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Sony a7R Mark III Review

Introduction

The Sony a7R Mark III is the company’s latest high-resolution full frame mirrorless camera. Much like Nikon’s recent D850, it’s one that combines this resolution with high speed and fast autofocus capabilities to a degree we’ve not previously seen.

Like its predecessor, the Mark III is built around a 42MP BSI CMOS sensor, but unlike the a7R II, it can shoot at ten frames per second.

Essentially it can be seen as an a7R II that inherits many of the lessons learned from the company’s pro-sports model, the a9. This means faster processing, improved autofocus, improved handling and ergonomics, as well as the adoption of a much larger battery. While some of the individual changes are subtle, they very quickly combine to produce a hugely capable and highly useable camera.

Key Features

  • 42MP BSI CMOS sensor
  • Faster, lower-noise image processing
  • 10 fps shooting with full AF, 8 fps with ‘live’ updates between shots
  • 3.69M dot (1280 x 960 pixel) OLED viewfinder
  • Improved autofocus, including more tenacious Eye AF mode
  • 5-axis image stabilization, rated at 5.5 stops (CIPA) with 50mm lens
  • 4K footage from ‘Super 35’ crop region oversampled from 5K capture
  • Video AF less inclined to refocus to background
  • ‘Picture Profile’ video gamma/gamut modes including S-Log2 and 3
  • Twin SD Card slots (one UHS-I and one UHS-II compatible)
  • Bayer-cancelling multi-shot mode for improved resolution
  • True 14 bit uncompressed Raw, even in continuous drive mode
  • Use of phase detection (including Eye AF) at 3 fps with adapted lenses

Sony says the a7R III is based around the same 42MP back side illuminated CMOS sensor as its immediate predecessor, so doesn’t gain the full speed advantages of the a9’s Stacked CMOS chip (in terms of AF performance, continuous shooting rate or reduced rolling shutter in video and electronic shutter mode). However, the adoption of the processing systems, algorithms and refinements introduced on → continue…

From:: DPreview

Behind the scenes: Shooting a cinematic short film with the iPhone X

Photographer Ryan Earl and filmmaker Nick Arcivos of AmnesiArt recently created an extremely impressive cinematic short film. Impressive not only because the shots were gorgeous, well-planned, and well-executed… but also because the entire thing was shot on an iPhone X.

The film is called ‘Made in Paris‘, and it’s a cinematic portrait of Elise Lepinteur, protégée of world-famous pastry chef Christophe Adam.

It was shot and edited over the course of four days, but unlike Matteo Bertoli’s recent 4K iPhone X short film, Nick didn’t shy away from using a little bit of gear to help take the shots to the next level.

“We produced and edited this short piece in only 4 days with the help of Gitzo monopods, a DJI Osmo Mobile gimbal and a Zhiyun Smooth Q gimbal,” he tells DPReview. “For the macro shots, we used iPro Lenses by Schneider Optics. The audio was recorded with a Rode Lavalier Mic, Rode NTG3 Shotgun and a Zoom H4N, and we also used a Marsace MT-01 table tripod and a cheap Andoer mini dolly.”

For lighting, Nick tells us they used three LED lights: a Litepanels MicroPro, a Yongnuo YN300 Air Pro, and a Litepanels Astra 1×1. For the interview, they only used the MicroPro and the Astra 1×1.

Here are a few behind the scenes photos that Nick shared with us, showing how some of the shots in the film above were captured:

As for how the phone performed, Nick and Ryan were seriously impressed:

We were blown away by the quality of the OLED screen, its size is perfect for monitoring the shoot. Results are even better than last year iPhone 7, colors are more vibrant, and we found the dynamic range was improved.

Apple also finally provided the option of shooting 24 FPS in → continue…

From:: DPreview

Google rolls out ‘Saturated’ mode to address Pixel 2 XL display issues

The Google Pixel 2 might sport one of the best smartphone cameras around, but when it comes to the display—particularly on the larger XL—model, Google has had nothing but trouble. Reports of everything from burn-in, to blue tint off-axis, to ‘dull’ colors have left the tech giant playing catch up, and today it finally … well… caught up. Or at least it tried.

A promised software update released on Tuesday (and rolling out to all users by the end of the week) addresses the issue of burn-in with some minor tweaks, and adds three total color saturation modes under the phone’s Display settings to hopefully quiet down the complaints about ‘dull’ colors.

Here’s a quick summary of the update in Google’s own words:

This update includes some of the enhancements we posted about on October 26, such as the new Saturated color mode for Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, a fix for the faint clicking noise heard in some Pixel 2s, and other bug and security updates. As we mentioned in our deeper dive, this update also brings planned UI changes which extend the life of the OLED display, including a fade out of the navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen and an update to maximum brightness.

According to Android Central, the updated saturation settings come in three flavors: Natural, Boosted, and Saturated. Natural should provide the most accurate color reproduction; Boosted takes the place of the “Vivid Colors” setting previously available, which boosted saturation by 10%; and, finally, Saturated will put the display in an “unmanaged configuration” that will make colors “more saturated and vibrant, but less accurate,” according to Google’s deep dive on the topic.

Unfortunately, this mode throws → continue…

From:: DPreview

Olympus EyeTrek smart glasses pack a tiny 2.4MP camera into an AR wearable

Olympus has launched a wearable, augmented reality system that positions a tiny screen and camera near the wearer’s eye. Called EyeTrek Insight, this open source device resembles Google Glass, but is larger and intended for enterprise applications rather than general consumer use. The wearable features a 2.4MP forward-facing camera and the maker’s own Pupil-Division Optical System.

EyeTrek Insight is designed to attach to the ear pieces of a pair of glasses, whether they’re prescription frames or safety glasses. The unit has an integrated touch bar enabling users to control the device using their finger, as well as an optional microphone attachment for issuing voice commands. Both WiFi and Bluetooth enable EyeTrek to connect with various networks and devices, and while the device has only a 1hr run time per charge, Olympus has an optional adapter for plugging the smart glasses into a USB power source.

The integrated camera is fairly low resolution, capable of capturing content at up to 1992 x 1216, though the device’s tiny OLED display has a 640 x 400 resolution. Olympus describes the display, which is semi-transparent, as measuring half the width of a human pupil. Despite its small size, the maker says its display offers clear images even in outdoor and otherwise bright environments.

While Olympus markets its wearable toward industries where employees could benefit from visual access to data, the unit runs Android and provides development tools for devs and businesses to create their own applications, leaving the door open to a wide range of potential abilities and uses. The EyeTrek Insight is listed on Olympus’s website as a ‘Developers Edition,’ though it is unclear whether the company plans to offer a different edition in the future.

The EyeTrek Insight EI-10 is listed as available → continue…

From:: DPreview

Halide 1.5 camera app is designed specifically for the iPhone X

Lucky owners of the new iPhone X have a tempting new camera app option. The newest update to Halide (v1.5) features a new interface designed from scratch for the iPhone X—one that positions all of the controls near the bottom where they’re within thumb’s reach. Additionally, Halide leverages the iPhone X display’s ‘ears’ on either side of the top notch, using that space to display a histogram and exposure values.

Halide 1.5 is designed to optimally use the phone’s long OLED display, as well as its rear cameras, offering support for depth capture as well as a clean interface that provides an unobstructed viewfinder. The new interface is designed to be used with one hand on the iPhone X, though the update does bring ‘a more ergonomic experience’ to older iPhones as well.

Existing Halide users can download the 1.5 update for free, while new users can buy the app for a discounted $3 rate through the iPhone X launch weekend, after which the price will revert to the usual $5.

→ continue…

From:: DPreview

Rylo 4K 360° camera uses a one-tap app to produce cinematic videos

Launched today by a company of the same name, Rylo is a 360-degree camera that uses some nifty software to produce “beautiful, cinematic video” that is “impossibly smooth.” You just focus on shooting, and Rylo can just about handle the rest.

Rylo relies heavily on companion software that makes it possible to transform the raw 360-degree content into smooth videos, including ones that follow specific points of interest or that track a specific object. The camera can also be used to generate stabilized, moving time-lapse videos.

The portable little camera features integrated horizon leveling and stabilization to produce smooth videos in the absence of a stabilization rig, something possible “no matter the conditions,” according to the company. To capture the raw 360° video it uses a pair of lenses—one on the front and the other on the back—both with a 208-degree FOV and fixed F2.8 aperture. Content is captured as 4K 360° 30fps footage and can be output in a variety of ways: from 6K 360 panoramic photos, to 4K 360° video, to standard 1080p.

Rylo includes a 16GB microSD card for storage, but supports cards with capacities up to 256GB. Other features include an anodized aluminum alloy body, small OLED display, and a single button for both powering on the device and recording. The internal rechargeable battery supports about 60 minutes of continuous recording.

But the specs aren’t the key thing here; Rylo really shines when coupled with its related software and all of the features it enables.

The company bills its product as a way for anyone to shoot and produce cinematic video. “The combination of Rylo’s hardware and software gives anyone the confidence and creative freedom to get the perfect shot every time,” company CEO Alex Karpenko explained in a press → continue…

From:: DPreview

Google software update will address some Pixel 2 XL display issues

Google has responded to criticism over the Pixel 2 XL’s ‘dull’ display colors, confirming that the company will release a software update in the coming weeks that adds a new saturated colors mode. With this mode, Pixel 2 XL owners will have the option of increasing the vividness of the screen so that it is comparable to the bright saturation found on some other OLED smartphone displays.

Criticism about the Pixel 2 XL’s pOLED display arose shortly after the review units went out, with complaints including reports of dull colors, graininess, a strong blue tint when viewed at an angle and, in some cases, reports of display burn-in. Google’s VP of Product Management Mario Queiroz addressed two of those issues, the burn-in and vividness, in a post on Google’s forums.

Google is standing by its previous statement that the Pixel 2 XL’s display was designed to show “a more natural and accurate rendition of colors.” Queiroz points out that the phone does contain a feature to boost the display color by 10%, but if that’s not enough to satisfy some users, they’ll soon also have a new mode that provides “more saturated colors.” This mode will arrive in a software update for both Pixel 2 handsets “in the next few weeks.”

As for the burn-in issue, Queiroz stated in his forum post that Google began investigating the issue on October 22nd when it received the first user report about the potential problem. During its testing, Google found that the issue, which is officially called differential aging, is “in line with that of other premium smartphones” and won’t impact how the phone is used on a daily basis. He also explained that Google uses software “to safeguard the user experience → continue…

From:: DPreview