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Throwback Thursday: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1

by Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com) ~ September 29th, 2016

With a few exceptions, 2005 was a fairly typical year for new digital cameras. There were millions of point-and-shoots, some ultrazooms (which, back then, were closer to 12X than 60X), and a handful of DSLRs.
In September of that year somet…

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6 Things About a Photography Career that You Only Learn Through Experience

by Kav Dadfar ~ September 29th, 2016

For some people, a career in photography is their dream job. After all who doesn’t want the opportunity to take photos in a sector that they enjoy. For most photographers, their career is a learning experience that never stops. Whether that is photographically, personally, or even on the business side of things, they constantly have […]

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Nikon 105mm F1.4E ED sample images

by Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com) ~ September 29th, 2016

The Nikon 105mm F1.4 is an ultra-fast prime lens perfect for portrait photography or as a general-use telephoto. It’s pretty heavy 34.7oz / 2.17lb, and features a relatively large, 82mm front element. But gosh darn it, there’s a lot to like abou…

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PhotoPlus Expo 2016: What to expect at the show

by Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com) ~ September 29th, 2016

Every October, the PhotoPlus Expo is held in New York. The biggest photography trade-show in the US, PPE is the first chance a lot of photographers get to see for themselves the latest cameras, lenses and accessories. And this year will be no different with major new releases from all of the major manufacturers. 

Covering four days, and multiple stages, there’s a lot to see at PPE, and as usual, DPReview will be at the show to report on the latest products and speak to photographers and attendees. In this article we’ve put together a quick guide to some of the standout gear – and speakers – you can expect to see at the show. So if you’re planning on visiting PPE this year (or just intending to lurk online, reading our show coverage) take a look at what you can expect to see. 

New Gear

You can expect to see all of the major Photokina announcements ‘in the flesh’ at PhotoPlus Expo, including the forthcoming medium-format Fujifilm GFX 50S.

2016 is a Photokina year, so many of the major late summer announcements were made last week in Germany. But because of the disruption caused by the Kyushu earthquake in Japan earlier this year, several of the hottest new cameras were announced as developments – not shipping products. Although we’ve handled prototypes of the Fujifilm GFX 50S, Olympus OM-D E-M1 II and Sony a99 II, we’re hoping that PPE will also provide an opportunity to take a better look at the forthcoming Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH5. We suspect that Panasonic’s new 1-inch sensor zoom compacts will be a big hit with enthusiast photographers, too.

Other new gear which should make an appearance at PPE includes Canon’s latest mirrorless offering, the EOS M5, and the 30MP EOS 5D IV. Nikon will be showing off its range of KeyMission action cameras, and a new entry-level DSLR, the D3400. As well as cameras, PPE should provide a chance to get your hands on several new lenses, including high-end zooms and primes from Nikon, Sigma and Tamron.

Check out our full Photokina coverage

Keynote Speakers

Life isn’t just about gear (despite what you might think from reading comments on DPReview). One of the reasons we enjoy going to PPE every year is to meet, speak to and listen to some of the world’s most influential and inspiring photographers.

Musician and photographers Graham Nash and Mark Seliger will be delivering a keynote on October 20th at PPE. 

On Thursday the 20th of October, two legends of rock and roll – musician Graham Nash and renowned photographer and musician Mark Seliger – will discuss their mutual love of photography and music. On Friday, three of VII Photo agency’s photojournalists – Jessica Dimmock, Ron Haviv and Ashley Gilbertson will deliver a keynote, ‘Why we Shoot’, in which they’ll speak about what it means to be a visual storyteller in today’s media landscape. Closing out the show on Saturday are National Geographic photographers Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier, who will speak about their global initiative to protect the world’s oceans. If any of these keynotes sounds interesting to you, be sure to sign up soon.

Read more about PPE Keynotes

Presentations, prints and demos

There are always lots of things to see at PPE, including some of the best in contemporary photography.

In addition to the keynotes, PPE attendees will also get the chance to see demos and presentations from professional photographers across the entire show floor. Most large booths have a schedule of presentations, prints and video slideshows, and in traditional trade-show fashion, there are sure to be plenty of strange dioramas, gymnasts and preternaturally patient costumed models scattered around the show for attendees to take pictures of. We’re expecting 360 imaging and virtual reality to be a major theme of this year’s show too, so be sure to try out a VR headset if you’ve never experienced one before. 

DPReview will be at PPE all week, so if you see one of us walking around the show floor, come up and say hello. Hopefully we’ll see a few of you there.

Register for PhotoPlus Expo

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iPhone 7 added to mobile studio scene comparison

by Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com) ~ September 28th, 2016

When the most popular camera in the world gets a major update, it’s a newsworthy event all around. We’ve put the 12MP iPhone 7 in front of our studio test scene to see what it (and its new Raw capture abilities) can do.
See the iPhone …

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iPhone 7 and 7 Plus added to mobile studio scene comparison

by Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com) ~ September 28th, 2016

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus don’t exactly break new ground for mobile photography. As has been the case in the past, Apple has embraced emerging technology that other manufacturers already offer in their devices. But when the most popular camera in …

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Photokina 2016 highlights: What we saw (and what we didn’t)

by Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com) ~ September 28th, 2016

Photokina 2016: What we got, what we wanted

The anticipation and excitement of Photokina makes it a lot like the camera nerd’s Christmas. And not unlike Christmas, you don’t always get exactly what you want. Sure, we got plenty of shiny toys like the Fujifilm GFX 50S, and things we weren’t expecting like the YI M1, but a few things on our wish lists didn’t turn up.

Read on as DPR staff offer their own personal takes on the show as a whole, what they were pleasantly surprised by and what they’re still wishing for.

Dale: Innovation, big and small

To me, the really interesting products at Photokina 2016 were of the large and small sensor variety. Fujifilm’s new medium-format system is particularly exciting. If you had asked me a few years ago about the future of medium-format, I would have been pessimistic. Now we have two new medium-format systems (Fujifilm’s and Hasselblad’s X1D) in just a few months, and both should be reasonably approachable for most photographers thanks to their (relatively) compact size and similarity to existing mirrorless camera systems.

At the other end of the spectrum we saw great innovation in the Micro Four Thirds space, starting with the Olympus E-M1 Mark II. It wins the ‘How much performance can you cram into a small camera and not blow it up?’ award. It’s a performance tour de force. We also got our first glimpse of the Panasonic GH5. Panasonic has long been on the cutting edge when it comes to video; the GH4 is still a class leading camera over two years into its life cycle. The GH5 looks poised to pick up where the GH4 left off, with 4K/60p capability, 4:2:2 10-bit 4K video, 6K photo mode, and an optional hot-shoe mounted I/O unit for pro-level audio.

But wait, there’s more! As if that weren’t enough, there’s also the YI M1. We know from our initial testing that the M1 has room to grow, but what’s really exciting is that we have a new manufacturer entering the market, and one that is joining a strong Micro Four Thirds ecosystem of products. Plus, the YI’s smartphone style user interface may be the best thing out there to entice mobile phone users to migrate back in the direction of a dedicated camera.

What did I miss at Photokina? While everyone was standing around the Fujifilm booth, mouths agape and drooling on the GFX 50S, I kept wishing for an updated X100 series camera with a 24MP X-trans sensor, Acros film simulation, and maybe even a new lens. #stillwaiting

Dale Baskin

Dan: What’s the big DL?

Dear Nikon, your Photokina presence was disappointing. Yes I know, you launched the D5 and D500 earlier this year (in time for the summer Olympics), so I guess you deserve some sort of break. But to think that the only product launches you had at the world’s biggest photography trade show were an action camera and a lifestyle/POV camera is pretty lame. Of course it would be one thing if the KeyMission 170 was ground-breaking in any way. It’s not. Sure its a competitive: 4k-capable, waterproof without a case, but in the presence of the GoPro HERO5 and Sony X3000 (which offers optically-stabilized 4K), the KeyMission 170 is just another 4K-capable action cam.

Which brings me back to my initial point, what’s the big DL? I am of course referring to the the Nikon DL line of premium compacts, announced around CP+ time in late February and than quietly delayed. Do they exist (or are they delayed indefinitely)? I saw plastic mock-ups back in January (and my colleagues again saw real mock-ups in Japan). I know the DL’s are available for pre-order (though no date is indicated as to when they’ll ship). Simply put, all I wanted from Photokina from Nikon was an announcement/some sort of concrete proof that DL’s will be in consumers’ hands before the year ends. I did not get that. All I got were some stinkin’ action cams.

Dan Bracaglia

Sam: Where are all the (cheap) mirrorless lenses?

This year was a vintage year for expensive new equipment at Photokina – very, very expensive equipment.

For example, the flagship Olympus body now costs nearly $2,000. They also made a fancy new 25mm F1.2 that costs over $1,000. There’s plenty of fuss over the new Fujifilm, which should be ‘less than ten grand.’ We finally got the long-awaited Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art, which has become the most expensive prime of the Art lineup. But what about the little guy? What about enthusiasts who can’t afford a lens that costs more than a thousand bucks?

Well, for the cash-strapped consumer, not much happened this time around… we got a couple refreshed models, the Nikon D3400 and the Olympus E-PL8, but neither of those brought any significant improvements to either camera, or that market segment. I guess as a consolation prize the Nikon has a new silently focusing kit lens…

There was the Yi M1, but fiddling with our pre-production sample left me with no praise and a thousand snarky comments. They’ve got some scrambling to do if they’re going to make that autofocus remotely usable before shipping. 

We did see some less pricey things from Canon, like the new 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 IS II USM, with the super quick Nano USM tech inside. They also showed us their brand-new mirrorless camera. I like the new Canon M5, although it’s not necessarily priced to be an entry level bargain. Plus, much like the rest of the APS-C mirrorless world (except Fuji), we’re just left wanting more lenses.

That’s what I was hoping we’d see more of this Photokina: mirrorless lenses. Now that there’s a desirable mirrorless Canon, I can think of two systems that are in desperate need of good, affordable primes. I was hoping to see Sigma’s excellent DN line of primes expand to fill this gap, but we didn’t see anything at the show. 

At least the Micro Four Thirds continues to grow both on the high end and low end of things. While we did get two very expensive new lenses from Olympus, we also got a very good little 30mm macro lens that was built with cost and quality in mind — a mix that seems to favor the latter too much and forgets the former more often than not.

Sam Spencer

Chris: Where’s my D810 update?

Photokina was well, a bit interesting this year. Olympus and Fujifilm both made huge announcements with respect to flagship cameras that they are developing, but I was honestly a bit disappointed by the announcements from Nikon and Sony. There have been rumors flying for some time now about replacements for Nikon’s D810 and in Sony’s case the a7R II. There was even some talk of the release of a long fabled Sony mirrorless flagship, which fans of rumor sites are calling the a9. Instead, Nikon released their Keymission series of action cams and Sony released the SLT-a99 II.

The announcement of the a99 II was a bit unexpected, but I wasn’t completely surprised that Sony decided to revitalize the a-mount with an updated version of the a99. The action-cams from Nikon on the other hand, were a bit of shock, not so much from the perspective that Nikon wanted in on the action-cam market, but more so that they ended up being Nikon’s only major announcement at Photokina.

In a year when Canon announced the 5D Mk IV only a few months ago, Fujifilm announced the GFX 50S and Olympus announced the development of the E-M1 II, it was a bit surprising that Nikon didn’t deliver a brand new or even an updated version of a full-frame camera. Sure, they recently released the D5, but it’s an expensive, niche product. Perhaps a D820 was planned but stymied by the knock-on effects of the earthquake in Japan earlier this year?

Regardless, I’m really hoping that we won’t have to wait until the next Photokina to see a brand new or even an updated camera from Nikon or Sony to replace the aging D810 and a7R II, respectively, but I’m not holding my breath.

Chris Williams

Allison: Long live instant photography

It was a good Photokina for tech innovations, but it was also a good year for lo-fi photography: thanks to Fujifilm and Leica, instant photography enjoyed a moment at the show. Fujifilm introduced monochrome film for its mini Instax format in addition to plans for a square format camera and film, and Leica introduced their own instant camera – well, sort of. Heck, we even got an updated Polaroid instant camera.

Okay, so the Sofort may only be a re-badged Instax Mini 90, but it does mean that Leica is sitting up and taking notice of Fujifilm’s success with instant film, which has been pretty darn successful. And when brands with as much recognition and clout as Leica get interested in a medium, I can’t help but feel better about its chances. If selling a re-badged camera and film helps keep the momentum going for Instax then I’m all for it. Just pass me some of that monochrome film when you find it – I don’t care if it says Fujifilm or Leica on the package.

Allison Johnson

Carey: A big show for lenses

If there’s one thing I think everyone is missing about Photokina this year, it’s the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4 Pro stabilized lens. Okay, everyone is aware that the lens was announced, but no one seems to be talking about the main thing I would use it for – run and gun video capture.

You see, that’s how I spent most of my Photokina experience (and how I spend a good deal of time at any trade show or conference). When I’m hopping from meeting to meeting and booth to booth, hauling around extra gear – like a tripod – definitely gets in the way. So having 6.5 stops of combined stabilization with the E-M1 Mark II is a godsend, and honestly, the extra depth of field offered by the smaller sensor size will be more help than hindrance. Shooting at F4 on the full-frame setup we use can be handy for isolating a subject, sure, but it does mean it’s easier to miss focus if you’re not careful. Finally, when you combine all of this with truly excellent 4K video capture, you have a pretty formidable package (even if I’m going to shoot in 1080p most of the time anyway to save on editing time).

The only problem? Olympus’ swap from a tilting screen to a fully-articulating one. When you flip the screen out to the side to use the camera from a low or high angle, it interferes with the side ports for headphones and a microphone. Sure, I could get better quality audio by running a separate device, but as a one-man crew, I’m always looking to simplify.

The other standouts for me? The Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art looks amazing, but it’s huge. The Nikon 105mm F1.4 also looks amazing, and it’s also huge. The Olympus 25mm F1.2 Pro offers great results, but for the system, it is – no surprise – huge. One of the reasons I love my old Nikon AF-D lenses is their relatively compact size, which goes a fair way towards offsetting the relative bulk of a full-frame DSLR. Canon’s got a pretty neat package with the EOS M5 and the EF-M 22mm F2, but come on – let’s have some more! Bring on the pancake lenses!

Carey Rose

Richard: The element of surprise

The thing I liked most about Photokina was the surprise of the first day. Between the Sony a99 II, Fujifilm’s medium-format camera and Olympus’s E-M1 Mark II, there were a range of interesting products that hadn’t already been leaked, discussed then criticized to death before the show.

This gave the whole show a bit of a buzz that I felt it had lacked in recent years. Canon is probably kicking itself for launching the EOS M5 so far in advance.

In terms of the cameras themselves, it’s the M5 and Panasonic’s LX10/LX15 that I found most interesting. The flagship cameras are all well and good and give a great insight into what’s going to be possible, but they’re not the cameras that many people will get an opportunity to use. By contrast, I suspect both the Canon and the little Panasonic will find their ways into a lot of people’s hands.

The appeal of the M5 isn’t immediately apparent from the spec sheet but is the moment you pick it up and try to use it. The LX10 is almost the opposite, based on my experience so far: the touchscreen works well but the dials are oddly set up, so it’s the specifications of the lens and video capability, along with the price that keep it interesting.

Sadly, Nikon’s continued silence on the DLs was deafening. With the arrival of the LX15 and FZ2000/FZ2500, whenever they do finally surface it may only be the wide-angle 18-50 model that isn’t entering an overcrowded market.

That said, there were plenty of products (Sigma 12-24mm, Fujifilm GFX 50S, Hasselblad X1D 50c…) that it’ll be great to get a chance to test and use. The photo industry may not be in the best of health, but Photokina showed there are a lot of people working hard to produce exciting products.

Richard Butler

Jeff: Flagships and Superzooms

It was hard to top the big announcements from Photokina 2014, which saw the announcements of the Nikon D750, Canon EOS 7D II and Samsung NX1, but the 2016 show may have done it. This year’s show has, in my opinion, at least eight blockbuster announcements, from the medium format Fujifilm GFX 50S to the Sony a99 II to the Panasonic GH5. And that’s not including some very exciting new lenses. Two cameras that I didn’t just mention that stood out to me were the long-awaited Olympus E-M1 Mark II and Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-FZ2500/FZ2000.

The E-M1 II isn’t something that’s only excited those who’ve already bought into the Micro Four Thirds system. As a Canon EOS 5D III owner I find the size and design of the E-M1 II as well as the MFT system’s still-growing selection of lenses (hello, 12-100 F4) quite appealing. The built-in image stabilizer already offers 5.5 stops of shake reduction (and can pull off another stop with select lenses) and the AF system sounds impressive based on reports from my colleagues. Oh, and the high bit rate (236Mbps) 4K video doesn’t hurt either.

Speaking of 4K, another camera that impressed me is Panasonic’s FZ2500 (read our preview). While stills-related updates are fairly minor compared to the FZ1000, the 2500’s longer lens, built-in variable ND filter and larger EVF are most welcome. The FZ2500 continues to use Panasonic’s frankly awesome DFD focus system. Video is where it’s at, though, with DCI *and* UHD 4K capture at up to 100Mbps, 120 fps Full HD recording and an insane amount of tools (there are even SMPTE color bars.) The lens can zoom super slowly and the camera’s LCD made it really easy to rack focus. Something that irked me is Panasonic’s $99 charge for V-Log L support – come on guys, it’s a $1200 camera!

Jeff Keller

Barney: Delays and surprises

Photokina is the most important event in the photographic calendar, and as such it’s the show where we tend to see major announcements from the biggest manufacturers. This year, a large spanner was thrown into the works by the Kyushu earthquake, which hit Japan in spring and badly disrupted Sony’s sensor manufacturing plant.

This is a problem not only for Sony, because Sony supplies imaging chips to virtually every camera maker. The Kyushu earthquake is the reason why Fujifilm, Olympus, Sony and Panasonic had to be content with only announcing the ‘development’ of new flagship cameras at Photokina, and may also be a contributing reason for the continued no-show of Nikon’s DL-series compact cameras (originally announced back in February). Maybe Nikon had originally planned a replacement for the D750, D820 or D610 at Photokina. Maybe Sony had planned to show off a successor to the a7 II – we don’t know. 

Although we’ve yet to see a ‘final’ sample, my standout camera of this year’s Photokina is Fujifilm’s GFX 50S. If the 50S turns out being as good as it looks, and if it really does come in at ‘well under $10,000′ with a 63mm prime, I suspect that they could be backordered for quite some time.

At the other end of the spectrum is the 4K-capable Olympus OM-D E-M1 II. Small, light (relatively speaking) and blazingly fast, Olympus has pulled out all of the stops with its new Micro Four Thirds flagship. Sony’s new a99 II came as a bit of a surprise, but also offers a range of attractive high-speed stills and video modes, and full-frame 4K video capture. 

Meanwhile, although we don’t have all the details yet, Panasonic’s GH5 raises the video bar even further with the ability to capture 6K footage. 

Despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, this year’s Photokina actually ended up being pretty exciting, and I’m really looking forward to some of these ‘development announcements’ turning into shipping products in the coming months. Thanks for reading!

Barnaby Britton

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Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes in Black and White Photography

by Andrew S. Gibson ~ September 28th, 2016

Black and white photography has been around for nearly 180 years, ever since Louis Daguerre introduced the daguerreotype process to the world. It is still hugely popular despite the rise and ease of color photography. And yet, whenever I look at other people’s black and white photos, I see the same mistakes over and over. […]

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Kano Camera Kit lets anyone build and program their own camera

by Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com) ~ September 28th, 2016

Kano, a maker of DIY educational tools, is seeking crowdfunding for a trio of DIY project kits, one of which is its new educational Camera Kit. The Camera Kit enables anyone to build a simple camera and then program it with various functions using drag-and-drop code, the goal being to impart an overall knowledge of how cameras and their related software work.

The camera is assembled from pre-made parts using an included instructional ‘storybook.’ DIYers can choose which lens they want to use — a macro, fisheye, or wide-angle — and can add both a flash and a trigger. The Camera Kit also includes a Tripwire Sensor which, when added, emits an infrared beam. If someone or something moves through the beam, the camera will snap a picture.

Various functions can be added via the programming software, including features like triggering photos via sound using an integrated microphone, adding real-time data to photos like the current weather, and more. The software also enables users to create their own photo filters.

Overall, the Camera Kit features the camera ‘brain,’ an LED ring flash, tripwire sensor, mode dial, lenses, viewfinder, battery, charging cable, tripod, lanyard, camera case, storybook and stickers.

The Camera Kit is one of three project kits Kano is seeking funding for on Kickstarter. As with the other two kits, the Camera Kit is offered as a $99 pledge, with estimated retail cost being $129.99. Kano anticipates shipping its Camera Kit to backers in March 2017.

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iPhone 7 is best Apple device yet in DxOMark Mobile testing

by Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com) ~ September 28th, 2016

The engineers at DxOMark have put the iPhone 7 camera through its paces and found it to be a solid upgrade from the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, in terms of both features and image quality. With an overall DxOMark score of 86 it’s better than Apple’s …

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