The Google Pixel smartphone has just been launched but DxO has already had a chance to put the new device's camera through its paces – with impressive results. With a DxOMark score of 89 the Google Pixel features the best smartphone camera ever tested by the French company.
The DxO engineers found the new Google phone to perform well across all situations but were particularly impressed by the high levels of detail and relatively low noise levels across all light situations. Exposures were accurate, with very good contrast and white balance, as well as fast autofocus. The testers also liked the white balance performance and detail preservation when shooting with flash. Minor weaknesses included some inconsistency in repeated autofocus and artifacts in low-light shots. You can read the full report on DxOMark.com.
Google has just launched its 2016 smartphones. The Nexus moniker has gone and the new models are Pixel-branded, just like the company's top-end Chromebooks and tablet. The Pixel and Pixel XL are made by HTC, though only the Google logo appears on the device, and pretty much only differ in terms of screen size and resolution as well battery capacity. The smaller Pixel sports a 5" 1080p AMOLED display and a 2,770mAh battery, while the XL variant comes with a 5.5" QHD-screen and a 3,450mAh battery.
In the camera department the specifications have not changed much from last year's Nexus devices. A 1/2.3" 12MP sensor with 1.55µm pixel size is paired with an F2.0 aperture. There is no optical image stabilization but Google has added a new gyroscope-based video stabilization system that reads gyro data 200 times a second for smoother panning and shake-free handheld recording. The camera can record 4K video, and in stills mode Google's excellent HDR+ mode is on by default, using an image stacking approach to reduce noise and capture better detail. In addition Pixel owners can store unlimited full-size images in Google's cloud service.
Check out the photography-specific features of the Google Pixel from the announcement.
Both phones come with Google's brand new Android 7.0 Nougat operating system and are powered by Qualcomm's latest top-end chipset Snapdragon 821. 4GB of RAM can be combined with either 32 or 128 GB of local storage and a fingerprint reader on the back provides extra security. The Pixel phones will be available in Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue color options. Pricing starts at $649 for the standard Pixel. In the US the devices will be exclusive to carrier Verizon, with pre-orders starting today.
Hoya has launched new USA-exclusive Solas infrared neutral density filters. The company says its new IRND filters offer a consistent color balance across the density range while also suppressing infrared, the end result being a balanced image with reduced ‘IR contamination’ like excessive digital artifacts and color shifts.
Hoya has launched the new Solar IRND filters in the following sizes and densities:
0.3 (1-stop) – 49mm ~ 82mm
0.6 (2-stop) – 49mm ~ 82mm
0.9 (3-stop) – 46mm ~ 82mm
1.2 (4-stop) – 49mm ~ 82mm
1.5 (5-stop) – 49mm ~ 82mm
1.8 (6-stop) – 46mm ~ 82mm
2.7 (9-stop) – 49mm ~ 82mm
3.0 (10-stop) – 46mm ~ 82mm
B&H Photo currently lists the filters with the following prices: 46mm ($48.90), 49mm ($48.90), 52mm ($53.90), 55mm ($61.90), 58mm ($69.90), 62mm ($85.90), 67mm ($93.90), 72mm ($100.90), 77mm ($120.90), and 82mm ($151.90).
Via: Kenko Tokina USA
We asked you to share your art on the theme of London. Francis Marshall at the Museum of London has selected her favourites
Share your artwork for this month’s theme on M is for Majesty by clicking on the button belowContinue reading...
Adobe has updated its beginner-friendly Photoshop Elements and Premiere editing software. Elements 15 adds touchscreen editing, batch adjustments, enhanced search function and a tool to edit facial features.
New Smart Tags help identify key features in images and are applied automatically – search for 'dog' or 'birthday' and Adobe claims its enhanced search will identify these photos in your collection. Borrowing from Photoshop CC's face-aware liquify technology, Elements also gets a tool to help turn frowns into smiles and fix squinting eyes. Quick Edit and Organizer modes gain touch compatibility, and it's now possible to apply 'instant fix' edits to a batch of photos.
Premiere Elements 15, Adobe's entry-level video editing software, offers the de-haze tool already offered by Photoshop CC and Elements and also gains touch functionality. A few other feature updates are also included, like the ability to create photo/video collages and a Remix feature to help match music and video clip length.
Visit Adobe's website to learn more about Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements 15.
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Hot on the heels of its Photokina announcement, the Sigma 12-24mm F4 Art arrived on our doorstep last week, meaning it was time to shoot wide. Just 1mm shy of matching the world's widest rectilinear zoom, the Canon 11-24mm F4 L, the Sigma gives a large amount of the Canon's focal range for a much lower price of $1599. To see if its images are as tempting as the specs are, we wasted no time getting it out in the real world mounted on the new Canon 5D Mark IV, the 5DSR, and a Sony a7R II with Sigma's MC11 adaptor.
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Hustle and bustle are matched by stillness and calm in this month’s selection of stunning images from around the world. Scroll down to see the winning shot, judged by Mick Ryan of fotovue.com. Monthly winners will be displayed at the year-end exhibition at the Guardian’s London office; the overall winner gets a fantastic Secret Fjords’ self-drive holiday to Iceland for two people with Discover the WorldContinue reading...
The fixed lens camera market may be a bit niche, but it's here that you'll find some of the best cameras you can buy. Sensors ranging from APS-C to full-frame are designed to match their lenses, which cover ranges from 28-75mm equiv., so image quality is top-notch.
This segment includes both pocketable models without viewfinders to 'best worn over your shoulder' cameras with unique or ultra-high-resolution EVFs. There's a gigantic spread in pricing, as well. The Fujifilm X70 and Ricoh GR II can be had for under $700, while the Leica Q sells for nearly $4500.
For those who want to zoom with their feet, here are the fixed-lens cameras we think are worth a look:
Bridge and travel zoom cameras are two of the very few categories of compact cameras to survive the smartphone. Whether it's a travel zoom, which puts a 25X-30X zoom into your pocket, or a bridge camera which offers even more zoom, phones just can't compete.
While there are now enthusiast-level long zoom cameras with 1"-type sensors, such as Sony's Cyber-shot RX10 series and Panasonic FZ1000/FZ2500, there are still plenty of more budget-friendly models, though their smaller sensors don't offer the image quality or depth-of-field control of the pricier models.
The following cameras are included in our roundup:
- Canon PowerShot SX60 HS
- Canon PowerShot SX720 HS
- Nikon Coolpix P900
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS60
- Sony Cyber-shot HX90V
- Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Of those seven cameras, three are pocket-sized and offer 30X-40X zooms. The other four are bridge (SLR-style) cameras with focal lengths ranging from 600mm to an unbelievable 2000mm (35mm-equivalent).
And with that, let's take a look at some consumer-level travel zoom cameras!
Pentax has released new firmware for its flagship K1 full frame camera that includes the ability for users to select electronic shutter shooting for the first time. Firmware version 1.3 adds a live view Electronic Shutter option to the menu system that the company says avoids the vibrations caused by mechanical shutter actions immediately prior to the exposure of the sensor. There are some limitations however, as the shake reduction system can’t operate during electronic shutter exposures, HDR mode won’t work, external flash units won’t be triggered and the drive is limited to single shot or multiple exposure modes.
Other functions added by this update include the ability to shoot square images and to record only two frames (Off and Type 2) when using the anti-aliasing filter simulation bracketing feature. Previously, three frames had to be recorded in a sequence that included Type 1 as well. A general ‘bracketing cancel’ Off option has also been added to the camera menu under the BKT function.
Pentax says that other more general stability issues are fixed too with this update. To read more and to download the firmware see the Pentax website.
RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. is pleased to announce the release of the function expanding Firmware version 1.30 for PENTAX K-1 digital SLR camera (launched on April, 2016) on September 29, 2016.
The function expand firmware is to add new function or increase number of setting for currently used PENTAX K-1 camera, so that improve the function, easy handling and update to the latest function.
New Enhanced Functions
*The Electronic Shutter at Live View mode
The Electronic Shutter can be selected at the Menu to reduce camera shake from the mechanical shutter when shooting with Live View mode.
*Add the [1:1] format at the Crop mode
Added and selectable [Square format (1:1)] size at the Crop mode.
*Add [2 frames bracketing] for the [AA Filter Simulator bracketing]
Addition to the current [3 frames bracketing (OFF, TYPE1, TYPE2)], the [2 frames bracketing (OFF, TYPE2)] is added and selectable for the [AA Filter Simulator bracketing]
At the [BKT] setting, the bracketing range [±0 (=single frame)] can be selected.
*Improved stability for general performance.
PowerVision has announced the launch of global pre-orders for its PowerEye professional-grade cinematography drone. This drone features Dual Viewing for both subject matter view (SMV) and first person view (FPV) streaming at the same time, something made possible via a gimbal-mounted camera and another camera housed on the drone’s nose. PowerEye also features PowerVision's Object Detection technology.
Two different PowerEye drone models are being offered: the 'PowerEye Professional' and the 'PowerEye Thermal.' The Professional model features a 4K-capable 16MP Micro Four Thirds sensor that offers Raw DNG capture and Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH lens while the Thermal model has a switchable thermal/natural light camera with two different lenses and sensors. Operators toggle between the natural and thermal cameras using the PowerEye App.
Overall, PowerEye weighs 3.9kg / 8.7lbs including its propellers and battery; the design includes 4-point landing and liftoff and collapsible rotors and legs for a folded transport size of 340 x 285 x 296mm / 13 x 11 x 11.6 inches. The battery claims a flight time of up to 29.5 minutes on a charge, about 10 minutes longer than the DJI Inspire 1, and operators can control the drone from distances up to 5km / 3.1 miles. The drone's max payload is up to 3kg / 6.6lbs. The full spec sheet is available here.
The PowerEye Professional is available for pre-order now for $3,988, which includes the Panasonic camera, base station, the battery and charger, propellers + an extra set, a rolling case, and a remote control + an extra remote control for pre-orders specifically. The thermal camera variant is not currently listed on PowerVision’s website, however, and pricing is unclear.
Digital picture frames were all the rage around 2006, but since then have pretty much been relegated to the bargain basement. Instead of focusing on innovation, new features and better performance, frame makers decided to compete on price. As a result digital frames have always been regarded a low-quality product and the gadget community quickly lost interest.
The team behind the new Aura frame is planning to change that and make the digital picture frame once again a product that technophiles across the globe are lusting for, with a design that combines a high-quality display with all sorts of digital bells and whistles. The Aura's screen is pretty much identical to the 2048 x 1536 pixel Retina display in the iPad and the acrylic frame, which is edged in anodized aluminum, will be available in either ivory with rose gold trim or black with charcoal trim.
Premium finish aside, the Aura frame stands out thanks to its features. There is an accompanying mobile app for syncing manually created albums to the device. Alternatively, the app offers facial recognition and can be set to upload all images that have specific persons in them. There is also a filter that gets rid of blurry images, duplicates and those where subjects have their eyes closed. It even makes sure to only use images that crop well for the frame's 4:3 format.
Of course you can invite others to contribute to an album as well. In addition the Aura also comes with a set of sensors that can detect if you are in the room in order to make sure you always see a new image when you enter.
The sensors are also used for the gesture control feature which lets you scroll through images from a distance. The Aura frame is not available yet but its makers just secured $6M Series A round funding from Spark Capital, so chances are you'll be able to buy one in the nearer future. The projected retail price is $400 and you can register your email to be notified at launch. Watch the video below for a better idea how Aura works.
Her image, taken in in Serbia, changed photographer Matic Zorman’s life when it won him a World Press Photo award. Now he’s hoping to find the Syrian girl in the hope of changing hers
The Syrian girl was one of thousands of refugees waiting patiently at Preševo in Serbia near the Macedonian border. It was 7 October 2015 and she was holding firmly on to the cold security fence with her family standing behind her. She looked more eager than most to be on her journey to Europe, as a transparent raincoat fell over her face.
A photograph of the girl, one of the most striking to come out of the refugee crisis, won a World Press Photo award in the People category. However, its creator, Matic Zorman – a Slovenian photographer – didn’t make a note of her name. And now he wants to find her.Continue reading...
Phase One has enjoyed two significant updates since we last tested the company’s medium format offering: the 645DF+ body has been replaced by the more modern XF, and the IQ2 series of backs has been replaced by the updated IQ3 series. Added to that, Phase One has introduced a 100MP sensor to the IQ3 range. The new 100MP sensor is of the 54 x 40mm format, so somewhat larger than the previous 50MP 44 x33mm sensor. What is also significant is that it is a CMOS sensor and comes with all the flexibility that technology brings to these big and bulky cameras.
Phase One says that it has developed the sensor alongside Sony, and that a new design has introduced a range of benefits, including helping to increase the ISO range that can be offered, improving color accuracy and boosting dynamic range.
When I spoke to Lau Nørgaard, the head of R&D at Phase One, and asked him whether anyone needs 100MP he replied that the obvious customer base was anyone who needs to make big prints that will be inspected close-up.
Less obvious perhaps are the workflow advantages such resolution brings. He cited an example of someone photographing a car and then having to shoot all the details individually. With a 100MP back you shoot the whole car once and cut out all the detail shots from that image. Online clothing retailers like to provide roll-over enlargements of garments that show the texture of the fabric, and this back is ideal for that - the weave of the finest fabric can be shown even from a full length shot that includes three or four models. The resolution also presents less of a risk of aliasing. Museums, galleries and aerial surveyors are obvious customers, as they need the detail, but Lau also explained that images of anything from this back will benefit from the pixel count even when downscaled – noise is reduced, and the superior color and tonal information is retained.The new XF body
The Phase One XF is a 645-style medium format SLR body that’s designed to accept digital backs, with the company encouraging photographers to use its IQ1 and IQ3 series backs with resolutions of 40, 50, 60, 80 and 100 million pixels. Phase One has given its body a complete make-over and while it remains much the same basic form factor as the previous model, it is now much less mechanical and clunky, and features a number of dramatic improvements.
Key new features Phase One XF:
- Shutter and mirror dampening
- Electronic first curtain
- Touch screen top plate display
- Improved integration with the IQ3 backs
- New handling layout
- Metering in camera rather than in prism
- Accepts waistlevel finder
- Seismograph built-in
- Separate battery from back - but can power share
- Built-in wireless flash sync via Profoto Air Sync
There are so many really key improvements to this body that it is hard to know where to start. The experience of using the XF is dramatically different to using the 645DF+, which is why I think Phase One has given it a completely different name instead of making it a ‘Mark II’ or ‘X’.
Let's start with the new shutter and mirror mechanism. The mirror action is still more violent than you’d encounter with a 35mm-style DSLR but the impact created when it flips up and down is a good deal reduced compared to the previous model. The shutter action is also much smoother, so when the shutter is tripped the whole operation is quieter. In the previous camera the mirror and the shutter were connected in the same mechanical set-up, but now the two operate as individual units - so in mirror-up mode the shutter can re-cock itself without the mirror having to flip back and forth.
Phase One has introduced a seismograph to the body that measures the amount the camera is vibrating, and displays the results as a moving graph on the top plate display. This helps to ensure the user trips the shutter when the camera is at its steadiest, and the incorporation of ‘vibration delay’ allows the camera to trip itself automatically when internal vibrations have died down.
Further help towards reducing vibration comes in the form of an electronic first curtain mode that works when the mirror is already up – similar to that used in DSLRs like the Nikon D810. Phase One’s Lau Nørgaard told me that the company’s engineers studied the acceleration and rate of travel of the second curtain and mirrored that with the read-out progress of the electronic first curtain to ensure that the whole frame would be evenly exposed.
The new handling arrangements also make this a significantly easier camera to use, with a touch screen on the top plate that provides direct access to the shooting and exposure modes. Three dials controls shutter speed, aperture and ISO, while a mini-menu is controlled via a pair of Leica-style long silver buttons. In short, pretty much anything that you’ll need to access quickly and regularly has a short and direct path from the right-hand grip.
In the 645DF+ metering was handled through the prism of the camera, but in the XF it has moved to the body to allow exposure reading when using the new waist-level finder. There is an additional flash sync socket on the IQ3 backs for when the waist-level finder is in use, as the main one is on the prism head.
The XF body is light years ahead of the 645DF+, and a good deal more advanced than the Hasselblad H5D series cameras. It feels very modern for a medium format DSLR, and is so much easier to use and navigate as a consequence of the mass of new features.
Danish medium-format manufacturer Phase One has released a firmware update for its XF camera system that introduces an electronic shutter function to its IQ3 100MP digital back as well as a menu screen for controlling Profoto flash heads via the Air Remote TTL radio communication network.
This will be the third firmware update for the XF body since it was launched. The benefit of the electronic shutter is that it will be possible to record images with the 100MP sensor without involving any moving parts in the camera. Although previously the XF offered a mirror-up mode, the shutter unit still created some vibration during the exposure that could diminish the resolution of the final image. Phase One says that exposures of between one hour and 1/4000sec will be possible in electronic shutter mode.
The new firmware also adjusts the function of the Profoto Air radio trigger that is built into the XF body. While previously the trigger just controlled when wirelessly connected flashes fired, now users are also able to control output directly from the camera’s back using a TTL metering system. This allows users to control and monitor up to six groups of heads directly from the back’s own display. The update has also brought an information panel that demonstrates how the flash duration and output curve correspond to the camera’s shutter synchronization so photographers can ensure they are optimizing the timing of the shutter to make the most of the period during which the flash is lit.
The company has altered its 5-year warranty terms too, abolishing the limit on shutter actuations – presumably as the body no longer needs to trigger the mechanical shutter to make an exposure. Phase One has also officially introduced the vertical grip it had displayed ‘unofficially’ at Photokina. The V-Grip offers almost the same right hand control dials as the body’s own grip including, obviously, a shutter release button in the same place. The grip will be available from November at $1490, and the new firmware has been released today as a free download. For more information see the Phase One website and the firmware download page.
Press release:Phase One Releases XF Camera System Feature Update #3
Adding new functionality, new hardware and improved warranty
COPENHAGEN, Oct. 3, 2016 – Phase One, the world’s leading medium format camera system provider, today released a major XF Camera System update. Available now and free to all XF Camera System owners, this update demonstrates Phase One’s commitment to the continuous upgrade and improvement of the XF camera platform.
Feature Update #3 greatly advances the features of the world’s first full frame medium format CMOS sensor. The IQ3 100MP system now includes complete Electronic Shutter integration -- the world’s first in medium format photography. With the ability to capture images without a single moving component, the IQ3 100MP is now even more versatile.
The update adds significant improvements for studio and flash photography applications such as advanced flash controls with the in-camera Profoto Air Remote enabling Profoto TTL metering. Further, a post capture Flash Analysis Tool has been added to ensure unparalleled control.
Phase One also today introduced the new XF V-Grip, providing advanced ergonomic capabilities and control options.
The world’s best warranty becomes even better
Phase One’s dedication to product quality, in combination with the maturity of the XF Camera System, provides professional photographers with the assurance they demand.
“All XF IQ3 Camera Systems come with a five-year warranty that now includes unlimited shutter actuations, a warranty unprecedented in our industry,” says Stefan Sandor, VP Marketing and Product Management, Phase One.
Phase One’s XF Camera System Feature Update #3 introduces
Advanced Studio Hardware, Controls and Workflow:
Flash Analysis and Rear Curtain Trim
Review all aspects of the flash output just after the capture, directly on the XF Camera System and offset the flash sync to meet your requirements;
Full functionality of the Profoto Air for up to six groups, now built directly into the XF Camera System;
Integrated with the XF Camera System’s Auto Focus sensor to provide active feedback and deliver accurate exposures with every capture, no matter the variables.
V-Grip for the XF Camera System
Providing advanced ergonomic capabilities and control options, the XF Camera System V-Grip ensures simplicity as well as dynamic improvements to handheld workflow applications.
Advanced Technology, Tools and Customization:
Electronic Shutter for the IQ3 100MP
The IQ3 100MP now includes complete Electronic Shutter integration. With the ability to capture images without a single moving component, the IQ3 100MP is even more versatile.
Additional New Customization and Workflow Options
With Feature Update #3, the XF Camera System now includes Icon Control, Create, Load & Save System Setup, Advanced Tool Options for sequence tools, as well as several other new improvements and features.
Availability and Pricing
Firmware for the XF Camera System Feature Update #3 is free and available for download here: www.phaseone.com/feature-update-3
New XF V-Grip will be shipping in November and is available through Phase One photography partners worldwide: www.phaseone.com/partners
Prices for Phase One XF V-Grip – 1,490 USD
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