Digital Photography Review Newsletter
Tuesday, 6 August 2013
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Hello! And welcome to the 469th Digital Photography Review newsletter.
A slightly melancholy newsletter this one, as the first of the autumn rain made an appearance in Seattle this week. There's not a cloud in the sky right now, but it was an unwelcome reminder that the summer is almost over for another year. Fittingly, we're preparing the final 'roundup' of our series of six waterproof camera reviews this week, which will bundle those reviews up into a single overview, balancing the various models' strengths and weaknesses. And remember - tough cameras aren't just toys for the summer, they're useful in the wind and rain (and snow), too.
On to warmer thoughts, we've been lucky enough to get hold of an early sample Canon EOS 70D, and we've been doing a lot of shooting for a full gallery of real-world sample images. As I write this we're preparing a major update to our previously-published preview and you'll find links to it below. Our camera is technically 'beta' but if nothing changes between now and September (when they should start shipping to photographers) we certainly won't be disappointed.
Speaking of which, we were very impressed by the new GX7 when Panasonic showed it to us a couple of weeks ago, and we prepared a hands-on first impressions review in time for its launch last week. Looking something like a Sony NEX-6 with a tiltable EVF, there's a lot to like about this new high-end ILC. See links below.
Let's take a look at some recent highlights:
Studio and real-world samples added to Canon EOS 70D Preview!
One of the hottest cameras of the year so far, the Canon EOS 70D won't be in stores for a few more weeks but we've got hold of an early beta sample, and Canon has kindly let us post pictures from it. Not wanting to waste any time, we've been busily shooting with it for the past few days both in the studio and out in the real world, and we've added a lot to our previously-published preview.
Bear in mind that the samples we're showing off here are technically 'beta' (i.e., the shipping version of the camera might perform slightly differently) but from what we've seen, it's hard to imagine things getting much better. Click through to check out how the 70D performs.
Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM 'C' review
This lens occupies its own little niche in the market, as an upgrade to the typical 18-55mm zoom that offers both usefully extended zoom range and a faster maximum aperture. It also includes Sigma's 'Hypersonic Motor' for silent focusing, and built-in Optical Stabilization. In the latest of our lens reviews prepared in partnership with DxOMark, we see whether it should be top of the short-list for SLR owners looking to progress beyond their kit lens.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 First Impressions Review
Prior to its announcement last week, we had the opportunity to use Panasonic's new high-end Lumix DMC-GX7 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. As well as a redesigned 16MP Live MOS sensor, the GX7 features a tilting camcorder-style EVF, an articulated rear LCD screen and a silent mode designed to capture full-resolution still images without the mechanical shutter. Click the links below to read our hands-on first impressions review.
Opinion: 5 Reasons why I haven't used my DSLR for months
Compact cameras, smartphones and mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras are getting seriously good these days, and for a lot of photographers, they're supplementing or even replacing older, bulkier DSLR kit. After he finished our recently-published review of the Fujifilm X100S, dpreview editor Barnaby Britton (hey! That's me! - Ed.) realized that he hadn't picked up his DSLR for months. In this short feature, he explains why.
OMG Life Autographer Quick Review
Billed as the 'world's first intelligent wearable camera', it's designed to take pictures automatically triggered by the output from five built-in sensors. The camera has a super wideangle lens with a 136° angle of view, a 5MP CMOS sensor, and 8GB of built-in memory for image storage. It also has Bluetooth for connection to a smartphone. It's certainly intriguing, but how well does it work?
What's coming up?
Full reviews of the Pentax Q7, Olympus E-P5 and Sigma's impressive new 18-35mm F1.8 standard zoom, as well as the usual selection of news, articles and samples galleries. Specifically, we've done a lot of shooting with the new Panasonic Lumix DMX-FZ70, and I'm hoping to publish a selection of shots soon which show off its extraordinary 20-1200mm (equiv) lens later this week. A few years ago, if you'd have told me that this would even be possible I'd have laughed, eaten my hat AND a mouthful of humble pie. How things change.
As always, remember that you can leave feedback, share images and ask questions in our forums, and if there's something you really want to write about, you can also submit your own articles for consideration. We'd love to hear from you.
As always, thanks for reading!
GearShop update - a message from Laura
This week at GearShop, we've got the ever-popular Sony Cyber-shot RX100 on sale for the first time ever. It's $50 off, and is eligible for a free GorillaPod Micro 800 as part of our ongoing Grand Opening promotion. Just click on the 'View Rebates' button on the product page before you check out.
Tamron is currently offering rebates of up to $100 off some of their best lenses by mail, including the Gold Award-winning 24-70mm f/2.8 VC. Gitzo is also giving back $150-$200 on many of their popular Mountaineer carbon fiber tripods through the end of August.
Don't forget, you can pre-order new releases from us (usually as soon as they are announced on DPR), and we'll only charge you when they ship. Some recently announced products that are available for pre-order include the Canon EOS 70D, Nikon's new 18-140mm lens and SB-300 Speedlight, and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7.
Laura and the GearShop Team
Published on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 9:58:34 AM GMT
British company OMG Life has announced that its Autographer camera is now on general sale. Billed as the 'world's first intelligent, wearable camera', it uses an array of built-in sensors to take pictures automatically triggered by changes in its environment. It has an ultra-wideangle lens with a 136° view, a 5MP sensor, and 8GB of internal memory for up to 28,000 images. Images can be shared with smartphones using a Bluetooth connection, and assembled into stop-motion movies. It's available from the company's website for £399, shipping initially to the UK and most European countries.Read full story →
Published on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 7:09:30 PM GMT
A campaign launched by Oxford University's Bodleian Libraries to acquire a valuable archive of images by photography pioneer Fox Talbot has been thrown a £200,000 lifeline. Campaigners want to 'save' the archive of images, which has been transferred to a New York dealer with an eye to selling it on the open market. If the campaign is successful, the historic collection will remain in the UK. The massive £200,000 (~$300K) donation takes the campaign to within £375,000 of its target of £2.25 million. Click through for more details.Read full story →
Published on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 7:21:38 PM GMT
After our hands-on look at the Nokia Lumia 1020 last week, we were excited to spend a few days really shooting with the device. We've now had time to test out the Lumia 1020 in a wide array of lighting conditions and on an assortment of different subjects, and been able to more thoroughly explore the many settings available through the new Nokia Pro Cam capture app. Click through for the full gallery on connect.dpreview.com.Read full story →
Published on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 7:29:13 PM GMT
Photo sharing site SmugMug has rolled out a totally redesigned website, which was 'rebuilt from the ground up'. The look-and-feel of the site is radically different, and somewhat resembles the recently redesigned Flickr. Some of the new features on SmugMug include a large selection of default templates for the consumer, plus the ability for pros to create their own custom designs. Organizing photos has been much improved as well, with a new drag-and-drop interface. Follow the link to see what the new SmugMug looks like.Read full story →
Published on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 12:59:54 AM GMT
Godalfoss - Waterfall of the Gods - is one of the most striking natural features of Iceland, a country famed for, well... striking natural features. My Modern Metropolis has published a gallery of 12 stunning images of Godalfoss, including a shot taken by dpreview contributor Erez Marom. Click through to feast your eyes, but be warned - it will make you want to take a trip to Iceland.Read full story →
Published on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 5:40:29 PM GMT
Compact cameras, smartphones and mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras are getting seriously good these days, and for a lot of photographers, they're supplementing or even replacing older, bulkier DSLR kit. After he finished our recently-published review of the Fujifilm X100S, dpreview editor Barnaby Britton realized that he hadn't picked up his DSLR for months. In this short feature, he explains why.Read full story →
Published on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 6:33:51 PM GMT
The finalists in the annual Red Bull Illume photo contest have been revealed, and action and extreme sports never looked so good. A total of 250 finalists have been announced with entries in 10 different categories. Come August 29th, a winner will be crowned from 50 finalists invited to the reveal in Hong Kong. Click through and take a look at some of these incredible contenders for the grand prize.Read full story →
Published on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 6:40:00 PM GMT
Adobe has announced the latest 'release candidates' of Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop Lightroom, adding support for ten cameras - including preliminary support for the Canon EOS 70D and Sony RX100 II. The release candidates of Adobe Camera Raw v8.2 and Lightroom 5.2 also fix some bugs introduced in the previous versions. ACR v8.2 acts only as a camera and lens profile update for users of Photoshop CS6. Both are available to download from the Adobe Labs site, with the usual reliability caveats about release candidates. A release candidate of DNG converter 8.2 is also available.Read full story →
Published on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 7:13:03 PM GMT
Back in 2008 the Impossible Project took on the task of reproducing Polaroid instant film. Since then, their product line has expanded to include the Impossible Instant Lab. Similar to the analogue Daylab that Polaroid (and Fuji instant film) fans use(d) to create instant prints from 35mm and 120 film, transparencies, snapshot prints and 3D objects, the Instant Lab operates in much the same way using onscreen images from your iPhone as the source. Click through for more details.Read full story →
Published on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 9:48:53 PM GMT
Looking more like a projector than a camera, the Canon Vixia Mini made its debut today, its aim to serve bloggers, youtubers and apparently guitarists. Its 16.8mm equivalent fisheye lens is designed to capture video and stills with a unique perspective, and users can switch from wide to close-up mode while recording for an interesting live 'cut' effect, while maintaining Full HD video recording. Its built-in touch-sensitive LCD flips to face forward or backward, and a tripod mount can hold the device firmly in place. Click through for more information, and images.Read full story →
Published on Thursday, August 1, 2013 5:00:00 AM GMT
Sigma has announced a 'Mount Conversion Service' for any of its recent 'Global Vision' lenses - a paid-for service designed to reduce the uncertainty of changing camera systems. The company says it will charge between $80 and $250, plus shipping costs, depending on the specific lens. The Global Vision range currently includes seven lenses - from the huge 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS Sport for full-frame DSLRs, down to the 19mm F2.8 DN Art for Micro Four Thirds. The company has also extended the warranties on all new products to four years (USA only).Read full story →
Published on Thursday, August 1, 2013 6:00:00 AM GMT
Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-GX7 - the follow-up to the DMC-GX1 - which is its first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera to include in-body image stabilization. This 16MP, rangefinder-style camera also includes a high-resolution, widescreen EVF that can be tilted upwards 90 degrees. Panasonic claims that their newly designed Live MOS sensor improves both detail and color saturation by 10%. Other features of note include a tilting LCD, a 'silent shooting' mode, focus peaking, 1080/60p videos, and Wi-Fi with NFC capability.Read full story →
Published on Thursday, August 1, 2013 6:00:00 AM GMT
Alongside the enthusiast-oriented DMC-GX7, Panasonic has announced the Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 - the fastest autofocus lens ever created for the Micro Four Thirds system. If you're getting a sense of deja vu that's because Panasonic actually announced this lens already (sort of) at last year's Photokina tradeshow in Cologne, Germany. But what was then a dummy lens behind glass now appears to be a real product, albeit one without any firm availability date or pricing information.Read full story →
Published on Thursday, August 1, 2013 6:00:20 AM GMT
Prior to its announcement today, we had the opportunity to use Panasonic's new high-end Lumix DMC-GX7 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. As well as a redesigned 16MP Live MOS sensor, the GX7 features a tilting camcorder-style EVF, a tiltable rear LCD screen and a silent mode designed to capture full-resolution still images without the mechanical shutter. Click through for our hands-on first impressions review.Read full story →
Published on Thursday, August 1, 2013 7:04:32 AM GMT
The Japanese imaging manufacturers association, CIPA, has just released its global shipments report for the first half of the year, and there's not a lot of good news in it. Between January and June 2013 Japanese manufacturers shipped just short of 30 million digital cameras - that's a 45% drop in a single year. And it's not just point and shoots in decline: SLR and mirrorless sales are down too. More after the link...Read full story →
Published on Thursday, August 1, 2013 6:13:34 PM GMT
GoPro has updated its iOS and Android apps with more robust control and sharing capabilities, allowing you to share pictures and videos directly to the usual social networks. In addition to viewing the content stored on your GoPro, users can now share clips and stills without leaving the app. Right now it supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, as well as email and text, but it's indicated that support for other apps is on its way as well. Click through for more details on connect.dpreview.com.Read full story →
Published on Friday, August 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM GMT
Consumers need to think about sensor size rather than pixel count, says Aptina's Sandor Barna, because larger image sensors are likely to appear in all types of devices. Barna, the Vice President and General Manager of sensor maker Aptina's Consumer Camera Business Unit, spoke to us about the challenges facing compact cameras, the niche that will continue to exist for them, and hints that more large sensor compacts are on their way.Read full story →
Published on Friday, August 2, 2013 12:00:45 AM GMT
If you haven't seen the 600,000 pixel, 360 degree Tokyo panorama that's flying around the internet, clear your schedule for the next hour and take a look. It's a work from photographer Jeffrey Martin, who previously documented London in a similar fashion. With a lot of storage and processing power, Martin captured the photo with a Canon 7D, 400mm F5.6L lens and a robotic assistant. Click through and check it out.Read full story →
Published on Friday, August 2, 2013 7:00:59 AM GMT
Feeling old? Photoshelter has published a humorous list of 17 signs that you were around before digital photography became the norm. For those of us who were, the list is a nostalgic look at some tools and accessories that have fallen into disuse, as well as a reminder, possibly, that some things remain useful, even in the digital age. If you're too young to remember anything before digital, you should take a look at the list anyway. You might learn something.Read full story →
Published on Friday, August 2, 2013 9:45:29 AM GMT
Just posted: Our quick review of the Autographer from OMG Life. Billed as the 'world's first intelligent wearable camera', it's designed to take pictures automatically triggered by the output from five built-in sensors. The camera has a super wideangle lens with a 136° angle of view, a 5MP CMOS sensor, and 8GB of built-in memory for image storage. It also has Bluetooth for connection to a smartphone. It's certainly intriguing, but how well does it work?Read full story →
Published on Friday, August 2, 2013 7:22:22 PM GMT
Blackmagic Designs has announced it is shipping its Raw-video-shooting Pocket Cinema Camera and is reducing the price of its original, larger Cinema Camera. The Pocket Cinema Camera is built around a 'Super 16mm' sized sensor (12.5 x 7mm) and can shoot Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) or lossless compressed CinemaDNG 1080 footage at 23.99, 24, 25, 29.97 or 30p. Meanwhile the company has knocked $1,000 off the price of its original, 2.5K resolution Raw-shooting Cinema Camera model.Read full story →
Published on Saturday, August 3, 2013 1:00:45 AM GMT
We've been fans of Aaron Johnson's comic strip 'What the Duck' for years. 'WTD' is one of the best satirical comic strips in the world, and it's published here every week, as well as being included in our weekly newsletter. Barbed, topical and always amusing, we hope you enjoy WTD as much as we do.Read full story →
Published on Sunday, August 4, 2013 6:15:45 PM GMT
There's nothing traditional about photographer Nagano Toyokazu's portraits of his daughter. His unorthodox shots put the girl at the center of a series of whimsical scenes, in turn commanding the attention of a line of yellow rubber ducks, conducting a chorus of frogs and tackling an impossible tower of ice cream scoops on a cone. They're funny, sweet, and probably the most adorable thing you'll see on the internet today. Click through and get ready for the cute.Read full story →
Published on Sunday, August 4, 2013 6:18:44 PM GMT
The instant replay isn't new. In fact, it can be argued that it's the very reason why watching Football is America's favorite Sunday night living room pastime. The implementation of 12 cameras in each end zone brings something new to your big screen TV this NFL season - a 360-degree instant replay. Starting with the September 8th Dallas Cowboys home game, fans watching the action on NBC’s Sunday Night Football will see an all-around view of controversial plays in each end zone.Read full story →
Published on Monday, August 5, 2013 6:14:27 PM GMT
Just posted: Our review of the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM | C. This lens occupies its own little niche in the market, as an upgrade to the typical 18-55mm zoom that offers both usefully extended zoom range and a faster maximum aperture. It also includes Sigma's 'Hypersonic Motor' for silent focusing, and built-in Optical Stabilisation. In the latest of our lens reviews prepared in partnership with DxOMark, we see whether it should be top of the short-list for SLR owners looking to progress beyond their kit lens.Read full story →
Published on Monday, August 5, 2013 6:31:25 PM GMT
Photographic pioneer Eadweard Muybridge was fascinated by motion, and today, scientists at the Locomotion Lab of the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena continue to use cameras to research how we walk. As well as looking at human and animal movements, they've also created 'walking robots', and are capturing their movement using high-speed cameras. According to Zeiss's blog, the researchers are using the Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/50 ZF.2 lens attached to Vosskühler HCC-1000 cameras, which are capable of 923 fps, at 1024 x 512 pixel resolution. Click through for more details.Read full story →
Published on Monday, August 5, 2013 7:09:36 PM GMT
Magic Lantern has been enhancing the features of Canon EOS digital SLRs for some time now, most recently giving the EOS 5D Mark III a significant increase in dynamic range. One feature found in the second alpha version of their EOS 7D software adds the ability to capture Raw video, albeit at a relatively low 1736 x 1156 resolution. A 7D owner named Florian has put this feature to the test, by combining a series of DNG files into a 33 second video which looks fantastic. See the video for yourself after the break.Read full story →