Sigma announces its 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN lens will ship ‘early December’ for $1,099

Two weeks ago we learned of Sigma’s newly-designed 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art zoom lens for Sony E-Mount and L-mount cameras. Today, Sigma announced pricing and availability, stating the lens will be available in ‘early December’ for $1,099.

Below is the announcement press release in its entirety:

Sigma Announces Ship Date and Pricing for 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art

Available in Sony E and L-Mount for $1,099 USD, the second Sigma Art zoom lens for full-frame mirrorless camera systems will ship in early December 2019

Ronkonkoma, NY – November 15, 2019 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading camera, photography lens, cine lens, flash and accessories manufacturer, today announced that its all new24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art, designed from the ground up for mirrorless cameras, will begin shipping in early December 2019 for $1,099 USD. Following the launch of the critically acclaimed Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art, the all new 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art emerges as an excellent mid-range zoom companion lens to its predecessor.

Key Features and Benefits of the 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art
The second newly-designed Art zoom lens from Sigma is a large-aperture standard zoom for full-frame mirrorless camera systems and will be available in Sony E-mount and L-mount. A completely new design for superior performance with mirrorless camera systems, the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art has several new features:

  • Best-in-class optical performance. An 11-blade rounded diaphragm, six sheets of “F” low dispersion (FLD) glass and two sheets of special low dispersion (SLD) glass are employed to take advantage of the new optical formula developed specifically for mirrorless camera systems. Three aspheric lenses prevent aberrations such as axial chromatic aberration or sagittal coma aberrations resulting in uniformity and superior optical performance from the center to the periphery throughout the zoom range. In addition to Super Multi-Layer Coating, Sigma’s proprietary Nano Porous Coating is employed to achieve high-contrast and clear image quality. This lens is designed to be less affected by strong incident light such as flare.
  • Ensuring compatibility with the latest full-frame mirrorless camera bodies. The Sigma 24–70mm F2.8 DG DN ensures compatibility with various types of the latest full-frame mirrorless camera bodies for Sony E-mount and L-mount, (including the new Sigma fp camera), capable of exerting the best performance under any photographic circumstances.
  • Flexibility for various uses and photographic environments. Featuring a dust and splash-proof body and zoom lock mechanism for preventing the lens barrel from extending unexpectedly, the 24-70mm F2.8 meets a wide range of needs for a variety of photographic environments. The maximum magnifications are 1:2.9 at the wide-angle end and 1:4.5 at the telephoto end, which provides a wider range of expression for close-up photography. The minimum focusing distance is 18 cm at the wide-angle end.

Additional features:

  • Zoom lock switch
  • Lens hood with a lock
  • Mount with dust- and splash-proof structure
  • Compatible with the Lens Aberration Correction
  • Available Mount conversion service
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • Evaluation with Sigma’s own MTF measuring system: A1
  • 11-blade rounded diaphragm
  • High-precision, rugged brass bayonet mount
  • “Made in Japan” craftsmanship
  • Programmable AFL button on the lens barrel

The Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art will begin shipping in early December 2019 and will be available in L-mount and Sony E-mount through authorized US dealers for $1,099 USD.

More details are available at: https://www.sigmaphoto.com/24-70mm-f2-8-dg-dn-a.

Interview with photographer David Burnett: ‘I felt that historic pang’

© 2019 David Burnett/Contact Press Images

It’s not every day that you see someone using a 4 x 5 film camera on TV, and certainly not during the coverage of one of this years’ most-watched events: the opening on Wednesday of the public phase of the house impeachment enquiry into President Donald Trump. But as diplomat William Taylor and State Department official George Kent took their seats, our eye was caught by one figure among the crowd of photographers jostling for a shot, and his camera.

After some quick Twitter research, we identified him as David Burnett, multi award-winning photographer, and veteran of three impeachment hearings. His camera? A custom-made ‘Aero Liberator’. We caught up with David on his drive back to New York after the hearings to learn more about his work, his approach to photography, and that camera.

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


When did you start shooting large format film?

I’ve been shooting with my Speed Graphic for 15, 16 years. I started in 2003-4 doing politics, then I did the Olympics, and some presidential stuff – John Kerry and George Bush. I won a bunch of World Press Photo prizes in 2004-5, ‘Best Sports Story’ with the pictures taken with my Speed Graphic. Along the way I met this guy called John Minnicks, who I happily describe as a mad scientist, who takes a camera and then makes it into something else. John made me this camera, which he calls the ‘Aero Liberator’.

He figured out a way to make it using a Graflex Super D, which is a sweet little camera, and just such a beautiful little thing. So he puts the Aero Ektar lens on it. I’m sort of responsible for the re-birth of that lens in the past 15 years, because for my Speed Graphic, I was getting tired of shooting slow lenses. So I looked around, and I found this F2.5 lens, from a WWII reconnaissance camera.

There must be easier ways of working, as a photojournalist….

If you’re shooting with film holders, you have created for yourself a major impediment. Nobody did that to you, you did it to yourself. And in a way, you could say to yourself ‘well that was kind of a dumb move, why can’t you just shoot cool digital cameras like everybody else?’ And I’ve got Sony a7s and a9s and I love those cameras. But one frame, having the wherewithal and the guts to slow down and figure out when that one frame is supposed to be shot, that’s the real deal.

WW1 re-enactors at the 2019 Veteran’s Day Parade, New York City.
© 2019 David Burnett/Contact Press Images

So the other day, I walked up and down 5th Avenue during the Veterans Day parade, I shot 18 frames. I’ve been shooting this stuff for 15 years now. You could ask why would you tie one hand behind your back by working like that? When you force yourself to step up to that challenge, and you get a picture – and you don’t always get a picture! I may not have anything from today, in which case my so-called ‘heroic’ actions will have been for naught! But it’s worth a try.

I’ve been doing this a long time, and I love being fired up enough to still want to do something a little different, and a little challenging.

Did you know that you were featured in the live stream from the hearing?

I had no idea that I was on-camera. We’d all just gotten into the room to figure out where we were going to be. I was just standing there with my camera, and I’d brought along my little Sony a6500, which today I was using with an old 1940s Kodak Cine lens, a 50mm F1.6 Anastigmat. It’s very fun! It rekindles the fun, and makes it challenging.

David Burnett at the opening of the house impeachment hearings on Tuesday November 12th, with his custom ‘Aero Liberator’ 4 x 5 film camera. (NBC News)

Your first color assignment was covering Apollo 11, and that was 50 years ago…

I know, that was a long time ago!

What keeps you doing it?

I don’t know if you’ve seen the wonderful movie that Stephen Wilkes did about Jay Maisel? It’s called ‘Jay, Myself’. There’s a wonderful moment in there when Jay says ‘I love photographs, but I really love photographing’. You have to decide which is your dominant personal motivation. And watching the movie I was thinking ‘well, I know which one I would choose – I wonder if I chose the right one?’

There are many times when you don’t get the picture, but the act of being there and trying to get it is not a bad thing.

I love photographing. I’d prefer to be paid for it, but there are times when it’s pretty clear I’m not going to be paid for it and if I want to go shoot something, I’ll go shoot it. There are many times when you don’t get the picture that you want, but the act of being there and trying to get it is not a bad thing. Just be happy to share and discover.

Were you on assignment today?

No, that was just me. I was at the Nixon hearings, and Clinton, and I felt that historic pang.

So this is your third impeachment?

I will be my third, yeah! But it’s not really about politics for me. I’ve been going to the white house for 52 years. The only thing I care about is how I feel when I walk through the North West gate. It’s always special. I’ve been there for Nixon, Johnson, both Bushes – everybody. For me it’s about the institution, and how it still works. That’s the cool thing. That’s really what draws me to politics. Eventually you’ll find yourself in a place where for 200 years people have been doing the same thing.

It’s a great tradition to be able to walk into that place with a camera and try not to get to beat by everyone around you. And that happens a lot! Turns out there are a lot of really great photographers, men and women, that work there.

President Lyndon B. Johnson at a joint session.
© 2019 David Burnett/Contact Press Images

Watching you in the footage today, I’m interested to know about your process.

With this camera, it’s a mirror reflex so you look down into it from overhead. I kind of eyeball it, roughly, then I’m just looking at Ambassador Taylor to see if I can identify a moment which might be more interesting than half a second ago, or half a second from now. A thing like this, where you don’t have long, and then you have to back away, I try to get my focus where I think he’s going to be, but I don’t always shoot right away. You’ve got one shot, and by the time you’re ready for the next one that’s maybe 20 or 30 seconds. I can do it pretty quickly, I’m not bad with it, but there’s a lot to do on those cameras.

The ‘Speed‘ Graphic? I mean – compared to what? Well, compared to what came before it, it was pretty good.

Natalie Coughlin, Olympic Gold Medalist.
© 2019 David Burnett/Contact Press Images

What kind of reaction does the old film equipment get?

When you bring out a camera like that, people tend to give you a second of hesitation, before they say ‘no’. It puts you in a slightly different place as a photographer, as a journalist and an artist. Compared to if you were showing up with the usual three or four digital cameras and all that stuff. ‘OK, this is a little different’. And it’s much appreciated, by me. As long as you don’t drop it, or do something stupid, it definitely gives you a little bit of an edge.

I was the only guy at the Olympics to get a letter saying ‘he’s authorized to carry a tripod’.

It’s hilarious – I used to carry my Speed Graphic around at the Olympics. I was the only guy at the last three Olympics to get a letter from the Olympics chief saying ‘he’s authorized to carry a tripod’. It’s been great, I made a few really good pictures, and maybe you could have made the same picture with a digital camera, but when you see all the flaws that can happen [with large format film] it has more of an honesty about it. There are 100 things that could go wrong, and any one of them can really screw you up.

If it turns out that you didn’t get any shots from today, how would you feel?

Well, I looked at my digital pictures already, and honestly, I’m going to look at the papers tonight and tomorrow and see who made a great picture. There was some real talent in that room. I mean real talent. Doug Mills, Damon Winter – those guys, it’s hard to do better than either of them. Scott Applewhite from AP was there, there were some really good people in the room.

So if I don’t get anything, I won’t feel like a total schmo but I’ll be a little disappointed. But I made a couple of good pictures at the veterans parade on Monday and that kicked me in the ass to decide to go give it a try.

How long before you’ll know?

Well it’s Wednesday night now, so maybe Friday afternoon if I’m lucky. I’ll let you know!

Visit David Burnett’s website to see more of his work

Learn more about the Aero Liberator by John Minnicks

Sigma’s 24-70mm f/2.8 ART Lens for E-Mount is Half the Price of Sony’s Version

One of Sigma’s most anticipated lenses for the full-frame Sony E-Mount cameras has an official price tag, and it’s shockingly affordable. The recently announced Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 Art lens—a direct competitor to Sony’s expensive 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master—will begin shipping in early December for just $1,100.

The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art—which is designed from the ground up for full-frame mirrorless cameras—will be available for both the Sony E-Mount and Sigma/Panaasonic/Leica’s own L-mount, but it’s gotten the most attention from Sony a7 series users who want a native 24-70mm f/2.8 lens for less than the (admittedly exceptional) $2,200 Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM. The main third-party alternative, up until now, has been the even-more-affordable Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD, but that’s not a true 24-70.

To that end, Sigma just delivered in spades. With a price tag of just $1,100, it’s literally half the price of Sony’s G Master lens, while promising to deliver the kind of pro-grade performance and build quality that’s become synonymous with the Art series of Sigma lenses. For L-Mount shooters, it’s also half the price of Panasonic’s LUMIX 24-70mm f/2.8 S Pro lens.

To learn more about this lens, head over to the Sigma website or go ahead and pre-order yours here. Sigma says this lens will ship in “early December,” so expect some real-world tests and comparisons to start pouring in very soon.

(via Sigma via SLR Lounge)

Using Capture One for Your Photography in Three Easy Steps

Using Capture One for Your Photography in Three Easy Steps

For those of you who keep hearing about Capture One, but wondering if it’s worth the trouble, this one might be for you.

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Olympus issues statement disputing rumors its imaging division will shut down within a year

Last weekend, an administrator for a Personal View forum claimed ‘closure is near’ for Olympus’ camera division, spurring a number of rumors that Olympus would shut down within a year. Since then, Olympus’ has issued a statement to Sina Finance News (translated) that suggests these rumors are little more than hearsay.

The post was made by a Personal View adminitrator who goes under the username Vitaliy_Kiselev. It included two images of Olympus’ latest financial presentation and said underneath that Olympus’ camera division is in ‘total instability’ with various Olympus employee’s ‘running and looking for new positions.’

A screenshot of the forum post made on the Personal View forums on November 9, 2019.

Vitaliy_Kiselev went on to say in the post that ‘rumors and talks’ suggest Olympus’ camera division will shutter some time between ‘January-March,’ presumably this upcoming year, and ends by claiming there are talks ‘that [Olympus’] development team and some equipment can be picked either by Sony or Samsung.’

In response to the aforementioned post, Chinese financial publication Sina Finance News asked Olympus to comment on the rumors to confirm or deny their accuracy. Olympus’ official response was (machine-translated):

The image business has always been the driving force of technology, including imaging technology and mass production technology, for medical and The science field has made tremendous contributions. As stated in the new business strategy, since the imaging business and the scientific business are important businesses supporting the company, we will continue to work on the improvement of profitability and efficiency in these two business areas.

Sina Finance News followed up to further question what the plan was for Olympus’ imaging and scientific business considering there was no specific mention of either of these divisions in its most recent financial presentation material. In response, Olympus said (machine-translated):

Detailed information about these business plans can be found in the next quarter’s earnings.

While Olympus’ answers are vague, the statements suggest that Olympus is continuing efforts to keep its imaging division alive. It’s possible these statements aren’t in contention with the forum post made by Vitaliy_Kiselev, but it does seem much less damning than the initial reports suggest.

Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review: Long Live the King!

I’ve been shooting with the Ricoh GR III for the past few months and I can tell you it definitley lives up to the hype. It’s small, stealthy and produces amazing images but is this the ultimate street photography camera? My Ricoh GR III street photography review has the answer.

Overview

The Ricoh GR III is the latest in a long line of well respected cameras that started with the film GR1 in 1996. The combination of small size, exquisite build quality and amazing optics made the GR1 an instant hit with photographers.

When the first digital GR with a .5″ sensor was released in 2005, a whole new generation of digital shooters were hooked. The first APS-C digitial GR came out in 2013 and was followed by the GR2 in 2015. And that brings us to the GR3 – the ultimate evolution of the GR line backed by 19 years of experience creating the finest point and shoot cameras on the market.

The Ricoh GR3 boasts a ton of new features including:

  • Brand new 24MP APS-C sensor.
  • Newly designed 18.3mm (28mm equivalent) F2.8 lens.
  • Hybrid AF with both phase and contrast detection.
  • 3 Axis IBIS for 4 stops of shake reduction.
  • Ultrasonic sensor cleaning. Finally!
  • Highlight-weighted AE.
  • 3″ touch sensitive LCD for framing and viewing images.

So there’s all that – but you can get specs anywhere. I’m more interested in the character of a given camera and how it performs in the real world while shooting on the street.

So let’s get into it!

Body Size and Handling

The Ricoh GR3 is noticably smaller than the GR2 it replaces. But this more “pocketable” size means there’s a few buttons missing from the back of the camera. New users will never notice the difference but seasoned GR2 shooters will likely miss the dedicated AF function switch and +/- toggle.

A lot of street shooters used the button on the AF function switch for back button AF which definitely came in handy. But you can get pretty much the same result using the touch to focus feature on the LCD. Just tap the part of the screen you’d like to focus on then half press the shutter and you’re set.

I personally missed the +/- toggle because I had my GR2 set to adjust snap focus distance using these buttons but I quickly realized the GR3 has a button/dial combo for this. Just hold the command dial up and rotate the front dial.

Easy peasy!

I’ve talked to a few people who thought the GR3 might be a bit “too small.” Apart from adapting to the changed controls layout, I never had a problem with the new size. This tiny camera produces professional results and the fact that it’s so small means I’m a lot more likely to have it with me whenever I leave the house. You can’t really complain!

But that never stopped me. LOL!

Sing A Song Of Snap Mode

© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review – Click to enlarge.

Hands down, my favorite feature of any GR camera is the Snap Focus mode. In a nutshell, Snap Focus mode lets you set a fixed focus distance and use aperture to create the amount of depth of field you need to get your subject in focus.

A lot of street photographers (myself included) want the entire frame to be in focus and use composition to draw attention to different elements within the shot. With the Snap Focus on the Ricoh GR III, I can set my aperture at f9 and my snap focus distance to 2 meters and shoot confidently knowing that everything from about 1 meter (3 feet) to infinity is going to be sharp.

No more taking time to think about what you’re going to focus on and aquiring focus. Just set it and forget it!

Timing is critical in street photography and even 1/10th of a second can mean the difference between getting and missing the shot. Snap focus eliminates the time needed to choose a focus point and acquire focus and all you can concentrate on the psychology of the frame.

Leica shooters have been using this kind of zone focus technique for decades and it’s brilliant to see it in a camera like the Ricoh GR III.

You can shoot this way with any mirrorless camera by manually setting the lens to appropriate distance for a given aperture. But most modern cameras don’t have a reliable focus distance scales for manual focus and you have to “estimate” the distance by focusing on an object in the real world.

Ricoh’s implementation is so effortless that I prefer it hands down.

Highlight-Weighted AE FTW!

© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review – Click to enlarge.

Ricoh has included Highlight-weighted metering the GR3 and it’s kind of a big deal. Basically, it’s an AE mode that exposes for the highlights and prevents them from blowing out in high contrast scenes like we often see on the street.

Now I’m a manual exposure kind of shooter. But there are times when AE would come in handy. Partly cloudy days when the light is changing rapidly and unpredictably. Or if I’m in and out of buildings. There’s rarely time to meter the scene without missing the shot!

Highlight weighted AE pretty much matches my own exposure choice if I were metering each shot. I still expose manaully most of the time but I’m telling you – this highlight weighted metering might just lure to me to the dark side…

One little thing – highlight weighted AE can be a bit aggressive so I normally set my exposure compensation to +2/3 stops when using it. Your mileage, of course, may vary!

Image Quality

© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review – Click to enlarge.

The Ricoh GR3 produces images that have a signature look. I don’t want call these images “filmic” because I hate that word. But they definitely have a filmic quality. Colors are accurate and subdued without that sort of video camera sheen you see from so many digital cameras.

Anyone who follows my personal instagram feed can immediately spot the point when I started shooting Ricoh GR3 street photography. The image quality is that polished and unique.

But beyond the perceptual qualities of the image, the new sensor holds its own when shooting higher ISO. I’ve got no problem shooting at 6400 in a pinch and 3200 holds its own with any modern APS-C camera out there.

All in all, the image quality produced by this sensor and lens combo is remarkable to say the least. I have to keep reminding myself that these shots were taken with this tiny little camera!

But enough of me going on about it! Here’s a few of my favorite street shots I’ve taken with the Ricoh GR III.

Click any image to enlarge…

© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review
© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review
© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review
© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review
© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review
© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review
© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review
© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review
© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review
© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review
© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review
© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review
© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review
© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review
© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review
© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review

The LCD Is Pretty Darn Good

The Ricoh GR3 comes equipped with a 3″ Air-Gapless touch LCD for framing and reviewing your shots. Air-Gapless what now?

Basically, a special resin is placed between the LCD and the glass cover to reduce reflection and dispersion of light for better image quality. It sounds a bit like what Apple is using with their latest generation of iPads. Basically the glass is fused to the LCD instead of floating above it. This makes the LCD image appear to be on the top of glass itself instead of something beneath it.

Plus it’s touch sensitive for navigating menus and selecting focus points. This comes in super handy on a camera this small where space is at a premium! (maybe lose?)

I can say the LCD on this camera is bright and clear and perfectly usable even in direct sunlight. But it’s still an LCD and it’s a different way of thinking about the photographic process.

On Shooting With An LCD-Only Camera

© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review – Click to enlarge.

I’m typically an eye-level viewfinder kind of guy who enjoys the precision of framing my shots with an enlarged viewfinder image. Especially one where I can dial in my prescription with a diopter!

But when I look at an EVF, I’m often nagged by the sense that I’m looking “into” the camera. The image appears in real time but it almost seems to be separated from reality by the simple fact that it’s in the camera.

When I shoot with an LCD it takes me back out of the camera and into the action. I can still see the entire scene around the camera as events are unfolding in real time. The camera quickly becomes an extension of me and I’m able to create vibrant images that are alive with the immediacy of the moment.

This really encourages me to explore the world and capture the moments as I stumble upon them. And the act of shooting has become enjoyable again.

Very few cameras have had this effect on me and it’s a highlight for sure.

Battery Life Sucks And I’m Okay With That

Let’s face it. The battery life on the Ricoh GR III pretty much sucks.

If I turn the GR III on and off when I find situations I want to shoot I get around 175 exposures on a fully charged battery. And before you go off on how terrible this is… Those 175 shots might be over 4 or 5 hours of shooting. So it’s not like the battery is unusable.

It’s fine.

But we’ve been completely spoiled by cameras like the Sony A73 with it’s outstanding all-day battery life. So anything less than that feels terrible. This includes the Ricoh GR3. And just about every other camera on the market that’s not the A73. You see where I’m going with this?

Look, batteries are easy to replace when they run out. And if you’re going to shoot with the GR3 you’re going to need a bunch of extra batteries. For me, this is a 4 or 5 battery camera. I might use 3 batteries on a full day of shooting plus I like to have at least one extra fully charged battery on top of whatever I think I’ll use.

I know, buying extra batteries doesn’t magically make the battery life better. But it makes it livable.

Ain’t No Charger In The Box!

While we’re talking about batteries we should talk about the charger. Or should I say, the lack of a charger.

Yup, the GR3 (like a lot of recent cameras) only ships with an adapter to plug your camera into the wall to charge the batteries. In all fairness the GR3 uses a USB-C for charging so it feels a bit more secure than the tiny micro usb on other cameras. Either way, it’s a a terrible solution because you can’t use your camera while you’re charging your batteries.

I ended up springing for the Ricoh BJ-11 battery charger which cost me a whopping 50 bucks! And it’s literally just the part the battery clips into. You have to use the plug and cable that came with the camera which means you can’t double up and charge 2 batteries at once when you’re on the road. And did I mention it’s 50 bucks?

Gah!

Fortunately there’s a number of 3rd party options from companies like Wasabe that won’t break the bank. But it’s still frustrating to have to deal with this – just charge us a bit more and include the damn thing, will ya?

Okay, rant over…

Ultrasonic Sensor Cleaning For Dust Removal

© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review – Click to enlarge.

Dust has been a problem for just about all of the Ricoh GR digital cameras. As the lens extends and retracts it sucks dust into the camera which is promptly deposited on the sensor. Then you have to send the camera back to Ricoh who takes the thing entirely apart to clean the sensor.

Every Ricoh GR user knows this happens and it’s something we’ve had to live with because the features and usability of these cameras is so damn good.

But the Ricoh GR3 now includes sensor cleaning! There are mixed reviews on the inter-web about how well this system works but I haven’t seen any dust on my sensor yet so I haven’t had to put it to the test.

But it’s in there. And ain’t nobody gonna complain about that!

No Flash? No Problem!

© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review – Click to enlarge.

The Ricoh GR3 doesn’t include a built in flash. A lot of people are disappointed by this but honestly – I never used built in flash with the GR2. It was always just another jiggly bit that kind of bugged me.

All my flash street photography work is off-camera so I have to use a wireless trigger anyway. I’d rather have the slightly smaller body with no built in flash to be honest.

If the lack of a built in flash is a deal breaker then this just isn’t the camera for you. I’d argue that you’re missing out on a heck of a good camera though!

Ricoh GR3 Pros & Cons

© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review – Click to enlarge.

Oh man, where do I start with this? There are so many things I love about this camera.

  • Outstanding build quality.
  • Stealthy appearance.
  • Small size is almost pocketable.
  • Leaf shutter makes shooting flash on the street a breeze.
  • Fast power up.
  • Snap focus mode for zone shooting.
  • Signature image quality.
  • Newly designed 28mm equivalent lens.

The list goes on and on…

But as much as I love the Ricoh GR3 there are a few things that could have been better.

  • The LCD is good but could always be brighter.
  • Mode dial is a bit fiddly.
  • Accessory ring cover is ridiculously loose.
  • No charger in the box.
  • Crap battery life

None of these negatives change my opinion of this excellent little camera.

Conclusion

© Karl Edwards – Ricoh GR III Street Photography Review – Click to enlarge.

The Ricoh GR3 is a major step forward for the Ricoh GR series of cameras and while it’s not perfect, it’s a great choice for street photography.

You can still buy the GR2 for an excellent price and it’s pretty tempting. But the advances in image quality, high ISO performance and overall usability DEFINITELY make the GR3 worth the difference.

I have no problem recommending this camera for any street shooter looking for a smaller kit that doesn’t sacrifice image quality or usability for size.

The Ricoh GR III is my daily driver for street photography. In fact, I don’t even think about using another camera. Anyone who knows me knows I’m always looking for my next camera. But this time around, I’d rather just keep shooting.

And I don’t see that changing any time soon.


About the author: Karl Edwards is a passionate street photographer based in Toronto, Canada. He’s also the founder and editor-in-chief of StreetShootr.com, a great blog dedicated entirely to the elusive art of candid street photography. This article originally appeared here.

Hannah Leder, Alexander Kotcheff, and Jacqueline Beiro on Their 127-Day Shoot and Doing it All on the Independent Comedy, The Planters

When the book of no-budget filmmaking war stories is written The Planters should get its own chapter. Not only were Hannah Leder and Alexandra Kotcheff the co-writers and co-directors of this truly independent comedy, they also served as its cinematographer and camera operator, gaffer, production designer, wardrobe designer, hair stylist, sound recordist, and — oh yes — its two lead actors. With only producer Jacqueline Beiro and a few supporting performers rounding out the production team, Leder and Kotcheff persisted through desert heat and nearly 130 days of filming to produce their feature debut. Of course, none of this would […]

Ever Wondered Why Broadcast Cameras Are so Big?

Ever Wondered Why Broadcast Cameras Are so Big?

Television studio cameras are massive when compared with any DSLR photography setup and are even bigger than most cinematography rigs. Check out this video for a fantastic breakdown of why they tend to be so large and cumbersome.

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Review of the Tiltaing Pocket 6K cage system

Tilta has a new line of cages and accessories called Tiltaing. It’s a very modular approach, and Tilta is trying to make it easier to rig up a few different cameras with the same accessories. For now, the BMPCC 4K/6K, DJI Osmo Action, Panasonic GH-Series, Sony A7/A9, Z Cam E2C, E2G, E2-S6, E2-F6, and E2-F8. … Continued

The post Review of the Tiltaing Pocket 6K cage system appeared first on Newsshooter.

Free Update Adds Real-Time Animal Eye AF to the Sony RX10 IV

The Sony RX10 IV is one of (if not the) most popular bridge/superzoom cameras on the market, and it just got better. As promised in an earlier announcement, Sony has released a free firmware update that improves the RX10’s autofocus by adding Real-Time Animal Eye AF.

Real-Time Animal Eye AF first debuted in Sony’s E-Mount ILCs, but the feature—which will no-doubt be extremely appealing to amateur shutterbugs—is making its way into the RX series with Firmware Version 2.0 for the RX10 IV.

The update is available to download now, and according to the release notes it:

  • Adds Real-Time Eye AF for animals
  • Enables the possibility to operate the Real-Time Eye AF by half-pressing the shutter button
  • Improves the overall stability of the camera

The release notes also list two caveats: You can’t detect human and animal eyes simultaneously, and Animal Eye AF may not work in every situation depending on the “environment, animal type or the movement of the animal.”

Here’s a quick demo of the feature in action on Sony’s more expensive a7 series cameras:

To learn more about firmware version 2.00 for the RX10 IV—or if you want to go ahead and download/install it for yourself— head over to the RX10 IV support page where you’ll find downloads for both macOS and Windows.

This Remarkable Algorithm ‘Removes the Water’ From Underwater Images

This Remarkable Algorithm 'Removes the Water' From Underwater Images

An engineer and oceanographer has created a remarkable algorithm that can “remove the water” from underwater images, giving them back remarkable color and clarity, as if the water was never there at all.

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THROWBACK FRIDAY: How to Create Suspense Like Hitchcock with Jeffery Michael Bays

Once you press play it will take a few seconds for the episode to start playing. Please note: Throwback Fridays are archival episodes from the Indie Film Hustle Podcast. After many requests from the IFH Tribe to bring back some of the show’s best episodes, I decided to create Throwback Fridays. These episodes will not be posted every…

The post THROWBACK FRIDAY: How to Create Suspense Like Hitchcock with Jeffery Michael Bays appeared first on Indie Film Hustle®.

Instagram hidden-likes trial goes global after months of regional testing

After testing it across several regions earlier in the year, Instagram started hiding ‘likes’ for accounts based in the United States last week. Now, the Facebook-owned company has announced on Twitter it’s rolling the test out on a global scale.

The trial is part of an initiative aimed at making users focus on the quality of the content they are posting rather than on how many likes their posts are receiving. Those users included in the trial won’t see a like-count on other people’s images and videos, but can still see the numbers for their own posts.

Instagram says feedback on the trial so far has been positive but the company is aware that removing like counts constitutes a fundamental change to its platform and therefore is expanding the test to ‘learn more from our global community.’

It is also aware of the importance of like counts for some of its users, such as influencers who use followers and likes as a currency in sponsorship negotiations, and says it is ‘actively thinking through ways for creators to communicate value to their partners.’, without specifying yet what these ways could be.

“…The Story of a Girl Who Really Loves Her Father and Also Knows She Has to Leave this Complicated, Toxic Relationship”: Writer/director Annabelle Attanasio on Mickey and the Bear

A high-school student in a small Montana town faces tough choices about her life in Mickey and the Bear, the debut feature from writer and director Annabelle Attanasio.  Starring Camila Morrone as Mickey and James Badge Dale as her father Hank, a veteran with drug issues, the movie probes their troubled relationship with unusual insight and compassion. Attanasio trained as an actor and dancer and was cast in roles on The Knick (Cinemax) and the CBS series Bull, and also attended NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She has written and directed numerous shorts. Mickey and the Bear premiered at […]

Atomos Sumo Update: Asynchronous Live Multicam Switching

At the Inter BEE show in Tokyo this week, Atomos announced a major update for the Sumo 19 – asynchronous multicam switching. This Sumo update gives their do-it-all unit just one more tool in the kit.

Atomos Sumo19 can record 4 ISO feeds and 1 program – all to the same SSD (Image credit: Atomos)

What is it?

First, some context. Atomos has been creating high-quality external recorders for some time now, and the Sumo is their largest and most powerful unit to date. It is fully HDR-ready, capable of displaying a claimed 10+ stops of dynamic range at 1200nits. It is also one of only a few devices capable of capturing ProRes RAW.

The Atomos Sumo is designed to be a do-it-all box, capable of replacing multiple pieces of hardware in the pipeline of smaller productions. “Save space by replacing several boxes in your rack with a single Sumo19,” brags the Atomos website. In terms of video feeds, it can handle signal conversions, both HDMI and SDI inputs, and record 4 ISO (isolated) video feeds and 1 stitched-together program feed to a single SSD. It can also output that program feed by either HDMI or SDI if it isn’t the final stop in your pipeline. On the audio front, it features two balanced XLR inputs, with full 48v phantom power and dedicated gain controls. And that’s all on top of being a great HDR monitor.

Atomos Sumo19 can live-switch asynchronous feeds with this update (Image credit: Atomos)

So What’s New?

So with this latest Sumo update, Atomos has set their sights on removing one more step between your cameras and your recorder. AtomOS 9.2 for Sumo 19 will allow asynchronous live multicam switching. Translation: no genlock, no problem. While we don’t know how this will actually work, we can speculate. One common practice is to hold a drifting feed in a small buffer until it falls back into sync.

But however it works, the Sumo will also record an XML file alongside the ISO and program feeds, so that everything can be brought straight into your NLE of choice with all of your edits in place. For that matter, it can even track whether you used a hard cut or a dissolve in the live recording, both of which can be configured to either a single- or a double-tap.

The Takeaway

These updates, on top of the already-existing features of the Sumo, make it an incredibly useful tool for any multi-camera production, live or not. Atomos continues to put powerful tools in the hands of filmmakers who wouldn’t have had access to them before. The update is available for download now.

The new Sumo19 asynchronous switching function is on display in the Atomos booth (Hall 8 #8401) at Inter BEE 2019 in Tokyo, Japan (Nov 13-15, 2019).

What is your multi-cam workflow? Would this feature tempt you to buy a Sumo? What is still missing? Let us know in the comments!

The post Atomos Sumo Update: Asynchronous Live Multicam Switching appeared first on cinema5D.

Apple 16-Inch MacBook Pro Announced – A Laptop For Filmmakers?

Yesterday, Apple announced the new 16-inch MacBook Pro featuring a processor with up to 8-cores, 64GB of memory, a new AMD Radeon Pro 5000M graphics card, and an astonishing 8TB SSD drive with up to 8TB. Let’s take a closer look at Apple’s most powerful laptop ever for creatives on the move.

16-Inch MacBook Pro For Creatives

There were a lot of rumors online about it, but the wait is finally over: yes, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is real. This new model is currently Apple’s top-of-the-line laptop, and it replaces the actual 15.4-inch MacBook Pro.

This 16-inch MacBook Pro features a Retina display with a maximum brightness of 500 nits, similar to previous models. The resolution of the screen is 3072 x 1920, with a pixel density of 226 PPI, and it covers the P3 wide color gamut. So this new model is 0.6 inches larger, but most of the magic happens inside. They made the screen bezel larger without increasing the footprint of the laptop, thinning out the black border around the screen.

16InchMacbookPro_Featured

Image credit: Apple

16-Inch MacBook Pro Features

You can now configure it with an 8-core Intel i9 9th-generation processors with Turbo Boost speeds up to 5.0 GHz. According to Apple, these new CPUs are up to 2.1 times faster than the previous models. More CPU power means more heat, and Apple redesigned the thermal design on the inside for better cooling performances. Let’s now hope that this redesign will avoid CPU thermal throttling which was a problem encountered with the previous generation.

16InchMacbookPro_02

Image credit: Apple

Also, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is the first Apple laptop that you can (finally) max out to 64GB of RAM. This is no secret that video editing software, in general, is memory hungry, and the more RAM you have, the better it will perform.

On top of that, you can configure the laptop with up to 8TB of internal SSD storage, which is a world premiere. On the other hand, this storage upgrade will set you back an additional $2.200.

Finally, on the graphics side, you can upgrade the new AMD Radeon Pro 5000M graphics card up to 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM. This new AMD graphics card is “up to 80 percent faster in DaVinci Resolve compared with the Radeon Pro Vega 20,” according to Apple. Video Software that relies heavily on the GPU should benefit from a significant power boost.

16InchMacbookPro_01

Image credit: Apple

If It Works, Don’t Fix It.

Well, it seems – after multiple iterations – that Apple has given up on the butterfly keyboard design. The keyboard of the 16-inch MacBook Pro features a “classic” scissor-switch Magic Keyboard. According to Apple, this mechanism delivers 1mm of key travel and incorporates a rubber dome that stores more potential energy for a responsive keypress.

On the keyboard side, a physical escape key is back next to the Touch Bar. The 16-inch MacBook Pro features a new 100Wh battery – the largest ever in a Mac laptop — that offers up to 11 hours of battery life, according to Apple. 100Wh is also the limit you can bring on a plane, so Apple is maxing that out.

16InchMacbookPro_03

Image credit: Apple

The 16-inch MacBook Pro features a six-speaker sound system and “studio-quality” microphones. On the side of the connectors, nothing changes; there are still four Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack. Don’t throw out your multiple SD/HDMI/USB-A adapters just yet!

Price and Availability

The 16-inch MacBook Pro “base model” starts at $2399. It comes with a 2.6GHz 6-core Intel i7 CPU, an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU with 4GB of GDDR6 memory, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB SSD. The maxed-out model will cost you over $7000 for some mind-blowing specs in a laptop. It is available in silver and space grey colors.

It’s available for preorder now in the US and in the rest of the world, next week.

What do you think of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro? Are you considering to upgrade your current laptop? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Apple 16-Inch MacBook Pro Announced – A Laptop For Filmmakers? appeared first on cinema5D.

Blind Spot Gear Power Cage and Power Bracket – A Power Bank for Filmmakers

Blind Spot Gear, the British company specialized in niche products for filmmakers, just released its 7th Kickstarter campaign: the Power Cage & Bracket. This 10.000 mAh power bank with 45W of power output is designed with filmmakers in mind. The Power Cage features two USB-A ports, a USB-C port, and a 7.2V DC barrel to power your camera and your accessories. Let’s take a closer look at it!

Blind Spot Gear

Blind Spot Gear is a British company well-known for launching innovative products on the market via Kickstarter campaigns. Earlier this year, they successfully launched the Crack Light. In the past, they also released the Scorpion Light V2, the Tile Light Duo, and the Power Junkie – you can watch our review here –  which is a tiny and convenient Sony NP-F style batterie distribution box.

Nowadays, cameras and accessories require a lot of power to run for hours. Small internal batteries don’t get the job done; this is especially true with the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K, Sony mirrorless cameras, and so on. To solve that problem, you can run your camera and accessories with a V-Mount or Anton Bauer battery. But, this kind of external power source is expensive and quite bulky.

So, if you don’t want to rig your camera fully or don’t have access to this kind of power solution, you often end up with Frankenstein looking camera rigs. I often see regular power banks velcroed on the side or on top of a camera to power it. This is not an ideal solution for filmmakers in general, and especially in run and gun situations.

We can say that Blind Spot Gear knows how to launch and handle a Kickstarter campaign, and today they are back with a new battery solution for filmmakers: the Power Cage & Bracket.

BlindSpotGearPowerCage_Featured

Image credit: Blind Spot Gear

Blind Spot Gear Power Cage

The Blind Spot Gear Power Cage and Power Bracket are two different products that you can combine to work together. Regular battery banks are not built to work with cameras; they lack 1/4″-20 and 3/8′-16 mounting points and relevant outputs.

BlindSpotGearPowerCage_01

Image credit: Blind Spot Gear

The Blind Spot Gear Power Cage features two USB-A 5V output ports, a USB-C output port that is also used for charging it, and a 7.2V DC barrel. Also, there is an on/off/mode switch. You can use all ports simultaneously up to 45W to power your camera and accessories. On the inside of the Power Cage, there is a 10.000 mAh/37Wh battery, which is the equivalent of five Sony NP-FW50 batteries. Finally, you can charge the Power Bank up to 80 percent in just 60 minutes.

BlindSpotGearPowerCage_03

You can mount the Power Bank directly on your camera with a 1/4″-20 to cold-shoe adapter. Image credit: Blind Spot Gear

On the side of the Power Cage, there is a remaining charge indicator that doubles as an overload warning indicator. It is even possible to charge your laptop via the USB-C port (up to 30W).

BlindSpotGearPowerCage_04

Image credit: Blind Spot Gear

On the front, there is a built-in nato rail that features six 1/4″-20 threaded holes and an eyelet neck strap. Additionally, there are eight 1/4″-20 threaded holes on both sides of the Power Cage. All these mounting points allow you to mount the Power Cage directly on your camera if you don’t want to use it with the Blind Spot Gear Bracket.

BlindSpotGearPowerCage_05

There is a built-in nato rail in front of the Power Bank that features six 1/4″-20 threaded holes. Image credit: Blind Spot Gear

The Power Cage features a CNC machined aluminum shell to protect the internal battery. I would have preferred an all-aluminum design, including the top and bottom parts that are made out of plastic.

If you want to mount the Power Cage directly to your mirrorless/DSLR camera, there is an optional Power Bracket available.

BlindSpotGearPowerCage_06

Image credit: Blind Spot Gear

Blind Spot Gear Power Bracket

The Blind Spot Gear Power Bracket is an additional lightweight (70 grams) accessory that attaches directly to the Power Bank. It is made out of aluminum. The idea is to mount the Power Bank on the side of the Power Bracket and mount your camera directly to the Power Bracket. That way, the Power Bank doubles as a handle to grip your camera firmly.

BlindSpotGearPowerCage_07

Image credit: Blind Spot Gear

If you use Arca Swiss quick release plates, the Power Bracket features a built-in Arca Swiss mount. Otherwise, I use Kessler’s Kwik Release plates, and I would have loved to have the integrated Arca Swiss mount of the Power Bracket in the other direction. Usually, Arca Swiss brackets “on the side” are more for photo shooters. In the video world, this kind of sideways design makes it impossible to adjust your camera back and forth on a tripod or gimbal, which is a must-have for balance purposes. Thankfully, there is a lot of 1/4″-20 threaded holes at the bottom of the Power Bracket so you can attach any quick release plate you have.

BlindSpotGearPowerCage_02

Image credit: Blind Spot Gear

Finally, the Power Bracket features two additional lanyard points to carry your camera.

Pricing and Availability

For Kickstarter backers, the Blind Spot Gear Power Cage retails for $114/£89. The Power Bracket will cost you $38/£30. If you want to get both, bundles are available for $127/£99. The expected shipping date is set for May 2020.

Even if Blind Spot Gear always delivered its products on time with its Kickstarter campaign, as always, please be aware that this is a crowdfunding project and not a retail shop, so do your research accordingly. cinema5D does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there’s always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.

What do you think of the Blind Spot Gear Power Cage and Power Bracket? Do you think it is a useful product? Do you consider backing it? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments down below!

The post Blind Spot Gear Power Cage and Power Bracket – A Power Bank for Filmmakers appeared first on cinema5D.

A Beginner’s Guide to Aperture in Photography

A Beginner's Guide to Aperture in Photography

Aperture is one of the most important fundamentals in photography, and mastering it is crucial to learning how to create better images. This excellent video will give you a great introduction to aperture and f-stops and how you can use them to take more control over your images.

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