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.

This Week’s Top 10 Deals for Filmmakers – Canon 1DX Mark II, ZEISS Lens, Litepanels and more

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on This Week’s Top 10 Deals for Filmmakers – Canon 1DX Mark II, ZEISS Lens, Litepanels and more
Nov 112018
 

There are a couple of new interesting deals for filmmakers available. We selected the best 10 offers of filmmaking gear from our partners’ online shops for this week. Including the Canon 1DX Mark II, a ZEISS ultra wide-angle lens, Litepanels LED lights, a case for the DJI Ronin-S, a Dell Alienware laptop and more.

I went through the current deals on our partners’ websites and selected the top 10 offers currently available, which I think could be interesting for you. First, there are B&H offers listed for our readers based in North and South America and then a couple of deals from our European partner CVP. By shopping at our affiliate partners’ stores you are supporting cinema5D through our buy links, as we get a small affiliate commission when a purchase is completed.

Now, let’s take a look at this week’s top 10 deals for filmmakers:

B&H: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR Body – $500 Discount

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Kandao QooCam Review and 3D 180 / 360 Video Samples

 Cinematography, Gear, virtual reality, VR HDR  Comments Off on Kandao QooCam Review and 3D 180 / 360 Video Samples
Nov 112018
 

The Kandao QooCam is a handheld 360 and 180 3D VR camera that creates great looking VR video for social media. Check out our Kandao QooCam review and test videos.

Kandao is one of the most innovative players in the VR camera space at the moment. This is an increasingly contested and fast developing market at the cutting edge of computational photography’s disruptive infiltration towards the mainstream.

The QooCam comes from the makers of the Obsidian Go, Obsidian R and Obsidian S 8K and high speed 360 VR cameras. We’ve covered a number of recent developments from Kandao here on cinema5D including the recent 8K VR live streaming demonstrated at IBC. We also covered the announcement of the QooCam back in May.

Before getting too deep, here are the sample videos shot with the QooCam.

QooCam 3D 180 / 360 Videos Samples

Below are the videos I shot while in Istanbul and in L.A. The top video is 3D 180, and the bottom video is 360. If you’re not set up for the full VR viewing experience, I recommend watching these on your phone rather than desktop, you’ll be able to move your phone around as a virtual window on the scene.

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$400 Camera vs $4,000 Camera: Can a Pro Photog Tell the Difference?, by Michael Zhang

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on $400 Camera vs $4,000 Camera: Can a Pro Photog Tell the Difference?, by Michael Zhang
Oct 242018
 

Photographer and YouTube star Peter McKinnon decided to do an experiment on whether you can create top-quality content using entry-level camera gear. He had a pro photographer see if he could distinguish between photos from a $400 camera and those of a $4,000 camera.

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Fujifilm says it will ‘never’ launch a full-frame mirrorless camera, by Trevor Mogg

 Gear, Mirrorless, News  Comments Off on Fujifilm says it will ‘never’ launch a full-frame mirrorless camera, by Trevor Mogg
Oct 242018
 

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Phase One pushes the limits with 151-megapixel XF IQ4 camera system, by Stephen Shankland

 Gear, News  Comments Off on Phase One pushes the limits with 151-megapixel XF IQ4 camera system, by Stephen Shankland
Aug 302018
 

Enough people apparently can afford a $51,990 medium-format camera to keep this ultrapremium company in business.

If you want a new camera to take your photography to the next level, you could get a 42-megapixel Sony A7R III for $3,200, a 50-megapixel Canon EOS 5DR for $3,900 or a 46-megapixel Nikon Z7 for $3,400.

But if you want to enable some serious pixel peeping, you can go all out and buy the XF IQ4 camera system unveiled Tuesday by Danish camera maker Phase One. The IQ4, the new digital back that attaches to the XF camera body, packs a whopping 151 megapixels.

Perhaps spending $51,990 might put you off — a price that doesn’t include extra lenses that’ll add thousands more to the price. But there are customers who spring for this kind of gear. Among them are those who need enormous high-quality prints, who photograph models for fashion magazines, who shoot expensive products like luxury cars and jewelry, and who make high-quality reproductions of museum art and artifacts.

“If you need highest resolution possible, this is the only one providing 151 megapixels,” said Lau Norgaard, the camera’s architect.

The camera system goes on sale in October.

Most of us prefer a 12-megapixel camera on a pocketable iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S9 to a bulky, high-end Canon, Nikon or Sony camera. But the continued existence of Phase One — a 300-person company founded 25 years ago in Copenhagen — shows there’s also a market for the highest possible image quality.

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CNET

 

Nikon Announces NIKKOR AF-S 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR Compact Super-Telephoto Lens

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Nikon Announces NIKKOR AF-S 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR Compact Super-Telephoto Lens
Aug 232018
 

Following up Nikon’s big mirrorless announcement, Nikon also announced a much-anticipated F-mount lens: the AF-S 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR super-telephoto lens.

UPDATE: Pre-orders now available.

Nikon’s newest super-telephoto is another addition to its PF series of lenses that use a phase fresnel lens element in order to reduce the size and weight of what would otherwise be a much larger lens similar to more traditional fast, super-telephotos. The maximum diameter of this 500mm f/5.6E PF lens is 106mm, and it’s just 237mm long. It weighs about as much as the AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens, which is quite a feat for a lens with such reach. Most fast 500mm lenses weigh about twice that much. Naturally, this lens features Nikon’s dust- and drip-resistance as well as a fluorine coat on the front element to help repel dirt and moisture (and to also make it easy to clean).

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Nikon Announces the Nikon Z6 and Z7 Mirrorless Cameras

 Gear  Comments Off on Nikon Announces the Nikon Z6 and Z7 Mirrorless Cameras
Aug 232018
 

Nikon is finally here with its first professional, full-frame mirrorless cameras: the Z6 and the higher-megapixel Z7.

UPDATE: Pre-orders now open. Order now to get in line before everyone else.

We’ve waited for a long time for this, and now, after watching Sony from afar, tonight Nikon announced its answer to Sony’s rather successful a7- and a9-series cameras. The Z6 is Nikon’s low-light, mid-resolution body, high frame-rate body while the Z7 is a high-resolution equivalent. Alongside the Z-mount system, Nikon also introduced a new AF-S 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR compact, super-telephoto lens with the standard F-mount. But let’s dive right into the specifications for the Z cameras.

Nikon Z6

  • $1,995.95, $2,599.95 with 24-70 f/4 kit lens
  • Available late November 2018
  • 24.5 MP full-frame sensor
  • ISO 100-51,200 (expands to 204,800)
  • 273 AF point, Hybrid PDAF, 90-percent viewfinder coverage
  • 3.6M EVF
  • 3.2-inch, 2.1M touchscreen
  • 12 fps
  • Video: Full HD at 120p, 4K at 30p, N-LOG profile (4:2:2 10-bit HDMI)
  • Focus peaking and zebra stripes
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • Single XQD card slot
  • Weather-sealed body
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • EN-EL15b battery (supports both EN-EL15a/b)
  • Weighs 585g (similar to Sony a9 with battery)

Nikon Z7

  • $3,399.95, $3,999.95 with 24-70 f/4 kit lens
  • September 27 availability
  • 45.7 MP full-frame sensor
  • ISO 64-25,600 (expands to 102,400)
  • 493 AF point, Hybrid PDAF, 90-percent viewfinder coverage
  • 3.6M EVF
  • 3.2-inch 2.1M touchscreen
  • 9 fps
  • Video: Full HD at 120p, 4K at 30p, N-LOG profile (4:2:2 10-bit HDMI)
  • Focus peaking and zebra stripes
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • Single XQD card slot
  • Weather-sealed body
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • EN-EL15b battery (supports both EN-EL15a/b)
  • Weighs 585g (similar to Sony a9 with battery)

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fstoppers

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DJI Mavic 2 Pro & Mavic 2 Zoom Announced – Plenty of Improvements

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on DJI Mavic 2 Pro & Mavic 2 Zoom Announced – Plenty of Improvements
Aug 232018
 

Finally – today is the release day for the new DJI Mavic 2 drones. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro with integrated 1″ sensor Hasselblad camera and Mavic 2 Zoom, the world’s first foldable consumer drone with optical zoom capability. Both drones offer lots of smart features, flight time of up to 31 minutes and a more stable video transmission system.

The new DJI Mavic 2 Drones. Source: DJI

Every drone enthusiast was waiting for this. The day when DJI releases their new Mavic 2 drone. That day is today! As we already know since a month ago – DJI is not revealing one new drone, but two new drones. Number one: Mavic 2 Pro, the world’s first drone with an integrated Hasselblad camera. Number two: Mavic 2 Zoom, the world’s first foldable consumer drone with optical zoom capability. Both drones share the same foldable body design and offer a flight time of up to 31 minutes as well as a more stable video transmission system.

Brief History of the Mavic

When the original DJI Mavic Pro (our review here) came out in 2016, it caused a small revolution in the drone world – it featured an unprecedented combination of portability and image quality. With its foldable design it fitted in every bag and made drone shooting accessible to masses. Even despite its low bitrate of 60Mbps, and therefore not so great dynamic range, it carried much more strengths and is still a very popular product, to this day.

New DJI Mavic 2 Series Drones. Source: DJI

In january 2018 DJI presented Mavic Pro’s smaller brother – the DJI Mavic Air (hands-on video here, Mavic Pro comparison here). It featured a higher bitrate of 100Mbps in a smaller, lighter and more affordable body. There were, however, some trade-offs when compared to the older Mavic Pro. For instance, the lower range due to different wireless technology used (OcuSync in Pro vs Extended Wifi in Air).

Both the Mavic Pro and the Mavic Air shared the same 1/2.3″ sensor. The field-of-view of the lens was 26mm (full frame equivalent) with the Pro and 24mm (full frame equivalent) with the Air.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro – Image Quality is Everything

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro features the brand-new camera module which DJI co-engineered with Hasselblad. The partnership with the medium format photography pioneer is very clear, as the Mavic 2 Pro proudly carries the Hasselblad logo right above the lens.

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PolarPro Quartzline ND Filter Review – a new Gold Standard?

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on PolarPro Quartzline ND Filter Review – a new Gold Standard?
Aug 192018
 

In this review, I’m testing the new PolarPro Quartzline ND 64 filter and PolarPro ND16 / PL (polarizer) filter. Those filters are made of 99.9% fused quartz to ensure optical clarity with a very low refractive index. The frames are built from machined brass to ensure they thread on smoothly – very essential as I have experienced seized up filters from aluminium frames myself already. A very nasty experience …

PolarPro claims a neutral color balance, zero color shift and near perfect transmission by the optical coatings. For more information about the available filters and sizes, please head to Richard’s article.

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cinema5D

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Canon IS vs Sony IBIS: Which Image Stabilization is Better?

 Gear  Comments Off on Canon IS vs Sony IBIS: Which Image Stabilization is Better?
Aug 192018
 

The Sony a7R III is a feature-filled camera that I’m sure many of us would consider to be one of the best currently available on the market. One of its very useful features is IBIS or in-body image stabilization. This feature helps prevent motion blur in your images by moving the sensor to compensate for unintentional vibrations and movements.

In practical uses this means you can shoot with relatively slower shutter speeds and still produce sharp images, preventing the need to increase the ISO. The great thing about having stabilization on the sensor is that it’s effective on pretty much any lens you put on the camera.

Canon, on the other hand, does not currently offer any camera with sensor stabilization. Their reason for this is because they believe stabilization in the lens is more effective because it’s designed specifically for the lens in question. For that reason, I decided to compare Canon’s lens IS against Sony’s IBIS to see which one is actually better.

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petapixel

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Hasselblad’s XV Lens Adapter Lets You Use V Lenses on the X1D-50c

 Gear  Comments Off on Hasselblad’s XV Lens Adapter Lets You Use V Lenses on the X1D-50c
Aug 192018
 

Hasselblad has launched its new XV lens adapter, which lets you mount old V system lenses on the new X1D-50c medium format mirrorless camera.

The XV adapter, which Hasselblad says “bridges its legacy and its future,” supports Hasselblad’s full lineup of C, CB, CF, CFI, CFE, F and FE lenses — it adds compatibility for over 60 lenses that range in focal length from 30mm to 500mm.

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petapixel

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Samsung’s New Galaxy Note 9 Points Out Flaws In Your Photos

 Gear  Comments Off on Samsung’s New Galaxy Note 9 Points Out Flaws In Your Photos
Aug 112018
 

Samsung today announced the new Galaxy Note 9 smartphone. Among its new features is Samsung’s “most intelligent camera yet” and a new Flaw Detection feature that will point out when your photos aren’t up to par.

The Note 9 features a dual camera on the back with a 12MP f1.5/f2.4 wide-angle lens (it has a dual aperture like the Samsung Galaxy S9) and a 12mp f/2.4 telephoto lens. Both lenses have built-in optical image stabilization. The front-facing camera is an 8MP f/1.7 unit.

“New revolutionary features make it nearly impossible to take a bad shot,” Samsung says. “The Galaxy Note 9 intelligently recognizes what you’re looking at, optimizing color settings like contrast, white balance, exposure, and more.”

And when you do snap a bag shot, the new “Flaw Detection” system will display notifications when it detects things like blinks, blurs, smudges (from dirty lenses), and backlighting.

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Sigma 135mm 1.8, 14mm 1.4, and 70mm 2.8 Art & Contemporary Lenses for Sony E-Mount Now Shipping

 Gear  Comments Off on Sigma 135mm 1.8, 14mm 1.4, and 70mm 2.8 Art & Contemporary Lenses for Sony E-Mount Now Shipping
Aug 112018
 

Sigma announced in February that their ART and Contemporary lenses would be coming to E-mount to a warranted level of excitement, but the wait for delivery has been rough on some. That wait, however, was over in June when Sigma started shipping the first 5 of the 9 announced E-mount lenses, and now three more are ready to go: 14mm F1.8 DG HSM, 70mm F2.8 DG MACRO, and 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art lenses for Sony E-mount.

The Sigma Art lenses have been prized for their optical performance which should see no change in the native e-mount versions, but some of the other performance abilities have been dampened on Sony units due to the required Sigma Mount Converter MC-11. Sigma claims these abilities that should be realized in full with the new native models:

“…the new Sony E-mount models feature a newly developed control algorithm that optimizes the autofocus drive and maximizes the data transmission speed. In addition, these lenses are compatible with Sony’s Continuous AF (AF-C) and high-speed autofocus, which are not addressed by Sigma Mount Converter MC-11. Like MC-11, the lenses are compatible with in-camera image stabilization and in-camera lens aberration correction, which includes corrections for peripheral illumination, chromatic aberrations and distortion.”

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slrlounge

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Snap On, Snap Off – Bright Tangerine Left Field Quick Release Bridge Plate

 Gear  Comments Off on Snap On, Snap Off – Bright Tangerine Left Field Quick Release Bridge Plate
Aug 112018
 

The Bright Tangerine Left Field 19mm Studio Quick Release Bridge Plate is a snap on, snap off bridge plate for ARRI Dovetail, compatible to ARRI and RED height standards.

High contender for the longest name in camera accessory history, the Bright Tangerine Left Field 19mm Studio Quick Release Bridge Plate initially surfaced around NAB last year, hidden under a few more-specific ARRI Alexa Mini accessories.

Bright Tangerine has now announced it as a stand-alone product, ready to pre-order.

What Makes it Unique

There’s a fair amount of Bridge Plates out there; the ARRI dovetail has been one of the industry-standard camera plates in the professional market for years.

Yet most conform to the old school way of slide on/slide off mounting.

Whilst the slide function is fantastic for fine (and broad) tuning the balance of the camera rig, it can be a bit of a fiddle to completely removing or mounting the camera.

Snap plates have the standard for other plates for ages (Euro, Arca Swiss, Sachtler, Manfrotto), it’s interesting to see the lack of snap on/off function in the ARRI Dovetail-compatible market.

This is exactly where the Bright Tangerine Left Field comes in, it’s a bridge plate that has full slide function for adjustment, but can be removed by turning the lever further and lifting the camera straight off.

It does this at half the price of the similar ARRI snap plate – The CBP-1 Compact Bridge Plate.

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PolarPro Quartzline ND Filter Review – a new Gold Standard?

 Cinematography  Comments Off on PolarPro Quartzline ND Filter Review – a new Gold Standard?
Aug 112018
 

I first got to know PolarPro cinema series ND filters about 1.5 years ago when I was conducting a GoPro Hero camera review fitted with their set of filters. (See my review here). Now they are venturing into the professional large diameter filter world (up to 82mm), essentially claiming a neutral color balance and near perfect optical quality. Is this claim true? Read on to find out. 

PolarPro Quartzline ND Filter

In this review, I’m testing the new PolarPro Quartzline ND 64 filter and PolarPro ND16 / PL (polarizer) filter. Those filters are made of 99.9% fused quartz to ensure optical clarity with a very low refractive index. The frames are built from machined brass to ensure they thread on smoothly – very essential as I have experienced seized up filters from aluminium frames myself already. A very nasty experience …

PolarPro claims a neutral color balance, zero color shift and near perfect transmission by the optical coatings. For more information about the available filters and sizes, please head to Richard’s article.

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cinema5D

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Canon 5D Mark IV & Canon 6D Mark II With $400 Rebates & Free Battery Grip | Ending Soon

 Gear  Comments Off on Canon 5D Mark IV & Canon 6D Mark II With $400 Rebates & Free Battery Grip | Ending Soon
Aug 012018
 

In our field, gear matters, and you’d have to have a bank balance bigger than your bank account number for you to acquire all you likely would want when the whim takes you. However, if you keep your ear to the ground like we do, you come about the best photography deals currently on the market, and within our Deal Dashes, we share them with you:

Summer started with a bang when it came to gear deals, as we saw some of the best we’d seen off peak holiday times on everything from mirrorless and DSLR bodies to lenses and cases and all else. Some of the best deals were for top-tier Nikon and Canon DSLR bodies with big rebates that came (for a limited time) with free first-party battery grips, which on their own go for anywhere from $300-$450. This is on bodies like the Nikon D500, D750, Canon 5D Mark IV, and 6D Mark II.

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slrlounge

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DJI Mavic 2 Is Coming – Leaks Reveal Not Just One, but Two New Drones

 Action cams, Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on DJI Mavic 2 Is Coming – Leaks Reveal Not Just One, but Two New Drones
Aug 012018
 

If you’re like us here at cinema5D eagerly waiting for some news on the anticipated DJI Mavic 2 drone, Well, here’s some solid information for you: British digital retailer Argos issued their latest (print) catalogue and in it, alert readers found two brand-new drone models : The Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom.

Cinema5D HQ actually received an invitation for an official event that should have taken place during July but this event has been postponed without any alternative date so far. So, now with everybody on the edges of their seats, let’s have a look at what surfaced in that aforementioned catalogue:

There will be not one but two models of the upcoming Mavic 2 drone and the difference lies within the actual camera gimbal. The so-called Mavic 2 Zoom will sport a 2x optical zoom (24mm – 48mm) while the Mavic 2 Pro will feature a Hasselblad camera with a 1-inch sensor but no zoom. You will have to decide whether Pro image quality or the flexibility of a zoom lens is your thing.

There’s no word on video recording capabilities. I assume 4K (UHD) recording but the amount of compression and the quality of the codec deployed are yet to be revealed. The gimbal itself doesn’t seem to be detachable, which is unfortunate but since we’re talking about a drone listed in the consumer section of the company’s lineup, it’s not surprising, really.

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Intro to Video: A Photographer’s Guide to Filmmaking

 Cinematography, Technique  Comments Off on Intro to Video: A Photographer’s Guide to Filmmaking
Aug 012018
 

As more and more people call themselves “professional photographers,” the need to diversify and offer other services to your clients is rapidly growing. With social media and advertising visuals fighting for more and more of our attention, the importance of video is at an all time high. Luckily, if you are a photographer, you already have 90% of the tools you need to start making professional videos and multimedia productions. This new Fstoppers tutorial on videography is aimed at helping both professional and amateur photographers take the gear they already own and start producing high quality videos. There is no better time to learn how to film video than right now!

Intro to Videography

The idea behind the Fstoppers website was first born back in 2010 when Patrick Hall and Lee Morris both had an interest in learning how to shoot video. Having both been successful wedding photographers, Patrick and Lee saw the value videography could supply to their own photography businesses. Over the years, Fstoppers has grown from a little side project used to explore behind the scenes videos into a full blown world wide community of photographers and videographers. Since 2010 when DSLRs first started shooting high definition video, Lee and Patrick have seen photographers and social media influencers transitioning to video at an alarming rate. In today’s cut throat market, the trend is very clear: if you are not incorporating video along side you photography, you are going to get left behind.

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fstoppers

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Canon is Already #1 in Mirrorless Cameras in Japan

 Gear  Comments Off on Canon is Already #1 in Mirrorless Cameras in Japan
Aug 012018
 

Sony has multiple full frame mirrorless cameras on the market and Nikon is planning to unveil its first later this month, but it seems that having a pro-oriented mirrorless camera isn’t a prerequisite for doing well in the mirrorless market. Case in point: Canon is apparently already the #1 mirrorless camera company in Japan even before announcing its own rumored full frame mirrorless system.

Canon Rumors reports that in reporting its 2018 2nd quarter financial results recently, Canon claims that it has taken the #1 spot in mirrorless camera market share over the first half of 2018.

The APS-C Canon EOS M50 is apparently selling well enough to the masses to beat out the technologically impressive cameras by competitors such as Sony (which won “Camera of the Year” for the a9).

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petapixel

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Leica and Others Investing in “Light”, Raising $121M

 Gear  Comments Off on Leica and Others Investing in “Light”, Raising $121M
Jul 232018
 

As part of a $121M series D funding round, German manufacturer Leica –among others– invests in Light. The startup tech company focuses on multi-lens cameras which make massive use of computational imaging. With fresh money and the renowed Leica brand in their back, new fields of products are in plain sight.

Remember the Light L16 concept camera which actually became a reality in 2017? This pocket-sized camera is able to capture 52 megapixel snaps with 16 lenses (and therefore 16 sensors). All the individual images will be combined into one single 52 MP picture using computational imaging. Now, with another $121M at their disposal, the company wants to drastically expand their lineup.

Light Cameras

If you’re still not sure about what exactly the L16 camera concept is, this quote by SoftBank’s Partner Akshay Naheta (SoftBank led this Series D funding) might clearify things:

Light is a world leader in computational imaging. By replacing mechanical complexity with digital sophistication, they have been able to drastically reduce the size, weight, and cost of traditional cameras. This has paved the way for a whole new era of intelligent imaging applications.

As a first product, and after three funding rounds in which Light raised a total of $64.7M, the L16 camera was announced in 2015 and released in 2017. The L16 is a pocket-sized 52 megapixel beast of a camera. In terms of video it’s capable of shooting 4K video but it only uses single lenses out of its 16-lens arsenal. Choose between 28mm, 70mm or 150mm. No image-fusion in video mode, at least not yet.

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cinema5D

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