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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.
While many Android phones take an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to piling features on their camera app, Google’s native app remains fairly restrained, closer to the design philosophies seen in the Apple and Nokia apps. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t pull off Apple’s graceful usability or Nokia’s advanced photographic finesse.
Thanks to their small photosites, all phone camera sensors struggle with scenes that include both very bright and dark areas. High dynamic range (HDR) modes try to offset that weakness by taking different exposures and blending them into a single image with (hopefully) intact highlight and shadow areas. With the Nexus 5’s “HDR+” feature, Google aims to expand HDR’s mandate to improve other image quality aspects and include low-light photography.
The Nexus 5’s implementation works well, achieving a marked increase in dynamic range. Besides the dynamic range boost, the HDR+ images tend to be more saturated (though usually not over the top). There’s also an efficient sharpening algorithm at work: the output can look at little over-crisp at 100% viewing, but at normal magnifications it just looks nicely sharp.
HDR+ appears to take advantage of noise averaging to produce cleaner, more detailed images. We’ve seen image stacking used to good effect in low-light shooting before, but the idea of rolling it into the HDR mode makes a lot of sense. While obviously useful in low-light, high-ISO situations, the effect is noticeable in bright sun as well: for example, the noise that appears in a dark blue sky at base ISO is reduced in HDR+ shots.
At higher ISOs, the payoff seems to be improved detail retention more than lowered noise, mainly because the Nexus 5’s noise reduction is quite aggressive (with collateral damage to image detail) in normal high-ISO captures. It’s also worth noting that the HDR+ mode sometimes raises ISO in low light situations, presumably to get a hand-holdable shutter speed for the longest exposure. That makes an apples-to-apples comparison with the normal shooting mode nearly impossible.
The multi-exposure nature of HDR often means that moving objects create strange artifacts in the final image, but Google’s HDR+ algorithms appear to have largely solved this problem. We didn’t notice a single instance of the kind of doubling you’d expect from moving objects in an HDR shot during our testing. The phone appears to isolate moving objects and “paste” them from a single frame in the burst. As a result moving things sometimes appear noisier than the rest of the scene (since they don’t benefit from the image stacking noise reduction), but this is far preferable to pedestrians with three legs.
Since HDR capture involves taking multiple exposures, it’s inevitably slower than conventional shooting modes. The Nexus 5 is pretty quick, taking about 1.5 seconds to shoot an HDR+ image, though it can’t match the iPhone 5s’ remarkably snappy HDR mode.
The Nexus 5’s HDR mode is impressive, but there are a couple of caveats. Firstly, HDR+ output is slightly cropped, presumably to give the phone some leeway when aligning the component images. This results in a slightly narrower field of view and lower (7.5MP) resolution. Also, the camera doesn’t save a normal, “middle” exposure along with the HDR capture, so there’s no recourse if you don’t like the HDR treatment.
While HDR+ is a notably effective take on an increasingly common function, the Nexus 5’s panorama mode feels like a desultory check mark on the feature list. Yes, you can shoot panoramas with the native camera app. But compared to the best of the competition, the results are underwhelming.
The first clue that the pano function isn’t going to bowl you over is the preview window, a postage-stamp-sized affair reminiscent of online streaming video circa 1999. At least you can hold the phone in portrait or landscape orientation, and pan in any direction.
The end result is around 3000 pixels wide and about 580 high (with the phone held in landscape orientation) or 770 (in portrait). At most, the total image weighs in at a bit over two megapixels. With the best of the competition delivering 15, 30 and even 60MP pano shots that you can explore like a Where’s Waldo spread, the Nexus 5’s pano output is a bit disappointing. At least the stitching is competent, though the low resolution could conceal a multitude of sins.
A perennial challenge for pano modes is getting exposure right. Often the sweep of a scene will have a wide range of brightnesses, so using a single exposure across the whole pan can result in areas of over- or under-exposure. The Nexus 5 tries to compensate for that, but the results are uneven. In the image above, for example, the exposure is set for the left side of the pan, then darkened as the camera reaches the brighter center with a fairly smooth transition. However, the right side of the pan ends in shadows, as the function doesn’t lift exposure to deal with the darker part of the scene.
The camera includes the Photo Sphere feature introduced in Android 4.2. It produces 360 degree panoramas viewable on the phone or Google+ as if you were at the center of a sphere with the image printed on the inside. It’s a neat trick, but it requires a fair amount of patience and practice to capture the images effectively. Objects close to the camera are particularly vulnerable to stitching errors, so the best scenes are those with grand vistas but not a lot of foreground detail: think natural beauty more than interior shots.
Another good reason to focus on the great outdoors is that if you’re shooting a Photo Sphere correctly, you’ll look a little ridiculous, so it’s nice if there aren’t too many people around. Google has a helpful demonstration video here but the basic idea is to pivot around the camera lens by holding the phone close to your face. You’re looking at five rotations to get a full sphere, so you’ll be dancing and squinting for a while.
The Photo Sphere is saved as a distorted but otherwise conventional jpeg file that you can edit easily, but it can only be viewed in its 360 degree glory on the phone or on Google+ (or Google Maps). The web is full of beautiful examples of Photo Sphere images taken in exotic locales, but you can view our humble effort here. There are some more samples and information about Photosphere in our hands-on that we posted when the feature was first launched with the Nexus 4.
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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.
The Live Planet VR system may look like something out of a science fiction movie, but this stereoscopic, 16-lens camera and its associated cloud platform may be one of the best tools out there for live-streaming events in 360 degrees.
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.
|Vulcan Duxford-4804 by Mike Engles|
|Mystic mist by Massao|
from Best Photo of the Week...
|Wryneck with ants by cangopluto|
from Old Tech: Lens Mounted Via A Custom Adapter
|Rainbow and Truck by dalgo|
The CS2740 monitor is a successor to Eizo's ColorEdge CS2730 that increases the resolution, adds new connectivity options and now offers 10-bit input. Pricing information isn't yet available, but Eizo says it will officially launch on October 24.
ON1 software has today released the latest version of its Raw processing and image editing and organization application Photo RAW.
The Natural History Museum has announced the winners of its 55th annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
According to a report from Bloomberg, beta testers of Adobe's Photoshop CC for iPad have noticed a number of major features missing or incomplete.
The lens is currently available to pre-order for $449 and is set for retail availability on November 8, 2019.
Datacolor is offering the 64-bit update as a free software update to ensure the Spyder5 calibration sensor works with Apple's latest desktop operating system macOS Catalina.
Instagram is rolling out a number of new privacy-centric features that will make it easier to see and edit what third-party applications have access to your Instagram data.
We've got our hands on the Olympus E-M5 III and it is is, on the outside, a refinement of its predecessor. But we'll go a bit deeper and talk about what's also changed on the inside in our hands-on slideshow.
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.