Leica M Trade-Up Program May Be Best Time To Buy | Trade In Any Camera & Get An Additional $750

 Gear, Marketing, News  Comments Off on Leica M Trade-Up Program May Be Best Time To Buy | Trade In Any Camera & Get An Additional $750
Aug 212016
 

You’d be hard pressed to find a single photographer who doesn’t have a soft spot for Leica; who doesn’t want a Leica body with a few lenses, even if not for their day-to-day work. The inhibiting factor is, of course, price. The ‘golden’ glove feel of a Leica with all its history behind it doesn’t come cheap, but the Red Dot company is offering a hand to help out in this way at the moment, with their trade-in and M upgrade program.

The M, even amidst the release of the SL, is the quintessential Leica and benchmark rangefinder, and through September 30th, you can trade up from any camera at a Leica Store, boutique, or dealer and receive a $750 cheque after your new M is registered. That means you get your camera’s trade-in value and the $750, with the only exclusions being the Leica M-D (Typ 262) and Leica M (Typ 262).

The process is quite simple, as you bring/send in the camera you’re looking to trade in, it’s appraised and given a valuation which is then put towards the purchase of the new M, and once the new M is registered your cheque is in the mail. You can call any Leica Store for more details and they’ll walk you through the process. It’s extremely rare that Leica offers any kind of financial incentive for their current line-up of cameras, so if you were thinking about Leica ownership, this would seem a great time.

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Kipon Adapter Puts Medium Format Lenses Onto Sony A7 | Keep Angle Of View & Gain 1 Stop Speed

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Kipon Adapter Puts Medium Format Lenses Onto Sony A7 | Keep Angle Of View & Gain 1 Stop Speed
Aug 092016
 

Top quality and top prices are typically associated with Medium Format lenses, which only adds to their appeal. Medium format lenses are generally regarded favorably for their build quality and how they deliver contrast, saturation, the quality of the bokeh, and how they deal with certain light abnormalities. And now, thanks to Kipon Baveyes (a brand under the umbrella of Shanghai Transvision working with German IB/E Optics), Hasselblad V-Mount optics can now be adapted to work with the Sony A7, Leica SL, and Leica M mount cameras.

When Metabones released their first Speed Booster focal reducer some years ago now, who would’ve guessed they’d be setting off a trend in the way they did. But as with all good ideas, when they hit they take off, and photographers bought them in spades, and of course other manufacturers caught on. This though, is the first time MF lenses will be able to be used on these full frame cameras.

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Nov 132015
 

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“Earlier this year DxO announced a large jump from the world of software developer and hardware tester to camera manufacturer with the release of the DxO ONE, a camera that nestles into your palm and is controlled via smartphone to give you ‘DSLR quality’ images. That was the promise, and we were eager to see for ourselves.

Why It’s Particularly Interesting

It should be understood that this camera is mainly interesting for two reasons: its size to power ratio, and possibly more so, its name. The mere fact it’s a DxO product meant that from the onset it was going to pique the interest of a group that isn’t typically attracted to phone cameras (and by that I mean proper shooters). Shooters who are used to the quality of a DSLR and who want as close to that as possible for more casual shooting, without the size and fuss.”

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Oct 232015
 

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There’s a huge problem in photography that’s bigger and more prevalent than most would imagine, and really that makes for a truly insidious problem simply because most people don’t even know they have one. I’m also willing to bet my next bottle of Laphroiag that most of you have this problem – not all, but most. So what is it? Color calibration. Yes, fine, it’s not exactly sexy, and I would deliberately spill my drink on you at a party if you began to speak about it, but it’s oh-so-necessary.

Color calibration for monitors and of printers specifically is what we’re talking about here. Please, please, please listen to me when I tell you that if you’re not color calibrating your equipment, you’re killing the images you work so hard to execute. Not to mention you’re likely going to waste money and time, and it’s largely preventable.

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Oct 162015
 

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Top Gun and Rear Window. Yeah, those are two of the more influential films in my life in terms of where my inspiration for imagery and color theory began, and they couldn’t be more opposite could they? Of course, my horizons have expanded but looking back, I can see how these films influenced my early shots, and to some degree, the current ones.

Rear Window, of course, has to be one of the most gorgeous and artistically indulgent films, with its beautiful use of focal lighting, use of color, masterclass of framing, and subtle suggestion for setting a scene, influencing major blockbusters since its release. Oh, the many times have I walked by some apartment complex and looked in a dark window half expecting to see the faint glow of a cigar’s burning end as the smoker inhales, somewhat insidiously.

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Sep 022015
 

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You’re a photographer, not a printer. You’re the artist, not the laborer; the visionary and not the executive. This is how most photographers see themselves, and they are most likely right. Are there photographers out there with phenomenal grasps of the technical side of the digital photo world? Sure, throw a rock in a room of a thousand and you’re bound to hit three or four, but they are the exceptions, and you’re likely the rule. In this digital age, where the playing field is greatly leveled, you should cross that line in the sand to be an exception.

But how does one do this? Well, for a start, understand that there’s a lot more to being a photographer than taking great images, and part of that is understanding the digital space in which we all now work. When we think of digital spaces (not that we all do very often), in this instance what I’m referring to is color spaces. It’s sort of a dreaded topic because, for an artist, it’s sort of the antithesis of what we want to be learning. But if you want your work to look as good as you know it is, you should have a grasp on it.

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Aug 202015
 

Prior to the new Lightroom CC, I often used third-party apps or Adobe Photoshop in order to create and edit my panorama pictures. In the previous videos and articles, I shared with you my first favorite tool: the dehaze slider, and my second favorite tool: the auto crop & straighten tool. In this tutorial, I’ll show you my third favorite tool in Lightroom CC: The Panorama Tool.

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Aug 122015
 

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The first scene of any photo shoot is always the most challenging because it’s understanding what the goals and challenges are, and discovering what works. In this article, I will take you through the first scene of our premium tutorial, “Fine Art Boudoir | The Earthen Bathtub,” where I’ll give you some tips and show you how we set up the lighting.

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Jun 192015
 

One of the big headline features of the A7R II was its vastly improved autofocus system, including over 300 phase detect AF points covering over 40% of the sensor. Upon hearing this news, the first thing that jumped out to me was how would this affect the performance of adapted lenses – which has been very disappointing to this point.

Sony Artisan Thibault Roland had a chance to interview an engineer from Sony, who worked on the A7R project. An interesting note from that interview, which you can find in its entirety here, is the bit quoted below, where the Sony engineer claims that the AF speed of Canon lenses adapted to the A7R II almost match their speed on Canon bodies.

We were confirmed that AF of Canon lenses was “much faster than before. With adapters (and in particular, with a firmware updated Metabones Mark IV) Canon lenses are almost as fast as on a Canon body.

Now, as we all know, just because an AF system is fast, doesn’t mean that it is accurate. But if this turns out to be true, I can see a wave of A7 adopters trading in their current A7 models and upgrading to the A7R II, specifically for this upgraded AF functionality. On the current generation of A7 bodies, the adapted lens AF speed is dreadful. It works, yes, but it’s so slow in most situations that there is little point in using it.

The first signs that this claim by Sony may be true are coming in as well, with videos posts by our own Miquel Quiles and Gordon Lang of Camera Labs showing a vastly improved AF speed on the A7R II.

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Jun 122015
 

Titled, “Denali,” the almost 8-minute video is a beautiful tribute told from the point of view of Ben’s 14-year-old dog. Ben adopted Denali from a local shelter with his then girlfriend. When that relationship ended, Ben and Denali became inseparable, and together living the life of a nomad surf photographer in the Pacific Northwest. In 2004, when Ben battled Stage 3 cancer, Denali never left his side. When Ben recovered, Denali and Ben continued to travel, and Denali became a favorite subject of Ben’s camera. Ten years later, Denali himself was diagnosed with cancer, which with his age could not be treated. The following video is of Denali’s last days, and it is as beautiful as it is heart wretching. You’ll want to grab a few a box of tissues…

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Jun 082015
 

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It took long enough for me to get my hands on one, but I have finally had a chance to play around with Sigma’s new 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Sport series lens, and man, is it something special.

The ‘Sports’ model of the 150-600mm is Sigma’s higher end, all-in-one telephoto lens, offering advanced weather sealing, and a more robust build quality over the smaller, more budget friendly, ‘contemporary’ version. Priced at just under $2000, the Sports model is an interesting conundrum for those also considering fast telephoto primes.
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Jun 032015
 

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When we consider the economic gap between the have littles and have way mores, the average photographer falls under the former. For those of the have way, way more persuasion, today is a good day. Phase One has released a much anticipated new camera system called the XF, which is accompanied by the new IQ3 series of digital backs, new 35mm and 120mm leaf shutter lenses, and an updated version of Capture One. That’s a big day of releases for any manufacturer (even Nikon, who likes to put out 63 variants of essentially the same camera), but it’s tremendous for a company like Phase One.

The line has been described as, “robust, aerial-grade mechanics, advanced electronics, a new autofocus platform, new modularity options, new software and customizable touch controls,” and President and CEO Henrik Håkonsson wagers it’s like a, “Stradivarius in the hands of an expert.” High praise, but then again from what we can tell so far, deserved.

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Jun 022015
 

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GoPro has resisted for a long time, but has finally given in and introduced a model featuring an LCD screen – and a touch screen at that. The new GoPro HERO+ LCD announced earlier today will retail for $299.

GoPro HERO+ LCD Specs

  • Supports 1080p60 Video
  • Take 8 MP Still Photos
  • Built-In Touch Display + Speaker
  • Integrated 131′ Waterproof Housing
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Time Lapse and Burst Photos Up to 5 fps
  • App for Shot Preview / Camera Operation
  • Share Footage / Stills to Social Media
  • Includes Skeleton and Touch Backdoors
  • Includes Flat and Curved Adhesive Mounts

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May 192015
 

Bentley Motors is synonymous with timeless style, luxury, and affluence. Their cars are still regarded around here in Newport Beach, where every other car is a Porsche, BMW or Mercedes, as a status symbol of the uber-wealthy.

Like Bentley, in terms of the classic and sleek design, Apple also strives to capture that timeless style and elegance in their products. So to highlight the new technology in their updated Mulsanne, Bentley Motors teamed up with filmmaker Austin Reza and Apple to shoot the following short film, Intelligent Design.

Each new Bentley Mulsanne has a dual working station in the back seat, equipped with integrated iPads (because people who own Bentleys don’t actually drive them, they sit in the backseat making multi-million dollar deals while their drivers fight the LA traffic. Duh.) To market this new feature, the team used this new technology to create the film. They shot the first Intelligent Design film on the iPhone 5, and the new film on the iPhones 6 and 6+. Then they assembled the footage with the iPads located in the backseat of the Bentley.

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May 072015
 

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Isn’t it ever the truth that we become blind to what we see every day. As modern photographers, part of the deal is being somewhat tech savvy, and with the rate of technological advancement, sometimes it can be hard to keep up. There are mountains of information out there to keep up on and be aware of, but to some degree, information is useful only to the extent that you can find and use it when you need it. So that means you’ve got to separate the wheat from the chaff and know what things you should really understand because they will be continually brought up. One such example? CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) and CCD (charge-coupled device) sensors – what they are and why it matters.

In the animations herein, photographer Raymond Siri attempts to give a basic overview to these two sensor types and give insight into how they work so you can know which works best for you. These videos have been doing the rounds but honestly give just a tiny glimpse into the comparison. As with so much in photography when it comes to questions and comparison, the answers aren’t binary – there is no yes or no. So which is better? There are advantages to both types of sensor technologies, but CMOS seems to be leading the pack, and I’ll explain a little as to why this may be so.

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Apr 212015
 

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With everyone and their mother toting a new iPhone or some lesser counterpart, everyone’s now used to having large, ultra clear, high resolution screens at their disposal. It’s sort of a wonder, given our affinity for screens this size, that camera monitors haven’t followed suit, as they tend to be either smaller or significantly larger. So it’s exciting when a company like SmallHD announces a new 5” on-camera monitor called the SmallHD 502.

Given its screen size and weight (under a pound), it’s even reminiscient of a modern mobile phone. But most modern smart phones tend to have higher resolutions than most on camera monitors which are typically around 720p – not this one. The 502’s resolution even bests that of an iPhone 6 in terms of pixel density for full 1080p performance.

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Mar 302015
 

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CusUnlimited Photos Plan (free 3-month trial, then $11.99 per year—equivalent of less than $1 per month): Store an infinite number of photos in Cloud Drive without worrying about taking up space on phones, cameras, or other devices.Customers can upload existing collections and store all future photos taken. This plan also includes 5 GB of additional storage for videos or other documents and files.Unlimited Everything Plan (free 3-month trial, then $59.99 per year—equivalent of less than $5 per month): Store an infinite number of new and existing photos, videos, files, documents, movies, and music in Cloud Drive.

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Mar 262015
 

Sony-Alpha-A7R

According to a report over on Sony Alpha Rumors, the A7R II will indeed feature the same 36MP sensor as the original A7R. In addition to that, the A7R II will have the upgraded grip, in body stabilization and AF upgrades that we have seen in the A7 II. It does, however, appear that the camera is getting some sort of processor upgrade, as the post notes improved ISO performance from processor upgrades.

Sony A7R II Details

  • Same A7R 36 megapixel sensor
  • Improved high ISO
  • Faster autofocusing
  •  5 axis stabilization
  • A7II alike body size
  • Silent shutter mode

The report goes on to say that there are no dates being thrown around at them yet that can be taken seriously, but that “the release really appears to be imminent.” I would be very surprised if we make it past the first week of April without the A7R II being announced.

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Mar 202015
 

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Canon kicked off the next bout of the Megapixel Wars with the announcement of their 5Ds and 5Ds  R – both 50MP monsters. But a problem with announcing things so far ahead of time is that you open the door to have your thunder stolen, and it looks like Sony could be gearing up to do just that.

Canon’s 50MP bodies are not expected to be ready until June, but according to the latest rumors, Sony could be announcing their own 50MP body within the next month, and it is said to ‘easily outperform’ the Canon offering.

Currently, the rumors say that Sony will have two cameras utilizing this new 50MP sensor: the A7R II, which will retain the 36MP sensor in the A7R, and a new body. The new body possibly being that long rumored A9 ‘Pro’ mirrorless camera, or maybe a new flagship A mount body.

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Mar 172015
 

Apparently, posting your drone footage to YouTube could constitute flying them commercially, at least if the experience of Jayson Hanes is any indication of the FAA’s thoughts.

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 According to a report over on Motherboard, Hanes has been notified that his aerial drone footage on YouTube constitutes commercial use, and thus, he now finds himself at the mercy of the FAA’s new commercial use regulations.
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The issue comes down to the ads on YouTube. If a user uploads their videos with the monetization settings turned on, then money can be earned via YouTube – and if you want to get technical – that means you are using your footage for commercial use. The interesting twist here is that Hanes contends that he has not made any money – or even tried to – off the drone footage; he is just an amateur hobbyist who enjoys putting his videos up on the popular video sharing website.

It would seem that the FAA needs to step back and take another look at their drone regulations, as the line between what constitutes commercial and non-commercial use is still as fuzzy as ever.

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