Posts Tagged ‘Camera’

Nikon D3: The camera that changed everything

28 May

In 2007, after several years of lagging behind Canon in the enthusiast and professional DSLR market, Nikon was doing alright. Not spectacularly, but they were hanging in there. The D200 was a popular and capable enthusiast model, and the professional D2x was a significant advance on the muddled ‘h’ and ‘s’ releases of the past. But it was their biggest competitor that seemed to have all the momentum. While Canon had been using APS-H and full-frame sensors for years, none of Nikon’s DSLRs offered sensors bigger than APS-C, and Canon still ruled the roost in terms of autofocus1 and high ISO imaging capability.

But around that time, we had an inkling that Nikon had something big on the way. Not a company prone to grand gestures, Nikon invited the world’s press (and I do mean the world’s press) to Tokyo, in the sapping humidity of a Japanese heatwave for a top secret announcement…

The magnesium alloy-bodied D3 was as tough as anything that Canon ever brought to market, but offered a combination of speed, sensitivity and autofocus performance that the industry had never seen before. 

Ten years ago, camera technology was advancing continuously, and quickly. For quite a long time, it seemed like every new generation of digital cameras was better than the last in ways that camera buyers (and reviewers) actually cared about. Obviously, each new cycle brought more megapixels, but equally as important were the ergonomic and performance improvements that made each new generation of cameras easier to use, and more effective than the last.

Buzz Aldrin, in London to mark the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing.

Nowhere were these advances more obvious than in the professional DSLR segment. Compare the original EOS-1D of 2001 to the EOS-1D Mark IV of 2010. They look similar, but in terms of usability and image quality they’re worlds apart.

Let’s take usability, to start with. If we look at just the screen interfaces alone, in less than a decade, LCDs got bigger, and much sharper. Live view became standard, and, camera menu systems evolved from messy lists that looked like Windows ME error messages to friendly tabs and mobile-inspired icons.

My personal D3S, nestled alongside a D810 and several lenses in a Pelican case. It’s still great, and I still use it.

The 4MP Canon EOS-1D is still capable of turning out decent-looking images for web and limited print use, and it can do so impressive quickly (8 fps ain’t bad for a sixteen year-old DSLR). But the EOS-1D Mark IV offered four times the pixel count, better image quality across the board, including a far superior high ISO imaging capability, a faster continuous shooting rate, and a much more sophisticated autofocus system – plus live view and movie mode.

High Barn, not far from where I grew up, in North Yorkshire. 12MP might not be much by 2017 standards, but it’s enough for a high quality 13-inch print.

All of this is by way of preamble. The point (finally! He gets to the point!) is that even by the fast-paced standards of the professional DSLR market in the mid 2000s, the Nikon D3 was a major technological achievement. Arguably, (and I admit it’s a big ‘arguably’) the EOS-1D Mark IV and its successors might not have been quite such advanced cameras without the technological game-upping that Canon had to do in the years following the launch of the D3.

Nikon D3 Sample Images (2008)

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As a working photographer and photography writer at the time, the D3 was (and remains, actually) the single most impactful product to be released during my career. Before Nikon’s presentation in Tokyo had even drawn to a close,2 our industry’s expectations of what a DSLR could do had been shifted.

Until the D3, you could either have a fast cropped sensor DSLR, or a slow full-frame one – not both. Until the D3, the maximum ISO sensitivity setting that you might be able to shoot at was either 1600 or 3200 (depending on the model), and even then, not particularly confidently. Until the D3 (and its sister model the D300) came along, if you wanted the best autofocus performance, there was no question – you bought Canon.

Melody Gardot, performing in London. The D3’s shutter sounds like someone just dropped a cribbage board onto a marble floor, but the D3S introduced a fairly discreet ‘Q’ mode.

I was happily shooting with a Canon EOS-1D Mark II when the D3 was released. For the kind of photography I was doing at the time, the Mark II was one of the best cameras on the market, and did the job perfectly well – or so I thought. I felt the same way about the 1D Mark II in 2007 as I did about my Nokia 3210. Solid, reliable, and elegant in its own way. A useful and streamlined tool.

At risk of overstating the point, the D3 was to my EOS-1D Mark II what the iPhone was to the Nokia 3210: a paradigm shift.3 

Florence Welch, shot with the D3’s successor, the D3S. The D3S added some welcome tweaks over the D3, including in-camera sensor cleaning, and slightly improved high ISO image quality.

Using the D3, I could shoot quickly and without a crop factor for the first time. I could capture full-color images in light so low that my own eyes couldn’t fully discern what I was looking at (and the AF could usually keep up). I could shoot at ISO 6400, and marvel at the moderate film-like grain – a grain pattern that wasn’t distracting at all, and showed no banding. The D3’s autofocus system was at least a generation ahead of what I was used to in terms of tracking too, allowing me to reliably use AF-C, even with off-center AF points in poor light. 

Nikon D3S Sample Images (2010)

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In practical terms, this meant that I could capture images of performers in light so marginal that none of the other photographers working alongside me were able to get a sharp exposure.

A couple of times during my first few months of shooting with the D3 (when I had the camera for review, but before it was shipping in significant numbers) I found myself alone in the photo pit at a small venue, still shooting in punishingly low light after the other photographers had given up and left.4

But it wasn’t just performance photographers that were amazed by the D3. Wildlife photographers, too, were raving about this amazing new camera that let them shoot in full color, in situations where previously they would have been limited to infrared. Like I said, it was a paradigm shift.

The D3S has accompanied me on a few shooting trips in 2017, including a protest against the Trump administration’s attempted travel ban, back in January. 

So of course I bought one. I sold all my Canon gear, took a hit on the exchange, ate tinned food for a few months and picked up a D3 with a 24-70mm F2.8. I added more lenses over the following couple of years when I could afford to, and ultimately traded the D3 for a D3S. The D3S added in-camera sensor-cleaning (one of the D3’s few deficiencies), even better high ISO image quality and a basic HD video function. That was around the same time I started to write for DPReview, and about a year after that we moved to America and I mostly stopped shooting live music.

My life has changed a lot since then, but I still have my D3S and I still use it – mostly now as a second camera for event photography. And no, Dan Bracaglia – I’m not selling, so stop asking.

A still from a commercial shoot for a young singer-songwriter, Anna Sinfield, in 2008. She’s a producer, these days, for UK radio.

One last anecdote…

Not long after the D3’s launch, back in London, I spoke to a young Nikon engineer who had been heavily involved in the design of the new camera. He was visiting from Tokyo. He brought with him two sets of prints – one set from the then-current Canon EOS-1D Mark III, and an equivalent set from the D3. Pointing to the shots from the Canon, he said “in my opinion, these look like digital images”. Turning to the images from the D3 he said “but these look like photographs”.

That might sound like hyperbole, but the thing is – he was right.

1. Setting aside the much-reported and in my opinion overblown autofocus woes of the EOS-1D Mark III.

2. In addition to the cameras, the presentation was also memorable for a closing appeal from a very senior Nikon executive to the assembled US press. Please – he requested – please pronounce ‘Nikon’ correctly as ‘Nick-on’ not ‘Nye-con’ – a plea that was of course completely ignored by all concerned. That trip was also the first time I encountered a Geisha (it would not be the last).

3. If the D3 had come loaded with ‘Snake II’ it would have been perfect. Actually, given the amount of time professional photographers spend just waiting around, I’ve always wondered why simple arcade games weren’t pre-loaded on professional DSLRs. 

4. The Pogues – I’m looking at you. Or rather, I was trying to…

Articles: Digital Photography Review (


How do you know you need a new camera?

27 May


For the vast majority of shooting I do, even on weddings, I find my aging DSLR is still more than enough camera for the job. After all, it’s the photographer, not the camera, right?
Nikon 35mm F2 D
ISO 200 | 1/1000 sec | F8

‘Do I need a new camera?’

Unsurprisingly, I get that question a lot. I also ask myself that question a lot, especially after working at DPReview for the last eighteen months. My answer has always been ‘no.’

Until now, that is.

You see, I shoot all my personal work on a Nikon D700. Why is that, you might ask? Well, I was handed-me-down a Nikon D80 way back, built up a collection of lenses, and followed the (questionable, these days) full-frame upgrade path. And once I got there, to my used (and abused) D700, I abruptly stopped. What on earth did I need more camera for?

I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of this D700 because a) it’s covered in tape to hold it together, so its ugly and therefore worthless to most resellers, and b) it’s been around the world with me and back again, and hasn’t missed a beat.

It still shoots 5fps, and that’s usually enough for weddings and events. Exposed properly, ISO 6400 is perfectly usable. It’s stood up to everything I’ve thrown at it (and accidentally thrown it at). And, most importantly, I’ve become familiar with all of its ins and outs, and how to work around its limitations. I am able operate it completely by muscle memory and, despite its aging tech, I’ve been confident that if I didn’t get the shot, it wasn’t the camera’s fault – it was mine.

With my flash and exposure set, focusing and grabbing this image of a soloing saxophonist on the dance floor didn’t pose much of a problem for the D700 and an 85mm F1.8 D lens I was using – but that wasn’t always the case.
ISO 6400 | 1/200 sec | F1.8

But as I was shooting a recent wedding, the Nikon D5 kept popping up in my mind. I was lead reviewer for that camera, and this nagging voice kept saying ‘the D5 could make this so much easier.’ And when a camera makes the task of capturing an image easier, my mind is that much more free to focus on composition, lighting, posing, and so on.

So am I buying a D5? Well, not without selling my motorcycle and my car, which would be a problem for getting to gigs since Nikon hasn’t included teleportation into their $ 6500 flagship. But now I’m finally looking at something a bit newer, and not just because I think it’ll make things easier for me.

Megapixels do matter

Sometimes, anyway.

For my own casual photography, for when I want to just take a camera along and document a camping trip, a friend’s barbecue or snap some photos at Thanksgiving, 12 megapixels is plenty. No one’s printing these photos big, and friends and family are just going to put them on Facebook or Instagram anyway. Maybe, just maybe, I might make some 4×6’s.

It’s for these sorts of wider group shots that I really came to lean on my second shooter’s higher megapixel cameras.
Canon 35mm F2 IS
ISO 100 | 1/1000 | F3.5
Photograph by David Rzegocki

Then my second shooter and I were wandering around the grounds of the University of Washington in Seattle with the bridal party, and shooting some more expansive group shots; shots that I knew that if people zoomed in to their faces on my D700 files, they could be disappointed. So I borrowed my partner’s 6D (or just let him frame up the shot) to make sure that, should they want to make some prints, or just take a closer look at their dresses and suits, they had the resolution they needed.

Now, I said they could be disappointed. There’s every chance that they wouldn’t care. But I’m reaching the point in my freelance career that it just wasn’t a risk I was willing to take.

‘What? The autofocus missed?’

Now don’t get me wrong – the pro-grade autofocus system in the D700, lifted directly from the D3, is still pretty fantastic. Most of the time. But I’m increasingly realizing that I want a system to be fantastic all of the time – there were a few strange autofocus mishaps I experienced that cost me a shot I was hoping to nail.

Surely it’s more about the mixed, dim lighting and old screw lenses than the camera in this case, right? On the contrary, I knew from my time with the D5 that Nikon’s newest autofocus system absolutely sings even with older lenses like mine, with a level of precision in marginal light that I’d expect from the D700 in bright daylight.

All I wanted a quick candid of the back of the bride’s necklace. It looks okay at 590 pixels, but zoom in any further and it’s soft, despite the lens being stopped down and the autofocus point having been placed over the necklace (so plenty of contrast).
Nikon 85mm F1.8 D
ISO 200 | 1/320 sec | F2.8

Lastly, as many times as I have insisted to our technical editor Rishi that 3D Tracking works ‘just fine’ on the D700, I shall now be unceremoniously cramming those words into my mouth. It was so unreliable compared to the newer models that I fell back on manually placing my autofocus point. I’d been doing this for years before I experimented with tracking on the D700, so my muscle memory came back pretty quickly, but I still knew I was taking a step backward and making just a little more work for myself.

Plus, that eight-way controller on the D700 is like an undercooked banana loaf; it’s just a mushy mess.

So what’s next?

Nikon 35mm F2 D
ISO 200 | 1/1600 sec | F8

I have officially sold one of my two D700’s (the one that’s in mint condition, not the one that’s dented and covered in gaff tape to keep the grip rubber on). And as for now, I’m not really sure what’s next – Nikon would probably be my first choice, as I still have plenty of lenses, but I’m totally open for some camera-brand soul searching.

One thing’s for certain, though. I’m going to take my time with this one. That’s because I want the next ‘main camera’ to be one that I can keep and be as satisfied with as long as possible, just like the D700. This may sound odd coming from a camera reviewer, but I just don’t want to upgrade all the time. I want to build up the same level of muscle memory I had with my old Nikon, and besides that, I have enough other interests and expenses that if a new camera won’t make a really measurable difference for my style of photography, it’s best to just skip it.

But then again – if I hadn’t had the opportunity to experiment not just with the Nikon D5, but also cameras like the Nikon D750, Canon EOS 5D IV, Sony a7R II, the Olympus E-M1 (original and Mark II), Panasonic GH5, Fujifilm X-T2 and many, many more, I wouldn’t have known what I’m missing.

Nikon 50mm F1.4D
ISO 6400 | 1/200 sec | F2

Now, for better (for my photography) or worse (for my bank account), I do know what I’ve been missing. After having so many opportunities to try out all those alternatives, I unequivocally know that a newer, updated camera could really benefit me as a photographer. And that’s how, finally, I know that it’s a good time for a change.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (


How one photographer 3D printed this beautiful medium format camera

27 May
It’s named PK-6142016, aka the ‘Cycloptic Mustard Monster,’ and is a 3D printed medium format camera with a Kreuznach 90mm f/8 Super Angulon lens attached.

Photographer Paul Kohlhausen has created what he calls a ‘really precisely engineered box,’ the PK-6142016 ‘Cycloptic Mustard Monster’ medium format analog camera. Kohlhaussen designed the camera himself using Autodesk Fusion 360 and produced it via a 3D printer and SLS polyamide material. The Cycloptic Mustard Monster utilizes 120mm film and produces 6×14 cm negatives.

Kohlhausen detailed the camera on his website, where he explains that he used a Schneider Kreuznach 90mm f/8 Super Angulon lens designed for 4×5 cameras, with focusing being possible via fixed spacer brackets. Camera features include a viewfinder and a removable top plate for inserting film. In an interview with The Phoblographer, Kohlhaussen stated that he is considering launching the product on Kickstarter, but difficulties sourcing the aforementioned lens may be a hindrance.

Via: The Phoblographer

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Arsenal is artificial intelligence for your DSLR or mirrorless camera

26 May

A new product being funded on Kickstarter, Arsenal, aims to simplify the process of capturing images using a DSLR or mirrorless camera by utilizing artificial intelligence. The system is composed of a hardware component sits on the hotshoe and connects to the camera’s USB port, as well as mobile apps for iOS and Android that communicate via WiFi or Bluetooth to the main unit. Among other things, Arsenal chooses ideal camera settings for a particular scene based on what it has learned from thousands of similar existing photographs.

Arsenal was created by engineer and photographer Ryan Stout as a way to quickly shoot ‘amazing images’ in any condition, and without having to manually adjust the camera’s settings. The related mobile app provides total control over the camera, as well as one-tap access to an AI assistant – trained from a database of millions of photographs and their metadata – that chooses optimal settings based on the scene in front of the camera. The software then goes on to refine its chosen settings based on 18 environmental factors. It even takes vibrations into account, thanks to its highly sensitive accelerometer.

Photographers are given a live preview of the scene through the mobile app, as well as manual control over aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. You can focus by tapping on your phone’s touchscreen as well, or tap multiple points and Arsenal will ensure they’re all focused. Arsenal also supports advanced camera functions, like automated photo stacking for HDR images, focus stacking, long exposures without the need for ND filters, and time lapse creation. The resulting Raw files are saved directly to the camera.

Images on your camera can be viewed, even at 100%, directly in the app. From there you can instantly share to social media using your phone’s social sharing capabilities. You can even rate images and enter Lightroom compatible notes, and they’ll all show up upon import.

Arsenal supports cameras from Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, and Sony; photographers can input their own camera on this page to see whether it is supported. The camera assistant is currently being funded through Kickstarter, where the $ 50,000 goal has been exceeded with nearly a quarter-million in funding. Backers can get a Kickstarter Exclusive Arsenal by pledging at least $ 150; shipping is estimated to start in January.

Our gallery below explains more about Arsenal’s features. View full-screen for captions.

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Via: Kickstarter

Press Release:

Arsenal, leaving stealth mode, unveils AI-powered camera hardware on Kickstarter

Intelligent camera assistant wirelessly controls DSLR and Mirrorless cameras from a smartphone, uses machine learning to find optimal settings in any conditions.

BOSEMAN, MT—May 23, 2017—Arsenal, a camera technology startup, today announced the world’s first intelligent camera assistant powered by machine learning. The new hardware and software product, launched on Kickstarter, enables photographers to wirelessly control their cameras and quickly perform advanced techniques.

Arsenal’s artificial intelligence (AI) is powered by a series of machine learning algorithms trained on a database of millions of photographs and their metadata. By comparing new scenes with its database and adjusting based on environmental variables, Arsenal enables photographers to get the perfect shot every time.

“Today’s cameras have amazing optics, but they do very little to actually help you take a good photo,” said Ryan Stout, Arsenal’s founder and CEO. “You can go spend a thousand dollars and out-of-the-box it will take worse photos than your smartphone. Arsenal changes that by making your existing camera smarter.”

Arsenal will serve the growing market for Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) and Mirrorless cameras. Its initial product will be compatible with dozens of popular models made by Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fuji.

In addition to its AI capabilities, Arsenal gives photographers control over their camera from up to 100 feet away. Users can adjust settings, watch a live preview, and trigger the shutter remotely from their smartphone.

Arsenal also simplifies several advanced photographic techniques. Arsenal will perform photo stacking (the process of combining multiple photos for more dynamic range or sharper focus), long exposures, and timelapses. In each case, the resulting RAW files are saved directly on the camera.

The Arsenal app also includes powerful photo review capabilities. Users can wirelessly browse the photos on their camera’s card and view individual RAW files in full resolution. Photos can then be shared directly to Instagram, Snap, and Facebook.

The Arsenal system, which is currently being tested in the field, consists of two parts: an ultralight hardware device that sits on top of a user’s camera, and an iOS/Android mobile app. The app wirelessly communicates with the device via wifi or Bluetooth, which in turn controls the camera via a micro-USB connection.

Backers of Arsenal’s Kickstarter campaign will be the first to receive the product, which is scheduled to ship in January 2018.  

For more information on Arsenal, the intelligent camera assistant, visit

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Kodak EKTRA ‘camera first’ smartphone now available in US

24 May

The Kodak EKTRA, the company’s ‘camera first’ smartphone, is now available to purchase in the United States. The Android smartphone, which was first announced in October 2016, features a 21MP camera and a design reminiscent of point-and-shoot cameras. The handset has been available to purchase in Europe for a handful of months, and now US consumers can buy the model unlocked with support for GSM mobile networks for $ 399.99 USD.

Coinciding with the launch is software update version 2.009.00/_A for the smartphone,  which Kodak says it is zeroing in on requests from its ‘photo-enthusiast’ customers. The update brings improved autofocus performance, better color saturation and white balance, and the addition of raw image support, among other things.

The full software changelog:

  • Enhanced single handed camera functionality; when the camera app is enabled the Android touch buttons are now disabled to avoid an accidental press when using the camera with one hand
  • Added RAW file support in manual mode; shooting in RAW records all the data from the sensor enabling more sophisticated image processing options
  • Improved auto focus making in quicker and more accurate
  • Improved Face Detection performance for better portrait photos
  • Optimisations to the Auto White Balance and colour saturation
  • Improvements to shutter speed performance
  • New option to disable Auto Scene Detection in smart auto mode
  • New shutter effect to provide visual indication of when a picture is taken
  • Enhanced low light performance
  • Optimisations to the noise reduction algorithm from ISO 100-6400
  • Introduces a new ‘How To’ camera tutorial on the new functionality

Via: BusinessWire

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Makers of the Panono 108MP 360-degree camera filing for bankruptcy

24 May

German media reports that the founders of the company behind the Panono 360-degree ball camera have filed for insolvency proceedings at a court in Berlin, Germany. Unfortunately this means it’s very unlikely that the backers of the original crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo will ever receive their camera. 

The small number of buyers who purchased a Panono through retail channels after the Indiegogo campaign could be affected as well. At this point it is unknown if the the Panono servers, which power the automatic stitching of the Panono’s 360-degree images, will remain functional for the foreseeable future.  

Initially things had gone well for the German start-up. The Indiegogo campaign generated 1.25 million dollars in 2013. However, it soon became obvious that the team had miscalculated the development time for the camera which back then only existed in prototype form.

The final product was due to ship in 2014 but instead there was only a second prototype in February 2015. A few months later first shipments were announced, but not to the project backers. Instead the cameras went to retail customers who paid a considerably higher prices. It appears at this point the company had already run out of money and was hoping to generate additional funds for mass production and eventual shipping to project backers. 

Now it seems this plan has not worked out either and remaining funds have dried up. We had the chance to test both a prototype and final product of the Panono camera and were quite impressed by the technology. 360-degree cameras are now much more widely available than in 2013 but none of the affordable models offer the Panono’s 108MP resolution and image detail. 

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Olympus cleans up at Camera Grand Prix 2017

21 May

The Japanese Camera Journal Press Club has awarded Olympus three out of its four annual prizes after voting by photographic magazine editors and readers. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 ll came away with both the Camera of the Year award and the Readers award, while the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO won Lens of the Year.

The club, which was established in 1963, has ten member magazines and websites that each test and review camera equipment. The members come together with affiliated magazines to determine the best products released during the period between April and March each year. This year the OM-D E-M 1 ll attracted attention for its high speed AF system and frame rates that exceed those achievable by even top-end DSLR cameras.

Olympus didn’t wipe the board entirely though, as the Editor’s Award went to the Nikon D500 for its professional AF system and modest price, and the Fujifilm GFX 50S for its resolution and handling as well as for popularizing medium-format again.

For more information and to read why each of the products was awarded see the Camera Journal Press Club of Japan website.

Camera GP Japan information

Camera Grand Prix 2017 / CJPC

Camera Grand Prix is held by Camera Journal Press Club (CJPC, Japan), a group of representatives from magazines or websites specializing in photos and cameras. CJPC, established in September 1963, has 10 members from the media as of April 2017. The selection committee, organized under the auspices of CJPC’s Camera Grand Prix Executive Committee, deliberates and selects the best products to give the four awards from among those introduced into the market during the previous fiscal year (from April 1 to March 31).

Camera Grand Prix “Camera of the Year” is granted to a still camera recognized as the best of all released during the period. “Lens of the Year” is awarded to the best lens launched in the Japanese market, while “Readers Award” is determined by general camera users’ vote on a dedicated website. (The voting period in 2017 was from March 18 to April 9.) In addition, CJPC members give “Editors Award” to a camera or another form of photography-related product, excluding the one awarded “Camera of the Year”, in consideration for the product’s popularity, topicality, and innovativeness.

Camera of The Year
The award went to the OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1 Mark II
(production company : Olympus Corporation.)

Lens of The Year
The award went to the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO
(production company : Olympus Corporation.)

Readers Award
The Readers Award went to the OM-D E-M1 Mark II (production company : Olympus Corporation.). The award was stablished in 2008, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Camera Grand Prix. The winner is selected by general readers’ votes.

Editors Award
As the result of a conference of C.J.P.C. members, the D500 (production company : Nikon Corporation,) and the GFX 50S(production company : Fujifilm Corporation.) were selected for Editors Award.

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Impossible Project launches special edition Two-Tone B&W Polaroid 600 camera

20 May

Impossible Project has announced the launch of a ‘strictly limited edition’ Two-Tone Black and White Polaroid 600 camera. This camera is a refurbished original Polaroid 600 redesigned with a custom two-tone paint job, according to the company, and it is exclusively available via the Impossible Project website.

In describing its new Polaroid 600 special edition camera, Impossible Project explains, ‘The new camera celebrates the work of the photographers and artists who have perfected the monochrome palettes – names like Robert Longo, Ansel Adams and Eva Rothschild.’ The new model is priced at $ 179; it isn’t clear how many units are available.

Via: PhotographyBLOG

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Hasselblad launches A6D 100MP aerial camera

18 May

Hasselblad has updated its aerial camera offering with a new model that features a 100MP sensor. The A6D appears to have replaced the A5D series, which had a number of sensor options, with a single body using the company’s highest resolution back. The new model has many features similar to the previous incarnation and allows synchronization of up to eight cable-connected bodies with a delay of just 20 microseconds.

The use of the 100MP sensor increases the system’s dynamic range from a maximum of 14 to 15 stops, and the company has installed a slot for CFast 2.0 memory media.

Hasselblad has nine H lenses that have been adapted especially for aerial use. With focal lengths from 24mm to 300mm the system offers angles of view of 96-10.2° and a new top shutter speed of 1/4000sec. Hasselblad says that because its lenses use leaf shutters they are less exposed to issues of the plane’s movements than focal plane shutter systems that can only compensate for motion in a single direction – usually forward.

The A6D will be available with or without an infrared cut filter so it can be used with sensitivity to extended wave lengths of 750-1000nm. For more information see the Hasselblad website.

Warning: sample image is 68MB

Press release

Hasselblad Introduces a 100 Megapixel Aerial Camera System

Aerial photography delivers better results today than ever before and Hasselblad continues to grow its presence in the market, introducing more advanced products and applications for the aerial photographic industry. This is reflected in the Hasselblad A6D-100c, the latest evolution of Hasselblad aerial cameras.

Hasselblad cameras are developed by building on the shoulders of the previous generation of models which enables all of the prior advancements and branch-demanding features to be automatically included. This process allows Hasselblad to continually enhance and develop models. The A6D heralds a technological improvement that is noticeably greater than earlier generations.

The A6D Aerial camera includes a feature that allows up to eight cameras to be synchronized within 20 ?s. A simple bus-type cable connection is required between all cameras in the set-up. This feature completely eliminates any issues in post-production caused by un-synchronized exposures.

Product Manager Bjarne Hjörlund commented, “Available in 100 megapixel resolutions, the A6D camera combines the world’s best optics and sensors with a modern, compact design, resulting in a system that will ensure you attain the highest possible image quality. Hasselblad aerial cameras provide a range of important features that help deliver your imaging requirements”.

Nine H System lenses are available in aerial versions with secure locking mounts to minimize vibration and flexing which guarantees the image plane and sensor stay parallel at all times. These units ship with their focus precisely adjusted and fixed at infinity. The focal length range from 24 to 300mm of these lenses results in a horizontal AFOV of 96° to 10.2° covering most applications. The new generation of leaf shutters for the H lenses has an extended lifetime, which ensures reliability during flight.

In addition, the exposure time for the aerial lenses has been improved up to 1/4000 of a second, for sharp and crisp images. Traditionally, FMC systems typically only compensate for movement in a single direction, but the fast leaf shutter-based exposure time can both compensate for ground speed and the roll and pitch of the plane.

Near Infra-Red Photography
The A6D camera is available with or without Infra-Red filter for infra-red captures from 750nm to 1000nm to serve the needs of aerial analysis, such as environment surveying and crop management. NDVI, CIR and NIR imaging is possible with third party software.

Phocus SDK by Hasselblad
To facilitate the development of user specific software, Hasselblad offers a complete Software Developers Kit (SDK) which allows full control of camera and image processing from the user’s own software. To quickly get started using the A6D aerial cameras for photography, Hasselblad has created a simple but effective PC sample application which can capture and store RAW files coming from the camera. All source code for this application is supplied to allow the user to adapt to special individual requirements.

Technical Data Sheet:
Key Features

  • Medium format 100 Megapixel resolution
  • The A6D Aerial includes a feature that allows up to 8 cameras to be synchronized within 20 microseconds.
  • 9 of the H System lenses are available in aerial versions
  • The exposure time for the aerial lenses is increased up to 1/4000 of a second
  • The A6D camera is available with or without Infra-Red filter to allow infra-red captures from 750nm to 1000nm

Additional Features

  • Reduced foot print designed to fit existing POD mountings
  • Up to 15 stops Dynamic
  • Improved external connectivity via stable LEMO connections
  • Fits plane power with a power requirement of 12 – 24 volt DC
  • FMS and multiple camera synchronization
  • Secure camera mounting via 4 x M4 screws
  • Lens locking mechanism with additional lens protector
  • Onboard fast 500+ Mbytes/sec CFast2.0 storage with a capacity of up to 512 GByte
  • External storage interface via locked USB3.0 type C-connection
  • Fully mechanically fixed system to minimize effects of vibrations

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Karsh, Beaton and Swannell featured as Camera Press celebrates 70 years with exhibition of famous faces

13 May

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An exhibition of portraits that chart the last seven decades of celebrity photography will mark the 70th birthday of British photo agency Camera Press. Emma Blau, granddaughter of founder Tom Blau, has searched the 12 million images of the agency’s archive to find the photographs that demonstrate how portrait photography has changed since the agency started in 1947. The first photographer to join the business was Yousuf Karsh and the first event covered was the wedding of the Queen of England by society photographer Baron.

The exhibition ‘Camera Press at 70 – a lifetime in pictures’ will feature archival work by Karsh, Cecil Beaton, Baron and Jane Bowen, as well as by more recent photographers such as John Swannell, Clive Arrowsmith, Jason Bell and Chris Floyd.

Celebrities caught by the lenses of the exhibited photographers will include Kate Bush, The Queen, the Gallagher brothers from Oasis, Amy Winehouse, Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill and JFK.

The free exhibition will be held the Olympus-sponsored Art Bermondsey Project Space in London from 17th May to 10th June 2017. For more information see the Camera Press website, and for more of the images see the Daily Mail website. 

Information from Camera Press

Founded in 1947, Camera Press celebrates its Platinum anniversary this year with Camera Press at 70 – a lifetime in pictures. Drawing on an unparalleled collection of images, and featuring work by some of the most iconic names in the industry this exhibition offers a fascinating insight into photography from the 1940s to the present day.

On display will be the work of photographic legends such as Yousuf Karsh, Cecil Beaton and Jane Bown through to contemporary names that include Andy Gotts, John Swannell, Jason Bell, Jillian Edelstein, Chris Floyd and Laura Pannack.

The exhibition will feature two further 70th anniversaries: 1947 was the year the young Princess Elizabeth wed Prince Philip and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) was founded. The first photographs distributed by Camera Press were of the wedding of the future Queen, and this famous image by Baron will sit alongside more recent unique portraits of Princess Diana, The Queen’s Jubilee and the christening of Prince George. The exclusive BAFTA portrait collection will shine a light on many of our best loved actors from the worlds of TV and film.

Also included in the show are photographs by three generations of the Blau family: founder Tom Blau, his son Jon and granddaughter Emma.

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