Five Things Fuji Missed With the X-T2

 Gear  Comments Off on Five Things Fuji Missed With the X-T2
Oct 122016
 

Fujifilm recently released the updated version of their flagship DSLR-styled mirrorless body, the X-T2. There are plenty of great things to be said about this new body. However, after a few weeks of using it, I’d like to share with you and Fuji a few things I’d like to see fixed or changed in the next firmware update.

The Menus

Although perhaps not as convoluted as the menus on Sony cameras, the X-T2 menu system is starting to go that way. Simple things seem to be buried very deep — things like formatting your memory card. The new menu has a cleaner look, but I find it to be overly complicated when compared to the older menus on the X system. Although this is not the place to provide a full list, I feel that some things could be pulled out from the third-tier menus up to the main tier.

Saving the Focus Settings

I’ve written about this before. It seems like such a simple thing. When I’m using AF-S, I like to use my camera in single point AF. When working in AF-C, I like to use 3D tracking. I very rarely switch away from these two settings for my day-to-day work. However, the Fuji system keeps the focus mode and drive mode absolutely separate. This means that every time I switch to AF-C, I also need to switch the focus mode to 3D tracking. Then, when I switch back to AF-S, I also need to change the camera back to single point focus. This is a two step process that could be a single step.

Flat Picture Profile

With all the effort Fujifilm went to in order to improve their video integration, the missed some things that would be really useful. I am a huge fan of Fuji’s film simulations. I love them. Classic Chrome and Velvia make the shooting experience more fun just by having them. However, that’s not what I always want for video. A flat profile would be really great. Of course, you can create a similar effect by pushing shadows and pulling highlights in camera, but simply being able to switch to a flat profile would be so much simpler. Of course, then there’s F-Log.

Internal F-Log Recording

HDMI output only? Really? This feels like something Sony might charge you an upgrade price for. However, we can hope that the Fuji engineers will find a way to incorporate it through firmware. The hardware is there, so presumably, it’s just heat dissipation that they’re finding to be a problem. The F-Log footage looks great, so hopefully we’ll see that in the next firmware upgrade!
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fstoppers

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This Cooled Nikon D5500a Chills the Sensor for Clearer Star Photos

 Gear, Technique  Comments Off on This Cooled Nikon D5500a Chills the Sensor for Clearer Star Photos
Oct 122016
 

nikoncooled

An Italian astrophotography company called PrismaLuceLab has launched a modded version of the Nikon D5500 DSLR. Called the “D5500a Cooled,” the camera uses a special cooling system mounted on the back to chill the sensor and reduce noise during long-exposure photos.

“It’s the first ever cooled Nikon camera ever for astrophotography,” PrismaLuceLab CEO Filippo Bradaschia tells PetaPixel. Cooled CCD cameras generally have better performance in astrophotography compared to traditional DSLRs, but Bradaschia is aiming to narrow the gap with his company’s new modified DSLR. Unlike other CCD astro cameras on the market, the D5500a Cooled can be used without a computer.

controls

The cooling system is a box that protrudes from the LCD screen space on the camera back — the LCD screen is kept in a flipped out position to the side of the camera. Temperatures inside the camera are reduced by a double Peltier cell by as much as 27°C (~80.1°F) compared to ambient temperature, dramatically reducing noise.

Here’s a “dark frame” comparison at ISO 6400 of a photo with the cooling system on and sensor at -2°C (left) and with the cooling system off and sensor at 20°C (right):

coolingsystemcompare

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petapixel

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Pilotfly H2

 Gear  Comments Off on Pilotfly H2
May 162016
 

Pilotfly H2

The Pilotfly H2 is the finest one-hand-gimbal for mirrorless and DSLR cameras we‘ve ever designed.

The Pilotfly H2 introduces a whole new way of video shooting with highest versatility, flexibility and power efficiency. The 32bit technology with Triple-MCUs and 2 integrated IMU sensors offers you a more powerful shooting experience than ever before.

The ergonomic lightweight handle is equipped with an easy-to-use 4-way joystick, mode button and a power/battery status LED. Now, three integrated ¼(inch) screw holes (one on each side and one at the bottom) give you the utmost flexibility for mounting other devices, like an external display or a microphone. Additionally, you can put it on a tripod, extension pole, slider or on a jib — everything is possible now depending on your shooting requirements. And we even went one step beyond: Now you are able to detach the handle and easily exchange it to extend your operation time.

The 3 axes of the gimbal consist of a CNC aluminum alloy construction and is tool-less designed to balance your camera even faster. The new brushless motors were designed with integrated MCUs. We reduced their size of about 30% compared to standard motors on other gimbals. This makes the Pilotfly H2 the most elegant and ergonomic one-hand-gimbal on the market. And we don’t want compromises anymore! Therefore we designed the motor without limitation on YAW . Consequently, you can turn it 360° without having to worry about damaging the cables. Full 360° time-lapse is possible as well now!

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pilotfly

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Origin of the Species – Evolution of the Digital Cinema Camera

 Cinematography  Comments Off on Origin of the Species – Evolution of the Digital Cinema Camera
Feb 292016
 

The large sensor digital cinema camera that we know and love today has followed an interesting history of evolution and convergence. By its very nature, it is digital video—it is not film, and even the term “digital film” doesn’t truly make a lot of sense. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to use the term “digital video” in an all-encompassing sense that should include broadcast and DSLR/mirrorless cameras as well as digital film/digital cinema cameras.

Understanding the history of the digital cinema camera is a helpful starting point in understanding why we have so many different cameras today, why they have converged on some fundamental similarities (a single super 35mm Bayer sensor for example) but also why there are so many differences.

Why do some cameras seem to prioritise internal compression, while others prioritise internal RAW?

Why do some feature a built-in ND filter wheel, and others don’t?

Why the difference in form factors and ergonomics?

For each different form and combination of features, there is a different corner of the market. Different cameras serve specific needs and function well for the demands of their owners. Therefore, there isn’t really any such thing as the “perfect” one-size-fits-all camera.

So what does this evolutionary tree look like?

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cinema5d

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Mar 032012
 

Now that we all know the specs on the new Canon EOS 5D Mark III, lets take another look at the Nikon D800 HD Cinema capabilities:

These presentations look best in full screen.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/36305675[/vimeo]

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/36306101[/vimeo]

I think Nikon did a nice job here of demonstrating the D800 though you might think they could have come up with something a bit more original. The theme of Joy Ride bears more that a little resemblance to “Reverie” filmed by Vincent LaForet in 2008 to demonstrate the 5D Mark II.

The Nikon D800 is starting to look very good in my book!

Feb 062012
 

Nikon confirms 36.3 megapixel D800, we go hands-on — Engadget

Nikon’s latest camera is made for videographers, and it shows – The Washington Post

Nikon | News | Digital SLR camera D800/D800E

Nikon D800 / D800E | PhotographyBLOG

Nikon woos the pros with long-awaited D800 | Crave – CNET

This presentation looks best in full screen.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7THK1J45mw&feature=watch_response_rev

Pre-order by clicking the image below:

Jan 052012
 

The next-generation flagship Nikon digital-SLR camera

TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the release of the Nikon D4, a Nikon FX-format camera that serves as the new flagship model in Nikon’s lineup of digital-SLR cameras. Nikon will be exhibiting the D4 at the 2012 International CES, to be held Tuesday, January 10 through Friday, January 13 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This electronics exhibition is open to the public.

This presentation looks best at 1080p and fullscreen

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP1x2DbS55E

 

The D4 is equipped with a new Nikon FX-format CMOS image sensor (imaging size of 36.0 x 23.9 mm) and EXPEED 3, the latest image-processing engine specifically optimized for digital-SLR cameras, making it the next-generation flagship Nikon digital-SLR camera with the ultimate in versatility and functionality that offers superior image quality rich in detail along with excellent high-speed performance. It has an effective pixel count of 16.2-million pixels, and offers superior image quality under a broad range of lighting conditions with its image sensor supporting an incredible range of sensitivities from ISO 50 to ISO 204800.

The new 91K-pixel (approximately 91,000 pixels) RGB sensor supports the Advanced Scene Recognition System, which is able to recognize human faces even when images are framed using the optical viewfinder. In addition, the Advanced Scene Recognition System offers significant improvements in AF, AE, i-TTL flash control, and auto white balance (AWB) control accuracy. The 51 focus point AF system has been improved with faster initiation of autofocusing and the ability to detect and focus on subjects with less lighting. In addition, 11 focus points are fully functional when lenses with a maximum aperture of f/8 are used. All of this means more precise autofocusing when super-telephoto NIKKOR lenses are used with teleconverters (2.0x). The Multi-area Mode Full HD D-movie movie recording function is capable of recording full-HD movies at 30 fps, and offers three movie recording formats for selection according to recording conditions or creative intent.

What’s more, the D4 records images to memory cards faster with built-in support for high-speed, UDMA 7-compatible CompactFlash memory cards and next-generation, high-speed XQD memory cards. In addition to built-in wired LAN features, the D4 also supports high-speed image transfer via wireless LAN when the new, compact, easy-to-use Wireless Transmitter WT-5 (available separately) is connected to the camera. The D4 is also equipped with a number of new functions that support a more efficient workflow for professional photographers, including one that allows users to add IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council) information to images.

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