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Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 First Impressions Review and Sample Gallery

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 05:00

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 is a rangefinder-style Micro Four Thirds camera whose most recognizable feature is its tilting electronic viewfinder. The GX9 provides a healthy serving of new features and performance improvements over its predecessor, the GX8.

The most notable changes include the removal of the low-pass filter on the GX9's 20MP sensor, 5-axis in-body image stabilization (up from 4-axis), slightly faster burst shooting and Bluetooth connectivity. The shutter unit has also been redesigned, with Panasonic claiming a 90% reduction in 'shutter shock' compared to the GX8. There's also a built-in flash - something the GX8 lacked - as well as some tweaks to image processing.

Panasonic appears to have rearranged their lineup a bit, with the GX9 serving more as a midrange model than its predecessors, sitting alongside the DSLR-style DMC-G85. The price has come down to $999 with a kit lens, compared to $1199 for the GX8's body alone. Alongside the price drop, some features found on the GX8 are now gone, such as weather-sealing. The EVF is smaller and battery life has dropped by about 25%, as well.

The GX9's closest peers are the Fujifilm X-E3 and Sony's a6300, both of which have 24MP APS-C sensors, hybrid autofocus systems (which the GX9 lacks) and 4K video capture.

* The 12-32mm lens pictured above is not the kit lens, which is the Panasonic Lumix G 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 OIS.

Key Specifications
  • 20.3MP Four Thirds sensor with no low-pass filter
  • 'Dual IS' 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • Depth from Defocus contrast-detect AF
  • Tilting 2.76M-dot electronic viewfinder
  • 3" 1.24M-dot touchscreen display
  • 6 fps burst shooting with continuous AF
  • 4K UHD video capture at 30p
  • Built-in flash
  • Redesigned shutter mechanism with electromagnetic drive
  • New L. Monochrome D and Grain Effect color modes
  • Wi-Fi + Bluetooth

All-in-all that's a pretty nice feature set, with the removal of the low-pass filter promising better resolution and the new shutter reducing the shutter shock which plagued its predecessor. Panasonic also added some new tricks to its 4K Photo mode that we'll touch on later.

Compared to...

Now let's take a look at how the GX9 not only compares to its predecessor but also how it stacks up against Fuji's X-E3 and Sony's a6300.

Panasonic GX9 Panasonic GX8 Fujifilm X-E3 Sony a6300 MSRP $999 (w/12-60mm lens) $1199 (body only) $1299 (w/18-55mm lens) $999 (w/16-50mm lens) Sensor 20MP Four Thirds (no OLPF) 20MP Four Thirds 24MP X-Trans APS-C 24MP APS-C Image stabilization 5-axis (Dual IS) 4-axis (Dual IS) Lens only Lens only ISO range (full) 100-25600 100-51200 AF system Contrast-detect (DFD) Hybrid Hybrid AF joystick No Yes No Burst rate (C-AF) 6 fps 8 fps LCD 1.24M-dot tilting 3" touchscreen 1.04M-dot fully articulating 3" touchscreen 1.04M-dot fixed 3" touchscreen 921k-dot tilting 3" touchscreen Viewfinder 2.76M-dot LCoS (tilting) 2.36M-dot OLED (tilting) 2.36M-dot OLED (fixed) Viewfinder magnification 0.7x equiv. 0.77x equiv. 0.62x equiv. 0.71x equiv. Built-in flash Yes No Yes Video 4K UHD @ 30p Wi-Fi Yes, w/BT Yes Yes, w/BT Yes, w/NFC Weather-sealed No Yes No Yes Battery life 260 shots 340 shots 350 shots Dimensions 124 x 72 x 47mm 133 x 78 x 63mm 121 x 74 x 43mm 120 x 67 x 49mm Weight (CIPA) 450 g 487 g 337 g 404 g The GX9 (left) is noticeably smaller than the GX8.

You can see that the differences between the GX9 and GX8 are a mixed bag. The GX9 loses the low-pass filter, get an extra axis (rotation) of image stabilization and adds Bluetooth and a flash. However, its viewfinder is smaller, body no longer weather-sealed and battery life has taken a turn for the worse. Speaking of viewfinders, Panasonic has gone back to a field sequential panel (a different technology than traditional LCD or OLED,) which some people may find distracting due to 'color tearing'. The LCD is now tilting versus fully articulating, which some people may find as an upgrade, and others will not.

The 20MP Live MOS sensor on the GX8 is as high resolution as you'll find on a Micro Four Thirds camera, though larger APS-C sensors perform a bit better at high sensitivities. Both the X-E3 and a6300 have hybrid (contrast + phase detect) autofocus systems, though Panasonic's DFD system has performed quite well despite lacking phase-detection. The GX8 has higher resolution LCDs and an EVF that's quite a bit bigger than the X-E3's. Both the X-E3 and a6300 have faster burst rates and 35% higher battery life.

Accessories

Two accessories for the DC-GX9 really caught our eye, and would likely be placed in the shopping cart next to the camera if we bought one.

The GX9 shown with its optional DMW-HGR2 grip.

The GX9 doesn't have a huge grip and we found ourselves really liking the available DMW-HGR2 grip. The grip protrudes quite a bit, so smaller hands might find it a bit too substantial, but those of us in the DPReview office who tried it had no complaints. The one downside is that it must be removed in order to access the battery and memory card compartment.

GX9 with optional DMW-EC5 eyecup.

If you find yourself shooting outdoors with the EVF then the DMC-EC5 eyecup is a must. Without the eyecup this reviewer found himself using his left hand to keep light out of the viewfinder, rather than bracing the camera for stability, and for $19, buying it is a no-brainer. Getting at the diopter correction knob can be a bit challenging with it attached, though.

Pricing and Availability

The DC-GX9 will begin shipping in early March at a price of $999 with the Panasonic Lumix G 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens. (Keep in mind that the GX8 launched at $1199, body only.) Other regions will likely have other kits available.

Color choices include black or silver.

Categories: Photo News

Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200/TZ200: First Impressions Review

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 05:00

Meet the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 / TZ200: the world's furthest reaching pocketable 1" -type camera. It sits beside the near-identical-looking ZS100 as the longer reaching model, providing a 24-360mm equiv. F3.3-6.4 zoom range compared to the 25-250mm equiv. F2.8-5.9 lens of the ZS100.

What's cool about the ZS200 is its greater zoom range is achieved while barely increasing the size of the body (it's 1mm thicker and 1mm taller than the ZS100), though the lens is nearly a half stop slower at the wide end, compared to its older sibling.

Both cameras use a 20.1MP 1" -type sensor but the ZS200 gains a higher resolution 2.33M dot equiv. electronic viewfinder compared to the 1.7M dot LVF on the ZS100 (still field sequential, more on that later). Panasonic has also added low power Bluetooth connectivity, in addition to Wi-Fi. It also gains a 3cm macro mode (available on the wide end only), Panasonic's L. Monochrome Photo Style, and a new highspeed 1080/120p video mode.

Key Features:
  • 20.1MP 1"-type BSI CMOS sensor
  • F3.3-6.4 24-360mm equiv. zoom lens
  • 2.33M dot LVF with 0.53x equiv. magnification
  • 10 fps burst (AF-S), 6 fps burst (AF-C)
  • 5-axis in-body stablization
  • UHD 4K/24/25/30p video
  • 3" touch LCD
  • Depth from Defocus AF
  • Wi-Fi and low power Bluetooth
  • 4K Photo
  • USB charging

To put it simply the ZS200 seems to take the excellent pedigree of the ZS100 (one of our picks for best travel camera), makes some slight improvements and adds a longer, slightly slower lens. Combined, these two cameras fill a gap in the 1" -type compact camera market, providing significant telephoto reach beyond that of other pocket friendly models, such as the Sony RX100 series.

Compared to its peers

Speaking of the RX100 series, here's how the ZS200 stacks up in terms of specification to its peers.

Panasonic DC-ZS200 Panasonic DMC-ZS100 Sony DSC- RX100 V Sony DSC-RX100 IV Canon G7 X Mark II MSRP $800 $700 $999 $899 $699 Lens range (equiv.) 24-360mm 25-350mm 24-70mm 24-70mm 24-100mm Aperture range F3.3-6.4 F2.8-5.9 F1.8-2.8 F1.8-2.8 F1.8-2.8 Autofocus Contrast detection Contrast detection Phase detection Contrast detection Contrast detection Viewfinder 2.3M-dot (field sequential) 1.7M-dot (field sequential) 2.36M-dot 2.36M-dot No Rear screen Fixed Fixed Tilt up/down Tilt up/down Tilt up/down Touch sensitive? Yes Yes No No Yes Video capability

4K/30p
1080/120p

4K/30p
1080/60p 4K/30p
1080/120p 4K/30p
1080/120p 1080/60p Burst Shooting 10 fps 10 fps 24 fps 16 fps 8 fps Wifi, Bluetooth, NFC Yes, Yes, No Yes, No, No Yes, No, Yes Yes, No, Yes Yes, No, Yes Battery life (CIPA) 370 300 220 280 265

As you can see, the ZS200 matches up or beats its peers in some areas, like offering touch sensitivity and ample video capture options. But it also gets beat in others areas like maximum aperture range and burst speed. Though one thing worth calling out is the ZS200 features the best battery life of the bunch, something we look forward to confirming in real world testing.

We'll also include an equivalent aperture vs equivalent focal length graph, comparing the ZS200 to its peers, as soon as we get a final version of the camera back in our office.

Pricing and availability

Available mid-March, the ZS200 can be yours for $800 in either black, or silver/gunmetal, shown here.

Categories: Photo News

Panasonic Lumix GX9 offers 20MP with no low-pass filter, improved shutter mechanism

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 05:00
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Panasonic is taking the wraps off the GX9, a 20MP Micro Four Thirds camera. Its sensor does not use a low-pass filter in an effort to maximize sharpness, and a new L/Monochrome D Photo Style is on board for fans of black-and-white film. The GX9 does not offer weather-sealing, unlike the GX8 and G9.

The GX9 offers a 2.7 million-dot (equiv.) EVF that tilts 90° upward, and a 1.2 million-dot touchscreen that tilts up 80° and down by 45° – a departure from the G9 and GX8's fully articulated screens. An electromagnetic drive claims to reduce shutter shock by 90%, an attempt to mitigate the shutter-induced softness we saw in previous GX- models.

The camera relies on contrast detect autofocus with the help of Panasonic's Depth from Defocus technology when Panasonic lenses are used. Naturally 4K/30p/24p video is present with all of the affiliated 4K Photo Modes, including two new ones: Auto Marking and Sequence Composition. Auto Marking allows the camera to identify movement in a 4K clip and set a marker to quickly jump to the action, and Sequence Composition makes it easy to create composite images of action in-camera.

In-body 5-axis stabilization combines with dual-axis optical stabilization, resulting in a claimed 4-stop reduction in shake. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are available for quick image sharing.

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 will ship in the beginning of March with a new 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens for $999. An optional wide eyecup ($19) and grip ($59) will also be available.

Press release

LUMIX GX9

The Ultimate Compact Single Lens Mirrorless Digital Camera Capture High Quality Images in Your Own Creative Way

Newark, NJ (February 13, 2018) – Panasonic is proud to introduce the LUMIX GX9, a sleek, compact new Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera for everyone who wants to shoot vibrant, true-to-life, high quality images in their own creative way with excellent resolution, high contrast and impressive color reproduction.

The LUMIX GX9’s 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor without a low-pass filter and Venus Engine combine to drive maximum lens performance while rendering natural, high-precision images. The L.Monochrome D mode is newly added to Photo Style, making it easy to shoot detailed dynamic monochrome photos with emphasized highlights and shadows. Plus, Grain Effect can also be adjusted in all monochrome modes with Photo Style.

A 5-axis Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer) in the LUMIX GX9 effectively suppresses blur. Combining an O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) and a B.I.S. (Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis), the Dual I.S. compensates for a wider range of movement to enable blur-free photo/video shooting from wide to tele, even in low-light conditions.

A new wide screen LVF (Live View Finder) in the LUMIX GX9 tilts up approx. 90 degrees. With its high, approx. 2760k-dot equivalent, resolution and 100% color reproduction, this 16:9 LVF provides approx. 1.39x / 0.7x (35mm camera equivalent.) magnification and 100% field of view. Plus, the camera's large 3.0-in., approx. 1240k-dot high resolution static-type touch monitor provides nearly 100% of field of view tilts up approx. 80 degrees and down 45-degrees to enable shooting in high or low angle even easier.

The Contrast AF System in the LUMIX GX9 features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology and excels in both speed and accuracy by exchanging digital signals between the camera and the lens at max. 240 fps*1, for ultra-fast auto focusing in approx. 0.07 sec*2. A range of extensive AF functions include Face/Eye Detection AF, Pinpoint AF, One-shot AF and advanced Low Light AF to enhance usability to comply with various shooting situations. Live View Boost makes it possible to check composition even in total darkness by boosting sensitivity just for live view.

The LUMIX GX9 records smooth, high-resolution 4K video in 3840x2160 at 30p or 24p in MP4. 4K PHOTO is easier to use in more creative ways with Auto Marking and Sequence Composition, two new additions to Post Focus, Focus Stacking, Light Composition and 4K Live Cropping.

Ultra HD 4K video and 4K PHOTO

With a high-speed sensor signal readout and engine processor, the LUMIX GX9 records smooth, high-resolution 4K videos in 3840x2160 resolution at 30p or 24p in addition to the Full-HD 1,920x1,080 60p videos with practical full-time AF. With this technology, LUMIX 4K PHOTO lets users capture perfect moments by extracting single frames from 4K burst files shot at 30 fps to save as 8-megapixel equivalent photos.

Choosing the best shots out of hundreds of 4K video frames is now easier with a newly added Auto Marking function. Auto Marking identifies the frame most different from others in the file to help minimize the time it takes to choose the best individual shot. A Sequence Composition function creates a stromotion image in-camera by synthesizing multiple images shot at fixed frame to produce a unique image of a subject’s motion without special retouching.

The LUMIX GX9 also includes Post Focus, a function selects an in-focus area even after shooting. Post Focus is helpful in situations such as macro shooting where strict focusing is required or for changing expressions by changing the focused subject. This capability combines high-speed, high-precision DFD (Depth From Defocus) auto focus technology and 4K technology. A Focus Stacking function adjusts depth of field after shooting by combining multiple images shot with Post Focus in the camera. Now users don't need to focus strictly while shooting because they can create images with the defocus level they want or pan-focus simply by selecting the focus area after shooting — beneficial when shooting macro images of insects, small accessories and so on.

LUMIX GX9 also incorporates a Light Composition function, a new 4K PHOTO option. The camera synthesizes images by choosing and saving a brighter pixel to easily produce more dramatic images of fireworks or night scenery in-camera. What's more, the LUMIX GX9 also enables 4K Live Cropping in video recording to realize stable panning or zooming. In panning shots, users just set the viewing angle to begin and end with for smooth panning imagery without using special equipment like a slider. And in zooming, users can set the after-zoomed viewing angle firs to ensure the subject is perfectly in the frame. The imagery of zooming is smooth because it does not move the zoom lens physically.

The LUMIX GX9 includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi® connectivity for a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation. Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (Bluetooth Low Energy) enables consistent connection with a smartphone or tablet with minimum power consumption.

About motion picture recording / 4K Photo recording
- Use a card with SD Speed Class with "Class 4" or higher when recording motion pictures.
- Use a card with SD Speed Class with "UHS-I UHS Speed Class 3 (U3)" when recording motion pictures with [MP4] in [4K] or [4K PHOTO]. (SD speed class is the speed standard regarding continuous writing.)
- MP4 motion pictures with [MP4] in [FHD/30p] [FHD] [HD]: You can continue recording without interruption even if the file size exceeds 4 GB or 30 minutes in length, but the motion picture file will be divided and recorded/played back separately. - MP4 motion pictures with [MP4] in [4K]:
- When using an SDHC memory card: You can continue recording without interruption even if the file size exceeds 4 GB, but the motion picture file will be divided and recorded/played back separately.
- When using an SDXC memory card: You can record a motion picture in a single file. - When the ambient temperature is high or continuous recording is performed, the camera may stop the recording to protect itself. Wait until the camera cools down.

For [4K] video output, use an HDMI cable that has the HDMI logo on it, and that is described as "4K compatible."

*1 Contrast AF with DFD Technology works only with Panasonic Micro Four Thirds lenses. *2 In AFS, at wide-end with H-FS14140 (CIPA).

Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 PriceMSRP$999 (w/12-60mm F3.5-5.6 lens)Body typeBody typeRangefinder-style mirrorlessBody materialMagnesium alloySensorMax resolution5184 x 3888Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9Effective pixels20 megapixelsSensor photo detectors22 megapixelsSensor sizeFour Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)Sensor typeCMOSProcessorVenus EngineColor spacesRGB, Adobe RGBColor filter arrayPrimary color filterImageISOAuto, 200-25600 (expands down to 100)Boosted ISO (minimum)100White balance presets5Custom white balanceYes (4 slots)Image stabilizationSensor-shiftImage stabilization notesDual IS uses sensor and lens-shift (when available)CIPA image stabilization rating4 stop(s)Uncompressed formatRAWJPEG quality levelsFine, standardFile format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.31)
  • Raw (Panasonic RW2)
Optics & FocusAutofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYesDigital zoomYes (2x-4x)Manual focusYesNumber of focus points49Lens mountMicro Four ThirdsFocal length multiplier2×Screen / viewfinderArticulated LCDTiltingScreen size3″Screen dots1,240,000Touch screenYesScreen typeTFT LCDLive viewYesViewfinder typeElectronicViewfinder coverage100%Viewfinder magnification1.39× (0.7× 35mm equiv.)Viewfinder resolution2,760,000Photography featuresMinimum shutter speed60 secMaximum shutter speed1/4000 secMaximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 secExposure modes
  • Program
  • Shutter priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashYesFlash range6.00 m (at ISO 200)External flashYes (via hot shoe)Flash modesAuto, auto w/redeye reduction, forced on, forced on w/redeye reduction, slow sync, slow sync w/redeye reduction, forced offFlash X sync speed1/200 secDrive modes
  • Single
  • Burst
  • 4K Photo
  • Post Focus
  • Self-timer
Continuous drive9.0 fpsSelf-timerYes (2 or 10 secs, 3 photos over 10 secs)Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)WB BracketingYesVideography featuresFormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264Modes
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 20 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1280 x 720 @ 30p / 10 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
MicrophoneStereoSpeakerMonoStorageStorage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I supported)ConnectivityUSB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)USB chargingYesHDMIYes (micro-HDMI)Microphone portNoHeadphone portNoWirelessBuilt-InWireless notes802.11b/g/n with Bluetooth 4.2 LERemote controlYes (via smartphone)PhysicalEnvironmentally sealedNoBatteryBattery PackBattery descriptionLithium-ion battery & chargerBattery Life (CIPA)260Weight (inc. batteries)407 g (0.90 lb / 14.36 oz)Dimensions124 x 72 x 47 mm (4.88 x 2.83 x 1.85″)Other featuresOrientation sensorYesTimelapse recordingYesGPSNone
Categories: Photo News

Panasonic Lumix ZS200 offers 1" sensor and 24-360mm equiv. zoom in a pocketable form factor

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 05:00
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Panasonic has announced the ZS200/TZ200, a 20MP 1"-sensor compact that updates the existing ZS100 and its 25-250mm equiv. zoom with a 24-360mm equiv. F3.3-6.4 lens that's both slightly wider and much longer (though a bit slower).

Like its predecessor the ZS200 offers a 3" touchscreen, accompanied by an upgraded 2.3 million-dot EVF with 0.53x magnification. Contrast detect autofocus is aided by Panasonic's very good Depth from Defocus technology, and up to 10 fps burst shooting is available with AF-S (6 fps in AF-C). Rounding out a travel-friendly feature set are 4K video, Wi-Fi with Bluetooth, 5-axis image stabilization and a new L.Monochrome Photo Style for a black-and-white film look.

The ZS200's 3840 x 2160 4K recording is offered at 30p and 24p. Familiar 4K Photo features like Post Focus are available, in addition to a couple of new modes. Auto Marking analyzes a 4K video clip and automatically marks points at which it detects action. Sequence Composition allows you to composite multiple frames of a moving subject in front of a static background into a single image – think of the images you see of a snowboarder frozen mid-flight in the various stages of a jump.

The Panasonic ZS200 boasts an improved battery life of 370 shots per charge (the ZS200 claimed 300) thanks to a new eco-friendly mode. It will ship in mid-March for $799 in your choice of gunmetal silver or black.

Press release:

LUMIX DMC-ZS200 Travel Zoom Camera

Powerful 15x Optical Zoom with 1-in. 20.1-MP High Sensitivity MOS Sensor for 4K Video/ 4K PHOTO Capability

Newark, NJ (February 13, 2018) –Panasonic is proud to introduce the LUMIX DMC-ZS200, the new flagship camera of the popular Travel Zoom series. The compact LUMIX ZS200 comes with a 24mm ultra-wide angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens and enhanced 15x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 24-360mm). The camera also includes 5-Axis HYBRID Optical Image Stabilizer Plus*1 to suppress hand-shake in both photo and video recording. For added creativity the LUMIX ZS200 integrates a new L.Monochrome mode in Photo Style for monochrome images with rich B/W film gradation.

The camera's 1-inch MOS sensor produces high-quality images with stunning details. The combination of a High Sensitivity MOS Sensor and Venus Engine delivers up to ISO 12,800 for high sensitivity quality beyond the reach of most other digital compacts. And an upgraded Live View Finder (LVF) integrates a new 0.21-in. 2,330K-dot equivalent LVF to provide a high magnification ratio of approx. 1.45x/0.53x (35mm camera equivalent). Both LVF and a 3-in. touchscreen display provide approx. 100% field of view. The LUMIX ZS200 boasts exceptional optical performance with stunning clarity with minimum distortion and flare. This new lens system also enables stunning close-up shots with its 3cm macro capability.

With the LUMIX ZS200, 4K video recording is every bit as stunning with high-resolution QFHD 4K video in 3840x2160 at 30p or 24p in MP4. And 4K PHOTO lets LUMIX ZS200 users capture memorable moments by extracting single frames from 4K burst files shot at 30 fps to save as 8-megapixel equivalent images. Auto Marking and Sequence Composition, included in addition to Post Focus and Focus Stacking, make 4K PHOTO even easier to use.

A Contrast AF System features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology*2 and excels in both speed and accuracy for ultra-fast auto focusing in approx. 0.1 sec*3. The LUMIX ZS200 includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi® connectivity for a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing. Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (Bluetooth Low Energy) enables a consistent connection with a smartphone or tablet with minimum power consumption.

The independent dials and Control Ring located on the lens barrel provide an intuitive way to capture creative vision. Smoother control of exposure and zoom allows users to concentrate on framing the perfect picture and press the shutter at the perfect moment. It also provides easier access to frequently-used settings such as aperture, shutter speed, focus, filter effect and scene mode. For even more precise control over focusing, the LUMIX ZS200 also boasts a Focus Peaking function that shows the peak of focus in manual focus mode to ensure users know exactly where the focus is.

The LUMIX ZS200 will be available in stores on March 20, 2018. Suggested retail price is $799.99. Available in Black and Silver.

Additional features

Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi 2.4GHz (IEEE802.11b/g/n)
The LUMIX ZS200 integrates Bluetooth and Wi-Fi® connectivity to offer a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation. Once the camera is connected to a smartphone or tablet installed with the Panasonic Image App for iOS / Android, users can shoot, browse and share images remotely. They can also choose the quality of images to transfer using the Image App. Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (called BLE: Bluetooth Low Energy) enables a constant connection with a smartphone/tablet with minimum power consumption. This activates the camera by simply using a smartphone/tablet or to automatically add GPS geotags on the photos.

• Long battery life and AC/USB Power Charging
Thanks to a newly adopted eco30fps mode, the LUMIX ZS200 provides long battery life for approx. 370 pictures (when using a rear monitor) per charge. The battery is recharged via AC or USB according to user convenience.
• Exposure / WB / Focus / Aperture Bracket
Focus Bracket and Aperture Bracket are new additions to the conventional Exposure Bracket and WB Bracket to let users choose their best shots later. In Focus Bracket, a maximum 999 images can be shot with different focus points. The Aperture Bracket enables multiple shots with different depths of field.
• In-Camera RAW Data Development
• The LUMIX ZS200 can shoot images in RAW and develop them in-camera.
• LEICA is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH. • LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lenses are manufactured using measurement instruments and quality assurance systems certified by Leica Camera AG according to the company's quality standards.
• “AVCHD Progressive”, “AVCHD”, the “AVCHD Progressive” Logo and the “AVCHD” Logo are trademarks of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation.
• Manufactured under license from Dolby Laboratories. Dolby and the double-D symbol are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.
• All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective corporations.
• The LUMIX ZS200 is compatible with both SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards. Use SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards on compatible devices only. SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards cannot be used with devices compatible only with SD Memory Cards. (Before using an SDHC/SDXC Memory Card in another device, read the operating instructions for that device.)
• Some accessories are not available in some countries.
• Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.

*1 5-axis compensation works in video recording except for 4K video recording.
*2 Works for still image recording.
*3 Based on the CIPA standard.

Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 specifications PriceMSRP$799Body typeBody typeLarge sensor compactBody materialMetalSensorMax resolution5472 x 3648Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9Effective pixels20 megapixelsSensor photo detectors21 megapixelsSensor size1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)Sensor typeCMOSProcessorVenus EngineColor spacesRGBColor filter arrayPrimary color filterImageISOAuto, 125-12800 (expands to 80-25600)Boosted ISO (minimum)80Boosted ISO (maximum)25600White balance presets5Custom white balanceYes (4 slots)Image stabilizationOpticalImage stabilization notesHybrid 5-axis available in movie modeUncompressed formatRAWJPEG quality levelsFine, standardFile format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.31)
  • Raw (Panasonic RW2 format)
Optics & FocusFocal length (equiv.)24–360 mmOptical zoom15×Maximum apertureF3.3–6.4Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYesDigital zoomYes (2X)Manual focusYesNormal focus range50 cm (19.69″)Macro focus range5 cm (1.97″)Number of focus points49Screen / viewfinderArticulated LCDFixedScreen size3″Screen dots1,240,000Touch screenYesScreen typeTFT LCDLive viewYesViewfinder typeElectronicViewfinder coverage100%Viewfinder magnification0.53×Viewfinder resolution2,330,000Photography featuresMinimum shutter speed60 secMaximum shutter speed1/2000 secMaximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 secExposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
Scene modes
  • Clear Portrait
  • Silky Skin
  • Backlit Softness
  • Clear in Backlight
  • Relaxing Tone
  • Sweet Child's Face
  • Distinct Scenery
  • Bright Blue Sky
  • Romantic Sunset Glow
  • Vivid Sunset Glow
  • Glistening Water*
  • Clear Nightscape
  • Cool Night Sky
  • Warm Glowing Nightscape
  • Artistic Nightscape
  • Glittering Illuminations
  • Handheld Night Shot
  • Clear Night Portrait
  • Soft Image of a Flower
  • Appetizing Food
  • Cute Dessert
  • Freeze Animal Motion
  • Clear Sports Shot
  • Monochrome
Built-in flashYesFlash range6.80 m (at Auto ISO)External flashNoFlash modesAuto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced OffContinuous drive10.0 fpsSelf-timerYes (2 or 10 secs, 3 shots @ 10 sec)Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)AE Bracketing±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)Videography featuresFormatMPEG-4, AVCHD, H.264Modes
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 28 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60i / 17 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 20 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 24 Mbps, AVCHD, MTS, H.264, Dolby Digital
  • 1280 x 720 @ 30p / 10 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
MicrophoneStereoSpeakerMonoStorageStorage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I compatible)ConnectivityUSB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)USB chargingYesHDMIYes (microHDMI)Microphone portNoHeadphone portNoWirelessBuilt-InWireless notes802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.2 LERemote controlYes (via smartphone)PhysicalEnvironmentally sealedNoBatteryBattery PackBattery descriptionLithium-ion battery & chargerBattery Life (CIPA)370Weight (inc. batteries)340 g (0.75 lb / 11.99 oz)Dimensions111 x 66 x 45 mm (4.37 x 2.6 x 1.77″)Other featuresOrientation sensorYesTimelapse recordingYesGPSNone
Categories: Photo News

Sony's huge 400mm F2.8 GM OSS lens spotted at the 2018 Winter Olympics

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 15:35

A post shared by Andrea Photographer-Explorer (@andrea_pizzini_photographer) on Feb 12, 2018 at 2:35am PST

The gigantic Sony 400mm F2.8 GM OSS lens announced as 'in development' back in October 2017 has allegedly been spotted IRL at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

A photo that claims to show the un-released lens—covered in tape to hide telltale markings, of course—was shared by the Photosthelife blog (here it is translated) and later on Instagram by SonyAlphaRumors. This appears to be the first image of the 400mm lens, whose rumored price tag will very likely tip the scales around ten grand, just like the Canon and Nikon versions of the same lens.

In its announcement last year, Sony explained that the new lens would "deliver a new elevated shooting experience for all professional sports" photographers, among others. The Olympics presents a great opportunity to put the lens to the test in an incredibly challenging environment, so it makes sense that Sony would be testing it out there.

Unfortunately, additional details—such as how many of these lenses are actually being tested in the wild, and by whom—aren't public.

Sony says it plans to release the 400mm F2.8 GM OSS lens in Summer 2018. Until then, this blurry picture will just have to hold all of those Sony a9 owners over.

Categories: Photo News

Leica unveils limited edition Leica Q 'Snow' inspired by an Olympic snowboarder

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 15:18

A new, white version of the Leica Q full-frame compact camera has been announced that was inspired by Olympic snowboarder and photographer Iouri Podladtchikov. The ‘Snow’ edition will be limited to only 300 units worldwide, and will cost $5,395/£4300.

As with most Leica special editions, on the inside, this camera will be exactly the same as the standard Q. What differentiates it is the special white leather trim and anodized silver top plate, base plate and control dials.

A white leather case and strap complete the ‘Snow’ theme:

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Speaking about the special edition camera, Podladtchikov says the white finish doesn’t only reflect the snow he is so closely associated with:

‘White, for me, also means ‘carte blanche’ – it’s up to you. It’s time to get creative’.

The Swiss Olympic gold medalist and world champion is also a keen photographer, and intends to open his own photographic studio. He was due to compete in the current Winter Olympics in Korea, but had to pull out after sustaining an injury at the 2018 X Games.

The Leica Q ‘Snow’ will be available starting in March. For more information, read the full press release below, or visit the Leica website.

Press Release

Leica Q ‘Snow’ by Iouri Podladtchikov

The Swiss Olympic gold medallist and dedicated Leica photographer designs a special edition of the iconic Leica Q

Wetzlar, 12 February 2018 – Leica Camera AG presents a new version of its high- performance compact camera with full-frame sensor and fast prime lens: the Leica Q ‘Snow’ by Iouri Podladtchikov. This limited edition has been created in collaboration with Swiss Olympic gold medallist, World Champion snowboarder (halfpipe) Iouri Podladtchikov, whose own ideas inspired the design of the camera.

The Leica Q ‘Snow’ by Iouri Podladtchikov is based on the coloured version of the Leica Q with a silver anodised top deck and baseplate and controls on the top deck in silver. The design concept also features a new accessory shoe cover made from aluminium. The highlights of the special edition include the pure white trim in premium real leather that gives it its name. The edition is also strictly limited to only 300 pieces for the worldwide market, each of which bears a special serial number.

In the words of the dedicated Leica photographer: “As a brand ambassador, it’s a fascinating feeling to have inspired a special edition of a camera, but I also see it as an enormous responsibility”. Interestingly, his choice of the colour white doesn’t just relate to snow – perhaps the obvious choice for a snowboarder: “White, for me, also means ‘carte blanche’ – it’s up to you. It’s time to get creative” explains, Iouri Podladtchikov, who has already published two books of his photography and will soon be opening his own studio.

The Leica Q ‘Snow’ by Iouri Podladtchikov is presented as a set complete with a case in soft white leather and a colour-matched carrying strap and will be available from March 2018 for £4,300 (including VAT).

The technical specifications of the Leica Q ‘Snow’ by Iouri Podladtchikov are identical to those of standard model of the Leica Q. Thanks to its particularly fast Leica Summilux 28 mm f/1.7 ASPH. lens, the camera is perfect for photography in low light, for street photography, architecture and landscapes. To allow for reliable control of subject composition, the Leica Q also features an integrated viewfinder with a resolution of 3.68 MP. Even the finest details of every exposure are displayed without any perceptible lag as soon as the camera is brought up to the user’s eye.

All functions of the camera are clearly laid out and logically placed to guarantee perfect ergonomics. Its clear and logical menu concept provides rapid access to all essential functions and enables users to programme personalised settings.

The Leica Q also delivers video recordings in full-HD quality. Depending on the scene and subject, users can choose between 30 and 60 full frames per second for video recording in MP4 format. The camera also features an integrated Wi-Fi module for wireless transmission of still pictures and video and remote control by WLAN from a smartphone or a tablet with the Leica Q App.

Categories: Photo News

US Navy confirms: Combat camera units will be eliminated over budget issues

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 14:55

The U.S. Navy has confirmed that it will eliminate a pair of combat camera (COMCAM) units. Confirmation was given by the Pentagon's Navy spokesperson Lt. Lauren Chatmas to the Navy Times, which reported last week about the Navy's plans to eliminate the units by October 1st.

The U.S. Navy has two COMCAM units, one called Expeditionary Combat Camera, the other called Fleet Combat Camera. Both units will be eliminated because of budget constraints, according to Chatmas's statement:

...difficult decisions were made in order to ensure the resourcing of critical mission areas that support Navy's expeditionary operations. Other expeditionary mission areas took precedence over COMCAM. Therefore, as an overall cost savings measure, the decision was made to provide this capability to the fleet from the existing Navy Public Affairs Support Element command.

Sources expanded on that statement to Navy Times, claiming that COMCAM budget cuts in fiscal year 2017 decreased funding by 60%, and was joined by a declining workload. Officials reportedly decided to eliminate the COMCAM units entirely when working out the fiscal year 2019 budget, having failed in 2017 to consolidate the two units into a single COMCAM unit.

Categories: Photo News

RED and Foxconn want to produce affordable 8K cameras for the general public

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 14:44
Photo by Jakob Owens

The head of iPhone manufacturer Foxconn has said that the company is working with RED Digital Cinema to build top quality video cameras at a third of current prices. Speaking at a company party at the weekend, Chairman Terry Gou announced that the two companies are already in talks with the aim of producing cameras:

...that will shoot professional-quality films in 8K resolution but at only a third of current prices and a third of current camera sizes.

Foxconn assembles over 70% of Apple’s iPhones, which accounts for 50% of its business, but the company wants to diversify into areas with a better profit margin, according to a report from Nikki Asian Review. Its acquisition of Sharp’s semiconductor business will give Foxconn the chance to manufacture critical components for digital cameras and displays, including chip technologies that go into image sensors.

The company already has a working relationship with RED, and builds and assembles ASIC/front-end LSI circuits for the movie camera maker, according to EOSHD.

Within a few years we might see this powerful combination challenging Panasonic and Sony for space in the enthusiast-level 8K handheld video camera market. It's still a ways out, but that would be interesting!

Categories: Photo News

Google strikes deal with Getty, will remove direct image links from search

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 13:02

Getty Images has announced a licensing deal with Google that resolves a 2016 lawsuit filed by the photo agency against the Internet giant. The lawsuit accused Google of "promoting piracy" by linking to high-resolution copyrighted images without watermarks, enabling anyone to save and use the images without paying the related fee.

At the heart of the issue was Google Image Search, and how it directly links to high-resolution images found in articles and other online destinations. Because the high-resolution images could be readily found on Google Images, users had little motivation to hunt down the proper image source. This resulted in many "accidental pirates" infringing image copyrights, the lawsuit claims.

To settle the matter, Getty and Google have jointly announced a new multi-year agreement last week, with Getty's CEO Dawn Airey explaining that Getty "will license our market leading content to Google, working closely with them to improve attribution of our contributors' work and thereby growing the ecosystem." That, unfortunately, is as far as official details go.

Fortunately, The Verge elaborated on the agreement, reporting that Google will start removing direct links to image URLs and more prominently displaying copyright disclaimer—good news for all photographers and photo agencies, assuming this practice will go beyond images licensed by Getty.

Getty Images has formally withdrawn its legal complaint against Google.

Categories: Photo News

DPRSplit will help pull more dynamic range from Canon 5D Mark IV Dual Pixel Raw files

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 11:19

RawDigger and FastRawViewer have released the beta version of an application called DPRSplit, designed for Canon 5D Mark IV owners. With DPRSplit, photographers can input a CR2 file from a Canon 5D Mark IV and then extract a second image from it, one with an exposure value that is about one stop lower than the original CR2 image.

This utility works only if the camera's Dual Pixel Raw mode was enabled when the shots were taken.

Canon explains how this technology works on its website:

The Dual Pixel sensor’s pixels have a dual photodiode construction. This sensor design means the sensor can receive an A and B signals from the subject and to detect any phase differences between the two signals, allowing them to attain focus as part of the Dual Pixel AF system ... During Dual Pixel RAW shooting, a single RAW file saves two images into the file. One image consists of the A+B combined image data and the other only the A image data.

Photographers benefit from this technology by using Canon's Digital Photo Professional software, which enables users to make "microadjustments" to focus, bokeh shift, and reduce ghosting. However, the software doesn't enable users to extract both images from the CR2 file separately—that's where DPRSplit comes in.

With this utility, photographers get access to that second frame, which has half the light of the composite image. This means that, in essence, the camera is automatically capturing two shots, bracketed by about 1EV.

Extracted images are saved as DNG files for editing with any software that supports the format, so you can blend the images back together and get about +1EV more usable dynamic range. And since the exposures are captured simultaneously, you don't have to worry about motion blur in your image. The only potential "issue" is a minor parallax error between the two frames.

DPRSplit beta 0.8 is free to download for Windows 7 or higher and Mac OS X 10.6 through macOS 10.13. As with any beta software, it is possible users will encounter bugs, but if you're a 5D Mark IV user and you already shoot in Dual Pixel Raw, this one might be worth a shot.

Categories: Photo News

Shooting portraits with the $12,800 Leica Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 lens

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 09:02

Photographer and YouTuber Matt Granger recently got a chance to shoot with two unreleased Leica lenses that many a portrait photographer dreams of owning. On a freezing cold day in Brooklyn, he went out with friend and model Stephanie Pham to test out the APO Summicron-SL 90mm F2 ASPH and—the pièce de résistance—the $12,800 Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 ASPH.

You can't even buy the Noctilux yet, but Granger was able to get his hands on one for testing purposes ahead of his trip to Ethiopia, and before he hopped on a plane, he just had to try this lens out in a quick 10-minute portrait shoot by the water in Brooklyn. All of the photos were taken with the Leica SL, and since the Noctilux-M is an M-Mount lens (duh), Matt attached it using Leica's own M to L mount converter.

Matt was kind enough to share a few full-res JPEG samples with us, which you can scroll through in the gallery below.

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In the video, he mentions several times how difficult it can be to grab focus with a lens this fast, but the Leica SL's focus peaking seemed to help him nail the shot more often than not. In fact, he complains that it's harder to nail focus stopped down, because the peaking was far less helpful when more of the frame was in focus.

Check out the full video up top to hear Matt's thoughts and watch him work with this ultra-fast (and ultra expensive...) lens, and then head over to his website to download a few more samples for pixel peeping purposes. Finally, don't forget to let us (and him) know what you think of the images and these two lenses in the comments down below.

Categories: Photo News

Review: Google Pixel 2 is the best smartphone for stills photographers

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 06:00

DPReview smartphone reviews are written with the needs of photographers in mind. We focus on camera features, performance, and image quality.

The Pixel 2 and its larger sibling, the Pixel 2 XL represent Google’s latest flagship phones. Both offer a single 12.2MP F1.8 main camera and an 8MP F2.4 ‘selfie’ camera. From a photographer’s perspective that might not sound like anything special - after all, the iPhone X offers dual rear cameras - yet thanks to behind-the-scenes processing, the Pixel 2 is capable of some of the most detailed photos we've ever seen from a smartphone.

It also features a background blurring effect (portrait mode), DNG Raw capture (with use of a third party app), 4K/30p video and optical image stabilization. Plus, all Pixel 2 owners get free Google Photo storage for photos and videos shot on the device through the end of 2020. After that point users will still get free storage but files saved will be high-quality compressed versions (full-res storage will still be available for a price).

Priced at $650, the Pixel 2 is not cheap, but it is 2/3rds the price of the iPhone X.

The Pixel 2 offers excellent image quality thanks to a combination of hardware and software processing .
ISO 82 | 1/23000 sec| F1.8

As smartphone cameras progress, we're seeing a cultural split from traditional camera companies, who rely mostly on hardware and optics to achieve good image quality, just as they did with their film cameras. Instead, smartphone manufacturers are relying more on computational photography and artificial intelligence to produce a photo that is detailed and well-toned, right 'out of camera'. With just one button press - no need to set the exposure or dynamic range compensation or AF mode yourself.

Google's secret sauce is in what the company calls 'HDR+', which judges exposure intelligently and uses multi-imaging techniques for every shot. So has computational photography, à la Pixel 2 come far enough to replace the pocket cam? How about the mirrorless camera or DSLR?

Aside from the excellent camera, the Pixel 2 is a fairly ordinary smartphone. Key photographic / Video specs
  • 12.2MP rear camera (1/2.55" | 1.40 μm pixels)
  • F1.8 max aperture
  • 4K/30p video
  • 1080/120p, 720/240p slow motion video
  • Optical image stablization
  • Dual Pixel AF with phase detect
  • DNG Raw capture and manual control with 3rd party apps
  • 8MP front camera (F2.4 max ap.)
Other specs
  • Android 8.0 operating system (Oreo)
  • 5 in 1920x1080 AMOLED (441ppi) display (95% DCI-P3)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 4GB Ram
  • 64 or 128GB internal storage
  • Unlimited cloud photo/video storage with Google Photos
  • 2750 mAh battery
  • $650
Categories: Photo News

Panasonic Lumix GH5S sample gallery

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 06:00
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The Panasonic GH5S is a heavily video-focused variant of the GH5, and we've already tested its video capabilities extensively. To complement our sample reels, we have a full sample gallery for your viewing pleasure. Take a look at the still image side of this video-centric camera.

See our Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S
sample gallery

Categories: Photo News

A quick tour of Fujifilm's camera and lens factory in Sendai, Japan

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 09:00

Documentary cameraman Johnnie Behiri of Cinema5D was in Japan recently, when he was invited to visit one of Fujifilm's camera and lens factories in Sendai, Japan. Having been on a few factory tours ourselves, we suggest you do exactly what Behiri did: say yes, and bring a camera to document your journey.

The factory Behiri visited is responsible for putting together Fujifilm's Fujinon MK lenses, the X-T2 ILC, and the GFX 50S medium format camera and lenses. The tour is short and sweet, but you get to see how careful Fuji must be about cleanliness in a factory like this, and watch as the technicians assemble each Fujinon MK lens by hand.

This isn't the first time someone has been invited inside the Sendai Factory. In fact, we went there ourselves in 2016. And one year before that, The Fuji Guys took their own tour of the factory, which you can watch below (even if it is a bit dated now):

Fuji fans can watch both tours above. And if this inspires you to go behind the scenes with a few other manufacturers, check out our visit to the Hasselblad factory in Sweden, the Leica factory in Germany, Canon's L lens factory in Japan, and more.

Categories: Photo News

Photography tour guide killed by toxic lava fumes in Hawaii

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 07:00

Photographer Sean King, owner of tourism company Hawaii Stargazing Adventures, tragically passed away during a tour group excursion on February 1st after breathing in toxic fumes from a lava flow, according to local news organization KHON2. Heavy rains over the lava flow resulted in noxious steam, according to officials speaking with the news agency, which made it difficult to see and breathe.

According to friends and officials, King was with three other people as part of a guided hiking tour when it began to rain—he soon lost consciousness. The three individuals were forced to leave King behind and hike several hours before they had cell reception to call for help. Hawaii Fire Department officials spotted King from a helicopter and used it to airlift him to a nearby ambulance, but unfortunately it was too late.

Friends describe King has having been a passionate photographer with a great fondness for the Kilauea volcano. Speaking to KHON2, Bruce Omori, a friend of King's, described the conditions that led to the photographer's tragic demise:

The conditions today, I mean they were horrible. It was dumping so much rain out there. There was a stationary cell that was directly over the flow field, and it was really heavy. We’re shooting that and I’ve never gotten so wet in the helicopter, because it was raining so hard. It was raining so hard that we couldn’t venture any further, because we normally fly the entire length of the flow field, but it was impossible. So much rain was coming down.

According to Big Island Now, Hawaii's Criminal Investigation Section detectives are investigating the incident as an "unattended death."

Categories: Photo News

Blackmagic launches 4K broadcast camera for price of a high-end DSLR

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 12:39

Video camera maker Blackmagic Design has announced the "world’s most affordable and flexible professional" camera aimed at broadcast and studio film makers. The URSA Broadcast shoots Ultra HD resolution, uses an interchangeable lens mount and costs just $3,495.

The camera comes with the B4 lens mount, but this can be switched so the camera can accept PL, F or EF lenses. Users can load relatively low-cost SD or CFast media to record their footage, with the camera offering two slots for each format. Lossless 12-bit CinemaDNG Raw recording is possible for projects that require the best quality, while broadcast footage can be shot in 10-bit DNxHD 220X, DNxHD 145 or ProRes formats with metadata.

Blackmagic says the URSA Broadcast produces vibrant colors and accurate skin tones so that footage is ready to use straight from the camera, while an extended video dynamic range ensures a wide range of brightness values can be recorded. Three ND filters are built-in and can be dropped into the light path at the turn of a dial. The strengths offered are ¼, 1/16th and 1/64th stops, and each comes with IR compensation to maintain matchable colors from different situations.

The handling of the camera concentrates on placing controls on the outside of the body rather than in menu systems, and the company claims that should any button or control point fail during a job its function can be switched to another button as redundancy has been built into the design.

The Blackmagic Design URSA Broadcast is available now. For more information see the Blackmagic website.

Press release

Blackmagic Design Introduces URSA Broadcast

The world’s most affordable and flexible professional HD and Ultra HD broadcast camera for live production and studio programs, at the same price as a DSLR camera!

Fremont, California, USA - February 1, 2018 - Blackmagic Design today announced Blackmagic URSA Broadcast, a new high end, professional broadcast camera designed for both studio programming and live production. URSA Broadcast works with existing B4 broadcast HD lenses, can be used for both HD and Ultra HD production, features a 4K sensor, extended video dynamic range, traditional external controls and buttons, built in optical ND filters, dual CFast and dual SD card recorders, and much more. Blackmagic URSA Broadcast is available now for only US$3,495 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

URSA Broadcast is like two cameras in one, an incredible field camera for ENG and programming work, as well as a professional studio camera. The camera features traditional broadcast controls along with exceptional image quality, all in a compact design that is ideal for fast paced, fast turn around production work. The key is URSA Broadcast’s new extended video mode which captures incredible looking video with accurate skin tones and vibrant colors. That means customers don’t have to color correct images before going to air, making URSA Broadcast perfect for news, live sports, studio talk and game shows and more. URSA Broadcast lets customers shoot, edit and get stories on air faster than ever before.

URSA Broadcast is also designed to work with the equipment and systems traditional broadcasters already have. For example, customers can use their existing B4 HD and Ultra HD lenses with URSA Broadcast. Unlike other broadcast cameras, URSA Broadcast records onto inexpensive standard SD cards, UHS-II cards and CFast cards, and records 1080i or 2160p video into standard .mov files, with .mxf to be added in future updates. URSA Broadcast records using DNx145, DNx220X or ProRes, so video doesn’t need to be copied or transcoded. This makes it fast to work with video from URSA Broadcast because it’s compatible with virtually all existing broadcast systems and editing software.

The B4 lens mount and matching sensor on URSA Broadcast enables wide depth of field, so broadcast customers can shoot without constantly chasing focus. The lens mount features high performance optics with spherical aberration correction specifically designed to match the camera’s sensor. The ?” mount lets customers use existing HD lenses or Ultra HD lenses. Because B4 lenses are par-focal and have an extremely wide depth of field, images stay in focus when zoomed in and out. That lets customers work faster because they don’t need to change lenses or refocus between close up, medium and wide shots. URSA Broadcast also supports full electronic B4 lens control so customers can adjust focus, iris and zoom using the camera’s controls, or remotely from an ATEM switcher or ATEM Camera Control Panel. In addition, the standard B4 lens mount can be swapped with optional EF, F and PL mounts so customers can use everything from inexpensive high quality photographic lenses all the way up to massive cinema lenses.

URSA Broadcast features a high quality 4K image sensor and a new extended video mode with better dynamic range and color fidelity. The sensor is designed for both HD and Ultra HD, producing images with fine texture and detail, accurate skin tones, vibrant color and high dynamic range. The images from URSA Broadcast have been designed to be used without additional color correction. This makes editing faster, which is crucial in the fast paced broadcast world. The high resolution sensor is a huge advantage, even when working in HD, because it enables sub pixel image processing and superior anti-aliasing, resulting in super sharp images.

URSA Broadcast is designed to be the toughest and most fully featured camera available. It includes everything customers need in a compact handheld magnesium alloy body that’s durable and light enough to use anywhere. There’s an external high visibility LCD status display for viewing critical shooting information, a foldout touch screen for reviewing shots without needing an extra on-set monitor, professional connections such as 12GSDI, XLR audio, built in high quality stereo microphones and more. Plus, every single control on the camera has a redundant backup, including the power, so if anything should go wrong in the field, the camera can still be used.

URSA Broadcast also features built in neutral density (ND) filters with IR compensation for quickly reducing the amount of light that enters the camera. The ¼, 1/16th and 1/64th stop filters are specifically designed to match the colorimetry of the camera and provide additional latitude, even under harsh lighting conditions. That means customers can use different combinations of aperture and shutter angle to achieve shallower depth of field, or specific levels of motion blur, in a wider range of situations. The IR filters evenly compensate for both far red and infrared wave lengths to eliminate IR contamination. The ND filters are true optical filters with a precision mechanism that quickly moves them into place when the ND filter dial is turned.

Blackmagic URSA Broadcast puts control buttons, switches, knobs and dials on the outside of the camera, giving customers direct access to the most important camera features. The controls are laid out in a logical order that makes them easy to remember so operators can use the camera without having to look at the buttons, hunt through menus, or take their eye off of the action. URSA Broadcast also features a high visibility LCD status display which shows important information such as timecode, shutter and lens settings, battery, recording status, and audio levels. The status display features a backlight and is designed to be clearly visible in both dimly lit studios and outside in direct sunlight.

URSA Broadcast features both dual CFast 2.0 recorders and dual SD/UHS-II card recorders. Both types of media are standard, non-proprietary, inexpensive and readily available at most computer and camera stores. Customers can record 10bit broadcast quality DNxHD 220X, DNxHD 145 or ProRes files with metadata, making it is easy to integrate URSA Broadcast into existing broadcast systems and workflows. URSA Broadcast can even record lossless 12bit CinemaDNG RAW files for high quality programming and post production. With dual slots for each media type, URSA Broadcast gives customers redundant recorders and non-stop recording. When the first card is full, recording automatically continues onto the next card so the full card can be swapped while recording continues on the other.

All of the connections on URSA Broadcast are standard television industry connectors so customers don’t need expensive, proprietary cables. The camera features multi rate 12GSDI connections for video output and return program feed input. Both connections automatically switch speed so they work with all HD and Ultra HD formats up to 2160p60 over a single cable. In addition, URSA Broadcast features HD-SDI monitoring out, 2 LANC inputs, balanced XLR audio with phantom power, and timecode/reference input. A 12 pin Hirose connector provides analog and digital broadcast lens control for powering and controlling SD, HD and Ultra HD lenses. There’s also a 4 pin XLR 12V DC power output and HD-SDI monitor output that can be used with Blackmagic viewfinders or any third party viewfinders and monitors.

Blackmagic Design also makes a complete set of professional camera accessories designed to work perfectly with URSA Broadcast. Customers can add a Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder or a large 7 inch Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder. There are microphone mounts, standard V-Lock and Gold battery plates, optional lens mounts and more. The all new Blackmagic Camera Fiber Converter, Blackmagic Studio Fiber Converter and ATEM Camera Control Panel let customers create a complete broadcast camera chain that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars less than traditional camera chains. The fiber converters let customers extend their cameras and power them from up to 2 km away using industry standard SMPTE fiber cables. It includes 1 Ultra HD camera feed, plus 3 HD return feeds, common live camera controls with multiple channels of talkback, and standard television industry talkback headset connections, all in a compact IP video based design that allow it to be connected and controlled from a live production switcher.

“URSA Broadcast lets customers get the most out of their investment in cameras and lenses because it can be re-purposed and used on every type of project, whether it’s out in the field or in the studio. It’s like getting two cameras in one.” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “URSA Broadcast is exciting because it makes high end broadcast camera technology available to everyone from AV and web producers all the way up to professional broadcasters, for the same price as a common DSLR!”

Blackmagic URSA Broadcast Key Features

  • 4K sensor, extended video dynamic range, traditional external controls and buttons, built in optical ND filters, dual CFast and dual SD card recorders,
  • Advanced HD and Ultra HD broadcast camera with B4 mount.
  • New extended video mode with better dynamic range and color fidelity producing images with amazing texture and detail, accurate skin tones, vibrant color and high dynamic range.
  • Full electronic B4 lens control support for adjusting focus, iris and zoom using the camera’s controls, or remotely from an ATEM switcher or ATEM Camera Control Panel.
  • Built in dual SD/UHS-II and CFast card recorders allow unlimited duration recording in high quality.
  • Records 1080i or 2160p video into standard .mov files using DNx145, DNx220X or ProRes for compatibility with existing broadcast systems and workflows. Standard .mxf will be added in future updates.
  • Support for DNxHD 220X, DNxHD 145, Apple ProRes 4444 XQ QuickTime, ProRes 4444 QuickTime, ProRes 422 HQ QuickTime, ProRes 422 QuickTime, ProRes 422 LT QuickTime and ProRes 422 Proxy QuickTime, CinemaDNG RAW, CinemaDNG RAW 3:1, CinemaDNG RAW 4:1.
  • High quality clear, 1/4, 1/16th and 1/64th stop neutral density (ND) filters with IR compensation designed to specifically match the colorimetry and color science of URSA Broadcast.
  • Fully redundant controls including external broadcast controls which allow direct access to the most important camera settings such as external power switch, ND filter wheel, ISO, shutter, white balance, record button, audio gain controls, lens and transport control, high frame rate button and more.
  • Interchangeable lens mount with B4 mount included as standard. Optional EF, PL and F mount available separately.
  • Status display for quickly checking timecode, shutter and lens settings, battery, recording status, and audio levels.
  • Features all standard connections, including dual XLR mic/line audio inputs with phantom power, 12GSDI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay and separate XLR 4 pin power output for viewfinder power, headphone jack, LANC remote control and standard 4 pin 12V DC power connection.
  • Built in high quality stereo microphones for recording sound.
  • 4 inch foldout touchscreen for on-set monitoring and menu settings.
  • Blackmagic SDI Control Protocol for external control or iPad control via Bluetooth®, 2 x 2.5mm LANC for lens and record control.

Availability and Price
Blackmagic URSA Broadcast is available now from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide for US$3,495.

Blackmagic URSA Broadcast Accessories

  • Blackmagic Camera Fiber Converter.
  • Blackmagic Studio Fiber Converter.
  • ATEM Camera Control Panel (available May/June 2018).
  • Blackmagic URSA Broadcast Shoulder Kit features built in rosettes, rail mounts, viewfinder mount, integrated tripod quick lock release and top handle.
  • Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder is a high resolution viewfinder that includes a full HD OLED display and true glass optics for perfect focus.
  • Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder featuring 7” screen, variable tension mounting points, easy grip handles, external controls and more.
  • URSA VLock Battery Plate provides a VLock compatible plate for attaching third party batteries.
  • Interchangeable EF, F and PL lens mounts.
Categories: Photo News

COOPH necklaces line launched with five silver camera-inspired charms

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 10:47

Cooperative of Photography (COOPH) has launched a line of necklaces featuring small silver charms inspired by five different types of cameras: Hasselblad, Rolleiflex, Olympus OM, Nikon F, and Leica M. All five models are made with 100% 925 sterling silver, include a 46cm / 18in chain with two link options and a small black box, and are priced at €59. Shipping is available worldwide and free on orders over €200.00.

Via: PhotographyBLOG

Categories: Photo News

Instagram test lets users re-share content, but there's a way to disable it

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 09:57

Instagram has confirmed that it is testing a feature for sharing publicly available content posted by other users. In a statement to TechCrunch, Instagram explained that the company regularly tests new ways for users to "share any moment" with their friends. The feature, which some people are referring to as "regram," allows for public content to be shared within a user's Instagram Story.

The sharing feature is only available to a small percentage of users at this time. Instagram didn't provide any sort of time frame for when the feature may launch for all users, nor whether that is certain to happen. However, it seems likely that the feature will see a wider launch due to all users already having the ability to disable re-shares.

Photographers can prevent users from re-sharing their content by opening their Instagram profile, then tapping the menu icon. Within the app's menu, a new setting option is listed that reads "Allow Others to Reshare" alongside a toggle switch. Toggling the switch off will disable other users' ability to re-share content posted by that account.

Via: The Verge

Categories: Photo News

How to shoot Log video using DJI's D-Log color profile

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 06:00

One of the challenges of shooting video with a drone is dealing with high dynamic range lighting situations. Fortunately, many of DJI's drones offer a useful picture profile called D-Log. It's DJI's implementation of a Log gamma curve, designed to capture as much tonal information as possible.

DJI's standard picture profiles can be vivid and punchy, but similar to shooting JPEG format on a stills camera, using them can make it impossible to recover highlights or shadows if clipping occurs in high contrast scenes.

If you don't need to shoot Log to capture the dynamic range of a scene, it may not be
the best choice

Using D-Log can give you more flexibility in your post-production by retaining a wider tonal range, allowing you more latitude to apply your color and style choices during editing. However, there's no such thing as a free lunch; shooting in Log can reduce image quality by trying to compress too much tonal information into a limited number of bits in the file. If you're shooting a high dynamic range scene that tradeoff may result in a net benefit. But if you don't need to shoot Log to capture the dynamic range of a scene, it may not be the best choice.

In this article, I'll show you how to set up the D-Log profile, how to expose for it, and provide some examples of what you can achieve by shooting in D-Log and using color lookup tables, or LUTS, to color grade the final footage.

Set up your DJI drone to shoot in D-Log

To set your Mavic Pro, Phantom, or Inspire to shoot in D-Log, make sure you're in video mode and navigate to your camera settings. You'll find D-Log under the 'Color' settings, along with all the other color profiles. Once selected, you're ready to shoot in D-Log.

To set up D-Log using the DJI GO app, simply navigate to the Color settings in video mode and select the D-Log profile. I also recommend going to the Style settings and creating a custom style with sharpness, contrast, and saturation set to -3 to give yourself more flexibility in editing.

I also recommend going to the 'Style' settings and creating a custom style with contrast, sharpness, and saturation all dialed back to -3. This can give you a bit more flexibility in post-processing since you're not baking things such as the default sharpness level into the file.

Your drone should now be set up and ready to record footage in the D-Log profile. Keep in mind that the image above is from the DJI GO 4 app using the Phantom 4 Pro; menus may look slightly different on different models, but it should be the same basic procedure.

Setting exposure in D-Log

Now that your drone is set to shoot in D-Log, let's discuss some best practices and tips for properly exposing your footage. We'll be using my screenshot below to point out some key settings.

When shooting D-Log, I've had good experience using the expose to the right (ETTR) technique in order to get more shadow detail while preserving highlights.

There are different schools of thought on how to best expose when shooting in Log, but I'll share what has worked consistently for me.

In the image above, note that my histogram is exposed as far to the right side of the scale as possible without clipping my highlights. This is a technique called expose to the right, or ETTR. Exposing this way for D-Log allows for less noise in the shadows while maintaining highlights as much as possible. For the way I shoot, it's the 'sweet spot' for maximum dynamic range retention.

Alternatively, you can optimize exposure for the mid-tones when shooting in D-Log. However, note that D-Log footage can get very noisy if underexposed. If exposing for the mid-tones means using a lower exposure than the ETTR method, it will result in more noise in the shadows in exchange for better highlight retention in the brighter regions of your image. I suggest trying both methods to see what works best for you.

The other key thing to note about my settings is the fact that ISO is set to 500. It's the lowest ISO that DJI D-Log can be shot in on the current Phantom 4 Pro firmware. That means you can go higher than ISO 500 if you'd like, but never below ISO 500. I recommend leaving your ISO at 500 to get the best results.

Using LUTs to color grade D-Log footage

Recording your footage in D-Log offers many benefits, but one of the things that you have to do in order to reap those benefits is to devote more time to post-processing. Straight out of the camera, Log footage looks very flat since it's designed to cram as many tonal values into the available space as possible.

The first step in grading your D-Log footage will be to make it look like something more recognizable. To do this we'll use a LUT, or lookup table, to apply a different gamma curve (tone curve) to our footage using our video editing software.

A LUT is essentially a matrix of numerical data that describes how to modify our footage from the profile it was shot in, to a profile we want to work with.

All of this work with LUTs typically takes place in your video editing software. I use DaVinci Resolve, but the same basic process can be performed in other editors like Final Cut Pro X or Premiere Pro. Once your footage has been imported, you can apply a D-Log to Rec.709 LUT, which converts our D-Log footage to the standard color and tone response for HD video. At this point, our footage should more closely conform to the standard color output we're used to seeing.

Having the flexibility to push and pull colors and exposure in editing is worth
the added effort for me

DJI used to provide a LUT for this conversion but has stopped offering it since the Phantom 4. I like to use Blackmagic's DaVinci Resolve because it has a D-Log to Rec.709 LUT built in, but other third-party plugins like Filmconvert also offer them with their color grading tools as well.

From here it's possible to finish color grading manually if you wish. Alternatively, you can use another LUT to apply a new 'look' to your Rec.709 footage, such as one that emulates a film stock or provides a specific cinematic look, to achieve the output you're going for.

When editing in DaVinci Resolve it's easy to apply a D-Log to Rec.709 LUT to convert my footage. The general workflow is similar in programs like Final Cut Pro X or Premiere Pro, though you may have to add a D-Log to Rec.709 LUT to your software.

One of my workflows is to use the 'D-Log to Rec.709' LUT in DaVinci Resolve, followed by a cinematic LUT from the Elektra series from Polar Pro.

To be clear, Elektra LUTs are intended to convert your D-Log footage directly to a cinematic look, and they absolutely work in that respect. However, after some experimentation I've found the results can sometimes be more pleasing – to me, at least – when I apply these LUTs to footage after applying a D-Log to Rec.709 LUT. Both methods work, and it's really a matter of personal taste and the look you want to achieve.

There are other sources of LUTs designed for DJI drones as well, including collections from Ground Control, and even D-Log LUTs created by the user community (just do a bit of searching online).

I like to go through my library of available LUTs and try them until I find the one that suits the project. I've put together a short sample reel of some D-Log footage from a flight at Seattle's Gasworks Park, so take a peek at the video for some examples of different looks.

This video shows a number of looks I was able to create from the same shoot using different LUTs.

Keep in mind that LUTs don't eliminate the need to do manual color grading; they're a starting point that allows you to apply a consistent look across your footage, but you'll likely still need to do a bit more work to get the precise result you seek.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to set up your DJI drone to shoot in D-Log, expose it for maximum dynamic range, and color grade it using LUTs, you're ready to create your own cinematic aerial films. I've found that the additional workflow required to shoot in D-Log has given me enough benefit in post-production to continue using it. Having the flexibility to push and pull colors and exposure in editing is worth the added effort for me.

Granted, I probably wouldn't employ this process for casual shooting, but for important productions where use of a high contrast color profile would risk clipping a lot of highlights or crushing shadows straight out of the camera , shooting in D-Log is definitely a must. DJI has even created a handy guide to getting started with setting up and shooting in D-Log as well, so if you'd like more information on the process, take a look at that guide here.

Categories: Photo News

Sigma announces full-frame 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art lens

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 21:00
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Sigma has announced a new 14-24mm F2.8 HSM Art lens for full-frame Canon, Nikon and Sigma DSLRs. This ultra-wide zoom has three FLD and three SLD glass elements, plus an 80mm 'high precision molded' aspherical element. The lens is sealed against dust and moisture and has a nine-blade aperture, minimum focus distance of 26cm (10") and a weight of around 1.2 kg (2.5 lb).

While the 14-24 comes with a petal-shaped hood, Sigma will offer a 'front mount conversion service' that will replace it with a circular hood, which is preferable when capturing content intended for VR use.

Living up to its Art designation, the 14-24mm has been designed with 50MP sensors in mind. It claims to minimize distortion to 1% or lower when focused to infinity, and the Canon mount version of the lens works with Canon's in-camera lens aberration correction. Each 14-24mm F2.8 comes from Sigma's Aizu, Japan factory.

Pricing and availability information will be released at a later date.

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Press Release

Sigma Announces Brand New 14-24mm F2.8 Art Lens

February 9, 2018 - Sigma Corporation today announced the brand new 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art wide aperture zoom lens. In addition to the new Global Vision full-frame lens model, Sigma also announced a new front conversion service for the 14-24mm F2.8.

Outstanding Art Lens Performance
Designed for 50-megapixel plus cameras, the 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art achieves the legendary Art lens sharpness with three FLD glass elements, three SLD glass elements, and three aspherical lens elements, including one 80mm high precision molded glass aspherical element. With near zero distortion (less than 1%) and minimal transverse chromatic aberration, flare and ghosting, the new Sigma 14-24mm offers constant F2.8 brightness throughout the zoom range and delivers optimal image quality at every focal length and shooting distance. The high-speed, high-accuracy autofocus allows photographers to capture incredible, in-the-moment images.

Rugged Design
In addition to outstanding optical performance, the 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art features the Sports line level dust- and splash-proof design with special sealing at the mount connection, manual focus ring, zoom ring and cover connection, allowing for the lens to be used during varying weather conditions.

Versatile Camera System Mount Support
The new Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art lens supports Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts and works with Sigma’s MC-11 Sony E-mount converter. The Nikon mount features brand new electromagnetic diaphragm, whereas the Canon mount is compatible with the Canon Lens Aberration Correction function.

Pricing and availability for the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art lens will be announced later.

Front Mount Conversion Service for Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art
Addressing the rising popularity of multi-camera productions, especially using ultra wide-angle lenses in shooting virtual reality (VR) content, Sigma has introduced its Front Conversion Service. Converting the petal-type hood of the 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art to an exclusive round component allows for the lens to be used in various VR scenarios without the risk of interfering with other lenses in the VR rig or undesired shadows in the content.

The availability of this fee-based service for Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art will be announced at a later date.

Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art specifications Principal specificationsLens typeZoom lensMax Format size35mm FFFocal length14–24 mmImage stabilizationNoLens mountCanon EF, Nikon F (FX), Sigma SA BayonetApertureMaximum apertureF2.8Minimum apertureF22Aperture ringNoNumber of diaphragm blades9OpticsElements17Groups11Special elements / coatings1 aspherical + 3 SLD + 3 FLD elementsFocusMinimum focus0.24 m (9.45″)Maximum magnification0.18×AutofocusYesMotor typeRing-type ultrasonicFull time manualYesFocus methodInternalDistance scaleYesDoF scaleNoFocus distance limiterNoPhysicalWeight1150 g (2.54 lb)Diameter96 mm (3.78″)Length135 mm (5.31″)MaterialsMagnesium alloySealingYesColourBlackZoom methodRotary (extending)Power zoomNoZoom lockNoHood suppliedYesTripod collarNoOptional accessoriesPetal hood can be replaced with rounded hood via "front mount conversion service"
Categories: Photo News

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