Lensbaby OMNI Creative Filter System uses ‘Effect Wands’ to create in-camera image effects

Lensbaby has launched pre-orders for its new OMNI Creative Filter System, a kit featuring a screw-on Filter Ring for existing lenses, as well as Effect Wands that magnetically attach to the ring in front of the lens. Each Effect Wand is designed to create in-camera photo effects similar to app filters, but with a greater level of control and repeatability.

The OMNI Creative Filter System is available with 58mm and 77mm Filter Ring options, both of which include step-down rings for use with different existing lenses. The system currently features three Effect Wands: Crystal Seahorse, Rainbow Film, and Stretch Glass. Two magnetic mounts, each capable of holding two Effect Wands each, are included with the kit.

The magnetic mounts attach to the Filter Ring, then the Effect Wands attach to the magnetic mounts. The wands can be repositioned by sliding them around the Filter Ring. According to Lensbaby, the kit is designed to work with the majority of prime and zoom lenses, including both auto and manual focus models, plus the company's own Velvet 56/85 and Burnside 35 lenses.

Below are a collection of sample images captured with in-camera effects from the wands:

Each Effect Wand creates is own unique effects, including rainbows, light streaks, reflections and flares. The complete OMNI Creative Filter System is available to pre-order from Lensbaby for $99.95 USD. The product is currently listed as ‘backordered’ with no clear shipping dates.

Nikon’s president confirms a ‘D5’ mirrorless equivalent is in the works

Japanese business publication Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun has shared a quote from a recent interview with Nikon's CEO, Mr. Toshikazu Umatate, wherein he says a flagship mirrorless camera—equivalent to Nikon's D5 DSLR—will be introduced.

The quote, translated via Google from Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun's paywalled coverage (translated), reads:

Nikon to introduce a top-end model of the mirror-less camera. Time is a non-published, but Umatate Toshikazu president was revealed in response to the interview of the Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun. Top-end model of the digital single-lens reflex camera “D5.”

No specific time-frame was given for the impending release, but this marks the first time anyone from Nikon has officially confirmed a pro-style mirrorless camera designed to replace Nikon's flagship D4/D5 DSLR lineup.

Datacolor announces two new SpyderX Tool Kits for an all-in-one color correction workflow

Datacolor has launched two new kits that bundle together some of its most popular color correction tools to simplify the color workflow of photographers from capture to print.

SpyderX Capture Pro tool suite

The SpyderX Capture Pro is a bundle designed to offer the most essential components in a color workflow. It includes Datacolor's Spyder LensCal, Spyder Cube, Spyder Checkr and SpyderX Elite, each of which are designed to play an integral role in the image capture and editing process.

SpyderX Studio tool suite

The SpyderX Studio bundle, on the other hand, includes tools not only for calibrating your camera and monitor, but also your printer. It includes the Spyder Cube, SpyderX Elite and Spyder Print.

If the items in these bundles were purchased on their own, the SpyderX Capture Pro tool suite would cost around $370 and the SpyderX Studio around $675, based on the retail price of the individual components. Through July 14, 2019, Datacolor is selling the SpyderX Capture Pro bundle through its website and authorized retailers for $320 and the SpyderX Studio bundle for $400 as part of an introductory offer. After that, the prices will increase to $400 and $500, respectively.

Press release:

Datacolor Launches SpyderX Tool Kits for Digital Photographers

Lawrenceville, New Jersey, USA, June 18, 2019 - Datacolor®, a global leader in color management solutions, announced the launch of two new product bundles for photographers to manage their color workflow: SpyderX Capture Pro and SpyderX Studio. Both include the recently launched SpyderX color calibrator for monitors – the most accurate, fastest (4X faster) and easiest-to-use Spyder, ever.

SpyderX Capture Pro provides all the essentials needed to precisely manage color from image capture through editing, and includes:

  • Spyder LensCal - Calibrate cameras, lenses and DSLR components.
  • Spyder Cube – Set white balance and RAW conversion.
  • Spyder Checkr – Next-level camera color calibration.
  • SpyderX Elite – Professional monitor calibration.

SpyderX Studio is the essential all-in-one photographic workflow solution for precision control from capture, to editing to print, and includes:

  • Spyder Cube – Set white balance and RAW conversion.
  • SpyderX Elite– Professional monitor calibration.
  • Spyder Print – Printer profiling for any printer/ink/paper combination.

Datacolor is kicking off the launch of these two products with a special 20% savings introductory offer. From June 18 through July 14, 2019, you can purchase the SpyderX Capture Pro for $319.99 (reg. $399.99) or the SpyderX Studio for $399.99 (reg. $499.99).

SpyderX Capture Pro and SpyderX Studio can be purchased at spyderx.datacolor.com, Amazon or with authorized resellers.

Shooting with PolarPro’s six-pack ND filter set for the DJI Osmo Pocket

PolarPro filter 6-pack for the DJI Osmo Pocket
$80 | polarprofilters.com

Grand Turk and Caicos, taken early in the morning using an ND16 filter.

DJI introduced the Osmo Pocket, a three-axis stabilized handheld camera, late last year. The portable device is an ideal tool for content creators and casual consumers. It's designed for creating decent video clips and photos on the fly. Since I couldn't bring a drone onboard a recent cruise, I opted to purchase this device to document my journey.

Neutral density (ND) filters are a must-have for anyone aiming to capture smooth, cinematic footage. Selecting the proper one can be tricky, but PolarPro prints out a simple guide on which filter is most appropriate based on weather conditions, including how cloudy or sunny it is outside.

Neutral density (ND) filters are a must-have for anyone aiming to capture smooth, cinematic footage.

More advanced users can access manual settings by connecting their smartphone, accessing the DJI Mimo app and selecting a shutter speed that doubles the frame rate. For example, when applying the 180-degree rule, if I wanted to take advantage of 4K/60fps, I would select a shutter speed of 1/125. One thing to keep in mind is that the Osmo Pocket has a tiny 1/2.3-inch sensor and a fixed F2.0 lens, so you can't control aperture as an exposure variable.

Captured with the PolarPro ND4 filter.

Since I was going to be in the sun, surrounded by water, most of the time on this cruise, I invested in the Standard Filter Six-pack from PolarPro consisting of PL (fixed polarizer), ND4, ND8, ND16, ND32, and ND64 filters. In addition to the polarizer, the ND filters allow 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, and 1/64 of incoming light to stream into the sensor, respectively. Think of them as sunglasses for your camera.

Selecting the right ND filter slows the shutter for video on the Osmo pocket, and can also add some motion blur to a timelapse for a more dramatic effect. The polarizer enhances colors and reduces reflection and glare on surfaces including water, glass, ice, and snow.

PolarPro's ND filters snap into place easily.

A compact case houses two rows of three filters, arranged by stop. Each filter was a bit challenging to remove, and the case design could be ergonomically improved. Once out of the bearings, though, the clever magnetic design made it easy to snap the filters on and remove them from the Osmo Pocket's camera.

Though they come in a sleek compact case, the ND filters can be a bit challenging to remove at times.

I found PolarPro's filters to be effective at cutting down the glare on water and enhancing hues (polarizer) while also letting me dial in my desired shutter speed for video (NDs). They're a recommended investment for capturing the highest quality footage possible with the Osmo Pocket and minimizing any post-production efforts.

Below are example photos I shot with different filters from the set, along with the story behind each one, which provide some real world examples of where each is useful.

PolarPro PL (polarizer) ND filter for the Osmo Pocket

About the photo: Walking the colorful streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico, was a highlight of the trip. The sun was completely obscured from this scene, so I opted for the fixed polarizing filter to retain the vivid hues of the buildings.

PolarPro ND4 filter for the Osmo Pocket

About the photo: ND4 filters are recommended for use at dawn or dusk. While sailing along the Atlantic, back toward Florida, this combination of sun setting behind a group of clouds, illuminating an unknown island, and nearby rainstorm caught my attention from the 12th floor deck of the ship.

PolarPro ND8 filter for the Osmo Pocket

About the photo: It was overcast when we visited the only tropical rainforest in the US. The ND8 filter worked great in this situation. (Yokahu Tower in the background.)

PolarPro ND16 filter for the Osmo Pocket

About the photo: When pulling into Puerto Rico, everyone pulled out their cameras to capture Castillo San Felipe del Morro - one of the most impressive historical attractions in the Caribbean. As it was 10:00 am, local time, an ND16 filter was enough for a mostly sunny scene.

PolarPro ND32 filter for the Osmo Pocket

About the photo: A partially-cloudy day, on a tropical resort island in the Bahamas, still calls for the second most powerful filter in the kit.

PolarPro ND64 filter for the Osmo Pocket

About the photo: There were few clouds in the sky at Trunk Cay, a small resort beach located in the Virgin Islands. Since the noon sunlight was bearing down, I used the ND64 to eliminate glare and capture the contrasting dark blue and turquoise patterns in the bay.

Wrap-up

The DJI Osmo Pocket is a fantastic camera that's great for capturing photos and videos while you travel, but PolarPro's standard 6-pack of filters is a valuable addition. As one would expect, the fixed polarizer can make your photos pop thanks to improved contrast, increased saturation, and reduced glare, and unlike screw-in filters it fits perfectly on the Osmo Pocket.

Additionally, the selection of ND filters make it possible to capture more natural looking video when used to dial in the appropriate shutter speed on the camera – something that's particularly useful given that the Osmo Pocket's aperture is locked at F2.0, eliminating the option to use aperture to adjust exposure.

Overall, I found the PolarPro filters to be a great addition to my Osmo Pocket. This 6-pack of filters should definitely be on your list if you want to get the most out of DJI's pint-sized camera.

What we liked

  • Useful range of filters
  • Magnetic design makes it easy to attach and remove filters
  • Good optical quality

What we'd like to see improved

  • Filters can be a bit difficult to remove from case

Dallas photojournalist recounts capturing photo of gunman during yesterday’s shooting

Yesterday morning, a gunman dressed in tactical gear opened fire at the Earle Cabell Federal Building in Dallas, Texas with a semi-automatic rifle. While at the courthouse for a separate assignment, Dallas Morning News photojournalist Tom Fox was caught in the middle of the chaos and managed to capture a stunning image, embedded below, of the gunman as he was running away from the building he had opened fire on.

As Fox explains in the above interview conducted with Dallas Morning News, he was at the courthouse waiting for a defendant to arrive for jury duty when he heard what he believed to be a backfire from a vehicle. What he heard though was the sound of gunshots that were being fired toward the federal courthouse.

After realizing it was gunshots he heard, Fox says he instinctually looked around to discover where the shots were coming from and 'establish a safe perimeter and take a knee [to] see what I could [photograph].'

Shortly after hearing the first shots, Fox says a security guard and another individual, with whom he was talking with earlier, started running in his direction as pieces of granite from the Earle Cabell Federal Building were being kicked in the air from gunfire (the first photo in the embedded tweet below is implied to be the individuals he was referring to in the interview and shows both the gunman [left, in front of the blue sedan] and the granite turning to powder [top of the image, above the security guard's head]).

It was at this point that Fox turned and ran to seek cover. Eventually, he noticed an alcove near the entrance of the building and took shelter behind it (Fox can be seen behind the alcove, just feet away from the shooter, in a screenshot from a video captured by a citizen in an adjacent apartment building in the embedded tweet below [second image]). When he peeked around the corner, he saw an individual down the street. At this point, he took out his telephoto lens and composed a shot when he realized the individual he saw 'looked to be someone that would fit the shooter profile and made some frames.' Fox says it was when the shooter went to pick something up and he saw the nozzle of the gun that he got up and ran to safety.

According to Dallas Morning News, the shooter was shot and killed by federal agents as he was running away from the building he opened fire at. No one else was injured or killed.

Dallas Morning News has put together a video using footage captured by Fox that shows the moments shortly after he captured what has become a viral image in the aftermath of the events. We had originally planned to include it in the article, but the thumbnail used for the video shows the shooter collapsed in a parking lot adjacent to the federal building after being shot by a federal agent, so we decided to link out instead. Bear in mind the video is graphic in nature.

Fox said he thought he 'was gone' in a follow-up interview with Dallas Morning News that dives into more details of the shooting. In 2017, Fox won Dallas Morning News staff photographer of the year.

WANDRD’S new DUO Daypack raised $250K in Kickstarter funding in just 24 hours

Bag company WANDRD has launched its new DUO Daypack on Kickstarter, where it has already greatly exceeded its funding goal. The backpack is designed for 'dawn-to-dusk' use, according to the company, with features for photographers in addition to travellers, commuters, and everyone else.

DUO Daypack features the InfiniteZip system, which involves a single zipper with multiple sliders for accessing the part of the bag that contains the needed item. The bag is described as weather-resistant against rain (and power washers, as demonstrated in the campaign).

The bag's interior features a POP cube that can be expanded to create a 'multifunctional space' within which items, such as a camera, are better protected. The cube includes a padded EVA foam divider for accommodating different types of gear.

Joining the protective cube are a number of pockets, including two padded expansion pockets for lenses, hard drives, or other modestly sized items. Those two slots are joined by small mesh pockets, a large mesh pocket, zipper pockets, and a hidden passport pocket.

The DUO Daypack has a 20L capacity and measures 29cm x 16.5cm x 49.5cm (11.5in x 6.5in x 19.5in) with a weight of 1.2kg (2.6lbs). WANDRD is offering the bag to Kickstarter backers with an 'early bird' price of $175 USD, a discount off the anticipated $219 USD retail price. Assuming the campaign is successful, WANDRD expects to start shipping to campaign backers in December 2019.


Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there's always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.

Video: Canon explains how its new RF lens mount is better than smaller, older mounts

Canon Imaging Plaza, an official Canon YouTube channel dedicated to showing off the latest Canon technologies and cameras, has shared a video highlighting the benefits of its new full-frame RF lens mount and the advantages it has over smaller lens mounts, such as its own EF mount.

The four-and-a-half-minute video uses CGI renderings and example images to show off the various benefits Canon's RF mount offers and the technology that goes into its RF lenses.

A rendering comparison from the video showing how the light can be better controlled through elements when the elements are able to be placed close to the imaging sensor.

The narrator addresses the shorter back focus distance and larger diameter mount, which allows Canon to move the rear-most elements in lenses closer to the sensor, which helps to minimize chromatic aberration and allows engineers to get more creative with lens designs. Having the rear-most lens elements close to the sensor creates its own problems though, which leads the video to Canon's SubWavelength Structure Coating (SWC) and Air Sphere Coating (ASC) technologies, which are designed to minimize ghosting and flaring in images.

A comparison shot from the video that shows how the shorter back focus distance and larger diameter mount can yield better image quality—especially near the edges of the frame—thanks to better aberration control.

The video also mentions the additional contacts found in the RF lens mount, which are designed to increase the bandwidth of data and power that flows to and from the lens through the camera.

While this video is clearly about Canon's RF mount, the pros (and cons) of larger-diameter lens mounts and shorter back focus distances also apply to Nikon's new Z mount, which is both larger in diameter (55mm to the RF's 54mm) and features a closer back focus distance (16mm to the RF's 20mm).

Instagram simplifies account recovery process to take back hijacked usernames

It's fair to say account security at Instagram has been shaky in recent months, with large numbers of passwords exposed and reports on a rising number of intrusion attempts.

Now the company is taking measures that won't prevent account hijacking but should make it much easier to recover your account in such an event and serve as a deterrent to potential hackers.

Instagram is currently testing an updated in-app account recovery process. In the event of an 'unfriendly account-takeover' users previously had to email Instagram or complete a support-form and then wait for a response.

With the new process the app requests user-specific information, for example the email and phone number originally linked to the account and then sends a six-digit code sent to the contact info of your choice.

Hackers will then be prevented from using the account on other devices and the new method also ensures that your account can be recovered even if user name and contact information have been changed by an intruder. In addition a user name cannot be claimed for a certain period after a name change, so you can get your user name back after your account has been recovered.

While the simplified recovery process should be welcome by all users who have suffered a hacked account it will also be beneficial to Instagram itself. If users can recover an account themselves in the app, this means less work for the security team.

Here’s how you can change the default camera app in iOS 13 with a clever workaround

One of the smaller updates inside the recently-announced iOS 13 is the addition of Automation, a feature within Apple's Shortcut app that allows you to automate various functions on your iOS device through the use of pre-defined triggers.

While the options are seemingly limitless with the new Automation feature, one particular Automation has all but resolved an issue iOS photographers have faced since the first iPhone—you can now make it so a third-party camera application opens by default when opening the Camera app from the home screen (or Control Center). Technically, this Automation doesn't change the default app that's opened, but it will make it so the camera app of your choice opens instead of Apple's default Camera app.

As we walk through in the video embedded below, the end result is achieved through the Automation trigger of opening a certain app. In the example we provide, we've made it so the camera app Halide opens when the Camera app icon is press on the home screen. Beneath the video is a text explanation of the process we used to create the Automation.

If the video isn't clear enough, here's a brief text explainer of how we set this Automation up: First, open the Shortcuts app and select the Automation tab (the middle tab in the navigation with a clock as its icon). From there, press the '+' icon in the top-right corner of the app and select the 'Create Personal Automation' button. At this point, you'll be provided with three distinct sections: Events, Travel and Settings. Each of these have a subset of triggers that can be used for Automations.

For this Automation, you'll want to scroll all the way to the bottom of the 'Settings' section and choose the 'Open App' option. On the next screen, iOS will ask you to pick an app that you want to be the trigger. In the case of this particular Automation, you want to choose the Camera app as the trigger. After selecting the Camera app, press 'Done' and then 'Next' to move to the next step. Here, you will choose what you want to happen when you open the Camera app. Tap on the 'Add Action' button and choose the 'Apps' icon (it will be the first icon in the options presented).

From there, choose the 'Open App' action. This is where you will select what third-party camera app will be opened in place of Apple's default Camera app. As we mentioned, we opted to open the third-party camera app Halide. After selecting the app and pressing both 'Done' and 'Next' again, you're at the final stage. You can choose to have iOS 'Ask Before Running' or turn that option off to remove an extra step. Now, click 'Done' and you should be good to go.

Again, this doesn't technically change the default camera app. As you can see in the below video, the default Camera app still opens, albeit very quickly, before triggering the Automation to open Halide. Still though, it's a pretty quick transition, even on the first beta of iOS 13.

Keep in mind that this particular Automation is being run on a developer beta version of iOS 13. Apple will release a public beta for those interested sometime in July (you can sign up to receive an invite here), but even if you get the invite to test the public beta of iOS 13, we suggest not putting it on your main device(s). The developer beta of iOS 13 has proven fairly bug-free since we've downloaded it, but there's always the risk that certain apps and features won't work and the last thing you want to do is effectively render your iOS device useless.

Disclaimer aside, it's a neat little trick. There are countless other photo-related Automations that could be made, but we had to start somewhere. Between the Automation feature, the ability to access external storage and other features, iOS 13 should prove to be a substantial update for photographers and their workflows.

Edelkrone now offers a 3D-printed DIY solution for its FlexTILT tripod head

Meet FlexTILT Head 3D, a version of Edelkrone's popular tripod head that can be 3D-printed and pieced together as a DIY project for a fraction of the cost of Edelkrone's FlexTILT Head 2.

As we noted in our review, the Edelkrone FlexTILT Head 2 is a wonderful little tool for both videos and stills. The articulating head allows for unique possibilities, especially when paired with dollies and other motion units—but it doesn't come cheap.

The areas in red are the components that are 3D printed, while the dark grey components and silver screws are those Edelkrone ships to you for $29.

Edelkrone's solution to this is a new line of products called ORTAK. The ORTAK lineup is a co-manufacturing collection that will allow you to 3D print the basic components of Edelkrone products and buy the more integral pieces from Edelkrone at a much lower cost than the fully-produced version.

For the FlexTILT Head 3D, Edelkrone will handle manufacturing the metal components required, including the hex screws, washers, brackets and mounting points, which will sell for $29. The body of the FlexTILT Head 3D is up to you to print using the files provided, for free, by Edelkrone on its ORTAK webpage. In addition to a document detailing the building process, Edelkrone has also created a detailed video:

Edelkrone specifically mentions the ORTAK FlexTILT Head 3D has been tested on the Ultimaker S5, Ultimaker 3 and Zaxe 3D printers. However, the STL file Edelkrone provides is more than capable of being printed with other units. Even if you don't own a 3D printer yourself—or know someone who does—there are other options, including online platforms like Shapeways—not to mention many libraries now offer access to 3D printers at low or no cost if you're a member.

Regardless of how you get the components printed, it's safe to say the end result should come out for a good bit less than the $149 Edelkrone's FlexTILT Head 2 retails for.

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