Flickr has unveiled a “Spectaculr” new redesign, now offering it’s free users a “Biggr” place to put their files while sharing them “Wherevr” they would like – or as Flickr puts it “upload once, send to any device, any screen, any friend, and any follower.”
Before the redesign, free accounts were capped at 2 videos and 300MBs worth of photos per month. But now you can upload photos and videos to your heart’s content as each free user is now allotted 1TB (that’s a full terabyte) of storage, including photos of up to 200MB and videos of up to 1GB (and 3 minutes in length)!
The “Spectaculr” part is that you can now “share in full resolution,” as all of your photos will be “beautifully displayed in their original quality.”
If you don’t already have a free Flickr account, you can sign up for one >>HERE<<
(video above courtesy of CNETTV)
Legendary lens maker Carl Zeiss are jumping into the mirrorless market with their new line of Touit Lenses for Fuji X-Mount and Sony NEX camera systems. The Touit lens lineup is aimed at the high end user, and at a price of about $1,250 USD (for the 12mm 2.8 X-Mount lens), that’s the target market that they’ll be hitting. But will the new Touit lenses be worth the price?
The Phoblographer got their hands on the new 12mm 2.8 Touit lens for fuji X-Mount cameras and put it through it’s paces. The following are excerpts from their first impressions…
|Focal Length||12 mm
Comparable 35mm Focal Length: 18 mm
|Camera Mount Type||Fujifilm X mount|
|Angle of View||99°|
|Minimum Focus Distance||7.09″ (18 cm)|
|Maximum Reproduction Ratio||1:9|
|Filter Thread||Front: 67 mm|
|Dimensions (DxL)||Approx. 2.56 x 3.39″ (65 x 86 mm)|
|Weight||9.52 oz (270 g)|
This lens is made from metal and glass. However, this doesn’t feel like any metal that we’ve felt before.
Ease of Use
This lens is much easier to use in autofocus mode than in manual mode.
Autofocusing with the 12mm f2.8 is snappy and perhaps even faster than with Fujifilm’s 14mm f2.8. However, it is faster on Sony’s camera”s than Fujifilm’s–but this has to do with the focusing algorithms instead.
So far, we really can’t say much terrible about the Zeiss 12mm f2.8. It has excellent color rendition on the X Pro 1, is sharp, focuses silently and snappily, and is really small for what it is. (Read full article on thePhoblographer)
The image quality of thePhoblographer’s test shots looks great, but what else would you expect from Zeiss? The addition of these lenses is good news for Fuhi X-Mount users and great news for Sony NEX users. I’m looking forward to seeing more on these lenses in the near future. Stay Tuned…
The Metabones Speedbooster Adapter has been all the buzz for the last several months, and that’s no surprise considering the lofty promises of this particular piece of equipment.
Unlike a standard lens adapter, which would allow you to mount say, your canon EF lenses on a Sony NEX or Micro 4/3 camera, the Metabones Speedbooster also includes a built in focal reductor – a peice of glass that takes the incoming light from the full frame lens and re-focuses it to fit onto the sensor of the host camera. This is purported to have the effect of making the lens wider and faster, increasing your maximum aperture by a full stop.
The Metabones adapter for Sony NEX camera has been available for a while now, and PetaPixel is reporting that the new micro 4/3 version is beginning to make appearances. Although it’s public launch has been pushed back to later in the year, some renowned M43 users have gotten early releases for testing, including filmmaker Philip Bloom and EOSHD’s Andrew Reid, who states that “Micro Four Thirds needs the Speed Booster more than any other camera.”
The video above from AFMarcotec gives a good overview of just what the Metbones Speedbooster can do, but despite the adapter’s capabilities and the early assessments of testers, one must beg the question…
In my opinion, there’s no clear cut answer to this question as there are numerous factors that one must consider.
First and foremost, lets take a look at what the Metabones can do. There’s no denying that there are some delicious, high quality lenses out there from Canon, Nikon, Leica, etc. – and the prospect of using these lenses on your mirrorless system while gaining an extra stop is greatly appealing indeed. But will these lenses be any better than the native glass that you can get for your mirrorless system that is made specifically for your camera? Since there are several types of shooters out there, lets break this down a little further.
If you’re a beginner or hobbyist who’s just moving into interchangeable lens systems, the I would recommend that you just stick with your camera’s native lenses for the time being – especially micro 4/3 users, who have the largest array of high quality lenses to choose from among any mirrorless camera system.
If you’re an enthusiast who likes to regularly get out and shoot photos and videos, but you don’t already have a collection of lenses, I would still recommend sticking with your camera’s native lineup. Again – in my opinion – it’s better to invest your money in lenses that are made specifically for your camera system. Even if you have an NEX system (and there’s not a ton of great lenses for those as of yet), I would be inclined to spend my hard earned cashola on a new Zeiss Touit lens or two before investing in a Metabones and a piece of expensive legacy glass. Besides, in my mind, slapping an adapter and a huge bazooka-like lens onto the front of a small mirrorless body defeats the purpose.
No matter what camera body you’re using, you main goal should always be to collect as many high quality lenses as possible. So if your plan is to pick up a Metabones Speedbooster so that you can use some el cheapo legacy lenses, then your money will be better spent elsewhere.
While the Speedbooster may not be for everyone, there are definitely some people out there who should give it a serious look…
In my mind, the most valid of the above are the first two. But even if (in the case of number 1) you have a large collection of legacy lenses, you might want to consider selling them off while they still have great value and look at their mirrorless alternatives that are built to fit your system. Whenever you use an adapter, you should be aware that you will open the door to potential issues. I’m not saying that you’ll have any, but the door will be open.
What do YOU think? Are you planning on picking up a Metabones Speedbooster? Leave a note in the comments below…
Legendary lens maker Carl Zeiss is now hopping on board the Mirrorless Express with the introduction of their new “Touit” lenses for Sony NEX and Fuji X-Series camera systems. This is especially good news for Sony NEX users, who until now have been hampered with a very limited supply of high quality native lenses, or with the prospect of using adapters to mount their large legacy lenses onto tiny NEX camera bodies (can you say awkward?).
Zeiss are launching the line with two lenses, a 12mm f/2.8 and a 32mm f/1.8, and the folks at CameraLabs got their hands on both to take them out for a spin. Will these new lenses live up to the Zeiss name?
Overall both lenses were extremely satisfying to use. They looked serious and felt great – indeed I could rarely put them down for long without wanting to try them again. The 12mm f2.8 in particular is an exciting proposition as the widest prime available for Sony E or Fuji X mounts. The 32mm f1.8 has a tougher job on its hands though, especially for the Fuji X system which already has a highly regarded 35mm f1.4. Zeiss wouldn’t be drawn on quality comparisons, but it’s something I’ll happily do when I have both lenses at the same time.
They’re also priced competitively for high-end lenses: around $1250 USD or 900 GBP for the 12mm f2.8 and around $900 USD or 700 GBP for the 32mm f1.8, and rather than tease us, I’m pleased to announce Zeiss should be selling them in a matter of weeks or even days. (Read full article on CameraLabs)
The addition of Zeiss lenses to Sony’s NEX and Fuji’s X-Series camera lineups will no doubt fuel the fire of competition between these systems and the micro 4/3 offerings from Panasonic and Olympus, who have until now enjoyed a substantial advantage in the sheer number of high quality native lenses that are available for the line. As far as I’m concerned, competition is always a good thing and I fully expect to see even more innovation, image quality and revolutionary systems to emerge from the mirrorless realm. Stay tuned!
ThinkTank are one of the premier manufacturers of Camera Bags and Cases on the planet today, and they have just released a new line of camera bags designed specifically for mirrorless cameras called “Mirrorless Movers.”
In the video above, MC Contributor and Hybrid Photography Pioneer Will Crockett (DiscoverMirrorless.com) introduces the new line.
Will Crockett is giving away several ThinkTank Mirrorless Mover bags to people who buy his new streaming video, “The ABCs of LEDs.” We highly recommend the video. It’s only $9.99 to watch and it’s absolutely chock full of info you’ll need to know as you start shooting more Hybrid. >>CLICK HERE<< to watch it now!
The Mirrorless Mover 5 – fits one small size mirrorless body with a small telephoto or pancake lens attached. It is sized for the Canon EOS–M, Leica D–Lux, Nikon 1 series, Olympus E–PM2, E–PL5, EP–3, Panasonic GF3, Sony NEX–C3, or similar sized bodies.
The Mirrorless Mover 10 – fits one medium size mirrorless body plus one to two lenses and additional accessories. It is sized for the Leica V–Lux, Olympus OM–D E–M5, Panasonic G5, GF5, GH2, Samsung NX5, NX11, NX210, Sony NEX–5, NEX–6, NEX–7, or similar sized/smaller bodies.
The Mirrorless Mover 20 – fits one medium size mirrorless body plus two to three lenses and additional accessories. It is sized for the Leica V–Lux, Olympus OM–D E–M5, Panasonic G5, GF5, GH2, Samsung NX5, NX11, NX210, Sony NEX–5, NEX–6, NEX–7, or similar sized/smaller bodies.
The Mirrorless Mover 30i – fits one medium to large size mirrorless body plus two to four lenses, iPad, and additional accessories or a small–size DSLR and one to three small telephoto lenses or primes. It is sized for the Fuji X–Pro 1, Leica M8, Panasonic GH3 or similar sized/smaller bodies. Small DSLRs: Canon Rebel, Nikon D3200/D5200, Sony SLT–A55/A37 or similar sized bodies.
Exterior: All fabric exterior treated with a DWR coating while fabric underside is coated with PU for superior water resistance, YKK® RC zippers, 1680D ballistic polyester, 600D brushed polyester, Ultra-stretch pocket, antique nickel plated metal hardware, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.
Interior: removable closed cell foam dividers, 200D polyester, laminated non-woven backed nylex liner, polyester 190T seam-sealed taffeta rain cover, 3-ply bonded nylon thread.
When Panasonic Launched the Lumix G5 last year, it was touted by many as the GH2.5, but even though the G5 is built around the same sensor that powers the highly celebrated Lumix GH2 and it’s updated Venus Image Processor considerably upped the sensor’s image capturing capabilities in still photos mode, the G5 lacked the manual controls, mic input and full array of video modes packed into the GH2. Enter the new Lumix G6, which is still loaded up with the same GH2 sensor, but it’s packing an even more advanced Venus Image Processor for faster autofocus and better low light performance, and the G6 also brings a much more robust video package to boot.
Will the release of the Panasonic Lumix G6 finally represent realization of the GH2 sensor’s full potential?
43Rumors posted a video (above) from one of their readers named Julian, who compared the capabilities of the GH2 vs the G6 in video mode. Although Youtube’s compression undoubtedly does this video little justice, I feel the video serves as a good reference when comparing the 2 cameras.
“The G6 looks better to me. Better shadow detail and a bit more detail in the highlights. Probably due to the flatter picture style (contrast -5).
The G6 shares the picture styles with the GH3, so no smooth like on the GH2. Kept both camera’s on standard to keep it as close as possible. Everything dialed down maximum.
Less noise at high iso’s, less banding. Couldn’t detect any moire.
Looks a tad less sharp than (hacked) GH2, but that could be up to the sharpening at -5. With some sharpening probably same detail level.
Rolling shutter looks the same to me.” (Read article on 43Rumors)
I’ve personally been shooting with a Lumix GH2 and a Lumix G5 for several months now and I love them both, but for different reasons. I’m a video first shooter and was originally drawn to the GH2 because, well… it’s an incredible video making machine, and to this day, it’s still one of the best video cameras you can get. Although the GH2 takes great stills too, it’s a notch below most of the competition in that department and since I was looking to add more stills into my work as well, I picked up a G5, hoping that it might be an all in one solution.
The G5 delivers BIG in several areas vs. the GH2 – it takes great still photos, it’s easy to use, has better autofocus, performs better in low light, etc., but the GH2 has it all over the G5 when it comes to video. Don’t get me wrong, the Lumix G5 is a capable video shooter and produces great HD quality video. It’s one of the best hybrid cameras in the world right now (and at only $498 USD with a kit lens, it’s also one of the best deals around), but it lacks the GH2′s manual video controls, full array of video modes (i.e. – there’s no 24p mode), and mic input jack. Consequently, I’ve been using the G5 mostly for stills and the GH2 for video.
The Lumix G6 may finally represent the all in one camera for under $750 USD that many have been waiting for. If the G5 is a “GH2.5″, then the G6 is undoubtedly a “GH2.8″ – it’s not quite a GH3, but I feel that the G6 is going to turn a lot of heads as it marks the return of manual control, a vast array of video modes, a mic input and wifi + NFC as well.
As for the video comparison above, I agree with Julian that the G6 footage generally looks better than the GH2′s. The footage is brighter, punchier, and the details are much more defined.
This may just be the world’s best mid-level hybrid camera.
(see video above) No surprises here… and that’s a good thing! The PEN E-P5 lives up to the expectations you would have for a camera that’s loaded up with the top caliber sensor and image processor from Olympus’ former flagship OM-D E-M5. The camera takes it’s place as Olympus’ new flagship by building on the absolutely stellar image quality that made the OM-D a worldwide sensation and adds enhanced low light performance and quicker autofocus while also building on the OM-D’s now legendary 5 point IBIS. As a still photos shooter, the PEN E-P5 promises to be among the very best.
Although the E-P5 represents an upgrade in the video department over it’s predecessor, the PEN E-P3, this camera is not a tool for the serious videographer. Being confined to 1080 30p framerates will make it a viable solution for family video shooters, but those looking to capture events or get into indie filmmaking will have to look elsewhere.
The Olympus PEN E-P5 comes in black, silver and white and sells for $999 USD (Body Only), or you can get it in black or silver for $1,449 USD with the 17mm f/1.8 lens (which is excellent) and VF-4 Viewfinder.
Buy the Olympus PEN E-P5 with 17mm f1.8 lens and VF-4 Viewfinder or Olympus PEN E-P5 (Body Only) on Amazon Here
The Olympus PEN E-P5 is about to be launched, and Nate “Blunty” Burr is back to put it through it’s paces, Blunty style. In this video (above), Blunty gives an excellent overview of the E-P5 Hardware as well as taking it’s new WiFi and App system out for a spin.
The PEN E-P5′s retro styling is inspired by Olympus’ classic PEN F SLR camera.
Although it’s not weather sealed and it lacks a built in EVF, the Olympus PEN E-P5 is, for all intents and purposes, the next generation of the OM-D E-M5 – and it takes the OM-D’s place as Olympus’ new flagship model. I’ll reserver final judgement until the full production model is released, but it looks as if Olympus have another winner on their hands and I expect the E-P5 will be popular among pro and enthusiast photographers alike.
The Olympus PEN E-P5 comes in black, silver and white and sells for $999 USD (Body Only), or you can get it in black or silver for $1,449 USD with the 17mm f/1.8 lens (which is excellent) and VF-4 Viewfinder.
Buy the Olympus PEN E-P5 with 17mm f1.8 lens and VF-4 Viewfinder or Olympus PEN E-P5 (Body Only) on Amazon Here
Back on Valentine’s Day, we posted an article about a couple of films shot with the Panasonic Lumix GH2 that were making waves at the Sundance and Slamdance Fim Festivals. Now one of those films, a sci-fi thriller by director Shane Carruth called Upstream Color (see trailer at the top) is starting to pull some big numbers at US Box Offices, amassing over $300,000 USD in receipts (and counting). This is great news for indie filmmakers, especially considering that it’s now possible to capture cinema quality HD footage with a camera that costs less than $1,000 USD, and there are other advantages to the GH2′s smaller form factor as well.
The film was shot on the Panasonic GH2 with hack, Voigtlander lenses and the Samyang / Rokinon 85mm F1.4.
The film is also now available to download / stream from various places, [but] if you want to wait to see the GH2 perform in a proper theater (like me) I recommend seeing it in a cinema. You can see the latest screenings here.
People say it looks glorious on the big screen.
The film has also been met with a very enthusiastic response by critics, with the Boston Globe calling it a “hypnotic thriller” and the Hollywood Reporter saying the film is worth seeing for “brilliant technique, expressive editing, oblique storytelling and for discovering a significant new actress”.
The Telegraph’s critic said “my immediate desire when it ended was to stay in my seat and watch it all the way through again.”
Advantage – GH2…
The film truly makes use of the unique point of view made possible with such a small camera, placing it in all kinds of places you wouldn’t normally put a heavy Alexa (like on a car dash or in a swimming pool). I highly recommend seeing this film, even if you are not interested in seeing how the GH2 performs on the cinema screen. (Read article on EOSHD)
It’s great to see that someone with a limited budget can now realistically bring their vision into reality, and cameras like the GH2 (and now the Lumix GH3 and Blackmagic Cinema Camera) are proving that you can indeed achieve superb image quality with a smaller sensor. Some people were disappointed that the new Panasonic Lumix G6 is still utilizing the sensor from the GH2, but I’m thrilled. That sensor has proven to be capable of amazing things in video, and Panasonic are adding still photo quality to the mix as well. With the G6 incorporating much more advanced video capabilities with a price tag of $749 USD, upstart and indie filmmakers now have a variety of choices to get their vision onto the big screen. These are exciting times!
Kai Wong, Alamby and Lok C of DigitalRevTV are on the road in London, England. Their mission… to shoot 10 locations in 48 hours, using both old analog film cameras as well as modern digital cameras. As always, traveling with the DigitalRev crew is loads of fun.
In this video, DRTV does London…and in typically British-fashion: it’s cold and drizzly. Still, the team are challenged to visit 10 locations in less than 48-hours.
On the first day, they have to use crumbly old film cameras from a very long time ago. They struggle with the idiosyncrasies and Lok struggles with fighting the urge to go shopping. Kind of.
On the second day, it’s all about one camera, one focal length: 35mm vs 50mm.
The moral of the story? The world is a big place and there’s a lot of people, places and things that you can photograph (or video), so go out and get shooting!
After weeks of leaks and rumors, Olympus are finally poised to release their new flagship micro 4/3 camera, the PEN E-P5. The new camera brings an impressive spec list to the table and the E-P5 inherits a lot of tech from Olympus’ former flagship, the OM-D E-M5, including it’s superb sensor and image processor, lightning quick autofocus and breakthrough 5 point IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization). But does the E-P5 represent an upgrade over the O-MD and just what are the main differences between these two camera systems?
Two photography websites, ePhotozine and thePhoblographer, have posted side by side comparisons of the E-P5 and OM-D. While it’s important to note that the E-P5 has not yet been released (see video preview above from Blunty3000) and the final production model has yet to be put through it’s paces, it borrows enough tech from familiar models (most notably, the OM-D) that we can make a reasonably educated comparison of the two cameras.
|Olympus OM-D E-M5||Olympus PEN E-P5|
|16.1 megapixel sensor||16.1 megapixel sensor|
|5-axis image stabilisation (up to 5EV compensation)||5-axis image stabilisation (up to 5EV compensation)|
|3 inch OLED 610k dot tilting touch-screen||3 inch 1037k dot tilting touch-screen|
|9fps shooting, 4.2fps continuous shooting with AF||9fps, 5fps with continuous AF|
|1/4000s mechanical shutter||1/8000s mechanical shutter|
|1/180s x-sync external flash, 1/250s attached||1/250s x-sync external flash, 1/320s internal|
|Full HD, MPEG4 MOV, 720p MJPEG||Full HD, MPEG4 MOV, 720p MJPEG|
|Stereo mics, accessory port for microphone etc||Stereo mics, accessory port for microphone etc|
|ISO range 200-25600 (Lowest ISO200)||ISO range 100-25600 (extends to LOW 100)|
|2 axis electronic spirit level||2 axis electronic spirit level|
|2 Function buttons (dedicated)||1 dedicated function button|
|1.44 million dot EVF||Optional|
|N/A||Wi-Fi built in|
|External flash included (Guide 10, ISO200)||Built in pop-up flash (Guide 10, ISO200)|
|Weather sealed body, battery grip available||N/A|
|330 shot battery life||400 shot battery life|
|Weight: 373g||Weight: 378g|
|Size: 121 x 89.6 x 41.9mm||Size: 122 x 68.9 x 37.2mm|
|Body only: $949 USD||Body only: $999 USD|
Olympus PEN E-P5 vs OM-D E-M5 Performance
We expect the performance of the E-P5 to be very similar if not identical to the OM-D E-M5, although there could have been further improvements to image quality implemented, and we will be testing the E-P5 fully when it is available. Where there could be advantages in image quality are due to the additional versatility provided by the faster shutter speed and lower ISO setting, allowing a wider aperture setting for a shallower depth of focus in bright conditions
Olympus PEN E-P5 vs OM-D E-M5 Verdict
The Olympus PEN E-P5 is now one of the highest specification Olympus Micro Four Thirds cameras available. The major differences between the two cameras, the internal electronic viewfinder, weather sealing and optional battery grip, on the OM-D E-M5 suiting the outdoor photographer more, while the small size of the Olympus PEN E-P5 would suit those looking to travel light without a compromise in image quality between the two. (Read full article on ePhotozine)
We’ve spent an hour with the EP5 as of writing this article and close to a year with the OMD. However, in our rundown it has been split down evenly to a complete tie between the two cameras. In the end, it will just mean whether or not you plan on taking your camera out into the toughest of weather situations and if you want to shoot like a pro with PocketWizards in the hot shoe and the viewfinder up to your eye.
Alternatively, you can shoot in ideal situations and upload your images via WiFi to a mobile device and share them with the world.
Which one are you best suited for? (Read full article on thePhoblographer)
The initial appearance is that these two camera are very closely matched in a head to head comparison, although this may change when the final version of the E-P5 gets into heavy use situations. The E-P5 is based largely on OM-D tech, but it gets a performance edge with it’s mechanical shutter, focus peaking, built in flash, wifi and battery life. The OM-D on the other hand is weather sealed, has a built in EVF, 2 function buttons (vs 1 on the E-P5), an optional battery grip and most importantly, it’s a proven commodity. Price wise, it’s pretty much a push when you just get the body ($999 USD for the E-P5 vs $949 for the O-MD), but if you go for the optional Electronic Viewfinder on the PEN E-P5, then you’ll be paying $1,449 USD (although that kit also comes with the M.Zuiko 17mm 1.8 lens, which is excellent) vs $1,199 USD for the OM-D E-M5 kit with the 12-50mm zoom lens.
My analysis here is that the PEN E-P5 has more of the features (i.e., wifi and focus peaking) that users were hoping for while the OM-D brings professional build quality. For the price, I wish the E-P5 had a built in viewfinder and it may have a difficult time competing with the likes of Fuji’s X-E1 and other cameras in the same price range, but it’s still an impressive piece of equipment that will no doubt appeal to pro and enthusiast shooters alike.
Over the last few weeks there have been numerous rumors and leaks (including pictures) regarding Olympus’ new flagship PEN series micro 4/3 camera the E-P5. After all the teasing, Olympus have finally made it official, and the new camera should be shipping soon.
On the outside, the PEN E-P5′s retro styling is inspired by Olympus’ 50 year old classic PEN F SLR camera, but on the inside, the camera boasts in impressive array of specs and inherits the impeccable 16mp sensor and image processor from the highly celebrated OM-D E-M5. Other tech borrowed from the OM-D include the breakthrough 5 point IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization) system that delivers rock solid stability in both photo and video, and blazing fast autofocus.
The Olympus PEN E-P5 comes in black, silver and white and sells for $999 USD (Body Only), or you can get it in black or silver for $1,449 USD with the 17mm f/1.8 lens (which is excellent) and optional VF-4 Viewfinder.
Buy the Olympus PEN E-P5 with 17mm f1.8 lens and VF-4 Viewfinder or Olympus PEN E-P5 (Body Only) on Amazon Here
We’ve often affirmed in this space that, in our opinion, the top mirrorless camera makers around today are (in no particular order) Fuji, Sony, Panasonic and Olympus – but we’ve also stated that Samsung have been rapidly closing the gap and may be poised to crack the top 4. Samsung have had some impressive camera releases of late, including the camera featured in this post, the NX300 – which is a mid range interchangeable lens mirrorless camera. Armed with an impressive touch screen, new hybrid autofocus system and what is arguably the most advanced wifi system of any camera manufacturer (Samsung do, after all, make Android devices), is the new generation of Samsung cameras ready to make a run at the top?
ePhotozine have just posted their review of the Samsung NX300, and they’re impressed with the direction that Samsung are taking with the new camera.
The Samsung NX300 is an welcome refresh to the Samsung NX range, with an impressive 3.31 inch touch screen (the largest on any mirrorless camera), and a good range of Wi-Fi features built in. Image quality is impressive with better results than the previous model, the NX210, thanks to improved noise performance, and excellent levels of detail.
The Samsung NX300 is introduced at roughly $100 USD more than the competition (Sony NEX 5R, Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5, or Panasonic Lumix GF6) although this can be justified by the inclusion of Adobe Lightroom 4 in the box. However, if you already have photo editing software or aren’t interested in using Lightroom, then this may not appeal to you. The Samsung NX series has a growing number of lenses available from Samsung, and Samyang, however there are a larger choice of lenses available for other compact system cameras. There was also an issue with the orientation sensor in the camera setting portrait photos upside-down when viewed on the computer, although hopefully this will be resolved with a firmware update.
If you already have Samsung NX lenses, then the NX300 would make a great upgrade from an earlier model, particularly if you’re using a model without Wi-Fi. If you’re looking for a new mirrorless camera, then the Samsung NX300 with 18-55mm OIS kit lens is highly recommended, however, we wouldn’t recommend the 20-50mm kit lens, as its shorter focal range can be limiting, and it costs the same price as the 18-55mm kit.
Samsung NX300 Pros
Great image quality
Great 3.31inch touch screen
Improved noise results
Much improved front and rear grip
Adobe Lightroom 4 included on CD
Good AWB performance
Samsung NX300 Cons
RAW not available when shooting some effects
20-50mm lens doesn’t include OIS
Wi-Fi use noticeably reduces battery life
Orientation sensor set portrait images as upside-down when viewed on the computer
FEATURES HANDLING PERFORMANCE VALUE FOR MONEY VERDICT
The NX300 is boasts an impressive set of features, including an excellent 20mp APS-C sensor and industry leading wifi capabilities. Samsung are definitely bringing the heat and seem to finally be putting out some cameras that are in the same league as the competition, and once they add some quality lenses to the lineup, they may be poised to take their place among the big boys from Sony, Olympus and Panasonic. This is one to watch.
If you’ve ever been shooting on the fly and wanted to quickly switch over to video mode from photo, then you know that activating (or even finding) the video button can sometimes be somewhat of a challenge.
One guy who has TONS of experience shooting photos and videos is MC Contributor and Hybrid Photography Pioneer Will Crockett, and he may have just the solution you’re looking for.
Some cameras have their video record buttons recessed a bit into the camera body to prevent you from accidentally hitting it. That also makes it hard to find sometimes when you really DO want to hit it! So I found these cool little squishy peel and stick buttons that fit right on top of any push button on your camera so you can easily feel where it’s hiding at. Works like a dream.
They are called ProDots and I think they are terrific. (Read article on DiscoverMirrorless.com)
I realize that camera companies are just trying to make it harder to accidentally push the video button on your camera, but man oh man, I think they go overboard sometimes. I mean, some of these things are so hard to engage that it’s like trying to open a child protection cap on a bottle. This can be pretty frustrating when something extraordinary is happening right in front of you and you’re trying to roll video in a hurry to capture a once in a lifetime shot. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to press and then re-press the video record button because it didn’t engage the first time around, so I personally started using ProDots about 6 weeks ago and they work like a charm.
The Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 has just won a TIPA award in the Entry-Level Compact System Camera category. The Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) judges praised the E-PL5 for it’s in-body image stabilization, tiltable 3-inch touchscreen, 8fps burst mode, full range of manual controls, Full HD movie recording abilities and lightning quick autofocus system. The E-PL5′s predecessor, the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3, won the same category last year.
It’s hard to argue with the TIPA judges here. The PEN Lite E-PL5 is one of the best entry level compacts around due in large part to the fact that it inherits the same sensor and image processor from Olympus’ flagship M43 camera, the highly celebrated OM-D E-M5. Though it’s not quite as tricked out as the E-M5, the E-PL5 has inherited enough tech from it’s more expensive sibling to cause many to refer to it as the “OM-D Lite.” This is an excellent entry level offering for those who don;t want to skimp on image quality, and at $549 USD (at the time of this posting), it comes in at about half the price of the OM-D. (See the full press release after the break – video review above courtesy of WhatDigitalCamera)
Olympus PEN takes TIPA two years in a row.
Another PEN Lite, another TIPA award.
PEN E-PL5 wins best entry-level Compact System Camera. Again.
Hamburg, May 2013 – Spring means TIPA, and TIPA means another award for the Olympus PEN Lite. The fourth-generation PEN Lite – the E-PL5 – emulated its predecessor by winning the prestigious Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) award in the category Entry-Level Compact System Camera (CSC). The TIPA jury praised the PEN Lite’s user-friendly design, speed and excellent image quality in low-light conditions. The PEN Lite was launched in autumn 2012.
According to the TIPA jury, “The 16-Megapixel, Micro Four Thirds format E-PL5 has built-in image stabilisation, a 3-inch articulating monitor (170°) with touch-screen controls, and features low- light capability with an upward range of ISO 25600. Able to deliver up to 8 frames per second capture, the E-PL5 offers a full range of user controls as well as 12 Art Filters and 7 Art Effects. Plus, it can record in the RAW format as well as Full HD 1080i video. The speedy AF system has 35 separate focus points spread over nearly the entire sensor, with selectable 3×3 focusing groups. Using a FlashAir memory card and the Olympus Image Share app enables easy sharing and transfer to a smartphone.”
The TIPA success vindicates Olympus’ decision to transfer the Live MOS sensor and TruePic VI image processor from its OM-D Micro Four Thirds flagship to the ultra-compact PEN Lite ‘designer’ cameras. PEN Lite owners reap the benefit: the creativity, interchangeable lenses and blazing fast AF of an SLR camera – with simpler settings and none of the bulk. The latest PEN Lite continues with the precision, near-silent M.ZUIKO DIGITAL
14-42mm* 1:3.5-5.6 II R lens that proved so effective in the first-gen model. The result? Best-in-class picture quality.
Throughout history, there have been those with the ability to recognize adapt to the changing times, and it has been these individuals who have brought forth innovations that have literally changed the world.
Think of people like Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, and more recently, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
Today… right now, we find ourselves at the beginning of a shift in the world of photography.
As more and more mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) are getting into the hands of consumers – and let’s face it, folks… these things are ubiquitous as it is – photographers are finding that there is less demand for traditional printed photographs and more demand for images that can be delivered directly to the millions upon millions of high resolution screens on these devices. But as we move to deliver products to those screens or directly to the internet and social media, will still photos be enough?
“What’s better to capture the soul of a loved one than a rich, well lit, carefully posed portrait created by a master of the craft? A portrait that presents the added element of movement and reveals the subtleties of their speaking voice.
For most pro portrait photographers, learning their trade has taken years, decades even and migrating gracefully into the addition of video and audio as a product option to customers appears to be inevitable for most. Even though most photographers know that video is going to become an “expected” product group on a sales menu, few are actively moving toward that day.
That is why it’s important to start planning how best to create your own brand of “Talking Portrait” in order to preserve all your options on how to capture audio, post process, convert to a viable product, store images and to find the right gear to make it as painless as possible.” (Read post on DiscoverMirrorless.com)
There are three types of people in the world. Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who are left saying “Hey… what just happened?”
Will Crockett has made a habit of being ahead of the trends. That’s why camera and gear companies regularly go to him for feedback and advice – and what they want to know about right now is Hybrid. We are on the cusp of something new and exciting, folks. Stay Tuned!
The new Lumix GF6 is Panasonic’s new entry level replacement for the Lumix GF5, is now hitting stores. The new model features a lot of exciting upgrades over it’s predecessor, including a 16mp sensor (the same as the one found in the GX1) tiltable touch screen, wifi and NFC (Near Field Communication – a bump to share feature). The GF6 also gains style points over the previous model, with a more substantial build, sleek metal top plate and mode dial.
ePhotozine just posted their hands on review of the GF6 and are highly impressed with the new camera.
Panasonic Lumix GF6 Pros
Wi-Fi built in – remote operation
Great image quality
Lens hood provided with new kit lens
High resolution tilting touch-screen
Fast operation, focus, shot to shot
Access to a wide range of Micro Four Thirds lenses
Mode dial re-introduced
Stop motion animation
Panasonic Lumix GF6 Cons
No flash hot-shoe
Loud shutter (compared to other mirrorless cameras)
Would be nice if Wi-Fi supported direct uploads to social media sites, rather than going via Lumix logon
The Panasonic Lumix GF6 is available for $599 USD with the new, more compact (and much improved) 14-42mm IS kit lens, making it good value for money, priced in the same region as other mirrorless cameras with tilting touch-screens, with the following cameras offering similar features:
Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 – 16mp, tilting touch screen, Wi-Fi option, $549 with 14-42mm lens
Sony NEX-5R – 16mp, tilting touch screen, Wi-Fi, $598 with 18-55mm lens
Samsung NX300 – 20mp, tilting touch screen, Wi-Fi, $749 with 20-50mm lens (without IS)
The Panasonic Lumix GF6 was introduced by Panasonic as a completely new camera when compared to the previous mode, the Panasonic Lumix GF5, and after testing the camera we can see why. The camera comes with a new sensor, built in Wi-Fi, tilting touch screen, mode dial, panoramic mode and many more new features that we’ve been asking for. This makes the GF6 a much more appealing camera to not just beginners, but also the enthusiast looking for a high quality mirrorless camera.
With an introduction price of $599 with the new 14-42mm IS kit lens, the camera is priced very competitively with similar models, and with the kit lens delivering excellent image quality, we feel that the camera offers very good value for money. Provided with a deep lens hood, premium neck strap, and a wealth of creative effects, as well as panoramic effects, the camera is packed with features, making it a fun camera to use, with a wealth of features to play with.
The Panasonic Lumix GF6 offers almost everything you could want from a mirrorless camera, with the most likely complaint about it likely to be the lack of flash hot-shoe, making it less appealing to the more serious photographer. For the majority of people having a built in flash will be preferable, and the re-introduction of the mode dial will make the camera easier to use for every level of photographer. Image quality is very good, with the camera delivering sharp detailed photos with good colour, and low levels of noise, although not as low as results from the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5, due to use of a different sensor. The Wi-Fi implementation is very good, giving remote control and numerous shooting options straight from your smartphone or tablet. There are a few, very minor niggles, but we can very happily highly recommend the camera. (Read full review on ePhotozine – Video review courtesy of WhatDigitalCamera)
ePhotozine awarded the Panasonic Lumix GF6 with 4.5 out of 5 stars and Highly Recommended Status
This is an excellent upgrade to a popular camera, and Panasonic have loaded it up with features that people want in the era of the SmartPhone. It’s aimed right at the same crowd that would be interested in a Sony NEX 5r and should compete very well with other cameras in it’s price range. I love the addition of a mode dial, tilt screen, wifi and NFC, and the GF6′s ease of use and cool creative features for photo and video should make it a popular choice for those stepping into an interchangeable lens system.
The mirrorless camera world will soon see the arrival of four new lenses, 2 from Carl Zeiss under the Touit Brand, and 1 each from Sigma and SLRMagic.
Zeiss unveiled their “Touit” lenses back at Photokina in the fall of 2012, and the 12mm 2.8 and 32mm 1.8 lenses are expected to hit the market soon. There are versions of each being made that will be compatible with Sony NEX and Fuji X-Series Cameras. Zeiss explained the reasoning behind the Touit name on the Zeiss Lens blog, where the company explained that “Touit stands for good visibility, agility, mobility and diversity, qualities which also aptly describe the new ZEISS lenses for mirrorless camera systems.” No matter what the name, having Zeiss lenses in the arsenal is good news for Sony and Fuji users.
Sigma have been making a pair of great quality, yet affordable lenses for Sony NEX and Micro 4/3 cameras in their 19mm 2.8 and 30mm 2.8 lenses, which have recently received a makeover as part of Sigma’s new “Art” lens lineup. Now the company is expanding the Art roster with a new 60mm 2.8 lens that will be available for Sony NEX E mount and Micro Four Thirds mounts. It will focus as closely at 19.7 inches, has 8 elements in 6 groups, 7 aperture blades, and you’ll be able to get one in black or silver. The lens will reportedly sell for $239 USD, and if it meets the standards of the other lenses in Sigma’s lineup, then it will be yet another high quality bargain for mirrorless camera users.
Lastly, thePhoblographer has written up a review on the SLRMagic 23mm 1.7 manual focus lens for Fujifilm X-Series Cameras, which essentially provides the X-Pro1 and X-E1 with a 35mm equivalent lens.
Compatibility Fuji X-Mount: X-Pro-1, X-E1 camera Focus type Manual Focal length 23mm (34.5mm Fuji X-Mount) Maximum aperture f/1.7 Minimum aperture f/22 Lens Hood Optional Filter Size 49mm / 1.92″ Dimensions Length: 61.3mm / 2.41″ Weight 265g / 9.34oz
Pros and Cons
- Beautiful bokeh
- Fairly sharp wide open in the center and even sharper when stopped down
- Excellent ergonomics
- Solid build quality
- Corner sharpness isn’t the greatest
While the SLR Magic 23mm f1.7 is an extremely fun lens to use, it will also require you to slow down your working process a whole lot. For portraits or street photography, you’ll really need to sit in one place and think due to the fact that it focuses manually and you’ll also need to zoom in/magnify areas to ensure that you’ve got a sharp photo. And this is where we really wish that Fujifilm has a focus peaking feature in the X Pro 1 as of the publishing of this story.
Either way, for the price one really cannot go wrong. And though we’re not overly enthusiastic about this lens, it still really is a very good purchase for the money. (Read full review and see sample images on thePhoblographer)
Just further validation of the mirrorless movement – Big Names like Zeiss jumping in and more 3rd party lens makers joining the party as well. This is especially good news for NEX users, who at this point don’t have many high quality native lenses from which to choose. Could Sony be making a push here? Stay tuned…
The Panasonic Lumix GH2 has been one of the most celebrated cameras of the last few years, and it’s spectacular capabilities in video mode have given the GH2 a cult-like following among indie and enthusiast video producers. One thing is certain, even though the capabilities of the GH2′s sensor wasn’t fully realized for still images, the camera can produce crazy brilliant image quality in video mode (especially after it was hacked). When the Lumix G5 came out last year, complete with a GH2 sensor inside, the superb image quality for which the sensor is famous was finally realized in still photos mode.
Now, the Lumix G6 is getting even more out of that GH2 sensor. With an updated Venus Processing Engine, the G6 takes the great IQ of it’s predecessor and adds faster autofocus to the mix, wifi, NFC, focus peaking and greatly enhanced video capabilities – up to 1080/60p and stereo audio complete with a mic input. Indeed, the Lumix G6 looks like an affordable Hybrid Powerhouse and the new camera is beginning to attract attention.
The folks over at EOSHD are also well awayre of what the GH2 sensor can do and are among the many professionals who have been impressed by what they’ve seen so far from the G6, calling it “a bit of a surprise”, and stating that the G6 is “quite possibly taking video to new levels on a mid-range camera.”
The G6 is based around the GH2′s multi-aspect sensor (18MP total, 16MP effective), the sensor is larger than the one in the GH3 (1.86x crop vs 2x), the new camera updates the AVCHD codec (adding 1080/60p) and even focus peaking, something the GH3 doesn’t (yet) have!
The G6 contains a number of other improvements over it’s predecessor, the G5:
- A 3.5mm mic socket, now on the front of the camera so not to block the articulated screen
- A new stop motion animation mode
- Timelapse video mode
- Progressive AVCHD 2.0, 1080/60p
- 24p and full manual control in video
- Focus peaking
- Zoom rocker switch near the shutter release
- OLED EVF
- 40fps burst mode (and rumours of a 4K / 8MP burst mode at 20fps)
The Venus Engine seems to have had an update over even the GH3. There’s a lot of innovative new stuff in there such as the ability to touch objects in a photo and erase them with a content-aware fill (a ‘gesture based heal tool’).
I’m really impressed with what the G6 offers for the entry level price point and it’s great to see the re-birth of the GH2′s sensor, which was capable of such insane detail in video mode with no real moire issues. Whether that has carried over into the new camera remains to be confirmed, but it looks likely it will build upon the image quality offered in video mode by the GH2. I will be very curious to see how it compares to the GH3.
Panasonic have really stepped up the fight with Canon and their Rebel line here, offering far more features for the price (and not just video features). I’m sure to be buying this one and seeing how it compares to the GH3. (Read full article on EOSHD)
I’ve personally been shooting with both a Lumix GH2 and a Lumix G5 for quite a while now, skewing towards the GH2 for video and the G5 for stills, and I’ve often mused to myself that it would be great if they could combine those two cameras into one at a midrange price. It’s too early to tell if the Lumix G6 will be the realization of my musings, but from all early indications, it looks like it will at least come close. I plan on picking one up as soon as possible, so look for more on the G6 in this space in the near future. For now though, it looks like the Lumix G6 could very well be the camera that makes high quality hybrid photography accessible to the masses. Stay Tuned!
Summer is fast approaching, new camera releases are coming with greater frequency, and two of the most celebrated cameras of the last year are scheduled for an update. Consequently, you can now save yourself a few bucks on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the Sony NEX 7, both of which are now listed for less than $950 USD (Body Only) on Amazon.
The updated versions are sure to incorporate a number of tasty new features, but those who are looking for for a great deal on an outstanding camera should keep their eyes on these two.
Say it with me now, folks. I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before, but it bears repeating because the best (or at least, the most popular) camera in the world is in fact, the one you have with you.
Case in point, Apple’s iPhone is now the most used camera in the world. Just go to any concert or public event and you’ll be sure to see hundreds of people with their iPhones held high above their heads snapping pictures or rolling video (note: if you’re rolling video, please turn the darned thing sideways… Thanks You!), and social media sites like Facebook are now littered with iPhone images and videos.
Well, actually there a few.
Because of the advent of the smartphone and their ever improving cameras, there’s a whole generation of photographers who are learning to shoot in new ways. People are now accustomed to using touch screens with Live View Capability, to using apps to edit their images, to easily sharing their creations between devices or via email and social media, and instantly backing up their work into the cloud. This is why wifi connectivity is becoming the norm among new camera releases. So far, Samsung, Sony and Panasonic recognize the trend and are leading the way in the wifi revolution. Samsung have already released a Galaxy Camera that runs on the Android Jellybean OS, Sony’s NEX 5R and NEX 6 have wifi connectivity also run Sony’s PlayMemories app system, and Panasonic now have 3 wifi capable cameras that can be controlled by the Lumix Link App – the flagship Lumix GH3 and the new Lumix GF6 and Lumix G6. The latter two are also equipped with Near Field Communication, a bump to share feature which provides instant connectivity and instant sharing with similarly equipped devices.
Look for other camera companies to jump on the wifi bandwagon in a hurry, if they haven’t already, and as wifi and app systems evolve, look for the advent of Smart Cameras that will more fully integrate the functionality of a smart phone with the image making power of today’s cameras. One thing is for certain, the sky is the limit where wifi and apps are concerned, and any camera that has these capabilities also has the potential to become a better camera than it was the day your purchased it. These are exiting times!
After releasing a schlew of new accessories for their HDR-AS10 and HDR-AS15 action cameras (including a dog harness :0p), Sony have now made a firmware update available that will include major new features like 1080/60p video shooting (giving you the ability to significantly slow down your footage in post) and coming in June, a mode change that can be done via their PlayMemories app.
Skeleton Frame - AKA-SF1
Available in June for about $29.99
Dog Harness - AKA-DM1
Available in June for about $44.99
Surfboard Mount - AKA-SM1
Available in June for about $34.99
Wrist Mount - AKA-WM1
Available in June for about $29.99
Float Mount - AKA-FL1
Available in June for about $14.99
Ball Head - ADP-BH1
Available in June for about $34.99
Carrying Case – LCM-AKA1
Available in June for about $34.99
GoPro are the undisputed Kings of the Action Cam Mountain right now, but never count Sony out. They have the budget and the technology to take a serious run at the top. The improved framerate, Zeiss lenses, expanding catalog of camera mounts and accessories combined with the fact that these little buggers are tough – oh, and about half the price of a GoPro Hero3 Black Edition – makes the Sony Action Cams a compelling choice and legitimate contender for #1.
Our good friend Marlene Hielema (DiscoverMirrorless.com and Imagemaven.com) recently ran into an issue with the custom white balance settings on her camera where the colors just seemed to fluctuate no matter what she did. After a TON of research and finally conferring with a colleague who had a lot of experience shooting at the particular venue in which she was experiencing the difficulties in question, Marlene got to the root of the problem, and her experience can serve as a valuable lesson to us all.
Let me set the stage
I took an in-camera custom WB using a shutter speed of 1/60s (i.e. slow)
I shot in Manual Video mode for the video clips using shutter speeds of 1/60s to 1/200s
I shot in Shutter Priority mode for the stills and used various shutter speeds up to 1/800s
I used various ISO settings and took a lot of shots at ISO 12,800
I shot jpgs and raw files (but the jpgs were clearly superior, so I never used the raw files)
The files were to be used for hybrid eProducts
I wanted color consistency across the board, so I didn’t use any of the built in artistic modes for this shoot
I sent some of the files in question to my colleagues at DiscoverMirrorless. This is what Will Crockett wrote back:
“The vapor lights in the ceiling are a non-continuous light source. They cycle at 60hz or sometimes 120hz and change in intensity – and in color value as you mentioned.”
After conferring with numerous other colleagues, I spoke with a photographer named Barry Giles who shoots in the Calgary Olympic Oval on a regular basis. When I told him my problem and asked him about the color temp of the lights, he just laughed out loud.
“Yup, we’ve got four kinds of lighting in there: Tungsten, fluorescent, halogen and mercury vapor, all of them pulsating at different frequencies. There’s even a bit of daylight sneaking in at the very top of the bleachers near the ceiling.”
So much for Custom WB
Because I did my Custom WB capture at 1/60s, I was probably balanced for the mix itself which was fine if I would have shot at 1/60 second for the whole event, but that’s not a good way to freeze the action.
And this color shift didn’t show up in the video clips as I was shooting anywhere between 1/60 and 1/200 second, so more time to grab all of the colors which is what I measured for in the first place. Plus in the video clips things are moving and you don’t notice it as much because you’re watching the action.
Can this problem be solved?
- If you shoot events when the TV People are there, you’re probably going to be fine.
- Do your in-camera custom WB at a slow shutter speed to get the mixed lighting accounted for. It won’t be perfect.
- When you are shooting at slower shutter speeds the light will mix better and you’ll probably have less problems. It won’t be perfect.
- Try fill flash – I did a few of those with good results in close-ups, but it’s not so good for the overall shots
- If you are shooting for a client in a place like this, then you should count on some color shift problems, unless you bring lights and light everything.
- Might be a good time to make friends with the TV People.
Final answer: It depends.
MC Contributor and Hybrid Photography Pioneer Will Crockett knows the importance of having a continuous light source for shooting Hybrid – and as more photo and video pros begin to combine their work into innovative new Hybrid eProducts, on thing is certain. LED Lighting will become the must have tool of the new generation.
So if you’re looking to add an LED or two to your portrait lighting kit, you want to see the best way to get the best possible color from any LED, you’re thinking about shooting TALKING portraits, or the LEDs you currently have only give you so-so color, then you can’t afford to miss the new in depth video by Will Crockett – The ABCs of LEDs.
Fixing color problems in your video files is a nightmare, so Will shares a handful of simple techniques and whole bunch of know-how to get every bit of great color from almost any LED (so you can skip the color corrections in post!).
MC Creator Scott Giorgini calls The ABCs of LEDs “the Bible of Hybrid Lighting,” and says that “When I want to know anything about Hybrid Photography, Will Crockett is the man! He’s also one of the only people that I trust to give me all the information I need, and give it to me straight.”
The ABCs of LEDs is an all-new 38 minute video that shows you exactly how professional photographers can get excellent photos and video clips using LED lighting – and best of all, you can watch it online right now for only $9.99 in the new shootsmarteruniversity.com learning center. From small shoe mounted fill lights, to powerful portable LEDs that glow and flash, to a glimpse of the studio LEDs you will be using in the future with precise control, continuous lighting is ready for you to use for video AND for still photos.
Will shows you how to mix LED lights with room light, daylight, flash, and even with a TV in the background of the shot – all with the predictable color you can count on to let yourself be free to shoot photo or video any time you want.
The flash of tomorrow starts with the LEDs of today!