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Hands-on with Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 / TZ200

DP Review Latest news - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 05:00
Hands-on with Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 (TZ200)

The Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 is a powerful, pocketable travel zoom compact camera, with an impressively long lens. We've had our hands on one – click through for a closer look.

20MP 1"-type sensor

The ZS200 is built around the same 1" 20MP BSI-CMOS sensor as its predecessor the ZS100, which immediately makes it a cut above traditional superzooms that sacrificed (among other thing) sensor size for lens reach.

15X optical zoom lens

The ZS200 scores over its predecessor in a few ways, but the most obvious upgrade is to the lens. While the ZS100's zoom range of 25-250mm was pretty good, the ZS200 turns things up to 11, spanning a much wider range, of 24-360mm (equiv).

Comprising 13 elements in six groups, this complex lens contains three extra low-dispersion elements and five aspherical, plus one that's both extra low-disperson and aspherical. That's pretty impressive for such a small camera.

Also updated compared to the ZS100 is minimum focus, which has been reduced to 3cm from 5cm (at 24mm equiv). Distortion at such a close distance (and at such a wide focal length) will be pretty wild, but for flowers, bugs and other organic subjects, it should be fine.

15X optical zoom lens

The extra zoom range doesn't come free though, and at F3.3-6.4, the ZS200's lens is slightly slower across its focal length span than its predecessor (shown above, on the left). The longer lens contributes to a slightly greater bodyweight, too. The ZS200 weighs 340g with a card and battery installed, compared to 310g for the ZS100.

This side-by-side shot shows off our ZS200's 'gunmetal' finish. Not quite gray, not quite silver, we think it looks rather nice. Good old black will still be an option when the camera ships next month.

4K video

The ZS200 offers 4K video recording at 30p and 24p. Familiar 4K Photo features like Post Focus are available, in addition to a couple of new modes which were also introduced into the DC-GX9.

Auto Marking analyzes a 4K video clip and automatically marks points at which it detects action, and Sequence Composition (illustrated above in a Panasonic-supplied example shot with the DC-GX9) is a 4K Photo feature that allows you to composite multiple frames of a moving subject in front of a static background into a single 4K-resolution still image.

2.3 million-dot EVF

Here at DPReview we love a good EVF, especially in pocketable travel cameras, where it can really make a difference to handling in bright light. The good news is that the ZS200's EVF is improved quite a bit over its predecessor. Resolution has been upped to 2.3 million dots, and magnification has been increased from 0.45X to 0.53X (equiv).

The bad news is that the viewfinder is still field-sequential, so the rainbow effect is alive and well, and shooting with a 0.53X magnification finder is still a bit like watching a television from the end of a hallway. As such, while the ZS200's EVF is much nicer than its predecessor's, it's not a match for the OLED finders in some competitors, such as Sony's RX100-series.

1.24 million-dot touchscreen

Keeping the ZS200's electronic viewfinder company is a fixed 3" rear LCD, which boasts 1.24 million dots and touch-sensitivity. As such, placing your desired AF point is as easy as simply tapping the screen.

We're also pleased to see that Panasonic has included its 'Touch Pad AF' feature to the ZS200. In essence, this is exactly what it sounds like – with your eye to the viewfinder, the ZS200's rear LCD can be used as a touch-pad to position the AF point. Pretty neat. And as you can see, despite the touchscreen, the ZS200 still has enough direct-access buttons to satisfy someone used to more traditional user interfaces (or someone wearing gloves).

Depth-from-Defocus (DFD) Autofocus

The ZS200 features a version of Panasonic's Depth-from-Defocus autofocus technology. In very simple terms, DFD uses known blur characteristics of Panasonic lenses to work out whether a subject is front or back focused, before driving the focusing group to achieve focus. This reduces the characteristic focus 'hunting' of a typical contrast-detection AF system, by increasing the processor's confidence that it's moving things in the right direction.

While we haven't had the chance to properly test the ZS200 (or use it much outside of a conference room and our upper floor balcony), AF speed is impressive at all focal lengths, albeit with some very slight 'wobble' when focus is acquired at long telephoto settings. In theory, the ZS200 should be capable of continuous autofocus at up to 6 fps – something we're keen to try out when we receive a final production camera.

Increased battery life and Bluetooth Low Energy

Built-in Wi-Fi is to be expected these days, but we're pleased to see that Panasonic has also included low-energy Bluetooth (BLE) in the ZS200. This allows for 'aways on' functionality, enabling easy remote trigger functionality from a smartphone without a huge hit in battery life.

Battery life is actually something of a strength of the ZS200. Usually when features get added to a camera, battery life goes down. Not so with the ZS200. Panasonic tells us that improvements have been made to power management, which have paid off in a CIPA rating of 350 shots (compared to 300 from the ZS200) when the LCD is used, and ~250 when shooting with the EVF.

Putting the camera into 'Eco' mode should ensure ~300 shots between charges, regardless of shooting style.

What do you think?

So what do you make of the Panasonic Lumix ZS200? Did one of the best travel zoom compacts just get better, or are you ambivalent about the extra zoom reach and slower lens? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: Photo News

Samsung teases Galaxy S9 low light and slow-mo performance

DP Review Latest news - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 17:50

On the 25th of February, Samsung will unveil its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S9, and the Korean company is already heavily teasing some of the new model's new and improved camera features in a couple of short teaser videos on its Korean Youtube channel.

The first video (above) shows several low-light scenes in quick succession. Towards the end there is the silhouette of a deer in near darkness. The animal's head brightens up when the number 9 appears around it, hinting at some kind of low-light mode or improved low-light capability in the camera.

Previous rumors have mentioned a variable F1.5/F2.4 aperture. The lower value would be one of the fastest apertures on any smartphone camera, but we'd suspect Samsung will add some clever multi-frame-stacking technology on top of that to achieve usable exposures in very low light and manage noise.

Another video is a quick succession of action-packed scenes. At the end, a skydiver is almost frozen in time as the number 9 appears, hinting at some kind of super-slow-motion capture. From what we know so far, the S9 will come with a 480fps 1080p Full-HD slow-motion mode.

These kinds of teasers always leave you with more questions than answers, but fortunately we'll know more in 10 days time when the device is launched. We'll be at the event in Barcelona, so stay tuned for more details!

Categories: Photo News

Shooting wet plate collodion double exposures... handheld

DP Review Latest news - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 17:40

Wet plate photographer Markus Hofstaetter is always experimenting with his art in different ways—whether it's capturing creepy halloween portraits, or this failed attempt to capture a fire and water wedding portrait on both digital and wet plate. His latest experiment, however, was a success.

He managed to do something he's dreamed of for years: he was able to capture wet plate portraits handheld. In fact, he went one better; he shot handheld wet plate collodion double exposures.

One of the hand-held double exposures Markus captured with his newest setup.

The entire 'journey'—from finding a hand-holdable wet plate camera, to fixing it up and making it ready to shoot, to the actual double exposure shots—is documented in the video above and on Hofstaetter's blog, in which his tone seems to be "I'm glad I did this, but lord was it a pain in the butt."

One of the biggest challenges facing Hofstaetter was getting enough light to capture the plates handheld. "Even though these are small plates, I had to use 6000-7000 Watts of Hensel strobe power to get enough light thru the grided softbox," he writes. But in the end, it worked. And since he was mixing new tech and old technique, he decided that steampunk portraits would be appropriate.

Here's some of what he captured:

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Whether or not you like the final images, you have to admire Hofstaetter's determination and creativity. He found a camera that would work, 3D printed plate holders because they were missing, and then managed to do something we haven't ever hear of before. Kudos are definitely in order.

Check out the video up top to see the full journey from purchase to plates, and the head over to Hofstaetter's blog for more behind the scenes images and other crazy experiments.

All photos, videos, and GIFs by Markus Hofstaetter and used with permission.

Categories: Photo News

Large Capacity Air Fry Toaster Oven Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 14:05
Black & Decker breaks new ground with its first toaster oven that also air-fries food.
Categories: Photo News

Panono has new CEO, puts focus on software solutions

DP Review Latest news - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 11:45

Professional360 GmbH, the recently re-named company behind the Panono 360-degree camera and software solutions, has a new CEO. Thomas Escher has previously held a number of top-level management positions in media houses such as Axel Springer and ProSiebenSat.1 Media, and managed the French foreign business of the online toy retailer MyToys, among other roles.

“In Thomas Escher we have found a CEO with expertise both in media and entertainment and in classical e-commerce,” said a spokesperson of Bryanston Group AG, the company who has acquired the assets of Panono and has been running its business operations since July 2017.

With the new CEO at its helm, the company is adjusting its strategy, reducing the focus on hardware and towards customized 350-degree software solutions, with real-estate and construction two key target sectors. Escher explains:

108 megapixels make our camera the highest resolution 360 degree one-shot camera in the market. We will strive to uphold and extend this technological leadership in the future. However, today this is no longer enough: especially among professional users, there’s a growing demand for individual software, cloud and web applications. They desire a first-class virtual presence both for web and mobile applications, as well as the most innovative content solutions.

“At the moment, real estate is still very traditional in its structures and processes, but with digitization moving forward, there are dramatic changes ahead in the next years,” continues Escher. “For one of our customers, we have developed a tool to create virtual tours out of our 360 degree images and to link them to a floor plan. This way, complete houses can be viewed online. Our customers can offer their clients viewings that are independent as to both time and place.”

This is only the latest chapter in Panono's brief but turbulent history, and a stark move away from the more traditional, consumer focused 360° camera industry Panono started in. We had several occasions to have a closer look and test the Panono camera and were impressed by the technology. Hopefully the new CEO and strategy can help get the company back on track, and push 360-degree imaging technology further.

Press Release


- Thomas Escher new CEO of Panono
- New focus on software solutions and services for 360 degree photos
- Strong customer focus

Berlin, 15 February 2018 – In February 2018, Thomas Escher (36) joined Professional360 GmbH as the new CEO. Under the brand name Panono the company offers professional 360 degree photo solutions for businesses and professional users, including its own award-winning camera hardware and customized software, cloud solutions and web integration.

“In Thomas Escher we have found a CEO with expertise both in media and entertainment and in classical e-commerce,” said a spokesperson of Bryanston Group AG, the company who has acquired the assets of Panono and has been running its business operations since July 2017. Escher has held a number of top-level management positions in media houses such as Axel Springer and ProSiebenSat.1 Media, and, among others, managed the French foreign business of the online toy retailer MyToys. As the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of the Allianz affiliate InstaMotion, an online dealer for second-hand cars, he
was responsible for marketing and sales activities.

From “technology first” to “customer first”

Panono aims to continue the expansion of 360 degree solutions. “108 megapixels make our camera the highest resolution 360 degree one-shot camera in the market. We will strive to uphold and extend this technological leadership in the future. However today this is no longer enough: especially among professional users, there’s a growing demand for individual software, cloud and web applications. They desire a first-class virtual presence both for web and mobile applications, as well as the most innovative content solutions”, explained Escher. “With this in mind we will further develop our platform, software
features and services, both independently and via sector-specific strategic partnerships. We have already implemented some exciting features, and there are more on the horizon.”

Focus on real estate and construction

Panono has been giving special attention to the real estate sector. “At the moment, real estate is still very traditional) in its structures and processes, but with digitization moving forward, there are dramatic changes ahead in the next years,” said Thomas Escher. “For one of our customers, we have developed a tool to create virtual tours out of our 360 degree images and to link them to a floor plan. This way, complete houses can be viewed online. Our customers can offer their clients viewings that are independent as to both time and place.” According to Escher, Panono also offers interesting possibilities
for construction and maintenance companies, for example when it comes to the documentation of building conditions and work progress.

Categories: Photo News

2018 Mini Cooper S E Countryman All4 plug-in hybrid review - Roadshow

CNET Reviews - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 09:30
The Mini Countryman scales up for 2018 which also makes room for a new 65-mpge plug-in hybrid model.
Categories: Photo News

Samsung Notebok 9 Pen review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 06:38
A slim, lightweight hybrid with the same built-in S Pen as the Galaxy Note phone.
Categories: Photo News

Noa N7 smartphone captures 80MP images with 'high-resolution mode'

DP Review Latest news - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 05:54

Lesser known Croatian brand Noa might not be the first manufacturer that springs to mind when you think about mobile photography, but the company will be launching a new mid-range device with some very interesting imaging features at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of this month.

The Noa N7 comes with a dual-camera setup that features two 16MP Sony IMX298 1/2.8" image sensors. At this point, there's no further detail on how the two cameras play together, but we would assume there will be a shallow depth-of-field simulation mode and some kind of computational merging for better detail and reduced noise.

What the camera will definitely feature, however, is a 80MP high-resolution mode, presumably using image data from both lenses in combination with a pixel-shift technology. Looking at the demo video below, it seems the mode will require a tripod, but that's still an attractive option for landscape or architectural photography who require maximum detail.

Main camera aside, the phone will offer a ceramic casing, Face-ID unlocking via the front camera, DTS stereo sound and an octa-core MediaTek MT6750 chipset. Images can be framed and viewed on a 5.7-inch display with 18:9 aspect ratio, and HD+ resolution.

If the 80MP mode has sparked your interest, the Noa N7 might be worth a closer look. Fortunately, the high pixel count won't come with an expensive price tag—Noa says the N7 will retail for about 250 EUR ($US 310) in Europe. We are looking forward to testing the high-resolution mode at MWC, so stay tuned!

Press Release

Koprivnica, 15th of February 2018

NOA will focus on its latest smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona - NOA N7, with a 5,7 HD+ screen with an 18:9 screen ratio. Ceramic case, improved photography, Face ID and Face Beauty functionality along with an affordable price are the main key selling points of this new model.

The first two thing you'll notice about this model is its design and a wonderful „royal blue“ color of the ceramic casing. This smartphone's subtle elegance will certainly be noticed by everyone around you.

What makes this phone especially noticeable is the photo detailing and its quality, something that you'll experience when you zoom in the photo and notice the perfectly rendered details. The N7 model will feature 2x 16 MP back Sony cameras with an IMX 298 sensor, which enables the creation of photographs up to 80 MP using oversampling technology.

The front 16 MP „selfie“ camera will support „Face ID“ and „Face Beauty“ functionalities. This means that you'll be able to unlock your smartphone by scanning your face, which adds extra functionality in this price range, and rounds our the feature list with attractive and novel technologies. Your selfies will look sharper, more detailed and be of better quality. Thanks to the „Face Beauty“ feature, you'll always look your best in photos, whether you're taking them in the morning or evening.

Users who like to listen to music will also enjoy themselves with NOA N7, thanks to the world famous DTS sound technology. DTS Sound is an all-in-one audio solution that offers improved stereo sound quality, internal speaker optimization, and creates a panoramic audio experience while using earbuds.

NOA N7 is based on the 8 core Media Tek MT6750 processor with a 1,5 GHz frequency and a 5,7'' screen. The screen resolution, complete with HD+ technology is 1440x720 pixel and an 18:9 screen ratio. NOA N7 will have 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of ROM storage, expandable to 128 GB with the help of an SD card. NOA N7 comes with a 3.300 mAh battery and will use the latest Android 8.0 as its operating system.

NOA N7 smartphone will be in the price bracket of up to 250 EUR.

Categories: Photo News

Fitbit Ionic review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 04:00
The closest thing to a Pebble watch might be Fitbit's latest smartwatch. It's what the Ionic should have had in the first place.
Categories: Photo News

Lensbaby introduces Burnside 35 with variable vignetting

DP Review Latest news - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 03:00

Lensbaby has announced the Burnside 35, which it calls an adaptation of the Petzval lens design with the added benefit of an effect slider to adjust the strength of vignetting and bokeh. The gold-anodized slider is located on the side of the lens barrel and operates a second iris, adding more or less vignette effect and adjusting the appearance of bokeh.

The manual focus lens is designed for full-frame and crop-sensor cameras and will be offered in Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Pentax K, Micro Four Thirds, Sony E, Fujifilm X and Samsung NX mount. It's on sale now for $500.

Lensbaby Delivers a Modern Take on Classic Lenses with the Burnside 35

Portland, OR (February 15, 2018) - Lensbaby—makers of award-winning creative effects lenses, optics and accessories—announces the launch of an entirely new kind of creative effects lens, the Burnside 35.

The first ever wide angle adaptation of the Petzval lens design, this 35mm f/2.8 lens creates images with a large, bright central area of sharp focus and striking color rendition surrounded by variable, swirling bokeh and vignette. It also features an effect slider that operates as a second internal iris that changes the shape and amount of swirl in the bokeh; all while adding or removing vignette and center brightness.

Burnside’s 35mm focal length lets you capture a scene at a normal-wide perspective with a dimensionality that makes your subject jump off the page. This lens opens up a new world of creative possibilities for those shooting street photography, landscapes, environmental portraits and more.

“The Burnside 35 is one of the most versatile Lensbabies we’ve made,” said Lensbaby Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder Craig Strong. “It gives you the ability to have a strong or subtle creative effect in a single lens, a lens you might just keep on your camera all day long.”

Adding to the Burnside 35’s versatility is the radical, new effect slider that can be used to add center brightness, in-camera vignette and adjust bokeh detail. You can toggle the gold-anodized effect slider on the barrel of the lens to create variable balance and harmony between center brightness, bokeh and vignette. The effect slider features a four-stop range of vignette and bokeh enhancement so you can dial in the exact look that appeals to you.

Burnside 35 joins Lensbaby’s lens lineup as an all-metal, non-tilting lens similar to their bestselling Velvet series. Made specifically for full frame and crop sensor cameras, this lens is compatible with Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Pentax K, Micro 4/3, Sony E, Fuji X and Samsung NX.

Burnside 35 Product Specs:
  • Focal Length: 35mm
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8-16
  • 6 blade internal aperture
  • 8 blade secondary internal aperture for the effect slider
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 6 inches
  • Maximum Focus Distance: Infinity
  • 62mm filter threads
  • Focus type: Manual
  • Size/ Weight: 13.2 oz (374.21g)
  • 6 multi-coated glass elements, in 4 groups

The Burnside 35 is now available for purchase on lensbaby.com and select Lensbaby-authorized retailers for $499.95.

Categories: Photo News

Fujifilm X-H1 Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

CNET Reviews - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 21:00
In its new flagship APS-C model, Fujifilm's the last of the mainstream mirrorless camera makers to drift from optical stabilization to sensor shift.
Categories: Photo News

Fujifilm X-H1 First Impressions Review

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 21:00

The Fujifilm X-H1 is the company's range-topping APS-C camera and its most video-capable camera to date. It's based around the same 24MP sensor as the X-T2 but adds in-body image stabilization as well as a more comprehensive set of video options.

The X-H1 looks like a fractionally larger X-T2 but with the sloped viewfinder 'prism' and top-panel LCD that hint at the styling of the GFX 50S. Fujifilm has also clearly been listening to critics of the X-T series and have made the camera's grip and buttons significantly larger, particularly the AE-L and newly-added AF-On buttons.

Key specifications
  • 24MP X-Trans APS-C sensor
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization (rated at 5EV)*
  • 3.69M-dot OLED viewfinder
  • Touch sensitive rear LCD with two-axis tilt
  • DCI and UHD 4K capture at up to 200 Mbps
  • Slow motion 1080 (from 120 and 100 fps)
  • Internal F-Log capture
  • 24-bit audio capture
  • Eterna/Cinema Film Simulation mode
  • Timecode
  • No-blackout continuous shooting
  • Twin UHS-II-compatible card slots
  • Anti-flicker shooting mode
  • Wi-Fi with Bluetooth for constant connection

The company says it's made further improvements to its AF system and says the new camera will be able to focus in lower light and with smaller apertures.

Despite being based around the same sensor and processor, the X-H1 promises significantly improved video performance, with the range of shooting options extended to include DCI as well as UHD 4K shooting, bitrates up to 200 Mbps and the ability to record F-Log footage internally.

Other additions include the movie style 'Eterna' Film Simulation and an anti-flicker option for shooting under artificial lights.

Interestingly, although rated at 5EV, Fujifilm says the stabilization can hit 5.5EV of effectiveness if paired with non-IS lenses. The explanation for this is that the unstabilized lenses tend to be primes and are generally relatively wide focal lengths, both of which mean they're more likely to project a larger image circle than the sensor requires. This gives the sensor more room to move around, providing greater stabilization.

Enhanced video

The X-T2 is already a very credible video performer: offering good levels of detail capture and Log output over HDMI if needed. The X-H1 takes this a step further. In addition to being able to shoot UHD 4K at up to 30p it can also shoot the wider aspect ratio DCI 4K format at 23.98 and 24p. Enhanced compression options allow capture at up to 200 Mbps and it can also capture F-Log footage internally.

Like the X-T2, the H1 uses a 1.17x crop region of its sensor to capture its UHD and DCI 4K video. This means using roughly 1.4x more pixels than necessary, in each dimension, to produce its UHD footage. This oversampling leads to higher levels of detail capture than would be possible by simply using a 3840 x 2160 region. If the X-T2 is anything to go by, it should look good and have pretty well-controlled rolling shutter.

It seems most of the camera's additional size relates to the addition of the stabilization unit, since the X-H1 is still limited to 15 minutes of 4K shooting. However, as with the X-T2, there's an optional battery grip that lets the camera cycle between drawing power from each of three batteries. Presumably this avoids too much heat building up in the same place, since it extends the camera's 4K shooting duration out to the traditional 29 minutes, 59 seconds stipulated by import duty regulations.

On top of this comes the ability for the camera to retain a raft of settings separately for stills and video. This means you don't have to significantly reconfigure the camera every time you switch from stills to video shooting or back.

Parameters treated independently for movie shooting
  • Film Simulation
  • Dynamic Range mode
  • White Balance
  • Highlight Tone
  • Shadow Tone
  • Color (saturation)
  • Sharpness (sharpening)
  • Noise reduction
  • Peripheral light correction (vignetting )
  • Focus area
  • Focus mode
  • AF-C Custom Settings
  • Pre-AF
  • Face/Eye Detection
  • MF Assist
  • Focus Check

The obvious things that can't be set independently for stills and movie shooting are the exposure settings, since these are primarily defined by dedicated control dials. If you plan to swap back and forth between stills and video shooting, the camera's new 'Movie Silent Control' mode is one way around this.

Movie Silent Control disables the aperture ring, shutter speed dial and ISO dial, passing control to a touchscreen, joystick and four-way controller-based interface. This means discrete stills and video settings can be maintained, since the dedicated control points no longer have any affect in video mode.

However you choose to control exposure in movie mode, you'll quickly find that the X-H1 offers shutter speeds equivalent to 360, 180 and 90 degree shutter angles for 24, 30 and 60p video capture, with the options for 1/24th, 1/48th, 1/96th, 120th and 1/240th becoming available.

Like its sibling, the X-H1 offers a series of focus peaking options (color and intensity) but no zebra warnings for setting exposure, beyond the 'Live View Highlight Warning' option that indicates an unspecified and unspecifiable brightness.

The X-H1 also brings Fujifilm's DR modes to movie capture for the first time, allowing you to capture more highlight information, if you can tolerate higher ISO settings. Meanwhile the 'Eterna/Cinema' Film simulation is designed to give 'soft,' low-saturation footage with low contrast but distinct shadows. Fujifilm says it can be used as an end-point in itself or to give yourself a degree of latitude for color grading.

Users of Fujifilm's MK lenses (launched in X-mount alongside the X-H1) will appreciate the ability to view aperture as T-stops, rather than F-numbers. It's unclear at this point whether this option will be available with adapted and third-party lenses identified this way.

Dynamic Range Priority

Fujifilm was one of the first brands to exploit the ISO-invariant properties of the sensors it uses through its Dynamic Range modes (The DR modes offer multiple ways of delivering ISO settings using different amounts of hardware amplification to capture additional highlight information).

The X-H1 takes this further with a 'Dynamic Range Priority' mode. This uses the existing DR modes in combination with the camera's ability to adjust the Highlight and Shadow aspects of its tone curves. There are four settings: Weak, Strong, Auto and Off. The 'Weak' setting is DR200% mode with highlights and shadows softened by 1 step (since it's baed on DR200%, is only available from ISO 400 upwards), while 'Strong' is DR400% with Highlights and Shadows set to -2. Strong is only available from ISO 800 or higher.

New shutter mechanism

Along with in-body stabilization, the X-H1 gains a new, quieter shutter mechanism. In addition to being quieter, it also allows the camera to offer Electronic First Curtain (EFC) shutter mode. In this mode the sensor being activated starts the exposure but a physical shutter is still used to end it, so that you significantly reduce the risk of shutter shock without increasing the risk of rolling shutter.

Various combinations of EFC, mechanical and fully electronic shutter are available, to allow the use of each mode for the shutter speeds where it gives its greatest advantage.

Compared with its peers

The X-H1 is the latest high-end crop sensor camera to offer both stills and video shooting but each one provides a different set of features:

Fujifilm X-H1 Fujifilm X-T2 Sony a6500 Panasonic GH5 US MSRP
(body only) $1900 $1600 $1400 $2000 Pixel count 24MP 24MP 24MP 20MP Sensor size APS-C APS-C APS-C Four Thirds Image Stablization 5-axis, 5.5EV Lens only 5-axis, 5EV 5-axis, 5EV Maximum shooting rate 14 fps with e-shutter, 8 fps mechanical (11 with grip)

14 fps with e-shutter, 8 fps mechanical (11 with grip)

11 fps 9 fps (11 with S-AF) AF Joystick? 8-way 8-way No 4-way Touchscreen Yes No Yes Yes Screen articulation Two-axis tilt Two-axis tilt Tilt Fully articulated EVF 3.69M dots 2.36M dots 2.36M dots 3.69M dots Viewfinder magnification 0.75x 0.77x 0.70x 0.76x Video Bit depth 8 8 8 10 Max bitrate
(Mbps) 200 100 100 400 (150 in 8-bit mode Mic / Headphone sockets? Yes / On VPB-XH1 accessory grip Yes / On VPB-XT2 accessory grip Yes / No Yes / Yes Log capture? Yes HDMI out only Yes HLG (V-Log L Via paid upgrade) HDMI Micro Micro Micro Full size USB 3.0 Micro Type B 3.0 Micro Type B 2.0 Micro Type B 3.1 Type C Shots per charge (CIPA rating) 310 340 310 410 Weight (with card and battery) 673g 507g 453g 725g Pricing and availability

The X-H1 will be available from March 1st at an MSRP of $1899 body only and $2199 bundled with the VPB-XH1 vertical grip.

*Fujifilm says the camera will give up to 5.5EV of stabilization when paired with non-stabilized XF lenses.

Categories: Photo News

Fujifilm announces X-H1 stills/movie flagship with in-body stabilization

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 21:00
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Fujifilm has unveiled the X-H1, a flagship 24MP APS-C camera that builds on the X-T2's feature set by adding 5-axis image stabilization, a touchscreen and more advanced video capabilities.

The X-H1 gains the ability DCI 4K capture at 23.97p and 24p, in addition to UHD recording at up to 29.9p. It can also record F-Log footage internally for the first time and adds a movie filmstock style 'Eterna' Film Simulation mode. More advanced compression allows video capture at up to 200 Mbps: double that of the X-T2.

Movie shooting is also aided by a predominantly touchscreen-operated 'Movie Silent Shooting' mode, which deactivates the camera's dedicated control dials.

The X-H1 borrows styling cues from the medium-format GFX 50S, including a top-panel status LCD and sloping viewfinder prism. It shares the X-T2's top burst rate of 14 fps with electronic shutter or 8 fps with mechanical shutter, boosted to 11 fps with optional grip.

Like the X-T2, adding a battery grip extends 4K video shooting from 15 minutes to 29 minutes, 59 seconds. It also adds a headphone socket.

Click here to read our Fujifilm X-H1 First Impressions Review

Press release


Introducing in-body image stabilization, professional video capabilities, and a range of new features in a robust, durable camera body

Valhalla, N.Y., February 15, 2018 – As a leader in advanced digital camera technology and outstanding image quality, FUJIFILM North America Corporation is excited to announce the new FUJIFILM X-H1, featuring a 24.3 megapixel APS-C sized X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X-Processor Pro image processing engine for outstanding image quality. The new X-H1 is the highest performance camera in the X Series line of mirrorless cameras, and the first to feature in-body image stabilization (IBIS), a new Flicker Reduction mode that allows for stable exposure under fluorescent and mercury lighting, DCI 4K and other impressive video capabilities.

“The new X-H1 is our first X Series model to feature in-body image stabilization, and we are very excited to introduce this camera to the market,” said Yuji Igarashi, General Manager of the Electronic Imaging Division & Optical Devices Division at FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “In addition to ensuring outstanding image quality, the X-H1 is fully equipped with an array of features and functionality specifically designed to enhance creative expression in a wide range of settings.”

The X-H1 boasts a newly designed, robust and durable body, and a range of features that support shooting in various situations by professional and experienced amateur photographers, and videographers. When used in combination with FUJINON lenses and Fujifilm’s signature color reproduction technology, the X-H1 produces outstanding image quality and video reproduction.

New 5.5 Stops In-Body Image Stabilization
The new X-H1 is the first X Series camera to feature in-body image stabilization, harnessing three axial accelerometers, three axial Gyro sensors, and a specially-developed dual-processor to achieve approximately 10,000 calculations per second. When combined with compensating mechanisms, the X-H1 produces uncompromised image quality and precision. 5-axis image stabilization is possible with all XF and XC lenses, with certain lenses capable of up to a maximum of 5.5 stops. In addition, a new spring mechanism has been added to reduce micro-vibrations caused by operation of the mechanical shutter. Photographers may also choose to use the electronic front curtain shutter or the electronic shutter, virtually eliminating the effect of vibrations to maximize the benefits of image stabilization.

Robust, Weather-Resistant Body Design and Easy Operability for a Wide Range of Shooting Environments
In addition to its dust and water-resistant properties and ability to operate in temperatures as low as 14°F \ -10°C, the X-H1 also features 25% thicker magnesium alloy than the X-T2. The camera also features a high quality, scratch-resistant coating and a compact, lightweight body that maintains high precision and strong resistance to impact shock torsion and other sources of deformation.

The new X-H1 features a high-magnification and high-precision electronic viewfinder with a magnification ratio of 0.75 times and 3.69 million dot resolution, leading the class for APS-C mirrorless cameras. The viewfinder display is extraordinarily smooth, with a display time lag of just 0.005 seconds and a frame rate of 100 frames per second, allowing the user to instantly confirm the movement of the subject and position the focus with great precision. The X-H1 also features a 3-direction tilt, 3-inch, 1.04 million dot electrostatic touch-panel LCD, which can be intuitively set to the desired angle. In addition, the 1.28 inch sub-LCD on the top of the camera, which emulates the design of the mirrorless medium format GFX 50S, allows for instant confirmation of shooting information.

The X-H1 incorporates additional improvements based on feedback from professional photographers, including a large grip design, leaf-spring switch for the shutter-release button, near-silent shutter sound, a new focus level, and a new AF-ON button and enlargements of buttons on the rear of the camera.

Comprehensive Range of Video Features Support Movie Production
The X-H1 is the first camera in the X Series to include ETERNA, a new film simulation mode that is ideal for shooting movies. This mode simulates cinematic film, creating understated colors and rich shadow tones, greatly enhancing creative freedom during post-processing. The X-H1 boasts many functional and performance improvements to video image quality, including the 1080/120P high-speed video mode (1/2, 1/4 and 1/5 speed slow motion) for recording spectacular slow-motion footage; F-log SD card recording which aids smooth workflow; a DCI 4K shooting mode (4096×2160); a 400% dynamic range setting (approximately 12 stops); 200 Mbps high bit rate recording; a high-sound quality internal microphone (24 bit/48 kHz); and verbal time codes.

First Flicker Reduction Mode and Improved Autofocus Algorithms
The X-H1 features a flicker reduction mode, allowing for stable exposure during burst shots even under fluorescent and mercury lighting. In addition, improvements to the autofocus (AF) algorithm have achieved a number of performance enhancements. Low-light limit for phase detection AF has been improved by approximately 1.5 stops—from 0.5EV to -1.0EV—raising the precision and speed of AF in low-light environments. The minimum aperture has been expanded from F8 to F11, and major improvements have been made to the AF-C performance while operating in zoom, making the X-H1 ideal for shooting rapidly moving subjects.

Vertical Power Booster Grip VPB-XH1
The Vertical Power Booster Grip (VPB-XH1) is a weather-resistant grip capable of operating at temperatures as low as 14°F/-10°C that fits two additional batteries to increase maximum number of shots to 900 (in normal mode) and increases the maximum period for shooting movies in 4K to about 30 minutes.
The Vertical Power Booster Grip features a shutter release button, focus lever, AE-L button, AF-ON button, command dial, Q button, and Fn button, providing the same ease of operation when using the camera in vertical or horizontal positions. The grip is equipped with a headphone socket to allow monitoring sound while recording, and includes recharging capability.

Wide Eyecup EC-XH W
The Wide Eyecup EC-XH W covers a broad area around the eye, greatly reducing light interference to enhance concentration during long shoots. The eyecup can be rotated in 90° increments, making it adaptable for either eye and for shooting either vertically or horizontally.

FUJIFILM X-H1 Key Features:

  • 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III Sensor with primary color filter and X-Processor Pro Processor
  • 5-axis 5.5 stops in-body image stabilization
  • High-precision 0.5 inch, approx. 3.69 million dots OLED Color Viewfinder
  • Weather-resistant design; ability to operate in temperatures as low as 14°F/-10°C
  • ISO Sensitivity
    o Standard output: AUTO1 / AUTO2 / AUTO3 (up to ISO12800) / ISO200~12800 (1/3 step)
    o Extended output: ISO100/125/160/25600/51200
  • LCD Monitor
    o 3.0 inch, aspect ratio 3:2, approx. 1.04 million dots touch screen color LCD monitor(approx. 100% coverage)
  • Continuous Shootingo 14.0 fps (with the Electronic Shutter), 8.0 fps (with the Mechanical Shutter)o 11.0 fps (with the Mechanical Shutter and when fitted with VPB-XH1)
  • Movie Recording (using a card with the UHS Speed Class 3 or higher)
    o [4K (4096×2160)] 24P / 23.98P up to approx. 15min.
    o [4K (3840×2160)] 29.97P / 25P / 24P / 23.98P up to approx. 15min.
    o [Full HD (1920×1080)] 59.94P / 50P / 29.97P / 25P / 24P / 23.98P up to approx. 20min.
    o [HD (1280×720)] 59.94P / 50P / 29.97P / 25P / 24P / 23.98P up to approx. 30min.• Bluetooth® Ver. 4.0 low energy technology
  • New ETERNA film simulation mode
    o Simulates cinematic film, understated colors and rich shadow tones
  • New Flicker Reduction Mode
    o Provides stable exposure during burst shots even under fluorescent and mercury lighting
  • Advanced filters and Film Simulations, including ACROS
  • Accessories included:
    o Li-ion battery NP-W126S
    o Battery charger BC-W126
    o Shoe-mount flash unit EF-X8
    o Shoulder strap, Body cap, Strap clip, Protective cover, Clip attaching tool, Hot shoe cover, Vertical Power Booster Grip connector cover, Sync terminal cover, Cable protector, Owner's manual

Availability and Pricing
The X-H1 will be available on March 1, 2018 in the U.S. and Canada. The X-H1 Body will be available for USD $1,899.95 and CAD $2,449.99 and the X-H1 Body with Vertical Power Booster Grip Kit will be available for USD $2,199.95 and CAD $2,799.99

Fujifilm X-H1 specifications PriceMSRP$1899 (body only)Body typeBody typeSLR-style mirrorlessBody materialMagnesium alloySensorMax resolution6000 x 4000Image ratio w:h1:1, 3:2, 16:9Effective pixels24 megapixelsSensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)Sensor typeCMOSProcessorX-Processor ProColor spacesRGB, Adobe RGBColor filter arrayX-TransImageISOAuto, 200-12800 (expands to 100-51200)Boosted ISO (minimum)100Boosted ISO (maximum)51200White balance presets7Custom white balanceYes (3 slots)Image stabilizationSensor-shiftCIPA image stabilization rating5 stop(s)Uncompressed formatRAWJPEG quality levelsFine, normalFile format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • Raw (Fujifilm RAF, 14-bit)
Optics & FocusAutofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYesManual focusYesNumber of focus points325Lens mountFujifilm XFocal length multiplier1.5×Screen / viewfinderArticulated LCDTiltingScreen size3″Screen dots1,040,000Touch screenYesScreen typeTFT LCDLive viewYesViewfinder typeElectronicViewfinder coverage100%Viewfinder magnification1.13× (0.75× 35mm equiv.)Viewfinder resolution3,690,000Photography featuresMinimum shutter speed30 secMaximum shutter speed1/8000 secMaximum shutter speed (electronic)1/32000 secExposure modes
  • Program
  • Shutter priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashNo (Small external flash included)External flashYesFlash modesAuto, standard, slow sync, manual, commanderFlash X sync speed1/250 secDrive modes
  • Panorama
  • Advanced
  • Single shot
  • Continuous L/M/H
  • Bracket
  • Video
Continuous drive14.0 fpsSelf-timerYes (2 or 10 secs)Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Average
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)AE Bracketing±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)WB BracketingYesVideography featuresFormatMPEG-4, H.264Modes
  • 4096 x 2160 @ 24p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 23.98p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereoSpeakerMonoStorageStorage typesDual SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II compatible)ConnectivityUSB USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)USB chargingYesHDMIYes (micro-HDMI)Microphone portYesHeadphone portNoWirelessBuilt-InWireless notes802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0Remote controlYes (via smartphone or wired remote)PhysicalEnvironmentally sealedYesBatteryBattery PackBattery descriptionNP-W126S lithium-ion battery & chargerBattery Life (CIPA)310Weight (inc. batteries)673 g (1.48 lb / 23.74 oz)Dimensions140 x 97 x 86 mm (5.51 x 3.82 x 3.39″)Other featuresOrientation sensorYesTimelapse recordingYesGPSNone
Categories: Photo News

Fujifilm's MKX lenses bring affordable cinema glass to X-mount

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 21:00
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Fujifilm has announced its Fujinon MKX 18-55mm T2.9 and MKX 50-135mm T2.9 cinema lenses for X-mount. These are essentially the same Super 35 lenses that Fujifilm released about a year ago in E-mount and are now available to users of the company's own X-mount mirrorless system.

Combined, the two lenses provide coverage between 18mm and 135mm, a very useful range for video production. Based on the company's much more expensive Cabrio line of cinema optics, the MKX series include properties typically found on much more expensive cine lenses.

Those features include little to no lens breathing, a phenomenon which causes a lens's field of view to change slightly as it's focused, a parfocal design, meaning that the lens will maintain precise focus while zooming and 200 degrees of focus rotation with hard stops in order to work well with a follow focus setup.

The Fujinon MKX18-55mm T2.9 and MKX 50-135mm T2.9 cinema lenses are X-mount versions of the MK series lenses released about a year ago for E-mount (shown here on a Sony FS7 camera).

Additionally, the MKX lenses are also matched to have the same exact weight, dimensions, gearing and 82mm filter threads, meaning that it's possible to switch between the two lenses easily without making any modifications to your rigging, such as the position of tools like a follow-focus or matte box.

We provided a hands-on look at both the MK18-55mm T2.9 and MK50-135mm T2.9 lenses in E-mount when they were released, and since they're the same lenses (except for the mount) those articles can give you a more detailed overview of both lenses.

The MKX 18-55mm T2.9 and lens will cost $3,999, while the MKX 50-135mm T2.9 will cost $4,299. Both lenses are expected to be available in spring or summer 2018.

Press release:


High Performance, Lightweight Cinema Lenses for the X Series Line of Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Digital Cameras

Valhalla, N.Y., February 15, 2018 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the launch of FUJINON MKX18-55mmT2.9 and FUJINON MKX50-135mmT2.9 cinema lenses for X Mount, new additions to the X Series line of interchangeable lenses.

Available in June 2018, these cinema lenses offer a lightweight and compact design with the same optical performance and operability as larger cinema lenses in their class. They cover 18-135mm–the most frequently used focal length in video production–and achieve a constant T2.9 aperture across the entire zoom range, enabling a shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh effect. With an enhanced optical and mechanical design, the MKX18-55mm and MKX50-135mm suppress focus shifts while zooming and reduce lens breathing, ensuring continuous sharp output. In line with the optical performance of the XF16-55mm and XF50-140mm lenses, these new MKX lenses offer a range of features that enable ease-of-use for capture in a wide array of shooting situations.

“The growth of video production has created a large demand among videographers and cinematographers for compact and easy-to-use lenses,” said Yuji Igarashi, General Manager of the Electronic Imaging Division & Optical Devices Division at FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “In keeping with our commitment to deliver innovative products and solutions, Fujifilm has recognized this need and has introduced the MKX18-55mm and MKX50-135mm lenses, offering a lightweight design and affordable price point, while delivering great optical performance and operability as other professional cinema lenses.”

Advanced Optical Performance in a Compact, Lightweight Lens Barrel

The MKX18-55mm and MKX50-135mm are lightweight and compact; achieving advanced optical performance utilizing the short flange focal distance of X Mount. This feature reduces the number of people needed for the shooting process, ideal for small budget productions.

In addition, the lenses offer advanced optical performance across the entire zoom range. Achieving T2.9 aperture, they facilitate the bokeh effect with shallow depth-of-field eliminating the need to readjust lighting. Combined, these features not only lead to beautiful videos, but also shorten shooting time, making the MKX lenses a very economical choice for movie production. Further adding to its superior output, contact with an X Series camera corrects distortion, color, brightness and achieves Fujifilm’s various Film Simulation modes.

Featuring an Optical and Mechanical Design Ideal for Video Shooting

The optical and mechanical approach employed in these new MKX lenses allows for elimination of time lag that is usually experienced with electrical control systems. Manufacturing technology developed for conventional FUJINON cinema lenses was applied to control the optical axis shift while zooming. The front inner-focusing system controls lens breathing, allowing for smooth focus over an entire scene. Additionally, when zooming, focus shift is suppressed by independently driving the front focusing group and zooming group of lens elements away from each other.

Comfortable Operability Provided Through Dedicated Cinema Lenses

The MKX18-55mm and MKX50-135mm feature three fully manual rings for independent adjustment of focus, zoom and aperture, allowing for intuitive operation. The focus ring offers a rotation of a full 200 degrees to facilitate precise focusing even when shooting with a shallow depth-of-field where a high degree of precision is required. Further, all operation rings have a gear pitch of 0.8 m, allowing the use of all standard third party accessories for video production. With an iris that supports seamless adjustment, precise and silent exposure is achieved while preventing camera shake caused by clicking, making these lenses perfect for a wide array of shooting situations.

Standardized Design for Ease of Operation

Adding to their high quality video production, these MKX lenses are designed for ease-of-use. The gears for all three rings are positioned in the same place eliminating the need to re-position accessories when switching lenses. Only one matte box with an 85mm front diameter and one filter size with a filter thread of 82mm are needed between the two lenses. Equipped with a macro function that allows shooting close-ups to broaden the range of scenes that can be covered with one lens, optimum performance is achieved.

FUJINON MKX18-55mmT2.9 Key Features

  • Compatible with all FUJIFILM X Series interchangeable system cameras
  • Compact, lightweight lens weighing just 1,080g with external dimensions (maximum diameter x length) of 87mm x 206.6mm
  • Comprised of 22 glass elements in 17 groups with 6 super extra low dispersion lens elements and 2 extra low dispersion lens elements
  • Achieves maximum aperture of F2.8 and minimum aperture of F22 for close-up shots
  • Focus range of 0.85m/2ft 9” with wide macro function and 0.38m/1ft 2.9” at wide end and angle of view at 76.5° - 29.0°

FUJINON MKX50-135mmT2.9 Key Features

  • Compatible with all FUJIFILM X Series interchangeable system cameras
  • Compact, lightweight lens weighing just 1,080g with external dimensions (maximum diameter x length) of 87mm x 206.6mm
  • Comprised of 22 glass elements in 17 groups with 2 extra low dispersion lens elements and 2 super extra low dispersion lens elements
  • Achieves maximum aperture of F2.8 and minimum aperture of F22 for close-up shots
  • Focus range of 1.2 m/3 ft. 11” with wide macro function and 0.85 m/2 ft. 9” at wide end and angle of view at 31.7° - 12.0°

Accessories Included in Both Lenses

  • Tripod collar foot
  • Support foot
  • Zoom lever
  • Lens cap
  • Lens rear cap
  • Lens hood
  • Wrapping cloth

Availability and Pricing

The FUJINON MKX18-55mmT2.9 and cinema lens will be available in Spring/Summer 2018 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $3,999.95.

The FUJINON MKX50-135mmT2.9 cinema lens will also be available in Spring/Summer 2018 in the U.S. and Canada for USD $4,299.95.

Fujinon MKX 18-55 T2.9 / MKX 50-135mm T2.9 specifications

 Fujifilm Fujinon MKX 18-55mm T2.9Fujifilm Fujinon MKX 50-135mm T2.9Principal specificationsLens typeZoom lensMax Format size35mm FFFocal length18–55 mm50–135 mmImage stabilizationNoLens mountFujifilm XApertureMaximum apertureF2.8Minimum apertureF22Aperture ringYesNumber of diaphragm blades9Aperture notesSeamless iris mechanismOpticsElements22Groups17Special elements / coatings6 super ELD + 2 ELD elements6 Super ED + 2 ELD elementsFocusMinimum focus0.38 m (14.96″)0.85 m (33.46″)AutofocusNoFull time manualYesFocus methodInternalDistance scaleYesDoF scaleNoPhysicalWeight1080 g (2.38 lb)Diameter87 mm (3.43″)Length207 mm (8.15″)SealingNoColourBlackZoom methodRotary (internal)Power zoomNoFilter thread82 mmHood suppliedYesTripod collarYes
Categories: Photo News

Fujifilm X-H1 sample gallery

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 21:00
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Fujifilm's newest X-series camera takes video very seriously, but also offers a strong stills feature set largely borrowed from the X-T2. We've had some time with a full-production X-H1 that luckily coincided with a little bit of rare February sunshine. Take a look at a fresh batch of samples from Fuji's newest flagship – including some images processed with the new Eterna/Cinema film simulation mode.

See our Fujifilm X-H1 sample gallery

Categories: Photo News

LG will introduce a powerful new camera AI for the V30 smartphone at MWC

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 13:03

LG won't unveil the successor to the G6 at MWC in the final week of February; instead, the new device will be launched at a stand-alone event at a later point in time. However, there will still be some interesting news for mobile photographers from LG at the trade show. Namely, the Korean manufacturer will introduce a suite of AI technologies for its smartphones, with the 2018 version of the flagship V30 being the first device to feature the new tech.

LG's objective for the new system was to deliver a "unique and more intuitive user experience", focusing on the camera technology and voice recognition.

“As we communicated last month at CES, the future for LG lies in AI, not just hardware specs and processing speeds,” said Ha Jeung-uk, senior vice president and business unit leader for LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Creating smarter smartphones will be our focus going forward and we are confident that consumers will appreciate the advanced user experience with the enhanced V30 that many have been asking and waiting for.”

The Vision AI component puts the focus on camera usability and performance. It automatically analyzes objects and recommends the best suited out of the following shooting modes:

  • Portrait
  • Food
  • Pet
  • Landscape
  • City
  • Flower
  • Sunrise
  • Sunset

In addition to any detected objects in the frame, the system takes into account the angle of view, color, reflections, backlighting, and saturation levels in order to pick the best mode. For example, framing a plate of pasta will result in food mode being triggered. The final image result will show warmer colors and increased levels of sharpening for a pleasing visual presentation of your lunch.

A new low-light shooting mode, also on board, automatically brightens images in dim environments by a factor of two.

Like other AI systems—think Google Lens—Vision AI can provide shopping advice through image recognition. When the camera is pointed at an object the software can automatically scan QR codes, initiate an image search or display online shopping options to purchase the item or similar products.

For the development of the object recognition software, which is core to Vision AI, LG collaborated with a partner to analyze over a 100 million images and create more than a thousand image categories were created for accurate image analysis.

The AI system's voice component lets you run apps and change settings through voice commands alone, working alongside Google Assistant. LG says that certain AI features won't be limited to new models only, but will be available also to existing LG smartphones via over-the-air updates, depending on hardware specifications.

Vision AI isn't the first system of its kind, but there is no doubt AI is part of the future of photography, and it's good to see almost all large mobile manufacturers working in the field. We're looking forward to having a closer look at LG's Vision AI at MWC.

LG TO INTRODUCE OWN SMARTPHONE AI AT MWC 2018 New AI Functionalities Aligned Closely with Needs and Usage Behavior of Today’s Consumers

SEOUL, Feb. 13, 2018 — LG Electronics (LG) will introduce the first of a suite of AI technologies for its smartphones at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The new technology will be featured in the 2018 version of the LG V30, LG’s most advanced flagship smartphone to date.

LG spent more than a year researching how AI should be implemented in smartphones, long before announcing LG ThinQ at CES 2018. This research focused primarily on making AI-based solutions with the objective to deliver a unique and more intuitive user experience, focusing on the camera and voice recognition. The result is a suite of AI technologies that is aligned closely with the needs and usage behavior of today’s users.

Vision AI: Next Generation Image Recognition
On top of an already impressive list of camera features that include dual lenses, wide-angle low-distortion lenses, and the all-glass Crystal Clear Lens, Vision AI makes the camera of the LG V30 even smarter and easier to use.

Vision AI automatically analyzes objects and recommends the best shooting mode from among eight modes: portrait, food, pet, landscape, city, flower, sunrise, and sunset. The angle of view, color, reflections, backlighting, and saturation levels are all taken into consideration as the phone analyzes images in its database to determine what the camera is focusing on in order to recommend the best setting. For example, pointing the camera at a plate of pasta will result in food mode being invoked, resulting in warmer colors and heightened sharpening for the most appetizing shot possible.

LG collaborated with a partner in image recognition to analyze over a 100 million images in order to develop the phone’s image recognition algorithms. Over one thousand unique image categories were created for more accurate image analysis, resulting in better shooting mode recommendations.

Another feature of Vision AI provides shopping advice through smart image recognition. By simply pointing the camera at an object, LG’s Vision AI can automatically scan QR codes, initiate an image search or provide shopping options including where to purchase the item for the lowest price and other similar products that the customer might find of interest.

A new low-light shooting mode automatically brightens images in dim environments by a factor of two. Instead of conventional methods of measuring external light levels, Vision AI instead measures the brightness of the actual image that will be recorded, resulting in brightness levels that are adjusted much more accurately.

Voice AI: LG-Exclusive Voice Commands
Another new feature is Voice AI that allows users to run apps and change settings through voice commands alone. Working alongside Google Assistant, the 32 LG-exclusive Voice AI commands – up from 23 commands in 2017 – Voice AI eliminates the need to search through menu options and allows for direct selection of specific functions.

LG Exclusive Voice Commands for Google Assistant

1 Wide-angle photo Take a picture on a wide angle
2 Wide-angle selfie Take a selfie on a wide angle
3 Wide-angle video Record a video on a wide angle
4 Wide-angle selfie video Take a selfie video on a wide angle
5 Cine Video Open camera on Cine Video
6 Expert Photo Mode Open camera on a manual mode
7 Expert Video Mode Open camera on a manual video
8 Cine Video (Romantic) Take a romantic Cine Video
9 Cine Video (Melodramatic) Take a melodramatic Cine Video
10 Cine Video (Thriller) Take a thriller Cine Video
11 Cine Video (Beauty) Take a beauty Cine Video
12 Cine Video (Blockbuster) Take a summer blockbuster Cine Video
13 Cine Video (Romantic Comedy) Take a romantic comedy Cine Video
14 Cine Video (Documentary) Take a documentary Cine Video
15 Cine Video (Landscape) Take a scenery Cine Video
16 Cine Video (Drama) Take a drama Cine Video
17 Cine Video (Historic) Take a historical Cine Video
18 Cine Video (Mystery) Take a mystery Cine Video
19 Cine Video (Noir) Take a noir Cine Video
20 Cine Video (Classic) Take a classic Cine Video
21 Cine Video (Flashback) Take a flashback Cine Video
22 Cine Video (Pop Art) Take a pop art Cine Video
23 Expert Mode (Graphy) Open camera with Graphy

NEW FOR 2018

24 Panoramic Photo Pending
25 Food Photo Pending
26 Time-lapse Photo (Video) Pending
27 Slow-motion Video Pending
28 Low-light Photo Pending
29 AI Cam Photo Pending
30 Image Search Pending
31 QR Code Scanning Pending
32 Shopping Search Pending

Upgrading and Expanding Smartphone AI
LG’s strategy for smartphones is to continue expanding its AI capabilities while also refining existing features to make them more convenient to use. Certain AI features will not be limited to new LG models only, but also to existing LG smartphones via over-the-air updates, taking into consideration various hardware specifications and stability of LG smartphone models for maximum user experience.

“As we communicated last month at CES, the future for LG lies in AI, not just hardware specs and processing speeds,” said Ha Jeung-uk, senior vice president and business unit leader for LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Creating smarter smartphones will be our focus going forward and we are confident that consumers will appreciate the advanced user experience with the enhanced V30 that many have been asking and waiting for.”

Attendees of MWC 2018 are encouraged to visit LG’s booth in Hall 3 of Fira Gran Via from February 26 until March 1 for more information.

Categories: Photo News

Caavo review - CNET

CNET Reviews - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:40
While it succeeds beautifully at simplifying a sprawling home theater, the Caavo's lack of HDR compatibility kills its appeal.
Categories: Photo News

US intelligence agencies warn against purchasing Huawei smartphones

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:15

Directors from six US intelligence agencies, including the CIA, FBI, and NSA, have told the Senate Intelligence Committee that they wouldn't recommend Americans use Huawei services or products, according to CNBC.

FBI Director Chris Wray explained to the Committee:

We're deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks. That provides the capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure. It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.

This saga actually began in 2012, when the Chinese tech company was the subject of a national security investigation by US government officials who worried that its products may pose a cybersecurity risk. Huawei publicly dismissed the concerns, though the final investigative report alleged the Chinese company wasn't fully cooperative with investigators. Australian government officials had expressed similar concerns at the time.

Huawei has consistently denied claims that its products and services may be compromised by the Chinese government. These concerns, however, have persisted to varying degrees over the years, and recently came to a head when AT&T abandoned plans to offer the Huawei Mate 10 phone in its stores.

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro went up for pre-order in the United States earlier this month.

Sources speaking to Reuters last month claimed that US lawmakers pressured AT&T into cutting commercial ties with Huawei over national security concerns, and that included asking AT&T to stop offering Huawei phones through its Cricket subsidiary. Bloomberg reported similar issues related to Verizon's abandoned plans to sell the Huawei Mate 10.

This intelligence report to the Senate Intelligence Committee is the latest, and possibly the worst, blow for Huawei, which has struggled to enter the US market. The Mate 10 Pro and its impressive camera only just went up for pre-order in the US, and already consumers are being warned against purchasing.

Chinese drone maker DJI recently faced similar issues following a leaked government memo and a report detailing what is claimed to have been a major security vulnerability.

Categories: Photo News

Skydio R1 4K camera drone boasts game-changing autonomous tech

DP Review Latest news - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 10:56

California-based company Skydio has announced the R1, a drone described as a "self-flying camera" that autonomously follows and records a subject. Unlike some competing models, R1 was built specifically for autonomous flight; it is able to fly itself at up to 25mph / 40kph while maneuvering around obstacles thanks in part to Skydio's Autonomy Engine.

While many drones depend on GPS for autonomous flight, Skydio's R1 is different—it features 13 cameras that work with the Autonomy Engine to perceive and map the world around the UAV. Skydio packed an NVIDIA Jetson AI supercomputer into R1, and the little drone is using it to power intelligent features like real-time movement planning and complex environment navigation.

Here's a quick intro video that explains how it's all done:

Users launch the drone in either Side, Follow, or Orbit modes using the companion mobile app. No manual operation is necessary, and in fact, Skydio claims that users can move through complex environments, such as dense woods, without interrupting the R1's tracking and recording abilities. Skydio goes so far as to claim R1 is "the most advanced autonomous device—of any kind—available today."

Skydio goes so far as to claim R1 is "the most advanced autonomous device—of any kind—available today."

The R1, which is small enough to fit in a backpack, is made with carbon fiber and lightweight aluminum. The drone's primary camera can record subjects at Full HD/30/60fps and 4K/30fps with a 150-degree FOV. The primary camera is isolated from vibrations, stabilized with a 3-axis gimbal, and joined by 64GB of onboard storage. The remaining 12 cameras provide omnidirectional vision for navigation.

Skydio R1 is available now in the United States and Canada through the company's website for $2,500 USD. Buyers are currently limited to one unit with orders shipping 2 to 3 weeks after being placed. To learn more, head over to the Skydio website.

Categories: Photo News

2018 Honda Civic Type R review - Roadshow

CNET Reviews - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 09:53
Some performance cars are awful to drive on the street. Not the Civic Type R. Not by a long shot.
Categories: Photo News