Nikon's series of video teasers continues with a look at some classic Nikkor glass and an unmarked lens at the end of the video. Astute readers may notice that the first lens shown is a Noct-Nikkor 58mm F1.2 - one of Nikon's most famous manual focus lenses, made in limited numbers for about 20 years from the 1970s before being discontinued in the late 90s.
Beloved by fans of low-light photography (and, inevitably, collectors), the rare Noct-Nikkor is hard to find, and good copies sell for very high prices on the used market (see earlier point about collectors). Nikon has already hinted that its new mirrorless lens mount is something special - could it support high-performance F1.2 or even faster lenses? We'll find out on August 23rd.
During CES 2017, Kodak announced plans to resurrect its Ektachrome film, which was discontinued in 2012. Though the first batch of film isn't available to purchase yet, Kodak released sample images shot on the new Ektachrome in June, and now it has started shipping test film to select photographers.
Images and videos of the new Ektachrome film have surfaced on Kodak's Instagram page, where it points toward its beta film test team. One video by @benjhaisch shows a brick of packaged film boxes being removed from its shipping box; another (embedded below) by beta tester @michaelturek shows the same package with eight boxes of new film.
Glimpses of the product are similarly present on the Kodak Professional Facebook page, where the company shared a shot of one of the Ektachrome film boxes unwrapped, as well as an unboxing video. In June, Popular Science editor Stan Horaczek was given a look inside the Kodak factory where Ektachrome is produced.
Kodak originally planned to release its new Ektachrome film for purchase by the end of 2017, but the timeline has since been updated to the end of 2018.
If you're sensitive to gore, you might want to turn your head. Nikon Asia has published a video on its YouTube channel that dives into the brutal depths the company goes to in order to test the ruggedness of its DSLR cameras — specifically the Nikon D850.
In the two-minute video, Nikon ambassadors and workers detail the amount of thought, research and methods that go into practically testing how its cameras will handle tough environments. Although there are plenty of automated tests going on, this particular video, titled 'True Reliability' takes a look at the more hands-on testing.
Specifically, the video shows how Nikon tests its cameras in dusty conditions, wet environments and extreme temperatures, all well beyond what you could reasonably expect from even the most challenging shoots. There's even a few drop tests in there for good measure.
It's not as long or in-depth a look as we would like, but it goes to show how few stones are left unturned when checking for resiliency in Nikon cameras.
In a press release issued this morning, Sony announced it has sold more full-frame cameras than any other brand in the US over the past six months, measured both by units sold and by value.
Perhaps more impressively, the company is also celebrating occupying the top position in the overall mirrorless market, a spot it has owned for the past six years thanks to the huge success of the a6000, as well as sales of the a7 series.
That's all good news for Sony, yes, but it's probably no coincidence that Sony was the last brand to release a mass-market full frame camera. It's been a year since Canon's last entry in the category, and a similar amount of time since Nikon announced the D850. And either way, we don't recommend getting too invested in brand market share, but that's just us.
Sony's also taking the opportunity to launch a brand new 'Be Alpha' campaign, which will comprise a number of in-person events in major cities, starting on August 19th in New York City to celebrate World Photography Day. The initiative also includes an 'Alpha Female' program, which will include grants, mentorship and events to address "the imaging industry’s well-documented diversity challenges."
Sony Celebrates No.1 Overall Position in U.S. Full-frame Cameras with Launch of Historic “Be Alpha” Campaign
The Leader in Full-frame Empowers Creators of all Types to Continue to Innovate, to Lead, to Push the Limits, to “Be Alpha”
SAN DIEGO, Aug. 15, 2018 – Sony Electronics, Inc. – a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer – today announced that it has overtaken and held the No. 1 overall position in the United States full-frame interchangeable lens camera market in the first half of 2018, in both dollars and units1. In fact, four out of every 10 full-frame cameras sold during this time period have come from the Sony brand1.
Additionally, Sony has announced that within the overall mirrorless market, it has held the No. 1 position in both dollars and units for more than six years2. These strong results can be attributed to the company’s leadership in transitioning the market from older DSLR technology to next-generation mirrorless cameras.
Much of Sony’s recent success has been driven by sales of the acclaimed α7R III and α7 III models, as well as the rapid adoption of the α9 camera amongst professional sports photographers and photojournalists. The brand’s extremely active community has played a major part as well, as evidenced by the strong engagement on key social platforms like Instagram, where the official @SonyAlpha page has just surpassed the coveted one million followers count.
As a celebration of these historic achievements, Sony has announced the launch of its extensive “Be Alpha” campaign that will connect creators of all types with the brand and its ever-growing roster of talented photographers and videographers.
“We’re extremely proud of achieving No. 1 overall share in Full-frame cameras in the US market, as well as holding a strong No. 1 share in the mirrorless market for six years running” said Neal Manowitz, vice president of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics. “More than anything, we owe this to our community. It is our pleasure to create for you, the true creators. You pushed us to innovate, to change, to continually adapt, and your voice remains core to everything we do.”
Manowitz added, “To ‘Be Alpha’ is to be a leader, to be an innovator, to stand out amongst the crowd. It represents everything we stand for as a brand. Our campaign will celebrate the extended Sony community, while also shining a light on the topics that that we are most passionate about – diversity, conservation, equality and much more.”
Sony’s “Be Alpha” movement will be headlined by a series of community events in major markets throughout North America in 2018 and beyond, beginning with the official launch event on August 19th, World Photography Day, in New York City. The campaign will encourage all creators to get involved by sharing their own “Be Alpha” content on all relevant social platforms while tagging #BeAlpha.
The “Be Alpha” campaign will also feature programs that are designed to foster growth in both the current and next generations of imaging professionals, the most notable of which being the flagship “Alpha Female” program. This multi-tiered, female exclusive program is Sony’s thoughtful response to the imaging industry’s well-documented diversity challenges. It will include a variety of grants and mentorship opportunities for female photographers and videographers, as well as the production of several large-scale industry events. Additional details to be released soon.
All key information regarding Sony’s “Be Alpha” movement, including the campaign launch video, will be hosted at www.alphauniverse.com/BeAlpha. This page will be continually updated with information on new events, content pieces and more.
A variety of additional stories and exciting new content shot with Sony products can be found at www.alphauniverse.com , Sony’s community site built to educate, inspire and showcase all fans and customers of the Sony α brand.
A chart summarizing Sony’s rapid growth in Full-frame market is included below:
Source: The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Detachable Lens Camera, Sensor Size: Full Frame, Based on dollar and unit sales, Jan. - June 2018.
Source: Sony internal historical data sources.
Source: The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Detachable Lens Camera, Sensor Size: Full Frame, Based on dollar sales, Jan.- Dec. 2017 vs. Jan.- Dec. 2016.
Source: The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Detachable Lens Camera, Sensor Size: Full Frame, Based on adjusted dollar sales, Jan.- June 2018 vs. Jan.- June 2017. Sales are adjusted for 5wk Jan. 2018 vs. 4wk Jan. 2017.
The GoPro Fusion ships with an extendable selfie stick that doubles as a small tripod.
GoPro may have jump started the action camera market, but the Fusion is different than all the GoPros that came before it: it's a true 360 camera. Instead of using a single forward-facing lens, its two ultra-wide angle lenses capture a full 360 spherical image of everything around it.
Unlike most 360 cameras, the Fusion is designed to create both spherical and standard HD videos, potentially offering action camera users more capability than they can get from their current action camera – something that's become progressively difficult in a highly commoditized market. If action/adventure is your game and your workflow is geared towards mobile and web, the GoPro Fusion may be the camera you’re looking for.
360 video: 5.2K/30p, 3K/60p
360 photo: 18MP 5K 360 photos (5760 x 2880)
OverCapture for creating HD videos
Spatial audio (4 microphones)
Wi-Fi + Bluetooth
Smartphone app + desktop software
Includes two 32GB SD cards (75 minutes record time)
Removable battery (75-80 minutes record time)
A view of the Fusion's twin offset lenses.
What makes the Fusion most exciting, and what is arguably its main selling point, is 'OverCapture', a feature that allows you to pull standard 1080p HD videos from anywhere within the 360 sphere.
This is an entirely different way of producing video content. Since you're capturing every single direction at once, you can frame your shot after you've shot it. For an action camera user, this unshackles you from the confines of recording a single, unchanging perspective and opens the doors to generating complex camera moves for more compelling footage.
OverCapture is an entirely different way of producing video content. You can frame your shot after you've shot it.
To be fair, the Fusion isn't the first consumer camera to provide this functionality. The Rylo Camera offers a similar feature, and as we discussed in our review of the Rylo it works impressively well. (The main difference between the Fusion and the Rylo comes down to how you edit over-captured video: the GoPro lets you pan/tilt your phone to follow the action, whereas the Rylo provides excellent subject tracking to follow the action. Both methods work well.)
Let's take a look at a real world example. To create the two videos below, I set the camera in the middle of a skate-park and asked Colin Flynn, founder of Fool’s Gold Surf, to skate around it. In the first video, you can drag around to see all the angles or, if you’re watching using a VR headset, you can just look around in any direction.
This is an example of 360 video captured with the GoPro Fusion. You can drag around the image to look in different directions.
The second video was created from the exact same camera footage, but using OverCapture to follow Colin's movement on the mobile app (literally by moving my phone around as if I was recording in real-time), then exported as a standard HD video.
This video was created from the exact same clip as the one above, except that I used OverCapture to follow the action on my phone after the clip was recorded, then exported it as a standard HD video.
You can do all of this - and share it - from the mobile app. You can do the same with the desktop software, though as we'll see, there are some glaring differences between the two and OverCapture does have its limitations.
Despite being GoPro’s first foray into the 360 camera space, the Fusion gets a lot of things right and performs well.
In fact, one important consideration when using OverCapture is that while the camera may be high resolution, you're exporting a 1920x1080 HD video (if shot on 5.2K), or 1280x720 HD video (if shot in 60fps 3K). Furthermore, if you zoom in, you’re losing more resolution relative to how much you’re punching in on that OverCapture frame, so if 4K is essential to your needs, or you’re interested in the Fusion primarily for action footage using OverCapture, those are things you might want to think about.
Despite being GoPro’s first foray into the 360 camera space, the Fusion gets a lot of things right and performs well. The things it doesn't do well could, for the most part, be remedied by firmware and software updates, and we'll take a look at some of those things in the following pages.
Yuneec has introduced the Mantis Q, a consumer drone with an integrated 4K camera, electronic image stabilization and voice control. The model is designed for both outdoor and indoor use, utilizing down-facing dual sensor alongside infrared detection to navigation inside buildings. Mantis Q includes a controller with a smartphone mount in addition to the voice control.
Yuneec Mantis Q is small and lightweight at 16.7 x 9.7 x 5.6cm / 6.6 x 3.8 x 2.2in when folded; it weights of 0.5kg / 1lb. The drone's integrated camera supports recording video and capturing images at 4800 x 2700 (16:9) and 4160 x 3120 (4:3), as well as recording Full HD video with electronic stabilization. Still images are saved to a microSD card in either DNG or JPEG formats.
Users can control both the camera and the drone using voice commands, using phrases like "Take a picture" or "Take a video." Gesture Control enables the user to take a selfie using a hand wave, and there's also face detection that snaps a photo when the camera detects a smile. Recording modes include Orbit Me and Point of Interest.
The Mantis Q has a flight time of up to 33 minutes and a top speed of 44mph / 71kph, as well as a drone racing mode with a live video feed that is presented on a smartphone.
Yuneec is now accepting pre-orders for Mantis Q. The drone with a controller, single battery, spare propellers, a three-port charger, power supply, and USB cable is $499.99 USD. There's also an X-Pack that adds three batteries and a travel shoulder bag for $649.99 USD.
British manufacturer 3 Legged Thing today launched a new affordable today. Despite an entry-level price point of $120, the company says its new Patti offers the same quality and versatility as the more expensive models in its Punks range.
A maximum payload of 10kg (22lbs) should be more than enough for most smaller DSLRs and mirrorless setups, and its ABS plastic flip leg locks instead of the more expensive models' twist lock systems help keep the price down. The legs are made from aircraft grade magnesium.
The Patti features a removable and reversible single section center column, allowing for low angled shots and a minimum shooting height of 11cm (4.3"). Packed down the new model measures 45cm (17.7") and extends to a maximum height of 1.63m (64") when unfolded and set up.
The tripod is supplied with the company's AirHead Mini head, a simplified version of its AirHead ball head variant. The latter comes with controls for the Arca Swiss style release plate as well as the ball head and panoramic rotation.
The Patti is available to pre-order from today and will be released September 15th. More information is available on the 3 Legged Thing website.
Alex T. Thomas and Kathryn Bingham are photographers, friends and Tokyo residents who have been studying the language and exploring Japan for the past four years. They're interested in relics of the country's ancient past, exquisite Showa-era bathhouses called sentōs, elaborately-appointed roadside rest stops and everything in between.
On a recent trip from bustling Tokyo to the peaceful riverside town of Gujo Hachiman, the pair each brought along the Canon EOS M50. Take a look at the hidden gems they encountered along the way.
Next year's flagship is likely to be the first smartphone to combine a super-wide-angle and a tele-lens with the primary camera. The super-wide-angle is expected to come with a 123-degree angle of view, and the tele lens with a 3x magnification, offering a wider zoom range than any other smartphone.
Today a report from South Korean publication ET News has provided more detail on the Galaxy S10 camera specifications and if the sources can be trusted all three cameras will come with a different sensor resolution. The main camera will offer a 16MP pixel count, the telephoto camera captures 13MP images and the wide angle is expected to feature a 12MP sensor.
...it's likely that the output image size will be the same, no matter the zoom setting
Samsung is likely going to merge image data from all three sensors to leverage the combined sensor surface for improved light gathering, and provide a stepless zoom experience. Therefore, it's likely that the output image size will be the same, no matter the zoom setting. That said, as usual we can't know for sure at this point.
The ET News report contains another interesting piece of information: While Samsung initially planned to implement the triple camera only in one model of the Galaxy S10 series, the company's plans changed and there will now be two triple-camera models. Hopefully this should increase the chances of a triple-camera model becoming available at a (halfway) affordable price point.
According to documents on Net SE's website, the de-listing occurred on July 2nd, 2018. Roughly two weeks later, on July 17th, 2018, the company filed for bankruptcy.
An exact cause for the filings isn't mentioned, but on multiple Kickstarters (1, 2, 3, 4) for various lenses manufactured by its portfolio companies, a message was shared detailing an unfortunate car accident that nearly claimed the life of Dr. Stefan Immes, the 'main investor' and CEO of Net SE.
In the message, which was shared as an update to Kickstarter backers, the Net SE crowdfunding team notes that due to Dr. Immes inability to return to work in the 'foreseeable future [...] a large number of changes' need to be made regarding the restructuring of the organization. The update says Net SE 'will need until the end of October to be able to share our conclusions on how to proceed.'
Based on comments and criticism across the multiple Kickstarters Net SE companies have going on, it appears a large number of backers are yet to receive lenses and accessories they pre-ordered. Many are calling for refunds on pledges that weren't fulfilled.
It's unknown what the future holds for Net SE and its portfolio of companies. We'll stay on top of this story and update accordingly. If you have any insight, don't hesitate to drop us a line in the comments below or through our tip line.