Press Release

Venus Optics’ long-awaited Laowa 15mm F2 for Sony FE is finally available

Venus Optics has finally announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E-mount that was first announced last September, and which the company has called “the world’s fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame.” The lens is due to ship at the end of August or early September, and will cost $850. First orders will include UV, ND1000 and polarizing filters for free.

The Zero-D in the name denotes the company’s claim that even though these lenses are very wide-angled, they exhibit almost no curvilinear distortion – or barreling. And at its angle of view of 110°, Venus Optics claims the new 15mm is the widest available rectilinear F2 lens for the Sony E system.

Here are a few official sample shots captured with the new lens:

The manual focus lens is constructed using 12 elements in nine groups, with three extra-low dispersion elements and two aspherical lenses.

Venus Optics says that it has tried to keep the design compact and lightweight, achieving dimensions of 66x88mm and a weight of just 500g/1.1lbs. Unusually for such a wide lens, a filter thread (72mm) is actually built-in, and the lens’ closest focus distance is just 15cm. The nine-bladed aperture runs to F22, and users have the choice to operate with or without clicked stops.

For more information or to pre-order the long-awaited lens check out our hands on with the Laowa 15mm F2 FE from its debut last September, or visit the Venus Optics website.

Press Release

Venus Optics announces the Laowa 15mm f/2 FE Zero-D, the world’s widest f/2 native lens for Sony full frame E-mount cameras

Featuring a 110° Angle of View, Ultra-fast f/2 aperture, 72mm filter thread, Super light & compact → continue…

From:: DPreview

Super fast Samsung T5 portable SSD hits 540MB/s, can handle raw 4K video

Samsung has introduced a new ultra-fast solid-state-drive called the Samsung Portable SSD T5. This model boasts up to a 2TB capacity alongside transfer speeds that reach up to 540MB/s, making it suitable for editing raw 4K footage and other large files. This drive is notable for its use of Samsung’s 64-layer V-NAND technology, the driving force behind the rapid transfer speeds of this lightweight, pocketable model.

Compared to the company’s own testing with an external 500GB HDD, Samsung says its T5 SSD model is nearly 5 times faster, this despite measuring in at only 3 x 2.3 x 0.4-inches / 74 x 57.3 x 10.5mm. The South Korean company has also boosted the SSD’s durability by using a shock-resistant internal frame, one capable of handling drops from heights as high as 6.6ft / 2m.

The drive features USB-C, and is shipped with two cables, one featuring a USB-C connector and another featuring a USB-A connector.

The T5 drive is offered in two finishes: Alluring Blue, which comes in 250GB and 500GB capacities, and Deep Black, which comes in 1TB and 2TB capacities. All four models feature AES 256-bit hardware encryption and are joined by a companion app that makes them compatible with Android mobile devices.

The models are available as of today starting at $130 USD.

Press Release

Samsung Electronics Introduces New Portable SSD T5 – The Latest Evolution in Fast, Reliable Storage

Built with V-NAND technology, drive features industry-leading transfer speeds with encrypted data security in a compact and durable design

Samsung Electronics today announced the introduction of the Samsung Portable SSD T5 the newest portable solid state drive (PSSD) that raises the bar for the performance of external memory products. The T5, built with Samsung’s latest 64-layer V-NAND technology, delivers industry-leading transfer speeds with encrypted data security → continue…

From:: DPreview

Sony ‘trade up’ program gets you $500 plus trade-in value towards a new a9

Switching brands is a painful and expensive process, but a new “trade up” promotion from Sony is trying to take a little bit of the sting away. For a limited time, people interested in stepping up to a Sony a7 II, Sony a7S II, Sony a7R II, or Sony a9 can get several hundreds of dollars in credit + trade-in value when they hand over their working DSLR or mirrorless camera.

These kinds of trade-in programs are not uncommon in the photo world, but we’re more accustomed to seeing them from brands like Hasselblad and Leica, where the price tag for upgrading from one model to the next is so high that a significant discount for trading in your older camera is a serious boon.

Sony’s promotion isn’t quite as intense, but trading in an eligible DSLR or mirrorless will snag you $500 + trade-in value towards a new a9, $300 + trade-in value towards an a7R II and a7S II, and $100 + trade-in value towards a new a7 II. What’s more, these discounts are being offered in parallel with instant-rebates of up to $200 on the same cameras.

If you’re looking for an a9, there is a (long) list of eligible cameras that will earn you that $500 bonus; however, if you’re interested in an a7 II, a7S II, or a7R II, “any working digital interchangeable lens camera” is acceptable. To learn more or take advantage of the program, read the press release below or head over to the trade up website at this link.

Press Release

Sony Rolls Out Exciting New Nationwide “α TRADE UP” Retail Event

Program offers up to $500 bonus offer on trade-in DSLR or mirrorless cameras toward purchase of Sony full-frame cameras, lenses and accessories

San Diego, August 14, 2017, <a target="_blank" → continue…

From:: DPreview

Synology launches ‘budget-friendly’ 4-bay NAS that can handle up to 40TB of storage

Data storage solutions manufacturer Synology has added a new, lower-cost NAS to its DiskStation j line that has a maximum capacity of 40TB, and is aimed at the home user and photography enthusiast.

The DS418j has 4 disk bays, each of which can accommodate HDDs or SSDs of up to 10TB. Data is controlled via a new 64-bit dual-core processor and the device has been fitted with 1GB of DDR4 RAM—doubling the memory of the previous model.

Synology claims the DS418j can read at 112MB/s and write at 87MB/s encrypted and in RAID 5, providing fast data storage and retrieval, and allowing high resolution media streaming and synchronisation in domestic or small office environments. The case has a single RJ-45 1GbE LAN port and a pair of USB 3.0 sockets, and can support wireless access via a dongle.

The DS418j comes with a two-year warranty and is available now for £284/€312/$330. For more information see the Synology website.

Press Release

Synology® Introduces DiskStation DS418j

Powerful entry-level 4-bay NAS for home data backup and multimedia streaming

Synology® Inc. today launched the new DiskStation DS418j, a budget-friendly 4-bay NAS server designed to help home and individual users to manage, protect and share data effectively.

DS418j is powered by a brand-new 64-bit dual-core CPU and delivers an outstanding encrypted file transfer performance at over 112 MB/s reading and 87 MB/s writing under a RAID 5 configuration in a Windows® environment. Equipped with a 1GB DDR4 memory, which is twice the size of its predecessor, and over 40TB single volume raw capacity support, DS418j brings flexible storage management in addition to smooth performance.

“In the digital era, photos, videos, and digital assets are being generated faster than ever. For home and individual users, it is essential to have a private → continue…

From:: DPreview

Manfrotto targets 360° VR creators with new range of accessories

Accessory creator Manfrotto has just launched a new range of bases, booms, heads and dollies aimed at Virtual Reality content creators. The company claims to be the first to produce, “unique, dedicated products designed to support professionals and enthusiasts shaping the future of photography and videography,” and that its new range makes VR creation easier and more enjoyable.

The Manfrotto 360° Virtual Reality range includes:

  • VR Clamp and VR Adjustable Dolly
  • VR Mini Tripod Kit
  • VR Aluminium Base with/without half ball
  • VR Pump Cup with spigot adapter
  • VR Carbon Tripod
  • VR Panoramic Head
  • VR Carbon Fibre Boom (Small, Medium, Large)

The company says that the bases have been designed to provide solid, motion-free support ensuring cameras remain as still as possible, and that their foot-prints are small enough that they won’t appear in the frame. The bases offer a choice of carbon fibre or aluminum materials, and booms are provided to enable images to be taken at various heights.

Prices for the range start at £30/$35 for a clamp and top out at £680/$690 for the Multi-Row Panoramic Head. For more information, visit the Manfrotto website.

Press Release


  • The first dedicated range of solutions supporting virtual reality creation
  • Pro and enthusiast solutions for immersive content creation
  • Reliable, high-performance bases, accessories and extension booms
  • Engineered with high-quality materials and careful attention to ergonomics and detail

UK 9th August 2017 – Manfrotto, world leader in the photography, imaging equipment and accessories industry, is excited to introduce the brand new 360o Virtual Reality range and to be the first player to bring unique, dedicated products designed to support professionals and enthusiasts shaping the future of photography and videography.

Manfrotto’s new 360° Virtual Reality offering includes bases, accessories and extension booms that make it easier and more fun to create amazing 360-degree videos and photos.

With this new range, Manfrotto is facilitating the transition → continue…

From:: DPreview

Lensrentals is now renting out drones and VR/360 equipment

Popular gear rental (and astute gear commentary) company Lensrentals announced some big news this morning: they’re going to start renting DJI drones and Virtual Reality/360° equipment.

Lots of photographers are considering adding a drone to their kit or dabbling in Virtual Reality and 360° capture, but if you’re not sold on the idea, buying expensive VR or aerial photography gear might seem excessive. Lensrentals expansion into drones and VR offers a try-before-you-buy option that won’t set you back thousands.

Starting today, you can rent the Mavic DJI Pro, DJI Phantom 4 Pro and DJI Inspire 2 drones alongside “a number of supporting equipment items” in the company’s Drones section, as well as the Orah 4i VR camera, Nikon KeyMission 360 action cam and their accompanying accessories under the VR/360 section.

To give you an idea on price, renting a DJI Mavic Pro will run you $213 for 7 days, a Nikon KeyMission 360 action cam costs just $57 for the same period, and the more powerful Orah 4i VR camera costs $270 for that week-long rental. And if you like what you try, you can keep the drone/camera and apply your rental fee towards a purchase through Lensrentals’ Keeper program.

To learn more about the company’s new rental options, or take advantage for yourself, head over to the Lensrentals website.

Press Release

Lensrentals Adds Drone and Virtual Reality / 360 Equipment to Nationwide Rental Program

DJI Mavic Pro, DJI Phantom 4 Pro and DJI Inspire 2 Drones, Orah 4i and Nikon VR Gear Added to Inventory

Memphis, TN – August 10, 2017 – Lensrentals, the largest online provider of photography and video equipment for rental throughout the US, today announced a trial of drone → continue…

From:: DPreview

RED’s Raven Camera Kit is now sold exclusively through Apple

Cinema camera company RED has teamed up with Apple to offers its ‘affordable’ (relatively) RED Raven Camera Kit exclusively through Apple’s online store. Interested buyers may be able to head over to their local physical Apple retail store to see demonstrations of the camera, as well, though RED says that only ‘select’ locations are offering demos.

The camera kit is described as being a ‘complete handheld camera package’ that includes the RED Raven 4.5K camera BRAIN alongside accessories, storage, a lens, and software.

The Raven 4.5K is notable as RED’s most compact BRAIN offering at 3.5lbs/1.6kg, according to the company, as well as being one of its most affordable models—the entire camera kit is priced at $15,000 USD. RED President Jarred Land described the Raven Camera Kit in a statement today as being a “ready-to-shoot professional package.”

With this camera, users are able to shoot REDCODE RAW (R3D) footage at a 4.5K resolution at up to 120fps or 2K footage at up to 240fps.

The RED Raven Camera Kit includes:

  • RED Raven 4.5K camera BRAIN
  • RED DSMC2™ Touch LCD 4.7” Monitor
  • RED DSMC2 Outrigger Handle
  • RED V-Lock I/O Expander
  • Two IDX DUO-C98 batteries with VL-2X charger
  • G-Technology ev Series RED MINI-MAG Reader
  • Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art
  • Nanuk heavy-duty camera case
  • Final Cut Pro X
  • foolcontrol iOS app for Raven Camera Kit

The RED Raven Camera Kit is available from now.

Press Release

RED Digital Cinema’s RED RAVEN Camera Kit Now Available Exclusively Through

This Professional Package Includes Everything Cinematographers Need to Start Shooting, Including Lens, Media, Batteries, Software and More

IRVINE, Calif. – RED Digital Cinema® announced today that its RED RAVEN® Camera Kit is now available exclusively through and available to demo at select Apple Retail Stores. This complete handheld camera package features a diverse → continue…

From:: DPreview

Rode releases pricing and shipping date for VideoMic Pro+

The long anticipated replacement for the popular Rode VideoMic Pro is almost ready for shipping. The UK price of the upgraded VideoMic Pro+ will be £290 (approx. $350) when it goes on sale in mid-August.

The new version of the on-camera microphone will feature interchangeable power options with a supplied rechargeable lithium ion battery that can be replaced with AA cells. A USB port also allows the mic to be powered or recharged via an external battery pack. The mic will save power by shutting itself down when not in use, and Rode has improved the battery door handling so that it doesn’t come off.

The company also says that it has improved digital noise reduction processes to reduce background interference and to enhance clarity for DSLR and mirrorless users.
The Rode VideoMic Pro+ comes with a Rycote Lyre suspension system and a ten-year warranty. For more information visit the Rode website.

Press Release

The On-Camera Microphone You’ve Been Waiting For is Here: Meet the VideoMic Pro+

Pro-audio brand RØDE Microphones is announcing a new addition to its best in market on-camera category – the VideoMic Pro+.

Announced at RØDEShow 2017, Freedman Electronics 50th anniversary celebration, the VideoMic Pro+ is set to prove that RØDE Microphones has yet again upped the game for the prosumer filmmaker.

Still with the best-in-class Rycote Lyre suspension system on board, the VideoMic Pro+ improves on the existing VideoMic Pro capsule/line tube and windshield, plus boasts a host of new features:

  • Automatic Power Function (subject to plug-in power availability) is perfect for the run-and-gun shooter, automatically turning the microphone off when unplugged from the camera
  • Built-in Battery Door makes replacing the battery a breeze and far less cumbersome than previous VideoMic models – plus it won’t get lost.
  • Power options – the → continue…

    From:: DPreview