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CONTENT
FEATURED NEWS FEEDS


NEWS (LAST 200)
One F1 comeback is enough for Button...
Op-Ed Contributor: We All Have Pre-exist...
assorted electronics DE JEUR SUPER 8,B/W...
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HP Envy 100 Pinter $15
Fitbit Flex $15
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Netball: Magic snap losing streak with T...
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Duterte bestows ISIS status on Maute gro...
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Metservice weather outlook for NZ
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Your letters for Monday, May 29
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The Age of Adaline Review
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The Water Diviner Review
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Mad Max: Fury Road Review
Pitch Perfect 2 Review
Tomorrowland Review
Poltergeist Review
Hardcover Advice
Hardcover Nonfiction
Paperback Mass-Market Fiction
2017 Roundup: Semi-Pro Interchangeable L...
Sony Alpha a99 II Review
Graphic Books
Paperback Advice
Hardcover Business Best Sellers
TBR: Inside the List
Paperback Trade Fiction
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Accessory review: Western Digital My Pas...
YI M1 Review
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Review: Apple iPad (2017)



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Roadtrip Review Redux: The Fujifilm X100F

Beautiful flowers in golden sunlight along the southern California coast

I had to leave all my musical instruments in Cincinnati when I first moved to Seattle three years ago. Recently, I found the time to road trip back and collect them. Seattle is about as far removed from the rest of the United States as a major US city can be, while still being part of the 'lower 48'. This means that if you're headed a great distance East, there are a number of ways you can go. And when you work at DPReview, there are also a number of cameras you can take. 

Welcome to my journey down the West Coast, where I have decided to discuss one of my favorite cameras from the past couple of years to use as a point and shoot. That 'point and shoot' bit is very important. This is my vacation. All of these photos have been taken in a state of total relaxation, focused much more on enjoyment and capturing places I have traveled. With enjoyment in mind, I take you to where my journey began:

This photo was shot alongside the 101 in Washington state, where it all began.

Highway 101 is a road that circles the Olympic peninsula and runs all the way down Washington, Oregon, and California, with large sections of it skirting the Pacific coast. My plan was to avoid the interstate freeway entirely until I made it to Los Angeles two days later. It turned out to be a good decision. 

Now, to the camera: the Fujifilm X100F. 

The first time I impulsively decided to drive cross-country it was right around the end of 2012. I had a week of time off to burn and decided it would be a great opportunity to rent a camera I was considering purchasing: the original X100. 

The X100-series is perfect for road trips. The 23mm, 35mm equivalent field of view lens handles a variety of duties well: it can be wide enough for landscapes, tight enough for environmental portraits, and the minimum focus distance allows the capture of close-up details. Its size encouraged me to bring it absolutely everywhere. It even fit perfectly in the pocket of my car door, ready for action whenever the road got interesting. 

The result was a camera that I looked forward to using at every stop. It led to the eventual purchase of an X100S, which I loved up to the moment it stopped working (full disclosure: it was my fault).

The Astoria-Megler bridge crossing the mouth of the Columbia River. The total length of the bridge is a staggering 4.1 miles.

While making my first stop in Astoria, OR, the X100F was igniting the romance all over again, even in the dismal grey that had fueled my wanderlust since last October.  One of the biggest differences between all the X100 cameras are their sensors. We start at 12MP with CDAF only with the X100, then to the 16MP X-Trans with Hybrid AF on the X100S, then the 16MP X-Trans II in the 'T', and finally the new 24MP X-trans sensor from the X-T2 and X-Pro2 in the 'F'. 

Meandering about the docks of Garibaldi, OR was great for stretching out the legs and showing off the X100F's Acros mode

Not everyone agrees that the move to the X-Trans style of color filter array was the best for the X100 series. I, for one, wasn't always a huge fan of the JPEG output of the X100S like I was with the X100. Sure, there was an improvement in sensor performance, but without changing the default noise reduction settings, things would start to look a bit waxy at higher ISOs. 

The X100F still uses X-trans, but the 24MP sensor and updated processor combination is a significant step forward for the series. While in the northern parts of Oregon I switched the camera to Acros, one of my favorite JPEG modes, to try and make the most of the grey overcast conditions by adding a bit more contrast.

Combining this mode with the optical viewfinder is a real treat, blending nostalgic elements of film photography with modern convenience. Plus, it made it way easier to sit and wait for seagulls to fly through the emptiest part of the frame before releasing the satisfyingly quiet leaf shutter. 

'Combining this mode with the optical viewfinder is a real treat, blending nostalgic elements of film photography with modern convenience.'

Somewhere south of Tillamook, the grey suede blanket of clouds that covers the Northern parts of the coast ended. So far for in 2017, Seattle has been posting record rainfall and a record lack of sunshine along with it. After crossing this meteorologic divide between blue and grey, I didn't see a cloud for three days. It was time to take the camera out of black and white and choose a color film simulation to bring the best out of the new found daylight. 

The Oregon coast of the Pacific Ocean under some welcome blue skies.

Velvia brings out the blue in shadows too much for my taste, and can look cheesy when used outside of landscape duty. While Classic Chrome has its moments, I think I've moved past the shifted blues and crushed shadows. For this trip and the already vibrant environment around me, Provia worked perfectly. 

When I shot with the original X100, I mostly used focus and recompose in AF-S and rarely used the optical viewfinder due to focus not being a sure bet. AF improved with each iteration of the camera, though. And with the X100F, armed with improved PDAF coverage on the 24MP sensor, I feel comfortable shooting with the optical finder because of how reliable AF is.

When AF-C is turned on, the camera depth tracks using a single point (in good light) with ease. It also repositions the AF box in the viewfinder to help keep framing corrected for parallax. This means that if I am waiting for the perfect moment, I don't need to worry about subject distance changing as long as I have kept my subject under the focus point.

As the sun raced for the horizon I found the X100F's focus slowing down, although its pace is still miles ahead of the early generations of the X100

Good AF-C also meant that when shooting close-up subjects, like a leaf in the sunset, I didn't have to worry about my body rocking back and forth or a gentle breeze moving my subject, as I would if I were shooting in AF-S. This wasn't a scenario I ran in to too often on my trip, but it is something that makes the X100F much more versatile than previous iterations.

The final sliver of sun from my amazing first day on the Pacific coast.

The camera's autofocus abilities aren't perfect though, due to two main issues. First, when using AF-C, focus acquisition (the time it takes for the box to turn bright green, confirming focus) is delayed compared to AF-S. Second, as light decreases, or if the lens is stopped down past a certain point, focus can hunt, slow down or fail entirely. In spite of these issues, I still feel that this is the X100 camera I like best since the original.

One day for the Oregon coast isn't enough. Plan two, or maybe three, if you ever intend to visit.

As my first day of sunshine came close to an end, I came close to the end of Oregon and the start of California. The former's coast, with its rocky shores and blue waters, adds to what has become my favorite state in the 'Lower 48'. I have only began to glimpse the surface of Washington's downstairs neighbor and hope to spend more time exploring its corners. My last moments basking in a sunset on the beach simply cemented my conclusions.

The second day started brilliantly with a walk around a sunny farmers market and several of the best grilled oysters I've ever had.

Growing up landlocked means I was never around delicious seafood like these spicy grilled oysters from Humboldt County. The close focus capabilities of the X100F allowed me to capture all the spices and pieces of dill floating in those beautiful shells.

Having the ability to shoot both wide and close-up shots is one of the great things about the X100F and its 35mm equivalent focal length, even if the lens is a bit soft wide open at the close end. Having a close minimum focus distance helps fill the frame with smaller subjects, and as mentioned before, the improved depth tracking in AF-C helps keep these shots sharp when snapping handheld.

Reviewing my images the night before revealed some of the lens' sharpness shortcomings in regards to fine detail in landscapes, which isn't a huge deal to me personally. For me, the camera's biggest downfall became apparent when I was in tight quarters, surrounded by massive trees towering above me. I couldn't help but long for something a bit wider (I did not have the wide angle adapter with me). 

The Avenue of the Giants

Even so, I think if I were stranded with one camera, the X100F would be one of the contenders for my choice. Leave it in full auto mode, and it works almost flawlessly. Of course classic ergonomics and physical controls have always been part of the X100-series DNA. But robust continuous autofocus has not. Fortunately, with the X100F, suddenly the camera's autofocus can keep up with the movement of a quickly approaching subject. Combine that with the ultimate timing precision of an optical viewfinder, and you are left with a simple and fun camera that can easily capture that 'decisive moment' - even if that decisive moment is just a seagull entering your frame.

... Pubdate: Sun, 28 May 2017 12:00:00 Z

How do you know you need a new camera?

Introduction

For the vast majority of shooting I do, even on weddings, I find my aging DSLR is still more than enough camera for the job. After all, it's the photographer, not the camera, right?
Nikon 35mm F2 D
ISO 200 | 1/1000 sec | F8

'Do I need a new camera?'

Unsurprisingly, I get that question a lot. I also ask myself that question a lot, especially after working at DPReview for the last eighteen months. My answer has always been 'no.'

Until now, that is.

You see, I shoot all my personal work on a Nikon D700. Why is that, you might ask? Well, I was handed-me-down a Nikon D80 way back, built up a collection of lenses, and followed the (questionable, these days) full-frame upgrade path. And once I got there, to my used (and abused) D700, I abruptly stopped. What on earth did I need more camera for?

I don't think I'll ever get rid of this D700 because a) it's covered in tape to hold it together, so its ugly and therefore worthless to most resellers, and b) it's been around the world with me and back again, and hasn't missed a beat.

It still shoots 5fps, and that's usually enough for weddings and events. Exposed properly, ISO 6400 is perfectly usable. It's stood up to everything I've thrown at it (and accidentally thrown it at). And, most importantly, I've become familiar with all of its ins and outs, and how to work around its limitations. I am able operate it completely by muscle memory and, despite its aging tech, I've been confident that if I didn't get the shot, it wasn't the camera's fault - it was mine.

With my flash and exposure set, focusing and grabbing this image of a soloing saxophonist on the dance floor didn't pose much of a problem for the D700 and an 85mm F1.8 D lens I was using - but that wasn't always the case.
ISO 6400 | 1/200 sec | F1.8

But as I was shooting a recent wedding, the Nikon D5 kept popping up in my mind. I was lead reviewer for that camera, and this nagging voice kept saying 'the D5 could make this so much easier.' And when a camera makes the task of capturing an image easier, my mind is that much more free to focus on composition, lighting, posing, and so on.

So am I buying a D5? Well, not without selling my motorcycle and my car, which would be a problem for getting to gigs since Nikon hasn't included teleportation into their $6500 flagship. But now I'm finally looking at something a bit newer, and not just because I think it'll make things easier for me.

Megapixels do matter

Sometimes, anyway.

For my own casual photography, for when I want to just take a camera along and document a camping trip, a friend's barbecue or snap some photos at Thanksgiving, 12 megapixels is plenty. No one's printing these photos big, and friends and family are just going to put them on Facebook or Instagram anyway. Maybe, just maybe, I might make some 4x6's.

It's for these sorts of wider group shots that I really came to lean on my second shooter's higher megapixel cameras.
Canon 35mm F2 IS
ISO 100 | 1/1000 | F3.5
Photograph by David Rzegocki

Then my second shooter and I were wandering around the grounds of the University of Washington in Seattle with the bridal party, and shooting some more expansive group shots; shots that I knew that if people zoomed in to their faces on my D700 files, they could be disappointed. So I borrowed my partner's 6D (or just let him frame up the shot) to make sure that, should they want to make some prints, or just take a closer look at their dresses and suits, they had the resolution they needed.

Now, I said they could be disappointed. There's every chance that they wouldn't care. But I'm reaching the point in my freelance career that it just wasn't a risk I was willing to take.

'What? The autofocus missed?'

Now don't get me wrong - the pro-grade autofocus system in the D700, lifted directly from the D3, is still pretty fantastic. Most of the time. But I'm increasingly realizing that I want a system to be fantastic all of the time - there were a few strange autofocus mishaps I experienced that cost me a shot I was hoping to nail.

Surely it's more about the mixed, dim lighting and old screw lenses than the camera in this case, right? On the contrary, I knew from my time with the D5 that Nikon's newest autofocus system absolutely sings even with older lenses like mine, with a level of precision in marginal light that I'd expect from the D700 in bright daylight.

All I wanted a quick candid of the back of the bride's necklace. It looks okay at 590 pixels, but zoom in any further and it's soft, despite the lens being stopped down and the autofocus point having been placed over the necklace (so plenty of contrast).
Nikon 85mm F1.8 D
ISO 200 | 1/320 sec | F2.8

Lastly, as many times as I have insisted to our technical editor Rishi that 3D Tracking works 'just fine' on the D700, I shall now be unceremoniously cramming those words into my mouth. It was so unreliable compared to the newer models that I fell back on manually placing my autofocus point. I'd been doing this for years before I experimented with tracking on the D700, so my muscle memory came back pretty quickly, but I still knew I was taking a step backward and making just a little more work for myself.

Plus, that eight-way controller on the D700 is like an undercooked banana loaf; it's just a mushy mess.

So what's next?

Nikon 35mm F2 D
ISO 200 | 1/1600 sec | F8

I have officially sold one of my two D700's (the one that's in mint condition, not the one that's dented and covered in gaff tape to keep the grip rubber on). And as for now, I'm not really sure what's next - Nikon would probably be my first choice, as I still have plenty of lenses, but I'm totally open for some camera-brand soul searching.

One thing's for certain, though. I'm going to take my time with this one. That's because I want the next 'main camera' to be one that I can keep and be as satisfied with as long as possible, just like the D700. This may sound odd coming from a camera reviewer, but I just don't want to upgrade all the time. I want to build up the same level of muscle memory I had with my old Nikon, and besides that, I have enough other interests and expenses that if a new camera won't make a really measurable difference for my style of photography, it's best to just skip it.

But then again - if I hadn't had the opportunity to experiment not just with the Nikon D5, but also cameras like the Nikon D750, Canon EOS 5D IV, Sony a7R II, the Olympus E-M1 (original and Mark II), Panasonic GH5, Fujifilm X-T2 and many, many more, I wouldn't have known what I'm missing.

Nikon 50mm F1.4D
ISO 6400 | 1/200 sec | F2

Now, for better (for my photography) or worse (for my bank account), I do know what I've been missing. After having so many opportunities to try out all those alternatives, I unequivocally know that a newer, updated camera could really benefit me as a photographer. And that's how, finally, I know that it's a good time for a change.

... Pubdate: Sat, 27 May 2017 11:00:00 Z

Sony still third globally but bullish about 2017 prospects

High value models such as the a7R II have boosted Sony's income, despite falling unit sales.

Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it said in a presentation to investors.

The company says the move to higher value products allowed Digital Imaging's operating income to maintain essentially flat, despite declining sales. It attributes these declines to a combination of a shrinking market and missed sales opportunities due to the Kumamoto earthquakes. Also counting against its 2016 numbers were adverse foreign exchange movements. The figures also looked bad compared with 2015, as the group had received a one-off insurance payment that year, following flooding in Thailand.

The company suggested its 2014 strategy of strengthening its ILC and lens ranges is bearing fruit. It also predicts a compound annual growth rate of 27% in sales of ILC bodies and a similar figure in lenses, for 2017. It says it expects the group as a whole (which includes broadcast and medical businesses) to see sales grow by around 10% and its operating income to rise by 12.7%. Part of this will be driven by the move to higher margin products and some by the ability to respond to pent-up demand, following the Kumamoto earthquakes.

The company says it currently has 14% of the ILC and lens markets, putting it in 3rd place, globally (the recent press release about being 2nd in the US market is as much to do with bouncing back after Kumamoto and second-placed Nikon not having released any high-end cameras recently, as anything else). It also says it has 23% of the compact market, putting it in 2nd place or 1st if you only consider the more valuable large sensor and long-zoom compacts.

... Pubdate: Fri, 26 May 2017 22:50:00 Z

How one photographer 3D printed this beautiful medium format camera

It's named PK-6142016, aka the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera with a Kreuznach 90mm f/8 Super Angulon lens attached.

Photographer Paul Kohlhausen has created what he calls a 'really precisely engineered box,' the PK-6142016 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster' medium format analog camera. Kohlhaussen designed the camera himself using Autodesk Fusion 360 and produced it via a 3D printer and SLS polyamide material. The Cycloptic Mustard Monster utilizes 120mm film and produces 6x14 cm negatives.

Kohlhausen detailed the camera on his website, where he explains that he used a Schneider Kreuznach 90mm f/8 Super Angulon lens designed for 4x5 cameras, with focusing being possible via fixed spacer brackets. Camera features include a viewfinder and a removable top plate for inserting film. In an interview with The Phoblographer, Kohlhaussen stated that he is considering launching the product on Kickstarter, but difficulties sourcing the aforementioned lens may be a hindrance.

Via: The Phoblographer

... Pubdate: Fri, 26 May 2017 21:30:00 Z

NanGuang launches three new portable LED-lights

The NanGuang CNB144 LED panel retails for £89.94 ($115).

Chinese accessory manufacturer NanGuang has launched three new portable LED lights that are designed for use with DSLRs and mirrorless system cameras and attach via the hotshoe. 

The CNB144 and CNLUX1600C are panel lights that come with an adjustable bracket to modify the lighting angle. Both lights offer a brightness output of 1005 LM at 100% brightness and stepless dimmer control. It's also possible to lock several units together to create a larger light panel. 

The CNB144 weighs 225g and comes with a diffuser in the box. The color temperature is 5600K and can be altered using the included 3200K or pink filters. The CNLUX1600C comes with a bi-colour panel. Color temperature is steplessly adjustable from 3200K-5600K. The CNLUX1600C also comes with a diffuser and pink and blue filters.

The NanGuang CN8F LED fresnel light will cost you £239.94 ($307).

The CN8F LED Fresnel Light is designed for both on-camera or stand-alone use. It provides an illumination of 560 LM and a color temperature of 5600K. The fresnel lens can be adjusted to produce a light beam between 10 and 60 degrees. The light also offers stepless brightness control. An integrated frame holds up to three filters of 65 x 70mm size. Orange 3200k and blue 6500K filters are included in the kit, as well as a gelatine filter holder, barn doors and a carry case. The weight is 550g without batteries. 

All lights are battery powered and compatible with Sony NP-FH, NP-FM, NP-F series batteries, Panasonic CGR-D series batteries (using an included adapter plate) or Ni-HM or AA batteries. Optionally you can use an AC 100-240V power adapter. The NanGuang CNB144 price tag is £89.94 ($115) in the UK, the CNLUX1600C will set you back £119.94 ($154) and CN8F  fresnel light retails at £239.94 ($307).

The NanGuang CNLUX1600C LED panel will set you back £119.94 ($154). 
... Pubdate: Fri, 26 May 2017 20:30:00 Z

Dell's new 8K display is pretty amazing, but do you need it?

The video industry keeps telling us that we'll all be using 8K displays in a few years. It's true that once you see 8K video, you can't unsee it. It's really pretty amazing. Until recently, however, seeing one for yourself meant going to a tradeshow like NAB or CES, where you could use a magnifying glass to try to see the pixels

But that's no longer true thanks to Dell, which is now selling a 32-inch 8K monitor for the not-too-surprising price of $4999. Just how good is it? In this video, Linus Tech Tips shows just what you're getting when you buy one. It's pretty impressive, but even Linus acknowledges that the difference between 8K and a 'standard' 5K display is "not as noticeable as you might think."

Are you ready to go 8K? What would it take to convince you to take the plunge?

... Pubdate: Fri, 26 May 2017 20:15:00 Z

Video: Portrait pro Tamara Lackey on self-doubt

Self-doubt and/or self-consciousness can get in the way of your photographic goals, especially when it comes to making pictures of people. Fortunately Nikon ambassador USA and portrait photographer Tamara Lackey has sound advice on the subject. Instead of seeking to overcome your self-consciousness, embrace it and use it as a tool to bring out authentic expression in your images. How? Watch the lecture and find out.

... Pubdate: Fri, 26 May 2017 19:26:00 Z

Film artist explains what's wrong with new 'Spiderman: Homecoming' poster

There's a new Spiderman movie coming out (yes, really - another one) and the most recent poster been generating a lot of comments. Mostly they're comments about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.

While the film itself looks like it might not be terrible, the poster is a technicolor mishmash of disparate elements from the movie, thrown together with gleeful disregard for scaling or uniform lighting:

In an interview with The Verge, veteran illustrator Tommy Lee Edwards explains what probably went through the designer's mind: "Here’s a bunch of references I got from the movie. Let’s put it all together and see how it looks.’ From there, you might be inspired to do a real poster. Instead, they just stopped at that point".

Well, to be fair, nobody ever said graphic design was easy.

Read more at The Verge

... Pubdate: Fri, 26 May 2017 18:32:00 Z

New startup 'Binded' aims to simplify copyright for photographers

How do you stop your images from being stolen? And if it happens, what can you do about it? Copyright disputes are among the most difficult issues that face working photographers, and in the US, registering copyright is time-consuming and expensive in itself.

Binded CEO Nathan Lands is pitching the service as an easier alternative to traditional means of registering copyright.

He has pledged that Binded will remain a free service, but one that creates a permanent record of copyright, which can be used in the event of a dispute.

'Binded' is a free service that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. When you upload an image to Binded, it creates a digital 'fingerprint' which serves as a permanent record that you own the copyright. This record is then written to the bitcoin blockchain. Binded will then monitor use of the image on the Internet, and automatically notify the copyright holder if it detects unauthorized use. 

For now, uploading an image to Binded does not count as an official government registration of copyright in the US. According to CEO Nathan Lands, that's something that he hopes will be added to the service over time.

Previously known as Blockai, the startup has just raised an additional $950,000 in funding from investors, bringing total funding to $1.5 million.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Learn more at binded.com

... Pubdate: Fri, 26 May 2017 17:29:00 Z

2017 Roundup: Consumer Long Zoom Compacts

Bridge and travel zoom cameras are two of the very few categories of compact cameras to survive the smartphone. Whether it's a travel zoom, which puts a 25X-30X zoom into your pocket, or a bridge camera which offers even more zoom, phones just can't compete.

While there are now enthusiast-level long zoom cameras with 1"-type sensors, such as Sony's Cyber-shot RX10 series and Panasonic FZ1000/FZ2500, there are still plenty of more budget-friendly models, though their smaller sensors don't offer the image quality or depth-of-field control of the pricier models.

The following cameras are included in our roundup:

Of those eight cameras, three are pocket-sized and offer 30X-40X zooms. The other five are bridge (SLR-style) cameras with focal lengths ranging from 600mm to an unbelievable 2000mm (35mm-equivalent).

And with that, let's take a look at some consumer-level travel zoom cameras!

... Pubdate: Fri, 26 May 2017 07:43:00 Z

Think Tank Photo updates TurnStyle sling bags and adds wheels to StreetWalker series

Bag and accessories manufacturer Think Tank Photo has updated two of its ranges, adding more internal space and a rolling option to the StreetWalker series and a new waist strap to the TurnStyle sling-type bags.

All three of the existing StreetWalker backpacks have been enlarged to create more depth in the interior compartments so they can carry more kit, and particularly large bodies with wide-ranging zoom lenses still attached. The series also now features a version with wheels and a retractable handle in the StreetWalker Rolling Backpack V2.0, which can operate as a backpack or a rolling case.

The company has also revamped its Turnstyle series of sling bags, adding a new waist strap to hold the bag securely when the user is taking pictures. There are three sizes of bag, and each is now available in grey or blue.

The StreetWalker Rolling Backpack V2.0 costs $299.75 while the Turnstyle bags are priced $74.75 , $84.75 and $99.75 for the 5, 10 and 20 versions. For more information see the Think Tank Photo website.


Press release

Think Tank Photo Releases New StreetWalker® Rolling Photo Backpack
and Upgrades Classic StreetWalker® Series Backpacks

Santa Rosa, Calif. – Legendary durability and award winning comfort have made Think Tank Photo’s StreetWalker® series one of the most sought-after products in the photographic world. Now Think Tank announces the new StreetWalker Rolling Backpack V2.0, featuring the ability to switch from a backpack to a roller. Also released are upgraded versions of all three classic StreetWalker backpacks. Photographers get the same comfort and quality as the original series but with new features such as increased depth for modern DSLR systems, and dedicated pockets for both tablets and smartphones.

The new StreetWalker Rolling Backpack V2.0 is so spacious, it will fit two DSLR
bodies with lenses attached (including a 200-400mm f/4), and a 15” laptop. The StreetWalker HardDrive V2.0 backpack fits two bodies with lenses attached or a gripped body with a 200–400mm f/4 attached, a 15” laptop and a 13” tablet. The StreetWalker Pro V2.0 backpack fits two bodies with lens attached or a 400mm f/2.8 unattached, and a 10” table. And, the StreetWalker V2.0 backpack fits one gripped DSLR with 70–200mm f/2.8 attached, one standard DSLR with 24–70mm f/2.8 attached, a 16–35mm f/2.8, and a 10” tablet.

“With the release of the new StreetWalker Rolling Backpack and the new versions of the three classic StreetWalker backpacks, we made three of the best pro-level backpacks in the photo industry even better,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo’s CEO and lead designer. “The one thing we’ve heard over and over since they first launched is how comfortable and durable they are.

Now, with the hybrid rolling backpack and the upgraded core backpacks, we’ve integrated even more photographer feedback to expand their functionality.”

KEY FEATURES

StreetWalker Rolling Backpack V2.0

  • Comfortable harness system allows you to roll the bag or carry it on your back
  • Dedicated laptop compartment that holds up to a 15” laptop
  • Fits two bodies with lenses attached including a 200–400mm f/4
  • Specially designed interior to maximize gear for carry-on, meets most U.S. and International airline carry-on requirements
  • Reinforced telescoping handle with rubberized touch points
  • Tripod mount on front panel
  • Dedicated smartphone pocket fits today’s large phones with a 5.5” (14cm) screen size
  • Lockable YKK® RC Fuse zipper sliders (lock not included)
  • Two side water bottle pockets and two side zippered pockets
  • YKK® RC Fuse zippers, ballistic nylon, high-density velex and closed cell PU foam are the highest quality materials in the industry
  • Custom-designed, high-performance, 80mm wheels with sealed ABEC grade 5 bearings for quiet rolling
  • Seam-sealed rain cover included
  • User-replaceable retractable handle, wheels, wheel housings, feet and kick plate extends product life
  • Adjustable dividers allow a customized fit for your DSLR or Mirrorless gear
  • Hypalon reinforced rear panel for increased durability
  • Shoulder harness pockets, D-rings, daisy chain and adjustable sternum strap

Think Tank Photo’s Upgraded TurnStyle V2.0 Camera Bags Offer Greater Stability

Santa Rosa, Calif. – Ideal for a casual day of shooting with a DSLR or Mirrorless system, Think Tank Photo’s slim, body-conforming TurnStyle V2.0 sling bag allow photographers to move and shoot freely. The updated version of this popular series offers a new stabilizer strap that holds the bag steady while actively shooting or tucks away when not in use. Think Tank’s sling bags’ design promotes easy rotation for rapid access to gear and accessories.

The TurnStyle 5 fits a mirrorless body plus two to four lenses, and an eight-inch tablet. The TurnStyle 10 fits a standard size DSLR plus one to two lenses, and an eight-inch tablet. The TurnStyle 20 fits a standard size DSLR plus one to three lenses, and a 10” tablet. These new version releases come in the traditional Charcoal and in a new color, Indigo Blue.

“This new version of our popular TurnStyle sling bags reinforces their reputation as the ideal ‘grab and go’ camera bag,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo’s CEO and lead designer. “One thing we’ve learned from serving professional photographers for so long is that they always need one, pre-conformed gear kit that gives them access to their core gear. The TurnStyle is that bag.”

KEY ADDITIONAL FEATURES

  • Slim, contoured, body-conforming design with a wide shoulder strap provides a very comfortable fit
  • Lightweight materials and construction
  • Breathable 320G air-mesh back panel keeps your back cool during long days
  • Easily accessible front organizer pocket for batteries, memory cards or other small accessories
  • Rear internal pocket holds documents
  • Fully customizable interior dividers
  • Seam-sealed rain cover included in dedicated pocket

MATERIALS

Exterior: All fabric exterior is treated with a durable water resistant coating while fabric underside is coated with polyurethane for superior water resistance, YKK® RC Fuse zippers, 420D velocity nylon, 550D polyspun, 320g air mesh, nylon webbing, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.

Interior: Removable closed-cell foam dividers, P210D, polyurethane backed velex liner, 2x polyurethane coated 210T seam-sealed taffeta rain cover, nylon binding tape, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.

... Pubdate: Thu, 25 May 2017 21:11:00 Z

Video: Kai Wong's first impressions of the new DJI Spark drone

 
DJI's latest drone is here and it is tiny, stabilized and reasonably priced. A floating selfie stick of sorts, the DJI Spark is likely to appeal to a wide array of casual users and enthusiasts. So is it any good? Kai Wong spent some time testing out a prototype of the Spark prior to its release, and seems impressed with the video quality and stablization. Have a watch for specifics and some insightful commentary, as well as a bit of humor.
... Pubdate: Thu, 25 May 2017 19:46:00 Z

Arsenal is artificial intelligence for your DSLR or mirrorless camera

A new product being funded on Kickstarter, Arsenal, aims to simplify the process of capturing images using a DSLR or mirrorless camera by utilizing artificial intelligence. The system is composed of a hardware component sits on the hotshoe and connects to the camera's USB port, as well as mobile apps for iOS and Android that communicate via WiFi or Bluetooth to the main unit. Among other things, Arsenal chooses ideal camera settings for a particular scene based on what it has learned from thousands of similar existing photographs.

Arsenal was created by engineer and photographer Ryan Stout as a way to quickly shoot 'amazing images' in any condition, and without having to manually adjust the camera's settings. The related mobile app provides total control over the camera, as well as one-tap access to an AI assistant - trained from a database of millions of photographs and their metadata - that chooses optimal settings based on the scene in front of the camera. The software then goes on to refine its chosen settings based on 18 environmental factors. It even takes vibrations into account, thanks to its highly sensitive accelerometer.

Photographers are given a live preview of the scene through the mobile app, as well as manual control over aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. You can focus by tapping on your phone's touchscreen as well, or tap multiple points and Arsenal will ensure they're all focused. Arsenal also supports advanced camera functions, like automated photo stacking for HDR images, focus stacking, long exposures without the need for ND filters, and time lapse creation. The resulting Raw files are saved directly to the camera.

Images on your camera can be viewed, even at 100%, directly in the app. From there you can instantly share to social media using your phone's social sharing capabilities. You can even rate images and enter Lightroom compatible notes, and they'll all show up upon import.

Arsenal supports cameras from Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, and Sony; photographers can input their own camera on this page to see whether it is supported. The camera assistant is currently being funded through Kickstarter, where the $50,000 goal has been exceeded with nearly a quarter-million in funding. Backers can get a Kickstarter Exclusive Arsenal by pledging at least $150; shipping is estimated to start in January.

Our gallery below explains more about Arsenal's features. View full-screen for captions.

Via: Kickstarter

Press Release:

Arsenal, leaving stealth mode, unveils AI-powered camera hardware on Kickstarter

Intelligent camera assistant wirelessly controls DSLR and Mirrorless cameras from a smartphone, uses machine learning to find optimal settings in any conditions.

BOSEMAN, MT—May 23, 2017—Arsenal, a camera technology startup, today announced the world’s first intelligent camera assistant powered by machine learning. The new hardware and software product, launched on Kickstarter, enables photographers to wirelessly control their cameras and quickly perform advanced techniques.

Arsenal’s artificial intelligence (AI) is powered by a series of machine learning algorithms trained on a database of millions of photographs and their metadata. By comparing new scenes with its database and adjusting based on environmental variables, Arsenal enables photographers to get the perfect shot every time.

“Today's cameras have amazing optics, but they do very little to actually help you take a good photo,” said Ryan Stout, Arsenal’s founder and CEO. “You can go spend a thousand dollars and out-of-the-box it will take worse photos than your smartphone. Arsenal changes that by making your existing camera smarter.”

Arsenal will serve the growing market for Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) and Mirrorless cameras. Its initial product will be compatible with dozens of popular models made by Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fuji.

In addition to its AI capabilities, Arsenal gives photographers control over their camera from up to 100 feet away. Users can adjust settings, watch a live preview, and trigger the shutter remotely from their smartphone.

Arsenal also simplifies several advanced photographic techniques. Arsenal will perform photo stacking (the process of combining multiple photos for more dynamic range or sharper focus), long exposures, and timelapses. In each case, the resulting RAW files are saved directly on the camera.

The Arsenal app also includes powerful photo review capabilities. Users can wirelessly browse the photos on their camera’s card and view individual RAW files in full resolution. Photos can then be shared directly to Instagram, Snap, and Facebook.

The Arsenal system, which is currently being tested in the field, consists of two parts: an ultralight hardware device that sits on top of a user’s camera, and an iOS/Android mobile app. The app wirelessly communicates with the device via wifi or Bluetooth, which in turn controls the camera via a micro-USB connection.

Backers of Arsenal’s Kickstarter campaign will be the first to receive the product, which is scheduled to ship in January 2018.  

For more information on Arsenal, the intelligent camera assistant, visit https://witharsenal.com.

... Pubdate: Thu, 25 May 2017 19:34:00 Z

A prototype of the Leica Noctilux-M 50mm Edition 0.95 can be yours for $25K

As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of the Noctilux-M f/0.95 ASPH ‘Edition 0.95’ for $24,995. The Edition 0.95 is already a limited run version of the ‘standard’ $11,000 version of the lens, that comes finished in Leica’s new anodized high-gloss black instead of black paint.

There are only 95 of the ‘Edition 0.95’ lenses worldwide, which have unpainted engravings, but it isn’t clear how many Prototype B models exist. Needless to say, we’d hope there are fewer than 95.

The store’s website says that this specific model has the words ‘Prototype B’ in white paint on its underside, and that it will come with a matte black lens cap instead of the usual glossy one. Despite the store only having one example of this lens, thrill seekers can still add ten or more to their virtual shopping basket.

For more information see the San Francisco Leica Store website.


Store information

Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f0.95 ASPH. "Edition 0.95" Prototype B

The Noctilux 0.95 Edition is one of the most unique noctilux lenses ever to roll off Leica's production lines in Wetzlar. Built to resolve past the capabilities that are known in any other fast primes or even the faculties of human vision, the Noctilux is a legendary benchmark of photographic optical engineering. This special "0.95 Edition" is limited, respectively, to 95 units world wide and stands visual representation of the elegantly unique images the Noctilux creates. Featuring the same optical design as the regular Noctilux 50mm 0.95 ASPH this special edition has an added bit of elegance. The exterior of the "0.95 Edition" features Leica's newly developed high-gloss anodized aluminum surface. The markings on the lens are left unpainted except one, the 0.95 f-stop mark.

This lens will be available in extremely limited quantities worldwide, and Leica Store SF/Camera West Boutiques will have very limited stock. If you have any questions concerning the availability of this lens please feel free to contact us directly at sales@leicastoresf.com or call 415.801.5066.

This specific lens is a prototype of this already rare blend of Leica and S.T. Dupont craftsmanship. This could very well be one of the most collectible 0.95 Noctilux's on the market today. The Prototype reads "prototyp B" the the back side of the barrel, and features a matte black cap instead of the glossy cap that comes with other 0.95 edition lenses.

... Pubdate: Thu, 25 May 2017 18:27:00 Z

Instagram is testing a feature that will let you hide/archive photos

Some Instagram users are noticing a new feature that enables the archiving of old posts, removing them from public view without going so far as to delete them. The company has confirmed this feature's existence to TechCrunch, explaining that the new archival option enables Instagrammers to view - and, if desired, restore - their old posts whenever they'd like.

Users with access to the feature, which is currently in testing and only available on a limited basis, can find it by tapping the '...' menu button on an Instagram post. Doing so reveals an 'Archive' option; tapping this removes the image from public view. To view archived posts, users can tap a small clock icon located in the upper right corner of their profile page. Instagram plans to expand the feature's availability 'over the next few months.'

Via: TechCrunch

... Pubdate: Thu, 25 May 2017 18:16:00 Z

Sony firmwares bring 10fps bursts with adapted lenses on a9 and faster startup

Sony has issued firmware updates for nine of its E-mount lenses and the LA-EA3 adapter, most of which appear to be aimed at increasing lens performance when used with the new Sony a9 camera.

Three lenses – the Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA, FE 85mm F1.4 GM, and FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS – gain support for continuous, blackout free shooting at up to 20fps on the a9, one of the camera's headline features. The update for the 70-200mm GM also promises to improve startup speed when used with the a9.

Also important, the LA-EA3 adapter now enables adapted A-mount lenses to maintain continuous autofocus at up to 10 fps when used with the a9.

Finally, the updates improve AF stability and IRIS function during continuous shooting on several lenses.

You can view details and download the update for your operating system by clicking on the Drivers & Software button on the linked product pages below:

  • 70-200mm GM: improves startup speed and adds blackout-free shooting up to 20 fps when using Alpha a9, improves AF tracking during continuous shooting 
  • 70-200mm G: improves IRIS function during continuous shooting
  • 24-240mm: improves IRIS function during continuous shooting
  • 28-70mm: improves IRIS function during continuous shooting 
  • 24-70mm Zeiss: improves IRIS function during continuous shooting 
  • 50mm f/1.8: improves AF stability 
  • 24-70mm GM: improves AF stability 
  • 50mm Zeiss: adds blackout-free shooting up to 20 fps when using Alpha a9, improves AF tracking during continuous shooting 
  • 85mm GM: adds blackout-free shooting up to 20 fps when using Alpha a9, improves AF tracking during continuous shooting  
  • LA-EA3 adapter: enables continuous AF at up to 10 fps when used with the Alpha a9
... Pubdate: Thu, 25 May 2017 16:02:00 Z

Fujifilm releases firmware updates for several cameras and software products

Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1. The links below include download links for the updated camera manuals and full details about the updates:

In addition Fujifilm has provided updates to several of its software products:

... Pubdate: Thu, 25 May 2017 15:07:00 Z

Go surfing in VR with Kelly Slater

What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste. Director Taylor Steele gave Slater a VR camera in hopes that it would let the audience 'feel right there with us.' (The actual surfing part starts around 1:30.)
Note: you may need to use the Google Chrome browser in order to watch in VR.
... Pubdate: Thu, 25 May 2017 14:45:00 Z








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