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Posts Tagged ‘Camera’

Kodak’s new Mini Shot 10MP camera prints tiny instant photos

07 Dec

Kodak expanded its instant product lineup today with the launch of the new Kodak Mini Shot Instant 10MP camera: a point-and-shoot digital model that produces credit card-sized color prints on 4Pass Photo Paper. The Mini Shot Instant—which is offered in black, yellow and white colors—also features Bluetooth connectivity for transferring images to an iOS or Android device running the Kodak MINI Shot companion app.

With the Kodak MINI Shot App, users can make minor edits to their images before printing them, including applying filters and stickers, cropping, and using card templates. Image previews are possible in-camera, as well, via the Mini Shot Instant’s 1.7-inch LCD viewfinder. The camera offers gamma color control, auto focus, white balance, and exposure control.

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Users have two photo paper sizes to choose from: rectangular 2.1 x 3.4-inch and square 2.1 x 2.1-inch with adhesive backing. The 4Pass Photo Paper is available in packs of up to 50 (for $ 35), and the camera is sold with an 8-pack all-in-one print cartridge. The Kodak Mini Shot Instant is available from Amazon now for $ 100 USD.

Press Release

Kodak Expands Its Instant Print Camera Offerings with New KODAK Mini Shot Instant Camera

High-quality, instant print photo gratification meets Android and iOS compatibility plus Bluetooth connectivity.

SUWON, South Korea & EDISON, N.J. – Today, Prinics Co., Ltd announced the availability of the new KODAK Mini Shot Instant Print Camera through its North American distributor C+A Global. Expanding upon its instant print product line, the new KODAK Mini Shot point-and-shoot camera combines high-quality, instant-print color photos with digital conveniences such as color controls, filter effects and Bluetooth connectivity, making it the ideal all-in-one solution for picture taking and photo editing.

Furthermore, not only can these photographs be instantly shared with family and friends in that same high print quality expected from Kodak, these photographs can likewise be digitally shared instantly across social media platforms.

There is a resurgence for ‘instant-print’ photography, and the demand for affordable and versatile products is massive,” states Jeff Clarke, CEO, Kodak. “The release of the KODAK Mini Shot and recent launch of the KODAK PRINTOMATIC Cameras are a continuation of Kodak’s commitment to instant printing and represent just the beginning of the Instant Print Solutions Kodak plans to bring to market. We are fully committed to growing a diverse product portfolio and investing in the instant photography business.”

Real Ink. In an instant.

High-quality image processing and printing is at the core of Kodak’s DNA and remains to be the key differentiator in its expanding Instant Print photography product portfolio, which includes the KODAK Mini Shot Instant Print Camera, KODAK PRINTOMATIC Instant Print Camera, and KODAK Photo Printer Dock and Photo Printer Mini Wi-Fi connected printers.

The KODAK Mini Shot Instant Print Camera leverages 4Pass printing technology, also known as dye-sublimation, resulting in beautiful, high-quality prints. It features the world’s smallest 4Pass all-in-one cartridge for carrying convenience.

Snap, Connect, Enhance, Print, Share

The KODAK Mini Shot Instant Print Camera is a must-have accessory for anyone looking to make memories that last, whether it’s by sharing printed photos immediately or posting them to an Instagram feed. It’s the fun of snapping photos on an instant print camera combined with the ability to digitally edit and enhance images, then share from one person to another or with the entire world – or all of the above. With Bluetooth connectivity, users can save and transfer images to a smart device for further editing with the complimentary KODAK Mini Shot App, which features a variety of filters, cropping options, stickers, card templates and more. Through the App, anyone’s smartphone can now be used as a remote shutter for those must-have group shots, or as an extended library of photos that can be sent to the KODAK Mini Shot for instant printing.

KODAK Mini Shot Camera Highlights and Benefits:

  • Maximum resolution 10-megapixel camera
  • 1.7” LCD Viewfinder for viewing photos before they’re printed
  • Auto Focus, Exposure, White Balance, Gamma Color Control
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • Complimentary KODAK Mini Shot App for adding filters and effects
  • Normal and photo border printing
  • Print credit card-sized (2.1”x3.4”) or square (2.1”x2.1”) adhesive-backed photos
  • Extra protective layer preserves image quality and color integrity
  • High-quality waterproof, fingerprint-proof photo prints
  • All-in-one ink and paper cartridge
  • Available in black, white or yellow

Pricing and Availability

The KODAK Mini Shot Instant Print Camera is available today for $ 99.99 USD on Amazon. The camera includes a Micro USB cable, a Quick Start Guide, and an 8-pack all-in-one 4Pass photo print cartridge.

The 4Pass Photo Paper comes in 20 (2.1”x3.4”), 30 (2.1”x3.4”) and 50 (2.1”x3.4”) packs or as an adhesive-backed 20 (2.1”x2.1”) pack, and is sold separately. More information is available at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077BF7KG7.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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6 Types of Bracketing Your Camera Can Do and How to Use Them

06 Dec

Bracketing is a method of taking multiple images of the same scene at different settings in order to capture more detail in your shot.

You might not be aware that there are actually a number of bracketing techniques besides the most common method which is exposure bracketing.

Exposure bracketing allows you to retain more dynamic range in your final image. However, other bracketing techniques which we’ll discuss in this article can help you capture more detail in different focus planes, different color temperatures, or even detail in the amount of noise or grain that is captured.

Let’s go ahead and begin with the bracketing technique that you’re most likely already familiar with – exposure bracketing.

#1 – Exposure Bracketing

In exposure bracketing, we take the same image several times at different exposure values or (EVs) in order to accommodate for the brightest highlights and the darkest shadows in the shot. The resulting images can be merged together either in camera or by using editing software. This produces an image with superior tonal range than what you’d have gotten if you had taken only a single shot.






Most cameras can do this automatically in HDR mode, however, the majority of them are only able to save the resulting image in a JPEG format. That is a huge limitation if you want to change some parameters in post-production like White Balance, Exposure, Saturation, etc.

Your camera will usually have a number of options for you to choose from, like the total number of shots to be taken, drive mode (continuous or single), and the exposure difference between each image (1EV or 2EV). ). The exposure bracketing settings can be found under the drive mode menu on most cameras.

#2 – Focus Bracketing (Stacking)

This bracketing technique is most useful when you have a limited depth of field giving you a narrow sliver of focus in your image. Several images are taken at different focal planes, from the nearest focus distance or plane to the furthest focus distance.

All the other in-camera settings must be constant, your exposure should remain untouched because none of the three pillars of exposure (shutter, aperture, ISO) are changed. Really all that’s changing is the focus point.






In macro photography, this can be very useful because the images can be stacked in order to produce one where the subject is fully in focus as opposed to just a certain part. You can think of this method as slightly widening the depth of field on your subject without losing any silky smooth bokeh you get at wider apertures.

After merging or focus stacking the three focus bracketed images. It’s not perfect but it has more of the bear in focus than any of the other three images.

Not many cameras will have a focus bracketing function or feature, however, if your camera does, I encourage you to read the manual to learn how it works. For those with cameras that don’t have this feature then it’s really simple to do it manually. You want to have your camera on a tripod and you also want to make sure you’re shooting a static subject.

All you have to do is take multiple images at the same settings (I advise the use of manual mode or aperture priority), between each image you want to adjust your focus plane manually from the closest to furthest. You can experiment with different distances between focus planes to get the results you want. In post-production, you the have the freedom to make the entire image sharp, or just all the parts of your subject, or even just select areas.

#3 – Flash Bracketing

In flash bracketing, multiple images are taken of the same scene with varying light intensities from your camera flash or speedlight especially a fill flash. The light intensity from the flash is varied in steps from low to high intensity as images are captured.

You then have a number of images all with different flash exposures from which you can pick the best one.

Neutral or normal intensity




This can be very handy in low light situations or in general where you are unsure what flash intensity is going to correctly expose your image.

Flash exposure bracketing (FEB) can be found as a feature on many speedlights, you might want to read through the manual first to figure out how to find and activate it. For some cameras, it is in the camera menu. Once found it’s as simple as picking the number of photos to take, as well as the flash exposure compensation between them.

The final step is taking the images, it’s important to note that FEB can be very slow due to the limitation of the speedlight recycle rate (the time it takes your speed light to be ready to fire again after an actuation). So always keep that in mind when shooting.

Here’s another example which was done outdoors. Notice how the exposure changes on the girl (due to the amount of flash) but the background remained the same.



#4 – White Balance Bracketing

This is one of the more unusual bracketing techniques available in digital photography. As the name suggests, White Balance bracketing allows you to take several images of the same scene at different color temperatures.

This method mostly applies to photographers that only shoot JPEG since the White Balance of an image can always be changed in post-production if it’s recorded in RAW format. Images are taken at blueish color temperatures in stages all the way to reddish temperatures.




This bracketing technique is particularly useful in scenes where there is mixed lighting and it may be difficult for the Auto White Balance mode to correctly pick a color temperature.

You can then pick the image with the most accurate (or pleasing) color temperature afterward. You can manually set the color temperature range within your camera settings in degrees Kelvin.

White balance bracketing can be found in the camera settings, and you should be able to pick the number of photos to take as well as the white balance difference between them in degrees Kelvin. If your camera does not have the feature then you can individually take the photos manually, changing the white balance between them. Just make sure you shoot in RAW + JPEG so you have more creative freedom in post-production. Use the JPEGs for previewing so you can pick the image with the right color temperature, then match that to your RAW file and you can make all your other edits.

#5 – Depth of Field Bracketing

This is a bracketing technique that is very similar to the focus bracketing (stacking) method mentioned earlier. Multiple images are taken of the same scene at different apertures, your exposure must remain constant meaning that your shutter speed and ISO can change (Aperture Priority is recommended).




Just like in focus bracketing, you are able to get a varying depth of field in your shot when you stack the resulting images in post-production, effectively allowing you to get more in focus while not sacrificing any smooth bokeh you got at your widest aperture.

Depth of field bracketing is a technique that won’t be found on many cameras as a function or feature. You will have to do it manually, the good news is that it’s very easy to do. You want to make sure your camera is in Aperture Priority then take images of the same scene while changing your aperture between each image, it might be handy to use a tripod so that the frame is identical. In post-production, you have the freedom to stack your images and get everything in focus or just the subject in its entirety while keeping some satisfying bokeh.

#6 – ISO Bracketing

The final bracketing technique in digital photography is ISO bracketing. As the name suggests, this method involves taking several images of the same scene at different ISO or sensor gain values.

What might come as a surprise to you is that your aperture and shutter speed must stay constant which results in a number of images all with different signal to noise ratios and also different exposures.

ISO bracketing is useful because you get images with different amounts of noise. So you can pick the aesthetic that’s most pleasing to your eyes in that respect.





ISO bracketing can also be used for HDR in situations where your aperture is closed all the way down but you don’t want a shutter speed that’s too slow (in order to correctly expose) such that things in the scene change between images; like water, people or even marine traffic.

ISO bracketing is one of the less common bracketing methods that can be found as a function in your camera. I advise that you check your camera manual to make sure your camera has this feature. If it doesn’t, then you can put your camera in Manual Mode, then select Auto ISO and activate your exposure bracketing, you can also pick your exposure range as well as the number of pictures to take (note: this only works on some camera models).

If your camera isn’t able to do ISO bracketing via the method mentioned above then you can do it the old school way; manually! Put your camera in Manual Mode, make sure you select an aperture, shutter speed, and an ISO between 800 to 1000 that correctly exposes your image. Take your first image as your base at 0EV, the next step involves lowering and raising your ISO while taking images to get your shots at different exposures.

Conclusion

Most of the bracketing techniques mentioned here in this article are not actually available as built-in features or modes in a lot of the cameras that you and I can buy. However, with the power of full manual controls, you can always try them for yourself and see what kind of results you’re getting.

The post 6 Types of Bracketing Your Camera Can Do and How to Use Them by Fadzai Saungweme appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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How to Choose Your First Camera Drone and Skyrocket Your Photography

06 Dec

Maybe you are in love with photography and in the process of turning it into a passion. You might be a professional photographer who’s always searching to improve, or you might just like capturing those beautiful trips like no other. If you’re in any of these categories, you might want to consider buying yourself a drone.

How to pick your first camera drone

This guide is all you need to help you make a choice. I have experimented with most of the drones on the market so you don’t have to.

How useful is a drone for photography?

I think you already imagine how cool it could be to reach those places you always wanted. No more climbing trees for great panoramas. And best of all, you can literally fly your camera wherever you like (within the law, of course).

Drone picture through the wood

Bonus: You’ll be able to take unbelievable videos as well.

Maybe, you always thought taking pictures is where you’ll stop, but don’t tell me you’ve never been fascinated by one of those cool drone videos on YouTube.

The great thing about a drone is that most of the time, it comes with an included gimbal that stabilizes the image perfectly. That feat alone makes both video and photography easy to do and cinematic almost straight away.

Will you be able to afford it?

Drones

Gone are the days where only blockbuster movies had the budget to record and shoot photos from the air. Today, thanks to less expensive technology and increasing popularity of quad-copters, almost everyone can afford a drone. And the results are absolutely fascinating.

These are my general recommendations when it comes to pricing for a good camera drone:

  • If it’s a drone that comes with a camera, you will need to spend over $ 400 if you want to have image stabilization.
  • You can also pick a cheaper drone with GPS and stabilization that comes with no camera. That might be a good option if you already have a GoPro or action-camera and a tight budget.
  • If you want a beginner drone just to learn how to fly, don’t spend more than $ 50.

How to pick your first camera drone

So you decided to get into drones and skyrocket your photography/videography. I have created an infographic explaining the main things you should look for in a camera drone. Now you have two paths you can choose from:

  1. Get a small beginner drone (under $ 50) to learn the basics of piloting it, and only after that buy a more expensive one.
  2. Get a more expensive drone with GPS, which is stable enough when flying and can return to home automatically if you mess up.

What are the best inexpensive beginner drones?

Beginner drone

Ways you can go about buying your first beginner drone:

  • Get two or more VERY cheap drones (at $ 15 each) and simply learn the basics of flying in the house, while having a backup.
  • Get one cheap beginner drone (around $ 50), that usually comes with a low-quality camera (I don’t recommend this because it’s nothing like the more expensive ones).
  • Choose a cheap beginner drone and the more expensive one at the same time, if you want to just try it a few times and then jump into the action.

Here are my top beginner drones you can start with:

  • JJRC H36 – A super resilient drone that works great inside. This is what I would recommend any friend. About $ 18.99 on Amazon
  • Cheerson CX-10 – A very small drone that’s around $ 20 and can do flips. About $ 18.99 on Amazon.
  • Hubsan x4 – A very sturdy and well-made drone with a camera. About $ 32 on Amazon.

What are my top choices for a camera drone?

This is my top three list of recommendations I have for different types of consumers, ranging from $ 500 to $ 1500 USD.

Top 3 camera drones

I’ll underline the main features you should look for in each drone, while also spotting the drawbacks of each.

#1 – DJI Mavic Pro Platinum – My overall winner

This quad-copter is one of the most popular right now, for some really good reasons. The DJI Mavic Pro Platinum is the newer version of the Mavic, but it is quieter and has a longer battery life. This is why I would recommend it.

Dji mavic

I’d recommend it to anyone from travel enthusiast to the professional photographer and so on. It has its limitations, but for the price of about $ 1000, here’s why it rocks:

  • It comes with a stellar gimbal (a motorized system that stabilizes the camera while in the air).
  • Has a 4K camera with a fixed aperture of f/2.2 – This makes it pretty good even in low light conditions.
  • You can take amazing photos in 12mp resolution.
  • It’s foldable – This makes it the most portable high-quality camera on my list, and pretty much on the market. You can simply take it in a small bag and go on your vacation, no problem.
  • Long range – it can go up to 7 km in perfect conditions, which is more than enough for anyone.
  • Long battery life – it promises about 30 minutes of flight time, but in real life conditions, 26 minutes is more likely.
  • Has great GPS and return to home features.
  • Has front sensors for detecting obstacles and stopping in time.

Dji mavic folded front sensors

Disadvantages: Can’t really think of anything. It’s amazing for the price.

#2 – Xiaomi MI 4K drone – The cheapest, yet still amazing

Xiaomi drone

The Xiaomi MI 4K drone costs about $ 500 and comes with all you need for great photo/video results.

  • Just as the Mavic before, it comes with an amazing gimbal and camera attached to it, in order to keep the image steady in the air.
  • Again, you can shoot 4K photos (12.4 mp) and video or go lower in resolution so you can record in more frames, and do slow-motion.
  • The range is over 3 km, which is absolutely fantastic.
  • Battery life is said to be 27 minutes, but in real life, I got a maximum of 24.
  • It comes with very good GPS and returns to home when the battery is low and also when the signal is lost (just like the Mavic)

Xiaomi drone camera

Disadvantages of the Xiaomi 4k drone

  • It’s not nearly as portable as the Mavic.
  • It is louder.
  • It doesn’t have the front facing sensors to stop before impact that the Mavic does.

Consider how much these drawbacks mean to you when you take into account the super cheap price. Don’t get fooled thinking a smaller price means lower quality. Xiaomi, just like DJI, is a Chinese company with a focus on creating high-quality hardware, that’s impressive even by western standards.

#3 – DJI Phantom 4 Professional – the pro choice at a small price

You have probably heard of drones like Phantom 3 or 4 by now, and they were all amazing, but the DJI Phantom 4 Professional is on the next level.

Phantom4pro

If the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum is not enough for you in terms of camera capability and you want more professional freedom in your work, this is the best way to go.

Here’s what this $ 1500 drone comes with:

  • The 4K camera we’ve been used to has a 1-inch sensor now. This means nighttime photos will be considerably better and less noisy compared to any of the previous drones.
  • The 20mp sensor also delivers amazing quality photos and video.
  • It can shoot 4K in 60fps and Full HD in 120FPS and comes with a mechanical shutter (just like your DSLR), so you get a smooth video image and no rolling shutter effect.
  • It’s super secure with obstacle sensing in 5 directions: 2 front sensing cameras, 2 side infrared detectors, Sonar and cameras on the bottom (to land precisely), And even one in the back!
  • Just like the Mavic Pro Platinum, it comes with 30-minute flight time, 3-axis gimbal stabilization and 7 km range (but, this time, it’s dual-band transmission, so the signal is more secure).

What are a few disadvantages: It’s bulky and loud. It can’t fold up, so if you want to take it on vacation, it will be harder to carry.

Scenery1

I recommend this drone for the more professional bunch of people, who want to use it more intensely for professional projects and don’t mind the bigger form size. This drone is great for people who want to have more control over their images, and it’s perfect if you want to shoot at high ISO in lower light.

Over to you

I only gave you three choices because I believe these are the best of each price category. So, depending on your budget, you can confidently choose one of these, as there’s simply no competition on the market right now.

Don’t forget to fly safe and check the regulation in your area!

Scenery2

The post How to Choose Your First Camera Drone and Skyrocket Your Photography by Paul Archer appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Leica Camera reports ‘strong revenue growth’ for 2016/2017 fiscal year

02 Dec

In recent years, financial reports from major camera manufacturers haven’t typically made for overly positive news stories; however, Leica Camera AG is bucking this trend with the announcement of its results for the 2016/2017 financial year ending March 31st. Apparently, the German camera maker has been able to grow revenue by 6 percent, despite the global camera market declining by around 10 percent over the same period.

Leica cites systematic realignment of the company over recent years as the main driver of the positive development.

At the heart of this realignment lies the establishment of an in-house retail distribution division that now controls a network of 90 monobrand stores around the globe. The company says this move has been vital in promoting the brand, and the retail network is set to expand even further in the near future. China is currently Leica’s number one growth market, and 20 to 30 new stores are planned in the country alone.

Other important initiatives include the Leica Akademie brand—which aims to increase brand awareness among younger target groups—and the company’s collaboration with Chinese smartphone maker Huawei on the cameras in their latest high-end devices.

The upward trend has reportedly continued into the 2017/2018 financial year, leading CEO of Leica Camera AG, Matthias Harsch, to predict record-breaking growth for this coming year.

Its important to note, however, that at least part of Leica’s future growth will have nothing to do with photography. In 2017, the company entered into the eyewear segment under the Leica Eyecare brand, which Leica says will “systematically tap into this global market in conjunction with its technology partner Novacel.”

Press Release

Leica Camera AG Records Strong Revenue Growth for the 2016/2017 Financial Year and Bucks the Downward Trend in the Camera Market

The Leica Camera Group achieved revenue of almost 400 million euros in the past financial year 2016/2017 (31 March 2017) and can therefore look back very positively on the previous twelve-month period. With strong revenue growth of more than six per cent, Leica bucked the overall downward trend in the global camera market, which declined by around 10 per cent in the same period.

In the first few months of the current financial year 2017/2018, cumulative growth stands at 15 per cent, thus underscoring the positive global performance of Leica Camera AG. Despite a market environment that remains challenging, the CEO of Leica Camera AG, Matthias Harsch, once again expects a record-breaking result for the 2017/2018 financial year. As a result, the revenue of Leica Camera AG has increased more than fourfold since anchor investor and majority shareholder Dr Andreas Kaufmann came on board in 2004.

The main driver of growth is the systematic realignment of the company that has taken place in recent years. In particular, the setting up of an in-house Retail Distribution division has made a major contribution to revenue growth. Leica now has 90 monobrand stores around the world, which are vital in terms of promoting brand experience in the context of photography. ‘China is our number-one growth market,’ says Matthias Harsch, who is planning 20 to 30 new stores in the country alone. The Group is now strengthening its presence in the service sector with the Leica Akademie brand in order to boost the appeal of photography amongst younger target groups.

The extremely successful technology and brand partnership with Chinese company Huawei in the field of mobile phone photography makes Leica one of the world’s leading providers of smartphone lens applications, a burgeoning technology segment that serves as a global basis for new product ideas and applications in photography.

The entry of Leica into the eyewear segment (glasses) – a move that was completed in 2017 – offers further potential for strong revenue growth in the years ahead. Operating under the name of Leica Eyecare, the company will systematically tap into this global market in conjunction with its technology partner Novacel.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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CAMS unveils new camera plates for small DSLRs and mirrorless cameras

02 Dec

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Following in the footsteps of its successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the Pro Camera plate system, accessory manufacturer CAMS is looking to the crowdfunding platform once more to create scaled down plates for smaller DSLR and CSC bodies. The company hopes to raise $ 20,000 to fund a project that it says brings a host of new features to the plate and sling strap system.

The new CAMS standard and Mini Plates are designed to fit smaller camera systems while still allowing access to the battery compartment door so batteries can be changed without having to remove the plate. The plates also have their own storage slots for a spare SD card and to hold the hex key that fits the plate to the camera.

Those using Arca-Swiss type tripod heads will be able to mount the plate directly onto their tripod, while a further thread in the base allows the plates to attach to a standard 1/4in-20 tripod screw.

Here’s a quick intro to the new plates from the Kickstarter campaign:

A sling strap comes as an optional accessory and connects to the plate via a quick-opening attachment, while a hand strap can be used with the smaller lug close to the camera’s handgrip. In addition to the usual neoprene strap, the company is now offering Minima webbing strap and a Pelle leather version.

Prices start from $ 50 for either plate with no strap or $ 65 with a Minima strap. For more details, visit the CAMS Kickstarter campaign page or the CAMS website.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Nikon’s redesigned SnapBridge app adds full manual camera control and ‘intuitive’ UI

30 Nov

Nikon just released a new version of its camera connectivity app SnapBridge. The new SnapBridge Version 2.0—which is available for both iOS and Android devices starting today—has been redesigned with an easier-to-use interface and a bunch of new features like the ability to register up to five devices, and full-manual control of select cameras.

On the UI side, both the screen design and the menu structure have been updated to be ‘more intuitive’ and offer direct access to Help functions. The app has also now been equipped with a ‘power saving mode’ that keeps SnapBridge from draining your smartphone or tablet’s battery when you’re not connected to a camera (i.e. when it’s not in use).

On the feature side, the major addition is full manual control. If you have a compatible camera—according to Nikon, these include the Nikon D850, D500, D7500, and D5600—you’ll now be able to control exposure modes (P/S/A/M), shutter speed, aperture, exposure comp, ISO, and white balance.

You can learn more about the new SnapBridge app by reading the full press release below, or downloading it yourself off of the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

Press Release

Nikon Announces Updated Version of SnapBridge Camera Connectivity App for Seamless Image Transfer and Sharing

Easier to Use, More Intuitive and Simpler Connection with SnapBridge Version 2.0*

MELVILLE, NY (November 29, 2017 at 11:00 P.M. EST) – Today, Nikon is pleased to announce the release of version 2.0 of Nikon SnapBridge, which offers enhanced functionality, stability and ease of use. SnapBridge is the Nikon app that enables users to easily and seamlessly share images and control select Nikon digital camera via Bluetooth** and Wi-Fi® connection with a compatible smart device such as a phone or tablet.

Enhanced Interface and Connectivity

SnapBridge version 2.0 reflects feedback from users of earlier versions of the app and represents a significant update of the user interface (GUI). Screen design and menu structure have been significantly revised in several ways, including the adoption of progress displays to provide visual confirmation of the status of an operation (e.g. when a smart device is paired with a camera or connection is changed to a Wi-Fi connection). Direct access to help functions from the app menu are also now available. The app also offers different instructions for each category of camera to ensure easier setup, navigation and usage.

Additionally, up to five cameras can now be registered with the device running the app. This makes switching between cameras much easier for those who own multiple Nikon cameras.

The app is also equipped with a new power-saving mode that controls the amount of smart device power consumed by the app when it is not connected to a camera for an extended period of time. SnapBridge Version 2.0 also features a location data accuracy setting that allows users to choose between lower power consumption and greater location data accuracy by selecting how often the smart device updates location data.

Greater Remote Photography Functions

For even more creative control with select Nikon cameras, important digital SLR camera settings can now be controlled from the SnapBridge app through remote photography*. The live view display on the smart device can be used to confirm and adjust camera settings, allowing users to enjoy more full-scale shooting. Users also now have access to exposure modes (P/S/A/M), shutter speed, aperture value, exposure compensation, ISO sensitivity, and white balance. Controls will vary among various camera models.

Nikon Image Space Integration

Nikon SnapBridge Version 2.0 has a dedicated tab that makes it easier than ever to use NIKON IMAGE SPACE. With SnapBridge 2.0 and a NIKON IMAGE SPACE account a user can automatically upload an unlimited number 2MB images ideal for sharing on the go. In addition, photos taken using remote photography can now be uploaded to NIKON IMAGE SPACE automatically.

Nikon will continue to enhance the app’s usability and strengthen its functions to provide users with ever increasingly rich imaging experiences well into the future.

For more information about Nikon SnapBridge and the latest Nikon cameras and other products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

*Functions available with the SnapBridge and SnapBridge 360/170 apps differ.

  • iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, and Android™ devices to which the SnapBridge app has been installed can be used. The SnapBridge app can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store® and Google Play™. See Nikon’s website for further information.
  • Operation of this app is not guaranteed with all devices.
  • Nikon SnapBridge 2.0 Compatible Cameras:
    • Nikon D850, D500, D7500, D5600, D3400,COOLPIX A900, A300, B700, B500, W100, W300, KeyMission 80

**The Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® functions built into cameras are effective only when connected to a smart device on which the SnapBridge app has been installed.

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Lytro Immerge 2.0 is a HUGE light-field camera rig for high-end VR production

30 Nov

Lytro has unveiled the Immerge 2.0, a massive light-field camera rig that looks improves upon the similarly-massive Immerge camera Lytro first introduced in November of 2015.

As with the original Immerge, Lytro’s new Immerge 2.0 is designed for high-end VR production, but it utilizes “a few smart tweaks” to boost quality and increase production efficiency. But lets you think “a few small tweaks” is nothing major, Lytro is describing the Immerge 2.0 as “a major update” to the original… so there’s that.

Unlike with the original Immerge camera, Immerge 2.0 is designed with alternating rows of cameras that are pointed in the opposite directions (yes, those are all cameras, not lights). The design enables Immerge 2.0 to capture 120-degrees of content rather than the previous 90-degrees, reducing the number of camera rotations from five to three when capturing 360-degree content. And operators of the original Immerge will be thrilled to know that the calibration process is now automated.

In addition to its hardware update, Lytro has also been working on improving its software, enabling it to extract higher quality images from the light-field content.

According to Road to VR, which was given an exclusive look at the Immerge 2.0, Lytro has remastered its previously released video Hallelujah with a higher resolution of 5K per eye (when viewed with a VR headset)—a significant increase over the previous 3.5K. But they didn’t stop there…

In fact, with this new hardware and software update, Lytro is ready to offer a 10K-per-eye resolution once VR headsets that can handle that kind of resolution are developed.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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The Yashica Y35 digiFilm camera raised over $1.25M in crowdfunding

29 Nov

Despite a decidedly lukewarm reception in our community—and much mockery from the pro and semi-pro photographers out there—the Yashica Y35 camera and its digital ‘film’ cartridges has become an Internet sensation, raising many, many times more than the required funding to make it to market.

The company’s Kickstarter campaign was backed by 6,935 funders who together contributed HK$ 10,035,296 (about US$ 1.286M). And now, in case you missed the Kickstarter round, Yashica has put the Y35 on Indiegogo as well, to ensure that the project not only goes ahead, but that it comes with a few upgrades too.

In case you’re not familiar, the Yashica Y35 digiFilm project aimed to create a digital camera that acts more like a film camera—complete with film winder and ‘film’ cartridges with different ISO ratings and alternative image characteristics. While many found this idea silly on the face of it, thousands more disagreed and poured their money into Yashica’s crowdfunding campaign, allowing the company to upgrade the camera’s specs a little bit.

Originally, the Y35 was intended to feature a 1/3.2in sensor, but that has been upgraded to a 1/ 2.5in sensor (still with the original 14MP pixel-count). The 35mm lens has also had a positive change in specification, going from f/2.8 to a four-element f/2.0 lens with a wider diameter and what the company promises is better image quality.

There is a gallery of sample shots captured with a pre-production version of the Y35 camera—with its bigger sensor and faster lens—on the Kickstarter and Indiegogo pages if you’re curious. As for the production model, the camera is due to be delivered to crowdfunding backers in May of 2018.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Sony a7R III ties Nikon D850: Best mirrorless full-frame camera DxOMark has ever tested

28 Nov

DxOMark has just published their review of the Sony a7RIII’s sensor, and no surprises here: it ties the Nikon D850 as the best full-frame camera they’ve ever tested with a score of 100. This also makes it the best mirrorless full-frame camera DxOMark has ever tested, besting the former king, the Sony a7R II, which scored a 98.

From the moment Sony debuted the a7R III, it became clear there was only one competitor for this mirrorless beast: The Nikon D850. And as DxO makes clear in their review headline, the D850 has now met “its mirrorless match.” In fact, it would be a stretch to call one of the cameras better overall than the other. Here’s how their scores break down:

As DxOMark makes clear in its conclusion, which camera you prefer (or should prefer) has to do with your own use case:

Comparing the A7R III sensor to the Nikon D850’s reveals the advantage that the Nikon camera’s lower minimum sensitivity (ISO) value brings. Photographers who predominantly shoot in bright light or capture motionless subjects with the camera on a tripod will record the most information, be it color, tone, or detail with the Nikon D850 set to ISO 32. However, if they require values above that, the Sony A7R III sensor produces marginally better images.

By now it should be obvious why the Sony a7RIII tied with the Nikon D850 for our best camera above $ 2,000: it’s next to impossible to pick one over the other unless you have a specific use case in mind. Check out DxOMark’s full review for a deeper dive on this particular camera sensor, and if you want even more you can read our full review as well.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Beginner’s Guide to Metering Modes on Your Camera

26 Nov

Should you bother to learn about metering modes? I’m confident I can sell you on it. Your camera’s automatic metering will only carry you so far. As your digital photography ability grows, you’ll start to feel frustrated in scenes with mixed light. Learning metering modes is the key to making tricky light conditions seem much less intimidating.

Let’s jump right into this beginner’s guide to metering modes.

Beginner's Guide to Metering Modes on Your Camera

Giant dragon lantern in honor of the Mid-Summer Ghost Festival – Keelung, Taiwan. Metering mode: Spot.

What is metering?

This is vital to understand before you learn about your camera’s individual metering modes. “Metering” means taking a light reading. A properly exposed image is made up of three tones of light: the shadows, mid-tones, and highlights.

The image below demonstrates these three tones well. The forested hills in the foreground and dark cloud represent the shadows, the temple roof and figure represent the mid-tones, and the bright clouds represent the highlights.

Beginner's Guide to Metering Modes on Your Camera

A figure on the roof of a temple looks out across forested hills – Jiufen, Taiwan. Through the use of my camera’s light meter, I had more creative control to slightly underexpose the image giving viewers the same sense of foreboding that I felt from those dark, rumbling clouds overhead.

Your camera has an ingenious tool called a light meter that enables it to determine a correct exposure with a balance of shadows, mid-tones, and highlights. You’ll see it at the bottom of the frame when you put your eye to the viewfinder.

Taking light readings from the scene

Your camera’s metering modes control which part (s) of the scene your light meter uses to take a reading. Consider the example below. If you were to meter only off the dragon and take the photo, the dragon would be correctly exposed. However, the sky would probably be too bright.

Alternatively, if I was to meter only off the sky, the sky would be correctly exposed but the dragon would be a bit too dark. However, if I metered from a wider section of the scene, I would get a more balanced exposure.

Beginner's Guide to Metering Modes on Your Camera

Detail from the Land God Temple at Badouzi Harbor – Taiwan. Metered off the dragon the exposure is a bit too light.

The four main metering modes

Now, let’s get down to the crux of the article. Here, I’m going to explain what each of your camera’s four metering modes does and how this affects your images.

But before we begin, a note about how your camera meter works. Very bright and dark tones can trick your light meter. Why? Because it is designed to bring every tone to something called “18% gray.” Imagine a snow-covered mountain or a jet black car. Would you want your camera to correct these tones to appear 18% gray? Or would you want their tones to be rendered as truly as your eye sees them? The answer is obvious, but not to your light meter.

So it is your job to review your image on the histogram and decide if it is correct for your scene or not. If it’s not you can use Exposure Compensation to adjust it (when shooting in Aperture or Shutter Priority modes).

Evaluative (or Matrix) Metering Mode

Evaluative metering is the natural mode to explain first because it’s the one your camera uses as standard or default. Your light meter takes a reading from across the whole scene. With that information, your camera’s onboard computer makes multiple calculations to determine a correct exposure with balanced highlights, mid-tones, and shadows.

Beginner's Guide to Metering Modes on Your Camera

A scene from Mother’s Market in Imphal – Manipur, India. I wanted to read the light from across the whole scene here and so used Evaluative Metering Mode.

Beginner's Guide to Metering Modes on Your Camera

On Asahidake, Hokkaido’s highest mountain – Japan. Shot in the Evaluative Metering mode the camera attempts to make an exposure that is an average of all the light tones of the scene. This is particularly useful when you’re learning to shoot landscapes.

Center-Weighted Metering Mode

Imagine that you’re now zooming into the frame slightly. Whereas Evaluative Metering mode reads the light from across the entire scene, Center-Weighted Metering mode reads light with a preference towards the middle. It still reads from a large proportion of the frame, just not the whole thing. This varies between camera manufacturers, but it’s usually between 60 % and 80 % of the frame.

Beginner's Guide to Metering Modes on Your Camera

An accordion player in Central Vienna – Austria. Center-Weighted mode would have been a solid choice for this portrait because there is nothing much of interest in the four corners or along the edges; it’s all within the central 60 %–80 % of the frame.

The area inside the red circle is roughly what will be metered with Center-Weighted mode.

Beginner's Guide to Metering Modes on Your Camera

Fuyou Temple in Tamsui, a riverside town in New Taipei – Taiwan. I would not have used Evaluative Metering mode for this scene because my camera would have tried to brighten the image – seeing it is mostly dark. Whereas, I intentionally wanted more of a silhouette-like feel.

The area inside the circle is roughly the percentage of the frame that will be metered when using Center-Weighted mode.

Partial Metering Mode

If Center-Weighted metering meant zooming in a little, Partial Metering is a huge jump inwards again. This time, your light meter will read the light from an area the size of 6-15 % of the center of the scene, depending on your camera manufacturer.

Beginner's Guide to Metering Modes on Your Camera

Boatman on the Ganges – Varanasi, India. Partial Metering mode is where things start to get really interesting. You begin taking more control than ever before of where you meter from in the scene. As you can see, this man’s face is just on the limits of a central point of approximately 10 % of the frame. It’s exposed exactly the way I wanted, but I didn’t just get lucky.

With the Varanasi boatman above, I was shooting in Aperture Priority mode. I aimed my center focus point at his face before composing the shot. This allowed my camera to read the light from 10 % of the frame around his head.

Then, I used the exposure lock button (read that article if it’s the first time you’ve heard about it). Note that this is for use mainly with Aperture or Shutter Priority mode. With this button held down, you lock in the exposure and can recompose the shot without the settings changing.

Beginner's Guide to Metering Modes on Your Camera

On the same boat ride, the sun sets over the ghats – Varanasi, India. Again, I aimed my center focus point at the flowers to meter. Because there was just a pinprick of sunlight still peeking over the tops of the buildings, the sky wasn’t overpoweringly bright in the final image; however, I did dim the highlights slightly in Lightroom later.

Spot Metering Mode

The final push inward; Spot Metering mode reads light from between 1-5 % of your scene. I personally use Spot Metering mode more than any other, but it may be more challenging for you if you are just learning about your camera and metering.

It is particularly useful to use spot metering in conjunction with the exposure lock button and the center AF point selected. Aim the center point of your viewfinder at the subject or light source to meter from it. Lock in the exposure and recompose, then focus and shoot.

I find that spot metering mode is goodfor portraits and getting the correct skin tones. Also, I use it for specific light sources, such as a beam of light through a window, but only when I’m also happy for other regions of the photo to be underexposed. I do not recommend using it for landscapes unless you are looking to experiment with silhouettes.

Spot metered off the sky to get a silhouette sunset and deeper tones in the sky.

Beginner's Guide to Metering Modes on Your Camera

Silhouetted figure toasting marshmallows at a community bonfire – Matsumoto, Japan. Of all its many versatile uses, Spot Metering is the mode you should select if you want to create silhouettes. Meter off the brightest part of the scene and select your settings. Lock in the exposure and then compose the shot. The brightest part of the scene will be well exposed and your subject will be cast in dramatic black shadows.

Inside a 500-year-old tomb at Lodi Gardens – New Delhi, India. Spot Metering mode is gloriously precise. You can meter off a light source as specific as a single sunbeam coming through a window. In this image, I crouched down so that the artificial light source was directly behind the sign and spot metered off the bright area of the floor.

Conclusion

The next step on from here is full manual mode, in which the exposure lock button is not required. But first, master metering modes using Shutter and Aperture priority modes.

Now that you’ve learned about each metering mode, get out your camera and go practice. Don’t forget to share your thoughts and images in the comments.

The post Beginner’s Guide to Metering Modes on Your Camera by Ben McKechnie appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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