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The Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD provides a wide zoom range in compact, weather-sealed design. Find out why it's Chris and Jordan's new favorite travel lens.

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Posted: July 4, 2020, 7:00 am
Photo: Hamish Gill

Kodak Portra 800 is a wonderful and versatile color film. And any rumors of it being discontinued, we're pleased to report, are simply untrue. That's a good thing, because Portra 800 is capable of producing lovely results in all sorts of lighting conditions and even holds up well to being under or overexposed.

Our friends over at 35mmc have a detailed review of this film stock (which is also a DPR staff favorite). It's chock full of sample photos. Have a look!

Read: Kodak Portra 800 review

About Film Fridays: We recently launched an analog forum and in a continuing effort to promote the fun of the medium, we'll be sharing film-related content on Fridays, including articles from our friends at 35mmc.

Posted: July 3, 2020, 1:00 pm

The head of the World Press Photo Foundation has stepped down after five years in the role. Dutchman Lars Boering joined the foundation in 2015 but left without much explanation from either him or the WPP. In an official statement, Boering said ‘It was a tough decision to leave this beautiful organization, especially given the timing’ but doesn’t go on to give his reasons other than to say ‘it is time for me to pursue other opportunities’.

The organization only says ‘Today, the World Press Photo Foundation announces that Managing Director Lars Boering will be leaving the organization’ and goes on to say it is ‘appreciative of Lars’ leadership over the past five years. In this time, major talent programs and grants were developed, digital reach saw substantial growth, and a new format was established to announce contest nominees and winners, to further spotlight the stories that matter.’

Since the announcement, DPReview has spoken with Boering, independently, who said he left the foundation because so much of what he had planned for the future has changed since the coronavirus pandemic:

'Some of the programs and some of the activities are on hold or will never come back in the same way. I believe we will not see many festivals or events return in the near future, and its doubtful whether many of our ideas will get funding to make them happen. COVID has changed everything and so I have brought my departure forward. My strength is in growth and re-imagining things. It is very clear to me and the Supervisory board that World Press Photo foundation will be better off with a Director that can steer it through, in a calm and steady way, the challenging landscape that Covid19 has unveiled.'

The organization says it is heading towards a ‘new phase’ that will help it to ‘future-proof the business model and ways of working’ as it explores ‘new digital avenues and establishing a new International Advisory Board’.

Boering adds a slightly clearer dimension to the part of the statement that mentions future-proofing the foundation, saying:

'Over the next two years World Press Photo will be working carefully and steady to keep going, and we now know 2020 and 2021 will be okay for the foundation. I never intended to stay much longer than 7 or so years, and with the changing times now is the right moment to hand it over. WPP now reaches an audience of 300 million when we announce the winners and our reach on social media is growing ever faster. The challenge now is to monetize this value in the right way, in a way that is fits with the values of WPP and visual journalism. That has a great future and will be a wonderful challenge for my successor.'

Boerings departure leaves the foundation looking for a new head while an interim business director, Arnoud van Dommele, steps in for the time being. The organization will also establish an international advisory board by the end of this year, which will 'provide strategic advice to the Supervisory Board and Executive Board of WPPF.’

Boering tells DPReview that he's enjoyed his time at WPP and is proud of what he has achieved in his five and a half years:

'I have steered the foundation toward becoming an organization devoted to progressive values and ethics, and one with a set of advocacy agendas. Programs like the African Photojournalism Database, the 6x6 talent program and various global workshops, are initiatives by WPP to provide more opportunities to photographers of different backgrounds. I’m taking some time off for a small sabbatical and will choose my new path carefully. Many offers and initiatives are already coming my way, and to continue my work in the creative industries will be a pleasure.'

'The future of visual storytelling is very bright and more money is available than ever before,' he promises.

You can read more about Lars Boering in an article on Australia's Inside Imaging, and the statement on the matter on the World Press Photo website.

Press release:

The World Press Photo Foundation enters new phase

The World Press Photo Foundation enters new phase for connecting the world to the stories that matter

Managing Director Lars Boering leaves the organization after 5 years; establishment of an International Advisory Board announced

Today, the World Press Photo Foundation announces that Managing Director Lars Boering will be leaving the organization. As a result, the Supervisory Board will start the search for a new Executive Director. This coincides with the preparations of a broader approach for “connecting the world to the stories that matter” required for the changed world that has presented itself in recent months.

Guido van Nispen, Chairman of the Supervisory Board: “We see the pandemic having an immense impact on everyone and everything. The collateral damage is huge, and the World Press Photo Foundation has also been impacted, which depends partially on a model that organizes physical exhibitions all over the world.

The organization is appreciative of Lars’ leadership over the past five years. In this time, major talent programs and grants were developed, digital reach saw substantial growth, and a new format was established to announce contest nominees and winners, to further spotlight the stories that matter.

A new phase for World Press Photo begins. A phase that builds on a strong foundation, and also leads to opportunities to future-proof the business model and ways of working. This includes exploring new digital avenues and establishing a new International Advisory Board. Press freedom, freedom of expression and the support of visual journalism are more important than ever, and as a leading organization that plays a crucial role for visual storytellers, the World Press Photo Foundation, with the great support of its people and partners, will keep on innovating to deliver on that promise.”

Lars Boering, Managing Director: “It was a tough decision to leave this beautiful organization, especially given the timing. It has been an amazing time and I am incredibly proud of the organization and the impact it has achieved. In these interesting and challenging times the World Press Photo Foundation, and the work it does, is more relevant now than ever before. The admiration I have for visual storytellers has grown and I hope my efforts have contributed to improving their work and position. Personally, it is time for me to pursue other opportunities, but I am confident about the future path for the organization, and am sure a successor can be identified soon.”

Lars Boering will hand over his work to Arnoud van Dommele, who has served as interim business director since March, while the Supervisory Board starts the search for a new Executive Director.

The International Advisory Board will consist of approximately 12 global experts and will be established before the end of 2020. The International Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to the Supervisory Board and Executive Board of WPPF.

About the World Press Photo Foundation

Connecting the world to the stories that matter.

We are a global platform connecting professionals and audiences through trustworthy visual journalism and storytelling, founded in 1955 when a group of Dutch photographers organized a contest (“World Press Photo”) to expose their work to an international audience. Since then, the contest has grown into the world’s most prestigious photography competition, and through our successful worldwide exhibition program, we present to millions of people the stories that matter.

World Press Photo Foundation is a creative, independent, nonprofit organization, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. We appreciate the support of our global partner, the Dutch Postcode Lottery, and our partners, PwC and Aegon.

Posted: July 2, 2020, 7:29 pm

There are many ways to learn the basics of photography, such as classes, tutorials and simply capturing more images. However, there's a neat new method using playing cards, Photography Deck.

Launched on Kickstarter, the campaign far exceeded its funding goal during its first day. At the time of writing, over 600 backers had contributed more than $20,000 USD, compared to the goal of just $1,122.

The unique and attractive deck of cards are designed to appeal to shutterbugs and photography newcomers alike. Each suit covers a different topic: Clubs cover technical details, diamonds showcase shooting styles, hearts offer composition tips and finally, spades teach camera basics.

The 3 of spades card features the exposure triangle. Image credit: Photography Deck on Kickstarter

The technical details on the clubs cards include manual shooting, white balance, color theory and more. For example, the 6 of clubs teaches the viewer about the histogram. The shooting style-themed diamonds cards illustrate styles of photography including flash photography, macro, portrait photography among others. The hearts cards feature composition topics such as negative space, symmetry, patterns, leading lines, the rule of thirds and more. Adorned with basic camera information, the spades cards illustrate camera topics such as aperture, shutter speed, focal length, depth of field and more. The 3 of spades illustrates the exposure triangle of shutter speed, ISO and aperture.

Via the Kickstarter page, creator Eric Bohring states that each card 'illustrates the most important rules and techniques about photography' while featuring unique camera artwork. 'Think of them as pocket-sized cheat sheets that you can bring wherever you travel,' the campaign continues. The product is designed as a unique gift for photography enthusiasts and as a useful and artistic addition to your own camera bag.

The deck of cards is a standard playing deck with 52 cards and a pair of jokers. Each card features a micro-linen texture and is a standard playing card size: 3.5 x 2.5 inches (89 x 64mm).

If you'd like to make a pledge to the Photography Deck project, it's about $14 USD to receive a standard Photography Deck, with shipping expected in August. For about $17, you can receive a limited edition green deck. If you'd like both decks you can receive a standard and limited edition deck for $29.

Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there’s always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.

Posted: July 2, 2020, 2:11 pm
They may not necessarily be aimed at you (except as demonstrated here), but the recently released vlogging cameras from Panasonic and Sony could yet have an impact on your next camera.

The past two months have seen both Panasonic and Sony introduce cameras explicitly aimed at vloggers. This may seem to have come from nowhere, but if two large companies independently decide there’s a market there, it’s a pretty sure sign that there’s demand for devices tailored to self-videoing. The question now is: what, if anything, does it mean for your next camera?

The answer might be "nothing": we’ve seen niche camera types such as Flip pocket video cameras come and go, and fads such as 3D fizzle when the public’s interest didn’t come close to matching the manufacturers’ enthusiasm.

Vlogging cameras are likely to prove a little more durable though, partly because the demand is consumer-led: Chris and Jordan of DPRTV constantly tell us how often they encountered customers asking for cameras that were good for vlogging, back when they worked in retail. Enough years have now passed since that point for manufacturers to have developed these specific vlogging cameras (rather than simply adding vlogging-friendly features, such as video streaming, to their existing models).

Canon's most recent G7 X model had some features added to make it more vlogging friendly, but it was an adaptation of an existing model, rather than being redesigned primarily with vlogging in mind.

The source of that demand is also likely to be long-lived, since any fall in interest in YouTube is only likely to come from the rise in popularity of other video-based platforms, whether that be TikTok or something we’ve not yet heard of. The big question is probably whether a dedicated camera turns out to be the best tool for the job. Or, perhaps, so much better that it overcomes the immediate convenience of a smartphone.

Only the beginning

In terms of the models we’ve seen so far, they're just the beginning. There’s every chance we’ll see others, if Sony and Panasonic both concluded there’s a need for them, but what we’ve seen of this first generation seems a little cautious.

Both the ZV-1 and G100 are recognizable adaptations of existing technology. Sony appears to have spotted the market need and recognized that its very good face/eye detection technology would be a powerful proposition for those users. It’s a company with a solid history in audio technology, which might explain the three capsule mic setup but beyond this, the ZV-1 is essentially a modified RX100 VII.

The G100 contains some interesting new ideas but it's primarily made from familiar components.

It looks like a similar story with the G100: Panasonic knows how to make very good video cameras and how to make very small cameras, and it presumably saw Nokia’s OZO directional sound technology as an effective way to stand out to vloggers. Again, beyond the flip-out screen and the more sophisticated mic setup, the G100 is broadly made from a series of familiar components. All of which gives the feel of toes being dipped in the water.

Stand out or blend in

At which point, this could go either way: they could evolve into a completely different devices or their features could simply be adopted across to more models.

For instance, there’s no reason a vlogging camera has to even resemble a traditional camera, if it’s primarily (or even regularly) used at arms length, pointing back at the user. Why should hand grips and control points resemble conventional cameras, if they’re awkward to reach, from the bright side of the lens? This could lead to the diverging from the recognizable camera form altogether.

Could we see some sort of strange, convergent evolution, with vlogging cameras coming to resemble early, innovative digital cameras, but with differing motivations?

The alternative is that features such as sophisticated mics and selfie-focused focusing could become so popular that they become standard features across much of the industry.

This second option may sound horrifying if you want a camera whose sensor is the only thing separating it from mechanical SLRs. But for most people, some vlogging features could probably be introduced without detracting too much from the everyday experience. And, once you've become accustomed to the idea, would improved audio capture be a bad thing?

Beyond this, many of the underlying capabilities that would make a good vlogging camera – fast, quiet and reliable face detection, decent battery life and attractive output – are things that are desirable on any type of camera.

Either way, it’s extremely unlikely that the ZV-1 and G100 are the last vlogging cameras we’ll see. And my money would be on there being at least some crossover into your camera bag in the future. Perhaps it's a point I can make more convincingly if I try to show you the things I'm talking about, over on YouTube.

Posted: July 2, 2020, 1:00 pm

In addition to its new lens and updated roadmap, Olympus has also released OM-D Webcam Beta, a utility program for Windows 10 computers that turns compatible Olympus OM-D cameras into webcams.

Following in the footsteps of Canon and Fujifilm, this new utility works on Windows 10 computers (both 32 bit and 64 bit) and is compatible with five Olympus OM-D cameras: the E-M1X, E-M1, E-M1 Mark II, E-M1 Mark III and the E-M5 Mark II. As with similar utilities, the process is as simple as downloading the free software, plugging in an OM-D camera via the appropriate USB cable and turning the camera on.

Once all of this is finished, the plugged-in camera should be available as an image input option in video conferencing software such as Skype and Zoom.

This is a beta, so keep that in mind if you come across any bugs or issues. You can find the download link and further instructions on Olympus’ support page.

Posted: July 2, 2020, 12:54 pm

Olympus has released a little more detail about its upcoming 150-400mm F4.5 with built-in 1.25x teleconverter. The lens' development was first announced in January 2019, and Olympus says it will arrive on the market in winter of 2020. A couple of images of the final lens have also been shared.

Additionally, two more M.Zuiko Pro lenses have been added to the roadmap: an ED 8-25mm F4 Pro and an 'unspecified' macro lens which appears around the 200mm equiv., focal length on the chart.

OM-D E-M1X owners can also look forward to a firmware update in winter 2020 adding bird detection to the camera's Intelligent Subject Tracking Autofocus.

Press release:


Provides Updates on the Development of the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400 F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO Lens and Announces the Development of Firmware to Support Bird Subject Detection Autofocus for the OM-D® E-M1X

Center Valley, PA, July 2, 2020 – Olympus is pleased to announce an updated M.Zuiko Digital lens roadmap, outlining plans to expand the M.Zuiko lens lineup and including an update of anticipated availability of the previously announced M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO super telephoto zoom lens with built-in 1.25x teleconverter.

The upcoming M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO lens, for which development was announced in January 2019, continues with an estimated scheduled release of winter 2020. This is the first Olympus® interchangeable lens with a built-in 1.25x teleconverter, extending the maximum focal length to 1000mm1 (35mm equivalent). Final images of the lens are now available.

Two new lenses, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4.0 PRO lens, as well as an unspecified macro lens, will join the M.Zuiko lineup as part of Olympus’ commitment to broaden the field of photographic expression. Olympus will continue enhancing its lens lineup to maximize the unrivaled system portability made possible by the compact, lightweight, high image quality of the Micro Four Thirds® System.

Furthermore, to make super telephoto shooting more convenient and to fulfill the growing needs of birding and wildlife photographers, development is underway to newly add Bird Detection capability to Olympus’ Intelligent Subject Detection Autofocus on the OM-D E-M1X camera. This new feature will be available for the E-M1X via a firmware update that is scheduled for release in Winter 2020.

1 When using the built-in teleconverter. Widest aperture setting is F5.6.

Posted: July 2, 2020, 6:00 am

An elaborate phishing scam has hit some Instagram users who warn that the content appears, at least initially, to be a legitimate message from the platform. The scam involves sending a private message to Instagram users, warning them that they have infringed upon an image's copyright and they need to fill out a form to avoid having their account suspended.

Phishing scams are attempts to acquire the victim's personal information, typically login credentials for online accounts or information that could be used for financial fraud, such as a Social Security number. In the case of this latest Instagram scam, which was first reported by Fstoppers, the scammers seek login information for the victim's Instagram and email accounts.

It's unclear how broadly this scam may be deployed, but at least one seemingly legitimate account appears to have been hijacked to send these messages. Andy Day at Fstoppers reports having received a private message on Instagram from The North Face Chile account alleging that a copyright violation had been detected on his account.

The North Face Chile account behind the phishing message.

The phishing scam states that the user must 'provide feedback' to the message or else their account will be suspended in 24 hours. The message includes a link to "InstagramHelpNotice.com,' a website that appears -- at first -- to be a legitimate Instagram website (at least if the victim is on mobile, which is the primary platform used by Instagrammers).

The first two screens presented on the phishing website 'InstagramHelpNotice.com'

The phishing website first prompts the user to enter their Instagram username, then their password. This section of the website appears legitimate, but the next part seeking the user's email address and email password is obviously a scam. In addition to the fact that Instagram would never ask for a user's personal email credentials, the website also misspells 'address' as 'Adress.'

The second and third screens on the Instagram phishing website.

It's unclear whether The North Face Chile is, indeed, a legitimate account or whether scammers went to fairly elaborate lengths to create the account and make it appear legitimate. The content that is currently on The North Face Chile Instagram account mirrors the content found on a different account called 'zeusclubantalya.'

According to WHO.is, the phishing domain was registered on June 9, 2020, indicating that it may have been sending these messages to Instagram users over the past three or so weeks. The registrant information was made private so it isn't possible to see who owns the domain, but WHO.is suggests -- based on similar websites -- that this phishing scam may originate from Russia. However, the information presented on The North Face Chile account points back to an alleged club located in Antalya, Turkey.

It's impossible to say where this scam ultimately originates from and who is behind it. However, it is clearly an attempt to get email login credentials from unsuspecting Instagram users, likely in an attempt to then get access to the victim's banking accounts and other, more sensitive accounts. Acquired information would likely be used for identity theft and/or financial fraud.

Instagram users should ignore any copyright violation messages that are delivered from random accounts in DMs and that encourage the user to visit a third-party website to resolve the matter. On Instagram's help website, it explains how it handles copyright infringement, including the official method copyright holders, must use to contact the company over stolen content.

UPDATE: The North Face has confirmed to DPR that its Instagram account was hijacked by scammers:

The official Instagram account for The North Face Chile (@thenorthfacechile) was hijacked by hackers on Friday, June 26th, and we currently do not have access to the account. We took immediate action to activate security protocol by changing the passwords to all of our social network accounts and have reported the problem to Facebook and Instagram support teams. We are currently waiting on further information and direction from their teams.

Posted: July 1, 2020, 5:46 pm

When thinking about storage technology in 2020, one rarely thinks about tape media. However, magnetic tape media is critical to archiving data. As data demands continually increase, Fujifilm is working on a new technology that will be a massive breakthrough in linear tape-based storage, offering up to 400TB of storage in a single drive.

As PetaPixel notes, tape-based storage technology is primarily Linear Tape-Open (LTO). Currently, LTO is in its eighth generation, LTO-8, and has a maximum capacity of 12TB, far below the maximum capacity Fujifilm is developing. LTO-9, slated to arrive later this year, maxes out at 'only' 24TB. A 12TB (native) Fujifilm Ultrium LTO-8 drive is shown in the leading image of this article.

The driving force behind this potential leap in magnetic tape storage capacity to 400TB is due to a new coating on the tape. LTO-8, and upcoming LTO-9 drives, feature tape coated with Barium Ferrite (BaFe). Down the line, Fujifilm is intending to use Strontium Ferrite (SrFe) instead, due to its superior magnetic qualities. In a 2018 document on LTO, Fujifilm states '…the majority of the magnetic properties of SrFe are superior to those of BaFe, which will enable us to reach a higher level of performance whilst further reducing the size of the particles.' With respect to reducing the size of particles, this is no easy feat. Fujifilm continues, '…it is extremely important to carry out a very precise control of the nucleation of the particles.'

In this image from a Fujifilm document about LTO development, you can see a comparison of particle sizes over time. On the left is an LTO-7 tape, using Barium Ferrite coating. In the middle, a tech demo from 2015 shows smaller particles using an improved BaFe coating. Finally, on the right, you can see the difference in particle sizes using Strontium Ferrite. Click on the image for a better view. Image credit: Fujifilm, 2018

In the same document, Fujifilm states that it began research on SrFe in 2012 and has performed research and development solely on their own. In 2015, Fujifilm achieved a 220TB coating on a single tape and as of 2018, believed they could further reduce the volume of particles by 40 percent. The technology is still quite far from retail availability, however, as Fujifilm has aimed to introduce SrFe LTO by 2027. As per Blocks & Files, Fujifilm's SrFe tape media has achieved 224Gbit per square inch, which results in the 400TB capacity mentioned earlier.

It's easy for many of us to ignore the importance and proliferation of magnetic tape storage. In a 2018 article by Bloomberg Businessweek, director of technology services for the data management firm Iron Mountain Inc., said magnetic tapes are "part of what's keeping the world running.' At that time, Iron Mountain had stored more than 85 million square tapes across 210 warehouses and old mines. The article continues, 'Although the century-old technology has disappeared from most people's daily view, magnetic tape lives on as the preferred medium for safely archiving critical cloud data.' Even as our storage technology becomes more modern from a front-facing perspective, a fundamental foundation of it all remains magnetic tapes.

Availability, performance and the overall lack of traditional usability of LTO cassettes render the technology far outside the purview of most photographers and videographers. However, the technological advancements of Fujifilm, and the only other tape media producer, Sony, are critical for the long-term storage and safety of our data, especially data we want to be backed up to cloud servers around the world. It's amazing how far a storage technology originating in the 1950s continues to be pushed over time.

Posted: July 1, 2020, 5:41 pm

Last week, a 72-year-old Californian woman was gored multiple times at Yellowstone National Park when she is alleged to have gotten within ten feet of a bison in order to take a photograph of the wild animal.

In a statement shared by the National Parks Service (NPS), authorities say they’re investigating the June 25 incident that took place not far from the Bridge Bay Campground, which sits near Yellowstone Lake and is one of the largest campgrounds in the park. In the statement, Yellowstone Senior Bison Biologist Chris Geremia explains the seriousness of getting in the personal space of bison and emphasizes the importance of staying at least 25 yards (23 meters) away from the animals:

‘The series of events that led to the goring suggest the bison was threatened by being repeatedly approached to within 10 feet […] Bison are wild animals that respond to threats by displaying aggressive behaviors like pawing the ground, snorting, bobbing their head, bellowing, and raising their tail. If that doesn’t make the threat (in this instance it was a person) move away, a threatened bison may charge. To be safe around bison, stay at least 25 yards away, move away if they approach, and run away or find cover if they charge.’

The unnamed woman received immediate medical care and was flown via helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. No subsequent information has been shared on the woman’s condition at this time. This isn’t the first time visitors have been injured or killed while attempting to take photographs of the animals inside Yellowstone National Park, despite multiple warnings posted throughout the park and on the NPS website.

A photograph of just one of the many signs within the park warning visitors to keep their distance from the wild animals.

The NPS reiterated in the news release the following guidelines for how distant you should keep from the various wildlife within the park:

‘Stay more than 25 yards (23 m) away from all large animals - bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes and at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves. If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity.’

People are understandably excited to get back out to explore nature — this incident occurred just two days after the park re-opened following restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic — but it’s not worth risking lives (or camera gear) for the shot.

Posted: July 1, 2020, 3:40 pm

Professional full frame lenses are usually large and have fast apertures. In this episode of DPReview TV, Chris and Jordan argue that there's a need for slow professional lenses – inspired by some of their favorite Micro Four Thirds lenses.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get new episodes of DPReview TV every week.

Posted: July 1, 2020, 1:00 pm

DigiMedia Tech, LLC, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against yet another camera company, this time going after Nikon over its alleged infringement of three different US patents. This lawsuit follows similar infringement cases brought against Olympus, Fujifilm and JK Imaging, all of them also over the alleged infringement of digital camera technology patents.

DigiMedia Tech is a non-practicing entity (NPE) of IPInvestments Group, which received many US patents from Intellectual Ventures LLC in November 2019. Following the patent acquisition, DigiMedia Tech has filed lawsuits against several companies over their alleged infringement of these patents -- in the latest one involving Nikon, the company claims infringement of US patents No. 6,914,635, No. 7,715,476 and No. 6,545,706.

The '635 patent was first filed in 2001 by Nokia Mobile Phones; it involves a microminiature zoom system designed for digital cameras. The '476 patent was first filed in 1999 and then again in 2005; it covers a 'system, method and article of manufacture' related to a digital camera's ability to track a subject's head. The third and final patent in the lawsuit, '706, was filed in 1999 and likewise covers head-tracking camera technology.

The infringement lawsuit specifically names Nikon's Coolpix A1000 as a model that allegedly infringes the '635 patent and the Nikon P900RM 'and similar products' as allegedly infringing the '706 and '476 patents. Among other things, the DigiMedia Tech lawsuit wants Nikon to pay 'damages in an amount to be determined at trial for Defendants' infringement, which amount cannot be less than a reasonable royalty.'

It's unclear how much this could amount to, financially speaking. Likewise, Nikon hasn't yet commented on the infringement lawsuit.

DigiMedia Tech's decision to sue Nikon isn't surprising in light of its recent activity. On May 29, the NPE filed patent infringement lawsuits against Fujifilm and Olympus, alleging that both have used digital camera technologies in select camera models that infringe on its US patents. Following that, DigiMedia Tech filed the Nikon lawsuit referenced above, then a similar complaint against JK Imaging, the company behind Kodak PIXPRO cameras, on June 24 in California Central District Court.

A full list of DigiMedia Tech's lawsuits, including related documents, can be found through the Unified Patents portal.

A summary of each of the lawsuits DigiMedia Tech, LLC currently has against a number of camera manufacturers.

The NPE practice of exploiting acquired patents has been heavily criticized for years. These companies oftentimes don't actually practice the invention detailed by the patent and usually don't sell processes or products related to them. These non-practicing entities instead enforce the patent rights against companies allegedly infringing them, doing so to obtain licensing payments or some other type of revenue, such as royalties or damages, on the acquired patents.

Though not all NPEs exploit acquired patents, there are those that do. Ones that operate aggressively and file large numbers of lawsuits in order to cast a wide net to see what they catch are colloquially referred to as 'patent trolls.'

In 2011, the Hastings Science and Technology Law Journal published a large PDF document titled 'Indirect Exploitation of Intellectual Property Rights by Corporations and Investors' that details NPEs and the ways they may be used. The discussion is extensive and ideal for understanding the reasoning behind these lawsuits, stating in part that patent infringement lawsuits from NPEs may be, among other things, used by:

...a sponsoring entity against a competitor to achieve a corporate goal of the sponsor. A corporation or investor, by serving as the sponsor for an IP privateering engagement, can employ third-party IPRs as competitive tools. The privateer, a specialized form of non-practicing entity (NPE), asserts the IPRs against target companies selected by the sponsor. The sponsor’s benefits do not typically arise directly from the third party’s case against a target, but arise consequentially from the changed competitive environment brought about by the third party’s IPR assertion.

Of course, DigiMedia Tech's own reasons for filing suits against these camera companies are unclear and it's impossible to say whether there would be an indirect benefit for a competing company as a result of these allegations. As these cases are only days and weeks old, the outcome of each lawsuit is yet to be seen.

Posted: June 30, 2020, 6:14 pm

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has been very busy capturing images of the sun over the last decade. From June 2, 2010 through June 1, 2020, the SDO captured 425 million images of the sun. Per NASA, the team amassed about 20 million gigabytes of images of the sun in the past decade and with that data, NASA compiled 10 years' worth of images into the amazing timelapse video above.

Using three primary instruments, the SDO captures an image of the sun every 0.75 seconds. One of these instruments, the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA), captures images every 12 seconds at 10 different wavelengths of light. In the timelapse video published by NASA, we see photos of the sun captured at the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 17.1 nanometers. This wavelength allows us to view the sun's outermost layer, called the corona.

Generally, the hour-long timelapse video features a compiled image from each hour of every day for the past 10 years. Although, there are a few exceptions. There are dark frames caused by the Earth or moon eclipsing SDO as they pass between the spacecraft and the sun. There was also a week-long outage of the AIA instrument in 2016. Any off-center images of the sun are due to periodic instrument calibration.

As you can imagine, the SDO has witnessed many interesting events during its period of observation. In the video above, at 6:20, you can see a prominence eruption from the lower right area of the sun from June 7, 2011. At 12:24, you can see the transit of Venus across the face of the sun on June 5, 2012. This event won't occur again until the year 2117. On July 19, 2012, a brilliant display of looping plasma showed a complex event in the sun's magnetic field, this can be seen at 13:06. About six weeks later, on August 31, 2012, the 'most iconic eruption of this solar cycle' occurred, witnessed at 13:50 in the video.

Jumping ahead to 36:18, you can view Mercury as it transits across the face of the sun on May 9, 2016. It is more difficult to spot than Venus, but you can learn more about it here. Mercury appears again at 57:38, as it transited the sun again on November 11, 2019. This will Mercury's last transit until 2032. A full list of interesting events you can witness in the video can be found in the description on YouTube.

'An X8.2 class solar flare flashes in the edge of the Sun on Sept. 10, 2017. This image was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and shows a blend of light from the 171 and 304 angstrom wavelengths.' Image and text credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO

Scott Wiessinger (USRA) was the lead producer on the video above. Tom Bridgman (GST) was the lead data visualizer. Leading scientific writing was Mara Johnson-Groh (Wyle Information Systems). The music, 'Solar Observer,' was written and produced by Lars Leonhard.

If you'd like to learn more about NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, you can find a wealth of fascinating information by clicking here.

Earlier this year, NASA published a shorter video that covered 10 of the most important things scientists have learned during SDO's first decade in space. You can check that out below.

Image credit: Images via NASA/GSFC/SDO
Posted: June 30, 2020, 3:19 pm

Venus Optics has announced the release of the Laowa 9mm F5.6 FF RL, a manual lens that takes the title of the world’s widest rectilinear lens for full-frame camera systems.

The lens features a 135-degree angle of view and is constructed of 14 elements in 10 groups, including two extra-low dispersion elements. It isn’t one of Venus Optics’ ‘Zero-D’ lenses, but it features ‘very low’ distortion, which makes it a solid option for landscape, architecture and real estate photography.

A comparison photo showing the difference between a 15mm and 9mm focal length on a full-frame sensor.

In addition to the ultra-wide field of view, the lens also features an incredibly short minimum focusing distance — just 12cm (4.72”) and uses a five-blade aperture diaphragm. The lens measures 60mm (2.4”) in both length and diameter and weighs just 350g (12oz).

Below are a few sample images from Venus Optics:

The Laowa 9mm F5.6 FF RL is available in Leica M, Sony FE, Nikon Z and L-mount. This marks the first time Venus Optics has designed a lens for Leica M-mount and to celebrate the occasion, Venus Optics is releasing the M-mount version in black and silver varieties. the Leica M-mount version costs $900, while the Sony FE, Nikon Z and L-mount versions costs $800.

Posted: June 30, 2020, 2:00 pm

Tamron's new 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 is a versatile zoom lens for full-frame Sony E-mount cameras. Well-suited for travel photography, it's compact, lightweight and fast/quiet to focus. Despite its petite design, the lens feels well built and should also hold up against the elements, fingerprints and grime thanks to a moisture-resistant construction and fluorine coated front element.

It may not be Tamron's most optically jaw-dropping piece of glass, but it seems more than capable of producing fairly sharp and pleasing results throughout the zoom range. Simply put, it's a great lens for a casual sunny afternoon stroll.

See our Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 sample gallery

Posted: June 30, 2020, 1:00 pm

Fujifilm has issued firmware updates to the GFX100 and GFX 50 models, with the 100MP camera gaining the most significant improvements.

The GFX100 will gain the ability to output a Raw video stream that can be encoded in Apple's ProRes RAW format by an Atomos Ninja V recorder. This provides a much wider degree of processing latitude than the gamma-encoded, compressed files the camera saves internally.

In addition, the firmware expands the camera's USB control protocol, giving more control over the camera's settings when shooting tethered, and allowing remote control of various camera features when mounted on a drone or gimbal.

Face and eye detection AF is said to be improved, as is the performance of phase detection AF in low light. New focus bracketing options have also been added.

Finally, the GFX100 gains the Classic Neg and Eterna Bleach Bypass Film Simulations introduced since its launch.

GFX 50S and 50R users also gain Classic Neg, along with the original Eterna Film Simulation mode in an update to their cameras. This update also adds the subtle skin-smoothing feature from the GFX 100.

Press release

It’s Here: The Biggest Firmware Upgrade in the History of the FUJIFILM GFX System

Valhalla, N.Y., June 30, 2020 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation announced today the availability of its highly-anticipated firmware update for the GFX System. This firmware update provides significant additional capabilities to each GFX System digital camera for photography, as well as considerable new capabilities for video shooters, including 4K RAW video support for the FUJIFILM GFX100.

For Video: Firmware Update Supports GFX 100 4K 16:9 RAW video output via HDMI

This new firmware update will soon allow the FUJIFILM GFX100 to output 4K RAW video up to 29.97p via HDMI, which can then be recorded to an Atomos Ninja V 5” HDR monitor recorder*1 and encoded into 12-bit Apple ProRes RAW for compatibility with a wide range of grading and editing software.

The successful collaboration between Fujifilm and Atomos will make the GFX100 and Ninja V combination to become one of the only Large Format camera systems of its kind to record 4K RAW footage. GFX100’s 100MP 4:3 ratio Large Format CMOS sensor is 44mm x 33mm in size (∅54.78mm) and can record 4K video at up to 29.97p in the following image resolutions:

  • UHD 4K 16:9 (43.6mm x 24.6mm, ∅ 50.06mm)
  • DCI 4K 17:9 (43.6mm x 23.1mm, ∅ 49.37mm)

Both resolutions will be able to be recorded at bit rates of 100Mbps, 200Mbps, or 400Mbps. Currently, only UHD 4K 16:9 output will support RAW output.

“The look of large format video has become very popular because the combination of longer focal lengths and the camera sensor’s physical size can create an incredibly pleasing image with shallow depth of field and incredible compression.” said Victor Ha, senior director of marketing and product management in FUJIFILM North America Corporation’s Electronic Imaging Division. “This gives cinematographers further control over their creative visions and - with the addition of a PL adapter for GFX - opens up the possibility of cinema lenses, like the FUJINON Premista large format cinema zoom lenses, being used with GFX100 in production. It’s pretty exciting!”

The GFX100 sensor is among a handful of cameras in the world that has an imaging surface of at least 44mm x 33mm (∅54.78mm). “Coupled with the Atomos Ninja V and its ability to encode Apple ProRes RAW, this system will give filmmakers a whole new way to create images,” Ha continued. “By harnessing the power of RAW, the resulting images will have amazing depth, detail, and dynamic range for post-production, which is ideal for HDR finishing or to give greater flexibility in Rec 709 SDR.”

Simultaneous recording of RAW via HDMI, while recording Film Simulation / F-Log / Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) internally to a memory card is also available as a result of this firmware update.

With GFX100’s image sensor, In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS), and now, compatibility with Atomos Ninja V, this large format camera system is small and light enough to hand hold, place in tight corners, mount onto gimbals, or use on drones. Additionally, when coupled with compatible gimbals or drones, users can start / stop recording, specify exposure settings, and make focus adjustments via remote control.

*1 Features relating to Atomos Ninja V require download of an expected further firmware update which is expected to be issued by Atomos in July 2020.

For Photo: GFX System Firmware expands the capabilities of in-camera image processing

  • The Film Simulation function, which offers diverse color and tonal reproductions similar to those found in traditional film, will be expanded by the new firmware update for all GFX System digital cameras - GFX 50S, GFX 50R, and GFX 100. The new firmware will add the “CLASSIC Neg” mode, simulating color negative film traditionally chosen for snapshots, to all three models. “ETERNA Bleach Bypass” mode, which simulates the film processing technique of the same name, will be added to the GFX100.The “ETERNA” mode, which replicates the colors and tonality of Fujifilm’s motion picture film, will be added to the GFX 50S and GFX 50R.
  • The “Smooth Skin Effect,”will now also be available on the GFX 50S and GFX 50R, smoothing the appearance of human skin; an ideal feature for portraiture.
  • The “Color Chrome Blue” feature, which adds depth to color and tonal reproduction in blue skies and other primarily blue subjects, will be added to the GFX 100.

GFX System Firmware enhances autofocus performance

  • The new firmware will allow the GFX 100 to deliver even faster, highly accurate phase detection autofocus (AF) in low-light conditions, down to -5EV. The firmware will also give the Low Light Priority AF-S mode to the GFX 50S and GFX 50R, to improve AF accuracy of those cameras in low light.
  • The firmware will improve Face / Eye AF performance for all three GFX System digital cameras.
  • In addition, the Auto mode will be added to focus bracketing across all three GFX System digital cameras. Users can specify the starting and ending points, and shooting interval, and the camera will automatically determine the number of frames and steps required.

Firmware broadens and expands upon various other functions - based on customer feedback!

  • In all three GFX System digital cameras, the firmware will allow users to adjust exposure settings (shutter speed, aperture value, ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation) for still images from a computer when using software that supports certain tether-shooting functions.
  • In all three GFX System digital cameras, the firmware revises the in-camera rating system to be readable by even more photo-editing applications.
  • For each of the GFX 50S and GFX 50R, with the firmware update, the maximum number of photos that can be saved in each folder on an SD card will increase from 999 to 9,999.
  • Firmware enables remote control functionality from gimbal / drone via USB communications
  • With this firmware update, combining the GFX 100 with a compatible gimbal / drone that supports remote control functionality will allow users to start / stop video recording, specify exposure settings for video (shutter speed, aperture value, ISO sensitivity and exposure compensation), and make manual focus adjustments.*2

Guilin FeiYu Electronic Technology Co. Ltd., Shenzhen Gudsen Technology Co., Ltd., SZ DJI Technology Co.,Ltd. and ZHIYUN (alphabetical order) have announced the intention of offering compatible products for the new GFX System firmware update.

The new GFX System firmware is compatible with the below camera models via the below links:

Firmware version: FUJIFILM GFX 50S(Ver. 4.00)

Firmware version: FUJIFILM GFX 50R(Ver. 2.00)

Firmware version: FUJIFILM GFX 100(Ver. 2.00)

*2 Functions that can be controlled vary from gimbal to gimbal.

Posted: June 30, 2020, 5:00 am

Fujifilm's GF 30mm F3.5 R WR is a relatively compact, weather-resistant wide-angle prime lens for the company's GFX medium-format cameras. It's roughly equivalent to a 24mm F2.8 lens in full-frame terms, and in our shooting on both 50 and 100 Megapixel camera bodies, we've found it to be an impressive performer. From the Cascade foothills to Puget Sound, click through our gallery to see how it looks for yourself.

Posted: June 30, 2020, 5:00 am

Fujifilm has announced that its GF 30mm F3.5 R WR wide-angle lens will ship in late July or early August for $1699. The lens, which has been on the G-mount roadmap for several months, is equivalent to a 24mm lens when mounted on a GFX body.

The GF 30mm F3.5 has a total of 16 elements, including aspherical and extra-low dispersion glass. Focusing is internal and the lens has been designed to minimize focus breathing. It's lightweight and compact (relatively speaking), weighing in at 0.5kg (1.1lbs). The 'WR' in the product name indicates weather-resistance, and Fujifilm says that the lens can operate at temperatures as low is -10°C (+14°F).

View our GF 30mm F3.5 sample gallery

Press release

Fujifilm Launches FUJINON GF30mmF3.5 R WR Lightweight, High Resolution Lens

Valhalla, N.Y., June 30, 2020 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the launch of the FUJINON GF30mmF3.5 R WR (GF30mmF3.5 R WR), a wide-angle prime lens with a focal length equivalent of 24mm (in the 35mm film format) for the FUJIFILM GFX System of large format*1 digital cameras.

With its dust and weather-resistant design, the GF30mmF3.5 R WR caters to a variety of shooting styles including landscapes, architecture, as well as casual snapshots on the move. “This lens is a great compliment to our existing series of GF lenses and gives image-makers a great wide-angle option for landscapes, architecture, or wide environmental portraits,” said Victor Ha, senior director, marketing and product management with the Electronic Imaging Division of FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “We are really excited to see the images our community will make with this lens.”

Main product features:

Image quality

The lens consists of thirteen lens elements in ten groups, including two aspherical elements and two extra-low dispersion (ED) elements. The high-performance lens groups are positioned to control various aberrations, especially distortion to which wide- angle lenses are prone, to achieve edge-to-edge sharpness. The lens is able to resolve an impressive amount of detail, compatible with 100MP sensors -- “enabling the photographer to re-create the atmosphere of each scene with a sense of visual honesty and feeling,” said Ha.


This compact lens weighs approximately 18 ounces (510g) and measures 3.9 inches (99.4mm) with a maximum diameter of 3.3 inches (84mm). In addition, the slim design balances well on a GFX System camera, making it a perfect lens to carry on-the-go.


The new GF30mmF3.5 R WR lens uses an internal focusing system, offering fast and quiet autofocus (AF). Focus breathing is just 0.05%, making it a great lens for recording video. Like all of Fujifilm’s lenses in the GF family, the GF30mmF3.5 R WR incorporates Fujifilm’s optical design and production technology processes to achieve a sub-micron level precision lens surface. This allows the lens to bring out the full potential of the FUJIFILM GFX 50S and GFX 50R mirrorless digital cameras, as well as the 100MP image sensor of the FUJIFILM GFX 100.


The lens is sealed at nine locations to make it dust and weather-resistant. It can also be used in temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C), offering photographers peace-of-mind when shooting in inclement weather or dusty environments.

The GF30mmF3.5 R WR lens will be available in late July or early August in the U.S. and Canada for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of USD $1699.95 and CAD $2299.00. For more information, visit https://fujifilm-x.com/en- us/products/lenses/gf30mmf35-r-wr/ .

*1 Fujifilm’s large-format GFX System digital cameras include an image sensor that measures 55mm diagonally (43.8mm x 32.9mm), with an area approx. 1.7 times that of a full-frame 35mm sensor.

Fujifilm GF 30mm F3.5 R WR specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format sizeMedium Format (44x33mm)
Focal length30 mm
Image stabilizationNo
Lens mountFujifilm G
Maximum apertureF3.5
Minimum apertureF32
Aperture ringYes
Number of diaphragm blades9
Special elements / coatings2 aspherical + 2 ED elements
Minimum focus0.32 m (12.6)
Maximum magnification0.15×
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Weight508 g (1.12 lb)
Diameter84 mm (3.31)
Length99 mm (3.9)
MaterialsMagnesium alloy
Filter thread58 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Posted: June 30, 2020, 5:00 am

Despite having claimed the channel name back in 2011, film photography expert Bellamy Hunt, better known as Japan Camera Hunter across the internet, only recently started posting videos to the Japan Camera Hunter YouTube channel. Much like the Japan Camera Hunter website, the Youtube channel is dedicated to all things film photography and in just the past two months, Hunt and his team have gotten out nine videos to help kickstart the channel.

As it stands, the channel currently consists of nine concise ‘Camera Geekery’ videos, which are quick summaries of cameras (and one lens) Hunt has sitting around his shop. The videos range from just under a minute to over three minutes and highlight unique features and historical backgrounds for each of the cameras. They’re quick to get through, but provide wonderful insight into just a few of the many cameras Hunt has on hand. Below are three more of the nine videos on the channel at this time:

Canonet QL17 GIII

Yashica Mat 124G

Plaubel Makina 670

In a blog post announcing the YouTube channel, Hunt notes the videos ‘are a work in progress,’ and goes on to say there are already ‘more cameras in the pipeline and [they are] are always open to (reasonable) suggestions.’ To view the rest of the videos and to subscribe, head on over to the Japan Camera Hunter YouTube channel.

Posted: June 29, 2020, 11:55 pm

ON1, the creators of the ON1 Photo RAW editing software, has announced ON1 360, an all-new photography workflow solution designed to allow photographers to capture, edit and sync images across multiple computers and mobile devices. Alongside the new ON1 360 workflow solution, ON1 has also announced updates to ON1 Photo RAW 2020 and released the new ON1 Photo Mobile application for iOS, iPadOS and Android.

Alongside today's announcement, ON1 hosted a live stream showcasing the workflow possibilities available with ON1 360, which can be viewed below. ON1 360 connects ON1 Photo RAW 2020.5 on macOS and Windows computers with the new, free ON1 Photo Mobile app. Via this connection between devices, users can sync files, control storage methods and access new managing and editing capabilities.

Using ON1 360, users can choose to sync their original Raw files, or alternatively, utilize ON1's new compressed-Raw file format in order to save space without a noticeable loss in image quality. This feature, called Editable Previews, allows photographers to view, edit and share compressed Raw files without needing to take up cloud storage space with larger original Raw files.

In the new ON1 Photo Mobile app, users can capture Raw images. The app includes a camera mode, which ON1 states works similarly to the built-in camera application on your device. In addition to capturing images, you can also edit using the app. ON1 Photo Mobile uses the same proprietary Raw processing engine as the desktop ON1 Photo RAW application. Mobile users can adjust parameters such as exposure, contrast, shadows, midtones, highlights, whites, blacks, white balance, noise and sharpening. The app also includes built-in filters. ON1 Photo Mobile is available to all users and is free.

ON1 Photo Mobile includes ON1's Raw processing engine in addition to numerous image editing tools. The application also allows users to capture images and organize their existing photos. Image credit: ON1

For those unfamiliar with ON1 Photo RAW 2020, it is a photo organizer, Raw processor, layered image editor and effects application. ON1 Photo RAW 2020 is available as a standalone application and as a plug-in for Photoshop, Lightroom Classic and Apple Photos. In addition to offering powerful Raw editing tools and a layers-based workflow, ON1 Photo RAW also leverages artificial intelligence for various features, such as generating masks, matching in-camera looks and styles, and automatically editing your photos.

Subscriptions for ON1 Photo RAW 2020.5 plus ON1 360 start at $7.99 USD per month with 200GB of storage. Image credit: ON1

ON1 360 is available via a subscription plan. ON1 360 plans are available with storage and ON1 Photo RAW 2020.5 combined or as a service add-on for existing ON1 Photo RAW 2020 users. The former option starts at $7.99 USD per month or $89.99 per year and includes 200GB of storage. For existing ON1 Photo RAW 2020 owners, ON1 360 can be added for as little as $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year. ON1 Photo RAW 2020 will continue to be available as a perpetual license product separate from ON1 360 as well. For additional information on plan options and pricing, head on over to ON1's website.

Posted: June 29, 2020, 8:43 pm

Filter manufacturer H&Y has launched a series of new step-up adapter rings that have variable thread sizes to allow users to fit a single screw-in filter to multiple different sized lenses. Using a sprung iris the thread size of the Revoring can be altered to fit a range of lens sizes via a rotating ring on the adapter. The idea is a single screw-in filter can be switched between different lenses very quickly without the need for changing adapter rings.

There are four sizes of Revoring to cover lens threads of 37-49mm, 46-62mm, 67-82mm and 82-95mm. The 37-49mm ring, for example, takes a 52mm filter. Once attached to the Revoring that filter can be switched between lenses that use filter thread sizes of 37mm to 49mm, by twisting the revolving ring to adjust the size of the adapter’s thread.

Twisting the adjustable ring closes the iris to its smallest size, and releasing it allows the thread to expand to fit the lens in use. The adapter holds in place immediately, but can be screwed in for extra security. To take the adapter off the lens the ring is turned to again contract the iris so it comes free of the lens.

Each of the sizes comes as a stand-alone ring for users to attach their own filters, or a second version is available that has H&Y’s variable ND filter with a circular polariser already built-in. The variable ND ranges from ND 3-1000 covering light reductions of 1.5-10 stops.

I've had couple of the rings for a while and thought a video would explain them a little better.

H&Y says the Revorings are made from architectural building-grade 6063 aluminum giving them strength while maintaining a light weight – the 67-82mm ring weighs 64g/2.25oz - and that the metal is protected with a matte black anodised coating.
Revorings are being launched via a Kickstarter campaign that runs until August 8th.

Post-campaign RRP:

37mm – 49mm REVORING: Accommodating 52mm filters - $35
46mm – 62mm REVORING: Accommodating 67mm filters - $35
67mm – 82mm REVORING: Accommodating 82mm filters - $40

37mm – 49mm REVORING Variable Neutral Density ND3-1000 + CPL - $184.00
46mm – 62mm REVORING Variable Neutral Density ND3-1000 + CPL - $189.00
67mm – 82mm REVORING Variable Neutral Density ND3-1000 + CPL - $199.00

The 82-95mm Revoring will be a ‘stretch goal’ that will be made available should the campaign raise $500,000. Should it reach $750,000 the 82-95mm ring will be released with the variable ND and CPL option. Reduced prices during the campaign will start at $23 for the 37-49mm Revoring and $139 for the same size with the filters built-in. For more information see the H&Y website or the Revoring Kickstarter campaign page.

Press release:

H&Y Announce The REVORING: A Revolutionary Adapter with a Twist

Imaging innovation campaign now live on Kickstarter

H&Y Digital Company Limited has announced the launch of a brand new Kickstarter campaign for the innovative step ring adapter, the H&Y REVORING and REVORING with Variable Neutral Density ND3-1000 & Circular Polariser combined filter, for use with DSLR, mirrorless and video camera lenses.

The REVORING is a true first in the image-making world. Its revolutionary design overcomes the need for multiple filters and step-up rings, saving photographers and filmmakers both time and money.

REVORING: The last word in filter adapters

The REVORING arrives as a completely new type of filter adapter. With its patent-pending variable and tough retractable blade technology, it can fit any lens with filter thread sizes between 37 - 49mm, 46mm - 62mm or 67mm - 82mm, accommodating either 52mm, 67mm or 82mm screw-in filters for the sizes available at launch. This versatility negates any need for photographers, cinematographers and content creators to carry multiple step-up rings, which can make for messy kit bags and adding unnecessary extra weight.

REVORING Variable ND + Circular Polariser combination

In addition to the standard REVORING, H&Y’s Kickstarter campaign includes another brand new REVORING which combines the REVORING’s adapter technology with the brand’s market-leading Variable Neutral Density & Circular Polariser combination filter. This heady combination creates a truly unique and complete product for image-makers everywhere.

Completely eradicating the need to invest in multiple filters for each lens or multiple step rings to adapt existing filters, the REVORING Variable ND + Circular Polariser combination system will adapt to fit a wide range of lenses, improving handling and boosting workflow speed to the next level.

H&Y’s REVORING Variable ND + Circular Polariser combination will quickly become an essential tool for shooting both moving and still images, giving a wealth of dynamic range to the user’s fingertips with the added bonus of a high-quality H&Y Circular Polariser onboard.

Kenny Leung, CEO of H&Y, said: “Almost 3 years of research and development, along with field testing, have been applied to bringing the REVORING that much closer to reality. The manufacturing process ensures that the materials used match the quality that their customers come to expect from H&Y. We are confident that image-makers across the globe will fall in love with this new concept and the REVORING systems will quickly become an indispensable partner for many photographers and filmmakers.”

The REVORING’s variable neutral density offers an incredible dynamic range of ND3 to ND1000, which equates to a minimum of 1.5, through to 10 stops of light control. However, due to the vast range, the stops achieved will vary based on different focal length. Full details can be found on the H&Y website, and also in the product guide, which will be included with every REVORING.

Japanese Nitto polarising film has been applied to produce the Circular Polariser section of the filter, which offers up to a near-comprehensive 99.9% polarising efficiency.

Market Leading Quality Meets World-Class Innovation

Key to the REVORING’s unique design is in the innovative, retractable & variable diaphragm. This precision-engineered feature allows the REVORING to make 1 filter applicable to multiple lenses, and with the potential for an expansive 4 size options, filter thread sizes from 37mm through to 95mm are all covered.

The REVORING has been manufactured entirely from architectural building-grade 6063 aluminum, making it incredibly strong and lightweight. Finished in a matte black anodised coating, further protecting it from adverse weather conditions, the REVORING is truly a ‘go-anywhere’ solution that will serve for years to come.

Anti-Fingerprint & Waterproof Nano-Coating Technology has been applied to the REVORING to preserve the glass from the unpredictable factors that all photographers and filmmakers face when shooting outdoors. The coating helps with beading and any excess droplets can be easily removed with a lens cloth without the fear of eliminating any of the coatings and without leaving stubborn smears on the glass.

The German Schott B270® glass also includes Anti-Reflective coating, which virtually eliminates all flare and reflections from the front and rear surfaces. This helps visible light to pass through the glass by removing unwanted reflections, giving the user the best possible light transmission, (up to 97%) optimizing images for the sharpest possible outcome. Whether shooting at 16mm or 400mm, the glass and coatings used in the REVORING produce sharp images, even at 10 stop exposures.

The H&Y REVORING Kickstarter Campaign

A number of additional features have been confirmed ahead of the campaign launch and will be included in the final product. These include:

  • A HARD stop at the MAX point shown on the filter ring, restricting the movement of the VND filter beyond the maximum 10 stops (ND1000).
  • An additional guide, fitted to the VND frame filter, meaning you can control the VND and CPL positions more easily.
  • New laser markings will be introduced to the outer edge of the VND ring. These new markings will be calculated and applied based on the maximum focal distance before any crossfade appears, helping image makers set up their shot more efficiently. There will be a live chart on the H&Y website offering guidance with a variety of lenses and sensors.

Campaign Pledge Levels

  • 37mm – 49mm REVORING: Accommodating 52mm filters
  • 46mm – 62mm REVORING: Accommodating 67mm filters
  • 67mm – 82mm REVORING: Accommodating 82mm filters
  • 37mm – 49mm REVORING Variable Neutral Density ND3-1000 + CPL
  • 46mm – 62mm REVORING Variable Neutral Density ND3-1000 + CPL
  • 67mm – 82mm REVORING Variable Neutral Density ND3-1000 + CPL

PLEASE NOTE: A further size of 82mm – 95mm for REVORING and Variable Neutral Density + CPL combination will unlock as a stretch goal as the campaign progresses and reaches a specific level of backing.

Pricing and availability

The H&Y REVORING Kickstarter campaign will begin on June 29th 2020 at 2pm GMT and 9am EST, 9pm HK time and will run for 40 days until August 8th 2020.

  • Standard REVORING will retail between USD $35 – USD $45
  • REVORING Variable Neutral Density + Circular Polariser combination will retail between USD $184 - USD $239.

Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there’s always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.

Posted: June 29, 2020, 2:58 pm
Kenji Tanaka, VP and Senior General Manager of Sony's Business Unit 1, Digital Imaging Group. Pictured at the 2019 CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan.

With the photo industry still mostly hunkered down, and offices temporarily closed all over the world, 'business as usual' is still a distant dream. But we're not in stasis - cameras and lenses are still being released, and plans are still being put in place for future product development. Recently we spoke to Kenji Tanaka of Sony, on video chat (with a little help from his ZV1) about the impact of COVID-19 on his business, the growing market for video and – yes – the successor to the a7S II.

The following interview has been edited lightly for clarity and flow.

What impact has COVID-19 had on your operations worldwide?

It has definitely had an impact on production, and on procurement of supplies. But we’re working with all of our suppliers to minimize this. We have two manufacturing bases though – China and Thailand, which helps, and most of the supply and logistics issues have now been resolved. Operations at our factories have resumed.

What do you think the effect of the pandemic will be on the photo industry as a whole?

I think there will be very little long-term impact on production and logistics, but demand [for cameras] has been decreasing. The entire world is affected by COVID-19. However there are a lot of positive signs. For example in China, sales at June 18 shopping gala were higher than last year. We experienced strong demand for our premium lines, like the Alpha 7 Mark III and Alpha 7R Mark IV. So China is getting better, but in other areas the situation is different, obviously. Demand in the market is starting to recover in most regions though, and I’m not worried about demand [for our products] in the long-term.

Where do you see Sony’s biggest opportunities in today’s market?

Video is a big opportunity, and full-frame. In China especially, the full-frame mirrorless market is growing. We’re also going to continue to expand our lens lineup to meet the needs of professionals around the world. Those are our biggest opportunities, I think. Full-frame mirrorless and video. Demand for video is now growing in every region of the world.

The Sony ZV-1 (left) is one of a new generation of cameras intended to appeal to vloggers and video content creators, alongside the likes of the Canon PowerShot G7 X (right) and the new Panasonic Lumix G100.

You released the ZV-1 in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis - how important is the vlogging and live-streaming market to Sony?

The content creator market is expanding rapidly, and the ZV1 was purpose-built to meet the needs of video creators at all skill levels. With the impact of COVID-19, a lot of people want to record their experiences with video. Demand for this kind of product is increasing, and with the ZV-1 we had an opportunity to meet this need. A lot of people will also enjoy the ZV-1 as a webcam when connecting it to a PC via USB. We will deliver a new Desktop application in July to enable this.

I can confirm that a successor to the Alpha 7S II will be coming, later this summer

Will the Alpha 7S Mark II be replaced, or has the ‘S’ line been superseded by the a7 III and a7R IV?

We’ve received many requests, especially from professional video content creators, and I can confirm that a successor to the Alpha 7S II will be coming, later this summer. Right now we’re focused on the launch of the new camera, and it will be a complete redesign of the whole system, including the image sensor. Everything is new. We hope it will meet and exceed the expectations and requests of our customers. I’m very confident that our new model will meet their demands.

The ‘S’ originally stood for ‘sensitivity’ but now I think it should stand for ‘supreme’ in terms of image quality, and expression. It comes from having really big pixels. I think that many professionals and high-end users will enjoy the new camera.

What were the major requests from a7S II users?

Mainly things like 4K/60p, 10-bit 4:2:2… really what you’d expect.

We’re seeing Raw video being added to more and more consumer cameras - do you think there’s a need for it?

We’re aware that there is a certain amount of demand for Raw video. As you know, our customers include a lot of professionals, so we’re working hard to be able to deliver Raw data capture to these people.

Mr. Tanaka confirms that the long wait for an a7S II successor is almost over - just don't call it a Mark III (yet).

What can Sony offer professionals right now that your competitors can’t?

Technology and innovation. These are our strengths, and that’s what we want to deliver. We have strong in-house technologies. We have very advanced technology for both stills and movies. I am proud of the speed, the performance and the richness of the images [from our products] in various conditions. And also portability of the system.

We’re continuing to evolve, to bring the performance of our products to a new level. We’re really not developing products in an attempt to compete with other manufacturers. We want to satisfy consumers, and surprise them - and create a ‘wow!’ reaction.

Can we expect to see Stacked CMOS sensor technology make its way into more Sony cameras in future?

Of course, it’s a unique, cutting-edge technology, and we want to make maximum use of these kinds of technologies.

How will your autofocus technologies evolve in future?

Increased detection speed and accuracy are what’s being demanded by our users, including professionals. And with demand for video booming, autofocus in movie shooting is very important. Right now we’re dedicated to developing autofocus technology further and further.

How will AI influence future products?

Right now we’re further developing Eye-AF, and we’ve added other detection technologies, like Animal Eye-detection. Object recognition using AI is very, very important for the future.

What do you think will be the next major technological leap, in the camera industry?

We’re very invested in AI technology, as I mentioned, but photography and videography need lenses, and the autofocus actuator in lenses is very important. For video, for example, if the actuator doesn’t work, doesn’t move quickly enough, that’s a problem, and if it makes noise, that affects the quality of the footage. So this is something we’re also investing in a lot, as we’re planning for the future.

In ten, twenty, fifty years I expect that computational photography will be doing a lot of things that traditional lenses do now

With computational photography technologies becoming more advanced, do you think that lenses of the future will look like the lenses of today?

I’m very positive about computational photography technologies, but glass has a lot of advantages. In ten, twenty, fifty years I expect that computational photography will be doing a lot of things that traditional lenses do now. But in the near future - five years, say - glass will still be superior.

In some devices, like smartphones or cameras designed to be easy to use, computational photography could be very useful. But if you want to create a masterpiece, or commercial work, real glass is better. And glass can evolve, a lot. For example with our lenses, some of them are very small but the quality is high. There’s a lot of technology inside our lenses. We’ll continue to innovate with our lens technologies.

Do you think in the future that smartphones will start to work more like cameras, or cameras will start to work more like smartphones?

Nobody knows that! But I think it’s good to have options, and choices.

Editors' Note: Barnaby Britton

It's always nice to speak to an optimist, especially these days. With predictions of doom and gloom from almost all corners, Mr. Tanaka strikes a rare note of positivity. The situation is improving, sales are recovering and demand looks solid in the medium term. For Sony, at least.

The wider long-term impact of the global pandemic remains to be seen, but despite the challenging environment, Mr. Tanaka is confident that Sony has what it takes to thrive as a camera and lens manufacturer. The reasons for his confidence are simple: Sony has a lot of very advanced technology, and has shown a proven willingness to innovate with it.

The biggest news to come out of this interview is confirmation (following some heavy hints) that after a long wait, an Alpha 7S Mark II successor is coming – and coming quite soon. Mr. Tanaka didn't give away many details (it remains to be seen even if it will be called a 'Mark III') but reading between the lines, we're excited.

Everything from Mr. Tanaka's description of features like 4K/60p, and 10-bit 4:2:2 recording as merely "what you'd expect" to his mention of wanting to create a "wow!" reaction suggests that Sony intends to pull out all of the stops. Whether or not the camera will offer Raw video capture is uncertain, but given Mr. Tanaka's remark that Sony is "working hard to be able to deliver Raw data capture to [professionals]" I wouldn't bet against it.

Assuming that the a7S Mark II's successor will represent the company's best efforts, I'm sure that a lot of video pros will consider that it was worth the wait.

According to Mr. Tanaka, Sony sees video as a crucial opportunity for growth in the future, alongside the development of artificial intelligence and computational imaging technologies. Assuming (as seems reasonable) that the a7S Mark II's successor will represent the company's best efforts in all three areas, I'm sure that a lot of video pros will consider that it was worth the wait. Meanwhile, with demand for video products increasing globally, products like the new ZV1 are aimed at entry-level videographers and content creators who just want a small, simple and effective tool for personal expression. Or for Zoom calls.

Other exciting hints included the possibility of further optical development – both in terms of traditional lenses and computational approaches. Interesting times ahead, then – certainly worthy of some cautious optimism, I think!

Posted: June 29, 2020, 1:00 pm

Really Nice Images (RNI) has released RNI Aerochrome, a new preset for Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw that emulates the look of Kodak Aerochrome, a discontinued specialty film that was sensitive to both infrared and visible light.

Emulating the look of Kodak Aerochrome with digital images is no easy feat, but RNI says it’s preset was meticulously ‘handcrafted by some of the most pedantic digital imaging and film photography experts out there.’ In total, there are 18 variations of the RNI Aerochrome filter in the pack, alongside the RNI Toolkit, which offers add-on settings to further tweak the image.

Below is a collection of sample photos edited with the preset:

The RNI Aerochrome preset pack costs $96 and works with Lightroom CC, Lightroom Mobile and Adobe Camera Raw. RNI says it’s not currently possible to port the preset to Capture One, but suggests it could be possible down the road should Phase One add the appropriate functionality.

Posted: June 28, 2020, 7:18 pm

We've updated our Best cameras under $2000 buying guide, and the Fujifilm X-T4 is our top pick for those seeking a camera that excels and both stills and video shooting.

Posted: June 28, 2020, 1:00 pm

Chris and Jordan didn't forget about stills when they previewed the video-centric Panasonic G100 earlier this week. Check out all of the samples from this week's episode, taken with a pre-production G100.

Posted: June 28, 2020, 12:00 pm


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