CP+ 2018: Hands-on with Sigma 105mm F1.4 Art ‘bokeh master’ & 70mm macro

CP+ 2018: Hands-on with Sigma 105mm F1.4 Art 'bokeh master'

Sigma's new 105mm F1.4 DG HSM is a beast, weighing in at 1.6 kilos. We're at the CP+ tradeshow in Yokohama, Japan, where we just got our hands on what Sigma is calling the 'bokeh master'.

CP+ 2018: Hands-on with Sigma 105mm F1.4 Art 'bokeh master'

Even without the hood, the new 105mm is a large lens, with a front filter diameter of 105mm. It's not particularly long, but as you can see from this shot, which shows the lens mounted on a Canon EOS 6D, it has a very wide diameter of 116mm (4.6 inches). The large tripod ring is included, and can be removed for hand-held shooting.

CP+ 2018: Hands-on with Sigma 105mm F1.4 Art 'bokeh master'

With the hood attached, the 105mm gets even larger.

CP+ 2018: Hands-on with Sigma 105mm F1.4 Art 'bokeh master'

The new 105mm is unstabilized, which means that the only controls on the lens are an AF/MF switch and a very broad, wide-diameter focus ring. Manual focus is a luxurious experience on all of Sigma's 'Art' series and this lens is no different. Judging purely from our brief experience on the show floor, autofocus speed is similar to the 85mm F1.4: smooth and positive without being as quick and snappy as lenses with fewer pieces of glass to move around.

CP+ 2018: Hands-on with Sigma 105mm F1.4 Art 'bokeh master'

And there is a lot of glass inside the 105mm. The new lens comprises 17 elements in 12 groups, including three FLD glass elements, two SLD glass elements, and one aspherical element.

Sigma claims that the lens creates a beautiful bokeh effect, and the well-controlled sagittal coma should make it excellent for capturing 'starry skies'. A 105mm wouldn't be our first choice for astrophotography, but we can't wait to get hold of a shootable sample, and see what it can do.

CP+ 2018: Hands-on with Sigma 105mm F1.4 Art 'bokeh master'

Also unveiled at the show was a new macro lens, - a first for the Art range. The 70mm F2.8 DG Macro offers true 1:1 reproduction, and a dust and splash-proof construction.

The lens features an extending, floating, two-group focus mechanism. Optical construction incorporates two FLD glass elements, two SLD glass elements, and one element with 'a high rate of anomalous partial dispersion and a high index of refraction'. This should minimize axial chromatic aberration. Sigma claims that two aspherical elements ensure 'razor-sharp' images at close focusing distances.

CP+ 2018: Hands-on with Sigma 105mm F1.4 Art 'bokeh master'

The 70mm macro is a pretty compact short-tele lens when focused at infinity, but gets bigger when the included hood is attached. The front filter diameter is a modest 49mm. Three focus limits can be set, for reducing autofocus 'hunting' at short working distances.

CP+ 2018: Hands-on with Sigma 105mm F1.4 Art 'bokeh master'

When the lens is racked to its minimum focus distance of 26cm (10.2 inches) the lens itself grows considerably in size (but the hood stays put). Focus is 'focus by wire'.

At 515g (18 oz) it's reasonably lightweight, and balances well on our A7R III (with an adapter). We got our hands on a Canon-mount version, but the 70mm F2.8 is also available in Sony FE mount natively.

Nikon releases new firmware for nine cameras, mostly AF-P lens support

Nine Nikon DSLR models are getting new firmware to fix a few issues users have been encountering, particularly when using AF-P lenses. Updated models include the D4, D4s, Df, D800, D800E, D810, D810A, D7100, and D7200.

The whole lot of them received these fixes:

Added the following supports for AF-P lenses:

  • If the standby timer expires after focusing, the focus position will no longer change when the timer is reactivated.
  • When focus is adjusted by rotating the lens focus ring, the focus indicator in the viewfinder (and in live view, the focus point in the monitor) now flash to indicate when infinity or the minimum focus distance is reached.

The D4, D4s, Df, D800 and D800E received the following fixes:

Added support for AF-P DX lenses.

And the D4, Df, D800 and D800E also benefit from:

When photos were taken using Camera Control Pro 2 after Custom Setting d10 (Exposure delay mode) was enabled in the CUSTOM SETTING MENU, the software would sometimes mistakenly display a message stating that no photo could be taken.

Finally, the Nikon D810 and D810A received fixes to their microphone operation and multiple exposure modes, while the D7100 and D7200 get updates that fix an issue of incorrect exposures when E-type lenses are used in live view mode.

For more information on all of these updates, or if you want to get your Nikon DSLR up to the latest firmware version, visit the Nikon firmware download web page.

Nikon’s ES-2 film digitizing adapter for the D850 will finally ship in March

The ES-2 film digitizing adapter that Nikon introduced alongside the D850 DSLR back in August will finally ship at the end of March. The ES-2 has been available for pre-order since it was first announced, but the product is marked as 'backordered' on the Nikon USA website, and the official ship date has been slipping backwards.

The Film Digitize Adapter ES-2 is designed to be used by those wanting to digitize their 35mm negatives and transparencies using their digital SLR, and works by holding your film the correct distance away from a macro lens.

Nikon recommends using the ES-2 with the NIKKOR AF-S Micro 60mm F2.8, having designed the adapter to work easily with the minimum focusing distance of that lens. And while the ES-2 is compatible with a range of Nikon DSLRs, the company suggests pairing it with the D850 because of the camera's high resolution and the built-in film digitizing mode, which automatically inverts the image and saves a digitial positive as a JPEG.

The Nikon Film Digitize Adapter ES-2 kit—which includes a film strip holder for negatives and transparencies, a slide holder for mounted slides, and a pair of 62mm adapter rings for use with different macro lenses—is due to cost $150. However, if you're looking for a cheaper option, the old ES-1 is still available for $60, and designed to be used with the 55mm F2.8 Micro-Nikkor and the PK-13 tube.

For more information, visit the Nikon website.

Cheap IKEA LADDA batteries outperform expensive Eneloop Pro batteries in speedlight test

Good batteries aren't cheap... or maybe they are. Putting that notion to the test is Martin Cheung, who recently published a video in which he tests the recycle speeds of inexpensive rechargeable IKEA LADDA batteries against more expensive Panasonic Eneloop Pro batteries using Godox TT685 flashes. The results are surprising: the LADDA batteries actually demonstrated a noticeably faster recycle speed versus the Eneloop Pros.

The test was performed using both flashes, meaning the batteries were swapped to the opposite unit for retesting to ensure the difference wasn't due to the hardware rather than the energy cells. The one caveat is that this is a test of recycle speed only—as Cheung explains in the video, he did not test the number of flashes the batteries are capable of powering.

Looking at each battery model's specs, the Eneloop Pros ($21 per AA 4-pack) boast a 2550mAh rating, while the Ikea LADDA ($7 per AA 4-pack) have a slightly lower 2450mAh capacity. Assuming the two sets are capable of powering a similar number of flashes, however, the faster recycling speed and one-third cost of IKEA's batteries make them the clear winner in this comparison.

This SkyPixel 2017 photo contest winner wasn’t shot from a drone… or in 2017

"Sun's Up, Nets Out" by Zay Yar Lin

Drone maker DJI announced the winners of the 2017 SkyPixel aerial photography competition earlier this month, but already there's a controversy. As it turns out, the winner of the Landscapes category wasn't actually taken with a drone or captured in 2017.

The contest rules required entries to have been taken in 2017 using "any aerial platform," but a recent report from PetaPixel reveals that the winning image in the Landscape category, "Sun's Up, Nets Out" by Zay Yar Lin, was actually taken in 2014 using a Nikon D750 from an elevated bamboo stage... probably not what they meant by 'aerial platform.'

In fact, the photograph—which has since been disqualified—was previously submitted to the NatGeo 2015 Traveler Photo Contest as well as the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, and was a 'top entry' in the Amateur Photographer of the Year 2016 contest. Zay's award bundle for the SkyPixel 2017 contest included a Nikon D850 and DJI Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian drone.

In a statement to PetaPixel, Zay Yar Lin explained that his D750 was attached to a hexacopter on said bamboo stage when this photo was shot, but that he didn't realize the photo had to be taken in 2017. His statement reads:

I regret that I had shot with my DSLR with hexacopter on the bamboo stage to get the best angle. But to be honest, I wasn’t aware of the Photo Contest rules that all photos should have been shot in 2017. I’m a freelance and ethical photographer in the contests. Please look up my profile in any site. I really regret misunderstanding had occurred between us.

Zay didn't mention the attached hexacopter when he spoke with Amateur Photographer about this image in 2016.

Phottix announces Odin II TTL flash trigger for Pentax shooters

Flash manufacturer Phottix has announced it will introduce an Odin ll transmitter for Pentax users in April. Designed with ‘direct cooperation’ from Pentax engineers, Odin claims the trigger has been extensively tested on the 645Z medium format camera and the company’s flagship K-1 DSLR. It also said to be compatible with the K-5 and K-7 models.

The Odin ll transmitter will allow users to control the Phottix Indra studio heads as well as the Juno manual hotshoe flash unit. The press release doesn’t mention the Mitros + TTL flash unit, though it should be able to control that off-camera via the Odin system—if not via the hotshoe. Users will also be able to use Strato ll, Atlas ll and the Ares ll receivers to control and trigger third party flash units.

As with other Odin ll transmitters, the Pentax model will offer 32 channels and five groups with which to control off-camera heads via a wireless 2.4GHz radio system, and high speed sync will be supported with shutter speeds of up to 1/8000sec.

The Odin ll for Pentax will cost $140, and orders are being accepted now for April delivery. For more information, visit the Phottix website.

Press Release

Phottix Introduces the Odin II for Pentax

Bringing the power and control of the Phottix ecosystem to Pentax users

Phottix’s flagship Odin II TTL Flash Triggering system has expanded to include a new transmitter control unit (TCU) compatible with Pentax cameras. Developed with direct cooperation from Pentax engineers at Ricoh Imaging in Japan, the Phottix Odin II for Pentax brings the power, control, and ease of use of the Phottix TTL lighting ecosystem to Pentax users. Tested extensively with the Pentax 645Z Medium Format DSLR Camera and the ground-breaking Pentax K-1 DSLR, the Phottix Odin II gives Pentax users more creative control over their art.

Harness the Power of the Phottix Ecosystem

The Phottix Lighting Ecosystem System offers solutions for every photographer, from lighting minimalists to studio professionals. With the Odin II for Pentax, users can trigger and control the power level of the Indra 500TTL Battery Powered Studio Light in both TTL and Manual modes as well as adjust the modeling lamp all from the top of their camera. Also compatible are the newly introduced Juno Manual Speedlight and receivers from the Phottix Odin, Strato II, Atlas II and Ares II flash trigger systems.

"The Odin II for Pentax enables us to take our 645Z from the studio to on-location! Even in full sun, the Odin II’s HSS support allows us to Take control of ambient light and get amazing results from our 645Z and Indra 500 combo!"
Yaneck Wasio, Wasio Photography

Tame the Sun and Ambient Light

The Odin II allows Pentax users the ability to use High Speed Sync and shoot at speeds of up to 1/8000s on compatible cameras. When paired with the Phottix Indra500 TTL, shutter speeds are no longer a limitation.

Enjoy an Interface Built for Photographers By Photographers
The Odin II for Pentax user interface was built off feedback from photographers across the globe. Features such as individual buttons for each group – A, B, C, D, E, and an analog thumbwheel give users quick and direct access to their strobes from the top of their camera when they need it most.

Stand Out from the Crowd

The Odin II features 32 channels as well as a Digital ID function to completely eliminate interference and outside triggering. Digital ID is a four digit code that secures the connection between compatible Phottix products and will only allow triggering signals from products using the same four-digit Digital ID code. Now there is far less to worry about when shooting in crowded situations like sporting events or concerts.

Price and Availability:

The Odin II for Pentax retails for $139.95 and is available for preorder now at major retailers and will start shipping to customers in April.

Technical Specifications:

  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz
  • Range: 328ft (100m)
  • Channels: 32
  • Groups: 5 (A/B/C/D/E)
  • High Speed Sync: Supported – up to 1/8000s on compatible cameras
  • Exposure Control System: TTL and manual (1/1-1/128,1/3 stop increment)
  • Digital ID: 0000-9999
  • Flash Ratio Control: 8:1-1:1-1:8
  • Flash Exposure Compensation: -3.0 to +3.0, 1/3 stop increment
  • Power Source: 2 x AA alkaline batteries or AA NI-MH batteries
  • AF Assist Light: Yes on compatible cameras
  • Second Curtain Sync: Yes
  • Firmware Upgradeable: Yes via USB
  • Compatible Cameras: K-1, K-5, K-7,645Z
  • Compatible Phottix Stobes: Indra 500 TTL*, Juno Flash
  • Compatible Phottix Receivers: Odin, Strato II, Atlas II and Ares I (Channels 1-4 Manual only)

* Indra 500TTL compatibility requires a free firmware update available on Phottixus.com

Long Exposure Photography 101 – How to Create the Shot

It’s easy to get caught up in the fast nature of photography, technology, instant results, presets, etc. But what happens when you slow your photography right down?

This tutorial will introduce you to the 101s of daytime long exposure photography and share the exact steps you can follow to create your very own long exposure photographs.

01 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Long exposure seascape.

What is long exposure photography?

long exposure photography can be defined in two ways. A traditional description would class it as taking photographs with the intent to deliberately capture the effect of time and display moving objects in a different way to how our eyes are used to seeing them.

But for those of a more literal-mindset, long exposure photography is a brilliant way of photographing atmospheric landscapes, whilst being able to enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit – all at the same time.

Now, if that sounds like your type of photography, I encourage you to settle in and read on.

02 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Slow down

The very nature of long exposure photography is pretty slow paced. It forces you to take your time, which is excellent practice for your framing and compositional skills. And because you literally can’t rush the shot, it makes you think about the light, your subject, and your compositional techniques before you invest several minutes of your time capturing the image.

It’s worth noting that there is no specific shutter speed that defines the crossover from “typical photography” to long exposure photography. It’s not the duration of your shutter speed that defines your image as a long exposure photograph. Instead, it’s your intention to capture moving objects using longer exposure times than necessary that makes it a long exposure photograph.

03 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Generally speaking, long exposure photographs will use shutter speeds that can be measured in seconds or minutes instead of fractions of seconds.

Embrace the blur – add a sense of motion

“So, why should I take a photo using a slow shutter speed? Won’t that make it blurry?”

Yes, precisely. Using a long exposure technique is typically reserved for times when you want to selectively blur objects in your images. Common examples would be to capture flowing water, like the ocean or a waterfall. It’s also used to capture the movement of clouds or stars in the night sky.

04 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Long exposures are great for capturing motion and stillness in a single frame.

A long exposure photograph reveals the passing of time and conveys motion in a way that your eyes are simply unable to see at the time. Long exposures turn clouds into whispers, water into silky-looking glass, and people into otherworldly ghost-like beings.

Long exposure photography allows you to capture stillness and a sense of motion in a single frame. The contrast between these elements creates a sense of mystery and adds a surreal atmosphere to your images. It’s precisely this playful mix of the fluid and the still that makes long exposure photography beautiful, strong, and mildly addictive – or maybe that’s just the cup of tea.

Anyway, here’s what you need to know to take a long exposure photograph.

05 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Blocking out light with Neutral Density (ND) Filters

To capture those ethereal tones and silky motions in your images, you need to use a slow shutter speed. The trouble with using a slow shutter speed during the day is that it lets in a lot of light. So much light in fact, that it will inevitably overexpose your image.

To counter this, you will need to use a Neutral Density (ND) filter to make long exposure photographs during the day.

ND filters essentially sit in front of your lens and block out the light. Think of them as a fashionable set of sunglasses for your lens. And because the ND filters reduce the amount of light that hits your camera sensor, you can use shutter speeds up to several minutes long without overexposing your images – even in bright conditions.

06 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Rectangular ND Filters – otherwise known as “rectangular dark glass to block out the light”.

Using an ND Filter

The exact length of your exposure will depend on the lighting conditions and the strength of the ND filter you use. ND filters are typically measured by the stops of light they are able to block out and are usually available in increments of 3, 6, 10, or 16-stops.

Nisi, Lee Filters, and Formatt-Hitech are among the popular brands of ND filters, although there are many others available for a variety of budgets. ND filters come in either a circular format (these screw onto the front your lens) or a rectangular format, which requires the use of an additional filter holder to mount them to your lens.

As a general rule, the more light your ND filter is able to block out, the longer your exposure will need to be to achieve a balanced exposure. And the longer your exposure, the more dramatic the effect will be in your final image.

07 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Rectangular ND Filters attached to camera lens using a filter holder.

Don’t Move

You may be aware that when you use slow shutter speeds, the smallest bit of camera movement can throw your image out of focus and cause it to look a little blurry. This is especially true in long exposure photography.

Given that your camera will be taking several seconds or several minutes (if you’re using a 10 or 16 stop ND filter) to complete a single shot, it’s crucial to ensure it doesn’t move a millimeter during the exposure.

It would be nearly impossible to achieve this by hand. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get your hands on a sturdy tripod. This not only ensures your camera will remain still throughout the entire exposure but more importantly, it frees up your hands, so you can have a sip of your tea whilst your camera is hard at work.

In addition to your ND filters and tripod, here’s a checklist of essential equipment you’ll need for long exposure photography.

Essential Long Exposure Photography Equipment Checklist

08 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Essential long exposure photography gear – particularly #10.

  1. Your ND filters.
  2. A sturdy tripod.
  3. Camera with bulb mode function – bulb mode allows you to take exposures longer than the camera’s default 30 seconds.
  4. Fully charged batteries – try to avoid the heart-breaking moment when your battery cuts out in the middle of an exposure.
  5. Lens – wide-angle lenses work very well with landscapes, seascapes, and architecture photography. If you’re just getting started, any lens that is compatible with your ND filters will work just fine.
  6. A shutter release cable with a locking functionality. Using a shutter release cable (remote trigger) allows you to lock the shutter open without having to touch the camera body. This reduces camera movement during your exposure.
  7. A viewfinder cover – during long exposures, light has a habit of finding its way into your camera through your viewfinder and ruining your images. You can prevent this from happening by using a viewfinder cover, some sticky-tac or even duct-tape.
  8. A dark cloth or hat – perhaps the most peculiar item on this list, however, it’s arguably one of the most important. Believe it or not, light doesn’t just find its way into your camera via the viewfinder. It also leaks in via the lens/body connection and also from the connection points on the side of your camera. Placing a dark cloth or hat over your camera works well to prevent light leaks.
  9. Smartphone – this will serve two purposes. First, it will help you to calculate your long exposure times via a handy long exposure calculator app that I’ll introduce you to shortly. Its second function will be to keep track of your exposure time using a simple timer.
  10. A flask of tea and a selection of biscuits – and you thought I was joking! By far my favorite item on the list. long exposure photography will typically have you sitting in a beautiful spot for several minutes, taking your time and soaking up your surroundings. It’s good for the soul and a creates the perfect opportunity to enjoy a well-deserved treat, particularly on cold mornings!
  11. Chargers, USB cables, and lens wipes. Ideal if you need to recharge your gear or remove your fingerprints from your ND filters when you’re out and about.

Every item on this list plays an important role in capturing a long exposure photograph. Now here’s precisely how you can capture one.

Step 1: Prepare at Home

Unlike a typical day of photography, long exposures don’t afford you the luxury of being able to rattle off 1,200 images in a few hours. Instead, you’re likely to return home with only a handful of good photographs after a day of long exposure photography.

So, before you grab your gear and set off in search of ethereal landscapes and mind-bending architecture, it’s well worth investing your time. Research the location and environment so you can make the most of your time in the field.

Weather Conditions

If you’re planning on shooting a landscape, cityscape, or architecture, take a look at your local weather forecast to see what the cloud cover will be like. Anything over 40% cloud cover should give you ideal conditions to capture a silky sky.

04 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

The low clouds help to create a surreal atmosphere.

Creating a long exposure seascape, on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily need a lot of cloud coverage (although, cloudy conditions over water often produce great results). It’s worth researching the water conditions because – like the clouds – the greater the movement of the water, the greater the effect of your long exposure photographs.

10 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Cloudy and stormy conditions create dramatic long exposure photographs.

Location Scouting

Use Google Maps and street view to go for a “virtual walk” around your location. Doing so helps you to familiarize yourself with the area and scout out potential compositions for your images. Essentially, you should know precisely where you are going, how you will get there, where you will park, how much daylight you will have and in which direction you need to walk to ensure you take full advantage of your time and the conditions.

11 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Using Google Maps and Street View can help you with composition ideas before leaving your house.

Prepare Your Equipment

There is nothing more heart-breaking than spending the time to scout out the perfect location and setting up your camera only to realize that you have left your ND filters at home or your camera battery is at 27%. Be sure to charge up all of your batteries (including your smartphone) and pack your camera bag using the equipment checklist above.

Shoot RAW

Set your camera to shoot in RAW format. Long exposures tend to have a blue or magenta color cast caused by the ND filters. Shooting in RAW allows you to easily correct the white balance in post-processing.

12 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Ensure that your camera is set to record your images as RAW files.

Install Long Exposure Calculator Smartphone App

Spending your time trying to calculate what your exposure length should be with a 16-stop ND filter might not sound like much fun to you. Long exposure photography is all about taking time out to soak up your environment and enjoying the views – not solving algorithms.

Installing a “Long Exposure Calculator” app on your smartphone will save you time and make calculating your shutter speed much easier when you’re out in the field. Here are a couple of popular suggestions for IOS and Android users.

It’s a good idea to install the app on your smartphone at home before heading out – just in case you later find yourself in an area with no mobile coverage to download the app.

Step 2: Work the Scene

By the time you’ve prepared your gear, researched the area, and arrived at your location, you’d be forgiven for wanting to unpack and get shooting straight away. Instead, you’ll find that holding off for just a few minutes and allowing yourself to explore the scene often produces more favorable results.

Pick up your camera (without the tripod) and work the shot. Take note of the weather, light, and direction of the water, clouds, lights, or traffic. What are the characteristics of the scene? How does the mood feel? What angle best captures all of this? What are you going to include in your frame?

Step 3: Compose the Shot

Once you have decided on the perfect angle, it’s time to set up your tripod and mount your camera (without the ND filter) to compose and frame the shot. Ensure your tripod is locked in place and your camera is tightly secured. Now is also a good time to attach your remote shutter release cable to your camera.

13 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Secure your camera to your tripod and attach the shutter release cable.

Step 4: Aperture, ISO, and Focus

Switch your camera into Aperture Priority mode and set your aperture to somewhere between f/7.1 and f/11. As a rule of thumb, this range will fall close to your lens’s sweet spot and provide you with a deep depth of field to ensure your image is sharp throughout.

As I’ve mentioned, noise and camera shake can be problematic in long exposure photography. Therefore, adjust your ISO to 100 to minimize the amount of noise and turn off Image Stabilization on your lens to reduce the amount of internal camera shake.

14 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Aperture Priority mode, ISO 100, f/8.0

Focus your lens, ensuring your subject is sharp from back to front. When you are happy with your focus point, switch your lens over to manual focus. This essentially safeguards your focus point and prevents accidental re-focusing when you trigger the shutter.

15 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Switch your lens over to manual focus when you’re happy with your focus point.

Step 5: Test Shot

Use your viewfinder cover (duct-tape or sticky-tac will work) to cover up your viewfinder. This will prevent light from leaking into your camera and ensure that your camera gives you an accurate metering.

16 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Use a Viewfinder cover, duct-tape, sticky-tac or even some cardboard block out light leaks.

With your viewfinder covered and your camera still in Aperture Priority mode, take a test shot to obtain the base shutter speed. It’s the shutter speed from this test shot that will form the basis of your long exposure calculations.

It’s a good idea to review the test shot to ensure the exposure looks good and everything is perfectly in focus. When you’re happy with your test shot, check the metadata and make a mental note of the shutter speed.

17 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Aperture Priority test shot – In this case, the camera’s light metering used a shutter speed of 1/60th. This shutter speed will form the basis of the long exposure calculations.

Step 6: Bulb Mode

Switch your camera mode from Aperture Priority to Bulb Mode and set your ISO and aperture to mirror the exact same settings as your test shot.

18 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Bulb Mode – Set the ISO and aperture to match your test shot.

Bulb Mode allows you to keep your shutter open as long as you hold down your camera’s shutter button. However, standing next to your camera and keeping the shutter button held down with your finger isn’t ideal. Not only would this cause lots of camera shake, it would also make it nearly impossible to enjoy a cup of tea on the job (it’s clear where my priorities lie).

This is precisely why you’ll need a shutter release cable with a locking function. The lock plays the role of your finger and keeps the shutter button held down until you decide to release the lock, thus minimizing the possibility of camera shake.

Step 7: Calculate Your Long Exposure

Enter the shutter speed from your test shot into the long exposure calculator app you installed on your smartphone in step 1.

19 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Enter the shutter speed from your test shot into your Long Exposure Calculator mobile phone app.

You will then need to set the filter density to match your ND filter. For example, if you’re planning to use a 16-stop filter, you would enter 16-stops into the app.

The app will then calculate the length of your long exposure. It’s worth noting here that this time is approximate. It doesn’t account for a change in weather conditions during the exposure or the quality of your ND filters. I use Lee Filters and from experience, I find adding approximately 25% to the app’s suggested exposure time works well.

Step 8: Set a Timer

Load your long exposure time into your smartphone’s timer. You will trigger this at the same time you commence the long exposure to keep track of timing.

20 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

With a 16-stop ND filter and a base shutter speed of 1/60th, The Long Exposure Calculator suggested that I will need an exposure time of 18 minutes. I added approximately 25% to allow for the changing light conditions and created a timer on my phone.

Step 9: ND Filters

Mount your ND filters to your camera. Be careful not to adjust the focus or zoom rings of your lens in the process. It’s a good idea to double check your lens is still set to manual focus.

21 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Mount your ND filters to the camera.

Step 10: Mirror Lock-up

If you’re using a DSLR, enable Live View or the mirror lock-up function. These features lock your camera’s mirror in the up position, which reduces internal camera vibrations when you trigger the shutter.

22 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Live View or the mirror lockup function will prevent camera vibration when you trigger the shutter.

Step 11: Cover the Camera

Carefully cover your camera with a dark cloth or a hat, being careful not to adjust the zoom or focus rings on your lens. This will help to prevent light from leaking into your camera during the exposure.

23 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

Perhaps the most crucial step – use a dark cloth, hat, or an old pair of trousers to wrap around your camera to prevent light leaks.

Step 12: Trigger the Shutter

Now it’s time to create your ethereal masterpiece. The aim here is to simultaneously trigger your smartphone’s timer with one hand (this will keep track of your exposure time) and with your other hand, lock the shutter release cable to hold open your camera’s shutter. If you’re like me, and the mere thought of doing two things at once confuses you, you can simply trigger them one at a time.

All that’s left for you to do at this point is make yourself comfortable and enjoy that cup of tea! Finally! And because you set a countdown timer on your smartphone, its delightful little chime will alert you when it’s time to get up to release the lock on your shutter release cable. Thereby closing the shutter and completing your long exposure photograph.

The Result

So, what do you get after spending a leisurely afternoon in front of a beautiful scene sipping from your thermos and nibbling on a cookie? Well, it’s likely you’ll return home with an image that looks something like this.

24 Long Exposure Photography 101 How to create the shot

23-minute long exposure – processed in Lightroom and Photoshop.


The very nature of creating long exposure photographs is to slow down. It encourages you to step away from the rapid-fire approach and have fun creating something that you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to see. That’s what long exposure photography is all about.

By now, I’m hoping this article has you reaching for your ND filters and checking the weather forecast – I’m sure you’ll love giving it a try. In case you need a short reminder whilst you’re out in the field, here’s a snapshot of everything we’ve covered.

  1. Research your location, charge your gear and install the long exposure calculator app on your smartphone.
  2. Work the scene to find the best angle.
  3. Set up your tripod and compose your shot without the ND filters.
  4. Switch your camera to Aperture Priority mode. Set your aperture between f/7.1 – f/11.0 and your ISO to 100. Focus in on your subject and set your lens to manual focus.
  5. Cover your viewfinder and take a test shot.
  6. Switch your camera into Bulb Mode and set your aperture and ISO to match your test shot.
  7. Use the long exposure calculator app to calculate your exposure time.
  8. Set a timer on your smartphone.
  9. Mount your ND filters.
  10. Enable live view or your camera’s mirror lock-up feature.
  11. Cover the camera with a dark cloth or hat.
  12. Lock open the camera shutter and trigger your smartphone timer.

If you have any questions, please ask. And it would be great to see your long exposure photographs, so please share them in the comments below.

The post Long Exposure Photography 101 – How to Create the Shot by William Palfrey appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Tokina unveils ‘top premium’ Opera 50mm F1.4 FF lens for Canon and Nikon

Tokina has officially announced the Opera 50mm F1.4 FF lens for Canon EF and Nikon F mounts that was leaked last week. The lens—part of Tokina's new 'Opera' series designed for 'high-spec full-frame DSLR cameras'—will arrive on store shelves in Summer of 2018, and a prototype is being shown off this week at CP+ in Japan.

This lens, and the Opera series in general, are being billed as Tokina's 'premium' line—sort of like the Sigma Art series. In fact, Tokina goes out of its way to connect the term Opera with 'Art' in its press release. But marketing word choice aside, Tokina promises that Opera branded lenses will be "designed to perfectly match recent high-spec full-frame DSLR cameras, which keep requiring high quality optics."

The Opera 50mm F1.4 FF is the first in this lineup, and already Tokina has put more tech into the lens than you're probably used to from the third-party manufacturer. The lens boasts a ring-shaped ultrasonic AF motor, weather sealing to protect internals from dust and moisture, an electric diaphragm mechanism for the Nikon version (a first for Tokina), and a focus ring that turns the same direction as your native Nikon and Canon glass.

Unfortunately, Tokina hasn't revealed one of the most important details yet: price. But with the official release scheduled for summer 2018, it won't be long before we find out if (or by how much) Tokina has undercut Nikon and Canon's 50mm F1.4 options.

Press Release

Kenko Tokina Co., LTD. is Proud to Announce the New Tokina Opera 50mm F1.4 FF, a Premium Full-Frame Lens for High-End DSLR Cameras

February 28, 2018

About opera series

With the debut of opera 50mm F1.4 FF we are launching a new series of next generation premium full-frame lenses for high-end DSLR cameras called "opera" series.

Opera series is designed to perfectly match recent high-spec full-frame DSLR cameras, which keep requiring high quality optics to be used with. In addition to originally high-valued Tokina AT-X series, this new opera series is positioned as top premium series of full-frame size lenses and will be further expanded with other lenses of related specifications and performance.

In modern society the word “opera” is commonly used to express general genres of stage art. In Italian it means work or work of art. As an omitted art genre definition opera comes from "opera musicale" that means a piece of music work. In Latin opera comes from "opus” and in contemporary language "magnum opus", "opera magna” still has a meaning of "great literary, artistic or intellectual work". We chose the name "opera" for a new premium full-frame DSLR lens series thinking of a lens that will help photographer in creating real "work of art".

About the product

The debuting premium full-frame lens for high-end DSLR cameras in opera series is 50mm F1.4 FF (FF - Full-Frame). Designed for full-frame format DSLR cameras, opera 50mm F1.4 FF adopts a ring-shaped ultrasonic motor for autofocus drive module. Weather sealing prevents from dust and moisture to come inside the lens body. For the first time in Tokina line up Nikon mount model incorporates an electric diaphragm mechanism. The direction of the focus ring rotation fits the genuine Nikon and Canon lens.

Mounts: Nikon F, Canon EF

Sensor size: full frame format

About sales release

Sales release: summer 2018

A prototype of Tokina opera 50mm F1.4 FF will be displayed at CP+2018 Kenko Tokina booth location: Exhibition Hall(1F), booth # G-57

2018 Sony World Photography Awards shortlist revealed

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

The World Photo Organization has released the shortlist for this year's Sony World Photography Awards, the so-called "world's most diverse photography competition." The shortlist covers all four competitions—Professional, Open, Youth, and Student Focus—and a total of 20 categories in all.

This year, the Sony World Photography Awards received nearly 320,000 entries from over 200 countries, and the 200 shortlisted images—the top 10 in every category—represent the best of those 320,000. The judges also selected a top 50 per category to create a "commended" list. The overall winners in each category, as well as the coveted Photographer of the Year award, will be revealed on April 19th, and a specially curated exhibition is slated to run from April 20th - May 6th at Somerset House in London.

The 30 images in this slideshow represent "highlights" selected from various categories of the Professional and Open competition shortlists. Scroll through for a little dose of Wednesday inspiration, and let us know what you think in the comments.

To learn more about the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, or if you would like to see all of the shortlisted images for yourself, visit the World Photography Organization website.

Press Release

Shortlist for 2018 Sony World Photography Awards reveals outstanding quality, variety and record entry figures

Today's announcement signals an impressive year ahead for the world's most diverse international photography competition

  • All shortlisted images available at worldphoto.org/press

  • Nearly 320,000 images were submitted from across the world, seeing a 40% increase in entries compared to 2017.

  • Overall winners will be revealed on April 19 2018 (23.00 GMT) and a specially curated exhibition will take place April 20 – May 6 at Somerset House, London.

The shortlisted and commended photographers for the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s most diverse photography competition, are announced today.

Photographers from over 200 countries and territories entered nearly 320,000 images across the Awards’ competitions, the highest ever number of entries to date and a 40% increase on 2017. The judges were particularly impressed with the high quality of entries, and the shortlist's ability to offer insight into the foremost trends and contemporary concerns of photographers working today.

Produced by the World Photography Organisation, the Sony World Photography Awards are now in the 11th year of partnership with their headline sponsor, Sony. The Awards’ shortlist (top 10 per category) and commended list (top 50 per category) comprises some of the world’s finest contemporary photography captured over the past year.

The international range of entries display a huge diversity of imagery in terms of genre, style and subject matter across the Awards’ 4 competitions: Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus. The Professional competition includes 10 categories such as Architecture, Contemporary Issues, Landscape, Natural World & Wildlife, Portraiture and two new categories for this year: Creative and Discovery, while the Open competition offers 10 categories including Culture, Enhanced, Motion, Street Photography and Travel.

This year, the Professional competition, which is judged on a series of works, saw an impressive number of entries across its 10 categories. Judges found submissions to be exceptionally strong, particularly across the competition's two new categories - Creative and Discovery. The shortlisted series of works include stylish images of humanity’s obsession with wealth to raw images of the Rohingya refugee crisis, through to quirky portraits of dogs and their owners. The photographers will now compete to win their categories, and Photographer of the Year title.

The Open competition, which is judged on a single image, also saw a wide variety of subject matter submitted to its 10 categories, with Street Photography and Landscape and Nature receiving the highest volume of entries. Shortlisted works include beautiful imagery of frozen lakes, sunlit deserts and hidden forests; stunning portraits of faces from around the world, and unique insights in cultures and traditions that might otherwise be unseen. A breadth of Open competition images were awarded ‘Commended’ as some of the top 50 works within their categories, ranging from images of industrial power stations and formations of swans, to an evocative image of para-athletes competing in the rain.

All the shortlisted Professional and Open photographers’ works will go on to compete to become category winners, with the chance of being selected as Photographer of the Year winning $25,000 (USD) or Open Photographer of the Year winning $5,000 (USD).

The Awards’ Youth competition saw a diverse range of entries from 12-19 year old photographers who submitted one image on the theme of ‘Your environment’, with nearly 8000 more entries submitted compared to the previous year.

Finally, the Student Focus competition saw applications from universities worldwide. Ten shortlisted students from the UK, India, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Canada and China will now go on to produce a further body of work, with the chance of winning €30,000 (Euros) of Sony digital imaging equipment for their university.

The winners of the Awards will be announced at the Awards ceremony in London on April 19. The Photographer of the Year, Open Photographer of the Year, the Professional and Youth competitions’ category winners and the ten shortlisted Student Focus entrants will all be flown to London to attend. Category winners will also receive the latest Sony digital imaging equipment and will be included in the 2018 Awards' book.

The Sony World Photography Awards are judged anonymously by internationally acclaimed industry professionals. The 2018 Professional competition jury was chaired by Mike Trow (ex Picture Editor, British Vogue) with representatives from international museums, publishing and the media.

Philip Tinari (Judge and Director, Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, China) commented:

"We were impressed by the depth and diversity of the work that we reviewed, and inspired by the many ways in which photographers around the world are engaging with the issues that face us all."

Naomi Cass (Judge and Director, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, Australia) remarked:

“The range of work considered was breathtaking, and diversity amongst the judges ensured robust discussions, leading to outstanding winners. I was impressed by the diversity of approaches within each category and the breadth of photographers from across the globe.”

Clare Grafik (Judge and Head of Exhibitions, The Photographers' Gallery, London, UK) commented:

"From new approaches to portraiture to creative responses to the landscape in which we live, the images illustrated what a broad and innovative field photography has become. As our way of experiencing photographic images becomes all the more multifarious, the Awards offer us the opportunity to focus on new talents and important projects that may otherwise have passed us by."

Commenting on this year’s awards, Scott Gray (CEO, World Photography Organisation) notes:

“The quality of this year’s submissions has been very impressive, with outstanding works of art entered across the competitions. The Sony World Photography Awards has celebrated photographers and photography throughout its 11-year history, and we continue to work to ensure photography is recognized as a dynamic, exciting, and accessible medium.”

All shortlisted and winning images will be exhibited as part of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London. This exhibition will include a dedicated section featuring specially selected works by the 2018 recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize. The exhibition will run from April 20 until May 6. Tickets are available at www.worldphoto.org/2018exhibition

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Nick Dolding, United Kingdom, Shortlist, Open, Portraiture (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

The stylish Emile shot for Paypal looking suitably aloof and hoity in a set with just a little nod towards Wes Anderson.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Manuel Armenis, Germany, Shortlist, Open, Street Photography (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Hamburg, Germany. Spring of 2017. The most graceful lady of her neighborhood, despite the burden of old age. Always stylish, colorful, in good spirits, smiling, never complaining, even though the everyday is a struggle and a challenge for her. And never to be seen without her best friend – her little dog.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Xiaoxiao Liu, China, Shortlist, Open, Culture (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

In China, new senior middle school students would have their military training at the beginning of the first year's school term. We all have memories during everybody's training time. I helped a school to shoot for the record of their training time in September 2017.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Manish Mamtani, India, Shortlist, Open, Travel (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Aerial view of Glacial river in Iceland. While crossing the bridge, I noticed some pattern in the water and wondered how it would look from the sky. I stopped the car at a turnout after crossing the bridge and flew my drone to capture this image. I included the bridge and the car to give an idea of the scale. This river flows to the ocean and becomes part of the sea.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Sphiwo Hlatshwayo, South Africa, Shortlist, Open, Portraiture (Open competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

A portrait of a woman with freckles taken earlier in 2017. This image was taken in studio using two soft lights (softness altered in post production). This image was taken because I simply found the model to be beautiful. She caught my eye at an event and I had to bring her into the studio so I could capture every single freckle on her face.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Mark Edward Harris, United States of America, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: Eyes Are the Window to the Soul

Image Description: A 40 year old orangutan named Azy at the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Some orangutans have lived into their early 60s.

Series Description: Photographic and scientific studies of a group of orangutans at the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center in Indianapolis, Indiana demonstrate the individuality of each primate as well as a clear awareness of self. There is obviously a sentient being looking back through the lens. Orangutans and humans share 97 percent of their DNA sequence.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Rasmus Flindt Pedersen, Denmark, Shortlist, Professional, Current Affairs & News (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: Mosul liberated

Image Description: An elderly woman is driven through the city on the back of one of Golden Division’s Humvees. The temperature is nearly 50 degrees celcius, and she’s too weak to get away from the frontline on her own. 11 days later - 10. July 2017 - the Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, declares Mosul liberated, although fighting continues in the city for a couple of weeks.

Series Description: On the 16th of October 2016, a coalition of Iraqi and Kurdish military forces launch operation ‘We are coming, Nineveh’ - the fight to retake the Iraqi city Mosul and the surrounding area from ISIS. Nine months later Mosul is declared liberated. An AP report estimates that upwards of 11,000 civilians have been killed during the war, and according to the International Organisation for Migration more than 800,000 people have fled their home. The series is shot over the course of 16 days during two separate trips to Mosul, Iraq in January/February 2017 and June/July 2017 in order to document the war to liberate Mosul from ISIS.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Asha Miles, Russian Federation, Shortlist, Professional, Current Affairs & News (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: Scars

Image Description: I do not remember anything about the ceremony of circumcision, I was not even a year old. About what it did to me, I only found out when I was older. I remember that I was so upset and offended by my mother, when I found out, that I did not talk to her for a very long time. I already knew by then that it was bad. We were told about this in school. I'm glad that today the operation is banned.&nbsp;<br>
I myself could not do without the consequences - my stomach often hurts, and the doctor says that maybe it's because of circumcision. But I was lucky compared to my younger sister - she was constantly experiencing pain during urination and did not go to school for months. Everything was so bad that Mama herself decided not to do the operation to my other sisters.

Series Description: Female Genital Mutilation, or Female Circumcision, is the partial or complete removal of external female genitalia. "Scars" are personal stories of 12 Gambian women who survived the procedure as children. For several years, Gambia has been actively spreading information about the harm of female circumcision, which was once considered part of a cultural tradition designed to reduce a woman’s sexual desire and keep her clean before the wedding. According to recent statistics, 76% of the country’s women were subjected to the procedure. Officially, the procedure has been banned since 2015, but continues to be carried out secretly to this day. There are very few cases of prosecution, also with the change of power this year, many people think that the old laws are no longer valid. Whether this ritual will become a thing of the past, depends on the consciousness of women and their attitude to this issue.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Edgar Martins, Portugal, Shortlist, Professional, Discovery (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: Siloquies and Soliloquies on Death, Life and Other Interludes

Image Description: A woman has sparked a backlash after she took a picture of a dead man in his coffin then posted it on Facebook. The unnamed woman took a sheet off the body of Michael Dene Ray, 21, at a funeral parlour. She then put a friendship bracelet – identi- cal to the one she and another person were wear- ing – on his wrist and took a picture of their arms next to one another. The woman then put the image on Facebook as a ‘tribute’ to him. It has since been taken down after Michael Dene’s family learned that friends were planning to wear a T-shirt featur- ing the offending image at a party to celebrate his birthday. Now the man’s family has reacted with anger and want tighter controls at funeral parlours. Michael Dene died on 21 December last year and a coroner later ruled his death was as a result of suicide. The family has started a petition calling for it to be made illegal to take pictures in funeral homes without the consent of the next of kin.</p>

Adapted from ‘Mourner took picture of dead man in his coffin for Facebook’ by Richard Hartley-Parkinson in www.metro.co.uk, 13 June 2016

Series Description: Siloquies and Soliloquies on Death, Life and Other Interludes which began to take shape during the course of research carried out at the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (INMLCF), in Portugal. Over a period of three years, Edgar Martins took more than a thousand photographs and scanned more than three thousand negatives from the INML’s vast and extraordinary collection. A significant number of these images depict forensic evidence, such as suicide notes, letters and other objects used in suicides and crimes as well as inherent in the work of the pathologist. However, alongside these photographs, Edgar Martins also began to recover images from his own archive and produce new photographs on other subjects, intended as a visual, narrative and conceptual counterpoint. The project sits precisely within this counterpoint between images, imaginations and imagery relating to death and the dead body, as an interstitial realm, an interlude, between art and non-art, between past and present, between reality and fiction. Edgar Martins’ decision to work in the National Institute of Legal Medicine stems from his interest in highlighting the historic and symbolic role of one of the places that, in the context of modernity, institutionalised – through scientific practice and judicial discourse – the representation, analysis and scrutiny of death and the dead body. In this sense, the incursion of a photographic artist into a place so charged with scientific character (medical, judicial, ideological) necessarily calls on epistemological, psychological and semantic questioning: e.g. what distinguishes a documental image of a corpse or a crime scene from an image that reproduces the staged creation of a mental image of a corpse or a crime scene? What effect do these differences have in the viewer’s imagination? How do the retrospective and prospective horizons appear in the face of these different types of image? In this way, by productively linking documental and factual records (pertaining to real cases and meeting the scientific and operational requirements of the INMLCF) with images that seek to explore their speculative and fictional potential, Siloquies and Soliloquies on Death, Life and Other Interludes proposes to scrutinise the tensions and contradictions inherent in the representation and imagination of death, in particular violent death, and, correlatively, the decisive but deeply paradoxical role that photography – with its epistemological, aesthetic and ethical implications – has played in its perception and intelligibility.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Eduardo Castaldo, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Creative (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: Check Point 300; (in)human borders

Series Description: Every day, before sunset, thousands Palestinian workers spend between 2 and 4 hrs clumped together to cross the so-called "CheckPoint 300", that divides Bethlehem and Jerusalem, in order to go working in Jerusalem and surrounding areas. The images presented are realized with instants taken from more than 30 different pictures realized at CheckPoint 300, and the purpose of the series is to represent the inhuman conditions in which these people are forced daily to get their right for a job. If these images are result of a creative composition, hence not real, what is real is the sense of oppression that they aim to represent.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Varun Thota, India, Shortlist, Professional, Landscape (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: We live in a symmetrical world

Image Description: Taken at the outskirts of Hong Kong, this large residential area is supposed to resemble North American type suburbs, with individual homes and even yellow school buses. However, this large lake in the center of it all may have been designed a particular way, which can only truly be recognized from above.

Series Description: Our world from above, is beautifully symmetrical, whether it be the highways we drive on, the neighborhoods we live in, the high rises we build or the parks we play in. Shot with a drone through my latest travels to Guangzhou, London, Macau and Hong Kong, aerial photography has taken photography to new heights, allowing me to see world through a whole new perspective.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Jack Yong, Malaysia, Shortlist, Professional, Discovery (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: SPACE PROJECT 2088

Image Description: Thermal Vacuum Test Area

Series Description: Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar, the first Malaysian individual who traveled to space made a statement that resonated with me until today was; “I looked out through the tiny window - and there it was, the unmistakable third rock from the Sun we call Earth, floating in the inky darkness of space. It was more beautiful that I could have imagined. My heart felt like it had stopped beating and my eyes didn’t even blink. I just looked in awe, amazed by the beauty of space. The moment was worth dying for.”

That statement did not only triggered my inner childhood dream to go space but refocus my thoughts on what it is to observe space beyond a spatio-temporal dimension of reality. My understanding of the celestial space lies above me, guided by the abundance of photographs captured using sophisticated satellites and astronomical machines.

As my fascination of traveling to space was dismissed by limitations, I’ve engaged a process of alternative vision that progressively shifted my periphery of view to a much familiar landscape and gravity – simultaneously re-channeling my focus to an epistemological foundation. By entering several space facilities in Malaysia, I’ve garnered photographs that remind us not just of the representation of these machines and landscapes as functional objects – but an extensive reinterpretation of “space” on Earth.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Tania Franco Klein, Mexico, Shortlist, Professional, Creative (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: Our Life In The Shadows

Image Description: Mexico City, Mexico.

Series Description: Influenced by the pursuit of the American Dream lifestyle in the Western World and contemporary practices such as leisure, consumption, media overstimulation, eternal youth, and the psychological sequels they generate in our everyday private life.

The project seeks to evoke a mood of isolation, desperation, vanishing, and anxiety, through fragmented images, that exist both in a fictional way and a real one. Philosopher Byung-Chul Han says we live in an era of exhaustion and fatigue, caused by an incessant compulsion to perform. We have left behind the immunological era, and now experience the neuronal era characterized by neuropsychiatric diseases such as depression, attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder, burnout syndrome and bipolar disorder.

My characters find themselves almost anonymous, melting in places, vanishing into them, constantly looking for any possibility of escape. They find themselves alone, desperate and exhausted. Constantly in an odd line between trying and feeling defeated.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Anush Babajanyan, Armenia, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: The Twins of Koumassi

Image Description: Rasidatou and Latifatou, 4, pose for a portrait on a street in the Koumassi district of Abidjan, Ivory Coast on July 25, 2017.

It is a belief that is centuries old in Ivory Coast, and in several countries of West Africa, that twins have spiritual and mystical powers. When in need for a problem to be solved or for a positive change to happen, people often come to twins, donate to them and seek for a blessing, with the hope that the power of the twins will help their wishes come true.

Series Description: Mothers dress them in mirroring and often traditional outfits and bring them out and about the streets of central Abidjan, Ivory Coast. It is a belief that is centuries old here, and in several countries of West Africa, that twins have spiritual and mystical powers. When in need for a problem to be solved or for a positive change to happen, people often come to twins, donate to them and seek for a blessing, with the hope that the power of the twins will help their wishes come true.

In the district of Koumassi in Abidjan, the twins and their mothers are concentrated around the area of the Koumassi Grande Mosque, where visitors of this mosque can see them after their prayers. The twins of different ages spend most of their day in this area, with others’ trust in their spiritual powers supporting the children and their families.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Tomasz Padło, Poland, Shortlst, Professional, Landscape (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: Greetings from Kazakhstan

Series Description: Series Description: Kazakhstan entered to the independence probably with the most damaged natural environment among the former federal states of the USSR. The excessive use of water from Syr Darya for irrigation of farmlands affected to the disappearance of the Aral Sea, plowing millions of hectares of chernozem, triggered wind erosion, which led to unprecedented degradation of soils, while the Semipalatinsk area became famous for nuclear tests and related contamination of the region.

For years, the authorities have been trying to change the negative image of Kazakhstan, promoting, among others things, its natural attractions. It takes a special form in Almaty, the former capital of the country, where many construction areas are decorated with sheets depicting landscapes of Kazakhstan. It creates a kind of dissonance with the perception of the country, as well as with the fact that actually Almaty is one of the most polluted cities in the world. Crumpled, dirty sheets say a little more about the country than the originators could have predicted.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Wiebke Haas, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: Horsestyle

Image Description: Anton was tickled in the ear to shake his head. His thick mane looks like a hairpiece. Most of the time he held his his head close to the ground so it took a lot of time to manage this shot.

Series Description: When people ask me why I’m photographing horses I usually respond: "Because I adore their beauty and magnificent grace!" But there is another reason as well. Horses can be hilarious and darn funny!

It’s my greatest passion to tease out nearly human expressions of my horse models. It was really fun to work with such different horsy characters. The black PRE Allaus learned to shake on hand sign within 5 minutes before the photo session! Arabian stallion Hafid preferred to neigh proudly in studio first before he realized that 3 girls where absolutely euphoric when he shook his head.

The most difficult part was to keep the horses straight to the camera. Most time they wanted to move their head to the side or downward. A good handling and horse goodies were highest priority. I focused on a great face and a harmonic choreography of the hairs.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Luca Locatelli, Italy, Shortlist, Professional, Landscape (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: White Gold

Image Description: A view of Torano’s "marble valley" in the Apuan Alps, one of Italy’s most marble-rich area, where the abundance is surreal. What we admire as pristine white stone was born hundreds of millions of years ago in overwhelming darkness.

Countless generations of tiny creatures lived, died and drifted slowly to the bottom of a primordial sea, where their bodies were slowly compressed by gravity, layer upon layer, until eventually they all congealed and petrified into the interlocking white crystals we know as marble. Some eons later, tectonic jostling raised a great spine of mountains in southern Europe. Up went the ancient sea floor. In some places they rise more than 6,000 feet.

Series Description: Rarely has a material so inclined to stay put been wrenched so insistently out of place and carried so far from its source. In Italy’s most marble-rich area, known as the Apuan Alps, the abundance is surreal. Hundreds of quarries have operated there since the days of ancient Rome and Michelangelo sculptured most of his statues from this stone. Now the trade is booming due to the demand in Saudi Arabia and other gulf states.

The photographs of this area's majestic quarries reveal their own isolated world: beautiful, bizarre and severe. It is a self-contained universe of white, simultaneously industrial and natural.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Sasha Maslov, Ukraine, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: Faces of World War II

Image Description: The first time I was injured was a year after I went underground. Five bullets in my foot. I was living in the forest with a few others, all young kids. We were busted in the forest by the NKVD, the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs.

There were five of us and they fired at us. I got hit then, in my left foot. I wanted to blow myself up with a grenade so they wouldn't take me alive, but once I realized I could still walk, I threw the grenade in the direction they were shooting from and ran with the others. They fired more shots, blindly, but didn't hit anyone else and we were able to escape.

Series Description: Veterans is a series of portraits of people who took part in the Second World War - the one event in human history that could not be compared with any other event on the scale of catastrophe, human tragedy, and the degree of impact on the future of our civilization.

Every single person who participated in the war, whether they were a soldier or a general, prisoner or a guard, medical worker or an engineer, took part in shaping the image of the world as it is seen and perceived today. This project aims to look behind the emotional drape of each individual photographed. After 70 years after the war that took millions of lives, the photographer strives to to analyze and compare the lives of those who survived and are still living.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Lauren Greenfield, United States of America, Shortlist, Professional, Contemporary Issues (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: Generation Wealth

Image Description: Ilona at home with her daughter, Michelle, 4, Moscow, 2012. Ilona’s sweater was produced for her in a custom color by her friend Andrey Artyomov, whose Walk of Shame fashion line is popular among the wives of oligarchs.

Series Description: Generation Wealth is my 25-year visual history of our growing obsession with wealth. Weaving 25 years of work into a meta-narrative, I have tried to explore a consumer appetite unprecedented in human history. Keeping up with the Joneses has become Keeping Up with the Kardashians as the “aspirational gap” between what we want and what we can afford has dramatically widened.

My journey starts in Los Angeles and spreads across America and beyond, as I endeavor to document how we export the values of materialism, celebrity culture, and social status to every corner of the globe through photographs and interviews with students, single parents, and families overwhelmed by crushing debt, yet determined to purchase luxury houses, cars, and clothing. We visit homes and observe rituals of the international elite and the A-list celebrities from reality TV and social media, the same influencers who shape our desires and sense of self.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Ana Amado, Spain, Shortlist, Professional, Contemporary Issues (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: Down Dance

Series Description: The series was a commission by Down Coruña, an association that works with young people with Down Syndrome. They wanted me to take photos of the boys and girls in relation to the building where they were developing their capacities, an awarded architecture by a Galician architect: the architecture as the witness of their gradual progress. But, besides, they asked me to take pictures that could tell another story about Down Syndrome.

We are used to think about them as limited people, about their discapacities, but we never consider that they can do a lot of things, specially things that everyone likes to do. I asked the people of the Association to tell me something they all love to do, and they said they are always listening to music and dancing. The series shows a group of young people having fun and dancing, like any other teenager.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Chloe Jafe, France, Shortlist, Professional, Contemporary Issues (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: 命 預 け ま す Inochi Azukemasu

Series Description: This is a project I started 4 years ago about women in the Japanese mafia. I decided to gain access into the Yakuza organisation to try and find out what the women’s role is in this little-known organisation.

I tried to enter this underworld through different doors, from the nightlife in the red light district, to hostess bars. For a short period of time I even became a hostess myself in order to have a better understanding of their way of thinking and to respect their identity. After many months of trying to infiltrate the Yakuza, I had a fortuitous meeting, and was authorised by a boss to photograph the organisations daily life. This project is about my personal journey through this underworld.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Corentin Fohlen, France, Shortlist, Professional, Architecture (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: MORNE A CABRI

Series Description: Lumane Casimir, in Haiti, is, an example of the cacophony and the problems that prevail the reconstruction in the country: lack of housing, corruption, vagueness in administrative management, disengagement from the state, ill-conceived and badly managed humanitarian projects, natural resources destroyed.

On this project of 3,000 houses, only half have been built. Each year I photographed this village to show how it had changed... or not. Story between 2012-2017.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Behnam Sahvi, Iran, Shortlist, Professional, Sport (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: Magic of Water

Image Description: Pejman, 11 years old, takes a shower before the Disability Children Swimming Championships at the Disability Swimming pool in Tehran province , Iran.

Series Description: Child Disability Swimming Championships at the Disability Swimming pool, Tehran Province, Iran

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Norbert Hartyanyi, Hungary, Shortlist, Professional, Sport (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: Dancing In The Air

Image Description: Murilo Galves Marques - BRA

Series Description: The most spectacular part of the historical Hungarian sports event, the 17th FINA world championship is the high diving when competitors jump from an extreme hight: women jump from 20 meters, men from 27 meters. In case of the men, it means a 3 second free fall and carries huge risks of possible injuries, therefore competitors have to reach the water feet first, as their speed can reach 90 kms/hr.

Every time jumpers are watched by light divers in the water so that they can provide assistance in case of trouble. This was the first time in the history of world championships when competitors didn't jump in natural water but in an artificially built pool. The pool at the foot of the 34-meter high, 10-ton tower was built in the Danube's river bed on a 870 square meter concrete platform whose diameter is 15 meters with a 6 meters depth.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Krister Sørbø, Norway, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: Like owner, like dog

Series Description: How often have you not passed a dog and its owner on the street thinking "wow! No wonder those two found each other!" Well, I have, and wanted to document this phenomenon, and searching dog shows with a makeshift studio, I found the myth to be (partially) true.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Patricia Kühfuss, Germany, Shortlist, Professional, Creative (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: How to get home - South Africa's 12th language

Image Description: Informal stands with sweets and vegetables can be found all over Soweto at the side of the road. Under Apartheid it was restricted how many and what kind of businesses black people were allowed to have. In the last twenty years more and more malls have been built in Soweto.

Show this sign at the side of the road and a taxi heading to Jabulani Mall/Soweto Theatre will stop.

All pictures have been set up together with hand model Siya Ndzonga.

Picture taken 01.05.2017 in Soweto, South Africa.

Series Description: Over twenty years after Apartheid ended, history still echoes through South Africa and the results filter down to everyday life of people living in the townships.
Today many black people still have to move up to 40 km every day into town to get to work, after their grandparents have been moved out of Johannesburg to the townships like Soweto to make the city center a white area. While the state's infrastructure like the metrorail break under the amount of people and crime, private minibus taxis have become one of the booming economy branches in the country.

This series of set up photographs explores the unique hand signs used in Johannesburg to stop a taxi going in the right direction, which are also know as "South Africa's 12th language," referring to the fact that South Africa boasts 11 official languages. By making them blend into everyday situations of Soweto, they do not only tell the story of how to get home in Johannesburg, but also show what this home looks like.

Hand model: Siya Ndzonga

All directions are referring to travels to/from/in Soweto.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Fredrik Lerneryd, Sweden, Shortlist, Professional, Contemporary Issues (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: Slum ballet

Image Description: The boys and girls is practicing for an upcoming show, following teacher Mikes instruction

Series Description: Every Wednesday at Spurgeons Academy, a school in the middle of the indecipherable maze of Kibera's narrow streets and alleys, students take the chairs and benches out of a classroom and sweep the floor. The school uniforms are switched to bright-coloured clothes.

When teacher Mike Wamaya enters the classroom, the students get into position and place one hand on the concrete wall as though it were a ballet bar. Classical music plays out of a small portable speaker, and the class begins.

The Ballet class is part of Annos Africa and One Fine Days charity activities in slum areas around Kenya. In Nairobi they work together with two schools in Kibera and one school in Mathare, another slum closer to the city centre. Dance is a way for the children to express themselves and it strengthens their confidence in life, and a belief that they can become something great.

Some of the children are now dancing several days a week in a studio called "Dance center Kenya" in a upper-class area of Nairobi and living in a boarding school, so thanks to their talent they have taken themselves away from the harsh conditions in the slum.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Andrew Quilty, Australia, Shortlist, Professional, Portraiture (Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: High Water

Image Description: Omid, who doesn't know his age, stands for a portrait with his homemade skis in Aub Bala's village mosque. Aub Bala, 'High Water', is the farthest village up the Fuladi Valley in central Afghanistan's Bamiyan Province, so named because it is the closest to the source of the valley's water, which comes off the mountains in snow-melt and rain, deeper in the valley, beyond where the single road reaches.

Series Description: Au Bala (means High Water in Dari language) is located in the Fuladi Valley, near Bamiyan, Afghanistan, March 2017.

I'd seen photos of the boys and their homemade skis; the rough-hewn planks matching the mottled skin on the faces of their makers.&nbsp; They were from Bamiyan in Afghanistan's central highlands, famous for the giant Buddhas carved into an escarpment 1,500 years ago and destroyed by the Taliban just months before the United States led a military intervention to overthrow their regime in 2001.

The boys seemed only to appear for cameras at least when the "Afghan Ski Challenge”an annual cross-country race that attracts skiers from across the province and overseas, and which ran for the seventh year this Marc was held within skiing distance of their homes.

While many Afghans who'd compete had accumulated mismatched ski pants and jackets, boots and proper skis from donors, these boys wore mostly traditional Afghan clothes with regular shoes or plastic sandals.

I wanted to find the boys and photograph them with their wooden skis.

The first call I made before flying from the Afghan capital, Kabul, to Bamiyan, was to the manager of a hotel in the provincial capital. Abdullah proved not only to be an affable host, but an enthusiastic colleague, as well. Within a couple of hours of my arrival we'd met up with Alishah Farhang, a handsome, fit-looking 27-year-old in mirrored sunglasses on a nearby piste.

Farhang, it turned out, was one of Afghanistan's top two skiers. He hopes to represent his country in the 2018 winter Olympics in the giant slalom. It would be a first for an Afghan. He suggested we venture west, beyond his village, as far as the road would take us into the remote Fuladi Valley.

Bamiyan is the safest province in Afghanistan, so, unlike most other parts of the country, where road movements—especially for foreigners—are done with caution, planning, often heavily armed escorts, and always white knuckles the drive, through villages of mud houses and silver poplars, was unusually pleasant.

Abdullah urged me to be patient as I eyed each passing village for young skiers. After an hour on the muddy road we finally came to a dead-end and the village of Au Bala, High Water, the farthest up the river that feeds the valleys potato crops.

As Abdullah parked, I spotted a silhouette making its way across a snow-covered paddock, straight-legged, scissoring along just like a cross-country skier. As the silhouette moved out of the direct sun, I made out a young boy, maybe ten, shuffling along on what looked like shortened fence palings.

We were in the right place.

It was 2009 when Au Bala first encountered skiing. A man and woman working for an international development organisation had travelled there in a quest to map the mountains of Bamiyan as part of an effort to attract tourists to the province.

The pair gave a demonstration on skis they'd brought along, and ever since, based on the shared memory of that day, and using lengths of timber with plastic strips nailed to the bottom; with nylon webbing, twine or even protruding nails for bindings, the boys of Au Bala have continued to build their own.

As we walked into the village we quickly collected a trail of young boys who pointed us toward the village's only mosque, a gathering place even outside prayer times. We explained ourselves to a handful of elders who were soaking up the winter sun outside.

Within minutes Abdullah and I had been ushered inside a small anteroom where worshippers ordinarily leave their shoes during prayer. This, someone had decided, would be our studio.

The room quickly filled with young boys, a couple carrying clunky skis and wooden poles. At the demand of one older boy another dashed outside into a maze of alleyways in search of more skiers. Minutes later, five boys, all fumbling with homemade skis, were lined up along one side of the room.

Rarely does it all come together so easily in Afghanistan.

One by one I had each stand with their backs to the white-washed mud wall across the room from the low doorway. Sunlight poured through and made a trapezoid of light on the floor - it bounced up and lit the shadows beneath the boy's eyes.

Afghans are wonderful portrait subjects; staring down the lens sternly, expressionlessly, but with pride. I spent less than two minutes with each: Baz Mohammad, Chirgh Ali, Bismillah, Ghodratullah and Omid. None knew exactly how old they were. And there were more, the boys said, but they were at school.

The following day we drove back to Au Bala at the same time. Eight more boys were waiting for us outside the mosque. Their skis were side-by-side, leaning against the wall, and the winter sun was melting the snow they'd collected on their last run.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Kaleb White, United States of America, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (2018 Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: The Roar

Series Description: The Roar is an intense occurrence of Red deer taken during the annual breeding season on the North island of New Zealand. I was commissioned to record the essence of stag (males) behavior during the peak roar. Stags are most vocal and have a very distinct roar sound when attracting hinds (females). Stags establish dominance during the roar by not only vocalizing their superiority but also displaying forms of mature postures and often fighting with competing stags to mate with hinds.

Being able to safely document large, antlered, wild, and aggressive stags has taken years of practice and patience. Witnessing intense, raw moments, for a brief time, ultimately provides a better understanding of red deer behavior; the essence of The Roar.

Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist

Photo © Neil Aldridge, South Africa, Shortlist, Professional, Natural World & Wildlife (2018 Professional competition), 2018 Sony World Photography Awards

Series Name: The Return of the Rhino

Image Description: A young white rhino waits in a boma, blindfolded and partially drugged after a long journey from South Africa, before being released into the wild in Botswana as part of efforts to rebuild Botswana's lost rhino populations. Botswana is saving rhinos from poaching hotspots in neighbouring countries and translocating them to re-establish the populations of rhinos it lost to poaching by 1992.

Series Description: Rhinos are fighting for survival. Poachers are killing more than three every day to feed the demand for rhino horn in the Far East. All the while, the South African government is championing the consumptive use of rhinos and the legalisation of the trade in horn.

But there is hope. This is the story of how Botswana is leading the recovery of rhinos amidst a global poaching crisis by rescuing animals from poaching hotspots in neighbouring countries and translocating them to the Okavango Delta. Botswana is rebuilding the rhino populations it lost to poaching by the early 1990s and is creating an ark-like population capable of restocking parks and reserves that may have lost their rhinos to poaching.

To tell this story, I worked alongside the Rhino Conservation Botswana team, I visited rhino orphanages, I met poaching survivors and tracked with the incredible people working tirelessly to keep rhinos safe.

Canon EOS M50: What you need to know

Canon ESO M50: What you need to know

The Canon EOS M50 is the brand's beefier entry-level mirrorless camera, slated above the comparatively compact EOS M100. Both sport APS-C sensors and single control dials, but the M50 provides a 2.36M-dot EVF, hotshoe and more substantial grip (similar to the EOS M5). An articulating touchscreen adorns the back and Canon's stellar Dual Pixel autofocus is available when shooting stills and video (in most settings... more on that later).

We've had time to develop some first impressions of the camera. What follows is a distillation of the keys takeaways – everything you need to know about the Canon EOS M50.

Same 24MP APS-C sensor, new Digic 8 processor

It uses the same 24MP sensor as many of its siblings including fellow M-mount cameras like the M5, M6 and M100 as well as SLRs like the EOS 80D. But it makes use of the new Digic 8 processor, giving it a few advantages over other Canon interchangeable lens cameras.

A faster burst speed is one of them: with autofocus the M50 can shoot at 7.4 fps (10 fps with focus locked). That's a big jump from the M100's 4 fps burst with autofocus, and even faster than the 80D's 7 fps burst rate with AF. The one caveat is that the buffer is limited to about one second.

Another major advantage the new Digic 8 chip provides is the ability to shoot Ultra High Definition Video, making it the first Canon mirrorless camera to do so. But...

It shoots 4K but...

...don't throw the confetti just yet, because the implementation of 4K leaves much to be desired, due to several limitations.

The most notable limitation is that you can't use Canon's excellent Dual Pixel autofocus when shooting 4K, which is a real shame. We love Dual Pixel AF for its ability to stick to a subject without hunting, even if the subject moves. With the M50, there's still an option to use autofocus in 4K, but it's Contrast Detect, so will need to 'hunt' and is more prone to some wobbles.

The other big limitation is a 1.6x crop when shooting UHD video – that's on top of the sensor's 1.6x APS-C crop. Thus, a 22mm F2 becomes the equivalent field of view to a 56mm lens. Hardly ideal.

But it's not all caveats and bad news on the video front: the EOS M50 can shoot 1080/60p and 720/120p high frame rate capture with Dual Pixel AF. And there's no pesky additional crop (unless you use digital stabilization).

New CR3 Raw format with a better compression setting

The M50 is the first Canon camera to offer the latest CR3 Raw format, another product of the new Digic 8 processor. Why introduce it in an entry-level camera? Because it includes a new and improved compression option that might appeal to users wishing to dip their toes in shooting Raw, but don't want the large file sizes that come with it.

With the old CR2 Raw files, if you want to save memory card/hard-drive space, there is an option for downsized 'small' and 'medium' Raw files that are lower resolution than an ordinary CR2 file. With CR3 there is a new compression option called C Raw: a compressed, full-resolution Raw file that can be as small as half the size of a full CR3 file. And, if Canon has been sensible about it, it should offer effectively the same quality.

Increased Dual Pixel AF point coverage, Eye detect mode

There's a couple of improvements in the autofocus department of the M50: there are now 99 selectable points to choose from, up from 49 on previous M cameras. Point coverage is still 80% x 80% when using most M-series lenses, users just now have more point precision.

That said, with some lenses – specifically the 18-150mm, 28mm macro and 55-200mm – that coverage jumps to 88% x 100% with 143 points selectable. Canon representatives gave us no concrete reason for why some, but not all, lenses offer expanded coverage. However, we're hopeful any newly-introduced M-glass will offer the updated spread.

The M50 also introduces a new 'Eye Detection' AF option. We're huge fans of Sony's Eye AF feature, with its impressive ability to track the eye of a moving subject. Sadly, Canon's implementation seems less useful as it only works in AF-S – better hope your subject remains still.

Better wireless connectivity

This is not the first Canon ILC to offer Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC, but it is the first to feature a 'send to smartphone after each shot' function. We had a little bit of time to play around with this new feature during a demonstration of the camera and found it to work well, once paired. And like other entry-level Canon ILCs, the M50 has a dedicated Wi-Fi button (visible above).

Articulating touchscreen, high-res OLD EVF

A 1.04M-dot touchscreen can be fully articulated for selfies/vlogging and flipped inward against the body to protect it from damage – the back of has a lovely faux leather texture.

There aren't a whole lot of control points on the camera but the touchscreen somewhat makes up for it: you can use it to change quite a few settings, access the Q menu and move your AF point, all with a tap of the finger. Plus, Canon's touch implementation is excellent on the whole: the screen is responsive and common gesture controls like swiping between images are recognized.

The 2.36M dot OLED EVF is lovely to look through and on par with the best you can get at this price point.

Mediocre battery life

Battery life isn't stellar: at 235 shots per charge (CIPA rated), you'd be wise to carry a spare battery (though if you switch it into 'Eco mode,' battery life jumps to 370 shots). As always, you'll often get more shots than the number given in the rating but it does give a good impression of longevity, and 235 shots isn't great.

The M50 uses the same LP-E12 as the M100: a second one will cost you about $50 (on brand). Fortunately if you do pick up a second, the M50 ships with an external charger, so you can top it off while you're out shooting. There is no in-body charging.

Ports, hotshoe and pop-up flash

In terms of wired connectivity, the M50 offers a 3.5mm microphone socket: a real rarity in entry-level products. There's also a Micro-HDMI and Micro-USB port, though again, the latter does not support charging.

We like the M100's pop-up flash because you can use your finger to direct it to bounce off the ceiling – with the M50, you can only fire the flash directly at your subject. However, unlike the M100, the M50 offers a hotshoe for use with an accessory flash.

More buttons than the M100, plus Canon's Guide Modes and a new silent mode

We already mentioned that the M50 doesn't have a lot of buttons, but it does have more control points than the smaller, more affordable M100, despite also being fairly point-and-shoot in nature. These additional controls/buttons include: an AE lock button, AF frame selector button, mode dial and custom function button.

And like the Canon SL2 and T7i, the M50 offers Canon's helpful Guide Modes. These were omitted on the M100 and we're glad to see them make their way into an entry-level Canon mirrorless product.

The M50 also gains a new silent scene mode, which sounds useful for a variety of scenarios like photographing sleeping babies or a documenting a school play. You won't be able to control exposure settings when using it – such is the case for all 'scene modes' – but it's a nice beginner-friendly feature.

What do you think?

There you have it, the EOS M50: the first Canon mirrorless camera with 4K and the new auto send-to-smartphone feature. It's also the first Canon camera to use the new Digic 8 processor which brings about the updated CR3 Raw format. And to top things off, it has expanded Dual Pixel AF coverage (with some lenses). That's a lot of 'new' to pack into an entry-level product.

So what do you think? Is the EOS M50 a sign that Canon is taking mirrorless seriously, or are you upset about the 4K limitations? And for those impressed, would you still buy the M50 despite the limited lens family (7 M-series lenses as of writing), especially when compared to that of Fujifilm X-mount or the Micro Four Thirds system? Let us know all of your thoughts, good bad and weird, in the comments below.

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