SmugMug Films: An inspiring BTS look at photographing the autumn beauty of Slovenia

SmugMug Films has released 'Framing the Journey,' a short film that follows photographer Karen Hutton around the landscapes and cityscapes of Slovenia.

The seven minute film, which was made in partnership with Fujifilm, 'unveils both the epic beauty of a charming country tucked between Italy and Croatia and the wonder of the artist experiencing it all for the first time.'

Hutton, whose past careers have included acting, singing, voiceover work, figure skating and horseback riding, says her 'photography is about a philosophy [...] It’s about the world, about life, and all the possibilities that exist in between.'

The short film does a great job highlighting the fantastic work of Hutton and showcasing the seemingly endless beauty across Slovenia. Sure it's effectively a glorified ad for both SmugMug and Fujifilm (as well as DJI whose Mavic Pro 2 drone was used to capture much of the 4K footage), but that doesn't take away from the inspiring and informative narration provided by Hutton nor the stunning scenery.

To see more work from Karen Hutton, visit her website. To see other SmugMug Films, head to the SmugMug Films' YouTube Channel.

Timelapse+ VIEW Intervalometer now supports select Fujifilm, Panasonic cameras

Timelapse+ has announced support for select Fuji X series cameras and Panasonic cameras with its Timelapse+ VIEW Intervalometer, which went on sale to the public in January 2017.

Until now, the Timelapse+ VIEW Intervalometer only supported select Nikon, Canon, Sony and Olympus cameras. Now it's capable of triggering the following camera systems from Fujifilm and Panasonic:

Fujifilm:
• Fujifilm X-T1
• Fujifilm X-T2
• Fujifilm X-T3
• Fujifilm GFX 50S

Panasonic:
• Panasonic GH3
• Panasonic GH4
• Panasonic GH5

The Timelapse+ VIEW is a powerful intervalometer with features including an OLED color screen, automatic exposure ramping, gesture controls, live preview and an accompanying smartphone app for wireless control of the settings. It features a 15+ hour battery life according to Timelapse+ and also has the option to be powered externally using a Micro USB cable.

More information is available on the Timelapse+ website. The Timelapse+ VIEW Intervalometer retails for $399.

OPPO to announce 10x lossless smartphone zoom camera

At MWC 2017 Chinese smartphone maker OPPO showed a prototype device at its booth that featured a dual-camera setup with 5x optical zoom in a normally-sized smartphone body. The zoom lens design had been developed in cooperation with CorePhotonics and used a 90-degree angular prism to direct the light to a vertically positioned stabilized camera sensor.

The prototype never made it into a production series but now it seems OPPO is going to skip the 5x zoom entirely and make a direct jump to a device with a 10x zoom lens that is based on the same principles. The company is currently sending out media invites for the presentation of a 10x lossless zoom solution in Beijing, China, on January 16.

OPPO/CorePhotonics 5x optical zoom design

According to Chinese sources it is not clear if OPPO will present a production device or yet another prototype. In any case it looks like we'll see zoom factors on smartphone cameras grow rapidly in the near future.

Update:

Today OPPO has actually announced the new system at an event in front of journalists. However, those who expected a finished product were disappointed. The improved 10x zoom was merely teased on a few slides. It seems we might see more at MWC, though.

It's also a slight disappointment that the 10x system isn't actually a new development but appears to be the existing 5x prototype zoom with an additional super-wide-angle camera bolted on. So, mathematically we are looking at a 10x zoom here (15.9 to 159mm equivalent according to OPPO) but, at least in terms of tele-reach, the calculations are slightly misleading, as most manufacturers base their magnification numbers on the main camera which tends to come with an equivalent focal length of around 27mm.

Nevertheless, having a "seamless" zoom from super-wide to tele on a smartphone is an enticing idea to many mobile photographers, so we hope a production model will be available in the near future.


Update (January 16, 2019): Additional details were released by OPPO. This article has been updated accordingly with the additional information, specifically regarding the expected release timeframe and the focal length equivalent of the 10x zoom lens).

Miami Beach police use camera blimp to get around drone surveillance ban

The Miami Beach Police Department found a loophole to circumvent Florida's 2015 ban on police drone surveillance — a tethered, relatively immobile blimp with a camera attached to the underside. Officially called a 'tethered aerostat,' the helium-filled vehicle was used to monitor the approximately 15,000 people who attended the Capital One Beach Bash over the New Year's holiday.

In 2015, Florida passed the Freedom From Unwanted Surveillance Act, which banned the use of drones for police surveillance. In a letter to the city commission on January 3, City Manager Jimmy Morales explained the police department's use of the camera blimp, citing necessity due in part to 'the legal restrictions on police departments under Florida law and because of limited battery life and flight time' associated with drones.

Morales went on to call the blimp 'a new technological solution for aerial monitoring,' one the police department felt was necessary due to "the emergence of new threats of terrorism seen around the world in such large gatherings..."

A Miami Beach Police Department spokesperson told the Miami New Times the department doesn't believe its tethered aerostat violates state law. Use of a lighter-than-air vehicle for aerial surveillance has proven controversial, however, with critics saying there is little difference between a stationary floating camera and a remote-controlled flying camera.

The region's law enforcement has repeatedly demonstrated interest in camera-based surveillance, including the Miami-Dade Police Department's attempt in 2017 to deploy a wide-area surveillance system involving Cessna planes equipped with cameras. That plan, which was abandoned following heavy criticism, would have monitored the entire county using technology developed by the U.S. Air Force for use in combat zones.

Nikon Z6 Review

The Nikon Z6 is one of two full-frame mirrorless cameras introduced by Nikon in August of 2018. It's very similar to its big brother, the Z7, with the main differences being the sensor (24MP vs 46MP) and the decrease in resolution that comes along with it. The Z6 also has fewer phase-detect autofocus points (273 vs 493) due to the lower-res sensor. Otherwise, you're getting the same rugged body, the same (mostly) familiar controls and access to a small but soon-to-grow collection of Z-mount lenses.

Specs aside, the Z6 is for a very different audience than the Z7. The latter is for those seeking ultra-high resolution and would also be considering cameras like the Sony a7R III and Nikon D850. The Z6, on the other hand, is intended to be be more appealing to those looking to upgrade from crop-sensor cameras or previous-generation full-frame DSLRs.

The Z6 will ultimately be compared to its DSLR sibling, the D750 (which is getting on in years, but still very capable). While the two cameras have different designs, they operate similarly, with autofocus modes and video being the the most significant differences.

Key specifications:

  • 24.5MP full-frame BSI-CMOS sensor
  • Hybrid autofocus system w/273 phase-detect points
  • Up to 12 fps burst shooting (Raw + JPEG)
  • 3.69M-dot OLED viewfinder
  • 2.1M-dot tilting touch LCD
  • OLED top plate display
  • Single XQD card slot
  • UHD 4K capture up to 30p
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 N-Log output over HDMI
  • Up to 100Mbps H.264 8-bit internal video capture
  • SnapBridge Wi-Fi system with Bluetooth
Out of camera JPEG | ISO 7200 | 1/250 sec | F1.8 | Nikkor Z 50mm lens
Photo by Dan Bracaglia

If those specs look familiar, it's because they're almost identical to that of the Z7, with resolution and the number of AF points being the main differences. You do reap the benefits of the lower resolution sensor when shooting bursts, with a top frame rate of 12 fps (versus 9) and the ability to capture more photos per burst. Otherwise, you're getting the same design and innovations found the Z6's big brother, which is significantly more expensive.

The Z6 is sold body-only for $1999 or with the Nikkor Z 24-70mm F4 S lens for $2599. If you buy the $249 FTZ (F-to-Z mount) adapter at the same time, Nikon will knock $100 off of the price.


What's new and how it compares

The Z6 uses the all-new Z-mount along with a full-frame 24MP sensor with 5-axis image stabilization built in, along with a hybrid AF system and oversampled 4K video.

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Body and handling

The Z6 has excellent build quality, familiar controls and a lot of customizability, though some favorites from Nikon DSLRs didn't make the cut.

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Operation and controls

The Z6 can be customized in numerous ways, and we appreciate its ability to have separate settings for stills and video.

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What it's like to use

The Z6 is extremely versatile and can handle nearly any shooting situation that comes up.

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Image quality

The Z6's 24MP sensor has excellent resolution and high ISO performance, though on rare occasions you may see banding if shadow areas are brightened.

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Autofocus

Nikon has put a lot of work into the hybrid AF system on the Z6, and the results are impressive for both still and video shooting.

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Video

The Z6 offers the best video quality and capability of any Nikon camera to date.

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Conclusion

While not a perfect camera, the Nikon Z6's design and build along with superb image and video quality make it strongly worth your consideration.

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Sample Gallery

See how the Z6's photos look in our extensive sample gallery.

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DPReview TV: The Yashica Y35 looks like a camera that would be fun to shoot.. until you try shooting with it

What do you get when you combine an iconic camera brand from the past with a crowdfunding campaign for a 'rangefinder' camera? The Yashica Y35, that's what. Watch Chris and Jordan try to make lemonade out of a lemon.

Get new episodes of DPReview TV every week by subscribing to our YouTube channel!

Sample gallery from this episode

First samples: Nikon’s new Z 14-30mm F4 is shaping up nicely

Photographer Jimmy McIntyre has been working with Nikon, shooting a pre-production sample of the new Z 14-30mm F4 S lens. This compact wideangle zoom weighs just 485g (17oz) and supports screw-in (82mm) filters, making this dust and moisture-sealed lens it a potentially useful addition to Z shooters' kitbags when it becomes available later this year.

Jimmy took these photos using a Nikon Z7 and at Nikon's request, we're only showing out-of-the-camera JPEGs. Watch out for more samples from a production lens as soon as we can get our hands on one.

If you liked his shots, be sure to check out Jimmy's photo tutorial website.

Video: Shooting landscapes on the Fujifilm GFX 50R with Nigel Danson

Photographer Nigel Danson recently had a chance to use the new Fujifilm GFX 50R for one of his landscape shoots. In this video, he shares his thoughts on the benefits and challenges of using a medium format camera like the GFX 50R for his work. Additionally, he shows us a few prints made from the camera.

For more great content from Nigel, please visit his YouTube channel.

Visit Nigel Danson's YouTube channel

DPReview TV: Looking back at the Nikon D1H and Canon 1D

2019 is DPReview's 20th anniversary year, so we decided to take a walk down memory lane and shoot with a couple cameras that helped usher in the digital era for pro photographers: The Canon EOS 1D and the Nikon D1H. Join Chris and Barney for some camera nostalgia as they take these former flagships for a spin around Seattle.

Get new episodes of DPReview TV every week by subscribing to our YouTube channel!

Images from this episode

Our original Canon EOS 1D sample gallery

Our original Nikon D1H sample galleries

Man v Dust: video highlights trials of Leica’s in-house sensor cleaning service

The International Leica Society has posted a video of a camera sensor being cleaned at the Leica service centre in the Wetzlar factory in Germany.

The video, taken by member Hari Subramanyam on his iPhone, shows the process of checking for dust on the sensor of his M (Typ 240) and then its removal. Well, that was what it was supposed to show, but after 20 minutes and 25 seconds the video finishes with the dust victorious and the Leica service engineer frustrated and wishing he wasn’t being recorded.

The engineer starts by cleaning the mount of the camera before using a vacuum cleaner to suck dust and debris from the shutter blades. Once that is done the in-camera dust checking function is used to detect a number of dust spots. The rubber-on-a-stick Pentax Sensor Cleaning kit is used to remove the dust as the engineer explains the process needs patience and can take anything from ten minutes to an hour.

We don’t get to see the sensor finally dust-free, as it takes a few goes and the cameraman has less patience than the engineer, but the video shows some useful steps in the process.

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