If you read too much news you might believe that Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones are exploding all around the globe like miniature incendiary devices. You might even think that lithium-ion batteries are the work of an evil empire intent on spreading terror throughout the civilized world. Indeed, these combusting batteries have caused a good deal of concern, if not terror, and many consumers are questioning how safe the lithium-ion cells we use in our cameras are.
It is worth pointing out at this stage that of the over 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7s that were shipped before they were withdrawn only around 90 had over-heated, and fewer again had actually caught fire. A 90 in 2.5 million hit rate wouldn’t be reported if we were talking about the phone’s microphone not working, but as the potential is a pocket, handbag, house or hand actually catching fire the frequency of occurrence is obviously way too high.
The good news is that the lower capacity batteries you pack in your camera bag are much less likely to cause a newsworthy scene than that in the Note 7, and by following some simple precautions you'll be just fine.
What makes lithium batteries catch fire?
Smartphones need an astonishing amount of power to run the processors that control their multitasking activities, and the battery in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is rated at 13.48Wh. That’s a lot more powerful than most camera batteries – the EN-EL15 used to power the Nikon D810 for example is 11.8Wh.
Seen here: a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 that did not burst into flames.
The Note 7 battery is designed to be used in a device that Samsung wants to be as thin and as light as possible, so the battery has to be as thin and light as it can be made. That means we have a lot of charge in a very tight space. Lithium-ion cells are ideal for this sort of task as they are able to hold twice the charge of traditional metal cells such as nickel-cadmium and they are much lighter – lithium is the lightest metal element.
Problems arise in batteries for a number of reasons, but most center around some sort of short circuit between the positive and negative electrodes. Such short circuits allow energy to flow through the cell un-resisted which causes a build-up of heat that can lead to a fire.
In a lithium-ion cell the cathode (positive) and anode (negative) electrodes are immersed in an electrolyte conductive fluid and are kept apart by a porous barrier called a separator. During charging, and while the battery is being used, lithium-ions use the electrolyte fluid to travel between the anode and the cathode, passing through the porous separator on their way. At the same time, electrons pass between the anode and cathode via the device the cell is powering or the charger. If the separator is flawed it might allow electrons to travel between the two electrodes – a short circuit. If this happens the cell will begin to overheat.
This spiraling build-up is called 'thermal runaway' and the immense heat generated can make the cell and battery expand or explode
Problems can occur if the electrolyte fluid in the cell is contaminated with metal particles or if the separator is just too weak to do its job. The separator can also begin to break down when external temperatures are very high. The breakdown of the separator and the consequent unimpeded contact between negative and positive electrodes within the cell lead to a build-up of heat that can’t be dissipated, which subsequently leads to further break down within the structure of the cell. This spiraling build-up is called ‘thermal runaway’ and the immense heat generated can make the cell and battery expand or explode.
As most battery packs contain multiple cells to build voltage the breakdown in one will often overheat its neighbors and the reaction will be permeated through the entire unit. The cell doesn’t need to have a manufacturer’s flaw to catch fire either, as any physical damage to the battery can rupture the separator or the individual chambers, allowing electrons to flow freely within the cells creating a short circuit. It only takes a tiny breach of the separator for thermal runaway to occur, as any breach will create heat that will further damage the separator and make a tiny hole bigger as the temperature rise accelerates.
How does this effect camera batteries?
Camera batteries tend not to pose such a high risk as they don’t contain as much energy as phone batteries do, but they can still be the cause of a fire if they aren’t treated correctly. Airlines allow lithium-ion batteries to be carried in carry-on luggage as if there is a fire it can be dealt with more easily in the cabin than it can in the hold. There are however restrictions on how many batteries can be carried in one place.
Some airlines recommend that the contacts are covered with electrical insulating tape to prevent them coming into contact with anything that might create a short circuit.
Mail services tend to be most concerned about batteries rated above 100Wh. This doesn’t affect still camera batteries, which tend to be around 14Wh, but some larger video camera batteries can come into this bracket. These need special markings on the outside of the package. You might be required to pack each battery in its own plastic pouch, though taping contacts should be enough. Check with the company you are mailing or flying with for exact requirements. For an example, here are Delta airlines requirements:
Lithium Batteries As you probably know, traveling with consumer electronic and medical devices containing lithium cells or batteries (e.g. watches, calculators, cameras, cell phones, laptops, camcorders, hearing aids, etc.) is allowed onboard as carry-on. Spare lithium batteries are allowed as carry-on only, and must be individually protected to prevent short circuits. Tips to properly transport spare lithium batteries: * Pack spare batteries in carry-on baggage. * Keep spare batteries in the original retail packaging to prevent unintentional activation or short-circuiting. * If original packaging is not available, effectively insulate battery terminals by isolating spare batteries from contact with other batteries and/or metal. * Specifically, place each battery in its own protective case, plastic bag or package, or place tape across the battery's contacts to isolate terminals. * Take steps to prevent crushing, puncturing, or putting a high degree of pressure on the battery, as this can cause an internal short circuit, resulting in overheating. Size Limits for Lithium Batteries:
Passengers are permitted to travel with lithium-ion batteries that contain a maximum of 160 watt hours per battery. Any lithium-ion battery containing more than 160 watt hours is prohibited from carriage on all passenger aircraft. lithium-ion batteries installed in a personal electronic device can be transported as checked or carry on baggage. lithium-ion batteries not installed in a device (spares) must be in carry-on baggage and no more than two (2) spares between 100 and 160 watt hours are allowed.
Keep calm and carry on (your spare batteries)
Fortunately there is no cause for alarm on the part of most photographers. We need to remember that lithium-ion batteries pose a risk if not taken care of and if we are careless about where we buy them. Chances are that if you use the battery that came with your camera and spares from the manufacturer or a well-known third party, you will never have an issue. Just be careful not to puncture the cell and to handle damaged batteries with extreme caution.
Another point worth noting is that the battery in the Galaxy Note 7 was installed in the phone and not designed to be removed, so it had a softer, less protective exterior shell. Most camera batteries are packed in hard plastic casing and are unlikely to split or rupture, or become critically damaged internally as a result of impact.
Camera batteries can catch fire like those used in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, but you'll have to go out of your way to make them do so. They won't explode on their own accord and they are pretty unlikely to even overheat unless you forget to treat them with the respect they are due.
A before and after example in which the highlight recovery tool has been applied via a mask over the sky in the right-hand image
Hasselblad has released the latest version of its Phocus software that is designed to manipulate images from its H and X series cameras, and the CFV digital back. The 3.1 version adds a new perspective control palette that allows both vertical and horizontal corrections against grid-pattern guide lines, which is something users have been requesting for some time. This should make life easier for those shooting architectural subjects, flat coping and product photographers, among others.
A second new feature is a highlight recovery tool that can be used via a selection on an adjustment layer. A mask is painted over the area that needs drawing back and a slider control pulls in the over-bright detail.
The company has also added a pair of new settings for its Reproduction menu that governs color and contrast settings in the display. Reproduction Low Gain creates a lower contrast image while Negative inverts colors and tones – which will be useful for creating film negatives for other processes.
The eagerly awaited update to our rich image processing software has just been released, bringing with it additional features and benefits.
Keystone Perspective Correction The new Keystone tool enables you to perform high quality perspective corrections directly in Phocus. This can be done both via a simple guideline interface or via manual slider adjustments. Additionally, the dual-axis correction capability is extremely useful when copying flat artwork.
Local adjustment of highlight recovery Highlight recovery has now been added to the palette of local adjustment tools, allowing for quick and precise correction without the need for manual masking.
Viewer background and margin options It’s now possible to configure both margin and background color options for the viewer. This can be done separately for both the normal and a newly added proof mode.
Added camera response options In the reproduction tool you now have the choice of 2 additional response modes. Reproduction Low Gain enables an even higher quality linear response. The new Negative response is suitable for reproduction of black and white negative film.
Phocus tutorials now available We have partnered with UK professional photographer Karl Taylor to produce a series of Phocus Tutorial videos. They can be accessed through the Phocus product page and you will need to log in to view them.
Tokyo-based maker of VR lens accessories Entapano is working on the Entaniya Fisheye 250 MFT lens, a model with a 250-degree field of view that it aims to make available in three varieties: 2.3mm F2.8, 3.0mm F2.8, and 3.6mm F4.0. All three lenses feature 18 elements in 12 groups with four extra-low dispersion lenses and a 1.6kg / 3.5lb weight without front or rear caps. The company cautions these specs are 'subject to change,' however, as the lens is still in development.
Entaniya Fisheye 250 MFT 3.6 sample image taken with Olympus Pen F, provided by Entaniya
The company details the Entaniya Fisheye as being suitable for producing different types of VR content depending on which lens version is used. The lenses are made in Japan, where the company estimates its price at ¥388,000 / $3,730 / €3400. Entapano has the released date scheduled for 'end of 2016.'
The Bullitt Group, one of the companies licensing the Kodak brand name, has launched the Kodak Ektra smartphone. Named after Kodak's 1941 Ektra rangefinder, the phone's design attempts to mimic the look of a vintage analog camera. The back of the device features a small camera grip and is covered in leatherette. There is also a two-stage shutter-button and optional accessories include a range of retro-style leather pouches and cases.
Despite the camera-centric exterior, underneath the hood the Ektra is smartphone business as usual. The camera comes with a 21MP sensor, F2.0 aperture and optical image stabilization. A 26.5mm equivalent lens is offered, as is PDAF, 4K video and a dual-tone flash. A 13MP camera can be found at the front. The camera app features manual control over most shooting parameters and a wide range of filter effects for both videos and still images.
Other specifications include a 5” 1080p screen, Helio X20 chipset, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage that is expandable via a microSD slot. The 3000mAh battery should provide more than enough juice for a day of shooting. Overall the Kodak Ektra comes with a good mid-range smartphone specification but is mostly about the vintage camera looks. It will be available in the UK this December for £450 (approximately $550). There are also plans to make the device available in the US in early 2017.
KODAK EKTRA Smartphone is Designed for Photographers – from Enthusiasts to Experts
Photography-led smartphone features powerful imaging and editing capabilities
Rochester, NY, Thursday, October 20, 2016 --
Eastman Kodak Company and Bullitt Group today unveiled the KODAK EKTRA Smartphone, a photography-led smartphone designed for those with a passion for photography, from enthusiasts to experts. The KODAK EKTRA Smartphone fuses the best of Kodak’s rich history in imaging with the latest innovations in smartphone photography. Launching soon across Europe, the KODAK EKTRA Smartphone lets keen photographers capture exceptional images, whatever the environment, with an incredibly fast smartphone, tuned for the best in image quality and media management.
Jeff Clarke, Kodak Chief Executive, said: “Kodak has a rich history in imaging technology and the launch of the KODAK Smartphone today demonstrates our ongoing commitment to bringing the latest advances in photography to consumers. The original KODAK EKTRA Camera was launched in 1941 and in its latest reincarnation, opens up a world of creative opportunities to all who care about photography.”
At the heart of the KODAK EKTRA Smartphone is a 21-megapixel fast focus camera sensor with f2.0 aperture, and an industry leading 13-megapixel front-facing camera with Phase Detection Auto Focus PDAF and f2.2 aperture. The custom built camera app is controlled by an intuitive haptic touch, SLR-style Scene Selection Dial, where adjustments are made in real time via a range of settings including HDR, Landscape, Portrait, Macro, Sport, Night-time, Panorama and Bokeh, alongside a Smart Auto mode which auto-selects the best conditions for your photographs. In Manual mode, more advanced users can adjust exposure, ISO, focus, white balance and shutter speed, with the results being visible on the screen as changes are made.
The KODAK EKTRA Smartphone has an ergonomically weighted and high quality industrial design, underlining its camera styling and featuring a dedicated dual press shutter button in the horizontal style of traditional cameras. The device also features a Super 8 app, providing professional effects reminiscent of Kodak’s iconic Super 8 film stocks.A lightning-fast HELIO X20 Decacore processor powers the ANDROID Marshmallow smartphone.
The KODAK EKTRA Smartphone includes editing software from SNAPSEED, providing exceptional tools to edit images on-the-go, without having to download any additional apps. This enables users to transform images with professional results similar to many popular desktop image editors. Sharing the results in real time is also easy with integrated social media apps and the Prints app is a simple way to select your best shots to be professionally printed.
“It has been a joy to work with Kodak, their clear brand direction and photography knowledge, combined with our customer and technology insight has culminated in the beautiful and powerful KODAK EKTRA Smartphone,” said Peter Stephens, CEO Bullitt Group, mobile device licensee for Kodak. “We are excited to reach out to this dynamic and engaged photography category and look forward to getting this camera phone into people’s hands.”
KODAK EKTRA Smartphone key features:
ANDROID 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Professional results from a 21MP fast focus camera sensor with F2.0, PDAF, OIS, Dual LED Flash
13MP phase detection auto focus front-facing camera with F2.2 PDAF
Helio X20 2.3GHz Decacore processor with 3GB RAM
32GB memory, expandable with MicroSD cards
Advanced Manual Mode – adjustable on Exposure, ISO, Focal Length (Manual/Auto), White Balance, Shutter Speed, Aperture (fixed f2.0 main camera)
Familiar scene selection dial experience – includes scene modes Smart Auto, Portrait, Manual, Sports, Bokeh, Night-time, HDR, Panorama, Macro, Landscape, Film / Video
Integrated high quality printing app
Super 8 Video Recorder
Integrated social media sharing
3000mAh, with USB 3.0 Type C fast charger
The KODAK EKTRA Smartphone will be priced at £449 and available across Europe later this year.
Sigma announced its new line of cinema lenses back in September. Today it announced that the first two lenses in that line to go on sale, the 18-35mm T2 and 50-100 T2, will both ship on December 9, 2016 for $4000 each. Both will be available in EF, E and PL mounts.
These weatherproof lenses are completely mechanical and designed for use with ultra high resolution cameras, including those capable of 6 and 8K capture. And another five lenses are slated to join the new cinema line over the course of 2017 including a 24-35 F2.2 and a 20mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 80mm set of T1.5 primes.
Sigma Announces Cine High Speed Zoom Lens Pricing and Availability
Cine High Speed Zoom 18-35mm T2 and 50-100mm T2 lenses begin shipping on December 9 for a retail price of $3999.00 USD
New York, NY – October 20, 2016 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading DSLR lens, camera, flash and accessory manufacturer, announced today that the Cine High Speed Zoom 18-35mm T2 and 50-100mm T2 lenses will begin shipping on December 9, 2016 for a retail price of $3999.00 USD. Born from the new Sigma Cine family of products, the High Speed Zoom lenses leverage the outstanding optical design of the company’s world-renowned Global Vision still photography lenses. Combined with the 100% new mechanical lens body design, the Cine lenses meet needs of advanced 6k and 8k cinema production with the core optical quality DNA that has defined the Sigma benchmark of imaging excellence.
See the Sigma Cine Family of Products at PDN/PPE 2016 Expo Demonstrated for the first time to the public in the United States, attendees to the 2016 PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo (PPE), held at the Javits Convention Center in New York City from October 20-22, 2016, can see first-hand the new Sigma Cine family of lenses:
Cine High Speed Zoom Line - 18-35mm T2 and 50-100mm T2 The high speed zoom line, which is compatible with the Super35 image size standard, offers the constant aperture of T2 throughout the zoom range with superior optical performance that is capable of high-resolution 6K-8K shooting. Delivering the highest image quality in its class, the High Speed Zoom is ergonomically compact and designed for E, EF and PL camera system mounts.
Cine FF Zoom Line - 24-35mm T2.2 FF Compatible with a full-frame image sensor, the FF Zoom’s outstanding optical performance also supports 6K-8K shooting. Because so few lenses cater to the requirements of the latest digital cinema cameras’ image sensors, this line provides a rare option for cinematographers. The FF Zoom is designed for E and EF camera system mounts.
Cine FF High Speed Prime Line - 20mm T1.5 FF, 24mm T1.5 FF, 35mm T1.5 FF, 50mm T1.5 FF and 85mm T1.5 FF The Cine High Speed Prime lineup features lenses ranging from 20mm to 85mm, with all five touting an aperture of T1.5. Highly compact and compatible with full-frame sensors, these lenses offer superior resolution. They bring a consistent level of light to the production, offering greater consistency to any film’s color, contrast and overall look before it enters post-production. The FF High Speed Prime line is designed for E, EF and PL camera system mounts.
About Sigma Corporation Craftsmanship. Precision. Dedication. Since 1961, Sigma has been devoted the pursuit of advancing photographic technology. Unique to the industry, the family-owned business produces its high-quality, award-winning camera lenses, DSLR cameras, flashes, filters and accessories from its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility located in Aizu, Japan.
In 2012, the company introduced the Sigma Global Vision with three distinct lens lines: Art, Contemporary and Sport. Designed for industry camera mount systems including Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Sony and Sigma, each lens is handcrafted and tested in Japan to ensure a high-performance, premium product that is purpose-built to last.
Sigma continues its tradition of imaging excellence with the mirrorless sd Quattro, sd Quattro H and the compact dp Quattro camera line. Leveraging the ultra-high resolution Foveon sensor, the Sigma Quattro cameras are designed to produce the highest quality image with every shot.
When you think of unique cameras, the Kodak DC265 (announced in 1999 for $899) probably doesn't come to mind. The first thing you probably notice is its unusual shape and 'foot' to keep it from tipping over. But what really made it unique is that it ran Flashpoint's Digita OS, which was fully scriptable (the company and OS did not last long.) In other words, developers could add new features by writing some code and putting it onto a memory card. Several Kodak models at the time supported Digita, as did those from HP, Konica Minolta and Epson.
Before we get to that, here's a quick overview of the DC265. It had an F3.0-4.7, 38-115mm equivalent lens, which is so loud when it's extending that it made my coworkers in other cubicles wonder what on earth was going on. It had a whopping 1.6 Megapixel CCD, an external autofocus sensor (that we think involves infrared light) and an optical viewfinder that isn't nearly as large as it appears from this view.
Throwback Thursday: Kodak DC265
While the DC265 had a 'regular' menu system (more on that in a minute), you could also use the LCD info display and a pair of buttons to quickly adjust settings. In 1999 this was a pretty advanced camera, offering burst shooting (at a whopping 3 fps, with live view disabled), time lapse and manual focus. It takes the camera and absurd amount of time to save a burst of photos to its memory card; we're talking like 90 seconds.
While it looks like the DC265 doesn't have much of a grip, it's actually quite comfortable in the hand. The thumb rest is on the lower-right side of the back panel and works in conjunction with the 'foot' shown earlier, making this unusually shaped camera easy to hang on to.
Throwback Thursday: Kodak DC265
The DC265 was loaded with I/O ports. You've got your 8-pin Mini-DIN port for connecting to a Mac or PC, A/V out and DC-in. And what's hiding under that last port? A flash sync port! There's a dedicated volume button, a feature which didn't really catch on.
You can see that the previous owners – a school in Bellevue, WA – etched their name onto the side of the camera for all eternity.
Throwback Thursday: Kodak DC265
The DC265 had two doors on its right side. One holds 4 AA batteries, while the other is where you'll put that CompactFlash card. I had to dig through my collection of ancient memory cards to find one that the camera could read (96MB in this case).
The battery life on the DC265 is terrible, which is why NiMH rechargeables were so popular in those days.
Throwback Thursday: Kodak DC265
There are lots of exciting things on the back of the camera which, as you can see, has had a rough life. You've got a tiny viewfinder, a mic and speaker, that nice rear thumb rest, plus the zoom controller at the top right.
The mode dial (around the four-way controller) switches between record, playback, connect (to a PC or printer) and 'info' mode (which just listed the firmware version, copyright info and a link to Flashpoint's website.)
Then there's the LCD, which is truly awful. It's average-sized for that time period (2") and the resolution was competitive. However, once you pan the camera or anything moves, everything turns blue and red and the refresh rate is around 3-4 fps (per Phil Askey's original review.)
To make matters worse: the menus are all in Comic Sans (or something that closely resembles it.)
Throwback Thursday: Kodak DC265
And that leads us to the Kodak DC265's pièce de résistance: Digita. This scripting language, developed by the now-defunct Flashpoint, was easy for anyone with basic programming experience to learn. Kodak itself offered several scripts for Digita, including one for bracketing that you can see parts of above.
There was also a pretty large home-brew community at the time, with scripts that could generate HTML galleries, have finer control over shutter speed or just play Tic Tac Toe. Scripting got more powerful on later DC-series models (notably the DC290), with the ability to create panoramas or embed GPS data. And while it couldn't run Crysis, the DC290 could play Doom.
As you probably know by now, Digita didn't take off. But for a brief moment in time, it let photographers add features to cameras themselves, rather than waiting for the next model to come out.
Kodak deserves a lot of credit for bringing something new to digital photography, whether it was the unique design of the DC265 (and its successor, the DC290) or putting users in control over camera features with Digita.
For more on the Kodak DC265, check out Phil Askey's review here on DPR.
Photographer Benjamin Von Wong, never one to shy away from extreme conditions to get a shot, has released a new set of images and behind the scenes information from his most recent shoot among the lava flows of Hawaii's Big Island. Setting out at midnight, he and his crew trekked several miles through rough terrain to reach the glowing lava, where they set up to capture a model backlit with a battery-powered monolight. Using a Sony a7R II and FE 16-35mm F4, Von Wong worked quickly – the intense temperatures meant his model could only stand in position near the lava for very short periods of time.
You can see some of the resulting images above. For more behind-the-scenes info, head to Von Wong's blog. Images from the shoot are for sale, with profits benefiting victims of Hurricane Matthew.
Leica has announced that it will release a new version of its Q (Typ 116) full-frame compact camera that will be finished in a gray paint instead of the usual black. The Leica Q ‘Titanium gray’ will be essentially the same camera as the black model, but its metal areas will be a light gray. The material body cover will be a dark gray. The company says that there are other ‘striking design features’ that make the camera different to the standard model, but all that’s evident is the distance scale markings on the lens are picked out in red paint, like the Rolf Sachs Summilux-M 35mm F1.4, instead of Leica’s usual yellow. The strap will also be made of a different material.
The ‘Titanium gray’ model will be available from the middle of November and will cost £3800. The black version usually sells for around £3200/$4250, but is rather short supply. For more information see the Leica website.
Leica Q ‘Titanium gray’
A perfect fusion of technology, design and style
Leica Camera has revealed the Leica Q ‘Titanium gray’, bringing a brand new, alternative design to its successful, high-performance compact camera, the Leica Q, which features a fixed fast prime lens and full-frame sensor.
In contrast to the discreet black of the body, lens and leather-style trim of the original Leica Q, this stunning new model offers a titanium grey paint finish on the top and base plate and back of the camera, combining the premium look of precious metal with classic black elements.
Elegant, yet extremely durable, the Leica Q ‘Titanium gray’ includes a series of striking design features not found on the standard model. For example, the distance scale in feet and the focal length on the lens are highlighted in red. Furthermore, the colour-coordinated carrying strap supplied with the camera has been manufactured from strong, robust material most commonly used to make climbing ropes.
Offering the same impressive performance and technical specifications of the black Leica Q model, the Leica Q ‘Titanium gray’ features intuitive handling and an exceptionally fast lens. The perfect camera for street, architectural and landscape photography, its Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH. lens makes the Leica Q ideal for available light shooting and has an angle of view that reproduces scenes with natural perspectives and proportions.
With a 24 MP, full-frame CMOS sensor precisely matched to its lens, the Leica Q ‘Titanium gray’ delivers richly detailed exposures with low noise at optimum quality, at ISO sensitivities of up to 50,000. This outstanding camera allows the greatest possible creative freedom for even the most demanding photographic ambitions, enabling the photographer to switch effortlessly between macro, automatic and manual focusing.
Ensuring the decisive moment is never missed, the Leica Q full-frame compact camera has the fastest autofocus in its class and offers precision focusing almost in real-time. Furthermore, its Leica ultra-fast Maestro II image processor enables continuous shooting at up to ten frames per second at full resolution. Allowing reliable control of subject composition at this speed, the Leica Q also features an integrated viewfinder with a resolution of 3.68 MP – displaying even the finest details without any perceptible lag, as soon as the camera is brought up to the user’s eye.
All functions of the camera are clearly laid out and logically placed, making it exceptionally ergonomic to use. The clear and logical menu provides rapid access to all essential functions and also enables photographers to programme their own personalised settings.
In addition, the Leica Q delivers movie recording in full-HD quality. Depending on the scene and subject, users can choose between 30 and 60 full frames per second for video recording in MP4 format. The camera also features an integrated Wi-Fi module for wireless transmission of still pictures and video to other devices, and remote control by WLAN from a smartphone or tablet.
The Leica Q app enabling these features can be downloaded free of charge from the Leica web site. As well as providing a remote release function and display of the viewfinder image, the app also allows the setting of parameters such as aperture and shutter speed from the device employed.
Full product specifications can be found at: uk.leica-camera.com.
Pricing and availability
The Leica Q ‘Titanium gray’ is scheduled to be available from mid-November 2016, at a suggested retail price of £3,800 including VAT.
A modern version of the 1955 L-mount Summaron 2.8cm F5.6 lens is to be introduced by German camera manufacturer Leica. The new lens will be fitted for the current M series and will be named the Summaron-M 28mm F5.6. The company appears to have kept the optical design the same as was used in the original model – and indeed makes a feature of the vignetting - but has changed the mount and added 6-bit coding so the lens can communicate EXIF data to modern camera bodies. Internal mechanics remain as they were when the lens was first introduced, but the aperture ring and focusing knob have been redesigned to match the placement and feel of the current M series optics.
With such a small maximum aperture the lens itself is especially compact and lightweight - measuring 51mm across and extending 18mm. This makes it ideal for street and documentary work on occasions when the photographer wants to remain unnoticed. It seems though that at this stage the lens will only be available in silver chrome, like the original, with no black paint alternative for those with black cameras.
Leica says the focus throw is particularly long which should make focusing accurate, and the small aperture will deliver quite an extensive depth of field even when used wide open. The closest focus will be one meter and the smallest aperture will be F22.
The original Summaron 2.8cm F5.6 was produced between 1955 and 1963, and was made in relatively small numbers – so prices have remained high for these older models. It was introduced as a replacement for the even flatter Hektor 2.8cm F6.3 and bought with it that faster aperture.
There is no date for delivery yet for the new lens, but the company is asking users to pre-order due to ‘expected strong demand’. The price will be £1900.
The Return of a Classic: The Ultra-Compact LEICA SUMMARON-M 28 mm f/5.6 wide-angle lens for Unobtrusive Reportage Photography with a Vintage Look
October 19, 2016 - With the Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6, Leica Camera expands the lens portfolio of the Leica M rangefinder system with the modern reincarnation of a classic Leica lens. First introduced as a screw mount lens in 1955, the predecessor of this new lens is still one of the most compact wide-angle lenses in the Leica M-System and is famed for its characteristic visual signature. The new Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 takes its lead from the classically compact construction of its ancestor and brings the unique, analog look of its pictures into the age of digital photography.
The optical design and mechanical construction of the Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 are identical to those of its predecessor, which was manufactured at the Leitz factory in Wetzlar until 1963. The perfect fusion of the latest optical developments, such as the highest quality finishing and manufacturing techniques, with this classic optical design make this new edition of the Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 much more than a reconstruction of an existing lens. While only slightly modernizing the shape and design of the lens, the new version of the Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 is reduced to the essentials but loses none of the character of its legendary ancestor. Its exceptionally short length of less than two centimeters makes it incredibly unobtrusive, and together with the inherent unassuming nature of a Leica M it is an ideal lens for street photography. The combination of a clearly laid out depth of field scale and long focus throw allow for very precise and easy zone focusing.
The optical design of 6 elements in 4 groups, arranged symmetrically around the iris of the new Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6, is identical to that of its ancestor. The historic optical design of the original lens has remained completely unchanged. When shot at wide-open aperture, the new Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 renders subjects with rich contrast across nearly the entire image field. The combination of a large depth of field, natural contrast rendition, excellent resolution of details and a slight visible vignetting create a unique visual signature, and lend pictures a special classic look reminiscent of earlier days of analog photography.
The outward appearance of the new Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 has been harmonized with the contemporary look and mechanics of the current portfolio of Leica M-Lenses. This is exemplified in the Leica M bayonet mount with 6-bit coding, the shape of the focusing lock button, the diameter of the aperture ring and the style of the knurling on the barrel and rings. The style and construction of the lens hood reflects the original, and recalls memories of the beginnings of rangefinder photography. It is machined from solid brass and finished in an elaborate manufacturing process.
As is the case for all other Leica lenses, the Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 was designed and developed by the precision engineers and optical specialists in Wetzlar. As a product made to stand the test of time with enduring value, the lens is made in Germany from only the finest materials, and assembled entirely by hand. The combination of cutting-edge technologies and painstaking manufacturing processes guarantees consistently excellent quality and long-lasting reliability.
Customers wishing to purchase a Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5.6 lens must place a pre-order with a Leica Store, Boutique or Dealer. Deliveries will follow according to the sequence in which the orders are received. Due to the strong demand, long delivery times must be taken into account, especially in the first few months.
We've known for a while now that Fujifilm is developing a 1:1 format instant film, which measures 85.6mm x 72mm and provides a 62 x 62mm image, and an accompanying Instax camera. Unfortunately not much detail is known about the camera but now the Japanese manufacturer has released a teaser video on its Instax Square website that gives us at least a glimpse at some elements of the camera.
On the website you get to see some Instax Square sample images but unfortunately most of the video consists of trippy graphics that remind us of a 1990's techno music video. So watch closely, you don't want to miss the important parts.
Instant film fans will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the new toy, as the release of both film and camera is scheduled for the Spring of 2017.