Fujifilm finally posts firmware updates for the X-E1, X-Pro1 cameras and the XF 35mm lens, hiccups reported by users.

Some quick notes on user reactions: Apparently the XF 35mm firmware upgrade makes the lens noisier in operation, at least that's what many people report.
The X-E1 update does not result in as dramatic AF speed improvements as the earlier X-Pro1 update did. The camera DOES focus more accurately now, especially with the 18-55mm kit lens, but many users claim it does so at the expense of speed. And finally, one big issue Fujifilm did not resolve is the much wanted minimum shutter speed at auto Iso setting. Finally, Rico Pfirstinger has posted some nice tips about firmware upgrading on Fujifilm bodies: . . . read more

The Top 10 Photography Lighting Facts You Should Know, by Dan Richards at Pop Photo.

Nicely laid out lighting tips, each one accompanied by an example image. Great for beginners.

The closer the light source, the softer the light. The farther the source, the harder the light. This stands to reason: Move a light closer, and you make it bigger—that is, broader—in relation to your subject. Move it farther away, and you make it relatively smaller, and therefore more narrow. Think about the sun, which is something like 109 times the diameter of the earth—pretty broad! But, at 93 million miles away, it takes up a very small portion of the sky and hence casts very hard light when falling directly on a subject. . . . read more

Magix releases Photostory Easy, a quick and light version of its PhotoStory on DVD app.

Photostory easy allows you to transform your photos from digital cameras and smartphones into presentation slides and movies.

Magix Press Release

UK, January 31st 2013, MAGIX AG, One of the leading international providers of software, online services, and digital content, has announced the release of MAGIX Photostory easy.

With the release of Photostory easy, MAGIX is offering a brand new program that will make it even easier to transform photos into amazing movies including music and effects. The integrated Slideshow Maker makes the process simple by automatically combining the photos with transitions, music and . . . read more

Fujifilm posts RAW File Converter update for Windows 8/7/Vista/XP (ver.3.2.13.0)

From Fujifilm:
The firmware update Ver.3.2.13.0 incorporates the following issues:

Applicable models for the raw file converter are added as follows

FUJIFILM X-E1 / XF1 / X-Pro1 / X-S1 / X10
FinePix X100 / F800EXR / F770EXR / F775EXR / F600EXR / F605EXR / F550EXR / F505EXR / HS30EXR / HS33EXR / HS20EXR / HS22EXR . . . read more

Maxim Grew builds a working Polaroid camera with lollipop sticks, looks like lemon flavoured ones.

Well, you can't really build a whole camera with lollipop sticks, so Maxim had to use some duct tape, a bit of cardboard, and a Polaroid film back. Then, there's the lens:

"So thought I would give building a camera out of lollipop sticks a go, Went well! The back is a polaroid film holder for type 100 film so I used some Fuji-FP 100C I had lying about (which is an amazing film please go buy some now so they keep making it!) the bellows are just thick card and duct tape and the lens is off one of those old folding cameras you see loads in charity shops etc.They are normally really cheap and the lenses are in shutters which makes . . . read more

Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro scores at DXO Mark: For super-sharp outdoor close-ups and video.

The Olympus M.zuiko 60mm macro scored a slight bit better than the Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH OIS lens, while costing less money and offering weather sealing on top of that.

"With strong performance across most of the DxOMark tests and a video-friendly MSC AF motor as well as a weather-resistant design, the Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro is a good choice for outdoor macro shooting, such as nature portraits or close-up videos.  Compared to its main (and more expensive) competitor, the Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH OIS, it offers better quality for the money, delivering category-leading vignetting performance among Micro Four Thirds prime lenses as well as excellent sharpness. . . . read more

Pentax issues new firmware updates for for the K-5II/s, K-30, K-01, K-5 and K-r Dslr Cameras.

Not as sweeping update, here's what's new:

Optimized contrast AF when using [HD PENTAX-DA 560mmF5.6ED AW] lens.
Improved stability for general performance.

Get the update for your camera at the Pentax global software download page.

All night long time-lapse photos of sleeping couples: Paul Schneggenburger's project, 'The Sleep Of The Beloved'.

“What happens to lovers while they are sleeping?”

This is the question photographer Paul Schneggenburger asked as he began his project “The sleep of the beloved.” Using the second room of his two-bedroom Vienna apartment as a studio, he set up black sheets on a mattress, lit by a string of Christmas tree lights. A self-constructed trigger outside the room started the 4×5 camera at midnight for each six-hour exposure and turned it off automatically at 6 a.m., before the sun rose. Schneggenburger was not in the room during the exposures. “I’m fascinated by sleep,” the German-born photographer said. “What’s going on in the body; what’s going on in the mind?” . . . read more

How far can you go with a mobile camera? Check out the stunning Mobile Photography Award 2013 gallery.

"Congratulations to all of the worthy winners, runners up and honorable mentions.  You guys are all incredible and did a fantastic job! Thank you for making the Mobile Photo Awards the world’s biggest competition for mobile photography and art! The competition was a huge success this year with a record number of entries – the quality was extremely high and the jury worked long and hard to determine a slate of winners and runners up.  We know that we will never please everyone – we realize that even judges disagree on an image so it’s obvious that entrants and viewers of this site will also take issue with certain choices. That said, every winning image and runner up along with the honorable mentions are chosen with  careful thoughtfulness.  We hope you . . . read more

11 tips for better mobile photography at IstockPhoto.

Istockphoto recently announced they'd start accepting stock photos taken with a mobile device, and seeing the flood of crappy pics coming their way, they decided to educate their users a bit:

Mobile photography has made huge strides in a short time. We have this great powerful device in our hands or pockets now with all the extra tools and software needed to capture, edit and distribute our images in an extremely efficient and flexible manner. These devices output high enough quality images for commercial stock applications — provided the person looking through the viewfinder understands the fundamentals of what makes an image work. . . . read more

Canon EOS-1D X Firmware Version 1.2.1 now available for download

From Canon:

Canon has announced that a firmware update for its flagship EOS-1D X DSLR (Version 1.2.1) is now available for download. See below for details of the exact firmware fixes and improvements. Firmware Version 1.2.1 for the EOS-1D X incorporates the following improvements and fixes: 

1.The function to disable the Image size selection button has been added.
2.Fixes a phenomenon in which Err 70 and Err 80 may occur in very rare  instances depending on the camera settings or shooting scene.

Nikon D5200 camera review at Trusted Reviews: The D5200 is a worthy addition to Nikon’s APS-C DSLR range that borrows some features from the more expensive Nikon D7000 to bring additional functionality to a smaller and more affordable model.

"Given the high pixel count, we were especially interested to see how the D5200 performed at high sensitivity settings. The good news is that it handles luminance and colour noise commendably. It’s not until you push beyond ISO 800 that you begin to notice traces of noise creeping in to images, and then only when they’re viewed at 100%. ISO 1600 and 3200 are both perfectly useable too, as is ISO 6400, although you will need to move the luminance noise reduction slider to 35 within Adobe Camera Raw. If possible it’s best to steer clear of the extended settings; chroma noise becomes more obvious at ISO 12, 800 while ISO 25,600 also has an adverse affect on edge sharpness.   . . . read more

Olympus releases Redesigned Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 II Superzoom tele lens

I guess this is what Olympus users wanted, a new, dark n'plastic 75-300mm lens. At least it looks like a proper lens now, and the addition of ZERO coating won't hurt either. Reading the press release issued by Olympus, i wonder what they mean by saying that the lens is redesigned to match the E-M5 and the Pen series cameras. So, what did the previous lens match, the drapes?

Olympus Press Release

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., January 29, 2013 – Olympus makes high-performance super-telephoto shooting more accessible than ever before by introducing the affordable M.ZUIKO ED 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 II lens (35mm equivalent 150-600mm). Olympus has redesigned the lens to match the distinctive OM-D E-M5®   and PEN®Micro Four Thirds® series cameras and added a new advanced ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) coating to keep scratches off, and . . . read more

Olympus OM-D EM-5 epic review by Nasim Mansurov: Without a doubt, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is the best mirrorless camera on the market today. I just wish I checked it out earlier.

And I wish i had discovered this post by Nasim earlier. As far as reviews of the EM-5 go, this is one of the top 3 there is, the other two being Thom Hogan's recent essay and of course Richard Butler's technical at DPReview. Nasims reviews strike the perfect balance between lyrical and tehnical, and just for this, we forgive him for making fool predictions :)

"Until I came across the Olympus OM-D E-M5. From the day I started using the OM-D E-M5, I just fell in love with it. Everything just felt right about it – excellent image quality, incredibly fast autofocus, wide lens selection, superior ergonomics with a boatload of customization options. Suddenly, it just felt like the camera I had been wanting to own and use all these years. My only doubt was the smaller sensor size – for a while I thought that I would go with a

. . . read more

Canon develops feature upgrade for the EOS-1D C, adds 25p recording at 4k resolution.

Canon Press Release

Canon develops feature upgrade for the world’s first 4K DSLR, the EOS-1D C

London, UK, 30 January 2013 – Canon today announces the development of a new feature upgrade for the ground-breaking EOS-1D C. The upgrade has been developed taking into account feedback from the European professional video community, and adds support for 25p recording at the camera’s maximum 4K resolution.  . . . read more

A Brutal Pageantry: The Third Reich’s Myth-Making Machinery, in AgfaColor, at Time Life Magazine.

All these color photos were taken by one of Hitler's personal photographers, Hugo Jaeger, who used various versions of the Leica III with AgfaColor Neu film, the German counterpart to the French Lumicolor and the American Kodachrome film.

"But perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the Third Reich’s deeply manipulative and seductive propaganda — and especially the sense of invincibility and inevitable triumph that it sparked in the hearts of true believers — is how ludicrous and, in the end, how perfectly mistaken it all was.  Yes, Hitler and Goebbels and Himmler and Goering and the other genocidal gangsters did unleash a murderous nightmare in Europe, and for a few years — a very few years — it might have seemed as if the Nazi drive for domination was, in fact, unstoppable. . . . read more

Apple Unveils 128GB version of iPad 4, deliveries to start February the 5th.

Apple Press release

Apple Increases iPad with Retina Display to 128GB

Offers Twice the Storage Capacity to Create & Enjoy Even More Incredible Content

CUPERTINO, California―January 29, 2013―Apple today announced a 128GB* version of the fourth generation iPad with Retina display. The 128GB iPad with Wi-Fi and iPad with Wi-Fi + Cellular models provide twice the storage capacity of the 64GB models to hold even more valuable content including photos, documents, projects, presentations, books, movies, TV shows, music and apps. . . . read more

Metabones Speed booster on a Fuji X-Pro1 with some Leica Glass and a lot of shake, by Daniele Cametti Aspri at (of course) SteveHuff.com

​I believe there is something special about the crowd of photographers posting at SteveHuff.com. I will not delve into the kind of 'special' I'm reffering to, but, in any case, here's a review-or more properly, user experience, with the Metaboners Speed Booster mounted on the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and used with a bunch of (of course) Leica lenses: Leica R Elmarit 19 /2.8, Summicron 35/2, Summicron 50/2 and a Summicron 90/2. Daniele does not go into the very specifics of image quality issues, So I tried to pixel-peep the mostly blurred and noisy pictures she provides with the review, and came out empty handed. And then, there's the Colombus egg:

"But last night when I saw the Metabones Speed Booster ad everything was so clear. It is a Columbus egg! If you cannot have a full sensor size why don’t you reduce the image circle of a full frame lens to an aps c size sensor? The effects are . . . read more

Pentax K-5 II vs K-5 IIs side-by-side shootout by John Riley at EPZ: "Removing the AA filter lends an incredible clarity to the detail in images. Shoot carefully on a tripod, use good lenses and the benefits will definitely be worth it."

So, removing the AA filter does have a big impact on the picture clarity and resolution. How big of an impact? Check out Johns' full sized side-by-side image samples, they give a pretty good idea on the difference. 

"This was clearly an interesting proposition and I was keen to see for myself what difference, if any, the removal of the AA filter would make. The conclusion was quite obvious as soon as the images were examined. Removing the AA filter lends an incredible clarity to the detail in images. Shoot carefully on a tripod, use good lenses and the benefits will definitely be worth it. Architecture, landscape, still life, studio work, all will benefit from the IIs variant. However, to be fair, the II . . . read more

500px app returns to Itunes store, with a 17+ rating, the children are finally safe.

Chrish Welch at the Verge reports:

"Since the app went back up, we've talked to 500px co-founder Evgeny Tchebotarev about the changes that Apple required to put it back in the store. In addition to the "report" button, which Tchebotarev says Apple requested, the company has tweaked its search to make it harder for potentially offending photos to show up based on suggestive keywords (users who have opted into adult images on 500px's site will not be affected.) Most significantly, however, the rating has been raised, allegedly at Apple's behest: it's now 17+, the highest age rating on iTunes. . . . read more

Little Olympus Body Cap Lens 15mm f/8.0 go to the DXO Mark playground, gets called 'cute' by the grownups.

Why read a review of the body cap lens? It costs less that some of Oly's lens hoods, is comes at around the same size as a regular body cap, but is a lens. Excellent for photography training too, as every prime lens it makes you use your feet instead of a zoom range.  I gave it as a Christmas gift to a fat relative of mine, and now he's looking healthier than ever!

"No photographer buying a $49, 9mm long body cap lens is expecting optical perfection. Instead this lens is a bit of fun, a curiosity, a point and shoot option that’s a bit quirky and doesn’t cost much money.  The limited focusing, fixed 15mm focal . . . read more

Tamron 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III VC lens for micro 4/3 announced. No info on price and availabily yet.

Tamron announces the development of the company's first Micro Four Thirds high-power zoom lens, equivalent to 28-300mm in the 35mm full-frame format

Tamron 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III VC (Model C001) with Tamron's proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation)* mechanism and sophisticated metal finish in two colors - black and silver

Product features:
With one LD (Low Dispersion) glass element, two molded-glass aspherical elements and one hybrid aspherical element, Tamron's new Micro Four Thirds high-power zoom lens delivers leading-edge high image quality by thoroughly compensating for aberrations.
The ingenious optical design achieves a compact body with a filter diameter of just 52mm despite being equipped with the Tamron's highly regarded VC (Vibration Compensation) mechanism. . . . read more

Sigma greatly expands its Art series lineup, announces 4 new entries: 3 Mirrorless and one Dslr lens.

Whoever thought the CP+ event would be a minor one-beyond the cheapo inexpensive digicam crap range, will have to rethink. We're to the tune of 9 new lenses announced so far, and Sigma contributes the heavy metal part: 4 new 'Art' series lenses, all made with Aluminum bodies and fitted with brass bayonets. You may recognize the Sigma 19mm F2.8 DN and Sigma 30mm F2.8 DN names, but the 60mm F2.8 DN lens is a totally new entity. All three lenses share the metal construction  and updated optics, come in silver or black color, and will be available in micro 4/3 and Sony E mount versions. They also share lack of information by Sigma regarding availability and price.

As for the fourth lens, its an update to the venerable 30mm f1.4 DC lens announced back in 2005. The newcomer is compatible with Sigma's USB dock, and completely overhauled, inside out. It will come in Sigma, Canon and Nikon mounts at an unknown date for an unknown price. . . . read more

Sony RX100 vs Fujifilm X10 vs Canon S110 vs Canon G15 mega shootout by Ron Martin: He prefers the Fuji X10 for most situations, and his wife agrees.

This is the follow-up to Ron's RX100 review from a week ago:

"I like the RX100 and feel like it makes great images. If you do a comparison of the RAW images you’ll quickly find that it has great RAW images that are hampered by fairly poor in-camera processing compared to the other cameras I’ve tested. At low ISO’s it’s not an issue and they are quite good, but as the ISO’s climb the poor in-camera noise reduction really hurts. As a result, my “always keep your raw images” applies more for this camera than any of the others I’ve tested.

. . . read more

Canon EOS 6D Review by Ben Pitt at Expert Reviews: "Flawless image quality at a tantalising price, but the basic autofocus won't suit everyone"

"Video picture quality trailed behind the D600, though, and it can't begin to compete with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3. Details in the 6D's videos appear pixel-sharp but direct comparisons reveal much finer details in the D600 and GH3's output. Video autofocus is as slow and clumsy as it has always been on Canon SLRs, and there's no headphone out to monitor the microphone while recording.

Most people who are contemplating spending £1,500 on a camera will be upgrading from a cheaper or older SLR. In many respects the 6D is very similar to the 5D Mark II but with significantly lower noise and built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. However, Mark II owners will be much better served by the 5D Mark III, which makes for a much more substantial upgrade. . . . read more

How to fake the ‘golden hours’ in Photoshop, even if you shot Jpegs, at Digital Camera World.

You should read 'faking it' as 'almost kinda make it look like', because some things cannot (yet) be replicated in software, be it the polarizing effect, or the golden hour.

"There are two official golden hours each day – the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. In both cases, the sun is very low in the sky and casts a golden light over the landscape. In this tutorial we’ll show you a quick way to recreate this golden glow on the computer should you have not been fortunate enough to capture it in-camera. . . . read more

Nikon Announces 2 new FX lenses, the exotic ultra tele AF-S 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR and the modest AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED ultra wide zoom.

Neither lens was a complete surprise, the 800mm was spotted by some eagle-eyed connoisseurs back at the London Olympics, and the 18-35mm lens saw its picture and spec list posted on the net many days ago. No word from Nikon if the 800mm monster is part of the Nikkor 80 years celebration theme. The lens will come bundled with a 1.25x tele converter, the AF-S Teleconverter TC800-1.25E ED, designed to work exclusively with the new 800mm lens. I wonder why they didn't incorporate the converter into the lens in the first place. Talking about firsts, the usage of 2 fluorite elements in the 800mm lens is one such feat. . . . read more

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VRII zoom lens review at Camera Labs: The Nikon 70-200mm f2.8G VR II is the professional version of a 70-200mm zoom with a large aperture, a very good performance and a build to last.

Thomas reviews the lens with a Nikon D800 Dslr body.

The Nikon 70-200/2.8G VR II delivers very good overall performance throughout the zoom-range with a graceful decline in sharpness/contrast in the corners. But nothing that a little stopping down can't heal. Mount it on a DX-body and it delivers a flawless performance from f4.0 with very high sharpness and contrast at all apertures. Its resolving-power also makes the lens quite a good match for a tele-converter should you need to reach beyond the 200mm focal length. Combined with image stabilization, a fast and reliable AF, and a large constant f2.8 aperture that can cut exposure times in half for fast moving action shots or deliver shallower depth of field effects, a robust body, and weather-sealing this lens is the tool of choice for the pros. . . . read more

More specs revealed about the Olympus XZ-10 camera and M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 Mk. II Lens.

Lens first: Everything appears unchanged, except for the new ZERO coating (ZUIKO Extra-low Reflection Optical Coating), same as the one that adorns many of Olympus Prime Lenses. Availability set to March 2013. The lens is also slightly redesigned, it looks a bit less like a designer flower-vase now and more like a proper lens. 

As for the XZ-10, it is a smaller, lighter and cheaper successor to the similarly looking XZ-2, with little else in common. The lens is now a 5x optical zoom of 26-130mm F1.8-2.7, and the sensor is very sadly a smaller 1/2.3" 12 Megapixel story, that kinda puts this cam out of the 'prosumer' range we're covering at Estiasis. If this digicam is still of any interest to you, grab your Google transgorbler and head over to Digicame.info for the rest of the spec list. . . . read more

Thom Hogan finally finishes his Olympus E-M5 review: I trust it for the type of shooting i normally do.

I can really see why it took him so long. There are no charts here, no Iso trains, no technical sections, heck not even images (except for one), but in this review they are not needed. It is evident that Thom has poured a lot of labour into this, and reading it will give a better picture of what the Olympus E-M5 really is, better than any review out there.

"This was a tough review to write. Indeed, it's taken me longer than it should have because there have been a series of small things that I wanted to be sure of before committing to them on the site. On the one hand, it was clear to me that I had started carrying the E-M5 instead of a DX DSLR when I needed to go light and small. On the other hand, those menus and options can be frustratingly dense and confusing. Was I perhaps just favoring the light and small and putting up with the complexity? It really takes time to answer that question, and thus the long germination of this review. . . . read more

Selected Items
Click to close the selection preview
Compare List
Teleconverters: Click to see the selected items
Click to Compare the selected items
Flashes: Click to see the selected items
Click to Compare the selected items
Lenses: Click to see the selected items
Click to Compare the selected items
Cameras: Click to see the selected items
Click to Compare the selected items