News

Adobe launches new '3, 2, 1 ... Photoshop!' tutorial series on YouTube

DP Review News - Thu, 03/08/2017 - 15:29

Adobe launched a new YouTube tutorial series for Photoshop beginners this week. It's called '3, 2, 1 ... Photoshop!' and it covers some basic tips on how to use different features of the image editor—from the crop tool, to layer groups, to brushes and beyond.

Advanced users probably won't get much out of the new series (although, to be fair, you never know what basic tip you've been overlooking), but beginners will find it extremely useful. Over the years Photoshop has gotten more and more advanced and complicated. The tutorial series helps cut through the clutter and offer a few top tips from the makers themselves.

You can watch the first video in the series, Three Tips for Photoshop's Crop Tool, up top. To see the rest, keep on scrolling down.

Five Tips for Working with Brushes Six Easy Ways to Select Colors in Photoshop 10 Tips for Working with the Layers Panel Three Ways to Quickly Zoom in Photoshop CC Five Reasons to Use Smart Filters in Photoshop CC Eight Reasons to Use Layer Groups

If you like these videos and you want to see more like them, check out the Adobe Photoshop YouTube channel and keep your eyes peeled for more '3, 2, 1 ... Photoshop!' tutorials in this playlist.

Categories: News

Miggo launches Agua line of waterproof camera and drone bags

DP Review News - Thu, 03/08/2017 - 14:20

Miggo, the smartphone and photography accessory makers who brought us the Pictar iPhone camera grip among other innovative products, have returned to crowdfund the launch of a new Agua line of waterproof bags designed for DSLRs as well as the DJI Mavic and Spark drones.

There are three models in the series, which are all made from a matte-finish tarpaulin material and offer the IPX3 environmental protection standard.

The Agua Versa backpack is designed for carrying photographic gear but can easily be converted into a backpack for daily use by removing the "doc-bag" camera insert. The Versa can be carried as a backpack, sling bag or x-position style and comes with external charging system for mobile devices.

The main compartment comes with laptop and tablet pocket, and there are several smaller pockets as well. Three water-proof outer pockets can hold a large variety of smaller items, and the rigid bottom offers impact protection when setting the bag down. The bag can hold a Canon 5D-sized full-frame DSLR and two F2.8 lenses, including a 70-200 F2.8 and a flash.

The Versa's strap system can be adjusted for sling-style use. Inside your gear is protected from the elements.

The Agua Drone Lander is made from the same waterproof material as the Versa, but it was made to function as a carrier for the DJI Mavic or Spark drones. The latter and accessories are are protected by a padded three-layer insert, and an integrated landing mat doubles as a work surface. The Drone Lander is carried in the sling position, and an additional diagonal strap offers better stability for long-distance carrying.

The third model in the line, the Agua Sling, combines a compact design with storage capacity for a 5D-sized DSLR and three lenses, including a 70-200 F2.8 and a flash gun. A padded strap allows for sling-style carrying and gear is accessed through a side-opening. Like the Versa, the Agua Sling comes with a water-proof front pocket for personal items and an external charging port for mobile devices. The main compartment offers a laptop pocket.

The Drone Lander comes with a landing mat. Padded inserts protect your drone and accessories.

We've had a chance to use the Agua Versa backpack for a couple of weeks, and our first impression is indeed very positive. The backpack is well-made, and the strap system is comfortable to wear and allows for a lot of adjustment.

There are plenty of external and internal pockets to help you organize all sorts of small things, such as batteries, memory cards and other accessories. My 14" Acer just fits into the internal laptop sleeve and the camera insert holds a DSLR and a couple of lenses no problem. When the insert is removed, the bag also works well as a rugged day pack, with more than enough space for a change of clothes for when you bike to work.

You should be aware that access to your gear is only available from openings in the sides, but once you're used to that, getting your stuff in and out of the bag is easy and quick. You can now pre-order the Agua bags on Indiegogo from $100 for each model with the early bird special, which sounds like an interesting deal if you are in need of a waterproof bag for your imaging gear.

Press Release

“Agua” storm-proof camera and drone bags set a whole new standard for adventure photography! After three successful funding projects which shattered all expectations, miggo returns to Kickstarter with three completely new “agua” bags - an exciting new take on storm-proof bags for cameras and drones.

Jerusalem, July 2017 - One year after the launch of Pictar - the revolutionary iPhone camera grip, miggo returns to Kickstarter for the fourth time with Agua - a brand new collection of three storm-proof bags designed for DSLR cameras and the super-popular Mavic and Spark drones. Every new offer by miggo is a sensation, with its fun and exciting products for photography enthusiasts.

"Kickstarter is the place where we bring products to life", says Guy Sprukt, Marketing Manager and one of miggo's founders. "This is where we introduced our first agua camera bag two years ago, and this year we are proud to present not one but three new agua bags! The entire new line is IPX3 standard storm-proof and the bags offer an exceptional combination of protection from the elements and quick-draw ability. We had a long development stage, and we're proud of the results and we believe that the new agua bags offer a completely different approach to carrying photographic gear and drones."

The agua series consists of 3 bags - all of which are IPX3-standard storm-proof and carefully designed from durable tarpaulin with a impressive matt finish - unique to the entire miggo agua collection.

  1. Agua Versa Backpack

A versatile backpack for carrying professional photographic gear, as well as for daily use. The bag lets users enjoy a handy and carefully designed everyday bag, while the photographic gear is safely stored in a "doc-bag" insert. With the insert firmly in place, the Versa turns into a tough photo bag for any challenging task.

The Versa Backpack provides fast and easy access to the camera and additional gear, excellent weather protection, a versatile back system with 3 different carrying modes (backpack, sling and X-position), a retractable insert for photographic gear, external charging system for mobile phone, a designated pocket for a laptop or iPad and three water-proof outer pockets for personal stuff. Versa Backpack is made from durable tarpaulin with a matt finish, and offers a rigid bottom made with thermoforming technology for superior impact protection. The agua Versa Backpack can carry a full-format DSLR such as Canon 5D Mark 4 (or similar), 2 professional lenses including 70-200 f2.8, and flash. Like all the bags in the agua series, the Versa Backpack is IPX3-standard storm-proof.

  1. Agua Drone Lander

Extreme enthusiasts will be delighted to know that they can now own a revolutionary carrier for Mavic or Spark drones, which offers easy carrying and excellent protection from weather and impact.

Agua Drone Lander lets users carry their easily on their back to the most challenging places in the world or just for a weekend trip with the family. The sensitive gear is fully protected thanks to a specially padded three-layer insert with a dedicated space for the drone and all its accessories. The bag also comes with an integral landing mat, which doubles as a work station. The Agua Drone Lander is made from durable tarpaulin with a matt finish that wraps around the padded insert and serves as an additional layer of protection from the elements such as rain, snow, dust or dirt. The agua Drone Lander is equipped with a main padded strap for carrying in the "sling" position, and a diagonal strap to keep the bag tight against the body for easy long-distance carrying. Like all the bags in the agua series, the Drone Lander is IPX3-standard storm-proof.

  1. Agua Sling

A one-time combination of superior storm protection and camera quick-draw - Agua Sling offers them both, perfectly!

The Agua Sling offers a compact design with surprising storage capability. It can carry a full-format DSLR camera such as Canon 5D Mark 4 (or similar), three professional lenses including 70-200 f2.8, and flash.

A wide, padded strap allows easy carrying and quick access to the gear through a side opening. Agua Sling is made from durable tarpaulin with a matt finish and offers a rigid bottom made with thermoforming technology for superior impact protection. It also features a water-proof front pocket for personal stuff, an external and convenient charging port for mobile phones and a dedicated laptop pocket. Like all the bags in the agua series, the Sling is IPX3-standard storm-proof.

"In July 2017, we'll be returning to Kickstarter for the fourth time, and we're looking forward to hearty support and backing ", says Rafi David, miggo's CEO. "Kickstarter is an amazing platform that enables young companies like us to bring innovative products to the market, to receive feedback from consumers at a stage where changes can still be made and thus offer the products that are most suitable for our users."

Categories: News

Throwback Thursday: Adobe Lightroom 1.0

DP Review News - Thu, 03/08/2017 - 14:00
As an amateur photographer, I joined the Adobe Lightroom beta primarily to gain access to the latest version of the ACR Raw converter. I hadn't expected it to completely change the way I worked.

I can't remember how I first heard about the public beta of a new photo editing product from Adobe* but, according to Adobe's Lightroom blog, it must have been after July 23, 2006, when the Windows version of the software became available.

Having used Photoshop since university, I'd seen it become both more powerful and more complicated. I had friends working on their Biochemistry Ph.D.s who were just as dependent on Photoshop as I was, in preparing photos for publication in the magazines I worked on, but who relied on a different set of tools than the ones I used.

I'd quickly become frustrated with the limited software my camera came bundled with

The purchase of a Raw-capable superzoom (one of those decisions I now flinch at), quickly left me frustrated with the experience of using the limited software it came bundled with, so I found myself processing my best images, one at a time, staying late to use my work computer.

Clearly this wasn't a way of working that was either a) sustainable nor b) scaleable (to use two words that would never have occurred to me at the time). So the idea of being able to access the power of Adobe Camera Raw for free, rather than having to find hundreds of pounds for my own license of Photoshop seemed appealing.

Lightroom meant that, weeks after first processing an image, I could go back and backtrack on some of my changes and, with fresh eyes, produce something better, without the need to fill my hard drive with multiple TIFFs, saved along the way.

As the name hints, Lightroom was intended as an analogue for the film-era darkroom. Unlike Photoshop, which had become all things to a very diverse set of uses, Lightroom was just the tools required for photographers. The terminology of the tools was intentionally photographic: exposure adjustments, measured in EV, white balance measured in Kelvin.

In essence its editing tools were simply those of Adobe Camera Raw, only with the ability to process more than one image at a time. That and a crop tool that, while it seemed incomprehensible and backwards compared with Photoshop's behavior, quickly began to seem not just obvious, but indispensable**.

The real power of Lightroom, though I didn't immediately spot it, was in how it imposed a structure on your workflow. It cataloged the images you 'imported,' and gave you the tools to sort and tag those images, then pushed you through a logical process of first editing and then outputting your images.

At first I, along with many other beta participants, found the 'Shoots' categorization confusingly out-of-step with the way I thought about arranging my files on my computer (the two were connected when you imported files but could diverge if you moved the files or their associations). Adobe recognized this and adopted a more explicitly folder-based pattern with a later update.

What's this? I can take a series of edits I've applied to one image and selectively apply them to others? Mind. Blown. (and, more importantly, time saved).
Used with kind permission from Imaging Resource's original coverage.

In these early versions, all edits were whole-image corrections: every change you made affected every pixel in the image, meaning its role was very distinct from that of Photoshop. There was some ability to export to Photoshop if you needed to make localized edits, but it meant Lightroom wasn't quite the 'all you'll ever need' tool I was hoping for.

However, so long as you didn't immediately rail against being forced to make changes to your workflow, the pattern of importing, sorting, editing and exporting became second nature. So, although I was initially just rushing through the import stage to get to the 'Develop' editing module, I quickly found that my life was easier if I engaged with the workflow as a whole.

In those early versions all edits were whole-image corrections: every change you made affected every pixel in the image

By the time I started work at DPReview a year or so later, I was regularly shooting huge numbers of images and appreciating the way adding ratings as part of the import process could help me home straight in on my best shots so that all of my efforts to crop, polish and tweak were focused on my strongest images. I could also take some of the edits I'd made to one image and apply them to similar shots, as a better starting point. It saved so much time, even though I never used the Print or Web output modules.

When the beta finally ended, I thought I'd revert to my existing way of working: selecting and then working-up single images at a time in ACR. But no, once I'd become accustomed to being able to quickly organize, prioritize and process only the best images from every shoot, I couldn't go back.

I'd discovered that not having a workflow was unworkable

The idea of having to manually trawl through and select images, before processing each one, one-by-one, suddenly seemed exhausting. I'd discovered that not having a workflow was unworkable.

The inability to go back and find or fine-tune existing edits was the factor that finally tipped it for me. I bought a license for Lightroom v1 within a couple of weeks of the beta ending. For a lot less than the cost of Photoshop, it should be noted.

By the time it was launched, Lightroom had officially become 'Photoshop Lightroom.'

The first full version, launched just over ten years ago now, was still pretty basic. Adobe had learned lessons from the beta, but by today's standards, it was pretty primitive. Redeye and spot removal tools (cloning, rather than 'healing,' if my memory serves me correctly) finally brought the first localized corrections. But brushes and gradients didn't arrive until v2.0, eighteen months later, so there were still plenty of occasions I needed to export to a pixel-level editor.

It would also be many years before Adobe began to add manufacturer JPEG mimicking color profiles, thus putting an end to a million 'why do my pictures look flatter in Lightroom' threads on the DPReview forums. Lens corrections and the ability to add, as well as remove, noise and vignetting were also some years off. But, for me at least, the core concept worked.

The quality of processing and the power and subtlety of the available tools has only improved since then. It's also, with a few hiccups, tended to get faster over time, which is pretty rare.

Compare this screen-grab from Lightroom v1.0 to the one at the top of the page and you'll spot a host of additional filtering options.
From Imaging Resource's original coverage.

It's strange to find myself looking back so fondly, since my job essentially precludes me from using Lightroom: I regularly shoot with cameras it doesn't yet support, have to deliver unedited, straight-out-of-camera JPEGs and deal with large numbers of remote files that become irrelevant, the moment a review is published.

Adobe's monthly license model, to my mind, runs counter to the longevity benefit of building a database around my images

I'm also aware that the latest version of Lightroom is getting to the stage that it has a range of tools I'll simply never use. That it risks developing the kind of Photoshop-esque learning curve that it was originally intended to circumvent. There's always the threat that it'll eventually be permanently ingested into Adobe's Creative Cloud monthly license model (which, to my mind, runs counter to the longevity benefit of building a database around my images).

Yet, if I found myself with the time to shoot for myself again, the first thing I'd do is to buy a standalone version of Lightroom and pick up where I left off. Because, for all that I've tinkered with other Raw converters, I really like what it forced me to do, all those years ago: focus my time on getting the best out of my best photos.

*There's every chance it was this story
** These days the crop tool in Photoshop mimics the Lightroom way of working

Categories: News

Fiddle, fish and board game fun: a snapshot of Zanzibar life – in pictures

Photographer Sam Vox’s patience paid off in these glimpses of island life on Zanzibar – part of our weekly look at people’s travels through three Instagram images

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Categories: News

Pioneer photographer's stark images of Crimean war go on display

Roger Fenton’s pictures helped raise awareness of conditions for soldiers during 1850s conflict

Haunting images capturing the stark reality of conflict by the Victorian pioneer war photographer Roger Fenton are to go on display in Scotland for the first time since 1856.

Fenton was commissioned to document the Crimean conflict, setting sail onboard HMS Hecla in 1855 accompanied by 36 chests of cameras, glass plates, chemicals, a stove and other pieces of equipment, and using a converted wine merchant’s van as a travelling darkroom and accommodation for himself and two assistants.

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Categories: News

When eight-year-olds worked the streets: Lewis Hine's portraits of young workers in America

Working as an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee, Lewis Hine documented the working and living conditions of children in American cities between 1908 and 1924

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Categories: News

Mountain passes and Maharajas: jewels of early Indian photography – in pictures

The Getty Images Gallery marks the 70th anniversary of India’s independence from Britain this week with an exhibition of the nation’s earliest photography

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Categories: News

NASA will chase the August eclipse in jets to capture 'clearest images of the corona to date'

DP Review News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 21:43

It doesn't matter where you'll be during the August 21st solar eclipse, NASA plans to one-up you and capture a better photo—or at least a unique one. The space agency is actually going to chase the eclipse's totality in two highly modified 1950s-vintage WB-57F jets, in order to capture the 'clearest image of the sun's [...] corona to date,' and the first-ever thermal images of Mercury.

The whole plan is detailed in the short video above, although we have to warn you, it might make you feel a little bit of gear envy—"if only I'd bought that Air Force surplus reconnaissance plane..."

Joking aside, the August 21st eclipse is a brilliant research opportunity, and NASA doesn't plan to let it slip by unused. The two WB-57F jets have each been retrofitted with twin telescopes mounted on their noses. Using these telescopes, Amir Caspi of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado plans to capture "the clearest images of the Sun’s outer atmosphere — the corona — to date and the first-ever thermal images of Mercury."

One of the WB-57F jets is readied for a test run at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The instruments are mounted under the silver casing on the nose of the plane. Photo: NASA’s Johnson Space Center/Norah Moran

According to NASA, the jets will capture high-definition pictures at 30fps during the entire eclipse totality—which will last three times longer as the jets speed along, staying inside the moon's shadow—from the stratosphere, avoiding interference from most of the Earths atmosphere. These photos will then be analyzed to determine why the sun's atmosphere is so hot (millions of degrees), when the visible surface of the sun is significantly cooler (a few thousand degrees).

Before and after these observations, the scientists will also use the jets to try and capture the first-ever thermal images of Mercury—"the first attempt to map the variation of temperature across the surface of the planet."

To find out more about this fascinating scientific (and photographic) mission, check out the video at the top or head over to the NASA website for a more detailed breakdown of what they're looking to capture and why.

Categories: News

NVIDIA Computational Zoom lets you change perspective and focal length in post

DP Review News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 20:58

Researchers with the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and NVIDIA have detailed a new type of technology called 'computational zoom' that can be used to adjust the focal length and perspective of an image after it has been taken. The technology was detailed in a recently published technical paper, as well as a video (above) that shows the tech in action. With it, photographers are able to tweak an image's composition during post-processing.

According to UCSB, computational zoom technology can, at times, allow for the creation of 'novel image compositions' that can't be captured using a physical camera. One example is the generation of multi-perspective images featuring elements from photos taken using a telephoto lens and a wide-angle lens.

To utilize the technology, photographers must take what the researchers call a 'stack' of images, where each image is taken slightly closer to the subject while the focal length remains unchanged. The combination of an algorithm and the computational zoom system then determines the camera's orientation and position based on the image stack, followed by the creation of a 3D rendition of the scene with multiple views.

"Finally," UCSB researchers explain, "all of this information is used to synthesize multi-perspective images which have novel compositions through a user interface."

The end result is the ability to change an image's composition in real time using the software, bringing a photo's background seemingly closer to the subject or moving it further away, as well as tweaking the perspective at which it is viewed. Computational zoom technology may make its way into commercial image editing software, according to UCSB, which says the team hopes to make it available to photographers in the form of software plug-ins.

Categories: News

Report: 45% of Leica is up for sale, and Zeiss is interested

DP Review News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 20:52

Reuters is reporting that investment group Blackstone is "in talks with potential buyers" in an attempt to sell its 45% stake in Leica Camera, possibly to Zeiss. The other 55% of the company is owned by the Kaufmann family, who brought in Blackstone as a co-investor in 2011.

The report cites "people close to the matter," who claim the investor has already teamed up with an investment bank and "held talks" with potential buyers, although the process hasn't entered the bidding stage yet. Potential buyers include Zeiss and, more speculatively, Huawei, neither of whom would comment on the matter. However, Reuters' sources said Zeiss would only be interested if it could acquire a majority stake in the company, something the Kaufmann family might not go for.

Speaking with Reuters, Leica chairman Andreas Kaufmann said his family "has long-term goals with Leica Camera," long term meaning a 100-year timeline.

Last year, there was some talk of Chinese investor CDH buying out Blackstone's stake in Leica, but no deal was struck. But it's a new year, and Blackstone could earn a pretty penny for selling its stake in Leica. According to Reuters, the iconic camera brand is expected to report earnings "of roughly 70 million euros" this year at a valuation of around 700 million euros, or approximately $828 million USD.

You can read the full report at this link.

Categories: News

Video: First hands-on with the modular RED Hydrogen One holographic smartphone

DP Review News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 18:52

The $1,200 RED Hydrogen One smartphone with its holographic display and modular design wowed the world when it was announced last month. And that wow-factor only increased when people stumbled across RED's patents for this intense little camera phone. Unfortunately, the initial render, press release, and those patents was all we had to go off of ... until now.

Well-known YouTuber Marques Brownlee was given an exclusive first-look at RED's prototypes of the Hydrogen One, and he's sharing that first look with the world in the video above.

The RED Hydrogen One prototype next to an iPhone 7 Plus and an OnePlus 5. As you can see, it's anything but small.

Brownlee got to look at three prototypes: a non-functional 'fit-and-finish' prototype that looks exactly as RED intends the final version to look (above), a prototype of the holographic display that he was not allowed to show on camera, and a prototype of the phone with a 'Triplet' lens mount module attached.

The first prototype was really all about the looks, and Brownlee had an interesting take on that. "It looks kind of like a Moto Z had a baby with a tractor," he says. "It's this part rugged, part modern look." A look Brownlee actually quite liked.

The second prototype he wasn't allowed to share on camera, but it's the third prototype we're most interested in, anyway. This is where things get really interesting for photo and video enthusiasts curious about how capable and modular this phone will really be. The third prototype features an attachment that adds a 'sensor and lens mount' to the smartphone.

Adding a sensor and lens mount to the phone makes it much thicker, but also has the potential to supercharge the Hydrogen One's camera capabilities.

According to Brownlee, RED believes, "this can and will be the future of small form-factor cinema [cameras]." In fact, the company says the smartphone's image quality "should only be surpassed by RED's bigger cameras," beating out mirrorless cameras and DSLRs if RED has their way with this phone.

At $1,200 for the phone by itself, and who knows how much for all of the modules and attachments required to get the RED Hydrogen One up to that caliber of image quality, it's likely you'll spend about the same amount of money on a cinema-capable Hydrogen One as you would on a cinema-capable DSLR setup... if not more. But if the quality is on par or better, why not get a really intense modular smartphone in the bargain?

I guess we'll just have to wait and see how this phone evolves from prototype to full-fledged product. Speaking of which: RED expects to have their next prototype—a fit-and-finish version with the holographic display built in—ready in the next 30-45 days. They're not dragging their feet.

Categories: News

Mark Wohlwender obituary

The Guardian on Photography Technology - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 18:01

My colleague Mark Wohlwender, who has died of lung cancer aged 50, was a photographer and picture editor, working for the Guardian in both capacities as well as for sports magazines and diverse editorial and commercial clients.

He specialised in sports photography, shooting football matches for the Action Images agency, covering winter sports (despite being afraid of snow as a child) and shooting the Tour de France three times. Motor racing was another passion – one of Mark’s best pictures was a portrait of Ayrton Senna, the Formula One racing driver.

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Categories: News

Mark Wohlwender obituary

My colleague Mark Wohlwender, who has died of lung cancer aged 50, was a photographer and picture editor, working for the Guardian in both capacities as well as for sports magazines and diverse editorial and commercial clients.

He specialised in sports photography, shooting football matches for the Action Images agency, covering winter sports (despite being afraid of snow as a child) and shooting the Tour de France three times. Motor racing was another passion – one of Mark’s best pictures was a portrait of Ayrton Senna, the Formula One racing driver.

Continue reading...
Categories: News

RED's Raven Camera Kit is now sold exclusively through Apple

DP Review News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 16:53

Cinema camera company RED has teamed up with Apple to offers its 'affordable' (relatively) RED Raven Camera Kit exclusively through Apple's online store. Interested buyers may be able to head over to their local physical Apple retail store to see demonstrations of the camera, as well, though RED says that only 'select' locations are offering demos.

The camera kit is described as being a 'complete handheld camera package' that includes the RED Raven 4.5K camera BRAIN alongside accessories, storage, a lens, and software.

The Raven 4.5K is notable as RED's most compact BRAIN offering at 3.5lbs/1.6kg, according to the company, as well as being one of its most affordable models—the entire camera kit is priced at $15,000 USD. RED President Jarred Land described the Raven Camera Kit in a statement today as being a "ready-to-shoot professional package."

With this camera, users are able to shoot REDCODE RAW (R3D) footage at a 4.5K resolution at up to 120fps or 2K footage at up to 240fps.

The RED Raven Camera Kit includes:

  • RED Raven 4.5K camera BRAIN
  • RED DSMC2™ Touch LCD 4.7” Monitor
  • RED DSMC2 Outrigger Handle
  • RED V-Lock I/O Expander
  • RED 120 GB RED MINI-MAG®
  • Two IDX DUO-C98 batteries with VL-2X charger
  • G-Technology ev Series RED MINI-MAG Reader
  • Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art
  • Nanuk heavy-duty camera case
  • Final Cut Pro X
  • foolcontrol iOS app for Raven Camera Kit

The RED Raven Camera Kit is available from Apple.com now.

Press Release

RED Digital Cinema’s RED RAVEN Camera Kit Now Available Exclusively Through Apple.com This Professional Package Includes Everything Cinematographers Need to Start Shooting, Including Lens, Media, Batteries, Software and More

IRVINE, Calif. – RED Digital Cinema® announced today that its RED RAVEN® Camera Kit is now available exclusively through Apple.com and available to demo at select Apple Retail Stores. This complete handheld camera package features a diverse assortment of components from some of the industry’s top brands, including:

  • RED RAVEN 4.5K camera BRAIN
  • RED DSMC2 Touch LCD 4.7" Monitor
  • RED DSMC2 Outrigger Handle
  • RED V-Lock I/O Expander
  • RED 120 GB RED MINI-MAG
  • Two IDX DUO-C98 batteries with VL-2X charger
  • G-Technology ev Series RED MINI-MAG Reader
  • Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art
  • Nanuk heavy-duty camera case
  • Final Cut Pro X
  • foolcontrol for RAVEN Camera Kit

The RED RAVEN Camera Kit is available for $14,999.95. Customers can buy this package or learn more at Apple.com and select Apple Retail Stores.

“We are very excited to work with Apple on the launch of the RED RAVEN Camera Kit, available exclusively through Apple.com,” said Jarred Land, President of RED Digital Cinema. “The RED RAVEN Camera Kit is a ready-to-shoot professional package that gives content creators everything they need to capture their vision with RED’s superior image capture technology."

The RAVEN 4.5K is RED’s most compact camera BRAIN, weighing in at just 3.5 lbs. This makes it a great choice for a range of applications including documentaries, online content creation, indie filmmaking, and use with drones or gimbals. The RAVEN is equipped with a 4.5K RED DRAGON sensor, and is capable of recording REDCODE RAW (R3D) in 4.5K at up to 120 fps and in 2K at up to 240 fps. RED RAVEN also offers incredible dynamic range, RED’s renowned color science, and is capable of recording REDCODE RAW and Apple ProRes simultaneously—ensuring shooters get the best image quality possible in any format.

The RED RAVEN Camera Kit also includes Final Cut Pro X which features native support for REDCODE RAW video, built-in REDCODE RAW image controls, and the most complete ProRes support of any video editing software. Together with the free RED Apple Workflow software, Final Cut Pro allows professional video editors to work quickly and easily with RED RAVEN footage on MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro systems.

All RED cameras feature a modular design that empowers customers to dial in their ideal configuration for any production environment. Customers looking to outfit their RAVEN with additional accessories should go to www.red.com.

Categories: News

Full-res image samples from the 16-module Light L16 camera

DP Review News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 16:20

The Light L16 camera has been in the works for years now. A 16-module camera that looks like a smartphone, it uses up to 10 camera modules at once to capture 52-megapixel (minimum) photographs, and promises to "DSLR quality in the palm of your hand." Plenty of people are skeptical of that claim, but now that the L16 is finally shipping to pre-order customers, Light has released three high-resolution image samples for you to pour over and critique.

Admittedly, none of the three photographs pits the L16 agains what you might consider a challenging lighting scenario. There's a portrait, a landscape photo taken at the Grand Canyon's famous Horseshoe Bend, and a photograph of the iconic shipwreck at Point Reyes.

All three are taken when there was plenty of natural light around, and while the Point Reyes shot does contain some more intense contrast between the highlights and shadows we really wish Light had shared one or two low-light shots. Still, barring that, the photos will give you a good idea of what this diminutive little computational photography camera can do:

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The smallest of the three photos is 53.3MP, the largest a whopping 81MP, giving you some serious cropping power. Give our gallery a second to deal with the photos, especially if you're using the 100% zoom feature... these files are nothing to scoff at.

To see more photos taken with the L16, or if you want to download these full-res samples for yourself, head over to the Light.co gallery. And once you do pixel peep these shots your heart's content, let us know what you think of the L16 in the comments.

Categories: News

Yongnuo to release budget 40mm F2.8 and 100mm F2 lenses for Nikon

DP Review News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 15:32
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Nikon users looking for some budget glass will soon have a couple of new options. According to a detailed report by Nikon Rumors—complete with product shots, specs, MTF charts and more—Chinese gear maker Yongnuo will soon release both a 100mm F2N lens and 40mm F2.8N pancake lens for Nikon F-mount.

The 100mm F2 lens is already available for Canon EF mount, and we have no reason to believe the Nikon version will be much different. According to the specs posted on NR, the lens features eight lens elements in six groups, a 9-blade aperture, autofocus support, a max aperture of F19 and a minimum focusing distance of 0.9m (~3 feet).

The 40mm F2.8 pancake lens isn't available in any mount yet, but when it does arrive it will reportedly sport six lens elements in four groups, a 6-blade aperture, max aperture of F22, a minimum focusing distance of 0.3m (~1 foot) and will only weigh 130g.

Nikon Rumors seems to believe these lenses will be official very soon, possibly later this week. The 100mm F2 should cost around $165 (the price of the current Canon version), and we'll just have to wait to see where Yongnuo prices their 40mm F2.8.

Keep an eye on Yongnuo's official eBay and Amazon stores if you're interested in snapping up either of these budget lenses.

Categories: News

Avid Media Composer First offers pro-level video editing for free

DP Review News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 15:28

Most serious DSLR or MSC video shooters use either Adobe Premiere Pro CC or Apple's Final Cut Pro X to edit their footage; however, Avid's Media Composer has long been the editing suite of choice for TV and movie professionals. Now, the company has made a slightly scaled-down version of its pro tool, called Media Composer First, available to download and use for free.

The free version works in most respects pretty much the same way as its pro cousin, and only comes with a few limitations in terms of image resolution and available editing tracks.

There are four video and eight audio tracks, and exports are limited to Quicktime H.264 or DNxHD file formats at 1080p resolution and a frame rate of 59.94 fps. So if you're looking to output 4K video Media Composer First is not for you, but you can input 4K files if some of your raw footage was recorded at high resolution.

Avid Media Composer First is derived from a pro tool, so it might not be as intuitive as more consumer-oriented solutions and could be overkill for your average YouTube clip or home video. However, it offers a surprisingly comprehensive feature set at no cost—ideal for students or enthusiast who are thinking about making a move into professional film making.

Check out the intro video below, or read more on the Avid website.

Categories: News

Intro to drones part I: Drone basics

DP Review News - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 14:00

The use of drones for aerial photography has grown rapidly over the past few years, and systems are now available in all shapes and sizes, ranging from small hobby aircraft to complex commercial systems. Whether you’re a beginner just looking to have fun, or an experienced photographer exploring new creative opportunities, there’s never been a better time to try this technology.

If you’ve never flown one before, drones have the potential to be a bit intimidating. In this article, the first of a three-part series, we’ll familiarize you with the basic features and components that comprise most consumer drone systems. In parts two and three, we’ll talk about how to select the best drone to meet your needs, and what you need to know about safety before your first flight.

What’s in a drone system?

Let’s get some vocabulary out of the way. While it’s common to refer to a remote-controlled aircraft as a drone, you may also run into the terms UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) or UAS (unmanned aircraft system), and professional pilots usually prefer to use these descriptors. The words drone and UAV are largely interchangeable as they both refer to just the aircraft, while UAS refers to the entire system. For convenience, we’ll use the word drone throughout this article.

Every drone system is a bit different, but there are some basic things most have in common. In addition to the aircraft, they’ll generally include a lithium polymer battery for power, a camera mounted on a stabilized gimbal, and a radio communication system. Most also include a dedicated controller, though some less expensive consumer models can be controlled using only a smartphone.

From the outside, most drones appear to be simple devices, but they’re actually built around some fairly advanced technology that makes them easier to fly. This includes GPS for tracking the drone’s position, various sensors to help avoid unwanted collisions, and intelligent flight modes that can automatically focus on a point of interest or track a moving subject.

That’s a lot, so let’s break it down!

The aircraft

At the core of any system is the aircraft, and most consumer and prosumer drones today are quadcopters (though there are exceptions). Today, all multi-rotor drone systems designed for photo and video use a fixed-pitch propeller system. Most models use removable propellers made from a plastic/fiberglass composite that have a simple twist locking system to hold the propeller in place. Alternatively, some will use a folding propeller system.

A twist-lock prop on the DJI Phantom 4 Pro (L) and a foldable prop on the DJI Mavic Pro (R).

The drone's propellers are driven by brushless motors that spin at very high speed to produce the thrust required to fly. Each motor has a corresponding speed controller unit that allows for slight adjustments in the speed of the rotor; by varying the speed of the individual motors relative to one another, it's possible to induce pitch, yaw, roll and altitude.

Flight controller

The flight controller is your direct line of command to the drone, and the two are linked using a radio control system, typically at 2.4 or 5.8 GHz. Input from the sticks on the flight controller sends signals to the aircraft directing it to adjust the speed controllers on each motor, allowing you to maneuver the drone. Additional inputs allow you to control the camera and other features specific to the model you’re flying.

The same radio signal used for command and control also allows the video signal to be fed from the drone to the controller’s screen, providing a real-time view for shooting photos or video. In many cases, the screen is just an Android or iOS device running a control app that you’ve installed and paired with the controller, though some models, such as the DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ and Yuneec Typhoon 4K, have their own built-in screens.

In addition to seeing a live video feed, the screen allows you to monitor telemetry from the aircraft and includes all the controls you would expect for photography such as custom WB, bracketing, shooting style, and other camera settings.

In addition to sticks to control the drone's movement, most flight controllers include additional inputs that allow for direct control of things like camera movement and shutter/record buttons. Numerous other functions are available through the touch screen. Gimbal

If you’re planning to take photos or videos from the air, it’s critical that your camera remain as steady as possible. Most drones actually move quite a bit as they maneuver around or make corrections to maintain position. To compensate, the camera is mounted to a gimbal: a device that isolates it from the vibration and movement of the drone. Most gimbals use a 3-axis system that allows for yaw (rotational stabilization), pitch (holding the horizon during forward and backward movement), and roll (holding the horizon during side-to-side movement).

"Most drones actually move quite a bit as they maneuver around or make corrections to maintain position."

Gimbals use brushless motors that are very precise, and hold the camera in place so that video and photos (including long exposures) look amazing. In fact, if you watch a drone flying in even a moderate amount of wind you’ll notice quite a few small movements, but with a good gimbal the camera’s image will be rock solid. Some systems also offer a dual operator mode that allows the pilot to fly, while a separate camera operator runs the gimbal. This is the ultimate mode for shooting video!

The gimbal isolates the camera from vibrations and small movements by the drone, providing a stable image. Global positioning system (GPS)

Once your drone is in the air you want it to maintain its position, even in windy conditions. Though it’s possible for a skilled pilot to do this without assistance, all drones today rely on GPS technology, typically using both the Global Positioning System and GLONASS (the Russian GPS system), to automate this task with a high degree of precision.

The good news is that GPS makes it surprisingly easy to hold, fly a straight line, or orbit a subject while the computer does the hard work of making small adjustments to compensate for wind direction and turbulence, and as a result, drones are often much easier to fly than people anticipate. However, GPS, like any technology, can fail. As a result, learning to fly a drone without GPS assistance is an important skill to learn.

Collision avoidance systems

A big advancement over the past couple years has been the development of collision avoidance systems that use vision, sonic and infrared sensors to avoid obstacles. Vision systems can ‘see’ objects and halt the aircraft before it strikes something, however they usually have a limited range (15m/50ft), and the sun can sometimes create issues by causing them to think something is in the way when nothing is there.

"Vision systems can ‘see’ objects and halt the aircraft before it strikes something, however they usually have a limited range (15m/50ft)."

Sonic systems use sound (much like bats) to sense objects, and are usually aimed at the ground and used for auto-landing operations and ‘positioning’ on the ground in lieu of GPS. Finally, IR (infrared) sensors are a relatively new option and work based on reflected IR spectrum light. These are short range and have issues in low light, but work in a similar fashion to vision systems for obstacle avoidance.

The small circles that look like bug eyes on the front of the DJI Mavic Pro are visual sensors for the collision avoidance system.

What are all these systems used for? Mostly, assisting new pilots in preventing collisions with objects in their vicinity, as well as preventing a loss of aircraft when returning to home by allowing the drone to avoid trees or other obstacles. However, it’s important to remember that the pilot in command is always responsible for the aircraft. Collision avoidance systems are useful but not infallible, so don’t depend on them to keep you out of trouble!

Batteries

Let’s talk about power. Most drones use lithium polymer, or ‘LiPo’ batteries. These cells come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and power ratings. ‘Smart LiPo’ batteries have built-in charge/discharge regulators and sensors that can report battery voltage and temperature via an app or the press of a button. Typically, LiPo batteries run both the controller and the aircraft, and flight time usually ranges from approximately 15 to 30 minutes depending on your model, the conditions, and how aggressive you are at the controls.

LiPo batteries are energy dense and require special care, and can be dangerous if mishandled. Traveling with these batteries can be risky if you don’t take proper precautions, and in most countries, there are specific rules when you take these cells on airplanes.

"LiPo batteries are energy dense and require special care, and can be dangerous if mishandled."

In the US, the TSA/FAA provide specific rules and instructions, which technically permit a LiPo battery to be placed in checked baggage when installed in its intended device. However, individual airlines may have more restrictive policies, and the best practice is to carry these batteries on the plane with you and not in checked baggage. If you’re outside the US, make sure you understand the rules in your country before traveling with LiPo batteries.

A post shared by RyanMcMaster (@ryanmc_33) on Jun 24, 2017 at 7:13am PDT

Intelligent flight modes

Originally, drones were simply a tool that allowed you to get your camera off the ground and into the air, but thanks to all the technology packed inside, modern aircraft can usually do much more.

"Intelligent flight modes make it possible to get very creative shots with minimal effort by the pilot."

Many drones today include a variety of semi-autonomous (‘intelligent’) flight modes that use technologies like GPS, computer vision and subject tracking to help with more complex tasks. Common examples include the ability to actively track and follow a subject as it moves, orbiting around a point of interest, or programming waypoints for the drone to follow.

Intelligent flight modes make it possible to get very creative shots with minimal effort by the pilot. In a sense, it’s a bit like having a separate drone operator while you focus on the creative side of things. These modes are particularly helpful if your intent is to shoot video as they can make your footage look very cinematic.

One of the intelligent flight modes, waypoints (seen here), can turn your Phantom 4 Pro into a powerful surveying tool that has the ability to collect data like never before!

A word of caution, however. Don’t just take off and blindly start using these modes. They require good knowledge of how to disable them in case of an emergency, and should not be used by beginners until basic operation of the aircraft is mastered.

Who makes them?

There are numerous companies building consumer and prosumer drones today. The one most people will be familiar with is DJI, which is the 800-pound gorilla in the market. However, compelling models can also be found from companies like Yuneec, Autel Robotics, GoPro and Parrot, as well as a number of others.

Although it’s easy to lump these all into the same category, each creates different products and has different design philosophies. For example, Yuneec makes affordable hexacopters, and Autel Robotics provides options such a camera with thermal imaging capabilities in addition to visible light. In part two of this series, we’ll discuss how to go about choosing the drone that best meets your needs.

Conclusion

Drones are an amazing tool that allow us to do jobs remotely, safely, and in a way that doesn’t put a manned aircraft at risk. As technology advances the capabilities of these devices will only get better. If you’ve been looking for a way to bring a new perspective to your photos or video, consider taking to the skies. Just remember to fly respectfully and follow the rules in your locale – things we’ll discuss in upcoming articles.

Categories: News

National Geographic travel photographer of the year 2017 winners – in pictures

After much deliberation, the judges have announced the 2017 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year winners. The selection of winning images explores the diversity of the world through its geography and its inhabitants

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Categories: News

World’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge opens in the Swiss Alps

High and handsome amid beautiful Swiss scenery, the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge offers hikers a time-saving, jaw-dropping experience

The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge has opened in Switzerland, inviting walkers to brave a narrow path running 86 metres above the ground at its highest point. The Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge, in the Swiss Alps, near the village of Randa, is a record-breaking 494 metres long and connects Grächen and Zermatt on the Europaweg foot trail.

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