News

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

We’re now running a regular weekly photography assignment in the Observer New Review and wherever you are in the world, this week we’d like to see your pictures on the theme ‘crisp’

We’re now running a regular weekly photography assignment in the Observer New Review and the next theme is ‘crisp’ Share your photos of what crisp means to you – and tell us about your image in the description box.

The closing date is Thursday 24 November at 10 am. We’ll publish our favourites in The New Review on Sunday 27 November and in a gallery on the Guardian site.

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Categories: News

The secret life of the Swiss – in pictures

Ever since relocating to Switzerland in 2006, Swedish-born photographer Christian Nilson has been capturing the identity of his adopted homeland. He presents the people of the country he loves through a series of affectionate pictures, collected in his book The Swiss, published tomorrow by Scheidegger & Spiess. “When you live in lots of different places, as I’ve been doing, growing up, I’ve always found you try to make the country you live in your own… you try to relate,” he says. “The book is my way of trying to do this in pictures. I’m not trying to be ironic, it is really a place that I love. I want to show people my Switzerland – that it is more than luxury goods, chocolate and banking.”

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Categories: News

Eyewitness: Assam, India

Photographs from the Eyewitness series

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Categories: News

2016 Holiday Gift Guide: $100-500

DP Review News - Sat, 19/11/2016 - 11:00
2016 Holiday Gift Guide $100-500 

Shopping for photographers is hard. In fact, shopping in general is hard. We'd like to help everyone involved out a little bit, whether you're shopping for a photographer or taking a break from the stress of holiday shopping to #treatyoself. In this price range you'll find more than just stocking stuffers.

Cooph Photographer Hoodie $127/€119/£102
cooph.com

Have you often wondered why the photographer in your life is wearing a boring normal-people sweatshirt? This holiday season you have a chance to set that straight with the Cooph Photographer Hoodie. Made of 100% organic soft and comfy cotton, the Photographer Hoodie has a classic style that Cooph says is 'cut specifically for photographers.'

There's an integrated zippered lens pocket, a lens cleaning cloth in a hidden pocket, an integrated sleep mask for those long flights, and thumbholes for warmth during those chilly on-location mornings. The whole thing even has built-in snaps to fold into a pillow. We're not sure that it’s going to make anyone a better photographer, but it might make them warmer and more stylish.

Think Tank Airport Advantage Rolling Camera Bag  $250/£230
thinktankphoto.com

Airplane travel isn’t much fun for most people these days, and it is especially un-fun for photographers. Checking luggage? The TSA (and who knows else) almost certainly go through it. So most of us prefer to keep gear in our carry-on luggage. But with carry-on size and weight requirements becoming more and more strict, photographers need a pretty specifically sized bag that is as light as possible in order to get everything on board.

Think Tank’s Airport Advantage rolling camera bag was designed with exactly this in mind. At 12.7 x 19.5 x 7.3 in (32.3 x 49.5 x 18.5 cm) it is designed to meet both US and international carry-on size requirements, and its light 5.9 lb (2.7 kg) weight allows you to pack gear in while staying under weight limits. Depending on layout, the Airport Advantage fits up to 2 gripped DSLRs with 3-4 lenses, and offers a dedicated sleeve for laptops up to 15 in.

Lomography Lomo'Instant Automat Film Camera $150/£129
lomography.com

Does the photographer in your life need to slow down a little? Do they ramble on too often about megapixels, high ISO noise and autofocus points? Could they stand to be entranced by the magic of a slowly appearing instant photo? Then you need to get them the Lomography Lomo'Instant Automat. Using Fuji Instax Mini film, the Lomo'Instant Automat aims to be the most advanced automatic instant camera ever. That said, there are only two exposure modes, automatic and bulb, and two flash modes, on and off.

All the Lomo favorites are here: four-icon zone focusing, color gels, multiple exposures, and add-on accessory lenses. The photos are creamy, dreamy and maybe not all that sharp, but that's kind of the fun of it. As Lomo says, 'Don’t think, just shoot: live fearlessly in the now, be your own inspiration, and create your own universe.'

Ricoh Theta SC $300/£250
theta360.combuy now

The Ricoh Theta SC doesn't quite offer everything its Theta S predecessor does. But it comes with a cheaper price tag and all of the essential features, and it's a great way to try out 360-degree capture without much of a commitment. The Theta SC uses twin spherical lenses with 14MP sensors to capture 360 degree images and video that can be viewed on devices like the Samsung Gear VR, or shared to social media from Ricoh's Theta S app.

Tenba Cooper 13 DSLR $245/£220
tenba.combuy now

Every photographer needs a sleek, functional shoulder bag that isn’t too bulky and doesn’t scream 'steal me.' It’s a market segment that has seen many options over the years. But for the 2016 holiday season, it would be foolish to not take a look at the Tenba Cooper 13 DSLR-sized messenger. Designed to hold a DSLR with 2-3 lenses, the Cooper 13 DSLR’s peach-wax cotton canvas exterior and full grain leather trim checks boxes in the style department. The quick access top zipper, expanding external side pockets, 13" laptop sleeve and silent opening velcro will probably be the features that photographers are most impressed with in use. The Cooper bags are personal favorites at DPR and we highly recommend them.

DJI Osmo Mobile $300/£300
dji.com | buy now

Are you constantly made to watch shaky, nausea-inducing video footage taken by a budding videographer using a smartphone? Let’s face it, smartphones are ergonomic disasters as far as videos are concerned and any shift in grip or slight jostle causes the footage to jump like there was an earthquake.

Enter the DJI Osmo Mobile, a 3-axis gimbal that steadies out even the shakiest footage. Designed to hold phones from the compact iPhone SE to large phablets such as the Google Pixel XL, the Osmo Mobile is simple enough that even children figure out how to use it in minutes. For those who want more control, DJI’s Go app allows changes to shutter speed, ISO and white balance from the phone and the Osmo Mobile’s handle offers physical controls for controlling shooting modes and operation. Throw in a three hour battery life and that’s a lot of steady footage.

WD 2TB My Passport Wireless Pro Portable External Hard Drive $185/£189
wdc.combuy now

No digital photographer is ever going to turn down more storage space. What if that storage space also happened to be battery powered, 802.11ac (5 ghz) Wi-Fi enabled and also include an SD 3.0 card reader? I suspect most photographers would flip at the chance to get their hands on that device.

The WD 2TB My Passport Wireless Pro portable external hard drive is meant to be a compact on-the-go wireless NAS (network attached storage) device for downloading full memory cards in the field and accessing them via wi-fi or USB 3.0 when back at your computer. Its 6400 mAh battery gives up to 10 hours of power (depending on use) and can even be used to charge USB connected devices such as smartphones and action cameras.

Tamrac Nagano 12L Backpack $120
tamrac.com

Who wants to carry 5 lb (2.2 kg) of backpack when they're already carrying 20 lb (9 kg) of gear? Nobody, that’s who. So if you know a photographer who carries a lot of gear on their back, give them the lightweight Tamrac Nagano 12L backpack this year. At a featherweight 2.2 lb (1.0 kg) the Nagano weighs a fraction of similar packs and still holds a DSLR 3-4 lenses and accessories. There’s room for an 11 in tablet or computer or a hydration bladder if liquid is more important than computing. Dual, stretch pockets accommodate a water bottle on one side, and a compact tripod on the other.

Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom CC membership $120/year
adobe.com

There's no denying that Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are the photo editing gold standard. The reason they haven't been replaced by something new is because they remain the best option for most photographers. Yes, great photos can be made, edited and shared without Photoshop or Lightroom. But if the photographer on your list doesn’t have these two programs, you probably can't go wrong giving them the gift of 12 months of access to Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC. They will be able to install the programs on up to two computers and multiple mobile devices. They, and their photos, will thank you.

Categories: News

Atomos releases HDR update for Flame and Blade recorders

DP Review News - Sat, 19/11/2016 - 08:30

Atomos has announced a new OS update for its Flame and Blade series of professional monitor/recorders, with a focus on improving HDR workflows. Atomos’ AtomHDR technology allows users with Log output from their camera to view up to 10.2 stops of dynamic range on the monitor while providing a preview of what graded footage will look like. Atom OS 7.12 adds support for Sony S-Log, FujiFilm Log and Canon C-Log 3 to the list of previously supported Log formats for Panasonic, JVC, Canon, Sony, Red and Arri cameras. The update is available directly from Atomos.

Additionally, Atomos is offering a limited time cash back and trade in program on some of its Flame and Blade products, with total savings of up to $500 on the Shogun Flame (normally $1695), up to $400 on the Ninja Flame (normally $1295), and up to $100 on the Ninja Blade (normally $495). Full details of the program can be found on the Atomos web site, and the promotion ends January 31, 2017.

Press release:

YouTube goes HDR, Atomos HDR upgrade & $500 off for content professionals

Melbourne, Australia – 17th November 2016: Timed with the recent announcement by YouTube for HDR delivery, Atomos announces a new OS update to further broaden HDR compatibility and offers a limited time discount to make the HDR upgrade easier this holiday season.

The HDR wave continues to gather pace with YouTube adding to other content delivery platforms such as Google Chromecast ultra, Sony PS4 Pro, Amazon, Netflix and Vudu in bringing HDR transmission and playback to the growing population of people with HDR compatible TV’s, the leading Christmas gift in 2016. Now the race is on for content developers to create HDR content and with that comes the challenge for creatives to move to a new HDR workflow, in particular to get exposure for HDR in the field accurate. Atomos announces new OS and new promotional pricing to make HDR upgrading easier this holiday season;

  • AtomHDR technology across the Inferno, Flame and Blade Series Pro Monitor/Recorders gives users with a Log output from their camera 10.2 stops of dynamic range, along with our patent pending HDR waveform & HDR slider to make setting exposure for HDR delivery precise, yet simple.
  • •New OS 7.12, which is a free download, broadens Log support to include Sony S-Log, FujiFilm Log and Canon C-Log 3 in addition to previous support for Panasonic, JVC, Canon, Sony, Red and Arri log curves.
  • A limited time cash back and trade-in program which gives up to $500 cash back on the AtomHDR range. This brings the price of our HDR, High bright monitor-recorders down to non-HDR, monitor only prices;
    • Shogun Flame MSRP $1695, down to $1395 w/cash back or $1195 w/cash back & Shogun trade-in
    • Ninja Flame MSRP $1295, down to $1095 w/cash back or $895 w/cash back & Shogun trade-in
    • Ninja Blade MSRP $495, down to $395 w/cash back or $320 w/cash back & Ninja2 trade-in
  • The flexibility of both SDR and HDR in the one unit. Expose correctly for HDR in the field but grade the recorded log footage for either HDR or SDR delivery. Those with an eye on HDR for the future but delivering SDR now, will benefit greatly with less noise in their footage by exposing their log footage away from the noisy end of the sensor.

“We are super pumped about YouTube and others move to HDR. They see what we see, HDR is the next big advancement for consumers around the world in imaging” said Jeromy Young, CEO and Co-founder of Atomos, “Now creative filmmakers and photographers alike need AtomHDR in the field to make sure they expose correctly and don’t screw up their shoot before finishing!”

The new pricing & functionality targets a move across to HDR, but the AtomHDR platform does not exclude SDR/Rec709 workflows. It in fact improves it! Exposing Log for HDR = cleaner SDR images ensuring you expose in the cleanest part of the sensor. The 1500 nit high-bright panel also improves SDR workflows making outdoor monitoring a breeze. The Atomos award winning AtomHDR monitors are best in class both now and the future.

For details on the cashback and trade in offers go to: https://www.atomos.com/offers/hdr-upgrade

Shogun Flame and Ninja Flame free OS update can be downloaded from https://www.atomos.com/firmware

Categories: News

Blackmagic Design announces update to Video Assist monitors

DP Review News - Sat, 19/11/2016 - 08:30

Blackmagic Design has announced a software update to its 5-inch Video Assist and 7-inch Video Assist 4K monitor/recorders. Video Assist 2.3 allows users to load up to six 3D LUTs when monitoring on their devices, making it possible to view output from cameras in a form that approximates the final color grade of the footage.

In addition, the update adds several features to the 5-inch Video Assist that were previously only available 7-inch Video Assist 4K model. These include the ability to record DNxHD and DNxHR files in MXF format, improved compatibility with Avid systems running on Windows, false color monitoring to accurately judge exposure in different parts of the image, and additional options for customizing focus peaking indicators.

Video Assist 2.3 can be downloaded from the Blackmagic website.

Press release:

Blackmagic Design Announces New
 Video Assist 2.3 Update

Major update adds new 3D LUTs, focus assist features and improved DNxHD and DNxHR support!

InterBEE 2016, Tokyo, Japan - November 18, 2016 - Blackmagic Design today announced Video Assist 2.3, a major new update for Blackmagic Video Assist customers that adds 3D LUTs to both models. This update also adds features to the 5” Blackmagic Video Assist including improved DNxHD and DNxHR support, false color monitoring, expanded focus options and new screen rotation features. The Video Assist 2.3 update is available for download now from the Blackmagic Design website and is free of charge for all Blackmagic Video Assist customers.

Video Assist 2.3 Update is being demonstrated at InterBEE on the Blackmagic Design booth 8216.

Customers using the Video Assist 2.3 update can now load up to six 3D LUTs when monitoring video on set with their 5” or 7” Blackmagic Video Assist. 3D LUTs have become an important part of digital filmmaking because they transform the camera images into a look that closely approximates the final look the director wants. The benefit of monitoring with 3D LUTs is that the crew can see the footage as the director intends it, and it’s completely non destructive because the original camera footage remains untouched. The six x 3D LUTs can be stored and recalled at any time by the user and this new feature is available on both the 5” Blackmagic Video Assist model and the 7” Blackmagic Video Assist 4K model.

For customers using the 5” Blackmagic Video Assist model, this update adds new features that were previously released only on the 7” Blackmagic Video Assist 4K model.

These new features include the ability to record to DNxHD and DNxHR files in MXF format which improves compatibility with Avid systems running on Windows. In addition, customers can now choose between DNxHD 220, 145 and 45 bit rates, or between DNxHR HQ, SQ and LB formats when recording.

The Video Assist 2.3 update also adds false color monitoring exposure tools to the 5” Blackmagic Video Assist model. False color exposure tools make it easier to properly set exposure in different parts of the image by highlighting specific color ranges of luminance with a solid color overlay. For example, green indicates neutral grey, while pink tones are good references for skin, which is typically one stop over neutral grey. Using false color helps camera operators keep exposure consistent from shot to shot.
In addition, Video Assist 2.3 update also expands the options for focus assist so customers can now choose whether they want to see red, green, blue, black, white or traditional focus peaking indicators. This makes it easier for customers to accurately adjust focus in a wider range of scenes and under a variety of different lighting conditions. Customers will now also have the ability to manually control the screen orientation and turn off the auto rotate feature which makes it easier for customers to use the 5” Blackmagic Video Assist model with handheld gimbals and other equipment designed to move the camera and rig simultaneously.

“Blackmagic Video Assist is perfect for customers that need better monitoring and higher quality recording,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “This new update adds incredible LUT monitoring to both models, and brings some of the same powerful high end features from the 7” Blackmagic Video Assist 4K model to customers that have the 5 inch Blackmagic Video Assist model. We think the massive number of features on the 5 inch Video Assist model is amazing when you consider it only costs $495! Thats why Blackmagic Video Assist has become an essential part of every filmmakers toolkit because they help customers shoot and capture higher quality video with everything from DSLRs to older tape based camcorders, and even the latest digital film cameras!”

Availability and Price

Blackmagic Video Assist 2.3 update is available now and is a free download from the Blackmagic Design website.

About Blackmagic Video Assist 4K

Introduced at NAB this year, the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K is a portable all in one monitor and video recorder that can be used to add professional recording and monitoring to any SDI or HDMI camera. It features a bright, high resolution 7 inch screen for checking focus and framing, two high speed UHS-II recorders that work with the latest high performance SD cards for non-stop HD and Ultra HD recording. Blackmagic Video Assist 4K has multi rate 6G-SDI BNC connectors for input and output, HDMI in and out, two extremely high quality XLR microphone inputs for professional audio recording, a built in speaker, DC power, dual slots for two LP-E6 batteries and more.

About Blackmagic Video Assist

Blackmagic Video Assist is a portable professional monitor and recorder that can be used with any SDI or HDMI camera. It features a 5” full resolution HD monitor that helps you get perfect focus and framing, along with a professional ProRes and DNxHD recorder that uses high speed SD cards and saves files compatible with all modern NLE software. Blackmagic Video Assist has multi rate 6G-SDI inputs and outputs via DIN 1.0/2.3 connections, as well as HDMI in and out. It features a single SD card slot for recording HD resolution video. The touchscreen allows settings, histogram, audio meters, timecode display and much more. Blackmagic Video Assist works with DC power and has dual slots for two LP-E6 batteries.

Categories: News

How fast were you going? GoPro HERO5 Black videos can now include GPS and telemetry data overlays

DP Review News - Fri, 18/11/2016 - 19:46

GoPro has updated its Quik desktop software with a new feature that enables HERO5 Black camera owners to overlay GPS and telemetry data onto their videos. This data is gathered by the camera’s various sensors during recording, and provides an extra layer of information for viewers, including things like the date and time the video was recorded, the altitude, elevation gain, and distance in miles or kilometers. 

The data overlays are customizable, and include resizable graphs and the ability to choose which data is included in the video. In addition to the aforementioned data, the overlays can also include a compass to show the camera’s orientation, speed, a speed graph with activity spikes, the GPS path and position pinpoints, and G-Force levels.

The Quik desktop editing software is available for 64-bit PCs running Windows 7 or newer and Macs running macOS 10.10.X or later. PCs are advised to have at least an Intel Core i3 processor and Macs should have at least an Intel Dual Core, though Core i7 processors are recommended for both.

Via: GoPro

Categories: News

GekkoGum is an adhesive mount for action cams and smartphones

DP Review News - Fri, 18/11/2016 - 18:48

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A new crowdfunding project on Kickstarter is looking to raise funding for the production and distribution of the GekkoGum camera support. GekkoGum is made from an odorless and grease-free rubber compound that is malleable and does not stick to your fingers but, according to its makers, has a retaining force comparable to gecko feet. This means you can use it to attach your action camera or smartphone to any surface or object within a matter of seconds. It won't stick to silicone though.

GekkoGum comes in a storage pouch and can be cleaned with water to remove superficial dirt. It does not shrink or become brittle over time and keeps its characteristics for many years. The recommended maximum camera weight is 200 grams which includes most common action cams and smartphones. You can now secure a GekkoGum by pledging €15 (approximately $16) on the project's Kickstarter page. Shipping is envisaged for January 2017.

Would you feel comfortable sticking an expensive device to a wall using GekkoGum? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: News

The transgender body in art: finding visibility 'in difficult times like these'

Amid bigotry and intimidation, transgender artists create images to empower their communities and normalize the myriad complexities of their experiences

Captain Wright, one of the subjects in transgender artist Ria Brodell’s paintings, lived until his death in 1834 with Mrs Wright and an abundance of rabbits. They were “respectable gentlefolks”, according to Brodell’s extensive research. When Captain Wright died, his neighbors were astonished to learn that he had a body that would be assigned as female. Demoted to a “creature” by the newspaper, his body attracted a crowd of curious spectators. Captain Wright is one in Brodell’s series Butch Heroes, which reimagines historic men who were assigned as female in the format of Catholic holy cards. The portraits – some of which are currently on view at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle as part of the show Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects – are touching and amusing at times. They speak eloquently to the fraught history and present of the transgender community.

Related: Zanele Muholi’s best photograph: out and proud in South Africa

Related: Passion and persecution: photographing Bangladesh's outcasts

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Categories: News

Was wild Mapplethorpe just another guy with a camera?

Juergen Teller’s selection of Robert Mapplethorpe shots restores the shock. But some of these pairings are more Carry On than cool still life

I like taking photographs. I am actually starting to love taking them. I like looking at photographs, too, and sharing them. But I still can’t quite take photography seriously as art. When I walk into a gallery where photographs are the only thing on the wall, my heart sinks. Normally at an exhibition, I am the person looking longest, staring hardest. It seems impossible ever to give enough time to powerful art, to ever to fully fathom an installation by Richard Serra, let alone a painting by Rembrandt.

But in a room full of framed prints, I’m the one giving each picture just a quick look before moving on. I’m the shallowest person in the room. I can’t understand what is detaining people, what everyone can see in all these elegantly mounted pictures. I’m bored and I want to go home.

Related: 'He was a sexual outlaw': my love affair with Robert Mapplethorpe

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Categories: News

‘I was never a big oat eater’: Jeremy Young poses with a bowl of Porage Oats, 1967

There wasn’t actually porridge in the bowl – they used some kind of cigarette. It has become family legend that it was a joint

This photograph was taken when I was about seven years old. I did a bit of modelling for a few years back then. My parents were fairly skint: we were two adults and five children living on a sailing barge in Kent. My father sold office equipment and my mum homeschooled us. They had some friends who were photographers and they suggested we could make some extra money by modelling. Some of my siblings tried it, but I was the most amenable.

This advert for Scott’s Porage Oats was shot in a studio in Chelsea, west London. There wasn’t actually porridge in the bowl. The photos took so long to get right and they needed to keep the steam going, so they used some kind of cigarette. It has become family legend that it was a joint: I remember my mother saying that there was a wacky smell and that the photographer was quite leftfield, but she disputes that now. I definitely have a hypnotic, spaced-out look that I don’t have in other pictures of me as a kid.

Related: ‘The army was guarding the runway’: the 1948 British evacuation of Palestine

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Categories: News

Woof! Sony a6500 sample images are here

DP Review News - Fri, 18/11/2016 - 16:00

We just wrapped up an action packed two days of photography in Austin, Texas* with the new Sony a6500. After shooting thousands of frames with the new camera, the a6500 is looking seriously impressive. 

We'll be publishing an in-depth shooting report soon. Based on our initial use, in most respects the a6500 feels like a slightly refined evolution of the a6300 - but the touchscreen is a huge let down. It's simply not very responsive. More on that soon. For now, we've published a gallery of JPEG sample images and we'll add converted Raw samples as soon as possible. 

* At a Sony-sponsored event, for photo press. 

Categories: News

Sensuality, apocalypse and map-making – the week in art

Colossal new Anselm Kiefer works arrive in London, while Juergen Teller curates the work of Robert Mapplethorpe – plus the rest of the week’s art happenings

Anselm Kiefer
The most powerful artist of our time unveils colossal new paintings about mortality and the end of the world.
White Cube Bermondsey, London, 23 November-12 February

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Categories: News

Best photos of the day: op art and wintry weather

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world including Bridget Riley’s Red Return and snow in Derbyshire

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Categories: News

Sport picture of the day: airborne at the Rally Australia shakedown

Andreas Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jaeger fly through the dust filled air in their VW Polo R WRC during the shakedown before Rally Australia 2016. The Norwegian pair won five of the opening six speed tests south of Coffs Harbour to finish the day top of the leaderboard, 15.4sec ahead of their team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia

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Categories: News

Best place to live in Britain? Your photos of Skye

An online poll deemed the Isle of Skye the most desirable place to live in the UK. Our readers share their photos and stories of living there

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Categories: News

Eyewitness: Mosul, Iraq

Photographs from the Eyewitness series

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Categories: News

2016 Holiday Gift Guide: up to $100

DP Review News - Fri, 18/11/2016 - 11:00
2016 Holiday Gift Guide: up to $100 

Shopping for photographers is hard. In fact, shopping in general is hard. We'd like to help everyone involved out a little bit, whether you're shopping for a photographer or taking a break from the stress of holiday shopping to #treatyoself. Our first round of gift suggestions make for great stocking stuffers that won't put a strain on your budget.

Rode VideoMic Me phone mic $59/£47
rode.com | buy now

One of the fastest and easiest ways to polish your video work is to improve the sound quality. While phones may be able to put a 4K video camera in your pocket, their microphones are made for voice calls, not Hollywood. Since carrying an external audio recorder around for mobile videos is somewhat impractical, allow me to suggest the Rode VideoMic Me.

The VideoMic Me is a compact and lightweight directional microphone that connects right to a smartphone's headphone socket (sorry, iPhone 7/7 Plus users). The mic’s directional pattern will keep ambient noise at a minimum and make your subject’s audio easier to hear. There is a passthrough 1/8 in (3.5 mm) headphone jack on the back that allows audio monitoring while recording (app dependent). It even comes with a tiny 'dead cat' windscreen for shooting in adverse weather.

BlackRapid Breathe Sport Camera Strap $82/£82  
blackrapid.com | buy now

When hiking or engaging in other fast-paced activities, photographers are often stuck with their camera stabilized, but inaccessible in a pack, or having it accessible, but bouncing and swaying around on a camera strap. BlackRapid’s Sport Breathe strap is designed specifically to help avoid that problem.

Available in right or left hand versions (so make sure you get the correct one), the Breathe’s ergonomic, moisture-wicking pad is designed to be slung over the photographer’s shoulder with the camera hanging upside down on their opposite hip for quick and easy access. A second strap crosses under the user’s armpit and further stabilizes the camera when needed.

Domke F-5XB Shoulder Bag - Ruggedwear $80/£72
tiffen.com | buy now

Not every camera bag needs to be able to carry as much gear as a pack mule. Many photographers enjoy shooting with one camera body and a couple small fast primes, or just own a small mirrorless kit for travel. Either way, a small tough bag is a handy accessory to have around.

While bag designs come and go, the Domke F-5XB quietly keeps on doing its job. Perfectly sized for a small body and a lens or two, the F-5XB can be carried with its 'gripper' shoulder strap or attached to a belt as a waist-pack. The Ruggedwear fabric sheds water much better than the old canvas Domke bags, and like your favorite pair of jeans, it will look even better as it ages.

Agua By Miggo 'stormproof' water resistant camera bag $68/£44
mymiggo.com 
buy now

Living in the Northwest, I’m quite familiar with rain. I’m also quite familiar with the hassles involved with trying to keep camera gear dry while out in that rain. Waterproof camera bags either have giant stiff zippers or slow and frustrating roll-top closures. Neither lends itself to giving you easy access to your gear.

Miggo’s Agua bags are designed to protect a camera in the harshest downpour, but still keep it accessible for when the clouds part and that double rainbow appears. With a clever split open design, double layer impact and moisture protection, and an IPX3 water resistance certification, the Aqua 45 keeps the elements at bay.

Amazon Basics Circular Polarizer 77mm $16/£13
amazon.com | buy now

A circular polarizer is something that many beginner photographers do not understand and thus, do not bother with. I see far more photographers out and about with $2000 lenses than I do using the humble polarizing filter. Perhaps they would change their tune if they saw just what a difference a polarizer can make for colors, glare and reflections.

High-end polarizers can be very expensive, particularly for 77mm F2.8 zoom lenses. While you can certainly find higher quality filters than the Amazon Basics Circular Polarizer, at $16 you won’t find a better value for the money. Every photographer should give one of these a try and see what a polarizer can do for their photography.

Datacolor Spyder5Express $100/£85
spyder.datacolor.com | buy now

As photographers, we go through a tremendous amount of work to create our images. We huddle freezing in the mud waiting for the perfect mountaintop sunrise, we spend hours adjusting every studio light just-so and we even risk getting soaked at a children’s birthday party water balloon fight. Why then, would a photographer take a chance that their hard-won image would end up with incorrect colors by the time it makes it to the printer or social network posting?

Color calibration isn’t the most glamorous aspect of photography (though, come to think of it, neither is waiting in the freezing mud). But if photographers want their photos to accurately reflect the colors they captured, they need to make sure that their monitor is displaying them correctly. Give the photographer in your life the gift of accurate color with the Datacolor Spyder5Express.

The Spyder5Express’s simple 4 step process takes just minutes to to calibrate a monitor with its 7-detector optical engine. Seeing the before and after examples right there on their own monitor will make any photographer wonder why they waited so long to calibrate.

Peak Design Cuff wrist strap $20/£20
peakdesign.com | buy now

Not everyone needs a shoulder/neck strap for their camera. Sure, they leave a photographer’s hands free. But they can be bulky, snag on things, and dangle into the shot from time to time. Sometimes all one needs is something to make sure the camera can’t be dropped off a cliff.

The Peak Design Cuff strap is simple, lightweight and foolproof. Installed or removed in seconds with Peak Design’s clever anchor attachments, the Cuff takes up a tiny corner of a camera bag and yet can save thousands of dollars of camera gear. It can even be worn as a bracelet to keep it at hand in between uses.

Cam Caddie Scorpion Jr. Video Camera Stabilizing Handle $25
camcaddie.combuy now

Cameras these days can capture exceptionally high video quality. Everything from DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, GoPros and even phones offer 1080p and even 4K resolution. However, almost none of them are designed ergonomically for filming. They can be difficult to keep level over the course of a long shot and impossible to hold steady while moving.

If you have a budding Steven Spielberg in your life, take a look at the Cam Caddie Scorpion Jr. camera stabilizing handle. It can hold cameras up to 2kg/4.5lbs, has a comfortable foam grip and an adjustable accessory shoe for mics, small monitors and LED lights. With a little luck, you’ll never be forced to watch shaky drifting video footage again.

Canon Selphy CP1200 dye sublimation printer $96/£96 
canon.combuy now

Despite living in an age of Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest, most folks still get a little thrill when they get a printed photo. My children think a printed photo is such a novelty that it MUST be a special thing and fight over who gets to keep it. Inkjet printers can provide amazing quality, but ink is expensive, the prints are damaged by moisture and the print jets can clog without regular use. Digital printing is inexpensive and quick at photo labs, but if there isn’t a lab nearby, slow mail order may be the only option.

The Canon Selphy CP1200 offers an excellent middle ground. At the price of an inexpensive inkjet, the CP1200 is a printer that can output 4 x 6 prints in at little as 47 seconds. Because the dye sublimation process is water resistant, just like a photo lab print, the prints will be protected from both liquid and little sticky hands. Media for the CP100 includes both the paper and dye ribbon. At $28 for 108 sheets, prints come out to $0.26 each.

PhotoMemo Photographer’s Memo Book 2pk $10
shootfilmco.com

Looking for a stocking stuffer? These PhotoMemo Photographer’s Memo Books are designed for a photographer’s note taking needs. Each two-page spread is designed as a 'roll journal,' which has space to record shooting data, camera/lens choice, film type, and more. It also offers ample area for free notes, sketches, lists, and anything else.

The books measure 13.9 x 9.5 cm/5.5 x 3.75 in and has 22 2-page spreads (48 pages in all). The cover paper is 100lb Neenah Environment Desert Storm paper, and the pages are 60lb Finch Opaque Smooth archival quality paper. Okay, so it’s a little more useful for film shooters, but for those who enjoy the retro feel, like to record shooting info, or heck, still shoot film, the PhotoMemo is a clever little memo book.

Categories: News

World view: close to nirvana in north-east Thailand

A Buddha reclines … in Wat Pa Phu Kon, an enormous recently built temple in Thailand’s Udon Thani province. This image is from National Geographic’s latest photography book

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Categories: News

DJI publishes film shot entirely with Inspire 2 drone

DP Review News - Fri, 18/11/2016 - 09:00

A couple days ago DJI introduced a pair of new drones with some very impressive specifications, especially when it comes to video. One could even argue that DJI just leapfrogged traditional camera manufacturers when it comes to video capabilities, and impressively so.

To highlight the potential of the new Inspire 2 drone, DJI worked with cinematographer Claudio Miranda, ASC (Life of Pi) to produce a 13-minute short film called The Circle, shot entirely on the Inspire 2. It’s an impressive piece of work and gives you a sense of what the new drone and camera are capable of.

If you want to learn more, Dan Chung over at NewsShooter has published a short article exploring the implications of these new drones and cameras, including some behind-the-scenes videos from the filming of The Circle. There's also a video with the colorist who graded the film from Raw footage shot on the Inspire 2. If you’re interested in aerial photography, or even where video technology on small cameras is headed, it’s worth a look.

Categories: News
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