Archive for November, 2020

Photokina Shuts Down Due to “Massive Decline in Markets”

30 Nov

The post Photokina Shuts Down Due to “Massive Decline in Markets” appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Photokina trade fair canceled sign

Photokina, the world’s most prominent photography trade show, will be closing its doors “until further notice.”

Photokina was first launched in 1950, before quickly becoming a biennial fair for exhibitors – including top imaging companies – to show off their latest photography equipment to the public. The event took place in Cologne, Germany, with vendors and visitors (often in the hundreds of thousands) flocking from around the world to view class-leading photography gear.

But enthusiasm for Photokina waned in recent years, with the rise of social media and smartphone photography relegating more traditional, higher-end photography equipment to the sidelines.

While the Photokina organizers sought to combat these problems by increasing the number of events (Photokina was to become a yearly trade show as of 2018) and by broadening the definition of the event so that less traditional vendors could take part, this did little to address Photokina’s fundamental problem: the overall decline of the camera market.

As the organizers explained in the press release announcing the suspension of Photokina:

In view of the further massive decline in markets for imaging products, Koelnmesse has decided to discontinue organizing Photokina at its Cologne location for the time being…The trend in this industry, with which we have always had a close and trusting partnership, is very painful for us to witness. But we are facing the situation with a clear, honest decision against continuing this event, a decision to which, unfortunately, we have no alternative.

They go on to explain that these problems were present long before the market’s COVID-19 downturn, and that “an event held in 2022 could not have met the expectations of the entire imaging community that those efforts were intended to serve.”

Hence the decision to shut down Photokina for the foreseeable future.

While this news is sad, especially for those who attended Photokina frequently in the past, it’s far from unexpected. As indicated by the initial adjustments to Photokina – changes began back in 2014 – the organizers were struggling to maintain interest. Then the 2019 event was dropped, and the 2020 event, scheduled for this past May, was canceled due to COVID-19.

Technically, Photokina could resume at some point in the future. But barring some sudden reversal to the camera market, Photokina is likely gone for good.

Now over to you:

What do you think about this news regarding Photokina’s suspension? Do you think the trade fair will ever come back? And are you worried about what this says regarding the overall decline of the imaging market? Share your thoughts in the comments!

The post Photokina Shuts Down Due to “Massive Decline in Markets” appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

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Gear of the Year: Barney’s choice (part 2) – Reflex-Nikkor 1000mm F11

30 Nov
Dan Bracaglia

In Part 1 of my Gear of the Year for 2020 I mentioned that the Fujifilm X100V has been in my hands almost all of this year. This article is about a very different piece of photographic equipment in my collection, which has also seen heavy usage this year. And an item which – while much less practical for the kind of day-to-day documentation to which the X100V is so well-suited – is no less enjoyable (in its own way) to use.

The story of how I ended up with a Reflex-Nikkor 1000mm F11 is a bit complicated, and starts with a very different kind of product: the Coolpix P950, which I reviewed earlier this year, at the height of the Washington state quarantine. Those several weeks of shooting with the P950 turned me on to the potential for a proper super-telephoto photography project, once non-essential travel restrictions were lifted.

And I knew exactly where to start – by the sea.

Re-reading WG.S Sebald’s book The Rings of Saturn this summer (yes, sorry, this is going to one of those kinds of articles), one line really resonated with me. It’s a description of fishermen on the Norfolk coast, in England. Wondering about their motivation at a time when it is ‘almost impossible to catch anything from the beach’ Sebald concludes that they ‘just want to be in a place where they have the world behind them, and before them nothing but emptiness’.

I’ve always found it calming to look out at the ocean, and amid the seemingly never-ending chaos of this year, I’ve been bolting down to the Washington coast whenever time and local regulations allow, to put the world at my back for a little while.

The long telephoto project I originally had in mind was to be centered on the fishing boats that ply up and down the Washington coast. Unfortunately, it turned out that even with its excellent image stabilization, accurate framing with the Coolpix P950 was too difficult with such distant, bobbing targets, and the 16MP resolution was too unforgiving when it came to cropping. That’s where the Reflex-Nikkor 1000mm F11 came in.

The vignetting in this shot, and the others in this article, is optical. I don’t mind it (and haven’t corrected it) in images like these, but it’s one more thing that limits the usefulness of long mirror lenses for more conventional work.

1/2000sec|F11|ISO 800

The Reflex-Nikkor 1000mm F11 is a catadioptric lens, which works by ‘folding’ the light that comes into it using mirrors. This provides a long focal length without the need for a physically long lens barrel. The light travels the same distance inside a mirror lens as it would in a conventional telephoto, it just moves in a zigzag.

The biggest downside to mirror lenses in general is manual focus (in almost all cases – more on that in a minute) and a fixed, slow aperture, usually F8 or F11. This severely reduces the range of conditions in which they can be used. Typically, mirror lenses are also less sharp than conventional lenses, as well as being an absolute pain to focus through an optical viewfinder. They have a tendency to throw off AWB too, and let’s not forget the highly distracting ‘donut’ bokeh, created by the annular mirror.

In a world of high-resolution electronic viewfinders, magnified focus modes and fully electronic shutters, mirror lenses are more practical now than they’ve ever been

For all that, mirror lenses have a dedicated fanbase (and if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to get into lunar photography, look no further). But there are a lot of good reasons why this lens costs $ 3,200 and this one can be found on the second-hand market for less than $ 500. And that’s an unusually expensive example of the type – most bog-standard 500mm F8 mirror lenses can be picked up used for around $ 100-200.

This image is a combination of two exposures taken from the same position, moments apart: one exposed for the moon, and one for the wispy clouds.

F11| ISO 1600 (multi-exposure)

Catadioptric lens technology hasn’t evolved significantly in decades (with the honorable exception of the Minolta AF Reflex 500mm F8, which remains unique among mirror lenses for offering autofocus) but camera technology over those decades has come on in leaps and bounds. And it turns out that in a world of high-resolution electronic viewfinders, magnified focus modes and fully electronic shutters, mirror lenses are more practical now than they’ve ever been. Which is why when a ‘Like New -‘ condition example of the Reflex-Nikkor 1000mm F11 popped up on KEH earlier this year I jumped on it immediately.

The British are famous for our sentimental attachment to the coast, maybe just because of its constant proximity – nowhere in the UK are you more than 70 miles from the sea. In the time it takes for me to get to Long Beach Washington from Seattle, I could drive almost the entire length of England.

1/3000sec|F11|ISO 1000

That last paragraph, by the way, was going to form the basis of an opinion article I was planning over the summer. Provisionally entitled ‘Thanks to Mirrorless Technology, There’s Still a Place For Slow Telephoto Lenses’, the air was taken out of the idea by Canon’s surprise release of the RF 600mm and 800mm F11 STM. But hey – I was right. It turns out that there is a market for lenses like that.

Earlier in this article I implied that the Reflex-Nikkor 1000mm F11 is ‘enjoyable’ to use. That needs some qualification: I enjoy using it in the same way as I enjoy hiking up really steep hills. It makes me feel good afterwards, but often, when I’m actually engaged in the task, it’s a bloody nightmare. Oh, let me count the ways…

The Reflex-Nikkor 1000mm F11 lets me get a perspective that would be impossible with any of my other lenses

First, the massive 108mm filter thread is non-standard, which means that there’s no simple replacement option for the fiddly threaded metal (!) cap, which takes ages to get on and off. Then there’s the enormously long focus ring. This is both a blessing and a curse.

On the one hand, depth of field is so shallow at 1000mm you really do need a good, positive manual focus ring with fine-grained control. On the other hand, if you nudge the barrel of the lens (or the massive integral hood, which rotates with the focusing ring) or breath on it, or look at it wrong, you’ll throw off critical focus. And because the focusing ring makes up 70% of the length of the entire barrel (even more when the hood is extended) it’s almost impossible not to nudge it when handling or repositioning the lens. Finally, although smaller than a conventional 1000mm F11 would be, it’s still a big, fat lump of glass and metal that doesn’t fit into a camera bag alongside my other gear.

Ultimately though I don’t really care about any of those issues, because the Reflex-Nikkor 1000mm F11 lets me get a perspective that would be impossible with any of my other lenses and, yes, it’s a lot of fun.

From my favorite spot near Long Beach, looking out over the Pacific, the horizon line is roughly 10-12 miles away. Twelve miles is the official limit of territorial and international waters.

1/1000sec|F11|ISO 3200

I shoot my 1000mm F11 lens adapted on a Nikon Z7, with electronic shutter and a cable release, and always clamped to a sturdy tripod with a 10lb weight slung under it. I tried mechanical shutter and electronic first-curtain, but after a lot of experimentation I found that the former can create vibration issues at such a long focal length, and the latter can lead to uneven exposures at the shortest exposures.

With the setup I just described, I can get away with shutter speeds of around 1/200sec in still conditions. If it’s breezy, I’ll increase the ISO and decrease the exposure time accordingly. If the fully-electronic shutter introduces any distortion, I can’t tell. The subject matter would render it unnoticeable anyway.

Water spouts, created by whales breaching in the Pacific close to sunset. These little puffs of water were invisibly small to my naked eye.

1/500sec|F11|ISO 4000

The project I’m currently working on with my 1000mm is a little different to the one I’d originally planned, and a lot more abstract. it’s shot mostly from a single overlook about 100 feet up over the Pacific coast near Long Beach WA, looking out roughly 10-12 miles to the clouds and patches of light which line the horizon, approximately at the boundary of International waters. Since I started working on this project I’ve added a Tamron SP 500mm F8 and a second tripod to my collection for those times when 1000mm is just slightly too long.

Maybe I’ll look back at the whole effort in a couple of years and think ‘well that was a waste of time’ (maybe you think so already – and I’m sure you’ll let me know) but if nothing else, turning my back on the world and concentrating on 1.3 degrees of distant, hazy somewhere else for a few days here and there has provided a much-needed exercise in creative meditation.

Next year’s post-vaccine project: A closeup look at crowds, all shot on a 14mm lens.

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Video: The ‘surprising’ origin story of Kodak Aerochrome film

30 Nov

Todd Dominey has published a video no his Youtube channel that dives into the interesting history of a film stock ‘with an origin story unlike any other,’ Kodak Aerochrome.

The 11-minute video, which is part one of a two-part series, walks through why the infrared film was developed by Kodak and what the United States military had to do with its inception. From there, Dominey talks about the film’s significance in pop culture — most notably in the late 1960s and early 70s — as well as the film’s discontinuation announcement in 2009 and the striking Aerochrome works of photographer Richard Mosse.

One of a few albums from the late 1960s and early 1970s that used images captured on Kodak Aerochrome film.

It’s a fantastic watch for those unfamiliar with the discontinued film and still worth a watch for those familiar with it. Dominey says the second video will focus on digitally recreating the aesthetic of Aerochrome film — something that’s been attempted a few times before in the form of presets.

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How to Use Leading Lines for Better Compositions

29 Nov

The post How to Use Leading Lines for Better Compositions appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Anne McKinnell.

Leading lines refer to a compositional technique where the viewer’s attention is drawn to lines that lead to the main subject of the image. A leading line paves an easy path for the eye to follow through different elements of a photo.

Usually, these lines start at the bottom of the frame and guide the eye upward and inward, from the foreground of the image to the background, typically leading toward the main subject.

Where can you find leading lines?

The easiest place to find a leading line is on a road. Roadways are inherently leading because they go somewhere, giving us a feeling of motion. The lines often point so far inward that they reach a vanishing point – the place where two or more lines converge at theoretical infinity.

Leading Lines: Avenue of Oaks, South Carolina, by Anne McKinnell
The leading lines of the road converge to create a sense of infinity.

When leading lines, such as roads, connect the foreground to the background of a scene, they help create depth and dimensionality, which draws the viewer into the image.

Leading lines are all around us in cities and in nature. Your job, as the photographer, is to find them and arrange them in your photograph so that they lead toward something, even if that something is infinity.

Leading Lines:  Sunset at Ross Bay, Victoria, British Columbia, by Anne McKinnell
The logs on the beach draw the viewer’s eye into the frame and lead up to the house.

When you’re setting up a shot, take a moment to examine the scene for its prominent lines. Clear your mind, relax your eyes, and notice where you’re naturally drawn to.

Pay special attention to human-made objects such as:

  • roads
  • fences
  • boardwalks
  • bridges
  • bricks
  • anything in a row, such as lamp posts
  • buildings
  • doorways
  • window panes

In nature, pay particular attention to:

  • rivers
  • shorelines
  • waves
  • sand dunes
  • trees
  • tall grass
  • cliffs
  • rocks
  • sunrays
Leading Lines: Boquillas Canyon by Anne McKinnell
The soft leading line of the river’s edge creates depth in the image.

What’s the best way to use leading lines?

Once you’ve identified your strongest lines, consider how you can use them to enhance your composition.

Depending on your intention, you might:

  • Create depth and perspective by positioning a strong line leading from the foreground to the background
  • Create a visual journey from one part of your image to another
  • Place your subject where the lines converge to give the subject more importance in the frame and draw the viewer’s attention directly to it
  • Make a cyclical composition, with the lines leading the eye in a circular motion and never out of the frame

Arranging the elements in the frame may involve the use of different lenses to change perspective. However, you can accomplish this simply by moving yourself so that the point of view you choose is purposeful.

Leading Lines: Japanese Garden by Anne McKinnell
The leading line of the path takes the eye directly to the maple tree.

How to use leading lines for better compositions: final words

Leading lines are the key compositional element that carries our eye through the photograph. They can be used to tell a story, to place emphasis, and to draw a connection between two objects.

Use leading lines creatively and with expressive purpose to help you tell your unique photographic tale.

The post How to Use Leading Lines for Better Compositions appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Anne McKinnell.

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DPReview TV: Best enthusiast full frame mirrorless camera

28 Nov

Planning to treat yourself to a new full-frame camera this holiday season? We compare the Canon EOS R6, Nikon Z6 II, Panasonic S5 and Sony a7 III.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get new episodes of DPReview TV every week.

  • Introduction
  • The cameras
  • Handling
  • Displays
  • Video
  • Image quality
  • Autofocus
  • Final rankings

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Comparing a 24mm Versus 50mm Lens for Photographing People

28 Nov

The post Comparing a 24mm Versus 50mm Lens for Photographing People appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Meredith Clark.

24mm versus 50mm for photographing people
Image taken with a Canon 60D and a Canon 24mm lens.

How does a 24mm lens compare to a 50mm lens when photographing people? Both are great options, given the low price point, but they do have slightly different strengths when it comes to people photography.

In this article, I’ll show you several different images of the same model, location, and pose, photographed with both a 24mm and a 50mm lens. This will provide a good visual of the difference between the two lenses, and should give you insight as to when you might want to reach for each option.

Equipment used

For continuity, all images in this post were taken with a Canon 60D and either the Canon 24mm f/2.8 or the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens.

The Canon 60D is an APS-C (cropped-sensor) camera, so you’ll need to multiply the focal length of each of your lenses by 1.6x in order to determine their effective focal length on this camera (though if you use Nikon APS-C cameras, your crop factor is 1.5x).

So on a cropped sensor camera, a 24mm lens functions roughly as a 38mm lens, and a 50mm lens functions as an 80mm lens.

24mm shows off the background

When it comes to photographing people, a 50mm lens emphasizes the subject, whereas a 24mm lens shows the environment.

24mm versus 50mm for photographing people
Image taken with a Canon 60D and a 50mm lens.

That’s why a 50mm lens is great for head and shoulders portraits, while a 24mm lens is great for photographing people in the context of their surroundings. In the above example, you can see that the 50mm lens provided a tight shot of these two sisters, with a blurred background that keeps all the attention on their faces.

However, the context for this session is also important – it took place at a family vineyard, and the clients wanted to be sure that the grapes were visible in the background of some of the images. As you can see above, the grapes weren’t visible in the portrait taken with the 50mm lens, nor would closing down the aperture really give the perspective of the vineyard that my clients were looking for.

So after taking a few portraits with the 50mm, I switched over to my 24mm lens in order to capture a few wider shots.

24mm photo of two girls
Image taken with a Canon 60D and a Canon 24mm lens.

The shot above shows the same girls, the same exact location, and a very similar pose. The only real difference is that, with the switch to the 24mm lens, you can see more of the girls and the area around them.

In some instances, you may want to minimize the area around your subject, in which case the 24mm lens would not be ideal. However, in this case, it allowed me to capture images that highlighted both the girls and the vineyard, which was what the clients were after.

Bonus tip: Photographing sibling sets with a 24mm lens also allows you to see the height differences between siblings more easily (thanks to the wider perspective), which is something that a lot of parents really enjoy.

50mm photo of a young man
Image taken with a Canon 60D and a 50mm lens.

Think about the background color

Another thing to consider, besides the contents of the background in your images, is the coloring of the background.

In the image above, the deep-colored wood background brings a moodiness to the image that could be appropriate for a musician. However, the interesting thing is that the overall feeling of the image changes quite a bit when you look at it from the 24mm angle of view:

24mm photo of a young man
Image taken with a Canon 60D and a 24mm lens.

The second image, though in the same location, feels a lot less moody and dramatic than the first. The lighter stonework around the door brings a sense of balance to the image that just wouldn’t be achieved as well with the 50mm lens in this location.

In my experience, this balance is especially important when it comes to converting images to black and white.

24mm versus 50mm for photographing people in black and white

As you can see in the left image, the lighter stonework around the darker door serves as a frame for the subject and naturally draws your eye in toward him.

In addition, the increased contrast and texture provides some of the key ingredients for black and white images, which makes the image on the left more aesthetically pleasing than the image on the right.

24mm vs 50mm: Try using both!

Overall, while there may be instances in which the content or coloring of your background may cause you to reach for one of these lenses over the other, I’m very much in favor of using both of them whenever possible.

Here’s a quick example from my own life to explain why both are so great for their own reasons. I recently photographed my girls in their Halloween costumes. I started with the 50mm lens because it’s my favorite:

two girls in costumes at 50mm
Image taken with a Canon 60D and a 50mm lens.

I love this image of both girls – the 50mm lens really lets you see their faces and expressions, and the bokeh of the 50mm f/1.8 helped soften the construction site in the background of the image. However, the closer crop also means that only a small portion of their costumes is visible.

So I switched over to my 24mm lens to take a full-length photo (below) of my little monkey and lion.

Now I can really see them from head to toe. I can see the little fake feet of the monkey costume that freaked out my youngest daughter so much that she begged her sister to switch costumes with her. I can see the height difference between the two of them. I can see the black flats that my oldest daughter is so proud of and wears to any event that she deems remotely “fancy.”

Those are all things that I want to look back on and remember. I love both images for different reasons and am so happy to have them both, thanks to my trusty 24mm and 50mm lenses.

two girls in costumes at 24mm
Image taken with a Canon 60D and a 24mm lens.

24mm vs 50mm for photographing people: conclusion

I hope this has given you a good idea of how these two focal lengths compare when photographing people.

Have you tried a 24mm lens? How do you use it? Do you have a 50mm lens and do you use it for people photography? Which lens is your favorite? Please share your comments and images below!

The post Comparing a 24mm Versus 50mm Lens for Photographing People appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Meredith Clark.

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Weekly Photography Challenge – Wheels

28 Nov

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Wheels appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Sime.

They come in many shapes and sizes! ‘Wheels’ on a car, bike, whatever – wheels on their own, detail shots of wheels, there are many ways to approach this challenge – how will you make your photograph, this week, unique? Tag this week is #dPSWheels

Missed a challenge? Go back and do them all! Click Here

Weekly Photography Challenge – Wheels
The wheels on a motorbike when I was learning to pan.
Weekly Photography Challenge – Wheels
BMX’ers doing their thing (Bonus point if you say where this was taken in the comments!)
Weekly Photography Challenge – Wheels
Or your car, on the side of a hill!

Great! Where do I upload my photos?

Simply upload your shot into the comments field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see. Or, if you’d prefer, upload them to your favourite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them.

Weekly Photography Challenge – Looking Up

Share in the dPS Facebook Group

You can also share your images in the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there each week as well.

If you tag your photos on FlickrInstagramTwitter or other sites – tag them as #DPSWheels to help others find them. Linking back to this page might also help others know what you’re doing so that they can share in the fun.

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The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Wheels appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Sime.

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Treat yourself 2020: The ultimate photographers’ gift guide

27 Nov

A gift guide just for you

It’s been a doozy of a year but thankfully, it wasn’t all sour grapes. While many aspects of society ground to a halt, manufacturers still had cool and exciting products in their pipelines that they managed to bring to market.

And while opportunities to get and out shoot may be limited at the moment, we can still dream big. And what better way to do that than by ‘browser window shopping’. What follows is a rundown of the headiest products of 2020, the ones photographers really want. So pour a tall cold one and get ready to treat yourself!

Canon EOS R5

There’s no two ways about it, the gold award-winning Canon EOS R5 is our favorite mirrorless camera over $ 3000 and perhaps Canon’s most impactful full-framer since the 5D Mark II. And while the RF mount is still relatively new, there’s no shortage of fast aperture primes and F2.8 zooms available, including ‘the holy trinity’ of the 15-35mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm.

Well-suited to enthusiasts and professionals alike, the R5 offers outstanding image quality, excellent ergonomics, fast burst shooting and fabulous autofocus performance, not to mention lovely oversampled 4K. In short, if you really want to treat yourself to the best of the best, it’s the camera to get.

View our Canon EOS R5 sample gallery

Fujifilm X100V

Of course, not everyone wants or needs an interchangeable lens camera, for some of us, the simplicity and GAS-reducing nature of a fixed lens camera offers greater appeal. Lucky for folks in this camp, two new large-sensor, fixed lens cameras are featured on this year’s list including the glorious Fujifilm X100V.

Which begs the question: What do you get when you take a wonderfully designed camera and tweak it over the course of four generations based on user feedback, without straying from the original ethos? Why, the X100V of course. Building on its legacy, the ‘V’ bring all sorts of lovely refinements to the series including a newly designed lens with better corner/close-up sharpness, an updated sensor and AF system, better build-quality, a tilting touchscreen and more!

View our Fujifilm X100V sample gallery

Leica Q2 Monochrom

Another fixed-lens, large-sensor camera launched this year is a ‘Monochrom’ version of the Leica Q2, a staff favorite here at DPR. The camera’s B&W-only sensor offers improved dynamic range and noise performance over its color sensor counterpart. Plus, the super sharp 28mm F1.7 lens and moody monochrome output make it the perfect all-in-one option for street photographers, live music shooters and/or anyone who loves shooting after the sun goes down.

And while some may find 28mm a tad too wide, the camera’s 47MP full-frame sensor provides ample resolution for cropping. Plus the Q2 Monochrom handles just like the standard Q2, which is to say it’s built like a tank and both straightforward and immensely gratifying to shoot with. And immense gratification is what ‘treat yourself’ is all about.

View our Leica Q2 Monochrom
sample gallery

GoPro Hero9 Black

GoPro’s latest flagship, the Hero9 Black, is a seriously impressive piece of kit and easily the most compelling action camera to come out in quite some time. For filmmakers, it can shoot up to 5K/30p, offering room to crop in post, assuming you’re outputting 4K, or 4K/60p. And GoPro’s Hypersmooth video image stabilization is jaw-droppingly good. On the stills side, resolution has jumped from 12MP on previous models to 20MP on Hero9 Black.

The camera isn’t just capable though, it’s also well-designed: control/menus are accessed via the rear touchscreen and the whole unit is water/freeze/dust-proof without the need for a case. It also provides improved battery life over predecessors, a front-facing ‘live’ screen and even the option to attach an accessory wide angle lens. In short, it’s the perfect companion for anyone’s extreme lifestyle, whether that means leisurely bike rides to the park or free-climbing rock faces. Treat yourself!

iPhone 12 Pro & 12 Pro Max

iPhones, like GoPros, tend to see iterative yearly updates, but occasionally a new model drops with enough advancements that it’s impossible to ignore. The iPhone 12 Pro is that model and the ultimate ‘treat yourself’ device, not just from a photo/video shooting perspective but also when it comes to displaying and viewing your work.

Apple devices have been able to shoot HDR photos and videos for some time, but this new model (like all iPhone 12 models) can now display 10-bit Dolby Vision HDR on a beautiful OLED screen, right from within the photo app: an industry first!

The camera is also impressive. It consists of three 12MP modules, including standard wide-angle (with a 47% larger sensor than its predecessor), an ultra-wide and telephoto options. Additionally, the phone will make use of Apple’s new Raw format, ProRaw, in beta now and coming soon. And, as if that’s not enough, Apple claims the device has enough processing power to make it 50% faster than any phone currently on the market (not to mention, it’s 5G-enabled). Now that’s a treat!

View our iPhone 12 sample gallery

Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art

Everyone needs a good 85mm portrait lens and Sigma’s latest 85mm offering for mirrorless full-frame E-mount and L-mount makes a strong case for inclusion in your kit.

One thing that truly sets it apart from others like it, including 2016’s Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art, is its compact and lightweight design. However, despite a comparatively smaller footprint, this lens remains optically outstanding, offering really good sharpness at all apertures (including in the corners), minimal chromatic aberrations and well-controlled ghosting and flare.

It’s also ‘dust and splash proof’ and impressively well-built. And at $ 1200, the Sigma is priced more affordably than the competition, too. Which is to say, it checks all the boxes for what make an outstanding F1.4 portrait lens – a difficult feat and a major treat.

Watch our video review of the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art

DJI Mavic Air 2

Have you been holding out for the right moment to spread your wings and treat yourself to a drone? Well my friends, the moment is now. DJI’s new Mavic Air 2 represents the most lust-worthy enthusiast drone to launch in some time.

The perfect balance of size and capability, Air 2 fits in the palm of your hand but can deliver great stills image quality from its 1/2″ 48MP CMOS sensor, including both Raw and JPEGs formats. It can also shoot up to 4K/60p video and offers a variety of accident avoidance technologies as well features like subject tracking, HDR video and a panorama mode. Battery life is a useful 34 minutes and perhaps most importantly, the Mavic Air 2 is easy and enjoyable to fly.

Read our DJI Mavic Air 2 review

Olympus 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x

I’ve tried my best to keep this year’s ‘Treat Yourself’ guide somewhat mount-agnostic, but certain new glass is just too darn difficult to ignore. Take, for instance, the new Olympus 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x for Micro Four Thirds bodies. It’s not for everyone, but for a certain type of photographer, this is the the ultimate optical treat!

I’m talking of course about nature and wildlife photographers. Olympus’ king of tele-s packs a whopping 300-800mm equiv. focal range into a surprisingly well-sized, well-weighted body. But that’s not all! A 1.25x built-in teleconverter bumps that reach to an impressive 1000mm (at the cost of 2/3 EV of light). And, as is the case with most high-end Olympus gear, this lens is sealed against dust and moisture, and built to take some punishment – just be sure to protect that big, beautiful 95mm front element!

View our Olympus 150-40mm F4.5 TC1.25x sample gallery

DJI Pocket 2

The second iteration of DJI’s pocket-friendly vlogging machine is a real winner. This little unit is easy-to-use, offers a nice wide 20mm field-of-view (wider than its predecessor) and shoots high quality, super-smooth 4K video. It also features an updated four-way directional in-camera microphone, capable of recording good quality audio without the need for an accessory mic. And did we mention it’s pocketable?

Basically, the Pocket 2 is the perfect no-fuss, all-in-one vlogging machine and the right piece of kit for sharing your adventures with the world. And while now might not be a great time to leave your house and embark on any adventures, the Pocket 2 will be waiting for you when it’s safe to travel again. So go on and treat yourself to this tiny wonder.

Watch our DJI Pocket 2 video review

There you have it, our favorite lust-worthy gear of the year. Here’s hoping 2021 has even more treats in store. Until next time, Treat yourself!

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Photokina is cancelled indefinitely

27 Nov

Photokina has announced it will be indefinitely suspending its Cologne-based event due to ‘decreases in the imaging market’ that have ‘force[d] a hard cut.’

In a press release promoted on the Photokina homepage, Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse (the organizing company behind Photokina) says:

‘Unfortunately, at present, the framework conditions in the industry do not provide a viable basis for the leading international trade fair for photography, video and imaging […] This hard cut after a 70-year shared history was very difficult for us. The trend in this industry, with which we have always had a close and trusting partnership, is very painful for us to witness. But we are facing the situation with a clear, honest decision against continuing this event, a decision to which, unfortunately, we have no alternative.’

The press release goes on to explain that even without the global COVID-19 pandemic, ‘the imaging market was already subject to strong upheaval, with annual declines in the double digits.’ Despite efforts to diversify the tradeshow with ‘new exhibitor and visitor segments,’ these changes didn’t ‘fundamentally improve the situation of the event,’ according to Koelnmesse Management Board member and Chief Operating Officer, Oliver Frese. Frese goes on to say:

’While there are more photographs taken today than ever before, the integration of smartphone photography and videography, together with image-based communication, e.g. via social media, was not able to cushion the elimination of large segments of the classic market. As a result, the overall situation is not compatible with the quality standards of photokina as a globally renowned brand representing the highest quality and professionalism in the international imaging market.’

Ultimately, the decision fo indefinitely suspend Photokina was made by Koelnmesse ‘in close coordination’ with the German Photo Industry Association.

While the title of the press release — ’Photokina will be suspended until further notice’ — it’s clear this is a fairwell for the annual photo show, which has been taking place in Cologne, Germany since 1950.

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Two Nikon DSLRs Will Ship Next Year (Plus New F-Mount Lenses)

27 Nov

The post Two Nikon DSLRs Will Ship Next Year (Plus New F-Mount Lenses) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Nikon DSLRs next year

With major camera companies dedicating themselves more fully to mirrorless technology, it might surprise you to learn that Nikon isn’t giving up on their DSLRs just yet.

Despite the recent launch of the Z6 II and the Z7 II, and despite the handful of Z-mount cameras and lenses in the works, Nikon still plans to debut two DSLRs sometime in 2021, according to an “internal presentation” reported on by Nikon Rumors.

While the internal presentation discussed many items, some of which merely confirmed that which we already knew, the highlights include various interesting tidbits about Nikon mirrorless cameras versus DSLRs; up until now, Nikon DSLRs have actually performed better than their mirrorless counterparts in terms of sales, though Nikon predicts “within 60 days that mirrorless will outsell [the] F-mount.”

But presumably as a consequence of the still-significant DSLR sales, Nikon aims to launch two DSLRs next year, along with “several new F-mount lenses.”

What DSLRs will these be?

A safe bet is that at least one will be a mid-level or entry-level Nikon model, especially because this is one area where Nikon lacks mirrorless counterparts. We might see a Nikon D3600, for instance, which should be a relatively low-priced option aimed at beginners (though bear in mind that it was rumored over a year ago that Nikon was canceling its Nikon D3500 lineup). Alternatively, we might get a more midrange option: a Nikon D7600, which is long overdue and should offer higher-end capabilities, such as fast autofocusing and strong low-light performance.

In fact, these models would correspond pretty closely to two of Canon’s few DSLR releases in the past year or so: the entry-level Canon EOS 850D (also known as the Rebel T8i) and the mid-level Canon 90D.

The second new DSLR is likely a Nikon D850 replacement; this would be a high-resolution professional model, designed for landscape and commercial shooters in particular (but with the potential to work as a wildlife or event camera, as well!).

As for the new lenses, it’s anybody’s guess, but I suspect they’ll cater more toward beginners (assuming the new cameras are entry-level models) and professional sports photography, which is one area where DSLRs are still the overwhelming choice.

Ultimately, I’m not sure Nikon’s DSLR lineup can withstand the next five or so years; it’s very possible these 2021 cameras will be some of the last DSLRs that Nikon releases. Regardless, for DSLR shooters, it’ll be nice to look forward to a couple more cameras and lenses over the coming year!

Now over to you:

What do you think these DSLRs and lenses will be? And do you think they’ll be some of Nikon’s last DSLR products? Share your thoughts in the comments!

The post Two Nikon DSLRs Will Ship Next Year (Plus New F-Mount Lenses) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

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