g

As you can see, besides the lens and a modest increase in both size and battery life, the RX10 III is all but identical on the inside to the RX10 II. The older, less expensive Panasonic FZ1000 loses out in a few areas like battery life and weather sealing, but it is still a competitive machine in many ways (so long as you don't need 600mm, that is).

While Sony touts the RX10 III's lens as having a 9-bladed aperture for better out-of-focus renderings (compared to 7 blades on the Mark II), it lacks the built-in ND filter that was present on the previous model. This was especially helpful for shooting video under bright daylight. Of course, since the front of the lens is threaded, you can always add your own ND, but having the option at the press of a button would be a lot more convenient.

Because of the large-ish AF area the RX10 III defaults to, it will sometimes miss focus very slightly. Here, it backfocused onto the singer's high-contrast hair instead of her face. But I'd have no problem using this for web publishing. Processed and cropped to taste from Raw. 600mm equivalent | F4 | 1/320 sec | ISO 6400. Photo by Carey Rose

Beyond that omission, the RX10 III offers all that made the RX10 II such a compelling camera. The sensor offers great performance, the 4K and high frame rate video is detailed and of good quality, and the body is weather-sealed. But unfortunately, the fact that the RX10 III shares so much with its predecessor also means that you get the standard Sony UI woes as well as a contrast detection-only autofocus system that works fine for static subjects, but struggles with low contrast subjects and at telephoto distances, where phase-detection would help the camera minimize hunting.

If you're not shooting fast action all the time, the RX10 III has a lot of potential as a family vacation camera, an all-in-one photo and video solution for a journalist in a tightly staffed newsroom, or documentary photography where you can't necessarily get close to your subject.

So without repeating everything that we've already covered on the RX10 II, let's look chiefly at how the RX10 III differentiates itself by virtue of its optics.

Processed and cropped to taste from Raw. 375mm equivalent | F5.6 | 1/100 sec | ISO 200. Photo by Carey Rose Sony RX10 III overview video

In case you missed it (or prefer video), here's an overview video we produced at the launch of the RX10 III back in March, 2016.

Categories: Photo Gear News

Adobe updates PhotoShop CC with content-aware crop, face-aware liquify

DPReview News - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 05:01

Photoshop CC 2015.5 introduces a couple of editing tools that have been showcased recently by Adobe, as well as a new selection and masking workspace. 

Face-aware liquify uses facial recognition to identify facial features, offering slider adjustment tools to change the shape of a nose or a mouth, for instance. Content-aware crop aims to fill in blank canvas space around an image resulting from a horizon adjustment, for example, applying the same logic as the existing content-aware fill tool. In addition to these new retouch tools, users will find a new selection and masking workspace, making it easier to isolate elements of an image with tools like refine edge brush. 

With this update, Adobe claims that Photoshop CC will open documents faster and performs with better overall responsiveness. Specifically mentioned is content aware fill, which Adobe claims will be 'up to 3X faster with even better results.'

Subscribers can update to Photoshop CC 2015.5 starting today.

Categories: Photo Gear News

Western Digital announces My Passport Wireless Pro

DPReview News - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 04:01

Western Digital has announced its new My Passport Wireless Pro hard drive, a Wi-Fi enabled portable storage device designed for photographers and videographers who want to backup, access, and edit photos or video in the field without using a computer. In addition to Wi-Fi, the drive includes an integrated SD card slot and a USB port that can be used to connect external devices, such as a CFast or XQD card reader. It can also be plugged directly into a computer for standard operation.

This is the second generation of Western Digital’s My Passport Wireless series. The company told us that they received a lot of feedback from photographers following the product’s initial release in 2014, and that much of that feedback has been incorporated into the new Pro edition. The Pro version includes a faster SD card slot with transfer rates up to 75MB/s, up from 10MB/s, as well as upgraded 802.11ac Wi-Fi with speeds up to 20MB/s, improved from 9MB/s. It also features a larger 6400mAh battery, compared to 3400mAh on the original model, which WD says can last up to 11.5 hours in the field, including 6 to 8 hours of operation under ‘hard use.’ Unfortunately, the USB port for connecting external devices appears to be of the USB 2.0 variety.

WD has also made improvements to the product’s companion My Cloud app for iPad. The company told us that while photographers loved the ability to view images stored on the drive from an iPad, they didn’t want to be restricted to using a proprietary app. The updated app makes it possible to export photos to the camera roll for easy sharing or editing with other iOS apps. It also integrates with Adobe’s Creative Cloud, facilitating transfer of photos directly to a user's Creative Cloud account.

Finally, WD told us that about 50% of customers using the original product used it primarily as a device to stream content. To better support these users the company has added a PLEX media server to the device.

We recently received a demo unit from Western Digital and look forward to taking it for a spin (pun intended). We look forward to letting you know how it works.

The My Passport Wireless Pro comes in two capacities: a 2TB model which lists for $229.99, and a 3TB model which lists for $249.99. The company also announced a new My Cloud Pro Series NAS device, which you can read about in the press release below.

Press Release:

My Passport Wireless Pro and My Cloud Pro Together

Provide Fast, Reliable Back-up and Transfer While on a Remote Shoot or in the Studio

IRVINE, Calif. – June 21, 2016 – Western Digital Corporation (“Western Digital”) (NASDAQ: WDC), a global storage technology and solutions leader, today introduced the WD Pro Series: My Passport® Wireless Pro Wi-Fi® mobile storage and My Cloud® Pro Series network attached storage (NAS). Designed specifically for the creative community, the WD Pro Series enables seamless transfer of content between devices, with classic WD reliability and speed, regardless of whether users are on a remote shoot, in the studio or editing at home. The products use the My Cloud mobile app – the new version of the app will be launched with the My Passport Wireless Pro and My Cloud Pro Series and be compatible with the Adobe® Creative Cloud®. In addition, both the My Passport Wireless Pro and My Cloud Pro Series devices are also compatible with the Plex™ Media Server and My Cloud OS 3 software for easy editing, streaming and sharing of content.

“Portability, reliability, capacity, speed and interoperability are crucial for creative professionals, whose very livelihoods rely on the strength of the technology they use to store their life’s work,” said Sven Rathjen, vice president of marketing for content solutions at WD. “We created the WD Pro Series as a comprehensive, feature-rich storage solution designed to fit seamlessly into their workflow, regardless of where the work actually happens, so storage, transfer, back-up, editing and even streaming options are readily available.”

My Passport Wireless Pro

My Passport Wireless Pro Wi-Fi mobile storage lets creative professionals and enthusiasts leave the laptop behind when on a shoot. Using the direct Wi-Fi connection, creators can automatically backup files from compatible cameras, as well as save, edit and transfer work seamlessly from up to eight other devices connected to the drive. Tethered connections are also available for faster transfers and include a built-in SD card reader as well as a USB 3.0 port.

Available in capacities up to 3TB, the My Passport Wireless Pro device also features up to 10 hours of battery life* and a built-in battery pack that can even be used to charge phones and other devices like digital or video cameras.

To ensure creative professionals can continue to work while in the field, My Passport Wireless Pro devices include compatibility with Adobe’s Creative Cloud for mobile photo and video editing, as well as compatibility with Plex Media Server, which is capable of playing up to four streams of content while on-the-go.

My Cloud Pro Series network attached storage

When the shoot is over and it’s time for editing or studio work, the My Cloud Pro Series NAS device takes the reins seamlessly. Offering up to 32TB of storage, the My Cloud Pro Series NAS are optimized to import from cameras/memory card readers and other USB storage with a simple one touch backup button. Simply connect your cameras and compatible USB storage devices, press a button, and your new files are easily backed up/imported.

In addition to giving creative professionals and enthusiasts a reliable place to store their files, this fast, high capacity drive features a hardware accelerated video processor. Its powerful transcoding capabilities mean the My Cloud Pro Series NAS can ingest, edit, store and stream content to and from popular formats, including 4K video. These capabilities compliment a robust, integrated application suite, which includes compatibility with Plex Media Server for storing and optimizing media libraries and compatibility with Adobe’s Creative Cloud for editing and finalizing them.
The My Cloud Pro Series NAS gives the creative community significantly more control while they are away from their workstation, using WD’s My Cloud app and MyCloud.com remote access, and despite its professional caliber, is still easy to set up and use.

Pricing and Availability

My Passport Wireless Pro Wi-Fi mobile storage is available today in the WD store at wdstore.com and at select retailers, including Amazon.com and distributors. My Passport Wireless Pro storage has a Manufacturer’s Suggest Retail Price (MSRP) ranging from $229.99 up to $249.99 depending on capacity. The My Passport Wireless Pro storage will offer a 2-year limited warranty. Terms and conditions of WD’s limited warranty may be found on the WD website.

My Cloud Pro Series NAS devices are also available at Amazon.com, B&H and the WD Store. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) begins at $399.99 up to $1,649.99 depending on configuration and capacity. The My Cloud Pro Series will also offer a 2-year limited warranty for diskless models and 3-year limited warranty for populated models. Terms and conditions of WD’s limited warranty may be found on the WD website.

About Western Digital

Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) is an industry-leading provider of storage technologies and solutions that enable people to create, leverage, experience and preserve data. The company addresses ever-changing market needs by providing a full portfolio of compelling, high-quality storage solutions with customer-focused innovation, high efficiency, flexibility and speed. Our products are marketed under the HGST, SanDisk and WD brands to OEMs, distributors, resellers, cloud infrastructure providers and consumers.

*Based on streaming HD 720p, 3 Mbps video to one device over Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz single band only. Actual battery life depends on file size, type, format, bitrate, devices connected, Wi-Fi connectivity, settings and other factors.

Categories: Photo Gear News

Bowens introduces Limelight Mosaic LED panels with better color accuracy

DPReview News - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 13:09

UK lighting manufacturer Bowens has announced an update to its Limelite Mosaic LED panels that it claims is 'significantly more colour accurate than previous models.' The Mosaic2 panels boast a CRI and TLCI of 94 while the original models managed only 84, but the Mosaic2 panels are less powerful at 4000Lux@1m instead of up to 5200Lux@1m.

The new panels come in Daylight and BiColour versions with the BiColour model offering temperatures of between 3000-5600K. The lights are dimmable from full power to 0% and Bowens says their cool running temperature makes them suitable for a wide range of applications including shooting food. Both panels can be controlled remotely via an external DMX (Digital Multiplex) mixer which allows multiple panels to be controlled at the same time.

The daylight version will cost $834/£654 and the BiColour will be $1000/£835. For more information visit the Bowens website.

Press release:

Bowens launches groundbreaking Mosaic2 LED panels

Limelite by Bowens has announced the launch of groundbreaking Mosaic2 LED panels - with ultra-high CRI 94/TLCI 94 light output.

Available in Daylight (5600K) and BiColour (3000K-5000K) options, Mosaic2 uses 576 cutting edge high fidelity LEDs, dimmable from 100-0%, to create 1x1 panels that are extremely powerful and significantly more colour accurate than previous models.

Alan Walmsley, Bowens sales and marketing director said: “Mosaic2 is a powerful addition to our comprehensive portfolio of light tools. These new units, which target the full gamut of photo and video enthusiasts as well as working professionals, embrace the rugged build-quality synonymous with all Limelite products. They are quick to set up and easy to use. This is a truly multi-purpose lighting solution providing feature rich LED panels suitable for small or large studios.”

He added: “These metal-bodied panels, which weigh in at just 1.4kg, create high levels of soft, flattering light that can be further shaped and controlled with our comprehensive range of accessories.

They are also an ideal choice for photographers working with babies, small children and animals who might be startled by flash lighting. And users shooting heat sensitive subjects such as food will benefit from Mosaic2’s cool-running operation.”

The new panels, which will have an RRP of £654 (Daylight model) and £835 (Bi-Colour model), are also designed for video and broadcast work both in studio and on location (with optional battery mounting accessories)

Tim Haskell, Limelite business development manager said: “Mosaic2 1x1 LED panels are used by leading broadcasters and global news gathering operations. Mosasic2 can be controlled remotely via an external DMX mixer and multiple panels can easily be linked and used as a single panel.”

Mosaic2 key features:
*Outstanding colour fidelity
*Ultra-bright LEDs (up to 4000Lux@1m)
* Exceptional build quality
*Fully dimmable and user programmable
*Pre-mounted AC adaptor and international cable kit (use anywhere in the world)
*Wide range of light control, mounting and battery power accessories

Pembrokeshire-based photographer and Panasonic GH camera ambassador Ross Grieve added: “I trialled the new Mosaic2 lights and they are superb. They are now my go-to panels for events and training programmed. I also use them as reflectors when I need more bounce. These panels are child’s play to use and with full control over colour temperature and brightness I have all the power and control I need.”
bowens.co.uk

Categories: Photo Gear News

Panasonic Lumix G Leica 12mm F1.4 real-world sample gallery

DPReview News - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 11:54

Introduced last week, Panasonic's 12mm F1.4 brings a weather-resistant, fast 24mm equivalent prime to the Micro Four Thirds system. The Leica name on the lens is reflected in its sturdy metal build, its aperture control ring and its $1300 price tag. We intend to do much more shooting with the 12mm F1.4, including some architectural work, but for now here are some initial samples.

Categories: Photo Gear News

Rumor has it: Galaxy S8 to come with dual-cam, iPhone 7 won't have one

DPReview News - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 10:55

Another week, another dual-camera rumor. According to Chinese sources the Samsung Galaxy S8, which is expected to launch in early 2017, will come with a UHD screen for better performance with virtual reality applications. That would make it only the second device from a major manufacturer to feature such a high screen resolution, after the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium. The same sources say the S8 will also come with a dual-camera setup that will be made by Samsung subsidiary SEMCO. Apparently, this move is a reaction to the possible inclusion of a dual-camera in at least one version of the upcoming Apple iPhone 7 series, expected to launch in September this year. 

But the plot thickens! If another rumor is to be trusted, there won't actually be any dual-cam iPhone 7 models this year. It appears an anonymous employee of Apple's production contractor Foxconn has said that plans for a dual-cam iPhone 7 Plus have been cancelled due to 'immature technology.' There is also a possibility that sensor maker Sony would not be able to provide the required number of sensors due to yield issues and production lines that have been damaged by a recent earthquake.

It would certainly be interesting to see Samsung's and Apple's take on this new type of camera design but we'll have to wait at least another few months before we'll find out what, if anything, they can come up with. In the meantime you can have a closer look at the LG G5 and Huawei P9 which both have dual-cam modules and are available for purchase already.

Categories: Photo Gear News

Meyer-Optik Goerlitz unveils titanium and gold-plated Trioplan 100mm F2.8 limited edition lenses

DPReview News - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 10:00
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Meyer-Optik Goerlitz recently announced a pair of limited edition Trioplan 100mm F2.8 'soap bubble' lenses available for pre-order, one with an anodized titanium surface and the other plated with gold. The lenses were unveiled late last month to celebrate Trioplan’s 100th anniversary. The company is producing 100 units of the titanium version, as well as a very limited run of 10 'Golden Eye' gold-plated units.

The new limited edition version of the lens, save for the ten gold-plated units, features a titanium anodizing on the outer surface, making the lens harder than its aluminum counterpart while retaining the same resistance to high temperatures and corrosion. Thanks to this surface, the company says, 'buyers will get a superior lens that is much less likely to show signs of age and wear.'

Both versions of the lens feature the following specifications:

  • Optic construction as classic triplet (3 elements in 3 groups)
  • Focal distance: 100mm
  • Maximum aperture: continuous F2.8
  • Iris diaphragm with 15 aperture blades specifically constructed of steel segment belt and with special coating
  • View format: 24mm x 36mm (image circle diameter 44 mm)
  • View angle: 24°
  • Filter: 52 x 0.75 (mm)
  • Clip-on diameter: 54mm
  • Mounts: M42, Canon, Nikon, Fuji X, Sony-E, Micro Four Thirds

Meyer-Optik is offering the titanium lens for $2499/€2499 and the Golden Eye lens for $3499/€3499; both are available to preorder on the company's website.

Via: PhotoRumors

Categories: Photo Gear News

After 176 years, Indian photography studio closes its doors

DPReview News - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 07:28
Bourne & Shepherd Studio, Kolkata, India. Photo by Biswarup Ganguly. Used under CC 3.0

A studio in India, founded by British photographers Charles Shepherd, Samuel Bourne and William Howard in 1840 will close its doors after 176 years in operation. Considered the oldest continuously operating photographic studio, Kolkata-based Bourne & Shepherd's current owner cites the recent major changes in photographic technology as a reason for the closure.

The studio was known for its portraiture, producing images of religious figures and government officials, from the British Raj era onward. Speaking to Indian publication The Hindu, a former employee explains that the shift to digital made it difficult for the studio to survive, saying 'How can you expect that a studio can operate in this generation where everyone is clicking photos from their mobiles and digital cameras?'

Though the studio will no longer be in operation, the current owner says that he'll continue to maintain the shop's collection of historic photos and equipment.

Categories: Photo Gear News

If You're a Pro, What Would You Think—?

The Online Photographer - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 05:25
Just a brief idle question. Last Friday I posted a link to "Frecklehead Goes Global," a post by English professional Chris Floyd about a personal iPhone snapshot of his, originally posted on Instagram, that was chosen by Apple's advertising agency... Michael Johnston
Categories: Photography

Twit

The Online Photographer - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 11:34
Follow TOP on Twitter at @TheOnlinePhotog and get early alerts to new articles, sales, deals, news and stray thoughts. Michael Johnston
Categories: Photography

Sunday (Wait, What?) Open Mike: Getting Down the Road (OT)

The Online Photographer - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 09:47
[Ed. Note: ...Er, now this is embarrassing. Having just changed the schedule, moving "Open Mike" to Monday and reserving Sunday for book-length projects, I have to...well, change back. But just for this week. I have a medical appointment tomorrow that's... Michael Johnston
Categories: Photography

Mystery science theater: A look inside the Samsung NX3000

DPReview News - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 04:00
A peek inside the Samsung NX3000

When it was introduced in May 2014, the Samsung NX3000 didn't exactly make waves in the camera industry. But it did provide an attractive 20MP sensor, articulated 3" LCD and plenty of connectivity for a reasonable $520 all wrapped up in a super slim rangefinder-style ILC. Being curious about these kinds of things, we wanted to see how Samsung managed to wedge all of that tech into such a slender frame, and thanks to iFixit we can sit back at a safe distance and see how it's made.

A peek inside the Samsung NX3000

Before proceeding with the disassembly, the camera battery must be taken out.

A peek inside the Samsung NX3000

If iFixit's disassembly guides have taught us anything, it's that cameras are held together with a metric ton of tiny screws. Not surprisingly, there are considerably fewer on the NX3000. Disassembly of the lens mount starts with the removal of four 7.3mm Phillips screws.

A peek inside the Samsung NX3000

With a few screws on the bottom, sides and hotshoe removed, the back panel can be eased away from the body...

A peek inside the Samsung NX3000

...And with a ribbon cable disconnected, the panel can be completely removed to reveal a cool blue motherboard.

A peek inside the Samsung NX3000

A pair of tweezers can be used to pluck the tripod mount right out of the camera.

A peek inside the Samsung NX3000

There are several ribbon cables to be removed before the sensor is free, but we think this is the coolest looking one.

A peek inside the Samsung NX3000

...And here's the sensor module.

A peek inside the Samsung NX3000

With a couple more ribbon cables removed, the motherboard is ready to go too.

A peek inside the Samsung NX3000

The top panel can be freed with only a few more pieces to go.

A peek inside the Samsung NX3000

The button panel is one of the last pieces to be removed from the shell of the camera, also a striking blue color.

A peek inside the Samsung NX3000

And there you have it, the Samsung NX3000 inside and out.

Categories: Photo Gear News

The good, the bad and the ugly of aerial photography - Part 1: Why shoot aerials?

DPReview News - Sat, 06/18/2016 - 04:00

Man has always had the dream of flight – but so has the photographer. It’s a unique experience to shoot from the air, and it has some incredible benefits in many senses. But as one might discover, it often carries a number of problems and a hefty price tag. I personally started my romance with serious aerial photography about three years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. My experiences have mostly been amazing but admittedly not always so, and I’ve come to wonder what makes photography flights in different settings so… well, different.

In this series of articles I’ll try to survey my own experience with aerial shooting, including the different aircrafts to shoot from, what equipment to use, what technicalities to put an emphasis on and of course, the prices. I’ll talk about some of my aerial shoots, and explain what distinguished them and what I learned. Aerial photography can be wonderful and exhilarating, but it can also be disappointing if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. I hope the following articles help with this.

An aerial panorama of one of the most epic light shows I’ve ever seen. Wonderfully clear sun rays were peeking from between the thick cloud layer and the jagged mount Molhøgtinden and its surrounding peaks in the Lofoten Islands during my workshop there. I was stunned with excitement and couldn’t believe my eyes. After a few seconds I shook my head, picked my jaw up and went back to shooting. This image is the result.

So what makes aerial photography so darn good? A great many things. First of all, it allows for a new – and extremely different – angle of shooting. There’s a huge difference in the angle of view when shooting from the ground, or even from a mountaintop, and when shooting from hundreds of meters above the landscape. The same scenery gains another dimension, and the viewer gets a much better understanding of the surroundings. Perspective deformations are also less pronounced since there’s less of a difference in distance to the subject’s different parts.

An aerial shot of Deadvlei, Namibia. It’s incredible to realize that most of the clay pan is actually devoid of trees - which is hard to perceive when you’re down there.

It can be claimed that only from the air, one can see the landscape for what it really is. Unseen parts of the setting can be exposed, for example ones that are obscured by mountains, and with good visibility, one can see and shoot much farther than from the ground. In the image below, shot from a helicopter in Holuhraun, Iceland, several of these advantages are demonstrated: first of all, when shooting from the ground, it was impossible to get a shot of the lava which includes the caldera itself. Secondly, this angle allows for inclusion of the lava river in the background, which contributes a great deal to the composition.

In addition, some landscapes are hard to get to – not to mention shoot – from the ground, especially close enough to make them interesting. A good example of this is an erupting volcano. If the lava flow is strong, it can be impossible to go near the eruption point itself, but from the air, it can often be seen quite clearly.

But it’s really not limited to volcanoes. Instead of traversing miles and miles on foot, camping, climbing and struggling, one might take a short flight, shoot a location and fly back in time for dinner. Sounds enticing, and it truly is. Moreover, it’s quite addictive, so much so that when visiting a new location, I often feel like I have to shoot it from the air, even if there isn’t much sense in it. One mustn’t forget that aerial photography is an experience to cherish, not to be taken for granted. Do it when you must, when it offers real benefits, and not just as a means to shoot without making an effort.

The terminal of Ilulissat glacier, Greenland.

In the next article in the series I’ll talk about the two most popular aircrafts for aerial photography.

Erez Marom is a professional nature photographer, photography guide and traveler based in Israel. You can follow Erez's work on InstagramFacebook and 500px, and subscribe to his mailing list for updates.

If you'd like to experience and shoot some of the most fascinating landscapes on earth with Erez as your guide, you're welcome to take a look at his unique photography workshops around the world:

White Wonderland - Lapland
Land of Ice
 - Southern Iceland
Winter Paradise - Northern Iceland
Northern Spirits - The Lofoten Islands
Giants of the Andes and Fitz Roy Hiking Annex - Patagonia
Tales of Arctic Nights - Greenland
Earth, Wind and Fire - Ethiopia

Selected articles by Erez Marom:
Categories: Photo Gear News

Hasselblad to announce 'game changer' next week

DPReview News - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 12:08

Hasselblad is on the verge of announcing a new camera that it claims will be a 'game changer in the world of photography.' Details are vague but the teaser image, showing a low viewfinder hump supports the rumors of a high-end mirrorless model aimed at the enthusiast and semi-pro camera market.

The camera will be the first expansion of the Swedish company's product line since it abandoned its much-ridiculed attempt to sell 'luxury' versions of Sony-derived models. In an interview with DPReview earlier this year, CEO Perry Oosting suggested the company had learned from the experience and would offer products that build on, and are more consistent with, the brand's heritage as it sought to expand into different markets. 

The launch will be broadcast live June 22nd at 5:00AM (PST) via the company's YouTube channel

Categories: Photo Gear News

Patents hint at camera on future Apple Watch

DPReview News - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 11:48

A patent filed by Apple suggests it could include a camera on a future version of the Apple Watch. Patent application number 14774642, filed in 2013, covers a range of ideas, including a camera for selfies or scanning QR codes, and the possibility of fixed focal length and zoom lenses.

The key phrase to note in the patent is: 'Zero, one, or more cameras can be provided, depending on implementation,' making clear that the company is casting its net as widely as possible, to allow it to include all, some or none of these ideas in future watches.

The block diagram from the patent clearly shows that Apple has considered including a camera as part of the watch's user interface. The patent suggests cameras could be included along the sides or on the front of the watch's face.

The patent covers the idea of a camera mounted on the side or top edge of the device for taking photographs or scanning QR codes. Another implementation suggests a camera that faces towards the user, allowing the shooting of selfies (or, though it's not mentioned, streaming video for Facetime communication).

The patent is careful to include both the idea of having a fixed focal length lens and of including a zoom lens with autofocus. As always with patents, none of this means Apple will include a camera in the next or future generations of watches, just that they want to protect the idea of doing so and want to protect all the possible implementations it has thought of.

Categories: Photo Gear News

Meike iPhone lens adapter case takes ring light and Sony QX1

DPReview News - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 11:27
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Hong Kong accessory manufacturer Meike has introduced a new case for the Apple iPhone 6/6s that accepts three accessory lenses and offers a mount for a ring light and Sony’s ILCE-QX1 E-mount 'lens-style camera'. The MK-H6S PRO comes with a hand grip that has a Bluetooth-enabled shutter release button to deliver a more camera-like experience for mobile phone photographers.

The kit includes three lenses – a 0.65x wide-angle adapter, a 180° fisheye and a 2.5x macro lens – that screw into a mount over the device's built-in camera. A larger mounting ring in the middle of the case accepts an optional ring light with built-in mirror for selfies. The same ring is also compatible with Sony’s 20MP APS-C QX1 adapter so users will be able to fit Sony E lenses to the device, preview the image on the phone's screen and control capture via the grip's shutter release.

The Meike MK-H6S PRO will cost £45/$65. For more information visit the Meike website.

Categories: Photo Gear News
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