Down in Nuawluns: Nikon Z50 sample gallery

We received a reviewable Nikon Z50 a couple of days before the Thanksgiving national holiday. This gave us a chance to take the camera, and the recently-announced Nikkor Z 24mm F1.8 S lens to New Orleans, Louisiana. It's a city renowned for its music, its food and the unique character of its French Quarter. We took the Z50 out onto the streets of 'Nuawluns' to try to capture a little of its flavor.

Canon releases minor 1.6.0 firmware update for its EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera

It's been just over two months since firmware version 1.4.0 for the EOS R was released, but Canon is back at it again with a minor firmware update that adds support for a new lens and addresses a number of small bugs.

Firmware version 1.6.0 doesn’t bring any major autofocus changes as firmware version 1.4.0 did, but it does add support for Canon’s new RF 85mm F1.2L USM DS lens and fixes a number of issues:

  • Corrects a phenomenon in which the function or setting value assigned to the control ring may change when the control ring is operated in Eco mode.
  • Corrects a phenomenon in which the camera may stop operating properly during “auto-transfer” when using Camera Connect with a Wi-Fi connection.
  • Corrects a phenomenon in which high-speed synchronization with the use of an external flash may not operate properly depending on the camera’s setting for C.Fn2 “Set shutter speed range”.

Currently, the firmware appears to only be live on Canon Germany’s website. We have contacted Canon to see when it will go live across its other regional websites and will update the article accordingly when we find out.

Interview: Aki Murata of Olympus – ‘Full-frame isn’t for everybody’

We attended the Photo Plus Expo show last month in New York, where we spoke to Aki Murata, Olympus America's VP of sales and marketing. Among the topics of discussion were the new E-M5 III and his company's strategy to attract professional photographers.

The following interview has been lightly edited for clarity and flow.

How is your professional strategy evolving now that the E-M1X exists?

The E-M1X has completely changed our position in the professional market. We see a lot of changes. The E-M1X is designed for wildlife, birding and sports. After we announced the 150-400mm we had a lot of enquiries and questions from those people, and we've had a lot of requests for pre-orders even though we haven't yet revealed pricing information.

The reason is the size and weight, and also the other characteristics of our system. Very strong stabilization, and now the ability to capture very fast-moving subjects.

How many E-M1X buyers were already invested in your system, versus completely new users?

That's hard to say. At the very beginning it was mostly Olympus users, but recently we had a 'trade in, trade up' promotion, and it's about half and half, people trading from our own system versus new users coming in from other [brands]. A lot of people from the wildlife and sports fields are coming into our system.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1X is one of the toughest cameras on the market. Aimed at professional and enthusiast wildlife and sports photographers, the E-M1X features a 121-point autofocus system and high-speed continuous shooting.

Do you have a target in terms of market share?

We don't have specific numbers, but in terms of birding and wildlife we have targets for the number of users. But we don't know how big the market is.

When you talk to E-M1X users, do you find that they use that camera for one kind of photography, and another camera or another brand for a different kind of photography?

We are seeing a trend with people coming from full-frame, where they need a small camera for travel, they use Olympus. We call those people 'switchers'. But after we introduced the E-M1X, we have seen people working in the birding and wildlife field, they're starting to switch. They don't even test the gear sometimes, they just switch completely.

As the OM-D lineup evolves, do you think the professional and semi-pro market will become more important to you?

Definitely. If you look at the market today in the US, in 2019, the market is down by 10%. Above $500, there's some increase in the full-frame segment, but in-between, there's been a decrease of 20-25%. How we see the market right now is there are many entry-level offerings, since last year, but this market isn't very big anymore. All the manufacturers are trying to achieve volume by discounting.

For people interested in travel, wildlife and sports, we can serve up products that can take photos which aren't possible with a smartphone. So our professional range is important not only for professionals but also for enthusiasts that want better, sharper images.

We tend to hear that buyers of entry-level cameras don't buy additional lenses. Is that one reason why you see professionals and enthusiasts as a more valuable demographic?

The short answer is yes, but their interest in purchases is not the only reason. Those people who really want to enjoy photography do need additional accessories. We want to give these people more opportunities - it's not just about selling more lenses. And there are some products in the pipeline that should fit those customers very well.

Despite its Four Thirds sensor, the E-M1X (L) is a large camera, with a generous handgrip and built-in vertical grip with duplicate controls.

Can you describe your product strategy for enthusiast and professional customers in the medium-term?

For those people who shoot fast-moving subjects, we are going to introduce more super telephoto lenses. This is one area where you will see a big difference between full-frame and Micro Four Thirds. We are going to produce small but very high quality lenses. Not just small, but lightweight. You will immediately see the difference. It's symbolic of the system.

For landscape photographers we want to produce small professional lenses.

The two big players in the pro sports market are Canon and Nikon, and a big reason for that is they've been around for a long time, and picture agencies have a huge investment in those systems. Do you have any ambition in the future to really compete against them in the agency space?

We're not differentiating like that for the time being. Professionals are important to us for a couple of reasons. A product has to be really good to serve professionals, and we work with professionals to get feedback. That's a really important cycle when it comes to improving the quality of our products. Also it's important to work with professionals in order to convey messages to the market.

A product has to be really good to serve professionals, and we work with professionals to get feedback

For people who work for those big agencies, we see them as part of the general pro / enthusiast users. And we're really interested in improving the quality of our products for those users. As long as we can keep on producing the right products for those people, I don't think we need to differentiate between the different groups.

The EM1X is such a powerful camera, but it's a big change from the initial concept of OM-D...

It's tough, you know. It's a big camera [by comparison with earlier models]. But when you look at the features, it's still pretty small. And a lot of photographers we've spoken to end up saying 'oh this is smaller than I thought'. But the size and weight benefit is also in the lenses. I truly believe that the 150-400mm lens will change the world. It is really good, and I can't wait to show it to you. Handheld shooting at 2000mm equivalent - it's amazing.

How does a camera like the E-M5 III fit into that overall strategy?

This camera is intended to appeal to people we call 'wanderers'. We have a couple of very important target groups, especially in the US. One is bird photography, wildlife photography. That kind of field. The other is wanderers - people who want to explore the world. And this is a great camera for exploring the world. Which doesn't mean you have to go to extreme places, even just around the city. These two different target groups are our main target users.

Unlike the E-M1X, the OM-D E-M5 III is a small, compact camera in the traditional OM-D mold. Containing a lot of technology from the E-M1 II, the E-M5 III is aimed at what Olympus calls 'wanderers'.

Does the E-M5 III have a role to play in your professional strategy? Do you want people to buy it and step up to an E-M1-series camera, or buy it alongside a professional body?

We don't really think like that, to be honest. In terms of the number of purchasers of the E-M5 III, we expect step-up customers, or people who are replacing an earlier model will make up the biggest portion. But of course there are professionals who will use this as a second camera.

A lot of our readers have reacted to the price being maybe a little high for a Four Thirds camera. What would you say to those people?

I think one big thing with Micro Four Thirds is that we're using one single format. So if you buy a new lens in the future, or replace your camera, you don't need to switch formats. This is a great benefit, The second thing is that there is a very strong mindset in the US that bigger is better. Full-frame is better. But the size of the sensor does not determine the the cost of the product, or the quality of the picture.

Full-frame isn't for everybody. It's important for all photographers to think about what matters to them

If someone really needs a bigger sensor because they're shooting in really dark conditions, or they need to make really big prints, then full-frame is a better choice. But if someone finds value in a smaller package, not just the camera but also lenses, then [our OM-D cameras] will be better.

Because of this recent full-frame trend, there's always this discussion. In the US, full-frame is 18% of the market, by volume. This time last year people were saying it would be 30%, or 50% but I don't think it will happen. Full-frame isn't for everybody. It's important for all photographers to think about what matters to them. If what's really important is portability, we're confident that they'll pick [the E-M5 III or E-M1 II] as their first option.

You mentioned photographers shooting in very low light or who need really big prints might still opt for full-frame. Do you have an ambition in future to attract those kinds of users to Four Thirds?

In short, yes. Technology will develop. If you look back three or five years ago, or even back to the first Micro Four Thirds cameras, the noise made images unusable sometimes. Development will continue. It will not stop. One day, I don't know when, technology will catch up and some of the disadvantages we have today will not be disadvantages any longer. And when those disadvantages are gone, what is left are smaller physical size and weight, and the quality of our lenses. And image stabilization. Today there are some people that really need bigger sensors, but this will not always be the case in the future.

When you imagine this future, you're still talking about a single format - Four Thirds?

Yes, and that won't change. That format will be evolved, but we don't need to change it. There are no plans.

Editors' note: Barnaby Britton

We last spoke to Mr. Murata in October 2018. This was shortly before the official launch of the E-M1X, while the forthcoming camera was being shown to select journalists and photographers but before it was released out into the wild. Since then, the E-M1X has been put into the hands of professional and enthusiast photographers all over the world, and has been joined by the E-M5 III, offering some of the same capabilities but in a smaller, considerably less bulky package.

This interview was conducted a year after our last conversation, in late October 2019. That was before the rumors (and that is all they appear to be) started to swirl about the future of Olympus's camera division. Those rumors have been addressed (if not outright denied) by Olympus this week, and in our conversation last month, Mr. Murata gave no hint of trouble ahead.

In fact, it seems to be full steam ahead for him and his team, with the E-M1X now out in the world, the E-M5 III joining it, and hints at more to come. And the basic message from Mr. Murata hasn't changed between October 2019 and now. Olympus has no plans to introduce a new sensor format into its lineup, it's committed to Micro Four Thirds and the company is confident that 'technology will develop' such that the current advantage of full-frame in some situations will eventually vanish.

Mr. Murata is hoping that the forthcoming M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC 1.25x IS PRO will be the lens that really gets professionals' attention

After almost a year on the market, Olympus isn't saying how many E-M1Xs have been sold, and we wouldn't expect them to. According to Mr. Murata, many of the first people to pick it up were already invested in the Micro Four Thirds system. This isn't surprising, given the investment required for someone to completely switch systems. But such people (Olympus calls them 'switchers') do exist, and Mr. Murata is hoping that the forthcoming M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC 1.25x IS PRO will be the lens that really gets professionals' attention. I certainly can't wait to try one on the E-M1X when they become available - hopefully soon.

I hesitated to broach the question of cost with Mr. Murata for fear of appearing rude, but he's well aware of the general impression from some photographers (and some DPReview readers) that the E-M5 III is rather expensive for a M43 camera, at $1,200 body only. That ignores the fact that it incorporates a lot of technology from the E-M1X and E-M1 II of course, and as Mr. Murata says, "the size of the sensor does not determine the cost of the product, or the quality of the picture".

There's no arguing with that.

What is Shape and Form in Photography?

The post What is Shape and Form in Photography? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.


The words shape and form in photography are sometimes used interchangeably. However, the terms are actually two distinct visual characteristics. In this article, we’ll take a look at the difference between shape and form and their application in photography.


What is a shape?


In basic terms, shape describes a flat, enclosed area of space. Shapes can be constructed with colors and lines, but all shapes are limited to two dimensions – width and length.

Curves and other irregular, flowy shapes are known as organic shapes, while angular shapes like squares and triangles are geometric shapes.

Early rock art is an early example of the use of shape in visual culture. During the Renaissance (and for many years thereafter), form was the predominant characteristic of two-dimensional art. However, with the advent of modern art, artists returned to the use of shape within abstracted and minimalist artistic movements.

Artists like Piet Mondrian, Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky and Agnes Martin all applied the language of shape to convey a visual experience.

What is form?


Forms in visual art differ from shapes because they are perceived as three dimensional – they operate on width, length and depth. Forms can be either geometric or free-form, with no specific delineation or visual boundary. In two-dimensional formats like painting and photography, three-dimensional forms are generated with aspects like line, movement and value (darkness and lightness).

Artists from Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo to Mark Rothko and Georgia O’Keeffe are well known for their execution of form.

Shape in photography


From Anna Atkin’s cyanotype impressions to Grant Mudford’s flattened architectural depictions, shape has had a strong presence in photography since it’s inception.

Lewis W. Hine’s Steamfitter, an iconic depiction of the 1870s industrial labor, makes use of strong, flat shapes to emphasize the form of the subject.

And Harry Gruyaert and Ed Peters both incorporate bold shapes into their street photography.

Form in photography


Form has also had a consistent presence in photographic history.

Carleton E. Watkin’s Sugar Loaf Islands is an example of texture elevating form.

And Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Abandoned Theater series studies the power of light in sculpting form and time.

Philippe Halsman’s famous Dali Atomicus combines shapes and forms to create a dynamic and surreal portrait of Salvadore Dali.

And Robert Frank’s Parade, Hoboken, New Jersey appeals to our sense of both shape and form in photography to create an intriguing street perspective.

How to use shape and form in photography

There are endless photographic opportunities for both shape and form. Focusing on aspects like light, perspective, depth of field and color/black and white will help coax out shape and form in your photography.

Focus on light


Depending on the angle of a light source, light can either elevate or flatten a subject. If you want an image made up of dramatic forms, aim for angled lighting to encourage shadows.

Silhouettes, on the other hand, render subjects as dark two-dimensional shapes. To create a silhouette, photograph a subject positioned against a light background with little or no front-lighting.

Get some perspective


Sometimes form can be stimulated with a change in perspective. Photographing front-on to a subject can flatten forms into shapes. Approaching your subject from an angle reveals shadows that cultivate form.

Dive into depth of field


Depth of field affects the way shapes and forms are read.

A shallow depth of field separates the subject from the background (and sometimes foreground) of an image, conveying a more dimensional picture.

The borderless nature of blurred forms also create a sense of activity within a photograph, contributing further to the perception of form.

Experiment with color/black and white


To place greater emphasis on form, many photographers choose black and white over color. Often you’ll find that depth can be emphasized to a greater extent with the tonal sensitivity of a black and white scheme.

On the other hand, solid colors emphasize the ‘flatness’ of shape. Using blocks of bold color is a way to enhance the immediacy of two-dimensional structures.


What is Shape and Form in Photography?

Form is often visualized with fluid borders. This effect can be created through intentional camera movement (or ICM). ICM involves moving the camera during a long exposure (usually 1/125th or less). The results are abstracted forms that are unique, engaging and fun to make!


While shape and form in photography play different roles, each cultivates a distinct level of impact and engagement.

Through the use of light, perspective, depth of field, color/black and white and movement, we can use shape and form to enhance the construction of an image.

The post What is Shape and Form in Photography? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

The post 2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

We know how difficult it can be to find the perfect gift for anyone at Christmas, let alone a photographer! So, we have done the research and hard work for you, and put together this gift guide for photographers. It has a range of gifts to suit all budgets and all photographers!

We've included some pros and cons of each, along with some info on the products, and where applicable, a link to dPS reviews so you can get further insight.

So, take a look, and happy shopping!

2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Camera

A great camera for street photography and portraits

  • Cool retro design and great jpegs straight out-of-camera
  • Fujifilm’s famous film simulations, including the newest Eterna
  • Wireless and Bluetooth connection
  • Timelapse recording
  • Not full-frame, so may not suit printing really large images.
  • The old-school aperture, ISO and shutter speed dials may be hard to get used to.
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

This popular mirrorless camera in the Fujifilm X-Series line of cameras is perfect for those photographers who like to shoot great photos straight-out-of-camera, as well as shoot video.

The Fujifilm X-T3 is the newest Fuji camera to date, using a brand new sensor and processor and longer battery life than it's predecessor, the X-T2. It also has a tilting screen and 20fps continuous shooting.

Fujifilm also added a slew of video features such as 4K60p, a higher bit rate (400mbps), and a headphone port. All in all, the X-T3 is made to entice today's hybrid photo and video shooters.

For more information on this great camera, read Suzi Pratt's review here.

dPS Rating


MIOPS Capsule 360

World’s most versatile and compact motion box ever created!

  • Single box, multiple functions. Motion Time-lapse Modes, Video, 360° Product Photography, Panorama and more.
  • Smartphone controllable for easy operation
  • One touch face tracking for taking self videos
  • Award-winning design
  • Gives you a freedom for creating pan and tilt moves easily
  • Centered load capacity up to 15lb (7kg) in pan mode & up to 4,5lb (2kg) load in tilt mode
  • Needs multiple products for multi-axis movement at the same time
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

MIOPS Capsule 360 is a miracle motion box that combines multiple operating modes in a single unit. Your imagination and Capsule 360 together can do anything. There are no limits what you can do with this amazing product.

• Thanks to the unique design of Capsule 360 taking Motion Time-Lapse has never been
so easy.
• You can enjoy 360° Product Photography by using Capsule 360’s special features.
• Capsule360 has the ability to take 360-degree Panorama just in a few minutes
• With One Touch Tracking feature Capsule 360 can track your face or an object with
a single touch on your smartphone
• Capsule 360 offers Cable-Free Automatic Setup and saves you from the cable clutter

You can get high-tech MIOPS products and new features from


Pixelstick Lightpainting LED Tool

Great for light painting tips and tricks

  • Programable to create any light pattern you want
  • Can import BMP files onto an SD card, which can then be slotted into the pixelstick’s operating system
  • Endless creative opportunities
  • It's long length is not ideal for traveling
  • Only works well at night or in dark areas
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

The Pixelstick can change the way you do photography if you let it! Perfect for the photographer who wants to experiment with creative ideas. Great for long exposure photography and for light painting

The Pixelstick can be used to frame a model, and/or create leading lines towards the subject making it a powerful tool for portrait photographers.

The customization available with the Pixelstick makes it a fantastic choice for product photography. One of the main niche genres is car photography, where the ribbon lines or checkered flag designs can be used.

Read this full review by Simon Bond.

dPS Rating



Great for alternative creative photography

  • Offers a unique creative perspective
  • Allows the photographer to take refraction photos
  • Endless creative opportunities
  • They can be heavy to carry
  • You need a macro lens to shoot these
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

Lens ball photography, or also known as crystal ball photography or refraction photography, is a fun and creative way for any photographer to take photos.

Use a lens ball in your landscape photography for a unique perspective on a scene.

See a lens ball in action in this article by Simon Bond.

dPS Rating

2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

Tamron 100-400mm Di VC USD

A great camera for street photography and portraits

  • Lightest weight, 39.3 oz lens in the ultra-telephoto zoom lens class
  • On crop-sensor camera, get super telephoto reach to approx. 620mm
  • High-speed Dual MPU control system delivers quick AF and 4-stops image stabilization
  • Superb image quality in an ultra-telephoto zoom lens
  • Moisture -resistant construction and front-element fluorine coating
  • On full-frame camera may not have the reach for small distant birds
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

Experience heavyweight performance in a compact lens with the Tamron 100-400mm Di VC USD, the ultra-tele that boasts the lightest weight in its class. Dual MPU system provides precision AF for shooting instantaneous movement with the utmost clarity and 4-stop image stabilization. Both combine to provide vivid images with amazing clarity. Close-focusing, moisture resistant construction and fluorine coating round out this impressive telephoto zoom.

Optional accessories include Tap-in Console, 1.4X and 2X, and Arca-Swiss compatible tripod mount. For Canon and Nikon mount for DSLR cameras and mirrorless cameras with the manufacturer’s adapter. $699 after $100 Holiday Instant Savings thru 1/5/20.


Lensbaby OMNI Creative Filter System

Large, for 62-82mm Filter Thread

  • Produces flare and creative reflections including ethereal light streaks
  • Easily attaches to any lens in the 62-82mm filter range
  • Easy to use, ready right out of the box
  • Great for interesting portraits and band photos
  • There is also an expansion pack available for more effects
  • You need to disassemble and reassemble for most camera cases and packing situations
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

The Lensbaby OMNI Creative Filter System is a fantastic set of wands that attach to the front of your lens. When the light shines through the various-shaped wands, it refracts the light to create light streaks, rainbows and colors onto the lens wherever the wands have been positioned.

The great thing about this set is that it attaches to your lens via a its filter system, and each wand is moveable, and can be swapped around.

There are also extra wand that can be added to this via the expansion pack.

See these in action in this review by Anabel DFlux.

dPS Rating


Annie Leibovitz: At Work

A book for any budding portrait photographer

  • Fantastic photographs to be inspired by
  • Includes details of gear Liebovitz uses
  • Discusses portrait techniques
  • An opportunity to be inspired by one of the great portrait photographers
  • Being a hardcover book, it can be heavy
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

Annie Leibovitz is one of the classic portrait photographers of our time. 

This in-depth book includes many of her famous celebrity photo shoots of just about everyone from the Queen of England to Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rolling Stones.

She also discusses many of the photos themselves and explains what gear she uses to achieve her work.

An inspiring book for photographers of all genres and levels.

Read a review on the book here.

dPS Rating


Neewer Flash Accessory Kit

with Barndoor, Conical Snoot, Mini Reflector, Sphere Diffuser, Beaty Disc, 8x12inches Softbox, Honeycomb, Color Filters, Universal Mount Adpater

  • A great set to give your flash photography more diversity
  • Perfect for portrait photography outside a studio because of its portability.
  • Allows the photographer to have more control over lighting their subject.
  • May not get much use if you don't do much flash photography
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

This great Universal Strobist set has many accessories so any photographer can experiment with light!

It comes with a universal adapter that you can use with any camera flash that has a max width of 85mm and height of 34-58mm.

The set comes with seven strobist accessories including a softbox, diffuse sphere and mini reflector, honeycomb, conical snoot and barndoors.

The Softbox, Diffuse sphere and Mini Reflector offer a more diffuse light, while the Honeycomb, Conical Snoot and Barndoors make you able to aim the light more directly.


Lens Cleaning Kit

Something every photographer shouldn't be without!

  • Removes dirt, dust and fingerprints from lenses
  • Ensures clearer pictures 
  • Easily fits into any photographer's camera bag
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

A lens cleaning kit is a must for every photographer.

It is impossible to keep lenses and sensors completely clean all of the time. Dust and dirt can easily make their way onto the front of the lens and sometimes onto the sensor when changing lenses (especially when out in the elements).

Includes things like a lens brush for sweeping away dust from a camera or lens; air blower for removing dirt from a camera body, lens, mirror, or DSLR sensor and 50 sheets of lens-cleaning tissue paper—safe for all multicoated lenses (no scratches or residue).

So, a lens cleaning kit like this can be a photographer's savior when out on a shoot!


KUVRD Universal Lens Cap

Fits most camera lenses!

  • Protects your camera lenses
  • Covers more of your lens than a conventional lens cap 
  • Easy to use and weatherproof
  • May make it more difficult to immediately see what lens you are using
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

The KUVRD Original Universal Lens Cap prevents water, mud, and the finest dust and sand from entering your lens.

The cap stretches from 60mm to 120mm and can be used as both a front and rear lens cap, for extra lens protection.

The caps are also shock absorbent, meaning bumps to your lens are less of an issue!

They also compress down to fit in your pocket, or wallet when you are using the lens.


Sony Alpha A6400 Mirrorless Camera

APS-C sensor with 16-50mm lens

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Great for travel photography 
  • The rear flip screen makes it great for street photography
  • A wide range of E-mount lenses available
  • The flip screen stands directly in the way of the hot-shoe mount
  • Offers only 2-axis stabilization if you use a stabilized lens
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

This Sony Alpha a6400 mirrorless camera, is a great compact system perfect for travel photography and street photography.

It is a 24.2mp APS-C camera with AI assisted autofocus.

It allows for high dynamic range capture, plus interval recording for time-lapse video.

It also has rear LCD screen that can flip up 180-degrees. This is ideal for vloggers or those who want to monitor footage while in front of the camera. However, when in this position, it does cover the hotshoe area, making it difficult to attach a light or microphone.

Access to Sony E-mount range of lenses.

dPS Rating


Thinktank Vision 15 Camera Bag

A stylish and function camera bag for on the go.

  • Fits a DSLR mounted on a long lens
  • Great organization for extras with expandable bottle holder
  • It can handle a portable office
  • Can't easily attach a full-size tripod
  • Can't fit a drone inside
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

ThinkTank’s Vision 15 camera bag is one in a line of stylish camera and computer shoulder bags built for photographers who want a functional bag that looks good walking down the street. It’s designed for someone who wants easy access to their gear and isn’t looking for a backpack.

Inside the spacious main compartment is space enough for a few lenses and speedlights. 

While the generous top flap of the bag keeps the elements at bay, a secondary zippered flap will help keep prying hands away.

It has a generously-padded strap and easily fits under the seat of a plane for those photography travel trips.

Read Peter West Carey's full review here.

dPS Rating


Capture One Pro 12

Imaging editing software, Single-User 3 Seats

  • Superior tethering capabilities
  • Ability to edit using layers 
  • Fantastic color management capabilities
  • May be a steep learning curve if switching from another image-editing program
  • Fewer third-party presets and plugins available
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

Capture One Pro is Phase One's photo editing software. Designed for professional photographers, it offers top quality color management, file management and editing capabilities (including multi-layer editing).

For the professional photographer who needs superior tethering capabilities, Capture One Pro is the best in its class.

For more information on the true capabilities of this fantastic software, see this article Capture One Pro - Should You Make the Switch by Darina Kopcok.

dPS Rating


Joby GorillaPod 5K Flexible Mini-Tripod with Ball Head

Grip it. Wrap it. Stand it.
Handy travel-size, flexible tripod

  • The wrappable legs allow you to secure professional camera equipment to virtually any surface
  • The ball head allows you to control the angle of your camera
  • Super strong: Holds devices weighing up to 5 kg (11 lbs)
  • Rubberized ring and foot grips stabile in difficult terrain
  • Precision-engineered ball head with Arca-Swiss® compatible quick release plate
  • May not be suitable where there is nowhere to grip it to
  • Fewer third-party presets and plugins available
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

This flexible mini-tripod with ball head is an ideal photographer's companion.

Perfect for traveler's who need a tripod but don't want to use too much space in their camera bag or pack.

The Gorillapod's flexible legs allow you to wrap it around objects such as a tree branch, so that you can give your camera stability, when taking photos or video.

See a video review of the Joby Gorillapod 5k tripod here.


Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate Light Meter

Great for portrait photographers

  • Allows you to quickly get your exposure light readings correct
  • Perfect for use with flash photography
  • It's great when using multiple light sources
  • Perfect companion for the studio photographer
  • Landscape photographers may not find as much need for one
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

Using a light meter like the Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate, can save any photographer loads of time in getting the correct exposure. Sure, you can do this with lots of trial and error, and looking at the back of your camera screen each time you take a shot. But light meters really save you loads of time and that is time better spent taking the actual photos.

It is a perfect studio photographer's companion or can be taken on location when shooting portraits.

See the advantages of using a light meter in this article by John McIntire.


Olympus TOUGH TG-6 Camera

The rugged, take-everywhere camera that even the kids can use!

  • A perfect adventure companion for photographers of all ages
  • Microscope and Underwater Modes
  • Waterproof, dust-proof, shockproof and freeze-proof.
  • In-camera focus-stacking
  • 4K video capabilities
  • A lot of noise at high ISOs
  • No control over shutterspeed
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

The Olympus Tough TG-6 camera is built so tough that even the kids can use it! But this camera isn't just for kids – this camera is built for all adventurous photographer-types. It's also a perfect size for just throwing in your pack or putting in your pocket.

You can use this camera in the water, with it's dedicated underwater mode. Alternatively, you can use Microscope mode to capture macro shots of bugs in the grass!

Check out this full review by Mat Coker.

dPS Rating

2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

NISI Filters

Great for the avid Landscape Photographer!

  • Great all-in-one system including holder, adapters and filters
  • Great for doing long exposures when the sun is bright
  • The graduated ND filters allow you to tone down bright skies
  • Fits lens sizes from 49mm-82mm
  • Very little color cast
  • May be out of some people's budget
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

Neutral Density (ND) and Graduated Neutral Density (GND) filters are an ideal companion for the avid landscape photographer who wants to use longer shutter speeds to get those soft, dreamy seascapes and waterfall images.

They are also great when shooting in the harsh daylight so that you can tone down highlights. The GND filters are great for balancing the exposure between your landscape and harshly lit skies, allowing you to tone down the skies.

Want to learn more about these filters? See this article by Christian Hoiberg.


Sandisk 256GB Extreme SD

A high-speed, high-capacity extreme SD card

  • Great for writing large RAW files quickly
  • Large 256GB storage for lots of photos or video
  • Better write capapbilities for video with the high transfer speed of 150mb per second
  • Lock feature so that you don't overwrite your images
  • May not need such a high-performance card
2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

The SanDisk 256GB Extreme SD card has a high-speed transfer rate of 150 mbs per second, making it ideal for photographers who shoot RAW and in continuous shooting mode. It transfers the files quickly, and the big 256GB size means you can fit loads of photos.

The high-speed transfer rate also makes this card great for those shooting video with their cameras, meaning you don't get lag when shooting and the camera won't cut out.

The post 2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

Modded ‘Ribcage’ Sony RX0 II features passive MFT mount for interchangeable lenses

Canadian retailer Back-Bone Gear is offering the new Ribcage RX0 II, a modified version of the tiny and rugged Sony RX0 II camera that features a passive MFT mount for use with manual lenses, as well as a C mount (via a mounting ring) ideally intended for use with 1" and 1.1" format lenses.

The Sony RX0 II features a 1" stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor, removable IR-cut filter, support for capturing video at up to 4K resolutions, slow-motion capture at up to 1,000fps, and much more. Joining the camera's robust features is an 'extra-super-duralumin' rugged body and 180-degree tilting LCD.

The modified Ribcage version of the RX0 II enables users to attach their existing lenses using an adapter, to use the tiny camera for niche applications involving telescopes and microscopes, or to use unique lenses with the camera, such as vintage models. Back-Bone Gear notes that its modified MFT mount doesn't supply power for the lenses, hence why it must be used only with manual lenses.

The Ribcage model features CNC-machined aluminum components and includes a removable mounting plate with 1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 mounts. The Ribcage RX0 II modified camera is available now for $1,299; it ships with a replacement IR-cut filter, charging cable, wrist strap, and more.

John Wick, Deadpool 2 director shot Apple’s new ‘Snowbrawl’ ad with iPhone 11 Pro

Apple tapped Deadpool 2 and John Wick director David Leitch to direct a 90-second iPhone advertisement called 'Snowbrawl.' As its name suggests, the video features high-action footage of a snowball fight filmed in cinematic style using the iPhone 11 Pro.

It's not uncommon for Apple to publish video and image ads shot using its latest iPhone models. The company has increasingly embraced short-form storytelling as part of its ads and 'Snowbrawl' is no different. The commercial shows off the iPhone 11 Pro's camera capabilities while telling the brief story of children engaged in an epic snowball fight to save a kidnapped teddy bear.

Creatives have been producing works shot using the iPhone for years. The 2018 movie Unsane was shot entirely using the iPhone 7 Plus, for example, though it should be noted that a variety of gear, including stabilizers and external lenses, are often used as part of these projects.

Qualcomm’s new 865 chipset supports 8K video, 4K HDR, no-limit 960fps capture and more

Qualcomm has introduced the Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform, its latest chipset that pushes the limits of mobile processing in a device that’s small enough to fit on the face of a penny.

In addition to support for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 4G/5G modem, the chipset also brings a number of improvements in the imaging department thanks to its Kryo 585 octa-core CPU, Adreno 650 GPU and Spectra 480 Image Signal Processor (ISP).

Unlike previous chipsets, which could only hand one pixel per clock cycle, the Snapdragon 865 can handle four pixels per clock cycle. In addition to power savings and running cooler, this increase enables exciting new features on the photo and video front.

Specifically, the Snapdragon 865 can handle up to two gigapixels of data per second thanks in part to its dual 14-bit ISPs. This means the Snapdragon 865 will be able to handle up to 200-megapixel captures, as well as dual 64-megapixel camera captures with zero shutter lag and HEIC photo capture. It can also apply multi-frame noise reduction on the fly, as well as provide real-time object classification, segmentation and replacement in images thanks to its 5th generation Qualcomm AI Engine. This new technology will make it possible to ‘quickly and intelligently identify different backgrounds, people, and objects, so they can be treated individually for a truly customized photo,’ according to Qualcomm.

The Snapdragon 865 chipset is also a major boost for mobile video. In addition to 8K video capture, the chipset can also handle 4K HDR (HDR10+, HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision), 4K video at 120fps and 4K video capture while simultaneously capturing a burst of five 640-megapixel photos. This makes it the first chipset that captures Dobly Vision video on the fly and in addition to capturing 120fps video, the chipset can also playback 120fps video in realtime when paired with a 120Hz display, such as those found inside the Razer Phone, Razer Phone 2, Sharp Aquos R3 and Asus ROG Phone II smartphones.

Qualcomm has addressed high-speed capture as well. The Snapdragon 865 can capture 720p video at 960fps without limits. 720p video at 960fps is nothing new, as the Sony Xperia XZ and over a dozen of other smartphones from Sony, Samsung, Huawei, Sony and Xiaomi can attest to, but current devices are limited to capturing just a few seconds at a time. When paired with the proper hardware, the Snapdragon 865 chipset will be able to record 960fps video indefinitely; or at least until you run out of storage.

Below is Qualcomm's day two livestream of its Snapdragon Tech Summit in Maui:

Qualcomm says flagship devices based on the Snapdragon 865 are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2020. So far HMD, Motorola, Oppo and Xiaomi have confirmed they have devices on the way based on the Snapdragon 865 chipset.

Press release:

Qualcomm Introduces the World’s Most Advanced 5G Mobile Platform

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform Delivers the Best 5G Mobile Experiences for Next Generation Flagship Devices—Devices Expected to be Commercially Available in First Quarter 2020

MAUI, HAWAII — December 4, 2019 — Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, introduced the Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM 865 Mobile Platform, which combines the world’s most advanced 5G Modem-RF System with the world’s most advanced mobile platform designed to deliver the unmatched connectivity and performance required for the next generation of flagship devices.

The platform’s best-in-class Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM X55 5G Modem-RF System provides peak speeds of up to 7.5 Gbps, surpassing most wired connections and transforming the mobile experience. The leading 5th generation Qualcomm® AI Engine and new Qualcomm® Sensing Hub provides more intelligence and personalization than ever before. Snapdragon 865 includes the blazing fast Qualcomm SpectraTM 480 Image Signal Processor (ISP), which brings new features to mobile photography and videography thanks to gigapixel speeds – up to 2 gigapixels per second. Gamers can use Snapdragon to compete at the highest levels with an array of brand-new Qualcomm® Snapdragon Elite GamingTM features for desktop-quality gaming and ultra-realistic graphics. Our next-generation Qualcomm® KryoTM 585 CPU delivers up to 25% performance improvement, and the new Qualcomm® AdrenoTM 650 GPU offers up to 25% overall performance boost compared to the previous generations, ensuring superior processing power for the next generation of flagship devices. The Snapdragon 865 empowers you to game, capture, cross-task and connect like never before.

“Snapdragon 865 supports the world’s most advanced 5G connectivity and features, raising the bar for what a mobile device should be,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “It’s the culmination of Qualcomm’s more than 30 years of wireless leadership and innovation.”

Benefits of the Snapdragon 865 include:

  • The World’s Most Advanced 5G Mobile Platform: The Snapdragon 865 is the most advanced 5G mobile platform—ever. Its Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System is the world’s first commercial modem-to-antenna 5G solution for consistent, lightning-fast speeds across the board—with peak speeds of up to 7.5 Gbps. The comprehensive Modem-RF System-approach allows advanced technologies such as Qualcomm® 5G PowerSave, Qualcomm® Smart TransmitTM technology, Qualcomm® Wideband Envelope Tracking technology and Qualcomm® Signal Boost to help deliver superior coverage and data speeds along with support for all-day battery life. This 5G global solution supports all key regions and bands including mmWave and sub-6 in both TDD and FDD frequencies. Plus, it’s compatible with both NSA and SA modes along with Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), global 5G roaming and support for multi-SIM. In addition to 5G connectivity, the Snapdragon 865 is redefining Wi-Fi 6 performance and Bluetooth audio experiences via the Qualcomm® FastConnectTM 6800 mobile connectivity subsystem. Extensive Wi-Fi 6 feature innovation helps users take advantage of incredible speed (approaching 1.8 Gbps) and latency, especially in crowded environments with many devices contending on a network. FastConnect 6800 is also among the first to be designated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 by the Wi-Fi Alliance. The introduction of Qualcomm® aptXTM Voice makes Snapdragon 865 the first mobile platform to wirelessly support Super Wide Band (SWB) voice over Bluetooth for a new class of crystal clear audio, in addition to aptX Adaptive and Qualcomm TrueWirelessTM Stereo Plus, thereby reducing latency, increasing battery life and improving link resilience for wireless headphones and earbuds.
  • Gigapixel Speed ISP: The Snapdragon 865’s ISP operates at staggering speeds of up to 2 gigapixels per second and provides brand-new camera features and capabilities. You can capture in 4K HDR with over a billion shades of color, capture 8K video, or snap massive 200-megapixel photos. You can also take advantage of the gigapixel speeds to slow things down and capture every millisecond of detail with unlimited* high-definition slow-motion video capture at 960 fps. And now, for the first time ever on mobile, Dolby Vision video capture creates brilliant HDR footage that’s primed and ready for the big screen. In tandem with the 5th generation Qualcomm AI Engine, the gigapixel speed ISP can quickly and intelligently identify different backgrounds, people, and objects, so they can be treated individually for a truly customized photo
  • 5th Generation Qualcomm AI Engine: The new 5th generation Qualcomm AI Engine and new AI software tools pack incredible performance for the latest camera, audio, and gaming experiences. It delivers a whopping 15 TOPS of AI performance, which is 2x more powerful than its predecessor. At the heart of the Qualcomm AI Engine is a new and improved Qualcomm® HexagonTM Tensor Accelerator that has 4x the TOPS performance of the previous Tensor Accelerator while operating at 35% greater power efficiency. Then, there’s real-time translations using AI—your phone can translate your speech into a foreign language in both text and speech. In addition to the Qualcomm AI Engine, the all-new Qualcomm Sensing Hub enables your device to be contextually aware of its surroundings– using extremely low power. Highly accurate voice detection ensures your requests are heard loud and clear by your favorite voice assistant, while enhanced always-on sensors and intelligent sound recognition brings contextual AI to the next level. An updated Qualcomm® Neural Processing SDK, Hexagon NN Direct and Qualcomm® AI Model Enhancer tools gives developers ultimate freedom and flexibility to create faster and smarter apps.
  • Desktop-quality Gaming: Snapdragon 865 unlocks brand new and first-to-mobile premium features to deliver ultra-smooth gaming experiences with the highest graphics quality in the next generation of Snapdragon Elite Gaming. Snapdragon 865 is the first mobile platform on Android to support Desktop Forward Rendering allowing game developers to bring over desktop quality lighting and post processing effects creating a new level of realism for mobile games. With a first-to-mobile feature, Adreno Updateable GPU Drivers can be downloaded directly from an app store when made available by OEMs, which allows players to have control over their graphics driver updates and GPU settings for their top games to achieve premium performance. An upper echelon of display and visual fidelity for mobile HDR gaming is here with 144Hz display refresh rate available for the first time on mobile and Game Color Plus to enrich game image quality with enhanced details, boosted color saturation and local tone mapping. Game play is now optimized to the micro-second level with the Snapdragon Game Performance Engine, providing adaptive and predictive real-time system tuning for sustained performance over longer periods of time. The new Adreno 650 GPU offers new hardware embedded features like Adreno HDR Fast Blend to boost game scenes with heavy blending, often used in complex particle systems and rendering, to deliver up to 2x performance lift for certain operations.

Devices based on Snapdragon 865 are expected to be commercially available in the first quarter of 2020. For more information, please visit [link]. Livestream replays will also be available Snapdragon Tech Summit Event Hub.

Battery life and storage varies significantly based on device, settings, usage, and other factors.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year announces LUMIX People’s Choice Award finalists

Wildlife Photographer of the Year LUMIX People’s Choice Award finalists

Drawing over 48,000 entries from 100 countries, the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards is not only well-known, it’s also the world’s longest-running photography competition. Thanks to a partnership with LUMIX, the public can have their say in which shortlisted image should win. 25 photos have been selected by a panel of judges and anyone can vote for their favorite here.

'The LUMIX People’s Choice images capture the essence of the competition; they all ignite a reaction about the natural world and make you see it differently. Showcasing breath-taking beauty, compassion and cruelty, it is impossible not to be moved by them – I think everyone who votes has a tough decision to make,’ said Tim Littlewood, the National History Museum’s Executive Director of Science and member of the judging panel.

Those in close proximity to the Natural History Museum of London can view all 25 shortlisted images at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. It will be open for viewing until voting closes on February 2nd. The entry that receives the most votes for the LUMIX People’s Choice Award will be on display until the exhibition concludes on May 31st. The winner plus four other top entries will be featured online at The Wildlife Photographer of the Year hub where they’ll be seen by millions of online visitors from all over the world.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is an annual event hosted by the Natural History Museum. Its goal is to shine a light on nature photography as an art form while challenging the viewer to question the plights facing animals and our planet. Entries for the 2020 competition are open until Thursday, December 12th. Photographers of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to submit their work.

Shortlisted image: Matching outfits by Michel Zoghzoghi, Lebanon

About the photo: Michel was in the Pantanal, Brazil photographing jaguars. One afternoon, as he was on the Três Irmãos River, a mother and her cub crossed right in front of his boat. He watched, mesmerized, as they left the water holding an anaconda with a very similar pattern to their own.

Gear and specs: Canon EOS 1D X Mark II +500mm f4 lens; 1/1250 sec at f13 (-1e/v); ISO 1250.

Shortlisted image: What a poser by Clement Mwangi, Kenya

About the photo: In Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, Clement spent time observing this beautiful leopard as she soaked up the last warm rays of the setting sun. Clement is mindful to remember to take pleasure in life’s simple moments – being all too aware that sometimes, as a wildlife photographer, you can miss the exceptional while looking for the unusual.

Gear and specs: Canon EOS 5D Mark III + Sigma 150-500mm lens; 1/320 sec at f6.3; ISO 1250.

Shortlisted image: Inquisitive by Audun Rikardsen, Norway

About the photo: From a hide on the coast of northern Norway, it took Audun three years of planning to capture this majestic bird of prey in its coastal environment. After some time, the golden eagle became curious of the camera and seemed to like being in the spotlight.

Gear and specs: Canon 6D Mark II + Canon 8-15mm f4 lens; 1/640 sec at f18 (-1e/v); ISO 400, Canon 600II Flash; Siuri tripod head; motion sensor.

Shortlisted image: Tender play by Steve Levi, USA

About the photo: It was early March and Steve spotted this mother polar bear and her two cubs after 10 days of looking. They had recently left their birthing den in Wapusk National Park, Canada, to begin the long journey to the sea ice so their mother could feed. After a nap the cubs were in a playful mood.

Gear and specs: Nikon D850 + 800mm f5.6 lens + 1.25x teleconverter at 1000mm; 1/1250 sec at f10; ISO 640.

Shortlisted image: Family get-together by Michael Schober, Austria

About the photo: Marmots have become accustomed to the presence of humans in Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria and allow people to observe and photograph them at close range. This behaviour is beneficial for the marmots, as human company deters predators such as golden eagles.

Gear and specs: Nikon D4 + Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 lens; 640 sec; ISO 400.

Shortlisted image: Training session by Stefan Christmann, Germany

About the photo: When Stefan came across this penguin couple in Atka Bay, Antarctica, seemingly with an egg, he was surprised as it was too early in the season for egg-laying. Upon closer inspection he discovered the egg was a snowball! Perhaps the diligent couple were practicing egg transfer in preparation for when their real egg arrived. This is possibly the first time it has ever been witnessed and documented.

Gear and specs: Nikon D810 + Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f2.8 E FL ED VR lens; 1/1000 sec at f4.0; ISO 800.

Shortlisted image: Beak to beak by Claudio Contreras Koob, Mexico

About the photo: Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve in the state of Yucatán is home to Mexico’s largest flock of Caribbean flamingos. This chick is less than five days old – it will stay in its nest less than a week before it joins a crèche of other youngsters who wander around the colony searching for food.

Gear and specs: Canon EOS 5D Mark II + Canon 300mm f2.8 Lens + Canon 2X Teleconverter II; 1/160 sec at f11; ISO 1600; Camo throwover blind.

Shortlisted image: Teamwork by Jake Davis, USA

About the photo: Jake was on a boat off the coast of Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada where he watched humpback whales bubble-et feeding. Here the leader whale dives to locate the fish, once the fish are located, the rest of the pod swim in decreasing circles while blowing bubbles which create a net, trapping the fish.

Gear and specs: Canon EOS 1D X Mark II + 100-400mm lens; 1/500 sec at f5.6; ISO 2500.

Shortlisted image: A pulsing sea by David Doubilet, USA

About the photo: A school of red tooth triggerfish form a cloud of silhouettes above a river of convict blennies flowing over the coral in Verde Island Passage, Philippines. The Passage, a strait that separates the islands of Luzon and Mindoro, is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world.

Gear and specs: Nikon D3S with Nikon 17-35 mm f/28 lens in SEACAM Underwater housing. Sea & Sea YS 250 strobes at ½ power 1/50th sec f/10 at ISO 250.

Shortlisted image: Station squabble by Sam Rowley, UK

About the photo: Sam discovered the best way to photograph the mice inhabiting London’s Underground was to lie on the platform and wait. He only saw them fight over scraps of food dropped by passengers a few times, possibly because it is so abundant. This fight lasted a split second before one grabbed a crumb and they went their separate ways.

Gear and specs: Nikon D500 + 105mm f2.8 lens; 1/125 sec at f2.8; ISO 1000.

Shortlisted image: Ocean’s signature by Angel Fitor, Spain

About the photo: Angel took this image in the waters off of Alicante, Spain. Immersed in a strong current, an otherwise slightly undulating salp chain twists and turning forming whimsical shapes. Salps move by contracting, which pumps water through their gelatinous bodies.

Gear and specs: Nikon D800 + Sigma 20 mm f1.8 lens; 1/250 sec at f16; ISO 50; Nexus D800 housing; Two Retra strobe.

Shortlisted image: Losing the fight by Aaron Gekoski, UK

About the photo: Orangutans have been used in degrading performances at Safari World, Bangkok – and many other locations – for decades. The shows were temporarily stopped in 2004 due to international pressure, but today the shows continue – twice a day, every day – with hundreds of people paying to watch the orangutans box, dance, play the drums and more.

Gear and specs: Canon 5D Mark II +100-400mm f4.5/5.6 lens; 1/100 sec at f5.6; ISO 800.

Shortlisted image: The surrogate mother by Martin Buzora, Canada

About the photo: Elias Mugambi is a ranger at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya. He often spends weeks away from his family caring for orphaned black rhinos like Kitui here. The young rhinos are in the sanctuary as a result of poaching or because their mothers are blind and cannot care for them safely in the wild.

Gear and specs: Nikon D4S + 85mm f1.4 lens; 1/5000 sec at f1.4; ISO 800.

Shortlisted image: Captive by Marcus Westberg, Sweden

About the photo: A giant panda sits in its cage in a breeding center in Shaanxi, China. With a growing wild population and no realistic plan of how to breed and raise pandas for rerelease into the wild rather than a life in captivity – not to mention lack of habitat being the largest barrier to the continued spread of the wild population – it is unclear how such centers will benefit the species.

Gear and specs: Canon 1D X Mark II + 16-35mm f2.8L III lens at 20mm; 1/60 sec at f28; ISO 2500.

DJI and SkyPixel launch contest to celebrate 5th anniversary

SkyPixel, which can be accessed in DJI's consumer apps, as well as online, has attracted over 18 million aerial photographers and content creators from 140 countries to its platform since launching in 2014. To celebrate their 5th anniversary, they've partnered with DJI, Nikon, and Western Digital Corp to award 56 category winners and finalists prize packages worth over $117,000 combined. The SkyPixel 5th Anniversary Aerial Photo & Video Contest launched on Tuesday, December 3rd, and concludes on February 3rd.

This year's contest features 9 storytelling categories spanning two disciplines, videography and photography. In honor of the competition's 5th anniversary, an additional category, Aerial Story, which invites users to share their journeys from a drone's perspective, has been added. Here are more details for each category:


  • Nature: Capture footage of natural scenery, wildlife, and landscapes
  • City: Showcase the beauty of urban landscapes and man-made architecture
  • Sport: Document moments in movement the power and energy of humans doing sports
  • Travel: Stories about humanity, culture, or an unforgettable adventure (people should be included in these videos)

Entires should not exceed 5 minutes and must contain at least 30 seconds of aerial footage.


  • Portrait: Capture a person's expression, actions or passion in the beauty of their surroundings
  • Nature: Reveal the natural beauty of the world
  • Architecture: Show off impressive structures from a new perspective
  • Sport: Capture the energy and excitement of an athlete in action
  • Aerial Story: Consisting of 5 images, they should document adventures from a drone's perspective.

Photos must be captured by a drone. Although DJI is a major sponsor, entries captured by any brand of drone are eligible. Each image must be at least 3 MB with a resolution of 300 dpi (in this case, pixels per inch).

All winners will be featured as SkyPixel recommended photographers and be considered for the role of a DJI Creator. SkyPixel claims that entries from winners and finalists have received over 1 million views in past competitions. Winning entries will also be showcased at exhibits in DJI Flagship stores around the globe in Spring, 2020. Entries will be judged by a panel of award-winning experts including Jamie Hancock, Jarred Seng, Chris McLennan, and Thomas Chu. Results for this year's winners and finalists will be announced on March 3rd. To enter, visit SkyPixel's official contest site.

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