Chinese mobile device manufacturer Meizu has launched the PRO 6. It will be sold alongside the PRO 5 with the same 21MP 1/2.4-inch sensor and F2.2 aperture, but updates its dual-tone flash with 10 LEDs arranged in a circular pattern on t…
Using an array of tiny lenses, this concept camera can take a wide variety of shapes
Read our full Sony a6300 review
One of the features we were excited by when the a6300 was announced was the promise of ‘live view’ while shooting continuous bursts of shots. Now we’ve used and tested it, what do we think?
What’s the big deal?
With the annual NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show just around the corner, Canon has announced numerous firmware updates for its video-oriented cameras and display systems.
A new firmware update for the XC10 camcorder adds MP4 recording capability for HD video, improved AF speed and shutter speed options to reduce flicker. You can read our recent review of the XC10 camera here.
Additional products receiving firmware updates include the Cinema EOS C100 Mark II camera, the Cinema EOS C300 Mark II camera (including Canon Log3), the XA30/35 and XF300/305 series of professional camcorders, the VIXIA HF G40 camcorder, the CINE-SERVO 17-120mm lens, and two reference displays.
Canon U.S.A. announces a host of product firmware updates at NAB 2016
New Updates Include Canon Log3 for the EOS C300 Mark II Camera and Support of ARRI Log C and Metadata for Canon’s DP-V2410 4K Reference Display
MELVILLE, N.Y., April 13, 2016 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced firmware updates to several products being showcased at NAB 2016. These firmware updates support a number of feature updates for users including improvement of workflow, ease of use, focusing and lens corrections, color space, and creative flexibility for products in the Cinema EOS, HD Video, and 4K Reference Display lines.
Firmware updates are as follows:
- The EOS C300 Mark II Digital Cinema Camera updates will allow various functions such as shooting in new Canon Log3, viewfinder magnification during recording, focus guide with EF Cinema Prime lenses, Push Auto Iris and Zoom function on the grip joystick with New COMPACT-SERVO and CINE-SERVO series lenses, Canon Dual Pixel CMOS AF (DAF) with COMPACT-SERVO 18-80mm and CINE-SERVO 17-120mm lenses, ACES 1.0 output, peripheral illumination correction updates and overall image improvements such as noise level reduction in low-light for Canon Log2.
- The EOS C100 Mark II Digital Cinema Camera update will allow various functions such as Push Auto Iris and Zoom function on the grip joystick with the new COMPACT-SERVO and CINE-SERVO series lenses, Canon DAF with COMPACT-SERVO 18-80mm and CINE-SERVO 17-120mm lenses, and peripheral illumination correction updates and selectable disabling of the microphone.
- The DP-V2410 4K Reference Display firmware will be updated to support ARRI Log C and ARRI metadata; improve display contrast and dynamic range; add support for Canon Log3 and Hybrid Log Gamma; and display of SMPTE 2084 input signal on the waveform monitor.
- The DP-V3010 4K Reference Display firmware will be updated to improve display contrast and dynamic range; add support for Canon Log3 and Hybrid Log Gamma; and display of SMPTE 2084 input signal on the waveform monitor.
- The CINE-SERVO 17-120mm Lens will be updated to be compatible with Canon’s DAF function in the EOS C300 Mark II and EOS C100 Mark II Cameras.
- The update for the ME20F-SH Camera will include lens support for an additional 19 EF and CINE lenses allowing for more creative choices in a wider variety of shooting applications including television and film production.
- The XA35 and XA30 Professional Camcorders and VIXIA HF G40 Camcorder updates include a new file format making it easier to integrate into third party software systems that are used for athletic coaching applications.
- The firmware updates for the XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders include new shooting modes allowing for greater creative flexibility, Wide DR Gamma (600 percent) Mode, Highlight Priority Mode, and Signal/Noise priority mode.
- The XC10 4K Camcorder firmware will be updated to include a new file format MP4 in HD mode (35 Mbps only), improved AF speed, and shutter speed options for flicker reduction.
To see these products mentioned above at NAB 2016, visit Canon U.S.A., Inc. in the Central Hall, Booth C4325. Follow Canon throughout the show on Instagram at @CanonUSA and Twitter at @CanonUSApro. To learn more about the firmware updates and their availability, please visit www.usa.canon.com/NAB2016Firmware.
Facebook has introduced the Surround 360, which captures 3D, 360 degree video using a total of 17 cameras and can output resolutions of up to 8K per eye. Unusually, Facebook will be making both the camera and processing software open source to give developers the opportunity to improve both.
The Surround 360 itself features 17 synchronized cameras: 14 horizontal, a fisheye on top and two more on the bottom. Each camera has a global shutter (which eliminates rolling shutter) and has been designed for long periods of operation without overheating. Raw Bayer data is captured, which is later processed in the stitching software. All 17 cameras are bolted onto an aluminum chassis so everything stays in place.
Facebook says it has used Point Grey industrial cameras in the Surround 360, which hints at the use of Sony 2nd generation Pregius CMOS sensors with global shutters. The lenses used are 7mm F2.4 lenses designed for up to 1″-type sensors, which could even mean the use of the latest Sony IMX253 or IMX255 chips. If that’s the case, then these lenses are roughly equivalent to 19mm.
With incredible amounts of data coming from all of those cameras Facebook uses a Linux-based PC with a RAID 5 SSD array that shares the writing out across eight drives simultaneously. The company has made controlling the camera rig easy, via a web-based interface that allows users to adjust shutter speed, exposure, frame rate and gain.
The stitching software uses the concept of optical flow to resolve disparities between what pairs of cameras can see. The company says this method is ‘mathematically trickier’ than traditional systems, but yields better results. The end results are 3D/360 videos which can be output at 4K, 6K or 8K per eye. Videos can be viewed on Oculus Rift and Gear VR headsets using Facebook’s Dynamic Streaming codec. Videos can also be output and shared on Facebook and other websites.
A big part of the Surround 360’s story is that Facebook is opening up both the camera blueprints and processing software to developers, stating that ‘we know there are ideas we haven’t explored’ and ‘we know from experience that a broader community can move things forward faster than we can.’ The company says that the design and code will be on GitHub this summer.
A 25-year-old photojournalism student beat a host of professionals to Zeiss’s €15,000 top prize in its first Zeiss Photography Awards. Tamina-Florentine Zuch’s project about train travel in India took her six weeks to shoot, and explores how the nation behaves on the world’s most extensive railway network. Zuch wins Zeiss lenses to the value of €15,000, and will receive her prize during the Sony World Photography Award ceremony in London this month.
Zeiss says its inaugural competition, with the theme ‘Meaningful Places’, attracted 22,000 images from 3139 photographers across 116 countries and was successful enough that the company will repeat the exercise next year.
Runners up in the competition included Melanie Hübner (Germany), Francisco Salgueiro (Portugal), Patricia Ackerman (Argentina), Helen Mountaniol (Ukraine), Jorge Lopez Munoz (Spain), Erez Beatus (Australia), Lasse Lecklin (Finland) and each of them will have their work shown at the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition.
For more information on the awards, and to see the entries of all of those shortlisted, visit the Zeiss Photography Award website.
ZEISS award for new perspectives
The winner of the first-ever ZEISS Photography Award has been chosen. The prize goes to Tamina-Florentine Zuch from Hannover with her photo series documenting a train journey through India.
“Meaningful Places” was the theme of the first-ever ZEISS Photography Award “Seeing Beyond,” which invited professional photographers and ambitious amateurs to showcase for the first time their talent to a renowned jury and to the broader public. The contest attracted 3,139 photographers from 116 countries – from Albania to Zimbabwe. A total of 22,000 images were submitted. “The results are superb – we were really excited by the breadth and quality of the applications,” praised Scott Gray, CEO of the World Photography Organisation, which organizes the ZEISS Photography Award.
In Tamina-Florentine Zuch, 25, the ZEISS Photography Award has found a worthy winner. Zuch, a student of photojournalism and documentary photography in Hannover, traveled through India by train last year for a period of six weeks. Her pictures show children sleeping in hammocks in stuffy train carriages, men risking their lives as they ‘surf’ railway cars, and exotic landscapes as they pass by. Her “Indian Train Journey” brings this journey to life. Some of the images, which are very intimate, demonstrate Zuch’s photographic mastery at such a young age, her patience, and her sensitivity and tact in dealing with subjects from a completely different culture. “Tamina Zuch has an incredible eye for composition, light and a feel for the right moment. She combines these characteristics again and again in her pictures,” said Steve Bloom, one of the three jurors, enthusiastically. “‘Indian Train Journey’ is a very personal and poetic journey that is told by a fresh, young voice,” added Hans-Peter Junker, juror and editor-in-chief of the reportage magazine View.
As the winner, Zuch will receive ZEISS lenses of her choice for a total value of EUR 15,000, as well as an offer to cooperate further with ZEISS. Seven other photographers – Melanie Hübner (Germany), Francisco Salgueiro (Portugal), Patricia Ackerman (Argentina), Helen Mountaniol (Ukraine), Jorge Lopez Munoz (Spain), Erez Beatus (Australia), Lasse Lecklin (Finland) – made it to the shortlist, which gives them the opportunity to present their work at the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House in London from April 22 to May 8, 2016.
In 2017 the ZEISS Photography Award will enter a new round, with a different theme. “We want to create a platform for photographers to show their art and their idea of creation to an interested public, and to pay tribute to that,” said Dr. Winfried Scherle, Executive Vice President Consumer Optics Business Group of Carl Zeiss AG. And Scott Gray praises: “The ZEISS Photography Award provides photographers with an exciting opportunity to expand their creative boundaries. We look forward to working with ZEISS on more contests in the coming years.”
Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has today launched its latest flagship model, the HTC 10. While the predecessors we tested were frankly disappointing in the camera department, looking at its specs it seems like the 10 has the potential to turn things ar…
Beastgrip expands into UK and Japanese markets, announces plans for high quality lenses from Kenko Tokina
US mobile phone rig and lens mount manufacturer Beastgrip has started distribution of its Beastgrip Pro smartphone grip in the UK and Japan, and announced it is working on new ‘high quality’ lenses with Kenko Tokina. The Beastgrip Pro is an adaptable smartphone housing that uses adjustable clamps and a sliding lens mount assembly to fit conversion lenses over the camera of any model – Beastgrip claims.
The system uses a 37mm threaded lens mount that accepts conversion lenses from Beastgrip’s own collection as well as those from independent manufacturers. The company also offers what is calls a DOF (depth-of-field) adapter that allows Canon EF-mount lenses to be used on the rig in front of the smartphone lens to achieve a shallow depth of field.
The rig also features a cold shoe and tripod thread for attaching accessories such as microphones and lights, as well as a number of mounting threads.
While the company offers its own wide, ultra-wide and fisheye conversion lenses the partnership with Kenko Tokina promises some extra interesting lenses. Kenko’s own line of smartphone conversion lenses includes a 7x telephoto lens that would convert most smartphone focal lengths to 196mm – but that’s not to say it would be also produced to fit the Beastgrip Pro.
The system will be distributed by Kenko Tokina in Japan and Intro2020 in the UK. The price of the rig on its own is $139.99/£139.99, and kits are available that include wide and fisheye conversion lenses. For more information visit the Beastgrip website.
Beastgrip Pro – the world’s first universal lens adapter and camera rig for smartphones
With immediate effect, Intro 2020 has been appointed sole UK distributor of BEASTGRIP PRO.
Beastgrip Pro is the world’s first universal lens adapter and camera rig system for smartphones. It is the ultimate tool for photographers, videographers and the rapidly growing live streaming market.
The Beastgrip Rig features an adjustable lens mount with spring loaded clamps to ensure a secure grip and perfect fit with virtually any smartphone on the market. It is a modular rig system with a removable lens mount assembly and handle that allows the user to modify the Beastgrip Pro to their own personal preference. It comes with industry-standard photography mounts and an ergonomic grip, allowing you to attach all kinds of photography gear and take a better shot.
There are 3 kits in the product range, including 2 with lenses, as follows:
Beastgrip Pro Rig
Universal/adjustable and works with virtually any camera phone on the market. It is simple and convenient to use and works with or without a protective phone case. It features a standard 37mm threaded lens/filter mount and is compatible with wide variety of conversion lenses and filters. It also features a cold shoe mount for attaching LED lights, microphones, and other accessories plus comes with five standard ¼”-20 threaded mounts for attaching to supportive photo/video gear such as tripods, stabilizers, sliders and other accessories.
Beastgrip Pro Rig plus Wide Angle Lens
This set includes a 37mm 0.43x Extreme Wide-Angle lens, which nearly doubles the field-of-view in your photo/video, letting the user see much more in the frame than a standard phone camera. It’s perfect for shooting large scenes like landscapes, concerts, sports, family photos etc.
Beastgrip Pro rig plus Wide Angle and Fish-eye lenses
Includes the Beastgrip 37mm 0.43x Extreme Wide-Angle lens and an ultra wide-angle lens that produces strong visual distortion, i.e. the classic “fisheye” circle, and an immersive 180° field-of-view. It’s perfect for action sports like skateboarding, biking, snowboarding/skis, etc.
SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICES:
• Beastgrip Pro Rig £139.99 including VAT
• Beastgrip Pro Rig plus Wide Angle Lens £169.99 including VAT
• Beastgrip Pro Rig plus Wide Angle & Fisheye Lenses £199.99 including VAT
All units are available immediately.
The Impossible Project has unveiled the I-1 instant camera, a revival of an analog classic. The I-1 prints photos using Impossible Project 600-type film, which was reverse-engineered from Polaroid’s now-discontinued 600-type offering. The camera includes digital control not found in the original Polaroid camera. Using a related iOS app, photographers can adjust shutter speed, aperture, flash and select one of several presets.
The Impossible Project’s CEO Oskar Smolokowski showcased the camera at Bloomberg’s design conference on Monday, revealing that the I-1 will be available starting May 10 for $299. The model is simple in design, but robust in overall features; the physical camera features an exposure dial, shutter button, focus selector, LED flash ring and square viewfinder. Power is delivered via an integrated battery that recharges with USB.
When paired with a related mobile app over Bluetooth, users can remotely capture images, creature multi-exposure photos, adjust capture settings, and creature ‘open-shutter’ pictures. The Impossible Project only lists an iOS app on its website at this time; it is unclear whether an Android app will be made available, as well. Interested photographers can sign up for updates on the Impossible Project’s I-1 web page.
The 17-camera array can capture 8K VR footage