Age International photo competition winners – in pictures

The winners of the 2016 Age International photographic competition Strength for Life have been selected. An exhibition, including the winners and a selection of other photographs submitted, is now on display in the crypt of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London, until Monday 31 October

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Categories: News

Louder than a bomb: 40 years of hip-hop photography – in pictures

A new photography book, Hip-Hop Raised Me, chronicles the rise of rap as it spilled from the US to the world – featuring the likes of Eminem, Notorious BIG and Lauryn Hill

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Categories: News

Hands-on with the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V

DP Review News - Fri, 07/10/2016 - 00:11
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V

Not surprisingly, the Mark V looks a whole lot like its predecessors. It continues to use a 1"-type 20.1MP sensor (more on that in a minute) and 24-70mm equiv. F1.8-2.8 lens, and sports the same pop-up viewfinder with 2.36M-dot OLED panel as the RX100 III and IV. The big improvements are all under the hood.

Phase-detection autofocus

The RX100 V's sensor is of a similar stacked design to the Mark IV's but gains 315 phase-detection AF points covering 65% of the frame. Combined with a front-end LSI chip, the RX100 V's AF system is capable of acquiring focus in as little as 0.05 sec.

The main benefit of phase detection elements on the sensor is that they give the camera an understanding of the depth and where your subject exists in the scene. This not only means faster focus but should also allow more reliable subject tracking (the ability to follow your subject around the frame), since the camera has additional information to help it determine your subject and its location.

Deeper buffer

That on-sensor phase detection isn't only useful for continuous shooting but it should come into its own when the continuous AF and continuous drive are used in conjunction with one another.

You can essentially shoot short 5.5K, uncompressed 12-bit Raw video clips, with AF and AE.

The camera can continue to use PDAF even at its top full-res burst speed of an impressive 24 fps. 24 fps with full AF and AE. Think about it: that's the frame rate movies are shot at. In fact, you are effectively shooting short movie clips, but at 5.5K resolution, with the full dynamic range of the sensor if you're shooting Raw. You can essentially shoot short 5.5K, (almost) uncompressed 12-bit Raw video clips, with AF and AE.

On top of this, its buffer is now deep enough that it can keep firing away for 150 JPEGs, or ~60 Raw + JPEGs, at 24 fps. That's 6.3 and 2.5 seconds of continuous shooting, respectively. 

PDAF plus 4K

The RX100 V's 4K video mode certainly looks good on paper: the camera uses a 5028 x 2828 pixel region to create UHD video, meaning it oversamples by 1.3x in each dimension. And with faster sensor readout, there's significantly less rolling shutter to worry about. Sony tells us this is as close as they've gotten to global shutter performance in a digital still camera.

The ability to use phase-detection autofocus while recording 4K video is a benefit, since it reduces the risk of the camera missing focus and having to hunt (and ruining your clips in the process). Sadly, without a touchscreen it's not nearly as useful as it could be.

There's still plenty to make a video enthusiast happy: the 960, 480, and 240 fps slow motion modes all gain twice as much recording time thanks to the LSI, meaning you can record 960 fps (upscaled to 1080/30p) for up to 8 sec. 1080/120p and S-Log profiles are all here.

Look but don't touch

On that note, here's a look at the RX100 V's LCD, and multi-tasking DPR staffer Carey Rose. The 3" 1.3M-dot screen flips up to a selfie-friendly 180-degrees, and also tilts downward by 45 degrees. Like we said, it's still not a touchscreen, and that's a shame. We've routinely noted that the increasing feature set on these RX100 cameras overwhelms the unsophisticated UI (and lack of customizable buttons/dials), and a touchscreen would've gone a long way to remedying this. In particular, by making focus point selection easier than the currently cumbersome implementation.

Wi-Fi on board

Wi-Fi and NFC haven't gone anywhere, but you'll find a new way to initiate the connection between the camera and your mobile device: QR codes are available for those of us without NFC, or next-to-useless NFC (we're looking at you, Apple.)

Battery life

All the advancements under the hood appear to have taken a toll on battery life: the RX100 V's battery is CIPA-rated to 220 shots compared to the RX100 IV's 280 shots. Most users will of course get much better performance than that in real world use (since the testing makes more use of flash and image review than most photographers). And there is good news – the RX100 V we've been using for initial shooting has performed way over the CIPA rating. Continuously shooting at Sony's recent event, we shot 2,000 stills and a bunch of HFR video before requiring a battery change.

Still, a spare battery wouldn't be the worst idea with an RX100 V purchase, considering that in most real-world shooting, you'll have a lot more battery-draining time between shots, meaning it's unlikely you'll get the 2,000+ shots we were getting at the Sony event.

New waterproof housing

Sony has also unveiled an underwater housing compatible with the entire RX100 series, called the MPK-URX100A for those keeping score at home. It's rated to a depth of 40m/130ft and includes loads of control points to access settings with the camera locked safely inside. The housing will go on sale in November for $350.

Innovation doesn't come cheap

A long feature list commands an equally impressive price tag – the Sony RX100 V will retail for $1000 when it goes on sale in October. For the moment that's the same price as the Mark IV, but it seems highly likely that its price will come down before too long.

Look for more soon on the RX100 V as we put it to work, including a sample gallery.

Categories: News

Hands-on and in-depth with the Sony a6500

DP Review News - Thu, 06/10/2016 - 20:16
Sony announces Alpha 6500

Sony has announced the a6500, its top of the line APS-C E-mount mirrorless camera. It may look a lot like the a6300 but it's a higher spec (and more expensive) sister model.

And, given the a6300 is already one of the most capable cameras in its class, the prospect of a still-more capable model above - roughly parallel with Nikon's D500 and Canon's EOS 7D Mark II - is an exciting prospect.

It's based around the same copper-wired 24MP CMOS sensor as the a6300 but it adds several key features: most notably in-body image stabilization, touchscreen control, and a faster processor that makes the camera considerably more usable for fast-paced shooting.

An even faster Alpha

The a6500 still features the same 425 on-sensor phase detection elements as the a6300 and still shoots at the same 11 frames per second maximum burst rate (8 fps with Live View), but a deeper buffer and additional processor allow it to shoot 300 standard JPEG frames in a burst (or 100 frames when shooting Raw + JPEG). That amounts to 27 seconds of continuous shooting (or 9s for Raw + JPEG).

The buffer and additional processing power also allow faster image review, which should avoid the frustrating 'camera busy' warnings that previous Sonys have been prone to give. In fact, you can immediately enter image review after an image or burst is taken and instantaneously check focus at 100%, albeit not always on the last shot if the buffer is still clearing. Speaking of the buffer clearing, a handy indicator at the top left of the LCD tells you exactly how many images remain to be written to your card after a burst.

The camera's shutter mechanism has been updated and has now been tested to (though not necessarily guaranteed to) 200,000 cycles. Maximum shutter speed remains 1/4000th of a second but an electronic shutter option allows the camera to shoot above this limit (though with added risk of rolling shutter).

5-axis in-body image stabilization

The a6500 manages to squeeze a five-axis image stabilization system in without changing the overall size relative to the a6300. The system is rated as offering 5 stops of improvement when tested to CIPA standards using a 55mm lens. This capability significantly enhances the camera's appeal, both for stills and video shooting.

This system recognizes the presence of Sony lenses with OSS stabilization and passes responsibility for correcting pitch and yaw to the lens. Sony does not claim any additional effectiveness for this approach but we'd expect it to help maintain that 5-stop figure when using longer lenses, since lens correction is able to correct for a greater degree of movement than sensor shift stabilization alone can at longer focal lengths.

Another feature that'll help with those longer lenses? A beefier, more recessed grip, reshaped to bring the camera more in-line with alpha 7 cameras. Additionally, a screw-in camera body case adds some extra heft to the grip, and some extra height to the camera, making it easier to wrap all your fingers around the grip without your pinky running off the bottom of the camera. 

Touchscreen focus

One of the biggest additions to the a6500 over existing models is touchscreen control. Previously reserved for the company's more point-and-shoot orientated models, the touchscreen makes it quicker to specify the AF point position (a significant frustration with the a6300).

While shooting, the touchscreen is solely used to set the AF point with no option to control settings or navigate the menus. In playback you can double-tap the screen to zoom into the image, then swipe your finger around to navigate (it doesn't let you jump between images, though).

The lack of 'touch-and-track' in video is a major oversight.

This touch-to-focus ability extends to video mode and video focus speed can be adjusted to provide slow, smooth autofocus pulls. However, the camera won't touch-and-track general subjects in video mode because 'Lock-on AF' is unavailable when shooting movies. Only the older 'Center Lock-On AF' system that locks onto the subject at the center of the frame is available, and it's as unreliable - and as unfriendly to use - as it's always been. The lack of 'touch-and-track' in video is a major oversight, in our opinion.

Touchpad AF

Like Panasonic cameras and the recent Canon EOS M5, the a6500's touchscreen can still be used as a touchpad to specify the autofocus point when shooting through the camera's electronic viewfinder. In touchpad mode, the control of the AF point is unfortunately always relative, rather than (at least an option for) absolute, so you swipe to move the AF point from its current position, rather than touching exactly where you want it to be.

The camera lets you select whether both the touchscreen and touchpad modes are available, letting you disengage the touch sensitivity if you only want to use it with your eye to the finder, or only want it active when using the rear LCD.

There's also the option to limit the active area of the touchscreen for touchpad AF to the right 1/2, right 1/4, or whole screen (you can't only use the left half). The touchpad can also be set to disable when you turn the camera into the portrait orientation - to prevent your nose from accidentally selecting the AF point.

Our initial thoughts? Touchpad AF with the eye to the finder feels laggy. Furthermore, we wish Sony had included an option for absolute (in addition to relative) positioning, as it's a far faster way of instantly zipping the AF point to your desired position during viewfinder shooting. And ideally, Sony would've offered 'absolute' positioning with selectable quadrants for touchpad AF - Canon EOS M5 style - as the aspect ratio of a quadrant of the LCD closely matches that of the entire frame, making AF point positioning intuitive.

Revised menus

In addition to the touchscreen, Sony has made several other welcome adjustments to the camera's operation and control.

The menus have been (thankfully!) rearranged to cluster related features together and are now color-coded to make it easier to recognize and remember where a setting lives. Unfortunately Sony deserves some criticism for omitting a customizable 'My Menu', which would've allowed one to collate into one location commonly used menu items, particularly ones unassignable to the customizable Fn menu. 

In addition, the camera gains a second custom button on the top plate, bringing the a6500 in line with the Alpha 7 cameras and upping the total number of customizable function buttons to 10.

4K Video

The a6500 offers the same UHD 4K capabilities as the a6300. It can shoot 4K/25p and 24p from the full width of its sensor, meaning 1.56x oversampling in each dimension. This gives very highly detailed footage, compared to taking a 'native' crop from the sensor. 30p 4K is taken from a slightly smaller crop, and as a result suffers from less rolling shutter.

Sony has said nothing about changes in thermal management, so it's likely the camera won't be able to shoot for the full 29 minutes in warm conditions or capture similarly long clips back-to-back. However, with the latest firmware, we haven't encountered overheating when shooting clips to edit together, so it's only extended shooting that's likely to be a problem.

We're more concerned about any interaction between the camera's fairly high levels of rolling shutter (in 4K/24p) and the movement of its 5-axis image stabilization system. Stabilized 4K video could be a hugely valuable capability of the camera but we'll wait to see the footage before getting too excited.

Video capabilities

Like the a6300, the a6500 has a built-in mic socket but no headphone port for audio monitoring.

Dropping away from 4K mode, the a6500 can shoot 1080p video at up to 120p with autofocus. There's also a mode that shoots at anywhere from 1fps to 120fps before outputting video at anywhere from 60x down to 1/5th normal speed.

It also continues to offer the in-depth 'Picture Profile' video response modes including ITU 709 and both S-Log2 and S-Log3 gamma curves. The camera records internally at up to 100Mbps for 4K recording and requires you use a U3-rated UHS-I card. It's happy to record to either SDXC or SDHC cards.

Internal recording is 8-bit 4:2:0 while HDMI out is 8-bit 4:2:2.

In summary

The a6500 is a very well specced camera: 5-axis stabilization, 11 fps shooting with AF, an impressive buffer with far more responsive image review, 4K UHD video capture with S-Log options, a comprehensive AF tracking system, weather-sealed body...

There are still a few things missing, though. Although the camera includes two command dials (one on the shoulder, one on the rear face of the camera), it has the same drawbacks as the a6300: both need to be controlled with the thumb. Worse still, it's likely that you'll have to shift your grip on the camera to reach from one to the other. A front dial would've gone a long way.

Still, the addition of a touchscreen and an even greater level of customization over the controls should give quick access to most of the features you need to change in-the-moment.

There's a price to be paid for these additional capabilities, though. The a6500 will sell for around $1400 or €1700 in Europe. As always, bear in mind the European price is likely to include VAT whereas the US price is usually quoted without sales tax. This makes it 40% more expensive than the a6300's list price and over twice the launch price of the more modest a6000.

So, while the technologies and capabilities of these three models are very different, the similarities of design and nomenclature risk causing customer confusion. It's a pretty solid looking lineup, though.

This is Sony's first truly top-end APS-C camera since the NEX-7, back in 2011, even if the a6500 doesn't appear to offer anything to match that model's 'Tri-Navi' triple dial interface. That said, the touchscreen should significantly improve the ergonomics, and the idea of a stabilized APS-C alpha with a turbo-boosted version of the a6300's feature set is exciting.

Categories: News

Bowens introduces Generation X studio and portable flash heads with TTL radio control

DP Review News - Thu, 06/10/2016 - 19:58

UK flash manufacturer Bowens will use the PhotoPlus Expo to launch its new range of Generation X flash heads in the USA. The new range has a completely new design and features a portable model that is powered by an in-body rechargeable battery.

There are four heads in the new range: the XMT 500, XMS 500, XMS 750 and XMS 1000, all of which offer radio controlled triggering and control via new on-camera transceiver XMSR Trigger. The XMS mono-block heads are designed for indoor and in-studio use while the XMT 500 takes a removable lithium ion cell that the company claims delivers up to 500 full power bursts per charge. This portable head also offers TTL control for Canon, Nikon and Sony users.

All of the new heads have a high speed sync mode that allows shutter speeds as short a 1/8000sec, and the XMSR radio remote allows such high speed shooting with any brand of camera. The XMT 500 has a minimum flash duration of 1/10,309sec, and the XMS heads have shortest durations of 1/5180sec, 1/4800sec and 1/4400sec, which makes them all suitable for freezing action and moving subjects.

The XMS 500 has 7 stops of adjustable power, while the XMS 750 and XMS 1000 offer 8 stops. The XMT can manage 9 stops and has a lowest output of just 2Ws. The battery-operated head has recycle times of between 0.01 and 2 seconds, and the XMS 1000 can also recover from a full power burst in 2 seconds. Bowens claims each of the heads has a flash-to-flash consistency of +/-30°K and +/-0.05 stops.

Bowens is particularly proud of a new adjustment lever that allows the heads to be tilted very quickly without the user having to wind open a bolt. The new lever just flips open to allow the angle of the head to be adjusted and then flips back to lock the head in position.

XMT 500            $1,799.99/£1199
XMS 500            $1,099.99/£799
XMS 750            $1,299.99/£899
XMS 1000          $1,499.99/£999
XMSR Trigger    $ 289.99

For more information see the Bowens website.

Press release

Bowens Launches Game Changing Generation X Flash Range

Upper Saddle River, N.J. (October 5, 2016) – Manfrotto Distribution, Inc., distributor of Bowens products in the United States, proudly announces the launch of the new Generation X flash range by Bowens. These innovative units will debut in the U.S. at PhotoPlus Expo in New York City later this month and mark a renaissance for the legacy lighting manufacturer.

Generation X comprises two new flash systems: XMT – an all-in-one battery unit for location lighting and XMS – engineered to be the go-to system for photographers who need a function-rich and completely reliable flash in the studio.

Announcing the launch, David Hollingsworth, Marketing Manager, said, “Generation X is just the first step in relaunching Bowens to the imaging world. These barrier-breaking new products combine state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge design and are the result of many months of very intense market research and product development. They will be the vanguard of our plans for ongoing and regular new unit roll-outs in coming months and years.”

Added Hollingsworth, “We believe these are simply the best lights in their class available on the market today. New-look Bowens is creating beautifully designed and engineered products, tailored to our customers’ needs.”

John Gass, Technical Director said, “Generation X is the result of highly-focused analysis of our customers’ feedback through the years. These new units are revolutionary products which we believe are absolutely unbeatable in their class in terms of functionality, aesthetics and cost.”

He added, “For decades, customers have frequently described our products as ‘workhorses’ in the studio and on location. Now the workhorse has been transformed into a stallion; we tested the XMS at full power every five seconds over consecutive days and we couldn’t force this product to overheat.”

Generation X – at a glance:
The all-new 500Ws XMT boasts TTL and high speed sync functionality (up to 1/8000s) compatible with Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras: 9-stops of flash power adjustment; flash durations as short as 1/10309s: faster recycle times than ever before (as rapid as 0.01s): easy swap lithium-ion battery provides up to 500 full power flashes per charge: rear curtain sync; sync delay and strobe mode allow creative set-ups on the move.

The XMS, available in 500,750 and 1000Ws models (all fully controllable via the XMSR 2.4 Ghz radio control and trigger) features multi-voltage operation. These units offer outstanding specification with faster recycling times and flash durations. The XMSR model includes groundbreaking Bowens ‘Sync Offset’ functionality, enabling photographers to embrace any brand of camera to shoot at high sync speeds – up to 1/8000s.

The following models will be available this fall:
XMT 500 $1,799.99
XMS 500 $1,099.99
XMS 750 $1,299.99
XMS 1000 $1,499.99
XMSR Trigger $ 289.99

For additional information or to learn more about Bowens products, visit:

Categories: News

Fujifilm X-Pro2 firmware 2.0 adds focus points, improves PDAF accuracy

DP Review News - Thu, 06/10/2016 - 19:37

Fujifilm has released firmware v 2.0 for the Fuji X-Pro2, bringing many tweaks, changes and bug fixes to the company's flagship APS-C camera. Among the changes is an increase in the number of focus points to 325, as well as improved phase detection autofocus accuracy via the X-T2’s AF algorithm, improved AF tracking in Continuous L burst rate shooting in AF-C mode, the addition of support for the EF-X500 shoe mount flash, new 15/30 second and 1 minute time options for ‘Auto Power Off,’ and improved optical image stabilization when using the electronic shutter.

The full firmware 2.0 changelog:

  • 1. The NUMBER OF THE FOCUS POINT has increased.(*) The options available are 91 POINTS(7x13) and 325 POINTS(13x25) on the NUMBER OF THE FOCUS POINT of the AF/MF SETTING in the Shooting Menu.
  • 2. Improvement of phase detection AF accuracy. By employing the new AF algorithm used in the X-T2, the AF accuracy has been improved.
  • 3. AF tracking function has been improved when CONTINUOUS L in the AF-C mode.
  • 4. In AF-C mode, AE function will work while pressing the shutter button halfway.
  • 5. AF tracking function works while CONTINUOUS shooting in the AF-C mode with the Electronic Shutter.
  • 6. AF tracking function works while CONTINUOUS H shooting in the AF-C mode instead of zone AF.
  • 7. STILL IMAGE(single frame shooting) is available when CONTINUOUS L in the AF-C mode.
  • 8. The focus point of Eye Detection AF has been changed to the eye closer to the camera.
  • 9. Compatibility with the Shoe Mount Flash EF-X500.(*) Additional functions like the multi-flash lighting, high-speed flash sync and so on can be used with the EF-X500. Accordingly, the FLASH SETTING and the Shooting Menu is dramatically changed.
  • 10. The items that can be assigned to the Quick Menu have changed.(*) FLASH FUNCTION SETTINGS and FLASH COMPENSATION have been added due to the compatibility with the Shoe Mount Flash EF-X500.
  • 11. The roles that can be assigned to the Function buttons have changed.(*) FLASH FUNCTION SETTINGS, TTL-LOCK and MODELING FLASH have been added due to the compatibility with the Shoe Mount Flash EF-X500.
  • 12. Addition of AUTO POWER SAVE.(*) AUTO POWER SAVE option has been added to the POWER MANAGEMENT of the Setup Menu. Select ON to save the power consumption and make the battery life longer.
  • 13. Addition of setting time in AUTO POWER OFF.(*) 15 SEC, 30 SEC and 1 MIN have been added to the AUTO POWER OFF of the POWER MANAGEMENT in the Setup Menu.
  • 14. S.S OPERATION option has been added to BUTTON/DIAL SETTING in the Setup Menu.(*) Select OFF to disable the shutter-speed fine-tuning using the command dials.
  • 15. Change of the CORRECTED AF FRAME in the OVF.(*) Specification of the CORRECTED AF FRAME of AF/MF SETTING in the Shooting Menu has been changed. OFF: The frame moves according to parallax to show the focus point. ON: The CORRECTED AF FRAME in the OVF is fixed on the recommended value described in the Owner's manual. If the minimum focus range of the attached lens is greater than the recommended value, the frame is displayed on the position of the minimum focus range. *Upgrade the firmware of the lenses after the firmware of the camera is upgraded.
  • 16. The phenomenon is fixed that in rare cases the magnification of the OVF doesn't switch appropriately when a lens is changed.
  • 17. The bright frame movement in the OVF has become more smoothly while zooming in and out.
  • 18. OIS function has been improved while using Electronic Shutter.
  • 19. The phenomenon is fixed that in rare cases frames of live view on a smartphone drop while using the application software "FUJIFILM Camera Remote".
  • 20. The phenomenon is fixed that exposure sometimes doesn't change appropriately in Aperture Priority AE while using an M MOUNT ADAPTER.
Categories: News

Sony a6500 adds 5-axis stabilization, touchscreen and processing power

DP Review News - Thu, 06/10/2016 - 15:32
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Sony has taken the wraps off of its 24MP a6500 mirrorless camera. The flagship APS-C camera gains five-axis image stabilization and touchscreen operation. A larger buffer and more processing power also help set it apart from the existing a6300. It will cost around $1400.

The a6500 is now the company's top-end APS-C camera, sitting above the a6300. It makes use of the same copper-wired 24MP sensor with 425 on-sensor PDAF points but gains a faster (LSI) processor to allow high speed operation. Sony also promises improved processing at high ISO settings, thanks to this new LSI.

The camera gains 5-axis image stabilization which continues to work in both stills and video. The system is rated as offering 5 stops of stabilization, by CIPA standard testing.

When used in conjunction with stabilized 'OSS' lenses, the in-lens stabilization takes over correction of the axes that is can stabilize, though Sony makes no claims for this adding to the degree of stabilization offered.

It also gains a touchscreen for faster operation, particularly in terms of AF point positioning. The rear screen works as a touchpad if you're holding the camera to your eye.

The buffer has been significantly increased, allowing the camera to shoot at 11 frames per second for around 300 JPEGs or 100 Raw+JPEG frames. Sony says this (presumably in combination with the additional processing power) also helps it offer a faster image review when you've been shooting large bursts.

It can shoot 4K video much like the a6300 but with the touchscreen allowing touch-to-pull-focus. The AF drive speed during video shooting can be controlled for smooth focus transitions. This autofocus ability is maintained across all the camera's video modes, including 1080/120p capture.

Beyond that, the camera's video capabilities are very similar to those of the a6300: UHD 4K at up to 100Mbps from 6K readout, meaning roughly 1.56x oversampling in each dimension (2.4x overall). The camera can also capture Full HD (1080) at up to 120p which is now offered as part of a feature that allows the camera to offer anything from 1fps to 120fps capture, for playing back as anything from 60x high speed to 1/5th speed slow motion.

Sadly, Sony is making no promises of improved rolling shutter, compared with the a6300 (suggesting it's a sensor read-out limitation, rather than one of processing).

Like the a6300, the a6500 has a mic input but no headphone socket.

The camera's menu has also been updated, which the company says will make it easier to search and navigate. At present, it does not appear that the camera can shoot uncompressed Raw.

Battery life is rated at 350 shots per charge when using the rear screen and 310 shots per charge when using the EVF.

The a6500 will be available for $1400/€1700 in the end of November and December for the US and EU, respectively.

 Press release:

Sony Introduces New α6500 Camera with Exceptional All-Around Performance

New Flagship APS-C Sensor Camera Combines World’s Fastest AF speed1and Highest Number of AF points2 with In-camera 5-axis optical image stabilization, Touchscreen AF Operation, 24.2 MP Exmor® CMOS sensor and more

NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2016 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced their new flagship APS-C sensor camera, the α6500 (model ILCE-6500).

As the latest addition to Sony’s lineup of award winning mirrorless cameras, the new α6500 shares the same unrivaled 4D FOCUS™ system as the α6300 camera, which can lock focus on a subject in as little as 0.05 seconds, the world’s fastest1 AF acquisition time. Also shared with the α6300, the new α6500 features 425 phase detection AF points that are densely positioned over nearly the entire image area – the world’s highest2 number of AF points on any interchangeable lens camera. The new model can shoot images at up to 11 frames per second with continuous autofocus and exposure tracking and up to 8 frames per second in a live-view shooting mode that makes it easy to track fast moving subjects, as it combines all of the benefits of an electronic viewfinder with the immediacy of an optical viewfinder.

The camera can shoot at these high speeds for up to 307 frames3 thanks to its expanded buffer, which, along with the fast response speeds described above, are all achieved with the support of a new front-end LSI chip that has been added to the camera. This new front-end LSI also serves to enhance both still and video image quality.

Additionally, the new α6500 features Sony’s acclaimed in-camera 5-axis optical image stabilization, making it the first Sony APS-C sensor camera to offer all of the benefits of advanced in-body stabilization, which include a shutter speed advantage of approximately 5 steps4. It also offers touchscreen AF capabilities for focus point selection and adjustment.

“We are continuing to push the boundaries of modern innovation in digital imaging, in particular within the mirrorless space,” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “By equipping the α6500 with 5-axis image stabilization and touchscreen AF, we’re offering photographers and videographers more control than ever before and a seemingly endless amount of creative possibilities. As our flagship APS-C camera, it far exceeds the performance threshold of any camera in its class, and many above its class as well.”

Unmatched AF Capability

Sony’s new α6500 camera utilizes the same 4D FOCUS system as the α6300 – a Fast Hybrid AF system that combines high-speed phase detection AF with extremely accurate contrast AF and allows it to capture and lock on to moving subjects in as little as 0.05 seconds1. It also features 425 phase detection AF points and High-density Tracking AF Technology, which significantly improves subject detection and tracking performance.

New for the α6500, thanks to faster internal processing capabilities enabled by the front-end LSI, the maximum buffer for high-speed continuous shooting is an impressive 307 frames3, greatly increasing the chances to catch that decisive moment.

The camera’s 425 phase detection AF points, focusing tracking and accuracy are also available when using non-native A-mount lenses5 with Sony’s LA-EA3 mount adaptor. Additionally, it includes silent shooting, Eye AF in AF-C mode, AF in focus magnifier modes, Expand Flexible Spot AF and more.

5-axis Image Stabilization Provides 5 Steps Shutter Speed Advantage

One of the most exciting developments in the new α6500 is the implementation of 5-axis image stabilization for the first time in a Sony APS-C sensor camera. Additionally, through a total revision of the internal design of the camera, this newly developed stabilization system fits entirely within a body that is nearly the same size as the α6300 model6. This innovative 5- axis system provides a shutter speed advantage of 5 steps4, ensuring the full resolving power of the sensor can be realized, even in challenging lighting.

The shake compensation provided by the system works with a variety of lenses, including E-mount lenses without OSS (Optical SteadyShot) stabilization and A-mount lenses7 when used with a compatible mount adapter. When an E-mount lens with OSS is mounted, pitch and yaw are compensated in the lens and horizontal, vertical and roll axes are compensated in the camera body, resulting in optimal 5-axis stabilization7.

Also, with a simple half press of the shutter button, the effect of the image stabilization can be monitored in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen, allowing framing and focus to be accurately checked and continually monitored. This is available even when a lens is attached that does not have built-in shake compensation.

New Touch Screen Focusing

The new α6500 comes equipped with touch screen functionality, allowing users to lock focus on a subject simply by touching it on the screen. This is a powerful compliment to its advanced AF system and video shooting capabilities.

Additionally, in a first for Sony cameras, the α6500 features touchpad functionality. When utilizing the viewfinder for framing and shooting, the LCD screen can be used as a touch pad. Simply drag a finger across the screen to shift the focus point from one area to another.

Powerful 24.2 MP8 Exmor CMOS Sensor, BIONZ X® Processor and New Front-End LSI

The new α6500 features an APS-C sized 24.2 MP8 Exmor CMOS sensor that works together with a BIONZ X image processor and the newly developed front-end LSI to maximize processing power and achieve an impressive sensitivity range of ISO 100-512009.

The image sensor employs a thin wiring layer and large photodiode substrate that maximizes light collection efficiency, plus copper wiring in its structure for outstanding read-out speed. The BIONZ X image processor and newly developed front-end LSI ensure superior image and video quality with low noise even when using higher ISO settings, in particular those at high sensitivity values where other cameras typically struggle. The LSI is also responsible for the expanded buffer depth for continuous shooting.

Professional Video Capabilities

The new α6500 becomes the latest Sony interchangeable lens camera to offer internal 4K movie recording, as it can shoot 4K (3840x2160p) video in the popular Super 35mm format on the full width of the image sensor. When shooting in this format, the camera uses full pixel readout without pixel binning to collect 6K of information – approximately 2.4x10 (20 MP equivalent) as many pixels as 4K UHD and then oversamples the information to produce high quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth.

Additionally, the α6500 will focus exceptionally fast during movie shooting thanks to its Fast Hybrid AF system, offers touch focusing for professionally smooth focus shifts, while also offering adjustable AF transition speed and AF tracking sensitivity. The camera supports the XAVC S codec11 during video shooting, which records at a high bit rate of up to 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during Full HD shooting, ensuring maximum detail and clarity in both video formats.

Other professional caliber video features include the ability to record Full HD at 120 fps at up to 100 Mbps, which allows footage to be reviewed and eventually edited into 4x or 5x slow motion video files in Full HD (24p) resolution with AF tracking.

New on the α6500 is the incorporation of a ‘Slow and Quick’ (S&Q) mode that supports both slow motion and quick motion. In this mode, frame rates from 1 fps to 120 fps can be selected in 8 steps for up to 60x quick motion and 5x slow motion recording12. Footage shot in this mode can be previewed after shooting without the need for PC-based post processing.

The camera also offers S-Log gamma recording13 for wide dynamic range shooting – approximately 14-stop latitude in S-Log3 gamma setting – and supports S-Gamut for a wider color space. Both options allow for greater creativity for processing video post-production.

Shooters also now have the ability to select, extract and save still images from movie footage directly on the camera. Approximately 8 MP images and 2 MP images can be pulled from 4K modes and Full HD modes, respectively.

Enhanced Operability and Reliability

The new α6500 has a refined design, maintaining the mobility of the α6000 series while adapting much of the usability of Sony’s acclaimed α7 II series. The new model features the same high contrast, high-resolution 2.4 million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder as the α6300 that offers exceptional corner-to-corner visibility.

New hardware features on the α6500 include a magnesium alloy body and a high-durability shutter with a tested life span of approximately 200,000 release cycles14. It also has several design features that are borrowed from the α7 II series of full-frame cameras, which include a robust lens mount, a recessed grip to improve handling, a larger release button and ten total custom buttons including ‘C1’, ‘C2’ and ‘C3’. It also has an improved operation feel for its mode and control dials and rear face buttons, as well as a softer eyepiece cup for more comfortable usage.

On the software front, there is a new overall user interface, which allows for a much smoother process for searching and adjusting menu settings, as well two new metering modes – Highlight, where exposure metering is focused on the brightest area of the frame, and Entire Screen Avg, which maintains an average metering for the entire image.

The camera is Wi-Fi®, QR and NFC compatible and fully compatible with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile™ applications15 available for Android™ and iOS platforms, as well as Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Apps™. The α6500 also offers location data acquisition via a Bluetooth16 connection to a compatible mobile device and an updated menu structure to deliver a smoother navigational experience.

Pricing and Availability

The Sony α6500 interchangeable lens camera will ship this November for about $1,400 US and $1,750 CA. It will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.

There is also a new genuine leather body case (model LCS-EBG) that will ship in November and a new eyepiece cup (model FDA-EP17) that will be launched at a later date.


  1. Among interchangeable-lens digital cameras equipped with an APS-C image sensor as of October 2016, based on Sony research, measured using CIPA-compliant guidelines, and internal measurement method with an E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens mounted, Pre-AF off and viewfinder in use.
  2. Among digital cameras as of October 2016, based on Sony research.
  3. With “Hi” continuous shooting mode and “Fine” image quality.
  4. Based on CIPA standard. Pitch/yaw shake only. With Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA lens mounted. Long exposure NR off.
  5. A-mount lenses with SSM or SAM only. Users can choose phase-detection AF or contrast-detection AF in AF System menu. “Phase-detection AF” is not available during movie shooting. AF-C in AF System menu is available only with “Contrast-detection AF” selected, but no motion tracking is performed during continuous shooting (Hi+, Hi, Mid).
  6. Excluding grip, frontal-view size and main body thickness are the same as for the α6300
  7. All 5-axis stabilization is performed in-camera when SEL90M28G is mounted
  8. Approximate effective MP
  9. Standard ISO range: 100-25600 for stills and movies. Expandable up to ISO 51200 for stills only.
  10. In 24p recording. Approx. 1.6 times in 30p recording.
  11. SDHC/SDXC memory card of Class 10 or higher is required for movie recording in XAVC S format. UHS-I (U3) SDHC/SDXC card is required for 100Mbps recording.
  12. Sound cannot be recorded. SDHC/SDXC memory card of Class 10 or higher is required.
  13. S-Log2 and S-Log3 are premised on processing pictures.
  14. With the electronic front curtain shutter, under internal test conditions of Sony.
  15. Use the latest version of PlayMemories Mobile
  16. Can be connected via Bluetooth with smartphones featuring (as of the date of release)
Sony Alpha a6500 specifications PriceMSRP$1400 (body only)Body typeBody typeRangefinder-style mirrorlessBody materialMagnesium alloySensorMax resolution6000 x 4000Image ratio w:h3:2, 16:9Effective pixels24 megapixelsSensor photo detectors25 megapixelsSensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)Sensor typeCMOSProcessorBionz XColor spacesRGB, Adobe RGBColor filter arrayPrimary color filterImageISOAuto, 100-25600 (expandable to 51200)Boosted ISO (maximum)51200White balance presets8Image stabilizationSensor-shiftImage stabilization notes5-axisUncompressed formatRAWJPEG quality levelsExtra fine, fine, standardFile format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • Raw (14-bit Sony ARW)
Optics & FocusAutofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYesManual focusYesNumber of focus points425Lens mountSony EFocal length multiplier1.5×Screen / viewfinderArticulated LCDTiltingScreen size3″Screen dots921,600Touch screenYesScreen typeTFT LCDLive viewYesViewfinder typeElectronicViewfinder coverage100%Viewfinder magnification0.7×Viewfinder resolution2,359,296Photography featuresMinimum shutter speed30 secMaximum shutter speed1/4000 secMaximum shutter speed (electronic)1/32000 secExposure modes
  • iAuto
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashYesFlash range6.00 m (at ISO 100)External flashYes (via hot shoe)Flash modesFlash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Rear Sync., Slow Sync., Red-eye reduction (On/Off selectable), Hi-speed sync, WirelessFlash X sync speed1/160 secDrive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous (Hi+/Hi/Mid/Lo)
  • Self-timer
  • Bracketing
Continuous drive11.0 fpsSelf-timerYesMetering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Highlight-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)AE Bracketing±5 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)WB BracketingYes (3 frames, H/L selectable)Videography featuresFormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC SModes
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 16 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 6 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 16 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1280 x 720 @ 25p / 6 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
MicrophoneStereoSpeakerMonoStorageStorage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC + Memory Stick Pro DuoConnectivityUSB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)Microphone portYesHeadphone portNoWirelessBuilt-InWireless notes802.11b/g/n + NFCRemote controlYes (via smartphone)PhysicalEnvironmentally sealedYesBatteryBattery PackBattery descriptionNP-FW50Battery Life (CIPA)350Weight (inc. batteries)453 g (1.00 lb / 15.98 oz)Dimensions120 x 67 x 53 mm (4.72 x 2.64 x 2.09″)Other featuresOrientation sensorYesGPSNone
Categories: News

Sony announces Cyber-shot RX100 Mark V with 315 phase-detect AF points and 24 fps bursts

DP Review News - Thu, 06/10/2016 - 15:14
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Sony has announced the latest version of its RX100 series: the Mark V. It maintains a 20MP sensor and 24-70mm equiv. F1.8-2.8 lens, but adds phase-detection AF to achieve focus speeds as fast as 0.05 sec, and a front-end LSI to improve speed of operation and buffering.

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V offers what Sony calls 'professional level AF performance' in the form of a new sensor with 315 phase-detection AF points over 65% of the frame, claiming the world's fastest AF speed at 0.05 seconds. The front-end LSI gives a turbo boost to performance, allowing the sensor to be read faster and more data to be buffered. That means the Mark V now offers 24 fps shooting at full 20.1MP resolution with autofocus and auto exposure for up to 150 frames for Fine JPEGs. That's stills shooting at movie frame rates, folks. Eye AF is also available in AF-C mode. 

The Mark V's video is also improved. It creates UHD 4K from a 5028 x 2828 pixel region. This means it oversamples by 1.3x in each dimension (1.7x overall), to give highly detailed 4K footage. The faster sensor readout thanks to the LSI also means less rolling shutter in 4K video and electronic stills, inching these cameras ever closer to the global shutter ideal. The camera maintains the ability to use its phase detection AF during video shooting, but no touchscreen severely reduces usability. 960 fps and all other slow motion modes are now available with twice the recording duration of the RX100 IV – up to 8 seconds of 40x slow motion at 960 fps. S-Log2/S-Gamut and Picture Profiles are also available to videographers, as is 1080/120p. 

An 'anti-distortion' fully electronic shutter is available up to 1/32000 sec, and in fact the electronic shutter automatically kicks in for shutter speeds greater than 1/2000s, or in continuous drive shooting. Turns out it's hard to operate a leaf shutter at 24 fps (you can force it work up to 10 fps, though)...

The camera's 3" 1229k-dot, non-touchscreen LCD tilts a full 180 degrees upward and 45 degrees downward. It retains a pop-up viewfinder, with a 2.4M-dot OLED panel. Wi-Fi is available as expected, with the added benefit of being able to read QR codes to help make a wireless connection when NFC isn't an option. A new underwater case is available, compatible with the entire RX100 series and making it possible to use the camera up to 40m underwater.

It will be available in October for $1000/€1200.

Press release

Sony Announces New Addition to Acclaimed Line of Cyber-shot® RX Cameras

New Compact RX100 V Model Boasts World’s Fastest AF Speed1, World’s Most AF Points and World’s Fastest Continuous Shooting1 for a Compact Camera1

NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2016 – Sony – a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer – has today announced a new flagship model for their popular Cyber-shot RX100 series of compact cameras, the RX100 V (model DSC-RX100M5).

The exciting new camera brings a new level of AF performance and speed to today’s compact camera market. It is equipped with a Fast Hybrid AF system with the world’s fastest AF acquisition1 at 0.05 seconds2 and world’s highest number of AF points on sensor1 with 315 points covering approximately 65% of the frame. The camera can also shoot continuously at speeds of up to 24 fps3 – the world’s fastest for a compact camera1 – at full 20.1 MP (approx. effective) resolution with AF/AE tracking for up to 150 continuous shots4.

The RX100 V is equipped with a newly developed 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS™ CMOS sensor with a DRAM chip, a ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70 mm5 F1.8 – 2.8 large aperture lens and an enhanced image processing system with a new front-end LSI chip that maximizes processing speed, expands the memory buffer and optimizes image quality, in particular at high ISO settings. The camera also features 4K video recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning6, super slow motion recording at up to 960 fps7 with extended recording time and more.

“Featuring a level of power and performance that has never before been achieved in a compact, the new RX100 V redefines what it means to be a ‘pocket camera’,” said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “This camera is yet another example of Sony innovating to a level far beyond what exists in the conventional marketplace.”

Fast Focusing, Fast Shooting

A first for Sony’s RX100 series of cameras, the new RX100 V model features a Fast Hybrid AF system that combines the respective advantages of focal-plane phase detection AF and contrast detection AF and ultimately enables the camera to lock focus in as little as 0.05 seconds2. This high speed focusing is a perfect complement to the 315 dedicated AF points that cover 65% of the sensor, and ensures that shooters will be able to capture their intended subject with high speed and accuracy, even if it’s moving rapidly in unpredictable directions.

Additionally, processing speed has been greatly enhanced through the addition of a front-end LSI that perfectly supports the camera’s BIONZ X® image processing engine. These two components combined with the powerful AF system allow the camera to shoot continuously at speeds of up to 24 fps 3 at full 20.1 MP (approx. effective) resolution for up to 150 shots4 with AF/AE tracking. Viewfinder blackout between shots has also been minimized in this high-speed shooting mode, which greatly improves photographers’ ability to follow fast action and capture the decisive moment. Silent shooting is also available in these high-speed modes as well8.

Other advancements to AF performance on the new RX100 V include the addition of AF-A mode, which allows the camera to automatically switch between continuous and single-shot AF modes. Users can also manually select if they’d like the continuous AF and phase detection AF areas to be displayed live on screen while they are framing a shot.

The RX100 V also has a high speed Anti-Distortion Shutter (maximum speed of 1/32000 second) that minimizes the “rolling shutter” effect commonly experienced with fast moving subjects. This fast shutter speed also allows the camera to capture sharp, crystal clear images with a wide open aperture at brightness levels up to EV199. Shooting at wide aperture with the fast shutter speed allows photographers and videographers to capture beautiful content with sharply focused subjects and defocused backgrounds under some of the most difficult, bright lighting conditions.

New on the RX100 V, users can freely select the initial magnification ratio when shooting in a mode with Focus Magnifier, and can select between “focus point” and “center of display” for the location of Focus Magnifier.

Professional Movie Functionality

The pocket-friendly RX100 V is packed with a variety of video capabilities that will satisfy even the most demanding video enthusiasts.

With Fast Hybrid AF, the focal plane phase detection AF sensor ensures accurate focusing and tracking performance, even for the severe focusing requirements of 4K movie shooting. AF drive speed and AF tracking sensitivity can also be adjusted via the menu system, giving shooters plenty of flexibility based on their focusing preferences.

In 4K mode 6, the new RX100 V utilizes full pixel readout without pixel binning to ensure that all the finer details of 4K video are captured with minimal moire and ‘jaggies’. These high-quality results are achieved through use of the XAVC S codec, which records video at a high data rate of up to 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during full HD shooting10.

Additional professional caliber video features include Picture Profile, S-Log2/S-Gamut, 120p HD Full HD mode and more. Users also have the ability to manually select a frame from a recorded movie and save it as a still image file of approximately 8 MP during 4K shooting or 2 MP during HD shooting.

The RX100 V is able to record super-slow motion video7 at up to 40x slower than the standard rate, and can do this for about twice as long as the RX100 IV model. This extended time allowing users to capture a series of high-speed, fleeting moments of action with incredible detail, resolution and clarity.

Prior to shooting, users will have the ability to choose among 960fps, 480fps and 240 fps frame rates and among 60p, 30p and 24p playback formats to optimize the recording to fit the speed of the moving subject, with the option to use the movie record button as a ‘start trigger’ to begin recording once button is pressed or ‘end trigger’ to record footage up until the button is pressed.

Pocket-Friendly Design, Premium Performance

The new RX100 V maintains the convenient pocket-sized design of the remainder of the RX100 family and is equipped with a high-contrast 2.35 million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder™, ensuring true-to-life image preview and playback functionality. The EVF conveniently retracts in and out of the camera body based on user preference, and features optics with ZEISS® T* Coating.

The new camera is also Wi-Fi® and NFC™ compatible and can access Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Applications. Learn more at

Another convenient addition is the ability for users to freely set the leading three characters of saved file names for easier sorting and organization.

There will also be a new underwater housing (model MPK-URX100A) that will be available as a separate accessory for the RX100 V and all other RX100 series cameras. Designed exclusively to fit the RX100 cameras, the housing features a depth level of 40m/130ft.

Pricing and Availability

The new Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V (model DSC-RX100M5) compact camera will ship this month for about $1,000 US and $1,250 CA.

The new underwater housing (model MPK-URX100A) will ship in November for about $350 US and $450 CA.

Both products will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.

A variety of exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new RX100 V camera and other Sony products can be found at , Sony’s community site built to educate, inspire and showcase all fans and customers of the Sony α brand.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V specifications PriceMSRP$1000/€1200Body typeBody typeCompactBody materialAluminumSensorMax resolution5472 x 3648Other resolutions3:2 (3888 x 2592, 2736 x 1824), 4:3 (4864 x 3648, 3648 x 2736, 2592 x 1944), 16:9 (5472 x 3080, 3648 x 2056, 2720 x 1528), 1:1 (3648 x 3648, 2544 x 2544, 1920 x 1920)Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9Effective pixels20 megapixelsSensor photo detectors21 megapixelsSensor size1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)Sensor typeBSI-CMOSProcessorBionz XColor spacesRGB, AdobeRGBColor filter arrayPrimary color filterImageISOAuto, 125-12800Boosted ISO (minimum)80Boosted ISO (maximum)25600White balance presets9Custom white balanceYesImage stabilizationOpticalUncompressed formatRAWJPEG quality levelsExtra fine, fine, standardFile format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3, DCF v2.0)
  • Raw (Sony ARW v2.3)
Optics & FocusFocal length (equiv.)24–70 mmOptical zoom2.9×Maximum apertureF1.8–2.8Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYesDigital zoomYes (3.8x)Manual focusYesNormal focus range5 cm (1.97″)Macro focus range5 cm (1.97″)Number of focus points315Screen / viewfinderArticulated LCDTiltingScreen size3″Screen dots1,228,800Touch screenNoScreen typeTFT LCDLive viewYesViewfinder typeElectronicViewfinder coverage100%Viewfinder magnification0.59×Viewfinder resolution2,359,296Photography featuresMinimum shutter speed30 secMaximum shutter speed1/2000 secMaximum shutter speed (electronic)1/32000 secExposure modes
  • Auto
  • Program Auto
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual Exposure
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Sports Action
  • Macro
  • Landscape
  • Sunset
  • Night Scene
  • Handheld Twilight
  • Night Portrait
  • Anti Motion Blur
  • Pet Mode
  • Gourmet
  • Fireworks
  • High Sensitivity
Built-in flashYesFlash range10.20 m (at Auto ISO)External flashNoDrive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Self-timer (single, continuous)
  • Single/continuous bracketing
  • WB bracketing
  • DRO bracketing
Continuous drive24.0 fpsSelf-timerYesMetering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)AE Bracketing±3 (3 frames )WB BracketingYesVideography featuresFormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC SModes
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 60 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 28 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 16 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 16 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 50 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1280 x 720 @ 30p / 6 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
  • 1280 x 720 @ 25p / 6 Mbps, MP4, H.264, AAC
MicrophoneStereoSpeakerMonoStorageStorage typesSD/ SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG DuoConnectivityUSB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)HDMIYes (micro-HDMI with uncompressed 4K/30p output)Microphone portNoHeadphone portNoWirelessBuilt-InWireless notes802.11b/g/n with NFCRemote controlYes (wired or smartphone)PhysicalEnvironmentally sealedNoBatteryBattery PackBattery descriptionNP-BX1 lithium-ion battery & USB chargerBattery Life (CIPA)220Weight (inc. batteries)299 g (0.66 lb / 10.55 oz)Dimensions102 x 58 x 41 mm (4.02 x 2.28 x 1.61″)Other featuresOrientation sensorYesTimelapse recordingNoGPSNone
Categories: News

Malick Sidibé: 'There wasn't a youth trend he didn't photograph'

As a major exhibition of his work appears in the UK for the first time, Charlotte Jansen explores the man who captured modern Mali

As a photographer working in Mali just after independence, Malick Sidibé captured the spirit of the post-colonial nation’s new identity, as seen through the changing scene of its capital.

Related: Malick Sidibé, 1936-2016 – in pictures

Related: Malick Sidibé obituary

Continue reading...
Categories: News

Sport picture of the day: Japanese F1 fans dress to impress

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and, if so,Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will be very happy to see this fan at Suzuka resplendent in a replica of his 2015 helmet while sporting personalised Ferrari overalls

Continue reading...
Categories: News

Wildscreen’s Witness the Wild open-air exhibition - in pictures

The Wildscreen festival is the world’s biggest celebration of screen-based natural history storytelling which takes place every two years in Bristol. Among the highlights is the Witness the Wild open-air photography exhibition, which runs on College Green from 7-28 October and features large-scale images by several of the world’s top wildlife and conservation photographers

Continue reading...
Categories: News

iPhone 7 real-world sample gallery

DP Review News - Thu, 06/10/2016 - 12:00

The iPhone 7 lacks the dual camera modules of its iPhone 7 Plus sibling, but it still offers plenty of imaging features. It includes a 12MP sensor with optical image stabilization, 4K video recording and thanks to iOS 10, Raw image capture. We've already posted a preliminary iPhone 7 Plus gallery, but not wanting to neglect the iPhone 7, we went spent some time getting to know its sibling too.

See our iPhone 7 real-world sample gallery

Categories: News

Throwback Thursday: Canon EOS D30

DP Review News - Thu, 06/10/2016 - 11:00

In the year 2000 (somehow, living in it never felt as futuristic and cool as saying it), I enrolled as a first-year undergraduate student1 at the University of Durham. For many among the student body, the most exciting thing that happened that year was the use by Warner Brothers of parts of the Cathedral grounds and cloisters for filming 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'.

But while my fellow undergraduates occupied themselves with daily games of 'Where's Alan Rickman Getting Coffee Today?'2 I was trying to work out how to become a photographer. Back then, the most expensive component of photography was materials. Film, chemicals, paper and of course the associated hardware. An enlarger with a decent lens, tanks, trays and the physical space required to set it up. I didn't have a darkroom at home, so I made full use of the facilities both at my college and later, when studying abroad in France.

Over the course of my first year at Durham I took thousands of photographs, experimenting with different styles, different film stocks, and different ways of processing and creating images. Serious digital imaging was still out of reach to all but the wealthiest of enthusiasts at that point, but our student-run website bought a Canon Digital IXUS V in 2001 which I shot with a lot. Although it only offered 2 million pixels, had a crappy battery life and barely any zoom, after a long, smelly day in the darkroom, the IXUS V gave me a refreshing taste of the convenience – and potential – of digital imaging.

That potential had come a little bit closer to being realized late the previous year, when Canon released the EOS D30.

The D30 was a groundbreaking camera for a number of reasons. Not only was it Canon's first properly home-grown DSLR (previous efforts had been collaborations with Kodak, and were priced for the pro market), it was the first DSLR with an APS-C format CMOS sensor, and the first to come in at (just) under $3000, body only.

I read early previews and reviews of the D30 voraciously. The sheer potential of the thing was incredible. Along with many other photography nerds at the time I had a whole new language to learn. Raw files. JPEGs. A few terms, like 'unsharp mask' I was familiar with from the darkroom, but others like 'white balance' and 'color space' were alien.

It was image quality that really sold the D30. God knows it wasn't the 3-point autofocus system or the pokey, dark viewfinder. For someone used to shooting with a high-end Canon film SLR, the D30's core photographic specification must have looked alarmingly primitive (pity the first generation of press photographers who had to use them coming from EOS 1N and EOS 3 bodies) but those files...

Images from the D30 were amazingly clean and detailed, and up to ISO 1600 there was almost no grain - or, as I was learning to call it - noise.

It's easy to forget that for 35mm film photographers, shooting above ISO 400 was considered a bit risky. There were some decent general-purpose 800 ISO color emulsions, but film (color film at any rate) was never really great for low-light handheld shooting. As such, the ability to shoot good, clean, contrasty, colorful and virtually grain-free images above ISO 400 on the D30 was a revelation. The late Michael Reichmann took a lot of flak from purists back then for saying that images from the D30 were essentially better than film, but I thought he was right when he published that article, and I still do.

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When we shot our first Field Test video in 2014, I took my D30 along to record some 'behind the scenes' shots of the (then) brand-new Canon EOS 7D II being put through its paces.

Such was the demand for the D30 when it was finally released that they were pretty scarce. Only once do I remember seeing a non-professional with one. He was a guest in the restaurant I waited in3 during my university holidays and he had it out on the table (of course he did). The restaurant was one of those rural boutique hotel restaurants with Michelin Star aspirations and prices to match, but too many covers (and too much corner-cutting) to ever be awarded one. At the time it used to attract a lot of what the head waiter dismissively termed 'BDGs', which stood for 'builders4 done good'. Lots of money, but lacking in taste. The kind of people who would order a soufflé and then ask for ketchup.5 D30 man was a BDG.

As a 19 year-old student it pained me to see him flashing around a $3000 camera which was fabulously beyond my means, and that he clearly didn't know how to use. But it delighted me when, towards the end of the meal, he drunkenly spilled red wine all over it.6

Another three years would pass before I owned my own DSLR, an EOS 10D. It took a whole year of working in that same restaurant to pay for it, and I never looked (or went) back. But it was another six years before I finally got my hands on an EOS D30. In 2009, not long before I joined DPReview I found one on Ebay, boxed and in immaculate condition.7 I didn't need it, but I wanted it. There's something very special about encountering things that you once lusted over - it's like a kind of magic. The attraction never quite wears off. I won the bid (a very reasonable £100, if I remember correctly) and fell in love all over again. I still have my D30. I still shoot with it from time to time. And it's still great.

1. English Literature & Philosophy, in case you were curious. Which, sixteen years on, means you can basically ask me anything about Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. 

2. Vennels, and the Café on the Green mostly I think.

3. For the benefit of our American readers, waited in = served in. I wasn't just lurking in a restaurant.

4. Also for the benefit of our American readers, builder = construction worker. 

5. I actually saw that happen once, but I was never able to confirm the story of another BDG returning his gazpacho soup because it was cold.

6. Schadenfreude, like gazpacho soup, is best served chilled.

7. Listed by a certain Ray Davies, of Birmingham England. Presumably not that Ray Davies.

Categories: News

Eyewitness: Howlwadag, Somalia

Photographs from the Eyewitness series

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Categories: News

Christian Marclay's best photograph – the San Francisco firecrackers with the perfect name

‘I’ve got Psssst! hairspray and Vroom car keys. So when I saw these firecrackers in San Francisco I had to photograph them’

When I’m travelling in a place I don’t know, I always have a point-and-shoot digital camera in my pocket – and go looking for “found onomatopoeias” like these children’s firecrackers. I shot them in San Francisco when I was over for an exhibition, walking around Chinatown.

Onomatopoeias have always interested me, these almost animalistic, pre-verbal sounds. Once I had noticed one, I started seeing them everywhere. I have favourites: a cap reading “Buzz” worn by a guy with a buzz-cut in Florida; a dance hall in Innsbruck called Flash, which reminded me of Flashdance; a do-not-disturb sign in Boston that just said: “Shhhh.” I have a hairspray called Psssst! and a keyring for a car that says Vroom. It’s nice when the object and the sound fit so well.

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Categories: News

Voigtlander shows off three new lenses including 65mm F2 Macro for E-mount

DP Review News - Wed, 05/10/2016 - 20:21
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Lens manufacturer Voigtlander is set to introduce three unusual lenses this autumn and has posted pictures and specifications on its website, but isn’t letting on when they will arrive.

The most interesting, visually at least, is a VM 50mm F3.5 Heliar designed for M-mount bodies. It uses an almost symmetrical configuration of five elements in three groups and forms a conical shape reminiscent of the Tessar 50mm lenses of the Carl Zeiss Jena Werra cameras. The lens will have a minimum aperture of F22 and will use a 10-bladed iris that promises nice circular out-of-focus highlights. Remarkably, the aperture ring will be without click stops.

A more popular lens will be the 65mm F2 Macro Apo-Lanthar for the Sony E-mount system. This will have a closest focusing distance of 0.31m and will be able to transmit EXIF data to the camera as well as trigger manual focus assistance such as automatic magnification and peaking. It will have 10 elements in 8 groups and will offer apertures down to F22. The company has yet to decide whether the aperture ring will feature click stops, but again the iris will use 10 blades.

The third lens on display is a SL ll – S 58mm F1.4 Nokton designed for Nikon AI-S bodies. This new version of the company’s existing SL ll – N lens appears to be optically unchanged but it offers a more retro barrel design that echoes Nikon’s own manual focus lenses, and it has the addition of a meter coupling prong that will allow it to be used with much older bodies.

The company has not given any information on pricing or delivery dates, but you can read more specification on the Voigtlander website.

Categories: News

ExoLens offers Zeiss-branded accessory lenses for iPhone 7, adds 'Prime' lens line

DP Review News - Wed, 05/10/2016 - 20:16

ExoLens has announced that it will sell its Zeiss-branded accessory lenses for iPhone 7, and has also introduced a second product line. Calling its existing lineup of lenses with Zeiss optics the 'Pro' line, it emphasizes their high quality construction while adding the 'Prime' line for 'artistic expression and non-technical social sharing.' ExoLens does not mention support for the iPhone 7 Plus and its dual camera modules.

Three Pro lenses are offered: the Wide, Telephoto and Macro-Zooms first introduced in January. Each will come with an ExoLens Edge machined aluminum mount, as well as a key ring loop. Launching for iPhone 7, 6/6 Plus and 6s/6s Plus in December, the wide-angle and telephoto kits will also sell for $199.99 and $249.99, respectively.

Following the launch of these two kits, ExoLens will release the Pro Macro-Zoom Lens in January for $199.99 bundled with the lens mount bracket. This kit will include the Zeiss Vario-Proxar 40-80 T macro-zoom lens for taking photos of items that measure between 3cm and 12cm. 

The Pro macro lens kit will be joined by Telephoto 2x, Wide-Angle 0.6x, and Super Wide-Angle/Macro combo lenses in the PRIME range, all of which launch in the first quarter of 2017; prices for the Prime kits haven’t been released yet.

Press release:

ExoLens® Introduces PRO and PRIME Ranges of Professional Accessory Lenses for the iPhone 7

The new lines offer photographers a range of exceptional mobile lenses that are made for a wide variety of usage scenarios, from professional landscape and portrait imagery to selfies used by social sharers.

Itasca, IL – October 5, 2016 – ExoLens®, accessory brand dedicated to elevating the mobile photography category, announces the launch of the ExoLens PRO and PRIME ranges. Each line is designed for a specific consumer, which allows everyone from the novice to the professional to join the mobile photography movement. Leading the collection, is the ExoLens® PRO line for the iPhone 7, which feature Optics by market leading brand, ZEISS, to offer truly professional-grade mobile lenses to photographers, artists and journalists to seriously step up your mobile photography game.

“We are very excited to launch the high-performance ranges of PRO and PRIME iPhone lenses,” says John Fellowes, Chief Executive Officer of Fellowes Brands, which acquired ExoLens in 2014. “The new product lines signify an expanded brand strategy for ExoLens, which will now reach mobile photographers of all levels.”

First to market will be the ExoLens PRO Wide-Angle and Telephoto Kits for iPhone 7. These kits will bring the aspherical lens technology previously reserved for high-end DSLR lenses, straight to your iPhone as a compact mobile accessory lens. With more than 170 years of experience engineering professional optics, ZEISS has gained unrivaled trust among professional photographers and cinematographers in the industry. The series of high-performance lenses is a new breed of mobile photography optics that will allow the massive community of iPhone photographers and videographers to tell a deeper story with gold-standard gear. All PRO Kits come with the new machined aluminum ExoLens Edge mount, which features an integrated cold shoe accessory mount (compatible with accessories such as external video light) and key ring loop.

The ExoLens PRO Wide-Angle Kit with Optics by ZEISS features a ZEISS Mutar™ 0.6x Asph T* Wide-Angle lens, which provides virtually no distortion and exceptional edge-to-edge contrast, resulting in an image quality that is unmatched by any other iPhone accessory lens. This Kit helps professionals capture expansive scenery and immerse viewers with frame filling detail, while expanding the frame of the iPhone to see the world in a beautiful new perspective. The ExoLens PRO Wide-Angle Kit with Optics by ZEISS will be available for iPhone 6/6s, iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus, and iPhone 7 in December for $199.99.

The ExoLens PRO Telephoto Kit with Optics by ZEISS features a ZEISS Mutar™ 2.0x Asph T* Telephoto lens. The Kit offers photographers a narrow depth of field to add a beautiful bokeh to the background while focusing attention on the subject. The focal length of the telephoto allows the contours of the face to appear more natural and closer to real life, and is ideal for street photography, portraits or capturing events. The Telephoto Kit will be available for iPhone 6/6s, iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus, and iPhone 7 in December for $249.99.

ExoLens PRO Macro-Zoom Kit with Optics by ZEISS features the ZEISS Vario-Proxar 40-80 T* macro-zoom lens. The ZEISS Vario-Proxar 40-80 T* macro-zoom lens has a variable focal length of 40 to 80 millimeters. "In combination with the optics of the smartphone camera, turning the ring does not result in an increase or reduction of the field of view," Product Developer Vladan Blahnik from ZEISS explains. "Instead, the ring functions much like a manual focus with which different planes can be set. If photographers want to shoot objects that are three to five centimeters away, they turn the ring to the right as far as it will go, and to the left for objects that are five to eight centimeters away." This allows users to capture objects measuring three to twelve centimeters filling the complete field of view and capture astonishing details beyond what is visible to the human eye to put you impossibly close to the subject. The PRO Macro-Zoom Kit will be available for iPhone 6/6s, iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus, and iPhone 7 in January for $199.99.

The ExoLens PRIME product line allows for artistic expression and non-technical social sharing to step up your iPhone photography and videography game. They are intended for the photographer looking to create unique, artistic and candid snapshots. The lenses offered for PRIME Kits are the Wide Angle 0.6X, the Telephoto 2X and the Super Wide-Angle/Macro Combo.. The PRIME product line will be available starting Q1 2017.

Categories: News

Three's company: Lensbaby launches Trio 28 for mirrorless cameras

DP Review News - Wed, 05/10/2016 - 18:09

Lensbaby has announced the Trio 28, a unique creative lens designed specifically for mirrorless camera users. The Trio 28 is three lenses in one, offering the creative effects of Lensbaby's Twist, Velvet and Sweet optics in one compact lens. A simple rotation of the lens lets you switch between the three effects, and the 28mm focal length makes it a useful all-around lens for mirrorless photographers. We are interested in how the fixed F3.5 aperture will work since aperture is a key part of controlling the creative effect in Lensbaby's other lenses and optics, but we are excited to try it out!

The Trio 28 is available for pre-order starting on October 26, 2016. It is priced at $279.95 and is available in Sony E, Micro 4/3, and Fuji X mounts.

Press release:

Lensbaby Launches One-of-a-Kind Lens for Mirrorless Camera Shooters

Convenience meets creativity with unique, compact 3-in-1 lens design

Portland, OR – October 5, 2016 Lensbaby — makers of award-winning creative effects lenses, optics and accessories — announces the launch of their most versatile lens yet, Trio 28. Designed specifically for mirrorless camera users, Trio 28 features three selective focus optics in one compact lens and will be available for purchase on October 26, 2016.

By simply rotating a dial to switch between Lensbaby’s most popular optical effects – Twist, Velvet or Sweet – the Trio 28 empowers photographers to shape their vision in the moment through the limitless creative options offered by the lens:

  • Twist gives you a large sharp central area of focus surrounding by twisty, swirling bokeh
  • Velvet has a sharp yet dreamy central area of focus with delicate glow from edge-to-edge
  • Sweet creates a sharp central sweet spot of focus surrounded by gradually increasing blur

“Trio 28 offers a revolutionary shooting experience for mirrorless shooters,” said Lensbaby Co-Founder and CEO Craig Strong. "This is the first lens we’ve designed specifically with the mirrorless camera’s small form factor in mind. With mirrorless camera sales continuing to grow, this was a natural next step for Lensbaby.”

"Our goal is to help photographers discover their unique visual voice through the creative freedom our lenses offer," Strong continued. "With a variety of selective focus effects in a compact lens designed for the small form factor of mirrorless cameras, Trio 28 goes above and beyond, helping us reach this goal. We can’t wait to see what photographers create with it."

The wide 28mm focal length, as well as the small and compact form to match the size of mirrorless cameras, makes the Trio 28 an ideal lens for on-the-go adventure and will help photographers uniquely capture the soul of street scenes, landscapes, environmental portraits and more.

Trio 28 Specs:

  • Focal Length: 28mm
  • Aperture: fixed f/3.5
  • 3 Optics for 3 effects - Twist, Velvet, Sweet
  • Minimum focus distance: 8”
  • Maximum focusing distance: Infinity
  • Focus Type: Manual
  • Size/Weight: 4.9oz, 2.75” x2.75” x2”
  • Twist Optic: 4 multi-coated elements in 3 groups
  • Velvet Optic: 3 multi-coated elements in 2 groups
  • Sweet Optic: 3 multi-coated elements in 3 groups
  • 46mm front threads
  • When shooting on full frame cameras, Twist will produce a subtle vignette

The Trio 28 is designed for the following mirrorless cameras: Sony E, Micro 4/3 and FujiX. It retails for $279.95 and will be available for purchase at and other Lensbaby-authorized retailers on October 26, 2016.

For more information please contact Keri Friedman at or Ally Hopper with Groundswell PR at

About Lensbaby

For over a decade, photographers have relied on Portland, Oregon-based Lensbaby to help them break free of routine, tinker, and open themselves up to unexpected results—dancing, playing and delighting in what’s possible with a creative lens and their imagination.

Lensbaby makes award-winning creative effects lenses, optics and accessories that follow this philosophy, including the Velvet 56, a versatile portrait and macro lens; their unique Optic Swap System, which lets photographers swap their optic and tilt their lens for limitless effects; and mobile lenses that transform everyday smartphone photography. Lensbaby products are sold and distributed worldwide. For more information, visit

Lensbaby Trio 28 specifications
Categories: News

Google's Pixel phones: What you need to know

DP Review News - Wed, 05/10/2016 - 17:49
Everything you need to know about Google's new Pixel phones

Google's 2016 smartphones have dropped the Nexus moniker and, in line with the company's high-end Chromebooks and tablets, have instead adopted the Pixel brand. Despite being made by HTC the Pixel and Pixel XL are marketed as Google devices and only differ in terms of screen size and resolution as well as battery capacity. A 5" 1080p AMOLED display and a 2,770mAh battery can be found on the standard Pixel, while the XL comes with a 5.5" QHD-screen and a 3,450mAh battery. 

Both devices are powered by Qualcomm's top-end chipset Snapdragon 821 and 4GB of RAM. The metal body with glass inlays on the back also houses a fingerprint reader, USB Type-C port for quick charging and a 3.5mm headphone-jack. In the US the devices will be available in black, silver and blue, with pricing starting at a fairly steep $649 for the standard Pixel with 32GB of built-in storage. 

The Pixel and Pixel XL have generated a lot of buzz for their imaging capabilities in a short amount of time – click through to see what else you should know about the new Google Pixel phones.

New camera hardware

Google says the camera stack used by the Pixel has been redesigned, even though on paper the camera specifications are similar to last year's Nexus models. A 6-element lens with F2.0 aperture is placed in front of a 1/2.3" 12.3MP sensor with 1.55µm sized pixels. On-sensor phase detection is on board as well and a laser-beam helps measuring the subject distance in low light for even better AF-accuracy. A dual-tone LED flash should make for pleasant skin tones when shooting with the built-in lamp in very low light.  

On the video side of things the Pixel phones can record up to 4K video at 30fps. In slow motion mode you can shoot Full-HD footage at 120fps or 720p video at 240fps. Perhaps the most notable new feature is a gyroscope-based electronic video-stabilization system that looked very promising in Google's demonstration video during the launch presentation. It reads the gyroscope 200 times per second in order to correct for any camera movement and also helps reduce the "jello-effect" that is often noticeable on CMOS-sensors when panning the camera.

The front camera specification would not have looked out of place on a main camera only a few years ago. A 1/3.2" 8MP sensor with a 1.4 µm pixel size and F2.4 aperture should allow for decent selfies in most conditions and the front camera is also capable of recording 1080p video. 

Imaging software

While the Pixel's camera hardware is pretty much in line with other high-end smartphones, it's the imaging software that really sets the Google devices apart. Thanks to more powerful image processing and a zero shutter lag the camera can now use Google's excellent HDR+ mode, which has been available in the Google Camera app for a while, by default, without any noticeable processing delays for the photographer.

Instead of taking one longer exposure, HDR+ captures multiple images, aligns them algorithmically and merges them. This results in improved dynamic range, lower noise levels and better detail at all light levels but is especially helpful in low light conditions. Additionally, Smartburst captures several frames just before and after you press the shutter button and then, thanks to Google's image recognition technology, selects the sharpest and clearest photos with the most pleasant facial expressions to display. Google also says the Pixel is quicker than any other smartphone in getting ready to capture a picture.  

Best ever DxOMark Mobile score

It appears the Pixel's high-end camera hardware and Google's clever imaging algorithms are working together very well. DxO has already tested the Pixel camera before its launch and with a score of 89 the Google device is the best smartphone ever tested. It takes the top position in the DxOMark rankings ahead of such illustrious competition as the new iPhone 7, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the HTC 10.

The DxO testers were impressed by the great detail and low noise levels across all light situations. They also found exposure to be spot on and the autofocus to be very accurate, both in still in video mode. You can read the full report on

Unlimited cloud storage for photos and video

Like previously the Google Nexus devices, the Pixel phones do not come with a microSD memory expansion slot. This is something many mobile photographers won't be too happy about but the Pixel is meant to be a cloud device and Google is emphasizing that by offering free unlimited cloud storage for full-resolution images and even 4K video in Google Photos.

A Smart Storage option will upload images and videos storage to your personal cloud and delete them off your phone automatically when your local storage starts to get full, similar to the Nextbit Robin. So nothing is stopping you now from recording that feature film in 4K resolution – just make sure you're close to a reasonably fast internet connection. 

Android Nougat 7.1

The Google Pixel devices are not the first smartphones to come with Android 7 Nougat – that honor went to the LG V20 – but for its own devices Google has launched version 7.1 which comes with a few modifications, some of which are specific to the Pixels. 

One of the most notable differences is the new launcher that comes with an opaque shelf and round icons and folders. Other cosmetic differences include blue accents and custom navigation bar icons. In addition to unlimited photo storage Pixel users will also enjoy Google's 24-hour tech support service. You can call or chat with a trained representative right from the device settings.

New features that are not exclusive to the Pixel phones are fingerprint gestures, which for example let you swipe down on the sensor to open the notification tray and the Night Light feature, a blue light filter that is activated at night. Seamless Updates downloads and installs updates in the background while you keep working on the device. They are then activated after a restart, similar to what you're used to from a Windows PC.

Of course version 7.1 also offers the new features we've already seen on the original Nougat, such as 'Project Doze' which makes the phone use less battery while it's not in your hands with the screen on and the ability to reply directly to notifications from the notification tray, without opening the corresponding app first. 

Google Assistant

Google Assistant is Google's Version of Siri or Cortana and a much more intelligent version of Google Now. Assistant uses machine learning to become more useful the more you use it and in the future will come with different "personalities" for different types of tasks.

The version in the Pixel phones is already able to set and send calendar reminders, search for and book restaurants, find gas stations while you are on the road or play music while you are at home among many other things. It remembers every interaction and is therefore capable of having conversations rather than just receiving commands. Google Assistant uses data from your personal Google account in combination with voice and image recognition technologies, the built-in sensors in the phone and machine learning methods to offer its services.  

Daydream View VR-headset

The Pixel and Pixel XL are the first devices ready for Google's Daydream VR technology that was first demonstrated at the I/O conference in May. Together with the smartphones Google has now also unveiled the Daydream View headset, which at $79 is meant to bring VR to the masses. The headset is made with a soft and breathable fabric that allows for extra comfort and makes it easy to use the headset over glasses. As a side-effect it is approximately 30% lighter than similar devices, for example Samsung's Gear VR. 

Phone and headset come with an auto-alignment system, so once the Pixel is dropped in the Daydream VR you don’t need to worry about any cables or other connections. Daydream VR comes with the Daydream controller remote control that lets you interact with the virtual world you are moving in. It has a number of sensors to interpret your gestures and movements and offers high levels of precision. When not in use it slides into the headphones, reducing the risk of losing it. 

Categories: News

Fast and light: Nikkor 24mm F1.8G ED lens review

DP Review News - Wed, 05/10/2016 - 15:19

The AF-S Nikkor 24mm F1.8G ED was first announced back in August 2015. It joins Nikon's growing family of modern full frame primes alongside the 20mm F1.8G, 28mm F1.8G, 35mm F1.8G, 85mm F1.8G and the 50mm F1.8G. It's priced at just under $750 making it a well matched option to be paired with cameras like the Nikon D610 and the Nikon D750. The Nikkor can also be used on DX format cameras with an equivalent focal length of 36mm.

This fast wide-angle prime will most likely appeal to architecture, landscape and portrait or wedding photographers. Additionally, the F1.8 max aperture may come in handy for those looking to utilize the lens for astrophotography work as well.

At 24mm the lens is Nikon's second widest modern prime option to date, coming in just behind the Nikkor 20mm lens. It's worth noting that there are a few other options at 24mm that potential buyers should definitely be aware of. One of those options is the slightly faster Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art that comes in at just under $850.

The Sigma 24mm can be seen mounted on a Nikon D810 on the left and the Nikkor 24mm can be seen mounted on a D810 on the right.

Although the Sigma is a bit pricier, it is a sensible alternate option for folks looking for a lens at this focal length. By comparison the Nikkor 24mm F1.4G ED is is priced at just under $2000 which makes the Sigma version that much more attractive to potential buyers. We will be taking a closer look at the Nikkor 24mm F1.8G and the Sigma 24mm F1.4 as an alternative lens option in this review.


If you're an APS-C shooter the 36mm equivalent focal length with an equivalent aperture of F2.7 will be a nice addition to your lens kit, being flexible enough to allow environmental and photojournalistic portraits while still being wide enough to accommodate for some landscape and architectural photography as well. It is worth noting however that if you're looking to purchase this lens for an APS-C camera, then other options, such as Sigma's 18-35mm F1.8 lens, might be a better alternative for the money. For this reason, we're not going to consider this lens for use on APS-C in this review.

Nikkor 24mm F1.8G ED Headline Features
  • 24mm Focal Length
  • F1.8 Maximum Aperture
  • 'Silent wave' focus motor with full-time manual override
  • F-mount FX format lens, works on both DX and FX format Nikon SLRs
  • Accepts standard screw-type 72mm Filters
Lens Specifications   AF-S Nikkor 24mm F1.8G ED Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM A (Nikon Mount) Price (MSRP) $745 $849 Announced 2015 2015 Lens Type Wide Angle Prime Wide Angle Prime Lens Mount Nikon F Nikon F Max Format Size 35mm FF 35mm FF Focal Length 24mm 24mm Image Stabilization No No Max Aperture F1.8 F1.4 Minimum Aperture  F16 F16 Aperture Ring  No No  Diaphragm Blades 7 (rounded)  9 (rounded) Elements 12  15 Groups  9 11 Special Elements/Coatings  2 extra-LD glass elements and 2 aspherical elements, Nano Crystal Coat and Super Integrated Coating 2 aspherical elements, 3 FLD and 4 SLD glass elements coupled with Multi Layer Coatings Minimum Focus 23cm (9.1") 25cm (9.9") Maximum Magnification 0.2x  0.19x Autofocus Yes  Yes Motor Type Silent Wave Motor autofocus mechanism HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) Full Time Manual  Yes Yes Focus Method  Internal Internal Distance Scale Yes Yes DoF Scale Yes Yes  Weight  355g (12.5 oz) 665g (23.1 oz) Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 78 x 83mm (3.1 x 3.3") 85 x 90mm (3.4 x 3.6") Materials Metal Mount/Plastic and composite material Metal Mount/Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) material Sealing  None  None Color Black Black Filter Thread 72mm 77mm Hood Supplied  Yes Yes Hood Product Code HB-76 Bayonet Hood   Tripod Collar No No

The Nikkor 24mm has a metal lens mount and a mostly plastic/composite material body. It feels surprisingly light for being such a fast prime lens; especially when compared to the Sigma 24mm lens which weighs nearly twice the amount and is slightly larger in size (this is broadly to be expected with the Sigma's 2/3 stop extra light gathering ability). The build quality of the Sigma lens definitely feels more robust with the majority of its components constructed of metal and a composite material that can be found on most of Sigma's Art series lenses.

It's worth mentioning that both the Nikkor and the Sigma 24mm lenses lack comprehensive weather sealing, but the Nikkor does offer some protection with rubber gasket around the lens mount, so that's definitely something to keep in mind if you plan to use these lenses in adverse weather conditions.

With these specifications in mind, how do these lenses stack up against one another in terms of performance? In this review we will be looking at the performance of the Nikkor 24mm and how it compares to the heavier and faster Sigma 24mm. 

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