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Week in Review: The flagships are here! The flagships are here!

Published on May 7, 2016 by in News

Week in Review: The flagships are here!

It's been a busy week here as three high profile cameras have come sailing through our doors in (roughly) the past seven days: the Pentax K-1, the Canon EOS-1D X II and the Nikon D500. As a result, lots of studio work and samples made their way onto the site. And in an exciting plot twist, we actually had some decent weather! In early May! In Seattle! Let's recap, shall we?

Week in Review: The K-1 impresses early

We waited a long time for the Pentax K-1 to arrive. And let's not even start on how long Pentax shooters have been waiting for full-frame digital. Here at last, the K-1 has already impressed us in the studio. And we don't have to wonder any longer what the camera's Pixel Shift mode will be like – so far it's nothing short of spectacular.

Week in Review: Nikon D500 on the town

Fate smiled upon Seattle last weekend and bestowed us with summer-like weather, which is by no means guaranteed on any day before July 4th around here. The Nikon D500 had already made its way through our preliminary round of studio tests so plenty of shooting out and about was in order for Nikon's APS-C flagship, and that's just what happened. 

Week in Review: Canon's revamped sport shooter arrives

Completing the triple threat is Canon's update to its full-frame sports shooter, the EOS-1D X II. And with a new 20.2MP sensor, improved 61-point AF system and 14 fps shooting with AF, it is a thing to behold. We're just getting started and have plenty of fast-action shooting to do with the 1D X II, but for starters we took a look at its performance in our studio tests. In short, we saw a slight dip in high ISO performance compared to its rivals, but the 1D X II shows a marked improvement in dynamic range. Check out the full results for yourself.

Week in Review: Samyang throws an AF curveball

It was a quiet week in terms of new gear but Samyang surprised us with its first ever autofocus lenses: a 50mm F1.4 and 14mm F2.8. They'll debut for Sony FE and no pricing has been made public yet, but we're optimistic that this means more AF Samyang lenses are in the works.

Week in Review: Round 'em up

We rounded up the current crop of 1" sensor long zoom compacts to help make the tough job of picking a camera a little easier. If you want something pocketable or want to shoot for the moon, you'll find it in this group.

Week in Review: Sony on a winning streak

It's pretty much a given that every camera maker is selling fewer cameras than they were in the past. Financial reports have tended to follow the same trend of bad news in recent years too, but Sony seems to have found a path through the darkness. In its latest financial year, the company's imaging division posted some impressive gains in income, even with a decrease in sales.

Until Elon Musk can find a way to get average schmoes like us into orbit, this neat footage from a GoPro on a rocket might be as close as we get. The HERO4 took a ride on UP Aerospace Inc.'s SL-10 rocket and made a quick roundtrip return back to Earth with a NASA-designed capsule. 

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TIME names Kodak and Polaroid cameras two of the ‘most influential gadgets’ in history

Published on May 6, 2016 by in News

TIME Magazine has published its list of 'the 50 most influential gadgets of all time,’ and included among them is the Kodak Brownie Camera (#8) and the Polaroid Camera (#27). According to the publication, the list is ordered by each gadget’s influence on subsequent technologies and devices, such as the Brownie camera that helped bring photography 'into everyday use.'

The Kodak Brownie Camera, launched in February 1900, was priced at $1 and used inexpensive film, making it possible for anyone to capture snapshots of daily life. The low price and subsequent ease by which anyone could get into photography boosted film sales for Kodak, but that was only a small part of the Brownie's role in our history and its influence on our future. Says TIME, the Brownie camera 'helped capture countless moments and shape civilization’s relationship to images.'

Arriving later on (and further down the list) is Polaroid and its OneStep Land instant camera launched in 1977. This model holds the distinction of having been the first affordable and easy to use camera of its kind, says TIME, going on to become so popular that the influence of its 'square-framed, often off-color snaps' lives on today in apps like Instagram.

Are the Brownie and Polaroid cameras deserving of their spots on the list? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Via: TIME Magazine

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Photo Challenge Winner: Andrei Stoica’s Majestic Horses

Published on May 6, 2016 by in News

Getting to the right place at the right time pays off

Andrei Stoica explains how he capture this stunning horse shot for our photo challenge…
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4K from Space: ISS astronauts shoot 3D movie of planet Earth

Published on May 6, 2016 by in News

Astronauts based on the International Space Station have been working as movie makers to help create a 3D film featuring the planet Earth as viewed from space. A Beautiful Planet was shot in 4K using Canon’s cinema camera system, and will be shown in IMAX theaters from the end of the month. The film includes dramatic views of the planet lit up at night as well as overhead perspectives on weather systems and the Northern Lights.

A Beautiful Planet IMAX® Trailer

Footage for the film was collected by six space station astronauts over the course of three missions from November 2014, after Canon EOS C500 and EOS-1D C cameras were delivered to the ISS via an unmanned supply ship with a collection of lenses. Made in association with NASA, the film aims to educate viewers about Earth, but also to highlight the effects humanity has on the planet.

For more information on the film and where you can see it visit the IMAX website.

Press release

IMAX® Film ‘A Beautiful Planet’ Features “Out Of This World” Canon 4K Imagery

Using Canon Cameras and Lenses, Teams Shooting from the International Space Station Capture Breathtaking Images of Our Planet from a Vantage Point Few Get to See

MELVILLE, N.Y., April 14, 2016 – The future of 4K filmmaking is looking up — in fact, all the way to space. A Beautiful Planet, the latest 3D space documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Toni Myers and IMAX Entertainment, made in cooperation with NASA, will premiere in IMAX in New York on April 16 and was shot primarily in space using Canon cameras and lenses.  The film will be shown to the public exclusively in IMAX® and IMAX® 3D theaters beginning April 29.

The Canon EOS C500 4K Digital Cinema Camera and EOS-1D C 4K cameras were transported from Earth to the International Space Station (ISS) in November 2014 via an unmanned supply ship, and were received by NASA astronaut Terry Virts, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti from the European Space Agency and Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov. This was the first time that 4K cameras were brought aboard the space station for a commercial film project. During a six-month mission at the ISS, Virts, Cristoforetti and Shkaplerov worked closely with NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Butch Wilmore, Scott Kelly, and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to take turns using Canon’s advanced digital cameras and lenses to film footage of lightning storms, the continents, volcanoes, coral reefs and bright city lights on Earth for the film. One of the film’s greatest and most dramatic highlights, the striking imagery of the Northern Lights--or the aurora borealis-- was captured by NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren. These awe-inspiring images were previously unattainable in such stunning resolution.

The Canon EOS C500 4K (4096 x 2160-pixel) Digital Cinema Camera is capable of originating uncompressed RAW output for external recording to meet the demands of premium cinematic productions and other top-quality production markets. It features a Super 35mm, 8.85-megapixel CMOS image sensor, DIGIC DV III Image Processor and an expansive range of recording and output options specifically for 4K and 2K image acquisition. The compact, lightweight Canon EOS-1D C Digital SLR camera delivers outstanding video performance and provides video recording at 4K (4096 x 2160-pixel) or Full HD (1920 x 1080-pixel) resolution to support high-end motion picture, television production and other advanced imaging applications.

‘A Beautiful Planet’ joins Canon at NAB
A gallery of still images taken on the ISS with the Canon EOS-1D C camera and Canon lenses during the shooting of the film will be shown at the Canon booth # C4325 at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) trade show, April 18-21, 2016 in Las Vegas, NV. During NAB, the film’s Director of Photography, James Neihouse, ASC, will speak at Canon’s stage on the challenges and benefits of shooting in space. Joining him will be Marsha Ivins, a consultant on the film, former NASA astronaut, and a veteran of five space shuttle missions. Neihouse has worked on more than 30 IMAX films including Space Station 3D and Hubble 3D and trained more than 25 shuttle and space-station crews on the intricacies of large-format filmmaking.

The documentary, A Beautiful Planet was produced, written, and directed by Toni Myers, and is narrated by Academy Award®-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence.

About A Beautiful Planet
A Beautiful Planet is a breathtaking portrait of Earth from space, providing a unique perspective and increased understanding of our planet and galaxy as never seen before. Made in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the film features stunning footage of our magnificent blue planet — and the effects humanity has had on it over time — captured by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). From space, Earth blazes at night with the electric intensity of human expansion — a direct visualization of our changing world. But it is within our power to protect the planet. As we continue to explore and gain knowledge of our galaxy, we also develop a deeper connection to the place we all call home. From IMAX Entertainment and Toni Myers — the acclaimed filmmaker behind celebrated IMAX® documentaries Hubble 3D, and Space Station 3D — A Beautiful Planet presents an awe-inspiring glimpse of Earth and a hopeful look into the future of humanity.

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Two in one: LG G5 camera review

Published on May 6, 2016 by in News

DPReview smartphone reviews are written with the needs of photographers in mind. We focus on camera features, performance, and image quality.

The LG G5 succeeds last year's G4 and is the first LG smartphone with a dual-camera setup. With an F1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization, the main 16MP module is very similar to the G4 in terms of specification and provides a 78-degree angle of view which is in line with most current high-end smartphone cameras.

But here's where things get interesting: the second lens comes with an F2.4 aperture and 8MP sensor and captures a 135-degree super wide-angle image. In the camera app you can switch between lenses via a button, and when using the digital zoom the camera switches seamlessly between the two modules. As before, the autofocus is assisted by a laser that measures the subject distance.  

There is also an optional camera grip that should make the G5 particularly appealing to mobile photographers. The G5's 2,800mAh battery is removable and slots into the device from the bottom. The latter clips away when a release button is pressed which allows you to attach a number of replaceable modules, one of which is the CAM Plus camera grip. It comes with an additional 1,200mAh of battery capacity and offers power, shutter, video and zoom buttons. It also lets you lock exposure and provides a more comfortable grip. We've put the G5 and the CAM Plus grip through its paces. Read our full review to find out how they performed.

Key Photographic / Video Specifications

  • 16MP main camera
  • F1.8 aperture
  • Optical image stabilization
  • 8MP secondary super wide angle camera with F2.4 aperture
  • 8MP, F2.0 front camera
  • 4K video
  • 120 fps 720p slow motion video
  • Optional camera grip with shutter button and control dial

Other Specifications

  • 5.3-inch 1440p display
  • Snapdragon 820 chipset
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage
  • microSD support
  • 2,800 mAh battery

Our 9-page review

We've considered every aspect of the LG G5 with the photographer in mind. We examined the user interface of the native camera app and its special features. We experimented with the camera's performance when taking stills and video, and had a play with the device's many special feature modes. Click any of the links below for more information of specific functions and continue to our conclusion for a final summary of our findings.

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Printer Test: Epson SureColor P400

Published on May 6, 2016 by in News

A 13-inch inkjet delivers bang for the buck

Printer Test: Epson SureColor P400…
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2016 Mentor Series Travel Photo Contest

Published on May 5, 2016 by in News
Travel Photo Contest

?Enter your travel images that highlight adventure, culture, and beauty of the world

Show off your best travel photography for a chance to win!
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This Is What Happens When You Strap Cameras to a Rocket And Shoot It Into Space

Published on May 5, 2016 by in News
GoPro Footage Rocket to Space

Amazing footage from a fantastic voyage

A fantastic (and a little disorienting) trip into outer space thanks to some cameras on-board a rocket…
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Ready for takeoff: GoPro records rocket trip into space

Published on May 5, 2016 by in News

While you're waiting for Space X to get you into orbit, there's an easier way to enjoy an otherworldly view. A GoPro HERO 4 camera was used to record a UP Aerospace Inc. SL-10 rocket's travel into space, showing the flight at speeds of up to Mach 5.5 from Earth to an altitude of 120,700m / 396,000ft and back again. The video was recorded on November 6, 2015 during a mission to deploy the Maraia Capsule designed by NASA, and was recently showcased by GoPro on its YouTube channel.

This isn’t the first time GoPro’s action cameras have been used to record space missions. In April 2015, for example, NASA published a pair of videos showing astronauts on a spacewalk, both of which were recorded using the small action cameras. A GoPro was also used to record Felix Baumartner’s ‘Red Bull Stratos,’ a space jump that took place 24 miles above Earth. 

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No alias: Pentax K-1 Pixel Shift shows impressive early results

Published on May 5, 2016 by in News

It's been a long wait for the arrival of our Pentax K-1, but it finally is here. We wasted no time taking Ricoh's new flagship DSLR to our studio to see how the long-awaited full frame 36MP sensor stacks up to the competition. Huge thanks to LensRentals for renting us the lens for these tests.

Pixel Shift

It's worth calling out in particular one of the major highlights of the K-1: its Pixel Shift Resolution mode that debuted in the APS-C format K-3 II last spring. We're only showing you this mode at ISO 100 for the time being, but we'll be updating our widget with higher ISOs once ACR support is updated.

The K-1's Pixel Shift Resolution mode takes four consecutive shots and moves the sensor by a single pixel each time. This means that each of the original pixel positions gets sampled by a red, a blue and two green pixels. This has a few major benefits. First, it removes the need to demosaic: you don’t have to interpolate data from the surrounding area to build up color information, which leads to less color aliasing. It also brings a modest increase in resolution because you're sampling luminance information at every pixel position and not effectively blurring it by borrowing it from surrounding pixels. The increased resolution can easily be seen by looking at the color resolution targets, or looking at the text in the center of the studio scene, which shows no aliasing and can be read down to the very last line.

Another benefit to Pixel Shift is better noise performance: because you’re taking four shots, the camera essentially captures four times as much light, which decreases relative shot noise contributions. The decreased noise levels lead to better high ISO performance, and increased dynamic range.

There's yet another benefit to Pixel Shift: the camera locks up the mechanical shutter and mirror, and uses a fully electronic shutter instead. This removes any risk of vibrations that might be caused by the mechanical shutter. For example, there's a very tiny amount of blur in single shot mode at 1/40 sec, although it's near-imperceptible without a direct comparison to a sharper, Pixel Shift image.

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