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500px expanding into the cloud

500px expanding into the cloud | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it

For a website that’s really only three years old, 500px has carved out an impressive niche for itself. One of the image sharing sites that thrived during the decline of Flickr, the last few years have seen 500px balloon to become one of the largest and most popular photography sites on the Internet. Now with 10 million page views daily, a new iPhone app and a second round of funding flowing in, can this website by photographers, for photographers, keep it up? And can they pull in the non-hardcore photographer market? With a very interesting take on cloud storage that will debut next year, that’s exactly what 500px is hoping to do. 

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Behind the scenes of Fujifilm's factory in Sendai, Japan

Behind the scenes of Fujifilm's factory in Sendai, Japan | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it

After the official launch of the X-Pro2 recently in Tokyo, Fujifilm invited a select group of press to visit its Taiwa assembly plant near Sendai to see the camera being put together. As well as the X-Pro2, we were also able to see the assembly lines for the X-T1, X100T, and several lenses. Fujifilm has been making optics since the 1940s, and although the construction workers of that time would not recognize much of the technology used in lens construction today, a lot of the assembly is still done fairly traditionally, by hand. 

The first step when visiting any assembly plant, is to sterilize yourself. No, not like that, but by donning head-to-foot protective clothing and scrubbing your hands with alcohol. It's a time-consuming, uncomfortable but necessary step in order to prevent contamination of the assembly line. I do very much regret keeping a sweater on underneath the overalls though. 

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Hands-on with the Fujifilm X70

Hands-on with the Fujifilm X70 | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it
In addition to its X-Pro2 and X-E2S, Fujifilm also announced the X70, a compact camera with a fixed 28mm equiv. F2.8 lens (shown here with a lens hood). Focal length aside, the X70 is in many way a Fujifilm X100T minus the hybrid viewfinder but with the addition of a tilting touchscreen.

It uses the same 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans II sensor as the X100T and features a similar layout of control points. We had the opportunity to get our hands on the X70 at a press event in Japan – take a look. 
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Here at last: Nikon announces D500

Here at last: Nikon announces D500 | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it
Nikon has announced the much-anticipated followup to its D300S, the 20.9MP D500 which the company calls its 'best enthusiast DX offering.' It features the same 153-point AF system and EXPEED 5 processor as the D5. It can shoot continuously at 10 fps with a 200 shot buffer for Raw images. It can also capture 4K/UHD video and also features 'SnapBridge', a constant connection to a smartphone using Bluetooth, similar to what Samsung did with its NX1. The D500 will be available from March at a cost of around $2000.

The camera has a 100% coverage viewfinder offering 1.0x magnification. It also makes use of the XQD high speed memory format first used in the D4. It also has an articulating 3.2" touchscreen LCD with 2.4 million dots.

The camera's relationship to the D5 matches that shared between the D3 and original D300, with the APS-C format camera offering the same AF system and similar feature set with only a slight drop in continuous shooting speed and a much small body.

We were pretty impressed with the similar low power Bluetooth option on the NX1 as way of keeping a constant line of communication open between the camera and a smart device, meaning that images can quickly be pushed or pulled across from device to device. This continuous connectedness should make Wi-Fi much easier to use and consequently more appealing.
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The Weird Story Of The US Sending Camera Coffins To Space And The Soviets Repurposing Them Into Moon Fax Cameras

The Weird Story Of The US Sending Camera Coffins To Space And The Soviets Repurposing Them Into Moon Fax Cameras | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it
Sometimes real stories go beyond anything we can imagine. And this one from Damn Interesting podcast certainly exceeds any fictionous photography tale one can conceive.
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Nikon AF-S 24mm f1.8G review - a bright wide prime compared!

Nikon AF-S 24mm f1.8G review - a bright wide prime compared! | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it
Nikon's AF-S 24mm f1.8G is a wide prime designed for its series of cropped and full-frame DSLRs. It becomes the fourth Nikkor wide prime with an f1.8 focal ratio, joining the existing 20mm, 28mm and 35mm, completing this range of focal lengths.
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Sony A7RII ISO Invariance

Sony A7RII ISO Invariance | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it

Back in the early days of digital photography – around 2001 / 2005 – a standard part of my seminars and lectures was to make a provocative statement… “Film is digital. Sensors are analogue.” This would freak people out because many believed at the time that there was something inherently “purer” about analogue imaging.

 

I would point out that film was inherently digital in nature because a silver halide particle when exposed to light would either turn black or not turn black. On-off. Yes-no. This is digital behaviour.  It’s when you have millions of such particles displaying semi-stochastic behaviour at a microscopic level that we produce the appearance of a continuous tone image.

 

A camera sensor, on the other hand, is an analogue device. Each sensel (pixel) interprets the amount of light hitting it as a voltage. Voltage is analogue in nature – continuous not discrete. The sensor’s circuitry then converts the analogue signal from each sensel into a digital signal so that millions of them can be conveniently processed into an image.

 

Actually, sensors are digital as well because of the quantum nature of light – but that’s another story.

Nevertheless – at its most basic level, film is digital and sensors are analogue.

 

So much for a background story. What does this have to do with ISO Invariance, and what the hell is ISO Invariance in the first place?

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Nikon Lens: Primes - Nikon 24mm f/1.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Tested

Nikon Lens: Primes - Nikon 24mm f/1.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Tested | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it

SLRgear Review 
October 16, 2015
by Andrew Alexander

Announced in August 2015, the 24mm ƒ/1.8G ED AF-S is the latest in a string of modern fast primes produced by Nikon, as it continues to overhaul and improve upon its offering in this area. Nikon's previous entry-level offering in the 24mm autofocus category was an ƒ/2.8, AF-D lens.

The lens was designed with a full-frame FX sensor in mind, though it's also compatible with DX-sized sensors. On those cameras, the lens will produce a field of view of approximately 36mm.

The lens takes 72mm filters, ships with a petal-shaped lens hood, and will be available for approximately $750...

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Nikon COOLPIX AW130 review | Cameralabs

Nikon COOLPIX AW130 review | Cameralabs | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it
Looking for an underwater camera review? Find out if the Nikon COOLPIX AW130 is the best waterproof camera!
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Sigma AF 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A ("Art") (Nikon FX) - Review / Test Report

Sigma AF 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A ("Art") (Nikon FX) - Review / Test Report | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it
Normal primes used to be fairly predictable products: small, light-weight, affordable, based on a rather simple design, yet nonetheless very sharp, especially stopped down. There were a few exceptions, of course, usually very expensive ones (think of Noctilux, Noct Nikkor or the EF 50/1.0 L USM), but most of the gang offered very similar features and performance - across all brands.
It seems that several manufacturers decided that the most natural focal length (which some call the "most boring one" instead) could need a little more excitement. This has lead to a bunch of new products in this area, but as before, most of them were quite expensive, like for example the new Nikkor AF-S 58mm f/1.4.

Sigma already has some experience in this field, because their EX 50mm f/1.4 HSM lens, announced in 2008, was refreshingly different from most other normal primes at that time. However, that lens earned mixed reviews, combining very smooth bokeh with so-so sharpness at large apertures, the latter often emphasized by its tendency to shift focus with different aperture settings.

The new lens, a member of the "Art" family of Sigma lenses, is widely expected to deliver significantly better performance.
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The very late Leica M Typ 240 review

The very late Leica M Typ 240 review | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it
I purchased a Leica M Typ 240 new on the 18th of October, 2013. This review, or rather - user experience of this camera will be based on almost two years of owning it. I wasn't lucky with my exampl...
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Nikon 35mm f/1.8G FX Superb Performance Sample

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G FX Superb Performance Sample | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it
Having been testing lenses extensively for the past few years, I have seen all kinds of optical defects on even the most expensive / exotic lenses that cost thousands of dollars. One of the most common issues I have seen so far is lens de-centering, where a single optical element or a group of elements …
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LensRentals.com - A Quick Look at the New Sigma 24-35 f/2 Art

LensRentals.com - A Quick Look at the New Sigma 24-35 f/2 Art | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it
I generally do MTF testing on multiple copies of a given lens so that I can present the averages, look at sample variation, and stuff like that. I'm always aware that looking at any single copy of a lens, especially a zoom lens, gives only a limited prediction of how other copies might look. But sometimes a limited prediction is still pretty exciting. As luck would have it, I was able to get a single copy of the Sigma 24-35mm f/2.0 DG HSM Art lens for testing today. It will be a week before we have enough copies to begin doing out multiple copy tests, so I thought I'd go ahead and post the results of the one copy.
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Canon 5DS Initial Impressions

Canon 5DS Initial Impressions | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it

I am back from the mountains, after spending a couple of days testing the new Canon 5DS DSLR (see all 5DS / 5DS R related articles here) and waiting for the 5DS R to arrive.

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Retro through-and-through: Fujifilm X-Pro2 First Impressions Review

Retro through-and-through: Fujifilm X-Pro2 First Impressions Review | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it

At its core, the X-Pro2 is a rangefinder style camera (and one that actually works a little like a rangefinder, thanks to some clever digital technology) that should appeal not only to the traditional rangefinder crowd, but also to enthusiasts who may be more accustomed to other styles of camera as well.

The X-Pro2 is technically the successor to Fujifiilm's original X-mount camera, the X-Pro1, however in the context of Fujifilm's camera business it's much than that. In many ways the X-Pro2 raises the bar for the entire Fujifilm line of interchangeable lens cameras, including the current top of the line X-T1. Headline features include a 24MP X-Trans sensor, a new hybrid AF system, and picture-in-picture viewfinder design borrowed from the X100, along with improved video quality.

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Tokina announces ultra-wide 14-20mm F2 lens for Canon and Nikon crop sensor DSLRs

Tokina announces ultra-wide 14-20mm F2 lens for Canon and Nikon crop sensor DSLRs | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it

Kenko Tokina has launched the Tokina AT-X 14-20mm F2 Pro DX lens for Canon and Nikon DSLRs with APS-C sensors. That's equivalent to 21-30mm on Nikon bodies and 22-32mm on Canons.

This ultra-wide zoom has a pair of super low dispersion elements in the back and a plastic aperhical element in the second group that promise to reduce flare and ghosting. It also sports nine aperture blades, a one-touch focus clutch mechanism and internal focusing.

Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.

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Sigma AF 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM | A ("Art") (Nikon FX) - Review / Test Report

Sigma AF 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM | A ("Art") (Nikon FX) - Review / Test Report | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it
Sigma lately had quite a run in delivering very decent products not only in terms of value but also optical and mechanical quality as well as improved quality control. The transformation of their product lineup is still in the early phase, but they are busy executing their new product vision.
One of their latest products is the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 HSM DG OS | A. As the name implies, it is part of the "Art" series, thus their most prestigious segment of lenses. In Nikon land, it obviously targets the Nikkor AF-S 24-120mm f/4 VR, which so far has been the only real option option for customers looking for a high quality, full format standard zoom lens with a slightly longer reach.

Interestingly the Sigma lens is just slightly more affordable than its Nikon counterpart. This certainly shows that Sigma is getting more confident about its products compared to high end products from original manufacturers.
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Tamron SP 35mm f1.8 VC review - a wide prime with stabilisation!

Tamron SP 35mm f1.8 VC review - a wide prime with stabilisation! | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it
Tamron's SP 35mm f1.8 VC USD is a full-frame semi-wide lens available in Canon, Nikon, and Sony mounts. Launched alongside its longer sibling, the SP 45mm f1.8 VC USD, they join an exclusive club of short prime lenses with optical stabilisation.
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Sony Alpha 7R II Review

Sony Alpha 7R II Review | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it

Though it's the fifth model in Sony's full-frame E-mount lineup, the a7R II arguably represents just as much of a technological leap forward as its first mirrorless full-frame predecessors did. Its 42MP full-frame BSI CMOS sensor, 399 on-sensor phase detection point AF system and 5-axis IS are just a few reasons why the a7R II is one of the most talked-about cameras of the last year. See how it performed in our comprehensive testing.

 

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Leica News & Rumors

Leica News & Rumors | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it

Today Leica Camera announced their new entry level Leica M Typ 262 digital rangefinder. The new M model is basically the "light" or the "M-E" version of the current M Typ 240. The main differences compared to the M 240 model are:

  • no video
  • no LiveView
  • 100g lighter (body made top plate made of durable aluminum)
  • smaller Leica red dot logo
  • quieter shutter compared to the M 240
  • the camera's menu consists only of two pages
  • body design closer to the M9
  • Price: € 5,500/£4,050 (incl. VAT), $5,195 in the US (available for pre-order now)

 



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Life in a glass case: We peer at new Pentax full-frame DSLR

Life in a glass case: We peer at new Pentax full-frame DSLR | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it
Ricoh's upcoming full-frame Pentax DSLR is getting more real! The last time we saw it, the as yet unnamed camera was barely more than a chunk of carved plastic, but at this week's Photo Plus Expo in New York, a much more advanced mockup was on display at the Ricoh booth.

With the recently announced full-frame 24-70mm F2.8 lens attached, the long-awaited full-frame DSLR certainly looks the part. Cosmetically, we're enjoying the Pentax 67-inspired pentaprism moulding and plethora of large, knurled control dials.
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Google Nexus 6P review: Serious contender for mobile photography | DxOMark

Google Nexus 6P review: Serious contender for mobile photography | DxOMark | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it

Today Google unveiled the Nexus 6P. Having partnered with manufacturer Huawei to build this latest device, the Nexus 6P is the first to run Google’s most up-to-date version of its Android operating system — Android OS 6.0 Marshmallow (or “Android M”).

Tech specs for the Nexus 6P include a large 5.7-inch (1440 x 2560-pixel) AMOLED screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 and 16 million colors. The rear camera offers a 12.3Mp resolution on a 1/2.3”-type sensor, video resolution of 2160p at 30fps, and a lower-resolution front-facing 8Mp secondary camera. Other features for the Smartphone photography enthusiast include laser autofocus, LED flash, stabilization, face detection, HDR+, GEO tagging, and a built-in picture editor. Available with either 32Gb, 64Gb or 128Gb internal storage.

We’ve put a pre-release sample of the Nexus 6P through our industry-standard image quality tests prior to today’s launch and are delighted to bring you the results.

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Reeda Malik's curator insight, September 30, 2015 8:20 PM

Based on the specs alone, and what I've read so far, this is the one that will potentially bring me back to the Android camp :)

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What difference does it make? Sony uncompressed Raw

What difference does it make? Sony uncompressed Raw | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it
Sony has just announced that its latest cameras will gain the option to shoot uncompressed Raw files. The move comes in response to user feedback (and, we're told, our efforts to communicate this feedback to the company's senior management), and provides a choice between shooting the with the existing two-stage lossy compression or an uncompressed Raw file. Given the interest that was generated when we detailed the effects of Raw compression, we thought it was equally important to make clear the benefits of the newly-added uncompressed Raw option.
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How Mirrorless Cameras Could Save the Photo Industry (But Probably Won’t)

How Mirrorless Cameras Could Save the Photo Industry (But Probably Won’t) | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it
If you haven’t noticed, camera sales are down. I mean, they’re way down. Unsurprisingly, everyone’s scrambling to find a reason why. There’s a video floating around from Mayflower Concepts that, at the very least, explains what is not the cause for the camera sales drop. If you don’t have 50 minutes to watch it for …
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Fujifilm X-T10 Review: Digital Photography Review

Fujifilm X-T10 Review: Digital Photography Review | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it

The Fujifilm X-T10 puts many of the X-T1's capabilities into a smaller, less expensive body. It uses the same 16MP X-Trans CMOS APS-C sensor and EXR Processor II, though its 2.36M-dot EVF and 3" 920k-dot LCD are slightly downgraded from the X-T1. Despite a more compact body it offers an additional custom function button and even squeezes in a pop-up flash. Can the X-T10 hold its own in an incredibly competitive field? Read our full review to find out.


Read our Fujifilm X-T10 Review

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Kowa Prominar MFT 8.5mm f/2.8 - Review / Lens Test Report

Kowa Prominar MFT 8.5mm f/2.8 - Review / Lens Test Report | Photography Gear News | Scoop.it
"Kowa who?" - that's probably your first thought here I reckon. No, it's not another obscure manufacturer with a backyard workshop. Kowa is indeed a fairly big company with high quality optical products and quite some history behind them. Established in 1894(!) Kowa is a multinational Japanese company with almost 2000 employees and multiple product ranges and activities. In terms of optical products they are renowned for their spotting scopes, binoculars and industrial lenses. They even manufactured cameras till the late 1970s. The Kowa Six was their high profile product at the time - a medium format camera plus a large lineup of lenses. And it seems as if they are willing to try a comeback again. It all started a few years back when they introduced a -let's call it- hybrid lens - the Kowa Telephoto Lens Spotting scope which can be used both as a spotting scope as well as a super-tele lens for DSLRs. It even featured a fluorite crystal element - thus a super-expensive component also used by Canon in their very best lenses. Due to the lack of AF, it probably isn't an overly successful product but it seems as if they felt the wind of opportunity. Thus they just introduced a set of three new lenses for the Micro-Four-Thirds system which we'll all cover here at Photozone. In this first review we'll discuss the Kowa Prominar MFT 8.5mm f/2.8 - thus an ultra-wide angle prime lens with a full format equivalence of "17mm".
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