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Updated: 26 min 1 sec ago

A closer look at the Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN for Micro Four Thirds

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 06:00

We've got a pair of Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN lenses in the office: one for Micro Four Thirds and the other for Sony E-mount. In this article we have some impressions of the MFT version, as well as some other lenses in this class worth considering.

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The 16mm F1.4 acts as a 32mm equivalent lens on the Micro Four Thirds platform. It's an interesting focal length to end up with: not quite 28mm equiv., which many people would consider the gateway to wide-angle, but also noticeably wider than the near-normal of 35mm equiv. I didn't expect it to make any difference but found myself constantly fighting against too much stuff creeping into the edges of the frame in a way that I don't with a 35mm.

In terms of handling, I felt the 16mm worked best when mounted on the larger Micro Four Thirds camera that feature prominent hand grips: its comparatively long length feeling a little unbalanced on the smaller, rangefinder-style boxes, though it's light enough that it doesn't end up feeling too front-heavy. The lens's only control point is a large by-wire focusing ring. It's a little under-damped for my tastes, rotating fairly freely but it was effective on the few occasions I ended up having to manual focus (turns out LED Christmas lights and autofocus do not always play nicely with one-another).

Optically, I was pretty impressed with the lens, the F1.4 (F2.8 35mm-equivalent) aperture gave me plenty of control over depth-of-field and sufficient light for low-light work. Sharpness seems good if not necessarily stellar and with what appears to be pretty good cross-frame consistency, until you reach the extreme corners. As you'd expect, the performance gets better if you stop down a couple of notches. The 16mm is pretty resistant to flare, even when given significant provocation, with good levels of contrast maintained even in contre jour images with veiling flare.

Autofocus was snappy to the degree that I didn't ever really have to think about it. Only the aforementioned Hybrid AF/LED Christmas light mismatch caused me to even give it a second thought. It's fast and quiet to the degree that you just don't notice it, and can concentrate on composing your shot instead.


My impression is that the Sigma is sharper, two thirds of a stop faster and comparably priced to the Olympus 17mm F1.8. However, I don't think it's quite as easy a win as that makes it sound. The Olympus is significantly smaller and features the lovely snap-back manual focus clutch and linear manual focus system (faux-cus by wire, perhaps?), both of which are definite bonuses. So, while I'd find it hard to choose between the two, I probably wouldn't rush out to replace a 17mm if I had one, not least because I personally prefer the narrower angle-of-view that the extra 1mm brings.

1mm in the opposite direction is the Panasonic 15mm F1.7. It usually retails for around $100 more than the Sigma, despite being rated as half a stop slower. Again it's smaller than the Sigma, meaning it handles better on a smaller camera body. Similarly, the 15mm offers a neat operational advantage over the DN, at least for Panasonic shooters: the lovely Leica M lens style front aperture ring (worth the extra $100 on its own, in my opinion and well worth lobbying Olympus for firmware support for, if you're on that side of the system). Optical performance is perhaps a step up from the Sigma, leaving the 16mm F1.4 DN DC as an attractive extra option for Micro Four Thirds but not an absolute must-have, from my perspective.

Categories: Photo News

Wedding photographer's work lambasted by clients in detailed 30-page report

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 13:50

A dissatisfied newlywed couple in Hong Kong have reportedly published a 30-page report that extensively details the various issues they have with photos taken by their wedding photographer.

The critique, which was released on Chinese social media and later published in a report by DCFever, is said to be written like a lab report, including highlighted explanations of alleged issues in individual images. Many of the images even included a rule-of-thirds overlay with specific compositional mistakes pointed out.

According to DCFever's video, the critique was "leaked" onto social media, where it has since been heavily discussed. Complaints reportedly include overexposed backgrounds and framing issues, with some commentators agreeing and others backing the photographer by saying that the photos hadn't yet been retouched.

It is unclear based on DCFever's written report whether the photos had been retouched before the couple received them, and whether the photographer was paid for their work. But if you want to see the full report for yourself, DCFever published several screenshots with thumbnails of the alleged wedding photos... for better or worse.

Categories: Photo News

AT&T won't sell the Huawei Mate 10 in the US over political concerns

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 13:30

Chinese device manufacturer Huawei was widely expected to announce its first distribution partnership for a flagship smartphone in the US with carrier AT&T at CES this week. However, the carrier pulled out of the agreement at the last minute for reasons that are not entirely clear, though there is some interesting speculation.

According to a report by the New York Times, it appears Huawei's strong ties with the Chinese government and a fear of espionage have played an important role in the decision. This means that Huawei yet again won't have an opportunity to compete eye-to-eye with its main rivals Apple and Samsung in the US, as its flagship device Mate 10 Pro will only be available to buy online, through retailers such as Amazon or Best Buy.

If you live in the US and are not so concerned about Chinese espionage, the Mate 10 Pro is definitely worth a closer look. With a 6-inch 18:9 OLED screen, Kirin 970 processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and its Leica-branded 12MP dual camera setup, it's firmly placed in the high-end bracket of the market. That's a lot smartphone for the $800 retail price.

Oh, and its camera is also one of the best among the current crop of flagship phones.

Categories: Photo News

Autel unveils the EVO drone, serious competition for the DJI Mavic Pro

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 13:12

Autel Robotics released something pretty exciting at CES this week, although it's stayed (ironically enough) somewhat under the radar so far. Meet the EVO: a folding, portable drone that looks like it could be the first serious competitor for DJI's extremely popular Mavic Pro.

When DJI first introduced the Mavic Pro—and later bumped up the battery life with the Mavic Pro Platinum—the company liked to say it had "revolutionized personal flight." The thing is, DJI kind of had a point: the Mavic Pro was both extremely portable and extremely capable, opening up the joys of droning to a whole new range of potential consumers.

But with the debut of the Autel EVO, DJI might want to watch its back.

At first, the EVO seems like an almost shot-for-shot remake of the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum. The folding drone looks very similar, both sport a 3-axis gimbal, both boast intelligent flight modes and obstacle avoidance, they both offer 30 minutes of flight time, and both feature a max operating distance of 4.2 miles (7 km).

Where the EVO manages to rise above (see what I did there...) the Mavic Pro Platinum is exactly where it counts: in the camera and remote control department.

The stabilized camera can shoot at 4K/60p (DJI maxes out at 4K/30p) and the remote comes with a built-in 3.3 inch OLED screen that gives you a live feed at up to 720p—no need to plug your phone into your drone's remote controller. Finally, the EVO also maxes out at a speed of 20 meters per second (44 miles per hour), which is just a hair faster than the Mavic Pro can handle.

Unfortunately, Autel isn't quite ready to commit to a specific release date for the EVO, but they did say it will arrive "very soon" and will cost $1,000 USD—that's $100 cheaper than the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum, or the same price as the standard Mavic Pro, which can't quite keep up on battery life.

With DJI suffering from some PR problems of late, Autel has a real opportunity to steal some Mavic market share here. For our part, we're going to try and get an EVO in the office for testing as soon as possible.

To learn more about the Evo, check out the full release below or head over to the Autel Robotics website.

Press Release

Autel Robotics Announces New Aircraft EVO at CES 2018

At CES 2018, Autel Robotics USA announced its new flagship aircraft line, the EVO.

EVO is a portable camera drone with foldable arms and a sleek, compact form factor. We’re incredibly excited about this product, and after showing it off at CES, are eager to get it out into the wild for our customers to enjoy.


  • 4K UHD 60FPS camera equipped on a 3-axis gimbal
  • Front & Downward (Computer Vision) and Rear (IR Sensor) Obstacle Avoidance Systems
  • 3.3 Inch built-in OLED screen remote controller with 720p live video
  • 30-minute flight time
  • Speeds up to 20 meters per second
  • 4300 mAh Li-Po Battery, 1.3 hour recharge time
  • 7km (4.2 mi) Range
  • Autel Explorer app allowing for intelligent flight features & more

We’ve been both humbled and honored by the overwhelmingly positive response to our announcement of the EVO. The EVO’s expected price point at launch is $999.00 USD. The launch date for the EVO will be announced as we close in further on our release timeline.

While we are close to launching, we want to ensure that we deliver products that provide the utmost quality and reliability for our customers.

Last year at CES we set some expectations that we did not achieve. We were not able to deliver a high quality, reliable offering with the Thermal and 1” Sensor for our X‑Star series. There are many reasons that these units did not come to fruition.

We realize that a big part of meeting our delivery goals for our customers is refining our messaging to ensure that we can always do what we say we will do.

Moving forward with EVO we will focus on that goal of communicating clearly and never overpromising. As such, all we can say for now as to EVO’s release date is “very soon”. We’ll publish details on our website and social media as soon as they are available.

Thank you for all of your support and feedback!

The Autel Robotics Team

Categories: Photo News

Yuneec's new Typhoon H Plus drone boasts a 1-inch sensor camera that shoots 4K 60p

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 08:11

Hong Kong drone manufacturer Yuneec has announced three new drones at CES, including an update to the popular Typhoon H that boasts a bigger sensor with more resolution and the ability to shoot 4K at 60fps.

The company is also preparing to move into the fixed-wing category with its Firebird FPV, and take on the racing drone sector with the compact HD Racer.

Yuneec Typhoon H Plus

The Typhon H Plus now uses a 1-inch, 20MP sensor along with a wide aperture lens that results in better low light performance. The company doesn’t specify what the aperture is, but it does say that the lens has a focal length equivalent to that of a 23mm lens on a full frame body. The ISO range runs from 100 to 6400, and shutter speeds of between 4-1/8000sec are possible.

The drone has a flight time of up to 25 minutes and can reach speeds of 13.5 meters per second (just over 30 miles per hour). With six large rotors the hexcopter provides stable flight in winds of up to 30mph, while a new design sees the machine producing 40% less noise.

Yuneec Firebird FPV

For a completely different experience, the fixed-wing Firebird FPV, "enables the user to fly just as if they were in the cockpit of a real airplane."

The airplane has a 13MP-sensor camera and can also shoot 4K video. It uses a ‘short-latency’ digital video link to stream footage back to Earth in high-definition. The craft is simple to fly and, according to Yuneec, can remain in the air for up to 30 minutes on a single charge.

Yuneec HD Racer

The HD Racer is designed to be a fun, portable quadcopter for use in indoor racing. It has a 13MP camera that can record 1080p video at 60fps, and it has a handy flip-over feature that allows the user to right the craft remotely should it land upside down at any stage.

The Typhon H Plus and Firebird FPV will ship in the first half of 2018 and will cost $1,800 and $700, respectively. The HD Racer will come out later in the year, and should cost $180. For more information on any of these drones, visit the Yuneec website.

Press Release

Yuneec unveils new product releases at CES 2018

Las Vegas (Jan. 09, 2018) - Yuneec entered two new categories with the unveiling of the all-new fixed wing Firebird FPV and all-new HD Racer for a more immersive flight. Additionally, the company announced the second generation of its proven six-rotor hex platform, Typhoon H Plus—its most powerful consumer product yet.

The category expansion and product line advancements are a result of Yuneec’s ongoing commitment to deliver industry leading technologies and pilot-centric features for an unparalleled electric aviation experience.

Typhoon H Plus

Typhoon H Plus is packed with powerful features and professional image quality that photographers at any skill level will enjoy. The second generation of Typhoon H features Yuneec’s all-new, larger, highly stable six rotor hex airframe.

With a 40 percent reduction in noise from previous hex models, and stable flight in winds up to 30mph, H Plus leads its category in stable flight and quiet operation.

Designed with the creative consumer in mind, Typhoon H Plus is equipped with a high aperture one-inch sensor camera capable of 20 megapixel stills and 4K resolution video at 60fps. The new model also boasts an improved low-light performance compared to previous models. A continuous rotation gimbal combined with retractable landing gear provides seamless 360-degree unobstructed views.

Typhoon H Plus comes equipped with Intel® RealSense™ Technology, a sophisticated collision avoidance system that detects obstacles and intelligently navigates around them. With this feature, drone pilots can worry less about obstacles and focus more on their flight path and camera work. Additionally, the Typhoon H Plus is accompanied by a newly redesigned Android-based ST16S controller, which includes a large, high brightness seven-inch integrated display and HD 720p video downlink for stunning real-time video reception.

HD Racer

The HD Racer, Yuneec’s first racing drone, fits in the palm of your hand and once in the air, gives pilots an immersive experience with cutting-edge technology.

Built-in flight stabilization, with beginner and advanced modes, allow any skill level of pilot to experience the nimble, action packed experience of a racing drone. Its compact size, protected blades, and durable construction make it safe to fly indoors.

While in the air, pilots can seamlessly navigate through any obstacle with an optimized, all-digital, low latency HD video downlink. Additionally, pilots can record and share their best racing moments in high resolution 1080p at 60fps. If pilots do catch an obstacle, ‘Flip-Up’ mode automatically uprights the downed HD Racer to maximize flying and minimize downtime.

Firebird FPV

Firebird FPV provides a fully immersive real-time outdoor flight experience, allowing the user to fly as if they were in the cockpit of a real airplane.

The lightweight fixed-wing design extends the flight time to 30 minutes, which allows users to experience the true nature of piloting an aircraft in one continuous journey. Whether soaring the open sky or performing acrobatic maneuvers including inverted flight, rolls and loops, the Firebird FPV elevates the senses for new and experienced pilots alike.

Its operation is simple and easy to fly at any skill level. Pilots can enable Safety Mode to remove all concern of flying too low by making it impossible to descend below the set floor altitude. Pilots will also appreciate Return Home, Geo Fence and Auto Landing capabilities of this easy-to-use fixed wing aircraft.

Categories: Photo News

Canon accidentally shared a composite photo shot with a Fuji all over social media

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 07:30

Well... this is awkward. Fstoppers has caught Canon Italy and Canon Spain sharing a photo all of their social media accounts—Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—the majority of which wasn't even taken with a Canon camera. In fact, it was shot using a Fuji X-T1, by popular landscape and travel photographer Elia Locardi.

You can compare the two photos for yourself below, but there is little doubt that large parts of Elia's photograph were used to create the one Canon shared:

The original photo, captured by Elia Locardi. Used with permission. The image Canon Italy and Canon Spain have shared all over social media.

As you can see the entire sky, parts of the water, and some foreground elements as well were lifted directly from Elia's original. In fact, as Fstoppers points out, there's even a few-pixel-sized bird in Elia's photo that was copied directly into the new shot.

We spoke to Elia this morning, and he told us that after a bit of sleuthing he was actually able to uncover the source of the image: a royalty free photograph on Unsplash that was allegedly taken in October of 2017 with a Canon 1D Mark IV. Elia has asked that we not "out" the photographer, but you can see the EXIF data in this screenshot:

From there, it doesn't take an advanced degree to figure out what happened. A social media team at Canon Europe took to Unsplash to find a royalty free picture to share. They probably searched for "Canon 1D Mark IV" and "Italy," and when they stumbled across this shot they had no idea that it was, in fact, not a single image but a composite of (at least) two photos... one of which was taken with a Fujifilm camera.

It's embarrassing, sure, but probably an honest mistake. As of this writing, the post is still live on Canon Italia and Canon Estana's Facebook and Instagram accounts, but we don't expect that to last much longer as this story gains traction in the blogosphere.

The photo as seen on the Canon Italia Instagram account this morning.

We've reached out to Canon for comment, and will update this post if and when we hear back.

Categories: Photo News

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S added to studio scene comparison

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 06:00

Our test scene is designed to simulate a variety of textures, colors and detail types you'll encounter in the real world. It also has two illumination modes to see the effect of different lighting conditions.

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We're hard at work on our review of Panasonic's video-focused Lumix DC-GH5S and have added it to our studio comparison tool. Here's a quick look$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-3892--2071317688").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(3892); }); }) at how it stacks up against the GH5 at very high sensitivities, and another versus Sony's a7S II$(document).ready(function() { $("#icl-3893-1117426504").click(function() { ImageComparisonWidgetLink(3893); }); }).

Categories: Photo News

LaCie unveils DJI Copilot 2TB portable hard drive with built-in display

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:35

Seagate has just announced the LaCie DJI Copilot, a portable hard drive for photographers and videographers who use camera drones. The device features a 2TB drive, as well as an integrated screen for viewing the drive's available capacity, the status of any data transfers that are underway, and how much power remains on the device's built-in battery.

The company describes the new LaCie drive as a full backup on-set solution (BOSS) that enables drone users to review their footage without carrying around a laptop. This is achieved via the Copilot BOSS companion app for smartphones and tablets, which supports full-resolution playback on mobile devices and enables users to organize and manage their content on-the-go.

The LaCie DJI Copilot also functions as a power bank for charging USB devices, such as a smartphone or action camera.

According to Seagate, the 2TB capacity is ample enough to store up to 65 hours of 4K/30fps footage and 20,000 or more raw images. Users can directly copy data from USB storage devices (including USB-C), cameras, SD cards, and drones to the drive. Other features include durable construction that is resistant to dust, splashes, and drops, an included 3 year 'Rescue Data Recovery' plan, and a 1-month Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps subscription.

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Seagate will start shipping the LaCie DJI Copilot portable storage drive this Spring for $350 USD. To learn more, head over to the LaCie website by clicking here.

Press Release

Seagate Teams Up With Industry-Leading Partners To Offer New Mobile Data Storage Solutions At CES 2018

Enables consumers and creative professionals to work, play and collaborate on-the-go, to get the best out of their data

LAS VEGAS, NV – CES 2018 – Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX), a world leader in data storage solutions, today announced a range of new products at the CES 2018 conference designed to equip the world’s increasingly mobile population with solutions that solve key challenges they face when creating, processing and accessing their data on-the-go.

“Our world is becoming more data-centric, connected and mobile. This means creating, transferring, storing and accessing data quickly and reliably is critical to unlocking the potential of everything – from data created in the field, to data powering self-driving cars, AI personal assistants or virtual and mixed reality experiences,” said Tim Bucher, senior vice president of Seagate consumer solutions. “At Seagate, we’re constantly pursuing innovative ways to address our customer needs so they can gain a competitive edge in whichever field they play.”

For example, videographers who want to capture footage in the field can now streamline their on-set workflow thanks to the second product offering from Seagate’s strategic partnership with DJI, the world’s leading manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles, which looks to advance data solutions for the UAV ecosystem. The new LaCie® DJI Copilot, with design by Neil Poulton, is a complete backup on-set solution – enabling drone users to quickly ingest and review their content in full resolution without a PC. This changes the game by allowing creative professionals and consumers to playback, copy and manage their drone footage from their mobile device without the hassle of leaving the field or booting up a computer. Users can quickly connect and reference the built-in screen to initiate direct file transfer from an SD card to LaCie DJI Copilot – without the need of a laptop or a mobile network. The Copilot BOSS (Back-up On-Set Solution) app by LaCie allows users to playback video in full resolution as well as manage and organize files with their mobile phone or tablet, and a built-in power bank recharges your mobile devices. With 2000GB (2TB) of storage, the LaCie DJI Copilot enables users to easily store up to 65 hours of 4K 30fps video footage and 20K+ RAW photos. The LaCie DJI Copilot’s street price in the U.S. will be $349 and will be shipping in the spring.

Another challenge facing many mobile users today is extending the storage and battery life of their smartphones so they can capture, access and view content for longer periods of time. For consumers in China and Indonesia – two countries with some of the highest concentrations of smartphones on the planet – owners of Android mobile devices can significantly extend the battery life and capacity of their smartphone or tablet with the new Seagate® Joy Drive. Whether consumers are on their morning commute or just out with friends, the Seagate Joy Drive enables them to access videos and other content anywhere, without the need for a WiFi connection or cellular service. Available first in China this March through an exclusive partnership with JingDong, one of China’s largest online retailers, the Seagate Joy Drive is available in 1000GB (1TB) capacity and has a street price in China of 660 CNY ($99). Seagate is also evaluating potential future markets and partners for this product.

In the meantime, on-the-go consumers worldwide can keep their files and lives in motion with the new Seagate® Fast SSD – an ultra-portable flash drive that teams fast performance of up to 540MB/s transfer rates, with shock-resistance and USB-C connectivity. Users can backup or sync their content using Seagate’s new Toolkit software. The Seagate Fast SSD is available in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities and has a street price in the U.S. of $99, $169 and $349, respectively and will be shipping in the spring.

Data security is one more growing concern for anyone using a mobile device. To address this challenge, Seagate is introducing the latest addition to its popular line of LaCie Rugged drives: the LaCie Rugged® Secure. Built to withstand all-terrain extreme conditions from photo shoots in sub-zero temperatures to repeated drops on hard studio floors, the Rugged Secure, with design by Neil Poulton, is the first Rugged drive to include hardware encryption using Seagate Secure™ technology. This new drive gives creative professionals and other users peace of mind that they can control access to their content. A simple disconnection of Rugged Secure from a computer will automatically lock the drive and access to the data stored and will remain password-protected via new Toolkit software. The LaCie Rugged Secure street price in the U.S. will be $139 for 2TB and will be shipping in the spring.

And for creative professionals and enthusiasts looking to try out the latest graphic design and video editing software from Adobe Systems, an expanded partnership between Adobe and Seagate now provides limited-time, no-cost access to Adobe’s latest applications bundled with popular Seagate and LaCie drives. Two new offerings available immediately include two complimentary months of the “Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan” (worth $19.98) – which features the new cloud-based photo service, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC – across the full range of Seagate Backup Plus and LaCie Porsche Design devices, as well as packaging one complimentary month of the “Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps plan” (worth $74.99) – which features Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC and much more – with all LaCie Rugged, LaCie d2 and LaCie big devices.

For more details, come ‘get your game on’ during CES 2018 in the Seagate Experience Zone at The Venetian. There you’ll find interactive product demos and live experiences that showcase how the latest Seagate and partner technologies are teaming up to unlock the potential of creative workflows, smart home technologies, gaming, edge computing and more. We’ll also be joined at CES by our partners including Adobe, Blackmagic, CyArk, DJI, Grab Games, ioSafe and Synology. You’ll be right in the middle of the action as you explore a hands-on studio for creative professionals, a drone stadium and a future technologies pavilion. You can also find more information on new products at:

DJI Copilot


Rugged Secure


Fast SSD


Joy Drive


Categories: Photo News

Hasselblad reveals the winners of the 2018 Masters Awards

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 08:56
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Eleven lucky photographers will be receiving a Hasselblad medium format kit after winning their categories in the Hasselblad Masters Awards 2018 competition. The company says the number of photographers that entered the contest increased by 175% this year, and a total of 31,500 images were submitted.

Ten categories were set with a generally open brief, with an additional section for photographers 21 years and younger. For the first time an aerial category was included, which was won by Jorge de la Torriente, a photographer from the USA. The USA produced three winners—the most from any one country—with other entries coming from Europe, Asia and Australia.

Entries were accepted taken on any brand of camera, with the only stipulation being that entrants should have been professional photographers for at least three years (other than for the under-21 category, of course).

For more information, and to see all the winning images, scroll through the gallery above, check out the video below, or visit the Hasselblad website.

Press Release

Hasselblad Announces Winners of the Masters Awards 2018

Hasselblad Masters is widely acclaimed as one of the world’s most prestigious professional photography competitions. The winners are chosen through a combination of a public vote and a professional Masters Jury - comprised of internationally renowned photographers and imaging experts.

Every Hasselblad Masters award winner will hold the title of ‘Hasselblad Master’ and be a brand ambassador for two years. In addition, they will receive a brand new Hasselblad medium format camera and be invited to shoot for a collaborative project with Hasselblad.

This project will be printed and released in the bi-annual Hasselblad Masters book.
Winners will receive their awards, medium format cameras, and trophies at a special Photokina 2018 ceremony in Cologne, Germany this September.

Bronius Rudnickas, Hasselblad Marketing Manager: “Over 30 000 images were submitted to this year’s competition and that was a record, we are glad to see the competition is growing every year.”

Masters Jury member and professional photographer Tom Oldham said: “It really struck me how progressive many of the entries were this year and how far the entrants were willing to push the brief. These were the photographers who caught my eye - the ballsy, out-there risk-takers who make compelling pictures that refuse to be ignored. I’m proud to have helped to get this great kit into their hands – their images deserve it.”

The Hasselblad Masters Awards 2018 winners are:

  • Aerial - Jorge de la Torriente – Miami, USA
  • Architecture - Kamilla Hanapova - St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Art - Maria Svarbova - Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Beauty & Fashion - Michal Baran - Trim, Ireland
  • Landscape - Benjamin Everett - Lopez Island, USA
  • Portrait - Tina Signesdottir Hult - Torvastad, Norway
  • Product - Marcin Gizycki - Warszawa, Poland
  • Project//21 - Nabil Rosman - Kota Bharu, Malaysia
  • Street / Urban - Ben Thomas - Kyneton, Australia
  • Wedding - Victor Hamke - Leipzig, Germany
  • Wildlife - Karim Iliya - Haiku, USA

The Hasselblad Masters Awards 2018 jury are:

  • Tom Oldham – Photographer
  • Ali Rajabi – Past Master
  • Martin Hausler – Photographer
  • Katrina Belkina – Past Master
  • Swee Oh – Past Master
  • Lars van de Goor – Past Master
  • Tim Flach – Photographer
  • Kevin Then – Photographer
  • Bara Prasilova – Past Master
  • Damien Demolder – Journalist
  • Blair Bunting – Photographer
  • Hans van Ommeren – Past Master
  • Mads Nissen – Photographer
  • Kevin Raber – Journalist

For more information and images, visit http://www.hasselblad.com/masters

Full Disclosure: Damien Demolder was one of the judges for this year's Hasselblad Masters Awards.

Categories: Photo News

ACE Eyewear are social-media connected camera sunglasses

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 08:31

If you are the kind of person who likes friends and social networks to 'participate' in what's going on in your life in real-time, the ACE Eyewear camera sunglasses might just be what you've been waiting for. These glasses allow for hands-free recording and live-streaming of video from your own point of view, all for a reservation fee of $100 (the total final cost of the shipping glasses is unclear).

The glasses feature an 8MP camera with a 120-degree wide-angle lens, which also allows you to record video at just under Full-HD resolution (1792 x 1168) and 24 frames per second. When connected through a smartphone’s Wi-Fi hot spot, the ACE can live-stream your video footage to Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.

A button at the top of the glasses starts recording and a built-in microphone takes care of the sound.

Thanks to a Dual Core MIPS 1.2GHz processor, power consumption during recording is low, allowing for up to 90 minutes of HD video recording or 40 minutes of live-streaming in addition to an 80-hour standby battery life. There is also 4GB of built-in memory, and files are managed via an accompanying app. All this technology fits into a pair of glasses that weighs only 50g (1.76oz) and comes with an IP65 rating for dust and splash resistance.

So far smartglasses have not really caught on with consumers, but the ACE Eyewear's low price and ability to stream to multiple networks give it an advantage over most competitors, and might make it more appealing to a larger audience.

You can find more information and pre-order a pair for yourself on the Ace Eyewear website. Delivery is planned for summer 2018.

Categories: Photo News

ACE Eyewear are $100 social-media connected camera sunglasses

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 08:31

If you are the kind of person who likes friends and social networks to 'participate' in what's going on in your life in real-time, the ACE Eyewear camera sunglasses might just be what you've been waiting for. These glasses allow for hands-free recording and live-streaming of video from your own point of view, all at a price of $100.

The glasses feature an 8MP camera with a 120-degree wide-angle lens, which also allows you to record video at just under Full-HD resolution (1792 x 1168) and 24 frames per second. When connected through a smartphone’s Wi-Fi hot spot, the ACE can live-stream your video footage to Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.

A button at the top of the glasses starts recording and a built-in microphone takes care of the sound.

Thanks to a Dual Core MIPS 1.2GHz processor, power consumption during recording is low, allowing for up to 90 minutes of HD video recording or 40 minutes of live-streaming in addition to an 80-hour standby battery life. There is also 4GB of built-in memory, and files are managed via an accompanying app. All this technology fits into a pair of glasses that weighs only 50g (1.76oz) and comes with an IP65 rating for dust and splash resistance.

So far smartglasses have not really caught on with consumers, but the ACE Eyewear's low price and ability to stream to multiple networks give it an advantage over most competitors, and might make it more appealing to a larger audience.

You can find more information and pre-order a pair for yourself on the Ace Eyewear website. Delivery is planned for summer 2018.

Categories: Photo News

Panasonic Lumix GH5S vs GH5: What's new?

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 06:00

The Panasonic GH5 is one of the the most capable video cameras available, but it's a hybrid camera that aims to please a stills-shooting crowd too. So what kind of camera could it be if it was only focused on shooting video? The GH5S is the product of Panasonic engineers grappling with that question. Here's a breakdown of what's changed from the GH5 in the quest to make it an even stronger video camera.

Low light / Dual Gain

The new sensor features dual gain design, which Panasonic refers to as 'Dual Native ISO' technology. The sensor uses two separate read-out circuits – one that maximizes dynamic range at lower ISOs, and one that maximizes noise performance (at the cost of dynamic range). The first is used from ISO 160-640, with the camera switching to the second at ISO 800, allowing better high ISO performance than the standard GH5.

We've seen this technology before but we've not previously seen the option, present on the GH5S, that allows the camera to be locked into one of its modes (and limiting the available ISO options). We're not entirely sure what the benefit of this is supposed to be.

Note that, while Panasonic refers to 'Native' ISO settings of 400 and 2500, this is rather woolly videography terminology, which should not be confused with the concept of 'base' ISO.

Multi-aspect sensor

We've long been a fan of Panasonic's multi-aspect sensors for stills shooting, and it makes an appearance in the GH5S. The camera's total resolution is 12.5MP with a sensor larger than the Micro Four Thirds image circle: it offers up to 10.2MP crops of that total area, rather than further cropping in from the 4:3 area. This makes native DCI and UHD 4K recording possible, without having to keep cropping in further and further.

This means devoting the most possible sensor area to each of its crop modes, which benefits image quality and means that your wide-angle lenses are just as wide in ~17:9 DCI 4K mode as they are for standard 4:3 stills.

DCI 4K at 60/50p

The GH5 is capable of UHD 4K 60p/50p capture, but DCI capture tops out at 24p. Not so on the GH5S: it's capable of 60p, 50p, 30p and 25p DCI as well as 24p. Thanks to that multi-aspect sensor, the GH5S' angle of view when capturing DCI footage should also be noticeably wider.

14-bit Raw but slower shooting

The GH5S adds a 14-bit Raw option, which as we all know, means greater potential for dynamic range capture. The GH5 was already bumping up against the limits of how much DR could be fitted into a 12-bit file, and the GH5S's larger pixels mean that it should benefit from a little more room. That said, the real-world differences will only become apparent if you use those really deep shadows in your images.

It can be used in burst shooting, though at a cost to speed: 7 fps with autofocus and auto exposure, versus 9 fps at 12-bit in the GH5. The GH5S can be switched to 12-bit mode, at which point it'll reach 8fps with continuous AF.

No Stabilization

The camera's sensor-based stabilization is gone, which may on the surface sound like an odd decision, but makes a lot of sense for pro video shooters who are often working with their own stabilized rigs and gimbals. The floating sensor design used by the GH5's stabilization system can interact with gimbals even when it's turned off, so removing it entirely solves the problem. It's another clear appeal to pro video shooters, rather than a stills shooter looking for an occasional 'run and gun' video solution.

We've seen a degree of scepticism about Panasonic's reasoning but, if you assume there's some heat dissipation benefit for bonding the sensor to a solid object and you recognize that the camera is already shooting out to the edges of the Micro Four Thirds image circle, there may be no way of doing what the GH5S does and providing stabilization.

More VFR options

Variable framerate options have been expanded. The GH5S can capture a maximum of 240 fps in full HD and 60 fps for both DCI and UHD 4K, for slowdown to between 24 and 60p. The GH5 only offers up to 180 fps in FHD and its 60 fps 4K is limited to UHD mode. This makes it possible to create up to 10x slow-motion footage in FHD with the GH5S, though we're told there's an additional crop and loss of quality if you exceed 200 fps capture.

Timecode in/out synchronization

Timecode in/out synchronization is supported via the camera's flash sync terminal. This makes it easier to incorporate the GH5S into a multi-camera setup; when files are brought into an editor like Final Cut Pro, the timecodes are automatically detected and synchronized.

A flash sync socket to BNC adaptor lead is included in the box.

Mic options

While the GH5 offers a standard microphone plug-in, the GH5S offers a more robust option that supports line in and phantom power, allowing its use with a wider range of audio sources.

120fps viewfinder

The GH5S uses the same 3680k-dot OLED panel used by the GH5 with one key difference – and improved 120 fps refresh rate. We'd wager a guess that this possible because less pixels need to be read out from the sensor. Whether or not that's true, 120 fps will give a more natural view of the world that anyone looking at it can appreciate.

VLogL as standard

V-LogL came to the GH5 after launch as an optional firmware upgrade. In the GH5S, it's a standard feature. An LUT (look up table) can be uploaded to the camera via SD card, making it possible to preview grading corrections that will eventually be applied to the flat-looking V-LogL footage.

Whereas a Log-upgraded GH5 can apply this correction LUT to its live preview, the GH5S can also apply it when playing back the footage.

Different AF performance

Panasonic claims the GH5S can autofocus down to -5EV, or roughly as dark as a moonlit night with no other light source. This appears to come at a slight cost of speed, however. The GH5 claims a maximum AF acquisition speed of 0.05 seconds; the GH5S claims 0.07 seconds.

Cost of lower resolution

The most easily identifiable difference between the two cameras' spec sheets is sensor resolution: the GH5S offers 10.2MP resolution compared to the GH5's 20.3MP. It provides the 4K resolution that video shooters require, but allows Panasonic to use larger pixels. Coupled with 14-bit Raw mode, this presents a dynamic range benefit, but it also means there are fewer pixels to read out. This should result in less rolling shutter.

So the move to a 10MP sensor seems like a no-brainer: do away with resolution that video shooters don't really need. It also means the GH5S can have an anti-aliasing filter tuned to reduce the risk of moiré when video shooting. But in addition to this benefit, there are some drawbacks.

The sensor's lower resolution means it can't offer the GH5's '6K' high resolution anamorphic modes, but it can still show a de-squeezed preview with framing guides. The GH5's '6K Photo' modes are also absent from the GH5S.


With the GH5S, Panasonic's engineers have taken on a challenge to convert a hybrid camera into an even more movie-centric shooter. While the two cameras are identical on the outside, Panasonic has made some interesting moves to optimize the camera for video pros' needs.

Categories: Photo News

WD launches two new portable SSDs designed for photographers and drone users

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 14:03

In addition to revealing the world's smallest 1TB USB-C flash drive, Western Digital has launched two new portable SSDs specifically designed for "avid photographers and drone enthusiasts" at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD offers both high performance and durability in an extremely portable package, while the My Passport Wireless SSD gives photographers a solid state version of WD's popular My Wireless Pro, which features built-in WiFi, an SD card slot, and other convenient features for photographers on-the-go.

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is a lightweight (79g / .17lbs) pocket-sized USB-C drive encased in a durable housing with an IP55 dust- and water-resistant rating. Thanks to the housing, the drive can withstand operating temperatures ranging from 0°C to 45°C (32°F to 113°F), as well as storage temperatures ranging from -20°C to 70°C (-4°F to 158°F).

The Extreme Portable SSD drive has a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface, read speeds up to 550MB/s, and out-of-the-box compatibility with Windows and macOS.

The drives are currently listed on SanDisk's website as "not in stock" at the following capacities and price points: 250GB for $100, 500GB for $170, 1TB for $350, and 2TB for $700.

WD My Passport Wireless SSD

The My Passport Wireless SSD, as the name suggests, is a solid state version/update to the original My Passport Wireless Pro that we reviewed and actually quite liked.

Housed in an enclosure with an integrated 802.11ac wireless connection, this drive allows users to access content on the drive over WiFi, including streaming 4K videos to a computer or mobile device. The wireless feature works with the My Cloud mobile app, as well as some third-party apps including LumaFusion and FiLMiC Pro.

In addition to wireless access, this My Passport product also has an integrated SD card reader so that photos and videos can be copied onto the SSD directly from the media card at speeds up to 65MB/s. For other types of media cards, the Wireless SSD supports direct transfers via a cable and connected media card adapter. Finally, the drive also features a USB port for transferring content to a computer via USB 3.0 at speeds up to 390MB/s.

Because this model has built-in wireless, Western Digital has packed a 6700mAh battery into the drive case, enabling the WiFi feature to be used for up to 10 hours before it needs to be recharged. And for convenience' sake, the device's built-in battery doubles as a power bank for charging other USB devices, such as a smartphone.

The My Passport Wireless SSD will be available in 250GB ($230), 500GB ($300), 1TB ($500), and 2TB ($800) capacities. Pre-orders are available now, with shipping estimated to start on February 15th.

Categories: Photo News

Ricoh courts developers with plug-in program for the Theta V 360 camera

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 12:39
DPReview Ricoh Theta V hands-on photo. Credit: Jeff Keller.

Ricoh has just announced a so-called Partner Program for the 360° Ricoh Theta V. Taking advantage of the fact that the Theta V runs the Android operating system, Ricoh is setting up a program that will allow developers to create plug-ins specifically tailored to the camera.

The idea is actually kind of brilliant, as DPReview's own Dale Baskin explains:

This is interesting because most consumer-grade 360° cameras really don’t do anything unique. What makes them useful is the software (which is why I really liked the Rylo). I think Ricoh is smart to open their platform up to developers as someone may come up with a really interesting feature that could potentially drive sales of the hardware.

What we're not clear on is to what degree developers will be able to create features from scratch, given that Ricoh uses the word "plug-in" to describe what they'll be creating. The Partner Program graphic Ricoh released isn't much help in that department either:

"Based on the Android operating system, the RICOH THETA V provides a user-friendly way for third-parties to not only create apps and software that extend and enhance the capabilities of 360-degree imaging but also new features and functionality for the camera itself," reads Ricoh's announcement. "These can include customized capabilities that enhance the RICOH THETA V's use for specialty applications and in vertical markets."

The first step is to give developers access to the Theta V API and SDK. And once the apps and plug-ins start flowing, Ricoh will make them available for download through "an online RICOH THETA V partner marketplace where plug-ins can be uploaded and shared."

We consider this a step in the right direction for Ricoh, and a good reason to keep an eye on the Theta V in the weeks and months to come. The Partner Program is set to launch in Spring of 2018, at which point Ricoh hopes the Theta V will become "a constantly evolving product."

Press Release

Ricoh announces Plug-in Partner Program for RICOH THETA V

Launching spring 2018, initiative includes an online marketplace where third parties can upload and share their Android-based plug-ins for the popular consumer 360-degree camera

LAS VEGAS (CES 2018, South Plaza, Booth #64704), January 8, 2018 - Ricoh today announced the RICOH THETA V Partner Program, which will launch in spring 2018.

The new program will support third-party developers interested in creating their own Android™-based plug-ins for the RICOH THETA V, the top-of-the-line Ricoh 360-degree camera capable of capturing fully-spherical photos and 4K video. The program will be featured at CES 2018, where attendees will be able to get a hands on experience creating their own plug-in, resulting in the creation of a new feature for the RICOH THETA V camera.

Based on the Android operating system, the RICOH THETA V provides a user-friendly way for third-parties to not only create apps and software that extend and enhance the capabilities of 360-degree imaging but also new features and functionality for the camera itself. These can include customized capabilities that enhance the RICOH THETA V's use for specialty applications and in vertical markets. As part of the program, Ricoh is making available the RICOH THETA V's application program interface (API) and software development kit (SDK) and will provide tools and guidance to support plug-in development. It will also open an online RICOH THETA V partner marketplace, where plug-ins can be uploaded and shared.

A unique plug-in preinstalled in the RICOH THETA V enables “Remote Playback,”*1 which makes it possible, using a compatible wireless display adapter, to mirror playback of 360-degree still images and video data stored on the camera on a large screen monitor.

“By opening the platform for application development, we are enabling the RICOH THETA V to be a constantly evolving product. For this reason, we are very excited about the new partner program,” said Wataru Ohtani, Corporate Associate Vice President and General Manager of Smart Vision Business Group, Ricoh Company Ltd. “The RICOH THETA V Plug-in Partner Program will enable third-party companies and developers to create custom features and services. Our goal is for consumers and businesses alike to benefit from RICOH THETA V and to become a standard platform for the 360-degree imagery.”

When launched in 2013, the RICOH THETA was the world's first 360-degree*2, single-shot camera, enabling users to express themselves in new and unique ways. 360-degree still photos and videos redefined photography by giving the viewer the ability to control what he or she sees in a scene. In addition, the resulting 360-degree images were easily shared with others, allowing them to virtually experience a scene as if they were there.

Today, the RICOH THETA cameras are being used for a broad range of consumer and business applications, ranging from documenting vacation memories to photojournalism, law enforcement, real estate listings and virtual tours, and much more.

*1. Other devices are required, including the separate wireless display adapter.
*2. In the consumer products category, a camera capable of capturing fully spherical scenes surrounding the user in one shot. (as of October, 2013 investigated by Ricoh)
Categories: Photo News

Kodak launches KODAKCoin 'photo-centric cryptocurrency' and KODAKOne platform

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:49

Amidst all of the CES 2018 news big and small, Kodak managed to drop what might be the most shocking announcement of the week: together with WENN Digital, Kodak will be launching its own "photo-centric cryptocurrency" called KODAKCoin alongside a blockchain-powered image rights platform called KODAKOne.

The cryptocurrency and platform are meant to "empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management."

The KODAKOne platform does this the same way Binded (formerly Blokai) does: by using blockchain technology to create an "encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership" where photographers can simply and securely register their new and old work. The difference being, of course, that Kodak is setting up its OWN blockchain and cryptocurrency rather than piggybacking upon an existing one.

Once registered, photographers can license their work through the KODAKOne platform, and the platform will continually crawl the web and monitor for infringement of registered images.

The KODAKCoin cryptocurrency, meanwhile, is meant to create a "new economy for photography." Images licensed through KODAKOne will be paid for in KODAKCoin, which Wenn and Kodak both promise is "subject to the highest standards of compliance." A cryptocurrency for photographers, with digital rights management built right in.

For now, if you visit the KODAKCoin website, you'll be greeted by the splash screen below, but that should be gone with the day:

“For many in the tech industry, ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ are hot buzzwords, but for photographers who’ve long struggled to assert control over their work and how it’s used, these buzzwords are the keys to solving what felt like an unsolvable problem,” says Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke. “Kodak has always sought to democratize photography and make licensing fair to artists. These technologies give the photography community an innovative and easy way to do just that.”

Of course, all of this is predicated on the idea that the KODAKCoin launch actually goes well. The SEC Regulated Initial Coin Offering for KODAKCoin is scheduled for January 31st, and open to "accredited investors" from the US, UK, Canada and a few other unnamed "select countries."

To learn more about KODAKOne and KODAKCoin, visit the main Kodak website for now, or check out the official KODAKCoin website when it launches in 24 hours' time.

Press Release

KODAK and WENN Digital Partner to Launch Major Blockchain Initiative and Cryptocurrency

KODAKOne platform and KODAKCoin cryptocurrency give photographers a new revenue stream and a secure platform for protecting their work

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Today Kodak and WENN Digital, in a licensing partnership, announced the launch of the KODAKOne image rights management platform and KODAKCoin, a photo-centric cryptocurrency to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management.

Utilizing blockchain technology, the KODAKOne platform will create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers to register both new and archive work that they can then license within the platform. With KODAKCoin, participating photographers are invited to take part in a new economy for photography, receive payment for licensing their work immediately upon sale, and for both professional and amateur photographers, sell their work confidently on a secure blockchain platform. KODAKOne platform provides continual web crawling in order to monitor and protect the IP of the images registered in the KODAKOne system. Where unlicensed usage of images is detected, the KODAKOne platform can efficiently manage the post-licensing process in order to reward photographers.

“For many in the tech industry, ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ are hot buzzwords, but for photographers who’ve long struggled to assert control over their work and how it’s used, these buzzwords are the keys to solving what felt like an unsolvable problem,” said Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke. “Kodak has always sought to democratize photography and make licensing fair to artists. These technologies give the photography community an innovative and easy way to do just that.”

“Engaging with a new platform, it is critical photographers know their work and their income is handled securely and with trust, which is exactly what we did with KODAKCoin,” said WENN Digital CEO Jan Denecke. “Subject to the highest standards of compliance, KODAKCoin is all about paying photographers fairly and giving them an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new economy tailored for them, with secure asset rights management built right in.”

The initial coin offering will open on January 31, 2018 and is open to accredited investors from the U.S., UK, Canada and other select countries. For more information visit www.kodakcoin.com. This initial Coin Offering is issued under SEC guidelines as a security token under Regulation 506 (c) as an exempt offering.

For more information and to sign up for product updates, please visit www.kodak.com/go/kodakone.

Categories: Photo News

YI's Horizon VR180 captures stereoscopic 3D stills and videos at 5.7K

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:15
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YI Technology, in partnership with Google's VR team, has announced its Horizon VR180 stereoscopic 3D camera. The VR180 takes advantage of Google's format of the same name, which allows for viewing of 180° material on popular VR headsets, such as the Daydream, Cardboard and Playstation VR.

The VR180 can capture video and stills at 5.7K/30p with the push of its single record button, with instant stitching and live streaming capability. It has a 2.2" LCD touchscreen, Type-C USB port, and 4 microphones with noise reduction. The VR180 can be accessed using Google's VR180 app.

Pricing and availability have not been announced.

Press Release

YI Technology and Google Unveil YI Horizon VR180 Camera at CES 2018

Users and Viewers Can Easily Make and View More Immersive Videos Using 3D Camera for Google’s VR180 Format

CES, LAS VEGAS – January 9th, 2018 – YI Technology (YI), the leading provider of advanced, intelligent imaging technologies, in collaboration with Google’s Virtual Reality (VR) team, announced details of its YI Horizon VR180 Camera. Developed to leverage Google’s new VR180 format, the stereoscopic, 3-D camera gives users an easy way to capture high-resolution, immersive video that lets anyone who views it immediately transport to new and amazing places.

YI Horizon VR180 seamlessly integrates with YouTube and Google Photos so viewers can easily activate a VR experience when viewed with Google Cardboard, Daydream, PSVR, and a number of other certified VR viewers. Viewers can also easily view the content in 2D. With an intuitive and sleek design, the YI Horizon VR180 Camera captures 3D video in 5.7K resolution at 30 frames per second (fps) and video looks great on desktop or mobile. The camera also features instant in-device stitching and supports live streaming so creators and fans can be together in real time.

“We truly believe that it should be easy for everyone to create and share virtual reality experiences,” said Sean Da, CEO of YI Technology. “Whether it is to demonstrate a makeup tutorial or share rich experiences from a recent trip with friends and loved ones, the YI Horizon VR180 Camera provides an easy and deeply engaging way to capture many of life’s most special moments. When the opportunity to work closely with Google’s VR team on this initiative presented itself, it was a no-brainer given the team’s extraordinary commitment to defining the future of VR experiences and extensive investment in the YouTube VR180 format. We believe the YI Horizon VR180 Camera will bring endless amounts of joy to all that use the device.”

"We introduced VR180 as a way to make capturing high quality, immersive photos and video easy for consumers and professional creators" said Clay Bavor, VP of VR at Google. "YI's camera has amazing image quality, as well as features that we think will be compelling for creators like livestreaming and a preview display. We're excited to see what consumers and creators are able to capture and bring to virtual reality."

Key YI Horizon VR180 Camera Features:
● Capture stunning 5.7k resolution photos and video
● One-button live video streaming
● 2.2 inch, 640x360 retina touch screen
● Features Type-C USB port with HD speed data transmission
● Professional-grade 4 microphone design with outdoor noise reduction
● Easily manage photos and videos by using the VR180 app by Google
● Compatible with YouTube and Google Photos

To learn more, please visit www.yitechnology.com/180-vr-camera, and to learn more about YI Technology’s other VR offerings go to yitechnology.com/yi-360-vr-camera and yitechnology.com/yi-halo-vr-camera. To learn more about Daydream’s VR180 program visit vr.google.com/vr180.

Categories: Photo News

Western Digital reveals world's smallest 1TB USB-C flash drive at CES

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:11

At CES 2018, Western Digital has introduced what it calls the world's smallest 1TB flash drive, a tiny USB-C model sporting the SanDisk brand. This flash drive isn't yet available on the market; instead, it's acting as a demonstration of Western Digital's latest advances in storage innovation.

The SanDisk 1TB USB-C model has a "classic" long flash drive form factor—not the newer form factor that fits almost entirely within a USB port—but the company managed to squeeze a full terabyte of storage into this still-tiny size, though it hasn't provided additional details such as speed, cost, or anticipated launch date.

In addition to showcasing the 1TB USB-C drive, Western Digital has launched the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive, a model it calls the smallest 256GB USB drive in the world. This drive features a low-profile form factor and a read speed up to 130MB/s.

The flash drive is currently listed on the SanDisk website for $150 USD, but is still shown as not-in-stock.

Categories: Photo News

Sony Xperia XA2 and XA 2 Ultra put high-end camera tech in mid-range phones

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 10:52

Most mobile manufacturers tend to unveil new flagship smartphones at or around MWC in February or IFA in September, but occasionally interesting mid-rangers pop up at CES as well. That's the case with the Sony Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra devices, which were just launched this morning at the Las Vegas show.

Powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 630 chipset and sporting 1080p Full-HD displays, the new devices fit squarely in the mid-range bracket of the market, and yet they boast a lot of camera technology from the Japanese manufacturer's high-end Xperia XZ flagship models, making them an appealing option for mobile photographers who can do without the most powerful processor or highest screen resolution.

Both models feature 1/2.3-inch 23MP Exmor RS sensors in the rear camera. The imager chip is coupled with an F2.0 aperture and the camera offers a 24mm equivalent focal length, phase detection autofocus, LED flash and 4K video recording. There's also a 120 fps slow-motion mode; however, XA2 users will have to make do without the XZ models' unique 1000 fps ultra-slow-motion feature. In typical Sony fashion, optical image stabilization has been omitted as well.

While the main cameras are identical on the standard XA2 and the Ultra model, there is a difference at the front. The XA2 features an 8MP camera with a 120° field of view, while the Ultra model features an additional stabilized 16MP camera with a 80° field of view, allowing users to easily switch between solo and group selfies. Other differences between the two models are pretty much limited to screen size (5.3-inch on the XA2 vs 6-inch on the Ultra) and battery (3200 mAh on the XA2 vs 3500 mAh on the Ultra).

The XA2 models will be available from February, and will retail at 350 Euros (~$420 USD) for the standard XA2 and 450 Euros (~$535 USD) for the Ultra—no word yet on official US pricing. To find out more about these phones or check out some image samples shot with the XA2 and XA2 Ultra, visit the Sony website.

Categories: Photo News

'Water Torture Test' compares Canon, Nikon, Sony and Olympus weather sealing

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 10:44

As part of their Camera of the Year comparison between the Nikon D850 and the Sony a7R III, Imaging Resource decided to test the cameras' weather sealing with their very own "water torture test." And just to spice things up a bit, they threw in the Canon 5D Mark IV and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II for good measure.

All four cameras were subjected to a "brief, moderately heavy rain shower and misty conditions," and despite what you may think about all top-tier cameras being more alike than different on the weather sealing front, not all four bodies coped well. You can watch the test above or visit Imaging Resource for an in-depth report on their weather sealing tests, but if you want the TL;DR (or DW), it goes something like this:

  • The Canon 5D Mark IV and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II both passed without so much as a stutter. No water getting anywhere it shouldn't have.
  • The Nikon D850 sprung a small leak into the viewfinder unless the Nikon BS-3 hot shoe cover was used. Everything else stayed dry.
  • The Sony a7R III performed the worst by far, leaking a significant amount of water into the battery compartment (seemingly from above), and malfunctioning entirely during IR's 15-minute 'heavy mist' test.

Of course, one should be careful making sweeping generalizations based on testing one copy of each camera, but if this test is indicative of all Sony a7R III's weather sealing, Sony might want to take note of IR's results as they go about designing the Mark IV.

Check out the in-depth review for more details on how each of the four models performed.

Categories: Photo News

40 kg 'Fake Leica' steel sculpture by Liao Yibai appears on eBay for $100,000

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 09:10

A smaller version of the stainless steel "Fake Leica" sculpture made by Chinese artist Liao Yibai (and found in the Leica Store LA) has appeared on eBay with a buy it now price of $99,995 USD. The auction was posted by Leica Store Lisse in the Netherlands, which is also accepting offers from potential buyers via the online auction.

Though this is a smaller version of the original, the "Fake Leica" in the auction is quite hefty at 40kg / 88lbs, resulting i $350 in shipping cost—then again, if you're already spending almost $100K on the thing, what's an extra $350 for shipping?

The sculpture measures about 44,8 x 76,2 x 48,9cm / 17 x 30 x 19.25in and is very rare, having the serial number 8/12. This sculpture, as with the original, is highly detailed.

This doesn't appear to be the first time Leica Store Lisse has listed this particular auction. Leica Rumors reported back in early 2016 that the Netherlands store was selling a small "Fake Leica" sculpture with the serial number 8/12. In its most recent auction, the store notes that a different "Fake Leica" sculpture sold in November 2013 through Westlicht Auction for 96,000 Euro (~$115K USD by today's exchange rate).

Categories: Photo News