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We've been digging around under the hood of the Nikon Z50. We look at what Nikon's first APS-C mirrorless camera does and doesn't offer.
Our Dynamic Range measurement system involves shooting a calibrated Stouffer Step Wedge (13 stops total range) which is backlit using a daylight balanced lamp (98 CRI). A single shot of this produces a gray scale wedge from the camera's clipped white point down to black (example below). Each step of the scale is equivalent to 1/3 EV (a third of a stop), we select one step as 'middle gray' (defined as 50% luminance) and measure outwards to define the dynamic range. Hence there are 'two sides' to our results, the amount of shadow range (below middle gray) and the amount of highlight range (above middle gray).
To most people highlight range is the first thing they think about when talking about dynamic range, that is the amount of highlight detail above middle gray the camera can capture before it clips to white. Shadow range is more complicated; in our test the line on the graph stops as soon as the luminance value drops below our defined 'black point' (about 2% luminance) or the signal-to-noise ratio drops below a predefined value (where shadow detail would be swamped by noise), whichever comes first.
The X100S's default tone curve is very similar to the X-E1 and X-Pro1's, and in fact it's virtually identical from dark midtones up to highlights, offering the same highlight dynamic range as its X-Trans cousins. Our tests show that the X100S clips to black more suddenly than previous X-Trans cameras though, giving about two stops less dynamic range in the shadows. This isn't quite what it looks like though - Fujifilm has confirmed that it made minor tweaks to the X100S's tone curve compared to previous cameras, to give a slight contrast boost in light-ish shadow areas. The more contrasty shadow response comes at the expense of dynamic range, but both shadow and highlight tone can be tweaked for more or less contrast in these areas, which allows you to get things just the way you want them, in JPEG mode.
Compared to its peers, the X100S offers a more or less equivalent dynamic range in the highlights (where, arguably, it matters most).
The X-100's color Film Simulation modes show subtly different tone curves, which translate into visible real-world differences. Velvia/Vivid is very contrasty indeed, clipping more abruptly to both white and black, while Astia/Soft echoes Provia/Standard across the highlight range but is more contrasty below middle gray, resulting in somewhat deeper shadows. The Pro Neg Hi mode lies somewhere between Velvia and Astia in terms of its shadow contrast, while Pro Neg Std closely matches Provia/Standard. Likewise, the various Monochrome modes all match Standard exactly.
Like the X-Pro1 and X-E1 the X100S has two dynamic range expansion settings to bolster its highlight range: DR200 (200%) adds an extra stop of information in the highlights, and DR400 (400%) adds two stops. Technically, the camera achieves this by applying less amplification to the sensor's output than usual prior to AD conversion to avoid clipping highlight data, then pulling-up the midtones to the correct brightness in JPEG processing. This is essentially the same process as Canon and Pentax use for their highlight-expansion modes.
An alternative way of thinking about this is that DR200 is like underexposing a stop to retain highlights then adjusting the brightness afterwards, and DR400 is like underexposing by two stops and adjusting further. Because of this, the minimum ISO available in each mode is limited: ISO 400 at DR200, and ISO 800 at DR400. The flipside to this approach is shown by ISO 100, which is effectively the opposite; i.e. ISO200 overexposed by a stop then pulled-down in processing. This results in the loss of stop of highlight range - to all intents and purposes it counts as DR50, and should therefore normally be avoided. (Note ISO 100 is only available in JPEG anyway).
In this comparison we can see the impact the DR setting has on highlight range. DR200 offers a huge 4.7 stops of highlight range, and DR400 goes another stop beyond this, disappearing off the scale of our graph. Note that this advantage isn't just for JPEG shooters - it extends to Raw files too. On paper at least this is very impressive indeed; we'll see how it translates into real-world results in the final review. The Fujifilm X100S also comes with the same Shadow and Highlight Control functions as the X-Pro1. You can read more about this feature on the dynamic range page of our X-Pro1 review.
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DPR reader Philip Ewing found he had little time outside of long hours at the office to spend on photography, so he turned his commute into a time to exercise some creativity. Each day he brings his camera along with him on Washington D.C.'s Metrorail system, where he photographs the Brutalist-style architecture, morning rushes and evening light of the Metro subway. Read more
Gene Smirnov is a regular DPR reader and a working photographer based in Philadelphia. As a music photographer he's photographed over 300 bands, and now mainly shoots portraits for magazines. He's got years of professional experience under his belt, but it all began with a Nikon FM10 and a portrait gig for his college newspaper. See his work and learn more about him. Read more
When he learned that he had a hearing condition that would make continuing his work in music production difficult, Greg Krycinski picked up photography. His stark black-white-landscapes and street scenes resonate in their simplicity. See a sample of his work here and find out more about him in our Q&A. Read more
The Fujifilm TCL-X100 is a screw-in teleconverter for the X100 and X100S which increases the effective focal length of their 23mm F2 lens to 50mm. We've been shooting with the TCL-X100 for a few days now, in a range of different situations and light levels to see how it performs in everyday use. Click through to read our first impressions, and see our sample images.
Update: Fujifilm UK has officially announced a service allowing certain X-series cameras to be customized with a range of different colors and body textures. The company showed customized cameras at The Photography Show earlier this week in Birmingham, UK, and partially functional pages for an 'X Signature' went up on its website, but the service is now live. Click through for more information.
What’s the best camera costing over $2000? The best high-end camera costing more than $2000 should have plenty of resolution, exceptional build quality, good 4K video capture and top-notch autofocus for advanced and professional users. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing over $2000 and recommended the best.
Long-zoom compacts fill the gap between pocketable cameras and interchangeable lens models with expensive lenses, offering a great combination of lens reach and portability. Read on to learn about our favorite enthusiast long zoom cameras.
If you want a compact camera that produces great quality photos without the hassle of changing lenses, there are plenty of choices available for every budget. Read on to find out which portable enthusiast compacts are our favorites.
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from Best Photo of the Week...
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The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is a 20MP Micro Four Thirds camera aimed at enthusiast photographers. It shares the same sensor, AF system and 4K-video capture as the flagship E-M1 II and E-M1 X, in a considerably smaller and lighter package.
We spent 48 hours exploring the deserts of southern Utah with the E-M5 III, Olympus smallest, lightest 20MP camera. Click through to read about our experience shooting with the camera and to see what kind of photos it's capable of taking.
We recently joined Olympus in Moab, Utah for some preliminary shooting with the OM-D E-M5 III. See how the photos look in our extensive sample gallery.
Olympus has announced the OM-D E-M5 Mark III - a more compact camera than its predecessor, which incorporates a lot of technology found previously in the higher-end E-M1 Mark II.
The PEN E-PL10 remains largely unchanged from its predecessor aside from the redesigned display and a few software additions.
DPReview Science Editor Rishi Sanyal had an opportunity to sit down with Marc Levoy and Isaac Reynolds of Google to dive deep into the most important camera updates on the new Pixel 4.
Chinese company Zhiyun, the world's leading gimbal manufacturer, announced the WEEBILL-S earlier this week.
United Kingdom photo retailer Jessops is reportedly looking for administrators to help sort out rising costs and falling revenue.
Google has confirmed it's ending its free 'original quality' image backups with its Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones. This marks the first time the popular perk isn't offered since the launch of the original Pixel smartphone.
In a story shared on 35mmc, photographer Steve Boykin tells how he stumbled upon a Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R lens he had lost four months prior during a trek in the wilderness and discovered it still works fine.
Sandmarc's new filter series combines the characteristics of polarizing and neutral density (ND) filters into one single filter.
Our testing of the Canon G7 X III continues, which means we've brought along on plenty of day trips and adventures to get a feel for its performance in a number of situations. Take a look at some of the resulting images.
Shimoda Designs has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its new 'ultra-aggressive' lineup of camera bags that includes three backpacks, two rollers and a handful of new and improved accessories.
Meike has added yet another mount option to its 85mm F2.8 manual macro lens, which was previously available for Canon RF, Canon EF, Sony E/FE and Nikon F mounts.
Camrote version 1.2.0 adds new zoom and time-lapse capabilities to select Sony camera systems.
Google has officially unveiled the Pixel 4, with the addition of a telephoto camera headlining the camera updates. Other improvements include real-time HDR preview in live view, added brightness and exposure controls, and an updated portrait mode with better depth mapping.
With Luminar 4, Skylum Software aims to provide sophisticated editing tools in an easy to use package.
The a7R IV is Sony's latest high-resolution interchangeable lens camera, but that doesn't mean it's just for landscape photographers. Get all the details about this 60.2MP full-framer in our full review.
Google's Night Sight has justifiably been considered the low light king, but with the iPhone 11 Apple is challenging for this title with its own Night Mode. Take a look at how they compare side-by-side.
Be vigilant on what's being reflected in eyes (or glasses) before posting photographs of yourself or others online. High resolution photographs aren't always beneficial.
The Flujo Signature Pro has passed its funding goal on Kickstarter and the first units are expected to ship in November 2019.
Based on the images Ilford Photo shared alongside the tweet, the film stock will come in four different formats and be released on October 24.
Host Ben Krasnow of YouTube channel Applied Science shows how film cameras used a micro LCD projector and a small incandescent light to project the time and date onto photographs.
Sony Semiconductor's 24MP sensor has been at the heart of many excellent APS-C cameras over the past few years, but the impressive results we saw from the 90D's new 32MP sensor suggest that Canon has finally answered with a formidable chip of its own.
Firmware version 1.30 adds a number of new customizability settings and addresses a number of issues present in past firmware versions.
You've seen sample photos from a pre-production Fujifilm X-A7 shot by our friends at DPReview TV – here are some of our own.
A new type of ultra-thin lens uses a large number of microstructures to focus light onto a sensor.
We would expect the iPhone 11's Portrait Mode to outperform the Pixel 3, and it does. But Google has its work cut out in more than one way if its next-gen flagship is to stay competitive.
Researchers from Institut für Mikroelektronik Stuttgart have developed a pixel design with the potential for massively increased dynamic range thanks to the ability to 'count' the number of times an individual pixel resets when it becomes saturated with light.
The redesign brings a new interface and a number of other fixes to the desktop app used to manage Adobe's Creative Cloud apps and services.