Archive for November, 2018

Keeping Colors Consistent in Photography in 3 Easy Steps

30 Nov

The post Keeping Colors Consistent in Photography in 3 Easy Steps appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

In this video by Gavin Hoey from Adorama, he discusses ways of keeping colors consistent throughout your photography process.

Keeping Colors Consistent in 3 Easy Steps

Using these 3 quick steps in your photography workflow will make your process much easier and save you time.

1. Begin with the Right Computer Monitor

Begin with a great monitor, because a bad monitor makes editing your photos difficult. A monitor with at least 100% of the sRGB color space will work. Even better, is a monitor that displays 99% of AdobeRGB color space, such as the BEN Q SW2700.

You will need to color-calibrate the monitor. Get the best out of your monitor using a color calibration tool. Using something like an X-Rite i1 Display Pro Display and Monitor Calibrator. See more on using it here.

2. Getting Colors Right In-Camera

Set a custom white balance using a color checker passport. Open up to the grey side. Get the model to hold it in front of them. Fill the frame with the white card, use the custom white balance mode in camera (varies from camera to camera) and take a photo. Your white balance should now be correct.

Setting in-camera means you can show your subjects the photos in-camera.

Also saves you time in post-processing. The image may then look a bit wrong when looking through the view-finder. Just check the image when you take it – it should look correct.

Next, take a picture of the color checker passport fully-open to the color side, and under the same lighting conditions. We will use this to make the profile. This color setting will be used for the entire shoot.

3. Set-up Your Custom Profile in Photoshop

With the shoot done, it is time to make the Photoshop custom profile for post-process editing.

Bring the RAW file of the model holding the color checker passport into Photoshop. Open it as a DNG (Digital Negative) and save it somewhere that is easily accessible. Close the file.

Find your DNG file and drag and drop it onto the Colour Checker Passport application. The application will do all the work for you. All you need to do is click ‘create profile’ and save it with a unique name for that particular shoot/set-up. It is saved as a new color profile.

Next, open your RAW file into photoshop. Go to the ‘Profile’ Tab and select ‘Browse.’ Go to your saved profile and select it.

How do you use this profile for all the images across your shoot?

Go back to Camera RAW. Choose the icon in the top corner of the panel, and select ‘set as new camera RAW default.’ All of the photos you open will now apply the new color profile, keeping your entire shoot consistent.


You may also find the following articles helpful:

How to Choose the Right Monitor for Photo Editing

Setting Your White Balance with a Gray Card – a Tip from Phil Steele

Setting The Mood By Adjusting Your White Balance

How to Use the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport to Obtain Perfect Color

How to Make Custom Camera Raw Profiles for Lightroom & Photoshop

The post Keeping Colors Consistent in Photography in 3 Easy Steps appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

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Best DSLR For Beginners: Canon or Nikon?

30 Nov

If you’re a beginner DSLR camera user, it means you’ve outgrown your smartphone or compact camera and want to take your photography to the next level and deliver quality images.  Right? If that’s the case, we’ll help you take that big step up. There’s a range of DSLR Cameras for entry-level users like the Canon and Nikon brands that offer Continue Reading

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Sigma 40mm F1.4 Art sample gallery

30 Nov

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Sigma holds its Art series lenses to a high standard, so our interest was piqued when the company’s CEO Kazuto Yamaki described the 40mm F1.4 as a ‘reference’ lens for the entire Global Vision range. While we had a chance to shoot with a pre-production model at Photokina, we were eager to really put the 40mm to work when a full production lens rolled into the office. Take a look at how it performed.

See our Sigma 40mm F1.4 Art
sample gallery

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Instagram announces new features for visually impaired users

30 Nov

Instagram has announced it’s making changes to its platform in order to make it more accessible to the more than 285 million people in the world who have visual impairments.

The first new feature is automatic alternative text. This will allow visually impaired users to hear image descriptions through their readers while using Instagram’s Feed, Explore and Profile sections.

Automatic alternative text uses object recognition to automatically generate photo descriptions for screen readers, so users can hear a list of items that photos may contain while navigating the app.

Given Instagram’s parent company Facebook has already developed an AI-powered object recognition system (trained using Instagram images) this new feature is likely using the same technology, although this hasn’t been confirmed.

Custom alternative text is the second new feature designed to make things easier for visually impaired users. Uploaders can now provide a more detailed description of images while posting. This description will be read out to users of screen readers.

Instagram says these are only first steps, so we’ll likely see more accessibility features in the near future.

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Phase One releases Capture One 12 with new interface, third-party plug-in support

30 Nov

Phase One has released Capture One 12, the latest edition of its image editing software. The updated product features a redesigned interface, revamped menu aligned between the Mac and Windows versions, linear and gradient masks via the new Parametric Masking Engine, luminosity masking and a new plug-in ecosystem.

Capture One 12’s new plug-in ecosystem supports third-party extensions and will soon have access to plug-ins for sharing and editing, as well as connecting the software to “specialized editing tools,” according to the company. Phase One’s Capture One Plugin SDK enables developers to create their own plug-ins for the software.

The updated product also adds new Fujifilm Film Simulation, lens, and camera support, expands AppleScript support for macOS users, and features a redesigned keyboard shortcut manager. Capture One 12 supports more than 500 camera models across all major brands.

Phase One is offering Capture One 12 with a perpetual license to new customers for $ 299 USD, but existing customers can purchase the update starting at $ 149 USD. Alternatively, the company offers Capture One Pro Sony 12 and Capture One Pro Fujifilm 12 for $ 219 USD. Buyers also have a subscription option starting at $ 15/month for Capture One Pro 12 and $ 14/month for the Fuji and Sony editions.

Redesigned and reimagined for the needs of today’s creatives, expanding for tomorrow’s solutions

COPENHAGEN, November 29, 2018: Phase One, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-end digital camera systems, today released Capture One 12, the next major milestone in the evolution of the industry’s premier RAW conversion, image editing, and asset management software. This release takes a top-down approach to streamline, modernizing, and improving the user interface to continue the program’s tradition of providing powerful features in a customizable, uniquely-configurable interface.

New masking tools and improved workflow features continue Capture One’s tradition of providing the most powerful image editing tools available, while a new plug-in ecosystem will allow third-party developers to connect their services and applications to Capture One.

Capture One 12 furthers Phase One’s commitment to providing unparalleled RAW editing, with unmatched tethering, color handling and precise editing on images captured with any of more than 500 different camera models.

Capture One 11.3 introduced support for all Fujifilm cameras and their unique sensors. Capture One 12 now enhances that support with the ability to correctly read and interpret Fujifilm’s legendary Film Simulations.

“Capture One has long been recognized as the industry standard for RAW image editing and image management,” says Jan Hyldebrandt-Larsen, VP Software Business at Phase One. “With this update, we focused on creative control — updating and improving the user interface, adding powerful new masking tools, and extending the Capture One ecosystem through plug-in support. These updates further our commitment to ensuring that Capture One continues to be the industry’s recognized leader in accuracy, performance, and customizability.”

Download Capture One 12, as well as find resources and tutorials at:

New features and tools in Capture One 12

Powerful, refined interface

Capture One 12 introduces a newly re-designed, contemporary interface, designed to make Capture One easier to use during long editing sessions and to make discovery, experimentation, and customizability easier than ever. New iconography better conveys tool functionality, and the new slider design, the spacing of the tools, and font size increase improves both the look and the usability of the program.

The result is a new environment that feels more welcoming for new users while being more customizable for power-users.

Revamped menu system

Every menu item in Capture One 12 has been evaluated, categorized, and organized according to its logical function and grouped along with associated tasks, which makes it easier to find the desired controls and settings, and brings the Mac and Windows menu options into alignment.

Luminosity masking

One of a trio of new masking tools, Luma Range allows users to quickly create masks based on the brightness of pixels in an image and is the most powerful luminance masking tool of its kind.

This masking technique is particularly powerful in landscapes and high-key portraits, as it allows for nearly-instantaneous masks in complex scenes based on brightness—eliminating the need to tediously paint complex masks. Once a luminance range is created and adjusted using the precision mask-adjustment tools, nearly any editing tool can be applied to the mask.

The masks created with the Luma Range tool are dynamic and can easily be tweaked and modified at any point in the workflow. Unlike a hand-drawn mask, Luma Range adjustments can be applied from one image to another, and the effect will be based on the luminance of each image. This functionality is a huge time-saver as it eliminates the need to create precision masks for each frame in a shoot.

The new Luma Range selection masks open up an incredible range of editing possibilities, from selective noise reduction to precise color grading.

Linear Gradient Mask

Capture One 12 takes gradient masks to the next level, allowing for editable, moveable, rotatable—and best of all—asymmetric gradient masks. Using a brand-new Parametric Masking Engine, Capture One allows for adjustments in the size, shape, and symmetry of the masks with simple mouse clicks and key presses, truly redefining the possibilities of linear gradients in Capture One. Rotate, feather and adjust a mask with a precision never before possible.

Radial Gradient Mask

The new Radial Gradient mask tool enables quick, flexible radial masks, useful for vignette and other adjustments with a desired falloff effect. Using the same Parametric Masking Engine as the Linear Gradient mask tool, radial masks can be adjusted, rotated and moved after creation for extreme control over desired effects.

Redesigned Keyboard Shortcut manager

Capture One is known for its ability to custom-assign and custom-configure virtually every task to a keyboard shortcut. With more than 500 individually-assignable and customizable commands, it’s essential to be able to find the exact shortcut, without having to hunt through hundreds of choices.

Users can now search by the specific menu command, or by the assigned keyboard shortcut, making it easy to find and manage shortcuts. To unify the interface between the Mac and Windows versions the new menu system has been moved to the same location on both platforms, making it easier for workgroups to stay in sync.

New plug-in ecosystem

To address the needs of photographers and creatives looking to share, edit and collaborate on their images, the new Capture One plug-in ecosystem will allow for powerful third-party extensions. The new Capture One SDK will allow any developer to create custom solutions to expand Capture One, and to transform Capture One into an open ecosystem.

Users of Capture One will be able to extend the platform with the upcoming addition of plug-ins that allow for sharing, editing, and that can connect Capture One to a variety of specialized editing tools.

For developers, the Capture One Plugin SDK—available as a free download—will provide access to the broad base of passionate professional and enthusiast photographers that use Capture One. Developers are now able to create solutions that leverage the image-editing and organizational prowess of Capture One, and the added capabilities of third-party resources.

The initial Capture One Plugin SDK allows for plugin development, and can be leveraged for common tasks like sharing, sending files to external editors, and allowing images to be opened in other applications, and more.

Fujifilm Film Simulation support

Fujifilm X-Series and GFX-series cameras feature Film Simulations, which are in-camera tonal adjustments that faithfully reproduce the color and tonality of classic Fujifilm photographic films. Sixteen Film Simulations are available, ranging from color stocks like Provia and Velvia to black and white film like Acros. These simulations give Fujifilm users the ability to digitally capture images with the feel of beloved photographic films.

Thanks to the collaboration between Capture One and Fujifilm, photographer’s using Fujifilm’s renowned X-Series and GFX-series cameras will be able to edit photos complete with Fujifilm Film Simulations. These in-camera settings have been faithfully reproduced in Capture One, to provide an identical experience when working with files, resulting in images that appear the same as if the Film Simulation picture profiles were applied in-camera.

Extended AppleScript support

Users of Capture One on Mac OS can take advantage of extended AppleScript support for automation and workflow streamlining. More than a dozen of Capture One 12’s areas and properties can now be directly modified with AppleScript, adding to the existing, robust AppleScript support in previous versions of Capture One.

New camera and lens support

Capture One provides users with the most accurate and powerful image editing available, and the wide-ranging support of cameras and lenses is a hallmark of the software. For enthusiasts and professionals alike, Capture One continually evolves to handle the newest cameras and lenses.

Phase One carefully evaluates and interprets each camera’s RAW formats, allowing Capture One to present images with the utmost fidelity, often bringing out nuances that other programs can’t even perceive.

In addition to the RAW support for more than 500 cameras, Capture One also provides profiling and image correction support for more than 500 lenses. Like with the RAW file interpretation, Phase One carefully measures the optical characteristics of each supported lens and builds correction algorithms that compensate for the various optical imperfections of various designs. As a result, Capture One can correct for numerous common optical issues such as vignette, and chromatic aberration as needed for each of the supported lenses.

New camera support:

  • Nikon Z7
  • Nikon Z6
  • Fujifilm GFX 50R
  • Canon EOS R
  • Canon EOS M50

For a complete list of supported cameras, please go to:

Availability and pricing

Capture One is available in several versions. Capture One Pro 12 supports more than 500 cameras from all major camera brands, while Capture One Pro Sony 12 and Capture One Pro Fujifilm 12 supports cameras from those brands, respectively.

Phase One is committed to providing customers a choice when it comes to how they acquire their software, so Capture One Pro 12 is available for purchase, or via subscription. The perpetual license for Capture One Pro 12 is available for $ 299, with upgrade pricing from previous versions starting at $ 149. Capture One Pro Sony and Capture One Pro Fujifilm are available for $ 219

For those that prefer subscription models, Capture One Pro 12 is available for plans as low as $ 15 per month, and Capture One Pro Sony and Capture One Pro Fujifilm subscription plans start at $ 14 a month.

For a complete list of all products and licensing options, please visit: to learn more.

A 30-day fully-featured free trial of Capture One 12 is available. Download the trial here:

Via: PDN

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7 Ways To Take Your Photography To The Next Level

30 Nov

The post 7 Ways To Take Your Photography To The Next Level appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kav Dadfar.

It easy to stagnate as a photographer. It’s a lonely hobby where you often work alone spending hours in pursuit of one photo which may not materialize. You can begin to lose interest and become lazy. This loss of interest can manifest itself in your photos which, in turn, demoralizes you further. As with many hobbies, the great thing about photography is you can reignite your passion. So here are 7 ways to take your photography to the next level.

1 - 7 Ways To Take Your Photography To The Next Level

1. Photograph Something Different

One of the things many photographers are guilty of doing is photographing the same things over and over again. If you did the same thing again and again, eventually you’d get fed up with it. So, a great way to boost your passion for photography is to photograph something completely different. For example, if you are a travel photographer, spend some time photographing wildlife. If you take portraits, start photographing food.

Not only will this help reignite your passion, but it can also add more skills to your repertoire. You never know, you may find a new passion you never knew you had.

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2. Work On a Brief

Remember when you were at school and had to work on projects set by the teacher? It required you to learn about the subject, think about it and create a piece of work to present to your teacher. The concept of working on a brief is the same. You are given a topic or subject to photograph, and you take photos that answer the brief.

The project could be anything from a simple task of documenting a local event, to photographing a remote tribe in another country. Many people who take up photography as a hobby take photos of things that they come across rather than a specific brief. Working on a brief can help focus your photography and make you think about things differently.

Ask a friend or family member to set you a brief. It could be on anything. After you receive the brief, go about creating a set of images that respond to it.

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3. Set Yourself a Challenge

Another way to improve your photography is to set yourself challenges. These can help diversify your portfolio. For example, you may have lots of photos but are missing some nice close-ups. So, set yourself a challenge to capture one close-up image every day. Perhaps you have a weakness in a specific area of photography? Set yourself a challenge to improve that one element.

If you are a shy person and struggle to approach people to take their photo, set yourself a challenge to photograph ten people in one day. You’ll be surprised how much more confident you feel after doing so.

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4. Read, Watch, Follow

One of the best ways to improve your photography is to be inspired by photographers whose work you admire. Follow photographers on social media whose work inspires you. Look at the work of the masters like Ansel Adams, Steve McCurry, and Robert Capa. Read books such as the ‘Bang Bang Club‘ and watch documentaries and movies about photography. Even flicking through photography books or magazines can help inspire you. However, remember the objective should be to be inspired, not copy someone else’s work.

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5. Get a Photo Buddy

Photography is usually an isolated hobby and can be difficult to judge how well you are doing. Having someone who shares your passion can help motivate you while also giving you someone to bounce ideas off. You can learn from one another and push each other to capture better images. If you don’t know anyone who has a passion for photography, join your local camera club where you can meet likeminded individuals.

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6. Rent or Buy a Film Camera

There is no doubt that cameras are better and more powerful than they have ever been. You’ll find it hard finding many photographers who still shoot in film.

Still, one negative of digital photography is that it makes the decision of taking photos easy. Back in the days of film, every single photo you took cost money. Meaning, you had to be sure of what you were photographing to avoid wasting money. So you didn’t waste money, you had to think a lot harder about a scene. You had to think about your settings and if it was an interesting subject. You didn’t have the luxury of looking at the picture on the back of your camera.

Try it out. Rent film camera for a day, or buy a second-hand one, and see if it makes you think differently about photography.

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7. Go On a Photo Tour

Photo tours are quite common these days. Tours usually entail going to a country and touring it with the purpose of capturing photos. Ranging from a few days to weeks, tours are one of the best ways to boost your photography. You are away with likeminded individuals who share your passion, and you are joined by a professional photographer who can help you with your photographic weaknesses.

Nevertheless, arguably the most significant benefit of a photo tour is you are immersed in photography every day for weeks. If you keep practicing and doing something for hours every day, it’s natural for you to become better at it. So, if you haven’t tried a photo tour or workshop, give it go. It could be the best way to boost your photography skills and passion.

8 - 7 Ways To Take Your Photography To The Next Level

Like any other hobby or profession, you need to continually challenge yourself, set goals and have the motivation to create great photos. Sometimes that comes naturally, like when you are heading to a fantastic destination. At other times you have to make an effort to push yourself to be able to take your photography to the next level. The above tips should help you on your way, but ultimately it is down to you to push yourself.

What do you do to improve your photography? Tell us below.

The post 7 Ways To Take Your Photography To The Next Level appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Kav Dadfar.

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World’s largest wet collodion plate created in abandoned house converted into a camera

29 Nov

While the rest of the world has been concentrating on making cameras smaller and lighter photographer Ian Ruhter was making one literally the size of a house in order to make the world’s largest wet collodion plate. Ian and his team sealed up an abandoned house in California and mounted a lens in the wall to create a massive camera. The camera was used to produce a portrait of a 100-year-old local resident on a sheet of glass measuring 66×90 inches.

The scale of the camera is one thing, and the size of the finished image is another, but what is most remarkable is that the team used a process that requires the glass plate to be coated with a solution of collodion poured from a jug right before the picture was taken.

The house selected was an abandoned ruin in an area called Bombay Beach, and the living room was used to form the camera. A giant hole for the lens was cut into the side of the house projected the image of the outside world into the room, and onto the massive sheet of glass for a ten second exposure.

The team made a fascinating documentary about the process that shows the project from start to finish and the thinking behind it. More of the team’s old-process adventures can be seen on the Silver and Light Vimeo channel.

Video description:

“While working with wet plate collodion Ruhter came up with an idea to show the world the beauty of these objects in a size that was deemed impossible. This led him and the Silver & Light Team to a forgotten town on the edge of the Salton Sea called Bombay Beach, located in California’s Imperial Valley. The idea was to create a camera out of an abandoned house. The structure would serve as the framework for the camera. Instead of focusing on the decay from the outside, this house camera allowed a view from the inside into someone’s dream.

Once the giant lens was placed on the front of the house, images of Ted, a 100 year old resident who recently found himself homeless, were projected in, breathing new life into this abandoned structure and once again making it a home. During this brief moment in time when Ted’s photograph was captured, he was present in both places. In reality, he was homeless in the outside world. However, the projected image simultaneously allowed him to be sitting in the living room where he was once again home. because the surface of the plate is highly reflective the life sized plate serves as a mirror, allowing one to reflect upon where they will be in the twilight of their life.

Ten seconds of this dream were recorded on a 200 pound sheet of glass coated with collodion. The result was a 66”x 90” Ambrotype, which is recognized as the world’s largest wet plate collodion image.”

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Gear Review: The Lumix G9 Mirrorless Camera

29 Nov

The post Gear Review: The Lumix G9 Mirrorless Camera appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by David Shaw.

1 - Gear Review - Lumix G9 Mirrorless Camera

The Lumix G9 – a 20.3mp, micro 4/3rds, mirrorless camera.

When I bought my first full-frame DSLR many years ago (an original Canon 5D), I thought I’d discovered the pinnacle of camera technology. Because a bigger sensor is better right?

Well, not necessarily.

Sensor sizes are like film sizes- they are different formats, not different quality. Each has advantages and disadvantages, and some will fit your needs while some won’t.

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Flying in small planes is how I reach many of my photo locations. A light camera system is vital.

The Lumix G9 Mirrorless Camera

Bigger sensors, for all their benefits, also mean bulkier and heavier lenses. A smaller sensor, such as the micro 4/3rds system, is compact, and light. That’s why, as an outdoor pro who specializes in shooting in remote areas, I’ve recently begun shooting the Lumix m4/3rds system. Specifically, my primary camera is now the Lumix G9 mirrorless camera, the flagship of Lumix still cameras.

Body Quality

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The Lumix G9 Mirrorless Camera from the top.

The Lumix G9 Mirrorless Camera is of a similar size to other pro-level mirrorless camera bodies. For me, this is the appropriate size. If the body were much smaller the controls would become too small and cumbersome for rapid use in the field, and impossible while wearing gloves. The G9, in my opinion, is a good compromise between size and functionality.

The build is sturdy with a die-cast magnesium chassis and is environmentally sealed. A textured rubber coating covers most of the body providing a confident grip, even when wet. The body weighs in 658g, more or less typical of this size mirrorless camera. I’ve used mine in temperatures varying from -25F, to +100F in the snow, rain, and salt spray. I’ve banged it around inside bush planes, safari vehicles, rafts, and canoes, and have yet to have an issue with durability.

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Bush planes. I’ve gotten used to flying in them, but I never get tired of photographing them. (De Havilland Otter reflected in an Alaskan lake).


The 20.3mp micro four-thirds sensor has an excellent dynamic range for a sensor of this size and extremely low noise below about 1600 ISO. At higher ISOs, the noise does increase noticeably, which is a drawback for night photography. However, the files can handle substantial pushes in post-processing. Adding two or even three stops of light seems to have little impact on image quality.


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Handheld, at 1/15th second. Easy.

Lumix advertises a whopping 6.5 stops of stabilization built into the camera; a system that works seamlessly with lens-integrated stabilization. This impressive number isn’t just marketing hyperbole. I’ve found I can handhold images, even while using a long lens, to speeds as low as 1/8th of a second. Blurred water shots no longer require a tripod and video capture is smooth and almost vibration free. This is unquestionably the best camera I’ve ever used when it comes to image stabilization.

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Still Photography Performance

Frame Rate

Mirrorless cameras are not subject to the same limitations of shutter speeds as their DSLR counterparts. The electronic shutter of the Lumix G9 reaches a whopping 20 frames per second, far more than is needed except in all but the most extreme, fast-paced shooting situations. Even when using the standard frame rate, it still manages 9 frames per second, which is competitive with just about any camera on the market.

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At 20fps in the high burst mode, or 9fps in regular, the G9 makes quick work of moving subjects.


The autofocus is perhaps the one point, where the G9 does fall a bit short of high-end DSLRs. Lumix has applied a contrast detection system combined with Panasonic’s Depth from Defocus technology (DFD). In bright conditions with few obstacles, I found the autofocus to be exceptionally fast with a high hit rate. However, in tangled environments, or in low light, it occasionally struggles to grab my subject.

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The DFD system is an active autofocus that perpetually pushes and pulls the focus just a hair back and forth as it determines the focus point. It’s fast, but slightly distracting and often lead me to think that the camera hadn’t settled on my subject. It had, and the resulting images show a high hit rate, but the constant push-pull is a bit distracting.

Image Quality

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While overall image quality is excellent, night photography is the one place where the G9 falls short. This image, captured at ISO 3200, required substantial noise reduction.

In most lighting situations, the 20.3mp images are excellent. RAW format files have a competitive dynamic range which allows substantial pushing of exposure in post-processing. If you are jpeg shooter, the camera exports colorful, but not unnatural files ready for sharing on social media. I like the jpeg outputs so much that I’ve set the camera to write both small jpegs and RAW files which allows for quick shares without post-processing.

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Contrasting the previous image, this image captured at 800 ISO is nearly clean and required no noise reduction, despite the dim conditions. There seems to be a big reduction in image quality between ISO1600 and ISO 3200.

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High contrast scenes like this, the G9 handles admirably well.

High-Resolution Images

One of my favorite features of the Lumix G9 Mirrorless Camera is the high-resolution setting. The 20.3mp sensor is plenty for general use, however, as a landscape photographer, I often desire files that can be printed very large. The high-resolution image setting on the G9 takes 8 images in a row, each offset by 1/2 pixel. This produces a final file that is over 80 megapixels! For best results, a tripod is required, but for landscape work, I’m almost always using one anyway. The quality of the final image is, quite frankly, amazing.

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This image was captured using the high-resolution setting on the Lumix G9. The original file is a whopping 10368x7776px.

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The above image, cropped nearly in half, is still enormous by almost any standard.



Wifi connectivity when combined with Lumix’s intuitive app for phone or tablet, allows quick exporting of files for sharing from the field. Additionally, the app allows full remote operation of the camera. Once your image is composed, you can use the app to adjust exposure, aperture, shutter speed or ISO, then click the shutter from a 100m away.


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With a wide variety of lenses in the Lumix (and Olympus) lines. There is no shortage of options for all kinds of photography from wildlife to portraits and landscapes.

Advanced shooters will appreciate the extensive customization options on the G9. You can program in multiple preset modes, accessible from the main function dial atop the camera. But I’ve come to like even more, a separate switch on the front of the camera at the lower left, which allows you to switch between two types of shooting modes. I have one set for my standard landscape settings, and one to my favorites for wildlife. With a quick flick of a finger, I can move back and forth between the two as my shooting situation changes. Nifty.


Lumix has always been associated with video capture, even more than still photography. And while the G9 was definitely designed with still images in mind, it has inherited many video features of the other Lumix cameras. 4k video capture up to 60fps is possible with the G9, something few other still cameras can achieve. With the excellent integrated stabilization, high-quality video is a breeze. As many of my clients are now requesting video clips in addition to stills, the excellent moving image capture of the G9 means I no longer have to carry a second, video-specific camera when I’m shooting on assignment. For a still shooter who likes to capture some video or a film-maker who also wants high-quality stills, the G9 may be the perfect compromise.

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From the back, the camera’s controls are straight forward.

But What’s it Like to Use?

All the tech specs in the world won’t tell you what it actually feels like to use the camera. And in that case, I think the Lumix has really won the race. The controls are intuitive, with buttons conveniently located and ergonomics that allow you to determine buttons easily by feel, and without searching around. I moved from Canon to Lumix and found it didn’t take long to feel at home from the new system. I also shoot a Sony mirrorless, and moving back and forth between the two is not challenging.

16 - Gear Review - Lumix G9 Mirrorless Camera

It was intermittently snowing hard and blowing cold wind when I made this image in Alaska’s western Arctic. The G9 handled the conditions without issue.

But it’s in the field that I really love the Lumix G9. The m4/3rd system means that not only the sensor is smaller, but the lenses too. Everything is much smaller and compact, even with fast, high-end lenses. My kit has shrunk substantially with my switch to Lumix. While full-frame mirrorless cameras are smaller and lighter than pro-level DSLRs, the lenses are not, which puts a limiter on how much weight and space you can really save by switching to full-frame mirrorless. With micro 4/3rds however, everything is smaller.

17 - Gear Review - Lumix G9 Mirrorless Camera

As a wilderness photographer, this is a HUGE advantage for me. I can carry a body and multiple lenses for the same weight and size as a single DSLR and mid-range zoom lens. I can’t tell you how much this has meant to me on the many occasions I’ve had to weigh out every ounce to make my kit fit in a bush plane. Size matters to a backcountry photographer, and when it comes to cameras, smaller is better.

A Note on Lenses

While this isn’t a review of the Lumix lenses, I do want to offer a quick hat-tip to the Lumix-Leica lens systems. The glass is compact, light, and extremely sharp. The Leica glass elements are impeccable, and while not cheap, the sharpness is in every way comparable to the best Nikon, Canon, and Sony lenses. Secondarily, the m4/3rds lenses are compatible across brands meaning that Olympus equipment works seamlessly on Lumix bodies. (My current long lens is the Olympus 300mm f4 PRO, and it works perfectly on the G9).

18 - Gear Review - Lumix G9 Mirrorless Camera

Final Thoughts

Lumix has been a go-to manufacturer for videographers and film-makers looking for a compact, high-quality system for many years, while Olympus has led the m4/3rds still photography market. That has all changed with the Lumix G9. While I look forward to a few improvements in the next generation, the G9 has almost everything a serious photographer could want: great image quality, excellent choices in lenses, ability to shoot 4k video, abundant customization options, and intuitive controls.

It looks like the Lumix system has found a permanent place in my camera bag.

Have you used the Lumix G9 Mirrorless Camera? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

The post Gear Review: The Lumix G9 Mirrorless Camera appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by David Shaw.

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Anaiyyun: Prayer for the Whale: An interview with Kiliii Yuyan

29 Nov

Filmmaker Kiliii Yuyan has been a friend of DPReview’s for several years. He spoke at our PIX2015 event in Seattle and joined us later that same year in what was then called Barrow, Alaska (now known as Utqia?vik) for a long-form video shoot.

Since then, Kiliii has returned to Alaska several times, working with the people and communities of the north slope, and his new film, ‘Anaiyyun: Prayer for the Whale’ premiered earlier this year at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). Anaiyyun: Prayer for the Whale is a short documentary film that tells the story of an Iñupiaq whaling crew in northern Alaska.

Since its premier at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) in spring, Anaiyyun has been shown all over the world, and is currently being featured in the National Geographic Short Films Showcase. We caught up with Kiliii recently, and asked him to explain more about the project.

What’s the new film about?

It’s focused on the spirituality of whaling. It’s intended to give you the perspective of the people up there and a sense of how very different the world of the whaler is, and how different the culture is. To put you on the ice, and let you absorb the beauty of the arctic. I like to say that being on the sea ice is a bit like being on the open ocean. There are long interminable stretches of boredom and silence, quiet. It’s very peaceful but those moments are punctuated with moments of sheer terror.

On the Arctic Ocean, Iñupiat paddle their umiaq skinboat. Spring whaling by umiaq is made possible by the shorefast sea ice. As the sea ice gets thinner each spring from a warming climate, traditional whaling becomes increasingly challenging.

That’s how the film is, too. There’s a lot of quiet observation, time just being there, but it’s broken up by moments where the sea ice collapses, and polar bears appear. I really wanted to do something experimental and introduce the indigenous perspective. It’s not a typical Hollywood-style structure. It puts you on the ice, and puts whaling into context inside that culture.

This is the latest piece that’s come out of a long-term relationship you’ve been cultivating with the communities of the North Slope in Alaska. How did it all begin?

Well if I remember rightly, you asked me to join you on a video shoot up there a few years ago! But the reason I wanted to go there is that it’s the only place where skin on frame boats are still being used, outside of Greenland. And the Iñupiat are a role model culture for northern indigenous peoples. People look at the Iñupiat like ‘how did they do it? How did they keep their culture so traditional yet have so much prosperity?’ They’re more isolated than most places, but there are many places just as remote which haven’t done as well for themselves.

The Iñupiat haven’t avoided modernity at all – they’ve embraced it

I originally went there thinking that the culture was so traditional because the people had somehow magically avoided modernity. But over time what I’ve discovered is that they haven’t avoided modernity at all – they’ve embraced it. But because they were smart, they managed to keep their culture and its traditions alive by placing a lot of importance on them, and reintroducing it into their education system.

It’s hard to think about all those things when you can’t eat. When there’s no food on the table, and the ice is getting thin and the whales are leaving and there are all these massive changes. It’s hard to hold on. They do it by embracing modernity in a smart way, and as a result they’ve retained one of the most beautiful cultures on the planet while still being successful. Despite the fact that Christianity has changed the Iñupiaq culture probably more than anything, the idea of the gift of the whale is old. Much much older than Christianity, right back to the shamanistic tradition, and it’s still alive.

Kiliii Yuyan is an indigenous Nanai/Hézhè photographer and journalist, based in Seattle.

His clients include The Nature Conservancy and National Geographic.

Are you hoping to change the way that outsiders think about that culture, and the culture of whaling?

This isn’t a political film. My intent is to give people the indigenous perspective. It’s fine to have films that are overtly political, but the thing that’s often missing is the indigenous viewpoint. Because the population is so low, indigenous peoples in the US and Canada just don’t have much of a voice. For the most part, stories told about indigenous peoples are told by colonizers, not by those who have been colonized, and you can really see the difference.

I’ve shown this film to people who have spent a lot of time either with me on the North Slope or people who’ve been around the Iñupiaq culture a lot and they get it – it makes sense to them. But then I’ll show it to someone who is used to seeing western films and they find it harder to watch because it doesn’t follow the standard format.

I hope that outsiders who watch this film will understand that there is no single right way to live.

At Nalukataq, the summer whaling festival, the village comes out to celebrate a successful whaling season and to give thanks to the whale for its gift. Here, successful whalers must do the blanket toss. They are thrown up to thirty feet in the air, and depend on everyone’s hands to land safely.

You’ve said that the communities of the North Slope are at ground zero for climate change – how is that affecting them?

Well, the truth is they’re figuring it out. The Iñupiat have a lot of agency, they’re an extremely competent people, and Alaska has the kind of legal structure where hopefully they’ll be able to mitigate a lot of the problems. The Yup’ik communities on the west coast of Alaska are not so lucky— they are not as economically prosperous.

With a film like this it’s easy to fall into the romanticism of the Arctic

What kind of feedback have you had from those communities?

The highest praise I’ve received so far was having an Inuk look at it and tell me that his kids need to see it. With a film like this it’s easy to fall into the romanticism of the Arctic, but when I’ve shown it to locals who grew up with this stuff and it’s their everyday, that kind of feedback means a lot.

My hope is that the young people of those indigenous communities will be able to see the film and take inspiration from it.

Watch Kiliii’s talk, ‘Living Wild’ at PIX2015

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CyberLink launches subscription-based PhotoDirector 365 with premium add-ons

29 Nov

CyberLink has launched PhotoDirector 365, a new Windows program that is effectively a subscription version of the company’s PhotoDirector Ultra image editing software. The new option provides customers with unlimited access to the software’s premium add-ons, new style packs that are released quarterly, templates, and all new feature updates as they become available.

PhotoDirector 365 includes the new features found in PhotoDirector 10 Ultra, including AI Style Effects and tethered shooting. Other PhotoDirector tools, such as Layer Packs, Keystone Correction, and HDR, are also available. With the addition of all the add-ons, CyberLink says PhotoDirector 365 subscribers get access to “hundreds of dollars’ worth of unique tools” over time.

Whereas PhotoDirector 10 costs $ 99.99 USD for new customers to purchase, PhotoDirector 365 is available with a monthly cost of $ 14.99 USD, a quarterly cost of $ 29.99, or an annual cost of $ 54.99, depending on which plan the customer signs up for. PhotoDirector 365 joins CyberLink’s Director Suite 365, which bundles PhotoDirector with three of the company’s other software products for an annual cost of $ 129.99 USD.

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