Sidste nyt

Godox announces $50 retro-style flash

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 11 apr 2024 - 22:36
Image: Godox

Godox's latest flash, the $50 Lux Elf Retro, is a fully manual flash that weighs heavily on its design. It comes with a single-point hot shoe, making it compatible with most camera systems.

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The flash is fully manual (it doesn't have TTL capability), so users will need to set their own exposure settings. Godox states that the flash has five stops of adjustable power, ranging from 1/16 through to full power. Godox says the Lux Elf Retro is capable of 400 flashes per charge. The flash is compact and weighs 96g (3.3 oz).

Buy now:

$50 at B&H $40 at Adorama

Controls are sparse. The rear of the flash houses all the manual controls: five levels of power (1/1 to 1/16) and two-mode options set the flash to fire when another flash fires or to ignore other flashes. There is also a flash sync port on the side of the unit.

Image: Godox

Unlike other Godox flashes, the Lux Elf Retro isn't multidirectional. You won’t be able to bounce the flash off the walls and ceilings; instead, you will only have the option to point it directly toward whatever your camera is pointed at. This might be fine if you simply want to illuminate your subject with direct flash; however, it won't suit anyone who enjoys being more creative with their light source.

Godox is no stranger to retro-style flashes. The company previously released the $95 Lux Cadet in 2023. At 2.5 seconds, the Lux Cadet has a quicker recycle time than the Lux Elf Retro, which recycles the flash in 3.6 seconds. The Lux Cadet also has two extra stops of power and a much larger 6.3Wh battery compared to the 2.6Wh battery in the Lux Elf Retro. Both can be recharged with a USB-C charging cable.

It’s worth knowing that the company also offers the TT350, which has manual and TTL modes and can be picked up for $85. Admittedly, it's not as stylish as the retro design of the Lux line.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

The Conservation Alliance is auctioning a Fujifilm X100VI Limited Edition as a fundraiser; bidding is open

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 11 apr 2024 - 03:43

Alongside its February launch of the highly anticipated X100VI, Fujifilm announced a special limited edition version of the camera, with only 300 units designated for distribution in the United States. Following a head-scratching process in which Fujifilm USA sold those units on its website, only to cancel many of the orders due to suspicious activity, followed by an announcement of a different plan to sell the cameras, we finally know where at least one of the units allocated to the US market ended up.

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Fujifilm donated it to The Conservation Alliance, an organization founded in 1989 by outdoor industry leaders Patagonia, The North Face, REI, and Kelty, which funds and advocates for the protection of North America's wild places. The organization plans to auction the camera as a fundraiser, with proceeds going to support its mission, so it's an opportunity to acquire the camera while also donating to a good cause.

Fujifilm isn't flying solo on this project, with Peak Design and SmugMug jumping into the mix to support the effort. As a result, auction participants can bid on a package that includes the X100VI Limited Edition, a Peak Design Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod, Everyday Backpack 30L, Capture Clip and Slide Lite camera strap, and 30-year memberships to both SmugMug Pro and Flickr Pro.

Before you pooh-pooh this as a way to get your hands on the Limited Edition X100VI, this could be an interesting approach to doing so, particularly if you're a SmugMug or Flickr user or have an interest in Peak Design products. In addition to the limited edition camera, which retails for $2,000, the combined retail value of the Peak Design products is $1,035. SmugMug and Flickr don't offer 30-year subscriptions, but if you were to prepay for 30 years of SmugMug Pro and Flickr Pro service at today's prices, it would total $13,535.

At the time of this writing, the highest bid for the package is $3,400, which hasn't met the auction's reserve price, and it will undoubtedly go up before the auction ends on April 24. But if you're a committed SmugMug Pro user with plans to use the service for years into the future, it might be an opportunity to lock in your service at a discount, depending on how high the bidding goes.

The auction's website doesn't mention any geographic restrictions, though if you're outside the US, there could be the additional cost of import duties to consider.

It would be a roundabout way of acquiring an X100VI Limited Edition camera. Still, for those who really want to get their hands on one, this presents one possible option – as long as you also value the other included products and services.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Panasonic Lumix DC-S5II review

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 10 apr 2024 - 17:30

Editor's note: This review is based on Panasonic's April 2024 firmware update for the S5II (v3.0) and S5IIX (v2.0), which was provided to DPReview ahead of its public release.

$(document).ready(function() { SampleGalleryStripV2({"galleryId":"5607271783","isMobile":false}) })

Product images by Richard Butler

90%Overall scoreJump to conclusion

The Panasonic Lumix DC-S5II is the company's latest version of its mid-range full-frame stills and video mirrorless camera. It adds phase detection autofocus to its 24MP CMOS sensor and uses the L mount shared with Leica and Sigma.

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A separate camera variant, the Lumix DC-S5IIX, is also available and includes a more extensive video feature set.

Key specifications
  • 24MP BSI CMOS sensor with on-sensor phase detection
  • Up to 30fps e-shutter shooting with C-AF and Raw capture
  • 96MP multi-shot high-resolution mode
  • 6K 3:2 open-gate video capture up to 30p (4:2:0 10-bit)
  • 6K or DCI/UHD 4K from full sensor width up to 30p
  • DCI/UHD 4K up to 60p (S35), unlimited record times and proxy option
  • Dual conversion gain sensor with explicit 'Dual Native ISO' gain selection
  • Pre-burst shooting mode (up to 1.5 seconds before the shutter is pressed)
  • Cooling fan
  • Twin UHS-II card slots
  • Camera-to-Cloud integration with Frame.io
  • Optional paid upgrade for Raw video output
Additional features on the S5IIX
  • Raw video output
  • Video recording to SSD over USB
  • All-I compression modes
  • Internal/SSD ProRes capture
  • Wired/wireless IP streaming

The S5II has a recommended price of $1999 (€2199). The S5IIX commands a $200 (or €300) premium over the less video-centric version, with a suggested retail price of $2199 (€2499).

An optional paid upgrade for the S5II that adds Raw video output is available for $200/€200.

Buy now:

$1797 at Amazon.com$1798 at B&H Photo$1798 at Adorama Index:
  • Jan 2023: Initial review published
  • Apr 2024: What's new? and How it compares re-written to reflect firmware v3.0. Image quality, Autofocus, Video, Conclusion sections added and additional Sample gallery published
What's new? Phase detection AF

The biggest news is the inclusion of on-sensor phase detection, a technology Panasonic has not previously used. Phase detection works by generating two views of the scene from slightly different perspectives (typically by forming separate images that 'look' through the left and right sides of the lens) and comparing them. Just as with human vision, which uses two eyes set apart from one another, this enables the camera to establish an understanding of distance and depth in the scene.

Comparing the two images lets the camera calculate how far it needs to drive focus to bring the two perspectives into alignment, at which point the aligned subject is in focus. This is especially valuable in video mode, as it allows the camera to refocus to a different distance without overshooting. It also, critically, means the camera can check that it's still in focus without having to move the lens. This means phase detection can be decisive in situations where it must hold focus, as it can confidently stay there.

Previous Panasonic models relied on the company’s Depth-from-Defocus (DFD) system, which used the out-of-focus characteristics of a lens to interpret depth and drive the AF system. DFD's main shortcoming was reliably predicting movement and driving the AF system to match. In principle, phase detect autofocus should provide more reliable performance, particularly in low light levels and backlit conditions and when dealing with multiple subjects (staying locked on your chosen subject better because it knows which one in the scene it is).

Subject recognition AF

The S5II’s subject recognition and tracking modes were significantly upgraded as part of the camera’s April 2024 firmware update. Combined with its newfound depth awareness, the S5II effectively gains the capabilities found on the more recent G9 II, including improved tracking performance and additional types of subjects that can be identified and tracked.

The camera is trained to recognize humans, animals, cars and motorcycles. Human detection can identify eyes, face and body (prioritized in that order) or just eyes and face; similarly, animal detection can identify eyes and body, or just bodies.

In each mode, the camera will start searching from your selected AF point and the area immediately around it, meaning It will focus on the specified subject type if it's found under your AF point. This system makes it possible to use the AF point to select an individual subject in a group. Note that when using wide-area AF, Face/Eye mode will choose to focus on someone facing the camera, not simply the nearest human it can detect.

Updated in-body image stabilization

Panasonic has also improved its image stabilization system, promising performance twice as effective as that of the S5. For its revised system it's adopted the branding 'Active IS,' though it hasn't been very specific about how these improvements have been achieved.

What the company has said is that its algorithms have been reworked and that the camera assesses camera motion more precisely. The Boost IS mode, which tries to cancel all movement for a tripod-like video look, is particularly impressive.

The April '24 firmware update added a new 'High' setting to the camera's electronic image stabilization system, intended to correct extreme levels of camera movement. It applies a 1.4x crop factor to video.

The stabilization system also underpins the eight-shot 96MP Handheld High Resolution mode. It includes an optional motion correction function that prevents artifacts from moving subjects in the scene.

New processor

At the heart of the S5II is a new processing engine, the first product of Panasonic's L² co-development project with Leica. The two companies shared know-how and resources to develop the new processor, which we'd expect to see in future Leica models, too.

While Panasonic says the sensor in the S5II is also new, from what we've seen, its performance appears to be similar to its non-phase-detect predecessor, which suggests that its newfound ability to shoot at up to 30fps in e-shutter mode is more about having a processor able to cope with this speed.

Built-in fan

The S5II includes a fan mechanism to allow video shooting for extended periods. The fan is at the top of the camera, with vents under the leading edge and along the sides of the viewfinder hump, drawing the heat up and out of the camera. As usual, the fan sits outside the body's sealed area, so the vents aren't a weak point for its dust and splash-resistant design.

The fan means the S5II can record for unlimited periods in most of its video modes, as tested by Panasonic at temperatures of 40°C (104°F). Panasonic points out that most of its rivals only quote figures for 22–25°C (72–77°F), which is significantly less demanding and less representative of average temperatures across much of the US.

Pre-burst shooting

The April 2024 firmware update adds a new shooting mode that captures a series of images in the buffer before the shutter button is pressed. Labeled 'SH PRE', the feature pre-captures 0.5, 1.0, or 1.5 seconds of images at 30 frames per second using the electronic shutter. It's considered to be a burst shooting mode, with settings located in the Burst Shot Setting menu.

Video

The S5II builds on the video capabilities of the S5 despite using a sensor with similar ~21ms readout times for its 16:9 footage.

The most obvious addition to the camera's capabilities is the ability to shoot full sensor height 3:2 'open gate' video. This is available at up to 30p and provides the scope to crop into various aspect ratios or to pan around the frame in post. Alternatively, there are 6K options, either in UHD-style 16:9 aspect ratio or the DCI-like 1.89:1 format.

Beyond this are the full-width 4K modes (both DCI and UHD), which are taken from 6K capture. These are offered at up to 30p and up to 10-bit 4:2:2 encoding.

Aspect ratios Frame rates Bit-depth Chroma Max bitrate Open gate
3:2, full width 3:2 29.97, 25, 24, 23.98 10-bit 4:2:0 200 6K full-width 16:9, 1.89:1 4K full-width 4:2:2 150 4K APS-C 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, 24, 23.98
(48, 47.95) 200 3.3K APS-C Anamorphic 4:3 50, 29.97, 25, 24, 23.98
(48, 47.95)

Panasonic's rivals have increasingly added 10-bit capture capability in this class, but the S5II goes beyond these with a range of support tools and features that aren't as commonplace amongst the competition so far.

Panasonic is still somewhat unique in this part of the market in providing the S5II with a waveform display and vectorscopes (though some recent Nikon models have also started to include waveforms). These are standard video-industry ways of understanding the tone and color distribution in the image, and they can be hugely valuable when setting exposure and white balance. Likewise, the S5II can express its exposure time in terms of shutter angle, which makes it easier to maintain a sensible exposure when switching between capture frame rates.

You may not notice them at first, but the finned vents of the fan on either side of the viewfinder show that the S5II is serious about video.

Syncro scan (the fine-tuning of exposure time to better sync with flickering light sources) is becoming more common, as are the option of four-channel audio capture and more video-focused settings display screens. The S5II's distinctly Arri-like screen, borrowed from Panasonic's Varicam line, is particularly clean and clear. Likewise, the ability to capture 4-channel audio (with an optional XLR adapter) is becoming more common, but the S5II includes options such as line-level input and dual input gain settings on its mic inputs that its rivals lack.

The S5II gains a couple of additional functions, including 'Full-range HLG' shooting. This ignores the upper and lower brightness limits imposed by the HLG standard, meaning you retain a little more flexibility in the edit. This is handy both if you have HLG as your final intended output or if you're using it as a Log-like intermediate step.

Anamorphic support

Tying in with the S5II's ability to capture open-gate and 4:3 APS-C footage is a good selection of tools to support shooting with anamorphic lenses. As on previous Panasonic models, the S5II can stretch the footage horizontally to give a real-time 'desqueezed' preview for a wide variety of squeeze factors. The camera can then plot safe-zone markers for various output aspect ratios over the top of this view, so you know you're capturing the action in a part of the frame that will be used in your final footage.

Telling the camera the squeeze ratio of your lens also allows the S5II to adjust its image stabilization system to accommodate the differing effective focal lengths of your vertical and horizontal capture, improving the stabilization performance.

LUT-applied shooting

The S5II gains the ability to import LUTs in the industry-standard .cube format (in addition to Panasonic's own .VLT type). It can store up to 10 LUTs and adds the ability to apply the LUT to the footage as you shoot. Doing so means you lose post-processing flexibility, putting greater emphasis on getting exposure and white balance right in-camera, but it lets you achieve the look you want straight out of the camera.

S5IIX features The cameras' twin UHS-II SD card slots aren't sufficiently quick for recording the 4K ProRes modes offered by the S5IIX, so it can record directly to an external solid-state drive (SSD) over its USB port.

All the differences between the S5II and S5IIX relate to the latter's video capabilities. The X's body has a stealthy all-mono design with blacked-out 'Lumix' branding and no red accents on the control dials, but the two look the same in almost every other regard.

Under the hood, the S5IIX brings enhanced video modes that are better suited to post-production work.

  • Raw video output
  • Internal ProRes capture (422 and 422 HQ)
  • All-I codecs
  • USB-SSD output
  • Direct wired and wireless streaming (per GH5 II)

S5II owners can buy an upgrade to add Raw video output for their camera, but it won't come with the other enhancements of the S5IIX. In the US, at least, the paid upgrade costs the same as the difference in cost between the two models, so if you think there's a chance you'll want these additional features, you're probably best off stretching your budget upfront to buy the S5IIX.

How it compares

Like the S5 before it, the S5II is clearly aimed at the same $2000-2500 mid-range full-frame audience. It's perhaps the most competitive segment of the market, packed with capable cameras that are adept at both stills and video shooting. This makes it difficult to stand out and means that real-world AF performance and usability become the difference between an impressive spec list and a great camera.

Panasonic Lumix DC-S5II Canon EOS R6 Mark II Sony a7C II Nikon Zf MSRP at launch, body only $1999
S5IIX: $2199 $2499 $2200 $2000 Pixel count 24MP 24MP 33MP 24MP AF technology PDAF + DFD Dual Pixel AF PDAF PDAF IBIS rating Body: 5EV
w/lens: 6.5EV Body: 8EV
w/lens: 8EV 7.0EV 8EV Burst rate 30fps e-shutter
7fps mech (C-AF) 40fps e-shutter
12fps mech 10fps 11 fps Raw
14 fps JPEG
(15 e-shutter)
30fps in C30 JPEG mode Viewfinder res 3.68M dot OLED
0.78x 3.69M dot OLED
0.76x 2.36M dots 0.70x 3.68M dot OLED
0.8x Rear screen 1.84M dot fully-articulated 1.62M dot fully-articulated 1.03M fully-articulated 2.1M dot
fully articulated Video resolution options 6K 3:2 <30p
6K/5.9K <30p
DCI/UHD <30p
DCI/UHD <60p (1.5x crop) UHD <60p

UHD <30p
UHD <60p (1.5x crop)

UHD <30p
UHD <60p (1.5x crop)

Compresson options H.265
H.264 Long GOP H.265
H.264 Long GOP H.265
H.264 LongGOP
H.264 All-I H.265
H.264 Long GOP S5IIX:
+ H.264 All-I
+ ProRes (422 /422 HQ) Rolling shutter rate
(UHD/24) 21ms 17ms 27ms 22ms Movie features

4 ch audio*
Waveforms
Vectorscope
Shutter angle
Zebras
Peaking
Anamorphic support

4ch audio*
Zebras
Peaking
Breathing correction
Raw video output 4ch audio*
Focus map
Breathing correction
Zebras
Peaking Zebras
Peaking
Waveforms S5IIX +
+ USB-SSD recording
+ Raw video output HDMI type Full-sized (Type A) Micro (Type D) Micro (Type D) Micro (Type D) Battery life rating (EVF / LCD) 370 / 370 320 / 580 540 / 510 380 / 360 Dimensions 134 x 102 x 90mm 138 x 98 x 88mm 124 x 71 x 63 mm 144 x 103 x 49mm Weight 740g (26.1oz) 670g (23.6 oz) 514 g (18.1 oz) 710g (25.0oz) * Four-channel audio capture requires optional XLR adapter

All four cameras are well specced, with only a few features helping set the models apart. Canon and Panasonic both offer rapid burst shooting rates, with the EOS R6 II achieving the faster rate with less rolling shutter and a pre-burst mode. The Canon and the Nikon lead the pack in terms of image stabilization rating, but this doesn't mean they offer the smoothest stabilization in video.

Image quality is broadly comparable, with the Sony offering slightly better detail capture at low ISO but slipping slightly behind in low light conditions. The Sony offers the most impressive battery life but also the weakest rolling shutter performance in video, making it more difficult than ever to choose between the four cameras.

The S5IIX offers a broader range of video capabilities than any of the other current models, at a lower introductory price than the Canon, and equal to the Sony.

Body and handling

The styling of the S5II is very much in keeping with that of the original model: it's a mid-sized, fairly squared-off design with a very distinct SLR-like shape (compared, say, to Nikon's Z-series cameras). Despite being the smaller model in the company's L-mount lineup, it has extensive external control points, including details such as a dedicated AF mode switch, that are unusual at this level.

Despite the familiar appearance, a lot has been redesigned or reworked. The most significant change is the addition of the fan to the camera's viewfinder hump. This is central to the camera's promises of video endurance, but is designed not to undermine the body's weather sealing.

Beyond this, the S5II gains a higher-resolution 3.68M-dot OLED viewfinder, an eight-way AF joystick (rather than the four-directional one on the original S5), and a full-sized HDMI port.

The S5II also sees its second card slot upgraded to the UHS-II standard, allowing the use of faster SD cards in both slots. Notably, even with the fastest V90-rated cards, UHS-II isn't fast enough to record all the S5IIX's video modes, with the most demanding of its All-I capture modes and all its 4K and 5.8K ProRes modes requiring the use of an external SSD. Panasonic says it has worked with third-party accessory makers to provide useful ways to attach popular SSDs to the camera.

There is enough commonality between the S5 and the Mark II that the new camera can still use the existing DMW-BGS5 battery grip, providing space for a second battery.

Battery There's no separate charger with the S5II, but the Type 3.2 Gen 2 USB port can be used to charge, power or power and charge the camera.

The S5II continues to use the DMW-BLK22 battery from the previous version, which means it's also fully compatible with the same AC adaptor, DC coupler and dedicated battery chargers as the Mark I.

The S5II does not come with a charger. Instead, it uses the USB-PD standard to allow in-camera charging, operation or operation and charging when connected to high-current power sources.

The camera's battery life rating is somewhat disappointing, with 370 shots per charge, per CIPA standard testing methods. As always, these numbers tend to significantly underestimate how many shots you can typically expect (unless your shooting style is very energy-intensive). A 370 shot-per-charge rating will normally give you plenty of charge for a day's shooting, but you'll want to keep extra batteries or a USB power source at hand for intensive shoots. A power-saving mode gives a rating of 1,250 shots per charge for viewfinder shooting.

Image quality

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.

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The Panasonic S5II uses a 24MP BSI CMOS sensor, similar to many enthusiast-level full-frame cameras, so it's no surprise that its Raw resolution is on par$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5895-1347504216").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5895); }); }) with other cameras in this 24MP cohort, nor that the a7 IV pulls ahead by a small margin thanks to its slightly higher resolution$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5896--1071988525").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5896); }); }). At moderately high ISOs$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5898--1847489070").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5898); }); }), noise levels are roughly comparable to its 24MP peers, and at very high ISOs$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5899-2057524020").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5899); }); }) it edges out the R6 II by a hair. Notably, all the 24MP cameras outperform the a7 IV$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5900--449752889").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5900); }); }) with respect to noise performance.

JPEG colors appear good, with punchy pinks$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5901-1509879476").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5901); }); }) and less saturated yellows (though there's perhaps a hint of green in there). Overall, the colors are pleasing, which is consistent with the images in our S5II and S5IIX sample galleries. The camera’s sharpening is a bit more aggressive than the Canon$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5902--955664775").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5902); }); }), resulting in some halos around the text, but similar to the Zf; the extra sharpening results in more apparent detail in some areas, like the foliage$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5903--1788752615").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5903); }); }).

Noise reduction is well balanced at middle ISOs$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5906-5717015").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5906); }); }), smoothing away much of the visible noise but leaving enough to retain (and give the impression of) more detail than the Nikon or the Canon, as seen on the spools of thread$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5904--469085400").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5904); }); }) or the paint brushes$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5905-307653299").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5905); }); }). The tradeoff is fractionally more noise in areas of solid color$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5906-49155625").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5906); }); }), though you have to look close to see it. The same holds at high ISOs$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5907-1635919602").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5907); }); }), but in exchange, the camera doesn’t smooth away as much information in areas of fine detail, such as the fine threading on the Beatles patch$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5908-268497739").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5908); }); }). This remains the case even at very high ISOs$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5921-2057524020").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5921); }); }).

The S5II and S5IIX produce pleasing colors and don't go overboard with noise reduction.

Panasonic S 28-200mm F4-7.1 | F4.0 | 1/200 sec | ISO 12,800
Photo: Dale Baskin

Dynamic range

The S5II uses a very familiar sensor and its dynamic range is predictably excellent. You can pull a lot of detail out of the shadows at base ISO without noise becoming too intrusive, but its dual conversion gain design means that it's worth bumping things up to at least ISO 640 in low light. There are diminishing returns beyond that, so ISO 640 is a good place to stop if you're trying to retain highlights such as neon lights in low-light scenes.

Autofocus

The S5II is the first Panasonic mirrorless camera to benefit from phase-detect autofocus, so expectations are high. Fortunately, those expectations have mostly been met, but equally important to the shooting experience are the camera's improved subject recognition and tracking capabilities.

AF modes and controls are basically unchanged from previous Panasonic models; the camera includes single area, zone, wide area and tracking modes, along with pinpoint AF for precise focusing. The focus point can be set using the 8-way joystick, tap-to-focus, or using touchpad AF with the viewfinder to your eye.

Panasonic S 28-200mm F4-7.1 | F7.1 | 1/320 sec | ISO 800
Photo: Dale Baskin

Phase detection essentially solves the shortcomings associated with Panasonic's previous Depth from Defocus (DFD) system, real and perceived. Autofocus movements on the S5II are decisive: in most cases the system effectively predicts movement toward or away from the camera in both photo and video modes, and the user experience is more refined. Overall, it instills a higher level of confidence, bringing the S5II’s AF performance much closer to being on par with competing Sony, Canon and Nikon models.

While the AF system performs well, it's not infallible. During our tests, the camera sometimes failed to acquire focus or experienced a lag in acquiring focus on some subjects, throwing up a red box in the center of the viewfinder. This happened most frequently when a reasonably significant shift was required to bring the image into focus or in low-light situations that didn't challenge other cameras to the same degree.

Subject recognition

With subject recognition enabled, the camera will automatically highlight a recognizable subject as soon as your designated focus area comes within close proximity of it. This makes it easy to lock onto your subject quickly.

However, this presents one challenge: if you want to focus on something exceptionally close to a recognizable subject, you may need to turn off subject recognition to prevent the camera from jumping to the nearby subject, which can be done very quickly via the touchscreen. However, Panasonic's algorithm generally strikes a very good balance of sensitivity that will work correctly in most situations.

The S5II's updated subject detection menu (Firmware 3.0)

When using wide-area AF, the camera will highlight all the subjects it can identify within the frame, and a tap of the joystick will toggle between subjects. While this sounds good on paper, it's often less practical in practice: the time required to tap back and forth to your preferred subject is often longer than it would take to place your AF point over your desired subject in the first place to begin tracking.

The April ’24 firmware update promised improved subject recognition and our experience is consistent with that claim. Subject recognition was solid before the update, but the system is now faster at identifying and locking onto subjects and more tenacious at sticking with them. It’s still not quite at the level of class-leading subject tracking systems from Canon and Sony, but it’s very close.

Currently, subject recognition must be set to one category (humans, pets, cars, or motorcycles). There’s no catch-all setting that will attempt to identify both humans and animals, for example.

The S5II’s subject recognition and primary AF modes extend to video shooting and provide a similar level of performance.

Video

The S5II’s sensor has been around in various incarnations for a while, so its video performance is fairly predictable. However, it's Panasonic’s implementation of video modes and useful video tools that make the camera particularly interesting to video shooters.

The camera captures 6K video (including ‘open gate’ 6K that utilizes the entire 3:2 area of the sensor) and 4K video downsampled from 6K, using the full width of its sensor, and does so in10-bit color at frame rates up to 30p. It can also capture 4K/60p using an APS-C crop of its sensor. These are strong but no longer stand-out specs.

But equally as important, the S5II offers a robust feature set to support video capture, including Panasonic’s V-Log gamma profile, the ability to load custom LUTs into the camera, waveform and vectorscope tools for judging exposure and color, proxy recording, and a Camera-to-Cloud option.

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The S5II can capture very detailed 4K video, downsampled from 6K, using the full width of its sensor. As we would expect, it produces results that are broadly similar to its 24MP peers$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5916-1833349493").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5916); }); }). However, like other cameras based on the same sensor, the S5II must switch to an APS-C crop to capture 4K/60p footage$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5920-983435984").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5920); }); }). There's a small penalty in overall quality for doing so, but it's close enough that most viewers probably won't notice the difference in practice$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5917-1309373492").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5917); }); }). However, this means the effective field of view of your lenses will change when shooting 60p – particularly challenging at the wide end – and that you'll encounter issues with noise more quickly in low light. This also puts the S5II at a disadvantage relative to the Canon R6 II$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5918--355391457").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5918); }); }), which can shoot 4K/60p using the full width of its sensor.

If you need more detail, you have the option to shoot 6K video$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-5919--537266149").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(5919); }); }) (up to 30p), providing additional flexibility for post-processing even if you plan to deliver in 4K. Of course, the S5II also has the ultimate party trick of capturing ‘open gate’ footage that utilizes the entire 3:2 sensor for video capture, letting you crop and pan around the footage in post.

Mode Sensor region Rolling shutter rate Open gate Whole sensor 25.5ms UHD 4K/24 Full-width 16:9 21.6ms UHD 4K/60 APS-C crop 14.4ms E-shutter stills
(Single shot / 14-bit) Whole sensor 51.3ms

The S5II’s rolling shutter measures approximately 22ms: a solid number, but not stellar by today’s standards. As a result, there’s a risk that fast movement across the frame or reasonably quick pans with the camera will result in some horizontal skewing of vertical lines in the frame.

Panasonic S 85mm F1.8 | F1.8 | 1/640 sec | ISO 400
Photo: Chris Niccolls Image stabilization

Panasonic’s new Active IS algorithm is impressive, stabilizing most hand-held shooting. Although we don’t have a quantitative way to check Panasonic’s claim that the system is twice as effective as the S5, performance has definitely improved. If needed, the S5II also includes electronic image stabilization (EIS), which results in a 1.1x crop. It’s noticeably more effective at eliminating unwanted motion, such as when walking, and does so without a noticeable impact on image quality.

The new ‘High’ setting in EIS mode, part of the April 2024 firmware update, can compensate for even more dramatic movement, such as running with the camera. It’s remarkably effective – almost gimbal-like – when moving in a straight line, though quick turns or pans can result in some vertical jitter. The tradeoff? The high setting results in a 1.4x crop factor, which is necessary to provide enough latitude to compensate for such extreme motion.

Other video features

The April '24 firmware update brought two additional features to the S5II: proxy recording and Camera-to-Cloud capability.

Proxy recording

Proxy recording generates a lower resolution, lower bit rate version of each video clip for quick sharing or to make editing easier on your computer and can be useful for fast-turnaround deliverables. On the S5II, they are available when shooting resolutions up to DCI 4K: open gate, 6K, 5.9K and 3.3K anamorphic modes aren't supported.

The S5II can record proxy files at three quality levels, high, medium and low, at bit rates ranging from 4 Mbps to 16 Mbps.

Proxy files can be created when recording .MOV files (including ProRes on the S5IIX). The proxies are recorded to card slot 2, with the primary footage captured to slot 1 or to an external SSD on the S5IIX. You can choose three file sizes, which output 1080 or 720 clips. All clips are 16:9 and letterboxed if your primary footage is in the wider DCI 4K aspect ratio. Applying an in-camera LUT to proxy files is possible, even if not applying one to the original video.

Camera-to-cloud

Camera-to-cloud is a means of integrating with Adobe's Frame.io service, making it easy to upload video clips and photos as they are captured and enabling collaboration. For example, a wedding photographer shooting a ceremony and uploading video clips to Frame.io in real-time could employ a remote editor to quickly cut together a video of the ceremony, allowing it to be shown to guests at a reception just a few minutes later.

Connecting to Frame.io is remarkably simple, and it took us less than five minutes to connect the camera to a local Wi-Fi network and link it to a Frame.io project. Clips can be uploaded automatically as they are captured or selectively uploaded at a later time.

Note that the camera will not upload original video files to Frame.io, so you'll need to enable proxy recording to use this feature. Raw and JPEG images can also be uploaded to Frame.io.

One addition we'd like to see is the ability to assign Frame.io settings to a custom button. As of this writing, one must navigate the camera's menus to access it.

Sample video

This video, captured along Seattle's Lake Washington Ship Canal, includes clips recorded at a variety of resolutions up to 6K, at both 24p and 60p frame rates. It was shot mostly handheld with autofocus. Due to the wide dynamic range, most daytime shots were captured using Panasonic's V-Log gamma profile (with the V-Log LUT applied in post-processing), and most evening shots were captured with the Like709 profile. One pair of clips shows an example of walking with the camera with EIS turned on and off.

Conclusion

By Dale Baskin

What we like What we don't
  • Excellent image quality
  • Class-leading tools to support video capture
  • Support for numerous video resolutions and frame rates
  • Effective subject tracking that works for stills and video
  • Highly effective image stabilization
  • Ability to filter video options and save favorites for quick access
  • Full-sized HDMI port
  • Integrated cooling fan
  • Frame.io integration
  • AF system not quite as reliable as the best of its peers
  • AF system occasionally lags before snapping into focus
  • Slow startup
  • Some vertical jitter when using electronic image stabilization in ‘high’ mode
  • Headphone and HDMI ports can interfere with articulating screen
  • Battery charger not included

The S5II finally delivered the one feature many Panasonic users had requested for years: phase detection autofocus. While the headline feature is worthy of attention, it would be a mistake to overlook the many other upgrades that make it a compelling camera, including improved image stabilization, subject recognition, and an integrated fan for better thermal management.

While phase detect AF makes the S5II a more attractive camera than its predecessor, particularly for video shooters, it’s not a panacea. It does provide a more refined and reliable autofocus experience that delivers on many of its promises, but the implementation still feels less polished than on more mature systems. However, it’s good, and when paired with the subject recognition updates included in the April 2024 firmware update, it becomes a very solid performer.

Panasonic has long been known for making cameras that are great for video, and the S5II (and S5IIX) continue that tradition, offering video-centric features ranging from a waveform monitor to the ability to set shutter angle in video – things that typically don’t even appear on the spec sheet of other cameras in its class. The only thing holding it back from being an even better video camera is its sensor, a design that’s been around for a while and can, under the right conditions, reveal rolling shutter artifacts, and requires an APS-C crop to capture 4K/60. However, don't mistake the S5II for a video-first camera. It's a very competent stills camera that's also great for video.

Panasonic S 28-200mm F4-7.1 | F7.0 | 1/125 sec | ISO 1600
Photo: Dale Baskin

The camera’s lines are not as graceful and elegant as some of its competitors, nor does it embrace the retro styling that’s been making a comeback. In contrast, the S5II is a pragmatic everyman’s camera, designed to get the job done. That’s not a knock against it or even a suggestion that the camera isn’t aesthetically pleasing, but rather a recognition that the S5II is an excellent example of form following function, for the right reasons.

The S5II is one of those cameras that isn’t necessarily the best in class at a lot of things. Instead, it makes its case by being the best at some things and very good at many things. The result is one heck of an all-around camera that will satisfy the needs of enthusiasts who shoot photos, videos, or both, and the cherry on top is that it’s also a delightful camera to use. And for that, the S5II receives our Silver Award.

Scoring

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

Panasonic Lumix DC-S5IICategory: Mid Range Full Frame CameraBuild qualityErgonomics & handlingFeaturesMetering & focus accuracyImage quality (raw)Image quality (jpeg)Low light / high ISO performanceViewfinder / screen ratingOpticsPerformanceMovie / video modeConnectivityValuePoorExcellentConclusionThe Panasonic S5II is a capable full-frame mid-range camera with the right balance capabilities to serve those who want to shoot both photos and video. It offers outstanding image quality with pleasing colors, the best toolset in its class to support video shooters. The AF system is competitive, though it's not quite as good as the best cameras in its class. It's an excellent all-around camera and is a great option for those who need to do a bit of everything.Good forHigh-quality photos and video productionNot so good forApplications that demand the most cutting-edge AF system, like sports90%Overall scoreRegularScoreCompareWidget({"mainElementId":"scoringWidget","mainProduct":"panasonic_dcs5ii","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 Canon R6 II remains our top performer in this class. It features outstanding ergonomics, a more dependable AF system, and a more usable electronic shutter thanks to the camera's faster sensor. That sensor also allows the R6 II to capture high-quality 4K/60p using the entire frame width. However, the camera doesn't include the myriad video tools found on the Panasonic. It's also one of the most expensive cameras in its class and is effectively limited to using Canon's own range of mirrorless lenses, so it's a good idea to make sure Canon has the lenses you want at a price you're comfortable with.

The Sony a7 IV is another camera worth considering. Its 33MP sensor delivers a bit more detail, but where the Sony really shines is its autofocus system, which is exceptionally dependable and features outstanding subject tracking. However, it's a more photo-oriented camera, with higher rolling shutter making it less attractive to someone looking to shoot both stills and videos. Where it competes well is lens selection. With multiple manufacturers making lenses for E-mount, including Sigma, users are spoilt for choice and frequently have options at various price points for a given focal length.

The Sony a7C II is worth a look if size is a factor. It's essentially a Sony a7 IV squeezed into a more compact body and a simplified shutter, meaning it has almost the same pros and cons as that model, though with better image stabilization.

Finally, there's the Nikon Zf, a camera whose design is inspired by Nikon's classic film SLRs. In some respects, it's a great alternative to the S5II; it uses the same basic sensor and delivers similar image quality. However, its design makes the comparison more complex. The decision to buy a camera like the Zf will likely be driven, in part, by a desire for a specific type of shooting experience, and one that's very different than the S5II. Also, similar to the Canon, you'll mostly be limited to Nikon's own mirrorless lenses (though recent history suggests that Nikon is beginning to open the mount to allow some third-party options). If you prefer a more modern design, you could also consider the Nikon Z6 II, though that model is a bit long in the tooth compared to the other options here.

Buy now:

$1797 at Amazon.com$1798 at B&H Photo$1798 at Adorama Sample galleries

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Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Panasonic adds pre-burst and cameras-to-cloud to S5II and S5II X

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 10 apr 2024 - 17:00
Photo: Richard Butler

Panasonic has announced forthcoming firmware for its S5II and S5II X that will add a series of features, including pre-shot buffering, proxy recording and direct upload to Adobe's Frame.io collaboration platform.

Recent Videos

Firmware v3.0 for the Lumix DC-S5II and firmware v2.0 for the Lumix DC S5II X will bring improvements to subject recognition and IS performance, the company says.

Proxy capture

Both cameras will gain the ability to capture lower-resolution proxy video files when you're shooting .MOV files at resolutions of up to DCI 4K. Three quality levels will be available, creating either 10-bit 1080p versions in one of two compression levels or 8-bit HD 720p files. These files are then compatible with the cameras' new Camera-to-cloud system.

Proxies cannot be generated in the cameras' 5.9K or 6K modes or in the 3.3K anamorphic 4:3 mode. They can be created alongside ProRes footage on the S5II X, but not when either camera is in MP4 mode. All proxies are 16:9 aspect ratio, with black 'letterboxing' appearing if your primary footage is being captured in the 1.89:1 DCI aspect ratio.

If you're shooting V-Log video you have a choice of whether a selected LUT is directly applied to the proxy footage. This setting is independent of whether the LUT is applied to your primary footage, meaning you can create proxies with approximate grading applied, without baking that decision into your full-res files.

Camera-to-cloud

Both cameras join recent Fujifilm models in their ability to upload stills and video to Adobe's Frame.io collaboration platform. Logging the camera onto a wireless network then entering a code generated by Frame.io allows you to upload Raws, JPEGs or proxy video directly up to the platform, where they can be shared and annotated by people you've opted to share the project with. It's also possible to upload to Frame.io via USB tethering, allowing remote editors or clients to see your output immediately.

Pre-burst shooting

The S5II twins gain the ability to buffer bursts when shooting in continuous high mode. This allows you to capture 0.5, 1 or 1.5 seconds worth of frames from immediately before you press the shutter button. The "SH Pre" option captures these bursts in the camera's 30fps electronic shutter mode.

Improved subject recognition

Panasonic says the latest firmware improves the performance of both cameras' human detection AF. It also adds eye detection to their animal detection modes and brings car and motorbike recognition modes to both.

EIS 'High' mode for video shooting

Finally, there's an EIS 'High' mode that can be applied during movie shooting. This crops in slightly further (to 1.4x), allowing the correction of a greater magnitude of camera movement, but also attempts to correct perspective distortion. Essentially this avoids the wobbly corners that can otherwise occur when using wide-angle lenses.

The new firmware will be available to download from April 24th.

Press: Release:

News Release

Panasonic Announces Firmware Update to Improve the Shooting Experience and Sharing Functionality of LUMIX S5II and S5IIX

Newark, NJ (April 10, 2024) – Panasonic is pleased to announce a significant firmware update for its full frame mirrorless LUMIX S5II and S5IIX cameras that improves the shooting experience and enhances sharing functionality for both images and videos.

Listening to creators needs, S5II Firmware V3.0 and S5IIX Firmware V2.0 delivers efficiency in both production and post-production workflows, providing important time (and therefore cost) saving benefits.

In line with LUMIX’s continuous commitment to supporting creators, the firmware will be available to download free of charge from the LUMIX Global Customer Support website https://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/ at 9:00 pm EDT April 21, 2024.

S5II Firmware Version 3.0 / S5IIX Firmware Version 2.0 1. Enhancement of Production Workflows

New Native Camera to Cloud Integration with Adobe’s Frame.io
Compatibility with Frame.io Camera to Cloud is now supported, enabling images and videos to be automatically uploaded, backed up, shared, and worked on jointly via the cloud. Recorded content is sent to the Frame.io platform through an internet connection via Wi-Fi or USB tethering, enabling seamless sharing of captured photos (JPEG/RAW) and Proxy videos. This empowers creators to receive remote real-time feedback during capture and enables collaborative editing among production teams using their preferred creative software. Frame.io Camera to Cloud streamlines the workflow from shooting to editing, enhancing overall efficiency in the creative process.

Proxy Video Recording
This new feature records a low bit-rate proxy file when recording video. Simultaneously recording a proxy file that is linked with the original video recording enabling a faster delivery from production to post.

2. Improved Basic Performance

Real-time Auto-focus Recognition (Animal Eye, Car, Motorcycle Recognition)
The improved real-time auto-focus system enhances the highly accurate Phase Hybrid auto focus of the S5II and S5IIX, efficiently recognizing people amongst multiple subjects. It also features an animal eye recognition function, to focus on and follow animal eyes, as well as a car and motorcycle recognition function, which is ideally suited for shooting motorsports.

Enhanced E.I.S. Performance
In addition to Standard, High mode is newly added to E-Stabilization (Video) function, which electronically corrects large shakes when shooting on the move. A perspective distortion correction has also been added to correct distortion that tends to occur during video shooting when using a wide-angle lens. Combined with Active I.S. Technology, it is now possible to achieve even more stable footage when shooting on the move.

3. Expanding Creative Options

SH Pre-burst Shooting
The newly introduced SH pre-burst shooting function records bursts before shooting begins. When set to the SH PRE mode, the camera begins burst shooting from the moment the user half presses the shutter button, allowing retroactive burst shooting up to the moment the shutter button is pressed down fully.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Canon announces EOS R50 Vlogging Kit for $1000

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 9 apr 2024 - 23:01

The EOS R50 vlogging creator kit repackages the existing camera, a lens tripod grip and a remote control.

Image: Canon

Canon is targeting video content creators with the announcement of its EOS R50 vlogging kit. The bundle doesn’t include any newly announced gear; rather, it’s a repacking of existing gear. However, it could prove to be an easy start-up pack for those beginning to dip their toes into videography.

Recent Videos

Its previous 'creator kit' packaged the R50 with an RF-S 18-45mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM lens, microphone, tripod grip and wireless remote, but this lens was a bit too tight for selfie video. So, it seems Canon has taken note of this issue and repackaged the kit with a lens that is more suitable for vlogging.

Canon's EOS R50 is an APS-C camera with a 24.2MP sensor that can capture uncropped 4K video up to 30fps. Canon has now paired the R50 with the RF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-6.3 autofocus lens, a focal length that is ideal for vloggers wishing to point the camera towards themselves and talk to it from arm’s length. To aid stability, the kit also includes a tripod grip and the BR-E1 remote control, which you can use to start and stop your recording.

In our review, we gave the R50 high marks for good image quality, AF stickiness, 10-bit HDR PQ video and a decent 15fps burst mode. The main limitation of the camera is a limited RF APS-C lens selection and a body that might be too small and cramped for some users.

At $1000, is the vlogging kit a money saver? Let’s do the math. Currently, you can purchase the EOS R50 on sale for $570. The 10-18mm costs $329 and the combined tripod / grip / remote control costs $129. That’s a total of $1030 if you bought the items separately. Saving $30 isn’t mindblowing, but it’s a saving all the same.

Away from this vlogging kit, you can bundle the R50 with the 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 kit lens for $700. Alternatively, if you aren't interested in selfie video and don't want the 10-18mm lens, and would prefer an 18-45mm kit lens, Canon's previous creator kit can be had for $800.

If the EOS R50 seems appealing and you don’t want the hassle of buying items separately, Canon’s vlogging kit could be a solid kickstart for those curious about vlogging. However, if you intend to use this as a hybrid camera (and don’t exclusively shoot landscape photography) the 10-18mm will likely be too wide for an everyday lens.

The Canon EOS R50 vlogging kit is now available for preorder on Canon’s website, for a Thursday, April 18 release date.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Viltrox releases AF 56mm F1.7 APS-C lens for Fujifilm and Nikon cameras

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 9 apr 2024 - 20:45
Image: Viltrox

After a somewhat low-key announcement last week, Viltrox has released a new APS-C lens for Fujifilm and Nikon cameras. The China-based manufacturer introduces the autofocus 56mm F1.7 (85mm equivalent) lens, and at $139, it’s sure to pique the interest of those looking for a fast budget portrait lens.

Recent Videos

The 56mm F1.7 has 11 elements in 9 groups with 9 aperture blades. It uses a stepper motor, promising "accurate and smooth focusing," and has a minimum focus distance of 0.55m (21.6”) and is very lightweight at 171g (6 oz) for X-mount and 187g (6.5 oz) for Z-mount.

Viltrox says the lens has an aluminum bayonet, however it does not mention the materials used for the rest of the lens’ exterior. At that weight and price, it’s difficult to imagine anything other than a plastic build. We did contact the company to confirm the materials used, but we’re yet to receive a response.

The company says the front of the lens is fully waterproof, but Viltrox doesn’t claim the rest of the lens has weather sealing.

If you enjoy the physical ergonomics of Fujifilm and Nikon cameras, it's worth noting that this lens does not have an aperture ring, a feature present on the more expensive Viltrox 56mm F1.4. This may not a dealbreaker but is something to be aware of. If that's an issue, the recent Meike AF 55mm F1.4 may make a sound alternative, though it’s slightly more expensive at $200.

Viltrox releases AF 56mm F1.7 APS-C specifications
Kategorier: Sidste nyt

How to watch the total solar eclipse live, even if you're not in North America

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 8 apr 2024 - 14:00

NASA employees use protective glasses to view a partial solar eclipse from the rooftop at NASA Headquarters on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, in Washington, DC.

Image: Connie Moore/NASA

North America will experience a total solar eclipse today, gradually turning a band from Mexico to Canada as dark as night as the moon's shadow casts across the Earth below. For observers outside the region, there's still a way to see the eclipse via streaming.

Recent Videos

Watchers in Mazatlán, Mexico, will be the first in continental North America to experience the total eclipse at approximately 11:07 am PST. From there, it'll cross over the border into Texas and across the United States to the eastern shores of Canada. A partial eclipse will be visible across most of North and Central America. NASA has a detailed map for those wishing to follow along at home.

Outside North America, there's still a way to see the eclipse. Through the power of the internet, several science agencies are live-streaming the event.

The National Science Foundation, an independent agency of the United States federal government, has set up a live stream of the eclipse and will share research from solar physicists.

North American eclipse live stream courtesy of the National Science Foundation.

Learn about the science of space and the Sun's corona, and watch the total solar eclipse as it makes its way across the continent on the live stream. Also, leave comments below while the stream is live to truly make this a global DPReview live watch party.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

OM System's focus on the outdoors leaves door open for PEN

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 6 apr 2024 - 16:00

Kazuhiro Togashi, OM System's VP for Brand Strategy and Product Planning, wearing a hoodie with the company's 'Outdoor Monster' branding.

Photo: Richard Butler

OM System says it's focusing on outdoor photographers but hinted that the PEN series could yet return to the North American market. We spoke to Kazuhiro Togashi, the Vice President for Brand Strategy and Product Planning.

Recent Videos

"Currently we are focusing on outdoor use photography," he says: "Based on our research findings, the number of outdoor photographers is expected to increase, or at least to stay stable."

This makes sense for a company committed to a small system that's built up a strong reputation for its weather sealing.

"First of all we have specifically targeted adventure and wildlife photographers because we believe our camera system is the best choice for this group of users," Togashi says. "In outdoor environments, having equipment that offers high performance while being small and lightweight is crucial. For outdoor photographers, capturing the decisive moment of a living creature or an awe-inspiring landscape photograph is paramount."

It's easy to assume that this just refers to the OM-1 and OM-5 models the company has updated since taking on the former Olympus camera business, but Togashi suggests this isn't the case: "Our definition of outdoor use extends beyond just the adventurous; it encompasses outdoor activities in everyday life as well. Our system is ideal for individuals who enjoy capturing snapshots, macro shots while traveling, or shoot astrophotography."

It may be seen as a step down from the PEN F, and it isn't currently sold in North America, but OM System does still make and sell PEN-series cameras.

Image: OM System

Could this mean a revival of the PEN line, we asked. "In Japan and Asia we continue to sell PEN E-P7," he reminded us: "The E-P7 is small, with compact bright lenses, making it highly advantageous for travel photography. Therefore, we’ll reinforce such products in our lineup in the future."

Togashi didn't explicitly say that this means a return of the PEN line to North America, but says: "We’d like to try to expand the scope of people enjoying cameras for travels or for everyday use to capture scenery."

"The E-P7 is ... highly advantageous for travel photography ... we’ll reinforce such products in our lineup in the future."

For now, at least, the company's focus seems to be on higher-end products: “We anticipate that photography enthusiasts will remain central to driving growth in our industry," says Togashi. But, he added, it's important to attract new audiences to photography, identifying those "who currently lack an interest in cameras," as an opportunity for the industry.

"We firmly believe that maintaining a stable business scale has broader benefits for all customers," he reasons: "Conversely, a shrinking market causes challenges for manufacturers in innovating and developing new technologies. Therefore, it’s crucial to explore new potential customer segments. In the world of photography, acknowledging the diverse needs is paramount. By recognizing various perspectives on photography, camera equipment and the art of capturing images, we anticipate the entry of new customers into the fold more effectively.”

Trends and the role of AI

We asked Togashi about the significant trends OM System has seen in the past year. "I think the most significant trend in imaging has been the advancement of image processing applications and AI-driven noise reduction techniques. These innovations have greatly progressed the industry.”

We asked whether he thought AI has a different role to play in cameras than in smartphones. "I believe the role will vary," he says. "In terms of computational photography for cameras, we see its potential to revolutionize art creation and broaden photographers’ expressive capabilities."

As an example, he highlights a feature from the company's latest model: "photographers who may have shied away from using Graduated Neutral Density [GND] filters due to their perceived complexity could find these features invaluable. Additionally, for photographers accustomed to employing GND filters and post-processing their images, we believe that integrating Live GND during shooting to capture high-quality Raw images, followed by fine-tuning detail in editing software can give artwork that exceeds expectations. For smartphones their role is to record everyday life, beautifully. This is totally different: between artwork and recording something.”

Togashi highlights the virtual GND filter feature of the OM-1 Mark II, but suggests it would be very difficult to offer a comparable feature in the original model, as the memory handling of the camera has been re-written.

Photo: Shaminder Dulai

"As technology advances in the future, personally I think it will be possible to integrate such an AI noise reduction function into the camera body. But maybe it will be challenging to realize this."

We wondered whether collaboration between cameras companies might be an effective way to compete with the R&D budgets of the biggest smartphone makers.

“If our company had an opportunity to collaborate with other companies, maybe we would collaborate with an image processing software company, maybe." But there are areas in which Togashi thinks the industry should co-operate: "As a camera industry, we may have to consider technology to judge: is this picture a real one or a fake? For such kinds of things, maybe we should collaborate with all kinds of companies to develop such technology through using AI technology.”

The future for video

As the conversation continued, the topic turned to video, who's using it and what's required to make it useful to a wider audience.

“We are aware of the usage of our video features through our customer research data," Togashi says: "Encouraging more people to use a dedicated camera to shoot video, instead of using a smartphone, is less about technical specifications and more about creating opportunities for users to engage with video. Just as with photography for those who want to start photography.”

“Our user research findings show that people who don’t have high knowledge or long experience of video shooting have some concerns about how to enjoy and how to edit video. Therefore I think such user-friendly functions are very important to expand more fans to use video functions.”

“We believe it’s important to have functions and services that allow people to enjoy shooting video more easily, without specialized knowledge or expensive editing equipment."

OM-1 firmware

Finally, we asked about the OM-1 and the launch of the Mark II and whether Mark I owners can expect further updates. "OM-1 users can expect some additional functionalities as a result of firmware updates we announced on Feb. 21, 2024." says Togashi. But he also says it's not possible to simply duplicate all the OM-1 Mark II's features in the older model. "The OM-1 Mark II has increased internal memory and new optimized memory controls compared to the OM-1, so providing all the new features to the mark one is not possible."

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

We want to see your best North American eclipse photos: DPReview Editors' Challenge

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 5 apr 2024 - 12:00

A partial solar eclipse is seen as the Sun rises to the left of the United States Capitol building on June 10, 2021, as seen from Arlington, Virginia.

Image: Bill Ingalls/NASA

On Monday, April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Western Mexico starting in Mazatlán and heading up into the United States and across to Newfoundland, Canada. NASA has mapped the route with times and viewing conditions for several cities. Outside the path of totality, varying degrees of a partial eclipse will be visible from most of North and Central America.

Recent Videos

If you plan to be out and know how to photograph the event safely, we want to see your best images of the eclipse! Submit your best work by April 11, and it may be featured in an upcoming DPReview Editor's Picks gallery on our homepage.

And fear not, readers who are not along the path. We can still enjoy our peers' work together. Also, this is the first of many new DPReview Editor's Challenges we have planned. So, if you're not in North America, keep an eye out for our next challenge (or start planning a trip to Spain for Aug 12, 2026, for the next total eclipse).

How to submit your photos Submissions are now open and you have until Thursday, April 11, 2024, to submit. User voting will begin thereafter and will help inform DPReview Editors' Picks, but will not select them. They are one factor in our evaluation of submissions.

Enter your photos and read all the rules

Processing rules:

  • This is a photo contest, not a post-processing contest. That said, post-processing is allowed, but you must tell us in detail what edits were made.
Capture date rules:
  • Images must be shot after the announcement date of the challenge.
Additional rules:
  • Share what gear was used and your OOC shooting specs.
  • Share a list of edits you made during post-processing.
  • Include a caption that tells us where and when the photo was taken (e.g. city and time).
  • Please ensure your account's contact information is current; we may contact you if your photo is selected as an Editors' Pick.
  • Our standard copyright and privacy terms and conditions policy applies.
Kategorier: Sidste nyt

NASA-backed project wants your photos of 'The Great American Eclipse'

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 4 apr 2024 - 22:04

A view of the Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse from Madras, Oregon.

Image: Gopalswamy/NASA

Sunsketcher, a new NASA-backed project with an iOS and Android app, wants your photographs of the “Great American Eclipse.” (Incidentally, so do we.)

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Scientists behind the project want to gather more information about the sun's interior and aid their work in accurately measuring the shape of the sun and testing theories of gravity, including general relativity.

Through the app, anyone photographing the event is asked to upload their pictures. Organizers say the more people using the app the better, as having a large database of images will help with the research.

To participate in the project, users need to situate themselves somewhere across the path of totality within the United States, which means points along the Mexican border to as far north as Maine. Although the path of totality goes beyond US borders, due to privacy laws the app isn’t available outside the US. Sunsketcher says it hopes to expand availability for future eclipses, but for now, the international community will just have to reap the benefits of scientific research.

It may also disappoint some photographers to learn you can’t use a dedicated camera to take part, meaning you can't take photos and transfer them to your phone to share with the app; you can only use the Sunsketcher app to create images. The organization says this is because “the Sunsketcher app generates other relevant, necessary data per image.” This likely means the research relies on some metadata and geodata and forcing everyone into the app allows researchers to have a consistant and predictable database strucutre.

Sunsketcher says you don’t need special equipment, such as lenses and filters, beyond a smartphone. Just open app at least five minutes before the eclipse and position your camera towards the sun. Ideally, you’ll want to use a tripod, but handheld is also fine.

To take part in the project, the app is available on Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Hands-on with Sigma 50mm F1.2 DG DN Art

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 4 apr 2024 - 13:00
Sigma 50mm F1.2 DG DN Art hands-on

Sigma's 50mm F1.2 DG DN Art lens is a large aperture lens that incorporates many of the thoughtful design choices for which the Art line has become known. It is the company's second F1.2 lens for the E and L full-frame mirrorless camera mounts and will be available on April 18.

Buy now:

$1399 at B&H Photo$1399 at Adorama

Sigma says it designed its latest offering with the goal of full detail levels across all apertures. In creating our sample gallery we found results that seemed to confirm its claim. Take a look for yourself and see if you agree.

Size and weight

One of the first things you notice when you hold the lens is that it's a little lighter than lenses of similar aperture and focal length. Coming in at 745g (1.6 lb) and 109mm (4.3"), Sigma says it's the lightest AF 50mm F1.2 interchangeable lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market. It's also less than 1mm longer than the smallest of the major makers' 50mm F1.2 lenses and appreciably narrower.

To achieve this, Sigma says it made each piece of glass as thin as possible, reduced the weight of mechanical parts and used a new dual 'high-response linear actuator' (HLA) focusing system.

This makes the lens smaller and lighter than its four main competitors in the fast 50mm space: the Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM is 778 g (1.72 lb), Canon's RF 50mm F1.2L USM is 950 g (2.09 lb), Nikon's Nikkor Z 50mm F1.2 S is a whopping 1090 g (2.4 lb) and Panasonic's closest Lumix offering, the S Pro 50mm F1.4, is 955 g (2.11 lb).

Sigma's fast lens feels notable and suggests that it's about as far as you can push a lens of this size using current design techniques.

Terms defined

In the name and along the barrel of the lens are some shorthand codes to pay attention to.

Sigma's 'Art' badge denotes lenses the company says are built with a bias toward the highest optical quality. Most Art lenses are fast prime and zoom lenses, often with features such as aperture rings.

'Art' is one of three lines of lenses Sigma produces. In 2012, the company announced it was establishing 'Art,' Sport' and 'Contemporary' lines because it "Simplifies the lens selection process for photographers,” said CEO Kazuto Yamaki at the time. "We’re empowering them with more control over their equipment, while furthing our commitment to them by establishing a higher expectation for the quality of the lenses we produce.”

DG denotes a full-frame lens, and DN means a lens designed for mirrorless bodies. When DG and DN appear together, this lens is made specifically for full-frame mirrorless cameras.

External controls

There are three switches and one button along the barrel of the lens. Of course, one of them is an AF/MF switch. In manual mode, the focus ring (the wide band closest to the front element) has a nice steady rotation that isn't too fluid or firm, helping users avoid accidentally moving the ring mid-shoot.

Below the AF/MF switch is an auto-focus lock button (AFL), helpful if you want to prevent your focus from shifting once you've set it. The AFL button can also be assigned custom functions on cameras that support the feature.

Just behind these buttons is an aperture ring that allows users to switch between auto mode and manual aperture control via the ring. To prevent errant shifting between auto and manual aperture modes, a lock switch to the right of the ring allows users to lock themselves into one mode or the other.

A 'click' switch is also included for the aperture ring, giving users the option for how they'd like to step up/down f-stops.

Lens hood

The lens comes with a petal-shaped hood. Typically, we wouldn't call it out; it's a lens hood, and they're not complex objects, but the hood here is very well designed with small, thoughtful choices that felt worthy of a shout-out.

First, it's not flimsy like many lens hoods we come across. Thanks to a thicker base that houses a hood release button, it has a little heft to it. The thickness also limits how far the hood can flex, and while we haven't tried to break it, it does feel like you won't accidentally break it by dropping something on it.

The hood locks into place with a satisfying click, and the button keeps it there until you press it to release it.

Another nice touch is a subtle gray hashmark that can be used to visually align the hood with the correct orientation on the lens. The hashmark corresponds with a white dot on the base of the lens.

Optics

The lens comprises 17 elements (four of which are aspheric) in 12 groups. Sigma says the lens is designed to give full detail levels, even at maximum aperture. Looking at Sigma's published MTF plots does suggest that its image quality should be at least competitive with its peers.

There are thirteen rounded aperture blades, which should produce rounder bokeh across a wider aperture range and more points on sun stars.

The minimum focus distance is as close as 40cm (15.8"), on par with comparable lenses from Sony and Canon.

Focus is achieved by twin focus groups driven by new linear motors that are smaller and lighter.

Weather sealing

Sigma has said the lens is dust and splash-resistant and has special front lens coatings to repel water and oil, which allows "photographers to shoot without concerns even in harsh outdoor environments."

However, it's always good to be reminded that 'resistant' does not mean 'proof' and Sigma isn't claiming you'll have complete protection from the elements in every situation. They've called out that extra caution must be taken when bringing "the lens in contact with a large amount of water. Water inside the lens may cause major damage and even render the lens unrepairable."

Summary

Sigma's 50mm F1.2 DG DN Art is a lot of lens in a smaller package than its comparable peers. With a wide aperture, clickable aperture ring, nice build quality, and the IQ focus and thoughtful design reputation of Sigma's Art lens line, there don't seem to be any obvious trade-offs when comparing the lens to comparable OEM lenses.

For L-mount users, it's lighter and faster than Panasonic Lumix's F1.4 lens and comes in $400 cheaper. E-mount users can opt to save $600 over Sony's lens.

Sigma says the lens will be available from April 18th at an MSRP of $1,399.

Buy now:

$1399 at B&H Photo$1399 at Adorama
Kategorier: Sidste nyt

TTArtisan offers 35mm F1.8 “nifty fifty-ish” for APS-C Sony E-mount

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 3 apr 2024 - 21:50
Image: TTArtisan

TTArtisan has announced the launch of its AF 35mm F1.8 lens for Sony’s APS-C E-Mount cameras. Costing less than $150, this “nifty fifty” equivalent adds another option for anyone looking for a budget prime lens.

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The lens was launched for Fujifilm's X-mount in November 2023. The 35mm F1.8 uses 10 elements in 8 groups and has 9 aperture blades. It has a minimum focus distance of 0.6m (23.6”) and a minimum aperture of F16. TTArtisan states the lens weighs between 199-210g (7-7.4oz), which is lightweight, though it’s unclear why the company doesn’t offer a more accurate figure.

Just the company's third AF lens, it uses a stepper motor to promise quick and quiet autofocus. The company also claims an all-aluminum build. Although such specs are eye-catching, keep in mind not all build qualities are the same. The lens hasn’t passed through our hands so we can’t comment on the user experience.

Naturally, people will make comparisons to Sony’s $475 E-mount 35mm F1.8. If you like to get close to your subjects, you’ll notice Sony slashes the minimum focusing distance in half, getting it down to 0.3m (11.8”). The Sony lens also has built-in image stabilization. TTArtisan's doesn’t, so it’s something to consider if you tend to shoot video or at slower shutter speeds.

Despite its limitations, at $150 the TTArtisan lens may prove to be a reliable alternative for those looking for a fast budget-friendly prime.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

5 equipment upgrades every photographer and videographer should consider

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 3 apr 2024 - 16:00
Photo: MPB

Let’s face it, sometimes upgrading your gear is the quickest way to advance your photography and videography. Capturing the decisive moment can require abilities your current camera just doesn't have. But fear not: experimenting doesn't need to break the bank.

That's where MPB comes in. The platform is world-famous for its gigantic selection of used photo and video gear, all individually inspected and photographed, and priced fairly. When you consider an upgrade to better gear, also consider trading in your old kit to save even more money. And, with a 14-day return policy, if your upgrade isn't working out, you can get a full refund.

Speaking of upgrades, here are five to consider.

Upgrade 1: Move to a faster lens Photo: MPB

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to snag a low-light shot and failing. High ISOs and stabilization aside, the ticket to better photographs in tricky conditions is a faster lens.

Thankfully, many lens makers have options for upgrades with a bigger aperture. If you have, say, Sony’s 24-70mm F4 lens, there’s an F2.8 option you could consider. Maybe you have Panasonic’s inexpensive 25mm F1.7 and want a little more background blur. Try something like the Leica-branded 25mm F1.4.

Shop Now at MPB Upgrade 2: Make your camera last longer Photo: MPB

Intensive shooting comes with a need for reliable power. Whether you’re outside waiting for wildlife to run by in the cold, or spending all day rolling video at an event, your camera’s battery life will come into play.

Some higher-end mirrorless models let you add a secondary battery with a custom-fit battery grip that functionally double your runtime. Pro videographers know that if you can screw it down to rigging, you’re golden. This is why versatile V-mount batteries like the Core SWX Hypercore are indispensable. V-mount batteries have a wide array of compatible adapters and mounts for video use no matter what kind of camera you have.

Shop Now at MPB Upgrade 3: Get a dedicated microphone Photo: MPB

“My camera's built-in microphone sounds amazing!” – said no one ever. Even video-centric cameras tend to have pretty thin-sounding onboard mics. And forget about getting clear voices for vlogs, or documentary filmmaking.

Even an inexpensive shotgun mic can make a world of difference to the audio quality of your videos, making the classic, tried-and-true Rode VideoMic Pro+ a no-brainer. And if you need lavaliers that can help your subjects' voices really pop, a secondhand set of Rode's Wireless Go II should serve you well.

Shop Now at MPB Upgrade 4: Switch to a carbon fiber tripod Photo: MPB

When it comes to working outdoors, every gram counts. After all, if you're hauling gear into the backcountry to capture a shot of the landscape or Milky Way, picking the wrong gear could just about break your back. Ditch the aluminum tripod and go for a compact, lightweight carbon fiber model, instead.

Take, for instance, the high-tech, compact Peak Design Travel Tripod. The aluminum version weighs in at 1.56 kg (3.44 lbs), while the carbon one is only 1.27 kg (2.81 lbs). That difference means you can comfortably carry more gear without skimping on other essentials, like coffee or trail mix.

Shop Now at MPB Upgrade 5: Capture cinematic video with an external HDMI recorder Photo: MPB

If you're experimenting with color grading your own footage, 8-bit 4:2:0 with a standard flat profile can be extremely limiting. Unfortunately, some cameras otherwise capable of rich images are limited to the depth of file they can record internally.

Of course, there's a way around this internal recording limitation: external recording! Something like the Atomos Shogun Flame 4K would be a fantastic way to upgrade your mirrorless camera to one that can get a cinematic look. This older recorder can spit out 4K 60P 10-bit ProRes footage onto SATA solid-state drives with added goodies like HDR. Plus, it gives you a far bigger screen than whatever's on the back of your camera.

Shop Now at MPB
Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Hands-on with the Nikon Z 28-400mm F4-8 VR

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 3 apr 2024 - 15:00
Nikon Z 28-400mm F4-8 VR hands-on

The Nikkor Z 28-400mm F4-8 VR is the latest addition to Nikon's range of lenses for the Z mount. It's a superzoom lens designed for full-frame cameras that extends from the wide-angle well into the telephoto range.

Buy now:

$1297 at B&H Photo$1297 at Adorama$1299 at Amazon.com

Nikon describes it as offering the highest zoom ratio in its class (the likes of Tamron's 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 means there are broader ranges available for APS-C), but we're struggling to think of a full-frame lens that's ever covered such a wide range. Let us know in the comments if you can think of one.

Wide and long

It's designed for travel and general all-round use, and becomes fairly small in its retracted state. It's still 142mm (5.6") long, even at its shortest, but that approximately doubles when you zoom the lens to its full extent. This is, of course, the price you pay for 400mm of reach on a large sensor.

In return, you gain a focal length that's usable for activities including many types of sports. The F8 maximum aperture at the long end of the zoom is likely to limit you to action occurring in fairly bright light, but means that you can make use of a modern AF system to capture family or friends competing, without having to commit to buying or renting something like the Nikkor Z 400mm F4.5 VR S, which can let in up to 3.2x as much light, but also costs over two-and-a-half times more.

The other benefit is that it can then be zoomed to give a wide-angle perspective or anything in between, without having to change lenses.

External controls

To keep things manageable there's a lock switch just behind the zoom ring. This helps to avoid the lens creeping out to full extension when it's hung over your shoulder or packed in a travel bag.

Behind this, there's a control ring that can be customized to control settings such as aperture, ISO or a number of other functions of your choice, or just used as a manual focus ring. It's a smoothly-rotating ring, so doesn't give any feedback if used to set settings that are set in steps. Video shooters looking to make predictable manual focus pulls are likely to appreciate that it can be set to give a linear focus response, rather than the default behavior in which the amount of focus movement is related to the speed you turn the ring.

That's about your lot in terms of external controls.

Drip and dust resistance

The lens has been designed to be "drip and dust-resistant," according to Nikon. This entails seals at all the joins within the lens, so it shouldn't immediately fill with water if it starts raining and you have to retract the zoom.

But, as is so often the case, Nikon makes no promises about the effectiveness of this design, stating: "dust and drip-resistance is not guaranteed in all situations or under all conditions." In other words, it's been designed to be used in the real world but you'll need to be somewhat sensible and careful with it.

Filters and VR

The relatively slow maximum aperture, starting at F4 and rapidly dropping down towards F8, has allowed Nikon to keep the lens down to a sensible diameter. 77mm filters aren't the cheapest, but they're typically less expensive than 82mm, which tends to be the next step up from here. Likewise, it'll be much easier to afford a filter for this lens than the 95mm filters taken by the 400mm F4.5 VR S.

Of course that slower aperture is also likely to reduce the need for filters, since you probably won't want to reduce the amount of light you're getting too much further.

The 28-400mm F4-8 has Nikon's 'Vibration Reduction' (VR) image stabilization system. This is rated as delivering up to 5.0EV of correction, which will be especially valuable to avoid hand-shake at longer focal lengths.

Nikon's more recent models (Z9, Z8 and Zf) can use their in-body stabilization in addition to the lens's stabilization, boosting the correction figure to 5.5EV. Older bodies can use the lens to correct pitch and yaw, then correct translational movements and roll using in-body IS.

VR should make it possible to hand-hold shots at the slower shutter speeds that the F8 maximum aperture can bring but, of course, only in terms of correcting for hand-shake: you'll still need fast shutter speeds for moving subjects.

Summary

The Nikkor Z 28-400mm F4-8 VR offers a lot of flexibility in a package weighing 725g (∼26oz). The temptation of this flexibility might be for this to become a lens that stays on the camera body, but you'll miss out on a lot of your camera's potential if you take that approach, due to the relatively slow maximum aperture.

Buy now:

$1297 at B&H Photo$1297 at Adorama$1299 at Amazon.com

In principle it could also be used by APS-C shooters, giving 600mm equivalent reach. However the short end of the zoom will now stop at 42mm equivalent, meaning it will lack any wide-angle capability. That and the correspondingly slower equivalent aperture figures mean you have to be certain that you need 600mm equiv. for this to make sense.

With an MSRP of $1,299, the 28-400mm isn't cheap. But our early impressions from the samples we've been able to shoot with a pre-production sample suggest that it delivers pretty decent performance as well as tremendous flexibility.

Click here to see our pre-production Nikon Z 28-400mm F4-8 VR gallery

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Fujifilm releases firmware updates for X and GFX-series cameras

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 2 apr 2024 - 20:16

Fujifilm has released firmware updates for some of its X and GFX-series cameras, including the newly released X100VI.

Recent Videos

The updates include bug fixes rather than new features, and fixes differ depending on which model you use. Here’s what to expect in Fujfilm’s latest batch of firmware updates.

Fujifilm X100VI

Fujifilm’s most talked about camera receives its first firmware update in the form of v1.01. This update fixes an issue for users who are unable to connect to the Fujifilm XApp via a WiFi connection.

Fujifilm X-S10

Users had previously complained that images were not transferring to their SD card when using their smartphone as a shutter release via the Fujifilm XApp. Fujifilm states firmware v3.11 fixes the issue.

Fujifilm X-T30 II

Fujifilm says little about the changes made in v2.04, only stating “other minor bugs have been fixed.”

Fujifilm X-T3/X-T4

The latest firmware versions fix a bug that caused the exposure of the preview image to differ from the recorded image when shooting in manual mode with the XF50mm F1.0 R WR. The updates also fix the same data transfer issue found with X-S10.

Fujifilm GFX S50 II

Fujifilm’s medium-format camera receives just one fix in its latest update. Firmware v2.11 fixes a known issue with the flicker reduction functionality, where flicker was occurring in “certain environments,” even after activating flicker reduction.

Fujifilm XApp

In some counties, users reported time synchronization discrepancies between Fujifilm’s cameras and the XApp. In North America, this seemed to impact users in Canada. Although Fujifilm states the update should resolve the bug, it did note that Area Settings will not update automatically in some regions, so users will need to update this manually via their camera settings after installing the update.

Updating your firmware

The easiest method to update is via Fujifilm's XApp. The app can be found in Apple's App Store for iOS users and in Google Play Store for Android users. When you open the app, if you've connected your camera to it previously, it should alert you that a new firmware update is available and ask if you want to download it. From there, follow the directions in the app.

If you prefer to skip the app, you can download the relevant update and put it on your SD card. Then, hold the DISP/BACK button when turning on your camera and you'll be prompted to allow the update to process. Press “OK” and select “Body,” and then select the .DAT file to begin updating the firmware.

Download now:

Direct from Fujifilm Apple App Store Google Play Store
Kategorier: Sidste nyt

The most important camera gear of 2024 (so far)

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 2 apr 2024 - 14:05
Image: Richard Butler

As we bid March adieu, it's a good time to take stock of the wealth of new cameras and lenses announced so far this year. Here's a list of everything we've seen, updated for April 2024!

March 2024 Leica SL3 Image: Richard Butler

Leica released the SL3 in March, making it the highest-resolution SL camera in its line. The 60MP DSLR-shaped mirrorless camera is built around Leica's L-mount and brings a lot of technology from the Leica M11 models into its radically redesigned interface. Shutterbugs didn't have to wait long for it to arrive. It was available the same day it was announced.

Recent Videos

Read our SL3 initial review

Buy now:

$6995 at B&H Photo$6995 at Adorama Logitech Mevo Core Image: Logitech

Logitech revisited the Mevo line of streaming cameras to give them a larger Micro Four Thirds sensor and its corresponding lens mount (the previous version was fixed lens). Geared toward users in need of live-feed video, it sports a 6-hour battery rating and supports Wi-Fi 6E up to 4K/30p streaming.

Read our Mevo Core story

Buy now:

$1,000 at Amazon $1,000 at B&H Photo Leica limited edition black Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 Image: Leica

Leica, whose commitment to the rangefinder style is so strong that it makes actual rangefinder cameras, announced it was producing 200 copies of the M-Summilux 35mm F1.4 with an anodized black coating on its aluminum shell. The design has many elements inspired directly by a lens Leica produced in the 60s and reintroduced in 2022 as part of the Leica Classic line.

Read our Summilux-M 35mm F1.4 story

Buy now:

$10,495, in person only at select Leica Stores Ricoh creates GR III HDF and GR IIIx HDF Image: Ricoh

The Ricoh GR III HDF and GR IIIx HDF are variants of the company's existing fixed-lens APS-C premium compacts. They feature a unique "highlight diffusion filter" instead of the ND filter fitted in the standard versions of both cameras. When turned on, the HDF creates a diffusion effect, particularly visible in highlight areas. Both cameras will arrive in April, with preorders starting April 2.

Read our GR III HDF and GR IIIx HDF story

Buy GR III HDF now:

$1,070 at B&H Photo

Buy GR IIIx HDF now:

$1150 at B&H Photo Nikkor Z 28-400mm F4-8 VR Image: Nikon

A superzoom Z-mount lens with a 14.2x zoom range, Nikon tells us the lens is designed to meet the needs of both photo and video users. Autofocus comes in the form of a stepping motor to deliver fast and quiet autofocus, and manual focus includes support for a linear focus response, which should appeal to video shooters. It is set for release in mid-April.

Read our 28-400mm F4-8 VR story

Buy now:

$1297 at B&H Photo$1297 at Adorama$1299 at Amazon.com Meike 55mm F1.4 APS-C Image: Meike

Meike Global's first autofocus APS-C lens arrived for Fujifilm, Sony and Nikon cameras in March. The new 55mm F1.4's $200 MSRP is targeted at photographers looking for a fast and light prime lens who don't want to shell out for more expensive options.

Read our Meike 55mm F1.4 APS-C story

Buy now:

$200 at B&H Photo$200 at Meike 7Artisans 50mm F1.8 AF Image: 7Artisans

7Artisans also introduced its first autofocus lens in March and it too runs about $200: a 50mm F1.8 for full-frame Sony E-mount bodies. The company has built up an extensive collection of manual focus lenses (for numerous mounts), and we imagine that this "nifty fifty" is the first of many AF lenses to come.

Read our 7Artisans 50mm F1.8 story

Buy now:

$228 at B&H Photo$228 at Amazon.com Sigma 50mm F1.2 DG DN Art Image: Sigma

The 50mm lenses just kept on coming in March (calling it now, it's going to be a hot nifty-fifty summer if this keeps up). Sigma's second F1.2 lens for the E and L full-frame mirrorless camera mounts is one of the lightest lenses of its type. Sigma also says it's designed to give full detail levels even at maximum aperture. It hits stores on April 18.

Read our Sigma 50mm F1.2 DG DN Art story

Buy now:

$1399 at B&H Photo$1399 at Adorama Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 Image: Tamron

Tamron's popular 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 fast standard zoom is coming to Nikon's Z-mount. Built with a newer, linear motor drive, it also features improved optical performance when compared to the G1 version of the lens. The announcement adds a more affordable option for Nikon's Z-mount users, and some hope that Nikon may relax restrictions around the mount.

Read our Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III VXD G2 story

Buy now:

$999 at B&H Photo $999 at Adorama February 2024

An extra long February brought us a wealth of new cameras and lenses during CP+ 2024.

Fujifilm X100VI Image: Richard Butler

Arguably one of the most hyped-up cameras of the year, the Fujifilm X100VI was announced and made available for preorder this February. It is shipping now, but already backordered at some retailers.

Read our X100VI initial review

Buy now:

$1,599 at Amazon $1,599 at B&H Photo $1,599 at Adorama Sony a9 III Photo: Richard Butler

Sony's latest high-speed pro sports camera and herald of the 'global' shutter, the a9 III, was announced in 2023 but began shipping on February 8th.

Read our Sony a9 III initial review

Buy now:

$5998 at Amazon $5998 at B&H $5998 at Adorama OM System OM-1 Mark II Photo: Shaminder Dulai

The OM System OM-1 Mark II is a high-speed Micro Four Thirds camera based around a 20MP Stacked CMOS sensor. As the name implies, it's an updated version of the flagship OM-1, with hardware and firmware improvements. Announced and available for preorder in January 2024, it started shipping in February.

Buy now:

$2,400 at Amazon $2,400 at B&H Photo $2,400 at Adorama OM System 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS Image: OM System

Alongside its new flagship, OM System announced a 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 super telephoto zoom (equivalent focal length range of 300-1200mm) as well as a new version of the Olympus 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 (18-36mm equivalent) with an updated body and OM System branding in January. Both are now shipping as of February 2024.

Learn more

Buy now:

$2,700 at Amazon $2,700 at B&H Photo $2,700 at Adorama Sony 24-50mm F2.8 G Image: Sony

Sony's 24-50mm F2.8 G fast, compact walk-around lens was announced this February during CP+ but is not slated to ship until May of this year.

Learn more

Preorder:

$1,098 at B&H Photo $1,098 at Adorama Fujifilm X100VI: Limited Edition Photo: Richard Butler

While the Fujifilm X100VI itself is easy to pre-order, there is also a limited edition with Fujifilm's founding logo from 1934 that will be a bit harder to find and a bit more expensive. Ask at your local dealer for the chance to pay a $400 premium for this limited run.

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Sigma 15mm F1.4 DG DN "Art" diagonal fisheye Image: Sigma

Sigma's 15mm F1.4 DG DN "Art" diagonal fisheye is shooting to be an astrophotography workhorse with a 180-degree field-of-view, manual focus lock button, lens heater support and a weather-sealed body. It's available for preorder today, with an estimated ship date of mid-March.

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Preorder:

$1999 at B&H Photo $1999 at Adorama Sigma 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS Sports Image: Sigma

Sigma's 500mm F5.6 DG DN OS "Sports" lens is lighter and a fraction shorter than the similar Nikkor lens for DSLR, despite not using the same phase-fresnel technology Nikon does. It's available for preorder now in E-mount and L-mount favors, with a ship date in mid-March 2024.

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Preorder:

$2,999 at Amazon $2,999 at B&H $2,999 at Adorama Panasonic Lumix S 28-200mm F4-7.1 macro travel zoom Image: Panasonic

Launched during CP+, Panasonic's Lumix S 28-200mm F4-7.1 Macro OIS for L-mount is, according to the company, is the smallest and lightest long zoom lens for mirrorless systems (where 'long zoom' is defined as 7x or greater zoom range). It's available for preorder now, and set to ship at the end of April.

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Preorder:

$900 at Amazon $898 at B&H Photo $898 at Adorama Venus Optics Laowa 10mm F2.8 Zero-D FF Image: Venus Optics

The Venus Optics' Laowa Zero-D FF is, according to its makers, the world's widest F2.8 full-frame rectilinear lens. It's also the first lens with autofocus in the company's Laowa line. Available for preorder now, it will ship next month for $799.

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Preorder:

$799 at B&H Photo $799 at Adorama Sony PDT-FP1 5G transmitter Image: Sony

Sony's PDT-FP1 5G transmitter accessory, which was already announced in Japan, is now coming to the United States and other markets. It can be preordered now and has a shipping window of "early summer" 2024.

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Preorder:

$1,100 at Sony Apple Vision Pro Image: Apple

Announced in 2023, Apple Vision Pro got a February 2nd shipping date during CES 2024. It's now available to order on Apple's website for $3,499. Apple Vision Pro is not primarily a camera, of course, but it is, in part, a device for capturing photos and videos. The Vision Pro will be able to capture spatial photos and video using a button along the top edge of the goggle part of the device.

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Buy now:

$3,499 at Apple January 2024

The start of the year was no time for rest, we hit the ground running with several product announcements.

Hasselblad CFV 100C Image: Hasselblad

Hasselblad has announced a 100MP version of its CFV digital camera back, which combines with the 907x camera to create the smallest medium format camera on the market. It's available for pre-order now and expected to ship in late March to early April.

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Preorder:

$8,199 at B&H Photo $8,199 at Adorama Panasonic Lumix S 100mm F2.8 macro Image: Panasonic

In conjunction with CES 2024, Panasonic has announced the Lumix S 100mm F2.8 Macro lens for full-frame L-mount cameras. Panasonic calls it "the world’s smallest and lightest medium-telephoto fixed focal length macro lens." However, as important as its size and weight is versatility: Panasonic tells us its goal was to produce a macro that can also handle portraiture and medium telephoto shooting with vanishingly few drawbacks. It was announced and shipped in January 2024.

Buy now:

$998 at Amazon $998 at B&H Photo $998 at Adorama DJI Mic 2 Image: DJI

This January, DJI announced the Mic 2, the sequel to its first wireless microphone system released back in 2022. We were fans of the original, especially the details of its interface and user experience, and the Mic 2 expands on that with some additional creature comforts, 32-bit float backup recordings and a new transparent design. It was available for purchase at its announcement in January.

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Buy now:

$349 at Amazon $349 at DJI $349 at B&H Photo
Kategorier: Sidste nyt

25 years of April Fools at DPReview

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 1 apr 2024 - 15:00
Revisiting past pranks

Happy April Fools' Day! In internet lore, this is a hallowed day for outlandish stories, friendly pranks and the birth of tale tales. Over the years, we've created our fair share of them. Some scared us when too many people thought they were true, and others amused us years later when what we thought was a ludicrous proposal turned out to be an accurate prediction for the future.

With this being our 25th anniversary year (our first article was published in Dec 1998), we've been feeling nostalgic. Let's take a look at some of our past pranks from our first quarter century.

DPReview 25th anniversary

About this series:
Celebrate with us all year as we look back at a quarterly century, reflect on where we've been and look ahead to where we might be going. It's our party and everyone's invited!

Read the entire series here.

While this list is exhaustive, there's a chance we may have missed some. In the comments, let us know if we missed any of your past favorites.

The circular sensor that wasn't there

When we look back at the annals of April Fools' tomfoolery, one trick stands heads, shoulders, knees and toes above the rest. In 2010, we created a fake camera sensor company that said it planned to make circular sensors. Through an elaborate backstory, fake patents and a website, we tried to make it as 'real' as possible.

"The circular sensor brings you a host of new opportunities beyond the conventional boundaries of digital capture. No longer do you need to throw away half of the circular image seen by your lens, now you can use it all – getting more from your glass than ever before," the press release read.

The story walked the fine line between seeming plausible but not logical. It sparked some debate in our forums with some not noticing the date. We even managed to trick our good friends over at Steve's Digicams, who took the press release and reported it as news. Good times.

The ultimate food photography camera

In 2017, DPReview's Carey Rose was feeling somewhat spicy when he cooked up this tart of an idea. Samsung's then new line of Family Hub 2.0 refrigerators featured a built-in camera that allowed users to see all the eggs, hot sauces and leftovers inside without having to open the door.

Rose gave the fridge's camera the DPReview treatment, complete with a rundown of specs, in-studio testing and some in-field reflections (you'll want to opt for the most extended extension cord). We determined that the camera, combined with the fridge's LED lights, had made basic food photography as easy as can be.

"The camera fridge acts essentially as a large softbox or cove, with ample space to style your food with ease," Rose wrote at the time.

This prank actually started in a serious place. We were thinking about where imaging is going and how cameras were beginning to appear in doorbells, cars, robot vacuums and other unexpected places.

"Also, Samsung's exit from the consumer market was still relatively fresh in our minds," Rose recalls how the idea came about. "Other than phones and tablets, I think the fridge lineup was the only other product line of theirs that had anything imaging-related about it. Plus, let's be real, a fridge might be one of the edgiest of edge cases where consumer imaging might even be considered relevant, so it seemed extra ridiculous to me."

Readers seemed to pick up quickly that our review was a prank. If they didn't right away, they certainly must have by the time we got to the field tests with wild bears.

As is the DPReview way, commenters also joined in on the fun. At one point, someone pointed out that we did a poor job comparing it with actual competing models (apparently, LG also had a fridge with a camera in it at the time). Perhaps a round-up would have been appropriate the following year.

A DPReview Golden Ticket

Inspired by the 50th anniversary of 1971's Gene Wilder-led "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," we decided to hold a Golden Ticket contest of our very own. Readers were invited to enter for a chance to win a trip to visit us in Seattle for two days, tour our studios, meet the editors, borrow some equipment and work on a sample gallery with us. They would also go home with a prize pack that included a new camera, lens and some DPReview swag like t-shirts and stickers.

We created an elaborate scavenger hunt on social media and our website announcing the contest, but we made one mistake. We overlooked that we announced the contest on April 1. Most readers thought it was an April Fool's joke. It wasn't. Whoops!

Due to legal reasons, we couldn't change the terms of the contest at the last minute to start it on April 2, and in the end, we only saw about 30 people enter. Joseph N. from France won and wowed us with an exceptional sample gallery.

A pet cam reviewed

In 2018, DPReview's Dale Baskin wrote a review of the Petzi Treat Cam, a pet camera with a built-in treat dispenser.

Baskin had actually gotten a few emails from companies that wanted us to review remote pet feeders with integrated cameras. "To this day, I have no idea how I got on that press list," he recalls, "But one morning a lightbulb went on over my head, and I thought, 'Let's review one of these as a real camera!"

Baskin contacted the folks at Petzi, who thought it was a fun idea and sent us the Petzi Treat Cam. We ran the camera through field tests, examined image quality through our studio scene and, for good measure, compared it to a Fujifilm GFX 50S, a 50MP medium format camera.

"Because why not? The Petzi earned a positive 'paws up' rating," said Baskin. We gave the camera high marks for its easy setup and large treat reservoir, and we were impressed by the Petzi social media network where pets could follow other pets. Less impressive was the camera resolution.

"The article had a bit of a reverse April Fools' effect. Some readers thought we had made up the Petzi for April Fools' Day, and we had to explain that it was, in fact, a real product," said Baskin. "One reader even sent an angry (and, as far as I could tell, serious) email accusing me of selling out to Big Pet."

That would be the end of the story if not for a tiny screw-up. The review included a video Baskin shot with Carey Rose that was supposed to illustrate how difficult it would be to replicate Pezti's treat dispensing functions using a regular camera. The video was only supposed to be seen by people who read the review.

This video was meant to be a humorous example of what it would take to replicate the Petzi Treat Cam's remote feeder function using a regular camera. We accidentally pushed it to all of our YouTube subscribers.

But nothing ever goes perfectly, and we accidentally sent push notifications to tens of thousands of our YouTube subscribers who collectively said, WTF? Undoubtedly, it is the weirdest, most out-of-context video ever published on what would become DPReview TV.

"We were still getting emails about that one weeks later from confused subscribers," said Baskin. "It still feels a little bit strange that, to this day, my review of the Petzi Treat Cam is often the #1 hit when searching for the product on Google, but I'd like to think it's pretty good publicity."

Voice-controlled AI drones take to the sky

When we came up with this one, drones and smart speakers were pretty new in the marketplace, but it already seemed evident that combining the two only made sense. Then, for extra measure, we imagined a drone where you could tell it what to do and an onboard computer (we weren't quite calling it AI back then) would go out and fetch any image you wanted.

To sell it, we described how we'd tested the drone around Seattle by prompting it: "Hey drone, get me some images of Orca whales."Two hours later, the drone had returned with images and video it had captured of whales from the Puget Sound. We didn't fool too many folks, with many readers calling the two-hour run time impossible.

But little did we know in 2011 that in 2023, we'd be invited to review the real thing. Japanese upstart NisaymonoIt had announced the world's first autonomous AI drone, the Nisaymono Flight, and it was uncanny how close we were, even down to the voice prompts the real-life 2023 version used.

That time we accidentally invented mirrorless cameras, sorta

Leading up to April 1, 2008, DPReview's Richard Butler asked a friend to post an image to our forums under the guise that they'd seen this camera in the wild and wanted to know what it was. (It perhaps went out to a Flickr group as well, our memory is a bit hazy.)

The camera did not exist. It was a composite created from photos of three other cameras, and we wondered how folks would respond.

"A bit of a dud, this one," Butler recalled about the prank. "We mocked up the kind of camera we all thought we'd like, using the flip-up screen from a Sony DSLR, the lens of a Sigma DP1 and some of the styling of my 1970s Olympus 35RC rangefinder."

For the prank, we tried to make sure Butler was recognizable, along with London's Tower Bridge (a frequent feature of our sample galleries at the time) in the background.

Three cameras were composited together to create this final image.

Little did we know at the time that a rangefinder body type with a tilt screen wasn't too far off from what modern mirrorless cameras would start to look like.

"Unfortunately, no one really bit. I suspect we over-estimated how recognizable we were and, in the days before rumor sites got going, there was no real way to build up any momentum behind it," said Butler. "Still, if nothing else, I think we got the "what sort of camera would people be interested in" aspect right."

The mashup didn't look anything like any cameras of the day, but looking back, it sure does look an awful lot like cameras to come, such as the FujiFilm X100VI.

As for the 'sorta' in inventing mirrorless cameras, well...

Since both the Sigma and Olympus are fixed lens cameras, we can't quite claim to have invented the mirrorless camera (this was five months before we first had a need to use that term), but we did effectively prefigure the X100 by nearly two and a half years (except we thought a tilt-up screen would be useful, which would take Fujifilm another decade to implement).

So, 'sorta.'

The ultimate selfie stick

We don't see them as often today, but around 2015, a groundbreaking coalescence of technology, dexterity, and tubing came together to produce the selfie stick. An innovation in imaging support systems, the selfie stick became the must-have smartphone accessory for everyone, from influencers and tourists to grandparents and children.

It's hard to overstress this; the selfie stick was everywhere! If you weren't using one, you were probably being annoyed by one and taking to social media to complain about it. We decided to get in on the action and crafted a very tongue-in-cheek selfie stick buying guide.

When we tabulated the results, we had several five-star recommendations, including using your own arm.

And now, one final prank... ... that's not really a prank.

Thank you for making DPReview an amazing community and for choosing to spend your day with us. Whether you've been here since the beginning or just recently discovered us, we're glad you're here.

Today, we revisited only a few of our favorite April Fools' Day pranks over the past 25 years. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Now, if you'll excuse us, since we're 25 and in the US, we're finally old enough to rent a car with a surcharge, perhaps a road trip is in order.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Did we miss any past pranks that were your favorites? Do you have any stories of having been fooled by us? Let us know in the comments.

Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Behind the shot: Tambora Sandwich

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 30 mar 2024 - 14:00

Today, I'd like to tell you a nice story about mistakes, drone crashes, coincidences and one very cool shoot in which I took a panorama of Tambora Volcano in Indonesia.

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Tambora is a volcano on the island of Sumbawa. In 1815, Tambora produced the largest volcanic eruption in recorded human history, which spewed 37-45 cubic kilometers (8.9-10.8 cubic miles) of rock, weighing about 10 billion tons, into the atmosphere. This left a caldera measuring 6-7 km across and 600-700 m (2,000-2,300 ft) deep. The eruption caused a volcanic winter, with 1816 being the second-coldest year in the northern hemisphere since around 1400. Now, doesn't that sound like something you'd want to visit?

But first, let's go back in time to a few days after the beginning of my trip to Indonesia in April last year. After taking a few days to do some formalities and get my work permit to allow me to guide my workshop a few weeks later, I used the rest of my time before meeting my participants to do a bit of shooting by myself. I took a short ferry from Bali to the small Penida Island (Nusa Penida), where I settled for a few days in the southwest of the island, where I could shoot some nice beaches with my drone. Unfortunately, this plan went south quickly when I crash-landed my (previously) trusty DJI Mavic II Pro into a tree, followed by it falling to the side of a cliff without any chance of recovering it.

"This plan went south quickly when I crash-landed my (previously) trusty DJI Mavic II Pro into a tree..."

It always hurts losing a drone. Not only are they expensive, but I was now lacking one of the most important tools I have as a nature photographer, and I still had over a month of shooting ahead of me. Luckily, I had invited Noah, one of my workshop participants, to arrive in Indonesia 10 days early to do some shooting together, and he was scheduled to arrive a few days after I lost the drone. I immediately asked Noah for help, and he gladly agreed to have a new drone shipped to him and bring it to me when he arrived. And so, I got a sparkling new Mavic III Classic. The accident and its consequences would greatly affect the upcoming Tambora shoot.

Noah and I traveled to our first shooting location: Moyo Island, specifically the spectacular Mata Jitu waterfall. A short motorcycle trip from our lodge, Mata Jitu is a wonderful gem located in a valley. It boggles the mind to think that in the distant past, people found this waterfall hidden deep in the middle of the jungle without any aids or roads. The waterfall features cascading pools of turquoise water created over the millennia due to the minerals contained in the flowing water.

Mata Jitu Waterfall. The drone's stability allowed me to shoot a relatively long exposure while still maintaining sharpness. DJI Mavic III Classic,

F5.6 | 0.6 sec | ISO100

Mata Jitu is fed by a beautiful stream, which is so serene that it's almost always reflective. I took advantage and took an image of the stream and surrounding trees. For a longer exposure, I used an ND filter and a polarizer, which I positioned in a way that didn't hurt the reflection. The high humidity condensed on my front element, enhancing the magical feeling in the image.

Canon 5D4, Tamron 24-70mm F2.8 at 52mm

F8 | 15 sec | ISO100

After wrapping up the Moyo Island shoot, we took a 2-hour police boat (that's what we found, don't judge!) to the main Island of Sumbawa. We spent the night in a local hostel and prepared for the main event: the climb to Tambora.

Tambora Volcano is one of the most famous Indonesian volcanoes and one that produced the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history back in 1810. Before the eruption, it was a conic volcano, standing 4500m above sea level. Today, it's less than 2500m. Imagine an eruption so monstrous that it exploded through and destroyed 2km of solid rock. If you're not scared, you're not imagining hard enough.

Anyway, today the volcano is quite dormant, and you can easily climb up there, even scaling most of the way up with a 4x4, albeit in a crazy, hellish drive. The journey up the volcano begins next to the sea, in comfortable plains, but this quickly changes to denser and denser vegetation and alternating climate zones: fields, rainforest and finally, the barren wasteland you learn to expect when ascending a gigantic monster of a volcano. Our 4x4 was well-suited for the drive but kept overheating, which added some anxiety to the mix.

The entrance to Tambora National Park. Now that's gotta make you feel welcome! Our 4x4 making its way in the rainforest. Our Tambora camp. Much better than nothing!

After finally arriving at camp, we turned in as early as we could since a very early rise was awaiting us. We were up at 2 a.m. to have a quick breakfast and start our climb. The night was rainy, and it wasn't at all certain we would be able to get up there or even see the landscape, which was a bit discouraging. But the weather gods smiled upon us, and 2 hours' trailless climb later, we were standing on top of Tambora with plenty of time to go before sunrise. The sky was luckily (and surprisingly) clear.

I hiked around a bit to get behind a large peak on the rim and prepared my drone for liftoff. When I sent it away, I could see a wonderful cloud inversion on the far side of the caldera. Having the Mavic III meant that I had the reception and battery capacity to fly almost 5km (over 3 miles) away and shoot the caldera with the cloud inversion surrounding the drone's point of view from below. This definitely made the shot and made me feel very lucky to have lost my previous drone, even though I had to go through a lot of stress to get the new one. All is well that ends well.

"Tambora Sandwich": 18-image, 3 row panorama

DJI Mavic III Classic, wide-angle converter
F5.6 | 1/50 sec | ISO 100

Tambora's volcanic crater is so gigantic that I had to get creative. I put on the wide-angle lens adapter and positioned the drone in the best vantage point I could find. This meant having the entire bottom of the image filled with the cloud inversion. I then proceeded to shoot a 3-row, 18-image panorama to cover the entire subject (with some margins for error).

Compositionally, it was important to include the clouds on both sides of the crater, as well as the bottom of the image. This is done to show the extent of the cloud inversion, which made even the huge caldera seem relatively small. In addition, note both the large cloud located slightly off-center to the left and the smaller clouds inside the crater. These subjects' positions in the frame meant I had to have more compositional weight on the bottom right as a counterbalance. Luckily, the cloud inversion was thicker on the right, in addition to the prominence added by the light coming from the right side.

Noah and I, tired but satisfied on top of Tambora. Coffee was well-deserved.

Big thanks to Noah, who not only carried the new drone all the way from the US but also kindly allowed me to use his behind-the-scenes shots after my phone broke down during the trip.

Erez Marom is a professional nature photographer, photography guide and traveler based in Israel. You can follow Erez's work on Instagram and Facebook, and subscribe to his mailing list for updates and to his YouTube channel.

If you'd like to experience and shoot some of the world's most fascinating landscapes with Erez as your guide, take a look at his unique photography workshops in Svalbard, Greenland, Madagascar, the Lofoten Islands, Namibia and Vietnam.

Erez also offers video tutorials discussing his images and explaining how he achieved them.

Selected Articles by Erez Marom:
Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Nikon 28-400mm F4-8 pre-production sample gallery

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 29 mar 2024 - 16:02
$(document).ready(function() { SampleGalleryV2({"containerId":"embeddedSampleGallery_5462766060","galleryId":"5462766060","isEmbeddedWidget":true,"selectedImageIndex":0,"isMobile":false}) });Recent Videos

Earlier this week, Nikon announced its new Nikkor Z 28-400mm F4-8 VR, a superzoom lens for Nikon Z-mount mirrorless cameras with a 14.2x zoom range. Ahead of the launch, we had an opportunity to shoot a small sample gallery around Seattle's Capitol Hill using a pre-production copy of the lens.

Due to the pre-production status of the lens, the photos in this gallery are out-of-camera JPEG images captured with a Nikon Z8 rather than converted Raw files, as is our normal protocol for lens galleries. We'll publish additional photos from this lens, converted from Raw files, once we receive a production copy.

View our Nikon Z 28-200m F4-8 pre-production sample gallery

Buy now:

Buy at Amazon.com
Kategorier: Sidste nyt

Ulanzi’s 52mm MagFilter Magnetic Filters offers interchangeable filters for smartphones

Sidste nyt fra dpreview - 28 mar 2024 - 20:39
Image: Ulanzi

Lens filters for smartphones are not a new concept. Designed to give photographers more creative and technical control over their images, there are several types on the market today that can control how much light comes into the camera, reduce reflections and flare or add more vibrancy to your images with different color tones.

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Up until a few years ago, photographers wanting to add a physical filter to a smartphone would need to attach a clamped filter that sits at the top of the phone’s camera lenses or use a third-party smartphone lens with filters.

Although useful, clamps tend to be bulky and aren’t always the easiest to align with your camera. Third party lenses offer more accuracy, but good-quality options can cost in excess of $100, without the inclusion of filters.

Ulanzi aims to be different by offering a lightweight foldable adapter ring that snaps on to the center of your MagSafe compatible device or case, which the manufacture says leads to a quicker workflow and more accurate alignment of the filter to the camera lens on the back of the phone. On an iPhone 14 or 15 it works by magnetically attaching to the rear using Apple's MagSafe attachment system.

For users without an iPhone, there are workarounds through the use of third-party smartphone cases with magnetic ring plates that emulating MagSafe. WIth such a case, you can attach Ulanzi’s adapter to the ring plate and use the filters as normal.

As we reported last week, the concept isn’t new. Tiffen recently released a similar product with its MagSafe 58mm Filter Mount. Both products approach a solution to adding filters in a similar manner but differ in design. The Ulanzi opts for compactness with a foldable design.

The Tiffen comes with one polarizing filter (you can buy other filters separately) at around $40. In contrast, the Ulanzi’s version comes as a kit for $219 with an ND filter, a polarizing filter, one soft focus filter and a selection of color effect filters. There’s a storage case as well. Having multiple filters packed in may be enticing to users seeking to experiment with different filters and want the simplicity of having them all packaged together.

Buy now:

$219 at Ulanzi
Kategorier: Sidste nyt

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