Richard Sisk

I am a photographer, in particular since 1993 a full time photographer. I have specialized in landscapes and city skylines. It has been an interesting journey that has taken me all around our great country. I have visited many historic sites and most of our magnificent cities. One thing that has struck me has been the kindness and helpful spirit of the many people I’ve met along the way. It has been an opportunity to learn a great deal about many remarkable locations and people. I was able to travel a remote portion of the Oregon Trail in Idaho. I visited the source of the Missouri River in Montana, and reached down to taste the cold, crystal clear water, as Meriwether Lewis had done 200 years earlier. A few months later I found his final resting place along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee. There have been many moving moments during this long journey. However, the wonderful and kind people of America have been the greatest source of inspiration throughout my travels.

ARRI Orbiter – Quick Look at the New High Output Directional LED Fixture

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on ARRI Orbiter – Quick Look at the New High Output Directional LED Fixture
Sep 192019
 

A few days ago, ARRI announced a new high output directional LED fixture: the ARRI Orbiter. During IBC 2019, we had the chance to take a quick look at this new modular fixture that should come out next year.

ARRI Orbiter – Image credit: cinema5D

ARRI Orbiter – Main Features

The Orbiter is ARRI’s latest modular and directional LED light that was announced a couple of days ago. You can read our full article here for more details about the technical specifications.

In short, here are the main highlights of this new light:

  • Features a six-color light engine for high color rendition and accuracy. It is possible to go from very warm color temperatures of 2000K up to super-cold 20.000K. You can also dim to light from 0 to 100% with no color changes.
  • There is a built-in color sensor for matching ambient light. The light is also weatherproof.
  • Thanks to the Quick Lighting Mount, you can switch the front optic. These lighting modifiers includes an open face modifier, a projection lens, a light dome, and light banks.
  • According to ARRI, the Orbiter is a potent light; its output is superior to a 2K Tungsten Fresnel.
  • 4” full-color display, quick navigation buttons, Also, you can remove the control panel and use it handheld with a 5 or 15 m (16.4 or 49.2 ft) control panel cable.
  • Internal power supply, wireless DMX, and 3-pin XLR battery input.

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Tokina 135mm T1.5 Vista Prime Lens Announced

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Tokina 135mm T1.5 Vista Prime Lens Announced
Sep 192019
 

The Tokina 135mm T1.5 Vista prime cinema lens was announced as the seventh lens in Tokina’s Vista prime cinema lens lineup. It features the same physical specifications as the rest of the Vista series and it comes in PL mount, EF mount, Sony E-mount, Micro four thirds mount, and LPL mount. Priced at around $9,000 it should start shipping in January 2020.

Tokina cinema lenses portfolio includes the original Vista prime series, the Vista One prime lenses (announced earlier this year), 100mm macro lens, and few zoom lenses. At IBC 2019, Tokina showed its new 50-135mm T2.9 MKII cinema zoom lens and the Tokina 135mm T1.5 Vista prime. If you are interested in the new zoom lens, check our other article. In this article, we only focus on the new fast 135mm Vista prime.

Tokina 135mm T1.5 Vista prime. Image credit: cinema5D

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These Are the Best Phones for Night Photos: DxOMark

 Gear  Comments Off on These Are the Best Phones for Night Photos: DxOMark
Sep 192019
 

DxOMark has announced an update to its smartphone camera quality testing methodology that adds two new scores for each phone: Night for dedicated low-light modes and Wide for ultra-wide lenses.

The Wide score is in response to the ultra-wide camera modules being introduced in smartphones over the past few years, starting with the LG G5 in 2016. The Night score covers the rise of computational photography techniques that have brought special new low-light abilities to newer phones.

To test the Night score of smartphones, DxOMark is capturing a variety of real-world low-light scenes — things like cityscapes and portraits — with the flash set at on, off, and auto. These photos are shot with the dedicated Night mode (if it’s available) both on and off.



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Nikon, Leica and Olympus are Not Going to Attend Photokina 2020

 Gear, News  Comments Off on Nikon, Leica and Olympus are Not Going to Attend Photokina 2020
Sep 192019
 

Photokina is still the world’s leading imaging expo, but changes to its structure and a struggling industry may be pushing participants away. In a press release published to the expo’s website, the trade show’s organizer Koelnmesse revealed that Nikon, Leica and Olympus have all chosen to skip Photokina 2020.

The announcement strikes a grim-but-hopeful note, under the headline “Photokina 2020: An Industry in Transformation, a Decisive Chance for the Future.”

Stand: Leica, Halle2.2

“The imaging industry is currently undergoing massive changes, which also have an impact on Photokina as the industry’s leading trade fair – and this in a dimension never seen before,” begins the text. “While on the one hand the classic camera market reports strongly declining sales and turnover figures, the enjoyment of photography continues to grow – with a positive effect on the demand for pictures.”

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Sony FS7 Price Drop – Camera Body Available for $5,998

 Gear  Comments Off on Sony FS7 Price Drop – Camera Body Available for $5,998
Sep 172019
 

Shortly after Sony FX9 announcement, the Sony FS7 camera body received a significant price drop. It is now $1,500 cheaper, so the price for the body only is currently $5,998 at our partner stores B&H and CVP. Even though announced in 2014, the Sony FS7 still is a very popular and very widely used camera and in my opinion still counts as a good investment in 2019.

Sony FS7 price drop

Buy link: Sony PXW-FS7 XDCAM Super 35 Camera Was: $7,498.00  Now: $5,998.00 (Savings: $1,500.00)

Just few days ago Sony announced their new full-frame cinema camera Sony FX9. We already published two articles about the new camera – Sony FX9 announcement with interview and all the camera’s specs and Sony FX9 hands-on and footage. Although Sony says the FX9 is not a successor to the FS7, its announcement already affected the price of this Super35 camera.

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Tilta BMPCC 4K and 6K Flipscreen & M.2 SSD Modification Kit

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Tilta BMPCC 4K and 6K Flipscreen & M.2 SSD Modification Kit
Sep 172019
 

In somewhat of a surprise move, Tilta showed off a kit that will allow you to modify the screen of your Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K, to flip 180° up and 90° down. In addition to that the modification kit comes with a housing for an M.2 SSD drive that will bridge over to the cameras internal USB-C port and thus enable recording directly onto it. Furthermore the kit contains what Tilta considers an enhancement to the housing of the camera’s ports.

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Canon 1D X Mark III to Feature IBIS and Significant Jump in Resolution: Report

 Gear  Comments Off on Canon 1D X Mark III to Feature IBIS and Significant Jump in Resolution: Report
Sep 172019
 

We all expect Canon to announce its EOS 1D X Mark III before the Tokyo olympics, but the rumor miss has been surprisingly quiet on what exactly Canon is planning to do with their next flagship DSLR… until now.

According to Canon Rumors, a “very solid source” has confirmed that the 1D X Mark III will arrive in 2020, and shared a few very exciting specs that promise to compete with, and possibly outperform, Nikon’s upcoming D6

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SIGMA fp Update – Cinema DNG RAW Internal Recording and More

 Gear  Comments Off on SIGMA fp Update – Cinema DNG RAW Internal Recording and More
Sep 162019
 

The SIGMA fp is very close to being in our hands. At IBC 2019 we talk to the Yamaki-san, creator of the SIGMA fp camera for a development update. The camera has come a long way since our last post about it, and SIGMA can confirm a number of specifications in our exclusive interview.

Back in July we reported about the surprise announcement about the SIGMA fp camera; the worlds smallest full frame, mirrorless camera. Check out what we found out in our article here.

The SIGMA fp hardware is now complete, and the camera itself is in production. SIGMA are still developing and fine tuning the firmware, which is in it’s beta stage.

SIGMA has previously used Foveon sensors in its mirrorless cameras, however this was not possible due to the required readout speed of the sensor. A CMOS sensor has been used instead.

SIGMA fp Recording Formats

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Sony FE C 16-35mm T/3.1 G Full-Frame E-Mount Lens Announced

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Sony FE C 16-35mm T/3.1 G Full-Frame E-Mount Lens Announced
Sep 162019
 

During IBC 2019, also announced a new E-mount lens to be added to its already comprehensive line-up of glass: the Sony FE C 16-35mm T/3.1 G. This lens is a cinema lens which can also be controlled with AF, and it is compatible with all E-mount Full-Frame cameras, including the recently announced Sony FX9. Let’s take a closer look at this lens.

Sony FE C 16-35mm T/3.1 G

The Sony FE C 16-35mm T/3.1 G is Sony’s latest G master Full-Frame compatible lens. Indeed, this lens is compatible with the latest Sony FX9 camera but also with every other Alpha camera and even the Sony VENICE.


Sony is already teasing other Cinema G series lenses.

The lens design consists of two XA (Extreme Aspherical) elements, three aspheric lenses, and two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glasses to reduce color distortions. On top of that, a Nano AR (Anti Reflection) coating should minimize lens flares and ghosting.

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SIRUI 50mm f/1.8 1.33x Lens Announced – Affordable APS-C Anamorphic Lens

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on SIRUI 50mm f/1.8 1.33x Lens Announced – Affordable APS-C Anamorphic Lens
Sep 162019
 

SIRUI announced their new 50mm f/1.8 1.33x anamorphic lens during this year’s IBC show in Amsterdam. The lens produces image circle covering APS-C sensors and will come in versions with Sony-FE mount, FUJIFILM X-mount, and Micro four thirds mount. Compared to other anamorphic lenses, it will be very affordable.

Anamorphic lenses can produce unique images with special characteristics (lens flares, oval bokeh, etc) and that’s why they are very popular for certain genres. For years, there have only been very expensive anamorphic lenses on the market and the only affordable alternative was to use an anamorphic adapter (like this one from SLR magic). This is changing and there are more and more affordable anamorphic lenses available. My colleague Gunther recently reviewed the VAZEN anamorphic 1.8x 40mm T2 lens fo M4/3 cameras. SIRUI is now introducing their own anamorphic lens.

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Sony a7R IV is Still a ‘Star Eater’ After a Certain Shutter Speed: Report

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Sony a7R IV is Still a ‘Star Eater’ After a Certain Shutter Speed: Report
Sep 162019
 

If you were hoping that Sony had finally completely removed the long-exposure noise reduction that causes its high-resolution a7R cameras to “eat stars,” you’re going to be disappointed. According to Jim Kasson, the Sony a7R IV eats stars to about the same degree as the a7R III.

Over on his blog, Kasson posted dark field spectra results for the Sony a7R IV at 1/8000 of a second, 2.5 seconds, and 3.2 seconds. The dark field spectra for each color “plane” at 1/8000 and 2.5 seconds look mostly flat: in other words, the way they’re supposed to.

But once you hit 3.2 seconds, as Kasson puts it, “all hell breaks loose” in every channel, and it’s particularly bad in the blue channel. You can see all the charts over on Kasson’s blog.

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Godox AD200 Pro Versus Geekoto GT-200, the Two Best Value Strobes

 Gear  Comments Off on Godox AD200 Pro Versus Geekoto GT-200, the Two Best Value Strobes
Sep 132019
 

The Godox AD200 Pro is considered by many to be the best value in photography strobes but Geekoto recently created their own competitor, the GT-200. Is this new strobe a better option? Let’s find out. 

Size

The Geekoto GT-200 is slightly smaller than the AD200 because it doesn’t have a removable flash head. If you don’t need the extra flashheads, you’ll appreciate the extra room in your bag.

Accessories

The Godox AD200 Pro comes with two flash heads; one speedlight style head and one barebulb style head while the GT-200 comes with a fix speedlight style flash head. The Geekoto comes with a removable handle that makes holding it easier.

Geekoto does sell a larger package that includes a softbox, light stand, grid, gels, and dome for $120 extra. These accessories are quite good and I believe they are worth the extra money. 

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Is Tamron About to Announce a 70-180mm f/2.8 Lens for Sony Full-Frame Cameras?

 Gear  Comments Off on Is Tamron About to Announce a 70-180mm f/2.8 Lens for Sony Full-Frame Cameras?
Sep 132019
 
Is Tamron About to Announce a 70-180mm f/2.8 Lens for Sony Full-Frame Cameras?

Rumors are circulating that Tamron is about to announce the launch of a lens that would complete its trio of fast zooms for Sony full-frame cameras with the 70-180mm f/2.8 lens. Will it be tiny, how much will it cost, and how will it stack up against Tamron’s two other amazing Sony f/2.8 zooms?

Sony Alpha Rumors is confidently reporting that the announcement will come from Tamron next month, and it would be very much in line with expectations. A few weeks ago, Tamron teased four new lenses, and a longer zoom would make their range of fast zooms for Sony complete. In keeping with the 17-28mm and the 28-75mm, Tamron seems intent on compromising on focal range rather than quality in order to keep size and cost down.

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Why I Bought the Sony a7R IV for Wildlife Photography

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Why I Bought the Sony a7R IV for Wildlife Photography
Sep 132019
 
Why I Bought the Sony a7R IV for Wildlife Photography

Before today’s launch of the Sony a7R IV in the U.S., I had the opportunity to use the new 61-megapixel camera on a few occasions. Ultimately, these hands-on experiences led me to purchasing it for animal photography and in this article I list a few reasons behind the decision.

First, a quick disclaimer. What I write below is not in defiance against any other camera system. Every major camera brand has absolutely killer options for bird and wildlife photography. My list consists of some features and specs I identified wanting in priority over other nice things to have in a camera, and everybody’s own personal requirements will be different.

Sony a7R IV, FE 200-600mm G, 1/1000 s at f/6.3, ISO 200. Crop mode active.

Megapixels

Hey, don’t laugh. I didn’t think a million megapixels would be a defining factor either. Yet here we are.

As all the headlines are quick to point out, the a7R IV has a 61 megapixel sensor. For some genres of photography, this is surely overkill. For me, I crop just about every single photo of wildlife I shoot to enlarge the animal in the frame. With the a7R IV, I’m never cropping down into the “danger zone” territory where the final resolution is pretty much only good for Instagram sharing.

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LockCircle ZX PRO CAGE for Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 Announced

 Gear  Comments Off on LockCircle ZX PRO CAGE for Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 Announced
Sep 122019
 

LockCircle announced the new ZX PRO CAGE for Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 mirrorless cameras. The cage features modular design with detachable right sidebar to switch between half cage and full cage design. It offers many mounting threads and compatibility with LockPort connector savers. Top handle, mount supports, and 15mm rods baseplate are also available.

LockCircle ZX PRO CAGE for Nikon Z cameras. Source: LockCircle

LockCircle is an Italian camera accessories manufacturer. They designed and built cages for many popular cameras in the last years. Now the company is announcing a new cage for Nikon’s full frame mirrorless cameras – Nikon Z 6 and Z 7. Let’s take a short look at them.

LockCircle ZX PRO CAGE for Nikon Z Series

The LockCircle ZX PRO CAGE is designed for a tight fit around the Nikon Z cameras. It is not a one-piece cage, but rather a modular cage held together by multiple screws. It comes as a half cage – LockCircle calls it “asymmetrical design approach” – which leaves the right side of the camera unobstructed for right-hand camera grabbing and controlling with the original camera ergonomic feeling.

The cage can be, however, upgraded to the full cage design with a sidebar, which provides more mounting threads on the right side of the camera. It seems that the sidebar is very subtle, so holding the camera grip should not be a problem even with the full cage mounted. The cage is CNC machined from billet aircraft grade aluminum and offers a huge amount of 1/4-20 threads and couple of 3/8-16 threads.

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Zhiyun SMOOTH-Q2 Smartphone Gimbal on Kickstarter

 Gear  Comments Off on Zhiyun SMOOTH-Q2 Smartphone Gimbal on Kickstarter
Sep 122019
 

After the Zhiyun Smooth 4 mobile gimbal, the Chinese company recently launched a new Kickstarter campaign featuring a lightweight and pocket-sized smartphone gimbal: the Zhiyun SMOOTH-Q2. But, with the recent release of the DJI Osmo Mobile 3, how does the Zhiyun SMOOTH-Q2 makes a difference? Let’s take a closer look.

Zhiyun SMOOTH-Q2 Ergonomics

The first thing you’ll probably notice is the compact form factor of the Zhiyun SMOOTH-Q2. It doesn’t fold like the DJI Osmo Mobile 3, but the side-by-side size comparison below is impressive. Once the Osmo Mobile 3 is folded, the form-factor is similar to the SMOOTH-Q2. Otherwise, the Zhiyun gimbal looks easier to transport and bring with you.

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Fujifilm Unveils the X-A7, Its New $700 Entry-Level X Series Mirrorless

 Gear, Mirrorless  Comments Off on Fujifilm Unveils the X-A7, Its New $700 Entry-Level X Series Mirrorless
Sep 122019
 

Fujifilm has announced the new X-A7 mirrorless camera, a $700 entry-level mirrorless X Series camera that replaces the X-A5.

“The X-A7’s compact, lightweight form factor, outstanding image quality, and multitude of new and enhanced features position it as an ideal and timely entry into Fujifilm’s popular family of X Series mirrorless cameras,” Fujifilm says.

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Apple Watch Series 5 hands-on: Always-on display is a keeper

 Apple  Comments Off on Apple Watch Series 5 hands-on: Always-on display is a keeper
Sep 112019
 
Apple Watch Series 5 hands-on: Always-on display is a keeper

There’s probably a long German word for the act of refining something which is already at the top of its segment, and if I knew what it was I’d be using it for the Apple Watch Series 5. Despite the best efforts of Google, Samsung, and others, the Apple Watch tends to be the go-to in smartwatches, not least for its combination of fitness tracking, design, and app functionality.

Now, it’s getting an update. As someone who has been wearing the Apple Watch Series 4 since it launched last year – something of a record for my wrist and any one wearable – I was curious to see whether Apple could coax enough out of the replacement to capture my interest.

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iPhone 11 Pro a very tempting upgrade. But should you?

 Apple, Gear  Comments Off on iPhone 11 Pro a very tempting upgrade. But should you?
Sep 112019
 
iPhone 11 Pro a very tempting upgrade. But should you?

There might be some wisdom to Apple’s once-a-year launch cadence and seemingly more modest upgrades year after year. Android OEMs launch twice a year or more, making the gaps between each flagship model smaller and the features so much closer to each other. 

When Apple finally does make big changes, it makes huge changes. That happened with the iPhone X and we might be seeing the same revolution with the iPhone 11 and especially the iPhone 11 Pro. While the new camera bump is the center of attraction, it’s not the only reason iPhone fans and users will be thinking hard about upgrading to this year’s latest.

What’s New This Year

It’s hard to deny that the cameras are the star of Apple’s 2019 iPhones and, fortunately, they’re not as terrible as leaks made them out to be. Going beyond appearances, the new cameras are definitely worth talking about and considering.

Of course, they still have to be tested in the wild but Apple has not been one to terribly disappoint in that arena. The 12 megapixel front camera is also a groundbreaking jump from a company that has been rather stingy when it comes to FaceTime iPhone cameras.

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Overview of the Sony a6100 and a6600 APS-C Cameras for Photo and Video

 Gear  Comments Off on Overview of the Sony a6100 and a6600 APS-C Cameras for Photo and Video
Sep 112019
 

Sony has introduced two new crop-sensor camera bodies with the a6100 and a6600. Were they worth the wait?

In this first look at the two new Sony APS-C cameras, Dan and Sally Watson try them out for both stills and video and give their impressions. Sony also announced two new APS-C lenses alongside the a6100 and a6600, the E 70-350mm f/4.5-6.3 G OSS and E 16-55mm f/2.8 G, and the couple share the general takeaways after using them as well. Overall, these two cameras keep the APS-C line up to date for new Sony customers but lack any real head-turning features.

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