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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

GoPro Hero6 leaked again: Shoots 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, and costs $500

22 Sep
Newly leaked photos of the GoPro Hero6 form a Best Buy in Canada. Photo credit: The Verge

Days after the first photo of the upcoming GoPro Hero6 action camera leaked online, showing that the little cam will finally be able to shoot 4K at 60fps, another set of images has appeared after the camera was put up (by mistake, we assume) at a Best Buy in Canada. The photos were sent to tech site The Verge by a tipster who got to see that camera, and the leak reveals two more tantalizing details about the Hero6.

In addition to confirming the 4K 60fps news, the photo shows that the Hero6 will also be able to shoot FullHD 1080p video at 240fps slow motion, and the camera will sell for $ 650 CAD, or approximately $ 500 USD when it’s released.

The Verge is also reporting that GoPro will no longer use an Ambarella processor from the Hero6 onwards. Instead, the new camera will reportedly contain a custom-built processor known at GoPro as the “GP1,” leaving many to hope that this new chip will translate into better battery life and higher performance from GoPro’s future models.

Finally, the last piece of the puzzle is a release date, which was also leaked today. According to Twitter user Konrad Iturbe, who was able to gain access to GoPro’s staging website, the announcement/release date is set for September 28th.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

Review: Affinity Photo 1.5.2 for desktop

21 Sep

Affinity Photo for desktop (Mac + PC)
$ 50 | Affinity.Serif.com | Buy Now

Usually, the price of software comes at the end of the review, but with Affinity Photo 1.5, the image editor for Mac and Windows, the price is the starting point, along with a prominent qualifier from the product’s website: ‘No subscription.’

Key Features

  • Professional editing tools for almost anyone who needs to manipulate images
  • Edits are mostly non-destructive
  • Windows and Mac support
  • Inexpensive, with no subscription required
  • Batch processing

Affinity Photo’s developer, Serif, knows its audience. When Adobe shifted Photoshop and nearly all of its other products to a subscription model in 2013, it prompted an outcry from customers who didn’t want to be locked into a perpetual fee. Four years later, despite the move being apparently successful for Adobe, subscription pricing continues to be a point of contention for many people, turning into an opportunity for developers like Serif.

If you’re already familiar with Adobe’s flagship, it won’t take long to orient yourself in Affinity Photo.

However, simply offering a less expensive image editor isn’t enough. We’re beyond the point where photographers will put up with limited software to save a few bucks, and with Affinity Photo, we don’t have to. You won’t find some of the specialized features Photoshop includes, such as its 3D tools, but most everything else is there – sometimes to Affinity Photo’s detriment.

Getting Started

Affinity Photo’s personas break up the editing experience into five main categories.

Software should be evaluated on its own merits, and for the most part I’m looking at Affinity Photo through that lens. How does it perform for photographers? Does it get in the way when handling familiar operations? Does it improve the editing experience? Comparisons to Photoshop inevitably come up, and I’ll refer to them when needed, but this isn’t specifically a comparative review between Affinity Photo and Photoshop.

That said, if you’re already familiar with Adobe’s flagship, it won’t take long to orient yourself in Affinity Photo. If photo editing beyond the basics is new to you, it’s easy to pick up.

Working modes, aka ‘Personas’

Affinity Photo is built around four working modes, referred to as “personas,” each of which contains its own specialized tools. These personas include: Photo, Develop, Tone Mapping and Export.

The Photo persona is the main editing interface, with adjustments, layers, masks, and the like. The Liquify persona is a playground for distorting areas when retouching (creating an editable mesh of the entire image and then pushing and pulling the pixels to do things like make areas seem slimmer or to correct distortion). The Develop persona kicks in when opening a raw file for pre-processing, akin to Adobe Camera Raw. The Tone Mapping persona is exclusive for working with HDR (high dynamic range) effects, which can apply to single images as well as several merged shots. And lastly, the Export persona provides tools for creating versions of the image outside the application, from specifying file types and compression levels to preset slices.

You’ll also find tools for painting and drawing, including extensive controls for creating and manipulating brushes, but for the sake of brevity, I’m looking at the application in terms of editing photos.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

Lensbaby unveils Creative Bokeh and Sweet 80 optics

21 Sep

Lensbaby just released two new “optics” for portrait photographer and other shooters who want to add a bit of creative flare to their photography. The first is the Sweet 80: an 80mm optic that gives portrait shooters that trademark Lensbaby ‘sweet spot’ of focus; the second is the Creative Bokeh optic: a 50mm single-element lens that comes with 11 drop in apertures in a variety of shapes.

You can see both optics in the gallery below:

Product Photos

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Both the Sweet 80 and Creative Bokeh optics join the so-called ‘Lensbaby Optic Swap System’ that allows you to pop different creative lenses onto your Composer Pro I or II Composer, Muse, Scout, and Control Freak.

Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic

At its core, the Sweet 80 is an 80mm F2.8 selective focus optic with a 12-blade aperture that closes down to F22. As with Lensbaby’s other ‘Sweet’ optics, you select the size and location of your ‘sweet spot of focus’ by tilting the lens and adjusting the aperture.

Here are a few sample photos captured with the Sweet 80:

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Lensbaby Creative Bokeh Optic

As mentioned above, the Creative Bokeh optic is a 50mm, single-element lens that you attach to a Composer Pro II. Inside you’ll find a 12-blade aperture that ranges from F2.5 to F22, but the built-in aperture isn’t the main draw of this optic.

Instead, Lensbaby is including 11 magnetic drop-in aperture plates that will turn the out-of-focus points of light in your background into a variety of shapes, including: diamonds, dripsplat, slots, swirly, whirlpool, birds, sunburst, heart, star. There are also two blank disks so you can create your own.

Here are some sample images captured with the Creative Bokeh optic:

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Both of the new optics are available now from the Lensbaby store. The Sweet 80 is available by itself for $ 200 or in a kit with the Composer Pro II for $ 380, and the Creative Bokeh optic sells for $ 100.

To learn more, head over to the Lensbaby website.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

Throwback Thursday: the Canon PowerShot G1

21 Sep

It wasn’t the first ‘prosumer’ compact on the market, but it did check off a lot of the items on enthusiasts’ wish lists at the time. The Canon G1, announced to the world on September 18, 2000, offered a great deal of manual control options, a hot shoe, Raw capture and a fully articulated 1.8″ screen. That line would eventually evolve into the present-day PowerShot Gx X series – but it all started 17 years ago this week.

Read our full Canon PowerShot G1 Review

Canon PowerShot G1 sample gallery

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Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

Diversify Photo launches database of photographers of color to promote diversity

21 Sep

Diversify Photo wants to promote greater ethnic inclusion in the world of photography, and they’re taking concrete steps. Step one: Diversify has just established a database of ‘photographers of color’ that will make it easier for art buyers, creative directors and editors to find photographers from a wide range of cultural backgrounds to hire.

The point of the database, says Diversify Photo, is to, “break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded” by equipping those who commission photography with “the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.”

The groups says that calling for greater diversity in the media has proved not to be enough, so it took action by creating this online database. The website features a gallery of images taken by individual photographers, and clicking on any of those pictures takes users to the photographer’s website. The site also offers an email service that explains the self-identified ethnicity of its photographers, along with their areas of expertise and languages spoken.

The site was set up by Brent Lewis, a senior editor at ESPN’s The Undefeated, and independent photo editor Andrea Wise. In an interview Brent told Photo District News that the database was created to show photography buyers, “that there are a lot of talented people out there that they may not see, have the time to go looking for, or just don’t know where to begin to find.”

At the moment there are 340 photographers registered on the site covering a wide range of photographic genres. For more information, and to see their work, visit Diversify.Photo.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

Photo Experiment: Shooting macro photos of boiling water

21 Sep

Recently I’ve become interested in photographing boiling water in a glass tea kettle. It may sound boring and uninteresting, but with the right lighting you can get some truly interesting images.

It began when I was boiling my tea water one day in January this year, and I happened to have my camera with a macro lens and a speedlight mounted, laying nearby. I decided to try what would happen if I photographed the boiling water in the glass tea kettle and was very surprised by the results! It looked like melted metal, and the shapes were a lot more intricate and detailed than I would have expected.

When experimenting with this, I have gotten the best results when using a macro lens with a long focal length. I used my trusty Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro. You could probably get interesting photos with a non-macro lens, but you would likely have to do some cropping to take away the edges of the teakettle and the background, as you wouldn’t be able to focus as closely.

I set the aperture to around F6 or F7 for the sharpest results, and I focus fairly close, but not all the way to 1:1 magnification. I make sure that the room is as dark as possible, as this gives the photos a calmer background. I use either a normal speedlight mounted on the top of the camera, or, for more interesting results, I use two speedlights with colored gels, placed at different angles towards the teakettle.

In this case, I used two Godox TT 685s: cheap but incredibly well-built wireless speedlights.

Finally, I turn on the teakettle and let the water start boiling, while I press the shutter as many times as possible. Be prepared to take a lot of photographs, and know that most of them will turn out only okay. When I recorded my video about this, I took thousands of shots, and only deemed around 10-20 to be “good.” But when you get a nice composition of bubbles, with perfect sharpness and that metallic, futuristic look, it is worth the effort!

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The most interesting photos seem to come at two stages: when the water is boiling the most – when it is total chaos inside that teakettle—and when it has stopped boiling and you only see small, flat bubbles rising from the bottom with some distance between them.

Again, this might seem like a silly, boring idea but photographing boiling water is a fun and interesting experiment to try at home on a rainy day!


Micael Widell is a photography enthusiast based in Stockholm, Sweden. He loves photography, and runs a YouTube channel with tutorials, lens reviews and photography inspiration. You can also find him as @mwroll on Instagram and 500px.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
 

Report: Blackstone working with Morgan Stanley to sell 45% Leica stake

21 Sep
Photo by Alexander Andrews

In early August, Reuters reported that Blackstone was engaging in talks with potential buyers to acquire its 45% stake in Leica. Sources had said at the time that Blackstone was working with an investment bank, though that bank wasn’t named, and that it had already discussed the potential business deal with several possible buyers. Reuters is back with more info about the alleged business plan, revealing that Blackstone is working with Morgan Stanley.

Sources have claimed that Zeiss was interested in possibly acquiring a stake in Leica, but only if it could get a majority of the company. Private equity funds, family investors, and “Asian optics groups” are also claimed among those interested in Blackstone’s 45% stake.

In its most recent report, Reuters said that Blackstone is aiming for a high valuation, banking on the fact that Leica is perceived as a luxury brand versus other big camera companies like Nikon and Canon. No auction for the stake has been started, the sources claim. Neither Blackstone or Morgan Stanley have commented on the report.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Adobe announces record-breaking $1.84 billion in revenue for Q3

21 Sep

Adobe has once again posted record quarterly revenue, this time for the fiscal quarter that ended on September 1, 2017. The software company experienced a 26% year-on-year revenue growth with $ 1.84 billion in its third fiscal quarter this year. Of that, $ 1.27 billion came from the company’s Digital Media segment, including Creative Cloud. On a GAAP basis, Adobe saw its year-on-year net income grow 55% and its operating income grow 48%.

We’ll give you a moment to take that in… 55% net income growth, and a fiscal quarter of $ 1.84 billion. The jump to a subscription model is treating the company VERY well.

This marks yet another high point for Adobe, which previously posted record revenue during its second fiscal quarter ending in June 2017. During its Q2, Adobe made then record-setting $ 1.77 billion with its Digital Media segment having driven that revenue.

Looking forward, Adobe anticipates fourth fiscal quarterly revenue of $ 1.95 billion, which would once again keep it in line with analysts’ expectations and set yet another record. Financial highlights from Adobe for Q3 are listed below:

  • Adobe achieved record quarterly revenue of $ 1.84 billion in its third quarter of fiscal year 2017, which represents 26 percent year-over-year revenue growth.
  • Diluted earnings per share was $ 0.84 on a GAAP-basis, and $ 1.10 on a non-GAAP basis.
  • Digital Media segment revenue was $ 1.27 billion, with Creative revenue growing to $ 1.06 billion.
  • Digital Media Annualized Recurring Revenue (“ARR”) grew to $ 4.87 billion exiting the quarter, a quarter-over-quarter increase of $ 308 million.
  • Adobe Experience Cloud achieved revenue of $ 508 million, which represents 26 percent year-over-year growth.
  • Operating income grew 48 percent and net income grew 55 percent year-over-year on a GAAP-basis; operating income grew 43 percent and net income grew 46 percent year-over-year on a non-GAAP basis.
  • Cash flow from operations was $ 704 million, and deferred revenue grew to approximately $ 2.20 billion.
  • The company repurchased approximately 2.1 million shares during the quarter, returning $ 298 million of cash to stockholders.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Oprema Jena revives Biotar 58mm F2 lens with record-setting 17 aperture blades

21 Sep

After successfully funding the ‘legendary’ Biotar 78mm F1.5 lens through Kickstarter, newly-minted company Oprema Jena is trying to pull off yet another resurrection. This time the crowdfunding platform is Indiegogo, and the lens they’re bringing back is the Biotar 58mm F2: the world’s only lens with a ‘historic’ 17-blade aperture.

Oprema isn’t holding back when it comes to describing this lens in the most epic of terms:

Reengineered to its true historic 17 aperture blade version it will change how you feel about photography. With its unique design the Biotar 58 balances the need for sharpness and bokeh in one lens like no other. It is truly an enchanting miracle bokeh wonder lens for all your photographic situations.

“Miracle bokeh wonder lens” …. there’s a tagline for you. And if that’s not enough, here’s an overly-dramatic introduction to this lens complete with inspiring music and over-zealous presenter voice:

Joking aside, people seem very excited about this old lens coming back. The original design dates back to 1927, and it was introduced to the public around 1937. Unfortunately, due to the war, the original Biotar 58 was only produced in small numbers, and later versions never quite recaptured the original’s flare for dramatic bokeh.

Until (at least according to Oprema Jena) now.

Oprema identified the models that were “most outstanding” from the Biotar’s history, and recreated those while adding in some modern conveniences like rangefinder coupling for Leica users, and modern-day lens mounts for everyone else. Here are some web resolution sample photos so you can judge for yourself if they succeeded in creating a lens worth dropping a grand on:

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Already over 150% funded, it looks like the Biotar 58mm F2 will come to be whether or not anybody else decides to pledge their money and pick one up. But if you want to learn more about this lens and/or drop the $ 950 it’ll take to buy one in either Silver or Black (Super Early Bird level, still 180 available), head over to the Indiegogo campaign by clicking here.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Incredible microscopic close-ups of a peacock feather

21 Sep

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Turkish macro photographer Can Truncer takes his macro work far beyond most macro shooters. Forget 1:1 or even 2:1, when Truncer decides on a project his super macro work requires complex focus stacking rigs, microscope lenses, and 40-images per photo to get everything in focus.

This was the case with his most recent project, Peacock Feather, in which he used three different microscope lenses and a super-macro setup to capture extreme closeups of these colorful marvels.

For this particular project, Truncer used three lenses: a Lomo 3.7x (3.7x magnification), Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 5x (5x magnification), and Nikon CF Plan 10x 0.30 WD 16.5 (10x magnification). Each was mounted to his Canon 6D in turn and, using the light from a single Yongnuo YN-560 III and two Ikea Jansjö LED lamps.

The final rig looked like this:

And these are the three lenses used:

The project took two weeks to complete, during which time Can captured 1,500 images of a single feather in order to create the final focus-stacked series you see at the top. Scroll through the high-res versions for yourself if you need to add a bit of wow-factor to your Wednesday.

And then, if you want to see even more incredible macro photography, you can find more of Can’s work on 500px, Flickr, and Instagram.


All images by Can Truncer and used with permission.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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