News

The forgotten mountains: a journey into the heart of rebel-held Darfur – in pictures

Award-winning photographer Adriane Ohanesian is one of the few outsiders who have gained access to the remote territories still tangled in civil war. In a new series, she documents the ongoing conflict

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Categories: News

Haunted houses: readers share photos of ghost signs from around the world

For our latest readers’ assignment, we asked you for photographs of ghost signs. Here are some of our favourites

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Categories: News

Facebook launches facial recognition app in Europe (without facial recognition)

The Guardian on Photography Technology - Wed, 11/05/2016 - 09:36

The social network wants you to share more pictures, and its new app Moments is how it’s going to encourage that – if it isn’t scuppered by data protection law

Almost a year after it came out in the US, Facebook is releasing its facial recognition-powered photo app Moments in Europe.

Except the new version won’t actually include any facial recognition technology, thanks to the company’s long-running fight with the Irish data protection commissioner over whether the technology is actually legal in the EU.

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Categories: News

Visible Girls: London's subculture heroines then and now – in pictures

In 1981, photographer Anita Corbin documented female subculture style; 35 years on, she’s catching up with her ‘girls’ as the series goes back on show

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Categories: News

Bright idea: Canon debuts EF-M 28mm F3.5 Macro with built-in LEDs

DP Review News - Wed, 11/05/2016 - 05:00
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Canon is introducing the first macro lens for its EF-M mount. The EF-M 28mm F3.5 Macro IS STM provides two user-controllable built-in LED macro lights and offers true 1:1 reproduction along with a 1.2x super macro mode.

The EF-M 28mm is just the sixth lens for its EOS M system and will provide a 45mm equiv. angle of view on the mirrorless crop-frame bodies. It uses an STM motor and offers a hybrid image stabilization for a claimed 3.5 stop compensation. Shipping in June, it will cost $299.99.

Press release:

ACCESSORIZE THIS SPRING WITH THE CANON SPEEDLITE 600EX II-RT FLASH AND CANON EF-M 28MM f/3.5 MACRO IS STM LENS WITH BUILT-IN MACRO LITES AND IMAGE STABILIZER

MELVILLE, N.Y., May 11, 2016 –Spring is all about having the right look and Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is giving photographers of all levels two new options that can improve their creativity and versatility; the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash and the Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens. 

Photographers looking to take rapid-fire flash images will appreciate the improved recycling time in the new Canon Speedlite-600EX II-RT flash. Those looking to explore the world of macro photography will appreciate the stylish compact look of the new Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens, the first EF-M Macro Lens for the Canon EOS M Camera System, which features Image Stabilization and a pair of built-in miniature Macro Lites to enhance image quality during close-up photography. 

The Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash Offers Improved Recycling Time and More

The Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash is compatible with most EOS cameras. It replaces Canon’s top-of-the-line Speedlite 600EX-RT, and improves recycling time by approximately 1.1 to 1.5 times* during continuous flash shooting when using AA batteries and up to 2 times* when adding the new optional Compact Battery Pack CP-E4N.  

Additional Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash features include: 

  • Zoom flash head covers wide focal length range of 20–200mm; maximum guide number is 197 ft./60m at ISO 100, making Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash the most powerful flash unit in the EOS system.
  •  Wireless flash shooting support is available for both radio and optical transmission with compatible Canon Speedlites, offering users greater functional range when using flash.
  • Multiple flash system support allows control of up to five groups of compatible Canon Speedlites. 
  • Dust- and water-resistant body for reliable operation in harsh environments.
  • Flash-readiness indicator on the display panel, simplified button and dial operation and variable manual flash output.
  • New, specially designed accessories supplied include a built-in bounce adapter, plus SCF-E3 hard-type color filter sets, and a soft case. The new Compact Battery Pack CP-E4N is available as an optional accessory for faster recycling time and more flashes per charge.
  • Illuminated dot matrix LCD panel for enhanced display information, including flash mode and usable distance ranges plus C.Fn (Custom Function) and P.Fn (Personal Function) settings.
First Macro Lens in the Canon EF-M lens series

Photographers looking for a compact, lightweight macro lens should look no further than the Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens, the first Canon Macro Lens specifically designed for the EOS M Camera System.

The new lens features a pair of built-in miniature Macro Lite electronic flash units that illuminate close-up subjects as needed, helping to freeze movement, enhance color accuracy and provide a better sense of depth and dimension. Two curved flash units surround the front element of the lens, with the ability to illuminate both simultaneously, or one at a time. Users are also able to adjust the brightness of the Macro Lites between “bright” and “dim” settings.  

The standard focusing range of the Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens extends from infinity to life-size (1 time). Additionally, a Super Macro Mode allows shooting at even higher magnifications up to 1.2 times. This feature allows you to capture smaller details that really make your subjects stand out against the background. 

Additional features of the Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens include: 

  • Hybrid IS, the same feature as found on Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens, helps reduce camera shake for enjoyable handheld photography.
  • Stepping motor (lead screw-type STM) helps provide smooth and quiet focusing operation when taking photos, and near-silence when shooting videos.
  • One UD lens and two aspherical lenses** help deliver outstanding image quality at all distance settings by reducing chromatic and spherical aberrations.
  • Angle of view similar to a 45mm standard lens (35mm equivalent) provides flexible image capture of various subjects and scenes at macro distances and beyond.
  • Tapered lens top shape makes it easy to capture high-quality images at close range without casting shadows.

The Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT electronic flash unit is scheduled to be available through authorized Canon dealers in June 2016 for an estimated retail price of $579.991. Canon’s EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens is scheduled to be available through authorized Canon dealers in June for an estimated retail price of $299.991.

1 Availability, pricing and specifications are subject to change without notice.  Actual prices are set by individual dealers and may vary.

* Based on Canon’s standards. As compared to the Speedlite 600EX-RT.

** Among autofocus lenses for interchangeable lens cameras. As of May 11, 2016, based on Canon's research.

Canon EF-M 28mm F3.5 Macro IS STM specifications Principal specificationsLens typePrime lensMax Format sizeAPS-C / DXImage stabilisationYes (3.5 stops)Lens mountCanon EF-MApertureAperture ringNoOpticsElements11Groups10Special elements / coatingsOne UD and two aspherical elementsFocusMinimum focus0.09 m (3.54″)Maximum magnification1.2×AutofocusYesMotor typeStepper motorFull time manualYesFocus methodExtending frontDistance scaleNoDoF scaleNoPhysicalWeight130 g (0.29 lb)Diameter61 mm (2.4″)Length46 mm (1.79″)SealingNoColourGraphiteHood suppliedYesHood product codeES-22
Categories: News

Canon 600EX II-RT improves continuous flash firing in top-of-the-line Speedlite

DP Review News - Wed, 11/05/2016 - 05:00
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The Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT updates the manufacturer's top-shelf flash unit with faster continuous firing during high framerate shooting. The unit still offers wireless shooting via radio and optical transmission, but improves continuous flash firing times by 1.1 to 1.5x when using AA batteries and up to 2x with a new CP-E4N add-on battery pack. The improvement to continuous firing is credited to better heat dissipation and firing algorithms.

The flash provides a 197ft/60m guide number, consistent with its predecessor, and the zoom flash head covers a range of 20-200mm. It can control up to 5 groups of compatible flash units, offers a weather- and dust-resistant design and boasts 'simplified' button and dial operation.

Expected in June 2016, the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT will cost $579.99.

Press release:

ACCESSORIZE THIS SPRING WITH THE CANON SPEEDLITE 600EX II-RT FLASH AND CANON EF-M 28MM f/3.5 MACRO IS STM LENS WITH BUILT-IN MACRO LITES AND IMAGE STABILIZER

MELVILLE, N.Y., May 11, 2016 –Spring is all about having the right look and Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is giving photographers of all levels two new options that can improve their creativity and versatility; the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash and the Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens. 

The new Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT is a powerful, high-performance flash, offering ultimate lighting control, ideal for fast frame-rate shooting such as sporting events, weddings or red carpet moments. Photographers will appreciate the increased number of continuous flashes with the Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash. Those looking to explore the world of macro photography will appreciate the stylish compact look of the new Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens, the first EF-M Macro Lens for the Canon EOS M Camera System, which features Image Stabilization and a pair of built-in miniature Macro Lites to enhance image quality during close-up photography. 

The Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT Flash Offers Improved Continuous Flash Firing and More

The Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash is compatible with most EOS cameras. It replaces Canon’s top-of-the-line Speedlite 600EX-RT, and improves continuous flash firing by approximately 1.1 to 1.5 times* when using AA batteries and up to two times* when adding the new optional Compact Battery Pack CP-E4N.  

Additional Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash features include: 

  • Zoom flash head covers wide focal length range of 20–200mm; maximum guide number is 197 ft./60m at ISO 100, making the Speedlite 600EX II-RT flash the most powerful flash unit in the EOS system.
  • Wireless flash shooting support is available for both radio and optical transmission with compatible Canon Speedlites, offering users greater functional range when using flash.
  • Multiple flash system support allows control of up to five groups of compatible Canon Speedlites. 
  • Dust- and water-resistant body for reliable operation in harsh environments.
  • Flash-readiness indicator on the display panel, simplified button and dial operation and variable manual flash output.
  • New, specially designed accessories supplied include a built-in bounce adapter, plus SCF-E3 hard-type color filter sets, and a soft case. The new Compact Battery Pack CP-E4N is available as an optional accessory for improved continuous flash firing and more flashes per charge.
  • Illuminated dot matrix LCD panel for enhanced display information, including flash mode and usable distance ranges plus C.Fn (Custom Function) and P.Fn (Personal Function) settings.
First Macro Lens in the Canon EF-M lens series

Photographers looking for a compact, lightweight macro lens should look no further than the Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens, the first Canon Macro Lens specifically designed for the EOS M Camera System.

The new lens features a pair of built-in miniature Macro Lite electronic flash units that illuminate close-up subjects as needed, helping to freeze movement, enhance color accuracy and provide a better sense of depth and dimension. Two curved flash units surround the front element of the lens, with the ability to illuminate both simultaneously, or one at a time. Users are also able to adjust the brightness of the Macro Lites between “bright” and “dim” settings.  

The standard focusing range of the Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens extends from infinity to life-size (1 time). Additionally, a Super Macro Mode allows shooting at even higher magnifications up to 1.2 times. This feature allows you to capture smaller details that really make your subjects stand out against the background. 

Additional features of the Canon EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens include: 

  • Hybrid IS, the same feature as found on Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens, helps reduce camera shake for enjoyable handheld photography.
  • Stepping motor (lead screw-type STM) helps provide smooth and quiet focusing operation when taking photos, and near-silence when shooting videos.
  • One UD lens and two aspherical lenses** help deliver outstanding image quality at all distance settings by reducing chromatic and spherical aberrations.
  • Angle of view similar to a 45mm standard lens (35mm equivalent) provides flexible image capture of various subjects and scenes at macro distances and beyond.
  • Tapered lens top shape makes it easy to capture high-quality images at close range without casting shadows.

The Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT electronic flash unit is scheduled to be available through authorized Canon dealers in June 2016 for an estimated retail price of $579.991. Canon’s EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM lens is scheduled to be available through authorized Canon dealers in June for an estimated retail price of $299.991.

1 Availability, pricing and specifications are subject to change without notice.  Actual prices are set by individual dealers and may vary.

* Based on Canon’s standards. As compared to the Speedlite 600EX-RT.

** Among autofocus lenses for interchangeable lens cameras. As of May 11, 2016, based on Canon's research.

Categories: News

Canon PowerShot SX620 HS brings 25x optical zoom to pocketable form

DP Review News - Wed, 11/05/2016 - 05:00
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Canon has announced a refresh to its compact superzoom lineup in the form of the PowerShot SX620 HS. It offers a 25x optical zoom covering an equivalent 25-625mm range, outdoing the 25-450mm equiv. range of its SX610 predecessor. The SX620 maintains a 20.2MP sensor, 3" 922k-dot LCD, Intelligent image stabilization and built-in Wi-Fi with NFC.

The Canon PowerShot SX620 HS will be offered in your choice of black, red or silver for $279.99 and will be available later this month.

Press release:

SHARE MEMORIES ON THE GO WITH NEW COMPACT, CONNECTED POWERSHOT SX620 HS DIGITAL CAMERA

Latest Canon PowerShot Digital Camera Provides Impressive Image Quality and Zoom Range in a Compact Size 

MELVILLE, N.Y., May 11, 2016 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, introduced today the new Canon PowerShot SX620 HS digital camera - ideal for individuals looking for a convenient, easy-to-carry compact digital camera capable of producing high-quality photos and videos. This new camera boasts a 20.2 Megapixel* CMOS imaging sensor and a powerful 25X Optical Zoom lens (25-625mm equivalent) in a form factor that will easily fit in a pocket or purse, making it an ideal camera for those passionate about photography to capture gorgeous imagery no matter where they are. 

The camera’s built-in wireless capabilities make it convenient to share images and videos on the go, and its powerful 25X optical zoom lens makes it ideal for those wanting to zoom in and out of the action. The Canon PowerShot SX620 HS digital camera is a great companion for those looking to visually document their daily adventures and easily share their experiences as they explore new places and do new things. 

As the successor to Canon’s PowerShot SX610 HS digital compact camera, the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS digital camera also features:

  • An Intelligent Image Stabilizer (IS) that helps optimize image stabilization for virtually shake-free images in a variety of shooting conditions
  • Built-in Wi-Fi®** and Near Field Communication (NFC™)***  to allow for easy sharing and transferring of images and videos to a personal computer or other compatible devices such as the Canon Connect Station CS 100
  • 20.2 megapixel* CMOS sensor with DIGIC 4+ Image Processor to help deliver stunning image quality, even in low light
  • The ability to capture spectacular 1080p Full HD video
  • Large 3.0-inch (approximately 922,000 dots) LCD to allow for easy viewing, even from a wide angle
  • Hybrid Auto mode that allows for recording up to four seconds of video before each image that is captured, then automatically combines each clip and still into a quick video recap of the day
  • Smart AUTO mode which intelligently selects the proper settings for the camera based on pre-defined shooting situations to help create the best possible image
  • Creative Shot mode that uses composition, color and lighting from an original image to create unique images with an artistic flair
  • An Auto Zoom feature that, when enabled, makes the camera automatically zoom in on subjects and help keep them in focus

Canon’s PowerShot SX620 HS digital camera, available in black, red and silver, is scheduled to be available in May 2016 for an estimated retail price of $279.991. 

1 Availability, pricing and specifications are subject to change without notice.  Actual prices are set by individual dealers and may vary.

* Image processing may cause a decrease in the number of pixels.

** Compatible with iOS® versions 7.1/8.4/9.0, Android™ smartphone and tablet versions  4.0/4.1/4.2/4.3/4.4/5.0/5.1.  Data charges may apply with the download of the free Canon Camera Connect app. This app helps enable you to upload images to social media services. Please note that image files may contain personally identifiable information that may implicate privacy laws. Canon disclaims and has no responsibility for your use of such images. Canon does not obtain, collect or use such images or any information included in such images through this app.

*** Compatible with Android smartphone and tablet versions 4.0/4.1/4.2/4.3/4.4/5.0/5.1.

Canon PowerShot SX620 HS specifications PriceMSRP$279Body typeBody typeCompactSensorMax resolution5184 x 3888Other resolutions4:3 (5184 x 3888, 3648 x 2736, 2048 x 1536, 640 x 480), 16:9 (5184 x 2912, 3648 x 2048, 1920 x 1080, 640 x 360), 3:2 (5184 x 3456, 3648 x 2432, 2048 x 1368, 640 x 424), 1:1 (3888 x 3888, 2736 x 2736, 1536 x 1536, 480 x 480)Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9Effective pixels20 megapixelsSensor photo detectors21 megapixelsSensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)Sensor typeBSI-CMOSProcessorDIGIC 4+Color spacesRGBColor filter arrayPrimary color filterImageISOAuto, 80-3200White balance presets5Custom white balanceYesImage stabilizationOpticalImage stabilization notesIntelligent ISUncompressed formatNoJPEG quality levelsSuperfine, fineFile format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
Optics & FocusFocal length (equiv.)25–625 mmOptical zoom25×Maximum apertureF3.2–6.6Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYesDigital zoomYes (4X)Manual focusYesNormal focus range5 cm (1.97″)Macro focus range1 cm (0.39″)Number of focus points9Screen / viewfinderArticulated LCDFixedScreen size3″Screen dots922,000Touch screenNoScreen typeTFT LCDLive viewYesViewfinder typeNonePhotography featuresMinimum shutter speed15 secMaximum shutter speed1/2000 secExposure modes
  • Hybrid Auto
  • Creative Shot
  • Scene
  • Program
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Smile
  • Wink Self-timer
  • Face Self-timer
  • High-speed Burst
  • Handheld Night Scene
  • Low Light
  • Fireworks
  • Long Shutter
Built-in flashYesFlash range4.00 m (with Auto ISO)External flashNoFlash modesAuto, on, slow synchro, offDrive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Self-timer
Continuous drive2.5 fpsSelf-timerYes (2 or 10 secs, custom)Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)Videography featuresResolutions1920 x 1080 (30p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480 (30 fps)FormatMPEG-4, H.264MicrophoneMonoSpeakerMonoStorageStorage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC cardConnectivityUSB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)Microphone portNoHeadphone portNoWirelessBuilt-InWireless notes802.11b/g/n with NFCRemote controlYes (via smartphone)PhysicalEnvironmentally sealedNoBatteryBattery PackBattery descriptionNB-13L lithium-ion battery & chargerBattery Life (CIPA)295Weight (inc. batteries)182 g (0.40 lb / 6.42 oz)Dimensions97 x 57 x 28 mm (3.81 x 2.24 x 1.1″)Other featuresOrientation sensorYesGPSNone
Categories: News

Huawei launches Honor V8 with 12MP dual-camera module

DP Review News - Tue, 10/05/2016 - 22:21

Huawei has announced the V8, the new flagship in the Chinese manufacturer's Honor series of devices. Consumers can choose from different display and processor options but the camera module is the same on all variants. The Honor V8 features a dual-camera setup that looks very similar in terms of specifications to the one found on the Huawei P9, but has to make do without the P9's Leica branding.

Both 12MP sensors come with a 1.76-micron pixel-size and are coupled with a 6-element lens with F2.2 aperture. There is also a dual-LED flash and the AF-system is laser-assisted. As on the P9, the front camera offers an 8MP sensor and F2.4 aperture. 

In terms of display resolution customers get to choose from Full-HD or Quad-HD but all displays measure 5.7-inches and come with 2.5HD curved glass. The Android 6.0 operating system with Huawei EMUI 4.1 skin is powered by an octa-Core Kirin 950 or 955 chipset. RAM is 4GB on all models but the model with the higher-resolution screen comes with 64GB of storage while the Full-HD variant has to make do with 32GB.

Energy on all models is provided by a 3,500mAh battery that is charged via a USB Type-C connector. In China the Full-HD base model will retail for approximately $350 while to the top-end version with QHD-screen and 64GB storage will set you back approximately $439.

Via: GSM Arena

Categories: News

Manfrotto launches secure backpack with concealed rear opening

DP Review News - Tue, 10/05/2016 - 20:24
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Accessory manufacturer Manfrotto has launched a new backpack that hides the opening of its main camera compartment between the bag and the person carrying it. The Advanced Rear backpack's main compartment zipper is between the shoulder straps on the back side of the bag, so that when it is being carried no one can open it from behind.

Manfrotto says that the lower part of the bag is big enough for a professional DSLR along with three wide aperture zooms as well as accessories such as flash units. The camera compartment in this lower section is removable and comes with its own zipped cover so items can be stored when the rest of the bag is being used for something else.  The top section can be used for more accessories or personal belongings.

An additional pocket is suitable for a 13in laptop, a tablet and documents up to A4 in size. A tripod can be attached via the tripod pocket, and a cover is built-in to protect against rain and dust. The company says that the pack is a suitable size to carry as hand luggage on most airlines.

The Manfrotto Advanced Rear backpack costs $159.99/£119.95. For more information visit the Manfrotto website.

Press release:

MANFROTTO PRESENTS: Manfrotto Advanced Rear Backpack

Manfrotto, world leader in the photography, imaging equipment and accessories industry, announces the launch of the new Manfrotto Advanced Rear Backpack.
The Advanced Rear Backpack can be used as a camera backpack, a laptop backpack, or just as a protective camera case.

Protective for photographers
Featuring the Manfrotto Protection System, the lower part of the bag is dedicated to holding photographic equipment, and will safely hold a professional DSLR camera body with up to 3 lenses. The zip for the camera compartment is hidden on the back of the bag, giving maximum security to your equipment. The camera compartment is completely removable, meaning the bag can be transformed into a spacious daypack.

Practical for travellers
The new Manfrotto Advanced Rear Backpack features plenty of space for personal belongings when you are travelling. The front pocket can store a 13” laptop, A4 documents, 10” tablet and small book and can be opened separately without affecting your camera equipment. The side pocket is suitable for a notebook and water bottle and the upper compartment can contain other documents and personal items. The zips can also be locked for further security.

The bag comes with a dedicated tripod compartment, a side pocket perfect for a small tripod and a branded rain cover to keep equipment protected in all weather conditions.

Categories: News

Keeping the faith: Pentax K-1 video overview

DP Review News - Tue, 10/05/2016 - 18:53

Pentax shooters have waited a long time to join the full frame club, and with the release of the K-1 DSLR that wait is finally over. But thanks to its 36MP sensor, some innovative features, and a very aggressive price point, the K-1 will likely appeal to photographers outside the Pentax sphere as well. We take a look at what makes this camera unique.

Categories: News

Sport picture of the day: Pushing and shoving at the Grand Sumo

During the year Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo plays host to three Grand Sumo tournaments (January, May and September) – the other three take place in Osaka (March), Nagoya (July), and Fukuoka (November). May’s tournament started on Sunday 8 May and will last for 15 days. The second day of competitive full-contact wrestling action saw Ozeki Kisenosato, right, push Kotoyuki out of the ring to win their bout

Continue reading...
Categories: News

The ultimate hiking partner? Sony's RX10 III goes the distance

DP Review News - Tue, 10/05/2016 - 13:00
Mount Rainier, captured from the trail up Mount Teneriffe, near North Bend in Washington State. ~200mm (equivalent), ISO 800. Still another 2 miles to go until lunch, and another 400mm to go before the RX10 III's maximum telephoto setting.

Sony's new Cyber-shot RX10 III might look a lot like the older RX10 II, but its lens is really something else. With an effective focal range of 24-600mm, the RX10 III is one of the most versatile cameras we've ever used. But focal range is only part of the story - it's optical quality that impresses us most. And boy, are we impressed.

Hiking with the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

A very short shooting experience by Barnaby Britton

Caveat: This is not a review, nor is it sponsored content. This is a shooting experience based largely on a single day of picture-taking, during a hike. Four miles up a mountain in the sunshine, four miles down in the dark. One memory card half-filled, one battery half-emptied. All shots were processed 'to taste' from Raw and all are un-cropped. Your mileage (both literal and figurative) may vary.

I've been searching for the ideal hiking camera for years. Since I moved to the Pacific Northwest I've tried and rejected DSLRs, fixed-lens primes, travel zooms, super-zooms and several iPhones. Recently, I've been packing my Ricoh GR II for its small size and sharp lens, but the lack of a viewfinder really limits its usefulness in some conditions.

The last time I brought a DSLR on a mountain hike I almost left it tucked under a rock on the trail, rather than drag it all the way up (that was the old, famously brutal Mailbox Peak trail, for any PNW natives reading this...).

Pretty good flare performance, considering the complex lens. This shot was slightly adjusted in ACR to bring out a little detail in the shadows. 24mm equivalent, ISO 100.

It's been a few years since I experimented with a superzoom compact camera, after a couple of bad experiences with sub-par lens performance. I've always liked the idea of them, but all too often I've been disappointed by the results in practice. These days, though, as my colleague Jeff likes to remind me, the good ones are actually pretty good.

OK, sure, but 'pretty good' for a super zoom is only 'OK, ish' by the standards of a shorter-lens compact or interchangeable lens camera, right? Well, that's what I thought, too. Until...

We knew the sensor is good from our experience of using the RX100 IV, but the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III's major selling point is its lens. And the lens in the RX10 III is, as far as I can tell, made of magic. I genuinely have no idea how Sony's engineers packed a 24-600mm equivalent lens of such high quality into a camera this small. It defies all reason. From wide-angle all the way to extreme telephoto, the RX10 III's lens delivers impressive results. Weirdly impressive.

As well as distant details, the RX10 III is capable of capturing sharp images of tiny things, very close to the camera. Like these wildflowers. 24mm equivalent, ISO 100.

Now, obviously I could take technically better shots with a DSLR and a fast zoom, or for that matter a prime lens compact like the GR II. Portraits with shallower depth of field, landscapes with critically better edge-to-edge sharpness and all the rest. But this past weekend a DSLR was out of the question. If I'm hiking up a mountain in 80+ degree weather, I'm traveling as light as possible. Most of the weight on my back this weekend was drinking water, and although it's a fairly chunky camera, the RX10 III was light enough to clip onto the shoulder strap of my backpack with one of these, without me noticing the weight too much over a seven-hour hike. 

Mount Teneriffe on a hot day is a pretty demanding hike, but the view from the top makes it worthwhile. 40mm equivalent, at ISO 100.

The Ricoh GR II is lovely, but I knew that from Mount Teneriffe we'd be looking at three peaks - Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, and Glacier Peak, as well as Mount Si and Mailbox, a little closer at hand. So 28mm just wasn't going to do the job. We timed our hike so that the sun would be go down shortly after we summited, and I knew that I wanted a nice, closeup (ish) shot of Mount Rainier's famous purple glow (see the picture at the top of this page).

Exposed for the highlights, it was easy to brighten shadow areas in this shot using Adobe Camera Raw. 24mm, ISO 100.

You can't really see here, but just where the blade of grass meets the horizon to the right of my subject, is Seattle's distinctive skyline. See below for a shot taken from the same vantage point at 600mm.  

A lot of the prejudice about long zoom compact cameras comes from a misunderstanding of how to interpret their lens performance, especially at the long end. Atmospheric distortion and haze from moisture, pollen and pollutants will reduce the sharpness of any telephoto lens, especially on warm days.

So if your telephoto shots look like they were taken through a frosted bathroom window, the lens might not be the culprit. On the other hand, if everything in your pictures looks like someone went over the edges with a magenta highlighter pen - well, that's the lens.

Seattle at sunset, from almost 40 miles away. 600mm equivalent, at ISO 100. Moderate 'dehaze' applied in Adobe Camera Raw. 

I had no such issues with the RX10 III (which was reassuring, since it costs $1500) but as always, I was shooting Raw, so what little fringing I did see in my images was easy to correct. Likewise, Photoshop's 'dehaze' control in Camera Raw came in very useful to bring back some clarity to images taken at the telephoto end of the RX10 III's lens. 

Mount Baker, seen through more than 90 miles of pollen-laden air, just before sunset. This shot didn't require quite so much dehazing as the last one. 600mm equivalent, ISO 250.

During a day's shooting during which my hiking partner and I walked a roundtrip of about 13 miles up and down a 4500ft peak, the RX10 III nailed virtually every shot. And that's everything from a knee-level picture of some tiny wildflowers a few centimeters away from the lens, to a 600mm capture of Mount Baker, 90 miles away from my vantage point and half lost in haze (above).

We hiked about half of the trail back to the car in the dark. For the last half mile we were accompanied by an owl. This grab shot was taken at ISO 12,800, by the light of our headlamps. At 95mm equivalent, there's no motion blur at 1/15sec.

From these sunset landscapes to ISO 12,800 snapshots of an owl that followed us back to our car at the trailhead, every time I looked at something and went 'oooh' and tried to take a picture of it, the RX10 III - and its insanely wide-ranging lens - got me the shot that I wanted. 

Hiking through the forest just before sunset. 50mm equivalent at ISO 6400.

We're working on a more scientific assessment of the RX10 III's lens right now, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy our updated samples gallery (now with Raw files!).

I've only been using the RX10 III for a few days, and I haven't even shot a second of video yet. There are plenty of things I don't like about it, too (confusing menus, clunky ergonomics, no touchscreen, laggy GUI, the aluminum zoom and focus rings scratch the minute you look at them) but somehow, despite all that, I'm already planning next week's hike.

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Rising stars of African photography – in pictures

The latest exhibition from Red Hook Labs in New York, in collaboration with Nataal, turns the spotlight on six photographers from Africa and its diaspora, both emerging and widely acclaimed. The show highlights images in the fields of art, fashion, documentary and portraiture, telling the stories of Africa in the 21st century. Nataal: New African Photography runs until 15 May

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The great leap upward: China's Pearl River Delta, then and now

The Pearl River Delta has witnessed the most rapid urban expansion in human history – a predominantly agricultural region transformed into the world’s largest continuous city. By revisiting the sites of rare archive images of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Macau from the 1940s through 1990s, our photographers have documented this staggering change

The region where the Pearl River flows into the South China Sea has seen some of the most rapid urban expansion in human history over the past few decades – transforming what was mostly agricultural land in 1979 into what is the manufacturing heartland of a global economic superpower today.

In 2008, China announced plans to mesh Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Zhaoqing, Foshan, Huizhou, Jiangmen, Zhongshan and Zhuhai into a single megacity. A series of massive infrastructure projects are under way to merge transport, energy, water and telecoms networks across the nine cities. Development has been relentless, and the World Bank recently named the Pearl River Delta as the biggest urban area in the world in terms of population and geographical size.

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Haircuts and fanclubs: backstage with the Rolling Stones – in pictures

Charlie peeing in the sink, Brian fixing his hair and Mick meeting Bo Diddley ... how did the band fill the long hours between stage-time on their 1965 and 1967 tours? Photographer Gered Mankowitz shares his album – and memories

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JPEGmini Photoshop extension aims to top Adobe's 'save for web'

DP Review News - Mon, 09/05/2016 - 19:53

Beamr, the software company behind the content-aware JPEGmini image compression application, has introduced an extension for Adobe Photoshop. Dubbing it the 'The Save For Web button Adobe should've made', the company claims the extension will save users time and produce better results than Adobe’s default Save For Web settings.

JPEGmini is an image compression package that analyzes individual sectors of an image and applies different degrees of compression to each sector according to its content. The designers claim that its compression results in no visible degradation of the image, but that it can reduce file sizes by up to 80% while 'preserving their full resolution and quality.' The smaller files save space on a hard drive and are also lighter for emailing and web hosting, according to the company.

The Photoshop extension comes as part of the JPEGmini Pro bundle, along with a plug-in for Lightroom, which costs $99. Photoshop CC 2015.1 is required to use the extension. For more information visit the JPEGmini website and read our test of a previous version of the software

Categories: News

2016 Roundup: Interchangeable Lens Cameras $500-800

DP Review News - Mon, 09/05/2016 - 18:00

The $500-800 category (based on US MSRP) features quite a few strong offerings, some of which should satisfy first-time camera buyers with easy-to-use interfaces and point-and-shoot style functionality. Others are aimed more at seasoned-enthusiasts, offering direct manual controls and high-end features.

At this price point, all of the cameras use either Four Thirds or larger APS-C-sized sensors and all can shoot Raw. And while a larger sensor can mean the potential for better image quality and more control over depth-of-field, the difference in size between APS-C and Four Thirds is not enormous. As such, small differences notwithstanding, the vast majority of cameras in this roundup have what we would consider to be very good image quality.

All of the cameras in this selection are reasonably small in size (compared to pricier ILCs), but the number and arrangement of control points, grip size, build quality and weight all vary quite a bit. As do the inclusion of features like like 4K video capture and in-body image stabilization.

Let's take a look at the currently available interchangeable lens cameras that fall into the $500-800 price range (give or take).

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Transit of Mercury 2016: your photos and stories

Mercury’s journey across the face of the sun, as captured by our GuardianWitness contributors

Our readers have been sharing their images of the transit of Mercury, as chronicled by our comprehensive live blog.

After a fairly pessimistic weather forecast (for the UK, at least) the rain stayed away long enough for you to capture some stunning images of this unusual astronomical event.

But rest assured I got a really good view of the first couple of hours with my Solarmax before it clouded over.

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9 May 2016, 15:13

Taken from Morecambe with a Lunt t60mm solarscope.

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9 May 2016, 12:40

The transit of Mercury taken from south London with a 200mm lens and an ND400 filter, with the help of some clouds to block the light a little more!

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9 May 2016, 14:31

... but could not resolve Mercury

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9 May 2016, 13:01

Mercury moving across the photosphere of the sun

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9 May 2016, 14:47

Camera Used: Nikon P90

Location: Bangalore India

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9 May 2016, 15:04

Taken by smartphone through the eyepiece of a solar telescope at the historical Godlee Observatory, University of Manchester

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9 May 2016, 15:00

Two solar observation scopes set up on a beautiful sunny lunchtime outside the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews, Fife. Mercury disc was clearly visible to the naked eye but unfortunately couldn't be captured by the phone camera!

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9 May 2016, 14:39

Taken at 15.04 near Lichfield UK. Not the easiest thing to photograph!

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9 May 2016, 15:18

Mercury transiting the sun May 9th 2016 shot with a Canon 7d.

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9 May 2016, 17:04

Finished work early to try and get some pictures of Mercury using my long camera lens and solar film. Weather perfect here in NW England!

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9 May 2016, 16:30

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Gallery buys rare album by Victorian photographic pioneer

National Portrait Gallery raises nearly £75,000 for 19th-century collection of early portraits by Oscar Gustav Rejlander

The National Portrait Gallery has acquired a rare album of images by a Victorian artist considered the “father of art photography”.

Oscar Gustav Rejlander is recognised as a true pioneer whose narrative portraits often had a strong theatrical or emotional element. He is known for combining multiple negatives in the darkroom to create artful, artificial compositions, long before Photoshop was around.

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Pentax K-1's Pixel Shift challenges medium-format dynamic range

DP Review News - Mon, 09/05/2016 - 13:00

The Pentax K-1 has produced one of the best dynamic range performances we've yet seen. As our testing of the camera continues, we've been looking through the results of our Raw dynamic range test and we've been very impressed. And that's before we looked at the benefits brought by Pixel Shift Resolution mode.

Raw Dynamic Range Exposure Latitude

In this test we look to see how tolerant of pushing exposure the Pentax K-1's Raw files are. We've done this by exposing our scene with increasingly lower exposures, then pushed them back to the correct brightness using Adobe Camera Raw. Examining what happens in the shadows allows you to assess the exposure latitude (essentially the dynamic range) of the Raw files.

Because the changes in this test noise are primarily caused by shot noise and this is mainly determined by the amount of light the camera has had access to, the results are only directly comparable between cameras of the same sensor size. However, this will also be the case in real-world shooting if you're limited by what shutter speed you can keep steady, so this test gives you an idea of the amount of processing latitude different formats give.

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Compared with the Nikon D810, the Pentax does a great job. There's less chroma noise visible after a 5 and 6EV push, suggesting the Pentax is adding even less noise to its images than the already very good Nikon. It's a similar story when compared with the Nikon D750$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2463").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2463); }); }). The difference compared to the Sony a7R II$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2464").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2464); }); }) is even greater, marking the K-1 as one of the best results we've ever seen.

The picture is slightly muddied by the D810 offering an ISO 64 mode$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2467").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2467); }); }), which can tolerate around 2/3EV more exposure before clipping, allowing longer shutter speeds that provide a shot noise benefit commensurate with that. This allows the D810 to pull almost imperceptibly ahead in brighter, shot-noise limited tones$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2468").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2468); }); }), but doesn't stop the K-1's result (from a camera with a list price roughly half as much) from being hugely impressive.

The difference is even bigger in Pixel Shift Resolution mode. Because it samples the scene multiple times, it effectively collects more total light, which means less shot noise. As you might expect, the result from the four 1/320 sec exposures used to create the 1/320 + 6EV image$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2465").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2465); }); }) show similar levels of noise to the 1/80th second exposure shot in single image mode (a 2EV advantage), only with the greater sharpness that Pixel Shift mode brings. This lower noise means you can push the files to a tremendous degree - far beyond what the Nikon D810's ISO 64 mode allows$(document).ready(function() { $("#imageComparisonLink2466").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(2466); }); }).

ISO Invariance

A camera with a very low noise floor is able to capture a large amount of dynamic range, since it add very little noise to the detail captured in the shadow regions of the image. This has an interesting implication: it minimizes the need to amplify the sensor's signal in order to keep it above that noise floor (which is what ISO amplification conventionally does). This provides an alternate way of working in situations that would traditionally demand higher ISO settings.

Here we've done something that may seem counter-intuitive: we've used the same aperture and shutter speed at different ISO settings to see how much difference there is between shooting at a particular ISO setting (and using hardware amplification) vs. digitally correcting the brightness, later. This has the advantage that all the shots should exhibit the same shot noise and any differences must have been contributed by the camera's circuitry.

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You can see all the K-1's full ISO Invariance results here and its pixel shift results here. The K-1 is as close to being ISO Invariant as we've seen, meaning there's no cost to shooting at ISO 100 and pushing the files later, rather than using a higher ISO. This means you can keep the ISO down and protect multiple stops worth of highlight information that would otherwise be pushed to clipping by the hardware amplification.

ISO invariance isn't an end in itself: there are cameras such as the Sony a7R II that are ISO variant because their higher ISO results are so good, not because their low ISO DR is deficient. However, a look at our standard test scene shows its high ISOs are extremely good, so you're not losing much in comparison with these dual-mode sensors. The K-1's files have a very high level of flexibility when it comes to processing.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the K-1 gives one of the best Raw dynamic range results we've ever seen, when shooting in single shot mode and absolutely outstanding results in circumstances where you can use the pixel shift mode. The multiple sampling of the same scene effectively gives a 2EV dynamic range boost, meaning it out-performs both the D810 and the 645Z by a comfortable margin. Less noise (though multiple captures) and multiple 14-bit values at every pixel mean it can give outstanding levels of DR for static scenes where you can use the Pixel Shift mode.

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