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Topaz Labs' flagship app uses AI algorithms to make some complex image corrections really, really easy. But is there enough here to justify its rather steep price?
Updated firmware - that we do not recommend you try until reading our caveats (see 'Update' section below) - allows Sony users to use all their AF modes when shooting Canon EF-mount lenses with Metabones adapters. It does so by emulating a native Sony lens, much like the recent Sigma MC-11 adapter. This update to the Metabones line of Smart Adapters and Speed Boosters enables the use of modes such as continuous Eye-AF and Direct Manual Focus. Updated firmware also brings smoother aperture control to most of Metabones' adapters, which may be compelling to videographers. And though the company doesn't make any claims as to video focusing, if the adapters do truly emulate native E-mount lenses, we'd expect AF functionality during video.
The Metabones is only the second E-mount adapter to offer 'native' lens functionality with adapted lenses, with the Sigma being the first.* However, in practice the Sigma MC-11 has had many issues, too often reverting to contrast-detect AF off-center, and constantly hunting back and forth in minute increments in AF-C.
It's not surprising, then, that Metabones lists a series of caveats and exceptions, most of which reflect the range and diversity of EF lenses that people might use. There are also warnings of increased battery usage and of poor continuous AF performance from lenses that aren't designed to be driven in the pattern required for fast contrast-detection AF. Finally, Metabones mentions potential problems when shooting stopped down, undoubtedly a result of Sony's 'stop-down focusing' that cripples the AF system if you shoot at smaller apertures by depriving the AF system of light, and literally shutting off phase-detection altogether at apertures smaller than F8.
Firmware for the latest adapters can be downloaded from the Metabones website. Owners of Mark I, II or III Smart Adapters and original Speed Boosters will need to return their adapters to the factory, where they will be updated free-of-charge.
UPDATE: We've tried out the new firmware on a Smart Adapter IV paired with a few lenses (Canon 35mm F1.4L II, 70-200 F2.8L II, all Sigma Art primes) on a Sony a7R II. Phase-detect functionality appears to be limited to a very small central region, which means excessive hunting with off-center points, or Lock-on and Eye AF (both in AF-C) for non-central subjects. While AF in video is possible, it's slow with significant hunting. At this point, a7/R II and a6300 owners may find this update largely useless (or even counter-productive), though you can always revert to 'Green' (previous default) mode by de-attaching and re-attaching the adapter with its one function button held down. a7 Mark I and a6000 owners may benefit from the update enabling phase detection in the central area, but we found even this unreliable.
Vancouver, Canada, June 23, 2016: Metabones® releases Metabones App 2.3, a major firmware update with the following additional features.
Metabones® has already added fast EF lens autofocus to its Micro Four Thirds Mount Speed Boosters® and Smart Adapters™ last year. With this speedy advantage now extended to E-Mount, EF-Mount lenses are now capable of focusing quickly across the widest variety of mirrorless cameras with trusted Metabones precision and reliability.
The smooth iris feature slows down the movement of the electromagnetic aperture diaphragm so that video footage transitions smoothly when the aperture changes, with reduced tick noise from the lens. The latest Canon and Tamron SP lenses have special support for this feature and Metabones® makes use of it if the lens supports it.
The following lenses have been tested for "native" AF. Refer to Metabones' web site for the most up-to-date list. Lenses equipped with smooth iris support are marked with asterisks. APS-C lenses are not compatible with Speed Booster®.
Incompatible lenses: ("Green" mode PDAF is still supported on A6300, A7 Mark II and A7R Mark II.)
OSX and Windows versions of the firmware updater are available for download from Metabones' web site. The same download updates Speed Booster® ULTRA, Smart Adapter™ Mark IV, EF to FZ Mount Smart Adapter and all EF Mount to Micro Four Third mount products. Updates to earlier Smart Adapters™ (I, II and III) and the original Speed Booster® are by factory only and are free of charge except for shipping.
* A TechArt adapter was technically the first to offer native lens functionality, but it was so highly unreliable that we never considered it a viable option.
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Above $2500 cameras tend to become increasingly specialized, making it difficult to select a 'best' option. We case our eye over the options costing more than $2500 but less than $4000, to find the best all-rounder.
There are a lot of photo/video cameras that have found a role as B-cameras on professional film productions or even A-cameras for amateur and independent productions. We've combed through the options and selected our two favorite cameras in this class.
What’s the best camera for around $2000? These capable cameras should be solid and well-built, have both the speed and focus to capture fast action and offer professional-level image quality. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing around $2000 and recommended the best.
Family moments are precious and sometimes you want to capture that time spent with loved ones or friends in better quality than your phone can manage. We've selected a group of cameras that are easy to keep with you, and that can adapt to take photos wherever and whenever something memorable happens.
What's the best camera for shooting sports and action? Fast continuous shooting, reliable autofocus and great battery life are just three of the most important factors. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting sports and action, and recommended the best.
|About to leave for Mexico City by Sv1|
from Civil Airliner Parked at an Airport, Surrounded by Baggage Trolleys and Other Equipment
|w756 by River Photography|
|Wild American Flamingos by Fotorequest|
from Flamingos Unlimited
|No Space Race Here by Nilesh Trivedi|
from Empty spaces in the city
While peak Milky Way season is on hiatus, there are other night sky wonders to focus on. We look at the Orion constellation and Northern Lights, which are prevalent during the winter months.
We've gone hands-on with Nikon's new 17-28mm F2.8 lens for its line of Z-mount cameras. Check out the sample gallery to see what kind of image quality it has to offer on a Nikon Z7 II.
The winning and finalist images from the annual Travel Photographer of the Year awards have been announced, showcasing incredible scenes from around the world. Check out the gallery to see which photographs took the top spots.
The rumor mill suggests the announcement will be a 50mm F1.4 DG DN lens for full-frame mirrorless camera systems.
The a7R V is the fifth iteration of Sony's high-end, high-res full-frame mirrorless camera. The new 60MP Mark IV, gains advanced AF, focus stacking and a new rear screen arrangement. We think it excels at stills.
Using affordable Sony NP-F batteries and the Power Junkie V2 accessory, you can conveniently power your camera and accessories, whether they're made by Sony or not.
According to Japanese financial publication Nikkei, Sony has moved nearly all of its camera production out of China and into Thailand, citing geopolitical tensions and supply chain diversification.
Got a new camera? Get started with your Canon EOS R7 by changing these critical settings.
A pro chimes in with his long-term impressions of DJI's Mavic 3. While there were ups and downs, filmmaker José Fransisco Salgado found that in his use of the drone, firmware updates have made it better with every passing month.
Landscape photography has a very different set of requirements from other types of photography. We pick the best options at three different price ranges.
AI is here to stay, so we must prepare ourselves for its many consequences. We can use AI to make our lives easier, but it's also possible to use AI technology for more nefarious purposes, such as making stealing photos a simple one-click endeavor.
This DIY project uses an Adafruit board and $40 worth of other components to create a light meter and metadata capture device for any film photography camera.
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The announcement is believed to be the M.Zuiko Digital ED 90mm F3.5 Macro IS Pro lens, which was confirmed on the OM System roadmap last year.
The new ultrafast prime for Nikon Z-mount cameras is a re-worked version of Cosina's existing Voigtländer 50mm F1 Aspherical lens for Leica M-mount cameras.
There are plenty of hybrid cameras on the market, but often a user needs to choose between photo- or video-centric models in terms of features. Jason Hendardy explains why he would want to see shutter angle and 32-bit float audio as added features in cameras that highlight both photo and video functionalities.
SkyFi's new Earth Observation service is now fully operational, allowing users to order custom high-resolution satellite imagery of any location on Earth using a network of more than 80 satellites.
The firmware update adds eye-detection AF to video capture and improves autofocus performance in other modes.
In some parts of the world, winter brings picturesque icy and snowy scenes. However, your drone's performance will be compromised in cold weather. Here are some tips for performing safe flights during the chilliest time of the year.
The winners of the Ocean Art Photo Competition 2022 have been announced, showcasing incredible sea-neries (see what we did there?) from around the globe.
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We've shot the new Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2R WR lens against the original 56mm F1.2R, to check whether we should switch the lens we use for our studio test scene or maintain consistency.
Nature photographer Erez Marom continues his series about landscape composition by discussing the multifaceted role played by the sky in a landscape image.
Check out some of our full resolution Canon EOS R6 Mark II photos, captured over the holidays and in the mountains.
After weeks with a production Canon EOS R6 Mark II, Chris and Jordan get into more detail than they could in their initial review.
The NONS SL660 is an Instax Square instant camera with an interchangeable lens design. It's made of CNC-milled aluminum alloy, has an SLR-style viewfinder, and retails for a $600. We've gone hands-on to see what it's like to shoot with.
Recently, DJI made Waypoints available for their Mavic 3 series of drones, bringing a formerly high-end feature to the masses. We'll look at what this flight mode is and why you should use it.
Astrophotographer Bray Falls was asked to help verify the discovery of the Andromeda Oxygen arc. He describes his process for verification, the equipment he used and where astronomers should point their telescopes next.
OM Digital Solutions has released firmware updates for the following cameras to add compatibility support for its new M.Zuiko Digital ED 90mm F3.5 Macro IS PRO lens: OM-D E-M1 Mark II, E-M1 Mark III, E-M5 Mark III, E-M1X, and OM-5.