News

How digital technology is taking Mayan culture back to the future

Google and British Museum tie-up brings explorer Alfred Maudslay’s largely unseen collection of ancient artefacts to the world

More than a century after the British explorer Alfred Maudslay took pioneering photographs and casts of some of the most incredible ancient Mayan objects and sites, digital technology is ensuring they can finally be widely seen.

The British Museum and Google announced the results of a project to digitise and disseminate Maudslay’s incredible collection, one which has largely kept in storage unseen for more than 100 years.

Related: Secret Mayan tombs lend rare insight into rule of mysterious 'snake kings'

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Categories: News

Amber Rowlands obituary

My friend Amber Rowlands, who has died aged 45 of cancer, was a photographer whose work appeared in the Observer, the Telegraph, Le Monde and Time, as well as several style and design magazines.

She was born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, the daughter of Paul Rowlands, a gardener, and his wife, Diane (nee Solomon), a graphic designer. Amber grew up in Brockham, Surrey, then attended Camberwell College of Art in south London, where she studied graphic design before turning to photography, graduating in 1995.

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Categories: News

Cameraman injures OSU football player during pregame warm-up

DP Review News - Wed, 29/11/2017 - 16:58
Photo by Paula R. Lively. CC-BY-2.0

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett allegedly suffered an injury after being hit in the knee by a cameraman during pregame warm-ups. Barrett went on to play during the first-half of the game, but left during the second-half due to the knee injury.

The claim that an unidentified cameraman was responsible was initially made by OSU coach Urban Meyer during the post-game press conference. "A guy with a camera hit [Barrett] in the knee..." explained a visibly angry Meyer, going on to call for an "all-out" investigation into who was responsible, though ESPN later reported that OSU Athletic Director Gene Smith said such a probe wouldn't happen.

"We're not doing a full-blown investigation to find the photographer," Smith said. "We're looking at what things led up to that."

Details about how the incident happened are unclear, and despite there being a stadium full of cameras, no footage of the actual 'collision' has been released. TMZ has obtained some footage of the immediate aftermath from a fan who pulled out his smartphone to record what was happening, which shows Barrett limping off and gives you an idea of just how crowded the sidelines were during warm-up:

Despite Meyer's anger at the specific cameraman, the incident will probably have a broader impact rather than individual punishment. Smith stresses that the focus will be on making changes so that something like this doesn't ever happen again.

According to ESPN, Smith said:

The conference office is gathering data. That's the extent of it. The outcome of it will ultimately be improved operations. There's no attempt to try and find a person. The attempt is to find out what happened, what corrective measures we need to put in place.

So it sounds like the individual cameraman is off the hook... unless of course this 'collision' translates into strict new rules and limited access for sports photographers. Then he'll have have some very upset colleagues to answer to.

Categories: News

Zoner Photo Studio X brings support for the HEIF image format to Windows

DP Review News - Wed, 29/11/2017 - 16:19

Apple introduced the HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) image format with its latest iPhone models 8, 8 Plus and X. Essentially, the new format is more efficient than current standards at compressing image data—images with the same size and level of detail occupy up to 50% less space on your device storage or hard drive—while also offering additional features like the ability to store burst photos, focal stacks, and exposure stacks in a single file.

In the long term, HEIF is meant to replace JPG as a the most common image standard, but until now the format could only be viewed or edited on iOS 11 devices or an Apple Mac... not exactly universal. That all changes today with the latest release of Zoner Photo Studio.

Zoner Studio X is officially the first software package to bring HEIF support to the Windows platform. Its makers still call the feature "experimental" and recommend keeping a backup of your HEIF photos in a separate format (just in case), but this is a big deal if you're an iPhone user who uses a PC instead of a Mac. No need to sacrifice image quality to save space or visa versa.

Zoner Studio X offers more than HEIF support, of course, and is a potent image editor in its own right. The feature set includes: image organization, layers, non-destructive RAW editing, retouching, and automatic adjustments.

To learn more or download a 30 day trial, visit the Zoner website. The full version will cost you $49.

Categories: News

Leica unveils Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 ASPH lens with 'hair-thin depth of focus'

DP Review News - Wed, 29/11/2017 - 14:45
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Leica unveiled a new low-light monster of a lens today, adding to the 'Noctilux legacy' with the Leica Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 ASPH. According to Leica, the new lens boasts 'impeccable speed' and 'exceptional imaging performance' as well as "hair-thin depth of focus [that] isolates subjects with extreme precision."

This is the fourth Noctilux lens ever created and only the second released this century, this lens follows in the footsteps of the Noctilux-M 50mm F0.95 ASPH released in 2008. But while Leica is calling this the "co-founder of a new family of lenses," the company is also quick to point out that the new Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 boasts some advantages over its older brother:

The upgraded features of the Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH. open up entirely new opportunities in portrait and close-up photography, including a shallower depth of focus than that of the Noctilux-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. and a close focusing distance of 0.85m, making for a reproduction ratio of 1:8.8 for even more precise isolation of subjects. Additionally, the eleven blades of its iris ensure a soft and harmonious bokeh in out-of-focus areas.

Inside, you'll find six groups made up of nine lens elements that have been manufactured from glasses with "high anomalous partial dispersion and low chromatic dispersion." Two of those elements are aspherical, and the lens uses a floating element with what Leica describes as a "complex focusing mechanism" (aren't they all?) that promises high-quality performance all the way from minimum focus distance to infinity.

You can read more about the Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 in the full press release and tech specs below, but if you like what you read, be ready to drop some serious cash. According to Leica, the lens will retail for $12,795 when it shows up at Leica stores, boutiques and dealers in the beginning of 2018.

Press Release

Leica Camera Pushes Photographic Boundaries With the New Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH Lens

True to the Noctilux legacy, the new lens boasts impeccable speed and exceptional imaging performance

November 29, 2017 – For more than 50 years, the name ‘Noctilux’ has been synonymous with exceptional speed and outstanding optical design. Today, Leica Camera announces the newest addition to their lens portfolio – the Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH. Coupled with exceptional imaging performance and unique bokeh, its hair-thin depth of focus isolates subjects with extreme precision, ideal for portraits with an unmistakable “Leica look”.

A legacy of excellence

The first lens of the Noctilux family, the Leica Noctilux 50 mm f/1.2, was announced at photokina in 1966. While the original lens innovated with revolutionary optical properties, ongoing developments led to the launch of two additional generations of the Noctilux in 1975 and 2008. The additional lenses were developed under the premise of further pushing the envelope for imaging performance, each with a faster aperture than its predecessor. All Noctilux-M lenses to this day are special for their rendering and aesthetic when shot wide-open, yielding a three-dimensional “pop” that separates its subjects from the background like no other lenses. The out-of-focus areas behind the subject is smooth and pleasing to the eye, giving a lovely soft background even in the darkest of lighting scenarios.

Together with the Leica Noctilux-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH., the Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH. is the co-founder of a new family of lenses. The two current members of this family are both distinguished by their extreme maximum aperture and exceptionally high performance at all apertures, even wide open, and lend themselves to the creation of timeless images marked by a distinctive and revered Leica aesthetic.

Superior imaging performance

The upgraded features of the Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH. open up entirely new opportunities in portrait and close-up photography, including a shallower depth of focus than that of the Noctilux-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. and a close focusing distance of 0.85m, making for a reproduction ratio of 1:8.8 for even more precise isolation of subjects. Additionally, the eleven blades of its iris ensure a soft and harmonious bokeh in out-of-focus areas.

To guarantee this extraordinary imaging performance, the nine elements in six groups that make up its optical design are manufactured from glasses with high anomalous partial dispersion and low chromatic dispersion. Two of the elements are aspherical, and reduce other potential aberrations to a hardly detectable minimum. The use of a floating element within the complex focusing mechanism guarantees a constantly high level of imaging performance throughout the entire focusing range of the lens – from its minimum focus distance to infinity.

When shooting at maximum aperture, the exceptionally shallow depth of field of the Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH. can be easily focused in when an electronic viewfinder such as the Leica Visoflex. Additionally, the Leica M-Adapter L transforms the Noctilux-M into an excellent lens to use in conjunction with the Leica SL. When the lens is mounted on the Leica SL, the 4.4 megapixel resolution of the camera’s EyeRes® electronic viewfinder enables particularly comfortable and extremely precise focusing.

The Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 ASPH. features the convenience of an integrated lens hood, which can be extended or retracted in one simple twist. The lens is complemented by a tripod adapter for safe and secure mounting of the lens on a tripod.

The Leica Noctilux-M 75 mm f/1.25 ASPH will be available at Leica Stores, Boutiques and Dealers at the beginning of 2018.

Technical Data

Angle of view
(diagonal, horizontal, vertical)

For 35 mm format (24 x 36 mm):

~ 32°, 27°, 18°

For Leica M8 models (18 x 27 mm):

~ 24°, 20°, 14°, equivalent to FL of ~ 100 mm in 35 mm format1

Optical design

Number of elements/groups

Aspherical surfaces

Position of entrance pupil

(at infinity)

9/6

2

26.9 mm (in front of the bayonet)

Focusing

Working range

Scales

Smallest object field/

largest reproduction ratio

0.85 m to ∞

Combined metre/feet graduation

For 35 mm format: ~ 212 x 318 mm / 1:8.8,
For Leica M8 models: ~ 159 x 238 mm / 1:8.8

Aperture

Settings/functions

Smallest aperture

With click stops, half-stop detents

16

Bayonet

Leica M quick-change bayonet with 6-bit bar coding for Leica M digital cameras2

Filter mount

Inner thread for E67 screw-mount filters, non-rotating

Lens hood

Integrated, with twist-out function

Viewfinder

Camera viewfinder3

Finish

Black anodised

Dimensions and weight

Length to bayonet flange

Largest diameter

Weight

~ 91 mm

~ 74 mm

~ 1055 g

Compatible cameras

All Leica M-Cameras3, 4, Leica SL-Cameras with Leica M-Adapter L

1 The nominal focal lengths of the Leica M-Lenses relate to 35 mm format, i.e. original image frame dimensions of 24 x 36 mm. However, with dimensions of 18 x 27 mm, the sensor of the Leica M8 models is a little smaller, by a factor of 0.75. For this reason, the angle of view of this lens when mounted on a Leica M8 model corresponds to that of a lens with a focal length that is longer by a factor of 1.33 (1.33 = reciprocal of 0.75).

2 The 6-bit coding on the lens bayonet (7) enables Leica M8 digital models to identify the lens type mounted on the camera. The cameras utilise this information for the optimisation of exposure parameters and image data.

3 With the exception of the Leica M3 and the former version of the Leica MP ( professional version of the M3), all Leica M-Cameras without a 75 mm bright line frame can be retrofitted with this frame by the Customer Care department of Leica Camera AG (it then appears in the viewfinder together with the frame for 50 mm lenses).

4 This is independent of the image frame format of the respective camera – whether 18 x 27 mm (sensor size) for the Leica M8 models or 24 x 36 mm for all other Leica M models.

Categories: News

Gear of the Year 2017 - Richard's choice: Sony NP-FZ100

DP Review News - Wed, 29/11/2017 - 14:00

I wrote, two years ago, that I thought the distinction between DSLRs and mirrorless cameras would disappear. Not that mirrorless would eclipse DSLRs, more that the differences would reduce to the point that the presence or absence of a mirror becomes the least relevant part of a discussion of two cameras.

As I was writing a comparison of the Sony a7R III and Nikon D850 today, I was suddenly struck by the realization that it might have already happened. I think there are a lot of interesting differences between the two cameras but very few of them have anything to do with the way we’d tend to categorize them.

With this in mind, my gear of the year is the Sony NP-FZ100. Or, to those of you not obsessed with product codes, the a9 and a7R III’s battery. The simple reason for this is the role it plays in rendering the difference between mirror-less and mirror-full cameras moot.

Good enough: the threshold beyond which any further excess is superfluous

It all comes down to the idea of ‘good enough.’ And please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not talking about accepting the mediocre or tolerating the barely sufficient. Instead I’m referring to the threshold beyond which any further excess is, if not excessive, then at least superfluous: it offers no practical benefit.

Once I have enough battery life to get me through a demanding day of shooting, then any extra left in the tank is all very nice, but not exactly necessary. I recently spent a morning shooting both stills and video of a cyclocross race with the a7R III. Shooting a mixture of JPEGs, uncompressed Raws and 4K video, I comfortably churned out more than the 64GB capacity of my memory card and had to switch to a second. What I didn’t come close to doing was running the battery out. At the end of the racing, I still had more than 27% charge left, despite the sub-10°C temperatures.

The move to the 'Z-Type' battery on the right is the difference between me having to worry about charging and carrying spare batteries and me never having to think about it.

This suddenly eliminates the constant battery anxiety I’ve always felt with previous Sony mirrorless cameras (and that's without including the RX1R II, an otherwise fabulous camera whose butterfly-like lifespan prompts even its proponents joke “it’s like shooting film: you need to think about what you’re going to do with your 36 exposures”). Because when I’m shooting, I don’t ever want to be worrying about whether I’ve brought enough batteries, and which ones are charged. I don’t even want to have to think about it.

In fairness Panasonic got here first, having put a big battery in its GH models as far back as the GH3, but I didn't notice it to the same extent because I was primarily shooting video with those models.

This eliminates the constant battery anxiety I’ve previously felt with many mirrorless cameras

More demanding shooters, be they photojournalists or longer-form filmmakers, can always attach a battery grip for longer duration, but for me, the FZ100 means the a7R III is able to surpass my ‘good enough’ threshold. So, while the D850 can boast a very impressive 1840 shots per charge, for me and my photography, that’s well into the territory of overkill.

So, as a technology that allows mirrorless cameras (hopefully of all brands) to offer the same practical benefits as their DSLR rivals, my gear of the year is a battery. Because it makes the a9 and a7R III into significantly better cameras, not just because it pulls another leg out from under all those tired ‘mirrorless vs DSLR’ arguments.

Categories: News

2017 Buying Guide: Best pocketable enthusiast cameras

DP Review News - Wed, 29/11/2017 - 12:00

If you want a compact camera that produces great quality photos without the hassle of changing lenses, there are plenty of choices available for every budget. Read on to find out which portable enthusiast compacts are our favorites.

Categories: News

Dome and the ranch: California's Joshua Tree national park – in pictures

In our weekly look at people’s travels through three of their Instagram shots, Robert Hull explores the Mojave desert at its wild and weird best

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Categories: News

Prints and prison cells: the Portuguese Centre for Photography, Porto

The Guardian on Photography Technology - Wed, 29/11/2017 - 10:47

A former jail houses artefacts from the dawn of photography, and provides a window onto the life of one of Portugal’s most prolific novelist, who was locked up there for adultery

Most prisons are hidden away from a city’s law-abiding citizens. Not so Porto’s 18th-century Cadeia de Relação, now the Portuguese Centre for Photography. Its solid, rectangular bulk looms above the city’s old town, a stone’s throw from the landmark Torre dos Clérigos.

After hosting the felonious and unfortunate for more than two centuries, the granite-walled jail closed its doors in 1974 on Portugal’s return to democracy. In 2000, the labyrinthine building reopened to the public as a photography exhibition centre.

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Categories: News

Prints and prison cells: the Portuguese Centre for Photography, Porto

A former jail houses artefacts from the dawn of photography, and provides a window onto the life of one of Portugal’s most prolific novelist, who was locked up there for adultery

Most prisons are hidden away from a city’s law-abiding citizens. Not so Porto’s 18th-century Cadeia de Relação, now the Portuguese Centre for Photography. Its solid, rectangular bulk looms above the city’s old town, a stone’s throw from the landmark Torre dos Clérigos.

After hosting the felonious and unfortunate for more than two centuries, the granite-walled jail closed its doors in 1974 on Portugal’s return to democracy. In 2000, the labyrinthine building reopened to the public as a photography exhibition centre.

Continue reading...
Categories: News

Albert Watson's celebrity portraits – in pictures

Scottish photographer Albert Watson began taking pictures of celebrities in 1973, when he famously shot Alfred Hitchcock holding a dead goose for Harper’s Bazaar. He now has more than 100 Vogue covers to his credit and continues to work at the age of 75. Many of his best-known photographs are collected in Albert Watson: Kaos, a new deluxe, limited-edition anthology published by Taschen. They’re also being exhibited at the Taschen Gallery in Los Angeles to 1 December

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Categories: News

The Yashica Y35 digiFilm camera raised over $1.25M in crowdfunding

DP Review News - Tue, 28/11/2017 - 20:25

Despite a decidedly lukewarm reception in our community—and much mockery from the pro and semi-pro photographers out there—the Yashica Y35 camera and its digital ‘film’ cartridges has become an Internet sensation, raising many, many times more than the required funding to make it to market.

The company’s Kickstarter campaign was backed by 6,935 funders who together contributed HK$10,035,296 (about US$1.286M). And now, in case you missed the Kickstarter round, Yashica has put the Y35 on Indiegogo as well, to ensure that the project not only goes ahead, but that it comes with a few upgrades too.

In case you're not familiar, the Yashica Y35 digiFilm project aimed to create a digital camera that acts more like a film camera—complete with film winder and ‘film’ cartridges with different ISO ratings and alternative image characteristics. While many found this idea silly on the face of it, thousands more disagreed and poured their money into Yashica's crowdfunding campaign, allowing the company to upgrade the camera's specs a little bit.

Originally, the Y35 was intended to feature a 1/3.2in sensor, but that has been upgraded to a 1/ 2.5in sensor (still with the original 14MP pixel-count). The 35mm lens has also had a positive change in specification, going from f/2.8 to a four-element f/2.0 lens with a wider diameter and what the company promises is better image quality.

There is a gallery of sample shots captured with a pre-production version of the Y35 camera—with its bigger sensor and faster lens—on the Kickstarter and Indiegogo pages if you're curious. As for the production model, the camera is due to be delivered to crowdfunding backers in May of 2018.

Categories: News

Photographer sues Bruno Mars for posting childhood photo of himself on Instagram

DP Review News - Tue, 28/11/2017 - 18:52
Photo by Brothers Le, CC-BY-2.0

Singer Bruno Mars recently shared a childhood photo of himself from 1989, and now the photographer behind the photo, Catherine McGann, is suing him for copyright infringement. The image was shared by Mars back in June on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, amassing more than a million 'likes' and thousands of comments.

As of this writing, it's still live on the pop star's Instagram account:

A post shared by Bruno Mars (@brunomars) on Jun 21, 2017 at 2:22pm PDT

The lawsuit, which was first surfaced via TMZ, is being leveled against both Mars and record label Warner Music. According to McGann, Mars never asked for permission to share the image on his social media accounts, and the lawsuit seeks any and all profits made from the image's use, plus damages.

A look at McGann's Instagram page shows that she posted a version of the image with a copyright notice on November 3rd, 2016.

Categories: News

Google finally activates 'Visual Core' imaging chip inside Pixel 2 smartphone

DP Review News - Tue, 28/11/2017 - 18:29

The finalized version of Google's Android 8.1 operating system is expected to be released in December, but today the company has announced the availability of the last Developer Preview which, among other things, activates the formerly dormant Visual Core chipset in the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones.

The custom-built system-on-a-chip (SOC) is designed to power and accelerate the Pixel 2 phones' HDR+ function that achieves better dynamic range and reduced noise levels through computational imaging. The feature is already incredibly powerful, so we can't wait to see how it gets even better with this additional hardware boost applied.

HDR+ photo captured with the Pixel 2 for our Sample Gallery. Credit: Allison Johnson

The latest Pixel smartphone generation comes with the chip built in, but it appears Google ran out of time before the Pixel 2 launch to fully optimize Visual Core implementation in the device, and therefore decided to not activate it. With the new software version, Visual Core can can now be turned on through an option in the Developer menu.

In addition to souping up the Pixel 2's native camera app, this update also allows third-party apps using Android Camera API to capture HDR+ shots. Previously, this function has been exclusive to the Google Camera app.

There is a wide selection of third-party apps for all types of mobile photographers available in the Google Play Store. It's no doubt a positive move by Google to make the capability of using HDR+ available to all of them. To install the Android Developer Preview, your Pixel 2 device needs to be registered in the Android Beta Program. Or you could just wait for the official Android 8.1 launch in December.

Categories: News

Sony will start making CFast memory cards: 510MB/s cards coming in 2018

DP Review News - Tue, 28/11/2017 - 18:14

Sony has announced that it will introduce the CFast memory card format to its professional range in the first quarter of next year, and odd and exciting move when you consider that CFast 2.0 competes directly with the XQD card format Sony helped pioneer.

The series will launch with three memory cards that boast maximum read and write speeds of 530MB/s and 510MB/s, respectively. These G-series cards will be aimed at cinematographers and those shooting high bit-rate video, as well as stills photographers working with high frame rate cameras like the Canon 1DX Mark II.

As mentioned above, the cards boast a maximum write speed of 510MB/s, but more importantly they also guarantee a minimum sustained write speed of 130MB/s under the Video Performance Guarantee. This helps to ensure cards do not force cameras to stop recording during lengthy sequences.

And since pros need their cards to be sturdy as well as fast, Sony says the new CFast cards have been carefully tested for drop, vibration, shock resistance and rigidity, and states that they work in a wide range of temperatures and are highly resistant to static.

The cards will be available in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities for $120, $200, and $350, respectively. For more information, read the full release below or visit the Sony website.

Press Release

Sony completes Pro memory card line-up with new CFast range

November 28, 2017 – Sony is launching a range of high performance CFast memory cards, which are designed to meet the needs of professional photographers and videographers. The G Series CFast 2.0 memory cards will be available in 32GB (CAT-G32), 64GB (CAT-G64) and 128GB (CAT-G128) capacities, responding to the ever increasing capabilities of high-end DSLR and 4K cinema-grade broadcast cameras. The cards offer lightning-fast write speeds of up to 510MB/s and read speeds of up to 530MB/s and join an established range of media that includes Professional internal SSDs, XQD and SxS cards, as well as the world’s fastest SD card, while strengthening Sony’s position as a leader in professional memory solutions.

Step up to industry-leading write speeds

Professional photographers demand faster speed for continuous burst shooting of higher resolution images including RAW. With up to 510MB/s write speed, far outperforming the capabilities of existing CFast cards, Sony’s G Series supports high-speed burst shooting of high resolution RAW, maximizing the capability of high-end DSLR cameras like the Canon 1DX Mark 2.

Super-fast read speed for ultra-effective workflow

Efficient workflow is essential for professional photographers and videographers working in challenging environments on tight deadlines. With a blazing fast read speed of 530MB/s, Sony’s G Series CFast dramatically reduces the time it takes to transfer RAW files, long 4K video footage and high-resolution images to a PC.

Reliable 4K video recording with VPG130 support

As well as ultra-fast read and write speeds, the new CFast cards support VPG130 for reliable recording of Cinema-grade or high-bitrate 4K video. A minimum sustained write speed of 130MB/s is guaranteed, making the new media ideal for stable recording of professional grade 4K video, such as Cinema RAW light mode with Canon C200 video cameras.

Designed for strength and reliability

The new CFast cards have passed a variety of stringent drop, vibration, shock and rigidity tests, making them perfect for shooting in many different locations. They work reliably across a wide range of temperatures and are highly resistant to static. With a hard case and Sony File Rescue software, which is available when used with a card reader in a Removable Disk configuration, the cards can recover accidentally deleted photos such as RAW images and videos, allowing professionals to shoot with confidence in the toughest conditions.

Pricing and Availability

Sony’s G Series CFast cards are planned to be available in early 2018 for a suggested retail price of $119.99 for 32GB, $199.99 for 64GB and $349.99 for 128GB.

Categories: News

Adobe shows off AI-powered subject selection, coming soon to Photoshop CC

DP Review News - Tue, 28/11/2017 - 17:20

Adobe uploaded a sneak peek at a future update to Photoshop CC yesterday, and it's going to make a lot of people's photo editing lives a whole lot easier. Using its much-lauded "Adobe Sensei" artificial intelligence technology, Adobe is finally taking subject selection in Photoshop to the next level.

As advanced as Photoshop has gotten, cutting people out of your images—for whatever reason—is still an incredibly cumbersome process. Throw in some frizzy hair or a lack of contrast between subject and background and it turns into a full-blown nightmare. Enter a fancy new AI-powered feature called "Select Subject."

The tech "uses machine learning to detect objects in the image" and lets you get a nearly-perfect starting selection in "just one click."

What's more, this works with multiple subjects too:

Check out the video above to see the full demonstration. As with most of Adobe's AI-powered features that have been teased lately, the 'one-click' results are impressive. And unlike those features shown off at AdobeMAX, it's already in the works for an upcoming update of Adobe Photoshop CC.

No word yet on when exactly that update will arrive on your desktop, but we can't wait until it does.

Categories: News

Sony a7R III ties Nikon D850: Best mirrorless full-frame camera DxOMark has ever tested

DP Review News - Tue, 28/11/2017 - 16:03

DxOMark has just published their review of the Sony a7RIII's sensor, and no surprises here: it ties the Nikon D850 as the best full-frame camera they've ever tested with a score of 100. This also makes it the best mirrorless full-frame camera DxOMark has ever tested, besting the former king, the Sony a7R II, which scored a 98.

From the moment Sony debuted the a7R III, it became clear there was only one competitor for this mirrorless beast: The Nikon D850. And as DxO makes clear in their review headline, the D850 has now met "its mirrorless match." In fact, it would be a stretch to call one of the cameras better overall than the other. Here's how their scores break down:

As DxOMark makes clear in its conclusion, which camera you prefer (or should prefer) has to do with your own use case:

Comparing the A7R III sensor to the Nikon D850’s reveals the advantage that the Nikon camera’s lower minimum sensitivity (ISO) value brings. Photographers who predominantly shoot in bright light or capture motionless subjects with the camera on a tripod will record the most information, be it color, tone, or detail with the Nikon D850 set to ISO 32. However, if they require values above that, the Sony A7R III sensor produces marginally better images.

By now it should be obvious why the Sony a7RIII tied with the Nikon D850 for our best camera above $2,000: it's next to impossible to pick one over the other unless you have a specific use case in mind. Check out DxOMark's full review for a deeper dive on this particular camera sensor, and if you want even more you can read our full review as well.

Categories: News

OnePlus 5T first impressions review

DP Review News - Tue, 28/11/2017 - 14:00

The brand new OnePlus 5T is the Chinese manufacturer's latest flagship model. Like its predecessors, offers high-end specifications, materials and design at a price point that is noticeably lower than the more established competition.

The 5T is in most respects pretty much identical to its predecessor, the OnePlus 5. However, there are two important changes: the AMOLED display now comes with an 18:9 aspect ratio, covering the entire front of the device, and the dual-camera has done away with the tele-module and replaced it with a secondary sensor that has been optimized for low light performance.

The camera switches to this sensor when light levels drop below 10 Lux and merges four pixels into one for improved image quality. Despite the lack of a tele lens, OnePlus says the new dual-camera setup offers a similar zoom performance to the OnePlus.

We've had the OnePlus 5T in our hands for a few days now and used its camera in a wide range of light conditions. Here are our first impressions.

Key specifications:
  • Dual-camera
  • Main camera: Sony IMX 398 1/2.8" 16MP sensor, F1.7,
  • Secondary camera: Sony IMX 376K 1/2.78" 20MP sensor, F1.7
  • 27.22mm equivalent focal length
  • Dual-LED flash
  • 4K video at 30 fps
  • 720p slow-motion at 120 fps
  • Manual mode and Raw capture
  • 16MP / F2.0 front camera
  • 6" 1080p AMOLED display, 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset
  • 64/128GB storage, 6/8GB RAM
  • 3,300 mAh battery
Image quality

In bright light the 5T captures images with pleasant colors. Auto HDR kicks in for high-contrast scenes, ensuring decent dynamic range and good highlight detail. Lens sharpness is good across the frame but if you zoom in to a 100% view, low-contrast detail, such as distant foliage or other fine textures, can look a little mushy. There's also more luminance noise in the sky than we would like at base ISO.

ISO 125, 1/490 sec

When shooting against the light the 5T occasionally captures slightly too dark exposures to protect the highlights, but despite some shadow noise the shot below looks quite pleasant. Occasionally low-contrast detail in the shadows can be very mushy, though.

ISO 250, 1/1525 sec

The 5T camera deals much better with higher-contrast scenes, even when overall light levels are lower. The shot below was captured at ISO 640 indoors and shows very good edge definition. There is some luminance noise but it is very finely grained and not too intrusive. Overall detail is still good, despite shooting in low light.

ISO 640, 1/50 sec

Noise reduction and smearing of fine detail are more noticeable in this ISO 1000 shot but overall detail is still good considering the light conditions. However, skin tones on the subject are a little warm and just a touch underexposed. It appears the camera was aiming to protect highlights in the brighter background. Overall, the 5T does pretty well in this scene, though.

ISO 1000, 1/33 sec

Detail becomes noticeably softer in night shots, as the one below, but exposure is very good and noise well controlled. The OnePlus 5T tends to do a good job in static night scenes.

ISO 3200, 1/17 sec

The camera app doesn't tell you when it switches to the more low-light efficient secondary sensor with its 'Intelligent Pixel Technology'. But a look at the EXIF data reveals that images taken in very low light have a 20MP resolution, as opposed to the 16MP of the main camera. This also indicates that, if there is some pixel-binning going on, the images are then upscaled to full sensor resolution again.

Looking at the two samples below, the mode is capable of achieving good exposure and color in low light situations. However, level of detail is very low and images have an almost pixelated appearance when viewed at a 100% magnification.

We have also noticed that two images taken in quick succession can look quite different in terms of both exposure and detail rendition. If you click through to the full-size versions of the samples below you'll see that the image on the left is pretty grainy, while the one on the right has an almost water-color like smeared look. The levels of detail are equally low on both images, though.

ISO 2000, 1/20 sec ISO 5000, 1/17 sec Zoom

OnePlus says that, despite the omission of a dedicated tele camera, the 5T's 2x zoom produces similar image quality to the OnePlus 5. Looking at the sample scene below, this is true. Viewed at a 100% magnification the 2x zoom image shows noticeably lower levels of detail than the standard image, but the tele-lens on the OnePlus 5 did not produce much better results. Zoom images are not ideal for display at larger sizes but look nice at typical social media or web use resolution.

ISO 250, 1/553 sec ISO 160, 1/504 sec

The same is true for zoom images captured in low light. The 2x zoom image below was taken in a dimly lit club. Fine detail is not great but the shot is perfectly usable at web size and the zoom function allowed me to get the framing I wanted, even when shooting from the back of the crowd.

ISO 1600, 1/20 sec Bokeh

OnePlus says the 5T's bokeh mode has been improved over the version used by its predecessor and our initial tests confirm that. There are still some minor artifacts around foreground subjects but overall subject separation from the background is pretty good, even in lower light and with human subjects.

In addition, the amount blur applied to the background is not too strong, resulting in a fairly natural bokeh rendition.

ISO 320, 1/464 sec, Depth mode Video

We also shot a few videos with the OnePlus 5T and the results are pretty good, with decent detail, nice color and good exposure. Stabilization is pretty good when hand-holding the camera, but things get a little shaky while panning, as you can see in the clip below.

The video mode delivers decent image quality in this artificially lit indoor shot. Video stabilization keeps things nice and steady during handheld recording.

You can also record video using the 2x zoom settings. The results in the low light clip below aren't quite broadcast quality but definitely usable, with good stabilization.

Conclusion

With its new 18:9 display and powerful processing components the OnePlus 5T is a great smartphone in general use. However, there's a lot to like about its camera as well. Images show good exposure and color across all light levels, the bokeh mode captures images that look more natural than on many competitors and the zoom function produces usable results, even in very low light.

Like on the 5T's predecessor, pixel level image quality is a bit of a weakness, though. The Auto HDR function produces some ghosting artifacts and mushy textures, and we also found more luminance noise in base ISO images than we'd like to see.

Low light image quality is decent but not up with the very best, and with the current software version OnePlus' 'Intelligent Pixel Technology' doesn't really offer any noticeable low light benefits over a fine-tuned conventional camera.

That said, OnePlus is known as a manufacturer that is frequently pushing software updates and improving the performance of its products. If the engineers are able to fine-tune image processing and video stabilization a touch more, the OnePlus could easily jump up a few spots in the smartphone image quality rankings.

Sample Gallery

There are 10 images in our OnePlus 5T samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution.

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You can also still have a look at our OnePlus 5 review gallery from June.

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