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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

Study: Instagram interactions declining as user base grows

DPReview News - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 10:47

User interactions on Instagram decreased an overall 33% from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016, according to social media analytics company Quintly. Video interactions decreased more substantially than image interactions, with video interactions down 39% and image interactions down 27%. The changes affected accounts with a high number of followers more so than accounts with less followers.

The study is based on an analysis of 13,000 Instagram profiles, and considers both 'likes' and comments as forms of interaction. While the decrease in interactions is ‘tremendous,’ according to Quintly, it doesn’t necessarily indicate anything dire for the image-sharing app. Rather, the company speculates that a combination of increased posting frequencies among users and a growing user base has crowded users' feeds while their interactions with the content remain relatively stable, causing a natural decrease in interactions.

Additionally, Quintly points toward more brands joining Instagram as a potential cause, saying the brands may be alienating their followers with various advertising methods, causing the followers to interact less often. The company summarizes its findings, saying, 'The takeaway should definitely not be that Instagram is losing traction but more that it starts to get harder to achieve success in the “fight for interactions” on increasingly fast timelines.'

Via: Quartz

Categories: Photo Gear News

Avast Photo Space lets you store more photos on your iPhone

DPReview News - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 10:07

Software maker Avast is known by most users for its mobile and desktop anti-virus products, but now the company has launched an app with a totally different use case. Avast Photo Space allows you to increase the number of pictures you can store on your iPhone by up to 7 times. 

It does so by reducing the resolution of the images that are stored on your device down to the resolution of the screen. At the same time, the app connects to your personal cloud service – currently Dropbox or Google Drive are supported –  where it stores the full-size versions. So you can always access the original files when needed, but still have a usable smaller image on your device. 

Avast Photo Space also comes with its own camera app which automatically transfers, optimizes and syncs your images right at the point of capture, for a totally seamless user experience. Given the iPhone does not offer any local storage expansion options the app sounds like a good idea for those users who are constantly on the verge of running out of photo storage space and don't rely much on image magnification while viewing. Avast Photo Space is now available as a free download from the Apple App Store

Categories: Photo Gear News

The Queer Hutterite and Other Cool Followups

The Online Photographer - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 09:49
Several interesting things emerged from the Comments yesterday, and kept me immersed for much of the afternoon. Apple ad featuring photo by "Chris F." (Chris Floyd) in the New York subway Frecklehead First of all, the "Frecklehead" story—I mentioned the... Michael Johnston
Categories: Photography

Serious spec: HTC 10 camera review

DPReview News - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 06:53
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DPReview smartphone reviews are written with the needs of photographers in mind. We focus on camera features, performance, and image quality.

The 10 is HTC's latest flagship model, and while its predecessors that we tested were frankly disappointing in the camera department, the new model's imaging specs show the 10 has potential to turn things around for the Taiwanese manufacturer.

The main camera specification is centered around the same 1/2.3-inch 12MP sensor that we have seen on several recent top-end smartphones. Light is captured through a very fast F1.8 aperture and an optical image stabilization system keeps things steady in low light. The AF uses both contrast detection and a laser that measures the distance to the subject and for those who like optimizing images in post production the camera offers a 12-bit Raw mode. In video mode footage can be recorded in 4K resolution and the front camera is the first of its kind to come with optical image stabilization. At 1.34µm it also offers unusually large pixels and again a fast F1.8 aperture. 

All other specifications, including the 5.2-inch Quad-HD display and Snapdragon 820 chipset are in line with the current crop of flagship devices, making the HTC 10 a possible mobile photography alternative to devices like the Samsung Galaxy S7 or LG G5. Read the full review to find out how it performed in our test.  

Key Photographic / Video Specifications
  • 12MP 1/2.3-inch sensor with 1.55µm pixels
  • F1.8 aperture
  • OIS
  • 12-bit Raw
  • 4K video
  • 720p, 120fps slow-motion video
  • 5MP front camera with OIS, F1.8 aperture and 1.34µm pixel size
Other Specifications
  • 5.2-inch QHD screen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32 or 64GB storage
  • microSD slot
  • 3,000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0
  • Hi-Res audio
Categories: Photo Gear News

D500 owner formally accuses Nikon of false advertising

DPReview News - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 10:32

A disgruntled D500 owner has taken out a legal warning against Nikon advertising the camera as offering 'integrated Wi-Fi.' In the equivalent of a cease-and-desist order. Andreas V, from Butzbach, Germany says, that the term is misleading, given there are unusual restrictions to using the function.

In the case of the D500, you need to use a compatible Android device with Bluetooth LE and the Snapbridge app to enable Wi-Fi: a restriction that is not commonly shared by other cameras, including Nikon's own D750 and D7200 models.

The D500 does have integrated Wi-Fi, but you can't necessarily use it in the way you might expect.

As highlighted in our review, although the D500 does have integrated Wi-Fi, it is distinctly reluctant to make use of it, mainly relying on the low bandwidth 'Bluetooth LE' technology for file transfer. At present even this system is available only to users of compatible Android devices, since an iOS app will not be available until later in the year. Unlike the D7200 and D750, there's no way to directly make use of the camera's Wi-Fi: it can only be initiated using Bluetooth from the Snapbridge app.

Part of the customer's complaint was that it was reasonable to assume he'd be able to use his camera in the same manner as he had his D7200, and that the labels on the box indicating compatibility with Apple devices implied the function was already available to users of such devices. He goes on to highlight that it would be possible for Nikon to offer a simpler (and more readily accessible) Wi-Fi system via a firmware update.

The story, first reported in the German magazine Digitale Fotografie, and subsequently on Nikon Rumors, has attracted mixed responses. While there have been plenty of predictable 'he should have done his research' comments, there have also been words of support from people who believe Nikon should have made the system's limitations clearer (or made the Wi-Fi simpler). What do you think?

Categories: Photo Gear News

Rare 1964 NASA 1000mm F4.5 super telephoto lens to be auctioned

DPReview News - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 10:03

A one-of-a-kind Birns and Sawyer Omnitar 1000mm f/4.5 lens commissioned by NASA in 1964 will soon be available to purchase through RR Auction. The lens is owned by Jim Headley, who introduced it to the public via Shutterbug. According to Headley, the lens weighs 70lbs / 32kg and measures 4ft / 1.2m in length by 10in / 25cm in diameter.

The super telephoto lens was built by Astra in Germany, and was acquired by Headley through a close friend after that friend closed down his camera store. Headly says on his website that he adapted the lens to work with a Canon EOS 40D, ‘effectively making this a 1600mm f:4.5 lens with the digital crop.’ The lens still features a pair of NASA identification tags, as well as a 'trash can-sized' lens shade. 

Headley plans to part with the giant lens, telling Shutterbug that it will be sold through an auction this fall by RR Auction in New Hampshire. Interested potential buyers can contact Jonathan Siefken at (603) 732-4280 for additional details.

Categories: Photo Gear News

There Goes Another Picture

The Online Photographer - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 07:16
An occupational hazard—drawback? It's not really a "hazard"—for all of us is that we're constantly seeing pictures we can't take. I think I could fall in love with the area where I'm living. Over the past 40 years or so,... Michael Johnston
Categories: Photography

Pelican Air 1535 Rolling Hard Case with TrekPak Dividers Review

DPReview News - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 04:00
Pelican Air 1535 Rolling Case w/TrekPak Divider System
$315/£220 | www.pelican.com | Buy Now

For decades now, Pelican cases have been the go-to solution for anyone who needs maximum protection for their equipment. The company's website is filled with user stories about explosions, lion attacks, shifting pack ice and airplane crashes where the gear inside the case survived. Recently, Pelican introduced the Air series of cases designed to be up to 40% lighter than their standard cases, with the same promises of extreme durability.

Many working photographers will factor in things like maximum comfort and gear accessibility when choosing a bag. But when you travel thousands of miles every month and your gear puts the food on your table, getting everything there and home in one piece becomes more important than things like leather accents or ventilated shoulder straps. In and out of planes, taxis, luggage carts and TSA inspection checkpoints, whatever is carrying your cameras, lenses, and accessories has to do its job well or you won’t have your job much longer.

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It's on those high standards that Pelican has built its reputation for being the ultimate in gear protection. I still remember being seeing promotional material showing a Pelican case being run over with a car and thinking that was pretty amazing. While I never had a case subjected to any of that sort of treatment, I did drop one off a chairlift back when I was doing snowboard filming. While I felt like an idiot, the miniDV camera inside survived just fine.

At the time of announcement, Pelican also said that the Air cases (along with a few others in the lineup) would have the option of coming with the TrekPak divider system instead of the standard pick 'n pluck foam or padded divider inserts. I recently had a chance to run the rolling airline carry-on sized Pelican Air 1535 with the TrekPak system through its paces.

Specifications
  • Exterior 55.8 x 35.5 x 22.8 cm (21.96" x 13.97" x 8.98")
  • Interior 51.8 x 28.4 x 18.3 cm (20.39" x 11.20" x 7.21")
  • Weight 3.9 kg (8.69 lbs) without foam/inserts

By way of comparison, the similarly sized Pelican 1510 weighs 5.4 kg (11.99 lbs) without foam. Pelican says that the weight savings in the Air series comes from a newly developed generation of their HPX resin as well as hollowing out or honeycombing areas (the latch clasps and the extending roller handle for example) that were previously solid.

In Use

Hard cases are big and clunky and something of a pain to use if you are used to soft bags and packs. They bang into things, aren’t particularly ergonomic, and are a hassle to schlep long distances. That said, one of the best compliments I can give the Air 1535 is that using it is just like the 1500 series cases I have used in the past, but much lighter. It loads, latches, and generally seems just as tough as every other standard Pelican case I have ever used.

I would encourage anyone looking to get a hard case of this size to be sure to choose one with the roller option. Your back will thank you as you try to make it across a busy airport for a connecting flight. Even with the weight savings of the Air line, these things are still heavy loaded up. The 1535 loaded with the gear shown in the article images checked in at a beefy 11.3 kg/25 lbs.

That said, there are a few minor frustrations that remain. For some reason, Pelican chose not to use the easy pushbutton latches from their Storm Case series. Pelican’s standard double-throw latches work well and have been proven over the years. However, they are also loud as heck (particularly when closing) and can be a bit difficult for some people to use because they require a bit of force to operate.

'You should not expect the 1535's wheels to
easily go off-roading'

Also worth noting is that the wheels on the 1535 do not protrude very far from the bottom of the case. This makes it easy to stack cases without them rolling around on each other, but it also means that there is not much ground clearance. You should not expect the 1535's wheels to easily go off-roading, rolling on ground much rougher than airport concourses will lead to some scraping and scratches.

Like most hard cases, the lid of the Air 1535 doesn’t open much past 90 degrees (straight up) and can easily flop shut when bumped or jostled. Just another reminder that these cases are for transport far more than for working out of.

One nice new feature is the card holder. It clips in and out easily with the lid open, but locks in once the lid is closed, and can be mounted on the side or end of the case. It can be used as a luggage tag when traveling or for an equipment list while on location or in storage.

TrekPak system dividers

If the Air 1535 is the steady performer who has hit the weight room in the off season and come back in better shape, then the TrekPak system may be the rookie superstar.

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Both the pick ‘n pluck foam and padded divider systems have taken care of camera gear for decades. The pick ‘n pluck foam is extremely protective and customizable to exactly the size and shape of the gear you are carrying, and the padded divider sets allow you to change the layout of your case for different gear and still protect quite well. But the foam is also fairly tedious to cut out correctly and doesn’t offer a way to use the same case for different gear without buying a whole new set of foam. Dealing with velcro can also be a hassle, and the more you change it, the more it breaks down. The TrekPak system claims to improve on both by offering a completely customizable system that not only protects but is easily modified.

The TrekPak dividers are corrugated plastic sandwiched with 3mm/0.125" of dense foam on each side. This makes for a light yet protective divider in between each piece of gear. Setup was easy – I took the gear that I wanted to carry in the Air 1535 and laid it out in the case. Then I took a measurement for each divider and used the clever TrekPak cutter to trim the sections to fit. A U-shaped pin with a ribbon pull-tab holds the dividers together and allows for legitimately quick and easy repositioning.

'I do admit to feeling somewhat uncomfortable making the cuts, as if perhaps I had made a decision that I was going to regret down the road'

All together, it took me around 30 minutes to get everything cut and laid out. And to be honest, a lot of that time was spent dithering about how I wanted to organize. I do admit to feeling somewhat uncomfortable making the cuts, as if perhaps I had made a decision that I was going to regret down the road. This is probably a point in favor of the padded dividers, if I’m being honest.

That said, you do get 80 inches of the TrekPak dividers (and 20 'U' pins) to set up your case. Extra divider sections are available and are not terribly expensive, ranging from $3.50 to $15 depending on size.

What’s the bottom line?

Hard cases are bulky, less comfortable to carry and heavier than soft-sided bags. But when you need a hard case, there is no soft case that can do the same job. If you are looking for an airline carry-on sized hard case, there is every reason to consider the Pelican Air 1535. Significantly lighter but just as tough as the original 1500 series cases, the Air 1535 will protect your gear while giving you a much better shot at avoiding airline overweight fees.

While the older style pick 'n pluck foam and padded divider systems certainly worked well enough, the TrekPak system is well ahead of the other options for anyone who thinks they might be carrying different gear regularly.

Overall, the 1535 with the TrekPak dividers would easily be my first choice if I were going to be doing a lot of traveling with my gear. These cases aren’t cheap, but neither is the gear they protect. I wholeheartedly trust the Air 1535 to get everything there and back in one piece; there’s not a lot more you can ask from a case like this.

What we like
  • Lighter weight than previous Pelican cases, still tough-as-nails
  • Conforms to carry-on sizing rules (check your specific airline)
  • TrekPak is easy to customize while still light and sturdy
  • Roller option is a back-saver
  • Clever card holder
What we don’t like
  • Expensive
  • Still heavy compared to typical bags/packs
  • Latches are loud and can be tough to use

Categories: Photo Gear News

Go hands-free: GoHawk offers bite-triggered remote shutter for GoPro

DPReview News - Wed, 06/15/2016 - 14:48

Mounting your GoPro on your chest or helmet frees up your hands for all those extreme moments you'd like to capture, but when you still need to operate the shutter, are you truly hands-free? The GoHawk by Oregon-based POA Labs wants to help.

Currently in prototype form, the GoHawk is an accessory kit that includes three remote shutter options: a handlebar, tongue and bite switch. The GoHawk is also designed to tell its user when the GoPro is actually recording via an LED indicator light that can be positioned inside of a helmet. Also included is an auxiliary USB power port for extended shooting.

The unit is compatible with the GoPro Hero4 and essentially works like a camera cable release - that is triggering the switch via, your teeth, tongue or finger will allow you to record video, shoot single exposures or trigger a burst. The LED indicator light will be illuminated red while the GoPro is recording video or shooting stills and blue while the unit is on standby.

POA Labs is seeking a total of $20,000 in funding. The unit and a single type of switch (your choice) is offered with a $131 pledge. Backers of the GoHawk can expect their units to ship in September 2016 if the funding campaign is a success.

GoPro shooters and filmmakers would surely welcome the ability to trigger and monitor recording without lifting a finger. For more information, check out the Kickstarter page.

Categories: Photo Gear News

Leica announces shortlist for the €35,000 Oskar Barnack award

DPReview News - Wed, 06/15/2016 - 13:50
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Leica has released details of the 12 photographers that have been shortlisted for this year’s Oskar Barnack competition. The company says that over 3200 photographers from 108 countries submitted portfolios of 12 images to compete for the Leica Oskar Barnack Award and the Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award. The top prize for the main award is €25,000 in cash as well as Leica M system equipment to the value of €10,000, while the Newcomer will win €10,000 and an M camera and lens. Each of the remaining 10 finalists receive €2500 in cash.

Although the competition is open to all countries the majority of winners come from Europe this year, with France taking five of the shortlist slots on its own. Only one shortlisted photographer is from Leica’s home nation of Germany.

The winner will be announced at a Berlin ceremony at the end of September during the run up to the European Month of Photography. For more information, and to see the complete portfolios of the shortlisted photographers (highly recommended), visit the Oskar Barnack Awards website.

Press release:

Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2016 finalists revealed

Twelve finalists selected in prestigious international photographic competition

Leica Camera has announced that the twelve finalists in this year’s ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Award’ have been selected. Chosen by a jury of prominent international experts, the complete portfolios in the categories ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Award’ and ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award’ can now be viewed at www.leica-oskar-barnack-award.com.

This year, more than 3,200 photographers from 108 countries took part in and submitted their work to enter the long-established international photographic competition, organised by Leica Camera AG. This is a new record number of entrants in the history of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award. The announcement of both category winners will take place on 28 September at an official awards ceremony in Berlin. During EMOP Berlin – the European Month of Photography – Leica will publicly present the work of all twelve finalists for the first time in a grand exhibition at the ‘Neuen Schule für Fotografie Berlin’, from 29 September to 23 October 2016.

The twelve finalists are as follows:

  • Juan Pablo Bellandi, Venezuela: ‘Chasing HAMPA’
  • Fulvio Bugani, Italy: ‘Soul y Sombras’
  • Scarlett Coten, France: ‘Mectoub’
  • William Daniels, France: ‘C.A.R.’
  • Vincent Delbrouck, Belgium: ‘New Paintings’
  • Guillaume Herbaut, France: ‘Ukraine: Maidan to Donbass’
  • Stéphane Lavoué, France: ‘The North East Kingdom’
  • Max Pinckers, Belgium: ‘Two Kinds of Memory and Memory itself’
  • Guilio Piscitelli, Italy: ‘Informal facilities in the Jungle’
  • Clémentine Schneidermann, France: ‘The Unbearable, the Sadness and the Rest’
  • Sadegh Souri, Iran: ‘Waiting Girls’
  • Esther Teichmann, Germany: ‘Mondschwimmen’

The members of this year’s Leica Oskar Barnack Award jury were: Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Chief Representative Leica Galleries International (Austria), JH Engström, photographer and last year’s award winner (Sweden), Christine Ollier, Art Director Galerie Filles du Calvaire (France), Chris Boot, Executive Director Aperture Foundation (USA) and Lorenza Bravetta, Director Camera – Italian Centre for Photography (Italy).

Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Chief Representative Leica Galleries International, said, “The entire jury was impressed by the number of entrants, and the ongoing diversity and quality of the portfolios from 108 countries entered in this year’s competition. This once again underlines the international importance of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, to which we have responded this year with its new alignment. The return of the prestigious award to Germany, and the roots of the man who lent it his name, was a wish that was very close to our hearts. We are looking forward to sharing the delight of the finalists at the exciting award-giving ceremony and the grand exhibition in Berlin.”

With prizes amounting to a total value of 80,000 euros, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award is one of the industry’s most prestigious photographic competitions. The winner in the main category will be honoured with a cash prize of 25,000 euros and Leica M-System equipment (a camera and lens) valued at an additional 10,000 euros. The winner of the Newcomer Award will receive a cash prize of 10,000 euros and will also be presented with a Leica rangefinder camera and lens. In order to honour the work of all twelve finalists, this year’s competition will be the first to award cash prizes of 2,500 euros each for the works of a further ten photographers in addition to the awards for the winners of the two main categories.

A special issue of LFI Magazine presenting the winners and finalists, and their comprehensive portfolios, will be published to accompany the Leica Oskar Barnack Award.

Categories: Photo Gear News
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