Boxfish Research has announced the launch of its new Boxfish 360, a 5K camera equipped with multiple Panasonic Micro Four Thirds sensors able to capture spherical photos and video. This model is designed for professional use and, according to the company, offers better clarity and colors than similar 360-degree rigs created using multiple action cameras. The camera made its debut at CES 2017.
Boxfish 360 features 185-degree circular fisheye lenses with an F1.8 maximum aperture, an internal battery offering up to 90 minutes of recording per charge and both 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch mounting threads. Though the cameras are secured within a fully waterproof housing, Boxfish Research says the battery and microSD cards (up to six supported) can be quickly accessed without using tools via a hatch.
Videos are recorded using the H.264 codec with a bit rate of 60Mbps, and still images are saved as JPGs and DNGs. Boxfish 360 offers up to a claimed 10 stops of dynamic range and records camera metrics such as water temperature, water depth and camera orientation during recording. Operators are given various elements of control, such as underwater start/stop and manual aperture control.
Boxfish released the camera for preorder last week and will begin shipping the next batch starting May 15. Interested buyers can pay a 50% balance of the $14,990 USD price tag to secure a unit, or buyers can pay outright ahead of the shipment date. A total of ten cameras are offered in the next batch, some of which are already reserved.
Via: Boxfish Research
Nikon has issued a firmware update for its shockproof and waterproof KeyMission 360 spherical 360-degree action camera that improves stability under iOS 10.2. It specifically solves an issue with unstable connections between the camera and Apple devices running the iOS 10.2-compatible version of the Nikon SnapBridge 360/170 app.
The new firmware can be installed by selecting Camera > Camera settings > Firmware version in the SnapBridge 360/170 app or Set > Firmware version in the KeyMission 360/170 Utility and checking the camera firmware version. More details and the firmware itself is available in the Nikon Download Center.
He was best known for his Pulitzer prize-winning photo, Saigon Execution, but Eddie Adams won over 500 awards for his work, throughout a 50-year career. Starting as a photographer in the marines, he covered war zones, refugees, riots and celebrities. Eddie Adams: Bigger Than The Frame is published by the University of Texas PressContinue reading...
After four days of great action which culminated in Sergio García’s victory, we take a look back at some of our favourite images from the first major of 2017Continue reading...
Digital medium format has previously been the preserve of professional photographic businesses; commercial concerns that can justify investing tens of thousands of dollars on a tool that offers resolution and image quality beyond the capabilities of consumer cameras (or, at least, those that can recoup the rental cost). These cameras have tended to have 54 x 40mm (essentially the 645 film format) or 44 x 33mm sensors: considerably larger than used in most DSLRs. They were also often based on CCD chips, since these are easier to build on large scales and small volumes and cleaner at low ISO settings (though with limited dynamic range by modern standards).
As full frame cameras have become less expensive, this has put pressure on the medium format market (particularly the smaller variant) but has also seen CMOS technology filter upwards. This has led to us starting to see the first sub-$10,000 medium format cameras. The first that a dedicated hobbyist might consider, as well as wider professional market. So, as we keep being asked, which of these cameras is best?Introducing the contenders
Launched in 2014 The Pentax 645Z is the granddaddy of 'affordable' medium format. After the somewhat fitful development process of the original 645D, the arrival of CMOS technology brought us the 645Z. Built around a 50MP 44 x 33mm sensor, Ricoh's flagship camera is a traditional DSLR that uses the film-era Pentax 645 mount (hence the name).
In the past year, two more companies with medium format heritage have unveiled their offerings, but both Hasselblad and Fujifilm have developed new, mirrorless systems, rather than continuing to use existing mounts. This allows the Fujifilm G and Hasselblad XCD systems to be considerably smaller with shorter flange back distances (especially in the case of the Hasselblad, which does without a focal plane shutter). As well as size, this shorter flange back distance leaves room to adapt all sorts of legacy lenses: something both Hasselblad and Fujifilm have promised.
We've been shooting all three cameras and look at their relative strengths in different shooting scenarios.Landscape work - durability
One of the most obvious requirements a camera needs for landscape work is a degree of solidity and resilience. As soon as you venture into the outdoors, rain, mud and grit will all feature to a varying degrees.
All three of these cameras claim they've been designed with a degree of environmental sealing in mind. None of the makers go so far as to guarantee any degree of weather resistance, so it's difficult to know whether any one of these has the edge over the others. There are plenty of stories of Pentax DSLRs surviving all sorts of mistreatment, so we'd be fairly confident of the 645Z. The Fujifilm and Hasselblad it's harder to know about, especially since both are likely to sell in small enough quantities that it'll always be difficult to establish a statistically useful sample size.Landscape work - battery life
Another major factor is battery life. While it's quite possible to carry spare batteries with you, it's not always practical to change them in 'the field.' It can also be frustrating to find yourself having to worry about battery level or change batteries with any kind of frequency, especially as temperatures and battery endurance drop.
The 645Z's DSLR design gives it a huge advantage in terms of battery life. Given you can do most of your shot setup using the optical viewfinder, the camera gains a rating of around 650 shots per charge from its relatively small battery.
The Fujifilm GFX 50S requires either the rear screen or electronic viewfinder to be active making it rather harder on batteries. Thankfully its powerpack is a lot larger, helping it to a still respectable 400 shot per charge rating. The Hasselblad does least well in this respect, despite it doing everything it can to reduce usage by constantly shutting its screen off. A smaller battery than the Fujifilm and no percentage indicators mean it's the camera I'd most worry about staying alive, when I was working off the grid.Operability (with gloves)
Another aspect of outdoor photography is that it can often be cold: even in summer the best light tends to come first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening, which means colder temperatures in many parts of the world.
Of the three, the Pentax is the camera I'd be happiest operating with gloves. It has rather a lot of external controls but all of them are large and distinct enough to be controlled with gloves. The Hasselblad does well in this respect, too. Most of its buttons and dials are distinct enough to be operated without error and there's no function that necessitates touchscreen control.
This leaves Fujifilm's buttons and dials are rather small and recessed but most of its principle controls are easily operated with gloves. That said, its AF point joystick is arguably the easiest way to control AF positioning with gloves on.Camera stability
To get anything like the full resolution out of these cameras, you need to keep them very steady. We've experienced shutter shock across a range of cameras, as higher resolutions highlight the issue in ever greater detail.
Large, high-resolution sensors are especially susceptible, since the mass of the shutter and mirror mechanisms involved are so much greater and the ability to discern any shake is that much higher. The Pentax offers a mirror-up mode, which allows you to separate the lifting of the mirror and the firing of the shutter, to allow the mirror-induced shake to dissipate (which is reassuring, given the camera's Ikea-furniture-being demolished mirror/shutter sound). It also has a mounting point to allow stable attachment to a tripod when in the portrait orientation, however, there's no electronic first curtain mode to reduce the impact of shake from the shutter mechanism.
The other two cameras don't even have mirrors to worry about. On top of this, the Fujifilm offers an electronic first curtain shutter mode, which means there's minimal mechanical movement before the exposure starts, all but eliminating the risk of shock and with no delay added before the exposure. The Hasselblad takes this philosophy one step further by containing no moving parts in the camera body at all (though there's still a little clunk and click as the leaf shutter moves and we're hearing reports of shutter shock from this).Landscape work - Portability
Perhaps the greatest benefit for a landscape shooter, though, is any reduction in size and weight makes it easier to work with. For all the internet bravado about real men liking big cameras, most people having to lug cameras around on a regular basis will appreciate any saving in size and weight they can get.
The Hasselblad X1D has a clear edge, here. It's significantly smaller and lighter than any of the other cameras here (it's lighter than most full frame DSLRs). The Fujifilm is only 200g (7oz) heavier but will demand a considerably larger bag to house it. Then there's the Pentax 645Z, which is the size of some European cars and, at over twice the weight of the X1D, is about as easy to carry. I jest, of course, but I'd still rather not have to hike any great distance with one.Studio shooting - Operability
In the studio, there's more time to consider and control your shot. The Pentax's proliferation of direct controls takes sometime to learn, but there's a control for just about everything. The Fujifilm, meanwhile, takes after its mass market cameras: direct controls for most exposure settings, then a handful of customizable buttons and an editable Q menu for less frequently changed options.
The Hasselblad takes the most minimalist approach and consequently is the one most likely to require menu diving. It does give direct access to most core features though.
All three cameras can be shot, tethered, using proprietary software or third-party plugins for Adobe Lightroom (the 645Z was the first camera we encountered to include a USB 3.0 connection, for exactly this reason). Sadly we've not yet had time to try them all.Studio shooting - AF Coverage
Even if studio work buys you a little more time, as soon as you include a human subject, that luxury is curtailed. The more complex the pose, the less time you have to shoot it (assuming you're not a monster to your models). Similarly, that perfect facial expression that you've been coaxing out of your subject with increasingly fanciful invocations won't necessarily last long enough to switch to live view, zoom in and manually focus.
What you need is the best possible AF coverage which give you high precision AF points exactly where you need them. Fujifilm does best in this respect, giving you choice of 117 or 425 very fine AF points across a large area of the image. The Hasselblad offers slightly less coverage and only 35 fairly large AF regions.
The Pentax's phase-detection system offers a very limited coverage, but in live view allows the AF point to be moved into 2030 positions. This number of positions means it takes a fraction longer to position your AF point but does mean you can be certain of being able to put the AF point where you need it.Studio shooting - Manual Focus
No matter how good autofocus is, there’ll be times when you’ll have to fall back on manual focus. This is an area in which the cameras behave rather differently.
The Pentax gives the most traditional experience, with physically geared manual focus rings and a huge optical viewfinder. We wouldn’t generally take the hardliner's approach that the old ways are best, but it’s not just a question of familiarity: the requirements of this combination have been fine-tuned since pretty much the dawn of photography, so it’s unsurprising that it can work pretty well.
And, of course, in live view mode, the Pentax can also offer the magnified view and focus peaking that the other two cameras offer. It also has a flip-up screen, which is useful since it's difficult to hold the 645Z still enough to fine focus in magnified live view.
The Hasselblad does reasonably well in this respect, too. Its focus peaking isn’t selective enough to provide perfect focus but it lets you get very close, at which point it’s easy to then punch-in to magnified view to finish the job. The camera magnifies the currently selected AF region or wherever you double tap the screen. The lack of flip-up screen limits tripod work but the camera is small and light enough with most lenses that, with a bit of practice, you can magnified manual focus, hand-held.
The Fujifilm seems like it should have most of the best of most approaches: the two-way tilting screen is great for tripod work and the AF joystick makes it quick to choose where you want to punch-in for critical focus. However, like the X100 series, Fujifilm’s speed-sensitive manual focus can be frustrating. Particularly at close-focus distances, I found it hard to get the camera perform anything other than minuscule focus changes when I was trying to casting around to find the approximate region of focus. In good light, like the Hasselblad, you can hit a button to perform a quick AF acquisition to get you close to the right focus distance, but in poor light, this wouldn’t work, which made it a maddening process.Outdoor fashion - Flash Sync
Outdoor fashion photography combines many of the demands we've already seen in landscape and studio shooting and then adds some more. Away from the controllable lighting of the studio, a battle between ambient and supplemental lighting breaks out, a battle for which the best weapon is a high flash sync speed.
Sure, there are High-speed sync options that provide lighting for a long enough duration that they can successfully light an image even though the camera's shutter is never fully open, but these tend to require increasing amounts of power the higher your shutter speed, which is not what you need if you're using large lights and heavy battery packs. You may even hit the limits of your strobe's capability, which then limits your ability to separately control ambient and subject exposure. Also, the relatively slow-moving shutters implied by the low sync speeds on the Pentax and Fujifilm cameras may limit even the use of some high-speed sync systems.
The Hasselblad is the clear winner here. Its use of leaf shutters gives greater control over ambient light without having to resort to specialist lighting and keeps control of light sources decoupled. Fujifilm has built an adapter for using its own leaf-shutter Fujinon HC lenses, allowing flash sync at up to 1/800th but there are no native leaf shutter lenses on the roadmap at present. Until that time, the Fujifilm tops out at 1/125 sec, as does the Pentax, unless you can find one of the seemingly discontinued 75 or 135mm 'LS' leaf shutter lenses. Meanwhile the X1D can sync all the way up to 1/2000th of a second, giving it a huge advantage.Outdoor fashion - AF Coverage and speed
For outdoor posed shooting the urgency of capturing the moment before your model gets frustrated is made more pressing by the additional risk of pneumonia and heatstroke. Or just the need to catch the light you want, if you're shooting away from the poles or equator. This requires fairly swift AF.
Try to shoot dynamic poses, dancing or action of any sort and the need for fast autofocus becomes even greater. None of these cameras excel in this respect. The Hasselblad is currently the slowest of the three, with the Fujifilm being the fastest in CDAF mode. The Pentax is a little quicker when shot through the viewfinder using its dedicated phase-detection AF system, but this limits you to focus right near the center of the image and introduces a degree of inaccuracy and imprecision that tends to come from secondary-sensor AF. And we wouldn't exactly recommend focus and recompose in studio setups or with the shallow depth of field and high resolutions of medium format.
Realistically, none of these cameras is great for fast-moving subjects, so the photographer's technique for working around these limitations is likely to play just as much of a role.The value of good JPEG/TIFFs
More so than the general consumer audience, the audience for this camera is likely to shoot Raw, with the expectation that post-processing will be a necessary part of the final image. So why would we care whether these cameras produce good JPEGs?
For a start, a good-looking JPEG can be used as a proof for a client almost as soon as you shoot the image.
Clearly this puts the Pentax and Fujifilm at an advantage, since these companies have more experience of delivering customer-friendly JPEGs. However, the GFX benefits further, not only gaining the results of Fujifilm's well respected color response in JPEG, but also in that some of that color knowledge has been shared with Adobe, meaning that Film Simulation-simulating profiles are available in Lightroom and Camera Raw, to provide an attractive starting point for processing.
Ultimately, the nearer you can get to your preferred output at the start of the process, the less post-processing you need to do; saving time and money on every image.Conclusion
Overall, there's little to choose between these cameras in terms of image quality. This should be no great surprise, given they're likely to be using sensors with similar underpinnings (even if we know some of the specifics of microlenses and ISO behavior differ).
However, that isn't to say there's nothing to choose between them, just that the choice very much comes down to what you're shooting and how.
The Pentax 645Z is the immediate choice for anyone who wants an optical viewfinder. It also exists as part of a longer-established system (though some of the lenses significantly pre-date the demands of high-res digital), which means it's potentially more flexible if you need to shoot before the other makers make good on their promised lenses.
Somewhat perversely, for all its compactness, the Hasselblad X1D's high sync speeds and limited battery life mean it's more comfortable in or around the studio whereas, despite its greater bulk, the Fujifilm's faster focus and greater endurance makes it more tempting for shooting in further flung locations.
Some of these strengths and weaknesses aren't set in stone: leaf shutter lenses for the Fujifilm would greatly extend its capability, as would updated firmware for the X1D (especially if it could result in faster and easier to position autofocus), so there's still room for the new cameras to distinguish themselves rather more.
Overall, of course, these are exotic pieces of kit. Expensive and, despite the mass-market roots of the Pentax and Fujifilm's interfaces, still more complex to shoot with than the full frame cameras that are probably the more sensible choice for most mortals (given the price, image quality and performance offered). That said, there's something special about shooting with such daunting machines, and something that's likely to immediately impress most would-be clients.
The authors of a book curating 270 images that Instagram censored explain why they are making them visible again
Early in March 2015, artist and poet Rupi Kaur uploaded a picture to Instagram of herself in her room, wearing jogging bottoms stained with menstrual blood. Lying with her back to the camera in a nondescript bedroom, nothing about the image was strange. A few days later, Kaur found her image had been removed, so she reposted it. A few days after that, it was removed again. This time she found out why: Instagram’s moderators had deleted the picture for “violation of community standards”. Kaur responded with a rallying post on her Facebook and Tumblr accounts that was shared 11,000 times. “We will not be censored,” she wrote.
Kaur’s photograph is just one of the 270 deleted images featured in Pics Or It Didn’t Happen, a contemporary art book by digital artists Arvida Byström and Molly Soda that brings the pictures Instagram have removed back into the spotlight. But the book is about much more than simply shocking us with controversial pictures; both Byström and Soda agree that some level of social media censorship is needed. “I do understand why censorship exists. I’m not ‘free the nipple’ because I don’t give a shit about that,” Soda says. “But I do think that females presenting bodies are going to be censored more – as they’re always going to be in conversation with sex – no matter what the topic of the photo is.”Continue reading...
The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including hot weather in the UK, Palm Sunday celebrations and the Paris marathonContinue reading...
ISO 100 | 1/1600 sec | F5.6
Photo by Carey Rose
That's how long it's been since the release of the SD9, Sigma's first digital camera, which was also the first camera to use the layered Foveon sensor design. From then on, for better or for worse, Sigma has continued to refine its unique layered sensors. While no one will argue that their cameras are capable of insanely sharp output, you still have to put up with an awful lot of shortcomings.
Early on, there was the low pixel density. And there's still poor battery life. And Huge file sizes. Long card write times. Heat. Lots of heat. (And there's plenty of other image quality concerns, as well).
But significantly, fifteen years is also the length of time we've had to use Sigma's Photo Pro software to get any sort of decent results from these cameras. In the early days, you were almost forced into it, as the SD9 didn't shoot JPEGs and Adobe Camera Raw support that was present up until the Merrills was laughable or simply non-existent. So until now, if you wanted to shoot Raw on a Sigma digital camera, you'd have to fire up Sigma Photo Pro and wait. And wait. And wait some more. And then relaunch it once it crashes, because crashing was a foregone conclusion (though to be fair, it is far less stable on Mac OS than Windows).
We as a staff collectively find, even above and beyond all of Foveon's shortcomings, that the biggest hurdle to using Sigma cameras is their very own software. Even now, in the year 2017, Sigma Photo Pro is just painfully slow and unstable.
But Sigma is that rare company that listens to its customers. Last year while at CP+ in Japan our Technical Editor Rishi Sanyal was afforded a rare opportunity to sit down with the ever-charming, warmly receptive and almost unusually frank Sigma CEO Kazuto Yamaki and talk all things camera and optics. One of the topics covered was the usability of Sigma cameras, where we re-stressed the common request for wider Raw support of Sigma cameras but, more importantly, outlined what might go into making the most flexible DNG possible from Foveon Raw data. Just a short year later, the new sd Quattro interchangeable lens cameras can shoot DNG format Raw files straight out of the camera.
A hearty thank you.
And this just might be what Sigma needed to do to bring Foveon tech to the mass market - a place it really hasn't been before.Sigma + DNG = <3
The sd Quattro cameras' ability to shoot in DNG means is that you can finally edit your Foveon Raw files using a converter other than Sigma Photo Pro. As you might expect, there's a few caveats. When you enable DNG capture on the Quattro H, you don't have an option to simultaneously capture a JPEG (although there is a whopping 13MB JPEG embedded in every DNG, should you want to dig it out).
The highest resolution output you can get from these is 25.6MP, which is the same resolution as the top sensor layer, as opposed to the upscaled 51MP files that are possible when shooting JPEG in-camera or using Sigma Photo Pro with an X3F file (but if you think you might want those files, check out the comparison at the end of our samples gallery). And while upscaled 51MP may sound suspect, the pixel-level sharpness of the Foveon files means it may not be as gimmicky as it initially sounds (we'll reserve final judgement until after our in-depth testing).
Lastly, you'd better have a big memory card - the DNG files weigh in at around ~150MB each*. For comparison, uncompressed Raw files from the Nikon D810, Sony a7R II and Fujifilm GFX 50S weigh in at around 70MB, 85MB and 110MB, respectively (and two out of those three offer lossless compression to bring those sizes down anyhow).Out-of-camera white balance Adjusted in Adobe Camera Raw Despite setting the white balance manually in-camera, the default DNG output was too yellow for my taste, but adjustments in ACR were a breeze. Click through to see the crazy sharpness.
Okay, enough with the caveats. Opening these DNG files in Adobe Camera Raw is an almost surreal experience. You still get the absolutely astounding crystalline sharpness Sigma's cameras are known for, but now you can make any adjustment you'd ordinarily make to a Raw file, and with a decently powerful computer, it all happens in real time. No more making a small adjustment and waiting ten seconds (or thirty) for a full re-render.
So far, the files appear as flexible as one would expect from Raw: white balance works wonderfully, and you can turn all noise reduction and sharpening off. We're still examining if the 12 bit DNGs are losslessly gamma compressed 14-bit data as we'd asked for, but it's not clear this would matter anyway: 12-bit DNGs and 14-bit X3Fs show similar flexibility thus far, which makes sense given the comparatively lower base ISO dynamic range of these cameras.The fun factor
So editing the DNG files is great, even if you need to pick up a couple extra hard drives to store them. But the real kicker for me is that it changed the way I shoot this camera relative to previous Sigmas. It's just more fun.ISO 100 | 1/500 sec | F4
Photo by Carey Rose
I ended up using the camera more and taking more photos just to see how the camera would render various scenes - and I was regularly blown away. I no longer had to worry about living with the JPEGs and poor white balance, and I didn't have to go through a whole batch of X3F files over the span of an entire evening with Sigma Photo Pro.
Previous Foveon cameras I've used were good for some quirky fun, but I never really considered picking them up off the shelf after we'd put the wraps on our older sample gallery. But now, without the workflow woes of the past, the sd Quattro H is something I'm going to be using a lot more often. If you've never tried a Sigma camera before, now is the time to pick one up and have a go for yourself.
*Foveon sensors don't directly capture red, green and blue information, nor do they require the demosaicing process required by Bayer sensors, so they require totally different processing (hence the historic lack of good Raw support). The Quattro H performs the necessary deconvolution and interpolation process required to derive red, green and blue information for each pixel, so that the Raw processing software doesn't need to. Unfortunately that means having to save three 12-bit values for every pixel (which, given the lower resolution of the camera's lower two layers, means storing twice as much data as was actually captured), resulting in 150MB files.
Photo by Carey Rose
With a large APS-H sized Foveon sensor, Sigma's sd Quattro H promises a lofty 51MP of equivalent resolution when compared to more traditional Bayer-sensor cameras. The sd Quattro lineup is also the first series of Sigma cameras ever to output Raw files in an accessible DNG format, meaning you can open them with almost any Raw converter, as opposed to being locked into Sigma's Photo Pro software. Take a look through our gallery of cherry blossoms, cars, cityscapes and studio shots and download a few files to check out the impressively sharp Foveon rendering for yourself.
For last week’s photography assignment in the Observer New Review we asked you to share your photos on the theme of music via GuardianWitness. Here’s a selection of our favourites
- Share your photos on this week’s theme ‘city’ by clicking the button below
Wherever you are in the world, this week we’d like to see your pictures on the theme ‘city’
The next theme for our weekly photography assignment in the Observer New Review is ‘city.’ Share your photos of what city means to you – and tell us about your image in the description box.
The closing date is Thursday 13 April at 10 am. We’ll publish our favourites in The New Review on Sunday 16 April and in a gallery on the Guardian site.Continue reading...
A group of girls pose with schoolbags stencilled with the words “Black Power”. A young Indian man, Farrukh Dhondy, a teacher and member of the British Black Panthers, stands defiantly outside his recently firebombed home, holding the newspaper that details the bombing. Activists pose with clenched fists and a copy of Angela Davis’s If They Come in the Morning. The power of these images, taken by photographer Neil Kenlock, still resonates more than 40 years later, as does the story they tell: a tale of oppression, resistance and a community’s fight for survival and for change.
It is a story that has been largely ignored down the years. Now the black power movement, and in particular the British Black Panthers, find themselves back in the spotlight. There is a photography exhibition at Tate Britain, Stan Firm Inna Inglan: Black Diaspora in London, 1960-1970s; a proposed film about the Mangrove Nine trial in which the late Darcus Howe and fellow Black Panther Althea Jones-Lecointe successfully defended themselves against charges of incitement to riot; a celebration of Howe’s life at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton; and the arrival of Guerrilla, a new drama series written by 12 Years A Slave screenwriter John Ridley, which airs on Sky Atlantic.Continue reading...
From the glamour of Ladies Day to One For Arthur’s triumph in the Grand National steeplechase, we bring you some of our favourite pictures of the winners, punters and atmosphere from over the three daysContinue reading...
Classic images of Frida Kahlo by Nickolas Muray, her longtime friend and lover, form a new exhibition at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California, set to open on 30 April. His unique perspective created a series of intimate pictures that document her interest in her Mexican heritage, and her relationships with friends and familyContinue reading...
Resource Travel has shared some helpful tips for photographers headed to Cuba, and now they're offering a handy guide to Havana's most photogenic spots. Photographer Edin Chavez shares his go-to spots for photographing the vibrant colors and culture that make up the fabric of Havana. Included are helpful tips, like the best time of day to go, and Google Map locations so you can save them for reference later.
Have you been to Havana? Let us know what your favorite photo spots are in the comments.
The US missile strike against Syria, the destruction in Mosul and the St Petersburg metro bomb – the news of the week captured by the world’s best photojournalistsContinue reading...
Roger Cicala over at Lensrentals has put Tamron's new SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens to the test.
Cicala notes that on its own, the Tamron is impressively sharp all the way to the edges at its wide end, and even better in the middle of its focal range. Sharpness drops a bit at full telephoto, but Cicala still says the 70-200 'puts in a very good performance.'The Tamron SP 70-200 F2.8 G2 impresses at its wide end of 70mm.
The Tamron's performance is comparable to Canon's 70-200 F2.8L II, though a bit softer at the wide end. When put up against what Cicala calls 'the best 70-200 zoom on the planet' – the Nikon F2.8 FL ED VR – the Tamron struggles to keep up, though the gap narrows at 200mm.Sample variation from ten Tamron SP 70-200 G2 lenses at 70mm.
In addition to lots of MTF charts, Cicala provides some helpful information about copy variation using ten of the new Tamron 70-200mms.
Leica has finally announced that it has found a reliable replacement for the defective focus drive units in some of the S lenses from its medium-format system. The faulty units created complete AF failure in affected lenses and it has taken the company some time to find a permanent solution.
In what Leica describes as an act of ‘goodwill’ users with lenses that have already stopped working can have the AF drive units replaced for free, as can anyone whose unit fails up to five years from the date of purchase. Those whose drive units are still functioning can also have theirs replaced but for a charge of around $400 according to Red Dot Forum. That fee includes an extra year of product warranty for all lenses, no matter how old.
The free replacement service has been on offer since the end of 2015 but until now the company was replacing broken units with the same kind of drive motor. This new announcement relates to a new drive unit that is said to be more reliable.
In some cases, a defect may appear in the autofocus drive unit of Leica S-Lenses. Under certain unfavorable conditions, this may lead to a complete loss of the autofocus function.
We are pleased to inform you that we have successfully completed the development and stringent quality assurance testing of a new generation of autofocus drive units under practical conditions.
Leica Camera AG is prepared to offer a free replacement of the autofocus drive unit of S-Lenses affected by this problem within the terms of a goodwill arrangement.
In light of this, we would like to remind our customers that we can offer free replacement of the autofocus drive unit only for S-Lenses affected by this concrete defect. The goodwill arrangement will remain valid for a period of five years from the date of purchase of the respective S-Lens.
Preventive replacement of the autofocus drive unit (including a warranty extension of 12 months) may be requested at your own expense.
Should the defect described above occur in one of your S-Lenses, we recommend that you send it directly to Leica’s Customer Care or the authorized Customer Care department of your country’s Leica subsidiary.
email@example.com or Telephone: +49 (0)6441 2080 189.
We consider it our obligation to provide only technically faultless products. We therefore particularly regret that the functions of one of your S-Lenses could have been be impaired by this defect. We hope that the goodwill arrangement we are offering will allow us to resolve this issue as soon as possible and rebuild and maintain the trust you have always placed in the Leica brand and its products.
Designers and image editors often have to browse through large numbers of low-quality photographs before they find the stock image that is most suitable for their purposes. Now, a new algorithm has been created to filter images based on their aesthetic value and get rid of the junk before it clogs up your search results.
Everypixel uses neural networks for ranking stock images and for this purpose has trained the algorithms to judge the aesthetic value of a stock image in the same way as a human would do.
Everypixel’s CEO Dmitry Shironosov said: “Designers, editors and experienced stock photographers helped us generate a training dataset with 946,894 positive and negative patterns. We wanted to create a technology that can measure not only aesthetics of stock images, but their commercial potential as well. This is the main difference between our smart filter and other solutions that exist today.”
The neural network is capable of estimating the visual quality of an image and applies a score to every file which, if working properly, could save many man hours of human image curation. The algorithm is currently in beta stage but you can already test it with your own images on Everypixel. We're not so sure about the scoring, but the system already looks pretty good at assigning correct keywords. How did your images do? Let us know in the comments.
Anish Kapoor’s latest work goes on show at Lisson Gallery in London, while Rachel Kneebone’s ceramics arrive at the V&A – all in your weekly dispatch
Ecstasies of colour and sensuality from this endlessly creative titan of 21st-century art.
• Lisson Gallery, London, until 6 May
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