Fujifilm Unveils 250mm f/4 Lens and 1.4x Teleconverter for GFX System

 Gear  Comments Off on Fujifilm Unveils 250mm f/4 Lens and 1.4x Teleconverter for GFX System
Apr 122018
 

Fujifilm today announced a new 250mm f/4 telephoto prime lens and a 1.4x teleconverter for its GFX medium format system (which currently consists of the Fujifilm GFX 50S camera).

Fujinon 250mm f/4 R LM OIS WR Lens

The Fujinon GF 250mm f/4 has a rugged, lightweight magnesium alloy barrel that resists dust and weather, and it is capable of functioning in temperatures as low as 14°F/-10°C. On the front of the lens is a fluorine coating that resists water and dirt.

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Google Built a Rotating Arc of 16 GoPro Cameras to Shoot Light Fields

 Gear  Comments Off on Google Built a Rotating Arc of 16 GoPro Cameras to Shoot Light Fields
Mar 152018
 

It seems Lytro has a new formidable competitor in the area of light field cameras. Google revealed today that it has created a rotating arc of 16 GoPro cameras arranged vertically to experiment with light fields.

While a 360-degree camera allows you to look in different directions in virtual reality, a light field camera gives you a much more realistic sense of presence because you can move your head around in 3D space while looking in the same direction. The motion parallax and change in light experienced is much closer to what the world looks like to us in real life.

To create its light field capture camera, which captures all the different rays of light entering a volume of space, Google modified a GoPro Odyssey Jump 360-degree camera rig and bent it into a vertical arc of 16 outward-facing cameras, which was then mounted to a rotating platform.

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The $2,000 Sony a7 III vs. the $3,200 Sony a7R III: Here’s the Difference

 Gear  Comments Off on The $2,000 Sony a7 III vs. the $3,200 Sony a7R III: Here’s the Difference
Mar 122018
 

 

Portrait photographer Manny Ortiz recently got his hands on the newly-announced Sony a7 III full-frame mirrorless camera, allowing him to compare the $2,000 camera to his $3,200 Sony a7R III. Here’s a 6-minute video in which he compares the cameras and discusses the strengths of each one.

“The experience of shooting in the real world, there was no difference than when I was shooting with my Sony a7R III, in autofocus performance, in everything,” Ortiz says.

Here are the pros of each system mentioned by Ortiz in the video:

Reasons for a7 III over a7R III

#1. Price. You save $1,200.

#2. Workflow. If you don’t need the extra resolution, the 24MP files will be faster to work with and cheaper to store.

#3. Low Light. Ortiz concluded that the a7 III performs slightly better in low light, with less noise in the photos.

#4. Autofocus. The a7 III features 693 AF points with 93% viewfinder coverage compared to the 399 points and 68% coverage of the a7R III. But “in the real world, I didn’t notice any difference,” Ortiz notes.

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Shootout: $4,990 Zeiss Otus 28mm vs $4,250 Leica Q

 Gear  Comments Off on Shootout: $4,990 Zeiss Otus 28mm vs $4,250 Leica Q
Jan 302018
 

In the pantheon of lens focal lengths, 28mm is a bit of an outlier. Photojournalists are more apt to reach for the 35mm, while many manufacturers have settled on 24mm for primes and the wide end of their zoom lenses. But 28mm has become visually familiar to consumers because its field-of-view equivalent can be found on many smartphones like the iPhone.

Zeiss caused a ruckus when it announced its line of Otus lenses in 2013; a line designed for maximum still photography performance with a weatherproof construction made of glass, aluminum, and rubber. Maximum quality also means eye-popping prices. The 28mm f/1.4 Otus can be yours for a touch under $5,000.

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Freefly Movi is a Cinematic Gimbal for Your Smartphone

 Gear  Comments Off on Freefly Movi is a Cinematic Gimbal for Your Smartphone
Dec 072017
 

 

Freefly creates professional drone and gimbal solutions for the cinema industry, and today it released a specialized gimbal for smartphones: the Freefly Movi.

“Movi’s incredible stabilization technology is the same found in our professional rigs,” says Freefly. “Freefly Gimbals are first-in-class stabilizers used in multimillion-dollar films.”

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10 Handy Photoshop Shortcuts for Working with Layers

 Technique  Comments Off on 10 Handy Photoshop Shortcuts for Working with Layers
Dec 072017
 

Adobe just released this helpful 2-minute video that shares 10 handy shortcuts you can use in Photoshop when working with layers.

Here’s a quick rundown of the 10 shortcuts (watch the video above for visual demonstrations):

1. Add layer masks to hide all

To quickly add a layer mask to hide all of a layer, just hold down the Option key on Mac (or Alt on Windows) and click on the “Add Layer Mask” button in the Layers panel.

2. Delete layer masks

Instead of dragging a layer mask into the bin, you can just right click the layer mask itself and delete it from the tooltip menu that appears.

3. Add a layer mask based on selections

Creating a layer mask of a selection you have made is a useful thing to do for Photoshop users. Clicking the “Add Layer Mask” button will reveal your selection, but if you want to hide it then you just need to hold the Option key on Mac (or Alt for Windows) while clicking.

4. Invert a layer mask

If you want to invert your layer mask, just hold Command + I on Mac (or Control + I on Windows) to quickly move between the two.

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Twenty Helpful Tips and Tricks for Photoshop

 Technique  Comments Off on Twenty Helpful Tips and Tricks for Photoshop
Nov 202017
 

Photoshop is a tremendously intricate and nuanced program, and you can never have enough tips and tricks to navigate all its features and options and make your workflow both more powerful and more efficient. This helpful video will show you 20 more tips and tricks you might not have seen before.

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DxOMark’s Pentax 645Z Review is Out After 2 Year Delay, Scores 101

 Gear  Comments Off on DxOMark’s Pentax 645Z Review is Out After 2 Year Delay, Scores 101
Nov 202017
 

Last month, we reported that DxOMark had reviewed the Pentax 645Z back in 2015 and given it a highest-ever score of 101 before pausing its medium format camera reviews prior to publishing any. That Pentax 645Z review is finally out, and DxOMark still has glowing things to say about the camera.

DxOMark says the 51.4-megapixel camera has extremely good image quality scores, and the large pixels on the sensor gives the camera the best low-light ISO scores ever recorded up to this point among all cameras.

“It’s clear from our testing that the Pentax 645Z’s sensor is extremely capable, coming within a whisper of matching the performance of the Hasselblad X1D sensor (our highest-scoring sensor to date),” DxOMark says. “The 645Z’s high dynamic range and color sensitivity make it ideally suited for capturing the types of scenes that are traditionally favored by medium-format photographers — landscapes, weddings, portraits, and still lifes (commercial).”

The camera is interesting to compare against the Nikon D850, DxOMark says. The Pentax has a sensor that’s 1.7 times larger, but the D850 is about 3 years newer. The Nikon D850 actually stacks up well against the medium format camera thanks to Sony’s sensor manufacturing prowess.

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Why the Brush Tool Has a Weird Purple Line in Photoshop CC 2018

 Technique  Comments Off on Why the Brush Tool Has a Weird Purple Line in Photoshop CC 2018
Oct 242017
 

If you’ve started using Photoshop CC 2018, you may have noticed a strange purple line following your brush around as you’re using it now. That line is called a “brush leash,” and here’s a helpful 6-minute video by retoucher Pratik Naik about what that purple line is and how you can use and customize it.

Basically, the purple brush leash is meant to serve as a guide for the Smoothing feature of the Brush Tool. Turning Smoothing down to 0% removes the purple line and restores the brush tool to the original version.

You can also turn off the brush leash in the Cursors panel of your Preferences.

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Review: The Nikon D850’s Negative Digitizer Isn’t Ready for Prime Time

 Gear  Comments Off on Review: The Nikon D850’s Negative Digitizer Isn’t Ready for Prime Time
Oct 242017
 

 

A couple weeks ago, I got a chance to run the Nikon D850 through its paces as a scanner. The “Negative Digitizer” feature, which can automatically flip negatives to positive got a lot of buzz as the camera was being released, and I was eager to try it out.

I’ve been using digital cameras to scan my negatives since I was first able to put my hands on one. When done properly, it’s possible to digitize very large collections quickly and efficiently.

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How to Use the Foreground to Create Depth in Landscape Photos

 Technique  Comments Off on How to Use the Foreground to Create Depth in Landscape Photos
Oct 242017
 

Sometimes a beautiful landscape scene doesn’t look as good on camera as it did to your eye, but that’s because translating a 3-dimensional scene into a 2-dimensional space is challenging. Using strong foreground elements in your composition is one way to create depth and counter this problem, as shown in this 8-minute tutorial from Nature TTL.

There are a huge number of different rules and compositional guides you can adhere to, but one lesser-known rule is the “Rule of Odds.”

This suggests using an odd number of objects in your foreground, as the eye tends to find itself being drawn to the middle one. This means that you can use objects as stepping stones, drawing the eye into the image.

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Adobe Portfolio Now Integrates with Lightroom Collections

 Technique  Comments Off on Adobe Portfolio Now Integrates with Lightroom Collections
Oct 082017
 

Adobe Portfolio, a platform for photographers to share images online on their own websites, will now integrate with Lightroom collections. This means you can upload entire collections at once, straight from Lightroom to your online portfolio.

The “Manage Content” section that Adobe Portfolio users are familiar with has been changed to make all this as easy as possible. It’s now broken down into two separate tabs, “Website Pages” and “Integrations,” and you can quickly get an overview of your portfolio and use the powerful new features.

“Website Pages” will show you all of your galleries and pages, whereas “Integrations” will enable you to connect Lightroom collections as well as setting which gallery future Behance projects will appear in.

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Nikon D850 Best DSLR Ever, Gets First Full 100 Score at DxOMark

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Nikon D850 Best DSLR Ever, Gets First Full 100 Score at DxOMark
Oct 082017
 

The Nikon D850 was just awarded the first full 100 overall score ever given out to a DSLR by the testing lab DxOMark. The D850 now sits alone in the top spot on the camera leaderboard, with the full-frame mirrorless Sony a7R II sitting at #2 with a score of 98.

This is the first time a full-frame backside-illuminated sensor has appeared in a Nikon camera, and it’s a sensor that “breaks new ground for image quality,” DxOMark says. The D850 has the best color and dynamic range at base ISO among all commercially available cameras tested by the lab — it’s so good it rivals medium format sensors in some aspects.

“At base ISO, the Nikon D850 image quality for color is unrivaled for a DSLR, although the mirrorless Sony A7R II and full frame compact RX1R II comes pretty close,” DxOMark writes. “The D850’s color is on par with the best results we’ve seen on medium-format sensors, such as the Phase One IQ180 digital back, and fractionally ahead of the Phase One P65.”

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Looking Through the Viewfinder of a Hasselblad XPan

 Gear  Comments Off on Looking Through the Viewfinder of a Hasselblad XPan
Oct 022017
 

The XPan was the first Hasselblad camera to 35mm film and was able to shoot ultra-wide panorama negatives. Photographer Jordan Lockhart decided to mount an action camera to his XPan to capture what it’s like to frame the world and shoot with this unique camera.

“It took us a while to figure out a proper way to make this work but we eventually found out a decent solution, which I hope will give you a taste of why I love this camera so much,” writes Vincent Moschetti of OYWFO, who made the 6-minute video above showing the experiment. “We used a roll of Kodak Portra 800 which seemed like the perfect film to use on this rainy day and explore the city of Tampere in Finland.”

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iPhone 8 Plus Has the Best Smartphone Camera Ever, DxOMark Says

 Gear  Comments Off on iPhone 8 Plus Has the Best Smartphone Camera Ever, DxOMark Says
Sep 242017
 

The new iPhone 8 Plus has the best smartphone camera ever. That’s the conclusion DxOMark came to after the camera testing lab went hands-on with the new Apple smartphone. With a record score of 94, it’s now the clear leader in the market.

“The Apple iPhone 8 Plus has a main camera system truly worthy of a flagship phone,” DxOMark says in the opening of its newly published review. “[It’s] the best-performing mobile device camera we have ever tested.”

The upgrades given to the cameras — a 12MP main wide-angle camera (with a backside-illuminated (BSI) sensor and f/1.8 lens) and a 12MP telephoto camera (with a f/2.8 lens) — have improved its quality in every single category. The iPhone 8 Plus scores exceptionally high marks in both Zoom image quality and Bokeh quality, two new categories that DxOMark just added to its scoring system.

The score of 94 puts in 2 points ahead of the new iPhone 8 and 4 points ahead of the Google Pixel and HTC U11.

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Zenit is Back! First Look at New 50mm f/0.95, 50mm f/1.2, and 85mm f/1.2

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Zenit is Back! First Look at New 50mm f/0.95, 50mm f/1.2, and 85mm f/1.2
Sep 172017
 

News broke back in February that Russian camera manufacturer Zenit was going to come back and take on Leica in the luxury camera market. But the first Zenit products to see the light of day aren’t cameras, it’s three very fast KMZ/Zenit lenses: the Zenitar 50mm f/0.95, 50mm f/1.2, and 85mm f/1.2.

Photo Rumors initially spotted the lenses last week on Russian photographer Denis Gavrilov’s website (translated link). And when we got in touch with Gavrilov to ask permission to share the images, he was kind enough to upload even more!

So let’s take the new lenses one by one, starting with the fastest of them.

Zenitar 50mm f/0.95

No doubt meant to give mere mortals an affordable alternative to the much lusted-after Noctilux (although, we hope, at a significantly lower price tag), the Zenitar 50mm f/0.95 is meant for Sony’s FE mirrorless cameras.

Sporting 9 elements in 8 groups, the lens’s 14 aperture blades in 2 levels surprised Gavrilov. The lens will supposedly arrive sometime in 2017 and run you close to $500… so yes, just a touch cheaper than the $9,700 Noctilux.

Here are a few more shots of the lens:

Zenitar_50_095_1

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Zenit’s Full Frame Mirrorless Camera to Be a Rebranded Leica SL, Rumor Says

 Gear  Comments Off on Zenit’s Full Frame Mirrorless Camera to Be a Rebranded Leica SL, Rumor Says
Sep 172017
 

The iconic Russian camera brand Zenit caused a flurry of excitement back in February after it announced that it’s relaunching in 2018 with a full frame mirrorless camera that rivals Leica in luxury. But the camera may do more than rival Leica… It may actually be a Leica at its core — a rebranded Leica SL.

USSRPhoto is hearing from a Zenit source working inside the company’s KMZ factory that the innards of the upcoming Zenit camera is presumably the German-made Leica SL, which is a medium format mirrorless camera.

There may be outward modifications to the camera’s style by Zenit, and special lenses for the new camera will be made by KMZ in Russia.

“KMZ is a mechanical and optical factory, so they don’t do electronics at all,” USSRPhoto tells PetaPixel. “Anything [digital/electronic] that is done is outsourced to French and German firms.

“What is a fact is that KMZ is organizing an optical shop within the Zenit factory to start production of lenses for this model.”

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Here’s the First 8K Timelapse Shot with the Nikon D850

 Gear  Comments Off on Here’s the First 8K Timelapse Shot with the Nikon D850
Sep 072017
 

The new Nikon D850 lets you create 8K timelapses using the 45.7-megapixel sensor and the built-in Interval Timer. If you’ve been wanting to see what 8K shot with the camera looks like, today’s your lucky day: we got our hands on the first 8K timelapse short film shot on the D850.

The 2.5-minute video above was captured by photographer and Nikon Ambassador Lucas Gilman in Iceland using a pre-production D850. If you somehow have an 8K-capable screen, be sure to select the 4320p/8K quality option in the video to watch it in its full glory.

Here’s an illustration showing how much more resolution 8K has than 4K, Full HD, and SD:

Gilman says he chose to test the camera’s 8K capabilities in Iceland due to the movements that can be seen everywhere in the landscapes and due to the microclimates that provide a huge amount of visual diversity even in a short amount of time.

The project was challenging though: there’s only a single sunrise and sunset you can capture each day, and each 3-4 second sequence in the video above took hours for Gilman to plan and shoot. He was planning to shoot night scenes as well, but Iceland’s days were 20 hours long while he was in the country.

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Review: The Laowa 15mm f/2 FE Zero-D is a Fine Lens at a Fair Price

 Gear  Comments Off on Review: The Laowa 15mm f/2 FE Zero-D is a Fine Lens at a Fair Price
Aug 102017
 

A few weeks ago Laowa sent me a copy of their first lens dedicated to Sony’s full frame E-mount system, the 15mm f/2. This lens is meant for landscape and astrophotographers who want to capture as much of the beautiful night sky as possible; which means wide and fast.

Last year, I was able to get a copy of their 12mm f/2.8 for Canon and used it on my Sony a7R II with a Metabones adaptor. I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed the lens. A lot of what was great about that lens can be translated over to this one as well.

First, let’s talk about the physical design and characteristics.

Physical Characteristics

Since it was designed for a mirrorless system, they were able to pack in a very wide lens with a fast aperture into a compact system. They’re able to keep things slim thanks to a shorter flange focal distance and by staying clear from fancier things like autofocus or stabilization. What you’re getting is glass and metal. The 15mm is built like a tank. I don’t feel like I’m using a plastic toy. That does mean that it is a bit on the heavier side, but still pleasant to use (500g or 1.1 lbs).

The aperture ring can click in one stop increments from f/2 to f/22; or can be declicked — great for you video buffs. I did a quick video to show off the smooth transition between exposures as well as to see how things look at f/2. You can certainly see some vignetting going on here but this is wide open on a very wide lens, that’s going to happen with these kinds of specs. The bokeh is actually quite pleasing if you want to get super close to your subject like I did here. That’s not going to happen often, but at least you can see how that turns out.

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Here’s the First 81-Megapixel Photo by the Light L16 16-Camera Camera

 Gear  Comments Off on Here’s the First 81-Megapixel Photo by the Light L16 16-Camera Camera
Aug 102017
 

The camera startup Light began shipping out the first L16 cameras to pre-order customers last month. If you want to see what the 16-camera camera can do, the company has also released a set of full-resolution photos for you to pixel peel.

In case you haven’t been following this camera’s journey, here’s the gist: a startup called Light has created a camera called the L16 that contains 16 separate camera modules on its front surface.

The images captured by these modules are combined into single photos, giving the camera some groundbreaking features. These include 52-megapixel+ photos, 5x optical zoom, ultra-low light performance, depth of field control, and more, all in a relatively small compact camera.

Light just released three full-resolution photos showing what the L16 can do. The first is the largest of the three. It’s a massive 81-megapixel picture of a man in a field holding a machete (you can download the full-res version here).

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