Keeping it up with all the ton of photography related news is hard; but don’t worry, we are doing the hard work for you! Welcome to your highlights from the fantastic world of Photography.
HARDWARE & GEAR
Rewriting The Rules of Photography (again)
After a long and highly controversial wait, the Huawei P30 Pro is here. These folks have been flirting with serious photography since they started co-engineering with Leica, and now they are bringing us a phone that promises to deliver high-quality photography capabilities to the masses. According to the Japanese Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA), cameras sales have indeed slowed down worldwide. Products like the P30 Pro could be correlated to this drop. The most innovative feature about this phone is that it actually has optical zoom thanks to a periscope-like zooming internal device.
And speaking of Huawei…
People went nuts just because they found out that Sony is behind Huawei P30 Pro’s camera sensors. Seriously, what did you really expect? Sony is the great master of our times when it comes to image sensors, be happy! Huawei is a great example of joint-ventures, you got their Chinese brand name, with Leica lenses and Sony’s sensors. Amazing indeed.
New Cine Lenses from Venus Optics by Laowa
Laowa has been known for developing highly specialized lenses and photography solutions. Last week they decided to enter the world of serious cinematography with two lenses. These are the “Laowa OOOM 25-100 t/2.9 Cine” and “Laowa 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine”, which according to the trusted fellows from NoFilmSchool they aren’t going to be cheap.
New Variable ND Filters on the Block
Polar Pro has one single goal in mind, delivering products for those who chase the perfect shot, and it doesn’t matter if you shoot with a camera or even a drone. Take a look at their promotional (and quite dramatic) video on their new variable ND filters. Also, if you are interested in some of their products (like the GoPro filters for example) you can see them at their official store.
Make it Stronger
Since storage is nowadays quite easy to increase, external hard drives should have some extra value. Sony has announced two external SSD-HD that promise to be mighty tough. According to Ryan Mense, these bad boys could resist being submerged in 1 meter of water for up to half an hour and could also withstand a 9-foot drop and more than 13,000 pounds of pressure. I don’t have to elaborate more by telling you why photographers need trusty storage solutions like this one.
High-speed Imaging Should be For Everyone
Light Up with Amaran
Finding a niche is always a difficult thing to do. Aputure was built by a bunch of filmmakers and videographers who longed for high-quality images at reasonable prices. That’s how Aputure was born in 2005 as a company aimed to develop professional-grade equipment at affordable prices. Their latest creation is the AL-MW light. This is a really bright and very rugged mini LED. It is capable of delivering 6000 Lux at 300mm. It has a pretty amazing battery (24 hours of non-stop light), and all come in a small water-proof aluminium housing. Get more information here and oh, it has built-in effects which make it an even better gadget for filmmaking. Watch the promotional video if you want to see the little fellow in action.
Manfrotto Super Clamp
Yup, and it is super indeed, it supports 15Kgs. The great thing about solutions like this one is that they are simply limited to our creativity. Get more specs here at their official site. It could be a great match with that light mentioned above.
There isn’t an official price yet on this new lens from Samyang, but we can expect it to be affordable as many other Samyang lenses. 85mm are extremely popular among portrait photographers, and this little fella promises to be sharp and light. It comes with a multicoat that reduces weird artefacts, and surprise surprise, it has autofocusing capabilities. Now we are talking!
Since LED lighting solutions came to the public, everything has been getting smaller and smaller. Litra has developed a pocket device that promises studio light, this is the Torch, and is now available in its version 2.0. This is said to be the world’s most versatile light, and since it is 1.5″x1.5″ we believe them. This waterproof and rugged bad boy has a price tag of $90 and you can see all the specs here. You can also get a filter set for some extra $35.
Isn’t this Cute?
This is a really nice gift, a paper camera!
Kamlan 8mm f/3.0 for Fujifilm
Kamlan is one of several third-party lenses out there that won’t leave you homeless. According to Fuji Rumors, they have recently announced that their fisheye 8mm f/3.0 will be available for X mount cameras. They currently support Canon EF-M and Sony E mounts. This quite interesting lens is designed for APS-C Mirrorless cameras, and thanks to its powerful angle of view (180°) it can really deliver you some strong visual effects. The lens can manually focus from 10cm to infinity and has a decent price tag of $169.99, and it comes with a detachable hood, something you won’t find in some of Canon and Nikon lenses, ouch.
Canon EOS R Announced a New Firmware
This new firmware promises a really nice improvement, Eye-detection Automatic Focus, which will be able in Servo AF or Movie Servo AF modes. There are a lot of new technicalities of course around this new version 1.2.0 firmware, and you can read more here. Remember to always follow every instruction when upgrading your camera’s firmware in order to avoid the terrible “brick” state.
New 50mm f/0.95
It is me or this setup has become popular these days? Zhong Yi Optics has released their Mark III for their Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 lens, the Bokeh Monster as they call it. It has a price tag of $799.00 and can be mounted on Sony E, Canon RF and Nikon Z-Mount Full-Frame mounts. You can see more information and even some sample shots here, and it does look amazing, but extremely difficult to handle at its maximum aperture (as every all lenses featuring so exaggerated apertures).
World Press Photo 2019 Cameras
Photolari, a Spanish website, has released some very easy to understand graphs showing us some stats about the gear behind this year’s World Press Photo Awards. The website is in Spanish, but the graphs are pretty much universal, so, if you don’t speak Spanish, you’ll get them. Canon is the most popular, and Ezra Acayan’s Leica Q is quite a nice find. Mirrorless systems are still shy in this genre, but they are making their way through. Canon’s flagship, the 5D Mark IV and III are the great leaders in this particular category of top and serious photojournalism.
SOFTWARE & APPS
Robots Shooting at Weddings
And we mean pictures, so don’t freak out. Meet Eva, the first robot that actually shoots photos at weddings and other social events. It isn’t as fast and sneaky as a wedding photographer, but it is a fun alternative to photo-booths. Check out more about Eva at the official blog from Service Robots, the company behind the robot.
DaVinci Resolve 16
Even though DaVinci Resolve isn’t for photography, it is nice software that should be kept on track. Here you can read in-depth news about the latest release, and all the features that it comes with (they are a lot indeed). You can also watch this 25 minutes video on what’s new on their latest version.
Real Noise Reduction from Topaz
Topaz DeNoise AI looks really promising when reducing noise, you can see a lot of sample shots here, and you can even download them to see the results for yourselves. The price of this bad boy is $59.99 but will turn to $79.99 in some days after their announcement. With this tool, you can start trusting your camera at those ridiculous ISO levels. Topaz promises to reduce noise without messing with detail, so I don’t really know how they managed to achieve it. It is the first Artificial Intelligence Powered noise reduction tool, so perhaps the trick is there.
Power Up your Adobe Experience
Skylum has announced their new Luminar Flex, a new plugin that promises to enhance all your Adobe based workflow thanks to its artificial intelligence capabilities. These folks have really put some effort into Skylum, and now you can easily recover information from blown lights or weird color casts as well as some really powerful dehaze. Get yours for $59 with a 60 days money-back guarantee.
On Her Own-Childbirth Photo By Megan Ann
The highly educated people on social media platforms (sarcasm!) have put Megan Ann in the spotlight thanks to her photos of her own childbirth. Honestly, I found this photo to be an amazing treasure for her, and people should stop judging her.
Another Week, Another Image Theft
This has been so common that photographers have even started to care little about infringements large companies make in terms of intellectual property and copyright when it comes to photographs. This week it was Diani Diamond’s turn, a fashion photographer whose photo was improperly used by for promoting a wrist-watch in a Lufthansa in-flight magazine.
Gagarin by Daria Garnik
Yuri Gagarin was the first person to fly to space, and Daria Garnik made a photographic essay to honor her childhood hero. Here you can read an interview made by Lensculture as well as some photographs of the project around Gagarin’s legacy.
Several photography awards have been given out recently, here is a brief list of all the winners from each event:
- Military Visual Awards 2018
- Pulitzer Prize 2019: Breaking News Photography
- Pulitzer Prize 2019: Feature Photography
- Wet Plate Competition 2019
- World Press Photo 2019
Getting Close to a Fly
Here in this article Roger Cicala from Lensrentals telling us about a fly that was stuck inside a “weather sealed” 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II from Canon. No wonder these guys are the best at doing what they do. They also have a very interesting theory about how the fly actually got inside the lens.
Do You Look Like an Idiot When You’re Taking Photos?
Read this brief opinion from our friend Rob Wood in order to think a bit about your own shooting habits. I have seen some pretty weird stuff from photographers trying to look like photographers.
Leica Banned in China
“Dedicated to those who lend their eyes to make us see.” That is the phrase which this almost 5-minute video ends. It is a thrilling homage to those who have risked their lives for the sake of truth and real information for the world. After a huge fuss, according to Michael Zhang, the Chinese government banned the word Leica in both English and Chinese from Weibo.
On Bob Dylan
The Internet has gone crazy after Bob Dylan stopped a concert in order to address the audience after he had it enough with the pictures being taken by the people. He has had a “no photos” policy for a while. Read more about this incident here at Rolling Stone, and watch a video being shared through social media here.
Dumped for “inappropriate behaviour”
For the first time in the World Press Photo history, an invitation has been cancelled. This happened to Andrew Quilty, a photographer who won third place in the Spot News category for his work in Kabul. A really powerful story indeed. You can read more about this story here at the Inside Imaging.
Selfie Deaths, an Epidemic?
A recent study addresses the “selfie deaths” phenomena and suggests that “no selfie zones” signs should start to pop up in tourist areas. You can read the paper here. It is really short, just 4 pages long, and we hope that simply by reading it people might start to think about their behavior.
Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd by Nick Mason
Alright, this isn’t a photography oriented book exactly, but it serves to illustrate the importance of photography as a way of registering meaningful stuff, even if they are quotidian or vernacular. I love Pink Floyd, it is my equivalent to André Kertész when it comes to music, and this week I had the chance of having this book in my hands (yes, I’ll buy the thing of course) and oh boy, it comes filled with plenty of unseen photos that made me super excited. Photography changes everything and should be respected more.
Notre-Dame, Lady on Fire
On April 15 Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral was nearly consumed after a massive fire that burned through the roof of an iconic landmark. Here you can get a grasp of the devastation and here are some photos of the aftermath. Here you can see a brief tribute to the building’s beauty.
25 Years since Rwanda’s Genocide
Such a tragic event shouldn’t be expressed in statistical numbers, and after 25 years, this is how Rwanda’s genocide is being remembered. History shouldn’t be forgotten, otherwise similar atrocities are open to occur again.