Archive for December, 2017

Happy New Year 2018 – Recap of our Ultimate Guides to Photography

31 Dec

Wishing you the happiest new year from the dPS family.

As a bonus, here is a summary of some amazing ultimate guides we published in 2017. Each is available as a free PDF – just click on the ones you want to download below.

  • The Ultimate Guide to Street Photography
  • The dPS Ultimate Guide to Landscape Photography
  • The dPS Ultimate Guide to Getting Started in Lightroom for Beginners
  • The dPS Ultimate Guide to Photography for Beginners
  • The dPS Ultimate Guide to Photography Terms – a Glossary of Common Words and Phrases
  • The Ultimate Guide to Nature and Outdoor Photography
  • The dPS Ultimate Guide to Fine Art Photography

Enjoy and please share this page with your friends if you find these valuable!

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2017 in review: a look back at December

31 Dec

December brings with it colder weather and early much-too-early sunsets (at least here in Seattle), as well as a chance to look back on the last twelve months. 2017 saw the continued rise of the smartphone coupled with uncertainty in the interchangeable lens and compact camera market. Will there be fewer camera manufacturers a year from now? We’ll find out soon enough.

As you might imagine, December a quiet month for camera announcements. Information about the next generation of smartphones started to trickle out, including news of the upcoming Snapdragon 845 processor and the Huawei P11, which may feature three cameras. December also marked the arrival of the iMac Pro that, fully loaded, will set you back more than $ 13,000. Speaking of Apple, Final Cut Pro X received a much-needed update, adding HDR, VR and curves support.

2017 saw the continued rise of the smartphone coupled with uncertainty in the interchangeable lens and compact camera market

The end of the year brings with it lots of “best of” competitions, and some like National Geographic’s Nature Photographer of the Year, Sony World Photography Awards and the always entertaining Comedy Wildlife awards are worth a look. We joined the competition parade and shared our favorite products of the year, which were drawn from our latest Buying Guides. We also pitted the Nikon D850 against the Sony a7R III and compared the portrait modes of the Google Pixel 2 and Apple iPhone X.

For those seeking more pretty pictures, we posted galleries for the Olympus 45mm and 17mm F1.2 Pro lenses, the Rokinon AF 50mm F1.4 FE and, naturally, the iPhone X. We also cranked out two reviews, of the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III and G9 X Mark II.

See all December content

Leica, Leica, Leica

In addition to announcing a special red edition of its M (Typ 262) body, the company also reported a 6% increase in revenue compared to the last fiscal year.

Read more about the red Leica M

Read more about Leica’s earnings

And, in drone news…

December was a busy month for drone regulation. In a not very surprising move, the Federal Aviation Administration banned drone usage near US nuclear facilities. Over in Holland, the country’s drone-catching eagles are being retired due to a lack of demand and training difficulties. A shame, since that would’ve been fun to watch.

Read more about new FAA regulations

Read more about drone-catching eagles

Canon EOS 7D Mark III on the way? (Of course!)

The rumor mill is buzzing about an update to Canon’s venerable EOS 7D series of APS-C DSLRs. Rumor website CanonWatch says that the third revision is coming before next summer, which even if the rumor itself isn’t based on any solid facts, still seems like a pretty safe bet. We made a wish list of what we’d like to see in the next 7D, as well.

Read more about Canon 7D Mark III rumors

Photographing the Northern Lights

Photographer and DPReview contributor José Francisco Salgado teamed up with our own Dale Baskin to share tips on how to capture this amazing phenomenon.

Read full article

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Best Photos of 2017 by Jim M. Goldstein

31 Dec

I’m happy to report 2017 was a much better year than 2016 on many fronts. Family was healthy, we avoided experiencing the passing of family members, there was a fair amount of travel, a few great photos were taken and most importantly to me my boys continue to experience nature and ask for repeat camping trips.

In past years yearly recaps I’ve emphasized how much of my focus has shifted from taking nature photos to instilling a sense of wonder about and deep respect for nature in my two young sons. That continues to be the case.   I’ve never delved into it too deeply in past yearly recaps why my prioritization has shifted. In part it’s likely very obvious for some. That said I do want to call it out. I became a photographer because of my love for nature. If I hadn’t been so intrigued by nature I’d never have had a reason to pick up a camera. With the onset of social media and mobile phones with cameras I’m not sure that can be said of many young photographers today. More and more as I view photography online I wonder whether people are truly interested in their subjects (all styles of photography not just nature) or just trying to increase their follower stats because that’s the thing to do in this day and age. Perhaps my cynicism is getting the better of me after working at Borrowlenses where I dealt with photography talking heads & professional and aspiring professional photographers on a daily basis. An element of my becoming a jaded photographer I’m sure (kudos to my friend Richard Wong for writing that post). I’ll avoid going down the path of airing dirt for now as that’s a series of posts unto itself. Anyhow once my boys got old enough it was quite natural for me to want to go back to my roots enjoying nature over photography. I’d like my children to deeply respect and value our natural world. What would I be teaching them, about nature and in general, if I was always taking photos on our trips versus living the moment?

For that reason my yearly recap photos have and will continue to be split between family photos and everything else. While my boys are in their most formative years I’ll continue to put my emphasis behind experiencing nature versus artistically capturing it. The fact that my boys regularly tell me, often out of the blue, they want to go camping again means the world to me. I’m incredibly grateful one aspect of my professional outdoor photographer mind has not lost a beat and that is timing our trips for optimal conditions. This used to torment me as I’d leave my DSLR behind, but the more my boys reminisce and ask for more nature experiences the more I know I’ve made the right call.

Now that that’s out of the way… my favorite photos, in no particular order are below. Enjoy and thanks for taking the time to view this post and my blog in general.  If you happen to have a recap of your best photos of 2017 I invite you to submit it to my blog project, where I list the best photos of photographers who read my blog. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to get inspired at the beginning of the new year.

Best of  Landscape & Nature


I took my boys to witness the total solar eclipse in August of 2017. We went off road to an isolated mountaintop with 360 degree views in eastern Oregon. My focus for the eclipse itself was on the experience with my boys, but we did star gaze a lot at night before the big day. In trying to explain how the earth moves I set up a quick star trail sequence to show the boys. This was the result.


Water levels were near record levels this spring in Yosemite Valley. I made what has become a regular hike to Upper Yosemite Falls to take time-lapses of moonbows with my friend, Brian Hawkins. Like me, he seems to have enough screws loose to think this night hike is a good idea along with huddling in ice cold mist to capture this view.


At the beginning of the year I timed a trip to Yosemite Valley to capture some long overdue winter star trail photos. This was a single 2+ hour exposure taken with my Canon 5D Mark II. Pictured is Three Brothers with star trails reflected in the Merced River.


Another single 2+ hour exposure taken with my Canon 5D Mark II. Pictured is Upper Yosemite Falls as seen from the valley floor. Truck Under the Milkyway

For most of my family trips this year I’ve rented an SUV outfitted with a rooftop tent via PacificOverlander. I took this photo on the first night of one of my trips with the boys as we explored the Owens Valley. While they slept I snuck in this photo of our truck/tent under the Milky Way. If you’re unfamiliar with PacificOverlander it’s well worth investigating. I’ve had several amazing experiences and my boys keep asking me why I keep giving the truck back. They regularly have so much fun on these trips it would seem they’re sold on having a truck/rig like this of their very own.


Best of Family


Taken on our trip to see the total solar eclipse, the boys enjoy hanging out in the tent atop our PacificOverlander SUV. This photo sits atop both my home and work desk. It’s probably my favorite photo of the year as it captures the raw joy my boys have on our camping excursions.


I spoiled my kids with ice cream atop the Glacier Point lookout in Yosemite National Park. A moment I enjoy remembering through this quick snapshot.


Wrangling family for a group photos is… a challenge. This is especially true when the boys enjoy making faces and test the patience of my wife. Every so often though a photo comes out just right. This was one that I took while we enjoyed a sunny day at a beach near Half Moon Bay.


Not a technically great photo, but the fact it captures the raw excitement of my youngest son exploring new places makes it one of my favorite of the year. The had a fun time rock hopping at Olmsted Point in Yosemite National Park.


Trains… my boys love trains. Given the opportunity they’ll always jump on a train and lucky for them the commuter train, Caltrain, is very close to where we live. Bright eyed and excited I couldn’t help but take this photo of my son as we started to roll.


Bonus Images / Honorable Mentions

I didn’t take this first image, but it’s impossible to exclude as it’s a great keepsake from a very fun trip. Below that you’ll see a short slideshow of images that might show a glimpse of the future. While I’m not actively taking serious photos in front of the boys they’ve none the less taken to photography on their own. If you’ve seen my past years “Best of” photos you’ll also see that my oldest son continues to enjoy being part of trick photos (forced perspective, rotated images, etc.). His best this year was “rock climbing” at Devils Postpile National Monument. Lastly my oldest also enjoyed getting drenched under a rainbow at Bridal Veil Fall in Yosemite this spring.

Click to view slideshow.

If you’re curious to see how these compare to my “best of” images selections from years past I invite you to check them out: Best Photos of the Year by Jim M. Goldstein.

Wow! You made it this far. Thanks for taking the time to view all my photos. Keep tabs on my latest posts by subscribe to my blog or (ironically) follow me on social media. I’m not posting as frequently as I used to, but when I do it’s likely something you won’t want to miss. Also I do have a mail list if you’d like to subscribe (at my current rate I send out 1-2 email per year due to a hectic schedule).



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2017 in review: a look back at November

30 Dec
This shot from Dan’s Gear of the Year writeup wasn’t taken in November but it seemed apt for an overview article.

November is usually a fairly quiet time for the industry: all the cameras the manufacturers are hoping will sell around Christmas have been announced. Well, except for Leica, which always likes to set itself apart – this time by launching a new model in mid November. Still, there was plenty going on in the wider world of photography:

The internet has always made rather more liberal use of other people’s images than is legally allowed but it’s generally only the egregious examples that tend to get pursued. US TV network CBS bucked that trend by going after a photographer who’d used a screengrab from a forty-year old TV show on social media. Meanwhile, another photographer took action against pop star Bruno Mars for using one of her photos on social media without seeking the appropriate license.

The UK’s National Air Traffic Service published a video showing the knock-on effects of breaching drone rules

Speaking of licenses, the UK’s National Air Traffic Service published a video showing the knock-on effects of breaching drone rules, after four planes and their passengers were diverted to other airports in response to one incidence of careless droning. It’s probably no surprise that tighter rules may be implemented in the UK, and that DJI has the ability to track its drones.

Meanwhile Eastman Kodak announced more job losses, just four years after a bankruptcy restructuring that saw it exit the photography market. However, at the same time, the company also gave an insight into the work it’s doing to recreate its Ektachrome filmstock.

But, just because all the camera makers were able to put their feet up until after Christmas*, that didn’t mean we could do the same. Instead, we worked to test and evaluate the a7R III and put together the best-informed review we could, only for it to really complicate our Gear of the Year and DPR Award choices. But those are a topic for next month…

* I mean, I’m pretty sure that’s what happens.

Sony a7R III review

We put a lot of effort digging into the a7R III’s performance. The sensor was common to both this camera and the Mark II but enough changes had been made that we wanted to make sure we’d experienced and captured those differences and improvements. And what improvements…

A first look at the Leica CL

The Leica T and TL series cameras have tended to split opinion, with their minimalist design and touchscreen interfaces. The CL is a much safer product, though: traditional controls and pared-down classic styling. Barney took a closer look.

Canon 85mm F1.4L IS USM

An 85mm F1.4 has long been one of the glaring omissions from Canon’s lens lineup. Not content to just fill that gap, Canon decided to make an image stabilized version worthy of its ‘L’ designation. As you can imagine, we were pretty excited to get out shooting with it.

New Fujifilm Raw-conversion software

Fujifilm released a Raw converter but one with a difference: all the processing is done by the camera.

Take a closer look

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Reviews and Articles on Photography Gear – 2017

30 Dec

If you’ve been reading over the last few of days you may have seen these already:

  • The Best Landscape Articles on dPS in 2017
  • Top Portrait Photography Tips of the Year on dPS in 2017
  • Most Popular Post-Processing Articles of 2017
  • Best Beginner Photography Articles 2017

Now it’s time to geek out a bit and talk about photography equipment. Here are some of the reviews and tips from 2017 to help you make the best of your gear.

Reviews and Articles on Photography Gear – 2017

  1. Review of the New Sigma 500mm F4 DG HSM OS Sport Lens
  2. Review of the New Flagship DX Camera – The Nikon D500
  3. Review of the New Formatt Hitech Firecrest Filter Holder and Neutral Density Filters
  4. Review of the Wine Country Camera Filter Holder System
  5. Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens
  6. Review of the New Nikon D5600 Camera Body
  7. Review of the Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
  8. Camera Bag Review – The Udee Backpack
  9. Review: Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens
  10. Think Tank Signature 13 Camera Shoulder Bag Review
  11. The New Canon 6D Mark II – Hands-On Previews and Thoughts
  12. Review of the K&F Concept TC2534 Lightweight Carbon Fiber Tripod
  13. Review of the new Spekular Modular LED Light System
  14. VSGO Camera Sensor Cleaning Kit Review
  15. Eight Ways to Get Rid of GAS – Gear Acquisition Syndrome
  16. When is the Right Time to Upgrade Camera Gear?
  17. Tips for Buying Used Camera Gear
  18. Recommended Gear for Doing Long Exposure Photography at Twilight and Dusk
  19. DIY Hack 2-for-1 Luggage and Camera Roller Bag

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2017 in review: a look back at October

30 Dec
Leica’s Thambar-M 90mm F2.2 costs $ 325 per aperture blade – and it has 20 of them.

October – in America anyway, the month of costumes, changing leaves and inebriated frights. This year, I dressed up as a sheep for halloween (apologies to anyone who saw that), so the ‘frights’ part is pretty suspect. Anyway, I digress.

This past October was also a great month for gear releases as well. As you see above, we have Leica’s Thambar 90mm F2.2, as well as Olympus’ 17mm and 45mm F1.2 Pro lenses. Sigma released a 16mm F1.4 ‘Contemporary’ lens for both Micro Four Thirds and Sony E-mount, and Google released two new Pixel phones that offer groundbreaking (for phones) photographic results. Last, but not least, Canon released a new PowerShot flagship in the G1 X Mark III.

We published our full review of the Nikon D850, as well as a review of Fujifilm’s very likable X-E3

And while the camera companies were busy, so were we. We published our full review of the Nikon D850, as well as a review of Fujifilm’s very likable X-E3. And our own Dale Baskin looked back on the Samsung NX1 for one of our most popular editions of Throwback Thursday.

We would, of course, be remiss to ignore the release of the new silver edition of the Leica Q. Like so many Leica ‘special editions,’ its could be easy to dismiss, but we’re big fans of the highly capable Q and also fans of the new design – even though it comes at a $ 245 premium over the all-black model. Maybe silver paint is more expensive than we thought.

Photo Plus Expo 2017: Full coverage

This year’s PPE saw new releases from several manufacturers, from more or less conventional compact cameras to some really out-there products (ahem – Leica Thambar…). As usual, DPReview was there with full coverage

The California Coast with the Canon EF 28mm F2.8 IS

We spent some quality time with Canon’s compact EF 28mm F2.8 IS USM on the California coast in October – read how it performed.

Read our Canon 28mm F2.8 IS shooting experience

Looking (further) back at the PowerShot G5

As Canon announced the newest G-series flagship in the G1 X III, Barney looked back at the PowerShot G5 – a remarkable camera that he picked up for the princely sum of $ 9 at a local thrift shop.

Read about Barney’s thrift shop PowerShot G5

Check out our full D850 review to find out why it’s just so darn good.

See the Nikon D850 review

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GorillaPod unveils the Mobile Rig: A flexible tripod with two extra accessory arms

30 Dec

GorillaPod has launched a new flexible tripod product called the Mobile Rig. With Mobile Rig, smartphone filmmakers get two extra arms in addition to the smartphone mount, making it possible to attach a small secondary camera or accessories, such as lights and a microphone. And, of course, Mobile Rig has the same flexibility as past GorillaPod tripods.

The GorillaPod Mobile Rig includes a pair of arms, each with 1/4″-20 connection points, as well as a pair of Cold Shoe mounts and a single GoPro mount. Joining those is the GripTight locking mount for securing a smartphone to the tripod. The tripod is made of aluminum, ABS plastic, zinc-aluminum, stainless steel, and TPE.

GorillaPod Mobile Rig is in stock on JOBY’s website for $ 100 USD.

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Yongnuo announces YN 14mm F2.8 in Canon mount

30 Dec

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Yongnuo has made a name for itself as the go-to brand for cheap photo gear, and that includes several Canon lens alternatives (some of which seem like outright clones) that sacrifice some quality while slashing 60-80% or even more off the price. So far, Yongnuo has released its own versions of Canon’s 50mm F1.8, 35mm F2, 85mm F1.8, and 100mm F2. And today, they add one more to the list.

Meet the Yongnuo YN 14mm F2.8: a lens that looks very similar to Canon’s own 14mm F2.8L II. Here they are side by side:

According to Yongnuo’s description, the YN 14mm F2.8 sports 12 lens elements in 9 groups (Canon’s has 14 elements in 11 groups) and a 7-blade aperture (Canon’s has 6 blades). The other big difference is the focus motor. The Canon 14mm F2.8L II USM has an ultrasonic motor, while Yongnuo’s 14mm sports a standard DC motor; expect a much louder experience if you’re going to try out this lens.

The minimum focusing distance (0.2 meters), aperture range (F2.8-F22), magnification (0.15x), and angle of view (114°) are all identical.

Finally, the Yongnuo 14mm F2.8 will feature the same USB connection as the company’s 100mm F2, allowing for firmware updates that could help sand down the lens’ rougher edges after it makes its way into consumer hands.

For now, we don’t know when the Yongnuo YN 14mm F2.8 will officially arrive at online retailers, but we’ll keep an eye out for you.

As for cost, the Canon 14mm F2.8L II retails for $ 2,100. And while we don’t yet know exactly how much Yongnuo plans to charge for the YN 14mm F2.8, you can bet it’ll cost a whole lot less than two grand. To give you a frame of reference, Canon’s 100mm F2 USM lens goes for $ 500; the Yongnuo knock-off is just 160 bucks.

To learn more about this lens, head over to the Yongnuo website.

Editor’s Note: The post has been updated to more clearly point out the differences between the Yongnuo 14mm and Canon 14mm F2.8L II. Our apologies if the original came off as misleading by using the term ‘clone’.

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2018 Shoot & Share Photo Contest opens for entries on January 8th

30 Dec

Wanna pit your skills against tens of thousands of other photographers… for free? You’ll soon have your chance. The 2018 Photo Contest by Shoot & Share—which bills itself as the world’s only free & fair photo contest—will start accepting entries on January 8th.

What sets this particular contest apart is the voting process. No hoity-toity group of judges sifting through your entries, the whole system is democratic.

Every entrant is allowed to submit up to 50 photos in a total of 25 categories, and those photos are voted on by everyone else (including you). Photos are shown to you at random, and you vote for your favorites. As Shoot & Share explains it, “No one knows who took the photos, but everyone votes for the winners. The photos with the most votes win!”

Here’s a fun intro video Shoot & Share put together:

The democratic draw of this contest as summed up best, perhaps, by DPReview Editorial Manager Wenmei Hill:

“It’s huge, it’s free, and it’s a big ego boost (or destroyer, depending on how good a photographer you are) for tons of photographers.”

Prizes for the 2018 contest haven’t been revealed yet, but all 25 categories will have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, in addition to a Grand Prize Winner for the contest as a whole. According to the contest site, “Last year, there was over $ 1,200,000 in free memberships, software, credit, gifts, workshops, and more,” given away.

Not bad for a totally free and extremely democratic contest.

To learn more about the 2018 Photo Contest or see last year’s winners, head over to the contest website. And if you plan to participate, you have just over a week to curate your best shots for submission.

UPDATE: Several readers have expressed concern about some of Shoot & Share’s terms and conditions for this contest: specifically, the part that says you allow them to use your images with photo credit.

To clear up any misconceptions, we reached out to Heather Keys, the company’s head of Marketing and Business Development, to ask how contestants’ photos have been used in the past. Here’s what she said:

In the past, the photos from the contest have been used to promote various community activities as well as used to promote future contests (always with photo credit included).

At times, we have reached out to those photographers that submitted images during the contest to request to use certain submitted photos in promotion of some of the products we offer ( and ). With that said, we’ve always requested permission and offered compensation if we ever used submitted photos for promotion of our software tools.

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Selfitis, the obsessive taking of selfies, may be a real mental disorder

30 Dec

A viral article published in 2014 claimed that the American Psychiatric Association had established a new mental disorder called “selfitis” — that is, the obsessive taking of selfies. That article, though fake, inspired a real exploratory study to determine whether a condition like the one described in the article could exist…and, the research shows, it very well may.

Of note, the fake viral article had claimed that selfitis existed across three levels of severity: borderline, acute, and chronic. To determine whether that could be true, researchers Mark D. Griffiths and Janarthanan Balakrishnan conducted interviews with a focus group of 225 Indian university students to attempt to create what they called the Selfitis Behavior Scale (SBS) based on those three severities.

Having created the SBS, and as explained in the recently published study, the researchers then attempted to validate it using exploratory factor analysis (EFA). For this, they recruited 734 total students, and identified 400 students as belonging to one of the three severity categories they’d outlined — the breakdown being 34% borderline, 40.5% acute, and 25.5% chronic. The most severely affected age group was 16- to 20-years-old at 56%, while 21 to 25 was the next highest age group at 34%. As well, men represented 57.5% of the categories, while women represented 42.5%.

As a result of the EFA, the two researchers were also able to identify half a dozen factors referred to in the study as “selfitis motivations” — they include social competition, seeking attention, modifying mood, boosting self-confidence, conformity, and enhancing one’s environment.

The researchers note that the study has some limitations, including that the data was self-reported and “subject to many well-known biases.” However, it indicates that a mental disorder like “selfitis” could possibly exist and that it is worth further investigation. “As with internet addiction,” the study states, “the concepts of “selfitis” and “selfie addiction” started as a hoax, but recent research including the present paper has begun to empirically validate its existence.”

Via: PetaPixel

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