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Week in Review: Hungry Birds

by on May.13, 2017, under Reviews

Sony a9 Raw support arrives

We started the week in much the same way as the previous one ended, with more coverage of Sony’s new a9 mirrorless monster. Thanks to a prerelease version of Adobe Camera Raw, we were able to go back and process the a9’s sample photos ‘to taste’. 

You can view our updated gallery, and read some analysis about the IQ, right here.

Interview with Panasonic’s Yosuke Yamane

Recently, Yosuke Yamane, the Director of Panasonic’s imaging business, stopped by the DPReview offices to talk about the GH5, the wonders of 8K, rumors of downsizing and more. Read the full interview.

Olympus firmware updates

If there’s one thing you can say about Olympus it’s that they take care of their customers – even those with cameras now several years old. We saw that with last Monday’s major firmware updates for the E-M1 (original and Mark II), E-M5 II and PEN-F. In addition to adding support for Profoto’s wireless flash system (the TTL-O transmitter is pictured above), improvements ranged from selecting autofocus points to EVF color reproduction. Two lenses, the 12-100 F4 and 300mm F4, also received an update.

Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM gallery

Do you like bird photos? Sure, we all do. DPR’s Sam Spencer drove halfway across the country with the Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 lens and sent back some shots of cardinals chowing down at the feeder. Our initial sample gallery is now available for viewing, and look for more photos from the Sigma 100-400 in the days and weeks to come.

Sony 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS gallery

The Sigma 100-400 wasn’t the only telephoto lens gallery this week. We also posted a gallery from Sony’s 100mm F2.8 STF lens, which promised smooth ‘buttery’ bokeh. According to our own Rishi Sanyal the bokeh will either be loved or hated, but the lens’ unique strong suit is its ability to provide a little more depth-of-field than a traditional F2.8 lens – to, say, keep your subject’s entire face in focus – while still blurring the background extensively. You’ll find our 46-image gallery plus Rishi’s analysis right here.

Panasonic DC-GX850 / GX800 review

There was some sadness in the office last year when it appeared that the Panasonic GM series had been left to die. The good news is that it’s back, mostly, in the form of the GX850/GX800. The bad news? It didn’t knock our socks off. Read the review to find out why.

Throwback Thursday: Eye Control AF

Part of the fun of writing Throwback Thursday articles is going back and finding cameras with some really unusual features. We jumped back to the film era for this one, but we think you’ll agree with Dale Baskin about how clever (though not always reliable) Canon’s Eye Control AF was. You might not agree with Dale’s desire to see it return on modern ILCs (which has a likelihood in the neighborhood of zero).

Jump back to the days of the EOS Elan II E in this week’s TBT.

Budget ILC roundup

Over the last month we’ve been going back and updating our camera roundups. This week we looked at nine interchangeable lens cameras that sell for around $500. You might be surprised which cameras offer the most bang for the buck. If you’re looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift, then the $500 ILC roundup might be a good place to start.

Watch for additional updates to our roundups over the next several weeks!

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FilmLab is a film negative scanning app for smartphones

by on May.12, 2017, under Reviews

Thanks to cheap secondhand cameras and a general ‘retro trend’ film photography is experiencing a true revival. However, most photographers who shoot film still need digital versions of their images to show them off online or send to friends and family, which is why film-scanning hardware and software is a necessary part of the equipment.

Software developer Abe Fettig has found current solutions too expensive and slow and has therefore used his spare time to start working on the FilmLab app as a side-project. FilmLab now exists as a prototype and is impressively simple. Negatives or slides of any size have to be placed on a light table and can then be scanned using your smartphone. 

Pointing the app at the roll of film automatically identifies the images, corrects for distortion and converts negatives into positives. A tap on the shutter then records several Raw files which are merged for optimal image quality. Alternatively, if you want better image quality and/or higher resolution, you can also load images taken with a DSLR or other camera into the app for conversion into digital positives.

Abe is now hoping to work full-time on the app for a while to iron out the bugs and make it work with more types of film stock and phones. You can support this project by donating $3 to the app’s development and getting access to ongoing updates, or by donating $18 for access to the first Beta builds that will let you be among the first users to try out new features.

The plan is to offer the app as a $2/month subscription service once it is finished, with a one month free trial period. This would make it inexpensive, or even free, for those users who do a short-term project digitizing film. You can find out more about the project and see some scanning samples on the FilmLab Kickstarter page.

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Fantasea FRX100 V underwater housing released for Sony RX cameras

by on May.11, 2017, under Reviews

Fantasea has announced the launch of its new FRX100 V Housing, an underwater housing unit designed for the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III/IV/V cameras. The housing offers protection from water, as well as elemental nuisances like sand and dust, and is rated for depths as low as 60m / 200ft. In addition to being shock-resistant and durable thanks to its injection-molded polycarbonate shell, the housing features a double O-ring seal, support for lighting accessories, and a removable anti-glare hood for using the camera’s LCD.

FRX100 V Housing users are able to access all of the Sony camera’s functions and controls, according to Fantasea, which says they are all ‘clearly marked’ on the housing. A special mount is included for attaching lighting accessories, and there’s also removable connection point for a double fiber optic cable. Operators have access to a dedicated video control button, and there’s likewise a removable flash diffuser.

Fantasea states that each underwater housing unit is equipped with a Moisture Detector installed inside, as well as a port cover and hand strap. The housing is available to purchase from Fantasea now for $530.

Via: PhotographyBLOG

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