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Oct
16

Meet the Canon PowerShot G1 X III

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

The Canon G1 X Mark III is what would happen if someone crammed a Canon 80D or M5 into a Powershot G5 X body, which is pretty cool. The body is impressively small and light weight, given its large sensor and useful 24-70mm equiv. zoom range, even if the F2.8-5.6 aperture is a tad slow. We're excited to get it in and get shooting, but for now, here's a look into some of its main features and specs.

Oct
16

Meet the Canon PowerShot G1 X III

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

The Canon G1 X Mark III is what would happen if someone crammed a Canon 80D or M5 into a Powershot G5 X body, which is pretty cool. The body is impressively small and light weight, given its large sensor and useful 24-70mm equiv. zoom range, even if the F2.8-5.6 aperture is a tad slow. We're excited to get it in and get shooting, but for now, here's a look into some of its main features and specs.

Oct
16

MeFOTO launches MeVIDEO brand with new GlobeTrotter travel video tripod

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Manufacturer of colorful travel tripods MeFOTO is launching its first video tripod via a Kickstarter campaign, and there's a new brand name to along with it. The MeVIDEO GlobeTrotter will be the first of this 'new' company’s tripods, and will feature a new leveling head design and a choice of aluminum or carbon fibre legs.

With a maximum payload of 8.8lbs/4kg, this travel tripod is aimed at the serious video market, including those using large DSLRs and lower end dedicated professional video cameras.

The MeVIDEO GlobeTrotter comes with an aluminum ball and socket-style leveling platform, and a head that offers a long panning handle. The handle can be switched for left or right-handed users, and the four-section legs spread to three positions as well as reverse folding for storage.

For low angled shooting, the center column can be split in two so the shoulders can be dropped close to the ground, and the top half of the column can be attached to one of the tripod legs to create a monopod. MeVIDEO also allows the head to be completely removed from the shoulders and leveling platform, so it can be used on other accessories such as a slider or crane.

The GlobeTrotter will have a maximum height of 65.7in/166.8cm and packs away to 21.9in/55.7cm. It will weigh 6.06lb/2.75kg in carbon fibre and 6.64lb/3.01kg in aluminum.

Users will have a choice of black or ‘titanium’ finishes, both of which are expected to cost $500 for the aluminum version, and $700 for the carbon fibre version although there are, of course, special deals for those pledging support for the campaign at an early stage. The company expects to ship in January 2018.

For more information or if you'd like to put down a pledge of your own, visit the MeVIDEO Kickstarter page.

Press Release

MeFOTO Announces Launch of MeVIDEO Offering First-Of-Its-Kind Travel Video Tripod

MeVIDEO’s sleek design and unmatched usability provides on-the-go filmmakers with an exceptional video tripod experience.

MeFOTO, the innovative tripod manufacturer, today announced the launch of MeVIDEO, a new sister company focusing on the film and video market with a travel video tripod available now on Kickstarter. Incredibly durable, lightweight, thoughtful and intuitive, MeVIDEO is the ultimate high-quality and full-featured travel video tripod.

"We created MeVIDEO with one simple goal: to create the best compact, travel-friendly, user-friendly video tripod ever for today’s on-the-go filmmakers and videographers. We wanted to create a tripod that makes sense from the moment you put your hands on it; something detailed, yet approachable - and then, to make it incredibly beautiful"
Brian Hynes, MeFOTO + MeVIDEO Brand Marketing Manager.

MeVIDEO GlobeTrotter features include:

  • Reverse folding legs to allow for a more compact folded form that makes it perfect for traveling
  • Integrated Leveling Platform for precise, intuitive positioning of your camera on the center column without needing to adjust legs.
  • Removable Flat Base Head featuring ratchet-style metal adjustment knobs for leveling.
  • Head can be used on other flat surfaces such as certain sliders, jibs, half ball adapters and more.
  • Split/center column allows for maximum flexibility as well as providing the ability to get very low to the ground.
  • Support for multiple cameras ranging from the Sony A6500, Panasonic GH5, Sony A7SII, Canon 5D Mark IV to the Canon C100.
  • Independent locking positions for the legs allow for easy setup on any terrain.
  • Integrated, stainless steel spikes can be expanded or retracted into the rubber feet for stability on any surface.
  • Converts to a monopod. Simply unscrew the center column and combine with the padded leg.
  • Available in anodized aluminum or carbon fiber in black or titanium and comes with a padded canvas carrying case for additional protection when traveling.

Kickstarter

MeVIDEO launched their Kickstarter campaign today, with the goal of raising $50,000. Kickstarter contributors will receive a discounted rate of $349 for the aluminum and $499 for the carbon fiber model. When MeVIDEO publicly launches in early 2018, the retail price is expected to be $499 for the aluminum and $699 for the carbon fiber model.

About MeFOTO:

MeFOTO offers two styles and multiple sizes of strategically designed travel tripods in both aluminum and carbon fiber in a variety of colors. They are ideal for on-the-go photographers, and now filmmakers, at every experience level. www.mefoto.com and www.mevideo.co

Oct
16

Polaroid Moto Mod leaked, straps an instant printer to your smartphone

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Leakster Evan Blass has tweeted an image showing two Moto Mods, one of which is said to be a Polaroid instant print camera module for printing photos directly from your smartphone. As with any Moto Mod, this particular module will be compatible with the Moto Z handsets, including the Moto Z Play and Moto Z² Force Edition.

The Polaroid module is a device that connects to the back of a compatible Motorola smartphone to give it extra functionality—in this case, printing small instant prints and essentially turning your phone into an 'instant camera.' Blass didn't provide details about the module, but presumably it would use the same ZINK (Zero Ink) inkless printing technology as Polaroid's existing instant digital camera.

For now this is just a leak, but it's not the first time we've seen the Polaroid Moto Mod; late last month, two images of the same device appeared on the website Technoblog. So it does appear that this attachment is the real deal.

Oct
16

How to Supercharge Your Photography with Highlight-Weighted Metering

Filed Under Digital Photography School, Photography Tips and Tutorials

Modern digital cameras have a variety of metering modes that they use to evaluate the light coming through the lens and help you choose your exposure settings. Each one is different and designed to fit a specific need. As you gain experience with them you will start to know which metering mode to use for any given scene you are shooting.

If you’re shooting portraits you might want to use Spot or Center-weighted metering, while landscape shooters may prefer the versatility of matrix or evaluative mode. Knowing which mode to use often comes with time and practice. But what if I told you there was a metering mode built-in to some cameras that could basically guarantee your shots would come out properly exposed every single time? Well, if you believe that then I’ve got a bridge in New York I’d like to sell you.

Highlight-Weighted Metering Mode

However, if your camera has Highlight-Weighted metering it will certainly help you get better results from your photos. While I can’t guarantee your pics will be perfect every single time, it can really come in handy if you’re not sure how to meter your scene and want a solution that you know you can rely on.

How to Supercharge Your Photography with Highlight-Weighted Metering

Different metering modes for different situations

The reason photographers use specific metering modes when shooting various scenes is that they want to make sure the right thing is properly exposed. For example, if you’re shooting a portrait it’s important to make sure your subject’s face is neither too bright nor too dark, even is it means some background elements will end up bright white or pitch black.

Center-weighted metering can solve this problem by helping you arrive at an exposure setting such that whatever is in the middle of the frame (i.e. your subject’s face) is exposed just right. Other metering modes such as Spot, Matrix/Evaluative, and Partial Metering all perform similar functions in that they help you make sure you have just the right camera settings to get precisely the important part of your composition properly exposed.

Highlight-weighted metering tosses all that out the window. In the process, it could also dramatically alter your approach not only to metering a scene but to photography as a whole.

How to Supercharge Your Photography with Highlight-Weighted Metering

I used Center-weighted metering here to make sure this couple was exposed just right, even though the background is a bit too bright. I cared more about the couple looking good than the tree leaves behind them.

Enter Highlight-Weighted Metering for Select Nikon Cameras

Available on only a few Nikon cameras, (D5, D850, D810, D750, D500, and D7500 as of the time of this writing) Highlight-weighted metering utilizes the incredible dynamic range of modern image sensors to give you a massive degree of control over your photos. Provided you don’t mind doing a bit of legwork in Lightroom, Photoshop, Luminar, or other post-processing software.

It works by looking at the brightest elements of a scene (instead of specific areas like the center or the focus point) and using those as the basis for taking an exposure reading. On the surface, this might seem like a terrible idea because doing so would obviously mean a great deal of your photo could, as a result, be much too dark and underexposed to be usable.

Accessing Highlight-Weighted Metering

I’ve talked to some photographers who own cameras that can do Highlight-Weighted metering, and some of them aren’t even aware that their cameras have this capability. It’s not that surprising since Nikon doesn’t seem to go out of its way to advertise the feature, and even if you know about it you still may not know how to enable it.

To access this feature, press the metering button on your camera and then turn the control dial until you see an icon that looks the same as spot metering, with the exception of an asterisk in the top-right corner.

How to Supercharge Your Photography with Highlight-Weighted Metering

You will see the same icon if you look at the rear LCD screen of your camera, and as soon as it appears you’re good to go. However, figuring out how to enable Highlight-Weighted metering is one thing but understanding how it works, when to use it, and how to get the most out of it is another matter entirely.

Exposing for the Highlights

Before I get too deep into what this all means, it’s important to understand that Highlight-Weighted metering isn’t really the best solution to use for everyday shooting. It’s designed to make sure the brightest portions of your composition are not overexposed, which means a great deal of the photo is going to be shrouded in darkness.

You also won’t really see the advantages of using it unless you shoot RAW because it’s designed to give you an image that is extremely flexible due to the amount of data you have to work with during the post-production phase. Since JPEG files toss out such a huge amount of image data, they’re not much use with Highlight-Weighted metering because you simply don’t have much room to edit your photos when developing them in Lightroom.

Metering Mode Comparison

As an illustration of how Highlight-Weighted metering works, consider this series of three images. I took the following shot using Matrix metering mode, which tries to get a good overall balance between highlights and shadows. It’s a mode that many people use by default since it helps you get properly-exposed images in most shooting situations.

How to Supercharge Your Photography with Highlight-Weighted Metering

Matrix metering resulted in a good overall exposure but the sky is so bright that it can’t be fixed in post-production.

You can see that the camera tried its best to balance out the highlights and shadows, and the resulting image is decent but there is a massive portion of the sky that is simply too bright and can’t be recovered in Lightroom, Photoshop, or any other post-processing software.

Using Highlight-Weighted metering meant that my camera helped me adjust the exposure settings such that the brightest parts (i.e. the sky) were not overexposed, which resulted in an image that seems unusable at first.

How to Supercharge Your Photography with Highlight-Weighted Metering

Highlight-weighted metering preserved the brightest portions of the image but left the rest vastly underexposed. This is the image as it came right out of the camera.

Fortunately, due to the incredible dynamic range in modern camera sensors, an image like this is perfectly usable. The key is that the highlights haven’t been lost or clipped, so the sky is exposed just fine while the dark portions of the image still contain so much data (because I shot in RAW) that it can still be transformed into a print-worthy photo with just a few clicks.

How to Supercharge Your Photography with Highlight-Weighted Metering

The sky was exposed properly, with plenty of shadow details still available for editing. This is the same image as above, after processing to pull detail out of the shadow areas.

Some Caveats

As you might expect, there are some caveats to using this approach as well as a few questions.

First of all, experienced photographers might wonder what the big deal is with this approach since similar results can be had by simply using exposure compensation. That is if you take a shot and see that the image is overexposed, just compensate by underexposing it a few stops. The problem with this approach is that it’s a multi-step solution which means a critical moment can sometimes pass you by while you are adjusting the exposure. However, using Highlight-Weighted metering ensures that the brightest parts of your image will never be clipped and therefore have plenty of data to use when editing.

It’s also worth pointing out that in order to get the benefits of Highlight-Weighted metering you need to be willing to edit your photos afterward in order to bring up the shadows and adjust your images accordingly. If you’re used to shooting JPG or doing minimal editing, it might not be worth the additional time that this solution adds to your workflow.

Finally, to get the most benefits you need to use low ISO values since the data from the sensor will be more usable. Sensor dynamic range drops off at higher ISO values so if you find yourself shooting at ISO 6400, 3200, or even 1600 you won’t be able to bring up the shadows nearly as well as you could with images shot at ISO 100 or 200.

Another example

For one more example, here’s a series of photos of a goose that illustrate this concept in action. This first image was taken using standard Matrix metering which did its job pretty well. Overall the scene is properly exposed, except for one glaring exception: the overexposed part right at the base of the bird’s neck.

How to Supercharge Your Photography with Highlight-Weighted Metering

Matrix metering, unedited RAW file.

After seeing my results I quickly switched to the Highlight-weighted metering mode. In doing so, my camera made sure that the brightest part of the image was properly exposed, which left the rest extraordinarily dark.

How to Supercharge Your Photography with Highlight-Weighted Metering

Highlight-weighted metering, unedited RAW file

Fortunately, there was plenty of color data to extract from the shadows, so a little finessing in Lightroom resulted in an image that I’d be happy to post to my Instagram feed.

How to Supercharge Your Photography with Highlight-Weighted Metering

Highlight-weighted metering, edited in Lightroom to pull out the shadow detail.

What if you don’t have a Highlight-weighted metering mode?

If you don’t have Highlight-weighted metering built into your camera you can approximate its effects by using Spot metering and the exposure lock button on your camera. This would allow you to set exposure values based on what you deem to be the brightest part of the composition, lock in your settings, and then recompose your shot before snapping the shutter. It’s not as simple or elegant as having the camera automatically meter the scene based on the brightest part of the composition, but it’s worth trying if your camera doesn’t have this function.

Conclusion

I like to think of Highlight-weighted metering as another useful arrow to have in my photography quiver, but not something I use all the time for every one of my shots. For most images, I tend to default to Matrix metering since it will usually give me a properly-exposed shot that I can tweak if I need to.

However, when I find myself in situations with extreme contrast between the lightest and darkest portions I will often switch over to Highlight-weighted metering so I can stop worrying about checking my settings and dialing in exposure compensation. That way I know that I’ll end up with images that I can edit however I need to in Lightroom because nothing will be overexposed.

The post How to Supercharge Your Photography with Highlight-Weighted Metering by Simon Ringsmuth appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Oct
16

DJI ‘AeroScope’ tech shares your drone’s ID and location with law enforcement

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

DJI has launched a security solution that enables law enforcement and other 'authorized parties' such as aerospace agencies to receive identifying information and location data from DJI drones being operated nearby.

The company calls this solution AeroScope, and explains that it is based on existing communication technologies. Put simply, AeroScope uses the communications link between a DJI drone and its remote control to broadcast telemetry data and either a serial number or registration number to anyone with an AeroSpace receiver. In addition to location and ID, the data that is being broadcast includes details such as altitude, flight speed, and direction.

AeroScope is already in use at two unspecified international airports and DJI says that testing is underway in other environments.

During a demonstration last week, DJI explained that AeroScope receivers automatically detect when a related drone powers on nearby, plotting the drone's location on a map alongside its serial or registration number. With this information, officials can determine who the device's registered owner is; however, DJI was adamant that this system does not broadcast personally identifiable data (though that could change in any jurisdiction that establishes regulations requiring such info).

AeroScope is DJI's way of addressing growing concerns from law enforcement and governments around the world over the ability (or lack thereof) to identify and track drones that violate UAV regulations. There have been, for example, instances of drones flying in restricted airspaces, at too high of altitudes, over crowds, and over prison yards. Identifying the owner and operator of these drones remains difficult.

On the other side of the debate are concerns over privacy, which is why DJI decided to use existing communications tech to locally transmit info—rather than the Internet. This, explains DJI, prevents governments from automatically cataloging this data in a database. Only authorized parties will have access to the AeroScope receiver.

The receiver is already compatible with all current DJI drones, but other drone makers can configure their products to transmit ID information that can be picked up by AeroScope, in case law enforcement decides to set this up as some sort of 'standard.'

Press Release

DJI Unveils Technology To Identify And Track Airborne Drones

AeroScope Addresses Safety, Security And Privacy Concerns While Protecting Drone Pilots

12 October 2017 – DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, today unveiled AeroScope, its new solution to identify and monitor airborne drones with existing technology that can address safety, security and privacy concerns.

AeroScope uses the existing communications link between a drone and its remote controller to broadcast identification information such as a registration or serial number, as well as basic telemetry, including location, altitude, speed and direction. Police, security agencies, aviation authorities and other authorized parties can use an AeroScope receiver to monitor, analyze and act on that information. AeroScope has been installed at two international airports since April, and is continuing to test and evaluate its performance in other operational environments.

“As drones have become an everyday tool for professional and personal use, authorities want to be sure they can identify who is flying near sensitive locations or in ways that raise serious concerns,” said Brendan Schulman, DJI’s Vice President for Policy and Legal Affairs. “DJI AeroScope addresses that need for accountability with technology that is simple, reliable and affordable – and is available for deployment now.”

DJI demonstrated the system today in Brussels, Belgium, showing how an AeroScope receiver can immediately sense a drone as it powers on, then plot its location on a map while displaying a registration number. That number functions as the equivalent of a drone license plate, and authorities can use it to determine the registered owner of a drone that raises concerns. In March 2017, in response to growing calls by governments worldwide for remote identification solutions, DJI released a white paper describing the benefits of such an approach to electronic identification for drones.

AeroScope works with all current models of DJI drones, which analysts estimate comprise over two-thirds of the global civilian drone market. Since AeroScope transmits on a DJI drone’s existing communications link, it does not require new on-board equipment or modifications, or require extra steps or costs to be incurred by drone operators. Other drone manufacturers can easily configure their existing and future drones to transmit identification information in the same way.

Because AeroScope relies on drones directly broadcasting their information to local receivers, not on transmitting data to an internet-based service, it ensures most drone flights will not be automatically recorded in government databases, protecting the privacy interests of people and businesses that use drones. This approach also avoids substantial costs and complexities that would be involved in creating such databases and connecting drones to network systems.

This system is consistent with DJI’s problem-solving approach to drone regulation, which aims to strike a reasonable balance between authorities’ need to identify drones that raise concerns and drone pilots’ right to fly without pervasive surveillance. DJI has led the industry with safety and security advances such as geofencing and sense-and-avoid technology, and believes the rapid pace of innovation provides the best means to address new policy concerns.

Drone identification settings will be included in DJI’s initial drone software to allow customers to choose the content of their own drone’s identification broadcast to match local expectations both before and after identification regulations are implemented in different jurisdictions. To protect customers’ privacy, the AeroScope system will not automatically transmit any personally identifiable information until regulations or policies in the pilot's jurisdiction require it.

“The rapid adoption of drones has created new concerns about safety, security and privacy, but those must be balanced against the incredible benefits that drones have already brought to society,” said Schulman. “Electronic drone identification, thoughtfully implemented, can help solve policy challenges, head off restrictive regulations, and provide accountability without being expensive or intrusive for drone pilots. DJI is proud to develop solutions that can help distribute drone benefits widely while also helping authorities keep the skies safe.”

For more information about AeroScope, please contact aeroscope@dji.com.

Oct
16

Nikon D850 Review

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Nikon D850 Review

The Nikon D850 is Nikon's latest high resolution full-frame DSLR, boasting a 46MP backside-illuminated CMOS sensor. But, in a fairly radical departure for the series, it is also one of the company's fastest-shooting DSLRs. This combination of properties should significantly widen the camera's appeal to high-end enthusiasts as well as a broad range of professional photographers.

Key Specifications:

  • 45.7MP BSI CMOS sensor
  • 7 fps continuous shooting with AE/AF (9 with battery grip and EN-EL18b battery)
  • 153-point AF system linked to 180,000-pixel metering system
  • UHD 4K video capture at up to 30p from full sensor width
  • 1080 video at up to 120p, recorded as roughly 1/4 or 1/5th speed slow-mo
  • 4:2:2 8-bit UHD uncompressed output while recording to card
  • 1 XQD slot and 1 UHS II-compliant SD slot
  • Battery life rated at 1840 shots
  • 3.2" tilting touchscreen with 2.36M-dot (1024×768 pixel) LCD
  • Illuminated controls
  • 19.4MP DX crop (or 8.6MP at 30fps for up to 3 sec)
  • SnapBridge full-time Bluetooth LE connection system with Wi-Fi
  • Advanced time-lapse options (including in-camera 4K video creation)

High resolution

The use of a backside illuminated (BSI) sensor means that the light collecting elements of the sensor are closer to the surface of the chip. This should not only increase the efficiency of the sensor (improving low light performance) but should also be expected to make the pixels near the edges of the sensor better able to accept light approaching with high angles of incidence, improving peripheral image quality.

Like the D810 before it, the D850 continues to offer an ISO 64 mode, that allows it to tolerate more light in bright conditions. We will be testing whether this gives the D850 the same dynamic range advantage as the D810, as soon as a production version arrives but our initial quick looks suggests it does, meaning it should be able to compete with the medium format sensors used in the likes of the Fujifilm GFX 50S and Pentax 645Z.

A BSI sensor with ISO 64 setting should be able to match the D810's low ISO DR while also offering improved performance in at high ISOs.

The D850 has gained a more usable electronic front curtain shutter option (EFCS), which can now be used quiet shutter modes, as well as live view and Mirror-Up mode. To get the full benefit, though, you need to turn on exposure delay (which has had two sub-second delay settings added). However, exposure delay persists across all shooting modes. Thankfully, and presumably thanks to a redesigned shutter and mirror mechanism, our quick check with a pre-production model suggests that mirror/shutter shock may not be much of an issue, even without engaging it EFCS.

The D850 has no anti-aliasing filter, which should allow for slightly finer detail capture but with added risk of moiré, if any of your lenses are sharp enough to out-resolve a 45.7MP full-frame sensor. There's still no sign of the clever design Nikon patented so, unlike the Pentax K-1 or Sony RX1R II, you can't engage an anti-aliasing effect if you do find false color appearing in densely patterned areas.

High Speed

In addition to the increased speed, the D850 also gains the full AF capabilities of the company's flagship sports camera: the D5. This includes all the hardware: AF module, metering sensor and dedicated AF processor, as well as the full range of AF modes and configuration options, which should translate to comparable focus performance combined with high resolution.

Given the D5 possessed one of the best AF systems we've ever seen and could continue to offer that performance in a wide range of conditions and shooting scenarios with minimal need for configuration, this is an exciting prospect.

As part of this system, the D850 gains the automated system for setting an AF Fine Tune value. It only calibrates the lens based on the central AF point and for a single distance, but it's a simple way to ensure you're getting closer to your lenses' full capabilities, which is handy given you'll now be able to scrutinize their performance with 46MP of detail.

Add the optional MB-D18 battery grip and an EN-EL18b battery, and the D850 will shoot at 9 frames per second.

Impressively, the D850 can shoot at nine frames per second if you add the optional MB-D18 battery grip and buy an EN-EL18b battery, as used in the D5. As well as increasing the camera's burst rate, this combination also ups the battery life to a staggering 5140 shots per charge. You don't get this same boost in speed or endurance if you use a second EN-EL15a in the grip, though.

An MB-D18 plus an EN-EL18b is likely to set you back over $580 over and above the cost of the camera body ($399 for the grip, around $149 for the battery, $30 for the BL-6 battery chamber cover plus the cost of a charger).

The D850 also includes a sufficiently deep buffer to allow fifty-one 14-bit losslessly compressed Raw files, meaning the majority of photographers are unlikely to hit its limits.

Video capabilities

In terms of video the D850 becomes the first Nikon DSLR to capture 4K video from the full width of its sensor. The camera can shoot at 30, 25 or 24p, at a bitrate of around 144 Mbps. It can simultaneously output uncompressed 4:2:2 8-bit UHD to an external recorder while recording to the card. Our initial impression is that the video is pixel-binned, rather than being resolved then downsampled (oversampling), but we'll be checking on this as part of the review process. This risks lowering the level of detail capture and increases the risk of moiré, though it's a better solution than line-skipping. There also seemed to be a fair amount of rolling shutter, but again these are only first impressions from a camera running non-final firmware.

At 1080 resolution, the camera can shoot at up to 60p, with a slow-mo mode that can capture at 120 frames per second before outputting at either 25 or 24p. The 1080 mode also offers focus peaking and digital stabilization, neither of which are available for 4K shooting.

The D850's tilting rear screen will make video shooting easier, though we doubt many will use its contrast-detection tap-to-focus system when they do.

The D850 doesn't have any Log gamma options for high-end videographers, but it does have the 'Flat' Picture Profile to squeeze a little extra dynamic range into its footage, without adding too much to the complexity of grading. It also offers full Auto ISO with exposure compensation when shooting in manual exposure mode, meaning you can set your aperture value and shutter speed, and let the camera try to maintain that brightness by varying the sensitivity.

As you'd expect from a camera at this level, the D850 also includes the Power Aperture feature that allows the camera to open and close the lens iris smoothly when in live view mode. There's also an 'Attenuator' mode for the camera's audio capture, that rolls-off any loud noises to avoid unpleasant clipping sounds.

Oct
16

Huawei unveils Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro with Leica dual-cam and AI-powered features

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

Chinese manufacturer Huawei launched its latest flagship smartphone, the Huawei Mate 10, at an event in Munich today. And like previous high-end Huawei models, the Mate 10 comes with a camera that has been developed in cooperation with Leica—this gets you not only a Leica badge on the device’s back plate but also a very promising looking dual-cam setup that combines a 12MP RGB sensor with a 20MP monochrome chip. 4K video and an 8MP front camera are on board as well.

Both of the dual-cam lenses feature a fast F1.6 aperture and optical image stabilization is on board as well. The high-resolution setup allows for what Huawei calls a 2x lossless zoom, and PDAF combined with laser and depth sensors enables fast and precise autofocus.

Huawei isn't relying on hardware alone though—AI and neural networking are applied to improve the quality of the fake bokeh mode, and object recognition for automatic scene selection also relies on some AI magic. Finally, motion detection is being used to reduce motion blur in low light conditions.

The large 5.9” display comes with a conventional 16:9 aspect ratio, 2K resolution and RGBW HDR technology for high dynamic range and low power consumption. Battery life is further enhanced by a very large 4,000 mAh battery.

In the processor department, Huawei is employing its latest and greatest Kirin 970 chipset—Huawei's first with integrated neural networking capabilities—combined with a generous 6GB of RAM, which should allow for smooth operation of the Android 8.0 ‘Oreo’ OS and Huawei’s EMUI 8.0 software.

All the components are wrapped up in a full-metal body with IP53 rating for splash and dust resistance, and will be available for 700 Euros ($825 USD) globally in a range of colors starting in November.

Huawei Mate 10 Key specifications:

  • Leica-branded dual-camera
  • Dual 12MP RGB / 20MP Monochrome
  • F1.6 aperture
  • OIS
  • 2x lossless zoom
  • 4-in-1 AF with depth, contrast, PDAF and laser
  • dual-LED flash
  • 4K video
  • 8MP front camera
  • 2-inch AMOLED, 2560 x 1440 pixels, 16:9 ratio, RGBW HDR
  • Corning Gorilla Glass
  • EMUI 8.0 / Android 8.0 (Oreo)
  • Hisilicon Kirin 970 CPU Octa-core
  • 64GB storage, 4 GB RAM
  • microSD, up to 256 GB
  • Hi-Res 32bit audio
  • 5mm headphone jack
  • 4000 mAh battery with fast charging

One More Thing

Along with the standard Mate 10, Huawei also launched the Mate 10 Pro. The Pro model shares the camera and most of the standard Mate's characteristics, but comes with an 18:9 6" 2160 x 1080 OLED HDR display and thinner bezels packed into a much sturdier IP67 water and dust resistant body. Memory has also been upped to 128GB storage and 6GB RAM.

The Mate 10 Pro will set you back 800 Euros ($945). We have our hands on a Mate 10 Pro test unit, so look out for further details and a full camera review in the near future.

Oct
16

DxO offers Android model, adds Facebook Live support and battery grip to One camera

Filed Under News: Digital Photography Review

DxO has announced version 3.0 of the iOS app for its 'One' connected camera as well as a beta USB-C Android version of the device. This significant upgrade adds support for Facebook Live broadcasting, with the ability to utilize the iPhone's built-in camera(s), as well as the one on the One (no pun intended). The new software allows users to monitor each camera separately, adjust settings as needed and then effortlessly switch from one to another.

The update also brings with it support for video and still time-lapses. The One uses 'Auto Ramping' to maintain white balance and exposure throughout the sequence in order to avoid 'flicker.' Still images can be saved in Raw format and can also be combined to create a 4K video.

New accessories include a battery pack, which holds up two batteries (each adding 1 hour of 'life'), a tilt stand and a 'cable back door' that allows for extended shooting when using the outdoor housing.

Android users who have been waiting for a One of their own, take note. DxO has developed a One for tablets and smartphones and will be starting an 'Early Access' program in the next several weeks. The Android version uses a USB-C connector that may limit compatibility to those with the newest smartphones, though we've reached out to DxO to see if a microUSB adapter will work.

The new firmware for iOS is available immediately from the App Store. The battery pack is $50 while the tilt-stand and cable back door are available at no charge.

The DxO ONE now supports Multi-Camera Facebook Live and Time-Lapse features as well as new accessories and an Early Access Program for Android

The latest free iOS app update, available free of charge, opens up a number of new opportunities for using the DxO ONE remotely and autonomously, transforming the camera into the perfect photo and video accessory for your iPhone

PARIS – October 16, 2017 – DxO, a key player in digital image technologies, announced a major update to the DxO ONE, its miniaturized and connected professional-quality camera for smartphones and tablets. Available immediately and free of charge, version 3.0 of the DxO ONE iOS app offers the first pro-quality multi-camera solution for Facebook Live and a new time-lapse option featuring exclusive Auto Ramping technology. The DxO ONE ecosystem of accessories now includes an external Battery Pack that doubles the camera’s battery life as well as a Cable Back Door for the device’s waterproof case, allowing you to use the DxO ONE outside or even underwater for extended periods.

“While smartphones have made significant progress in terms of image quality, they don’t come close to the photos and videos a real camera like the DxO ONE can offer. Most importantly, you have to hold them in your hand, and you constantly need them for other things, like making calls, sending messages, or checking your social networks,” explains Jérôme Ménière, DxO’s CEO and founder. “The DxO ONE is the first photo and video camera designed to operate as both a handheld and remote device. It’s even able to function remotely over a long period of time — for example, you can use it outside to record a time-lapse or Facebook Live video. Because it works in perfect harmony with your smartphone, it is the ideal photo and video assistant for this device.”

Multi-Camera Facebook Live capabilities: the ultimate solution for broadcasting professional-quality videos

With its iOS application update to version 3.0, the DxO ONE revolutionizes video publication using Facebook Live by allowing users to instantly and easily create a live video stream. Its revolutionary Multi-Camera mode, which leverages the DxO ONE and both iPhone cameras, gives users the ability to experiment with shots that can’t be captured with the iPhone’s cameras alone, making it easy to create professional-quality video streams.

DxO ONE’s Live Facebook solution offers a set of advanced controls, including a mini-control panel that allows the user to preview all three views to compose shots, adjust lighting, or prepare the subject before shooting and streaming live from different angles. Just like filmmakers, users can switch from one camera to another at the touch of a fingertip, as well as record sound from the DxO ONE’s or the iPhone’s built-in microphone, and switch the sound source during playback.

Wi-Fi control also allows users to control the camera remotely while also sending videos over Wi-Fi or 4G, making it easy to experiment with new compositions. And with its large sensor and ultra-bright optics, the DxO ONE offers a natural bokeh that allows users to capture high-quality video.

Stunning, ready-to-share time-lapse videos

Version 3.0 of the DxO ONE iOS application’s Time-Lapse feature lets you capture stunning videos and share them without going through a complex post-processing process. The easy-to-use interface guides users through the appropriate settings — duration, interval, and time of shooting — and warns them if their selected settings are incompatible. DxO ONE’s unique Auto Ramping technology avoids flicker effects by providing consistent exposure and white balance across all images. Once the settings are established, the phone can be used normally while the camera continues to take pictures. The videos it produces can then be shared immediately.

In addition, the DxO ONE iOS 3.0 application’s Time-Lapse feature uses an intervalometer, transforming the camera into an automatic camera that periodically takes professional-quality images in RAW format at a user-defined rate. Advanced users can also create 4K videos in post-processing.

For long-term use no matter the weather and even underwater, the Cable Back Door connects the DxO ONE to an external battery when the camera is used with the Outdoor Shell — a must-have combination for superb outdoor video and time-lapse imaging.

New accessories for optimizing the DxO ONE experience

The new Battery Pack extends the DxO ONE’s battery life. It includes a Cradle, two rechargeable batteries, and a USB adapter. The Cradle attaches to the bottom of the DxO ONE once the back door has been removed so you can connect either one of the two batteries or the USB adapter. Each battery adds up to one hour of battery life, and the USB adapter allows the DxO ONE to be recharged directly from an external battery.

The new Tilt Stand lets you hold the camera on any surface and choose between five different tilt directions as well as different angles of view, greatly facilitating use of the DxO ONE in standalone mode, or for hands-free remote use when controlled by Wi-Fi.

DxO seeks out Android users

Building on the success of its DxO ONE for iOS, DxO has developed a DxO ONE for Android equipped with a type-C USB connector, making it compatible with recent Android smartphones and tablets.

The DxO ONE Android will be offered in the coming weeks via an “Early Access” program that is open to all. It will allow users to preview the DxO ONE Android and receiving regular updates with the latest application features. The Early Access program will be an opportunity for participants to share their feedback and help improve the DxO ONE experience on Android.

“Since its launch, we have added dozens of features to the DxO ONE, thanks to feedback from users,” said Jean-Marc Alexia, Vice President of Product Strategy. “Today, DxO is responding directly to one of the most frequent requests by launching the Android version, and we will continue to listen to market needs. "

Price & availability

Version 3.0 of the DxO ONE iOS application, along with the application for the Apple Watch, are immediately available for free via the iTunes App Store.

Version 1.0 of the DxO ONE Android will be available for free in the coming weeks via the Google Play Store, as part of the “DxO ONE Android Early Access program”.

The Battery Pack ($59,99 | £49.99 | 59,90 €) will be available at dxo.com.

The Cable Back Door will come with any purchase of a waterproof Outdoor Shell from DxO’s online store.

The Tilt Stand will be provided with the DxO ONE free of charge.

Oct
16

Landscape Photography: It’s All About the Light

Filed Under Digital Photography School, Photography Tips and Tutorials

There are many tools that photographers use for creating compelling landscape photography, but some fail to realize that light is the most important element. We only shoot in those magic hours when the sun’s rays hit our subject at an angle to create a warm glow.

Landscape Photography: It's All About the Light

What many people don’t realize is that there are lots of different types of light that can affect the quality of your landscape images. How you approach this light will make a huge difference in the quality of your photographic portfolio. Let’s get started and talk about a few of our favorite examples of beautiful light.

That magic time for landscapes, of course, is sunrise and sunset, but specifically what other types of light will make or break your images?

Reflected Light

Zion-Narrows- Reflected Light Landscape Photography: It's All About the Light

This picture was taken on one of our expeditions to Zion National Park in Utah. Part of the beauty and excitement of this trip is strapping on your water shoes, grabbing your hiking stick and wading through the river to get some amazing shots.

Reflected light, which can also be called bounced or diffused light occurs when there is direct sunlight reflected off an adjacent surface. The canyons in the Southwest are perfect for this type of light as the color of the canyon is bounced back and reflected giving a warm glow to the walls. The quality of this light is soft, even, and beautiful.

Overcast Light

Morro-Bay- Overcast Light Landscape Photography: It's All About the Light

Morro Bay on the Central Coast of California has many faces depending on the weather. It’s just as striking in the fog as it is on a beautiful sunny day.

This quality of light is found on overcast and foggy days and is very soft and bluish. The color of this light comes from the whole sky, which acts like one big softbox and in the right situation can be very dramatic.

Backlight

Big-Sur-morning-light Landscape Photography: It's All About the Light

This image was taken in Big Sur, one of our favorite shooting locations. It boasts incredible sunsets, especially in the winter.

A typical backlit picture will have a rim of the sun’s rays around the subject, or you will be able to see the sun as a bright spot in the photograph. If you are using a small aperture, you will be able to get a “sun star” or sun flare effect like this one.

Direct Light

White-Sands-Direct-Light Landscape Photography: It's All About the Light

Because of the reflection of light off the sand, White Sands, New Mexico is an unparalleled photography location.

Direct sunlight is usually found approximately one to two hours after sunrise and one to two hours before sunset. It can be hot and unforgiving while casting strong shadows. This light works great for black and white but can sometimes be overly intense for color photography.

Morning and Evening Horizontal Light

This light is warm and horizontal and is caught during sunrise and sunset. It is horizontal because the sun’s rays are cast at an angle as the sun is rising and setting. This is the prime light for photography due to its combination of low contrast and warm tones. Objects lit directly by this light may seem to glow, as if illuminated from within, with details emerging clearly. Learn to use this light on a regular basis and you will be amazed at the results.

Canadian-Rockies-Morning-Light

The Canadian Rockies in the fall never fails to disappoint us. The crisp mountain air and the deciduous larch trees make this an amazing photographic location.

Open Shade

In landscape photography, open shade consists of areas not lit by direct sunlight. This is very soft light and is common in forested areas. The best part about this type of light is you can shoot all day and still have the benefit of this soft, dreamy light.

Redwood-Forest-Big-Sur

This redwood forest is one of our favorite stops on California’s Big Sur coast.

Combination Light – Direct and Diffused

Here is an example of combination light, both direct and diffused. This was shot on Mt. Whitney in the Eastern Sierra, the highest mountain in the contiguous United States. This image depicts a highly unusual phenomenon. There were rays of morning horizontal sunlight shining from behind us while we were shooting. Only a portion of the mountain was shaded or diffused by the clouds overhead creating a spotlight effect.

Mt-Whitney-Spotlight

This shot was a result of several hours of “waiting for the light” and we were greatly surprised and rewarded for our efforts.

Manmade Light

You don’t really think of manmade light in landscape photography, but here is a great example!

This image was captured on the Big Sur coast at dusk. There were rows of cars waiting to get through a construction site. As the cars were let through, we captured the row of car lights with a long exposure and the camera mounted on a tripod.

Big-Sur-Highway

Photography Exercise

Try shooting the same subject in the exact same location before sunrise and after sunset. Notice the differences in the light? Are the color and tone different? Do the details look different in the light areas and in the shadows? Comment below and let me know how you do. Enjoy!

The post Landscape Photography: It’s All About the Light by Holly Higbee-Jansen appeared first on Digital Photography School.