Archive for October, 2013

Tennessee in full frame: Sony Alpha 7 real-world samples

31 Oct


The Alpha 7 is Sony’s latest full-frame E-mount mirrorless camera. It’s identical to the A7R in almost every respect. The key difference: a 24 megapixel CMOS sensor with on-chip phase detection. We recently got our hands on a production model Alpha 7 and shot some real-world samples using the Sony FE 24-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS, 35mm F2.8 ZA and FE 55mm F1.8 ZA lenses. See gallery

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Rugged new iON camera may be a GoPro killer

31 Oct


Another tiny, rugged, HD, WiFi-enabled video camera on the market may offer GoPro some real competition. Able to capture 12MP photos and 1080p video, the Air Pro 3 has a 160-degree lens that can be adjusted to be less extreme, but still very wide, 140- or 150-degree angle. Learn more on

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The Hidden Secrets of Lightroom 5’s Loupe View

31 Oct

Lightroom 5 Loupe View

Last week I showed you how to use Lightroom’s Grid View. Once you have customised the Grid View to suit your needs, it is time to move on to the Loupe View. Getting there is easy. Just press the letter ‘E’ on your keyboard. This will take you to the Loupe View from anywhere in Lightroom. Alternatively, if you are in the Grid View, you can press the space bar.

On the surface, Loupe View looks simple. But there are a few things I’d like to show you that you may not be aware of. They are the ‘hidden features’ of Lightroom’s Loupe View, and will help you when you view your images, and assess their potential for creative processing.

Lightroom 5 Loupe View

This is what the Loupe View looks like, with all four side panels removed (use the Shift+Tab keyboard shortcut to hide them from view).

Lightroom 5 Loupe View

The Loupe View is divided into two parts. The Content window (yellow) occupies the main part of the screen. The selected photo is displayed here.

The Toolbar (red) lies along the bottom. Press ‘T’ to reveal it if it isn’t there. The same key hides the Toolbar if you press it again.

The main difference between the Loupe View and the Grid View is that you can only view one image at a time in the Loupe View.

The hidden features

Of course, these features are not really hidden. But if you are not aware of them they may just as well be. They are all useful, so it’s worth taking a few minutes to learn how to use them.

Library view options

When you press the ‘I’ key on the keyboard Lightroom displays some information about the photo you are looking at in Loupe View. Press the ‘I’ key again and the information changes. Finally, press it once more to hide the information:

Lightroom 5 Loupe View

The first information overlay displays the filename, the time and date the photo was taken, and the image size (in pixels).

Lightroom 5 Loupe View

The second overlay shows the filename, the exposure settings (shutter speed, aperture and ISO) and the focal length and lens used. This is handy for checking the camera settings when you are viewing your images.

Here’s the hidden feature: Did you know you can customise the information overlays to display the information that you want them to? Go to View > View Options to bring up the Library View Options window. Here you can tell Lightroom which information to display in each information overlay:

Lightroom 5 Loupe View

Mirror image mode

Wondering how your photo would look if it was back to front? Just go to View > Enable Mirror Image Mode to see:

Lightroom 5 Loupe View

Grids and guides

Lightroom 5 Loupe View

To reveal the grids and guides, tick the Show Grid box in the Toolbar. Use the slider to set the size of the squares. If you hold the Cmd key down (PC owners should use the Ctrl key) you can also alter the size of the grid and the opacity of the lines by mousing over the Size and Opacity settings displayed at the top:

Lightroom 5 Loupe View

Note: If you don’t see the Show Grid box, click on the white arrow on the right hand side of the Toolbar and select Grid Overlay from the menu. Lightroom removes any unticked options in this menu from the Toolbar.

Lightroom 5 Loupe View

Next, go to View > Loupe Overlay and select the Guides option. This turns the central horizontal and vertical grid lines into guides that you can move by holding down the Cmd (Mac) or Ctrl (PC) keys. They come in useful for checking things like the straightness of horizons and buildings.

Lightroom 5 Loupe View

Untick the Show Grid box to see the Guides by themselves.

The Loupe Overlay

The final hidden feature is something that is more likely to interest professional photographers than hobbyists. But it comes in handy as a creative exercise if you have any interest in submitting images to stock libraries or to magazines.

When buying images for editorial use, magazines often look for photos with empty space where they can lay out headings or text. The Loupe Overlay feature lets you display an overlay containing text over the top of your image so you can see whether the composition of your image provides enough space. While pros can obtain an official file from their client, there’s nothing to stop you making up your own.

Go to View > Loupe Overlay > Layout Image. Navigate to the folder containing your overlay and open it. The file must be saved as a PNG file, which supports transparency.

Lightroom 5 Loupe View

In this example, you can see that the portrait isn’t composed in a way that works with the sample text. It would have been better if the model was further to the right in the frame.

Mastering Lightroom Book One: The Library Module

Lightroom 5 Loupe View

My latest ebook Mastering Lightroom Book One: The Library Module is a complete guide to using Lightroom’s Library module to import, organise and search your photo files. You’ll learn how to tame your growing photo collection using Collections and Collection Sets, and how to save time so you can spend more time in the Develop module processing your photos.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

The Hidden Secrets of Lightroom 5’s Loupe View

The post The Hidden Secrets of Lightroom 5’s Loupe View by Andrew Gibson appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Canon updates firmware for EOS 5D Mark III

31 Oct


Canon has released firmware version 1.2.3 for the EOS 5D Mark III, which fixes four bugs (including one in which the flash may not fire when the shutter is pressed) and adds the ability to adjust LCD brightness when an HDMI cable is connected. For the full list of fixes – and a link to the update – follow the link.

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Canon EOS 70D Review

31 Oct

Canon EOS 70D Review.jpg

It seems such a long time since this camera’s predecessor — Canon EOS 60D — was launched. And it was. About this time, three years ago and lots has happened in the interval. MILCs are here for one thing but there are still plenty of DSLR-coholics craving for an optical view of the world.

I have to admit I am prone to slaver a little when I look through an optical viewfinder. Just like the old days!

The camera was reviewed with the Canon EF-S f3.5/18-35mm IS STM lens. The camera, in Canon’s lineup, is located above the EOS 700D.

Canon EOS 70D Review top.jpg

Canon EOS 70D Review back.jpg

Canon EOS 70D Features

  • This is the first DSLR camera to have all-new Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology. Two photodiodes are mounted within each pixel, both of which can be read independently to achieve autofocus or together for image capture.
  • The AF system for stills has 19 cross-type AF points spread across the frame.
  • Effective pixel count is 20.2 megapixels on the APS-C sized CMOS sensor.
  • A 14-bit DIGIC 5+ processor is used.
  • The 70D captures full res images at up to 7 fps for a continuous burst of up to 65 JPEG or 16 RAW images.
  • HDR from three images.
  • Creative filters (grainy, soft focus, fish eye effect etc).
  • ISO range is 100-12800 (expandable to 25600).
  • The 7.7cm LCD touch screen has a 1,040,000 dot resolution.
  • With Wi-Fi connectivity, users can connect to the EOS Remote app as well as remotely use Live View mode.
  • External mic input.
  • The camera captures a maximum image size of 5472×3648 pixels or 46x31cm as a print.

Movies can be shot in MPEG4 up to Full HD at 1920×1080 pixels resolution.

Yes, you can shoot stills in the middle of a video recording but the video is briefly interrupted.

A neat feature is video snapshot: each short clip can be set to last two, four or eight seconds; you can add each clip to the tally as you shoot so you end up with a bunch of short videos, neatly edited together. To be honest, I haven’t found a place for the feature in my style of video making … but give it time!


The camera gains (or loses!) from the small sensor in that the whole package is less daunting in size and weight than a full frame DSLR.

The speed grip at right is substantial so your right fingers can grasp it securely. Left hand holds left of the body and you could maybe fire away with a single (right) handed grasp — but you’d need practice.


Tucked away, behind the lens, is the button which kicks up the flash cell; external wireless flash can also be hooked up.

Top: against the usual approach, the power lever is sited to the extreme left, right next to the ten position mode dial. This has a useful locking button so your setting won’t shift.

Canon EOS 70D Review Scene Filters.jpg

On it are positions for auto, PASM plus Bulb, flash off, special scenes (portrait, landscape etc), creative auto (aperture control, single/continuous shooting and flash options) and a custom setting.

Just beneath this dial are the menu and info buttons.

Top, off to the right: dioptric control for the optical finder, status screen (plus its light button) topped by buttons for AF, single/continuous shooting, ISO and metering mode. A little forward is the command dial, aperture/shutter speed button … and of course, the shutter button.

If you’re looking for some way to preview depth of field, then head to the lens barrel and a tiny button in its base.

Rear: off to the right you’ll find a button and lever which takes you from the optical finder view to the Live one, then gives you the option of shooting stills or video. Quite a good arrangement.

Further right is an AF start/stop button, one for auto exposure lock and another for selection of the AF point or zone.

Lower down is the Quick control button that takes you rapidly into such areas as single/continuous shooting, metering modes, image size etc.

If you think the 70D provides multiple access points to camera controls … you’re right!

Canon EOS 70D Review Q button.jpg

Beneath the Q button is replay, trash and the multi controller (plus SET button). Lower still is the lock button which can prevent the main dial, Quick control dial and multi controller from shifting and an accidental alteration of a setting.

If you’re in the habit of passing your camera around to others for a shoot, this will lock in your carefully chosen settings!

Canon EOS 70D Review Tree.JPG

Canon EOS 70D Review Wedding girls 1.JPG

Jacaranda and house 1.JPG

Canon EOS 70D Review Chile tapestry 1.JPG

Get Going

Possibly a measure of this control layout is how easy the camera is to pick up and get going. Or not!

On test sessions my first chore is to shoot the ISO tests. Dealing with the camera’s controls fresh out of the box is usually a good indicator of camera user friendliness.

OK. Go to the mode dial. Set it to aperture priority. Next, select a small, focus friendly aperture. Move to the front command dial; there is no rear dial, so Canon calls this one the ‘main dial’. Wind it down to f16. Cool.

Next, I want to set the ISO number. Move to the tiny button on top, marked ‘ISO’.

I want to use manual focus, so I next headed for the lens barrel and switch it from AF to MF. Nearby also is the stabiliser on/off switch.

Easy peasy. And I was up and away!

The menu arrangement is comprehensive and easy to follow — but it is extensive! I suggest you become familiar with it as there are many options and you could easily find yourself bamboozled.

Canon EOS 70D ISO Tests

Canon ESO 70D ISO 100.JPG

Canon ESO 70D ISO 400.JPG

Canon ESO 70D ISO 800.JPG

Canon ESO 70D ISO 1600.JPG

Canon ESO 70D ISO 3200.JPG

Canon ESO 70D ISO 6400.JPG

Canon ESO 70D ISO 12800.JPG

Noise only became noticeable at ISO 6400. Useable.

There was a substantial increase in noise at ISO 12800. A little dodgy.

Canon EOS 70D Review Verdict

Quality: I was quite blown away by the quality of this camera’s images; not only were they super sharp but the coloration was dead accurate.

The focus was super fast and super accurate. The stabiliser works well, esp in video shooting. Note: three handheld scenes in the video clip were shot without the stabiliser in action.

So I reshot one more video shot (the wall and gate) with the stabiliser in play. Much better!

Why you’d buy the Canon EOS 70D: a DSLR that won’t break your bank or bend your shoulders.

Why you wouldn’t buy the Canon EOS 70D: check your expertise level!

One of the best new models I have seen for a while.

Canon EOS 70D Specifications

Image Sensor: 20.2 million effective pixels.
Metering: 63 zone, centre-weighted, spot, partial.
Lens Mount: Canon EF/EF-S.
Exposure Modes: Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.
Effective Sensor Size: APS-C 22.3x15mm CMOS.
35 SLR Lens Factor: 1.6x.
Shutter Speed (stills): 30 to 1/8000 second and Bulb; X-sync at 1/250 sec.
Continuous Shooting: 7 fps.
Memory: SD/SDHC/SDXC cards.
Image Sizes (pixels): Stills: 5472×3648 to 480×480.
Movies: 1920×1080 (30p/25p/24p), 1280×720 (60p/50p), 640×480 (30p/25p).
Viewfinder: Optical plus 7.7cm LCD screen (1,040,000 pixels).
File Formats: JPEG, 14-bit RAW, JPEG+RAW, MPEG4.
Colour Space: sRGB, Adobe RGB.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 12800, 25,600 (expanded).
Interface: USB 2.0, HDMI mini, WiFi, mic, remote.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, DC input.
Dimensions: 139x104x79 WHDmm.
Weight: 855 g (inc battery).
Price: Get a price on the Canon EOS 70D (body only) or Canon EOS 70D with EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM lens.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Canon EOS 70D Review

The post Canon EOS 70D Review by Barrie Smith appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Adobe hack affects 38 million users, not 2.9 million

30 Oct


A security breach at Adobe Systems earlier this month is more widespread than first reported. Adobe now says hackers stole information from at least 38 million customer accounts, including part of the source code to Photoshop, the widely used photo editing software. Earlier in the month, Adobe said data from 2.9 million user accounts were hacked. Learn more

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Dark Tower: Decay Inside Africa’s Tallest Apartment Complex

30 Oct

[ By WebUrbanist in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

ponte apartment context

Before a long descent into darkness, the cylindrical Ponte City Apartments began life as a luxurious tribute to growth and wealth in Johannesburg , filled with envy-worthy units looking out in all directions. But after years of decline and false restarts, what direction is next for the highest residential skyscraper on the continent?

dark tower spire detail

ponte apartment trash

As remarked in the film above by Philip Bloom, the transformation of this iconic 54-story, mixed-use tower in South Africa has been astonishing. “It really was icon of decadence … wealth and exuberance” with three-story units and Jacuzzi tubs – a “premier location in the city” for people “making a lot of cash.” As part of an exodus from the city center, rapid changes took place.

dark tower up down

The center of the circular plan looked excellent in theory – a way for light to enter the back side of apartments looking into the core. There were even plans for an indoor ski slope to accompany the various shops and eateries on the lower levels.

dark interior core views

In practice, it slowly became a kind of black hole filled with three stories of detritus at the bottom and marked by unwashed walls all the way up. It also developed a reputation for defenestrations – accidents, suicides and otherwise.

dark building exterior view

Investors just before the global financial crisis began to re-envision and rehabilitate the structure, but the renovations stopped as abruptly as the market crashed, leaving an ambiguous future for this iconic structure.

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Dark Tower Decay Inside Africas Tallest Apartment Complex

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Sony Cyber-shot RX10 Real-world Samples

30 Oct


The Sony RX10 is a 20MP zoom compact camera with a 1 inch sensor and a 28-300mm (equivalent) constant-aperture F2.8 lens. We were impressed by its features and handling when we used it recently, and this week we’ve been using a production-quality sample, in an effort to get a feel for what it can do. Click through for a gallery of real-world samples shot on the RX10 in a range of different environments and lighting conditions. 

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30. Oktober 2013

30 Oct

Ein Beitrag von: Lotta Heinz

© Lotta Heinz

kwerfeldein – Fotografie Magazin

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Lens reviews update: the Sigma 120-300mm F2.8, and Nikon telephotos

30 Oct


DxOMark has recently tested the Sigma 120-300mmm DG OS HSM, and as part of our ongoing collaboration we’ve added the test data to our lens widget. We’ve also added a range of Nikon telephoto lenses including the AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED VR, which can be compared with each other and their Canon counterparts. Click through for more details and analysis.

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