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23 November 2017
 

Digital Photography Review...

Top 10 sample galleries of the year #2: the Sony Alpha a9
Thu, 23 Nov 2017 12:00:00 Z

As 2017 winds down, we're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of the year. In the #2 position we have another staff favorite in the Sony Alpha a9. Images in this gallery have been viewed nearly 2 million times, so it seems our readers are as fascinated by this camera as we are.

In fact, we've probably written more about the Sony a9 then any other product this year, simply because there was a lot to say (and test)! It got a gold award in our review and we've used it to shoot everything from parkour to the Presidents Cup. So peep our gallery and see what this top tier sports camera is capable of. Our parkour gallery is below:


Top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017:

#10: Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art
#9: Fujifilm GFX 50S
#8: Nikon D7500
#7: Olympus Tough TG-5
#6: Sigma 85mm F1.4
#5: Fujifilm X-T20
#4: Leica M10
#3: Fujifilm X100F
#2: Sony Alpha a9
#1: To be revealed on 11/24


 

Rotolight Anova Pro 2 features improved output and 'unrivaled battery'
Wed, 22 Nov 2017 21:43:00 Z

Lighting manufacturer Rotolight has introduced a mark 2 version of its Anova Pro circular LED stills and video light. The Anova Pro 2 is the same size as the previous model, but according to the company, the new model features a 70% uplift in brightness, "unrivaled battery performance", and up to 10,700 lux at 3 feet instead of 6,280 in continuous mode.

Like the previous model, the Anova Pro 2 also operates as a flash unit, and is capable of high speed sync at up to 1/8000sec. Rotolight says the flash mode has no recycle time and that the maximum output has been increased by 250%.

The Anova Pro 2 also has the Elinchrom Skyport system built-in to allow wireless radio triggering and control of the lights. The Skyport receiver has a range of 200m and provides remote access to light levels in flash and continuous modes, as well as color temperature and the built-in CineSFX cinema effects.

Gillian Anderson by Mark Mann Martin Scorcese by Mark Mann

Rotolight says the CineSFX effects—which create various flashing patterns to simulate the light from a fire or a TV, for example—have been improved to give them ‘enhanced realism’ with the help of Batman and James Bond visual effects cinematographer Stefan Lange. The unit also has variable color temperature settings that run from 3150 to 6300K, a CRI value of >96, and a Television Lighting Consistency Index of 91.

Although its rating of 72W uses more power than the original version, it still has the best power consumption ratio in the industry when the output is taken into consideration, says Rotolight. The light can be powered by a V-Mount battery or directly from the mains supply.

The Rotolight Anova Pro 2 will be available next month, starting from £1250/$1625/€1400 including integrated DMX, V-lock battery plate, wireless Elinchrom receiver, and 4-piece filter kit as standard.

For more information, visit the Rotolight website.

Press Release

ROTOLIGHT UNVEIL ANOVA PRO 2

Revolutionary LED Studio/location light

Rotolight, award-winning British LED lighting manufacturer, has announced the launch of Anova PRO 2; a pioneering continuous light and High Speed Sync (HSS) flash for creative image-makers. Redefining the standard for professional LED lighting in studio or location, Anova PRO 2 is one of the brightest LED lights ever launched in its class, delivering 10,700 lux at 3 feet. Packed with innovative features for television, film production, and photography, the Anova PRO 2 is the 4th generation of Rotolight’s award winning studio/location light.

The Rotolight Anova PRO 2 embodies the pinnacle of LED technology, designed for the most demanding of professionals. Offering 70% more power output than its predecessor, Rotolight Anova PRO 2 provides the best power to consumption ratio in the industry, as one of the most energy efficient LED panels ever designed. With a mere 72W consumption, Anova PRO 2 reduces operating costs for TV studios, whilst providing unrivalled battery performance on location.

Anova PRO 2 delivers outstanding colour reproduction (CRI>96, TLCI 91) eliminating the need for expensive post production, whilst featuring electronically adjustable colour temperature in both flash and continuous modes (6300-3150K).

“The Rotolight Anova PRO 2 is the perfect light for working in the live television environment. We are able to light people accurately, very quickly, saving us time, mistakes on air and a lot of money” says Wesley Dodd, CEO Celebro Media.

Rotolight are the lighting provider of choice for Celebro, London’s first fully 4K television studio regularly used by global broadcasters such as the BBC, MTV, and the Discovery Channel. As an existing Rotolight customer, Celebro Media were keen to be the first in the world to get their hands on Rotolight’s latest lighting innovation.

“We are very excited to have placed an order for 200 of the Anova Pro 2 lights for our new studios opening this year in Washington, Moscow and Los Angeles” says Dodd.

Due to its powerful output, yet lightweight nature, Anova PRO 2 is also ideal on location, and has become the light of choice for Italian state broadcaster RAI TV, who recently acquired 150 Anova PRO Kits for their ENG production teams.

“Rotolight is a totally unique product, as it works equally well in the studio and the field. As we develop the Live OB side of our business, the Anova PRO 2 was an obvious addition to our equipment list. Having a lighting fixture with such a substantial increase in power output means we will be able to cope with the most demanding of locations or weather conditions, whilst its battery efficiency simplifies our setup. The addition of an RJ45 DMX connection allows us to install them in our studio, at a fraction of a cost with the same professional results” says Andrew Lebentz, Head of Production for Celebro Media.

For television and film production, Anova PRO 2 includes a customizable suite of Rotolight’s award winning CineSFX™ (Fire, Lightning, TV, Gunshot, Paparazzi etc) which eliminate the need for expensive, time consuming legacy ‘flicker-box’ workflows. Designed in conjunction with Stefan Lange, Visual FX veteran (Batman, James Bond ‘Skyfall’, Tomb Raider), the patented CineSFX™ suite has been updated with ‘enhanced realism’ and the addition of a ‘Chase’ FX capability, to simulate the effect of motion on static sets. The newly integrated wireless Elinchrom Skyport receiver enables wireless control of CineSFX, colour temperature and brightness from up to 656ft(200m).

For professional photographers, Anova PRO 2 also features an updated High Speed Sync (HSS) flash capability (1/8000th), with a 250% power boost in flash mode. With zero recycle time, you’ll never miss a shot, making it the perfect choice for today’s high frame rate capable cameras. Anova PRO 2 can be simultaneously a continuous ‘modelling light’ and HSS flash, allowing the photographer to easily acquire focus in dimly lit situations and optimise composition. The unique circular shape also provides a naturally soft, flattering light output, with Rotolight’s signature catchlight effect.

Celebrity photographer Mark Mann (Margot Robbie, Martin Scorsese, Benedict Cumberbatch) said:

“I’ve shot strobe my entire career, and had always been intrigued by continuous light, but never found any that I liked until the Rotolight Anova. The quality of light is absolutely beautiful, it gives you a very filmic feel. Versatile, consistent and reliable, it also looks good on set and I know it will always deliver in high turnaround environments. As a photographer who’s being asked more and more to shoot video and stills at the same time, Rotolight has really improved my work flow”.

Anova PRO 2 is available from £1249.99ex/ $1625/1399euro and ships as standard with integrated DMX, V-lock battery plate, wireless Elinchrom receiver and 4 piece filter kit as standard. A wide range of additional accessories and modifiers are separately available. Shipping December 2017, for more information visit www.rotolight.com


 

Designer imagines the perfect keyboard for Adobe software
Wed, 22 Nov 2017 20:36:00 Z

Designer Vinicius Araújo has created a series of concept images that imagine what a keyboard may look like if it were made by Adobe specifically for Photoshop and its other specialized software. Araújo shared the images on Behance under the handle VA Designer, where he shows a concept that containing half a dozen touch shortcuts, a scroll wheel, colored LED lighting, and a high level of sensitivity.

While various DIYers have developed their own enhanced control methods for some Adobe products—such as using a PS3 gamepad to control Lightroom—and some interesting options do exist, a perfect hardware companion to the software suite remains elusive.

Araújo's concept imagines what that companion device might look like should one ever be developed.

Rather than using color-coded shortcuts, this concept presents a sleek low-profile keyboard with several customizable touch pads on the left, and a small display in the upper right-hand corner. That display shows which tool is currently active in the software, and is joined by a smaller display just above it that shows the application in use.

Above the keyboard's function keys resides a display somewhat similar to the Touch Bar found on some MacBook Pro laptops. The concept's upper display, however, is used to present the logos for Adobe software not currently in use; tap one of the logos, and the related application will launch on the computer.

Finally, the concept also includes a scroll wheel that could be used to precisely adjust sliders or select colors in programs like Lightroom and Photoshop. The inclusion of a scroll wheel on a keyboard isn't a new idea, though; Logitech, for example, recently introduced a keyboard with a scroll wheel for use with products like Adobe Photoshop.

Because this is simply a concept design, it isn't available to purchase as an actual product, but we'd be curious to hear your thoughts on Araújo's keyboard. How would you improve upon it? And would you buy it if it were to become reality?


 

Peak Design unveils limited edition Leica Backpack Capsule
Wed, 22 Nov 2017 18:38:00 Z

Peak Design has teamed with Leica to launch the Peak Design Leica Backpack Capsule, a combination Peak Design Backpack, Cuff (wrist strap) and Leash (neck strap) designed specifically for lovers of that expensive Red Dot.

This limited edition version of the company's backpack includes subtle Leica trim including the camera maker's iconic red dot, as well as red stitching.

Peak Design's Backpack is designed for everyday use by photographers who need to safely transport their gear while traveling or undergoing their daily commute. The bag sports a pair of expandable external side pockets, padded internal accessory pockets, a sleeve for laptops up to 15in, a pair of weatherproof side zips for dual side-loading, a MagLatch top access point, and customizable FlexFold dividers.

Here's a closer look:

The Leica Backpack Capsule is currently listed for preorder online at a price of $300, but visitors to Leica stores and Boutiques in North America can get one for free (while supplies last) if they purchase a Leica SL before December 31st.

The backpack's specs are as follows:

  • Weight Empty: 1350g (2.9 lbs.)
  • Capacity: 12 L min to 20 L max
  • Max laptop dimensions: 15"x9.75"x1" (38x25x2.5cm) - Designed to carry up to a 15 inch Macbook Pro Retina, 2009 or later.
  • Max Tablet Dimensions: 14" X 8.5" X 0.4" (33X22X1CM)
  • Outer dimensions: 18” H x 12” W x 6.75” D (46 H x 30 W x 17 D cm) (These are unpacked dimensions. Actual size will expand/contract depending on load.)


 

Portrait of a robot takes 3rd place in prestigious Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize
Wed, 22 Nov 2017 17:27:00 Z

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017 Winners Announced

A portrait of an android woman has beaten over 5,700 pictures of humans to take third place in this year’s prestigious Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize. The portrait of Erica secured Finnish photographer Maija Tammi the £2,000 third place in the competition, as well as the £5,000 John Kobal award for a photographer under the age of 35.

First place in the contest was awarded to Spanish journalist and documentary photographer Cesar Dezfuli, who received £15,000 for his striking portrait of a 16-year-old Malian migrant, Amadou Sumaila, rescued from the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya. The picture was taken as part of a project covering the activities of a search and rescue vessel working in the central Mediterranean looking for migrants in trouble.

A similar theme runs through the second placed picture, taken by Abbie Trayler-Smith. She was working for Oxfam outside Mosul as the population was fleeing the crisis in the city caused by the so-called Islamic State. Her image was shot as part of a series documenting the effect of war on women, called Women in War: Life After ISIS.

Tammi’s 3rd placed portrait of the android Erica was taken in a research laboratory in Osaka University. Erica is a highly advanced robot with artificial intelligence that is said to extend to the expression of a range of emotions. The picture is part of a series called One Of Them Is Human, which compares robots to humans and explores what it means to be alive. The judges were not told that Erica is a robot until after the winners were chosen.

As part of her John Kobal award, Tammi also gets to shoot a commission for the National Portrait Gallery.

This year’s competition attracted entries from 2,423 photographers across 66 countries and 5,717 images in total—59 of those, including the winning pictures, will be shown in an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London until the 8th of February. Full priced tickets cost £6, while gallery members get in for free.

For more information see the National Portrait Gallery website.

Press Release

CÉSAR DEZFULI WINS TENTH ANNIVERSARY TAYLOR WESSING PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE 2017 FOR HIS PORTRAIT OF A RESCUED MIGRANT

César Dezfuli has won the Tenth Anniversary Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017 for his portrait of a migrant rescued in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast, the National Portrait Gallery has announced. The £15,000 award was presented to the Spanish photographer at an awards ceremony on Tuesday 14 November 2017.

His sitter Amadou Sumaila, a sixteen-year-old from Mali, was photographed in the Mediterranean Sea, in international Waters 20 nautical miles off the Libyan coast. He has since been transferred from a rescue vessel to a temporary reception centre for migrants in Italy. The portrait was taken as part of Dezfuli’s work as a freelancer, documenting the search and rescue of migrants on board an NGO vessel in the Central Mediterranean Route.Dezfuli, who was born in Madrid of Persian descent (10.01.1991), works as journalist and documentary photographer, and focuses on issues of migration, identity and human rights.

‘I think Amadou’s portrait stands out because of the emotions it transmits,’ says Dezfuli. ‘He had just been rescued by a European vessel, apparently fulfilling his dream. However, his look and his attitude show fear, mistrust and uncertainty, as well as determination and strength.’

Judges’ comments: ‘Against the balance and precision of Dezfuli’s composition, the directness of Sumaila’s gaze is striking and unsettling. The portrait powerfully conveys his loss, solitude and determination.’

The winner of the £3,000 Second Prize is Abbie Trayler-Smith for her photograph of a girl fleeing ISIS in Mosul, Iraq. Trayler-Smith was there undertaking a commission for Oxfam documenting the camp where the charity was providing aid, talking to women who had lived under ISIS who were prepared to be photographed.

The winner of the £2,000 Third Prize and the John Kobal New Work Award for a photographer under 35, is Maija Tammi from Finland for her portrait of a Japanese android called Erica. This is the first time in the competition’s history that one of the photographers shortlisted for a prize has also won the John Kobal New Work Award which offers a cash prize of £5,000 to include undertaking a commission to photograph a sitter for the Gallery’s Collection.

The winning portraits will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017 exhibition from 16 November 2016 to 8 February 2017. While the photographs are judged anonymously from prints this was the first year in which the competition permitted digital entries for the initial sift.
The prize-winning photographs and those selected for inclusion in the exhibition were chosen from 5,717 submissions entered by 2,423 photographers from 66 countries.

£3,000 Second Prize: Abbie Trayler-Smithfor Fleeing Mosul from the series Women in War: Life After ISIS

Abbie Trayler-Smith (20.05.1977) is a documentary and portrait photographer born and raised in South Wales. Travelling extensively her work covers women’s rights, social development and the aftermath of conflict. Her shortlisted photograph was shot outside Hasan Sham IDP camp in Northern Iraq. Trayler-Smith was there undertaking a commission for Oxfam documenting the camp where the charity was providing aid, talking to women who had lived under ISIS who were prepared to be photographed. A convoy of buses arrived from Mosul, bringing people to safety who had escaped the battle just hours before. ‘I just remember seeing her face looking out at the camp,’ says Trayler-Smith,’ and the shock and the bewilderment in her’s and other’s faces and it made me shudder to imagine what living under ISIS had been like. To me the uncertainty in her face echoes the faces of people having to flee their homes around the world and references a global feeling of insecurity.’

Judges’ comments: ‘The colour and texture of the portrait has a painterly quality, created by the mud-streaked glass through which the young woman is framed. Her haunting expression quietly suggests the unimaginable horrors of life under occupation.’

£2,000 Third Prize and £5,000 John Kobal New Work Award: Maija Tammi for One of Them Is a Human #1 (Erica: Erato Ishiguro Symbiotic Human-Robot Interaction Project.)

The winner of the Third Prize and the £5,000 John Kobal New Work Award is Maija Tammi(05.06.1985) a Finnish artist, with a background in photojournalism, whose photographs engage with science and aesthetics. Tammi’s work has been exhibited in Europe, North America and Asia. She regularly works with scientists and is currently finishing her studio-art-based doctoral thesis. Tammi’s sitter is Erica, a highly advanced robot, programmed by her creator, Hiroshi Ishiguro, to understand and respond to a range of questions and is able to express different emotions via dozens of pneumatic actuators embedded beneath her silicone skin. One of Them Is a Human #1 is part of a broader series which presents androids alongside one human and asks questions about what it means to be alive. The photograph was taken at Ishiguro Laboratory, Department of Systems Innovation at Osaka University, in an experiment room where researchers work with Erica. ‘I had half an hour with Erica and a young researcher in which to take the photograph. The researcher told me that Erica had said she finds Pokemon Go scarier than artificial intelligence.’

Judges’ comments: ‘During the judging process, only the title of each portrait is revealed. It was unclear whether the girl was a human or an android, and this ambiguity made the portrait particularly compelling. Tammi’s portrait offers a provocative comment on human evolution.’

The John Kobal New Work Award is given to a photographer under thirty-five whose work has been selected for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition. The winner receives a cash prize of £5,000 to include undertaking a commission to photograph a sitter connected with the UK film industry for the Gallery’s Collection.

The annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition is one of the most prestigious photography awards in the world and showcases new work that has been submitted by some of the most exciting contemporary photographers. Since the international competition began in 1993, it has remained a hugely important platform for portrait photographers and offers an unparalleled opportunity for celebrated professionals, emerging artists and amateurs alike. The competition is in its tenth year of sponsorship by Taylor Wessing.

The competition judges have no knowledge of the identity of the entrants, and the diversity of styles in the exhibition reflects the international mix of entries as well as photographers’ individual and varied approaches to the genre of portraiture. For the third time, photographers were encouraged to submit works as a series in addition to stand-alone portraits, and there was no minimum size requirement for prints. For the second year running, the rules also allow photographers to submit photographs on different supports to the competition – to encourage the demonstration of a range of different photographic processes.

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery, says: ‘Many congratulations to all the prize-winners and selected photographers for their remarkable portraits. I hope that visitors to this tenth anniversary Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize will enjoy this exhibition of the very best contemporary photography from around the world.’

Tim Eyles, Managing Partner, Taylor Wessing LLP, says: ’Our huge congratulations to everyone shortlisted in this exceptional exhibition, and most especially to the winners. As a law firm we believe strongly in the importance of creativity in bringing solutions to our clients' business challenges. Encouraging creativity in all of us is at the heart of our philosophy, and what better way than through immersion in the arts. We are privileged to be able to support the Gallery and this remarkably talented community of artists and look forward to doing so for many years to come.’

The competition was judged from original prints by Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Chair (Director, National Portrait Gallery, London); Dr David Campany (Writer, Curator and Artist); Tim Eyles, Managing Partner, Taylor Wessing LLP; Dr Sabina Jaskot-Gill (Associate Curator, Photographs, National Portrait Gallery, London); Fiona Shields (Head of Photography, The Guardian) and Gillian Wearing (Artist.)

The exhibition also features an In Focus display of previously unseen prints from a new body of work by the photographer, Todd Hido, who is known for juxtaposing mysterious and cinematic ruminations on the American landscape alongside portraits of women, which together speak of a fragmented and personal memory of the past. Hido will be the third In Focus artist, selected by National Portrait Gallery curators, following Cristina de Middel in 2016 and Pieter Hugo in 2015. In Focus is an annual showcase for new work by an internationally renowned photographers.

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017

16 November 2017 – 8 February 2018

Tickets with donation Full price £6 / Concessions £4.50; Tickets without donation Full price £5 / Concessions £3.50 (Free for Members and Patrons) Supported by Taylor Wessing #photoprize

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017 Winners Announced

Photo by César Dezfuli

AMADOU SUMALIA

César Dezfuli

From the series Passengers
Inkjet print, August 2016
First Prize £15,000

On 1 August 2016, more than one hundred people were rescued from the Mediterranean Sea, twenty nautical miles from the Libyan coast. On board the rescue vessel, photojournalist César Dezfuli was documenting the plight of migrants as they tried to escape war, persecution and poverty. The portrait shows Amadou Sumaila, a sixteen-year-old from Mali, who was later transferred to a reception centre in Italy. ‘I think Amadou’s portrait stands out because of the emotions it transmits,’ says Dezfuli. ‘He had just been rescued by a European vessel, apparently fulfilling his dream. However, his look and his attitude show fear, mistrust and uncertainty, as well as determination and strength.’

César Dezfuli (b.1991) graduated in journalism and audio-visual communication from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain followed by a postgraduate qualification in photojournalism. His work documenting human rights issues has been published in numerous magazines and has been seen in group exhibitions in 2017 including First Prize in the Head On Photo Festival 2017 Portrait Category, and awards at the International Photographer of the Year Awards and the Moscow Foto Awards.

Judges Comments: Against the balance and precision of Dezfuli’s composition, the directness of Sumaila’s gaze is striking and unsettling. The portrait powerfully conveys his loss, solitude and determination.

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017 Winners Announced

Photo by Abbie Trayler-Smith

FLEEING MOSUL

Abbie Trayler-Smith

From the series Women in war: Life after ISIS
Colour coupler print, November 2016
Second Prize: £3,000

This portrait by documentary photographer Abbie Trayler-Smith was made outside the Hasan Sham camp for internally displaced people in northern Iraq during an assignment for Oxfam. A convoy of buses had just arrived, bringing people to safety from the intense fighting in Mosul. She says, ‘I remember seeing the shock and bewilderment in the woman’s face as she looked out at the camp from the window. It made me shudder to imagine what living under ISIS must have been like.’

Abbie Trayler-Smith (b.1977) studied law at King’s College London. In her photographic career she is best known for covering stories concerning women’s rights, social development and the aftermath of conflict for national newspapers, charities and NGOs. Her work has been seen in numerous publications and in group exhibitions. She won First Prize in the Ideastap Magnum Photographic Award 31+ 2014, Second Prize Staged Portraits in the World Press Photo Awards 2014 and won Fourth Prize in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2010.

Judges’ comments: The colour and texture of the portrait has a painterly quality, created by the mud-streaked glass through which the young woman is framed. Her haunting expression quietly suggests the unimaginable horrors of life under occupation.

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017 Winners Announced

Photo by Maija Tammi

ONE OF THEM IS A HUMAN #1 (ERICA: ERATO ISHIGURO SYMBIOTIC HUMAN-ROBOT INTERACTION PROJECT)

Maija Tammi

Inkjet print, December 2016
Third Prize: £2,000 and £5,000 John Kobal New Work Award

The winner of the £2,000 Third Prize and the John Kobal New Work Award for a photographer under 35, is Maija Tammi from Finlandfor her portrait of a Japanese android called Erica. Erica is a highly advanced robot, programmed by her creator, Hiroshi Ishiguro, to understand and respond to a range of questions and is able to express different emotions via dozens of pneumatic actuators embedded beneath her silicone skin. Tammi wanted the judges to consider the advancements made in artificial intelligence and the rapidly blurring lines between man and machine. ‘I wanted to question what it is to be human and what it is to be alive,’ says Tammi.

Maija Tammi (b.1985) undertook a Master of Social Sciences in visual journalism and is currently studying for a PhD in art photography at Aalto University, School of Arts Design and Architecture, Finland. Her work has been seen in group exhibitions in the US, Germany and the UK and her solo exhibition White Rabbit Fever has toured to Finland, Italy and Japan.

Judges comments: During the judging process, only the title of each portrait is revealed. It was unclear whether the girl was a human or an android, and this ambiguity made the portrait particularly compelling. Tammi’s portrait offers a provocative comment on human evolution.


 

Matthews unveils C-stand shoulder and roller bags
Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:24:00 Z

Getting your equipment to location shoots can be a difficult logistical task, especially when you're also hauling lighting equipment in addition to camera gear. Carrying your C-stands could soon be a lot less unpleasant, though, thanks to the new C-stand bags from Matthews Studio Equipment.

You can choose from a shoulder bag and a roller version. The shoulder bag resembles a guitar case and can hold two assembled C-stands. It also comes with am protective internal divider, a grip handle with “easy-catch” magnet and a padded shoulder strap.

The rolling bag is a little larger and can hold three C-Stands with the legs removed. The bag rolls on high density silicon skate wheels and comes with a zippered external compartment, customizable internal dividers for storing light stands or grip accessories and twin side handles, allowing for handling of the bag by two people.

Both bags are available to pre-order now. You'll have to invest $250 in the shoulder bag, while the larger roller case will set you back $350.


 

Canon illuminated buttons patent hints at future prosumer DSLR design
Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:11:00 Z

Canon has filed a patent that shows illuminated buttons appearing on the back of a prosumer DSLR camera (7D/5D-like design), hinting that the feature may be added to the maker's future models. Details are sparse at this time, but an illustration in the patent shows a series of buttons with what appears to be a row of LEDs behind them.

The patent implies that this tech is about lighting up buttons while simultaneously preventing light leaks, explaining that this particular design: "enables a letter or character on the surface of a button to emit light uniformly [...] without providing any dedicated separate member for light guiding and light shielding, and can prevent light leakage to the inside and outside of the device."

As with all patents, we can't say for sure when (or even if) this feature will make its way into a Canon camera, but it seems like a no-brainer and something that would be simple to implement. Check out the full patent for yourself here (Japan Patent Application 2017-147019).


 

Sony a7R Mark III review
Wed, 22 Nov 2017 15:00:00 Z

Introduction

The Sony a7R Mark III is the company's latest high-resolution full frame mirrorless camera. Much like Nikon's recent D850, it's one that combines this resolution with high speed and fast autofocus capabilities to a degree we've not previously seen.

Like its predecessor, the Mark III is built around a 42MP BSI CMOS sensor, but unlike the a7R II, it can shoot at ten frames per second.

Essentially it can be seen as an a7R II that inherits many of the lessons learned from the company's pro-sports model, the a9. This means faster processing, improved autofocus, improved handling and ergonomics, as well as the adoption of a much larger battery. While some of the individual changes are subtle, they very quickly combine to produce a hugely capable and highly useable camera.

Key Features

  • 42MP BSI CMOS sensor
  • Faster, lower-noise image processing
  • 10 fps shooting with full AF, 8 fps with 'live' updates between shots
  • 3.69M dot (1280 x 960 pixel) OLED viewfinder
  • Improved autofocus, including more tenacious Eye AF mode
  • 5-axis image stabilization, rated at 5.5 stops (CIPA) with 50mm lens
  • 4K footage from 'Super 35' crop region oversampled from 5K capture
  • Video AF less inclined to refocus to background
  • 'Picture Profile' video gamma/gamut modes including S-Log2 and 3
  • Twin SD Card slots (one UHS-I and one UHS-II compatible)
  • Bayer-cancelling multi-shot mode for improved resolution
  • True 14 bit uncompressed Raw, even in continuous drive mode
  • Use of phase detection (including Eye AF) at 3 fps with adapted lenses

Sony says the a7R III is based around the same 42MP back side illuminated CMOS sensor as its immediate predecessor, so doesn't gain the full speed advantages of the a9's Stacked CMOS chip (in terms of AF performance, continuous shooting rate or reduced rolling shutter in video and electronic shutter mode). However, the adoption of the processing systems, algorithms and refinements introduced on the a9 all have their benefits.

This means a camera with a touchscreen and dedicated joystick for AF point positioning, a camera with a deeper grip and improved customization, with better laid-out menus and much improved battery life.

Video capabilities

Sony also says the improved processing will benefit video shooting. The oversampled footage taken from a Super 35 (~APS-C) region of the sensor is still expected to look better than the subsampled capture from the full sensor width but both are supposedly improved by the new processing chain. We'll delve into this later in the review.

To take advantage of the camera's dynamic range, the Picture Profile system of color and tonal response borrowed from Sony's professional video line now includes the even flatter S-Log3 gamma curve. That said, there is no 10-bit capture possible; the camera can still only capture 8-bit 4:2:0 footage internally or output 8-bit 4:2:2, which may limit the usefulness of S-Log3 if it makes posterization more likely when the footage is graded.

For users wanting to use the camera's video dynamic range with a high dynamic range display but without the extra hassle of color grading, the a7R III joins the Panasonic GH5 in offering Hybrid Log Gamma recording: essentially Log capture with tags to tell displays how to correctly render it.

Compared:

The a7R III's most obvious peer is the D850, since it's the other high-speed, high resolution full frame camera. We'll also note the changes relative to its predecessor and its other, less rapid high-res rivals.

Sony
a7R III
Nikon D850 Sony
a7R II
Canon EOS 5DS R Pentax K-1
MSRP
(Body only)
$3200 $3300 $3200 $3900 $1800
Pixel Count (MP) 42.4 45.7 42.4 50 36
Sensor type BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS CMOS CMOS
ISO Range 100-32,000 64-25,600 100-25,600 100-6,400 100-204,800
Stabilization In-body
(5.5 stops)
Lens-only In-body
(4.5 stops)
Lens-only In-body
(5 stops)
AF working range –3EV (@F2) –4EV –2EV (@F2) –2EV –3EV
Viewfinder magnification & eyepoint 0.78x
23mm
0.75x
17mm
0.78x
23mm
0.71x
21mm
0.70x
21.7mm
Connectivity options Wi-Fi, BT
(+NFC)
Wi-Fi, BT Wi-Fi
(+NFC)
Optional SD Card Wi-Fi
Video 4K/30p
1080/120p
4K/30p 4K/30p
1080/120p
1080/60p 1080/30p
Mic/
Headphone
Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / No Yes / Yes
Flash sync speed 1/250th 1/250th 1/250th 1/200th 1/200th
Flash Sync socket Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Continuous shooting 10fps 7fps* 5fps 5.0fps 4.4fps
Intervalometer No Yes Via app Yes Yes
Memory format SD (UHS-II)
SD (UHS-I)
XQD
SD (UHS-II)
1x SD (UHS-I) CF (UDMA)
SD (UHS-I)
2x SD
(UHS-I)
USB (Connector) 3.1 (C)
2.0 (micro B)
3.0 (micro B) 2.0 (micro B) 3.0 (micro B) 2.0 (micro B)
Battery life (CIPA)
VF/LCD
530/650 1,840/ - 290/340 700/200 760/ -
Weight 657g
(23.2oz)
1005g
(35.5oz)
625g
(22.0oz)
930g
(32.8oz)
1010g
(35.6oz)
*D850 can shoot 9fps when combined with a battery grip and D5-style battery.

As should be apparent, the Sony offers a combination of resolution, speed and video capabilities not easily matched by its peers. And, with the new battery, is able to offer much more similar endurance, if you're not in a situation in which you can plug the camera in to an external power source.


 

Top 10 sample galleries of the year #3: the Fujifilm X100F
Wed, 22 Nov 2017 12:00:00 Z

We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017 and at long last we've reached our top 3 galleries. Holding it down with the bronze medal is the Fujifilm X100F.

What do you say about a camera like the X100F? It's a staff favorite for sure – we gave it a gold award in our review. Even after publishing that, we found ourselves taking it on road trips and using it to photograph Seattle's famous cherry blossoms. We were even fortunate enough to get our hands on an early version of the X100F prior to its release and shot a beta sample gallery as well. Check that out below:


Top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017:

#10: Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art
#9: Fujifilm GFX 50S
#8: Nikon D7500
#7: Olympus Tough TG-5
#6: Sigma 85mm F1.4
#5: Fujifilm X-T20
#4: Leica M10
#3: Fujifilm X100F
#2: To be revealed on 11/23
#1: To be revealed on 11/24


 

2017 Buying Guides: Best cameras for every kind of photographer
Tue, 21 Nov 2017 20:25:00 Z

There's never been a better time to shop for a new camera, but the number of options available can be overwhelming. In this series of buying guides we've provided customized recommendations for several use cases, from shooting landscapes to buying a first camera for a student photographer.

In each of these guides you'll find one or two main recommendations, and detailed content on several other cameras that deserve your consideration. Our recommendations span product class and cost, but if you'd rather shop by price, click here

If you're specifically looking for a compact camera, check out our phones, drones and compacts buying guide hub here


Maybe you want better photos in low light. Maybe you're tired of digital zoom. Whatever the reason, if you're looking for a capable, beginner-friendly camera to grow and learn with, we've got you covered in our guide to best cameras for beginners.

Best cameras for beginners


Quick. Unpredictable. Unwilling to sit still. Kids really are the ultimate test for a camera's autofocus system. In this guide we've compiled a shortlist of what we think are the best options for parents trying to keep up with young kids.

Best cameras for parents


There's no doubt that the digital revolution made it easier than ever before to pick up a camera and start learning photography. But it hasn't necessarily gotten easier to choose a first camera. We're here to help.

Best cameras for students


Whether you're piling the family in the minivan for a trip to the Magic Kingdom or backpacking through Southeast Asia, you're going to want to capture the experience with photographs.

Best cameras for travel


Are you a speed freak? Hungry to photograph anything that goes zoom? Or perhaps you just want to get Sports Illustrated level shots of your child's soccer game. Keep reading to find out which cameras we think are best for sports and action shooting.

Best cameras for sports and action


Video features have become an important factor to many photographers when choosing a new camera. Read on to find out which cameras we think are best for the videophile, at a variety of price points.

Best cameras for video


Landscape photography isn't as simple as just showing up in front of a beautiful view and taking a couple of pictures. Landscape shooters have a unique set of needs and requirements for their gear, and we've selected some of our favorites in this buying guide.

Best cameras for landscapes


Those shooting portraits and weddings need a camera with a decent autofocus system, which won't give up in low interior lighting. Good image quality at medium/high ISO sensitivity settings is a must, and great colors straight out of the camera will make your life much easier. These days, video is a big deal too. Read on to see which cameras are best suited to those tasks.

Best cameras for people and events


 

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