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Toshiba Portege X20W-D review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 06:53
The slim, featherlight Portege X20W is a solid, straightforward convertible laptop that'll add flexibility to your workday.
Categories: Photo News

Peak Design Everyday Backpack Review

DP Review Latest news - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 03:01
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L/30L
$260-290/£204-227 | www.peakdesign.com | Buy Now

I can’t imagine that there has ever been a time when photographers had more camera bag options than we do today. There are more manufacturers, styles and price points than one can count. From generic knockoffs to designer leather, there is a bag out there to carry your camera, lenses and accessories.

But what if you want to carry your camera and some other stuff you need through the day? Maybe you’re a traveler and you want to have a water bottle, a raincoat and some ibuprofen as you hike through Paris? Or what if you are a student who needs a computer, a few books and lunch for a day at school? Or what if you just want to carry your everyday things with you as well as your camera? Well, then your options are a little more limited.

Maybe you’re a traveler and you want to have a water bottle, a raincoat and some ibuprofen as you hike through Paris?

Pulling out dividers in a photo backpack to fit in books, wrapping the camera in a towel and stuffing it in a daypack, or strapping a small camera bag to your hiking pack are all DIY solutions that folks have tried and found unsatisfying. The few options on the market tended to be bulky, difficult to access and frequently under-delivered as far as understanding what non-photo gear someone would want to carry.

In 2015, Peak Design launched its Everyday Messenger on Kickstarter with the goal of creating a bag that would both carry camera gear and the everyday stuff that someone might need for a day of work, school, travel or just living life. Proving that there was a real need for a bag like this, the company hit its funding goal in a single day and would eventually be funded to the tune of $4.8 million from over 17,000 backers.

This led Peak Design to start a second Kickstarter in 2016 to fund a backpack design (along with a tote and sling) for those of us who understand that two straps carry weight better than one. Once again, the new designs were funded successfully and the Everyday Backpack in 20L and 30L sizes was released to the public.

Specifications

20L

  • 46 H x 30 W x 17 D cm (18” H x 12” W x 6.75” D)
  • 1350g (2.9 lbs.)
  • Holds up to a 15” laptop

30L

  • 51 H x 33 W x 20 D cm (20” H x 13” W x 7.75” D)
  • 1542g (3.4 lbs.)
  • Holds up to a 16” laptop

The ultralight waxed Kodra synthetic canvas is DWR coated for weatherproofness and comes in a Charcoal gray with red stitching accents or a lighter Ash gray with blue stitching accents and tan leather touchpoints (handles, zipper pulls, etc).

In Use

Many times manufacturers make claims about the design of their products that feel overstated when you are actually using them. I have to say that, for the most part, the design of the Everyday Backpack works just as it was intended to. I took the 20L on a trip to Europe recently and beat the heck out of it – crammed it under airplane seats, stuffed it with groceries, soaked it in epic rainstorms. All the while, I was accessing my gear hundreds of times to take photos at every opportunity. I came away pretty impressed.

Photo courtesy Peak Design

Unlike a majority of camera bags on the market, the Everyday Backpack doesn’t use a system of individual padded dividers to create compartments for your gear. Instead, it uses what Peak Design calls 'FlexFold' dividers. This is a system of full-width internal shelves that can be positioned in the bag. The shelves have the ability to fold out of the way to create larger spaces, they also have the ability to fold up and create subdivided spaces. The design is a little difficult to explain in words or photos and your best bet may to just watch this video.

I was surprised at how well these worked generally. I was able to shift from a mirrorless layout to an overnight bag for an unexpected trip and then back again in moments. There are limits, and if you have specific needs you’ll be re-velcroing the shelves as well as folding/unfolding them, but it’s really a clever design overall.

The three main drawbacks I noticed were that the folding subsections could 'unfold' if something heavy (such as a lens) was in an adjacent subsection. In addition, since the shelves and subsections are not 'sealed' in the way that a padded-divider backpack is, small items like lens caps tend to wander around the bag easily. Finally, this design is not one that will allow you to use every inch of the bag for gear in the way a traditional camera backpack would. The idea is to have your camera get in one part of the bag and other everyday items in another.

The Everyday Backpack has four access points. The top section uses a flap cover that is secured with Peak’s excellent MagLatch closure that allows easy blind one-handed operation. The MagLatch has multiple attachment points allowing the upper section to expand to carry bulky loads or tighten up to make the pack as small as possible.

Then there is a top access computer/tablet/flat-stuff section that sits against your back. The other two access points, the ones you will use most often to access your camera, are dual full-length zipper openings on either side of the bag. The idea is that you slip one shoulder strap off and swing the bag around in front of you horizontally to access your gear.

A very full 30L Everyday Backpack

Overall, access is very well done. I was impressed how the fullness of any one area of the bag doesn’t affect accessing of any other area. The top section can be stuffed with lunch and extra layers of clothing and you can still use the side access to grab your camera or change lenses. This is one of the most crucial aspects in making a successful 'everyday' design and it is where many bags fail. One thing to note, however, is that the drawback to this design is that one cannot lay the bag on the ground and flip it open to access every piece of equipment at once. If that is how you tend to work out of your backpacks, the Everyday Backpack may not be for you.

There are a lot of neat design aspects to the Everyday Backpack and it would make a long article much longer to list them all. So in no particular order, here are a few of my favorites. The weatherproof fabric and zippers held up to some truly torrential rainstorms. Built in external lashing straps allow for a surprising amount of useful external carry. I strapped everything from groceries to a jacket to sandy shoes to the outside of the pack. The external side pockets both hide the waistbelt and external lash straps and can hold a water bottle or tripod.

There are a ton of small pockets in the bag for batteries, pens, cords, passports and whatnot. This not only gives you a place for all the little things, but it keeps them from bouncing around the bag or getting crammed together in the bottom. Every strap and handle is done in 'seatbelt' material that is soft and strong.

Finally, and particularly important for some folks, there is little about this pack that looks like a camera bag. You may look like a tourist or a student with your daypack on, but nobody is going to peg you as walking around with thousands of dollars in camera gear on your back. At least not until you stop to take their picture.

What didn’t I like? As with any bag, even really good ones, I had a few nitpicks, but I stress that they were all pretty minor. The most significant one was that I thought the shoulder straps could have been better padded. While they are ergonomically curved and have a clever axial rotating attachment system, users may not be impressed if they are used to technical outdoor style pack straps.

While there is a waist belt, it isn’t padded and exists more for stability than for taking weight off of your shoulders.

That said, the straps weren’t uncomfortable, even on long days (and did seem to 'break in' after some use). I just feel like a bit more function instead of form could have served better in this area, especially for heavy loads and the 30L size. Likewise, while there is a waist belt, it isn’t padded and exists more for stability than for taking weight off of your shoulders. Good to have, but doesn’t carry much load.

Due to being somewhat narrow, a good thing when moving through crowds, and having a slightly rounded design, the Everyday Backpack doesn’t stand up on its bottom or side particularly well. This isn’t a serious fault, but it is worth remembering that it is likely to flop over when you set it down and that you shouldn’t leave any of the access points open lest things roll out (good advice for any bag, really).

The external side pockets are really useful for both water bottles and things like tripods. However, unless you have long arms, it may be difficult to reach that water bottle while the pack is on. It’s possible, but you end up feeling like a contortionist. Beyond that, anytime you have something in those side pockets, it becomes a lot more difficult to use the side access openings.

I’m a big believer in the idea that how we carry our gear is as important as the gear itself.

Finally, at $260, this is an expensive bag. While the market has expanded enough that there is nothing particularly unusual about a $260 bag these days, it can still be a difficult decision when a bag costs as much as a nice used prime lens. That said, I’m a big believer in the idea that how we carry our gear is as important as the gear itself. If you don’t enjoy using your bag, you won’t bring your camera. For me, this bag is worth the money.

20L vs 30L

The design of the 20L and the 30L backpacks are virtually identical. The 30L is just a bit, you know, bigger. How much bigger? Well, you can see the numbers published above, and you probably know that 30L is 50% larger by volume than 20L. But in the real world, I think I would put it like this…

The 20L is best for:
  • Mirrorless kits
  • Small DSLRs with compact zooms or primes
  • Squishing into a subway car or through a crowded bar
  • Being a daypack for traveling
  • Airplane travel as your “personal item”
  • Smaller framed people
The 30L is best for:
  • Pro DSLR kits
  • Fast zooms
  • Camera + a bunch of other stuff
  • School bag for textbooks
  • Being an overnight bag
  • Airplane travel as your only carry on
  • Bigger/taller people

These aren’t hard and fast rules, you can configure these bags in a lot of different ways to carry a lot of different things. But if someone was asking me which bag to get to use as an airline 'personal item', I’d have to say the 20L as it is right at (or very slightly over) the size limit for many airlines. If someone was telling me they just HAD to have their full-frame F2.8 zooms with them all day long, I’d point them to the 30L. The 30L is bigger on the back and makes squeezing through crowds tougher than the 20L. But if you thought you were going to grab a few groceries on the way home, you’d probably be happy that you had the 30L.

To be honest, if I had to recommend one, I would suggest the 20L. I believe that the smaller less conspicuous size fits more into the intended 'everyday' design. At 5’5 I’m shorter than average for a guy, and when I’ve got the 30L on there is no mistaking that I’m wearing a backpack. It’s not like the 20L disappears when I have it on, but it is less bulky and obvious and I find it easier to move through life because of its smaller volume.

You can, and perhaps should, chalk my 20L suggestion up to my body type, but it’s an opinion I have seen echoed by other photographers as well. If you can, try to see both packs side by side before you buy. If that’s not possible, there are some good YouTube videos that compare the two sizes.

What’s the bottom line?

It is hard not to come to the conclusion that the Peak Design Everyday Backpack is the best 'carry a camera and some other stuff' pack I have ever used. The flexible storage space, ease of access, non-photo storage options, tough construction and overall form factor come together in a package that is completely usable. It is a solid feeling bag that does what it is designed to do.

Now, nothing on this earth is perfect and the Everyday Backpack is no different. But aside from wishing that the straps were designed differently and acknowledging that the price-point is going to be off-putting for some, most of the rest of my complaints are minor at best. I would happily use this pack across town for the day or across the world for a month. If you are looking for a backpack that you can carry your camera gear along with the rest of your daily life I’m not sure how you would find anything better than the Everyday Backpack.

What we liked:
  • Clever divider system
  • Easy to access some of the things without accessing all of the things
  • Having one area stuffed full doesn’t affect access to other areas.
  • Well thought out organizational system
  • External lash options allow more carry options
What we didn’t like:
  • Expensive
  • Shoulder straps are not the most padded
  • Heavy items can cause subdividers to unfold if nothing under them when pack is slung around sideways
  • May not stand up on its bottom. May not stand up on side.
  • Small things can slip through the dividers easily and move around the pack
Categories: Photo News

Video: Sony a9 falls short with Canon 300mm and 400mm lenses attached

DP Review Latest news - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 03:00
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Sports shooters considering Sony's speedy a9 have one major hurdle to overcome: glass. There's a dearth of long, fast primes available to Sony FE shooters, and it seems like using off-brand glass while you wait for Sony to catch up just isn't a great option.

In this video, photographer Dan Watson of Learning Cameras tried both the Sigma MC-11 and Metabones Mark IV lens adapters to test how well the a9 worked when attached to the Canon EF 300mm F2.8L IS II USM and Canon EF 400mm F2.8L IS II USM.

Watson mainly wanted to test the focusing capabilities, and unfortunately, the results were somewhat disappointing.

Before you dive into the video, it's worth pointing a few things out. Our own Rishi Sanyal has tested the focus capability of the a9 with adapted lens, and points out a couple of caveats to Watson's otherwise solid points:

First, the performance of far off-center AF points depends on the lens. While Watson is correct in pointing out that they don't perform well with long lenses (despite working astonishingly fast with Sony's own 100-400 F4.5-5.6), they do work well with shorter focal lengths (we've had success with a Sigma 85/1.4, Canon 35/1.4, 24-70/2.8, etc.). With these wider lenses, 'Wide' area mode will continue tracking subjects to the extremes of the frame.

Second, Sony A-mount lenses adapted with the LA-EA3 adapter do shoot at an impressive 10 fps with autofocus, something we confirmed with the 50/1.4 (as long as you've updated the firmware of the adapter).* With the Metabones and Sigma adapters though, as with all Sony FE bodies, only the L drive mode offers continuous focus. And it's actually only 2.5 fps, not the 5 fps Watson mentions (technically L is 3 fps, but it slows to 2-3 fps with continuous focus).

With that out of the way, Watson's video is a great resource for seeing how well (or not) the a9 performs when attached to the long, fast Canon primes sports shooters love. And while single-shot focus with central points is speedy and almost 100% accurate with long adapted lenses, the lack of true subject tracking (Lock-on AF modes) or continuous focus at speeds higher than ~2.5 fps (or in video) will probably be a deal breaker for many fast-action photographers.

Once you've lost the impressive high speed shooting advantages Sony baked into the a9, you might as well be shooting with any other camera. Moral of the story: stick to Sony glass and hope they keep churning out new lenses at break-neck pace.

You can watch the full demo for yourself up top. And if you're considering jumping ship from Canon to Sony, keep this information in mind – like all previous Sony bodies, you'll only have access to the a9's slowest continuous drive mode when you're adapting your own glass.

* We've not yet confirmed the performance of off-center points with long A-mount glass.

Categories: Photo News

Lucid VR begins sales of its LucidCam 3D VR camera

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 13:34

Lucid VR has announced the general availability of the LucidCam, its 3D VR camera.

The LucidCam captures a 180º field of view, less than the spherical 360º field of view found on many consumer VR cameras, however it does so with binocular vision, creating a 3D VR experience with a sense of depth. If you want to capture a full 360º view, three LucidCams can be combined to do so.

The LucidCam was developed with the help of a crowdfunding campaign in 2015, and while it's just now becoming available, the wait appears to have had at least one side benefit: the camera's original specs called for 1080p resolution per eye, but the final product will ship with 4K cameras instead.

In addition to 4K binocular recording, the LucidCam also supports live streaming through Facebook, YouTube, and Lucid's own iOS and Android apps, so that you can share what you're doing with friends in 3D VR. The camera also features stereo audio, 32GB of internal storage as well as MicroSD card support, HDMI out, and 1.5 hour battery life.

For those of you in the in the Bay Area, Lucid will be touring around San Francisco on Friday, June 23 to give people a chance to experience the LucidCam in person. The company will begin taking orders for the $499 camera on June 26, with shipments expected to begin in early August. As a promotion, Lucid will be offering a 15% discount to anyone who orders a camera between June 26 and July 26.

Press release:

LucidCam Launching into General Availability with Truck Tour of SF Landmarks

Lucid VR truck to tour SF landmarks on Friday, June 23 encouraging consumers to capture and share VR experiences with friends & family far away

Santa Clara, CA – June 21, 2017— Lucid VR is officially kicking off the general availability of its simple-to-use, pocket-size 3D VR camera, the LucidCam with a billboard truck touring photogenic San Francisco landmarks all day on Friday, June 23. View the itinerary here.

This launch tour aims at encouraging more consumers to tap into VR and bridge the distances to their loved ones by capturing and sharing experiences the same way they see them. Lucid CEO Han Jin’s vision--to create a technology that brings the world closer together through a true 3D VR camera, the LucidCam--started with a crowdfunding campaign two years ago and has now come to reality.

“It’s been an incredible journey to bring this product to life and to the masses, as initially all I wanted was to build one for myself which would capture and share my life with my grandmother in China,” said Jin. “LucidCam creates images and videos which let you for the first time see the world through someone else’s eyes as if you were really there. I want everyone to have such incredible superpowers.”

On tour day, the Lucid VR truck will visit top SF tourist sights. Anyone can follow the truck, take pictures and share them with #LucidCam for a chance to win a free VR camera. Complimentary VR viewers will be handed out at every stop. The Friday tour kicks off the one-month LucidCam preview sale which starts Monday, June 26, where the camera will be discounted 15 percent off the retail price and delivered as early as August 9, just two weeks after the campaign closes July 26.

LucidCam makes virtual reality content creation and livestreaming in 3D at very high resolutions easy, with a simple plug-n-play process flow. Consumers can create their own 3D VR without a computer or any additional processing requirements, making LucidCam an all-mobile experience for capturing, viewing, sharing and delivering immersive content either through Facebook/YouTube or Lucid’s iOS and Android app to anyone around the globe. With two lenses like your eyes and two microphones like your ears, LucidCam recreates a first-person experience, allowing people to feel like they are seeing the world through someone else’s eyes.

Exceeding the original specifications of the LucidCam crowdfunding campaign, the engineers at Lucid VR enhanced it and developed a robust 4K 3D VR camera with on-the-go VR content processing of pictures and videos, plus livestreaming capabilities. With the addition of Lucid’s viewing clip or phone case, you can create and view your own 3D VR anywhere with a click of a button.

The special LucidCam preview sale begins June 26, and includes a 15 percent discount off the retail price, with delivery as early as two weeks after the promotion ends. Retail availability of LucidCams begins in August, with thousands of units coming into the online and offline sales channels. For more information about LucidCam or to purchase the device, visit www.lucidcam.com.

Categories: Photo News

2018 Kia Stinger Release Date, Price and Specs - Roadshow

CNET Reviews - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 12:17
Kia's 2018 Stinger GT shows off some serious high-performance capabilities around the Nürburgring.
Categories: Photo News

Flexy Paw treat holder phone clip tantalizes pets for better photos

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 11:01

Taking a photo of a dog or cat can be difficult, but here to help is Flexy Paw, a smartphone attachment that dangles a treat above the device's camera. The treat serves as a lure to catch the animal's attention, giving photographers a chance to snap to a photo. Because the attachment clips to the phone, it can be connected to nearly any smartphone, and keeps the user's hands free to compose and take the photo.

The clip holding the pet treat is attached to a flexible armature, enabling the photographer to reposition it out of the camera's field of view, as well as move it to one side or the other for posing purposes. Once the photo is snapped, of course, the pet can then be rewarded with the treat.

Flexy Paw is being funded through Kickstarter by Paw Champ, which is seeking $39,000 in funds. Backers who pledge $16 or more will be rewarded with a single Flexy Paw unit, while $32 or more gets backers two units. Shipping to Kickstarter backers is expected to start in November 2017.

Categories: Photo News

Flexy Paw treat holder phone clip tantalizes pets for better photos

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 11:01

Taking a photo of a dog or cat can be difficult, but here to help is Flexy Paw, a smartphone attachment that dangles a treat above the device's camera. The treat serves as a lure to catch the animal's attention, giving photographers a chance to snap to a photo. Because the attachment clips to the phone, it can be connected to nearly any smartphone, and keeps the user's hands free to compose and take the photo.

The clip holding the pet treat is attached to a flexible armature, enabling the photographer to reposition it out of the camera's field of view, as well as move it to one side or the other for posing purposes. Once the photo is snapped, of course, the pet can then be rewarded with the treat.

Flexy Paw is being funded through Kickstarter by Paw Champ, which is seeking $39,000 in funds. Backers who pledge $16 or more will be rewarded with a single Flexy Paw unit, while $32 or more gets backers two units. Shipping to Kickstarter backers is expected to start in November 2017.

Categories: Photo News

LG SJ9 review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 08:59
The LG SJ9 Atmos sound bar sounds very good, but its main draw is Dolby Atmos audio and Chromecast built-in for a relatively affordable price.
Categories: Photo News

EyeEm Selects helps you find the best images in your camera roll for posting

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 07:23

EyeEm has rolled out an update to its mobile app for Android that brings the new EyeEm Selects feature. EyeEm Selects helps you find the best photos on your phone's storage by scanning your camera roll and then using computer vision to suggest photos to upload. Selection criteria is based on aesthetics. The algorithms picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on the EyeEm stock image platform.

EyeEm is already using advanced computer vision technology on its servers for scanning of images that have been uploaded to the service and determine their content, relevant keywords, and aesthetic quality. The app update means that some of those algorithms can now be run on your locally stored images before uploading them. Running the process locally means users save bandwidth and battery power and don't need to worry about any third parties seeing their images if they decide to not upload them.

Selects is integrated into the image uploader component of the app. Above the camera roll you'll now see thumbnails of the images suggested for upload. EyeEm says the feature also provides an easy way for finding hidden and long forgotten gems in the depth of your camera roll that weren't shared right after capture. Android users can download the updated EyeEm app from Google Play now. iOS users will have to wait a few weeks longer.

Categories: Photo News

EyeEm Selects helps you find the best images in your camera roll for posting

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 07:23

EyeEm has rolled out an update to its mobile app for Android that brings the new EyeEm Selects feature. EyeEm Selects helps you find the best photos on your phone's storage by scanning your camera roll and then using computer vision to suggest photos to upload. Selection criteria is based on aesthetics. The algorithms picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on the EyeEm stock image platform.

EyeEm is already using advanced computer vision technology on its servers for scanning of images that have been uploaded to the service and determine their content, relevant keywords, and aesthetic quality. The app update means that some of those algorithms can now be run on your locally stored images before uploading them. Running the process locally means users save bandwidth and battery power and don't need to worry about any third parties seeing their images if they decide to not upload them.

Selects is integrated into the image uploader component of the app. Above the camera roll you'll now see thumbnails of the images suggested for upload. EyeEm says the feature also provides an easy way for finding hidden and long forgotten gems in the depth of your camera roll that weren't shared right after capture. Android users can download the updated EyeEm app from Google Play now. iOS users will have to wait a few weeks longer.

Categories: Photo News

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 sample gallery

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 03:00

Sure, it's been a minute since the Panasonic 15mm F1.7 was introduced. But three years later it's still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a fast, compact, wide-angle prime. And what better time to travel light than the longest days of the year? We spent some of our long hours of sunlight with the 15mm F1.7 in hand – by land, and by sea.

See our Panasonic Leica Summilux
15mm F1.7 sample gallery

Categories: Photo News

Tamron introduces 'ultra-telephoto' 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 zoom lens

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 00:00
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Tamron has introduced what it is calling the 'world's first ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens,' the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. The lens, designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor bodies, is equivalent to 29-640mm and 27-600mm, respectively.

Built-in Vibration Correction reduces shake by up to 2.5 stops, and the lens' HLD focus motor promises 'accurate and quiet' focusing, according to Tamron. The HLD motor also keeps the overall size of the lens down: It's 124mm/4.9in long and 79mm/3.1in in diameter. The lens has 7 circular aperture blades, a minimum subject distance of 0.45m/18in and is moisture-resistant. Nikon owners will be pleased to hear the the lens uses an electromagnetic diaphragm system.

The 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 will be available in late July for $649.

Press Release

INTRODUCING THE WORLD’S FIRST1 ULTRA-TELEPHOTO ALL-IN-ONE ZOOM LENS WITH AN EXTENDED RANGE THAT COVERS 18-400MM

Dramatic extended range achieved by combining cutting-edge optical design and other new breakthrough technologies including a redesigned cam structure

18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD (Model B028)

June 23, 2017, Commack, NY – Tamron, a leading manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces the launch of the new 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD (Model B028), the world’s first ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens for APS-C DSLR cameras, which covers a focal length range of 18-400mm. Since the 1992 launch of its AF28-200mm F/3.8-5.6 Aspherical (Model 71D), Tamron has dominated the all-in-one zoom category and has produced many lenses that cover wide-angle to telephoto zoom ranges. Tamron has now developed an ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom that extends to 400mm (35mm equivalent of 620mm) and a 22.2x zoom ratio. Packed in a light, compact body (4.8in./24.9oz.)2 is Tamron’s accumulated knowledge and experience for all-in-one zoom lenses, including the most advanced optical and mechanical designs, an HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) for the AF system and the Vibration Compensation system. Photographers can now enjoy wide-angle to ultra-telephoto photography using one lens, which is ideal for travel photography and eliminates the need to carry extra lenses. The new Model B028 lens enables photographing a wide variety of ultra-telephoto images including everyday casual scenes. The 18-400mm will be available in the U.S. at the end of July at $649.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

  1. The world’s first3 ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens to achieve 400mm telephoto

The new Model B028 is the world’s first lens for APS-C DSLR cameras that covers a focal length range of 18-400mm and achieves a zoom ratio of 22.2x. The focal length of 400mm on the telephoto end enables the capturing of ultra-telephoto pictures with the 35mm equivalent of 620mm angle of view. Now, with just this one lens, a photographer can readily enjoy the power of ultra-telephoto to bring distant subjects closer as well as the perspective-flattening effects that only extreme telephoto settings can achieve. This all-in-one zoom lens is ideal for travel and everyday shooting. It allows a photographer to switch from wide-angle to ultra-telephoto without changing lenses, making it faster and easier to capture a much wider range of subjects including travel scenes, wildlife, action sports, landscapes, cityscapes, portraits and food.

  1. Excellent image quality across the entire zoom range, from wide-angle to ultra-telephoto and macro

The optical construction of the B028 consists of 16 lens elements in 11 groups. The use of specialized glass elements such as LD (Low Dispersion) and aspherical lens elements effectively minimizes wide-ranging aberrations, including chromatic aberrations and distortion, thereby assuring outstanding image quality. Optimum power distribution among the individual lens element groups achieves both the optical performance and the compact size necessary for an ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens that boasts 400mm focal length. Also, it enables tele-macro photography with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.9.

  1. Lightweight and compact design exhibits Tamron’s basic philosophy for all-in-one zoom lenses

Despite being an all-in-one zoom lens that achieves 400mm ultra-telephoto, Model B028 is light and compact with a total length of 4.8in. and a weight of 24.9oz.4 A new lens barrel design utilizing three-step extensions was developed to enable the necessary elongation to produce a 22.2x zoom ratio. Compared to the conventional approach, the division into a larger number of cams ensures comfortable operation and stability while zooming. Tamron’s philosophy for all-in-one zoom lenses is to allow each photographer to casually capture everyday photos with a lens of a practical size, and Model B028 fulfills this philosophy.

  1. HLD motor provides high-precision AF and enables compact lens construction

The AF drive system for Model B028 uses Tamron’s exclusive HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) motor. The power-saving HLD motor produces outstanding driving torque, and adjusts motor rotation from low to high speed to enable accurate and quiet focusing. The HLD motor takes up less space thanks to its small size and circular arc shape that allows the size of the lens to be reduced.

  1. Equipped with the Vibration Compensation system necessary for ultra-telephotography at 400mm

Despite its compact size, Model B028 is equipped with Tamron’s proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation) system, which effectively curbs camera shake under low light conditions (such as a dimly lit room or at dusk) and while taking ultra-telephoto pictures. This greatly expands opportunities for casual handheld shooting. The jitter-free stability of the viewfinder image allows for easier framing and enables the photographer to compose the subject quickly and comfortably.

  1. Electromagnetic diaphragm system now used also for Nikon-mount lenses

The electromagnetic diaphragm system, which has been a standard feature for Canon-mount lenses, is now employed in Nikon-mount lenses5. More precise diaphragm and aperture control is possible because the diaphragm blades are driven and controlled by a motor through electronic pulse signals.

  1. User-friendly features for everyday comfortable use

With an eye toward active outdoor photography, Model B028 features Moisture-Resistant Construction to ensure worry-free shooting as well as confidence while shooting under adverse weather conditions. Also, the Zoom Lock mechanism prevents undesired movement of the lens barrel under its own weight when the camera is angled downward while walking.

  1. Compatible with TAP-in ConsoleTM, an optional accessory product

The optional TAP-in Console provides a USB connection to a personal computer, enabling the user to easily update the lens’s firmware as well as to customize features, including fine adjustments to the AF and VC.

  1. External design placing importance on functionality and ease of use

While inheriting the design that makes use of many organic curves and the delicately polished form down to fine details that characterize the SP lens series, the new Model B028 comes with a highly sophisticated design that also places a lot of importance on the lens’s functionality and ease of use, featuring an overall form that faithfully encompasses the internal structures within, a slim Luminous Gold brand ring and the switch shape design.

[1] Among interchangeable lenses for DSLR cameras (As of May 2017; Tamron)
[2] Length and weight are based on the Nikon-mount lens
[3] Among interchangeable lenses for DSLR cameras (As of May 2017; Tamron)
[4] Length and weight are based on figures for the Nikon-mount lens.
[5] Available only with cameras compatible with the electromagnetic diaphragm (D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7000, D7100, D7200, D300S, D500) (As of May, 2017; Tamron) 

Tamron 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD specifications Principal specificationsLens typeZoom lensMax Format sizeAPS-C / DXFocal length18–400 mmImage stabilizationYes (Up to 2.5 stops)Lens mountCanon EF-S, Nikon F (DX)ApertureMaximum apertureF3.5–6.3Minimum apertureF22–40Aperture ringNoNumber of diaphragm blades7OpticsElements16Groups11Special elements / coatingsLow dispersion, aspherical, hybrid aspherical elementsFocusMinimum focus0.45 m (17.72″)Maximum magnification0.34×AutofocusYesMotor typeRing-type ultrasonicFull time manualYesFocus methodExtending frontDistance scaleNoDoF scaleNoPhysicalWeight710 g (1.57 lb)Diameter79 mm (3.11″)Length124 mm (4.88″)SealingYesColourBlackZoom methodRotary (extending)Power zoomNoZoom lockYesFilter thread72.0 mmHood suppliedYes
Categories: Photo News

Tamron introduces 'ultra-telephoto' 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 zoom lens

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 00:00
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Tamron has introduced what it is calling the 'world's first ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens,' the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. The lens, designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor bodies, is equivalent to 29-640mm and 27-600mm, respectively.

Built-in Vibration Correction reduces shake by up to 2.5 stops, and the lens' HLD focus motor promises 'accurate and quiet' focusing, according to Tamron. The HLD motor also keeps the overall size of the lens down: It's 124mm/4.9in long and 79mm/3.1in in diameter. The lens has 7 circular aperture blades, a minimum subject distance of 0.45m/18in and is moisture-resistant. Nikon owners will be pleased to hear the the lens uses an electromagnetic diaphragm system.

The 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 will be available in late July for $649.

Press Release

INTRODUCING THE WORLD’S FIRST1 ULTRA-TELEPHOTO ALL-IN-ONE ZOOM LENS WITH AN EXTENDED RANGE THAT COVERS 18-400MM

Dramatic extended range achieved by combining cutting-edge optical design and other new breakthrough technologies including a redesigned cam structure

18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD (Model B028)

June 23, 2017, Commack, NY – Tamron, a leading manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces the launch of the new 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD (Model B028), the world’s first ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens for APS-C DSLR cameras, which covers a focal length range of 18-400mm. Since the 1992 launch of its AF28-200mm F/3.8-5.6 Aspherical (Model 71D), Tamron has dominated the all-in-one zoom category and has produced many lenses that cover wide-angle to telephoto zoom ranges. Tamron has now developed an ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom that extends to 400mm (35mm equivalent of 620mm) and a 22.2x zoom ratio. Packed in a light, compact body (4.8in./24.9oz.)2 is Tamron’s accumulated knowledge and experience for all-in-one zoom lenses, including the most advanced optical and mechanical designs, an HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) for the AF system and the Vibration Compensation system. Photographers can now enjoy wide-angle to ultra-telephoto photography using one lens, which is ideal for travel photography and eliminates the need to carry extra lenses. The new Model B028 lens enables photographing a wide variety of ultra-telephoto images including everyday casual scenes. The 18-400mm will be available in the U.S. at the end of July at $649.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

  1. The world’s first3 ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens to achieve 400mm telephoto

The new Model B028 is the world’s first lens for APS-C DSLR cameras that covers a focal length range of 18-400mm and achieves a zoom ratio of 22.2x. The focal length of 400mm on the telephoto end enables the capturing of ultra-telephoto pictures with the 35mm equivalent of 620mm angle of view. Now, with just this one lens, a photographer can readily enjoy the power of ultra-telephoto to bring distant subjects closer as well as the perspective-flattening effects that only extreme telephoto settings can achieve. This all-in-one zoom lens is ideal for travel and everyday shooting. It allows a photographer to switch from wide-angle to ultra-telephoto without changing lenses, making it faster and easier to capture a much wider range of subjects including travel scenes, wildlife, action sports, landscapes, cityscapes, portraits and food.

  1. Excellent image quality across the entire zoom range, from wide-angle to ultra-telephoto and macro

The optical construction of the B028 consists of 16 lens elements in 11 groups. The use of specialized glass elements such as LD (Low Dispersion) and aspherical lens elements effectively minimizes wide-ranging aberrations, including chromatic aberrations and distortion, thereby assuring outstanding image quality. Optimum power distribution among the individual lens element groups achieves both the optical performance and the compact size necessary for an ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens that boasts 400mm focal length. Also, it enables tele-macro photography with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.9.

  1. Lightweight and compact design exhibits Tamron’s basic philosophy for all-in-one zoom lenses

Despite being an all-in-one zoom lens that achieves 400mm ultra-telephoto, Model B028 is light and compact with a total length of 4.8in. and a weight of 24.9oz.4 A new lens barrel design utilizing three-step extensions was developed to enable the necessary elongation to produce a 22.2x zoom ratio. Compared to the conventional approach, the division into a larger number of cams ensures comfortable operation and stability while zooming. Tamron’s philosophy for all-in-one zoom lenses is to allow each photographer to casually capture everyday photos with a lens of a practical size, and Model B028 fulfills this philosophy.

  1. HLD motor provides high-precision AF and enables compact lens construction

The AF drive system for Model B028 uses Tamron’s exclusive HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) motor. The power-saving HLD motor produces outstanding driving torque, and adjusts motor rotation from low to high speed to enable accurate and quiet focusing. The HLD motor takes up less space thanks to its small size and circular arc shape that allows the size of the lens to be reduced.

  1. Equipped with the Vibration Compensation system necessary for ultra-telephotography at 400mm

Despite its compact size, Model B028 is equipped with Tamron’s proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation) system, which effectively curbs camera shake under low light conditions (such as a dimly lit room or at dusk) and while taking ultra-telephoto pictures. This greatly expands opportunities for casual handheld shooting. The jitter-free stability of the viewfinder image allows for easier framing and enables the photographer to compose the subject quickly and comfortably.

  1. Electromagnetic diaphragm system now used also for Nikon-mount lenses

The electromagnetic diaphragm system, which has been a standard feature for Canon-mount lenses, is now employed in Nikon-mount lenses5. More precise diaphragm and aperture control is possible because the diaphragm blades are driven and controlled by a motor through electronic pulse signals.

  1. User-friendly features for everyday comfortable use

With an eye toward active outdoor photography, Model B028 features Moisture-Resistant Construction to ensure worry-free shooting as well as confidence while shooting under adverse weather conditions. Also, the Zoom Lock mechanism prevents undesired movement of the lens barrel under its own weight when the camera is angled downward while walking.

  1. Compatible with TAP-in ConsoleTM, an optional accessory product

The optional TAP-in Console provides a USB connection to a personal computer, enabling the user to easily update the lens’s firmware as well as to customize features, including fine adjustments to the AF and VC.

  1. External design placing importance on functionality and ease of use

While inheriting the design that makes use of many organic curves and the delicately polished form down to fine details that characterize the SP lens series, the new Model B028 comes with a highly sophisticated design that also places a lot of importance on the lens’s functionality and ease of use, featuring an overall form that faithfully encompasses the internal structures within, a slim Luminous Gold brand ring and the switch shape design.

[1] Among interchangeable lenses for DSLR cameras (As of May 2017; Tamron)
[2] Length and weight are based on the Nikon-mount lens
[3] Among interchangeable lenses for DSLR cameras (As of May 2017; Tamron)
[4] Length and weight are based on figures for the Nikon-mount lens.
[5] Available only with cameras compatible with the electromagnetic diaphragm (D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7000, D7100, D7200, D300S, D500) (As of May, 2017; Tamron) 

Tamron 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD specifications Principal specificationsLens typeZoom lensMax Format sizeAPS-C / DXFocal length18–400 mmImage stabilizationYes (Up to 2.5 stops)Lens mountCanon EF-S, Nikon F (DX)ApertureMaximum apertureF3.5–6.3Minimum apertureF22–40Aperture ringNoNumber of diaphragm blades7OpticsElements16Groups11Special elements / coatingsLow dispersion, aspherical, hybrid aspherical elementsFocusMinimum focus0.45 m (17.72″)Maximum magnification0.34×AutofocusYesMotor typeRing-type ultrasonicFull time manualYesFocus methodExtending frontDistance scaleNoDoF scaleNoPhysicalWeight710 g (1.57 lb)Diameter79 mm (3.11″)Length124 mm (4.88″)SealingYesColourBlackZoom methodRotary (extending)Power zoomNoZoom lockYesFilter thread72.0 mmHood suppliedYes
Categories: Photo News

2017 Roundup: $1200-2000 interchangeable lens cameras: full-frame

DP Review Latest news - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 23:45

Last updated: June 23, 2017

For those wanting to step up from entry-level to midrange ILCs, there are many things to consider, including the choice between a DSLR or mirrorless camera, what sensor size suits you best, how important video is to you, and of course the lens system.

While full-frame cameras typically offer superior low light image quality and more control over depth-of-field, crop-sensor cameras are extremely capable in their own right - and (usually) more compact and less costly.

We've split the $1200-2000 ILC marketplace into two segments - full-frame sensor cameras (discussed in this roundup) and crop-sensor (APS-C/Four Thirds) covered here.

This group of full-frame cameras is split right down the middle, with three DSLRs and three mirrorless models. Sony is, by far, the major player in the full-frame mirrorless market, with most of the other manufacturers sticking with DSLRs.

Here are the cameras we'll cover in this enthusiast full-frame roundup:

Categories: Photo News

2017 Roundup: $1200-2000 interchangeable lens cameras: full-frame

DP Review Latest news - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 23:45

Last updated: June 23, 2017

For those wanting to step up from entry-level to midrange ILCs, there are many things to consider, including the choice between a DSLR or mirrorless camera, what sensor size suits you best, how important video is to you, and of course the lens system.

While full-frame cameras typically offer superior low light image quality and more control over depth-of-field, crop-sensor cameras are extremely capable in their own right - and (usually) more compact and less costly.

We've split the $1200-2000 ILC marketplace into two segments - full-frame sensor cameras (discussed in this roundup) and crop-sensor (APS-C/Four Thirds) covered here.

This group of full-frame cameras is split right down the middle, with three DSLRs and three mirrorless models. Sony is, by far, the major player in the full-frame mirrorless market, with most of the other manufacturers sticking with DSLRs.

Here are the cameras we'll cover in this enthusiast full-frame roundup:

Categories: Photo News

Playing a Super Mario Bros. level with Hololens is the best case for AR we've seen

DP Review Latest news - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 18:02

Developer Abhishek Singh makes a compelling case for wearing a headset and looking silly – he created an augmented reality Super Mario Bros. level and played through it in New York's Central Park. Oh, and he dressed as Mario for the demo video below, which is the best thing ever.

Singh tells Upload VR that he had to re-think some of the game elements to make it playable on a human scale – Mario can jump much higher than any plumber we know. Of course, there would be some obvious challenges bringing a game like this to the masses. But we've got our fingers crossed for a future of virtual reality includes life-size Koopas and gold coins.

Categories: Photo News

Playing a Super Mario Bros. level with Hololens is the best case for AR we've seen

DP Review Latest news - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 18:02

Developer Abhishek Singh makes a compelling case for wearing a headset and looking silly – he created an augmented reality Super Mario Bros. level and played through it in New York's Central Park. Oh, and he dressed as Mario for the demo video below, which is the best thing ever.

Singh tells Upload VR that he had to re-think some of the game elements to make it playable on a human scale – Mario can jump much higher than any plumber we know. Of course, there would be some obvious challenges bringing a game like this to the masses. But we've got our fingers crossed for a future of virtual reality includes life-size Koopas and gold coins.

Categories: Photo News

NASA orbiter snaps aerial photo of lonesome Mars Curiosity rover

DP Review Latest news - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 13:51
The bright blue dot at the center of this photo by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is actually NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, going about its lonely mission on the Red Planet. © Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

No human photographer could capture this aerial photograph. That's because this image is literally out of this world – it was captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on June 5th, and shows the Mars Curiosity Rover as it traverses the red planet, approximately 241,500,000 miles away from where I sit typing this right now.

It's hard to spot, and you have to look really closely, but there's a small blue dot in the very middle of the photograph above. This closer crop might help:

There, amid the Martian landscape, you can actually see the Curiosity rover as it trekked along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp, on its way to 'Vera Rubin Ridge.'

The photograph was taken by the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter using its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, which captures a red band, blue -green band, and an infrared band, combining these together to form an RGB image. Because of this, the photograph is not a so-called 'true color' image, and the rover appears bluer than it actually is.

Oh, and if you're curious, you can actually see what Curiosity was seeing when this photo was captured. The rover was using its Mast Camera to shoot these photographs of the Martian landscape while its picture was taken.

Categories: Photo News

NASA orbiter snaps aerial photo of lonesome Mars Curiosity rover

DP Review Latest news - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 13:51
The bright blue dot at the center of this photo by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is actually NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, going about its lonely mission on the Red Planet. © Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

No human photographer could capture this aerial photograph. That's because this image is literally out of this world – it was captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on June 5th, and shows the Mars Curiosity Rover as it traverses the red planet, approximately 241,500,000 miles away from where I sit typing this right now.

It's hard to spot, and you have to look really closely, but there's a small blue dot in the very middle of the photograph above. This closer crop might help:

There, amid the Martian landscape, you can actually see the Curiosity rover as it trekked along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp, on its way to 'Vera Rubin Ridge.'

The photograph was taken by the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter using its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, which captures a red band, blue -green band, and an infrared band, combining these together to form an RGB image. Because of this, the photograph is not a so-called 'true color' image, and the rover appears bluer than it actually is.

Oh, and if you're curious, you can actually see what Curiosity was seeing when this photo was captured. The rover was using its Mast Camera to shoot these photographs of the Martian landscape while its picture was taken.

Categories: Photo News

No, you don't need a $100 permit to take snapshots in Laguna Beach

DP Review Latest news - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 13:41
Photo by Don Graham. Licensed under CC 2.0

The city of Laguna Beach has cleared up some confusion about its photography permit policy. A broad interpretation of one of its two photography permits created a minor uproar recently, as many people took it to mean that the city was requiring a $100 permit for anyone taking photos. It seems now that this wasn't the intention.

As it stands, the city has two permits for two different types of photography: commercial and 'non-commercial'; the latter has a $50/hr rate with a minimum of two hours required. This meant, as the policy was interpreted, that anyone taking photos – including personal photos – in Laguna Beach were required to buy a $100 permit.

The non-commercial permit category's vague description resulted in quite a bit of public complaint, and the city has chosen to rename it as a result, leaving only talk about true commercial photography on its website's related permit page. The category was never intended to cover casual personal photography, according to a city official speaking to OC Weekly. Rather, the 'non-commercial' permit category was created as a cheaper alternative to the primary commercial permit, giving photographers an option for 'less complicated photo shoots such as engagement photos.'

The city's website still specifies two different photography permits, but one with a new name: commercial and 'professional still photo.' The latter carries the same $100/2hr minimum as the former 'non-commercial' category, explaining that this option is for 'single camera shoots such as engagement photos, wedding photos, family portraits, holiday cards, etc.' Nothing about the permit policy except the 'non-commercial' verbiage has changed. However, it is now clear that personal, non-compensated photography doesn't require a permit.

Via: OC Weekly

Categories: Photo News

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