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Hovering Homes: 12 Cantilevered & Elevated Residences Maximize Views

24 Jan

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

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Supported by nothing but skinny poles, delicately balancing or tethered as if they might float away, these precarious-seeming houses laugh in the face of gravity. Cantilevering architectural volumes off cliffsides or elevating them well above ground level gives modern residences incredible views of their surroundings, whether they’re located on a mountain overlooking the sea or in the middle of a busy Japanese city.

Snohetta Treehotel, Sweden

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Architecture firm Snøhetta has completed their addition to Sweden’s Treehotel, a hovering cabin that appears at first glance to be supported by no more than the staircase leading up to it. The design is based on a traditional Nordic cabin with a wood facade clad in charred boards of pine for a look that contrasts with the snow below, making the structure look heavy and solid to enhance its gravity-defying properties.

Tower House Inspired by Observatories

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Tucked into the woods of upstate New York, GLUCK+’s Tower House takes inspiration from observatories for its mostly-vertical form. A bright yellow staircase is visible from outside through the glass envelope of the supporting tower, and the upper volume is topped with a terrace.

House in Yatsugatake Mountains by Kidosaki Architects, Japan

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Jutting out over a cliff at the foot of Japan’s Yatsugatake Mountains, this home by Kidosaki Architects Studio expands horizontally out into midair to enhance views of the natural landscape through floor-to-ceiling glazing on three sides. The cantilevered portion of the home is supported by two diagonal steel cylinders.

Cargo Container Office Sticks Out Beyond Edge of Hill

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Architect Patrick Bradley repurposed a 45-foot cargo container into an office for himself, allowing a third of it to hang out over the edge of the hilly plot as a sort of floating balcony encased in glass. The project makes very few structural changes in the container itself, staying true to its original form while modernizing its exterior.

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Hovering Homes 12 Cantilevered Elevated Residences Maximize Views

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[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Houses & Residential. ]

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Fujifilm X100F pre-production sample gallery

23 Jan
Fujifilm X100F at ISO 320, 1/125 sec, F3.6. Photo by Richard Butler

The Fujifilm X100F is the fourth iteration in the company’s series of compact-yet-capable fixed lens cameras. Though this model carries over the previous iterations’ 23mm (35mm equivalent) F2 lens, the lens takes on new life in front of a 24MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor found in the X-Pro2 and X-T2.

In the span of one weekend, our beta X100F has traveled from the east coast of the United States to the west, from candid street portraits to puppies, and there is an awful lot in between. Enjoy, and keep an eye out for an updated gallery with a full production model in the coming weeks.

Samples shot with a beta X100F, so many not exactly represent final image quality.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

See Wall: Graffiti Praising & Parodying Donald Trump

22 Jan

[ By Steve in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

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Donald Trump is destined to leave his mark on the world stage but the world’s graffiti artists have been leaving Trump-related marks for some time.

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The notorious “wall” Trump has theatrically threatened to build along the US-Mexico border already exists – in parts – and older sections have been renewed, reinforced and in some places made redundant. One example of the latter can be found about a mile west of Tijuana airport: the so-called “old border wall” situated on American territory.

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Graffiti collective Indecline created the above “¡Rape Trump!” mural on a section of the rusty, corrugated sheet metal wall in late 2015, roughly six months before Trump clinched the Republican nomination for the U.S. presidency. Check out this video by Indecline posted at their website. The caption “¡Rape Trump!”, by the way, is a sort of Spanish pun – the word “rape” translates roughly to crop, trim, shave or snuff while the ball gag adds a dash of kinkiness to the mix.

Great Brickin’

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So crowdfunding graffiti is a thing now: graffiti artists The Paintsmiths paid for the above mural through online sales of their photo-book Are We There Yet? The artwork features Trump figuratively and literally walling himself in, and can be found at the corner of Nelson Street and All Saints Street in Bristol, UK.

Where’s Wall-Donald?

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It’s not as if Donald Trump just popped up out of nowhere: the larger-than-life real estate developer took over The Trump Organization way back in 1971 when The Donald was only 25 years old. Indeed Trump was here, was there, and now it seems he’s everywhere.

Punchdrunk Trump

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The island nation of Malta is chock-a-block with ruins of all ages, many of which have been co-opted by graffiti artists under the government’s benign gaze. The unusual and intriguing work above, by Czech artist ChemiS, complements abandoned and deteriorated architecture by featuring a young boxer and Donald Trump. Whatever one’s political bent, you can’t deny this particular work is a knockout.

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Leica M10 real-world sample gallery

22 Jan

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Archaic focusing system, no video mode, no USB socket: the Leica M10 isn’t for everyone (and at $ 6600 body-only is prohibitively expensive), but it’s absolutely lovely. Announced earlier this week, a pre-production unit found its way into our hands. In case you missed it in the excitement of announcements earlier this week, take a look at our first samples from Leica’s newest digital M rangefinder.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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How to Make a Low Key Portrait Step by Step

22 Jan

What does low key mean?

In a world where the crisp, clean, high key shot dominates, it’s great to see a return to the low key portrait. In comparison to the high key image, where most of the tones are above (lighter than) 50% grey, the low key portrait has tones that are mostly under (darker than) 50%.

You’re replacing the light, airy feel with a more moody, dramatic look. Looking at your histogram, most of the information is bunched on the left-hand side. That’s not to say that you’re underexposing the subject to get this look. You still need correct exposure on the face. A lot of action movies or thrillers have posters with a low key feel. Think drama and you’re in the ballpark for how a low key portrait will look.

Low key portrait examples 01

The background and lighting

Your background needs to be dark, usually dark grey or black, and the tone of the clothing will be of a darker tone. They don’t need to be black strictly speaking.

You should set your lighting to create drama. Take your cues from film noir. The photos don’t need to be in black and white, though. However, you may find that the absence of color in low key images can lend itself to this look. As well as choosing dark clothes, avoid ones with patterns, as this will draw attention away from the face.

Low key portrait examples 02

Lighting a low key portrait

You don’t need to use artificial lighting to get a low key portrait. You could use natural light through a window. To get control, you need to close the curtains down to a tiny slit of light. Then, with the room lights off, place your subject in the light and expose for their face.

The rest of the room will go dark for a naturally lit low key portrait. If you’re in a corner room with a window on each side, you could even do this trick where the second window acts as a backlight. Just narrow the slit in the curtains to control the light for this effect (see below).

Low key portrait examples 03

You can also have this control in the studio, so let’s set up and refine a studio portrait.

You’ll need a lighting setup that is flattering and controllable. A strip softbox lets you control the light more, as would a beauty dish. If you don’t have either, you can add some material over the softbox you do have to create a strip light. If you have a grid, even better. As long as you can control where the light goes, you’ll be able to get this down. You can even block your light from the background using a black card (things that block light are referred to as flags).

Creating a low key portrait from scratch

For the examples here, I used an Elinchrom BRX500 with a 44cm White Beauty Dish and a white deflector. Like I’ve mentioned, you don’t need to have exactly this gear to get these shots. Gear is only small part of the equation, it’s using the gear that counts.

Making the background darker

In this first shot, you’ll see the model against the wall, photographed with a butterfly lighting pattern. Even though the tones are dark, the image itself is too bright for a low key portrait.

Low key portrait example 02

Close to the grey wall.

The Setup

By moving the model and the light evenly away from the wall, you’ll notice the light on the subject stays the same, but the background gets darker.

Low key portrait example 03

Moving the model away from the wall means the light falls off and the background gets darker.

Move the light to the side

If you move the light around to the side, into a short lighting position, you’ll see the background darkens even more, and there is an increase in the drama of the shot. We still have light spilling on to our background, though.

Low key portrait example 05

Moving the light to the side means even less light falls on the background, darkening it even more.

Low key portrait example 04

Add a grid to the light

By adding a grid to the light, you can control the light even more. The grid restricts the light to whatever is in front of the light only, none bounces around or spills out the sides.

Low key portrait example 07

With a grid added to the light.

Low key portrait example 06

Light with grid added.

Add light onto the hair

You’ll see that the hair is starting to blend in with the background now. This can be a great effect sometimes, but if you want separation between the hair and the background, you need to add fill light in there somehow.

You could choose a reflector, but a second light offers more control. I’ve added a strip light on the other side of the subject opposite the main light. Make sure that light doesn’t hit your lens or you will get flare. Use a grid or a flag to block it if necessary.

Low key portrait example 09

Second light added for her hair.

Low key portrait example 08

Light position with main light (with a grid) and hair light (also with a grid) opposite and behind the subject.

Practice it!

These examples should get you going towards making your own low key portrait. The trick is to control the light so you darken the environment. Try the curtain trick if you don’t have any lights. You can even use that trick with an off-camera speed light by putting the flash outside the window to replace the natural light for more control.

Have you done any low key portraits? Have any questions? Please share in the comments below.

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Demand for CMOS image sensors projected to increase

22 Jan

According to industry publication DigiTimes, we should expect demand for CMOS image sensors, particularly high-end units, to increase in the short and medium term. This is mainly due to the increased popularity of dual-camera modules in high-end smartphones, such as the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, LG G5 or Huawei P9, and growing demand for imaging applications in the automotive and security industries. 

Approximately 70% of all available sensors currently go into mobile devices which remains the largest application. With dual-cameras slowly but surely becoming standard even on lower-end devices the demand from this sector is expected to grow further.

Demand from those sectors is putting more pressure on already tight CMOS sensor supplies. Of course, that is good news for those camera manufacturers that are also in the sensor business and increased demand should mean more research and development and therefore better products in the long run.

(Photo: ‘Image Sensor’ by Bengt Nyman / Wikimedia Commons. Used under CC license)

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Seattle convicts drone operator whose UAV knocked a woman unconscious at a parade

22 Jan

Seattle drone operators are in the news again, and that’s not a good thing. A man whose drone struck a parade-goer in 2015 has been convicted of a gross misdemeanor – which may signal what’s to come for another drone operator who recently flew his drone into the Space Needle.

In 2015, a woman attending the Seattle Pride Parade was struck by a drone that fell after crashing into the side of a building. Drone operator Paul M. Skinner was charged with gross misdemeanor at the time, and has now been convicted following a four-day trial. This marks the first time Seattle’s Attorney Office has charged someone with the public mishandling of a drone.

The victim was struck in the head by the drone and suffered a concussion as a result, while an unnamed man suffered a ‘minor bruise,’ according to The Seattle Times. Skinner faces up to a $ 5,000 fine and up to 364 days in jail; his sentence will be issued on February 24.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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How to Use Photoshop to Create Milestone Photos of Babies

22 Jan

Buried deep in my parents’ basement are boxes of slides with pictures of my siblings and I, when we were kids, all taken with my dad’s Minolta DSLR that has long since been lost to the ages. I have a few scans of those early photos but most of them won’t see the light of day anytime soon. Thus the images that marked the passage of time for me, my sister, and my three brothers are few and far between.

Baby milestones Photoshop background

This picture taken with a pocket camera and the fabric was purchased at a thrift store.

Thankfully modern technology and the prevalence of digital cameras means babies born today will likely have no shortage of images to mark their early years. One of the most common methods of documenting milestones is to take pictures at weekly or monthly intervals. Often these are augmented with some type of decoration or adornment to indicate the passage of time (e.g. a small chalkboard, a giant sticker on the kid’s tummy, or a number stamped in the corner of the picture).

There is an incredibly easy, fun, and highly effective way to do this in Photoshop. It only takes a few minutes and produces great results, even if you have never used this program before you should be able to figure it out.

Preparing for the photo shoot

My wife and I got this idea after reading a post on the popular do-it-yourself blog Young House Love but have tweaked it to fit our style. To get started you will need a few things, many of which you probably already own:

  • Fabric with big colorful prints; Finer-detailed prints are okay, but the bigger and more prominent the pattern, the better it will look when paired with your baby. Don’t spend much money on these since you’ll need a lot if you do a different fabric each week. Pro tip, let the grandparents know you’re in need of fabric. Ours were thrilled to go shopping at thrift stores and send us what they found.
  • White onesies; A t-shirt works better after the first year, but until that time onesies are best because they stretch nice and even across the baby’s body leaving you with fewer wrinkles to contend with in the post-processing phase.
  • Blue painter’s tape;  Used to hold the fabric down to the ground.
  • A big window; Or a glass door, or another similar surface to let in a lot of light.
  • A step stool; so you can get a higher angle.
  • Tape to hold the fabric in place; Blue painter’s tape will work but I like to use Gaffer’s tape (I recommend this brand which is stronger and leaves no residue on the carpet when you pull it off.)
  • A reflector;  We didn’t buy one of these until well into our second child and it’s amazing how much a reflector helps get nice even lighting.
How to Use Photoshop to Create Milestone Photos of Babies - setup

It doesn’t take much to prepare for this type of photo shoot.

The session

The process works best with two people; one to take pictures and someone else to do multiple jobs like hold the reflector, smooth the blanket, and soothe the baby. Position your child with his or her feet near the light source (i.e. giant window or glass door) and have your helper hold the reflector by the baby’s head to bounce light back. Then get up on the stepstool and start taking pictures! Babies wriggle and squirm around a lot so don’t worry about quantity. It’s better to have too many good ones than to have to redo everything because you only took three shots and the baby was frowning in all of them.

Photoshop time

After your pictures are done it’s time to head to Photoshop where the real fun begins. You will need two fonts: Fyra for the numbers and one that you want to use for the letters. I like Fertigo Pro, but almost anything will work, it’s largely a matter of personal taste here.

Open your photo in Photoshop and it will appear as the background layer. You can leave it as is unless you plan to do any editing such as color adjustments or retouching, though my advice is to keep it simple and avoid all that if possible. You’ve got a newborn and you can’t spend hours editing your photos every single week when there are diapers to change and clothes to wash!

Add the text

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Click the “T” button in the tool palette to activate the Text Tool, then click anywhere in the picture to create a new text layer. Use the Fyra font and type a letter which will show up as a big circular number – perfect for marking the weeks or months of time that have passed.

Use the toolbar at the top of your screen to adjust the size of the number, and if you don’t get it perfect you can always change it later using the Transform Tool. Press [enter] to lock in the number, then repeat most of the process for “weeks” by clicking the Text tool, selecting a font, clicking on your baby, and typing the label (weeks, months, etc.) you want.

How to Use Photoshop to Create Milestone Photos of Babies adding the text

At this point your picture might look like something the neighbor kid made in Microsoft Paint, but you’re just getting started. The finished version will look much better thanks to the magic of Photoshop.

Resize and warp the text

The next step is to customize the size and position of each of the elements. Using the Layers palette select the layer with a single letter, which is actually the number in the picture, and choose “Edit > Transform”. You can now reposition the number where you want it, and resize it by clicking and dragging on one of the corners. Hold down the [shift] key while doing this to maintain the proportions (shape) of the number or else your finished product will look all stretched out. You can even rotate the number by hovering your cursor near one corner until it turns into a cornered arrow and then click and drag.

How to Use Photoshop to Create Milestone Photos of Babies transform the text

Repeat the same process for the word you’ve used then with that layer still selected, click the Text tool in your toolbar and manually select the word (in this case “weeks”) itself. Then choose; Layer > Type > Warp Text… and add an Arch style. (You can also click the “Warp Text” toolbar button to do the same thing, see red arrow below.)

How to Use Photoshop to Create Milestone Photos of Babies warp text

I like to use just a couple of degrees here, which helps the text simulate a more natural curve that you might see if it were printed across the white onesie directly. Usually, +5 gets the job done just fine.

How to Use Photoshop to Create Milestone Photos of Babies warp text tool

Text color

After that, the next step is to change the color of the text so it complements the fabric on which your baby is laying. Use the Text tool to select either the number or the word (weeks) then click the black box next to the Warp Text button to change the color of the text.

How to Use Photoshop to Create Milestone Photos of Babies text color

Use the eyedropper to select a color from the fabric and tweak as necessary. you will also see the color of your text or number, whichever is selected, change as you try out different options. When you find one you like you can click the “OK” button to lock it in place.

But, before you do that select the six letters and numbers in the # box at the bottom and press [ctrl+c] to copy it. This is the hex code that tells your computer what color is in use, and you will use it again in the next step.

How to Use Photoshop to Create Milestone Photos of Babies text color

Repeat the same process for the other layer of text. To get the same color you can either hover the eyedropper over the newly-colored text on the picture or paste the color code (6-digits you copied) into the box at the bottom. When you are finished you will have an image that is close to the final product, but you’re not quite done yet.

How to Use Photoshop to Create Milestone Photos of Babies

Blend mode

Two final editing steps remain before your image is done, the first involves blend modes. These have to do with the way in which layers work together and how one layer’s color can be altered based on how it is combined with the layer below.

Use the Layers palette to highlight a text layer and change its blend mode to “multiply” with an opacity of 75%. This will allow some of the texture of the white onesie to show through, and make the text seem like it naturally printed on the fabric instead of just pasted on afterward in a computer program.

How to Use Photoshop to Create Milestone Photos of Babies blend mode

Masking

At this point, you may be thinking about using the eraser tool to fix parts of your image where the baby’s hands obscure the number or text. But trust me, this is not what you want to do!

Photoshop has a fantastic feature called layer masks that let you hide (erase) parts of a layer and even recover (show) them again later if you erase too much. In the example above, you will note that the baby’s arm should be covering up the 20, so the solution is to use a layer mask to remove (hide) that portion of the 20. How to Use Photoshop to Create Milestone Photos of Babies masking

Click the text layer that you want to edit then choose “Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All”. Now you will see a white box next to the layer that you can use to show and hide different parts of the layer itself. When you add anything dark to this layer mask it will erase (hide) that part of the layer, and when you add anything white to the mask it will show that part of the layer. This is an incredibly useful feature in Photoshop that you can use in all sorts of ways to edit your images, not just snapshots of your baby with milestone stickers.

Click the brush tool and start painting over the portion of the layer mask you want to erase, but keep one finger on the “x” key of your keyboard to switch between erasing mode and adding mode. If you accidentally brush over something that you want to keep, press “x” and add it back by painting it back in white! Then press “x” again to go back to deleting (painting with black).

Press the “z” key to zoom in on your image (and option-z to zoom out) and then “b” to go back to the brush tool. After a few strokes of your brush, your image is ready to share with family and friends!

How to Use Photoshop to Create Milestone Photos of Babies

When to stop

Right here is where I like to stop because the image is, as I like to say, good enough. There are some imperfections that could be cleaned up like using a displacement map to alter “weeks” so it follows all the contours and folds of the fabric, but I have found that these are just not worth my time. To be honest, most people won’t even notice.

You can easily spend hours using warp transforms, color tweaking, and spot removal to get each picture looking pixel-perfect and ready to print in Baby Cosmopolitan. But parents of newborns have to find a balance between time spent on the computer and time spent with their families.

How to Use Photoshop to Create Milestone Photos of Babies

After 52 weeks of doing pictures we used a slightly different setup and reduced our images to once a month with our child standing or sitting instead of lying down.

Conclusion

If you have an infant or are expecting one, pictures like this are a fantastic way to mark the passage of time. My wife and I did shots like these with our two boys every week for the first year of their lives, and then every month until they turned two.

At the time it seemed like a huge hassle to get out the fabric, put a white onesie on, and try to soothe a fussy infant long enough to snap a few pictures every single week. Looking back through them we are so glad we did. When shown in an album side by side these images provide a priceless way of seeing how our kids both grew so much during those early times of their lives.

If you have a small baby and give this a try, please share your images and/or questions in the comments area below.

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Leica announces M10 with new sensor, slimmer design

22 Jan

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Leica has announced the M10, the latest in the company’s venerable M-series line of cameras. At first glance, the M10 looks – unsurprisingly – similar to any other M camera, but there are some major updates both inside and out.

Much of the bulk that came with the M-series’ transition to the digital age has been shed, with the M10 measuring just as thin as a film-era M4 and coming in 20 grams lighter than the previous M Typ 262. The trade-off? A smaller, less powerful battery, and a lack of any I/O ports of any kind. 

Other key updates include an all-new 24MP sensor, an external ISO dial, a new Maestro II image processor, 5fps max shooting, a scratch-resistant 1.04M-dot rear LCD, a larger viewfinder, some environmental protection seals and built-in Wi-Fi. 

The Leica M10 will begin shipping this week for a price of $ 6595/€6500.

M as in Milestone: Leica Camera Introduces the New Leica M10

The M-series’ latest addition impresses with more compact dimensions, improved performance and even more intuitive handling

January 18, 2017 – The iconic camera system sets new standards yet again. The perfect balance of long-established traditions and the latest technical innovation, the Leica M10 embodies the essence of photography like no other camera before. All of its functions have been adapted and updated to meet the precise needs of contemporary photography, while preserving the essential principles of the legendary M-System. Every single component and every technical feature concentrates uncompromisingly on this goal. With its more compact dimensions, improved performance and even more intuitive handling, the Leica M10 sets a new milestone in the ongoing history of Leica M photography.

The form factor: analog dimensions enter the digital age

Many photographers who appreciate the dimensions of analog M-Models, due to their ideal ergonomics and perfect fit in hand, expressed wishes that this carry over to digital M-Cameras. Leica has now brought these dream dimensions to reality – with a top plate depth of only 33.75 millimeters, a whole four millimeters (1/8”) thinner than that of its predecessor, the Leica M (Typ 240). The Leica M10 is now the slimmest digital M of all time.

The rangefinder: a precise window on the world

The rangefinder has always played an extremely important role in the storied heritage of the Leica M-System. A number of important aspects of this legendary focusing technology have now been further optimized in the Leica M10. To improve the view of the subject, the field of view has been enlarged by 30 percent and the magnification factor has been increased to 0.73x. Eye-relief – the optimum distance of the eye from the viewfinder eyepiece – has also been considerably increased. Thanks to a 50 percent increase in this distance, the viewfinder is much more comfortable to use, particularly for photographers who wear glasses.

The sensor: the digital canvas

The key component of the Leica M10 is the all-new 24 MP, full-frame CMOS sensor developed specifically for this camera. Its new technology leads to significant improvements in all parameters relevant to imaging performance: impressive dynamic range, excellent contrast rendition, exceptional sharpness and the finest resolution of details. Its unique pixel and microlens architecture enables optimum results at all apertures, particularly wide open – even rays of light arriving at the sensor from oblique angles are precisely captured by its photodiodes – further improved in comparison to the previous generation. The glass cover plate of the sensor acts as an infrared cut-off filter and thus also avoids undesirable refraction of incoming light by additional layers of glass. The omission of a low-pass filter also ensures that the Leica M10 delivers maximum sharpness. This leads to significantly better imaging results, especially in the case of wide-angles and fast-aperture lenses.

Thanks to the new design of the sensor of the Leica M10, the ISO sensitivity range has been expanded. It now allows exposures at values between ISO 100 and 50,000 with considerably improved noise characteristics at higher ISO settings. The Leica M10 opens up new areas of photography and delivers exceptional imaging performance even in difficult lighting conditions.

Image processing electronics: the next level of quality

The latest-generation Maestro II image processor of the M10 showcases state-of-the-art advanced processor technology. In combination with the equally new 24 MP sensor, this ensures that all exposures captured stand out with exceptionally brilliant image quality. Thanks to a 2 GB buffer memory and continuous burst shooting at up to five frames per second at full resolution, photographers will never again miss the decisive moment. The Leica M10 is the fastest M-Camera ever made.

In addition to this, the faster processor allows the loupe function in Live View mode to be freely positioned anywhere in the frame for even better assessment of sharpness. This new function can be used not only on the camera’s LCD monitor, but also in conjunction with the Visoflex electronic viewfinder (EVF) with 2.4 MP of resolution. The viewfinder features a swivel function for shooting from unusual angles and an integrated GPS module that can be switched on for geotagging image files.

The operating concept: intuitive and reduced to essentials

Since the beginning, Leica M-Cameras have stood for concentration on essential functions. This principle has been conscientiously pursued in the Leica M10, which sets new standards in terms of intuitive handling and rapid access to the settings relevant to photography. For instance, the controls on the back are limited to the directional control and just three buttons for Play, Live View and Menu. The importance of particular settings varies according to personal preferences and photographic needs. In light of this, the Leica M10 also offers a freely configurable Favorites Menu for defining a custom profile of personally relevant functions.

One of the most distinctive new features of the Leica M10 is the ISO setting dial on the top plate. For the first time in a digital Leica M, all essential shooting parameters such as focusing, aperture, shutter speed and ISO value can be selected manually without using the menu – or even switching on the camera. This concept allows for the fastest, most precise control yet seen in a digital camera and enables the photographer to be even less obtrusive when shooting.

The Wi-Fi module: memories are there to be shared and shown

The Leica M10 is the first M-Camera with integrated Wi-Fi connectivity. This enables fast, wireless transfer of pictures to Apple mobile devices (with Android shortly to follow), where they can be edited and, for instance, posted and shared on social networks. The Leica M-App also enables the direct transfer of RAW files in DNG format to mobile devices for further processing with suitable apps from iOS Version 10.2. The Leica M10 can also be remotely controlled via Wi-Fi from a smartphone or tablet. This makes it easy to shoot perfect pictures from unusual angles or avoid camera shake when shooting with longer shutter speeds.

Leica M10: A further step towards perfection

“The Leica M is the heart, the backbone and the soul of Leica Camera. The Leica M10 unites state-of-the-art technology and exceptional optical performance with a conscious focus on the traditional advantages of the unique Leica M rangefinder system. In this, the innovative camera and its concentration on the functions essential to photography set new standards, while its exceptionally lean handling concept takes us a further step towards absolute perfection. Made in Germany by Leica – the Leica M10 stands as an outstanding brand statement for the finest arts of engineering, highest quality and craftsmanship,” explained Oliver Kaltner, CEO, Leica Camera.

“The new M, the M10! Not a camera for everyone – but increasingly a camera for people who love a system that is built for the future while maintaining consistent compatibility with its past. The rangefinder system lets me frame and compose my pictures. The rangefinder system lets me tread in the footsteps of the world’s greatest photographers. The rangefinder system lets me create photographs with my own visual style. The new M10 and the wealth of present and past Leica M-Lenses are products that awaken and fulfil the desires of every photographer,” emphasized Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board of Leica Camera.

Availability

The Leica M10 will be available from Leica Stores, Boutiques and selected Dealers starting January 19, 2017.

Leica M10 Specifications

Price
MSRP $ 6595
Body type
Body type Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Body material Magnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution 5952 x 3992
Other resolutions 5952 x 3968 (JPEG, 24MP), 4256 x 2932 (12MP), 2976 x 1984 (6MP)
Image ratio w:h 3:2
Effective pixels 24 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Maestro II
Color space sRGB
Color filter array Primary color filter
Image
ISO Auto, 100-50000
White balance presets 8
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
File format
  • JPEG
  • Raw (DNG)
Optics & Focus
Manual focus Yes
Lens mount Leica M
Focal length multiplier 1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3
Screen dots 1,036,800
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Optical (rangefinder)
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.73×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 8 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes
Flash X sync speed 1/180 sec
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Interval
  • Exposure bracketing
  • Self-timer
Continuous drive 5.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 12 secs)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±3 (3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)
Videography features
Microphone None
Speaker None
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
HDMI No
Microphone port No
Headphone port No
Wireless Built-In
Remote control Yes (via cable trigger)
Physical
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description BP-SCL5 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 210
Weight (inc. batteries) 660 g (1.46 lb / 23.28 oz)
Dimensions 139 x 39 x 80 mm (5.47 x 1.54 x 3.15)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes
GPS Optional
GPS notes via optional Visoflex EVF

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Fujifilm expands weather-resistant lens selection with XF 50mm F2 R WR

21 Jan

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Fujifilm has announced a new weather-resistant prime: the Fujinon XF 50mm F2 R WR. It sits alongside the XF 35mm F2 and 23mm F2 as another compact, lightweight yet sturdy lens for the X-system. Offering dust and water resistance, the 50mm F2 is freezeproof to 14°F/-10°C.

On Fujifilm’s APS-C cameras the 50mm F2 offers a 76mm equivalent view. The lens comprises 9 elements in 7 groups with one aspherical ED element, and uses a stepping motor for autofocus. The whole package weighs in at 7oz/200g.

The Fujifilm XF 50mm F2 R WR will go on sale in February for around $ 450/£450.

Press Release

FUJIFILM X-T20 UPS PERFORMANCE AND ADDS TOUCH CONTROLS FOR ENTHUSIAST PHOTOGRAPHERS; NEW COMPACT FUJINON XF50MMF2 R WR PERFECT TRAVEL COMPANION LENS

Valhalla, N.Y., January 19, 2017 – As the leader in innovation for photographers, FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the new FUJIFILM X-T20 interchangeable lens camera that joins the award-winning X Series digital camera lineup. The X-T20 is the successor to the FUJIFILM X-T10 and builds on its outstanding image quality, intuitive design, and versatility with a new APS-C sized 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X-Processor Pro image processing engine. The updated sensor and processor, along with an improved AF algorithm, boost the camera’s startup time and AF performance, dramatically improving its ability to track moving subjects for their best pictures to date. The X-T20 also has a large tilting touchscreen LCD monitor for multi-angle shooting and responds to quick gestures for a variety of efficient controls and picture review.

Also announced today is the new FUJINON XF50mmF2 R WR, a compact, mid-telephoto lens adding to the X Series lineup of interchangeable lenses known for their outstanding image quality. The lens features a focal length equivalent to 76mm (in the 35mm film format) and a maximum aperture of F2.0 for beautiful bokeh. The compact and stylish optic also offers high speed AF and weighs just 200g.

Advanced Imaging for the Discerning Enthusiast
The FUJIFILM X-T20 improves on the X-T10 with a 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and a new Video option to the Drive Dial to enable instantaneous switching from still photo shooting to the video recording mode. The Exposure Compensation Dial now has the C position for exposure compensation up to ±5 stops, while the LCD monitor uses a tilting touchscreen panel for intuitive operation at almost any angle. The X-T20 is also equipped with an Auto mode selector lever for selecting the fully-automatic Advanced SR Auto mode where the camera chooses the optimum settings for a given scene.

The new sensor’s enhanced signal processing technology has even greater control over digital noise with an improved ISO sensitivity of ISO12800 available as a regular ISO option. At ultra-high ISO settings, the camera produces low-noise images, with deep blacks and smooth tones, delivering beautiful images even in low light conditions.

The FUJIFILM X-T20 also has a Grain Effect function for reproducing distinctive graininess seen in photographs taken with film cameras. The function can be set to Strong or Weak, and can be combined with any of the Film Simulation modes. You can easily obtain the look of film-based photos, with the effect most obvious when the image is printed out.

Photo enthusiasts will find the very best image results made possible by Fujifilm’s proprietary color reproduction technology, developed through producing photographic films, that helps to reproduce warm skin tones, bright blue skies and rich green foliage, just as you remember seeing in real life.

Compact and Lightweight Body Makes Photography Fun and Easy
With the FUJIFILM X-T20, users will find a compact body that is both strong and light and made from magnesium alloy. The top plate features three precision-milled aluminum dials which give the X-T20 a premium feel and allow users to easily adjust the aperture, shutter speed and shooting functions while concentrating on picture taking.

The X-T20 features a 3.0 inch 1.04M-dot tilting TFT color LCD touchscreen monitor for both above head and close to the ground shooting. By combining the Touch Shot function with the tilt LCD monitor, you can get even more creative. Place the camera on the ground and use Touch Shot for a child’s face or a pet’s eye view, or hold it above a crowd of people or an obstacle for high-angle shooting.

Easy Touch, Swipe and Pinch Controls
The LCD monitor in the X-T20 uses a capacitive touchscreen panel to facilitate high-angle shots, taken from above a crowd of people or an obstacle, as well as low-angle shots simulating the ground level perspective.

Users can also opt to use the LCD monitor as a touchscreen to easily access shooting and playback modes. When shooting with the X-T20, you can use the touchscreen to select the focus area, focus on a specific point, and combine the actions of focusing and shooting in succession.

For playback, users can enjoy swipe to scroll through images, double-tap to enlarge, drag the image once enlarged, along with pinch-out and pinch-in sizing.

Improved AF Performance for Moving Subjects
The FUJIFILM X-T20 has an expanded number of focusing points, up from 49 in the previous model to 91 (up to 325 points). Approximately 40% of the imaging area (the center area containing 49 focusing points) is covered with phase detection AF pixels to form a fast and precise phase detection AF area that can be used in a variety of scenes.

By redesigning the AF algorithm from the ground up, the X-T20 can now autofocus more accurately on points of light, low-contrast objects and subjects with fine details such as bird feathers and animal fur. The read speed of the Contrast AF system has been doubled compared to the previous model to enable faster and more accurate autofocusing. During video recording, the AF point transitions smoothly to track a moving subject to create natural looking footage.

Users can choose from a Single Point mode, useful when accurate focusing on a subject is required, and a Zone mode that allows them to select a 3×3, 5×5 or 7×7 zone out of the 91-point AF area. The centrally positioned 3×3 and 5×5 zones, in particular, deliver fast focusing thanks to the on-sensor phase detection AF. The Wide/Tracking mode is a combination of the Wide mode (during AF-S), in which the camera automatically identifies and tracks the area in focus across the 91-point AF area, and the predictive Tracking mode (during AF-C), which uses the entire 91-point area to continue tracking a subject. This feature enables continuous focusing on a subject that is moving up and down, left and right or towards and away from the camera.

The X-T20 features an AF-C Custom setting, which enhances focus tracking performance when shooting in the Continuous AF (AF-C) mode. In the AF-C Custom setting, users can choose from five AF presets, including:

  • Preset 1 (Standard Setting for Multi-Purpose) is a standard setting that can be applied when shooting moving subjects as a whole. It is similar to the conventional AF-C setting, and is selected by default when no AF-C Custom setting is specified.
  • Preset 2 (Ignore Obstacles & Continue to Track Subject) is suitable when obstacles are likely to come into a selected focus area, blocking a subject.
  • Preset 3 (For Accelerating / Decelerating Subjects) is best suited to situations such as motorsports, which involves a subject that makes major speed changes including rapid acceleration or deceleration. It is particularly effective when using linear motor-driven lenses capable of high-speed AF.
  • Preset 4 (For Suddenly Appearing Subjects) gives focusing priority to a subject closest to the camera in the selected focus area, so as to swiftly focus on a subject that suddenly comes into the frame.
  • Preset 5 (For Erratically Moving & Accelerating or Decelerating Subjects) is suitable for shooting field sports in which subjects accelerate or decelerate rapidly, and also move erratically.

FUJIFILM X-T20 Key Features:

  • 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor
    – X-Processor Pro
    – Start-up time of 0.4sec
    – Ultra-fast AF speed of 0.06sec
    – Offers 5.0fps live-view shooting
    – Shutter time lag of 0.050sec
    – Shooting interval of 0.25sec
  • 3.0 inch 1.04M-dot tilting TFT color LCD touchscreen monitor
  • 0.39 inch 2,360K-dot OLED color viewfinder
  • Live View Display to preview pictures where you can
  • New ACROS Film Simulation mode
  • AF-C Custom Settings with five AF-C presets
  • 4K video can be recorded at [3840 x 2160] 29.97p, 25p, 24p, 23.98P, 100Mbps
    – Continuous recording: up to approximately 10min
  • Full HD video can be recorded at 59.94 fps, 50 fps, 29.97 fps, 25 fps, 24 fps and 23.98 fps, and with Film Simulation effects
    – Video can be outputted to external monitor via the HDMI port and input audio from an external microphone
    – Easily connect to external HDMI monitor and turn on HDMI Rec Control to automatically enable a clean HDMI output when the camera’s shutter release button is pressed
    – Touch AF to change the focus area and refocusing according to subject movement functions in video recording
  • 24 high-performance FUJINON X-mount lenses for ultimate versatility
  • Integrated pop-up flash with Super Intelligent Flash to automatically adjust light output
  • Unique Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO) image processing technology to deliver the best possible image quality
    – LMO corrects optical defects such as diffraction to achieve edge-to-edge sharpness and a realistic three-dimensional effect
  • Nine Film Simulation modes (including ACROS) and Advanced Filter functions for eight different artistic effects
  • Multiple Exposure function combines two separate subjects into one photo
  • Interval timer shooting for time lapse photography
    – intervals of one second to 24 hours, and up to infinity frames
  • Completely silent electronic shutter capable of exposures up to 1/32000 seconds.
  • Digital Split Image for precise manual focusing and Focus Peaking to highlight high-contrast areas of the subject
  • Eye Detection AF function for automatically detecting and focusing on human eyes
  • Auto Macro function automatically activates the Macro mode while maintaining AF speed, eliminating any need to press the Macro button to capture a close-up
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for shooting from your smartphone or tablet devices
  • Free FUJIFILM Camera Remote app for Remote Control function
    – Photos can be sent directly from the camera to the Instax SHARE Smartphone Printer for instant Instax prints
  • Wi-Fi® Transfer is supported, enabling wireless backup of the data to a computer
  • Weather and dust resistant; operates as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit \ 0 degrees Celsius

FUJINON XF50mmF2 R WR Lens
The new XF50mmF2 R WR is a mid-telephoto lens that is designed to deliver the very best results from Fujifilm’s unique X-Trans CMOS sensor. The XF50mmF2 R WR, perfect for any type of travel photography, is compact and lightweight, and features 9 elements in 7 groups, including one aspherical ED lens, and has an inner focusing system, driven by a stepping motor for fast and silent autofocusing. The premium XF50mF2 R WR is made of metal and glass for a stylish, robust design with a premium feel, while the aperture and focusing rings have been designed to be comfortable and easy to use. The lens is also weather and dust resistant, and operates in temperatures as low as 14°F°C, making it ideal for shooting in a variety of weather conditions.

FUJINON XF50mmF2 R WR Lens Key Features:

  • FUJIFILM X-Mount is compatible with all FUJIFILM X Series interchangeable system cameras
  • Weather-sealed at ten points around the barrel for weather and dust resistance; operates as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit \ -10 degrees Celsius
  • 9 lens elements in 7 groups including one aspherical ED lens
  • Compact, lightweight lens weighs just 200g
  • Aperture and focusing rings feature precise click stops and smooth damping for easy operation
  • Inner focusing AF system uses a stepping motor to drive lightweight focusing elements for a fast, silent autofocus performance
  • Super EBC (Super Electron Beam Coating) ensures high performance by reducing both flare and ghosting

Availability and Pricing
The new FUJIFILM X-T20 Body (Black and Silver) will be available in February 2017 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $ 899.95 and CAD$ 1,199.99. The X-T20 Body with XF18-55mm Lens Kit will be available for USD $ 1,199.95 and CAD $ 1,599.99; the X-T20 Body with XC16-50mm Lens Kit will be available for USD $ 999.95 and CAD $ 1,299.99.

The FUJIFILM XF50mmF2 R WR (Black and Silver) will be available in February 2017 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $ 449.95 and CAD$ 649.99.

Fujifilm XF 50mm F2 R WR specifications

Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size APS-C / DX
Focal length 50 mm
Image stabilization No
Lens mount Fujifilm X
Aperture
Maximum aperture F2
Minimum aperture F16
Optics
Special elements / coatings 1 ED element
Focus
Minimum focus 0.39 m (15.35)
Maximum magnification 0.15×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Stepper motor
Focus method Internal
Distance scale No
DoF scale No
Physical
Weight 200 g (0.44 lb)
Diameter 60 mm (2.36)
Length 59 mm (2.32)
Materials Metal
Sealing Yes
Colour Black, silver
Filter thread 46.0 mm
Hood supplied Yes
Tripod collar No

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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