The new Lowepro PhotoSport III 15L and 24L Photo Backpacks have been announced. Get the details at B&H.
You are going to like these results. Here are some comparisons to get you started:
The second lens results, shown as sample 1, are nearly identical to the first lens results, now denoted as sample 2. Here is that comparison.
It is a rare lens that our test chart results do not accurately represent, but the FE 14mm GM lens is one of them. The test chart results for the two lenses were only mediocre (to be kind) and well below expectations for a prime G Master lens. Obvious is that a flat test chart highlights field curvature, a feature that few (none?) of us want. That the depth of sharp focus at the periphery become shallower and moves slightly rearward at close focus distances is the cause of the chart anomaly.
If carefully focused in the corner of the frame, as illustrated here, this lens produces sharp corner image quality. However, this improvement comes at the expense of the center of the frame performance. Fortunately, this lens performs significantly better at long distances.
The Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Lens is an outstanding choice for photographing the milky way. Check out sample crop showing pin-point star rendering in the full-frame corners. Add this lens to the already long list of impressive Sony milky way lens options, including the FE 20mm f/1.8 G, FE 24mm f/1.4 GM, FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM, and FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lenses.
CyberLink Expands its Entire Library of Shutterstock Royalty-Free Premium Content to All Director Family 365 Products
For the first time ever, all Director Family 365 customers can now access CyberLink’s full collection of Shutterstock premium royalty-free content of high quality photos, video, and audio
Taipei, Taiwan—June 29, 2021—CyberLink Corp. (5203.TW) today announced the availability of their entire Shutterstock premium content library across all Director Family 365 products, making the extensive royalty-free collection of high quality photos, video, and audio available to users for free with unlimited access. This expanded collection is integrated directly into the software’s library for a streamlined workflow and easy user access. All content will be available for both personal and commercial use. The new release from CyberLink also features brand new ad templates for PowerDirector 365 Business and the AdDirectorapp so users can now leverage a whopping 600 pre-designed templates combined with an extensive library of Shutterstock content for creating professional-grade video ads.
Beyond the expansion of their full Shutterstock premium content library across all 365 products and new ad templates for PowerDirector 365 Business and the AdDirector app, CyberLink’s update comes with several new features and add-ons, together with notable user interface enhancements across its creative software offerings:
“At CyberLink we pride ourselves as a highly customer-centric creative software brand that consistently delivers on user demand,” said Dr. Jau Huang, CEO of CyberLink. “Our customers of all skill levels have provided overwhelmingly positive feedback on our expansive Shutterstock premium content library, so we are now offering the entire collection to all our Director Family 365 users. Today’s release is unprecedented for the CyberLink ecosystem and we plan to continue developing new, exciting updates for users so they have the tools, features and content to foster their creative potential.”
Product Availability The above products are available online at B&H
Sony Alpha 1 Version 1.10 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:
This is a nice update – the eye sensor fix alone is huge.
Canon celebrates National Camera Day with a lens announcement. From Canon USA:
Canon Introduces New RF14-35mm F4 L IS USM Lens Broadening Imaginative Possibilities For Still And Video
MELVILLE, NY, June 29, 2021– Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the RF14-35mm F4 L IS USM lens. This dramatic new lens brings 14mm, ultra wide-angle coverage to full-frame EOS R-series users. On top of the ultra-wide capabilities, the 14-35mm zoom range is the broadest ever in a Canon wide-angle zoom for full-frame AF cameras. For many Canon users, one single lens can potentially handle all wide-angle needs, from vivid, creative ultra-wide imagery to traditional street photography.
The new wide-angle lens is designed for use within the expanding family of EOS R full-frame mirrorless cameras, including the upcoming EOS R3, currently in development. Whether you capture stills, video, or like many creatives today – both – this new wide-angle lens from Canon can help elevate users’ content game when capturing images or video in a wide variety of situations, such as landscape, architecture, and travel.
A compact overall design, and extremely modest overall weight of just 1.2 lbs. — along with excellent balance, during hand-held or even gimbal-mounted operation — add to RF14-35mm F4 L IS USM inviting character. A key feature, sure to appeal to many landscape and nature photographers, is this lens’s ability to accept conventional, 77mm screw-in filters. This is especially noteworthy on a lens for full-frame cameras with 14mm ultra-wide coverage. Additionally, the lens’s close-focusing capability is exceptional for an ultra-wide zoom of its type.
Image Stabilization further enhances the RF14-35mm’s appeal for low-light still imagery, and for steady yet striking wide video footage. Up to 5.5 stops[i] of optical Image Stabilization is built-in, and Coordinated IS with cameras such as the EOS R6 and EOS R5 delivers up to 7 stops[ii] of shake-correction. This can mean sharper hand-held images in low light, even at extremely slow shutter speeds.
The Canon RF 14-35mm F4 L IS USM lens features a bright, constant f/4 maximum aperture, L-Series optical construction — highlighted by three UD-glass elements, and three Aspherical elements — and many of the company’s most advanced proprietary lens coatings, including Sub-wavelength Structure Coating (SWC) and Air Sphere Coating (ASC). These superb lens coatings help minimize ghosting and flaring. Lens placement and coatings are also optimized to help users get clear, high-contrast images, even when there is a bright light source either in, or immediately outside, the frame. Additional features of the Canon RF14-35mm F4 L IS USM include:
Pricing and Availability
The Canon RF14-35mm F4 L IS USM lens is scheduled to be available in August 2021 for an estimated retail price of $1,699.00*.
*Specifications, availability and prices are subject to change without notice. Actual prices are set by individual dealers and may vary.
[i] Based on CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Associations) standards. Testing performed at focal length of 35mm, using the EOS R camera.
[ii] Based on CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Associations) standards. Testing performed at focal length of 35mm, using the EOS R5 camera.
Ironically, the day after sharing the comparison below, Sony released Alpha 1 firmware update version 1.10. While IBIS was not called out in the list of updated features, discussions hinted that an IBIS performance update was possibly included in the "Other improvements in operational stability" line item. Sony would not divulge the answer to that question. That possibility left a little doubt in my mind, and ... I don't like doubt more than I don't like testing image stabilization.
Round 2. Jump over to the latest Canon vs. Sony IBIS Comparison Test for the round 2 results.
When shooting handheld, image stabilization performance can be a significant image quality factor. Sony has incorporated In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) in their cameras for many years — the a7 II and a7R II had this feature. Canon's first IBIS implementations arrived last summer in the Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6.
Especially given Sony's long head start with this technology, I wanted to know: Is Sony's IBIS better than Canon's? Or is Canon's IBIS better? The two systems could also perform equally, and that piece of information would also be helpful to know. It was time to create a comparison featuring the latest high-end models from each company, the Canon EOS R5 vs. Sony Alpha 1.
CIPA's image stabilization ratings attempt to provide an objective measure of a camera's stabilization assistance capabilities. However, CIPA is considerably steadier than I am. There are no objective image stabilization tests that measure a camera's stabilization assistance specifically for me — or for you, and it is only a camera's stabilization assistance performance for the person holding the camera that matters. Even our personal stabilization needs are situational, with wind, physical exertion, footing stability, and other factors influencing our ability to hold a camera steady.
While I had opinions on the overall image stabilization performance of various Canon and Sony camera and lens combinations, explicitly testing the difference between the Canon and Sony camera IBIS has been interesting me. With nearly identical Canon and Sony non-stabilized lenses in the lab at the same time, this comparison hit the top of my to-do list, becoming the priority.
While completely objective testing was not possible, it seemed that subjective testing could be dialed in to have meaning.
This IBIS testing was performed in the studio, with ideal handheld testing conditions, including solid (concrete) footing and no wind. During testing, elbows were not resting on the body, and the viewfinder was in use (vs. the rear LCD).
The Canon EOS R5 with an RF 50mm F1.2 L USM Lens was tested against a Sony Alpha 1 with an FE 50mm f/1.2 GM Lens. The cameras were set to single-shot mode, with the electronic first curtain shutter selected in Tv mode. A detailed test target (exceeding camera resolution) was positioned at eye level about 10' (3.3m) away, with the distance marked for consistency.
Starting at 1/25 second exposures (roughly 2 stops of stabilization assistance expected for me), 10 images were captured with each camera. The shutter duration on both cameras was then increased by 1/3 stop, and the testing was repeated, alternating cameras until 1 second exposures were on the cards. That procedure amounted to 150 pictures taken with each camera (10 shots x 15 shutter speeds), 300 pictures total.
The measure of sharpness is not boolean, true or false, meaning an arbitrary determination of pass or fail was required, and adding an intermediary grade seemed a good idea. In addition, everyone loves a score, a firm number that can quickly be compared and quoted.
If the image was unsalvageable, it went into the "Delete" category. If an image is blurry, it was a waste of time to capture, load, and process. Worse is that I may have counted on the image being sharp, meaning that the desired image was lost. The blurry image also consumed space on the memory card and later on the computer's SSD. Thus, in the "Score" column, five points are deducted for each image falling in this category.
If the image was salvageable via increasing the sharpness or down-sizing the image, it went into the "Useable" category. No points were given for these images. While they will often get the job done, these results were mediocre.
Crisply sharp images are what we want. Test images making the "Sharp" grade were awarded 5 points.
Most images were not hard to place in one of these three categories. The "benefit of the doubt" rule was implemented for those hard to grade, and the higher grade was given.
Here is the resulting Canon vs. Sony IBIS comparison table:
|Canon||Sony||Diff (Canon - Sony)||Score|
The testing was so much fun that I decided to do it again. OK, the fun part was missing, but meaningful test results should be repeatable, right? While I made a significant effort to capture every test shot to the best of my current abilities (I was not especially steady on this day), I had enough doubt in my mind to leave me unsatisfied. Testing for consistency seemed necessary.
Thus, after fully evaluating the first set of results, the same test was repeated — another 300 images were captured. The results are as follows:
|Canon||Sony||Diff (Canon - Sony)||Score|
While these numbers are as meaningful as the first table, it was the consistency with the first test results that most interested me. The following table shows the deviation between the two tests. The second result was subtracted from the first result, with 0 or close to 0 indicating similar performance.
To account for any testing anomalies, after compiling the second test results, the three exposure durations with the most deviation (though none were significantly differing) for each camera were tested a third time (60 additional test shots). The worst of the three results for each camera was thrown out, leaving the results shown in the above tables.
I am very impressed at how consistent the results for the two tests are. The similarity adds credence to the test results.
Here is a summary table showing the combined first and second test results, along with the final scoring.
|Canon||Sony||Diff (Canon - Sony)||Score|
So, we just got highly analytical with 660 subjective test results. Still, there seems to be some meaning here.
The sharp column from this table is illustrated in the graph included at the top of this post. From these results, it is arguable that the IBIS technology in the Canon EOS R5 is superior to that in the Sony Alpha 1, at least in many of the shutter speed comparisons (for me, on this day, in this location, with the referenced lenses mounted). For example, follow the "10" line in the chart to see the shutter speed I required for a 50% sharp image rate.
The bottom line is that IBIS is valuable in both camera brands. This feature adds substantially to the versatility of non-stabilized lenses, such as the 50mm f/1.2 models tested here. IBIS is one more reason to love the latest mirrorless camera models.
With air-to-ground lightning strikes averaging under 10-seconds apart, this thunderstorm was awesome.
After dark, lightning becomes easy to photograph. Mount the camera to a tripod, frame a composition that includes the location with the most frequent lightning, focus to a long distance, set the aperture and ISO to control the lightning and overall image brightness, and then open the shutter long enough to catch at least one strike. Easy is to use 30-second exposures controlled by the camera (the strategy implemented for this example), but the Bulb setting controlled with a remote release enables the exposure timing to be adjusted as desired. For example, lock the remote release button down until there is a strike or the time duration exceeds the tolerance for long exposure noise.
Make safety a priority. Photographing lightning from a safe distance (far away) is advised. Locations with long distance visibility are advantaged in this regard, and the flat midwest prairie gets impressive thunderstorms.
Along with this storm came wind, wind strong enough create significant camera vibrations with even a sturdy tripod and strong enough to put a significant amount of dirt in the air. The solution to this issue was to drop down into the canyon a bit. The difference in wind speed 25 yards (25 m) down from rim was substantial and a solution to the problem.
Right, the title says four minutes, but a 30-second shutter speed was in use. This image is a four-minute exposure created by blending eight 30 second exposures using the "Lighten" layer blending option in Photoshop. This blending option is simple to use, allowing the lightning strikes from the layers below to show through.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Just posted: MindShift Gear BackLight Elite 45L Review
A first-choice full-size backpack for nearly any adventure.
Just posted: Sony FE 50mm f/2.5 G Lens Review.
This is a very nice little lens.
Just posted: Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM Lens Review.
Just posted: Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM Lens Review.
A second FE 14mm lens is on order, and I intend to update the review upon testing that lens.
Firmware Version 02 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:
Firmware Version 3.10 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:
Firmware Version 4.01 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:
Firmware Version 1.3.3 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:
Some discussion is warranted here. This lens's center of the frame performance is outstanding, even wide open at f/1.8. Primarily at issue are the soft corners falling below expectations, with all four corners performing similarly. At the 14mm full frame angle of view, a very close focus distance is required to fit even a large chart in the frame, and my first thought was perhaps the close-focusing image quality was the issue. However, some quick outdoor testing also shows relatively soft peripheral performance even at very long distances, though as usual, natural details appear better than the sharp, high-contrast test chart. So, I next need to make a decision on how to proceed.
If this retail-purchased lens is performing properly, it might be worth carrying the additional weight of the Sigma Art Lens. Here is that comparison.
Firmware Version 06 incorporates the following fixes and enhancements:
From Canon USA:
Hear from inspiring guest speakers including top Explorers of Light, Canon Content Creators, and Tech Experts!
Register for this FREE virtual event packed with unique content, break-out sessions, challenges, prizes* and more! Tell me more >
From Sony Electronics
Sony Electronics Announces New Airpeak S1 Professional Drone
Sony’s First Professional Drone is World’s Smallest that can be Equipped with Alpha Mirrorless Camera, Boasts High Speed and Stable Flight Performance
SAN DIEGO, CA – June 9, 2021 – Sony Electronics Inc. today announced their first-ever professional drone, the "Airpeak S1"[i]. An introductory model in the new Airpeak line, the S1 is the world's smallest[ii] drone that can be equipped with a full-size mirrorless interchangeable-lens Alpha camera, opening up a new world of creative possibilities.
The new drone utilizes a proprietary motor, propeller, control system and sensing technology, allowing it to fly at extremely high speeds with very stable wind resistance. Additionally, the Airpeak S1 features an advanced remote controller that can support the production of high-quality aerial images and freely control the aircraft. It also includes obstacle detection, automatic flight control via sensing and increased safety via cloud management of the aircraft and flight information.
“Sony is excited to launch our new drone business with the Airpeak S1,” said Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Solutions, Sony Electronics Inc. “Combining an extremely compact size with some of Sony’s most advanced imaging, sensing, AI and robotics technologies, the S1 will allow content creators, storytellers and commercial professionals to capture that which they’ve never been able to capture before.”
Aircraft with Advanced Flight Performance
The new Airpeak S1 offers dynamic flying capabilities, including a maximum speed of 55mph (90km/h)[iii], a maximum angular velocity of 180°/s[iv], and a maximum tilt angle of 55°[v].
Propulsion technology using a combination of Sony developed key devices provides wind resistance in strong wind speeds up to 44.7mph[vi] (20m/s). An example can be viewed below.
Independently developed propulsion device and flight control system
In addition to the lightweight, highly efficient, sturdy and responsive proprietary 17" propeller and brushless motor, the Airpeak S1 is equipped with an ESC (Electric Speed Controller) for optimal control of these components. A unique, high-performance flight control system integrates the propulsion device and all sensor information to ensure stable flight and high maneuverability.
Stable Flight by Sensing
Stereo cameras equipped with Sony’s image sensors are installed in 5 locations (front, back, left, right, bottom) of the aircraft. Sony's Vision Sensing Processor, which processes camera data at high speed and with low power consumption, and proprietary algorithms are used to accurately estimate the aircraft's spatial position and orientation in real time, enabling stable flight even in environments where GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) reception may be hindered, such as indoors or under bridges. The Airpeak S1 is also equipped with a unique high-performance flight control system that integrates all sensor information such as IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), direction, barometric pressure and infrared ranging to optimize the propulsion device.
The Airpeak S1 uses Multi-directional sensors to enable its obstacle braking function. The front, rear, left and right stereo cameras and the infrared range-finding sensor mounted on the top recognize obstacles in the vicinity of the aircraft, allowing the aircraft to automatically decelerate and stop according to the behavior of the aircraft and the surrounding conditions.
Multiple Camera and Lens Variations
Users have the flexibility to choose the right Alpha system for their desired application to expand their filmmaking horizons. The Airpeak S1 is compatible with a wide range of camera bodies including: the Alpha 7S series and FX3 for high descriptive capability with suppressed noise, the Alpha 7R series for ultra-high definition, and the Alpha 9 series and others for distortion-free images. The Alpha 1, which can shoot footage in 8K, is also compatible.
The new professional drone includes “Airpeak Flight,” an iOS® and iPadOS® compatible application[vii] that integrates the aircraft, transmitter, camera, and gimbal, allowing the operator to monitor status information such as flight distance and remaining battery power, and change various operations and settings on the screen.
Airpeak S1 also includes a dual operation mode so that one user can operate the drone, while another user can operate the gimbal and camera simultaneously, all while checking the same image, even in complicated scenes. The FPV (First Person View) camera, which can be tilt-operated from the remote controller, is mounted on the nose of the aircraft and is useful for the operator to check the direction of the aircraft and the direction of travel.
Highly Efficient Workflow with Automatic Flight
The new drone includes "Airpeak Base," a web application that allows the operator to manage equipment, create flight plans, and manage flight logs. In the equipment management, information on the equipment used is automatically listed and managed based on the flight log. This allows the operator to check the condition of the aircraft before going to the field, minimizing on-set issues.
With Airpeak Base, the operator can create advanced flight plans and automatically fly the aircraft along the same course repeatedly, as if the drone were on rails installed in the air. It is able to set the position (latitude, longitude and altitude) and speed of the aircraft along the timeline, and specify the orientation of the gimbal and the timing of video or still image shooting. It can also draw smooth curves on the map. Reproduction flight is an automatic flight function that reproduces the flight route, gimbal, and camera movements based on the flight logs that have flown in the past.
All aircraft information, including logs, can be uploaded to the cloud via the mobile app Airpeak Flight. Airpeak Base allows users to check the status of the aircraft and can provide notifications if necessary. Users can manage the status of all managed aircraft in one place before flight. Past flight logs can be viewed on the logbook screen, and details such as in-flight errors can also be reviewed.
“Airpeak Plus," a cloud service that allows users to use the rich features of Airpeak Base, and "Airpeak Protect Plan," a service plan to cover accidental damage to the product, will be available to customers. Further details regarding both services will be available on the Airpeak website before the related products and services go on sale
Pricing and Availability
The new Airpeak S1 suggested retail price is approximately $9,000.00 and will ship with two (2) pairs of propellers, a remote controller, two (2) batteries and a battery charger. A third-party gimbal made specifically for the Airpeak S1 will be sold separately. The Airpeak S1 will be available for pre-order and ship to customers in the fall of 2021. Airpeak S1 is made in Japan.
[i] Operating a drone in the USA is regulated by federal law and regulations. State and local ordinances may also apply to certain operations. When operating a drone, it is the remote pilot’s responsibility to always comply with applicable laws and regulations.
[ii] Based on Sony research and testing.
[iii] No payload, and obstacle brake disabled.
[iv] Vision positioning disabled.
[v] Obstacle brake disabled.
[vi] No payload.
[vii] All apps require network services, content, and operating system and software subject to terms and conditions and may be changed, interrupted or discontinued at any time and may require fees, registration and credit card information.
[viii] Those who use drones to provide products and services to customers. If you register as a professional supporter, you will receive emails about events sponsored by Sony, opportunities to experience aircraft flight, and the latest product information.
Here are some comparisons to get you started:
Many more good comparisons are available – select the ones most relevant to you.
From Canon USA:
Canon Announces Additional Details of EOS R3 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera Currently In-Development
Following up on the announcement of the development of Canon’s most powerful professional full-frame camera, the EOS R3, Canon has new details to share on the upcoming product.
The upcoming EOS R3 will offer enhanced AF performance and tracking capabilities using Deep Learning technology, with even better face, eye, head, and animal body detection. The EOS R3 will add vehicle subject recognition and tracking for cars and motorcycles, ideal for photographers capturing fast-action motorsports.
The EOS R3 will be able to autofocus in extreme low light conditions up to EV-7, along with up to eight stops of coordinated IS control when used with RF lenses that feature Optical Image Stabilization. Users of the upcoming EOS R3 will be able to shoot 4K video with Canon Log 3 support, oversampled 4K, and RAW movie internal recording.
For added flexibility and the necessary support for high-speed image transfer, the EOS R3 will have Wired LAN and 5GHz Wi-Fi capability built-in. The new accessory shoe will provide further options for data communication and power while also supporting new accessories. In addition, the use of Canon Speedlite products will still be possible when the EOS R3’s electronic shutter is active.
Additional Specifications Include:
Visit our Canon EOS R3 page for additional information.
Canon has released more information about and pictures of the EOS R3.
Get the details in the second set of bullet points on the Canon EOS R3 page.