Today Sony had a 5-hour meeting with analysts and investors: Sony IR Day 2019 (IR = Investor Relations). Sony.net… The portion of the presentation dedicated inter alia to cameras and lenses: Sony.net… The same document from last year’s meeting (22…
The result of four years of development, the Travel Tripod is “a ground-up reexamination of camera tripod design to produce the world’s most portable, packable, and easy-to-setup tripod for professionals and first-time tripod owners alike,” Peak Design says.
First, the company determined that the biggest issue photographers have with traditional tripods is their unnecessary bulk and spatial inefficiency. When fully collapsed and packed, many or most tripods have a relatively large amount of dead space.
What Peak Design has done is create a tripod that eliminates as much dead space as possible. The Travel Tripod’s legs and center column nest together tightly when collapsed to achieve a packed diameter of just 3.25 inches (8.26cm), which is about the diameter of a water bottle.
In addition to being compact, the collapsed tripod is tidy and free of protrusions.
The compactness makes the tripod easy to bring around while worn or stored in a bag.
But despite taking up less than half the volume of existing popular tripods, the Travel Tripod can still deploy to be 58.5 inches (~1.49m) tall.
“During my travels in 2008 I began wondering why on Earth my tripod was so big,” says Peak Design CEO Peter Dering. “The thing was full of negative space and knobs, and I felt like something designed for portability could do much better. I quickly realized that anything short of a complete design overhaul would fail to meet my criteria of the perfect travel tripod.
“It took years of development but the outcome is a camera tripod that seamlessly integrates into all aspects of travel and adventure.”
Deploying the Travel Tripod is both fast and intuitive, as one simply unlocks the three sets of cam levers — the four on each non-inverted leg can be pulled open together with one swift hand movement — to fully extend all the leg segments available.
The physical interface of the tripod has been boiled down to optimize ease-of-use and spatial efficiency as well. Instead of a system of knobs, the Travel Tripod uses a single adjustment ring around the 3.25-inch ball head to provide 360-degree movement. To lock the camera in place at any angle, simply tighten the ring all the way.
The top of the Travel Tripod features a proprietary quick-release plate that allows your gear (even a full-frame DSLR with a large telephoto lens) to be attached in a snap, and the system is compatible with Peak Design’s existing carrying equipment and Arca Swiss tripod dimensions as well.
“In addition to a thorough rethinking of a tripod’s architecture and user interface, carefully considered material choices and construction techniques provide the stability and vibration dampening demanded by avid photographers,” Peak Design says.
Other features of the Travel Tripod include a built-in universal phone mount, a bubble-level, a hook for counterweights, and an included soft case.
Peak Design has raised over $20 million across 8 Kickstarter campaigns in launching its products, allowing the company to stay 100% investor-free and employee-owned, and the Travel Tripod is launching through the crowdfunding platform as well.
The tripod will come in two varieties when it launches to the general public: an aluminum leg version for $350 and a carbon fiber leg version for $600.
After the Kickstarter campaign and its pre-sale discount ($289 for aluminum and $479 for carbon fiber, if the project successfully funds and delivers), Peak Design will launch the Travel Tripod for sale both on its website and through major retailers, and the goal is to get the tripod out in time for the 2019 holiday season.
Full disclosure: A pre-production Travel Tripod sample was provided by Peak Design for review.
From the outset, it may appear that the job of a photographer is an easy and glamorous one. However, what goes on behind the scenes can be equally as humorous, terrifying, and unnecessarily dramatic at times. Check out this video of odd photography confessions!
He’s got “authority” down. But the great actor Lance Reddick can do it all. Perhaps best known for playing Daniels on The Wire and Broyles on Fringe, Reddick has now brought his quintessential warrior servant Charon to the third chapter of John Wick. In this episode he talks about the triumphs and frustrations of the work, dealing with “bad” directors, learning from great ones, and how surviving hard circumstances on set, especially ones that throw you off your game, can strengthen you and lead to a cleansing of your process. The first Back To One Live Podcasting Event is coming […]
The Leica Q2 is a fixed-lens, full-frame camera sporting a new 47.3MP sensor and a sharp, stabilized 28mm F1.7 Summilux lens. It’s styled like a traditional Leica M rangefinder and replaces the hugely popular original Leica Q (Typ 116), launched in 2015.
The Q2 looks essentially the same as its predecessor, but under the hood notable improvements have been made including the addition of weather-sealing, better battery life, a new processor and a much-improved electronic viewfinder. Pixel count has also nearly doubled.
47.3MP full-frame sensor
28mm F1.7 Summilux stabilized lens
3.68MP OLED EVF with 0.76x magnification
3″ fixed touchscreen LCD with 1.04 million dots
Fast autofocus and smoothly damped manual focus ring
Native ISO range of 50-50,000
4K video capture
Leaf shutter up to 1/2000 sec
E-shutter up to 1/40,000 sec
IP52 rated dust and water resistant
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Improved battery life
While the Q2 replaces the original Q in Leica’s lineup, the Leica Q-P – a ‘stealthy’ version of the Leica Q – will remain available. The Leica Q2 sells for a recommended price of $4995 / £4250 / €3990.
Raw photo processed in Adobe Camera Raw. ISO 250 | 1/80 sec | F2.8
What’s new and how it compares
The Q2 and original Q look pretty similar, but there are a lot of upgrades under the hood. Here’s the nitty gritty.
Peak Design announced a new Travel Tripod on Kickstarter today and we were lucky enough to get our hands on a prototype prior to launch. But before we dive into some initial impressions, here’s the nitty gritty: the tripod will be available in aluminum for $350 and carbon fiber for $600 – both prices include a ball head – however you can score the tripod for much less by backing it on Kickstarter now.
The Travel Tripod series sits in a pricing bracket of its own, toward the upper end of the market. It’s more than double the cost of a lot of other popular entry-level travel tripods, like Manfrotto’s Be Free line and MeFOTO’s RoadTrip tripods, but still much less expensive than the upper-echelon of the market in the Gitzo Traveler tripods (when factoring in the cost of both legs and head).
The Peak Design Travel Tripod (center) is 2.5″ / 6.35 cm in diameter from top to bottom, making it considerably more streamlined and less bulky than the Manfrotto Be Free (left), MeFOTO RoadTrip (right) and Gitzo Traveler (not shown). Peak Design told us removing unnecessary bulk to save space was the primary goal of developing this tripod. To that regard, they seem to have been successful.
However, just because it’s slimmer doesn’t mean it’s any lighter than the competition. In fact both the aluminum and carbon fiber versions weight about the same as their Manfrotto and MeFOTO counterparts. And Peak Design’s collapsed length of 15.5″ / 39 cm is also about the same as the aforementioned tripods.
The ball head
Like most Peak Design products, the ball head accepts Arca Swiss-compatible plates – the two pins on either side can be removed (using an included tool) if you happen to have an Arca plate that is wider than the standard Peak Design-issued one. And a dual-locking mechanism offers piece of mind that your precious gear won’t take a tumble.
The top of the plate has a small bubble level that I found generally ends up covered when a camera’s attached, but it is useful for leveling prior. Users loosen and tighten down the ball head by turning the lower ring. I was pleased with the throw of this ring, you only need to turn it about 90-degrees to go from fully-locked down, to loose enough to adjust the camera’s framing.
Historically, I haven’t been terribly impressed by the level of stability most travel-oriented tripods offer, especially when using cameras with front-heavy lenses. For instance, when trying to photograph the moon with a Nikon P1000 mounted on a Manfrotto Be Free, the camera was prone to sagging forward with the lens fully-extended.
But Peak Design assured me their new tripod is up to the challenge of locking down even the heaviest rigs. To test their claims I went to our gear closet and brought out one of the heaviest setups I could find: a Nikon D5 with a 70-200mm F2.8 lens. To my surprise, I had no issue locking it down. Even with the front-heavy lens pointed up toward the sky, I witnessed no sag.
The legs and other features
The Peak Design’s Travel Tripod’s locking levers are easy to open and close thanks to a long throw. This makes it very easy to set up or break down in an instant, something I can definitely appreciate. A hex tool is also included to tighten and loosen the lock joints. This tripod can reach a maximum height of about 60″ / 152 cm with its legs and center column fully extended. It also offers a ‘low mode’ that get you to about 5″ / 13 cm off the ground and an ‘Inverted Mode’ for when you want to shoot straight down.
Peak Design loves including secret little features in their products and the Travel Tripod is no exception. A hook at the bottom of the center column can be used to weigh down the tripod, but turning it also reveals a secret Arca-compatible cellphone mount, tucked away in the column.
It’s encouraging to see brands jumping into new product categories and genuinely trying to innovate and improve. With the Peak Design Travel Tripod, there’s no doubt the price alone will have people turning up their noses. But innovation and research doesn’t come cheap. And more importantly, even in the little bit of time I used a prototype of this tripod, I found it to be more compact and more stable than what’s offered on the lower end of the travel market.
Ultimately, we’re looking forward to getting a final version in and taking a proper look at how it compares not only to the ManFrotto and MeFOTO travel tripods, but travel tripods with a similar price, likes those from Benro, as well as the higher-end models from Gitzo.
The interesting, cross-platform app called Premiere Rush (which I have covered extensively in prior articles and an interview with Cielo de la Paz of The Storyographist), is finally available for Android too. Up until now, it has been available for macOS, iOS and Windows. At a private online briefing last week for journalists, Adobe responded that the feature set is identical between Android and iOS. Ahead is the very short list of approved Android devices, and Adobe’s response about compatibility with those Chromebooks that support Android apps.
According to Adobe, Premiere Rush will only work on the following Android devices (at least initially):
Samsung Galaxy S10/10+, S9/9+
Samsung Note9, Note8, S10e
Google Pixel 3/3XL, 2/2XL
My Android phone is the original Pixel XL, which Google has even extended to include Android 10 (aka Android Q), which I am currently running in beta. Google Play confirms that the original Pixel XL is not currently compatible with Rush.
Regarding Rush on Chromebooks which support Android apps
Adobe responded that this will come soon after the Android release today.
Prior articles about Adobe Premiere Rush
Here you’ll find my prior articles about Premiere Rush in ProVideo Coalition.
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Shoot a short film with a Nikon Z6 or Z7 camera and a Nikkor lens, post it on YouTube or Vimeo, send note of your participation to Nikon until the end of August and you may win Nikon’s video contest.
Nikon Inc. announced recently the “Follow Your Passion” video contest, which encourages content creators across the United States to capture their passion using a Nikon Z series mirrorless camera. Entrants can submit a short film for a chance to win a Nikon Z 6 Filmmaker’s Kit and up to $25,000 in prize money.
To enter, users are invited to submit a video project from 3 to 5 minutes in length, captured with a Nikon Z 6 or Z 7, showcasing their passion through filmmaking. Interested participants can submit videos until Saturday, August 31, 2019. Videos must be shot with a Nikon Z 6 or Z 7 and a Nikkor lens. As proof, participants have to include an unedited still image taken during filming.
Now, if you don’t own a Nikon Z camera but dream of winning a a Nikon Z 6 Filmmaker’s Kit plus the prize money, how do you manage to participate? Well, Nikon is also giving users the chance to discover why the Nikon Z series is a new star in small-footprint productions with the Nikon “Test Drive” Program. This Nikon Z 6 Filmmaker’s Kit rental program, available at approximately 138 retailer locations nationwide, will provide more creators with the opportunity to experience first-hand what the Nikon Z series is capable of.
Rent a Nikon Z to win a Nikon Z
Through the “Test Drive” program, consumers can rent a Nikon Z 6 Filmmaker’s Kit from a participating retailer for up to $99.95 for three days or up to $149.95 for one-week (participants should read the complete conditions . This program offers an extremely cost-effective way for consumers to capture their contest submission, or simply to explore their passion for filmmaking. Additional information, including a list of participating retailers can be found at www.nikonusa.com/ztestdrive.
“Whether you’re a seasoned filmmaker, an aspiring creator, or a stills shooter eager to explore the world of video, this is the contest that will give you a chance to follow your passion, share it with the world and potentially be rewarded for your work,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “The Nikon Z series offers an extensive video feature set that opens up a world of possibilities for filmmakers; and with the Test Drive program, Nikon makes it easy to explore those possibilities.”
The Nikon Z 6 Filmmaker’s Kit
The first, second and third place winners of the Nikon “Follow Your Passion” Z series video contest will each receive a Nikon Z 6 Filmmaker’s Kit worth approximately $4,000. Additionally, the first and second place winners will take home $25,000 and $10,000 in prize money, respectively.
The versatile Nikon Z 7 and Z 6 full-frame mirrorless cameras are ideal for content creators who are serious about filmmaking. Both Z series cameras capture full-frame 4K Ultra HD video and come equipped with fast hybrid AF systems, 5-axis in-body image stabilization and Nikon-designed FX-format BSI CMOS image sensors that deliver outstanding image quality and powerful video performance. These cameras also offer advanced features for videographers, including focus peaking, time-code, 10-bit output with N-Log via HDMI, along with stellar sharpness, low-light ability and dynamic range.
The Nikon Z6 Filmmaker’s Kit pairs the powerfully cinematic Z6 with a NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens, Mount Adapter FTZ, MOZA Air 2 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer, RODE VideoMic Pro+ Microphone, Atomos Ninja V 4K Recording Monitor and more, allowing users to unlock the camera’s full video potential.