Africa Is No Island – a photo essay

An exhibition featureing 40 established and emerging photographers from the continent and diaspora is at the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden in Marrakech until 24 August

The exhibition Africa Is No Island has been curated by the online platform Afrique in visu to encourage a dialogue about the contemporary African experience that transcends borders. The exhibition takes the spirit of Afrique in visu – which is dedicated to connecting and nurturing artists with different viewpoints and practices – to present a kaleidoscope of images that makes the visitor reconsider geography, representation and history.

A need to record disappearing cultures and question historical constructs runs through the exhibition. It also uses storytelling and performance to question identity and written history.

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Categories: News

Our final Mardi Gras march – a photo essay

Dr Mark’s Marching Academy, a community group that has taken part in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade every year for nearly 20 years, this year marched for the last time. Guardian photographer Carly Earl joined the group and documented their final walk up Oxford Street.

Dr Mark’s Marching Academy marches in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade to highlight issues facing its community. Over the past 19 years, 2,500 people have been part of the group’s float, while 6.1 million people have seen the float on the parade route. The group has been broadcast to more than 50 million viewers worldwide. This year was the float’s final appearance, with the group citing the parade’s growing commercialisation.

We all have a shared story and a shared narrative by being in this float and in that, we have a shared solidarity. We all belong. We all have a place. And you are loved. Don’t forget that – Bradford Jefferies

The spirit and sense of community is slowly being eroded from the parade. We have gone from a group of 400 to a group of 80. And community groups are continually pushed to the side to make way for commercial floats that have money to spend – Bradford Jefferies

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Categories: News

Tibetan new year and Sydney Mardi Gras: the weekend's best photos

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you photo highlights from around the world, including Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, China’s National People’s Congress and wildlife in Turkey

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Categories: News

CP+ 2018: Hands-on with the Pentax K-1 Mark II and D FA* 50mm F1.4

DP Review News - Sun, 04/03/2018 - 13:00
Hands-on with the Pentax K-1 Mark II and D FA* 50mm F1.4

Although the changes separating the K-1 Mark II from its predecessor are small in number, the new model occupies a big chunk of the Ricoh-Pentax booth at this year's CP+ show in Japan. We were able not only to get our hands on the camera, but also the company's upcoming D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW that we'd only previously seen behind glass.

And though we couldn't save any pictures taken with the camera, we got a chance to quickly try out the maximum ISO value of 819,200 and hand-held Pixel Shift mode - read on to find our impressions.

Hands-on with the Pentax K-1 Mark II and D FA* 50mm F1.4

Ergonomically, the K-1 Mark II is to all intents and purposes identical to the K-1, and the control scheme is identical its predecessor. With a UI that's well-sorted and an impressive amount of direct controls, this isn't a bad thing.

Hands-on with the Pentax K-1 Mark II and D FA* 50mm F1.4

Indeed, the only noticeable physical change to the body is the name on the front of the camera, and existing K-1 users that send their cameras in for the $550 upgrade will have the new name painted on their older models. Functionally, we're told that an upgraded K-1 and a factory-fresh K-1 Mark II will be identical.

Hands-on with the Pentax K-1 Mark II and D FA* 50mm F1.4

Thanks to the new 'accelerator' in the imaging pipeline, the K-1 Mark II is able to shoot at ISO 819200, which is an increase of two stops compared with the original K-1's previous maximum value of 204800. As you might expect, the one sample shot we took at this value showed a very high amount of noise, but it's entirely possible that more moderately high values will show improvement over the original K-1. This is something we'll be looking at very closely when we get a production K-1 II in for testing.

Hands-on with the Pentax K-1 Mark II and D FA* 50mm F1.4

The really big change for the K-1 II is the hand-held Pixel Shift mode, with the menu option shown here. We did a trial shot with the D FA* 50mm F1.4, and were pleasantly surprised by the sharpness of the result - despite shooting at a moderate focal length, there wasn't any blur from hand-shake to be seen.

Unfortunately, your valuable time is the price your pay for this functionality; while the actual exposures are captured rapidly, the camera takes roughly 20-25 seconds to process the final image, during which time it is effectively locked. Still, we're impressed by the possibilities of this new Pixel Shift implementation.

Hands-on with the Pentax K-1 Mark II and D FA* 50mm F1.4

And now, on to the HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW lens. This is Pentax's first new prime lens to be developed since the introduction of the K-1 two years ago, and it feels like a really premium piece of kit. The nitty gritty details on the lens are still thin - we still don't know the optical formula, for instance - but this pre-production model appeared fully functional.

Hands-on with the Pentax K-1 Mark II and D FA* 50mm F1.4

The 'D FA*' label designates this as a flagship lens for Pentax, and it certainly feels like it. It's quite heavy and solid-feeling, but it balances well on the K-1 II thanks to the camera's good-sized grip.

Focusing is taken care of internally and with a silent motor, and though it isn't what we'd call 'lightning fast,' we would say it's on par with other manufacturers' wide-aperture prime lens offerings.

Hands-on with the Pentax K-1 Mark II and D FA* 50mm F1.4

The 50mm F1.4's 'AW' label stands for 'all weather,' which is made most visible by the bright red gasket on the rear of the lens. Although we don't know the full extent of the sealing, we'd surmise there are a number of other seals against both dust and moisture incursion throughout the rest of the lens.

Hands-on with the Pentax K-1 Mark II and D FA* 50mm F1.4

Handling on the D FA* 50mm F1.4 is straightforward, with only an autofocus switch and a broad, well-textured manual focus ring. The distance scale is likely to be appreciated by users preferring manual focus, and the lens can focus down to 0.4m or 15.75 inches.

Hands-on with the Pentax K-1 Mark II and D FA* 50mm F1.4

We're really excited to get both the new D FA* 50mm F1.4 and the K-1 II into the DPReview offices to see what this combination can do. The K-1 II will be available in April, 2018 for $1999.95 body-only.

Categories: News

Studies in scarlet: readers' photos on the theme of red

For last week’s photography assignment in the Observer New Review we asked you to share your photos on the theme of red via GuardianWitness. Here’s a selection of our favourites

  • Share your photos on this week’s theme ‘cosy’ by clicking the button below
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Categories: News

Your pictures: share your photos on the theme of 'cosy'

Wherever you are in the world, this week we’d like to see your pictures on the theme ‘cosy’

The next theme for our weekly photography assignment in the Observer New Review is ‘cosy .’ Share your photos of what cosy means to you – and tell us about your image in the description box.

The closing date is Wednesday 7 March at 10am. We’ll publish our favourites in The New Review on Sunday 11 March and in a gallery on the Guardian site.

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Categories: News

The big picture: the Oscars, April 1960

Ahead of the 90th Academy Awards, we revisit Dennis Stock’s snapshot of self-indulgence at the 32nd ceremony in LA

“No sovereign, no court,” sighed Henry James when lamenting America’s cultural poverty, “no church, no clergy”. To make up for those deficiencies, his compatriots invented the movies, manufacturing a pantheon of virile gods and nubile goddesses who outshone the chinless toffs admired by James. The sacred totem of this new religion was modelled on the chivalry that America officially rejected: the Academy Award takes the form of a sword-bearing crusader, proudly erect on a pedestal representing a reel of film. But the figure’s knightly pretence was immediately undercut by a fond, familiar nickname: when an Academy employee saw the first gold-plated statuette in 1931, she said it resembled her Uncle Oscar.

At the ceremony in 1960, the big victor was Ben-Hur, in which Charlton Heston’s charioteer is as rigidly pious as the Oscar that he inevitably won.

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Categories: News

Muhammad Ali in Miami: 7 March 1971

Photographer Chris Smith and writer Hugh McIlvanney joined The Greatest at his Miami training camp before the Fight of the Century: Ali vs Frazier at Madison Square Garden.

The truth is that Muhammad Ali has done a fair amount of fooling around, haranguing the paying spectators at his work-outs, eulogizing himself and dismissing Frazier as a second-rate street-fighter, a short-armed hooker who will never get past his jab.

But mainly in these moments he gives the impression of remembering a part he played in another show. One striking exception was the day he took Burt Lancaster, who has connections with the promoters, on a Pied Piper’s tour of the black ghetto area of central Miami. As Ali leapt from his Cadillac, five years fell away and he was the compelling, hysterically ebullient champion who had led me noisily through the same district three weeks before his title fight with Henry Cooper.

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Categories: News

Women's Liberation Movement march, 1971 – in pictures

On Saturday 6 March 1971, women from across the UK gathered in central London to join the first national demonstration by the newly formed Women’s Liberation Movement. Observer photographers Jane Bown and Tony McGrath documented the event for the following day’s paper.

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Categories: News

Japanese swimmers dive into spring – in pictures

Inspired by nature and the changing of the seasons, Japanese photographer Osamu Yokonami shoots groups of anonymous people in pastoral, often dream-like, landscapes. For his latest in the series, Mizugi – “bathing suit” in Japanese – he took a swimming team on a day trip from Tokyo to the beach for a collection of photos representing spring. Yokonami chose the swimmers because he “wanted to shoot the texture of skin” and his pictures vividly capture goosebumps, gritty sand on thighs, bodies soaking up brief moments of sunshine.

Yokonami photographs his subjects in these natural settings, their faces concealed, as it “makes us realise the strength of a group by seeing them as a single mass,” he says. Mizugi was commissioned by photo book publisher Libraryman as the first in a new quarterly collection called Seasons Series. It marks a favourite time of year for Yokonami: “Spring brings mild weather after the cold winter,” he says. “The warmer it gets, the more excited I am.”

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Categories: News

Behind the scenes: Photographing mountain hares in Scotland

DP Review News - Sat, 03/03/2018 - 15:00

The high winds blow the snowflakes into my face, and the stinging feeling in my eyes forces me to look down as I continue to walk forward. I remove the snow that has gathered in the lens hood on my Nikon 200-500mm and, with my binoculars, I search the landscape in front of me.

Nothing to see. Not a single mountain hare.

I am in a total whiteout of blowing snow, and it's only because of the more clear and calm weather of a few hours ago that I’m aware of the the beauty of this Scottish landscape I am surrounded by here in the heart of the Cairngorms National park.

Who I Am

My name is Morten Hilmer and I am a full time professional wildlife photographer and former special force soldier in the Arctic Dogsled unit - the Sirius Dogsled Patrol. I am specialized in photographing in the Arctic regions and since 2005 I have spent more than 4 years in the amazing high Arctic nature.

(You can read more about my time in the Sirius Dog Sled Patrol on the BBC Earth website).

Beside the many publications, my photographs have been awarded in the Wildlife photographer of the year and European Wildlife Photographer of the Year photo competitions. And in Spring 2017, I published my first book: Silence of the North.

Wildlife photography for me is all about fascination, getting close to nature, feeling its authenticity, and sometimes even feeling reunited. Through my work, it is my mission to share my fascination and raise awareness of the importance of taking care of this awesome planet and all creatures living on it.

Nature Photography is also about adventures—whether the adventure is an expedition to the desolated freezing ice desert of North Greenland, or a shorter trip to the local forest. For me one is never better than the other.

Photographing Mountain Hares

A short break in the snowfall gives me just enough visibility to skim the landscape in front of me and just enough time to get a glimpse of a movement about 50 meters in front of me. I kneel down to support my arm on my knee to keep the binocular more steady. It is the the mountain hare. Instantly I feel excited and extremely lucky.

Slowly, I walk closer while concentrating on the hare and keeping my movements as slow and invisible as possible—I don’t want to scare this little guy. Not only will it destroy my opportunity to get some good shots, but more importantly, it will disturb this little hare that already has a hard time finding enough food to get through the winter.

I am now quite close and I decide to leave my camera bag behind to make it easier to crawl the last distance. I grab an extra battery and my card holder, and get my vlogging camera ready with the microphone. I fell the need to share this moment, even though it adds another challenging element that I have to record myself at the same time as I am working.

What's In My Bag

For a trip like this, I need to be able to cary everything on my back, which means all of my equipment has to fit into one Lowepro Pro trekker 600 AW. Therefore, I decided to leave my big Nikon 600mm F4 at home and instead bring the smaller, lighter and more flexible Nikon 200-500mm.

As for the camera, I am using my Nikon D5—primary because of its durability in cold, wet conditions like this one. I was tempted to bring the D850 because of the superb image quality, but I have had a few moisture problems when I've really challenged it with snow and heavy rain.

I have also brought the Nikon 16-35mm VR and, of course, some extra batteries, cards, cleaning equipment etc.

As for my vlogging camera, I am currently using a Panasonic GH5 with the Røde Videomicro and the 42.5mm and 12mm Leica lenses. I charge the batteries for this camera with power banks.

If you want to dive deeper into my equipment, I explain it in a little more depth in this video.

How I Set Up My Camera

Everything is ready and I move a little bit closer. Through the viewfinder, I can sometimes see the hare and sometimes it disappears, hidden by the blowing snow.

I find myself using almost the exact same camera setup and setting whenever I capture wildlife photography, regardless of which camera and brand I am using. I primary shoot with Nikon, but I have also worked with the Canon 1D X Mark II, the Canon 5D Mark IV, and the Sony A7S.

My camera is set to manual exposure, and because of the constantly changing light I turn on auto ISO. I use this setting because I want to be able to set both the aperture and shutter speed myself to get the perfect level of blurred background, and at the same time use the shutter speed that gives me the exact level of movement in the blowing snow that I want.

This way, I get the best from both the worlds of aperture and shutter priority programs, allowing only the ISO to be the variable factor. Yes, I do run the risk of noise, but I always keep and eye on how high the ISO goes as I shoot.

I set my AF to 3D, and assign the function button on the front to single point AF—I am ready.

An Amazing Experience

It is interesting how looking into the viewfinder can make everything else around me disappear. I reckon all photographers know this feeling. Only me and the little hare—nothing else exists. I watch how he sits there in his little snow bed and, only every now-and-then, he moves a little bit. I don’t dare to take my eyes from the viewfinder.

Suddenly, the hare raises and stretches his long leg and then, without warning, he rolls around in the snow. The time he gives me to react is too short but what did I expect—this is what us wildlife photographers have to deal with all the time, and I assume it's also one of the things that makes us keep going out again and again... all these photos that we have seen but haven’t been able to capture.

I manage to get a few shots of the rolling hare, but already before I look at them, I know they are not totally in focus. This is fantastic—so intense.

The little fellow sits for a moment looking at me and I pray that he will not run away. He decides to stay. He starts eating the sparse vegetation and with his small paws he scrapes away the snow on top.

I don’t know for how long I have been here, but it is getting quite dark and I am getting colder laying in the snow. My thoughts starts to travel to the side pocket of my backpack where I keep my thermal with warm coffee.

As I walk down the mountain I think about this little hare who is still sitting up there on the mountain in the blizzard, patiently waiting for the Spring. It is so fascinating how they manage to survive in such conditions. It is my first time photographing wildlife in Scotland, but definitely not the last. It has been an absolutely fantastic experience to spend some time with the hares in highlands of this amazing country and tomorrow I am going further up north to find and hopefully photograph the impressive stags.

A Few of My Favorite Settings

Set custom button to preview

One of the most important things for me is that I want to have my left hand on the lens— at the ready to zoom in or out, and to take over manually when autofocus fails. Therefore, I always set one of the custom buttons to preview the image, and another to zoom the image 100%.

I like to have the preview button as the lowest function button on the front of the camera, so that I can press it with one of my fingers without having to move my index finger from the shutter and the thumb from my AF-lock button.

Predefined AF on custom button

Before I start photographing, I alway choose the autofocus method that I believe will do the best job. In my case, it is often the 3D AF on the Nikon D5—either that, or single point AF. Then I try to predict which other AF method I will need, and I set the top button on the front of the camera to use this method as long as it's pressed.

Auto ISO on/off

Because of the option of doing exposure compensation in manual mode with auto ISO on, I use either this setting or full manual almost all the time. I call Manual with Auto ISO: MAI. To be able to make a quick switch between M and MAI, I setup one of the custom buttons near the release button to toggle Auto ISO on/off.

Behind the Scenes Videos

In November 2017, I started a new video project that takes other photographers and nature enthusiasts behind the scenes on my travels. In a series of 4k YouTube videos, I share my experiences from my trips and expeditions around the world.

Below are Part 1 and Part 2 of Photographing Mountain Hares:

Morten Hilmer is a professional wildlife photographer and former Danish special forces soldier in the Sirius Dog Sled Patrol, an Arctic dog sled unit. For the past 13 years, he's specialized in capturing Arctic landscapes and wildlife. You can find more of his work on his website, or by following him on Instagram and Facebook.

Categories: News

Original Observer photography

Greta Gerwig, Lennie James, Ruth Wilson and Selma Blair all feature in this showcase of the best photography commissioned by the Observer in February 2018.

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Categories: News

The 20 photographs of the week

The Beast from the East weather system, airstrikes in eastern Ghouta, demonstrations in Gaza and Ivanka Trump at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang – the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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Categories: News

CP+ 2018: Hands-on with Laowa 'Magic Shift Converter'

DP Review News - Sat, 03/03/2018 - 04:10
CP+ 2018: Hands-on with Laowa 'Magic Shift Converter'

Venus Optics has been making some very interesting lenses in the past couple of years. and at this year's CP+ show the company is showing off an innovative 'magic shift converter', first announced last summer.

CP+ 2018: Hands-on with Laowa 'Magic Shift Converter'

The magic shift converter fulfills two purposes. It acts as an adapter to allow a Canon or Nikon-mount Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D prime to be used on a full-frame Sony camera, but it also enables a shift movement, to correct for converging verticals.

CP+ 2018: Hands-on with Laowa 'Magic Shift Converter'

Here's a 12mm F2.8, coupled with the shift converter, with the movement fully shifted. In this position, a photographer would be able to mitigate the common problem of converging vertical lines in architectural and interior shots.

When used with the converter, the 12mm F2.8 becomes a 17mm equivalent, F4.

CP+ 2018: Hands-on with Laowa 'Magic Shift Converter'

The mechanism can be rotated, allowing you to shift +/-10mm in both X and Y axes, without vignetting.

CP+ 2018: Hands-on with Laowa 'Magic Shift Converter'

Unlike a simple mount adapter, the shift converter contains five glass elements arranged in four groups, including two extra low refraction elements. According to the manufacturer, using the adapter has a minimal effect on image quality, and the 12mm should retain its 'zero distortion' characteristics.

For around $300, the Magic Shift Converter is a relatively low-cost upgrade to the 12mm F2.8. zero-D wideangle prime. Despite its relatively low price, build quality is impressively high. What do you think?

Categories: News

CP+ 2018: Nikon's space cameras

DP Review News - Sat, 03/03/2018 - 03:25
CP+ 2018: Nikon's space cameras

Nikon has a long history of making cameras for use in outer space. A small exhibition at this year's CP+ show in Yokohama showcases some of the company's most famous models.

First up is a Nikon Photomic FTN, adapted for use on the Apollo 15 mission to the moon. Although it looks much like a conventional FTN, this modified version features a thicker body shell, NASA-standard insulation in the battery chamber (electrical fires in space are no joke) and larger, easier to grip controls.

CP+ 2018: Nikon's space cameras

The 'horns' on the lens enable the main controls to be manipulated easily when wearing thick gloves. Notice also the lack of a leatherette covering on the camera body. The modified FTN also featured internal changes to accommodate the thinner, polyester-based films used for specialist missions.

CP+ 2018: Nikon's space cameras

This is another heavily modified F, without a viewfinder. This camera is similar to motordrive-equipped models supplied to NASA for the 1973 Skylab missions. The fatter, easier to grip controls are obvious in this view.

CP+ 2018: Nikon's space cameras

The Nikon F was a relatively old camera by the time it was used on the Skylab missions, but NASA didn't supply any modified F2 bodies - instead jumping straight to the F3 in the early 80s.

This is a 'small' F3, with a modified motordrive and high-magnification finder, supplied to astronauts on early space shuttle missions. Compared to the the earlier (and hugely costly) F/FTN conversions, the F3 cameras that Nikon supplied to NASA were much more similar to the standard models available for sale to the general public.

CP+ 2018: Nikon's space cameras

This is the 'big' F3, also used on space shuttle missions in the 1980s. The bulk film magazine could hold enough film for 250 images before it needed to be reloaded. On earth, this looks like it would be one heavy camera to carry around, but of course that's less of an issue in zero gravity.

CP+ 2018: Nikon's space cameras

Skipping forward to (almost) the present day, this is a Nikon D4, shrouded in a special EVA cover - a thermal blanket, designed to protect the camera from the extreme temperature variations experienced during spacewalks. Made from mylar, kevlar, aluminum and no doubt plenty of other advanced materials, each EVA cover reportedly costs around $20,000.

To the right of the EVA cover is a D5 - the next camera destined for use in space, by astronauts on the International Space Station.

Categories: News

KitSplit gear rental company raises $2.1m in seed funding

DP Review News - Fri, 02/03/2018 - 21:04

Camera gear rental company KitSplit has announced that it raised $2.1m in seed funding from investors that include 3311 Ventures, HearstLab, Entrepreneurs Roundtable, NYU Innovation Venture Fund, and others. The funds will, in part, help the company grow its presence in Los Angeles, according to TechCrunch.

KitSplit is an affordable—and increasingly popular—gear rental company that boasts a large customer base including notable companies like National Geographic and NBC. For renters, KitSplit provides access to a large roster of gear, including lights, camera, lenses, and even VR equipment, which are listed for rent by both individuals and businesses.

The company acquired then-competitor CameraLends last year, a business move that made it the largest rental company in the world.

According to company CEO Lisbeth Kaufman, who spoke with TechCrunch, digital media companies have expressed ample interest in KitSplit's platform. "We're reimagining the Hollywood production studio as a local marketplace," said Kaufman. "We want to make resources like gear and staffing and location more accessible to all content creators."

Though KitSplit offers rentals throughout the entire US, the company is currently focusing on the Los Angeles and New York City markets where it is hiring.

Categories: News

Light launches 'Depth Collective' to support photojournalism with the L16 camera

DP Review News - Fri, 02/03/2018 - 17:17

Light, the company behind the innovative (if still in its infancy) Light L16 camera, has announced a new initiative called Depth Collective that aims to support photojournalists in their efforts at "pursuing the truth." The initiative revolves around the L16 camera itself, which presents as an inconspicuous alternative to DSLRs for photojournalists who don't want to be noticed.

"In the past few years," the company said, "we’ve seen some photojournalists swap their DSLRs for iPhones to stay inconspicuous in their reporting—but they sacrifice quality to do so." The L16 is a better option, says the company, thanks to its 16 individual camera modules, computational approach to photography, and 52MP max resolution.

Depth Collective members are given multiple perks under the membership, including a $500 discount off the L16 camera, early previews of new L16 updates and features, a shot at a bi-annual $5,000 reporting grant, plus a free Peak Design pouch and wrist strap.

Any visual artist or photojournalist can apply for Depth Collective membership, but they must have a UK or US address to which the L16 camera can be shipped—shipping elsewhere will start "soon," but a specific date hasn't been provided. Applicants must provide a link to their website or portfolio, as well as a brief statement about how the L16 camera will help them with their photojournalism. A full Depth Collective FAQ is available here.

Categories: News

The intelligent Rylo 360° camera is now compatible with Android

DP Review News - Fri, 02/03/2018 - 17:06

The impressive little Rylo 360° camera got a ton of attention when it debuted late last year, but unfortunately, the camera was iOS-only at launch. That all changes today with the release of Rylo for Android.

The Rylo 360° camera comes with two 208° lenses, 4K video resolution, and auto-stabilization technology, but most of its magic comes from software. The corresponding smartphone app lets you edit and "direct" your videos after capture: you can set specific focal points or select objects to be tracked before exporting or sharing the final product, making it an interesting option for any budding 360-degree video maker.

Apart from a new companion Android app, the new Android compatibility simply means a different syncing cable. Otherwise, the camera itself and all of the accessories in the box are the same as the iOS model.

As it is often the case with Android accessories, though, the Rylo doesn't work with just any Android device. Rylo says the camera is compatible with most Android phones running Android 6.0 or newer, but its list of recommended devices includes mainly recent Samsung and Google high-end smartphones. Also listed are a few devices that are supported but don't have the processing power to export 4K 360-degree video.

If you are an Android user and want to try Rylo for yourself, it's now available for $500 from the Rylo website. And if you want to see why we called Rylo "a 360° camera done right," click the big blue button below:

Review: Rylo is a 360° Camera Done Right

Categories: News

Slow start to year as camera production and shipping plunge

DP Review News - Fri, 02/03/2018 - 16:29
Photo by Arno Body

According to the latest data released by CIPA, the number of cameras made and shipped in the first month of 2018 barely reached 70% of the volume for the same period last year and the year before that. Not a great start to the year...

As usual, cameras with lenses built in—compacts and bridge cameras—continue to show the worst decline, with only half as many of these models shipped to the USA and Asia in January 2018 as there were in January 2017. But while production and shipments were quite dramatically down by volume, measurements by value are not quite so bad, indicating that a more high priced cameras are selling... or that camera prices are rising.

The value of interchangeable lens system mirrorless cameras produced actually rose by 8% even though the volume produced was only 80% of production last January—just fractionally ahead of DSLRs. Interestingly, DSLR shipments to Japan in that period were up on the previous year by volume and by value, but it was the only region that didn't see a decline in this category.

Further figures released by CIPA demonstrate the market’s decline since 2016, and show that while January 2017 was almost level with January 2016, this year has started very differently. The decline of cameras with built-in lenses has dropped to only 60% of the number shipped in 2016, and more worryingly, graphs show that January 2018 shipment figures are well below almost every other month in the last two years.

Hopefully this is just a blip, and we'll see the numbers jump back into the black (or closer to it) in February. For more information, visit the CIPA website, or check out the full report here.

Categories: News

ImageBrief is shutting down, users have one week to save their images

DP Review News - Fri, 02/03/2018 - 16:05

Photo licensing service ImageBrief, which was founded in 2011, is officially shutting down. The news was announced over email, in which ImageBrief notified current users of the close, and told them they have one week to download their images before the site's servers are wiped.

During its six years in the licensing industry, the company offered customers a different way to get the images they need: rather than searching a pre-defined library, companies could submit on-demand "briefs" detailing the work needed, which photographers responded to in hopes of having their images purchased. This was a big change over how traditional stock photography agencies operate—and one that has been picked up by other companies over time—but the model doesn't seem to have worked out in the long run.

ImageBrief users were surprised by the closure announcement, which was delivered in the form of an email earlier this week. The statement, which says ImageBrief connected more than 70,000 creators with clients from around the world, fails to provide a reason for the company's demise. It does, however, advise photographers who participated in project briefs that they must download their account assets within the week, after which point the content will be deleted.

Great start 2the day @ImageBrief has met its demise.Contributor email today “after six years of connecting agencies, brands and creators, we will be closing down ImageBrief's photographer marketing services... All photos...will be permanently removed...within the next seven days.

— John Harrington (@johnhharrington) March 1, 2018

The full email reads:

Today, we’re announcing that after six years of connecting agencies, brands and creators, we will be closing down ImageBrief’s photographer marketing services

We’re proud of the products and apps we built, but even more so, we’re grateful for the community that enabled them to grow. More than 70,000 creators earned millions of dollars collaborating with 12,500+ global agencies and brands in 169 countries.

There has never been a better time for creators to thrive. Demand for content has increased, and the tools to create world-class creative are more accessible than ever.

Our talented team of engineers, designers, developers, and curators have worked tirelessly to make ImageBrief a success in a competitive and rapidly evolving landscape, and our immediate priority is to help you transition to other services to support your business.

In the coming days, our team will be in contact with you directly with detailed information about your specific account, license history, and services. Over the next week, we recommend logging into ImageBrief to download and retain your license history and related assets. […]

We want to thank you for your participation and loyalty, and look forward to working with you in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition.


Team ImageBrief

As of this morning, all of ImageBrief's social media pages have been deleted. And the homepage has been pared down into a simple log in page for buyers and photographers, with no mention of the closure.

Categories: News
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