News

2017 Roundup: Interchangeable Lens Cameras $900-1200

DP Review News - Fri, 02/06/2017 - 08:19

Last updated: June 2, 2017

These days, many (if not most) consumers are likely to shop based on price and capability, rather than according to whether a certain model contains a mirror, or not. We think this is a good thing; With all the increased competition, cameras are improving more and at a faster rate than ever before. From the gear perspective, it's certainly an exciting time to be a photographer.

In this category, you'll find both mirrorless and DSLR cameras that are highly capable under a variety of shooting situations, offer built-in high-spec viewfinders - either optical and electronic - and an extensive array of external controls. The biggest differences in performance tend to come down to autofocus sophistication and video capability, but neither of those is dictated by the presence or lack of mirror.

The contenders are:

Most of the cameras in this roundup are built around either Four Thirds or APS-C sensors. Sensor size plays a large part in determining the image quality a camera is ultimately capable of and, in general, the larger a camera's sensor, the better the image quality and the more control you have over depth-of-field. APS-C sensors are larger than Four Thirds chips, but the differences are rarely huge.

Of course, the sensor sizes and image quality of these cameras are not the only thing that varies; the feature sets and performance of each camera are also quite different across the board. Within this category you'll find weather-sealed cameras, cameras that can capture 4K video, cameras that can shoot bursts at incredibly high speeds with autofocus, and cameras that are simply well-balanced all-rounders. Which one should you buy? Read on to find out...

Categories: News

Sony World Photography Awards 2018 opens with new categories and grants

DP Review News - Fri, 02/06/2017 - 08:01

The twins' gymnastics dream

Yuan Peng - Winner of the Professional Sport Category 2017
Copyright: © Yuan Peng, China, 1st Place, Professional, Sport, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

The 11th Sony World Photography Awards has opened for entries for the 2018 contest and brings two new categories for professionals that organizers hope will bring out ‘originality, experimentation and imagination’. The $30,000 prize pot has been augmented this year with a new series of grants that aim to allow winning photographers to undertake projects during the next year. Grants of $7000 will be given to an unspecified number of category winners from the professional competition, while all the shortlisted entrants from the Student Focus category will receive $3500 for a project.

In the professional competition the Conceptual and Daily Life categories from 2017 are replaced with the new Creative and Discovery themes, while the Youth section takes the theme ‘Your Environment.’

The Open competition maintains the ten categories from last year, and is the place for those entering single images rather than series and projects.

All category and many shortlisted photographers win Sony digital camera equipment, while the professional winner also takes home a cash prize of $25,000 and the Open winner gets $5000.

Students need to get their entries in before 4th December 2017, while the Open and Youth competitions close for entries on 4th January 2018. The Professional contest closes on the 11th January 2018, with the awards ceremony being held in April 2018. The free-to-enter competition culminates in an exhibition in London and a book of winning and shortlisted images.For more information see the Sony World Photography Awards website.

New Categories:

Professional - Creative
Judges are looking to reward originality, experimentation and imagination. This category actively encourages the creative use of the medium of photography in all its forms - from photograms, to cutting-edge photographic techniques. Subject matter can be varied and may include abstract and conceptual ideas, but a creative concept and thematic link between the images is key.

Professional - Discovery
Purposely not defined by subject matter or photography type, the judges are looking for stunning bodies of work that clearly show the artist's passion for photography. They want to uncover work that would otherwise be unseen. The category embraces all uses of photography and a narrative may or may not be present in the work. However, it is vital that the vision of the photographer is clearly understood by the judges.

Youth - Your environment
The judges want to view the world as seen through the eyes of young photographers. In one single image show the judges your environment. The brief should be understood in its widest sense. “Your environment” could be a photograph sharing your culture or religious celebration, highlighting of an issue close to home, a special family moment or a beautiful landscape of your surroundings.

Press release

Sony World Photography Awards launches 2018 edition with new categories and grant opportunity
  • A global platform giving visibility to photographers worldwide
  • 'Creative’ and ‘Discovery’ categories introduced to challenge photographers
  • New grant opportunity available to winning photographers

“Being named Photographer of the Year has given me more exposure than I could ever have imagined.” Frederik Buyckx, Sony World Photography Awards winner 2017

June 1, 2017: The 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, one of the world’s leading photography competitions, are now open for entries. Submissions are free at www.worldphoto.org

The 11th edition of the Awards is marked by the introduction of two challenging new categories in the Professional competition, ‘Creative’ and ‘Discovery’, and an important new opportunity for award-winners to secure a grant to fund future photographic projects.

Created by the World Photography Organisation, the Sony World Photography Awards are an authoritative voice in the industry and the world’s biggest photography competition. Celebrating the finest contemporary photography from the past year, the Awards give vast exposure, visibility and opportunity to photographers worldwide on an annual basis.

Commenting on the Awards’ impact, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards winner Frederik Buyckx said: “Being named Photographer of the Year has given me more exposure than I could ever have imagined. It has opened lots of new doors but, just as an importantly, the award has also encouraged me to keep on working on my personal projects.”

Changing medium of photography prompts new Professional categories

In recognition of the changing use of photography, two new categories have been added to the 2018 Awards’ Professional competition.

The new ‘Creative’ and ‘Discovery’ categories are both designed to embrace photographers working at the cutting-edge of the medium. Judges will specifically look to reward originality, experimentation and imagination in these categories and hope to discover what that would otherwise be unseen by the Awards. Artistic interpretation, integrity and technical ability are the key factors for judges across all categories of the Awards.

The Sony World Photography Awards comprise of four competitions:
* Professional – 10 categories judged upon a body of work (5-10 images)
* Open – best single images across 10 categories
* Youth - young photographers aged 12-19 responding to a brief with a single image
* Student Focus – for those studying photography

For the full list of competition categories and descriptions please go to www.worldphoto.org/sony-world-photography-awards

New Sony Grant to fund photographic projects

In demonstration of the Awards’ commitment to create opportunities for its photographers, a new grant programme those participating in the Professional and Student Focus competitions has been introduced this year.

From the winners of the 2018 Professional categories, Sony will award multiple grants of $7,000 to selected photographers to pursue photographic projects of their choice.

In addition, shortlisted photographers from the Student Focus competition will each be given $3,500 (USD) to work together on a new photographic commission set by Sony and the World Photography Organisation.

The Sony Grant programme has been formalised for the 2018 Awards following a successful pilot with three 2016 Sony World Photography Awards Professional category winners: Amélie Labourdette, Maroesjka Lavigne and Nikola Linares. The inaugural Sony grants supported diverse projects including the documentation of young bullfighters in Spain (Linares), landscapes of Iceland and Namibia (Lavigne) and the impact of man on the Tunisian desert (Labourdette).

For more details about the recipients of the 2017 Sony Grant recipients please see Notes to Editors below. Images from the series are available at press.worldphoto.org

Prizes: Worldwide exposure, exhibitions and digital imaging equipment

All category winners of the Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus competitions will receive digital imaging equipment from Sony.

In addition, cash prizes of $25,000 (USD) will be presented to the Photographer of the Year and $5,000 (USD) to the overall Open competition winner.

All category winners plus many of the shortlisted Awards photographers will be exhibited at the annual Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in London and then toured internationally. The images will also be published in the annual Awards winners’ book and all shortlisted and winning photographers are given global exposure via dedicated marketing and press campaigns.

2018 Key dates
December 4, 2017 – Student Focus closes
January 4, 2018 – Open & Youth competitions close
January 1, 2018 – Professional competitions close
February 27, 2018 –Shortlist announced
March 27, 2018 – Open and National Awards winners revealed
April 19, 2018 – Photographer of the Year & Professional category winners announced

Categories: News

Snapchat brings its hip round Spectacles to Europe

The Guardian on Photography Technology - Fri, 02/06/2017 - 07:00

Snap Inc’s glasses that film circular videos of users’ everyday lives have been placed in vending machines in London, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and Venice

Snapchat is bringing its Spectacles to Europe, placing five “snapbot” vending machines in London, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and Venice to begin selling the £129.99 wearable cameras.

It is the first time the glasses have been available outside the US, where they led to hundreds of people queueing throughout the winter in a bid to secure the coveted gadgets. But for those who don’t fancy joining the queues – or can’t get down to the London Eye, where Britain’s vending machine will be placed – the glasses are also available at Spectacles.com, for shipping across Europe.

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Categories: News

Rainbow Rio: the hidden side of Brazil's beating heart – in pictures

Austrian-born photographer Stefanie Moshammer focused on favelas to show a different side of life in Brazil’s second biggest city for her Land of Black Milk series. Her colourful work is on show at the Foam Talent exhibition in London

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Categories: News

From mafia murders to innocent beauty: Letizia Battaglia’s Palermo portfolio

Celebrated Italian photojournalist reveals how the death of a 10-year-old boy influenced her work

Letizia Battaglia, Italy’s most famous female photojournalist, has developed all of her rolls of film but one. Shot in 1987, the photos show the corpse of a 10-year-old boy, Claudio, who had been killed by the mafia in Palermo.

It was a time of war. The Sicilian mafia, known as Cosa Nostra, was leaving bullet-ridden bodies in the streets and assassinating prosecutors with car bombs. Battaglia photographed hundreds of corpses, building a bloody archive in black and white that showed Sicily’s worst face to the world.

Related: Letizia Battaglia: shooting the mafia

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Categories: News

Beauty amid the chaos: a snapshot of Syrian cities through Instagram

Photographers from Damascus to Aleppo are showing another side to their war-torn cities through Instagram. We speak to six Syrians about why some focus on destruction, and others on hope

The reality of living in Syria’s protracted civil war depends on which city you are in.

In the capital, Damascus, which remains under government control, life has returned to some semblance of normality after six years of bloodshed, with reports suggesting that in parts of the city it’s hard to tell there is a war going on at all.

يا جمالك وجمال أهلك ❤

#vscocam #moment #18th_bird_is_flying_away #birds #bluebirds #rightplacerightmoment #vscooftheday #picoftheday #birdman

يا ترى شو صار بالناس الدراويش بعد حلب ... متل هي الناس ممكن يكون عندها 100$ تمن خيمة على الحدود؟!! #Syria #Aleppo 2016/12/6 ph: Yehya Alrejjo

A post shared by Iman Tajmieh (@iman_tajmieh) on Apr 15, 2017 at 6:21am PDT

لا شيء اقسى من ان يراقب طفل حلمه عن بعد .. لا شيء يوجع اكثر #دمشق_اليوم 2017/1/23 ،

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Categories: News

Fractal: A supercell thunderstorm time-lapse years in the making

DP Review News - Thu, 01/06/2017 - 22:21

Chad Cowan is passionate about teaching people the ins-and-outs of storms and extreme weather, as well as how to safely document them. And judging by both his impressive body of work as well as his latest release, Fractal, he certainly seems to know what he's doing.

So crank the volume and enjoy some samplings from the last six years of Cowan's storm-chasing across America's Great Plains.

Categories: News

Kodak's first issue of new 'limited edition' Kodachrome magazine now on sale in the US

DP Review News - Thu, 01/06/2017 - 21:52

Late last year Kodak announced that it would produce Kodachrome (sorry, not that Kodachrome), a magazine dedicated to art, culture and all things analog. Today, it has become available for sale to US residents on the company's website.

The limited run first edition costs $20, weighs in at 80 pages and includes features on actress/director Chloë Sevigny, filmmaker Isaac Julien and illustrator Tad Carpenter. The magazine was created by Stranger Collective, a UK-based content agency.

Categories: News

Extended Spring Roll Camera Jacket launches for mirrorless cameras

DP Review News - Thu, 01/06/2017 - 19:42

Japanese company Extended has launched a new protective case for select cameras, the Extended Spring Roll Camera Jacket. This case is compatible with the Leica M series, Leica Q, Fuji X-Pro series, and other similarly-sized cameras. As the product's name suggests, the Spring Roll protects cameras by wrapping around them; two small snap clasps are used to keep the case closed.

According to the company's website, Spring Roll measures 155mm x 290mm when open; the lens cover has a 70mm diameter and a 55mm length. Extended Photographic recently launched the Spring Roll Camera Jacket on its website, where it is priced at ¥12,800 / $110 USD with shipping to the US being an additional ¥2,000 / $18.

Via: LeicaRumors

Categories: News

Western Digital's new SSDs offer faster speeds and higher capacities

DP Review News - Thu, 01/06/2017 - 19:29

Hard disk manufacturer Western Digital acquired SSD specialist SanDisk last year. Now we are seeing the first fruits of the new relationship in the shape of two new SSD lineups – one under each company's brand name – that are the first to deploy SanDisk's new 64-layer 3D NAND chips. According to Western Digital the new chips offer 'lower power consumption and higher performance, endurance and capacities.'

The new Western Digital Blue and SanDisk Ultra 3D lines are identical in terms of capacity, controllers and performance specs but Western Digital's lineup includes a device in M.2 2280 format factor, which SanDisk's doesn't.

According to the spec sheets performance should be very good. The 256GB versions read at 550 MB/s and write at 525 MB/s. The larger capacity SSDs are even a touch quicker at 550 MB/s and 560 MB/s respectively. And the new SSDs are not only fast but also reliable. Western Digital states the mean time to failure (MTTF) of all devices as 1.75 million hours. If you think the new drives could help fulfill your storage and archiving needs, you'll be happy to hear they are quite affordable; 256GB drives start at $100. Pricing information for the larger 500GB, 1TB and 2TB models is not available yet.

Categories: News

User launches Change.org petition to save Nik software collection

DP Review News - Thu, 01/06/2017 - 19:04

Two days ago Google announced that it will stop providing updates for its Nik Collection suite of plug-in photo editing tools via a banner at the top of the Nik Collection site. Now a Nik user, Sascha Rheker from Germany, has launched a campaign on the Change.org petition site that aims to persuade Google to reverse its decision and continue to provide updates and add features to the Collection.

On the petition page Rheker writes: 'Today, with no real competitor, photographers depend on the Nik Collection and would have been willing to pay, to be able to keep it. Especially for their important black & white work. A company like Google who claims to contribute to the preservation of mankind's heritage by scanning millions of books, should also show some responsibility towards the photographic community, as photographs are a part of mankind's cultural heritage.'

It seems unlikely the software giant from Mountain View will change its mind but the petition has already been signed by more than 1000 people. If you agree with Sascha you can add your name and signature on Change.org as well.

Categories: News

Pinhole Pro DSLR lens is on Kickstarter

DP Review News - Thu, 01/06/2017 - 16:26

Pinhole photography is one of the most basic forms of photography but still a popular experimental subject with many photographers. A new Kickstarter project by Thingify is now aiming to give pinhole photography a more modern touch. The pinhole lens that is the subject of the crowdfunding campaign is the first to offer a variable aperture.

The 50mm lens comes with 8 different pinhole sizes, from 0.1mm to 0.8mm, and is made from anodized aluminium alloy. It also features a mechanical aperture ring and a 58mm front filter thread, giving it pretty much the look and feel of a DSLR standard lens.

Sample image taken on Nikon D750 and Pinhole Pro, image: Thingify/Searing

Thingify says the 0.8mm allows for enough light to pass to use Live Preview in low-light scenes. This is useful when shooting video or for pre-framing and a shot and then shooting at a smaller aperture. The Pinhole Pro will be available with Canon EOS/EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Sony E, Fuji X, Micro Four Thirds and Pentax K mounts and will only cost you approximately $50. The campaign has also raised several times its target amount, so the project will definitely go ahead. If that sounds interesting to you, you should hurry. The campaign only runs for three more days. More information and sample shots are available on the Pinhole Pro Kickstarter page.

Categories: News

New Nikon D3400 and D5600 firmware improves Snapbridge connectivity

DP Review News - Thu, 01/06/2017 - 15:03

In our review of the Nikon D5600 we reported connectivity issues with the Nikon Snapbridge app that allows for automatic image transfer from the camera to your smartphone. It appears these issues might now have been resolved.

Nikon has released firmware updates for the Nikon D3400 and D5600 DSLRs to improve the pairing and connectivity between the Android version of SnapBridge and the cameras. Firmware version 1.12 for the Nikon D3400 and 1.02 for the D5600 are now both available to download and install via Mac OS or Windows PC from the Nikon website. Connectivity issues with the iOS version of the app had already been solved via a previous firmware update.

Categories: News

T is for transportation: share your artwork now

For this month’s project, Madeline Cornell of the Robert Mann Gallery in New York invites you to share your art on the theme of transportation

In today’s fast-paced world, reliable modes of transportation are essential. In one of Mike Mandel’s earliest photography series, People in Cars, we are taken back to a bustling time when the San Fernando valley was undergoing a major transformation into a commercial landscape and car culture was beginning to rev up. Mandel’s goal was to redefine the relationship between photographer and subject, as well as to harness the power of documentary.

Mandel grew up in Los Angeles, California, where he spent his formative years working on projects that interacted with the public realm and engaged in ideas of history, people and neighbourhoods.

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Categories: News

It's a photo album... and a camera: the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-N1

DP Review News - Thu, 01/06/2017 - 11:00

In the first decade of the 21st century, camera manufacturers had to find ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. Kodak brought Wi-Fi to the camera world with its EasyShare One, Panasonic released the DMC-LX1 that had a 16:9 sensor and Samsung put selfie mirrors on the front of its compacts. Not to be outdone, Sony released its Cyber-shot DSC-N1 in October 2005, which was a compact camera and a 500-shot photo album in one.

On the front panel, the N1 had an 8.1MP, 1/1.8" CCD with a top ISO of 800, a 38-114mm equivalent lens, 5-area AF system and a battery that lasted for roughly 300 shots (which is quite respectable). Images and VGA video could be saved to internal memory or a Memory Stick Pro Duo slot.

Photo quality was typical for 2005, which is to say, good until about ISO 400 or so.

The real action takes place on the back of the DSC-N1, where you'll find a 3", 230k-dot RGBW LCD. The display was touch-enabled and offered features that we take for granted today, like touch AF, menu operation and image playback.

Enough beating around the bush: here's what made the DSC-N1 unique. Every time you took a photo, a VGA-sized version would be saved to the camera's internal memory bank. Album photos are saved 'first in first out', which means that older photos will be automatically deleted from the album if you don't protect or copy them first.

Images were organized by date and time and you could view slideshows of images from that date or the whole album. Slideshows were accompanied by fancy transitions and generic background music. One nice thing was that you could replace the built-in music with your own, drawing from CDs or MP3s.

As the photo above says, you could 'paint' on top of a photo using an included stylus. You could pick a color and a line size and draw away or add 'stamps'. Thankfully, an eraser was also available.

Sony offered an optional dock, known as the Cyber-shot Station, which let you charge the battery or display your slideshows on a TV.

Read DCResource DSC-N1 review

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Did you have a Cyber-shot DSC-N1 or the DSC-N2 that followed it? Share your memories in the comments! As always, suggestions for future tbt's are appreciated.

Categories: News

Microsoft demonstrates better way to bend sensors for simpler lenses and better IQ

DP Review News - Thu, 01/06/2017 - 09:00

Microsoft has become the latest company to show its hand in the race to gain the image quality benefits of curved sensors. Its Project Vermont has developed a method for bending conventionally made silicon sensors into more uniformly-curved shapes.

We've reported several times over the past few years on various commercial and academic projects working towards the creation of curved sensors. Curved sensors promise several image quality improvements: they can work with simpler lenses, since you don't need to optically correct a curved projection to a flat surface, they also give more direct illumination to pixels at the edges of the sensor, improving how much light they can receive. There's also a benefit at the center, possibly stemming from better acceptance of light from the edge of the lens.

In a paper published in the journal Optics Express (doi:10.1364/OE.25.013010), the group discusses a method for bending conventional silicon sensors in a way that gives a more even, rounded curvature. The process was refined to the point that it took only a couple of minutes to curve the sensor and maintain the curvature.

The paper discusses the creation of a curved sensor based on an Aptina 1/2.3" type sensor and its performance, it also discusses the modelled benefits of sensors with curvatures to match lenses ranging from 30mm equiv to 80mm equiv, vs the performance of similar flat sensors.

The team also compared the performance of its curved sensor and lens to a flat version of the same chip with a commercially available 6mm F1.2 lens. These, in turn, were compared with the performance of a Canon 50mm F1.2 lens on EOS-1D S Mark III. The simpler lens on the curved sensor gave significantly more consistent across-the-frame performance than either conventional lens and flat sensor combination.

The group list photography, videography, computer vision and automation, reconnaissance and surveillance imaging, microscopes, and telescopes as being some of the fields that could benefit from curved sensors, though the issue remains that the curvature needs to be matched to the focal length of the lens, limiting their benefits to systems with fixed focal lengths, unless the curvature can be varied.

Categories: News

Chris Buck's best photograph: Billy Joel in the dark with an Applause sign

‘Billy said, “I’ll do this – but I’m not one who performs because of an urgent need for approval”’

I had seen the sign about eight months earlier at a prop house. It was just an odd piece that caught my eye and belonged in a daytime TV studio, to flash when the audience should clap.

When I got to the hotel suite with my assistant the journalist was interviewing Billy Joel in another room, so we set up in the bedroom. We stripped off the sheets, plugged the sign in and I pulled the curtains closed until I felt there was the right ratio of light between the sign and the room. I wanted the room to be dark, but with just enough light to see what was going on.

I’m not a fan of Billy Joel’s music. I’m more likely to change the channel when his music comes on the radio

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Categories: News

DPReview on TWiT: Is the Sony a9 worth $4500?

DP Review News - Thu, 01/06/2017 - 05:00

DPReview has partnered with the TWiT Network (named after its flagship show, This Week in Tech) to produce a regular segment for The New Screen Savers, a popular weekend show hosted by technology guru Leo Laporte.

On this week's episode of The New Screen Savers, DPReview editor Carey Rose joins Leo and Iain Thomson to talk about the Sony a9, who it's for, and whether it's really worth the $4500 price tag. The full episode also takes you on a tour of Jupiter with the Juno spacecraft and a quick review of the latest Lenovo Yoga 2-in-1. Lastly, what if you're going traveling and want a camera for $300? We'll help you out there, too.

You can watch The New Screen Savers live every Saturday at 3pm Pacific Time (23:00 UTC), on demand through our articles, the TWiT website, or YouTube, as well as through most podcasting apps.

Categories: News

Swiss resort town 'bans' photography so you won't feel bad that you're not there

DP Review News - Thu, 01/06/2017 - 04:30
This is Bergün, a lovely town you are forbidden from photographing. Photo by Adrian Michael, licensed under CC 3.0

In a genius PR move, the local council of Bergün, a village in Switzerland, has banned photography. They claim that it's an effort to protect the feelings of anyone who might happen to see a picture shared on social media showcasing the area's natural charms and experience FOMO, or fear of missing out. They've even put together a video asking NASA to scramble satellite images of the town in compliance with the ban.

According to the Telegraph, anyone caught violating the photography ban will face a fine of 5 Swiss Francs (about $5), though the town's director of tourism says it's unlikely any will actually be imposed.

Categories: News

Video: a grayscale method for matching colors in Photoshop

DP Review News - Thu, 01/06/2017 - 01:45

Adobe Senior Creative Director Russell Brown recently posted this neat demo showing a technique for matching colors in Photoshop without touching a hue or saturation slider. His method uses adjustments in grayscale to individual color channels, comparing a swatch of the color he's attempting to change directly to the color he's trying to match. See how he does it in the video above.

Categories: News
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