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Eric Karr – Stages of Recovery – New Years Eve Party

To download your picture or pictures from the Stages of Recovery – New Years Eve Party please click on the below link.

Stages of Recover – New Years Eve Party.

 
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Eric Karr – Morgan.

Published on February 8, 2016 by in Editorial

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Eric Karr – Stormi

Published on February 3, 2016 by in Fashion

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ZY Optics unveils new Lens Turbo adapters for Micro Four Thirds cameras

Published on January 12, 2016 by in News

Chinese lens maker Zhongyi Optics has added M42, Canon FD and Minolta MD lens adapters to its second-generation Lens Turbo lineup for Micro Four Thirds cameras. Like Metabones' Speedboosters, the adapters shorten the effective focal length, increasing the F-number by one stop and partially negating the crop factor. The 0.726x focal length reduction combines to give a net 1.45x focal length crop, rather than the 2x crop that you'd usually experience on a Micro Four Thirds camera.

These three adapters join ZY Optics' existing Lens Turbo Version II adapters for Canon EF and Nikon G lenses. Among the adapters' four optical elements is an extra-low dispersion element, and all three offer stainless steel mounts and metal bodies.

All three adapters are available directly from ZY Optics for $149 USD.

 
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DxOMark Mobile report: BlackBerry Priv

Published on January 12, 2016 by in News

The Blackberry Priv combines Google's Android operating system with BlackBerry's security features and a slider form factor with hardware qwerty-keyboard. In the camera module an 18MP sensor works together with a Schneider Kreuznach designed lens and optical image stabilization. The camera is capable of recording 4K video and there is also a dual-tone LED flash. DxOMark recently published its test results, placing the BlackBerry Priv into a joint eleventh place in its smartphone rankings, on the same level as Apple's iPhone 6s.

 
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First Impressions: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm F/4 IS PRO Telephoto Lens

Published on January 12, 2016 by in News

To see the full-resolution images, click over to Flickr while we're re-working our full-resolution display options for our site

I spent most of my time at CES 2016 cooped up in convention centers, press rooms, and hotels-turned-offices, but one night did afford me the chance to head out into the desert for a chance to shoot with Olympus’s new 300mm super telephoto lens.

The shooting conditions were, um, less than optimal with surprisingly cold temperatures, strong winds, and heavy rains. While it wasn’t the most luxurious shoot, it certainly seemed like as good an opportunity as any to test out a new weather-sealed lens that’s meant for the outdoors.

What is it? The lens is—as the name suggests—one of the professional offerings from Olympus. It comes with a $2,499 retail price tag, but it also has aggressive weather-proofing to make it appealing to sports and nature photographers. It has built-in IS, which works with the in-body IS, which allows it to make some rather impressive claims about just how stable it really is (more on this later).

Performance I actually started incorporating a very long lens into my pro kit this summer, so my appreciation for long telephoto lenses like this is currently at an all-time high. The very first thing that you notice when you start using the lens is how light it is. At 2.5 pounds (roughly), it honestly feels a lot like using a 24-70mm lens on a traditional DSLR. Competing full-frame 600mm lenses check in well over seven-pounds (and also cost $11,000+) so that was a very clear advantage.

The autofocus is silent and very snappy. I did notice a little bit of hunting for focus, but that’s a common thing with a focal length this long and the fact that there were particles of rain flying through the air between me and my subjects certainly wasn’t helping in that regard.

The manual focus ring has an intentionally long turning radius so you can make fine adjustments during the focusing process. You engage the manual focus simply by pulling back on the ring and clicking it into a second position, which I have always liked because you don’t have to take your hand out of position or your eye off of the viewfinder to hit a switch.

Optics Evaluating optical performance is the job of our famous testing lab, so I’ll leave the serious evaluation for later. However, first impressions are very good, at least to my eyeballs. We were shooting in some legitimately difficult lighting conditions, so it’s hard to tell if some effects came from rain drops on the lens or from the optics themselves. Overall, though, I was more than satisfied in terms of sharpness and detail resolution.

One thing I did notice was that the hokeh seems a little harsh when high-contrast elements come into play. This is something I’d like to evaluate in a much wider variety of circumstances, but it was something I noticed rather immediately.

Build This is honestly one of the biggest pluses I noticed about the 300mm F/4. The lens hood is an integral part of the lens, sliding out to protect the front element. It took me a minute to figure out how it actually worked, but once it was in place, it feels solid. In fact, the whole package feels really solid. I took in the pouring rain with it mounted to an OM-D E-M1 for about an hour and it didn’t flinch.

Stabilization This probably could have gone into the performance category, but I wanted to single out just how good I found the stabilization to be. Because it has built-in IS, it can work in concert with the IS system that exists at the sensor level in cameras like the OM-D E-M1. Olympus claims up to six stops of shake reduction. The shot above was taken at 1/10th of a second, handheld with an effective 600mm lens. If you zoom in all the way to the pixel level, you can tell it’s not absolutely perfect, but considering I was extremely cold and have shaky hands by nature, it’s pretty darn impressive.

Overall I’m looking forward to spending more time with this lens, but my first impressions are extremely solid. Look for a more thorough review in a future issue of Popular Photography.

 
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Hands-on with the Nikon D5

Published on January 12, 2016 by in News

Hands-on with the Nikon D5

Back in November Nikon teased us by announcing that a new D5 DSLR flagship camera was in development. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait long for 'development' to turn into 'product.' At CES 2016 we got the chance to meet the D5, up close and personal.

At its core is a brand new 20.8MP FX-Format CMOS Sensor and Nikon's EXPEED 5 image processor. It uses a new autofocus system with 153 AF points, 99 of which are cross-sensor. Compared to the D4s, those AF points are spread out to cover a greater portion of the frame. The D5 also features updated AF algorithms. In terms of speed, it is capable of 12 fps bursts with AF and 14 fps with the mirror locked-up.

The new AF system, coupled with the camera's 180k-pixel RGB metering sensor, should also result in improved subject tracking capabilities. The metering sensor has doubled in resolution compared to the 91k-pixel sensor in the D4s. The D5 is also capable of 4K UHD video capture (albeit with a 3 minute limit and a nearly 1.5x crop factor).

As you would expect, the D5 feels like a brick in your hand. Maybe two bricks, actually. That's not a complaint. It's what we've come to expect from Nikon's flagship cameras.

Hands-on with the Nikon D5

The D5 looks very similar to its predecessor, the D4s. In fact, in terms of their dimensions, the two cameras are exactly the same. Don't be fooled by the familiar looks, though, the D5 is an entirely different camera beneath its magnesium alloy body.

For one, it is now capable of native ISOs ranging from 100-102,400 and expandable from ISO 50-3,280,000, (the upper ISO is Hi-5). We shot a couple images at ISO 102,400 using the D5 on display in Nikon's booth at CES. And though we were unable to take the images with us to download and inspect closer, our initial impressions of the highest native ISO offered on the D5 are positive.

Hands-on with the Nikon D5

In-hand, the D5 feels exactly like a professional camera should; it is well-weighted and offers plenty of grip to wrap your hands around, with ample control points. Three of those points are custom function buttons that can be set to one of numerous functions by the user (a few other buttons remain re-assignable as well). And like Nikon's flagship cameras before it, the D5 has a built-in vertical grip with a dedicated shutter and dual control dials.

Because this camera is designed for use by the world's top photojournalist and sports photographers, in what could often be less-than-deal conditions, it is built extremely tough. The entire body is constructed from magnesium alloy and it is fully weather-sealed. The shutter is also rated to 400,000 actuations.

Hands-on with the Nikon D5

The 3.2-inch 2.36 million-dot LCD is a serious upgrade over previous models and other cameras typically sporting a 1.2 million-dot LCD. Images on it look really crisp. The LCD is also touch-sensitive, though according to Nikon PR, it can not be used to select AF points when shooting stills using the optical viewfinder (a feature available on both the D5500 and now the D500). We were told that the D5's touch capabilities are largely gear toward video shooting.

A new, programmable Fn-3 button has been added to the back of the camera, where the info button previously was on the D4s. Aside from that change, the back of the D5 is largely the same as the D4s, which is a good thing. The AF sub-selector joystick remains in the same exact spot (right below the AF-On button). In use we've found the sub-selector to be the most efficient way to select an AF point, compared to using the somewhat slower-to-use D-pad. And we are happy to see the sub-selector also make its way to the Nikon D500.

One design tweak that may go unnoticed can be found in the area around the viewfinder: it is now removable. Simply slide it up. Nikon engineered the camera this way to make it easier to attach a rain hood. According to Nikon PR, the company is currently developing a hood specifically for the D5, which will likely be announced in the coming months. 

Hands-on with the Nikon D5

It's nice to see the ISO button move to a more logical spot, right by the shutter, on top of the camera. Previously, many photographers would remap the movie record button to ISO, but the presence of a dedicated ISO button will be a boon for one-handed operation.

The mode button has also moved (to make way for the ISO button) to the top left. The video record button has also migrated a bit further out on the grip, making it easier to hit with your shutter finger while your eye is to the finder. 

Hands-on with the Nikon D5

The D5 comes in two flavors, either with dual CF or dual XQD slots. For those seeking to make the most of the D5's speed capabilities, the XQD version is going to be the better option - we've heard reports that with fast XQD cards, the camera will really take 200 Raw shots before slowing down its shooting speed. Still, many shooters, especially pros, have invested heavily in CF, and it is nice to see Nikon continuing to support CF in its higher-end offerings.

Users also have three different size options for saving raw files. Raw sizes medium and small result in 12-bit lossless compress NEF files, while full size Raw images can be shot in up to 14-bit lossless uncompressed NEF files. We'll be curious to check if bit-rate drops at the highest shooting speeds: for example, we found 6fps on the D7200 to cause a small loss in dynamic range due to 12-bit readout.

As with all dual slot Nikon DSLRs, users can elect to shoot Raw+JPEG and have their Raw files save to a separate card from their JPEG files (or not).

Hands-on with the Nikon D5

The D5 gains an additional Function button on the front of the body (to the left of the lens mount) compared to its predecessor, the D4s. In hand, we found the new Fn-2 button to be very easy access whether you are gripping the camera vertically or horizontally. This addition of this button makes more customizable one of the most customizable DSLRs in the industry.

Speaking of the gripping the camera, the D5 is extremely comfortable to hold: the the grip is quite large, and very deep. With a camera this size, a solid grip is paramount to the overall ergonomics of the camera. 

Hands-on with the Nikon D5

There are plenty of ports on the D5, including a Nikon 10-pin, USB 3.0, 1/8" headphone, 1/8" microphone, HDMI C and LAN ports. 4K video can be outputted over HDMI, which is one way around the 3 minute time limit for internal 4K capture. That said, at this time, we do not know how good the signal being sent is - particularly whether or not the video is truly sampled at 8 or 10 bits per color channel.

Hands-on with the Nikon D5

Here you can see all of the ports, once the rubber seals have been pulled back. USB 3.0 is a bump up from the USB 2.0 port on the D4s. Wi-Fi functionality can be added to the D5 via WT-5A and WT-4A Wireless Transmitters.

Hands-on with the Nikon D5

Compared to a (relatively) normal-sized head, the D5 is enormous. Then again, when it comes to this class of camera, the large size is expected. Here you can see just how easy it is to access that new Fn-2 button with the camera held vertically.

Hands-on with the Nikon D5

The D5 uses the same EN-EL18a battery as its predecessor. It is CIPA rated to last 3780 shots per charge, meaning you likely won't be reaching into your bag often for an extra battery. From our experience, that should be more than enough shots to get most users through a full day of shooting, and then some.

 
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Sony uses 12 Xperia Z5 smartphones to record 48K 360 degree video

Published on January 12, 2016 by in News

A team at Sony has custom designed and 3D-printed a rig that mounts onto a tripod and can hold 12 Xperia Z5 Compact smartphones, making it possible to record 4K video simultaneously for immersive video. Stitched together in post production, the clips create some impressive 48K 360-degree footage. To test and demonstrate the setup, Sony recorded various winter sports scenes at the Rise Ski & Snowboard Festival in Les Deux Alpes. Read more

 
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Metz announces UK availability of new mecablitz 44 AF-2 flash/video light

Published on January 11, 2016 by in News

German flash manufacturer Metz has said that the mecablitz 44 AF-2 flash unit that it announced at the end of last year will be available immediately in the UK at a price of £179.99. The gun is an update of the 44 AF-1, and brings with it compatibility with Fuji's X-system and a built-in LED for videographers. 

Originally announced in November last year, the 44 AF-2 is designed for full frame and APS-C DSLRs, as well as a collection of mirrorless cameras. It has a maximum guide number of 44m / 144 ft at ISO 100 when used with a 105mm lens, and offers an automatic zoom head that covers angles for lenses from 24-105mm. A wide diffuser extends that coverage to 12mm. 

Metz has included a video light in the form of an LED that has an output of 100 Lux at one meter, and which can be controlled via four brightness levels. The LED can also be used as a modeling light to accompany the flash head. 

The flash can be integrated into the wireless flash control systems of Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Olympus, Pentax, Sony and Samsung cameras, and is additionally compatible with Fuji and Leica cameras when mounted in the hotshoe. Depending on the model in use, the 44 AF-2 can be used as a commander in a wireless set-up, or only as a slave. 

In manual mode the gun has four output levels, and in all modes it can be triggered at the beginning or the end of the exposure. High speed modes allow synchronization with shutter speeds beyond the usual maximum sync speeds of the host camera. 

The gun is designed to be easy to use and sits slightly above the middle of the company’s AF range of hotshoe mounted flash units. 

This will be the first Metz flash unit launched since the Metz-Werke GmbH & Co. company became insolvent and the flash business was saved by Germany’s Daum Group, which is better known for making fitness equipment. The flash side of the business is now called Metz mecatech GmbH. 

In Europe the flash unit will cost 190 Euro, but it doesn’t appear to have been launched in the USA yet. For more information on the Metz mecablitz 44 AF-2 see the Metz website.

 
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Apple’s New Night Shift Feature for iOS Shifts The Colors on the iPhone Screen to Stop Ruining Your Sleep

Published on January 11, 2016 by in News
Apple Night Shift Mode for iOS Changes the color of your screen to help sleep

There has been a lot of talk lately about how exposure to blue light from your phone, laptop, or iPad can ruin your sleep. Now, Apple is building a function into iOS 9.3 called Night Shift, which will shift the color of the iPhone and iPad screens to cut out blue light.

The mechanism seems to be based on the idea that “blue” light tricks our brain into thinking that it’s daytime by emulating sunlight. By turning down the color balance and making things appear “warmer,” it will more closely emulate tungsten light, which our brains recognize as artificial.

I have a feeling a lot of photography-oriented folks will be turning this feature off as it kind of defeats the purpose of looking at photos on devices all together. In fact, it’s actually a little troubling to think that some people will come across my work and all the color correction have done has been thrown out in the name of eliminating blue light.

It’s obviously adjustable, but the function is tuned to work with sunset, so in the winter hours like this, it would presumably kick in starting in the late afternoon. That leaves a lot of browsing time with out of the ordinary colors.

 
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Apple patent describes dual-camera design

Published on January 11, 2016 by in News

Looking at a new Apple patent that has recently surfaced, it appears we might see a dual-camera setup in future iPhone generations. The design uses two camera modules, one with a wide-angle lens and another with a longer focal length. Throw some Apple software wizardry into the mix and you get yourself a smartphone zoom lens that should get close in quality to fully optical zooms and much better than existing digital zooms. Read more

 
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