Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)
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Nikon is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its first SLR camera, the Nikon F introduced in 1959, with a commemorative items sale through the Nikon Museum. The sale is offering several unique Nikon F-themed products, including a wristwatch, coffee mug, an acrylic plate featuring a hand-drawn and written illustration of the Nikon F camera's components, as well as a revised 2019 Edition of the Nikon Camera History poster.
The Nikon F represents an important part of the company's history; the model was in production for years before the eventual launch of the Nikon F2 model in 1973. It's not surprising that Nikon would commemorate the iconic model with a special anniversary sale, one involving limited-production items at very reasonable prices for collectibles.
Though the Nikon F coffee mug is already listed as 'sold out,' the Nikon Museum is still offering the acrylic plate camera diagram for 2,240¥ (approx. $22), the revised Nikon Camera History poster for 1,220¥ (approx. $11), and the Nikon F wristwatch for 19,900¥ (approx. $183). The watch is the most notable of the items, featuring an 'F' shutter speed dial, the words 'Nikon Museum,' and the letter 'F' in the watch face.
Nikon Museum advises that each product is offered in limited quantities and that it may prevent buyers from purchasing too many units. Unfortunately, you'll have to physically visit the Nikon Museum shop in Japan to purchase the items; shipping is not available.
Repair website iFixit has confirmed Nikon will be it’s ending its authorized repair program in the United States in March 2020, effectively de-authorizing more than a dozen independent shops across the U.S.
The news first came from a letter obtained by iFixit that Nikon USA sent out to its roughly 15 remaining Authorized Repair Stations in early November. The letter notes that Nikon will not be renewing its agreements with the shops after March 31, 2020, meaning these stores will unlikely be able to obtain genuine Nikon parts, as Nikon stopped selling genuine parts to non-authorized shops back in 2012. This will leave just two facilities on opposite sides of the U.S. — in Melville, New York and Los Angeles, California — compared to the roughly 15 shops currently in operation.
|An illustration showing the weather-sealing around the perimeter of the Nikon D700 frame.|
According to iFixit, the letter notes ‘The climate in which we do business has evolved, and Nikon Inc. must do the same.’ As a result, Nikon needs to ‘change the manner in which we make product service available to our end-user customers.’
Nikon confirmed the news in a statement to iFixit, saying ‘We remain committed to providing the best product support and repair services to our customers.’ However, Nikon didn’t respond to iFixit’s question regarding whether or not former authorized shops will still have ‘access to parts or other official services.’
In its coverage, iFixit spoke with half-a-dozen of the authorized repair shops — most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity —that received the letter and shared statements and thoughts from managers and owners. As you can expect, it doesn’t look good for the independent shops (or photographers who don’t want to ship their gear halfway across the country for a repair); repairing Nikon camera gear is about to get much more difficult after March 31, 2020.
We have contacted NIkon for a comment of our own and will update the article accordingly if we receive a repsonse. In the meantime, head on over to iFixit to read the full report.
Kodak Alaris has announced that its Ektachrome E100 film stock will be released in 120 and 4x5 sheet film packs ‘within the next ten days.’
In a tweet shared earlier this morning on the Kodak Professional account, Kodak Alaris confirmed new 5-roll 120 'propacks' and 10-sheet 4x5 boxes will be available to order worldwide within the next ten days. Kodak Alaris Japan also published a press release sharing the news.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. Dec 10, 2019 – Kodak Alaris today announced the launch of EKTACHROME E100 in larger formats. A new 120 format 5-roll propack and a new 10 sheet 4x5 box will be available to order within the next 10 days, worldwide. pic.twitter.com/AXpvkeplRN— Kodak Professional (@KodakProFilmBiz) December 10, 2019
No pricing information has been given, but we’ll find out soon enough when orders go live.
Adobe has released its December updates for Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic, as well as Lightroom for Windows macOS, Android, ChromeOS, iOS and iPad OS. The updates aren’t dramatic for the desktop versions of software, but Lightroom for iOS and iPadOS do add a few very welcomed features.
Lightroom for iOS and iPadOS now has the ability to import images directly from memory card and external storage. Thanks to updates in iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2, Lightroom is now able to bypass the iOS camera roll and import Raw and JPEG photos into Lightroom using a Lightning or USB-C adapter, depending on the model of iPad you have.
|The new direct import feature negates the need to duplicate files by first importing images into the iOS Camera Roll.|
In addition to direct import, Lightroom for iOS and iPadOS now offers advanced exporting options. Released in November for Android and ChromeOS, iOS and iPadOS now have complete control over the format (DNG, JPEG, TIF), metadata, watermarking, file naming, output sharpening and color space information. While not everyone needs this level of control, having these options on the mobile version of Lightroom is a welcomed addition to bring it more in line with its desktop counterpart.
Adobe has also improved the shared albums feature in Lightroom for Windows, macOS, Android, ChromeOS and iOS. No, you can add photos to your shared albums from any platform you can access Lightroom on: web, desktop and mobile, even with the free version of Lightroom.
You can find more information about these updates on Adobe’s blog post. The updates should be available today in the Creative Cloud app for desktop versions of Lightroom and the respective app stores for the mobile versions of Lightroom.
Designed from scratch for Canon's full-frame mirrorless system, the RF 15-35mm F2.8 is a fast, wide-angle zoom with built-in stabilization. As you'd expect from an L-series lens it's sealed against dust and moisture, and its stabilization is rated to an impressive 5 stops. Take a look at what it can do.
Google's Pixel phones run the company's Android operating system in its 'purest' form which also means they are the first devices to receive Android updates. Now Google has released its first 'Feature Drop' for the Pixel 4 and given us an overview in a blog post.
From an imaging point of view, the most interesting new feature is the ability to add a simulated bokeh effect post-capture, even if the image wasn't originally shot in the Pixel's Portrait mode. This means using Google Photos you can now add background blur to images that were shot a long time before bokeh simulation even was a thing.
On the downside, we would expect subject segmentation to be less precise than on images shot in Portrait Mode as the feature won't have any depth data to work with and solely relies on subject recognition.
Other new features include an option for automatic Call Screen for robocalls and spam calls. Google Assistant can detect spam calls and silence them. Then it will screen the call to see if it might actually be worth your while. Google says it will also provide a 'helpful context about who is calling and why.'
In addition, the video-calling app Google Duo can now auto-frame your face using the Pixel’s wide-angle selfie camera and expand the frame if a second person joins the caller. Google also says it has improved the Pixel 4's memory management.
All new features will roll out 'soon' to Pixel users and at least some of them are likely to at some point appear on other Android devices as well. You can find the full list of new features on the Google Blog.
Image credits: Images (and excerpts) shared with kind permission from Roger and the Lensental team.
Canon’s new RF 70-200mm lens is one of the most interesting lenses we’ve come across in recent memory—so much so we deemed it a ‘modern marvel’ in our sample gallery and crowned it the ‘Zoom Lens Winner of the Year’ award.
While we’ve shared our thoughts on the image quality and overall performance of the lens, we haven’t taken too deep a look into the construction of the lens. Thankfully, Roger and his team over at Lensrentalss have done a complete teardown of the Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 lens to show off just what Canon has put into this compact lens that’s part of the ‘holy trinity’ in the photo world.
|A look at the PCB in the rear of the lens.|
To start off the teardown, Roger recounts a little anecdote wherein a Canon engineer tossed a box on his workbench and pulled out a mock-up version of the RF 70-200mm F2.8 lens. Roger admits he isn’t easily impressed, but when he laid eyes on the mockup, he said his jaw dropped and the only words to leave his mouth were ‘that’s going to sell you a lot of cameras.’ Now, a good while later, a full-functioning version of the lens was sitting on his workbench once again; and this time it wasn’t leaving without going through a little operation.
Before cracking open the lens, Roger first addresses the redesigned optics of the lens, pointing out the dual focus group design and the extending lens barrel, addressing the latter by saying:
‘Some of you HATE extending barrel lenses. That’s cool; don’t get one. Some of you like to call them dust pumps. That’s cool, too, although it’s incorrect. (We take care of over 20,000 lenses. The most common ‘dusters’ among current lenses all happen to be primes that don’t zoom at all.)’
|The breathable filter (which lets in air, but keeps out dirt and dust) around the lens barrel.|
From there, it’s onto the teardown, which starts with the hinged tripod ring. He notes it’s not the most robust tripod ring he’s come across, but when attached to the camera, it’s ‘quite sturdy.’ With the tripod collar off, it was onto the front of the barrel, which came off with a few external screws. Upon looking over the front ring, Roger discovered a foam sealing between the filter barrel and front element, as well as a new breathable filter, that will allow air to pass through the front of the lens without allowing particles to get in.
The front lens element was then removed with ease, which lead to the ‘reasonably large IS unit,’ which stopped the team in their tracks and lead them to turning the lens over and tearing it down from the back.
|A close-up of the 'reasonably large' IS unit.|
The rear lens mount proved fairly standard as far as Canon’s RF lenses go. It was packed tight with the PCB and ribbon cables, as well as a few springs to add the tactile feedback to Canon’s programmable ‘Control Ring.’
Eventually, Roger hit a point where the ribbon cables looked too fragile to continue, but he and Aaron persisted and eventually removed the rear lens barrel after carefully threading each ribbon cable through the maze of pieces.
|A close-up of the meticulously-placed ribbon cables and sensors.|
It was at this point Roger paused to ‘salute Canon’s engineers,’ saying:
‘The flexes are all beautifully laid out and organized, going directly to their appointed place with no wandering about allowed. Notice how all the switches just take up one small flex; there’s not a lot of electron transfer needed to signal ‘on’ or ‘off’ compared to the amount of information that IS or focusing requires.’
After composing himself, he and Aaron continued to the inner workings of the lens. Specifically, he draws attention to the elements Canon uses to secure the extending lens barrel. Roger says the Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 ‘has about the most robust extending barrel mechanism I’ve ever seen [...] There aren’t the usual three cams sliding about to move this barrel, there are three pairs of them, and each is very large and robust.’
|A look at the components used to secure the extending lens barrel.|
Roger and Aaron eventually strip the outer barrel of the lens and dig further into the most intricate components, including both focus assemblies and the image stabilization unit. Roger notes the focus assembly (motors and optics) will likely be replaced as a whole if any component breaks, so any issue on that front will likely prove to be an expensive fix. However, he does not that he ‘doubt it’s a part that will really ever need replacing’ as the lens ‘is SLB (Strong, Like Bull) engineering, and the area is well protected.’
|The aperture diaphragm inside the Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8 lens.|
In all, Roger concludes that a ‘LOT’ of engineering progress has been made in the RF 70-200mm F2.8 lens compared to the likes of the Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8 lens and the Sony 70-200mm F2.8 lens. He states clearly, ‘this lens was a new design from the ground up,’ adding:
‘There’s no ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ holdovers [compared to the iterative updates of past 70-200mm lenses]. That’s a lot more work for the designers, but the result is a beautifully engineered, fully modern lens. It’s clean, functional, and straightforward.’
Roger further addresses the build quality of the lens, saying:
‘It’s obviously very robustly engineered from a mechanical standpoint. The internal composites are strong as hell. There are double cams, rods, and posts everywhere. There’s no play in any moving parts. We can’t imagine there will ever be play in the moving parts unless you run over it with a truck. You could describe it as ruggedized, but I’m going to stick with Strong, Like Bull, and suggest we refer to this as the RF-SLB 70-200mm f/2.8 from now on.’
In the end, Roger summarizes the teardown with six simple (paraphrased) words: ‘This is how you do it.’
To view the full teardown in all its glory, head on over to the Lensrentalss blog.
Researchers with MIT's Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have published a study detailing the use of cameras and artificial intelligence to recreate hidden actions based only on the shadows they cast. The method produces fairly low-quality results at this time but may be refined for future computational photography purposes that include helping self-driving cars 'see' hidden objects in their environment.
Shadows can reveal the presence of things a person may not be able to directly see; in the most obvious example, someone could, for example, perceive that a person is standing around a nearby corner because of the shadow they cast on the sidewalk. Though humans can perceive the movement of objects using their shadows, we cannot determine their colors and may not be able to determine their shape.
The newly detailed MIT AI can, however, recreate videos that include hints about an object's color and shape based on the shadows it produces. As demonstrated in the video above, the AI was surprisingly capable of recreating the movement and general shape of hands and forearms in motion out of view of the camera. As well, the algorithm generated a video of hands moving large blocks and a small ball, recreating part of each object's color.
This is the latest example of researchers combining cameras and artificial intelligence to produce seemingly magical results. This past summer, for example, experts with Facebook Research and the University of Washington unveiled an algorithm that can generate 'living' animations from individual still images.
Apple has announced it’s opening up pre-orders for its new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR monitor tomorrow, December 10.
It’s been six months since Apple first showed off the redesigned Mac Pro and accompanying Pro Display XDR monitor at WWDC. At that time, no definitive timeframe was given for its release, aside from vague hints it’d arrive autumn 2019.
The new emails sent out to customers confirmed the devices will be ‘Available to order December 10’ with an included ‘Save the date’ calendar reminder.
The Mac Pro starts at $5,999 and the Pro Display XDR monitor starts at $4,999 (and requires either the $999 stand or a $199 VESA mount). As Apple noted back in September, the new Mac Pro will be built in the United States, similar to its cylindrical Mac Pro predecessor. You can order the devices tomorrow at Apple.com.
|Two rhinos at a watering hole, pictured on one of Buddy Eleazer's trips to southern Africa.
Olympus OM-D E-M1X with M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO
ISO 4000 | 1/160sec | F2.8
Recently, we spoke to award-winning photographer and Olympus shooter Buddy Eleazer about his work, what inspires him, and what he needs from his camera gear when shooting wildlife on African safaris.
How long have you been a working photographer?
I was an active hobby photographer in the 70’s, but got back into photography seriously in 2003 with the advent of digital cameras.
What camera equipment do you currently shoot with?
Right now I'm shooting with two OM-D E-M1X bodies, an M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm F4 IS PRO, both the M.Zuiko MC-20 1.4x and M.Zuiko MC-20 2.0x teleconverters, and my workhorse lens which is the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO, with some other 'PRO' series lenses. Especially the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm F2.8 PRO.
When I'm close to the wildlife, the 40-150mm is perfect. When I'm further away I use the 300mm.
What drew you to the OM-D system?
I'm a fairly recent convert to Olympus - I used to be a ‘full frame guy’. I still love that gear, but there are some definite advantages to the OM-D system. Shooting full frame cameras with prime and zoom telephoto lenses created two problems: a) getting my gear onto flights to and within Africa – especially the smaller planes we fly into the lodges such as the Bombardier Dash 8 and Cessna 203 Caravan prop planes, and b) after a few weeks on safari, my right elbow and both shoulders took weeks to lose the soreness from lifting those big lenses.
I’ve been shooting with Olympus since early 2018. That doesn’t sound like a long time, but with nature photography and leading trips to Africa, that’s over 59,000 images ago.
Behind the picture: Leopard attack
A herd of wildebeest stampeding in the midst of a leopard attack.
This was a special moment. You never know what's going to happen on safari, and when things do happen, they can happen very quickly. We were looking at Wildebeest walking left to right, near a water crossing. Suddenly, for no reason that was apparent to me they started running - right to left.
I'd been shooting some panning photographs of them walking so I had the E-M1X set perfectly at 1/30sec with the 40-150mm F2.8 and suddenly they turned and started coming almost right for me. I was clicking away, and as the wildebeest cleared and I could see what was happening, right there in the middle of them was a leopard. The attack had happened right in front of my eyes but there were so many wildebeest in the way I didn't see it.
How would you describe your style of photography?
I describe myself now as a nature photographer. I love both landscape and wildlife, but in recent years have focused primarily on wildlife with emphasis on African wildlife and North American birds.
I came from landscape photography originally, and I still really enjoy including the landscape in my wildlife photography. I also really like tight details of animals, too. What I teach people in the field is get the safe shot first, but don't shoot 100 versions of that. Let's get a tight shot, let's look for details, the trunk, the feet or tail or something. And then let's get creative - maybe a panning shot, or something high key. There are lot of those kinds of pictures in my portfolio: what you might call 'sense of place' shots, tight shots, panning and so on.
What’s your major priority when selecting camera equipment?
As a wildlife photographer, I have a few key requirements. These include:
- My lenses must be fast to focus
- The lenses should be tack sharp when in focus
- I need my camera to be able to track accurately, especially for birds in flight
- The camera needs to be able to focus and deliver acceptable images in very early morning and very late afternoon light – when wildlife is often on the move.
A closer look at the Olympus OM-D E-M1X
Buddy shoots with the E-M1X, Olympus' flagship camera, designed for professional and enthusiast photographers in the sports and wildlife fields. Using powerful processors and 'deep learning' AF technology, the E-M1X is blazingly fast and offers the most advanced autofocus system of any OM-D camera. It's also among the toughest cameras of its type, rated for use in extreme conditions with IPX1-certified weather-sealed construction.
The E-M1X is among the first cameras on the market with AF modes trained to identify specific subjects. Specifically, aircraft, locomotives, and wheeled vehicles (commonly referred to as planes, trains, and automobiles).
|The E-M1X features a 121-point all-cross-type on-chip Phase Detection plus Contrast Detection AF system. The on-chip Phase Detection AF allows for high-precision AF even when shooting with high speed lenses.|
These modes are smart enough to not only track the outline of say, someone riding a motorcycle, but actually focus on the rider's helmet, or the cockpit of the plane. For scenes with multiple planes or motorcycles, the camera will settle for the largest in the frame. However, if you'd like the option to toggle between subjects, you can leave the camera in Single Point and manually place your point over the further subject - the camera will then prioritize tracking them instead.
A water buffalo drinking at a pond.
Olympus OM-D E-M1X with M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO
How does your style of photography inform your gear choices?
I switched to Olympus because the size and weight allowed me to travel easier and hand-hold up to the equivalent of 600mm.
I've always loved panning shots but they're really hard to do with big cameras and lenses. With these light, small lenses, there's so little effort, comparatively, to stabilize them as you move. There's in-body stabilization which is good to begin with but with a fast moving animal you need to stay with it in order to get a sharp shot, and the heavier the gear the harder it is to do that. With this OM-D gear it's literally just like turning your head.
The weight of a system for wildlife photography isn't in the camera body, it's in the lenses
I came from full-frame professional DSLRs, and those things are bricks. They wear your body out. The E-M1X is similar in weight to something like a midrange full-frame DSLR, and fits my hand very comfortably.
The weight of a system for wildlife photography isn't actually in the camera body, it's in the lenses. The camera is close to your body, but the weight is in the lenses, which extend forward, outwards from you. The weight of the glass in a big full-frame lens is considerable. Shooting the E-M1X with the 300mm F4, which is 600mm equivalent, is like shooting a DSLR with something like a 70-200mm attached. It's very comfortable.
The PRO Capture mode on the E-M1X has also been a game changer for capturing birds and other animals at the precise moment when the action occurs.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a photographer?
Really there are a few key pieces of advice that have guided me. First, find your own voice with your images. It’s okay to shoot iconic locations, but be creative and put your own spin on the subjects. Second, always seek to simplify the composition. Less is more. Third, know the rules of composition. They should only be guidelines, but if you know them, then you know why you give them respect and know exactly what you are trying to achieve when you are breaking those rules.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to make it as a photographer today?
If you want to be a commercial photographer, listen to your client. Make sure you know what they want before you get too carried away with the assignment. And know your gear. To be successful, you have to be looking through the camera at the subject. You must be able to adjust aperture, shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation while still looking through that viewfinder.
Elephants in Kenya.
Olympus OM-D E-M1X with M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO
What draws you to Africa?
I go about 6-8 times a year. Primarily I focus on Southern Africa, although about once a year I'll go to Eastern Africa, to Kenya. Every second year I'll go to Namibia, but mostly I'm focused on South Africa and Botswana. I like the reserves there, and I know the guides.
What I really like about Southern Africa is how close you can get to the animals. The lodges I focus on have off-road tracking, so you can position a vehicle perfectly for the lighting. You can get off-road and into position. Also because the reserves have been there for some time, the animals are habituated, they don't get stressed if they see people or vehicles.
In Botswana I love shooting near the water. I really love low-angle shots. Obviously if you're in a vehicle you have to aim for things up on a hill, to really get low, but if you're in a hide or you're on the water, you can get really low, down on the gunnels of the boat and shoot right at water level. Bird life, elephants crossing, buffalo drinking or whatever happens to be there. It's really cool.
Buddy Eleazer is an award winning wildlife and landscape photographer. His images have been featured by Popular Photography, National Geographic and the prestigious Epson Panorama Awards. He runs Magnum Excursions, and organizes multiple photography trips every year.
This is sponsored content, created with the support of Olympus. What does this mean?
Third-party Chinese lens manufacturer TTArtisan has released it’s latest lens, a 21mm F1.5 prime for Leica M-mount camera systems.
The fully-manual lens is constructed of 13 elements in 11 groups, has an aperture range of F1.5-F16 and features a 10-blade aperture diaphragm. The lens has minimum focusing distance of 70cm (27.6in) and a clicked aperture ring.
We haven’t tested any of TTArtisan lenses here at DPReview, but Vincent Bihler has a great review of the TTArtisan 35mm F1.4 on 35mmc and if the image (and build) quality of the 35mm lens is anything to go by from his review, the 21mm F1.5 will likely offer plenty of bang for your buck.
The TTArtisan 21mm F1.5 Leica M-mount lens is available on Amazon* for $429.
*Full disclosure: DPReview is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amazon. We maintain full editorial independence from our parent company.
|Photo: Dan Bracaglia|
In my defense, it was the beginning of a night of drinking when I dropped my phone in the toilet, not the end of the night. The humor isn't lost on me: it was the same day we published my defense of small phones, specifically praising my iPhone SE for its ability to slip into my back pocket. That, unfortunately, was also its undoing.
I needed another phone quickly and ended up buying a Pixel 3a. Here were the primary factors that drove me to this decision:
- The camera is very good
- It's only $400
- It was in stock at Best Buy for same-day pickup, which meant minimal interaction with salespeople
Just like that, I became an Android user after almost a decade (!?) of owning Apple phones. But after using the iPhone 11, I'm not only comfortable declaring it my Gear of the Year – I'm also thinking of switching back. Here's why.
Girls just wanna take wide-angle portraits
I have a pretty firm understanding of focal length and how it impacts your distance to a subject. I can even kind of explain equivalence. But for some reason I can never remember just how far the Pixel 3a crops in for portrait mode.
I find myself frequently sitting across the table from someone I want to photograph, pulling my phone up to take a picture and then realizing I'm way too close. I can either take an uncomfortably close photo of that person's face, or stand up and move backward to get the framing I wanted in the first place. The iPhone 11 lets me take that across-the-table portrait without leaving my seat.
The ultra-wide lens is a draw for me too. I haven't used the phone quite enough to decide whether its appeal would wear off, or if it would remain a feature I'd keep turning to. For now anyway, I'm into it.
No more crooked horizons
Some people can't grasp the concept of a passing lane on the highway (looking at you, Washington drivers), just as some of us are prone to crooked horizons. It's our lot in life, apparently. Thankfully, there are effective coping strategies. The one I like is a 'spray and pray' approach: I frame up my shot and take a series of photos while tilting the camera from one side to the other. There's usually a frame in there that's just about level. It also means that I end up with lots of what you see below in my photo archive.
|Lots of the same photo slightly tilted one way and the other.|
The iPhone 11's 'Photos Capture Outside of the Frame' feature makes this unnecessary. It uses the ultra-wide lens to capture extra image data outside the frame, saving it alongside your original image. If you edit one of these images in the native camera app, the phone will automatically fix crooked horizons and fill in the edges of the image with that extra information: preserving your original framing.
Having that ability would save me quite a bit of time and digital storage space. Until then I'll just be that weird lady in the park taking 200 photos of the sunset, hoping one of them isn't crooked.
The Pixel 3a keyboard makes me 🤬🤯
I'm not sure if Apple's keyboard is better or I'm just too used to it, but I have a really hard time typing out messages with the Pixel 3a keyboard. I thought it might the bigger size of the phone compared to my last one, but switching to the similar-sized iPhone 11 for a while proved that theory false: I immediately noticed I was making fewer typos.
Even after months of use the Pixel 3a keyboard remains a challenge to me
Whatever the reason, I get along better with iPhone keyboards. Even after months of use the Pixel 3a keyboard remains a challenge to me, and I do not particularly like feeling challenged when I'm trying to type out a text.
We'll meet again
Even if I do jump ship, Google knows it's not losing me as a customer, not really. If I do get an iPhone 11, the first app I'll download is Google Photos. When I arrive back at home that day, I'll tell Google to play my favorite radio station, and start a timer when I put my frozen pizza in the oven. As I use Chrome to find Christmas presents for family, research the symptoms of whatever ailment I think I might have, plan my wedding and pay my bills, Google will be right there with me, watching.
Photoshop’s Content Aware Fill tool seems fairly straightforward, but a recent tutorial shared by Adobe shows a clever little trick that could result in more accurate edits.
Shared on its Photoshop YouTube channel, the one-minute tutorial shows how changing the default ‘Color Adaptation’ setting within the Content Aware Fill workspace can result much more accurate fills working with images with gradients in them.
As Adobe’s Meredith Stotznere explains, this setting controls the brightness and contrast of the filled area to better match the surroundings when the default setting is too rough an edit. By default, the setting is on, but not at its highest strength. To improve the feature, Photoshop offers a ‘High’ and ‘Very High’ setting for smoother transitions, as well as an ‘None’ setting for when you’re working with hard edges with overlapping colors.
It’s a small change, but could result in much more pleasing edits when you need to remove objects from an image. You can find more 60-second tutorials on the Photoshop Magic Minute playlist.
These are the 20 most important cameras of the 2010s
As we near the end of the second decade of the 21st Century, we wanted to take a look back, and reflect on everything that has happened in the last ten years. While the first decade of the century saw enormous leaps and technological advancements, it was in the 2010s that consumer digital imaging really matured.
We've gone through all of the cameras released from 2010 to 2019, and selected twenty which we consider especially significant, plus one phone because, well, this was the decade when that really became a thing.
In this article we're proceding chronologically, starting with 2010, and we've selected at least one camera per year of the decade for special consideration. You can vote on which of those twenty you think should be considered the most important, and as always, leave a comment with other suggestions if you disagree with us.
2010 - Samsung NX10
If we asked you 'which company made the first APS-C format mirrorless camera?' the chances are you would be tempted to answer 'Sony'. But you'd be wrong. While the Sony NEX-5 and NEX-3 were indeed the noble scions of an undoubtedly very significant (and still successful) line of cameras, Sony didn't (quite) get there first.
The first year of the 2010s saw a deceptively major announcement from an unexpected quarter. We'd seen mirrorless cameras before 2010, but the Samsung NX10 was the first to offer an APS-C sensor - considered by many enthusiasts the smallest 'serious' sensor format, offering a 50% greater imaging area than the then-standard Four Thirds.
We said: 'That Samsung has managed to offer so much camera in such a small, well-designed body is impressive - especially with the excellent 30mm F2 lens - but the fact that it's such a likable camera, considering Samsung's relative inexperience in the sector deserves still greater respect. The NX10 comfortably competes both with the enthusiast DSLRs and the Micro Four Thirds cameras that conceptually sit on either side of it.'
The Samsung NX10's specs might not seem particularly impressive now, but back in 2010, a 15MP APS-C sensor, 921k-dot electronic finder and AMOLED rear screen were very competitive - especially in such an affordable 'little Korean camera' - to quote our original coverage.
The NX system didn't last as long as it deserved to, but Samsung should be given credit not only for being the first to market with a practical APS-C mirrorless line, but for getting so much right at the very beginning.
2010 - Fujifilm Finepix X100
Our second pick from 2010 is another hugely influential APS-C camera, from (at the time) another relatively minor manufacturer. The Finepix X100 represented a completely new direction for Fujifilm, which in 2010 was known as a fairly small-scale camera maker, with a flair for unconventional sensor technologies. Back then the company didn't have its own lens mount (Fujifilm's DSLRs were created in collaboration with Nikon) but with the X100, Fujifilm created a product that nevertheless found itself in the camera bags and around the necks of thousands of professional and enthusiast photographers.
We said: 'Despite all of its manifest flaws, the X100 is a camera that's become a firm favorite in the DPReview offices. Its drop-dead gorgeous looks and excellent build make it a camera that begs you to pick it up and take it out with you, and the image quality it returns at the end of the day is nothing short of superb. And this ultimately is the key to its attraction - it just takes wonderful pictures, time after time.'
Offering mouth-watering retro styling, a proven bayer-pattern 12MP sensor (basically the same one found in the Nikon D300/S and several other DSLRs) and a unique 'hybrid' electronic / optical viewfinder, the X100 was like nothing else on the market. Gloriously buggy when it was first released, major firmware updates rounded off most of the X100's rough edges pretty quickly.
Perhaps more than any other product, the X100 helped create a market for large-sensor, fixed-lens compact cameras. Subsequent models in the X100-series would lose the 'Finepix' moniker, but gain 'X-Trans' - another of Fujifilm's non-standard filter arrays. Old habits die hard.
2010 - iPhone 4/S
We did say this article was the twenty most important cameras of the decade, and one phone. Well, here's the phone.
The iPhone 4 was not the first iPhone (obviously) and very far from even being the first smartphone with a camera, but it was the first that we considered really usable as an alternative to a 'proper' camera.
When I got mine in late 2010 (shortly after moving to the US, in fact) I remember being genuinely excited by the creative possibilities of the iPhone 4's camera, and simultaneously rather worried about what it might mean for the camera industry. The iPhone 4S, which followed in 2011, improved the iPhone's camera even further.
We said: (about the iPhone 4S) 'For better or for worse, photography has been democratized and commoditized, and there just isn't any going back – and while yes, we can thank smartphones in general for that, the iPhone 4S was one of the more influential players in changing the way that we view smartphone cameras and smartphone photography.'
It turns out that the excitement was justified - and so was the nagging worry. Launched in the same year as Instagram, the iPhone 4 didn't destroy the compact camera market on its own, but it certainly accelerated the decline. For arguably the first time, you didn't need a dedicated camera to be a dedicated photographer.
And here we are.
2011 - Nikon J/V1
Nikon launched the J1 and V1 in unusual secrecy, without any pre-disclosure. These were the cameras meant to reinvigorate Nikon's product lineup for the 2010s, to address the needs of a new generation of photographers perhaps coming from a smartphone, or at risk of being tempted away from Nikon by new mirrorless upstarts like Panasonic, Olympus, Sony and Samsung.
The 1 system lasted for four years, and eight years after its inception, Nikon's first mirrorless system is sometimes dismissed as a failure, if it's remembered at all. It's true that unlike Micro Four Thirds and Sony's E-mount, Nikon's first mirrorless line was (like Samsung's) ultimately a dead end. And it's probably no coincidence that compared to those other manufacturers, Nikon opted for the smallest sensor of all: 1-inch, which hadn't been used in an ILC system before and (aside from the also doomed Samsung NX Mini of 2014 - which we all know how that turned out) hasn't been since.
We said: 'Right now by far the biggest advantage that [the 1 J1 and V1] have over the competition is their adaptive hybrid AF systems. If you want to shoot moving subjects in good light with a small (ish) camera then the J1 and V1 really are the only game in town [...]. If this sort of photography is not a priority for you, then given the strength of the competition it is very hard to recommend that you go out and buy either of these cameras'.
To Nikon's credit, the company didn't give up on the 1 System before giving it a fair crack of the whip, and 1-series cameras did perform well in some global markets. I'll still challenge anyone who says the V3 (2014) wasn't a fun camera to use, but it certainly wasn't for everyone, and like the V1 and V2, it was too expensive to be taken seriously by photographers who could afford it.
People tend to forget how innovative those cameras were, though. Offering on-sensor phase detection AF (unique in ILCs at that time) and ultra-fast shooting, the J1 and (especially) V1 were genuinely advanced products that showcased some of the key differentiating technologies that we take for granted in today's mirrorless cameras, including dual-gain sensors. It would be seven years before Nikon launched another lens lineup featuring much of the same tech, in the form of the Z-mount.
2012: Canon EOS 6D
Aaah the EOS 6D. The DSLR that would never die. Officially a current model for so long that it almost became a joke (~5 years is a long time for an ostensibly entry-level offering) the Canon EOS 6D was a major success for Canon. It's included in this list because of its significance as a 'gateway' model: The 6D introduced full-frame to a generation of Canon DSLR photographers who had been putting off 'upgrading' from APS-C due to cost.
We said: 'The EOS 6D doesn't offer the depth of features that its best competitors can, but it combines very good image quality, impressive high-ISO performance and class-leading low-light autofocus ability (with the central AF point) as well as impressive built-in Wi-Fi and GPS features.
Basically a cheaper, stripped-down alternative to the then-current EOS 5D Mark III, the 6D was Canon's smallest, lightest and least expensive full-frame camera up to that point: A no-frills workhorse with so-so autofocus that was never going to excite camera snobs, it could be relied upon take great-looking pictures in most situations, and it sold like crazy.
The fact that Canon didn't feel the need to officially replace the 6D for five years speaks for itself. The EOS 6D (along with the troubled Nikon D600 - released a week earlier) did not create the market for full-frame, but it certainly helped democratize it.
2012: Olympus OM-D E-M5
Panasonic might have (just) beaten Olympus to the punch when it came to launching the first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, but it was Olympus which arguably made the first really good one. The OM-D E-M5 was Olympus's eighth Micro Four Thirds camera, and as we said at the time of its launch 'without question the most accomplished'. Styled after the company's classic film-era OM-series SLRs, the E-M5 was - just like that series of cameras - small and lightweight, but very powerful.
And so much fun to use.
We said: 'The Olympus OM-D E-M5 is certainly the most capable Micro Four Thirds camera we've reviewed and arguably the most likable mirrorless model yet. It falls down a little bit on its continuous focusing but we have absolutely no complaints about the image quality. It's small, attractive, and a pleasure to use, and its pictures are equally enjoyable.'
Yes, Four Thirds is a small sensor format, and was considered so even in 2012. And that does come with some disadvantages. But the E-M5 was such an endearing little camera - and such a complete package - that a lot of photographers were happy to overlook issues like higher noise levels and limited depth of field control. Thanks to its small size and weather sealing, the E-M5 was a lovely option for travel and everyday photography, but it wasn't all about size: The first OM-D model packed some powerful features, too.
These included 5-axis in-body stabilization, a 1.44m-dot electronic viewfinder, and good (for 2012) 1080 60p video mode. Where the E-M5 mostly fell down was where a lot of mirrorless cameras did, at that point in time: continuous autofocus. But it really wasn't meant to be a sports and action camera. It was meant to be a small, lightweight option for photographers who wanted to shoot with something a little different. In that respect the OM-D E-M5 honored Olympus's OM-series legacy perfectly, and pointed the way for things to come.
2012: Sony Cyber-shot RX100
You knew it was only a matter of time before Sony showed up on this list. The Cyber-shot RX100 was the first of what has turned out to be a very successful line for Sony, and introduced the basic ingredients which have made the RX100-series so popular ever since: a large 1-inch sensor with very high speed shooting capability, a high-quality zoom lens and excellent video features all wrapped up in a genuinely pocketable form-factor.
We said: '[Images from the RX100] are consistently so good that you'll rarely find yourself too disappointed on the occasions you didn't have your big camera with you. And its class-leading video capabilities mean it's worth keeping with you, even when you did. In addition, it's as happy shooting sweep panoramas and automated HDR images as it is capturing Raw images with plenty of exposure control, which means you arrive home with a more varied selection of images and videos than you might with one of its competitors.
Subsequent RX100 models added valuable improvements and useful extra features like a built-in EVF (the RX100 VI and V are still our favorites, thanks to the EVF and fast, relatively short lens) but Sony got a lot right in the original RX100. Overnight, this was the compact camera to beat, and in the years after its introduction, models like Canon's PowerShot G5 X and G7 X-series (and Nikon's unrealized DL-series) sprung up in direct competition.
2013: Samsung Galaxy NX
The Galaxy NX was intended to answer the question 'what would happen if you combined the best things about a smartphone with the best things about a dedicated camera?' As such, it was an important product from a company that by 2013 knew how to manufacture both things, very well indeed.
It was also a flop.
Sadly, while perhaps an appealing idea in theory, the $1,600 Galaxy NX didn't end up setting the world on fire. It was capable of taking great photographs though, thanks to its APS-C format 20MP sensor. But in the end, the melding of a Galaxy S4 smartphone's app-centric interface with the large sensor and ergonomics of a conventional camera ended up not being particularly fun to shoot with for someone used to either sort of platform. And did we mention it cost $1,600?
We said: 'For day-to-day photography, the Galaxy NX doesn't improve on the camera experience or the smartphone experience. Ultimately, it's less than the sum of its parts. But it's also a more logical and successful product than the devices that came before it in this line, so it's possible that after a few more refinements, the Galaxy series could produce the first connected camera/phone hybrid that's actually worth owning.'
So why is it included on this list? Well, for one thing it was without doubt important, in the sense that nobody had ever attempted anything quite like it. We'd seen 'smart' cameras before, but none with an interchangeable lens-mount.
In retrospect it's easy to look at the Galaxy NX as a failure. An example of how not to meet related but different consumer needs in a single product (what Apple's Tim Cook memorably described as a 'toaster fridge'), but this is a misuse of hindsight. The Galaxy may simply have been ahead of its time. It was, definitely, overpriced. But the basic idea was sound - Samsung's conceptually-similar but less ambitious Galaxy-series zoom compact cameras actually did pretty well.
Will any manufacturer ever again attempt such a literal blending of smartphone and camera? It's an interesting question. With Samsung out of the picture, the only brand with significant expertise in both the camera and smartphone arena these days is Sony. Could we ever see a Sony Alpha Xperia? We wouldn't bet against it.
2013: Sony a7/R
Sony may have just been pipped to the post by Samsung when it came to APS-C mirrorless, but it was first with full-frame. As commenters on DPReview like to point out (both at the time and still today) the original a7 and a7R had their fair share of issues, and it also took quite a while before Sony caught up in terms of lenses. But they were first-generation products, and no new system has ever been launched in a finished state.
Quirky they may have been, but the original a7-series cameras were technically innovative and competitive full-frame options released at a time when the industry desperately needed shaking up.
We said (about the a7R): 'When it comes down to it, the Sony a7R's image quality, created by a combination of its high-resolution sensor and premium quality optics, make it an impressive image-maker. That fact trumps most quibbles we have about operation, JPEG processing, and even pre-processing in Raws. Its autofocus system nails focus most of the time and is fast enough for all but action photography.'
DSLRs were the only game in town in 2013, and the a7 and a7R caught Canon and Nikon napping. It would be a full five years before either of the traditional 'big two' came out with their own full-frame offerings and Sony spent the intervening time releasing seven more full-frame ILCs and in the process securing a major share of the full-frame market. With the a7S / II and later a7-series models the company also made major inroads with amateur and enthusiast / independent filmmakers too - a market that Canon is sometimes credited with inventing when it released the video-capable EOS 5D Mark II.
So yes - despite their flaws, the a7 and a7R really were important. Compact full-frame was a big deal back in 2013, and they were the first in a line of cameras from a manufacturer which would go on to turn the enthusiast full-frame market on its head.
2014: Leica T (Typ 701)
The Leica T was - literally - mold-breaking. Unlike pretty well all cameras, which are assembled from molded shell sections joined by screws, the Leica T was formed from a single block of milled aluminum, with the sensor and internal electronics slotted inside. There's a tendency among camera reviewers to describe high-end products as feeling like they're 'milled from a solid lump of metal', and I'm probably guilty of doing that myself a few times, but in the case of the Leica T it was true, for once.
More importantly, the T introduced a novel way of interfacing with the camera via its oversized touchscreen and app-like operating system. Although not literally app-driven, like the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy NX, the T's tiled interface and scrolling features menus would look familiar to a smartphone user even now. In 2014 this approach was still quite a novelty in the world of 'serious' photography, and at a time when 'novelty' was not a word we would have naturally associated with Leica.
We said: 'It's rare these days to encounter a product that offers a genuinely new way of doing things. The Leica T most certainly does, and I want to be very clear that in my opinion, Leica deserves praise for being bold. Making the Leica T's control logic so reliant on a touchscreen was a brave move from the German manufacturer, and although its experiment in combining conventional camera ergonomics with a smartphone-like screen experience doesn't entirely succeed, it's certainly an intriguing first attempt.'
The Leica T is not on our list of most important cameras of the decade because it was a really good camera. It was not. It was slow, finicky, and when it was first released, certain aspects of the T's UX (especially those relating to autofocus) were basically broken. But the T marked the beginning of a new phase in Leica's evolution as a camera maker. For one thing it wasn't just another re-badged Panasonic Lumix clone. More significantly though, it represented a very bold break from conventional camera ergonomics - 'the kind of camera that Apple might make' as we said in our original first-impressions review.
The T also debuted Leica's first fully-electronic, designed-for-mirrorless lens mount. It would be year after the launch of the T before the full-frame SL really showed the potential of the L-mount (and still another five before Panasonic and Sigma would be asked to join the party) but it all started with the T.
2014: Nikon D750
Five years after its launch, we're still recommending the Nikon D750 to our readers and our friends. And to our friends who are readers (you're all our friends). Not just because it's a reliably good deal every winter when the sales come around, but because it's still really good. The D750 is just a straightforward, well-designed camera. The kind that, as camera reviewers (and sunny optimists who don't need to worry about things like margins, R&D cost and product differentiation), we wish manufacturers would make all the time.
Just put all the features most photographers really need, in a relatively small and affordable package. It can't be that hard, right?
Well actually it can be that hard (see point about margins and R&D, and product differentiation) which is why it happens pretty rarely. Historical examples include the Canon EOS 10D, the Nikon D700, and more recently the Sony a7III. And, of course, the Nikon D750.
We said: 'It's not often that we review a camera that does nearly everything right. The Nikon D750 is one of those cameras, due in large part to its top-notch sensor and autofocus system. It also wins points for its responsive (but buffer-limited) continuous shooting mode and video quality. While it has a few flaws, they're minor and won't affect the majority of photographers.'
With an autofocus system genuinely capable of keeping on top of sports and action, and a really solid 24MP full-frame sensor, the D750 can do pretty much everything you ask of it - assuming we're only talking about stills photography. It's possible that while the Nikon D850 may end up being regarded as the pinnacle of DSLR technology for enthusiast photographers, the D750 will forever be remembered as among the best DSLRs across the board, thanks to its uncommonly good balance of features, usability and price.
2014: Samsung NX1
Speaking of features and usability, 2014 saw the launch of another major camera that, like the D750, still doesn't seem out of date. The APS-C Samsung NX1 sent a bolt of electricity through the market when it was released five years ago, offering features and performance previously unheard-of in the mirrorless market segment (with a confidently high MSRP to match).
The NX1's specification sheet reads like a wish-list from a particularly needy professional photographer (or a sunny optimist of the kind described on the previous page). What other mirrorless camera at the time could come close to full-resolution shooting at 15fps with autofocus? That kind of capability is still impressive now. Likewise 4K video recording (using the new and more efficient H.265 wrapper), serious weather-sealing and a lovely electronic viewfinder. And the world's first APS-C format BSI-CMOS sensor.
We said: 'We could probably justify giving the NX1 an award simply based on technological advancements and raising the bar for both image quality and video performance in its class. But those achievements are wrapped inside a well designed camera with a great user experience. We also have to credit to Samsung for really innovating on this product. In the process they got a few things wrong, but they got a lot of things right, and that's the type of product we like to see because it pushes boundaries and drives innovation across the entire market.'
The NX1 had it all, and was released alongside two highly impressive fast-aperture zoom lenses, which made the most out of its excellent 28MP sensor. Note that it wasn't until this year, with Canon's EOS M6 Mark II and EOS 90D, that the NX1 was out-resolved by another APS-C format camera.
If a manufacturer came to us today with a new camera that matched the performance and ergonomics of the NX1, we would still be impressed. There were rumors after its launch that Samsung was poised to release a full-frame system, but sadly the company exited the camera industry before we could find out if this was true. With the NX1, Samsung certainly left on a high note.
2015: Leica Q (Typ 116)
Often criticized - and sometimes fairly - for being a boutique brand that has forgotten how to cater to genuine photographers, the Q was a camera that (temporarily) shut the Leica haters up. Aimed at camera users, not just camera collectors, the Q offered a competitive 24MP full-frame sensor and extremely high-quality 28mm F1.7 lens, with ergonomics that while definitely informed by the company's legacy, weren't weighted down by it.
We said: 'The Leica Q is the most affordable full-frame Leica camera to date. Its 24MP sensor is good though not class-leading, and the fixed 28mm F1.7 Summilux lens is superb. The camera is built beautifully and responds rapidly. With the exception of a few software issues and some troublesome noise banding in pushed Raw files, the Leica Q is an excellent camera that you'll want to bring along for documenting the world around you.'
The Q's MSRP of $4,250 unquestionably made it a premium product, but bear in mind that its only serious competition - the Sony Cyber-shot RX1R II - cost $3,300. And was a Cyber-shot. Considering that the Q offered a (slightly) faster and optically stabilized lens, at a desirable wider focal length AND HAD A RED DOT ON THE FRONT it's hard to argue that it was egregiously overpriced.
The Q ended up being so successful that it wasn't refreshed for four years.
2016: Pentax K-1
Pentax is one of those brands that its fans just love - passionately and loyally. Now owned by Ricoh, Pentax has had a rocky few years but it's still hanging in there, thanks in no small part to a small army of repeat customers that can't imagine ever buying from another brand.
The K-1 is a really solid camera - literally. Peppered with buttons, dials and switches, it's an SLR in the classic mold, and one of the toughest models on the market. Specifically meant to appeal to outdoor photographers, the K-1 and its successor the K-1 II is one of the very few cameras we'd feel confident about taking out into truly awful weather. Backlit controls and neat features like 'Astrotracer' make it attractive to nocturnal photographers, too.
We said: 'The Pentax K-1 is a 36MP fully weather sealed, image stabilized full-frame DSLR that offers an enormous amount of features at a bargain price. Although the autofocus system fails to catch up with some of its peers the image quality that the K-1 offers is some of the best on the market and users will enjoy the ability to utilize the K-1's clever sensor shift technology.'
It's pretty rare to hear phrases like 'this is a camera for MX owners' uttered in a product briefing, but it's great to see a company taking such good care of its legacy (and of its most loyal customers).
The K-1 was the first full-frame Pentax DSLR, but it isn't in this list because it had a significant impact on the wider photography market (although in some respects it was very competitive, especially for landscape shooters). It's included here because it's one of those rare products that deserves to be celebrated: a love letter, in effect, from a manufacturer to its customers. The K-1 was packed with all the special features that Pentax users had come to appreciate in the company's APS-C DSLRs, and being full-frame it was fully compatible with their collection of lenses going back decades - something that Pentax shooters had been waiting for, for a long time.
2016: Fujifilm GFX 50S
Fujifilm entered the mirrorless interchangeable lens camera market a little late, with a dedicated APS-C platform. Unlike Sony's E-mount, Fujifilm could never have squeezed a full-frame sensor into the XF mount, and opted in the end to skip full-frame entirely. Instead, the company calculated it had a better chance of differentiating in the medium-format segment, which (with the honorable exception of Pentax) had until 2016 been dominated by a small number of companies making small numbers of really, really expensive cameras aimed mostly at studio professionals.
The Fujifilm GFX 50S changed all that. Offering 50MP from a 43.8 × 32.9mm sensor (close enough to traditional 120 film formats that it is usually referred to as 'medium format') it offered 4X the imaging area of Fujifilm's APS-C ILCs and 1.7X the area of full-frame. Given an even technological playing field, this should have given the 50S an immediate advantage in image quality over its smaller-sensored competition.
We said: 'The Fujifilm GFX 50S represents the company's entrance into the medium format digital market. It takes the ethos of APS-C X-series cameras and combines it with a larger sensor. Control points are plentiful, image quality is exceptional and autofocus is precise, just don't expect it to focus on moving subjects. The only thing truly holding back the GFX 50S from reaching its potential is a limited lens selection (at launch) with slow maximum apertures. Still, it is capable of the best image quality we've tested to date and is all around a lovely camera to shoot with.'
This ended up not quite being true (the Nikon D850 at ISO 64, for example, is at least a match for the GFX 50S in Raw mode) but it was certainly competitive against other medium-format cameras, and at a lower cost and with much more user-friendly ergonomics. The semi-modular design of the 50S made it pleasantly versatile in and out of the studio, and Fujifilm's range of GF lenses have proven to be excellent.
The GFX 50S didn't bring medium-format into the mainstream overnight, or all on its own, but it certainly opened the format up to a generation of photographers who would never even have considered it before.
2017: Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5
Panasonic will always be remembered by camera nerds as the company that invented the mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, way back in 2009 (it's just outside the scope of this article, but let's hear it for all those Lumix DMC-G1 fans out there!). As APS-C and then full-frame mirrorless ILCs became mainstream in the later part of the 2010s, Panasonic needed to differentiate, and to do that the company looked to video.
Panasonic had been making video-oriented ILCs for some time, starting with the GH1, but the GH5 was quite a leap.
We said: 'If you're serious about video, it's hard to go wrong [with the GH5]. This camera can probably deliver the goods unless you have very specialized needs, and if you're just learning, it's a camera you can grow with. But what if you're already a GH4 user? Think of it like this: the GH5 isn't just a camera that does everything your current camera can do, plus a bunch of other things. This is a camera that does everything your current camera can do, but better (often by a wide margin)… plus a bunch of other things.'
The GH5 was a videophile's dream. It could capture 4K/60p footage with no crop, 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording, optional V-LogL support, a waveform monitor, adjustable luminance levels and much more. An optional adapter added XLR jacks and numerous audio controls. Equally as usable for stills shooting as for video, the GH5 offered a 20MP Four Thirds sensor, 5-axis in-body stabilization and the option of 9fps continuous shooting.
With the GH5, Panasonic was aggressively courting indie filmmakers, and production companies looking for small, lightweight and versatile 'B' and 'C' cameras. The Lumix S1H - the first consumer stills / video camera to be certified by Netflix for video production - is a direct descendant of the GH5.
2017: Sony a9
For years, journalists and DPReview readers have been asking 'when will we see a full-frame mirrorless camera designed for sports and action professionals?' In 2017, that question was answered. Sony - in characteristically Sony fashion - stuffed everything it could into the a9, with the aim of creating a camera which would convince even the most demanding photographers that they didn't necessarily need a DSLR.
Ask a lot of professional DSLR users (and professional DSLR manufacturers) about the major advantages of their cameras and they'll typically list off build quality, battery life and - especially - the viewfinder experience. Sony designed the a9 with the intention not only of addressing all three of these points, but also of exceeding some of the other capabilities of contemporary DSLRs.
We said: 'The Sony a9 is more than just a refinement of the company's a7-series of full-frame mirrorless cameras; it's an evolution. With meaningful ergonomic and user interface improvements, the a9 is a polished and highly capable camera. It may not be a go-to camera for landscape and studio photographers, but its compact dimensions, silent operation, abundant speed and blackout-free shooting make it not only a step forward for mirrorless, but a compelling proposition for professionals who can't afford to miss a moment.'
The a9's stacked super fast-readout stacked CMOS sensor is stabilized, and offers 20fps burst shooting with no viewfinder blackout, courtesy of its electronic shutter. Even if you don't need this kind of speed, silent shooting with almost no compromises (think a photojournalist shooting in a hushed courtroom or a sports shooter covering golf) has the potential to be a (possibly literal) game-changer.
Meanwhile, the a9's magnesium-alloy body is weather-sealed, and battery life runs to thousands of shots per charge in normal use. Its 693-point on-sensor phase-detection autofocus system started out excellent and was improved even further with a major firmware update this year. The a9 can also shooting oversampled UHD 4K video.
When it was released, the a9 was arguably the most capable camera on the market for shooting sports and action, and with new firmware it's only gotten better since then. That Sony managed within half a decade to create a product that rivaled established professional DSLRs is astonishing.
Want to know what a future professional mirrorless camera from Canon or Nikon might look like? The chances are it'll look a lot like the Sony a9.
2017: Nikon D850
I mentioned earlier that the D850 may end up ultimately being regarded as the pinnacle of DSLR technology for enthusiast photographers, and I stand by that statement. It seems extremely unlikely that we'll ever see a more advanced DSLR developed for enthusiasts. The D850 was a significant upgrade over the D810 (which was little more than a warmed-over iteration of the D800/e) and remains without a doubt one the most technically impressive DSLRs ever made, shy of the likes of the sports and action-oriented D5 and Canon's EOS-1D X Mark II.
What made it so important? Like the D750, the D850 was exquisitely well-designed for its intended audience: enthusiasts and semi-professionals. But it was tough enough and fast enough for professional use, too. And for a DSLR, its 4K video features aren't too shabby either.
We said: 'If you're careful with your technique and have the requisite lenses, the D850 will reward you with incredible detail in landscapes and portraits. If you need to shoot moving subjects, you have a highly capable AF system and 7fps at your disposal, with the option to boost that to 9fps if you so require. The D850 puts out great color and overall image quality regardless of where the ISO value lands. You really can shoot just about anything with it.'
The D850 has the feel of a camera designed on the assumption that it will be on the market for a long time. It checks just about all the boxes an enthusiast photographer could ever want checked: high resolution (46MP), excellent autofocus (153-points, linked to a 180,000-pixel metering system), fast continuous shooting (up to 9fps with autofocus) and seriously solid build-quality. It also had (and still has) one of the best optical viewfinders ever put into an SLR.
Arguably, in hindsight, Nikon's marketing department actually did itself a disservice by making the D850 as good as it was. Its formidable reputation and constant position on top of 'Best DSLR' lists probably made it inevitable that when the company's new mirrorless Z6 and Z7 were released in 2018 they would suffer by comparison.
2018: Nikon Z6/7
Speaking of which, a year after the D850, Nikon released two extremely important cameras: The Z6 and Z7. Nikon's F-mount soldiered on for 60 years (and is still supported) but it became obvious a long time ago that it had reached the limit of its technical potential. Specifically, the F mount was too narrow to easily accommodate lenses faster than F1.4 with autofocus, and physically couldn't support lenses faster than F1.2. Nikon deserves credit for maintaining lens compatibility as well as it did across six decades of technological development, but nothing lasts forever.
The move to mirrorless allowed Nikon to start with a blank sheet of paper, and it's interesting to note that the company's engineers opted not only for a wider mount (by 17%), but for the widest of all full-frame mirrorless mounts, allowing for the creation of lenses as fast as F0.95.
We said (about the Z7): 'Class-leading dynamic range, AF performance (including tracking) and robust build quality are the three core factors we've come to love about Nikon DSLRs. While the Z7 is built well, its dynamic range and AF usability and performance come up a little short. Still, it represents a huge leap forward for Nikon cameras, especially in terms of video capability, image stabilization and the new Z mount. And for a first generation product, we're hugely impressed.'
The Z6 and Z7 are essentially twin models separated by sensor resolution. The 24MP Z6 might be compared to the D750, while the 46MP Z7 is more naturally (and problematically) compared against the D850. Both offer plenty that their DSLR cousins do not: 100% on-sensor phase-detection autofocus, full-time live view via an exceptionally detailed electronic finder and - of course - properly integrated, highly detailed 4K video capture, without a crop.
Looking back at the Z6 and Z7 over a distance of slightly more than a year, it's a shame that when they were launched, so many people focused on their relative shortcomings (no equivalent to the 3D AF tracking mode in Nikon's DSLRs being one of the most often-voiced, and entirely fair complaints). For most purposes though - and for most photographers - they've proven to be excellent and highly capable cameras, as well as being arguably the nicest of the current crop of full-frame models to actually use.
With the Z6 and Z7, Nikon took a big step into the future, and we can't wait to see what's coming in the next decade.
2018: Canon EOS R
Within days of Nikon's Z6 and Z7 launch, Canon officially joined the full-frame mirrorless party too with the EOS R. Like the Z-series for Nikon, the R system is hugely important for Canon, representing a major leap forward in technology, and one for which the company had been carefully preparing for some time.
Let's recap some of the EOS R's notable features: Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus? That was introduced in the EOS 70D, back in 2013. Capacitive touch-sensitive controls? The EOS 5D Mark III's rear control dial was touch-sensitive, even earlier, in 2012. High-quality video in a full-frame stills camera? Arguably a trend started with the EOS 5D Mark II. Fully-articulating rear LCD? I can't remember the first Canon DSLR to have one of those, but I know my PowerShot G1 from 2000 does.
Say what you like about Canon - you can't argue its engineering team aren't far-sighted.
We said: 'With a 30MP sensor, fantastic color reproduction and on-sensor autofocus, the EOS R can produce some beautiful photographs with pinpoint-accurate focus. But it's Canon's first mirrorless full-frame camera, and in many ways, it shows. The ergonomics feel unfinished, and for the same or less money, you can find better video, more dynamic range and faster burst speeds elsewhere. But we have to admit that Canon's new RF lenses are simply spectacular, and at this time, the EOS R is the only way to get to use them.'
We knew Canon would get around to full-frame mirrorless at some point, but we will admit to being a little underwhelmed by its first RF mount camera. The EOS R just felt slightly unfinished, which is unusual for Canon. A major firmware update this year has made a welcome difference to the shooting experience, but the subsequent EOS RP - despite its uncompetitive sensor - is a more convincing (and affordable) offering.
The EOS R is not on this list because it is an outstanding camera in its class, or because we really like it (it isn't, and in many ways we don't) but because it is important. Much like the original EOS 650 back in 1987, the R (alongside a bevy of beautiful new L-series RF lenses) points towards something more exciting on the way - a little further down the road.
2019: Fujifilm GFX100
Fujifilm's third camera in this list is arguably its most impressive - ever. The GFX 100 was first announced as being under development in 2018, but hit the shelves in 2019 year with a bang. Or maybe that should be a 'thud'. Essentially the same size and weight as a professional full-frame DSLR, the GFX 100 is a substantial piece of kit, but given all the technology that Fujifilm packed inside, it's amazing that it's not bigger.
The headline feature of the GFX 100 is its 100MP medium-format BSI-CMOS sensor. This offers double the pixel count, and a substantial increase in overall image quality compared to the sensors used in the GFX 50S and 50R. But its resolution is honestly one of the least impressive things about the GFX 100. How about the fact that it's sensor is stabilized? Or that alongside extremely high-quality stills, it can also shoot superb 4K video? Or that despite its complexity, ergonomically the GFX 100 still behaves essentially like an overgrown X-series ILC?
We said: 'From the point of view of image quality alone, the GFX 100 is the best camera we've ever reviewed [...]. The new BSI sensor and higher pixel count of the GFX 100 puts clear water between it and even the best smaller sensor cameras, and if you need the kind of detail that the GFX 100 offers, there's no more affordable way to get it. On top of this, its in-body stabilization, autofocus performance and well-designed user interface make it significantly more flexible (and usable) than other medium format competitors.'
As I wrote back when the Fujifilm GFX 100 was released, after reading through the GFX 100's spec sheet, "you get the sense that beyond a certain point Fujifilm's engineers were simply showing off". And it really does seem that way.
But while Fujifilm was definitely throwing down the technological gauntlet with the GFX 100, it's far from being a 'stunt' product. What makes it so impressive is that the GFX 100 is a wonderfully usable camera.
Have your say: Vote now
So that's it - ten years, and twenty cameras. Well, 20 cameras and one phone, but you get the idea. A lot has happened between 2010 and today, and this list could easily have been much longer. Cameras like Canon's EOS 70D, and Sony's NEX-series, plus the best-selling a6000, not to mention oddities like the DxO One could all, justifiably, have been included for their contributions to the technological gene-pool.
Looking back through our archives, in retrospect we were late to realise the significance of some developments, but it's reassuring to note that many of the cameras we've been most enthusiastic about over the last decade made it into this list.
Of course what you just read is purely our collective opinion, and to that extent subjective. But hopefully this article explains why we think these 21 products are especially significant, and we'd love you to vote on them in our poll, linked below.
As always though, if you think we've missed something, please let us know in the comments. In the meantime I hope you'll join all of us here at DPReview in looking forward keenly to what the next decade has in store.
Have your say
Voting is easy - you pick your favorite products by dragging and dropping. You can pick up to five products, and rank them in order of priority.
This poll is meant to be a bit of fun. It's not sponsored, promoted or paid for in any way and DPReview doesn't care how you vote. Our readers' polls are run on the basis of trust. As such, we ask that you only vote once, from a single account.
Which lens won? You can watch the video to see what they think, but check out the photos from this episode and tell us what you think!
Tamron 35mm F2.8 Di III OSD M1:2
Sony 35mm F2.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*
The new Tamron 35mm F2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 lens for E-mount has an attractive price, but how does it stack up against Sony's own 35mm F2.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* lens? According to Chris and Jordan, pretty darn well. Find out what they like about this lens.
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- Sample images
- Size and weight
- Chromatic aberration
- Weather sealing
- Autofocus speed
- Minimum focus distance
Want to pixel-peep? Check out the photos from this episode:
Tamron 35mm F2.8 Di III OSD M1:2
Sony 35mm F2.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*
Smartphone accessory manufacturer Sandmarc has launched its new line of cases for Apple’s iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max smartphone that enables its collection of lenses to work with the latest iOS devices. The new lineup works with Sandmarc's anamorphic, telephoto, wide-angle and a macro lenses.
The anamorphic lens is a 1.33x anamorphic lens that offers a 2.4:1 aspect ratio once the footage is de-squeezed from the 16:9 video the iPhone captures. The telephoto lens offers 2x magnification on the iPhone 11 and 4x magnification when paired with the telephoto camera module on the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max.
The Macro lens will work with any of the camera modules on Apple’s latest iPhones and a protective translucent lens hood will both protect the front element and diffuse light on the subject matter.
The wide lens seems a bit unnecessary considering all of the iPhone 11 models feature both a wide-angle and super-wide-angle lens, but much like Moment’s new wide-angle lens, using Sandmarc’s wide-angle lens atop the standard wide-angle lens on the iPhone 11 devices means you can get ultra-wide-angle shots with Apple’s Night Mode capture mode, as it’s limited to the ‘standard’ wide-angle camera onboard the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max devices.
All of these lenses are compatible with Sandmarc’s collection of filters, including their hybrid filter, circular polarizer filter, ND filters and others. They are constructed of aluminum and feature multi-coated elements to reduce flares and ghosting. The anamorphic lens costs $159.99, the macro lens costs $89.99 and the telephoto and wide-angle lenses cost $99.99.
When you purchase a lens, you will have the option to choose an accompanying case for your iPhone 11, 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max device that the lenses will mount to (in addition to receiving a clip mount for more versatile shooting). If you already have a Sandmarc lens (or a whole kit, you can purchase just the cases as well. You can find all of the new cases, lenses and filters on Sandmarc’s website.
Photokina has shared a press release confirming Canon, Panasonic and Sony will be attending the 2020 expo in Cologne and ensures the manufacturers 'once again promise a fireworks display of new products at Photokina.'
The press release, titled “Photokina 2020: A Visit to the Motherland of Imaging,” comes three months after Photokina confirmed Leica, Nikon and Olympus won’t be attending the trade-show and reads as a rebuttal of sorts to remind the photography industry that Photokina is far from over, despite three main players dropping out.
The press release follows a trip to Tokyo wherein delegation from the City of Cologne, Koelnmesse (the trade fair organizer responsible for Photokina) and the association of the photo industry (PIV) met with Canon executives, as well as other ambassadors and ‘high-ranking company representatives’ from Japan.
After briefly talking about the meeting in the introduction, Photokina follows with statements from Canon, Panasonic and Sony executives, which we've gathered below.
Canon Chief Executive Officer Image Communication Business Operations, Go Tokura, says:
‘As the imaging industry is at a significant turning point, we expect Photokina to be a leading show of the worldwide photo and imaging industry. Canon is eager to introduce new products and concept products at Photokina, thereby contributing to the industry’s success.’
Panasonic Director of Smart Life Network Business Division, Yosuke Yamane, says:
‘For many years, Photokina has been the ideal platform for us to present our product innovations. The Imaging industry is facing big changes and challenges these days. In 2020, we will also be coming to Cologne with big expectations in the new Photokina format and are looking forward to contributing with great innovations.’
Sony Senior General Manager of the Marketing Division at Sony Imaging Products & Solutions, Yosuke Aoki, says:
‘Sony is very glad to be part of Photokina again next year. Photokina 2020 gives us the opportunity to present our latest innovations and to maintain a direct dialog with all Digital Imaging Lovers. Sony is looking forward to seeing you all in Cologne.’
The press release wraps up with statements from Koelnmesse President and Chief Executive Officer Gerald Böse and Chairman of the photo industry association (PIV), Kai Hillebrandt.
The press release isn’t necessarily unusual when viewed in a vacuum, as using quotes from the exhibitors to promote the expo is nothing new or out of the ordinary. But when looked at in context of Leica, Nikon and Olympus dropping out just three months ago, it does seem as though the press release and statements are a mutual pact to at least give the illusion of Photokina being no different than before, if not better.
Photokina 2020: A visit to the motherland of imaging
The twinning arrangement between Cologne and Kyoto has been in place since 1963. It is characterised by an active exchange ranging from sports to art and culture. The economic relations are also close: the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with Cologne as its largest metropolis, has long been one of the most important locations in Europe for Japan. More than 600 companies have settled here. Photokina is also an integral component of the good connection with Japan. A delegation of the City of Cologne, Koelnmesse and the association of the photo industry (PIV) once again strengthened this bond during a visit to Tokyo.
The Mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse, Gerald Böse, and the Chairman of the PIV, Kai Hillebrandt, were warmly welcomed at a celebratory reception in the German Embassy in Tokyo by Ambassador Ina Lepel and high-ranking company representatives. Also among the guests were many representatives of the Japanese imaging industry, which can look forward to a big year in 2020: the Olympic Games are taking place in Tokyo and, thanks to outstanding photo and film technology, people around the world can experience these up close. Many millions of snapshots and selfies by spectators and athletes will travel around the world in the social media. This is made possible by the achievements of imaging, the latest developments of which can be seen shortly before the start of the Olympic Games at Photokina in Cologne.
Sigma has announced the pricing and availability for its upcoming Classic Art Prime Cine and /i Technology-compatible Cine Art Prime PL-mount lenses. These are variants of its Art Cine Prime with simpler coatings for a classic cinema aesthetic. The company plans to release the Classic Art Prime Cine line as a set of 10 lenses in January 2020 for $43,999; these lenses will only be available as part of the full set.
Unlike the Classic Art Prime Cine lenses, the /i Technology-compatible versions will be released for individual purchase in two different batches, the first going up for sale later this month and the second going up for sale in late January 2020. The lenses will be available from authorized dealers.
The /i Technology versions communicate shooting metadata to camera bodies that are compatible with Cooke's communication protocol.
The following /i Technology-compatible lenses will be priced at $3,899 each with availability listed below:
- 20mm T1.5 (late December 2019)
- 24mm T1.5 (late December 2019)
- 28mm T1.5 (late January 2020)
- 35mm T1.5 (late December 2019)
- 40mm T1.5 (late January 2020)
- 50mm T1.5 (late December 2019)
- 85mm T1.5 (late December 2019)
The remaining three new /i Technology-compatible lenses will be priced at $5,499 each:
- 14mm T2 (late January 2020)
- 105mm T1.5 (late January 2020)
- 135mm T2 (late January 2020)
The movie Top Gun: Maverick scheduled to hit theaters early next year was shot using early versions of Sigma's new FF High Speed Prime /i Technology-compatible lens, according to the company. As the name indicates, these lenses are compatible with the /i Technology communication protocol from Cooke Optics.
Editor's note: There is strong language aplenty in this video that is NSFW. Proceed with caution.
A new photography podcast called 'The Group Chat' has published its first episode: 'Presets and Why They Suck.' The episode is free to watch on YouTube, where hosts Christian Gideon and Nick Goodwin discuss why presents 'are so detrimental' to the photography industry.
In a statement to PetaPixel, The Group Chat co-creator Gideon explains, 'Our first episode is a hard-hitting look at why the industry of selling presets to photographers is mostly BS.' As the comment indicates, the podcast episode contains adult language and may not be suitable for certain environments.
Additional information about the show, its creators, and their workshops can be found on The Group Chat website.
Sigma says the control algorithm for the two lenses has been optimized to ensure full AF drive and body communication functionality for L-mount camera systems.
The two lenses will retail for roughly the same price as their Canon EF, Nikon F, Sigma SA and Sony E mount counterparts. B&H currently has the 40mm F1.4 DG HSM for L-mount and 105mm F1.4 DG HSM for L-mount available to pre-order for $1,399 and $1,599, respectively.
|Photo: Dan Bracaglia|
Sigma's 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary lens is, in many ways, not a great lens for pixel-peepers. It exhibits some fringing, it isn't particularly sharp, and it has a pretty pedestrian maximum aperture. But I really enjoy it anyway, and it's served as a reminder that any given lens doesn't have to be perfect to be fun.
I first got to shoot around with the 45mm F2.8 Contemporary on a trip to Japan for the release of Sigma's fp, their staggering 35mm F1.2 Art, and the newly designed 14-24mm F2.8 Art. No surprise, the little 45 mil was easily overshadowed by its headline-grabbing brethren. But during my time on that trip, it was glued to the a7R III I was using while traveling from one locale to another. The biggest reason for that is that the lens itself is so small.
|Sigma fp | ISO 160 | 1/100 sec | F4|
Small gear is unobtrusive and far less intimidating for subjects, and this definitely has an impact on the way I take pictures: namely, I take more pictures of people when I'm working with less intimidating gear. I also just tend to take pictures more often, as I'll always have a smaller camera and lens combo slung over my shoulder, whereas larger gear is more likely to be tucked away in a bag when I'm not actively using it.
We've touched a bit on the Sigma 45mm's image quality at the outset out of this article, but I'd like to backpedal a bit. The biggest 'issue' with it is uncorrected spherical aberration, essentially trading-off some sharpness for more attractive bokeh: a deliberate decision on Sigma's part. And I have to admit that there's something about its rendering that I find appealing. I also appreciate its very close minimum focus distance, which helps you get shallower depth-of-field than you might expect with an F2.8 aperture, though images get a bit hazy if you're focusing very close with the aperture wide-open.
|Sony a7R III | ISO 100 | 1/320 sec | F2.8
Taken with a pre-production lens
And then there's the build quality. The 45mm Contemporary is not weather-sealed, which is a big disappointment; especially considering how well it pairs with Sigma's fp, which is very well-sealed throughout. But the lens still has a premium feel, with its all-metal build. The focus ring is so perfectly damped that I fiddle with it all the time even though I'm exclusively an autofocus kinda guy, and the aperture ring has just the right amount of clickiness to it. Autofocus is very fast, and works well with the DFD technology in Panasonic's S1-series of cameras.
There is room in the market for less 'serious' tools that are still excellent in actual use
I think my main grumble concerns the price. It's currently still hovering around its launch price of $559 USD, which is unequivocally a lot of coin for a slow, non-weather-sealed prime lens that has, perhaps, a bit more optical 'character' than people may expect nowadays.
|Sigma fp | ISO 100 | 1/125 | F8|
On the other hand, I'm pleased that Sigma is making it. It's a company with a portfolio chock-full of glass that was created with size and weight considerations taking a back seat to optical excellence. There is room in the market for smaller, lighter, less 'serious' photographic tools that are nonetheless engaging in actual use. That's the type of tool the Sigma 45mm F2.8 is, and I hope it's not the last lens of its type we see from Sigma.
What is it we love so much about instant cameras? Is it the nostalgia-factor? Or the sensation of being able to hold/share a physical print? Maybe it’s the excitement that comes from watching an image slowly appear before your eyes. Surely for some, the lo-fi image quality is refreshing in an increasingly high-resolution, digital world.
Whatever the reason, instant cameras are a ton of fun. And for $50+, you can get in on that fun. These cameras come in a variety of formats (see our chart) and a wide range of designs. And after extensive testing of each model we’ve picked our favorites below.
|Instant format||Manufacturer||Image size||Shot per pack||Average cost of twin pack|
|Instax Mini||Fujifilm||46 × 62 mm
1.8 × 2.4 "
|10||$12.50 / 20 exposures|
|Instax Square||Fujifilm||62 x 62 mm
2.4 x 2.4 "
|10||$18.50 / 20 exposures|
|Instax Wide||Fujifilm||99 x 62 mm
3.9 x 2.4 "
|10||$15 / 20 exposures|
|I-type||Polaroid Originals||79 x 79 mm
3.1 x 3.1 "
$30 / 16 exposures
Our pick: Fujifilm Instax Mini 70
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 strikes the perfect balance of price to features to make it our top overall pick - plus it makes use of the most affordable instant format. Available in six colors, the Mini 70 is among the most compact and lightweight instant cameras on the market, and also among the prettiest (in our opinion). The CR2 batteries it uses can be a little annoying to find, but battery life overall is great. And unlike rechargeable instants, the Mini 70 should still have some juice in it even if left on a shelf for several months.
But most importantly, it's really easy to use. Users simply select their shooting mode – normal, macro, selfie, landscape, self timer or high key – and the camera does the rest. And unlike some of its competitors, focus is motor-driven (three positions) and set by the camera when your mode is selected. Exposure is fully automatic, though there is a +2/3rd EV option (that's the high key mode). Overall, the Mini 70 does a good job balancing flash with ambient light thanks to a variable shutter.
Of course, for a little more cash, you can drive away in the Instax Mini 90, which adds negative exposure compensation, the ability to disengage the flash in normal mode and a bunch of creative modes. However, its higher price and its more complex operation has us feeling you'd be better off spending that extra money on more film for your Mini 70.
Larger format option: Fujifilm Instax Wide 300
We prefer the quality and tonality of Instax film to I-type and if you are going to shoot Instax, why not shoot the largest format possible? If you follow that logic, than the Wide 300 is the instant camera for you.
The most affordable Instax Wide camera available, we're big fans of its comfortable grip, automatic operation (with positive and negative exposure compensation modes), motor-driven focus (2 positions) and straightforward operation. Yes, it is enormous, but that's par for the course with this format.
Instax Mini cameras
- Fujifilm Instax Mini 70
- Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
- Fujifilm Instax Mini 26
- Fujifilm Instax Mini 90
- Leica Sofort
- Lomography Lomo'Instant
- Lomography Lomo'Instant Automat
- Lomography Lomo'Automat Glass
- MiNT InstantFlex TL70 2.0
- Polaroid Pic-300
Instax Square cameras
Instax Wide cameras
Over the past several months, Instagram has steadily removed publicly visible 'likes' from content posted on its platform, a decision that has polarized users. As the company explained earlier this year, hiding 'likes' removes the competitive feel from the platform, encouraging users to focus on the content, not how many people are engaging with it. A new Web browser extension changes that.
Called 'The Return of Likes,' this new Chrome extension enables users to view like and comment counts on images when browsing Instagram using a Web browser. 'Instagram has stopped displaying the number of likes and comments in some areas,' developer Socialinsider explains, '[and] that makes the life of a Social Media person very complicated so we thought about lending a hand.'
'The Return of Likes' extension is available in the Chrome Web Store now; it doesn't appear to be available for any other Web browsers at this time.
The Profoto A1X, a model the company says is the smallest studio light d on the market, can now be used with Fujifilm cameras. The new support covers the Profoto A1X AirTTL-F model, as well as the Off-Camera Kit featuring a button-free trigger and the Profoto Connect.
The Profoto A1X AirTTL-F studio light connects to a camera's hot shoe, offering up to 450 full-power flashes, a rapid full-power recycling speed at 1 second, as well as 20 wireless channels and an updated UI from the previous A1 model.
The A1X likewise features a 6.9cm (2.75in) round tilting and rotating head with 76W of flash output via an LED modeling light, as well as auto-zoom functionality with a manual override, support for high-speed sync (HSS), shutter speeds as fast as 1/8000s, and a built-in white-on-black LCD.
The Profoto A1X AirTTL-F studio light for Fujifilm is available from B&H Photo now for $1,095; the A1X Off-Camera Kit for Fujifilm is currently listed for preorder at $1,195.