Archive for January, 2019

GoPro Plus now offers unlimited cloud storage and increased accessory discounts

31 Jan

GoPro has given a boost to its Plus subscription service. From now on the service offers unlimited cloud storage space for photos and videos to its subscribers. Previously users could upload unlimited photos but there was a 35-hour limit for video footage.

The service is specifically useful for users of WiFi-enabled GoPro cameras, such as the Hero5, Hero6 and Hero7 models, who can now automatically upload all captured footage to the cloud, without the need for any manual data transfer to a computer or other device first.

In addition to the lifted storage limit, the discount on GoPro accessories has also been increased for Plus subscribers. It is now 50% off most mounts and other accessories, compared to 20% previously. What hasn’t changed is the monthly subscription rate at $ 5 which makes the service a pretty enticing option for GoPro power users. There’s also a 30 day free trial period for the service if you’re interested in trying it out first.

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Voigtlander Vintage Line lenses for Leica M mount get prices for US, UK markets

31 Jan

Prices have been released in the USA and UK for a pair of new Voigtlander lenses designed for M mount rangefinder cameras. Both the Color-Skopar 21mm f/3.5 VM Aspherical Vintage Line and the Ultron 35mm f/2 VM Aspherical Vintage Line will cost $ 799/£599 and are available now.

The aim of the lenses is to provide compact and high quality optics in a retro style that conjures the essence of the 1950s. The company says it targeted more moderate maximum apertures so that it could keep the lenses small, but also because very wide apertures are less practical when using rangefinders, especially when the subject isn’t central or is moving in the frame.

There is a sample gallery of images taken with the lenses in DPReview’s original news article, and there’s more information in the Voigtlander website.

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How to Achieve Color Accuracy in your Photos

31 Jan

The post How to Achieve Color Accuracy in your Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Karthika Gupta.

Ricardo Gomez Angel

Next to light, color accuracy is another important element in photography. Color temperature is annoying enough to deal with in terms of camera settings and editing. You spend all this time and effort on editing your photos and making sure they match your photography style. But sometimes the final product can be off if viewed on an uncalibrated screen. While having an accurately calibrated screen is ideal, there are still some things you can do to ensure that the colors are as close to the real deal as possible.

1. Photographing in raw

Karthika Gupta Photography - Memorable Jaunts DPS Article Color Accuracy in Images

Completely overexposed sunset in the Grand Cayman. I love the little sailboat in the distance and tried to correct the image in post.

Karthika Gupta Photography - Memorable Jaunts DPS Article Color Accuracy in Images

The sun is still overexposed and not perfect, but because I photograph in Raw 100% of the time, I could put down the exposure, highlights, contrast and my other normal editing steps. I was able to get some of the details back.

This really is key and I am a huge proponent of photographing in RAW 100% of the time. The colors can be adjusted easily on raw files in editing software like Lightroom, Photoshop, and others. But with jpegs, they’re already baked in. It is not impossible just harder to achieve the exact match.

In Raw files, all the original image data is preserved. In fact, when RAW files are opened in post-production software like Lightroom, a virtual copy is made and used. Edits are made in a non-destructive format so the original RAW file is always available for changes at a later stage. This is very useful when you want to edit images in different ways at different times in your photographic career.

Since a JPEG image is essentially a RAW image compressed in-camera, the camera’s computer makes decisions on what data to retain and which to toss out when compressing the file. JPEG files tend to have a smaller dynamic range of information that is stored and this often means less ability to preserve both highlights and shadow details in the image.

2. Use Kelvin WB mode on your camera

If photographing RAW is not something you can do, or don’t have space for on your flash drives (RAW files tend to be really huge), try photographing using Kelvin White Balance mode instead of Auto White Balance. Not all cameras may have this function, so check your camera manual to figure out the exact menu option and also how to adjust the value. Kelvin lets you adjust the white balance in camera rather than in post. In general, in your camera manual are the ranges of Kelvin values for the various lighting setups. You will have to tweak the values depending on your style and how you want the final image to look.

3. Use a good display screen/monitor

Cheaper screens have smaller color ranges, so the better your screen, the more colors that can be displayed. This is where you’ll be looking at the photos, so you don’t want your image to be limited in that way. At the very minimum, if you’re editing photos, you need a 99% sRGB screen. 100% Adobe RGB capable screens (which is generally better) are also relatively affordable now. That said, most media on the web generally uses sRGB format, so sRGB is perfectly adequate. People generally recommend editing in that color space anyway. In general, for built-in displays like laptops, most modern Mac screens have really good color accuracy and distribution.

Karthika Gupta Photography - Memorable Jaunts DPS Article Color Accuracy in Images

This outdoor space was very hazy when we visited because of many forest fires in the area. That haze and overall air quality and temperature gave a very pink glow to all my images, one that I missed the first time I edited my images on my computer. But then I went back and edited to a more accurate representation of what the scene actually looked like.

4. Calibrate your monitor

Not enough people realize how big a difference calibrating your monitor makes. If your entire computer screen is shifted to be purple, when you look at your final images in a color-calibrated medium, it’s going to end up green. There are several in the market that do a good job like Datacolor Spyder 5 or X-Rite ColorMunki. At the end of the day, they all essentially have the same functionality. Plug in the color sensor, put it against your screen, run the software, and it will automatically install the color profile for you.

5. Edit in a color neutral workspace

Where you sit and work can also make a difference to how you edit. As funny as it may sound, it is true. If you have bright warm sunlight flooding your computer screen, you will likely edit cooler. The eye is automatically going to compensate for the warmth by gravitating towards cooler tones. If you have cool indoor lighting flooding your editing room, that might not work either. Believe it or not, the ideal editing environment is actually a totally dark room, so you don’t pollute any of the colors. I know I cannot edit in a dark room because starting at the screen for too long in that space gives me a headache. If you must edit somewhere with another light source, do your color calibration in that room. The Spyder and ColorMunki can both accommodate the ambient light in your environment.

Karthika Gupta Photography - Memorable Jaunts DPS Article Color Accuracy in Images

The image was shot and edited in the same room with side lighting. Had I not seen this in another room and on another computer, I would have missed the uneven lighting and tonality from the left to the right side of the image, giving it a look of almost photographing with a flash, which was not my intention.

Karthika Gupta Photography - Memorable Jaunts DPS Article Color Accuracy in Images

6. Use multiple devices to spot check color

If you are really doubting your color tones and edits, double check them on another device. Most people have iPhones these days, and iPhones are surprisingly well-calibrated. Unfortunately, you can’t use the calibrators on most phones, to the best of my knowledge, so just send your photos over to your phone, and you should get an idea of how most people are seeing your images.

Karthika Gupta Photography - Memorable Jaunts DPS Article Color Accuracy in Images

The blueish tone in the image here would have been completely missed had I not seen the image on an iPad and an iPhone prior to sending out to a client. I prefer true to form white backgrounds when working with stock photos.

Unfortunately, most people, including myself, don’t pay too much attention to color accuracy in their photos. Most of the color matching stops at editing. Sometimes we even call it ‘photography style’ and leave it at that. But if you really want to understand color and how images can actually look versus relying on a specific style or edit, try one or all these steps. It is actually fairly simple once it clicks.

What techniques do you use for maintaining your color? Share with us in the comments below.

The post How to Achieve Color Accuracy in your Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Karthika Gupta.

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Ricoh announces Pentax 35mm F2 and 11-18mm F2.8 K-mount lenses

31 Jan

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Ricoh has announced a pair of Pentax K-mount lenses: the HD PENTAX-FA 35mm F2 and HD PENTAX-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW.

The full-frame 35mm F2 is based on the smc PENTAX-FA 35mm F2 AL from the film era and features HD and SP coatings, with the former reducing reflections and the latter repelling water from the front element. The lens has six elements in five groups and a six-blade aperture. It’s remarkably compact, despite having both an aperture ring and distance scale, and weighs in at just 193 grams. The lens will be available in February for £399.

The PENTAX-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW was introduced way back in the Fall of 2017 and was supposed to ship the following summer. After a bit of a delay, this APS-C lens is finally read to ship next month. The weather-resistant 11-18mm F2.8, equivalent to 16.5-27mm when mounted on an APS-C body, has 16 elements, a nine-blade aperture and an HD coating. There’s also a clamp to lock focus at a desired point and the ‘ability to accommodate the addition of a dew heating strip to prevent condensation without affecting focus-ring operation.’ The lens will be priced at £1399.

Pentax-FA 35mm F2 official sample photos

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Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 official sample photos

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Press Releases:


A single-focus, wide-angle lens for use with K-mount digital SLR cameras, featuring latest lens coatings to further upgrade image quality

London, 30 January 2019 ?RICOH COMPANY, LTD. and RICOH IMAGING EUROPE S.A.S. are pleased to announce the launch of the HD PENTAX-FA 35mmF2. Despite its compact dimensions, this high-performance wide-angle lens covers the full-frame image circle of PENTAX K-mount digital SLR cameras.

This new lens is based on the smc PENTAX-FA 35mmF2 AL — a very popular multi-purpose, wide-angle lens used on film-format SLR cameras and is introduced following a thorough review of lens coatings. The high-grade, multi-layer HD Coating applied to the optical elements produces high-contrast images with edge-to-edge sharpness, free of flare and ghost images. Whilst, the highly stain-repellent SP Coating applied to the front surface improves the lens’ usability outdoors. The redesigned exterior matches the design of latest PENTAX K-mount digital SLR models, while its compact, portable body makes it perfect for everyday use.

Price & Availability

HD PENTAX-FA35mmF2 ? RRP: £399.99
Available: February 2019

HD PENTAX-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW

An ultra-wide-angle, Star-series zoom lens for use with K-mount digital SLR cameras, with a large F2.8 aperture over the entire zoom range providing exceptional optical performance

LONDON, 30 January, 2019 ?RICOH COMPANY, LTD. and RICOH IMAGING EUROPE S.A.S. are pleased to announce the launch of the HD PENTAX-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW. This high-performance, ultra-wide-angle, Star-series lens features a large F2.8 maximum aperture over the entire zoom range to deliver exceptional optical performance.

The HD PENTAX-DA*11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW ultra-wide-angle zoom lens is the latest model in the new-generation Star (*) series — a lens that provides exceptional image quality to be able to accommodate the super-high-performance digital cameras of the future. It delivers high-resolution, high-contrast images without blurring at the edges, and guarantees excellent imaging performance in high-grade digital photography. With the introduction of this lens, the high quality, high-performance Star series now provides a wide angle-of-view coverage —from ultra-wide angle to telephoto compact models featuring a large F2.8 maximum aperture, exclusively designed for use with PENTAX APS-C-format digital SLR cameras.

In addition to an outstanding dustproof, weather-resistant construction, the lens provides a Focus Clamp Mechanism to lock focus at the desired focal point. It also provides useful features to improve performance and dependability in challenging outdoor conditions. These include a space specifically designed for holding a heating device to prevent condensation, and a metallic frame structure, which more effectively transmits the heat of the device to the lens. These greatly improve the lens’ operability when shooting in outdoor situations including star-lit skies.

Price & Availability

HD PENTAX-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW Lens

RRP: £1,399.99
Available: February 2019

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Lomography announces 120 version of its B&W Potsdam 100 Kino Film stock

31 Jan

Lomography has announced it’s bringing its recently released black and white Potsdam 100 Kino film to 120 medium format rolls.

The 120 rolls, which will be cut from the same sheets as the 35mm stock, which itself is ‘cut from old stocks of a cinematic emulsion produced by a legendary German company.’ In Lomography’s own words, the ‘B&W 100 120 Potsdam Kino Film combines gorgeous antiquated aesthetics with the quality and professional capabilities of medium format photography.’

Below is a gallery of images taken with the 35mm variant of Potsdam Kino Film. Lomography notes ‘you can expect similar results’ from the 120 variety since it’s cut from the same jumbo.

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The B&W 100 120 Potsdam Kino Film is available exclusively for pre-order on Lomography’s online shop for $ 8.90 a roll and is expected to hit Lomography Gallery Stores in May 2019.

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11 Influential Portrait Photographers you Need to Know

31 Jan

The post 11 Influential Portrait Photographers you Need to Know appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

There are some fantastic portrait photographers out there capturing cutting-edge, unique portraits. These photographers have been influential and you can explore and learn something from each of them. They are in no particular order.

Here are 11 influential portrait photographers you need to know:

1. Sue Bryce

Sue Bryce is a fine art portrait photographer with a classic portraiture style, while still looking quite modern. Her lighting techniques are soft and beautiful.


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2. Lindsay Adler

Based in New York City, Lindsay Adler, is a fashion portrait photographer with works appearing in Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, and Marie Claire.


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3. Lee Jeffries

UK photographer, Lee Jeffries, is well-known for his “Homeless project.” In this project, Jeffries captures close-up portraits of homeless people living on the streets. His extreme close-ups that reveal all on his subjects faces are emotive and spectacular.


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4. Derrick Freske

Based in Los Angeles, California, Derrick Freske does fashion portraiture. He uses interesting lighting techniques, including the use of colored gels, and light reflections.


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5. Mark Seliger

Mark Seliger has photographed celebrity portraits for Rolling Stone, GQ, Vogue and Vanity Fair. He has photographed the likes of Kurt Cobain, Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron, and Nicole Kidman, to name a few.


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6. Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz is a celebrity portrait photographer that has been photographing famous types for decades. Making the transition from film to digital, Leibovitz has continued to inspire photographers around the world. Her photographs have been published in Rolling Stone and the New York Times. She has photographed celebrities including Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, and Brad Pitt. She also photographed Beatles singer and songwriter, John Lennon, on the day he was murdered (wikipedia).


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7. Flora Borsi

Hungarian photographer, Flora Borsi is well known for her fine-art portraiture series, “Animeyed.” In this series, Borsi uses animal eyes to replace one eye of her human subject. You may recognize Borsi’s work on the Adobe Creative Cloud package.


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8. Tina Eisen

Based in London, UK, Tina Eisen is a fashion/beauty photographer who has made portraits for some big commercial brands.


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9. Patrick DeMarchelier

Patrick DeMarchelier is a fashion/beauty portrait photographer whose works have been in Vanity Fair and Harpers Bazaar.


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10. Marco Grob

Switzerland born, Marco Grob, is based in New York. Moving from fine art still life photography, into portraiture, he has photographed celebrities including George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, Sir Elton John, and Justin Beiber. He has also worked with Marvel Studios, Warner Bros and Netflix.


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11. Tatiana Lumiere

Tatiana Lumiere is a fine art and beauty portrait photographer based in Pennsylvania, USA. She specializes in “glamour portraiture with a dreamy, elegant and sensual twist.”


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Feature image: © Kevin Landwer-Johan

The post 11 Influential Portrait Photographers you Need to Know appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Caz Nowaczyk.

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‘Sensor size isn’t the answer’ – Olympus exec explains the thinking behind E-M1X

31 Jan

Aki Murata, VP of sales and marketing for Olympus America.

Long before the new Olympus OM-D E-M1X was officially announced, we had the opportunity to sit down with Aki Murata, VP of sales and marketing for Olympus America, to talk about the upcoming camera. While some details of the final specification were yet to be finalized (our conversation happened in October) Mr Murata was keen to explain the concept behind the pro-oriented E-M1X, and why in his opinion it doesn’t make sense for Olympus to go full-frame.

The following interview has been edited slightly for clarity and flow.

What kind of customers are you hoping to attract with the E-M1X?

We believe that there will be three types of users. One is users stepping up from existing M43 cameras, like the E-M1 Mark II. That’s a good camera, but in certain circumstances it doesn’t work for sports photography. For example having a joystick on the vertical and horizontal grips – that’s the kind of thing that’s needed for wildlife and sports. That’s the number one target group.

Second is photographers who are stepping up from APS-C, like Canon 7D users. Those people are buying APS-C to make use of tele lenses, to get longer focal lengths. And the system is smaller than full-frame. Those people aspire to EOS-1D X type products but they’re not affordable. And they’re big, it’s a hassle. This camera will create new demand. You can shoot at long focal lengths and still hand-hold.

For us, sensor size isn’t the answer

Obviously current APS-C users will be tough. ‘Step-up’ for some of them means going to full-frame. But we want to say to those people think again – what kind of pictures do you want to take? For us, sensor size isn’t the answer. We want to convey that message to the market. Full-frame is definitely a buzzword in the market, but maybe after carrying around full-frame lenses they’ll find they’re too big and give up!

The third group is people who are making an additional purchase, in addition to 5-series, 1D-series or D5 cameras who want to try the new system. Because what this camera does is basically the same. People may think that they need full-frame but once they’ve seen this camera’s performance I don’t think that that will be an argument, considering the difference in size and weight.

Arguably, the Olympus OM-D E-M1X represents the company’s most serious attempt to court professional photographers since the film-era OM-4, released in 1986.

The AF tracking will be very important for those demographics – how did you benchmark the new camera compared to competitors?

We don’t have any numbers around that, but in order to develop this camera’s AF system we gave it to many professionals here [in the US] and abroad to get their opinions about AF performance. So we’ve changed the algorithms a lot. It’s not so much about benchmarking about other cameras, more about listening to the voices of the professionals. And obviously the AI technologies.

Ultimate reliability goes far beyond strong build, and resilience to the elements

You said that the camera has been in testing for a long time – can you tell us how long it’s been in development, from the initial concept?

After the E-M1 II, we started to get feedback from the market. That was the first step. Our R&D guys wanted to develop the camera for ultimately reliability. The E-M1 was the first challenge, then the Mark II, when we really wanted to improve autofocus accuracy. But after listening to the pros we realised we had to make an even bigger effort to achieve maximum reliability. That was the starting point, when we were planning the new model.

‘Ultimate Reliability’ is a primary goal of Olympus’s R&D philosophy. This philosophy was established 48 years ago in a company memorandum created by Yosihisa Maitani [creator of the original OM product line]. This memorandum establishes three main R&D goals: compact, lightweight and ultimate reliability. Ultimate reliability goes far beyond strong build, and resilience to the elements, it also speaks to the cameras performance and consistent operation. This R&D policy is still followed today and is a cornerstone of our operation.

Is it very important to you that professionals use Olympus cameras?

Absolutely. Our target is that Olympus gear will be trusted by professionals. That’s what we want to achieve. And to achieve it, we need to achieve ultimate reliability. With the M43 system we want professionals to use our cameras and be satisfied by them.

Do you expect to see Olympus lenses at the 2020 olympics?

I hope so! We had the Asian olympic games a couple of months ago and that was our first time being inside the press center. There was only Olympus and one other manufacturer. We didn’t have many professional photographers there, but we had some and they came to us for professional service. That was a great first step for us.

The M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS Pro is equivalent to 300-800mm on Micro Four Thirds bodies, increasing to 375-1000mm with its built-in teleconverter activated. The lens will be available in 2020.

How will computational photography technology from smartphones change cameras in the future?

The speed of smartphone development means that those technologies can be incorporated into smartphones, first. The risk for the photo industry is that people lose interest in traditional photography because their smartphone is so good. If the next step is big lenses and huge cameras, a lot of people might just give up and use their phones instead. They’re not competitors in some ways, but in other ways they are.

How will you address that challenge?

First of all we won’t use any other mount other than Four Thirds. If we had more than one mount, that’s not really user-friendly, and we’re creating the risk that we’d lose customers. If we ask you to buy a camera and lens and then step up to another mount, you might not want to do that. We want to create one, cohesive system with M43. We know our strengths. We have a small and lightweight system, which is good for shooting telezoom lenses, outside. So we’re focusing on this area, to provide suitable products for this field of photography.

For this [kind of photography], you cannot utilize a smartphone. You need optics, and capable AF systems. This is the area we want to focus on. We think that there is growth in these areas. This differentiates us a lot compared to smartphones. We would like all users in these fields to test our product because once they do they will see how accurate the autofocus is, and we have 7.5 stops of stabilization now, you can make great images.

Many people buy $ 399 or $ 499 DSLRs and end up just abandoning them

Lastly, services – not in terms of repair, but what we can offer our customers. We are not a giant in the camera industry, we know that. So we cannot speak to all photographers, but for our users we want to provide good post-purchase experiences. This is a new vision we’ve been talking about in the past few months. If we meet in a year or two I hope that you’ll remember what I said in this meeting!

Many people buy $ 399 or $ 499 DSLRs and end up just abandoning them, because in some conditions the pictures might look worse than their phone. Unless we give proper training, information and proper hands-on experiences, it’s difficult to enjoy photography. Our responsibility is not only to create cameras, but to provide services after purchase. We’re currently thinking how we can use our current platform, or maybe a new digital platform.

The ultra-tough E-M1X is built for reliability and endurance in tough environments. Two batteries deliver a CIPA rated 800+ shots before the camera runs out of juice. In more representative shooting situations we’d expect much more.

This is a very uncluttered camera, compared to previous OM-D 1-series cameras. Does this represent a deliberate attempt to create a different kind of experience?

Many of those things come from direct feedback from photographers. They’ll tell us ‘it’s really good to have this button here, so I don’t press it by mistake’, or whatever. So we have made several changes after talking to professionals and finally we came up with the [E-M1 X]. We just wanted to make the perfect camera for them.

They didn’t want an LCD on top?

Do you need one? There are mixed feelings on that. We considered it, but the camera would become bigger and lose operability. Our R&D guys just sit next to professionals sometimes, and watch how they use the camera. That’s how they get inspiration.

This is still a fairly large camera – do you still have any interest in developing the smaller, lighter cameras?

specially last year we used a lot of R&D resources on this camera, not only because we want to have professional users, but because we wanted to add ultimate reliability to our lineup. We wanted to meet the requirement of professionals who shoot sports and wildlife. Now that [the E-M1X] has arrived, and it’s our 100th anniversary, you can expect more.

We don’t make full-frame, because we don’t believe that everyone needs it

Olympus is now the only camera manufacturer not to offer an APS-C or larger sensor. How will you differentiate your lineup in that context?

We have three strengths: Compactness and light weight, lens quality, and I.S. That combination is unique. Full-frame is kind of like a buzzword in the market, but lens size cannot be changed. If you compare the systems there are visible differences in terms of size and weight. We do what we believe is right. We don’t make full-frame, because we don’t believe that everyone needs it. For most photographers it’s better to have mobility – if you don’t have a camera with you, you can’t take the shot. We believe that our solution is better for most people. It’s good to have full-frame, but there is a need for a smaller system. This is why Maitani’s R&D philosophy is so important to us.

We believe that the market will be separated into two. One is larger, full-frame, and the other is more portable cameras and lenses. We’re happy that everyone else is going to bigger sensors, and we’re staying where we are. I’m confident, and I’m proud to say that we’re staying here. It doesn’t make sense for us to go full-frame. There is a place for full-frame, and a place for medium format, but our customers can’t [be limited to] three frames per second. There is a customer base that needs the products we offer now, and they need a compact and lightweight system.

Editors’ note: Barnaby Britton and Carey Rose

Perhaps the most striking takeaway from our conversation with Mr Murata is his confidence that Olympus is right to buck the general trend towards bigger sensors. He couldn’t have been clearer that whereas close competitors like Panasonic and Sony have opted to expand into full-frame, he isn’t interested in developing products for any mount other than Four Thirds.

It’s unusual to hear this kind of unequivocal – very specific – statement of intent from senior executives at major companies. Normally in conversations with press, we’re told that all possible doors are open ‘depending on the market’, but Mr Murata couldn’t have been clearer. “We won’t use any other mount other than Four Thirds […] we’re staying where we are”. You heard it here first.

It remains to be seen whether the E-M1X will attract the professional photographers that Olympus wants, but it’s certainly true that it can do some things that larger-format cameras cannot. There isn’t a full-frame camera on the market that can shoot Raw+JPEG frames at 60fps, or combine several frames taken in an instant to output an 80MP file. Likewise Live ND, which simulates the effect of an ND filter without the hassle of actually having to use one, and a stabilization system capable of 7.5EV of correction (thanks to a new gyro mechanism and tweaked software).

Will we see banks of Zuiko lenses on the sidelines at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics? Only time will tell

It’s quite likely, too, that the E-M1X is the toughest professional camera on the market. Durability and weather-sealing are notoriously hard to test (unless you test to destruction, which we don’t) but an officially-quoted IPX1 rating and a promise that the camera is sealed based upon experience learned from the ‘TOUGH’ series compacts is encouraging. Some DPReview commenters have balked at the E-M1X’s $ 3000 MSRP, but it’s worth remembering that this is only a little more than half the cost of a Nikon D5.

Alongside the Sony a9 (with upcoming firmware) the D5 is a benchmark camera for autofocus performance and reliability, and with the E-M1X Olympus is clearly launching a challenge for that crown. Using machine learning, Olympus’s engineers have effectively ‘trained’ a model to recognize certain subjects (automobiles, airplanes and trains, for now) and this model – which houses a large dataset – is integral to how the E-M1X’s autofocus tracking system operates. This isn’t artificial intelligence so much as machine learning (or ‘deep learning’) but if you’re shooting planes, trains or automobiles with the E-M1X you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

While we’re told that some E-M1X features might be added to the E-M1 II via firmware, this predictive tracking model relies on the dual processors of the ‘X’. Will we see banks of Zuiko lenses lined up on the sidelines at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics? Only time will tell, but the E-M1X is definitely a step in the right direction.

Learn more about the new pro M43 Olympus OM-D E-M1X

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SwitchPod is a ‘minimal’ handheld tripod that switches modes in seconds

31 Jan

A new Kickstarter campaign is seeking funding for SwitchPod, a handheld ‘minimal’ tripod that switches from handheld mode to tripod mode in only a couple seconds. The device requires almost no effort to convert, enabling users to seamlessly transition from recording while holding the device to recording from a flat surface without pausing to adjust the stand.

SwitchPod is compatible with any camera, including smartphones and DSLR models; the company behind it emphasizes high portability, a “nearly indestructible” aluminum alloy design, and support for weights up to 100lbs / 45kg. The tripod features a 1/4-20″ standard screw for directly attaching a camera, as well as support for ball heads and quick release plates.

Two additional 1/4-20″ threads on the tripod’s legs enable users to attach accessories, such as a light and microphone, plus the leg design makes it possible to clip SwitchPod to a bag using a carabiner. Other features include a tightening knob, non-slip feet, two sets of finger grooves for grasping the tripod in different positions, and a circle pad to protect the camera’s base. The tripod weighs 11.1oz / 315g and measures 11in / 28cm long in handheld mode.

The SwitchPod Kickstarter campaign has exceeded its funding goal, but is still open to new pledges. Backers who pledge at least $ 79 USD are offered a single SwitchPod as a reward; shipping is estimated to start in August 2019.

Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there’s always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.

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Samsung starts production of world’s first 1TB eUFS storage module for mobile devices

30 Jan

Samsung announced it has started mass-producing the world’s first 1TB embedded Universal Flash Storage 2.1 (eUFS) module for mobile devices. Given we are now pretty close to the launch of the new Galaxy S10 flagship series, it looks like there is a chance we might see a 1TB option for at least one of the S10 devices.

Samsung says the new module is the same size as the 512GB variant in the Galaxy Note 9. The increase in density has been made possible using V-NAND technology that vertically stacks NAND cells in order to maximize density and efficiency.

According to Samsung the new module offers sequential read speeds of up to 1000MBps and write speeds of 260MBps, enough for the continuous recording of high-speed video at 960fps. In terms of both storage capacity and transfer speeds the new module should also make an interesting combination with Samsung’s new 8K-capable Exynos chipset.

According to Cheol Choi, Samsung’s executive vice president of Memory Sales & Marketing, “the 1TB eUFS is expected to play a critical role in bringing a more notebook-like user experience to the next generation of mobile devices.”

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ON1 Photo RAW 2019.2 brings AI-powered masking improved performance and more

30 Jan

ON1 has released an update to its ON1 Photo RAW 2019 photo editing and management software. Version 2019.2 comes with a new AI-powered masking tool, general performance enhancements and support for new camera models.

ON1 says the Quick Mask Tool lets you create high-quality masks with very little user guidance and uses color, tone, and textures to identify boundaries. You can see a demo in the video below.

To speed up your workflow the software now taps into the GPU for frequently used processes, such as returning to Browse, copy/pasting layers and masks as well as some exporting and plug-in tasks. In addition the ON1 Photo RAW now supports the Leica D-Lux 7 and Panasonic DMC-TZ101 cameras, offers tethered shooting support for the Nikon Z 6, Z 7 and D850 and comes with bunch of new lens correction profiles.

ON1 Photo RAW 2019.2 is available now for $ 99.99. Owners of any ON1 product can upgrade for $ 79.99. Alternatively the new software is available as part of an ON1 Plus Pro membership ($ 129.99/year) which includes a perpetual license of ON1 Photo RAW plus a post-processing and photography education package.

You can try ON1 Photo RAW 2019.2 for 30 days free of charge by signing up on the website.

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