Tokina atx-i 100mm f/2.8 FF Macro Lens Announced

Tokina has announced the new atx-i 100mm f/2.8 FF Macro lens in Nikon F & Canon EF mount. This is the second lens in the new atx-i series of lenses. This new lens follows on from the 100mm f/2.8 AT-X M100 AF Pro D macro lens and just like the updated atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8, features … Continued

The post Tokina atx-i 100mm f/2.8 FF Macro Lens Announced appeared first on Newsshooter.

Vocas Microphone holder with shock absorber for 15mm rails

At Interbee 2019, Vocas was showing their new Microphone holder with shock absorber for 15mm rails. This product was designed specifically for Sony FS7/FS7M2 and FX9 users. The standard microphone holder on the FS7/FS7MS and FX9 is far from ideal. They are not very well made and a lot of users end up breaking the … Continued

The post Vocas Microphone holder with shock absorber for 15mm rails appeared first on Newsshooter.

Lightstar LUXED-4

The Lightstar LUXED-4 is a bi-color spacelite 720W lamphead. The LUXED-4 is a multi-purpose LED spotlight that combines 4 LUXED-S fixtures. It can be used as a space light and hung from above, or it can also be used as spot light when fixed on stand with the yoke. The light has been around for … Continued

The post Lightstar LUXED-4 appeared first on Newsshooter.

Photographer Wins $345K Settlement Over Unlawful Arrest While Taking Pictures

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit system (DART) has agreed to pay blogger and photojournalist Avi Adelman $345,000 to settle a lawsuit in which Adelman alleged that he was illegally arrested for taking photos of someone being treated for an overdose.

The incident in question took place over three years ago, in February of 2016, when Adelman rushed to the scene of an overdose that was taking place on DART property. Adelman was documenting the victim as he was being treated by paramedics, when a DART officer approached him and demanded that he stop taking pictures and leave.

After refusing to stop and leave the scene several times, officer Stephanie Branch arrested him for criminal trespass (i.e. not having a transit pass). The entire interaction was captured by the officer’s Sony recorder:

The charge was dropped a week later and Officer Branch was disciplined for the arrest, but Adelman chose to sue both DART and Branch for infringing on his first, fourth and fourteenth amendment rights.

Despite both defendants trying to get the case thrown out multiple times—arguing, in part, that Branch believed Adelman was violating HIPPA medical privacy laws by photographing the victim while getting treatment—a federal judge in Dallas and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals both sided with Adelman, allowing the civil rights case to go forward.

All of this back and forth finally ended this week, when the DART board of directors decided to pay Adelman the requested settlement of $345,000 by a vote of 14-1.

Adelman—a member of the National Press Photographer’s Association and the Society of Professional Journalist—considers this a major win for photojournalists everywhere.

“I was arrested – and spent a day in jail – on a bogus ‘throw-down’ charge of criminal trespass for one reason only: To stop me from taking photographs of paramedics treating a patient in public view on public property, which is a lawful activity and not a HIPAA violation,” said Adelman in a press release published earlier this week. “The subjective personal opinions of LEO personnel should never be allowed to interfere with lawful and protected First Amendment activities.”

In light of this settlement, he will be donating $2,500 to the NPPA’s advocacy efforts, another $2,500 to the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, and has promised to “work with, and support, First Amendment advocacy groups to make sure arrests like this never happen again, and to defend the photographer vigorously when it does happen.”

Finally, lest this three-year-long case between Adelman and a law enforcement officer give anybody the impression that Adleman is anti-police, he also wanted to make clear that the majority of officers he has interacted with have allowed him to do his job unencumbered.

“Ninety percent of the officers I encounter at police scenes just ignore the camera or cellphones. Five percent are asking, ‘Can you Photoshop my gut to a better size?’” says Adelman. “The last five percent are just pure ——-, and sadly, I keep running into those guys.”

(via Dallas News via Reddit)


Image credits: All photos by Avi Adelman, CC BY 2.0.

The First Half of 2020 Will Brings Lots of Mirrorless Announcements From Canon

The First Half of 2020 Will Brings Lots of Mirrorless Announcements From Canon

Canon is slowly filling out its mirrorless line, but there are still some cameras and lenses that photographers are waiting to complete their kits or to justify switching. The good news is that Canon seems to be planning a lot of releases for their mirrorless line in the first half of 2020.

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Leica CL ‘Edition Paul Smith’ brings a unique colorful style to 900 limited-edition sets

Leica is back with another special edition product, this one featuring its Leica CL model launched in collaboration with British designer Paul Smith. The new Leica CL ‘Edition Paul Smith’ model’s tech specs are identical to that of the regular production model. Unique to the special edition, however, are ‘one-of-a-kind’ design elements inspired by Smith’s work.

According to Leica, this is the second special edition camera launched in collaboration with Smith. The designer’s handwriting is used as the font for the phrase ‘Look and see’ located on the back of the special edition camera, joining a ‘bold blue’ top plate and the use of ‘vibrant accent colors’ on the top buttons.

Rounding out the special design is a large eye illustration on the viewfinder and stripes along the camera’s bottom edge. Leica has limited the production of its Edition Paul Smith variant to 900 sets globally; they’re shipped with the Elmarit-TL 18mm F2.8 ASPH lens and a neon rope strap featuring both Leica and Smith branding.

The Leica CL ‘Edition Paul Smith’ set can be purchased from Paul Smith retailers, Leica Stores, and Boutiques for $3,995 USD.

Trump Impeachment Hearing Shows More Photographers Switching to Mirrorless and One Even Using a Large Format Film Camera

Trump Impeachment Hearing Shows More Photographers Switching to Mirrorless and One Even Using a Large Format Film Camera

The Trump impeachment hearings began yesterday, and as you would expect, there was a veritable throng of press coverage. But in the past few years, the camera landscape has changed quite a bit, and it is quite interesting to see the sort of cameras being used by press photographers there.

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A closer look into the latest financial reports from Canon, Nikon and Sony

It’s no surprise the camera market is in a decline, earmarked by continuously-decreasing unit sales, revenue and operating income. It seems as though no company is safe from the impact of both smartphones and the general decline in demand for DSLRs, but while the numbers are indeed in a freefall, the reality is the actual macro-level outlook is far more nuanced than catchy headlines alone can tell.

To take a more overhead view of the camera industry, we’re dug into the industry-wide numbers from CIPA and broken down the most recent results from Canon, Nikon and Sony to compare them year-over-year (Y/Y) to see how things are shaping up.

CIPA

CIPA provides an overarching view of how the camera industry is doing through the participation of nearly a dozen camera companies that report their production and unit shipments to CIPA on a monthly basis. Since we’re only looking at the last two quarters from Canon, Nikon and Sony, we’re only going to dive into the numbers for the corresponding months of CIPA’s data.

CIPA’s September graph showing interchangeable lens camera unit sales over the past three years.

From April 2019 to September 2019 (the latest statistical data CIPA has made available), CIPA reports 8M total digital camera shipments: 4.4 million interchangeable lens cameras and 3.6 million cameras with built-in or fixed lenses. This is an overall decrease of 22-percent Y/Y with a 23-percent decrease for interchangeable lens cameras and a 20-percent decrease in cameras with built-in or fixed lenses.

CIPA’s September graph showing interchangeable lens unit sales over the past three years.

These decreases are concerning, but still less dramatic than the Y/Y change from 2017 to 2018. This change could be due to a few factors, but the most obvious one is that both Canon and Nikon introduced their full-frame mirrorless systems in late 2018, which likely helped to slow down the declining market as consumers hopped onboard the newer systems. However, it’s clear from the following numbers that neither Canon nor Nikon saw their full-frame mirrorless options replace the declining sales of DSLRs as both companies had assumed.

Canon

For its FY2019 Q2 and Q3 numbers, Canon reported 2.06 million unit sales for interchangeable lens cameras and 1.36 million compact camera sales during its FY2019 second and third quarters, a decrease of 16-percent and 13-percent respectively Y/Y for the same time period.

A breakdown from Canon’s Q3 financial presentation that highlights the units sold in Q3 as well as the net sales and operating income of its Imaging Systems division.

This 16-percent decrease is less than the industry-wide 22% decrease as noted in CIPA’s data, but these two quarters last year were before Canon’s EOS R (and EOS RP) was announced and it’s likely DSLR sales were depressed in expectation of the new cameras being around the corner. So, while the numbers are better than the market in general, with all of the development and marketing that went into making its new RF-series gear, it’s merely softened the blow rather than boost unit sales.

In regards to finances, Canon has reported ¥394B ($3.6M) in revenue and ¥23B in operating profit over the past two quarters, a decrease of 19-percent and 59-percent, respectively. It’s worth noting the drop also includes the loss of revenue and profit from the broadcasting and cinema gear that was included in last year’s numbers and has since been moved elsewhere within Canon’s business structure.

A breakdown of the net sales and operating income of Canon’s respective business divisions for its third quarter.

Throughout its presentation for investors, Canon specifically references the ‘deterioration of [the] macro-environment,’ which is more or less investor spin for the camera market is in decline—a fact backed up by CIPA numbers, as well as numbers from other camera manufacturers during the same time period. Canon also echos the sentiment that you’ll see in Nikon and Sony’s report below, saying there is ‘intensifying price competition.’ Interestingly though, Canon isn’t downgrading its forecast for the remainder of the year—something Nikon has done for two straight quarters now as you’ll see below.

Canon also notes that it’s working to lower inventory before the end of FY2019. Based on numbers provided, Canon has ¥157B worth of inventory as of the end of FY2019 Q3; less than it had this time last year (¥174B), but still higher than previous FY2019 quarters.

A breakdown from Canon’s Q3 financial presentation that discloses current inventory levels compared to previous quarters and last year.

Something always worth keeping in mind is that Canon’s Imaging Systems business accounts for a relatively small percentage of its overall income. Based on the numbers from FY2018, Canon’s Imaging Systems division represents 25-percent of its overall revenue and 37-percent of its operating profit.

Also, Canon’s FY2019 numbers are skewed when looked at Y/Y, as it moved its broadcasting equipment and cinema-use video cameras from its Imaging System division to its Industry & Others division.

Nikon

Moving onto Nikon, the numbers don’t get any prettier. In its most recent financial statements covering the past two quarters, Nikon says it’s sold 800K interchangeable lens cameras, 1.3M interchangeable lenses and 500K compact cameras. These numbers are down 25-percent, 21-percent and 41-percent Y/Y, respectively.

Revenue, Operating income and unit sales broken down in Nikon’s Q2 financial presentation.

In its financial presentation for investors, Nikon has updated its forecast for how my units it expects to ship this coming fiscal year, as well as the number of units it expects the digital camera market as a whole to bear. Nikon believes it will sell 1.5M interchangeable lens cameras, 2.5 million interchangeable lenses and 900K compact cameras, down 100K units across the board compared to its previous forecast from August 2019 and down 28-percent Y/Y.

Comparing Nikon’s numbers to Canon show the situation is far more dire for Nikon. Canon’s EOS R and EOS RP haven’t done as well as Canon expected, but Canon is forecasting unit sales to drop 17-percent Y/Y whereas Nikon’s forecasting nearly double that at 28-percent. This means Canon is expecting a decline less than the market as a whole according to CIPA’s numbers whereas Nikon is six percentage points worse than what CIPA is reporting.

A chart from Nikon’s Q2 financial presentation that breaks down the sales of its ILCs, interchangeable lenses and compact camera unit sales.

In addition to unit sales, Nikon’s revenue and operating income aren’t cheery either. Over the first half of its FY2020, Nikon reported 119B yen in revenue and an operating profit of just 2B yen. Compared to the first half of its FY2019, those numbers are a 21-percent and 85-percent decrease, respectively.

Much like Canon with its RF-series, the cost Nikon has sunk into its Z-mount system and accompanying lenses has likely contributed to the massive decrease in operating profit. It’s not cheap to develop new systems and lenses, especially considering the amount of capital required to get new factories and fabrication up and running at full scale.

A chart from Nikon’s Q2 financial presentation showing revenue, operating income and unit sales figures compared to last year, as well as the forecast for the remainder of this fiscal year.

Nikon specifically calls out its Imaging Products Business in the presentation, saying it was the only division that wasn’t ‘mostly in line’ with its estimates. The materials specifically say the camera market ‘has deteriorated further as market shrinkage accelerates and competition intensifies.’ It also cites the increased cost of its Z-mount system lineup expansion as ‘a burden’ to its operating profit and notes it overestimated the sales forecast of its Z-series cameras.

For a company that’s stated in the past that its Z-series is more or less the future of the company, continually low numbers isn’t the best look, especially considering how much Nikon relies on its camera division compared to the likes of Canon and Sony. Nikon goes so far as to say it hopes to ‘fundamentally transform’ its Imaging Products Business to ‘generate enough profits to justify [the Imaging Products Business] existence as a business unit.’

Sony

Of all the financial results we look at, Sony’s has consistently been one of the most challenging to gain details insights on. Due to how they structure their business segments, we can’t really delve into the figures in detail as we can with Canon and Nikon. However, Sony didn’t specifically mention anything too positive or negative about its camera division, which hints that there wasn’t anything too notable about its latest quarters.

A breakdown of sales and operating income for Sony’s Electronics Products & Solutions division. This division includes Sony’s camera sales, as well as mobile devices, televisions and other electronics.

According to Sony’s current Q2 and Q3 reports, its Electronics Products & Solutions EP&S segment — which includes digital cameras amongst other electronic products — pulled in 977.4B yen in revenue and 66.5B yen in operating profit. This is a decrease of 13-percent and an increase of 35-percent Y/Y, respectively. Sony doesn’t elaborate much on the sales of camera gear, aside from saying that overall unit sales have decreased year over year.

A breakdown in sales and operating income for Sony’s Imaging & Sensing Solutions division, which is responsible for the manufacturing of its imaging sensors.

Moving onto Sony’s Imaging & Sensing Solutions (I&SS) segment, which is a separate — but related — business responsible for making its image sensors, the latest reports put its cumulative Q2 and Q3 earnings at 541B yen and 126B yen. This is an increase of 18-percent and 64-percent, respectively. Sony says a ‘significance increase in sales of image sensors for mobile products,’ mostly due to smartphone manufacturers now putting multiple camera units in their devices, as the main reason for such dramatic growth Y/Y in both revenue and operating profit

Conclusion

All in all, there’s plenty to take away from the latest numbers and results. The digital camera market continues to shrink and although full-frame mirrorless cameras from Canon and Nikon are somewhat picking up the slack in sales, they’re not entirely canceling out the decrease in DSLR shipments—especially for Nikon.

Furthermore, the cost of research and development (not to mention marketing and promotional material) that goes into launching cameras and lenses with new mounts has dramatically impacted the operating profits of the imaging divisions. As Canon and Nikon continue to pump money into their newer systems, operating profit will likely stay low until economy of scales kicks in and the new fabrication components are paid off. But declining DSLR and compact sales without corresponding growth in the mirrorless market isn’t going to make the transitions any easier to get through.

The market appears to be dropping at a slower rate than it has in past years, but it’s still not great news. At what point it will stabilize remains to be seen, but with an Olympic year next year and more mirrorless developments in the work across the entire industry, it’ll likely be a while until we find out.

‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ Is the Best Wes Anderson Movie You’ve Never Seen

It’s been a decade since The Fantastic Mr. Fox was released and our appreciation has only grown deeper over time.

Wes Anderson is known for his cunning dialogue and whimsical visuals within the live-action realm, but when he announced he was making a stop motion movie, it felt like an ancient prophecy was being fulfilled. Years of hard work resulted in The Fantastic Mr. Fox, a star-studded film that took on a children’s book and added the snark and heart that made it a classic.

Now, ten years later, we look back at this quiet masterpiece and appreciate things we might have missed at the time.

Check out this video from the Royal Ocean Society and let’s talk after the jump.

It’s crazy to think about, but in 2009, Wes Anderson was on a downward turn.

Darjeeling Limited was not a critical darling and The Life Aquatic failed hard at the box office.

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Advisory: Some Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Lenses are Causing Cameras to Malfunction

Sony Japan has issued a service advisory for a limited number of 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master lenses, which are apparently causing cameras to malfunction when attached. If your lens is affected, Sony will inspect and repair it free of charge.

The advisory, which has only appeared in Japan thus far, warns that certain Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lenses cause your camera to malfunction when attached to a full-frame mirrorless Sony alpha system camera. The issues identified by the advisory (and translated by Google Translate) are:

  • Camera does not accept operation when this lens is attached
  • Camera screen does not display properly when this lens is attached

Serial numbers between 1800502 and 1823192 are affected.

If your lens’ serial number falls into that range, the advisory page includes a form where you can input your serial and see if your specific 16-35 is affected by this recall. If it is, Sony is offering to inspect and repair it free of charge any time between now and March 31st, 2023.

It’s worth noting once again that this particular product advisory has only been posted to the Sony Japan website, and does not appear on the English language support page for the 16-35mm f/2.8 GM. We’ve reached out to Sony to find out if this issue is limited to lenses sold only in Japan, and will update this post if and when we hear back.

(via Sony Addict)

A Portrait Photographer Takes Another Look at the EOS R, but That’s Not Why You Should Watch This Video

A Portrait Photographer Takes Another Look at the EOS R, but That’s Not Why You Should Watch This Video

The Canon EOS R gained Sony-like AI Servo Eye AF with a firmware update earlier in the year, and now, photographer Manny Ortiz takes a look at how it performs. The short answer is that it’s definitely way better, and he says as much, but the real reason to watch the video is to see Ortiz in action on a portrait shoot. It’s fascinating.

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Your Favorite Nick Toons Are Coming to Netflix

Fans of Ren and Stimpy and other classic Nickelodeon animated series are gonna be glad they have a Netflix account.

Netflix is hoping to cash in on all your ’90s nostalgia with the help of Nickelodeon cartoons.

They just signed an exclusive deal with Nick to bring all their Nick Toons and shows exclusively to the streamer. Brian Robbins, President of Nickelodeon said in a statement:

“Nickelodeon’s next step forward is to keep expanding beyond linear platforms, and our broader content partnership with Netflix is a key path toward that goal. The Nickelodeon Animation Studio is home to the world-class artists and storytellers behind some of the most iconic characters and shows ever made, and our head of Animation, Ramsey Naito, has been building on that legacy over the past year by ramping up development and production exponentially. The ideas and work at our Studio are flowing, and we can’t wait to work with Melissa and the Netflix team on a premium slate of original animated content for kids and families around the world.”

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‘Spider-Verse’ Director Peter Ramsey Reveals How You Can Survive Studio Politics

Before director Peter Ramsey won an Oscar for co-directing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, he made DreamWorks’ underrated animated film, Rise of the Guardians. Here’s what went wrong.

All of us have a favorite movie or TV show that we’re extremely passionate about, but for whatever reason, it didn’t do well. A studio released it quietly with zero support, or shelved it for years without explanation. For me, that’s Season One of AMC’s The Terror.

And for director Peter Ramsey, that project would probably be Rise of the Guardians, which he made and was released in 2012 by DreamWorks Animation. The movie was a notorious flop and was poorly received by critics, even though its creative team was amazing. I mean, Roger Deakins was even a visual consultant! So what happened?

As part of an ongoing series on animation, Vulture recently sat down for an interview with Ramsey. Over the course of the discussion, he talks about the atmosphere at the studio during production and how DreamWorks’ marketing likely influenced how the film was received. Let’s dive in to some of his most important quotes.

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This Guy Created a Custom ‘Rifle-Style Grip’ for His Crazy 5x Macro Rig

Photographer Nicholas Sherlock is back at it with his crazy 3D printed creations. After creating a crazy 5x macro setup using a 3D printed 300mm extension tube earlier this year, he decided to design and build a special ‘rifle-style grip’ that would allow him to more easily use that monstrous rig.

“I’ve been having great fun taking photos of the tiniest insects around the botanic garden with it at up to 5x magnification,” writes Sherlock on Reddit. “However, the whole setup was a bit ungainly, with the tube+lens assembly being 500mm long in total, and almost all of the weight being located right at the lens end.”

In order to operate the camera with his right hand, his left hand was left carrying most of the load from the actual rig. So, taking inspiration from the iconic Zenit Fotosniper, he decided to “[bring] some of the ergonomic features evolved for guns to bear on the problem.”

That’s how he ended up with this:

His version, of course, was custom made for the macro setup in question, which includes a DSLR, 180mm macro lens, 300mm extension tube, and lights.

With my design, my right hand can now take up its fair share of the weight load,” explains Sherlock. “That combined with being able to brace the setup against my shoulder using the stock reduces camera shake and makes it easier to keep my tiny subjects in the frame.”

And since he wants everybody to know, right away, that this is a TOY and not an actual gun, he added a “rainbow camo” pattern to the whole setup and a blaze orange plate to the tip, underneath the lens.

Here’s a closer look at the design of the “rifle grip”:

The camera’s shutter release port connects to the trigger to provide a two-stage trigger (half and full press)
Looking down “the business end!”
Closeup of the two microswitches that provide the trigger

While this might seem a little bit… out there, Sherlock reports that it actually works, and works well. “I’m seeing a definite increase in both the percentage of keepers I’m coming home with,” he says, “and how long I can keep shooting before my arm feels like it’s going to fall off.”

Here are some sample images as proof:

To see more of Sherlock’s impressive DIY work—all in the name of photography—check out this 3D printed softbox he made at the beginning of the year, read up on the 5x macro setup that inspired this grip, or give his website a visit.

And if you want to build one of your own rifle-style grip, you can head over to Sherlock’s Thingiverse page where he has published detailed instructions on how to do just that.


Image credits: All photos by Nicholas Sherlock and used with permission.

5 Things You Need to Make a Great Movie Trailer

Movie trailer expert Jessica Fox explains what the five styles are and how they can be used to make a trailer successful.

Movie trailers are the first taste a studio gives you of the filmmakers’ hard work.

They want them to hook you right away and get you into theaters. So, think about your favorite movie trailers of all time. What works in them? What made you want to see those movies?

Jessica Fox, a movie trailer expert, says that trailers are tools used to convey story, spectacle, star power, and style. But how can you jam all that into two and a half minutes without feeling too crowded or completely confusing?

The answer is in the style of trailers and how they work. Check out this video from Vanity Fair and let’s talk after the break!

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Put The Battery INSIDE the Cage with the Power Cage

Camera cages are great for mounting loads of accessories to your camera rig, but with Power Cage from Blind Spot Gear, the cage itself can also keep them powered.

Scottish Company Blind Spot Gear just can’t stop turning out interesting solutions to the creative problems filmmakers deal with on a day to day basis. It started out with powerful, affordable, lightweight LED lighting, but they’ve since expanded into spending a lot of time thinking about power, including the very cool Power Junkie they launched last year to allow filmmakers to power anything, including their phone, with the Sony NP batteries we all have too many of.

They are back at it with an interesting twist on the camera cage: the Power Cage, which puts a battery inside the physical body of a cage to not only give filmmakers more mounting points but also power for both their cameras and accessories all in one unit.

Check out their Kickstarter campaign video below:

Camera cages are all the rage since they allow cameras that aren’t really designed for accessories to hold more than the standard hot shoe mount allows.

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12 Weeks of Christmas: 7 of the Best Voice Assistant Commands

12 Weeks of Christmas: 7 of the Best Voice Assistant Commands

Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Assistant are here to help, and that has led to a home invasion not seen since the Body Snatchers first lifted B-rate movies in 1956. Voice control is here to stay, so how can photographers make use of it? Here are seven of the best queries.

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