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Review: DJI's Air 2S is the ultimate consumer drone

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 17 apr 2021 - 16:00

Arriving just one year after its predecessor, the Mavic Air 2, the Air 2S is DJI's newest mid-range consumer drone. The new model sheds the familiar Mavic branding in favor of a shorter naming scheme, following the lead of DJI's Mini 2 model, but receives some significant upgrades in return. Most notably, the Air 2S features a camera with a 1"-type sensor – something that was previously exclusive to DJI models costing over $1,500.

Whereas the Mavic Air 2 emphasized resolution over sensor size, with features like 48MP stills and 8K hyperlapse modes, the Air 2S pivots in the direction of image quality; its larger 20MP sensor easily outperforms the camera on the Mavic Air 2 and addresses one of the most frequent requests from users.

The downside is that the retail price of the Air 2S is $200 more than the Mavic Air 2, coming in at $999. The good news is that the Mavic Air 2 will continue to sell alongside the new Air 2S, so consumers can choose the option that best fits their needs – not to mention their budget.

There's also a Fly More combo that includes two additional batteries, a charging hub, a set of three ND filters, and a shoulder bag for $1299. The addition of ND filters to the Fly More combo should please a lot of users as they're a common add-on purchase.

Key Features
  • 20MP, 1"-type CMOS sensor
  • 22mm (equiv.) lens with 88º FOV and fixed F2.8 aperture
  • 5.4K/30p, 4K/60p, and 1080p/120p video
  • H.264 and H.265 recording at 150 Mbps
  • 10-bit D-Log and HDR video capture
  • Raw and JPEG image capture
  • OcuSync 3.0 (O3) image transmission (12 km range)
  • Four-way obstacle avoidance
  • APAS 4.0
  • 'MasterShots' cinematic capture mode
  • 'RockSteady' electronic image stabilization
  • 31-minute flight time
  • 595g (1.3 pounds) total weight
Compared to...

On paper, the Air 2S compares favorably to both the Mavic Air 2 as well as the more expensive Mavic 2 Pro.

DJI Air 2S Mavic Air 2 Mavic 2 Pro Price $999 $799 $1599 Camera

20MP, 1"-type sensor

22mm equiv. F2.8 (fixed)

48MP, 1/2-inch sensor

24mm equiv. F2.8 (fixed)

20MP, 1"-type sensor

28mm equiv. F2.8-11

Video transmission OcuSync 3.0 (O3), 4 antennas, 12 km, 1080p OcuSync 2.0, dual antenna, 10 km, 1080p OcuSync 2.0, dual antenna, 10 km, 1080p Video resolution 5.4K/30p, 4K/60fps 4K/60p 4K/30p Video bit-rate 150 Mbps 120 Mbps 100 Mbps Log video 10-bit D-Log, HDR video (10-bit) HDR video (8-bit) 10-bit D-Log, HDR video (10-bit) APAS version (Advanced Pilot Assistance System) APAS 4.0 APAS 3.0 APAS 1.0 Obstacle avoidance Forward, Backward, Downward, Upward Forward, Backward, Downward Forward, Backward, Downward, Left, and Right Flight time 31 minutes 34 minutes 31 minutes Dimensions 180×97×80 mm 180x97x84 mm 214×91×84 mm Weight 595g 570g 907g

There's no question the improved camera alone warrants an upgrade. In fact, the Air 2S one-ups the Mavic 2 Pro in an important area. The Mavic 2 Pro could record 4K video using the full width of its sensor, but it did so using pixel binning. As a result, the best 4K footage was obtained by shooting from a native crop of the sensor, which also narrowed the camera's field of view.

In contrast, the Air 2S captures 5.4K video using the full width of the sensor – with no pixel binning – resulting in more detailed video capture. The upgraded sensor appears to put the Air 2S on par with the prosumer Mavic 2 Pro. Or does it? Let's take a look at what the Air 2S has to offer and determine if it's a must-have for hobbyists and professionals alike.

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Aircraft and controller

At 180x97x80 mm folded down, the DJI Air 2S has a frame that’s almost identical to the Mavic Air 2 and can fit in the palm of your hand. What’s noticeably different is that the 2S has obstacle avoidance sensors placed on top of the drone.

The Air 2S (L) and Mavic Air 2 (R) side-by-side. The Air 2S boasts a camera with a larger 1"-type sensor plus upward obstacle avoidance sensors.

In fact, DJI has equipped the Air 2S with four-way obstacle avoidance detection and APAS 4.0 – the latest iteration of an autopilot system that automatically avoids, and will fly around, obstacles it encounters, when recording up to 4K/30p footage. There is also an auxiliary light on the bottom of the aircraft to aid in takeoff and landing during low-light situations.

The Air 2S uses the same remote as the Mavic Air 2.

DJI has opted to use the same remote that powers the Mavic Air 2 and Mini 2. It doesn't have external antennas, and it can still be a challenge to attach a smartphone. However, it's comfortable to hold and includes everything you need to operate, including a gimbal wheel plus buttons to instantly start and stop taking photos and video. It’s easy to switch between Cine, Normal, and Sport Modes while the Return to Home feature is instantly accessible.

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Photos and video

The camera on the Air 2S has a 20MP, 1”-type CMOS sensor, mounted on a 3-axis gimbal stabilized with the 'RockSteady' EIS system introduced on DJI’s FPV drone. It has a 22mm (equiv.) fixed-aperture F2.8 lens with an 88º FOV.

Until now, getting a 1"-type sensor on a DJI drone required you to purchase a much more expensive model like the Mavic 2 Pro or Phantom 4 series. So the fact that it's now available on a model costing under $1,000 is notable. Where the camera on the Air 2S differs from the Mavic 2 Pro is that the Hasselblad color profile is not included.

The camera on the Air 2S uses a 1"-type CMOS sensor capable of 20MP photos and up to 5.4K/30p video.

Like its predecessor, the Air 2S is powered by the DJI Fly app. The pared down, intuitive menu showcases all the photo modes on the same screen. Single, SmartPhoto, AEB (in brackets of 3 and 5 images), and Burst mode can be easily accessed. The shutter allows up to an 8-second exposure, and together with DJI's RockSteady EIS, make's low-light, night time, and motion blur photos possible.

The shutter allows up to an 8-second exposure, and together with DJI's RockSteady EIS, make's low-light, night time, and motion blur photos possible.

SmartPhoto mode, which uses computational photography technology similar to smartphones, automatically gives you an ideal image using one of the following methods, depending on lighting conditions:

  • HDR photos: The camera automatically captures seven different exposures and combines them for greater dynamic image.
  • Hyperlight: Images taken in low-light conditions tend to be grainy and contain noise. Hyperlight takes multiple photos and merges them for a clearer image.
  • Scene recognition: This mode allows the drone to recognize five major components of a photo – sunsets, blue skies, grass, snow, and trees. It will analyze these objects and maximize tone, clarity, and colors.

DJI's RockSteady EIS makes it possible to capture night shots with long exposure and motion blur.
ISO 200 | 6 sec | F2.8

The Air 2S allows you to record video at resolutions up to 5.4K/30p, 4K/60p, and 1080p/120p at 150Mbps with either the H.264 or H.265 codec. You can also zoom up to 4X at 4K/30p, 6X at 2.7K/30p, 4X at 2.7K/60p, 6X at 1080p/60p and 8X at 1080p/30p. That's an upgrade from the Mavic Air 2, which maxed out at 4K/60p and 120 Mbps (which is still impressive in its own right).

This video shows an example of 5K/30p video captured on the Air 2S.

One area where the there's a big difference between the Air 2S and Mavic Air 2 is support for HDR and Log video. The Mavic Air 2 could capture HDR video but was limited to 8-bit, and it didn't include a Log gamma profile. In contrast, the Air 2S includes 10-bit D-Log and 10-bit HLG capture in addition to the Normal (8-bit) color profile for video. That's a substantial upgrade for serious video shooters.

Also, as noted above, the Air 2S captures 5.4K video using the full width of its sensor, with no pixel binning, for detailed video capture. That's a step up from the Mavic 2 Pro which could record 4K video using the full width of its sensor, but did so using pixel binning. As a result, the best 4K footage on that model was obtained by shooting from a native crop of the sensor, which also narrowed the camera's field of view.

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The DJI Fly app and flight modes

The Air 2S uses the DJI Fly app, which was first introduced with the Mavic Mini. Unlike the DJI GO 4 app, which is more fully-featured and suitable for prosumer drones, they Fly app was created with newer pilots in mind. It's easy to navigate and basically every photo and video setting you need is right on the same screen.

When switching out of Auto mode and into Manual, or Pro mode, in this case, the bottom-right-hand corner gives you sliders that allow you to adjust white balance, ISO, shutter speed, and choose JPG or Raw+JPG imagery. Resolution can be adjusted on the video end.

DJI's Fly app is pared down, simple, intuitive, and easy to navigate.

Three dots on the upper-right-hand corner of the app will allow you go deeper into the main settings. This is where you can select which video color profile you'd like, whether you wish to brake in front of or bypass obstacles, which codec you prefer, and how high an altitude or far a distance you'd prefer the drone to fly.

A new feature called MasterShots has been introduced as a way for pilots to generate professional-grade footage that's ready to share on social by simply selecting a few parameters, such as proximity and portrait or landscape orientation. DJI has equipped the Air 2S with ActiveTrack 4.0 and Point of Interest 3.0 for increased accuracy in tracking subjects during automated flights. The usual QuickShots, including Dronie, Circle, Helix, Rocket Asteroid and Boomerang are included.

This is an example of a completed MasterShots sequence, complete with title and music, that was automatically edited together using the DJI Fly app.

I tried the MasterShots feature and have mixed feelings about it. Upon launching it, a notification to 'watch out for obstacles' immediately appears. The drone then autonomously launches into a series of pre-programmed shots including Dronie, Rocket, and Boomerang along with some other sweeping movements. It's best to focus on a static object versus a moving one as the Air 2S will lose track of the latter.

I paused the flight two separate times while a MasterShot was in progress because I was afraid it was going to fly into the side of a mountain I was close to, and over moving traffic in another location. Anyone wanting to test out this feature should make sure they're at a high enough altitude that the drone won't encounter a tree or building as the Air 2S tends to pitch down at one point during the recording.

I aborted this MasterShots sequence to avoid having the drone fly over a highway with vehicles, but it it illustrates how MasterShots runs the drone through a series of pre-programmed shots.

MasterShots was made with the casual consumer and beginning pilot in mind. Select shots are stitched into a final clip and music is automatically added in for something that can be instantly shareable on social channels from the DJI Fly app. This is not likely to be something a professional with access to Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or similar software will be interested in using, but they're also not the market DJI is targeting with this new feature. Finally, it only works in Auto mode which makes for some potentially awkward lighting switches.

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What's it like to fly?

The first thing anyone will notice when operating the Air 2S is that the drone is incredibly quiet. It's clear that DJI has updated the electronic speed controllers and continues to create more aerodynamic propellers for a noticeably more pleasant experience. It maneuvers well too. Unfortunately, it doesn't hold up in moderate to high winds. In low winds, however, it's steady. RockSteady EIS image stabilization makes low-light imagery especially easy to capture.

What impressed me most was the improved APAS 4.0, the latest version of DJI's Advanced Pilot Assistance System, which maneuvers the drone above, below, or to the side of an obstacle. With the Mavic Air 2, I felt that APAS was a bit lacking. This version of the technology worked seamlessly. In the example below, it flew above a tree and then to the side, missing every branch. Keep in mind, this feature works on 4K/30p video and below.

This clip shows APAS 4.0, DJI's Advanced Pilot Assistance System, in action as the drone navigates around the tree. APAS 4.0 is noticeably improved over previous versions.

Overall, everything feels vastly improved and more more reliable. Hyperlapse, especially, looks much cleaner and more stable on a 1"-type sensor coupled with RockSteady EIS. I was impressed with how easy it was to get smooth footage on a mildly windy day.

Hyperlapse sequence captured on the Air 2S. Odds and ends

Equipped with OcuSync 3.0 (O3) transmission technology, the Air 2S can fly at a distance up to 12 km (7.45 miles) when free of obstacles or interference. Like its predecessor, it supports both 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz frequency bands. The maximum flight time clocks in at 31 minutes in ideal conditions, on par with the Mavic 2 Pro but less than the 34 minutes the Mavic Air 2 offers. It can travel up to 68.4 km/h (42.5 mph) in Sport mode.

The Air 2S supports memory cards up to 256GB and also has 8GB of onboard internal storage should you forget a card or run out of space. Equipped with ADS-B, pilots are warned when manned aircraft are nearby. One feature I appreciated was the fact that the Air 2S automatically returned to home after losing its connection, even as the remote screen remained dark.

The Air 2S Fly More combo includes a set of ND filters that help create better videos and hyperlapses. A simple twist attaches them to the camera.

I would also recommend considering the Fly More combo – particularly since it now includes ND filters, which are very helpful for shooting video and hyperlapses.

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Who's it for?

DJI has created a top-of-the-line consumer-grade drone with the Air 2S. To have access to a camera with a 1"-type sensor that is capable of capturing 20MP imagery and video up to 5.4K/30p, for under $1,000, is truly remarkable. While the camera doesn't include the vibrant Hasselblad color profile of the Mavic 2 Pro, it still produces decent color. Imagery feels cleaner and crisper compared to past models, overall.

The Mavic 2 Pro (right) is slightly larger and heavier than the Air 2S. It can fly in more turbulent conditions, and at higher altitudes, but costs significantly more as well.

With that context, what does it mean for the Mavic 2 Pro, DJI's other foldable drone with a 1"-type sensor? Professionals shouldn't write off the Mavic 2 Pro just yet. Slightly larger, heavier, and sturdier, it can withstand high winds like its larger peer, the Phantom 4 Pro. It also has obstacle avoidance sensors on each side making it more suitable for inspections and other high risk gigs that require maneuvering in tight or treacherous areas. Let's not forget the adjustable aperture either.

The Air 2S would be a terrific drone for a professional to take to a wedding, for example, particularly with its quieter props. However I wouldn't dream of taking it with me to shoot around a high rise building, where winds get stronger the higher you ascend, or to a boat race where it would be whipped around. The Air 2S is built for more casual situations.

The Air 2S would be a terrific drone for a professional to take to a wedding, for example, particularly with its quieter props.

With its fixed aperture and user-friendly features, the Air 2S is still targeted more towards everyday consumers and those who want a solid option to get into drone imaging. DJI isn't going to cannibalize its professional and prosumer lines of drones by allowing it to operate in the same manner. MasterShots and some of the QuickShots features were created for travelers and content creators who want to capture impressive imagery and share it instantly. The Fly app has even been updated to make adding a soundtrack and subtitles easy for anyone.

Final thoughts

The release of the Air 2S is a strong indication that next Mavic Pro (or even Phantom or Inspire) will see significant bumps in features and capabilities. Also, with Remote ID finalized, DJI has a lot of incentive to start rolling out some new models that both hobbyists and professionals have been wanting for the past few years.

I tested DJI's Fly More combo, which includes two additional batteries plus a set of ND filters, and was thrilled to be able to carry the entire set around in a bag the size of a small purse. I can imagine a professional commercial pilot wanting one of these for fun or impromptu shoots, especially now that it includes a 1"-type sensor. This really is an ideal solution for travel and on-the-go content creation.

What we like
  • 1"-type CMOS censor
  • 5.4K/30p video with 10-bit D-Log and HLG support
  • Quiet flight
  • Improved APAS 4.0 performance
  • Ability to shoot long exposures
What we don't
  • Fixed aperture lens
  • Can be unsteady in windy conditions
  • 1080p recording in Quick and MasterShots modes
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Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Fujifilm XF 18mm F1.4 R LM WR sample gallery (DPReview TV)

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 17 apr 2021 - 16:00
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You've watched the video, now see the stills that Chris and Jordan took while reviewing a pre-production version of Fujifilm's brand new XF 18mm F1.4 R LM WR wide-angle lens. This lightweight lens, which is equivalent to 27mm on X-mount bodies, impressed our DPReview TV friends. Check out their photos to find out why.

View DPReview TV's Fujifilm XF 18mm F1.4 gallery

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Missing hiker rescued after Twitter user tracks him down using his last-sent photo

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 16 apr 2021 - 20:18
Photo via Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

A photo may very well have saved a missing hiker's life this week. 46-year-old hiker Rene Compean was reported missing near Mount Waterman in southern California on Monday evening. After disseminating a photo online that Compean had sent to a friend earlier on Monday, authorities located Compean on Tuesday.

While hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains, located about 50 miles northeast of Los Angeles, Rene Compean realized he was lost. His cellphone battery was dying, so he snapped a photo of his feet hanging over rocks and sent the image to his friend, along with the message that he was lost. Compean's friend alerted authorities and provided them the image later that day.

Unfortunately, Compean had disabled location tracking on his phone, something he says he will not do moving forward after his ordeal, so the image's metadata was unhelpful in locating the missing hiker. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department took to social media and solicited assistance to ascertain Compean's location.

A radio operator, Benjamin Kuo, saw the post and went to work. By Tuesday morning, Kuo had compiled a Twitter thread of detailed maps and used 3D terrain information to determine where he thought Compean had captured his photo. Kuo sent the images and the coordinates to the authorities, and Compean was located that afternoon in Angeles National Forest with no apparent injuries.

A low-resolution version of the photo that was used to find Compean. Posted to Facebook by the Los Angeles Country Sheriff’s Department.

After receiving Kuo's tip, Air Rescue 5 went out to check the area Kuo pinpointed. Sure enough, Compean was quickly located. 'I think, at least for our team, we haven't had anything exactly like this,' said Sergeant John Gilbert, a Sheriff's Department spokesman.

In an interview with NBC in Los Angeles, Kuo said, 'I've got a very weird hobby, which is, I love taking a look at photos and figuring out where they're taken.' Compean and Kuo met virtually later this week, and Compean told Kuo, 'I crazy appreciate what you did…I really don't know if I could make it there another day. It was just so cold.' Kuo replied, 'From the image in the background below your shoes, I was able to figure out where you were – pretty close.'

Compean thinks that recent wildfires in the area may have destroyed signage, leading to him leaving the established trail. Sgt. Gilbert said that it was a good thing Compean was located quickly. 'It's steep, it's rugged, it's remote,' Gilbert said of the area where Compean had gotten lost. Although it's not clear what Compean's level of experience is, Gilbert remarked that rescue services have been tested during the pandemic as many novice and beginner hikers are hiking more. It's great for people to get out and enjoy nature, but there are, of course, inherent risks to hiking, especially in remote areas.

Photo via Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

'When we find these people, they're making some very basic mistakes,' said Gilbert. He implores beginner hikers and those hiking alone to tell others where they'll be and what their hiking timeline is. It's also never a bad idea to buy a satellite beacon or messaging device, as many remote areas have limited cellular service. For Rene Compean, it was fortunate that he could send a message and image to his friend using his cellphone. He was also lucky that Benjamin Kuo saw the Sheriff Department's call for help.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Gudsen updates Moza Slypod Pro electric monopod arm with longer reach, better battery

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 16 apr 2021 - 17:38

Gimbal manufacturer Gudsen has updated its Moza Slypod electronic monopod, adding a longer extension, faster motion and better battery life. The Moza Slypod Pro is essentially a motor-driven monopod that allows videographers to create smooth slider and jib-style camera movements using automatically extending telescopic tubes.

The Slypod Pro can be controlled via the Moza App to extend the telescopic tubes at a given pace to allow mounted cameras to slide across the scene, towards or away from the subject, or to raise or lower the shooting angle. In this new version the range of movement has been increased, allowing a shift from start to finish of up to 53cm/21in, and the speed at which the camera can be moved has been increased to 40mm per second. A further improvement over the previous models is the 4 hour battery life, which can be supplemented with USB power via an external battery pack.

Made of carbon fiber, to keep the weight down, at 1460g it is still heavier than the previous Slypod and Slypod E due to the extra extension, and probably the bigger battery. It can support kit of up to 2kg for horizontal movement and 6kg when being asked to move vertically.

The Slypod can be linked to the Moza Aircross 2 gimbal to allow both devices to be controlled from the same app when the gimbal is mounted on the Slypod, allowing the camera to move in many more directions at the same time.

The Slypod Pro stores at 650mm and extends to a maximum of 1180mm, and comes with an Arca Swiss type mount instead of the Manfrotto mount used on the original Slypod and the E version. The company is launching the Pro version via a Kickstarter campaign that exceeded its very modest funding goal almost immediately. The campaign is offering the Slypod Pro for $459, with an estimated shipping date of May 2021. For more information see the Moza Slypod Kickstarter campaign page or the Gudsen Moza website.

Press release

MOZA Announces Launch of Slypod Pro – World’s First Electronically Adjustable Monopod

Imaging solutions experts MOZA, just announced the launch of Slypod Pro – an innovative electronically adjustable monopod for phone and camera photography. This impressive new monopod combines an electric slider & jib arm that lets users capture amazing photos at any angle and with smooth transition effects. Now, there is an affordable way for anyone to achieve professional results easier than ever. Slypod Pro is available now live on Kickstarter.

This impressive new device is more than just a monopod. It’s a 3-in-1 monopod that combines an electronic slider & fully adjustable jib arm that lets users capture amazing photos at any angle and with smooth transition effects. As the world’s first electronic height adjustable monopod, Slypod Pro can be controlled with just one hand. Its motorized slider is internally geared and silky smooth, and extends out 530mm for a total length of 1460mm. It provides rock-steady support for perfectly smooth motion shots and compelling video.

With Slypod Pro, there are no more lost moments. The slider and jib arm can be placed at any angle and camera position. Previously impossible angles become easy to achieve for photos that come to life from new creative perspectives. Users can find the perfect shot by extending the slider in and out for compelling video and high camera angles.

Slypod Pro Redefines motion control when combined with the MOZA Master App other MOZA's products such as the MOZA AirCross 2 gimbal to capture dynamic motion footage, and seamless cinematic shots with perfect stability.

“Collapsible monopods are a great option when it’s impractical to carry a bulky tripod. Combined with extensions and jib arms, they allow users to capture stable images at a variety of camera angles. At MOZA, our goal with Slypod Pro was to create the ultimate monopod, one that combines the smoothness of an electronic slider with a versatile jib arm for greater control and creativity. Fully electronic, Slypod can be operated with just one hand, or remotely by app. It gives users the features normally found in high-end photography gear, in a compact, portable and affordable option. Slypod Pro redefines the monopod so that you save time, streamline the photo process, and never, ever miss a shot.” Terry Guan, Founder Of MOZA

Sometimes the best photos happen without being behind the camera so the included MOZA Master APP works with smartphone to enable total control of the monopod to operate the motorized slider, perform precise movements at variable speeds and pre-program movements so users can concentrate on creativity instead of setup.

This full-featured monopod is durable and strong but made for portability. With a rigid carbon fiber body, and tri-legged support stand, it works on any surface. When it’s time to leave the studio and capture location shots, or during travel, the monopod collapses to a compact size that is lightweight, easy to carry and fits in a backpack.

SlyPod Pro supports most of the mainstream entry-level or pro-level photo and video cameras and other camera accessories for versatility and professional results and is available now on Kickstarter with special pricing for early adopters. To learn more visit the campaign here:

Note/disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project before backing it. Pledges to crowdfunding campaigns are not pre-orders. DPReview does not have a relationship with this, or any such campaign, and we publicize only projects that appear legitimate, and which we consider will be of genuine interest to our readers. You can read more about the safeguards Kickstarter has in place on its ‘Trust & Safety’ page.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Slideshow: Large format film portrait series wins Sony World Photography Awards

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 16 apr 2021 - 15:27
Sony World Photography Awards

A British photographer shooting on an 8x10in film camera has scooped the $25,000 top prize in the Sony World Photography Awards. Craig Easton won the professional section of the contest with a series of pictures that sets out to challenge the simplistic way in which places that have a diverse population are represented in the media. The black and white series shows a wide range of people from, and views of, a district called Top Bank on the outskirts of Blackburn, Lancashire in the UK, and forms a part of Easton’s contribution to the Kick Down The Barriers project that aims to take back control of the way the whole town of Blackburn is represented.

Easton’s prize includes $25,000 in cash as well as ‘a range of Sony’s digital imaging equipment’. Each of the three top-placed winners in each of the ten professional categories were also announced, along with the winner of the Open category and the Youth and Student awards. Winners of each category win Sony camera equipment, and the 2nd and 3rd placed get published in the Sony World Photography Awards book. The Open winner gets $5000 and Sony kit, while the Student winner gets $30,000 worth of equipment for their institution, and the Youth winner also gets camera kit.
For more information and to see all the winners and runners-up, visit the World Photography Awards website.

Overall Winner Professional section and Portraiture

Image Name: Mohammed Afzal, the Birdman of Bank Top, Blackburn, 2020

Photographer Name: Craig Easton

Year: 2021

Image Description:

Series Name: Bank Top

Series Description: Bank Top, a collaboration with writer and academic Abdul Aziz Hafiz, examines the representation and misrepresentation of communities in northern England, and focuses on a tight-knit neighbourhood in Blackburn. Craig Easton notes that Blackburn has become synonymous with the use of words such as segregation (BBC Panorama) and integration (The Casey Review) by the media and policy makers – terms which he believes are too simplistic to explain the challenges faced by such neighbourhoods and towns. His aim with Bank Top is to confront what he sees as dominant discourses in the media which fail to acknowledge the historical legacy and social costs of industrial expansion and colonialism. This long-form collaboration uses the stories and experiences in Bank Top to address wider issues around social deprivation, housing, unemployment, immigration and representation, as well as the impact of past and present foreign policy.

Copyright: © Craig Easton, United Kingdom, Photographer of the Year, Professional, Portraiture, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Winner, Architecture

Image Name: 09

Photographer Name: Tomáš Vocelka

Year: 2021

Image Description:

Series Name: Eternal Hunting Grounds (Pet Crematorium by architect Petr Hajek)

Series Description: The former Drnov military complex has been abandoned for 17 years when two friends, Martin Chlum and Michal Seba, bought the dilapidated facility in order to realise their dream of building a final resting place for pets. Explaining the reason for pursuing this project one of the owners reflects: ‘When my dog died, I found that there weren't any places where I could take him for cremation or burial’. With the help of Czech minimalist architect Petr Hajek they established what is now known as the Eternal Hunting Grounds, a space comprising a mourning hall, a crematorium and approximately 40 hectares of surrounding land where wildlife can thrive.

Copyright: © Tomáš Vocelka, Czech Republic, Winner, Professional, Architecture & Design, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Winner, Creative

Image Name: 01

Photographer Name: Mark Hamilton Gruchy

Year: 2021

Image Description:

Series Name: The Moon Revisited

Series Description: This body of work is made up of previously unprocessed images from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I have made my own images to express not only contemporary issues but also some that were relevant at the time of the Apollo missions. These are sourced from copyright-free materials that I have repurposed, processed and composited to create a conversation about the unchanging aspect of the Moon contrasted with the Earth, which continues to be a dynamic place where change cannot be prevented. With thanks to NASA and the JPL.

Copyright: © Mark Hamilton Gruchy, United Kingdom, Winner, Professional, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Winner, Documentary

Image Name: 3

Photographer Name: Vito Fusco

Year: 2021

Image Description:

Series Name: The Killing Daisy

Series Description: The pyrethrum is known as the ‘flower of death’ – a nickname that neatly describes this delicate daisy imbued with murderous power. The pyrethrum is cultivated mainly in the hills of Nakuru in Kenya and is the arch foe of the insect world. When insects encounter the substance they are stunned into paralysis and then die. Used for centuries as a natural insecticide, it was only in the mid-20th century that pyrethrum made an impact on the global pesticides market, earning an eminent position among natural insecticides. During the 1980s, the pyrethrum crisis began, instigated by the chemical synthesis of pyrethroids that led to the manufacturing of cheaper but non-organic products. Today, however, this special daisy is being grown once again on the clay hills of Nakuru at an altitude of over 1,500m. The Kenyan government has decided to liberalise the production of pyrethrum, opening it to private companies in an ambitious attempt to revive the sector and help local farmers meet the growing global demand for organic products. Once sown, the plant provides a yield approximately every 15 days, all year round.

Copyright: © Vito Fusco, Italy, Winner, Professional, Documentary Projects, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Winner, Environment

Image Name: 3

Photographer Name: Simone Tramonte

Year: 2021

Image Description:

Series Name: Net-zero Transition

Series Description: The coronavirus pandemic has led to the most severe economic downturn the world has seen in recent years. However, this crisis also presented countries with an unprecedented opportunity to shift towards sustainable living. Iceland is isolated and challenged by a harsh climate and following the financial crisis in 2008 has successfully transformed its economy through the use of renewable energy. In a few decades, the country moved away from fossil fuels to producing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. This transition nurtured an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship that grew profitable businesses aiming to make minimal impact on the environment. Thus Iceland has become a global leader in technologies that foster clean energy and emission reduction. This small nation presents many ways in which the global climate crisis can be tackled and is leading the transition to a net-zero sustainable future.

Copyright: © Simone Tramonte, Italy, Winner, Professional, Environment, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Winner, Landscape

Image Name: 10

Photographer Name: Majid Hojjati

Year: 2021

Image Description:

Series Name: Silent Neighborhoods

Series Description: Everything in life is made up of impressions from the past and whatever befalls us today. The fabric which took one form yesterday takes on a new form now. All creatures still fight for their survival. Nature is the battlefield. The forces of the world are as they have ever been; the waves of the sea, storms, the earth itself. But ultimately it is humanity, marching everywhere, claiming everything, proving to the world that it will endure. We strove to live, to take and to control, before even knowing what to call ourselves. We think we will last forever so we hunt, build, wear clothes and consume, changing our ideas and our tools over the years but never changing our ways. We chased after more and more and something was always left behind. Homes were abandoned, chairs left empty and clothes unworn, even the buttons of a shirt were lost. We have raced to eternity, knowing life is fleeting, leaving the lights on behind us as if to say that once upon a time we were alive. Here are the silent neighbourhoods: those places free of the presence of humanity. The noise of their silence can be heard everywhere – but here in these places we are condemned to hear nothing.

Copyright: © Majid Hojjati, Iran, Winner, Professional, Landscape, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Winner, Portfolio

Image Name: Jack at Sheepwash

Photographer Name: Laura Pannack

Year: 2021

Image Description:

Series Name: Portfolio Overview

Series Description: These images are from a variety of personal projects. All of my work is driven by research and building a connection with those I photograph, while vulnerability and honesty are at the forefront of my process. Such collaborations enable my imagery to be playful and push the boundaries of portraiture, while ensuring a foundation of trust is consistent. I believe images need to captivate and evoke emotion, and so, with every frame I shoot, I consider the elements within the frame and outside it. Symbolism is an important reference for my choices of composition and content.

Copyright: © Laura Pannack, United Kingdom, Winner, Professional, Portfolio, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Winner, Sport

Image Name: Inclusive Karate School in Syria_4

Photographer Name: Anas Alkharboutli

Year: 2021

Image Description:

Series Name: Syria: Sport and Fun Instead of War and Fear

Series Description: In the Syrian village of Aljiina, near the city of Aleppo, Wasim Satot has opened a karate school for children. What makes it special is that girls and boys with and without disabilities are taught together. They’re aged between six and 15 years old. With his school, Satot wants to create a sense of community and overcome any traumas of war in the minds of the children.

Copyright: © Anas Alkharboutli, Syrian Arab Republic, Winner, Professional, Sport, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Winner, Still Life

Image Name: Still Live with Ginger Jar

Photographer Name: Peter Eleveld

Year: 2021

Image Description:

Series Name: Still Life Composition, Shot on Wet Plate

Series Description: For this project I used ordinary objects, like glassware, fruits and flowers and applied the wet plate collodion technique to turn them into something extraordinary. Once I found my subject I started imagining how it will look printed. This particular process requires a lot of patience and careful planning of composition, lighting and exposure times. The hard work pays off when finally it all comes together in one unique, magical moment as you watch the photograph slowly develop in front of your eyes. This moment doesn’t happen all the time but when it does you’re left with one of a kind image (plate).

Copyright: © Peter Eleveld, Netherlands, Winner, Professional, Still Life, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Winner, Wildlife and Nature

Image Name: 4

Photographer Name: Luis Tato

Year: 2021

Image Description:

Series Name: Locust Invasion in East Africa

Series Description: Desert locusts are the most destructive migratory pests in the world. Thriving in moist conditions in semi-arid to arid environments, billions of locusts have been feeding throughout East Africa, devouring everything in their path, and posing a huge threat to the food supply and livelihoods of millions of people. Farmers stand by as armies of ravenous insects eat their crops; meanwhile, herders watch the rangelands stripped bare before their livestock can get to them. Extreme rainfall events and severe weather anomalies have created ideal conditions for locust breeding and feeding. Swarms of desert locusts from the Arabian Peninsula began rampaging across East Africa in early 2020, devouring crop and vegetation where they landed. The crisis reached historic proportions, with 10 countries in the Greater Horn of Africa and Yemen experiencing infestations. Some areas of East Africa, such as Kenya, had not seen such severe desert locust outbreaks in more than 70 years. Covid-19 restrictions have significantly slowed efforts to fight the infestation, as crossing borders has become more difficult, creating delays and disrupting the supply chains of pesticides and products needed to prevent these pests from wiping out vegetation across the region and exposing millions of people to high levels of food insecurity.

Copyright: © Luis Tato, Spain, Winner, Professional, Wildlife & Nature, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Winner, Open section and Creative catergory

Image Name: African Victorian

Photographer Name: Tamary Kudita

Year: 2021

Image Description: With this image, I wanted to portray a hybrid African-Victorian: my way of probing the stereotypical contextualisation of the black female body. I provide an alternative version of reality, where dualities fuse to create a new visual language. Taking a Victorian dress and merging it with traditional shona cooking utensils was my way of showing a multifaceted identity.

Copyright: © Tamary Kudita, Zimbabwe, Open Photographer of the Year, Open, Creative, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Winner, Youth and 'Composition and Design' category

Image Name: No Escape From Reality

Photographer Name: Pubarun Basu

Year: 2021

Series Description: I created this picture with the idea of representing the feeling of being trapped in a moment, or in one's own reality. I saw the curtains as the fabrics of the space-time continuum, which those two hands fail to break out of. The shadow cast by the parallel railings on to the fabric also gives the impression of a cage, in which the entity is trapped for eternity.

Copyright: © Pubarun Basu, India, Youth Photographer of the Year, Youth, Composition and Design, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Winner, Student section

Image Name: HW and Olwethu after a long day herding cattle on horses

Photographer Name: Coenraad Heinz Torlage

Year: 2021

Image Description:

Series Name: Young Farmers

Series Description: I was born on a farm in South Africa, and grew up with cattle, horses, donkeys and chickens, many of which I still own and love to this day. Farming is an intense occupation that requires passion and unwavering dedication. I set out to photograph young people who choose this life because, like me, they believe they have a responsibility. This sits heavily on all of our shoulders. South Africa is an unpredictable land with severe droughts, safety concerns and debates around land ownership. Despite these challenges, young farmers are working toward a fairer and more equitable future of sustainable food security. They are my peers, my friends and my family, and this is our time to feed the nation.

Copyright: © Coenraad Heinz Torlage, South Africa, Student Photographer of the Year, Student Competition, 2021 Sony World Photography Awards

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Taking a closer look at the new Canon RF 400mm F2.8 and 600mm F4L I.S.

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 16 apr 2021 - 15:00
Hands-on with new Canon RF 400mm F2.8 / 600mm F4L I.S.

Canon has announced two new telephoto prime lenses for the RF mount. The RF 400mm F2.8L IS USM and 600mm F4L IS USM have the same optical makeup as their EF-mount equivalents, which were released relatively recently, in late 2018.

Click through for a closer look at these two new telephoto options for RF.

Optical makeup

Optically, the new RF 400mm and 600mm F2.8 are identical to their EF counterparts, with 17 elements in 13 groups, including one Super UD and two fluorite special elements, along with Super Spectra and Air Sphere coatings. The big news when the EF versions were announced in late 2018 was their weight, or rather their lack thereof: both lenses were around 1kg (~2 lbs) lighter than their Mark II predecessors. The new RF versions are fractionally heavier, but it's a matter of 40-50 grams.

The new RF lenses are also slightly longer, to account for the shorter flange-back of the RF mount. The 'extension' compared to the EF versions is finished in a glossy bare metal.

Same optics, new mount

Here's a closer look at the finish of the 600mm F4L's mount. The shiny metal also helps to quickly distinguish the RF version from its otherwise identical EF counterpart.

Will these new RF telephotos will offer superior performance on RF bodies compared to the EF versions with an adapter? Maybe...

While the communication protocols for EF and RF are similar, the RF standard uses 12 contacts (an increase from 8 for EF) and Canon claims that data throughput is faster than EF. As such, data should in theory move faster between camera and lens in an RF camera + RF lens combination, compared to an RF camera + adapter + EF lens combo. This may pay off in aspects of performance such as superior autofocus accuracy at very high frame rates, but we'll have to wait and see.

Focus and customization options

Both of these lenses are designed for professional sports and wildlife work, but that doesn't mean that they'll only be pointed at distant subjects. The minimum focus distance on the 400mm F2.8 is 2.5m (8.2 ft) and 4.2m (13.8 ft) on the 600mm F4. The maximum magnifications are a useful 0.17x and 0.15x, respectively.

As we'd expect from professional-grade sports telephoto lenses, both lenses offer a degree of customization, with programmable focus hold buttons, limiters to restrict the focusing range to reduce hunting, and a focus preset option that allows you to 'snap' a control ring left or right to immediately jump to a pre-programmed focus distance. That focus preset ring can also be used to manually focus the lens in 'PF', or power focus, mode. The extent to which you turn the ring varies the speed of the electronically-driven focus, while the direction you turn it dictates whether focus shifts toward or away from the camera.

One control point that's conspicuously absent from the RF 400 and 600mm lenses is a Control Ring of the kind that we've become used to seeing in native RF glass. Presumably this decision was taken with an eye to manufacturing efficiencies (keeping the EF and RF lenses as similar as possible).

5.5EV of optical image stabilization

Canon claims that the optical I.S. systems in the new 400mm and 600mm reduce camera shake by up to 5.5 stops regardless of which RF-mount body you're using. This means that you won't see any I.S. performance benefit from shooting on a newer Canon RF body with in-body image stabilization like the R5, R6 or the forthcoming R3. This is presumably because they were developed alongside the EF versions, which predate Canon's in-body IS system and the protocol through which in-lens and in-body IS can work collaboratively.

For extra reach, both also support Canon's RF 1.4x and 2x teleconverters.

Weather-sealing and signature white finish

As with all Canon L-series lenses, the 400 and 600 are rugged and weather-sealed, and have a fluorine coating on the front element to repel oil and water. Here you can see the 400mm F2.8L I.S with its included hood attached. At the extreme right, on the top of the lens barrel you'll see one of the two sprung silver buttons which unlocks a tray for drop-in filters.

Final thoughts

There has been some confusion in DPReview comment threads about why these lenses even exist, when they're optically identical to the existing EF versions, which can easily be adapted to RF bodies. There are two likely answers. One is that as lenses designed specifically for professional use, the addition of an adapter (an additional point of failure) may have been considered undesirable. Not to mention the cludge of having an adapter stacked with an RF 1.4X or 2X teleconverter, when extra reach is required.

The second explanation is that Canon developed these optical formulations from the beginning with the intention of using the designs for both EF and RF lenses. It's probably not a coincidence that the original EF versions were launched alongside the original EOS R.

This 'same glass but dual mount' approach minimizes the need for additional tooling and helps keep costs under control. As for why the EF versions became available 2 years ago, well, maybe that's just when they were ready.

The RF 400mm F2.8L and 600mm F4L are almost ready, and will be available in July priced at $12,000 and $13,000, respectively.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

The absolute beginner’s guide to film photography: Less common camera types

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 16 apr 2021 - 15:00

Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex cameras – along with Yashica and Mamiya TLRs – can still be found in working order on the used market for a fair price. They offer an excellent gateway to medium-format shooting.

Image: Chia Ying Yang

The number of different types of film cameras can be confusing to a newbie film photographer. In an earlier installment of our Absolute beginner’s guide to film photography, we explored the most common types of film cameras, and in this article, we’ll cover some of the less common types that are still in use.

Twin-lens reflex film cameras

Twin-lens reflex cameras (TLRs) were common as walk-around cameras before the rise of rangefinders and SLRs. TLRs have two lenses of the same focal length, one for the viewfinder (the viewing lens) and one that focuses an image onto the film (the image-capturing lens). Most have a 45-degree mirror behind the viewing lens which directs the image up to a ground-glass viewfinder; the photographer holds the camera at waist level and looks down to take the image. Though there are 35mm TLRs, the bulk of them use medium-format 120-size roll film. Most have fixed lenses but some offer interchangeable lenses.

Older consumer-grade TLRs that takes 120 film can be an inexpensive gateway into medium-format photography

Because the mirror doesn’t need to move, TLRs tend to be quieter and less obtrusive than SLRs, and many are nearly vibration-free. However, they can be tricky to use, as left-to-right movements are reversed in the top-down viewfinder. TLRs also can suffer from parallax error, meaning that close-in subjects may not be framed in the photo as they appear on the viewfinder.

A 1960's advertisement for the Yashica Mat-124 TLR.

Image: Nesster

Twin-lens reflex cameras today

TLRs don’t always get the love they deserve, particularly among beginner film photographers. Classic twins, particularly those made by Rollei (Rolleiflex), Yashica, and Mamiya, are valued for both their aesthetics and quality. Older consumer-grade TLRs that takes 120 film can be an inexpensive gateway into medium-format photography.

View cameras

A Sanderson 'Hand' view camera from the late 19th century.

Image: Nabokov / Wikipedia

You’ve probably seen view cameras on TV or in movies – those old-timey cameras with big bellows and a photographer hiding under a dark cloth. View cameras date back to the 1840s, and nearly two hundred years later their configuration hasn’t changed much. They consist of two flat boards, known as standards, one of which supports the lens and the other supports the viewing screen and film holder, connected by flexible accordion-like bellows.

View cameras are primarily made in small quantities, often by hand, and are among the most expensive film cameras

View cameras are usually large-format cameras, which means they use film cut into individual sheets (rather than rolls) in sizes from 4 x 5” to 8 x 10” or larger. They require skill to operate but can produce extremely high-quality images that can be enlarged to a massive degree, and the ability to tilt or shift the lens board allows perspective correction. Because of their bulky size and the time it takes to set up a shot, these large-format cameras are best suited to studio or landscape work. View cameras are primarily made in small quantities, often by hand, and are among the most expensive film cameras.

View cameras today

Though it’s very much a niche form of analog photography, view cameras are still being made, and there are plenty of used examples on the market.

'Antique' box and folder film cameras

A Kodak Retina 1 folder camera from the 1930s.

Image: Bernt Sønvisen

A lot of 35mm SLRs are old enough to be considered antiques, but here we’re talking about cameras from the pre-World-War-II era – primarily box cameras and folders. Box cameras, introduced by Kodak in 1888, are about as simple as can be – a box with a roll of film at one end and a lens at the other. Most have minimal (or no) exposure controls, which require matching film speed to the conditions in which you’ll be shooting. Folding cameras have bellows that allow them to be folded flat when not in use; when opened, they often look like miniature view cameras.

Antique cameras today

These cameras are commonly found in antique stores, and thanks to their mechanical simplicity, many still work. Some take 120 film, which is still made; others take 620 film, which is 120 wound on a different-sized spool. Film For Classics re-spools 120 film onto 620 rolls, which they sell through several retailers. And the Film Photography Project sells 620-size reels for re-spooling your own film. Folding may suffer from light leaks in their bellows, which are easily repairable.

Underwater film cameras

The Nikonos V underwater camera debuted in the 1980s.

Image: Rama / Wikipedia

Just as the name implies, underwater film cameras are made for use while submerged. As with digital cameras, it was possible to buy both water-tight enclosures for film cameras, as well as dedicated underwater shooters. Perhaps the best-known of these was Nikonos, a series of underwater film cameras made by Nikon between 1963 and 2001, but Canon and Minolta made underwater cameras as well.

Underwater cameras today

There are no new underwater film cameras being made – aside from disposables in waterproof housing – but as with other types of 35mm cameras, there are plenty on the used market. Just be aware, waterproof gaskets don't always age well.

Moreover, with the once-in-a-lifetime nature of underwater photography, a moderately-priced digital point-and-shoot is a more sure-fire way to get your pictures.

About Film Fridays

Our 'Absolute beginner’s guide to film photography' is an educational series of articles focused on demystifying the ins and outs of analog photography. Geared toward those discovering (or re-discovering) film, the series will cover everything from gear, to technique and more. View all of the articles in our guide here.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Slideshow: 2021 World Press Photo Contest winners

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 15 apr 2021 - 17:43
2021 World Press Photo Contest winners

Today, category winners of the 2021 World Press Photo of the Year competition were announced. 45 photographers from 28 countries were selected by an independent jury including representatives from National Geographic and Reuters. World Press Photo seeks to highlight the best visual journalism from the following categories: Contemporary Issues, Environment, General News, Long-Term Projects, Nature, Portraits, Sports and Spot News.

'For the past 66 years, we have been supporting, celebrating and putting the spotlight on the important stories and those who make them...We’re looking forward to sharing these stories with our community of over four million people in our Exhibition 2021, the yearbook, and on our online channels. It is by seeing one story that we can start to feel another person’s reality. That is what the power of visual storytelling means to us,' said Joumana El Zein Khoury, executive director of the World Press Photo Foundation.

You can browse the entire library of prize-winning images on the World Press Photo contest page.

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES - FIRST PRIZE, SINGLES: 'Yemen: Hunger, Another War Wound' by Pablo Tosco (Argentina)

Caption: Fatima and her son prepare a fishing net on a boat in Khor Omeira bay, Yemen, on 12 February.

Story: Fatima has nine children. In order to provide for them, she makes a living off fishing. Although her village was devastated by armed conflict in Yemen, Fatima returned to resume her livelihood, buying a boat with money she earned from selling fish. The conflict—between Houthi Shia Muslim rebels and a Sunni Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia—dates from 2014, and has led to what UNICEF has termed the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

Some 20.1 million people (almost two-thirds of the population) required food assistance at the beginning of 2020, with approximately 80 percent of the population relying on humanitarian aid. A Saudi coalition blockade on Yemen between 2015 and 2017 imposed import restrictions on food, medicines, and fuel. Resulting shortages exacerbated the humanitarian crisis.

In many cases, conditions of near-famine were caused not so much by the unavailability of food, but because it became unaffordable, priced out of reach to most Yemenis by import restrictions, soaring transport costs due to fuel scarcity, a collapsing currency, and other man-made supply disruptions. In 2020 conflict intensified, and the situation was made worse by unprecedented heavy rainfall, which made some 300,000 people homeless, locust infestations that destroyed crops, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES - FIRST PRIZE, STORIES: 'Sakkawood' by Alexey Vasilyev, Russia

Caption: Twins Semyon and Stepan perform in the roles of dulgancha, mythical swamp creatures, in The Old Beyberikeen With Five Cows, in Sakha, Russian Federation, on 9 August 2019. It is their first part in a film.

Story: The people of Sakha, a republic in the far northeast of the Russian Federation, live in a remote area with extreme weather conditions: temperatures can drop as low as -50°C in winter. Although Sakha, which is also known as Yakutia, extends over more than three million square kilometers, its population numbers barely 950,000 people, around 50 percent of which are ethnic Sakha (or Yakuts).

Art has become a way of showcasing and preserving Sakha culture, traditions, and stories. Cinema has flourished there since the 1990s. Around seven to ten feature films are shot a year, by a local movie industry lightheartedly dubbed ‘Sakhawood’. Genres range from romantic comedies and crime movies to fairy tales and local legends. Most movies are made in the Yakut language, and subtitled in Russian.

Production budgets range from US$12,000 to US$120,000. Many actors have no professional training, although some have worked in theater, and directors and camera crew frequently attend film school in Moscow or elsewhere. The films are enormously popular locally but have also met wider success.

In recent years, Sakha cinema has been represented in film festivals in Finland and South Korea, among others, and the films have picked up numerous awards.

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES - SECOND PRIZE, STORIES: 'Islamic State’s Yazidi Survivors' by Maya Alleruzzo, United States, Associated Press

Caption: Photographs of Yazidis slain in 2014 by Islamic State militants are found in a small room at the Lalish Temple, above the town of Shekhan, in northern Iraq, on 12 September 2019. According to CIJA investigators, when Yazidis were seized, IS registered them, photographed the women and children, categorized women into ‘married’, ‘unmarried’, and ‘girls’, and decided where they would be sent. Initially, the thousands of captured women and children were handed out as gifts to fighters who took part in the Sinjar offensive, in line with IS’s policy on the spoils of war.

Story: In August 2014, the group known as Islamic State (IS) launched an attack on the heartland of the Yazidi community at the foot of Sinjar Mountain, in northern Iraq. IS sees Yazidis as heretics and therefore a valid target for extermination, in their vision of a new caliphate ruled by Sharia law.

From 2014 until US and Iraqi forces began liberating the region in 2017, a slavery economy operated in IS-held territory. In recent years, reports have emerged across the media of women and children handed out as gifts and sold as slaves, for a stipend of around US$50 per slave and US $35 per child. In May 2020, Associated Press reported that although some 3,500 slaves had been freed, most ransomed by their families, some 2,900 Yazidis remained unaccounted for.

The United Nations has called the attacks an act of genocide against the minority group. The independent Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA), which has been investigating IS in Iraq since 2015, has now built up a substantial body of evidence and first-hand witness accounts in order to construct case files that identify ranking IS members as responsible for atrocities, including genocide and other crimes against humanity.

ENVIRONMENT - FIRST PRIZE, SINGLES: 'California Sea Lion Plays with Mask' by Ralph Pace, United States

Caption: A curious California sea lion swims towards a face mask at the Breakwater dive site in Monterey, California, USA, on 19 November.

Story: California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) are playful animals, native to western North America. With COVID-19 lockdowns in place across California, outdoor and natural beauty spots with plenty of wildlife became a popular focus for local travel. In many countries the wearing of face masks outdoors was obligatory.

Similar destinations around the world became littered with abandoned masks. The BBC reported an estimated 129 billion disposable face masks and 65 billion throwaway gloves being used each month through the pandemic. Such personal protective equipment (PPE) can be mistaken for food by birds, fish, marine mammals, and other animals. PPE also contains plastic, and so contributes to the eight million tons of plastic that end up in the oceans every year.

According to World Animal Protection, every year an estimated 136,000 seals, sea lions, and whales die from plastic entanglement. Surgical masks break down into millions of microplastic particles over time, which are eaten by fish and other animals, and therefore carry contamination back up the food chain, potentially also affecting humans.

ENVIRONMENT - FIRST PRIZE, STORIES: 'Pantanal Ablaze' by Lalo de Almeida, Brazil, Panos Pictures, for Folha de São Paulo

Caption: Firefighters combat a fire outbreak at the São Francisco de Perigara farm, which is home to one of the largest populations of Hyacinth macaws (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) in Brazil, on 14 August 2020. About 92 percent of the farm area, mostly dedicated to preservation, was destroyed by the fire.

Story: Nearly a third of Brazil’s Pantanal region—the world’s largest tropical wetland and flooded grasslands, sprawling across some 140,000 to 160,000 square kilometers—was consumed by fires over the course of 2020. According to Brazil's National Institute for Space Research, there were triple the amount of fires in 2020 compared to 2019. Fires in the Pantanal tend to burn just below the surface, fueled by highly combustible peat, which means they burn for longer and are harder to extinguish.

The Pantanal, which is recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve and is one of Brazil’s most important biomes, is suffering its worst drought in nearly 50 years, causing fires to spread out of control. Many of the fires started from slash-and-burn farming, which has become more prevalent due to the weakening of conservation regulation and enforcement under President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration.

The Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) has seen its funding reduced by around 30 percent. Bolsonaro has frequently spoken out against environmental protection measures, and has made repeated comments undermining Brazilian courts’ attempts to punish offenders. Environmentalists say that this is encouraging agricultural burning and creating a climate of impunity.

Luciana Leite, who studies humanity’s relationship with nature at the Federal University of Bahia, predicts the total collapse of the Pantanal, if current climate trends and anti-environmental policies persist.

GENERAL NEWS - FIRST PRIZE, SINGLES: 'The First Embrace' Mads Nissen, Denmark, Politiken/Panos Pictures

Caption: Rosa Luzia Lunardi (85) is embraced by nurse Adriana Silva da Costa Souza, at Viva Bem care home, São Paulo, Brazil, on 5 August.

Story: This was the first hug Rosa had received in five months. In March, care homes across the country had closed their doors to all visitors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing millions of Brazilians from visiting their elderly relatives. Carers were ordered to keep physical contact with the vulnerable to an absolute minimum. At Viva Bem, a simple invention, ‘The Hug Curtain', allowed people to hug each other once again.

The new coronavirus had first appeared in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019, and by January 2020 had begun to spread around the world. On 11 March, the World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. The disease—transmitted mainly via close contact, respiratory droplets, and aerosols—could be fatal, and people over the age of 70 were one of the groups considered most vulnerable to the disease.

Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, dismissed claims about the severity of the pandemic and the danger posed by the virus, undermined quarantine measures adopted at state level, and encouraged Brazilians to continue working to keep the economy afloat. Brazil ended 2020 with one of the worst records globally in dealing with the virus, with some 7.7 million reported cases and 195,000 deaths.

GENERAL NEWS - FIRST PRIZE, STORIES: 'Paradise Lost' by Valery Melnikov, Russia, Sputnik

Caption: A rocket remaining after the shelling of the city of Martuni (Khojavend), Nagorno-Karabakh, lies in a field, on 10 November 2020, the day the peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan came into effect.

Story: Conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh resumed in September, after a lull of 30 years. When the Soviet Union was crumbling at the end of the 1980s, ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, part of Azerbaijan, took advantage of the power vacuum and voted to join Armenia.

Fighting intensified after the Soviet Union finally dissolved in 1991, and continued until a ceasefire in 1994. More than 20,000 people died and a million people, both Armenian and Azerbaijani, had to leave their homes. Victorious Armenians declared an independent state. In the intervening 30 years, little has been done to resolve the status of Nagorno-Karabakh and there have been periodic military clashes between the two sides.

A July 2020 border clash triggered massive protests in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, with thousands of demonstrators calling for the country to go to war with Armenia. Renewed hostilities, which each side blames the other for starting, began on 27 September in what became known as the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War. Conflict continued until 9 November, the worst fighting the area had seen since the 1990s.

In a settlement brokered by Russia, Azerbaijan regained possession of territory lost in the 1990s, but the regional capital, Stepanakert, was left under Armenian control. Although fighting is over, reconciliation will prove difficult both to Armenians who feel they have lost their homeland and are now displaced, and to Azerbaijanis returning to a region ravaged by war.

LONG-TERM PROJECTS - FIRST PRIZE: 'Habibi' by Antonio Faccilongo, Italy, Getty Reportage

Caption: Lydia Rimawi lies on her sofa in Beit Rima, near Ramallah, Palestine, on 20 December 2018. Her husband Abdul Karim Rimawi was arrested in 2001 and sentenced to 25 years in prison for involvement in the assassination of Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi. The couple have a son, Majd, who was born as a result of IVF in 2013. In 2014, Abdul Karim was fined around US $1,500 for smuggling his semen from prison, and deprived of family visits for two months.

Story: Nearly 4,200 Palestinian security detainees are being held in Israeli prisons, according to a February 2021 report by human rights organization B’Tselem. Some face sentences of 20 years or more. To visit a Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli jail, visitors have to overcome a number of different limitations resulting from border laws, prison regulations, and restrictions set by the Israel Security Agency (ISA).

Visitors are usually allowed to see prisoners only through a transparent partition, and talk to them via a telephone receiver. Conjugal visits are denied and physical contact is forbidden, except for children under the age of ten, who are allowed ten minutes at the end of each visit to embrace their fathers.

Since the early 2000s, long-term Palestinian detainees hoping to raise families have been smuggling semen out of prison, hidden in gifts to their children. Semen is secreted in a variety of ways, such as in pen tubes, plastic candy wrappers, and inside bars of chocolate. In February 2021, Middle East Monitor reported that the 96th Palestinian baby had been born using sperm smuggled from Israeli prison.

Habibi, which means ‘my love’ in Arabic, chronicles love stories set against the backdrop of one of the longest and most complicated conflicts in modern history. The photographer aims to show the impact of the conflict on Palestinian families, and the difficulties they face in preserving their reproductive rights and human dignity. The photographer chooses not to focus on war, military action, and weapons, but on people’s refusal to surrender to imprisonment, and on their courage and perseverance to survive in a conflict zone.

NATURE - FIRST PRIZE, SINGLES: 'Rescue of Giraffes from Flooding Island' by Ami Vitale, United States, for CNN

Caption: A Rothschild’s giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi) is transported to safety in a custom-built barge from a flooded Longicharo Island, Lake Baringo, in western Kenya, on 3 December 2020.

Story: Rothschild’s giraffes are a subspecies of the northern giraffe, and are classified as endangered. The giraffe is the world’s tallest land mammal and the Rothschild’s giraffe is one of the loftiest subspecies, growing up to six meters in height. Longicharo Island was once a peninsula.

Rising water levels in Lake Baringo over the past ten years have cut the peninsula off to form an island. Particularly heavy rainfall in 2019 caused further floods, stranding nine giraffes. The local community worked with conservationists from the Kenya Wildlife Service, the Northern Rangelands Trust, and Save Giraffes Now, to build the barge and transport the marooned animals to a sanctuary in the Ruko conservancy on the shores of the lake.

The rains had also led to an abundance of food on the island, so edible treats could not be used to entice the giraffes onto the barge. Instead, the giraffes had to be tranquilized, which is a dangerous procedure given their anatomy, as they are at risk of choking on their own saliva, and changes in blood pressure can cause brain damage. A vet was on hand to immediately counteract the drug; the animals were then hooded and led onto the barge with guide ropes.

PORTRAITS - SECOND PRIZE, STORIES: 'Nowhere Near' by Alisa Martynova, Russia

Caption: Blessing came to Italy from Nigeria, and works in Livorno, Italy, as a childminder. She is married and has a child of her own. 9 March 2020.

Story: More than one million immigrants from Africa officially reside in Italy, as well as an unknown number of undocumented migrants, many of whom have made a perilous and often life-threatening journey to get there. The photographer compares migrants in Italy to scattered stars, a constellation of young people from different countries, of different genders, and with different traits.

They have all come to Italy for different personal reasons and are celebrated for their individual stories, in a way that tries to resist stereotyping of African migrants. A 2016 study by the International Organization of Migrants pointed to insecurity, conflict, and discrimination as the main drivers of migration, not solely economic and work reasons. Discrimination on the basis of social group, religion, or sexual orientation was mentioned by almost half of the study group.

In October 2020, the Italian government adopted a decree overturning many of the anti-immigration policies introduced by the previous interior minister Matteo Salvini, leader of the right-wing Lega Nord (Northern League).

SPORTS - FIRST PRIZE, SINGLES: 'Log Pile Bouldering' by Adam Pretty, Australia, Getty Images

Caption: Georg climbs a log pile while training for bouldering, in Kochel am See, Bavaria, Germany, on 15 September.

Story: Bouldering entails climbing on small rock formations and boulders of usually no more than six meters in height, without ropes or harnesses. Historically, it began as a training activity for more ambitious climbing and mountaineering pursuits, but has evolved into a sport in its own right. Rock-climbing gyms and sports facilities in Munich were closed as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so athletes had become creative in their training methods.

SPOT NEWS - THIRD PRIZE, SINGLES: Forest Fire by Nuno André Ferreira, Portugal, Agência Lusa

Caption: A child sits inside a car close by a forest fire in Oliveira de Frades, Portugal, on 7 September 2020.

Story: A wildfire began in Oliveira de Frades, about 100 kilometers from Porto in eastern Portugal, on 7 September, and spread some 30 kilometers west, to Sever do Vouga, and 40 kilometers southwest, to Águeda, in the neighboring district. At least 300 firefighters, 100 land vehicles and ten firefighting planes battled the blaze in a landscape dominated by eucalyptus trees.

The uncontrolled spread of eucalyptus trees—which supply raw material for an economically important pulp industry, but which are extremely flammable—are a major factor in the rapid spread of wildfires. Portugal has a wildfire season lasting from June to September. Its hot climate, consistent warm winds coming off the Atlantic, and a well-forested landscape make it particularly susceptible to fire.

Extreme temperatures and severe drought contributed to the 2020 fire season. A 2020 report released jointly by the Portuguese Association of Nature and the World Wide Fund for Nature states that Portugal is the European country worst affected by wildfires: more than three percent of its forest burns every year.

SPOT NEWS - SECOND PRIZE, STORIES: Presidential Vacancy by Ernesto Benavides, Peru, Agence France-Presse

Caption: A supporter of ousted president Martin Vizcarra waves a Peruvian flag on Avenida Abancay, in Lima, Peru, on 14 November 2020, in demonstrations that continued past the 11pm curfew imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Story: Peru saw its greatest political instability in 20 years in mid-November, with three presidents coming into power over the course of little more than a week, resulting in massive protests throughout the country. On 9 November, the Peruvian national congress impeached President Martin Vizcarra, condemning his handling of the COVID-19 crisis and alleging that he had taken bribes while serving as a regional governor—a claim he denied.

During his tenure, Vizcarra faced opposition from Congress, but amassed wide popularity, especially among Peruvian youth, as an anti-corruption crusader. Crowds began to gather at Plaza San Martín in Lima in protest at Congress’s move, spawning demonstrations in other parts of the country. Congress speaker Manuel Merino was installed as interim president on 10 November, sparking accusations of a parliamentary coup.

Protests intensified, and on 12 November a National March occurred throughout Peru, demanding his resignation. On 14 November, thousands of people again took to the streets in a second National March, with many dressed in black. In Lima, two people were killed and more than 100 were injured in violent clashes with police. Manuel Merino resigned on 15 November, setting off celebrations in the streets. A new president, Francisco Sagasti, was inaugurated two days later.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Mitakon Speedmaster 35mm F0.95 Mark II lens now available for Micro Four Thirds camera systems

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 15 apr 2021 - 17:32

Chinese optics manufacturer Mitakon Zhongyi has announced its Speedmaster 35mm F0.95 Mark II manual lens is now available for Micro Four Thirds (MFT) camera systems.

Until now, the ultra-fast prime was only available in Canon EF-M, Fujifilm X and Sony E mount. Now, MFT users can join in on the fun with what will be a 70mm full-frame equivalent focal length.

The MFT variety features the same optical construction as its other crop-sensor counterparts, consisting of 11 elements in 8 groups, including one extra-low dispersion element, two extra-high-refractive index elements and three high-refractive index elements. The lens uses a nine-blade aperture diaphragm, has a 55mm front filter thread and has a minimum focusing distance of 35cm (13.7").

The Speedmaster 35mm F0.95 Mark II measures in at 63mm (2.48") long, 60mm (2.36") in diameter and weighs 460g (1lb). As of publishing, the lens isn’t yet listed on any retailer outside of Japan, but based on the MSRP, it should retail for $599. It will be available in both black and silver models. You can keep an eye out at Adorama and B&H for when the listings go live

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

DJI’s new Air 2S has a 1” sensor, 5.4K/30p recording, improved optical avoidance and more

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 15 apr 2021 - 15:00

DJI has unveiled the Air 2S, a follow up to the compact Mavic Air 2. Most notably, the drone features a camera with a 1" sensor, capable of capturing 20MP photos and up to 5.4K/30p or 4K/60p video. Improvements in its Spotlight 2.0 tracking capabilities, plus an upgraded APAS 4.0 obstacle avoidance and detection system, have also been added.

The Air 2S is 180×97×80 mm folded down, not much different in size from the Mavic Air 2. It's the most compact drone to feature a camera with a 1" sensor and a pixel size of 2.4μm. Nestled on a 3-axis gimbal and stabilized by RockSteady EIS, it has a 22mm (35mm equiv.) fixed-aperture F2.8 lens with an 88º FOV and can capture 20MP stills including timed photos, AEB (in 3 and 5 brackets) and panoramas.

SmartPhoto is also available. First introduced on the Mavic Air 2, deep learning and analysis technology will detect which settings are the best to capture a particular scene, such as a sunset, and automatically create the most appealing image – this includes HDR, Hyperlight, and Scene Recognition.

HDR merges several images together while Hyperlight works to enhance imagery in low-light environments. Scene Recognition identifies common settings such as snow, sky, or grass and makes proper adjustments for what DJI refers to as the best possible image.

The camera records video up to 5.4K/30p, 4K/60p or 1080p/120p at 150 Mbps with an H.264 or H.265 codec. Users can zoom in on subjects up to 4X at 4K/30p, 6X at 2.7K/30p, 4X at 2.7K/60p, 6X at 1080p/60p and 8X at 1080p/30p. Three different video color profiles are available: Normal (8 bit), D-Log (10 bit) or HLG (10 bit). 8GB of internal storage is onboard the aircraft in case a memory card is forgotten or it runs out of space.

With the Air 2S DJI is introducing MasterShots, a feature that automatically plans a flight's path and merges the final footage for a professional-grade video clip that can be instantly shared. QuickShots, including Rocket, Asteroid, Boomerang and Dronie can be easily accessed. FocusTrack uses Point of Interest 3.0 to identify and track a subject. Draw a box around it and the drone will create an automated flight path. Hyperlapse video can be captured in resolutions up to 4K.

The Air 2S comes with sensors on top of the aircraft and also features four-way obstacle avoidance detection. According to DJI, APAS 4.0 offers a wider FOV for improved detection of obstructions. When recording up to 4K/30p video, the drone can instantly maneuver over, under and around obstacles.

DJI's latest OcuSync (O3) is onboard for a stable streaming feed at a maximum distance of 12km (7.45 miles). In ideal conditions, the drone can fly up to 31 minutes with one battery. It is also equipped with ADS-B technology to detect any nearby manned aircraft including small planes and helicopters. An improved RTH (Return-to-Home) feature, which automatically brings the drone back to the pilot if the connection is lost, or the battery runs critically low, has also been included.

Everything that comes with the DJI Air 2S ‘Fly More’ Combo.

DJI Care Refresh is available and covers incidents including water damage, flyaways and collisions. The Air 2S is now available for purchase starting at $999 for the drone, remote, one battery and basic parts. The Fly More Combo retails for $1,299 and includes two additional batteries, a set of four ND filters, a charging hub and bag to carry it all.

Press release:

DJI Air 2S Melds Incredible Image Quality With Unmatched Flight Performance

Added Obstacle Sensors Improve Autonomous Flying, While The 1” Sensor Offers 20-Megapixel Photos and 5.4K Video

April 15, 2021 – DJI, the global leader in civilian drones and creative camera technology, today sets a new benchmark for high-grade flight performance and incredible imagery with the new DJI Air 2S. This portable camera drone is an all-in-one solution, offering robust flight performance, state-of-the-art camera upgrades and high-grade preprogrammed content creation tools.

“Every creator remembers what it felt like to fly a drone for the first time, and they’ll feel the same sense of wonder and possibility when they first experience DJI Air 2S’s unparalleled mix of astonishing flight capability and gripping image quality,” said Ferdinand Wolf, Creative Director, DJI Europe. “DJI Air 2S is a wish list come to life for everyone who demands more from a drone, showcasing upgrades that truly elevate the system into a highly versatile drone. From content creators, to drone enthusiasts and travelers, we are confident that a lot of people will be excited about this drone.”

The DJI Air 2S is the first drone of its size to capture 20-megapixel still images or video in 5.4K with a new one-inch sensor that was previously available only on larger, less agile drones. DJI continues to enable the effortless creation of imaginative content with the new MasterShots feature. This advanced feature uses automatic flight path planning to set the drone’s course while recording video. Upon completion of the flight, DJI Air 2S automatically merges the footage under one theme to create an eye-catching video.

DJI Air 2S’s 31 minutes of maximum flight time and four-way directional obstacle sensors let the pilot focus on the shot while the drone’s safety systems warn when obstacles are getting close. APAS 4.0 is the most advanced autopilot system on any DJI drone and when turned on, seamlessly maneuvers around objects autonomously. O3, DJI’s third iteration of OcuSync, brings the most reliable transmission technology in the drone market to this portable, foldable drone so users know their connection is stable. The upgraded FocusTrack mode includes a suite of programmed modes like Spotlight 2.0, ActiveTrack 4.0 and Point of Interest 3.0 that easily mimic the focus, control and movement of a professional video operator.

An All-In-One Tool for All Your Content Capturing Needs

Expand your creative vision and capture high-grade footage using a new one-inch sensor capable of recording 20-megapixel still images, 5.4K video at 30fps or 4K at 60fps and 150Mbps. The one-inch sensor is larger than the sensor on the original Mavic Air 2 and offers a larger pixel size of 2.4μm, capturing more information and detail for better photos and videos. Get closer to the subject without moving the drone using a new digital zoom that supports 4X zoom at 4K 30fps, 6X at 2.7K 30fps, 4X at 2.7K 60fps, 6X at 1080P 60fps and 8X at 1080P 30fps. DJI’s renowned three-axis mechanical gimbal smooths out footage for professional-level quality and 8 GB of internal storage have been added. Users can choose to record in H264 or H265, depending on their preferences for image detail and storage capacity and can also choose from three video color profiles, Normal (8 bit), D-Log (10 bit) or HLG (10 bit) to match their video needs.

In addition to standard photo options like Timed Photo, AEB and Panoramas, DJI Air 2S’s SmartPhoto mode records 20-megapixel photos using advanced scene analysis and deep learning to automatically choose the best of three options that will create the most visually appealing image for you, including HDR, Hyperlight and Scene Recognition. HDR modes merge several images together for a vibrant scene while Hyperlight is designed for low-light scenarios and Scene Recognition can identify several common settings and apply camera adjustments to capture photos that pop.

Pre-Programmed Modes for Pro-Level Footage

The DJI Air 2S has the most programmed flight modes and image capture modes of any DJI drone of its size. These creative options include:

MasterShots: Professional-level aerial footage has never been easier. After activating MasterShots, the drone will autonomously plan a flight path, choose from three different image capture modes, including Proximity, Portrait or Landscape, and start recording classic aerial footage. Pilots can choose different themes and the DJI Fly app will generate a unique video that’s ready to be shared with the world. ▪ FocusTrack: Focus on the scene and let DJI Air 2S do the hard work for you. Select your subject by drawing a square around it on your mobile device, then choose from Point of Interest 3.0, an autonomous flight path around the subject; ActiveTrack 4.0, a tool that seamlessly tracks the subject and keeps it in the frame; or Spotlight 2.0, where the drone movement is controlled by the pilot while it locks the subject into the frame. ▪ QuickShots: A staple DJI feature, QuickShot modes include Rocket, Circle, Dronie, Helix, Boomerang and Asteroid. ▪ Hyperlapse: See the world sped up from the air and in motion with the Hyperlapse option in resolution up to 4K. Content captured in 4K resolution and lower can apply digital stabilization for an added layer of smoothness. Safe and Intuitive Flight Operation in an Ultra-Portable Drone

DJI Air 2S uses four high-grade antennas and the latest version of DJI’s proprietary OcuSync transmission tech, O3, to deliver a stable feed at a maximum distance of 12km, even in areas with a high number of signals. A maximum 31 minutes in the air gives pilots more time to capture visually appealing footage while four-way sensors help reduce the risk of collision. The newly upgraded front, rear, bottom and top obstacle sensors incorporate binocular zooming technology to recognize incoming objects from further away at faster speeds.

DJI Air 2S uses the latest and most advanced version of Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) 4.0, which allows the drone to autonomously and seamlessly maneuver around, under and over obstacles. While flying at normal speeds, the newly improved APAS 4.0 offers a wider field-of-view to detect obstacles compared to previous versions. If pilots are flying at higher speeds, as the angle of the drone pitches forward more and the newly added upward obstacle sensor plays a critical part in assisting obstacle detection. As with DJI’s latest drone models, the DJI Air 2S’s AirSense system warns drone pilots of nearby airplanes and helicopters transmitting ADS-B signals, so the drone can be quickly moved to a safer location. Other standard DJI safety features of DJI Air 2S include an improved Return-To-Home (RTH) feature, which can bring a drone back to its launch point if it loses contact with the controller or reaches a critically low battery level, and the GEO 2.0 geofencing system to advise pilots of sensitive locations and help them automatically keep away from high-risk areas such as airports. DJI Air 2S uses the latest version of the DJI Fly app, which features a wealth of educational information and tutorials to get new pilots up in the air quickly.

DJI Care Refresh

DJI Care Refresh is now available for DJI Air 2S, covering various accidents, such as water damage, collisions, flyaway, etc. For an additional charge, DJI Care Refresh offers up to two replacement units within one year, including coverage for one flyaway incident. The two-year plan provides three replacement units in two years, including coverage for up to two flyaway incidents and an extension of the original warranty period by one year (extension durations vary by region). Receive your replacement even sooner with DJI Care Refresh Express. DJI Care Refresh also includes exclusive after-sales support and free two-way shipping. For a full list of details, please visit

Price and Availability

DJI Air 2S is available for purchase today from and from authorized retail partners in several configurations. The standard combo retails for $999 USD and includes the drone, remote controller, one battery and all the cables and parts needed to get into the air. The Fly More Combo retails for $1299 USD includes everything from the standard combo with the addition of 2 batteries for a total of 3, ND filters, a charging hub and a shoulder bag. Additional info here:

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Hasselblad offers 12 medium format cameras as prizes for its 2021 Masters competition

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 15 apr 2021 - 13:44
Hasselblad Masters Fashion/Beauty winner 2016 Roy Rossovich

Medium format manufacturer Hasselblad has opened its bi-annual Masters competition for entries, using 12 of its mirrorless cameras to tempt photographers to enter their best images. The main part of the contest is open only to professional photographers with three years under their belt in the industry, but the Project//21 category allows any photographer of 21 years or under to enter whether amateur or professional.

Entry is free, and pictures don’t need to be shot on a Hasselblad camera either, as those made with any brand or format of digital or film camera will qualify. Pictures taken with smartphones and tablets do not however.

There are twelve categories to choose from including a new ‘Heritage’ section introduced this year to mark the 80th anniversary of the company’s camera production. For this category Hasselblad wants photographers to ‘use your creativity to show us photographs that celebrate our heritage’. The website offers a link to the company’s history page for inspiration. Entries to each of the categories must consist of three images that don’t have to be part of a set or series, but which will be judged together as the entry. Photographers can enter as many categories as they like – but again, entering three pictures for each category chosen.


  • Art
  • Aerial
  • Architecture
  • Beauty & Fashion
  • Landscape/Nature
  • Portrait
  • Product
  • Project//21
  • Street/Urban
  • Wedding
  • Wildlife
  • Heritage

Entry closes at the end of July 2021, and a shortlist of 10 images per category will be announced in September. A ‘grand jury’ will decide on the ultimate winners with the help of public voting throughout September and October, and the overall winner will be announced in November. The winners of each category will receive a Hasselblad mirrorless camera, currently either the X1D ll 50c or the 907X 50c, and will shoot a project with it that will appear in the Hasselblad Masters Book. For the purpose of the project winners will also have the chance to borrow additional lenses. For entry details and rules see the Hasselblad website.

Press release:


Renowned as one of the most prestigious professional photographic competitions, Hasselblad Masters is now open for submissions starting today. Since its inception in 2001, Hasselblad Masters has brought many incredible talents to light, giving not only acclaimed professionals but also aspiring newcomers the opportunity to become recognized in the photographic world. Creatives have the chance to present their most unique and innovative work in order to compete for a spot in the distinguished group of the 2021 Hasselblad Masters.

Celebrating the profession of photography itself, Hasselblad Masters is open to all professional photographers* who have been actively working in the field for more than three years. Entries can be shot on any digital camera, regardless of brand or format, that have at least 16 megapixels. Photographs shot on drone and film cameras are also applicable for entry, while images made with smartphone and tablet cameras are not eligible.

This year’s Hasselblad Masters is larger than previous years and has expanded to 12 categories, including the newest one, Heritage, which commemorates Hasselblad’s 80-year anniversary. The year 2021 marks 80 years of Hasselblad cameras having captured numerous photographs that have become known as classic, iconic images, and therefore, are part of Hasselblad’s history. With the new Heritage category, photographers are asked to use their creativity to submit images that celebrate Hasselblad’s rich heritage.

Being selected as one of the 12 winners means earning the coveted title of “Hasselblad Master” in addition to receiving their own medium format mirrorless Hasselblad camera. With their Hasselblad cameras, the winners take part in a collaborative project with Hasselblad, which is then published in the commemorative Hasselblad Masters book as well as digitally on all Hasselblad channels.

Hasselblad Masters proves to be more and more popular among photographers with each competition – the 2016 Hasselblad Masters boasted more than 10,000 entries followed by over 31,500 entries for the 2018 Hasselblad Masters. Stunning imagery from the final 11 winners in 2018 were included in the Hasselblad Masters Volume 6 book which centered on the theme “Innovate.” These images were displayed at Photokina 2018 in addition to galleries and media publications around the globe.

Hasselblad Masters are judged on their photographic ability, creativity, compositional skills, conceptual strength and technique. Entrants will first face the Hasselblad Internal Jury consisting of Hasselblad staff, experts in the field of photography and cameras. The Hasselblad Internal Jury will select ten finalists in each category that showcase a high level of technical skill and creative flair. Voting will then be opened up to the public in addition to the Hasselblad Grand Jury, which includes several top photographic figures. Together with the Public Jury vote, which acts as a seat on the Grand Jury, the Hasselblad Masters are chosen from the 120 finalists. The 2021 Hasselblad Grand Jury will be unveiled later in the year.

Hasselblad Masters 2021 is open for entries between 14 April 2021 and 31 July 2021. The Hasselblad Internal Jury voting process will take place during August 2021, followed by the announcement of the 10 finalists from each of the 12 categories in September 2021. The Public and Grand Jury voting opens on the same day as the release of the 120 finalists and will be open from September to October 2021. The 2021 Hasselblad Masters winners will be announced in November 2021.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Hands-on with the Fujifilm XF 18mm F1.4 R LM WR

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 15 apr 2021 - 07:00
Hands-on with the Fujifilm XF 18mm F1.4 R WR

Fujifilm's latest lens, the XF 18mm F1.4 R LM WR, is a weather-sealed fast-aperture prime lens for the company's X-mount interchangeable lens cameras. Offering a field-of-view equivalent to 27mm on a full-frame camera, the XF 18mm F1.4 makes for a great walkaround lens for all types of photography, from landscape to street. Follow along with us for a quick tour of how the lens handles and shoots.

Compared to the XF 18mm F2 R

For those familiar with Fujifilm's X-mount lineup, here's the new 18mm F1.4 (R) next to the previous 18mm F2 R, which was one of the very first lenses released for the system. As you can plainly see, this is a very different lens, with an entirely new optical design.

Comprised of a fairly complex set of 15 elements in 9 groups (versus the 18mm F2's 8 elements in 7 groups), the XF 18mm F1.4's optical construction also includes 3 aspherical elements and 1 ED element. All that extra glass translates to an increase in weight to 370g (0.8 lb) versus the F2's 116g (0.26 lb).

Lastly, while the older lens focused externally (and was a bit on the noisy side), the new model focuses internally using a linear motor that drives a total of six focus elements and does so completely silently.

Hood, control rings and build quality

Overall build quality of the XF 18mm F1.4 R WR is excellent, as is the case with all of Fujifilm's weather-resistant XF lenses. The aperture ring moves in 1/3-stop detents (the lens has an aperture range of F1.4 - F16), but we found it to move just a bit too easily for our liking, but it's possible that's just a feature of our pre-production lens.

The focus ring is very broad and nicely damped, though we've noticed that if you have the camera set to a 'linear' manual focus response, it makes for a rather short throw from minimum focus distance to infinity – possibly also a pre-production foible. And speaking of focus, the 18mm F1.4 focuses as closely as 20cm (7.9 in) from the imaging plane for a maximum reproduction ratio of 0.15x and some nice foreground-background separation. (That's 11cm or 4.33 in from the front element.)

The included hood mounts with a bayonet lock, so you can turn it around for a more compact package for travel.

Aperture control lock

The XF 18mm F1.4 R WR joins a growing number of Fujifilm lenses that offer an aperture control lock. Activated when you turn the aperture ring to 'A', you can specify on the camera whether the aperture is controlled automatically or whether aperture control is simply passed off to a command dial.

Filter thread and diaphragm

Around the front, the XF 18mm F1.4 comes with a reasonably sized 62mm filter thread, and nine rounded aperture blades help keep out of focus highlights circular at wide apertures. We noticed just a bit of cats-eye effect on off-axis out-of-focus highlights wide-open, and they turn just slightly polygonal as you stop the lens down, but overall, we found the bokeh to be pleasing.

Also worth noting is that when you stop down the aperture enough, the 18mm F1.4 churns out some really pleasing sunstars.

Rear gasket and weather resistance

We mentioned the 18mm F1.4's weather-resistance earlier, and here it's exemplified by a visible gasket around the mount to help keep dust and moisture out of the camera body. Fujifilm also claims a total of eight weather-resistant seals throughout the lens, though as always, it ain't meant for underwater shooting.


In our shooting, we found the 18mm F1.4 balances really well on both the X-T4 and the X-S10 camera bodies, feeling solid without being too front-heavy. It might feel a little awkward on the likes of the X-E4 though (at least without that camera's accessory add-on grip).

Hands-on with the Fujifilm XF 18mm F1.4 R WR

And that's a wrap for our in-hands tour of the new Fujifilm XF 18mm F1.4 R WR. Be sure to check out our pre-production sample gallery to get an idea for how it performs optically. Is it a lens that you're considering picking up? Or are you waiting for a new, more pancake-like update to the 18mm F2? Let us know in the comments.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

DPReview TV: Fujifilm XF 18mm F1.4 R LM WR review

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 15 apr 2021 - 07:00

The new Fujifilm XF 18mm F1.4 R LM WR provides a 27mm-equivalent focal length for Fujifilm's X-mount cameras. Find out why Chris and Jordan like this fast, sharp and lightweight 18mm lens.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get new episodes of DPReview TV every week.

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Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Fujifilm XF 18mm F1.4 R WR pre-production sample gallery

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 15 apr 2021 - 07:00
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We've been shooting for a few days with a pre-production copy of Fujifilm's new XF 18mm F1.4 R WR lens, which offers a 27mm full-frame equivalent field of view, and optically, we're impressed. It offers excellent sharpness wide open, minimal distortion, and good control of flaring and aberrations; The sunstars at F16 are quite nice, too.

Additionally, this 18mm is fast-to-focus (it uses linear AF motor), weather-sealed, and reasonably compact and lightweight. In short, for $1,000, it's a tempting little prime lens.

Check out our sample gallery to view its optical performance with your own eyes.

View our Fujifilm's new XF 18mm F1.4 R WR sample gallery

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Fujifilm announces XF 18mm F1.4 R LM WR prime lens

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 15 apr 2021 - 07:00
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Fujifilm has introduced the XF 18mm F1.4 R LM WR wide-angle prime lens, which is equivalent to 27mm when mounted on an X-mount body. This compact lens is surprisingly light given its fast maximum aperture, weighing in at 370 grams (13.1 ounces).

The lens has a total of 15 elements (in 9 groups) and includes both aspherical and extra-low dispersion glass. The six-element focus group is driven by a 'near-silent' linear motor. The minimum focus distance of the 18mm F1.4 is 11cm (4.3"), with a maximum magnification of 0.15x.

The 'WR' in the name of the lens indicates weather sealing, which is in eight locations, according to Fujifilm. The lens will function at temperatures as low as -14°C/+14°F, according to the company. You'll find an aperture ring on the 18mm F1.4, with an Auto position that locks the ring in place.

The Fujifilm XF 18mm F1.4 R LM WR lens will be available in late May for $999.

Press release

Fujifilm Announces New FUJINON XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR Lens

A Versatile New Take on a Popular Focal Length

Valhalla, N.Y., April 15, 2021 - FUJIFILM North America Corporation is pleased to announce its FUJINON XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR lens (XF18mmF1.4), expected to be launched in May, 2021. With a 35mm equivalent focal length of 27mm, and a maximum aperture of F1.4, it is the 39th lens in Fujifilm’s broad line of interchangeable lenses, made exclusively for the X Series family of mirrorless digital cameras.

Its lightweight, highly portable design makes it an ideal lens for everything from landscapes and cityscapes to portraits and weddings. Added flexibility in dimly lit environments is also provided through the lens’ wide F1.4 aperture, which also produces incredibly smooth bokeh.

“Keeping to our X Series philosophy of creating lightweight and compact imaging solutions that produce phenomenal image quality, XF18mmF1.4 is a well-balanced and versatile option for any image-maker,” said Victor Ha, senior director of marketing and product management, Electronic Imaging Division at FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “We are really excited to see what stories and images our community of image-makers will create with this lens. It’s certainly ideal for street photography and landscapes, but we’re also looking forward to seeing how it will be used to make wedding and portrait images. There are a lot of creative possibilities with this lens, and I’m confident we’re going to see some great content.”

Main features

Exceptional optical performance, even at F1.4

  • XF18mmF1.4 utilizes three aspherical lenses and an extra-low dispersion (ED) lens among its 15 lens elements, spread across 9 groups, to minimize chromatic and comatic aberration. This means the finest details of an image will be reproduced with high levels of sharpness.
  • The focusing group of six lens elements moves in unison to minimize aberration fluctuations and deliver consistent sharpness at any focusing position.

Designed for versatility

  • XF18mmF1.4 has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 27mm and can achieve focus on subjects 4.33in (11cm) away from the front lens element. This gives the lens a broad range of applications, from making images of everyday moments, to using it to create sweeping landscapes.

Fast, accurate, and near-silent autofocus

  • XF18mmF1.4 uses an internal autofocus (AF) system, driven by a powerful linear motor, to provide fast, accurate, and near-silent AF. From the lens’ minimum object
    distance (MOD) of 7.87in (20cm) to infinity, the focusing group of lens elements travels a total of just 0.1in (2.5mm). This means focus can be acquired in as quickly
    as 0.04 seconds*1 .
  • If the lens must travel beyond MOD to acquire focus, focus can still be achieved in as quickly as 0.25 seconds.
  • For precise control when manually focusing, components in the manual focusing ring assembly have been specially engineered to respond with precision, especially when the focusing ring is rotated slightly.

Compact, lightweight and weather-resistant

  • XF18mmF1.4 has a 62mm filter thread, measures 2.98in (7.56cm) in length, and weighs just 0.81lbs. (370g). This makes it incredibly lightweight and portable. While the lens barrel is made from metal, it is specially designed to minimize its weight without compromising its overall strength.
  • The lens has weather-resistant seals at eight locations along the lens barrel, making it resistant to dust, moisture, and temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C) when used with a weather-resistant X-Series digital camera.
  • XF18mmF1.4 is designed with an A (Auto) Position Lock to lock the aperture ring into the A position, preventing accidental movement.

Optional accessory: LH-XF18 Lens Hood

Fujifilm has also developed a rectangular, aluminum lens hood for XF18mmF1.4 that helps to prevent lens flare and ghosting which can occur when beams of light strike the front element of the lens. The LH-XF18 Lens Hood will be made available in late May, 2021.

Pricing and Availability

FUJINON XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR Lens is expected to be available in late May, 2021 at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $999 USD and $1,275 CDN. The LX-HF18 lens hood accessory will also be available at this time for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $69 USD ($80 CDN). For more information, please visit us/products/lenses/xf18mmf14-r-lm-wr/.

*1 When using the XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR lens with the FUJIFILM X-T4 digital camera, in High Performance mode with phase detection AF active.

Fujifilm XF 18mm F1.4 R LM WR specifications Principal specificationsLens typePrime lensMax Format sizeAPS-C / DXFocal length18 mmImage stabilizationNoLens mountFujifilm XApertureMaximum apertureF1.4Minimum apertureF16Aperture ringYesNumber of diaphragm blades9OpticsElements15Groups9Special elements / coatings1 ED + 3 aspherical elementsFocusMinimum focus0.20 m (7.87″)Maximum magnification0.15×AutofocusYesMotor typeLinear MotorFull time manualNoFocus methodInternalDistance scaleNoDoF scaleNoFocus distance limiterNoPhysicalWeight370 g (0.82 lb)Diameter69 mm (2.72″)Length76 mm (2.99″)SealingYesColourBlackFilter thread62 mmHood suppliedYes
Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Report: Samsung working with Olympus on implementing IBIS in upcoming smartphones

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 14 apr 2021 - 19:26

Seemingly, every phone manufacturer wants to partner up with an established, well-respected camera company. Around the smartphone industry, this is already seen with OnePlus and Hasselblad, Vivo and Zeiss, and Huawei and Leica. According to Sammobile, rumors suggest that Samsung is getting in on this trend by working with Olympus on upcoming Galaxy smartphones.

Huawei has a partnership with Leica, as seen here with the P30 Pro smartphone. OnePlus works with Hasselblad. Vivo works with Zeiss. Is Samsung the next major player in the smartphone industry to team up with a camera brand?

Reports suggest that Samsung is working on adding sensor-shift image stabilization to its smartphones, like what Apple's iPhone 12 Pro Max does with its wide-angle camera. Like many other manufacturers, Samsung uses optical image stabilization technology in its smartphone lineup, but the Korean company wants more.

Olympus E-M1X

Sensor-shift image stabilization, often referred to as in-body image stabilization, works by making very slight, precise adjustments to the image sensor to compensate for camera shake. It's a common feature among many interchangeable lens cameras, especially among enthusiast and professional cameras. Many Olympus cameras have employed excellent in-body image stabilization over the years. The Olympus E-M1X Micro Four Thirds camera, for example, has a 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system rated to compensate for up to 7.5 stops of camera shake. If Samsung wants IBIS in its smartphones, Olympus makes sense as a partner. By the way, Olympus as a brand is now under the purview of OM Digital Solutions. If you'd like to learn more about OM Digital Solutions, this week, we published an interview with Aki Murata, COO of OM Digital Solutions.

As of now, a possible Samsung and Olympus collaboration is mere speculation. However, this isn't the first we've heard about the two companies potentially working together. Last week, 43 Rumors posted about a leak from China pointing toward a Samsung and Olympus collaboration. Multiple leakers are confident, and where there's smoke, there's often fire, but not always. Until a product is official, it's all ultimately just rumors.

Olympus E-M5 Mark III

For the sake of discussion, let's suppose the rumors are accurate. What would a Samsung x Olympus smartphone look like? In terms of camera features, IBIS is the obvious inclusion. However, as we've seen with other 'co-engineered with X' smartphones, software and image processing often play a role. Despite financial troubles in recent years, Olympus is a well-known and well-respected name in the photography industry. Olympus color science and camera app branding would be a valuable addition to Samsung's smartphone lineup.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra camera specs are impressive. A rumored S22 with sensor-shift image stabilization would be even more impressive.

This brings up an interesting point, though, unlike Hasselblad, Leica, and to a lesser extent Zeiss, Olympus' camera offerings have been significantly hurt by the advancement of smartphone camera technology. A Micro Four Thirds image sensor is not very large, so it's much more difficult for a company such as Olympus to differentiate its product, at least in terms of image quality, from the best smartphones on the market. That said, when asked, 'What can dedicated camera manufacturers do to compete with smartphones?' OM Digital Solutions COO Aki Murata answered, 'That's a question we question we ask a lot, and frequently discuss, internally. We don't see a need to compete with smartphones, because smartphones are different devices, with different characteristics…' Perhaps OM Digital Solutions can continue to differentiate its camera offerings from smartphones while also profiting from the ever-growing popularity of smartphone photography.

— Yogesh (@heyitsyogesh) April 7, 2021

What might a Samsung x Olympus smartphone actually look like? Let's Go Digital in the Netherlands made a very cool render of a Galaxy S22 concept with Olympus camera branding. You can see additional renders here.

A Samsung Galaxy S22 render with rumored Olympus camera branding. Image credit: Let's Go Digital

Jaron Schneider at PetaPixel notes that, beyond the obvious caveat that rumors are just rumors (at least until they aren't), Samsung is reported to be working on a new processor that is codenamed 'Olympus.' That's quite a coincidence. It's possible the Samsung and Olympus rumors result from mixing up a new processor's codename with the camera brand.

That said, Samsung's rivalry with Apple's iPhone lineup suggests that Samsung probably is working on implementing sensor-shift image stabilization into at least some of its upcoming smartphones. Will Olympus be involved? Only time will tell.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

DxO PureRaw review: Impressive noise and lens processing for any editing app

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 14 apr 2021 - 19:02
DxO PureRaw 1.0
$129 Introduction

For years now, DxO Labs' Optics Pro and PhotoLab products have impressed photographers with their automatic lens corrections. And more recently their CPU-intensive PRIME / DeepPRIME noise reduction technology has also garnered plenty of praise, as we saw in our recent DxO PhotoLab 4 review.

Yet while DxO has earned more than a few plaudits and built a devoted following for its software, it has never gained quite the mass-market appeal of rival Adobe. With PureRaw, it aims to address this with a new approach.

DxO tells us that of the roughly 10 million photographers currently shooting in a Raw format, 90% use Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom or some combination of the two in their workflow. And of those who don't, many more will already have moved to non-DxO third-party rivals like Capture One, Exposure and more.

DxO PureRaw brings the company's famed denoising and lens corrections to photographers that don't want to change Raw processors

Instead of trying to persuade them to learn another new and complex interface and venture into the unknown by switching to the fully-featured PhotoLab editing platform, PureRaw gives them the opportunity to bring DxO's most popular capabilities right into their existing workflow with almost no fuss.

Now, you can have the benefit of DxO PhotoLab's denoising, demosaicing and lens correction tools, but keep all the familiar apps, tools, shortcuts and more that you love in your current digital darkroom utility.

Key Takeaways:

  • Get DxO's much-praised noise reduction and lens corrections without ditching Photoshop, Lightroom or their rivals
  • No new interface to learn; keep all the tools you love
  • Extremely simple, straightforward design
  • Choose from HQ, PRIME or DeepPRIME denoising
  • Output as Linear DNG with noise/lens corrections
  • A rather steep price may keep many would-be users away

Available immediately for both Windows and macOS, DxO PureRaw is ordinarily priced at $129 (€129 / £115). A launch discount available through May 31, 2021 will reduce this to $89.99 (€89.99 / £79.99).

How it works

DxO PureRaw is incredibly simple. Files can be dragged and dropped between DxO PureRaw and your imaging app, or for that matter your operating system's file explorer. Alternatively, you can click a button within PureRaw's interface to directly browse your directory structure for files to process.

PureRaw's adjustments are limited solely to choosing which denoising algorithms to use, and whether to enable lens corrections or not.

Processing your chosen files couldn't get much easier. First, you choose your desired denoising engine for the entire batch of images: The faster HQ engine, the much more processor-intensive – but higher quality – PRIME engine or the AI-powered DeepPRIME engine. (For most images you'll want either DeepPRIME or HQ, depending upon whether you favor image quality or performance, respectively).

Next you choose your output file type and storage location. By default, PureRaw will save your processed images as partially-processed Linear DNG Raw files in a DxO subfolder of their original location.

The streamlined process does mean you can't tweak the level of noise reduction nor preview its results prior to processing

If you prefer, you can convert straight to JPEG rather than Raw before handing off to your third-party app, or set a custom location for the processed files to be stored. Lens and camera body profiles are downloaded automatically as needed, and individual profiles can be deactivated as preferred on a per-batch basis.

PureRaw can be used in a drag-and-drop fashion or export directly to third-party apps. Adobe's are automatically detected, and the user can add other programs with the custom option.

Once you click Process Photos, PureRaw will do its thing and then offer to show you side-by-side, before-and-after comparisons of your just-processed images. You can then drag them back to your chosen app, click the Export button to have them transferred for you – optionally along with a copy of the unprocessed, original Raws as well – or click another button to see the processed images in Explorer.

Obviously, this simplified and streamlined process means that you can't tweak the level of noise reduction applied as you could in the full PhotoLab app. Nor can you preview its results prior to processing.

Once your images have been processed, PureRaw allows you to review the results in comparison to the uncorrected Raw.

But PureRaw also adds very little extra fuss to your workflow, though there are the minor inconveniences of greater storage space requirements and the time spent processing, which we'll come back to in a moment.

And given that you can output in Linear DNG Raw format, it also means that you retain all the main advantages of your original Raw file in your third-party app, such as better white-balance correction and the possibility of recovering lost highlight or shadow detail. You just get the added benefit of DxO's lens and noise corrections with as little extra effort as possible.

Image quality

If you already own and use PhotoLab, incidentally, you can already do something very similar by exporting images to disk in DNG format using PhotoLab's Denoise & Optical Correction option. But interestingly, I've found that PureRaw doesn't always apply exactly the same adjustments as does DxO PhotoLab at its default settings, which suggests DxO may have tuned its algorithms a bit differently to account for the lack of manual overrides in PureRaw.

For the most part, the differences between PureRaw and PhotoLab's renderings are slim to nonexistent. But just occasionally, the two apps can yield noticeably differing results.
Photo by Mike Tomkins

I've run dozens of images through PureRaw and PhotoLab at defaults, and found that while perhaps a quarter of my images seemed absolutely identical regardless of which program I used, around half those processed via PureRaw showed slightly stronger sharpening than in PhotoLab's defaults.

I also spotted a few images where PureRaw used slightly stronger noise reduction or vignetting correction than PhotoLab, as well as a handful where PureRaw cropped in a little tighter.

There's a clear difference between an untweaked Raw opened and saved in ACR, and a Linear DNG from PureRaw that was opened and saved in ACR. Click or tap for full-size ACR default and ACR+PureRaw images.
Photo by Mike Tomkins

But really, the differences from PureRaw's results were very slight in all cases, and very similar to what you can get from PhotoLab without any user intervention. And its results in terms of noise reduction were clearly leagues ahead of what I could've managed with Photoshop or Lightroom's own tools and a similar level of effort.


Given its ease of use, I think the biggest concern for most users will be the added time taken to process images in PureRaw before starting work in your third-party app.

Results will obviously vary with your hardware, and all my times below were recorded using my 2018 Dell XPS 15 9570 laptop running Windows 10 version 20H2, PureRaw 1.0.10 and PhotoLab 4.2.1.

When considering the times below, it's also important to remember the time you'd have expended if trying to make the same corrections in your existing app without PureRaw, of course.

Even after enabling profiled lens corrections and manually hand-tweaking the noise sliders, ACR is still far behind the result from PureRaw. And that's despite spending more than twice as long to edit the ACR-prepared image as PureRaw took to process its version with DeepPRIME. Click for full-size ACR default and ACR+PureRaw images.
Photo by Mike Tomkins

In HQ mode, PureRaw took around 13 seconds to process each image, versus about 11 seconds for PhotoLab 4. Switching to PRIME, I measured a time of 32 seconds per image in PureRaw, and 26 seconds for PhotoLab. Finally, DeepPRIME was a bit faster in both apps, at 27 seconds per image for PureRaw, and 24 seconds per image for PhotoLab.

I must admit, I was surprised to find PureRaw 1.0 a little slower than PhotoLab with identical images. Given the very streamlined interface and lack of user adjustability, I'd expected that it would perhaps edge PhotoLab's times just a little. The difference is relatively small, though.

Conclusion What we like What we don't
  • Simple, streamlined interface with almost no learning curve
  • Impressive image quality benefits with a minimum of fuss
  • Solid integration with Adobe products and other digital darkroom software
  • Might be too pricey for some users
  • Simplified interface doesn't give users any control to tweak the output

DxO PureRaw presents an interesting proposition for diehard users of Photoshop, Lightroom and their many non-DxO rivals. In one simple, lightweight app, PureRaw now gives you access to arguably the best feature of PhotoLab: The PRIME / DeepPRIME denoising engine.

And it doesn't require that you switch your digital darkroom software or make any big changes to your workflow at all. Nor do you even have to manually intervene, beyond choosing which denoising engine to use.

We do, however, have one reservation – the price. At $129 list, DxO PureRaw costs just as much as DxO PhotoLab 4 Essential edition.

DxO PureRaw's pricetag is steep, but it offers big IQ improvements with no work at all

Sure, PhotoLab 4 Essential lacks the PRIME / DeepPRIME denoising algorithms, but it's otherwise a pretty comprehensive digital darkroom app. In fact, PureRaw's list price is only a third less than that of the full DxO PhotoLab 4 Elite.

That feels like a big ask for what's clearly a much less capable and powerful application. But at the same time, PureRaw offers the chance to get really, really powerful denoising and decent lens corrections with barely a moment's conscious effort.

And it does so without forcing you to learn a new app if you're already satisfied with your existing one in most other respects. There is, essentially, no learning curve at all.

For frequent high-ISO shooters who can justify its high list price – or those who score the limited-time launch pricing available through May 2021 – DxO PureRaw will definitely offer you a very noticeable improvement in some of your images with almost zero work.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Closer look: Canon RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 14 apr 2021 - 15:00
A closer look at Canon's RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM

Canon has just announced a native RF contemporary to its popular EF 100mm F2.8L Macro lens. The RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM is an all-new design, and becomes Canon's first medium telephoto macro lens to offer a maximum magnification ratio of 1.4x, which means you can project images onto the camera's sensor 1.4x larger than life-size.

Close focus

The optical design comprises 17 elements in 13 groups. At its maximum magnification, you can fill your frame with a subject just 25 x 17mm in size (1 x 2/3"). What does that mean in terms of working distances from your subject?

At 1x magnification, the focus distance is 28cm, while your working distance is 11.2cm (accounting for the length of the lens barrel). At the maximum 1.4x magnification, the minimum focus distance is 26cm, while your working distance is a mere 8.6cm (3.4"). At such close working ranges, you'll want to watch for any shadow cast on your object by your camera and lens (and you'll definitely want to remove that lens hood). Ring lights and flashes are quite useful when using these types of lenses.

See that 'Lock' button on the end of the lens barrel? It locks and unlocks a very special control ring on the lens...

SA Control

The Canon RF 100mm F2.8L Macro offers an unusual feature: a dedicated spherical aberration control ring that allows the photographer to change the style of the bokeh for the desired effect (we've seen something similar in Nikon's 'Defocus Control' lenses in the past). This ring essentially moves an optical element (or elements) within the lens to change the spherical aberration properties of the lens.

A positive shift leads to 'soap bubble' bokeh by concentrating light rays peripherally within the circle-of-confusion (CoC), also softening foreground bokeh. A negative shift leads to very soft defocused backgrounds and foregrounds - potentially at the cost of some sharpness at the focus plane - by concentrating light rays more centrally within the CoC (see this example from Nikon's 105mm F2 DC lens). Keep in mind that for the sharpest results at the focus plane, you'll want to keep the SA Control ring at its '0' position.

Nine aperture blades ensure circular out-of-focus highlights, though it's worth mentioning we are now seeing lenses offering even more circular bokeh with 11-blade apertures.

SA Control for smoother backgrounds Graphic assembled from Wikipedia illustrations and images from 'Depth of Field and Bokeh' by H. H. Nasse of the Camera Lens Division at Zeiss.

While the negative SA shift in less hard-edged bokeh, much like the effect of an apodization filter (such as the one in the Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM DS), it's important to note that the effect here is entirely different.

Let's take a look at what the SA Control ring is doing. At its '0' setting, the optics have minimal spherical aberration (SA). It's never quite zero SA for real lens, but for the purposes of discussion, we'll pretend that at '0', the lens behaves like a 'perfect' lens with no SA (uppermost graphic). Such a lens will have a uniform circle-of-confusion (CoC); that is, bokeh should be smooth and out-of-focus highlights will appear as Gaussian, even, uniformly-lit circles (see inset grey circle: uppermost graphic, right). You can see why: light rays from an object that falls into focus ahead of the image sensor (grey vertical line) diverge evenly before hitting the image plane, whether they're rays that entered the peripheries of the lens or ones that entered more centrally.

A lens with under-corrected spherical aberration (lower graphic) gives a very different CoC, one that for objects behind the focus plane is brighter on the inside with a continuous fall-off as you move radially outward (see inset grey circle: lower graphic, right). This is what turning the SA Control ring in a negative direction will give you. Background bokeh will appear even smoother than a perfect lens, and out-of-focus highlights will have feathered edges. The light ray diagram shows us why: marginal light rays from our object of interest that entered the peripheries of the lens focused farther ahead of the image sensor (at the marginal focus point indicated by the black arrow) and diverged more by the time they hit the image sensor. So they're less concentrated, more diffuse, leading to those feathered edges. Light rays from that object that entered the lens more centrally focused closer to the image sensor (at the paraxial focus point indicated by the orange arrow) and so diverged less before hitting the image sensor and, hence, are more concentrated or tightly bundled together, leading to the CoC's brighter center.

SA Control for a dreamy or 'soap-bubble bokeh' effect: you choose!

You'll get quite the opposite effect for foreground bokeh. Note we've moved the image sensor (or lens, it's all a matter of perspective!) such that the object now falls into focus behind the sensor. Now the peripheral (marginal) light rays are more concentrated in the CoC, while the central (paraxial) ones are less concentrated. Hence the outer edges of the CoC are brighter while the inside is darker, leading to a 'soap bubble'-like effect. For a 'perfect' lens (that again, doesn't exist), nothing changes: background and foreground bokeh are rendered equally.

Things are reversed if you turn the SA Control ring in a positive direction: now background bokeh takes on this 'soap bubble'-like effect, while foreground bokeh appears smoother.

Also contributing to the dreamy look of images taken with the SA Control ring turned in either direction is a slightly softer plane of focus. You'll note that all light rays don't neatly converge to one single, tight point at the 'best focus' position for the lens with SA above compared to the 'perfect' lens. That's because the 'best focus' point is actually a point in between the best focus positions for the marginal and paraxial rays. So even in-focus objects will never appear quite as sharp as with the SA Control ring set to '0' (or a lens with no SA).

SA Control varies based on subject distance

The amount of SA control varies based on the focus distance, and peaks somewhere in the middle of the focus range. At the minimum focus distance (maximum magnification of 1.4x) , SA control is essentially unavailable, and the SA control ring will have no effect. At 1x magnification, or 0.28m focus distance, you'll get a small amount of SA control as you turn the ring.

By 0.5x magnification, and from a focus distance of 0.38m to 1m, you'll have the maximum amount of SA control: that is, turning the SA control ring will dramatically vary the spherical aberration properties of the lens. Between 5m and infinity, you'll have a diminished but still modest amount of SA control. Canon tells us you can shift the SA control as much in a positive direction as you can in a negative direction throughout the focus range.

Optical Image Stabilization (I.S.)

The Canon RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM offers a CIPA standard rating of 5 stops of optical image stabilization. When combined with newer EOS R bodies featuring 5-axis in-body image stabilization, that number goes up to a whopping 8 stops of shake correction, thanks to coordinated stabilization between the lens and image sensor. Image stabilization is particularly important with macro lenses and such high magnification ratios, as any hand movement will be greatly magnified. However, at close working distances, as with any macro lens, the effectiveness of image stabilization drops, and you won't get that 8 stop figure. The nice thing, though, is that at close focus distances, Canon's Hybrid IS – introduced in the original EF 100mm Macro – kicks in. This attempts to correct for horizontal and vertical translation in addition to pan and tilt.

Canon has included two Nano USM focus motors in this lens, which should lead to fast, and quiet, autofocus. We've been very impressed with the speed performance of Canon's Nano USM technology, and with such small working distances, the large relative changes in distance should, theoretically at least, be easily handled by the 'Dual Nano USM' setup in this lens.

Canon claims that focus breathing has been reduced, which should be welcome news for videographers.

Controls, switches and availability

A customizable control ring is included for direct access to settings like aperture, ISO, and exposure compensation. A focus limiter allows you to limit focus from infinity to 0.5m so as to speed up autofocus by ensuring the lens never hunts all the way to close focus distances. You can also limit the focus range to only 0.26m – 0.5m. Also included on the lens barrel are an AF/MF switch and a switch to turn image stabilization on or off. Unlike some Canon lenses, a dedicated I.S. option for panning is not included because the lens can automatically detect and optimize the IS system for panning shots.

A 'Super Spectra Coating' helps to eliminate ghosting and flare when shooting into or around bright light sources. A fluorine coating on the front element helps prevent buildup of dust, moisture and fingerprints. The lens is quoted as being dust- and weather-resistant, and weighs approximately 730g (1.6 lbs).

The Canon RF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM will be available from July 2021 with a recommend price of $1,399. A tripod mount ring with adapter will be sold separately.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Sony’s Xperia 1 and 5 Mark III introduce variable optical zoom and 4K 120Hz OLED

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 14 apr 2021 - 11:33
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Sony has just announced the Xperia 1 Mark III, its flagship smartphone with camera technologies borrowed from its Alpha line of cameras, as well as display, cinema and audio capabilities built from the know-how of the broad divisions within Sony Electronics. The 'zoom' allows the Xperia 1 and 5 Mark III smartphones to optically achieve both 70 and 105mm equivalent focal lengths with its single telephoto module (with F2.3 and F2.8 apertures, respectively). The main (24mm) and wide (16mm) modules remain the same as that seen in the Xperia Pro and Xperia 1 Mark II, and Sony has purposefully kept sensor resolutions at a modest 12MP to maintain high scan rates.

Aperture Pixel count Sensor size 16mm F2.2 12MP, Dual-PD 1/2.6" 24mm F1.7 12MP, Dual-PD 1/1.7" 70, 105mm F2.3, F2.8 12MP, Dual-PD 1/2.9"

Like the Xperia 1 Mark II and Xperia Pro, the Mark III smartphones can both shoot at 20 frames-per-second (fps), but the Xperia 1 Mark III takes things further: not only can it shoot at 20 fps with 60 fps AF/AE calculations per second with real-time (eye) AF tracking, but, in a first not just for smartphones but for all cameras, the Xperia 1 Mark III can shoot at 20 fps while performing temporal noise reduction on each one of those frames. In an exclusive interview with DPReview, engineers from Sony's Xperia team confirmed that, in low light conditions, up to 4 frames are aligned and averaged to decrease noise for each frame shot at 20 fps, something no camera to date we know of can do in high speed burst mode. Granted, the smaller sensor camera in these smartphones benefit more from such stack-and-merge temporal noise reduction approaches than dedicated interchangeable lens cameras, but, nevertheless, to do so at 20 fps is quite an achievement.

It is our understanding that for each frame in a low-light burst, the three previous frames are aligned and merged to the base frame to decrease noise. While technically the main sensor readout rate (<10ms) could allow for a 20 fps burst to be assembled from an 80 fps one, such that there are 4 frames available per 1 output frame, it's unlikely the processing capabilities can handle this sort of throughput. If it could, Sony would be marketing the 80 fps shooting capabilities of this smartphone. It's unclear to us why Sony doesn't apply this multi-frame NR approach to bursts under all lighting conditions, though, as it would improve image quality across the board.

Folded optics and stacked CMOS

The biggest news is the folded optics that allow for a variable telephoto optic paired with a dual-PD sensor. It's not quite a zoom lens in that it offers only two optical focal lengths: 70 and 105mm equivalent. Anything in between 70mm and 105mm equiv. is achieved digitally. But to go from 70mm to 105mm equivalent, two individual groups - relative to a third fixed group - are moved, and that is fairly unique. Up until now most smartphones have only offered separate camera modules with fixed focal lengths whose only movable parts were the full optical assemblies, moved solely for focus (or stabilization) purposes. There have been a few limited attempts at zoom optics in smartphones in the past: the Asus Zenfone Zoom featured a 3x optic using a Hoya CUBE lens unit (2013), and Samsung essentially turned a compact DSC into a phone with the 2013 release of its Galaxy S4 Zoom and subsequently its K Zoom in 2014. These didn't catch on in popularity though, due to their size and small apertures. Sony is attempting to strike a balance here by keeping size down while offering a useful focal length increase at a reasonably bright aperture.

To move the two individual optical groups to vary the focal length (and adjust focus), Sony tells us it had to work hard to maintain strict accuracy of actuator accuracy and element placement. And while Sony tells us it could theoretically have offered optical zoom for all focal lengths in between 70mm and 105mm equivalent, it's chosen this time not to.

More impressive is the fact that Sony has upgraded all camera module sensors to stacked CMOS (Exmor RS) sensors, with faster sensor readout rates. Like the Xperia Pro, the main 24mm camera module sports sensor readout rates faster than 10ms, while the 16mm and 70/105mm telephoto modules now also have fast readout rates, albeit slightly longer than 10ms. Sony has also now paired the telephoto module with a dual PD (phase-detect) sensor. That means that the entire telephoto image sensor can be used for phase-detect autofocus, as opposed to having AF points sparsely scattered about. This should help significantly in terms of autofocus performance, which tends to be more problematic for telephoto modules, particularly ones with smaller physical apertures that tend to falter in autofocus performance due to the decreased light levels reaching the sensor. In comparison, previously only the wide and main camera modules had dual PD AF, in the Xperia Pro and the Xperia 1 Mark II.

Other improvements

Foremost amongst other improvements include an upgrade to the already industry-leading 4K HDR OLED display, which can now be run at 120Hz for smoother motion. To complement this display, both phones can now record up to 4K 120fps HDR video for up to 5x slow motion. 240Hz motion blur reduction processing reduces motion blur further for a smooth gaming experience. Each unit is now calibrated at the factory for an accurate white point, making the ability to use the Xperia 1 Mark III as an external OLED monitor for your camera that much more useful. While the Xperia 1 Mark III cannot connect to your camera as an external monitor over HDMI (like the Xperia Pro), it can do so over USB using the UVC standard (USB Video Class). This is limited to YUV 4:2:2, MJPEG HD, 60 fps, SDR, though, which severely limits its usefulness.

The Xperia 1 Mark III uses the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G mobile platform, and includes wireless charging capabilities, and can serve as a wireless charging pad for other devices. It has a 4500 mAh battery, with special thermal management technologies that can drop the battery out of the circuit to prevent heat buildup when using any USB-C connection that can itself provide power. It has an IP 65/68 dust/water-resistance rating, and extremely durable Corning Gorilla Glass Victus for shatterproof durability.

Sony Xperia 5 Mark III Sony has also announced the Xperia 5 Mark III, a pared down version of the Xperia 1 Mark III. Sony has tried to pack as much of the performance of the Xperia 1 Mark III into the Xperia 5 Mark III, but in a smaller, more compact body. To do so, a number of key features are missing, including:
  • 4K resolution of the HDR OLED display (120Hz is retained)
  • 3D iTOF sensor for faster autofocus on nearer subjects
  • Real-time AF tracking
  • Higher output speakers
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
  • Wireless charging and power sharing
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We'll be updating this story and providing more in-depth content on the Xperia 1 Mark III and the Xperia 5 Mark III over the next couple of days, so stay tuned. In the meantime, have a look at the press release below to get a comprehensive look at the new features these phones offer.

Press release

Sony Electronics New Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III Smartphones Deliver an Elevated Photo, Video and Entertainment Experience for Creators

New 5G Capable Models Feature World’s First Variable Smartphone Telephoto Lens with a Dual PD Sensor[i], World’s First 4K HDR OLED 120Hz Refresh Rate Display[ii] and more

  • World´s first smartphone with a Variable telephoto lens paired with a Dual PD sensor
  • Real-time Eye AF for humans and animals, newly equipped Real-time Tracking[iii] and fast, accurate continuous AF across all lenses
  • 20fps Burst Mode with low light noise reduction powered by BIONZ X™
  • Brand new AI (artificial intelligence) super resolution zoom technology
  • Updated Photography Pro feature – now equipped with ‘Basic Mode’
  • World’s first smartphone with a 4K HDR 120Hz Refresh rate display[iv] crafted from Gorilla® Glass Victus™[v]
  • Evolved Full-stage stereo speakers, 40 percent louder than previous model[vi]
  • Qualcomm®Snapdragon™ 888 5G Mobile Platform
  • Improved battery life (4500mAh) and the ability to charge up to 50% of capacity in 30 minutes with the kitted 30W charger - in addition to a newly extended battery life of up to three years[viii]

SAN DIEGO, CA – April 14, 2021 – Sony Electronics Inc. today announced two new additions to its Xperia 1 and 5 flagships series line-ups – Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III. Both devices provide a rich collection of integrated features that connect Xperia community with some of the most advanced technologies across Sony’s entire suite of consumer electronics products. Whether they are photographers, audiophiles, cinephiles, gamers or cinematographers, the next generation of Xperia 1 and 5 flagships series will deliver a user experience that is unlike any other smartphone in market today.

“Today we’re introducing two new Xperia models that are significant for both Sony and the industry as a whole,” commented Neal Manowitz, President and COO, Sony Electronics Inc. “Drawing on our leadership in imaging, display and audio technology, we’re proud to debut the world’s first smartphone with a 4K 120Hz display and the world’s first smartphone with a variable telephoto lens. We continue to break new ground and provide passionate consumers with a more powerful creative device and an immersive entertainment experience like they’ve never had before—all in the palm of their hand.”

Professional Technology from Alpha Brand Cameras

Co-developed with the engineers behind the Sony Alpha brand cameras that are renowned for their industry-leading autofocus technology, the Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III feature fast, accurate continuous AF plus Real-time Eye AF in all lenses. With Xperia 5 III and its advanced object tracking technology, photographers can capture accurate shots of moving subjects in a wide variety of scenarios with a simple tap on the screen.

Xperia 1 III presents an even more sophisticated feature set for photographers that strive for picture-perfect results. Object tracking is upgraded with Real-time Tracking, allowing users to shoot the most challenging moving subjects with precise focus. Using AI-based algorithms and the 3D iToF sensor to measure distance, Real-time Tracking can accurately detect and focus on a subject even if the subject temporarily moves out of sight[ix] so they can capture even the most difficult images with ease.

When speed is a necessity, both models offer continuous AF that performs AF / AE calculations at up to 60 times per second – enabling users to shoot and store up to 20 shots (20fps) with high precision, accurate focus and optimized exposure[x]. This level of performance is comparable to that used in professional sports cameras such as the Alpha 9 series. The BIONZ X™ processor enables users to shoot in low-light scenarios in Burst Mode for the first time, producing results with noise reduction that have never previously been possible in predecessor models.

Reach Beyond Expectation with a Variable Telephoto Lens

The variable telephoto lens on each of the new Xperia models allows for focus to acquire instantly when users are switching between the 70mm and 105mm lenses. Pairing this unique lens setup with a dual PD sensor and a dual PDAF capabilities ensures that all of the beauty and detail in each image is captured in full, across the entire focal range. These new models represent the first time ever that a variable telephoto lens has been paired with a Dual PD sensor in any smartphone.

Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III offer a total of four focal lengths in photo and video recording - 16mm, 24mm, 70mm and 105mm focal lengths[xi], giving creators the freedom to capture a variety of settings from landscapes to wildlife in stunning clarity. Both models continue to feature ZEISSTM optics calibrated specifically for the Xperia smartphone. The ZEISSTM T* coating contributes to exquisite rendering and contrast by reducing reflections.

A Wealth of Creative Opportunities

The next generation of Xperia both incorporate new AI super resolution zoom. This technology uses Sony’s AI processing to restore detail and definition to images, ensuring precision is not compromised.

Additionally, like their older siblings, Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III feature the Photography Pro function, making it a breeze to capture professional-level photography in a palm-sized device. Both models were developed in collaboration with professional photographers to mirror many of the manual controls available in Alpha series cameras including ISO, shutter speed, EV Indicator, RAW support plus a dedicated shutter button (with embossed finishing exclusively on the Xperia 1 III). New for this year’s smartphones is the ‘Basic Mode’ feature in Photography Pro which enables fast access to a range of easy-to-use photography features including a touch shutter button, portrait orientation, artistic bokeh effect, panorama and more.

Transporting Cinephiles to the Big Screen

The new Xperia models are a true cinephile’s dream. Xperia 1 III features a larger than life 6.5” 21:9 CinemaWideTM 4K HDR OLED display with a 120Hz Refresh rateiv while Xperia 5 III offers a stunning 6.1" 21:9 CinemaWide™ HDR OLED display with a 120Hz Refresh rate. Whether on the go or in the comfort of home, both models transport users into a uniquely immersive viewing experience, allowing them to lose themselves in their favorite movies or TV shows.

Users can now enjoy their favorite entertainment as the producers intended with the Creator Mode. “Powered by CineAlta,” it now features a factory-calibrated OLED display to mirror the color reproduction of Sony’s professional color monitors used in leading Hollywood studio productions. Additionally, both models feature 10-bit equivalent displays (8-bit with 2-bit smoothing) that can display a myriad of colors without banding and support BT.2020 color space.

Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III capture the senses and offer an audio-visual experience like no other. Streaming content is more lifelike than ever with more contrast, color and clarity. Consistent with their predecessors, they benefit from the X1™ for mobile engine which brings BRAVIA HDR remastering technology for a beautifully expressive viewing experience. Similarly, thanks to the continued incorporation of Dolby Atmos® sound tuned in collaboration with Sony Pictures Entertainment, users can experience a fully immersive, multi-dimensional performance with headphones or the smartphone’s built-in Full-stage stereo speakers.

Play to Win

Gamers can gain a key advantage with the superior upgrades in Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III. The familiar 21:9 display transports players into the thick of the action[xiii].Thanks to a new and improved 120Hz Refresh rate display[xiv], now incorporated in the 1 series and 5 series, fasting-moving objects are rendered clearly for seriously smooth gameplay. The addition of 240Hz Motion blur reduction[xv] also means the display updates at an incredible 240 times per second for blur-free with crystal clear performance. 240Hz Touch scanning rate also ensures that the action happens exactly as intended, and is a crucial advantage over the competition.

Another new feature in both models is the ability to adjust white balance – reducing strain on the eyes and allowing for longer durations of mobile gameplay. The new L-y raiser (low gamma raiser) also makes it easier to see opponents in the dark by adjusting image details in dark areas and highlighting enemies without overexposing bright areas of the screen.

Combining visual excellence with an immersive audio experience is key for both Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III. Gamers can plug-in their favorite headset via a 3.5mm headphone jack for impressive audio with minimal latency. The new Audio equalizer lets users control, heighten and minimize sounds such as footsteps and surrounding noises, allowing them to hear their opponents approaching and react ahead of them[xvi]. And for those playing in teams, the new optimized V.C. microphone allows for clear communication by reducing background noise based on the users chosen headset type[xvii].

Avid gamers can now relive winning moments in all their glory thanks to high frame rate recording at up to 120fps[xviii]. Whatever they are playing, R.T. record (Rewind time record) automatically pre-records up to 30 seconds of game footage so gamers can easily rewind and capture key moments like match-winning plays and share them online with friends and fellow competitors.

Lastly, thanks to incorporated Heat Suppression power control (H. S. power control), gaming performance remains uncompromised. By powering the phone systems directly, rather than charging the battery, thermal stress on the handsets is reduced.

Create Movies like the Professionals

Cinematography Pro “powered by CineAlta” enables more creative choices for engaging storytelling such as dramatic 5x slow-motion in 4K HDR 120fps[xix].It also records in 21:9 ratio at 24/25/30/60fps, enhancing cinematic expression. Eight different Look color management pre-sets allow the user to completely change the mood of their scenes by utilizing different cinema styles, a vital tool in advanced storytelling. Sony’s unique Intelligent wind filter technology uses award-winning audio separation technology to reduce wind interference for clearer audio recording, making it easier for the user to focus on their creative vision.

New features within both models include a range of UI improvements designed specifically with movie makers in mind. For instance, to help users control their workflow, they can easily check how much free memory is remaining and how much recording time is still available. Users can also easily check which parameters they used on a specific clip to apply them to other projects. Each clip’s parameter details now include resolution, FPS, look, lens, stabilizer, WB, ISO, shutter angle/ speed, focus and audio level. This is further complemented with the ability to review and organize footage with clip playback, allowing users to play back clips with a simple swipe on the phone’s display.

Audio Playback as the Recording Artist Intended

Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III allow listeners to immerse themselves in sound that is so authentic, it can feel like they are at a live concert or with the artist recording in a studio. Much like the immersive experience for cinephiles, the new Xperia models utilize sound tuned in collaboration with Sony Music Entertainment. In addition to unique hardware decoding, a newly developed speaker virtualizer enables Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III to be the world's first smartphones to reproduce 360 Reality Audio in the speakersvii. To top it off, new TIDAL subscribers will get three months of TIDAL Hi-Fi free when they buy either model, including the 360 Reality Audio experience.

If the music source being listened to is 2-channel stereo, the new 360 Spatial Sound comes into play. It enables the Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III to upmix stereo tracks and virtualize to an immersive sound experience, in real time. The technology works with local audio files and streaming services to further enhance the listening experience.

High-quality music can be further enjoyed through the Full-stage stereo speakers or when listening with headphones either wirelessly or with the 3.5mm audio jack. The Full-stage stereo speakers are placed at the front of the phone to effectively reproduce the sound field. And as an exclusive update for Xperia 1 III, are now up to 40 percent more powerful[xx] than its predecessor[xxi]. This is thanks to a new speaker box structure, which has been designed both to improve sound pressure and eliminate vibration. The audio volume through audio-out (via the 3.5mm audio jack) has also been improved by approximately 40 percent, while sound quality has improved with less distortion near the maximum output level.

As well as High-Resolution and High-Resolution Wireless Audio, both Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III continue to offer DSEE Ultimate[xxii] which enhances the quality of digital music using Sony AI technology, including audio and video streaming services. It automatically improves audio frequency and dynamic range in real-time, taking each track close to high-resolution audio.

All the Speed you Need

Combining 5G and Wi-Fi connectivity with the latest Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 888 5G Mobile Platform, the next generation of Xperia raises the bar for smartphone performance thanks to the Qualcomm® Kryo™ 680 CPU enabling up to 25 percent higher performance and Qualcomm® Adreno™ 660 GPU delivering 35 percent faster graphic rendering than the previous generation.

Smart connectivity takes Xperia smartphones’ deep learning technology that utilizes Sony's Neural Network Libraries and analyses Wi-Fi signals to predict near-future connectivity issues. The Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III assesses the quality of available Wi-Fi before connecting so there's no more grabbing Wi-Fi that doesn't work. If it predicts any compromise in Wi-Fi connection quality, it uses mobile data instead[xxiii].

With a 4,500mAh battery, both models offer plenty of power to keep users going through the day while a range of charging features helps maximize convenience and prolong battery lifeviii. When the battery needs a boost, it can be charged up to 50 percent in just 30 minutes with the included charger XZQ-UC1. Furthermore, Xperia Adaptive Charging allows the battery life to be extended up to three years (up from two in previous models) in both models. Xperia Adaptive Charging works by monitoring the phone as it charges, to make sure the battery isn't overworked.

Finally, Xperia 1 III offers a wireless charging and Battery share function, allowing the device to be connected to a wireless charger to conveniently top off the battery. Thanks to the Battery share function, it can double as a charging pad for other devices too.

Sleek Design with Functionality in Mind

Both Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III are crafted to be robust. The Xperia 1 III combines high-quality materials with a bold and distinctive design. From the frosted glass on the back to the blasted metal frame, it's an irresistible blend of form and function. It also features Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus™ on the display, the toughest Gorilla Glass yet – boasting improvement in both drop and scratch performance. Meanwhile, the Xperia 5 III is its compact cousin featuring Corning Gorilla Glass 6™ on the rear and the display with a sleek mirror-glass finish and a robust metal frame. For further peace of mind, both models also feature IP65/68[xxiv] water resistance and protection against dust.

For the busy multi-taskers, both models feature upgrades to the multi-window functionality. With the pop-up window feature, users can easily handle a new task, then get right back to what they were doing.

Last but not least, when paired with compatible Sony headphones[xxv], users can easily access the Sony | Headphones Connect app using the new Side Sense menu for swift connectivity.


Both models are available with a new and improved Antibacterial Style Cover. Designed with durability in mind, the covers feature a built-in stand to support horizontal placement and provide a comfortable viewing experience. They are also coated with anti-bacterial material that has a protection rate of up to 99.9 percent[xxvi] – preventing cell growth.

A 30W compact charger is also available and features USB-C power delivery. Designed for overheat protection, this new charger is certified with PPS support (Programmable Power Supply) to reduce heat impact.

Pricing and Availability

Xperia 1 III will be available in Frosted Black and Frosted Purple and shipped with Android™ 11. Xperia 5 III will be available in Black and Green and shipped with Android™ 11 as well[xxvii]. Pricing for both models will be announced at a later date. The products will ship to U.S. customers this summer.

[i] Xperia 1 III / Xperia 5 III feature 70mm and 105mm focal length in the same periscope camera paired with a Dual Pixel Diode sensor. Verified by Strategy Analytics' SpecTRAX Service against the published camera specifications for over 18,500 smartphones. Correct as of the 14th April 2021.

[ii] Verified by Strategy Analytics' SpecTRAX Service against the published display specifications for over 18,500 smartphones. Correct as of the 14th April 2021.

[iii] Real-time Tracking is only available on Xperia 1 III. The subject may not be detected depending on the shooting environment

[v] Xperia 1 III features Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus™ on the display only. The rear is crafted from Corning® Gorilla® Glass 6. Xperia 5 III features Corning® Gorilla® Glass 6 on the display and rear

[vi] 40 percent more powerful speakers only available in Xperia 1 III – compared to Xperia 1 II

[vii] This feature is currently available with TIDAL. Third party terms, conditions, account and fees may apply. Service availability may vary by market. Verified by Strategy Analytics' SpecTRAX Service against the current audio specifications for over 18,500 smartphones. Correct as of the 14th April 2021.

[viii] Result tested by Sony Corporation - based on usage profile using the same type of battery and USB charging. The life span of the battery varies on usage situation.

[ix] Accuracy may vary according to environmental circumstances. Some performance restrictions may apply.

[x] Maximum calculations will depend on shooting environment. Up to x60 calculations per second AF/AE is available for 24mm, 16mm, 70mm and the 105mm lens can calculate up to 30fps AF/AE

[xi] 35mm equivalent format

[xiii] Depending on the specification of the game, it may not be display in the 21:9 ratio

[xvi] The feature may vary by content, game availability and compatibility.

[xviii] Effective when the setting of the Game Enhancer Refresh rate is more than 120Hz, or the setting is "Performance First". High frame rate recording up to 120fps is available at 720p resolution.

[xix] Functions with the 24mm lens only and when set at 24fps

[xx] The effect of feature may vary depending on environment and contents. Some performance restrictions may apply

[xxi] Compared to the Xperia 1 II

[xxii] High-resolution compatible headphones (sold separately) are required to enjoy high-resolution sound sources equivalent to high-resolution audio

[xxiii] Smart connectivity availability may vary depending on country, carrier and user environment.

[xxiv] This device is water resistant and protected against dust. All ports and attached covers should be firmly closed. Do not put the device completely underwater or expose it to seawater, salt water, chlorinated water or liquids such as drinks. Abuse and improper use of device will invalidate warranty. The device has been tested under Ingress Protection rating IP65/68. Sony devices that are tested for their water resistant abilities are placed gently inside a container filled with tap water and lowered to a depth of 1.5 meters. After 30 minutes in the container, the device is gently taken out and its functions and features are tested. Note this model has a capless USB port to connect and charge. The USB port needs to be completely dry before charging

[xxv] Headphones must be compatible with the smartphone app "Sony | Headphones Connect".

[xxvi] Protection rate may vary depending on long-term usage

[xxvii] Pricing for both models will be announced at a later date. The products will ship to U.S. customers this summer.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Canon EOS R3: What do we know, and what can it tell us about a future 'EOS-R1'?

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 14 apr 2021 - 06:00
The EOS R3 clearly inherits aspects of Canon's EOS-1D series of cameras, but what else can we learn from what Canon has told us?

Canon has just announced the development of what will be the highest-spec RF-mount camera yet, the EOS R3. The few details that have been released point towards a very interesting camera, but also something else; something even more capable, coming in the future.

So although Canon hasn't given away a lot away in this announcement, it's provided enough lines for us to read between them.

The name:

The most obvious implication of the R3 announcement comes from the product's name. Canon's flagship pro sports models have been named as some variant on '1' as far back as the F-1 SLR which debuted in 1971. The EOS-1 came along in 1989, and the first flagship digital model, the EOS-1D, was released in 2001. The fact that the R3 isn't branded as an 'R1' strongly suggests Canon has something planned to sit above it.

Back in the late 1990s Canon had the EOS-3 which sat between its EOS-5 and EOS-1 series models and, just as with the R5 and R6, I doubt this re-use of numbering is coincidental.

1998's EOS-3 shared a lot of technology with the EOS-1V of 2000. What it didn't share was quite same level of build and reliability that pros depend upon.

This could mean one of two things: firstly, in terms of price, it may mean that the R3 will sit between the $3,900 price point of the EOS R5 and somewhere in the region of the $6,500 price tag implied by the current range-topping EOS-1DX Mark III. Of course, the hypothetical R1 could also be even more expensive than the existing DSLR flagship, making it the preserve of agency shooters and sideline pros, with the R3 providing a more accessible option non-professionals. Just like the film-era EOS-3 did, back in the 90s and early 2000s.

Either way, the limited specs Canon has given so far: 30 fps shooting with continuous AF, improved AF for sports shooting and a dual grip design all suggest that on spec at least, the R3 may be a more powerful camera than the 1D X Mark III, despite its more lowly numerical title. That, in turn, sets even higher expectations for an R1 level model.

Stacked CMOS

The other factor that boosts our hopes for both cameras is Canon's adoption of Stacked CMOS technology. We recently wrote that the use of Stacked CMOS is likely to be the key enabling technology underpinning almost every aspect of the performance of Nikon's promised Z9 pro-level mirrorless camera. There's every reason to suspect the same will be true for Canon.

Stacked CMOS is likely to be the enabling technology underpinning Nikon and Canon's promised pro-level mirrorless cameras

Canon says its chip will be a Dual Pixel design, developed in-house. This means we can't be certain of the approach it will use: in itself the Stacked CMOS approach doesn’t necessarily mean the use of in-sensor RAM, as is the case in Sony Semiconductor designs, but this is an obvious means of supporting the fast sensor readout that Canon is promising.

Interestingly, it means we'll see Canon jump directly from conventional Front Side Illumination chips to Stacked CMOS, without passing through the intermediate step of making single piece (non-stacked) BSI chips.

Canon has a history of persisting with older manufacturing processes (such as larger component scale) for longer than most of the rest of the industry, squeezing everything possible out of its manufacturing investment before moving on. This is very different to companies that also make smartphone sensors, and regularly have fabrication equipment being passed down as their fine-scale small sensor products move on to the next cutting-edge process.

To Canon's credit, the low light and readout performance of the EOS R5 sensor is extremely high for an FSI sensor, and it could be that Canon decided that there weren't sufficient benefits to justify the cost of moving from FSI to BSI in the relatively large pixel sensors it makes. The jump to Stacked CMOS (essentially next-gen BSI) opens up more significant scope for performance improvements though, so it'll be exciting to see what the R3 and hypothetical future R1 will do with it. This level of ambition would be consistent with the apparent leap forward we saw with Canon's most recent R models.

Eye input AF

The other attention-grabbing detail in the R3 announcement is that it will have 'Eye input AF,' that will select an AF point based on where the photographer is looking. Canon users of a certain age are likely to be reminded of the 'Eye Controlled Focus' system from the 1990s that did much the same thing.

The EOS-3 featured the most ambitious version of Canon's Eye Controlled Focus system. The 45 AF points that made up the system were all very tightly packed, and the EOS R3 is likely to need to work with much higher precision if it's to be useful.

Eye Controlled Focus didn't make the leap across to Canon's digital cameras and people have speculated whether it could make a comeback ever since. Clearly similar sentiments persisted somewhere within Canon.

It's been 17 years since the last camera to offer Eye Controlled Focus and AF systems have only become more complex in the interim, with many more selectable points spread over a wider area (the most points the old system ever had to cope with was 45; in the EOS-3, as it happens). But equally, in the meantime, sensing technologies and subject tracking algorithms have become significantly more advanced. As subject-aware AF tracking systems have shown, cameras have become very adept at identifying and tracking small moving subjects with a high degree of precision. This isn't quite the same challenge, but it's similar enough, conceptually, to raise our hopes that it'll be up to the job. That said, subject tracking has become so good, there's a question mark over how necessary it'll be, at all.

Wrap-up The EOS-1D X Mark III includes a large battery, a substantial image buffer and connections including Ethernet ports that pro sports shooters rely upon. The R3 won't necessarily do so.

What the specs make clear is that the R3 is going to be an ambitious camera. Just over a year ago, we said that the 20 fps-in-liveview EOS-1D X III looked like a pretty capable mirrorless sports camera that just happened to still be trapped inside a DSLR body. But the R3, with its promise of 30 fps shooting and improved AF, makes it highly possible that Canon’s second-string camera may well outperform its current flagship. This in itself is an exciting prospect, even before you start to explore the implications for a future R1.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt


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