« January 2021

February 2021 news and reviews

February 24
Ricoh updates Pentax 31mm F1.8, 43mm F1.9 and 77mm F1.8 Limited lenses

Pentax has released updated versions of three of its prime lenses, adding improved coatings and a more rounded aperture diaphragm for smoother bokeh. The updated 31mm F1.8, 43mm F1.9 and 77mm F1.8 'Limited' lenses will be available in April.

NASA's Juno spacecraft recently captured a stunning image of Jupiter

NASA's Juno spacecraft has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016. A recent image captured by the spacecraft and processed by a citizen scientist gives us a beautiful look at the gas giant.

Samsung unveils 50MP ISOCELL GN2 smartphone sensor with Dual Pixel Pro, Smart ISO Pro and more

The GN2 builds upon the foundation Samsung's GN1 sensor offers with new and improved features and capabilities thanks to its Dual Pixel Pro and Smart ISO Pro technologies.

DPReview TV: Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 review

The Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN is small, but how does it perform optically? Chris has the answers. Meanwhile, Jordan begins his stint filming episodes with the Pentax K-01. Let the fun begin.

Sigma 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN sample gallery

The Sigma 28-70mm DG DN F2.8 is a compact standard zoom for full-frame L- and E-mount bodies. We've been shooting with the lens on the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R so you can get a first look at its image quality.

Sigma announces 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary for L and E mounts

Sigma has introduced its 28-70mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary lens for L- and E- mount bodies. This small and light lens has numerous special glass elements, plus weather-sealing, and will be available in March for $899.

February 23
NASA shares Perseverance's first 360° view of Mars

After landing on Mars on February 18, Perseverance has been busy. In addition to its first images, Perseverance has captured a 360° view of Mars using its pair of onboard 20MP Navcams.

Rode's new Wireless Go II system now offers dual channel recording, onboard storage and more

Rode has released a new Wireless Go II kit, which comes with three units: a dual channel receiver and two transmitters. The updated kit features improved connectivity, onboard audio recording storage and more.

A closer look at Sony's FX3 'compact cinematography' camera

The Sony FX3 is a 'compact cinematography' camera built around a 12MP full-frame BSI CMOS sensor. It shares a lot in common with the a7S III, so what does it do to earn its place in Sony's 'Cinema Line?'

Sony adds compact full-frame FX3 to Cinema Line

Sony has formally announced the much-leaked FX3 full-frame video camera. The FX3 marks the entry point to the Cinema Line of video cameras, and wears Alpha branding, setting it between the FX6 and the a7S III.

Interview: Sony's Masaaki Oshima - "The Alpha 1 is the first step towards the next decade"

Following the launch of Sony's new Alpha 1 full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, we sat down (virtually) with Masaaki Oshima, Deputy Senior Manager of Sony's Camera division. Click through to read our in-depth interview.

February 22
Sony Nordic reveals the a7S III is getting S-Cinetone color profile with its 2.00 firmware update

An email sent by Sony Nordic to newsletter subscribers appears to have let the preverbal cat out of the bag — the a7S III will get Sony’s S-Cinetone color profile in a version 2.00 update.

Huawei announces foldable Mate X2 smartphone with Leica-branded cameras

Huawei's Mate X2 is the Chinese company's latest foldable phone. It incorporates a Leica-branded four camera array, complete with a macro and telephoto camera.

Venus Optics launches Laowa 11mm F4.5 lens for Canon RF mount, 65mm F2.8 2X Macro lens for Nikon Z mount

Laowa has expended the mirrorless camera mount options for two of its most popular manual primes: the Laowa 11mm F4.5 FF RL and the Laowa 65mm F2.8 2x Ultra-Macro APO.

Interview: Scott Bourne on new Olympus 150-400mm PRO lens - 'when I first heard about it, it blew my mind'

Professional wildlife photographer and Olympus Visionary Scott Bourne is one of the best-known names in bird photography. In this interview, he explains his background, and what he thinks of the new M.Zuiko 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO lens

We've updated our gallery of samples from the new Sony a1

As we press on with our full review, we've had a chance to shoot more with the Sony a1 and also process some of our Raw images to get an idea of just how much dynamic range it's capable of.

February 21
Video: Hasselblad discusses its design philosophy for the X System

Hasselblad has launched a new video series, 'Hasselblad's Home,' offering a behind-the-scenes look at Hasselblad's headquarters and its products. The first episode focuses on the design philosophy of the X System.

Panasonic S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 Macro OIS sample gallery (DPReview TV)

Our intrepid DPRTV team up in Canada has been braving the freezing conditions to bring us a gallery of images from the new Panasonic S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 Macro OIS. Click through to see how they got on.

February 19
Update: NASA's ambitious Perseverance rover lands on Mars and sends back its first images

The Perseverance rover has successfully landed on Mars. The rover is in Jezero Crater, where it will spend its life exploring and analyzing the surface of Mars. The rover quickly sent back its first images.

Avalanche can now convert Aperture, Lightroom catalogs for use with Luminar AI

A new version of Avalanche helps convert image catalogs from Aperture and Lightroom so they can be used with Luminar AI.

Hands-on with Panasonic's new 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 for L-mount

The Lumix S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 Macro OIS is a tele-zoom lens designed for Panasonic's full-frame mirrorless cameras. We've been using one for a few days - click through to learn more.

Slideshow: Winners of the 2021 Portraits of Humanity competition

1854 Media and the British Journal of Photography recently announced 30 images, along with three bodies of work, as winners for the 2021 Portraits of Humanity competition.

Film Fridays: battle of two Medium Format titans - Mamiya 7 vs. Makina 67

Hamish Gill of 35MMC compares and contrasts the user experience of two medium format titans: the Mamiya 7 and the Plaubel Makina 67. But which does he prefer? Click through to find out.

February 18
Is something going on with Google Pixel cameras? Reports of failure are on the rise

Pixel users have been reporting over the past year that their Pixel devices' cameras are failing at an unusually high rate.

Nikon's Z6 II, Z7 II are getting 1.10 firmware update with 4K60p shooting, improved Eye AF and Blackmagic Raw

Firmware version 1.10 for both the Nikon Z6 II and Z7 II is set to be released on February 25.

Leica introduces APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 L-mount lens

Leica has announced the APO-Summicron-SL 28mm F2 ASPH lens for full-frame L-mount mirrorless bodies. It features six aspherical elements, a newly designed manual focus ring and weather-sealing.

DPReview TV: Panasonic 70-300 F4.5-5.6 review

Chris made it out of quarantine in time to review the new Panasonic 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 lens for L-mount. The temperature may be -20ºC, but in Calgary that's almost shirtsleeve weather.

Panasonic Lumix S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 sample gallery

Right about the time we got our hands on the new Panasonic S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 Macro OIS zoom lens, Seattle got hit with a rare winter snow storm that provided a great backdrop for our pre-production sample gallery.

Panasonic announces Lumix S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 Macro for L-mount

Panasonic has announced the Lumix S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 Macro OIS for L-mount bodies. It offers 5.5 stops of shake reduction, a minimum focus distance of 54cm (21") and 1:2 macro capability.

Ricoh announces its Pentax K-3 Mark III APS-C DSLR has been delayed

Ricoh has published a development update for its forthcoming Pentax K-3 Mark III APS-C DSLR, citing supply chain issues as the reason for the delay.

February 17
Blackmagic Design’s new Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro is a Super 35 camera with tilting screen, built-in ND filters and more

The Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro is an EF-mount Super 35mm camera that takes features from Blackmagic Design URSA lineup and brings it to the familiar, compact form factor.

Nikon develops 1"-type square CMOS sensor that can capture HDR video at 1,000 fps

Nikon doesn't specify what kind of products we might see this sensor inside, but due to its square format, it's more likely destined for industrial applications than consumer cameras.

Comparison Review: Can VueScan or SilverFast archive your film better?

Being cooped up inside doesn't mean you have to take a break from photography. If you've got negatives from way back when, what's the best software around to scan them? Check out our in-depth comparison to find out.

Sony Japan teases new compact cinema camera release on February 24

A new page on Sony Japan's website is teasing the release of a compact Cinema Line camera set to be released at 11:00am JST on February 24.

February 16
OmniVision’s new 50MP OV50A smartphone sensor promises ‘DSLR level’ phase detection autofocus performance

OmniVision’s new 50MP OV50A smartphone image sensor uses ‘Quad Pixel’ phase detection autofocus, which OmniVision claims offers ‘DSLR-like’ performance for both stills and video.

Fox Sports adds FPV, cinema drones to its coverage of Daytona 500

Fox Sports hired Beverly Hills Aerials to provide FPV and cinema drones to help cover the annual Daytona 500 auto race.

Video: A 1000 fps look at how a 16mm motion picture camera works

Have you ever wondered how a film motion picture camera works? The Slow Mo Guys YouTube channel is here to show us using an incredible 1000 fps 4K camera.

February 15
Video: Leica short film 'Do It Justice' shows the importance of capturing moments

Commercial film director Nate Townsend experienced an immense personal loss last year when his father, Tom, passed away. Nate dealt with his grief through creation and made a short film for Leica exploring loss, legacy, and passing craft between generations.

Cosina releases three new 35mm F2 lenses for Leica M, Sony E mount

The first is the Voigtlander Ultron Vintage Line 35mm F2 Aspherical Type II VM for Leica M mount camera systems and the other is the Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar 35mm F2 Aspherical VM lens for Leica M and Sony E mount camera systems.

Ricoh launches limited-edition GR III 'GRowING' kit in China, with green accents and accessories

The kit isn't set to hit shelves until November, but you can already get a peek at the green-adorned GR III, which Ricoh says is the first product for its 'GRowING project.'

Sony a1 added to studio test scene for stills and video

The 50MP sensor in the Alpha 1 is all-new, and represents the latest technology that Sony is capable of. We're moving full-steam ahead with our full review, and put it in front of our studio test scene. Check out how it compares.

Gallery update: Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8 R WR

Fujifilm's new XF 27mm F2.8 R WR is so nice, we decided to keep shooting with it and fill out our gallery with more samples. It's sharp, small and light-weight, making it the perfect lens for walking around; we especially enjoyed it paired with the X-Pro3.

February 14
MonsterAdapter’s new LA-FE1 adds AF support to Nikon AF-I, AF-P and AF-S lenses on select Sony cameras

The LA-FE1 makes it possible to use Sony’s latest AF technology, including Eye-AF, with Sony AF-I, AF-P and AF-S lenses.

Why Raw video might not be the game-changer you expect

Raw video is an increasingly common feature, but don't expect it to be easy to exploit its full potential, or for there to be as much to gain as the switch to Raw gives for stills.

February 13
DPReview TV: Sony a7 III vs. Fujifilm X-T4 - who's the king of enthusiast cameras?

The Sony a7 III and Fujifilm X-T4 aren't cameras we would normally compare head-to-head. Yet, they're two of the most popular enthusiast models available today. Watch Chris and Jordan duke it out over which one is best.

February 12
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra hands-on video shows off massive camera bump with 3-camera array, built-in screen

The video, uploaded by YouTuber Tech Buff PH, has since been made private, but in it, we get a glimpse at what appears to be an unreleased Xiaomi Mi 11 'Ultra' smartphone with a large, unique camera bump.

Video: Brendan Barry makes 20" x 24" wildflower image using camera obscura and color reversal process

On regular neighborhood walks with his daughter, photographer and camera-maker Brendan has been amassing an impressive collection of wildflowers. Now, he's making near-life-size prints of them using a camera obscura and his color reversal process.

Slideshow: Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award winners

The Natural History Museum selected one winner and four finalists for the annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year's People's Choice Awards.

Film Friday: Voigtlander Bessaflex TM - the film SLR way ahead of its time

The Voigtlander Bessaflex TM truly could've been the go-to body for folks looking to put their dusty manual focus lenses to good use, no matter what their mount. Unfortunately, it showed up to the camera party a bit too early.

February 11
Canon Photo Culling is a new iOS app that uses artificial intelligence to evaluate your photos

Canon has announced a new computer-vision artificial intelligence system, and it underpins a brand-new iOS app, Photo Culling. Canon's new app helps you organize the photos on your smartphone by grading them and recommending images for deletion.

Leaked photos allegedly show off Sony's new FX3 Cinema Line mirrorless camera

As far as what's inside the FX3 camera shown off in the images, little is known, but the two leaked photos give us a good look at what its form factor will be.

Sony a1 initial review
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The Sony Alpha 1 is Sony's flagship mirrorless camera for, well, just about anything. With a 50MP sensor, it gives you tons of resolution, but it also lets you fire off burst images at 30 fps for fast action sports. Add in 8K video capture and you have a really impressive package.

AI-powered Same Energy is a visual search engine designed to show you aesthetically similar photos

Canadian developer Jacob Jackson has put his experience working with AI to interesting use with his new Same Energy search engine. Same Energy is developed to show you visually similar images with its results.

DPReview TV: Favorite episodes and a subscriber challenge

It's been almost three years since we launched DPReview TV. Relive some of our favorite episodes and support our subscriber challenge: help us reach 300,000 subscribers by Valentine's Day and give Jordan a special challenge of his own.

February 10
The 'X-Tra' camera battery Kickstarter campaign appears to have been a scam

It's come to light that a Kickstarter campaign we shared back in November 2020 is very likely a scam. As such, we've gathered information, shared the rationale behind our decision to cover the project and more.

Slideshow: World Photography Organisation announces the 2021 National Awards winners

The 2021 National Award winners for Sony's World Photography Awards were recently announced.

Venus Optics releases four Laowa lenses for L mount camera systems

Venus Optics has brought two of its existing ultra-wide-angle lenses and two macro lenses to L mount camera systems.

DPReview TV: This G-Tech hand warmer can keep you—and your batteries—warm in winter conditions

Wait... you're reviewing a what? Chris and Jordan work in some pretty frigid conditions, so they've been using the G-Tech battery-powered hand warmer. Find out why they think it's a useful accessory for cold weather photographers.

February 9
Sony Japan delays release of its FE 35mm F1.4 GM lens, cites 'production reasons'

Sony Japan has posted a notice to its website informing consumers it's pushed back the planned February 12 release date of its FE 35mm F1.4 GM lens.

Sony's ZV-1 camera can now be used as a webcam over USB thanks to firmware version 2.00

In addition to general stability and performance improvements, firmware version 2.00 for the ZV-1

More than megapixels: 108MP Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs. 20.2MP Canon 1DX II

Photographer Kevin Raposo wanted to see if the 108MP Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra could best a professional DSLR camera. He pitted the Galaxy against the Canon 1DX II, which has a 20.2MP sensor. Can you tell the images apart?

Sample gallery: The Fujifilm GF 45-100mm F4 on the GFX 100

The Fujifilm GF 45-100mm F4 R LM OIS WR is a medium zoom for the GFX system of medium-format digital cameras. It's equivalent focal length of roughly 36-80mm may not be all that familiar these days, but it makes for a nice walk-around lens for landscapes and portraits alike.

Alice MFT camera combines smartphone AI with interchangeable lenses, now live on Indiegogo

A Micro Four Thirds camera that uses the same AI photo trickery as smartphones to improve the way pictures look promises open-source access for custom applications and live streaming video direct through your phone

February 8
Caught on video: Photographers robbed of $7,000 in gear while stuck in traffic in San Francisco

Last Friday, a pair of real estate photographers captured images near a park in San Francisco. After leaving, a vehicle pulled up behind them in traffic, smashed the back window, and made off with a bag of equipment worth $7,000.

Royal Photographic Society makes 165 years of its Journal free online

The Society has literally photographed every page of its Journal magazine between 1853 and 2018, and made it all free to read online in a massive treasure trove of photographic history

Reveni Labs’ new Spot Meter uses unique two-eye aiming method

Reveni Labs has launched a new Kickstarter campaign for its compact, lightweight Spot Meter. The project, which has been already met its funding goal, aims to offer film photographers an easy-to-use, small light meter at a reasonable price.

Nikon Q3 financial report: imaging business revenue and profit down double-digits as it prepares for future sustainability

Nikon's 2021 fiscal year might look grim on paper, but it seems the company is taking the steps required to stay sustainable in a shrinking market.

Fujifilm X-E4 pre-production gallery updated with more samples

We've topped off our Fujifilm X-E4 pre-production sample gallery with a wide variety of additional images showcasing an array of 'Film Simulations,' for your viewing pleasure. Have a look!

Tamron 17-70 F2.8 Di III-A VC RXD field review

The Tamron 17-70 F2.8 Di III-A VC RXD is a compact general-purpose lens for Sony's APS-C, E-mount mirrorless cameras. So how does it perform? Read our review to find out.

February 7
Video: How to make a negative from peel-apart instant film

A lot has changed since Jake Hicks' excellent tutorial was written. Polaroid is now manufacturing instant film, again, and here's how you can make a negative from a print.

Interview: Learn how robotics company MRMC puts cameras where photographers aren't allowed to go

Robotics company MRMC has seen demand for its remote camera pods explode in the past 12 months, including at the recent presidential inauguration in the US. We sat down (remotely, of course) with representatives from MRMC and Nikon recently to learn more about the setup.

Sony a1 sample gallery (DPReview TV)

Our team at DPReview TV just finished their review of the new Sony a1. Here's a gallery of images they shot while testing the camera, straight from the frozen northlands.

February 6
Gear from yesteryear: What does a 40-year-old lens look like at 46 Megapixels?

Just for fun, we dusted off an old Nikon Micro-Nikkor 55mm F2.8 AI-S lens and slapped it on a Nikon Z7 and Z7 II to see what it's simple optical formula can do on a thoroughly modern full-frame camera.

DPReview TV: Sony a1 review

With Chris still in quarantine, Jordan becomes a one man camera reviewing machine. He takes us through the Sony a1 from top to bottom, then tells us what he thinks. (Spoiler: he's impressed.)

February 5
U.S. Senator Mike Lee reintroduces Drone Federalism Bill

Utah's Senator Mike Lee reintroduced his previously-defeated Drone Federalism Bill on February 4th. If passed, it could hit hobbyist and commercial drone operators, financially.

Affinity Photo 1.9 released: Free update improves performance, adds astrophotography stacking, and more

Affinity Photo has long been a strong competitor to Adobe Photoshop. With its new version 1.9 update, Affinity Photo is an even stronger photo editing application. Available for macOS, Windows and iPad, Affinity Photo 1.9 adds many new features and promises improved performance.

KamLan to launch $300 32mm F1.1 manual lens for APS-C camera systems

The fully-manual lens is set for a February 12th release for Canon EOS-M, Fujifilm X, Micro Four Thirds and Sony E mount camera systems.

The absolute beginner’s guide to film photography: Color print film

One of the greatest joys of experimenting with color print film is discovering the wide variety of options out there, each rendering color/grain/contrast differently than the next. Want to know more? We've got you covered in our complete beginner's guide.

February 4
Photography-themed playing cards take a gamble on Kickstarter

The Dutch Card House Company launches a set of neat playing cards with a fun photography theme.

Canon produced its 150-millionth lens in January, marking an incredible milestone 34 years in the making

It's taken Canon 34 years to produce more than 150,000,000 EF and RF interchangeable lenses for its various film and digital EOS series camera systems.

Photographer blends science and art by slicing up a Leica M6 rangefinder

Fabian Oefner has combined science and art throughout his photographic career. His latest project is inspired by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and consists of a Leica M6 that Oefner cut into pieces using a bandsaw.

Video: Orbit around the moon for 4 hours in this real-time video

Seán Doran has been prolific with his incredible videos of space and astronomical objects. He has denoised, graded, repaired, and retimed archival footage from JAXA's Kaguya orbiter for his latest work.

Sony a1 sample gallery

We've only just gotten our hands on the new Sony Alpha 1, but we've already been taking advantage of some rare sunny Seattle winter days to get out and about with it. From the barnyard (animal eye AF!) to the Puget Sound, here's a first look at what this top-tier camera can do.

Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM field review

Sony's FE 35mm F1.4 GM is an impressively sharp and long-awaited pro-level 35mm optic for full-frame Sony E-mount cameras. It's well-built and is pretty compact, but it's still not quite perfect. Find out all the details in our field review.

February 3
Nikon to cease operations at two of its interchangeable lens production factories in March

According to a report from Nikkei Shimbun, Nikon will cease operations at its Nagai and Aizu plants at the end of March, leaving just a single factory for domestic interchangeable lens production.

ON1 announces Professional Plugin support for Capture One

ON1 has announced that its Professional Plugins are now supported in Capture One. This includes ON1 Effects 2021, ON1 Portrait AI 2021, ON1 Resize 2021 and ON1 HDR 2021. Plugins are available individually and as a bundle that includes all four plugins.

Couple who faked Everest summit pictures hit with 10-year ban after not doing it well enough

Pro tip: If you're planning to Photoshop yourself atop Mount Everest, be sure the composite is good enough to escape scrutiny, otherwise you could end up with a ten-year ban from actually visiting the mountain.

Sony a7S III review
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The Sony a7S III is a 12MP full-frame camera primarily designed with video in mind. We take a look beyond the specs to see what it offers to filmmakers.

Lomography launches Kickstarter for a new 17mm F2.8 lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras

The lens is Leica M-mount native, but also works with Canon RF, Nikon Z and Sony E mount camera systems when used with Lomography’s ‘close-up lens base,’ which is effectively an M-mount to RF/Z/E mount adapter.

February 2
Yongnuo announces updated YN685 II speedlight for Canon and Nikon camera systems

Yongnuo's lighting products have long proven popular for striking a balance between performance and value. The company has announced a revised version of its YN685 speedlight for Canon and Nikon, the YN685 II.

Samsung exec says its future smartphone cameras will stylize images to each user's preferences

Smartphone cameras could learn what we do and don't like, and then tailor their output to suit the individual user, according to Samsung's VP of Visual R&D

DPReview TV: Could the Sony a1's fast sensor bring us better picture quality as well as speed?

The Sony Alpha 1's sensor is so fast that it got Jordan thinking... Could the new a1 use computational photography like a smartphone to create even better photos?

Really Nice Images releases All Films 5 for Capture One, offering real film ICC profiles

Really Nice Images has built All Films 5 for Capture One from the ground up. The product offers more than 180 film styles for use as ICC profiles in Capture One. RNI generates the profiles using real film stocks and advanced color science.

The most responsive Sony camera yet: Hands-on with the Sony Alpha 1

The new a1 is absolutely chock-full of the latest and greatest tech that Sony has to offer. Come take our tour of how this high-speed, high-megapixel machine operates and handles.

Slideshow: Winners and finalists of Travel Photographer of the Year 2020

The annual Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) competition recently announced its winners and runners-up for 2020.

February 1
2020 CIPA data highlights how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the camera industry

CIPA’s 2020 full-year data shows just how brutal the COVID-19 pandemic was for the photography industry.

Canon unveils AI-powered automatic camera, the PowerShot PICK

Canon is bringing one of its recent concept cameras into reality. The PowerShot PICK is an AI-powered camera capable of automatically tracking and photographing subjects thanks to its 360º pan/tilt design.

Hands-on with Fujifilm's new XF 27mm, XF 70-300 and GF 80mm lenses

Alongside the announcement of the new GFX 100S and X-E4 cameras, Fujifilm released a trio of lenses. Click through to learn more about the new GF 80mm F1.7 and XF 70-300 F4-5.6, and the updated XF 27mm F2.8.

Is it fraud? Monochrome Photography Awards judges speak out

After publishing a slideshow of the Monochrome Photography Awards winners, it was brought to our attention that a jury may have not decided the outcome. Here are our findings.

Nikon Z7 II review update: Image quality tested

We've been putting the new Nikon Z7 II through its paces in our studio - check out our results to see how it performs!