News archive for December 2012
Resolutions for the New Year don't have to be just about losing weight or curbing vices. You can include fun, creative and challenging goals that will broaden your photographic horizons and improve your picture making skills. Here are some suggestions for sharpening your creative eye during the coming year. Although the article concentrates on mobile photography, many of the suggestions are relevant regardless of what you shoot with.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, like other database-powered image managers requires you to first import images into a catalog before you can modify them in any way. This requirement is a continual source of confusion for new users. In this article, photographer and Lightroom expert Martin Evening explains the core functionality of Lightroom's catalogue and demonstrates its advantages over more conventional image browsing software.
The Kata Digital Rucksack 467-DL is the flagship model in the company's new D-Lite backpack range, which is geared towards the 'on-the-go amateur' photographer. It packs in a lot of features, including space for a full DSLR kit and 17in laptop at a reasonable price. If you're in the market for a backpack that will get you through most shoots without breaking the bank, then the 467-DL might be for you. Read our review for more details.
The entire team at dpreview would like to wish all our readers Happy Holidays, Season's Greetings, Merry Christmas or whatever you say in your part of the world. As we celebrate our 14th anniversary we're thrilled what we've achieved in 2012 and are looking forward to another exciting year in 2013, with even more new features in the pipeline, even more of the high quality content that made this site what it is today, and some exciting new additions to the team. Whatever you're doing today, enjoy yourselves and thank you for being a part of dpreview.com!
Earlier this year Sigma outlined a new vision for its product line-up, with lenses to be split into three categories: Contemporary, Sports and Art. The 35mm F1.4 DG HSM is the first release in the latter, and is designed to offer a relatively affordable alternative to the camera manufacturers' equivalents. It works on both full frame and APS-C cameras, and will be available in mounts for all major brands. In our latest review in partnership with DxOMark, we take a detailed look at how it performs, including test data from all of its closest competitors to see how it measures up. Click through to find out what we thought.
The holiday season is upon us once again and with all the sales and special deals around at the moment, this is a great time to start thinking about getting a new camera. Maybe for a loved one, maybe just as a treat to yourself. In this article, we'll be looking at the current field of enthusiast zoom compact cameras, and examining their relative strengths and weaknesses to help you make your buying decision. Click through for a link to our 12-page article.
Well, hasn't 2012 gone by quickly? We're nearly at the end of another year, and 2012 was one of the busiest that we can remember, as camera manufacturers regained some momentum after the worst of the economic downturn and various natural disasters. This year saw a lot of innovation and movement at the top of the ranges of biggest camera manufacturers, making it a fantastic year for photo enthusiasts and reviewers alike (even if we are completely exhausted at this point). So at the end of an incredibly busy year we want to know which cameras stood out for you. Click through for a link to our end-of-year poll.
German photographer Markus Reugels has gained quite a bit of attention over the years for his stunning and colorful high-speed photographs of the shapes and forms created when liquid is dropped into water. If you've ever been curious as to what it takes to get images like these, Reugels talks briefly about the equipment and technique he's currently using and shares an image of his actual setup.
Polaroid appears to be set to announce an Android OS-based interchangeable lens camera at the CES 2013 trade show. Imaging Resource has written an article in which Scott Hardy, President and CEO of Polaroid, has confirmed the upcoming announcement. While Scott has commented that "Additional information and specs will be released during the show", a product image on a Russian social media site shows a Nikon 1 series-like camera body and kit lens, while leaked specs suggest the camera runs Android 4, and features an 18.1-megapixel sensor and 3.5" touchscreen display. (From Imaging Resource)
Photo sharing site 500px has become a popular venue amongst photographers - resembling in many ways the photography-friendly environment that made Flickr popular a few years ago. It faces a range of challenges as it grows - including the how to keep exposing great photography in the face of booming membership and attempts to 'game' its systems. Connect discusses these challenges and some clever cloud-based features about to be launched with 500px CEO Oleg Gutsol.
A patent filed by Nikon in Japan appears to revive the long-held dream of adding a digital sensor to an existing film SLR. The Japanese Engineering Accomplishment blog found the recently published patent that shows a mechanism for mounting and adjusting the position of a digital sensor on a rear door that could be used to replace the conventional film door. However, the patent only covers the mounting of the sensor relative to the film guides - it doesn't address any of the hurdles that have stood in the way of anyone realizing this long-discussed idea. (via PetaPixel)
Instagram has backed away from controversial changes it planned to make to its terms of service. Co-founder Kevin Systrom has used the company blog to announce that the most sensitive phrase in the terms will be revised. The update would have given Instagram the right to sell user's images to third parties without compensating them. Systrom says this was never the company's intention. Instead, he says, wording will be developed to allow it to associate information such as users' profile images with commercial postings (as Instagram's owners, Facebook, do).
Samsung and Time Out magazine have announced the ‘Share your Now’ contest. Participants can upload images they have captured of New York or London to a dedicated portal on the Time Out website. Each week, five entrants from each city will win a Samsung Galaxy Camera. When the nine-week competition closes on 4th March, Time Out will commission three winners from London, and three from New York, 'to share their take on their own city', using their Android OS-based camera. These final images will be featured on the front cover of region-specific Time Out magazines. The winners will also receive a free trip to the other city. A grand winner will be announced after readers vote for their favorite cover photo. The competition is open until 10 February 2013.
Photo-sharing service Instagram is making headlines for a change to its terms and conditions that appears to allow the sale of users' images. The updated terms of service talk in terms of letting other businesses or entities pay to display usernames, likenesses, and photos in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation. Understandably, some Instagram users are very unhappy, but do they need to be? Click through to read our quick guide to what the new terms and conditions mean for you.
DxOMark has introduced a new metric of lens sharpness that it's calling the 'Perceptual MegaPixel'. This is designed to give a simple, easily-understandable indication of how a lens impacts on the resolution of the camera with which it's paired. The measurement is based on standard MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) testing, but also takes into account the sensitivity of the human visual system to detail. The data can be explored over at the DxOMark website.
DxO Labs has updated its DxO Optics Pro software to version 8.1.1 with the addition of support for the Sony SLT-A99, Canon EOS M, Pentax K-5 II and K-5 IIs. The latest update also includes over 300 additional camera/lens correction modules. The update is free for Optics Pro 8 users and is available immediately. New users can purchase the latest version with a 33% discount until December 25, 2012.
Nikon is celebrating the production of its 75 millionth Nikkor lens for its interchangeable lens cameras. The lineup currently consists of more than 80 kinds of lenses, including specialty Fisheye, Micro, and PC-E lenses for SLR cameras, as well as 1 Nikkor lenses for its Nikon 1 cameras. The lens series was introduced in 1959 with the launch of the Nikkor S Auto 5cm f/2.
Time magazine has published its Top 10 photos of 2012. As part of its end-of-year series including the 'most surprising pictures of the year' and the 'Top 10 Photographic Magazine Covers', this set includes the images that moved the team the most in 2012. "They all deliver a strong emotional impact — whether they show a child mourning his father who was killed by a sniper in Syria; a heartbreaking scene in a Gaza City morgue or a haunting landscape of New Jersey coastline after Hurricane Sandy" says Kira Pollack, Time's Director of Photography. Click through to see what they chose.
The Samsung Galaxy Camera is the the most serious attempt anyone's yet made to build a truly connected camera. It's essentially a hybrid of the company's WB850F compact superzoom and its Galaxy SIII smartphone - combining the zoom range and larger sensor of the camera with the powerful processor, touch screen and Android operating system of the 'phone. But how much extra capability does this bring? Mobile photographer Oliver Lang takes a look.
Manipulation of photographs is nothing new. For as long as cameras have existed, photographers have staged, retouched and combined images and passed them off as 'real'. Sometimes for artistic purposes, sometimes for fun, but sometimes for more nefarious purposes. The BBC has published a fascinating article on its international 'Future' site exploring the power that faked photographs have over us, and draws some alarming conclusions about our memories, and how easily they too can be manipulated. Click through for more information and a link to the full article.
Adobe has released Photoshop Lightroom 4.3 and Adobe Camera Raw 7.3. These are final versions of updates that were originally posted as 'release candidates' on the Adobe Labs site, and are available for immediate download. The latest versions provide RAW support for 13 additional cameras, including the Canon EOS 6D, Nikon D5200 and Sony DSC-RX1. The Mac version of Lightroom features a Develop module that supports Apple's HiDPI mode, that makes the interface easier to read on the 'Retina' panels used on recent Macs.
Just Posted: Our review of the Sony Alpha SLT-A99. The A99 is Sony's flagship SLT camera - featuring a 24MP full-frame sensor and dual AF system, along with the level of build and direct control you'd expect from a range-topping model. We've put the A99 through its paces in a variety of situations, including an investigation of how its AF depth control performs in challenging shooting conditions. We've also looked at the advantages the SLT system and articulated screen bring to a camera at this level, as well as looking at their downsides. Click here to find out what we concluded.
Flickr has updated its web interface and released an updated version of its iOS app as it tries to reassert its relevance in a post-Instagram landscape. The refresh of the web interface sees the navigation bar at the top of the site get slimmer, to devote more page space to photos. The 'Explore' page has also been redesigned - taking on the full-width, large tiled design used in the 'My Contacts' page. Flickr has also updated its famously poor iOS app, adding processing filters and better discovery tools.
Microsoft has released an updated version of its Camera Codec Pack for Windows Vista, 7, 8 and RT. The latest update allows applications such as Windows Explorer, Windows Photo Viewer, Media Center, and Windows Photo Gallery to deal with Raw files from 34 additional cameras. The cameras include the Canon EOS M, Olympus OM-D E-M5 and Sony NEX-7.
Carl Zeiss has announced its annual photo contest for images shot with one of its lenses. Any Zeiss lens is considered valid, from Nokia smartphones through Sony compacts, such as the RX100, to the company's high-end interchangeable lenses. This year's theme is 'The moment that knows no limits' and first prize is one of the company's manual focus SLR and rangefinder lenses, with a variety of other Zeiss-branded prizes for runners-up. The contest runs on Flickr until January 15th.
Just Posted: an extensive update to our Fujifilm X-E1 preview. With a sensor and imaging pipeline that is identical to the X-Pro1's the X-E1 promises much of the X-Pro1's fun in a more compact and affordable package. We've been working with a production sample X-E1 for a couple of weeks and we've been working towards a full review, which we hope to publish early in the new year. In the meantime we've added seven pages to the preview, including our studio test shots and a sample gallery. Click through for a link to the expanded preview, including our 49-image real-world sample gallery.
Adobe has announced CS6 updates that are exclusive to Creative Cloud subscribers. Adobe Photoshop 13.1 offers among other things, the ability to apply Liquify and Lens Blur effects as Smart Objects and use conditional statements when creating Actions. However, these changes are unavailable to those who've bought traditional versions of Photoshop CS6, and Adobe has not said when, or even if, 'perpetual users' of CS6 will have access to these features. Retina Display support for Mac, also announced today, is available for all users.
DxO Labs has announced version 1.1 of its ViewPoint distortion correction software, promising more accurate tools and faster operation. Viewpoint is designed to correct keystone distortions (converging verticals and horizontals), and restore more natural proportions to objects towards the edge of the frame when using wide-angle lenses. It is available either as a stand-alone tool or as a plugin for Adobe PhotoShop (CS3 or newer) or Lightroom (version 3 or newer), and for both Mac and PC.
Sometimes you'll find you're a mobile photographer just because the best camera is the one you have with you. We've just posted our 2012 Mobile Photography Gift Guide, which covers a range of accessories for the mobile photographer, from inexpensive and fun gifts to more serious, useful products like add-on lenses and supports for phones and tablets. Click through to read the full article at connect.dpreview.com
Leica has announced the Oskar Barnack Award 2013 international photo competition will open for entries from January 15th, with a first prize worth €15,000 (~ $19,400). The 2013 winner will receive a Leica M digital rangefinder and lens in addition to a €5000 (~ $6500) cash prize. To enter, participants need to submit a portfolio of up to twelve images expressing 'the interaction between man and the environment.' In addition, the Newcomer award, open to photographers under 25 years of age, offers a Leica rangefinder camera and lens as the prize. Submissions are open until 1st March 2013.
Financial news service Bloomberg is reporting Apple and Google are working together to purchase some of Kodak's imaging patents. The companies are said to be working together - lending more weight to reports in the Wall Street Journal from back in August. The story suggests the two companies, along with the groups of smaller companies with whom they'd been preparing bids, will offer more than $500m for the patents. Such a figure would give Kodak access to $830m of external funding that is dependent on the value of the patent deal.
The Atlantic's excellent 'In Focus' photo blog has published the third and final part of its 2012 Year in Photos. The three-part series includes 135 images from around the world, covering a great breadth of events and subjects. As you'd expect of such a review, there are some occasionally graphic images that some readers may find disturbing but there are also some astonishing photos giving a surprising views of other countries and cultures.
Google has added Communities, the ability to create topic-focused groups, to its Google+ social network. The Communities option makes it easier for people with common interests to discuss and share photos around themes. Connect has highlighted a couple of photography-related groups that have already started to attract members.
Nik Software has launched an Android version of its Snapseed mobile editing software. Both the Android version and the updated v1.5 for iOS will be free (the iOS version formerly cost $4.99). The now Google-owned company has added direct Google+ uploading options to both. Read more about the changes to the app over at Connect.
Steve McCurry, the award-winning photographer responsible for the iconic 'Afghan Girl' portrait for National Geographic, has given an interview about his work and why, despite his fame, he maintains a blog of his latest images. In the interview, on the official Wordpress blog, McCurry explains how photography as a career has changed over the course of the past few decades, and the vital role now played by the Internet. Click through for extracts and a link to the full interview at blog.wordpress.com, and to Steve's own blog.
Adapter and accessory maker Fotodiox has announced two adapters to enable the use of filters with wide-angle lenses that have large convex front elements. The WonderPana Filter systems are based around adapter hoods that allow 145mm circular filters or 6.6" rectangular filters to be used, via an adapter. Each system comes with a lens cap that mounts on the hood, allowing the lens to be stored and protected without needing to repeatedly remove the adapter hood. A variety of adapter and filter kits are available for a range of Super-wide and Ultra-wide lenses.
The AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4 ED VR arrived in our Seattle office a few days ago and since then we've been shooting with it as much as possible. We've put together a gallery of 34 images, shot with the new lens mounted on the 36MP Nikon D800. As well as straight-from-the-camera JPEGs, we've also converted several Raw files, and have made 'to taste' adjustments to give a clearer picture of how the lens is performing. Click through for a link to the gallery.
We've just updated our DSLR and lens buying guides to cover recent developments in both product segments. Our buyers' guides are intended to provide a helping hand when it comes to deciding what to buy, and include summaries of some of the main things to look for, and explanations of the strengths and weaknesses of various options as well as common terminology. Click through for links to our updated versions of both articles.
DxO Labs has updated its Optics Pro Raw conversion software to version 8.1, adding support for five cameras: the Sony NEX-6, Olympus PEN E-PL5 and E-PM2, and Canon Powershot G15 and S110. An enhanced print module now offers colour management and sharpness adjustment for printing, and there's also an option to output JPEG or TIFF files with EXIF data removed. The software is available immediately from the DxO Labs online store, with a special end of year price through to December 25th 2012.
We've just posted a gallery of shots from Sigma's new 35mm F1.4 DG HSM prime lens, showing off its capabilities in a range of different environments, across its aperture range. We were very excited to start using this lens, and so far, it doesn't disappoint. Our gallery contains 23 photographs taken using the Canon EOS-1D X and 5D Mark III, and includes several images converted from Raw. A full review is on its way before the end of the year, but for now, we hope you enjoy our gallery of initial images. Click through for a link to the gallery.
A New York tabloid newspaper has caused controversy by publishing an image of a man about to be killed by a subway train on its front cover, along with a dramatic headline. The image shows a subway train bearing down on a man who'd been pushed into its path. The paper's handling of the story has been widely criticized and it raises a range of issues over the actions of all the parties involved. Journalism school The Poynter Institute has an interesting summary, separating the different aspects about a controversy that brings a lot of difficult questions about photojournalism and news reporting. What do you think?
Canon has added three wireless Pixma photo printers and a CanoScan photo scanner to its imaging products range. The Pixma MG6320 (MG6350 in Europe) and MG5420 (MG5450 in Europe) are wireless photo all-in-ones (combined scanner/printers)while the Pixma iP7220 (iP7250) is a standalone wireless photo printer. The MG5420 and iP7220 are five ink printers (CMYK plus pigment black), while the MG6320 adds a grey ink. All three printers can be used to print wirelessly from Canon's latest Wi-Fi models such as the PowerShot S110 and EOS 6D. The CanonScan 9000F Mark II is a standalone scanner with film adapter, allowing film to be scanned at up to 9600 x 9600dpi.
Just Posted: Our review of the Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD, prepared in partnership with DxOMark. In the last of our mini-series examining superzoom lenses for SLRs, we take a look at how Tamron's contender compares to its Sigma and Nikon counterparts that we reviewed recently. This type of all-in-one travel and 'walkaround' lens is enduringly popular, but how does this two-year-old design stand up against its brand-new competitors?
Fujifilm has announced it is delaying the introduction of its XF 14mm F2.8 prime lens by a month so it can concentrate production on the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS. The 14mm (21mm equivalent) prime lens is the first in the X-mount lineup to feature a pull-back focus ring that engages manual focus and reveals distance markings to allow use of its depth-of-field scale. It will now start to become available from late January 2013. Meanwhile we've been shooting with the 18-55mm zoom and will include a gallery of images along was an expanded XE-1 preview later this week.
MindShift Gear, a bag brand co-founded by Think Tank Photo, has announced a project to fund its first bag - the Rotation180° - on crowd-funding website Kickstarter. The Rotation180° appears to build on Think Tank's Rotation360° concept, giving access to your camera without having to take the bag off, but adds outdoor-friendly features such as a pocket for a hydration pack and full weather cover. The project requires a $389 pledge to receive the Rotation180° bag, with another $100 bringing more accessories.
Smartphones aren't just about catching grab-shots and applying heavy processing filters to cover up any flaws. As the cameras get better, processing to get the best out of those images becomes increasingly important. Perfectly Clear, a processing app for iOS devices, provides a host of tools to fine-tune your mobile photography (or edit any photos when away from your computer). It even has a tool to correct the iPhone 5's notorious purple flare. Click here to see what we thought.
It's holiday season, which means it's time to start buying presents for friends and loved ones. Photography is an expensive hobby, and finding the right gift for the photographer in your life can be tough, but not everything costs thousands of dollars. In this quick guide we've tried to provide some inspiration by rounding up 14 potential gifts that we'd be pleased to find under our trees (virtual or actual) on Christmas morning. We hope you enjoy it!