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February 11th, 2014

New Hasselblad H5D-50c Medium Format Camera with CMOS Sensor to Debut This Week

Hasselblad-rumorsRemember the forthcoming Hasselblad H5D-50c medium-format camera system we told you about in January? The camera, which will use a 50-megapixel CMOS sensor, will makes its official debut at the CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show in Japan this week, Hasselblad revealed today.

The H5D-50c will then go on display in the U.S. at the WPPI show in Las Vegas, before officially going on sale in March. Pricing has not been revealed for the medium format camera yet.

“We are delighted to provide CP+ visitors with a unique preview opportunity – a chance to get to grips with our superb new medium format option before its official launch at the beginning of March,” Hasselblad CEO Ian Rawcliffe said in a press release.

The Hasselblad H5D-50c is one of three new medium format camera systems to use a new CMOS imaging sensor. Last month, we did a hands-on test of the new Phase One IQ250 digital back, which uses a 50MP CMOS chip made by Sony. We found that the sensor in the IQ250 did an excellent job of producing relatively low noise images shot at high ISOs.

Earlier this month, Pentax announced that it will unveil a new 645D medium format camera with a CMOS sensor at the CP+ show this week as well.

February 6th, 2014

Panasonic Unveils 4K-Shooting Lumix GH4 Mirrorless, Interchangeable Lens Camera

Panasonic-GH4_H_HS12035_slant_LED1_BGGH3Photographers who also aspire to be cutting edge cinematographers can get the best of both worlds with the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4, which is the world’s first mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera with 4K video capture.

Panasonic just introduced the Lumix GH4 ahead of the big CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging Show 2014 in Japan next week, where it will join several intriguing new cameras. (Yesterday, Pentax announced that its newest 645D medium format camera with a CMOS sensor will also be on display at CP+)

Panasonic first teased the 16-megapixel GH4 at the CES show in Las Vegas last month, showing off a prototype of the 4K-shooting camera under glass. We were able to snap a stealthy photo of the camera during the show.

The new Panasonic Lumix GH4 looks similar to its predecessor, the GH3, which was introduced at photokina 2014 and also used a 16MP sensor.

Under the hood though, the GH4 is a whole new animal, with a newly developed 16.05MP “Digital Live MOS sensor” designed to not only capture 4K video, but reduce the wobbly “rolling shutter” effect you can get when you pan too aggressively with a CMOS-based camera. This is key because rolling shutter can be even more pronounced in ultra-crisp 4K video, which features 4,000 pixels of horizontal resolution, making it approximately four times the resolution of HD video.

We actually predicted this trend of 4K video shooting coming to more digital cameras in our piece “5 Tech Trends That Are Changing the Photo Industry Today” from last year.

Read more of this story about the new Panasonic Lumix GH4 here.

February 5th, 2014

2014 Winter Olympics Op-Ed: Everything You’ve Read About Problems for Photographers at Sochi is True

(The following op-ed was written by photographer Jeff Cable who is in Sochi, Russia covering the 2014 Winter Olympics. The story originally appeared on Cable’s blog in a slightly different form. You can follow Cable’s experiences at the Winter Olympics on his Facebook page.)

By Jeff Cable

2014_Winter_Olympics_logo.mYou know all those articles that talk about the problems at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia? Well, guess what…they are all true.

Yesterday, my day started off great. The drive to the Moscow airport was perfect, with little congestion and Wi-Fi in the taxi. I got to the airport in Moscow and navigated the system really well, running into some friends from Canon, and I even managed to get my camera bag on carry-on this time.

The flight to Sochi was smooth and we arrived early. I got all my luggage, got my credentials blessed at the airport, found the right press bus and I was feeling great.

Then we got to the “hotel” and I use the word loosely.

We arrived at a cluster of 16 buildings that look like dormitories. There was no reception area for us to check in, there was just one building which had a large dirty room with people scrambling to get us situated.

They obviously did not have rooms assigned to anyone as each of us that showed up were given successive hotel rooms, me in 256, the next person in 257, etc. So my new neighbors and I went up to the 4th floor to our rooms and were shocked when we saw our living space.

©Jeff Cable Photography

©Jeff Cable Photography

Remember, these are brand new buildings! The floors are so filthy that I don’t think they were ever vacuumed after the construction was done. There is almost no furniture in the room, and what is there is almost unusable.

There are small TVs in the rooms, but they do not work. There are no phones in the rooms and worse yet, there is NO Internet at all. No hard wired and no wireless. I am writing this blog from a downstairs common room in a different building (with 15 other pissed off media), and I swear the Internet is running at dial-up speeds.

How is it that a country that spends almost $50 billion on the Olympics can end up with accommodations like this? Seriously, it is embarrassing. If I told you how much I paid for this “hotel room” you would choke.

©Jeff Cable Photography

©Jeff Cable Photography

The good news is that I do have four walls around me, and I do have a bed. I am not sure if I have hot water yet, since I tried running the sink to get hot water and it didn’t work. I found a lady who looked like she might work here and she told me to let it run for 10 minutes. It might get warm then.

©Jeff Cable Photography

©Jeff Cable Photography

I visited some friends at the Main Press Center tonight (which is an amazing building, by the way) and they were all laughing about the showers with no shower curtains, the cleaning service which does not exist, and the lack of communications in 20 press buildings.

I even heard a story of one of the guys from the USOC who showed up to his hotel in the mountains, only to find a construction site. So I guess I should be happy to have a room.

©Jeff Cable Photography

©Jeff Cable Photography

Starting in a couple of days, I will spend very little time in this building, as the Olympics will be all consuming. But for now, it is incredibly frustrating.

I would post more photos but the Internet is so bad that myself and 15 other photographers are just trying to post text.

Read Cable’s follow-up post on Sochi here.

February 3rd, 2014

BREAKING: Hasselblad Launches HV, a High-End DSLR Based on Sony A99

Hasselblad-HV_front_wHasselblad has just announced the new HV, a 24.3-megapixel, full-frame digital SLR that appears to be based on the Sony A99 from 2012. According to a press release posted on Hasselblad’s website, the HV camera will sell as a kit with a Carl Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8 lens for for 8,500 Euros, or $11,500 USD. (The Sony A99 retails for $2,800, body only.)

Hasselblad, which is known primarily as a manufacturer of medium-format camera systems, has collaborated with Sony in the past for its Lunar, and Stellar mirrorless digital cameras, which are based on Sony’s NEX models, but revamped as luxury items and sell at much steeper prices.

In describing the Hasselblad HV, Hasselblad’s CEO Ian Rawcliffe said the new camera is designed to be stylish, ergonomic, and rugged, and is built with “premium materials like titanium, high-grade aluminium and latest ‘tough as nails’ PVD coatings.”

“This camera is aimed squarely at people who don’t just love taking pictures – but love taking them in real style,” Rawcliffe said in the press release. “And the HV doesn’t just look good; it feels good to hold too.”

Check out some more photos of the Hasselblad HV after the jump. More info on the new camera at Hasselblad’s website.

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January 29th, 2014

Olympus Announces Ultra-Compact E-M10 Mirrorless Camera and Two New Lenses

Olympus-E-M10-frontIf you thought Olympus’s mirrorless, compact system cameras were small already, they got even smaller this morning with the new, ultra-compact E-M10. Along with being tiny in stature, the 16-megapixel E-M10 features an Olympus Micro Four Thirds sensor, which is smaller than even the APS-C-size sensors in consumer digital SLRs.

In the past, the trade-off to stuffing those petite Micro Four Thirds sensors into Olympus’ compact, interchangeable lens cameras has been more noise in images shot at higher ISOs in low light. Things have improved in more recent OM-D models such as the top-of-the-line Olympus E-M1, which we reviewed favorably last year.

Let’s hope this is the case with the new Olympus E-M10, which resembles a junior version of the flagship E-M1 and a step smaller than the already very compact E-M5.

Tiny & Tough
While the Olympus E-M10 is tiny, it’s designed to be tough, fast and feature-rich. It has an all-metal body; a TruePic VII image processor; built-in Wi-Fi; a tilting 3-inch touchscreen on back; an electronic viewfinder on top; and a built-in flash.

To steady shaky shots, the E-M10 uses 3-axis image stabilization built into the camera body. Meanwhile, a revamped autofocus system that uses 81 target points should be pretty quick on the draw. The camera can shoot at a maximum of 8 frames per seconds in high-speed burst mode.

Olympus-E-M10-backThe Olympus E-M10′s 16MP Live MOS sensor can shoot from ISO 100-25600, but we’ll reserve judgement on whether we recommended shooting at the high end of that scale until we can test out the camera.

The Olympus E-M10, goes on sale in March 2014 for $699.99 body only and is available in black or silver. You can also buy it as a kit with the with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42 mm f3.5-5.6 II R lens for $799.99.

New Lenses
Speaking of lenses, Olympus also introduced two new Micro Four Thirds lenses this morning. The slim M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ is a “pancake” zoom lens that measures just .9 inches thick. Olympus calls it “the world’s slimmest standard zoom lens.” Olympus also unveiled the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm f1.8 portrait lens this morning.

More info on the new Olympus E-M10 here.

January 28th, 2014

Fuji Intros Weather-Resistant X-T1 DSLR-Style Pro Camera

Fuji-XT1_Front-Left_VerticalGrip_55-200mm_WhiteBKIt’s been rumored about for weeks but Fujifilm finally took the wraps off its latest pro camera: the 16.3-megapixel X-T1, a mirrorless shooter in a rugged, weather-resistant body that resembles a digital SLR.

Writer Bob Rose got some hands-on time with the new Fuji X-T1 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month and filed a preview of the camera on Rangefinder Magazine’s blog “Photoforward.”

While it has the same APS-C X-Trans II CMOS sensor as the Fujifilm X-E2, the new X-T1 is a completely new camera otherwise, featuring 75 points of weather sealing that makes the camera body dust-resistant and water-resistant. The X-T1 is also freezeproof to -14°F.

The Fuji X-T1 will go on sale at the end of February 2014 for 1,299.95, camera body only. With an 18-55mm FUJINON lens, the X-T1 camera kit will sell for $1,699.95.

Read more about the XT-1 in Bob Rose’s preview here.

January 24th, 2014

Phase One Launches 50MP Medium Format Camera with CMOS Sensor (We Test It Out!)

Phase One just launched a new 50-megapixel IQ250 medium format digital camera back that has the potential to be a serious “game changer.” The IQ250 IQ250-sideuses a groundbreaking CMOS sensor (designed by Sony) that allows it to capture relatively low noise images in low light at ISOs of up to 6400, just like many pro digital SLRs using smaller, 35mm-size sensors.

PDN was one of the few media outlets in the world to gets its hands on the new IQ250 ahead of this morning’s official launch of the medium format back by Phase One. For the past week I’ve had a chance to try out the IQ250 with my frequent co-tester, photographer Jordan Matter, and we’ve both come away extremely impressed with what this back can do.

Our hands-on test of the Phase One IQ250 is posted here.

Here are some other key specs and details of the new Phase One IQ250.

• Sony-built 50MP CMOS sensor sized at 44x33mm, that’s slightly smaller than what’s in Phase One’s current 80MP IQ280 (53.7×40.4mm) and 60MP (53.9×40.4mm) IQ260 backs, but with 68% more image capture area than sensors in full-frame DSLRs.

• ISO range of 100 to 6400

• 14 stops of dynamic range (as rated by Phase One)

• Exposure time options of 1/10000th of a second to one hour

• Maximum 2 frames per second shooting speed

• Improved Live View with faster frame refresh rate (less jittery effect)

• Built-in WiFi for displaying images or live view wirelessly on computers, iPads, or iPhones

• 3.2-inch touchscreen display

• USB 3.0

• IQ250 price: $34,990 (you didn’t really think it would be cheap, did you?)

• On sale now

Check out our hands-on test of the Phase One IQ250 here.

January 21st, 2014

Hasselblad Says It Will Launch Medium Format Camera with CMOS Sensor in March

Hasselblad_logoHasselblad announced this morning it will launch a new digital medium format camera that will use a CMOS sensor. The new camera, to be called the H5D-50c, will go on sale in March.

Hasselblad is claiming the forthcoming H5D-50c will be “the world’s first 50MP medium format camera using CMOS sensor technology.”

The benefits of using a CMOS sensor in a medium format camera system include “a faster capture rate; longer shutter speed capability and much greater ISO performance,” according to Hasselblad product manager Ove Bengston. (Medium format cameras typically use CCD image sensors.)

More information, including pricing, for the H5D-50c will be announced in March 2014, Hasselblad said.

Read more in the Hasselblad press release here.

Hasselblad-rumors

January 7th, 2014

CES 2014: Here’s a Photo of the New Nikon D4S Professional DSLR

We told you about the new Nikon D4S professional digital SLR yesterday and now here’s a rare photo of the camera, which is on display at Nikon’s booth at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Nikon announced yesterday it was developing the camera, which will replace the two-year-old D4 as the company’s flagship DSLR, but has not said when it will go on sale, what the price will be, or released any real specifications about the D4S. Read a few more tantalizing details about this forthcoming pro camera here.

Nikon-D4S-web

January 7th, 2014

Kelby Training and National Association of Photoshop Professionals Join Forces to Launch KelbyOne

Scott-KelbyHere’s an interesting pro photography announcement to come out during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas (though it does not seem to be directly related to the show): Kelby Training and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) have merged to create a new company called KelbyOne.

Scott Kelby, who started both Kelby Training (an online photography educational site) and the NAPP, said the decision to combine the two came from members of both groups.

“For years Kelby Training members and NAPP members have wanted access to the benefits and courses offered by both organizations,” Kelby, who is president of NAPP and CEO of the Kelby Media Group, said in a news release. “The message was clear — members of both communities wanted to have it all.  Now all members of both organizations will have access to the best of both worlds with some exciting new added benefits under the new KelbyOne.”

Members of both groups now have access to over 10,000 online training videos in photography, Photoshop and Lightroom on the new KelbyOne website. Current Kelby Training and NAAP are automatically enrolled in KelbyOne, effective today, and have been grandfathered in to the new memberships at the previous rates. New memberships for KelbyOne will cost $249 for the year, or $25 per month.

There’s more info at a KelbyOne FAQ page and in the below video and press release.

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