Best photos of the day: an urban climber and Black Friday

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including bush fires in Israel, airstrikes in Syria and protests about Myanmar

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Categories: News

Sony Xperia XZ camera review

DP Review News - Fri, 25/11/2016 - 12:00
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The Xperia XZ is the top-of-the-line model in Sony's Xperia X series and comes with some of the latest technologies implemented in its camera module. A Sony IMX300 1/2.3” 23MP image sensor with on-sensor phase detection is accompanied by a laser that measures distance to its subject to improve AF speed and accuracy in low light. Also on board is an RGBC-IR sensor that measures the color values of a scene in order to fine-tune the white balance system. The hybrid AF-system is also predictive and can track subjects in motion.

The Sony G lens comes with a 24mm equivalent focal length and an F2.0 aperture. In video mode, the camera can record footage in 4K resolution and the Xperia XZ is also the first device on which Sony has implemented 5-axis electronic video stabilization. At the front there is a 13MP 1/3" sensor with F2.0 aperture and 1080p video – specifications that would have been worthy of a main camera not too long ago.

Processor and other components match the high-end characteristics of the camera and all the technology is wrapped up in an 8.1mm thin metal body that is water and dust tight (IP65/68). The Sony is also one of only a few smartphones to come with a dedicated camera button, making it an interesting option for any photography-oriented user.

Key Photographic / Video Specifications
  • Sony IMX300 1/2.3” 23MP BSI CMOS sensor
  • 24mm equivalent focal length
  • F2.0 aperture
  • AF with on-sensor phase detection and laser-assistance
  • Subject tracking
  • RGBC-IR sensor
  • Manual control over shooting parameters
  • 4K video at 30 fps
  • 5-axis electronic video stabilization
  • 13MP front camera, F2.0, 22mm equivalent focal length
Other Specifications
  • 5.2-inch 1080p IPS screen 
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32/64GB storage
  • MicroSD support
  • 2,900mAh battery
  • Environmental protection  (IP65/68)
  • Fingerprint reader

DPReview smartphone reviews are written with the needs of photographers in mind. We focus on camera features, performance, and image quality.

Categories: News

Robert Rauschenberg, Victor Pasmore and electric chairs – the week in art

Rauschenberg’s titanic Tate show opens in London this week, along with the provocative Painters’ Painters – and a host of other art happenings

Robert Rauschenberg
The hungry genius of Rauschenberg embraced everything from the space race to Dante’s Inferno – often in the same work. His neo-dada art of assemblage, collage and montage is still very much alive in 21st-century art. At an anxious time in US history, the creative abundance of one of its greatest artists is a reminder of its democratic culture at its inclusive best.
Tate Modern, London, 1 December-2 April.

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Sport picture of the day: sunbeams in Texas

This shot from Thurrsday night’s NFL game between Washington and the Dallas Cowboys stood out from the crowd. The sunbeams from the low sun bursting through the windows give the shot a painterly feel

• Cowboys hold off late Washington rally for 10th straight victory

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Eyewitness: Tokyo

Photographs from the Eyewitness series

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The fight for LGBTQ rights in Delhi – in pictures

Gay sex is still illegal in India, and same-sex marriage prohibited. Photographers Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh followed the LGBTQ activists who are standing up for their rights in Delhi

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Deutsche Börse's Photography Foundation 2017 prize shortlist announced

Sophie Calle, Dana Lixenberg, Awoiska van der Molen, and Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs are the shortlisted artists

Sophie Calle, Dana Lixenberg, Awoiska van der Molen, and Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs are the shortlisted artists for the 2017 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation prize.

The prize goes to a photographer of any nationality for their significant contribution to the medium of photography, either through an exhibition or publication in Europe. Past winners include Paul Graham, Juergen Teller and Rineke Dijkstra.

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Best photos of the day: a Chechen wedding and fog

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including a Grozny wedding and freezing fog on the Clyde

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Vote for your favourite wildlife image of the year – in pictures

The Natural History Museum has chosen 25 of the year’s best images from its Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016 shortlist. Voting is open until 10 January to find the people’s choice winning photo of the year

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London

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Which instant camera should I buy? 2016 Instax mini roundup

DP Review News - Thu, 24/11/2016 - 12:00
Instax Roundup 2016

Let's face it, it seems a little odd that a site called Digital Photography Review would dare take a step backward in to the world of analog photography. But truth be told, we all were delighted by handling physical prints from these cameras. Some of our editors began their careers in a darkroom, and with Instax mini images there's just a little zest of the 'magic' of development as an image first appears. After that's over, you're left with a business-card sized talisman, artwork, souvenir, memory, or whatever else a photograph can become.

It's not just us who are hooked on the smiles and joy instant photography can bring; sales of Fujifilm Instax cameras are expected to reach 5 million units this year, and they're not even the sole manufacturer of cameras that use the format. 

Plus, the affordable options make great gifts, and are some of the cheapest ways to give the gift of photography over the holiday season. So we wondered: which one is best? 

We decided to step into the world of instant for a few days to find out which camera is best for gifting to newcomers, and which is best for a photographer to gift to themselves. We selected eight cameras that all use the Instax mini format – which is now available in color and black and white (purists rejoice!) – and spent a little time with each to find out which is most fun, and which one is most rewarding. 

The contenders are:

Fujifilm Instax mini 8
Fujifilm Instax mini 70
Fujifilm Instax mini 90
Lomography L'instant
Lomography L'instant Automat
Lomography LC-A+ Instant Back
Leica Sofort
MiNT InstantFlex TL70

Categories: News

Camera Roundups updated for the holidays

DP Review News - Thu, 24/11/2016 - 11:01

Just in time for the holiday shopping rush, we've updated our camera roundups. We've distilled everything we know about just about every camera on the market and recommended the models that stood out for us.

Never before has the market offered such a broad range of capable cameras, whether that's in terms of video shooting, autofocus performance or pocketable image quality. So, no matter what your budget, there should be something that suits your needs, whether you're looking to explore new creative avenues, grab some better snaps than your phone can offer or just reinvigorate your love of photography.

Whether you're shopping for yourself or someone else, our roundups are written to tell you what you need to know, to help you make the most informed choice possible. We hope you find them useful:

Compact and fixed-lens cameras Interchangeable lens cameras:
Categories: News

Photo gifts for every budget: 2016 Holiday Gift Guides

DP Review News - Thu, 24/11/2016 - 11:00

It's not easy shopping for a photographer. We're notoriously picky, our gear is confusingly named and the difference between something we like and something we don't can come down to what seem like trivial details. Trust us, if picking camera equipment was easy, we'd be out of work.

But before you give up and just get a gift card, take a look through our carefully selected holiday gift suggestions, grouped by price range, for the photographer in your life. Don't worry - we won't tell anyone if that photographer is actually you.

Categories: News

Eyewitness: Royal Opera House, London

Photographs from the Eyewitness series

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Throwback Thursday: Casio QV-4000

DP Review News - Thu, 24/11/2016 - 10:00

Long before there was an app for that, your camera had a scene mode for that.

Cameras and smartphones have gotten pretty good at detecting what kind of scene you're trying to photograph and optimizing your settings for the best shot, and they're only getting smarter. But fifteen years ago when we reviewed the Casio QV-4000 such technologies didn't exist.

Instead, you got 'Best Shot Modes,' a collection of exposure modes designed to help you match the right camera settings to the scene you were shooting. There were 5 pre-installed on the QV-4000, but you could install a hundred more by simply loading them from the CD-ROM that came with the camera onto your Compact Flash card.

So with more than a hundred modes to choose from, you can imagine how specific they get. In no particular order, here are some of my favorites:

  • Photo of a toadstool 
  • Portrait in a field of flowers
  • Photo at a hotel
  • Photo of a mossy wood

You can see them all here. And even though they seem a little funny now, Casio was only trying to answer a question we still haven't quite cracked: how do you help the average consumer take better photos? Automatic scene detection and technology like Google's HDR+ solve some problems, but I know I still see plenty of backlit portraits and blurry 'night at the bar' photos in my Facebook feed.

The answer is starting to look different than a hundred different user-selectable scene modes, but the problem is sure the same.

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Categories: News

Friends lost and found: 1970s Peterborough recreated – in pictures

Photographer Chris Porsz has spent the last seven years tracking down hundreds of people he photographed in his hometown of Peterborough in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Some were easy, some were hard, some were impossible to find. When he was successful, Chris arranged a reunion at the location of the original photograph and took another picture. He has painstakingly recreated more than 130 photographs in his new book

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Bart Koetsier’s best photograph: a sleeping man slumped in a chair on a Paris street

‘I know it’s ugly and awkward – but I will steal a photograph if I really need to have it’

Before I moved to Paris, I lived in Amsterdam for almost 20 years. It’s small, quiet and clean – almost everything that opposes good photography, in my opinion. I always ended up shooting in the red-light district, hoping for something crazy and unexpected to happen. I started to feel like a goldfish, circling round and round, bored.

I was intrigued by the prostitution in Paris – especially having come from Amsterdam, where it is organised and sex workers are protected. Around the corner from my new place, on a boulevard in the 18th arrondissement, there are groups of eastern European women selling their services. On my way to photograph there one night, I passed by this guy slumped in a chair in the street. I recognised him – I had seen him peeing against a tree.

Related: Street view: London as seen by homeless photographers – in pictures

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Oskar Schlemmer's ballet of geometry – in pictures

With his geometric costumes and revolutionary spirit, Schlemmer hauled ballet into the age of modernism. A new exhibition celebrates his wild designs

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Shops in trees: Jakarta's improvised street life – in pictures

Photographer Isidro Ramírez documents the small solutions Jakartans find to improve the quality of life in a crowded city with inefficient infrastructure – from fashion shops in trees to wood-store bus stops

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New supercapacitor technology could bring an end to our battery charging woes

DP Review News - Wed, 23/11/2016 - 20:50
  Image: University of Central Florida

Technological advances have made it possible to do amazing things like order a pizza from your smart watch, but there's one problem holding much of consumer tech back: battery life. Despite the computing leaps we've made forward, batteries are still a major limitation for pretty much all mobile devices and a lot of photographic equipment. However, a team of scientists at the University of Central Florida’s NanoScience Technology Center may have taken a step toward ending our collective nightmare. 

The research team has developed a process for creating flexible supercapacitors that can store more energy and be charged faster than current battery technology. The concept also allows for recharging more than 30,000 times without degradation.

“If they were to replace the batteries with these supercapacitors, you could charge your mobile phone in a few seconds and you wouldn’t need to charge it again for over a week,” said team member Nitin Choudhary. 

Unlike batteries, which use chemical reactions, supercapacitors store electricity statically on the surface of a material which means they can be charged quicker. Previous research projects used graphene for this purpose, but with limited success. The team at UCF has instead been experimenting with newly discovered two-dimensional metal materials that are only a few atoms thick. The newly developed supercapacitors consist of millions of highly-conductive nanowires that are wrapped with those materials. As a result, electrons can pass quickly from the core to the shell and high energy and power densities are produced.

“There have been problems in the way people incorporate these two-dimensional materials into the existing systems – that’s been a bottleneck in the field. We developed a simple chemical synthesis approach so we can very nicely integrate the existing materials with the two-dimensional materials,” said principal investigator Yeonwoong “Eric” Jung.

At this stage the technology is only a proof of concept and not ready for commercialization. However, the team is in the process of patenting the method and, if developed further, could power the mobile devices, compact cameras and electric vehicles of the future. 

Categories: News

Elinchrom extends Skyport radio transmitter compatibility to Panasonic Lumix cameras

DP Review News - Wed, 23/11/2016 - 20:25

Flash manufacturer Elinchrom has released new firmware for its EL-Skyport Transmitter Plus HS for Olympus so that the device will be able to work with Panasonic Lumix cameras as well as Olympus OM-D models. The transmitter, which is already compatible with all OM-D and Pen models, as well as the E-5 and E-410, will now work with Lumix models as far back as the G7, including the LX100 compact and the FZ1000 bridge camera.

Compatibility with the system means that the listed cameras can be used with a Skyport transmitter to trigger and control the output of a host of Elinchrom flash heads. Elinchrom products that can be used range from portable battery-powered heads to units designed for studio use. Photographers can use the Skyport transmitter to control four groups of heads via 40 channels, and a high speed sync mode allows shutter speeds as short as 1/8000sec. Elinchrom says that the system has an operating range of 200m, and that the 2.4GHz radio communication signals can pass through walls.

The Skyport transmitter costs $249/€249/£199. For more information visit the Elinchrom website.

EL-Skyport Plus HS for Olympus and Panasonic compatibiliy table with Firmware V.1.1

Olympus Panasonic  E-M1  G7  E-M5 Mark II  GX85  E-M5  GX8  E-M10 Mark II  GH4  E-M10  LX100  PEN-F  FZ300  E-P5  FZ1000 E-PL7     E-PL6    E-PL5    E-PM2    E-5    E-410  
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