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Feed Provided By Digital Photography News



Canon's new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make 60-inch prints

Canon has announced the upcoming launch of its new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 inkjet printer for fine art photographers and digital artists. The PRO-6000 is capable of printing anywhere from 17in/43cm to 60in/152cm fine art prints, according to Canon, making it the largest 12-ink printer currently on the market.

Canon anticipates the imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 will be available this upcoming August for a whopping $12,000 USD.

Press Release

Professional Fine Art Photographers Prepare to Obsess as Canon U.S.A. Announces New Large-Format imagePROGRAF Inkjet Printer

MELVILLE, N.Y., July 20, 2017 – For professionals who want sharp, brilliant and obsessively beautiful prints that they can share with the world, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced its latest professional large-format inkjet printer - the imagePROGRAF PRO-6000. At 60-inches wide, the imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer is the largest 12-ink printer on the market today.

The PRO-6000 expands the PRO Series models offered from 17-inches to 60-inches wide, giving users the ability to own multiple sized printers all with the same print head, ink and image processor, helping to ensure the same high quality across the line. As with previous models, the PRO-6000 device’s sleek design emphasizes the link with Canon’s EOS digital cameras and red-line “L-series lens.” Highlights that set this model apart from the crowd include its 60-inch print width, the ability to feed from the only standard Multifunction Roll System in its class and a 12-channel system including Chroma Optimizer that offers spectacular image quality for the fine art and photographic markets.

“With the introduction of our largest model, the imagePROGRAF PRO-6000, we round out our full line of high quality PRO Series printers,” said Toyotsugu Kuwamura, executive vice president and general manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Our PRO Series now offers an expansive lineup of large-format inkjet solutions and sizes for a broad range of applications in the photo, fine art, proofing and graphics market segments.”

Designed to meet the needs of photo professionals and graphic artists, the imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer provides users with Canon’s input-to-output photo printing support, known as Crystal-fidelity. This solution allows users to obtain a print quality that accurately expresses the structure, clarity and texture of photos shot using Canon EOS DSLR cameras. Fine art professionals and graphic artists will welcome the versatility that the PRO-6000 offers, including the ability to print on various media types, such as glossy paper, matte paper and fine art textured paper.

"I prefer Canon large-format printers because of their amazing quality, as well as their outstanding reliability. With the new PRO-6000 printer, the singular print head further improves the quality of nozzle alignment for cleaner, sharper images. I can launch an entire roll’s worth of prints and be confident that I won’t find banding half way through the batch - a huge advantage over the competition,” said Cody Ranaldo, Technical Director for Griffin Editions NYC, a full-service fine art photographic printing, imaging and mounting studio. “The dual-roll loading system greatly reduces the amount of handling damage incurred when switching back and forth between rolls. Finally, there is an aqueous inkjet printer designed for a true production environment."

“One of our best clients has been waiting to offer her work in 60-by-60 inches and is excited to now be able to offer fine art prints to a new client base,” said Eric Luden, founder and owner of Digital Silver Imaging, based in Belmont, Massachusetts. “Commercial clients are especially excited to see the larger scale prints for their lobbies and conference rooms. Our new Canon PRO-6000, which includes all the improvements that we’ve come to enjoy on our Canon PRO-4000, will open up new opportunities and markets for our business.”

High-level Precision

As with previous models in the imagePROGRAF PRO line, the imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 model features the LUCIA PRO 11-color plus Chroma Optimizer ink system to provide exceptional image quality. The printer maintains this high print quality with a multi-sensor that calibrates the printer, helping to ensure color consistency from the first print to the last and across multiple PRO Series printers. It also features a high-precision mechanical platform, providing a uniform, rigid frame to reduce vibrations during printing and more accurate ink ejection as well as effortless media feeding capabilities, allowing users to no longer have to worry about blemished prints due to fingerprints.

Extraordinary Productivity

The imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer features the L-COA PRO processing engine for high-precision image reproduction and high-speed processing of high resolution data. The Sub-Ink Tank feature valued by users of the imagePROGRAF Series has been carried over to this model, helping to reduce downtime and minimize costs by automatically enabling ink tank replacement during printing. With both black ink types active at the same time, there is no need to waste time or ink by swapping out tanks when printing between matte and glossy paper. Right out of the box users will be able to print more as the imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 model comes with 330 ml starter ink tanks.

Media Handling

Typically an option for smaller sized models, a Multifunction Roll System (MFR) comes standard with this 60-inch model to allow for increased versatility. When used as a second roll, the MFR system enables users to load glossy media in one roll and matte media in the other to seamlessly print to both rolls without needing to manually switch media. The Multifunction Roll unit will intelligently switch to the correct media, automating the process and providing increased ease of use. The roll can also act as a take-up unit with bi-directional rewind, ideal for long, uninterrupted print runs.

User-Friendly Software

Included with this new imagePROGRAF PRO printer to help enhance user experience is Print Studio Pro, a plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe Lightroom®1 and Canon Digital Photo Professional software. The Accounting Manager utility is included to help photographers keep track of consumable costs, such as ink and media, to help users determine their overall printing expenses. Also included is Device Management Console, an administrative tool which provides users with the means to manage up to 50 imagePROGRAF PRO Series printers, all from one location.

Availability

The imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer is expected to be available in August 2017 with an MSRP of $11,995.

... Pubdate: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 20:46:00 Z

Chances are you'll never see Dunkirk the way Christopher Nolan intended

What happens when one creator's artistic vision comes into conflict with prevailing standards and industry mores? Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk gives an insight into the chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.

Christopher Nolan is famously attached to large-scale film when it comes to his productions. For Dunkirk he shot with a mixture of 65mm film and the taller, squarer IMAX 65mm filmstock—a decision that had unexpected benefits. Problems arise, however, when Nolan's film choice collides with an industry that has largely gone digital—with 2K and 4K projectors being the norm, many theaters simply can't show the film the way it was shot.

Film fan and president of the University College London film society, Anton Volkov, has put together a great infographic showing not only the different aspect ratios of the formats on offer, but also the relative sizes of the formats from which they're being projected.

Translation: You end up seeing a different amount of the picture, depending on where you see it.

The digital formats in the infographic above are scaled based on IMAX's assessment of the pixel-equivalent resolution of the different film formats (Experts at RED appears to suggest lower numbers for film resolution, which would mean the digital formats are slightly under-represented and could be considered closer to the size of 35mm).

Volkov also illustrated the different aspect ratios using this short GIF, from the NolanFans forum:

Note also the shape of the 35mm image. It looks like it's been horizontally cropped to a very square format, but has actually been horizontally squeezed onto the film using an anamorphic lens (an asymmetrical lens that captures a wider field of view horizontally than it does vertically). This film is designed to be projected with another anamorphic lens to 'de-squeeze' the footage back out to its full width.

Of course, even if you are lucky enough to find somewhere able to show 70mm IMAX (we can't, here in Seattle, as our local IMAX cinema has gone digital-only), there's still a question mark about whether you'll be able to appreciate the full resolution.

If you've seen the film (whichever crop of it), let us know what you thought?

... Pubdate: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 19:52:00 Z

Another study finds Instagram is terrible for youth mental health

Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label has released its Annual Bullying Survey 2017 research paper, something it calls the 'largest annual benchmark of bullying behaviors' in the UK. The report, which is free for anyone to download, set its focus on technology this time around, seeking to understand the current state of cyberbullying, online behaviors and other things concerning modern youth. More than 10,000 volunteers aged 12 to 20 were surveyed for this report.

According to the report, 69% those surveyed reported having engaged in abusive online behaviors at some point, and 1-in-2 reported having experienced bullying of some sort. The second half of the report looks specifically at online bullying, and concludes that out of the popular social media sites and apps, Instagram is the worst offender. Of those surveyed, 42% report having experienced cyberbullying on Instagram, with Facebook coming in second at 37% and Snapchat in third at 31%.

This isn't the first study to find a correlation between Instagram and negative experiences. A study published earlier this year by the Young Health Movement and Royal Society for Public Health found that Instagram was the worst social network for mental health among young users. Per that study, Instagram was found to fuel anxiety, depression, fear of missing out, body image issues and more.

Ditch the Label exposes one of the biggest issues related to these negative mental effects via its video above. Many users report editing images in some way before posting them on Instagram and similar social networks; high exposure to these staged, edited, and otherwise carefully-presented images can create unrealistic expectations about life and how others are living, causing many users to feel inadequate or as if their lives are less interesting than others'.

... Pubdate: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 18:37:00 Z

Sony patents 400mm F2.8 lens for a curved medium format sensor

It's a great day for innovative patent news. Earlier today, we told you about a Nikon patent for a lens that was designed to work with a full-frame curved sensor camera. But that might not be the most innovative curved sensor patent you'll hear about today. That title goes to Sony, and their 400mm F2.8 lens designed for a curved medium format sensor.

Sony Alpha Rumors first spotted the Japanese patent, which describes a lens designed for a curved 645 size sensor—that's bigger than the sensors found in the Fuji GFX-50s and Hasselblad X1D-50c. The lens is "single focus" and "can be used as an interchangeable lens" reads the translated patent. It goes on to say that, thanks to the curved sensor design "High MTF can be obtained."

Here's are a couple of diagrams, in case you're curious and know a thing or two about optical design. The lens seems exceptionally simple in design, possibly thanks to the benefits of a curved sensor:

As with all patents, there's plenty of reason to doubt this exact diagram will materialize into a real product; however, it does mean Sony is thinking about medium format and curved sensors, and that should have anybody interested in digital camera innovations very excited.

Like we said earlier today, it's not so much "will" someone bring this tech to photographers, but "when" and "who will get there first?" May the most innovative company win.

... Pubdate: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 16:54:00 Z

Silkypix adds support for Sony Alpha a9 and other cameras

The makers of the Silkypix Raw processing software have just released version 8.0.9.0 of the Developer Studio Pro 8 package, and the version 8.8.1.9 of the Developer Studio 8 variant. On the Pro version, the update gets you an improved partial correction tool and fixes the preview of of the shading center tool and partial correction tool on filter areas in the Windows version among other bug fixes.

Both version now support Raw files from the Casio EX-ZR3200, Casio EX-ZR3700, Olympus STYLUS TG-5 and Sony Alpha a9. The updated Silkypix can now be downloaded from the Silkypix website. 30 day trial versions are available as well.

... Pubdate: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 15:38:00 Z

Intense underwater 8x10 camera pops up on eBay for $5,800

This custom underwater 8x10 large format film camera was made for underwater fine art photography, and it can be yours for $5,800. Photo: eBay Auction

When you think underwater photography, a few cameras probably come to mind. Maybe you think of a simple GoPro action cam, maybe a 'rugged compact' like the Olympus TG-5, or maybe you dream of putting your DSLR inside a serious underwater housing. Whatever you think, we can almost guarantee you've never seen anything like this underwater camera.

This custom-built large format 8x10 underwater camera was built to capture fine art photography underwater, and it just popped up on eBay for the not-all-that-unreasonable price of $5,800.

The camera was posted to eBay by swfloridagirl941 before it was spotted by The Phoblographer. Made from aircraft grade aluminum and featuring 2 strobe connection ports, you need 60lbs of dive weights to even use this thing underwater. The monstrous creation "was built around a Schneider Super-Symmar 150mm f5.6 XL Aspheric MC lens with Copal No. 1 shutter and custom No. 2 close-up lens by Century Optics" and the seller is calling it "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made."

Schneider Super-Symmar 150mm F5.6 XL Aspheric MC lens.

This camera is the real deal, but don't expect "auto" mode performance if you do buy it. You have to surface and change the film between each shot like any other 8x10 field camera, and understanding the optimal focusing distance and optics of this crazy system is crucial if you don't want to waste some very expensive film.

When it does work, though, swfloridagirl941 promises spectacular results: "I have printed a poster size print of a girl underwater at five feet and with a magnifier one can see individual hair on her arm that are tack sharp."

Here's a behind the scenes and sample photo from the eBay auction:

To learn more about this fascinating 8x10 camera, head over to the eBay auction by clicking here. Just be ready to plunk down $5,800 plus about $300 shipping if you're genuinely interested.


Photos © swfloridagirl941, courtesy of eBay auction.

... Pubdate: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 15:28:00 Z

Blackmagic unveils Audio and KeyKode Reader for the Cintel Film Scanner

Blackmagic Design has taken the wraps off a new Cintel Film Scanner accessory called the Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader. With this accessory, Cintel Film Scanner users are able to capture both KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.

This is made possible thanks in part to 'deep red LED illumination' as well as a magnetic audio head; captured audio is 'perfectly synchronized with the video,' the company promises, explaining that its accessory supports silver optical, high-magenta dye, 16/35mm cyan, and 16mm magnetic audio tracks.

The Blackmagic Cintel Film Scanner.
The new Audio and Keycode reader for the Cintel Film Scanner.

To aid in post-production, users can utilize this new accessory to scan their film's KeyKode numbers, making it easier to match corresponding frames after scanning has finished. Other features include a capstan encoder that can fix wow and flutter automatically, highly precise mechanical adjustments for azimuth, and electro-formed slits.

The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader is available now from Blackmagic's resellers for $3,495. The Cintel Film Scanner, meanwhile, is priced at $29,995.

Press Release

Blackmagic Design Announces New Audio and KeyKode Reader for Cintel Film Scanners

Fremont, California, USA - July 20, 2017 - Blackmagic Design today announced the new Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader accessory for its Cintel Film Scanner, which lets customers scan audio and KeyKode information along with images from the scanner, all in realtime. The new audio and KeyKode reader accessory is available for $3,495 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

The new Cintel Audio and KeyKode reader lets customers capture high quality audio along with KeyKode information directly from their film as they are scanning it. The reader features a magnetic audio head or deep red LED illumination supporting 16/35mm cyan, high magenta dye, silver optical or 16mm magnetic audio tracks, with advanced optics, electro formed slits, and precision mechanical adjustments for azimuth to deliver the best possible audio capture with incredible high frequency response, perfectly synchronized with the video. The precision capstan encoder automatically corrects wow and flutter, allowing customers to accurately capture audio, even when the scanner speed changes.

The new reader also gives customers the ability to scan KeyKode from their film. KeyKode numbers provide a way to identify each unique film frame, making it easier to correlate the film frames with their corresponding video frames after scanning is complete. This greatly simplifies post production workflows, especially when cutting or re-cutting previously edited material that comes from different rolls of film.

“Cintel Film Scanners are the most popular film scanners in the world,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “The new Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader is exciting because it allows both audio and picture to be scanned at the same time, and in perfect synchronization. Plus, customers also get KeyKode information that helps to dramatically speed up post production workflows!”

Availability and Price

The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader is available now for $3,495 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

... Pubdate: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 14:44:00 Z

Nikon patents 35mm F2.0 lens for camera with curved full frame sensor

Nikon's never-released DL18-50. Did Nikon abandon this series of 1-inch sensor compacts in order to focus on creating a full-frame mirrorless camera?

A new Nikon lens patent is causing quite a stir in the photo world today, but it's not because of the lens itself. Instead, the patent has people excited because it describes a lens that is made for a curved full-frame sensor, possibly inside a mirrorless camera.

The latter bit is pure speculation—as Nikon Rumors points out, "the patent does not provide sufficient technical information to determine if this is a mirrorless or a DSLR lens," especially since Nikon has patented curved sensors in the past—but the 35mm F2.0 lens described is definitely made to work with a full-frame curved sensor.

It's possible this camera could be a fixed-lens system, bypassing the need to design multiple lenses or figure out how to make zoom lenses work on a curved sensor. For that matter, it's also possible this design never makes it to market. But the fact that Nikon is dabbling in patents here, spending R&D time and money on some real innovation, is at least mildly heartening.

With multiple curved sensor patents and prototypes out in the wild, the correct question now seems to be "when" rather than "if" this technology will make it to the general public. Well, "when" and "who will get there first?"

You can see more diagrams from this patent here: P2017-125904A. And, of course, feel free to speculate your heart out in the comments.

... Pubdate: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 14:16:00 Z

Sony 1000 fps sensor gives high-speed vision to industrial robots

Sony is the global market leader in the image sensor field, producing imager chips not only for cameras and smartphones but also for industrial applications. Now, one of the features that we first saw in a Sony smartphone camera has made its way into a newly announced sensor meant for use with robots in manufacturing.

The Sony 1/3.02" IMX382 sensor allows industrial robots to detect and track objects at 1,000 frames per second, which could result in autonomous machines that can react to an object's movements or other changes in their environment in real time.

The sensor not only captures images at high speed, it's also capable of processing them and sending information to the machine it is attached—no computer or other additional processing unit is required. In the video below, you can see how the technology is used to identify different currencies at high speed, track several objects at the same time and visually inspect items without a need to slow-down a conveyor belt or production line.

The Sony IMX382 will be available to potential customers very soon, with sample shipping envisaged for October 2017.

... Pubdate: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 13:54:00 Z

How to photograph the August eclipse, and why you probably shouldn’t try

Essentially, it's the ultimate photo challenge. On August 21st, photographers across the continental United States – and especially photographers within a 70-mile-wide band stretching from Oregon to South Carolina – will have no more than 160 seconds to get the shot of a lifetime.

Starting around 9am PT, the moon will pass in front of the sun, and a large swath of North America will be treated to a total eclipse. And if you ask anybody who knows anything about astronomy, it is a huge deal. Dr. Tyler Nordgren is such a man. He's a professor of physics and astronomy, an award-winning photographer and a self-described Night Sky Ambassador. Here's how he puts it:

"Half the people that are alive right now weren’t even alive the last time something like this was visible from the continental US. Secondly, there are 12 million people just living in the path of totality that are going to get the chance to see it, so it will be the most-viewed total solar eclipse probably in history."

The most seen, most photographed, most shared, most tweeted – potentially the most people in total are going to be able to experience this in one form or another

Given that just about everyone in its path will have a camera in their pocket, he says it's also likely to be the most photographed in history.

"The most seen, most photographed, most shared, most tweeted – potentially the most people in total are going to be able to experience this in one form or another."

Hungary – My first eclipse photo that I took in 1999 superimposed on the stamp I bought there comemorating the eclipse by showing its path across the country. Photo and caption by Tyler Nordgren

But unless you're a seasoned landscape photographer or astrophotographer, Dr. Nordgren thinks you might be better off not photographing it at all and just enjoying the view. He quotes Warren De la Rue, a pioneer of astrophotography. After becoming the first person to photograph a total eclipse "he wrote in his journal afterwards, that if he ever got the chance to see another one, he hoped to be able to see it without any equipment at all."

In short, "See your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you're unconvinced, Dr. Nordgren does have some advice.

Get ready

Preparation is key. Remember – 160 seconds. Of course, you'll want a tripod and a cable release to lock everything down and minimize shake.

"If you really must photograph this, you’re going to want to practice a whole bunch of techniques in the weeks leading up so it’s as second nature as absolutely possible during those precious seconds."

Protecting your eyesight and your gear is equally important. It's only safe to point your eyes or your camera sensor directly at the sun during totality – a little bit before or after and you're risking serious damage. He suggests a pair of solar eclipse glasses and a filter for your lens. Per NASA, your glasses should meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard.

Be sure to use both during partial phases of the eclipse – you risk damaging your eyesight, not to mention your camera, with just a pair of glasses and an unfiltered lens. Crucially, don't forget to take off the filter during totality. You'll be extremely disappointed with the results if you don't.

Lensrentals recently posted a useful article detailing some specific settings to dial in if you plan on using a longer lens.

Pick a lens

What kind of lens should you use? Well, not surprisingly, it all depends on what you're going for. If you want the sun as your main subject, you'll obviously want a longer lens. "To really capture big detail in the corona and the object itself, you'll want a lens with a focal length of around 500mm; between 400 and 600mm at least."

But don't forget that a total eclipse also presents a unique landscape photo opportunity. If you'd rather capture the eerie effect on the scene, a wider lens will produce excellent results too. It's all a matter of personal preference.

Star Flyer – the 2013 eclipse as seen from the deck of a four-masted sailing ship racing across the Atlantic. Totality was 42 seconds long and I was on a quickly moving (and rocking) surface. Photo and caption by Tyler Nordgren

No matter what kind of shot you're going for, you can size things up ahead of time by photographing a full moon.

"Something to keep in mind is that during totality the sun turns black, and is surrounded by this ghostly corona, so the spectacle of the object itself is this black disk with this white glow around it. That black disk is the size of the full moon, so take whatever your camera equipment is, take whatever your lens is and go out and photograph the next full moon. See if whatever size dot that appears. If that’s interesting to you, then great – that’s the lens to use."

Get thee to the path of totality

If you're set on photographing the eclipse and have the safety and gear requirements nailed down, all that's left to do is get yourself into the path of totality for the big moment. Easy enough, right? Well, unless you're lucky enough to live there, or you started planning your eclipse vacation years ago, chances are extremely slim that you'll be able to find a campsite or hotel room in the path at this point. Your best bet is to find accommodations within a reasonable driving distance and set out as early as possible.

Ideally, you also want to aim for somewhere that's less likely to have cloud cover. Dr. Nordgren knows all too well what a cloudy eclipse view looks like.

"If you’re going to do the close up photograph, you could be almost anywhere provided you’ve got clear skies. But I’ve also seen some really spectacular photos of totality through wispy clouds that give this dramatic view as well... just as long as you’re within that path of totality and the cloud cover is not so total that you’re utterly blacked out. And I’ve had that happen."

This is the partial phase just a minute or two before totality in the Faroe Islands. Those clouds totally socked us all in 30 seconds before totality so we saw nothing. Photo and caption by Tyler Nordgren

If you're hoping to get a wider shot, then great news: this eclipse will cross some of the most beautiful locations in the continental US. Provided you can get there, you can pretty much take your pick of landscapes. "What do you find compelling? Is it a hardwood forest like the Great Smoky Mountains, is it the big jagged peaks of the wind river range in Wyoming? Or being along the Oregon coast? It's up to the photographer."

And really, that's what makes this such an incredible event.

"Everywhere from rocky shorelines in Oregon to snowcapped volcanic peaks in the Cascade range, to the deserts of Idaho and the mountains of Wyoming, the farmlands of Nebraska, the hardwood forests and the Mississippi river... you really have the entire breadth, literally, of the United States of America to capture this in."

160 seconds – that is not a lot of time to see what I think is the most awe-inspiring, unnatural, natural experience in nature

Whether or not you can get to the path of totality, and whether or not you choose to photograph the event, you'll still be treated to an amazing array of photos and videos from photographers across the US. And unless you're dead set on photographing it, consider leaving the camera at home.

"If you haven’t seen a total solar eclipse, I encourage you, don’t waste your time photographing it. Chances are, somebody else will get a better photo. But if you are that kind of expert photographer, practice so that you can set your camera up and let it do its thing with as little input as possible, because 160 seconds – that is not a lot of time to see what I think is the most awe-inspiring, unnatural, natural experience in nature."

... Pubdate: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 13:15:00 Z

Study finds most people can't spot manipulated photos, can you?

A new photography study from researchers at the University of Warwick has found that many people aren't very good at determining whether an image has been digitally manipulated.

The study, which has an online test component that anyone can take, asks volunteers to look at 10 different images and guess whether each is altered or unaltered. Volunteers are also tasked with choosing the part of the image they think was altered, and rating their certainty about the alteration(s) or lack thereof.

After compiling the results, the researchers found that only 65% of altered images were correctly identified by volunteers; even less unaltered images were identified, at just 58%. Given that chance performance is 50%, the results show that the volunteers did little better than they would have with simple guessing. Furthermore, the team found that age and gender did not affect the results, with the difficulty being notable across all volunteers.

"In the digital age, where photo editing is easy and accessible to everyone, this research raises questions about how vigilant we must be before we can trust a picture’s authenticity," said the university in a release. "It is crucial that images used as evidence in courts—and those used in journalism—are better monitored, to ensure they are accurate and truthful, as faked images in these contexts could lead to dire consequences and miscarriages of justice."

The question is, can a bunch of photography nerds wreck the curve? Take the online component and let us know how you did in the comments.

... Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:14:00 Z

PSA: Leica's new TL2 may break if you use it with the Leica Visoflex electronic viewfinder

Earlier this week, word surfaced online about an issue with the newly released Leica TL2. Apparently, some cameras would simply stop working when you attached Leica's own Visoflex electronic viewfinder.

Online retailer Lcameras.com posted a notice on its Facebook page advising customers that it had paused sales of the camera due to Leica's recommendation, but details weren't forthcoming. Now, Leica has issued an official statement on the matter confirming an issue with the external EVF.

According to Leica's notice, "a defect may occur that could stop the camera from working" when it is used with the Visoflex viewfinder. An earlier version of the statement used bleaker language, stating "If this defect occurs, then it is no longer possible to use the camera." By all accounts, this is a serious issue that could 'brick' your new camera.

Earlier today, the company released another statement saying they had "identified the cause of the failure when using the TL2 in combination with the electronic viewfinder" and that "it is very likely that this can be resolved with a firmware update." But until that firmware update is ready (it is currently being 'intensively' tested) users should either not attach the Visoflex viewfinder, or they should return their TL2 to the Leica dealer they purchased it from.

... Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:55:00 Z

Google's Motion Stills app is now available for Android

Last year Google launched Motion Still for iOS, an app that stabilizes the iPhone's Live Photos and makes them shareable as looping GIFs and videos. Now the software giant has made the app available for Android devices running version 5.1 and later of its own mobile OS.

The app works a little differently on Android to the iOS version. Instead of using an existing Live Photo, the Android version forces you to record video inside the app. Stabilization is then applied using a, compared to the iOS version, redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded. As consequence the results are instant and no waiting is required to share the created GIFs.

Fast Forward is a new feature and builds on the stabilization algorithm to capture longer clips and create stabilized time-lapses or hyperlapses. Playback speed is adjustable from 1x to 8x and GIF output can be created in three sizes.

Motion Stills for Android is now available on Google Play.

... Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:20:00 Z

Zillow and VHT appeal $4 million copyright infringement ruling

Real estate listing firm Zillow Group and photography firm VHT have been locked in a huge copyright lawsuit over Zillow's alleged infringement of thousands of VHT's real estate images for years now, and it doesn't look like it's going to end any time soon.

VHT originally filed the suit against Zillow Group in 2015, alleging that tens of thousands of its images were used without permission on both the Zillow.com website and Zillow Digs. Though the claims regarding Zillow.com were dismissed last year, the legal matter has persisted over alleged infringement on Zillow Digs.

This past February, VHT was awarded $8.24 million in statutory damages and $79,875 in actual damages by a jury over copyrighted images that appeared without authorization on Zillow Digs. The matter took another turn last month, however, when a judge slashed that figure in half, citing lack of evidence to prove that most of the 28,000+ images were ever viewed by users.

Following that, both VHT and Zillow Group petitioned the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week in an effort to have the lower court's ruling overturned. The case remains ongoing.

This isn't the first legal row Zillow has been involved in over image copyright issues. The company was recently in the news over legal threats it issued against blogger Kate Wagner of 'McMansion Hell' over her use of photos reportedly sourced in part from Zillow's website. It was soon revealed that Zillow did not own the copyrights to those images, but was instead attempting to enforce third-party contracts to which Wagner was not a party. The company publicly stated that it would not pursue legal actions against Wagner over what her attorneys called fair use of the images.

... Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:14:00 Z

You can now explore the International Space Station in Google Street View

Cupola Observation Module, Image: Google

Thomas Pesquet, an astronaut with the European Space Agency (ESA) spent 6 months on board of the International Space Station (ISS). During his time in space he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images of the space station's interiors and unique images of the Earth seen from space.

As a result, you can now explore the ISS and have a look at the blue planet from space using Google Street View.

US Laboratory Module, Image: Google

In his post on the Google Blog, Thomas provides a little insight into the the picture capturing process in space.

"Because of the particular constraints of living and working in space, it wasn't possible to collect Street View using Google's usual methods," says the astronaut. "Instead, the Street View team worked with NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas and Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama to design a gravity-free method of collecting the imagery using DSLR cameras and equipment already on the ISS. Then I collected still photos in space, that were sent down to Earth where they were stitched together to create panoramic 360 degree imagery of the ISS."

More information and images are available in Thomas Pesquet's article "Welcome to Outer Space View" on the Google Blog.

Joint Airlock (Quest), Image: Google
... Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 16:02:00 Z

Confirmed: Bowens is going out of business

The sad news is now official. PDN has managed to confirm a report initially published by DIY Photography, claiming that UK-based lighting company Bowens had entered liquidation and was going out of business.

The 94-year-old company was scooped up by investment company Aurelius Group last year along with photography retailer Calumet. But while Aurelius commitment to Calumet continues, the company has decided that Bowens will not be able to overcome the challenges the lighting market faces.

In a statement, Aurelius Group told PDN the decision was due to, "the far-reaching changes affecting its market, including new, considerably less expensive products by Chinese manufacturers, product innovations by competitors, and the changed buying behavior of professional photographers, who are now only willing to invest in new equipment if the investment guarantees additional income.”

According to Aurelius' CEO, Calumet will continue to service Bowens products in Europe, and the company is "working on" figuring out service for Bowens products globally. No word yet what this will look like, but in the US, Bowens products were distributed by Manfrotto.

... Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 14:42:00 Z

Firmware update fixes Sigma MC-11 AF issues with incompatible lenses

Sigma's MC-11 mount converters allow you to use your Sigma SA mount and EOS mount lenses with Sony's E-mount camera bodies, and now they work just a little better. The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the converter.

You can find a lens compatibility chart on the MC-11 product page, and further detail about the update on the Sigma support website. As usual, you can install the firmware using Sigma's Optimization Pro software.

... Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 14:33:00 Z

Voyager is a waterproof, smart LED light stick that you control with a phone

A new Indiegogo campaign is seeking funding for Voyager, a waterproof smart light stick made with LEDs, a diffuser tube, integrated battery, remote controller, and animation controller.

Voyager is the brainchild of Digital Sputnik, which says it packed all the features from its other DS products into this light stick. The company plans to offer Voyager in both 2ft / 61cm and 4ft / 123cm lengths, each version with slightly different specs.

The 2ft Voyager has a weight of 2.4lbs / 1.1kg, a resolution of 39 pixels, built-in 45Wh battery and 20 watt power draw. Compared to that, the larger 4ft Voyager has a 4.9lbs / 2.2kg weight, 83 pixels resolution, 90Wh battery, and 40 watt power draw. Both models allow photographers to use their own diffusion filters via two installation slots, and both can be used under water at depths of up to 2m / 6.6ft for up to 30 minutes at a time. A special version capable of greater depths will also be offered.

Unlike some competing lighting products, Digital Sputnik explains that Voyager utilizes LightGrading software that eliminates the need for technicians to manually adjust every light on a set, instead offering complete control from a smartphone. Assuming the Indiegogo campaign hits its $500,000 stretch goal, Digital Sputnik plans to add an integrated WiFi router to Voyager, enabling one unit to act as a router for other units on the set.

The Voyager campaign has thus far raised approximately $320,000 in funds, exceeding its $300,000 goal with 22 days remaining. Interested consumers can pledge at least $290 USD in exchange for a single 2ft Voyager unit or $440 USD for a single 4ft Voyager unit. Shipping to these backers is estimated to start in December 2017.

To learn more or put down a pledge of your own, head over to the Indiegogo campaign.

... Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 14:10:00 Z

Photokina 2019 dates announced

In May, Photokina, the biennial photo industry trade show in Cologne, Germany, announced that it would become an annual event and expand coverage beyond its historical focus of cameras and photography. 2018 is the last year the show will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates.

In 2019 Photokina will take place in May for the first time, from the 8th to the 11th to be more precise. If you're planning to attend Photokina and see all the new products from camera manufacturers and other companies in the imaging field, you should mark those dates in your calendar.

In the meantime, you can also read this quick Q&A with recently appointed show manager Christoph Menke, in which he provides some background on the decision to change the dates and scope of future shows.

... Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 14:02:00 Z

Throwback Thursday: Canon IXUS 50 / SD400 Digital ELPH

The Canon IXUS 501 wasn't the first compact digital camera that I ever used, but it was the first one I actually bought.

The first one I shot with was a much earlier model, the IXUS V, which was owned by the student-run website at my university. Resembling a shiny metal brick, that camera was quite something. During the many years we used it, our photographers put it through hell, covering everything from drunken nights at the student union to drunken days on the river, to whatever passed for 'breaking news' in Durham's student community in the early 2000s.

The IXUS V was great, because it was tough, small(ish)2 and exceptionally easy to use, even when the user was inebriated - which we almost always were.

A good example of when the IXUS 50 came in handy - this is Davey MacManus of 'The Crimea' (one of the most underrated bands of the mid-2000s, in my opinion) who has left the stage to wander out into the audience. In slow-sync flash mode, the IXUS delivered a good, atmospheric exposure.

Yes, its screen was poor, its lens was slow, and it went through batteries like Michael Phelps goes through eggs, but we loved that camera, and it was a sad day when one of our photographers3 accidentally sat on it with the lens extended.

By the time the IXUS 50 came along in 2005, I was working part-time in a local camera store, finishing up my Masters degree. For a camera nerd, it was a great job. I got to play with all the latest gear, and get paid for doing it.4 I was attracted to the IXUS 50 because it was genuinely compact, had a good (for the time) screen, and a useful 35-105mm (equiv.) F2.8 - 4.9 optical zoom. It was pretty fast too, capable of shooting continuously at 2.1 fps. More importantly, image review was almost instantaneous, and zooming in to check focus was extremely snappy.

A small camera by anyone's standards, the IXUS 50 was truly pocketable - and that 2" screen was pretty good by 2005 standards.

It might seem on the low side now, but 5MP was plenty back in 2005, and the small size and generally excellent reliability of the IXUS 50 more than offset its limitations - chief among which was the lack of Raw mode. Raw mode was far from standard in compact cameras back then, even good ones, and was reserved for prosumer models like Canon's PowerShot G65.

Shot with the IXUS 50 in a London cafe, this is still one of my favorite portraits. I converted the original color JPEG into black and white, and despite being slightly cropped, I have a 13x19inch print of this photograph on the wall of my apartment and it looks great.

I was perfectly happy with the tradeoff, though. Because not only was the IXUS 50 much smaller than the G6 (and let's be honest - much better looking) it was also considerably less expensive. And I'm a cheapskate.

Canon IXUS 50 Sample gallery (2005)

Although I had my EOS-1D Mark II for 'serious' work (i.e., paid work) I got a lot of use out of the IXUS 50, and it ended up effectively becoming a second camera in situations where my DSLR was too clunky (or too obviously 'pro') to get a shot.

It was really handy for quick crowd shots, and occasional intimate live shows where hotshoe flashes were frowned upon (funny how nobody ever seemed to care about compacts). Flash metering has always been a Canon PowerShot strength and the IXUS 50 was a perfect camera for close-range musician portraits, especially in slow-sync flash mode. Even now, I'd take it over the scourge of today's professional music photographers: the ever-present iPhone.

Another example of the IXUS 50's excellent flash metering, which I loved for close-range portraits of musicians (this is Sam Herlihy of Hope of the States – another underrated band of the mid-2000s).

The slow shutter allows for plenty of ambient light to come in, and gives a sense of movement that an available light only shot wouldn't capture. The ghost image in this shot is someone else's flash going off during my exposure - just a happy coincidence.

Once, when my EOS-1D II's battery died, I shot an entire NME commission on the IXUS 50. Nobody noticed, as far as I know. At any rate, the shots got published and I got paid.

Mostly though, I used my IXUS 50 for what it was originally designed for: snapshot pictures of people, places and things. It was fast, reliable and small enough to keep more or less permanently in my jacket pocket, and I was careful to always work within its limitations. Looking back through my archives for this article, I've been impressed by how well the pictures I took with my IXUS 50 in the mid 2000s hold up. The first and last point-and-shoot I ever bought, it remains one of my favorite cameras. That's mine, scuffed and scratched but still working, in the picture at the top of this page.


1. The IXUS V was known as the S110 Digital ELPH in the USA, and the IXUS 50 was known (for some reason) as the PowerShot SD400 Digital ELPH. I'll be sticking to European product names in this article though, because I'm the one writing it, so I can do what I want.

2. 'The size of a pack of cigarettes' as Canon's contemporary marketing materials were keen to point out at the time. Back then, you see, it was still OK to compare things to the size of a pack of cigarettes.

3. I know exactly who did it, but I won't embarrass him by naming them here. Even if I did want to embarrass him, I'm pretty sure the guilty party doesn't read DPReview.

4. How my life has changed.

5. The PowerShot G6 was slightly larger, but rather lumpier than a pack of cigarettes. Just in case you were struggling to get a sense of its size.

... Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:15:00 Z

Canon 6D Mark II dynamic range falls behind modern APS-C cameras

We've reported in recent years how Canon's newer sensor designs have started to close the dynamic range gap, compared with chips from the likes of Sony and Toshiba. Dynamic range isn't everything, of course: Canon's Dual Pixel sensors have brought advances in live view and video autofocus that for many people will be every bit as significant as the noticeable shortfall in Raw file malleability. But it was promising to see Canon getting competitive in an area where it had fallen behind.

Sadly though, it seems the benefits that appeared in the sensors used in the EOS 80D and EOS 5D IV have not been applied to the latest EOS 6D II, and the new camera has less dynamic range than we've become used to. Graphs plotted by regular DPR collaborator Bill Claff illustrate this pretty clearly. In this article, we're taking a look at what this might mean for your images.

Dynamic range assessment

Our exposure latitude test shows what happens if you brighten a series of increasingly dark set of exposures. This illustrates what happens if you try to pull detail out of the shadows of your image.

As you can see, the EOS 6D II begins to look noisy much sooner than the broadly comparable Nikon D750, meaning you have less processing flexibility before noise starts to detract from your images.

The EOS 6D II should have a 1.3EV image quality advantage over the 80D, when the images are compared at the same size, since its sensor is so much bigger. Despite this, the EOS 80D's images shot with the same exposures look cleaner, when brightened to the same degree. Have a look and you'll see the difference is around 1EV, despite the head start that the 6D II's chip should have. This corroborates what Bill Claff's data suggests.

ISO Invariance

The downside of our exposure latitude test is that reducing the exposure also increases the noise. Our ISO Invariance test uses the same exposure shot at different ISO settings, such that the shot noise contribution is the same in each image. This way any differences must be a consequence of electronic noise (and how well the camera's amplification overcomes it, at higher ISO settings).

This isn't good, especially not by modern standards. We're used to seeing sensors that add so little noise that there's barely any visual difference between shooting at a high ISO and using a low ISO (retaining additional highlights) then brightening. Instead we see that you have to amplify to around ISO 3200 before you see no additional impact from the camera's electronics. This suggests a reversion to the level of the original EOS 6D, even perhaps a bit worse. That's unfortunate for those shooting high contrast scenes or anyone who suffers from Canon's metering decision to underexpose in backlit situations, as exposure latitude will be limited.

Real world impact

If you shoot JPEG, you'll never notice any of this, since the differences occur beyond the ~8.3EV or so that tend to be incorporated into a typical image. Similarly, at higher ISO settings, amplification overcomes the electronic noise, so you see the camera begin to out-perform the 80D and then close the gap with the D750, just as Bill's chart suggests.

However, it means if you're processing from Raw at low ISOs, you have much less flexibility in terms of what you can do with the file than we'd expect from a modern camera. Almost as soon as you start to push the image or pull detail out of the shadows, you risk hitting the camera's electronic noise floor and hence you won't see the advantage over the smaller sensor 80D that you might reasonably expect.

Adding to the problem is Canon's metering system, which tends to underexpose images when there's strong back-light. If the metering sensor were high resolution or advanced enough to detect faces, one might expect proper exposures for human subjects even in backlit shots; however, we've found the low resolution metering sensor in the 6D Mark II to be often incapable of detecting - and properly exposing for - faces. That means that backlit shots will be underexposed (unless you intervene), and you'll have limited ability to recover these underexposed shots because of the sensor's poor performance.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II | EF 35mm F2 IS | ISO 100| F9 | 1/200th Shadows lifted, highlights lowered, slight selective brightening to couples' faces. Blue gradient added along upper edge. As you'll see if you click to view the full-sized image, noise in the areas of lifted shadow is very apparent. Click here to download the Raw file.

This is an extreme example but it's a photo I'd expect to be able to shoot on other full frame cameras without revealing so much noise. All of our test results suggest I could have achieved just as good a result from a contemporary APS-C camera, if not better if it were also capable of properly detecting human subjects and exposing for them.

... Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 04:00:00 Z

Canon EOS 6D Mark II sample gallery

The sun's been out in Seattle, giving us ample opportunity to shoot with the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II. Initial impressions point to a capable, well-rounded full-frame camera with controls and handling nearly identical to that of the Canon 80D. In the field the camera's AF coverage feels small compared to the 80D, though the Live View shooting experience is the same: excellent.

We'll be adding to this gallery more as we work toward posting the review. In the meantime, here are 100+ initial samples from a full-production camera to start with.

... Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 04:00:00 Z

Canon EOS 6D Mark II sample reel

The Canon EOS 6D Mark II offers decent video quality at up to Full HD (1080/60p) resolution. It doesn't offer any form of 4K capture like its higher-end siblings, but with full Dual Pixel Autofocus and effective digital image stabilization that works in tandem with in-lens stabilization, the footage is generally smooth and in focus.

In addition to a somewhat inauthentic mojito recipe, the above video demonstrates how the EOS 6D Mark II copes with high-contrast scenes, lots of potential distractions for autofocus, as well as gives a general impression of the overall quality you'll get from Canon's newest HD-capable DSLR.

The video was filmed entirely hand-held with Canon's 'Movie Digital IS' enabled (but not the 'enhanced' option), using the 1080/60p MP4 setting. White balance was kept to auto, and Auto ISO was used to allow for automatic changes in brightness while the shutter speed and aperture were controlled manually. There are also speech samples from both an external shotgun microphone and the internal microphones on the 6D II, and Canon's Dynamic Lighting Optimizer was set to 'High.'

What do you think about the 6D II's video quality? Let us know in the comments.

... Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 04:00:00 Z

This $31 lens will turn any room into a camera obscura

Turning a room into a camera obscura is as easy as blacking out the room and poking a pinhole into one of the window covers. But if you want to take your camera obscura game to brighter, more colorful heights, the Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens is definitely worth a look.

This portable lens was designed to snap onto blackout curtains or into some other window cover. Then, once the room is dark enough and the outside world is bright enough, the lens will project the outside in: plastering a picture of the view from that window onto your walls, upside-down.

Here's an example from the Bonfoton website:

A hotel room can become something else entirely through the magic of the camera obscura.

The lens was designed by husband and wife team Tommi and Annika, who say they founded the store because of the joy the camera obscura brought to their friends and family.

"We founded the Bonfoton store after we saw what the Camera Obscura room does to people emotionally when they see the effect for the first time," explains the couple. "From a child only a few years old to a grandpa age 65 the amazement is the same. First a WOW! Or the OMG!? And then the silent stare when they realize that the image is alive and moving."

The little company is based in southern Finland, where every lens is made more-or-less by hand. To buy one for yourself, head over to their shop and be ready to drop 27 Euro (~$31 USD)

... Pubdate: Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:47:00 Z








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