When author William Ryan came across photos of Nazi criminals at a luxury retreat just a few miles from Auschwitz, he was inspired to write his novel The Constant Soldier, about the last days of the war as seen from a holiday hutContinue reading...
After the riots in 1998 spread to the Chinatown area of Jakarta, many Chinese-Indonesians fled. What’s left is a street of boarded-up memories
During the Chinatown riots of 1998, shopkeeper Tjie Thian Siak was lucky to escape harm. The mobs were more interested in looting electronics, raiding banks and burning tyres than they were in stealing house paint from his small store.
When the violence stopped, Siak, now 69, decided to stay in the neighbourhood. But he says many of the Chinese-Indonesian families who ran furniture stores here left and never came back.Continue reading...
Our friends at LensRentals have acquired a supply of Nikon's new 70-200mm F2.8E FL ED AF-S VR. Nikon's PR department has been making big claims about this third generation of its workhorse zoom, so Roger Cicala et al. have done us all a kindness by putting it on their optical bench and publishing the results.
While he finds a bit of sharpness gained at the wide and long end of the range, Cicala is most impressed with performance at 135mm, calling it 'night and day' compared to its predecessor.
Take a look at the full blog post for all of the test results, and yes – even a comparison against Canon's 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM.
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Manfrotto has launched its new Windsor Collection, a series of camera bags including the Windsor Backpack, Windsor Messenger (small and medium sizes) and the Windsor Reporter. All four bags are designed to carry camera gear in ‘flawless style,’ with the backpack being the largest of the bunch and the Messenger S bag being the smallest.
The Manfrotto Windsor Backpack can accommodate a DSLR with an attached 70-200mm F2.8 lens and two extra lenses, as well as a 15" laptop, a tripod (via external leather straps), and various accessories. In contrast, the Windsor Reporter is a shoulder bag large enough for a DSLR with an attached 24-70mm lens and two other lenses.
The Windsor Messenger S, meanwhile, is large enough to hold a compact system camera with a standard lens, according to Manfrotto, plus one or two other lenses, or an entry-level DSLR plus ‘multiple lenses' and a tablet. The medium-sized Messenger can accommodate a medium DSLR with an attached 70-200mm F2.8 lens and two or three other lenses, plus a tablet.
All four bags feature similar styles and materials, including a water repellant coating, the Manfrotto Protection System for protecting gear from bumps and leather trim. All four bags are available now, with the Windsor Backpack priced at $170, the small Windsor Messenger at $120, the medium Messenger $140, and the Windsor Reporter at $130.
Press releaseManfrotto Launches Lifestyle Windsor Camera Bags
Four stylish models suitable for different equipment configurations
Upper Saddle River, N.J. (November 17, 2016) – Manfrotto, a leading global innovator and manufacturer of premium photo, video and lighting support products and accessories, announces the launch of the Manfrotto Windsor Collection, a stylish addition to their Lifestyle camera bag offering. The Windsor Collection features genuine leather trim, premium water-repellent fabric and metal details. The interior of each model is enhanced with a tartan pattern lining. This collection was designed for photographers who enjoy traveling in comfort while having their equipment within easy reach.
- Superb quality photography carrying solutions
- Carry gear safely, comfortably and in timeless style on field trips
- A variety of models to hold different equipment configurations
- The perfect bags to explore with – even when not taking pictures
The new Collection caters to a variety of photographic styles:
The Manfrotto Windsor Camera and Laptop Backpack for DSLRs – a perfect choice for field trips, this bag features a removable padded internal compartment which holds a medium DSLR with up to a 70-200 mm lens attached and two additional lenses. Equipment is always at hand through the quick-access side opening, so no shot is missed. All delicate essentials stay safe in the top compartment. The internal photography insert can be removed to turn what is a camera backpack into a traditional one. A padded compartment fits a 15” laptop and two adjustable leather straps on the front of the bag keep a tripod secured.
The Manfrotto Windsor Camera Reporter Bag for DSLRs is a shoulder bag designed to keep photography gear safe in flawless style. It fits a medium DSLR with a 24-70 lens attached, an additional 70-200 mm lens and up to two standard lenses. When photography is not on the agenda, it remains a perfect bag for everyday use. With plenty of pockets, it keeps personal items and a 13” laptop securely organized. It also features a hidden side pocket to store a water bottle and two adjustable leather straps on the front of the bag which can keep a tripod secured. An adjustable shoulder strap and shoulder pad provide additional comfort.
The Manfrotto Windsor Camera Messenger for Compact System Cameras come in two sizes, Medium and Small. The Medium size fits a medium DSLR with up to a 70-200 mm lens attached and two to three additional lenses. A 15” laptop is kept safe in its own padded compartment. The Small size holds a Premium Compact System Camera with a 24/70 lens and two additional lenses. It features a safe compartment for a tablet. All personal items can be safely stored on the inside and outside zippered pockets. The adjustable shoulder strap and the shoulder pad provide additional comfort. A zippered top opening gives you the ability to access your gear in the fastest way possible.
All four models are engineered with internal dividers, providing maximum protection for photographic equipment and other electronic devices. Lenses and accessories are kept safe in the special protection areas at the heart of the bags. The dividers can easily be configured to accommodate varying photography equipment requirements.
MB LF-WN-BP Lifestyle Windsor Backpack $169.99
MB LF-WN-RP Lifestyle Windsor Reporter $129.99
MB LF-WN-MM Lifestyle Windsor Messenger M $139.99
MB LF-WN-MS Lifestyle Windsor Messenger S $119.99
For additional information about Manfrotto, visit manfrotto.us. Follow Manfrotto on Facebook at facebook.com/ManfrottoSchoolOfXcellence, on Twitter @manfrotto_us or instagram.com/manfrottoimaginemore.
Entry-level interchangeable lens cameras have never been so affordable or more capable. There are plenty of choices around the $500 mark that will take better pictures than most cameras ever made.
They don't always have the very latest sensors or the premium build quality of their more expensive midrange siblings, and their controls tend to err on the side of simple, rather than extensive, but they tend to be excellent value and comparatively easy to use.
All of these cameras - both mirrored and mirrorless - produce good image quality, offer respectable performance and can record Full HD video. The majority have Wi-Fi to make it easier to share images to a smartphone. Many of them are targeted toward beginners, with 'help' systems that point out the best settings to use for various shooting situations.
Those unfamiliar with DSLR and mirrorless cameras may be wondering what advantages and disadvantages each brings to the table. DSLRs are larger cameras, with a more 'traditional' shape and control layout, as well as an optical viewfinder. While they're great for shooting stills, they're not as well suited to video capture, and focusing using live view tends to be sluggish. Mirrorless cameras are typically smaller and are very capable video shooters, and live view focusing is much faster than most DSLRs. Two negatives about mirrorless cameras are that battery life isn't nearly as good as a DSLR and - especially true in this class - they often lack a viewfinder.
Let's take a look at several entry-level ILCs, with US MSRPs in the $500 region, kit lens included:
At the beginning of November action-cam maker GoPro announced a recall of its new Karma drone after a small number of the approximately 2500 units sold lost power during operation. GoPro stressed that even those users whose drones appeared to be operating normally should stop using them immediately.
Now at least US buyers of the Karma will receive some sort of compensation for going through the troubles of returning the drone and having to find a replacement. GoPro is offering American Karma buyers a free HERO5 Black action cam once they return the drone and all accessories. Presumably, apart from making customers happy, this move should also speed up the return process and ensure as many of the faulty drones as possible make it back to GoPro. The company says it is planning to start shipping the Karma again as soon as the issue is resolved.
Accessory manufacturer Fotodiox has introduced a new adapter that allows Nikon lenses to operate with a full range of automatic functions when hosted on a modern Sony E-mount camera body. The Fusion Smart AF Adapter accepts Nikon G AF-I and AF-S and provides connections between the lens and a Sony compact system camera body so that the user can enjoy autofocus as well as the ability to automatically stop down the lens and to trigger vibration reduction in lenses that have it. The adapter uses power from the camera to drive the lens, and EXIF data is passed back from the lens to be recorded in the image file created by the camera.
The company says that the adapter works best with Sony’s latest bodies that feature phase detection autofocusing systems, such as the a7R II. The adapter works with bodies that use contrast detection but the AF is a lot slower.
As Nikon uses a physical lever to close the iris of its lenses Fotodiox has used a motor within the adapter to handle that function so lenses that have no aperture ring don’t have to used wide open all the time. This also means that metering works without the user having to manually stop the lens down and that the camera’s semi-automatic exposure modes to operate.
The Fotodiox Fusion Smart Adapter costs $370. For more information visit the Fotodiox website.
Press releaseFotodiox Pro Announces Nikon to Sony FUSION Adapter for Full Function Control
Fotodiox Pro, creator and distributor of several lines of specialty solutions for videography, cinematography and photography, has announced their new Nikon to Sony FUSION Lens Adapter. Available now on Fotodioxpro.com, the Nikon to Sony FUSION Adapter allows photographers to mount Nikon lenses onto Sony cameras and maintain electronic communication between the two, delivering decades of legendary Nikon imaging expertise to the hands of full frame or APS-C Sony E-Mount camera users.
“The Nikon to Sony FUSION Adapter is truly the first of its kind, and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with our customers,” said Bohus Blahut, marketing director for Fotodiox Pro. “What makes it such a breakthrough is the presence of FUSION Drive – a built-in motor that physically moves the lens’ internal aperture control lever. Nikon lenses are notorious for maintaining mechanical aperture control while many other functions are electronic, but FUSION Drive, which we built for the very first time for this Nikon to Sony FUSION Adapter, solves that issue.”
By installing the Nikon to Sony FUSION Adapter on a full frame or APS-C Sony E-Mount camera, Nikon AF-I and AF-S lenses gain auto-focus, full aperture control for Auto / Aperture Priority / Program AE modes, EXIF data transmission (on compatible models) and image stabilization (on compatible models). The Nikon to Sony FUSION Adapter is also compatible with fully manual vintage Nikon F lenses as a manual adapter.
Photographers are advised that the FUSION Adapter is designed to work best with newer Sony cameras that have “Phase Detection Auto Focus”, such as Sony a7, a7II, a7rII, a6000, a6300 and a6500 cameras. The Nikon to Sony FUSION Adapter’s performance will be significantly slower with older Sony cameras that rely solely on “Contrast Detection Auto Focus”.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 (LX15 in some markets) is a 20MP large-sensor compact with a bright (F1.4-2.8), 24-72mm equivalent zoom lens. Which is to say, it's a very capable pocket camera. And, being a Panasonic, it has video specs and clever video-based features to back up its stills capabilities.
Panasonic's LX cameras have always had the enthusiast in mind, built around larger-than-average sensors with short but bright lenses and as many direct controls as can sensibly be fitted onto a pocketable camera body. They helped reinvigorate the enthusiast compact sector and prompted a series of imitators before the much larger sensor of Sony's RX100 rendered them irrelevant.Key specifications
- 20MP 1"-type CMOS sensor
- 24-72mm equivalent F1.4-2.8 zoom
- 7 fps continuous shooting with autofocus
- 4K video at up to 30p
- 5-axis, digital and optical stabilization in 1080 video
- 4K Photo mode
- Post Focus and Focus Stacking modes
The LX10 is Panasonic's first direct response to the big-sensored Sonys. The company has already built an excellent series of compacts that address every other niche you can think of: the long zoom stills/video FZ1000 and FZ2500, a large sensor ZS100 version of their well respected travel zoom series, and a larger sensor photographer's camera, the LX100. But the LX10 is a head-to-head competitor for Sony's pocket wonders.
The approach is a little different: unlike the RX100 III and IV, the LX10 doesn't have a viewfinder. Instead, it offers a touchscreen interface and a screen that can be tilted upwards. In many respects, the LX10 is a logical post-1" successor to the last of the smaller sensor models: the LX7.
The camera also offers Panasonic's 4K Photo mode, which offers a series of ways of specifying when the camera should capture a video clip from which stills can then be extracted. It also has Panasonic's Post Focus mode that captures a video clip of the camera racking focus, so you can choose to grab the frame with optimal focus, after the fact.Compared with its peers
The LX10 means there are now three brands building small cameras with 1"-type sensors and short, bright zooms (and Nikon promising a comparable 'DL' model at some point). We've also included the LX10's big brother, the LX100 in this comparison, just to show what you get if you have room to carry its additional size.Panasonic
DSC-RX100 IV Canon G7X
Mark II Panasonic
LX100 MSRP $699 $999 $699 $899 Sensor area 116 mm2 116 mm2 116 mm2 180 mm2 Lens range (equiv) 24-72mm 24-70mm 24-100mm 24-75mm Aperture range F1.4-2.8 F1.8-2.8 F1.8-2.8 F1.7-2.8 Control dials Aperture ring
Lens ring (stepless) Lens ring (stepless)
Lens ring (stepless)
Four-way/dial Viewfinder No 2.36M-dot No 2.76M-dot
equiv.* Rear screen Tilt up
Touchscreen Tilt up/down Tilt up/down
Touchscreen Fixed Video capability 4K/30p
1080/120p 1080/60p 4K/30p
1080/60p Built-in ND Filter No Yes
(Auto for stills) Yes
(Auto for stills) No Flash Built-in pop-up (bounceable) Built-in pop-up
(bounceable) Built-in pop-up
(bounceable) Clip-on hotshoe flash Battery life (CIPA) 260 280
(230 with EVF) 265 300
(270 with EVF) Dimensions
mm (in) 105 x 61 x 42
(4.1 x 2.4 x 1.7) 102 x 58 x 41
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6) 106 x 61 x 42
(4.2 x 2.4 x 1.7) 115 x 66 x 55
(4.5 x 2.6 x 2.2)
*The LX100 uses a field-sequential display that updates red, green and blue information in sequence and, as such, does not require three dots to make up each three-color 'pixel.'
**1080/120p is a dedicated high speed video mode, with limited control.
The chart below breaks down the equivalent aperture for each camera, as you work your way through the zoom range. Our article here explains the concept of equivalence, but at a high level all you need to know is that the lower the line is on the graph below, the blurrier the backgrounds you'll be able to get and, typically, the better the overall low-light performance.LensEquivalentApertures(["Equivalent focal length (mm)","Panasonic LX100","Sony RX100 IV","Canon G7 X II","Panasonic LX10"], [[24,3.7434,"Panasonic LX100 at 24mm: F3.7",4.90909090909091,"Sony RX100 IV at 24mm: F4.9",4.90909090909091,"Canon G7 X II at 24mm: F4.9",3.8181818181818183,"Panasonic LX10 at 24mm: F3.8"],[25,3.9636,"Panasonic LX100 at 25mm: F4.0",5.454545454545455,"Sony RX100 IV at 25mm: F5.5",null,"",4.0909090909090917,"Panasonic LX10 at 25mm: F4.1"],[26,4.1838,"Panasonic LX100 at 26mm: F4.2",6.0000000000000009,"Sony RX100 IV at 26mm: F6.0",null,"",4.90909090909091,"Panasonic LX10 at 26mm: F4.9"],[27,4.404,"Panasonic LX100 at 27mm: F4.4",null,"",null,"",5.454545454545455,"Panasonic LX10 at 27mm: F5.5"],[28,4.6242,"Panasonic LX100 at 28mm: F4.6",6.8181818181818183,"Sony RX100 IV at 28mm: F6.8",null,"",6.0000000000000009,"Panasonic LX10 at 28mm: F6.0"],[29,null,"",null,"",null,"",6.8181818181818183,"Panasonic LX10 at 29mm: F6.8"],[30,4.8444,"Panasonic LX100 at 30mm: F4.8",null,"",null,"",null,""],[31,null,"",null,"",null,"",7.6363636363636367,"Panasonic LX10 at 31mm: F7.6"],[32,null,"",7.6363636363636367,"Sony RX100 IV at 32mm: F7.6",6.0000000000000009,"Canon G7 X II at 32mm: F6.0",null,""],[34,5.0645999999999995,"Panasonic LX100 at 34mm: F5.1",null,"",null,"",null,""],[37,5.2848,"Panasonic LX100 at 37mm: F5.3",null,"",null,"",null,""],[39,null,"",null,"",6.8181818181818183,"Canon G7 X II at 39mm: F6.8",null,""],[41,5.505,"Panasonic LX100 at 41mm: F5.5",null,"",null,"",null,""],[44,5.7252,"Panasonic LX100 at 44mm: F5.7",null,"",null,"",null,""],[52,6.1655999999999995,"Panasonic LX100 at 52mm: F6.2",null,"",null,"",null,""],[54,null,"",null,"",7.6363636363636367,"Canon G7 X II at 54mm: F7.6",null,""],[70,null,"",7.6363636363636367,"Sony RX100 IV at 70mm: F7.6",null,"",null,""],[72,null,"",null,"",null,"",7.6363636363636367,"Panasonic LX10 at 72mm: F7.6"],[75,6.1655999999999995,"Panasonic LX100 at 75mm: F6.2",null,"",null,"",null,""],[100,null,"",null,"",7.6363636363636367,"Canon G7 X II at 100mm: F7.6",null,""]])
Just as the specs suggest, the LX10's lens is broadly similar to that of the Sony RX100 III and IV. It's 2/3EV brighter at first but by 30mm equivalent they're both already down to F2.8 (F7.6 equiv). So although it should offer a similar performance to its big brother, the LX100, at wide angle, the bigger camera maintains an advantage across the rest of its zoom range.
The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including a ceremony in Ukraine and a protest in São PauloContinue reading...
The new Olympus OM-D E-M1 II is quite a camera. Capable of shooting at up to 60 fps at full resolution and packing high-bitrate 4K video and in-body stabilization, the E-M1 II is a powerhouse. But if you already have an E-M1, is it worth the upgrade?
In this article, I'll compare several of the key areas of differentiation between the E-M1 II and its predecessor, to help you answer that question.Sensor
The E-M1 II's maximum output resolution of 20MP might not match the 24MP+ sensors of larger-format competitors, but 20MP is quite enough for most purposes, and a nice step up from the 16MP of its predecessor.
If 20MP isn't enough, the E-M1 II incorporates Olympus's high-resolution multi-shot mode, first seen in the OM-D E-M5 II. This allows the camera to produce 50MP JPEG and Raw files by combining several exposures taken with the sensor shifted by single-pixel increments. This mode is best suited to still life subjects (to avoid issues created by movement in the scene) but from our initial testing it seems like the E-M1 II does a good job of correcting some of the nasty artifacts that limited this mode's usefulness in the E-M5 II.Speed
Resolution isn't everything, of course. As well as more pixels, the sensor in the E-M1 II can also output data 3 times faster, allowing for full-resolution capture at up to 60 fps in electronic shutter mode. A maximum shooting rate of 18 fps with continuous autofocus makes the E-M1 II a significantly more interesting camera for shooting fast action than the original E-M1.
The E-M1 II's high-speed USB 3.0 interface (C-type) is handy for quickly transferring files to a laptop if you've forgotten a card reader. Finally - a good reason to buy a new MacBook Pro...Autofocus
The original E-M1 wasn't exactly a slouch in the AF department, but the E-M1 II takes things to a whole new level. This new, faster sensor features 121 on-sensor phase-detection AF points, which cover 75% of the imaging area vertically, and 80% horizontally. All of these AF points are cross-type. The original E-M1 offered 37 phase-detection AF points, in a smaller central area of the frame.
The extra phase-detection AF points and the broader coverage mean that the E-M1 II is even more versatile when used with one Olympus's range of older Four Thirds (non-Micro) lenses.AF Tracking
These improvements, coupled with a dedicated processor for AF, means that the E-M1 II is capable of full-resolution shooting at up to 18fps with AF tracking. Compare this to a maximum frame-rate of 9 fps with AF from the E-M1 (running firmware 4.0).
With the new E-M1 II, it's also possible to use the rear LCD screen as a touch-pad to manually position the active AF point by touch, with your eye to the viewfinder. In addition, adjustable AF-C tracking sensitivity, and four 'AF Target Modes' allow the E-M1 II's autofocus system to be quickly tweaked to suit different kinds of subjects.Ergonomics
The E-M1 II is ergonomically very similar to the E-M1. A slightly deeper hand grip makes the new camera feel a little more secure in the hand (depending, I suppose, on your hand size) and the tripod socket has been centered in the E-M1 II, in line with the lens axis. This is generally a good thing (and can be very handy for things like nodal panoramas) but it does mean the tripod socket is now closer to the battery door. The door has increased in size thanks to the bigger battery, which combines to incresae the risk of the door being occluded when the camera is mounted to a tripod.
The only thing that some users might argue has gone backwards in the E-M1 II compared to the original E-M1 is the rear screen's articulation. If the E-M1 II is incorporated into a video rig, with microphone or headphones plugged in and video output to an external recorder over HDMI, the folding screen can foul these cables when extended. The tilting screen of the original E-M1 is arguably less versatile, but can be used without snagging the I/O ports.In-body Image Stabilization (I.B.I.S)
Both the E-M1 II and its predecessor feature 5-axis in-body image stabilization, but the Mark II improves the feature to offer a maximum benefit of 5.5EV, compared to 4EV in the older model. For anyone used to shooting according to the 'one over equivalent focal length' rule this means that at 50mm (equivalent) the E-M1 II should be hand-holdable down to as low as half a second, in favorable conditions, whereas the E-M1 would be safe down to 'only' around a quarter of a second. With the new stabilized 12-100mm zoom, the E-M1 II offers up to 6.5EV of shake compensation.
As well as stills, the E-M1 II's I.B.I.S is also useful when shooting video footage. The E-M1 was capable of capturing extremely smooth and shake-free video, and the E-M1 II is even better.Video
One of the most significant improvements offered by the E-M1 II compared to its predecessor is a totally revamped video mode. Capable of 4K video at up to 30p, the E-M1 II boasts a maximum bitrate of 237 Mbps during DCI 4K/24p capture. A 'flat' picture profile in movie mode is a nice addition to the E-M1 II's video feature set, too.
The E-M1 produces very nice-looking video (and as previously noted, it's tilting screen doesn't foul the camera's I/O ports) but it's limited to 1080/30p in normal use, and isn't capable of clean output over HDMI to an external recorder. The E-M1 can capture 4K footage, but only in time-lapse movie mode.
One final note - it's not really fair to call it a 'downside', but if you plan on shooting 4K with the E-M1 II, do make sure to budget for a high-capacity UHS-II or UHS-I Speed Class 3 card.Durability
The E-M1 and E-M1 II are both tough cameras, built to a high degree of quality and intended to withstand use in unfavorable conditions. As such, both are weather-sealed and both can operate in freezing conditions. The E-M1 and E-M1 II have the same rated operating range of -10 to +40 degrees C, and both can handle being left out in the rain, but the E-M1 II's shutter is rated to a higher count of 200,000 exposures (the E-M1 is rated to 150,000). Whether this translates to substantially better durability in normal use is hard to say, but more pictures = more better.Battery life
A less abstract measure of durability is battery life, and in this respect the E-M1 II also outperforms its predecessor, offering a maximum endurance of 440 shots (CIPA) in normal use from its larger, beefed-up battery and up to 950 when 'quick sleep' mode is used. These figures actually seem conservative judging from our shooting so far, during which we've routinely experienced 1000+ shot endurance in normal (stills) shooting.
The original E-M1 can shoot for a rated maximum number of 350 shots but the same applies - you can expect better endurance if you're not shooting video or constantly reviewing images.Twin card slots
Speaking of shots, the E-M1 II offers two SD card slots, as opposed to the E-M1's single slot. The additional card can be used as overflow or backup storage, or as a dedicated card for storing video clips. Note that only the upper slot is UHS-II compatible, so that's where you'll want to save those 4K video clips.Verdict
There's absolutely no doubt that the new OM-D E-M1 II is a better camera than its predecessor in virtually every way. It's rare these days that we see successor models which so roundly outperform the models that they replace. We might have expected the viewfinder and / or rear LCD screens to get a bump in resolution, but arguably, neither really needed improvement.
All told, the E-M1 II is a very impressive update to the original E-M1. But it's also heavier, and more costly. We'd strongly suggest spending the extra cash if you can afford it (we can't see the E-M1 II being outmoded any time soon) but if you're mostly a slow-speed stills photographer, the original E-M1 won't disappoint.
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A picture can paint a thousand words about your enterprise – learn what works to show it in its best light
Investing in high-quality photographs can help raise the profile of your personal brand and your business. A potential client faced with photos of poor quality is likely to think that the owner doesn’t value their business enough to make the investment. They might assume that if the owner can’t be bothered with their own business, are they going to make an effort with mine?
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As Iraq’s oilfields burn as retreating Isis forces set them on fire, Sebastião Salgado has published a book of his photographs taken in 1991 documenting a similar conflagration as Saddam Hussein’s forces set alight oil wells in KuwaitContinue reading...
Shopping for photographers is hard. In fact, shopping in general is hard. We'd like to help everyone involved out a little bit, whether you're shopping for a photographer or taking a break from the stress of holiday shopping to #treatyoself. If you're really looking to invest in a gift that keeps on giving, we've got some ideas for big budgets.Fujifilm X70 $700/£499
buy now | fujifilm.com
Photography and travel: the eternal love/hate relationship. Photographers love taking photos while they travel, but hate carrying the gear they need to make high quality images. If you know a frustrated traveling photographer, encourage him or her to slim down and simplify with the Fujifilm X70. With a fixed Fujinon 18.5mm (28mm Equiv.) F2.8 Lens, 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II Sensor, 77-point AF system, 1080p video, and a 0.5 second startup time the X70 is not likely to disappoint in the quality image department.
But perhaps equally impressive is the fact that Fujifilm was able to incorporate physical controls for aperture and shutter speed, shooting modes, exposure compensation and eight customizable buttons all in a compact body that measures 4.45 x 2.52 x 1.73 in (113 x 64 x 44 mm) and weighs just 12 oz (340 g). Your traveling photographer will be able to take this camera anywhere and come home with excellent images.DJI mavic pro Drone (ships Dec 1) $1000/£999
buy now | dji.com
Drones are a lot of fun. They allow photographers to photograph and film from angles and locations that would otherwise be extremely expensive (helicopter time is around $600/hr) or downright impossible. But until now, high quality drones have been fairly bulky to carry around. The DJI Mavic Pro changes that with a clever folding design that allows the drone to pack up to about the size of a small loaf of bread.
Despite the small size, the Mavic Pro offers a 4K video/12MP still camera stabilized by a 3-axis gimbal. Flown with the included controller or directly from a smartphone, it has multiple flight modes to assist in tracking, framing, and ground/obstacle avoidance. With a 27 minute flight time, 4.3 mile range, top speed of 40 mph (64 kmh), and a form that fits into a small backpack, the DJI Mavic Pro is ready to go anywhere.Microsoft Surface Pro 4 - 256GB / 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5 $1075/£1050
buy now | microsoft.com
Is it a tablet? Is it a laptop? Since the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 can run the full version of Adobe Photoshop, does it really matter? With up to a 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of ram, and 1TB of storage, the Surface Pro 4 packs a lot of computing power in a very small 1.73 lb (0.8 kg) package. In addition to the ability to run Photoshop and Lightroom, photographers will appreciate the 12.3" 2736 x 1824 screen, built in SD card reader, 9 hour battery life (depending on usage) and a clever Pixelsense pen/stylus that takes away all the pain of trying to manipulate tiny photo details with fat fingers. For those who think tablets are good for nothing more than Netflix and Angry birds, the Surface Pro 4 will be a real eye opener.Olympus PEN E-PL8 w/14-42mm lens $650/£499
buy now | getolympus.com
We often know people who are interested in photography, but don’t know where to start. They would like to step up from their phone camera, but find a trip to the camera store or browsing Amazon to be overwhelming. Not only are there a staggering array of options on the shelves, but the complexity of today’s high end digital cameras make 'serious' photography seem inaccessible. A great solution for these people is the Olympus PEN E-PL8 with 14-42mm (28-84mm equiv.) F3.5-5.6 lens kit.
The E-PL8 strikes a great balance between being easy to use and non-threatening for the new photographer, and producing high quality images. On the outside, the body and controls are clear and straightforward. On the inside, the imaging guts of the E-PL8 are the same as the highly rated Olympus E-M10 II, a 16 MP Live MOS sensor with 1080p HD video capabilities. A 3-axis in-body image stabilization system will help keep images sharp and videos smooth, and 14 Art Modes encourage creativity.
Perhaps most importantly, the E-PL8 provides an entry into the Olympus Micro Four Thirds system. So when the time comes for an E-PL8 owner to step up to a more advanced camera, lenses and accessories will be able to move along with them.Panasonic DMC-LX10 (avail Nov 28) $700/£600
shop.panasonic.com | buy now
If you’ve done any photography equipment research as part of your holiday shopping, you could be forgiven for thinking that the world revolves around DSLRs, mirrorless cameras and a few select compacts. Where are the high-quality-yet-pocketable, large-sensor fixed-lens cameras? Panasonic’s reply is the newly released Lumix DMC-LX10 (also known as the LX15 in some markets).
With a 1”-type 20.1 MP sensor, a Leica 3x DC Vario-Summilux 8.8-26.4mm (24-72mm equiv.) F1.4-2.8 lens and a shirt-pocket size, the LX10 continues Panasonic’s long history of high-end compact cameras. A 180-degree upward tilting touchscreen, 4K video capability and five-axis image stabilization round out the feature set. Packed in a suitcase for a trip around the world or a purse for a trip to the beach, the LX10 should be an excellent companion.Profoto D2 500 Air TTL Monolight two light kit $3000/£2410
buy now | profoto.com
A photographer afflicted with Gear Addiction Syndrome will experience many different stages. Point and shoot to DSLR, small prime lens to big constant F2.8 zoom, and small bag under the desk to camera closet overflowing with cameras and tripods and accessories.
Lighting upgrades are just as momentous, and the move from speedlights to studio strobes is an important evolution for those who are serious about studio and portrait photography. Speedlights are great learning tools and can produce wonderful results, but they simply do not have the power or flexibility that something like the Profoto D2 500 Air TTL Monolight can provide.
With 500 Ws of power and an incredibly fast 0.03-0.6sec recycle time, the D2 500 has power and quickness that no speedlight can match. 10 stops of adjustment, up to a 1/8000 high speed shutter sync, built in radio triggering, and optional Canon or Nikon TTL capabilities help to harness and control that power. Upgrading into the world of serious studio lighting is a big step up, but for many photographers, it is an important one.Mola Mantti 43.5-Inch Beauty Dish $800/£642
buy now | mola-light.com
One of the most popular lighting accessories in recent years has been the 'Beauty Dish.' With a light quality more soft and even than on-camera flash but more directional than a softbox, beauty dishes are a staple of the fashion industry. Unsurprisingly, studio photographers have found that they make excellent portrait options. However, virtually all beauty dishes are 16-28" in diameter and are more suitable for head and shoulders or 1/2 body shots. To get the beauty dish lighting effect for full-body or group portraits at reasonable working distances requires a particularly big dish.
They don’t come much bigger than the Mola Mantti 43.5" beauty dish. It is a beast of a dish and will provide the perfect lighting to make next year’s family holiday photo look like it came from the pages of Elle Magazine.Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art lens $1200/£722
buy now | sigmaphoto.com
The 85mm focal length is a classic. These lenses are beloved for their compact size and large apertures. They're perfect for environmental portraits because of their short working distance and perfect for tighter shots because of their ability to blur the background. An 85mm lens would be a great gift for any photographer interested in boosting their 'people photography' game. Right now, there is arguably no better 85mm lens on the market than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art.
With a super fast F1.4 aperture, 14 elements in 12 groups, and a newly updated Hyper Sonic Motor, this lens maybe the most technologically advanced 85mm lens ever designed. With its creamy wide-open bokeh and sharpness across the frame, the Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art lens will make portraits pop like no slow kit zoom lens ever could.iPhone 7 Plus $770/£620
One trillion photos were estimated to have been taken in 2015. The camera type that took 75% of those images? No, it wasn’t a DSLR or a mirrorless or any other high-end tool from the photographic industry. It was the camera in our pockets, the smartphone. A smartphone is the camera we have with us for almost every waking minute of our day. As everyone knows, the camera you have with you is better than any camera you leave at home.
So if 75% of our images are going to come from our phones, it behooves any serious photographer to prioritize camera quality when deciding on a phone. The Apple iPhone 7 Plus should be a strong contender for that choice. A fast F1.8 aperture, 4K video, optical image stabilization, and water resistance are all standout features. Even more impressively, its innovative dual camera design gives you two focal lengths to choose from (28mm and 50mm), allows 2X optical zooming, and can use data from both to simulate narrow depth of field in a special 'portrait' mode.DNP DS620A dye sub printer $900/£1120
buy now | dnpphoto.com
Do you know someone that simply loves to print photos for friends and family? Do they have a library full of photo albums? Have they taken out a second mortgage to pay for inkjet ink cartridges? Do they spend more time waiting in line at the local photo lab than they do with their family? Maybe it's time for them to step up to a professional dye sublimation printer.
The DNP DS620A can produce everything from 2 x 6" photo strips to 6 x 8" prints and in high-speed mode will create a 4 x 6" photo in just 8.3 seconds. More compact than most inkjet printers, the DS620A’s dye sublimation technology will not dry out or clog in between uses. To top it all off, at $0.14 per 4x6, prints from the DNP DS620A are cheaper than most photo labs. Plus – no waiting in line.Leica M-P 'Grip' by Rolf Sachs edition $15000/£12050
Looking for that special gift for the photographer who has absolutely everything? Need to make sure that the Ansel Adams in your life stands out from the crowd at the next preschool holiday pageant? Look no further than the Leica M-P 'Grip' by Rolf Sachs edition. The already high-end Leica rangefinder’s familiar leather body covering was replaced with red-nubbed rubber (reminiscent of a shower mat) that Leica says, 'lend the camera a uniquely eye-catching look and simultaneously create an entirely new haptic experience.'
For most of us, just trying not to drop the $15,000 special edition M-P would be enough of a haptic experience. But perhaps that is why Leica and Rolf Sachs thoughtfully provided the extra grip. But if you're paying that much for a camera, it would be nice to have something more than a shower mat keeping it from hitting the floor. Perhaps something like this handy wrist strap?
Resource Travel Editor Michael Bonocore loves the Northern African country of Morocco, having traveled there previously to lead a team for The Giving Lens. So when an opportunity came along to return to Morocco this October, Bonocore couldn’t resist.
Although he normally travels with a Sony a7R II, Bonocore noticed that he always managed to come home with lots photos taken on his mobile phone, so he challenged himself to try a new approach to travel photography. Could he tell a beautiful and cohesive story about his journey through Morocco using his new iPhone 7 Plus? Based on his portfolio of images, we think you’ll agree that the answer is yes.
The Portuguese coast around Nazaré is famous for its big waves and conditions today tempted a number of surfers and body boarders to pit their wits and skills against the deep blue seaContinue reading...
Porsche’s LMP1 driver Mark Webber is doused with champagne by team-mates and the winning Audi drivers after the last race of the WEC season signalled the end of the Australian’s illustrious motor sport career. A third place finish in the six-hour World Endurance Championship in Bahrain meant that he was on the podium for the final time before his retirementContinue reading...
For last week’s photography assignment in the Observer New Review we asked you to share your photos on the theme of water via GuardianWitness. Here’s a selection of our favourites
- Share your photos on this week’s theme ‘crisp’ by clicking the button below
A social evening featuring mince pies, a drink, probably a quiz and other unmissable, fun activities yet to be decided. Paper hats are compulsory.
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