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April 6th, 2014

Sony Announces 4K-Shooting, Full Frame 12.2MP A7S Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera

Sony just took the wraps off a brand new full-frame interchangeable camera that can also shoot 4K video: the 12.2-megapixel Sony A7S. The Sony A7S joins the 36.4-megapixel A7R and 24.3-megapixel Sony A7, which were announced last year and are the first two mirrorless cameras with 35mm sensors.

Sony-A7SWhat differentiates the Sony A7S from those two models — and just about every other full-frame model on the market — is its ability to shoot 4K video. It’s no coincidence that this 4K-shooting camera was announced right before the NAB show in Las Vegas, which is traditionally the domain of high-end video products.

The Sony A7S also features a BIONZ X image processor, which lets it shoot at a sensitivity range of ISO 50 – 409,600.

Read the rest of this story on the new Sony A7S on PDNOnline. 

March 31st, 2014

Olympus Unveils Rugged Stylus Tough TG-3 Waterproof Compact Camera

Olympus unveiled the latest in its series of rugged “Tough” compact cameras last night: the Stylus Tough TG-3. The 16-megapixel TG-3 features a 25-100mm equivalent lens with a maximum f/2.0 aperture on the wide end. It also has built-in Wi-Fi, GPS and new macro functions for close-up photography.

Olympus-TG-3_RED_FRONTThe Olympus Stylus Tough TG-3 is freezeproof to 14°F (-10℃), waterproof to 50 feet (15 m), shockproof from seven feet (2.1 m), crushproof to 220 pounds (100 kgf) and dustproof.

The TG-3 can also shoot 1080p HD video; sports a 3-inch, 460,000-dot LCD on back, and is powered by Olympus’ TruePic VII image processor.

The TG-3 is available in black or red and goes on sale in June 2014 for $349.99. Fish, as seen in the Olympus-supplied press image below, not included.

More info here.

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March 19th, 2014

The Pros and Cons of Converting Your Photography Workflow to Apple’s New Mac Pro

(The following post was written by photographer Jeff Cable who recently purchased Apple’s much talked about new Mac Pro computer and reconfigured his photography workflow from the previous model. The story originally appeared on Cable’s blog in a slightly different form. You can follow Cable on his Facebook page.)

By Jeff Cable

After years of waiting to see if Apple was ever going to come out with a new Mac Pro, earlier this year Apple announced the new model for 2013. And then, after way too many months of waiting, my new Mac Pro has finally arrived!

Wow – what a difference in size between the old Mac Pro and the new one! The old Mac Pro was really large and built up some serious heat. During the summer it was painful to work on the machine as it did double duty as a computer and a heater in my office. This new computer is tiny in comparison and seems to run cool all the time.

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With that said, the size of the new Mac Pro is relative, in that there is only room for the one SSD and does not have space for any additional hard drives.

When I saw the announcement of the new computer, with no expansion options for internal drives, I was a bit put off. Storage is VERY important to me and I use a lot of drive space. Apple’s philosophy is to use external drives connected through Thunderbolt. This is supposed to be a very fast solution, but also adds more devices on my desk.

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March 5th, 2014

New Pro Cameras and Lighting Gear Debut at WPPI Show in Las Vegas

Nikon-D4S-1I’ve been pounding the WPPI show floor in Las Vegas this week for our sister publication, Rangefinder magazine, covering what’s new in the world of photography gear. Here’s a rundown of some of the highlights from WPPI, which saw quite a few new pro cameras debut in the U.S. at the show.

Follow the links for the full posts on Rangefinder’s blog, Photoforward.

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February 26th, 2014

Cinetics Intros Axis360 Motorized Camera Slider and Quickly Hits Kickstarter Goal

Axis360-1Cinetics is a company we’ve been following since its deceptively simple CineSkates camera dolly system caused a splash back in 2011. That product, which was introduced on Kickstarter and quickly made its funding goal, was followed by CineMoco, a more sophisticated motorized camera dolly that also easily hit its Kickstarter pledge mark.

So what does Cinetics do for another encore? It introduces the Axis360, a compact, motorized tripod head and slider system which — you guessed it — made its Kickstarter goal of $75,000 yesterday, less than 24 hours after it was launched.

The Axis360 slider, which is designed to help photographers and cinematographers create dynamic panning, tilting and sliding video along with timelapse photography, has collected nearly $110,000 in pledges from 150 backers at the time of this writing.

Here’s how Cinetics describes its new motorized slider in a press release about the product:

“Axis360 is an automated motion control system that rotates and slides a camera. Designed specifically for small production crews and extreme portability, the system is compact and lightweight, sets up quickly and easily, and is extremely versatile. Compatible with most DSLR, mirrorless, and cinema cameras weighing less than 11 pounds, Axis360 can move at a wide range of speeds, fluidly or incrementally, and the number of system combinations to suit specific shooting needs is virtually endless. Axis360 is controlled by the CineMoco motor controller, which is compatible with most video cameras and can synch moves and timelapse photos on most Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras with cables included with the system. Many other cameras support timelapse photography with built-in timers (intervalometers) and do not require a camera cable.”

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The Axis360 will sell in three kit configurations: Basic, Plus and Pro. The Basic Kit ($450) including the CineMoco controller, tripod, and ballhead. Tripods with ¼”-20 or 3/8”-16 attachments can also be used.

The Axis360 Plus ($550) includes the components of the Basic Kit plus a Tilt Kit for balanced, motorized tilting moves. The Axis360 Pro ($900) adds a slider rail for automated horizontal and vertical camera moves.

You can get more information about the Axis360 at its Kickstarter page. Also, check out the demo video below.

February 24th, 2014

Nikon Announces Details for New 16.2MP D4S Flagship Full-Frame Digital SLR

Nikon-D4s_58_1.4_front-1Nikon unveiled its new D4S flagship digital SLR tonight, which seems, on paper, to be a minor upgrade to the previous model. (PDN was pre-briefed on the Nikon D4S, under NDA, prior to tonight’s launch but we were not given any hands-on time with the camera.) Like the D4, which was introduced in 2012, the new D4S uses a 16.2-megapixel, FX-format (full-frame) sensor, which Nikon describes as “newly designed.”

The revamped imaging chip in the D4S has an expanded ISO range, going all the way up to ISO 409,600 (Hi-4), which should be able to let it capture visible subject matter in near total darkness for forensic photography and other scientific applications. That extremely high ISO range could also, potentially, have photojournalistic applications such as war photography when flash is not permitted or advisable.

The Nikon D4S also has a new EXPEED 4 image processing engine designed to cut down on image noise when shooting at high ISOs in low light, and for better HD video quality and improved overall performance speed. The Nikon D4S can shoot at 11 frames per second with full autofocus (AF) and auto exposure (AE). (The previous camera could shoot at 11fps but AF and AE were locked on the first frame.) Nikon says the D4S has an “overall 30% increase in processing power.”

The Nikon D4S first premiered, under glass, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January, but details about the camera were not officially announced until tonight.

Read the rest of this story and see more photos of the new Nikon D4S here.

February 11th, 2014

Canon Intros G1 X Mark II Advanced Compact Camera, Rebel T5 Consumer DSLR, and Macro Ring Light

HR_G1X_MARKII_BLACK_3QBACKLCD_CLCanon took the wraps off a batch of new photo gear tonight, including the Powershot G1 X Mark II, which is a top-of-the-line compact camera; the Rebel T5 consumer DSLR; and a new Macro Ring Light for close-up photography. The new camera products from Canon comes just days before the start of the CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging Show 2014 in Japan.

Canon Powershot G1 X Mark II
The G1 X Mark II is follow-up to the G1 X, which we reviewed positively (with some quibbles) back in 2012.. Like its predecessor, the G1 X Mark II boasts a 1.5-inch (18.7 x 14mm) CMOS imaging chip that’s a tiny bit smaller than APS-C sensors in many DSLRs and some “mirrorless” interchangeable lens camera.

But the 12.8-megapixel sensor in the G1 X Mark II is an entirely new chip, that actually has slightly less resolution than the previous camera, which used a 14.3MP CMOS imager. According to Chuck Westfall, a Technical Advisor for Canon, the drop in resolution is designed to accommodate the G1 X II’s new aspect ratio, which is now 3:2.

Westfall, who we interviewed during an NDA meeting about the new gear before tonight’s launch, said the new aspect ratio for the G1 X II is meant to make it more like a Canon EOS DSLR camera. Photographers can also switch to a 4:3 ratio on the G1 X II, without impacting the field of view.

“It’s a substantially improved product,” Westfall said about the new G1 X Mark II. “Physically, it’s in the same range [as the previous model] but there’s lots of changes and improvements throughout.”

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Like its predecessor, the G1 X II will debut at a price of $799, which puts it in line with some higher-end, entry-level DSLRs. Calling this camera a compact is also a bit of a stretch: Canon lists the dimensions of the G1 X II at 116.3 x 74.0 x 66.2 mm, which makes it too big to fit into your pocket. It weighs 18.2 ounces (without the battery), which is almost an ounce more than the previous model.

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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 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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