Flicker bug results in thousands of private photos to be exposed in public, Flickr fixes the issue by creating a new one.

Barry Schwartz from Marketing Land writes: 

"Flickr made no post about this on its blog. Instead, yesterday, as one of the impacted users, Flickr sent me an email to politely let me know that hundreds of my private photos were opened to the public for a 20-day period recently. The email said Flickr had: Identified a software bug that may have changed the view setting on some of your photos from non-public (i.e., private or viewable only by family and friends) to public. . . . read more

New EOS M firmware is coming soon, with a promise to make the camera slightly more bearable.

Good news for the few among you daring enough to buy into Canon's half-baked mirrorless proposal. News from Canon Rumors: 

"We’re told new firmware for the EOS M will be coming “soon”. Possibly in the next two weeks. The firmware will address various things in the camera, the biggest being improving AF performance. Do not expect miracles about how much it can be improved, but the camera should “hunt a lot less” in lower contrast situations. We’ll also see an improvement in AF tracking."

Sony RX100 review by Jordan Steele at the Admiring Light: "while it has its quirks, the Sony RX100 is definitely the finest compact camera I have ever used."

If the Nikon D800 was the Dslr camera of choice in 2012, the Olympus E-M5 the award reaper in the mirrorless segment, then the Sony RX100 appears to be the undisputed king of the compact category. Here's another +1 for Sony's miniature powerhouse:

"Overall, the Sony DSC-RX100 is a serious camera.  Not just for those looking for a high quality point and shoot as their sole camera, but even for the serious photographer looking for a take anywhere camera.  While the limited aperture at the long end would make me look elsewhere as my only camera, I loved shooting with it as a ‘take anywhere’ camera.  Most importantly, I never really felt I was compromising my ability to get high quality shots when I left my OM-D in the car and was testing this little guy. . . . read more

How to do Light Painting, in a Hong Kong Winery Estate, with a tipsy Kai Wong.

Kai W and the rest of the DigitalRev TV team seems to be very productive-and creative, lately:

"In this video, we take a look at what you can do if you're stuck at home (in the dark) and you want to take some photos....you can do some light painting." 

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f/1.8 lens review by Spike Tennyson at M43 Info: "It’s spectacular. Sharpness, colour, contrast; the look of the files this beast produces are just wonderful."

Spike uses a Panasonic GX1 body with the lens on this review, and it sure helps him explore the dark underworld of the Pattaya naughty industry scene:

"The lens is sharp at F1.8 and sharpens up more as you stop down. Personally, I like to shoot wide open whenever possible, to encourage bokehliciousness (maybe not a word). So what are the negatives? Cost is an obvious one, but having used the lens I think it is a bargain. I have paid more than twice the price for Canon L lenses which can’t match the 75mm for IQ (or convenience, or light gathering). The only thing I would say is that the focus speed on this lens can be lacking occasionally. Take a series of photos at a similar distance from the subject and the 75mm is as fast as anything else out there; but . . . read more

Lego Leica M9 by Chris McVeigh, costs $49

Hey, a Leica worth its money :) 

"Initially built and photographed for Esquire magazine (as seen in the main image), this is the production version of the Lego Leica M9 camera. A Lego Mini Camera building kit custom designed by Chris McVeigh. 114 pieces, shipped in a cardboard box. Please note that this is not a functioning camera. Please allow two to three weeks for delivery. Estimated Arrival 2/25 - 2/27"

Ming Thein asks:"What makes a good photographer?"

I'm afraid the answer is not 'the latest and bestest gear with the highest iso on earth':

"Frequently asked, but rarely answered is the question of what makes a good photograph; rarely, if ever, asked is ‘what makes a good photographer?‘ In the first place, does it matter? I think the answer is yes, both because of the importance of self-assessment in the grand scheme of things if you want to continually improve as a photographer, and because we can all benefit from a goal to aim for. Obviously, the answer to this question is going to depend very much on the type of photographer you want to be; being loud, brash and in-your-face might serve you well as a paparazzo, but it’s almost certainly going to result in early retirement if you’re a war photographer. . . . read more

Roger Cicala checks out the cost of a whole system-mirrorless, (Olympus) vs the Dslr establishment of Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony.

 All I can say is 'ouch'. And it was a double ouch for Roger, since after going through all the trouble assembling a kick-ass micro 4/3 system he found out it wasn't that portable any longer, so in the end he chose something even smaller. No, not the Pentax Q:

"In my last post I made a preliminary list of systems I was going to consider. Some people are a little surprised I’m considering crop sensor cameras. I’m surprised that they’re surprised. I’ve shot with a micro 4/3 system for months and it certainly met 80% of my needs, so an APS-C based camera may be just fine. Or I may decide that I need to have a full-frame camera. I’ve generally shot full frame for the last several years. . . . read more

Happy 1st Birthday Anniversary, Olympus OM-D/E-M5!

Oh how time flies. A full year-and a day, has passed since the official revelation of the E-M5, a camera that came at a very crucial moment in Olympus history, the company still shaking by the aftermath of the financial misbehaving of its board. This little cam took the limelight away from all that, and has carried it far and away: The E-M5 must be the most awarded and decorated digital camera so far, having received a 'camera of the year' award by most major photography sites worth their affiliate links, and of course, by me.

Here is my 'best camera' definition: It is the one you can carry with you to as many places as possible, under as many environmental conditions as possible, and can deliver reliable output, day or night. And by that definition the Olympus E-M5 is the best camera that I've ever had, and I've been using digital cameras since 2001. I've been through almost all of Canon's EOS range, up to and including the 7D and the 5D Mark III, an untold number of prosumer cameras, both pocket sized and superzooms, and a couple of earlier micro 4/3 models from Olympus and Panasonic, even some NExes. . . . read more

The Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD excels at the DXO Mark bench: "When mounted on a Canon 5D Mark II, the Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD achieves an overall DxOMark Score of 24, the 2nd highest score in our database for a high-speed zoom."

So, the Tamron manages to closely match such expensive and optically well endowed lenses as the Canon 24-70mm f2.8L USM II, and the Nikkor 24-70mm G ED, both costing around the 2 grand mark in every major western currency:

"The Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD is in the top three best performing high-speed standard zooms currently available. We’ve only looked at the imaging performance, but it’s as impressive optically as the highly regarded Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8G ED. At $1,299 it’s not cheap but it is competitively priced – to improve on the image quality you would have to spend $1,000 for the sublime Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 II USM. Dropping down . . . read more

Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens review at Camera Stuff Review

Ivo Freriks tests the lens with a Canon T4i/650D Dslr body, and discovers that these two make an excellent combo, especially when video shooting comes to play:

"Optically, the Canon 18-135mm zoom lens STM is slightly better, but not much different than its predecessor. The main differences of this review compared to the Canon 18-135 mm review that we have previously published, is the improved performance for chromatic aberration and vignetting. And these improvements are caused by the in-camera lens corrections made by the Canon 650D. . . . read more

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Review by Mark Goldstein at the Photography Blog: Premium build, optics, and price. Weight too.

Mark tested the lens with a Nikon D4 full-frame Dslr body.

"The lens' sharpness is excellent at most focal lengths and f-stops. Edge sharpness is also commendably good, only requiring stopping-down to f/5.6 to get acceptable results. Distortion is well-controlled, chromatic aberrations are only really conspicuous by their almost complete absence, and the lens exhibits pleasingly rounded bokeh thanks to the 9-blade aperture. All in all, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR delivers great results throughtout its zoom range. So the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR offers a versatile focal range, fast maximum aperture, well-implemented Vibration Reduction system, fast auto-focus and excellent build quality and weather-proofing. Sure, it's big and heavy, but it does offer a compelling combination of versatility, durability . . . read more

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM at the DXO Mark bench: The ideal standard zoom?

Maybe, but under two conditions: You cannot/will not afford the superior EF 25-70mm f2.8L II, or you have forgotten that the 24-105mm f4L IS USM also exists:

"The overall DxOMark score of 19 shows this is not one of the best lenses tested, but there are some areas where it is remarkably good for a zoom lens. Taking the overall DxOMark score of 19, we can see that the lens is not an especially high performer in terms of overall image quality. However, looking at the scores in detail, we can see where the lens fall down. . . . read more

Apple Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update for Aperture 3 and iPhoto 11 released.

From Apple:

About Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 4.04

Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 4.04

This update adds RAW image compatibility for the following cameras to Aperture 3 and iPhoto '11: . . . read more

Olympus E-M5 review by Spike Tennyson at M43 Info

A bit late? No, Spike posts his review on the exact day the OM-D was announced a year ago, so let's call it a birthday review. Spike previous camera is a Panasonic GX1, and he compares these two a lot:

"Those of us who have been shooting with M43 cameras for a while have always known how good they are, and we know how little you lose and how much you gain when you give up your DSLR for something smaller. But it has taken the E-M5 for the rest of the world to finally take notice and recognise the worth of these mirrorless cameras. Now I have an E-M5 in my hands, I understand why. . . . read more

Sigma posts first sample images by the DP3 Merrill

And in line with what I ranted wrote about earlier today, they don't dare venturing into higher Iso ground..in fact they keep it at Iso 200 maximum. All photos taken Tomio Seike. Anyway, first impressions: yey for Foveon goodness.

Pentax SMC DA 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 SDM zoom Lens Review at EPZ: "This lens does perform well at shorter focal lengths, but the lack of sharpness at the telephoto end my be enough to put many prospective purchasers off this lens"

Every superzoom lens is a super compromise, especially at the tele-end of things, and this one ain't the exception. Gary Wolstenhome uses a Pentax K-5IIs camera to review the lens, and provides plenty of full sized samples to back up his claims:

"Lenses that cover high zoom ranges such as this lens are always a bit of a compromise. However, this lens does perform well at shorter focal lengths, but the lack of sharpness at the telephoto end my be enough to put many prospective purchasers off this lens. Even so, when used within its limitations it is still more than capable of producing decent results. If the convenience of having one lens that covers all situations is the most important consideration, then this could be the lens for you." . . . read more

Sony RX1 review by Mark Goldstein at the Photography Blog: "Sony have truly blurred the lines between compact and DSLR in terms of the RX1's features, performance and image quality."

If you ever get bored by the 35mm Zeiss lens on your RX1, you can always use this nifty tool to change the lens to something wider or longer~

"As the RX1 is a Sony camera, it boasts a long list of other stand-out features. Shutter lag is only notable by its apparent absence, and image processing times are thankfully non-intrusive, even for the large Raw files that the RX1 produces. This camera really does deliver DSLR-like performance and image quality in a pocketable format, music to the ears of most enthusiasts, with the exception of the auto-focusing speed, which lags behind the very best contrast-based systems. It's certainly not bad enough to prevent us from recommending the RX1, but it does limit the camera's versatility somewhat.  . . . read more

Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM scores high at the DXO Mark test, but finds it hard to dethrone the Sigma f1.4 from the 35mm seat.

If weather sealing was added to Canon's package I'd say it had a fair chance against the Sigma, but as it stands now, its main trumph card is only the smaller size/weight. 

"Attached to a Canon EOS 5D MKII it ranks 4th overall and 2nd for wide-angle primes, just behind the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM A, which at a similar cost offers the same focal length, a wider f/1.4 maximum aperture but no Image Stabilization. You can read our DxOMark review of the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM here.  . . . read more

Sigma DP2 Merrill review by Jim Keenan at Digital Camera Review: "Clearly this is not the camera for most average shooters, but it is a magnificent still imaging tool when operated in a fashion that plays to its strengths."

Every review of Sigma's DPx cameras saddens me a bit. The reviewer usually writes something along the lines of 'best image quality there is' immediately following up with a string of negatives and reservations, all-more or less, valid. Sigma is sitting on a gold mine with the Foveon X3 sensor combined with its prime lenses, but the reality is, in this time and age just producing the best image quality is not enough of a deciding factor for most people, myself included. IMHO, Sigma needs to fix a couple of issues, mainly the AF and general responsiveness speed, Iso performance, and for Jeeber's sake, if I'm going to plow  $1000 on a fixed lens camera, I demand an optical stabilizer somewhere between the front lens element and the lcd screen at the back. Until that happens, their DP cameras can not (by me) be considered as serious propositions, the ultimate decisive moment cameras they ought to be.

"SIGMA's DP2 Merrill produces the finest still images I've seen in any compact digital camera I've had my hands on, thanks to an optically terrific lens and well off the beaten design path sensor combination. Unfortunately, this is not the compact digital for everyone and, in fact, most casual users and in . . . read more

Diglloyd remains starkly negative of Fujifilm's X-pro1 and X-E1 camera sensors, despite the improvements Capture 1 Pro brought in the raw processing front: "Like curing a patient of hemorrhoids by giving him Chrone’s disease."

Wow, his must be the most serious case of X-Trans sensorophobia on the whole wide Interwebs. I still have a lot of respect for much of what he otherwise does, but when it comes to the X-Trans artifacting issue he clearly fails to see the sum of the image (heh): As a total, Fuji's sensor produces some gorgeous images, a fact that is stated in confessions and declarations by numerous pro, avid and generally accomplished photographers. I can point you to a zillion galleries and essays, but I choose just one for now and rest my case: Check out Dave Piper's gallery of images he got with the X-Pro1. 

"Why bother with a problematic sensor? Or a company that can’t get its act together and just pay Adobe $250K a year or whatever to deliver exceptional results from ACR (if this is even possible, which I begin to doubt). This dog doesn’t hunt. Get a Sigma DP1/DP2/DP3 Merrill and enjoy real resolution with zero artifacts, totally clean, not even Bayer sensor demosaicing yuck. Or get a D600 or D800E system which isn’t that hugely different in size, but has a full frame sensor. I see no point in investing in a 2nd-tier system with a sensor that forces photographers to jump through hoops." . . . read more

Samsung Galaxy Camera in-depth review by Lars Rehm at Connect.DPreview: "The Galaxy Camera is a great device for those who are planning to make good use of its connectivity features and have $600 to spend."

3 years ago I downloaded Rovio's 'Angry Birds' game for some fun my daughter to play with, and never ever would i imagine then, that the ability to play this game would count as a good point on a camera reviewed at DPreview. Good or bad, progress it certainly is. But there are valid points, even for hardcore avid photographers, to have an open operating system like Android on a camera: 

"Despite being a first generation product the Samsung Galaxy Camera works surprisingly well. The camera interface could be a little sleaker and more responsive and the image quality is average at best but the huge number of available apps, the smoothness of Android 4.1, the excellent screen and the flexible zoom range make up for these flaws. The Galaxy Camera is a great device for those who are planning to make good use of its connectivity . . . read more

Photographer Sébastian Dahl hitchhikes from Oslo To Beirut, a trip of 10.000 kilometers, 112 vehicles, many countries and even more pictures.

Sébastian left his home in Oslo Norway, and equipped with only a backpack and his cameras (a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with Voightlander ultron 40mm f2 and Canon Ef 28mm lenses, and a GoPro Hero 2 actioncam), hitchhiked for 10.000 Kilometers, changing 112 cars, trucks and scooters in total, and snapping pics as he went in and out of vehicles and countries. He now plans on settling in Beirut for a while, learning the language, and do some photo-journalistic work. He also mulls making a video and a book about his amazing journey through Europe and the Middle East. Check out some amazing pics and stories from his adventure on his blog. . . . read more

First Look at the new Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.0 DC Macro HSM 'Contemporary series' lens at the Sigma blog.

Sigma's spectacular first entry in the 'Art series' family of lenses was the fabulous 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM, a lens that took the photographic community by storm. Having now set the bar very high, can the company repeat the success with the (soon to be released) comparatively cheaper and lower spec'd​ 17-70mm F2.8-4.0 DC Macro HSM​? Jack Howard​ writes:

"On APS-C cameras, the lens translates to about a 26-112mm zoom, which is a great everyday range for wide angle shots without significant perspective distortion, to short telephoto for flattering portraits. For the exact focal length equivalence, multiply your camera’s sensor format (1.5 to 1.7) times the focal lengths. . . . read more

Mythbuster Adam Savage geeks out over the Metabones Speed Booster, is it a myth waiting to be busted?

Adam's describes himself as an 'avid amateur mediocre photographer' and his main camera is a Canon 5D Mark III used with a hoard of Canon prime lenses, but this time he talks mostly about his Sony NEX cameras and the Metabones Speed Booster NEX to EF lens adapter, and how his mind got blown to pieces when he realized what it does-and that it works:

"Adam and Norm talk about photography as a hobby and review the Metabones Speed Booster, a new lens adapter connects Canon full-frame lenses to Sony's compact cameras. With side-by-side photo comparisons, we show why this is a piece of hardware that is very exciting for Adam's needs."

DxO Optics Pro: 98 new lens & camera combinations added to module database and available for download.

The good news: DXO keeps churning out new camera/lens combinations for its DXO Optics raw edit program on a regular basis. They do a very good job of supporting very old Dslr cameras with new lens combinations, like the Canon 20D and the Nikon D200. 
The bad news: I believe they need to overhaul the core of the program really soon, it is still ages a bit behind its main competitors (Lightroom, Capture 1 and Aperture) when it comes to speed and user interface. Also, still no support for Fujifilm's X-Trans sensor based cameras. Worse news: I have no clue about where to send the pitchfork and torch wielding mob, lies the blame for the lack of X-Trans support with Fujifilm or DXO labs? 

From DXO Labs:

98 new lens / camera combinations have been added to the DxO Optics Modules library, providing supports for Canon, Panasonic, Sigma and Sony lenses, for Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Sony cameras. Newly added camera body and lens combinations: . . . read more

Software Review at Pop Photo: Anthropics Technology Portrait Professional 11, by Dan Havlik

This piece of code is beloved by fauxtographers everywhere, but it can be used for a good purpose too: 

"If you spend hours nipping and tucking portraits in Photoshop with less than ideal results, you might want to seriously consider Portrait Professional 11, one of the fastest and most powerful virtual airbrushing tools I’ve tried yet. The danger is that some of the brushes, sliders and automated enhancements in this program—available as a stand-alone app or a plug-in—are so effective in altering portraits, you can push it too far with occasionally disastrous results. Used in moderation though, Portrait Professional 11 won’t only save you lots of time in post-processing, it will leave your clients happy and coming back for more. . . . read more

Fujifil X-E1 review at Pop Photo: "If pricing has made you hesitant to enter Fujifilm’s X-Series, the X-E1 might be just the thing to draw you in."

Philip Ryan tests the camera together with the XF 18-55mm kit lens:

"The Fujifilm X-E1 is a great addition to the company’s line of premium ILCs. Rangefinder diehards might miss the optical finder provided in the X-Pro1, but given that this isn’t a true rangefinder, we were perfectly okay with the X-E1’s EVF. It’s wonderfully crisp, bright, and gives you a good preview of the effects of setting changes. Its refresh rate could be quicker—you’ll notice a bit of stuttering on fast pans—and we wish it didn’t black out during bursts, but it’s among the best electronic finders out there. We’d say Sony’s OLED finders are the only ones that are appreciably better. . . . read more

Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens Review at Ephotozine: The EF 35mm f/2 IS USM lens offers excellent sharpness and good build quality, but at a high price.

The lens was tested by Gary Wolstenholme with a full frame EOS 6D Dslr body:

"With this lens, Canon have produced something that performs very well indeed, but then you would expect that for the asking price. It may be questionable whether or not having image stabilisation available at this focal length really is a killer feature, as it will really only be of use for photographing static subjects, unless motion blur is required for creative effect. With alternatives that have a faster maximum aperture being available for the same, or slightly more money, it does make it difficult to see the value in this lens. If the price drops as supply of the lens settles down, then it will make more sense in Canon's lens line up. . . . read more

Man arrested in Rochester NY, over Kodak bomb threat.

Details are a bit sketchy at the moment, Chris Cheesman from Amateur Photographer reports:

"Omer Fadhel Saleh Mohammed, 31, from Rochester, is accused of making 21 calls to emergency number 911, ‘claiming that a terrorist was going to bomb Kodak Corporation'. He was arrested and charged with making false bomb threats and could face up to 10 years in jail, according to a statement released by the FBI yesterday. The calls were made between 24 September 2012 and 24 January 2013, states Assistant US Attorney Anthony M Bruce. . . . read more

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