Simon Joinson, Editor-in-chief
Let me start by extending you a warm welcome to Connect, a new website dedicated to the technology, community and culture of 'mobile photography', including smart phones, tablets, apps, connected cameras and the creativity and community, brought to you by the team behind Digital Photography Review.
With billions of images being shared by millions of smart phone photographers around the globe, the world of photography is experiencing an explosion of creativity and engagement that hasn't been seen since the first consumer digital cameras arrived almost two decades ago. This time it's different though. It's about the power of the snapshot to tell a story, to build a community, to record the mundane as well as the remarkable. It's about people who don't even think of themselves as photographers never stepping out of the door without a camera. It's about photography's power to connect. And that's why we're here.
Erin Lodi - Editor: DPReview Connect
There’s never been a better time to introduce Connect. As always, things are changing. But today, perhaps faster than ever before.
Cameras on phones are nothing new, but it took the birth of the modern smartphone, with its full-time web connectivity and image processing apps, to really kickstart mobile photography. Most people agree that the smartphone era truly dawned with the release of the original Apple iPhone, in 2007. In the five years since, mobile photography has skyrocketed in popularity. In 2011, the iPhone 4 became the most used camera on Flickr, and its successor the iPhone 4S currently holds that title. The social networking platform Instagram has fed (and fed off) this fascination with mobile photography and more than 100 million registered users now share billions of images on Instagram, a mere two years after the service was launched.
The growth in smartphones has put a lot of pressure on the sales of conventional compact cameras, and as sales slip, camera manufacturers are running to catch up.
They are adding wi-fi connectivity, in-camera effects filters, and recently even mobile operating systems, which allow users to expand a camera's usefulness exponentially by installing third-party apps. As well as wi-fi, there's the promise of 3G and 4G LTE technology in the very near future, and already, Samsung is exploring that space with the recently announced Galaxy Camera.
New slogans from major players like Canon ('The Power to Connect') and Samsung ('Shoot now, share wow') indicate only too clearly how much the traditional manufacturers want connected consumers to look beyond their phones, to a 'proper' camera.
Simultaneously, smartphone manufacturers are responding to the demand for better and better photographic features by improving their own offerings with every new model and software update. With larger sensors, better lenses and improved digital camera technology, camera phones are performing and behaving more and more like cameras, and as you'll see from the cellphone camera reviews here on Connect, the image quality gap is closing with incredible speed.
Some may even argue that we’re nearing a tipping point as the line between camera and phone blurs further and further until the devices must converge.
Yet as camera and photo sharing technology becomes more powerful and more capable than ever before, many of us are feeling a stronger sense of disconnection with others. Our Facebook 'friends' number in the hundreds. We’re LinkedIn to work colleagues past, present and potentially future. When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone, he described it as holding "your life in your hand" and he's been proven right. These days we've got the whole world in our hands thanks to a new generation of smartphones that let us surf the web, research and write reviews of places we've been, and places we want to go, shop for most anything we need, and entertain ourselves in any number of ways, including by taking photographs. And yet, there’s a sense of separation for many of us, a sense of community that’s missing.
Maybe that’s why we love social image-sharing platforms so much. The simplicity of the medium seems to be tying us together again. As we share our images we have access to the images of millions of other people around the world. But it's not just about looking. Suddenly, we can interact with others in a way that transcends geographical boundaries and even language – a smiley face is a smiley face in any dialect. And while we may share our most intimate moments or emotions through an image, there’s an anonymity in the process that ironically makes it easier, by creating a sense of safety. Many users share under a creative handle — not their real name. You don’t even need to subscribe or “friend” someone’s feed to like or comment on an image. In this way, we can reach out without giving too much of ourselves away. Or at least no more than we want to.
As we prepared for the launch of Connect, we did a lot of research and a lot of reaching out. We encountered reoccurring themes when talking to influencers and experts in the field. Again and again they marveled at how the small, unimposing stature of the device tends to break down barriers between photographer and subject, inviting conversation and fostering our ability to relate to one another. Over and over we heard stories of true and lasting relationships (even marriages!) that were created through Instagram, and services like it. We repeatedly heard about people who found their voice, even their calling, through a newfound love of mobile photography and the support from the communities created through social photo sharing platforms.
The rise of mobile photography has created a new way for us to express ourselves, to share our lives, to connect with one another.
We intend to continue in this spirit by delivering information and of course photographs through Connect in an engaging and accessible format that delights and inspires our readers and encourages discovery. Connect will foster community among socially-connected photographers as we enable sharing, learning and feedback related to mobile photography news, opinion, and culture. The site will serve as an authoritative source of information about smart phones, connected cameras, tablets, apps, accessories, social platforms and related services.
We look forward to connecting with you.
Barnaby Britton - Reviews Editor: DPReview.com
Today's crop of smartphones are incredible machines. I've got one, it's nuts. In one hand, I'm holding more computer power than the machines that took Neil Armstrong to the moon (although Apollo 11's on-board Hasselblad cameras were higher-resolution).
Significant improvements in sensor technology and miniaturization, coupled with changing expectations amongst social media-savvy consumers mean that if you buy a smartphone now, the chances are you're getting a pretty capable digital camera, too. As mobile devices are becoming better at taking pictures, major manufacturers in the photo industry are beginning to include smartphone-like connectivity options in their cameras. How should we react?
We could put our heads in the sand and ignore this new development, but we prefer to see it as an opportunity. Not to radically change dpreview, but to speak to a broader audience.
So rather than adding a new category of content to dpreview, we decided to launch a new site - and you're looking at it. Connect is the only site on the web devoted specifically to mobile photography, and as you poke around you'll find technique articles, detailed feature stories on photographers using mobile devices, and the most in-depth reviews of phone cameras on the Internet. Inevitably, creating, commissioning and editing all of this content for launch has been a team effort, but in the long run, Connect will be a separately resourced, editorially independent site, operating under the dpreview 'umbrella.' This means that while we'll continue to share the wider team's expertise, the two sites will complement one another, rather than compete.
Is dpreview.com going to fundamentally change? No. Absolutely not. You might see some Connect content featured on dpreview, and vis-versa, especially as the new site settles into its groove, but the dpreview team will keep on doing what we've always done best - reviewing cameras and being first with industry news and product analysis.
So whoever you are, and wherever you've come from, we want to welcome you to Connect.
|Autumn by valenttin|
from Harvest Festivals
|Cardinal, Male by paul katinas|
from A Big Year - birds
|.. by Amar Vignesh|
from Unintentional Blur
|Freeze Time by WhistlerOne|
|Sir Mick Jagger by HetFotoAtelier|
from - Concerts : When The Lights Come On -
If you're set on investing in a seriously capable compact, no doubt these two cameras will be on your list. Here's how they square up.
Adobe's experimental Project 'Deep Fill' is an incredibly powerful and impressive, AI-powered version of Content Aware Fill. Watch the demo to see this amazing tool in action.
LEE has released a new series of Reverse ND filters that are most opaque in the middle and become progressively clearer towards the top. This makes them ideal for capturing scenes where the sun is close to the horizon.
A former New York Times photographer is suing both the newspaper and its photography director Michele McNally for over $500,000 for age discrimination and unfair classification as a freelancer for nearly a decade.
"CPS Platinum members will now enjoy next-day service, with equipment serviced and shipped the business day after an estimate is approved. For repairs that will take longer, Canon will offer next-day loaner equipment."
Irix is introducing a new filter system called the Irix Edge 100. The ultra-light, ultra-thin system is build specifically for wide angle lenses like Irix's own 15mm F2.4.
After conducting a series of safety tests, the FAA is recommending that all airlines ban cameras and other electronics with Lithium Ion batteries from checked baggage. The agency believe the risk of a catastrophic fire and explosion is too great.
The Pixentu jackets keep you and your gear warm and dry, offering useful features like lens and tripod pockets, in addition to some quirky ones like an extended hood to protect your camera from the rain.
Adobe gave the audience at MAX a sneak peek at some exciting new technology its developing. It's called Adobe Cloak: a highly capable Content Aware Fill-like feature for video editors.
Earlier today, Flickr moved its photo book printing service over to a third party services, and stopped offering any wall art options entirely.
The patent details a flipping rear LCD screen so large, Canon has had to hide the rear dial and several buttons underneath.
We've added a selection of extra images to our Nikon D850 gallery. As part of the process of rounding off the review we made sure a number of us had shot the camera in a variety of situations, we've added those shots to the gallery to give a broad cross section of how the camera performs.
Wiral LITE is an affordable, easy-to-use cable cam system that can do things a portable slider simply can't do, and go places no slider would dare go.
Not happy with the recent demise of Lightroom as a stand-alone, subscription free service? Macphun's got your back... or they will in 2018.
Once connected to a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone, Pholio automatically searches through the device storage and backs up all images and videos—complete with auto-tagging and intelligent search capabilities.
The 360 Round uses eight horizontally positioned camera pairs and one upward-pointing single lens to capture and livestream panoramic 4K 3D content.
Introduced just three years ago, the Samsung NX1 was both a technological tour-de-force and a great camera to use, earning one of the highest scores we've ever awarded and winning our 2015 Innovation Award. But its short-lived run in the photo world leaves us wondering what could have been.
The Fujifilm X-E3 is styled like a classic rangefinder, but features a built-in touchscreen, AF joystick, and electronic viewfinder – truly an old school meets new type of camera. Lay some eyes on our sample gallery to see how it performs in the real world.
Like it or not, Adobe is embracing a cloud-centric, AI-rich future with the introduction of Lightroom CC. And that's a great thing, though you may not see it now, argues Rishi Sanyal.
The announcement of a more cloud-integrated Lightroom product sees the death of the company's standalone version. This need to make payments in perpetuity (whether you choose Lightroom Classic or CC), chips away at the idea that your Lightroom library is a long-term solution, argues Richard Butler.
The XPro-C 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger that Godox released for Canon users last month now has a Nikon equivalent—the aptly named XPro-N. Sony, Fujifilm and MFT versions are in the works.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, camera and lens maker Sigma is extending its standard product warranty to cover damage caused by these three natural disasters.
The F4 Plus can can capture 360° stills, videos and broadcast livestream footage at 8K resolution... that's 7680 x 3840 pixels!
Lightroom is hogging the spotlight at Adobe MAX, but Photoshop CC got some substantial improvements as well. Find out what's new in the latest version of Photoshop CC.
The aptly-named 'Nude' app automatically detects NSFW images on your iPhone, moves them to a protected vault and deletes the original files in the camera roll and on iCloud.
The Zeiss Milvus family of manual-focus full-frame lenses just gained a new member. Meet the Zeiss Milvus 24mm F1.4: a fast, rugged new lens designed primarily for landscape and architecture photography.
Lightroom has built a brand new Lightroom CC from the ground up to be faster, easier to use, and cloud-based. The application formerly known as Lightroom CC will continue to exist, and will go by "Lightroom Classic CC."
Google Research did a deep dive on the Pixel 2 smartphone's background-blurring portrait mode that uses neural networking and dual-pixel technology instead of a dual-camera setup.
With the arrival of the PowerShot G1 X III, there are now seven Canon cameras built around the 24MP Dual Pixel sensor and Digic 7 processor. We take a look at the differences and what might prompt you to choose one over the others.
Meet the HP ZBook x2. The so-called 'world's most powerful and first detachable PC workstation,' it was built with creative professionals in mind, and is being debuted at Adobe MAX.