A simple cable cam system called Wiral LITE has launched on Kickstarter, where the campaign has already blown away its funding goal, raising nearly a quarter-million dollars in just a few days' time. The system is comprised of a motorized, remotely-controlled device that rolls across a cable fixed to two poles or similar structures. A camera can be attached to the bottom of Wiral LITE, which itself rolls across the cable while the camera records cinematic motion shots.
The cable cam system is being presented as an alternative to portable motorized slider devices, offering the ability to record motion shots over much larger distances than the average portable slider.
Wiral LITE features a standard camera mount on the bottom and can handle camera/lens weights up to 3.3lbs / 1.5kg. The system includes a ball joint, a GoPro mount, cable, quick reel for retracting the cable, a tightening strap, end stop clips, batteries, and a battery charger.
The cable system offers multiple modes, including a time lapse mode that moves with a minimum speed of 0.006MPH, but the device's top speed is 28mph / 45kmh.
The team behind the device explains that the Wiral system takes 3 minutes to setup, which involves attaching both ends of the reel to a pair of objects, tightening the cable between the two, and then mounting the Wiral LITE onto the cable. In other words, setup is a breeze:
And once you're set up, you can capture long-range panning shots like this with ease:
Wiral LITE is being sold to backers for a pledge of $200. Bundles are also available for those who want to pledge a bit more, such as an 'Ultimate Kit' for pledges of $250 or an 'Extreme Kit' for $1,700.
Macphun's own Digital Asset Manager (DAM) is coming to Luminar in 2018... and it'll be a free upgrade. Photo: Macphun
It's no surprise that not everyone is exactly thrilled by Adobe's Lightroom announcement. The end of standalone Lightroom, and the birth of Lightroom in the cloud, has a lot of legacy users looking for a new way to organize their photos into a perpetual library they don't have to 'subscribe' to. There are already tons of options out there, but if you're a fan of Macphun's editing applications, take heart: the software company has their own solution in the works.
Earlier today, we heard from Macphun that they're working on their own Digital Asset Manager (DAM), which will work with both hard drives and cloud storage platforms.
The Luminar photo manager's single image view. Photo: Macphun
"It’s going to be a perfect tool for organizing and managing images," says Macphun. "Moreover, users will be able to run it along with LR library to compare both DAMs side by side and choose which fits them better."
Here's a quick video 'preview' (read: teaser):
The DAM will be added to Luminar in 2018, and the best part of it all is that it will be completely and totally free for current Luminar users.
For now, those are all of the details we have, but if you're unhappy with the latest update to Lightroom and you're looking for an alternative DAM and photo editor combo, check out the preview above and keep an eye on Macphun in 2018.
If you feel uncomfortable with your images being stored on cloud servers the Pholio device is a new offline alternative that offers many of the features we are used to from cloud services like Google Photos.
Once connected to a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone, Pholio automatically searches through the device storage and backs up all images and videos, either at full size or smaller 'optimized' versions. If you choose the latter Pholio provides a link to the full size-version.
Pholio comes as a standard version with a 500GB capacity or as a 'Pro' variant that offers 2TB of storage. 20,000 built-in descriptors allow for automatic tagging and easy searching, but the system is capable of learning if you want to add your own keywords. Face detection allows to find images and create albums for a specific person and the software is even capable of finding still shots within a video clip. The Pholio makers say an update will expand the backup services and include encryption.
You can now reserve a 500GB Pholio by pledging £200 (approximately $260) on the project's Kickstarter page. If the funding goal is reached delivery is expected for January 2018.
Samsung has just unveiled an interesting new gadget at their annual Samsung Developer Conference. Meet the Samsung 360 Round: a 3D VR camera.
The new device uses 17 total lenses—eight horizontally positioned stereo pairs and one upwards pointing single lens—to capture and livestream 4K 3D panoramic video at 30 frames per second. Each camera module features a 1/2.8’’ 2MP sensor and F1.8 aperture. All of this is housed in a compact and rugged (IP65 water and dust resistance) uni-body that Samsung claims can handle all weather conditions.
PC software for controlling the camera and stitching is included, and the camera features a range of interfaces for connecting external microphones, storage devices and more.
“The Samsung 360 Round is a testament to our leadership in the VR market. We have developed a product that contains innovative VR features, allowing video producers and broadcast professionals to easily produce high quality 3D content,” said Suk-Jea Hahn, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics’ Global Mobile B2B Team. “The combination of livestreaming capabilities, IP65 water and dust resistance and 17 lenses makes this camera ideal for a broad range of use cases our customers want—from livestreaming major events to filming at training facilities across various industries.”
The Samsung 360 Round will be available in October in the United States, and should be introduced to other markets over time. Samsung says the camera is aimed at VR professionals and enthusiasts, and will be 'reasonably priced'... although the company hasn't yet specified exactly what that 'reasonable' price will be. For more information, visit the Samsung website.
We usually dig a bit further into the past for Throwback Thursday, but decided to make an exception for the Samsung NX1. Announced just three years ago, the NX1 is the camera that still leaves us wondering what might have been had Samsung decided to remain in the camera market. Alas, we'll never know.
On paper, the NX1 had impressive specifications; the camera that landed in our laps still felt rough around the edges and a bit, well... unfinished when it arrived. Samsung diligently improved the camera through a series of firmware updates over the following months, and the NX1 ultimately became a much more refined, responsive machine.
On paper, the NX1 had impressive specifications; the camera that landed in our laps still felt rough around the edges and a bit, well... unfinished when it arrived.
The 'post-multiple-firmware-updates' version of the camera delivered technical innovation, pro-level performance, and a fantastic user experience all in a single package, earning it one of the highest scores we had ever awarded to a camera at the time, and winning the 2015 DPReview Innovation Award.
In addition to impressive performance, the NX1 held up well in extreme conditions. When shooting in 0ºF (-18ºC) conditions the camera kept going as long as I did.
We highlighted this innovation in our review of the NX1, writing "One can almost imagine a group of Samsung engineers sitting in a conference room and having the spec sheets of every leading APS-C and four thirds camera dropped in front of them, along with a directive to outperform the whole lot. And here's the crazy thing – to a certain extent they seem to have pulled it off."
The NX1 was a mirrorless camera that looked and performed like a high-end DSLR. It included a hybrid AF system with 205 phase detect autofocus points covering 90% of the frame, and in burst mode could shoot up to 15fps. Impressively, in our testing the AF system was able to keep up.
The AF system on the NX1 was very quick to keep up, even when shooting fast moving subjects at close range at 15fps in burst mode. In this example, the camera tracked Richard with a cloud of AF points that covered his body and the bike and kept him in focus, though there are minor differences in terms of where the camera focused on him between frames. Manually selecting an single AF point would have given us more precision. (Samsung 50-150mm F2.8 S at F2.8)
It also delivered the goods when it came to image quality. Built around a 28MP BSI sensor, it held its own against the best APS-C cameras of its day. The ISO-invariant sensor also made it possible to push shadows 5EV in post without paying any additional noise cost (when shooting at base ISO).
Even the ergonomics and shooting experience were excellent. It was comfortable in the hand, with most dials and buttons in easy to reach places. The bright and crisp OLED EVF had no perceptible lag (a common challenge back then), and was the first electronic viewfinder I really fell in love with. In our review I commented, "Once I started shooting with NX1 it was easy to forget that I was using an EVF and I just got on with taking photos."
The NX1's OLED electronic viewfinder impressed us with its bright, crisp image and fast performance. Its layout was also well-designed and easy to use.
The NX1 also excelled at video. Unlike many cameras – even some the ones we encounter today – there was no sense that video was wedged in to fulfill a spec sheet requirement. On the contrary, the NX1 was clearly designed with video in mind. The interface was excellent, included tools such as peaking and zebras, and the oversampled footage exceeded the quality of the Panasonic GH4, our reference camera for video at the time.
Ironically, the only major complaint we had about the NX1's video was that it was a bit too forward looking.
Ironically, the only major complaint we had about the NX1's video was that it was a bit too forward looking: it relied on the advanced H.265 codec, something that many computers and editing systems are just now beginning to handle well.
Samsung also gets a nod for having the first (and still one of the best) Wi-Fi + Bluetooth implementations we've seen.
Video on the NX1 was outstanding, exceeding the quality of the Panasonic GH4, our reference camera for video at the time. The user interface for shooting video was also good, taking advantage of touchscreen controls for many functions.
There seemed to be a lot of commitment from Samsung to getting the NX1 right, including numerous firmware updates that improved performance and added functionality over time. (A bit ironic when you consider the fate of the camera.) Let me share one behind-the-scenes anecdote about how all those updates impacted our review of the camera.
I actually wrote two entire reviews of the NX1. The first review was less than a week from publication when Samsung released a big firmware update; it included so many performance improvements and feature updates that I had to scrap the entire review, go back and re-test the camera, then write another one. The review you read on the site was actually the second one I wrote.
Despite its age, the NX1 is still remarkably competitive with today's top APS-C cameras, and Samsung seemed to be investing a lot to develop a strong line of pro quality lenses as well. It's interesting to think of what the camera market might look like today had Samsung not exited the business.
The looks of a classic beauty in the body of a modern camera, the X-E3 is Fujifilm's latest rangefinder ILC and also a lot of fun to shoot with. Sporting the brand's latest 24MP sensor and offering the latest JPEG 'Film Simulations,' we took the X-E3 along on a tour of the town. Take a peek through our sample gallery to get a sense of what it is capable of, in terms of image quality.
With it, it feels like Adobe is turning its back on a certain type of enthusiast photographers: those users who enjoy and care about their photography enough to buy Adobe's products, but don't need to edit 'in the field' or have clients to justify the ongoing cost of subscription software.
What's that, Granddad, software in a box? How do you get it onto your phone, then?
With the company stressing ease of use of the latest version, they probably don't see it that way, but it's clear that the user who upgrades their camera and their software only occasionally has no place in Adobe's shiny new future in the cloud.
In my look back at my excitement surrounding the development and launch of Lightroom v1.0, I said I felt that the subscription model "runs counter to the longevity benefit of building a database around my images". I stand by that.
The tension at the heart of Lightroom
As I understood it, Lightroom was almost two pieces of software in one. In part it was an attempt to provide all the tools a broad range of photographers needed, without the cost and complexity of buying Photoshop. Photoshop's success and name recognition had meant that lots of users who didn't really need most of its capabilities, felt they had to buy it. Lightroom gave them an affordable alternative, and allowed Adobe to focus on their professional users (in both photo and non-photographic fields), with Photoshop.
archiving: the creation of a long-term library of work that you might want to refer back to and perhaps update
But, equally, Lightroom was Adobe's attempt to bring an asset management tool to a wide range of photographers who suddenly found themselves generating and needing to process and store many more images than they had done before. Part of that management is archiving: the creation of a long-term library of work that you might want to refer back to and perhaps update.
The move to subscription only for Lightroom undermines both the idea of an affordable alternative also, significantly, the idea of an usable archive. While it's true that most households readily spend $10 per month for online streaming services, and many times that for mobile phone and data services, there will be a lot of users who object to the idea of having to pay, in perpetuity, for the continued ability to edit their own archives. Especially if their needs haven't necessarily changed and where there isn't necessarily an ongoing cost to the company.
most households readily spend $10 per month for online streaming services, and many times that for mobile phone and data services
Adobe seemed to recognize this when it chose to continue Lightroom 5 and then 6 as a standalone products alongside its CC software, and said it had no plans to move to subscription only. But it probably should've been obvious that this position had changed as the company buried the link to the standalone version in ever more obscure corners of its website.
Change vs long-term plans
Of course, there'll be plenty of users who are quite happy to pay for online storage and the access-and-edit-anywhere capability of the new system. Given how many attempts Adobe has made at solving this problem (I'm looking at you, Carousel/Revel), it'll probably be pretty good, despite my reservations about the effect on quality/stability that the move to constant updates has had on Photoshop. Overall, it's just unfortunate for people who don't particularly want that product.
The idea that your existing work becomes less controllable, less dynamic, is uncomfortable.
At the risk of sounding older and more curmudgeonly than I really am: it's the principle of the thing. I've never had much sympathy for people expecting perpetual upgrades from Adobe, for free: if you spend hundreds of dollars on a new camera, it seems unrealistic to expect a corporation to accommodate that choice, unpaid. After all, you still had exactly what you'd paid for.
With a subscription model, that's no longer true. Instead you end up paying for support for ever more cameras you don't have and features you don't necessarily want, in the knowledge that you'll lose most of the software's capability if, for whatever reason, you don't choose to continue your subscription. The idea that your existing work becomes less controllable, less dynamic, is uncomfortable.
Why I'll be looking for other options
The idea of losing the ability to edit my existing files, even though my needs haven't changed is obnoxious enough that I don't want to further commit myself and my images to a Lightroom database.
That means foregoing the temptation to squeeze the last life out of Lightroom 6 by using the DNG Converter that Adobe, to its credit, updates for free to retain compatibility. Because one day there'll come an operating system that LR 6 won't work with, and my supposedly long-term solution will be reduced in utility.
All purchases are ultimately a balance between what the customer wants and the company is willing to give them, for the money. With this latest move, it feels to me like that balance has been lost: the move favors Adobe much more than it benefits me. The Lightroom I loved is dead, because apparently it's not a product Adobe wants to make anymore.
Disclaimer: I'm an avid Lightroom user who uses a NAS with 12 TB of local storage. Yet I agree with Adobe's decisions. Am I crazy? Read on...
It's an inevitable truth that Adobe, like any other company, can't please everyone. Today's news of a new, all-cloud Lightroom CC has definitely ruffled some feathers among loyal users. But it might just be time to embrace the future – consider some important points here:
The current version of Lightroom is not going away. It's just going from CC to Classic CC. Oh, and it got much faster.
The standalone version of Lightroom is entering sunset. That doesn't mean you won't be able to keep using it for new cameras in the future: you'll just have to use DNG Converter to first convert your files to DNG format.*
To continue to benefit from updates to Lightroom, though, you'll have to go CC (Classic or not).
To benefit from consistent access of your entire library from every device, as well as AI features to help you manage, search, curate and more (a la Google/Apple Photos), you'll want to go with Lightroom CC.
Whether or not you like the subscription based model, either way you pay for software updates, whether it's when you buy a new version (upgrading from 5 to 6) or continually via a subscription method. Some would even argue the latter is a better user experience, as you don't have to worry about 'versions'.
Who is Lightroom CC for?
Good question. If you're a staunch NAS user or have a hard drive for each of your shoots, it's not for you. But there's a reason that Director of Product Management is calling this new release a bigger deal than even the inception of Lightroom. According to TechCrunch's conversation with Hogarty, "The new reality of photography [is one] where users tend to take a lot of their photos on their phones - and take a lot more images in general. [Many of them want] a powerful tool that allows them to communicate but doesn’t require them to spend a lot of time to learn."
In other words, Adobe is trying to find a way to be Google or Apple Photos for the both the masses, and the enthusiasts/pros. Time will tell if it'll succeed, but it's an approach that is certainly future-focused.
In fact, we expect the cloud-based version will quickly improve and gain features beyond what Classic CC will offer. The AI features will help you organize, search, curate, and maybe even edit faster by learning your tastes. With storage getting progressively cheaper, internet (upload) speeds increasing, and the decreased sales of PC/laptop and the increased expectation to be able to access your files from anywhere, this is Adobe looking to the future, while still offering the present for the foreseeable future.
This is Adobe looking to the future, while still offering the present for the foreseeable future.
Inevitably, there will be some teething pains, for which Adobe is still offering Classic CC. But we expect that in the not-too-distant future, even pros will appreciate the instant access and AI features that will ease workflows. And I, for one, will be happy to say goodbye to my hard drives (though I won't be forced to).
Understandably though, many of you have questions...
We're a studio and need multiple licenses across many computers
That's what CC business is meant for. You can have 10+ licenses with the same account across all your computers (each license serves up to 2 computers, and you can dynamically switch which two computers whenever you want). And if you're installing a standalone on more than 2 computers today, you're breaking the law. Multiple licenses are simply not an issue with CC.
I need multiple libraries, though
Do you really? Back in the days of physically limited hard-drives, many would assign one drive or another to one shoot. You can still work that way with Classic CC.
But in the future, with increased cloud storage at lower prices, and hopefully decreased internet service provider (ISP) bandwidths, that segmentation won't be necessary.** Everything will live on the cloud, and you can still organize by albums if you wish. Better yet, you'll have access to increasingly intelligent AI that will allow you to find the photos you're looking for simply by searching for the content in it (in text form). Segment as you wish, or just search.
In that world - you may not find multiple libraries as useful anymore. It's already a headache - I've gone to work on days where I needed the library on one drive that was, you guessed it, at home.
What if Adobe pulls the plug on Classic CC?
Certainly a valid suspicion. But one you may not have to be so worried about. First, we'll likely see CC rapidly catch up to Classic CC. That raises the concern if Classic CC is itself at risk of being pulled.
Maybe. But likely not for quite some time. More importantly, if Classic CC were to run off into the sunset, do you really think Adobe would only offer a cloud-based version of Lightroom?
I don't think so.
Much more likely - and this is just my opinion (and suggestion to Adobe) - would be CC simply offering an option to 'Disable cloud storage. I don't need access to my files on any device.' Done. Problem solved. Remember that CC already has an option to keep all files locally (as well as in the cloud), so retiring Classic CC would almost undoubtedly see CC gain an option to not work in the cloud. Until ISP limits are definitively not an issue and privacy concerns are completely addressed, I can't see Adobe offering no option to only work with files locally.
You can't always get what you want... but you might get what you need
This is Adobe modernizing and considering the future. And the current masses of Google and Apple Photos users that are surprised and delighted daily at the auto search and curation functionalities, or the auto-generation of collages, video clips, and sharing of shots of your kid with your immediate family. This all depends on cloud-storage and AI. It's the future, and whether or not you like it this future has a lot of potential benefits that you loathe the idea of today, but might come to rely on, nigh even need, in the future. Imagine AI learning your editing tastes and doing them for you as a starting point so you have less work to do. It's not that unreasonable to imagine, and is something even pros would appreciate.
This video was auto-generated by Google Photos. Yes, it's only 720p and a bit amateurish, but if this is where we're starting today I'd say: bring on the future. This is the promise of AI: I was surprised and delighted when my phone popped up a notification saying 'I made this video from your weekend excursion!' Even photos auto-transferred to my phone from my Sony a7R II full-frame ILC were cut together - even to the beat of the music like many of the video clips if you pay close attention. Even pros could benefit from starting points like this, and then change the music, theme, or even the individual photos or sections of videos used if desired.***
And as long as privacy issues are considered, sharing - both with family or with clients or collaborators - becomes far easier in a cloud-only approach.
Accessing your library on multiple devices has been clunky up until now - with manual selection of images that are synced, and a different user experience of LR based on what device you're on. Lightroom CC's promise is a consistent experience across all devices, and the removal of the headache of selecting images you wish access to. Not to mention the issues with editing 'Smart Previews'.
And you might even find the perks of AI on top of this irresistible one day. But until that day, you still have options that allow you to continue working exactly as you did yesterday.
*That's actually probably a good thing. DNG can take a 96MB Nikon D850 NEF and make it into a 49MB Raw with no visual loss in quality (LZW and gamma curve compression done right provide visually lossless compression). DNG Converter is even scriptable if you want to automate the process. And if you need to save the original Raw (say because you want to access Dual Pixel Raw for some Canon files in the future), you can always embed, then later export, the original Raw. The only concern I see here is if future OS versions don't support the final version of LR.
** ISP bandwidths are a valid concern. My current Comcast bandwidth per month is capped at 1TB/month, with a two months grace period if I run over in one year (I'll pay on the third month I run over). That will likely still serve most users and even enthusiasts but may be an issue for pros shooting enormous amounts of images monthly. We'll be following up with Adobe about their views on this issue, but for now we do expect the growth of cloud-based services to force ISPs to offer solutions.
*** Or, more advanced users and pros can themselves select the exact photos and sections of videos used in an easy-to-use timeline manner right on their phones, and Google Assistant will stitch together a video for you. The auto-generated video is a great starting point to start your edits from, though, as it intelligently chooses the best photos and sections of video. Over time, AI can learn what you consider 'best', or your tastes in editing and processing.
Godox has launched a Nikon version of the XPro-C 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger it announced for Canon last month. The new model—aptly titled the XPro-N—is equipped to control Godox's X1 system, and is currently listed by online retailers as available for pre-order with shipping planned to start on October 31st.
This Nikon version will be joined by models for Sony, Fujifilm, and MFT throughout the remainder of the year.
As with the Canon version, the new XPro-N model sports a large dot-matrix LCD alongside five physical buttons. The display shows five groups, one group per physical button, as well as data pertaining to each group. The trigger supports HSS (up to 1/8000), TTL, and manual (1/1 - 1/256) control. There's also support for TTL-Convert-Manual (TCM) functionality, which allows you to meter flashes in TTL, then switching to manual mode with the settings automatically adjusting to keep an equivalent output.
The XPro-N is listed for pre-order at $70 on Amazon.
In a move that's being praised by the photo community at large, Sigma has temporarily extended its product warranty to cover repairs for damage caused by the hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The only catch being that Sigma must receive your damaged product before December 31st of this year.
This information comes from a statement Sigma provided to Fstoppers, which is reporting that any products that can't be repaired will be replaced at a special discounted price that is determined on a case-by-case basis. Repairs and return shipment of the products are provided for free, but customers must provide their sales receipt as proof-of-purchase.
Sigma says that customers who no longer have the receipt should contact the company.
Chinese manufacturer Detu has launched the F4Plus: a professional grade 8K panoramic VR camera that can capture 360° stills, videos and broadcast livestream footage at a whopping 8K resolution. In other words, at 7680 x 3840 pixels.
Image data is captured using four 200° fisheye lenses coupled to 12MP Sony IMX117 1/2.3" CMOS sensors. For livestreaming, the camera be connected to a computer via Ethernet cable, and wireless livestreaming to YouTube, Facebook and other 360° enabled platforms is possible via 2.4G and 5G dual frequency Wi-Fi.
The images recorded by the individual cameras are stitched together in the DetuStitch software and Detu says its optical flow algorithm is suitable for dynamic stitching in case you're capturing scenes with a lot of motion.
The camera comes with a copper and aluminum frame and an air duct cooling system for efficient heat dissipation during livestreaming. The 4800mAh lithium-ion removable battery allows for up to 120 minutes of continuous shooting and a microSD slot supports cards up to a capacity of 128GB. Audio is recorded via two built-in microphones. Finally, the camera can be controlled, and footage edited and shared, via dedicated iOS and Android apps.
The F4Plus camera's professional target clientele is reflected in its hefty $2,600 price, but the camera promises to deliver a lot of bang for that buck. For more information or if you'd like to see sample images captured with the F4 Plus, head over to the Detu website.
The all-new Lightroom CC (and newly-renamed Lightroom Classic CC) might be hogging the spotlight at Adobe MAX 2017, but Adobe didn't forget to throw some love Photoshop's way. In addition to the standard performance enhancements you expect with every update, Photoshop CC has been gifted with a slew of new features, including: the new curvature pen tool, 360° spherical image editing, HEIF format support, Select and Mask improvements and more.
All of the improvements are summarized in the list below, and while none of them will blow your mind, there's plenty there for regular Photoshop users to be happy about:
According to Adobe, the most requested improvement that ships with the new version of Photoshop CC is actually the enhanced Brush Presets and Brush Preset Management, which you can see demonstrated in the video below:
And with the explosion of 360° images into the mainstream and the release of iOS 11, the ability to open & edit spherical 360° panoramic images in Photoshop, as well as HEIF format images, is a big deal as well.
Other notable improvements include the new color and luminance range masking tools that were also added to Lightroom CC, the Curvature Pen Tool that Adobe teased us with just last month, and improved Select & Mask functionality overall. You can see these new features in action in the YouTube videos embedded below:
As with all previous updates to Photoshop CC, you won't have to pay anything extra if you're already a subscriber. The $10/month Creative Cloud Photography Plan now includes 20GB of cloud storage, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, and Lightroom Classic CC; or you can upgrade to 1TB of storage for $15/month until next year, when that price will go up to $20/month.
To learn more about these updates from Adobe itself, head over to the Adobe Photoshop blog by clicking here.
If you've got NSFW (read: nude) pictures of any kind on your smartphone storage, chances are you don't want them to be seen by just anyone. And while there are apps that allow you to move private images into protected locations, this tends to be a largely manual process... well not anymore.
The so-called 'Nude' app automates the process of finding and hiding your most ... sensitive images.
The app scans your device for nude images using artificial intelligence. If any files are detected, they are immediately moved into the app's protected vault and deleted from the camera roll and iCloud. Under iOS 11, image recognition is undertaken on-device but under iOS 10 and older operating systems data has to be transferred to cloud servers.
The makers of the app say Nude is also useful for keeping images of ID cards, credit cards and other important documents in a safe place, but there is no mention of an automatic detection function. The app is protected via PIN or Touch ID, and records any attempts to access your photos. There is also an integrated camera, so images can be recorded directly in the app.
The app is free to download on the Apple App Store, but requires a $1 monthly or $10 annual subscription to use. For now, Nude is only available for iOS devices, but an Android version is under development.
Zeiss has added a new wide-angle lens to its Milvus line of full-frame, manual focus lenses for Nikon and Canon DSLRs. The new Milvus 25mm F1.4 is now the fourth widest lens in the family—which ranges from 15mm to 135mm—and brings the total number to Milvus lenses to 11, four of which boast fast F1.4 apertures.
According to Zeiss, the Milvus 25mm F1.4 is "suitable primarily for landscape and architecture photography, and for journalistic shots and videos" thanks to its fast aperture and a new optical design that uses 15 elements in 13 groups to deliver "high-contrast photos and a harmonious bokeh." They also claim "hardly any color fringes," even when you're shooting with the lens wide-open.
Like the entire Milvus line, the new 25mm F1.4 is manual focus only, and features a robust all-metal housing as well as 'special seals' for protection against dust and splashes.
The new Milvus 25mm F1.4 will be available starting November 2nd for 2,400 Euros (including tax) or $2,400 USD. To learn more about this lens or the entire Milvus line, head over to the Zeiss website by clicking here.
With its new wide-angle focal length, the ZEISS Milvus family now boasts eleven lenses for single-lens reflex cameras, including four focal lengths with a maximum aperture of 1.4, which are perfect for videographers too.
The ZEISS Milvus 1.4/25 is the latest focal length to be added to ZEISS’s largest range of lenses for full-frame single-lens reflex cameras. The lens, which was developed for the DSLR systems from Canon and Nikon is suitable primarily for landscape and architecture photography, and for journalistic shots and videos. “The completely new optical design ensures superior performance across the entire image field,” says Christophe Casenave, Product Manager at ZEISS. “This results in high-contrast photos and a harmonious bokeh.”
High-speed wide-angle lens
Thanks to a maximum aperture of 1.4, this lens can even capture exceptional images in poor light. “Even at full aperture, there are hardly any color fringes,” says Casenave. “The finest details can be reproduced in high definition and contrast all the way into the corners.” The metal housing is what makes the lens robust, and its dirt and dust protection even makes the ZEISS Milvus 1.4/25 ready for action in adverse weather. The large 172-degree focus rotation angle enables precise manual focusing for adding creative touches to photos and videos.
The largest ZEISS lens family yet
Featuring eleven focal lengths ranging from 15 to 135 millimeters, including two macros, the ZEISS Milvus family covers a host of applications, such as portrait, landscape, architecture and street photography. “We can offer every photographer just the right lens,” says Casenave.
Perfect for videographers too
The four ZEISS Milvus focal lengths 25, 35, 50 and 85 millimeters with an aperture of 1.4 are just perfect for filming. Thanks to their high speed, they are suitable primarily for interviews and documentaries where the videographer can utilize natural light. Thanks to the de-click function in the version for the Nikon-Mount the aperture can be adjusted continuously. ZEISS Lens Gears in a range of sizes permit the use of follow-focus systems.
Price and availability
The ZEISS Milvus 1.4/25 retails for 2,400 Euros including 19 percent sales tax (RRP) or $2,400 USD and will be available starting November 2nd 2017 at dealers and from the ZEISS online shop.
Adobe is introducing Lightroom CC, a brand new, cloud-centric desktop application for Mac and Windows. At the same time, the application formerly known as "Lightroom CC" has been updated and rebranded as Lightroom Classic CC. The core Lightroom experience is at the heart of both programs, but they have different strengths and limitations, especially at this early stage of Lightroom CC development.
For people who do not yet use Lightroom, or have been told by friends that they should use it but were intimidated by it, Lightroom CC should be a welcome introduction to the Adobe ecosystem. For photographers who have used Lightroom for years… it’s complicated.
Let’s unpack what "Lightroom" means going forward.
The Cloud and the Desktop
At over ten years old, Lightroom is facing a modern software dilemma. Every release still harbors legacy code, and at some point it all adds up and affects performance. More significantly, the greater world of photography has changed around Lightroom, prioritizing phones and tablets instead of a single photo library stored on a hard disk connected to one computer in one location. People expect their photos to be available everywhere.
To the first point, both Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC address performance. Lightroom CC gave Adobe’s engineers a chance to build for speed from the get-go. And existing Lightroom customers will be glad to know that the top new feature in Lightroom Classic CC is improved performance.
Lightroom CC is engineered for the cloud, yes, but it’s also aimed at a different audience than many of the people who currently use Lightroom Classic CC
As for mobility, even though Lightroom Classic CC can already sync photos to Creative Cloud, it does so on a selective basis, where you must choose which collections should be synced. Lightroom CC is cloud-based: everything is uploaded to the cloud and made available to Lightroom apps for iOS and Android, Lightroom Web (lightroom.adobe.com), and Lightroom Classic CC (with caveats I’ll get to shortly).
A third important factor also comes into play. Lightroom CC is engineered for the cloud, yes, but it’s also aimed at a different audience than many of the people who currently use Lightroom Classic CC. Lightroom CC is sparse, lean, and presents a more welcoming appearance. It’s not trying to cram as much of the interface onto the screen as possible.
An obvious example is the Import screen. In Lightroom CC, importing from a camera or memory card gives you two options: which photos you choose to import and whether you want those added to an album. (Collections are called albums, the nomenclature that every other application has adopted.)
Lightroom Classic CC’s import screen includes a host of advanced options that, honestly, are pretty great: applying keywords during import, making backup copies to another destination, applying presets, and so forth. When you learn how to use those features, they can be very powerful.
But a lot of people simply don’t care about all that. They want an application that makes it easy to import and edit their photos, they’ve heard that "Lightroom" is the tool to use, or they don’t want to invest in another ecosystem. And Adobe wants to grow the base.
Adobe is stressing that both Lightroom desktop applications are in active development. Lightroom CC is the choice for a cloud-centric experience, and Lightroom Classic CC is the choice for customers who have more advanced needs that the desktop-centric version addresses.
Before we dig deeper into the differences, let’s look at what this costs.
All Lightroom products now require a subscription. Lightroom CC 6.x will be the last stand-alone, non-subscription version that Adobe releases; it will be updated for bug fixes and camera compatibility through the end of the year.
Lightroom Classic CC (version 7.0) and Lightroom CC are available via the following plans:
The Lightroom CC Plan includes Lightroom CC and 1 TB of cloud storage for $9.99 per month.
The Creative Cloud Photography Plan includes Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic CC, Photoshop CC, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Spark (unlocking premium features), and 20 GB of cloud storage for $9.99 per month.
You can optionally get the Creative Cloud Photography Plan with 1 TB of cloud storage for $19.99 per month. For a limited time, Adobe is charging existing Photography Plan customers $14.99 per month to jump to the 1 TB tier.
The Creative Cloud All Apps Plan includes pretty much everything that bears an Adobe logo and 100 GB of cloud storage for $49.99 per month.
The Lightroom Mobile Plan applies just to Lightroom for iOS and Lightroom for Android and includes 100 GB of cloud storage for $4.99 per month.
For many photographers, 1 TB of cloud storage won’t be enough for their libraries, so Adobe is also offering additional storage tiers:
2 TB for $20 per month
5 TB for $50 per month
10 TB for $100 per month
What happens if your photo library is stored on Creative Cloud and you decide to end your subscription? Adobe will keep the images in the cloud for one year after the membership finishes, during which you can use Lightroom CC to download the original files.
For Lightroom Classic CC, the application will continue to access photos on your local hard disk. You can import and organize photos, and output any edited photos, but the Develop and Map modules stop working when the subscription ends.
Syncing with Creative Cloud
When you import photos into Lightroom CC, the originals, including raw files, are uploaded to Creative Cloud. Everything is synced; you don’t specify which albums get uploaded. Lightroom Classic CC continues to work the same as in Lightroom CC 2015, syncing individual collections of your choosing.
Although Lightroom CC is cloud-obsessed, you don’t need a persistent Internet connection to use it. Imported files are stored locally and then uploaded to Creative Cloud. In fact, there are a few ways to choose what stays put. A setting directs Lightroom CC to target a percentage of your library to retain on the drive. You can also specify that copies of the originals for individual photos or folders (or even the entire library) remain on the local drive. That’s helpful when you expect to be away from an Internet connection.
In practical terms, unless you have a very fast Internet connection, it’s going to take a while to upload gigabytes of photos. And if your Internet service provider imposes data caps, you’ll have to watch those carefully depending on the size of your library.
If you’re thinking of using Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC in parallel, there’s one important syncing difference. When you import photos into Lightroom CC, the originals are uploaded to Creative Cloud. When you import photos into Lightroom Classic CC and add them to a collection that syncs with Creative Cloud, it converts the originals to Smart Previews (DNG files) and uploads those.
So, if you were to import into Lightroom Classic CC and edit in Lightroom CC, you’ll be editing the low-resolution DNG version instead of the original. That applies to JPEG files as well as Raw files. In many cases, that’s not an issue: adjustments such as tone and color are synced as descriptive text instructions, so they get applied to the original in Lightroom Classic CC. But sending the Smart Preview from Lightroom CC to Photoshop for some editing that’s beyond Lightroom CC’s abilities results in a lower-resolution file that gets synced back to Classic.
In many ways, the differences between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC are sibling comparisons. One of them is more capable because it’s been around longer, while the other is brand new. Lightroom CC is still a 1.0 product, which means many features that currently reside in Classic don’t exist in Lightroom CC. And yet, they’re clearly related.
While I’m sure some people will want to choose one over the other, the reality is that most existing Lightroom users will want to give them both a spin. It is possible to use them in parallel, as long as you go into it with a clear head. This isn’t meant to be a "what’s missing from Lightroom CC" critique; more of a focused look at some of the differences.
The core editing features found in Lightroom Classic are there in Lightroom CC, and edits are synced across devices.
Color labels are gone in Lightroom CC.
Due to a revamp of the keyword architecture, keywords do not sync between Lightroom Classic CC and Lightroom CC via Creative Cloud.
Keywords do ride along when migrating a Lightroom Classic CC catalog into Lightroom CC, but any hierarchical keywords are simplified. Lightroom CC does away with hierarchies, so if you have a photo tagged with a nested group such as, “outdoors > forest > Oregon,” those are added as three separate keywords: “outdoors, forest, Oregon.”
Migrating a catalog turns off Creative Cloud sync in Lightroom CC 2015/Lightroom 6. You need to upgrade to Lightroom Classic CC to continue syncing.
Lightroom CC cannot print.
Currently, the only sharing options from within Lightroom CC are to export to disk or share to Facebook.
Lightroom CC has no Web or Book modules.
Similarly, there’s no Map module, although location data does appear in the Info panel when it’s available. However, there’s currently no ability to add location info to photos that don’t already have it, or copy and paste locations between images.
There is no HDR or Panorama merge features in Lightroom CC. These are features Adobe has said are on the table to add in an upcoming release.
Lightroom CC does not offer tethered capture.
Lightroom CC has just one library, tied to your Adobe ID; the notion of working with separate catalogs is being left behind.
Lightroom CC uses Adobe Sensei search technology to identify elements of photos based on visual content, and tags the images behind the scenes (the keywords aren’t user-accessible). This feature is good for people who don’t bother to keyword their photos in the first place, because they can perform searches for items like “coffee” and get results without any prior work. However, Sensei search requires an active Internet connection; the search happens on the server, not locally.
Oddly, Lightroom CC doesn’t know what to do if you’re shooting Raw+JPEG mode on your camera. It sees both files separately, with no way to discern which is which in the Review for Import screen aside from mousing over each thumbnail and waiting for a tooltip to appear.
Shining Light on the Future
It’s not hard to look ahead and contemplate how the two Lightroom paths move into the future.
It’s easy to envision Lightroom CC gaining more feature-parity with Classic and then becoming the One True Lightroom
Lightroom Classic CC is more than a decade old, which means there’s no doubt a lot of legacy code weighing it down. The focus on speed improvements and new features in Classic is most welcome. And it makes sense that Adobe is developing both applications side-by-side.
But It’s also easy to envision Lightroom CC gaining more feature-parity with Classic and then becoming the One True Lightroom. That was the approach the original Lightroom took—it started as a lean application with a few core features and built up from there.
As it exists today, Lightroom CC is a fast and polished 1.0 with a lot of promise, but it’s also an application that existing Lightroom customers will want to take a cautious look at before going all-in eventually.
Standard image (left) and depth mask (right), Image: Google
Background-blurring portrait or bokeh modes have pretty much become a standard feature on dual-camera equipped phones. Similar effects can be achieved with single-lens devices but operation tends to be more cumbersome, with more manual interference required, and results less realistic than on dual-camera setups.
However, on the the new Pixel 2 models, Google has been able to implement a portrait mode on a single-lens phone that can compete with the dual-camera competition in terms of both operation and image results. And now, Marc Levoy and Yael Pritch—two of the engineers behind the Pixel 2 portrait mode—have taken the time to explain how in a comprehensive post on the Google Research Blog.
HDR+ picture without (left) and with (right) portrait mode, Image: Google
The Google Pixel 2 offers portrait mode on both its rear-facing and front-facing cameras, and uses machine learning and neural networking to generate a foreground-background segmentation. The front camera does its best using just neural network technology, while the rear camera creates a depth-map that is further improved using depth information generated by the Pixel 2 image sensor's dual-pixel technology.
In a final step, the information from both depth maps is combined to calculate the amount of blur applied to each part of the image, and generate the end result.
If you are interested in a more detailed description of the process you can find it, along with a range of sample images and illustrations, on the Google Research Blog. Or stick around DPReview because we'll be doing a deep technical dive on all things 'Portrait Mode' very soon!
Burger King may have dropped its 'Have it your way' slogan but it seems to have been picked up, in spirit at least, by Canon.
With the advent of the PowerShot G1 X III, you can essentially buy a variation of the same components in seven of its cameras. Three DSLRs, three mirrorless cameras and now a fixed lens model are all built around the company's 24MP Dual Pixel sensor and powered by Digic 7 processors.
This is good news, since we've been really impressed by the company's Dual Pixel sensor technology. Partly because it's clever but mainly because it makes everything so easy. On the Rebel series it easily outperforms the cameras' traditional SLR autofocus systems for stills and it makes video focus as simple as tapping on the screen.
...you can essentially buy a variation of the same components in seven of its cameras.
It may be a bit behind the times in lacking of 4K video capability but its ease of use is unsurpassed. The sensor is also the most competitive, in terms of noise and dynamic range, that Canon has produced in a long while and, when combined with the latest version of the company's excellent JPEG engine, can readily produce some great images.
So, regardless of whether you want an optical viewfinder, electronic viewfinder – or you prefer a smaller camera with no finder at all – there's an option available. Similarly, you get the choice of whether you want to buy into the EF-S system, EF-M mount or would rather have a fixed lens and not have to worry about buying other lenses.
Going down the SLR route seems like the obvious, easy choice. After all the EF-S lens mount is extremely well served, with a wide choice of lenses available and it's also compatible with Canon's full frame EF lenses, a handful of which are pretty useful on APS-C, too. SLRs are inherently more efficient than mirrorless or compact cameras by dint of using their display panels and sensors much less of the time.
Canon makes a range of DSLRs based around similar basic components. The EOS 77D, direct successor to the Rebel T6s, offers the highest level of direct control.
All you have to do is decide what balance of size, performance and direct control you want so that you can choose between the Rebel SL2 (200D), Rebel T7i (800D) and the (distinctly Rebellious) 77D.
Despite all these arguments to stick with the tried-and-true, there's a lot to be said for the EOS-M cameras. Given how much better all these cameras are in live view mode (easier to use, better at subject tracking), the main thing the SLRs offer is the experience of shooting through an optical viewfinder. If you can live without this - or don't want to carry around a glass periscope to unnecessarily bypass a capture medium that, unlike film, can actually preview the scene - the EOS-M cameras are considerably smaller, especially when paired with the 22mm F2 pancake prime.
The EOS M6 is small but still offers more direct control than its Rebel cousins. Pair it with the 35mm equivalent 22mm F2 pancake lens and it makes a pleasant travel companion.
As with the SLR models, Canon offers a simple, slower model (the M100,) but the other two options are more like variations on the theme of the EOS 80D. The EOS M5 and M6 are enthusiast-targeted models with more direct control than the Rebel T7i, as well as options such as in-camera Raw conversion, which are missing from the SLRs. The main difference between the M5 and 6 is a question of whether you want an electronic viewfinder built-in or you'd rather pay extra for one you clip-on if/when you need it.
The final option is the recently announced PowerShot G1 X Mark III. It looks and behaves a lot like the EOS M5 but with a built-in zoom. This 24-72mm equiv, 15-45mm F2.8-5.6 lens is a step backwards from the greater range and faster aperture of its predecessor, but it's also significantly smaller. It's still brighter, at the wide end at least, than the 15-45mm F3.5-5.6 that the EOS-M cameras are regularly bundled with. It's also both wider and brighter than the 18-55mm F4-5.6 that tends to come with the Rebel SLRs (though those extra few mm at the long end of the SLR lens extend things to a more portrait-friendly 88mm equivalent).
The G1 X Mark III is the smallest camera to combine the 24MP Dual Pixel sensor and Digic 7 processor. It also has a built-in ND filter for shooting video in bright light, and a leaf shutter allowing the use of flash with fast shutter speeds. The small body size means it has the shortest battery life of all these combinations.
If you're only going to have one lens, then, the G1 X III's at least offers a slight edge over the 'kit' zooms offered with the other cameras here. There are a couple of other bonuses that come with the fixed lens route: the G1 X III has a leaf shutter, allowing it to flash sync at high shutter speeds, it also has a built-in 3-stop neutral density filter. These two features, respectively, mean you can use flash and shoot video even with relatively wide apertures, meaning you can use the full capability of the lens in more circumstances.
A final benefit of building the lens into the camera is that it's allowed Canon to make the camera dust and moisture resistant. As usual, there's (literally) no guarantee for how effective this resilience will be, but it does mean it should be at least a little better able to withstand the rigors of travel and worldly use.
The only downside of all this sharing is that the flaws of one camera are shared by them all so, while they all offer 60p recording, they're all stuck at 1080 resolution. And rather smudgy 1080 at that.
Similarly, none of these cameras has great battery life when used in live view mode: the EOS Ms manage to get a moderate 295 shots per charge out of their batteries, while the SLRs are rated at around 270 shots and the G1 X III gets a mere 200. As always with CIPA numbers, you're likely to get more images than this, since the standard assumes a high level of flash usage. However, the numbers to tend to be usefully comparable across different cameras and a figure below 300 shots per charge often entails the need for spare batteries and some attention being given to when you can next get a top-up.
There are, of course, plenty of other good cameras on the market at the moment. But, despite our criticisms, the combination of 24MP sensor, Digic 7 processor and, above all, the Dual Pixel AF design underpins some of the best cameras Canon has made in years. This variety of models not only goes to illustrate the varying needs and preferences of different photographers, but also suggests there might be a version to suit you.
Step aside Microsoft, because HP just released a monstrous 'detachable PC workstation' that can compete with powerful laptops like the Surface Book 2 released yesterday... but in a form factor that looks more like a Surface Pro. Meet the HP ZBook x2: the so-called "world's most powerful and first detachable PC workstation."
In HP's own words, this computer "was designed to solve the performance and mobility needs of artists, designers and digital imaging professionals who need to push Adobe Creative Cloud and other professional applications to the limit." So what makes this computer more capable than HPs other two-in one solutions: the HP Spectre x2 and HP Elite x2. In a word: performance.
Whileprevious two-in-one iterations with these kinds of specs put most of the components—the main CPU, GPU, etc—into the base unit, the HP ZBook x2 flips the script. The bluetooth keyboard is basically just that: a bluetooth keyboard; even when the tablet is detached completely it maintains the full performance from its CPU and GPUs. Think of it like a Surface Pro dressed up to star in the next Iron Man movie.
Spec-wise, the HP ZBook x2 can be configured with 8th Gen Intel Core i7 graphics, a discreet NVIDIA Quadro M620 graphics card with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory, up to 2TB of local PCIe SSD storage, and up to 32GB of RAM. All of this sits behind a 14-inch 4K multi-touch screen with optional 10- bit, one-billion color HP DreamColor display that's been calibrated 100 percent of Adobe RGB.
The computer can be used in four different modes:
Laptop Mode: attached to the bluetooth keyboard.
Detached Mode: Use the tablet with the new HP pen, while still having full access to your Bluetooth keyboard shortcuts off to the side.
Docked Mode: Using the ZBook Dock, the x2 can power two additional 4K displays or five total displays.
Tablet Mode: totally detached and disconnected from the keyboard, the x2 maintains full graphics performance.
In most modes, you'll want to use the ZBook x2 with the new battery-free HP pen, which is based on Wacom EMR technology and offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity with multi-directional tilt capabilities and a dedicated eraser. And when it's docked and powering two 4K displays, the setup can look pretty ... intense:
In short, the ZBook x2 is trying to be all things to professional creatives and designers. Instead of using some combination of laptop, iPad, and Wacom tablet, you can replace all of them (ostensibly) with one ZBook x2. And since it was designed in collaboration with Adobe, you can bet Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Premiere, and other powerful CC apps will work exceptionally well.
To learn more about the HP ZBook x2, head over to HP's website. The new 'detachable workstation' will go on sale in December and starts at $1,750 for the base model with a dual core 7th generation Intel Core i7 CPU—no word yet on how much more expensive it'll be to fully spec out one of these.
HP Unveils World’s Most Powerful and First Detachable PC Workstation
HP ZBook x2 PC Allows Designers to Unleash the Power of Adobe Creative Cloud and Other Professional Applications
LAS VEGAS, NV – October 18, 2017 — Today at Adobe® MAX, HP will showcase the world’s most powerful detachable PC1 designed to solve the performance and mobility needs of artists, designers and digital imaging professionals who need to push Adobe Creative Cloud® and other professional applications to the limit. The performance of the HP ZBook x2, the world’s first detachable workstation,15 increases productivity and allows digital creators and storytellers the freedom to work when and where inspiration strikes.
HP’s reinvention of detachable PCs began earlier this year with the introduction of the HP Spectre x2 and the HP Elite x2. Today’s introduction of the HP ZBook x2 completes HP’s trifecta with its most powerful detachable solution targeted for the creative community. With this new offering, HP is extending its PC leadership by pioneering a new era for detachable PCs that offer superb performance, elegance and efficiency.
“As the world’s most powerful and first detachable PC workstation, there is no device better suited to turn the vision of artists and designers into reality,” said Xavier Garcia, vice president and general manager, HP Z Workstations, HP Inc. “With the HP ZBook x2, we are delivering the perfect tool to accelerate the creative process – with unprecedented power, performance and natural ease-of-use. This device will make it easier than ever for creators to do what they do best – bring inspiring new ideas to life and enrich the world around us.”
Liberating Digital Creativity
The HP ZBook x2 allows designers to effortlessly create with quad-core Intel® CoreTM processors2, twice the memory of any other detachable PC3 and NVIDIA® Quadro® Graphics that deliver 73 percent higher graphics performance compared to the Surface Pro4. A quiet, dual-fan active cooling system is designed to dissipate heat from the powerful graphics card and processor. To better meet the needs of the creative community, including Adobe users, HP also developed customizable, application-aware HP Quick Keys, to provide artists with 18 time-saving shortcuts.
"At Adobe, our goal is to accelerate creativity. Creative Cloud is the platform that enables us to deliver powerful innovation in our apps and cloud-based services supported by Adobe Sensei with artificial intelligence at the heart of every customer experience,” said Mala Sharma, vice president and general manager, Creative Cloud Product, Marketing and Community. “Adobe is thrilled with our collaboration with HP, which we know will further fuel creativity and give Creative Cloud members more power and freedom to create wherever inspiration strikes.”
Today, many creative professionals use multiple devices such as a MacBook Pro plus an iPad to accomplish the same tasks that can be done on the HP ZBook x2. Knowing that ultimate mobility is important, HP created a single device that delivers the same performance capabilities from inking to docked mode.
HP’s most versatile detachable to date, the HP ZBook x2 operates in four modes: laptop, detached, docked and tablet.
In laptop mode, the HP ZBook x2 is a powerful mobile workstation with a keyboard leveraged from the HP ZBook Studio.
In detached mode, it allows users to create on the tablet with HP’s most accurate and expressive pen while still having full access to all of their shortcut keys with the Bluetooth®-enabled keyboard off to the side.
In docked mode, the HP ZBook x2 can power two additional 4K displays or five total displays.
In tablet mode, it maintains full graphics performance allowing users to capture ideas with powerful NVIDIA 3D graphics.
Using HP’s most natural pen with the HP ZBook x2, users can create without interruption as the pen never needs to be charged. The battery-less, HP-designed pen based on Wacom EMR technology, responds instantly to every nuance of the artist’s hand for natural motion. The HP ZBook x2 offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity with multi-directional tilt capabilities and includes a dedicated eraser.
As a member of the world’s most secure and manageable mobile workstation family10, the HP ZBook x2 features HP Sure Start Gen311 for BIOS protection, TPM 2.0 for hardware-based encryption to secure credentials, secure authentication methods through the Smart Card Reader and HP’s Client Security Suite Gen312 to protect data, device and identity, including facial recognition and fingerprint reader.
HP ZBook x2 Highlights
The HP ZBook x2 embodies the intersection of mobility and performance in a fully-machined, aluminum and die-cast magnesium body starting at just 3.64 pounds5 and 14.6 mm thin when in tablet mode, and 4.78 pounds5 and 20.3 mm in laptop mode. The HP ZBook x2 has a stunning 14-inch diagonal, 4K multi-touch display with an optional 10- bit, one-billion color6 HP DreamColor display calibrated to 100 percent of Adobe RGB. The HP ZBook x2 has the world’s most advanced detachable PC display16 and includes an anti-glare touchscreen allowing users to immerse themselves while working in any lighting condition. At the desk, it can power dual 4K displays from the HP ZBook Dock with ThunderboltTM 37.
This detachable PC has up to 10 hours of battery life13 for maximum productivity and ultra-fast recharge (50 percent in just 30 minutes8). The HP ZBook x2 offers up to 4.2 GHz of Intel®Turbo Boost, 32 GB RAM over dual channels for more responsiveness under heavier workloads like complex layering in Photoshop. The model’s HP Z Turbo Drive storage is up to 6X faster than SATA SSD and up to 21X faster than traditional HDD storage. The HP ZBook x2 offers up to 2 TB9 of local PCIe storage and incorporates a full-sized SD card slot, perfect for professional photographers. Using the dock or Thunderbolt 3 ports on the HP ZBook x2, it can transfer large files from cameras, external storage, phones and other peripherals.
Designed to go anywhere and handle the toughest workloads, the HP ZBook x2 mobile workstation is designed to pass MIL-STD 810G testing14. The HP ZBook x2 also undergoes dozens of tests for certification and optimized performance with the industry’s leading software providers like Adobe and Autodesk.
HP ZBook x2 Pricing and Availability
HP ZBook x2 is scheduled for availability in December starting at $1,749. The datasheet is available here.
Canon has hit two couple major production milestones today. Specifically, Canon says it has now produced 130 million EF-series interchangeable lenses and 90 million EOS cameras. And in case you're curious, the camera maker revealed that an EOS 5D Mark IV was its 90 millionth EOS camera to go through production, while the 130 millionth interchangeable lens distinction goes to an EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM.
Both the EOS and EF series made their debut in March 1987, eventually picking up production speed in the early 2000s as DSLRs became more popular.
The company boasts a 14-year consecutive No. 1 share of the global interchangeable lens digital camera market, as well as the distinction of being first to bring certain features to the market with its EF lenses, including image stabilizer tech and an ultrasonic motor. Canon's EOS Series also has some notable distinctions in its past, including being the first to offer an electronic lens mounting system and fully digitized communication between the lens and camera body.
ROV Slider, a new motorized camera slider currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, promises to bring cinematic slider shots to the masses.
The portable little slider handles any camera that weighs under 5lbs / 2.3kg—including smartphones, GoPro, mirrorless cameras and DSLRs—and comes in two variations: ROV Slider and ROV Pro. Here's a quick video intro to the ROV from Kickstarter:
As you can see, ROV Slider and ROV Pro are both offered in an 'Everyday' model with 8in / 20cm of travel, as well as a 'Traveler' model with 16in / 40cm of travel. While both are made with unibody CNC milled rails, the Pro version comes in a gunmetal finish, as well.
Common features between the two models include a cordless motor, 24hr battery life, a centered tripod mount, all-terrain foldable legs, and a low-profile iPhone mount. Meanwhile, the Pro version offers a bit more for professionals, including a 1/4-20 ball head and the ability to capture time-lapses with a DSLR.
For motion control purposes, ROV works with two different apps: Rhino Storyteller for smartphones, and ROV Motion for GoPro, mirrorless, and DSLR models. Rhino Storyteller features four modes—Night Lapse, Time-Lapse, Slo-mo, and Video. ROV Motion, meanwhile, offers control of ROV's ramp, speed, direction, looping, and time-lapses.
ROV Slider is being offered to backers at a special price of $230 USD (compared to the anticipated retail price is $300) while the ROV Pro is available for just $300 USD (anticipated retail price $400). Backers are also given some other options, such as a Content Creator Bundle for $380, an Outdoor Bundle for $440, and an Ultimate Bundle for $480.
Microsoft has announced the next generation of its Surface Book hybrid device, the Surface Book 2, and like its predecessor, the new two-in-one laptops are targeted at creative types and gamers. Microsoft says the Surface Book 2 offers, "the power of a desktop, the versatility of a tablet, and the freedom of a light and thin laptop in one beautifully designed device."
The new models come with Intel's 8th generation Core processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 and 1060 GPUs, making them "up to five times more powerful" than the original model and twice as powerful as the latest MacBook Pro.
Despite powerful processing components, the hybrid device offers all-day battery life, with up to 17 hours of video playback in laptop mode and 5 hours in tablet mode. The detachable 15" PixelSense multi-touch display comes with a 3240 x 2160 resolution, while the smaller 13" variant still offers a very dense 3000 x 2000 pixel count but is lighter than its larger cousin (3.38lbs vs 4.2lbs).
Finally, in one last nod to dissatisfied MacBook Pro users, the new Surface Book 2 comes with a full array of ports, including: two USB-A ports, a USB-C port, and an SD card reader, reducing the need for dongles or other connection accessories.
You can find the complete Surface Book 2 specifications on the Microsoft website, where you'll also be able to pre-order the new models starting November 9th for $1500 for the lowest power 13-inch model and a whopping $2,500 for the base 15-inch model.
Leica is getting into the lens resurrection game, announcing earlier today that it will bring back the Thambar-M 1:2.2/90: a portrait lens from 1935 that’s famous for exceptional spherical aberration that creates extremely soft images. The Thambar-M will be an accurate reproduction of the original lens, only this time around in the M mount instead of the L screw mount.
The lens features a 20-bladed iris that produces round, out-of-focus highlights, and only four elements arranged in three groups. Its softness comes about through uncorrected spherical aberrations that are more obvious when the lens is used wide open, and which can be emphasized via the use of an included centre spot filter that prevents axial light passing through the construction.
With the light from the centre of the lens blocked, the majority of image recording light comes from the edges where the aberration is at its strongest.
Without the centre spot filter the lens is still soft, but becomes sharper as the aperture is closed and the aberration subsides. The barrel of the Thambar has twin aperture markings that show in white the reduced aperture values when the spot filter is used, as well as the recommended range of apertures that can be used with the filter in place.
Originally made only in a run of 3,000 in 1935, this new version will be much more widely available starting mid-November, and will cost you £5095/$6495. For more information see the Leica website, or read this article on the Leica blog.
Leica Camera AG presents a modern renaissance of the classic lens – the Leica Thambar-M 1:2.2/90
A legend reborn: following the Leica Summaron-M 1:5.6/28, Leica Camera AG has further expanded its lens portfolio with the Thambar-M 1:2.2/90, the modern renaissance of another classic lens. Just like its namesake from 1935, the contemporary incarnation of the lens is distinguished by its characteristic soft-focus effect and unmistakeable bokeh. Its focal length of 90 mm is suitable for photography in a multitude of scenarios and is as good as predestined for capturing portraits with a uniquely aesthetic atmosphere that cannot be reproduced in digital postprocessing. The new Thambar-M is thus an exciting addition to the existing Leica M lens portfolio and brings photographers entirely new possibilities for creative composition.
The optical design of its ancestor remains almost unchanged in the new Thambar-M 1:2.2/90. It has therefore also inherited the characteristic properties of its predecessor. The only difference is that the four elements in three groups that make up the design have now been single-coated to protect the glass against environmental influences and surface corrosion. The 20 blades of its iris deliver a unique bokeh with perfectly round rendition of point light sources.
The soft look of the Thambar is the result of intentionally accepted under-correction of spherical aberration. This under-correction increases towards the edges of the optical system with the consequence that not only the depth of focus, but also the degree of softening can be precisely controlled by means of the stepless aperture setting. The effect is more pronounced as apertures increase, and is continually reduced as the lens is stopped down to smaller apertures.
The design of the original lens has been almost completely preserved in today’s Thambar-M 1:2.2/90. The black paint finish, the proportions of the lens and its aperture engravings in red and white correspond to the appearance of the original. In addition to this, slight modifications have been made that bring the lens into line with the current, minimalist design of modern M-Lenses. These include the knurling, the lettering and scales and the specific use of sharp edges and bevelling that underline the precision of the lens design.
‘The name Thambar has always been preceded by the adjective ‘legendary’ – rightly so. It portrays people with a wonderful aura, in a romantic way – but landscapes too are raised to a higher, incomparably aesthetic plane. The addition of a new incarnation of this classic lens to our selection of vintage lenses was one of our greatest wishes – to my great delight, this wish has now been fulfilled.’ emphasises Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board of Leica Camera AG.
As is the case with all Leica lenses, the Leica Thambar-M 1:2.2/90 is also manufactured in strict compliance with the most stringent quality criteria. The use of only the best materials in its construction guarantee the familiar long working life of all Leica lenses. As was the case with the original lens, the lens hood, the ring of the centre-spot filter and both front and rear lens caps are made of metal. Even smallest details, like the felt lining of the lens hood and the front cap, contribute to the exceptional perceived quality of this lens. The design of the rigid lens keeper in ‘Vintage Brown’ leather is identical to that of the original from 80 years ago in almost every respect and, as in the past, the centre-spot filter can be safely and conveniently stowed away in its lid.
The Leica Thambar-M 1:2.2/90 will be on sale from mid-November 2017.
Google's Pixel 2 launch event on October 4th put a lot of emphasis on the new smartphone's camera capabilities. However, the presenters at the event left out one very interesting detail: Google Visual Core.
Visual Core is a custom-built system-on-a-chip (SOC) designed to power and accelerate the Pixel 2 phones' much-lauded HDR+ function that achieves better dynamic range and reduced noise levels through computational imaging. The new Pixel 2 phones already come with the chip built in, but it has not been activated yet. It appears Google ran out of time before the Pixel 2 launch to fully optimize Visual Core implementation in the device.
The good news is it will be activated at some point "over the coming months", which should make HDR+ processing on the new devices even quicker and smoother than it already is (and it's already far faster than on the original Pixels). According to Google, it will then be 5x faster and use less than 1/10th of the the energy,” a real advantage over the current general purpose processing. In the future the chip could also take over additional image processing tasks.
The company will also enable Pixel Visual Core as a developer option in its Oreo 8.1 preview, allowing access to HDR+ for the developers of third-party camera apps. All of this is currently limited to Google's Pixel 2 devices, but there's hope other manufacturer will pick up the Visual Core technology and associated software in the future.
The Google Pixel's camera is among the best we've reviewed, and the Pixel 2 has already been hailed as class-leading by DxOMark. So even though the bar was high when we set out to shoot with it, the Pixel 2 (and the guts-are-the-same Pixel 2 XL) has left a very positive first impression on us. Take a look at our sample images – unless otherwise noted, they've been shot using the stock camera app with auto HDR+.