GearComments Off on A Review of the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD Lens
Tamron has been killing it with their lens releases in the last few years, undercutting the prices of first party manufacturers by significant amounts while still providing high optical quality and performance that have led to an increasing presence in the professional segment. This great review takes a look at the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD lens for Canon and Nikon DSLRs.
GearComments Off on Huawei Mate 30 permanently locked bootloader dashes Google Play hopes
The Huawei Mate 30 Pro is probably one of the best Android smartphones to be released this year but almost every piece has to inform users about its most critical flaw. Due to conflicts with the US, Huawei is force to ship its latest and greatest without one of the most crucial parts of the Android experience: Google Play Store and services. Unfortunately, Huawei may have just closed the door on users who might have hoped to unofficially install Google’s software on the phone.
Huawei wasn’t able to gain any further extension of its US blacklisting which expired in August. As such, it wasn’t able to gain the necessary certification for the Huawei Mate 30 to ship with Google Play Services and, therefore, Google’s apps. That significantly lessen the phones overall value, despite possessing some of the best cameras and features in town.
There was a brief flicker of hope among Android users in the form of sideloading Google Play Services on the phone. That, however, requires unlocking the phone’s bootloader, something that most OEMs don’t let their users do for security and proprietary reasons. That does come with its own risks but users might be willing to take the leap of faith to get Google apps on their expensive Mate 30s.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on Cartoni Maxima 5.0 and Master 25 Fluid Heads with 50kg and 30kg Payload
Cartoni is introducing two new professional grade tripod fluid heads at IBC 2019, the Cartoni Maxima 5.0 and the Cartoni Master 25, aimed at the cinema and broadcast communities respectively.
The tripod heads shown here somewhat continue the theme of Cartoni competing with other manufacturers directly, by trying to out-innovate rather than out-spec them.
Maxima 5.0 is the next step in the evolution of Cartoni’s Maxima series, following its predecessors the Maxima 40 (payload of ~ 40 kg) and 30 (~ 30 kg) and it’s improving on those quite a bit. The Cartoni Maxima 5.0 can handle payloads of up to 50 kg (110.2 lbs), weighing in at only 13 kg (28.6 lbs) itself. It will handle that payload throughout its +90 and -90° tilt range. The Cartoni Maxima 5.0 has a Mitchell mount, but can be adapted to use a bowl head. The sliding plate is compatible with ARRI, Sony and O’Connor. The Cartoni Maxima 5.0 features Cartoni’s patented counterbalance, which can be dialed in precisely and repeatably with the display on the head’s operator side. Additionally, there is a locking mechanism, that will prevent the head from shifting with the flick of one lever only. As Elisabetta Cartoni mentions in our interview, this new entry into the Maxima series is set to compete directly with the very popular O’Connor 2575 fluid head, which has become somewhat of a favorite among filmmakers using larger setups with long lenses. The Cartoni Maxima 5.0, however, is supposed to be even more precise and optimized for these use cases than the O’Connor head. We didn’t yet have the chance to compare the two, but we hope to do so at some point in the future.
Gear, MirrorlessComments Off on Z CAM E2 S6, F6, and F8 Cameras – Shipping Soon with Optional Electronic ND Filter
Z CAM E2 flagship cameras will be shipping next month. The S6 (6K super 35), F6 (6K full frame), and F8 (8K full frame) will come in EF-mount and PL-mount versions (user interchangeable). All versions will support the optional electronic ND filter unit. Z CAM E2 S6 will additionally come in M4/3 mount version without the electronic ND filter support.
It looks like Nikon is preparing to enter the mirrorless APS-C market and take on Sony’s a6000 series cameras. According to a breaking report from this morning, Nikon is planning to release the “Z50” APS-C mirrorless camera and two lightweight DX-format mirrorless lenses “soon.”
The report, published by Nikon Rumors this morning, claims that the Nikon Z50 will feature a 20MP APS-C image sensor, 3-inch “pivoted” LCD, and the ability to shoot bursts up to 11fps. If accurate, it seems Nikon is adopting a Z”XX” naming convention for APS-C mirrorless, and Z”X” scheme for full-frame mirrorless.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on ARRI Orbiter – Quick Look at the New High Output Directional LED Fixture
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.
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
GearComments Off on These Are the Best Phones for Night Photos: DxOMark
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.
Gear, NewsComments Off on Nikon, Leica and Olympus are Not Going to Attend Photokina 2020
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.”
“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.”
GearComments Off on Sony FS7 Price Drop – Camera Body Available for $5,998
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.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on Tilta BMPCC 4K and 6K Flipscreen & M.2 SSD Modification Kit
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.
GearComments Off on Canon 1D X Mark III to Feature IBIS and Significant Jump in Resolution: Report
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.
GearComments Off on SIGMA fp Update – Cinema DNG RAW Internal Recording and More
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.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on Sony FE C 16-35mm T/3.1 G Full-Frame E-Mount Lens Announced
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.
Cinematography, GearComments Off on SIRUI 50mm f/1.8 1.33x Lens Announced – Affordable APS-C Anamorphic Lens
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.
Gear, MirrorlessComments Off on Sony a7R IV is Still a ‘Star Eater’ After a Certain Shutter Speed: Report
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.
GearComments Off on Godox AD200 Pro Versus Geekoto GT-200, the Two Best Value Strobes
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.
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.
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.
GearComments Off on 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.
Gear, MirrorlessComments Off on 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.
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.
GearComments Off on LockCircle ZX PRO CAGE for Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 Announced
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
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.