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Fujifilm X-H2 in-depth review

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 20 mar 2023 - 15:27
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Product images by Richard Butler

89%Overall scoreJump to conclusion

The Fujifilm X-H2 is a high-end 40MP APS-C mirrorless camera for both stills and video shooting. Its high-resolution stills and 8K video capabilities stand in contrast to the high-speed shooting and fast-readout 4K capabilities of its X-H2S sister model.

Key specifications
  • 40MP BSI CMOS X-Trans APS-C sensor
  • 15 fps with mechanical shutter (20 fps with e-shutter, 1.29x crop)
  • 8K, 6.2K or 2:1 oversampled 4K video at up to 30p
  • Three versions of Pro Res, H.265 or H.264 video encoding
  • Built-in image stabilization rated to 7.0 stops
  • 5.76M-dot EVF capable of up to 120 fps refresh
  • 1 CFexpress Type B, 1 UHS-II SD card slot
  • Full-sized HDMI port
  • 680 shot-per-charge battery rating (CIPA)
  • Compatibility with battery grip or transmitter module

The X-H2 will be available from late September at a recommended cost of $1,999.

The X-H2 is compatible with both the VG-XH battery grip, which takes two batteries and costs $399, and the file transfer grip launched alongside it at a cost of $999. It's also compatible with the $199 add-on fan unit, if you want to record longer periods of high-res video.

  • Sept 8: Initial review published
  • March 20: Image quality, Video, Autofocus, Conclusion and updated Sample gallery published
What's new 40MP BSI X-Trans CMOS sensor

The biggest new feature of the X-H2 is its use of a new 40MP BSI CMOS sensor, the highest-resolution chip of its size we've seen in an APS-C consumer camera. A BSI sensor doesn't offer the significant speed benefits of the stacked CMOS chip in the X-H2S, but is able to deliver slightly lower read noise while also allowing the camera to be less expensive.

The chip uses Fuji's X-Trans color filter array up front. This filter is designed to reduce the risk of moiré appearing compared to Bayer filters (where it's still a risk even with high-res sensors and bright, sharp lenses) by having a less regularly-repeating pattern to its red and blue channels; however there's a narrower choice of software that'll get the very best out of it.

We look in more detail at the sensor later in the review, but the additional detail comes with some increase in noise when viewed at 100% (simply because each individual pixel will get less light). What's more interesting is looking at its whole-image quality, to see whether there's any overall noise cost to its higher level of detail capture.

8K video Mic, headphones and a full-sized HDMI socket: video is just as central to the X-H2 as it is to the X-H2S.

The move to a 40MP sensor gives the X-H2 enough pixels to deliver 8K video from the full width of its sensor, and sure enough that's what the camera offers, at framerates of up to 30p. There's also a 2:1 oversampled 'HQ' 4K mode taken from this 8K capture, or a sub-sampled version that can be shot at up to 60p.

If 8K is more than you're looking for, the camera offers a 6.2K mode that also appears to be oversampled and derived from the 8K output. Interestingly, the 6.2K footage is in the 16:9 aspect ratio commonly used in video, unlike the similarly-named mode in the X-H2S that produces the taller 3:2, photo-shaped output. We have to assume that the change is to provide a degree of flexibility for cropping or post-shot detail processing without the file sizes of shooting in 8K.

The X-H2 offers the same extensive choice of codecs for video capture as its sibling, with a choice of H.264 of H.265 compression with either 4:2:0 or 4:2:2 subsampling and Long-GOP or All-I encoding. In addition, you can capture ProRes 422 HQ, 422, or 422LT files, meaning there should be an option to fit your chosen workflow.

The camera can output a UHD 8K (7680 x 4320) Raw video stream that can be encoded as ProRes RAW if you have an Atomos Ninja V+ recorder, or BRaw if you have a Blackmagic Video Assist.

Of course the move to a slower sensor means the X-H2 can't match the impressive readout rates of the X-H2S, and there's been significant rolling shutter visible in the footage we've shot so far. The X-H2 includes an F-Log2 option, but it's likely to offer slightly less usable dynamic range than the X-H2S with its 14-bit readout.

Pixel shift high-resolution mode

Fujifilm already has a pixel-shift high resolution mode in its GFX medium format cameras, but this is its first appearance in a camera with an X-Trans color filter pattern. The less-frequent repeat pattern means that the camera has to take 20 images to get a single pixel sensor movement between each one, but the end result is a set of files that can be combined into a 160MP image using the downloadable 'Pixel Shift Combiner' software.


The X-H2 offers the same range of subject recognition autofocus modes as the X-H2S. AF speed may take a hit because the X-H2 can't read out its sensor as fast as the 'S' model, though AF information usually comes from a faster, low-resolution readout, so this may not be a factor.

Face/Eye Animal Car Motorbike & bIke Airplane Birds Trains
  • Humans (incl. wearing glasses and mask)
  • Cat
  • Dog
  • Horse
  • Open-wheel
  • Rally cars
  • Passenger cars
  • Motorbike
  • Bicycles
  • Fighter jet
  • Passenger plane
  • Prop aircraft
  • Birds
  • Trains

As with the X-H2S, the subject recognition modes are entirely distinct from the camera's face and eye tracking modes, so you'll need to assign two custom buttons if you want quick access to both. The camera does not return to the previously used mode if you turn face/eye or subject detection on then off.

Assigning a button to engage subject tracking doesn't give you a way to switch between subject modes; to do that you'll need to use the Q or main menu. We found the subject recognition modes to generally work well on the X-H2. We look at whether the performance lives up to the standard of the faster-readout X-H2S later in the review.

CFexpress Type B / UHS-II SD

The X-H2 uses the same combination of CFexpress Type B and UHS-II compatible SD card slots as its sibling. As on X-H2S, the CFe slot really comes into its own when shooting video, especially in the data-heavy ProRes formats. The faster format also provides the bandwidth to clear bursts of those 40MP images from the buffer quickly, but a lot of stills shooters will probably get by fine with a fast SD card.

Shutter mechanism

Just in case the X-H2's high-end status isn't obvious, Fujifilm stresses that its shutter mechanism, as well as being able to shoot at 1/8000 sec and continuously at up to 15 fps, is also rated to offer a lifespan of 500,000 shots. These are details we're only used to seeing on high-end pro-focused cameras.

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How it compares

The high-end APS-C camera is something of a rare beast these days, and indeed to match its resolution would send you to the higher-end full-frame cameras, where you face a rather different balance of image quality, size and cost. There's currently nothing that tries to shoot 8K footage this side of the Canon EOS R5, whose original list price was nearly twice as high.

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Body and handling

The body of the X-H2 is identical to that of the X-H2S, with the exception of the model name and 'S' badge on the front of the high-speed model. As befits a body that's likely to make sense for landscape work, it's one of the best-sealed bodies Fujifilm has yet made.

This means it has the same command-dial-led user interface as the X-H2S, GFX 100S, and 50S II, that gives you a fast at-your-fingertips way of working (one that will be familiar to the users of just about every brand). By default the front dial controls the primary exposure setting and the rear controls exposure comp (with the exception of M mode, where you can configure a button to get Exp Comp when using Auto ISO). You can't assign other functions to the dials, though, even if you're using a lens's aperture ring in preference to a command dial.

The X-H2 uses the same 1.62M-dot fully-articulated touchscreen LCD as the X-H2S, and can also be used with the optional screw-in fan unit (via the five connection points exposed, lower right).

The viewfinder and screens are the same as the X-H2S, with a fully-articulating rear 1.62M-dot touchscreen and large 0.8x mag, 5.76M-dot OLED finder. It's a huge viewfinder, to the point where it can sometimes be difficult to see the whole display when wearing glasses, despite the relatively generous 24mm eyepoint.

The body has a substantial front grip and ten customizable buttons (with the option of also using the four directions of the four-way controller, plus four swipe directions on the rear screen). The use of single-function command dials, rather than the clickable ones on many previous X-Series cameras, gives a more solid, dependable feel to their operation, and removes the risk of inadvertently clicking into a different mode at a crucial moment. The downside is you can't assign settings such as ISO to the dials.

The menus are a continuation of those used in recent Fujifilm models and are generally well organized and easy to navigate. There's a lot going on within them, and it's certainly worth exploring them when you first pick up the camera, to decide which of the many features you wish to assign to a custom button (there are 73 assignable options in total).

As with other recent Fujifilm cameras, you can customize which functions appear in the camera's Q menu. The Q menu can be modified to contain between four and sixteen options, with separate menus for stills and video mode and the choice of whether the 'buttons' appear on a grey or transparent background.

You can also create up to seven custom settings banks that can then be accessed from the camera's mode dial. These settings banks capture just about all the camera's settings when set, with no option to exclude parameters that you might not want to change, so think carefully as you define them.

The level of customization extends to letting you decide what information is shown on the LCD and in the EVF, what appears in the easier-to-read 'Large Indicator' mode, and whether that appears in the LCD, EVF, or neither. You can also customize what information the camera's top panel display shows, with separate settings for stills and video.


The X-H2 uses the same NP-W235 battery as the X-H2S, X-T4, and some GFX models. It offers a fairly substantial 16Wh capacity and powers the camera to a CIPA battery rating of 680 shots per charge using the rear LCD. This is a very impressive number and suggests the camera is less power-hungry than the X-H2S. A rating this high means that only the most demanding of shoots (such as a wedding) are likely to challenge the capacity of the battery, since it's common to achieve more than twice the rated number of shots (depending on how you shoot).

The optional VG-XH vertical grip adds capacity for two extra batteries, increasing the battery life 2.4 times to 1,600 shots. If all else fails you can also power the camera directly from a suitably powerful USB-C PD source.

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Initial impressions

by Richard Butler
Originally published Sept 2022

With the arrival of the X-H2 we can finally clearly see that the 'H' really does mean hybrid. It's not a case of the X-H2S being 'the video model' and the X-H2 being 'the stills model,' but more a case of the X-H2S being the high-speed option and the X-H2 being the high-resolution one, as both appear similarly adept at stills and video.

The BSI sensor can't deliver the impressively low rolling shutter rates that the X-H2S can with its stacked chip, but even with significant rolling shutter, the X-H2 is by far the least-expensive ILC to shoot 8K at present. Usefully, it will deliver many of the benefits of that high resolution in its 6.2K and 4K footage if you don't plan to output at a resolution that most people can't currently play back.

In our brief time with the camera we found a few little inconveniences (such as the selection of subject recognition modes, and not giving the option of using one of the dials for ISO), but these are things we can hope to be amended with firmware. In the meantime, though, the X-H2 delivers the same fast-to-use, decently customizable interface as the 'S' model in a very comfortable, ergonomic body.

Of course, those X-H1 users hoping for an exact repeat of that camera's control system are likely to be disappointed: the X-H2 uses the same GFX-derived command-dial interface as the X-H2S. Its hybrid credentials also means it gets the same fully-articulating rear display as the S, which may come as a letdown for those hoping for the more stills-orientated tilt screen used on most X-T models (and the original X-H1, for that matter).

If Fujifilm seems to be embracing the more modern, conventional operating style, rather than the throwback one seen elsewhere in the X-series, well, there's a reason: it's become the default way most high-end cameras work. And the release of the X-T5 proved that Fujifilm is not about to abandon the dedicated-dial fan club it's spent a decade cultivating, just because its hybrid line has done so.

We've enjoyed our time with the X-H2 so far. It's a relatively big body for an APS-C camera, but it's difficult to make a weathersealed camera that has lots of control points, feels solid, fits well in the hand and includes a usefully robust battery much smaller. Witticisms about it being 'nearly the size of a full-frame camera' ring hollow when you mount any of the F2 lenses on it. To us it makes sense, given what it's trying to deliver.

What will be interesting to see is whether it gets usurped by its stablemates, once they get upgraded to the latest generation of processors and sensors. But now that there's a clear 'hybrid' series of cameras in Fuji's lineup, it can attract buyers on that basis, while freeing Fuji's X-T line to appeal to its own niche without trying to meet all needs.

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Image quality

Out of camera JPEG shot using the Velvia Film Simulation.

Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R LM WR | ISO 125 | 1/2200 sec | F2.8
Photo: Dan Bracaglia

Studio scene

Our test scene is designed to simulate a variety of textures, colors and detail types you'll encounter in the real world. It also has two illumination modes to see the effect of different lighting conditions.

$(document).ready(function() { ImageComparisonWidget({"containerId":"reviewImageComparisonWidget-30053942","widgetId":857,"initialStateId":null}) })

With a whopping 40 megapixels of BSI goodness, the X-H2 captures an impressive amount of detail$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5629-1486907768").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5629); }); }) for an APS-C camera, besting the 33MP Canon EOS R7 and its nearest sibling, the 26MP X-H2S. At base ISO$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5684--97949019").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5684); }); }). Noise levels are similar to the competition, despite its smaller, more densely packed pixels. With a 1/3EV lower base ISO than the X-H2S, the X-H2 also offers a small signal-to-noise advantage over its sibling in ideal shooting conditions.

At higher ISOs$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5685-1082173912").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5685); }); }), the advantage of a lower-resolution sensor becomes clearer. While the X-H2 looks a little noisier than its Fujifilm sibling, the Raw output is still cleaner than the EOS R7 and surprisingly, the Sony a6600; the same is true at very high ISOs$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5686-2057524020").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5686); }); }). In terms of high ISO detail, there doesn't appear to be any advantage or disadvantage$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5687-45852291").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5687); }); }) to the higher-resolution chip.

Default JPEG color$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5689-301621868").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5689); }); }), shot using the Provia-Standard profile, looks punchy and pleasing. Reds aren't quite as saturated as the competition but Fujifilm greens, blues and yellows all look spot on. Default sharpening at lower ISOs$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5690--126218094").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5690); }); }) is good, though perhaps not quite as sophisticated as the competition.

At high ISO$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5691--898083580").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5691); }); }), Fujifilm's noise reduction does a pretty good job of balancing smoothing with detail retention. In low-contrast details$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5692--1723250423").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5692); }); }), there's a little over-smoothing but the results are still better than the Canon.

Pixel shift mode

Fujifilm specifically says the X-H2's high-resolution pixel shift mode is intended for static scenes. So while there is plenty of impressive detail here, there are also unsightly artifacts in areas like the foliage due to wind and in the streets from passing vehicles.

Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R LM WR | ISO 125 | 1/3000 sec | F2.8
Photo: Dan Bracaglia

You'll need to tripod-mount the X-H2 to make the most of its pixel-shift high-resolution mode, which captures 20 frames for a 160MP final image. We also recommend using the self-timer to avoid camera movement. The menus allow you to choose how much time elapses between each shot; choices include 'Short,' 1 sec, 2 sec, 5 sec, and 15 sec. For the vast majority of scenes, we'd opt for Short.

This mode creates 20 Raw files which will need to be combined on a computer using PixelShift Combiner. This program is quick to download and reasonably straightforward to use. Simply select the images you wish to combine and let it do its thing. The whole process involves a couple of clicks and takes about one minute to create one high-res shot. The resulting file is a DNG roughly 650MB in size.

Dynamic range

Our dynamic range tests examine how much read noise a sensor is adding, to see how flexible Raw files are. When it comes to the X-H2, you can expect very little read noise and lots of flexibility in post.

Our ISO invariance test looks at how much read noise there is, that can be overcome by raising the ISO setting. Despite having a dual conversion gain sensor, there's only a slight improvement to be had: much less than the stacked chip of the X-H2S, because the X-H2's base ISO performance is already so good.

This gives the option to essentially lock your ISO at its base of 125, shoot whatever aperture and shutter speed settings you please, and increase the brightness of the Raw file later, without adding much noticeable electronic noise. For example, an ISO 125 image increased by 4.7EV looks only slightly noisier than a 'properly' exposed ISO 3200 shot. Use ISO 500, where the second gain step becomes active, and there'll be essentially no noise penalty, but with additional highlight capture for every stop of ISO you chose to forego.

Edited to taste in ACR.

Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R LM WR | ISO 125 | 1/1250 sec | F1.4
Photo: Dan Bracaglia

Our X-H2 exposure latitude test takes at a slightly different approach, testing how much you can reduce the exposure, in this case using the shutter speed, to maintain highlights, then pull the shadows in post. The reduced exposure increases the noise, but we can compare to other APS-C cameras to see how much additional noise the camera is adding. The X-H2 results are on par with some of the best APS-C sensors we've tested and a step up from the X-H2S, which prioritizes speed over dynamic range.

This knowledge is especially handy for landscape photographers looking to preserve sunset or sunrise highlights.

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Eyes = detected. Out of camera JPEG captured using a pre-production X-H2 and the Acros Film Simulation.

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR| ISO 125 | 1/250 sec | F1.8
Photo: Jordan Drake

The X-H2 uses a similar autofocus system to its sister camera, the X-H2S. For AF tracking purposes it doesn't sample its sensor nearly as often as its sibling. But then again it's also not capable of shooting full-sensor 40 fps bursts with AF (albeit with limited success).

Despite the slower sample rate, the X-H2's various tracking modes work with good reliability and decent precision.

AF performance

Given the X-H2's focus on resolution and detail capture, we field-tested the camera in likely use cases, including landscape and portrait photography as well as street and travel photography. Regardless of our subject or shooting scenario, we opted to stick with one of three AF modes: Face/Eye Detect, Animal Detect or standard AF tracking.

Face/eye detection works well, even in moderate to low lighting. That said, a peek at 100% shows the focus just a smidge off from the eye. Out of camera JPEG.

Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R LM WR | ISO 320 | 1/500 sec | F1.4
Photo: Dan Bracaglia

Face/eye detection on the X-H2 works well. In most instances, the tracking box sticks to the intended subject. And as long as they aren't dancing a jig or thrashing about, locking focus on or close to the eye is well within this camera's abilities. That said, your performance will vary depending on which lens you use and how dim the lighting conditions are.

Most users will find the camera's output in this mode more than sharp enough. However, discerning pixel peepers, eager to make use of all forty million pixels, may not. From our field testing roughly 15–25% of images were on the soft side at the pixel level. However, when we say 'soft,' we mean ever so slightly mis-focused (this system rarely flat-out misses). Distractions like glasses and bangs/fringes seem to be this mode's kryptonite (see image above).

Animal detection works quite well. Just be sure to crank up that shutter speed to freeze the action. Lightly edited and cropped-in in Adobe Camera Raw.

Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R LM WR | ISO 320 | 1/500 sec | F1.4
Photo: Dan Bracaglia

Of the subject-specific modes, Animal Detect got the most action in our tests and proved extremely capable. Perhaps big ol' puppy dog eyes are just easier to focus on than human eyes. But the X-H2 had zero issues sticking to the face of one very rambunctious pup.

Standard tracking AF, that isn't trying to recognize the subject, is also sticky and works reliably well, assuming you get a good lock on your subject from the start. However, this AF option is still frustratingly not available when shooting video, something we're hopeful can be addressed with firmware.

AF performance from the X-H2 is adequate by today's standards. But there are more reliable platforms that require less futzing with AF controls and modes. Out of camera JPEG.

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR| ISO 125 | 1/5000 sec | F1.2
Photo: Jordan Drake

It's also worth noting that while Fujifilm has made great strides in the AF department, if you want the absolute best AF performance, especially when it comes to tracking subjects, cameras like the Canon EOS R7 and the four-year-old the Sony a6600 still have the X-H2 beat.

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Video Video quality $(document).ready(function() { ImageComparisonWidget({"containerId":"reviewImageComparisonWidget-21351181","widgetId":875,"initialStateId":null}) })

As expected, 8K footage looks really impressive$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5701-1859351286").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5701); }); }), with lots of lovely detail$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5702--357046874").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5702); }); }) wherever you look in the scene$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5703-941378832").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5703); }); }). It doesn't match the level of detail captured by the likes of the Canon EOS R5$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5704--658079881").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5704); }); }) shooting 8K, but the results are darn good for a $2000 body. 6.2K also looks quite good$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5705-876945555").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5705); }); }).

In 4K HQ mode, the X-H2 capture is similarly detailed$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5706--1963516780").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5706); }); }) to that of the X-H2S as well as the Sony a6600$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5707--1288745342").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5707); }); }), putting it on par with the best of APS-C. That said, 4K/60p on the X-H2 can't hold a candle$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5708--1975252096").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5708); }); }) to that of the X-H2S, which makes sense given the former's need to use a 1.14x crop in this mode.

Of course, our video widget is only telling part of the story when it comes to video quality. Sensor readout speed also plays a large role in video performance. The faster the readout, the less likely you are to notice rolling shutter distortion.

Crops and rolling shutter timings (16:9, UHD modes) Fujifilm X-H2 Fujifilm X-T5 8K

Full width / 31.3ms

— 6.2K Full width / 31.3ms 1.23x (native) crop / 25.2ms 4K (HQ) Full width / 31.3ms 1.23x crop / 25.2ms 4K/60p (sub-sampled) 1.14x crop / 13.7ms 1.14x crop / 13.7ms 4K (sub-sampled) Full width / 15.5ms Full width / 15.5ms

Unfortunately, regardless of which full-width video capture mode you choose, the X-H2 is taking 31.3ms to read the sensor. That might sound pretty fast but it's not quite quick enough to avoid exhibiting the dreaded jello effect or other rolling shutter uglies. By comparison, the X-H2S is reading its sensor every 6.2ms in 6.2K mode, resulting in almost no rolling shutter.

Now, these results are not to say that the X-H2's most detailed video modes aren't usable. They're just best used for mostly static shots and scenes, like interviews.

Video IS

No stabilization rig or tripod? No problem. Fujifilm has stepped up its IS game, and recent models like the X-H2 are more stable than ever.

Even with a non-IS lens, you can easily film steady hand-held footage. And for long, static hand-held shots, the camera's 'IS Boost Mode' does a particularly good job of imitating a tripod. That said, panning and walking with the camera present a bit more of a challenge for the IBIS system, and it will occasionally fight intended movements. Still, while not as steady or intelligent a platform as what OMDS or Panasonic offer, Fujifilm has made a lot of progress on the stability front, and it really shows in video mode. The tendency to dramatically snap back to the IS's central position appears to have been reined in.

Video AF

There's no non-recognition AF tracking mode in video, but you can use face/eye detection as well as any of the subject-specific AF tracking modes, assuming your subject is a person, animal or some sort of vehicle.

Face/eye and animal detection both work exceptionally well in scenes with one individual, with smooth focus transitions and minimal hunting when a subject does move. Of course, video AF performance on this camera is very lens dependent.

In scenes with more than one individual, face/eye detection tends to stay faithful to the initial subject selected – until the person turns around, at which point the camera will almost certainly shift its attention to the next most prominent face in the scene. Even if/when the original subject faces the camera again, focus will remain fixated on the new face and require user intervention (i.e., tapping the screen) to return to the initial subject. This is a disappointment, especially compared to the human detection AF of other recent cameras that knows to stick to the originally-chosen subject.

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By Dan Bracaglia

Image stabilization works well on the X-H2. This image was shot hand-held at 1/2 sec using a non-stabilized 35mm equiv. lens. Out of camera JPEG.

Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R LM WR | ISO 250 | 1/2 sec | F1.4
Photo: Dan Bracaglia

What we like What we don't
  • Excellent high-resolution image quality with a wide range of JPEG processing options
  • Excellent Raw dynamic range
  • 160MP high-res mode for static scenes
  • 15 fps mechanical shutter with good buffer depth
  • Highly detailed 8K video with no crop
  • Wide array of video resolutions, framerates and codecs
  • Subject-specific AF tracking modes
  • EVF is bright and highly-detailed
  • Effective in-body IS easily allows for handheld video and slow shutter speed stills
  • Comfortable hand grip with well-positioned controls
  • Impressive build quality
  • Shutter rated to 500K
  • Very good battery life
  • Tracking AF and face/eye detect AF reliability lags slightly behind the competition
  • Noticeable rolling shutter in most video capture modes, especially 8K
  • No general AF tracking option in video mode
  • Face detection in AF can be distracted by other faces in the scene
  • High-res mode requires a trip to your computer for assembly
  • Poor magnified live view experience
  • Command dial interface won't suit all users
  • Not all XF lenses will deliver full promise of 40MP sensor

If you want the highest resolution APS-C camera in 2023, you have two choices: the Fujifilm X-H2 or the Fujifilm X-T5. Both sport 40MP sensors but only the former is billed as a truly hybrid stills and video camera capable of full-sensor 8K capture. In fact, as of publishing, the X-H2 is almost certainly the best 8K camera under $2k.

It shares the same chassis, ergonomically-friendly design, and impressive build quality as the brand's other hybrid flagship, the X-H2S. Larger than your average APS-C mirrorless models, these are cameras that handle more like pro-level tools than enthusiast companions.

The X-H2 is almost certainly the best 8K camera under $2k

Where the 'S' is speed-focused, capable of 40 fps bursts (with AF) and outstanding 4K video (with minimal rolling shutter), the X-H2 prioritizes its higher resolution and detail (though it can still shoot at up to 15 fps). With a base ISO of 125 – compared to 160 on most other recent XF models – it also offers a signal-to-noise and dynamic range benefit. However, due to its smaller pixels, the sensor can be a tad noisier at very high ISOs (nothing your favorite Raw processor can't handle, though).

Our-of-camera JPEG.

Fujifilm XF 35mm F2 | ISO 2000 | 1/125 sec | F2
Photo: Dan Bracaglia

In addition to producing 40MP still images, if you break out a tripod the X-H2 can generate 160MP photos using a 20-shot high-res mode. Assembling said image does require a trip to your computer and Fujifilm's free software. The results are definitely worth the effort, at least for static scenes; poor motion correction leaves them vulnerable to artifacts from moving subjects.

It's a similar story for 8K and 6.2K videos: stick to scenes with limited motion. While the quality of the detail in these modes is impressive, the X-H2 simply can't read out its whopping sensor fast enough to deal with rapid movement or panning. The rolling shutter effect is just too noticeable/nauseating. That said, for documentary-style capture or interviews, rolling shutter shouldn't be too prominent.

An out-of-camera JPEG showing off those lovely Fujifilm colors.

Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R LM WR | ISO 8000 | 1/125 sec | F1.4
Photo: Dan Bracaglia

Autofocus performance is quite good, though Fujifilm is still playing catch-up to the likes of Sony and Canon when it comes to AF tracking and precise face/eye detection. It's not that the X-H2 struggles in any way to find and stick to faces and eyes, it's just that the other brands do it so darn well: they know to stick to their subjects even if they turn away, and aren't as often nudged off target by eyelashes, glasses or bangs. That said, compared to even two-year-old Fujifilm models, the latest flagships represent a noticeable and welcome step forward in focus reliability.

Ultimately, the X-H2 is an immensely impressive flagship camera on its own. But it doesn't exist in a vacuum, and given all that the X-H2S and X-T5 offer, we can't help but feel that the target audience for this camera is rather small. Sure, it shoots full-width 8K video for under $2K, but the footage is really only usable in select use cases. For most folks, the X-H2S is going to be the more sensible video rig. On the stills side, the X-H2 is no more capable than the X-T5, just pricier. While it's better suited for large hands and sports a nicer viewfinder, are those upgrades worth $300? That's entirely up to you.

Lightly edited and cropped-in in Adobe Camera Raw.

Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R LM WR | ISO 125 | 1/250 sec | F1.4
Photo: Dan Bracaglia


Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category. Click here to learn about what these numbers mean.

Fujifilm X-H2Category: Semi-professional Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLRBuild qualityErgonomics & handlingFeaturesMetering & focus accuracyImage quality (raw)Image quality (jpeg)Low light / high ISO performanceViewfinder / screen ratingOpticsPerformanceMovie / video modeConnectivityValuePoorExcellentConclusionThe Fujifilm X-H2 is the brand's first model to make the jump to 40MP, the highest-resolution APS-C sensor to date. Image quality is class-leading, while the build quality and ergonomics are nothing short of pro-level. Full-sensor 8K video is highly-detailed, though quite prone to the effects of rolling shutter, limiting its use to mostly static scenes. And Autofocus performance is generally good, even if there's some room for improvement compared to the competition.Good forLandscape, studio, and portrait shooters who want the highest possible resolution APS-C camera available. Documentary filmmakers shooting static scenes.Not so good forVideo scenes with movement or panning. Those who don't need 8K video.89%Overall scoreRegularScoreCompareWidget({"mainElementId":"scoringWidget","mainProduct":"fujifilm_xh2","scoringSchema":{"id":"SLRs","variables":[{"id":"BuildQuality"},{"id":"ErgonomicsAndHandling"},{"id":"Features"},{"id":"MeteringAndFocusAccuracy"},{"id":"QualityRaw"},{"id":"QualityJpeg"},{"id":"LowLightHighISO"},{"id":"ViewfinderScreenRating"},{"id":"Optics"},{"id":"Performance"},{"id":"Movie"},{"id":"Connectivity"},{"id":"Value"}],"categories":[{"id":"EntryLevel","label":"Entry Level Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR","shortLabel":"Entry Level"},{"id":"MidRange","label":"Mid Range Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR","shortLabel":"Mid Level"},{"id":"EntryLevelFullFrame","label":"Entry Level Full Frame Camera","shortLabel":"Entry Level Full Frame"},{"id":"MidRangeFullFrame","label":"Mid Range Full Frame Camera","shortLabel":"Mid Range Full Frame"},{"id":"SemiProfessional","label":"Semi-professional Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR","shortLabel":"Semi-professional"},{"id":"SemiProfessionalFullFrame","label":"Semi-professional Full Frame Camera","shortLabel":"Semi-professional Full Frame"},{"id":"Professional","label":" Professional Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR","shortLabel":"Professional"},{"id":"LargeSensorCompactEntry","label":"Entry Level Large Sensor Compact Camera","shortLabel":"Entry Level Large Sensor Compact"},{"id":"LargeSensorCompactEnthusiast","label":"Enthusiast Large Sensor Compact Camera","shortLabel":"Enthusiast Large Sensor Compact"},{"id":"VideoCamera","label":"Video Camera","shortLabel":"Video Camera"}]},"helpText":"Choose one or more cameras from the drop-down menu, then roll your mouse over the names to see how their scores compare to the camera on review."}) Compared to its peers:

The nearest competitor to the X-H2 is its resolution sibling, the Fujifilm X-T5. If you don't care about the 8K video, you'll be pleased to know you can save a couple hundred bucks by going with the latter. It doesn't sport quite as lovely of an EVF, nor does it offer as much buffer depth for stills. But it is decidedly more svelte, features a more flexible articulating screen, and has a dedicated dial control system that is easy to love.

The next-highest-resolution APS-C mirrorless body is the 33MP Canon EOS R7. Priced $500 less than the Fujifilm, it's very much an enthusiast-level camera, i.e., suited for a different audience than Fujifilm. While the X-H2 is highly customizable and decked out with lots of ergonomic niceties, the Canon focuses more on simplicity and ease of use. It has no 8K video to speak of and no high-res mode, but its 15 fps shooting makes it a credible rival, if the lenses you want are available for it.

The Sony a6600 also falls into similar territory as the R7: it can't match the build quality or ergonomics of the Fujifilm, nor can it match its resolution in stills or video mode. But it is an easier camera to set and forget, and also sports the best AF system of the bunch.

Sample gallery

Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter/magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review); we do so in good faith, so please don't abuse it.

$(document).ready(function() { SampleGalleryV2({"containerId":"embeddedSampleGallery_4783322917","galleryId":"4783322917","isEmbeddedWidget":true,"selectedImageIndex":0,"isMobile":false}) }); Pre-production X-H2 sample gallery

All images shot using a pre-production Fujifilm X-H2.

$(document).ready(function() { SampleGalleryV2({"containerId":"embeddedSampleGallery_0543553388","galleryId":"0543553388","isEmbeddedWidget":true,"selectedImageIndex":0,"isMobile":false}) });

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Kategorier: Sidste nyt

DPReview TV: What is ETTR in photography, and when should you use it?

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 18 mar 2023 - 15:00

Using the 'ETTR' technique doesn't cost you a thing and is a great way to improve the image quality of your photographs. Chris Niccolls explains what it is, and when you should use it.

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

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Panasonic blogs about organic sensor's improved cross-talk, but doesn't talk photos

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 17 mar 2023 - 20:44
Panasonic claims less spill of light and charge between pixels allows better distinction between colors.

Panasonic has published a blog post promoting the claimed benefits of the organic film CMOS sensor it's been developing since 2013. Whereas the company has previously spoken about the organic film sensor's ability to deliver global shutter, wide dynamic range and a variable ND effect, the new blog post discusses the reduced color crosstalk Panasonic says the sensor can exhibit.

Reduced color crosstalk means that the red, green and blue pixels of the sensor collect only their intended color and that light or charge doesn't spill across from different-colored pixels. This promises greater color accuracy, particularly under oddly colored light sources that fall between two of these primary colors (specifically very yellow, cyan or magenta lighting).

Panasonic highlights three technologies enabling this reduced cross-talk:

Part of the benefit comes from the fact that the photoconductive film layer is more effective at absorbing electrons than silicon is (up to 10x for green light, the company says), allowing the film layer to be very thin. This thinness means there's a narrower range of angles at which light hitting the adjacent pixel can travel through the photosensitive section and into the neighboring pixel. It makes the physical separation of different-colored pixels more effective.

The second aspect of cross-talk reduction is a series of discharge electrodes at the edges of pixels: these draw away charge generated at the boundaries between pixels, so that charge from the adjacent pixel doesn't get collected. These discharge electrodes weren't shown on previous diagrams from Panasonic, and may result in a reduction in the sensor's efficiency, since some of the charge generated by the organic layer is channeled away, rather than going towards image formation.

The final benefit Panasonic claims is that the electrode behind the organic layer prevents longer wavelength light (red light in particular) from penetrating down beyond the photosensitive region, into the sensor's circuitry. In Panasonic's design, the electrode reflects unabsorbed light back into the organic layer, allowing its absorption; the company claims that only 1% of red light (measured at 600nm wavelength) penetrates down to the sensor circuitry, compared with 20% in some CMOS designs.

Minimizing pixels collecting light from their neighbours should be particularly valuable under challenging lighting that falls between two of the sensor's primaries.

The organic photoconductive film used in the sensor was originally patented in 2011 by Fujifilm, which then entered a collaboration with Panasonic in 2013 to develop a sensor. Panasonic has subsequently created an 8K-capable sensor based on the technology and released a camera that uses it.

However, this latest blog post proposes commercial broadcast, industrial machine vision, medicine, automotive and healthcare as applications in which the sensor could offer benefits: the company does not include photography in the list.

Blog post:

Panasonic Develops Organic Photoconductive Film (OPF) CMOS Image Sensor Technology That Achieves Excellent Color Reproducibility under Any Light Source Irradiation

Osaka, Japan – Panasonic Holdings Corporation announced that it has developed excellent color reproduction technology that suppresses color crosstalk by thinning the photoelectric conversion layer using the high light absorption rate of the Organic Photoconductive File (OPF) and by using electrical pixel separation technology. In this technology, the OPF part that performs photoelectric conversion and the circuit part that stores and readouts the electric charge are completely independent. This unique layered structure dramatically reduces the sensitivity of each pixel in green, red, and blue in wavelength regions outside the target range. As a result, color crosstalk is reduced, excellent spectral characteristics are obtained, and accurate color reproduction is made possible regardless of the type of light source.


Conventional Bayer array-type silicon image sensors do not have sufficient color separation performance for green, red, and blue. Therefore, for example, under light sources that have peaks at specific wavelengths, such as cyan light and magenta light, it has been difficult to accurately reproduce, recognize, and judge colors.

Our OPF CMOS image sensor has a unique structure in which the photoelectric conversion part that converts light into an electric signal is an organic thin film, and the function of storing and reading out the signal charge is performed in the circuit part, which are completely independent from each other (Figure 1). As a result, unlike with conventional silicon image sensors, it is possible to provide photoelectric conversion characteristics that do not depend on the physical properties of silicon. The OPF with its high light absorption rate enables the thinning of the photoelectric conversion part ((1) Photoelectric conversion film thinning technology). By providing a discharge electrode at the pixel boundaries, the signal charge due to the incident light at the pixel boundaries is discharged, and the signal charge from adjacent pixels is suppressed ((2) Electrical pixel isolation technology). In addition, since the under part of the OPF is covered with the pixel electrode for collecting the signal charge generated in the OPF and the electrode for discharging the charge, incident light that cannot be absorbed by the OPF does not reach the circuit side. This suppresses the transmission ((3) Light transmission suppression structure). With the above three technologies, it is possible to suppress light and signal charges that enter from adjacent pixels. As a result, color crosstalk can be reduced to an almost ideal shape, as shown in the spectral characteristics shown in Figure 2, and accurate color reproduction is achieved regardless of the color of the light source (Figure 3).

This technology enables accurate color reproduction and inspection even in environments where it is difficult for conventional image sensors to reproduce the original colors, such as plant factories that use magenta light. It is also possible to accurately reproduce the colors of substances with subtle color changes, such as living organisms. It can also be applied to managing skin conditions, monitoring health conditions, and inspecting fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, in combination with the high saturation characteristics and global shutter function of our OPF CMOS image sensor*, it can contribute to highly robust imaging systems that are highly tolerant of changes in light source type, illuminance, and speed.

BSI Si CMOS image sensor OPF CMOS image sensor Figure 1. Comparison of pixel structure (cross-sectional image) BSI Si CMOS image sensor OPF CMOS image sensor Figure 2. Comparison of spectral characteristics Figure 3. Comparison of color chart imaging under various light sources Main features

This development is based on the following technologies.

  • Photoelectric conversion film thinning technology with 10 times higher light absorption
  • Electrical pixel isolation technology that discharges unnecessary charges at pixel boundaries
  • Light transmission suppression structure that suppresses the transmission of light through the photoelectric conversion part
Details of the technologies
  1. Photoelectric conversion film thinning technology with 10 times higher light absorption

The light absorption coefficient of the OPF that was developed this time is about 10 times higher than that of silicon (Figure 4). The distance required for light absorption is shortened, allowing for the OPF to be designed thinner than silicon photodiodes, and in principle, it is possible to reduce oblique incident light from adjacent pixels, which is a factor in color crosstalk (Figure 5).

Figure 4. Optical absorption coefficients of OPF and Si BSI Si CMOS image sensor OPF CMOS image sensor Figure 5. Comparison of the effects of oblique incident light
  1. Electrical pixel isolation technology that discharges unnecessary charges at pixel boundaries

The charges generated at the pixel boundaries include signal charges originating from adjacent pixels due to oblique incident light, which contributes to color crosstalk and resolution degradation. In conventional silicon image sensors, a light-shielding layer is provided at the boundary between pixels to prevent oblique incident light. However, the light reflected by the light-shielding layer becomes stray light and penetrates into adjacent pixels, and is diffracted to wrap around, resulting in insufficient light-shielding. Therefore, Panasonic has developed a structure that discharges the signal charge caused by the incident light at the pixel boundaries and suppresses the intrusion of signal charge from the adjacent pixels by placing a new discharge electrode at the pixel boundaries. As shown in Figure 6, by providing a discharge electrode, the charge generated at the pixel boundaries is discharged, allowing for image quality deterioration to be suppressed.

Figure 6. Signal charge in OPF
  1. Light transmission suppression structure that suppresses the transmission of light through the photoelectric conversion part

Light incident on the photoelectric converter (photodiode in silicon image sensors, OPF in OPF CMOS image sensors) is photoelectrically converted into signal charges. However, part of the light is not photoelectrically converted and passes through, contributing to color crosstalk. Red light, which has a longer wavelength and lower energy compared to another light, is easier to penetrate and has greater crosstalk. As shown in Figure 7, a silicon image sensor transmits approximately 20% of light with a wavelength of 600 nm, while an OPF CMOS image sensor transmits only 1% of light with the same wavelength. The bottom of the OPF is covered with a pixel electrode for collecting signal charges and an electrode for discharging charges. Therefore, incident light that cannot be completely absorbed by the OPF is absorbed or reflected by the electrode, and the reflected light is again absorbed by the OPF. Furthermore, since the space between the pixel electrode and the discharge electrode is very small, it is difficult for light to pass through the lower part of the OPF. As a result, OPF CMOS image sensors are structurally very tolerant of color crosstalk.

BSI Si CMOS image sensor OPF CMOS image sensor 7. Light intensity simulation at pixel cross section

In the future, we will propose these OPF CMOS image sensor technologies for various applications such as commercial broadcasting cameras, surveillance cameras, industrial inspection cameras, and automotive cameras. We will also contribute to highly robust imaging systems that are highly tolerant of changes in light source type, illuminance, and speed (Figure 8).

Figure 8. Application example of OPF CMOS image sensor

Panasonic will present some of these technologies at the international academic conference Image Sensors Europe 2023, which will be held in London, UK from March 15 to 16, 2023.

*[Press release] Panasonic Develops Industry’s-First 8K High-Resolution, High-Performance Global Shutter Technology using Organic-Photoconductive-Film CMOS Image Sensor

Technical Terms

[1] Bayer array

One of the arrays of color filters installed in each pixel to acquire color information. It is arranged repeatedly in units of 4 pixels of RGGB. Since each pixel has only R, G, or B color information, other color information is interpolated from surrounding pixels.

[2] Color crosstalk
Mixing of a signals from one pixel into an adjacent pixel. In a Bayer array type image sensor, since adjacent pixels have different colors, color signals are mixed, resulting in a state in which accurate colors cannot be reproduced.

[3] Color reproduction

How accurately the captured image can reproduce the colors of the subject. This is affected by the spectrum of the image sensor, the spectrum of the light source, and the reflection spectrum of the target object.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Tech timeline: Milestones in sensor development

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 17 mar 2023 - 15:00

We're taking a look back at the way camera technology has changed over the 25-year history of DPReview, with attention to the milestones in progress across the last 25 years. In this article we'll call out the big steps forward we've seen in sensors, while also trying to explain the improvements that were brought.

CCD technology underpinned the majority of early digital cameras. Other approaches: Super CCD

This article focuses on the technologies used in the majority of cameras, but there have been some variants of these technologies that are also worthy of mention. The first is Fujifilm's Super CCD technology, that used both a large and a partially-masked photodiode at each pixel. The masked pixel captured less light, so was less prone to overexposure, capturing highlight information that would otherwise be lost. The second-generation version in the S3 Pro DSLR delivered dynamic range far beyond its contemporaries but with the masking inhibiting image quality, especially at higher ISOs.

The first image sensor technology to deliver usefully good results and be affordable enough to include in consumer products was the CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) sensor.

CCDs read out from the edge of the sensor, one pixel at a time, cascading the charge down from one pixel to the next each time a pixel is read. The speed at which this can be done is dictated by the current applied to the chip, so fast readout requires a lot of power.

With the power constraints of small consumer camera batteries, the process was relatively slow and made live view in compacts quite slow and laggy. CCDs formed the basis of the early digital camera market, from the mid 90s right up until the early 2010s, though during this time constant development of this technology continued, with pixels getting smaller and performance better.

But it was a CMOS sensor that powered the first sub-$1000 DSLR. Other approaches: Foveon X3

Perhaps the most famous non-Bayer sensor is the multi-layer Foveon X3 design. These are CMOS sensors but ones that don't use color filters in front of the sensor. Instead they read out the photoelectrons released at three depths in the sensor and, based on the wavelength (color) required for photons to reach each depth, re-assemble the color information. However, while only red photons can penetrate to the deepest part of the sensor, some of them will get absorbed further up (likewise for green photons, that can reach the middle layer), meaning this weak, noisy red signal gets factored into all the other calculations. It’s proven difficult to optimize the effectiveness of the design, particularly for the deeper layers, and it can’t take advantage of some of the noise-reducing features that are now common elsewhere. The result is sensors that capture higher spatial resolution for color, but with appreciably higher noise, meaning they perform best in bright light.

In the meantime, though, a rival technology, CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) was being developed. These deliver the output of each pixel in turn to a common wire, meaning the charge doesn't have to pass through all the neighboring pixels to get off the chip. This allows the readout to run faster without needing large amounts of power. CMOS sensors were also less expensive to produce. Canon pioneered the adoption of CMOS with its D30 APS-C DSLR in 2000. In the coming years, performance would continue to improve, and Canon gained a reputation for excellent high ISO image quality.

There's no inherent reason why CCD itself would capture color any differently from CMOS

Although some photographers look back fondly on the color reproduction of the CCD era, there's no inherent reason why CCD itself would capture color any differently from CMOS. Any differences are more likely to stem from changes in color filter selectiveness and absorption characteristics, as manufacturers tried to boost low light performance by using filters that allowed more light through.

By 2007, the industry's biggest chip supplier (Sony Semiconductor) had moved across to CMOS for its APS-C chips, and CMOS became the default technology in large sensor cameras.

Early attempts at small-sensor CMOS weren't always successful, so CCD continued to dominate compacts long after most large-sensor cameras had moved to CMOS.

The fast readout of CMOS became increasingly important, both for video capture in cameras such as Canon's EOS 5D Mk II and for the live view that would become increasingly central to the shooting experience of large-sensor cameras as the mirrorless era approached.

Even in the mid-sized pixels of the likes of Sony's RX100 II, the move to BSI didn't result in a huge improvement in image quality.

2009 saw the introduction of the first Back-Side Illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensors, a technology that at first was primarily beneficial for the tiny pixels in smartphone and compact camera sensors. BSI sensors are fabricated in much the same way as the existing, front-side illuminated designs, but the backing material they've been built on is then shaved away, and the 'back' of the sensor is placed so it faces the lens and receives light. This means you don't have wiring and circuitry in front of the light-sensitive part of each pixel, increasing light absorption. These benefits are less pronounced in large sensors, so Four Thirds, APS-C and full-frame BSI chips wouldn't arrive for several more years.

The 16MP APS-C sensor that appeared in the likes of the Pentax K-5, Nikon's D7000 and a variety of Sony models represented a significant step forward, adding over a stop of improvement in DR over the 12MP chip that preceded it.

Continued development of CMOS designs resulted in continued gains. New designs allowed the inclusion of more analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), and for those ADCs to be placed closer to the pixels. This minimized the amount of electronic noise that could creep in before the readout voltage was captured, and the large numbers of ADCs meant that each one didn't have to work so fast to deliver fast readout. The amount of noise added by ADCs relates to their speed, so this design delivers a significant reduction in read noise.

Further refinement of these designs kept lowering read noise, heralding an era where you could expect most cameras to capture significantly wider dynamic range than would be included in a typical JPEG, meaning there was much more exploitable information in Raw files.

The story of sensor development isn't solely the story of Canon and Sony's semiconductor divisions. Samsung was the first brand to bring BSI technology to APS-C, with 2014's NX1. Its BSI chip delivered the speed for rapid on-sensor phase detection and 4K video, rather than improved low-light performance.

BSI arrived in large sensors from 2014 onwards. In large sensors, wiring made up a much less significant proportion of the much, much larger pixels, so BSI offers much less improvement in image quality. Its did bring advantages, though. The first comes from improving the angles from which pixels can accept light. This is especially useful at the corners of sensors, where the light might hit the sensor at a very acute angle that's difficult to redirect down into the recessed photosensitive region of an FSI sensor. Secondly, moving the wiring behind the pixel allowed more complex circuitry, meaning a further increase in the number of ADCs and faster readout without increased noise.

The use of BSI still isn't universal, nearly a decade later, since it doesn't offer a major image quality benefit.

One of the first sensors to combine dual conversion gain with Sony's low read noise designs gave the a7S excellent performance at high ISO.

Another advance to improve dynamic range came along with dual conversion gain sensors. These first appeared in the Aptina sensors used in the Nikon 1 series cameras. They feature a choice of readout modes within each pixel: one that maximizes dynamic range at low ISOs, the other which has less capacity for DR but delivers lower read noise, giving better shadow performance at high ISOs, where DR is less critical.

When this technology was licensed to Sony Semiconductor, it was combined with the existing high-DR designs to create sensors with excellent DR at base ISO and a boost in high ISO performance. These two-mode designs aren't always publicized by the manufacturers, but the adoption of dual gain is what gave the original a7S its excellent high ISO performance (not its large pixels, despite what you might have heard). This is the state that most contemporary cameras have reached.

The Nikon Z9's sensor is fast enough that it relies entirely on its electronic shutter. It also has separate buffering for full-res images and for AF and live view. This is likely to be only the beginning of what Stacked architecture will make possible. Other approaches: Super CCD EXR

Fujifilm continued to develop the Super CCD concept, culminating with Super CCD EXR. This featured slightly offset rows of pixels, with the Bayer filter pattern duplicated across pairs of rows (so you had pairs of red and pairs of blue pixels next to one another). The offset rows were supposed to boost resolution capture in full-res mode, but the duplicated filter pattern also meant that rows could be easily combined. This enabled a half-resolution low-light mode or a half-res high DR mode, where alternate rows were read-out early (giving the highlight benefits of the original Super CCD design). Although it's no longer used, there are direct parallels between this three-mode approach and the way the latest Quad Bayer and Tetracell sensors are being used in smartphones.

Stacked CMOS is the current cutting edge of fabrication tech, and it takes the BSI approach even further, creating layers of semiconductor, shaving them off their backing and then connecting them together to allow designs with still more complex and sophisticated circuity. It's a time-consuming and expensive process, so has only appeared in fairly small chips in smartphones and compact cameras, and in very high-performance large sensor models. Like BSI, its main benefits don't come in the form of image quality, but in allowing faster and more complex data processing. Examples we've seen so far have included built-in RAM to allow the sensor to capture another image while the previous one is still being processed by the camera, or twin readouts that provide parallel paths for the readout, one for the full-quality image and a secondary feed for autofocus and viewfinder updates.

Stacked CMOS chips currently underpin some of the fastest-shooting cameras, and those with some of the lowest rolling shutter, which emboldened Nikon to produce a flagship camera, the Z9, with no mechanical shutter. The complexity and sophistication of Stacked sensors is only likely to rise in the coming years.

All of which brings us to the present day. The sensors in most consumer cameras are excellent, with huge amounts of DR at base ISO and very little noise at high ISOs, other than the noisiness of the light they're capturing. Modern sensors have exceptionally low electronic noise and typically register more than 50% of the light that hits them, meaning current technology is less than one stop from maximum improvement. There may be ways to improve IQ by expanding to lower ISOs, or breakthroughs in the way color is interpreted. But it's likely to need another major technology change to see big changes in image quality.

With huge thanks to bobn2 for his input and corrections in the preparation of this article.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

DPReview March Madness, round two results and off-the-wall round three voting

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 16 mar 2023 - 15:00
Only 4 matches remain and it's getting weird

Round Two of DPReview March Madness is in the books – we had some wild matchups and after much concentration we've settled some debates and whittled down the field.

The voters have spoken and we now live in a world where 35mm lenses\, smartphone cameras and natural light photography/video no longer exist. I suppose that means social media is also gone?

That brings the surviving photography concepts into the Round Three, and voting starts today! Click the image above with the new matchups to see it larger.

Things are getting weirder and weirder as we dive deeper into the tournament. The questions have become less about what you like, more about what you are okay with seeing vanish from the world and what you're rather save.

Can you imagine a world without digital cameras, videos in 24 fps or prime lenses? Your votes, alongside the DPReview editors', will decide and ultimately determine who takes the the DPReview March Madness crown. Let's go!

Please note that for the best experience, we recommend voting on our desktop site.

Poll Rules:

This poll is meant to be a bit of fun. It's not sponsored, promoted or paid for in any way and DPReview doesn't care how you vote. Our readers' polls are run on the basis of trust. As such, we ask that you only vote once, from a single account.

Round 1 - Results Photo Division Digital body vs. 35mm lens

The DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Shaminder Dulai: A world without 35mm lenses just seems wrong. This focal length is so ingrained in street photography and photojournalism that losing it would change how I see and compose images. If I have to choose, I can live without digital cameras and return to film, but I don’t think I can lose the 35mm lens.

Jason Hendardy: I’m taking this as digital vs film in regards to digital body. Digital has made photography so much more accessible and affordable for people, at least nowadays. I prefer 28mm.

Matt Waller: I tend to prefer 40mm or 50mm for my normal lens. And the idea of having to take only 36 pictures before my camera “runs out” sends shudders down my spine. I'll keep digital.

Brendan Nystedt: Like Jason, I’d rather shoot 28 anyway…give me digital or give me death!

Shaminder: Aww **** Brendan, don’t put that on me. By picking 35mm lenses I’m not only removing digital bodies from the world, I’m also removing you?!

Richard Butler: I personally enjoy a 35mm, but I’m not into street photography enough to have a strong opinion. But this is a digital camera website: fundamentally digital bodies are what most of us are here for.

Dale Baskin: Shaminder, I love the 35mm focal length, and I enjoy shooting film too, but the benefits of digital cameras far outweigh a single focal length, even if it’s one of my favorites. Photography is now just as important in our daily communication as words, and that’s thanks to digital.

Jordan Drake: Whether I have a film or digital camera, I know I can make magic with a 35mm lens so that’s my pick.

Digital body 35mm lens Reader poll result 79% 21% 35 pts 10 pts DPR Editors picks 71.43% 28.57% 32 pts 13 pts Coin flip 100% 10 pts TOTAL 67 pts 33 pts Digital bodies WIN Prime lens vs. Natural light

The DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Matt: Sunlit tropical vacations with a zoom lens would keep me happy enough.

Richard: I tend to shoot in natural light most of the time (in part because on the rare occasion I can find a strobe, I can’t then find enough batteries), but I love the way a fixed focal length shapes and concentrates my photos, and their fast apertures are the factor that lets me shoot in natural light, much of the time.

Jordan: Whether in artificial or natural light, a prime will give me the depth of field control and force me to focus on my composition, so that’s my clear winner here.

Prime lens Natural light Reader poll result 43.5% 56.5% 20 pts 26 pts DPR Editors picks 57.14% 42.86% 26 pts 19 pts Coin flip 100% 10 pts TOTAL 56 pts 45 pts Prime lenses WIN Video Division 24 fps vs Shutter angle

The DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Richard: It doesn’t matter how exposure time is expressed: I need to be able to shoot at the rate that gives me the well-recognized 24fps look.

Dale: It’s hard to fight decades of Hollywood films that trained our brains about what makes moving pictures look ‘cinematic’. I’m sure a future generation will answer this question differently.

Shaminder: I’ve made it this far without shutter angle in cameras, I can live without it and continue to deal with the frustration of forgetting to change shutter when I change frame rates if I must.

Jordan: I can live without shutter angle (and usually have to with hybrid cameras), but I never want to lose the option of 24fps. Canon tried taking it away from me with the 90D and M6 Mark II and those were dark, dark months until they rectified their mistake with firmware.

24 fps Shutter angle Reader poll result 60.8% 39.2% 27 pts 18 pts DPR Editors picks 100% 45 pts Coin flip 100% 10 pts TOTAL 72 pts 28 pts 24 fps WIN Roger Deakins vs Final Cut Pro

The DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Shaminder: I made the switch to Premiere Pro after the Final Cut X hiccup so this is a no brainer for me. I pick a living breathing person over some software.

Richard: I take your point about people vs software, but I don't personally know Mr. Deakins, much as I love his work, whereas Final Cut Pro was the thing that let me try my hand at video, which is something that’s brought me tremendous pleasure (and immense frustration, because editing).

Dale: Final Cut Pro is a great tool, but that’s all it is – a tool. If it disappeared tomorrow I would be disappointed, but I would move on to using a different tool. Deakins created lasting art. I doubt if many people know what brushes and paints were used by the masters, but people still crowd around a Rembrant painting in a museum.

Jordan: I can edit in Resolve or (begrudgingly) Premiere, but I’d never want to live without seeing the beauty of Blade Runner 2049, The Man Who Wasn’t There, Assassination of Jesse James or Skyfall.

Roger Deakins Final Cut Pro Reader poll result 50.5% 49.5% 23 pts 22 pts DPR Editors picks 83.33% 16.67% 37 pts 8 pts Coin flip 100% 10 pts TOTAL 60 pts 40 pts Rodger Deakins WINS Wild Card Division Shallow DOF vs. Viewfinders on cameras

The DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Shaminder: This is a tough one for me. I actually hate rear screens and prefer to use the viewfinder. I know the viewfinder sucks up more battery life, but old habits die hard. That said, I also can’t see myself giving up shallow DOF completely. The thought that this aperture choice would just vanish from our tool box never to be seen again is just too much, I gotta save shallow DOF and learn to embrace rear screens, or maybe just shoot from the hip like the film days and see what develops.

Richard: Impossible to choose

Jordan: With much trepidation, I’m going to pick shallow depth of field. I’ll struggle to find an angle where my LCD is visible, as long as I can knock a distracting background out of focus.

Shallow DOF Viewfinders Reader poll result 37.1% 62.9% 17 pts 28 pts DPR Editors picks 66.67% 33.33% 30 pts 15 pts Coin flip 100% 10 pts TOTAL 57 pts 43 pts Shallow DOF WINS Annie Leibovitz vs. Naked glass

The DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

RIchard: Some of Leibovitz’s portraits are iconic, whereas I find it hard to care about the presence or absence of a filter: just a colossal mismatch.

Shaminder: We knew round two was going to get weird, but this is beyond the pale.

Annie Leibovitz Naked glass Reader poll result 46% 54% 21pts 24 pts DPR Editors picks 100% 45 pts Coin flip 100% 10 pts TOTAL 76 pts 24 pts Annie Leibovitz WINS Reader's Choice Division The end of special edition Leicas vs Jordan Drake

The DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Jason: If we don’t choose Jordan he no longer exists? I can’t play a role in that.

Matt: If we kick out the end of special edition Leicas then we get more of them, right? I like them!

Shaminder: Er… no. Kicking them out means they no longer exist Matt.

Brendan: Jordan’s too cool and all the celebs who endorse cameras these days can get by without ‘em. Although maybe Leica collectors should consider investing in Jordan instead? He’s far more productive than a NIB camera in a humidity cabinet.

Shaminder: Jordan, but only because he has Gordon’s phone number. Whatever happens, we'll always have chowder kid.

Richard: When has a limited edition Leica given me feedback (and emotional support!) half way through a video project? Then again, when has a Leica highlighted my ill-chosen footwear to an audience of hundreds of thousands? Wait, can I change my vote?

Dale: Can I vote to make Jordan shoot for the rest of his life using only special edition Leicas?

Shaminder: That's it, new idea for a bracket, how can we punish Jordan with annoying cameras to work with?

Jordan: Jordan.

Special Edition Leicas Jordan Drake Reader poll result 36.1% 63.9% 16 pts 29 pts DPR Editors picks 100% 45 pts Coin flip 100% 10 pts TOTAL 26 pts 74 pts Jordan Drake WINS Smartphone cameras vs Nikon Z9

The DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Matt: Kind of a tossup as neither has a mechanical shutter.

Shaminder: There’s an old cliche that the best camera is the one you have on you. More often than not these days, that camera is a smartphone camera. Smartphones have turned everyone into a photographer, we’re creating billions of images a day globally now, and while the pictures are not all great it is nice that we now all actually have an option to take pictures whenever the moment strikes us. And I know our site hates when we get ‘political’ but I am glad we now live in a world where video evidence of police abuses are captured and we’re forced to face reality instead of playing ‘coulda/woulda/shoulda.’

RIchard: I’ve only just bought a smartphone with half-decent camera in it. I know they have their place but there’s no joy or involvement in photography when I use one. Whereas the Z9 is probably the most impressive camera I’ve ever shot with. That’s not to say I’d want one, but even as someone that’s used a lot of cameras and who tries not to get carried away by the newest, shiniest thing, it’s probably come as close as any camera to making me think ‘wow.’

Dale: The Z9 is undoubtedly one of the greatest cameras ever created, but its impact is limited to a tiny number of people who have the interest and resources to access it. Smartphone cameras transformed the way the world communicates and shares information. Even in the most out of the way corners of the planet people have smartphone cameras, making photography available to many people for the first time in history.

Jordan: Are your nerdy photo/video friends going to be impressed when you pull out a smartphone? No. Pull out a Z9 and you have their attention. It’s worth mentioning that all my friends are photo/video nerds.

Smartphone cameras Nikon Z 9 Reader poll result 25.9% 74.1% 12 pts 33 pts DPR Editors picks 57.14% 42.86% 26 pts 19 pts Coin flip 100% 10 pts TOTAL 48 pts 52 pts Nikon Z9 WINS Judging rules

A quick reminder of our rules.

Winners will be selected through the following combination of public votes, DPReview editors' votes and a coin flip:

  • 45% readers choice votes (% of user votes for a each team, multiplied by 0.45)
  • 45% DPReview editor's choice (% of editorial vote for each team, multiplied by 0.45)
  • 10% coin flip (because chance is a part of March Madness and everyone loves a Cinderella story)
Round 3 - 4 Matches

Embrace the weird! You may be asking yourself, how do I choose between people and gear?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind: embrace the weird.

Ask yourself if you could only save one, what would you advance and what would you destroy?

If you were forced to wipe one from the face of the earth, what would you give the boot?

If you can only have one, would you rather live in a world without A or B?

(And a reminder, our polls are meant to be for fun and we don't care how you vote.)

Without further ado, here are your matches for Round Three:

Photo Division

Round Three voting ends March 22, 2023

Have your say$(document).ready(function() { Poll({"pollId":"2953043501","openForVoting":true,"mainElementId":"poll0","slot":null,"isSingleChoicePoll":true,"minNumberOfChoices":1,"maxNumberOfChoices":1}); })Round 3: Digital bodies vs Prime lensesDigital bodiesPrime lensesYou need to login to vote Video Division

Round Three voting ends March 22, 2023

Have your say$(document).ready(function() { Poll({"pollId":"3094065966","openForVoting":true,"mainElementId":"poll1","slot":null,"isSingleChoicePoll":true,"minNumberOfChoices":1,"maxNumberOfChoices":1}); })Round 3: 24 fps vs Roger Deakins24 fpsRoger DeakinsYou need to login to vote Wild Card Division

Round Three voting ends March 22, 2023

Have your say$(document).ready(function() { Poll({"pollId":"3148163557","openForVoting":true,"mainElementId":"poll2","slot":null,"isSingleChoicePoll":true,"minNumberOfChoices":1,"maxNumberOfChoices":1}); })Round 3: Shallow DOF vs Annie LeibovitzShallow DOFAnnie LeibovitzYou need to login to vote Reader's Choice Division

Round Three voting ends March 22, 2023

Have your say$(document).ready(function() { Poll({"pollId":"3142468189","openForVoting":true,"mainElementId":"poll3","slot":null,"isSingleChoicePoll":true,"minNumberOfChoices":1,"maxNumberOfChoices":1}); })Round 3: Jordan Drake vs Nikon Z9Jordan DrakeNikon Z9You need to login to vote
Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Nikon Nikkor Z 26mm F2.8 sample gallery

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 15 mar 2023 - 15:42
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Pancakes may not be the most nutritious breakfast, but they sure are a sweet way to start the day. Pancake lenses can also be pretty sweet, offering up portability with a side of delicious image quality.

We took the latest Nikon compact prime out for a quick spin around Seattle, and captured some samples for your viewing pleasure. At under $500, this weathersealed lens seems like it'd be a great addition to any Nikon Z shooter's kit, but we insist you judge the results for yourself.

View our Nikon 26mm F2.8 Nikkor Z sample gallery

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

CP+ 2023: OM Digital Solutions interview - 'OM Digital Solutions was reborn as an imaging business'

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 14 mar 2023 - 14:00
Shigemi Sugimoto, President and CEO, and Eiji Shirota, Chief Profitability Officer

We were in Japan recently for the annual CP+ show in Yokohama, where we had the opportunity to sit down with senior executives from several camera and lens manufacturers. One of these was OM Digital Solutions, where we spoke with:

  • Shigemi Sugimoto: Representative Director, President and CEO
  • Eiji Shirota: Chief Profitability Officer

This interview was conducted with multiple people via an interpreter. As such, it has been edited for clarity and flow, and some responses have been combined.

How would you describe the overall health of the camera industry?

With the restrictions of the past few years no longer in place, people are now able to venture out and capture the world, and as a result, the overall health of the camera industry has improved.

Of course, it's not immune to other impacts like global economic conditions, which may have some short-term impact as well.

Can you tell me about the move from Olympus to OM Digital Solutions? What was the experience like?

The transition from Olympus to OM Digital Solutions was an incredibly busy and intense period for the business, but it was decided that it was the best course of action. In becoming an independent business, it would allow us to build a business that met customer expectations and create value for the imaging market.

At Olympus, the governance and resource allocation were built around the medical business, which was not quite appropriate for the imaging business, and it had become difficult to change within that framework. The pace of business and responsiveness to change was particularly challenging, given the differences in the business model for an imaging business.

The OM-5 is the first camera to feature the OM System branding on its body. What, if any, adjustments did you have to make to your business as a result?

As a new company, we've had to evaluate the market needs and develop a more compact and flexible organization in line with the size of our business.

This process was challenging and required reform on many levels, including organizational, process and business infrastructure, all while pivoting our internal culture significantly to build a forward-looking business that is now running smoothly.

Did the move to OM Digital Solutions result in any unexpected opportunities?

OM Digital Solutions was reborn as an imaging business with a focus on developing new business opportunities based on imaging technologies.

OM Digital Solutions was reborn as an imaging business...

Thus far, the application of these technologies to new industries has resulted in increased opportunities with several business partners, expanding the market potential for our imaging technologies. The initial focus for this activity is on the Japanese market.

The Olympus brand was associated with cameras for decades. How do you build a new brand around OM System that leverages this history?

Our focus is to develop the OM System brand to meet the needs and expectations of adventurous photographers who are passionate about the outdoors, where the benefits of our system can be most advantageous.

For the past two years, we have focused on the mindset of adventure, as our compact and lightweight camera system can enrich the lives of people who enjoy spending time outdoors, capturing the world around them and sharing their passion with their community.

In the future, we will transform the business to deliver not only products but also new value and experiences centered around outdoor photography and its contribution to society, to make OM System a unique brand.

By becoming an independent company, OM Digital Solutions is better able to focus specifically on photography customers, according to Mr. Sugimoto. Above: The OM System OM-5 and the Olympus E-M5 Mark III. The first product announced in the OM System was the OM-1. What has the response to that camera been like?

Excitement and demand for the OM-1 has been more than we expected, and it has especially resonated with photographers who take photos of nature, landscapes and wild birds.

As a result of the launch of the OM-1, purchases of lenses also increased, especially our telephoto lenses.

Is there still a demand for sub-full-frame professional cameras?

We're seeing increased utilization of camera systems and formats, such as Micro Four Thirds and full-frame, based upon [the needs of] the shooting scene and subject, rather than one in place of another.

Excitement and demand for the OM-1 has been more than we expected

It's our belief that there will continue to be demand for systems like Micro Four Thirds that deliver performance advantages for photographers.

What advantages does a small sensor camera like the OM-1 have over full-frame models?

The greatest advantage of the OM-1 is the portability of the system, matched with the performance capabilities to deliver an overall photographic experience and imaging output for the photographer. The most obvious example of this is when the camera is paired with a telephoto lens that enables shooting at a focal length of 1000mm (equivalent, in full-frame terms) at F5.6 with the size and weight of the M.Zuiko 150-400mm F4.5 with 8EV steps of image stabilization. This is ideal for photographers who walk around in the field looking for subjects to shoot.

Another example is in the world of macro photography due to its deep depth of field and 2x subject magnification. The recently announced M.Zuiko 90mm F3.5 (180mm in full-frame terms) offers 2x magnification, AF and IS-sync for handheld macro shooting like never before.

It is the combination of a camera like the OM-1 with lenses like these that deliver unparalleled advantages.

According to the executives, demand for the first camera in the OM System, the OM-1, has exceeded the company's expectations. They say it has resonated well with adventurers, bird photographers, and other users focused on outdoor pursuits.

One of the criticisms of Micro Four Thirds is that sensor resolution has not increased for several years. Do you expect this to change? How will you appeal to consumers who want higher resolution?

Our priority is to increase the number of pictures that can be captured with fewer mistakes and to increase the quality of those pictures at the same time. After all, image quality is not just about resolution, is it?

This does not mean that we have stopped increasing image resolution or that high-pixel photos are unnecessary. We have also improved technologies like our Hand-held High Res shot by reducing the processing time, making it easier to take high-resolution photos when needed.

OM Digital Solutions has used AI to increase the AF capabilities of its cameras. Beyond autofocus, how else might AI help photographers take better photos in the future?

We believe that AI can be used to assist in a variety of situations. As mentioned, we have been using it for subject detection since 2019, and we believe it would be possible to expand its application further for scene recognition and other scenarios. Additionally, we believe it can also be applied to customizing image processing of Raw images.

The Micro Four Thirds lens system is pretty comprehensive. Are there still gaps in the lens lineup you want to be filled?

While we agree that the lineup is quite comprehensive, we believe that it is not complete yet.

This is because we believe the advantage and attraction of our system is that we can offer something that is not available in conventional interchangeable lens systems. Lenses like the M.Zuiko 12-100mm, 8-25mm and 90mm lenses are unique to the Micro Four Thirds system.

The [mFT lens] lineup is quite comprehensive, we believe that it is not complete yet

While we can't provide any details at this point, we are continuing to study the needs of our customers and the potential for new lenses.

Mr. Sugimoto points to the OM System 90mm F3.5 Macro lens, which is relatively compact and delivers 2x subject magnification, as the type of unique product that makes the Micro Four Thirds system appealing to many users.

Historically, OM Digital Solutions (and previously Olympus) has provided 'IP' ratings for cameras and lenses instead of using descriptions like 'weathersealed' or 'dust resistant'. Why is this important?

The terms' dust-proof and splash-proof' are merely phrases that alone do not indicate a level of durability a product has. As a result, the understanding of what this means will vary among users.

By providing standardized IP ratings, which test a product's capabilities and benchmark it to standards, we believe that users will be able to fully recognize the benefits of our system and what level of protection is guaranteed. This allows photographers to adventure further with confidence.

What does the future look like for Micro Four Thirds?

It's clear that Micro Four Thirds can deliver advantages to photographers shooting genres such as birds, wildlife, macro, nature, etc. We believe that we have a solid position in these market segments and that we must continue to provide value to users who want to enjoy photography with Micro Four Thirds.

The combination of the OM-1 and 150-400mm super-telephoto lens represents the pinnacle of the Micro Four Thirds system and has been well received and sold in higher volumes than we anticipated. This reaffirmed that the value we see in the system can be recognized by the market, and the recent announcement of the 90mm macro received a similar response, bringing new value to a genre of passionate photographers.

It's clear that Micro Four Thirds can deliver advantages to photographers shooting genres such as birds, wildlife, macro, nature, etc.

We will also continue to develop technologies that take advantage of the compact and lightweight system, along with technologies like our computational photography features, as they bring new possibilities to the world of photography.

2023 is DPReview's 25th year of operation. What have been the most important changes to photography in the last 25 years?

Shigemi Sugimoto: Of course, the biggest change is the change from analog to digital. But on top of that, what people seek in photography has also changed. I think that photography has become much more intimate, and what people are seeking is to use photography to enrich their lives. Photography adds value to their lives.

Eiji Shirota: The biggest change in photography is that the camera has changed from analog to digital, as Sugimoto CEO explained. Also, the emergence of smartphones has provided the opportunity for everyone to take pictures every day, at any time. This has made the photography experience more familiar. People share and communicate through photography instantly and enjoy their life through the camera.

Editor's note:

By Dale Baskin

OM Digital Solutions occupies a unique position within the camera industry: it is the only major camera company to spin off from its parent company, a move that certainly comes with many risks, though arguably with opportunity as well. It has the challenge of developing awareness around an entirely new brand (it's no longer using 'Olympus' branding) while operating in a market with an ever-increasing focus on larger sensor cameras.

Given those challenges, I got a sense of genuine excitement about being an independent company focusing solely on cameras and the photography market without playing second fiddle to medical devices or other products.

One thing that came through is an ongoing commitment to what OM Digital Solutions does best. The company is putting a stake in the ground and arguing that there's a place for high-quality, smaller format cameras, and I heard a consistent message about reaching these users.

I got a sense of genuine excitement about being an independent company with a focus solely on cameras and the photography market

The word 'adventure' came up frequently throughout my conversation with Mr. Sugimoto and Mr. Eiji, and I don't believe that was an accident. There's a focus on users who want rugged, weatherproof products that are also compact and lightweight; additionally, on photographers who want compact telephoto lenses for wildlife or bird photography, along with class-leading image stabilization. It's unclear how far this extends down the entire OM System product line, but it makes sense that the company would focus on its enthusiast and pro users.

OM Digital Solutions has its work cut out for it. In a market that continues to coalesce around full-frame sensors with increasing pixel counts, smaller sensors with lower resolution are becoming a tougher sell. In my opinion, the company is taking the right approach: find and own your niche. If it can build a brand around tough, rugged, go-anywhere systems that offer a real advantage in size and weight, there's a market for that.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Did you recently get a drone? Here are 5 things you need to know

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 13 mar 2023 - 15:00
Sub-250g drones like Holy Stone's models are considered 'toys' in some countries. In the US, you'll still need to pass a quick and free exam before flying this type of drone.

Did you receive a drone as a gift over the holidays? Did you resolve to learn to fly one in 2023? Personally, I know quite a few professional photographers that have added an aerial vehicle to their arsenal in recent months and are determined to master their newfound passion. While the reasons for taking up a drone hobby vary, one universal theme resonates: these compact machines offer an aerial perspective and a lot more possibilities for capturing imagery.

And it’s easier than ever to get started with your exciting new hobby. Pretty much every consumer drone manufactured today is an 'out-of-the-box' model, with little to do in the way of setup. Outside of snapping or screwing on some propellers, the user doesn't need to assemble much or tweak anything to begin flying. At the same time, drones are now equipped with bells and whistles that have made flying safer and less intimidating than ever.

‘With all the new advances in technology and obstacle avoidance features, I figured now was as good a time as ever for me to learn to drone,’ says professional landscape photographer Brooke Ley Thorburn. ‘It has given me the opportunity to capture different views and perspectives of the places and landscapes that I have photographed many times on the ground.’

But before taking the plunge, there are a few things every new operator should be aware of to fly both safely and legally. Failing to do so can result in steep fines and potentially being stripped of the right to fly. We’ll explore a few simple yet necessary steps you need to take before you launch a drone for the very first time.

You must register your drone If your drone weighs above 250g, you'll need to register it. You should never register your drone anywhere else than the FAA's Drone Zone, EASA's official website for the EU, or your country's equivalent.

If your drone weighs over 250g (0.55 lbs), you need to register it with your local authority. Some models, like DJI’s Mini series and Autel’s Nano line, are exempt from registration, so long as you are not using them for commercial (paid) work. In the United States, there is only one portal to register a new drone: the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) FAADroneZone.

Registration will cost you $5 per drone. You’ll need to create an account and provide information that includes the drone’s serial number. Do not fall for ads from third-party sites that promise easy registration, that tend to pop up on search engines. These are common scams. Once the $5 fee is paid, your drone's registration will be valid for 3 years in the US.

Rules may differ from country to country. It's important to do your research ahead of time.

In Europe, you’ll need to register your drone with the National Aviation Authority (NAA). In this instance, registration happens either in the country you reside in or the first country you plan to visit as a tourist. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) recently made it less confusing for drone operators across all of its 27 member states, including France, Germany, Greece and the Netherlands, by applying uniform registration coverage for drone operators. Iceland, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Norway have also adopted the EASA drone regulations.

That being said, rules may differ from country to country. It's important to do your research ahead of time.

The FAA will send you a printable card for your records. While it's nice to have on hand, it's not enough to carry this around.

Other countries, such as Japan for example, require that drone operators request special permission before flying by contacting its UA/Drone Counseling service. Overall, at the very least, you’ll need to register a drone weighing more than 250g at take off. The takeaway here is if you plan on visiting any foreign country, it’s wise to do your research ahead of time to ensure you’re complying with its respective aviation rules.

Make your mark

So you’ve taken that first step and successfully registered your drone. Once you’ve paid your drone registration fee, you’ll be assigned a unique registration number (the FAA, at least, gives you a printable card you can carry as well). That should be good enough, right? Not so fast. You’ll also need to label the drone with said registration number. And it can’t be hidden in a hard-to-find place such as inside the battery’s compartment. It must be clearly visible.

I use the standard Mavic 3 as my primary drone. Since I don't plan to sell it (I'll eventually have it as a backup), I used a permanent marker to write the number where it's easily visible.

If I purchase a drone I know I’m going to use until it’s obsolete, I’ll simply inscribe it with a permanent marker. Another popular method, however, is putting the registration number on a self-adhesive label. It’ll stick through a variety of weather conditions and can be removed if you plan on selling the drone.

A certificate of 'Trust'

If you live in the United States and plan on flying, even for fun, you’ll need to take and pass the FAA’s 'The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST).' The FAA wants to ensure that all pilots understand the basic rules of drone flight. Passing TRUST is a requirement for pilots of all types of drones, even sub-250g. The good news is it’s free and takes roughly 5 minutes to complete. You'll get a certificate to print out along with a digital copy. Keep it with you in case any authority figure such as law enforcement or an FAA official asks to see it.

The European Union does not have the equivalent of a TRUST exam. Instead, exam requirements for training depend on the type of drone you plan to operate and for a specific purpose. There is also no age limit in certain circumstances. In the US, for example, the minimum age to fly is 16. Classes of flight and safety measures are categorized as Open, Specific and Certified, or A1, A2 and A3, respectively, and are contingent on how much the drone weighs at take off. A drone under 250g is considered a 'toy.'

The EU breaks down its drone rules very clearly with this handy chart.

The United Kingdom is separate from the EU, since Brexit passed, and has its own online theory exam for General VLOS flight and registration guidelines. Make sure to check in with the Civil Aviation Authority and expect to pay 10 pounds for the privilege to fly. Your registration will be valid in the UK for 5 years. If you leave for a neighboring EU country, you'll need to re-register and follow those respective rules.

Know where you can fly

Now that you're registered, you can fly your drone anywhere, right? Nope! Besides controlled airspaces, there are special events that come up, such as a sporting event or a presidential visit, where a temporary flight restriction (TFR) is put in place. If you get caught flying in any of these conditions, heavy fines in the ballpark of $25,000 are almost guaranteed (and jail time is possible).

Luckily there are a variety of free and easy-to-use Unmanned Aircraft Traffic Management System (UTM) apps that help you figure out where you can operate. Simply open a free UTM app such as Aloft or the FAA's B4UFly where you plan to launch your drone. You can also plan ahead and input the location before heading out.

LAANC allows you to apply for approval in controlled airspaces, typically areas surrounding airports. The little 0-400 numbers represent grid and heights limit for flights as you get closer to the runway.

If your launch point happens to be in controlled airspace, a free service called Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) can grant both recreational and commercial pilots near-real-time approval to fly. All you do is enter the date, time period, and maximum altitude once you draw a square around your planned area of operation. LAANC is available in all free-to-use UTM apps.

Walk through your settings

While it’s tempting to launch your drone and start flying around immediately, it’s wise to check your settings in app to make sure everything is properly aligned. What if you're looking at distance or altitude in imperial units instead of metric? It’s easy to panic and get confused while the drone in the air versus when it's grounded. If you have the wrong stats on your screen, you could unwittingly be breaking some laws.

Besides this, you’ll want to set distance and height limits. Unless you have a Part 107 (an FAA clearance for professional and expanded types of flight), you can't fly above 400 feet. Setting a height limit in your app will ensure that the drone doesn't breach this altitude. You'll also want to keep your drone in your line of sight. You can set a distance limit in the same menu.

Make sure you walk through all of your drone settings in app, so you don't get any surprises. You can disable sideways flight and toggle between Metric and Imperial for displaying altitude and distance.

It's also important to understand that if your drone has built-in obstacle avoidance sensors, they won't always be active. If you switch to 'Sport' or 'Ludicrous' mode, those sensors will be disabled. A lesson I learned, nearly the hard way, is if you're capturing video on certain models at a resolution of 2.7K/60p or 4K/30p, obstacle avoidance will be shut off – even if you're operating in a cinematic mode.

Wrapping it up

More and more photographers are discovering how easy it is, with a little practice, to have the thrill of capturing their favorite spots from an entirely new perspective. Given that a drone with a decent 20MP camera and Type-1 CMOS sensor will set you back about $1,000 or even less, the barrier to entry is lower than ever. And once you discover this new world of possibilities for capturing footage, you might wish you had picked one up sooner.

Hopefully in all the exhilaration of getting started you'll take the time to follow the above recommended steps. They'll help you not only to be compliant with your local laws, but to be a much safer remote pilot and have more confidence.

Happy flying!

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Forget the Oscars, watch these camera-centric films instead

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 12 mar 2023 - 13:00
A DPReview film festival

It's Oscar Sunday, so we've put together a DPReview film festival that celebrates our favorite star - photography!

To keep it simple, we've excluded documentaries, and zeroed on narrative film starring the humble camera. We've also limited this lineup with the hypothetical scenario that if you were to do a one day film festival, what would be a nice mix of films that deliver variety, thrills and perhaps a few surprises.

These are only a few of the films out there, let us know if we missed your favorites in the comments.

Now, off to the movies!

Rear Window

Start your at home film festival with this classic. Often parodied and poorly remade, Hitchcock's tale of a wheelchair bound professional photographer has stood the test of time. With masterful set design, reminiscent of a stage play, and a perfectly manic performance from James Stewart, the suspense rises frame by frame.

With little to do, a homebound photographer with a broken leg takes to looking out his Manhattan apartment window, seeing the hustle of the city unfold through a mosaic of open windows and courtyards during an intense heat wave. Characters emerge the longer he looks, the photographic eye of the observer seeking the 'moment,' until ultimately he sees something that perhaps he was not meant to see, or did he?

The underlying question hinges on photo cliches: is a picture worth a thousand words? Is seeing believing? Is 'pics for it didn't happen' always true?

I give it 5/5 stars.

City of God

For photographers (and particularly photojournalists) who picked up a camera and started their love affair with photography in the early to mid-aughts, this film is often the first to jump to mind when asked about 'photo' films they love.

Set in the slums of 1960s Rio de Janeiro, the film brings us a coming of age tale that gracefully invites viewers into the deep underbelly of a life on the streets of Brazil.

We met a group of young people living amid violence, poverty and fear, but also joy, strength and friendship. Sure it's a slum, but it's also home. The film plays it straight and 'normal' with no sensationalism or 'othering' of the people we meet. The youth here aren't to be pitied, they are presented here only because you've been invited in to live with them as they are.

At the center of this world is Rocket, a younger photographer who documents the everyday, witnessing his peers navigate the slums, some gaining power and others falling along the way. Rocket wants no part of it and much of the tension lies in this push and pull between the world's expectation and his own identity.

The camera becomes a comfort. This is a rare film that shows why photography matters and why many of us pick up a camera, because we need to.

I give it 5/5 stars.

The Killing Fields

Based on the horrific civil war in 1970s Cambodia and Pol Pot’s war atrocities, this heartbreaking film shadows New York Times reporter Sydney Schanberg and Dith Pran, a Cambodian journalist who aided Schanberg with translations and became an invaluable partner in reporting the fall of Phnom Penh to Khmer Rouge guerrillas in 1975.

I have a soft spot for this film, I briefly met Pran when I ca�me in second place for a photo competition named in his honor and his commitment to journalism inspired me then as it continues to today.

Pran and Schanberg witness the madness of war and have an unbridled commitment to documenting what is happening to hold accountable the wrongs they see. When American forces leave, Schanberg helps Pran evacuate his family but Pran refuses to leave until he is finished reporting the entire story. At this moment, it's not a given that Pran will have another chance to leave.

I give it 5/5 stars.

The Bridges of Madison County

Our film festival takes a lighter turn with our next film. Playing against type, director and star Clint Eastwood delivered a nuanced and touching story of two people crossing paths in a small town, one which masterfully walks the line between being heartfelt and revealing truths about loss and yearning without slipping into the saccharine.

At the center is Meryl Streep's Francesca Johnson, who joins Eastwood as the counterweight to his quiet pull. Johnson lives on a farm, is married with two kids and contemplates how this life came to be. She is not the cliche lonely housewife, but she has lived a lifetime and with age started to look back with melancholy. Her family is away for several days to see the Illinois State Fair, when a new stranger bumps into her.

Johnson meets Eastwood's fictional National Geographic photojournalist Robert Kincaid when he comes to their Iowa town for an assignment in 1965. An offer of iced tea turns into an awkward dinner and then something more.

After four days their whirlwind romance is over, but a longing remains for a lifetime. We have seen this idea played out in many films over the years, certainly the 'Before Trilogy' comes to mind, but 'Bridges' plays it not as love lost, but as something more nuanced. Here, parting is the only thing that gives this love meaning, to have acted on it is to destroy it.

I give it 4/5 stars.

One Hour Photo

We're nearing the end of our one day film festival, and making another tonal shift.

Watching 'One Hour Photo' in 2023 may feel like a time capsule, the plot centers on Robin Williams' Seymour 'Sy' Parrish working as a photo technician in a department store photo counter.

Part of Williams' turn toward darker roles ('One Hour Photo' was released in the same year as 'Death to Smoochy' and 'Insomnia'), we watch a man unravel under the weight of obsession and utter loneliness as he starts to become more and more consumed with every detail in the photos of a family that regularly drops off film rolls for development.

His attempts at banter with the family he has served for years are refused, he longs to connect but does not possess the ability, and so he retreats into his own fantasy world in which he has friends, a family who invites him over and is needed by others.

But he is always watching.

The tension simmers below the surface, we're never quite sure what Parrish is thinking or why he is descending into madness, until finally the film hits its crescendo.

I give it 5/5 stars.

La Macchina ammazzacattivi (The Machine to Kill Bad People)

From the opening frame, Roberto Rossellini's 1952 Italian fantasy proclaims itself a comedy and proceeds with an omnipotent hand descending from the heavens to arrange mountains, buildings and people as play things in a sandbox.

One of the few films with a plot point that completely hinges around a camera, the film centers on a humble photographer in post war Italy. Times are rough, the divide between the haves and the have-nots widens, outside investors from America are poised to pick at the meager things of value left in the photographer's small village, and greed and wickedness seems to lurk around every corner.

Our hero is trying his best to make a living with his camera, but the deck seems stacked against him and he feels powerless. Well, powerless until the day an old man shows up at his door in need of aid. The kind photographer takes him in and the stranger rewards him with a magic camera with the power to kill anyone he takes a picture of.

Unfolding like an episode of 'The Twilight Zone,' the photographer starts to use his new camera like a snapshot Grim Reaper, and the film prods us to consider what we would do with such power and at which point does the moral cross over into immoral.

I give it 4/5 stars.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

DPReview TV classics: The best and worst ways to clean your lenses

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 11 mar 2023 - 16:00

Chris and Jordan are prepping a few episodes for next week, so in the interim please enjoy this classic episode! Sure you plrbably want to know the best technique for cleaning your lenses, but it can't hurt to find out the worst ways as well, right? Also, check out the impressive acting performance from Chris' daughter at 7:10.

Get new episodes of DPReview TV every week by subscribing to our YouTube channel!

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Lensrentals' most rented-out point-and-shoot isn't a point-and-shoot at all

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 11 mar 2023 - 15:00

The Leica Q2 certainly has a built-in lens, but does that really make it a 'point-and-shoot?' We'd say not, and that making that distinction helps illuminate the niches in which there's still room for compacts to do interesting things.

Photo: Dan Bracaglia

Camera and lens rental company Lensrentals has published a list of its most popular 'point-and-shoot' cameras, but the thing we found most interesting is how few of the cameras on the list would sensibly be described as such.

We recognize that, for many people, the term 'point-and-shoot' is synonymous with the term 'compact camera,' but we've always felt that there are plenty of compact cameras that encourage or reward a more hands-on approach to their photography than simply pointing at a subject and pressing the shutter button.

Lensrentals' most rented 'point-and-shoot' cameras of the past year 10. Olympus Tough TG-6 9. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III 8. Fujifilm X100F 7. Nikon Coolpix P1000 6. Leica Q2 Monochrom 5. Ricoh GR IIIx 4. Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 VII 3. Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 IV 2. Fujifilm X100V 1. Leica Q2

And it's interesting to note that these more photographer-focused cameras are the ones that dominate Lensrentals' list. Now, of course, you could argue that it's only keen photographers that go to the effort of renting a camera, but arguably they're also the only audience that still buys dedicated cameras of any type.

Of the list, it's only really the Olympus TG-6 or Nikon P1000 (whose appeal in both cases is about something other than just simplicity of operation) and, perhaps, the Sony RX100 VII that one might sensibly expect to be simply pointed and shot.

If anything, we feel the Lensrentals list just further confirms that the point-and-shoot is dead: the desire to point-and-shoot is readily satisfied by smartphones. But this doesn't (quite) mean the end of interesting compacts.

Read Lensrentals' blog post about the most rented point-and-shoot cameras of 2022

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Lenrentals' most rented-out point-and-shoot isn't a point-and-shoot at all

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 11 mar 2023 - 15:00

The Leica Q2 certainly has a built-in lens, but does that really make it a 'point-and-shoot?' We'd say not, and that making that distinction helps illuminate the niches in which there's still room for compacts to do interesting things.

Photo: Dan Bracaglia

Camera and lens rental company Lensrentals has published a list of its most popular 'point-and-shoot' cameras but the thing we found most interesting is how few of the cameras on the list would sensibly be described as such.

We recognize that, for many people, the term 'point-and-shoot' is synonymous with the term 'compact camera,' but we've always felt that there are plenty of compact cameras that encourage or reward a more hands-on approach to their photography than simply pointing at a subject and pressing the shutter button.

Lensrentals' most rented 'point-and-shoot' cameras of the past yer 10. Olympus Tough TG-6 9. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III 8. Fujifilm X100F 7. Nikon Coolpix P1000 6. Leica Q2 Monochrom 5. Ricoh GR IIIx 4. Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 VII 3. Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 IV 2. Fujifilm X100V 1. Leica Q2

And it's interesting to note that these more photographer-focused cameras are the ones that dominate Lensrentals' list. Now, of course, you could argue that it's only keen photographers that go to the effort of renting a camera, but arguably they're also the only audience that still buy dedicated cameras of any type.

Of the list, it's only really the Olympus TG-6 or Nikon P1000 (whose appeal in both cases is about something other than just simplicity of operation) and, perhaps, the Sony RX100 VII that one might sensibly expect to be simply pointed and shot.

If anything, we feel the Lensrentals list just further confirms that the point-and-shoot is dead: the desire to point-and-shoot is readily satisfied by smartphones. But this doesn't (quite) mean the end of interesting compacts.

Read Lensrental's blog post about the most rented point-and-shoot cameras of 2022

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Film Friday: Xpan 'Triptych Tokyo' captures the chaos of city life

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 10 mar 2023 - 15:00
Inspiration is all around us, and even old ideas are new when you put your own spin on it. Photographer Takashi Fukukawa says he picked up his film camera when his daughter was born, but when she stopped cooperating with his desire to document her daily life he turned his gaze to the streets of Tokyo. An avid devourer of photography and darkroom techniques, he was keen to embrace his new hobby and continue to learn. Always seeking the next growth opportunity, he recalls one day when he landed on the idea of combining multiple images into a collage to create a single larger image. He was out one day photographing the streets of Tokyo when he came across a scene that was compelling, but try as he might it just didn't feel right. Then he recalled seeing the work of Benjamin Lee, who had experimented with making portraits out of multiple images. Inspiration struck and Fukukawa stepped back to photograph the scene in parts. A new project was born: 'Triptych Tokyo,' in which Fukukawa presents a glimpse of city life, but rearranged like a puzzle with elements drifting between frames – sometimes repeating people, sometimes juxtaposing time against history – the energy capturing the chaos of daily life in Tokyo. A self-described ‘weekend photographer,' his work is bold and inventive and yet deceptively simple at first glance. DPreview recently reached out to Fukukawa to learn more about his process of making making triptychs with an Xpan camera. Note: This interview was conducted over Google Translate and edited for clarity. How did you come to the idea to photograph with the Xpan in this way? Could you tell us where, when, and how you thought of it? What was your inspiration, how did you start? Until about five years ago I used to take 'normal' panoramic photos with my Xpan. One day, the view I wanted to capture did not fit in the angle of view of the 45mm lens of this camera, so I came up with the idea of taking split shots and combining them later. However, this was not my original idea, but was inspired by the work of a photographer, Mr. Benjamin Lee. In a series of articles in a Japanese magazine, he published photographs of his subjects' workplaces taken in sections with a 6x17 panoramic camera, which were then combined to reconstruct the view. I started taking split shots based on that. If I had been able to buy a Hasselblad SWC or an Xpan 30mm lens without hesitation, I would have just taken mediocre ultra-wide-angle photos that we could now take with our iPhone camera. I was lucky I didn't have enough money. Did your first attempts come out the way you expected? What did you learn from photographing this way? Of course, in the beginning I did not get the results I expected. Even now, I haven't made much progress. When I put together the negatives I have taken, I often don't get a sense of continuity as a single landscape. The reasons for this vary from the way of cropping each frame, to the changing brightness of each frame (it often appeared on a cloudy day). However, the most important thing I learned was that I cannot rely on the bright frame in the viewfinder of this camera. Can you tell us what you like about Xpan and what feels different about this camera? The Hasselblad Xpan is one of the few cameras that can take full panoramic photos on 35mm film. It is not a panorama-only camera and can switch between panorama and normal width during shooting, making it very convenient. It is also suitable for taking [multiple] pictures while being aware of the continuity of angles, as the automatic winding means that I don't have to move my thumb with each release of the shutter. I bought this Xpan over 10 years ago, second-hand. In those days people thought film cameras were becoming obsolete, so I was able to get one much cheaper than I can now. I regret that I didn't buy another one back then. How did you start to do triptychs? What do you like about this approach? I find it interesting when there are three different moments in a single landscape and three different perspectives. I enjoy it most when I look at the developed negatives. However, I often develop the negatives long after they have been taken, so I often forget what I have shot. It is fun to look at them with a fresh mind. What's your advice for others wanting to play around with this process? If people are interested in this process, I hope they enjoy using their own cameras, regardless of the equipment they have. Whether they have an Xpan or something else. [You don't need to use an Xpan] because the more people who read this article and want an Xpan, the more expensive my spare equipment will be!
Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Review: Holy Stone's HS710 and HS175D are drones with a ton of limitations

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 9 mar 2023 - 16:00

Chances are, if you're searching for a drone targeted at beginners, DJI's Mini models might not be at the top of your list. Instead, you might sift through dozens of less expensive offerings from alternate brands. Holy Stone is prominent in this category and we at DPReview were curious to see if a more affordable option, minus some more advanced options, was worth exploring for anyone starting their drone journey.

Holy Stone's HS710 and HS175D models are foldable, weigh less than 250g, are advertised as having features like 4K cameras and GPS positioning and offer sophisticated flight modes including waypoints and subject tracking, something low-end DJI models omit. However, while they look the part, there are significant gaps in the specifications the company publishes, which makes it difficult to compare the cameras, for instance. We thought it'd be interesting to see how well they work in the real world.

The first impressions aren't great: Holy Stone drones are made of plastic and have a toy-like feel to them. Still, for those starting out on a small budget, are they a viable alternative? Let's find out.

Compared to...

I regularly talk to a lot of beginners who think DJI's Mini SE is the ideal beginner's drone. Can the Holy Stone models compete for that honor? Though similar in size, Holy Stone's offerings are close to 10g – 20g lighter, which means prop guards can be added without the need for registration with the Federal Aviation Administration (or similar government agency in other countries). Remember, there is no need for registration if you are flying recreationally.

Holy Stone HS175D Holy Stone HS710 DJI Mini SE Price $259.99 $199.99 $299 Batteries included (standard) 2 2 1 Battery life 23 minutes 23 minutes 30 minutes Camera 2.7K* ** 4K** 2.7K Image format JPEG JPEG JPEG Max camera transmission 300 meters (984 feet) 300 meters (984 feet) 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) Dimensions 145x90x60 mm 268x301x54 mm 138x81x58 mm Weight 215g 245g 249g Flight modes Waypoints, Circle Fly, Follow Me Point of Interest, Follow Me, Headless QuickShots

*We were unable to capture 2.7K footage from the HS175D, instead finding that it only shoots 1080p in some instances. Photos may be captured at near-4K (4096x3072) resolutions, however.

**We were unable to glean any information from available spec sheets about camera sensor size, resolution, or other pertinent details. Representatives from Holy Stone did not answer our requests for more information.

A quick introduction

Before I get into my assessment of these drones, there are a few points I should mention – especially since I'm accustomed to flying DJI and Autel models. Holy Stone produces a large range of drones for a variety of beginners and hobbyists, some with built-in prop guards. Although the two models we tested supposedly feature 4K, some are limited to 1080p cameras to keep the price low.

Instead of one monolithic app for all Holy Stone models, your phone's app store may have a bunch of different companion apps. You will need to look at the user manual for your model and scan the QR code provided to ensure that you're downloading the correct one. Also, because these drones only capture JPEG and MP4 files, they hold a memory card with a max capacity between 32 GB or 64 GB (check your manual to find the limit). Cards larger than the max will not be recognized.

What We Like What We Don't
  • Durable build
  • Easy to set up
  • Clean app design
  • Unpredictable and difficult to fly
  • No gimbal for stabilization
  • Weak GPS signal
  • Poor camera quality results in ugly photos and videos
  • Toy-like construction, cheap remote quality

Both drones I tested offer one-key take off and landing, plus GPS that, according to Holy Stone, will stabilize the drone, allow it to hover and conduct a Return to Home operation with the press of a button. Intelligent automated flight modes found on more sophisticated drones, such as Waypoints, Circle Fly (the equivalent of DJI's Point-of-Interest and Orbit modes) and Follow Me are also available on both models.

Holy Stone HS175D ($259.99)

Holy Stone's HS175D is 145 x 90 x 60 mm (5.7 x 3.5 x 2.3") folded down and weighs 215g (0.47 lbs). Holy Stone advertises it as offering up to 46 minutes of flight time, but this is across the two batteries included; each one should last up to 23 minutes. The maximum transmission distance on a 2.4 GHz frequency is 500 meters (1,640 feet), while the maximum transmission distance for the camera is 300 meters (984 feet). That's surprisingly short – DJI's competing $299 drone, the Mini SE, boasts a range of 4 kilometers with its included remote, a distance up to 8x farther.

A 2.7K camera is mounted on a 1-axis tilting mechanism and gives you a pitch range of -90º to 0º with a 110º AOV. It can capture JPEG stills and MP4 video that save to both your smartphone and the drone's memory card. This drone runs on Holy Stone's HS GPS V5 app.

Holy Stone HS710 ($199.99)

The HS710 is 268 x 301 x 54 mm (10.5 x 11.8 x 2.1") folded down and weighs 245g (0.54 lbs). Like the HS175D, it comes with 2 batteries that offer up to 46 minutes of flight time combined (but only 23 minutes per flight, and you'll need to swap the battery out). Oddly, even though the HS710 is the less expensive model, it felt more sophisticated and easier to operate. The maximum transmission distance is 600 meters (1,968 feet) while again the camera will stay connected up to 300 meters (984 feet).

The HS710 runs on Holy Stone's Ophelia GO app. For all intents and purposes, it's clean and user friendly. It's also more sophisticated than the HS GPS V5 app I used with the HS175D. Fine tuning the camera's settings, for example, is much more straightforward. The 4K camera has a 120º AOV with one axis of pitch from 0º down to -90º and can capture JPEG and MP4 imagery. It only takes memory cards up to 32GB.

The HS710 has a remote with a LCD screen that displays pertinent info. The right antenna broke off not long after this shot, when I was attempting to attach my smartphone.

One thing worth noting: the HS710's included remote has a nice LCD display in front that reveals important information including battery life for both the drone and remote, the altitude and distance of your drone at any given time and the number of GPS signals the drone is connected to during flight. You will need two AA batteries to power the remote; there is no other way to charge it up.

Similarities between both models

On both apps, it's easy to access Follow Me, Point of Interest, and Headless flight modes from the main screen. You can also hit Return to Home in-app or from the remote. While it's not Mapbox, there is a detailed map in the corner that you can toggle on and off to get an idea of where your drone is at all times.

The HS710's camera, mounted on a 1-axis tilt mechanism, is encased in a shell. In the event of a crash, this could keep it protected but does image quality no favors.

The cameras on both drones have one way to move the camera: tilting up and down. In essence, you can move the camera but won't get the benefit of a more advanced gimbal setup. For example, a 3-axis gimbal, found on DJI drones and other similar competitors, stabilizes the footage to counter the drone's movements and can give you a very cinematic-looking image.

Holy Stone has made their their camera casings sturdier, with the beginner pilot in mind. The tradeoff is the footage seems to lack stabilization entirely. Adjusting the camera's pitch was also needlessly awkward on both drones. On the HS175D, you can only adjust the pitch, in app, and it didn't work most of the time. You also need to press and hold down for several seconds to get the main battery to power the drone on and off. It felt clunky, to say the least.

What are they like to fly?

My first drone was a DJI Phantom 1 when I started flying in mid-2014. It was sturdy and even though there wasn't any first-person-view camera affixed on board, it was easy to maneuver. Movements were fluid and the drone held its position automatically, even when hovering. Despite the 6-minute battery life, it put me on a path towards professional drone flying.

My experience with these Holy Stone models was nothing like that. While I was able to get the drones up and running by following their respective manual's instructions, I never felt as though I had full control of either one. Upon launch, each drone would ascend nicely enough, but that confidence was short-lived.

The HS175D camera, pictured, shoots unattractive video and stills.

The first time the HS175D took off, it automatically made a beeline for the nearest tree – about 150 yards (137m) away. It got caught in a branch, then fell to the ground. At least these toy drones are resilient – I snapped an arm back into place and tried flying it again. I followed all the instructions, calibrating the compass and making sure it had a GPS connection, but while I had no further collisions the drone was still shaky in flight and would drift often.

The HS710 wasn't much better. At one point, would not respond to my joystick commands and flew around erratically in circles before the battery life drained. It ended up landing in a tree and falling onto a soft lawn when the Return to Home command failed. It's true that Holy Stone instructs you to fly in wide open spaces – I can see why – however there aren't any open to the public that don't have trees where I live.

That included remote was also somewhat of a bust. While trying to affix my smartphone in the remote's holder, one of the antennas snapped off like a twig. Worse yet, there is a GPS button on the side but no indication if it turns the mode on or off.

A sunset I was attempting to capture with both drones was glorious. However, you wouldn't be able to tell as these cameras are poor quality.

But what about the footage? A sunset I was attempting to capture with these drones was glorious to the naked eye. However, you wouldn't be able to tell as both cameras are terrible quality and have dim colors and poor dynamic range. The fisheye effect even showed up at times, depending on which direction you flew or tilted the camera. Making any maneuvers felt labored and added to the jerkiness of the footage.

The HS175D failed to make this amazing sunset look anywhere near impressive. If it can't even do that, what's the point?

Overall, I did not enjoy flying either Holy Stone drone. I was on edge the entire time, ready for one to fly away at any moment. At one point on the HS175D, I tried changing the video settings and got a popup warning in Chinese. This model, though advertised as having a 4K camera (the caveat is that it's for 4K stills only), did not offer video settings beyond 2.7K/50p and even then I was only able to capture a 1080P clip when testing. This is because the 2.7K footage didn't save to the memory card, even though it was formatted and should have worked.

The fact that there are so many different apps designed to control a variety of different models means you may see settings for functions your drone doesn't support. Holy Stone would be wise to pare down these offerings and focus on making one or two apps uniform and consistent in their user experience.

Final thoughts

My background is in photography. When I decided to pursue a drone hobby (which became a profession), my main goal was to master the most sophisticated aerial imaging technology available. Whenever DJI came out with an upgraded model, I was one of the first to purchase it because I wanted to take the best photos and video clips possible.

You're not going to get even decent-quality footage with a Holy Stone drone.

Even if image quality isn't your be-all and end-all, be aware that you're not going to get even decent-quality footage with a Holy Stone drone. Photos and video look terrible, and the lack of stabilization means video is unbelievably shaky to boot. If you care about image quality stay far away from these two Holy Stone models. I have seen a few halfway-decent looking videos posted online from other users. However, I have no doubt that a lot of post-processing, including stabilization and significant color grading, were involved to achieve that particular result.

These drones are built with a beginner in mind, whether the company wants to admit it or not. Their bodies are durable and designed to take a licking and keep on ticking. However, it really does feel like you are operating a toy. The controls are not ergonomically friendly and it feels awkward to make any sophisticated movements on the joysticks or with the gimbal wheels.

Another pet peeve is how long it took for the drone to connect to 7 satellites in order to take off. I estimate it took 3–5 minutes every time.

My iPhone takes better photos than the HS710 drone. Who are these for?

Many beginners buying a starter drone do so to learn how to fly and to discover if it's something they enjoy enough to make a more significant investment in. Technically one of these Holy Stone drones could serve this specific purpose but realistically even those with low expectations shouldn't buy them.

You need to understand that you get what you pay for and there are deal-breaking limitations in play here. The marketing sells something mostly detached from reality, and good luck getting anything resembling responsive support for technical issues.

Personally, I would strongly advise beginners to spend a little extra money on a DJI Mini SE for better image quality and a far more stable flying experience, not to mention peace of mind. Even if you were hoping to share simple images and videos to social media, Holy Stone's drones fall, figuratively and literally, short.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Leica announces Vario-Elmar-SL 100-400 F5-6.3 and 1.4x 'extender'

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 9 mar 2023 - 15:00

Leica has announced the Vario-Elmar-SL 100-400mm F5-6.3, a telephoto zoom lens for L-mount. It's also announced a 1.4x teleconverter that's compatible with the lens to deliver a combination that extends to 560mm F9.

The rather modest maximum aperture range allows the lens to be relatively compact for such a long telephoto optic. It comes with a detachable tripod base compatible with the Arca-Swiss system. The ring to which this attaches has a thumb dial to allow it to rotate and lock every 90 degrees.

The lens delivers up to 0.24x magnification at the 400mm setting's minimum focus distance of 1.59m (5.2ft). It's 198mm (7.80") long at its shortest, and 88mm (3.46") in diameter. As the first few comments on this story highlight, the optical specs and 22 element / 16 group formula are remarkably similar to those of Sigma's 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG DN OS, albeit with metal construction.

The Leica version weighs 1530g (54oz) without the supplied hood, and 1620g (57oz) with.

The lens is compatible with the Leica Extender L 1.4x teleconverter that's launched alongside it, to deliver a 140-560mm F7-9 zoom. The extender is currently only listed as being compatible with the SL 100-400. It adds 182g (6.4oz) to proceedings.

The 100-400mm lens goes on sale immediately with a recommended price of $2195, with the teleconverter adding a further $875.

Leica expands the SL-System lens portfolio with a compact 100- 400mm telephoto zoom lens and a new 1.4x extender allowing a focal length increase up to 560mm.

Teaneck, March 9th, 2023. For over 150 years, Leica Camera AG has been crafting lenses that stand as pioneering precision tools, continuously pushing the boundaries of what is technically possible. Creative people rely on Leica cameras and lenses to capture their view of the world in outstanding image quality with the unmistakable Leica look. Now, the new Leica Vario-Elmar-SL 100-400 f/5-6.3 telephoto zoom lens and the new Leica Extender L 1.4x once again expand the freedom and flexibility of photography and videography with the SL-System.

The new Vario-Elmar-SL 100-400 f/5-6.3 offers the widest and longest zoom range of the SL-System and combines high-end technology with all the advantages of a particularly compact and lightweight design. Its range of applications is extremely versatile. Above all, it shines in nature, wildlife, sports and action photography. It is characterized by its high performance and high image quality over the entire zoom and aperture range. The optical image stabilizer ensures blur-free images and the autofocus focuses precisely on moving objects.

The Vario-Elmar-SL 100-400 f/5-6.3 has an ARCA-SWISS compatible, detachable tripod base that can be inserted directly into a suitable coupling system without a quick-release plate. This provides a secure hold at all times when photographing or filming with a tripod. A lockable tripod clamp also allows the lens to be fixed securely at any angle. The clamp locks every 90 degrees for quick changes between landscape and portrait formats.
As an additional option, the new Leica Extender L 1.4x extends the focal length of the Vario-Elmar-SL 100-400 f/5-6.3 even further to a range of 140-560mm. With its compact dimensions, it fits in any bag to quickly and flexibly form a powerful unit with the lens. Both the extended focal length and the aperture are written into the image data as usual, to ensure that they show the actual settings used.

The new SL lens, whether on its own or in combination with the Leica Extender L 1.4, complements the SL-System, as well as the L-Mount portfolio, with a versatile, powerful and compact lens that captures images and videos in unique quality.

The retail price for the new Leica Vario-Elmar-SL 100-400 f/5-6.3 is $2,195 and the retail price for the new Leica Extender L 1.4x is $875. Both products are available globally at Leica Stores, the Leica Online Store and authorized dealers starting March 9th 2023.

Leica Vario-Elmar-SL 100-400f/5-6.3 specifications

Principal specificationsLens typeZoom lensMax Format size35mm FFFocal length100–400 mmImage stabilizationYesLens mountL-MountApertureMaximum apertureF5–6.3Minimum apertureF22Aperture ringNoOpticsElements22Groups16FocusMinimum focus1.10 m (43.31″)Maximum magnification0.24×AutofocusYesMotor typeStepper motorFull time manualNoFocus methodInternalDistance scaleNoDoF scaleNoPhysicalWeight1530 g (3.37 lb)Diameter88 mm (3.46″)Length198 mm (7.8″)SealingYesZoom methodRotary (extending)Power zoomNoZoom lockNoFilter thread82 mmHood suppliedYesTripod collarNo
Kategorier: Sidste nyt

DPReview March Madness, round one results and round two voting

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 9 mar 2023 - 15:00
The field has been cut in half

Round one of DPReview March Madness kicked off last week and thousands of you voted alongside the DPReview editors to determine who got to advance and who was sent packing in defeat.

We've updated the matchups to vote on (click the image above to see it larger).

Things are getting weird this round with lots of odd matchups (prime lens vs. natural light?) – if you're having trouble, just decide which one you'd kick off the island.

Which contentious contender will make it to the final four and ultimately be crowned the DPReview March Madness 2023 Champion?

It's up to you to vote and decide.

Please note that for the best experience, we recommend voting on our desktop site.

Poll Rules:

This poll is meant to be a bit of fun. It's not sponsored, promoted or paid for in any way and DPReview doesn't care how you vote. Our readers' polls are run on the basis of trust. As such, we ask that you only vote once, from a single account.

Round 1 - Results Photo Division Film vs Digital Film Digital Reader poll result 9.5% 90.5% 4pts 41pts DPR Editors picks 100% 45pts Coin flip 100% 10pts TOTAL 14pts 86pts DIGITAL WINS Street photography with a 35mm vs a 50mm 35mm 50mm Reader poll result 70.4% 29.6% 32pts 13pts DPR Editors picks 66.67% 33.3% 30pts 15pts Coin flip 100% 10pts TOTAL 62pts 38pts 35mm WINS Prime lens vs Zoom lens

For some categories, the DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Dale Baskin: I love shooting with prime lenses, but I also like to travel light. A small mirrorless body and a compact zoom provide a ton of flexibility when traveling, albeit at the expense of some flexibility for shallow DOF shots.

Jordan Drake: I bring primes when I go shoot for fun, but when I’m working it’s typically a couple zooms in the bag.

Shaminder Dulai: I like primes when the assignment allows for it, I like how it forces me to work within the limits of the lens and be more creative within those limits. There’s something nice about walking around with an 85mm and thinking, boy I wish I had the 35mm but let me think about how to compose the scene with what I have. I like the slowing down, it helps me turn off my a part of my brain and be present and focus.

Matt Waller: Prime, but I cheat because I use Micro Four Thirds and can fit five or six of them on me in different pockets.

Prime Zoom Reader poll result 57.1% 42.9% 26pts 19pts DPR Editors picks 66.67% 33.3% 30pts 15pts Coin flip 100% 10pts TOTAL 66 34 Prime WINS Natural light vs Controlled light

For some categories, the DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Matt: Controlled light. This is an ambition pick, as I’m not at all good with flash, but shooting in Seattle the natural light basically goes missing for half the year, so I need to get on board with it.

Shaminder: I went with natural light, but I hear you Matt and know exactly what you mean. Seattle winters (and falls and springs) can be a sea of gray. I think for me natural light is my comfort zone because I learned how to leverage natural light with bounce cards and mirrors mostly out of lack of access to studio lights when I was starting out. I also feel like studio lighting is easy to get wrong and overdoing it with perfection screams this isn’t real.

Natural light Controlled light Reader poll result 86.6% 13.4% 39pts 6 DPR Editors picks 66.67% 33.3% 30pts 15pts Coin flip 100% 10pts TOTAL 79pts 21pts Natural light WINS Video Division 24 fps vs 30 fps 24 fps 30 fps Reader poll result 55.9% 44.1% 25pts 20pts DPR Editors picks 100% 45pts Coin flip 100% 10pts TOTAL 70pts 30pts 24 fps WINS Shutter angle vs Shutter speed

For some categories, the DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Richard Butler: Since it's in the video division of the competition, I have to opt for shutter angle. Being able to maintain an appropriate exposure time when switching from, say, 24p to 60p (and back!) speeds up the process and makes mistakes much less likely.

Brendan Nystedt: Ditto Richard.

Matt: Shutter angle, Jordan’s DPReview article convinced me.

Shutter angle Shutter speed Reader poll result 38.2% 61.8% 17pts 28pts DPR Editors picks 100% 45pts Coin flip 100% 10pts TOTAL 72pts 28pts Shutter angle WINS Emmanuel Lubezki vs Roger Deakins

For some categories, the DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Shaminder: Both of these men are masters of their craft, and I love that Deakins started a podcast sharing his knowledge during the Covid-19 pandemic (might be one of the few good things to come out of it), but forced to choose I have to go with Lubezki. Three consecutive Oscars for films ('Gravity,' 'Birdman,' 'The Revenant') with three different and unique challenges showed his range and how he marries practical with digital filmmaking to create a seamless story. And I haven't even mentioned The Tree of Life! Side note, Deakins gets a lot of deserved props for 'Blade Runner 2049 and 1917, but do yourself a favor and go back to watch 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' and 'The Man Who Wasn't There.'

Jordan: I love Lubezki’s style, but Deakins has shown himself to be a master of a huge variety of looks. Fun fact: When I worked at The Camera Store, Lubezki came in while he was shooting The Revenant. I’ve never been more intimidated by anyone, so I cowered in the video department while he talked with the staff. Apparently he was gracious and approachable, and it’s one of my big regrets I didn’t join in on the conversation. I even had a Blu-Ray of one of his movies ('Y Tu Mama Tambien') in my camera bag that I didn’t think to get signed!

Shaminder: You didn’t get it signed?!

Dale: Great story, Jordan! I few years ago Rishi and I had the opportunity to interview Emmanuel Lubezki a week before he won his third consecutive Oscar for best cinematography. It turns out he’s also an enthusiast photographer and was a DPReview reader. We talked quite a bit about his camera at the time (a Nikon D810) and how he shot differently with digital compared to film. You can read the interview here. It was a fascinating conversation and we talked for over two hours because he was genuinely geeking out with us. Fun fact: our interview was actually the #1 Google hit when searching for ‘Emmanuel Lubezki’ for a couple of years after that.

Lubezki Deakins Reader poll result 37.2% 62.8% 17pts 28pts DPR Editors picks 40% 60% 18pts 27pts Coin flip 100% 10 TOTAL 45 55 Deakins WINS Final Cut Pro vs Premiere Pro

For some categories, the DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Richard: Apple annoyed a lot of users when it completely reworked FCP to more closely resemble iMovies. And I understand how maddening that must have been for FCP 7 users who'd developed familiar workflows. However, as a beginner, this change gave me an easy jumping-on point and gave me a route into video editing I might not have otherwise had.

Shaminder: I was one of those annoyed. I used Final Cut Express and FCP and was all in, but then they just ruined it. I tried to stubbornly stick to using FCP 7 for as long as I could, but I finally jumped ship. It took me forever to unlearn the hotkeys and shortcuts from FCP when I moved to Premiere. And yes, I know you can change the keyboard shortcuts in Premiere to match FCP, but at some point I just had to rip the bandaid off and embrace Premiere’s quicks and way of doing things. Now, I’ve heard that FCP is much improved today, but the idea of jumping back over again and investing in relearning it, I just don’t have the time for it.

Dale: I was one of those FCP 7 users, and I *hated* FCP X when it was introduced. The workflow was different enough that it didn’t make sense, and there were important features missing. Once I took the time to learn the FCP X approach to editing, however, I’ve never gone back. I’ve used Premiere a lot out of necessity, but I can cut a project much more quickly in FCP X and it’s more fun. (Though DaVinci Resolve is giving it some good competition now.)

Shaminder: Resolve is growing on me, but I’ve also been on the other end of receiving edits from someone working in Resolve and struggling to get files broadcast-ready and everything going wonky with color and proxy files. Sometimes there’s something to be said for things just working.

Jordan: I don’t love looking at spinning beach balls when I edit, and that’s been my primary activity when working with Premiere the last couple years. Resolve is certainly becoming tempting right now though.

Final Cut Pro Premiere Pro Reader poll result 51.3% 48.7% 23pts 22pts DPR Editors picks 83.33% 17% 38pts 8pts Coin flip 100% 10pts TOTAL 61ps 40 Final Cut Pro WINS Wild Card Division Shallow DOF vs Deep focus

For some categories, the DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Brendan: I’m going to say deep focus just because it’s underappreciated. Both are valid in the right context! I was thinking about how impactful and cinematic expansive landscapes can be when you feel like you can see forever into the distance. That’s the power of deep focus.

Dale: Agree with Brendan on this one - there’s no right or wrong, it’s all about context and I use them both. However, maybe I like using shallow DOF when appropriate because it’s one look that smartphones still can’t quite replicate.

Jordan: I spent too many years with a tiny-sensor camcorder, so I’m still digging shallow DOF.

Shallow DOF Deep focus Reader poll result 68.6% 31.4% 31pts 14pts DPR Editors picks 71.43% 28.57% 32pts 13pts Coin flip 100% 10pts TOTAL 63pts 37pts Shallow DOF WINS Viewfinder vs Tilt/Touch screen

For some categories, the DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Matt: Tilt screen! Easier to tap to focus, clearer to MF on, stealthier for street photography. Still not quite sold having on a TV ¼ inch from my eye.

Shaminder: Old habits die hard, I think I like the viewfinder because it’s familiar but also because when I’m working I don’t want everyone being distracted and starting at the guy with the glowing light on his face. I know the viewfinder eats up more battery, but darn it, that’s what spare batteries are for.

Viewfinder Tilt/Touch screen Reader poll result 78.7% 21.3% 35pts 10pts DPR Editors picks 66.67% 33.33% 30pts 15pts Coin flip 100% 10pts TOTAL 65pts 35pts Viewfinder WINS Have your portrait made by Annie Leibovitz vs Platon

For some categories, the DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Dale: Leibowitz, though it’s a bit of a toss-up. Can I choose Douglass Kirkland? :)

Shaminder: It’s gotta be Annie, if only to see up close a master of putting people at ease and seeing the story within a pose. She told the Queen to 'please hold,' just think of the stories she must have!

Leibovitz Platon Reader poll result 69.2% 30.8% 31pts 14pts DPR Editors picks 100% 45pts Coin flip 100% 10pts TOTAL 76pts 24pts Leibovitz WINS UV filter vs Naked glass UV filter Naked glass Reader poll result 33.8% 66.2% 15pts 30pts DPR Editors picks 50% 50% 23pts 23pts Coin flip 100% 10pts TOTAL 48pts 53pts Naked glass WINS Reader's Choice Division From dept. of not happening: mirrorless cameras w/o video vs stop making special edition Leicas Stills only mirrorless Sp. ed. Leicas no more Reader poll result 39% 61% 18pts 27pts DPR Editors picks 33.33% 66.67% 15pts 30pts Coin flip 100% 10pts TOTAL 43pts 57pts Leica WINS Jordan Drake vs Gordon Drake

For some categories, the DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Jordan: Gordon. I’m nicer, but Gordon is obviously much more accomplished.

Shaminder: Gotta be Gordon: He won’t take my calls and that just makes me want him more.

Gordon: How did you get this number?

Jordan Gordon Reader poll result 70.8% 29.2% 32pts 13pts DPR Editors picks 66.67% 33.33% 30pts 15pts Coin flip 100% 10pts TOTAL 62pts 38pts Jordan WINS Compact camera vs Cell phone camera Compact Smartphone Reader poll result 57.6% 42.4% 26pts 19pts DPR Editors picks 50% 50% 23pts 23pts Coin flip 100% 10pts TOTAL 49pts 52pts Smartphone camera WINS Nikon Z 9 vs Canon EOS R3

For some categories, the DPReview team debated amongst ourselves. What follows is an edited version of this conversation:

Dale: EOS R3 - for one primary reason: eye-controlled AF. I appreciate that it doesn’t work for everybody, but it works *really well* for me.

Matt: Z9 - it has a tilt screen!

Shaminder: As a decades-long Canon user, I have to recognize Nikon really moved the goalposts with the Z9. Since we're in this mount transition with mirrorless, it's really making me think about which system I invest in moving forward (and that includes Canon, Nikon, Sony, Lumix and Fujifilm – so most of them.)

Jordan: Z9. No luck with eye control for me.

Brendan: I haven’t tried either so I have no preference here.

Nikon Z 9 Canon EOS R3 Reader poll result 73.3% 26.7% 33pts 12pts DPR Editors picks 80% 20% 36pts 9pts Coin flip 100% 10pts TOTAL 69pts 31pts Nikon Z 9 WINS Judging rules

A quick reminder of our rules.

Winners will be selected through the following combination of public votes, DPReview editors' votes and a coin flip:

  • 45% readers choice votes (% of user votes for a each team, multiplied by 0.45)
  • 45% DPReview editor's choice (% of editorial vote for each team, multiplied by 0.45)
  • 10% coin flip (because chance is a part of March Madness and everyone loves a Cinderella story)
Round 2 - 8 Matches

The unexpected closest matchup of Round One turned out to be the battle between compact cameras and smartphone cameras. It was the only match in Round One to be decided by a coin flip. Fare thee well mighty compact, the people have spoken.

Other close matches were the debate over whether lenses should be kept naked or have a filter screwed in at all times (naked won), and the cinematographer match with Emmanuel Lubezki vs Roger Deakins (Deakins advanced).

Our next round looks to really ramp up the madness with some expected matchups. You may be asking, how can I weigh the merits of a camera body against a lens, or a master of portraiture against the merits of bare glass - embrace the weird!

Ask yourself if you could only save one, what would you advance and what would you destroy?

If you were forced to wipe one from the face of the earth, what would you give the boot?

If you can only have one, would you rather live in a world without A or B?

(And a reminder, our polls are meant to be for fun and we don't care how you vote.)

Without further ado, here are you matches for Round Two:

Photo Division

Round two voting ends March 15, 2023

Have your say$(document).ready(function() { Poll({"pollId":"4636224560","openForVoting":true,"mainElementId":"poll0","slot":null,"isSingleChoicePoll":true,"minNumberOfChoices":1,"maxNumberOfChoices":1}); })Round 2: Digital body vs. 35mm lensDigital body35mm lensYou need to login to vote Have your say$(document).ready(function() { Poll({"pollId":"5215976603","openForVoting":true,"mainElementId":"poll1","slot":null,"isSingleChoicePoll":true,"minNumberOfChoices":1,"maxNumberOfChoices":1}); })Round 2: Prime lens vs. Natural lightPrime lensNatural lightYou need to login to vote Video Division

Round two voting ends March 15, 2023

Have your say$(document).ready(function() { Poll({"pollId":"2094618397","openForVoting":true,"mainElementId":"poll2","slot":null,"isSingleChoicePoll":true,"minNumberOfChoices":1,"maxNumberOfChoices":1}); })Round 2: 24 fps vs Shutter angle24 fpsShutter angleYou need to login to vote Have your say$(document).ready(function() { Poll({"pollId":"3235181395","openForVoting":true,"mainElementId":"poll3","slot":null,"isSingleChoicePoll":true,"minNumberOfChoices":1,"maxNumberOfChoices":1}); })Round 2: Roger Deakins vs Final Cut ProRoger DeakinsFinal Cut ProYou need to login to vote Wild Card Division

Round two voting ends March 15, 2023

Have your say$(document).ready(function() { Poll({"pollId":"8954220267","openForVoting":true,"mainElementId":"poll4","slot":null,"isSingleChoicePoll":true,"minNumberOfChoices":1,"maxNumberOfChoices":1}); })Round 2: Shallow DOF vs. Viewfinders on camerasShallow DOFViewfinders on camerasYou need to login to vote Have your say$(document).ready(function() { Poll({"pollId":"5892487377","openForVoting":true,"mainElementId":"poll5","slot":null,"isSingleChoicePoll":true,"minNumberOfChoices":1,"maxNumberOfChoices":1}); })Round 2: Annie Leibovitz vs. Naked glassAnnie LeibovitzNaked glassYou need to login to vote Reader's Choice Division

Round two voting ends March 15, 2023

Have your say$(document).ready(function() { Poll({"pollId":"8811797378","openForVoting":true,"mainElementId":"poll6","slot":null,"isSingleChoicePoll":true,"minNumberOfChoices":1,"maxNumberOfChoices":1}); })Round 2: The end of special edition Leicas vs Jordan DrakeThe end of special edition LeicasJordan DrakeYou need to login to vote Have your say$(document).ready(function() { Poll({"pollId":"2320401350","openForVoting":true,"mainElementId":"poll7","slot":null,"isSingleChoicePoll":true,"minNumberOfChoices":1,"maxNumberOfChoices":1}); })Round 2: Smartphone camera vs Nikon Z 9Smartphone cameraNikon Z 9You need to login to vote
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Slideshow: winners of the SkyPixel 8th Annual Photo & Video competition

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 8 mar 2023 - 19:02
A view from above

SkyPixel has announced the winners and finalists for its 8th annual drone photography and video competition. Every year, the online aerial photography community co-organizes efforts with drone manufacturer DJI to offer up a bevy of photography gear to winners and finalists.

Over 65,000 entries were submitted on the SkyPixel platform, a 120% increase over last year's competition according to DJI. The panel that judged these entries included legendary aerial photographer George Steinmetz, Air Pixels founder Tobias Häag, and National Geographic's Assistant Managing Editor of Photography, Anne Farrar.

This year's competition theme was 'The Story Behind.' Bashir Abu Shakra claimed the title of Grand Prize winner in the video category for 'I Travel the World Alone' - a reel of his solo travels to remote landscapes in Brazil, Mongolia, and the Alps.

Kháhn Phan won in the photo category for her top-down image, 'Floral Dress,' depicting two Vietnamese women harvesting water lilies.

To view all winning images, including People's Choice, check out SkyPixel's official competition page. Note that SkyPixel did not require contestants to fill out all fields including the photo's location and EXIF data.

Grand Prize Winner: 'Floral Dress' by Kháhn Phan

Drone: DJI Mavic 3

Artist Statement: Women harvest water lilies and form a floral dress on the water. In the high water season in southern Vietnam, especially Kien Tuong, Moc Hoa, Long An province, and Chau Doc, An Giang Province, water lilies thrive. Waterlily is a flower growing in many rivers and lakes, both beautiful for this land, as well as a favorite food of indigenous people and tourists.

During the high water season, women use a small boat to collect water lilies, a job that has been practiced for a long time in Southern Vietnam. They were taught boating from a young age by their mother or grandmother. These girls are [beautifully attired] with Ba Ba shirts, a traditional dress in Southern Vietnam, and conical hats. They pick the flowers, wash them, take them to market or make family food. There are many tourists who come to Southern Vietnam to experience the feeling of boating along the rivers.

Nominated, Nature: 'Sea Me' by Joanna Steidle

Drone: DJI Mavic 3

Artist Statement: Two sharks intimidating a school of menhaden fish just off the coast of Long Island, NY.

The artist, New York-based professional aerial photographer and cinematographer, Joanna Steidle, shared a bit more behind-the-scenes information on her nominated image 'Sea Me' with DPReview:

'This was taken while flying over the Atlantic Ocean, just off Long Island, New York, last summer,' she said. 'Schools of menhaden fish line our shore in the summer months. Captured here are two sharks as they nonchalantly intimidate and corral a small section of the school of fish, separating them from the large mass. Some schools have tens of thousands of fish. You'll be happy to know [the sharks] left the scene with full bellies.'

Top 10 Winner, Portrait: 'Lonely Figure'

Drone: DJI Mavic Air 2

Artist Statement: N/A

Top 10 Winner, Architecture: 'Colored Shutters'

Drone: DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Artist Statement: N/A

Top 10 Winner, Sport: 'Light and Shadow Stadium'

Drone: DJI Mini 2

Artist Statement: On the sports field splashed with sweat, struggle is everywhere; even the shadow, the place that light cannot reach, is also the shape of struggle.

Top 10 Winner, Portrait: 'Friendship'

Drone: DJI Mavic 3

Artist Statement: It doesn't get much better than a road trip with good friends and with this group of friends, we will take a group shot to remember the occasion. Sometimes it is just a standard photo, but because we are all photographers, sometimes we do things a little different.

Top 10 Winner, Nature: 'Flowers of the Earth'

Drone: Mavic Air

Artist Statement: N/A

Top 10 Winner, Nature: 'Lava Lizard'

Drone: DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Artist Statement: The tongue of the lava oozing from the Fagradalsfjall volcano has turned almost perfectly into a lizard tearing through the black landscape. Witnessing a volcano while it erupts is a truly surreal experience.

Top 10 Winner, Nature: 'Industrial Scars - Burning Earth'

Drone: DJI Mavic 3

Artist Statement: The industrial waste slag discharged after the development of the mine has washed away industrial 'scars.' Looking down from the air, it looks like a burnt earth, devastated everywhere.

Top 10 Winner, Nature: 'Migration'

Drone: N/A

Artist Statement: N/A

Top 10 Winner, Portrait: 'Harvesting Grass'

Drone: Mavic 2 Pro

Artist Statement: N/A

Top 10 Winner, Architecture: 'The Maze Runner'

Drone: Mavic 2 Pro

Artist Statement: In my home country Belgium, you have this cool maze located just an hour's drive from my home. A friend of mine stood in the middle with an umbrella to make the subject pop. A rainy day would make this even cooler.

People's Choice: 'Atrani'

Drone: DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Artist Statement: N/A

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

DPReview TV: This is the best focal length

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 8 mar 2023 - 16:00

As unquestioned authorities on all photographic and video topics, Chris and Jordan put their boundless knowledge to work determining what is objectively the best focal length. In the tradition of Siskel and Ebert, things got heated.

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

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

A distortion of the truth? Here’s why we’re not against software lens corrections

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 7 mar 2023 - 16:00

The use of mathematical elements in a lens's design can keep size down and still deliver excellent results.
Photo: Richard Butler

One of the less obvious changes wrought by the move to mirrorless is that modern lenses don't need to project an undistorted image. Now that there's a processor between the lens and our preview of what the camera will shoot, it's possible to apply digital corrections even as we're lining up the camera.

Most of the major lens makers have embraced this possibility to create lenses that include mathematical correction, rather than solely optical designs. The first thing to recognize is that distortion correction isn't being used to tidy up the results of a badly designed lens: modern lenses are designed with mathematical correction as one of their fundamental elements, with the rest of the optical formula planned around that.

Although it's been commonplace for over a decade, this approach remains controversial. It can seem contrary to the belief that lens design is a case of striving for optical perfection, and some of the output can look pretty off-putting if you circumvent the corrections. Every time a lens designed for correction is launched, some website or YouTube channel will show an uncorrected sample image and say that the lens is somehow deficient.

Now that distortion correction is so widespread, we thought we'd take another look at why it's done, how it's changing lens design, and why we don't think it's appropriate to show sample images with these corrections omitted.

A key thing to understand is that distortion (along with lateral chromatic aberrations) is the aberration that's most amenable to correcting mathematically. Whereas other aberrations tend to combine or spread the information from the scene in a way that can't be undone, geometric distortion is essentially just a case of deforming the correct information into the wrong place. Geometric distortion only conflates information if you have too few pixels, such that adjacent information arrives at the same pixel and can't be separated again.

Panasonic 14-28mm F4-5.6 @ 14mm | ISO 500 | 1/50 | F8
Photo: Barney Britton

But, while it looks visually disconcerting to see significant warping in an uncorrected image, it's possible to re-map the data to the correct location with very little loss. Interestingly, whereas high pixels counts are often thought of as being more demanding on lenses (because they let you examine any aberration or imperfection in greater detail), they can make distortion corrections increasingly effective and accurate.

As one major manufacturer points out, it may well be that an all-optical design would produce better final results, but that requires cost, size and weight to be no object. And in any product, even at the high end, that's rarely true. In the past year or so we've seen lenses that include mathematical elements produce excellent results from small lenses, and we've seen the release of lenses of a type that no one has previously managed to produce.

There's some softness at the extreme lower left corner of the above image, but is it worse than you'd reasonably expect from a 14mm focal length (114° diagonal) image captured using a variable aperture zoom on a 47MP body?

Another important thing to recognize is that there are downsides to trying to correct everything optically. Optical engineers from Sigma and other manufacturers have confirmed that trying to perfectly correct geometric distortion with glass can lead to more complex designs with more elements, and the addition of these elements can then generate other aberrations, putting the efforts to control different aberrations in tension with one another. Using software to correct the aberration that's mathematically correctable relieves some of this tension, allowing smaller, lighter, simpler optics with better optical correction of other aberrations.

Some of the correction examples we've seen appear really extreme, and are likely to immediately make you worry that the final image will need to be radically cropped, remapped and re-sized to be usable.

Canon RF 16mm F2.8 | ISO 100 | 1/60 sec | F2.8
Photo: Chris Niccolls

Compatibility is a legitimate concern, of course. Some manufacturers are better than others at relaying their correction profiles to Raw processing software, and not all Raw processing software allows the manufacturer's profiles to be applied. Having your software not be fully compatible with your new lens can be awkward if you have a well-established workflow. And, of course, it makes adapting lenses between systems more complicated, too.

However, none of this justifies giving excessive prominence to uncorrected images. In our opinion it doesn't make any more sense to circumvent the digital element of a lens's design than it would to decide we didn't approve of aspheric glass and show the results for lenses with all those elements taken out.

The corners of the 16mm F2.8 look pretty dreadful, even when corrected. And yet even these improve to a pretty decent degree when you stop down, suggesting that the haziness doesn't primarily stem from the amount of correction being done.

This doesn't give anyone a free pass, though. If the digital correction of distortion lowers the image quality, we'll show it and tell you about it in our coverage. But if it doesn't, then we don't believe it's sensible to stoke concern over image quality impact a reader might instinctively assume will occur when correcting and cropping a distorted image. We believe the proof of the pudding is in the eating, not the specifics of how it's prepared, we'll continue to focus on the impact on the final photos.

With thanks to the industry experts, including Kazuto Yamaki and the engineers at Sigma, who helped check my logic in this article.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

NPPA publishes Best of Photojournalism winners in book

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 6 mar 2023 - 14:52

Palestinian families huddle Tuesday during a candlelight vigil, which condemned the killing of children and civilians, over the rubble of homes destroyed by an Israeli military strike in Gaza City. Egyptian mediators helped broker the cease-fire after 11 days of fighting between Israel and Gaza military factions.

Photo by Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via NPPA

The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) has released a book with all the winners of the Best of Photojournalism 2022 competition. A global competition for press visual journalists, the annual competition draws hundreds of entries from student and professional photojournalists and broadcast journalists. Winners are selected by panels of press leaders and experts. (Full disclosure, the author of this piece is a member of NPPA, but the NPPA did not pitch, write or have any involvement with this article.)

Top honors went to Marcus Yam of the Los Angeles Times for the large markets newspaper division and to independent photojournalist Lynsey Addario for the magazine division.

Yam was recognized for his portfolio of work created as a foreign correspondent and staff photojournalist. He covered the US military exit from Afghanistan and documented the impact on women's rights as the Taliban took over the country, witnessed anti-government protests in Lebanon and life in Gaza City.

"I learned how to live out of my suitcase, sleep in airports, juggle logistics and even create waypoints for drop-off storage," Yam writes, about learning how to be a foreign correspondent. "But despite the challenges and frustrations, the important lessons came from the vivid and gut-wrenching moments from the field. The hardship was bearing the stories we learned. I picked my therapy after realizing how much of a toll it took on me."

Eyerus, 40, poses for a portrait in a safe space for victims of sexual assault in the Ayder Hospital in Mekele, Tigray, Ethiopia, May 2021.

Photo by Lynsey Addario via NPPA

Addario was recognized for her reporting on a violent political conflict between Ethiopia's Prime Minister and the ruling party of Tigray, the northernmost regional state in Ethiopia. Through the eyes of women in Tigray, some who had been raped, burned or otherwise violently harmed, Addario takes viewers into the conflict over an extended time.

“I couldn’t turn a blind eye to the atrocities being committed,” Addario told National Geographic in an interview about the project. “I feel a journalistic responsibility to expose what’s happening in Tigray ... it was devastating to witness innocent children suffering emotionally and physically from widespread violence … it’s just unfathomable how these children and parents suffer – and how they move forward. I'll never understand how human beings are capable of such evil, particularly when directed at children – the most innocent of us all.”

Yam and Addario's wining portfolios, along with dozens of other winning images and QR codes to winning videos, are featured in a 200-page book, available from the NPPA directly.

Selections from the Best of Photojournalism book $(document).ready(function() { SampleGalleryV2({"containerId":"embeddedSampleGallery_5589856725","galleryId":"5589856725","isEmbeddedWidget":true,"selectedImageIndex":0,"isMobile":false}) });
Kategorier: Sidste nyt