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2021 Ferrari Roma first drive review: Good feel, bad touch - Roadshow

CNET Reviews - Sat, 10/24/2020 - 15:00
Ferrari's latest grand tourer is among its most affordable and most striking, but it needs some major updates before release.
Categories: Photo News

Yamaha SR-C20A soundbar review: A sound fit for small spaces - CNET

CNET Reviews - Fri, 10/23/2020 - 04:00
This smaller speaker boosts the sound quality of TV shows and music but it's not the best value.
Categories: Photo News

2020 Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe review: Raw and riveting - Roadshow

CNET Reviews - Fri, 10/23/2020 - 02:00
The C63 S Coupe's menacing V8, great driving dynamics and head-turning looks will keep you up at night.
Categories: Photo News

2021 Ram 1500 TRX first drive review: Yep, we got it airborne - Roadshow

CNET Reviews - Thu, 10/22/2020 - 21:01
What better way to test the fastest production truck on the road today than with a series of really big jumps?
Categories: Photo News

Eufy's Indoor Cam 2K is fine for $40 - CNET

CNET Reviews - Wed, 10/21/2020 - 10:09
For $40, you could do a lot worse than this simple indoor home security camera.
Categories: Photo News

2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody review: Meaner and more agile - Roadshow

CNET Reviews - Wed, 10/21/2020 - 02:00
Dodge's Charger Hellcat Widebody packs more visual attitude to go with its 707 horsepower.
Categories: Photo News

Adobe gives Photoshop 2021 even more Sensei AI power, brings livestreaming to Photoshop for iPad

DP Review Latest news - Tue, 10/20/2020 - 08:27

As part of Adobe MAX 2020, which is virtual (and free to attend) this year, Adobe has announced the latest updates to the Adobe Photoshop family. Artificial intelligence and Adobe Sensei play a major role in today's updates, which are now available for all subscribers.

Adobe Photoshop 2021

Adobe calls Photoshop 2021, also known as version 22.0, the 'world's most advanced AI application for creatives,' so let's see what's new. The primary new features are Neural Filters, Sky Replacement, improved Refine Edge Selections and the all-new Discover panel.

The Neural Filters workspace is a 'complete reimagination of filters and image manipulation inside Photoshop.' The first version includes a large set of filters, some of which are still in a beta state. Adobe wants to get as many of them into the hands of users for testing. The Neural Filters workspace offers users access to non-destructive filters including Skin Smoothing, Smart Portrait and more. Smart Portrait allows you to transform a portrait subject along parameters such as age, expression, pose and more. AI analyzes the portrait to allow you to change aspects of your subject's features, such as changing the direction of the subject's head, gaze and the intensity of their smile. As you can see below, you can even adjust the direction of light in an image.

In this image, the light direction slider within Adobe's new Neural Filters was moved from left to right. As Adobe's Pam Clark notes, finishing touches can be easily applied within Photoshop. Image credit: Adobe

In addition to making AI-powered adjustments to portraits, Neural Filters also includes features to help repair damaged images, including Photo Restoration, Dust and Scratches, Noise Reduction, Face Cleanup, JPEG Artifacts Restoration and even a Neural Filter for colorizing a black and white image, a task which takes a considerable amount of skill and time to perform manually. You can learn more about how Neural Filters works and how they can be used in your workflow by visiting Adobe's dedicated webpage.

Adobe's new Sky Replacement feature includes numerous user controls when changing the sky, such as brightness and temperature. You can see the new workspace by enlarging this image. Image credit: Adobe

Moving on to Sky Replacement. Using the power of AI, Photoshop can analyze your image to detect what areas of your image are foreground versus sky and then perform masking and blending in order to realistically change the sky in your image. You can select from Photoshop's database of skies or add your own. There are creative controls as well, including the ability to zoom in and select a portion of the sky and move the sky around the scene. Today's Photoshop release includes around 25 sky presets. You can learn more about Sky Replacement in this article and by watching the video below.

It seems every major release of Photoshop includes substantive improvements to making selections in your images and the latest release is no different. Adobe Sensei is powering a pair of new features in the Select and Mask workspace: Refine Hair and Object Aware Refine Mode.

Making selections of hair has long been challenging, but Sensei now allows you to leverage its power to refine a selection incorporating hair in a single click. Similarly, Object Aware Refine Mode uses the power of AI to make even more precise, informed selections of portions of your image. Consider the example image below of a selection of the hair in the lion's mane. It's an impressive selection that was performed in only a few seconds.

Image credit: Adobe

Photoshop's new Discover panel includes a brand-new learn and search experience. Within Photoshop, you can quickly access an expanded library of educational content, new step-by-step tutorials, and a vastly improved search functionality. AI makes context-aware recommendations based on your work, including tips and tutorials. There are new one-click Quick Actions that allow you to instantly perform certain tasks when you're in a rush or teach you how to do the task for yourself step by step.

Photoshop 2021 includes an all-new Discover panel. Image credit: Adobe

Photoshop also includes Pattern Preview and shape creation features. Pattern Preview is a special view mode that allows you to view how your document would look as a pattern. Creating and adjusting shapes on the fly is now easier. There's a new tool to create triangles and on-canvas controls to resize and adjust shapes.

Pattern preview is new to Photoshop 2021. Image credit: Adobe

Further improvements include enhancements to the Properties Panels and major revisions to how you access plug-ins within Photoshop. There's a new plugins marketplace within the application where you'll find curated collections in addition to the wide array of plugins and integrations on offer for Photoshop. Adobe has also integrated UXP to Photoshop. UXP is its new extensibility platform for building plugins.

This plugin architecture results in improved reliability and performance for plugins. There are already plugins built on UXP available in Photoshop. These include plugins to connect Photoshop with apps and services such as Dropbox, Trello and Slack. Plus, there are image editing plugins from photographers such as Tony Kuyper, Greg Benz and Davide Barranca.

It's now easier to find plugins in Photoshop. Plus, plugins built on the UXP platform will be even more stable and faster. Image credit: Adobe

On the topic of connectedness, when working on a cloud document inside Photoshop, versions are now automatically created, allowing you to look back or revert to prior states. Within Photoshop, it's now possible to view, revert, open, save as and rename save states within the version history. Cloud documents are also now available offline.

When working on cloud documents, you can now access a file's version history. Image credit: Adobe

For the full breakdown of everything new in version 22.0 of Photoshop on desktop, click here. Now, there have also been specific new functions added to Photoshop on iPad.

Photoshop for iPad

When using Photoshop on iPad, you can now change the dimensions, resolution and sampling of a PSD file, matching what you can do with a PSD file on the desktop version of Photoshop. You can learn more about this function by clicking here.

It's now possible to live stream from within Photoshop on iPad. You can use the tablet's built-in camera and mic to communicate with viewers as well. Image credit: Adobe

Within Photoshop on iPad, users can now start a live stream via the Export menu. You can use the iPad's built-in camera to interact with members of Adobe Behance. Live streams are sent to Behance automatically and Adobe will be moderating and posting selected recordings in the gallery on Behance and within the Photoshop on iPad app directly. There is also a new Behance Gallery within the app. This lets you view the work of others, watch live streams (including recordings), browse through Behance projects and share your own work. You can learn more by clicking here: Live streaming and gallery.

As you can see, there's a lot new in Photoshop. You can learn more about all the new features and find links to additional information by reading this Adobe blog post.

This Friday, October 23, Terry White will be hosting a live stream at 11:00 AM ET in which he discusses all the new features of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for photographers. You can learn more about this live stream and set a reminder by clicking here. If you'd like to take part in Adobe MAX 2020, alongside more than 500,000 other registrants, you can sign up for different live events right here. There are a ton of great guests scheduled to appear this week, including celebrities such as Conan O'Brien, Chelsea Handler and Zendaya. Over the next three days, there are over 350 sessions, labs and creativity workshops, so be sure to check them out, it's completely free to attend.

Categories: Photo News

Adobe shows off prototype version of its Content Authenticity tool and ecosystem

DP Review Latest news - Tue, 10/20/2020 - 07:57

In addition to its Lightroom and Photoshop updates, adobe has also revealed a prototype of its Content Authenticity Prototype, a key new tool that will play a key role in Adobe’s Content Authenticity Initiative first unveiled a year ago at Adobe MAX 2019.

A screenshot from the video showing the 'Content Credentials' toolset in the beta version of Adobe Photoshop.

As the above video demonstrates, the new opt-in tool provides a way for photojournalists, artists and other creatives to cyptographically sign and embed editing and attribution information to images that have been adjusted or altered in Photoshop (and presumably other Adobe programs). Creators can choose to include as little or as much data as they would like and export that information with the image(s).

A screenshot from the header video showing what information will be embedded with the edited image upon export from Photoshop.

When the image(s) are uploaded to websites with CAI compatibility, viewers will be able to see exactly who captured the image, what edits were made, what assets were used and more. Adobe is even launching a dedicated site (verify.contentauthenticity.org) that will serve as an original database of sorts to see every detail of every change made and asset used.

The verify.contentauthenticity.org website will break down the signed metadata for each asset used.

Currently, the prototype will only be available to a select group of beta testers. Eventually, we can expect the tool to roll out to the masses, but even then, adoption will come to be the greatest barrier to Adobe’s efforts to keep authenticity at the forefront of digital content creation.

Adobe says it’s working with ‘The New York Times Company, Twitter, Inc., Microsoft, BBC, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Truepic, WITNESS, CBC and many others,’ but it’s honest about what it will take to get the masses to adopt such attribution technology as the norm:

‘We believe attribution will create a virtuous cycle. The more creators distribute content with proper attribution, the more consumers will expect and use that information to make judgement calls, thus minimizing the influence of bad actors and deceptive content. Ultimately, a holistic solution that includes attribution, detection and education to provide a common and shared understanding of objective facts is essential to help us make more thoughtful decisions when consuming media. Today is a huge leap forward for the CAI, but this is just the beginning.’

While the companies Adobe is already working with are certainly leaders in their respective spheres, there are plenty of other agencies and organizations that will need to hop onboard the CAI train to truly make this a ubiquitous standard that's the rule instead of the exception. Media empire Gannett, for example, would be a great opportunity, as the company owns over 90 daily newspapers, nearly 1,000 weekly newspapers and almost two dozen television stations. Getty, AP and others are obvious candidates as well.

You can keep up with the latest CAI developments on the Adobe Blog and the Content Authenticity website.

Categories: Photo News

DJI's new Pocket 2 three-axis-stabilized mini camera offers larger sensor, wider lens and more

DP Review Latest news - Tue, 10/20/2020 - 07:24

DJI has announced the release of its new DJI Pocket 2, a second-generation three-axis mini camera.

The updated camera drops the Osmo nomenclature its predecessor bore and improves its performance across the board. Despite keeping its compact size, weighing just 117g (4.2oz), the Pocket 2 has a larger sensor and wider lens than the Osmo Pocket, which DJI claims has dramatically improve image quality for both photos and video.

The new 1/1.7” sensor (Osmo Pocket had a 1/2.3” sensor) works in tandem with a new 20mm (equivalent) F1.8 lens to capture 16MP photos in standard mode and up to 64MP images in high-resolution mode. The Pocket 2 can record 4K video at up to 60fps at a 100Mbps bitrate. DJI has added HDR recording and the device now offers up to 8x zoom using the 64MP high-resolution mode or 4x lossless zoom when shooting at 16MP or in 1080p.

DJI has also improved the focus system, which should make it easily to track moving subjects faster and more accurately than with the Osmo Mobile. The Hybrid 2.0 AF feature uses a combination of contrast and phase detection to deliver these performance improvements.

DJI Matrix Stereo also improves upon one of the weakest points of the Osmo Mobile—audio. The new audio system uses an array of four microphones to capture what DJI calls an ‘immersive audio experience.’ DJI has added a number of audio features, including Directional Audio, SoundTrack and Audio Zoom. Below is a description of the new features straight from DJI:

’Directional Audio enhances sound recording from those microphones to pick up as much detail as possible, with SoundTrack adjusting the audio based on where the camera is facing, while Audio Zoom narrows the sound field when zooming the camera in. To further filter out unwanted background sounds, an optional wind noise reduction helps keep the audio clean in outdoor settings.’

As with nearly all of DJI’s products, there’s a handful of pre-programmed shooting modes included with the Pocket 2:

  • Pro Mode: Control advanced camera settings such as ISO, shutter speed, EV, and focus mode.
  • ActiveTrack 3.0: Select a subject and let DJI Pocket 2 keep it in the frame automatically.
  • Slow Motion: Capture the fast-moving world in slow motion with a max speed and resolution of 8x at 1080p.
  • Timelapse, Hyperlapse, Motionlapse: Speed up the world around you with the varying effects of three different time-lapse operations. Hyperlapse automatically integrates Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) for added smoothness. Users have the ability to save individual images separately, record in RAW format, and use ActiveTrack 3.0.
  • Panoramas:
    • 180° Pano: Captures four photos for sweeping landscape images.
    • 3×3 Pano: Merges nine images for a wide and detailed view.
  • Livestreaming: Livestream directly to Facebook, YouTube, or RTMP.
  • Story Mode: Preset camera movements, color profiles, and music make it easier to choose a template, record the moment, and share to social media instantly.

Other features include a new Fast Wake option that will instantly turn on the device so you don’t miss any action, a Drop Aware function that will ‘take preventative measures when it senses the gimbal falling’ and a Pause Recording feature that will quickly pause video recordings.

With new hardware comes new accessories, including a charging case, wireless microphone set, waterproof housing, a more compact control wheel, an extension rod, a (more) wide-angle lens attachment, a wireless module and a smartphone support system. All of the above features and more can be controlled with the free DJI Mimo smartphone app, available on both Android and iOS.

The DJI Pocket 2 can be purchased in two configurations: the DJI Pocket 2 with the Mini Control Stick and Tripod mount for $349, or the DJI Pocket 2 Creator Combo, which includes the Mini Control Sitck, tripod mount, wide-angle lens attachment, wireless microphone with windscreen, the do-it-all handle and the micro tripod for $499. Units can be purchased through DJI’s online store and authorized DJI retailers.

Categories: Photo News

Nikon Z 24-50mm F4-6.3 sample gallery

DP Review Latest news - Tue, 10/20/2020 - 06:00
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The Nikkor Z 24-50mm F4-6.3 is Nikon's most compact and affordable ($400 MSRP) lens for full-frame Z-mount cameras. It's also one of two lenses available as a kit with the excellent, entry-level Nikon Z5 body, and collapses down to a mere 51mm (2") when retracted. While it's certainly not the fastest glass in town, it is respectably sharp for a modern kit lens. Take a look for yourself.

See our Nikon Z 24-50mm F4-6.3
sample gallery

Categories: Photo News

Dell G5 15 SE review: 1080p power for little more than peanuts - CNET

CNET Reviews - Tue, 10/20/2020 - 04:00
Dell's all-AMD model of its entry-priced gaming laptop line delivers better-than-basic performance.
Categories: Photo News

2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid first drive review: A hard formula to mess up - Roadshow

CNET Reviews - Tue, 10/20/2020 - 04:00
A dash of new style and tech enhances a hybrid that's already among the best.
Categories: Photo News

Ilford Photo Darkroom Guide video series reveals printing techniques and more for beginners

DP Review Latest news - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 16:14

Black and white film and paper manufacturer Ilford Photo has produced a series of videos to help beginners get to grips with essential darkroom techniques. Hosted by Rachel Brewster-Wright from Little Vintage Photography the collection of videos tackles some of the basics of common darkroom questions in a simple to follow format.

So far, subjects covered in the 16-video playlist include dodging and burning, selenium toning, using multi-grade paper and more. The series sits alongside a mass of other educational content from the film-maker that covers issues such as how an enlarger works, pinhole photography, a checklist for setting up your own darkroom and processing your first roll of film. This is mixed with inspirational interviews with black and white photographers and printers, as well as footage inside the Ilford Factory in the UK.

If you want to get started in black and white film photography, or you want a refresher on how it’s all done check out the Ilford Photo YouTube channel.

Categories: Photo News

Adobe Lightroom Classic 10.0 released, includes Color Grading and more

DP Review Latest news - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 10:54

Adobe has released Lightroom Classic version 10.0, ushering in a variety of performance improvements and new features, including new controlled color grading adjustments for shadows, midtones and highlights.

With Lightroom Classic's new color grading tool, users can control the color separately in midtones, shadows and highlights, or adjust the color of your entire image with a global control. The Color Grading panel replaces Split Toning and offers additional control overall color. Within Color Grading, you can adjust hue, saturation and luminance by moving the point in each color wheel. When making adjustments, if you hold the Shift key or Command key, you restrict wheel movement for Saturation or Hue adjustments, respectively.

Image credit: Adobe

The Color Grading panel also includes Blending and Balance sliders. The Blending slider 'adjusts the amount of overlap between the shadows and highlights.' The Balance slider balances the effect of sliders between highlights, midtones and shadows. If the value is greater than zero, the effect of highlights will be increased. A value below zero increases the effect of the shadows. If you want to recreate the effect of the old Split Toning effect, set the Blending slider to 100.

A few weeks ago, Adobe showed a sneak peek at the new Color Grading feature. You can view the early look at the feature below.

Lightroom Classic version 10 includes performance improvements as well. Adobe promises faster editing when using brushes and gradients when GPU acceleration is enabled. Further, the new version delivers faster scrolling through the Library Grid, Folders and Collections, particularly for users with large catalogs.

When using the Loupe, Compare and Reference views in Lightroom, there is improved control over zoom levels with new Scrubby zoom and Box zoom options. Scrubby Zoom can be used while dragging your move left or right while pressing the Shift key. This is only available when GPU acceleration is enabled. The Box Zoom is available in Library and Develop modules by pressing Ctrl on Windows or Command on macOS while drawing a box with your cursor. The Navigator panel has been updated as well, it now offers Fit/Fill, 100% and Zoom percent options (ranging from 6% to 1600%).

A summary of Lightroom Classic version 10.0's new features. Click to enlarge. Image credit: Adobe

For Canon camera users, you can see what you are shooting in real-time when tethered to Lightroom Classic version 10. Your connected camera's live view will appear in a new, resizable window with orientation options. The tether bar includes focus control buttons and an autofocus button. To learn more about this feature, check out this article.

In addition to new tethered support, Lightroom Classic 10.0 includes new camera and lens profile support. The Fujifilm X-S10, Panasonic Lumix S5, Sony A7C and Sony A7S Mark III are all now supported. A variety of Sigma lenses and Voigtlander lenses have new support in Lightroom Classic 10.0. You can view the full list of supported cameras and lenses via the following links: Supported cameras and supported lenses.

When you update Lightroom Classic to the latest version, you will be prompted to upgrade your catalog. When doing so, a new feature will allow you to control the name of your catalog. To learn more about the new features in Adobe Lightroom Classic version 10.0, click here.

Categories: Photo News

7artisans releases $255 35mm F0.95 manual prime for APS-C mirrorless camera systems

DP Review Latest news - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 08:11

7artisans has announced yet another affordable ultra-fast manual prime lens, the 35mm F0.95 APS-C lens for Canon M, Fuji X, Micro Four Thirds, Nikon Z and Sony E mount camera systems.

The lens, which retails for just $255, is constructed of 11 elements in 8 groups, has an aperture range of F0.95–16, offers a minimum focusing distance of 37cm (14.5”) and has a 12-blade aperture diaphragm. It offers a 43º angle of view, has a declicked aperture dial and weighs just 369g (13oz).

Photo Rumors, who is an authorized 7artisans retailer, has shared a gallery of sample images taken with the lens attached to a Sony a7 III:

The 7artisans 35mm F0.95 APS-C lens is available to purchase for $255 through 7artisan retailers, including Photo Rumors.

Categories: Photo News

Mobile by Peak Design is a new line of smartphone cases and accessories with unique 'SlimLock' design

DP Review Latest news - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 07:00

Peak Design is back with its latest crowdfunding campaign. This time, the San Francisco-based accessory manufacturer has found a way to put a unique spin on a new line of cases and accessories for smartphones.

The legs of the tripod accessory fold out wide to create a sturdy base. If you're using larger, heavier devices, the case even has a built-in hex tool for tightening the joints of the ball mount and legs.

The new Mobile by Peak Design lineup consists of smartphone cases and universal mounts that use Peak Design’s ‘SlimLink’ hardware to easily connect an ecosystem of accessories, including an ultra-compact tripod, various magnetic and locking mounts, a wallet and even wireless charging mounts.

The tripod accessory is tapered and easily snaps into place on the rear of the case or universal mount.

What makes the SlimLink connection on each of the cases and adapters unique is its ability to work with both hard-locking (mechanical) and soft-locking (magnetic) mounts. This means some of the accessories, such as the mobile tripod, can connect with a quick snap of the built-in magnets, while mounts that need a more secure hold, such as the bike and moto mounts, can lock into place for a more secure hold.

A close-up shot of the proprietary SlimLock system.

The SlimLink connection is made of ceramic-zirconium, meaning it will still allow Qi charging to work through the case. At launch, the Mobile by Peak Design lineup will offer dedicated Peak Design Everyday Cases for the following devices (other phones will work using the universal adapter):

  • iPhone 12 (6.1” + 5.4”), Pro Max, Pro
  • iPhone SE2
  • iPhone 11, Pro, Pro Max
  • Samsung S20, S20 Ultra, S20 +
The universal mount ensures nearly any older device—even those with cases—should be able to be adapted to work with the Mobile by Peak Design system.

Peak Design is also supporting cross-compatibility between its mounting system and the new MagSafe connection found in Apple’s latest iPhone 12 devices. Specifically, Peak Design says its soft-locking mounts and accessories (tripod, wallet, charging stand, wall mount and car mounts) will work with Apple’s MagSafe phones and cases. Peak Design also says iPhone 12 devices in the Peak Design Everyday Case will work with Apple’s MagSafe charger and notes Apple’s MagSafe accessories, such as their wallet, will be able to be connected to a Peak Design Case, but it doesn’t specify how exactly that will be achieved.

As of the announcement of the Kickstarter campaign, Peak Design lists four different cases or adapters and eleven different accessories. An infographic overview of the ecosystem is shared below:

You can find out more information on the Mobile by Peak Design lineup by heading over to the Kickstarter campaign. Below is an infographic with a pricing breakdown for the various accessories, adapters and cases. As with all of Peak Design’s other products, all cases and accessories are individually serialized and guaranteed for life.

This is Peak Design’s 10th Kickstarter campaign and should, if it reaches its goal, ensure Peak Design surpasses smartwatch manufacturer Pebble for the all-time most money raised through Kickstarter campaigns — $43.4M.

After a successful funding and launch on Kickstarter, the Mobile by Peak Design system will be available to purchased through Peak Design’s online shops as well as partnered retailers in Spring 2021.

Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there’s always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.

Categories: Photo News

Nikon Z6 II and Z7 II: Should you buy one?

DP Review Latest news - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 06:00
My much-used Nikon Z7, purchased used from a friend (this guy) in late 2018.

Please note that the following article is very much a personal take, written from the perspective of someone who has been using an original Z7 for some time. Your needs (and your experience) may well vary greatly from mine, and I'd encourage you to read our launch content to get a feel for how well (or not) the Nikon Z6 II and Z7 II meet your requirements.

And with that out of the way...

Here at DPReview we get to use a lot of cameras and lenses in the course of our work (lucky us) but despite the availability of free loaner equipment, most of us still own and maintain a personal collection of gear. I'm talking about cameras, lenses and accessories purchased with our own money, for those times when we're not testing the latest and greatest new thing. Much of my favorite gear of the past few years has – when finances have allowed – made its way into my personal collection.

For two years, my main camera (alongside models from several other manufacturers, I hasten to add) has been the Nikon Z7. The Z7 divided opinion when it was released in 2018 (who knew that so many people couldn't live without a second card slot...?) but it met my fairly basic requirements very well. I needed high resolution in a compact body, image stabilization, a high–resolution viewfinder (with a priority on detail, rather than refresh rate), and a menu system which I could navigate without getting a headache. Something to replace my D810, with an emphasis on image quality rather than speed.

I had a running list of things I wanted fixed – or at least improved – in a future Z7 replacement

Fast-forward two years and my needs haven't changed that much. That being said, after spending so long with a single model as my primary 'creative' camera (and having used the raft of competitive full-frame options released by Canon, Sony and Panasonic in the intervening time), I had created a mental list of things I wanted fixed – or at least improved – in a future Z7 replacement.

In no particular order, here's my list – all of which might equally apply to the Z6.

  • Backlit controls
  • More customization for Fn buttons (for example the option to toggle silent shooting on/off)
  • Improved VR
  • Faster AF, better focus reliability in low light
  • A proper analog for 3D AF tracking as found in Nikon's DSLRs
  • Compatibility with 10–pin MC–30A release (the plug–in MC–DC2 is fiddly and flimsy)
  • A proper vertical grip
  • A less intrusive EVF electronic level
  • Greater articulation of rear LCD (and a less sensitive EVF/LCD switch)
  • More effective sensor cleaning / dust–reduction

Two things not on my list, but I know are very close to some peoples' hearts: Improved video, and twin card slots.

Of the 12 improvements and additions mentioned above, the Z7 II addresses four of them (highlighted in bold), but only two from my main list. The Z6 II and Z7 II are nearly impossible to tell apart from their predecessors, and that's quite revealing: They're extremely similar. Even the old MB-N10 battery grip will fit the the new cameras, which is good news for the five people who bought one.

Unlike the original Z6 and Z7, the new Mark II models are offered alongside a true vertical control grip, which duplicates controls for portrait-orientation shooting.

Is the provision for a proper vertical grip, and improved autofocus enough to make me upgrade from my Z7? Honestly...? probably not. I say 'probably' because I'm reserving judgement until I can judge for myself the improvement to AF in low light and the handling difference that the new grip makes when shooting with the Z 70–200mm F2.8 VR S. The fact is that – for me – the original Z7 is still a great camera, and here at DPReview, even two years on, we still consider the Z6/7 to be among the most pleasant to use of the full-frame ILCs currently on the market. If I buy a new camera in the next year or so, it might just end up being a second Z7, if the prices drop low enough. But if I do upgrade, at least I know that the process will be unusually painless (even custom tripod plates for the Z6/7 will fit the new models).

There are a lot of 'single issue voters' out there in the camera–buying world

Of course, that's just me. There are a lot of 'single issue voters' out there in the camera-buying world, whether that issue is the number of card slots, USB power, battery life, which way the focus ring rotates (FINALLY something you can customize in the Z6/7 II...) or whatever else.

The Z6 II and Z7 II have twin card slots. They can be powered over USB. They are, undoubtedly, faster and more powerful cameras than their predecessors. Nikon claims that their twin processors allow for improved low light AF performance, as well as more versatile face/eye-AF, reduced blackout time between shots, and faster continuous shooting. Hopefully, the increased processing power will allow Nikon to add more features via future firmware updates, too.

There will be a lot of people reading our launch coverage of the Z6 II and Z7 II and thinking (and no doubt already commenting) 'these are the cameras that the Z6 and Z7 should have been'. I think that's unfair (hindsight is cheap – R&D isn't), but they're certainly better cameras – and a more convincing entry-point into mirrorless for existing Nikon DSLR owners.

Because the new Z6 II and Z7 II are physically identical to their predecessors, custom plates from the likes of Acratech (shown here) Kirk and Really Right Stuff designed for the older cameras will also fit the new models.

That's crucial, because while the answer to the question 'should you upgrade from a Z6 or Z7 to the Z6 II or Z7 II?' is a resounding 'maybe...', for Nikon users considering whether to move into mirrorless for the first time, it's much more clear–cut.

If you're a D750 or D850 (or D5000–series or D7000–series) owner, you'll probably find these new cameras more attractive upgrade options than the original Z6 and Z7. They work in broadly the same way (if not exactly the same) as the DSLRs that you're used to, autofocus should be a little better, you can use your existing SD memory cards if you want, without the short–term need to invest in a new media type, and if you need proper vertical controls for portraits or long lens work, you got 'em. Meanwhile the extra processing power makes them a little more future-proof when it comes to firmware updates.

But what if you're not an existing Nikon DSLR user? Is the Z6 II a better option than (say) the Canon EOS R6, or Sony a7 III, or Panasonic Lumix DC–S5? That's not a question we can answer yet. They certainly look pretty competitive on paper, and you can see how their specs compare in our database, but bare numbers can only tell you so much. Rest assured though that we'll be testing both the Z6 II and Z7 II (and adding them to our Buying Guides) as soon as we receive final production samples.

Categories: Photo News

2021 Cadillac Escalade first drive review: American swagger - Roadshow

CNET Reviews - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 05:00
This overhauled SUV is the Cadillac we've promised for years, a true luxury contender with surprising tech chops.
Categories: Photo News

DPReview TV: The quality of light, and how different types of lights affect your photos

DP Review Latest news - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 00:00

Having light is critical for photography, but what about the quality of light? Our resident mad scientist, Don Komarechka, explains how different light sources can impact your photos.

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Categories: Photo News

2021 Genesis GV80 first drive review: A splashy, sumptuous and special SUV - Roadshow

CNET Reviews - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 21:01
Genesis may be late to the luxury SUV party, but this tour de force may have the goods to upend the establishment.
Categories: Photo News